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By James McClain
Co-founder and Executive Editor
Real estate can be very lucrative, sometimes shockingly so. One example is this (relatively) humble house in Silver Lake, which spans a little over 2,000 square feet and sits hard up on its hillside street, on a smallish lot with no swimming pool. After selling for $1.8 million three years ago, the same house has just sold off-market for about $4 million.
The lucky seller was noted comedy writer Bess Kalb, an Emmy Award nominee for her writing work on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and a New York Times bestselling author (“Nobody Will Tell You This But Me”). Kalb gave the well-maintained but dated 1930s structure a renovation during her ownership, updating the kitchen and various living spaces, and reportedly adding an extra bedroom and bathroom. Still, it seems improbable that she walked from the property with anything but a major profit.

The spendy buyer is Zeshan Ali, a 32-year-old programmer who graduated with a computer science degree from the University of Maryland and recently lived in St. Louis, Missouri. Ali remained in virtual obscurity until earlier this year, when he was revealed to be the real-life person behind secretive Internet personality “No Sass” or “Sass,” one of the four previously anonymous co-founders of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), a collection of simian avatars.
BAYC and its parent company Yuga Labs are essentially the hottest collection in the entire world of NFTs (nonfungible tokens). Earlier this year, the project raised $450 million from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz; Yuga Labs is now valued at north of $4 billion, so it seems safe to assume the company’s four co-founders are all very well off.
Little else is known about Ali, who grew up in California and recently married a freelance journalist from St. Louis; the couple has said they are relocating to Los Angeles to be closer to family. Ali and his new wife will enjoy their $4 million hilltop home’s big views, which sweep over the San Gabriel mountains and occasionally snowcapped Mount Baldy.
Photos below show the house as it appeared just prior to Kalb’s renovation, so the somewhat dated interiors have since been updated. But from roadside and aerial viewpoints, the charming but relatively unassuming home’s appearance remains mostly unaltered.
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