Is there any such thing as a romantic home owner? On a recent jaunt out to Malibu, I found one in the person of Beverly Hills Pawn star Yossi Dina, who, after showing me around his sleek Billionaire’s Beach house, told me, in his fluid Israeli accent, “a house is like a woman. You fall in love with her, you cannot let her go.”
And like the wife that Dina hopes to find sooner rather than later – he has been touted as one of Los Angeles’ most eligible bachelors – he pampers the house, cares for it, and treats it like a cherished “family member.”
Dina bought the Spanish Colonial from music icon Roy Orbison’s estate in 1998 for $1.8 million. It was built by entertainer Al Jolson in 1931. Dina enjoys relating how he made an offer on the house and it was accepted before he had the money to pay for it. He’s a big believer in “meant to be.”
“I’d just sold a painting for $25,000, and planned to use part of that for the down payment,” he says. “I had no idea where the rest of the money would come from.”
But the $25,000 check for the painting bounced. Dina shopped the painting around again – and soon got an offer from Christie’s International Auction House for $50,000, then an offer from a rep for $75,000. His negotiating radar went up, and he decided to sell it at auction. He ended up getting $780,000 for the painting two days before escrow was scheduled to close.
“That’s the way it’s always been for me,” he says with a smile. “I do the deal, then I get the money.”
It’s a unique recipe for success, but it certainly seems to work for him. Dina buys and sells millions of dollars worth of paintings, sculptures, jewelry, watches, first editions, cars and memorabilia from his Beverly Hills shop, the Dina Collection. He’s also starred in his own reality show, “Beverly Hills Pawn” on Reelz.
“If there is something you are looking for, I can find it, and for the right price,” Dina promises. He has a luxury item network that spans the globe, and makes deals at his own practiced pace and whim.
Proof of his deal-making chutzpah hangs on the walls of his prized beach house. He rotates the paintings frequently, depending on what he has in stock at his gallery, and whom he may be entertaining. Currently, paintings of note include a surprisingly interesting piece by Sylvester Stallone, and another by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Most of the walls in the approximately 3,500 square foot home are bright white, the better to display art on, but it wasn’t always that way. It definitely had a more Mediterranean flavor previously — and you can see proof of that in the Adam Sandler movie “Spanglish,” which was shot in Dina’s home. (Click here for a clip.)
While the exterior remains Mediterranean, the interior has gone decidedly modern. Additions include a centrally located open kitchen and a trapezoid-shaped fire pit, both of which Dina considers essential for his frequent entertaining: charitable fundraisers, dinners for prominent clients, holiday gatherings. Construction was completed several months ago.
His expansive deck—which overlooks the beach and includes seating areas, the aforementioned fire pit and a spa—is often filled with friends, and is the site of many a yoga session, Dina’s favorite exercise.
While the downstairs is for entertaining, Dina has reconfigured the upstairs area for his own private use. The master suite has been opened up so that the bathroom flows seamlessly into the bedroom, all with an unobstructed view of the Pacific. “I wanted to be able to see the ocean from the tub,” he confesses.
But perhaps one of the smallest rooms in the house represents Dina’s personality best. That would be a guest bath tiled in bright green, red, yellow, black and white — a work of art itself. It has a sense of motion, not unlike Dina himself. On the day I toured his home, he announced that he’d shot his last episode of Beverly Hills Pawn for the Reelz Channel, and was considering a show for another network that would cover the buying of even bigger-ticket items: cars? Real estate? British titles? The sky’s the limit.