It seems hardly a week goes by when Ellen DeGeneres and her actress wife Portia de Rossi aren’t making all the real estate gossip columns for buying, listing or selling a high-priced residence. The property-mad pair are easily the busiest real estate whales in Tinseltown, going through fancy homes like ordinary folks go through toilet paper.
For the last couple months, the couple have been stuck in sell mode. Back in July, they sold their $23 million Carpinteria, Calif. oceanfront retreat to cosmetics mogul Jamie Kern Lima; just last week, they offloaded a $15.5 million Regency-style midcentury Beverly Hills mansion to fashion designer Rea Laccone.
And now, the couple have stealthily sold a semi-remote farmlette in the outskirts of Santa Barbara County, just a wee jaunt north of sandy Carpinteria. The 10.5-acre, decidedly pastoral spread was sold for $6.982 million and acquired, records reveal, by longtime Hollywood hotshot and current Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins.
The nearly $7 million sale price is a great deal of money, of course, but it’s also over $2 million less than the $8.995 million originally requested by DeGeneres and just $282,000 more than the $6.7 million she paid for the property back in August 2018, a relatively slim profit that quickly evaporates once renovation costs, hefty taxes and fat realtor fees are considered.
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Speaking of renovations, DeGeneres did — as is her custom — give the entire property a remarkably quick yet extensive overhaul that transformed the undeniably charming if somewhat bedraggled ranch into a “hip Santa Barbara hideaway” with “an esoteric farmhouse and century-old barn” that together fuse “old world sensibility with the best in modern design.”
An electronic driveway gate plays bouncer for the sprawling compound, while vibrantly-colored wildflowers bloom along the pea gravel drive that winds up to the irregularly-shaped main house. A screened porch has views of the sprawling property, and the home’s front door opens into a lounge-like living and dining area with crisp white walls and a fireplace. There are 3 beds and 2.5 bathrooms in the main residence, each bath done up in a decidedly mod getup of white-and-black tile accents. The all-black kitchen contains a full suite of high-end designer appliances, plus granite countertops and custom cabinetry.
The lovely converted barn lies just across the way from the main residence and sports a full bathroom, potentially enabling the cavernous space to be used as a very cool guesthouse. Currently outfitted as a creative work studio, the space has chalky white walls and could also function as a great home office or storage space.
Ancient oaks and broad sweeps of grassy lawn cover much of the property; directly behind the main house, tucked into a hilly knoll, lies a lagoon-style swimming pool and inground spa.
For the moment, DeGeneres and de Rossi continue to maintain a $27 million Bali-inspired estate near Montecito; their main residence, however, is the $42.5 million English Tudor-style mansion in Beverly Hills they bought from Adam Levine a couple months back.
As for Robbins, he’s also no slouch in the property game department. Back in late 2017, he coughed up just over $12.4 million for a Tudor-style mansion in hoity-toity Hancock Park. The following year, he sold a stately residence in the leafy Brentwood Park nabe for just over $15 million to Coldplay manager Phil Harvey.