Some will argue a home owned or once owned by a name-brand personality will sell at a higher price than if it carries no showbiz provenance at all. There’s little but anecdotal evidence to suggest that’s true, but some properties, particularly in the more expensive zip codes around Los Angeles, are without question irresistibly powerful magnets for famous folk. And there are lots of entertainment industry luminaries who exercise a deep-pocketed proclivity for doing real estate business almost exclusively with other noteworthy individuals.
Last summer, Kelly Osbourne paid Rooney Mara nearly $3.6 million for a glass-walled mid-century pavilion at the end of a winding cul-de-sac above Bronson Canyon that Mara bought in 2015 for $2.9 million from “Big Little Lies” star Alexander Skarsgård. And ripe for its next mega-famous owner: the almost preposterously pedigreed home of “Big Bang Theory” luminary Jim Parsons, a carefully restored and updated 1920s Spanish Colonial secreted behind a riotous bougainvillea hedge along a celeb-favored street in an exclusive corner of the Los Feliz area. Now listed at a snippet under $8 million after first coming up for sale last summer at nearly $9 million — and previously owned by Tim Curry, Noah Wylie, Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson and Australian director Robert Luketic — the almost 1.5 acre, lavishly landscaped spread was purchased by Parsons in early 2014 for a tetch below $6.4 million from “Twilight” heartthrob Robert Pattinson.
While some properties are snapped up time and again by Hollywood heavyweights, other Tinseltown heavy hitters take it a step further, repeatedly buying from and selling to other showbiz movers and shakers. In the spring of 2018, Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine and Victoria Secret model Behati Prinsloo sold their almost 3.75-acre, freshly rehabbed estate above Benedict Canyon in the ruggedly ritzy mountains above Beverly Hills for $13.4 million to pop singer John Mayer. Several months later, in a hush-hush off-market deal, the pair paid “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick and entertainment attorney Erik Hyman close to $34 million for a 12,000-square-foot Tudor pile. Mutchnick and Hyman had bought the stately mansion a decade ago for $16.8 million from tennis legend Pete Sampras; previously, they owned a vast Beverly Hills compound that they sold to property-gossip-column staple Ellen DeGeneres, who later sold it to “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. And the Mutchnick-Hymans subsequently shelled out nearly $14.5 million for a 1930s English Country manor house in another prime pocket of Beverly Hills that had, coincidentally enough, been owned by televised talent show tycoon Simon Fuller, creator of the global “Idol” franchise.
Over the past handful of years, Netflix honcho Ted Sarandos has become famous in high-end real estate circles for his seemingly endless commitment to buying from and selling to entertainment industry VIPs. Sarandos and his wife, former ambassador to the Bahamas Nicole Avant, maintain an oceanfront home along a sandy strip of Malibu’s La Costa Beach that they scooped up in 2013 for a smidgen more than $10.2 million from comedian David Spade. But they reside primarily in a 15,000-square-foot 1920s Mediterranean manse in historically aristocratic Hancock Park, which they acquired in 2015 for not quite $16 million from Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas.
In September of 2017, presumably with an eye toward a serious real estate upgrade, the property-mad Sarandos-Avants spent an eye-popping $20.25 million for a contemporary villa perched along Malibu’s prestigious Encinal Bluffs that had some years earlier been rented to Janet Jackson. Alas, they quickly caught a raging case of the Real Estate Fickle, and less than a year later made a covert, off-market deal to sell the property for $21.25 million to British pop star Robbie Williams. Still, more property beckoned. So they paid DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi a mouth-drying $34 million for an ultra-sumptuous 10,000-square-foot Tuscan-style mansion that anchors a secluded 17-acre estate in the low-key but profoundly wealthy seaside community of Montecito, Calif.
Any stars who might want to add their illustrious names to the historical record of a multimillion-dollar Los Angeles home with a budding celebrity pedigree have a number of options. Now shacking up with Jennifer Lopez, who presides over a sumptuous, eight-acre Bel Air compound she obtained in 2016 at a cost of $28 million from actress Sela Ward, Alex ‘A-Rod’ Rodriguez has his contemporary house above the Sunset Strip listed at $6.5 million after buying it in 2014 for $4.8 million from Meryl Streep; Shonda Rhimes, who snatched up Patricia Heaton’s former Mediterranean mansion in the well-to-do heart of Hancock Park in early 2014 for $8.8 million, has another Hancock Park mansion she bought in 2010 for $5.6 million from indie-pop musician Beck back up for sale at a few bucks below $10 million; and Eva Longoria’s former compound, two residences and several outbuildings, which sit on almost three acres high above Laurel Canyon, are listed at $9.8 million, a pearl-clutching $2.6 million less than the $11.4 million she paid Tom Cruise just over three years ago.