Top Celebrity Home Buyers & Sellers of the Past Decade

These stars are experts at scratching that real estate itch.

In the 10 years since Zillow rose from a twinkle in co-founders Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink’s eyes to an online real estate powerhouse, home-loving celebrities have been powering through some real estate of their own.

Oprah was far and away the top home buyer during that decade-long stretch. But Ellen DeGeneres, Cher and Nicolas Cage (hello, “Moonstruck”!) were no slouches in the home buying and selling arena during that time.

Oprah Winfrey

America’s favorite billionaire owns homes all over the country, from Chicago to Nashville to Hawaii. She’s even bought a 2-bedroom in a small Indiana town where she once owned a whole farm.

Recently, the television mogul paid $14 million for a high-tech mansion in the box-canyon ski town of Telluride — complete with a seven-person hot tub and a “wine mine” — and $28.85 million at a recent auction for this sprawling horse farm in Montecito.

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Ellen DeGeneres

Beloved comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres has been buying copious numbers of homes since before she married Portia de Rossi. “I’ve never bought to sell. I always say: ‘This is it. I’m never moving.’ People laugh at me now,” she told The New York Times.

DeGeneres bought this Malibu home from fellow house-flipper Brad Pitt.

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She also spent $26.5 million on an acreage in Montecito with ocean views.

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A couple of years ago, she went on a streak of owning homes for just 6 months each, including the famed Brody House in Los Angeles.

Nicolas Cage

“Other people own beachfront property; I have ghost-front property,” actor Nicolas Cage said of owning the most haunted mansion in New Orleans, the Lalaurie House.

Not that he limits himself to ghosts. Among the dozen-plus places he’s called home over the past decade are a castle in Bath, England, and a castle-looking home in Rhode Island, which he sold at a 60 percent loss.

Nicolas Cage RI home exterior

Cher

The multi-talented entertainer with seemingly endless energy found time over the past decade to trade real estate, including buying this home in the coveted 90210 ZIP code.

Cher's home

She also bought a home in Malibu where family reportedly live. It’s near her villa there, where she told Architectural Digest “every room has two views of the ocean.” The remodel of her villa wasn’t cheap, she acknowledged. “My mother once said to me, ‘What you need is a very rich man.’ And I said, ‘Mother, I am a very rich man.’”

Cher has also sold a slew of homes in recent years, from Palm Springs to West Hollywood to Los Angeles, where her son Elijah Blue reported lived in this home near Venice Beach:

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And she auctioned off her Hawaiian estate for a hefty $8.72 million:

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Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

Here’s a power couple with a powerful appetite for real estate. They’ve bought at least six homes in the past decade and sold one to Ellen DeGeneres. That doesn’t even count the $22.5 million sale of the Beverly Hills home Pitt and ex-wife Jennifer Aniston sold after their split.

Jolie and Pitt recently cut the listing price on the New Orleans mansion they bought in 2006 for Pitt’s Big Easy filming of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” by $850,000.

Brad and Angelina's New Orleans home4

Julia Roberts

Here’s a superstar with a super-long list of homes. Roberts bought her main residence, at Malibu’s Point Dume, in the early 2000s, but has done a fair bit of transacting in the meantime.

She’s asking $26 million for a lush Hawaiian estate that’s near two other Hanalie properties she owns:

Julia Roberts' home4

While she dropped the price on that tropical oasis, Roberts raked in more than she was asking — for a total of $5.35 million — on a Greenwich Village penthouse for which she paid $3.9 million in 2010:

Julia Roberts' living room3

Roberts still has a pad in Manhattan, which she’s reportedly renting out. But she’s unloaded a lot, including homes in her hometown of Smyrna, GA, and in Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills and Venice, the latter to actor Tim Robbins. Across the country, she’s sold homes in Tennessee, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

For a guy his size, Dwayne Johnson is surprising nimble — at home trading.

The Rock has leaned mostly toward home selling over the past decade — most of those homes in Florida. He’s unloaded at least 10 homes there over the past decade, including this mega-mansion outside Miami with two 3-car garages and a deluxe master bath:

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Rosie O’Donnell

Here’s another talk-show host with a voracious appetite for real estate. O’Donnell’s most recent score is this mansion in West Palm Beach with 180 feet of waterfront:

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She paid $5.3 million for it, fully furnished, which shouldn’t be a stretch given the $9 million sale a couple of years ago of her Greenwich Village penthouse:

Rosie O'Donnell's living room

She tried unsuccessfully to sell four riverfront homes she collected in Nyack, NY:1 wash ave from the water

But the comedian had better luck selling multi-million-dollar homes in Chicago, Manhattan and Miami Beach.

Kelsey Grammer

While Sideshow Bob was busy being a, well, sideshow on “The Simpsons,” the actor who voices him was center stage in the first season of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” in which his marriage fell apart — precipitating all sorts of real estate swaps.

The property-loving Grammer unloaded many of his and ex-wife Camille’s holdings in recent years, including their main home in Malibu:

Kelsey Grammer main home

The Grammers also let go of homes in Beverly Hills, Hawaii, The Hamptons and this ski retreat in Colorado:

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Before his marital woes began, Grammer sold a Bel-Air estate to actress Salma Hayek for $13.5 million.

Reese Witherspoon

For a while, this Oscar winner was a Brentwood fanatic. She bought three homes in the posh Los Angeles enclave, including an “enchanted cottage,” that collectively went for $13.6 million in 2014.

Witherspoon sold her Ojai getaway at a loss:

Reese Witherspoon Ojai home

She picked up a $12.7 million Pacific Palisades mansion, along with two homes in Nashville suited to a Southern belle. One of them is a historic home she plans to restore:

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*Fuente: http://www.zillow.com/blog/top-celebrity-buyers-sellers-191397/

7 Secrets of Celebrity Real Estate

Stars’ house-hunting expeditions look quite a bit different from everyone else’s.

Never mind what the celebrity magazines say: When it comes to home listings, the stars are not just like us.

Agents who represent celebs on either side of a real estate transaction must tread carefully.

“The last thing you want is your neighbor taking a selfie with your Academy Award,” said Kofi Nartey, who recently launched Compass’ global sports and entertainment division.

1. No cell phones allowed

Nartey and other agents frequently prohibit cell phones inside properties listed by stars. Allowing them is not worth the trouble, and people who are truly interested in buying the home — sometimes celebrities themselves — tend to understand.

2. Discretion is key

Because paparazzi and gossip mongers are constantly lurking, it’s important to be discrete about all sorts of things — including what exactly a celebrity client is looking for in a home. Take the star Nartey represented who was deciding whether to buy homes “based on how many people could fit in the shower.”

That was a tricky expedition. “Sometimes you can tell from photos; sometimes you preview it,” Nartey explains. “Sometimes you call the listing agent and say, ‘This is going to sound odd, but how many people can fit in the shower?’”

3. Tell a story

Celebrities who agree to publicity for their multi-million dollar listings often have more control over the message, and an agent can have a lot of fun with those stories both in the media and in presenting homes to potential buyers.

Michael JordanWhen Nartey was marketing the Michael Jordan estate outside Chicago, which is listed for $14.855 million, “we were able to talk about the breakfast club, which was a group of his teammates who got together for breakfast and to train at his house.”

Even former homes of everyone from Cher to Groucho Marx can gain publicity points for the lingering stardust.

4. Some stars are shy

Fame brings more eyeballs to a property, and sometimes more money. But it can cut both ways: Stars who value privacy must take extraordinary steps to hide their ties to a home.

That can start when the home is bought, by using a trust name and address that’s not traceable to the real owner. Still, photographers and fans have a way of ferreting out celebrities’ homes — one reason that, by the time they sell, they’re ready to leverage their celebrity.

Even then, the going can be rough.

One star had people trying to climb over his fence as soon as news of his listing hit, said Sally Forster Jones of the John Aaroe Group. She has brokered her share of celebrity real estate transactions, including for Mariel Hemingway, Candy Spelling and baseball player Coco Crisp.

5. Other celebs are just weird

It helps when celebrity sellers move to another home so prospective buyers can drop by without invading their privacy. But some insist on staying.

Christophe Choo of Coldwell Banker Previews International in Beverly Hills had one client who hung out in her bedroom during showings and hid behind a screen while potential buyers were in the room.

“I can’t tell you how private some of these clients are,” he said.

6. Watch out for looky loos

People used to dropping by open houses just to snoop can forget about that with celebrity homes — or almost any luxury listing.

Agents are good at sussing out whether you have the dough to buy a place, and whether you’re genuinely interested. There’s the Internet, the polite-but-probing telephone interview, and the network of other agents. Some agents require people to come with their own real estate agents.

“We vet who the buyer is, so they’re not going to see a home just because of the star appeal,” said Forster Jones.

On occasions when an open house is permitted for a select group of brokers, there will often be security guards in bedrooms and even in large closets, Choo said. “There can be maybe 10 people manning a private open house.”

7. Keep the entourage happy

Control is a big deal for many high-end clients, whether they’re used to the limelight or the board room.

“A well-paid billionaire or businessman likes to be in control of situations,” Choo said. Even celebrities who are not control freaks can have PR managers, lawyers and others who are, he said, adding that he can’t mention the names of famous clients whose homes he’s sold.

*Fuente: http://www.zillow.com/blog/7-secrets-celebrity-real-estate-203470/