Behind the Celebrity Real Estate Scene

Sep 13 2017

In Los Angeles, there’s always the chance that your neighbor could be a movie or television star. Or even a famous musician. You may also be living in the former home of a celebrity. You could also sell your home to someone who’s movie you’ve watched repeatedly.

But what really goes on in the L.A. celebrity real estate scene? What trends are they looking for in homes? Are they actually worth the valued tied to the name of a famous person? You can only tell so much from looking at the listings of celebrity homes on a website.

In regards to trends, it’s always changes among celebrities. It used to be that celebrities wanted to live the high life in Los Angeles in a massive house surrounded by a glitzy neighborhood.

Now, they are just looking to get high in the literal sense. They are retreating to the hills surrounding L.A. in an effort to escape from the prying eyes of tour buses and people on the hunt for celebrities. As this article notes, celebrities are looking more and more for homes, which may not be large, that are secluded with private driveways in gated neighborhoods high up in the hills. Top among the requirements for celebrities on the home buying search are high hedges and walls that can keep out paparazzi. 

What makes these searches hard are that celebrities require a lot of the amenities in their homes which narrows the search. That could either be a large pool or a tennis court or even a bowling alley, but all those requirements strip away at the options, leaving the search more difficult.

As for the trends inside the house, this article and another piece noted that celebrities are looking for more simple styles in their lives. They may show up at movie premieres in expensive suits and dresses, but want a home that is understated in comparison. They prefer unflashy décor with an importance on minimalism and light colors.

In discussing the value of celebrity homes, it can be a tricky subject. First, celebrities move houses often so people being told that the place they’re looking at used to be the home of a famous movie star should be aware there’s a chance the star in question only lived there for a few months or even less.

That’s the purpose of this article, to warn people not to be too enchanted by the attached name as it could cost them thousands of dollars they didn’t have to spend in the first place. It can sometimes even be difficult to prove that the house was actually lived in the by person being name-dropped. It has happened more than a few times in L.A.

In some cases, a name attached to a house might even have adverse effects. A study mentioned in the article noted that celebrity homes stay on the market longer and regularly sell for lower than their listing price. Part of the reasons for this can be that it is difficult to show the house because, if a famous person is actually living there at the moment, they’d rather not have just anyone walking into their home at any time. Another issue is one mentioned earlier in this post, the desire for high end amenities. These amenities might be desired by the celebrities but they can also turn a simple sale in a more complicated process.

When it comes to real estate in Los Angeles, the house, much like some celebrities themselves, have a pretty façade but a complicated underneath that can make any real estate transaction harder than it has to be. It’s good to be aware of those before one decides to either buy a house with a celebrity’s name attached or try and market to celebrities. It may save a lot of time and money in the long run.