Hot Property newsletter: Celebrities’ favorite contract sport


You’d think being in show business would keep people busy enough, yet some familiar faces seem to spend an inordinate amount of time playing the real estate game. Especially notable are those who make a hobby of buying, remodeling and reselling. This week’s collection leads off with a couple known for flipping estates at a sizable profit.

Our Home of the Week is a 116-year-old Tudor set on 1.3 acres in South Pasadena. The asking price of $6.995 million includes the period-preserved main house, a two-story guesthouse, a pool house and a swimming pool.

Once you’re done reading about these deals, visit and like our Facebook page, where you can find Hot Property stories and updates throughout the week.

— Jack Flemming and Lauren Beale


It’s the talk of Montecito

Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, never seem to stay in one place for long. A year after shelling out $27 million for a Bali-inspired estate in Montecito, the couple is looking to sell for $39.9 million.

DeGeneres and De Rossi have a knack for flipping luxury homes and, during their short stay, they expanded the idyllic villa and improved the Bali-style living spaces and grounds.

The nine-acre compound includes a primary residence, a guesthouse, a cabana, a security office and an infinity-edge pool overlooking the ocean. There are four bedrooms and 10 bathrooms in about 10,700 square feet.

DeGeneres, 62, has won multiple Emmys for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which premiered in 2003. She also hosts “Ellen’s Game of Games,” which is in its fourth season.

Rossi, 47, has appeared on such television shows as the legal drama “Ally McBeal” and the sitcoms “Arrested Development” and “Better Off Ted.”


Judge overrules earlier decision

This sale is a head-scratcher. In August, singer Leona Lewis sold her equestrian property in Hidden Hills for $3.9 million to a trust tied to Simon Cowell. Ten days after buying the home, records show Cowell put it back on the market for $3.7 million. The property recently sold for $3.6 million.

The acre compound includes a single-story main home, a guesthouse, a swimming pool and a stable with a riding arena.

The 4,900-square-foot main house features a wood-paneled theater with a wet bar, three bedrooms and five bathrooms. The 1,000-square-foot guesthouse has a bedroom suite.

Cowell, 61, has served as a judge for “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent,” in addition to “The X Factor.”

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Deal sealed with a KISS

KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer just rocked out of Lake Sherwood, selling his custom-built villa overlooking the water for $2.7 million. He paid about $1.8 million for the property 12 years ago.

The Ventura County getaway spans a third of an acre on the north side of the lake. The Mediterranean-style home features barrel ceilings, stone accents and hardwood floors.

Six patios — including one with a wood-burning fireplace — take advantage of the scenic setting and views.

Thayer, 59, gained fame in the ’80s as frontman of the glam metal band Black ’n Blue. He joined KISS as lead guitarist in 2002 and co-wrote 10 songs for the band’s 2012 album, “Monster.”

After the ‘Daily’ grind

Comedy actress Kristen Schaal and her husband, writer Rich Blomquist, are asking $1.85 million for their treehouse-like retreat in Los Feliz.


Schaal, who starred in “The Last Man on Earth,” and Blomquist, who wrote for “The Daily Show,” paid $1.34 million for the property in 2013.

Built in the ’50s but updated since, the two-story home takes in city and canyon views from its hillside perch. The living and dining room open to a deck. The 2,239 square feet of living space also contain three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.

Schaal, 42, has appeared in a variety of shows and films over the last two decades with credits including “The Daily Show,” “My Spy” and “Bill & Ted Face the Music.” She’s also lent her voice to animated series such as “Bob’s Burgers” and “BoJack Horseman.”

Blomquist, 43, has written for “The Last Man on Earth” and “Bless the Harts.”

From the archives

Thirty years ago, “Crocodile Dundee” star Paul Hogan and co-star Linda Kozlowski bagged a Country English-style house behind gates in the Beverly Hills area. The home, bought for about $6.5 million, spanned three acres with rolling lawns and mountain views.

Twenty years ago, Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg picked up a Malibu home for $3.75 million. The three-bedroom contemporary was built in 1999.


Ten years ago, “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest listed his gated Hollywood Hills estate for $14.95 million. The 10,000-square-foot Mediterranean, built in 1974, sat on nearly an acre of hilltop land with a guesthouse, a tennis court and a swimming pool.

What we’re reading

Melissa Rivers, daughter of the comedian and TV host Joan Rivers, took Architectural Digest readers through her own recently remodeled Mediterranean home in Santa Monica. The Martyn Lawrence Bullard-designed space features platinum leaf ceilings, a glamorous dressing room and a custom canopy bed. Among the new items and updates are such keepsakes as her mother’s diamond-encrusted frames, awards, a malachite collection and jade carvings of animals.

Architect Barton Myers’ 39-acre compound in Santa Barbara sold last month for $6.865 million, according to Redfin. In case you missed it, the eye-catching place made the pages of Dwell over the summer when it listed. The glass-and-steel complex is designed to withstand wildfire and includes a main house, a guest house, a garage and a studio. Roll-up metal garage doors can be lowered to seal the structures in case of fire, while the roofs hold shallow pools of water.