Real Estate: Gene Simmons kisses Beverly Hills goodbye

The front of a mansion with a two-story entrance and large windows, sitting on an expansive lawn.
The compound owned by KISS rocker Gene Simmons includes a 13,400-square-foot mansion, tennis court and swimming pool.
(Christopher Amitrano)

Welcome back to the Real Estate newsletter. This week, an encore is in order after three famous musicians all managed to sell their California homes around the same time.

The most lucrative deal belongs to Gene Simmons, the KISS rocker who decided to bid farewell to California in favor of peaceful, paparazzi-free Lake Tahoe. After 35 years in Beverly Hills, Simmons sold his 13,400-square-foot mansion for $16 million.

Second place belongs to Carlos Santana, who hauled in $5.53 million for his scenic perch on the Bay Area’s Tiburon Peninsula. The move should come as no surprise because Santana shelled out $20.5 million for a home in Hawaii earlier this year.


Rounding out the trio is Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx. He sold his one-of-a-kind home in Westlake Village for $5.18 million about a year after listing it. The glam metal musician brought plenty of that glam to the house during his seven-year stay, most notably in the movie theater and lounge complete with crimson walls and cheetah-print carpet.

On the more real-world front: Eviction protections expired Sept. 30, but state officials said low-income tenants who were behind on rent could apply for a state rent-relief program.

Eviction law is tricky, and tenant protections seem to come and go on a monthly basis. If you’re concerned about losing your place, check out our guide for navigating the ever-changing COVID-19 eviction rules.

I’m also going to plug my house-hunting column again. I’m on the lookout for wild real estate stories, and I’d love to hear yours. Wins, losses, success stories, horror stories. Tell me all the dirty little details.

While catching up on the latest, visit and like our Facebook page, where you can find real estate stories and updates throughout the week.

Gene Simmons sells longtime mansion

An aerial view of a two story mansion surrounded by trees with a nearby tennis court.
The two-acre estate centers on a 13,400-square-foot home flanked by a swimming pool and tennis court.
(Christopher Amitrano)

Earlier this year, Gene Simmons told The Times that he was through with California. “It’s time for a quieter lifestyle. No more tour buses or celebrity maps or fires or earthquakes,” he declared, adding that he was relocating to Lake Tahoe.

The KISS star has officially followed through on his word, selling his longtime home of more than three decades for $16 million.

He’d been shopping the Benedict Canyon mansion around since last year, originally offering it for $22 million before trying to take advantage of the post-pandemic market and relisting it for $25 million in March. The final sale price is far shy of that sum but still significantly more than the $1.34 million he paid for the property in 1986.

Back then, the two-acre estate held a 3,500-square-foot farmhouse, which Simmons quickly razed in favor of the 13,400-square-foot showplace that sits there today. He raised his family in the home, which was the primary setting for seven seasons of his A&E reality series “Gene Simmons Family Jewels.”

Guitarist gets in tune with Tiburon market

A street-level view of the exterior of a two-story home with large walls of windows on two stories.
The split-level home takes in views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge through walls of windows.
(Jason Wells)

Grammy-winning guitarist Carlos Santana just sold his scenic home on the Tiburon Peninsula for $5.53 million — about $430,000 more than he paid for the property in 2007.

It’s not a surprising move for the prolific musician, who spends much of his time elsewhere. He owns a home in Las Vegas, where he’s had a nine-year residency, and earlier this year, he shelled out $20.5 million for a vacation home in Hawaii.

Santana has deep ties to San Francisco. After spending his childhood in Mexico, he moved there with his family in the 1960s and founded the Santana Blues Band, which is now known as Santana.

Glam rocker unloads custom abode

A view of a mansion with two wings surrounded by trees.
The custom home includes a library, billiards room and crimson-colored movie theater with cheetah-print carpet.
(Neue Focus)

Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx just sold his custom home in Westlake Village for $5.18 million, about $1 million more than he paid for the property in 2014.

The sale took just under a year; records show Sixx first listed the residence last September for $5.7 million.

He’s not the only rocker to sell a home in Westlake Village. Last October, Poison’s Bret Michaels hauled in $4.48 million for his Mediterranean-style home in the city, and other celebrity residents have included Anthony Davis, Ellen DeGeneres and billionaire Thomas Tull.

Perhaps the home’s one-of-a-kind style is the reason it took so long to lure a buyer. During his seven-year stay, Sixx turned the 1,200-square-foot bonus room into a movie theater and lounge complete with crimson walls and cheetah-print carpet.

Eviction protections end, but relief doesn’t

Protesters standing on a sidewalk hold signs including: "During a pandemic, evictions kill."
Tenant rights activists assemble March 29, 2020, at El Monte City Hall to demand that the City Council pass a pandemic-time eviction moratorium.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Despite the Sept. 30 end of some California eviction protections, low-income tenants have options, writes Patrick McGreevy.

State officials note that a program that pays 100% of back and future rent for low-income tenants will continue accepting applications until it distributes all of the $5.2 billion available from the federal government.

The state tenant law, approved this year in response to the pandemic’s economic fallout. also blocks landlords from getting a court order for eviction in cases in which tenants have completed a rental assistance application. That provision continues through March 31, 2022.

Eviction protections explained

A protester points skyward as other protesters hold a banner that says, "Keep tenants housed."
Eva Garcia and others pushing for tenant protections demonstrate outside the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in downtown Los Angeles on Sept. 27.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

If you need some pointers for how to navigate the complex landscape of COVID-19 eviction rules, this article by The Times’ Jaclyn Cosgrove is for you.

Depending on where you live in Southern California, you may enjoy stronger protections than elsewhere in the state. For example, the city of Los Angeles still has a moratorium that forbids landlords from evicting tenants who have not paid rent because of the pandemic.

The article also deals with rental assistance and whom to contact for more help.