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Hot Property: Ellen DeGeneres aims for nearly $40 million in Montecito

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

DeGeneres and De Rossi have a knack for flipping ultra-luxury homes, and during their short stay, they expanded the idyllic estate and touched up the Bali-style living spaces and the scenic grounds.

Combining three parcels across nine acres, the dramatic compound includes a striking primary residence, spacious guesthouse, cabana, security office, pickleball court and pond. At the edge of the property, an infinity-edge pool overlooks the ocean.

Warm woods draw the eye across the main home, covering the ceilings in the ocean-view great room, the floors in the remodeled chef’s kitchen and the walls in the library. In total, there are four bedrooms and 10 bathrooms in about 10,700 square feet.

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Covered lounges line the backside of the home, leading out to landscaped grounds dotted with trees, sculptures and exotic gardens.

DeGeneres, 62, has won multiple Emmys for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which premiered in 2003. She’s also hosted the Grammys, the Academy Awards and the NBC game show “Ellen’s Game of Games,” which is currently airing its fourth season.

De Rossi, 47, has appeared on such television shows as the legal drama-comedy “Ally McBeal” and the sitcoms “Arrested Development” and “Better Off Ted.” More recently, she played Chairwoman Elizabeth North on the ABC drama “Scandal.”

No strangers to the Montecito area, the couple sold a 17-acre spread in the coastal community for $34 million in 2018. They made a few big moves in Beverly Hills last year, buying Adam Levine’s 1930s home for $42.5 million and selling a Hollywood Regency-style spot once owned by actress Marjorie Lord for $15.5 million.

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Riskin Partners Group, a division of Village Properties, holds the listing.

Reality show judge closes a strange sale

Chalk this sale up as a head-scratcher. In August, singer Leona Lewis sold her equestrian estate in the celebrity hot spot of Hidden Hills for $3.9 million to a trust tied to Simon Cowell, whom she had met while competing on “The X Factor” and to whose record label she later signed.

Ten days after buying the home, records show, Cowell put it back on the market for $3.7 million — or $200,000 less than the price he had just paid. In October, the property sold for $3.6 million.

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Spread across more than an acre, the compound includes a single-story main home, spacious guesthouse, swimming pool and stable with a riding arena. In between the structures, rolling lawns and brick walkways wind through the tree-covered grounds.

An aerial view of an equestrian compound Simon Cowell sold for $3.6 million.
An aerial view of an equestrian compound that music and TV mogul Simon Cowell sold for $3.6 million. It includes a main house, guesthouse, stable, riding arena and swimming pool.
(NearMap)

Vast open spaces fill out the main house, complete with three bedrooms and five bathrooms across 4,900 square feet. Skylights punctuate dramatic vaulted ceilings in the great room, and the kitchen tacks on a purple-painted beam.

Other highlights include a wood-paneled theater with a wet bar and a covered patio with an outdoor kitchen that sidles up to the swimming pool. In the 1,000-square-foot guesthouse, there’s a bedroom suite and a pair of bathrooms.

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Cowell, the TV personality who has served as a judge for “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent” in addition to “The X Factor,” is a regular among real estate headlines. Three years ago, the 61-year-old shelled out $24 million for a Malibu compound, and over the summer, he sold his Beverly Hills mansion for $25 million.

Mark John Williams of Marquis Realty held the listing. Marc Shevin of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties represented the buyer.

Hollywood couple list Silver Lake stunner

In the hills above Silver Lake Reservoir, actors Mark Duplass and Katie Aselton are asking $6.75 million for their contemporary home.

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That’s about $2.3 million more than they paid five years ago, records show. At the time, it was the second-priciest sale ever recorded in the trendy neighborhood.

A striking concoction of concrete, redwood and glass, the 7,200-square-foot home was designed by Barbara Bestor, the architect behind the Beats by Dre headquarters in Culver City and the Nasty Gal headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

Her eye-catching style is on display throughout the two-story floor plan, which features custom wallpaper, colorful tile, gallery walls for art and sunny living spaces wrapped in warm wood. Highlights include an indoor-outdoor living room, a modern chef’s kitchen, a billiards room and a library with a ladder.

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Five bedrooms, six bathrooms and an office complete the interior. Outside, the walled and gated grounds span a third of an acre with a swimming pool, spa, sauna and dining patio. Multiple decks and balconies overlook the entertainer’s space from above.

Duplass has starred in the shows “The League,” “The Mindy Project” and “The Morning Show.” He and his brother Jay have directed the films “The Puffy Chair,” “Baghead” and “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” which starred Jason Segel and Ed Helms.

Aselton, who starred in “The League” with Duplass, has been acting since the early 2000s with TV roles in “Casual” and the FX series “Legion.”

Karen Lower of Compass holds the listing.

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Oceanfront listing makes waves

Steve Levitan, the TV powerhouse behind shows such as “Modern Family,” “Stacked” and “Just Shoot Me,” is testing the waters in Malibu. His Cape Cod-style beach house has hit the market for $16 million.

He’ll triple his money if he gets his price. Records show the Emmy-winning director-producer paid $5.4 million for the property in 2002.

Spanning a quarter of an acre, the oceanfront abode descends down a bluff to Broad Beach — an exclusive stretch of sand with high-profile residents over the years including Frank Sinatra, Mindy Kaling, Walter Hill and Eli Broad.

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Levitan made a few changes during his stay, renovating the oversized chef’s kitchen overlooking the ocean. Other highlights in the 6,700-square-foot floor plan include an interior courtyard, elevator, lofted gym and great room that opens to a beachfront deck.

Elsewhere are six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, including three detached guest suites and a three-room owner’s suite with two-story ceilings, a sitting area and private deck. Out back, multiple staircases descend to the beach near Lechuza Point.

Levitan, 58, earned an Emmy as a producer for “Frasier” and also received nominations for “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Just Shoot Me.” More recently, he co-created the shows “Back to You,” “LA to Vegas” and “Modern Family,” which ran for 11 seasons and ended earlier this year.

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The listing is held by Tony Mark and Russell Grether of the Mark & Grether Group at Compass, Kimberley Pfeiffer of Compass and Donald Richstone of Coldwell Banker Malibu Colony.

Lakers big man makes a pass

It’s been a great month for JaVale McGee. Just a few days after winning an NBA championship with the Lakers, the big man sold his Encino home of five years for $2.49 million.

He bought the Mediterranean-style retreat from Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Marc Anthony for $2.42 million in 2015.

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Designed for entertaining, the secluded property is tucked behind two sets of gates and centers on a three-story home of nearly 6,300 square feet. Out back, palm trees and string lights top a resort-style space with a swimming pool, spa, gazebo, shower room and cabana with a bar.

Inside, traditional spaces such as a formal dining room and tile kitchen mix with amenities including a movie theater with a bar and a gym with mirrored walls. Columns, wrought-iron accents and dark hardwood floors give a formal feel to the living spaces.

Elsewhere are five bedrooms and nine bathrooms, including an owner’s suite with heated floors and marble steps that ascend to the bathtub and shower. Juliet balconies line the front of the home, and a second-story deck hangs off the back. The grounds span nearly half an acre.

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McGee, 32, started 11 games for the Lakers in the 2020 playoffs, helping the team win its 17th NBA title. It was McGee’s third title personally after winning two with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

Mark Miller of Barcode Properties held the listing. Marc Nemetsky of RFC Group represented the buyer.


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