Hot Property Newsletter: Even celebs learn hard real estate lessons

A sunken conversation/fire pit provides visual interest in the minimalist backyard of the Eagle Rock Home of the Week.
(Emi Rose Kitawaki)

Is everyone who is a student, teacher or administrator back to school by now? Thinking along those lines, we decided to take a close look and see if any of this week’s celebrities got “schooled” in the fine art and science of real estate dealing. Were their asking prices realistic? Did they make a profit? Don’t forget closing costs and Realtor fees. You’ll see that some lessons were learned.

Our newly built Home of the Week fits in perfectly with the laid-back vibe of eclectic Eagle Rock. The dark exterior encloses cozy spaces inspired by the clean-lined Scandinavian design movement of the 1950s. The minimalist backyard centers on a sunken conversation/fire pit. The asking price: $1.295 million.

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.

— Neal Leitereg, Jack Flemming and Lauren Beale

Nah, they guess not

Television host Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, have sold a home in the 90210 ZIP Code for $15.5 million. They bought the place, once owned by actress Marjorie Lord, about 10 months ago for $15 million.


Why the change of heart? It could have something to do with their dropping $42.5 million on singer Adam Levine’s Beverly Hills estate in June.

Built in 1962, the glamorous Hollywood Regency-style single-story home that DeGeneres and De Rossi sold features a circular foyer, an office/den and an updated center-island kitchen. The 5,100 square feet of living space has five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms.

DeGeneres, 61, has won multiple Emmys for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which premiered in 2003.

De Rossi, 46, has television credits that include the legal drama “Ally McBeal” and the sitcom “Arrested Development.”

The home that Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi sold once belonged to actress Marjorie Lord.
(Lee Manning Photography)

Tying up loose end before knot

Baseball star turned television analyst Alex Rodriguez has cleared a base in the Hollywood Hills ahead of his planned wedding to singer Jennifer Lopez, selling his home there for $4.4 million. He bought the property five years ago from Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep for $4.8 million.

The striking contemporary-style house was built in 1954 as part of the Architectural Products magazine research program.

Redesigned to emphasize indoor-outdoor living, the two-story home features an open floor plan and sliding walls of glass that open to the backyard. A two-story living room at the heart of the house has a textured block-wall fireplace.

A swimming pool and spa, a fire pit and a sitting area are sheltered by a privacy barrier of hedges and tall palms.

The 44-year-old Rodriguez amassed 14 All-Star Game appearances, 10 Silver Slugger awards and two Gold Glove awards during his 22-year career playing for the Seattle Mariners, the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees.

Nothing ventured …

After slimming down the asking price of her Del Mar mansion, weight-loss guru Jenny Craig has sold the home for $22 million. That’s $17.5 million shy of the price she first asked five years ago, records show.

The oceanfront estate contains five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in 7,625 square feet of living space. The tan-colored compound wraps around a courtyard with a pool and spa.

A palm-topped beachfront patio spans the home’s back side. Two guest suites and an outdoor kitchen round out the three-quarter-acre grounds.

Craig, 87, founded her eponymous nutrition and weight-loss company in 1983. Today it has more than 700 locations.

For the realty portfolio?

Actor Pierce Brosnan and his wife, environmental activist and former broadcast journalist Keely Brosnan, have bought a home in Santa Monica for $2.945 million.

The single-story home, built in 1941, centers on a light-filled living room with a fireplace, a bay window and views of the landscaped front yard. The 2,319 square feet of living space includes a family/dining room, an updated kitchen, a breakfast nook, four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Pierce Brosnan, 66, recently starred in “The Son,” the AMC multigenerational western show based on a Philipp Meyer novel. The Irish-American actor is known for playing the fifth James Bond in the film series.

“The Thomas Crown Affair,” “Mars Attacks!” and “Mamma Mia” are among his other credits.

Time to leave the lake

Actors Anne Heche and James Tupper, who split last year after a decade together, have listed their Lake Arrowhead retreat for sale at $1.05 million. The property previously sold in 2013 for $899,000.

The cabin, built in 1956, overlooks the water and includes a single slip dock with a patio lounging area. The two-story home contains three bedrooms and two bathrooms within its 1,440 square feet of living space.

Heche, 50, is in the current series “Chicago P.D.” and has been in such series as “The Brave” (2017-18), “Hung” (2009-11) and “Men in Trees” (2006-08).

Tupper, 54, was also on “Men in Trees” as well as the series “Mercy” (2011-15) and “Revenge” (2010-11). He last appeared on HBO’s “Big Little Lies.”

Hot Property | Anne Heche and James Tupper list Lake Arrowhead cabin
Anne Heche and James Tupper’s 1956 cabin features a great room with a riverrock fireplace.

Her favorite room

“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” actress Harley Quinn Smith feels most at home in her keepsake- and book-filled bedroom. “I’m obviously not a minimalist,” she said. Comics, theme parks and movies create the mood in her space in the Spanish-style, 7,500-square-foot Hollywood Hills home she shares with her parents.

From the archives

Ten years ago, pop star Natasha Bedingfield purchased a home in the Los Feliz area for $2.3 million. The London-born singer-songwriter bought a 4,792-square-foot contemporary with four bedrooms, a media room, a gym and an office.

Twenty years ago, actress Farrah Fawcett sold her five-bedroom Bel-Air home for nearly $2.7 million. The former “Charlie’s Angels” star had bought the 9,000-square-foot house with her then-husband, actor Lee Majors.

Thirty years ago, Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston purchased the Beverly Hills-area home of actor Richard Chamberlain for nearly $2 million. Built in the 1950s, the 3,500-square-foot house was remodeled by Chamberlain in a Japanese motif while he was starring in the TV miniseries “Shogun.”

What we’re reading

Former Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes is offering his home in Newton, Mass., for $1.699 million after being traded in June to the Phoenix Suns, reports The four-bedroom townhouse is in a historic landmark structure.

The website Wowhaus has a knack for spotting homes that look like they sprang from a time capsule. This late-1960s house in Hartford, Wisc., is largely circular and sits on more than four acres. The mix of concrete, glass, wood and timelessness is listed at $235,000.