In a move that should surprise few, Ellen DeGeneres and her longtime wife Portia de Rossi have put their hilltop Montecito oasis up for sale, publicly saddling the sizable spread with a $39.9 million pricetag. The heavily-fortified, multi-acre complex offers dazzling ocean views, four distinct structures, a magazine-worthy swimming pool, and interiors with a decidedly Southeast Asian-inspired flair.
Over the past two decades, the comedian — recently besieged by an avalanche of reports of mistreatment, misconduct, and sinking ratings on her eponymous talk show — and de Rossi have owned a vast array of pricey Southern California homes, most of them located in Los Angeles and the tiny but legendarily posh seaside enclave of Montecito. The couple rarely hang onto any of their properties for more than two years, however, instead frequently opting to renovate the houses — with help from their well-oiled machine of real estate specialists — and flip them at giant profits.
The bulk of the Montecito spread was purchased in early 2019 for $27 million; since then, DeGeneres and de Rossi have expanded the complex with the $1.9 million purchase of an adjacent property, bringing the estate to 9.3 contiguous acres. The couple have also made numerous design and building upgrades, including the installation of a new security hut for a full-time bodyguard. (The property, widely reported to have been burglarized over the summer of 2020, has since undergone a full security upgrade, with high-tech cameras and infrared lasers.)
Christened Salt Hill, the primary portion of the gated compound was completed in 2011 by the previous owner, a local philanthropist. It includes a low-slung main house with nearly 8,200 square feet of mansion-sized living space but just 3 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, a nearly 1,400-square-foot guesthouse, a detached cabana/gym with 721 square feet and another full bath, and the aforementioned security office, which spans about 400 square feet.
Through an all-glass front door, the main house opens directly into a massive great room with an intricately detailed wood ceiling treatment, a fireplace, and the casually luxe decor aesthetic that has become DeGeneres’ trademark. Walls of Fleetwood glass door adjoin a loggia with ample space for alfresco dining. That loggia is also accessed via the kitchen, which is trimmed in black marble and exotic woods and includes the full range of state-of-the-art stainless appliances.
The estate’s sprawling grounds rival any five-star boutique hotel and include ancient oaks, acres of native plantings, a koi pond, multiple patios and at least two firepits, tall thickets of banana plants, rolling banks of lush lawns, a secluded sports court, and hundreds of mature trees.
But the crown jewel of the property is inarguably its swimming pool, which is negative-edged on all sides and juts out of the mountaintop, appearing from some angles as if it’s pointing — or giving the middle finger — toward the aqua Pacific Ocean far below.
Though their property portfolio is ever influx, for the moment DeGeneres and de Rossi continue to maintain a $42.5 million Beverly Hills mansion — acquired from Adam Levine in 2019 — and a small condo elsewhere in the Montecito area, likely acquired as housing for staff or a less financially fortunate family member.
Riskin Partners of Village Properties hold the listing.