She’s back at it again. Nobody, and we mean nobody, gets more real estate-related tabloid ink devoted to them than perennially on-the-move comedian Ellen DeGeneres. The voracious home buyer and seller — with an eye for architecturally pedigreed properties — has bought and sold well over a dozen residences (all of which she has lived in, however briefly) in about as many years. Oh, and her TV actress wifey Portia de Rossi comes along for the ride, too.
Well our gurl has done it again, according to Your Mama over at Variety. Despite screams of anguish from her exhausted furniture and assorted knick-knacks, she’s gone and dumped a particularly slinky sapphic structure over in the Hollywood Hills for $10 million (actually, the exact amount recorded was $9,900,000 but we like nice round numbers so 10 million big ones it is).
This particular house has a fairly interesting backstory. We believe it’s the only home that Ms. DeGeneres has owned on two separate occasions. Back in 2003, you see, commercial director David Ramser paid $1,900,000 for a large single-story sprawler in the hills above Nichols Canyon. He quickly engaged the services of high-priced and much-lauded architectural firm Marmol Radziner to renovate and redesign the somewhat rough-and-tumble ol’ gurl into a glossy-magazine-worthy stunner.
In November 2005, Mr. Ramser flipped the house to our sapphic sisters for an amount widely reported to be somewhere around $6,500,000. According to tax records, the house packs in 3,994 square feet with 5 bedrooms but just 3 baths.
Above are some photos showing how the house appeared at that time. The property is accessed via a steep, narrow driveway and a very tall (and surveillance camera-equipped) security gate. The drive gradually ascends to a spacious motor court with a three-car detached garage off to one side and the home’s main entrance to the other. Broad swaths of lawns out front is something practically non-existent in this tightly-packed neck of the Hills.
The home blends indoor/outdoor living with sliding glass doors that open to a stone terrace complete with a trapezoidal swimming pool and a built-in lounge with in-ground firepit.
But not satisfied with just this big house, the following March (2006) Ms. DeGeneres acquired the smaller house next door. We’re not sure how much she paid for that one, but based on tax records we’re going to guess it was somewhere around $1,900,000. That’s a total outlay of right about $8,400,000 for both spreads. (According to our cute third-grader math-whiz nephew, at least).
In September 2007, our koo-koo Ms. DeGeneres sold both houses in an off-market deal for exactly $10,000,000. Though the big house was never on the market, the smaller pad had been listed for $2,300,000, so we’re just going to assume the buyer paid about $2 million for the smaller house and $8 million for the big one.
The purchaser’s identity was shielded behind an LLC, but every real estate gossip monger in town knows it was a lady named Alison Milgard, a very wealthy heiress to a Washington State-based window-manufacturing fortune. If her surname sounds familiar, you may recall that we also wrote about her first cousin Lori Milgard’s real estate story a few months ago.
Ms. Milgard, another sapphic sista, was in a long-term relationship with a lady named Alexandra Hedison, who also formerly lived with Ms. DeGeneres and would go on to marry Jodie Foster. Damn! That’s a lot of superrich lesbians, ain’t it? Good on you, Ms. Hedison.
In June 2014, Ms. Milgard unloaded the smaller house for $3,161,000 to comedian Stephen Merchant. That same November (2014) she dumped the big property for $8,750,000 in another off-market deal… right back to Ellen DeGeneres. Yes, kiddies, she apparently was feeling nostalgic and just had to have the house back. The couple almost immediately moved back in.
But to no one’s surprise, Ms. DeGeneres just couldn’t stay contained long enough and for whatever reason blah blah blah was quickly on the move again. She bought a new $16,000,000 house in Beverly Hills last November (2015).
Thus, despite that it was less than two years ago that Ms. DeGeneres commenced a valiant quest to return her betrothed, m’Lady has anointed another successor to rule her Ho-wood kingdom (or at least the halls of this house). Earlier this month, she sold the Marmol Radziner residence for $9,900,000 in yet another off-market deal. That’s a $1.15 million profit, not counting real estate fees, taxes and etc.
The buyer’s identity is shielded behind a blind trust, but Your Mama already revealed that the secretive new owner is none other than Barry K. Schwartz, Calvin Klein’s longtime business partner. Looks as if the home’s lesbian history is coming to a (temporary?) close.
Mr. Schwartz and his longtime wife Sheryl are noted equestrians who have owned a massive 750-acre horse ranch in upstate New York (“Stonewall Farm”) since 1979. This property is also their main residence.
In late 2014, the couple forked out $12,500,000 for a modest bungalow on an (obviously!) very prime strip of sand in low-key Carpinteria (CA), just south of the Santa Barbara and Montecito areas. The Schwartzes have since razed the original structure and are in the process of building a larger new home in its place.
For what it’s worth, their Carpinteria house happens to be two doors away from one bought by Modern Family producer Christopher Lloyd and his actress wife Arleen Sorkin and it’s also directly next door to a large mansion that was sold last year for $19,000,000 by comedian Dennis Miller to uber-rich internet entrepreneur Lynda Weinman.
Despite this sale, Ms. DeGeneres’s real estate load is still extremely heavy — by our reckoning she’s got nearly $60 million tied up in various other properties. There’s the aforementioned $16 million house in Beverly Hills (her main residence), two condos in a luxury Wilshire Corridor building that were acquired for a total of about $16 million, and a photogenic spread up in Montecito (CA) that she picked up in 2013 for $26,500,000.