There’s been a lot of talk and anecdotal brouhaha about people getting fed up with California, packing up their belongings and moving elsewhere. And certainly some have. However, it seems not all those who leave California cotton well to life outside the Golden State. Take for example, Gene Simmons. After he made a big stink in the press about how California has become uninhabitable, packed up his Beverly Hills mansion and moved to Nevada, the septuagenarian rocker and reality TV star and his longtime wife, Shannon Tweed, have lickety-split changed their minds about living in, or at least owning and paying property taxes on a couple of multimillion-dollar homes in California.
When they hoisted their longtime Beverly Hills estate on the market in the fall of 2020, in maelstrom of publicity with a $22 million price tag, the KISS frontman cited myriad reasons why he and Tweed wanted out of California: They had grown tired of the tour busses that frequently rolled past their home; he said big city life wasn’t really their cup of tea anymore; they desired to downsize from their not quite 13,500-square-foot mansion in the Benedict Canyon area. Fair enough.
Simmons went on to complain to the NY Post that in California there are “earthquakes, fires and pandemics every year,” never mind that natural disasters happen just about everywhere and the COVID-19 pandemic is a world-wide problem. And most notably, despite amassing a fortune that by some estimates exceeds $400 million, he told the Wall Street Journal, “California and Beverly Hills have been treating folks that create jobs badly and the tax rates are unacceptable. I work hard and pay my taxes and I don’t want to cry the Beverly Hills blues, but enough is enough.” Hence the move to Nevada, a state that does not levy an income tax, where he said they shacked up in a 12,000-square-foot home on four acres in the Lake Tahoe area. (So much for downsizing…)
When their BevHills spread enticed no buyers at the initial asking price, they took the lavish estate off the market, made some updates, and re-listed it in March 2021 with an increased price of $25 million. Alas, the price plummeted to just under $20 million before a savvy negotiator came along and haggled another 20% off the listing price, settling on a sale price of $16 million when it sold in September.
At about the same time they re-listed their Beverly Hills mansion at $25 million (and Simmons was still going on about the ills and costs of California), Tweed shelled out $5.8 million for a hilltop home in Malibu. (So the story goes, Tweed and Simmons maintain separate finances and the home was purchased solely by Tweed as an investment. Then, just a couple of months later the couple coughed up $8.2 million for an almost 11,000-square-foot contemporary home in suburban Henderson, Nev., about 15 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip.
However, despite all the whining and moaning about how awful California is, Simmons and Tweed didn’t care for desert life either — he complained about the extreme summer heat as if the blazing temps were a surprise — and they have already flipped the Las Vegas area property back on the market, at a highly profitable $14.95 million. And, even more interestingly, they’ve now shelled out $10.5 million for a striking modern villa back in — you can’t make this up, kids — California, in Beverly Hills no less! (Technically, the home they purchased, above Coldwater Canyon, is in the city of Los Angeles and makes use of L.A. city services though it carries the more prestigious Beverly Hills zip code.)