Well, folks, looks like Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi just had to squeeze in one more real estate transaction this year. And the former talk show host and actress really ended 2022 with an epic boom, splurging on two side-by-side properties in the affluent seaside enclave of Carpinteria, marking the priciest residential deal in Santa Barbara County history.
As first reported by Siteline Santa Barbara, the couple paid just a speck under $70 million for the neighboring parcels of land, which rest atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. They doled out $41.7 million for a Tuscan farmhouse-style mansion on 3.4 acres, and concurrently paid another $28.2 million for the mostly vacant 6.6-acre plot of land right next door, which currently includes a small lake and vast lawns. The two separate parcels create a 10-acre, fully contiguous compound with a private pathway leading to the beach below, and were last offered together with an $80 million price tag.
That deal represents the most ever paid for a Santa Barbara-area estate, eclipsing the $63 million that billionaire Riley Bechtel and his wife Susan paid for a much larger Montecito ranch two years ago.
While DeGeneres’ new Carpinteria complex makes quite an impressive estate, the place is actually less than half of the original 22-acre Loon Point compound, which was parceled together by retired hedge fund manager and billionaire Bruce Kovner and his wife Suzie beginning in 2007. The entire 22-acre property — known as the “Sanctuary at Loon Point” — was listed last year at a whopping $160 million, and includes two custom homes on separate parcels and three landscaped lots connected by a private, gated road with a guard house. Given that DeGeneres just bought one of those two homes and one of the landscaped lots, the other mansion and two vacant parcels are still owned by the Kovners and presumably still up for grabs.
Per a Wall Street Journal article, Kovner cobbled together the massive site over several years, spending around $110 million buying up adjoining properties as they became available. After securing the land, it took another several years to obtain permission to build and complete the private compound. The construction and other improvements cost an estimated $50 million, per Kovner himself.
DeGeneres and de Rossi’s new mansion boasts a home with five bedrooms and eight baths in just over 9,000 square feet of living space on three levels. The beige-hued and terracotta-roof structure is adorned throughout with high exposed wood-beam ceilings, hardwood floors, stone archways and marble accents. There’s also a one-bedroom, one-bath guesthouse and an attached three-car garage flanked by a cobblestone motorcourt.
Especially standing out on the main level is a striking great room displaying a massive antique fireplace, along with a family room and dining area that connect to a gourmet kitchen outfitted with professional-grade appliances, a center island and duo of butler pantries. Five ensuite bedrooms can be found upstairs, including a master retreat complete with a spa-equipped terrace, and dual walk-in closets and baths; and the lower level has a wine cellar and state-of-the-art movie theater with reclining leather seats.
Laced with olive trees, the picturesque grounds host a marble mosaic pool, two spas, an outdoor kitchen, several fireside lounge areas, raised herb and vegetable gardens, and numerous spots ideal for al fresco lounging and entertaining. A private beach area atop the bluff also has a fire-pit, tiki torches, an antique row boat, and large stone dining table with a custom umbrella wired for phone and Internet access.
DeGeneres and de Rossi still own multiple other Santa Barbara-area properties, including a charming cottage in the Hedgerow District of Montecito that’s currently on the market for a little more than $5.8 million, plus two other petite Montecito cottages and a circa-1880s horse ranch. In early November, they also paid $29 million for Tom Ford’s former Bel Air estate. As for the Kovners, the couple maintains homes in New York City, Dutchess County, N.Y., and Florida.