By LINSEY STONCHUS
Whenever a celebrity lists a home, it garners immediate attention, often times featuring in major news outlets and positively influencing the property’s value and attracting a larger pool of buyers.
In Southern California, in particular, celebrity home sales are somewhat routine for brokerage Hilton & Hyland, frequently listing the estates of A-list celebrities..
“There’s definitely an increase in the value of [celebrity} homes, not only because of its intrinsic value, but you do get a much greater pool of buyers,” said Susan Smith, global real estate advisor at Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, CA.
“Often, more buyers are interested in viewing that type of home,” she said.
A notable name alone will not sell the property. Certain factors compound and strengthen the relationship.
Properties owned by living celebrities, particularly if the person is the current owner, tend to be the most valuable – and not just for the novelty. Why? Because homes with current famous owners tend to be the trendiest and offer current luxuries.
“Celebrities tend to be attracted to special homes, for instance, those that are architectural,” Ms. Smith said. “They tend to attract other celebrities or people with money to buy them after they have lived in those homes.”
Of late, headline-earning celebrity properties have included those once or currently owned by Ellen DeGeneres, Elvis Presley and Sylvester Stallone.
What has made these homes even more valuable are the homes’ design elements and solid ties to the celebrities in question.
Ms. DeGeneres is the prime example of a celebrity who has invested in beautifully designed properties, listing multiple homes during the last year alone.
Ms. Smith said the designers who have worked on her homes have boosted their selling prices.
“Ellen probably generates some of the best numbers,” Ms. Smith said.
“For instance, one that just closed down sold for $49 million, a record for Beverly Hills,” she said.
“She also tends to be very on top of the latest in design – Tommy Clements of Clements Design did that home, and he is very hot right now.”
Mr. Stallone is also aiming for a big sale of his home, owned since 1998, with the property listed at $110 million.
The fact that Mr. Stallone has long owned the property, which he recently remodeled, along with the history and Rocky memorabilia within it, are all factors in boosting the overall value.
Meanwhile, the late Elvis’ Palm Springs home sold for more than $2.5 million just a few months ago.
Although Elvis spent very little time at the property and was not the current owner, it is where he honeymooned with Priscilla Presley in the 1960s, and the interior very much matches the era.
Celebrities, however, are not always so lucky. Occasionally, they take a loss on their homes.
As Ms. Smith describes it, this is because celebrities have the capital to buy homes that are sparking up a lot of interest and by the time they sell it, the interest has waned.
“Justin Bieber had a home that sold for less than what he bought it for,” Ms. Smith said.
“When he purchased it, the house had a lot of interest, so he paid a premium when he bought it,” she said.
“Celebrities can be compulsive when they buy homes – they’ll go for this crazy price because they see a lot of people want the home.”
The other scenario where Ms. Smith has observed celebrity home values take a hit has been when a celebrity has passed away from sad or unfortunate circumstances.
Grimly, the celebrity association still brings with it curious buyers.
THERE ARE VARIOUS factors that come into play with how celebrity affects a home sale, but their ties to history, impeccable design and general affiliation are the most significant draws.
Ultimately, purchasers are buying into the celebrity lifestyle.
And the more current the celebrity ownership is, as in the case of the Stallone home, the better for the listing to shine.
“It’s been recently remodeled by him, so you’ll live like he’s been living in that home,” Ms. Smith said.
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