|Candy Spelling's 56,500-square-foot Los Angeles 'manor' is listed at $150 million|
Celebrities are a picky bunch when it comes to buying homes. Among the amenities they may regard as necessities: screening rooms to watch their celluloid selves, entertainment spaces to host A-list parties and elaborately equipped gyms to keep those tabloid-gracing abs rock-hard. Other must-haves are high-tech security systems and secluded locations.
"The home really should be set off the street or down a private driveway," explains Jade Mills, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Previews International of Beverly Hills, who regularly handles celebrity real estate deals like the late Dennis Hopper's $6.2 million compound, which she currently shares with fellow agent Jane Gavens.
It's no surprise then that the properties celebrities like Ricky Martin, Dr. Phil McGraw and Anjelica Huston have on the market are walled-in fortresses tucked into exclusive neighborhoods. Many are in Beverly Hills, where the average police response time to calls for assistance in a speedy three minutes.
|Ricky Martin's two-story Mediterranean mansion in |
Golden Beach, Florida is listed at $18.9 million
We tapped online listing sites Realtor.com and Trulia to round up a list of the most expensive celebrity-owned real estate now for sale. We narrowed the search to Multiple Listing Service (MLS)-listed properties that currently belong to high-profile people in entertainment or that did so in the past. The result is a list of the 15 priciest properties for sale from America's rich and famous stars.
Boston Red Sox third-baseman Adrian Beltre no longer needs his $19.8 million Bradbury, Calif., home, thanks to his team transfer. TV personality Dr. Phil has listed for $16.5 million a posh Beverly Hills home he purchased in 2002 for $7.5 million cash. McGraw has already snatched up another local home.
Some of these properties' celebrities owners have passed away. That includes Michael Jackson's Holmby Hills French chateau-inspired home, which is now up for grabs. The home, which he leased for a reported $100,000 a month, is listed for $23.5 million and includes everything the superstar could have dreamed of to keep the paparazzi at bay. Among the amenities are an in-house spa, plush home theater and an elevator. The only hitch? It's also where the King of Pop suffered his premature, drug-induced death.
Candy Spelling, the widow of hugely successful TV producer Aaron Spelling, and mother of actress and reality star Tori, owns the most expensive celebrity residence currently on the market. It's price: a jaw-dropping $150 million, making it one of the most expensive residences for sale anywhere.
|The home that the late Michael Jackson leased |
in Los Angeles is listed at $23.5 million
Spelling Manor sits on 4.7 acres of lush landscaping and boasts an orangery and a 56,500-square-foot mansion filled with everything from a two-lane bowling alley, game arcade and billiard room. There's even a professional flower-cutting hall. If you don't want to pay cash, Spelling Manor can be yours for monthly mortgage payments of $881,961, as calculated by Trulia.
It probably comes as no surprise that homes in this league can take time to sell, and some on our list have been for sale for half a year or more. "Even in good times the market for these more expensive homes is elongated. You don't sell these right away," says Joyce Rey, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Previews International who has brokered sales for Nicolas Cage, Jennifer Lopez and Hugh Hefner. "It's not as if there are 50 buyers out there looking for what you are offering."
How do you get to tour such a home? Not during a Sunday afternoon open house, that's for sure. Instead, the process of viewing a celebrity home as a potential buyer is an arduous one. The Coldwell Banker brokers rigorously screen those who claim to be in the market to shelter celebrities from "vanity showings."
The high-profile owners of some of the homes on our list are struggling to drum up interest. Ricky Martin's posh Miami mansion was listed a few years back, pulled off the market and relisted in 2010. Some celebs would rather wait than get burned in a fire-sale; others slash their asking prices. Actor Val Kilmer's 6,000-acre Pecos River Ranch first hit the market in 2009 with a $33 million price tag. Since then it's been chopped 44% to its current $18.5 million asking price. Kilmer has fallen up other hardships with the property; as of early January Kilmer's failure to pay income taxes had straddled the New Mexico nature preserve with a nearly $500,000 lien.
|Val Kilmer's ranch in Rowe, N.M. |
sits on 6,000 acres and sells for $18.5 million
Abbe Lane, a songstress and actress of the 1950s and '60s, has been trying to sell her Los Angeles home since 2008. Initially listed for $19.7 million, her home can now be yours for $9.95 million.
While ultra-luxury real estate on average has not suffered to the same extent as the rest of the market, values have dropped 20% in places like Los Angeles, according to Rey. As with less opulent abodes, sellers can do themselves a favor by subscribing to several basic sales tenets.
"Price point is key," emphasizes Mills. "If you can price something appropriately and it's a desirable location, it will sell fairly quickly."
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