Let's begin the new week with a little unsubstantiated celebrity real estate rumor and gossip, shall we?
In less than five years the newly minted, meat dress wearing new Madonna of pop music Lady Gaga has gone from scraping up pennies off the sidewalk to pay for a shitty one room tenement apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to being one of the highest paid entertainers on the planet with a rushing river of money that flows into her coffers and allows her the financial fortitude at 24 years old to buy or lease lavish homes in some of the most affluent and expensive zip codes across the damn country.
For the last six or 8 months Lady Gaga, who wears clever and outlandish look-at-me-look-at-me outfits in her everyday life but bristles when people give her the sartorial stink eye, has been making serious real estate headlines from coast to coast. As bizzy as beehatcha is–and she is like a damn dervish she's got so many things to do–she somehow had time to house hunt from Los Angeles to the Hamptons all summer long.
First word slipped and slid down to Your Mama off the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine that recently ridiculously rich Lady Gaga–née Stefani Germanotta–was considering the purchase of a recently rehabbed estate in Beverly Hills, CA with a price tag of $16,500,000. Previous to Miss Gaga's (alleged) interest, Your Mama had heard from an impeccable source that Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, who already own a house in the star-studded 'hood, were interested in but did not purchase the property.
In a respectable and sensible financial maneuver, instead of dropped boo-coo bucks to buy a house, Lady Gaga opted instead to lease a 6 bedroom and 8 pooper mansion in the hills of Bel Air at around $25,000 per month. Interestingly, and probably not coincidentally, the mansion Miss Gaga leased in Bel Air is owned by the same young music bizness dude who owns the lavish Beverly Hills estate that she (and Nicole and Keith) declined to buy.
By mid-July the scuttlebutt and stories about Lady Gaga house hunting in the hoity-toity Hamptoons become deafening. There were all sorts of reports that Miss Gaga was working with this real estate brokerage and other stories about her working with that real estate agent. Fast and furious came all the blogs and tabs with reports that Miss Gaga was interested in a $26,000,000 house in Sagaponack. Although her people denied all the real estate speculation, even more stories landed that claimed Miss Gaga had already leased a house in the Hamptons for the summer season. It would seem that if Miss Gaga was indeed in residence in the Hamptoons she'd be easy to pick out at Loaves & Fishes in Sagaponack, a towering bouffant haired lady in a bubble wrap pant suit and treacherously tall horse hoof-like shooz surrounded by a bunch of tan Mercedes driving ladees in Pucci sarongs and pudgy hedge hogs in crisp polo shirts.
Even though her manager–or somebody who makes millions off her professional efforts–gave her a vintage convertible Rolls Royce to pilot around town, Lady Gaga didn't much care for LaLa Land. Before long, the capricious young superstar returned to New York City where the little minx has kept the lady at the Gimme Shelter column in the New York Post bizzy as a beaver reporting on all the twenty and $25,000 per month downtown apartments that Lady Gaga has toured.
Often decked out in one of her casual, pants-free daytime outfits, Miss Gaga reportedly went for a look-see at a 4,000 square foot doo-plex at 1 Morton Square with monthly rent of $25,000; Prior to that she toured a 2,858 square foot doo-plex penthouse in SoHo with a 1,200 square foot of private terraces and a $21,000 per month price tag. According to the tabs and gossip glossies, the celebrity-style (magnet) SoHo penthouse was also peeped by Meg Ryan, Baz Luhrmann, and comedian Lewis Black.
In August it was revealed that Lady Gaga toured a 3,468 square foot crib in the SoHo Mews building listed at $9,975,000. The 4-bedroom penthouse pad has 1,591 square feet of wraparound terrace with a hot tub. Now chickens, we can understand why Miss Germanotta might want a terrace but we need a damn gin & tonic in order to get our pea-sized mind around her doing anything as pedestrian as sitting in a silly hot tub. We know Miss Gaga puts her pants on one leg at a time and gets drunk on cheap booze at baseball games like ordinary people, but we draw the line at a Miss Missy Hoohoo tucking into a chain mail one-piece bathing suit and bobbing around a hot tub.
As late at mid-October Lady Gaga was, according to the Gimme Shelter ladee, still hunting for a home and toured a slick and stylish 4,000 square foot penthouse pad listed with an asking price of $14,995,000 at the Winka Dubbeldam designed V33 building in TriBeCa. The sleek and almost painfully au courant doo-plex has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 5 fireplaces, 1 private parking space, nearly 3,500 square feet of terraces and an 8-foot by 16-foot infinity pool. That's right, an infinity edge pool right in the middle of Manhattan.
In late September, WWD–that's the fashion holy book Women's Wear Daily–reported that Lady Gaga was in the final stages of a property purchase on the sleepy but über-upscale island of Martha's Vineyard where other famous home owners include Larry David, David Letterman, and Carly Simon. True or not True? Bueller? Bueller? If Your Mama needed a drink to imagine Miss Gaga submerged in a hot tub it requires an additional nerve pill to picture her gallivanting around the Martha's damn Vineyard in a bathing suit made of Christmas tinsel and butterflies and strutting down the shore in a pair Alexander McQueen's spectacular tootsie punishing Armadillo shoes.
About the same time the real estate rumors swirled about her snatching up a house on Martha's Vineyard, even more scuttlebutt came in on the Lady Gaga real estate gossip train about how she wanted to buy a castle in England or maybe Scotland. Some reports even said that Miss Germanotta got the idea of an estate in the U.K. from Madonna although Your Mama suspects middle-aged Madge secretly hates young and nubile Miss Gaga.
Anyhoo, that brings us up to last week when Your Mama received a covert communique from one of our international spies that Lady Gaga's house hunt has indeed gone international. If fact, word on the Scottish real estate street is that the button pushing performer has bit the bullet and signed contracts to purchase the massive and historic Yester House estate in Scotland, in the village of Gifford about 20 or so miles outside the fine city of Edinburgh.
Yester House has been for sale since August of 2008 when it was listed at £15,000,000, that's 24,165,300 American dollars at today's rates according to Your Mama's currency conversion contraption. The asking price for the 300-acre estate was later hacked to £12,000,000 ($19,332,200 at today's rates) and subsequent to that slashed to £8,000,000 ($12,888,200 at today's rates). The newest price, according to earlier reports, includes 285 of the estate's nearly 600 acres and all the contents of the house.
According to our American living in Scotland, a member of the household staff at Yester House told him that a "contract has been signed for a sale to Lady Gaga." Your Mama makes no claims of veracity for that statement. Real estate rumors are exactly that, puppies, rumors. Maybe Miss Gaga is buying Yester House and maybe she is not. Okay? At this point we have no confirmation and we are not aware of any previous reporting of the (alleged) purchase.
Yester House (above), owned since the 1970s by Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti who died in 2007 and now owned by by his family, was built between 1699 and 1728. The 17th-century mega-mansion measures an elephantine 34,585 square feet with more than 60 rooms, 35 or more fireplaces, 5 reception rooms including two drawings rooms and a formal dining room with not just one but two fireplaces, a print room (whatever that is), business room, flower arranging room, 3 kitchens, more staircases than Your Mama can count, second floor music room and a basement level billiard room with two fireplaces.
Six principal bedrooms surround the 1,300 square foot ballroom on the second floor, each with private pooper and two with large private dressing rooms. Eight additional bedrooms on the third floor share two bathrooms, and a self-contained staff suite located in a separate wing has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. Your Mama counts 3 additional full bathrooms and 3 more half poopers sprinkled throughout the middle school-sized house.
A rabbit warren-like 20+ room service complex on the basement level includes a wine cellar or two, gun room, laundry facilities, butler's pantry, the original kitchen and adjacent scullery, walk in larder, dairy room (perhaps for milking cows and making cheese?), a garden room, a 400+ square foot room for the head housekeeper and a dozen various workshops, cellars and storage rooms.
While it's embarrassingly over-sized for a 20-something single gal like Lady Gaga, it's also rather perfect. Just imagine Lady Gaga here, alone at Yester House on some stormy Scotish night as she slowly and dramatically drags from room to dimly lit room in a floor length dress fashioned from whispers, fingernail cuttings and jagged shards of broken mirrors and mutters random snippets poems by Rilke and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. It works, right?
Whether Miss Gaga buys Yester House or some other house in Scotland or another overly expensive mansion somewhere else, Your Mama will keep our fat and tired fingers crossed that she'll have the chutzpah to purchase a proper and hair curling architectural confection that holds up to and reinforces her image as an out-sized, over-blown, grossly but enigmatically self-conscious, absurdly eccentric and appropriately cryptic pop music super star.
listing photos (Yester House): Knight Frank