Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hump Day Hodgepodge: Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi

Buckle yer celebrity real estate safety belts, butter beans, because famously property fickle Ellen Degeneres and wife Portia de Rossi are at it again. According to gossip juggernaut TMZ the acquired a $26.5 million dollar estate in the exceptionally prosperous California seaside enclave of Montecito.

What TMZ did not reveal is that the high-maintenance estate with its exceptional, stone built 1929 Italianate villa was previously owned by legendary decorator John Saladino. Your Mama discussed the elegant spread back in August 2010 when Mister Saladino first heaved the two pacel property—which he called his "opus"—on the open market with an asking price of $24,500,000.

Property records show Mister Saladino sold the 13-plus acre, two-parcel property in March 2012 at a steep discount off asking for $16,500,000 to American-born and New Zealand-based corporate businessman Tom Sturgess and his wife Heather. The Sturgesses sold the house and its 9.9 acre parcel to a trust connected to Missus Degeneres and de Rossi but—as of this instant—we haven't yet uncovered a recorded sale price.

A second, 3.18 acre lot that Mister Saladino sold to Mister and Missus Sturgess does not appear, according to the property record data bases we accessed, to have been transferred to the Missus Degeneres and de Rossi.*

Listing details from 2010 up show the 13 acre ocean view estate includes a completely updated and upgraded 10,522 square foot main house with six bedrooms, six full and two half bathrooms and nine fireplaces. The mansion oozes with earthy Tuscan character that's juxtaposed against sleek and modern, bathrooms, kitchen and laundry facilities. Numerous loggias and terraces extend the indoors to the out and the extensive, painstakingly groomed grounds include a swimming pool set into a flat lawn with a long view over the tree tops and mansions to the Pacific Ocean.

This is not, as avid celebrity real estate watchers well know, the Missus Degeneres-deRossi's first home in Montecito. In early 2006 they paid $15,750,000 for a downright impeccable George Washington Smith designed estate that—as they're prone to do—they flipped back on the market less than a year later for $24,000,000. They sold the property in November 2007 for $20,000,000 to multi-billionaire Eric Schmidt, currently the executive chairman of Google.

The Missus Degeneres-de Rossi's property portfolio currently includes—but may not be limited to—an iconic mid-century modern in the Trousdale Estates section of Beverly Hills and a 26-acre, multi-residence equestrian ranch near Thousand Oaks, CA that they've had on and off the market for years.

Miz Degeneres and Miz de Rossi have bought and sold a slew of properties including—but not limited to—a couple of ranches in the Santa Ynez Valley and a bluff-top beach house in Malibu they bought from Brad Pitt and quickly flipped for a million more than they paid. And, of course, they compiled the multi-residence compound above Coldwater Canyon in Beverly Hills that they sold at a staggering multi-million dollar loss last year for $39,500,000 to Ryan Seacrest.

NOTE TO THE CHILDREN: Listing photos here show the house as it was gussied up by Mister Saladino. It's not known—not to Your Mama, anyways—if Mister and Missus Sturgess purchased and/or retained Mister Saladino's decorating handiwork.

*That does not mean the Missus Degeneres and de Rossi did not also buy the smaller 3.18 parcel. It could be that the transfer records simply have not been recoreded. Or it could mean Mister and Missus Sturgess opted to keep it or sell it separately. Time will tell...

listing photos: Village Properties 

28 comments:

Marsha Splenderosa said...

No one, no one could improve on a John Saladino residence. God hopes they appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Such deserving people. With millions to play the RE market to pass the time. Could they be expected to do something useful to humanity? No because they are superficial intellectual nobodies with nothing to do but play property games. That is why so many American idolize them: lots of money to play games with.

Anonymous said...

Actually actually mama the total sale price on their Coldwater coumpound was 39.5 milli. Seacunt paid 36.5 for the bulk of the property and then paid another 3 for the last parcel a couple months later.

WrteStufLA said...

Given the pricing fluctuations through the 2012-2013 time period, I wouldn't be surprised to find the additional 3+ acre property is actually included in the latest $26.5-mill purchase.

Anonymous said...

Nicolas Cage II.

Anonymous said...

This will make it easier for them to get together with Oprah for those book club meetings.

Anonymous said...

It seems like they overpay for these properties. They lost money on the sale to Ryan Seacrest, and their flips may just about break even or be small losses after the work they put into them, brokers fees and taxes. Savvy business women they are not.

And I am probably in the minority but the interiors are not very inspiring, especially for Montecito. From what is shown here, dark interiors predominate, without taking advantage of the weather or the views. The grounds look lovely though. But still, a $10mill. gain in a year? Either the previous buyers got a steal due to an insolvent buyer or Ellen did it again. This isn't Manhattan, California property values, even in the posh Santa Barbara area, haven't recovered from the 2007 highs.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am again knocked speechless by this estate. Many thanks Mama Dearest for the second-time-around day-core porn.

Rosco Mare said...

A malfunction listed my 2:31 comment as anonymous. Or was it that second Margarita at lunch?

xo - Rosco Mare

Anonymous said...

Any word on what happened to the remaining parcel they retained in the Seacrest sale?

commentator8 said...

I really don't get it: between the $6M loss on the Seacrest estate and the $10M more they paid on this thing than the previous owner bought it a year earlier (even if the 3 acre parcel was included, it's not worth $10M), these two have essentially left $16M on the table. Even if they're worth in the hundreds of millions, and even if they had gains on other houses, it seems bizarre to blow that kind of money. Surely they have money managers and consultants?

Anonymous said...

where did John Saladino end up moving to? any photos of his 'new home yet?

Anonymous said...

Can we just ship these two to some deserted Pacific island so we never have to hear about them again? They're like the Kardashians of real estate.

Sandpiper said...

Maybe this is a keeper, for a while anyway. Hard to move stone walls, even for them! I’m sure, with contractors in tow, Lucy and Ethel have a grand scheme waiting to unhatch.

Saw something recently (here I'm sure) about their just-sold property … compound … err ... awkwardly accessible fortress for trick-or-treaters. Hope they didn’t sell it furnished because the aggregate inventory of décor begs to find a home here.

Avi said...

So they decided to forego their love for midcentury modern than?

Really LOVE the Hal Levitt estate on North Hillcrest Rd in the Trousdale Estates of Beverly Hills, that they currently own. Such a great property, beautifully built.

Montecito is just magical, no wonder they have returned after so many years. All those acres of land that Montecio has to offer is one of a kind.

Hopefully they stay put and actually LIVE in this estate for more than 5 years. The way they buy and flip houses is ridiculous.







Daisy said...
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Anonymous said...

Sturgess lives in a lovely part of New Zealand called Nelson ... located at the top of the North Island, it the Marlborough region it's pretty much picture-perfect. Bet he has a gorgeous lifestyle property to match his location.

James Blunt said...
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Anonymous said...

Totally dreamy property and a nice compliment to MCM in town house. I have to say, they fascinate me in their real estate..its as if when you think they will zig they zag. Keep in mind on the Seacrest sale that they retained one parcel, so the loss (depending on what its worth) may not be as harsh if you add that to the sales price. I am sure the papparazi would pay oodles of money to spy on his pool time activities (if it has such a view).

Anonymous said...

They didn't retain one parcel. Seacunt bought that last house a couple months later in a separate transaction.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that the $16 million loss taken over the past few years was a tax write-off. Ellen's not hurting for ca$h at all. ;)

LOVE this beautiful stone estate. John Saladino has got style and taste!

lil' gay boy said...


"Montecito is just magical, no wonder they have returned after so many years. All those acres of land that Montecito has to offer is one of a kind. Hopefully they stay put and actually LIVE in this estate for more than 5 years."

I agree; I think this couple has already well established the fact that they are quite up to the task of flipping MCMs, if not staying in them.

The stone is an outstandingly lovely (if somewhat difficult) palette to work with -- Saladino certainly appears to have outdone himself. Perhaps they may stay longer...

Carla In California said...

Wow! Just Googled the property and this estate has a lot of land! The home is a good distance from the road. No papparazzi is going to get pictures of these two walking around in their underwear. LOL!

What a beautiful home! I understand John Saladino has a book on this estate that is in its 3rd edition. Must buy for residential architecture lovers. Love the pool as well.

Peter said...

Take a xanax. Ellen actually does quite a bit of charity work, just doesn't need to publicize it. Also who cares if she enjoys buying expensive real estate? Helping the economy by paying taxes on it, employing people to maintain property, etc.. Get over yourself, this is a celebrity real estate gossip website. If it disgusts you so much, why are you even here? Love Montecito, Ellen and mama;-)

Anonymous said...

I truly never understand why those that are so uninformed or just have no.clue about dollars and cents of.real.estate then feel they should add theirs...even if a property is sold at a pricing loss that does not mean that these.ladies.lose..in fact a pricing.loss can.quite often be a tax benefit..

mat afandi said...
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luke220 said...

The way she buys and sells homes I can only think that there must be some deep-seated unhappiness here (like Kelsey Grammar, for example). This is a very beautiful house.

Anonymous said...

The John Saladino book about his restoration of the property is amazing. Lots of lovely photos and interesting info.

His personal name for the property was Villa DiLemma, due to the problems he encountered along the way.