Friday, January 10, 2014

Ellen DeGeneres Buys Big...Again

Your Mama heard this scuttlebutt from a Tinseltown insider and real estate obsessed pal back on December 10—and we have the emails to prove it—but weren't able to come up with the necessary evidence to prove, as was revealed by celebrity gossip juggernaut TMZ today, that Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi DeGeneres paid $39,888,000 for the stunning and downright soo-blime Brody House in L.A.'s hoity-toity Holmby Hills 'hood.

Philanthropists and art collectors Sidney and Frances Brody commissioned the house in 1949 from venerable architect A. Quincy Jones. They hired top-flight interior designer Billy Haines to do up the exquisite interiors, engaged the services of accomplished landscape architect Garrett Eckbo to do up the grounds of the 2.3 acre spread, and, in 1952, commissioned a de-voon ceramic mural from Henri Matisse for the home's courtyard. (It's now installed at the L.A. County Museum of Art.)

While it certainly isn't the largest or the most expensive house in L.A. Brody House is widely considered by many architecture aficionado to be one of the best houses in Los Angeles. The multi-winged mansion measures in at a celebrity-sized 13,511 square feet with six bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms. The property includes a pool and pool house, gym, spa, and tennis court.

The has was last sold in late 2010 for $14,888,000 to an as-yet publicly unidentified buyer frequently (if perhaps not quite accurately) described to Your Mama as—and we paraphrase—"an Asian billionaire lady" who hired designer Stephen Stone and spent a pretty petty giving the place a much needed refresh and light reconfiguration—i.e. a necessary kitchen enlargement—that largely and thankfully maintained the residence's original architectural integrity.

Yolanda Yakketyyak snitched to Your Mama that the unidentified seller of Brody House happens to be the same investor from Thousand Oaks (CA) that sold the Dr. Phil McGraws their big ol' mansion up in Beverly Hills back in mid-2010 for $29,816,500.

At the same time they were buying Brody House the couple—inveterate high-end house flippers—also quietly sold their house in Beverly Hills, another iconic (and pedigreed) mid-century modern originally designed by Hal Leavitt. She paid $17.4 million for the house in May 2012 and sold it, according to reports, for $21million. Peter Property seller told us the buyer is film producer Roger Birnbaum.They still own, as far as we know, a stunning John Saladino-designed villa in Montecito (CA) they purchased in May (2013) for $26.5 million.

Note: Post renovation photos of Brody House have not been released to the public—or at least to this property gossip. However, in October (2013) the L.A. Conservancy held their annual benefit on the property and those wily kids at Curbed managed to snap a magnificent handful of photos of the exterior and grounds. Go here to see them all. Photos were not allowed inside but somehow this gal got a few and posted them on Vine.

photo: Elizabeth Daniel for Curbed

28 comments:

Eric said...

How much money does Ellen have exactly? She currently owns upwards of $70MM in real estate! I know that she is well compensated for her show and has several lucrative endorsement deals but even then not sure how she swings this? I cannot even imagine what her "nugget" must be each month to maintain her lifestyle. She is living large.

Anonymous said...

If Ellen ever agrees to finally make a long-time home for herself (and Portia), surely she must know that this is the house to settle into and make a home. Great home and location; the architecture and the Southern California climate combine to make this a dream house/home. We'll see...

Wallace Ridge

lil' gay boy said...

Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind property; oh, to have seen it in Haines' day...

Anonymous said...

Does it smell of fish yet?

doug-g said...

This is a beautiful place, I wonder how long Ellen will stay there?

Anonymous said...

I much prefer the house in the "before" pics - hate what flippers do to postwar homes

Anonymous said...

this is an amazing house and there is nothing like it, it is a treasure of our city. actually cheap seems cheap for some othe other crap.

West Bourne said...

They got the cream of the crop. Good for them. I hope they got at least some of the original Billy Haines furniture as well. Now she needs a major art collection to go with it (if she doesn't already have one).

And Eric - they have plenty of money. She owns the show along with
Warner Bros. through a couple of her companies and the show is in syndication which means it's not affiliated with one network in particular but collects fees from each of the stations that broadcasts it.

In many, many ways she is the Merv Griffin of her time and Merv was one of the wealthiest men in Hollywood for his day. She has both his talk show and his business sense. She is funnier and lower key than Oprah but don't let that fool you.

Mr DHH said...

This house was listed at 24.95 million-got it for 14.88.Three years later and some light updates (remember serious deed restrictions apply)for a 25 million dollar profit.I will be quite generous with 5 million for updating and furnishings from the Brody heirs.I do hope Ellen and Portia really love this place (beautiful sense of style) because you can not do much more to the property and it is in a busy part of Mapleton by the Playboy house

Sandpiper said...

These two are on one crazy real estate ride. Here's hoping they continue to amaze. They certainly have an eye for the best to be had.

Go nut, I say! Carry on.

Anonymous said...

What an awful house.

The hype is histerical.

This doesn't come even close to what that magnificent Brazilian Isay Weinfeld's doing.

Another one of those forgettable Leavitt, Jones and so on houses people overestimate for unknown reasons.

Perhaps Little can explain his tachycardia from amazedness from the gorgeousness of this mansion?

Anonymous said...

@Eric: Her base salary is US$45 per annum; but after all the other extras (endorsement deals, etc.,) she earns close to US$85m. So, pocket change for her :-)

Anonymous said...

they paid 40m for house which sold for 15m in 2010? Ah, now i understand. Ellen is Vikram Pandit of West Coast RE :P

I mean how much did Ellen lost on the resale of those 2-3 house complex to Ryan Seacrest?

The Swan said...

She has an EYE for Beauty...of all manifestations! The house is SINGULAR within and out...I was there in October and what a spectacular Vision of Art! Yes, we can only imagine the Giacometti, the Picasso, etc...but even empty, the building is a Museum.
I know she will do the home justice, I just hope she chooses another person to do her interiors as this home requires a certain scholarly yet unseen eye infused...not the usual names. We can all use a new name to herald!
Congrats DEAR ELLEN AND PORTIA, for you've saved a Jewel in the Crown of Nuestra Reina de Los Angeles!

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if she sold off the one lot that she kept in the Seacrest Sale? I love that ellen came out and lost almost everything at the time, as opposed to waiting until she retired like most do. She has certainly made it back.

Anonymous said...

I knew them moving was coming when their Hillcrest house was published. Personally, I do not like the renovations they did to it which is odd, bc normally I love Ellen's properties.

Not surprised she went for this house at all.

These two love projects and decorating and moving on. I would love to do it too.

Anonymous said...

PS- I don't remember where the Hill crest house was published. I remember seeing a volume of photo's of it. White walls, parquet floors. But not sure where it was. Fellow commenters please post.

Candy Spelling said...

Welcome to the best and most exclusive street in Los Angeles, Ellen!

Anonymous said...

I agree that I do not like their taste in interior design, but their taste in homes is impeccable.

Yak said...

The house is fantastic but it seems like a lot of $$$ considering what the previous owner paid and how much they possibly could have spent on the renos.

Not to mention it is immediately next door to the often raucous and very busy Playboy Mansion. If you value serenity and privacy, Hugh Hefner would be one of the last neighbours I'd want on my list.

Anonymous said...

i wonder if her huge real estate portfolio makes up for her small penis

Anonymous said...

Terrible location. Now granted, from recent pictures it would appear that Hef is not at the height of vitality, but he's not dead yet. Presumably when he does die the company or his estate (not sure how the ownership of that place is structured) will sell it off. And presumably it will revert to a private home at that point.

Btw, does anyone know how these parties at the mansion are handled? Where do all these people park? Are they allowed to have music blaring? Do they have to shut everything down by a certain time? Actually can't believe any of this is allowed to go on in that neighborhood -- that the property owners around there haven't been able to shut it down.

Rosco Mare said...

The 2010 sale was from the Brody estate after Mrs. Brody transitioned from this life. Interesting how people from older generations tended to value and keep their beautiful things.

Mr. Brody was a real estate developer, and he was on the Arts Commission during the Reagan Administration. Mrs. Brody was a big patron of the Huntington Library and gardens ...she was one of the major donors for the creation of the Chinese garden.

This house is profiled in CLASS ACT, the book about Billy Haines.

Many thanks for this posting, Mama Dearest

Anonymous said...

Alas the planets have aligned. The long winded boring one passed this one by.

Anonymous said...

I died for the driveway and front door hardware. Stunning lines throughout the house.

Thanks for the trips to UES and Holmby Hills this week, Mama. You outdid yourself.

Jessica Wei said...

Ellen if you are reading this I would love to be your realtor! 1.2mil for selling one home has a nice ring to it. But seriously, that's a nice house.

Anonymous said...

Ellen clearly doesn't know the difference between a house and a home - most people just move when their circumstances change (death, divorce, kids, money)...but that's her business.

I didn't realize where this home was until someone mentioned it being next to the Playboy Mansion on Mapleton...I've driven by a million times, and it clearly has been under remodel for a couple years now - there was barbed wire on the fence in front and in back on Charing Cross...hope that's being removed :).

She doesn't back onto LACC, which I think would be nice. Also, tour buses swarm the streets...now probably even more so.

Having said that, I'd live there in a heartbeat...great house.

Anonymous said...

Dammit she bought one of my favourite houses