Celebrities With Secondary Careers In Real Estate


If it wasn't enough that they're famous and can make millions of dollars for a couple of months of work, a number of famous actors and celebrities have begun to carve out secondary careers in real estate. They're not estate agents themselves, which means that you won't be able to look for a home with Angelina Jolie, not quite believing her as she describes a tiny kitchen as cosy. Instead, these well-known faces are supplementing their already rather high incomes by what is known as house flipping. They simply buy a property in a high demand area, make a number of improvements in a relatively short timeframe, and then "flip" the house, selling it for a tidy profit. Estate agents like the idea of flipping, since they can sell the house again and receive another commission. So just who are these celebrity flippers, and how successful are they?

Superhero Flipper

Perhaps best known for his work in Avengers Assemble, actor Jeremy Renner is probably the most accomplished celebrity flipper. If he makes a series of bad career choices and ends up in TV movies, he will at least have his lucrative second career to fall back on. Renner actually owns a renovation business with a friend, and together they've bought, renovated and resold 24 homes. His biggest sale is the $24 million he received for a remodeled 1920's mansion in the Los Angeles suburb of Holmby Hills. It's not bad when you consider he paid $7 million for it.

Award Winning Flipper

She won an Oscar for 1977's Annie Hall, but Diane Keaton's more recent roles have not won her the best reviews of her career. Never mind that -- selling mansions probably makes up for it. While not as prolific a flipper as Jeremy Renner, Keaton actually puts a lot of effort into the homes she buys for future sale. She extensively redesigns them to make them even more desirable, and the Material Girl herself agrees. Keaton bought a Beverly Hills mansion in 1996 for $2 million, spent another $1 million on improvements, and then sold the property to none other than Madonna.

Queen of the Flippers

Since Oprah went off the air in 2011, the undisputed queen of talk shows has been Ellen Degeneres, and she's fast becoming the queen of flipping. Degeneres has flipped a total of six properties, although she moves in and oversees the improvements herself before placing the property on the market and packing her bags. The downturn in real estate affected her property ambitions, and in 2012 she was forced to sell a home for $37 million. Not exactly a meagre sum, but she had paid $48 million for it the previous year. She did rather well with her next sale, selling a home for $55 million, some $15 million more than she paid for it just six months earlier.

So while you might not have the funds to turn to house flipping yourself, you could perhaps still benefit from it. When you're looking for your next home, ask your estate agent if they have any properties owned by celebrities -- you might happen to walk in on Brad and Angelina regrouting the bathroom tiles.


19 December 2014

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