Blame Kim Kardashian for your high rent


First they pollute your television, then your neighborhood. So do fameballs-those annoying "celebrities" famous for being famous-also inflate prices in the housing market?

Take beautifully vapid Kim Kardashian. She's selling her three bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom trendy West Hollywood condo in Los Angeles. The asking price is $1,099,000. Guesstimates place her 2005 purchase price between $800,000 and $850,000.

If she sells at her asking price would the potential $200,000 to $250,000 profit made during a down market be made in part thanks to her fameball reputation?

Apparently, "so-and-so-slept here" is a booming business-at least when it comes to selling property in a down market. Mark David of the blog Real Estalker says that clients typically do not spend more for famous address homes. Realtors calculate value strictly on the property and the local market, not former, current, or future owners.

Still, there are a few intangibles buyers get for making the step up to a former celebrity home, including for starters, bragging rights and party conversation fodder. History buffs like the idea of touching something from the past. Hipsters get to think they're living in a hot and happening place. Celebrity residents give a market, as opposed to simply a specific residence, better value over an arbitrary address in "Generica."

Real estate investors get it. That's one reason they follow and invest in areas with concentrations of artists and musicians. Creative types transform ugly, undesirable areas by attracting businesses and providing new cultural experiences-and with them new bars, restaurants, and haberdasheries. Before you know it: higher rents.

Does it even matter if K-Kash is a legit artist-or even a legit celebrity? Not really. But she still has the ability to make a market "hot"-one more reason to avoid her?