Celebrity Real Estate's Blonde Bombshells
Real estate issues.
It seems the troubled real estate market hasn't spared Hollywood. Although a few celebrities have made a profit selling property in the last year, some have taken a hit -- or are poised to -- by listing their homes at a loss. Nicolas Cage aside, many of them happen to be fair-haired ingenues. Which makes us want to ask: Is there a real estate rehab program they can check into?
Mischa Barton, known as Marissa Cooper in "The OC," has struggled with work ever since she exited the teen drama and dyed her hair blond. And thus began her real estate troubles. With lower income, it seems she can no longer afford to carry three properties simultaneously: Her home in the Beverly Hills 90210 zip code, her condo on Reade Street in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood, and a nearby 2,300-square-foot rental loft at 39 Walker St., also in Tribeca, that she stopped paying the rent on months ago.
After Barton skipped on the $7,000 per month rent, her former landlord, who booted her out and leased the home to someone else for $8,500, is suing Barton for three months of missed payments, plus late fees and penalties, according to reports from the Realestalker and StreetEasy.com.
Barton is holding on to the Tribeca condo for now, but she apparently wants out from her 6-bedroom, 10-bath 90210 home, so badly that she recently listed the European-style villa for $8,395,000 -- a steal, considering it is worth $12 million, reports The Nod.
But don't feel too bad, she could still make out pretty well. Barton paid only $6.4 million in 2005 for the 7,607-square-foot residence with a swimming pool and a 3-car garage.
In an OK! Magazine interview about the house, Barton said, "When I arrived in L.A., I looked at ten houses. This was the last one on the list. It was a little beyond my price expectations, but I immediately fell in love with it. It's almost as if I would be living in the country. There's no traffic, no loud cars, simply heavenly quiet."
Perhaps too quiet? Last year Barton was placed under involuntary psychiatric hold after experiencing a meltdown at the very same Hollywood home that she is now selling, reported the Daily Mail. (Shed the home, shed the bad memories?) Barton claimed it was pain from a botched wisdom tooth operation which led to her hospitalization.
More painful, however, is how far her Beautiful Life has fallen. She's resorted to playing a pregnant, homeless prostitute on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Hopefully art doesn't imitate life any further.
Britney Spears just cannot catch a real estate break. She's had trouble selling most of her homes, dating back to 2004. Her price-chopping behavior seems to rival that of her notorious hair-chopping: Over the past three years, Spears has repeatedly put her Beverly Hills house on the market, only to pull it off again, and then re-list at yet a lower price.
Spears bought the fully-furnished cul-de-sac home at 12094 Summit Circle on a whim in December 2006 for $6.9 million, shortly before she impulsively chopped off all of her blond locks and sported a bald head. What followed was a series of erratic real estate moves. She put the Tuscan Villa on the market in February 2007-- just two months after she bought it -- for $7,495,000, according to the Realestalker. She then dropped the price to $7.2 million the next year and then bumped it back up to the original price a few months later. In Fall 2008, she re-listed it for $7.9 million, and then dropped it to $7,195,000 before the listing expired in March 2009. That summer she put it back on the market for $6,499,000, reported the LA Times. It is now listed for $5,495,000 - about $2 million less than the original list price and a million less than what she paid for it, reports Luxist.
On the east coast, it took her two years to unload her 2-bedroom New York City condo at 14 East 4th Street. That place was last listed for $2.2 million, but had been listed for as much as $6 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. It sold in 2006, around the time she and Kevin Federline were heading to Splitsville.
Meanwhile, the 7-bedroom, 9,130-square-foot Malibu home she shared with Federline at 3200 Retreat Court saw price drops from $13.5 million to just a dollar under $12 million, reports Berg Properties. According to Zillow, the home sold in August 2007 for an even $10 million.
After purchasing Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's Beverly Hills mansion in 2007, Christina Aguilera put her previous home on the market in early 2008 for $7,995,000. Oops, bad timing! It is now back on the market for $6.25 million. The pop star purchased it in 2003 for $5 million, according to the LA Times. The Steve Hermann renovated home has a 1,200-square-foot master suite, a screening room that seats 18, a gym, a pool and a 12-person spa, according to previous Times reports.
Scarlett Johansson, who will star as the Black Widow in the "Iron Man 2" sequel due out in May, has been tangled in her own web of real estate woes. She recently listed her walled and gated Spanish villa in the Hollywood Hills for $4.95 million -- quite a reduction from the $7 million she paid in 2007 when, public records show, she purchased it from director-producer Harold Becker.
Perhaps she overpaid, given the 1931-built home only has 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms in about 4,300 square feet -- on the smaller side for Hollywood.
And that doesn't account for the money she and husband Ryan Reynolds spent restoring the house to its former glory, reports Christophe Choo. The couple also added eco-conscious upgrades including solar electricity and a glass-topped central atrium. The house has a period-style kitchen with original tile, a maid's quarters that could be used for a media room or a gym, and a basement.
Proving that fashion sense does not equal business sense, the famed twin Ashley Olsen is also facing a real estate loss. She recently listed her 3-bedroom Hancock Park area home for $1,399,000. She purchased the 2,332 square-footer for $1,575,000 in 2007, reports the RealEstalker.
She made a few improvements to the property including installing a new central heat and air system, laying down a new driveway and re-tiling the bathrooms, according to listing information -- expenses that will add to her loss on the property.
Realestalker reports, "Interestingly and shockingly, public records show that a nasty 'Notice of Default' was filed on the property in April of 2009. Records also show that a 'Notice of Recission' was filed in August of 2009 indicating any issue was resolved." The celeb watcher site says it was probably a paper screw up, given Olsen would have been able to afford the mortgage.
She and her sister Mary Kate also purchased a condo when enrolled at NYU, but after they dropped out, the twins listed the 5-bedroom home for $11,995,000. The price was dropped to $9,995,000, and eventually taken off the market and leased out for around $42,500.
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