Meg Ryan Offers to Lease Her Unsold Bel Air Home at $40,000 a Month

Meg Ryan rents Bel Air home Add actress Meg Ryan to the list of celebrities who are ready to become landlords when their expensive homes don't sell. Ryan had her Bel Air, Calif. home on the market as a pocket listing for $19.5 million in 2008 -- and more recently (and realistically) in the MLS at $14.2 million in October 2009 -- but removed it. Now she hopes to lease it for $40,000 a month, which is pretty much on par for the neighborhood.

Ryan's home drew a fair amount of interest back in 2008, when soccer star David Beckham and his spicy wife Victoria came a-looking to buy, as did Ben Affleck and Jen Garner. Affleck was in his "serial escrow " phase then, when he made accepted offers and opened escrows on about a half-dozen properties in as many months; he would just never stop looking at houses and always backed out of the open escrow when he saw something he liked better.

To the best of our knowledge, he got close but never made an offer on Ryan's house.
By all accounts, Ryan's 6,877-square-foot home is a classic, stunning Spanish-style estate, built in 1931 and restored with taste and authenticity. It has resort-style grounds with a pool, and panoramic ocean and city views. The formal living room has stenciled and painted wood-beamed ceilings; and the home is filled with tiles, open archways and French doors. There are six bedrooms and seven bathrooms in the gated compound.

Celebrities leasing out their homes is nothing new, but it certainly has picked up in this housing market stagnation. For them, and everybody else who can't sell for the price they want. Interestingly, it's the one time that celebrities appear more willing to let their names be associated with marketing efforts. And equally interesting is that while it may draw some looky-loos to see how Meg Ryan decorates (high-end Mediterranean) or Ozzy Osbourne lives at the beach (weirdly, shabby chic), at the end of the day it really comes down to price. Even in the high-end rental market, there are bottom-feeders looking for a deal.

Frankly, for a homeowner there is just one rung lower on the realty ladder these days: Leasing your home to film crews, which can fetch as much as $10,000 to $15,000 a day for a shoot, and who cross their hearts and hope to die if the grip knocks over your Ming vase.

Of course, if it's a celebrity abode you are seeking, there's still Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne's Malibu place on La Costa Beach that's available for $40,000 a month. That, too, was once listed around $14 million, although they dropped the asking price to $10,995,000. The place is available just for the summer, too, at a slightly higher price tag -- all negotiable we hear.

Slightly north on Broad Beach in Malibu, celebrity asking prices have crept even higher. At one point, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber had their own house up for lease at $35,000 a month. Gerber recently opened the Cafe Habana in the high-end Malibu Lumberyard shopping center. Local agents say that Goldie Hawn was seeking a summer leaser this year for her Broad Beach home for around $50,000 a month.

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