Buckle up, buttercups, because they’re at it again … officially. Last year rumors ran rampant in Platinum Triangle real estate circles that veteran daytime chat show host Ellen DeGeneres and Arrested Development actor Portia de Rossi, two of showbiz’s most prolific buyers and sellers of high-end homes, were willing to discreetly show their 1933 English Tudor mansion in Beverly Hills to prequalified buyers undeterred by an asking price widely whispered to have been in the neighborhood of $58 million.
Apparently there were no takers at that by-every-standard prodigious price because the elegantly proportioned and newly rehabbed manse is now on the open market with Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency with a considerably lower but still jaw-dropping $53.5 million price tag. Not counting carrying costs, improvement expenses and real estate fees, the house-flipping Hollywood power couple hopes to haul in an eight-figure profit on the deluxe estate they picked up not quite two years ago for $42.5 million from Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine and fashion model Behati Prinsloo.
Set behind gates on just over an acre of park-like grounds, the sprawling manse has had an illustrious string of owners over the last couple of decades. In 2008 tennis icon Pete Sampras sold the estate for not quite $17 million — more than twice the $8.3 million he paid in 2002 — to “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick and entertainment attorney Erik Hyman. The whole shebang was subjected to a sophisticated overhaul and photographed for Elle Décor before it was sold on to Levine and Prinsloo in a 2018 off-market deal valued at a tad more than $33.9 million. So the scuttlebutt goes, Levine and Prinsloo almost immediately caught an incurable case of real estate fickle. They quickly arranged a profitable off-market deal and sold to DeGeneres and de Rossi, for $42.5 million, in favor of an even more expansive compound in Pacific Palisades that they picked up for nearly $32 million from divorced Tinseltowners Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck.
Listings indicate the lavish house was comprehensively renovated by DeGeneres and de Rossi and unsurprisingly incorporates state-of-the-art security, lighting and A/V systems. Between the three-story main house and detached guesthouse that is nipped away behind the kitchen and service wing atop the three-car garage with a huge private terrace overlooking the park-like grounds, there are a total of five bedrooms and nine bathrooms throughout its more than 10,300 square feet.
A double-gated drive curves up to the front of the imposing, ivy-encrusted residence where an elevated porch and steel-trimmed leaded glass door lead to a fully paneled double-height foyer painted an eye-searing bright white that is, thankfully, offset by dark-brown reclaimed wood floorboards laid in an ever-classy chevron pattern.
The living room stretches to fifty feet long and, like the foyer, employs bright white walls as a neutral backdrop for the home’s collection of artworks and designer furnishings. Steel-trimmed windows on opposite walls off the ballroom-sized space ensure plenty of light at all hours of the day, and the simple fireplace overmounted by a recessed flat-screen TV makes the room functional for both formal and casual entertaining.
The capacious dining hall, also painted white, features unusually minimalistic lighting and includes a large niche with wet bar, while a more intimately scaled libray/office features jet-black paneled walls and an angled fireplace trimmed in copper.
The family kitchen is spacious, modern and expensively up to date with bespoke flat-fronted wood cabinetry, a commercial-grade walk-in fridge and an industrial-sized range surrounded in shimmery stainless steel. A casual adjoining dining area overlooks the motor court.
A wide doorway allows for a relaxed relationship between the family kitchen and a cozily scaled TV lounge that flows through another wide doorway into a sunroom wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows.
Extensive service quarters behind the kitchen connect to the garage and include a separate, stainless-steel catering kitchen accented by white tile backsplashes.
Tucked down on the lower level, where it opens to the stone patio that surrounds the pool, a plush screening room is done up in a monochromatic steel-grey color scheme and offers a sumptuous, deep-cushioned sectional sofa, plus a separate concession area complete with lounge and powder room.
Guest bedrooms are all en suite, and the primary suite privately occupies an entire wing of the upper level with two enviably big dressing rooms, a huge terrace and a spa-worthy bathroom. Brass and glass doors connect the main bath’s dressing area to a huge circular shower and bathing space housed in a whitewashed brick turret that overlooks the backyard.
A picturesquely lighted stone plaza outside the kitchen and sunroom includes an outdoor kitchen complete with pizza oven and a tree-shaded fire pit carved from a solid block of stone.
A graveled outdoor dining area framed by a quartet of carefully pruned, lollipop-like trees overlooks a lower patio with a classic Old Hollywood style oval-shaped swimming pool.
Thick hedges and mature plantings help to obscure the sunken tennis court that boasts lights for night-time matches and a raised pavilion for spectators. The grounds additionally include a tree-shaded glade with rolling lawns and lush gardens.
DeGeneres and de Rossi are world famous for their frequent buying and selling of ultra-expensive real estate — often in and around the Montecito area, as well as in the more expensive zip codes across Los Angeles — and they rarely hang on to a home for more than a year or two. So, it’s not at all a surprise to property gossips that the perennially itchy-footed couple have chosen to sell their pristine Beverly Hills estate so soon after they bought it. It’s just what they do.
Last year alone they made a heady handful of deals. They sold a historic Tudor home in the heart of Montecito to Ariana Grande for $6.75 million, nearly twice the $3.6 million they paid less than five months earlier; they flipped a $29 million Tuscan-style estate at a $2 million profit after less than a month of ownership; and they sold an ultra-luxe Bali-inspired compound for $33.3 million, a small fortune above the $27 million they paid not quite two years prior. Along the way they made a not-so-clandestine $49 million off-market deal to acquire a vast Montecito estate from Saturday Night Live alum turned multimedia host and conservative political commentator Dennis Miller, though few think they’ll hang on to it for long. We shall see. Stay tuned.