Ellen DeGeneres’ Hidden Real Estate Empire

It’s an open secret in Hollywood that Ellen DeGeneres commands a massive real estate empire.

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Ellen DeGeneres is well-known as a longstanding daytime TV talk show host and occasional actress who, in her decades in show business, has amassed a significant degree of wealth. Not many people know, however, about her extensive real estate dealings, a source of both fun and profit for her and her wife, Portia De Rossi. Over the past several years, DeGeneres has developed a knack for house flipping, although she contends that she doesn’t buy properties with the intent to sell them, but instead is just rather indecisive about her choice of home. 

Although DeGeneres told Architectural Digest in 2011 that she had lost count of how many houses she’d bought, Vogue reports that number to be 25. And in addition to her daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the comedian has also hosted a show on HGTV, Ellen’s Design Challenge, in which contestants compete to design and build furniture, which ran for two seasons from 2015 to 2016.

DeGeneres’ habit of purchasing houses and improving them just to sell a few years later to do it all over again stems from her tremendous wealth and her fastidious nature

DeGeneres got into the business of house flipping almost by accident. But given the actress’s history of interest in interior design, it’s no surprise that restoring properties has become one of her favorite pastimes. DeGeneres had imagined herself as an interior designer when she was just 13 years old, long before she showed interest in the entertainment industry. While she was growing up, DeGeneres’ family lived in apartments, and as a child, she dreamed about one day owning a house. DeGeneres has been involved with real estate in varying forms for more than 25 years; she bought her first property, a Spanish-style home in West Hollywood, in 1986 for $300,000, and added renovations, like a deck and French windows, projects which she later described as “amateurish.” She then moved up to a home in Laurel Canyon, where she redid the landscaping and sold for a profit two years later. 

DeGeneres’ habit of purchasing houses and improving them just to sell a few years later to do it all over again stems from her tremendous wealth and her fastidious nature, as she is only temporarily satisfied by her real estate purchases. Despite this, the actress has said that she wouldn’t want to design a house from the ground up, as she prefers the process of refurbishing an already-existing property and finds the idea of working from scratch to be stressful. Much of her success in this industry can likely be attributed to the star power associated with her name, but another factor is certainly her skill and creativity as a designer, as she has a penchant for combining elements from different styles and describes her 25-year history of buying and selling properties as her education.

DeGeneres’ taste in real estate is eclectic, yet extravagant.

According to some estimates, DeGeneres has more than $153 million invested in real estate in the form of various expensive California properties. The actress has done business with the likes of Ryan Seacrest and ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as purchasing a Malibu property previously owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and she shared her real estate stories as well as decorating tips in her 2015 book “Home.” Alongside her house-flipping endeavors, DeGeneres also rents some houses to celebrities, including Nick Jonas in 2015. In addition, the actress has released a line of home decor products under the name ED by Ellen DeGeneres, which includes bedding, cutlery, chandeliers, and other items for the house. 

DeGeneres’ taste in real estate is eclectic, yet extravagant. Her purchases include a beach house in Carpinteria with views of the Pacific Ocean from nearly every room, which she recently sold for a profit of $4.4 million, and a picturesque $33 million Beverly Hills mansion which she put on the market in 2018. Additionally, DeGeneres and her wife have purchased a $42.5 million mansion from singer Adam Levine, as well as a lakefront townhouse in Westlake Villiage, which they recently sold. Despite these extravagant purchases, DeGeneres contends that “you don’t have to have money to have good taste,” and is eager to share her knowledge about real estate and interior design with anyone who will listen. 

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