There’s a certain kind of luxury real estate in Los Angeles that passes from celebrity to celebrity. Perhaps its most valuable amenity: privacy. L.A. has ordinances that prevent new construction of high walls and hedges, which means there’s a limited inventory of homes that can keep prying eyes at a distance. The glitterati tend to trade them among one another.
“The No. 1 feature celebrities need in a house is that it’s ‘stoparazzi,’ ” says Billy Rose, president of The Agency, a Los Angeles-area luxury real estate firm he co-founded with Mauricio Umansky, husband of reality TV star Kyle Richards of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. He says it’s not uncommon to drive a house-hunting celeb around L.A. with paparazzi in tow. His clients tend to like homes quietly tucked behind long, gated driveways, outfitted with extensive security systems and guard houses.
Forbes' Celebrity 100 list ranks America’s most powerful stars. With the help of Realtor.com, Trulia.com and others, Forbes investigated where these actors, singers and personalities bed down for the night. We included homes bought and sold in the past year or so as well as a few long-term nests of the stars. Perhaps not surprisingly, most are nestled in and around the Los Angeles area.
Celebrity 100 rank: 51; made $24 million
Home: Arrowhead Drive, Los Angeles, CA
List Price: $10.8 million
Final Sales Price: $8.45 million
Kutcher was renting the 9,400-square-foot Hollywood Hills home pictured here, but he reportedly decided to buy it after fellow Celebrity 100 list maker Justin Bieber expressed interest in a purchase. The house has floor-to-ceiling windows and cantilevered rooms and balconies overlooking Lake Hollywood.
Celebrity 100 Rank: No. 3; made $55 million
Reported purchase: Hacienda-style estate, Calabasas, CA
List Price: $6 million
The Biebs was on the prowl for a Los Angeles-area home for months, reportedly settling on this six-bed, seven-bath hacienda-style home tucked away in a celebrity-centric development. Rumors swirled that he'd originally wanted to buy the home Ashton Kutcher was renting.
Celebrity 100 Rank: No. 22; made $11 million
Home (pictured): Bel Air Estate, Los Angeles, CA
Purchase Price: $20.97 million
Homes (recently sold): two West Village Condos, New York, NY
Sales Price: $6.5 million for both
The A-list actress, recently engaged to actor/screenwriter Justin Theroux, has kept herself busy with real estate the past several years. After selling her custom Beverly Hills "Ohana" estate for nearly $38 million last year, she picked up two neighboring condos in a West Village pre-war building in Manhattan, paying roughly $7 million. She recently offloaded them for a loss of half a million dollars, choosing to move back to the West Coast.
The newest conquest is this 8,500-square-foot midcentury modern house, which sits behind high gates on 3 acres that include vineyards. Home design site CasaSugar speculates that it might be the perfect venue for, say, a private celebrity wedding ...
Celebrity 100 Rank: No. 57; made $57 million
Home (pictured): Cape Cod-style Estate, Beverly Hills, CA
Purchase Price: $3.97 million
Home: The Adelicia Penthouse, Nashville, TN
Purchase Price: $1.99 million
Home: Northumberland Estate, Nashville, TN
Purchase Price (bought for her parents): $2.5 million
In April, the songstress scooped up this 2,800-square-foot East Coast-style traditional with its gated entry, a guest house and a tennis court. Located in the Los Angeles area, it was the singer's second home; she bought a $2 million Nashville, Tenn. penthouse in 2009.
Even more recently, Taylor Swift is said to have purchased a $4.9 million Massachusetts beach house on the same private road as Ethel Kennedy's compound. Just so happens she's also dating Conor Kennedy, Ethel's grandson.
She has also purchased homes for her parents in Nashville.
Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen
Brady's Celebrity 100 Rank: No. 59; made $27 million
Bundchen's Celebrity 100 Rank: No. 61; made $45 million
Home (pictured at left): Brentwood custom-built estate, Los Angeles, CA
Home: Beacon Street Penthouse, Boston, MA
List Price: $10.5 million
Home (pictured above; recently sold): Mandarin Oriental Condo, New York, NY
Sales Price: $17.5 million
Earlier this year the NFL quarterback and his supermodel wife moved into a 22,000-square-foot custom-built manse in the Brentwood neighborhood of LA, pictured at left. The new spread boasts eight bedrooms, a six-car garage, a lagoon-shaped swimming pool, an elevator, a weight room and a wine cellar. Brady also recently unloaded his NYC Time Warner Center penthouse (pictured above) for $17.5 million to Green Mountain Coffee billionaire Robert Stiller and has his Boston, Mass. penthouse listed for $10.5 million as well.