Generally speaking, the summer is when LA’s ultra-luxury real estate market reaches its apex. This year was no exception, as California had its priciest home sale ever when the Manor in Holmby Hills traded hands in July for a whopping $119.75 million (Dh439.7 million).
Sales tend to slow down in the winter, but in the first week of December, a quintet of former celebrity homes hit the market. Ranging dramatically in size and style, their past tenants include actors, directors, a late game show host and a reality star.
Kelsey Grammer’s Malibu compound
The most expensive of the bunch, this equestrian estate perched in the hills of Malibu was purchased by ‘Frasier’ star Kelsey Grammer for $4.5 million in 1998 and later sold. It’s been waffling on and off the market for the last three years, but a December re-list brought its lowest price yet: $18.75 million.
Spanning five acres in guard-gated Serra Retreat, the property boasts a 1940s French Country-inspired mansion, a guesthouse, riding ring, carriage house, multiple outbuildings and a six-stall barn for a total of nearly 14,000 square feet.
Highlights inside the home include a two-storey ballroom, wood-panelled library, movie theatre, wine cellar and a double-island kitchen designed by Wolfgang Puck. Outside, fruit orchards, rose gardens and lily ponds surround a swimming pool, tennis court, bathhouse and 17th century stone gazebo.
Kelsey Grammer, 64, is best known for portraying Dr Frasier Crane in the sitcom ‘Cheers’ and its spin-off, ‘Frasier.’ He’s won five Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and a Tony Award.
Ed McMahon’s Beverly Hills showplace
Ed McMahon, the late game show host and comedian who served as Johnny Carson’s late-night talk show sidekick for 30 years, picked up this property for $2.6 million in 1990 but eventually lost it two decades later after defaulting on $4.8 million in mortgages.
Following roughly a year on the market, it recently relisted for $7.895 million.
In the gated Summit community in the Beverly Hills Post Office area, the traditional-style home has since been remodelled. A whitewashed exterior gives way to chandelier-topped living spaces with tile and hardwood floors throughout the 7,000-square-foot floor plan.
A scenic balcony hangs off the backside of the home, overlooking a swimming pool and spa sandwiched by manicured gardens. Canyon views can be seen in the distance.
McMahon, who died in 2009 at 86, was a celebrated comedian, actor, game show host and talk show sidekick during his time in the entertainment industry. He appeared on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ for three decades, where he coined the now-famous phrase “Here’s Johnny.”
Kim Kardashian West’s Beverly Crest abode
Kim Kardashian West barely managed to eke out a profit on this romantic Tuscan-style villa in the Beverly Hills Post Office Area. After paying $3.4 million for the home in 2010, she unloaded it three years later for $3.6 million, records show. Now, it’s up for grabs at $5.695 million.
Claiming half an acre on a quiet cul-de-sac, this property draws the eye with verdant landscaping across the grounds. Formal gardens front the two-storey home, and out back, tiered landscaping descends down the hillside.
The house itself covers 3,800 square feet with five bedrooms, five bathrooms and living spaces with wrought ironwork and dark hardwood floors. Out back, a hilltop gazebo looks down on a lounge, covered patio, grassy yard and waterfall-fed pool.
Kardashian West, 39, rose to fame alongside her family via the reality TV show ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians.’ She married rapper Kanye West in 2014, and the pair have four children together.
Elizabeth Banks’ Hollywood Hills charmer
It was a relatively short stay in Hollywood Hills for actor-director Elizabeth Banks, who paid $659,000 for this home in 2004 and sold it three years later for $895,000. The charming two-storey spot just listed last week for $1.15 million.
Lattice windows and a brick chimney bring storybook charm to the soft yellow exterior. Beamed ceilings and hardwood floors sandwich the open floor plan, which enjoys city, mountain and canyon views.
The common spaces open to an expansive deck, which descends to a second viewing deck down below. In total, there are two bedrooms and three bathrooms in a cosy 1,400 square feet.
Banks, 45, starred in ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ ‘Seabiscuit’ and ‘Man on a Ledge’ before more prominent roles in the ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Pitch Perfect’ franchises. More recently, she directed 2019’s ‘Charlie’s Angels.’