When it comes to home purchases, celebrities are just like everyone else — with the possible exception of a slightly larger budget. But when privacy and luxury are musts, what’s a celeb to do? Purchase in one of the top five hot celebrity locales:
After a long movie shoot or world tour, celebrities love to channel their inner child playing in and near the water. And where better to do this than sunny South Florida. From water skiing on Miami’s Biscayne Bay to lounging on the pristine Palm Beach or yachting around Fort Lauderdale’s intricate canals — there are endless attractions for celebs on vacation. Paired with this waterfront fun are the conveniences of a major metropolitan area including fabulous food, major sporting venues, gaming, ports and hot nightlife. All this, and South Floridians don’t harass their famous neighbors because they’ve already seen it all.
When East Coast celebrities want to get away from it all but still be relatively close to civilization, they set sail for the Caribbean. But many aren’t content owning land shared with someone else — especially when they can just buy the whole island. Billionaire Richard Branson not only bought Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, the entrepre-lebrity turned it in to an ultra-exclusive resort frequented by celebrities, royalty and anyone who can afford a $50,000 stay. Johnny Depp also has his own island, Little Hall’s Pond Cay in the Bahamas, allowing him to snorkel in peace far from the prying eyes of paparazzi.
L.A. is hands down the mecca for celebrity-home purchases purely for its proximity to Hollywood. Celebrities can afford posh accommodations and important security features including existing hedges (new hedges are height-restricted to 6 feet), fences and elaborate home-security systems. Being minutes from downtown Los Angeles with world-class everything is also key.
Another great escape to quiet life for celebrities can be found in the Hawaiian islands, currently housing getaways for President Barack Obama, Jack Johnson (a Hawaii native) and Drew Barrymore. Last summer, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison purchased 98 percent of Lanai, which he plans to turn into a sustainable, eco-friendly paradise. Oprah Winfrey also owns several properties on the island of Maui, including a 60-acre ranch in Kula, providing plenty of room for all of her favorite things.
While there’s not a particular neighborhood in Manhattan more popular than others for celebrities, there is one place they avoid at all cost: Midtown. Perhaps the proximity to touristy Times Square and the theater district scares celebs away to quieter neighborhoods full of resident New Yorkers, who don’t care if their neighbors are famous. Even Broadway regulars such as Jim Parsons, Brooke Shields, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker stay safely out of Midtown’s range. As for the outer boroughs, Brooklyn is a popular celebrity hot spot, home to Anne Hathaway and Steve Buscemi.
When it comes to celebrity real estate, a winning location is based less on the finest amenities and more on privacy and relaxation. Whether in a high-rise hidden in a bustling metropolis or a vacation home in a secluded island paradise, celebs are happiest when they can momentarily escape the spotlight.
- Celebrity Love Nests
- Why Celebs Love South Florida
- Luxury Living: The Country’s Hottest Luxury Real Estate Markets
Samantha (Sam) DeBianchi is a Realtor and founder of DeBianchi Real Estate. Her expert real estate advice and straightforward approach can be seen and heard on FOX Business. Always keeping it REAL, you can follow Sam online on Twitter and Facebook.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.