Some celebs prefer the sunshine and bright lights of Hollywood. Others would rather call the Big Apple home. But wherever they end up, there’s one thing that they all want:


But beyond that, the real estate scenes in New York and Los Angeles differ vastly. We asked two  Manhattan real estate agents to explain a few of the must-haves that celebs look for when they house hunt in New York.


“Just like every New Yorker, location is key,” said real estate agent Prince Dockery. “They want to be close or en route to performance venues, airports, practice facilities, and they want to be close to where their everyday schedule takes them.”

Popular neighborhoods for A-listers? New York real estate agent Fredrik Eklund says the West Village, SoHo, Tribeca and Bowery areas are currently hot celebrity spots.

Jennifer Aniston bought a West Village penthouse last April. She later sold it, citing privacy concerns.

But no matter where they’re located, stars want to be able to come and go as privately as possible.


Beyond location, celebrities look for features so that “they don’t have to leave their home if they don’t have to,” Dockery says.

Among the favorites: “Gym, on-site parking, valet and a space to entertain in rather than going out,” he said.

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony's former rental had a spacious terrace.

Outdoor space is another desirable feature, says Eklund, but the challenge is that few private terraces in New York are just that, private.

Forget the co-ops

One of the biggest drawbacks of co-ops is privacy, so celebs prefer condos, Eklund says.

“Unless it’s a newer co-op or fairly lenient co-op that operates more like a condo, many of my celebrity clients prefer to stay away from co-ops,” Dockery said.

But of course, if the co-op is what they want, a celebrity will purchase in their company’s name or work closely with an accountant to preserve privacy.


Space is limited in a city of 8 million, but celebrities, more than others, are looking for extra rooms — in particular, extra closets.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor's duplex, currently on the market, has significant closet space.

Bedrooms, and even kitchens, are transformed for clothes collections, but if all else fails, celebs will find space somewhere else.

“We had a celebrity last year buy five storage units in the building,” Eklund said. “I guess he had a lot of clothes, and the closets in the apartment were not enough.”

New York, New York

But even with limited space and pricier rents, it’s the vibe and energy of the city that attract celebrities, Dockery says.

And, unlike Los Angeles, the coveted privacy is a bit more attainable.

“Almost anyone with big sunglasses can go unnoticed in NYC and get sucked up by the city,” Eklund said.


About the Author

Erika Riggs, the Zillow Digs manager, covers home design and trends.

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