By many accounts, 2011 was a tough year for real estate – unless you happened to be a celebrity. For the rich and famous stars of screens large and small, 2011 was just another year of mega-house hunting, renting, selling and swapping.
Like those beloved holiday calendars that highlight the year’s eye candy, we’ve strung together a series of bright-light celebrity real estate deals from the past year’s high-stakes, high-profile ventures.
January: Charlize Theron
Sometimes, even celebrities have to dip their toes in before taking the plunge. That’s the route Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron took when she opted to be a landlord before listing her property. After her split with Stuart Townsend in 2010, the couple listed their Malibu home as a $50,000-a-month rental. A year later, Theron dove in and listed the property for $7.5 million. Not bad, considering that in 2003 she and Townsend paid $3,495,000. The beachfront home, pictured, is described as the “oldest home on La Costa Beach.” It sold in May for $6,562,500.
May: Charlie Sheen
In early 2011, Charlie Sheen was blowing up Twitter and news channels after his walk on the wild side. As if the former “Two and a Half Men” star’s interesting comments weren’t enough drama, leading to being fired from the show, Sheen also got busy hitting the real estate market by listing his Sherman Oaks home, above, for $7.2 million. In March, he picked up a home in the gated community of Mullholland Estates, a few blocks away, for $6,999,999. He wasn’t selling because he’s hard up on money: Sheen racked up about $40 million in the previous season of “Two and a Half Men.”
July: Elizabeth Taylor
Regal beauty Elizabeth Taylor passed away in March and her hideaway estate hit the market as a pocket listing in May for $8.6 million. It didn’t take long for the luxurious ranch to sell. By July, the estate was picked up not by another A-Lister, but by an anonymous buyer rumored to be in the manufacturing biz. Althoughprevious reports claimed the final sale price was undisclosed, property records now show the sale price to have been $8 million.
December: Ellen DeGeneres
In the world of celebrity real estate, the prize properties often go to other celebrities. Who else is going to need the high-end security systems or have the money to drop on a home with a custom closet? The most recent celeb-to-celeb real estate transaction went down in early December when fickle real estate holder Ellen DeGeneres bought Brad Pitt’s mid-century modern home in Malibu. DeGeneres and wife Portia De Rossi are currently listing their enormous, custom home for $49 million, making their purchase of Pitt’s home an apparent attempt at downsizing.