What do Jennifer Aniston, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Shaquielle O’Neal all have in common (besides a ton of so-so movies)? They’ve all worked with MG Real Estate! Okay, we wish. However, they have all made a fortune in real estate.
Some celebrities have actually made more from their real estate transactions than in the careers that made them famous. How? Because they were savvy - and so were their real estate agents.
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or you’re looking to make money by investing in real estate, here are 7 celebrity real estate success stories to inspire you.
Let’s start with the Kazaam star himself, Shaquielle O’Neal. As you can imagine, Shaq’s basketball career would’ve been more than enough to set him up for life. He made more than $292 million during his 20-year basketball career. He has since become a hugely successful entrepreneur through investments in tech stocks, a fast-food franchise, and smart real estate choices.
One year after his basketball career began, he purchased 31,000-square-foot mansion cleverly known as “Shaq-apulco” for just under 4 million dollars. This 12 bedroom, 11 bath mansion, which now includes a 6,000-square-foot basketball court, a showroom-style garage, and a soundproof home theater, and is located just outside of Orlando. It is currently listed for $19.5 million.
The Object of Her Affection
Jennifer Aniston’s job is not a joke, she’s not broke, and her real estate game is not DOA. Throughout her real estate career, she has accumulated and/or sold two Bel-air homes, a Hollywood Hills apartment, and a 2,873 square foot New York City apartment.
Ten years as Rachel Green also helped her buy a mid-century Beverly Hills mansion for $13.5 million. She worked with an architect on an overhaul of the property and then had it featured in Architectural Digest. The article was a huge success for Aniston, helping her sell the property for $35 million. She also went in on an L.A. mansion with her then-husband Brad Pitt. They spent $13.1 million on it. It’s now on sale for $56 million.
Moving Homes Like Jagger
It sometimes seems like Adam Levine is buying and selling homes every Sunday Morning. Recent, the lead singer of Maroon 5 has lived in multiple California neighborhoods, including: Beverly Hills, Beverly Crest, Holmby Hills, and Pacific Palisades.
When it comes to making a fortune in real estate, Levine has two hugely successful recent transactions. In Beverly Crest, he spent $4.83 million for a 7,100 square foot property in 2012 and then sold it to John Mayer for 13.5 million. Later, Levine purchased a nearly $34 million dollar Beverly Hlls mansion from Will & Grace creator Max Mutchnick. A year later, he sold it to Ellen DeGeneres for a cool $45 million. Speaking of Ellen…
Dory Made a Fortune in Real Estate
Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia De Rossi are a real estate power couple. Not only were they able to knock $2.5 million off of Adam Levine’s asking price (though he probably didn’t mind pocketing the other $11 million), but they’re known for buying and selling home throughout Santa Barbara and Hidden Valley.
Ellen and Portia’s biggest real estate win to date was when they bought the Brody House, built for philanthropists Sidney and Frances Lasker Brody. Ellen paid $39.888 million for her new home, but then decided to just keep swimming when Napster found and the first president of Facebook, Sean Parker, offered her $55 million for it just a few months later. As a result, Ellen and Portia made a little more than $15 million in the transaction. Of course for Ellen, who commandeers a salary of $50 million for her talk show, that’s just a drop in the bucket.
Before Arnold Schwarzenegger became the Terminator and then California’s Governor, he made a fortune in real estate. His savvy real estate skills also helped him finance the diet and travel for his body-building career.
The Governator put a down payment on apartment building in the 1970s and started to earn both capital growth and rental yield. He also once put $100,000 down on a $500,000 building that became worth $800,000 within a year, earning an 300% return on his investment. Today, Arnold owns approximately $300 million in real estate, which includes office buildings, retail space, and hundreds of apartments.
Banking on Comedy… and Real Estate
In 2015, Realtor.com hired Elizabeth Banks to help raise their brand’s awareness. While her performance could have been a Walk of Shame, the ad campaign was Pitch Perfect, with Realtor enjoying a 50% increase in web traffic. Why? Because Elizabeth Banks is hysterical, awesome, and hysterically awesome. Since she left Realtor.com, their ads haven’t been the same.
During her time as a spokesperson, Banks learned a few things about the real estate market and compares the industry to a racetrack. While her husband is the one bitten by the making a fortune in real estate bug, Banks mainly focuses on making sure that the place feels like home to her. Last year, Banks sold their mid-century ranch for $2.225 million and made a modest profit.
The Wolf of Real Estate
It’s fitting that the star of The Great Gatsby would know a thing or two about real estate. Leonardo DiCaprio has bought and sold properties on both coasts, and even bought an entire island off the coast of Belize for $1.75 million. Around the time Titanic came out, Leo bought an oceanfront Malibu property for a little less than $2 million. Twenty years later, he sold it for $10.95 million.
DiCaprio also owns a property in Palm Springs that he offers as a short-term rental. You can learn all about his Hermosa home on its website. Before you get too excited, staying there costs a minimum of $3,750 per nigh - and housekeeping is billing separately, of course. Also, as of this post it’s completely booked for the next two and a half months.
However, if anyone would like to rent it out for us to stay in for a long weekend, we’re not going to say no. We’ll even bring the wine.
Anthony Greer specializes in content writing and brand messaging development for service-based businesses. www.anthony-greer.com