Celebrity Homes That Sold For Much Less Than They're Worth

Most of us would balk at losing a few thousand dollars when selling our homes, especially after years of renovations, repairs and cost of living increases. However, for celebrities, it's not much more than an inconvenience. It's actually common, according to a Redfin report that said that on average, homes owned by celebrities are on the market for about five weeks longer than those owned by us mere mortals — and they often sell for less than their original asking price, no matter the current economy and real estate market.

So why isn't star-studded appeal enough to get a home off the market even quicker than the flash of a camera? According to Redfin real estate agent Alec Traub, there are two big reasons which actually make a lot of sense. For one, these homes are harder to show, since potential buyers need to be vetted to protect star privacy. Plus, unlike how we weigh a home amenity's future reselling potential, like a deck or another bathroom, celebrities have enough funds that they simply don't need to. So, even though the next buyer might have no need for a basketball court, a current owner might install one anyway.

These celebrities, however, also don't seem to be too bothered about their big real estate losses. Here are just a few who have lost anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions while packing up.

Bethenny Frankel's renovated Soho apartment for $550K loss

New York City prices have been slashed since the pandemic, but even before that, former Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel lost $550,000 when she sold her Soho apartment in January of 2020 for $3.65 million, according to Observer. She paid $4.2 million when she bought the Mercer Street two-bedroom in 2014 and then remodeled the 2,400-square-foot space. Three years later, Frankel put the home on the market for $5.25 million with little luck — she continued to drop the price for the next few months.

Things seemed to be looking up in late 2019 when Frankel and who appeared to be the soon-to-be owners went into contract for $3.995 million. However, shortly after, the unit, featuring walnut floors, a 24-foot great room with mirrors lining one wall, 14-foot ceilings, and a wood-burning stove, returned to the market once again before finally being sold.

The apartment, offering timeless touches like floor-to-ceiling arched windows, a balcony off the living room area, and imported marble kitchen counterparts, was a blank slate for the new owner. However, the master suite was clearly geared towards a woman like Frankel. It has a custom walk-in closet, built-in shelves and storage space in the bedroom, as well as a deep soaking tub, a glass-enclosed steam shower, and a double-vanity sink in the five-fixture bathroom, reported Architectural Digest. Plus, in true post-pandemic style, the apartment's colossal hallway can be used as an office space.

Venus Williams' Hollywood Hills home for $200K loss

After Venus Williams bought her three-bedroom Hollywood Hills home in 2005 for $1.9 million, she spent "considerable time and funds" renovating it, said Realty Today. However, nine years later, Williams listed the midcentury home for only $1.7 million, and it sold in about four months at a $200,000 loss.

The 1,500-square-foot home built in 1955 has modern touches like floor-to-ceiling glass windows, beamed ceilings, and hardwood floors. Plus, in typical L.A. fashion, it also has a pool with jaw-dropping canyon views, mountain views from other areas of the property, and sits within a gated compound. Inside, there is also a foyer, den, two bathrooms, and a kitchen that Williams had updated, reported the Los Angeles Times. According to Realty Today, Williams sold the home because the market had improved and she wasn't using it very much, as both she and her sister, Serena Williams, own multiple properties.

Charlize Theron's Hollywood penthouse for $1M loss

Broadway Hollywood Lofts has long been known for its roster of celebrity residents including Jack Osbourne, Wilmer Valderrama, and Jason Stanham, but unfortunately that wasn't enough to land Charlize Theron a price that she was hoping for. Her loft-style condo with one bedroom and two bathrooms through two floors sold for $1.75 million in 2016, which was a full million dollars less than what she paid for it nine years prior, according to Variety.

With 2,350 square feet, the unit that Theron owned — one of the building's largest, reported Top L.A. Lofts – features a stainless-steel kitchen, ebony hardwood flooring, high ceilings with exposed duct work, floor-to-ceiling windows, and three terraces, one of which offers views of the landmark Capitol Records building. Past a floating staircase, the third terrace has an outdoor fireplace and views of Los Angeles.

The unit has historic appeal, too. What is now Broadway Hollywood Lofts started out as a department store constructed in 1927. After being designed by interior designer Kelly Wearstler and converted into luxury condos, it was renovated in 2006. It is known for its roof terrace with vacation-worthy amenities like a sun deck, lounging cabanas, pool and spa, valet parking, an outdoor fireplace, and a fitness center.

Eva Longoria's Hollywood Hills compound for $3M loss

Most of us can't imagine having $3 million, let alone being able to afford to lose it. But that's exactly what happened to Eva Longoria in 2020 when she sold her 2.75-acre Hollywood Hills home for $8.25 million, a whopping $3.15 million less than what she paid in 2015 when she bought it for $11.4 million, according to Mansion Global. Even that offer took some time to receive. For about two years, the home — which Tom Cruise also owned for about a decade — went on and off the market as the price continued to drop. Longoria first listed the two-residence property for $14 million in 2017.

The home has the best of both worlds with a lot with a three-bedroom French villa as well as a four-bedroom country guest house, all with a stone-lined pool, a footbridge, stone pathways, and amazing views of Los Angeles visible from lookout points scattered throughout the property. Plus, that lot sat next to an empty lot, a blank slate for the new owner. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, the French villa offers modern updates as well as classic features, such as wide-plant wood floors, Venetian plaster walls, and cathedral-style ceilings. It also has a master suite fit for a desperate housewife with a fireplace and terrace. And to add to its celebrity appeal, as the entire property was listed by Joshua and Matthew Altman from "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles."

Reggie Bush's Pacific Palisades home for $400K loss

Reggie Bush, who is a former running back with the New Orleans Saints, clearly had high hopes when he put his modern Pacific Palisades pad up for sale for nearly $10 million in August 2019. That all came crashing down as he continued to drop the price for nearly a year, finally settling on a $7.381 million offer in June of 2020, said Mansion Global.

Bush bought the two-tiered home with 7,500 square feet in 2014 for $7.75 million and then updated it. Now, the home once owned by a player for the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and the Buffalo Bills offers ultra-modern touches like a glass-walled living room that can transform into a home theater, an open floor plan, and an up-to-date kitchen with a center island.

Other amenities of the home include an infinity pool and spa, a temperature-controlled wine cellar, a firepit, outdoor kitchen, three-car garage, entertainment decks, covered patios, and insane ocean views. Plus, in true celebrity style, security cameras surround the property and can all be accessed by smart home technology, according to Dirt. When the home was built in 1965, it was a midcentury modern, a typical style of the time period. However, it's been heavily renovated since then — both by Bush and other previous owners — and is now a luxurious hideaway.

Katy Perry's marital home with Russell Brand for $1M loss

One lucky buyer made out much better than Katy Perry and Russell Brand did while they were navigating their divorce after a little more than a year of marriage. Their 8,835-square-foot Sunset Strip home sold in 2013 for $5.65 million, nearly a million dollars less than the $6.5 million that Perry and Brand paid for it just three years prior, said Yahoo!Entertainment.

A Mediterranean-style home atop three acres in the Laurel Canyon area, the former abode of Perry and Brand has a two-story living room with both city and ocean views, seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, two guesthouses, a carriage house for cars, a pool with a waterfall and bridges, and fortress-inspired fencing. Plus, it's right behind the Chateau Marmont Hotel, a famous old Hollywood hangout for celebrities.

Unfortunately, the unique century-old home clearly wasn't enough to keep the pair's short-lived marriage together. Actually, it wasn't even enough to inspire them to move in. According to Radar, Perry and Brand never actually lived in the home, which is also called the DeWitt Mansion. Perry was granted the home in the divorce settlement and initially listed it for $8 million, but the price quickly and continually dropped until the winning offer was accepted.

Louis Tomlinson's mansion with a mix of architectural styles for $1M loss

It doesn't seem like prospective buyers appreciated former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson's 6,000-square-foot home with a mix of architectural styles quite as much as he once did. With neo-Georgian, art deco, and contemporary Spanish Revival characteristics, the Hollywood Hills home sold for $6.4 million in 2020 — which is about a million dollars less than the $7.3 million Tomlinson paid for it in 2016.

Even that offer took some serious time and effort. Tomlinson changed realtors, put the house on and off the market, and had to do it all in the midst of a pandemic. Tomlinson himself also suffered tragedy at the four-bedroom, five-bathroom home: He was living there when his mother died of leukemia in 2016 and his sister died in 2019, reported People.

But hopefully the new owner can enjoy this upscale mod home that was built in 1937, now complete with ebony hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, midcentury furniture, an onsite movie theater, retractable glass walls, and mirrored wine cellar. The star-studded style only continues outside with an infinity pool with expansive Los Angeles views and a firepit and dining area atop a concrete deck, according to Dirt. Unlike Tomlinson, though, the new owners don't need to worry about crazed fans and groupies — the new owners are non-famous security executives.

Reese Witherspoon's ranch that once appeared on an Elle Décor cover for $1M loss

A cover of Elle Décor magazine wasn't enough to snatch up the $10 million price tag that Reese Witherspoon was hoping for. According to Insider, her Ojai, California home — also known as Libbey Ranch — sold for $4.9 million in 2013, which is almost one million dollars less than the $5.8 million Witherspoon paid in 2008.

Before Witherspoon lived there, the circa-1923 Mediterranean-style structure was the home of Kathryn Ireland, an interior designer who has often been called one of the top designers in the country. It has nine bedrooms and seven bathrooms and besides being featured in Elle Décor, it was also spotlighted in Vogue and House Beautiful.

Besides being a posh celebrity home, seven-acre Libbey Ranch is also considered an equestrian estate that was designed by the revered Wallace Neff, reported Variety. Not into horses? The ranch also has a swimming pool, lush gardens, an ample entertaining area, and a wraparound porch outside. Inside, the home embodies a ranch-chic style with its exposed and distressed beams, neutral color scheme, steel chandeliers, and fireplace.

Ryan Phillippe's Hollywood Hills home for $1.2M loss

The same fate that befell Reese Witherspoon also befell her ex-husband. After two years on the market, Ryan Phillippe's Hollywood Hills home sold for $6 million in 2013, a significant step down from the $7.175 million he purchased it for in 2008 after he and Witherspoon parted ways, said the Daily Mail.

Phillippe first put the 7,600-square-foot home on the market for $7.45 million but it saw little activity, despite its 60-foot pool with underwater speakers, firepit, home theater, gym, spa and sauna, outdoor kitchen, Sunset Strip views, and 6.5 bathrooms. The estate also features a colossal master suite on its own floor that includes two of the bathrooms and the gym.

The home was built in 1998 on a half-acre lot inside a private, gated community. According to HuffPost, the home located above Sunset Boulevard even helped Phillippe move on after his divorce from Witherspoon. "You tend to accelerate the whole process of the relationship because you're forced to have your dates at home," he said in a 2011 interview with the Belfast Telegraph. "You don't want to deal with people — not only paparazzi but people in restaurants with their camera phones."

Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari's Nashville mansion for $1.5M loss

Even before the end of Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari in 2020, the couple's Nashville, Tennessee mansion was for sale for two years, initially entering the market at $7.9 million. However, as time went by, the big price tag only seemed more and more unrealistic, finally closing at $3.7 million in September of 2020, according to the Chicago Tribune. It's a far cry from the $5.3 million the once-happy couple purchased it for in 2012. 

Through Cutler and Cavallari's eight years in the home — which was also featured on "Very Cavallari" — the then-husband-and-wife added both square footage and interior and exterior features. When they were done with it, it was a whopping 20,000 square feet, which could have narrowed the buyer pool. Now, the home on 8.5 acres includes seven bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, a home theater, exposed wood beams, five fireplaces, and a recreation room equipped with a bar and a library. Outside, there's a lush lawn, several patios, a pool house, and space for dining and lounging. 

It was also the home buying-and-selling process that reared its ugly head in Cutler and Cavallari's divorce. According to E! News, after Cavallari found another home in the midst of their separation, she accused Cutler of trying to "punish" her by refusing to release the funds she needed in order to purchase the new house.

Mary J. Blige's New Jersey chateau for nearly $6M loss

When Mary J. Blige bought her 13,000-square-foot chateau-style home in 2008 for $12.3 million, there were housing deals to be had. But it didn't amount to much in the long run for Blige, who sold her New Jersey estate — with colossal $85,000 per year, Jersey-style taxes — for less than $6 million in 2018, said the New York Post. It's a $6 million loss for the multi-platinum singer.

Just 25 miles outside midtown Manhattan in Saddle River, Blige's former mansion seems a world away from city living with its eight bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, wine cellar, movie theater, indoor half-basketball court, gym, and sauna. Other home features also include a pool and pool house with complete living space, a master suite with its own sitting room, and a library with a fireplace. Blige put her own touches on the home as well; the mansion has a custom bar, custom-tiled floors and woodwork, and an opulent, two-floor entrance foyer fit for the queen of hip-hop.

Alex Rodriguez's Hollywood Hills home for $400K loss

The last few years haven't been kind to former Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez. Prior to his split from Jennifer Lopez, he sold his Hollywood Hills home for $4.4 million in 2019, which is about $400,000 less than he paid for it when he forked over $4.8 million for it in 2014, reported CNBC. Rodriguez had much higher hopes for the home when he listed it in 2018 for $6.5 million. But he was then forced to drop the price as time went by with no offers, although the 3,700-square-foot home has been updated and renovated.

The home has celebrity status all on its own, though. What's also known as the Honnold and Rex Architectural Research house was built as an Architectural Products magazine research program. After its renovation, it was featured in Architectural Digest, said Observer.

Rodriguez purchase the four-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom pad from Meryl Streep. Its open floor plan and seamless indoor/outdoor living spaces using sliding glass walls are fitting for life in Los Angeles, as is the pool, spa, and firepit. Inside, according to the Los Angeles Times, there's also a two-tiered living room, gourmet kitchen with custom cabinetry, master suite with stunning views, and an office with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Jennifer Lawrence's Upper East Side penthouse for $5.5M loss

Upper East Side homes are notoriously pricey, but the new owner of Jennifer Lawrence's former penthouse got quite the steal. Lawrence paid $15.6 million when she bought the three-bedroom, 4,073-square-foot apartment in 2016, but when she sold it in 2020, it only fetched $9.9 million — and that was only after several price drops, reported 6sqft.

With true celeb-worthy privacy, the unit in the Laurel has a key-locked elevator, said the Observer, as well as sky-high 12-foot ceilings, a double-sided limestone gas fireplace, a wine fridge, Carrera marble countertops, and custom cabinetry. Plus, outside among 3,000 square feet, there's a two-story terrace with a turf lawn and space for dining and lounging, as well as an outdoor kitchen ideal for entertaining. There's even a built-in ping-pong table and an outdoor living room with yet another gas fireplace. Views of the modern apartment overlook the East River, lower Manhattan, and the 59th Street Bridge.