Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have been married since 2008. Photo: Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for RH
Celebrity Style

Inside Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s Endless Real Estate Portfolio

In 2022 alone, the couple purchased four properties and sold three

Early in her career, Ellen DeGeneres just wanted to be able to have a home to call her own. Little did she know that her first real estate purchase would lead to an extremely profitable passion. “The first thing I did when I made money was buy a house. And then….” she recalled to Architectural Digest in 2011, as her wife, Portia de Rossi, quipped, “Another one, and another one, and another one, and another one.”

That abode, a Spanish bungalow in West Hollywood, was also DeGeneres’s initial experience with flipping houses—although she has said she doesn’t consider the phrase to be an accurate description of what she does. “I fixed it up and later sold it,” the designer of her namesake ED Ellen DeGeneres brand told the Los Angeles Times in 2015. “That was when I realized that if you make some improvements, you can make money.”

Regardless of what term they use, DeGeneres and de Rossi are buying and selling at a shocking rate these days. At the time of publication, the couple own Rancho San Leandro in Montecito; a midcentury-modern bungalow near Montecito’s Butterfly Beach; another Montecito cottage (currently on the market); the Richard Neutra–designed Brown-Sidney house in Bel Air; and a record-breaking $70 million spread in Carpinteria, California.  If history is any indication, all of these properties will have changed hands by 2024, and they’ll have scooped up some awesome replacements.

Despite often making a significant profit, DeGeneres insists that cash isn’t what drives her to renovate and sell these extravagant homes. “I’ve never bought to sell. I always say, ‘This is it. I’m never moving,’” she told The New York Times in 2014. “People laugh at me now.”

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When speaking to AD about her new furniture design competition show back in 2021, DeGeneres declined to confirm exactly how many homes she’s owned over the years, but she did say this: “The problem is I keep seeing houses I like. I see one that has potential and I love putting my own twist on it.”

Here, AD looks back at some of the couple’s most memorable real estate transactions.


The same year she began hosting The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the budding real estate tycoon bought a Hollywood Hills home for $6 million. She sold the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom property to Will Ferrell three years later for $9 million.


This is the former home of Ellen DeGeneres.

Courtesy of The Agency

DeGeneres and de Rossi reportedly began their romance this year, and the comedian also paid $1.275 million for a midcentury-style Hollywood Hills home nicknamed “the tree house,” due to its 2,000 square feet of outdoor living spaces. The Finding Nemo star reportedly sold the two-bedroom, two-bathroom property for $2.1 million one year later to late actor Heath Ledger. It was then owned by Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson, who put it on the market in 2019.


Within the year of 2007, the women acquired a mansion in Montecito, California, for $15.75 million and sold it for $20 million. The property in question reportedly went on to be used as the location of Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian’s lavish televised wedding in 2011 (like DeGeneres and de Rossi’s ownership of the home, their marriage was over within the same calendar year).


Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi a home they lived in from 2008 to 2012, which AD toured.

Photo: Roger Davies 2011

This is when the duo really began to ramp up their real estate activity, paying $29 million for a 9,200-square-foot property, and then buying two surrounding homes to incorporate into the estate, which Architectural Digest later toured. "It was a really beautiful property and we loved it there,” DeGeneres wrote in her book, Home. “In fact, we got married there.” (They tied the knot in August 2008.) By 2012, they had sold the compound to Ryan Seacrest for $37 million.

As if 2008 wasn’t busy enough, the Emmy-winner and the Arrested Development actor also picked up a horse ranch in Thousand Oaks, California, for $8.5 million. After renovating the property, they sold it for $10.85 million in 2013. “Everyone thought it would take me (many) years to get it in shape,” DeGeneres wrote of the ranch in Home. “But it actually took me 12 short months.”


The couple scooped up Brad Pitt’s former Malibu home for $12 million and sold it one year later for $13 million.


Their next purchase was the Skouras residence, designed by architect Hal Levitt, for $17.4 million. They sold it in 2013 for $20 million.


DeGeneres and de Rossi added a Wallace Frost–designed Montecito estate to their portfolio for $26.5 million in 2013. Five years later, they sold the property, with a sunken tennis court, a badminton court, and a lap swimming pool, for $34 million.


The courtyard of the Brody House in 2013, after it was restored by Stephen Stone Designs and before it was purchased by DeGeneres.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

In another quick flip, they paid almost $40 million for an A. Quincy Jones–designed Holmby Hills home (called the Brody House), and then sold the lavish property for $55 million just six months later. The buyer was Napster founder Sean Parker, according to the Los Angeles Times.

That same year, the couple shelled out $13.2 million for a pair of adjacent condos in Los Angeles, a move DeGeneres described in Home as “a giant experiment.” Three years later, they sold the residences for $11.85 million.


The condos might have sold at a loss, but the pair saw a significant profit when they obtained a four-bedroom, eight-bathroom Beverly Hills villa for approximately $16 million and sold it three years later for $35 million.


Rancho San Leandro, a historic property in Montecito, joined their collection of homes in 2017. After buying it for $7.2 million, they sold it to Tinder founder Sean Rad less than a year later for $11 million.

In 2017 they also dropped $18.6 million on a mansion in Carpenteria, California. Just two years later, they sold the oceanfront beach house for $23 million to makeup tycoon Jamie Kern Lima and her husband, Paulo Lima.


Designed by John Elgin Woolf, this home was later restored by Marmol Radziner.

Photo: Simon Berlyn

DeGeneres and the Scandal star bought a Hollywood Regency–style mansion in Beverly Hills designed by architect John Elgin Woolf for $15 million in 2018. Less than a year later, they said goodbye to the five-bedroom property with a $15.5 million sale.

Also in 2018, the couple purchased a Santa Barbara ranch for $6.7 million. One year later, Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins bought the three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom property from them for $6.98 million.


In early 2019 they dropped $27 million on a five-bedroom, 10-bathroom Balinese-style Montecito mansion known as the Salt Hill estate. The following year, they sold it for $33.3 million.

Levine and Prinsloo bought the home for $33.9 million in 2018.

Courtesy of Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency / Photo: Simon Berlyn

And when Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo were ready to sell their newly renovated five-bedroom, 12-bathroom Beverly Hills mansion in May of 2019, DeGeneres and De Rossi scooped up the Tudor-influenced home for $45 million. By March of 2021, they’d sold the place, and although the final price has not been confirmed, the Wall Street Journal reports that they received close to $47 million for the charming ivy-covered dwelling.


The couple began 2020 by purchasing one of their most unique homes yet: a three-bedroom Tudor in Montecito, California, which was originally constructed in England in the 1700s and later brought over to the United States. DeGeneres and de Rossi paid $3.6 million for this place, and clearly spent the COVID-19 pandemic giving it some serious TLC, because by June of 2020, they’d sold it for nearly double that price. The buyer was Ariana Grande.

That September, they picked up a four-acre property in Montecito with multiple buildings on it, including a Tom Kundig–designed barn and a Cape Dutch–style main house. At $49 million, this was one of the most expensive sales in the area—that is, until the couple sold it for $55 million less than a year later.


Remember Rancho San Leandro, the historic Montecito property DeGeneres and de Rossi bought in 2017 and offloaded not long after? Well, in May 2021 the couple bought it again, this time spending $14.3 million, or just short of double what they originally paid. They then picked up the house across the street for $12 million in an off-market deal, and before the year was through, dropped $2.9 million on yet another home in the seaside town, a small two-bedroom midcentury-modern bungalow not far from Butterfly Beach. The former later sold for $13.5 million, and it seems the latter is still in their possession.

Despite Degeneres and de Rossi’s clear penchant for Montecito real estate, they have not fully abandoned LA. In September 2021, the host of Ellen’s Next Great Designer and the Ally McBeal star dropped $8.5 million for a midcentury-modern-style Beverly Hills home designed by architect Robert Skinner. Featured in the 2001 book Modernism Rediscovered, the five-bedroom home was restored by architect John Bertram and interior designer Sarah Shetter and features charming details like wood cabinetry in the kitchen and a freestanding fireplace in the primary bedroom which would not look out of place in The Jetsons. By mid 2022, they sold the place for $8.8 million in an off-market deal to a man who already owned two homes adjacent to the property.


Despite the staggering frequency with which these two buy and sell homes, Degeneres and de Rossi do tend to select properties that are architecturally interesting. Their first purchase of 2022 (that we know of) was an unusual three-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot Montecito mansion inspired by Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. It is unclear what updates they made to the pad, known as Villa Tragara, but just six months after buying it for $21 million, they sold it to talent manager Scooter Braun for $36 million. 

Next they picked up a 1915 Montecito cottage for $5.4 million and promptly placed it back on the market; it is now listed for $5.85.

They then purchased the Richard Neutra–designed Brown-Sidney house, in Bel Air, for $29 million in an off-market deal. This prestigious piece of architecture, formerly owned by Tom Ford and renovated by the fashion designer with AD100 firm Marmol Radziner, boasts three bedrooms, six bathrooms, and 180-degree views of Los Angeles. 

Topping off 2022, the couple broke a Santa Barbara County record with the purchase of a five-bedroom, eight-bathroom Tuscan-style mansion and an adjacent parcel of land in Carpinteria for a whopping $70 million.