We have our list of must-haves when looking to buy a home, but what do celebrities want in a home? A pool? Perhaps a home theater, gourmet kitchen and wine cellar? Yes, all of those, but chances are, if you’re an A-List movie star, sports star, or chart-topping musician/singer, your number one priority is privacy.
#1 – Gates and Privacy
“It’s a huge issue,” emphasized Coldwell Banker agent Jade Mills, who has worked with Jennifer Aniston. “They want to be able to come home and get away from the paparazzi and want privacy when they go into their yard. They usually have foliage [and] hedges so that people can’t look in.”
“It’s either got to be a gated, secure area or a gated community,” explained Gold, who currently holds the listing for Ashton Kutcher’s bachelor pad. “If you’re behind gates, no one can follow you home.”
This home (above), currently owned by Star Wars star Billy Dee Williams, is on the Beverly Hills real estate market for $4,195,000. Although the “Zen-like” mansion has 5,295 square feet of living space, its biggest draw for celebrities is the gate and foliage surrounding the property.
#2 – Everything under one roof
Also, celebs require having everything under one roof. Unlike most people, running over to the gym or grabbing a bite to eat at a café isn’t always possible.
“If you’re a big celeb and going out to lunch, to dinner, to the gym can be a hassle and something you don’t want to do,” Gold said. “These are people who don’t go out but entertain at home more than the typical person.”
Rather than the formal dining room, some celebrities love to go the way of a gourmet kitchen with room to entertain there, Mills said.
#3 – In New York City, Condos
In New York, most celebrities prefer condos to co-ops, primarily, again for the privacy. Jennifer Aniston recently purchased a penthouse condo as well as the floor below it, to ensure her privacy.
“But then again, New York is a different city,” he added. “It’s much more difficult to be anonymous.”
#4 – Closet Space
Of course for any celebrity, there’s always the issue of closet space.
“A lot of the female celebrities and even the male, love giant closets — over-the-top closets — because they have a tremendous amount of clothes,” said Gold. Many stars take extra rooms and convert them into customized closets.
The closet above was converted from a bedroom into a deluxe wardrobe space by Paris Hilton when she lived there. She sold the luxurious pad in 2007 and the 3,000-square-foot Hollywood Hills rental is now available for $2,000 a month.
“They literally take the attic and put in the conveyor system they have at dry cleaners,” Gold said.
#5 – Home Theaters
#6 – Pool, Hair Salon and Guest Homes
A pool, hair salon, and guest house are additional celebrity must-haves.
Many celebrities today are not just singers or actors, but product spokesmen, designers and producers and thus ask for additional space for a home office.
“Each [celebrity] has their own thing and needs a hobby room, a studio, a dark room, or a computer room,” explained Umansky.
Molly Sims’ home, on the Hollywood Hills real estate market for $2.8 million, has a personal office (above), redesigned specifically for Sims to work on her jewelry line. The space was featured in InStyle magazine in 2009.
#7 – Dog run, night club and other uncommon amenities:
But of course, there are always a few unusual requests.
Mills said she often looks for homes that have plenty of space for a client’s dog.
“Some people won’t buy if there isn’t an appropriate area for a dog to have a little run, or a little area,” she said.
Gold said he’s had to try to find a place that would take a 9-month-old mountain lion.
“Slash (of Guns and Roses) was a client of a mine and he wanted to remodel his house and needed a luxury rental for a year. He needed somewhere that would allow his 160-pound mountain lion named Curtis.”
Umansky said his oddest request was to find a piece of real estate that would allow for a nightclub in the home.
Apparently night clubs aren’t that altogether uncommon. Tyler Perry’s LA home, pictured below, does indeed feature a basement nightclub, as well as gym, screening room, and dine-in wine cellar. His house has been on the Hollywood Hills real estate market for nearly a year and is now listed at $11,595,000.
So far, no one’s asked for a helipad.
“Not here in Los Angeles, but out in Malibu where the ranches or vineyards [are] — that’s a different story,” Umansky said. “That’s more of a billionaire must-have.”
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