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It seems to me that one of the residual perks of being a Hollywood celebrity is the ability to make a killing in real estate. The easy explanation is that everyone wants to be on the other end of the transaction so they can say they buy/sold a house to/from a celebrity. That seems to be the case with the highly annoying Kelly Ripa who sold her New York place for $7.5 million just a few years after buying it for $2.8 million. (This article jokingly calls her “the new Donald Trump.”) But even when actors and actresses are on the way up, some use the long layoffs between gigs to speculate in real estate. I remember reading once in InStyle magazine (HEY, it was my WIFE’s copy, OK?) that a young Courtney Cox would buy a tiny fixer-upper in Hollywood, spend a lot of sweat equity fixing it up, decorate it, then flip it for a hefty profit—before moving on to her next project. Never lived in a house for more than a year, but made a ton of money before Friends doing that—fixing up, flipping, fixing up, flipping…
Of course, the king of Hollywood real estate was none other than Fred McMurray, he of My Three Sons fame. Apparently, he took his savings from the TV show and put it all into California real estate back in the 1970s—and sat on it for the next couple of decades. And the rest is history, as they say. If you’ve got any good stories of celebrity killings or losses in real estate, let’s get a thread going here…
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.