This year brought more than its share of twists and turns, red herrings and unexpected outcomes—and no, this is not about a certain NPR series. This is about the listings, re-listings, price chops, and blockbuster purchases of the stars. From the rumors surrounding Beyoncé and Jay Z's alleged house-hunting in L.A., to a blow-by-blow account of the investment strategy of real estate tycoon and daytime talk show mogul Ellen Degeneres, we've got all the mystery and drama of 365-days worth of celeb real estate action packed into one blockbuster post.
↑ Amid much heated speculation that power couple Beyonce and Jay Z were
headed for divorce engaged in a bidding war for this monstrous spec home in L.A.'s Trousdale Estates, a winner finally emerged—and it was not Bey, et. al. Minecraft creator and newly minted billionaire Notch is now the proud owner of a terribad collection of nouveau riche touches like a candy room, a replica James Dean motorcycle, a chrome machine gun, and "Yves Saint Laurent fire extinguishers," having cut a check for $70M to get all the furnishings included. He called it "such great style."
↑ The Napa Valley home of the late, sorely-missed comedian Robin Williams, has been on and off the market since 2012 and was recently re-listed following his untimely death, with a price-reduction of $4M from its April 2014 ask. Now listed at $25.9M, the sprawling Mediterranean Revival clocks in at a massive 20,000 square feet, and features a 12-seat theater, a billiard room, and a wine cellar, amongst other premium touches.
↑ Despite a change in title and marketing strategy when it made the transition from theaters to home video, Tom Cruise's "Edge of Tomorrow" was a money-loser, a fate the toothsome star has to be hoping his Telluride home can avoid. With a $59M price tag and all the alleged weirdness that comes with anything Cruise touches (in this case an unfounded rumor that the home contained a bunker for protection against alien invasions) there's a lot of baggage for this home to overcome, and no Groundhog Day-esque deux ex machina to help it out.
↑ Bruce Willis, another star who emerged from the bad-hair crucible of the '80s, made real estate moves this year as well, snagging a $9M country house in celebrity-friendly Bedford, NY, where his neighbors include Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ryan Reynolds, and the Maven Uber Alles herself, Martha Stewart. The airy 8,000 square foot home is the stars only purchase on a year in which he sold his Bev Hills abode for $16.5M, and tried to PriceChop his Sun Valley estate to a sale after four years on the market.
↑ George Clooney caused a stir this year when it was announced he was marrying Amal Alamuddin, human rights activist and barrister to high profile clients like Julian Assange. It wasn't long before rumors appearing in the Blighty press that the pair was home-shopping on the sceptered isle, with this 17th century manor home in Sonning-on-Thames eventually being fingered as the pair's matrimonial love nest, for which they reportedly paid $12M, American.
↑ Lebron James leapt back into the wary arms of Cleveland Cavalier fans this year, leaving in Miami this 16,000-square-foot "palace" on the shores of Biscayne Bay. The home has room for two 60-foot yachts, a wine cellar, and tremendous bay views, for which King James is asking the princely sum of $17M.
↑ Kanye West and Kim Kardashian decided to move out of Kris Jenner's house in Calabasas ahead of the completion of a Bel Air home they were remodeling (which they now plan to flip) and purchase this $20M spread near the celebrity enclave of Hidden Hills. Described as a "French Country piece de resistance", the 15,000-square-foot home is also said to possess a "tranquil appeal reminiscent of Napa Valley or the South of France," if either of those places were bordered by a freeway.
↑ It's not the biggest celeb home, or the priciest, but Vincent Kartheiser's super-rad mini-house stole the hearts of many when it appeared in all of its suspended-bed glory in Dwell. When it was announced this year that the Mad Men star was selling the wee little home for $808,000, folk everywhere wistfully checked online mortgage calculators and dreamed of what could be.
↑ Everyone's favorite former child star/Tony's host/family man Neil Patrick Harris decamped with husband and kids in tow to New York, leaving behind this 4,000-square-foot home south of the Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The home and its "magic man cave" was listed for $2.995M and—such is the power of NPH—sold at exactly that price less than a month later.
↑ Silver-tressed newsman Anderson Cooper made waves in the Connecticut real estate world with his purchase of this Tudor Revival home in Litchfield, and then made waves in the suburban New York market by hanging "For Sale" signs on both of his cottages in the Hamptons. For those concerned he's leaving the Empire State behind, never fear: He's totally keeping his awesome converted firehouse in the Village—hopefully.
↑ Chiseled human beings Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen put their Los Angeles McCastle on the market for $50M, which is probably on par for a home owned by the kind of folk who are on TV a lot and have homes that are featured in Arch Digest. It was subsequently purchased by Beats impresario and newly-minted billionaire Dr. Dre, who presumably needed all that space to store his wheelbarrows full of the $3B of Tim Cook's money (less the $40M he dropped on the house, of course).
↑ Ellen Degeneres kicked off the year by doing what she's been consistently doing for the last nine years: being the world's best-dressed chat show host, and buying a house. This time around she snagged a sweet A. Quincy Jones design for just shy of $40M. Of course, that was not her only major real estate wheeling and dealing.
↑ Ever wonder what kind of weird, wonderful, and outrageously expensive amenities celebs and put inside their homes, just because they can? We've got a list of every Roman spa, log flume(!), and sunken trampoline that grace the homes of boldface names across the country. And before you judge, ask yourself: if you could afford to replace all the faucets in your home with chocolate fountains, wouldn't you?