Best of AOL Real Estate 2014
All year, I tell you about celebrity comings and goings -– who’s buying, selling and flipping properties (and I mean you, Ellen DeGeneres). So I get a little misty this time of year –- cue “Auld Lang Syne” — thinking back on those multimillion-dollar deals. Here are some of my favorites.
Bill Gates Buys California Horse Ranch for Daughter
Everyone loves a good daddy-daughter story. And I still get a little teary thinking of the 229-acre horse farm Gates bought for his horse-crazy teenage daughter, Jennifer. Daddy paid $ 18 million for the ranch, which he reportedly planned to turn into a grand prix circuit for hunters and jumpers.
Jimmy Fallon’s Latest Top-Flight Real Estate Deal
It’s been a great year for Jimmy Fallon: New “Tonight Show,” new baby, new condo in a Gramercy Park building in New York where he already owned four. Fallon and wife Nancy paid $ 725,000 for a top-floor studio next to the four-bedroom apartment they recently bought for $ 1.35 million.
Over-the-Top LA Home Finds a Family
At $ 85 million, it was one of the most expensive Beverly Hills properties ever. And after a bidding war that included power couple Beyonce and Jay Z, the 23,000 square-foot manse finally went to Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson for a mere $ 70 million.
Billy Joel Finally Sells Hamptons Oceanfront Estate
It was listed for the longest time, but songman Billy Joel finally sold his Sagaponack home on New York’s Long Island for a reported $ 19 million in July. The cedar-shingled home with a chef’s kitchen renovated by Nate Berkus had been on and off the market for five years.
Mark Zuckerberg Loves Himself Some Hawaii
Boy billionaire Mark Zuckerberg can’t get enough of Hawaii. He reportedly bought a couple of vacation properties on Kauai’s North Shore for about $ 100 million — Pila’a Beach and the adjacent Kahu’aina Plantation. And we also heard Facebook’s chairman and CEO was buying several units in a 23-story luxury condo under development in Honolulu, too.
Jon Stewart Triples Money on Tribeca Duplex Deal
Funnyman Jon Stewart is laughing all the way to the bank after the $ 17.5 million sale of his duplex loft in the Tribeca section of New York City. “The Daily Show” host reportedly bought in 2005 for $ 5.8 million. At least someone’s laughing: Stewart’s directorial debut film, “Rosewater,” didn’t get many smiles from critics or filmgoers in 2014.
Bob Hope’s Palm Springs Estate Is Modernist Marvel
I love a flash-from-the-past listing like Bob Hope’s Palm Springs estate, which is now selling for a 50 percent discount at $ 25 million. The contemporary home, sometimes called the “volcano house,” was designed by modernist architect John Lautner and is considered the crown jewel in the collection of California properties Hope once owned.
Lena Dunham Buys Big “Girls” Condo
Oh, those “Girls” stars grow up so quickly! Lena Dunham, creator of the HBO series, recently scooped up a $ 5 million, Brooklyn Heights condo, where she reportedly lives with boyfriend Jack Antonoff, lead guitarist for the band Fun. Guess, “Girls” just gotta have Fun!
Our Favorite Real Estate Boo-Boo
You know you’ve had a bad year when you discover your Florida vacation house was built on the wrong property. That’s what happened to Mark Voss from central Missouri, whose $ 680,000 house in Ormond Beach was constructed on a neighboring lot. Ouch!