Celebrity stock rises and falls faster than the tide during hurricane season. The trajectory from A-list megastar to D-list Dancing With The Stars wannabe can be brutally quick. To insulate themselves from plummeting bank accounts when role rejections pile up, stars have been getting their side hustle on. Turns out that just like us, house flipping has got under their exfoliated skin. They’ve also realized that a whole new branding opportunity awaits them if they transition from big-screen mavens to making cozy home havens. The only difference is when you’re flipping Hollywood homes the profits are almost as big as their owner’s egos.
The latest star to do so is actress Gabrielle Union and hubby Dwayne Wade. Their upcoming TV Special, All-Star Flip aired on April 12th. It follows the couple as they attempt to turn drab to fab in Florida with an outdated ranch home. The difference with this big-hearted couple as opposed to other flippers is that all proceeds are going to charity.
One of the best known flippers is Ellen DeGeneres. Passionate for interior design (she even had her own show on HGTV (Ellen’s Design Challenge), the comedian/talk show host has been flipping luxury LA pads for years. One of her most successful was in July 2014 when she sold LA’s Brody House (built in 1949, the home has a history of cutting edge design and philanthropy) to Napster founder, Sean Parker for $55 million, netting herself a $15-million payday.
In total Ellen bought and sold 7 properties in a decade from 2006 to 2016. Her famous friends have come in handy as buyers (Ryan Seacrest) and renters (Nick Jonas). In just over that time she’s made a net profit of $3.4 million. Sure, A-list celebs earn more for film roles and endorsements but as walking-about money, it’s not bad.
Another well known flipper is actor Jeremy Renner. He and business partner Kristoffer Winters have been flipping homes for years (it’s up to 20 at this point — homes not years). Some of his earlier flips were well documented in website The Wrap. Renner revealed at one point he was making more money flipping houses than acting. The actor said that being amongst the sheetrock, studs and power tools “keeps me grounded.” Most recently Renner has flipped his mother’s house at 201 Elmwood Court in Modesto, Ca., which was purchased in 2007, 7 years after the actor started flipping homes to supplement his income. Renner was hands-on with his mom, Valerie Clearley’s house. She plans to move to LA to join him and her grand kids. Wonder if Renner has a flip in mind to pass on to her there?
It makes sense that creative types would get into house flipping. Whether creating music or mosaic backsplashes, Grammy winner Beck got in on the house-flipping fever when he purchased and restored a home in Brentwood, LA in 2016. He listed it for $3.75 million, over $700,000 more than he purchased it for.
Sharon Osborne, talk show host and reality TV star, has always been an astute business woman, so of course, she’s a serial house flipper, having remodeled dozens of homes in LA. Her one-hour TV Special was called Sharon Flipping Osborne. “I’m damn good at it,” she said of her house flipping skills on the show. We wouldn’t doubt it.