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Buyer Beware: Celebrity Ties to Real Estate Could Be Make-Believe

Source: The Los Angeles Times

 

As if home buyers didn’t have enough factors to weigh when purchasing a home, buyers in La La Land also face weighing the pros, cons and truthfulness of celebrity ties to a property. In Los Angeles, a property’s connection to the rich and famous can add intrigue – and a hefty price premium.

 

But a celebrity-connected property can also risk value if the legend doesn’t hold up or if buyers think attaching a celebrity’s name to their home is tacky or exploitative – or both. Often, homes linked to the famous attract interest and curious foot traffic, which doesn’t necessarily translate into actual buyers.

 

A Redfin study of 60 celebrity homes found they stayed on the market for roughly 36 days longer than comparable homes and sell for less than the original asking price. Star-specific amenities such as bowling alleys and horse stables can complicate sales, and the homes can be more difficult to show due to privacy concerns.

 

Making sense of the story

 

◊ Note the language sellers use when linking famous people to property. For example, was the structure built “in the style of” an architect or the architect himself.

 

Find the proof by asking for the property’s original plans and other documents to verify lore. 

 

◊ Ask questions, especially what the premium is on a home with Hollywood connections. What would a similar home, without the name dropping, sell for?

 

◊ If the seller can’t provide substantive documentation, hire a building biographer who can sort through records to determine a home’s pedigree and background.

celebrity

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