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.