One of the most private and exclusive communities for celebrity elites and Hollywood stars is hidden in the hills of the coast of sunny Santa Barbara. The large estates are owned by some of the most powerful figures in culture ranging from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Oprah Winfrey. The estates range from humble $5 million dollar properties to $100 million estates that feature their own staff and facilities. Celebrities have migrated north of Los Angeles in an attempt to escape the chaotic traffic and conditions of the city, yet still remain within driving distance for studio jobs and on-set appearances.
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The stunning properties often exchange hands from one celebrity to the next, passing the proverbial torch from one generations superstar to the next. For example, Ariana Grande purchased her Montecito-based home from television personality Ellen Degeneres and her partner Portia de Rossi. Jeff Bridges, too, sold his multi-million dollar home to eager buyer Oprah Winfrey. With celebrities coming and going from the community, it makes sense that the grounds are fully-fenced and contain exclusive streets monitored by their own private security. Here are a list of celebrities who reside in the exclusive community, and how much they have paid to become part of one of the most exclusive real estate club on the West Coast.
7 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
It’s no surprise that when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to depart from the Royal Family and move to the United States, they chose to settle next to their friend and confidante Oprah Winfrey. The couple purchased the $14.65 million estate in 2020. Their property includes nine beds and 16 baths. The mediterranean style home also includes a library, eat-in chef’s kitchen, and several amenities including gyms, arcades, a private elevator and a master suite with a private balcony.
6 Oprah Winfrey
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One of the most successful and early adopters of the Montecito community was Oprah Winfrey. She first moved to the Santa Barbara area in 2001 and has been residing there since. She wasn’t able to stop acquiring property in the area either. She expanded her real estate portfolio in 2016 when she purchased fellow celebrity Jeff Bridge’s Montecito ranch home in 2019 for a reported $6.85 million.
5 Jeff Bridges
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Sold to Oprah Winfrey, Bridges original Montecito ranch home is one of the more modest on the list with an estimated price of $6.85 million. But Bridges and his wife Susan Geston also own an additional property in Montecito, a Tuscan-style vineyard estate that sold for an additional $15.925 million.
4 Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi
Ellen Degeneres first moved into the Montecito area in 2019 when she purchased an over 8,000 square foot estate for an estimated $27 million. In 2020, she announced that she would be selling her Tudor-style home in the area, a decision possibly spurred by her recent accusations from members of her staff. The decision eventually led Degeneres and De Rossi to sell the Tudor home. When they sold the property, their buyer was of equal note and is the next celebrity to appear on this list.
3 Ariana Grande
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Ariana Grande purchased Ellen Degeneres Tudor-style Montecito home in 2020 . She has posted several pictures of the property as the hosting epicenter for culture including a Twilight Zone themed party back in 2019.
In addition to parties and gatherings, Grande also used the estate as the venue for her micro-wedding. Pictures from the event showcased a beautiful fireplace featured on the property.
2 Rob Lowe
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Rob Lowe is now recognized for his cultural longevity and relevance through appearances on the Joe Rogan Experience and his own podcast Literally. Lowe purchased not one but three multi-million dollar mansions in Montecito, resulting in a $47 million transaction. One of the more famous properties in Lowe’s growing collection is known colloquially as the “Stonehenge Estate” which cost $13 million.
1 Gwyneth Paltrow
One of the more ambitious projects on the list is Gwyneth Paltrow and her partner Brad Falchuk’s goal to build out an already existing property within the Montecito area. The couple initially bought the property for $5 million back in 2016. The massive montecito mansion resides on 14,000 square feet and includes a pool and more than two acres of land.
The Montecito mansions are some of the most awe-inspiring properties on the west coast due to their proximity of the Santa Ynez mountains and the pacific coast. The properties values can climb to $100 million which keeps most of the general public out of this neck of the woods. But with neighbors like Ariana Grande, Oprah Winfrey, and a real-life Prince and Princess, the extravagant budget is a small price to pay to reside near some of the most famous and culturally significant stars in Hollywood and beyond.
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Sources: LoveProperty, Observer, MansionGlobal, HouseandHome, NYPost, Variety, DailyMail, Radar, HookedonHouses, LATimes, LuxuryArchitecture, Elle, HomesandGardens
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