Celebrities Eye Real Estate for Profits

September 3, 2013

Some celebrities are viewing the recovering housing market as an opportunity to cash in by purchasing fixer-uppers and renovating them for resale. 

Actors Jeremy Renner and Kristoffer Winters, who both appeared in the film “The Hurt Locker,” have done about two dozen house flips in the Los Angeles area. They first started flipping houses as a way to earn money between acting gigs. They’ve had plenty of success too, such as flipping a $600,000 home in the LA area for $900,000. They would often live in the homes they were renovating. 

“As an actor starting out, you can have so much free time on your hands,” Winters says. Flipping a home is like “figuring out the Rubik’s Cube on how I can make this house flow better.”

Brad Blumenthal, who appeared in “Pulp Fiction,” and a co-investor have recently listed a $28.8 million mansion for sale that they’ve remodeled. Blumenthal says he wanted to create a trophy property out of the 13,000 square feet of living space, eight bedrooms, and nine bathrooms, complete with a glass-walled wine cellar. 

“I’ve never come close to losing money on a house,” Blumenthal says. “I don’t get involved unless it’s a no-brainer.”

Plenty of other big names also are breaking into the house-flipping business, such as Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton, and Jane Seymour from “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” Some celebrities take a more behind-the-scenes approach, fronting the money but hiring out all of the work on the home, RISMedia reports. 

“Stars who are also flippers have the added advantages of a built-in publicity hook, an established network of contacts, and unique insight into the taste of the well-heeled Hollywood crowd,” RISMedia adds. 

Source: “Celebrities Delve into House Flipping,” RISMedia (August 2013)

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