We do love celebrities, don’t we? So much of our media these days, so much of our darn lives period, is consumed by these people. What are they doing? Where are they going? Who’s releasing a book? Or a cheesy new product line? Who’s been doing things they shouldn’t with people other than their wives/husbands?
A-listers are just an industry unto themselves. Magazines, TV shows, news articles and social media are all out to give us a running commentary on every aspect of their lives. Apparently, that’s the price of fame. Remember Eminem’s The Way I Am? This is exactly what he was rapping about, friends.
Why do we keep lapping all of this stuff up? Fandom aside, it’s because it’s nice to live vicariously. The kinds of paychecks they people are on, it’s just a completely unimaginable world for most of us. When our favourite athletes earn more just scratching their behinds on the pitch than we mere mortals would in a year, it’s natural to feel totally detached from them, curious about them.
In this rundown, then, we’re going to take a look at two of the extremes of celeb life. On the one hand, we’ve got the super-exclusive and expensive homes of Mel Gibson, Taylor Swift and George Lucas. On the other, we’ve got homes that some of us could actually, conceivably, maybe kinda sorta afford someday, like Pete Wentz and Paul McCartney’s properties. Grab your selfie stick and anything you want autographed and let’s meet some celebrities.
20 ULTRA-EXCLUSIVE: Taylor Swift- Rhode Island’s Richest
It’s safe to say that Taylor Swift’s career has been going, you know, relatively well. There have been ups and downs and questionable life decisions made along the way, but all in all, she’s done fantastically for herself.
It’s probably no surprise to anyone to hear that she bought a magnificent mansion on Rhode Island. She named the property Providence and paid just shy of $18 million for it. According to Game of Glam, it boasts five acres of land and a vast pool.
The neighbours are fairly well-to-do too; Katie Holmes and Oprah also have places here. Not bad at all.
19 SURPRISINGLY FRUGAL: Ed Sheeran- Still The Ed-veryman
The astronomical success of Ed Sheeran doesn’t seem to have changed him at all. That’s an incredibly rare quality in a celebrity, and I really think we need to wrap him in styrofoam to keep him safe. You know, so he can continue spreading wholesome vibes around the planet like a great ginger tooth fairy of love and cuteness.
Before he was famous, Ed would ride the subway to gigs, sleep on friends’ couches and play for food. Whatever he may have in his bank account now, he’s certainly not a big spender. It’s just not in his nature, and you’ve got to appreciate that.
18 ULTRA-EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Lopez- Don’t Be Fooled By The Rocks That She’s Got…
She’s still (she’s still) Jenny from the block. Well, Lady Lopez, I’m here to tell you that there’s a Jenny on my block, too, and she sure as heckles doesn’t have an organic vegetable garden, an amphitheatre that seats 100 and a mini-golf course in her yard.
All of these wonders and more await in Jennifer Lopez’s $28 million Bel Air mansion. It’s also got seven bedrooms and thirteen bathrooms, which is handy is all the splendour of the place makes you feel like peeing just a little bit. The property was on the market for $40 million, according to Nimvo, but J-Lo bought it for the above price in 2016.
17 SURPRISINGLY FRUGAL: Warren Buffett- Thus Speaketh The Oracle
Warren Buffett, it’s safe to say, isn’t the sort of guy who needs to worry about cash flow. The business magnate has been such a successful investor over his career that he’s been dubbed the Oracle of Omaha. With a net worth of just over $90 billion (yep, that’s billion), he’s currently ranked as the third-wealthiest person on the planet.
Despite all of this, he’s also known to be very careful when it comes to spending, which is reflected in his choice of properties. As Cheapism reports, he owns a completely unspectacular home in a quiet Omaha suburb, which he bought for just $31,500 back in 1958. It's estimated to be worth around $650,000 now, but that’s still nothing at all compared to some of the lavish homes on this list.
16 ULTRA-EXCLUSIVE: Mel Gibson- Costa Rica’s Finest
Australian actor Mel Gibson is a man of fine tastes and Scrooge McDuck levels of cash. This means ownership of a range of magnificent properties, the most impressive of which is probably his Costa Rican home. The property is known as Playa Barrigona, and actually consists of three different residences.
It comes complete with two guesthouses, over 400 acres of lush jungle and over two miles of Costa Rica’s coastline. As of last August, this impossible property has been on the market for a cool $29.75 million, which is… well, nice for those who wouldn’t need to live several hundred lives to earn that much.
15 SURPRISINGLY FRUGAL: Adrian Peterson- A Home Fit For A Viking
Our next celebrity is none other than Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Bigshot NFL players, needless to say, aren’t exactly scrimping and scraping career-wise. He could’ve had his pick of luxury homes. And maybe he will, now, because earlier this year he sold a surprisingly modest place for a surprisingly modest amount.
Peterson’s Eden Prarie, Minnesota property was on the market for around $700,000, but sold in February of this year for $539,000. Of course, that’s not mere pocket change for us mortals, but it’s certainly not excessive by the standards of some of his fellow hotshot athletes. Not at all.
14 ULTRA-EXCLUSIVE: George Lucas- You! Shall Not! Pass!
Yep, that reference is from the wrong franchise entirely, but the image of Lucas screaming such at the gates of his beloved Skywalker Ranch is just too hilarious to pass up.
When it comes to ultra-exclusive, this is about as extreme as it gets. According to Nimvo, Lucas purchased the famous 4,700 acre property in 1974, and has spent an estimated $100 million on it since. It features vineyards, enough underground parking space for 200 people and a theater large enough for 300!
The Ranch is situated in Marin County, California, and only authorised guests are allowed. How exclusive are we talking? Well, according to one story, Ronald Reagan asked to visit while he was president and was refused!
13 SURPRISINGLY FRUGAL: Paul McCartney- Barely Enough Room For A… Beatle?
No, I’m not quite convinced by that pun, either. Let’s just pretend it never happened and hurry on.
Paul McCartney, as you surely know, is now famous as one-fourth of one of the most successful bands of all time, the Beatles. This has left him, as you can imagine, wanting for very, very little. Despite his fortune now, though, he certainly came from humble beginnings.
As reported by Cheapism, he grew up in a small, humble home in Liverpool, England, in a remarkable ordinary neighbourhood. In 2015, the home sold for $231,000, its worth clearly bumped up by the very fact that McCartney lived there from the ages of 4 to 10.
12 ULTRA-EXCLUSIVE: Gwen Stefani- An Astonishing Home, There’s ‘No Doubt’ About It
Nope, no apologies for that one either. I am what I am, and what I am is puntastic.
So, Gwen Stefani. In music, ego is… well, not everything, but a lot of things. So is money. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of musicians in our rundown here. Don’t Speak songstress Gwen Stefani has a spectacular property in the Hollywood Hills, which was previously owned by Jennifer Lopez.
It’s currently on the market for $35 million and boasts all the mod cons you’d expect of such. Five glorious marble fireplaces, a chicken coop, a large infinity pool and a tennis court. Yep, all that comes as standard.
11 SURPRISINGLY FRUGAL: Oprah Winfrey- Oprah Windy (City) Is More Like It
Here’s some interesting trivia for you: Oprah was the richest person in her demographic of the 20TH Century. She has what financial gurus like to call “one heaping heckola of a lot of money” (if you’ll excuse the technical term). Her net worth is around $3 billion.
With all of this in mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking that she spares no expense when it comes to property shopping. Funnily enough, though, that’s not really the case. In 2001, she purchased this relatively small place in Chicago for $298,000, which she put up for sale for $390,000 last summer.
10 ULTRA-EXCLUSIVE: Bill Murray- Man, That’s A Nice Neighborhood
New York, as we all know, is famously darn expensive. That’s really a natural consequence of living in a big city (heck, I’m from London, and the novelty designer cafes around here charge enough to make you choke on your Frappuccino), but it’s darn tough.
That also depends on where in the city you happen to be. The luxurious Fifth Avenue, for instance, is incredibly exclusive, defined by its big-brand stores with price tags to match (Saks Fifth Avenue itself, for one). Still, money’s no object for some of us. One celebrity who calls the illustrious street home is much-loved actor and comedian Bill Murray.
9 SURPRISINGLY FRUGAL: Pete Wentz- For Pete’s Sake
Oh, come on, Pete. Only 1.5 million? That’s a pokey little studio apartment (remember Ross from Friends and the place with the kitchen/bathroom he was also forced to rent?) compared to some of your fellow rockers.
Maybe you thought that the ever-energetic and controversial Fall Out Boy bassist would have gone a little more extravagant? Nope, a four-bedroom place in California’s Studio City was the place he picked out for himself in April of 2012. Maybe it’s not the flashiest, but it’s certainly spacious, and has a real Japanese charm with its tea house and koi pond. An interesting choice by all accounts.
8 ULTRA-EXCLUSIVE: Alisher Usmanov- From Russia With Luxury
Now, Alisher Usmanov may not be a sports, movies or music star, but he’s certainly a big deal. A very big deal. A $15.1 billion net worth big deal, come to that.
This Russian business magnate owns property in Ostozhenka Street, Moscow, a neighborhood that is the very last word in fancy-pants Russian living. Just how fancy? I’m glad you asked. Business Insider reports that an apartment on Ostozhenka sold for the brain-bending price of $48 million. That was a record spend for Ostozhenka, but it gives you a nice ballpark as to the kinds of amounts that are spent here.
7 SURPRISINGLY FRUGAL: Elijah Blue- If You’re A Little Short, Couldn’t Mom Give You A Loan?
Say what you will about the cushy life of celebrity’s children, but the truth is they’re just like the rest of us. Some cruise by on easy street, others work super hard to earn their cache. Some like to lord it over the rest of us, others don’t really flash the cash at all (by celeb standards).
In the latter category, we’ve got Elijah Blue Allman, Cher’s son. The Deadsy frontman sold his 1,455 square-foot house in West Hollywood for $1.1 million, about $300,000 less than he’d paid for it in 2008. In a neighbourhood like that, this really isn’t much to pay for a property at all.
6 ULTRA-EXCLUSIVE: Stephen Chow- The Fancy Neighborhood To End All Fancy Neighborhoods
Well, dang. We’ve seen some sights over the course of this rundown, but this one’s really something else. Hold on to your socks, gloves and anything else you might be wearing on the end of your appendages, because this is about to blow them right off.
Pollock’s Path, atop The Peak in Hong Kong, is the most expensive street in the world. It’s home to Stephen Chow, Chinese actor and director, and it’s serious business. In 2011, according to Business Insider, an apartment on this illustrious street sold for $103 million.
Oh, yes indeedy-oh, they do not kid around up there on the peak.
5 SURPRISINGLY FRUGAL: Tiffany Haddish- Those Bags Were GIFTS!
Fame is a fickle friend, as they say, and it’s been quite a darn ride for Tiffany Haddish. Since 2005, she’s made guest appearances in different shows, but the comedienne has never really broken through on the big screen. All of this changed with her starring role in last year’s Girls Trip, but none of that has gone to her head.
Speaking to People, she said, "I still have a fake [Michael] Kors purse, but I got a real Givenchy bag, and Jada [Pinkett Smith] just gave me a Fendi bag. I haven't paid for these bags. These are gifts. The last bag that I bought myself was a Madden Girl backpack that's really cute. And it was on sale for $45!"
It's nice to see that it’s possible to rub some superstar shoulders and still stay humble.
4 ULTRA-EXCLUSIVE: Brad And Angelina- Of COURSE They Splashed Out
Now, sure, the much-ballyhooed Brangelina are in the midst of divorce proceedings. While that puts a damper on things, it doesn’t change the fact that they were once the biggest darn couple on the planet. These were two A-list titans if ever I’ve seen them.
Did they choose a modest home? They certainly didn’t. They opted for property on the Boulevard du Général de Gaulle, in Cap Ferrat, France. The most expensive non-urban stretch on the planet, it offers huge and luxurious villas right on the beach and was also home to Charlie Chaplin and Paul Allen. Very nice indeed.
3 SURPRISINGLY FRUGAL: Dave Grohl- Still Keeping It Real
Now, if anyone’s entitled to a rock and roll lifestyle, it’d be Dave Grohl. The 49-year-old musician has had an illustrious career with the Foo Fighters (not to mention Nirvana), so he’s more than earned a little rock star extravagance.
That’s just not his style, though. As he once told The Red Bulletin (via CNBC), he is not a big spender. Abstinence is probably the last thing you’d expect of a musician of Grohl’s calibre, but there it is. When it comes to property, too, he’s not driven to excess. In his own words, “I've got a house that is just big enough.”
2 ULTRA-EXCLUSIVE: The Qatar ruling Family- Truly exclusive
If you tuned into Britain’s recent wedding, you’ll have seen what a little pomp and circumstance can do. Generally speaking, the leaders of the world are very celeb-like, in that they’re certainly not short of a dollar or two.
The Qatar family, for instance, have property in Romazzino Hill on the island of Sardinia, Italy. The neighbourhood has been “a playground for billionaires since the 1960s,”Business Insider reports, and you can see the sort of company you’ll be keeping here.
With luxurious residences changing hands at costs of $100 million+, exclusive is definitely the word that springs to mind here.
1 SURPRISINGLY FRUGAL: Carrie Underwood- Coupon Queen
You wouldn’t expect anybody on this list to feel the need to clip coupons and dive between the couch cushions for change, would you? Their lackeys probably have lackeys that do that. Nevertheless, though, you can be super careful with money no matter how much you have.
Country music sensation Carrie Underwood certainly is. She “still clips coupons, makes all her meals, and does her own grocery shopping,” according to CNBC, and considers a Subway sandwich a big treat.
There’s a lesson here, I think, and it’s great to see. I, for one, love Subway's sandwiches, so that’s also a plus.
Resources: Nimvo, Game of Glam, Business Insider, Cheapism, Forbes, People, CNBC.