Ellen DeGeneres’ $55m house flip

Celebrity sells her LA mansion to Napster co-founder Sean Parker

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi flip their LA mansion and make a $15 million profit. Photograph: Los Angeles Times /Spencer Weiner

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi flip their LA mansion and make a $15 million profit. Photograph: Los Angeles Times /Spencer Weiner

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 01:00

There’s nothing like a good house flip to pique the interest of property watchers. But throw in a big name and you’ve hit the mother lode. Even in Los Angeles, where celebrities regularly exchange properties for telephone number-sized sums, there was borderline disbelief in media circles when it was revealed that talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres had sold her trophy LA mansion for $55 million in an off-market deal to Napster co-founder Sean Parker.

The clincher of the story is that she and wife Portia de Rossi had bought the Archibald Quincy Jones-designed Brody House on Los Angeles’s Westside only last December for $40 million. That’s a $15million profit in six months. Not bad.

This wasn’t DeGeneres first foray into property speculation, she has gained something of a reputation as a shrewd real estate investor. Since the latest deal went through DeGeneres and de Rossi are reported to have bought the entire floor of an apartment building in Beverly West for $16 million, combining two units for one mega-condo.

Built in 1950 for real estate developer Sidney Brody, the Brody mansion previously sold in 2010 for $14.888 million. The house, set on 2.3 acres, was restored over a three-year period, and with nine bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms and 11,511 sq ft of living space it’s often referred to as LA’s best home.