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Not all Fame Leads to Fortune – Why Some Celebrities Invest in Real Estate

Simply stated, the entertainment industry is a fickle business. From one-hit-wonders, to viral social media stars, some celebrities quickly rise to stardom only to then face unforeseen lows and even financial struggles when their moment in the spotlight runs out. With so many new celebrities making a name for themselves at any given time, it can be difficult to reach the level of sustainable star-power and attention needed to maintain their status, income and preferred lifestyle. In recent years, more and more celebrities have taken note of the money troubles that their predecessors face and have turned to investing in real estate as a financial haven during their peak time. This helps ensure lasting wealth and a continual income stream during their lows. Obviously, there are professional celebrity investors who have made both a living and a following in the real estate show business, broadcasting their investing work on shows like Flip or Flop on HGTV. Aside from those celebrities, I will share a few names that may not be immediately associated with real estate investing.

Diane Keaton

The Book Club’s Diane Keaton is not just a successful actress. She has created a lucrative side business by investing in numerous single-family homes in some of California’s most prestigious zip codes. The actress specializes in identifying historic (often distressed) Los Angeles homes, and restoring the asset to its former glamour and glory. Many of her sold homes end up in the hands of Hollywood’s finest—such as Madonna, who purchased a Beverly Hills mansion from Keaton for $6.45 million. Another one of Keaton’s projects includes a 7,800 square foot Pacific Palisades property that she picked up for $5.6 million, and soon sold for almost $7 million.

Rob Van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice)

In the early 1990s, Rob Van Winkle, better known as Vanilla Ice, rose to fame after releasing the song “Ice Ice Baby.” Shortly after Van Winkle’s second album failed to receive the critical acclaim of his first, so he turned to real estate. In 1995, the rapper began buying, building, and flipping homes. After 15 years Van Winkle had gone from rap star to real estate mogul. In 2010, his reality TV show The Vanilla Ice Project premiered on the DIY Network and has had eight successful seasons since. In addition to the show, he has headlined several industry events, and has even authored a book on how to succeed in real estate.

Alex Rodriguez

The former New York Yankee, Alex Rodriguez, spent 22 years playing professional baseball; during which he earned a reported $448 million. Off the field, the MLB pro discovered his passion for real estate in 2003, when he purchased his first investment property in South Florida. Since then, the pro has gone on to create a successful investment and development firm of his own. A-Rod Corp the parent company of both Monument Capital Management and Newport Property Construction, does not focus on the fix and flip business. Instead, its goal is dedicated to “mitigating risk by holding assets for the long term”. Rodriguez has also gone on to share his passion for real estate by speaking at events such as NAA Apartmentalize and the Toronto Real Estate Expo.

Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi

While the couple certainly did not intend on becoming players in the real estate game, Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi wound up being two of the most notable in Hollywood. Degeneres began her house flipping endeavor in 2004 when she purchased a $1.275 million tree-lined bungalow in Laurel Canyon. After she rehabbed the property to include even more “zen” features, she was able to disposition the home a year later for $2.1 million, at a roughly 65% gain. One of the most famous properties that Degeneres and De Rossi acquired was an estate in Montecito. The couple took on the asset in 2007 for $15.75 million and were able to sell it to the former Google CEO for $20 million. Years later, this property became famous for playing host to Kim Kardashian’s 2011 wedding to Kris Humphries.

Real estate investing can be for all

The aforementioned celebrities achieved success by investing in high-end properties, presumably with all cash. This route is not the only way to profit in real estate, nor does one have to be famous to invest. CoreVest works with investors of varying levels each day and customize our loan products to meet their unique investment strategy or financing needs.

Would you like to speak to a loan specialist?

Are you interested in investing? Do you need capital for your next investment property? Our loans have helped thousands of investors finance more than 40,000 units and close over $5 billion in loans. Contact us to explore your financing options. CoreVest is the leading lender to residential and multifamily real estate investors nationwide. We provide attractive long-term debt products for stabilized rental portfolios as well as credit lines for new acquisitions.

For more information about how CoreVest can help you grow your rehab or rental business, please call 888.589.2377 or email





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