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10 Famous People Making a Fortune in Real Estate
April 22 | 2016

Famous and in Real Estate

Professional athletes. Movie stars. Models. They all have money. And they all love making a fortune in real estate. That’s because they know that real estate investing is one way to potentially build long-term wealth. From buying and selling, to starting real estate businesses, Hollywood’s hottest are making bank in real estate. And while their success is enviable, it’s also admirable. Learning from them will show you some potential real estate outcomes.

Here are 10 celebrities at the top of their real estate game.

Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach—better known as “Captain Comeback” to NFL fans—was the second-highest-rated passer of all time, an MVP winner, and Super Bowl Champion in the NFL. Despite his talents, Staubach didn’t make his millions in football. He retired and picked up a passion for real estate, founding The Staubach Company. The firm helped tenants find office, retail and industrial space for over 30 years. It grew to 50 offices in North America and 1,100 employees before Staubach sold it to Jones Lang LaSalle for $640 million.

Emmitt Smith

During his football heyday, Emmitt Smith broke records, earned titles, and won multiple Super Bowl championships. But like all NFL greats, his football career ended. When it did, he followed Staubach’s footsteps into real estate and closed a $45 million deal on his first try. Smith went on to found ESmith Legacy, a real estate development and asset management firm. He also founded a national commercial real estate services company and a commercial real estate equity / debt financing company. It seems Smith can score in real estate, too.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia De Rossi, are two of the biggest players in the real estate game. And they know how to take home quick cash. A few months after they purchased the nearly $40 million Brody House, the power couple sold it for a profit of $15 million. And their real estate portfolio doesn’t end there. The couple has also bought and sold homes throughout Southern California in Santa Barbara and Hidden Valley. Clearly the couple has a knack for making money in real estate.

Patrick Dempsey

Grey's Anatomy's McDreamy made a McFortune when he sold his Malibu, home known as the Tin House. Once featured in Architectural Digest, Dempsey bought the home for $7 million and sold it for $15 million. Not only was the selling price more than double what he bought it for, it was also $500,000 over the asking price. McDreamy knows how to cut a deal.

Jennifer Aniston

This Friends alum knows timing is everything. When she bought her midcentury Beverly Hills mansion for $13.5 million she saw an opportunity. Aniston spent time with an architect overhauling the property, and after featuring the masterpiece in Architectural Digest, sold it for $35 million. Her passion for pouring money into home renovations didn’t end there. She and husband Justin Theroux spent $21 million on the purchase of their Bel Aire home, only to spend a few years renting something nearby before their dream home was move-in ready.

Elizabeth Banks

What do real estate and comedy have in common? Actress Elizabeth Banks. Hired by Realtor.com to put the real back in real estate, Banks is part of a $30 million campaign to raise awareness of the brand and sell more homes. She may not be out in the field wheeling and dealing with homebuyers, but she is bringing creativity and laughter to the industry and taking home big bucks for her jokes.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Real estate can be a big investment, especially when you’re Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Since Brangelina is the definition of Hollywood royalty, it came as no surprise when the couple purchased a home fit for a king and queen. 1,200 acres, 35 bedrooms and $60 million later, Brad and Angelina were calling the Château Miraval in France home. While this is the biggest of all the Pitt-Jolie real estate investments, it is not the only one. The couple’s portfolio spans from Los Angeles to Turkey.

These celebrity case studies are an example of just one possible scenario. Real estate is by no means a sure investment: it carries risk. Returns and principals aren’t guaranteed.

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