Are Star Homes Really Worth That Much More Than Yours?

Burning Question: Ryan Reynolds just listed his house for a lower price than he bought it for. Why? You'd think that a star's house would go for a premium, right? — B. Man, Philadelphia

Well, for the record, it doesn't look like any Reynolds-ScarJo intimacy ever went down in this house you mention; Reynolds apparently bought the two-bedroom Hollywood Hills house before marrying the bombshell actress. (Of course, Reynolds has since moved on to new wife Blake Lively.)

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As for why he's dropped the price, at first, it does seem like a mystery, especially given that Matthew Perry used to live across the street — catnip to people still living in the '90s. Most likely, Reynolds may be one of those "motivated sellers" you hear about, probably because he and Lively want to buy something new together ... or Reynolds needs a cash influx after suffering two box office bombs in a single weekend.

Whatever the reason, know this: Reynolds's real estate situation isn't unheard of. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell had to drastically drop the price on their Malibu home from nearly $15 million to $9.5 million before they could finally sell it earlier this month.

But for every story like that, you get two or three like this one, courtesy of real estate agent Ben Salem:

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"I just worked with a person who paid about 8 percent more for a house just because a big movie actor had lived there," he tells me. "Next week, I'm working on another sale by a rock star. I think it's gonna sell for $4 million to $6 million, and definitely at a premium because of who lived there."

Is this phenomenon universal? No. For example, over in Justin Bieber's Calabasas neighborhood, home-buying folks don't seem all that dazzled by entertainers.

"The house that Britney Spears rented in The Estates didn't add any value to that house," local real estate agent Marc Garbell tells me. "The guy who bought, it bought it for bargain basement price."

So why do some home buyers care about stars while others don't?

"Great question!" Salem says. "It depends on the level of the star. For an A-lister, people will pay 15 percent above your typical price. For a B- or C-lister, I would say 5 to 8 percent.

"And these buyers don't care if the house doesn't appraise at the price they want to pay. They'll pay it. We even put that in the paperwork to make sure."

There's another factor to consider, too: The houses themselves. Celebrities like to revamp their houses with unique features — say, TVs that rise up out of the foot of a bed, or wine cellars that double as bunkers, or customized hiking trails that snake through a giant backyard, or window treatments that open and close on their own. Or even their own IMAX.

I didn't make up any of that stuff above. All of those features actually exist in celebrity homes, and buyers love to pay premiums for them.

"One client of mine bought a house from a female celebrity, and she loves to go through her house and say, 'This is where she would eat dinner, this is where she built a custom kindergarten for her children.'

"And this sale was two years ago!"

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Wanna own a celeb's home? Check out photos of the 12,000-square-foot Hamptons estate Richard Gere is trying to sell for $65 million!

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