Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have dramatically slashed the price of a photogenic vintage farmlette near Santa Barbara, Calif., to $7.95 million. The new price is a whopping $1 million dollars under the original $8.95 million ask, but still substantially more than $2 million above the $6.7 million the prolific high-end house flippers paid, not even a year ago, in a clandestine, off-market deal, for the gorgeously pastoral spread in the casually posh foothills above the low-key but high-priced beach community of Carpinteria.
As is the architecture and design savvy couple’s deep-pocketed custom, the more than 10.5-acre mountain- and ocean-view property was subjected to a remarkably swift overhaul with extensive and unquestionably costly alterations, improvements and upgrades that transformed the charming if slightly down-on-her-cowboy-boots hobby farm into what marketing materials describe as “a hip Santa Barbara hideaway” with “an esoteric farmhouse” and “century-old barn” that together blend “old-world sensibility with the best of modern design”. The listing is jointly held by Suzanne Perkins at Compass and Village Realty’s Riskin Partners Group.
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Multi-colored wildflowers bloom along a pea gravel drive that gently bends its way up to the front of the interestingly angled main residence that’s fronted by a screened porch perfect for whiling away bug free weekends. There are three bedrooms, the bi-level master retreat with a fireplace and French doors to the front porch, and 3.5 bathrooms, each sheathed in a different, boldly graphic and decidedly modern black-and-white tile treatment. A sidelight flanked front door opens informally directly into an unconventionally shaped, loft-like living and dining area wrapped in chalk-white walls with a soaring, skylight pierced vaulted ceiling and ashy hardwood floors mostly hidden by overlapping, intricately patterned and well-worn antique rugs. A white-painted stone fireplace cozily anchors a lounge area and the dining space spills easily out through a long bank of accordion folding glass doors to a glass-roofed porch that overlooks the swimming pool. Not especially spacious but smartly arranged with top-end designer appliances, the monochromatically all-black kitchen’s bespoke finishes include a subtly patterned, matte-finished tile backsplash that extends all the way to the ceiling and lustrous, delicately veined granite countertops
The postcard-ready barn stands across a gravelled court from the main house and offers two floors of flexible living and entertaining space that, due to its full bathroom, easily serves as a cavernous, one-of-a-kind guesthouse. Behind the main house, in a grassy yard ringed by ancient oak trees, an in-ground spa waterfalls over a tumble of boulders to an amorphous, lagoon-style pool. The bucolic farmlette additionally includes great sweeps of lawn and manicured gardens as well as two fenced turnouts for pets of the equine variety.
Longtime property gossip staples with an ever-revolving portfolio of wildly expensive residential properties in several of Southern California’s most forbiddingly expensive zip codes, DeGeneres and de Rossi have been on a particularly brisk, high-dollar real estate bender the last year or so. Early this year, the property mad pair shoveled out a spine straightening $27 million for a five-star tropical resort-style Bali-inspired ultra-modern compound in the mountains above Santa Barbara just months before tax records indicate they plunked down another, utterly staggering $42.5 million on an imposing, 10,000 sq. ft. English Tudor manse in a plum part of Beverly Hills. And, last fall they coughed up $15 million for a swank Hollywood Regency villa in the über-fashionable Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills that, after a lickety-split gussy up, is back on the market at not quite $18 million and their glass-walled beach-front contemporary getaway in Carpinteria, snapped up about two years ago for $18.6 million, is now in escrow to be sold at a presumably profitable amount after it came on the market about two months ago at $24 million.