Singer and actress Selena Gomez is already moving out of the stalker-plagued mansion she bought last year in Calabasas, about a 30-mile drive northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
The 3-acre property, for which she’s asking $4.5 million, is none too shabby for someone who’s just 23. Its 7,200 square feet – comprising a main house and a guesthouse – include five bedrooms, six bathrooms and a gym.
The master “retreat” alone looks practically the size of an ordinary 23-year-old’s entire apartment (with roommates!). The bedroom is decorated in Yahoo’s favorite color:
Unfortunately, Gomez didn’t find much peace in the house. In March of last year, just days after she closed on her $3.7 million purchase of the home, she had her first visit from a frighteningly persistent stalker. He was jailed for a couple of days, but within hours of his release he went straight back to her house. Eventually he was sentenced to six months in a treatment facility, including 30 days on lockdown, and was prohibited from approaching Gomez or her home for a decade.
She called 911 three more times after that, TMZ says, and also installed a big perimeter gate.
That wasn’t Gomez’s first stalker. A few months earlier, a 19-year-old man was caught creeping around her starter home, a six-bedroom, eight-bathroom house in the Valley community of Tarzana. Selena Gomez sold that property to Iggy Azalea and Nick Young last fall. In 2011 she was stalked by a 48-year-old man.
(Selena Gomez at the Glamour Women of the Year 2015 Awards on November 9. Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Malicious and/or mentally unhinged people – not to mention the legions of intrusive paparazzi – are part of the cost of doing business for modern-day stars.
“There are so many more celebrities now, and so many people want a piece of them,” real estate agent Zach Goldsmith told Yahoo Real Estate. His agency, Los Angeles-based Hilton & Hyland, represents many high-profile clients and currently has the listing for one of the most famous homes in the world, the late Michael Jackson’s $100 million Neverland Ranch.
“Our accessibility to information now is so omnipresent. There are gossip sites that report these things before we even know about them,” Goldsmith says. “You can type ‘Selena Gomez’ and ‘Los Angeles house’ into a search engine and it’s not going to take you very long to find it.
“It’s not your classic old star map.”
Security, therefore, is paramount, whether it’s high-tech electronic surveillance, numerous cameras, or simply walls or high-ground vantage points. That’s why many celebrities buy in the hills, Goldsmith said, where there are no standard-size lots and where rear access points are limited. “If you buy in the flatter areas where it looks like a cookie sheet, like brownies, and every lot is the same and has multiple access points, it’s not going to be as closed off and private no matter how you cut it.”
Once, Goldsmith said, he showed a gated house within a gated community in Studio City, “and the guy’s security team came on the second showing and they scoured the hillside. They wanted to go scour the hills and find the access points.
“It does get extreme, depending on who you are and the paranoia level. The paparazzi is getting crazier and crazier.”
Another agent to the stars, Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Previews International, said the paparazzi can be so intrusive that just showing properties becomes a challenge – “it’s really difficult sometimes to even get around" – let alone deciding which to buy.
“It’s great (when) something is gated and has a guard gate, because that’s just an extra layer of security,” Mills told Yahoo Real Estate, “but there aren’t that many.” In the area she covers, Beverly Hills and Bel Air, only four communities are gated, including Mulholland Estates, the site of rock star Slash’s over-the-top adult playground.
Gomez’s mansion is in Calabasas’ gated Mureau Estates:
Goldsmith agreed that gated communities “are much better for celebrities … but when people want to hop the fences, that’s tough for someone like (Selena Gomez). You have to have high fences and cameras, unless you’re Justin Timberlake with gates and hard access to get there in the hills and a security guard 24 hours a day. …
“I saw Selena Gomez’s house. It’s got a gate that’s 10 feet tall around the property,” Goldsmith said. Other security measures on her mansion for sale include a Control4 integrated home automation system and security cameras.
Yet while stars’ fame can be a liability in day-to-day life, it can definitely be an asset when it comes time to sell a property (like, say, Selena Gomez is now). “The celebrity name adds that element of cachet, and suddenly the price goes up,” Goldsmith said, adding:
“It’s just another way their fame and riches get them even richer.”
Here’s the approach to Gomez’s house:
(Guesthouse over garages.)
The main home has a massive kitchen necessitating dual dishwashers; a chef’s island; and a breakfast nook with inspirational words on the wall:
Entertaining areas include a strikingly teal formal dining room, as well as a theater, a courtyard, a pool and an outdoor kitchen with brick pizza oven:
(Theater with extremely comfortable-looking couch.)
(Pool, looking toward main house.)
(Pool with outdoor kitchen.)
There’s a wine cellar, too, though at age 23 Gomez probably hasn’t had much time to stock it:
Here are a few more pictures (all of which are from the Altman Brothers’ listing):
You can legally enter the house on Friday during its scheduled open house time, but we presume Gomez has moved out already, and in any case she’s unlikely to be anywhere near it. She’s heading out on tour all of next year.
More celebrity homes on Yahoo Real Estate:
• Iggy Azalea and Nick Young Buy Selena Gomez’s Remodeled Estate (38 photos)
• Miley Cyrus Leaves 'Hannah Montana’-Era Suburban House for Good (43 photos)
• Ashley Tisdale Sells House That Her Dad Built for Her (49 photos)
• Yahoo Real Estate’s archive of celebrity homes