Ellen DeGeneres' Luxe $40M Montecito Mansion
Is Ellen Degeneres as sweet as her talk show wants everyone to believe? Or is she a two-faced celebrity who only turns the nice on for the cameras? Twitter has been hotly debating this topic over the past few months ever since "The Ellen Degeneres Show" host came under fire in springtime 2020 after employees alleged a toxic workplace environment on the daytime talk show.
Roughly six months after the controversy started, Ellen is back to hosting her show and is now looking to exit stage right of her massive ranch in Montecito, California. She and her wife, "Arrested Development" actress Portia de Rossi, have put their Bali-inspired house on the market for $39.9 million after less than two years of ownership and a remodel.
Come take a tour inside this ridiculously luxe property, and see the before and after pictures.
Ellen and Portia purchased this 10,674-square-foot mansion in late January 2019 for $27 million. The listing nicknames the place "Salt Hill."
The four-bedroom, five-full-bathroom, five-half-bathroom house sits on a hilly nine-and-a-quarter acres.
Why the Price Increase?
So what commanded a $13 million price increase over just two years? Ellen is a serial house flipper. She's purchased, renovated and flipped well over a dozen houses since the 1990s.
"As a talk show host, I sit and talk with beautiful people all day," Ellen wrote in her 2015 coffee table book about her houses, "Home." "They have outstanding bone structure, and yet what really matters is what's on the inside. It's the same with houses. ... And after you've spent a little bit of time with each one and learned what you can, it's time to bring out the next house."
But is the remodel worth $13 million? You be the judge.
Before: The Great Room
Before the renovation, the home featured wide-plank hardwood flooring and a bamboo ceiling with exposed wood beams.
After: The Great Room
Ellen's renovations include an updated fireplace mantle (which does away with the built-in bookshelves), and most notably, an entirely new ceiling.
Gone are the bamboo, exposed wood beams and twin ceiling fans. They've been replaced by a wood ceiling with geometric patterns and a modern sponge-like light fixture.
'We Make Money, Why Not Move?'
"We buy a house, and we love it, and we stay in it," Ellen said on "The Today Show" in 2018. "Then we get a little bored because we like a different style or different aesthetic — and I love furniture and decorating — so if I find something else, and we make money, why not move to another house?"
Before: The Kitchen
The old kitchen features the same hardwood flooring and had tons of shelf space, thanks in part to the built-ins on the kitchen island.
High-end stainless steel appliances and a huge stove make it really luxurious.
So what did Ellen do?
After: The Kitchen
Ellen seemed to have focused her kitchen-flipping expertise on the island, which is now wrapped in a sheet of marble.
There's some new sink hardware as well, and the range's metal lip has been removed, making for a smooth and uniform exhaust piece.
Outside the great room area is this deck, which includes a gas firepit.
Most of this is still the same, although the firepit was changed — it used to be more modern. Ellen made it into a rustic one with stone blocks.
The house has absolutely stunning views, with the infinity pool appearing to extend beyond the immediate horizon.
It's a dramatic look.
Ellen at Home
The great room features a wall of glass which looks out to a partially enclosed area with a cabana that is replete with plants and trees.
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" was delayed for a month for an internal investigation relating to a toxic workplace. It came back in late September 2020 for its 18th season, with Ellen issuing an apology during the opening monologue.
"I learned that things happen here that never should have happened," Ellen said. "I take that very seriously. And I want to say, I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power. And I realized that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show."
Three producers were fired. People are still skeptical of whether or not that was enough. Or if Ellen herself was and is the source of toxicity. And if the problems were truly fixed remains to be seen.
There's a Koi Pond
Also in the enclosed cabana area is a koi pond. Ellen took a video of them lining up to sleep on Instagram.
Before: Bamboo Ceilings
Before Ellen sunk her insatiable house-flipping nails into the mansion, several rooms in the house had this interesting bamboo ceiling feature.
Before: Sliding Doors
There were also sliding wood doors made up of see-through grating.
The home has a single-level layout, and with nearly 10,700 square feet, there seemed to be a lot of space just for space's sake.
After: The Library
While we're not 100 percent sure where this library is, it looks like an entirely new addition. Gone are the bamboo tic-tac-toe ceilings and the empty space now functions as a library.
Do you think Portia and Ellen have those books carted away with them to every home they buy, or do they push a giant reorder button on Amazon?
Before: The Master Bathroom
The master bathroom used to have two side-by-side sinks with floating vanity mirrors and an island for holding bath stuff.
After: The Master Bathroom
The island counter has been removed, with the extra space now housing a massage table.
The vanity countertops have been completely redesigned as well. Gone are the wood finishes and floating mirrors.
And instead of the two sinks being close together, they've been moved to the ends of the room, with a built-in soaking tub between them.
The Master Closet
This photo of the master closet is from an old listing photo. We're not sure if Ellen redesigned this space.
It certainly doesn't need a redesign. There are pull-out drawers for belts — so many belts — and an entire wall for shoes.
Before: The Bedroom
This is a photo of one of the home's four bedrooms, which leads out to the home's back yard.
Like the great room, the ceiling is pyramid shaped with wood beams and bamboo features.
Ellen's Net Worth
Renovating this house wasn't cheap (although it surely wasn't $13 million in upgrades), but Ellen has a lot of cash. She makes an estimated $50 million per year to host "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and earns even more money through sponsorships.
It's one of the big reasons why people castigated her for keeping more than 30 employees in limbo about their jobs, giving them no communication about their working hours shortly after lockdown. Crew members were also given a 60 percent pay cut.
In comparison, Jimmy Kimmel, James Corden and Trevor Noah all personally paid for their staff's salaries during the initial pandemic scramble.
After: The Office
The bedroom has been transformed into an office space and now has a ceiling that matches the great room.
The abstract art on the wall could be from Portia's art company, General Public.
Before: The Guest Bathroom
The home has 10 bathrooms, and while we can't say for sure, we think all of them have been remodeled.
Take for instance this bathroom, which features a custom-built vanity with bamboo-style legs. We know Ellen certainly does not dig the bamboo features from the previous owner, so those will surely have to go.
After: Guest Bathroom
With 10 bathrooms, we also can't say for certain that this is the same one as pictured before. However, it is one of the newly designed ones and has a modern style.
Gone are the Balinese accents, replaced with marble stylings and modern vanity lighting.
Lights at Night
The deck is kitted out with LED lighting underneath the sharply cut steps.
Recessed lighting from above and a warm yellow glow from the house makes outdoor living at night a cozy affair.
The Lower Patio
The home's nine-and-a-quarter-acre lot features a picture-perfect lily pond, with a nearby patio area featuring an extra-large gas-burning firepit.
Security Has Been Beefed Up
Security on this home has been tightened, because the mansion was burglarized on the Fourth of July in 2020.
According to TMZ, burglars made off with jewelry. In response, the couple added "laser sensors and cameras around the entire property" and hired patrolling guards, according to the outlet.
Near the pond is a pair of Lalanne-style sheep sculptures. These surely aren't real Lalanne sheep — although Ellen did own a flock of them at one point.
She sold them for $500,000 to $1 million each along with millions of dollars worth of other art, including a Basquiat work on paper.
A Detached Gym
The estate has a small detached guest house, which is made to look like it has been built into the ground and has grass on the roof, almost like an earth-sheltered home.
It's not, though, as there's room between all four sides and the earth, but it's still very cool.
This is an old listing photo which shows that the detached room/small guest house used to be a gym.
We're not sure what Ellen did with this area, but having an entire, detached area for a gym is an amazing feature.
The Tennis Court
Both Ellen and Portia are avid tennis players, so it makes sense that almost every home they buy has a tennis court to keep them occupied while they flip it. This estate is no different.
The lack of boundaries must mean there are a ton of lost tennis balls in the surrounding woods.
The home has a long, snaking driveway that splits shortly after the gated entrance and encircles the bulk of the home's acres.
Within that area are a large guest house and a security office (no pictures of them, unfortunately).
The land is sublime, with large gnarled trees giving shade to modern outdoor seating.
On top of the security office and long gated driveway, the main home is hidden behind another gate.
A pathway leads to the front door to the great room and passes over Ellen's beloved koi fish.
The Entry Path
The house across the driveway is the main house, so you always know who your neighbors are.
Or if you want to have any in the first place.
Where to Now?
Ellen and Portia are once again on the move and looking to buy, if they haven't secretly purchased a property already.
They reportedly still own a $45 million mansion in Beverly Hills, which they bought from Adam Levine in 2019.