Inside Meghan Markle's $1.7 Million Former Home in Los Angeles
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry caused international shockwaves in early 2020 when they announced they would be stepping down from their royal duties, live part-time in Canada and financially support themselves.
For Markle, it’s a welcome return to normalcy. She grew up in Los Angeles and lived there for most of her life. Between 2011 and 2013, she resided in this house, located in central Los Angeles with her former husband, Trevor Engelson.
The home originally listed for $1.799 million, then had a price chop to $1.75 million, and finally sold for $1.68 million in late January 2020. While Markle’s former digs are a far cry from her royal ones in Frogmore Cottage near Windsor Castle, this colonial is suitable for any well-to-do denizen of Los Angeles.
Come take a peek inside the home Markle lived in before Prince Harry swept her off her feet. Afterward, look at the $14 million mansion where she, Harry and Archie spent their holidays.
The house is a charming four-bedroom, three-bathroom colonial with 2,262 square feet of living space (although the onus is on the buyer to verify the precise size).
The house was built in 1924, which is about 123 years newer than Markle’s royal house. Frogmore Cottage was built in 1801.
She and her former husband didn't own this Los Angeles house, though. It was a rental, which likely led to an easier divorce.
The Main Floor
While the house has old bones, the interior has been renovated to modern expectations.
The main floor is almost an entirely open plan.
The Living Room
Markle moved into this rather pricey pad in 2011 when she landed her breakout role in "Suits."
That show was set in New York City but was mainly filmed in Toronto, Canada.
It's not surprising Markle wanted to keep a home in Los Angeles, even if it was a rental.
She was born in the city and spent time as a child on the sets of various shows like "Married...With Children."
Her father, a lighting director, would often bring her to work.
The Dining Room
The home is bright and open, with a dining area between the kitchen and living room.
The Sitting Room
The house features a comfy sitting room, with large window panes. The geometric-shaped window coverings (bars?) are located on the outside.
Window Bars or Art?
Markle graduated from Northwestern University in 2003, then moved back from Illinois to Los Angeles.
While working as an actress, she picked up bit parts in various television shows, including a role as a briefcase girl on "Deal or No Deal."
She was paid about $800 per episode, for four episodes.
The Breakfast Nook
Just off the dining area is a cozy spot for coffee.
The hardwood flooring stretches throughout the house.
A Small Kitchen
The kitchen is not a chef's dream. It's small, and you'd be hard-pressed to fit two people in there comfortably.
The kitchen has a marble backsplash with the same kind of marble used for the kitchen countertops.
$743 Per Square Foot
The house sold for $743 per square foot, which is on par for the neighborhood.
The colonial is located in Hancock Park, a swanky area with an average sale price of $1.1 million over the last year, according to Redfin.
The average price per square foot in the neighborhood is $732.
The house is two levels, with the bedrooms on the second floor.
The upstairs has some built-in shelving and cabinets.
The bedrooms are light-filled.
$8,000 Per Month
According to property records, before its recent sale, the house hadn't been sold since 2006, when it was purchased for $1.1 million.
Since then, it was on and off the market and likely served as a rental, although the house wasn't cheap.
Rent was $8,000 a month.
A Guest Bedroom
At $8,000 a month, this isn't the kind of rental Markle would have been able to afford when she was just starting out.
Back in the early-to-mid 2000s, Markle worked as a part-time waitress and taught calligraphy at a small business called Paper Source.
She also did freelance calligraphy work for things like wedding invitations.
The Jack and Jill Bathroom
The attached bathroom is a Jack and Jill.
Six Months on the Market
The house was on the market for several months.
According to Redfin, houses in Hancock Park sold, on average, in 79 days.
A Good Investment
Of course, the seller may not have been very motivated. At $8,000 a month, the mortgage is more than covered.
At its last selling price of $1.1 million, the mortgage comes to around to $5,600 a month with a 4 percent, 30-year mortgage after a 20 percent down payment.
The Markle Life
Markle used to run a lifestyle blog, which she took down in 2017, around the time that she became engaged to Harry.
She is rumored to have made around $80,000 annually from sponsorships.
The Master Bedroom
While this bedroom is about the same size of the other three, it has its own private bathroom.
Black and White Touches
The black accents match the black-and-white master bathroom.
The Master Bathroom
The master bathroom has classy black-and-white tile flooring and herringbone tile backsplash above the double vanity.
This third bathroom is bright and functional with a walk-in shower.
Another Guest Bedroom
Another bedroom has a large closet with mirrored doors.
The Laundry Room
The laundry room, with a large walk-in closet, is located on the second floor.
The Back Patio
Going back downstairs, the dining area opens up to a backyard patio.
The house is located on a 0.185 acre lot.
That's not a lot, but it's ample space near downtown Los Angeles.
A Posh Neighborhood
Hancock Park is a historic neighborhood established in the 1920s and includes around 1,200 homes.
The median income is $85,277.
Other celebrities who live or have lived in Hancock Park include Mindy Kaling, David Schwimmer, Antonio Banderas and George Takei.
The Floor Plan
Planning on moving in? The listing photos offer up this handy floor plan to help with your move.
Just in case you were wondering, this is what Frogmore Cottage looks like. The royal pair renovated the property to the tune of $3.05 million in taxpayer funds shortly before they moved in with their new child, Archie. They plan to continue living there even after Megxit and will repay the monarchy in full for those renovations.
"Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage — with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen — as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom," a statement on their official Sussex website reads.
Heading to Canada
Markle's California home is far behind her, and she has much to look forward to. Like taking a holiday in a multimillion-dollar mansion in Vancouver, Canada.
Care to take a look?
Markle and Prince Henry reportedly stayed here during Christmas 2019, just a couple of weeks before Megxit happened.
The mansion is called Mille Fleurs, meaning "Thousand Flowers," and is located on Vancouver Island in Canada.
The mansion went on sale for $18.5 million in 2012. It sold in 2014 for a rumored $14 million, but the current owner remains a mystery — and that has fueled much debate in the press.
Who Owns It?
The house is rumored to be owned by a Russian oligarch. The title of the house is shielded by a kind of corporate shell.
On paper, the company is owned by Towner Bay Country Club. The Daily Mail reports that Towner Bay owns 27 properties. Those properties are actually owned by wealthy men and women who buy shares in the country club instead of purchasing the house directly.
How Much Did It Cost Harry and Meghan?
There's no way of knowing if Meghan and Harry rented this mansion for money or if it was a favor.
David Foster — a music producer who has produced artists such as Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston — set the couple up with the mansion's owner so they could "take a little time off."
Foster told the Daily Mail that he was friends with the owner but declined to say who that owner is.
The mansion is mammoth.
The main house is 13,000 square feet with five bedrooms, all of which have a private bathroom and terrace.
There's also a guest cottage, which is 2,100 square feet with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms.
A New Build
The house is only 10 years old. The former owner, Bernadette Wolfswinkel, razed the house that was there before. The original home had been owned by a former German movie star.
When building the house, Wolfswinkel salvaged some of the original material and incorporated it into the home.
For example, an actual prison door that was also used in a movie is now the door to the powder room, according to Ocean Home Magazine.
Wolfswinkel is the ex-wife of Conley Wolfswinkel, a disgraced real estate speculator involved in enough fraud to cause "a yearslong depression in commercial real estate in the Valley" in Arizona in the 1980s, according to AZ Central.
There is currently a $72 million judgment against him, the result of court battles taking 15 years.
Reclaimed Wood Flooring
According to Ocean Home, all of the wood flooring is made from reclaimed American elm.
The main house also boasts a billiards room, wine cellar, tasting room and a 17th-century antique fireplace from France.
The conservatory here has been nicknamed Orchid House by Wolfswinkel.
Additionally, the grounds are replete with lush gardens.
Staying for the Holidays
Meghan and Harry reportedly did not just spend Christmas here. They also stayed for a bit longer as well.
At the time, Archie was just 7 months old, and Markle faced harsh press in England.
This mansion must have been a welcome respite.
Views that Change with Blooms
Pear, apricot and apple trees are on the property, too.
The grounds have been planted with numerous perennials and annuals.
The landscaping is designed in such a way that when something dies or blooms, views of the lake and surrounding area change.
Living in California?
Harry and Meghan might also be looking for a place in Los Angeles.
Anonymous sources told People that the two moved out from Mille Fleurs sometime in March and are now living in a "compound" in Los Angeles.
There has been no word on where that compound is, or if Harry and Meghan will go ahead with their original plans to buy in Canada when it's possible to do so.