The sleepy Santa Barbara County town of Montecito has more than its fair share of celebrity residents — Gwyneth Paltrow, Rob Lowe, Meg Ryan and most famously Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres — but it’s about to get a big jolt of star wattage from one of its newest homeowners, pint-sized pop music superstar Ariana Grande.
Property records clearly confirm that Grande, fresh off her $13.7 million mansion purchase in the Hollywood Hills, has unexpectedly shelled out another $6.75 million for Montecito’s historic Porter House, a picturesque and decidedly quirky English Tudor-style property sold by talk show tycoon Ellen DeGeneres and her actor wife Portia de Rossi.
On reflection, it’s perhaps not surprising that Grande has bought another house so soon after her first acquisition. For years, she has leased not one but two multimillion-dollar L.A. homes, one a mansion in the mountains above Beverly Hills and the other a large house in the hills above Sherman Oaks. The latter property has long been occupied by a family member, so it’s entirely possible the Montecito house is (or is not) intended to be the primary residence of said family member.
The Porter House was originally constructed in England during the 1700s as two separate barns. At some point, the dual structures were eventually dismantled and carefully shipped to California, where they were painstakingly rebuilt as a single mansion-sized getaway, linked together by a glass-enclosed solarium. Today, the conjoined houses span a combined 5,500 square feet of living space with just two bedrooms, two full bathrooms and two powder rooms.
Inside, the property contains an eye-popping array of rare vintage furniture, all of the pieces selected by DeGeneres, and not one but two Architectural Digest-worthy kitchens, one of them equipped with a glass-fronted refrigerator that easily cost more than a base model BMW 3-series.
Some of the idyllic home’s Narnia-like spaces include a massive living room, an octagonal library with antique casement windows, a loft-like den that overlooks the fireplace-equipped main living room, and a lofted master bedroom overlooking a second living room with another fireplace. The master bath sports dual vanities and a soaking tub with a big-picture window; outside, there are fairytale-like gardens interspersed with stone pathways, and brick terraces for alfresco dining.
DeGeneres has lately received much flak from critics and her own crew members alike, but she’ll be whistling her cares away, laughing all the way to the bank on this deal. Records show she and de Rossi purchased the house just this past January for about $3.6 million. After a speedy renovation from her team of expert designers, the place was back on the market three months later, and Grande paid nearly the full asking price — a $3 million profit for the sellers before taxes, real estate fees and the not-inconsiderable remodel costs.
de Rossi and DeGeneres continue to maintain a $27 million, Balinese-inspire estate elsewhere in Montecito, along with a modest condo in the area, presumably for a family or staff member. The couple also own a home down in Beverly Hills, which they bought from Adam Levine last year for $42.5 million and have quietly put up for sale off-market with a $58 million pricetag.