Ellen DeGeneres and Portia are selling their house. Kate Hudson bought the house next door to hers. Why do celebs move so much?
—Joyce B., via Facebook
Oh, and don't forget that Charlize Theron just sold to Glee guy Ryan Murphy. See, celebrities would have you believe they are under 24-hour persecution from paparazzi, hence their constant need to migrate like so many oppressed gypsies across the harsh and unforgiving Malibu landscape.
But is that publicist-crafted narrative true?
"I know specific instances where people have been forced to move," says Bruce Ehrmann, who has quite the A-list clientele. "But by and large, celebrities have gotten very good at building theoretical walls around themselves. The paparazzi have gotten much worse, but security buffers have gotten much better."
But for the most part, paparazzi invasions have nothing to do with a switch-up in pied-a-terres.
Celebrities tend to break up with each other, for one thing. This often leads to moody moves.
I spoke with one broker who has both served celebrities and lived in a Manhattan building that was chock full of them: Uma Thurman, Michael Stipe, Ashley Olsen—just packed with fame. Anyway, she tells me that Stipe purchased his apartment in that building when J.Lo and Ben Affleck split. They were renovating it, then broke up, and Affleck sold it to Stipe.
But for the most part, celebrities really don't move all that more often than rich people in other professions, such as being rich. Many celebrities are bicoastal, which means they have twice as many homes as the average American, and, therefore, twice as much property to buy or flip, but that's about it.
"It's really just a matter of perception that these people buy and sell more," Ehrmann tells me. "They really don't. It's just that every move they make and every property they view is reported. So it seems like they're buying and selling all the time. If you compare the number of times they move to people with similar incomes in other industries, it would come out the same."
See? Celebrities and you are exactly the same. Just like I've always said.