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  • Writer's picturePrinceton North

Ellen's $36 million dollar flip

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

Montecito’s most notorious house flipper is at it again! Barely six months after Ellen DeGeneres dropped $21 million smackers on a historic Moorish-influenced mansion in the affluent Santa Barbara County enclave, the former talk show host has already sold the place. The secret off-market deal, first reported by SitelineSB, was inked for a whopping $36 million, which translates into yet another quick and impressive profit for the real estate-savvy couple.

Records reveal the buyer is powerful music manager Scooter Braun — the driving force behind the careers of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, as well as DeGeneres’ longtime friend and staunch supporter — who is widely reported to have an estimated net worth topping $400 million.

DeGeneres gave the house a renovation during their six months of ownership, although the extent of the changes they made remains unknown. Built-in 2014 by noted TV commercial director Kinka Usher, and locally known as Villa Tragara, the rose-hued, and terracotta-roof structure is modeled after the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain, and offers sweeping ocean vistas. Inside, four bedrooms and five baths are spread across nearly 12,000 square feet of two-level living space boasting steel Corinthian columns and radiant-heated floors throughout. There’s also a one-bedroom guesthouse with its own living room and kitchen.

Especially standing out on the main level is a striking rotunda entry sporting a hand-carved marble fountain and central groin-vaulted colonnade, along with a great room displaying floor-to-ceiling walls of glass overlooking the backyard. Other highlights include a family room that connects to a gourmet kitchen outfitted with professional-grade appliances like a pricey Bonnet range, plus a wood-coffered library, state-of-the-art movie theater and billiard room.

A curving staircase heads upstairs, where there are dual master suites — one featuring an ocean-view terrace, and a hammam-inspired bath adorned with an alabaster-clad soaking tub. Outdoors, the picturesque grounds are laced with olive trees and span over 2 acres, and host a koi pond flanked by a Japanese-style pavilion, swimming pool that reportedly cost Usher $400,000 to install, bocce and pickle ball courts, a fire-pit, and 16-seat covered pergola ideal for al fresco dining and entertaining.

In addition to their just-sold Villa Tragara mansion, DeGeneres still maintains a $14 million ranch elsewhere in Montecito, as well as several smaller homes in the area. As for Braun, he’s no stranger to the trophy property game. Last year, he purchased an all-new Mandeville Canyon mansion for $65 million — the priciest residential sale in Brentwood history — and sold a historic Montecito estate for $28 million around the same time.

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