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Now that the end of her long-running talk show is officially in sight, Ellen DeGeneres is apparently feeling a bit nostalgic. More specifically, she’d like to rewind back to the simpler days of 2017, when she owned Rancho San Leandro, a magnificent Montecito hacienda right next door to Oprah Winfrey’s ever-expanding, 70-plus acre “Promised Land” estate. And now that the Louisiana native and Portia de Rossi have snipped their last residential tie to Los Angeles — their Tudor-style Beverly Hills home sold in April for exactly $45 million to a still-unidentified buyer, a few ticks above the $42.5 million they paid for the place in 2019 — the couple are refocusing their energy on gobbling up more Montecito real estate, including at least one property they’ve already previously owned and sold.
Astute property watchers will recall that back in September 2017, DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi paid $7.2 million for Rancho San Leandro. They gave the place a quick renovation and flipped it at a huge profit less than a year later, in May 2018, in an $11 million deal. The buyer was Tinder co-founder Sean Rad, who subsequently married his longtime partner Lizzie Grover in a low-key wedding ceremony on the property.
Rad first put the estate up for sale in spring 2019, asking about $12.7 million, but with no takers it was delisted in early 2020, shortly before the global COVID-19 pandemic caused the first wave of U.S. shutdowns. Since then, Montecito real estate has skyrocketed to eye-popping heights; records reveal Rad has now resold the place back to DeGeneres and de Rossi — and the couple paid an astronomical $14.3 million, way more than Rad’s last asking price and almost exactly double what they spent for the very same property less than four years ago.
The history of Rancho San Leandro began circa 1850, when California granted a large swath of land to the Dominguez family, who built the original house and developed the surrounding land into what became a series of polo fields.
Today, located within a discreet gated community and approached via a long driveway lined with dozens of ancient olive trees, the roughly 6-acre estate comprises several buildings, chief among them a 3,100-square-foot, single-story adobe hacienda, built way back in the 1850s and carefully preserved for nearly 180 years. The L-shaped structure partially encircles a cobblestone courtyard and offers just one bedroom and one bathroom.
The ancient house also sports an eat-in kitchen and an unexpectedly large great room with separate living and dining areas and not one but two identical fireplaces, one at each end of the room.
Across the courtyard from the one-bedroom main house are three ancillary buildings linked by a covered veranda. Built circa 2004 and designed in a Monterey Colonial-meets-hacienda look, they each have distinct purposes — one houses a three-car garage, another has a private office and fitness center.
The third structure, a two-story affair, offers two guest bedrooms and three bathrooms, plus another kitchen and a colorfully tiled staircase. A step-down living room boasts a fireplace and stunning views of the grounds.
Elsewhere on the property are numerous equestrian facilities, a boon for the horse-loving DeGeneres and de Rossi. Among them are a riding rink, a four-stall horse stable, and a large barn. Also there is a dressage area and tack room.
Astute real estate watchers will know that this is not the first time DeGeneres has bought back a house she previously owned. Way back in 2006, the property-mad titan acquired a midcentury Hollywood Hills residence that was subsequently sold, in 2010, to window heiress Allison Milgard.
DeGeneres bought back that Marmol Radziner-revamped property in 2014 for $8.8 million before flipping it again — less than two years later — for nearly $10 million to Calvin Klein’s business partner Barry Schwartz.
DeGeneres and de Rossi maintain at least three more properties in the Montecito area, chief among them a Cape Dutch-style mega-compound purchased for $49 million from Dennis Miller late last year.
This story first appeared on Dirt.com, which features additional photos.
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