Kinka Usher, a director of TV commercials, built 848 Hot Springs Road in 2014 as a passion project, and it sure showed. The 11,947-square-foot house, on a 2.45-acre lot at the corner of E. Mountain Drive, was “inspired by a childhood trip to Spain, where he was impressed by a Ferrari Dino sports car and the Alhambra” (per the Wall Street Journal). It was over-the-top-and-back-around-again, and that’s a compliment.
But when Usher put his Villa Tragara on the market for $29 million in October 2019, it likely proved too idiosyncratic. The price was cut twice till it was $19.95 million, then raised to $21.5 million once pandemic-related demand surged. And that’s when Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi pounced, purchasing the property for $20.95 million in February of this year.
Trucks showed up on day one, but we don’t know exactly what was done, beyond a new gate and a stripping of the name, because 848 Hot Springs was offered as a pocket listing. And DeGeneres and de Rossi proved they still have the golden touch: an unknown buyer just paid $36 million for it. The deal matches the couple’s most successful known flip: in 2014, “they paid almost $40 million for an A. Quincy Jones–designed Holmby Hills home […] and then sold the lavish property for $55 million just six months later,” according to Architectural Digest.
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