Investment flops of the stars

The star-studded group have one Oscar, 13 Grammy awards and an estimated net worth of over $119 million between them. But unfortunately, savvy real estate investors they are not. Here are some of the worst Tinseltown real estate blunders:

Lenny Kravitz
At the peak of his career in 2001, Kravitz splashed out on a five-bedroom, seven-bathroom duplex in New York’s trendy Soho district for $17 million USD. When attempting to sell it three years later, the asking price was down to $13 million. The rock star-turned-designer then sunk $1 million into property renovations in a desperate bid to find a buyer.  Back on the market listed at $19.5 million, the apartment sat for another three years before Kravitz once again dropped the price to $14.9 million. After waiting over a decade -- and losing over $3 million -- Kravitz finally sold the place to fellow musician Alicia Keys.

Nicolas Cage
By 2009, Nicholas Cage owned a mansion in Rhode Island, a castle in England, two homes in New Orleans, a home in Vegas, a $1.7 million pad in Newport Beach and a Manhattan apartment worth a modest $9.5 million. However, Cage was also elaborately spending on cars, artwork and artefacts, so much so, that the IRS intervened in 2009 claiming Cage owed over $6 million. As a result, the Oscar-winner had to sell back most of his properties to the bank, including a Bel-Air mansion that was listed at $35 million. Cage sold it for $10.5 million after it was repossessed.

Scarlett Johansson
The Avengers star purchased her 1930s style LA villa in 2007 for a cool $7 million, and then proceeded to renovate. When she put the 4,300 square foot property back on the market two years later, the asking price was $1.9 million less. In spite of new state-of-the-art appliances and security (which helps when you count Charlize Theron and Orlando Bloom among your neighbours), Johansson finally sold the property for less than $5 million.

Beck
Beck may know the indie music scene like the back of his hand, but the same can’t be said for the real estate market. The musician sold a 1,600 sq.-ft. ranch for $1.7 million, having paid $2.1 million for it in 2007. Next, he invested in a 5,700 sq.-ft., nine-bathroom home complete with a recording studio for $6.8 million. After attempting to flip it for $9 million in 2008, the Grammy winner had to drop the asking price down by $4.4 million before finally selling it to Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes.

Toni Braxton
Having filed for bankruptcy twice in the past decade, Toni Braxton may want to invest in a new financial advisor before her next property. It’s estimated Braxton’s debt neared the $50 million mark, resulting in the foreclosure of several homes. Among the casualties were Braxton’s $2.6 million home in Nevada and the $1.2 million home in Georgia.

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