Ellen DeGeneres just sold her Italian-style Santa Barbara mansion to a Netflix executive for $34 million

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi originally listed the home for $45 million.

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Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi originally listed the home for $45 million.
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Christopher Polk/Getty Images

  • Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have finally sold their Santa Barbara mansion for $34 million – $11 million below the original asking price in March 2017.
  • The buyer has been revealed as Netflix executive Ted Sarandos.
  • The 16.88-acre estate, known as “The Villa,” is modern yet classical.

Ellen DeGeneres is parting ways with one of her homes: a $34 million Santa Barbara area mansion.

According to the home’s listing brokerage Sotheby’s International Realty, DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi simply didn’t have the time to use the mansion. The couple has bought and flipped several high-priced homes in Southern California, but this one is in Montecito, a neighboring town of Santa Barbara.

The couple originally listed the property in March 2017 for $45 million.

“Between ‘The Ellen Show,’ Ellen’s new home collection and a new business that Portia is starting, they can’t make it to Santa Barbara as often as they would like,” a spokesperson at Sotheby’s told Business Insider last spring.

The buyers have been revealed as Netflix exec Ted Sarandos and his wife Nicole Avant, former US Ambassador to the Bahamas, according to the real estate blog Yolanda’s Little Black Book citing property records from June 2018.

The house, which is featured in DeGeneres’ 2015 book “Home” and is known as “The Villa,” was designed in the 1930s by architect Wallace Frost.

Frost originally built this two-story home for himself. After spending time in Italy, he wanted to recreate the classical style of a 17th-century Italian villa.

Since purchasing the property in 2012, DeGeneres and de Rossi have bought two adjacent properties to make this a 16.88-acre estate. According to Sotheby’s listing agent Suzanne Perkins, they have completely modernized the house, adding a sunken tennis court, pool, and indoor-outdoor entertaining pavilion.


DeGeneres and de Rossi bought the estate for $26.5 million in 2012. It was designed by architect Wallace Frost in the 1930s, and its classical style is still intact.

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Jim Bartsch

According to the listing, Santa Barbara is sometimes referred to as “the American Riviera” because of its similarity to Europe’s well-known region.

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Jim Bartsch

“The Villa similarly brings touches of the Old World to the New World,” reads the press release announcing the original listing.

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Jim Bartsch

The garden has a mix of olive and eucalyptus trees.

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Jim Bartsch

“It feels ancient, like it’s been there forever. Like that hill was never without the house. This is a home that honors nature, and I love that,” DeGeneres said in the release. There is a Roman column dating from 200 B.C. at the bottom of the lawn.

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Jim Bartsch

“The surrounding gardens and olive trees are almost as wonderful as the interior. The house truly feels like it was built out of the landscape, rather than plopped on a plot,” DeGeneres said.

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Jim Bartsch

The main house has six bedrooms and six bathrooms.

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Jim Bartsch

Inside, the design is classical, yet also modern. The kitchen has rustic exposed ceiling beams and vintage light fixtures.

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Jim Bartsch

The 800-square-foot living room has a library, fireplace, and 18th-century Italian floor tiles. “It’s not overly manicured or tidy. It’s not overly precious or perfect. And it’s a home that manages to be both spacious and cozy at once,” DeGeneres said.

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Jim Bartsch

There are plenty of spaces to relax, as well as multiple reading areas.

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Jim Bartsch

Most of the rooms have exposed bricks walls made with locally quarried stone.

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Jim Bartsch

The formal dining room is simple: “If you think of your home as a canvas — regardless of its style of architecture — you can put anything on it. I tend to keep painting the painting until it’s so done, there’s nothing left to do. That’s when I sell the canvas and buy a new one,” DeGeneres said.

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Jim Bartsch

Since buying the property in 2012, the couple has added an indoor-outdoor entertaining pavilion.

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Jim Bartsch

Known as the “Jordan Hall,” this extra area has a large living space with a fireplace, bar, and pool table.

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Jim Bartsch

There is a sun room with a view across the pool and garden.

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Jim Bartsch

An extra kitchen makes this an easy place to entertain guests outside of the main house.

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Jim Bartsch

Outside, there’s a large dining terrace with an outdoor kitchen and pizza oven.

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Jim Bartsch

The pool overlooks the ocean.

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Jim Bartsch

And a sunken tennis court is hidden away on the other side of the garden.

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Jim Bartsch