How did the Sussexes get such a deep discount on their Montecito home?

Duke of Sussex and Duchess of Sussex arriving at Mansion house

It’s sort of ridiculous to me that some of the people who love the Duke and Duchess of Sussex the most are the ones invading their privacy. Here’s a pro-tip: stop searching for, sharing and posting photos of the Montecito home they bought. Don’t participate in the publicity around the neighborhood or the potential security situation. A) It’s none of your business and B) by engaging in that, you’re driving the interest in that information and putting a target on their backs. If you want Harry and Meghan to live a quiet life out of the spotlight, don’t engage. Paparazzi and media outlets will use the interest to fly drones over the property, and posting and amplifying the photos encourages that. Especially since there is something else notable to discuss, which is that Harry and Meghan apparently got a really steep discount on this mansion:

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have gone exceptionally grand with their California starter house, purchasing a $14.65 million estate in the heart of posh Montecito, the seaside Santa Barbara County enclave that is famously home to a slew of Hollywood heavyweights. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ names do not appear on grant deeds related to the property — records show the estate quietly sold in mid-June to a mysterious trust with a deliberately opaque name, though the trust happens to share a mailing address with the offices of Meghan Markle’s longtime Hollywood business manager.

Public documents also reveal the buyers secured a $9.5 million mortgage to acquire the 7.4-acre compound, which is securely tucked away on a private, gated street. Despite the unquestionably hefty pricetag, it could be argued Meghan and Harry scored the property at a discount of sorts — the seller, low-profile Russian businessman Sergey Grishin, acquired the estate in 2009 for $25.3 million and had attempted to sell it many times over the past decade before finally accepting a $10 million-plus financial loss.

Built in 2003, the Mediterranean-style main house includes a trove of beige and off-white decor, plus a library, gym, separate wet and dry saunas, an elevator, arcade, game room and home theater. There’s also a detached guesthouse with two bedrooms and bathrooms; altogether, the estate boasts nearly 19,000 square feet of living space with a total of 9 bedrooms and a whopping 16 bathrooms.

Dated listings note that the property additionally offers a “tea house,” a “children’s cottage,” and exceptionally beautiful manicured grounds that boast tiered rose gardens, century-old olive trees, and tall Italian cypress trees that likely cost a small fortune to maintain. A full-size tennis court, lap-lane swimming pool, and a notably elaborate built-in children’s playset are among the numerous other outdoor amenities.

[From Variety]

The fact that they bought the house from a “Russian businessman” at such a deep discount has already become a story in the British press. And granted, it is… interesting and notable. Especially for that area, which is typical high-demand seller’s market California real estate. If we were talking about Prince Andrew buying a deeply discounted home from a Russian businessman, I would spin a conspiracy about money laundering and shady finances. In this case, I think it’s more likely that there was something about the house which turned off most buyers, like the multitude of bathrooms (LMAO) or more likely, a sh-tty layout, ghosts or foundation issues (not uncommon in California with the earthquakes).

The Daily Mail picked out the trashiest elements – apparently, there’s a stripper pole in the gym, which… I mean, good lord. And a five-car garage. I hate when homes have giant garages, but that’s my thing, and most men feel differently. The DM says that Harry and Meg put down a $5.2 million down payment and their mortgage payments will probably be $40,000 a month. Which makes me break out in a stress rash, but rich people are different.

Beaming Meghan Markle makes her first public appearance in the UK since Megxit

Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid.

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216 Responses to “How did the Sussexes get such a deep discount on their Montecito home?”

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  1. Brit says:

    The British press are still salty I see. Them buying a home really put a sour taste in their tea didn’t it, lol. They didn’t see that coming and the abusers really want their prey to pay and come back crawling on their hands and knees asking for forgiveness. The entitlement towards this couple is staggering.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Exactly. It also tells you that not only the Royal Family stuck in the past but the British press is as well. They thought Harry and Meghan were going to be like Wallis and Edward.

    • Rhys says:

      If they are they should think about not paying for the (entire) Windsor family and stop whining.

      The pictures of the house are FANTASTIC!! Not my taste, but I can certainly appreciate all the house and the area have to offer.

      • minx says:

        Same, the house is not my taste at all but the grounds and views are breathtaking. They really got a deal. One thing that struck me is how private and protected the property seems. It’s a gated community, right? And I read that Santa Barbara is strict about drones.

      • Anne Call says:

        Minx, not a gated community but probably has a gatehouse with a long driveway and probably electronic gates. Oprah’s location is well known but you can’t see anything when you drive by but the front gatehouse. They’ve got 8 acres, Oprah has 40 or 50. Oprah’s buying more real estate, couple years ago she bought the house downhill from her for her dog trainer (A realtor told me that).

      • JAGirl says:

        It looks really beautiful. The property and the house, lots of privacy too.

        It was listed for just under 17 million in January 2020 and they paid 14,7 million, so it’s a good deal but i wouldn’t say it a “deep discount” or anything suspicious. In Real Estate, the listing price is usually negotiable and if the owner wants a quick sale they will be open to negotiating. This is not unique to Harry and Meghan so i’m not sure why you would mention money-laundering when the facts are available.

        I hope this sit isn’t going to become another conspiracy theory, hate-filled site like so many other blogs. I like it here and i like that people can see Meghan as a person not some “other being” needing to nitpick the lady to death.

      • Tealie says:

        It has a great shell, great internal structure and great potential and I think that’s what Harry and Meghan were looking for. I don’t think inside is their taste either especially with Meghan clean modern style. You can see in their videos they are up against a pain white wall in a room that looks very different from any in the listing likely a room they have started renovating, since all the rooms in the original house were that disgusting yellow lol

  2. Priscila says:

    The house has been in the market so long and the owner had been paying the bills, taxes and maintenance- he most probably saw the discount in terms of how much more he would have to put in the damm house.

    and if it is haunted….they can get an exorcist!

    • Mtec says:

      Plus, COVID times. It’s a buyer’s market.

      • fluffy_bunny says:

        It’s actually a seller’s market in most places because people sell their existing house and need somewhere to go so they’re willing to get into bidding wars to secure a new house. My MIL is a realtor who was supposed to be selling her house this summer.

      • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

        My friend’s daughter is a RE broker, and she has been REALLY busy! She’s sold 3 homes, with 3 more in escrow…all since April. People (esp. with $$$$) want to get out of the cities and move to less “crowded”, less “hit” areas… and let’s face it: when you have the big bucks, and don’t have to worry about securing the financing etc, you’re freer to move about and choose the what/where you want.

        As we’ve seen, this property has much more land around it, and seems to be harder to access than Tyler Perry’s place, so hopefully, they’ll have some peace. The drone shots that are being published now are ones done by the RE co. to post to sell the house.

      • Sojaschnitzel says:

        Definitely a seller’s market in europe.

      • KellyRyan says:

        I agree with seller’s market. My realtor called this week and said the average number of homes for sale in our area is 130 and currently we have 28. We’re in a rural area highly desirable for those exiting the city. We have a high number in escrow. I live in CA approximately 130 miles from Santa Barbara.

      • lucy2 says:

        Total seller’s market here. I’m at the NJ shore, and there is so little inventory, stuff is selling super fast. Lots of wealthy people want an escape from the cities.

        Maybe that house wasn’t price right to begin with? Probably too high to begin with, and as others have said, owning something like that is a cash drain on someone trying to sell, so they cut their losses.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:


        Could be a case of Russian mob money laundering for the original buyer.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Just leave the ghosts in the house. Other than lowering the price of the house, what have the ghosts done to be thrown out into the street? The house was built in 2003 so the ghosts cannot be that old. There may be be baby ghosts involved.

      I am sure the ghosts do not wear grey suits and are much nicer than the courtiers at Kensington Palace. I see the ghosts as a vast improvement.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        lol and very true! ;-)

      • Marley says:

        Our house was built in 1771 and I think it does have ghosts, but I find that comforting! They don’t seem to object to us, so I feel as though they are looking out for us. I’m sure any ghosts in H & M’s house would respect them!

      • Lady D says:

        I’ve thought about living in a really old house, and decided I would research the plants and trees that grew at that time and replant them in the yard to make the ghosts feel more at home. Of course, that just might encourage more to move in, so I guess I should be a little careful:)

      • BayTampaBay says:

        As long as the ghost do not play hide and seek with shoes, car keys or sunglasses, I say let them come. As stated above, ghosts can be very protective if they are respected.

        Nancy Lancaster, a famous American-British decorator, refused to have any ghost removed from her historic homes.

      • Deens says:

        Please please please anyone with access to BBC programming, watch the show Ghosts! It’s absolutely the best thing I’ve seen this year. Its about a crumbling stately home populated by ghosts from different eras, starting with a caveman, a milkmaid/witch, a Romantic poet, a WWII officer etc. It’s British comedy at its finest!

      • JaneEyreApparent says:

        I’ve lived and worked in haunted places. We all got along fine. :-)

      • Olenna says:

        From the time I was very small until now, I have lived in at least 4 houses that by most paranormal experts’ standards would be considered haunted or “occupied” by other entities. This last one I’ve been in for 20+ years; it was a newly built home when we moved in but ‘shadow’ people (as opposed to your run-of-the mill spirits) showed up. What a crew, LOL! My kids and a couple of relatives saw them, peaking around corners or darting away when confronted. This went on for several years. So, I got a Catholic friend to get me some holy water, I cleansed the house with herbs and salt, even had the kids run through running water while telling the fukkers to get out. After that, they left us alone for about 6-7 years. Then, they came back. Went to a wiccan shop for advice and was told to leave them alone; they’re ancestors. I gave up after that. Should’ve included them in my household for the 2020 census.

      • Feeshalori says:

        Marley and Olenna, where do you both live? This is so fascinating!

      • A says:

        @Olenna–protip, if you want to placate the spirits of your ancestors, try feeding the birds in your area. Not just through a bird feeder. You should go out into your backyard, put down some bird seed where they can find it, and make sure they eat it. It’s best if the birds you’re feeding are crows, but I think any kind of bird would do the trick.

        If your ancestors are following you around, that means that you need to do something to settle their spirits. They’re feeling neglected, and unacknowledged.

      • Edna says:

        @A. Would you explain more about feeding the birds to placate your ancestors? Is that a tradition from a particular culture or religion? I’d like to learn more about the why of doing that. I ask because it’s something that I do all the time and I learned to feed the birds that way from my grandmother who in turn learned it from her mother. I just always thought it was a nice way of helping birds.

      • Olenna says:

        Thanks for the tip, @A. Will definitely try the hand-feeding. We’ve had an uptick of big, noisy crows in the area, so I think I can make this happen! That shop owner may have been right about the ancestor link but I just wasn’t having it at the time. The shadows had bothered my kids when they were small, so when I heard “leave them alone” I was pissed and decided to never acknowledge them. Now, I don’t see them but my grown children do occasionally and say it’s no big deal since they’ve been around so long. They must be their paternal ancestors since I only ever saw ghosts/spirits in my other homes. My ex- was a nighttime clairvoyant–at least 3 times during our marriage he dreamed about deaths that happened, 2 relatives and one co-worker. So, I’m thinking his strange connections brought those ancestors into the home and they latched onto the kids.

        @Feeshalori, the last 2 homes I’ve lived where both in the mid-Atlantic region. One old (spirits), one new (shadows). I grew up in the Midwest in 2 different old homes (spirits), both built in the 1890s that only my ancestors ever lived in.

    • Alexandria says:

      The RF, RR and courtiers are scarier than ghosts.

    • Mich says:

      He also likely gets an enormous tax write off for selling at a loss.

    • bluemoonhorse says:

      When real estate is discounted, the higher the price, the bigger the discount (that’s math). It’s also something that fluctuates wildly and it isn’t like the economy is bursting right now.

    • Milkweed says:

      “Russian businessmen” ghosts

    • Drea says:

      Russian $$$$ has been artificially pushing up housing markets for years. Esp in places like NYC and other hot markets. It was a good way to launder money if needed, and now this is its comeuppance. I’m not surprised, frankly.

  3. chai35 says:

    Well, if the house was listed at a high price and continued to not sell and then sold for a lower price, I’d maybe bet that the house was overpriced to begin with. Maybe they didn’t get a good deal, maybe the Russian businessman made a bad choice in an attempt to park some cash in the US?

    • Ravensdaughter says:

      It’s also been a weird market in 2020. I wish my beloved real estate agent could be here beside me so she could pontificate, but we have to socially distance.
      As for the stripper pole in the gym, we know from J-Lo that stripper pole-ing makes for a great workout! Then Meghan can work off that baby weight that’s coming with segundo or segunda!
      (Yeah, I’m just pitching for a sibling for Archie!)

    • OK says:

      The Russian also took a bath on another home he purchased in Santa Barbara, he wanted $37 million and it ended up selling for $12million just a year later. I think he was just a really bad real estate dealer. Apparently H&M’s home has been onthe market on and off for 5years.

      • Livvers says:

        Even Jennifer Lawrence just took a $6 million loss on the NY condo she sold. I guess high end real estate has different rules from middle class & upper middle class market forces.

      • Mac says:

        If Grishin is to be believed, he most likely bought this house and the other to launder money he stole from Russia. Taking a loss isn’t as big a deal with stolen money.

      • Tia says:

        Also, this can sometimes be done to show a large asset on a balance sheet for a particular business. If the seller did buy the house with stolen money, fraud may well be a possibility.

      • Emmitt says:

        The new Sussex home was purchased by the businessman in 2009, which is around the time of the real estate crash. The home is probably worth closer to the amount the Sussexes paid for it.

    • Anne Call says:

      Probably priced initially as a tax shelter or way to launder money for some billionaire. I think trump and Epstein fought over some property that was going to be used to launder money for a Russian oligarch in south Florida.

      Anyway that didn’t work, so owner ended up selling it for its actual appraised value.

    • jwoolman says:

      When a house sells for two or three times market value, as this one apparently did originally – money laundering is a very good possibility, especially when the buyer is a rich foreigner like the “Russian businessman”. Trump does this kind of deal often, which is certainly how he became beloved of the Russians and Saudis long ago.

  4. Smices says:

    The answer is tight there in the article: the previous owner had tried And failed to sell the place for a decade. Sounds like it was overpriced originally.

    And of course the Brits focus on the negative and salacious. It’s why it’s great that their voices are slowly being drowned out by more balanced press coverage.

    • Brit says:

      Yep. That’s why they’re bitter. No one cares what those tabloids on that island has to say anymore. They are literally screaming to the wind. In America, we have bigger fish to fry. We hold people to account but we don’t obsess over it and beat them with it repeatedly. I don’t think the media realizes that crazy and deluded they look and they clearly can’t accept that the access, leaks and money has stopped.

      • Lady D says:

        We don’t obsess over it or beat them with it repeatedly, unless your name is Angelina. Tabloids have been obsessing over and maligning her for a couple of decades now.

    • Chica1971 says:

      A decade! There it is.

      Most likely, the home is private and they plan on renovating it.. like they did Frogmore. I’m sure it was inspected too so they have and idea what they are getting themselves into

  5. TheOriginalMia says:

    That’s real estate. Sometimes you make money. Sometimes you take a loss. The BM and royalist fans are really salty about this. They really wanted them living in a shack.

    • Brit says:

      Yep. The Australian morning shows were bitter as well about it. They all know the Harry and Meghan are independently wealthy. They were deluding themselves because they didn’t want it to be a reality. The bitterness and jealousy is real.

    • Ginger says:

      They can’t fathom someone leaving the RF and succeeding.

      Also, I think the backyard and built in playground was a major selling point for them.

      • Tealie says:

        Yep because the whole point of the BR is that they are the top of the of the top in opulence , work and style. The fact that Harry and Meghan are doing better than they were before outside the monarchy spells trouble because it makes people wonder what’s the point of having them and paying so much In the first place, and that’s what the palace was worried about.

    • El says:

      Yes, because the only 2 options are a mansion with 9 bedrooms for a family of 3 or a shack. Nothing in-between.

      • Lindas says:

        El Right on with your comment. This is a ridiculous amount of house for a family of 3 but most celebrities think they are special and need 10,000 or so square feet per aďult and children.

      • BabsORIG says:

        @El, meh it’s their money, their life, their choice to live as they please. Why should they choose “something in between”, just to please some hard to please detractors? America is a free country last I checked. If they want to live in a 20 room mansion, or a shack or even something in between, the choice is their’s. They aren’t spending anyone else’s money. The Cambridges live in a 16 bedroom apartment in Kensington palace, they own a helicopter, they own a 20 room country home called Anmer hall, all of these on the taxpayer’s quid, where’s the outrage for such extravagance on money that belongs to others?

      • MsIam says:

        @Babs, right, these folks are so tiresome it’s funny. Harry comes from a family that has multiple CASTLES to live in but him owning this one large house is “extravagant”. It’s smaller than Tyler Perry’s house. How bitter do you have to be to have such a skewed outlook on life?

      • Elizabeth says:

        Maybe they’re planning on house parties and fundraising occasions in the house.

      • AMM says:

        There are limited 2-3 bedroom homes that also have private security and a yard safe enough to play in without paparazzi drones flying around.

        And they do have separate needs, especially living outside of LA. Who wants to drag the paparazzi to the gym or playground with you? Why torture other people with their presence? They can play and workout at home.

      • Nic919 says:

        Please shut up about criticizing this house and any extravagance until you actually post a critical comment about the ACTUAL castles where Harry’s relatives reside using taxpayer money. As if we don’t recognize the same disingenuous bullshit coming from the same people all the time.

      • Lola_Lola says:

        @ El Why you mad? You mad?

      • Alexandria says:

        Dear, you do know they are not a typical wealthy family. They have to cater to potential royal guests, massive security risk, a potentially growing family, some staff, potential hosting for their Foundation’s events once Covid is dealt with. Privacy and security are likely at the top of their must haves hence yes, for a house to fulfill all of these and also fulfil their personal style which everyone is bound to have, their property search could likely have resulted in more than 5 bedrooms for a family of 3.

      • eb says:

        The number of bedrooms and bathrooms is a misleading thing to focus on here. Their number one priority would be security. That’s what comes with all the bathrooms. I imagine if they wanted to buy a 3 bedroom, three bathroom, house on 15 acres, that would be a hard thing to find in a secure area. Every square footage of that desirable, secure, community would have been bought up by developers to maximize profits. And they way they justify it, would be by maxing out what is considered musts for today’s world. So, 9 bedrooms, and 16 bathrooms it is. It’s what you have to buy, if you really want to get something secure I would imagine.

      • lucy2 says:

        If they truly were just a family of 3 sure, but there’s security, assistants, household help, nannies, and I’m sure Meghan’s mom will be there a lot. It’s probably rarely going to be just the 3 of them. Plus if they plan on expanding their family, there’s room to grow.

    • bamaborn says:

      Lol, so true! They wanted pictures of Harry, Meghan and baby Archie on Skid Row with Harry holding a “will work for food” sign and Duchess Meghan sitting on an over turned cart holding Archie with a cup in her hand. These people. *smh*

  6. Ariel says:

    It doesn’t feel like a deep discount. When famous rich people sell property it’s as if the usual course of business is- let’s see if we can get a sucker to pay way more for this than it’s worth.
    And sometimes they do.
    Maybe the Russian guy was feeling fancy and paid way too much.
    People with money are sometimes stupid and want what they want- money doesn’t stop them from making a dumbass purchase.

  7. Bettyrose says:

    Goodgawd that’s a mega mansion. The estate itself sounds wonderful, but I’d find it creepy to have so many unused rooms in a house. I guess they’ll host a lot of visitors? Start a yoga retreat?

    • chicken tetrazzini! says:

      Doria will have her own room, nanny(ies) their own, housekeeper maybe will each have their own bedrooms?… I bet those rooms are more filled than we poor could ever imagine

    • Ennie says:

      As Brit says.
      They have the need for privacy first and foremost. The home is probably surrounded by bigger homes, and being in a private street, will make more difficult for drones and papparazzis to get to them. The big trees and land around it helps, too. I bet is is uncommon to find a smaller, humbler home in the midst of a private street and with a lot of land. If there is, people would be hardly selling.
      They didn’t design the homes, but will make good use of it.

      • Tia says:

        Also, even if their security people aren’t live in, they are likely to need to stay over – that’s another bedroom or two.

    • MsIam says:

      It’s smaller than Oprah’s place and I guess she lives nearby. From what I’ve read Oprah has multiple guest houses for her friends, even Stedman has his own home. And she’s just one person.

      • bettyrose says:

        Having multiple guest houses would be great. My issue is specifically long hallways/empty rooms in the dark of night. Okay, I’ve watched too much horror, and I get that each room has an en suite bathroom, so not many midnight walks through the house, but still. Too much quiet freaks me out – I’m weird, I get that. I love the idea of a private compound, but I’d probably choose a cottage on the grounds and spend weekdays at my L.A. penthouse.

      • Lady D says:

        Is it possible to get a dog, bettyrose? They will let you know right quick if there’s someone in the house, or trying to get in. Plus, they are great companions.

      • Bettyrose says:

        LadyD, Great point! I have two dogs so it’s funny I didn’t think of that. Of course H & M have dogs (and maybe more when Archie is old enough for his own pup). I guess I was picturing a house so pristine as no pets, but H & M have always kept their pups in the house, I think.

    • ola says:

      16 bathrooms. I understand Kartrashians need 16 bathrooms but Harry and Meghan?

      I’m reading FF so there’s a relevant quote:
      “Harry and Meghan had agreed they didn’t want their home filled with staff. Harry had seen that situation at William’s home (the Cambridges had a live-in housekeeper and a full-time, live-in nanny), and didn’t want the same for his own family. He and Meghan liked the idea that when they went to bed at night, it was just the three of them in the house. Cozy and private.”

      The mortgage, maintenance and running costs scare me to death. I hope they’ll be alright.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Just finished FF and I thought of that immediately. They don’t want live in staff. But then again, they didn’t used to have their own private compound.

      • pottymouth pup says:

        my guess is that most of the bedrooms have an en suite private bathroom, plus bathrooms by the gym, gate house – do they include the bathrooms in the guest house/tea house when saying the number of bed/bathrooms?

  8. taylor says:

    That they sought out a house so grand makes me realllly curious about them choosing Frogmore Cottage. Was it actually a choice? If so, did they already know it was temporary?

    Does anyone know if Finding Freedom answers these questions? lol

    • Brit says:

      I think they chose both spots for privacy. They’ll have even more privacy in Montecito because they’re in a compound. I doubt Harry and Meghan really care about the house itself. From the place they were mentally in England, privacy is worth every penny.

      • Thirtynine says:

        I’d say their number one concern was defense, security and privacy. Anything else can be changed, but if it can’t be properly secured, Harry is not having that for his Meg and Archie.

    • Tealie says:

      I think it’s more about the grounds and area than the house itself, the land and trees around it gives them extensive privacy and isolation that they wouldn’t come with any smaller of a home. I think they were fine with Frogmore and just needed. Home in order to get out of there. And the fact it was on an estate with private land gave them extensive privacy So wether Frogmore was a direct choice idk, but they were clearly fine and had made their peace with it since they were gonna raise Archie there .

  9. CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

    Rich people stress me out lol. What on earth do you need all that space for? Honestly. These huge houses always get me. I’m doing a bit of house hunting myself and $4000 mortgage made me choke.

    Discount wise, there are tons of reasons houses have discounts, though I’ve never seen one that big. I looked at a house recently that was discounted because it was simply outdated on the inside.

    Also yeah if folks could stop taking photos of their home that would be great. Extreme invasion of privacy and a safety risk.

    • blacktoypoodle says:

      It will be much easier for them to have fund raisers, foundation people and collaborators come to their house then for them to pack up with security, advance logistics and avoiding paparazzi if they went to an office somewhere off site. In that sense they are saving a lot of time and money by being able to do everything in one place.
      Part of the house for living, part for group activities, part for business/office.

      • blacktoypoodle says:

        The exterior is a classic California Spanish style home, not trendy. The interior however is a mash up of “Tuscan Opulent/Rustic” (not actual Mediterranean, what the interior decorators and clients wanted at the time, they just threw everything in: More is more. ) That was all the rage and super trendy in the early 2000s.
        So watch out kids. Your all white, exposed lightbulb, industrial and/or “farmhouse” look is going to look super dated and will be laughed at in about 10-15 years. Or sooner :)

      • bettyrose says:

        As much as I enjoy following M & H and wish them all the best, I think this is where I don’t wonder what I’d do with their resources. I don’t enjoy networking or parties. If I were in a position to create a multi-million dollar foundation, I would love to read proposals, learn about wonderful projects, amazing activists, and be proud to contribute to their efforts with funding . . . but I wouldn’t hold parties or mingle, and so I wouldn’t need a house big enough for that (just awesome wifi to hold meetings by the pool!)

  10. Sofia says:

    The guy tried to sell it for over 10 years and nothing. Paying the fees on a property that you no longer want can be tiresome – even if you’re rich and when you’ve been doing it for 10 years.

    • CAP N' CRUNCH says:

      Actually the guy bought the house in 2015.

      • BabsORIG says:

        Okay, LOL, the guy has been paying taxes etc for 5 years etc etc…😂😂😂😂😂 What difference does it make? He’s been paying and losing money on a property that wasn’t selling and thus costing him more that he wanted to spend, period. The nitpicking is so tiresome.🙄🙄

      • MsIam says:

        The article says he bought it in 2009. I think he tried to sell it in 2015 for the $50 million. And that was a “no”.

  11. Jen says:

    Salty folks (namely at British tabloids) are so faux-concerned about their finances that they completely overlook that Harry and Meghan are really wealthy. Even if his trust funds have restrictions on when he can use them, they’re likely worth a lot more than the estimates because of growth since they were established.

    There’s also by many of their haters a very fundamental misunderstanding of how money works for the ultra-wealthy.

    Until it is their favorite and then it is “Of course Will and Kate deserve 2 multi-million dollar places to live for free! They work so hard for it!”

    • Tealie says:

      Loll literally 😂😂 Anmer Hall alone in that location would be worth at least £10 million. And Kensington palace with 10 bedrooms in the most expensive area in central London with 10 bedroom and with immediate access and surrounding parking would be about £30-40+ million (I checked the average price for a 10 bedroom in that area, a 6 bedroom was £44 million, so I’m being nice lol)

  12. aang says:

    Sell for a loss, take write the off. Maybe the Russian over paid to begin with in order to transfer laundered money to someone else. Who did he buy it from? Doesn’t mean the Sussex deal is shady. But it is NOT a buyers market right now. I flip houses, usually one a year. Right now there are bidding wars with properties going 25% + above ask and cash offers are very common. I’m waiting for an estate to close because I made an offer almost a year ago on a house and if I can still get it for the contracted price I’ll be getting a steal. I’m expecting them to pay the penalty and cancel because the value has gone up so much in the last 6 months. I won’t touch a market value in my area right now because I’m waiting for a correction. Very few houses on the market plus low rates makes for an overheated market. But I’m not in the 10 million mansion market so maybe that market is different.

    • Tanya says:

      It is and it isn’t. If you’ve got a nice family home in a good suburb, you’re doing really, really well.

      On the other hand, look at the price history on this one:

      There are only so many wealthy people out there, and most of them already have nice houses. They’re not going to make a move unless they really love something or they sense a really good deal.

      • Dilettante says:

        Very interesting, and that is one gorgeous house. Personally don’t care for the interiors of HM’s but it’s a great spot, they can renovate and I hope they’ll be happy and protected there.

      • bettyrose says:

        5 Million in Montecito?!? C’mon CB’s let’s pool our resources and buy this as a time share. (Note to stalk celebs. Just to live in a place like this!)

      • ennie says:

        it’s in Maine, I think, but the price history! call me in 5 years please

      • Bettyrose says:

        Never been to Maine but would consider for this house, especially in 5 years at this rate of price drop!

      • Tealie says:

        bettyrose That’s a bargain, I’m sure we can all pool some penny’s together, (although I’m a bit weary of weirdos swimming up to our house lol!

    • Helen says:

      The market in LA and vicinity is insanely oversaturated. Homes in the most coveted neighborhoods have been sitting for multiple years because no one is buying there right now.

    • Anne Call says:

      Montecito is selling like hot cakes right now to buyers who want to get out of big cities like LA and can work remotely anywhere.

  13. Izzy says:

    Well I think the “tried to sell it many times over the years” part might be a clue as to why they scored the price they did. If only the idiot media writing about the couple were capable of basic rational thinking.

  14. The Hench says:

    Amen on the ‘stop bloody searching for and posting photos of their new house if you actually care about them and their privacy’ shout. It reminds me of the vicious rounding on the paparazzi for Diana’s death by many. Whilst they behaved appallingly, the paparazzi were only chasing her because her adoring public wanted and paid for photo after photo of her. The public interest drives the invasion of privacy. I think we can often feel that we are so small individually that what we do doesn’t make a difference but it really does when there are millions of us little individuals all thinking that. See also: voting.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I don’t have an issue with the standard MLS photos that have been out there for a few years. They look a bit dated and it seems most of the photos are from real estate sites, and now a lot of them have been taken down. I don’t think it would be right to show current photos of the property or start staking out Montecito and bothering the neighbors. I think the main furor is the fact that they actually bought a home, it’s not in Hollywood, it’s not a shack, and it shows they are going to settle down out there. Every time the Sussexes do anything that shows very clearly that they have moved on and are working and living unapologetically, it riles up the usual haters who seem way more interested in them than is healthy.

  15. Snuffles says:

    According to that Luxatic post (which has now been removed!!), it was listed at 49.5 million at one point. Which is outrageous. Then it was listed at 34 million. Still outrageous as it was initially bought at 25 million. So it’s not surprising that no one was biting.

    Combine that with fairly recent fires and mudslides and a down market due to Coronavirus, I’m sure the seller was just thrilled that anyone was willing to buy it and took the loss.

    But let’s get back to the U.K. press. They are OBSESSED with their finances! I saw one article trying to estimate what their annual costs to maintain the property and pay for security would be. Some are shocked that Harry and Meghan could secure a mortgage loan at all. Repeating the line that they are “unemployed”. Because apparently, Harry running several enormously successful foundations isn’t a job.

    Harry and Meghan are independently millionaires. Meghan earned her money and Harry earned and inherited his. Together they are estimated to have a MINIMUM net worth of $35 million. And Harry’s portion is based on the inheritances he received 20 years ago. They are probably worth more now because it’s safe to assume they have been investing and growing their money wisely. Hell, the interest alone would pump up that number by millions. He probably has never touched that money before now because he was funded by Charles and the Queen most of his life.

    Meghan maintains a steady income from royalties from SUITS and her Hallmark movies playing in syndication all over the world. That’s at LEAST 6 figures annually right there. Possibly more now that there is more interest in the show now that she’s married to a Prince.

    I have NO doubt they are worth FAR more money than anyone realizes.

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      I was on a pro-royalty site and my God have they lost their minds about this house. They can’t believe Harry & Meghan have enough for the down payment plus paying off Frogmore. They believe they bought this mega mansion to lord it over Americans that they are exiled royals. Umm…Americans do not care. We like looking at pics of the wealthy’s house. No one is begrudging them a safe home for them and their adorable son. That’s the tabs and salty royal stans.

      Snuffles, you’re probably right. Harry probably hasn’t touched much of his money because he was funded by Charles. With the right wealth management, and come on, the BRF has the best, Harry has a sizable fortune at his disposal.

    • Sofia says:

      This. We have no idea what investments either of them have made. Nobody except for Harry, Meghan, their accountant and Charles know what they’re truly worth

    • windyriver says:

      Actually, in many areas within a reasonable distance of large cities, the market is strong due to Covid – because people want to move out of those cities to less densely populated areas.

    • Tealie says:

      Honestly I think it was because the guy was punching above his weight, I dOubt any estate agent ever suggested £48 million 💀. You can tell by the decor he was a bit of a pompous asshole

  16. Anna says:

    I got my stress rash thinking about air-con bills, not to mention mortgage. But If I only could afford a house like this I would go for it no matter what. In this paradise, I would be able even to forget about Mother Earth and climate changes ;)

  17. Ennie says:

    Where I live, quite a few people are using solar cells to power their AC, can’t you do that in the US?

    • MsIam says:

      Solar Panels are big business in California, for those that can afford the initial cost anyway. I’m sure the house already has them and if not, they’ll get them installed. Nbd.

    • MadameX says:

      To respond to @Ennie: re solar panels powering AC.
      I’m in the US, and we had solar panels installed last year. Unless you make a big infrastructure investment in power storage, the electricity that the panels generate just goes back into the grid and is then credited to your utilities account. Our use of the power grid is the same, but the amount metered on the bill is a ton (like 60-80 percent!) lower.

    • Toot says:

      Yes,over her we call them solar panels and Harry may be equipping the house with them.

    • morrigan01 says:

      Solar is HUGE here in California. (As said, we call them Solar Panels). A lot of people in my own neighborhood have been getting Solar Panels in the last few year. I want to too, but I just can afford it right now.

      Plus, California will give you Energy Efficiency tax discounts for Solar Panels, as well as any Energy Efficiency appliances or cars you purchase.

      • madameX says:

        I’m not in California, but in another state with tons of sun. It’s been making me so happy to see solar panels going up around town in the past year. Around May/June 2019 solar panels were still so rare around here that someone from Burundi blew my mind by telling me how widespread consumer solar cells are in East and Central Africa. Fast forward to August 2020: there are two houses on my block with solar panels and I probably wouldn’t have to work too hard to find another 10 to round out a dozen in the closest neighborhoods.

        Still by far the minority—and there is so much low-hanging fruit in the form of buildings with huge unshaded roofs— but it’s been amazing how quickly we went from “wait, solar panels are a thing people have?!” to “yah, solar panels are a thing people have!”

  18. AMM says:

    I looked it up on Zillow (I won’t post) and Zillow only estimated it at less than a million more than what they paid for it. So I think the big “discount” was just the guy originally trying to sell it for way more than it was worth. The same guy also had the Scarface mansion listed for 35 million before finally selling for just 12 million after a year on the market. I think he just sucks at real estate.

    • Shoshone says:

      The seller appears to have seriously overpaid if he paid 25 million US in 2009 for his home. Comparable homes in this area sold for millions less in 2009 than they do today. Of course, our comments are based on the details of the house which are currently being reported by the press. The home was on the market for a long time. In that area and in the market conditions of the last 2-3 years if it was worth anything near 25 million it would probably have already been sold. Congratulations to H&M on their beautiful new home.

    • Tia says:

      Or he was claiming to own an asset valued at 35 million – if he is a slightly (or very) shady businessman there could well be a reason for him to claim a property is worth 3 times the actual value.

  19. Becks1 says:

    I don’t think there’s any conspiracy. I think that’s just how real estate goes sometimes. If he had put it on the market for the first time in May for 30 million and then the Sussexes bought it a month later for 15 million, I could see the whole “why such a deep discount” argument.

    But as it is – this wasn’t a “deep discount.” This was the seller overestimating the value of his house and not being able to sell it for a decade.

    • Ennie says:

      I understand that the house had already go e down to 17 million or so, I expect that With the quarantine and way of payment, the previous owner finally sold it.

    • windyriver says:

      A local said on here yesterday that the mudslides a couple of years ago depressed housing prices in the area for a time. Also that any property near the creeks coming off the hills could be in risk zones. If that last is a factor, could be why this one hadn’t sold yet even when the price came down to a more reasonable level. The property could have sustained some impact from the slides, and/or, there needs to be work done so it’s not vulnerable in the future, and that factored into the final selling price.

      The original listing prices were ridiculous. But given the location, view, and what we’ve seen from the pictures, I think it’s at least worth $20M, and for whatever reason, they got a very nice deal.

    • Feeshalori says:

      And you also have to factor in the amount of land, too, over 7 acres? Not too paltry.

  20. Melissa says:

    Russian “businessmen” frequently launder money through real estate purchases. They way overpay for properties as a way to funnel extra cash into the US/to their associates. So I wonder if the previous owner deliberately overpaid and what H&M paid is what it’s actually worth.

  21. MadameX says:

    Ok, celebitchies: long time obsessive lurker but very new member-with-a-username. I need an intervention on a low-key obsession with MM’s Toronto and new California life. My current stress response is to binge-read The Cut’s How I Get It Done and trawl “Meghan’s Mirror” for their collection of her pre-RF house pictures and casual/workwear styling. It’s like my brain has landed on her actress/influencer/now philanthropist career as hustle goals. I get that this is kind of the point of celebrity culture (and, for sure, not searching out unauthorized photos) but I feel SO creepy.

    • Ennie says:

      I love looking at real estate videos of Toronto homes. The ones I have seen are smaller, but lovely! And SO expensive!

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I love any kind of real estate porn!

      • MadameX says:

        Yes to both @Ennie and @BayTampaBay!

        The housing market in my area has gone nuts in the past 10 years, so there so much real estate porn to look up (and get low-key ‘that sold that for what?!?’ outraged over).

    • FashionMaven says:

      I go to youtube and watch home tours – it’s my crack. HouseandHome’s youtube channel is awesome and so is Architectural Digest’s. HouseBeautiful’s is nice too. I’m bummed they didn’t do their small space issue this year, but I get why.

      I’d love to see the inside of their house one day but know that will never happen unless I’m lucky enough to get invited over (lmao).

    • Ellen Olenska says:

      And now I have you to blame for telling me about Meghans mirror @MadamX!😂😂😂. Not as if I didn’t already check out too much house and fashion distractions! And welcome!

  22. Tig ool biddies says:

    Yes. Don’t search for images of the house…come to Celebotchedy to view them in between links to the DM (which you shouldn’t read)!

    I genuinely don’t understand. Are there no mirrors in your glass house?

    • Ennie says:

      Probably, but I see it as peccata minuta as here in CB is o e of the few places positive to the Sussexes.
      I don’t ever open the DM or any other british dirty tabloid, CB reads them for us, yes, it would be better not to click on these articles, but at least we are not bots posting the links to the tabloid articles dozens of times, like they do to boost themselves.

  23. Caroline says:

    Those pictures of them will forever be my favorites. The lighting, the color of her dress, the “we don’t give a fuc%” vibe. *chef’s kiss*

  24. Lizzie says:

    I think they would be smart to release thier own pics of themeslves at the new house and take the prize away from the paparazzi.

  25. Edna says:

    The saltiness of the BM is absurd. The RF lives in taxpayer funded mansions and castles filled with stolen treasures and wear stolen Jewelry and their beefing about the Sussexes buying a home using a mortgage. Crazy😂😂

  26. S808 says:

    After they left, anything the BM has to say doesn’t matter nearly as much. All these articles are them just trying to save face. Harry and Meghan are doing just fine but the BM can’t have its readers believe they’re doing fine. They’re not the first to know anything anymore so they can’t set the narrative any longer. They’re so much easier to ignore now. With them buying a home and FF being out, it really feels like the chapter on their time in Britain is closed.

  27. Nancy says:

    Controversial opinion incoming: I think it’s tacky and gaudy. Don’t hurt me!

    • Ennie says:

      I wouldn’t care if it had towers and was a mini castle with mirrors, what I care is that they can live in peace in the community and are left alone by papz.

    • AMM says:

      I think most Mansions are gaudy as hell. But they probably bought the house based on privacy and security concerns (10 acres in a well protected community with tree coverage for a good price) and will deal with the fussiness of the house later.

      • Nikki* says:

        I think you’re probably correct. Location, location, location is the key, and other stuff can be changed.

    • Snuffles says:

      I’m not keen on the interior design either but that is all changeable. But I LOVE the grounds and many of the aspects like the wine cellar, home theater, the playground, etc… It’s hands down a stunning location. Totally worth it.

    • Milkweed says:

      I totally think it’s tacky and gaudy also. I expected something way different.

    • Dilettante says:


    • Becks1 says:

      I don’t love the décor, but its not my house, lol. I also imagine Meghan will probably decorate it very differently.

      I looked at the pics and I can just imagine myself on one of the balconies with a glass of good wine, watching the sun set, lol.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I like the exterior but the house is a bit dark with too many heavy stone interior details, and the staging furniture is very old fashioned. Some real estate sites show the house pics, then show artist renderings of a redone rooms with different interior design. I’d definitely redo some of those dark rooms and use a lighter color palette, and more modern furniture. It’s a lot of house with extra rooms most of us will never need just to pad the square footage like game rooms and saunas, but that seems to be the thing in that price bracket. However, the Santa Barbara location, the grounds, and garden is what’s really appealing and lovely. Gorgeous estate. Lot of upkeep. They can renovate and decorate later.

      • AMM says:

        I think it needs lightened up too. But Harry grew up in old, stuffy and dark palaces and castles. He may not be ready for super modern.

      • windyriver says:

        If this is the house where they plan to raise their kid(s), they’ll be there for at least 15 years. Plenty of time to change things completely, and, if they’re lucky, the rest of the world will never know what it looks like!

        There was a picture of a smaller sitting room near a door or window, with a big comfy armchair in a white and blue floral, that looked very cozy. That, the kitchen, the gardens, and the upstairs patio/balconies, yes, very very nice.

    • Edna says:

      Why don’t you troll your way back to tumbler

    • Nic919 says:

      I thought there were too many frou frou statues in the outside gardens. The kitchen seemed fine but the bedrooms seemed over done. However that’s the staging and I suspect there will be a lot of decor changing over time.

      I think it’s fair to criticize decor and things like that as opposed to just being offended they didn’t buy a shack.

    • Alexandria says:

      Huh? Personal taste is personal taste. Don’t worry about it.

      I don’t know how it looks like and I won’t click on DM.

    • ola says:

      I’m sure they will gradually redecorate. I guess now when they’re not restrained by RF rules, they can make deals with interior and furniture designers. Can you imagine what advertisement would that bring to a single piece of decor if Meghan and Harry chose it for their house?

    • FashionMaven says:

      I think they’ll likely remodel at some point. The house interiors (from what I came across on twitter) seemed a bit overdone for how clean and simple Meghan’s aesthetic is. Like the paneled room I could see them keeping as a library, but one with more modern furnishings and a hint of English charm for Harry. But the faux painted walls and old world touches I’m sure will be gotten rid of. At this point since the world knows they are there, they might as well get going on a renovation if they’d like to.

      I’m really happy for them. Montecito is one of the most beautiful places.

  28. Godwina says:

    That place is so Sopranos! Not sure how much redecorating will help rid it of that–it’s dated now, and won’t be “cool” again for at least a decade, that 90s look (2003 build using 90s taste = quite common back then, still).* I thought they had better taste? I also thought they would splash out for something a little more “posh modest” – super expensive and nice, and larger than most homes, but not Tacky Castle.

    *Yes, Mediterranean style is centuries old, but the faux-ness of recent suburban American takes on it is NOT the same, and lacks all of the charm.

    • Milkweed says:

      OMG! It is so Sopranos. Which is not California beach style.

      • MsIam says:

        Guess what guys, your taste is not their taste. And considering what. Harry grew up in, he probably feels right at home.

      • Ennie says:

        His granny has a gold piano, and are complaining because it isn’t minimalist. I know if it had any other design, people would still be complaining. People were happy when he was in a 1 bd cottage, even Frogmore was too expensive for them, well, you can stop worrying now.

      • L4frimaire says:

        I don’t think the typical, contemporary LA style glass box would work for them. It offers a lot of privacy and the architecture style doesn’t really stand out that much in the area. Lots of faux Spanish colonial styles in that area.

    • katharine says:

      Why did you think they had better taste? I never saw any indication of such.

    • morrigan01 says:

      The split-level Spanish style is actually a common one here here in California, particularly Southern California.

      California was once a *Spanish* colony, not a British/English one as many states on the East Coast were. And Santa Barbara was once a primary Spanish Mission town when it was founded. (The mission is still there btw). So most of the city and houses there have that Spanish/Mediterranean esthetic, just like many cities out here that started out as Spanish Mission towns.

      So, you know, it’s all “recent” if you consider the 1800s “recent.”

    • Olenna says:

      Random person’s taste versus the Sussexes’ home decorating taste we’ve yet to see, versus the amenities they need (regardless of architecture), versus a good investment deal possibly? Criticism sounds like sour grapes trying to make whine. This place is going to be busy with guests, meetings and maybe even a small retreat or two that we’ll be never even know about.

      • FashionMaven says:

        I’m just excited – it has its own spa! That’s like my dream!!

        I keep thinking one day I would convert the bedroom on the bottom floor of my 4 story townhome into a spa room. I’d have a spa therapist every week, lol. Ah dreams.

  29. Abena Asantewaa says:

    The British media can’t say Tyler Perry freebie mansion again, so now it’s a Russian Oligargh’s megamansion. People usually buy homes from real estate brokers not directly from the buyer, in any case so what? Ingrid Seaward was saying if the house cost so much money, it will not sit well with the public! This is laughable, the hypocrisy is astounding,, she is ok with the royals living in several palatial mansions funded by taxpayers, but worried about H&M, who have paid for their owm property. I think, they thought the sussexes would be homeless and will come crawling, buying a house means, they aint coming back , stuff the 1year review.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      “they ain’t coming back , stuff the 1 year review.”


    • S808 says:

      Ingrid can stfu. Meghan and Harry don’t owe modesty or ANYTHING to the public any longer so who cares what they think about the house. That’s the beauty or stepping back and becoming private citizens.

  30. Boo says:

    It sounds kinda awful to me, except the lot size. Seven acres is the dream.

  31. Nikki* says:

    Random: I was surprised to learn Italian cypress trees cost a fortune to maintain?? Don’t they grow all over the hills in Tuscany and places??

  32. LaraW” says:

    It’s one thing to look at photographs captured by drones. It’s another thing to look at photos which have been publically available since at least 2015 in efforts to sell a house that has been on the market for years.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I agree. Those photos look outdated. I don’t think a realtor would use that heavy furniture to stage a house now and while it’s move in ready, it definitely needs some updating.

  33. RedWeatherTiger says:

    In reading Finding Freedom, it seems that there is a LOT of entertaining in their world. The description of H&M going to George & Amal’s place at Lake Como, and all the celebrities they hosted there, and the big parties where they invite the whole neighborhood plus all their houseguests…it seems like quite a whirl. What about Christmas in Montecito? What if (HA!) Bill and Kathy came to visit with their three kids, their nannies, their requisite staff, their security…woops, we’ve run out of bedrooms. Do you think Normal Bill and Kate would mind bunking in the pool house?

  34. Anh says:

    Isn’t it disingenuous for you guys to try to dissuade us from looking up photos of their home when you constantly have stories on them, often linked to very dubious and Sussex-vicious sites?

  35. beacker says:

    I was wondering if people would try to make that a thing, especially since the home they were living in in Canada was said to have been owner by a wealthy Russian businessman.

  36. 10KTurtle says:

    Am I the only person here who would pay extra for a haunted house? Hahaa
    Maybe the house was originally listed way over what it should have been, anticipating some tech billionaire who doesn’t even look at it or step foot in it to buy it without any thought, and the “discount” is really just the price coming back down to reality.

  37. Lunasf17 says:

    It’s a lot of house and if I had their lifestyle I would probably buy a place like this too. It’s just a weird time here in America with the wealth divide getting larger and larger. Half the country is about to slide into more debt and poverty because they are losing out on the $600 additional UI that is keeping them afloat and others are buying multi million dollar estates. I know this has nothing to do with H and M but for them Covid means a good deal on a house, for many Americans it’s a measly $600 a week between them and keeping shelter over their head. The wealth divide here is just insane.

  38. Katie says:

    Montecito has been plagued with devastating mudslides the last few years, mostly due to the nearby fires that don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

    My guess is that it’s harder now to sell a house there for full price if it comes with the elevated risk of emergency evacuations.

    • ola says:

      Plus the house is located near the San Andreas fault line. They didn’t get the discount. The mansion had been on the market for a long time and the price got reduced. Good for them.

  39. khaveman says:

    The real estate market is nuts right now, with a lot of sellers taking a hit on price. I’m not surprised – the house may have been on the market for a while. And the bottom line is a lot of foreigners own a lot of property in the United States.

  40. Frida_K says:

    I’m from the area (Katie Perry and I went to the same high school, though she’s younger than I am and went well after I graduated) and my thoughts on the house is that it’s not very pretty and that it’s a little dark and heavy for a Santa Barbara house.

    I looked at the pictures of it and thought that the landscape and views are gorgeous (it made me homesick) and the roof tiles are SB style, ok fine, but the tones and shades of the house are not quite as bright and Mediterranean as I associate with my hometown. I could see it being comforting to Harry because there is sort of a heavier, English feel to it.

    I may be entirely wrong, and I lived in Santa Barbara proper as a young adult and in the ‘burbs when I was very young, not in Montecito, so who knows what is considered amazing there. But for me, the house didn’t quite have the SB vibe and that may be why it languished on the market.

    I hope they are happy there and it’s their house and they bought it, so I’m sure they love it and that’s all that matters here.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I felt the same. The house looks to me like a completely renovated English Country house in the middle of Santa Barbra County USA.

    • Anne Call says:

      Inside is bad staging. Outside is very old Spanish style montecito estate with big front courtyard. I’m sure they’ll update the inside and make it look a lot better.flad they got ocean views also. I’ve got those on the Riviera 3 miles away.

      • morrigan01 says:

        Yeah, that old Spanish style is actually very common out here in SoCal, particularly in cities that were once founded as Mission Towns. It’s usually older houses that were built in that style. There is a mansion in my area in that style that was built in the 1920s.

        This house was built in 2003 or so, so it was clearly a design choice, likely to match the old Spanish style ascetic of the area. Because that is one thing I deeply remember about the Santa Barbara area, is the old Spanish style ascetic of most of the houses, shops and restaurants there. From pictures, even the airport is in that style.

      • Anne Call says:

        SB had a massive earthquake in the early 1920’s and lots of Victorian wood building collapsed. They city made the decision to rebuild everything Downtown in Spanish style. The SB courthouse is one of the most beautiful buildings in the country, inside and out. Kamala Harris got married there!

  41. bub244 says:

    The Russian businessman selling a property to a member of the British royal family for a steep discount certainly sounds suspicious, although that may just be because I’ve recently finished reading a book all about Russian agents infiltrating Western society. Otherwise it sounds absolutely lovely and I am sure they will be very happy. I’m from the UK so I am always jealous of these big houses with pools.

    • Ennie says:

      I’d like to have to have the time to do some research in this topic. Quite a number of russian oligarchs, and all those millions they are spending in real state are not being used to purchase only new properties, but also older homes with a history. Rihht in the middle of London. Why has that never been a worry before?
      I’ve seen some mild questioning of Andrew’s deals, but not that much.

      • bub244 says:

        I highly recommend the book I just read in that case!! It’s called something like Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on The West. There’s a whole section at the end about the amount of Russian money swishing around London.

      • Ennie says:

        Sounds interesting, thanks!

    • Alexandria says:

      Bub, are you also interested in the demise of Germany’s Wirecard and the ex COO’s possible entanglement with Russia?

      • bub244 says:

        Hi Alexandria, I’m sure I could be! Although I have to admit I’ve never heard of it before so I am off to google.

      • bub244 says:

        Hi Alexandria, I’m sure I could be! Although I have to admit I’ve never heard of it before so I am off to google.

  42. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Meh. It sounds like the house wasnt selling and they gave a low ball offer because their real estate agent was smart enough to know that. Not all that surprising tbh.

    • MsIam says:

      Right, and it’s not even a low ball offer. Those higher prices were several years ago and it didn’t sell. People always want to see the worst with Harry and Meghan but want the Cambridge’s to walk on water.

      • Alexandria says:

        The Billionaire house was listed for 250 million and sold for 94 million in 2019. Over-evalution happens.

  43. Prayer Warrior says:

    The ONLY thing I envy is the pool…oh, how I would love to have a pool …. especially now because the rec center is closed and aqua-size is the only aerobic activity that doesn’t hurt. And maybe the fact that the dogs can run around pretty freely; but I am close to forest walks so that envy isn’t as deeply green as the fact they have a pool…..

  44. Sophie says:

    Montecito real estate is wild right now, but it’s still an area that is at a high risk for fires and future debris flows. I think it will take 5 years from the Thomas Fire for the undergrowth to recover enough to stabilize the hillside. There are multiple last minute evacuation orders every winter when the rains start. If the house is along a creek or other low lying area, the insurance will be astronomical. My spouse has a couple clients trying to sell houses in high risk areas (mission cyn, Montecito near olive mill), and they are having a very tough time trying to unload them.
    It is also quite difficult to get permits for major renovations here, so my guess is they’ll tear it down to the studs and keep just enough of it to not require a permit. And then halfway through the remodel, their neighbors will lose their minds and try to sue to stop all work.

    • Anne Call says:

      Yeah, I live above down town SB on the Riviera and we got our homeowner insurance cancelled this spring. Found new policy right away. Montecito has also put up huge metal barriers up in the hills to stop boulders coming down (alps has these) and worked to make all the creeks safer. Some areas that were completely wiped out may not get rebuilt, but this house obviously made it through. Mudslide was also probably a one in a hundred year occurrence (like the pandemic!).

  45. SoCalVibes says:

    Love the advice about not engaging at all online about this as the best way to protect Harry and Meghan and their family. I am really happy for them that they got such a large, high-security family that will allow them to live as privately as possible. Hopefully Meghan’s mother will be moving into the guest house, and they can settle into a happy laid-back family life under the glorious Southern Californian sun.

    I see Harry and Meghan as people who would enjoy maintaining and improving their home, and like myself, see if as an enjoyable combination of exercise, horticulture, art, design, construction, and an intangible emotional connection to your home as an expression of your love for your family. Clocking in at 19k sf they will definitely need plenty of help just to maintain baseline standards though.

    As to the comment about the garages, I thought a 5 car garage was small for a property of that size.

    As for the prior owner of the house, ultra-wealthy Russians feature prominently in the ownership rolls through murky ownership vehicles in all ultra-high-end communities in California.

  46. AndaPanda says:

    Interest rates are at records lows so people that can actually buy are buying now. I live in a condo and about 6 months ago the units were harder to sell, but the latest one, which sold about 2 months ago, went above asking price. my house isn’t 14 mil (I wish!) but iI think it’s indicative of the market her in CA. Also, yes, I’m nosy but I just bought my first house in Southern California after saving my butt off for years, so I’m super fascinated about how this all goes down even more now.

  47. Lowrider says:

    The British royal members surrounded themselves with oligarchs, arms-dealers and suspicious people.

    • ola says:

      …and celebrities. How’s that relates to providing Archie with a normal life?

      • ennie says:

        normal-er than others. How normal can he be raised when his mom and dad are harassed and being called names around the world?

      • L4frimaire says:

        They’re never going to have a normal life. What they’re hoping is to have a life where they’re the ones in the drivers seat. I get really annoyed at how people sometimes assume this was a cavalier decision based on a few bad articles and the need to overshadow. It’s way more complicated and they’re not going to moth ball themselves. So what if they bought a big house and got a mortgage. Now it’s their responsibility and not our business.

  48. Alexandria says:

    In a few days time, these insane lie-mongerers will start to insinuate this was a shady deal and the Russian dude has terrorist links / AML suspicions aka Meghan’s work for Hub Kitchen with terrorist links part 2 smear.

    But of course the actual shady deals by Andrew and Fergie won’t be insinuated!

  49. AGreatDane says:

    I’m surprised no one has gone for the “Beatrice’s husband sells houses and they didn’t go with him???” angle.

  50. Likeyoucare says:

    If they buy it from wealthy asian or sheikh then the BM will say that they bought it from communist or phedo.
    Maybe they purchased it before they were coming to the usa. During the renovation they had to stay at Perry house, unfortunately that pesky covid interfere with the timing and they had to stay for more than a month.
    The house might not look the same as the realtor pictures.
    Its their house, their taste and THEIR MONEY.

  51. Lanie says:

    More terrible that living in a castle?
    Trolls are desperate.

  52. Ennie says:

    Living is CASTLES for free, and being paid millions and getting all sort of expensive hobbies and clothes paid to appear to do good deeds or cutting ribbons while being honored as if they were superior just for being born from the right vagina (and in the right order).
    All they have to do is whitstand being humiliated in a regular basis by the rota
    Some of them do at least more besides thise “duties”, Charles has, Harry has, since way before he left, too.

  53. Nyro says:

    The delusion! Lol

  54. Mariane says:

    lol I noticed certain articles like this one and the one that talked about them confirming pregnancy during wedding have alot of engagement. The trolls are enjoying conspiracies that try undermine them. Even with the report stating that the businessman tried to sell it for more but failed, people want to speculate the worst

  55. Blerg says:

    They’re fine. They’re in the Riven Rock area. Those houses aren’t accessible to looky-loos even if you have the address. There’s a series of private drives just to reach the streets themselves, and everything is obscured by hedges. The main concern up there are floods and fires.

  56. jferber says:

    I just want this lovely little family to be happy (admit I’d love to see another baby, but that’s my hang-up). They are taking care of each other and their baby and they are incredibly brave. Harry is surely his mother’s son. I’m so glad they’re away from England. Americans can really appreciate them. Never go back!!!

  57. BeeCee says:

    The front looks like the tacky Bachelor mansion.

  58. Emy says:

    Me too pay extra for a haunted house.