Alex Ahlstrom
I am in love with travel, culture and finance around the world. After working in international real estate finance around Asia and America, I want to share some of my experiences.

Celebrity Homes and How Americans Look for Homes to Buy

95% of Americans start their property search online. Because, one of the great things about the American real estate market is that lots of transaction-related information is publicly available. This means that Americans can have a well-educated idea of what properties cost when they ready to purchase a home, because buyers are able to see recent and nearby home prices. And, sometimes this means information about celebrity homes is readily available as well. 

What are some Celebrity Homes that are Online?

Many celebrities want to keep their home sales secret and do not market their homes publicly. But, many do want to market their homes publicly for a higher price. Recent and current homes for sale from Katy Perry, Meg Ryan, Game of Thrones Queen Leda Headey, John Legend, Steph Curry and Matthew Perry are available online. Lets take a look at Katy Perry’s Home in Los Angeles on 7310 Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills.

Katy Perry with Snoop Lion in the music video California Gurls

Here is an aerial view of one of Katy Perry’s homes, that just sold recently for USD 9.05mm, you can see the property right in the middle of the photo.

Katy Perry’s Home

It was difficult to get a shot of the whole house, but the sales team was able to take this one with a drone.

And, photos, which are widely available online, are also available of the interior of the house. Here is a photo of Katy Perry’s kitchen.

More interesting, is the publicly available historical sales price of the home. Prices from 2004 are available online, pictured below.

The removal of listing for sale typically means that the seller had a change of plans or there were no buyers for the house. We can even see that if we want to use Katy Perry’s real estate agent that Jacob Greene is the agent.

So, How do Americans Look for Homes?

Websites such as zillow.com or trulia.com offer a wealth of data for a homebuyer to look through. It is possible to see recent sales, houses that are for sale, photos of houses, price histories, seller contact information, sales agent information, tax history. Lets say that we wanted to search for a USD $1 mm home in Los Angeles with at least 2 bedrooms. On zillow.com search for “Los Angeles” and then input $850,000 to $1,000,000 and 2+ bedrooms, for sale and recent sales, then the following map will appear.

At this point, I would want to look at the homes on the northwest beaches, because I like their location more, but this is entirely personal preference. Upon zooming into the Marina Del Rey area, I see the following map.

By clicking on the listing for 949K in the top right of the photo, I can see more details about the house, its price history, interior, surroundings, just like the Katy Perry house above. I can also look at the previous sales, which are yellow dots, to see what people have been paying for properties in the area. There is a “zestimate” tool, which is an automated price appraisal from zillow for what the zillow software believes the house is worth, for smaller homes it would be more accurate, but it isn’t going to be able to take into account many factors that could effect the value of the house like view, necessary repairs, nearby construction, and sales that haven’t finished yet. Real estate agents will have exclusive access to data that is not publicly available on zillow, because zillow needs weeks to update data on its website.

Who can Buy a Home in America?

America is a free market, so anyone can buy a home. Foreign homebuyers typically buy more expensive houses in larger cities than Americans. Also, interest rates and bank loan terms for home purchases from foreigners are not as good as for local Americans, but the loans are very similar in most cases. Once armed with information on what type of home to buy or a location, the next step would be to contact a real estate agent to qualify yourself to purchase a home.

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