Renting a house is a minefield at the best of times. There are so many factors to consider: what are the local crime rates like? Are the schools good? Is it close enough to your workplace that you can get there easily, but far enough so that your boss can’t drive past to see you doing tequila shots on the lawn when you’re due in the office at 8am sharp the next morning? All of these are valid points to weigh up.
There are many people you can ask for advice on the subject. Your parents are always a good sounding board and more impartial advice can be sought out from local community groups. However, there is always one seal of approval that can be taken as a benchmark of good taste: celebrity approval. It can be safely assumed that if a celebrity trusts an area to be suitably safe for their possessions and children, then we common people should be entering a veritable dreamland by moving there. But why merely settle for moving to the same area as your favorite celeb, when you can rent the very house that they’ve actually lived in? Real estate guides are crammed full of houses that still carry the scent of major stars, famous directors and musicians. Read on to see ten homes previously owned by some of the most legendary names of all time.
10. Jim Morrison
The legendary Doors frontman lived in West Hollywood, California for one of the most productive periods of his career. The home in which he penned some of the group’s biggest hits, along with huge swathes of his poetry output, is available to rent for month-long periods for the princely sum of $3,180.
The house is located within walking distance of the Sunset Strip and is pretty much what you’d expect from a man of Morrison’s hippy leanings. The two-bedroom abode is decorated with flourishes of 1960’s chic, with flower power murals and colourfully painted walls throughout. For the Doors obsessive, there are band merchandise and memorabilia in the living quarters.
Morrison’s legend remains undimmed even forty years after his death – actually getting to tread in the footsteps of the great man himself would be a dream come true for most Doors fans.
9. William H. Macy
Staying in LA, the next entry is two-for-the-price-of-one in celebrity terms: the house was previously the abode of both Shameless star William H. Macy and his Desperate Housewives spouse, Felicity Huffman. Anybody staying here will have a constant reminder of the previous owners – they live in the house next door.
The house has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a screening room, spa, sauna, swimming pool and panoramic views of Hollywood. The chances of famous faces appearing at parties next door are probably high, too. The chance to rub shoulders with the stars comes with a hefty price tag, though – $20,000 per month, to be precise. Potential renters would be advised not to ask Fargo star Macy about installing a wood chipper; he’s probably heard it a million times already.
8. Matt Le Blanc
Just like Joey in Friends, he was always “there for you”, which would come in handy if you found out that you ended up renting his Pacific Palisades home and found out about the central heating he packed in.
Le Blanc has begun renting out his previous home in LA to the tune of $12,995 per month, which will buy renters 4 bedrooms, five bathrooms and a half acre estate situated half a mile away from the popular Will Rogers State Park. Such a princely estate is a far cry away from the days when Le Blanc advertised ketchup for a living. The 1930’s style house offers luxury and a famous ex-habitant but, with a Friends reunion still seemingly a pipe dream, don’t expect house visits from Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston.
7. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Renting a house that Jennifer Love Hewitt previously lived in answers the statement “I Know What You Did Last Summer”; the scream queen was probably kayaking. Her previous abode comes with the use of its own kayaks and power boats. As befits a former Disney starlet, the lakeside house could justifiably be called a magic kingdom. Situated on the shore of Toluca Lake, the property has a lakeside dock, private pool and spa and four bedrooms and bathrooms.
Love Hewitt would also be the neighbor of anybody renting the property – she bought the house across the road. For $12,500 a month, rubbing shoulders with TV Guide’s Sexiest Woman On TV could be the icing on the cake.
6. Kurt Cobain
The Nirvana frontman is arguably the most beloved rock star of Generation X. With his music still relevant to fans 20 years since his death and a new documentary about his early years set for release, the lease of one of his former dwellings is sure to attract attention from obsessive Nirvana fans.
While his childhood home in Washington is on sale for $400,000, an apartment in LA where he lived with Courtney Love is now available to rent for $1,140 a week – or $200 a night. While the apartment is the least glamorous on the list – a pipe leak that destroyed Kurt’s guitars has only recently been fixed – renters would be purchasing a piece of rock history. Kurt and Courtney rented the apartment between 1991-2, with Kurt writing most of third album In Utero, there. Demand is high for the apartment. Nirvana fans tend to rent out the apartment four or five times a year.
5. Pamela Anderson
If there is any celebrity who is completely synonymous with Malibu, then it’s Pamela Anderson. Star of Baywatch, Barb Wire and the odd home movie Pammie, definitely displays more taste with her choice of home than she does with her choice of script. Her former Malibu digs were put up for rent after the beach babe moved back to her native Canada, and the house is the epitome of southern Californian style. It’s situated one block away from the Pacific beachfront and boasts 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in the $1.8m building.
Anderson is clearly aiming to draw back a large proportion of the money she paid for the luxury home – she’s charging $50,000 for a month’s rent.
4. Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet is as renowned for her sense of taste and style, as she is for being impossible to write an article about without referring to Titanic, so it comes as little surprise that her former Chelsea condo is one of the most stylish apartments on the New York market. The 4-bedroom, 3.5-bedroom property went up for rent in 2010, after Winslet split with Sam Mendes and moved out. The condo has 13 foot high ceilings and a huge 1,700 foot terrace space that more than justifies the original $5 million price tag.
The penthouse loft is in one of the most desirable areas of lower Manhattan, which makes the eye-watering rental price of $30,000 per month relatively cheap.
3. Steven Spielberg
When the ET director used to call home, it was to a borderline palatial beach resort in Malibu. The luxury, double-lot compound is available during the summer season while Spielberg is living in his other properties with his actress wife, Kate Capshaw.
The main house features seven bedrooms, with the master bedroom having an en suite massage room and study, and a 2 bedroom guesthouse. The 1.08 acre facility also includes a bonus space, which Spielberg uses as an art studio or meditation lounge. The property also has 150 feet of beach frontage. Such a prime location in Malibu certainly doesn’t come cheap, with latest reports indicating that the Indiana Jones director is asking for a hefty $150,000 per month during the summer season.
2. Denzel Washington
Malibu is definitely the summer home choice of the biggest celebrities, and Denzel Washington is no different. His former beach home in the Californian paradise is available to rent for a two-night minimum, at $490 per night. The eight-acre site overlooks the beach and features ceiling-to-floor windows from which nesting dolphins and whales can be seen in the nearby ocean, which is quite possibly worth the $980 minimum fee by itself.
As well as the Man On Fire, famous past tenants of the property include Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, and 1970s pop duo Captain and Tennille, who lived there with their pet chimpanzee.
1. Leo DiCaprio
Though other celebrities on the list have made more money from selling their homes, or charge more in rent, DiCaprio easily tops the list due to the sheer amount of former properties that he has lived in that are currently available to rent. The Great Gatsby star has something of a second career as a real estate mogul.
Inevitably, DiCaprio was a neighbour of Spielberg in Malibu and has an oceanfront property that can be rented for a monthly fee of $75,000 – though this fee jumps to $115,ooo for any time period shorter than 30 days. He also has a second property to rent further down the beach, and is selling a third property for $9 million.
Away from Malibu, the former Jack Dawson has two more LA properties and an eco-friendly penthouse in Battery Park, Manhattan, facing the Hudson river. With the actor currently having a packed schedule, the odds are high that whichever major US city you find yourself in, there’s a chance that Leo may have a home there available to rent.