Los Angeles has always been home to some of the world’s most expensive real estate. But forget Beverly Hills, 90210: The new hot spot for multimillion-dollar mansions is Duarte, 91008. This small suburb northeast of downtown Los Angeles boasts a median cost for a house a whopping $4.2 million making it the most expensive housing market in the country. It also ranks No. 1 on Forbes’ annual ranking of America’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes.
Of course everybody knows living in Los Angeles is expensive, and Mauricio Umansky, a broker at Hilton & Hyland, says: “If you are a working actor you may choose to live in Mulholland Estates or Beverly Park (both in 90210), because you’re closer to the studios and the West Hollywood nightlife…Older actors tend to like Malibu because it’s discreet, you have serenity and privacy and security.”
But get out of the Hollywood scene and you’ll find Sean Penn and wife Robin Wright-Penn and their children live in Ross, Calif. (94957), a San Francisco suburb. The median home sale price is over a million dollars.
You can find Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise in Montecito (93108); the actors all own homes there. Montecito is a section of Santa Barbara, on California’s central coast. Median house prices there are about $2 million.
Then we have Alpine, N.J. (07620), home to many hip hop and rap celebrities such as Sean “Diddy” Combs, Fabolous and Lil’ Kim. The median price of a home, ahem, mansion here is around $3.4 million.
For those stars who demand privacy, Star Island, a man-made key off the coast of Miami, is called home. Believe it or not, paparazzi have been known to rent out jet skis to catch a glimpse and photos of celebrities residing in 33139. Shaquille O’Neal, singer Gloria Estefan and talk-show host Rosie O’Donnell, all call Star Island home, and get to enjoy the close proximity to Miami’s nightlife without living in the craziness of the city.