A novel strategy for property profits

Wondering whether to give your house a lick of paint before selling? Even better: get it in a glossy magazine

Jennifer Aniston is asking $75m for her Hollywood home

Credit: Splash News / Alamy Stock Photo

Wondering whether to give your house a lick of paint before selling? Even better: get it in a glossy magazine.

"There are many hints that a Hollywood marriage is doomed: solo red-carpet appearances, [public displays of affection] with co-stars, inspirational memes that suddenly take a dark turn," says Grazia. "But perhaps the surest sign is when a celebrity opens their home to Architectural Digest." So when actress Jennifer Aniston showed off her Bel Air mansion in the magazine in February, what followed was predictable.

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Within a couple of weeks, Aniston announced that she had split from her husband, actor Justin Theroux, adding their names to those who have succumbed to the "curse of Architectural Digest". Other victims include Hollywood couple Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, who opened the doors of their New York loft in the March 2016 issue, just six months before they announced they were breaking up, says Ruth Graham in Slate. Singer Marc Anthony and his model wife Shannon de Lima Muiz, posed in their Dominican Republic getaway in the same issue and filed for divorce by the end of the year. And art adviser Will Kopelman, husband of actress Drew Barrymoore, talked up his in-home office in 2015. They split the following year.

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Disappointingly, there may be a rational explanation for the "curse" as shown by the fact that Aniston has now put the house on the market, says Graham. "Celebrities show off their homes in design magazines when they're thinking about selling them, because a splashy feature boosts a property's profile." And in this case, Aniston could make a lot of money, adds Ryan Parry in the Daily Mail. She bought the property for $21m in 2011 and it's quoted as $75m on a pocket listing (meaning that it's being discretely marketed to suitable buyers worth at least $200m). Even for somebody who reportedly gets $20m per year from reruns of TV show Friends, that's a healthy profit.

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The buyer is likely to be another celebrity and not just because of the price. Celebrities often sell to other celebrities, say George Harrison in The Sun. They have similar priorities for their properties (eg, good security). It ensures confidentiality. And, of course, famous people feel more comfortable around other famous people something that apparently contributed to Aniston's split from Theroux, adds Lucy Buckland in The Daily Record. While Aniston liked life in Tinseltown, Theroux favoured New York, surrounded by folks who weren't in the movies "people in the restaurant world, writers, comedians, artists, tattoo artists". But some locals weren't so keen on having a Hollywood superstar around and finally "a neighbour in his apartment block, frustrated by the constantly present paparazzi, put sliced sausage on Theroux's motorbike", says Caitlin Moran in The Times. The mind boggles. If $75m keeps another celebrity safe from unwanted deliveries of processed-meat products, it may be money well spent.

Tabloid money baby boomers, the jammiest generation ever born

Last week, KFC apologised to Sun readers for the problems they've been having with a full-page advert showing an empty chicken tub with "FCK" written on the side. "Brilliant," says Jeremy Clarkson in The Sun. Normally, when a corporate giant messes up, you get a PR man reading from a script or "a sweaty boss mumbling his way through a half-hearted apology on the early evening news see British Gas for details on that one". But KFC admitted they had "f***ed up and said sorry to its customers and staff". Well done them.

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Sharon Stone is turning 60 next month. Let me put that into context, says Brian Reade in the Daily Mirror. "Sharon is so relevant and sexy, she still makes virtually every Hottest Women On Earth poll and is so on top of her earning game, she's worth £60m." Yet, if the Hollywood actress lived here, she would be getting free NHS prescriptions and eye tests, plus subsidised rail travel, and in some cases, a free bus pass to boot. Stone would also get her over-60s discount when buying her Boots Anusol suppositories, or grabbing a rail for her bath from B&Q. "I know all this because I turned 60 a few months back [and] I'm categorised as a senior citizen, meaning pharmacists won't let me pay for my medicines. Just another bonus for us baby boomers, the jammiest generation ever born."

"The drumbeat of austerity is ceaseless", says Nick Ferrari in the Sunday Express. "Cuts, in real terms, appear to be made in everything from health to defence." Yet, we still managed to find more than £31m to fund our Winter Olympics team. "They do seem to have done quite well, comparatively, with Britain's highest number of medals ever five. But that does seem a small return for a sum that people in our hospitals are literally dying for."




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