New Curb Appeal? A Dead Celebrity Slept Here

celebrity home Heath Ledger

Honestly, people! Would you buy a house just because some celebrity once owned it? Has the housing market gotten so bad that this peripheral brush with fame becomes a selling point for a property, right up there with the stainless steel appliances and built-in bookshelves?

Apparently a lot of listing agents believe so, because week after week we get pitches like the one this week to write about Heath Ledger's former house. He owned the property, known as "The Tree House," from June 2006 until his death in January 2008, then it was sold by his estate post-haste. By the way, the same house (pictured above) also was owned by Ellen DeGeneres long before Ledger bought it.

There's also a pocket listing being shopped around that notes Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford once lived there. We may need two hands to count up how many years ago that was, but it's still something the real estate agents hoping to sell the property underscore.

The reason why is simple: Agents have caught on that celebrity names are very reader-friendly and do well in Internet searches. Plus, in some cases, the celebrity pedigree is the only thing that distinguishes one mid-century modern from the next one.

For the most part, no one -- except maybe Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband -- even dreams about selling for more money just because of the celebrity connection, but the name-dropping serves as an effective a way to drum up some interest in a dormant housing market.

Of course nobody in their right mind -- except an Elvis collector and, as a rule, we don't consider them to be of sound judgment -- would buy a house simply because of its former celebrity connection. But in real estate and poker, you need to play the hand you are dealt.

So, in an effort to exploit the connection ourselves, here are some other homes for sale that were formerly -- but not very recently -- owned by celebrities, both living and dead. Click on the photos to see the listings for Maria Bello's former home currently being sold by Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd; Sen. John McCain and wife Cindy's former home; and the one-time home of Bing Crosby.



See other celebrity real estate on AOL Real Estate.

Also see:
How's Sharon Stone's Real Estate Instinct?

Beverly Hills 'Housewife' Lisa Vanderpump Sells Home
Hillary Duff Lists L.A.-Area Home, Again


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