Back in 2018, Rob Lowe and his wife Sheryl Berkoff listed their custom-built Montecito estate for a mammoth $47 million. Speaking to House Beautiful at the time, Lowe said that it was the perfect time to unload the property. “With our boys now out of the house, we’re looking forward to our next real estate adventure,” he said. It took some time for the house to find a buyer, but after 2 years and a minor price tweak, the lavish mansion finally sold this October for $42.5 million. Since then, the Lowe’s have been on something of a real estate shopping spree. So far, they’ve invested in a $3.75 million crash-pad in Beverly Hills and a $5.2 million fixer-upper in Montecito. This month, they’ve rounded off 2020 by adding yet another property to their portfolio, a $13 million estate in Montecito.
The New Montecito Estate
According to Dirt, the Lowes new Montecito estate is a large, elegant property that’s admittedly a little down on its heel. Spanning 6.7 acres and built in the same Spanish revival style as many of the area’s homes, the sprawling estate is, according to the listing at least, “one of Montecito’s finest legacy estates,” albeit one in need of a lick of paint and a tidy-up. The main residence features original wood and tiling details along with bright, spacious rooms. A long entrance gallery leads to a mahogany-paneled living room with a large fireplace; a formal dining room with French doors and another fireplace; and an informal breakfast room with a gorgeous view over the gardens. Scattered around the upstairs are several spacious bedrooms, all equipped with seating areas and offering sweeping views over the grounds and sea.
Other than the main residence, the property also boasts two, slightly ramshackle clapboard guest houses. The grounds, like the house, is clearly in need of a helping hand to restore them to their former glory. Even so, they’re still impressive, featuring huge expanses of lawn, sculpted hedges, patios, covered loggias, citrus trees, and eucalyptus trees Although the property is clearly in need of some restoration work, Lowe and Berkoff have already proved their talent for design in their previous homes. If they do more of the same here, it shouldn’t be long before the compound is back to looking its best.
Meet the Neighbors
According to Compass, Montecito is populated by a ‘well-heeled crowd of CEOs, entrepreneurs, and Hollywood stars’ who’ve been drawn to the neighborhood’s privacy and beauty. – not to mention the easy 90-minute commute into LA. With the community’s unwritten rule that no one bats an eye when a famous face appears, stars can live under the radar like ‘regular’ folk… if regular folk had the privilege of gated estates, Olympic sized swimming pools, and landscaped grounds. Some of the neighborhood’s most notable residents include Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gwyneth Paltrow, Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Katie Perry and Orlando Bloom, and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.
The Montecito Fixer Upper
Lowe has been expanding his property portfolio rapidly this year. In addition to the new Montecito compound, he’s also splashed out $5.2 million on another Montecito fixer-upper located just a short walk from Montecito’s downtown area on Coast Village Road. The property was originally built in 1929, but was torn down and rebuilt in the late 1970s. Occupying 4,275 square feet and boasting three bedrooms and four bathrooms, it’s a far cry from the palatial dimensions of Lowe’s former Montecito residence. According to the listing, the property is in need of some significant renovation, although there’s also the possibility Lowe will decide to tear it down and start from scratch. As it stands, the peach-colored house is full of 1970s quirks, from the wood paneling, glazed terracotta tiling, and mirrored closet wet bar in the den to the tongue and groove ceilings in the living rooms. The kitchen is an endearingly homey affair, with a small island, old fashioned appliances, and a gorgeous picture window. Parking is provided courtesy of a circular motor court and a two-door garage, while the flat backyard (a rarity in hilly Montecito) boasts a small patio area and an L-shaped swimming pool.
The Beverley Hills Crash Pad
Shortly after unloading his Montecito estate, Lowe coughed up $3.75 million for a very contemporary crash pad in one of the canyons above Beverly Hills. Although they’re accustomed to grander residences, the Lowes were clearly won over by the property and ended up offering $50,000 over the original asking price of $3.7 million. As The Observer notes, the 2,940 – square feet, two-story building is less than a third of the size of the couple’s former residence. It does, however, come with enough charming features to make up for its diminutive size. The entrance opens directly onto an expansive combination living and dining room featuring a vaulted and beamed ceiling, a cavernous fireplace with a stone mantle, and dark, wide-plank oak floorboards. The all-white kitchen features a large marble-topped center island, stainless steel Viking appliances, and steel trimmed windows that open directly onto a glass-railed terrace.
Scattered around the house are five bedrooms and three bathrooms, including a master suite with a private balcony overlooking the pool, a walk-in closet, and a luxurious bathroom with a freestanding soaking tub and a mammoth two-person glass-enclosed shower. Nestled away on the lower level is a guest suite and entertainment space complete with a wine storage nook and wet bar. The grounds are just as impressive as the house itself, incorporating a Mosiac tiled swimming pool and spa and a built-in fire pit with a lounging area.
Since achieving fame as one of the members of the infamous Brat Pack in the 1980s, Lowe has managed to survive teen stardom and build a lasting career across both film and TV. Some of his most notable works include “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The West Wing,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “Brothers & Sisters.” He first met his wife, Sheryl Berkoff, on a blind date in 1983. The pair met again during the filming of “Bad Influence” and began dating shortly after. They married in 1991, and share two sons.