Back in the ‘Gilded Age’ of the 1980s and 90s, Robin Leach hosted a popular TV show called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. His show, along with soapy series melodramas like Dynasty and Dallas gave the rest of us a front-row seat to how the rich and ultra-rich lived, and served as aspirational viewing, dangling the tantalizing possibility - however remote - that one day, somehow, we too might achieve that kind of glittering luxury.
Apparently, not much has changed. The rich still live a fabulous lifestyle, and whole cadres of professionals - from attorneys to accountants and wealth managers to real estate brokers - specialize in helping them find and acquire homes in keeping with their lifestyle.
“Typically,” says Edward Mermelstein, an attorney and a partner at One & Only Holdings, a wealth management and investment firm representing celebrities worldwide, “celebrities have a team around them that oversees the purchase of a home. The same team provides advice as to the type of property to purchase and the location.”
Aside from the comfort and amenities money can buy, what are celebrities and more lowkey (but no less wealthy) players seeking in a home? What is the holy grail of celebrity home buying? In a word, security.
“Privacy and security are quite important,” explains Mermelstein. “Most celebrities are concerned for personal and family safety.” That’s not surprising in today’s world. The possibility of threat to person and family goes back a long way, both in the United States and around the world. The case of Patty Hearst still resonates, and that was a half century ago. “Certain buildings appeal to celebrities more than others,” Mermelstein continues. “The staff and management in those buildings are well trained in securing the property and protecting their residents.”