Harry and Meghan may be seeking to leave $15M California mansion
Ex-royal couple have put out feelers to buy another home near Santa Barbara
For Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a $14.65 million mansion near Santa Barbara may no longer fit the bill.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have put out feelers to sell their California estate in Montecito after 18 months and move to another home in the tony seaside community, the San Jose Mercury News reported, citing a story in the London-based Sunday Mirror.
The British tabloid said the ex-royal couple have started to show interest in other homes in the area and are open to private offers.
“They are thinking of selling their house there,” an unidentified person told the outlet. “However, it won’t be on the market because of who they are. It’s only being shown to people who are confirmed with funds and are serious buyers.”
The couple bought the nine-bedroom house from Russian businessman Sergey Grishin in June 2020, five months after announcing their exit from the British royal family.
The 14,500-square-foot main house is surrounded by pine and cypress trees on 7.5 acres. It has 16 bathrooms, a tennis court, swimming pool, tea house and a private playground. It also has a spa with a dry and wet sauna, a private movie theater, an arcade and games room, a wine cellar and a five-car garage. It originally listed for $34 million.
Harry and Meghan reportedly moved to the Santa Barbara enclave to evade paparazzi and be close to such celebrity friends as Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.
It’s “the first home either of them has ever owned,” an unidentified person told the New York Post at the time, saying “they intend to put down their roots in this house and the quiet community, which has considerable privacy.”
It also seemed like a perfect home for their children, seven-month old Lilibet Diana and Archie, 2.
When Archie recently enrolled in a Montecito preschool, he was dropped off by his parents toting a space-themed lunchbox and treated like any other kid.
Yet their new home wasn’t so private, according to the British press. The Daily Mail reported in April that the sheriff’s department answered nine calls from the Sussex estate, two of them for a trespasser and five when their alarm system went off.
Despite its hefty tax bill and a mortgage payment that could run as high as $24,000 a month, Harry and Megan seemed happy with the house – at least in media appearances such as a television interview with Winfrey in March.
They have since realized they weren’t “over the moon” about the estate, according to the Mirror report. And while they’re said to like the Santa Barbara area itself, they weren’t “thrilled” with their house.
[San Jose Mercury News] – Dana Bartholomew