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Ellen DeGeneres sells iconic Rancho San Leandro estate – for the second time

Ellen and Portia de Rossi sold the historic Montecito property to Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd – here's what we know

EllenDeGeneres
(Image credit: GettyImages)

Déjà vu? Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have sold their historic Rancho San Leandro home in Montecito – for the second time. 

The former host of the eponymous talk show and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, first purchased the estate for $7 million before flipping it less than a year later to Tinder co-founder Sean Rad for $11 million. However, Ellen and Portia later repurchased the home for $14.3 million before recently selling it to Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd for an impressive $21 million. 

Rancho San Leandro is more than one of the world's best homes – it is an iconic site (pictured below) with an eternal legacy in Californian history. Once a 6,830-acre Mexican land grant in present-day Alameda County that Governor Juan Alvarado gave to José Joaquín Estudillo in 1842, the land was developed by the Dominguez family in the mid-1850s – marking one of the state's most significant land grants.

Siteline Santa Barbara (opens in new tab) – who first reported on the sale – shared that Ellen and Portia sold the property to Whitney and her Texas oil heir husband, Michael Herd – who reportedly share an estimated net worth topping $740 million. Dirt (opens in new tab) adds that the home is next door to Oprah Winfrey’s famed 'Promised Land' estate, which is described as her 'forever home.' Other Montecito residents include Meghan and Harry, Ariana Grande, and Gwyneth Paltrow. 

Plus, while selling and rebuying a home may seem surprising to some, it is not new to Ellen and Portia. The couple similarly repurchased another Montecito ranch known as The Villa in 2021, shortly after announcing the end of The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Ellen DeGeneres

(Image credit: GettyImages)

Rancho San Leandro's exterior is a testament to its heritage – featuring a cobblestone courtyard and a distinct white façade. Inside, the decorating ideas merge history and modernity through its tile floors and vaulted wood-beam ceilings, accentuated with a clean neutral color scheme.

Alongside the main single-floor home is a detached bonus space with views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The white kitchen is contemporary but nods to traditionalism through its rustic tiled floor and intricate backsplash with a Spanish Colonial Revival aesthetic. 

And, while we don't know which crockery Ellen has chosen, we would not be surprised to see her dinnerware collection (as seen below) in this space. 

Royal Doulton ED Ellen Degeneres Dinnerware Set – $95.60 on Amazon (opens in new tab)

Royal Doulton ED Ellen Degeneres Dinnerware Set – $95.60 on Amazon (opens in new tab)
Designed by Ellen DeGeneres, this 16-piece set is perfect when catering for four. It includes four dinner plates, four side plates, four cereal bowls, and four mugs. They are created from high-quality stoneware and exhibit a contrast of matte and shine for a timeless look that will be an asset to any dining table.

In terms of the home's yard ideas, the grounds include an olive grove and verdant gardens with built-in equestrian facilities, such as a riding ring, a four-stall horse stable, and a barn. There is also an al fresco lounging terrace with an outdoor fireplace that is perfect for hosting when the sun sets above Montecito. 

Megan Slack
News Editor

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.