Some Famous Writers Lived In Pretty Posh Pads

Who Says Writing Doesn’t Pay? Well, generally it doesn’t. But one look at these places might tell a different story.

By Team Agorafy September 9, 2016
Photo courtesy of

OK, well, it doesn’t pay for most, but there are a few notable authors for whom the pen has proved mightier than the day job. Some of their best sellers have actually been properties. Here’s what a little skill with words and a vivid imagination can buy.

Related: Your Dreams Are Not For Sale, But Maybe They’re For Rent: Five Frank Lloyd Wright Houses You Can Rent

Harper Lee

Most people associate Harper Lee, with “To Kill A Mockingbird” and the deep south. While she did live in Alabama most of her life, the reclusive writer also kept a New York apartment—1E, to be precise, at 433 E. 82nd Street, near York Avenue—for forty years.

Lee, who died in her sleep in February in Alabama, paid under $1000/month in rent. At the time of her death, she was current and had recently renewed her lease for another two years.

Toni Morrison

Author of literary classics such as “The Bluest Eye”, “Beloved” and “Jazz”, Nobel prize winning author and Princeton professor, Toni Morrison paid a cool $3.8 million in 2014 for a 3 bedroom, 3 bath condo in Tribeca in 2014. The 2,3000 square foot apartment is located at 66 Leonard St. in the Textile Building. She also owns a home in upstate New York, off the Hudson.

EL James


From Grey to green. Word has it that author EL James (real name Erika Mitchell) earned well over $100 million from book sales alone of the “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy. That doesn’t include film rights and other novels. Needless to say, the British author can afford to splash the big bucks when it comes to buying property. She recently bought a five-bedroom, 5,616-square foot house in West Hollywood, CA for $7.25 according to Trulia. Although she and her husband Niall, also bought a luxury getaway in the Cornish town of Polzeath for £1.13 in 2013, the tinsel town home makes sense with James’ racy tales jumping from the book shelves to the Cineplex.

Barbara Goldsmith

Author, journalist and philanthropist, Barbara Goldsmith, who passed away in June, has her East Hampton estate on the market for $5.99 million. She was a founding editor and writer of the much revered New York magazine.

The two story home at 86 Georgica Road was built in 1900 and is 5,000 square feet with five bedrooms and 4 and 1/2 bathrooms and a circular pool. And, it’s just over half a mile from the beach.

Stephen King

Many of Stephen King’s horror stories are set in small towns in his native Maine. But, in 2001 the prolific writer paid $8.9 million for a water front home on Casey Key, Florida.

King purchased the three-bedroom home from a venture capitalist, for what was then, a record price. The 7500 square-foot home sits on three secluded acres on the northern tip of the exclusive barrier island of Caset Key. It has a pool and views of the Gulf of Mexico. Clearly King, who writes at least one novel in Florida every year, even setting some of his plots there, wasn’t too scared by the price.



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