Lady Gaga—Her Life In Real Estate: From A Rent Stabilized LES Pad To Malibu Mansion

By Jeff Vasishta September 30, 2016
Joe Seer /

[otw_shortcode_dropcap label=”F” font=”Bowlby One SC” color_class=”otw-black-text” background_color_class=”otw-no-background” size=”large” border_color_class=”otw-no-border-color”][/otw_shortcode_dropcap]rom meat dresses to sea urchin costumes, Lady Gaga is known as the Queen of Crazy when it comes to fashion. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to real estate, her purchases have been every bit as unpredictable as her outfits.

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But we all start somewhere. In 2008 she wrote her debut album, The Fame in a fairly modest (by rock star standards) rent-stabilized one-bedroom apartment at 176 Stanton Street on the Lower East Side. This humble shack was advertised a year ago for a $2000/month rental price.

In both senses of the word, Fame facilitated her next bolt hole, another rental, this time on Central Park South. The singer, known to her parents as Stefani Germanotta, paid $22,000 a month for the 2 bedroom, 1,985 square foot home. A small price, considering her next album Born This Way, did a tour that grossed $168 million.

In early September 2013, she, along with her former LA based fiancé Taylor Kinney, purchased a relatively “normal” log cabin style house in Amish country, Lancaster, PA, for $390,000. I assume she paid for this with the change she found under her couch cushions. Anyway, they were often seen around town, attending church and going to the supermarket—just like any radically iconoclastic rock star. But before Gaga could be accused of living anything close to a normal lifestyle, she flipped the script and made a move straight out of the rock star “how to spend excessively” playbook.

In 2014, Ms. Gaga paid $23 million for a 10,000 square foot ocean front Malibu mansion with ten acres of land. That’s right. Ten acres of land in Malibu. Did she leave any for the rest of us?   Must be nice. But it doesn’t stop there.

Lady Gaga's Malibu Mansion. Photo courtesy of
Lady Gaga’s Malibu Mansion. Photo courtesy of

In keeping with her excesses, her most recent purchase was the former Hollywood Hills home of ’70’s rock icon Frank Zappa for which she paid $5.25 million. Get this—Zappa was no fool— he paid around $75,000 for the home in the mid ’70’s. Proof of two things—that if you hold on to a property long enough it’s bound to appreciate, and that some rock stars are really smart. In the ’70’s Zappa’s place was the perfect quirky backdrop to drug induced creative madness, but by today’s standards, it’s a bit of a weird set up. It sits on just over half an acre and includes a rambling Tudor like main house of more than 6,700 square feet. So why did Gaga buy it? Maybe she wanted a soak in Zappa’s off kilter vibe (as if she doesn’t have enough of her own). And it does have a certain charm. It has the feels of a real, lived-in home rather than a sterile, staged piece of well-appointed architecture.

Hollywood Hills ex-Zappa's house. Photo courtesy of Williams & Williams/Hilton & Hyland
Hollywood Hills ex-Zappa’s house. Photo courtesy of Williams & Williams/Hilton & Hyland

There are many unique embellishments in the ex-Zappa abode such as an elaborate dragon mural in the dining room and, according to the listing details, “porthole windows and doors salvaged from vintage submarines.” Other unique features include a double-height art gallery, a storage chamber where Zappa kept his musical archive. But perhaps most attractive to Gaga is the so-called Utility Muffin Research Kitchen—Zappa’s sprawling and innovative recording studio. The terraced grounds offer a hodgepodge of decks and patios along with a greenhouse, a swimming pool, a rooftop tennis court and gardens that feature “one-of-a-kind mosaic art,” says the listing.

And if all that real estate and upkeep gets too much, I’m sure Gaga could always back into her one bedroom on the LES and maybe make another album as good as her first.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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