The Bullet Train actor closed on the sale of his Craftsman-style house in late March, avoiding the so-called “mansion tax” that went into effect on 1 April. The new tax will require sellers of properties of more than $5m to pay a four per cent transfer tax, while a 5.5 per cent tax will be charged to property sales of more than $10m.
By selling his Hollywood Hills home just under the wire, Pitt avoided a $2.145m tax bill.
The Oscar winner first purchased the nearly two-acre property almost 30 years ago from actor Cassandra Peterson, best known for her portrayal as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark in the 1998 film of the same name. In 1994, Pitt bought the mansion for a reported $1.7m. From 1998 to 2009, Pitt would purchase the four properties surrounding the 6,700-square-foot home. Today, the luxury home includes a skate park, tennis court, a koi pond, and several pools.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the deal marks one of Southern California’s priciest sales of the year and one of the biggest sales ever in the Hollywood Hills neighbourhood. A source told Entertainment Tonight the deal was “done off-market,” meaning the home was privately listed and sold to an unnamed buyer.
This week, the famed Mistress of the Dark revealed to People that she warned Pitt the 1915 home was “haunted” before he purchased the property. While Peterson told the Babylon actor about the supposed paranormal activity she had encountered in the house, instead of being scared, he “loved it”.
During her early meetings with Pitt about the mansion, the 71-year-old actor said she would warn him about “a lot of weird things [that] have been going on there in the house since we moved in”.
“He was very excited about that,” she said. “He thought that was really cool.”
The horror movie star claimed she saw spectres walking around upstairs, sitting in front of the fireplace, entering her bedroom, and even “floating around at the bottom of the pool”. She and ex-husband Mark Pierson even had a priest come to perform an exorcism on the house.
“We were telling Brad all about that and he loved it,” Peterson said. “I mean, there are not many buyers who that would be a selling point for, but he was like: ‘Oh, that’s so awesome’. I love that he appreciated the house so much.”
Pitt and ex-wife Angelina Jolie raised their six children in the Los Angeles mansion, in addition to their Chateau Miraval property, located in the Provence region of France. After a 12-year relationship and two years of marriage, the former couple split in 2016, citing “irreconcilable differences”. Although their divorce was finalised in 2019, they are in ongoing negotiations over custody of their children and division of their financial assets.
Measure ULA, also known as the “mansion tax”, passed with 57 per cent of the vote in November 2022. While real estate agents warned the tax would cause a “frenzy” of sell-offs among the wealthiest homeowners, the move was championed by housing advocates and labour unions in an effort to tackle the city’s growing homelessness crisis. In fact, all funds gained from the tax will go towards public housing.
The Fight Club star isn’t the only celebrity to put their luxury properties on the market ahead of the mansion tax. Jim Carrey, Britney Spears and Kylie Jenner have all sold their million-dollar homes in recent months.
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