Celebs who live in modest homes

Living in a swanky pad is one of the most common perks enjoyed by rich celebs. Their enviable abodes have even inspired TV shows, such as The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and Cribs. But not every star chooses to live on a $67 million French vineyard like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or a $3.6 million private island in the Bahamas like Johnny Depp.

In fact, one actor on this list lived in a 580-square-foot cabin while he starred on one of the most popular shows of all time. Another lived in an airstream trailer until he was finally domesticated by a wife and kids. There are also a bunch of famous folk here who simply chose not to live in a Walmart-sized property, because, come on, who really needs that anyway?  

Here are celebs who've lived in modest homes, having ditched palatial mansions for everything from Hollywood bungalows, to cozy condos, to a tiny, tricked-out retreat in rural Texas.

Kesha's beachside bungalow

Kesha may wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy, but she certainly doesn't do it in the same locale as the Bad Boy founder, who resides in a mansion on Miami's uber-exclusive Star Island. Rather, for a brief time, the "Tik Tok" singer's toothbrush and bottle of Jack were stored in one of the two bathrooms of her 1,400-square-foot "Spanish-style bungalow" in Venice Beach, Calif., according to Popsugar.

Trulia reported that Kesha bought the humble homestead in 2014 for $1.65 million, then sold it a year later for $1.8 million. Not bad! Though small, the place was apparently cozy with "a very romantic and feminine master suite" and French doors that "lead to a secluded backyard, featuring an outdoor fireplace and arbor-covered hot tub."

Variety's Real Estalker blog also got the inside scoop on specs of the "Die Young" singer's digs, and they were less impressed, noting there were "two on-the-small-side bedrooms" and "a fairly puny hall bathroom with white subway tiled tub/shower combo." Then there's this little detail: The master bedroom has a "super-sized picture window that provides an all-encompassing view of the backyard as well as a wide-open view of the bathroom from the backyard." Howdy, neighbors!

Robert Pattinson's rebound pad

With a net worth of $100 million, actor Robert Pattinson could probably afford to plunk down more than the $2,176,500 he paid for a Lilliputian L.A. lair in late 2014. Boasting a measly — by Hollywood standards — 1,940 square feet, Pattinson's pad only came with two bedrooms and two baths, according to Real Estalker.

The outlet described the home as "rustic," yet thoroughly decked out with high-end finishings like a "combination kitchen and dining area with vaulted, open beam ceiling" and "a $14,000 U.K.-manufactured cast iron range." This quaint charmer, however, was a considerable step down from his previous residence, a sprawling 4,026-square-foot "Spanish-style home" that he once shared with Kristen Stewart, according to Zillow. Pattinson officially sold the place in January 2014, eight months after cutting things off with his Twilight co-star for good.

Were the two events connected? Who knows. But it could explain the curiously private setting of the smaller shack, which Real Estalker described as "behind another house down a long, gated red brick driveway." Good luck getting in there, paparazzi.

Vincent Kartheiser's tiny slice of Tinseltown

Vincent Kartheiser may have played the hugely successful ad executive Peter Campbell on AMC's hit drama Mad Men, but, in real life, the actor doesn't mind keeping it small. Real small. According to Dwell, the A-lister lived in a 580-square-foot — no that's not a typo — L.A. cabin while starring on one of the most successful shows of all time.

Working with designer Funn Roberts, Kartheiser commissioned a top-to-bottom renovation of what was once multiple rooms into a (relatively) big, open space with "Japanese-industrial" style. This included custom teak cabinets for the kitchen, a bathroom hidden "behind custom Japanese-inspired fiberglass-and-steel sliding screens that glow when illuminated from behind," a private courtyard with a custom-built "dry sauna with a ceiling made from 2,500 pieces of wood," and a bed on a pulley system that could be raised up to the ceiling when not in use. In other words: They created the nicest efficiency apartment imaginable.

In an April 2014 interview with Vulture, Kartheiser revealed that the renovation was born out of necessity, because he "bought it at a bad time and would've been taking a loss if he'd moved." He said, "Of course, I won't know until I sell the property if I get the money back out of it."

Unfortunately, Real Estalker reported that Kartheiser purchased the cabin for $547,000, listed it for $808,000, and eventually sold it for $650,000. Any chance those designer renovations clocked in at under $100,000? Not likely.

Oh, how things have changed for JLaw

Until 2015, superstar actress Jennifer Lawrence called a cozy two-bed, two-and-a-half-bath condo in Santa Monica home. Describing it as a "starter condo" that she bought in 2006, Real Estalker reported that the American Hustle star shelled out $879,000 for the 1,413-square-foot pad that features a "U-shaped kitchen with ordinary and not particularly upscale looking white raised panel cabinetry." She eventually unloaded the joint for a cool $1.15 million.

Speaking with Elle in 2012, Lawrence shed some light on what her general approach to her living situation had been up to that time. "I've always lived in a tiny rat-infested apartment in New York, or a little condo in L.A., or a normal house in Kentucky. I think it would be very bizarre to live in a big mansion by myself."

That kind of puts her 2014 purchase of a massive 5,550-square-foot house in Los Angeles and 2017 purchase of a $9 million, 3,200-square-foot Tribeca condo into a strange perspective. That is, until you also consider that Forbes declared her the "world's highest-paid actress" in 2015 thanks to the $52 million she raked in "between June 2014 and June 2015." Gotta invest that money somewhere, we guess.

Matthew McConaughey's minimalist mecca

Here's one that probably won't surprise anybody: Matthew McConaughey used to live in an Airstream trailer by the beach. But by the time Architectural Digest caught up with the True Detective star and Canoe — that's the name he bestowed on the 28-foot 2004 Airstream International CCD — the trailer had already been relegated to an oceanside Malibu trailer park. That's because McConaughey and his wife, then-girlfriend Camila Alves, had just welcomed their first child, so they opted for more family-friendly living quarters by renting a nearby house.

But for years before that, McConaughey used Canoe as both his residence and office, even managing his production company, j.k. livin out of it for a couple years. Outfitted with "a satellite dish on the roof," "a barbecue in back," and "book racks and ceiling netting to hold travel literature, journals and scripts," the mobile manse is everything you'd expect it to be. It even features "a snug bedroom that the actor refers to as the Honeycomb," because of course he does.

In the most McConaughey way possible, he described his philosophy regarding life on the road by saying, "There's an old African proverb — Architecture is a verb." Right on, man. Right on.

Christina Ricci's real estate remorse

Christina Ricci might have an estimated $18 million net worth, but she lives pretty modestly regardless of which A-List coast she chooses. In 2015, the star purchased a $2 million townhouse in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood, because, apparently, acting as an insane, 19th-century ax murderer really pays off! 

Variety reported that the home has 2,205 square feet, three stories, and three bedrooms — practically a mansion by New York standards, but average just about anywhere else. It also features a "prison cell sized study" that could be a fourth bedroom (and you can guarantee it would in a Craigslist ad) if you have a roommate you hate or just want to suffer. In a similarly painful NYC real estate move, there's also a small one-bedroom garden apartment on the property, available for rent at $2,000 a month.

Previously, on the west coastthe Addams Family star snagged a 1,891-square-foot bungalow in December 2005 for $1,505,000, according to Real Estalker. Unfortunately, this was "the very apex of the now popped southern California real estate bubble," so, when she started trying to sell it four years later, she only listed it at $1,250,000. That's a $255,000 loss for you math whizzes out there.

Three years later, she still owned the place, according to Trulia, who reported that she began leasing it out at the time for $8,000/month. Alas, in 2014, Ricci re-listed the delightful-sounding domicile for $1,695,000, eventually unloading it after almost a year for $1,370,000. Oof.

Pete Wentz's post-divorce downgrade

The Studio City, Calif. house that rocker Pete Wentz lived in from 2012 to 2014 might not sound all that modest if you go by the admittedly flowery description provided by Trulia. The real estate site describes the four-bed, three-bath crib as "situated in the foothills amongst a forest of tall trees, waterfalls and exotic plantings." As for the interior, the Fall Out Boy bassist's flat featured "open-plan living," where the "dining and kitchen have a wood burning fireplace and a wall of French doors open to a grand, Wisteria covered veranda." Sounds fancy, no? Well, not compared to his previous digs. 

During the three-and-a-half years he was married to fellow musician Ashlee Simpson, Wentz lived with her in a five-bed, six-and-a-half bath, "walled and gated Mediterranean home" that boasted a staggering 7,100 square feet, according to Realtor.com. Other features included a "winding staircase," as well as "a spa, open patio space, a breakfast room, beamed ceilings, and a meditation garden with a fountain and fire pit."

When the pair split in 2011, they put the hefty hacienda on the market for a whopping $4 million. Wentz later listed his Studio City spot for $1.23 million, making it seem like a shanty in comparison.

Tom Shadyac's dharmic downsizing

Tom Shadyac may not be a household name, but his work in the late '90s and early 2000s helped define an era of comedy: He directed Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor (the 1996 Eddie Murphy reboot), Bruce Almighty, and more. His Hollywood endeavors made him a rich man, and he spent a ton of his cash on a "17,000-square-foot mansion in Pasadena," according to The LA Times.

But after a bicycle accident left him with a depressive disorder called "post-concussion syndrome," Shadyac had a revelation: Wealth was not the path to happiness. As a result of the awakening, Shadyac sold his mansion and moved into a Malibu trailer park called Paradise Cove — yes, the same one where Matthew McConaughey turned Canoe into a part-time retreat. 

Speaking with Vanity Fair, Shadyac shed more light on his new-age approach to life and finances. Describing his formerly luxurious "three-home complex," Shadyac said, "I had been in L.A. for 20 years and I still didn't know one of my neighbors. Here I live in 1,000 square feet, and it takes me 20 minutes to take out my trash, because I'm always chatting with them." So is he some kind of revolutionary now? Not quite.

"I don't want to participate in a system where we all argue for as much as we can get and take as much as we can," Shadyac continued. "I'm not trying to bring down capitalism or anything, but it's just not right for me." Alrighty then.

Deion Sanders' modest house is only part-time

NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders transitioned from a legendary career on the football field to the lucrative world of sports broadcasting. His success translated to an estimated net worth of $40 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, meaning Primetime can afford to live basically wherever he wants. Naturally, he chose a 600-square-foot house "in remote Cedar Hill, TX," according to Realtor.com. Wait, what?

Admittedly, there is a bit of an asterisk here — Sanders built his tiny wooded "retreat" for the show Tiny Home Nation, and, although it's small, it doesn't lack pizzazz. Featuring "a spacious bedroom, spalike bathroom, home theater," and rooftop deck complete with a canvas awning for "a dedicated area for yoga" that also happens to convert into another screen for outdoor movie-watching, this puny pad packs an elegant punch.

In the interest of full disclosure, we should also mention that, while Sanders' shrimpy suite was being constructed, he and his family lived in a "7,000-square-foot rental in Dallas." According to Realtor.com, even this was a downgrade from the family's previous residence, a $12.75 million, 29,122-square-foot behemoth in Prosper, Texas. Clearly, this whole "modest house" concept is new to Neon Deion.

Warren Buffet home cost less than your student loans

Warren Buffett is no Jeff Bezos, but he's still worth an estimated $83.1 billion. You'd never know it by his home. Though he's wealthier than Queen Elizabeth II, his Omaha Nebraska digs are a far cry from Buckingham Palace and he didn't even make taxpayers pay for his helipad.

Buffett still lives in the Omaha, Neb. home that he bought in 1958 for $31,500, which, according to a 2017 Business Insider report, is now worth an estimated $652,619. And we should say that the modesty of this house is definitely relative. With its 6,570 square feet, five bedrooms, and two and a half bathrooms, this midwestern mini-mansion would be an impressive dwelling for anyone who doesn't happen to have a net worth of $86.4 billion, as Buffet does as of this writing, according to Forbes.

Asked by the BBC (via Today) why he never opted for more affluent accommodations, Buffet said, "I'm happy there. I'd move if I thought I'd be happier someplace else." 

One caveat to Buffett's lowkey lodging? He also keeps an $11 million, cliffside Laguna Beach, Calif. vacation home on the side, according to CNBC, which is kind of like saying, "I drive a Prius for the great fuel economy, but I also have a garage full of Hummers for whenever I feel like it." But hey, we're not here to judge anyone — especially a genius investor whose personal wealth is on par with the GDP of entire countries.  

Lena Dunham's one-bedroom cost her $500,000

You wouldn't expect the creator and star of one of HBO's most talked about dramas to live in a boring, average, one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, but that's exactly what Lena Dunham chose for herself. According to Real Estate Stalker (via Curbed), the star purchased the 800-square-foot Brooklyn Heights apartment for $500,000 in 2012. To be honest, we weren't sure you could get an apartment for $500,000 anywhere in the five boroughs, but Dunham somehow found a way.

Dunham didn't stay in her starter home for long. According to Women's Wear Daily, she sublet it to fashion designer Rachel Antonoff, her then-boyfriend's sister, in 2014. She finally unloaded the home for good in 2017 when it sold for $850,000. This means she brought in an impressive $350,000 profit.

During the time Dunham was subletting her apartment, she lived with boyfriend Jack Antonoff in a $4.8 million Brooklyn four-bedroom. When they split, she purchased a slightly less impressive three-bedroom loft in Williamsburg, which will probably turn out to be much less profitable than her starter home. According to Observer, she ended up listing the property in April 2019, which she purchased for $2.9 million, at $2.65 million.

Lea Michele's two-bedroom cottage is compact-cute

Fox's Glee was a full-on phenomenon that made a capella singing actually cool. Without it, we probably wouldn't have Pitch Perfect, and star Lea Michele would have never crossed over from the stage to TV. Nonetheless, the actress was living a pretty modest life during her Glee days, which really is perplexing considering she was already a Broadway star at the time.

According to the Daily News, Michele bought a $1.4 million Los Angeles home in 2012 at the height of Glee's popularity. At the time, she was raking in an estimated $40,000 per episode, yet chose to live in a cozy two-bedroom. Of course, the space was fit for a modest queen. The kitchen was dripping in marble, and it had "a solar-heated saltwater pool." Nonetheless, Michele upgraded to a $3 million four-bedroom in 2015 that reportedly has a two-story gym (since everyone needs two stories worth of workout equipment). She reportedly sold her two-bedroom cottage for $1.825 million and turned a modest profit.

Mark Zuckerberg's house is more private than Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg's home might be worth $7 million, but there is no way on the planet it would cost that much if it was anywhere but Silicon Valley, where real estate is notoriously out of control. Yes, it's pretty. Yes, it has a nice porch. It even has five bathrooms, which means every bedroom gets their own toilet to use in peace. It's probably even big enough that he could invite over both Winklevoss twins and they'd be able to completely pretend the other doesn't exist, but it's still not worth a lot compared to how much Zuckerberg could spend. According to Forbes, the Facebook mogul is worth $62.3 billion, but then again, how much does a person actually need?

Zuckerberg might have pinched pennies with his residence, but he spent a lot to make his property more private. According to The San Jose Mercury (via SF Gate), he spent more than $30 million buying four houses that surrounded his Palo Alto residence and planned to "bulldoze" them, "and replace them with four smaller houses." But he should really check his privacy settings before he even bothers. Why make a fortress when anyone could sneak in through the code?

John Krasinski took a loss on his 'bachelor pad'

Pam is just about the only person who'd have been excited about John Krasinski's Hollywood bachelor pad — and that's because she's used to Scranton's frigid winters. Clearly, Emily Blunt wasn't too keen on the small, two-bedroom house because Krasinski unloaded it the year after their wedding.

The Office star purchased the 1,279-square-foot property for just over $1 million in 2006, a year after he hit it big with his beloved sitcom. It had a prime location right off the Sunset Strip with the added privacy of tall hedges and a gated driveway. When he listed the property in 2011, he ended up selling at a loss. According to Zillow, that was an unfortunate trend in Hollywood real estate at the time. Hey, you can't win them all.

After selling the bachelor pad, the couple upgraded to a gorgeous Park Slope townhouse before ending up in an impressive $11 million Brooklyn Heights condo. According to The Wall Street Journal, the pair purchased two adjacent units that could be combined into a single dream home. Do you think Matt Damon, who lives in the $16.75 million penthouse, is invited to the housewarming?

Chris Daughtry's kids had to share bedrooms

One of the most unjust atrocities in modern television was the fact that Chris Daughtry lost on American Idol. However, that might have actually worked in his favor because he got to have a legitimate career in his own right and not be married to the whim of Simon Cowell's notorious eye-rolls. The star has an estimated $10 million net worth, but at the height of his American Idol fame, he lived just like everybody else.

According to Zillow, Daughty purchased his North Carolina home in 2006 for $690,000. He lived in the four-bed, three-and-a-half-bath with his wife and four kids. Yep, two of Daughtry's children had to share a bedroom. How incredibly un-Hollywood. Despite the lack of bedrooms, his home was actually an expansive 3,600 square feet and had a salt-water pool, spa, and professional putting green. Not bad, but imagine the price tag if that was literally anywhere but Oak Ridge, North Carolina. He listed the property for sale in 2011.

Elijah Wood's quaint home is still a step up from Bag End

Apparently, Elijah Wood doesn't need a lot to be happy — just a quaint home in a quaint city. According to the Daily Mail, the star purchased a classic Victorian home (complete with the adorable gingerbread trim) for $1.075 million in 2013. He actually downgraded from his more expensive Santa Monica digs for the Austin property.

Wood's home might barely break $1 million, but it's definitely big. The living space is 3,285 square feet and has four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and three living rooms. We're not exactly sure what the star does with three living rooms, but one of them is probably a prime location to read Lord of the Rings fan fiction (and then sleep with the lights on when you realize Lord of the Rings fan fiction is deeply unsettling). The mansion was built in 1890, so we're guessing its haunted and/or the rooms are on the smaller side. That's probably how they managed to fit in two master bathrooms, two dining rooms, two master suites and two porches. Even if the rooms might be small, it's still a palace for a Hobbit.