What is going on up in Montecito? If I mentioned a town called "Montecito" a year ago, would you have known what I was talking about? I suspect not! Located just south of Santa Barbara, Montecito has long been an enclave for celebrities and the ultra-rich, but historically this tiny town has been fairly low-key. If you wanted to spot celebrities in Southern California, your best bet would be to walk down Rodeo drive in Beverly Hills. Today, if you walked around downtown Montecito on a random weekday you might bump into Oprah, Ellen, Ariana Grande, Rob Lowe, Jeff Bridges, Scooter Braun and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (who just paid $15 million for their new lavish estate three weeks ago). And as of today, there's officially a new celebrity on the block. And while he may not be as "sexy" as the previously-mentioned celebrities, he's rich enough to buy and sell all of them put together a few times over…
It's just been confirmed by the Wall Street Journal that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is the buyer of an absolutely ridiculous Montecito estate called Solano. His purchase price? $30.8 million.
And while that may sound like a sky-high-number, keep in mind that Eric Schmidt's net worth is a tad under $17 billion. As of this writing, he owns roughly 1.3% of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., and has sold billions of shares over the years. Schmidt was CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011. He was the company's executive chairman until 2019 when he stepped down from the company's board.
Eric's new house was originally listed at $49 million when it first hit the market in 2014. So maybe he considered this a good deal?
The 11-acre "Solano" sits on a hilltop overlooking the ocean on one side and the Santa Ynez mountains on the other side. It was originally built in 1915 for a textile tycoon named Frederick Forrest Peabody. As such, before being renamed "Solano" the property was known for many years as "The Peabody Estate".
Eric and his wife Wendy are buying the 5-bedroom mansion from the COO of Amway, Bill Nicholson, who bought the property in 1999 for $5.25 million.
We found a marketing video of Solano that is absolutely worth a full watch:
Pretty incredible huh?
And if somehow Eric ever gets sick of hanging out at Solano, he actually owns ANOTHER home in Montecito which he purchased in 2007 from Ellen DeGeneres for $20 million. He has primarily rented this house over the years, mainly for weddings. Though, according to legend, it has become a less-popular wedding venue after it hosted the 2012 nuptials of Kim Kardashian and NBA player Kris Humphries. Some local wedding planners have described the home as "cursed" after the Kardashian/Humphries marriage infamously ended after 72 days.
Eric also owns a home in Holmby Hills, a few doors down from the Playboy Mansion, a $15 million penthouse in New York City, a large property in Nantucket, Massachusett and his very first Silicon Valley home, a property in Atherton, Ca he bought in 1990 for $2 million that is likely worth around $10 million today.
And if he ever gets sick of being on land, Eric owns a 194-foot yacht called "Oasis," which he bought in 2009 for $72 million.
To travel back and forth to all of these properties and toys, Eric owns a Gulfstream V private jet.
He also has an alleged reputation for being in an open marriage and having a harem of young girlfriends. Maybe that's why he needs so many homes??
Either way, must be nice to be Eric Schmidt.