Kylie Jenner drops millions on real estate like regular folks buy handbags at a sample sale, but her latest land grab has many scratching their heads. The makeup tycoon has reportedly just paid $15 million for 5 acres of empty land in Hidden Hills, CA.
According to TMZ, this sum sets a record high in the area for a vacant lot with no house.
So we can't help but wonder: Did Jenner get ripped off?
Then again, she is the youngest self-made billionaire on the Forbes list, so perhaps she sees something special in this patch of dirt that others don't. Here are some theories on what could have compelled her to shell out that much.
Analysis of Kylie Jenner's latest property purchase
"On the surface, this price seems like a rip-off," says Cedric Stewart, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties in Washington, DC. "But Hidden Hills remains one of the most coveted areas around L.A. and land is quite rare—and the right architect and builder could potentially create a $50 [million] to $75 million estate there."
"It's hard to say why she purchased land instead of a pre-made house," says Tyler Drew, CEO of Anubis Properties in Los Angeles.
Nonetheless, she must have her reasons, Drew adds. "High-end customers will walk if even the slightest item is off."
About an hour northwest of Los Angeles, Jenner's newly snagged property is surrounded by celeb residents, including Drake, The Weeknd, and Jessica Simpson, as well as many members of the Kardashian-Jenner inner circle. Jenner herself has owned three homes in Hidden Hills, two of which she has sold.
These dusty acres also have famous roots attached, as Miley Cyrus once owned the spot and used to have her horses graze here. But odds are, Jenner won't keep it a pristine pasture.
"This bit of land is in the middle of a guarded, gated street, so most likely some sort of house is going on the property," says Drew. "I imagine it'll be a second home for guests or relatives of Ms. Jenner, as her whole clan rolls in packs and is quite tight-knit."
As for what type of structure will go up there, given the cash at Jenner's disposal, it could be anything.
"She may want to build some sleek, futuristic-looking house or a replica of a Tuscan villa. Or she could tear down an actual villa and transport it brick by brick," theorizes Drew. "Because pretty much anything goes when you're worth nine figures."
What will Jenner build?
As luck would have it, the lot's sale comes with already approved plans for an 18,000-square-foot mansion, along with a 12-car garage, guesthouse, barn, and pool.
But will Jenner choose to implement this property's pre-approved development plans? It would certainly be the easy route.
"Purchasing land like this allows Kylie to start with a clean vision and make it what she wants—but she could potentially plug in to the plans the seller already has in place because all the legwork of this huge process is done," says Cara Ameer, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Los Angeles.
But even with permits and papers in order, building a home worthy of this land and its oh-so-famous resident wouldn't be a walk in the park.
"Developing a huge property like this with multiple elements takes time, even a couple of years, as Kylie is essentially building a resort that could rival many five-star properties," says Ameer.
As for the price, Jenner can expect to pay another $5 million to $10 million to develop what she wants here, estimates Ameer. But some think it's money well-spent that could pay her back down the road.
"This purchase was a great move as it put her in a position to become a real estate developer. Can you imagine a signature line of Kylie Jenner–designed homes at $1 million to build and then priced at $5 million to $7 million?" asks Odest T. Riley Jr., CEO of WLM Financial, a real estate brokerage firm in Inglewood, CA. "It sets her up to be a true mogul."
What other homes does Jenner own?
Of course, Jenner won't ever be at a loss for places to stay while she waits out an extensive home build. There's always her main abode in Hidden Hills, which she purchased for $12 million, and the $13.5 million Beverly Hills estate she picked up in 2018.
Given this collection of properties, Jenner could even have designs to make real estate her next business.
"Kylie thinks big in everything she does, and tackling this property is no exception," says Ameer. "She's clearly very ambitious in the expansion of her real estate portfolio, and she wants a diverse array of properties, which bodes especially well for the young, hip, L.A. influencer that she is."