Q Why do celebrities buy multiple million-dollar homes? Does the phrase "home, sweet home" not apply to them?

Danny Kang, Oak Hill, Va.

A Celebrity can have as many houses as he wants, but he must make clear that one house means more than all the rest, otherwise he'll look greedy. Example: George Clooney almost never talks about his L.A. house anymore, with its basketball court and pet pig. Now he talks about his Italian villa on Lake Como. And so we swoon whenever the paparazzi photograph him enjoying it. This is the perfect Other House, because he has made it part of his persona. He can now have as many other residences as he likes, because he has successfully convinced us that his heart really belongs to just one house

Real estate, as any accountant or financial adviser will tell you, is a nice place to put money when you've got too much of it -- even though it is not a limitless tax break. Another reason to buy yourself a mansion here, there and in Montana, is because the superfamous want to feel like they're always home; that wherever they go, it belongs to them.

But this still doesn't get at why celebrities neeeeeed so many houses. Could it be that they are simply fulfilling our fantasies of what the superfamous should do with their money? "Home, sweet home" is now the crib, and once you've let MTV film you in that crib, then you need a better crib. Your public demands it.

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