Brentwood or Beverly Hills? The rise of the Essex mega mansion – from Mark Wright’s £3.5million TOWIE towers to Stacey Solomon and Mrs Hinch’s DIY dream homes
The Kardashians have the exclusive LA neihbourhoods of Calabasa and Hidden Hills.
But over on this side of the pond there is one county that is home to mega mansions galore – Essex.
Once famed for being the playground for TOWIE drama, the county is now home to some prime real estate – some of it owned by those reality revellers who once called the Sugar Hut home.
From TOWIE original Mark Wright’s ‘dream home’ with Michelle Keegan to the Queen of Clean Mrs Hinch’s £1million farm and her BFF Stacey Solomon’s Pickle Cottage, forget Selling Sunset, everyone’s buying Brentwood.
Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright
COST: £1.3 million for the original property which was demolished. In total with renovations – £3.5 million
LOCATION: Epping Forest
Home sweet home: Mark Wriht and Michelle Keegan moved into their Brentwood mansion in October last year after splashing out over £3million on the purchase and renovations
Impressive: Ex TOWIE star Mark has spent almost two years redesigning his Essex ‘dream home’ with wife Michelle
Mark shot to fame as part of the original cast of TOWIE back in 2010.
His marriage to Our Girl and Brassic star Michelle, a foray into presenting and DJing, not to mention his fitness business has enabled Mark to leave his TOWIE bachelor pad behind for a £3.5million Essex mansion.
Mark and Michelle, who are estimated to have a net worth of £12million, purchased the original property for £1.3million in October 2019.
Updates: The couple won planning approval for the colossal building project back in January 2020 (before, top, and the CGI image of their future plans, below)
After tearing down the mock Tudor farmhouse that previously sat on the vast lot, the builders have constructed a gleaming white mansion in its place.
Construction experts have estimated the demolition and rebuild of the home will have cost the couple a whopping £3.5million.
They called in some family favours thought with Mark’s dad Mark Wright Snr acting as project manager.
Life in the country: Sitting on a huge lot, the couple completely landscaped the grounds
Happy: Mark and Michelle (far right) hosted an early family Christmas celebration at their £3.5m Essex mansion for their family
Due to various lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions, construction was stop-start.
The couple won planning approval for the colossal building project back in January 2020 – and it took over two years until the couple moved in, in October 2022.
The couple were finally able to host their very first Christmas in their home in December.
Insta fans Mark and Michelle have documented their build via their home Instagram account @wrightyhome which boasts over 436,000 followers.
Chic: Insta fans Mark and Michelle have documented their build via their home Instagram account @wrightyhome which boasts over 436,000 followers
Unreal: For the fitness fanatic couple a vast gym takes prides of place, looking out over the huge garden, while the house boasts five ensuite bedrooms
Completed: The couple enlisted an interior designer to help create their chic look
The completed mansion boasts five bedrooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom and three with dressing rooms.
An outdoor granny annexe ensures there’s plenty of room for family, while luxury treats such as a sauna, bar and outdoor swimming pool have all been added.
For the fitness fanatic couple a vast gym takes pride of place, looking out over the huge garden.
Billie Faiers and Greg Shepherd
COST: £1.3 million for the original property which they have since demolished to build their new home
Dream pad: After living in the town of Brentwood all her life Billie Faiers is now the proud owner of one of the area’s most lavish homes
Wow! Billie and her husband Greg paid £1.4million for the Brentwood property, before demolishing it and building their own dream home
Another TOWIE star Billie Faiers has laid down roots in her home county.
After living in the town of Brentwood all her life the reality star is now the proud owner of one of the area’s most lavish homes.
Billie and her husband Greg Shepherd bought the Brentwood property in January 2021 and spent nearly two years on a huge renovation.
The project was met with countless delays and a bitter war with neighbours before the couple had even moved in.
Home sweet home: The project was met with countless delays and a bitter war with neighbours before the couple and their children had even moved in last year
Local residents had said the works were ‘excessive’ and not in keeping with other properties on the street.
A neighbour told the council that they would ‘give their support’ if the house would ‘fit the character of the area’, adding how it would be the biggest house on the street.
Their relationship with their neighbours was thought to be so bad, they even reportedly splashed an eye-watering £20k on trees to maintain their territory and to keep eavesdroppers away.
Family home: The couple have created a five-bed home with multiple en-suites and a huge walk-in wardrobe for the master bedroom, in the style of the Kardashians
Generous! Billie gave away her old house for free to her mum Suzie, ensuring the home (pictured) stays in the family
The couple have created a five-bed home with multiple en-suites and a huge walk-in wardrobe for the master bedroom, in the style of the Kardashians.
Greg has been allowed to add a ‘man cave’, converting the original garage into a gym and games room, and there will be a play room for their three children.
Re-landscaping the outside space, the couple have added a swimming pool, jacuzzi and fire pit, a far cry from their previous modest Brentwood house which is now home to Billie’s mum.
Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash
LOCATION: Essex countryside
Lavish: Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash splashed out £1.2million on a stunning Tudor style house in the Essex countryside with 2.5acres which they have lovingly dubbed Pickle Cottage
X Factor star Stacey and EastEnders actor Joe found their forever home back in March 2021 when they moved out into the Essex countryside to be closer to family.
The couple splashed out £1.2million on a stunning Tudor style house, with 2.5acres which they have lovingly dubbed Pickle Cottage.
Since then, DIY queen Stacey has turned Pickle Cottage into a bank-balance boosting enterprise, using her 5.5million strong Instagram account to document her incredible interiors transformation.
Fresh start: The Loose Women star, 31, and her brood posed outside their new home in a sweet Instagram post with Stacey revealing they felt ‘lucky and grateful’
DIY queen: Stacey has turned Pickle Cottage into a bank-balance boosting enterprise, using her 5.5million strong Insatgram account to document her incredible interiors transformations
Happy Birthday! For Joe’s 40th birthday last January, Stacey surprised him with his very own man cave, complete with a pool table and personalised darts board
She’s also released two books to help others ‘create a home with love.’
With five children between them, and another on the way, Pickle Cottage boasts plenty of space for the growing family.
The older boys have their own separate annex while the couple have also repaired the dilapidated swimming pool.
Pickle Cottage: Loose Women star Stacey explained when the family moved in that she knew the house would be her forever home, gushing that ‘there were SO many signs’.
Nupitals: Just over a year after moving in, Stacey and Joe hosted their wedding at home
For Joe’s 40th birthday last January, Stacey surprised him with his very own man cave, complete with a pool table and personalised darts board.
Loose Women star Stacey explained when the family moved in that she knew the house would be her forever home, gushing that ‘there were SO many signs’.
Just over a year after moving in, Stacey and Joe hosted their wedding at home, exchanging vows under a flower-covered walkway in their garden.
LOCATION: Essex countryside
Ta-dah! Cleaning influencer Mrs Hinch 32, revealed on New Year’s Day 2022 that she had purchased a five bedroom mansion, dubbed ‘Hinch Farm’
With a reported £5million net worth thanks to her Freshen Up Fridays and Hinch Hauls, the Queen of Clean purchased her dream home a year ago.
The cleaning influencer, 32, revealed on New Year’s Day 2022 that she had purchased a five bedroom mansion, dubbed ‘Hinch Farm’, later admitting she had moved out of the modest Essex home which made her an Instagram sensation due to ‘privacy issues’.
With her best friend Stacey as a neighbour, Hinch Farm is located in the Essex countryside, giving Sophie, her husband Jamie and their two sons Ron and Lennie the privacy they craved.
Nice: Keeping her fans up to date with the work, she has showcased several images of the completed rooms in her home, including the stunning master bedroom
Lovely: While she has also showed images of her chic family bathroom with its neutral toned and freestanding bath
Set in 1.7 acres, Hinch Farm boasts a gated driveway, stables and plenty of outdoor space to host the menagerie of animals which now also call the place home – including chickens and three alpacas.
Sophie has been documenting her renovations over the past year, enlisting the help of artists to create a huge farm mural in eldest son Ronnie’s room and her dad to build her furniture in his very own workshop, located on the property.
Sophie admitted that the house has not only been a dream of hers for years, but also her parents’.
New beginnings: Sophie has been documenting her renovations over the past year with the work on the house mostly complete
‘Truth is my parents and I have been driving past this house since I was 11,’ she told her Instagram followers.
“And we always said to each other, we wonder who lives in there, we even used to imagine here and what we could do if we ever did.”
Just like her BFF Stacey, Mrs Hinch is using her new home to increase her earnings, recently unveiling her first children’s book, set at Hinch Farm and starring her children and pets.
Home sweet home: Just like her BFF Stacey, Mrs Hinch is using her new home to increase her earnings, recently unveiling her first children’s book, set at Hinch Farm
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