Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are allegedly hunting for a new home in a private California community because their existing $14million mansion ‘does not properly accommodate them.’
Rumors swirling around the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claim the royal couple have outgrown their Montecito mansion and are eyeing properties in the nearby Hope Ranch community, where luxury homes fetch for as high as $22million, The Santa Barbara News-Press reported.
Hope Ranch sits around 10 miles away, and has a slew of upmarket amenities including a country club, golf club, tennis court and equestrian trails.
The News-Press reported that the couple may already have bought a property there, but were unable to confirm any purchase. It’s unclear whether the couple are seeking to buy a bigger home than their current mansion, or a smaller property.
While Montecito is home to multiple celebrities, including Katy Perry, Adam Levine, Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Aniston, Hope Ranch’s affluent private neighborhood would serve as a quieter community for the royals and their two children.
Speculation about Harry and Meghan’s desire to move comes after police installed license plate scanning cameras near their mansion amid an uptick in crime in the neighborhood.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are rumored to be looking for a new mansion in Hope Ranch, California because their current $14million home ‘does not properly accommodate them’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are allegedly looking to ditch their Montecito home (above), just as police reported the installation of new security cameras to combat rampant crime
The small but affluent community of Hope Ranch (above) boasts a members-only country club, golf club, tennis courts, picnic grounds and a network of equestrian trails
In an email to residents, including the Duke and Duchess, the Montecito Association said the cameras were being installed ‘in response to the high-value property crime we’ve experienced recently,’ reported The Sun.
‘The crimes are being committed by sophisticated out-of-the-area theft gangs,’ the email continued.
Harry and Meghan reportedly had their own scare in May, when police were alerted to two intruders at their house during a 12-day span when the family was believed to be home.
According to police records, a trespasser at Meghan and Harry’s home was reported on their wedding anniversary, May 19 at 5.44pm.
Less than two weeks later, at 3.21pm on May 31 – just hours before the pair were to take a private jet to Britain for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, another intruder was reported.
According to The Sun, Craig Bonner, undersheriff for Santa Barbara County, told an online meeting with locals that authorities were having ‘some problems with professional burglars.’
‘We want these cameras up and running as quickly as possible to capture these folks as they come and go from the area,’ Bonner told residents.
Montecito police are installing solar powered cameras, which cost $2,500, to see who is in the area when a crime is reported to have taken place. The royal couple have seen two recent break-ins at their mansion in the community
Hope Ranch has mansions that go for as high as $22 million in the affluent community
Residents of Hope Ranch also have access to their own private beach along the coastline
Given the crime surge in the area, Harry and Meghan may instead be opting to move to a safe neighborhood while remaining in Santa Barbara.
The unincorporated village of Hope Ranch has a population of about 2,200, according to the US Census.
The small but affluent community boasts a members-only country club, golf club, tennis courts, picnic grounds and a network of equestrian trails, with about 10 percent of the population owning their own horses.
Residents of Hope Ranch also have access to their own private beach and walking trails.
Harry and Meghan bought their existing property in June 2020, four months after the so-called ‘Megxit’ deal which saw them quit the royal family.
They’ve since signed deals with Netflix and Spotify for a rumored $135m in total, with Harry also said to be in line for an extra $20 million to publish his autobiography.
Reports suggest the prince is keen to make edits to the book after his grandmother Queen Elizabeth died aged 96 last month, and his father Charles ascended to the throne.