Kara DioGuardi selling Gouldsboro home

File photo of DioGuardi answering a question at the Bravo panel for the show "Platinum Hit" during the Television Critics Association winter press tour in PasadenaCelebrity hit-maker Kara DioGuardi may have spent her last night in the town of Gouldsboro.

The songwriter, record producer, music executive and former American Idol judge has put a “For Sale” sign in front of her home on Main Street in the local village of Prospect Harbor.

DioGuardi bought the house in 2004, prior to her stint on American Idol, which now is in its final season. She spent two seasons as a judge on the show, in 2009 and 2010.

The asking price for the house has not been publicized.

The waterfront property of nearly 1.5 acres is modest by DioGuardi’s current standards, having an overall tax-assessed value of less than half a million dollars. But it must have some sentimental value for DioGuardi, who met her husband Michael McCuddy when he was working as a carpenter and building a house next door. DioGuardi and McCuddy (who previously had been an art teacher at Orono High School) were married July 5, 2009 at the Methodist church across the street.

DioGuardi, a New York native who grew up in New Rochelle, spent several summers in the area, even helping to judge the local Schoodic Idol competition in 2010.

In a 2009 interview with Portland Monthly magazine, DioGuardi talked about the property, how she met her husband, and what she likes about the area.

“It’s a sea captain’s house from the 1800s,” she told the interviewer. “You enter through the kitchen. You can see the water everywhere, straight back to the dining and living rooms. To the left is the old entryway, now a reading room. Three bedrooms upstairs all look out to the water.”

She added that she and McCuddy liked to make day trips to other places in the area.

“We love Ellsworth. We go to [now defunct] Cleonice [Mediterranean Bistro]. And, of course, Bangor, because when we were first dating we’d see Michael’s place. I went to ‘The Gov’ [Governor’s Restaurant in Bangor]. That’s nice. Every time I was out of coffee, the waitress kept filling it up. I didn’t think that happened anymore!”

Her interest in Downeast Maine may have waned in recent years, however. The town of Gouldsboro filed liens against the property in 2013 and again in 2014, when DioGuardi failed to pay her property tax bills, according to records on file at the Hancock County Registry of Deeds. The liens later were discharged after she paid the outstanding balance.

The 2015 property taxes on the parcel amount to $3,739.97, according to the town’s records.

DioGuardi, whose estimated net worth is approximately $25 million, has extensive experience with buying and selling real estate.

Three years ago, she sold her mansion in Studio City, California for $6.3 million after she and McCuddy extensively renovated the property, according to a report in the L.A. Times.

She is believed to own a home in Hollywood Hills that she put on the market in 2010 but which was still in her property portfolio when the Studio City mansion sold three years later.

Last fall she listed her luxury New York City apartment, located a few blocks from Columbus Circle, for $5.19 million, the New York Post has reported. In 2012, she sold a condo in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan for $2.1 million, according to online transfer listings.

DioGuardi and McCuddy will still own property in Maine if their Prospect Harbor cottage sells.


Kara DioGuardi’s house in Prospect Harbor. NOTE: This image has been altered to remove the phone number written on the ‘For Sale’ sign. Bill Trotter|BDN

According to CelebrityDetective.com, in 2010 the couple bought a large house in York Harbor in southern Maine for $1.2 million (the same article also features photos from her former NYC condo in Chelsea). In 2011, People magazine published a piece about a holiday party she threw with neighbors at the Starboard Lane home.

And just last year, they bought a second house in York Harbor for $3.4 million, according to information listed in the town’s online assessing database. This house, on Dabney Lane, consists of 9 acres of land and includes a private dock on the tidal York River.

Bill Trotter

About Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors. He writes about fisheries, marine-related topics, eastern coastal Maine communities and more for the BDN. He lives in Ellsworth. Follow him on Twitter at @billtrotter.