Joining the ranks of homeowners

"CSI: Miami" star Rex Linn has ended two decades of renting with the purchase of this Sherman Oaks home. (Keith Gaynes)

After a two-year house hunt, "CSI: Miami" star Rex Linn has bought a Sherman Oaks home for $1,415,000.

The actor had been renting a less than 1,000-square-foot John Lautner-designed house nearby for 20 years but decided he was ready to pull the trigger on a bigger place after he became engaged in June. The one-bedroom, one-bathroom midcentury rental is called the Foster House.

"It's the first house I lived in when I moved here from Oklahoma City," Linn said.

The landlord had "500 applicants to rent the house," Linn said, and was "really particular." The landlord and his wife said they didn't like the actors who lived in the neighborhood, Linn recalled.

"So I actually fibbed a bit," he said. "Told him I worked for a construction company."

The former Texan tried to buy the Lautner house for the last 10 years, but the landlord wouldn't sell.

"It will be pretty emotional for me to leave," Linn said.

The 3,355-square-foot home he will share with fiancée Renee DeRese has amenities Linn should enjoy: a solar-heated swimming pool, a backyard cabana bar and a fire pit. There are four bedrooms and five bathrooms. But the most important feature to Linn is the kitchen.

"I walked into this kitchen, and it was like walking into Disneyland for the first time," he said.

An enthusiastic cook who likes to smoke and barbecue meats, he has been operating out of an 8-foot-long kitchen with a stove and small refrigerator and has been hand-washing his dishes for two decades.

He recently walked a friend through the remodeled house and stopped to point at the dishwasher.

"Oh, my God, it's a Bosch," the friend said.

"Huh? No, it's a dishwasher," Linn replied.

The new house, like his old one, will be the regular site of parties every fall Saturday.

"I live for college football," he said.

In fact, it was one of his prime criteria in selecting a house. "I have got to make sure this house has college football party potential," he would frequently utter on his house-hunting expeditions.

The 1963 house he bought is in great shape, Linn said. "But I will add some Texas to it."

Linn, 53, has played Sgt. Frank Tripp on "CSI: Miami" since 2002. Much of the former banker's acting career has been in movies. He describes "Cliffhanger" (1993) as the most important film in his life. "I was absolutely dead broke … and I got the fourth lead."

His other film work includes "Appaloosa" (2008), "Rush Hour" (1998) and "Tin Cup" (1996).