Palo Alto Loire Chatueau
First up on this list of the world's most expensive home is Palo Alto Loire Chatueau. This Silicon Valley mansion is owned by Yuri Milner. This is fitting because the Russian venture capitalist became a billionaire through the tech industry. He has invested in the hugely popular websites, Facebook, Twitter, and the streaming music service, Spotify.
This French-inspired chateau measures 25,000 square feet and sits on 11 acres of California's Silicon Valley. There is some question as to exactly how much Milner paid for Palo Alto Loire Chatueau. First reports were around $75 million, with the current estimate being closer to $100 million dollars.
The notoriously expensive (and unfinished) Versailles in Florida has an estimated $100 million dollar building cost. Begun prior to the Great Recession in 2004, this 90,000 square foot, single family home is expected to be completed in 2015. David Siegel, the head of Westgate Resorts, and his wife Jackie are featured in the documentary "The Queen of Versailles." The film covers the earlier days of construction as well as the Siegel's fight to keep the property. Once completed, the French inspired "Palace" will have 13 bedrooms, 23 bathrooms, 10 kitchens, a ballroom, bowling alley, rollerskating rink, fitness center, tennis courts and a baseball diamond.
Hearst Castle, a beacon of California's San Simeon area is one of the most famous mansions in the world. This Mediterranean inspired home is over 90,000 square feet and holds 56 bedrooms, 61 bedrooms, glorious indoor and outdoor pools and of course, a movie theater. During the early years of Hollywood, Hearst Castle was a popular destination of the day's top filmmakers and A-list stars as well as world leaders like Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
The estate was formerly named "La Cuesta Encantada," which means "the enchanted hill." Hearst nicknamed the property "the ranch" while others chose to call it "San Simeon." Hollywood icon Orson Welles used Hearst Castle as his inspiration for "Citizen Kane's" Xanadu mansion.
When spacious land isn't an option, build up. That's what Indian energy mogul Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani did when he commissioned the architecture firm of Perkins & Will to design his 400,000 square foot tower in Mumbai. The building has 27 floors but it is equivalent to a 60 story building. It's 600 person staff stays busy maintaining the tower's space, which includes 9 elevators, ballroom, gardens, 3 helipads and its 6-stories of gardens. In spite of the incredible space the home is not currently housing its owner as
Ambani believes it will bring on a curse.
Ambani believes it will bring on a curse.
Located near Bran in Romania, sits the oldest property on our list of the world's most expensive homes. Formerly known as Bran Castle, it is commonly referred to as Dracula's Castle due to a slight connection to Vlad III, aka "Vlad the Impaler." Bran Castle's 27 bedrooms sits on 20 acres of Romania's mountains. It's currently available for sale at a modest $135 million dollars. Dating back to the 14th century, this castle is now a historical landmark in Romania and public tours are available.
In London's posh Hyde Park, the 300 million pound (that's roughly $484 million US dollars) mansion was built by Lebanon's former Prime Minister and billionaire, Rafik Hariri. This 60,000 square foot mansion was originally designed as a 4 home space, but as of 2012 it was listed as a 1 family residence. While it's exterior has a rather conservative appearance, the 45 bedroom mansion is said to have an abundance of opulence on the interior. It is believed to have millions of dollars worth of gold-leaf appointments. Other amenities include an industrial sized kitchen and bullet-proof windows.
Fleur de Lys
Last listed at $125 million, LA's Fleur de Lys was built by the billionaires David and Suzanne Saperstein prior to a nasty divorce in 2006. Located in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, this 15 bedroom, 45,000 square foot mansion holds several extravagant furniture pieces. This includes the favorite chair of Napoleon Bonaparte. Beside the museum grade furniture, the house is trimmed with 24 karat gold. Inspired by historical estates in France, it has modern amenities like a 50 seat movie theater.
Maison de L'Amitie
Maison de L'Amitie in Palm Beach, Florida is currently owned by Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire. It was last sold at $95 million by Donald Trump in 2008. In spite of being one of the world's most expensive property, Rybolovlev is planning on demolishing the 80,000 square foot, 18 bedroom home. The Donald sold the estate due to on-going mold problems. Perhaps Russia's fertilizer tycoon is having the same issues.
Sagaponack, New York is home to Ira Rennert's 110,000 square foot home, Fairfield. This 29 bedroom estate holds a restaurant sized kitchen, a 164 seat theater, basketball and tennis courts, bowling alleys and of course its own power plant. The garage at Fairfield can hold up to 200 cars. Currently, Ira Rennert it battling the Sagaponack Village Zoning Board of Appeals to add a Pilates studo to the 63 acre property. Based on recent property tax values, Fairfield Estate is valued at nearly $200 million dollars.
Villa Leopolda, a palatial estate in the French Riviera, was completed in 1931. It is built on the site where a previous estate was owned by King Leopold II of Belgium, from which its name is derived. During World War II, the 29,000 square foot, 11-bedroom mansion served as a military hospital. This beautiful estate has all the amenities one would expect like exquisite lawns, large pool, sauna and both indoor and outdoor kitchens. Villa Leopolda was used in filming for the movies "The Red Shoes" and Alfred Hitchcock's classic "To Catch A Thief" starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant. It was once valued at $750 million dollars, but later rumored to be listed for $102 million - which would be a world record price cut in real estate. Villa Leopolda's owner Lilly Safra denies that the estate was ever for sale.
At an estimated value of $110 million dollars, Larry Ellison of Oracle built the estate that bears his name in Woodside, California. The 23-acre Ellison Estate was based on Feudal Japanese architure. The 10 buildings of the property include a tea house and a bath house. There is also a koi pond and the 2.3 acre lake on the property is man-made for the estate.
Billionaire founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates' 66,000 square foot mansion overlooks Lake Washington in Medina. The tech mogul has an estate wide server system built into the home among other elaborate electronic amenities. It houses an expansive fitness center, 60' swimming pool, and heated floors and driveways. Its nickname, Xanadu 2.0 is a reference to Citizen Kane. The construction cost of the estate was over $60 million dollars and took seven years to complete. The house is estimated to be forth in excess of $140 million dollars.
The Promised Land
Oprah Winfrey, queen of the daytime talk-show and media mogul, purchased this Montecito, California home in 2004. It is rumored that she paid roughly $50 million dollars for the property after attending a party the owners through. While the mansion was not on the market, they accepted her offer. Upon buying the estate, she named it "The Promised Land" to pay homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. The 23,000 square foot mansion is surrounded by 42 acres of land; which Oprah also owns. The mansion has an extensive garden, large library and custom built tea-house. During 2013, Oprah hired designer Rose Tarlow for a 3 month redecoration in order to make the home more to her tastes. It's currently valued at $85 million dollars.
The White House
While you cannot simply purchase The White House through a real estate broker, the home and offices of The President of the United States is valued at over $320 million dollars. Construction began in 1792 and since its completion in 1800, the White House has been the personal residence of every sitting US President since Thomas Jefferson. The 132 room, 50,000 square foot complex has loads of amenities including its own bowling alley, jogging track, movie theater and swimming pool.
The White House also has three kitchens and employee five full-time chef. In addition to being the Executive residence, the Whit House has two wings of offices. The East Wing, which was added in 1942, holds the offices of the First Lady. Quite possibly the single most famous room in the world, is the Oval Office and it is located in the West Wing.
Buckingham Palace may be the only residence on this list that has Royal guards at the gates at all times. It's fitting that the private home of one of the world's longest running monarchies should be on this list. At an astounding 828,000 square feet its original is as a large townhome in the early 1700's. Over time, what was known has Buckingham House expanded and Queen Victoria was the first sitting monarch to reside in Buckingham Palace in the 19th century. The Palace has 775 rooms including 52 Royal and guest bedrooms. Buckingham Palace also has a 40-acre garden that includes a helipad.