The average cost of a single family home in the United States is around $311,000. For many people, this amount is enough to induce heart palpitations as they calculate their monthly mortgage payment and how long they will be paying for it. For others, this is simply a number. In fact, for some people that’s probably how much they spend on their cleaners. There are some people in the world who really do live in the lap of luxury. Their homes include panic rooms, salons, extravagant theaters, helipads, and other extravagances. Here we look at the 10 most expensive homes in the world.
10 Toprak Mansion/Royal Mansion, Bishop’s Avenue, London – $94 million
Purchased in 2008 by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, this 30,000 sq. foot home in London was custom-built by Turkish tycoon Halis Toprak. Sadly for him, he was forced to place it on the market before ever living in it because his banking accounts were seized by the Turkish government.
The mansion boasts seven bedrooms, four kitchens, a glass elevator, a swimming pool with a glass bridge, an 80ft dining room, and a Turkish bath for 20 people. Of course, the new owner felt the mansion was not quite up to his standards and spent around $30 million to make it over and add a few necessities. They included a helipad, salon, movie theater, squash court, and spa.
9 Fleur de Lys, Beverly Hills, CA – $125 million
Owned by Suzanne Saperstein, this 35,000+ sq. ft. home was built in 2002 and has been on the market since 2007, without any change in price. Suzanne was married to David Saperstein, an entrepreneur, for 23 years before they divorced. In the bitter $1billion proceedings, she was awarded the 12 bedroom, 15 bathroom home on 5 gated acres.
The home, or palace as many refer to it, is accented throughout with gold embossing, marble walls, and limestone floors. The European-style property is also home to a ballroom, gym, pool house, a nine-car garage, and a 50-seat theater.
8 Franchuk Villa, Kensington, South-West London – $133 million
Purchased in 2008 by Elena Franchuk, a Ukrainian businesswoman and philanthropist, this six-storey home operated as a girl’s preparatory school until 1997. After the school was moved, it was restored and many amenities were added before it was placed on the market.
The home features 21,000 sq. ft. of living space that includes 10 bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool, a gym, a news room (because where else would you read the newspaper?), a panic room, a huge garage space, and private movie theaters (of course, one home theater is not enough). Interestingly, the expensive wood furnishings and gorgeous antique artwork account for half of the overall cost of the home.
7 Hala Ranch, Aspen, Colorado – $135 million
Built in 1991, Hala Ranch was purchased in 2006 by Saudi Prince and former ambassador to the US, Bandar bin Sultan. In 2006, it was purchased by hedge fund manager John Paulson.
Covering 90 acres in the Rocky Mountains, the 56,000 sq. ft. main house includes a master suite with a beauty parlor for massages, pedicures, and hair styling, 14 additional bedrooms, 16 bathrooms accented with gold fixtures, and an interior courtyard that contains a waterfall draining into a reflecting pool.
Finally, it has its own car wash, gas pumps, and water treatment plant. Of course, it is well protected a high-tech security system that surrounds the entire 90 acres.
6 Bran Castle, Brasov, Romania – $135 million
Built in 1212, this gothic fortress is marketed as “Dracula’s Castle”. Currently owned by Dominic von Hapsburg, he operates it as a museum. Presently, it is the most visited tourist attraction in Romania.
Set on top of a cliff, it is actually quite a lot smaller than it appears in pictures. That being said, it still boasts 17 bedrooms, a deep dungeon, a “secret” passageway, and spiral staircases that climb all the way to the top and provide spectacular views. Over the years, it has often been repaired and refurbished, although it still retains its original gothic architecture.
5 Updown Court, Surrey, England – $138 million
Bought at a foreclosure auction in 2011 by an unnamed Indian businessman, Uptown Court can only be described as an extravagant spectacle. While it is valued at $138million, it is believed that the businessman was able to purchase the home at the significantly discounted price of $54.7 million.
It is set on 58 acres of land and includes 24 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms, 10 half bathrooms, marble floors throughout the house, an underground garage, bowling alley, fitness center, a squash court, theater, panic room, helipads, a heated marble driveway (why exactly you need a heated driveway is a mystery to us), a lake, and five swimming pools.
4 Hearst Mansion (Hearst Castle), Beverly Hills, CA – $165 million
Operated by the Hearst Family Trust, this property serves as six extravagant homes and currently functions as a museum that is open to the public. The largest home, Casa Grande, is an astonishing 68,500 sq. ft. and includes 38 bedrooms, 42 bathrooms, 30 fireplaces, and 14 sitting rooms.
The property boasts three swimming pools (the Neptune Pool holds 345,000 gallons of water), a tennis court, beauty salon, theater, library, a huge wine cellar, airport, and even a nightclub. In the past, it was the site of the world’s largest private zoo and contained exotic animals from every continent.
3 Fairfield Pond, The Hamptons – $170 million
Located on 63 acres facing the Atlantic Ocean, Fairfield Pond is owned by businessman and self-made billionaire Ira Rennert. There are several homes on the property with the largest being the 66,000 sq. ft. main house.
This house alone contains 39 bathrooms, 29 bedrooms, 12 chimneys, a 91-ft long dining room, a bowling alley, a theater, two squash courts, two tennis courts, a basketball court, and a hot tub valued at $150,000.
It is currently considered one of the largest occupied residential homes in the United States. Sadly, Mr. Rennert is not well-liked among his neighbors, who consider his home a “monstrosity” and have launched an attempt to prevent him from flying his mega-helicopter over their homes in order to land on his helipad.
2 Villa Leopolda, French Riviera – $506 million
Built in 1902 as a home for the mistresses of King Leopold II of Belgium, it is almost impossible to find out who currently owns it, although it appears to be Lily Safra, who inherited it from her husband in 1999.
In 2008, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov planned to buy it and put down a $55million down payment, but he pulled out of the deal, losing his down payment as a result. Perched on a hilltop, Villa Leopolda offers gorgeous views of the French Riviera.
The entire estate encompasses 20 acres and includes two guest houses and a 29,000 sq. ft main house that is 27 storeys high. It contains 11 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a huge pool, tennis courts, and more.
1 Antilla, Mumbai, India – $1 billion
Completed in 2010 for Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, this 27-storey home features 400,000 sq. ft of living space. The home has more amenities than most small towns.
This includes six covered parking floors that can hold 168 cars, three floors of gardens, three helipads, a ballroom with 80 per cent of the ceiling covered in crystal chandeliers (why not the other 20 per cent?), an ice room that is infused with artificial snow flurries, a dance studio, a theater to seat 50, a swimming pool, and an air traffic control facility.
Oddly enough, it is also home to world’s largest collection of antique sewing machines. It takes 600 employees to manage the home. Simply put, it is the epitome of luxury.
Would you like to live in the most expensive house in the world, or in one of the other expensive homes on our list? What would your ideal home be like? Let us know in the comments section below.