Vol 6 No. 40 - June 28, 2006

The most expensive homes in America

By Louise Bolger

We’re headed into the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, so maybe it’s time for a little light reading. Who among us doesn’t like to see how the other half lives?

For the last six years Forbes magazine has analyzed real estate listings around the country and ranked the 10 most expensive homes on the market in the United States. The 2006 list ranges from a low of $55 million to an all time high of $125 million. All are either on the East Coast or West Coast — five in California, five in New York and one in Florida.

Leading the list is Donald Trump’s home at the north end of Palm Beach, listing for $125 million. The Donald doesn’t actually live here. In fact, it is totally devoid of furniture in the 80,000 square feet of living space. There are 18 bedrooms and 22 baths, three guest cottages and a conservatory on the seven acres fronting on 500 feet of ocean.

The next two are both $75 million each on opposite ends of the country. The home in Corona del Mar, Calif., has a unique nautilus shell design with 8 bedrooms and 10 baths with 30,000 square feet overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The other $75 million home is in Bridgehampton, N. Y., on 60 acres with a 75-foot pool, 14 gardens and, naturally, a golf course.

If you prefer city living, the Pierre Hotel in New York City has a nice little triplex for a mere $70 million with 20-foot-high French doors, a wine cellar and marble stairway.

At $65 million, you have several choices — a neo-classic French, limestone palace in San Francisco; another San Francisco home with 10,000 square feet, panoramic views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge; or seven acres on the ocean in Malibu, Calif., with stables.

In Brentwood, California you can buy 112 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains for $60 million and have your own stables and riding trails. Or $60 million will also buy you a waterfront Tudor home with 47 acres in Lloyd Neck on New York’s Long Island. By the way, this property is being marketed by the real estate company I worked for; I’m so proud.

And at the bottom of the list is an upper east side Manhattan renaissance mansion for $55 million, with 20,000 square feet and an impressive pedigree.

It appears that the rich are really different than the rest of us. In addition to having more money, they aren’t even affected by the real estate market to the same degree the rest of the country is.

The National Association of Realtors, predicts that the national median price for existing homes will rise 5.7percent this year, which is a substantial decrease compared to last year’s median of 12.7percent. This projection, however, doesn’t seem to have any influence on the 10 homes on Forbes’ list. The average jumped from $58.1 million last year to $71.5 million this year.

As you’re napping pool side or stretched out on the sand, dream about what it would be like to actually live in one of the most expensive homes in the United States. Who knows, the other half may actually be longing for your two bedroom two bath on Anna Mari. Keep dreaming!

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