The true measure of a person’s material wealth is measured primarily through their choice of domicile. Let’s take a look at the most expensive homes in the world to see how living the good life can come at sky-high costs.
- Antilla in Mumbai, India: $ 1 billion
When the world’s fifth-richest man moved into his 27-story mansion overlooking frenzied Mumbai, he heralded an unprecedented milestone in real estate development; Antilla was the first billion dollar residence in the world. Owned by magnate Mukesh Ambani, Antilla impresses with its sheer size and extraordinary design. No two floors are the same within the imposing structure. Its interiors rival those of the Palace of Versailles. It has capacity for bedrooms, lounges, dance studio, health club, gym and a six-level garage for the 168 cars of the family.
- A Hyde Park penthouse in Knightsbridge, England: $ 225 million
The toast of chic London condos is the ultra-luxurious One Hyde Park, located in the trendy Knightsbridge district. The richest man in Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov, paid a good price for being on the top floor of the building. The $ 225 million (£ 136 million) property is not your typical London flat, being 16 times the size of a typical three-bedroom house. The construction used 15 types of rare marble and thousands of oak trees in Europe. Amenities include private theater, saunas, pool, wine cellar, and gym. Annual service charges for such property exceed £ 100,000.
- Mansion of William Randolph Hearst in Los Angeles, United States: 165 million dollars
William Randolph Hearst’s mansion in Beverly Hills has earned a stellar reputation with his cameo appearance in the iconic film “The Godfather.” It also hosted John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy’s honeymoon in 1953. The 1920s mansion set on a 6-acre estate has 29 rooms, a movie theater, three pools, and its own nightclub. The publishing mogul bought the property for $ 120,000 in 1947. It became the most expensive house on the US market in 2007, when the current owner’s asking price was $ 165 million.
- Elena Franchuk’s Victorian Villa in London, England: $ 161 million
The Victorian villa owned by Elena Franchuk, Ukraine’s leading AIDS awareness advocate, sold for £ 80 million or $ 161 million when purchased. Formerly a girls’ school, the villa was developed to become a residence in 2006. The massive remodel gave the historic building its current characteristics: five floors, 10 bedrooms, sauna, cinema room and entertainment room. This Victorian villa is located in the Kensington district of London.
- Aaron Spelling’s mansion in Los Angeles, United States: $ 150 million.
Built and designed to reflect the golden legacy of America’s leading television producer Aaron Spelling, his former mansion outside Los Angeles is worth $ 150 million on the market. The mega mansion conveys the sophistication of a French chateau and houses 123 rooms, a tennis court, bowling alley, and three kitchens. A unique feature of the mansion is a full floor that is used as closet space. The wardrobe of the new owner, 22-year-old Petra Ecclestone, will likely occupy that space.
- Hala Ranch in Colorado, United States: $ 135 million
Hala Ranch is the leisure palace of Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia. Its Starwood Ranch location grants private access to some of the best slopes in Colorado. The $ 135 million house has 15 bedrooms and 27 bathrooms and is even larger than the White House. It also has an indoor pool, stables, car wash and tennis court.
- Fleur de Lys in Los Angeles, United States: $ 125 million
Fleur de Lys is a sprawling 3,809-square-meter mansion inspired by Vaux-le-Comte, a 17th-century castle that was also used as a model for the Palace of Versailles. It has been on the market since 2007 for $ 125 million. The interiors of the mansion speak of French influences, from the carefully selected limestone that adorns the walls to the 24-karat gold trim. Period furniture related to Napoleon and Marie Antoinette makes a visit to the Fleur de Lys a museum-like experience.
- Maison de l’Amitie in Florida, United States: $ 100 million
Donald Trump’s oceanfront property, Maison de l’Amitie in Palm Beach, sits on 7,432 square meters of land and houses 15 rooms, a conservatory, a ballroom, a tennis house, a guesthouse and a pool
Originally placed on the market for $ 125 million in 2006, the palatial home was sold to Russian magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev for $ 100 million two years later.
- Dracula’s Castle in Brasov, Romania: $ 80 million
Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, is spread out amid 20 acres of property on top of a mountain in Brasov, Romania. It has 57 rooms that still exude Old World charm. It was called Dracula’s Castle because it had been frequented by Vlad the Impaler, better known as Count Dracula. The palace is currently owned by Archduke Dominic Habsburg. He has yet to find a willing buyer for the castle, the actual value of which is said to be $ 135 million.
- Updown Court in Surrey, England: $ 56 million
Updown Court is larger than the areas of Buckingham Palace and Hampton Court Palace combined. The grand mansion is part of a 58-acre property sold for $ 56 million after being ignored by the market for six years. You can find a movie theater, bowling alley, and swimming pools within the 103-room home.