Magazine article Insight on the News

Homes That Are Indeed Castles: For Those with the Cash, an Average $47 Million Buys One of America's Luxury Estates. (Money)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Homes That Are Indeed Castles: For Those with the Cash, an Average $47 Million Buys One of America's Luxury Estates. (Money)

Article excerpt

Lush carpet, granite counters, mammoth closets and a bath out of Babylon: What American hasn't pondered the million-dollar home, in all its domestic splendor? But what about the $75 million home?

At 445 times the price of a typical new house, it represents extreme real estate in all its domestic excess. The sprawling, whitewashed monster lords over 13 beachfront acres in Palm Beach, Fla.--complete with a 44,000-square-foot main house, two swimming pools, movie theater and more.

A real-estate reality check reveals that the median price for a new home in the United States is $169,000, and its average size is 2,225 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The median price of an existing home is $139,000. Meanwhile, the owner's $75 million asking price on the Palm Beach property is "firm," according to Sotheby's, which is managing the sale.

"It's not a base need for shelter which motivates buyers of million-dollar properties," says Matt Haber, director of Luxury Real Estate, an online compendium of dazzling properties (www.luxury-realestate.com). "Acquiring something this monumental is really fulfilling a dream for some people. The house is the symbol of success. And when you have a 20,000-square-foot home to look after, it is also a hobby, an avocation."

While the luxury-home market trembled after the dot-com crash and Sept. 11, it is still decent, catering "more toward old money than funny money," Haber explains. And what money! According to Forbes, the average price on its 2002 list of America's most expensive homes "dropped" from $52 million last year to $47 million this year.

A $95 million Los Angeles property occupies the top spot, owned by Gary Winnick, founder of the fiber-optics firm Global Crossing--now bankrupt and under investigation by federal agencies. Winnick bought the property from a real-estate tycoon in 1999--complete with a 33-room house, which he had razed. Now he is rebuilding what Forbes speculates will be "the most expensive single-family home in the U.S."

There's more. In the current market, $62 million fetches three floors in Manhattan's Trump Tower--now converted into one colossal apartment with a 360-degree view of the city. And $50 million is the asking price for "Eothen," a clapboard Colonial on a Long Island beach that counts the "cool factor" as part of its asking price. The isolated home once belonged to Andy Warhol, who bought it for $220,000 in 1970. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.