It’s a fact: rich people will only get richer, and yes, they’ve got all the stuff to show that.
For the rich folks – no, not your Angelina Jolies and George Clooneys but your billionaire magnates and “simple” CEOs who are way wealthier than those peons – the ideal price tag for what they call home is as high as $1 billion.
Some mega-rich buyers (Brazilian-born philanthropist Lily Safra, for instance) buy already-built estates and add a few touches to suit their personal tastes, like having a helipad. However, most of them love to build their palaces from the ground up.
Bill Gates spent seven years and a few million dollars building his Xanadu 2.0 compound with a beautiful view of Lake Washington. The coolest thing? His own seal is marked on everything in the building—from the high-definition monitors displaying different works of art to the high-end underwater sound system in the swimming pool.
When famous investor Ira Rennert decided to build a $245 million, 110,000-square-foot mansion in The Hamptons, his neighbors weren’t happy; all the same, he got his own power plant and bowling alley.
In this article, we’ve brought together the 10 most amazingly-extravagant homes you can find anywhere on the planet.
1. The $135 million Beverly House, Beverly Hills, California
Beverly House – three blocks away from Sunset Boulevard – is currently on sale for $195 million. However, renters can pay $600,000 per month to get free rein of the lux property—at least for now. It’s built on six flat acres of land and includes several smaller homes plus the Italian- and Spanish-style, H-shaped main building.
This vast space features several things: a 50-foot entry hall, delicately carved ceilings, a library, wrap-around balcony, billiard room, family room with an outer terrace that can conveniently seat up to 400 people, an art deco night club, wine cellar, two projection rooms, and spa facilities. Beverly House was designed by architect Gordan Kaufmann and built by Milton Getz.
Publishing mogul and “Citizen Kane” inspiration William Randolph Hearst moved in 1946 and stayed until he died in 1951. The home is now famous for roles in movies like “The Godfather” and “The Bodyguard.”
2. The $102 million Fleur de Lys Mansion, Los Angeles
In March 2014, the Fleur de Lys Mansion went up for $102 million, making it one of the most expensive homes in Los Angeles County to date. It was first put up for sale in 2007 when original owners David and Suzanne Saperstein completed the renovations, divorced, and moved elsewhere. The current owner paid fully in cash and wishes to remain unknown. According to the L.A. Times, the owner is rumored to be former junk bond king Michael Milken.
Built in 2002, the home was modeled after the French castle Vaux le Vicomte, and it has a total of 12 rooms with custom doors, and 15 bathrooms. It features a 3,000-square-foot wine cellar plus a tasting room, two-story library, commercial kitchen, cutlery room, and large ballroom. Apart from that, it also has a spa, tennis courts and a pool.
The Fleur de Lys mansion was used for the film “The Green Hornet,” the ABC series “Big Shots” and also appeared in the 2008 Audi Super Bowl commercials.
3. The $750 million Villa Leopolda, Villefranche-sur-mer, France
Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov had to back out of buying Villa Leopolda in 2008 when he heard it was valued in the region of €500 million – which was about $750 million back then. Built in 1902 by King Leopold II of Belgium, who gave it to one of his mistresses, it was sold in 1988 to Lebanese banker, Edmond Safra. He left it later to his widow Lily Safra when he died in 1999. She currently owns the estate.
The 50-acre house has 11 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, also featuring a commercial greenhouse, outdoor kitchen, pool, and helipad. It was used in popular movies like “The Red Shoes” and “To Catch a Thief.”
4. The $45 million 15 Central Park West, New York City
Michael Gross, author of the book “House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address,” said the super-duper Manhattan building is known as “Limestone Jesus.”
The reason is most likely because it houses some of the city’s richest and most powerful residents, including hedge fund boss Daniel Loeb. In 2008, Loeb bought the expansive penthouse at the top of the building for $45 million. Later in 2012, rumors started to spread that Loeb wanted to sell the property for $100 million, but he hadn’t done so.
5. The $89.4 million Kensington Palace Gardens, London
Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal has named the Kensington Palace Gardens home his “Taj Mittal.” He bought it for £57 million – about $89.4 million back then – from English businessman Bernie Eccclestone in 2004. The estate’s nickname is supposed to be a joke: Mittal only did the renovations with marble, which was acquired from the same quarry as the actual Taj Mahal in India.
The property sits on the tree-lined “Billionaires’ Row,” where other affluent people like Roman Abramovich and Leonard Blavatnik also have properties. It has 12 bedrooms, a Turkish bath, a swimming pool, gallery, and ballroom with 55,000 square feet of space.
6. The $400 million Penthouse at the Tour Odéon, Monte Carlo, Monaco
The shiny and elegant 49-story Tour Odéon building has one of – if not – the most expensive penthouses in the world. Opened in the spring of 2015, the 35,500-square-foot building was projected to sell for about $400 million, according to CNNMoney. The high-rise is the second-tallest building on the Mediterranean skyline, standing at a height of 558 feet.
The penthouse will allow residents to have a 360-degree view of the sea. It also has a circular rooftop infinity pool with a water slide.
7. The $1 billion Antilia, Mumbai, India
Antilia is a 27-story skyscraper on the expensive Altamount Road in Mumbai. It is the most expensive home in the world, valued in the region of $1 billion (or upwards) and spanning 400,000 square feet.
In 2012, Mukesh Ambani, an Indian business mogul and multi-billionaire, moved into the manse with his wife and three children. The exquisite property was designed by architects Perkins & Will, based in Chicago.
Antilia, which was named after a phantom island off the Atlantic, features a multi-level garage capable of accommodating 168 cars, a ballroom, three helipads, gardens, a temple, guest suites, a health level, and a home theater seating 50 people.
8. The $125.5 million Xanadu 2.0, Medina, Washington
Named after the home of the character in “Citizen Kane,” it took Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates seven years to custom-build Xanadu 2.0, a modern-yet-rustic, high-end estate valued at $125.5 million. According to The Pinnacle List, Gates bought the estate for $14 million in 1998.
Built into the side of a hill, the “smart” complex spans 66,000 square feet and overlooks Lake Washington. Residents and visitors wear electronic pins, which trigger their personal preferences, such as the room’s temperature and lighting. There are high-definition monitors in the buildings displaying different works of art. It holds a 3,900-square-foot pool building, 2,500-square-foot gym, a 2,100-square-foot library, a 2,300-square-foot reception hall, a 6,300-square-foot underground garage, among other things.
9. The $195 million Palazzo di Amore, Beverly Hills, California
Real estate tycoon Jeff Greene just listed his 25-acre estate in Beverly Hills for a huge $195 million, making it the country’s most expensive listing. The Palazzo di Amore is a Mediterranean-style villa sitting atop 53,000 square feet of space. Out of the total space, 15,000 square feet is an entertainment complex containing a ballroom with a revolving dance floor. It contains 12 bedrooms, 23 bathrooms, a bowling alley, a theater, tennis courts, swimming pools, reflecting pools, waterfalls. It also features a garage that can conveniently fit 27 cars.
Parties can be held the property accommodating up to 1,000 people, who can spend their time walking in the gardens and vineyards (they even make their own wine), or walk over floating glass walkways hovering above pools lined with mature olive trees.
10. The $249 million Fair Field, Sagaponack, New York
Fair Field is an oceanfront compound in The Hamptons owned by billionaire Ira Rennert. It spans 63 acres and is valued at about $248.5 million. He began to build the expansive estate in 1999 but was unable to move in with his family until 2004 after a great deal of controversy with his neighbor.
Neighborhood residents complained to the Town of Southampton in 1998, saying that a 110,000-square-foot home would have a negative impact on the community. After Rennert won the case, he built the home, although now Southampton homes can’t be more than 20,000 square feet.
Fair Field has 29 bedrooms, 39 bathrooms, three swimming pools, its own power plant, a synagogue, two courtyards, an orangery, a home theater with 164 seats, a basketball court, and bowling alley.