Jackson Ranch, Jackson, WY
In this part of the country there is plenty of rolling land but it’s extremely expensive, bought up in huge parcels and known for its natural beauty. $175 million buys you a humble three bedroom home, but your backyard is 1,750 acres of horse ranches, equestrian stables, trout ponds, and breathtaking views of the Teton Mountains. Charles Schwab, Tiger Woods, and even Vice President Dick Cheney have owned real estate or lived in Jackson at some point. I’m going to take a wild guess here and say the real value is in the land, not the little 3-bedroom house?
Fleur de Lys, Beverly Hills, CA
Have you ever had a home for sale that sat on the market month after month, driving you batty with impatience? Well Suzanne Saperstein, the owner of the Fleur de Lys estate, called the most beautiful in America, has had her property up for sale since 2007! I bet she’s fired a few realtors, but she won’t budge from her $125 million asking price. This European-style palace is 35,000 square feet of marble, limestone, and gold, with 12 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a guest house, a 50-seat movie theater, ballroom, gym, and two kitchens!
Woolworth Estate, New York, NY
In the early 1900’s industry giant Frank Woolworth, of Woolworth Department stores, commissioned the world-famous architect Charles Pierpont Henry Gilbert (damn, he had a lot of names!) to erect three town homes side by side for his daughters. The historic homes on the Manhattan’s Upper East Side were finished in 1916, and the middle one, #80, is a 5-story neo-French Renaissance home that has a grand entry hall and staircase right out of the movies, 14-foot ceilings, dozens of fireplaces, a formal dining room that can seat 50 guests. It’s a whopping 20,000 square feet (unheard of in New York city) with 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and a price tag of $90 million.
Tranquility, Zephyr Cove, NV
When you’re relaxing by beautiful Lake Tahoe, one hardly thinks about taxes. But the difference between the tax codes in California, to the north, and Nevada, to the south, can make a difference of up to 100% in the cost of a comparable homes. That’s because there is no sales or income tax in Nevada, so rich entrepeneurs flock to places like Zephyr Cove 3 miles from the border. This residence consists of 9 buildings on 210 acres with its own private lake. It also boasts a basketball court, two full sized golf holes, art studio, stables, and a grand staircase that’s an exact replica of the Titanic (pre-sinking, of course) all for only $75 million!
Versailles, Windermere, FL
Timeshare mogul David Siegel made the decision to build his own dream residence, but ten years later he’s still building and it’s not entirely finished. Once completed, it appears to be the largest single residence in the US at around 90,000 feet with a price tage of $75 million as-is or $100 million completed. Modeled after its namesake French palace, this Versailles is a waterfront playground with 10 acres on the Lake Butler peninsula, 1.5 miles of shoreline, 2 theaters, 10 kitchens, a 20-car garage, 2 elevators, bowling alley, indoor roller rink, arcade, and baseball field! No wonder it never got completed – the construction workers were too busy having fun!
1220 South Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, FL
When you’re REALLY rich and famous, you only have one name, like Madonna, Pele, or Prince (who is just a SYMBOL!). Likewise, most ultra-wealthy estates only go by a name, but this Palm Beach resort home humbled itself with an actual house number and street address! It stands on the crème de la crème Worth Avenue a quick Bentley ride from the world-renowned Breakers Resort. It’s designed like a French chateaux 27,000 square feet of marble, imported wood, countless balconies overlooking the beachfront, a 4,000 square foot master BEDROOM, fountains, and heated pools. The starting price of $84 million has recently been dropped to $74 million. The upside? – the postman can deliver all of your mail because it actually has a street address!
1016 Madison Avenue, New York
Ahhh, Madison Avenue! Actually, I’ve never been there, but it sure sounds nice if this special pre-war townhome is any indication. It’s a 7 story high mixed use building so you could have residential shops at street level, or just use to house your family. It adds up to 12,000 square feet with an elevator, 10 bedrooms, a fireplace on every floor, and a palatial staircase fit for a king that runs the whole height of the building! If you wanted to call this “home” you’d have to write a check for $72 million and no, they won’t take an IOU (I asked.)
Three Ponds Farm, Bridgehampton, NY
What if I told you that you could have a 60-acre estate in prestigious Long Island with a 20,000 square foot main house, 14 ornate gardens, guest house, Olympic pool, grass tennis courts, separate pond and lake waterfronts? Not sold? Well it has it’s own 18 hole golf course, built by the famous “US Open Doctor” Reese Jones. I knew that would sell you! The price? A bargain at $68 million, so just sign here!
3 Indian Creek, Miami, FL
Right off of the gorgeous Miami Beach sits a private island with only 32 homes, only accessible by residents and their guests. The exclusivity and privacy lend make it attractive to ultra-rich celebrities, and that’s where Carl Icahn has his home for sale, a 30,000 square foot ultra-modern home in the Asian motif (think PF Changs but slighty bigger and without the lettuce wraps!) The property has five separate pavilions connected with skyways, immersed in dazzling waterfalls walls and myriad pools and streams. The price tag is $60 million for this work of art with 10 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, and 5 kitchens. Five kitchens?! Maybe it IS like PF Changs!
La Villa Contenta, Malibu, CA
I’ve heard of real estate agents believing in their own product before, but this is ridiculous! Richard Weintraub, president of Weintraub Real Estate Group is selling his Malibu estate, modeled with Italian architecture in mind. It has several buildings, 13 bedrooms, 14 baths within 16,000 square feet, and a guest house, tennis courts, gigantic pool, and pavilion spanning 8 acres along the ultra-valuable Pacific Coast Highway. The master bedroom has been seen as the Vampire Queen’s room in the HBO series True Blood and other movies. Richard, the owner, is only asking a cool $75 million!