The world in past few decades has seen an immense rise in the wealth of its people. While the debate whether that wealth has accrued in the hand of few has also accompanied this development, what can be concluded surely is that it’s a far ‘richer’ world than it was 50 years ago. The living testimony to this fact are the huge estates that have been built by billionaires around the world and the costs they then pay to maintain them. From swimming pools to cinema, from libraries to bars, all that was once public has now come under the ambit of private with huge mansions and villas spreading in acres becoming a new status symbol of the ultra-rich. Be it Europe, America or India, business tycoons today do not mind spending millions of dollars on their “shelter” and this has led to a massive boom in the real estate market. There are a few houses out there that will make you wonder about the sheer magnanimity of wealth and how it can buy almost everything one would need or perhaps, want. It is a list of such houses that we have put together here. Have a look!
12. Xanadu, Medina, Washington
Owner: Bill Gates
Valued at: $125 million
Bill Gates was the richest man in the world for more than 10 years straight and he built his house that was worthy of housing the richest man in the world and named it after the fictional home of Charles Kane from Citizen Kane. Xanadu 2.0 is located in Washington, is valued at $125 million and it took more than seven years to built it. If that dropped your jaw, wait till you get to the end of this list.
11. Beverly House, Beverley Hills, California
Owner: Leonard Ross
Valued at: $135 million
This house is located in the famous platinum triangle in Beverley Hills, California and is owned by Leonard Ross who bought it in 1976. Today, he is 70 but this house valued at $135 million, with its billiard club and club rooms still makes him feel in his thirties. The place has a huge library right at the entrance and a huge terrace from where you can locate the houses of your neighbors, to name a few, David Beckham, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
10. One Hyde Park, London
Valued at: $140 million
This may perhaps be the most expensive ‘flat’ in the world. At about $9000 per sq. feet, this 385000 sq. ft property is valued at a whopping $140 million. Located in one of the most prime areas of London, it has state of the art technology and is almost impossible to break in. There is also an underground tunnel which opens at a nearby hotel.
9. Ellison Estate, California
Owner: Larry Ellison
Valued at: $225 million
Larry Ellison founded Oracle in 1977 and it made him rich. It made him so rich that he bought this 23 acre property and turned it in into a beauty. Among his many properties which he is an avid collector of, Ellison Estate is the most expensive, about $225 million. It is built in Japanese style and has more than 10 small buildings which house a tea house, a Koi pond and a man-made lake as well.
8. Villa Leopolda, France
Owner: Mikhail Prokorov
Valued at: $450 million
This one here may not be among the top 5 in terms of money but it will surely be in top 5 most beautiful houses in the world. Located in French Riviera, Villa Leopolda with its huge gardens, magnificent rooms and a huge swimming pool is centuries old but has been maintained superbly by all its owners. The place is owned by Russian Mikhail Prokhorov and is valued at $450 million.
7. Fleur De Lys, California
Owner: Michael Milken
Valued at: $750 million
Michael Milken made billions playing in bonds and when he decided to settle down, he bought this house in Beverly Hills. It is modeled after one of the castles in France, Vaux le Vicomte. As its French, its only usual that it has a 3000 sq. foot wine cellar which has a tasting room as well. The other attractions of this 750 million dollar property are a two story library and a huge dancing ballroom.
6. Hala Ranch, Colorado
Owner: John Paulson
Valued at: $135 million
Till 2006, this place was owned by Saudi prince Bandar bin Sultan when it was bought by John Paulson for $135 million but since then, its value has gone north, big time, and now stands at about $825 million earning it a place on this list. Loaded with high-tech features, this place has its own sewage treatment plant, which cater to 16 bathrooms. Also, the place has a huge swimming pool which is surrounded by a huge lavish sitting area.
5. Maison de L’Amitie, Florida
Owner: Dmitry Rybolovlev
Valued at: $900 million
Palm Beach in Florida has some magnificent houses but this one stands out the rest by miles. At about the $900 million and 60,000 sq. feet, Maison de L’Amitie is also known as the Friendship House as it was exchanged between 2 friends one of whom was Donal Trump(seller). Apart from the huge garage, a swimming pool and 3 guest cottages, the place has a special ballroom which is quite popular to host parties.
4. The Pinnacle, Montana
Owner: Edra and Time Blixseth
Valued at: $940 million
Edra and Time Blixseth own the most expensive house in the United States and they do it in style. Built in the cold and sparsely populated state of Montana, The Pinnacle has all the comforts in the world. As Montana is quite chilly most of the year, the place has a heated flooring system throughout the house, also, a huge wine cellar sprawls across huge space. What is perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that there is a fireplace in all bathrooms! With more than 10 bedrooms, The Pinnacle is valued at $940 million.
3. Upper Philimore Gardens, London
Owner: Elena Franchuk
Valued at: $950 million (approx.)
Owned by Ukrainian businesswoman Elena Franchuk, Upper Philimore Gardens is perhaps the most expensive house in the world that is owned by a woman. The five storey house is built in Victorian architecture and exhibits royalty in all aspects. It has a built in gym, sauna and a cinema. Also, the living space is located on the 2nd floor also called the master floor as it has two bathrooms, a massive bedroom and a small living room. The house is valued at about 950 million dollars.
2. Antilla, Mumbai
Owner: Mukesh Ambani
Valued at: $1.5 billion
When the richest man in India wanted a house, the best architects and designers in the world were brought to Mumbai and were made to come up with the best they can, can they came up with Antilla! Spread in about 40000 sq feet. Mukesh Ambani’s Antilla is perhaps the most expensive private owned house in the world. At about 1 billion dollars, it has almost everything, from a helipad to a swimming pool, from a health centre to a parking space for more than 150 cars. They sheer style of this building makes it stand out of the rest. Do visit this place if you’re ever in Mumbai, just to get an idea of what money can buy!
1. Buckingham Palace, London
Owner: British Monarch
Valued at: $1.5-1.6 billion (approx.)
Westminster London houses the most expensive and perhaps the most popular house in the world. Buckingham Palace is home to the royal family of England along with some other sovereigns. With its magnificent stunning artworks, huge chandeliers, gold-plated wares and furniture, the Buckingham palace is something of an example to what luxury can mean. The place has about 775 rooms with 78 bathrooms and other amenities like cinema, pool, tennis court, chapel and a hospital! With all its extravagance, it is no surprise that it is valued at a whopping approximately 1 and a half billion dollars.