While many US homes have declined in value due to the real estate crash, luxury estates like Tranquility, Albemarie House and Le Belvedere continue to command prices in the range of $72 million or more. With numerous amenities and custom touches, homes in the $100 million range offer one of a kind experiences that can't be acquired at a discount. See the following article from The Street for more on this.
Not every house on the market can be had at a post-bubble discount.
Zillow.com, an online real-estate marketplace, tallied its most expensive property listings. Topping the list was Tranquility, a $100 million Northern European-inspired mountain estate overlooking Lake Tahoe. Encompassing 210 acres, the 10,000-square-foot home is owned by Joel Horowitz, co-founder of Tommy Hilfiger.
The largest private landholding at Lake Tahoe, the centerpiece of the property is Lake Tranquility, which is stocked with trout. Inside the home is just as impressive. The grand staircase is a replica of the one aboard the SS Titanic. Its own cigar lounge is modeled after the famed smokers' paradise at the St. Regis Hotel. Its library was inspired by the New York City Public Library.
As the price tag would suggest, other amenities are plentiful. An underground passageway leads to the conservatory and an indoor glass mosaic swimming pool that overlooks the lake. There is a guest residence, an art studio, a boathouse, a gymnasium with a full basketball court, a 19-seat home theater, a 3,200-bottle wine cellar, 11 fireplaces, 16 garages and its own two-hole golf course.
Albemarle House in Charlottesville, Va., is another entry in the $100 million club. The historic property, with Blue Ridge Mountain neighbors that include Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland, was intended to replicate an English country estate.
Conceived by philanthropist and winemaker Patricia Kluge and world-renowned architect/designer David Easton Virginia, the 300-acre property includes three ponds, a variety of cottages and its own greenhouse. The main residence boasts 45 rooms over 25,000 square feet. Included is a library, home theater and an Islamic art gallery. Ready for construction is an 18-hole golf course that legendary duffer Arnold Palmer designed for its grounds.
The Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley, Calif., has a more modest price tag of $75 million. The 12,500-square-foot Spanish Revival-style mansion has 16 separate properties dotting the grounds for a total of 57 bedrooms, 40 baths, 18 kitchens, a helicopter pad and 200 parking spaces. A world-class equestrian center is considered the centerpiece of the estate.
Manhattan is home to the $75 million Julius Forstmann House , one of the largest (45 feet wide) townhouses in New York.
Located on E 71st St., the home was commissioned in 1922 by Forstmann, a German wool merchant. It was envisioned by renowned architect C.P.H. Gilbert as a neo-Italian Renaissance mansion. A limestone facade leads into five floors of living space and a garden level. A sweeping marble staircase and grand reception hall are among its touted touches.
Setting a buyer back $72 million is Le Belvedere, a 48,000-square-foot, French-inspired chateau in Bel Air.
With sweeping views of Los Angeles, the 2.2-acre property is surrounded by a 1,000-foot long, 36-foot-high wall that was hand-chiseled from stone imported from Jerusalem.
The home, built by hotel developer Mohamed Hadid, has been on the market since February 2009 and was initially listed at $85 million.
The grand ballroom can seat up to 250 people, and there are three master suites, a commercial kitchen, a professional screening room/theater, 14 bathrooms, 19 fireplaces and a 5,000-bottle wine cellar. Outside, there are seven fountains, a 70-foot pool and a swan pond.
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