They say that home is where the heart is. Well, if you own one of these homes, you must have a very big heart and a ginormous bank account. The current price of the average American home is a little less than $250,000. That $250,000 wouldn't be enough to buy a shoe closet in the houses you are about to see. These are the most expensive homes that have ever sold in the United States.
In case you were curious, if you bought a house for $100 million today with a 30 year loan at 4% interest and 20% down, you would be looking at a monthly payment of $381,932 dollars. You would also have a massive property tax bill every year. In many states, your annual property taxes on a $100 million home would be around $1 million.
With those numbers, you're spending nearly $500,000 a month (after taxes) to own a $100 million mansion. And you still haven't watered and mowed the lawn, cleaned the pool, hosed down the orgy room, or paid the heating bill! I might prefer to own a turnkey penthouse apartment in every major city in the world. On the other hand, people who are rich enough to buy a $100 million mansion, probably pay for the entire thing in cash with the stroke of a key on a computer at a Swiss bank. Right?
Here are the three most expensive homes that have ever sold in the United States:
#6: $117.5 Million – Nine Acre Estate in Silicon Valley
On November 27, 2012, an anonymous billionaire paid $117.5 million to buy a nine acre estate in Woodside, California. The property sits on top of a hill in the heart of Silicon Valley and features 360 degree views of the Woodside Mountains. Built in 2005, the main house alone is 8,900 square feet. A Los Angeles law firm purchased the home for a client using an LLC called "SV Projects". It was later alleged that the anonymous buyer behind that LLC is Masayoshi Son, the founder and CEO of SoftBank. Masayoshi Son is worth $18.4 billion today, but might be more famous for setting the record for most money lost in human history. During the original dotcom bubble burst, Masayoshi saw his personal net worth plunge from a peak of $75 billion to an all time low of $1.1 billion.
#5 (tie): $120 Million – Spelling Manor, Holmby Hills, Los Angeles.
Candy Spelling, the widow of late TV producer Aaron Spelling, originally listed their absolutely enormous custom-built mansion for $150 million. The house languished on the market for a few years before it was purchased by Petra Ecclestone for $85 million. Petra was 23 years old at the time. Petra listed the 123-room property at one point for $200 million. It took a while for her to find a buyer, but finally she sold the palace for $120 million in July 2019.
#5 (tie): $120 Million – Copper Beech Estate in Greenwich, Connecticut
In May 2013, an absolutely stunning property in Greenwich, Connecticut went on the market for a mind-boggling $190 million. Almost exactly a year later, a buyer agreed to purchase the 50 acre estate for the low-low price of $120 million. The main house alone is 15,000 square feet. The driveway of this property is 1,800 feet long. It was originally built in 1898 by one of the co-founders of Andrew Carnegie's US Steel corporation. It was then sold to a lumber magnate in the 1980s. Amazingly, the person who purchased the house recently will be only the third owner in over 115 years. The mansion sits on a 50 acre property that is mostly open fields and forest. It features multiple grass tennis courts, sprawling gardens, two greenhouses, a private apple orchard and a 75 foot heated pool with hot tub that overlooks the Long Island Sound. The property nestled on 4,000 feet of water views and private beaches.
#4: $132.5 Million – Broken O Ranch in Augusta, Montana
In November, 2012, real estate billionaire Stan Kroenke paid $132.5 million in cash for the 124,000 acre Broken O Ranch in Augusta, Montana. Kroenke, who owns the St. Louis Rams, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Rapids, is worth $5.6 billion. The Broken O Ranch is an enormous property that actually took more than 25 years to put together. It's a working ranch that produces 700,000 bushels of grain and 25,000 tons of hay every year. It also is home to more than 5,000 cows. In addition to being a fully functioning production ranch, the property also has a luxurious 10,000 square foot mansion that has gorgeous views of the rocky mountains and a nearby river. It should be noted that there is a bit of a debate over whether or not the Broken O Ranch should be considered one of the most expensive homes ever sold in the United States. Some believe that the ranch is more of a commercial property that happens to have a luxury home plunked down in the center.
#3): $147 Million – East Hampton Estate, Long Island, NY
On May 3, 2014 it was revealed that a hedge fund manager named Barry Rosenstein spent $147 million to purchase an absolutely stunning estate in East Hampton. Barry held the record for most expensive house ever purchased in the United States until January 2019. Rosenstein is the founder of hedge fund Jana Partners which has $4.5 billion under management. In 2013 alone, his fund reportedly delivered a 23% return and Rosenstein earned more than $140 million in salary and bonuses. If you'll notice, this record setting transaction occurred less than two weeks after the #4 house on this list sold for $120 million in nearby Greenwich. Little is known about the specific details of this East Hampton house.
#2) $150 Million Chartwell Estate – Bel-Air, California
In May 2017, Univision billionaire Jerry Perenchio died. A few months later Jerry's heirs listed his longtime home in Bel-Air, California for a whopping $350 million. A year later they dropped the price to $245 million. Then they dropped it to $195 million. Finally in December 2019, the home was purchased for a cool $150 million by Rupert Murdoch's billionaire son Lachlan Murdoch. The Chartwell Estate is 10-acre palatial estate located in the heart of Bel-Air with nearly 360-degree views of Los Angeles. It was built in the 1930s then quickly abandoned during the Great Depression. Between 1962 and 1971, Chartwell gained fame for being included in the opening credits of the TV series "The Beverly Hillbillies". So it was the fictional house of the Clampett family. Jerry Perenchio bought the property for an unknown price in the 1980s. At the time of his death, Jerry was paying $1.3 million in annual property taxes related to the house. The new owner, Lachlan Murdoch, will have to earn $3 million every year pre-tax, to cover the $1.5 million property tax bill.
#1) $238 Million – 220 Central Park South, Manhattan
On January 23, 2019 it was revealed that hedge fund manager Ken Griffin had purchased the top four floors of an unfinished New York City building located at 220 Central Park South. That was enough to scoop the record for most expensive home purchase in US history. Griffin, who has a net worth of $10 billion thanks to his $30 billion fund Citadel, has spent a mind-boggling $700 million on personal residences in the last five years alone. He also holds the records for most expensive home purchases in New York, Illinois and Florida. For his New York City purchase, keep in mind that he bought the units without any furniture or fixtures. Basically empty units with floors and ceilings (some of which will surely be knocked down). Ken will definitely spend many many additional millions on furniture, customization and fixtures.
So there you have it! The five most expensive homes ever sold in the US! If you plan on owning an insane mansion like one of the ones above, I have two pieces of advice: #1) Start saving your money. #2) Wait for a recession. This is just my opinion, but when you start seeing private houses selling for hundreds of millions of dollars, something wacky is going on. How much would any of these houses have been worth in October 2008 right after the financial crisis decimated the economy? On average, the United States has a recession at least once every 7 years. The average recession lasts 17 months followed by a little more than three years of expansion. If you want to live in an insane mansion some day, save up a ton of money, wait for huge market downswing then strike. It will happen eventually.