The Top 15 Most Expensive Homes in the World

The homes that make up the top 15 most expensive in the world are real family homes for some but just fantasies for most. Equipped with private cellars, personal leisure centres and all that money can buy these palatial estates are what dreams are made of.

1. Antilla ($1 billion)

The record for most expensive house in the world was officially set in 2009, when Indian trillionaire Mukesh Ambani and his family move into their newly built home: Antilla. This record could stand for a very long time. At a cost of $1 billion, Ambani's 27-story tower - complete with helipad on top - dwarfs the next most expensive home, both financially and in stature. Forget going to the gym - the Ambanis will have their own health club. And their friends can drop by in droves because the six-floor garage will hold 168 cars. The tower will be 570 feet tall, and mostly glass. The ultra-modern mansion will feature panic rooms, a movie theatre and a staff of 600 servants.

Ambani is the head of a global conglomerate and the richest man in the emerging Indian economy, which explains why his new home will have more floor space than Louis XIV's palace at Versailles. And because each floor is double the average height, Antilla will technically be 60 stories tall. The towering house isn't too disconnected from nature: Each level will have lush gardens. It seems a refuge fit for a shy man referred to as "a modern-day Howard Hughes"

2.One Hyde Park Penthouse ($200 million)

Technically, the world's second-most most expensive home doesn't exist yet. It's being built and is planned to be completed and ready for sale by 2010 - at the staggering price tag of 100 million pounds (more than $200 million). The penthouse will sit atop the swanky flats of One Hyde Park, a skyscraper development in London's richest quarter. This posh penthouse will be the upstairs-neighbour to 82 other apartments in the building, half of which have been sold for an average of around 20 million pounds (about $40 million), or approximately 6,000 pounds (about $12,000) per square foot.

3. Hearst Mansion ($165 million)

Fans of the epic movie "The Godfather" may be interested to know that the estate where the infamous scene in which a severed racehorse's head shows up in its owner's bed is for sale. The mansion, formerly owned by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst (the inspiration for the main character in "Citizen Kane"), features 29 bedrooms, three pools and comes complete with its own disco and theatre. President John F. Kennedy stayed at the mansion during his honeymoon.

The Hearst Mansion shouldn't be confused with Hearst Castle of Sunset Boulevard, located a little farther north along the coast. The castle contains 165 rooms, while the mansion has only a mere 29 bedrooms. However, the castle is an established museum, not a home.

In 1947, Hearst bought the 1920s mansion and its 6-acre estate for $120,000. In 2007, the estate's current owner, who bought it in 1976, put the home on the market for $165 million. The home's buyer will have some notable neighbours, including Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and David and Victoria Beckham

4. Franchuk’s Victorian Villa ($161 million)

Elena Franchuk, a businesswoman and HIV/AIDS philanthropist from Ukraine, is reported to be the undisclosed buyer who purchased a newly upgraded home in southwest London for 80 million pounds (approximately $161 million). The home is a freestanding, five-story, 10-bedroom Victorian villa, and has recently undergone 10 million pounds (approximately $20 million) of upgrades, including the additions of an underground indoor swimming pool, movie theatre, panic room, sauna and gym.

5.Updown Court ($139 million)

Located in Windlesham, England, Updown Court is the most luxurious and expensive mansion in the world. With 103 rooms and 5 swimming pools, this palatial mansion enjoys the ambience of never-never land. With its bowling alley, a 50-seat screening room and squash court, Updown Court is a world of ultimate comfort.

6.Starwood Estate ($135 million)

Sprawling over an area of 56,000 sq ft is Starwood EstateBuilt located in Aspen, Colorado. Fifteen bedrooms and sixteen bathrooms form the massive structure of this mansion. Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz who is former ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the U.S.

7. Hala Ranch (estimated at $135 million in 2006)

A Saudi Arabian prince boasts one of the most expensive homes in the United States. Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, a former Saudi ambassador to the U.S., owns the 95-acre Hala Ranch (Hala means "welcome" in Arabic), located in Aspen, Colo. The estate seems fit for Abdulaziz, who's been called an "Arab Gatsby" . The property is located in the Starwood Ranch community. It's replete with 15 bedrooms and 27 bathrooms tucked within 56,000 square feet of living space -- that's larger than the White House

The ranch features heated stables, an indoor pool, a tennis court, private ski trails, a gas station, car wash and sewage treatment plant. The master bedroom even has its own salon. In 2006, the prince put the property on the market with an asking price of $135 million. In December 2007, he sold just the 14,395-square-foot guesthouse of his estate for $36.5 million, the highest price ever paid in for a single-family home in Aspen .

8.The Manor ($130 million)

Legendary TV producer Aaron Spelling's 56,000-square-foot mansion outside Los Angeles, called "The Manor," was sold in 2006 for $130 million. The home was built for Spelling in 1991, with all the bells and whistles the family demanded. The 123-room home, which covers 56,500 square feet of living space, spans 6 acres of prime Los Angeles real estate .

In addition to the home's 123 rooms, you'll find an indoor skating rink, swimming pools, tennis court and bowling alley on the grounds. It also has some more unusual features, like a doll museum, a room used exclusively for wrapping presents and an entire floor dedicated to closet space . The grounds even include a private orchard, which might just keep the home's three kitchens fully stocked

9. Maison de L’Amitie ($125 million)

The 80,000-square-feet of Maison de l'Amitie, home to Donald Trump, features a ballroom and a conservatory, 15 full bathrooms and eight half-baths. It includes the main house, guest cottage and tennis house, it has 15 bedrooms. This beachfront property also includes a100-foot long swimming pool.

Perhaps the biggest thing about the home, however, is its price tag: $125 million. Donald says that the 475 feet long ocean front stretch is the mainstay feature of this dream house.

10. Waterfront Estate, Pretoria ($100 million)

The Bosphorus in Istanbul is the location of Waterfront Estate in Turkey. Sprawling over an area of 30,000 sq ft, it is the fourth most pricy home in the world. Crystal chandeliers and gilded moldings are the beauty secrets of this palace.

11.Toprak Mansion ($92 million)

Toprak Mansion covering a sprawling area of 28,000 sq ft in the heart of London is a wonderful specimen of grand structure. Embracing the features of a neoclassical palace, it comes alive as hub of luxury with four kitchensand, two grand staircases, a swimming pool and a leisure complex.

13.Three Ponds ($75 million)

Bridgehampton is the location of Three Ponds in New York. It is a lavish and luxurious property to be owned by the most fortunate person. A golf course, a 75ft long swimming pool and 14 gardens are the lures of retreating to the comfort of this mansion. Three Ponds a complex of numerous buildings is an architectural achievement of Allan Greenberg.

14.Portabello Estate ($75 million)

The Portabello Estate on Corona del Mar in California boasts about its ultramodern interior with 8 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. Three separate oceanfronts add to the extravagance of this mansion sprawling over 30,000 sq ft.

15. Pierre Penthouse ($70 million)

Located on the top of one of the most luxurious hotels, Pierre Penthouse is a wonder of marble. The triplex apartment houses a grand salon, a wine cellar, marble bathrooms and a black marble staircase under its roof. The apartment with 20ft high doors offers views of the city.

Article from: www.thepropertymag.co.za