RISMEDIA, September 1, 2009-A helipad, private vineyard, two bowling alleys, 341,175 square feet, 123 bedrooms, 146 bathrooms, 80-plus horse stalls and a traditional Turkish spa. This is just a sampling of what you would get if you purchased each of the 11 most expensive homes for sale in the U.S., according to Ultimate Homes, an annual publication that ranks the country’s priciest residential real estate offerings.
The 2009 Ultimate Homes list begins with the $150 million Spelling estate in Holmby Hills, California. The prestigious “Top 10” list includes 11 properties this year because of a tie at “the bottom,” with four properties listed at $75 million. It would take more than $1 billion to buy each of the 11 top offerings at list price.
“The homes at the Ultimate level are not subject to normal market fluctuations,” said publisher Rick Goodwin. “This is our fifth edition of Ultimate Homes – in 2005, $75 million topped the list. This year, there are seven properties more expensive than that.”
Ultimate Homes is published within the June/July issue of Unique Homes magazine. Editors identified 314 homes for sale in the U.S. for $20 million or more. These are featured in the print edition. The entire list of more than 1,000 properties, down to $10.5 million, is available in the digital version of the magazine at UniqueHomes.com. To view the exclusive video tour of the Top properties, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/UniqueHomesMedia.
Here’s a look at this year’s Top 11:
1. Candy Spelling, widow to the late producer Aaron Spelling, has put her Holmby Hills, Calif., estate on the market for $150 million. Known as The Manor, this French-style mansion rests on approximately 4.7 acres and offers roughly 56,500 square feet of luxurious living. Built in 1991, the home features a bowling alley, wine cellar/tasting room, a flower-cutting room and a silver storage room. Represented by Sally Forster Jones of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, and Jeff Hyland and Rick Hilton of Hilton & Hyland Real Estate, the property boasts a swimming pool, a citrus orchard and a tennis court.
2. Also in Holmby Hills, the $125 million Fleur de Lys is represented by Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, and Robert Kass of Hilton & Hyland Real Estate. The 45,000-square-foot mansion lies on 5 acres boasting a pool house, a three-bedroom manager’s house, a nine-car garage and living quarters for 10 staff. The owner, Suzanne Saperstein, is the recently divorced wife of Texas millionaire David I. Saperstein. Fine touches such as gold-leaf crown molding, gold-embossed leather wall coverings, Italian marble walls and French limestone floors reportedly embellish the main house, which is modeled after France’s Versailles palace.
3. Sequestered in a pine and aspen forest on 210 magical acres of seclusion, Tranquility is one of the largest private landholdings at Lake Tahoe, Nev. The centerpiece of the property is Lake Tranquility, a serene private lake stocked with brown trout. Complementing the grand main residence, with more than 20,000 square feet of elegance, is a replica of the grand staircase built in the S.S.Titanic. Offered for $100 million by Shari Chase and Susan Lowe of Chase International, the estate’s furnishings, sumptuous textiles, distinctive porcelains, antiques and oil paintings in their original carved-wood frames are included in the sale.
4. Encompassing an unheard-of 12.5-acre parcel in prestigious Newport Beach, Calif., Villa del Lago is a world unto itself. The main residence brings pleasing Classical lines to the traditional Italian villa, featuring approximately 18,000 square feet of casually elegant living and enjoying ocean, canyon and city light views. The luxurious estate also boasts garaging for 20 cars, a private lake, guesthouse, guard house, stables and dressage arena, tennis compound and vineyard. Villa del Lago is presented by John McMonigle of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at an asking price of $87 million.
5. Le Belvédère, a 3-story, roughly 48,000-square-foot Bel Air, Calif., masterpiece, offers 280-degree views of the city below and the surrounding mountains. With a price tag of $85 million, the residence includes a professional screening room that seats 60 people, a grand ballroom that seats 250, a 5,000-bottle wine cellar, three sumptuous master suites, seven additional bedrooms, 19 fireplaces, an elevator, a Moroccan room, Turkish hammam and a commercial kitchen. Listed by Joyce Rey and Stacy Gotulla of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the 2.2-acre property is embraced by a massive 1,000-foot-long by 36-foot-high hand-chiseled Jerusalem stone wall. Le Belvédère was selected for the cover of the June/July issue of Unique Homes.
6. In the early 1950s, this estate in Honolulu, Hawaii, was the home of Henry J. Kaiser, who created Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical, Kaiser Steel, Kaiser Cement & Gypsum and Kaiser Aerospace. He also founded Kaiser Jeep and created the Kaiser and Henry J. cars. The private, gated acres include a private boat dock, boathouse and an estate home with a diving pool. Represented by Mary Worrall and Elizabeth Worrall Daily of Mary Worrall Associates Sotheby’s International Realty, the entire offering is $80 million but can be sold in 3 parts at $28 million, $18 million and $34 million, respectively.
7. Along 396 feet of oceanfront, this gated residence in Del Mar, Calif., overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Built in 1937, the two-story home-listed by Brian D. Guiltinan, Prudential California Realty-offers nine bedrooms and six baths. Take in panoramic views from the stone patio or plunge into the shimmering pool. On more than 5.5 acres, there is plenty of space to make additions to the current home or build a second residence. Offered at $76 million, this magnificent, secluded estate is within a close proximity to Del Mar Village and the shops of Solana Beach.
8. Grand and elegant in its design, this neo-Italian Renaissance mansion is one of the largest and most important townhouses in New York. On the market for $75 million, the mansion was commissioned in 1922 by Julius Forstmann, a prominent German merchant. Behind a limestone façade, a dramatic entry foyer welcomes one to five floors-including a garden level-of original detailing. The home’s sweeping marble staircase, a breathtaking reception hall and grand-scaled rooms with soaring ceilings and hand-carved molding are most impressive. Serena Boardman and Meredyth Smith of Sotheby’s International Realty have the listing.
9. The Hummingbird Nest Ranch, located in Simi Valley, Calif., was built on 123 acres in 2004 and is currently on the market for $75 million. Listed by Brooke Knapp and Drew Mandile of Sotheby’s International Realty, this world-class equestrian estate features a Mission Revival-style mansion of approximately 17,000 square feet, six guesthouses, 10 staff houses and hunter-jumper equestrian facilities. A grand prix arena, rubber and sand mixed ring, a derby grass field, a large main barn and a mare barn round out the grounds. A helipad provides easy access to the property.
10. With a listing price of $75 million, the Portabello Estate-meaning “beautiful door” in Italian-offers five-star luxury across three oceanfront lots. The magnificent estate in Cameo Shores, Corona del Mar, Calif., offers 30,000 square feet of pure opulence, including breathtaking water views from almost every room. Entertain within the bowling alley or the Art Deco theater. A multi-tier grotto with a pool, two spas and a swim-up bar help to characterize the charm of the Portabello Estate. Sengdao Vongruksukdi of Starlight Realty is currently marketing this magnificent beachfront property.
11. Iron gates open to the ultimate of all great estates in Greenwich, Conn. This 40-acre property listed by David Ogilvy of David Ogilvy & Associates, Inc., features an unforgettable Jacobean manor and a fabulous winter garden. On the market for $75 million, the home’s interior is defined by a library with a 15th-century fireplace mantel, a glass-walled music room, a wine cellar, a 52-foot indoor pool and a dining room that leads to a solarium. Custom materials are found throughout the residence, including marble flooring, carved stone and woodwork, and tracery ceilings.
For more information, visit www.nci.com.