August 12, 2008

Big Houses, Big Price Tags

Just out in the New York times and various news programs, a mystery Russian Billionaire bought this house on the French Riviera for a staggering $748 Million. How much is too much? Apparently according to top world real-estate agents "..people in this income bracket, we don't show them anything under $100M anymore... "

This one was acquired by King Leopold II in 1902. Not too much is known about this house except the fact that it has 19 bedrooms. Sorry, no inside photographs... perhaps they'll surface eventually. It was previously owned by a Lebenese banker's widow who held out on the sale. I think she did well.

Previously, the record was held from the purchase of a London mansion, located on a street dubbed Billionaires` Row on Kensington Palace Gardens, fully furnished and with an art collection, to Indian steel king Lakshmi Mittal for $230 million. He called in a design firm
to come and put some changes to only the Taj Mahal would compare.

Left: Flowering laburnum tree inlaid with yellow sapphire on white marble.
Right: Red onyx and golden sandstone flooring pattern from the solar bathroom.

Monumental carved white marble lotus fountain surrounded by twelve flowering trees inlaid with precious stone.

Pool inlaid like a Persian carpet with semi-precious stone surrounded by white marble jali screens inspired by the Taj Mahal.

This house following is a mere whisper of a residence. Bought by Israeli diamond billionaire, Lev Liviev. It holds the record for new construction in England. It boasts bullet-proof front door costing $100,000, real estate dealers said on Tuesday. The seven-bedroom house in the exclusive north London district of Hampstead boasts a $1.5 million stone staircase constructed using 150-year-old carving techniques and an indoor swimming pool with gold-plated mosaic tiles. The Palladian-style home also features a gym, sauna, ballroom and cinema, a private hair salon and a one-ton bathroom basin carved from a single piece of white Iranian onyx. WOW.