CLOSE
iStock
iStock

The 7 Most Expensive Homes in the World

iStock
iStock

While many of us live our lives in a small hovel we call home, there are plenty of others at the opposite end of the spectrum, living in some of the world’s most fantastically expensive houses. Some of these properties are available on the open market—if you have enough money. Some are not. But all of them join a unique club of some of the world’s costliest places to live.

7. The Penthouse, One Hyde Park, London - $220,000,000

A two-floor, six bedroom apartment overlooking Hyde Park may well be, per square foot, the most expensive property in the world. Those living in The Penthouse (as it’s often called) at One Hyde Park are presumed to be keen to protect themselves: One of the notable elements of the apartment is that every window is fitted with bulletproof glass.

6. No. 6 Palace Green, Kensington Palace Gardens, London - $222,000,000


The Steeple Times

This property, bought by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, one of the world’s richest men, set him back $222 million in 2008. Mittal knew what he was buying: He also purchased two other houses on the street known to locals as Billionaire’s Row. No. 6 Palace Green went back on the market in 2012.

5. Fairfield, Sagaponack, NY - $248,000,000


Wikimedia Commons

The Hamptons is known as an expensive neighborhood at the best of times. The estimated value of Fairfield, Ira Rennert’s 29 bedroom beachfront property, proves that. The place is so big that it has its own power supply on site.

4. The White House - $320,364,354

iStock

According to real estate website Zillow, that’s how much 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20500, would be worth on the open market. Of course, having been the official residence of every President of the United States since 1800, it’s unlikely to come up at auction any time soon.

3. Villa Leopolda, French Riviera - $506,000,000


Wikimedia Commons

The Villa Leopolda is Europe’s most expensive house (that you can possibly hope to buy; some properties, like Buckingham Palace, will likely never reach the market). Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the Brooklyn Nets, now owns the French Riviera property, which sprawls across 20 acres.

2. Antilla Mumbai - $1,000,000,000


Wikimedia Commons

Another 27-floor tower in Mumbai is—believe it or not—one single home, built by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani. Ambani spent around 5 percent of his fortune to build the house, which has garage space for 168 cars. Six hundred people are employed to keep it running on a day-to-day basis, including preserving Ambani’s collection of antique sewing machines, the largest such collection on the planet.

1. Buckingham Palace - $1,560,000,000

iStock

That’s right—$1.56 billion. Buckingham Palace was estimated to be worth that by the Nationwide Building Society in 2012, a significant increase from its worth of $17 million in 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II first ascended the throne. Likewise, as the official residence of every monarch since Queen Victoria in 1837, it would take a revolution to ever see this property up for sale. 

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
arrow
architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Paul Wegener
arrow
Design
For Sale: The Safest House in America, Complete With Hidden Command Center
Paul Wegener
Paul Wegener

For some people, locking the front door just isn't enough to feel fully safe at home. Maybe they set up a home security system. Maybe they go out and buy a fancy smart home hub with a security camera. Or maybe they spend six years and $30 million to build a veritable fortress mansion, as one guy in Atlanta did. That house, called the Rice House and referred to as one of the safest homes in America, is now up for sale for $14.7 million.

Built by an entrepreneur who hired a security architect with a background designing Justice Department buildings (and his own bunker/house), the Rice House is billed as a "modern fortress" in the real estate listing.

For its owner, creating an impenetrable home was more of a personal challenge than a real security need, according to Bloomberg. But by its features, you'd think it was built for a Bond super-villain or a head of state, not a businessman in a wealthy Atlanta neighborhood.

A secure door with several locks
Paul Wegener

It has its own water and power supply, a 5000-square-foot command center hidden behind a waterfall, a vault, and doors capable of withstanding machine gun fire. There’s an indoor gun range, in case you need some target practice. There’s enough room in the garage for 30 cars, in case you have a few dozen Batmobiles—or you want to invite friends to hunker down with you during the apocalypse.

And since anyone who lives there might be more invested in staying safely inside the gates than going out on the weekends, the place has plenty of amenities that make it a standalone mini-community. It’s got its own art gallery, a gym, a bowling alley, a wine cellar, a home theater, and a pool. It has three kitchens and two commercial elevators, with staff quarters so the servants you inevitably need to cater to you never need to leave, either.

But wait, there’s more. If the house lacks something you want, that’s fine! Because according to the listing, “the property purposefully awaits final personalization.” In other words, for your $14.7 million, it’s not finished.

Check it out here.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios