America's Highest-Priced Home Sale in Bel Air: Is It Worth It?

The owner was asking a lot, and the buyer paid plenty. The end result? The most expensive residential real estate sale in the U.S. so far this year.

A 48,000-square foot, hilltop mega-mansion in Bel Air, Calif., has closed for more than $46.5 million (the previous record held by the Bootjack Ranch in Colorado). According to listing real estate agent Stacy Gottula, Coldwell Banker Previews, Beverly Hills, the sale has been completed. However, confidentiality agreements prevent Gottula, the co-listing agent Joyce Rey or the seller from disclosing the exact price or buyer for the home, which was listed at $72 million.

Built by developer Mohamed Hadid, Le Belvedere was designed to resemble a French chateau and comes with architectural details, finishes and amenities expected in a castle fit for royalty. Hadid has built numerous other opulent structures over his 30-year career, from Ritz-Carlton hotels to other luxury homes, including the Holmby Hills estate that Michael Jackson was renting when he died.

"The buyer can walk-in and their lifestyle starts," says Hadid of the unique home that was sold completely furnished. On the market for more than a year (and originally listed at $85 million), the deal took more than six months to close, not unusual for ultra-high-priced estates.

But what does one get when they spend more than anyone else in the country?
The basics include 10 bedrooms and 14 baths on 2.2 acres of landscaped grounds. The custom-built mansion took 18 months to complete, says Hadid and at one point more than 300 artisans were working on the luxe interior finishes.

Certainly it's hard to argue that the new owner isn't getting his or her money's worth.

There is a screening room with hand-painted ceilings that seats 50; there's also a grand ballroom, a 5,000-bottle wine cellar, 19 fireplaces, a 70-foot-long infinity pool, as well as a swan pond. The Moroccan-style suite and spa was partly built in Morocco and comes with a Turkish-style hamman (a tiled steam room). Hand-carved woodwork and Bavarian walnut wood floors are present throughout the house.

Outside, the exterior is faced with imported Jerusalem stone from Israel. Hadid contends that the home is designed to be lived in. It's a place where someone can "kick up their feet and relax," he adds.

That someone better have deep pockets, as Los Angeles County tax payments alone will be more than $460,000 a year. Maintenance on its eight rose gardens, seven fountains and parklike grounds should be made easier by the on-site quarters for staff. A motor court has room for 20 vehicles and there's a gated staff entrance. Security system with cameras is in place, as well.

Meanwhile, Hadid has moved on to his next project: A custom-built mansion next to the Beverly Hills Hotel. Per the Los Angeles Times, two other stratospheric-priced homes remain on the market: Candy Spelling's $150 million manse in Holmby Hills and the $125-million priced Fleur de Lys, also in the pricey Westside Los Angeles neighborhood.

See more homes for sale in Bel Air, Calif. and luxury homes elsewhere at AOL Real Estate.
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