Luxury Home Prices Hit Nine Figures
Perhaps the biggest thing about the home, however, is its price tag: $125 million. And (sorry, Donald) that price has already been trumped. A home in Aspen, Colo., is now listed at
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Donald Trump's property for sale here has all the big-time extras one might expect. Pricey marble and 24-karat gold fixtures decorate bathrooms. There's a gargantuan fountain in the driveway, and 475 feet of oceanfront out back.
Perhaps the biggest thing about the home, however, is its price tag: $125 million. And (sorry, Donald) that price has already been trumped. A home in Aspen, Colo., is now listed at $135 million; another in Lake Tahoe, Nev., at a flat $100 million.
The listings represent a monetary milestone in American real estate: the first time U.S. homes have broken into nine figures, according to real estate experts, and they've done so in quick succession.
A May survey of the nation's most expensive homes by Forbes.com put Trump's home at the most expensive and the first to break the $100 million mark. At the time, the next-highest listing was a $75 million estate in Bridgehampton, N.Y.
Now, the trio has market followers wondering: Will they sell? And what do you really get for $100 million? "I'm surprised it took so long for people to realize value," Trump said of the listings. "I'm the one that did it, started the trend."
Usually, the top 10 percent of any marketplace is considered the luxury market, but these properties are a tier above.
"They're super-luxury properties," said Trump, the real estate mogul and reality TV star.
Shari Chase, whose company Chase International has the Lake Tahoe listing, acknowledged the shock value of the recent prices.
"This is stratospheric for offering prices, but I think we're going in that direction," Chase said. "These three properties, they are really the Super Bowl of real estate."
At these prices, bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage are almost irrelevant. The homes, like their price tags, are gigantic.
At the Aspen property, owned by Saudi Prince Bandar, the main residence, finished in 1990, has more than 56,000 square feet (about 1,000 square feet bigger than the White House). That's set on a 95-acre site. Think roughly twice the size of Boston Common. It even has its own car wash and gas pumps.
The recently listed Lake Tahoe home, owned by Tommy Hilfiger co-founder Joel Horowitz, comes with 38,000 square feet of livable space on 210 acres. That includes a private trout-stocked lake and two par-three golf courses. Features also include a grand staircase replicating one built on the doomed ocean liner Titanic.
Smaller on acres but bigger in square footage is Trump's property, Maison de L'Amitie, which he bought for about $41 million in 2004. He assigned renovations to Apprentice winner Kendra Todd. The home's approximately 80,000 square feet are spread over several buildings. Separate coat closets and bathrooms for men and women off the main entryway make entertaining easy, as does a pantry area nearly the size of a small convenience store. A large pool overlooks the ocean.
Forbes.com editor Sara Clemence said properties at the top end of the market have been moving upward for years, but the recent $100 million-plus listings are significant. "I'm not sure if all these sellers and Realtors are looking at each other or if they're just coming to the same conclusion all at the same time. ... You can price a property for $100 million and up.
"That said, just because you ask for it doesn't mean you're going to get it," Clemence said.
The price tags on the homes don't seem to have deterred a small cadre of buyers. The Lake Tahoe property, called "Tranquility," and the Aspen property called "Hala Ranch," have both already entertained buyers, according to agents. At these prices it's often the agent who brings the property to a particular buyer's attention, though they also get inquiries.
To own the properties, however, one has to have quite a bit in the bank. Taxes alone on the Palm Beach property -- if sold at its current asking price -- would amount to more than $2 million annually, according to the Palm Beach County property appraiser website.
Joshua Saslove of Joshua & Co., a Christie's affiliate in Aspen, has the listing there. He's not concerned about having such a high-priced property.
"When the right property hits the right buyer, it all happens very quickly. People who look at properties like this, by and large, know what they want," he said.
Trump, for his part, was surprised to hear his property had competition for the top spot in the USA. "Who's at 135?" he asked.
He didn't seem sore, though.
"I think my property is worth more than $125 million," he said. "It's a bargain."
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