In the past several months, several of the top properties across the nation have been sold. Where these properties were once viewed as monstrosities, as aging dinosaurs in a time of economic stranglehold, the ownership of such estates are shifting towards a new demographic. During the industrial revolution, many families in the United States became ultra wealthy. This never before seen distribution of wealth, with the Rockefellers and Carnegies at the top, and the poor industrial working class at the bottom, led to a revolution in this country; the formalization of unions that bridged this traditionally unbridgeable chasm. As the decades passed, the various economic booms in this country brought with them new wealth, and new regulation to limit the natural distance placed between the three economic classes. When old money fades, and new money emerges, new trends in the ultra high end real estate market can be seen. The most visible trend involves servitude. Where it was once traditional to have an entire household of servants, whose families often also shared the estates grounds, now the ultra wealthy prefer privacy. Many settle for a chef, maid, nanny, and personal assistant, leaving roles such as the valet, butler, and footman to fade into obscurity. Likewise the homes have shrunk along with the estate staff. Long gone are the days of acres of property on which to hunt and fish. Most high end real estate in 2011 is tucked away in private canyons, or perched atop oceanfront cliffs. The locales have also shifted, away from the industrial core of the country, and towards the coasts. While a few Americans live in large estates (think Bill Gates) the majority of 50 million plus sales in this country involve international clientele.
The last two sales in the US involved international buyers. Russian investor Yuri Milner bought a French chateau-style mansion in Silicon Valley for $100 million. The deal is among the most expensive to have occurred for a U.S. single-family home.
The Los Altos Hills mansion runs more than 30,000 square feet and was completed around 2008. Mr. Milner, who heads Digital Sky Technologies, whose investments include Facebook Inc., Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc., bought the mansion through a limited-liability company. The symmetrical limestone mansion with San Francisco Bay views was inspired by 18th-century French chateaux. Public records put the house at about 25,500 square feet with a 2009 completion date.
Candy Spelling may be relinquishing her title of having the most expensive listing in America — $150 million. The Manor, the home she built in 1990 with her husband TV magnate Aaron Spelling, is under contract to be sold to Petra Ecclestone, the 22-year-old daughter of Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone, AOL Real Estate has learned.
The 56,000 square foot home has 123 rooms, which include 14 bedrooms and 27 baths. There is also a bowling alley, 16 covered parking spaces, and several rooms devoted to gift-wrapping and storing silverware. It sits on five prime acres in Holmby Hills. Although none of the listing agents would comment, the assumption is that Ecclestone, who is to be wed in August and divides her time between Los Angeles and Great Britain, paid the asking price since Spelling has refused to blink on the price. The home had been listed on-and-off for several years, always at $150 million. AOL has learned that it was an all-cash offer and is expected to close escrow within two weeks.
Take a look at the Carnegie Mansion………is it fair to say not much has changed?