Could it be? America’s most expensive rental at $600,000

Pay what? America's most expensive rent at $600,000
Pay what? America's most expensive rent at $600,000   

With a stopover price tag that's more than three times the average cost to buy a home, the Beverly House is thought to be America's most expensive rental. At $600,000 a month, it's an exorbitant fee for a temporary stay that only the megarich can afford.

"When the filthy rich need a temporary pied-a-terre, they rent places like the Beverly House," said author Mark Ellwood of CNBC's "The Filthy Rich Guide."

Beverly House sits on 6 private acres that include two guest homes. The main mansion is 50,000 square feet and has 17 bedrooms and 30 bathrooms. Rent for the Beverly Hills property makes it the most expensive in the U.S., according to Jeff Hyland, president of Hilton & Hyland, the agency listing the home.

But to prove it's the most expensive rental in America isn't so easy, according to Trulia's chief economist, Jed Kolko.

"Because so many of the most expensive rentals are never formally listed, we're unable to say if any specific listing is the most expensive," Kolko said. But he did go on to say that "$600,000 per month is an extraordinary rental amount."

The per-month-fee dwarfs the average median cost of a house in the U.S., which is $176,000, according to Zillow. And it's three times the most expensive rental currently listed in the site's database, which is $200,000 for a Malibu home.

Two different home rental sites, RadPad and Lovely, confirmed they do not have listings that high. RadPad founder Jonathan Eppers said the price doesn't come close to any of the 2 million homes listed in its database over the past 18 months.

"Based on my own experience, I would say that this is the most expensive rental I've ever heard about," he said.


A rental house fit for a king

Beverly House, where John and Jackie Kennedy honeymooned.
Source: Hilton & Hyland
Beverly House, where John and Jackie Kennedy honeymooned.

So, does anyone actually rent it? "Yes," according to Hyland. He said the house has been rented many times over the years, but would not give an exact figure. The longest stretch anyone has stayed was just under two months.

"Why take a floor in a hotel when you can have better security in your own compound, with your own pool, private yard, can play tennis, and have as many people as you want as guests," he said.

It's even been rented for noncontiguous stays, which is easier than having to lug around personal belongings just to return and rent it again, he said.

Hyland would not name any guests, saying that "people who can afford to rent or buy at such high costs value privacy."

Four people have owned the home since it was built in 1927. Most famously, Marion Davies bought the property nearly 60 years ago for media magnate William Randolph Hearst. He lived out his final years there, and that's part of the draw for the big rent.

"For $600,000 a month, you can sleep in the same house that was once owned by the original Citizen Kane," Ellwood said.

Actual items from the Hearst castle in San Simeon, California, were installed in the home, including a 100-year-old fireplace mantle, original Brunswick pool table and doors from a Spanish castle.

A zip code with celebrity status - 90210

Beverly House, where "The Bodyguard" was taped.
Source: Hilton & Hyland
Beverly House, where "The Bodyguard" was taped.

The mansion sits in the midst of Beverly Hills in arguably the most famous zip code in America, 90210. It's blocks from the glitz and glamour of Sunset Boulevard, where many celebrities play while dodging the paparazzi.

Fittingly, the Beverly House has celebrity-like status of its own. It played a Hollywood role as the location where Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner shot their fictional romance in "The Bodyguard."

And it has hosted such guests as John and Jackie Kennedy, who stayed there during their honeymoon.

But don't worry, if temporarily sleeping in the same spot where the leader of the free world once slept isn't enough, the house can be bought, too. It's listed at a cool $135 million.

"Just hope you don't wake up next to a horse's head, because it's also where 'The Godfather' was filmed," Ellwood said.

You can dream big, but they live large! See how 1 percent of the 1 percent have 100 percent of the fun! "The FIlthy Rich Guide" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.