In the past, Homes of Governors slide shows have taken a broad look at the residences of state chief executives, from Colonial-era gems to fixer-uppers. This year, we've taken a different approach, focusing on the homes of the highest-paid governors.
The highest-paid governors have been putting at least part of their earnings into some impressive digs. Those homes often reflect the political headlines (not always favorable) we associate with statehouse power brokers.
Even though several governors' residences have seen protests in recent years, it may come as a surprise that the security upgrades to one such house on this year's list could have cost close to nine times as much as the home's market value.
Far away from the stress of balancing budgets, a governor in one of the country's most embattled states can relax in his personal home spa. For another, real estate itself has become the budget battle, with properties he owns delinquent on property taxes. There's even scandal in the home of one of the highest-paid governors, with some hefty renovation projects leading to allegations of improperly awarded city contracts.
Click ahead for a look at the homes of some top-paid U.S. governors (ranked by salary lowest to highest), and the stories behind the facades.
By CNBC's Anthony Volastro
Posted 18 July, 2013
Annual salary: $140,535
Property location: Milton, Mass.
Listed sale price: $1,500,000
Year built: 1923
Square footage: 6,880
Gov. Deval Patrick and Diane Patrick have owned this elegant home in Milton since 1989. Features include nine fireplaces, two staircases and a playroom. On the market since December, it is listed for $1,500,000.
These days, the couple spend most of their time on a 77-acre home in the Berkshires that they bought in 2006.
Annual salary: $144,423
Property location: Wauwatosa, Wisc.
Estimated value: $324,400
Year built: 1924
Square footage: 2,152
This was the permanent residence of the controversial Gov. Scott Walker until 2011, when he became the 14th Wisconsin governor to move into the official mansion.
A small rally was held recently in front of this house, located in a Milwaukee suburb, to protest a bill requiring ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. Walker signed the bill into law four days later.
Annual salary: $147,000
Property location: Oklahoma City
Estimated value: $192,400
Year built: 1968
Square footage: 2,328
Many homeowners are struggling to find buyers. Gov. Mary Fallin, who has been the Sooner State's governor since 2011, is one of them.
Oklahoma's first female chief executive has owned this house in the Quail Creek neighborhood of Oklahoma City for 14 years and has had it on and off the market five times since 2008. At one point, Fallin offered a buyer $2,000 for closing costs or upgrades.
It is currently off the market.
Annual salary: $148,886
Property location: Westerville, Ohio
Estimated value: $717,908
Year built: 1997
Square footage: 4,387
Gov. John Kasich and Karen Kasich chose to keep their family on their nine-acre property in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus, rather than move into the governor's mansion. That made him the first governor in almost 40 years not to live in the official residence.
Security upgrades made to the private residence came out of a $6.4 million fund used for the governor's security. Westerville is known as the "Dry Capital of the World" because it remained alcohol-free even after Prohibition.
Annual salary: $150,000
Property location: Stamford, Conn.
Estimated value: $1,486,971
Year built: 1998
Square footage: 2,893
Shippan Point, the southernmost neighborhood in Stamford, is known for its private beaches and yacht club. The town boasts more than 1,000 homes with a median list price of $725,000.
Gov. Dannel Malloy bought this 19th-century converted carriage barn for $250,000, then did over $500,000 of work on it.
He came under fire when it was learned that two of his renovators received city contracts without going through the normal bidding process. Then mayor of Stamford, Malloy was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Annual salary: $151,643
Property location: Lexington, Ky.
Estimated value: $574,121
Year built: 1994
Square footage: 3,696
Gov. Beshear and his wife, Jane, bought this 35-acre farm a little less than an hour outside of downtown Lexington for $94,581. The area has a population of about 36,000 and more than 55,000 working farms.
Annual salary: $171,000
Property location: Wilmington, Del.
Estimated value: $864,160
Year built: 1955
Square feet: 3,995
Gov. Jack Markell bought this home in 1996 for $435,000. Its value peaked in 2006 with an estimated assessment of $1.2 million. It's now down to $864,160, but that's still a gain of almost 100 percent on the original purchase price.
Annual salary: $173,981
Property location: Oakland, Calif.
Estimated value: $1,673,496
Year built: 2006
Square feet: 4,147
During Gov. Jerry Brown's first stint as California's chief executive, back in the 1970s, he refused to live in the official residence and rented an apartment in Sacramento.
This time, the chief executive (who has also served as mayor of Oakland) and his wife, former Gap executive Ann Gust, live in this Zen-inspired home in the city's exclusive Forestland neighborhood.
The five-level dwelling has three bedrooms with bamboo floors, views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and dumbwaiters throughout. For some rest and relaxation, Brown can hit the home spa, which includes a sauna.
Annual salary: $175,000
Property location: Mendham, N.J.
Estimated value: $1,984,621
Year built: 1959
Square feet: 6,979
Gov. Chris Christie is becoming a rock star in the political world, and his six-acre hilltop home is one you can imagine would belong to a rock star.
The Garden State's governor decided to make the 50-mile drive to the state capital of Trenton rather than use the official residence. That mansion, known as Drumthwacket, is about 13 miles from Trenton and is one of four official state residences not actually in the capital. Wisconsin, Ohio and Tennessee have the other three.
Annual salary: $175,000
Property location: Glen Allen, Va.
Estimated value: $723,795
Year built: 1997
Square feet: 3,965
The governor also has a real estate company that maintains two Virginia Beach vacation rentals, one of which became delinquent on property taxes. Though the company has begun making payments on the outstanding taxes, this was just one of McDonnell's public financial issues. Recent allegations of undisclosed political donations have led some to call for his resignation.
Annual salary: $177,000
Property location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Estimated value: $1,431,309
Year built: 1993
Purchased by Snyder for $920,000 in 1997, this two-story house includes an indoor pool, wine cellar and movie theater. He chose to live in his Ann Arbor home rather than the Michigan executive mansion so that his daughter would not have to change schools.