My first mortgage was a variable rate loan which started at over 11 percent. Started. Of course, that was back in, like, 1843. Homes cost a lot less.
Today, mortgage rates are still very low, about 4 percent, and with the Fed planning to eventually start raising rates again—maybe this year—it may be time to finally move up to the biggest house you can afford.
Even if you're in the .00001 percent crowd, and the house you want to buy costs $195 million. Imagine the interest payment on that loan!
Zillow has come up with a list of the top, best, most expensive homes on the market in the U.S.
Here's my takeaway after looking at these houses: If you enjoy going to the bathroom a lot, imagine never having to go twice in the same place in the same week.
EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE, ALL AROUND THE TOWN(HOME)
For $120 million, you can own not just one, but three, adjacent townhomes in Manhattan. "Rising six stories tall, the three townhomes boast an astounding 73 feet of prime frontage on 62nd Street and exemplify the grandeur of Gold Coast architecture." The townhomes are nearly a century old but were restored and can be combined as one residence. There are 23 fireplaces, "some with original mantles," and 11 terraces to take in the view of Central Park, just steps away.
The top bargain on the Zillow list has the most space, 133 acres of property on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe for $98 million. Shakespeare Ranch is where all the world's a stage for boating, golfing, yachting and the local annual rodeo. There are 17 homes and cabins with names like "Romeo" and … wait for it … "Juliet." There's also a massive pool house, along with plans for a 9,500-square-foot main home. In all, there are 25 bedrooms and 25 bathrooms. The seller touts the ranch's proximity to Silicon Valley (four hours by car, one hour by private jet—I'm looking at you, Mark Zuckerberg). Buyers can benefit from better taxes across the border in Nevada. Meantime, I say skip building the main house. Who needs one when you can live in the 5,111-square-foot "entertainment barn"?
BRAND SPANKING NEW IN FLORIDA
Look, if you're gonna spend a bazillion dollars on a home, you want it new, right? Never lived in? No one ever did anything weird in it? Exactly. A brand new home in Hillsboro Beach, Florida, is on the market for $139 million. The home sits on 465 feet of personal beach and boasts several over-the-top details: a staircase of marble and steel which took two years to make and reportedly cost $2 million. There's the dock for your megayacht, a garage for your 30 cars (one for each day of the month!), the "first ever" in-home IMAX 3D theater, and the largest infinity edge pool in Florida measuring 4,500 square feet. That's not a pool, that's a lake.
BEVERLY HILLS 9-0-2-1-OH!!
Swimming pools. Movie stars. There's no place like Beverly Hills, and Zillow says no home on the market costs more than Palazzo di Amore—Place of Love—$195 million worth of romance sitting on a hill atop the playground of the rich. The property is owned by real estate investor-turned would-be politician Jeff Greene. The house has everything including several kitchen sinks: humongous pool, ocean view, vineyard, wine cellar, bowling alley, tennis court, theater, disco, blah blah blah. Wait, disco? Greene has been trying to sell the home for some time as he now lives in Florida (hey, maybe he can buy the house in Hillsboro Beach!). What's taking so long? Well, all buyers must be pre-qualified, and Zillow calculates that if you have a 20 percent down payment, your mortgage will be $724,498 ... a month.