Top 10 Most Expensive Houses in the World



The $1 billion home of Mukesh Ambani towers over Mumbai and is filled with balconies and indoor gardens. Kuni Takahashi/Getty Images
The $1 billion home of Mukesh Ambani towers over Mumbai and is filled with balconies and indoor gardens. Kuni Takahashi/Getty Images

The record for most expensive house in the world was set in 2010, when Indian multibillionaire Mukesh Ambani and his family finished their $1 billion, 400,000 square foot (37,161 square meter) Mumbai home: Antilia. And at that price, it will likely hold the record for years. Named after a mythical Atlantic island, Antilia needs a staff of 600 to keep it humming. The building is 570 feet tall (174 meters), and made mostly of glass. Forget going to the gym -- the 27-story tower has its own health spa, yoga studio and swimming pool [source: Hanrahan]. And the Ambanis' friends can drop by in droves because the six-floor garage holds 168 cars. (Should any auto troubles develop, the in-house mechanics will take care of them). The ultra-modern high-rise also features a 50-seat movie theater, three helipads, dozens of balconies, and its own Hindu temple [source: Reginato].

Mukesh Ambani is worth an estimated $22.3 billion, making him the 19th richest man in the world and the richest in India [source: Reginato]. That might explain why his new home has more floor space than Louis XIV's palace at Versailles. And because most floors are double the average height, Antilia is technically 40 stories tall. The towering house isn't too disconnected from nature; each level has lush gardens. It seems a refuge fit for a shy man referred to as "a modern-day Howard Hughes" [source: Portfolio]. But some have criticized him for building such an opulent palace in a place as poor as Mumbai.

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Author's Note: Top 10 Most Expensive Houses in the World

I have a confession to make; I am square-foot challenged. If you quote a square footage figure to me, I have literally no reference point. You say the apartment is 25,000 square feet? Wow, that's big, right? But is it big like a basketball court or big like a football stadium? I am that impaired. If you're searching for a root cause, I'd say it's my poor to very poor multiplication and division skills and generally lousy ability to estimate any distance or quantity. I'm the same guy who stares at the water cooler bottle filled with jellybeans at the "Guess How Many?" booth and says, "I don't know ... 100?" My inability to wrap my head around any number larger than 100 might explain why I have such a small house. I'd tell you the square footage, but I have no idea.

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