Silicon Valley Chateau
The exclusive Los Altos Hills neighborhood in Northern California is one of Silicon Valley's wealthiest zip codes. The median home listing price in December 2012 was $3.8 million. But that's pocket change compared with the $100 million that Russian billionaire Yuri Milner paid for his 25,000-square-foot (2,322-square-meter) French-style chateau in 2011 [source: Associated Press]. For the record, that's a record. Before Milner, no one had ever paid $100 million for a single-family home in the United States. Which raises the question: How can a house with 14 bathrooms be considered a single-family home?
Milner, who is an investor in tech firms like Facebook, Groupon and Zynga, bought the mansion, known as the Palo Alto Loire Chateau, for $50 million in cash. The other $50 million was financed through a personal loan from the sellers [source: Chung]. The home is opulent by any standard; it's modeled after an 18th-century French chateau and features indoor and outdoor pools, a ballroom, a 4,600-square-foot (427-square-meter) guest house, two three-car garages and a private car wash. But even with all of those ritzy amenities, real estate experts believe that Milner wildly overpaid. The county tax assessor claims the house is only worth $50.27 million, half of what Milner forked over [source: Brennan]. That's the kind of mistake only a billionaire can afford.
Well-heeled Francophiles will salivate at the next entry in the $100 million club.