Top 10 Most Expensive Houses in the World

Silicon Valley Chateau
Russian billionaire Yuri Milner who paid $100 million for the Palo Alto Loire Chateau. Appraisers think he overpaid by $50 million. Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Hubert Burda Media

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.