Whether driven by hubris or marketing intended to induce shock and awe, many of the nation's most expensive homes featured in Hot Property have had price tags that defy explanation. The jaw-dropping asking prices are often just that; most sell for far less than they were listed. But even the purchase price will take your breath away. Here are the top 10, ranked by the highest price listed or sold.
1—Palazzo di Amore: $195-million asking price
The 25-acre estate in the Beverly Crest area was completed by real estate entrepreneur Jeff Greene and listed this month. Amenities include a 35,000-square-foot main residences, a 15,000-square-foot entertainment complex and two wine cellars. The vineyard estate produces 400 to 500 cases of varietal wines a year.
2—Beverly House: $165-million initial asking price
The two-house, five-acre Beverly Hills estate, the onetime residence of newspaper czar William Randolph Hearst and his girlfriend, actress Marion Davies, is now priced at $135 million, furnished, or at $114 million for the main residence – reduced from its original 2007 listing. The compound centers on a 50,000-square-foot mansion built in the 1920s and retains intricately carved ceilings and paneled walls, a garden-view bar and a two-story library with hand-carved woodwork, much from Hearst's castle at San Simeon.
3 —The Manor: $150-million asking price
Film and TV producer Aaron Spelling and his wife, Candy, built the Holmby Hills estate in 1988. The 56,500-square-foot mansion, with 14 bedrooms and 27 bathrooms, sits on a 4.7-acre site. The residence, put on the market in 2009, sold two years later for $85 million to Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone, who remodeled and spent an estimated $15 million to $20 million before moving in.
4 —Owlwood: $150-million asking price
The Tuscan-style mansion in Holmby Hills was once the home of actor Tony Curtis and later '60s singing duo Sonny and Cher. The estate was expanded in 2002 by combining two other adjacent properties to increase the grounds to 10 acres. There is a tennis court, and the existing pool house and swimming pool once belonged to swimmer and actress Esther Williams. The compound has been marketed outside of the Multiple Listing Service for the last four years.
5 —Fleur de Lys: $125-million asking price
The Westside mansion, often described as a French palace, sold in March for $88.3 million. The deal may have been as much as $102 million when including antiques and furnishings, breaking a Southern California record. Socialite Suzanne Saperstein first listed the 50,000-square-foot home in 2007 at a peak in the L.A. County real estate market.
6 —Casa Encantada: $94-million sale price
The Bel-Air property held the record for the highest-price home transaction ever in California for more than a decade. The 8-acre estate was sold in 2000 by Dole Food Co.'s billionaire owner, David Murdock, to financial executive Gary Winnick in a deal valued at $94 million. Winnick threw in a parcel of land on Bel-Air Road.
Investor and Houston Dynamos soccer team owner Gabriel Brener sold his Westside estate this year for $74 million. The 35,000-square-foot mansion, built in 2001, sits on 3.6 acres that was once the site of Walt Disney's home. Brener had bought the estate from the Lillian B. Disney Trust in the late 1990s for $8.45 million and put it up for sale two years ago.
8 —The Singleton residence: $85-million asking price
Once owned by Henry Singleton, co-founder of Teledyne Inc., the mansion was the last major work of architect Wallace Neff, who designed an estimated 500 to 600 homes in his lifetime. Set on more than 7 acres of gated grounds, the residence has 10 bedrooms, 12.5 bathrooms and 15,520 square feet of living space and was originally listed in 2008.
9 —Beverly Hills custom-built: $85-million asking price
The nearly 23,000-square-foot contemporary, set on about an acre in the Trousdale Estates area, came on the market this summer. A project of handbag magnate Bruce Makowsky, the sleek house features a $200,000 candy bar/room, an 18-seat theater, a 14-person spa with swimming jets and top-of-the-line furnishings.
10 —Bradbury mansion: $78.8-million asking price
Commercial real estate investment manager Donald Abbey completed the 47,000-square-foot mansion and put it on the market two years ago. Now priced at $68.6 million, the estate features include a temperature-controlled trout pond and a subterranean firing range.