10 of the World’s Most Insanely Luxurious Houses

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Antilla, Mumbai – The first Billion dollar home
Antilla, Mumbai - The first Billion dollar home

Mukesh Ambani, the fifth richest man in the world and head of the Mumbai based petrochemical giant Reliance Industries is estimated to be worth somewhere in the region of $43 billion. He is also the owner to-be of a 27-story skyscraper in downtown Mumbai that is to cost him colossal $2 billion! His wife Nita Ambani was staying in the Mandarin Oriental in New York and was so impressed with the interior Asian style decor that she wanted something similar for her to live in. What resulted from that is the world’s largest and most expensive home ever. Every story in the Antilla’s skyscraper home will be built to a different specification. The vast variation of materials to be used in its build has tremendously added to its overall cost. The meticulous planning that has gone into this architectural design is astounding and once the 27 -story tower is built it will certainly become a spectacular site for all eyes. Hirsch Bedner Associates are the designers behind this project.

2
Updown Court, England – The most important private residence to be built in England since the 19th century ($150 million)
Updown Court, England - The most important private residence to be built in England since the 19th century ($150 million)

Updown Court is situated only 25 miles from London, and through a pair of large sophisticated iron gates, one can see a palatial construction of immense scale and beauty. The property, however, is best known for its price tag: more than 85 million British pounds (+$150 million U$, with 103 rooms, five swimming pools and 24-carat-gold leafing on the study’s mosaic floor. There’s a squash court, bowling alley, tennis court, 50-seat screening room, heated marble driveway and helipad. Eight limousines will fit in the underground garage. Then there are the neighbors, who include the queen (at Windsor Castle) and Elton John. It is listed with Savills and Hamptons International. So, even if your blood doesn’t run blue, with enough green you can still live near—and like—royalty!

3
Versailles, Florida – The largest family home ever built in the US
Versailles, Florida - The largest family home ever built in the US

This 30 bedroom mansion boasts its own bowling alley, roller skating rink and Olympic sized swimming pool to make it the largest family home ever built in the US. Time share mogul David Siegel and his former beauty queen wife Jacqueline began building the huge estate three years ago. But with almost 18 months of work still to be carried out on the property they have put it on the market at $75m. Experts believe a further $25m needs to be spent before anyone can move in.

As well as 30 bedrooms the home would have 23 bathrooms with spectacular views over Lake Butler, about 20 miles from Orlando. The hand-built windows for the house cost more than £2m and other luxuries include a ballroom and a children’s theatre. There is a garage with enough space for 20 cars, three swimming pools, a large boat house, formal gardens, and a one-story gatehouse with an apartment. There is also a baseball field, two tennis courts, a 60 foot by 120 foot Grand Hall with a 30-foot stained glass dome, two grand staircases, a 37 foot by 30 foot kitchen, 10 satellite kitchens, a two-story wine cellar and a rock grotto with three separate spas behind an 80-foot waterfall. All 23 full bathrooms have full-sized Jacuzzis, 160 tripled paned windows and Brazilian mahogany French-style doors that alone cost pds2.million.

The property was called Versailles as the entrance was modeled after the Palace of Versailles in France.

4

Fleur De Lys, Beverly Hills – Mariah Carey’s palace
Fleur De Lys, Beverly Hills – Mariah Carey's palace

For the woman with the most expensive pair of legs, it was only fair she also had one of the most expensive houses in the world. Mariah Carey apparently had no problem scraping together a nice down payment on this palace in Beverly Hills. The Fleur De Lys is among the world’s most expensive estates with an asking price of $125 million. Maria Carey’s new digs were built by a Texan billionaire on 5 acres; it is 41,000 square feet of pure diva luxury and will also be modeled after the most extravagant home of its time: the Palace of Versaille, the former home of Marie Antoinette. Surrounding the mansion are rolling lawns, ornamental gardens and mature trees, a 3,000-square-foot manager’s house, staff quarters for 10 people, a spa and pool with a pavilion, a championship tennis court, and a lavish garden folly.

5
Hearst Mansion, Beverly Hill –The Godfather Mansion
Hearst Mansion, Beverly Hill –The Godfather Mansion

This Beverly Hills mansion has been advertised for sale at $165m (£81.4m), making it one of the most expensive residential property listed in the US. The former home of US newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst has 29 bedrooms, three swimming pools, tennis courts, its own cinema and a nightclub. He has decorated the property with statues brought north from his famous Hearst Castle in San Simeon and with life-size paintings of Davies. Mr. Hearst bought the H-shaped mansion in 1947 for about $120,000. In 2007, the estate’s current owner, who bought it in 1976, put the home on the market for US$165 million. The home’s buyer will have some notable neighbours, including Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and David and Victoria Beckham.

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Acqua Liana, Florida – The most luxurious eco mansion
Acqua Liana, Florida – The most luxurious eco mansion

Frank McKinney, known as the real estate “artist,” has built a 15,000-square-foot “eco-mansion.” Is that possible? I am not sure whether to look in awe at all the sleek green that money can buy, or to recoil from the notion that 15,000 feet of excess is environmentally friendly. Inspired by trips to Bali, Fiji, Tahiti and Hawaii, the three-story, 15,000-square-foot, 7-bedroom, 11-bath mansion features floating sun terraces, a waterfall spa with a fire feature in the water and an arched aquarium wet bar. Green features inside the one-off mansion include enough solar panels to cover a basketball court generating enough energy for two or three average-size homes. A water system that collects enough run-off water to fill the average swimming pool every 14 days and environmentally conscious lighting reduces electricity consumption by 70 per cent. There is enough reclaimed wood to save 10.5 acres of Brazilian rain forest.

But, still, do the words “green” and “mansion” go together?

7
Villa Leopolda, France – The mansion that caused a man to lose a 75 million deposit
Villa Leopolda, France – The mansion that caused a man to lose a 75 million deposit

The magnificent $750 million Villa Leopolda in Villefranche-sur-Mer was built for King Leopold II of Belgium in 1902. The estate is so big that it requires 50 full time gardeners. The grounds cover 20 acres of garden and visitors can stroll amongst 1,200 olive, orange, lemon and cypress trees. In 2008, owner Lily Safra (wife of the deceased Syrian (Lebanon-born) businessman Edmond Safra), a famous Jewish philanthropist, decided to sell it. Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov intended to buy it. After making a ten per cent down-payment, he then backed out of the sale after the global credit crunch hit. But a court in Nice later ruled that he had to forfeit the $75 million deposit he put down for the mansion. Prokhorov had signed a sales agreement for the Villa, and French law stipulates that purchasers lose their deposits if they pull out after such an agreement has been executed. But don’t feel sorry for the guy, he is still worth a cool $17.85 billion.

8
The Manor, Los Angeles – Aaron Spelling dream house
The Manor, Los Angeles – Aaron Spelling dream house

His wife Cindy dubbed Aaron Spelling’s 56,000-square-foot LA mansion “The Manor”. Built for him in 1991 it has 123 rooms for his family to choose from. Nothing was spared in the creation of this home, with an indoor skating rink, multiple pools, three kitchens, sports courts, private orchard, and a bowling alley. Not happy with the “norm” for these mansions, there are also more unusual additions, such as a doll museum, a room used exclusively for wrapping presents and an entire floor dedicated to closet space. In 2007 Candy Spelling, estranged mother of Tori Spelling, decided that her 57,000 square foot mansion was just a tad bit large for her and her pooch and decided to sell it and turned the mansion into the most expensive estate (in terms of current listings) at that time.

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The Manalapan Residence – the ultimate oceanfront estate home
The Manalapan Residence – the ultimate oceanfront estate home

Set upon 5.5 acres, with 520 feet fronting direct Atlantic Ocean-to-Intracoastal waterway property, The Manalapan Residence triumphantly blends Old World elegance and classicism with 21st century facilities. Some of the amenities of this 3-story ‘beach house’ includes 67,672 square feet, 14 bedrooms, 24 bathrooms, 18 car garage, 6,140 sq. ft. master bedroom suite, movie theatre, casino and club room with aquarium wet bar, gymnasium with beauty salon, shark tank, 2 elevators, bowling alley, tennis court and a go cart track. Do you still need more reasons to believe this is the greatest mansion if you want to live in front of the ocean? The only bad thing is its price tag of $135 million.

10
Barbie Malibu Mansion – a life-size mansion inspired by Barbie’s dream house
Barbie Malibu Mansion – a life-size mansion inspired by Barbie's dream house

In honor of Barbie’s 50th birthday celebration, interior decorator extraordinaire, Jonathan Adler, decked out a real-life 3,500-square-foot pad overlooking the Pacific Ocean to look like the blond doll’s outrageous home. He lined Barbie’s bedroom with wall-to-wall pink carpeting emblazoned with her initial. The closet is filled with 50 pairs of pink peep-toe heels while her kitchen is stocked with cupcake-making ingredients. An in-house museum features 25 vintage Barbie dolls on display. In the garage? A pink Volkswagen New Beetle with a motorized pop-up vanity in the trunk. Adler’s favorite furnishings are hanging in the living room: an original Andy Warhol portrait of Barbie valued at over $200,000 and a chandelier — designed by “Project Runway” contestant Chris March — that’s made up of over 30 blond wigs and took more than 60 hours to craft. He also admires a one-of-a-kind black-and-white wall mirror created with 64 dolls. The house is perched on a cliff in Malibu overlooking the ocean. It’s a fantasyland for anyone

Giving Up Luxuries To Live A More Comfortable Life In Singapore

All of us want to live a comfortable life. For some people, this could be as simple as having a roof over their heads without being worried of their housing loans and having enough money to buy food for their families. For others, it could be about having the time to do what they really want without constantly being afraid of receiving phone calls from their bosses on Sunday.

Giving up luxuries to live a more comfortable life may sound like an oxymoron. For years, marketers have been telling us that luxuries are essential for a comfortable life.

For example, imagine how comfortable life could be if we all had an Audi A6 waiting for us at the basement car park of our condominium unit whenever we need to drive out to meet our friends for dinner at the celebrity restaurant at MBS. Or if we all had access to home cleaning services that saves us the trouble of spending 6 hours each week cleaning up our 2-storey penthouse unit. Or if we could flaunt our $3,000 Kate Spade bag whenever we go shopping on weekdays with our girlfriends and can afford the time to have a cosmopolitan drink right after that without worrying about our jobs.

Your Luxuries Could Be Making You Miserable

Here is the thing. Your luxuries in life could actually be the things that are making you financially miserable in life.

Take for example the purchase of a car. In Singapore, the comfortable Audi A6 would cost you about $226,000 at the entry level. Even if you a 2nd hand Nissan Sunny, the depreciation would still be about $8,000 a year. This does not even include costs such as interest, insurance, parking, petrol, road tax, ERP and maintenance of the vehicle. In total, you are looking at easily about $1,500 to $2000 dollars per month.

How about a 5-room HDB flat instead of a more modest 4-room flat? In a previous article, we wrote that the difference between the price of the most expensive 5-room HDB flat and the cheapest 4-room flat offered by HDB in Punggol could be as much as $242,000 once you factor in subsidies available. When you include the interest and opportunity cost, the difference could be as much as $458,000 after 20 years. We are not sure about you, but an additional $458,000 for retirement would probably make life a lot more comfortable.

Other small “luxuries” in life can also cost us a lot of money in the long run even without us realizing. For example, having cable TV and overpaying for your mobile subscription plan can easily cost you up to $1,000 or more each year. So could that Starbucks Coffee you buy daily or the once-a-week restaurant meal on TGIF.

Let us take a look at a hypothetical example between 2 households. The Lee Family and the Tan Family.

The Lee Family:

The Lee family has a household income of $6,000 per month. They live frugally and ensure that they invest 50% of their household income. They service their home mortgage using the money from their CPF Account. At an annual investment return rate of 5%, they would be able to accumulate the following amount of money.

Time Period Portfolio
After 10 Years $465,847
After 20 Years $1,233,101
After 30 Years $2,496,776

Let’s not be greedy here. Having spent about $3,000 per month, or $36,000 per annum, we doubt the Lee family would need to suddenly increase their spending to $100,000 per year after retirement (though they actually could!). The point of the calculation is to show that even after 10 years, the Lee family can afford to take things slower. Perhaps one of them could even quit their job and for them to continue sustaining on a single income of $3,000 per month.

Even without saving a single cent after the first 10 years, the Lee family would still be able to retire with a portfolio value of $1,263,675 after 30 years for their retirement.

The Tan Family:

The Tan family are wealthier. With a combined household income of $12,000, they are very much part of the upper middle class of Singapore. They can afford a car (BMW 3 Series, $2,000 per month) and semi-annual holiday trips ($1,000 per month). They also live a more “fashionable” lifestyle and dine regularly with their well-off friends at good restaurants recommended by food bloggers. This lifestyle costs them about $5,000 each month. They also bought a nice 4-bedroom condominium, which requires them to fork out an additional $2,000 per month in cash for their mortgage in addition to their CPF contributions. They have a domestic helper ($1,500 per month) who helps them maintain the cleanliness of their beautiful home.

In total, they spend about $11,500 each month. They invest the remaining amount.

Time Period Portfolio
After 10 Years $77,641
After 20 Years $205,517
After 30 Years $416,129

It goes without saying that their returns pale in comparison compared to the earlier example provided by the Lee family. However, that is not even the scariest thing.

Even after 10 years, the Tan family would have accumulated enough savings only to last them about 7 months worth of expenses. Neither one of them can afford to leave their jobs without having to substantially downgrade their lifestyle. At the end of 30 years, they would have accumulated enough savings to last them about 44 months (or about 3.5 years), even after they have finished paying for their home mortgage. Financial freedom is not something they will be able to enjoy even during their old age.

Our Lifestyle Is Usually The Biggest Hurdle Towards Financial Freedom

Many people think they cannot afford to retire because their salary is too low. That is usually not true. For those of us who are earning $3,000 or more each month, the reason behind our inability to achieve financial freedom is our lifestyle, not our income.

We cannot retire early because we spend too much, invest too little and require too much money to upkeep our lifestyle after we retire. Instead, if we were to spend less, invest more and require less money to upkeep our lifestyle after we retire, financial freedom would be a lot easier to obtain.

Let’s stop complaining that the cost of living in Singapore is too high when we are (ironically) spending a good chunk of money each year taking quarterly holiday trips overseas.

We want to stress that we are not saying that everyone who can’t retire have bad spending habits. There are obviously low-income households in Singapore that genuinely cannot earn enough to cope with the cost of living in spite of their frugal spending.

Think about it, who has a more comfortable life? The Lee family who earns $6,000 per month but spends only $3,000, or the Tan family, who earns $12,000 per month but spends $11,500 trying to maintain their condominium, car and lifestyle.

Dubai World, MGM sell Las Vegas luxury mall

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A general view of CityCenter including Crystals (front), the project's retail and entertainment district, Las Vegas, Nevada. (Getty Images)

A general view of CityCenter including Crystals (front), the project’s retail and entertainment district, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dubai World and MGM Mirage have reportedly sold part of a joint retail project in Las Vegas for $1.1bn.

The deal with mall operator Simon Property Group and investment firm Invesco Real Estate for CityCenter’s The Shops at Crystals, a 324,000 square feet luxury shopping centre, is expected to close in the second quarter,

The Shops at Crystals is part of a mega $8.5bn CityCenter project built at the height of the property boom. The 27-hectare property with residential, hotel and entertainment, opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 2009, following an agreement between Dubai World’s Infinity World Development Corp and MGM in 2007.

At the time, the venture was valued at $5.4bn, with Dubai World contributing about $2.96bn for 50 per cent of the equity, according to a statement from MGM.

The project has suffered funding setbacks amid the financial crisis and led MGM to hire bankruptcy advisors, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In March 2009, Dubai World, one of the worst hit developers during the global crisis, filed a lawsuit against MGM as an order of protection after the US gaming hotelier admitted in a securities exchange commission filing that it had “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue with the project.

Dubai World claimed it was paying significantly more while getting less. But a few months later the company entered its own financial difficulties and requested a “standstill” on debt payments.

However, the joint venture partners managed to turn around the project and last year they each received a $200 million dividend.

MGM Resorts International chairman Jim Murren said in a statement announcing the proposed sale that Invesco Real Estate and Simon Property Group were “the ideal stewards to maintain the high quality of the asset and usher in a new era of success”.

Invesco Real Estate is a subsidiary of Invesco Group, a global investment firm managing assets worth $737.5bn at the end of February.

Simon Property Group owns partly or in total 231 retail real estate properties in North America, Europe and Asia.

Chairman and chief executive David Simon said the acquisition would allow the group to gain more leverage in the Las Vegas market.

Fascinating Off-Road Rv! Enter The Luxurious World Of Earthroamer Xv-Lts F550

Welcome to the exquisitely luxurious world of XV-LTS F550 off-road recreational vehicle designed and manufactured by EarthRoamer, an internationally recognized company specialized in building and meticulously testing expedition vehicles since 1998.

EarthRoamer is known to be the first company that built Xpedition vehicles in North America. The EarthRoamer XV-LTS F550 is designed to look eye-pleasing and created to be fully functional. It’s manufactured on four wheel drive with a turbo diesel powered Ford F550 engine. It’s capable of to accommodate eight persons based on the three different cabs to be chosen including regular cab, super cab and crew cab. It’s possible and quite enjoyable to explore exotic places with this advanced off-road RV. EarthRoamer XV-LTS F550 is the vehicle where technology and luxury come together

Amazing Thailand Luxury: where life rules everything

Life is a blessing… because everyday there is a chance for happiness.
It is something that we can create…and all it takes is a will to embark on a journey and live our life.
To live life to the fullest, we do not need to put a value to the luxury. It is defined by the memories that are priceless instead.