Wealthy people don't really have to worry about taking care of their belongings. Either their staff handles such busy work or they just let things go. Tomorrow is another shopping day and anything is replaceable.
Recently, we heard about some of the world's most expensive properties in the north-west part of London, near the Hampstead area, on one of the most exclusive streets in the world - Bishops Avenue. Evidently, many of the mansions on the street are not being taken care of and falling into conditions that are beyond repair.
What's a billionaire to do? Don't waste anytime feeling sorry for them, as they know exactly what they are doing. While these estates have remained vacant for decades, the owners have done nothing to save them from their fate. In the meantime the property values of these moldy, crumbling mansions continues to increase. So they really can't lose.
The other property owners on London's most expensive real estate street might not feel so happy about this neglect, as their property's values are somewhat tied to the grungy parts of the street, yet no one is worried. However, Londoners do care as over 100,000 people remain without homes.
That is the privilege of being a billionaire, right? In reality there are only 16 of the 66 homes on this street that are in a shambles, from inattentive owners, but that is nearly one-third, which is a pretty high ratio.
Today, we want to show you what looks like "mansion ruins" on Bishops Avenue in London, which is aptly dubbed, Billionaire Row. Believe us when we say, you would not get caught living in any of these billionaire disasters - but it's like watching a train wreck - you can't help but look.
An investigation conducted by the Guardian found that these 16 vacancies add up to about $590 million worth of properties that are simply rotting away. To put that in different terms - that's around 120-130 empty bedrooms.
What is interesting is that in a normal real estate neighborhood, unkempt properties would definitely bring down the values of all of the other homes in the area. But evidently prices on Bishop's Avenue keep going up - after all it used to be called Millionaire's Row, but now most millionaires can't afford a home on this coveted plot of land.
Rumor has it that Bishops Avenue will, in time, be turned into high-end gated apartment building complexes for the rich. With at least eight of the 66 properties on the market, it seems only a matter of time before the next mogul capitalizes on the avenue's iconic name and subdivides. Take a peek and see the billionaire's homes where no one would or could live.
11 Bishop of London Owned All The Land
Bishops Wood surrounds this area that used to be owned by the Bishop of London in 704. Centuries later - in 1894 - the Church of England sold the land in plots and kept only one parcel for itself, which is the address of 46, Bishops Avenue. The home was renamed the Royal Mansion which is still beautifully maintained but no longer owned by the church. It has changed hands a couple of times and is now owned by a 75-year old Kazakh property billionaire named Hourieh Peramaa, who plans to invest another $50 million into renovations.
10 16 Empty Mansions out of 66
Something average homeowners do not realize, is that leaving a home empty - such as these estates - gives the owner certain tax concessions. Plus, in the UK, renovation costs are reduced on homes left empty for more than two years. The VAT rate is then reduced to five percent versus the normal 20 percent. Even better news, if the structure is leveled and a new one built, there is no VAT rate on building costs at all. Billionaire wins again.
9 Property Values Increase 11%
An unnamed Bishops Avenue resident from Iran deduced that over 90 percent of the owners do not live in the mansions on this avenue, although most are meticulously maintained. He said the traffic is very busy, it's noisy and overall a terrible place to live. Real estate agents feel the area will be reborn once the new luxury apartments are constructed and an influx of younger, new wealth begins to move in. It is projected that in a couple decades this north-west part of London may draw a completely different type of buyer and the area will change.
8 Current Market Price: $109.1 Million
So what used to be called Millionaire's Row is now Billionaire's because the average millionaire can no longer afford one of these homes. The average listing price for mansions on the market on this avenue is around $109.1 million, which is pretty pricey for homes that are, most likely, beyond repair. If Heath House sells for it's asking price, the prices may again rise.
7 10 Owned by House of Saud
It's quite amazing that the crystal chandelier is still hanging, especially with the rest of the ceiling has fallen and the damp wood must be rotting. The swag curtains and chandelier are the remaining elements of what was once a well-appointed room decades ago. The problem with owning 10 mansions along with several other properties around the world is that it's not possible to live everywhere. So some properties are forgotten, left to decay and simply used as investments.
6 The Towers
The Towers is referred to as a mock-Georgian edifice in ruins. It looks like something one might find in a deserted castle far, far away, rather than a mansion that is located on London's second most-expensive street. The ceilings are nearly coming down and the inside is becoming similar to its outside with branches and limbs growing through the walls and ceiling.
Redcroft is another empty mansion that is covered in mold, weeds and a disintegrating structure. Imagine the grand and palatial parties this mansion once held. This is in irreparable condition and will need to be leveled and rebuilt before it will ever again host pool parties for the rich and famous.
4 The Georgians
The Georgians was once owned by the Saudi Arabia royal family. The tufted curtains were once an elegant adornment and are now left to rot in the sun while the ceiling slowly caves in piece-by-piece. Developer Anil Varma calls this and other mansions on the avenue "one of the most expensive wastelands in the world".
3 Refurbished Heath Hall on the Market: $168 Million
Heath Hall was originally built for Tate & Lyle, the sugar magnates and is currently on the market for $168 million. This is now the most expensive property on the market in the UK as of it's recent listing. It has been in disrepair since the 50's when the Bank of China owned it and was subsequently purchased and refurbished by Andreas Panayiotou. It includes 14 bedrooms, six reception rooms, a cinema, wine cellar and panic room. That is a fixer-upper we would love to see in person.
2 International Owners
Most international property owners have estates around the world that are barely used. It's almost like having a closet full of clothes or too much of anything - you forget what you own and it becomes undervalued by the owner. That's a part of what is happening with these dilapidated structures. They are neglected and still making money.
1 Bishops Avenue's Other Properties
Well, even though this property is gorgeous, you still can't live in it. Why? Because property mogul Hourieh Peramaa does. Now this is the way a mansion should look. Gorgeous. Sophisticated. Elegant. This is the former Royal Mansion transformed into a contemporary palace. Now that's what we expect in a billionaire's mansion.