For most people, the goals in life boil down to a functional car, a stable job, some savings in the bank and a small home, whether apartment, house or whatever else, to call their own. Depending on where you live and what you're into, these may be difficult or nearly unattainable.
Stable jobs that pay well are rare but "good salary" is a subjective phrase, and as many financial experts will tell you: it's not what you earn, it's what you keep when it comes to money. The functional car is pretty much up to the owner of the vehicle, and savings in the bank, well that's up to one's diligence and smart money management. The house is where many people get out of hand. Years ago, banks in the U.S. were giving housing loans to everyone (regardless of job status and other important variables) and when the economy went to the crapper, partially because of this phenomenon, banking regulations were tightened up. With all that said, real estate is still pretty affordable throughout most of the United States, while in Canada, the prices are somewhat ridiculous. Whether you want to buy for yourself or to rent and earn some income, one must be prepared to drop a lot of cash.
But speaking of houses, most people settle. By settle, I mean accept that their dream house is financially unattainable and just take a decently built shack that will house themselves, the kids and the in-laws every now and again. Making a mind-blowing amount of money can solve this however, and allow a person more freedom. Here are ten houses for which owners certainly did not settle.
10 The Manor - California
9 The Promised Land - California
Nickname me Captain Obvious for this statement, but Oprah Winfrey has a beautiful home. She named it "The Promised Land" to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, who once spoke of a "promised land" the day before his death. Situated in Montecito, California, it was built on some of the most beautiful natural land in the United States. Oprah apparently paid about $52 million for it, and while she owns multiple houses, she calls it her home.
8 Maison De L'Amitie - Palm Beach
This beautiful property was owned by Donald Trump until 2008, when he sold it to Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev. Rybolovlev is worth roughly $9 billion, having made much of his fortune in potash mining.
7 Xanadu 2.0 - Seattle
6 Ellison Estate - California
The home of Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle Corporation, another of the world's most massive tech companies, owns a stunning property in Woodside, California. The ten buildings are of Japanese style, and the landscape features a man-made lake and a koi pond. It costs around $200 million to construct, which really isn't too much of a problem for a man worth about $50 billion.
5 Four Fairfield Pond - New York
4 Villa Leopolda - Cote D'Azur
This incredible property in southern France was built in the late 1920's on land that was once owned by King Leopold of Belgium. It has had a few owners over the past century, but is currently in the possession of Lily Safra, a woman worth just over $1 billion who inherited the property from her husband, the late banker Edmond Safra.
3 Hearst Mansion - California
American newspaper entrepreneur William Randolph Hearst, had a castle built in San Simeon, California, that is now a historical landmark in the state. It is worth a look if you are in the area and want to see how an absurdly rich man lived decades ago. The mansion and castle are two different properties however, and Hearst himself moved to the mansion in his old age.
2 Updown Court - England
1 Antilla - Mumbai
Mukesh Ambani is the owner of Antilla, the most amazing home on the face of the Earth. He is the head of Reliance Industries Ltd, India's most valuable company. Designed by an American firm and built by an Australian company, Antilla is estimated to be worth about $1 billion. It was completed in 2010, and has 27 floors. Much of the decorating is influenced by India, and much of the labor used in construction was Indian, but the family has received plenty of bad press for having build such an opulent home in a country known for having some of the most impoverished people on the planet.
None of the floors are alike and many feature vastly different designs and even materials, as the family wanted to such variation. There are many gardens on Antilla's floors and a health level with a pool, spa and yoga studio, another floor with a movie theater and of course several floors for entertaining.
Anyone upset or confused by the fact that Buckingham Palace isn't on this list, well, the homes on this list are private residences and belong to people who have earned their money. Buckingham Palace is technically a government building and the current members of the Windsor Family were merely born. So a "golf clap" for them, but there's no reason for them to be here among people who contribute.
Sources: wsj.com, forbes.com, businessinsider.com, bloomberg.com, dailymail.co.uk, independent.ie
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