by Erin Carlyle
Since World War II, the average size of newly-built American homeshas steadily been growing larger. That changed during the recession, when new homes suddenly began shrinking—but the U-turn was short-lived. After peaking at 2,521 square feet in 2007, the average home size hit a low of 2,392 square feet in 2010, but bounced right back to a record 2,598 square feet in 2013, the Census Bureau reports. That’s about 56.5% greater than the typical home built in 1973, and more than twice the size of the standard 1,100-square-foot home of the 1940s.
As the middle class concept of home has expanded, so too have the abodes of the wealthy. In late 2014 billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene completed his 53,000-square-foot dream home, ‘Palazzo di Amore,’ and put it on the market with a whopping $195 million price tag.
That price too high for your pocketbook? Plenty of other mega-mansions are on the market right now, many being offered for considerably less. The folks at Trulia.com, a San Francisco, Calif.-based real estate listing site, found the 15 biggest single-family homes currently publicly listed on the market. Each features at least 24,000 square feet of living space and boasts over-the-top amenities and specialty rooms that most private residences would never include.
Many of the mansions are customized dream homes—most completed, though one included in our roundup is still under construction—with owners who, like Greene, have moved on for one reason or another.
Commercial developer Donald Abbey spent 18 years and more than $200 million building two massive residential masterpieces. One of them, the Bradbury Estate in the Golden State, is now priced at $48.8 million in the Multiple Listing Service—a $30 million price chop from its original $78.8 million ask price. Its 47,182 square feet of livable space include a 30,000-square-foot main home with 40-foot vaulted ceilings, six large fireplaces, and a leather-paneled poker room with built-in humidor. A 5,700-square-foot pool house, 6,700-square-foot guesthouse, and 10-car garage make this one of America’s very largest homes for sale.
Like Abbey, Michael Jordan constructed a massive dream home, a 56,000-square-foot Contemporary in Chicago’s Highland Park suburb. It features a full basketball court, and a gym outfitted with treadmills, elliptical trainers, Stairmasters, Precor bike, Cybex arc trainer and free weights. For the right buyer, Jordan’s highly personalized home could make the ultimate bachelor fun-pad, thanks to these features plus its 14-car garage, billiard parlor, full wet bar, and original doors from the Playboy Mansion in Chicago. The only problem is that the pool of potential buyers for such a home seems quite slim—at least at the price points Jordan has been seeking. The basketball legend first listed the house with a price tag of $29 million in February 2010. After failing to hit the $13 million reserve price in a December 2013 auction, the home is now listed for $16 million. (Note: our list of very large homes also includes the dream home of another famed athlete, baseball’s Randy Johnson.)
Not to be left out, Florida has a handful of mega mansions currently on the market, the most notable of them the $139 million ‘Le Palais Royal.’ Located in Hillsboro Beach (halfway between Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton), this 60,000-square-foot under-construction palace is the pet project of a very wealthy owner who decided to abandon his dream home and sail around the world on his yacht. The Beaux Artsmonster home boasts an entrance gate plated with 22-karat gold leaf.
As noted earlier, our roundup of mega-mansions on the market does not include homes not publicly listed for sale, so properties like Los Angeles’ The Manor, at 56,500 square feet, and Dallas’ 42,500-square-foot Crespi-Hicks Estate, a “pocket” listing not publicly viewable on the MLS.
Other properties that did make our list are a Southampton Village inn encompassing 30,000 square feet (and 67 guest rooms) with the potential to become a private family compound, as well a 30,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style manor in Preston Hollow that comes in at the relative bargain ask price of just $8 million—the lowest of any property on our list.
Shared from Forbes Life.