Dana Dratch • Bankrate.com
F. Scott Fitzgerald was right: The very rich are different from you and me. For one thing, they can afford more expensive homes. The purchase price is just the start. Rolling green lawns and hotel-perfect interiors require help. Lots of help. A full staff — with cooks, aids, gardeners, drivers, handymen and an estate manager — can cost up to $1 million annually, says Chad Rogers, real estate agent with Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills, Calif. And don’t forget homeowners insurance. Policies can often run from $50,000 to $240,000 or more per year at this level, depending on the coverage needed, says Rebecca Woan, principal and founder of Chartwell Insurance Services in Chicago. But there is one expense that mega-mansion owners probably don’t have: mortgages. Multimillion-dollar homes are most often cash transactions, says Carl Bosse, general director of Associated Realty of the Americas in Green Valley, Ariz. Or some buyers might arrange a securities-based loan. But online browsing is free. So whether you’re dreaming of a home with a private island, your own personal trout pond or a few miles of pristine beach, you’re sure to find something among four of the most expensive homes for sale this fall.
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