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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Trouble In Paradise: Their Homes Are Too Big, But Don't Feel Sorry For Them

Can your home be so big that you don't enjoy living in it anymore? For some, the answer is yes. Now, this is what The Luxurist calls a high-end problem.

22,000 sq.ft. Southampton estate, must $69 million


A recent article in The Wall St. Journal found that the owners of super-large homes – 10,000 sq. ft. and above – are a particularly remorseful lot. They have everything but privacy. The upkeep of such properties requires a small army of housekeepers, gardeners, handymen and, in the case of the most expansive estates, a professional manager earning $150,000 per year.

Even if they can easily afford it, some of the moneyed-set balk at the high maintenance costs. (If you build a home with a 37-yard long swimming pool, 11 bathrooms, a 9,000 sq. ft. garage for your cars, and a two-level movie theater, what do you expect? But I digress.)

Of course it's not all about the money. It never is for the super rich. There's the loss of privacy issue, as we said. It can be hard to find your way around a 30,000 sq. foot residence and difficult to yell at your kids if their rooms are a couple of football fields away from your private study.

Prine Jefri of Brunei's Las Vegas compound, a bargain at $15 million

 (The Luxurist wants to know why the owners of gargantuan homes need to admonish their children anyway, if they can't hear them or if they need an Uber account to reach their bedrooms? They don't know what the kids are doing in the first place. But, again, I digress.)

Yes, owning a mammoth residence can be a huge headache, unless you are in the market to purchase one. With so few buyers able to afford them, these homes take a long time to sell, and sometimes bargains abound. One of the largest homes in the country, a 73,000 sq. ft. Las Vegas compound  owned by Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei, was listed for sale at $60 million. Several price cuts later, it went  for $15 million.

That's a loss of $45 million, which is another sort of high-end problem. Or if you're part of the Brunei royal family, it may not be a problem at all.

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