In luxury homes, swimming pools and media rooms may be par for the course, but across the U.S., the high-end property stock is highly diverse, not only in price but also in design, size, and ambience. Businessweek.com searched local property listings in 50 states and spoke with dozens of real estate agents to find the most expensive residential properties for sale in major metropolitan areas. The results ranged widely: from a $775,000 19th century landmark building in Manchester, N.H., to the $125 million Spelling Manor in Los Angeles. Markets vary, and "value is a comparable determination," says Bill Kanteres, the agent for the Manchester mansion. Homes in some of the country’s older cities, such as Boston’s Ames-Webster Mansion, a $23 million brownstone built in 1872, draw value from their historical significance and antique craftsmanship. Developments in new luxury high rises often offer prized views and locations—such as the $3.6 million penthouse unit in Boise’s Aspen Lofts. Then again, who’s to say you can’t have both? Some custom-built homes, such as the Gunnell Estate in Salt Lake City, aim to blend old-world architecture with modern amenities.
Editor’s note: Sharp-eyed readers will notice that there are no listings for Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, or South Carolina. We were able to identify the most expensive houses in Little Rock, Jacksonville, Kansas City, and Columbia, but the sellers refused to cooperate.
Click here to see the most expensive homes for sale in cities across the country.