Would You Buy a $100 Million Dollar House?

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100 million dollar house

There has been a lot of talk in the Frugal Rules home as of late regarding buying a new house. Truth be told, the conversation is coming from one side and I’ll let you guess which one is doing the most talking. We didn’t think ahead as much as we should’ve when we bought about seven years ago. Yes, there are some things we’d like to change, but it serves our purpose.

Anyway, these conversations have usually centered around what we could afford and what we could reasonably take on. Thankfully Omaha is very reasonable in terms of housing prices and there’s no reason why we wouldn’t be able to upgrade quite a bit to get our supposed dream house and still stay in the sub $300,000 range.

We have family in other areas, like California and D.C. so we know we need to be thankful for the real estate prices we have locally. However, I was reading this article at NPR last week and it was talking about the rise in $100 million homes here in the States – now imagine trying to pay your mortgage with a credit card each month on something like that – you’d need quite the credit limit to be able to swing it.

Yes, you read that right…$100 million dollar houses! Apparently over the past three months, three houses have all tipped the scales of being at least $100 million in price with the swankiest coming in at a paltry $147 million (insert dripping sarcasm here).

What Does a $100 Million Dollar House Get You?


Honestly, a $100 million dollar price tag is more than a little mind boggling to me. But, hey, we all have things we like to spend money on I guess. Seriously though, I was curious as to what $147 Million would get me, which you can see below:

  • 18+ acres of beachfront property in East Hampton, New York
  • Formal gardens
  • A pond
  • You get to be neighbors with the likes of Jerry Seinfeld

Ok, I’ll admit it, 18 acres of beachfront property would be pretty cool. Though, my lovely SoCal wife would of course want it to be on the Pacific and not the Atlantic so that wouldn’t work.

I do love me some Seinfeld, but couldn’t justify spending that kind of money just to rub elbows with him. I looked for the square footage, but was unable to locate the exact size of the house. So, I think we can somewhat safely assume that a huge bulk of the price is for that chunk of real estate on the beach.

Is This a Dangerous Trend?


I read a number of the articles related to these recent house purchases and a few of them pointed to the growing separation between the haves and have nots. We have issues related to the minimum wage and supposedly tighter lending restrictions so it can be difficult to fathom anyone other than a very elite few spending so much on a house like this.

Several articles even joked that the $100 million house is the new $50 million, which is crazy in my opinion. That said, there are numbers to back up this claim as presented in the NPR article. The article cited a study that shows the purchases of homes of at least $2 million has jumped by 33% from January through February of this year versus last year and has done so at the highest rate dating back to 1988.

The reason for this, or at least as it’s argued, is that it’s only a select few of the top 1% and they are looking for ways to park cash they’ve been able to accumulate thanks to the run up in the stock market over the past few years.

Whether or not this is a dangerous trend, I don’t know. What I do know is that regardless of what wealth Mrs. Frugal Rules and I accumulate, we’ll be happy with a humble Warren Buffett-esqe house here in Omaha. If we do get the urge to have a pond…I think we could do that ourselves to save a few million.


How much is the most you’d spend on a house, knowing that real estate prices can be quite relative? Where is one location you’d live if money were not an issue? Who would you want most as a potential neighbor?


Photo courtesy of: Atwater Village Newbie

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

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  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    Yeah I think $100 million houses are a bad trend, but I’m not the one taking on the risk so who am I to judge? If money weren’t an object I’d buy a nice house here in the cities, have a vacation home in Hawaii or perhaps in California or Florida and finally a cabin up north. Actually that all sounds a bit excessive, maybe just vacation elsewhere and stick with a house plus a cabin for the Minnesota summers.

    • John says:

      “Actually that all sounds a bit excessive…” Lol, my wife and I were having the same discussion last night and she said that. We decided that we would just stay here in Omaha since it’s cheap and travel to places we wanted to see.

  • Mrs PoP says:

    $147M for 18 acres is actually pretty comparable to the big sale in our neck of the woods last year, which was $30M for 3 acres of beachfront in Naples, depending how many linear feet of beach front the NY deal had in it. And the $30M property was sold as a teardown, so that’s considered purely land value at that point. While I don’t think we’ll ever end up in that price range (unless there’s a decent amount of hyperinflation in my lifetime), if that’s what people want to do and it’s not hurting anyone else, then so be it.

    • John says:

      Wow, $30M for a teardown? Yea, that’s purely for the land value, but I wouldn’t mind 3 acres of beachfront property. πŸ™‚ I don’t see us ever doing it either. We’d stay here in Omaha as it’s cheap and just travel where we wanted to go.

  • Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    I think that $100 million dollar houses are ridiculous, and I cannot imagine a situation where I would feel good about living in one. I feel guilty for my middle-class existence sometimes!

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says:

    It just seems SO wasteful to me. I can even justify a multi million dollar home if it has a stunning location, but 100 million? There are so many better uses for that money. Give it someone who needs it!

  • Dave Lalonde says:

    If money was not an issue, I’d love to live somewhere with a lot of land on the beachside. But I think it’s hilarious how one of the pro’s of this house was that it had a pond. Like, 100+ Million house AND you get a pond too?! Wow. If I was paying that much for my home, my neighbors better be the Secret Service or Bill Gates. But it’s just me and my wife. The both of us are very minimalist people, I’d rather spend that million on experiences rather than properties.

    • John says:

      Lol, I know! Every article I read about this house was just going off about it having a pond. At $147M that pond better be the size of Lake Michigan!

  • Grayson Bell says:

    John, seriously. You really need to stop showing my house on your blog. I don’t want a bunch of crazy people thinking I am being wasteful!

    I had a problem paying the amount I did for our new house (if we ever close), so over $100 million would be just crazy. So much to do with that kind of cash. There are only a few people who can afford that, so when you need to sell, good luck!

    • John says:

      Ha ha, I know. But, what can I say, I’m jealous. πŸ˜‰

      I agree, there is so much you could do with that amount of cash and for us it most definitely wouldn’t be for a house.

  • Andrew@LivingRichCheaply says:

    I really think such huge mansions are such a waste. I guess I can’t understand since I’m not that rich, but it still seems unnecessary. My wife and I drove past some Hampton houses a few summers ago on our way to Montauk…couldn’t really see inside with those huge hedges. Crazy money there. But even here in NYC, a regular sized run of the mill house is at least $600,000 in a decent neighborhood.

    • John says:

      That’s a good point about maybe not understanding it due to not being rich, but I still believe I wouldn’t spend the money on something like that. It just goes to show you how real estate is highly relative as we could be in a near mansion for $600k here in Omaha.

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach says:

    Personally I don’t think anyone needs that much house, plus all the added expenses that go along with that…because I sure as hell wouldn’t want to clean a place that big! πŸ™‚ How could a family stay connected? I went to one of those Beverly Hills estates before to show a client a video. It just felt like a museum. The grounds were pretty, but it felt cold and disconnected. I’d love a walkway home in Manhattan Beach. It doesn’t have to be on the ocean, just walking distance to it, and downtown MB. They are very modest in size and very cozy and bechy. Of course even those places are over a million!

    • John says:

      Lol, I wouldn’t want to clean it either. I bet you could have someone who their only job was to clean the place for 40 hours per week.

  • Lauren says:

    I would be happy in a tiny house or traveling around in an RV, so $100mil home is definitely not for me! It’s just bizarre to think of a few people living in an enormous mansion when there are so many who can’t afford even the most humble of homes in this country.

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    I often think about this, as the ones (myself included) saying it’s a waste are always the ones who don’t have billions of dollars to spend. But like you guys, I see us being more like Buffett, and keeping a house that is under a million. Even if I had that kind of cash, I have no desire to flaunt it. Privacy reasons would definitely trump having a house so big that I had to employ a full-time housekeeper and gardener to keep it up.

    • John says:

      That’s a great point about privacy Laurie. There’d be little you could do in order to maintain it.

  • Dee @ Color Me Frugal says:

    I don’t think I’d ever drop that kind of cash on a house (even if I had it!) In terms of resale alone, I just think I’d worry that if we were to have another housing bubble you’d NEVER be able to sell a monster like that. Although I guess if I were a billionaire maybe I wouldn’t care about a paltry $147M being tied up in a home? And yeah, forget about cleaning it! You’d probably have to hire a full time person just to dust, blech!! I can’t imagine how much your expenses would increase just because of the purchase of this one thing.

    • John says:

      That’a a great point Dee about when and if another housing bubble arises. There are so few who could buy something like this anyway that that would make it worse.

  • E.M. says:

    Like Andrew, I’ve passed through the Hamptons more than once, and it is very exclusive. I’ve never understood it, as it’s basically for those with lots of wealth. A couple of my bosses loved to vacation out there and take their boat. There were lots of stories of celebrities throwing huge parties, so I guess that’s why they need the space! The parents of a friend owned a house out there to rent out, which is probably smart as it’s a popular vacation destination.They are quite impressive to look at, but I can’t imagine living in a house that big (or costly).

    • John says:

      That’s what I’ve heard and I just don’t have the desire to be that exclusive. I think I’d get lost in the place, lol.

  • Josh @ says:

    Hey John, $100 million on a house, that’s nuts! I could see myself spending $700,000 because I live in the Portland area. I’ve always dreamed of a house on the side of a huge hill and I’ve got that opportunity here..unfortunately, those houses aren’t cheap.

    As far as separation between the haves and have nots, I’m a have not that wishes he had. However, when the work force pushed me into my own business, I realized where the separation comes from. OK, some people are born into riches, but I have drive! My drive has caused me to own a blog and a business. Soon…within a few years, if my business keeps going this way, I’ll make more money than my dad would have ever dreamed of making. Of course, I plan to do great things with the money, and I have no reason to have a house too big to clean. Nonetheless, the separation comes from drive. There are millionaires that came from the poorest communities. Why? Because they had the drive to do something with their lives!

    • John says:

      That’s a great point Josh! I feel similarly as I left the workforce because it was just squelching my drive. Assuming things go at the current trajectory then I have much better plans for any money we earn besides some gaudy mansion.

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    I wouldn’t want a $147 million home, although admittedly I wouldn’t mind touring one, but I would love beachfront property. πŸ™‚ And like your wife, I would prefer West Coast too! Living in LA, real estate is a bit wonky, so what is average here is outrageously high in many places. I certainly wouldn’t mind having to decide how to use my $147 million but I know it wouldn’t go towards paying for one home. πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

    • John says:

      Yea, that’s what got us to move out to Omaha from San Diego – the real estate was just too rich for my blood. I’d love to have that problem of figuring out what to do with $147M. πŸ˜‰ You have a great weekend as well Shannon!

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde says:

    Here’s the thing, even if I could afford the $30MM down payment I would need for the mortgage, I would be more scared of the heating and cooling bills to keep up with a house that size. I mean seriously, who needs that much home? I know so many people who have bought huge homes only to regret it because they upkeep is more than they bargained for. I would much rather have a smaller home with smaller ongoing costs and travel more.

    • John says:

      I know, that’s a great point Shannon. I’d fear those bills would be more than I make in a year. πŸ™‚ I’m the same way though, I’d much rather having something more humble and travel instead.

  • Retired by 40 says:

    Well, on the bright side, whoever bought the house will be creating a bunch of jobs…it must take an army to maintain that place!

  • Sam @ says:

    Wow! I’m still trying to imagine if I’ll ever buy a home unless I have to (because a local housing market is not made for renters). I love renting apartments at this stage of life. They’re low-maintenance and affordable on a monthly level. Maybe some day I’ll feel differently, but I prefer using the different between a rent or a mortgage to save money, invest, and pay off massive amounts of debt.

    I don’t think a $100 million home would ever appeal to me. Can’t imagine how much it takes to keep it looking that way! Haha.

    • John says:

      That’s a good point Sam. If it makes sense for you and your situation then I can totally see how renting would work best.

      I know, I fear it would take a fortune to keep those appearances up.

  • Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog says:

    I think that’s crazy. I would feel terrible spending that much on a house. I would rather invest to watch it grow and/or give a lot away. In my area, $300,000 would also basically buy us our dream house and I’m good with that. Thanks for the post!

    • John says:

      I’m the same way. So much more could be done with that kind of money as opposed to throwing it at a house.

  • Marie @ Gen Y Finances says:

    I wouldn’t definitely purchase that 100 million dollar house, that’s so ridiculous! Maybe if I have a 100 million dollar, I would travel the whole world, invest, build a strong emergency fund and help the charity. πŸ™‚

  • Kathy says:

    I would never spend that much on a house but if I did, I wouldn’t feel guilty. Raising the minimum wage to $10 or even $100 an hour isn’t going to get someone into the wealth that allows that expensive of a house. Most people who have that kind of wealth have worked extremely hard for what they have whether they are oilmen or hedge fund managers. And while we could argue whether anyone is worth what they make, the fact remains that they earned it somehow, or else their parents did. There were always be a gap between the rich and poor. If there is no gap, there will be no progress, no incentive to work hard. Can you imagine how things would be if a janitor made the same as a neurosurgeon? No wealth gap, but probably no neurosurgeons either.

    • John says:

      I understand your points Kathy, though not really the driving point behind the post. πŸ™‚ While I do think it’s a bit on the ridiculous end, it was mainly meant to be more tongue in cheek than anything.

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says:

    I would never spend that much on a house, even if I had unlimited money. Who needs a house that lavish? I think 1 acre on a beach would be more than enough – haha. But I would really feel guilty if I spent that much on a house, when there are so many causes out there that are much more worthy of that money.

    • John says:

      I’m the same way Daisy. I just couldn’t spend that much. The bills for the upkeep would be bad enough.

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