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Is $75 Million Too Much for a House?

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 17, 2006

Is $75 million more than anyone should spend for a house? billionaire.jpg
According to a Reuters story, that’s the asking price for a house in Orange County, Calif. If it sold for that price it would be the highest-priced transaction ever, according to the National Assn. of Realtors.

Forget the details of the house—car museum, mini water park, etc. I’m asking whether there’s some ceiling above which no one should ever spend for a house. In other words, is some consumption just too conspicuous and over the top?

I say no—if rich people want to live in splendor with their antique Volkswagens and water slides, fine by me. It would be great if they gave 90% of their money to the poor, but that’s not for me to say. Don’t forget that while $75 million looks like a lot of money to the average American, it’s a mere trifle for a billionaire, of which there are many in the U.S.

Reader Comments


May 18, 2006 12:04 PM

It's only too much is someone won't pay it. The market sets the price. Seems that many people forget that nugget of truth.

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BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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