With 20 acres of grounds featuring olive, cypress and lemon trees tended by 50 gardeners mean, Villa Leopolda is now the world’s most expensive home, having recently been purchased for $US750 million by an anonymous Russian.
A Belle Époque mansion, located in Villefrance on the Côte d’Azur, the property was sold by Lily Safra, the widow of Edmond Safra, a Lebanese banker who was killed by an arsonist’s fire in Monaco in 2003.
A few years ago it was rumored that the house had been bought by Bill Gates, and has recently been linked to many other members of the billionnaire club, including Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
This villa has always been a spectacle. Known to possess the best sea views in the south of France, the villa is spread across 10 acres of spotless grounds that run right downhill to the route of Villefranche.
At first built for Belgian King Leopold II’s mistresses, it was also once owned by Fiat tycoon, Gianni Agnelli.
Interestingly, the Huffington Post decided to crunch a few numbers, playing on everyone’s current financial concerns and reasserting why the rich look to use cash where possible: assume the buyer was able to finance at the standard 80%. That means he would put up about $US150 million and borrow $US 600 million. At current private-banking rates for a 30-year fixed-around 6.5%-his monthly payments would be $3,792,408 a month.
That works out to $45,408,898 a year, or $1.3 billion over the life of the 30-year loan, proving once again why it pays to pay cash for your French castle.