(NEW YORK) Many people may be reeling from the housing crisis and foreclosures, but one developer in New Jersey is betting that someone will pay more than US$16 million for a 24-room mansion with Manhattan skyline views.
One would-be buyer so far has visited the French Renaissance-style estate, which is still under construction in Montclair, New Jersey, said real estate broker Gerry-Jo Cranmer of Turpin Realtors who is handling the sale.
'More than a couple' other people have asked to see it, she said, noting that the site was only recently in good enough condition for people to visit.
Listed at US$16,495,000, the house on two hectares has six garage spaces, seven bedrooms and eight fireplaces and straddles Montclair and neighbouring Cedar Grove. It is set on a mountain ridge with views of Manhattan, less than 32km away.
It has an elevator, home theatre, workout rooms and a sauna. Outside, there is a circular drive, an infinity pool, a hot tub, fountains and extensive cabana. The asking price falls shy of some of the most opulent properties in America - a house in Los Angeles is on the market for US$150 million, according to Forbes.com.
But the New Jersey mansion is dramatically more expensive than homes in the area. Typical houses in affluent Montclair sell for under US$1 million, while some of its pricier estates have fetched several million dollars.
Asked how many people could afford such a lavish home, Ms Cranmer said: 'I think there are more than we would imagine. I think it could well be a celebrity, but I think it could also be someone who wants security and privacy and does a lot of entertaining.'
She said that taxes on the house had not been calculated, but one online estimate put them at about US$450,000 a year.
The house was listed for sale a month ago and should be finished by the end of the year, she said. -- Reuters
Source: Business Times, 20 May 2010