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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    The highest end of New York City's real estate market is booming, with apartments being listed  and sold  for prices nearing nine figures.

    But that's practically pocket change compared to real estate prices across the pond, where a home is on sale for $476 million, nearly five times the price tag on the most expensive listing in New York.

    This neat infographic by The Real Deal's Christopher Cameron lays out London's lead by the numbers.

    SEE ALSO: The Most Expensive Mansions For Sale In London

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    7 w. 54th St.

    Hedge fund Zimmer Lucas Capital is selling a Beaux-Arts mansion in midtown that was once home to the former head of Lehman Brothers for $49.9 million, making it the world's most expensive office space.

    First listed for $65 million in May, the price on the five-story townhouse just dropped by $15 million, Curbed reports. But at just over $3,000 per square foot, it would still blow away the current Manhattan record for office space, which is $1,600 per square foot.

    The home-turned-office is at 7 W. 54th St., across the street from the Museum of Modern Art. Built in 1889, the mansion was the home of Philip Lehman, an art collector and former head of Lehman Brothers.

    Philip's son, Robert, later lived in the home and donated the art inside to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    The hedge fund bought the building in 2005 for $13 million and has used it has its headquarters ever since.

    The five-story mansion is on West 54th Street.

    It's right across the street from the Museum of Modern Art.

    It was designed in 1889 as a residence for former Lehman Brothers head Philip Lehman and his wife.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    san francisco home unfinished, $38.5 million

    Yammer CEO David Sacks has reportedly bought an unfinished mansion on San Francisco's "Billionaire's Row" for $34.5 million, according to Trulia, citing sources close to the deal.

    If he actually paid that price, the home is officially the most expensive home ever sold in the city. It was listed for $38.5 million in March, but had come down significantly from its initial asking price of $65 million back in 2007.

    The unfinished, 21,888-square-foot French limestone mansion was sold by Peter Sperling of the Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix.

    When Sperling bought the house back in 2004, it was in even worse shape than it is now. He did some work on it, and then stopped for unknown reasons.

    Sacks, who sold his company to Microsoft for $1.2 billion last year, is also associated with an even more extravagant California mansion  he recently threw himself an over-the-top 40th birthday party at Los Angeles' Fleur de Lys estate, which is currently on the market for $125 million.

    From the outside, 2845 Broadway looks like a gem!

    There are intricate details in the architecture.

    And a lovely balcony.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ted Turner Ranch

    Maybe 270,000 acres isn't what it used to be.

    Two billionaire brothers from Texas recently bought 177,000 acres of ranch land in Montana, bringing their total land holdings in the state to more than 276,000. The brothers, Farris and Dan Wilks, who made their money from selling Frac Tech (the oil business), now own 431 square miles in Montana.

    As large as that sounds, their purchases still don't rank them in the top 10 individual or family landowners in America. In fact, they would barely crack the top 30. (Read more: Why Millionaires Prefer Dogs)

    With land prices rebounding, and wealthy families looking for tangible assets, large tracts of land have become increasingly attractive investments. Many of the wealthy are still scarred by the market drop of 2008 and want more stable assets.

    Some use the land for working ranches. Others use it for agriculture, timber or other sources of income.

    "There's a lot more interest in land," said Dennis Moon, managing director and head of specialty asset management at U.S. Trust, a division of Bank of America. ""Way back when, owning a lot of land meant you were among thewealthiest individuals in the United States. We're kind of seeing a return to that."

    Moon said that the key driver for land buying is production – whether it's producing crops or timber or beef.

    "Then if you add to that the recreation use, where you can hunt or fish and things like that, it's appealing," he said. (Read more: The Millionaires Who Pay the Highest Tax Rates)

    But the land rush among the wealthy has led to ever-larger holdings by ever-richer landholders. Here, according to the Land Report 100, are the top five landholders in America and their holdings as of 2012.

    1. John Malone The cable tycoon has 2.2 million acres stretching from Wyoming to Maine. One of his crown jewels is the Bell Ranch, a 290,100-acre cattle empire.

    2. Ted Turner The media magnate has 2 million acres in Nebraska, New Mexico and other states. He is a strong advocate of wildlife conservation.

    3. The Emmerson family This low-profile family holds 1.8 million acres through Sierra Pacific Industries, the nation's second largest lumber producer.

    4. Brad Kelley The reclusive billionaire, who drives a pick-up truck and made his money from discount cigarettes, owns about 1.5 million acres and uses much of it for cattle ranching.

    5. The Irving family The Canadian forestry family behind J.D. Irving Inc. owns 1.2 million acres in Maine and other locations. This year alone, J.D. Irving will plan 30 million seedlings.

    SEE ALSO: The 25 Biggest Landowners In America

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    15 central park west penthouse

    It was a blockbuster year for luxury real estate in New York City, with several sales breaking records even as the lower end of the market lagged.

    Several business moguls made major purchases, and one very lucky 22-year-old was handed the keys to an $88 million apartment in one of Manhattan's most powerful buildings.

    Real estate listings site Point2Homes compiled a list of the 10 biggest residential sales in New York City in 2012.

    #10 The Cy Twombly Foundation bought an Upper East Side mansion for $27.5 million.

    The foundation bought the townhouse at 19 East 82nd St. in May with plans to turn it into an education center and small museum to celebrate the works of the late artist. It was sold by art dealer Warren Adelson.

    19 e 82nd st

    Source: The Wall Street Journal and Point2Homes

    #9 A co-op at 1030 Fifth Avenue sold for $31.5 million.

    Cellular communications mogul George Blumenthal sold his sprawling ninth floor apartment to Duquesne Capital Management managing director Zachary Jared Schreiber and his wife Lori in April.

    1030 fifth avenue

    Source: The New York Observer andPoint2Homes

    #8 A penthouse at the Park Laurel on the Upper West Side sold for $33.5 million.

    Hollywood producer Riza Aziz bought the seven-bedroom spread at 15 West 63rd Street in December. The sellers were Peter Edward Chadney and Simone Cecile Von Graffenried Simperl of Switzerland. park laurel

    Source: The Real Deal andPoint2Homes

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    new century city centre china

    A thousand kilometres from the nearest coast a towering glass wave rolls over the plains of Sichuan, the roof of what Chinese officials say will be the world's largest standalone structure.

    The 100-metre-high "New Century Global Centre" is a symbol of the spread of China's boom, 500 metres long and 400 metres wide, with 1.7 million square metres of floor space, big enough to hold 20 Sydney Opera Houses according to local authorities.

    By comparison the Pentagon in Washington -- still one of the world's largest office buildings -- is barely a third of the size with a mere 600,000 square metres of floor space.

    The Global Centre is just a few kilometres from the US consulate where the police chief of Chongqing fled to seek asylum, triggering the fall of his patron Bo Xilai and exposing the biggest scandal to rock China's Communist Party for years.

    But it represents a different side of China, where lower costs and government subsidies are still fuelling double-digit growth in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

    new century city centre china

    The city of 14 million people plans to expand its subway from two lines to 10 by 2020, build a new airport and become a new Silicon Valley.

    The Global Centre will house offices, conference rooms, a university complex, two commercial centres, two five star hotels, an IMAX cinema, a "Mediterranean village", a skating rink and a pirate ship, among other attractions.

    About 400,000 square metres will be devoted to shopping, most of the outlets high-end luxury brands.

    Despite Chengdu being around 1,000 kilometres from the sea the complex has a marine theme, with fountains, a huge water park and an artificial beach, accented by the undulating roof, meant to resemble a wave.

    "This is an ocean city built by man," said guide Liu Xun. "There will be 1,000 rooms (in the hotel) and all will have seaside views."

    new century city centre china

    The thick smog that normally blankets Chengdu risks making it a sunless sea, but visitors will not need to worry about that, she said.

    "We have borrowed a Japanese technique. There will be an artificial sun that will shine 24 hours a day and allow for a comfortable temperature," Liu said. The system uses specialised lighting technology that heats as well as illuminates.

    The centrepiece will be a 5,000 square metre artificial beach, to include a rafting course and a "seafront" promenade, complete with parasols and seafood outlets that can accomodate 6,000 people.

    A giant screen 150 metres long and 40 high will form the horizon and offer sunrises and sunsets, accompanied by nautical breezes.

    The exterior facade is near completion and an army of workers are rushing to finish the Chinese-designed building in time for a June 2013 international forum hosted by US magazine Fortune.'

    new century city centre china

    China's incoming president Xi Jinping is expected to attend the event and meet the heads of some of the world's biggest multinationals.

    Another enormous building is planned across the road. Award-winning British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid's Chengdu Contemporary Arts Centre is to include a theatre, an opera house and a museum.

    In a video developers China Exhibition and Travel Group describe Chengdu as a "world class modern city of idyllic beauty", and say the Global Centre -- including restaurants serving "the rarest oceanic fish species" -- will bring to mind "the fabulous heavens".

    It is, they say, "a landmark which commands the world and is looked upon by the world with respect".

    SEE ALSO: Check Out The Lavish Government Buildings Cropping Up In Outer China

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    insane christmas deocrations

    In every neighborhood, there's always that one house that goes way overboard with the Christmas decorations.

    We combed the internet for the wildest and wackiest Christmas lawn displays we could find.

    It's great to have holiday spirit, but we'd hate to see these homes' electricity bills come January.

    These homeowners in the San Francisco Bay area regularly have tourists flocking to their house.

    This house has been featured on the Discovery Channel HD, showing off its 200,000 lights.

    The owners of this house in Richmond, Va., must really love Christmas.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    one57 rendering exterior

    The high end of the luxury real estate market had a great 2012, with real estate records being broken from coast to coast.

    We combed back through our archives to find the biggest residential real estate transactions reported in the past 12 months.

    Buyers on our list include tech CEOs, finance moguls, and celebrities.

    #20 An unfinished mansion in San Francisco sold for $34.5 million.

    In December, Yammer CEO David Sacks reportedly bought a mansion on San Francisco's "Billionaire's Row" for $34.5 million, making it the most expensive home ever sold in the city, according to Trulia. The unfinished, 21,888-square-foot French limestone mansion was sold by Peter Sperling of the Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix.san francisco home unfinished, $38.5 million

    #19 An oceanfront mansion on "Billionaire's Beach" in Malibu, California, sold for $37 million.

    Oracle CEO Larry Ellison continued his property-buying spree on Malibu's "Billionaire's Beach"when he picked up a modern home from ex-Yahoo CEO Terry Semel in September for $37 million.

    terry semel house

    #18 A Beverly Hills, California compound sold for $37 million.

    TV personality Ryan Seacrest bought a sprawling compound in Beverly Hills from celebrity couple Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi for $37 million in May. The home had previously been listed for $49 million.

    ryan seacrest ellen degeneres house

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tavern Island Estate Zesiger

    Money manager Barrie Zesiger is selling his private island estate in Norwalk, Connecticut for $12.9 million — a home he and his wife have shared for 26 years (h/t WSJ).

    The house basically sounds like the life. Zesiger and his wife have a money managing firm in Manhattan, but from Thursday to Monday they sail from their island to the city and then take a train to work.

    Another huge plus: Since the property is so close to the mainland, its utilities are all underwater and the house went virtually unscathed during Super Storm Sandy. A part of their floating dock ended up in the front yard, but the Zesiger's considering building a helipad on the island, so that may not be an issue for the next owner anyway.

    The 3.5 acre estate boasts a 6 bedroom 4 bathroom (with 3 half bathrooms) main house. There's also a 2 bedroom caretaker's cottage, 1 bed room boathouse, a tea house, and an in-ground pool. Doug Werner of Sotheby's International Realty has the listing.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    palm beach griffin house

    All together, someone just bought $79.6 million worth of property in Palm Beach, Florida, the Palm Beach Daily News reports, and though the deal was done by an agent of the buyer, signs point to Citadel's Ken Griffin.

    The properties are 40 and 50 Blossom Way. Forty is a small, empty ocean front property, 50 is five bedroom, 14,354-square-foot house sitting on 2.21 acres of land and a pool (of course).

    Here's how the deal connects to Griffin. The property was bought through PBH LLC, a Delaware company that a Miami condo as the address of its representative. That condo is owned by Griffin.

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    petra ecclestone london house

    Is this what sibling rivalry looks like when a few hundred million dollars are thrown into the mix?

    Days after 28-year-old Formula One heiress Tamara Ecclestone was reported to have listed her London pad for $32 million, celebrity real estate blogger The Real Estalker reports that younger sister Petra has put her own London home on the market with a $52 million price tag.

    And this isn't the only real estate rivalry between the two. A year and a half after Petra made waves for spending $85 million on the famed Spelling Manor in Los Angeles, it came to light that Tamara was eyeing an even more extravagant mansion in the same neighborhood, listed at $125 million.

    Petra's London home, listed with Knight Frank, certainly fits Petra's design tastes. As she revealed to W Magazine last year, “I’ve got quite masculine taste ... I don’t like a lot of pattern. [The living] room is the only light room; everything else is very dark and kind of sexy, with, like, a boudoir feel to it. You’re not scared if you stain something."

    The townhouse is located in posh Eaton Square in Belgravia.

    It has eight stories; six above ground and two below. The kitchen is modern and minimalistic.

    The dining room incorporates Petra's love for dark shades.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    That Brooklyn houses one of New York City's hottest real estate markets is old news. But a look at some new data shows how uneven and concentrated the borough's transformation is. A number of Brooklyn neighborhoods have seen their residential property values appreciate at an incredible clip. According to PropertyShark's real estate blog:

    • Home prices per square foot are up 174 percent in Williamsburg, from $269 per square foot in 2004 to $736 in 2012. As happened in Manhattan’s SoHo decades ago, those that gave Williamsburg its éclat are at risk of being priced out of their very own stomping grounds.
    • Residential values in Prospects Lefferts Gardens, a neighborhood of beautiful limestone and brownstone single family houses near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the old Ebbets Field have risen 63 percent, from $235 to $382 per square foot during the period, despite a lack of restaurants, bars, shops, and music venues that Williamsburg is famous for.
    • Sandwiched in between Carroll Gardens to the west and Park Slope to its east, property values in gritty Gowanus have gone up more than 50 percent, despite its notoriously polluted canal.

    brooklyn property

    None of this is particularly surprising. Brooklyn's Park Slope bested Manhattan's Lower East Side for the crown of New York's "most livable" neighborhood in a 2010 ranking by Nate Silver for New York magazine. Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill, Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens/Gowanus, and Prospect Heights all numbered among the top 10. As the map shows, most of the neighborhoods that have seen substantial increases in property values are directly across the river from lower Manhattan, or near Prospect Park, the only exception being Coney Island to the far south.

    But what the map also shows is how localized this gentrification turns out to be. Despite Brooklyn's image as an uber-gentrified, artisanally-over-the-top hipster-ville, the reality is that more than half of Brooklyn's neighborhoods have actually seen their property values grow much more modestly or even slide.

    atlantic brooklyn property

    When you look to the east towards Brownsville, Canarsie, and East Flatbush — where millions of Brooklyn's residents live — property values have declined by double digits. The three neighborhoods that have seen the biggest declines are Cypress Hills, East Flatbush, and Flatbush. When you look to the traditional working class and middle class neighborhoods of Bensonhurst and Midwood, the appreciation is much more modest, in the single digits. 

    I have often noted that the world is getting spikier, as economic activity concentrates in certain locations. It happens within cities too — even within boroughs, as some neighborhoods experience stunning growth, and others continue to languish. The map shows how uneven and spiky urban transformation is and how divided our cities remain — a subject I will be writing much more about in the New Year.

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    kelsey grammer new house beverly hills $6.5 million

    Last year, former Frasier star Kelsey Grammer and his wife Kayte purchased a $6.5 million home in Beverly Hills.

    The move sparked controversy at the time due to the mansion's proximity to the home of Grammer's ex-wife, Camille.

    Now the Grammers are listing listing the Spanish-style estate for $7.25, according to a TMZ report— just nine months after they moved into it and one month after Grammer's latest TV show, Boss, was canceled.

    The home has five bedrooms, six full bathrooms, and spans a total of 6,093 square feet. It was built in 1926 and designed by architect Ralph C. Flewelling.

    If you don't want to shell out $7.25 million for the home, it's also available to rent for $30,000 a month. The home is currently listed on Christophe Choo Real Estate Group's website.

    The Grammers purchased this Spanish Colonial Revival back in April 2012.

    Source: Christophe Choo Real Estate Group

    The home is located on North Linden Drive.

    Source: Christophe Choo Real Estate Group

    The two-story entry leads to a galleria and living room.

    Source: Christophe Choo Real Estate Group

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    guess cofounder $24 million beverly hills mansion

    Film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer is ready to drop $23 million on a Beverly Hills mansion built by late Columbia Pictures founder Harry Cohn, TMZ reports.

    But the deal isn't quite finished.

    Bruckheimer reportedly made an offer on the home, which is being sold as part of the bankruptcy proceeding of Guess? founder Georges Marciano, who put it on the market for $24.5 million in May.

    Though the judge approved his offer, interested buyers can still try and outbid Bruckheimer at an upcoming hearing, according to TMZ.

    The home is located just north of the Beverly Hills Hotel on North Crescent Drive. It has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, and 19,590 square feet of living space.

    The estate was designed in 1927 by Robert D. Farquhar.

    It was built by Harry Cohn, the legendary founder of Columbia Pictures.

    Georges Marciano, the founder of Guess?, had lived here for years.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Chris Flowers Park Avenue Apartment

    Private equity guru Chris Flowers is probably best known for scoring the most profitable private equity deal of all time.

    So we bet that the co-op he just bought into for $20 million (according to the WSJ) is a really good deal.

    The 6 bedroom apartment boasts 6.5 bathrooms, a large library, gym, staff rooms, and wood burning fire places.

    Kathy Sloane of Brown Harris Stevens had the listing.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tricycle House, tiny house

    China has taken the concept of the mobile home to a whole new level.

    Beijing’s People’s Architecture Office (PAO) and People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO) have designed and built a mobile home so small that it can be folded up, accordion-style, and carted around on the back of a tricycle.

    The fact that housing has become unbelievably expensive in China is not new news by any stretch of the imagination, and residents of Beijing have been living in much smaller spaces for years now. But due to severe overcrowding and the need for sustainable residences, it seems the tricycle house could be an innovative—though not necessarily comfortable—solution.

    Somehow, they still manage to make everything fit.

    Designers construct the frame out of polypropylene, a wear-resistant plastic.

    The tricycle home is put together on the back of a tricycle cart.

    Facilities in the home include a sink, stove, bathtub, and water tank.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Howard Marks

    Legendary investment manager and Oaktree Capital chairman Howard Marks has made some major real estate moves recently.

    In May, he spent $52.5 million on a duplex co-op at 740 Park Ave., and two months later he listed his apartment at the Ritz Carlton for a cool $50 million.

    Now, Marks has sold his 9.5-acre estate in Malibu to an unnamed Russian billionaire couple for roughly $75 million, The Wall Street Journal's Lauren Schuker Blum reports.

    The estate, which has 300 feet of beach frontage, had been quietly shopped around for $125 million. In addition to the main house, it has two guest houses and a gym.

    Brokers told the WSJ it was the second most expensive residential real estate sale in Southern California, behind the $85 million sale of the Spelling Manor to Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone last year. It's the most expensive property ever sold in Malibu.

    Marks and his wife Nancy bought the estate in 2002 from the estate of late Herbalife founder Mark Hughes for $31 million.

    SEE ALSO: Now Tour Howard Marks' New $52.5 Million Co-Op In NYC

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    Paul Elkins, bicycle trailer for Burning Man

    Small spaces are turning into the next big trend in real estate.

    Due to overcrowding in cities and soaring prices in the housing market, it seems the natural solution is to think smaller.

    Here are 20 of the smallest homes we could find, from all over the world. They're on roofs, on wheels, and in backyards.

    They may make you feel claustrophobic, but their owners have found them to be quite livable.

    Know of an even tinier living space? Let us know in the comments.

    This 330-square-foot apartment in Hong Kong transforms into 24 different room combinations.

    Size: 330 sq. ft.

    Location: Hong Kong, HK

    Gary Chang, an architect in Hong Kong, turned his family's tiny 330-square-foot tenement apartment into a sleek and efficient living space with 24 different room combinations, including bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and even a guest bedroom area.

    So, how does he do it? Chang installed a number of sliding panels which he can move around the space to reveal hidden areas and storage. It's a system he calls the "Domestic Transformer."

    New York City will get 300-square-foot micro apartments.

    Size: 300 sq. ft.

    Location: New York, NY

    Last July, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed a plan to createstudio apartments that will be no more than 300 square feet.

    These apartments, which Bloomberg proposed to construct in the Kips Bay area of Manhattan, could be an affordable housing solution for young professionals and could hold a kitchen, bathroom, living area, and sleeping area.

    The affordability is debatable, however, as the micro apartments will still cost around $2,000 a month to rent.

    San Jose is also getting its own 300-square-foot micro apartments.

    Size:300 sq. ft.

    Location: San Jose, Calif.

    In August, the San Jose Department of Housing built a development of 42 affordable single room occupancy apartments, each one 300 square feet or less. Designed by Studio E Architects, each unit measures about two parking spaces and will include a full kitchen, a bathroom, and a combined living/sleeping area. T

    here is a long wait list for one of these studios, but at a price of $650 a month, the wait may well be worth it.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    After years of construction, it looks like fashion mogul Calvin Klein is nearly finished building his dream home on Southampton's prestigious Meadow Lane.

    Klein spent nearly $30 million on the beachfront property back in 2004. Five years later, he tore down the historic castle that had stood there since 1929 and started replacing it with a glassy black box of a house.

    The 10-acre lot is "destined to become a major trophy property," brokers told The New York Times in August.

    We imagine Klein's Meadow Lane neighbors, who include David Koch and Leon Black, will be relieved when the construction is finally done.

    Jeff Cully at EEFAS snapped these exclusive photos of Klein's Meadow Lane rebuild for us:

    Meadow Lane runs along a broad stretch of beach in Southampton

    calvin klein meadow lane

    The home is almost complete, but still needs a few finishing touches

    calvin klein meadow lane

    It will have floor-to-ceiling windows in every room facing the ocean

    calvin klein meadow lane

    10 acres affords plenty of privacy

    calvin klein meadow lane

    Here's the "castle" Klein tore down to build his dream home. The new design could not be more different

    calvin klein meadow lane

    SEE ALSO: Meet The Fabulously Rich And Famous Residents Of Southampton

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    43 West 64 Street

    Kristina Kovalenko may not have political power as the princess of a tiny Russian republic, but she certainly knows how to turn a profit on NYC real estate.

    The royal purchased her Liberty Lofts condo in August of 2009 for $4.2 million, and after three years of living in her luxurious penthouse is now flipping the home for $8 million, according to a report in The New York Observer.

    Natalia Gavrilov, the broker handling the sale at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, said that the 50% price hike was due to the property's unique layout and NYC location. "There's really no inventory like this, especially the high-end apartments," she told The Observer.

    The princess originally bought the pad as a four bedroom, but transformed one of the rooms into her own personal walk-in closet. The barrel vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, and Juliet balconies all add to the dramatic and opulent decor as well.

    The Liberty Lofts building is just steps away from Lincoln Center and Central Park.

    Source: Douglas Elliman Real Estate

    The gourmet kitchen features marble counter tops, a chef's stove, and top-of-the-line appliances.

    Source: Douglas Elliman Real Estate

    The entire condo is approximately 3,700-square-feet.

    Source: Douglas Elliman Real Estate

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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