Although he wouldn’t (or couldn’t) confirm, Shapiro’s agency reportedly brokered Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s $200 million home purchase, the most expensive home ever sold in California.
The house, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean near Paradise Cove, sits on Billionaires’ Row – which is exactly what it sounds like, an area full of massive homes for the wealthy. They may look the same – massive, imposing, breathtaking – but buyers want them for specific reasons.
“Not all billionaires are created equal,” said Leonard Steinberg, a business broker for Compass, a New York real estate firm.
“The great thing about the very rich buyer is that they are very different,” he said. “And it has nothing to do with the amount of wealth they have as much as their personal needs, tastes and desires.”
He added: “The more money they want to spend, the more perfect the house has to be.”
Overall, they just want quality, according to Shapiro, whose clients bought homes for an average of $14 million last year.
The $200 million home — reportedly paid for in cash — is perhaps as good as it gets. The all-concrete home has shimmering electric blue pools, massive windows, and stunning views. Designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, the house was originally built for William Bell, one of the world’s foremost art collectors, who wanted the residence to double as a museum of art. art for his work.
Ando’s designs attracted wealthy customers. Designer Tom Ford was one of the first American men to ask Ando to design a house. He also designed a house in Malibu that Kanye West bought (although the house is now rotting). There are rumors that Kim Kardashian also met Ando for a design project.
The Japanese designer uses reinforced concrete for his work and develops a space where natural sunlight can shine through, transforming a normally dull and mundane substance into something “poetic”, according to Ahmed Ali, an associate professor of architecture at Texas. A&M University. Concrete blends with natural light, bringing the physical and natural worlds together, a common attribute of Japanese architecture, Ali said.
Celebrities – or any art collector – seek out Ando’s work to their liking. It’s not just about his style and artistry, but also about his name and recognition, Ali said.
“If you need a signature, you’re ready to pay the price,” Ali said.
“For some people, architecture is like fashion, and they will buy the ‘product’, because the architect is famous or trendy, and not necessarily because they like the house,” said Howard Davis, professor of architecture at the University of Oregon. “What they could very well buy is an image and a name.”
But wealthy clients don’t always choose specific architects, Shapiro said. Clients often approach her agency with a specific home style in mind, such as mid-century or colonial revival. However, they might not walk away with this house style.
Some homes are making a name for themselves, like “The One Above All Else,” a sleek and towering residential skyscraper in New York City that offers views of the Hudson River, Central Park, and much of the city’s skyline. city. There’s Rupert Murdoch’s Beaverhead Ranch in Dillon, Montana, which is worth $200 million, according to luxury lifestyle magazine Robb Report. Another expensive property includes a Palm Beach, Florida property that sold for a state record $122.7 million in 2021.
Settling on the right price is a huge factor for wealthy buyers.
“Everyone thinks their money should buy more than they get,” Shapiro said.
As rich people lower their price expectations, they sacrifice some of their wants, Shapiro said. Maybe it’s that breathtaking view, or maybe they’ll have to settle for less square footage. Other times they may even have neighbors.
Enthusiastic customers only need 30 to 60 days to close a deal, according to Shapiro. Everything moves quickly when homes are very expensive, he said, because wealthy home buyers will often pay entirely in cash, obviating the need for a lender who “can slow down the process.”
Some wealthy people deal only in secret, whispering which houses are for sale and making permanent deals. The “Succession” scene where Connor Roy buys his late father’s house for $63 million after a 10-second bargain with his widow isn’t too far removed from what’s going on there.
Like Roy’s eldest son, celebrities are always on the hunt for the bargain. Buyers of the newly sold property can tell themselves they got a steal, as it was originally listed at $295 million, according to Forbes. The purchase price has still not surpassed the all-time real estate record in the United States, which was $238 million for a penthouse in New York.
According to Steinberg, affluent homebuyers have recently been trying to buy items that only they can have. “What are the things you can have and possess that separate you and give you that status that others can’t replicate?”
Steinberg said homes like these can be used for parties, marketing and events.
“They will be able to draw the globe into this house,” he said. “It’s a destination.”