Take a peek into the sprawling real estate portfolios of America’s richest people.
By Savannah Born, Richard J. Chang, Matt Durot, Phoebe Liu with Maneet Ahuja, Marisa Dellatto, Chase Peterson-Withorn and Gigi Zamora
Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos picked up his ninth home this summer–on Indian Creek, a luxury island sometimes called Miami’s ‘billionaire bunker’ given the number of billionaires with homes there; his neighbors now include financier Carl Icahn, car dealer tycoon Norman Braman and Jared and Ivanka Trump. Bezos’ three-bedroom manse spans 9,200 square feet and reportedly cost him $68 million. The purchase rounds out a portfolio of homes he owns in spots from Washington, D.C. to Manhattan to Maui, the devastated Hawaiian island to which he and his fiancee Lauren Sanchez recently announced a $100 million donation.
Bezos is the latest high profile billionaire to buy in Miami but hedge fund manager Ken Griffin holds the record for most ever paid in the city, dropping $107 million on a two-mansion, four-acre waterfront estate in Biscayne Bay in September 2022. He already owned several properties next door, plus homes in London, a record-high-priced penthouse in New York and $450 million worth of properties in Palm Beach. Altogether Griffin, who moved from Chicago to Florida in 2022, has splashed out nearly $2 billion on 13 homes
Bezos and Griffin are part of an elite group of ultra wealthy Americans who’ve been snapping up properties around the country and the world, building sprawling collections that reach into the double-digits. But neither one of them has bragging rights as the billionaire with the most homes. That title appears to belong to Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison, who owns an estimated two dozen homes, including three in Newport, Rhode Island; four in Woodside, California; and six in Malibu (where he also has a restaurant and spa). That doesn’t even include the $300 million he spent to buy nearly all of one of Hawaii’s main islands.
Forbes found at least five billionaires with 10 or more homes and plenty of others who own at least half a dozen. So why would anyone want that many residences? “Property is a wonderful indicator of status,” says Ranjeet Guptara, a senior vice president in the wealth management arm at UBS. Adds John Ennis, CEO of London-based real estate agency Chestertons, “They are in a ‘want’ world rather than ‘need.’ They can pay for whatever they want.”
Malibu broker Shen Schulz calls these billionaires “apex predator buyers,” referring to their ability to purchase whatever they want without restrictions. A difference post-pandemic is the types of properties these apex buyers seek. Mountains, rivers, forests, lakes, beaches, ocean views: these are now key amenities for billionaires who are buying homes at record prices in places like Malibu, Hawaii, Telluride, Aspen, Santa Barbara, the Hamptons and Lake Tahoe. Billionaires also collect homes for their families and entourages, including pilots, chefs, personal trainers and nannies. And they snap up the next door neighbor’s property to make their holdings more private and secure and give themselves space for all sorts of toys, from foil boards to off-road vehicles.
In July, mortgage firm billionaire and Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia announced plans to tear down his current home in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills–and knock down four neighboring homes he’d purchased–to build an amusement-style compound. While he dropped his initial plans for a go kart track, Ishbia is set to have a trampoline park, an enchanted forest, climbing walls, batting cages and a lazy river. His brother, private equity billionaire Justin Ishbia, is doing something similar in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, transforming four neighboring homes into a megamansion on Lake Michigan.
Billionaire Jeff Greene, who owns seven homes (including two for his siblings), puts it this way: “Those with limited means might purchase a new dress or a new car, but the wealthy can afford to purchase real estate.” Plus, Greene tells Forbes, it’s generally “a good investment and something people can actually use and enjoy.”
Given the tendency to buy up and merge multiple properties as well as the fact that many high-end homeowners use limited liability companies and trusts to own property, it can be difficult to track just how many houses a billionaire has. Forbes uncovered six different LLCs that appear to belong to Oprah Winfrey, through which she owns some 2,000 acres of property and an undetermined number of homes in Hawaii. Jeff Bezos bought four apartments in one Manhattan building and five in another; we counted those as two homes after learning that some units had been combined. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg has a five-property compound in Palo Alto; 30 parcels of land in Hawaii—including part of a former sugar plantation—that’s been turned into an 1,500-acre estate; and two side-by-side homes in Lake Tahoe. Depending on how one counts these, Zuck has anywhere from three to nine residences.
But what’s a number when you’ve finally designed your very own billionaire dream house?
Here are some of the most prominent U.S. tycoons with at least half a dozen homes.
Number Of Homes: 24 | Net Worth: $144.9 Billion
The Oracle cofounder and chairman splashed out $173 million for a Palm Beach house last summer, briefly setting a record for most expensive home ever sold in Florida. Altogether Ellison has two dozen homes worth more than $1 billion in total, including six properties on Carbon Beach in Malibu, California, an area known as “Billionaire’s Beach.” Then there’s the Hawaiian island of Lanai. The state’s richest person, Ellison bought 98% of the island’s 90,000 acres from former Dole chairman David Murdock in 2012—a controversial purchase that instantly made him landlord and employer of almost all of the island’s 3,000 residents. Ellison has made Lanai his official residence since the pandemic.
Number of homes: 13 | Net worth: $33.2 billion
The hedge fund billionaire, who moved his corporate headquarters and main residence from Chicago to Florida last year, sold his Waldorf Astoria apartment in the city for $10.2 million and unloaded a Park City Condo for $11.2 million in 2022. No worries: he still owns two more homes in the Windy City, and nearly a dozen more across the country. In the Sunshine state, where he now lives most of the time, he has seven homes and counting. In Palm Beach, he’s shelled out some $450 million to buy and raze old oceanfront mansions and make way for a new mega compound, which was recently approved for construction and where there will be a house for his mother and family.
He’s spent record sums in Miami, first for a home on Star Island, a man made island in the city of Miami Beach, and later on a waterfront estate in its Coconut Grove neighborhood. He also bought the most expensive home ever sold in the United States, spending $238 million in 2019 for a New York City penthouse atop a 66-floor skyscraper overlooking Central Park. He paid $85 million for a Hamptons spread formerly owned by Calvin Klein in 2022. Then there’s his London residence, on which he spent a reported $122 million, near Buckingham Palace that was home to French leader Charles De Gaulle during World War II.
Number of homes: 13 | Primary residence: Atherton, California | Net worth: $21.1 billion
The former Google CEO paid $65 million (one-third of its list price) for Beverly Hills’ Enchanted Hill in December 2021. The prized property belonged to late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen (d. 2018), who razed the estate 20 years ago but died before a new home was built, making the 120-acre tract one of the area’s largest pieces of undeveloped land. Schmidt doesn’t seem to have built a home there yet. Not that he needs one: He already owns four other Los Angeles mansions—including the Hilton family’s Holmby Hills estate—and reportedly has soundproofed penthouse condos in New York City.
Number of Homes: 11 | Net Worth: $3 billion
Many of Burkle’s current and former homes claim historical ties to Hollywood. In 1993, Burkle bought The Harold Lloyd Estate, an 8-bed, 13-bath Beverly Hills mansion built in the 1920s by the silent movie star after which it was named. In 2016, Burkle bought Bob Hope’s 23,366 square foot Palm Springs house for $13 million. In 2020, he picked up Michael Jackson’s controversial Neverland Ranch for a reported $22 million. His Manhattan pad, which features a rooftop pool and spans three floors, was used as the home of Mr. Big on various “Sex and the City” episodes. The apartment is currently on the market for $32.5 million. He also owns a 22-acre private island in Montana.
Number of homes: At least 10 | Primary Residence: Montecito, Calif. | Net worth: $2.5 billion
Winfrey began purchasing land for her Montecito “Promised Land” estate in 2001. The sprawling 40-acre property boasts a main house, a guest home, a tennis court and pool. She reportedly sold one of her other properties in the seaside town to Jennifer Aniston last year, but still owns four others in the same neighborhood as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In Hawaii, Winfrey has purchased an estimated 2,000 acres of land, including 900 acres in March, on the island of Maui, mostly in the Kula neighborhood.
Number of homes: 10 | Net worth: $96.3 billion
Bloomberg caught flak in 2002, when the newly-elected mayor of New York refused to move into historic Gracie Mansion, arguing it was better left open to the public. That may be true, and Bloomberg did oversee significant restorations of the official mayoral residence, but the media and financial market data mogul already had another home nearby he liked quite a bit: a five-story townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side he acquired for $3.5 million in 1986. Between 2009 and 2022, he expanded that home by buying up all six units in the building next door. That’s just one of five homes Bloomberg owns in New York state, including the historic Ballyshear estate in Southampton, which he purchased for a reported $20 million in 2011. He spent another $25 million in 2015 to acquire a London townhouse that was once home to Victorian writer and poet George Eliot (d. 1880) and forked over $45 million for private equity pioneer Henry Kravis’ 4,600-acre Westlands ranch an hour from Aspen five years later.
Number of homes: 9 | Net worth: $155.9 billion
The Amazon founder and former CEO has made headlines for his 417-foot yacht, but he’s spending big on land, too. In 2020, Bezos bought Beverly Hills’ nine-acre Warner Estate from music and film billionaire David Geffen for $165 million, reportedly the largest private residence sale in California at the time. Jack Warner (of movie studio Warner Bros. fame) built and expanded the “Golden Age of Hollywood” mansion in the 1920s and 1930s. In the fall of 2021, Bezos spent $78 million on a secluded estate on the Hawaiian island of Maui surrounded by dormant lava fields. He also owns the former Textile Museum in Washington D.C., now a private residence, as well as a $50 million home overlooking Lake Washington that’s 10 miles from Amazon’s Seattle headquarters—and less than one mile from his neighbor, Bill Gates.
Stan Kroenke & Ann Walton Kroenke
Number of homes: 9 | Net worths: $12.9 billion, $9.2 billion
There are at least seven billionaire Walton heirs, but the older daughter of lesser known Walmart cofounder Bud Walton is the one who seems to own the most homes. She and her husband Stan Kroenke, the billionaire owner of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, own nine homes, including four in Colorado, three in California and two in Missouri. Their Beverly Hills home used to belong to Dave and Victoria Beckham before the Kroenkes purchased it in 2018. They also own two ranches: The Broken O Ranch in Augusta, Montana – purchased by Kroenke in 2012 for $132.5 million – stretches over 120,000 acres. In 2016, he purchased Texas’ massive Waggoner Ranch for an undisclosed sum; it had been listed for $725 million.
Number of homes: 8 | Net worth: $4.6 billion
The Rockstar energy drink founder is always buying or selling. Lately, he’s down on California. Complaining of high taxes and bad government policies, Weiner’s hoping to unload two Los Angeles mansions: an ultra-modern, six-bedroom West Hollywood hideout and a 9,800-square-foot Beverly Park pad, three minutes down the road from an 8-bedroom Tuscan spread he sold this month, after three years of moving it on and off the market. He also wants out of Park City, Utah, where he has a 5.4-acre property that’s listed for $28 million and a 17,000-square-foot, ski-in/ski-out mansion that he paid a Utah record $40 million for in 2021 before trying to flip for $50 million earlier this year. “It’s never been slept in,” Weiner told The Wall Street Journal at the time. He’s holding in Aspen, where he paid $22 million in 2020 for a 9,600-square-foot property, complete with a yoga room and 80-foot pool. And he’s bullish on Florida, where he has two 7-bedroom homes, plus two parcels in Miami Beach, where he’s designing a house around a historic 1920s mansion and trying to buy a neighboring property by capitalizing on its owners’ nasty divorce.
Number of homes: 8 | Net worth: $5.2 billion
Following the 2013 death of her husband, Dolby Laboratories founder Ray Dolby, German-born Dagmar Dolby has remained close to the company’s San Francisco headquarters, amassing a real estate portfolio worth nearly $90 million. She is the owner of five properties in San Francisco (three on the same street), two adjacent lakeside properties on Lake Tahoe and one in Sonoma.
Number of homes: 7 | Primary residence: Brookline, MA | Net worth: $10.6 billion
The New England Patriots owner has reportedly hosted plenty of victory parties for his team and staff in his Colonial style manor set on a six-acre estate in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Kraft has also dropped plenty of money at the beach, too, striking deals for waterfront properties that include spending $43 million on a Southampton house in an off-market transaction in 2021 and, more recently, buying a Palm Beach penthouse for nearly $24 million in December. Kraft briefly had a home in Beverly Hills before selling it in 2018 due to rarely being around to stay there.
Number of homes: 7 | Primary residence: Palm Beach, Florida | Net worth: $7.5 billion
A real estate and investment billionaire, Greene spends much of his time at his homes in Palm Beach and the Hamptons, but owns luxury properties across the country, including a Beverly Hills mansion used for Hollywood movie shoots and two Malibu homes – one he bought for himself in 1990 and the other purchased for family members. His 23,500-square-foot Palm Beach home sits on a 4-acre beachfront lot near the Greene School, a private school he founded with his wife Mei Sze in 2016. He owns an apartment in Manhattan at 100 Vandam, the Soho luxury building he finished developing in 2022, and a home in the waterfront town of Hull, Massachusetts, south of Boston. Greene says he spends May through Labor Day at his 55-acre Hamptons estate, which sits on the tip of a peninsula across from Shelter Island and Sag Harbor.
Number of Homes: 7 | Primary Residence: Dallas, Texas | Net Worth: $2.4 billion
The banking billionaire owns a thoroughbred horse farm in Kentucky, a townhouse in Manhattan, a Southampton beach house and ranches in New Mexico and Kentucky. Ford’s primary residence is a 25,000-square-foot mansion in Dallas’ famed Highland Park neighborhood. Built in 2006, the home was designed in part by his wife Kelli to include an underground pool and spa with custom mosaic tiles, a 12-person cedar sauna, a home theater and a wine room.
Number of homes: 6 | Net worth: $6.7 billion
The private equity mogul and new owner of the NFL’s Washington Commanders has been on a deal-making spree since announcing his departure from the buyout firm he cofounded, Apollo Global Management, in May 2021. He sold a Palm Beach home last December for $66 million–nearly twice the $35 million he paid in June 2021. He handed over $32 million for former SoftBank chief operating officer Marcelo Claure’s Miami Beach mansion in July 2021, and then spent $9 million for a 7,200-square-foot estate in nearby Coconut Grove nine months later. The Wall Street financier still owns Manhattan’s century-old Dommerich Mansion, which he acquired for $52 million in 2017.
Number of homes: 6 | Primary residence: Los Angeles, CA | Net worth: $4.8 billion
Born in Germany and raised in South Africa and the United States, Thiel caused a stir when he received a New Zealand passport in 2011—without fulfilling either of the primary requirements for citizenship—and kept it under the radar for more than five years. He still owns a 475-acre plot of land there but his petition to build a series of homes on the property was denied, and last year he unloaded his Queenstown mansion. At that point a government dossier raised questions over whether the billionaire effectively bought his way into the country. In America, Thiel has two homes that happen to fall within a two-mile radius of ones owned by fellow tech mogul Bezos: His oceanfront Hawaiian estate that he purchased for $27 million in 2011, a Maui County record at the time, and a limestone beaux-arts Washington D.C. mansion he purchased in 2021. Thiel also has properties in Los Angeles and Miami.
Nancy Walton Laurie
Number of homes: 6 | Net worth: $8.9 billion
Ann Walton Kroenke’s younger sister lives in an 18,000-square-foot estate abutting Las Vegas suburb Henderson’s prestigious Dragonridge Country Club. The Walmart heir also spent more than $64 million scooping up and combining at least five adjacent properties in Bel Air from 2001 to 2017. She and her husband raised their daughter at their 15,000-square-foot mansion on a 550-acre former horse ranch in Columbia, Missouri.
Number of homes: 6 | Net worth: $3.5 billion
The Bloomberg LP cofounder, who built the first software for the terminals that power Wall Street, owns four homes in New York state, including four units in The Heritage Building at Trump Place – Riverside South. Also within commuting distance: a 5,000-square-foot property in Westport, Connecticut he bought for $1.5 million in 2001. His 1920s Colonial estate in Los Angeles, which he bought in 2017 for $3.4 million, is back on the market, asking $3.8 million.
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