Best Value for Dol­lar What City Gives You the Most for Their Mil­lion-dol­lar Price Tags

CAIFU - - Contents - By Alan Forsythe

Sayyou have $ 10 mil­lion USD to throw down on a house, first of all, con­grat­u­la­tions, but now comes the hard part, where (as­sum­ing you’re look­ing at the North Amer­i­can mar­ket only) are you go­ing to get best value for your hard earned dol­lar.

While $10 mil­lion buys you a fairly de­cent home just about any­where, there are def­i­nite dis­crep­an­cies in the ma­jor North Amer­i­can mar­kets.

As a pub­lic ser­vice CAIFU has com­piled an anal­y­sis of what $5, $10 and $20 mil­lion will get you in the mar­kets of Los An­ge­les,

San Fran­cisco, Van­cou­ver, Toronto and NYC.

$ 5 mil­lion ( USD) will get you a 5000 square foot, five bed­room, three and half bath con­tem­po­rary house at 1644 N. Cres­cent Heights Blvd in the fash­ion­able Hol­ly­wood Hills above L. A.’s famed Sun­set Boule­vard. Although the large lot doesn’t pro­vide a tremen­dous view of the sparkling city lights be­low at least there’s plenty of room for the pool and a sep­a­rate park­ing garage.

Or, if land­scap­ing’s not re­ally your thing and you pre­fer to be a lit­tle closer to the ac­tion, then for $4.9 mil­lion you could ac­quire a 3500 square foot, three bed four and half bath apart­ment in the Car­lyle build­ing at 10776 Wil­shire Blvd. The 15th floor unit also has spec­tac­u­lar views of the city and a 24-hour concierge.

Mov­ing up to $9.9 mil­lion will get you a five bed­room, eight bath, 10000 square foot, taste­fully de­signed house in very up­scale Bel Air. The home lo­cated at 1345 Mor­aga, has a pool, a the­atre and a ten­nis court on its 1.5 acre lot and is sit­u­ated in a gated very pri­vate and se­cure es­tate.

Or if Bel Air is a lit­tle too stuffy for your tastes, but you still value your pri­vacy for $ 9.9 mil­lion you could own 5771 Val­ley Oak Drive, a Hol­ly­wood Hills cen­tury old, lov­ingly up­dated 13000 square foot man­sion on 1.5, very pri­vate, acres, sur­rounded by park like wood­lands. The house has a mod­ern pool, a din­ing room for 40, a 2000 square foot ball­room and eight bed­rooms and nine bath­rooms in case some of your guests feel like spend­ing the night. Not to men­tion its po­si­tion high up on the hills pro­vides spec­tac­u­lar city/ocean views.

But if you have $20 mil­lion to spend, and again pre­fer to be in the thick of things then the pent­house at 10727 Wil­shire boule­vard might fit the bill. It boasts 6000 square feet plus 3000 square feet of ter­race and un­sur­passed ocean/city views with floor to ceil­ing win­dows to take it all in, ul­tra- mod­ern styling with an in unit el­e­va­tor to sec­ond floor, and with six bed­rooms and nine bath­rooms, lots of room for the whole fam­ily.

If you must have a house then at just $19.9 mil­lion you could call 130 S. Burlingame Ave home. Lo­cated in the ex­clu­sive, but cen­tral neigh­bour­hood of Brent­wood (yes OJ lived there but that was a long time ago), it has a 13000 square foot home on a half-acre lot. The seven bed­room, 12- bath­room con­tem­po­rary styled house, also fea­tures a pool, ex­pan­sive lawns, a putting green and an out­door din­ing ca­bana.

Mov­ing north up the West­coast to the Cana­dian city of Van­cou­ver how does it com­pare to the glitz and glam­our of L.A’S grand res­i­dences? The U.S dol­lar goes far­ther but that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily trans­late to bet­ter of­fer­ings.

$5 Mil­lion (CDN) will get you a 3000 square foot, three bed­room, four bath­room pent­house at 838 West Hast­ings, suite 3602, in the heart of Van­cou­ver’s fi­nan­cial dis­trict. The newer apart­ment with sleek mod­ern styling also has a roof top ter­race with a built in bar­beque and wet bar, and nat­u­rally views of the city, the har­bour and the moun­tains be­yond. Plus, for your con­ve­nience an au­to­mated park­ing sys­tem.

In the sin­gle fam­ily house cat­e­gory though, this price point can be a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing. For ex­am­ple, $5.1 mil­lion will get you a 3800 square foot 23 year-old con­tem­po­rary (but slightly dated) home at 4410 West 2nd Av­enue, in Van­cou­ver’s very de­sir­able Point Grey area. The four bed­room, four-bath­room house is close to (but not on) the very ex­clu­sive Golden Mile waterfront homes, leav­ing you feel­ing, per­haps, a lit­tle en­vi­ous of be­ing so close, yet so far. If not, you can en­joy the three floors, with won­der­ful views from the roof top deck, and an up­dated kitchen and mas­ter bath (the rest of the up­dates will be up to you).

If you can stretch your pocket book a lit­tle fur­ther $10.1 mil­lion will get you a six bed­room,

six bath­room 6000 square foot house high up in West Van­cou­ver’s Bri­tish Prop­er­ties. The home at 1112 High­land Place has sim­ply un­par­al­leled city/ ocean views. The house it­self makes gen­er­ous use of mar­ble and stone, and the gated lot fea­tures a pool and built in fire pit.

Mov­ing back across the wa­ter to Van­cou­ver proper, $ 10 mill in Van­cou­ver’s first up­scale neigh­bour­hood of Shaugh­nessy will get you a 5000 square foot up­dated her­itage home. The ar­chi­tec­turally award win­ning home at 1549 West 37th Av­enue has four bed­rooms, four bath­rooms, a gen­er­ous sized, pri­vate lot (but no pool) and brag­ging rights to be­ing the most stylish home on the block.

Again, mov­ing up in price ( but stay­ing in Shaugh­nessy), $ 19.8 mil­lion will land you a cen­tury old 7200 square foot man­sion, just min­utes from Van­cou­ver’s down­town. Said man­sion at 3690 Selkirk Street, has six bed­rooms, five bath­rooms on a pri­vate half acre lot. The home has been well main­tained, but re­mains largely in its orig­i­nal state, and de­spite the large lot there is no pool, nor is there much in the way of a city view.

If waterfront is more to your taste then per­haps you’d be happy to cough up $19.8 mil­lion to be the proud owner of the 3300 square foot home at 2883 Point Grey Road, smack dab in the mid­dle of the Golden Mile. Yes the lot is tiny and yes the nicely de­signed mod­ern, three bed­room, five bath­room home is nearly forty years old, but it has been taste­fully up­dated. And af­ter all the main at­trac­tion is the lo­ca­tion. The beach is your front lawn, ev­ery room in the house has spec­tac­u­lar views of English Bay and down­town Van­cou­ver and world fa­mous Kits beach is a short walk away, when you think about it the price is a bar­gain.

If you can live with­out the laid back West­coast life­style and pre­fer the hus­tle and bus­tle of a big city, skip Van­cou­ver and move east­ward across Canada to its largest city, Toronto.

Canada’s fi­nan­cial and cul­tural cen­tre, Toronto may not have Van­cou­ver’s nat­u­ral beauty, but more than makes up for that with op­por­tu­nity and ameni­ties. But what about the real es­tate mar­ket, is there bet­ter value for dol­lar over Van­cou­ver’s slim pick­ings?

Toronto has more listings to of­fer deep pock­eted buy­ers, but very few in the strato­sphere like L. A’s high end mar­ket, over even Van­cou­ver. Start­ing at $5 mil­lion that will buy you a 4000 square foot pent­house at 77 Av­enue Road, in Toronto’s Yorkville area ( not ex­actly right in the mid­dle of town). At only seven storeys the unit’s views are not what one would de­scribe as spec­tac­u­lar.

Move up a lit­tle in price to $5.5 mil­lion, and you could ac­quire a 6000 square foot lake­front home. With five beds, 7 bath­rooms, the clas­si­cally styled stone house at 2621 Lake Shore Boule­vard, does have a won­der­ful view of Lake On­tario, but there is no dock (or swim­ming pool) and the nar­row lot would not be de­scribed as pri­vate. Yes it’s half the price of a waterfront home in

Van­cou­ver, but English Bay doesn’t freeze over in win­ter and you’re not an hour from down­town.

Okay, so you want some­thing spec­tac­u­lar, but cen­tral, then at $10.3 mil­lion the 5000 square foot house at 20 Elm Av­enue might be what you’re look­ing for. Built in 1898, but metic­u­lously up­dated this Rosedale ( Toronto’s Shaugh­nessy) home boasts five bed­rooms, nine bath­rooms on three lev­els, with spa­cious en­ter­tain­ing rooms, it makes the per­fect home to host a cock­tail party for wealthy Toronto fi­nanciers (in Rosedale you can count Con­rad Black as one of your neigh­bours).

How­ever maybe it is the views you crave, then for $ 9.3 mil­lion you can do no bet­ter than the pent­house atop the Shangri la Ho­tel. For just over $9 mil­lion (CDN) you get a taste­fully styled two storey 3200 square foot apart­ment with three bed­rooms and four baths, a shel­tered out­door ter­race and as promised spec­tac­u­lar 360 de­gree views. All that plus mem­ber­ship in Shangri La’s pre­mium health club.

Per­haps though 3200 square feet just isn’t enough el­bow room for you. Some­thing along the lines of the 7200 square feet of lux­ury that make up the top floor of the Hazel­ton Ho­tel. At $15 mil­lion the pent­house at 118 Yorkville Ave, suite 703, has three bed­rooms, five baths, a pri­vate el­e­va­tor and 5 fire­places, plus gen­er­ous en­ter­tain­ing rooms for all those lav­ish par­ties. The Hazel­ton is a pop­u­lar hang­out for movie stars dur­ing the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fest and ru­mour has it Madonna once tried to rent the apart­ment but the cur­rent owner de­clined. So if stargaz­ing of a dif­fer­ent kind is more you bag then this spa­cious pent­house will fit the bill.

While there are many multi-mil­lion dol­lar homes listed in Toronto none cur­rently meet the $20 mil­lion mark. So let us move onto the city where $5 mil­lion barely gets you in the door. We speak of course of old New York.

No other North Amer­i­can real es­tate mar­ket com­pares to the Big Ap­ple, $ 20 mil­lion list­ing are not hard to come by and that price tag doesn’t come a quar­ter of the way to the city’s high­est listings (top­ping out at $170 mil­lion USD, with sev­eral be­tween $90 and $110 mil­lion). There is a de­press­ingly large amount of NYC listings at the $5 mil­lion price point, un­for­tu­nately we only have room for but two ex­am­ples.

At $ 5 mil­lion you can still buy a 4 storey town­home in NYC, yes it’s in Har­lem ( 29 Mount Mor­ris Park West) not the Up­per East­side ( where the price would be $ 100 mil­lion) still it’s an authentic cen­tury old brown­stone, with four bed­rooms, three and half baths in 4000 square feet, close to Columbia Univer­sity, and it is in Man­hat­tan, not across the East River like fash­ion­able Brook­lynn.

Maybe Har­lem’s a lit­tle too close to the Bronx for your tastes ( un­til it too be­comes fash­ion­able) mov­ing south to mid-town, where for $5 mil­lion you could have the pent­house of a pre- war build­ing at 447 East 57th Street. With old war charm, a fire­place, three bed­rooms and four and half baths it makes for a cozy 2500 square feet.

But there is also a fairly large ter­race to ex­er­cise your green thumb.

But what about the Up­per East­side, you may not have a $100 mil­lion to throw down on a town­home, but surely $ 10 mil­lion gets you some­thing re­spectable? It does, at that price point you could own a du­plex on the 11th and 12th floors of a clas­sic pre-war build­ing at 941 Park Av­enue. Walk­ing dis­tance to the Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art and Cen­tral Park, you may not have the views but it’s hard to beat the neigh­bour­hood. Four bed­rooms and four and half baths over 4000 square feet, still leaves room left over for en­ter­tain­ing rooms, nanny’s quar­ters, a full sized kitchen, for­mal din­ing room, li­brary (with fire­place) ac­ces­si­ble via ei­ther a pri­vate el­e­va­tor or grand oak stair­case.

Per­haps though, words like clas­sic, old world, and pre-war leave you cold. You want new, mod­ern, and views of Man­hat­tan. Then look no fur­ther than 45 East 22nd Street, which for $10 mil­lion will get you a brand new, never be­fore lived in apart­ment on the 51st floor. The 2500 square foot, three bed­room, three bath apart­ment can still in­cor­po­rate your de­signs cues if you buy now.

Still, this is NYC, so let’s face it, if you can’t af­ford to go big, go home. So, get­ting into a lit­tle more se­ri­ous money, what can you buy with $20 mil­lion burn­ing a hole in your pocket? Well, for starters, you can get a town­house on the Up­per East­side. Yes it’s over 10,000 square feet over six storey’s plus a roof top ter­race, and a base­ment, and it’s just a hop skip and a jump from Cen­tral Park, so what’s the catch? Cur­rently it is di­vided into four sep­a­rate units, so it’s what’s known in real es­tate ter­mi­nol­ogy as a bit of a fixer up­per (that is un­less you want to rent out the four units). Still that’s (lit­er­ally) a small price to pay for an Up­per East­side town­home.

The Up­per East­side isn’t for ev­ery­one, some pre­fer the bo­hemian crowd in Green­wich Vil­lage, of course one never wants to get too bo­hemian. For $20 mil­lion, per­haps then the triplex pent­house loft at 12 East 13th Street is ex­actly what you’re look­ing for. Brand new and noth­ing short of spec­tac­u­lar, it’s its own build­ing built on top of an­other. 5700 square feet and 1000 square feet of ter­race, walls of glass, float­ing stair­case, ac­cessed by pri­vate el­e­va­tor, but once at street level just steps from Union Square and the hus­tle and bus­tle of lower Man­hat­tan. We think we could call this one home.

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