Opulence Abounds: Homes in the 10 Most Affluent Cities

Testing The Business Journals recently crunched the numbers on 942 U.S. metro areas to arrive at their ranking of the most affluent cities in the country.

They derived their findings from a “12-part formula … with highest scores to areas that have strong concentrations of upscale incomes, expensive houses, high-end jobs and residents with advanced degrees”.

We’re not going to parse out all 12 secret herbs and spices in their formula, but we were curious to see what an affluent buyer could expect to find in these most affluent cities.

Opulence abounded in most all of the markets, but if you have expensive tastes and a tighter budget, we recommend you head for unexpected affluence in Los Alamos, Lexington Park, or Trenton—where most of the homes for sale are priced under $1 million.

If any of these affluent and elegant homes speak to your caviar dreams, just click on the photo to learn more. And if you’d like to see what the market looks like in the top 10 cities, just click on any city name below.

1. Washington, DC3425 Prospect St NW, $11 million.

dc affluent cities

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2. Los Alamos, NM4 Mariposa Ct, $639,000.

nm

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3. Stamford, CT140 Wallacks Dr, $8.995 million.

stamford affluent cities

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4. Boulder, CO19 Arrowleaf Ct, $7.5 million. boulder affluent cities

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5. San Jose, CA1621 University Way, $3.995 million. sj affluent cities

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6. San Francisco, CA2672 Filbert St, $8.6 million.

sf affluent cities

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7. Boston, MA130 Commonwealth Ave, $13.4 million.

boston affluent cities

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8. Lexington Park, MD47687 Lucas Cove Rd, $585,000.

lexingtonpark

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9. Easton, MD28348 Old Country Club Rd, $3.95 million.

easton

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10. Trenton, NJ3 Pine Brook Ct, $615,000.

trenton

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The next big winners of the 2016 presidential race? The owners of <a href=”http://nypost.com/2016/10/19/you-can-buy-donald-trumps-childhood-home/?utm_source=move&amp;utm_medium=manualsyndication&amp;utm_campaign=partnerfeed” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Donald Trump’s childhood home</a>.

The divorcing couple who own the modest Queens house bet on Trump when they yanked it off the market last month after lowering the asking price to $1.2 million—and now it is expected to get 10 times that much when it goes on the auction block in December.

“I’d love to say we knew he’d win, but it was a gamble,” said Misha Haghani, owner of Paramount Realty USA, the auction house handling the sale for current owner, restaurateur Isaac Kestenberg.

Kestenberg and his estranged wife, Claudia, bought the 1940 Jamaica Estates five-bedroom Tudor in 2008 for just $782,500.

Now, experts tell The Post it could auction for up to $10 million to a wealthy investor bent on owning a piece of presidential history.

“It was a little bit of a risk, but it worked out,” said Haghani. “We waited and it turned out to be the right thing to do. Now that it is the childhood home of the president-elect, it has increased value.”

The auction will be scheduled for the first week of December, The Post has learned. The Kestenbergs had listed the house for a comparatively measly $1.2 million as recently as October.

“The house has at least tripled in value if not 10 times in value” since then, superbroker Dolly Lenz told The Post.

“It is almost like gambling—what is the house worth?” she said.

“Now that he’s [president-elect], it’s worth a lot more. It’s a huge deal. And there are lots of wealthy people who buy trophy homes as one-offs,” she added.

“Think of all the billionaires who could turn this into a museum. That’s the highest and best use for this house. It’s an amazing opportunity for somebody.”

<img class=”size-full wp-image-308680″ src=”http://na.rdcpix.com/779424023/8ecb8b5c10a19ccbe1daba7bc38ec77cw-c308680xd-w640_h480_q80.jpg” alt=”The office.” width=”640″ height=”363″ /> The office.

The couple, who are currently going through a lengthy divorce, first put the home on the market in June, for $1.65 million.

When it hadn’t sold by October, they lowered the price to $1.2 million, and planned to put it up for auction with a minimum bid set at $849,000. But hours before the bidding started, the couple canceled the auction.

Interest had grown too high, he explained.

“More people wanted to register at the last minute and it just wasn’t possible,” Kestenberg told The Post.

The Tudor was built by Trump’s real estate investor father, Fred, who then moved the family to a large brick mansion literally around the corner back when Donald was just 4 years old.

The tree-shaded home is far less ornate than Trump’s subsequent addresses on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue.

It features a fireplace, a formal dining room, a sunroom, a paneled study, a “summer kitchen” and a five-car driveway with a two-car detached garage.

Its listing on <span class=”skimlinks-unlinked”>Streeteasy.com</span> reads:

“Ideal For Large Or Extend Family. Brick &amp; Stucco Tudor, 5 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths, Liv Rm, Fireplace, Formal Dining Rm, Eik W Sliders To Sun Rm, Paneled Study W Ose, Oak Floors. Full Finished Basement W Bonus Rm Includes Full Bath + 2 Outside Entrances, Summer Kitchen. 5-Car Driveway W 2-Car Detached Garage. Walk To Subway, Shopping. Birthplace Of President Elect Donald Trump.”

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Built by a pair of world-class designers, the <a href=”https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2015-Sunfair-Rd_Joshua-Tree_CA_92252_M17056-56827″ target=”_blank”>Mojave Rock Ranch</a> in <a href=”https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Joshua-Tree_CA” target=”_blank”>Joshua Tree, CA,</a> is now on the market for $4.5 million. The sale—which includes 225 acres and a home fashioned from rocks and bottles—offers a discerning buyer an opportunity to own a desert getaway unlike anything else in the world.

Carved out of a hilltop, the home was painstakingly constructed by landscape designer <strong>Gino Dreese</strong> and interior designer <strong>Troy Williams</strong>. They have been working together since 1985 and consider the ranch, which they call “<a href=”http://mojaverockranch.net/about/” target=”_blank”>The Jewel Of Joshua Tree</a>,” their masterpiece.

The ranch comes equipped with a helipad for well-heeled visitors who want to skip the drive and soar right into the solitude of the remote location. Elaborate and whimsical cactus gardens grace the home, and tucked between the plants are small artifacts and surprise gems for whimsy.

<img class=”size-full wp-image-430555″ src=”http://na.rdcpix.com/435351320/6ea992a5ab3d0bf8dbb14924ad36877fw-c0xd-w640_h480_q80.jpg” alt=”Exterior” width=”1020″ height=”603″ /> Exterior<img class=”size-full wp-image-430552″ src=”http://na.rdcpix.com/876543979/faaa5827da95e89fbb394546cf39e576w-c0xd-w640_h480_q80.jpg” alt=”Cactus garden” width=”1020″ height=”680″ /> Cactus garden

According to the Desert Sun, Dreese and Williams spent 23 years building the home, which <a href=”https://www.desertsun.com/story/desert-magazine/2017/05/11/mojave-rock-ranch-takes-recycled-design-new-heights/310918001/” target=”_blank”>borrows design elements</a> from around the world, from South African lodges to Mayan temples. The walls of the home are dotted with gems and artifacts the two collected on their travels.

“At [airport] security, they’re always like, ‘What the hell is this?’” Williams told the Desert Sun. “Between that and the books, we’ve just given up.”

There’s plenty of indoor-outdoor space for enjoying the spectacular desert views and warm climate. The Pebble Tec pool out back is ideal for basking in the nearly year-round sunshine.

When the sunlight hits the bottles lining the walls <em>just</em> right, it puts on a gorgeous display of colorful rays.

<img class=”size-full wp-image-430562″ src=”http://na.rdcpix.com/555172351/809cceefd012405664ab7aef55e7d4c9w-c0xd-w640_h480_q80.jpg” alt=”Front door ” width=”579″ height=”720″ /> Entryway with panels made with colorful glass bottles

The home is rustic, but has all the creature comforts. For example, there’s the airy kitchen plus a bathroom and bedroom that seem like they’ve been carved out of rock.

<img class=”size-full wp-image-430583″ src=”http://na.rdcpix.com/1594352543/b166ac0f479031c9df32cb0594be4494w-c0xd-w640_h480_q80.jpg” alt=”Kitchen ” width=”1020″ height=”552″ /> Kitchen

And while the home seems so very far away from the rest of the world, just down the hill you’ll find plenty of entertainment. Events such as Coachella, PSIFF, and the JT Music Festival are all within walking distance.

The listing says the property is ideal for corporate retreats and parties, but this property screams stylish solitude. Ultimately, it will be up to buyers looking for an Instagram-worthy desert adventure to call their own.

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Hey, have you heard of this woman named <strong>Elizabeth Banks</strong>? She’s that, oh, I don’t know, up-and-coming starlet who just happened to produce and direct the <a href=”http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2015/05/17/mad-max-fury-road-pitch-perfect-2-box-office/27307403/” target=”_blank”>No. 1 film at the box office last weekend</a>, and who will return later this year in a little series called “The Hunger Games.”

And now she’s <em>our</em> spokeswoman, ready to sing our praises. And she <strong>does not</strong> dis-<a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hu9gYjwURI” target=”_blank”>aca</a>-point.

So, how did we <a href=”http://www.realtor.com/news/celebrity-real-estate/elizabeth-banks-is-in-our-cool-new-tv-ads/” target=”_blank”>land a superstar</a> such as Banks? Aside from our undeniable charm, wit, and good looks, it came down to a very personal matter for the actress, director, producer, and comedian: <strong>her own current home search</strong>.

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“I’m sort of house-obsessed,” says Banks, who’s in the process of searching for a new home with her husband, the writer and producer <a href=”http://www.instyle.com/celebrity/elizabeth-banks-max-handelman” target=”_blank”><strong>Max Handelman</strong></a>. “I love getting … inspired by other people’s homes,” she says. “I think that’s what’s so interesting about looking for a home in general is you’re really imagining a whole life.”

So she chose realtor.com® to help her navigate the “joy and anxiety” that come with the home-buying process.

“It’s, for nearly everyone, the biggest purchase of their entire life,” she says. “I think the website’s got great accessibility about it. … We’re always sort of on the go, and I love that the app allows you to literally take the home-buying experience everywhere you are.

“My husband and I email each other houses to look at … and you can bring it right up and I think that’s what’s so great,” she notes.

The ad campaign featuring Banks will include TV commercials that debut today (make sure to watch for one during the final episode of the “Late Show with David Letterman”), as well as longer Web videos that you’ll see roll out over the coming months.

<iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/yI-sZFSVoho” width=”560″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”></iframe>
When we think of celebrity homes, we think of over-the-top grandeur and opulence. But what do actual celebrities think of when they ponder the concept of home?

“Home is everything to everyone,” Banks says. “It’s where you feel the most secure, it’s where you lay your head at night, and I have wonderful memories of every place I’ve ever lived.”

Banks fondly remembers growing up in a duplex in her hometown of <a href=”http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Pittsfield_MA” target=”_blank”>Pittsfield, MA,</a> where her dad would hose down their backyard in winter to create an ice rink for skating. Fast-forward a few years, and Banks and Handelman bought their first house. She remembers the anxiety her husband felt, the “500 pieces of paper” to sign, and thinking, “Let’s see what happens.”

Home buying <em>is</em> an emotional process, and that’s why Banks and director <strong>Fred Savage</strong> wanted to inject as much humor as possible into the TV and Web spots.

“The things I remember most are the things that make me laugh,” Savage says. “I think (these spots) poke fun at the fact it can be a stressful process and that it can be a process that involves a lot of emotional wrestling.

“While it’s exciting and certainly thrilling, there’s a lot of distressing parts and maybe tedious parts to buying a home,” he adds. “And I think if we can address all the aspects of buying a home with humor, I think people can kind of laugh at their own experiences … but also not be so afraid of what lies ahead.”

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