If you're looking to buy a billionaire's home with a millionaire's bank account, the Midwest is the place to buy.
When we looked for the top ten-priced properties that are publicly listed on the market in the Midwest region of the U.S. — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin — we found that luxury estates are a relative bargain. For around $10 million, home buyers in the Midwest can buy a palatial mansion designed by a well-known architect, possibly even with land, formal gardens, outbuildings, swimming pool and lovely scenery. The same amount of money in New York would pay for a nice co-op apartment that may have a health club in the basement.
In fact, the Midwest is perhaps the most affordable mansion market in the country, with the price range of the top ten most expensive homes for sale coming in between $11 million and $25 million. While the prices may seem expensive, when you compare that to the Most Expensive Homes in the Northeast, where the homes were priced between $29.5 million and $75 million, it seems downright affordable.
Even though the property prices may not be as high as other areas of the country, it's not because the Midwest doesn't offer its share of prominent architecture or beautiful real estate. Most of the properties on our list were designed by renowned architects, many of whom — such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and David Adler — spent many of their most important years in the Midwest.
The most expensive home, for example, is a $25 million estate, located in Lake Bluff, Ill., that was designed by Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall, who also designed Chicago's Drake Hotel. Or there's a $19.5 million Georgian mansion in Lake Forest, Ill., that was designed by Adler, as well as a $12.5 million mansion he designed for the Ryerson steel family in 1922. Then there is an $11 million mansion built in 1896 by architect Richard Schmidt.
The properties that made it on the list are almost entirely in Illinois. Although Wisconsin's Lake Geneva had a decent number of high-end homes, none had asking prices above $9 million. Two homes in Bratenahl, Ohio, a tony suburb of Cleveland, did make the list; the first is an $11.9 million home on Lake Erie, which was built in the 1925 and was fully restored and renovated. The second home is also in Bratenahl. It was built in 1997 and is full of luxurious amenities, including a wine cellar, theater room, mural ceilings and a walkway and pier along the lake.
The homes featured here are almost all historic homes, and only one of them is less than ten years old — that's the $11 million Bratenahl home on Lake Erie.
© 2012 Forbes.com