Behind the Gates: America’s Most Expensive Home is $350 million in Bel-Air


Listed at $350 million, the “Chartwell” estate in Bel-Air is not only the most grandiose listing in Los Angeles, but also in all of the United States. The iconic property offers elite buyers an opportunity to own a piece of Hollywood history, as well as one of the largest real estate purchases in American history. 


Set on 10.3 acres in the heart of Bel-Air, the sprawling 25,000 square foot estate was inspired by 18th century French Neoclassical style when it was originally built in 1933. Notable features include a 5,700 square foot guest house, 45-car garage, amenities to rival that of a luxury hotel and a recognizable limestone facade—the exterior of the Wallace Neff-designed mansion was famously used for exterior shots in the 1960s television sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies. 


Most recently owned by Univision tycoon Jerry Perenchio, who passed away in May, the opulent estate has since been listed for an astonishing $350 million, making it the highest-priced house in the United States. This tops the previous record-holder, a spec-home also in Bel-Air, by over $100 million. 

Prior to its current listing, the primary residence only exchanged hands twice: Once in 1940 when the original owner architect Sumner Spaulding sold it to businessman Arnold Kirkeby, and again when Perenchio purchased the estate in 1986 for $13.5 million. The media heavyweight enlisted the services of famed French designer Henri Samuel, whose clientele include the Vanderbilts and Valentino Garavani. Samuel assisted in the transformation toward the opulence that distinguishes the compound today. 


Over the span of nearly thirty years, Perenchio added to the ever-increasing value of the home by purchasing nearby parcels and investing in the sheer size of his French chateau. He expanded the estate acre by acre, with the last addition being a $9.2 million purchase for a 1.3 acre lot in 2009. Today, the Chartwell estate showcases an enviable world-class wine cellar, ballroom, formal salon, a 75-foot swimming pool, tennis court, breathtaking landscape designs and views to the Pacific Ocean. 

The property is listed by a veritable who’s who of Los Angeles realtors, including Jeff Hyland, Drew Fenton and Gary Gold, Joyce Rey, Jade Mills and Alexandra Allen, and Drew Gitlin and Susan.

For more information on luxury homes for sale in Los Angeles, contact Arlene Rutenberg. 



Arlene is committed to the highest standards of excellence, integrity, and service to faithfully serve her clients. Arlene Rutenberg is a premier luxury real estate broker in Southern California with vast experience in the Los Angeles Westside real estate market and an extensive international network of clients, real estate agents, and partners.

Follow Us On Instagram