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Chartwell Estate

Luxury Homes – The Most Expensive Are in Bel Air

Is it really a surprise that the most expensive home on the market in the U.S. is in Bel Air? Probably not. But, with the latest entry into the market, Bel Air holds the record now for having the top 3 most expensive homes on the market.

Bel Air is a neighborhood in the Westside area of Los Angeles, in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. The community was founded in 1923 by Alphonzo Bell. He owned farm property in Santa Fe Springs, where oil was discovered. Bell bought a large ranch with a home on what is now Bel Air Road. He subdivided and developed the property with large residential lots. He also built the Bel Air Beach Club in Santa Monica and the Bel Air Country Club. Bell’s wife chose Italian names for the streets and subsequently founded the Bel Air Garden Club in 1931.

The newest entry in the Bel Air market is a property known as Chartwell. It hits the market at a price of $350 million. Chartwell was the estate of late Univision chairman Jerrold Perenchio. It sits on more than 10 acres, with a main house that measures 25,000 square feet. The property also includes a ballroom, a wine cellar and a period-paneled dining room. Perenchio purchased the home in 1986 and had it remodeled to more closely resemble the original design of an authentic 18th-century French chateau. Afterward, he bought many of the surrounding properties, expanding the compound to nearly 13 acres of land. The exterior of the home was used in shots of the hit TV sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

Bel Air has always been a district for the super-rich. Its Mediterranean architectural style and lavishly landscaped grounds quickly became the address of choice for LA society. Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and Alfred Hitchcock were all residents of the exclusive Bel Air.

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