Lifestyle

Renting the Lifestyle of the Rich & the Famous: What It Would Cost to Live in America’s Mansions

Renting America's Mansions

Have you ever wondered what it would cost to have 12 bathrooms like Lady Gaga? Or how much you would have to shell out every month to rent the White House? From celebrity dwellings to historical residences, we wanted to see how much money you’d need to rent America’s famous mansions — both past and present.

For decades, the most exquisite mansions have served as inspiration — as well as gossip fodder: Who lives there? How much did it cost? We usually turn to tabloids for all the juicy details, except for one: what would it actually take to live there?

To find out, we looked at some of the most well-known and opulent residences across the country. We calculated an estimated rent based on their size and rent data from nearby luxury properties, including location and building characteristics such as having a view, finishing detail, architectural appeal and floorplan particularities. That’s how we found out that you’d need about $99,500 a month to rent The Rock’s home in Beverly Hills, but just $89,800 for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Montecito abode.

What would your home look like if your bank account had a few extra zeros? 10 or 20 extra rooms — or maybe even 250 like the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC? How about a private spa downstairs or a barbershop, just because? These glamorous residences offer just that — and then some. Let’s tour a few of the most lavish mansions in the country and find out what would it cost to rent them.

 

The Most Expensive Rents for the Most Exquisite Mansions

While not included in the estimations, fame can be an important factor in deciding how much a place is worth. “People are always intrigued by how the famous live. The fame factor definitely helps with exposure and marketing on a larger scale, which comes at little cost”, says Kaptan Unugur, a Real Estate Advisor with Sotheby’s New York. However, prospects looking to stay out of the spotlight might avoid opulent residences. Unugur explains: „Many customers looking at the very top of the market are very discreet when it comes to personal living spaces, so it may deter some if the property gets too much exposure.”

Old historic mansions are larger and would be more expensive to rent than celebrity abodes like Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates’ house. For example, Dumbarton Oaks (77,000 square feet) would go for an estimated $297,700 per month — if it weren’t already occupied by Harvard minds using it as a research library — , while the Jeff Bezos residence would rent out for an estimated $78,500.

The Henry Clay Frick House in New York City is number one on our wish list of dream houses. The 179,000-sq.ft. art sanctuary in Manhattan would rent out for a jaw-dropping $854,500 per month. Side note: the three-story, Beaux-Arts building was likely built out of spite to rival Andrew Carnegie’s 5th Ave. mansion, which is also a museum today.

Here’s a list of the most exquisite American mansions broken into two categories, celebrity and historic, and what would it cost to rent them:

Celebrity Mansions With the Most Scandalous Rents

The West Coast basks in the light of many stars and their shiny homes, making it the perfect place to picture rubbing elbows with VIPs. Although the value of special amenities or custom features was not included in estimating rent prices, celeb mansions would still be some of the most expensive to rent based on size and location alone. For instance, living in Kylie Jenner’s LA home would cost you about $53,500 a month, which is a bit cheaper than Justin Bieber’s $62,700 a month, although Bieber’s Beverly Hills crib also comes with an extra 1.5 bathrooms.

As star-studded as it is, California takes up 14 spots in our Top 20 priciest celebrity mansions to rent. Specifically, celebrity hubs like LA or Beverly Hills are the perfect setting to live like the Kardashians or rent some of the most outlandish homes. According to Victoria Risko of Sotheby’s International Realty, some people would definitely be willing to pay extra for the fame component: “There’s a certain cache — celebrities sometimes are seen as having great style and taste. The right client will pay a premium for that, maybe even 20% above market. Say Rihanna’s house would be $35,000, a fan might do $40,000.”

 

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Check out the top 20 celebrity mansions with the highest price tag:

Here are some of our favorites, in no particular order:

Nile Niami Residence: The One, Los Angeles, $419,400 rent per month

The Bel Air mega-mansion is said to be the ultimate urban residence, with 100,000 sq.ft. of space and a potential rent of $419,400. In fact, the famous estate has been making headlines since before it was even built, as it was once dubbed America’s priciest home without even being completed. Industry experts agree that the property would be number one in any realtor’s portfolio: “It’s just the most incredible site - nothing compares really,” says Victoria Risko. Owner and developer Nile Niami created it for the sole purpose of making the most opulent home possible — and its 30 bathrooms and champagne vaults are proof of that.

 

Bill Gates Residence: Xanadu 2.0, Medina, WA, $215,900 rent per month

Disrupting California’s streak is Bill Gates’ 66,000-sq.ft. mansion in Washington, which would rent for about $215,900 per month. The lakefront mansion boasts more than 38 rooms — that’s one-bedroom more than Jeff Bezos’ home, which is also located in Medina. But, in light of the Gates’ divorce, we're curious who will continue to call Xanadu 2.0 home.

 

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Jennifer Lopez Residence: Miami, FL, $39,700 rent per month

After a lavish birthday trip around Italy, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were spotted mansion hunting in Beverly Hills. So what will happen with Jennifer's house in Miami Beach? Well, we have an idea: she could rent it out for about $40,000 per month.

 

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Top Historic Mansions With Most Outrageous Rents

When it comes to historic residences, New York has an abundance of former homes that were once the pinnacle of wealth. And, no other address screams old money like the Upper East Side, where many of the most beautiful historic mansions are clustered.

If we could rent yesterday’s most famous mansions, the most expensive, by far, would be The Henry Clay Frick House ($854,500). Known today in the art world as The Frick Collection, the impressive building in a landmark NYC location near 5th Ave. was also the inspiration behind the fictional Avengers Mansion in the Marvel comics.

Check out what historic mansions would rent for today:

The second-most expensive former home to rent would be Whitehall, also known as the Henry M. Flagler Mansion. Living here would set you back around $457,900 per month. But, the marble exterior glistening in the Florida sun would almost certainly make you forget all about that.

Nowadays a museum, Whitehall was once praised to be more wonderful than any palace in Europe. Today, you could hypothetically rent the 100,000-sq.ft. manor for nearly half a million dollars per month. This 75-room Gilded Age mansion comes complete with a secret stairwell and is said to have put Palm Beach, FL on the map for celebrities and dignitaries of the time.

 

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Next up is The Warburg Mansion, a 19th-century building better known today as part of the Jewish Museum of New York. Specifically, the 82,000-sq.ft. French Renaissance revival would rent for $411,500 monthly. Ideally placed on Museum Mile on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the home included art pieces by Botticelli and Rembrandt — even before it was a museum.

 

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Interestingly enough, 2 of the 10 most expensive entries on our list once belonged to the same person: Businessman Otto Hermann Kahn. Spreading across 115,000 sq.ft., Oheka Castle is about twice as large as the White House. The French-style chateau off the Gold Coast of New York is a popular filming location that would rent for about $303,200 per month. Meanwhile, its less-lavish sister — the Otto H. Kahn House — now serves as the Convent of the Sacred Heart School and would rent for about $60,000 less.

 

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Speaking of the White House, without taking into account its historical significance and material valuables, the President’s residence would go for about $182,200 per month, based on its 55,000-sq.ft. size and location. Nonetheless, its 132 rooms are no match for the Biltmore Estate’s 250 which once belonged to one of the most renowned families in the world: The Vanderbilts.

Curious to see what it would cost to rent Ariana Grande’s 10,100-sq.ft. home or Harry Styles’ LA crib? We sure were! So we went a little crazy and crunched the data for 150 properties, so you can look up your favorite celebrity's abode. 

Methodology

  • RENTCafé is a nationwide apartment search website that helps renters easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States.
  • For this article, we looked at the 150 most well-known mansions, be it because of the building itself or their owners. We analyzed discretionary class-A properties within the same ZIP code as the included mansions and calculated an estimated average rental cost per square foot. Based on the estimated size, we calculated how much it would cost to rent each mansion, hypothetically. For locations with no rent data, we used relevant data from the nearest ZIP code area. Special/custom amenities and features were not included in determining the estimated rent price of a mansion.
  • Mansion data was provided by PropertyShark, the U.S. Census Bureau and additional sources. Rental data was provided by Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self-storage sectors.

Fair use and redistribution

We encourage you and freely grant you permission to reuse, host, or repost the research, graphics, and images presented in this article. When doing so, we ask that you credit our research by linking to RENTCafe.com or this page, so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology. For more in-depth, customized data, please contact us at media@rentcafe.com.


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About the author

Alexandra Ciuntu

Alexandra is a creative writer and researcher for RENTCafé. With a background in e-learning content writing and a passion for knowledge-sharing platforms, she's covered topics from prop-tech to renters insurance to interior design tips. Very familiar with the renter lifestyle herself, Alexandra enjoys researching and writing about renter demographic shifts and residential real estate market trends as much as she loves writing about how to get along with roommates. You can connect with Alexandra via email.

Alexandra’s work includes collaborations with financial and business publications. Her articles have been featured in several national and international online publications, including the New York Times, Barrons, Inman, Forbes, Marketwatch, Bisnow, and Curbed. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Japanese and English and an M.A. in Journalism and Cultural Studies.

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