The most expensive home in the history of the United States once sold for $120. Not $120 million. 120 dollars.
The record-breaking sale occurred last month when hedge fund manager Barry Rosenstein bought a property that can only be described as a “spread.”
Rosenstein bought the property in the East Hamptons in New York for $147 million. According to an article from Forbes, the property once sold for $120.
Admittedly, the $120 sale did take place in 1901, but that’s still an astronomical amount of appreciation for the value of the property. In fact, it’s an appreciation of 122,499,900%. That’s 122 million percent!
The property’s history is particularly fascinating. According to the Forbes article:
The property’s roots trace all the way back to Lion Gardiner, who in 1639 and with a grant from King Charles I, settled ”Gardiners Island” in the bay off Long Island’s South Fork, creating the first English colonial settlement in what would become New York State. Gardiner purchased the property from the Montaukett Indians for “one large dog, one gun, some powder and shot, some rum and several blankets, worth in all about Five Pounds sterling.”
In its time, the property has been owned by a group that included: Pan Am founder Juan Trippe; insurance salesman and tennis promoter Julian Myrick; grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; James Lee; Howard Dean, grandfather of the former presidential candidate; and A. Wallace Chauncey.
In recent years, Christopher H. Browne, the value investor who was managing director of New York investment firm Tweedy, owned the property until his death in 2009. He purchased it for $13.4 million in 1996. He left the property to his partner Andrew Gordon, who died of cancer in 2013.
Rosenstein purchased the property for nearly $115 million more than Browne paid for the property in 1996. And for nearly $147 million more than David Gardner, Lion’s descendant, paid for it in 1901.
And we complain when homes only appreciate by 5%.