As the calendar now rests squarely in December, we are smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season. Christmas music has taken over the radio, houses throughout the country are now decorated with Christmas lights, egg nog sales are spiking (and egg nog is being spiked) and people are investing in the one house whose building materials are undoubtedly tastier than bricks and mortar, the gingerbread house.
Your standard gingerbread house probably costs around $20 or so and it’s usually nothing to write home about, but this year, there’s one gingerbread house that takes the cake (pun clearly intended).
The folks at VeryFirstTo, an online luxury retailer, have created a gingerbread house that they’re calling the “most precious Christmas gingerbread house ever.” Besides being the most precious, it’s also the world’s most expensive gingerbread house. The cost of said gingerbread house? $77,910.
“When it comes to Christmas, a gingerbread house is such an iconic tradition and we felt it would be excellent to deliver a gingerbread house in its absolute most luxurious ultimate form,” VeryFirstTo founder Marcel Knobil told ABC News (h/t to Yahoo).
So what makes the $77,910 gingerbread house worth $77,910? Well, it’s adorned with 150 AAAA grade South Sea Pearls and a five-carat Mozambique ruby set within the icing.
For that price tag, you might think you’d get a life-size gingerbread house in the shape of the White House or something, right? Nope, this bad boy checks in at roughly 26 by 14 by 18 inches.
We did the math on it and this gingerbread house will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 PER. SQUARE. FOOT.
Try listing an actual house for $40,000 per square foot. Who wouldn’t want a nice 3,000 square foot family home for $120 million???
For comparison’s sake, the actual house with the highest cost per square foot is a $105.7 million home in Hong Kong. The price per square foot on that house? $22,677.
But that house is 4,661 square feet, and comes with four bedrooms, a private pool, a garden, and a rooftop terrace.
On the positive side of the ledger for the gingerbread house, the image on VeryFirstTo’s website is “representative.” If you do take the plunge and fork over nearly $78,000 for the gingerbread house, the one you receive will be “bespoke in the likeness of the buyer’s home.”
For those of us who live in the real world, here’s how much actual house you can buy in some of the nation’s largest markets for the same price as the most precious Christmas gingerbread house ever, courtesy of the quarterly Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability report from the National Association of Realtors.
The most affordable market in the U.S., according to NAR’s data, is Youngstown, Ohio, where the median home price is $84,500. So for the price of one ruby-encrusted and pearl-bedazzled gingerbread house, you could have 92.2% of a home in Youngstown, Ohio.
You could also have 83.59% of a home in Cumberland, Maryland, where the median home price is $93,200 and 79.42% of a home in Rockford, Illinois, where the median home price is $98,100.
In fact, your $77,910 will actually buy you a 35.85% stake in the average home in the U.S., where the median price is $217,300.
Just think about how much $77,910 really is. That amount of money will actually get you at least a 20% down payment in all but 13 of the largest markets in the country, including Boston, Massachusetts; Newark, New Jersey; Nassau, New Jersey; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Boulder, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; San Diego, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; Anaheim, California; San Francisco, California; San Jose, California and New York (in either the Long Island or White Plains area).
On the positive side, you could at least put down nearly a 10% deposit (actually 9.06%) in the nation’s most expensive market, San Jose, with your $77,910.
On the other hand, if you can buy a jewel-encrusted gingerbread replica of your own house, don’t you have to do it?
So if you have a spare $78,000 lying around this holiday season, you could indulge in ridiculous shrine to gingerbread extravagance or invest in a nice home out here in the real world.
Then again, I bet that a $78,000 gingerbread house is delicious, right? For that much money, it better be.