A dollar doesn't stretch as far as it used to. But 102 million dollars can still go a long way - especially in cash, as it recently did to buy Fleur de Lys, an opulent estate on nearly five acres in Los Angeles' Westside.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a recent bidding war between three billionaires produced that price, the highest recorded (so far) for a home sale in L.A. County.
The seller, socialite Suzanne Saperstein, even threw in some antique furnishings with the mansion, built in 2002 to the specifications of her and then-husband David Saperstein, founder of Metro Networks.
They divorced in 2005, put the house on the market in 2007 and have now re-confirmed the benefits of waiting for a market to rebound.
Among the lavish features the Times cited in a home "inspired by Vaux-le-Vicomte, a palace outside Paris" and "likened to miniature Versailles surrounded by formal gardens, mature trees and a soccer-field size expanse of lawn":
"The 4.6 acres of grounds include two motor courts, a swimming pool and spa complex and a tennis court. Imported limestone blocks enclose a massive steel frame, set on rollers in the foundation, to safeguard the structure in an earthquake. Interior spaces include a ballroom for parties of 500, a two-story wood paneled library, a movie theater, a music room, a dozen bedrooms and 15 bathrooms."
The identity of the buyer remains unclear, though the Times wrote that the grant deed for the sale "shows the taxes will be mailed to Milken Institute in Santa Monica." That's a think tank chaired by former "junk bond king" Michael Milken, who pled guilty to federal securities and reporting violations, paid $1.1 billion in fines and settlements, and served 22 months of a 10-year sentence before being released in 1993.
However, the Times also reported that "a representative for Milken denied that Milken or the Milken Institute purchased the property, which was taken in the name of a limited liability company."
And whoever bought it apparently isn't looking to move in anytime soon. Assorted media outlets reported Friday that the property is now for rent at $40,000 a month - with a $1 million security deposit.
Meanwhile, much closer to home, the lavish 7,516-square-foot condo on the top two stories of the Peoples Building on Broad Street is still up for grabs for a mere $19.5 million list price.
And while it has only three bedrooms and 3½ bathrooms, that peninsula penthouse has this value-of-place advantage over any fancy L.A. digs: It's in charming Charleston, not phony-baloney La-La Land.
But if you have to ask how much the taxes are on that swank pad, you probably can't afford it.