NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Many people may be reeling from the housing crisis and foreclosures, but one developer in New Jersey is betting someone will pay more than $16 million for a 24-room mansion with Manhattan skyline views.
One would-be buyer so far has visited the French Renaissance-style estate, which is still under construction in Montclair, New Jersey, said real estate broker Gerry-Jo Cranmer of Turpin Realtors who is handling the sale.
"More than a couple" other people have asked to see it, she said, noting that the site was only recently in good enough condition for people to visit.
Listed at $16,495,000, the house on five acres has six garage spaces, seven bedrooms and eight fireplaces and straddles Montclair and neighboring Cedar Grove.
It is set on a mountain ridge with views of Manhattan, less than 20 miles away.
It has an elevator, home theater, workout rooms and a sauna. Outside, there is a circular drive, an infinity pool, a hot tub, fountains and extensive cabana.
The asking price falls shy of some of the most opulent properties in America -- a house in Los Angeles is on the market for $150 million, according to Forbes.com.
But the New Jersey mansion is dramatically more expensive than homes in the area. Typical houses in affluent Montclair sell for under $1 million, while some of its pricier estates have fetched several million dollars.
Asked how many people could afford such a lavish home, Cranmer said: "I think there are more than we would imagine."
"I think it could well be a celebrity, but I think it could also be someone who wants security and privacy and does a lot of entertaining," she said.
Cranmer said taxes on the house had not been calculated, but one online estimate put them at about $450,000 a year.
The house was listed for sale a month ago and should be finished by the end of the year, she said. The property is owned and being developed by a limited liability company, she said.