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Bay Area Behemoths: 10 Homes More Than 21,000 Square Feet

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In San Francisco, where space is at a premium, many people would consider homes tipping the scale at 4,000 square feet to be roomy. But Joel Goodrich, a luxury real estate agent, found that there are 15 homes in the Bay Area that weigh in at more than 19,000 square feet—you just have to know where to look (hint: Hillsborough). Today, Goodrich has released his latest real estate report, which includes a list of these mansions compiled by writer Damion Matthews by analyzing data from tax and MLS records. The information is both fascinating and entertaining. (After all, isn't it fun to dream about a 20-car garage?) Goodrich and Matthews came up with the idea after noticing that none of the top 10 largest homes in the United States were located in Northern California. They decided to bring down to a local level.

Asked if he thinks more mega-mansions could be forthcoming, Goodrich said it's not likely. "The culture here is different and though we still have extraordinary examples of grand classic architecture, people are more understated, so mega-mansions are simply not part of the culture," he says. But in his report, he notes that one in the top 10 is on the market (10 Serenity Ln. in Alamo, asking $42M), so if you need much, much, much, more space (it's 26,739 square feet), this is your chance.

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1. Carolands: 46,050 SF

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565 Remillard Dr
Hillsborough, CA 94010

Carolands was built by Francis and Harriett Pullman Carolan in 1916 (she was the daughter of George Pullman, then the wealthiest man in Chicago and the inventor of the luxury Pullman railway cars). The four-and-a-half level, 98-room mansion sits on a little more than five acres in Hillsborough. In later years, it was allowed to fall into neglect, but it was purchased in 1998 and restored to its former glory by Charles and Dr. Ann Johnson. The couple donated it to the Carolands Foundation four years ago, and it is open for group tours on Wednesdays at 2 p.m.—but tickets are granted via a lottery system (names are selected at random from a pool of hopefuls).

2. Hillsborough: 38,849 SF

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835 Chiltern Rd
Hillsborough, CA 94010

The house was built in the early 1990s, but it embodies the spirit of an old-school English Tudor. It sits on more than six acres, complete with waterfalls, zen gardens, a koi pond, and an English rose garden. There's also a tennis court, a racquetball court, and an outdoor pool (there's one inside too). According to old real estate listings (it was sold last year, and the asking price was a little more than $28 million), the house has six bedrooms and 10-and-a-half bathrooms.

3. Hillsborough: 30,000 SF

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40 Verbalee Ln
Hillsborough, CA 94010

This house was built during the Depression by Celia Tobin Clark, who (according to a San Francisco Chronicle report), told architect David Adler to spare no expense on the 12-bedroom, 13-and-a-half-bath estate. Its grand ballroom has hosted world leaders from U.S. Republican presidents to King Hussein. Joel Goodrich says he sold the property last year when it was on the market.

4. Los Altos Hills: 30,000 SF

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12335 Stonebrook Dr
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

This seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom property sold in January of this year for $25 million. The real estate listing described it as "one of the greatest estates in the country...in the heart of Silicon Valley." It's on the Federal Historic Register, but was recently updated (in a remodel that reportedly took seven years). It has a "children's wing" (three bedroom suites connected by a playroom), a ballroom, a gym, a library, and a large pool and spa—not to mention an underground garage for 20 cars.

5. Hillsborough: 27,000 SF

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401 El Cerrito Ave
Hillsborough, CA 94010

Not much is public about this property—even the street view shows it shrouded by greenery. Although it was recently listed for $8.8M, it's currently off market. It was built in 1915 and has nine bedrooms and nine-and-a-half bathrooms.

6. Alamo: 26,739 SF

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10-35 Serenity Ln
Alamo, CA 94507

There's a term for a 12-bedroom, 14-and-a-half-bath home that's on the market for $42 million: trophy property. There's a lot to impress here, including a large house set in the middle of just over 100 acres of vineyards. There's also a car barn, imported limestone fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, and a pool with a waterfall.

7. Los Altos: 26,545 SF

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13310 La Paloma Rd
Los Altos, CA 94022

In 2011, KPIX reported that this home sold for $100 million. At the time it was reportedly the highest price ever paid for a single family home in the United States. The news station also reported that it was purchased by Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire who invested in Facebook, Groupon, and Zynga. It was believed Milner had no immediate plans to move in.

8. San Francisco: 24,658 SF

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2864 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94115

This is a compound of homes that reportedly belongs to one of SF's billionaires. At least two houses are on the site. According to a recent article in Harper's Bazaar, the rooms are filled with rare antiques and art.

9. Los Altos Hills: 22,006 SF

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27500 La Vida Real
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

We suspect that this photo was taken pre-expansion or perhaps the trees provide excellent cover. According to city records, a request was made in 2005 to permit a 17,389-square-foot home at this address with two levels and a 1,024-square-foot detached building. Obviously, the papers were stamped, because records show it's now 22,006 square feet.

10. San Francisco: 21,888

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2845 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94115

In 2012, Curbed reported that another behemoth house on Broadway was sold for $20 million to tech titan David Sacks. At the time, it was one of the most expensive homes ever sold in San Francisco—and it was only partially finished.

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1. Carolands: 46,050 SF

565 Remillard Dr, Hillsborough, CA 94010

Carolands was built by Francis and Harriett Pullman Carolan in 1916 (she was the daughter of George Pullman, then the wealthiest man in Chicago and the inventor of the luxury Pullman railway cars). The four-and-a-half level, 98-room mansion sits on a little more than five acres in Hillsborough. In later years, it was allowed to fall into neglect, but it was purchased in 1998 and restored to its former glory by Charles and Dr. Ann Johnson. The couple donated it to the Carolands Foundation four years ago, and it is open for group tours on Wednesdays at 2 p.m.—but tickets are granted via a lottery system (names are selected at random from a pool of hopefuls).

565 Remillard Dr
Hillsborough, CA 94010

2. Hillsborough: 38,849 SF

835 Chiltern Rd, Hillsborough, CA 94010

The house was built in the early 1990s, but it embodies the spirit of an old-school English Tudor. It sits on more than six acres, complete with waterfalls, zen gardens, a koi pond, and an English rose garden. There's also a tennis court, a racquetball court, and an outdoor pool (there's one inside too). According to old real estate listings (it was sold last year, and the asking price was a little more than $28 million), the house has six bedrooms and 10-and-a-half bathrooms.

835 Chiltern Rd
Hillsborough, CA 94010

3. Hillsborough: 30,000 SF

40 Verbalee Ln, Hillsborough, CA 94010

This house was built during the Depression by Celia Tobin Clark, who (according to a San Francisco Chronicle report), told architect David Adler to spare no expense on the 12-bedroom, 13-and-a-half-bath estate. Its grand ballroom has hosted world leaders from U.S. Republican presidents to King Hussein. Joel Goodrich says he sold the property last year when it was on the market.

40 Verbalee Ln
Hillsborough, CA 94010

4. Los Altos Hills: 30,000 SF

12335 Stonebrook Dr, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

This seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom property sold in January of this year for $25 million. The real estate listing described it as "one of the greatest estates in the country...in the heart of Silicon Valley." It's on the Federal Historic Register, but was recently updated (in a remodel that reportedly took seven years). It has a "children's wing" (three bedroom suites connected by a playroom), a ballroom, a gym, a library, and a large pool and spa—not to mention an underground garage for 20 cars.

12335 Stonebrook Dr
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

5. Hillsborough: 27,000 SF

401 El Cerrito Ave, Hillsborough, CA 94010

Not much is public about this property—even the street view shows it shrouded by greenery. Although it was recently listed for $8.8M, it's currently off market. It was built in 1915 and has nine bedrooms and nine-and-a-half bathrooms.

401 El Cerrito Ave
Hillsborough, CA 94010

6. Alamo: 26,739 SF

10-35 Serenity Ln, Alamo, CA 94507

There's a term for a 12-bedroom, 14-and-a-half-bath home that's on the market for $42 million: trophy property. There's a lot to impress here, including a large house set in the middle of just over 100 acres of vineyards. There's also a car barn, imported limestone fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, and a pool with a waterfall.

10-35 Serenity Ln
Alamo, CA 94507

7. Los Altos: 26,545 SF

13310 La Paloma Rd, Los Altos, CA 94022

In 2011, KPIX reported that this home sold for $100 million. At the time it was reportedly the highest price ever paid for a single family home in the United States. The news station also reported that it was purchased by Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire who invested in Facebook, Groupon, and Zynga. It was believed Milner had no immediate plans to move in.

13310 La Paloma Rd
Los Altos, CA 94022

8. San Francisco: 24,658 SF

2864 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94115

This is a compound of homes that reportedly belongs to one of SF's billionaires. At least two houses are on the site. According to a recent article in Harper's Bazaar, the rooms are filled with rare antiques and art.

2864 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94115

9. Los Altos Hills: 22,006 SF

27500 La Vida Real, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

We suspect that this photo was taken pre-expansion or perhaps the trees provide excellent cover. According to city records, a request was made in 2005 to permit a 17,389-square-foot home at this address with two levels and a 1,024-square-foot detached building. Obviously, the papers were stamped, because records show it's now 22,006 square feet.

27500 La Vida Real
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

10. San Francisco: 21,888

2845 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94115

In 2012, Curbed reported that another behemoth house on Broadway was sold for $20 million to tech titan David Sacks. At the time, it was one of the most expensive homes ever sold in San Francisco—and it was only partially finished.

2845 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94115