Imagine yourself on a beautiful island. You can feel indescribable sea breeze on your face and hear sounds of nature. Yes, islands are still considered to be a symbol of luxury despite the fact that prices of some islands are not unavailable for a middle class person. As private islands for sale can be found in many sizes, and they have different locations and other distinctive features, the initial price may not surprise you, though. But those unimaginable rich are not ever satisfied with mediocrity... They want to have something exceptional, maybe even exceptionally expensive.
Some may wonder why a person would be interested in buying an island. The answer is: "Why not?" So many other rich people collect cars, either fast and modern or classic; others are fascinated with art or watches. But the idea of owning an island brings the feeling of luxury and independence. Maybe those associations have its roots in read books or watched films...?
However, some may say that owning an island comes last after purchases of luxury cars, yachts, houses, jets. An island especially located in an exotic destination gives its owners comfort of leisure and inaccessibility.
Owners of islands
It is not surprising that millionaires are lured with an idea of possessing an island. Yet some of them do not stop at just one. Among those, who are big fans of luxury islands, including owning them, are Richard Branson, David Copperfield, Celine Dion, Johnny Deep and others.
According to different surveys, U.S, Canadian and British buyers comprise as much as 80 percent of the market. Price drops in the market however make the purchase of an island more accessible to a bigger crowd. Yet analysts underline that in case of prestigious purchases three main things play the main roles, namely, ego, extravagance and identity. Also privacy and security impact a price of an island as many people, who are looking for one to buy, want to safeguard themselves from a meddlesome world.
Purchases are made in order to feel secure and safe whether buyers have just decided to change their lifestyle or they have decided to develop resorts.
Below you will be able to explore more about a few of the most expensive private islands ever. So sit down, enjoy and maybe you will get an appetite for buying one island for yourself...
Lanai - Larry Ellison
Even though this text is devoted to private islands, we cannot insensibly smooth over the recent purchase of Lanai, the Hawaii's island, by Larry Ellison. Larry Ellison is undeniably known not only for his opulence as he is the U.S. third richest person but also for his weakness to extravagant purchases and investments –just to mention spending $200 million to build a Japanese-themed compound in California's Silicon Valley.
In June 2012, Larry Ellison himself bought Lanai, not the whole one but a share of as much as 98 percent. As it was reported the U.S. third richest person bought the stake for more $500 million, some even claimed that Ellison paid up to $600 million. When it comes to this kind of hefty sums who would like to care about these insignificant details? As it has been highlighted by Chris Krolow, chief executive officer at Private Islands Inc., the hefty sum might be correct as usually pieces of information on prices, especially those high-end sales, are not disclosed. He noted: "Lanai doesn't really fit into the category of islands that are traded on a regular basis," adding: "this kind of purchase is extremely rare, and it's probably the most expensive island sold."
Lanai, which spreads approximately 140 square miles, was purchased by Larry Ellison from David Murdock. The island, however, is not entirely owned by Larry Ellison and what is interesting is the fact that it is inhabited. But surely Larry Ellison knew what he was doing and inhabitants of the island were no obstacle to him. According to data, about 3,200 inhabitants live at the island. Moreover, Lanai is the home for two vacation resorts and two golf courses, not to mention residential and commercial buildings. The remaining 2 percent stake in the island is held by private residents and the local government as well.
Even though plans for the island have not been disclosed yet, many expect that Larry Ellison will do something amazing and probably undeniably extravagant as he is known to be a great visionary. Many of those, who know him, believe that he will not be concerned with what Hawaiians will think about it or want. He will just go for what he wants and that is it, especially as he is the owner of the most expensive island or at least the person who paid the most for an island.
Necker Island - Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson is not much different from Larry Ellison as he is also considered an extravagant millionaire. And not surprisingly, he also is a proud owner of three islands, two located in the British Virgin Islands and one near Australia. Undoubtedly, Richard Branson can glory in his Necker Island which is believed to be the second most expensive island right behind Larry Ellison's Lanai.
Necker Island was bought by Richard Branson for approximately £180,000, or over $300,000, back in 1978 and these days it is valued at overwhelming $100 million. But do not think that this island is just used as his private hermitage as he transformed the island into a luxury retreat just 6 years after the purchase. Therefore, Richard Branson also does a good business with its property as renting the entire island costs more than $50,000 per night.
Grand Bogue Caye Island - Bill Gate
Bill Gates is also among super-rich people with taste for private islands. He owns Grand Bogue Caye Island in the Republic of Belize. He is said to have bought it for as much as $56 million. That is not to so surprising as money is certainly not an issue for Bill Gates. The island was added to his collection of luxury properties - properties which are tempting for a viewer, even another billionaire.
Beyond shadow of a doubt, the price is not too outrageous for what Grand Bogue Caye Island in Belize offers and it offers indeed many things such as exceptional beaches, changing colors of water, superior beauty and rich variety of marine life.
Tempted? Maybe it's time for you?
Are you now tempted by the possibility of owning your own private island, which can be an escape place from the turmoil of the contemporary world or a dreamt place for an amazingly surprising business? Whatever is your purpose, an ideal island is for the asking as weak demand and growing inventory for private islands affected prices which decreased between 20 percent and 80 percent.
But you will not only buy some kind of an island, you can buy an island which is currently owned by the richest people or by celebrities as they are trying to get rid of them. Just in June 2012, Craig McCaw put James Island on sale for just $75 million. Maybe you will take the bait? Not interested? So perhaps you will be more interested in the private island estate in Montreal owned by Celine Dion. The asking price for the island is slightly over $29 million. Not interested again? Do not worry, there are plenty of other islands on sale and certainly you will find an ideal one for you.
However, remember one thing. Owning an island is not only charming. You have to prepare yourself for facing many challenges while fulfilling your dreams, including corrupted local governments or costly permits which can take months to obtain. What is more, you will probably also face some logistic challenges such as how to get to an island.
But if you are lured with an idea of owning your own island despite the possibility of encountering all of above challenges and even plenty of others, just go for it. You can be the king of your own island and join the exclusive club of island owners.