There’s no question that some parts of the country cost a whole lot more to live in than others—whether they be idyllic small towns or high-end big city hot spots. The term “expensive,” however, can be relative to a certain degree and mean different things to different people. But we wanted to find the most expensive zip code in the country, where there would be no disagreement on using the aforementioned term.
Popular real estate resource PropertyShark had experts on the latest market trends, data, and industry news analyze residential transactions closed between Jan. 1, 2020, and Oct. 15, 2020, to find the richest zip codes in the U.S. based on median home sale price. The researchers took into account condos, co-ops, and single- and two-family homes, but “all package deals were excluded.” They also only considered zip codes that “registered a minimum of three residential transactions.” Read on to discover the most expensive zip code in the U.S., according to their findings.
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98039: Medina, Washington
Median home sale price: $3.23 million
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Washington in King County, Washington, Medina is one of the most desired—and expensive—zip codes on the planet. It’s no wonder that its most famous residents are Bill and Melinda Gates (at least until their divorce became official early last month).
The 66,000-square-foot mansion the two shared in Medina was part of a sprawling complex that was given the nickname Xanadu 2.0 by Gates’ biographers, according to The Seattle Times. It reportedly included “a spa, a 60-foot pool, a gym paneled with stone from a mountain peak in the Pacific Northwest, a trampoline room, and a stream for salmon, trout and other fish.”
Today, the almost mythic property has been valued at more than $130 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
94301: Palo Alto, California
Median home sale price: $3.3 million
Located in Santa Clara County, Palo Alto is often referred to as the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley,” according to the city’s official website. It is home to 69,700 residents and known for the unique fact that it operates its own gas, electric, water, and sewer systems, among other services
In addition to being home to some of the most established tech companies in the world, as well as some of the industry’s most promising startups, Palo Alto natives include Apple CEO Tim Cook.
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11932: Bridgehampton, New York
Median home sale price: $3.33 million
Bridgehampton is a hamlet in Suffolk County, New York on the South Shore of Long Island. It is roughly 95 miles east of Manhattan and located within the Town of Southampton. Bridgehampton is known to be one the most expensive parts of the Hamptons and has been home to reality TV star and businesswoman Bethenny Frankel and model Christie Brinkley, among many other notable names.
94022: Los Altos, California
Median home sale price: $3.45 million
Los Altos, California—also located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County—is a residential community about 40 miles south of San Francisco known for its large plots of land and expensive, modern homes, particularly in the Los Altos Hills section of the town. It’s no surprise that one of its many famous and powerful residents includes Google founder Sergey Brin.
94028: Portola Valley, California
Median home sale price: $3.53 million
Portola Valley is a suburb of San Jose and is one of two zip codes on this list located in San Mateo County. It is also considered to be a part of Silicon Valley and according to Silicon Valley Business Journal, billionaires including real estate titan John Arrillaga, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, and former Cisco Systems CEO John Morgridge have all called the neighborhood home.
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94957: Ross, California
Median home sale price: $3.6 million
Ross, a California town of 2,550 residents, is located in Marin County, approximately 18 miles north of San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a small town of only 1.6 square miles and is known for its restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and idyllic atmosphere. Rich and powerful figures such as Sean Penn, Julia Child, and Gov. Gavin Newsom have all called Ross home at one point or another.
90210: Beverly Hills, California
Median home sale price: $3.75 million
Beverly Hills, California, is perhaps the most famous zip code on this list, thanks to the wildly popular ’90s drama that named it. Located in Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills has a population of approximately 33,274 residents and average household income of $195,716, according to 2021 estimates by World Population Review.
The affluent zip code is home to luxury shopping destination Rodeo Drive, and, of course, countless celebrities from Elton John to Jennifer Aniston.
90402: Santa Monica, California
Median home sale price: $3.75 million
Tied with Beverly Hills in terms of median home sale price is Santa Monica, California. Located in Los Angeles County, about 15 miles west of downtown L.A., Santa Monica boasts nearly four miles of beaches, award-winning restaurants, luxury shopping, a vibrant art scene, and the famous Santa Monica Pier, home of the world’s only solar powered Ferris wheel.
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11962: Sagaponack, New York
Median home sale price: $3.88 million
Sagaponack is a tiny village that’s less than 5 square miles, located at the east end of Southampton Town between Bridgehampton and Wainscott, according to the town’s website. Its year-round population hovers around just 350 residents, but it has many more seasonal visitors, one of whom is actor Drew Barrymore, who bought a $6 million farmhouse there in 2019.
94027: Atherton, California
Median home sale price: $7 million
Atherton, California, located in San Mateo County, is a small town located about 30 miles south of San Francisco and only about 12 miles north of Silicon Valley, according to Google Maps.
Given its close proximity to the heart of the tech industry, Atherton has become a small town for people with big money, and the zip code has been home to tech billionaires like late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, former HP CEO Meg Whitman, and Google chairman Eric Schmidt, according to Business Insider. And those are just a few of the many rich and famous who have called one of the neighborhood’s mega mansions home at one point or another.
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