What makes luxury homes expensive in Sarasota? Size matters, of course, and so do luxurious amenities, from custom-designed wine rooms to lavish outdoor spas and kitchens. But there’s one key asset that each of the 20 highest-appraised homes in Sarasota County offers to its fortunate owners: glorious waterfront views. Every one of these (mostly) magnificent mansions enjoys a prime waterfront location. Sixteen look out at the Gulf of Mexico from the offshore keys, and four are perched on the mainland Bayfront.

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Compared to Buckingham Palace, valued at $1.6 billion, or the priciest home in the U.S., dubbed “The One” in Bel Air, Los Angeles, valued at $123,833,152 million, the Sarasota-Manatee luxury home market remains humble, even while it recently introduced its most costly listing yet, at $25 million.

To put together this list of our area’s most expensive homes, we used local property appraiser records to find the area’s 10 most highly valued homes for 2022. (All 10 are located in Sarasota County; Manatee County’s most expensive home is located on Longboat Key and is valued at nearly $12.5 million.) What surprised us—given all the new wealth pouring into the region and the reams of new, high-end construction—is how stable the top 10 list remains when compared to the last time we updated this list, in 2019. Seven of the 10 homes from three years ago still rank in the top 10 and are still owned by the same people.

Former Congresswoman and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Ebbeson (née Harris) built this 16,016-square-foot bayfront home in desirable Bay Point Park in 2012. The architecture follows the Beaux-Arts style, based on Paris’ Hotel Biron, which was constructed in 1730. The house has six bedrooms, 11 baths, a pool, a boathouse and a dock. Now out of politics (Ebbeson certified the Florida recount in the controversial 2000 presidential election), Ebbeson—granddaughter of citrus and cattle magnate Ben Hill Griffin, for whom the University of Florida’s football stadium is named—married Texas banker Richard Ware in 2017; the couple splits their time between Sarasota and Amarillo, Texas.