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Introduction to the Top 10 Most Expensive Houses in the World

This one-of-a-kind mansion in Maryland looks very expensive but it doesn't make our list of the 10 highest-priced.

Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

What makes a home varies wildly around the world. From a small apartment in the heart of Dubai, to a hut in the steppes of Mongolia, to two-story prefab on a quarter-acre lot in Phoenix, houses come in many shapes and sizes. On occasion, they also come in monster size.

In 2012, the average cost of an American home was $178,600, and that includes everything from spanking-new "McMansions" to run-down ranches [source: National Association of Realtors]. There are those in the world, however, who pour entire fortunes into their homes. While even homes on the market for a few million dollars are out of grasp for most of us, there are some people who've exceeded even that expense, spending what amounts to the gross domestic product of some countries on their homes.

While every person's home is his or her castle, sometimes we still can't help but gawk at someone else's really large, really expensive house. It's in this spirit that we get to the bottom of just who has the most expensive home in the world? We settle the issue here, taking a glimpse at the top ten.

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