Top 10 Most Expensive ZIP Codes to Reside In

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Are you curious about where the wealthy and famous live in the United States? If you guessed New York City or Los Angeles, you wouldn’t be too far off. However, which areas are the most luxurious? By examining ZIP codes, such as “90210”, we gain insight into the traditional benchmarks of wealth and the emerging communities for the country’s elite. With hundreds of possibilities, let’s narrow it down to the top 10 based on the median home price.

10: 93108 — Santa Barbara, Calif.

How many cities have had soap operas named after them? Santa Barbara consistently ranks near the top with a median home price just over $3 million. It’s called “America’s Riviera” [source: Forbes], and it is situated on a rare south-facing land along the coastline of California, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. Santa Barbara has a Mediterranean-like climate and is surrounded by numerous wineries and ranches. Moreover, it is a popular destination for Southern California’s elite due to the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

9: 10012 — New York, N.Y.


It takes a lot of money to reside in the heart of the Big Apple.
Hemera/Thinkstock

Three of the top 10 most expensive ZIP codes are in the heart of New York City: Manhattan. The 10012 ZIP code includes two of the trendiest neighborhoods in the world, Greenwich Village and SoHo; it boasts a median home price of $3.2 million [source: Forbes]. It is home to New York University and has a rich cultural history. SoHo is renowned for its arts scene, and it has become a popular destination for upscale shopping in recent decades. Both Greenwich Village and SoHo have experienced gentrification, which has caused home values to skyrocket.

8: 94920 — Belvedere, Calif.

Just north of San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge lies the small city of Belvedere, Calif. The peninsular town is less than a square mile in size and home to roughly 2,000 people [source: City of Belvedere]. The limited space has undoubtedly increased the demand for life in Belvedere, which also has a median home price of $3.2 million. The city offers scenic views of San Francisco Bay, Angel Island, and the larger city itself. Development in Belvedere is restricted to residential property, and residents travel to nearby Tiburon for shopping. Belvedere is also a sailing hot spot and home to the San Francisco Yacht Club, the oldest of its kind along the Pacific Coast.

7: 10065 — New York, N.Y.


Living in this area means you could take a walk through Central Park every day. The 10065 ZIP code was established by the U.S. Postal Service in 2007, along with 10075, and covers part of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Previously, it was part of the posh 10021 ZIP code, which was considered the most elite locale in New York. Although residents were initially worried about losing this status, 10065 has actually surpassed 10021 in rankings. This ZIP code stretches from Fifth Avenue at Central Park to the East River and Lenox Hill, which is home to the prestigious Rockefeller University and requires $3.6 million to purchase a median-priced home, according to Forbes.

6: 90210 — Beverly Hills, Calif.

90210, which is bordered by Mulholland Drive to the north and Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards to the south, is known for its association with popular culture and high cost of living. This ZIP code is home to Rodeo Drive and had a significant impact on the television industry with the show “Beverly Hills, 90210.” It has a median home price of $3.6 million, and its proximity to Hollywood makes it a popular residential area for film producers, executives, and actors.

5: 10014 — New York, N.Y.

10014 is the most expensive ZIP code in Manhattan and is situated in the Far West Village, which is a part of Greenwich Village along the Hudson River. This upscale area has a median home price of $3.7 million and is known for its historical significance in the Beat movement and countercultural musicians in the 1950s and 60s. Although it is a residential area, it is still expensive due to its location in the bustling city.

4: 07620 — Alpine, N.J.

Located about 15 miles northwest of Midtown Manhattan, Alpine, N.J. is a wooded enclave that is popular among the wealthy. Its median home price is $3.8 million, and it has a small population of just over 2,000 people with a volunteer-based fire department. Despite its proximity to New York City, there is no downtown, making it a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

The most expensive ZIP codes in the US are home to the rich and famous, who enjoy living in luxurious communities. Alpine, New York, is a popular bedroom community for celebrities, including Sean Combs, Britney Spears, and Jay-Z. Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo have also called it home since the ’80s. Rolling Hills, California, is a private gated community with a median home price of nearly $3.9 million and 50 miles of horse trails. Atherton, California, is part of Silicon Valley and boasts high-profile residents, including Eric Schmidt, Meg Whitman, and Charles R. Schwab. Despite its wealthy residents, Atherton is a heavily wooded community with a median home price of $4 million. Finally, Bradbury, California, is the most expensive place to live in the US, with homes selling for $4.2 million and more. Bradbury is a tiny town of 1.9 square miles, bordering the Angeles National Forest, and almost all of it is zoned agricultural.

Additional Information

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Sources

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  • Barr, Alastair. “SoHo, New York: Mixed Use, Density and the Power of the Myth.” (April 3, 2011).http://www.barrgazetas.com/papers/SoHo.pdfThe City of Belvedere. (April 3, 2011)
  • Britannica Online Encyclopedia.”Beat movement.” (April 5, 2011)http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/57467/Beat-movement
  • Britannica Online Encyclopedia.”Greenwich Village.” (April 5, 2011)http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/245431/Greenwich-Village
  • Britannica Online Encyclopedia. “Spelling, Aaron.” (April 5, 2011)http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/559219/Aaron-Spelling
  • The City of Alpine.(April 6, 2011)http://www.alpinenj07620.org/index.html
  • The City of Beverly Hills. (April 5, 2011)http://www.beverlyhills.org
  • The City of Bradbury. (April 7, 2011)
  • www.cityofbradbury.org
  • The City of Rolling Hills. “Facts about Rolling Hills.” (April 6, 2011)
  • http://www.rolling-hills.org/DocumentView.aspx?DID=11
  • The City of Santa Barbara (April 2, 2011)
  • www.santabarbaraca.com
  • Cohen, Joyce. “If You’re Thinking of Living in Lenox Hill; The ‘Other East Side.’” The New York Times. July 28, 2002. (April 4, 2011)http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=980CE4D71038F93BA15754C0A9649C8B63
  • Forbes. “America’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes.” 2010. (March 31, 2011)http://www.forbes.com/2010/09/27/most-expensive-zip-codes-2010-lifestyle-real-estate-zip-codes-10-rank.html
  • Gonzalez, Richard. “Analysis: Resident of Belvedere, California, fights to keep his chicken coop.” “All Things Considered.” NPR. March 20, 2000.
  • Greenwich Village Society “The Far West Village and Greenwich Village Waterfront.” for Historical Preservation. (April 5, 2011)http://www.gvshp.org/fwvlpcsub904.htmlNYC.gov.
  • Hoover, Pierce. “Santa Barbara, California.” MotorBoating. Vol. 204, no. 3. Pages 28-30. March 2011.
  • Jet. “Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs Buys $10 Million Mansion in Jew Jersey.” Vol. 106, no. 8. Pages 34-35. Aug. 23, 2004.
  • Century, Douglas. “Alpine, N.J., Home of Hip-Hop Royalty.” The New York Times. Feb. 11, 2007.
  • Hansell, Saul. “Google’s Chief is Googled, to the Company’s Displeasure.” The New York Times. Aug. 8, 2005.
  • Levy, Francesca. “Duarte and Bradbury — a Tale of Two (One?) Cities.” Forbes.com. Sept. 30, 2010. (April 3, 2011)http://blogs.forbes.com/francescalevy/2010/09/30/duarte-and-bradbury-a-tale-of-two-one-cities/
  • NPR. Morning Edition. “Interview: Mayor Alan Carlson of Atherton, California, Discusses Why Residents of His City Have So Many Cars.” May 28, 2002. (April 6, 2011)
  • Reddy, Sameer. “New York’s New Works.” Newsweek. Vol. 157, no. 3. Page 6. Jan. 17, 2011.
  • Roberts, Sam. “An Elite ZIP Code Becomes Harder to Crack.” The New York Times. March 21, 2007. (April 4, 2011)http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/21/nyregion/21zip.html
  • Rockefeller University. (April 5, 2011).http://www.rockefeller.edu
  • Rodeo Drive. (April 5, 2011)http://rodeodrive-bh.com/index4.html
  • San Francisco Yacht Club.(April 4, 2011)http://www.sfyc.org
  • Shapiro, Gary. “Fanciest Postal Code is About to Be Split Up.” The New York Sun. March 19, 2007. (April 5, 2011)http://www.nysun.com/new-york/fanciest-postal-code-is-about-to-be-split-up/50690/
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The information provided includes a date of 12, 2005 and a link to the Town of Atherton website. The source of this information is a list item in a bullet point list. The link leads to the official website of the town. The date is likely referring to a specific event or occurrence related to Atherton.

FAQ

1. What are the 10 most expensive ZIP codes to live in?

The 10 most expensive ZIP codes to live in are primarily located in California and New York. According to a recent study by PropertyShark, the top 3 most expensive ZIP codes are all located in California: Atherton (94027), Beverly Hills (90210), and Palo Alto (94301). Other ZIP codes on the list include Sagaponack (11962) in New York, Fisher Island (33109) in Florida, and Medina (98039) in Washington. These ZIP codes have high median home prices and attract wealthy residents due to their desirable locations and exclusive neighborhoods.

2. What is the median home price in these ZIP codes?

The median home price in these ZIP codes ranges from $6.7 million in Atherton (94027) to $3.9 million in Medina (98039). These prices are significantly higher than the national median home price, which was $238,700 in June 2021 according to the National Association of Realtors. The high median home prices in these ZIP codes are due to the high demand for luxury homes in exclusive neighborhoods, as well as the limited supply of available properties.

3. What amenities do these ZIP codes offer?

These ZIP codes offer a wide range of amenities for their residents, including high-end shopping and dining options, access to top-rated schools, and scenic views. Many of these areas also offer exclusive country clubs and golf courses, private beaches, and gated communities with 24-hour security. Residents in these ZIP codes can enjoy a luxurious lifestyle with easy access to all the amenities they desire.

4. Who typically lives in these ZIP codes?

These ZIP codes are primarily home to wealthy individuals and families. Many of the residents in these areas are business executives, entrepreneurs, and celebrities who value privacy and exclusivity. These ZIP codes offer a high standard of living and attract residents who are willing to pay a premium for luxury homes and exclusive neighborhoods.

5. What makes these ZIP codes so expensive?

There are several factors that contribute to the high cost of living in these ZIP codes. The first is the location: many of these areas are located in or near major metropolitan areas with high demand for luxury homes. The limited supply of available properties also drives up prices, as does the exclusivity of the neighborhoods and the high-end amenities and services offered to residents.

6. Are there any affordable options in these ZIP codes?

While the majority of homes in these ZIP codes are priced well above the national median, there are some more affordable options available. For example, in Atherton (94027), the median price for a condo is $1.6 million, which is significantly less than the median price for a single-family home. In other areas, such as Medina (98039) and Sagaponack (11962), there are also some smaller, more affordable homes available for those who want to live in these exclusive neighborhoods but don’t have the budget for a multi-million dollar mansion.

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