Warren Buffett’s Houses: Inside the Billionaire’s Long-Standing Properties

In 1958, at the age of 28, Buffett purchased what has remained, to this day, his primary residence: a $31,500 house in his hometown of Omaha. He and his then wife, Susan, raised their three children there. Built in 1921, the five-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom stucco house measures about 6,570 square feet and sits on a corner lot. (In comparison, Bill Gates’ compound in Medina, Washington, measures nearly 10 times that, at 66,000 square feet.) Realtor.com estimates that the home would be valued around $1.44 million in today’s dollars, which is over 44 times more than what Buffett paid for it, but still just a tiny fraction of his overall net worth. In a 2010 letter to his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, the billionaire called this home the third-best investment he’s ever made; his top two were wedding rings. “I’m happy there,” he told BBC in 2009. “I’d move if I thought I’d be happier someplace else. I couldn’t imagine having a better house.”

Laguna Beach vacation home

Buffett previously owned a home in Emerald Bay, a gated community in Laguna Beach, California.

Photo: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Buffett made one of his only other real estate purchases in 1971 when he and Susan paid $150,000 for a vacation home in Laguna Beach, California. The contemporary-style home measured 3,588 square feet, with high, sculpted ceilings and recessed lighting that gave it a museum-like feel. It boasted six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, including two bedrooms with their own private entrances, as well as a large fireplace and multiple decks with ocean and beach views. The vacation home was situated in a private gated community that boasted amenities like multiple tennis courts, a swimming pool, and beach volleyball courts. Under his ownership, Buffett updated the home and even purchased the house next door as an overflow space for guests, building a staircase to connect the two properties. The modest billionaire told The Wall Street Journal that he’d only bought the place because Susan liked it, so when she passed away in 2004, he decided to sell it. He first sold the connecting property in 2005 for an undisclosed amount and then listed the original vacation home for $11 million in 2017. It sold for $7.9 million the following year.

More farmland

In addition to his two well-known homes, Buffett has also invested in a great deal of farmland, including research farms in South Africa and Arizona. In 1986, he bought a 400-acre farm located 50 miles north of Omaha from the FDIC. “It cost me $280,000,” he wrote in a Berkshire Hathaway annual letter. “I knew nothing about operating a farm…. I calculated the normalized return from the farm to then be about 10%. I also thought it was likely that productivity would improve over time and that crop prices would move higher as well. Both expectations proved out.”

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