Our two most expensive homes

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Alexandria is known, among many other fine things, for its lovely and costly luxury homes. As of press time, the two most expensive were each listed at $9,750,000. What made them worth close to $10 million each?

As always, the three magic words were location, luxury and lot size.

Both were built on the Potomac River and feature waterfront access. Each stands on a large lot. Both boast an impressive array of luxuries.

The two homes are also fine examples of classical Colonial style. Built in 1850, Bellapais, on River Farm, follows the strict Georgian plan. Its mullioned shuttered windows stand in strict symmetry against the red brick exterior beneath its slate roof.

Ferry Landing Villa dates from 1942 but also conveys a timeless elegance. Its Southern Colonial style is highlighted by its two-story pillars rising before the entrance to the symmetrical white structure.

Bellapais and Ferry Landing both take full advantage of their waterfront locations and large wooded lots at 25.14 and 4.5 acres, respectively.

On a hill overlooking the river, Bellapais has a pathway leading to it. A barn/stable and office/studio also provide recreation options. 

Ferry Landing offers a short walk to the river, in addition to an in-ground outdoor swimming pool, a cabana, a guest house, a river terrace and a 300-foot private dock with boat lifts. It also boasts a ten-car garage, compared to four cars for Bellapais.

Both homes also display elegant rooms, following their historical traditions. The living rooms feature carved marble mantels beneath elaborate crown moldings.

Each house also boasts fireplaces in the master suite, the dining room and the library, which also features built-in bookshelves. Both homes are also graced by verandas and terraces, taking full advantage of the river views.

Bellapais has a total of six bedrooms, seven full baths and one powder room. Ferry Landing has five bedrooms, four full baths and two powder rooms.

Despite their historical interest, Ferry Landing and Bellapais have been recently updated with modern conveniences such as gourmet kitchens with granite counters and central work islands.

In addition, they share the same schools: Washington Mill Elementary School, Whitman Middle School and Mount Vernon High School.

For information about Bellapais, call William F.X. Moody at Washington Fine Properties (202-243-120). For Ferry Landing, call Kim Harrison at Long & Foster (703-472-4445).

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