Henry David Thoreau, historical advocate of simple living and author of Walden, wrote that wealth is the ability to fully experience life. But for some, people wealth is something less abstract and more tangible.

Celebrity real estate deals often demonstrate this point. Recently, Judge Judy joined the ranks of celebrities making over-the-top real estate deals. Let’s marvel at the excesses as we count our blessings ahead of a new year.

Judge Judy Expands

National television arbiter of justice, Judge Judy, is moving on up. She has listed her South Florida condo for sale and already picked up a new mansion nearby. Judith Sheindlin and her husband paid $ 8.6 million for a mansion in Naples and listed a condo in the same location for sale with an asking price of $ 11 million, according to The Real Deal.

The condo, in case you’re in the market for seaside property, is 8,550-square-foot penthouse at a waterfront high-rise on the Gulf of Mexico. The couple bought the penthouse unit for $ 6.9 million in 2005.

Judge Judy isn’t the only celebrity making news in the real estate market …

No Surprises From O!

The national master of positive thinking and self-improvement has yet more to be thankful for. Oprah Winfrey just closed on a home that Luxury Listings NYC called “slightly absurd” … and it sounds like they are just being polite.

The place is in Mountain Village in Telluride, Colorado and sold for $ 13.75 million. A not so modest five-bedroom house, it was featured in a story in Curbed, apparently, and was described there as “completely bonkers.” It has a glass-and-steel bridge, 45 feet long, that leads to a “tree top observation deck.”

There is also a 56-foot wine cellar and a personal funicular to go to the ski slopes from the house. For those who don’t have reason to know, a funicular is a cable railway, and having one means you don’t huddle with the masses waiting for a ski lift.

Winfrey just picked up 60 acres of property nearby in Telluride last year for $ 10.95 million. She reportedly has plans to renovate the new place and build her dream home, as neither of the two she owns in the neighborhood will do. Something to consider the next time she sermonizes on gratitude.

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