PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle could see themselves splashing out £5million-a-year to keep their new home running.
Experts have warned the living costs of the sprawling mansion in Santa Barbara will soon eat away at the couple’s finances.
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This week, it emerged they had purchased a sprawling nine-bedroom mansion in upscale Montecito, California.
It is believed the pair, who sensationally quit the UK and official palace duties at the beginning of the year, took out a £7.25m mortgage to buy the 14,563-square-foot property.
But that expenditure is just the start, as huge homes in California come with eye-watering bills for staff, utilities and taxes.
It is estimated they would have to pay £30,000 a month, or £360,000 a year, to pay back their mortgage over 30 years, at typical Bank of America interest rates.
And annual property tax in the wealthy area of the US is estimated to be £112,000, one per cent of the home’s sale price.
This calculation is based on the £11m price tag of the home and its upmarket location in Santa Barbara.
The pair also still owes the repayment costs of Frogmore Cottage.
The Sussexes have to pay back the UK taxpayer £18,000 a month for the £2.4million spent renovating their former home near Windsor Castle.
Christopher Baker, a supplier domestic staff in the state, told the Hollywood Reporter that a staff for A-list celebs can cost around £230,000 per year – although that figure can increase depending on the star’s lifestyle.
Justin Rubinstein of real estate firm Compass told the news outlet that maintaining the garden at a palatial home could “easily eclipse” £76,000.
He said: “Landscaping is always important because who wants to spend $10million on a house and have an unappealing facade or front yard?”
Mr Rubinstein also says mansion owners should set aside cash for emergencies because “eventually, there will be a flood, or an electrical issue, or a roof repair”.
Jennifer Leahy, of real estate firm Douglas Elliman, says large homes can have maintenance costs of around £8,000-a-month.
Butlers, a chef and housekeepers could cost £520,000-a-year, with gardeners, pool staff, personal assistants and a chauffeur adding on 495,000-a-year.
Utility bills for a home the size of the royal couple’s would be at least £2,300 a month, Business Insider reports, with some experts predicting it could be closer to £4,000-a-month
They could shell out £23,400 a year for electricity, £12,600 for water and £21,600 for gas.
But the biggest expenditure that Harry and Meghan have is security after they reportedly hired elite company GDBS to protect them while living in LA.
The firm, described as the “secret service for famous people”, costs around £7,000-a-day meaning it would leave the Sussexes with a £2.5million bill.
GDBA is owned by Gavin de Becker, a national security expert and ex-presidential aide who was hired by the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos as an investigator.
If they couple decide to splash out on private health schemes and personal trainers – likely, as they won’t want to join the local gym – they could be losing around £75,000 each year.
Although they are environmentally conscious, the pair have used private jets in the past for security.
And if they visit the UK and go on holiday throughout the year it could see them spending around £500,000.
If they choose to do up their enormous new home, the redecoration and furniture costs could be as high as £300,000, with thousands spent filling the wine cellar.
Omid Scobie the co-author of Finding Freedom – an unofficial biography which lifts the lid on the Sussexes’ decision to quit the royal family – told ET that the couple have found their “forever home”.
He also dismissed reports saying Prince Charles had helped them with the purchase, saying: “Finding a house in the middle of a pandemic is difficult, but they were able to find a peaceful home in Santa Barbara.
“A home that they have bought with their own money.”
Records show that the couple bought the mansion from a Russian oligarch who previously owned the “Scarface estate”.
The Sussexes bought the home from a limited liability company partly owned by Russian tycoon Sergey Grishin.
Grishin is no stranger to big real estate deals in Montecito after he owned the sprawling mansion made famous by the 1983 gangster movie Scarface.
He sold that iconic property, which in the past hosted the likes of Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein, for £9.3million in 2015.
Harry and Meghan’s palatial pad, known as The Chateau, was bought by Grishin in 2009 for £19million.
But he has struggled to find wealthy buyers able to meet the asking price.
It was eventually listed again in January, for around £13m and sold to the royal couple for around £2m under that asking price.
According to real estate agents who spoke with the LA Times, the deal was closed in an “off-market” sale in June.
Tax records for the mansion match the limited liability companies previously created by Meghan, it has been reported.