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Merry Christmas, Real Estate Brokers: Here Comes Oprah!

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For months, the biggest whale floating in New York's luxury real estate sea has been Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, but here comes the biggest name of all: The Oprah Winfrey. As Oprah gets ready to depart her Chicago-based talk show to run her own network, she's officially in the market, Jennifer Gould Keil reports. The thing is, she's currently only circling the waters outside the city. C'mon, Oprah, Gayle is here! Keil reports that Oprah's first stop yesterday was the $68 million Alpine, N.J., estate built by real estate investor Richard Kurtz. Alpine, eight miles from Manhattan and the "richest place you've never heard of" according to the Brits, was #1 on the Forbes list of richest zip codes last year and #4 this year. So what does $68 million get you these days?

The property, which hit the market though Sotheby's last summer, is the most expensive in Alpine, and includes a five-story, 30,000-square-foot, 19-bedroom mansion (with ballroom, library, wine cellar, movie theater, etc.) carriage house, English gardens, tennis court and saltwater pool. Called the Stone Mansion, the home is built on part of the former estate of Henry Clay Frick II, grandson of the steel magnate. If the photos in the gallery aren't enough, here's a CNBC video tour. Button that shirt up, Kurtz!

Oprah's people requested that everyone leave the house for her walk-through, which we're guessing took about six months to coordinate based on the size of the place. Will she buy the Stone Mansion? That remains to be seen. She also took a house-hunting trip to Rockland County, and her TV network will actually be based in Los Angeles. And seriously, O, isn't 15 Central Park West calling your name?
· Oprah eyes $68M NJ mansion [NYP]
· Listing: An American Masterpiece [Sotheby's]