Do you recognize this famous $60+ million home complete with a 60 foot pool and 20+ car garage?
Bill Gates is one of the the richest men in the world. His Medina, Washington home, which overlooks Lake Washington, is frugal when compared to his net worth of about $80 billion. His home, affectionately nicknamed Xanadu 2.0 took Gates seven years and $63 million to build. It’s crazy when you realize that $63 million isn’t even 0.1% of his overall wealth!
And yet, it really comes as no surprise. Gates is one of the most philanthropically minded individuals on the planet. And even with its “modest” price, Xanadu 2.0 is one of the most technologically advanced houses that the world has seen. But this should come as no surprise from the man behind Microsoft.
Here are 12 crazy facts about Bill Gates’ 66,000 square foot estate:
1. Much of Gates’ enormous residence is “earth-sheltered,” meaning that it is buried into the hillside and surrounded by towering trees.
2. The 1,900-square-foot guest house was the first building on the property and was completed in 1992.
3. Xanadu 2.0’s exercise facility is better equipped than most health clubs. It is 2,500-square-feet, includes a sauna, a steam room, separate men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a separate trampoline room with a 20-foot ceiling.
4. The exercise facility does not take into account his 3,900-square-foot pool building. The swimming pool is 17 X 60 feet-long, and has an underground music system. The floor is painted in a fossil motif, and swimmers can dive under a glass wall and emerge outdoors by a terrace.
5. Outside Gates’ estate is home to a wetland estuary and an artificial stream that were created and devised to solve any runoff issues that the property’s large walls could potentially create. The water is kept constantly stocked with sea-run cutthroat trout and salmon to add to the aesthetic appeal and eco-friendly nature of the property
6. The house has a total of 24 bathrooms, 10 of which are full baths. Very helpful if Gates is throwing a lavish extravaganza, but a little over-kill if not. Think about it: with 23 garage spots, Gates could have over 23 guests, and they could each use their own bathroom and still have one to spare. There are also a total of six fully-stocked (we’re assuming) kitchens, located in different parts of the house so staff can be ready for any event, any where, any time.
7. What do Bill Gates and Bruce Wayne have in common? They’re both billionaire entrepreneurs with their own self-stylized bat caves. Bill Gates may not have a Batmobile (we can neither confirm nor deny this statement), but he does have three separate garages which can house a total of 23 cars.
8. Bill Gates purchased the lot of his estate in 1988 for $2 million (a little over $4 million in today’s dollars). The estate took seven years to build, and ended up costing $63 million to build. Even so, in 2009, judging by Gates’ property tax records, the house had a whopping value of $147.5 million! As of 2012, the house has settled to almost double the value of its original cost, and is worth $123.54 million.
9. Upon entering Bill Gates’ Lake Washington estate, visitors are surveyed and then given a special microchip/pin. The pin interacts with sensors that are located all over the house, and individual guests can enter their temperature and lighting preferences so that the settings change as they move throughout the house.
10. Bill Gates is a man who loves hidden, cryptic things. He has a hidden guest house, a hidden garage/bat cave, and more. One of the most fascinating and tech-savvy uses of this “hidden agenda,” is that there are speakers hidden beneath the wallpaper of the rooms, which allows music to follow guests from room to room. Further more, the flooring in every part of the house is pressure sensitive and monitored. This means that family members or security personnel can know who is in the residence at any given time, just by the weight of their footsteps!
11. The personal library of Bill Gates’ Medina estate is perhaps the coolest part of the whole property. It is a 2,100-square-foot, domed room, ornately paneled with a classic style. The reading room even has two secret, pivoting bookcases. Behind one of the bookcases is a hidden bar (see: more hidden stuff). Somewhere in this library is the home of Leonardo da Vinci’s 16th-century notebook, the Codex Leicester. Bill Gates bought the priceless notebook on scientific writings at a 1994 auction, for $30.8 million (that’s nearly half as much as his entire house cost to create).
12. And finally, Gates had a quote from The Great Gatsby etched into the ceiling of the library, which reads: “He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.”
Not a bad investment considering his home is now worth over $120 million! If you were worth $80 billion, what features would your dream home include?