Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Leave the palaces to royalty

-or at least assume they are among the few who can actually afford them. Case in point, the 90,000 sf Windermere, FL mansion, inspired by the Chateau de Versailles of France, is now on the market for $75 million because owner David Siegel cannot afford to keep it, let alone finish its construction. Yes, finish. The house is currently for sale “as is”, which means it’s a huge empty shell with only steel beams, insulation and electrical wiring inside. Siegel, a timeshare entrepreneur, put the brakes on the home’s construction due to the recession. He had initially intended the home which boasts over 10 kitchens, 13 bedrooms, a rolling rink, multiple pools, a movie theater and personal baseball field to house his twelve children. Siegel did not want to impose further cutbacks at his company to afford it, so he chose to stop construction. The home can be finished, however, if it is purchased for a hefty $100 million dollars. Someone with a chunk of change that large is a rare find. We’re talking billionaire status. According to Forbes (, there are 1,011 billionaires in the entire world or .000000151% of the population, and I’m sure an even smaller percentage is looking to buy a palace. Forbes ranked this home to be the fifth most expensive in the nation, but it is the second largest for sale. What’s more, if the buyer purchased for $100 million, the property taxes alone would be between $1.45 and $1.74 million!! Most of us can’t even afford to buy a house at that price! What it comes down to is, don’t build a house you’re not going to be able to finish or maintain, because most likely we won’t be able to either. Let alone buy. This very special house is going to need a very special buyer.


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