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Have you ever wondered how Bill Gates, the world's richest person, lives? You can tweak your imagination to all levels to form possibilities of mind-blowing facts about this business magnate's Medina mansion. And here are 22 most over-the-top features about his house.
However, when Gates bought this property in 1988, it was worth only $2 million. Gates pays around $1 million in property taxes each year. As a shy person, he also bought the $60 million compound and several neighboring houses for $14.4million to protect his privacy.
This massive 66,000 square foot mansion sits on 5 wooded acres of amazing in Washington State, coordinating to the Lake Washington complex. It was named Xanadu 2.0, the fictional home of the lead character in the movie, Citizen Kane.
The "Pacific Lodge" style house is partially built into the hill it sits on, which is called earth sheltering. Apart from looking really cool, this helps reduce heat loss and maintain a steady climate more efficiently and eco-friendly.
The massive house has only 7 bedrooms, which sounds a bit weird. Moreover, there are 24 bathrooms with 10 containing bathtubs. So, in this mansion, one bedroom has more than three bathrooms.
There are a total of 6 kitchens strategically located in different parts of the house so that the staff can be ready for a party at any given time without any hassles. The formal dining room is 1,000 square foot and can seat up to 24 people.
The reception hall encompasses an area of about 2,300 square feet and can hold a dinner party for 150 guests or a cocktail party for 200 at a time. The kitchen in the hall is very big and contains huge limestone fireplace and video display that runs on a 22-feet wide screen.
The 2,100-square-foot library has two secret bookcases, one with a hidden bar. On the domed ceiling a quote from "The Great Gatsby" is engraved: "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." The library features Leonardo da Vinci's manuscript Codex Leicester that Gates bought at auction for $30.8 million in 1994.
The 1,500 square foot home theater is designed in an Art Deco style, with comfy chairs and couches to seat 20 people, and even a popcorn machine for snacking.
Gates has an incredible 2,500 square foot gym which includes a sauna, steam room, plus separate men's and women's locker rooms. The coolest thing in the grand gym is probably the trampoline room with 20 foot high ceilings.
The 17 by 60-foot pool is equipped with an underwater music system. A glass wall separates the pool from an outside terrace, and you can swim under it to go outside and on the terrace. There is also an adjacent locker room with four showers and two baths.
Gates set 11,500 square feet aside for the family's wing. It contains four large bedrooms attached with a four-car garage and special living quarters for a nanny.
The property has several garages located on various floors, holding up to 23 cars. The major highlight of these garages is the underground, rustic garage that can accommodate 10 cars at least. It was deliberately built in a rough style.
The 1,900 square foot guest house is the first finished building on the property. It's a mini version of the main house and was used to test the technology that was designed for the main house. Gates wrote much of his book "The Road Ahead" there.
Every visitor gets assigned a pin that interacts with sensors located in each room of the house. Each pin has a set of preferences including music choices, lighting selections, and temperature control. You can change the settings to cater to you while moving throughout the house.
The mansion has a special TV-cum-computer screen combos worth $80,000, being run by computer storage devices worth $150,000 each. You can call out the name of a painting or photo on these special screens, and the devices will retrieve the images for you.
The artwork on the walls famously changes with the push of a button.
Gates is very fond of a 40-year-old maple tree that stands close to his property's driveway. This tree is so beloved that it's electronically monitored 24/7, 365 days a year by computer. If at any point it becomes too dry, water is automatically pumped into it to make sure it grows well.
Gates created an artificial stream and wetland estuary to solve problems with the foundation and the runoff water caused by the property's large retaining walls. The water comes fully stocked with salmon and sea run cutthroat trout.
Gates has his own private beach and his own piece of the Caribbean right in his backyard. His beach contains sand that's not normal Washington State lakefront sand. It's delivered from St. Lucia in the Caribbean in large quantities by a barge each year.
The 900-square-foot building was moved to sit next to Gates' sports court via barge. In fact, a total of three houses have been relocated via barge to make room for the new house. Just imagine what was paid to make this incredible thing happen!
With all these mind-boggling features and facilities, it's no surprise that the property cost Gates 7 years, $63 million, and 300 workers to build with 500-year old Douglas fir timbers. All the details were crafted very intricately, and a door handle cost around $200 million.
Microsoft holds an auction each year, where employees have a chance to bid on products and services, and the proceeds go to the company's charity. Gates once donated private tours of Xanadu 2.0, and an employee won the tour with a bid of $35,000.