Bill Gates net worth is almost $98 Billion, or at least it was when this article was published. Buying or building a house is a common billionaire dream but for Gates’, the word lavish doesn’t even begin to describe Xanadu 2.0.
The compound got its name after the mansion in the movie Citizen Kane, a house built by a man with all the money he could ever want. Xanadu 2.0 has its own Wikipedia page and in 2017, the King County Department of Assessments valued the mansion at around $127.484 million, double the amount of money spent in building the house.
But that’s not surprising considering how successful Gates is, this laid-back guy brought computers into the household. As the public face and co-founder of Microsoft, he was there as the company grew and by the age of 31, Gates’ net worth was $1 billion.
Along with the money from Microsoft, Gates boasted an impressive investment portfolio which landed him the title of richest man in the world for several years. Though Amazon’s Jeff Bezos eventually claimed the title, Gates still holds the spot as the second richest man. This success allowed him to create his mansion in Medina, Washington.
Here is a quick peek at what makes his house so special.
The house took seven full years to make after the lot was purchased by Gates in 1988 for $2 million, mere pocket change for a billionaire like Gates. Bohlin Cywinski and the Cutler-Anderson Architects of Bainbridge Island designed the house and used 500 Douglas Firs in its construction, with the help of hundreds of workers. When it was finally complete, the house measured 66,000 square feet.
Even though Gates is one of the fathers of technology, his home was built with Mother Nature in mind. Xanadu 2.0 is earth-sheltered to reduce heat loss and has an artificial stream to help with runoff and Gates keeps the stream stocked with salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout. Gates even has a favorite tree on the property. The 44-year-old maple tree growing near the driveway is electronically monitored 24-hours a day. The sensors can tell if the tree is too dry and will water it automatically.Bill Gates House
Xanadu 2.0’s natural aspects are balanced by its science fiction-esque technology. Guests of the house can use sensors and high-tech pins to change the lighting, temperature and even music when they enter a room. Speakers behind the wallpaper in each room mean that guests can take their music with them through the house. Visitors can also change the art on the walls with the touch of a button thanks to computer screens throughout the house. That technology is still impressive today so back in the 90’s when Gates moved in people probably thought it was very alien.
In a 66,000 square foot house, a trip to the kitchen could take days. Luckily, Xanadu 2.0 has six kitchens so no matter where Gates or his guests are they can grab a quick snack. There are also seven bedrooms if visitors need a place to crash – additionally there is a 1,900 square foot guest house for those who want a little more privacy. And in case of potty breaks, there are 24 bathrooms and 10 bathtubs.
But that’s not all. There is a 2,100 square foot library complete with a domed roof and two pivoting bookcases, one that turns into a bar. Gates also has another valuable treasure secured here, Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester – a 16th-century notebook Gates bought for $30.8 million at an auction in 1994. When Gates wants to take a quick dip, he has an indoor-outdoor pool that measures 60 by 17 feet. A glass wall separates the two sections and an underwater speaker system makes parties even more fun. There is also a locker room to clean up after.
When it’s party time at Xanadu 2.0 visitors can enjoy dinner in the large dining room before enjoying some of the house’s other features. Like the trampoline room with 20-foot ceilings or the in-home movie theater with comfy seats and couches.
Unfortunately, getting a chance to look at Xanadu 2.0 is pretty hard. Someone had to pay $35,000 just for a tour. Microsoft does hold an auction every year where employees can bid on services, so if you work there you may be lucky enough to get a peek inside this spacious estate.