Bill Gates, the cofounder of Microsoft, holds the record for being the second richest man in America, with a net worth of $93.5 billion. What does one do with all that money? Well, build one of the world’s most extravagant houses, of course. It took Bill Gates seven years and $63 million dollars to build Xanadu 2.0, his 66,000 square foot estate, located in Medina Washington. The Bill Gates house was named after the fictional home of Charles Watson Kane (Citizen Kane) and is currently worth at least $127 million dollars.
It was reported that upon originally purchasing the property, Gates only paid about $2 million. That’s quite a return on investment if you ask us!
Let’s take a look at some of the most incredible and over the top features of the Bill Gates house. We just want to warn you, these amenities are bound to make you jealous.
19. High Tech Sensors so Guests Can Adjust Personal Temperature and Lighting Preferences
Did you guys even know this was a possibility? We didn’t! As guests enter the home, they are provided with a pin to wear which interacts with sensors placed throughout the estate.
This allows them to personally adjust their room temperature and lighting settings, which would then change as they move from room to room. Speakers are also located behind the wallpaper, which allows music to follow as you navigate your way through each space.
18. Interchangeable, Interactive Wall Art
The house is fitted with over $80,000 worth of computer screens. Visitors are able to change the wall art to any of their favorite paintings or photographs, which are all stored on devices worth $150,000. Talk about a way to always keep things new and fresh looking!
17. Underwater Music System in the Pool
Don’t you wish you could always have a fun soundtrack playing for you when you’re out taking a dip in the pool? Poolside speakers are great and all, but what about when you’re underwater? Xanadu 2.0’s 60-foot pool is located in its own 3,900 square foot building.
It features an underwater music system that allows all guests to listen to their favorite tracks, even when underwater. They can also swim underneath a glass wall to get to an outdoor terrace area or hit the locker rooms to rinse off, where there are four showers and two baths.
16. Reception Hall
If you’re Bill Gates, you bring the party to you. There’s no need to look for an event space, as the estate features a 2,300 square foot hall, capable of seating up to 150 guests for a sit-down dinner or 200 guests for stand-up cocktail service. One wall is devoted to a 6-foot wide limestone fireplace, while another has a 22-foot wide video screen.
15. 24 Bathrooms
Throughout the space, there are 24 bathrooms, 10 of which are full baths. This is great if you’re hosting a large number of people, but we think it may be a bit over the top for daily use. However, at least Gates has a ton of options for a relaxing bubble bath!
14. 6 On-Site Kitchens
Considering the estate has a full reception hall, we’re not at all surprised to hear there are a few kitchens to make sure Gates is capable of easily catering an event. Plus, with space this big, it’d be quite the endeavor to walk all the way from one side of the mansion to the other for a midnight snack. We get it, it’s not extravagant, it’s just practical!
13. 2,100 Square Foot Library
It seems like Bill Gates may be a bit of a reader. The library boasts a dome ceiling and two secret bookcases, one of which reveals a hidden bar. We like your style, Gates!
The ceiling features a quote from the literary classic, The Great Gatsby, “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”.
Among the literary works sits the Codex Leicester, a 16th Century Leonardo da Vinci manuscript, which Gates purchased at auction for $30.8 million.
12. Home Theater
Why go to the movies when you can bring the movies to you? The Gates house theater can accommodate up to 20 guests and features armchairs, couches, and even a popcorn machine for fresh snacks. We thought those dine-in movie theaters were a fancy treat. Oh boy, did Bill Gates prove us wrong?
11. The Guest House
The 1,900 square foot guest house was the first building to be completed on the Gates house estate. It was meant to be a test for the technology to be used in the main house.
Every piece of the tech featured and utilized in the main house exists and is functional in the guest house meaning that when guests arrive for an extended stay, they are in for quite lavish amenities.
There are a few garages across the estate, but the most notable one is an underground cave made of concrete and stainless steel. This one garage alone can accommodate up to 10 cars.
A big car fan, Gates’ garages across the property can hold up to 23 cars. Parts of the concrete are purposefully broken to give the cave a deconstructive look.
9. Imported Sand from the Caribbean
Across the estate is a lakefront shore which contains sand that Gates has imported by barge each year from St. Lucia.
8. Artificial Stream
A stream was created to mitigate any runoff water issues that the large walls across the property may have created. It is kept stocked with salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout.
7. Trampoline Room
The workout space contains a sauna, steam room, and both men’s and women’s locker rooms. However, the main attraction has to be the inclusion of a trampoline in a room with 20 ft ceilings. Unfortunately, there are no reports about just how big the trampoline is, but we suspect it may be just a tiny bit over the top.
6. Maple Tree
On the property, near the main house’s driveway, sits a 40-year-old maple tree that Bill Gates took a special liking to. In an effort to keep it properly maintained and prolonging its lifespan, Gates has its computer monitored for optimal conditions. If it ever gets too dry, water is automatically pumped directly to the tree.
5. Earth Sheltered House
Xanadu 2.0 is built in and around nature, which helps regulate temperature and reduce heat. Parts of the estate are burrowed right into the hill it sits on, making it cost-efficient when it comes to heating and cooling and of course, more eco-friendly than other methods of heating and cooling.
4. Property Taxes
An estate this incredibly lavish comes at a price. Each year, it is reported that Bill Gates spends over $1 million in property taxes alone. That’s right, just for being allowed to live on the property that he already owns, he pays a $1 million+ fee annually.
Why would the Gates family have simple hardwood floors? What are they, peasants? Floors in every part of the residence are pressure censored and monitored around the clock. This allows security to always know who is in the house and where they are at.
2. Only 7 Bedrooms
This seems a little underwhelming for such an impressive and massive property, don’t you think? Well, we’re sure that each of these bedrooms is probably as large as an apartment, but it’s nice to see that some things are kept a bit grounded.
1. The Grand Staircase
A mansion isn’t complete without a grand staircase, and this one definitely does not disappoint. It’s 92 feet long, with 84 steps. If you’re not really feeling up for the climb, of course there’s an elevator option.
It’s pretty clear to see why this home is currently worth over $100 million. The estate is one of the most technologically advanced home wonders, designed with every comfort in mind. It’s such a marvel that even a tour of the property is something of great value.
Each year, Microsoft holds an auction where employees donate products and services which people can bid on. The proceeds are donated to the company’s charitable fund. Bill Gates has donated private tours of his estate as part of the auction in the past.
It has been reported that one Microsoft employee bid and won a tour for $35,000. You’d think he could have at least had a one night stay in the guest room for that much!
This house is clearly so much more than an innovator’s dream home. It is a technological and architectural masterpiece that was crafted with true care and attention to detail. We absolutely love everything about it. Wonder what other secrets this incredible estate must hold?