SELLER: Bill and Melinda Gates
LOCATION: Hobe Sound, FL
SIZE: 9,458 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 7 full and 2 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was South Florida-based celebrity and society gossip Jose Lambiet who first let the real estate cat out of the bag about zillionaire software super-mogul Bill Gates and his wife Melinda shelling out $8.7 million for an equestrian estate in a gated enclave in the horsey community of Wellington, FL.
Well, children, turns out the horsey spread in Wellington isn’t the only Sunshine State property that Mister and Missus Gates currently own. At least not according to a well-connected snitch we’ll call Wendy Whistleblower who whispered to Your Mama via covert communique that in August 2009 the Washington State-based couple quietly coughed up $5,000,000 for well-maintained mini-mansion in sleepy but swanky Hobe Sound, FL.
Lo and behold, using an address supplied by Miz Whistleblower, Your Mama almost immediately discovered the Hobe Sound residence in question, the one Miz Whistleblower says is owned by Bill and Melinda Gates,* is actually for sale on the open market—and has been since January 2012—with an asking price of $6,600,000.
Current listing details describe the single story mini-mansion as a “Spectacular European villa” that sits on 5.24 mostly mangroved acres with 200 feet of direct frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway. Listing details go on to indicate the mansard-roofed manse was built in 2003 with four bedrooms and seven full and two half bathrooms in 9,458 square feet of recently refreshed interior space replete with sand and terra-cotta-colored checkered marble floors, high ceilings with thick crown molding, and an impressive amount of custom cabinetry and mill work **
A center hall foyer flanked by a wood-paneled library and a formal dining room stretches deep into the house where it opens in to an immense, stone tile floored formal living room with a weirdly wee fireplace. Three sets of wood-framed glass doors open to the outdoors and another set opens in to an airy, window-ringed room with a soaring wood plank lined ceiling and a dark-bottomed indoor swimming pool. Terraces, patios and loggias that line the rear of the residence give way to a flat patch of grass sliced by a brick path that leads to a raised wooden walkway that becomes a permanent dock as it extends out over the shimmering Intracoastal. Other notable features include an expensively equipped center island kitchen, a spacious laundry room with dual washers and dryers, and a water view master suite with dual bathrooms.
Some of the children may recall that, as of yesterday, Your Mama was only aware of two private homes owned by Mister and Missus Gates: the newly purchased horse place in Wellington and their 50,000 square foot lake front super-compound in Medina (WA). Since then it’s come to our attention that Mister and Missus Gates maintain a healthy handful of high-maintenance luxury properties.
The couple has been widely reported to belong to the Yellowstone Club, a frightfully expensive,*** members only golf and ski community in Big Sky, MT where other members include the likes of politicos Dan Quayle and Bill Frist, Beverly Hills businessman Burt Sugarman and his celebrity gossip journalist wife Mary Hart, parking lot mogul and much-maligned former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, three time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, and media, entertainment, and tech world power player Peter Chernin, to name but a few.
Since the summer of 1999 the the Gates have also owned a sprawling 13,573 square foot residence on 1.33 acres that backs up to a Tom Fazio-designed golf course at the guard-gated and ultra-posh Vintage Club in Indian Wells, CA. Property records and other online resources indicate they paid $12.5 million for their deluxe desert digs through a trust that familiarly links back to Mister Gate’s father’s law offices in Kirkland (WA). According to property records and other online resources, some of the other big-rich home owners at The Vintage Club include: influential businessman Kent Kresa; Texas-based beer and banking tycoon Bud Dillard’s widow, Kay; Louisiana energy mogul William Doré; bajillionaire industrialist and conservative political activist Charles Koch; French paper pasha Jacques Lejeune; the late Austrian industrialist Friedrich Flick’s multi-billionaire widow Ingrid; agro-industrialist Cargil MacMillan’s multi-billionaire widow Donna; and Las Vegas casino owner Faye Johnson.
*For the record, Your Mama can’t link Mister or Missus Gates specifically to the Hobe Sound estate in question but a perusal of property records reveals the posh pad is indeed owned through a corporate concern that, like many of Mister and Missus Gates’ real estate holdings, links directly back to Mister Gates’ father’s law offices in Kirkland, WA. The same corporate entity, as it turns out, also owns a whole mess of ranch land—several hundred acres, at least—north of Denver along the Front Range Urban Corridor in and around the communities of Berthoud and Loveland.
**For the record, the Martin County Tax Man shows the house has five bedrooms and six bathrooms in 7,278 square feet.
***The New York Times reported in June 2009 that members cough up a minimum of a quarter million dollars to join the club, spend another $5-35 million to buy and/or build a house, and are saddled with what otherwise sounds quite reasonable $20,000 in annual dues.
listing photos: Waterfront Properties and Club Communities