The Opulent, Futuristic Megamansion of Bill and Melinda Gates Could Be a Hard Sell

The Opulent, Futuristic Megamansion of Bill and Melinda Gates Could Be a Hard Sell

A trampoline room, an estimated $130 million market value, and a size rivaling that of the White House are some of the unique features of the fortress-like Washington compound of the soon-to-be-divorced Bill and Melinda Gates.

But the suburban Seattle property, should it ever be up for grabs, could be a very tough sell.

“We’re all fascinated with this story for the obvious reasons—the unfathomable wealth, these are both respected people on the world platform,” said Ernie Carswell of Douglas Elliman, a Los Angeles-based agent with upward of 25 years of experience selling some of the city’s most lavish and big-name properties.

“They have an incredible home, but now, if it has to be sold, it’s not going to be wham bam thank you ma’am,” he said.

Dubbed Xanadu 2.0.—but listed in property records as the more straight-laced Gates Residence—the ex-couple’s main home on the edge of Lake Washington near Seattle, is perhaps the jewel in the crown of a hefty property portfolio that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars invested across the U.S. in the form of beachfront mansions, equestrian estates, and vast swaths of farmland, property records show.

“I have a nice house,” the Microsoft boss, who’s worth an estimated $124 billion, said on Reddit in 2019. “It includes a trampoline room which seems kind of over the top but my kids love using it to work off their excess energy. I am not sure how guilty I should feel about being in a great house.”

Details of the home are scarce, but glimpses of what lies behind its walls have been revealed over the years, many in an account from a Microsoft intern who visited in 2007 and wrote about the experience in a blog post.

“Going down Bill’s driveway is like arriving at Jurassic Park,” the intern, Robert Smith, wrote, referring to the film. “The driveway is long, windy, goes steeply down, and is just covered in plant life.”

He also revealed the existence of a movie theater and “a room that looked to be completely filled with couches and pillows.”

“We checked out his dock, his beach (with sand imported from Hawaii), hot tub, and boat. He’s also got this area of his house where a stream runs down from under the house into Lake Washington,” the intern wrote. “We also saw the indoor/outdoor pool that has an underwater grate that allows you to swim between the two sections.”

Such a degree of customization within a private residence doesn’t make a home more valuable, though it does garner attention, according to Mr. Carswell.

“It gets some great PR, a sound bite,” Mr. Carswell said. “I don’t think it adds value, but it gives great recognition.”

The Opulent, Futuristic Megamansion of Bill and Melinda Gates Could Be a Hard Sell

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