Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What If I offer $75 and a couple dozen cookies?

$75M mansion near Orlando selling 'as is'

WINDERMERE, Fla. – The brochure promises a "monument to unparalleled success."

The 90,000-square-foot home for sale outside Orlando has 23 bathrooms, 13 bedrooms, 10 kitchens and three pools. All that and more for $75 million "as is."

The catch? It's not finished.

Nicknamed "Versailles" by owner and timeshare tycoon David Siegel, the mansion hit the market recently as the largest home for sale in the United States. Construction was halted last year to save money in a recession that proved particularly hard on Siegel's industry.

The home also has a 20-car garage, a bowling alley, an indoor-roller rink, a movie theater, a video arcade, a fitness center, a baseball field and two tennis courts.

But the mansion's interior has no carpet, tile or interior walls. (Seen on Yahoo News feed.)

I'm not sure I'd want to live in Orlando and the property taxes on this monstrosity are probably more than my yearly income, but let's play "what if". I am now in possession of this beast of a building and have the wherewithal to pay the property taxes. Of course this also assumes I have some income to make the place livable. What to do?

This room is intriguing. No dimensions are available but let's make this the library. I've always wanted to have a library. I'd like a plaster (dry wall/sheet rock nowdays I think unless there are competent plasterers out there) ceiling painted a sky blue and then clouds, birds and a rainbow in the corner are painted on it. I'm also assuming opposite these windows are walls where floor to ceiling bookcases would be installed. And then I can get one of those "library ladders"! You know what I'm talking about; the one anchored to a track at the top and you just roll it around to climb to the top of the bookcases to get your book. I've always wanted to actually use those. They get reserved for "trained" library personnel. Mine would have 'no-slip' treads so all of you could come over and try it. It would lock in place but be easily rolled. Yes, we would hop on and another would push us around the library walls. Don't tell me you haven't wanted to do that after seeing it done in a movie.

Because I am allergic to formaldehyde and it's found in most building materials, insulation is going to be more expensive because I can't have any that will leech formaldehyde into the air. Fortunately, sheet rock and US made drywall don't leech that chemical. Neither do wood floors. I'd be looking into bamboo floors. From a "Green Building Materials" web site, "The best manufacturers now use formaldehyde-free adhesives and finishes that exceed European standards for safety and can prove it. These are water-based, solvent-free and do not off-gass toxic chemicals. They may cost slightly more but they are better for your health. This may not be easy to determine by smelling a sample of bamboo, even if it is freshly sawn. You have to know your sources." Or I'd be interested in recycling wood flooring from homes being demolished. Often the flooring is still good and, once sanded and sealed, is perfect.

I think, don't you, that a library looks better with wood floors and area rugs, overstuffed chairs and a couple of writing desks, ottomans and side tables with lamps, a couple of floor lamps and sconces. Oh! I must have adjustable sconces in my library.

To the left is an unfinished roller rink. I don't roller skate. I was never very good at it; couldn't get the hang of it. My mother was a very good skater. I remember watching her with envy when she chaperoned church roller skating events. She could skate backwards and in small circles. I could barely stand up. Hence, this part of the "house" is going to remain unfinished until I figure out what to do with it.

I'll need a kitchen and a bath and 3 bedrooms. I need a home office where the computer sits and that room should have a system for up to a dozen computers at once. That way, I can have a lot of my friends from my WOW guild come stay with me. They can camp in the unfinished part and use the bathroom in the finished part. Given how big this house is, we could conduct hiking expeditions to the far side.

But, back to reality. Who NEEDS 90,000 square feet to live in? No one. Some of the comments to the piece involved carving the place up and using it for people who had lost their homes. That sounds like a marvelous idea.

Beverage: Scottish Blend tea


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