In the current economy, everyone is vulnerable to foreclosure-even the wealthiest. The construction of America’s would-be largest home (a 67,000 square foot, 67 foot high mansion) began before the mortgage market collapse. Now the owners face foreclosure before construction has been completed.
The home is a symbol of American’s wealth, as well as the tenuousness of the real estate market. It is also indicative of a debt crisis that touches not only the poor and middle class, but even the wealthiest Americans.
The home has 13 bedrooms, 22 bathrooms, and 9 kitchens. The resident children were going to have a separate wing with a stage, computer center, movie theater, and living room. The adults were planning to enjoy a separate movie theater modeled after the Paris Opera House, a bowling alley, an indoor pool, spa, fitness center, three outdoor pools, a boathouse, guardhouse, sandy beach, baseball field and tennis quarts. Unfinished the home is now 67,000 square feet, but finished, the home would be around 90,000 square feet.
Construction was put on hold when financing fell through three years ago after the mortgage market collapse, putting the owner’s business and personal fortune at risk. When the banks started foreclosure proceedings, the owner considered filing for bankruptcy, but worried about the impression it would make on his customers. In this case, filing bankruptcy could save the mansion and his assets.
The house is only 60 percent complete and currently secured with a fence and padlock. Essentially, the house is uninhabitable with no electricity, plumbing or interior walls. If you are interested in a “fixer-upper,” the house was just reduced from $75 million to $65 million.
Business Week, “Versailles, the Would-Be Biggest House in America,” Susan Berfield, March 15, 2012.