After putting the plans on hold four years ago, David and Jackie Seigel are back to constructing their dream home – a 13 bedroom, 23 bathroom mansion just outside Orlando, FL.
Named “Versailles,” the sprawling luxury estate is thought to be completed in about two years. The 90,000 square foot home will feature 10 kitchens, two elevators, two movie theatres, a roller skating rink, bowling alley and spa. This dream home will also have three pools, a man-made waterfall and a four-story grand ballroom with the capacity to hold more than 500 guests.
According to the owners, who were recently interviewed for a piece on Today.com, the house will serve as their primary residence once construction is completed. We don’t blame them – after all, with that amount of time, work and money, it would be almost criminal to let the home sit vacant.
When asked whether they would consider selling the home, David replied, “only for a lot of money.” Considering the sheer magnitude of the home’s size and the abundance of amenities, one wonders just how much “a lot of money” would equate to.
According to David, $100 million might entice him.
The Seigels and their massive home building project were the subjects of a 2012 documentary called “Queen of Versailles,” which followed the couple’s financial ups and downs during the recession. When David’s company, Westgate Resorts, was squeezed by its banks, the company was forced to lay off thousands of workers and sell off assets, according to Today.com. This led to the halt on construction for Versailles and eventually its foreclosure.
Fortunately for the Seigels, Westgate Resorts reported record profits last year, and David said business is up 50 percent this year. The plans for Versailles were back on track.
The resumed construction on Versailles mimics the overall resurgence of the luxury home market. In many places, high-dollar homes are becoming popular once again. With mortgage rates remaining near historic lows, jumbo home financing is more affordable than before and wealthy home buyers are ready to invest in bigger, grander properties.
David told Today that the experience taught him not to be so reliant on banks and gave him valuable insight into how to operate his business more efficiently. That’s good news for the Seigels, but not so good for the workers who were laid off a few years back. Hopefully those workers were able to find gainful employment elsewhere, but one can’t help think that if perhaps the Seigels had been a little more conservative with their home design (say, 5 kitchens instead of 10), maybe they would have been able to put that money back into the business.
On the other hand, it may not be fair to judge someone on how they spend their fortune. That’s the epitome of the American Dream, after all. If you’re able to work hard and build a successful business, why shouldn’t you be able to build the house of your dreams?
I know I would.