It took six years to build, but the Rice House Atlanta, a luxury home in North Fulton County, Georgia, was more than 60 years in the making.
The $14.7 million, 36,000-square-foot compound in the Country Club of the South was created by a self-made, octogenarian entrepreneur who wanted to build a home that embodied all of his boyhood dreams.
Now, it’s going to be sold at auction.
According to a Concierge Auctions news release, bidding will begin Tuesday and close Thursday. The starting bid is $3.9 million. So, what do you get for that price?
A bat cave? Yes. Waterfall? Sure. Secret entrances and exits? You bet. Upper and lower motor courts? Um-hum. And the art museum, infinity pool, bowling alley, gun range, game room, solarium, spa, theater and play area that resembles something from Disneyland.
“He is an intellectual thinker and he is a super fun guy,” listing broker Paul Wegener, of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, said about the homeowner. “He dreamed as a child of building something like this. All these things you think about when you are a kid,” Wegener said.
The homeowner had planned to fill the eight bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, six partial bathrooms and three kitchens with family and friends. He had hoped the home would become a gathering place and a legacy for his family to pass from one generation to the next.
He was holding onto the home but ultimately, other priorities won out. His son wasn’t much interested in living there, and with much of his family on the West Coast, the homeowner decided to sell his $30 million project.
In building a home that would last forever and survive any foreseeable catastrophe, he sought out and worked with a team of the best architects, landscapers and security experts in the country.
The process began with a full-scale model, and as construction continued, the homeowner added different features that seemed cool. “He would say, ‘We’ve got more room. I want to add a gun range and a bowling alley.’ The scope of the project continued to grow,” Wegener said.
Atlanta architect Charles Heydt brought to life the homeowner’s vision of the Greek acropolis. Whatever standards were set by building code, the home was made to meet at least triple those requirements. The foundation was dug to the rock bed, anchored with rebar and poured with concrete that can withstand 5,000 pounds of load per square inch. The exterior walls have the same level of strength.
Al Corbi, a renowned security expert, came in to make sure the security features of the home were part of the construction process. Reinforced walls, bulletproof windows and doors, concealed entrances and exits and an underground bunker are just a few of the features that make Rice House one of the safest homes in the country.
The home is also self-contained, and projections indicate that inhabitants could survive for three years on the property without outside assistance, Wegener said.
There are three water sources : municipal, three 1,000-foot-deep artesian wells and a reserve tank of purified water that would normally be used for irrigation on the property and for topping off the pool and fountain.
Wegener was initially skeptical about the need for a house with such high-level security features, but then he thought about events such as 9/11.
“You almost don’t like to say survival, but suddenly it doesn’t become that far-fetched. He was forward-thinking,” Wegener said.
It takes about 2 1/2 hours for Wegener to walk prospective buyers through the property. And yes, there have been prospective buyers.
But who, other than an owner with a vision, would want a property such as this one? Maybe it could be a safe house for board members or executives of a major international corporation or a family haven for another successful entrepreneur in a high-risk industry.
So far, inquiries have been coming from outside and within the country. The security of the home has proved to be the biggest draw, along with the level of detail that went into designing the home, Wegener said.
There have also been some curiosity seekers who are clearly not serious buyers.
“The serious interest comes from the same crowd,” Wegener said. “This particular project is the cream of the crop for the amount of money spent and the degree of security.”
While the home is complete, the finishing touches have been left to the whims of the new owner. Wegener says it is the most unique home he has ever dealt with and it is important to him to find just the right buyer.
“There are homes (in Atlanta) that are beautiful but were never constructed to this level of complexity,” Wegener said. “It was not just meant to be a massive compound. It was important to him to construct this property that would be enjoyable. It was ultimately for family and these other things were layered in. I am trying to find someone that will appreciate all of that.”
For more information on the property ahead of the auction, visit conciergeauctions.com/upcoming-auctions.
Oprah Winfrey purchased a 43-acre estate on Orcas Island in Washington for $8.275 million.
Want to live in Lance Armstrong’s old house?
The six-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom home across the street from Pease Park was built in 1924 and has since been remodeled. The 8,158-square-foot home has a pool with a fountain, a pool house with a full bathroom and kitchenette and a covered outdoor living area.
In the market for a whimsical $550,000 home with carpeted ceilings, vintage cars and statues lurking around every corner? No? You'll still want to check out the now-viral listing for Detroit's Lion Gate Estate. Trust us.
In the market for a whimsical $550,000 home with carpeted ceilings, vintage cars and statues lurking around every corner?
You'll still want to check out the now-viral listing for Detroit's Lion Gate Estate. Trust us.
"Unique barely begins to describe this one of a kind Grixdale Farms estate," reads the listing by Real Estate One's Alex Lauer. "Every aspect of 'Lion Gate Estate' has been articulated with painstaking attention to detail and mind blowing decorative flair. Too many custom features to list!"
And he's not kidding. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, owned by a former automotive designer, is the definition of "extra," with a "Liberace-inspired living room" and "museum-like" interior, Curbed reports.
The listing continues: "Highlights include heated swimming pool with outdoor shower and cabana. Custom two car garage with hand painted automotive murals. Finished basement with billiard room and entertainment area. Fenced in yard with fountains and statuary. Sale includes full contents of the house, including Kohler Campbell baby grand player piano, mint condition Frigidaire kitchen appliances c. 1950. One of a kind custom built 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Sedan, One of a kind custom built 1974 Lincoln Mark IV Coupe, Custom pool table, countless automotive relics and artifacts. Once in a lifetime offering."
But if you want to take a tour, you'd better check the weather forecast first. "Only shown on sunny days," the listing warns.
A real estate prospector just profited big-league from the sale of President Donald Trump's childhood home.
According to CNN, the 2,500-square-foot New York Tudor has a new owner just three months after Michael Davis bought the property in Queens' Jamaica Estates neighborhood for $1.4 million. Last week, an unnamed bidder reportedly shelled out $2.14 million for the home where Trump lived until he was about 4.
The house, built by Trump's father, Fred Trump, has "a brick and stucco exterior and an old-world charm interior featuring arched doorways, hardwood floors, five bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, library, living room with fireplace, formal dining room, basement and more," Paramount Realty USA said in the listing.
Six bedrooms. Four bathrooms. One stalker.
A colonial-style Westfield, New Jersey, home that made headlines after the current owners claimed someone who identified himself as "The Watcher" sent them creepy, anonymous letters is back on the market for $1.25 million, NJ.com reports.
According to USA Today, Derek and Maria Broaddus bought the house for $1.3 million in 2014, but the couple and their three children never moved in after supposedly receiving threatening letters from the so-called "Watcher."
"My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time," one letter read, according to NBC News.
The writer also said, "Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Once I know their names I will draw them to me," NJ.com reports.
The Broadduses tried to sell the house but failed. Last summer, the couple sued the previous owners, John and Andrea Woods, claiming that they knew about the stalker but kept quiet, according to The Associated Press and NJ.com. The Woodses denied the accusations, saying they did receive an anonymous letter but that it wasn't disturbing. They have filed a counterclaim against the Broadduses for causing them emotional distress.
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