Dreaming is the best since it’s fun and free to do. At least once a month, I dream that I can fly. The best is when you know you’re dreaming. That’s when things get really interesting.
Daydreaming as a young lad helped me achieve some goals, like getting a job in finance and starting a lifestyle business once I escaped it. Today, my biggest dream is to live long enough to see my son grow up happy and healthy.
Although dreams often don’t come true, there’s one dream that comes true for us every year. And that dream is living in an $18 million mega-mansion.
The property is on acres of prime land with not a neighbor in sight. In the morning I play tennis on the grounds behind the mango trees. In the afternoon, we take a dip in the pool before soaking in the outdoor hot tub to rest our achy muscles. After a nap, I’ll work on an article for the upcoming week.
And here you were thinking creating content wasn’t a lucrative occupation! Forget being a banker, venture capitalist, lawyer, or techie. It’s very hard to get rich working for someone else.
Blogging and vlogging is where it’s at! The recent 3,000 kid survey by LEGO and The Harris Poll is true.
OK, let me be frank. Financial Samurai is too small of a website to allow me to own such a luxurious property. My old friend owns it.
In this article, I thought it’d be fun to share with you what it’s like to live in such a place. For the sake of privacy, I’m going to use pictures from other similar properties at a similar price point.
What It’s Like To Live In An $18 Million Mansion
* The details are exquisite. The difference between an $18 million property and a median priced property lies in the custom details. For example, this property has 10 foot high double doors that are eight inches thick. Everything from the lighting to the textured wall paper looks and feels amazing. You can tell that a designer came in and picked out all items of furniture and artwork.
* It’s all about the land. You can only live in so much interior space before it feels like a big waste. What you begin to appreciate is the amount of land that surrounds your property. You crave privacy at this price point, which is why having enough land and foliage around the borders is crucial for your happiness. There is something incredibly peaceful about walking the grounds, naked.
* Maintenance cost is astronomically high. Properties of this magnitude require full-time caretakers. The property I vacation on every year has another house on the grounds inhabited by a husband and wife caretaker. They live for free and probably earn close to $100,000 a year to handle all the issues that come up with owning so much property e.g. gardening, pool cleaning, hot tub cleaning, driveway maintenance, etc. I estimate the property we stay at costs around $500,000 a year to maintain ($100,000 salary, $230,000 property tax, $60,000 utilities, $110,000 maintenance).
* You get used to the amount of space. I thought I’d find a massive house to be cold and wasteful. After all, my house in San Francisco is not even 2,000 square feet for the three of us. But we quickly got used to the 3,000 square foot living/dining room area, alone. Overall, the house is closer to 9,000 square feet. We were like goldfish, growing into our environment.
Then we thought we’d be disappointed when we got home to our 300 square foot living room area, but surprisingly, we quickly readapted to our smaller space as well. The biggest thing we did miss was all the outdoor space and privacy. Once you have kids, having lots of land to run around and play on is amazing.
When you have neighbors, you’re bound to hear remodeling work and vehicle noise on a daily basis if you work from home. There is likely no such thing in an $18 million mega-mansion.
* A mansion makes you want to have a massive family. Despite getting used to more space, you’ll start wishing you had more kids to run around the grounds, play in the pool, lounge with you on the beach, and sit with you on the massive dining table during dinner. You start daydreaming about playing hide and seek with your imaginary kids and all the giggles that would come bubbling out of them. OK, maybe that’s just me.
If you don’t want more kids, then you’ll certainly want close relatives and friends to enjoy the property as well. It gets a little sad walking by empty room after empty room to your grandmaster suite. Increasing the utilization of the house is like increasing your heart with love.
* You can only live in one place at one time. When we decided to return home, we felt bad leaving the mansion, not so much because we were leaving an amazing place, but because it would go uninhabited for months.
Between my friend’s family, his relatives, and his guests, the property is left vacant for probably eight to nine months a year because he has other properties and is a member of a vacation property club.
My friend feels bad he doesn’t use his mansion more because he has lamented to me his family doesn’t use it enough. As a result, it makes him feel great that his friends can use the property instead.
* You will realize how truly rich some people are. The standard advice is to spend no more than 3X your annual gross income on the cost of a primary residence. For a vacation property, you definitely don’t want to spend more than 10% of your net worth on the home due to the ongoing cost and lack of use.
In other words, to own a $18 million vacation property, we’re talking having a net worth of around $180 million or more. That, or you’re making tens of millions of dollars a year with great certainty for the foreseeable future.
You Just Want To Get Away From It All
The number one benefit of living in a mega-mansion is the privacy. If you’re hustling to make a living every day, you want to come home to a property where the only people who can disturb you are your loved ones. Even then, it’s nice to be able to have your private space to be alone once in a while.
You don’t want to be chilling on your deck where your neighbors can see you sunbathing in your undies. You don’t want to hear the annoying sound of a saw as a neighbor remodels their house. You want to walk out of your mansion in the buff and jump in the pool without fear of prying eyes!
You will get used to the 20 foot high ceilings, fancy washlet toilets, 8-inch thick doors, and massive amounts of living space. What you will absolutely miss is the utter peace and quiet.
Having a place to get away from it all is amazing. You don’t realize how on top of each other we are until you experience mega-mansion living.
The One Downside Of Living In A Mega-Mansion
Besides the cost of ownership, there is only one other downside that is hard to shake about living in a mega-mansion. A disastrous home invasion.
When I drive back to my friend’s home after dinner off the estate, I sometimes imagine what I’d do if there was an ax murderer standing in the middle of the private winding road?
There are two private electronic gates to get to the compound where I’ve got to stop, buzz down the window, and punch in a code. What if the ax murderer popped out from behind the tree and hacked off my hand? Ahhh!
Seriously, the place is so secluded that I could easily get diced up and nobody would know or find me for days. Because the house is so big, I started getting paranoid about the thought that someone could be outside secretly looking in.
As any horror flick aficionado knows, residents can’t see outside intruders when the interior lights are on at night. Spooky.
If you have an active imagination and like to think, What was that?, living in a mega-mansion might not be for you. There’s something to be said for being conveniently being able to walk over to a neighbor’s house and ask for some jam.
But for the rest of you who don’t think about the risks of isolation, it will be absolutely wonderful to live in a mega-mansion for at least one week a year. It’s a luxury you will truly appreciate, especially if you don’t have to maintain the property.
For those who are fortunate enough to afford an $18 million dollar mega-mansion, there’s also one more downside I forgot to mention.
After several years of ownership, you will start looking at $30 – $50 million dollar mega-mansions to buy. In other words, the desire for more is never ending until you somehow make it stop.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer so far. It’s time for me to get back to work because dreaming won’t pay the bills!
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Readers, have you ever vacationed in a mega-mansion before? If so, what was the background of the owner and how was the experience? If you own a mega-mansion and would like me to take care of your property, please let me know.