Vast real estate holdings sure to complicate Gates’ divorce

Vast real estate holdings sure to complicate Gates’ divorce
The Gates Washington home known as Xanadu 2.0

Q. Now that Bill and Melinda Gates are getting a divorce, I wonder what their real estate holdings are?

A. Since they did not have a prenuptial agreement, the process of splitting the couple’s assets will be a mammoth task. Their diversified portfolio is worth more than $130 billion. Here is an overview of all the property that they owned at the time of their divorce.

Xanadu 2.0, value unknown. Their main residence, and by far their most impressive, is a massive compound in Medina, Wash. Nicknamed in a reference to “Citizen Kane,” the 66,000 sq. ft. home overlooks Lake Washington. Although there is no exact estimate of its current value, it had a total assessed value of $147.5 million on 2009 property tax documents.

Del Mar beach house, $43 million. Last year, they purchased a sprawling beach-front home with six bedrooms and four baths outside of San Diego. It’s one of the most expensive home sales in this part of California ever.

Rancho Santa Fe mansion, $18 million. This 229-acre property was once home to Jenny Craig, founder of the nutrition company. Gates purchased it in 2014 with hopes that their daughter Jennifer could one day train there for her equestrian career. The California property includes horse stables and is close to a racehorse track.

Indian Wells estate, $12.5 million. They bought this massive mansion in the Coachella Valley in 1999. The 13,573 sq. ft. home has six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and more luxury features than you can count.

Private residence at the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Mont., estimated $5 million-$25 million. This is one of the Gates’ favorite vacation homes. The private residential area is home to numerous A-list celebrity couples, including Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel. Although the price was never made public, there’s a $300,000 initiation fee and more than $37,000 in annual fees … and you still have to purchase a home within the community.

Several properties in Wellington, Fla., $27.2 million. The couple purchased numerous properties in Wellington over the years. They were also a direct result of their daughter’s equestrian career hopes because of the proximity to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Buffalo Bill Cody’s ranch in Cody, Wyo., listed for $8.9 million. The Gates reportedly purchased this 492-acre ranch in 2009, but the sale price was never made public.

U.S. farmland worth billions. Although they don’t publicly discuss this topic often, they are the top owners of farmland – with some 242,000 acres. According to the Tri-City Herald, the couple recently bought 14,500 acres of eastern Washington farmland for almost $171 million. That’s nearly $12,000 an acre. If they purchased the rest of their farmland for similar prices, that would put the total value at almost $3 billion.

Part of the Four Seasons Holdings hotel chain, about $2 billion estimated purchase price. Through their personal investment firm, they own approximately half of the luxury hotel chain. They share ownership with Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. The two purchased it in 2007 for $3.8 billion.

Lynne French is a Realtor with Compass Real Estate and captain of the Lynne French Team. Contact her at or 925-672-8787.