Melinda Gates May Not Fight Bill Gates for $130 Million House Post Divorce — She Never Loved It Anyway

The first question people had when Melinda and Bill Gates announced their divorce was what would happen to all that money. It’s a logical consideration — after all, Bill is one of the richest people in the world, with an estimated net worth of $124 billion.

Those assets include stocks and other investments. And one of the most recognizable marks of the Gates’ wealth is, of course, their sprawling mega-mansion in Medina, Washington. Now that the couple is divorcing, will Bill or Melinda get to keep the house?

It turns out Bill has a much better shot at staying in his residence. That’s because Melinda never loved the house much anyway.

Bill Gates built Xanadu 2.0 before marrying Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates visit Broadway
Bill and Melinda Gates | Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

The first clue that Melinda may not want the house is that she didn’t plan or pick it out originally. According to CNN, construction was already underway when the couple met, and she didn’t love the style immediately. But she was willing to compromise to make it work.

“If I do move in,” she told Bill in a 2008 interview with Fortune magazine, “it’s going to be like I want it to be — our house where we have our family life.” Melinda became involved with designing the home from that point on.

The Gates mansion is more like a resort than a home

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Xanadu 2.0 has all the features you’d expect from a billionaire’s house and then some. With a property value of around $130 million and famous neighbors like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, this 66,000 square foot home is clearly the cream of the crop. Bill and Melinda never appeared on MTV Cribs to show off the details. But visitors revealed some of the most jaw-dropping aspects of the estate.

For example, Xanadu 2.0 allegedly has a 20-car garage, a gigantic indoor/outdoor pool, a trampoline room, and an Art Deco-style movie theater. It boasts 7 bedrooms and 24 bathrooms. Rumor has it the sand on the beach was shipped in specially from Hawaii.

There are docks for boating and enjoying time outdoors, too, plus all the water toys you could imagine. And because Bill is a tech founder it’s all but guaranteed the Gates estate is decked out with every cutting-edge smart home feature imaginable.

Melinda Gates said she would prefer a smaller, homier main residence

Most people would be thrilled to live in a house that’s half as decked out as Xanadu 2.0. However, not everyone is impressed by such a flamboyant show of wealth. Melinda admitted in recent years that she was looking forward to downsizing, especially now that her three children are grown and gone.

“We won’t have that house forever,” Melinda said during a 2019 New York Times interview. “I’m actually really looking forward to the day that Bill and I live in a 1,500-square foot house … Just to be clear, the house was being built before I came on the scene. But I take responsibility for it.”

Melinda is entitled to a portion of the wealth that she and Bill have built over more than three decades. But when it comes to the house, it sounds like she’d rather just move on.