Thursday, March 20, 2008

Le Rêve!

SELLERS: Hubert and Norma Humphrey
LOCATION: Trammel Road, Cumming, GA
PRICE: $45,000,000
SIZE: 47,000 square feet (approx.), 7 bedrooms, 12 full and 11 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Le Rêve! One of the most significant premier estates in the world! This European inspired home was designed by noted architects Norman Askins and sits on 78 gently rolling acres north of Atlanta. The property features a golf course, lake, tennis court, stables, guest house, home theater, 2 lane bowling.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: No children, despite it's extraordinary size and Ritz Carlton like day-core, the pictures above are not of a hotel or a corporate retreat, but rather the private home of Hubert and Norma Humphrey just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. A private home!

According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that was forwarded to Your Mama by Georgia Peach, the obviously stinking rich Hubert Humphrey, a former freight train conductor who founded a marketing and mortgage company called World Leadership Group, spent three years building their dream mega-manse called Le Rêve, which was only completed in 2007. For some reason unknown to Your Mama, the Humphreys have already put their recently completed "European inspired" behemoth up for sale with a blistering $45,000,000 price tag.

Perhaps it's just to big for a couple middle aged empty nesters? Imagine that.

Jeezis, Mary and Joseph children, how many times have we seen screamingly rich people spend years and tens of millions of dollars building gigantic residential shrines to their vast wealth only to whip around and put them up for sale before the paint is dry or the staff have time to unpack their uniforms?

The two examples of such real estate excess that come quickly to mind are Fleur de Lys, the silly sized $125,000,000 Saperstein pile in Los Angeles, and Champ d'Or in Denton, TX, the 48,000 square foot residential ree-dick-u-losity that carried a whopping $59,550,000 asking price and is widely rumored to have been (recently) sold. Both properties were quickly flipped back onto the market very shortly after being completed.

The lesson for all you Richie Riches out there who ache and pine for a 40,000+ square foot residence is that herculean houses are generally far too large in which to live comfortably. We didn't say they're too large to entertain on a massive scale or house a few polygamist families, we said they're too large for most people and their immediate family to live comfortably, and there is a radical difference between those things.

Perhaps the best way to absorb the overwhelming magnitude of Le Rêve is by the numbers. Are you ready puppies, because the numbers are a-stounding and have Your Mama reaching for a giant gin and tonic to steady our nerves. Here we go:

Ninety acres of rolling (and mostly manicured) grounds, 47,000 square feet spread over 4 floors, 300 miles of high-tech wiring, 82 rooms, (a shocking) 62 televisions, 7 bedrooms, 23 terlits spread through 12 full and 11 half bathrooms, a 12 car heated and cooled garage, 10 fireplaces, a 4-acre private lake, a 2 lane bowling alley, 2 elevators and a private 18 hole golf course called the Humphrey National. Oh, and the steel and gold leaf front gates weigh 7,800 damn pounds.

Some of the interior spaces, which were done up by Miz Humphrey with a team of three decorators, include a 28 foot long foyer, a spiraling stair case in a rotunda, living and dining rooms, offices, den, exercise room, computer room, a keeping room (whatever that is), library, a family room with at least 4 televisions, a virtual golf room, and a home theater modeled after the Fabulous Fox in downtown Atlanta. And that's not to mention the massage room, the toy train room, and an arcade room. Yikes.

Is it just Your Mama, or do others also think that rotundas are best reserved for civic and commercial structures?

In addition dozens of acres of lawns that surely require a half dozen groundskeepers be mowing 24-hours a day, the extensive and sprawling grounds include an enormous heated swimming pool, pool house, spa, a private playground for the grand kiddies, stables, tennis court, a 1,200 foot long great lawn/allee, (extremely expensive to maintain) formal gardens, and a guest house, because there's simply no room to squeeze guests into the 47,000 square foot main house.

What we really want to know is how much space has been provided for staff because a house this grandiose needs a huge number of full time people to answer the door, scrub the terlits, whip up meals, and to provide directions so that guests will not get lost on their way from one side of the house to the other.

We're not sure how many people in the Atlanta area can afford a $45,000,000 house, not to mention the yearly maintenance and taxes, but did anyone call Elton John, because just might be ready to trade up from his big spread at the Park Place on Peachtree condo tower in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood.

P.S. The house has it's own website. Oh. My. Gawd.

79 comments:

Bigdaddyj said...

OH MY!.....I'm speechless...what an astounding monument to bad taste! And $45-million in suburban Atlanta? I have a feeling this one will be sitting on the market a while, unless maybe Fitty-Cent is in the market for a place in Atlanta ;-)

Anonymous said...

lawdy is we rich now. or ain't we--did you say mortgage company. oh dear---if you own a mortgage company it cain't be any good. they needs to get some advice from the widow hearsst on this one.

Ruby Jackson said...

Wow. That's obscene. I wonder how much the donated to charity last year?

greenpeace activist said...

I really like this beautiful house
and the original use of those 80
acres. Nice estate

so_chic_darling said...

When you google world leadership group it becomes clear that this is one of the companies that repackages home loans,and we all know what that means.I say they're more broke than 45 mil can fix children.

so_chic_darling said...

Ruby they didn't give any money to charity last year they just stole the home owning dreams of poor people in places like Cleveland.

Anonymous said...

Eat the Rich always comes to mind when I see excess like this.

pch said...

Looks to me like the World Leadership Group brought Amway-style multi-level marketing to the world of mortgages and personal finance. I don't know anything about it, but the concept is creepy. This is their website and here's the page with a photo of The Leaders in their living room at La Reve.

Anonymous said...

I have seen Champ d'Or in Denton, TX, and it is HORRIBLE beyond belief. If you look at the link Mama posted, the pitures are pretty grosteque--but they look wonderful compared to what it looks like in person! Truly frightening to think people have this kind of money but still absolutely NO taste. I'll be anxious to see if the deal on Champ d'Or really does go through so we can find out who the new owners are. It will also be interesting to see where the current owners move to. From the pictures posted of the Humphrey's estate, it appears to be as nauseating as Champ d'Or.

Anonymous said...

wow, I love self-made stories of people from humble beginnings - the American dream, right? Where anything is possible. But these poor people have completely lost perspective. 47,000 sf? 82 rooms? 23 toilets? They need to spend a few thousand dollars to travel around India or Africa, see entire families living in tin huts without clean water or education, combating malaria because they can't afford a $10.00 net.

I'm all for comfortable and elegant living, and we don't have to give up everything we own and join a nunnery, but this is off the richter scale. I'd be embarrassed as a human being by conspicuously consuming this much. Gross.

Anonymous said...

They should rename it "Le Cauchemar"

Viva! said...

It appears Mr and Mrs Humphrey had a hard on for Aaron Spelling when they had this house built. It looks so much like 'The Manor' it's pathetic.

Anonymous said...

PCH, looks like there was a stop off in insurance and mutual funds MLM on the way.

I'm guessing the guy is smart enough that the levels below him on his MLM mortgage business will take the brunt of the hit on the mortgage meltdown and he might just have to hold off a couple of months on that next Ferrari.

Anonymous said...

When I first saw the pics I thought - Aaron Spelling replica like another poster mentioned ...

This price tag & scale in LA, NY, Palm Beach etc.. then perhaps they'll sell ... In Atlanta I would imagine prospective buyers looking for a home like this, with the cash to buy it are few & far between

Neurophilly said...

Mmmmmmm Mm. No end of bad taste can be yours for big dollars. I **could** maybe work with the bedroom shown. I **sorta** like the masculine looking bathroom.

Otherwise, I'm for the guest house - without even seeing inside I can tell it would do (though no insult to the Southern folk but I've got me no hankerin' to live anywhere near Atlanta).

bentley said...

Mon dieu!

sandpiper said...

Why not deconstruct and relocate to The Bishops Road? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

I'd much rather save myself $28-26M and live in the city. (www.luxurylivingatlanta.com)

Anonymous said...

how cute,they met in the third grade!

pj said...

Tyler Perry's place in ATL is pretty aweful too (topped off a large hill near Vinings) and Dean Gardens...PURE TACK.

tribalpottery said...

It's like Spelling Estate East

Anonymous said...

They ought to take down the photos of the dining room from the online listing. They are abusive.

$2 Cocktail said...

According to the website, the "estate" requires 16 - 20 FULL-time staff to run!

And Mama, one little correction. Elton's place at Park Place is a full floor and a half but it's not on the penthouse level. 35 and 36, if I remember correctly, from a party or 2 there...

lucy said...

Too much money, too little taste.

Or maybe not enough money, and no taste.

Anonymous said...

Hubert must have a very small pee pee.

Anonymous said...

This makes Keillor's old house look so elegant and manageable. I prefer to satisfy my mega mansion lust through Mama's porn site and thus avoid the property taxes and the need to be rich rich filthy rich.

sandpiper said...

Hi Anon 12:22,

Woops. That went right over my head.

Could you boil that down to a slow, cognitive Sesame Street version. I'm interested!

:)

Anonymous said...

love the cement pond.

sandpiper said...

Mama,
It does seem like this is somewhat of a retreat- / rewards-oriented property. I don't know residential zoning in that county, but seriously, I'm with you on the mystery. This can't be a single family home with no other agenda. It's gotta be some form of serious write off.

lil' gay boy said...

A definite 10 on the ew scale . . .

Anonymous said...

LB...Yahoo

Alessandra said...

Sacre bleu!

I'm all for living in large houses and on a grand scale, but this? Is ridiculous.

bentley said...

That was a killer read, Mama.

I have been to the airport in Atlanta, and nowhere else. Surely an estate like this is surrounded by properties of the same caliber? Otherwise, what a folly.

wreckingball said...

I actually like the inside. Some things are rather tasteful, restrained. Not like the god awful fleur de lys. But I also enjoy Ritz Carelton hotels and The Greenbrier.

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bentley said...

woops, anon 9:29 took a wrong turn.

Anonymous said...

9:29- There is a link for that.

Humphrey, Ooooh no he didnnnt. Trump National is gonna be like "Uugghhhh" after they see the monogrammed flags.

Like 9:48 said, Fitty's people might be talkin to Humphs people.

Anonymous said...

Its Le Reve, not La Reve.

average joe said...

First mistake: they made their money in the mortgage business, the 2nd mistake they made is building and trying to sell it in 2008 in the wrong city after most likely they have gone belly up or about to and this sale is supposed to save their butt.

If they do sell it they may get 5MM.

Granted it is like a hotel, but it is not in downtown Atlanta, it is an hour away.

To far and wrong year, they should take it off the market and put it back up in 5 years if they want to get close to their price.

Anonymous said...

I just looked up luxury homes in Atlanta, the top asking price is 24MM the average price for a large estate in Atlanta is 10MM

Then again maybe there is oil underneath ? they should try and drill for oil then they may get their 45 MM

caveman said...

i can see myself relaxing on the back deck, grillin a steak & sucking down a beer after pushing the lawn mower around the back 40.

luke220 said...

Bentley,
An aerial view from mapquest will show you that there are tract homes just down the street from this house.

The best parts of Atlanta are Buckhead and Tuxedo Park, where there are many beautiful mansions.

Anonymous said...

We are actually looking at a home literally down the street from this monster. It's amazing in sheer scope and size along with how out of place the property is. Most property in the surrounding streets are 250k-500k.

This is an area that was rural as recent as the past decade, but people have moved up GA 400 out from the city. Ironically, if you are driving by the property where their barn area is along with the golf carts, the first property next to this mega-mansion is a good 'ol trailer. Personally, I'd feel like crap if I lived in trailer next to this property.

sandpiper said...

Hi Luke220,
According to Southern Seasons [Winter 2006] article linked on the house's site, there are 160 acres total...90 allocated to Le Whatever and grounds, and:

"...60 acres are being developed into 22 magnificent 2-5 acre estate lots to be available by year-end."

Wonder what will happen to that piece of the grand plan now that they're selling?

Oh, and Average Joe, this piece also says the security system is so elaborate that if a squirrel hides a nut, security can locate it. So, don't get any ideas! (kidding...sorta)

Anonymous said...

YUP, 45 mil surrounded by trailers, only in georgia!

Anonymous said...

I just googled this and OH MY GOD, trammel rd is off of GA20 which is home to a large number of hideous (homes). I wonder if the owners shop at the super targee at ga400/20?

Anonymous said...

Geesh - it's not even on lake lanier (which is rapidly drying up) so the the army corp of engineers can support the river 300 miles south!
I bid 5 mil!

Anonymous said...

If this house was in Beverly Hills, Bel-Air or Holmby Hills, the price would be $175 million.
You can have Atlanta, with it's sweltering heat/humididty.

Anonymous said...

i look at a building like this, and have only one question: why?

Anonymous said...

i look at a building like this, and have only one question: why?

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone (other than average joe) can enlighten me. If these people made their money selling mortgages (as opposed to servicing mortgages), why would that mean they are broke? It seems to me that the people that are going to lose their shirts are the companies holding all those mortgages that people aren’t paying on anymore.

caveman said...

god, i don't ask for much, & i know people are crawling up your ass with the whole dafur thing, but, c'mon, have you seen this place? please god, get your priorities in order & wip up a well placed f5 tornado to solve this problem. you've got the perfect alibi, because evidently its in the middle of a trailer park, so nobody will question your wisdom. mama's family will help you spin the "how you work in mysterious ways" bs & everyones happy, capice? take sunday off btw.

Tammy Lynn Suwannee said...

You never know Caveman...maybe he was aiming for it last weekend and someone jostled his arm. Dang trinity, always got Jeezuz and the Holy Spirit up in his space.

Some of the anons around here live in them trailer parks, put on their good wig to sit and watch the 700 Club and send in their donations. Oh..I guess that was another good reason to take them out with it. Nevermind.

sandpiper said...

Cave-baby,

All the more reason to take take that Malibu guesthouse and deny the existance of this overt display. Eh?

caveman said...

yup, guesthouse for me on most of these properties & burt's gameroom of course.

lil' gay boy said...

Caveman, my man;

I agree completely; sad to say this is what "cutting edge" architecture gets saddled with.

None of the graciousness of old world estates, with all the ersatze, phony architecture, and off-scale designs.

If the buyer doesn't go for an "ew" factor, we'll be looking at the blackest debutante ball since Brendra Frazier came out, (albeit a little late in life.)

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that people criticize that which they cannot afford or comprehend. There are many great estates from the Gilded Age that people pay money to see and aw over. Somehow because this couple is alive ... it is in bad taste?
Bill Gates' house is even larger than this home. The fact that he employs millions of people and gives away Billions of dollars, as I am sure is true of the Humphrey's, does not make them bad people. Just hard driven people that leave most peoples ambitions in the dust.
If you think they spend their money ridiculously. Well than get off your ass and make your own millions and billions and do with it as you desire.
The Wealthy and Super-Wealthy do not tell you how to spend your money, so you should not be imparting your poor business acumen on their expenditures.
The movement of money is the purpose of a sound economy. They paid all those workers to perform the creation of this grand estate. Those workers than had money to take care of their families and spend in the local Atlanta area economy, that trickled to the pockets of some of these blogging critics.
So as I see it they spent money in their community. How is that wrong? If people send money abroad they are criticized, if they spend it in their community they are criticized. Go figure! If people would give as much attention to their own finances as they give to the finances a expenditures of others ... well that would solve many problems on numerous levels.

Anonymous said...

this estate looks like Spelling Manor

Anonymous said...

Forsyth County, where this home is located, has been listed the 13th wealthiest county in the Country. It's where I live although I do not help out the median household income that much. But we do have quite a bit of money here. Granted, this home is easily the most expensive in the state. But....there is money here.

http://www.forbes.com/2008/01/22/counties-rich-income-forbeslife-cx_mw_0122realestate.html

Doodle Whore said...

The Spelling compound, minus the taste. (Note dripping sarcasm). Grotesque.

Anonymous said...

1st, the Humphreys give millions to charity plus both give their time, which is unusual. Further, they do shop at Target, Wal-Mart as well as upscale establishments. Jealousy and class divisiveness again rears it horrid face. The world,wealthy people,government, which is us, owes nothing to people who assume fortune and favor is a right.

Anonymous said...

No wonder the rest of the world hates us!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I used to work for Mr. Humphrey in one of his former companies and, as stated above, he gives more to charity than many of you can even begin to imagine. They are gracious people who have helped many. I always think it's interesting when, in one sentence, people can champion Darfur (for example) and then wish a tornado on people who've built their own wealth. Yes, it's much bigger and more expensive than any home surrounding it. Yes, they will have a hard time selling it due to location and many other factors. I realize this blog is a little tongue-in-cheek (or whatever) but really, people. This is The American Dream at work. Just because he doesn't make his money making movies or selling porn. Talk about tacky.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this gentleman started out as a Southern RR employee and was on the ground floor of the A.L. Williams pyramid scheme. Google his name and A.L. Williams insurance and see what you get! Went to Amway and then to the sub-prime mortgage package pyramid concept. Seems to have caught up with him!!!! One of his neighbors is hoping for him to get the 45 mil since he will be able to command quarter of a mil for his single wide, YAHOO.

Anonymous said...

What do you know, they company that Mr. Humphrey built with his own "talent" (insert chicanery and charlatanry) has gone under since last December. Too much sub-prime stew for you Mr. Humphrey? Ruined this country and dragged all of us with your shameful originations. I hope people wise up and go after these shady characters for everything they got. There is a difference between building wealth base upon hard work and contribution to the society (and I am not talking about charities or giving back but rather building a constructive entrepreneurship), there is another to knowingly make bad loans then blame it on people who you provided these loans for.

Anonymous said...

The Humphrey's donate more to Charity than any of you would every know... They are the nicest most down to earth couple and their family is amazing. They built their dream home and now it is time to move on. Some people need lives instead of sitting here stalking someone else's life. They even shop at Wal-mart right off 400. Many memories were created in this home, yes a home.. more than some big house it is a home filled with a family. So stop speculating and move on with your lives...

Anonymous said...

I live in Cumming. This house is just off of HWY 20 going toward Buford. Just behind a shopping center, and the houses below it are some scraggly looking trailers, and some old houses that are falling down, not even lived in. I have seen this home, and have even been there to make a flower delivery to the Humphries. I was not even allowed to go to the front door, I had to detour to the receiving house. I have been by there several times in the past coupleof months, and I dont even think they live there anymore. Thereused to be a guard there, and you saw movement around in the carriage house, now, NOTHING.........the gates are locked, looks like it is empty.....makes ya wonder......

Anonymous said...

I worked at this place on the grounds crew since before it was even complete. It is one of the most elegant and detailed estate in the country. The Humphry's are some of the most generous people you could ever meet, and paid well too(the job put my through college). As far as not being able to sale it, it was just bought by Michael F. Burgess but i could not get the price out of his brother (he is in charge of all maintenance) all he would say is they got what they wanted.

Anonymous said...

I talked with Hurbert at our high school class reuion three years ago. The frist time I have seen him in probably 35 years, look the same a few pounds more,same for myself. We talked old times and he had an old car collection. Then gave me his card and told me when in Atlanta to call and vist with him.
I read onthe Ajc in March 2008 about their home and how beautiful for sale. I was suprised - never new he had reached such wealth.

We meet again a few day ago at our
our next reuion. I told him how proud I was of his achievements and success in life. I truely mean
this this because of our growing up in south Macon, they no sliver spoons. He is a very humble
person, and never comes on with an air of wealth. I know he and Norma do more for charity than most.

He is a prince of a guy. If you wants what he acheiveved you need
to go for it now because it not be here forever under our changing goverment.

Robert

Anonymous said...

Hubert? Humble? That's a laugh! Hubert is easily the most self centered, arrogant person I have ever encountered. And, if you're willing to look around a bit, you'll discover that his estate is about to go into foreclosure. Look for a bankruptcy filing right behind that, the second in his career. This is the final chapter where a greedy old man finally getting his comeuppance.

Anonymous said...

They are both very nice people...even built a shelter for abused women and their children. It doesn't matter how he made his money, there are alot of people that have been very beneficial from his wealth. He isn't like some who are very greedy and keep it all for himself. They built this house for their children and grandchildren. No matter what you think, he is very down to earth and very willing to help people. If he does have a big ego, he has every right...he is a self-made millionare living the american dream. You are so quick to criticize people...have you plucked the thorn out of your own eye?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous:
It does matter how people make their money..illegally is not the way to go. I bought mutual funds and had a friend who worked for Humphreys co. A.L. Williams back in the 80's. What a pyramid scam.

Speaking of people benefitting o his wealth...what about those that he screwed. People that work for drug lords benefit too. They can feed their families. Where is your conscious.

Anonymous said...

Was this home sold? An anonymous poster a few posts ago said it was purchased by a Michael F. Burgess. Is this true?

Anonymous said...

The home has not sold. It has been placed in foreclosure.

Anonymous said...

I just checked - The Le Reve Estate is still on the market! But for a much lower price of $28 million dollars. I was in this home back in early 2007. It's shocking! The garage is the size of 2 small homes with chandeliers and paintings as well as a very nice tiled floor. The garage even includes a men's bathroom and a woman's bathroom that are very nice. This Estate was built to be a showcase and a trophy for the Humphrey's. Like they say on Wall Street, "Pigs Get Slaughtered".

Anonymous said...

Can anyone shed some light on the rumor HH had a previous bankruptcy?

Was it personal? Business related?

Any idea what chapter?

Year?

The Gulfshoreslife.com Team said...

Only 21 Million now - completely furnished! Check out the Ball Room and the Cosmic Bowling Alley - http://www.northgalife.com/idx/residential/4006079/details.html

Anonymous said...

Down to 17.5 million now. Fully furnished! Drove by it today while looking at houses in nearby subdivisions. The location is awful for something this fancy.

Gold For RS said...
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