Sure, keeping your crummy first-floor apartment tidy is tough when you're working two jobs just to make rent, but imagine if you had a mansion with a swimming pool and a two-level movie theater. Don't you think that would be harder? Your antique car collection isn't going to wash itself!
Today, an excellent piece of trolling from the Wall Street Journal argues that for the extremely wealthy, mansion upkeep can be really stressful. Have you ever thought, for instance, about the staff it would take to maintain a 11,000-square-foot, 6-bed, 8.5-bath home with wine cellar, movie theater, and 37-yard swimming pool? I bet you haven't. But Claudio Stivelman has. He thought about it, and he said "enough is enough."
Mr. Stivelman, who lives with his longtime girlfriend, discovered he needed a small army to keep up his giant home: two housekeepers, a weekly handyman and regular visits from a pool guy, landscaper and pesticide sprayer. "One thing you get tired of is all this maintenance," he says. "It comes to a point where you say, 'enough is enough.' "
But what if enough isn't enough? What if you also need "a nightclub with a full bar and stage for band performances, a 6,200-square-foot car showroom, a guesthouse and a two-level movie theater with a balcony?" You will find, as Norm and Linda Snyder did, that upkeep on these necessities—the "bare necessities of life," they say—is even more difficult!
And what about security? Privacy? With the help buzzing around? Looking at you, all jealous. Probably stealing your stuff. Nobody wants that:
Security is a constant concern. Some owners discover that the very thing they were seeking in a big house—privacy—is elusive in a home that requires a large staff for maintenance.
One homeowner complained that a large estate's employees see "everything about your life." The founder of a home-technology company told the Journal some families opt to install a separate Wi-Fi network for staff, "for security purposes."
"There is also the problem," we learn, "of tracking down family members when they are out of shouting range." Where might they be? Swimming? Playing tennis? On the polo grounds? Think about that the next time you see a cockroach, or your lights flicker, or the heating breaks in the middle of winter. You've got it easy.