"The sisters applied for permits to do an addition to their home in March of 2010 and just completed it," he says. In fact, several construction projects were conducted on their property over the past year. (A Bing aerial shot before the remodel is also below).
Serena also remodeled her bathroom, which cost her about $180,000, according to county records, and probably has an elegant vanity with mirrors and drawers for her beauty products since Serena once wrote in her official Women's Tennis Association bio that her favorite place to visit was "the mirror in my house."
Considering her bathroom before the remodel was described by one Vogue writer as "an over-the-top affair of white marble, gold fixtures, a tub that could fit four," we really can only imagine all of the new upgrades for showcasing her cosmetics.
"I'm addicted to hair products," she told Vogue. And lotions and scrubs and perfumes. "I got so much stuff I could sell it on the street."
The 11,000-square-foot home, which the tennis champions finished building in 2000 after purchasing a home there in 1998 for $525,000, is on the BallenIsles Country Club grounds, a gated golf community of 1,562 homes. This is the same community, where Bernie Madoff's sister Sondra Wiener lived before selling her home in 2009, says Lichtenstein of Illustrated Properties.
The Williams sisters did not put an outdoor tennis court Find Local Homes for Sale Browse through photos of millions of home listings on AOL Real Estate See Homes for Sale Search Foreclosures for Sale on their property, but the BallenIsles put one on its grounds for them when it spent $26 million redoing its 22 courts. The other residents and country club paid to put in two blue Har-Tru courts, which are the type of hard courts the professionals use, says Lichtenstein, who has a picture of the courts on his blog.
Most residents have to be paying members of the country club to use its facilities, but apparently not the sisters. "They tried to charge me $85,000 to be a member. Uh-huh. Knowing I could bring in a lot of people if they give me a membership for free," Serena told Vogue. And the sisters have done tournaments there, which is about an hour's drive from the Miami Dolphins' stadium. The Williamses are part owners of the franchise.
"We're South Florida girls. When we get off the road ... we come home to Dolphins games," Venus told ESPN.
But they also go to relax in their V-shaped home, with two master wings, one for each sister. The home has a circular theme throughout, from a circular foyer, breakfast room, dining room, library and two-story glass enclosed sitting rooms off each master bedroom with its own double walk-in closets with built-ins.
"Suffice it to say you have not lived until you've been in Serena Williams's closet. The size of a studio apartment in New York, it is an explosion of color and fur, organized by Serena herself, who 'hates mess' and therefore spends her downtime rearranging racks and racks of her on- and off-court wardrobe and accessories," Vogue reported.
Her closet has sections that keeps her fur-coats separate from another coat section, and there is a handbag section, a sneaker section separate from her other shoes, and one for gowns too.
"It is a very specific house," Lichtenstein tells AOL Real Estate. "It is a giant house for the community." And he says it will be a tough sell should ever the sisters decide to live separate lives.
"There are not a lot of homes with double master suites like that. There are couples who want their own master suite, but these are mirrored wings." In order to sell the home, he says buyers will have to be relatives in a similar situation as the Williams' sisters, or, he jokes, "be a husband and wife who argue with each other a lot."
The palatial home, with 30-foot ceilings and white marble floors, is about 15 miles away from the home Venus and Serena once shared with their parents, who are now divorced. In 1991, the family moved to Palm Beach Gardens from their home state California so that Venus and Serena could train with Rick Macci, who had also trained Jennifer Capriati.
"I could not wait to move out," Serena told O magazine. "I was ready...to go to bed when I wanted, ready to watch what I wanted on television when I wanted to, ready to hang out with friends and not be asked, "Serena, where are you going?" So when Serena was 18 and Venus was 19, they moved out of their parents home and into one together.
Serena told O that she finally felt like an adult when her first electric bill arrived.
"[It was] $1,500! I couldn't believe it. Suddenly I understood why Daddy was always telling me to turn out the lights. Another time I came home from a tournament and -- click! No lights. Our power had been turned off because I hadn't paid the bill on time. I was constantly running out of groceries, toiletries, and little things I needed. That's when you realize what it means to be an adult: when you're on your own and you run out of toilet paper."
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