When the calendar flipped over from 2021, the most expensive home sale ever in the Greater Orlando market stood at $12.5 million. That mark, set in October of that year, topped a previous record that had held firm for four years.
The new record didn’t stand for nearly as long. Just five months into 2022, the deed of a Windermere home on Lake Butler changed hands in an off-the-market deal totaling $15.3 million.
It’s one of three home sales this year in the Orlando region with a closing price that exceeded $11 million — which was the previous record from 2017 to late 2021.
“The market is changing,” said Dianna Desboyaux, the realtor with EXP Realty who sold the most expensive home this year. “People need to understand that you have so many people coming from all over the world to live in Orlando and these are people with a lot of money who want luxury. And they have the money to pay for it. I think this is why we are seeing more and more luxury builders going for mega-mansions. We have the market for it.”
The year saw a total of ten homes sell for more than $6 million. The homes come with a total of 66 bedrooms and more than 90 bathrooms and feature unique amenities such as a Las Vegas-themed casino, a 900-bottle wine cellar, a two-story closet, a Tower of Terror-themed elevator, an indoor basketball court, and a doorbell that plays Disney tunes.
For at least one of the homes, a borrowed Rolls Royce parked out front helped secure a buyer.
Four of the top home sales occurred in Windermere while three of the homes can be found in Disney’s luxurious Golden Oak community. One of the two high-dollar sales in Reunion broke a record for Osceola County.
1. Windermere mansion on Lake Butler sells in record-shattering $15.3 million off-the-market deal
Earlier this year, a client of Desboyaux couldn’t find what they were looking for on the market.
“He was looking for something big, really big, and spectacular on the lake,” she told GrowthSpotter. “He was looking for a while, but couldn’t find anything that was modern but at the same time had space that he wanted to entertain with all of the bells and whistles. They asked if I could find something off the market.”
Desboyaux began making calls, one of which went to the owner of the 11,419-square-foot mansion at 11431 Waterstone Loop Dr., located on the western shore of Lake Butler.
Lake Butler has seen a number of high-dollar sales through the years, including two on this list. Last year, former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal sold his Isleworth mansion here for $11 million.
The owner of the Waterstone home said they didn’t want to sell, but agreed to open their home for a tour anyway.
Desboyaux said her client loved what they saw and were eager to negotiate a deal. The owner said he’d take $16 million. The sale closed at $15.3 million on May.
“I was surprised,” Desboyaux said. " You just don’t see sales at ($1,300) a square foot in Windermere. I was surprised that my buyer agreed to that number, but it’s what he really wanted.”
The home, built in 2016 by Harris, Hooker and Huber,LLC, has five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and a four-car garage. The property also includes a wine cellar and wine cooler and a 1,416-square-foot swimming pool with a spa, swim-up bar, island, sun shelf, and a pool deck totaling 1,500 square feet, according to building permits approved by Orange County.
2. “Italianate masterpiece” in Golden Oak sells at a reduced price: $12 million
The 8,000-square-foot “Italianate masterpiece” in the prestigious Disney-owned Golden Oak community had been on the market for more than a year with no takers when Realtor Keith Renner decided to significantly reduce the asking price.
The $4 million drop-off for a six-bedroom, nine-bath mansion with a Mickey suite, a 900-bottle wine gallery, three garages, two staircases, and an elevator made an instantaneous difference, Renner, with Nectar Real Estate, told GrowthSpotter.
“There was interest immediately,” he said. “We reduced the price (from $16 million) on Thursday and we were under contract by Saturday.”
It sold on July 27.
The two-story mansion, built in 2017 by Central Florida-based Derrick Builders, sits at 10224 Summer Lake within Four Seasons Private Residences, an enclave within Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort that is no stranger to this list each year.
The gated community is home to some of the most expensive residential real estate in Orlando, where homeowners have access to the amenities and services provided by the nearby Four Seasons Resort.
Nectar’s website described this home as an “Italianate masterpiece” offering “exceptional luxury, thoughtful design, impeccable craftsmanship and access to unparalleled services.”
The two-story living space is accented by travertine floors and limestone-faced columns. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a private oasis at the rear of the property that includes a covered living space with retractable screens, a fireplace, an outdoor shower, and a pool bath.
The second floor offers a second living room, lounge, multi-purpose room, computer loft, and a second laundry room. The top floor also includes four themed bedrooms: the Dream Suite, Castle Suite, Four Seasons Suite, and Mickey’s Suite.
The Mickey suite comes with a ceiling light detail in the shape of the Disney character’s trademark ears, along with a Mickey vanity and Mickey tile inserts on the floor in the bathroom.
3. Reunion’s largest vacation home breaks Osceola County record with $11.7 million closing price
The 23,000-square-foot villa was built in 2018 by David Krakauer, as a product somewhere between a vacation home and 5-star resort. The three-story, elevator-served estate sleeps 30 among its two presidential suites, two ambassador suites, and 11-bedroom suites.
Villa Isole features 17 Full Baths, 6 Half Baths, a multi-level saltwater pool, hot tub, indoor basketball court, piano bar, cigar lounge, commercial kitchen, state-of-the-art movie theatre, and an onsite private spa.
Krakauer turned to architect Dan DeLong with Origins Residential Design and Scott Redmond of City Beautiful Landscaping to bring his vision to reality. Custom homebuilder McNally Construction and Design Studio 15 rounded out the team.
“We went high-end in every regard,” Krakauer told GrowthSpotter. “The build was about two years. We had about six months between the drawing and space planning phase. We intentionally picked companies that hadn’t built in Reunion before, because we wanted something that would be unique in the community. It’s less Disney-themed than a lot of the vacation homes. It’s more of a hotel-style decor.”
4. Home on Lake Bessie in Windermere closes at $10.6 million
October seems to be a magic time for home sales within the luxurious Isleworth Golf and Country Club.
Each of the top four most expensive transactions to close here over the past two years came during this month, at an average price of $8.9 million, according to the Orange County Property Appraiser’s website.
The top home sale this year in this private Windermere community came on October 18 when an estate overlooking Lake Bessie sold in an off-the-market deal for $10.6 million.
“This home is incredibly beautiful and unique,” Voss told GrowthSpotter.
Designed by architect Mark Nasrallah and built in 2015 by Linda Pellegrini, the 15,063-square-foot home comes with seven bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and four half-bathrooms. It also includes a one-bedroom garage apartment and a separate detached guest house.
There are also hidden doors.
“A 2 story wood-paneled office with secret hidden doors is just one of the many features in the home,” Voss said. “Doors and trim work were brought in from all over the world.”
5. Historic home in Winter Park sells for $10.5 million
After the previous owners bought this nearly 100-year-old Winter Park estate on Lake Maitland in 2000 for $1.8 million, they got it put on the National Registry of Historic Places and then began a multi-year renovation and expansion project.
For the work, they brought in renowned, well-known architect Dailey Janssen from Palm Beach. While the total cost of the effort is unknown, the two-story boathouse alone saw a $1 million makeover.
When Matthew T. Morgan, of the Morgan & Morgan law firm, purchased the home in January of this year, he did so at a closing price of $10.5 million.
Mick Night and John Pinel with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty represented the seller, Robert and Jeannette Bourne, and the buyer in the deal.
“The home is spectacular,” Pinel told GrowthSpotter “Landscaping is phenomenal, location is A-plus in Winter Park being on Via Tuscany. It sits up very high over Lake Maitland so you have unbelievable views.”
The home, built in 1929, covers 10,734 square feet and includes five bedrooms and nine bathrooms. Features include waterfalls, a pool, gazebo, electric disappearing shades in most rooms, a home theater, an air-conditioned garage with a catering kitchen, hand-carved Italian sinks and tub, an elevator, whole-house generator, multiple fountains, and more.
6. Golden Oak mansion with numerous Disney touches sold for $9.2 million
Among the Disney touches are a Mickey Mouse-shaped hot tub and a Lady and the Tramp accent in the kitchen.
The home is “tastefully elegant Disney,” Matt McKee, the realtor who closed on the sale with COMPASS Florida, told GrowthSpotter. “We’ve got hidden Mickeys throughout the home and then a haunted mansion theme with a Tower of Terror elevator.
Unlike its theme park counterpart is totally safe and doesn’t plunge people several stories down the shaft, he added.
“Everyone that comes and looks at the house wants to take a ride, so I make sure to tell them it has the look of Tower of Terror but does not have the feel,” he said.
The home at 10121 Enchanted Oak is 9,713 square feet with five bedrooms, six full bathrooms, a lagoon-style pool, and a guest house.
7. French Chateau in Isleworth trades for $7.3 million
If this French Chateau in Isleworth looks familiar, there’s a reason.
It was also on this GrowthSpotter list last year after it sold in December of 2021 for $6.9 million.
That new owner didn’t hang on to the property long, reselling it on Halloween this year for $400,000 more.
“The Sellers were not expecting to sell so soon, but his business veered locations,” Veronica Cole, a realtor with The Real Estate Collection told GrowthSpotter. “The family has another home out of state that their children live closer to, and it was easier to have a family home there instead of in Florida and we had a buyer for them.”
Located on the shore of Lake Bessie within Isleworth Golf & Country Club, this home with French-inspired decor offers plenty of room for shoes and clothes.
The master suite — one of the home’s seven bedrooms — comes with a two-story closet.
An anonymous buyer, using an entity titled Blue Horizons Trust, purchased the property for $7.3 million. Its previous owners were Larry and Julia Demerau.
Cole represented the seller while Ellyn Siviglia with The Real Estate Collection represented the buyer.
The 12,353-square-foot home comes with 7.5 baths, a custom home theater, a spacious game room, a temperature-controlled wine room, a poker room, a guest suite with a sitting room and full bath, an elevator and direct access to the seven-car garage. Outside, there’s a pool and spa; ample deck space for lounging in the sun; a screened, covered terrace with summer kitchen; and a dedicated boat dock.
A circular drive leads to custom French doors that open into a grand two-story foyer with a spiral tower staircase offering floor-to-ceiling views of the lake.
8. Golden Oak home with magical doorbell sells for $6.7 million
Wall murals of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Donald Duck overlook the dining room of a Golden Oak estate that sold on Dec. 12 for $6.7 million.
In one of the home’s six bedrooms, artwork above the bed depicts Luke Skywalker engaged in a light-saber battle with Darth Vader. In another, princesses such as Cinderella and Snow White strike a pose on the wall.
Trademarks of the Disney brand appear throughout the 6,491-square-foot home at 10173 Matthew Place.
Some of them are so hidden though that the new owner didn’t discover them until after they moved in.
“Someone rang the doorbell and it started playing “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast,” said Andre Kessler with Kessler Real Estate who represented the buyers.” We were all just absolutely stunned by it. That didn’t even come up when we toured the house. There’s so much Disney magic just hidden in this home.”
The home includes 7.5 bathrooms, a wine refrigerator, a chef’s quality kitchen, a first-floor owner’s suite with private pool access, and a game room.
Karen Balcerak with Golden Oak Realty represented the seller, Joanne Verderame. The buyers were Michael and Catherine Hillier, according to deed records.
9. Buyer drops $6.5 million on vacation home known as “Royale Reunion.”
An 11,802-square-foot home in Reunion that was being used as a short-term vacation rental sold in June for $6.5 million.
Alice-Anne Jackson with Corcoran Premier Realty represented the seller, an entity titled Hot Dog Real Estate Holdings run by Yolanda and Eric Salat out of Royal Palm Beach.
Jay Wells, with Iron Valley Real Estate represented the buyer, a New York-based entity managed by Westleigh Nirenberg.
The home, built in 2019, comes with 10 bedrooms and 11.5 baths and offers a home theater, a 50-foot saltwater infinity edge pool, a fully- equipped private gym, and several game rooms, including an arcade and Los Vegas-themed casino.
“The casino is the star of the show,” Jackson told GrowthSpotter. “On entry, you are taken to Las Vegas with its life-size landmarks and a huge collection of arcade games. The sports wall allows the avid fan to watch multiple games and comes complete with a digital ticker banner.”
10. Rolls Royce helps sell Bay Hill mansion for $6.475 million
The sale of the largest home in Bay Point and the most expensive to sell in Dr. Phillips was driven, in part, by a Rolls Royce.
After the 9,764-square-foot home was on the market for nearly two years without any takers, Lafayette Britto with Nova Real Estate rolled out some creative marketing techniques to woo prospective buyers.
Among strategies: He borrowed a Rolls Royce from Lamborghini of Orlando to stage outside the property.
“We had multiple offers on the table within the first week,” he said. “We were trying to sell the lifestyle. With a house of this magnitude, you can’t just put the house on the (market) and hope it sells.”
Until the sale, nobody had ever lived in the five-bedroom and eight-bathroom home that was completed in 2020 after about three years of construction.
The home has lots of glass and wood accents and has unique elements like wine cellar that wraps around the staircase and accordion doors that open to the lanai and infinity edge pool.
“Everything is super open and the house has a mix of contemporary and modern styles,” Britto said. “It’s a bit contemporary on the outside, but on the inside it’s got the modern touches which kind of gives that perfect little mix. Nowadays, you either get a house that’s older style or you get a house it’s super modern. This house has the perfect balance between the two,”
Each bedroom has a bathroom and a 700-square-foot guest apartment has its own entrance with a breezeway connection to the main house.
The home sits on almost ¾ of acre on Lake Tibet and has 170 feet of waterfront and new covered dock with a boat slip and two lifts for personal watercraft.