Athletes don’t work in offices, restaurants or big box stores like most of us, but that doesn’t mean that their lives are stress-free. They need a place to retreat to in the off-season, a sanctuary where they can escape from the anxiety that would plague anyone who’s paid millions of dollars to surf for a living.
What follows are homes where some of the leading athletes flee after the arena goes dark and the crowd roar becomes a distant echo. Some of these houses are on the market, awaiting buyers as their owners downsize. Other homes were just purchased, recession or no recession. Click ahead to see them.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 22 December 2011
Location: La Quinta, Calif.
Square Footage: 5,173
Golfer Fred Couples listed his vacation home in La Quinta, Calif., in November. He’s not going far, though. He plans to custom-build a new home in the same development.
The house was built in 2008 and purchased the following year for just over $3 million, according to Trulia Luxe Living, the blog for the real estate website Trulia.com. Time will tell whether it will attract a buyer at its current asking price of $4.2 million.
The home covers more than 5,000 square feet and has four bedrooms and five bathrooms. It features a private courtyard, complete with a fountain, and a spa with breathtaking views of the mountains.
Location: Heber City, Utah
Square Footage: 9,700
For almost 20 years, Luc Robitaille played for such National Hockey League teams as the Detroit Red Wings and the Los Angeles Kings. Today, he’s president of business operations for the Kings. In August, he put his 13.5-acre haven in Heber City, Utah, on the market for $2.6 million, but it is currently not for sale.
The single-family, two-story home was built in 1999. It features a swimming pool, gym and basketball court, as well as pastures and a barn for those seeking a bucolic existence. In 2005, Robitaille allowed the house to be used as a refuge for people who had evacuated the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Location: Haiku, Hawaii
Square Footage: 6,400
Laird Hamilton is a surfer. Gabrielle Reece is a volleyball player. In 1997, they looked at each other, said “Why not?” and married. It hasn’t all been a storybook romance, as the couple’s 2001 divorce filing will attest. However, they worked out the irreconcilable differences cited in the court document and they remain married.
The athletic super-couple listed their second home in July. Based in Haiku, Hawaii, the home is near the surf break known as “Jaws.” The convenient location of the home appealed to Hamilton’s desire to surf the spot regularly.
The home sits on almost 10 acres of Maui real estate and has a gym, a wraparound canopy and a fish pond that holds 1 million gallons of water. It features four bedrooms and four bathrooms, and it was available to anyone with $2.8 million to spend. It is no longer listed for sale.
Location: Malibu, Cailf.
Square Footage: 10,180
English footballer David Beckham does not own this seven-bedroom mansion in Malibu. He and his wife, Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham, merely rented it during the summer of 2011 for only $158,753 a month, according to the blog for the real estate website Zillow.com.
The 10,180-square-foot home has nine bathrooms, plenty of space for the couple and their three children to spread out. It offers panoramic views of the beach. So if swimming in the 50-foot-long pool becomes dull, it’s easy to find the ocean from there.
Location: Southampton, N.Y.
Square Footage: 5,500
Jason Kidd is a point guard for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association. However, he wanted an East Coast home for the off-season. This led him to buy a mansion in Southampton, N.Y., that was once home to Jennifer Lopez, according to Trulia Luxe Living.
The 5,500 square-foot home has six bathrooms and six bedrooms, one of which, the master suite, has its own fireplace, balcony and sitting room. It has a pool, a tennis court and a separate carriage house.
Location: Cherry Hills Village, Colo.
Square Footage: 11,372
David Duval is a professional golfer who’s put not one, but two homes on the market in 2011. Both are in Cherry Hills Village, Colo., and he’s selling them in order to “simplify,” wife Susie told The Wall Street Journal.
When she originally spoke to the publication, one property was selling for $5 million and the other for $9 million, less than what they had paid in both cases. However, the larger, more expensive property (pictured here) has had its price lowered yet again, this time to $7.85 million.
This listing is a single-family home built in 1925, with two stories and a five-car garage. It features a guest house, nine fireplaces and facilities for horses.