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This Florida Home Asking .95 Million Is Discounted From Its Original Price, but Could Still Set a Record

This Florida Home Asking $15.95 Million Is Discounted From Its Original Price, but Could Still Set a Record

A riverfront home in Fort Myers, Fla., is returning to market for $15.95 million, a discount from its original price of $25.565 million. Still, if it fetches that price it would be the most expensive home sale recorded in the city.

Owners Herbert and Gabi Baum spent about $15.3 million building the Palladian-style home, Mr. Baum said, plus roughly $3.155 million to buy the land, which overlooks the Caloosahatchee River.

The local multiple listing service shows that the most expensive home sold in Fort Myers was for $10 million in 2007, according to Damon Vetere of Coldwell Banker Realty, who has the listing with colleague Lori Fowler.

The Baums’ main house measures about 10,000 square feet with four bedrooms, a wine cellar and a gym, Mr. Baum said. The gated estate has a swimming pool and an expansive courtyard with a fountain in the center. A roughly 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom guesthouse is surrounded by botanical gardens that are also scattered throughout the property. The property also comes with a covered boat dock—the river leads into the Gulf of Mexico—and a hot tub, according to Mr. Baum.

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Born and raised in Germany, Mr. Baum, 64, is an entrepreneur who said he has started 18 companies around the world in industries including textiles, transportation and construction. He currently runs a string of motorcycle shops based in Florida called Haus of Trikes and Bikes. 

Fort Myers is on the West Coast of Florida between Naples and Sarasota. Mr. Baum said he bought the waterfront lot in 2008 and combined it with another lot in 2009. The main house took about four years to build, he said, with most of the materials imported from Europe and Mexico.

“We had 171 ocean freight containers coming from Europe and Mexico to the construction site,” he said. 

Roughly 100 of those containers contained Mexican shell stone, which was used outside to create the columns, arches, floors and pool deck, according to Mr. Baum. Inside, custom-designed doors and arches were built in Germany while the baseboards, floors, countertops and fireplaces came from Italy. Mr. Baum said he flew in carpenters from Germany, who spent more than five months installing doors, arches and kitchen furniture. 

On the grounds, three loggias overlook an infinity pool with a tiled mosaic of a hibiscus flower at the center. According to Mr. Baum, the property has about 4,000 exotic orchids and palm trees with coconuts as well as herbs and flowers that bloom all year.

The Baums said they have lived in the house for nearly a decade, but no longer need as much space now that their two children have moved out. They are building another, smaller home in Fort Myers. “It’s time to move on and do something different,” he said. They also have homes in Germany, Greece and Italy.

The Baum home property was first listed in 2016, then in 2018 for $15.95 million, according to Zillow. 

The listing agents said they decided to keep the price at $15.95 million this time around because the market is stronger than it was in 2018. 

If the Baums’ property sells at or near its asking price, it will be the most expensive home ever sold in Fort Myers, according to the listing agents.



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“We wanted to keep it at a reasonable number,” Mr. Vetere said, “but something that was justified based on what he spent and the time it took to construct that estate.”

In December 2021, the average sale price of a home in Fort Myers was almost double what it was in December of 2018, according to Mr. Vetere. 

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