When Tiger Woods' ex-wife, Swedish supermodel Elin Nordegren, bulldozed the $12 million Palm Beach home that she bought with some of her $100 million divorce settlement, some in the media went wild.
"For a private woman who suffered one of the world's most humiliating cheating scandals, Nordegren waited a long time to explode ... or implode, rather," Zillow proclaimed, quoting a report on TMZ. The celebrity gossip site had pronounced Nordegren a "human wrecking machine" for leveling her brand new Florida mansion simply because she didn't like the place, and because, well, "she could." Fox News also echoed the TMZ story, reporting that "Nordegren bought a $12 million Florida mansion -- just so she could knock it down." And it goes on.
But it turns out that those allegations have not proven to be exactly true.
While Nordegren did indeed give orders to tear down the 17,000-square-foot, six-bedroom mansion (which boasted an in-ground pool and an elevator), apparently the reason behind her "bold decision" was not revenge, anger or boredom. It was termites.
Nordegren's builder, Dan Reedy of Onshore Construction and Development, told People that the $12 million home, built in the 1920s, was infested with termites and carpenter ants and, furthermore, wasn't built to today's hurricane code.
Reedy told People, "We had an architect and a structural engineer out here and everyone agreed that it made more sense -- structurally and economically -- to tear it down and start over."
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Apparently Nordegren had the home disassembled and donated the parts that were still usable.
The latest reports have also revealed that Nordegren did in fact like the house, contrary to what some have claimed. In fact, the Swedish supermodel is said to have liked it so much that the new house she's building replicates the one that she tore down.
A rendering of its plans reveals that the "new" home, like the bulldozed one, features a distinctive traditional/colonial style and very similar structure.
Elin Nordegren Bulldozed $12 Million Mansion Due to Bugs
Location: Beverly Hills, Calif.
Average Home Size: 3,884 Sq Ft
Median Home Price: $1.99 million
This home: $2.895 million
Sq Ft: 3,899
Beverly Hills, Calif. clocks in at number one for average square feet. Not particularly surprising considering its status as the country's iconic luxury haven. This $2.895 million mid-century modern is listed $1 million above the area's average home price, but it delivers the typical amount of space you see in Tinseltown.
Location: Malibu, Calif. Average Home Size: 2,998 Median Home Price: $2.195 million
This home: $9.5 million
Sq Ft: N/A
Well, turns out Malibu actually tops Beverly Hills on the median-home price meter, even though Beverley Hills beats Malibu by a cool 1,000 square feet when it comes to average home size. Overlooking La Costa Beach, this stunner stares out into sweeping Pacific blue. You can suck in the views through floor-to-ceiling glass windows or on its spacious deck, which practically positions you over the surf.
Protected by a gated entrance, the home has an elaborate interior that gleams with stone, wood and tile. Exposed beams add a little extra character. Special features include a gourmet kitchen, gym, generator and skylights.
The home has an elegant color scheme with gleaming hardwood floors and cream walls, suggesting that -- unlike many homes in the area -- sometimes-studying frat boys at the esteemed university nearby have not lived in it recently.
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Average Home Size: 2,074 Sq Ft
Median Home Price: $149,900
This Home: $100,000
Sq Ft: 2,140
A house this size comes a little cheaper down South. In this case, $100,000 buys a average-sized home for the area. The price per square foot is only $47. Clocking in at $742 per square foot, our Beverly Hills pick dwarfs that ratio.
Location: Austin, Texas
Average Home Size: 1,979
Median Home Price: $235,000
This Home: $127,950
The Lone Star State is no stranger to cheap dirt. Take this 2,648 square foot home for instance. With a stately brick exterior, and generous interior for only $127,950, this Austin home delivers everything you need and then some.
The fact that the home is a foreclosure probably explains why it has such a cheap price tag. According to the National Association of Realtors, foreclosures are typically discounted by around 20 percent. Pictured here is the home's well-apportioned kitchen.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Average Home Size: 1,363 Sq Ft
Median Home Price: $199,000
This Home: $305,000
Sq Ft: 1,463
Dallas has the fifth lowest average home size on our list, suggesting that not everything is bigger in Texas. Priced at $305,000, this home is on the higher end of those that hover around the city's average size.
Location: Denver, Colo.
Average Home Size: 1,354 Sq Ft
Median Home Price: $245,000
This Home: $279,000
Sq Ft: 1,368
The Mile High City is relatively expensive, with a median price of $245,000. This home is a fair representation of what you might expect in town, both in price and size. The three-bedroom bungalow has a total of 1,368 square feet.
Location: Baltimore, Md.
Average Home Size: 1,260 Sq Ft
Median Home Price: $104,900
This Home: $289,900
Sq Ft: 1,250
Baltimore is a pretty dense city and its average home size is a perfect reflection of that. This brick-built three-bedroom only has .03 acres of land, but it costs more than double the area's median home price.
Location: Boston, Mass.
Average Home Size: 1,250 Sq Ft
Median Home Price: $377,000
This Home: $1.469 million
Sq Ft: 1,220
Boston is one of the more cramped cities in the country. It's also one of the most expensive. This home measures at about the city's average size, but far exceeds it on the luxury meter. The $1.469 million condo has a built-in media center, among other community amenities like an in-house gym.
Location: New York (Manhattan), N.Y.
Average Home Size: 1,124
Median Home Price: $1.139 million
This Home: $175,000
Sq Ft: 1,250
No big surprise here. The Big Apple takes a giant bite out of your wallet. Malibu and Beverley Hills may have some of the largest homes on the list, but Manhattan's luxe digs come in small packages. Located way uptown, this unfurnished apartment is about as affordable as it gets on the island.