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How One Rich Guy in Rolling Hills Ended the Nightmare of Having a Lot of Staff in His Giant Mansion

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Hey, don't fret that you can't afford to buy a house (or really even rent), normal folk, living in a giant mansion totally sucks, according to the Wall Street Journal. Installing a WiFi network is a real bitch (and sometimes you even need a separate one for your staff, "for security purposes") and then you can't exactly take care of the whole place yourself, so you're forced to hire all kinds of managers and maids and gardeners—complete strangers who are not rich and yet there they are, tramping through your domain every day. Sounds like a nightmare, right? Well, one rich guy in Rolling Hills finally decided to do something about it. John Z. Blazevich spent 17 years building a 51,000-square-foot house in the gated 'hood; it sits mostly underground due to height restrictions and has 25 bathrooms with hand-cut tile floors, a five-story indoor tennis court, a 10,000-square-foot hammam, and custom gold-leaf work that took an artist 10 years to produce. When it was finally finished, he had no choice but to bring in "a huge staff, including a property manager, an administrative assistant, five gardeners and three maids."

But then Blazevich realized that the staff he was paying to maintain his enormous mansion could "see everything about [his] life." So he replaced the landscaping on his nearly eight acres with "compatible plants and flowers that require little maintenance and almost no pesticides," installed a geothermal system in his house, and took out his "hotel-grade cooling tower." Now he only has to have three staffers and they only work five days a week; he's cut staffing costs by 75 percent. Hey, we thought these guys were supposed to be job creators!

Oh, also Blazevich has been trying to sell the place for a year now at $53 million.

· The Trouble With Living Large [WSJ]
· The 10 Most Insane Things About the Underground Rolling Hills House Asking $53 Million [Curbed LA]