For sale: Large, abandoned Mediterranean-style home with 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms. $1,999,000
Location: Just 30 minutes north of DisneyWorld, on Johns Lake in Oakland, FL.
Notable history: Once owned by Khalil bin Laden, brother of the world’s once most-wanted man, Osama bin Laden.
Sound interesting? It is. Khalil bin Laden, one of Osama’s 54 siblings, once owned this hulking, 5,854-sq ft home, purchasing it in 1980 for $1.6 million, reportedly as a wedding present for his wife. However, shortly after attacks on 9/11, the wealthy businessman and his family fled the U.S. in fear of retaliation.They boarded a special charter flight to Saudi Arabia on September 19, 2001.
From that point, the home sat abandoned for many years, falling into a state of disrepair from the humid Florida weather, vandals, and lack of ownership.
Kahlil bin Laden’s former home finally sold in 2006, at the height of the Florida real estate boom, for $4,043,800. However, the new owner went bankrupt and was sentenced to prison for fraud.The mansion was then foreclosed on in 2007 and re-listed for sale in 2009, with several price changes until it settled in at its current listing price of $1,999,000.
Built in 1928, the home sits on over an acre and a half of water front property on Johns Lake in Oakland, FL. It has 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a carriage and guest house.
Many Bin Laden family members have lived in the United States at one time. The family is closely connected to the Saudi royal family and operate the Binladin Group, a family construction business, one of the largest in the Middle East. Most family members severed ties with Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s. Around the time of 9/11, many members of the extended family were attending colleges in the U.S. or conducting business abroad. Osama bin Laden on the other hand, reportedly never left the Middle East, so any rumors of him visiting his brother’s Florida home are most likely false.
Unfortunately, the bin Laden home needs a major facelift. The home was marred by vandalism, including broken windows, and other “damages including a safe thrown down a stairway and bullet holes in the walls.” While there has been some interest in the home, real estate agent Autumn Norris-Maker told NBC News that finding financing for a home this run down has always been a sticking point.
“The reaction has always been wow…there’s a lot of work to do,” she said.