Tiger Woods may be mastering Augusta after a tormented layoff from golf, and has slowly worked to master Florida real estate in Orlando and Palm Beach.
The record-breaking golfer has been based in Florida as a professional, but mainly for the weather and plethora of golf courses. Woods has been very active in Florida real estate, purchasing two homes near Orlando, with two currently under construction in Jupiter. The homes are worth more than $50 million combined.
Woods has made a few purchases in Orlando, where he lives primarily, and another in a massive knockdown and rebuilding of an 11,000-square-foot home on tony Jupiter Island, at the north end of Palm Beach County, the latter apparently influenced by his wife’s Swedish heritage and a bustling local Swedish community.
According to Orange County, Fla. property appraiser records, Woods owns two homes in Windermere, Fla. at the Isleworth development, with one listed under his original (though since formally changed) name Eldrick Woods with his wife, Elin, and another listed jointly for himself and his late father, Earl Woods.
The one in his name, in the community of Isleworth, has an assessed value of around $2.4 million, and was the site of the infamous “car accident” that opened the floodgates of the recent scandals. The other home, also in Windermere, was assessed at $1.31 million though each pale in comparison to the as-yet unfinished Jupiter home.
In addition, Woods is building a home in Jupiter for his mother on two adjacent lots in 2007 for $2.4 million, and reportedly intends to spend another $2.6 million to construct on them.
But the golfer’s much-publicized Jupiter Island purchase in 2006 for $44.5 million hasn’t had much effect on values in an already-elite neighborhood, said Jim McLane, a broker with Illustrated Properties in Jupiter.
Jupiter Island “is pretty much isolated from everything else around here. I don’t think it’s had a big impact on the community itself. Michael Jordan bought a house in Jupiter here, too, and I think he’s getting more publicity about moving to Jupiter than Tiger Woods did. The houses up where Woods bought, some of them are in pretty bad shape; they’re old, original homes where they’re just buying the dirt.”
Woods paid $44.5 million for what was a 12-acre property with an 11,000-square-foot Caribbean-style home already on it, along with three other lots. That home even had a $1 million private rainforest installed by the previous owner until Woods had the home torn down in favor of a modern, glass-covered mansion, according to broker D.J. Morris of Premier Properties of South Florida.
“He knocked down a house that most people would love to live in,” he said. “Jupiter Island is a unique place — the prices can rise dramatically there, with a knockdown for $5 to $6 million, easy.”
Woods was said to have favored the area for the number of local golf courses.
Nearby Palm Beach Gardens, site of the PGA Village, is the de facto golf capital of the world, said broker Mike Thomas with Thomas Real Estate. It is also the home of Jack Nicklaus, the only person Woods trails on the tour’s all-time wins list.
“A lot of people like the north of the county as far as celebrities go, because it’s not as congested. There are more golf courses here than in any city in the world,” Thomas said.
But another factor, less than any prospective real estate return, was the large Swedish community in Jupiter, Morris, a professional golfer himself for 11 years, speculated.
“One of the reasons Tiger is building his house on Jupiter Island, is because when he met Elin, she was the nanny of Jesper Parnevik, and his house is on the Intracoastal, looking at Jupiter Island. I think that’s a big factor with them — she wanted to get closer to her Swedish friends, because there’s quite a big community in the area, and she got to know them back in 2001 when she was Parnevik’s nanny before she met Tiger.”