Angel investor David Gardner and his family have spent 17 years in their home on a small private lake in Cary – venturing into the water from the built-in harbor, playing in the cinema, drinking and pool in the basement “tavern” and sipping morning coffee over the indoor pool.
Now, Gardner says they are ready for a change.
They put the home, a technically custom build by Gardner, on the market in May for $8.3 million.
When it is sold, they plan to move into a penthouse apartment in downtown Durham.
“We want to be around people. We feel like we’ve been really isolated during the pandemic and especially in a private pool,” Gardner told The News & Observer. “It’s nothing but good memories here, but sometimes you just want something new and different.”
Gardner is a serial entrepreneur and creator of Cary-based Cofounders Capital, which has invested millions in software projects, mostly in North Carolina.
Gardner and his wife bought the 8-acre property in 2000 for $750,000, according to property records. They built the five-bedroom, six-bathroom mansion in 2006.
“It was a huge undertaking,” Gardner said of designing the house.
It’s not actually in Cary’s city limits, but the tax bill is still piling up, topping out at $15,000 last year.
It’s 9,619 square feet, and the foundation is built right at the edge of the lake, and it’s small enough that water levels don’t rise more than a few inches in storms, according to Gardner.
“We had seen beautiful thousand-year-old castles in Europe built in the water and wanted something that really stood the test of time like that,” he said.
They laid a deep steel-and-cement foundation covered in stone and were “over-engineered every step of the way.” The house is finished with mahogany floors, cherry wood cabinets, a tiled roof, and stainless steel railings on the exterior patios.
“I remember the general contractor joking, ‘If there’s ever a disaster or natural disaster, that’s the house he’s coming to.’ Gardner said the workers call the house ‘The Rock.'”
The living room has double pane thermal windows, slight doors with automatic awnings for hot days, and energy-conscious heating and cooling systems, including a submerged lagoon geothermal heat pump.
When Gardner built the house, he also wrote 200 lines of code for the software that automates its features, although it has since switched to a commercial system now that technology has absorbed its standards.
“Everything that uses electricity in the home is pretty much automated. The lights, ceiling fans, thermostats, stoves, awnings, security, pool waterfall, televisions, media.” “Even the kitchen faucet is automated so that it does the measurement for you while you cook.”
The features can be controlled from cell phones, iPads and wall switches, though Gardner said they mostly connect to Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant.
“You literally tell the house what you want,” he said.
The house extends over three levels. They are pipes in filtered well water and are on a sewage system.
The home theater has a screen more than 10 feet wide, surround sound and vibrating seats, which Gardner said provides an immersive experience, especially when gaming.
In addition to the bar, indoor pool, and movie theater, the home also includes a home gym, a hidden room accessible with a bookcase, dishwashers, a gas stove in the spacious kitchen, a hot tub, a steam room, and a three-car garage with an electric vehicle connection.
“Every morning my wife and I choose a different place to have our coffee and talk together,” he said. “No bad reviews. There is always something interesting and interesting to look at.”
However, it is not the most expensive home available in Cary. The $9 million mansion on the south side of town has been on the market since February.
The two most expensive homes are currently on display in the Triangle.