The INSIDER Summary:
- Reggie Van Lee, 59, built a sprawling estate for himself, his three sisters, and his entire extended family, including friends.
- The 20,000-square-foot mansion has a hair salon, a small church, a pool, and individual living units.
- Lee, who recently retired from a management consulting firm, built the house to spend more time with his loved ones.
As we get older, we often can’t see our family and friends as much as we’d like.
To spend more time with his loved ones, Reggie Van Lee, 59, built a 20,000-square-foot mansion in Houston, Texas for himself, his three sisters, and his entire extended family, including friends.
In addition to a beautiful pool in the backyard, the sprawling estate includes a hair salon, a small church, and personal living quarters.
“It’s fun, we have our own spaces so we can see each other as often as we want,” Mark Szafarz, Lee’s brother-in-law, told Fox 26 Houston.
These individual units are separated from the main house by unique front doors, and everyone has their own kitchen, living room, laundry room, and bed and bath space. For example, Lee’s sister Carolyn Lee Conner has two bedrooms in her unit — one master and one guest, each with its own bathroom.
Everyone who lives in the mansion also splits the cost of food, utilities, housekeeping, and groundskeeping.
Lee, a Harvard graduate who recently retired as Executive Vice President at management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, sees the house as a way to make more memories with his loved ones.
“As much as people say, ‘Oh that’s so nice of you to do this for your sisters,’ they have no idea the joy I get,” Lee told Fox 26 Houston.
A former performer at the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Lee also worked with the Clinton Foundation and was appointed to several committees by then-President Obama. Lee was inspired to build his family mansion after visiting the Kennedy Compound in 1976.
Lee and his family are sharing their story in the hope that other families are inspired to follow suit, “even if on a smaller scale,” Damali Keith of Fox 26 Houston reported.
“I think if we did more of that, we would have more happiness in the world and a lot less tension,” Lee said.
You can tour Lee’s sprawling mansion from the Fox 26 Houston news clip below:
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