Being Rich Isn’t All About Instant Gratification

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This place is going to look great soon, just you wait. Photo: Dreamworks

Building a fancy home on a remote private island, for instance, can take years. And a lot of very hard work, as this case study on the 365-island Bahamian archipelago, Exuma Cays, shows. You've got to ship in the cell phone towers and water purifiers on barges. The wood has to come all the way from Fort Lauderdale. You've got to hire, oh, 150 or so local workers to get the damn thing done, and you've got to build temporary housing for them. And then, once you've got your little island shack (with, say a 4,000-square-foot house, two miles of coastline, and a $22 million price tag), you've got to think about the utilities! Electricity alone can run up a million-dollar annual bill. It's really the nickel-and-dime stuff where they get you on projects like that.

My Own Private Island [WSJ]