As children, we all heard bedtime stories about brave knights, scary dragons, and fantastical castles — but have you ever dreamed of owning your own castle?
If you think you can only find the grand castles in the historical areas of Europe, think again. There are actually many castles available to buy in the U.S., and although they may not have the same historical significance as their older European counterparts, they still have a lot of charm and aesthetic appeal.
Many of the most well-known medieval-style mansions in the U.S. are either registered as historic sites or are being used as museums — but there are still some opportunities available that could let you live like royalty.
When looking for your very own castle, complete with turrets, gables, and towers, there are a few factors that you need to consider. Owning an unconventional property is different than owning a traditional home, and there are some things that you may not have considered during your fantasy.
Patience Is a Virtue
Searching for the perfect castle to call home will likely take time and patience. Understandably, there is not a surplus of castles to choose from in the U.S., so you will need to flexible about your preferred location, as well as your timeframe.
If you aren't sure exactly where to find what you're looking for, consider finding a reputable real estate agent to work with, preferably one who is familiar with castles. An experienced realtor will not only be able to look for your dream property on your behalf, but they will also be able to guide you through the process of purchasing it and ensuring it is a wise investment of both your time and money.
Renovations May Be Costly
Whenever you purchase a genuine historical property, you must consider the cost of any renovations that you may need to make, either now or in the future. For example, preserving and maintaining historical materials can not only be extremely costly but it also typically requires the use of expert contractors who are familiar with working on historic properties.
There may also be mandated code requirements that need to be considered. Any alterations made to historical buildings also need to meet accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This needs to be completed in the most sympathetic way possible in order to minimize the loss of original materials or visual changes to the building.
Utilities Could be Expensive
Castles are not known for being very eco-friendly. Usually vast in size and spanning several thousand square feet, fuelling a castle could end up costing you a lot more than you realize.
If you want to purchase a historical property, you should be aware that it's likely it will lack modern money-saving features such as insulation. This can cause your energy bills to be significantly higher than a traditional property, especially if your castle is very large.
Resale Maybe More Difficult
When purchasing an extremely unique property, you should also consider that when you come to sell it, you will need to find a buyer as individual as you are.
A castle, although beautiful to look at, may not be a practical property for a lot of people to live in. As you grow older and your lifestyle changes, you may find it challenging to get around such a large property, as well as maintain it.
You should expect your special property to spend a longer time on the market than a more traditional architectural style home. A seller's agent who is experienced in the unique selling points of this type of property will be able to help you devise a strategic marketing plan that can catch the attention of buyers looking for an unusual property.
Expect to Pay More
Being the king or queen of your own castle doesn't come cheap, and lenders may be more apprehensive about approving a mortgage on such an unusual property. You may need to find a lender who specializes in more niche style home loans in order to finance your castle.
If a borrower can no longer make their mortgage repayments, the lender will need to sell the property to recoup their losses. A lot of traditional mainstream banks and lenders may not want to take the risk of approving a mortgage on a property such as a castle, as it will likely be harder to sell than a traditional property.
The Bottom Line
Owning a castle could be a dream come true, as long as you do your research and understand that the real estate process may be more difficult to navigate than it would be with a traditional home. Teaming up with a Clever Partner Agent is one of the best ways to ensure that you find your very own castle, for the best price possible.