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Buy a Castle to Feel Like a True Prince

Thursday, 05 February 2009

buy a castleNatalia Vodianova, Johnny Depp, Alsou, Nicolas Cage, Ronnie Wood from the «Rolling Stones»... Oh, this is just the first names on the long-long list of celebrities who can be already called the owners of the European castles. Would you like to join them in this list? Well here is a textbook from us to you and those who wish to purchase the medieval property.

Step one: Choosing the Country

Let's be honest, you don't quite need to have a million to buy a castle somewhere in Europe. Well the rumors about buying the castle for the same price as a small old flat somewhere in the suburbs of Moscow also aren't the whole truth. It is really not everything that is called castle that really is one, even if the sales agency argues so. An old mansion ruins somewhere in the Eastern Europe (mansion ruins, nothing to do with a castle) would really cost you around a hundred thousand dollars maximum. While this might be a really romantic spot and purchase it doesn't look very reasonable, does it? A castle for the price of around one or two hundred thousand dollars would most likely be a small, hard to reach one and would definitely require a lot of investments to be made. A price for a real medieval castle somewhere in Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Serbia or Eastern Germany would be around two or three hundred thousand dollars. A castle in France, England, Scotland, Western Germany or Austria would cost you something around five to eight hundred thousand dollars. And the castles at the Azure Coast or in Switzerland are being sold for more than a million dollars.

A completely different thing would be castles with their own history or dynasty stories and it doesn't even matter then where the castle is located. If only somebody killed, poisoned or stabbed somebody else to death and now people say there are ghosts living in the castle, then wow - the price for the property doubles or rises up even more. For example the supposedly count Dracula's castle in Romania would cost one more than twenty five million euro.

One can also choose the «dwelling-space» from the medieval times taking a look at the celebrities. Nicolas Cage is the owner of the castle in Bavaria (bought it for two million dollars) and also a castle in England (estimated price is said to be ten million pounds sterling). Another celebrity - George Clooney - is the owner of several old mansions somewhere in Italy. British castles are owned by a Russian singer Alsou, the legendary «Rolling Stones» member, Ronnie Wood, a well-known rapper - Puff Daddy, a celebrity-singer Madonna, the Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow and another actress Jillian Anderson. A castle located in the south of France is owned by the celebrity-couple of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt which the two bought for sixty million dollars right before the two twins of their were born.

Step Number Two: The Beginning of the Restoration Process

At this very stage the real reason behind the natural-born counts and barons rushing in the attempt to get rid of their family residences for ridiculously low prices is being revealed. First and foremost in case of the inheritance of a castle a very large tax is to be paid. Second of all the European Union government demands that any castles or mansion that represent any, even the smallest amount of, cultural or historical value are to be restored and maintained in the  appropriate condition. In case of nonobservance a large penalization takes place and nobody wants that. Therefore not later than a year after the purchase, the owner is obliged to start the restoration process if he doesn't want to get fined for the nonobservance. One can always ask the government of the country the castle is located in for aid and material help and most likely the government would accept to help financially and usually forty percents of the expenditure would be covered. In exchange for that however one would have to deal with tourists since the castle would then be opened for those twenty four - seven and without any compensation. In addition to that the interiors would not be allowed to be changed under any circumstances and in the area opened for tourists you will not be allowed to install no modern canalization neither to install the telephone cables. Furthermore: any possible restoration work to be done would have to be done by a company that has a special license declaring that the company is allowed to carry out restoration processes in the property with any historical or cultural values and those people usually ask more for the job to be done than any other companies in the market. A famous top model Natalia Vodianova loved to tell the stories about how she wanted to redesign some of the rooms in her husband's (Justin Portman) family castle and turn them into nursery rooms after her daughter was born. However since the castle was build in the year 1212 the couple were not allowed to beat a single nail into the walls without the government permission! In addition to that every restoration and redesigning process was observed by a medieval specialist.

Finally Step Number Three: Finding Your Profits

However, by simply living in such a monument of architecture would pay for any moral or material expenses made. And if there is a wish, one can turn their castle into a real tourist attraction that will, in addition to the fun provided, bring large profits to its owner. If the castle is big enough and his sizes allow this, then a wing or a part of it can be used as the area where a café, a hotel or a club can be built. Such practices are being encouraged by the government itself and therefore can lead to lowered taxes or even any property or land tax dispensation. This is exactly what the famous billionaire - Roman Abramovich - wanted to do. It is well-documented that the oligarch wanted to purchase the «Bran» castle in Transylvania built by the Teutonic Order knights in the year 1377. According to the legend this was the castle where the famous prototype of count Dracula - Vlad the Third Tepes - lived. The Russian billionaire not only wanted to invest into the restoration of the castle but also was ready and really wanted to create and manage the building of the tourist's infrastructure around the location to attract more tourists and to create an attraction park out of the vampire-count Dracula's tabernacle well described in the book by Bram Stoker. According to some of the calculations a castle which price was considered to be twenty five million dollars could have paid off in no more than four years. However the transaction was canceled due to Roman Abramovich divorce lawsuit and all the hassle behind it.

So that makes the famous castle vacant for now. And if you ever would want to purchase property in Europe and would go to a castle-shopping tour (and such tours are indeed arranged by the companies dealing with the out-of-town property), then don't forget to visit this castle in the to-buy property list, since it really is worth it.

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Debbie Morris  - researh help   |2009-03-11 05:06:34
Could you please tell me the name of the castles that the following celebrities own: Puff Daddy, Madonna, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Brad and Angelina. Also, do you know the name of Nicolas Cage's English castle? Doing research, appreciate any help!
Elizabeth   |2011-10-12 22:45:34
Which castle is pictured at the top of the article? Where is it located?
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