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Castle Ownership Not Just A Delusion Of Grandeur

Dec 30, 2007
Always put your money into bricks and mortar mgrandparents used to say to me. With the population exploding with immigrants and new properties springing up in the smallest of building plots with ever increasing prices, it's not so easy to get a foothold on the property market.

To find an investment property is equally as difficult as just finding the standard two up, two down to live in. With a shortage of available properties, many people are looking into alternative properties to invest in.

House boats, lighthouses and ex local authority buildings are quite common purchases when looking for somewhere different to live. But how about considering a castle? Forget Count Dracula. Castles are not the cold, austere places that fiction portrays them to be. They have been home to families since the beginning of their existence and most have been updated along the way to provide modern facilities.

Castles of various different sizes, prices and states of repair are available in the UK, Scotland and are in abundance in Europe. Not just a place to live but also a way of earning a living, many have been converted to hotels with conference facilities.

Privately owned castles often hold functions and weddings and these can be made a speciality for a very comfortable income.

But to start with let's take a look at the purchase of a castle as an investment property.

There are many companies around who, for a reasonable fee, will assist you in finding your dream property, particularly in Europe where castles are in abundance.
Since the fall of the Berlin wall, many areas and opportunities have opened up for people wishing to own beautiful old properties set in some of the most outstanding landscapes in the world and stuffed with history.

Companies in Germany will assist with your purchase of a castle and its renovations from your first inkling of interest through to completion of any repairs and even management of turning it into the business that will pay for the building itself.

Once you express an interest in buying a castle, they will establish what size of property you are looking for, your budget and what type of business you would like it to evolve into. They will then compose a list of possible properties. Parts of the package they provide are available separately but if you are a novice at this then it is wise to use an expert.

They will take you on a viewing trip around the castles, are able to consult on purchase, condition and renovation including all costings. They will research the costs in conjunction with the purchase such as notary and attorney costs, official permits and licensing costs.

The right help is also available to assist with grant applications in the case of renovations that need to come in line with standards set by Denkmalshutz (Departments of Historic Preservation). You can request that they develop and draw up architectural plans and that they oversee all works on your castle. Particularly helpful if you cannot be in the country all the time.

A castle is, no doubt, a major purchase but as it can be your truly impressive home as well as your business it is certainly worth considering as an investment property.

For the smaller budget with the same big ideas, a converted church is also a sound investment property. Unusual properties hold their value better than the average property. Many churches in and around the UK have already been converted but there are usually around a thousand or more churches on the UK property market at any one given time, in various states of repair and conversion.

It is important to look into any covenants that may come with the purchase of a dis-used church. It doesn't happen very often but in the past some Methodist churches were sold on the strict provision that no alcohol would ever be consumed on the premises!

On a much smaller scale than a castle, the purchase of a church will still provide you with the history of an old building. With details such as large stained glass windows, gothic arches, high vaulted ceilings, elaborate stonework and bell towers you still get the authentic feel as well as the accompanying grandeur but without the price tag of a castle.

If you're looking for a worthwhile investment property, you could do worse than opt for a castle or church.
About the Author
Expert estate agent Shaun Parker looks into property investment in the UK and Europe. To find out more please visit http://www.propertyinvestment.co.uk/
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