One of my favorite things to do when I’m traveling is to check out local real estate for sale. Usually I’ll just stop in front of a realtor’s window, where they’ll have their postings listed. I love imagining myself living in another city or country, and my favorite listings to check out are the crazy expensive ones (of course). Hey, if I’m going to pretend-shop for a house, it might as well be a mansion, right?!
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the most haunted island in the world was for sale. It got me thinking about other unusual real estate. What if someone is in the market for a medieval castle, or a French chateau, or an old church? Well, they’re in luck, because odds are there will be a realtor who has just what they’re looking for. And even those of us who can only buy vicariously are able to view these properties, thanks to the wonders of the Internet.
So, let’s start by going shopping for a castle. This HelloGiggles article actually pointed me to an awesome website where I’ve spent many happy hours perusing the castles and chateaux I’d buy if I had the money. At the moment, I’m (sadly) limited to window shopping, but here are a few of my favorites: a castle from 1577, complete with a tower and traces of an old drawbridge; an 11th century castle that was renovated during the Renaissance; and a 13th century chapel converted into a house in the 16th century, still decorated with well-preserved religious murals. I can’t imagine how interesting it would be to live in a house with so much history. I imagine I could happily spend hours getting lost in the halls and exploring every secret spot. Check out the websites and let me know your favorites, in the comment section below.
I also found this gem of a real estate website to get lost on. My favorite section is Dubious Décor, because everyone loves pictures of hideous furnishings (cough, zebra print wallpaper, cough). If you want to marvel at people’s awful taste, this is the website for you.
Finally, I’ve come to what might be my favorite real estate find. This website follows the restoration of a chateau in the south of France. Chateau de Gudanes was built in the early 1700’s, but had fallen into disrepair (we’re talking roof caved in, interior walls falling down, uninhabitable condition). Recently purchased by an Australian family, the Chateau is currently being renovated and restored back to its former glory. And the best part? The owners are blogging the whole process. You can follow their progress with regular updates on their website. They write about each step and, my favorite part, they post lots of pictures. There are close ups of the devastation inside the beautiful building, as well as pictures of the treasures they discover (like the vintage child’s shoe they recently found) and the ongoing improvements. I feel like I’ve been to the Chateau. But more importantly, I feel connected to the process because I’m seeing the changes as they happen. And for someone in the Midwest, it’s pretty cool to be able to watch the renovation of a French chateau.
Would you like to live in a castle?
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