Castle Hunters on HGTV - anyone watch?

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Jan 1st, 2015, 01:23 PM
  #1
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Castle Hunters on HGTV - anyone watch?

I taped the new show (I don't remember if it was on this morning or last night), about people looking for a second home in Europe - only this time, a castle.

Loved the one set in France; they saw several places in the Loire and Burgundy, with a budget around $1.0-1.6 million. Oh, man! Some of these places were gorgeous. My husband, hearing me daydreaming, made comments on the cost of upkeep, heating, "yard work" (I don't think you can really refer to ten acres in that way...hence the quotes). Well, sure, I know we'll never own one, but it's fun to live vicariously.

The second show featured a couple from Washington DC looking for a place in Ireland. In contrast to the French chateaux, two of the three castles in Ireland were obviously defensive, and straight up. All I could think of was their two year old (not) navigating the tight circular staircase. But the views!

Not sure if this should be posted in Europe or the Lounge, but it was sure fun to see!
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Jan 1st, 2015, 05:31 PM
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I had not heard of this show. Thanks so much for the heads up!! I will look for it.
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Jan 1st, 2015, 05:47 PM
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Yep we watched it and loved the France episode. If only.
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Jan 1st, 2015, 06:01 PM
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I missed it. Must see if they will show it online. I was just watching the dream house on Martha's Vineyard. Who could afford the taxes if they won that house? Tiny house is more my speed these days.
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Jan 1st, 2015, 06:08 PM
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I haven't heard of the show either and I watch a LOT of HGTV. Will have to look for it.
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Jan 2nd, 2015, 05:40 AM
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It's on this morning (Fri) depending on your time zone.
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Jan 2nd, 2015, 10:03 AM
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I am so sorry i missed it. Can not find it on hdtv website or anywhere else.
I know the owner of the irish castle and she has done an amazing job restoring it.
If anyone find the episode please post it it.
Happy New Year to ALL !
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Jul 4th, 2015, 03:56 AM
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Hello,

This is Edward Gerrits presenting the 2 Châteaux in the Loire Valley. The largest part of the presentation and explanation of owning a castle in France was not aired; I'll try to recap it here.

As a Château-realtor (Chateau-et-Domaines) and Château-restorer (Ateliers Nobles - I have an engineering degree) for over a decade now, I perceive castles in France as a unique opportunity. Not only do I preach what I say, I own a Château myself.

Chateau Pricing
-------------
Purchasing a nice Château will cost around 1 to 1.5 M€ or $. Then you usually have some upgrading costs, count on between 500k to 1M$. This bring you a m2 price or around 2000-3000€/m2. That said, you'll have a property that is currently heavily underpriced; m2 prices in Paris are around 10k-20k$/m2. Compare this to London, where they are waiting on a huge real estate price collapse (the London/UK house bubble with many chinese/russian investors); London are Paris prices are comparable, but outside London the prices are still enormous. And you don't get an english castle for those prices.

Having done an elaborate analysis on house pricing worldwide in metropoles (eg. NYC, London, Paris, etc) and their outlands (eg. up to 300 miles outside) I came to the conclusion something funny is going on in countryside France. Why? Because 1) people *think* France has outragious taxes 2) building properties are limited to little doll-houses that forbids luxurious development 3) the only suitable properties are actually Châteaux (approx 10.000 in france) and when put up for sale, quite a bit are outdated and buyers are scared of their running costs. 4) foreigners are usually left in the dark on their path of french bureaucracy.

A Quick Realistic Addition:
-----------------------
Now looking at it from a different perspective, and through my glasses as Châtelain;
- you can easily purchase a Château, including refurb to your standards for about 1.5 to 2M
- taxes, running costs, etc through a legal, well-thought through approach will cost around 30k
- heating bill - included in the running costs, based upon a wood-heater, modern technology (I have a 1 wood burner for the entire central heating system of my Château costing me 2k/year)
- income: a properly refurbished Château makes around 6-10k/week, or weekend for weddings. Renting out will easily get you on the profit side.

Labour
------
The main reason for a Château being put up for sale is because the original family didn't really understand how to keep up the property in terms of commerce and labour. These estates were built to accommodate & employ between 10 and 20 heads of staff. Effectively all of the work still has to be done; but in our age lots of it can and has to be reorganised in modern-day technology and work organisation. A list of labor intensive activities that can be re-organised/outsourced into this mentioned package of 30k.

So if you want a butler and a chef cook, and maid service (we arrange this for certain clients) on year basis will cost an additional 200-300k. Most modern day Châtelains don't bother for this anymore, so this is saved.

I have a client who has a park of 10 hectares, mainly grass and trees. He pays 70k/year for 2 employees to maintain this. I have another client, who has a beautiful french park and numerous gardens in 20 hectares. They have 1 employee and do some work themselves. Their gardens/park has been in numerous magazines and received several prices. I give these examples to show how penny wise/pound foolish one can be - a matter of intelligent organisation and outsourcing.

Housekeeping can be done by a hired staff - gives a good feeling to be employer of a large personal staff; costs about 35k/year per head of staff. When you outsource it properly, you get a total other picture; a client has his Château cleaned all year long for approx 12k/year.

Future
-----
As many western governments are running out of cash, having to save on public facilities like security (police), energy (subsidies), increasing structural unemployment, rising food & energy prices; Metropoles tend to become less secure and a less free environment to live in; analogue to the situation for centuries in Europe. Well-to-do's shall be increasingly seeking a large, safe and convenient environment for their families.

In this perspective I foresee a run on the Château properties in the near future; now available for around 2-3k/m2, potentially 8-12k/m2 in a few years time.

Well, for so far my thoughts & experiences on this. If interested in more info, don't hestitate to Google me, and then give me a phone call, or email.

Best to you all
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Jul 4th, 2015, 05:33 AM
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Fascinating.

Not even in my wildest dreams would I own a chateau. I can't even keep 1500 SF neat and clean.
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Jul 4th, 2015, 01:27 PM
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margokrystof, is that Tullaun Castle? Sonia and Kevin? They are amazing! I visited there last year and the work they have done on it is amazing. They are restoring it as close to original as possible. Kevin took us all through it and told us the story of how they found it and why they got interested in purchasing a castle. If anyone is interested, check out their website. Just do a search for Tullaun Castle.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 10:50 AM
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Hi! I watched the episode and can't find it on the internet to re watch. Does anyone have a link to it or can you tell me the cities they mentioned in the episode. I'm planning a trip to Ireland and would love to visit some of the places in that episode.

Thanks, Trudy
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Feb 4th, 2016, 12:10 PM
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HGTV doesn't keep its shows available on its website forever to view, but I think it's on Youtube

http://www.hgtv.com/shows/castle-hunters/episodes

try this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSGOe_w9z4k
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Feb 5th, 2016, 07:19 PM
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Thanks Christina but the youtube link took me to the couple looking for a castle in France. I was looking for the Ireland episode. Should you or anyone come across it please let me know. Thank you
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Feb 6th, 2016, 10:50 AM
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I watched the French episode Christina provided, and absolutely did not think "if only." I think that couple are probably in WAY over their heads, though they may have enough money to deal with it. The woman couldn't even pronounce the name of the town the third castle was in - I mean, she wasn't even remotely close. And 19 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms and 10 hectares? For a couple??? Even if they wanted to try to turn a profit by renting it out for vacationers or as a wedding venue or something, that involves massive amounts of work, massive connections, French language skills (or paying someone for your lack of them), and just the vagaries of living in France, like insane paperwork.

Just having our own little place here is overwhelming enough, and we've got years of experience with it. I can't begin to imagine taking on a château. I wish those shows revisited these people a few years later (maybe they do - I don't know).
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Feb 6th, 2016, 12:19 PM
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There are an awful lot of "castles and chateaux" listed for sale on the internet. Most of them have been bought fairly recently, and are being sold pretty quickly because the owners bit off more than they could chew. This is especially true for US citizens, who have to deal with FATCA and other banking nightmares.

These shows are eye candy - fun to watch, but don't get too carried away.
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