The Wall Street Journal, a biweekly newsletter offering money saving tips for moms-of-multiples, published a heartbreaking story Friday addressing an issue which affects all Americans: castles. More specifically, that owning them can be a real headache!
The thing that many part-time students and street performers don't understand, is that buying and maintaining a 28-room, 10,000-square-foot 11th century Bavarian castle is expensive. You can't just set aside your tips for a month, waltz over to Germany, and snatch up one of the approximately 5,000 they have junked over there. Even if you work at a really well known restaurant and make a lot of tips, after scraping together the multi-million dollar down payment, brokerage fees, and purchase tax, you'll still lose hundreds of thousands of dollars a year just keeping it heated, lit, and, y'know...going.
So before you even think about purchasing your first (or second) castle, one Wall Street Journal expert recommends having a lot of money.
"My main tip is you need a lot of money," says Bernd Neuhäuser, managing director of Vermittlung historischer Immobilien, which specializes in selling historical buildings.
Street performer of stage and screen Nic Cage, who bought a 28-room, 10,000-square-foot 11th century Bavarian castle in 2006, was forced to sell it a mere three years later due to what he described as "the difficult economic situation." If a son of Coppola, with his keen mind and treasure hunting ability, couldn't afford to hold onto his castles (he owned another in England that he sold the same year), what hope is there for us, the offspring of lesser cinema dynasties?
Even if you manage to pull yourself out of the financial quicksand, you'll soon find yourself drowning in the myriad inconveniences that arise from living in a breathtaking luxury home whose sole purpose is to protect rich people from the dangers of outside riffraff.
One family, who make their home in a castle nestled on "a scenic stretch of the Rhine River," told the Journal they must endure an agonizing five (5) minute walk to their home from their car.
One of their biggest challenges is that they can't drive up to the castle. Instead, the family must park and take a five-minute uphill walk to the front door, which is accessed by a drawbridge.
300 seconds, a miniature infinity, during which time the poor members of the Hecher clan are eaten alive by their merciless consciences.
Why didn't the original owners build a castle for their car right outside the regular castle?
Why wasn't the castle built bigger, to extend all the way down to the highway?
Why did I have to live in a fucking fairytale castle, anyway?
Since they live in a beautiful wonderland far, far away—from their car—the family makes it out to the grocery store but once a week, as opposed to the daily/tri-daily trips non-noble families make (?).
They make one trip to the grocery store a week, with an extensive list.
And don't even think about forgetting the butter. No one's gonna make that five minute trip back to the car for you; you'll choke down your dry black bread with tears in your eyes for seven days and seven nights. Maybe, if you're lucky, a couple teardrops will spill onto it. Give it a little flavor.
"If you say, 'I forgot the butter!' then that's a little difficult," Mr. Hecher says.
But of all the bad things associated with owning a castle, the very worst thing—the thing that, above all else, should convince you not to live your ridiculous life in a ridiculous castle—has got to be the historical preservation clause that sometimes prevents you from owning an indoor toilet:
While most approve modernization plans, there are others that insist on maintaining the complete integrity of the castle—sometimes including the lack of indoor plumbing.
Congratulations. You're the lord of Shit Manor.
Enjoy your castle.