It didn’t take long for a buyer to seize the opportunity to live in a Pennsylvania castle.
“The people who built it in 1931 went to Normandy, France, and stayed in a castle there. When they got home, they wanted to replicate the castle they stayed in. From the outside, it looks 100% like a castle ”, explains the listing agent, Marc Malfara.
Listed at $ 485,000, Jenkintown, Pa., Castle hit the market less than two weeks ago, and more than a dozen offers have been received.
There is no doubt about the authentic appearance of the stone structure. From the driveway, it looks like a drawbridge passes over a ditch leading to the 2,245 square foot home.
The same owners have lived in the castle since the 1960s. Interior updates will be needed, but the rock solid bones are evident.
“[It has] very beautiful architecture, [with] lots of curves and big stone walls, ”says Malfara. “The spiral staircase actually appears to be made of polished concrete. All the ironwork around the house, like the railings, door hinges, doorknobs, things like that, all look like hammered metal, with very fine craftsmanship.
Malfara says the exterior is in good shape, but the interior needs infrastructure updates. A new owner will want to install new wiring, fresh plumbing, modern windows, and a new HVAC system. Fresh paint and removing the wallpaper will also refresh the look.
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A narrow and winding spiral staircase connects each of the five floors of the castle. On the lower level you will find the garage and the mechanical room.
“It’s almost like living in a townhouse, where the first level is the kitchen and the dining room,” he says. “You have to go up the spiral staircase to your living room. Then you go up the spiral staircase to two bedrooms and a bathroom, then you go up the spiral staircase again to the master bedroom and a bathroom at the very top. It is a very vertical house.
On the top floor, the castle master bedroom is a spacious retreat.
“The ceiling height is enormous,” Malfara said, noting the vaulted ceiling.
He admits the bathrooms are a bit dated, but the vintage tiling has an appeal.
He estimates that it would take around $ 150,000 to $ 200,000 to modernize the entire castle. Visitors who cast their eyes on the interior of the castle for the first time were rich in opinions.
“Everyone had their own idea of what they wanted to do,” he says, “and some people said they would leave the bathroom for a while. But above all, everyone remodels the kitchen and the dining room, to make only one large room.
Outside the royal residence there are beautiful gardens, with a gazebo and patio.
The gardens are very easy to maintain.
“There is no grass to mow”, notes the agent, because “it is ivy and plantings which do not require a lot of maintenance”.
Since this is the only castle in the area, Malfara says he wasn’t sure how to price the property and attempted a proper valuation.
“We weren’t sure if the uniqueness factor would take him to a higher number,” he says. “Or if the functionality of the current layout, which is not really modern, was detrimental to the price of the house.”
The price and layout didn’t dampen interest in the one-of-a-kind home. Around 100 private screenings took place, as well as two open days with 200 other additional spectators.
“This is the most unique list I will probably ever deal with,” said Malfara. “In my mind, it was a bit of a battle between the uniqueness and functionality of the layout and what the comments would be.”
This was sorted out in no time, and this cool castle is now ready for its next chapter.