“In 20 years, I’ve never had a listing like this. It’s really just very unique and has lot of history and more architectural differences than 99.9% of the houses out there,” says the listing agent, Daniel DeRogatis.
Imposing and gray, the four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom concrete residence was modeled by its owner on the turreted gatehouse of the 12th century Lohort Castle in Ireland.
“He bought the property around 1986 and cleared the land himself—basically with a lawnmower and a machete. No exaggeration,” DeRogatis says.
Listed for $825,000, the castle sits on 5 acres in a town otherwise renowned for its love of all things equestrian.
One caveat for buyers interested in a regal existence: The rock-solid, 4,429-square-foot structure will still require a finishing touch.
“It’s not even 100% complete on the outside, it’s about 85%,” DeRogatis explains. “All those stones, each one of those is literally handmade. Aesthetically, it looks like a castle, but it is still a concrete-block structure.”
A buyer must be prepared to work on the structure, although the agent says most of the work needed is cosmetic.
“A lot of love is needed on the outside to bring it back up to par,” he says. “The driveway is not finished, and it doesn’t have a walkway to the front door. The stucco is not completed.”
On the inside, he adds, doors and trim work and other details need to be completed, but the rest of the outstanding work to do is cosmetic and relatively simple.
One advantage is that the roof and the HVAC system are basically new, and the infrastructure is on point.
“It’s structurally sound, mechanically sound, plumbing no problem, and electrically, no problem,” says DeRogatis.
A detached three-car garage on the 5-acre lot also has a crenellated roof, in keeping with the theme.
Inside the castle, many of the doors and some of the finishes carry on the castle motif.
While most of the rooms are large and wide open, the kitchen is galley-style, which DeRogatis say is unique for a home of this size.
A spiral staircase leads up one of the turrets, and one of the bathrooms has a view into a turret.
Although there are no comparable homes in this part of Florida, determining a value for the castle wasn’t particularly difficult.
“This is just another house,” DeRogatis says, despite its exterior. “It has a roof. It has AC. It has plumbing. It’s all built up to code. The only thing that is throwing it off is that architecture and that aesthetic view from the outside. So, you comp it out just like any other house.”
While DeRogatis says the house will probably interest only about 5% of the buyers out there, he says he jumped at the chance to list this property. He told us inquiries have poured in from all over the country.
“This is something to talk about. I’ve never sold a castle before,” he admits, but he says he realized that even if it didn’t sell, he wanted the listing.
“Normally, I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my wheelhouse, but I said, ‘I’m taking it,'” he says. “I thought, what better way to have something to talk about from my career as an agent than ‘I sold a castle’?”
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