Finding exotic homes to lust after can be fun. Why limit your real estate envy to properties that actually exist?
What would it be like to own Hogwarts Castle, where Harry Potter learned to be a wizard, and what would it cost to buy it? What about SpongeBob SquarePants’ house, or Superman’s “Fortress of Solitude?”
Real estate website Movoto determined valuations of what content editor David Cross calls “un-real estate” — properties from television shows, movies or video games. Here are 9 make-believe homes and their real-life prices.
1. Wayne Manor
Value: $32.1 million
The voice-over on the 1960s “Batman” television show described it as “stately Wayne Manor,” and a role-playing game from the early 1990s provided the specs behind that description: 42,500 square feet, 11 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, a pool, gym, library, ballroom, game room and gallery.
Cross didn’t worry about including the “bat cave” when searching for comparable properties, reasoning that Bruce Wayne might sell his home but would never part with his secret lair. But his valuation is based on the controversial assumption that Gotham City is actually Chicago, not New York.
2. SpongeBob’s abode
What would you pay for a modest home with a view — of the bottom of the sea?
That’s the vista SpongeBob SquarePants enjoys from his residence, which happens to be a pineapple on the ocean’s floor. Cross estimates the 238-square-inch home is located in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, where outsiders can’t buy property. So the valuation is based on what Movoto’s Mortgage Calculator estimates that SpongeBob, a fry cook at the Krusty Krab, could afford.
3. Ghostbusters’ firehouse
Value: $15.7 million
Manhattan real estate was cheaper in the 1980s, and paranormal activity in the borough wasn’t helping sellers get the best prices. But what would it cost you to buy a “Ghostbusters“-style headquarters today?
Movoto content editor Randy Nelson notes that a character in the 1984 film says the firehouse that serves as the team’s headquarters is 9,622.55 square feet. Based on comparable properties in the area, that space would sell for about $1,630 per square foot today.
Movoto estimates that the $15.7 million price tag for the property would buy you about 643 tons of marshmallows — plenty to recreate the movie’s gooey finale.
4. Hogwarts Castle
Value: $204.1 million
You can’t put a price on magic, but to estimate the value of Great Britain’s premier training facility for spell-casters, Cross says that you need three bits of information: Hogwarts’ location, its square footage and the price of comparable properties.
The location — Galloway Hills in Scotland — came via an online post. Another Harry Potter fan provided a clue to Hogwarts’ size by working out how many students would have attended the wizardry academy.
Cross decided that the whole building must measure about 414,000 square feet and that large homes — including castles — around Galloway Hills go for about $493 per square foot.
5. Fortress of Solitude
Value: $814 trillion
A firm handshake can be a career plus, but if you’ve got a grip that can turn lumps of coal into diamonds, you can afford a pricey retreat — even if you’re just an underpaid reporter moonlighting as an unpaid superhero.
Superman’s Fortress of Solitude is indeed expensive, not because of its location, in an Arctic wasteland, but because of its high-end building material: Kryptonian crystals.
Cross says that diamonds would be the best terrestrial stand-in, and he estimates you’d need more than 2 million of them — each the size of the $400 million Cullinan Diamond — for the dome-shaped roof.
6. Yoda’s hut
Afford it, you can.
Yoda first appears in the Star Wars movie “The Empire Strikes Back,” which finds the green Jedi master living in a spartan hut on the water-logged planet Dagobah. Movoto’s Nelson wondered what a place like that would cost if it were located in the United States, rather than in a galaxy far, far away.
He decided that swampy Morgan City, La., would be a good stand-in for Dagobah. Yoda’s residence was built of mud and the remains of his escape pod. But the average local price per square foot is $86, and Yoda’s abode is just over 90 square feet.
7. Tony Stark’s mansion
Value: $117.25 million
Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is a billionaire genius with an ego, so you know he has a nice house.
How nice? Cross says that he based his Movoto assessment on the latest cinematic version of “Iron Man,” which had Stark living in a cliff-side mansion in Malibu, Calif. The design of the computer-generated place was based on the work of architect John Lautner, whose 25,000-square-foot Casa Marbrisa was about the right size to be Stark’s abode.
The sale of a comparable Malibu mansion yielded $3,750 per square foot, which Cross boosted to $4,690, to account for the view.
8. Fawlty Towers
Value: $9.94 million
After Monty Python, John Cleese starred as a hotel proprietor in the British sitcom “Fawlty Towers.” Cleese claimed his character was based on a real person, and his establishment was based on a real inn in the seaside town of Torquay, England.
Cross says that he was dying to value the property using the mini-fridge method, which assumes a hotel is worth 10,000 times the price of a soda in the hotel’s mini-bar. But Fawlty Towers didn’t offer its guests such in-room amenities. So Cross used the room-rate multiplier approach for the hotel, which has 22 guest rooms and a daily rate of 35 pounds, or $46.
9. Spencer Mansion of ‘Resident Evil’
Value: $1.75 million
Most visitors to Spencer Mansion back in the 1990s were too busy blasting away at mutants to focus on the property itself — encounters with zombie dogs can shake up your priorities like that.
But Movoto’s Nelson, a fan of the original “Resident Evil” video game, wanted to know what its setting would list for on today’s market. His research convinced him that Springfield, Mo., was the best real-world stand-in for the game’s fictional Raccoon City.
He also found that Spencer Mansion measures 10,125 square feet and that similar mansions in the Springfield area sell for about $173 per square foot.
This article was originally published by By Scot Meyer of SwitchYard Media on MSN Real Estate. See the original article here.