Yes, building a Versailles-like mega-mansion is still a terrible investment

Versailles

They just don’t make palaces like they used to. Still, that certainly doesn’t stop some from trying. In fact, King Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles seems to be the latest trend in home building.

Some 23 homes currently on the market or recently sold referenced Versailles in their marketing copy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“It’s maintained this huge mystique,” historian Tony Spawforth, author of “Versailles: A Biography of a Palace,” told Realtor.com.

 

One Florida-based builder who has worked on a number of Versailles-inspired homes explains:

“These homes are pricey not just because of their size, but because materials and artisans are often sourced from overseas. Moreover, 17th and 18th century homes didn’t have to contend with things like electric lighting and HVAC systems, which take extra work to conceal without ruining elaborate design schemes.”

But just because you live in a castle, don’t expect to be treated like royalty. Neighbors sometimes take issue with homes that don’t fit in with the general look and vibe of the community — i.e.,  they are often eyesores.

They can also be difficult resell. While affluent buyers tend to like big spaces, many aren’t keen on these antiquated European designs.

According to Realtor.com, homes being sold using listing copy that references “Versailles” spent a median of 122 days on the market, far higher than the national median of 62 days and above the 111-day median for the top 5 percent highest priced homes in the country. [WSJ]