When Your Home Is Truly a Castle

Calling a man’s home his castle is cliché, but for this $3.35 million estate in Johnson City, TN, it’s a statement of fact. This 21,607-square-foot stunner was built in 1998 to mimic the great castles of Europe.

Indeed, craftsmen from Italy and Greece worked on elaborate features such as mahogany ceilings and ornate fireplaces throughout the nine-bedroom citadel, which also sports 10 full bathrooms and four half-baths.

“This castle is known throughout the world,” says listing agent Bill Hall. “The [current] owner gets calls from photographers from all over the world to photograph this castle.”

The exterior was designed in the style of an 18th-century Spanish castle, but inside are a British-style pub and billiard room. (The original owner was an Anglophile.) Sitting on 13 acres, the castle was built with stone from the hills of East Tennessee. The gated property also includes a security system that can be controlled from a phone app, Hall adds.

One of the home’s three kitchens(realtor.com)

Whatever you might imagine a luxury home to have, the castle does it better or bigger.

After the majestic circular drive, visitors are greeted by 22-foot-high mahogany doors imported from France. “It looks like something you would experience in the Vatican,” Hall says of the main entrance.

Looking for the kitchen? You’ll find three of them: the main kitchen with granite countertops and slate flooring; an outdoor kitchen; and a staff kitchen (the home accommodates two live-in staffers).

Want to stay in and watch movies? There’s a 20-seat theater. Is a master bathroom a must-have for you? The castle includes his-and-her master bathrooms as part of the master suite.

Theater with seating for 20(realtor.com)

Your royal coaches (or cars) can nestle in two garages, one of which can hold up to 10 cars.

Expecting a water view? There’s 750 feet of Boone Lake access.

Like observing nature? There’s a five-story tower that affords views of the outdoors as far away as Virginia.

The castle’s also been home to precipitous pricing drama: It was originally listed for $28.5 million in 2010, reduced to $19.5 million shortly thereafter, and eventually sold to the current owner for $3.36 million in 2011.

The castle’s current dwellers planned to sell the home by auction this summer but have since backed away from that idea. So the castle sits and awaits its next lord, or lady, to ride through its gates and claim it.

Alaska’s Most Expensive House Is a Real Gold Mine

When we last checked, about a year and a half ago, a 45-acre waterfront property with a German-style chalet was Alaska’s priciest property, with a $4,750,000 price tag. But just last week, it was topped by a 31.3-acre property with its own golf course, artesian well, and gold mine (real and documented)—all for $6,500,000. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new “most expensive” titleholder!

“There isn’t much gold left in the mine,” confesses listing agent Jake Kemnitz of Coastal Realty Alaska. “But if you wanted to have your grandkids over to pan for gold, I’m sure that could be set up.” The mine was established in 1897, and you can still find old mining equipment—including water canons—there.

But perhaps the real gold on the property comes from the views of its private beach. On any given day, you can spot whales, sea lions, eagles, and volcanoes—that’s right, volcanoes. The best part: According to Kemnitz, the property’s location on the coast, close to Anchor Point and just north of Homer, keeps it from being buried in snow in the winter, which is relatively mild for Alaska.

But you may prefer to use it as one heck of a luxe summer home. After all, there’s a 25-acre executive golf course and driving range, complete with golf carts and a clubhouse that has a beer and wine license.

Alaskan view
Alaskan view(realtor.com)

And if your idea of Alaskan recreation veers more to the hunting and fishing variety, this property accommodates that as well. There’s salmon fishing just down the road on the Anchor River, where king and silver salmon run. Or you can take your boat out from the beach and fish for halibut. Moose hunting is only 20 minutes away, on 20,000 acres of Alaska state lands known for some of the best moose hunts in the country.

Private golf course
Private golf course(realtor.com)

Reality check: The residence itself is a bit fancier than your typical vacation home or hunting lodge. Measuring 4,322 square feet, it has triple-pane, floor-to-ceiling windows imported from Sweden, and tiles with brass inlay imported from Italy. All the large rooms have a vaulted ceiling with exposed wood beams. There are three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Music room
Music room(realtor.com)

And lest you think it too remote, you can fly right up to the property, then park your plane on your personal lot adjacent to the local airport—which considerably shortens the five-hour drive from Anchorage.

So what kind of buyer might be interested in this remote Alaskan paradise, on the market for the very first time ever? “Obviously someone with a lot of money,” Kemnitz says with a laugh. “It’s a great spot for a retreat or a summer getaway.” Or, heck, even a full-time residency.

Alaskan beach
Alaskan beach(realtor.com)

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