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Bran Castle—or Dracula’s Castle, as the tourism-savvy call it— is now officially for sale in the Transylvanian region of Romania. The current owners, Archduke Dominic Habsburg and family, have asked private investment firm Baytree Capital to represent the seven hundred year-old property and devise a long-term strategy for its preservation.
Earlier this year, the Habsburgs announced they were interested in selling the castle for $78 million. The castle, which was the inspiration for the setting of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula and is rumored to have hosted 15th century tyrant Vlad the Impaler, has enormous significance to Romania as a major tourist attraction and a national symbol. Communists seized the 57-room property from the Habsburgs in 1948, and the family regained ownership in 2006.
Romania joined the European Union in January 2007 and has become one of Europe’s emerging real estate markets in recent years. The expensive maintenance for Bran Castle is getting to be a real pain in the neck for the Habsburgs, and with investor interest high, now may be the time to cash out.
And you thought your broker was a bloodsucker.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.