Mansion Dreams: The Reality of Living in an Old, Large Home

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Most of us have an old, dilapidated building somewhere in our neighbourhood that still holds some romantic appeal. Timeworn mansions are beautiful to look at and many people may dream of one day taking an old property and slowly restoring it to its former glory. However, the reality of taking on an old mansion is usually a lot different to the dream, and involves a lot of stress, problems and a huge pile of money.


Constant Care And Maintenance

If it seems like something is always breaking down in your two-bedroomed home, then consider the maintenance bill for a house with ten bedrooms, eight bathrooms, wine cellar, indoor pool and game room. Just the cost of the several hundred light bulbs required to light the house would be enough to send most people running for the hills. The heating and plumbing systems in old mansions usually require replacing which involves ripping out the old one and starting again from scratch, or you could learn to live in a freezing home with dipping taps. For more affordable options, you can follow this link to see that properties are available near you.


More Chance Of Serious Structural Problems

Compared to some modern buildings, old homes were built to last much longer, but that doesn’t mean they will stay standing forever. Sooner or later an old building will develop a serious structural failure such as a crack in the foundation or a roof collapse. Old mansions that have been neglected for decades may also have cracks in the walls, sagging floorboards, mould, rot, and pest infestations.


Sky-High Insurance And Council Tax Payments

Council tax payments can add a few hundred pounds onto your rent or mortgage payment each month even if you live in a one-bedroomed flat. The tax on a 100 acre estate in the country will probably be more than your entire mortgage payment, and if several generations of your family live inside the home then it will quickly become a serious problem. Getting homeowners insurance could also be a challenge especially if you have plenty of antiques, original artworks and a classic car collection located in your personal garage.


Enormous Heating Bills

Old mansions are cold. One look at the bedclothes of Victorian ladies and gentlemen will give you a hint as to just how chilly it could get in a stately home during the evening. Very few old mansions have central heating, so you will have to rely on a combination of space heaters, open fireplaces, hot water bottles and heavy blankets.


Staff Wages

Unless you plan to spend every waking hour cleaning and maintaining your home, you will need to hire a small staff to keep your property in good condition. An average sized mansion should be able to get by with a cleaner, cook, butler, gardener, pool boy and stable boy if you plan to keep horses. You will also need a driver to ferry you up and down your enormous driveway as well as an accountant to help you keep track of your payroll.


No Privacy

Although a huge, gated property may look like it affords a great deal of privacy, the opposite is often true. Live-in staff such as maids and cooks overhear every detail of your private life and will gossip about you to local business owners and other staff. You can also expect to be harassed by door-to-door salesmen, Jehovah’s witnesses and local tradesmen looking for work.


Security Concerns

Securing your mansion will require a lot more than simply locking your front door as you leave. Many celebrities and millionaire businessmen that live in large properties are victims of burglaries as this type of home usually holds a number of valuables. A home security system that protects every window and exterior door in your home will set you back several thousand pounds, and you will also need to pay a monthly fee for a security company to monitor your property.

Although millionaires may seem like they have it all living in their sprawling piles in the country, mansion living actually comes with a fair amount of stress and headaches. Modern mansions that are built to be more economical and feature modern heating and plumbing systems are much easier to maintain but will still cost a fortune in tax and insurance payments. A cosy house that is just big enough for you and your family is your best bet and will not attract extortionate care and maintenance fees.


Hollie Brennan works as a property consultant and has been involved with properties of all sizes. She likes to share her insights on topics like living in and maintaining a period property and writes online for a number of property-related websites.


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