SENECA – Near the southwestern edge of Lake Keowee in Oconee County, some boats will slow down or stop as they pass the castle.
Sometimes motorcyclists snap photos and others chat about the stone house with the emerald green roof. The Seneca residence has become known as the “Castle on Keowee,” a 12,000 square foot structure that sits on three lakeside lots.
For the first time in more than a decade, the property, which didn’t always look like something out of a storybook, is on the market. Asking Price: $ 2.8 million.
“Whoever buys it is going to buy the castle for the first time,” said Clay Vassey, broker in charge of Allen Tate Realtors’ Mountain Lakes team.
The house has never been purchased in this format so far. When an international businessman bought it more than 10 years ago, it was a 50-year foreclosed ranch-style house. He got it out of foreclosure and spent about $ 1.5 million on renovations, turning it into the castle you see today.
The price of lakeside homes has risen by more than 20 percent in recent years, Vassey said, which means there are no lakeside homes worth less than $ 1 million. Had the castle been removed, the land alone would have been valued at nearly $ 3 million, she said.
The two-story house has stood empty for years, the interior incomplete. The interior has exposed wooden window frames and plywood floors. Listing agent Marsha Burrell said she will be up to the new buyer to decide how much money they will spend to finish it. The house is bound by a covenant and regulation of the homeowners association within the boundaries of the city of Seneca.
Some think the castle could become a wedding venue or Airbnb, but Vassey thinks the next owner will be someone who will end it up to sell it again or a family who will live there. He doesn’t think the buyer will necessarily be local; they may come from another part of South Carolina or out of state.
The street side of the house is at the tip of a cul-de-sac in the Normandy Shores subdivision at 6 Heritage Point in Seneca. Visitors enter the property from its upper level.
Behind the entrance gate is a wraparound driveway. Next to the 12-foot front doors is a corner where the current owner planned to display armor.
Beyond the entrance doors, a cone-shaped vaulted ceiling was created surrounded by nearly 20 windows to be a library. Next to the library on the left is a double-sided brick fireplace, which was part of the original ranch house and this is where the additions began.
Further to the left, beyond the elevator shaft, is the master suite. Although the number of bedrooms and bathrooms may be flexible, it is listed as 6+ for both. The kitchen, dining room, and living room would all be to the right of the front door. The lower level has room for multiple bedrooms and a cellar. There are some plumbing, HVAC and electricity.
Outside, a rounded pergola equipped with electrical wiring sits at the edge of the upper level of the 1.45-acre property is ready to be transformed into a potential kitchen and entertainment area.
On the lower level, arched wooden doors give way to windowless containers. The house is full of legends, like the one about the cellars created only for parties, but it’s just a rumor.
Another staircase descends into the water, where the dam is lined with stone. The structure currently does not have a dock. Kroeger Marine Construction, a dock construction company, visited the house on the September morning. 28 and told Burrell that any place along the lake boundary can have an added pier.
Opposite the house by the lake, the tallest pillar on the far right has a spiral staircase leading up to an open deck.
All the fence posts along the upper level have been equipped with electrical hookups so that the house can be illuminated. At night, “from the lake, this is just going to be mythical,” Burrell said.
Do you know any other legends about “Castle on Keowee” or are there any details we have missed about the house? Do you have suggestions for other unusual properties in Upstate? Email Stephanie Mirah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Stephanie Mirah on Twitter @stephaniemirah