I’ve been writing fictional evaluations for a while now, and almost every time I write one of these pieces I’ve been inundated with requests to tackle one of the most iconic children’s stories in history: The Harry Potter series.
To be honest, I’ve been hesitant to evaluate Hogwarts. Hesitant might actually be an understatement. I started trying to work on a Hogwarts evaluation a few months ago and ended up tossing it aside for another piece.
But the question of how much the castle would be worth keeps coming up.
Last week, after evaluating another British mainstay, Fawlty Towers, I asked my Facebook friends what they wanted to see. The overwhelming response was—you guessed it—Hogwarts, followed very closely by Castle Grayskull.
So, for everyone who’s asked for it, you win. I finally stopped being lazy and scared and figured out how much Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry would be worth.
Just to warn you, there’s no way you can afford it. Seriously.
If Hogwarts were placed on the market today it would be worth about $204,102,000. What you’d get is a seven-level castle with towers. This price excludes some key features such as the quidditch field and Hagrid’s shack.
Hop on over to platform nine and three-quarters for an explanation.
What Did I Need, Other Than Magic
Whenever I, or one of the Movoto bloggers, takes on a novelty real estate blog post, there are a couple of things we need to know to get the job done. If you’ve read my other posts, you know what these are:
- A location
- Comparable properties
- Some type of dimension
Two of the three criteria were, more or less, easy to come across, but it was that third that really got my griffon. More on that later. I’ll start with location.
Location: Now You Know Where to Finally Buy Butterbeer
Before I jump into all the numbers and logics and esta-sumptions, I’m going to thank all the diehard Harry Potter fans of the world for making my life much easier. Potterheads have devoted more time to figuring out the minutiae of the Harry Potter universe than I can imagine. If you think I’m making fun of them, I’m not. These guys and gals really went beyond the call of duty to figure out a lot of crazy questions. One of these was the probable real-world location of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
So where is Hogwarts located? Galloway Hills in Scotland. If you know anything about Scotland, which I didn’t until I started this project, this makes a lot of sense as the area is sparsely populated and what some might call “wild country.”
As I mentioned above, a lot of thought went into figuring this out. So much so, in fact, that I feel I’d be doing it an injustice I didn’t direct you toward the original post. The author describes in detail the logic for placing Hogwarts in Galloway Hills by using descriptions from the books, the possible speed of the Hogwarts Express, and the amount of daylight on Sept. 1 when Harry and company first left for the school.
The post’s main argument is that Harry and Ron, who at one point followed the Hogwarts Express in a flying Ford Anglia, were spotted by people in the county of Norfolk and Peebles, a small town on the on the border of England and Scotland.
Once I knew the location, I turned to finding comparable homes.
What’s Like Hogwarts?
The answer is nothing. But I still found the average cost of large homes (including castles) in Dumfries and Galloway, the county where Galloway Hills is located. Using five expensive homes in the area I calculated the average price per square foot at $493.
Finding both the location and the comparable properties (if such things can even exist) were easy. But then I hit the roadblock that kept me from attempting to evaluate the castle: Hogwarts’ dimensions.
Yeah, figuring them out was as difficult as I first assumed.
To get started, I went to Google and searched for maps, and while there are more than a few, none of them had any type of scale to go by. It might have been easiest to go ahead and pick a random number and use it to figure out Hogwarts’ square footage, but that’s like cheating on your Potions exam.
Eventually, I found the Hogwarts model used in the movies (done at a 1:24 scale). Through deduction I was able to calculate how many acres Hogwarts sits on, which is 27.7. If you multiply this by the by the average cost of property per acre, Hogwarts would be worth $22,675,000. Honestly, I thought this was pretty low. So, I decided to put my Sorting Hat on and actually figure out the castle’s square footage.
I went back to the drawing board. After staring at the ceiling for an hour, I realized that Hogwarts castle was a school—I mean a school filled with educators who care about how students learn. No one can tell me that Prof. McGonagall doesn’t want her students to ace her exams.
My brilliant idea: Figure out how much space a student should have in a classroom and use that to learn Hogwarts’ size.
What did I find?
Wizards Per Classroom
Another superfan already looked into this (seriously, almost everything Harry Potter-related has been done) and estimated that there are about 280 students in the entire school. The same fan argues pretty convincingly that there would be 20 students per classroom. I used this as a base to make my next assumption.
From here I found the out how much space in square feet a student needs for maximum potential.
Space Per Classroom
There are a lot of studies that discuss the importance of space in classrooms. One study suggests that about 50 square feet per person (for elementary school students) works best. This means that each Hogwarts class is about 1,000 square feet. Some of you might find this extravagant, but I’ll remind you that Hogwarts is the cream of the crop when it comes to wizarding schools. Surely, the school’s classrooms are spacious, right?
Using this as my measurement I was able to assume that each floor consisted of 51,000 square feet, making Hogwarts absolutely ginormous. I multiplied this by the total number of levels (seven levels and a lower level). This gave me 408,000 square feet plus room for the various towers strewn about the school. With these added, the total jumped to 414,000 square feet, assuming there is another classroom’s worth of space at the top of each tower.
Whew! Harry and company really trekked around Hogwarts to get to all their classes. If only wizards had the ability to Apparate inside Hogwarts.
Come to think of it, this is probably why the Marauder’s Map was so valuable. Wandering through Hogwarts must have been like getting lost in a baffling city.
So, How Much Does It cost?
Once I found the size of Hogwarts I was able to estimate the total price. I multiplied the average cost per square foot for property in the county by the school’s square footage. This gave me Hogwarts’ estimated value: $204,102,000. This doesn’t even include all the amazing things you’d find inside the castle like a moving staircase and a bathtub the size of a swimming pool.