It’s-a me… Luigi? Sure, Mario’s brother might not have the catch phrase, the fame, or the starring role in as many games, but there’s one thing he does have that even his superstar sibling doesn’t: an honest-to-goodness mansion. Since homes are pretty much our raison d’être here at Movoto Real Estate, the idea of a video game character owning one always piques our interest. So, while visiting the Mushroom Kingdom recently to scope out Princess Peach’s castle, the Movoto Blog’s fictional property evaluation team decided to pay Luigi’s pad a visit, too, and give it the same treatment.
There’s just one thing about his place: it’s really, really haunted.
Undeterred by the spirits of the departed, yours truly ventured inside. As it turned out, the only thing that ended up scaring me was the price. If placed on the market today, the fairly compact—for a mansion—home would list for $17 million. For most people, that means their chances of owning it just gave up the ghost.
Still, even if you can’t own a piece of video game history, it’s still fun to learn more about it. Thankfully, I took ample notes during our evaluation, which we’ll share with you below. Don’t be scared; just grab a flashlight and vacuum, and keep on reading to see how I valued this piece of poltergeist filled property.
How I Did It
Returning readers should already be in the—ahem—spirit of our fictional property evaluations at this point, but if you’re not, here’s how it works. In order to figure out the price of a home or other make-believe building, I need to know three things. In this case:
- How big Luigi’s mansion is
- Where it would be located in the real world
- The price per square foot of comparable properties there
I started with the size of the place, but before I get to that, a little background is in order.
Luigi’s Big Adventure
Since making its debut in the Nintendo GameCube title “Luigi’s Mansion” in 2001, the lanky plumber’s, er, mansion has been a landmark on the Mushroom Kingdom map. In the game, Luigi won the house in a contest he didn’t even remember entering, only to discover upon arriving to check out his new home that it was already occupied by phantoms, spectres, and other assorted spirits, including the ghostly Boos, a “Mario” series staple.
Using a special vacuum backpack—the Poltergust 3000—developed by Dr. E. Gadd, Luigi had to not only suck up all the spooks, but rescue his brother Mario in the process. (Sure, Mario might be a champ at fighting koopas, but when it comes to ghostbusting, Luigi is the superior brother.) Earlier this year, the game got a sequel for Nintendo 3DS called “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon”, which offered new ways to bust ghosts while on-the-go.
Measuring Luigi’s House of Horrors
For my evaluation, I decided to use the mansion as it appeared in the original game before being rid of ghosts (depending on how you did in the game, Luigi would end up being the proud owner of a ghost-free mansion, house, or—if you were particularly bad—a tent). Fortunately for the purpose of sizing it up, most video games have maps. Or, in real estate speak, floor plans.
According to the official map of the game, the mansion has a billiards room, conservatory, ceramics studio, armory, observatory, and “safari room” to name just a few, in addition to four bedrooms and plenty of space to play ghost, er, host to visitors.
Using the size of a standard interior door (32 inches, which these appeared to be) and a map of all three of the mansion’s floors—plus its basement—I was able to measure the perimeter of each, accounting for things like the foyer which extend up multiple stories. The first floor measured 3,060 square feet; the second 2,645 square feet; the third 2,272 square feet; and the basement 612 square feet. All told, Luigi’s mansion has 9,089 square feet of space perfect for raising a large family with lots of ghouls and boys—the kind Luigi might have with Princess Daisy one day, if he ever gets over his fear of asking her out.
With that figured out, I could get started putting the house on a real-world map.
Norway? Yes Way!
Remember how I said earlier that we’d already paid a visit to the Mushroom Kingdom back when we did our evaluation of Peach’s—Princess Toadstool’s—castle from “Super Mario 64”? Well, as part of that piece, my cohort Natalie determined that the most likely real-world location of the kingdom is near Oslo, Norway. Knowing that Luigi’s mansion is meant to be somewhere in that realm as well, it made my choice easy, really. Especially since there are woods like the ones his mansion are supposed to be in all around Oslo.
I picked the Lillomarka woods, located to the north of Oslo, partially because I got a definite “this place could be haunted” vibe while looking at photos of this utterly gorgeous forest online. My other reason for choosing it is its rich history of weirdness, such as being the location of a famous master thief’s hideout. It just seems like a spot where bizarre things could happen.
With my best potential location obtained, it was time to look at comparable properties in the area. You wouldn’t boo-lieve what I found.
Oslo’s Haunted Mansion Market
Normally, how I’d determine the price per square foot of a home in any given area would be to look up comparable homes in that city and average out their price per square foot. When it comes to homes the size of Luigi’s mansion, however, there’s not much in the same league—at least that’s on the market. So, I decided to go with the average price per square foot for real estate in the city as of 2011, which is a whopping $2,099.
That’s nearly four times the price per square foot of homes in San Francisco, CA, where Movoto is located, one of the most expensive real estate markets in the United States. The only city with a higher price per square foot is Paris, France at $3,287. Talk about frightening!
Adding It All Up
Taking the total square footage of Luigi’s mansion (9,089) and multiplying it by the price per square foot of real estate in Oslo ($2,099), I ended up with a heft price tag of $19,077,811 for Luigi’s place. Before arriving at my final figure, though, I felt it was only fair to give any potential buyers a bit of a break on the price due to the fact that the house is so haunted.
In Hong Kong, there’s actually a list of haunted properties floating around that’s become the bane of the real estate agents there, since if a home gets put on it, the asking price drops by about 20 percent. I figured that the average home buyer probably isn’t as superstitious as the residents of Hong Kong, so I decided to offer a 10 percent discount on Luigi’s mansion, dropping the asking price to $17,170,029. Still a lot for a less than 10,000 square foot home, but hey, this is Oslo we’re talking about.
If the Price Didn’t Scare You Away
Even though he had to single-handedly rid the place of ghosts, we’d still say that Luigi got one of the best deals in the history of real estate. That’s not even considering that he basically won it for free in a contest he never entered. Seventeen million in property for a little ghostbusting? That sure beats having to put in a competing bid on a house, or most of the other hoops home buyers have to jump through. Those are really scary.
Who is Movoto Real Estate, you might ask? Movoto is a national online real estate brokerage. Our blog has been recognized for its unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes, CBS News, and The New York Times.