starter castle
n. A large home built on a relatively small property.
But as the dimensions of private homes in some parts of the city have grown — from 8,000 to 20,000 to 30,000 and even 40,000 square feet — the lots on which they sit haven't gotten any bigger. In the flats of Beverly Hills and north of Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, where 5,000-square-foot starter castles occupy lots meant for much smaller homes, people can lean out their windows and chat with neighbors, as their grandparents living in big-city tenements perhaps did. Space, not within vast closets or indoor bowling alleys but around sprawling houses, might be the last great luxury.
—Mimi Avins, “Space, the final frontier,” Los Angeles Times, October 13, 2002
1991 (earliest)
I paid $ 131,000 for my starter castle. I lived there for three years. I can document $ 10,000 of home improvements, bringing my total to $ 141,000. Add another $ 8,000 in closing costs, and I invested $ 149,000. I sold for $ 102,000. That's a loss of $ 47,000 - more than triple my $ 13,100 down payment and enough that if invested conservatively today would put at least one of my children through college when the time comes.
—Daniel Kadlec, “Years of real-estate anxiety took fizz out of sale,” USA Today, October 31, 1991
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