Housing trouble amongst the rich and famous

Settling on a price for unusual real estate is not an easy matter. This fact is helping a widowed Princess avoid being evicted. Her residence, an Italian Villa that was built in 1570, has been in the princess’s husband’s family since 1620. But it isn’t the longevity of its title lineage that makes it special. It comes from an era when painters used walls and ceilings as their canvases. This property boasts a rare and rather racy mural by Caravaggio.

So how exactly does a listing agent prepare a comparable property analysis for a blend of structure and art? This real estate agent (the princess was a realtor for the rich and famous prior to title aquisition) has a solid strategy. Ask high. No takers. She gets to enjoy the fine art for that much longer.

The villa’s sale was meant to resolve an inheritance dispute between Princess Rita and her three stepsons. But the court has put the property up for auction five times, failing to find a buyer even as the asking price has fallen from €471 million ($546 million) to €145 million ($157.5 million).

In the latest development, the judge handling the case has issued a 60-day eviction notice requiring Princess Rita leave the property. The decision came down on the heels of the most recent auction attempt, which took place on January 12 via the online auction site Fallco Aste.

Princess Rita is “stunned” by the court’s decision and plans to appeal the ruling, she told Reuters.

Stunned or not, you can’t say the rules don’t apply to the rich!