At an age when most people are trying to scrape together security deposits for their first off-campus apartments, Harry Potter star Rupert Grint has amassed quite a bit of real estate: £7million, according to estimates. He recently spent £5.4 million on a "18th-century Hertfordshire manor house in 22 acres," according to The Daily Mail.
It's great that Mr. Grint is spending his money on assets that will help him hold on to his wealth. It certainly beats Maserati's and cocaine, but I have to object ever so slightly to the fawning nature of the press coverage of his real estate empire.
Buying palatial mansions can be a fun way for the glitterati to enjoy their fortunes but they are most certainly not an investment -- they're a massive expense. Sure: Land appreciates over the long-term, but the taxes and absolutely massive maintenance costs associated with owning properties like this makes them far inferior to mult-family units in low-income areas as investments. A home that you occupy as a residence isn't an investment -- and high-end properties generally don't work well as rental properties because the market for them is so small.
So: Major props to Mr. Grint for focusing his consumption on assets that are less ephemeral than yachts and vacations. But for long-term wealth-building, he will want to focus on other investments.
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