If a home is an expression of personality, then these 10 homes say something unique about their owners.
Culled by Zillow, this list of one-of-a-kind properties make for excellent party conversation. There’s the “round house”, the geodesic dome, the firehouse home, and the earth-ship, among others.
Some highlights from the collection:
- The Shoe House (Hallham, PA) : The Shoe House was completed in 1949. It’s pink, it’s made of stucco, it’s 25-feet tall, and in the shape of a workboot. Oh, and every window is decorated with a stained glass shoe.
- The Cave House (Festus, MO) : This 15,000 square foot home is tucked inside a mountain, and consists of three chambers — one for the bedrooms, one for laundry and storage, and one where musicians like Bob Seger once performed. Because of geothermal and passive solar heat, this home is extremely energy-efficient.
- The Decommissioned Missile Site House (Othello, WA) : If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a decommissioned Titan 1 missile complex, than this is the home for you. Located roughly 3 hours east of Seattle, this home is built to withstand nuclear blasts. It’s a 6-story descent to the 125-foot diameter “center room” with 65-foot ceilings. Missiles not included.
A few of the properties as listed by Zillow are for sale and most have accompanying pictures. Unfortunately, buyers of the homes should expect to pay cash because getting a mortgage for a unique home can be veritable challenge.
(Image courtesy: Zillow)
In 2009, the median size of new homes started was roughly 2,100 square feet. This figure was down from 2,200 square feet between 2005-2007 which, itself, was down from 2,350 in 2004.
Homes are getting smaller across the United States.
But, as compared to the nation’s largest homes, the shrinking is laughable. The Biltmore Estate, built in 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt II, measures 175,000 square feet — 83 times the size of a typical home today.
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina is the largest home in the country and, meanwhile, another Vanderbilt-built property built in 1895 checks in at number two. The Breakers, in Newport, Rhode Island, measures 165,000 square feet and cost $150 million to build in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation.
Both homes are open to the public.
The next three largest U.S. estates in terms of square footage are:
- Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York (109,000 square feet)
- Winterthur in Winterthur, Delaware (96,582 square feet)
- Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills, Michigan (88,000 square feet)
Hearst Castle, arguably the most famous “large home” in the country, measures 60,645 square feet and ranks 7th.
See the complete list of Largest Historic Homes In The United States, including their build date and architecture style, on Wikipedia.