The good, the bad, and the eccentric

Would you fancy living in a lighthouse? Or perhaps a superhero lair like the Batcave? What about a replica castle with a drawbridge and dungeon?

Not what most of us want, perhaps. Yet these and more have been designed and built by architects and contractors in the United States, resulting in some weird albeit intriguing homes available on the market.

With their curiosity piqued, Forbes Magazine teamed up with a collection of US real estate agencies to uncover some of the strangest homes on the US market at the moment.

One home that explodes off the list is the Volcano House. Located in Newberry Springs, California, from a distance the house looks like a spaceship that crash-landed in the desert, charring the surrounding hillside. In reality the home is more in this world than out of it, as the dome like structure is built into the top of a real volcanic peak. It is listed at around NZ$994,000.

Another even more secretive abode is the Batcave – an angular, jutting Laguna Beach, CA estate built into a cliff-side that’s almost completely hidden from the road by the mountainous surrounds. Listed at around $15,712,000, it’s a fair guess to say the name comes from the entry to the lair, which, just like Batman’s, is accessed by driving through a hidden tunnel and ascending into the home (while still in your car) on a hydraulic lift.

For the perpetual rolling stone with a desire to own a home, Apartment at Sea is a residential community at sea, giving luxury homeowners a chance to travel the world without sacrificing the high-end surroundings they’re used to. More elaborate and exclusive than a cruise ship, the boat encourages owners design their own “apartments” – while they may gather no moss, there is a risk of barnacles.

Apartments range from $1.85M to $18M.

Also among the weird and wonderful homes that made it onto the list is Red Rock Drive Castle, a dentist’s 30 year-old castle in Maine. With turrets, a drawbridge and dungeon, it is listed for $4.64M.

Another, Riverfront Playground, has almost every amenity its designers could dream up, including a wedding chapel, a seashell-shaped pool, an orchestra-sized amphitheatre, a 1950s ice cream parlour and an Egyptian-themed lavatory that features a faux sphinx and tomb. It is listed for almost $18.5M.