If you want to really make a splash when you win the lottery, often the first thing you think about is buying a brand new (or historically old) house. But would you buy one of these peculiar places, if given the chance?
Lizzie Borden’s home, site of brutal axe murders, could be yours for $1 million
If you’re a fan of the macabre and are on the lookout for a new property, the childhood home of accused killer Lizzie Borden is now on the market for a mere $1 million dollars.
The house now operates as the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in Massachusetts, USA and is the spot where two of the country’s most notorious unsolved murders took place.
Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abby Borden, were brutally murdered in their home on 4th August 1892. Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie, was accused of committing the heinous crime with an axe but was acquitted of the murders at her trial in 1893.
The question of “did she/didn’t she” has been speculated for centuries following the acquittal, and there have been many movies and documentaries made about Lizzie Borden over the years. The case was even featured in an episode of Supernatural, titled “Thin Lizzie”.
Although we may never get a true answer to the dark demise of the Bordens, if you a fan of mystery, this B&B can be yours to own and run, in River Falls, MA.
You could own the most expensive house in Florida
If you win the SuperEnalotto, currently sitting at £139 million, you’ll be able to buy one of the most expensive properties on the market in Florida. Valued at £83 million ($115M) this mansion has three floors and 2750m² (30,000ft²) total living space.
The house is situated in Palm Beach, Florida, in the notorious “Billionaire’s Row” across 2.66 acres of land. It also sports nine bedrooms, ten bathrooms, a full kitchen with two islands and a butler’s pantry.
Would you live in the ‘Silence of the Lambs’ house?
The home of fictional villain Buffalo Bill was recently sold for $298K and is now open as a B&B in Pennsylvania.
The house was a major part of the Oscar-winning movie from 1991. The film depicted some pretty terrifying scenes taking place on the property, but unlike the Borden house, no real violence has ever occurred at the 220m² (2334ft²) chateau.
The homestead was built in 1910 but does not feature a well in the basement. Instead, the house is decorated in the style of the movie, complete with a mantelpiece, large kitchen, rustic wooden flooring and even an outdoor pool equipped with a refurbished caboose serving as a pool house.
Would you buy a property on London’s abandoned ‘Billionaire street’?
The Bishops Avenue in north-central London is a road that time forgot. Many of these millionaire mansions have been left to rot and ruin over the past 30 years thanks to exorbitant prices and the love of harbouring shell corporation CEOs and foreign royalty.
The street is a guidebook on tax avoidance. Approximately two-thirds of the homes are linked to foreign tax havens, while the remaining 40% are owned by billionaires with their own deeply weaved fortunes stashed away from the prying eyes of the law. NGO Global Witness identified 87,000 homes owned this way in both England and Wales in 2019, with 40% of the properties located in London.
Although Bishops Avenue was named the second most expensive street in London in 2014, in recent years that title has been rescinded due to the shoddy state of one-third of the properties. The Bishops Avenue is valued at £410,195,601.50 according to the latest figures.
The main issue with London’s Billionaire Street is that when you knock on the front door (or press the intercom) 95% of the time you won’t get an answer. It isn’t because the owners are shy, but rather that they’re not home. Ever.
A quick peek on a digital map will show you that over half of the properties are seemingly under permanent construction. A little look inside some of these multi-room mansions will show that over a third have never been lived in. Some don’t even show traces of water mains being connected.
This combination of unfinished and abandoned property portrays one of the wealthiest streets in the world like a cross between a neverending building site and a survival horror game.
The reason these dishevelled properties are so neglected is that the people that bought and built them never intended to live in them. They are interested in something much more valuable, the land that the houses sit on.
Despite the majority of the properties falling into disrepair, it is likely that their elusive owners stand to make double-digit millions from the acreage surrounding them. Records show that one of the mansions was worth only £1.125m in 1988, but in today’s market could be sold for up to £80 million.
The street is a bone of contention for politicians and the public alike, as the UK reaches a historic new national housing shortage of 345,000 required homes per year.
Could you live in a cave?
Cave houses are an extremely clever investment in weatherproof housing. Because the residence has been carved out on the side of a mountain, there is not a great risk of common property problems such as water leakage or unstable foundations.
Cave houses are a popular commodity in Spain for escaping the summer heat. The average price in the sunny region is about € 92,000, or €740 per square metre.
Cave houses are also incredibly popular in Greece, where usually entire villages will be set into the side of a mountain.
In Arizona, USA there is even a cave house with built-in all-natural heating, supplied by hot springs that also helps keep the caves hot tub and swimming pool warm in the winter months. That property carries a slightly higher price tag of $1M dollars. But with a self-heating pool, you can understand why.
Would you buy a time capsule home?
Every so often you see a story on the news about a shop or a house that has not been touched in decades. Their discovery often comes to the delight of the public as they witness history revived.
As more of these gems are uncovered, they are all the more coveted. Home-buyers will often pay way above average price to keep their mint condition nostalgia house in its original packaging. And it’s not hard to understand why!
Time capsule houses are important for a number of reasons, first and foremost being that they simply help us remember those little parts of history we grew up with. As times change and trends come and go, we often forget about what our surroundings used to look like. Not many of us will remember that we used to put fluffy toilet seat covers in our bathrooms, or that every floor in the house had to be covered in shag carpet.
Another reason these time capsule homes are so sought after is thanks to Hollywood. Period dramas require a look of the time and TV and film creators will pay top dollar to feature their actors in an authenticate setting. Vintage furniture and retro appliances will sometimes go for more money on eBay than the price the original owners paid, as movie buffs and TV set designers are determined to recreate accurate scenes from bygone decades.
But more than anything else, we just love looking at old kitchens and living rooms, purely to point out what has changed. As human beings, we are nosy by nature. It’s fascinating to see the inside of someone’s home, as it makes you feel like you know them better. In looking at a preserved home from the 1960s, we can kind of understand the person that lived there and what they were like.
There is another important factor to consider when looking at time capsule homes. In today’s age, we surround ourselves in lives of minimalism. The number one selling paint colour is grey or some other version of off-white. Sometimes it looks like we didn’t even bother to finish the property at all, with “exposed brick” being a weighty trend among new homeowners. There are no decorations on the coffee table, save a book you’ve never read and a candle you’ve never lit. If you look at modern housing, there’s no real personality behind the aesthetic of who lives there, save the amount of technology on display.
But if you look at pictures of time capsule houses, the homes are a crazy mess of colour and charm. The wallpaper is funky and fresh and the sofa is most likely not a traditional colour! Tables are covered in doilies, the bathrooms are pink and most likely at least one item in the house is a ghastly shade of orange.
But that didn’t matter then, because people were all about injecting their own unique style into their living rooms. Your house was a statement to your character. Plates on the wall instead of in the kitchen cupboard? Of course! Glass cabinets full of special little wine glasses you never use? Love it! Come into my home and see my tiny turtle figurines all over the coffee table. What does that tell you about me? That I am a diverse person that just so happens to love marine life! Also, now you know what to get me for Christmas! Preferably in orange!