It seems like these days most homes are of the cookie-cutter variety. Drive around any neighborhood and the houses all look the same, and apartments aren’t much better. There’s simply not much by way of originality or uniqueness out there when it comes to the real estate market. Except it turns out, they’re absolutely is. You just need to be innovative and creative. It also helps to have a ton of cash on hand, but as you’ll see from some of these homes, that’s not always essential.
8The Missile Silo House
If you’re an evil genius and you’re looking for a new place to lay your head, well, you can’t do much better than an old missile silo. They are hidden from sight, deep below the surface all around the American Midwest, and believe it or not a ton of them have come up for sale over the years. The cost of an old nuclear missile silo varies, and over the years some people have been able to snatch them up for around $100,000 or sometimes even less. However, it’s worth every penny if you spend most of your nights dreaming up schemes and plots to overthrow governments and possibly monologue to James Bond.
7The Water Tower House
Water tower homes are surprisingly popular these days, with intrepid dreamers – who are also often filthy rich and have some architectural know-how, by the way – purchasing old water towers and converting them to luxury homes. Some of them are water towers that sit atop city roofs, while others are the big, standalone water towers you see on the horizon whenever you drive through the country. One of the most famous is in Belgium, which was built around the time of World War II and can house a single-family.
6The Shipping Container House
One of the most surprising things you’ll learn with this list is that, apparently, making houses out of shipping containers is surprisingly common. And when we say shipping containers, we mean the giant, heavy-duty, steel shipping containers that haul goods across oceans. That’s why we aren’t going to focus on one because they’re becoming so common it’s more fun to just talk about the general amenities they tend to feature. They’re surprisingly efficient and extremely durable and have become a favorite of “green” home builders for those very reasons. It’s also astonishing just how luxurious some people are able to make them with a little effort. Plus, they’re great in the event of a zombie apocalypse, so there’s that to consider as well.
5The Train Car House
If you’re ever in the Portland, Oregon area you can find the Train Car House, which is exactly what it sounds like. The train car that houses, well, the house still sits near some old, abandoned tracks, and was converted from a sleeper car into a fully habitable house. It’s valued at about $225,000, with the added bonus of not being subject to property taxes since it isn’t technically real estate. It’s a big, spacious home with a fully operational electric kitchen, a toilet, a bedroom, and oh yeah, high-speed internet, of course, all in an area of 807 square feet.
4THE SCHOOL BUS HOUSE
Apparently, converting school buses into homes is not that out of the ordinary because it turns out several people have done exactly that over the years. In this case, we’ll focus on the handiwork of an architecture student named Hank Butitta, who bought an old school bus on Craigslist and promptly turned it into a cool mobile living space. To keep with the school theme, apparently, he used the stripped wooden panels of a school gymnasium to install hardwood floors and built custom transforming furniture that allowed him to transition from living space to sleeping quarters in a matter of minutes. It took him 14 weeks to convert the bus, which he promptly took on a 5,000-mile trek to prove it was livable.
3THE GARBAGE TRUCK HOUSE
Garbage trucks are big, powerful, and super dirty vehicles. After all, they haul, you know, garbage. So who would ever look at one and think, “I could live in that”? Well apparently someone has because here’s an extremely modified garbage truck that is actually a nicer apartment than a lot of people could hope for, featuring hardwood floors, a full kitchen, and a lofted sleeping area. It’s kind of weird that we’re totally envious, right? Heck, living in a garbage truck is almost as crazy sounding as someone living in a dumpster. But of course that would never happen, right? Well, hang onto that thought for a couple of entries…
2THE AIRPLANE HOUSE
A lot of people hate flying because of the claustrophobia that comes with being confined to the small, cramped space of a fuselage. However, in the small town of Benoit, Mississippi, a woman named Joanne Ussery has turned the body of a Boeing 727 into an entire house. It cost a staggeringly low amount to procure the fuselage, as Ussery’s air traffic controller brother-in-law spent just $2,000 for the body of the plane and they then had to pay just $29,000 to move and renovate it. So for a mere $31,000, you too can have a house that those castaways on Lost could only wish they had come up with from their perfectly good bit of fuselage that they ended up letting go to waste.
1THE DUMPSTER HOUSE
Have you ever thought to yourself, “man, that Oscar the Grouch sure knows how to live”? Well if you have, we’ve got just the house for you. That’s the dumpster house, designed by a California man named Gregory Kloehn, who spent a mere $4,000 turning an everyday, ordinary dumpster into a home away from home. It includes a kitchen, running water, a fully stocked bar, and yes, he can actually sleep in the thing if he wants. And because it’s a dumpster, it’s completely mobile. Basically, it’s like turning a dumpster into a small camper, only with a camper the local sanitation department is less likely to accidentally dump you into a garbage truck in your sleep.