Real-Estate Company Specializes in Haunted and Other “Stigmatized” Properties

While most real-estate firms try their best to conceal potentially disturbing details about the properties they are trying to sell or lease, one Japanese company puts these details front and center, focusing on the advantages haunted or spooky houses have.

Jikko buken, the Japanese term for “accident properties” are a controversial aspect of Japanese culture. The term describes generally undesirable homes, be it because of their proximity to cemeteries or crematoriums, or because of disturbing events that took place in them, from suicide, to accidental deaths or even murder. Because Japanese law states that any potential buyer or renter needs to be notified about any such details, the term “accident property” is generally used. But while most real-estate companies avoid giving details about the “accidents” in their listing, Jobutsu Estate, aka Buddhahood Real Estate, has built its business model around giving potential clients as many disturbing details as necessary.

Read More »

Bathroom With a Bed Advertised as ‘Micro-Studio’ for $550 a Month

A listing for a “newly-renovated micro studio” in Vancouver that turned out to be a tiny bathroom with a bed crammed in it was recently slammed online.

Described as “ideal” for a single person looking to live in downtown Vancouver at an affordable rate, and who “does not need much space”, the 160-square-foot (15 sq. meters) suite was actually a bathroom in which the bed was literally just a couple of steps from the toilet bowl. That sort of makes its advertised features, like the brand-new porcelain flooring, granite finishing, and a large window seem somewhat unimpressive. Not to mention that the rent of this unusual “living space” was set at a whopping C$680 ($550).

Read More »

This Quaint Vermont House Comes With Its Own Seven-Cell Jail

If you’re in the market for a unique kind of house, this $149,000 Vermont property may spark your interest. It doesn’t look like anything special from the outside, but it actually comes with its own creepy jail.

Located in Guidhall, a small Vermont town, this 2,190-square-foot white and green home has been listed on online real-estate marketplace Realtor for two months, with an asking price of $149,000. It has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, wood floors and high ceilings, a nice backyard, as well as its own adjacent seven-cell jail. That’s right, an actual jail, the kind where people used to be locked-up in up until a few decades ago. This used to be the town jailer’s home, and even though the property has changed hands several times since then, the jail has remained intact.

Read More »

Cousins Turn Old Water Tower They Used to Play In as Kids Into Cozy Family Home

Two cousins from the Dutch town of Nieuw-Lekkerland recently received an award for turning an old water tower into a modern and stylish home for their respective families.

Sven and Lennart de Jong grew up in a house right next to the old water tower of Nieuw-Lekkerland, and used to paly in it as kids, so in 2011, when they heard it was being put up for auction, they decided to place a bid. The approximately 200,000 euros they bid proved to be enough and the two became the owners of an abandoned building from 1915. Sven and Lennart knew that they had their work cut out, but they dreamt of making the water tower their home in a decade’s time, and managed to pull it off. For their achievement, the two received the 2020 Water Tower Award, a distinction for the best conversion of a historic water tower.

Read More »

Origami Housing – Foldable Tiny House Can Be Moved and Installed in Just 3 Hours

If you’ve always dreamed of packing up your house and moving around whenever you like, this foldable tiny house that comes with plumbing and electrical wiring pre-installed is going to seem mighty interesting.

Latvian startup Brette Haus only started producing its ingenious foldable houses last December, but its innovative design and technology has already made quite an impression both on the general public and housing experts. Using cross-laminated timber as the main construction material, Brette Haus can build a whole house in 8 weeks, and then install it anywhere in 3-4 hours. Because it doesn’t require a permanent foundation, the foldable house can be moved at any time, and has minimum impact on the land it’s set up on.

Read More »

Waterbuurt – Amsterdam’s Floating Neighborhood

Waterbuurt (Dutch for “water quarter”) is a state of the art residential development in Amsterdam, which consists of nearly 100 individual floating homes moored on Lake Eimer.

The floating homes Ijburg district are no ordinary houseboats, but real floating houses. They float adjacent to jetties and are moored to steel pilons, so they only move vertically with the changing tide. Designed by Dutch architect Marlies Rohmer, the houses have a “no-nonsense, basic design” but are comfortable at the same time. They were built at a shipyard about 65 km north of Lake Eimer and then transported through a network of canals. Although the Waterbuurt is still a work in progress, some of the houses are already inhabited.

Read More »

‘Vertical Forest’ in Chinese Residential Complex Becomes Mosquito-Infested Jungle

The Qiyi City Forest Garden residential complex in Chengdu, China, was supposed to be a green paradise for its residents, but two years on, the vertical forest concept has turned into a nightmare.

Back in 2018, the idea of living among dozens of exotic plants proved very exciting for the people of Chengdu, one of China’s most polluted cities, and by April of 2020 all 826 units in the Qiyi City Forest Garden complex had been sold. Each unit had up to 20 types of plants growing on the balcony, and filtering the city’s air and noise pollution. However, instead of an urban paradise, the eight-tower complex looks like a scene out of a post-apocalyptic film, with balconies overrun by sprawling greenery and plagues of mosquitoes.

Read More »

Mushroom House Built Atop Narrow Staircase Baffles Internet

Photos of a so-called “mushroom house” sitting on a narrow concrete staircase have been doing the rounds on Japanese social media and leaving viewers scratching their heads in disbelief.

The viral photos were originally posted by Japanese Twitter user Yuko Mohri, but have since been shared over 20,000 times on the popular social network alone. They show what looks like a one-storey house perched on a very narrow concrete staircase, somewhere in Japan. Such a sight would raise a few eyebrows anywhere in the world, but even more in the island country, where powerful earthquakes occur fairly often.

Read More »

The Famously Narrow ‘Pie House’ of Deerfield

A suburban Chicago home has become known locally as the “Pie House” because of its resemblance to a wedge-shaped slice of pie.

Built in 2003, on an oblong plot of land in Deerfield, Illinois, the Pie House has become somewhat of a local tourist attraction, with people stopping by regularly just to take pictures of the unusually narrow building. Famous for its unique shape, the Pie House was born out of necessity, as developer Greg Weissman of Advantage Properties tried to make the best of an oblong piece of land only 0.09 acres in size, which is unusually small for the suburbs. Despite one of the walls being only 3-feet-wide, the Pie House turned out quite cozy, and ended up selling for little over $284,000 in 2007.

Read More »

Indian Mogul Builds His Own White House Atop a Skyscraper

The Indian city of Bangalore is home to one of the most lavish, over-the-top luxury mansions in the world – a replica of the White House built atop a skyscraper.

Vijay Mallya, the chairman of United Breweries Group, has always been one of India’s most flamboyant tycoons, but in 2010, when he announced plans to have a mansion modelled after the White House built atop a luxury skyscraper in Bangalore, people thought it was too much, even for him. He didn’t let that deter him from building his dream home, and by 2016, his mansion atop Kingfisher Tower in the heart of Bangalore City was taking shape. Unfortunately, by that time his financial woes were the talk of India, and it wasn’t long before he fled the country for the UK, leaving his dream home unfinished.

Read More »

Man Builds His Dream Home Out of Shipping Containers

Stacking 11 metal shipping containers on top of each other doesn’t sound like the idea way to build your dream three-story house, but in designer Will Breaux’s case that’s exactly what it took, and the result is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Why would anyone build a house out of shipping containers, especially one so big as the one located on McGowen Street, in Houston? Well, owner Will Breaux has the perfect answer – ‘why not?’ He had been thinking about it for a while, and after using 3D rendering software to make it a reality, he started working on a real-life version of it at the edge of downtown Houston. Believe it or not, all the 11 metal containers were set in place in a single day, back in 2017, using a giant crane, and Breaux has been working on it every week since. As he puts it, if he had all the money required, he would have surely finished it by now, but as it stands, two thirds of the three-story house is incomplete, so it’s still a work in progress.

Read More »

Man Who Paid $9,100 for a Florida Villa Actually Bought 30cm-Wide Strip of Lawn

A South Florida Man thought he had hit the jackpot when his $13,000 bid on what he thought was an online auction for a villa, but it turns out he grossly overpaid for a 30cm by 3m strip of land worth $50.

Kerville Holness, a first-time auction bidder, couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw that his $9,100 bid for a villa in South Florida’s Spring Lake community had been declared the winner. However, everything came crashing down when he learned that what he thought was the bargain of a lifetime turned out to be a cruel joke. It turns out poor Kerville overaid for a narrow strip of land that starts on a curb and goes under a wall separating two villas and then out to the back of the lot. Although the appraiser’s site and information on the county’s tax site states that the land has no building values, the buyer claims that the photos used on the auction site were deceptive.

Read More »

Hong Kong’s Tiniest Apartments Are Smaller Than a Parking Space

Hong Kong is famous for its expensive nano-flats, but one property developer recently made international headlines for selling apartments smaller than the average parking space.

Just when you thought homes in Hong Kong couldn’t get any smaller, a local real-estate developer unveiled the T-Plus, a new type of so-called “shoebox flat” measuring only 128 square feet, which makes it smaller than the average Hong Kong parking space (130 square feet). Despite its shockingly small size, the T-Plus housing unit includes all the amenities a person might need, including a kitchen, a toilet, storage space, a refrigerator, a bed and a dining table. That’s pretty impressive, considering that this apartment is so small that you only need to take a total of five steps to get from one end of it to the other.

Read More »

Doraemon-Obsessed Family Turn Their House into a Shrine to the Popular Cartoon Character

As one of the most popular manga and anime characters of all time, Doraemon, the cuddly robotic cat, has millions of fans all around the world, but this family in Indonesia may just be his biggest fans. Just take a look at their house and you’ll see what I mean.

Doraemon is considered to be a children’s cartoon character, Reghina Karwur and her husband seem to have never outgrown their passion for the time-traveling robotic cat. Even though they now have two daughters of their own, the couple still dedicate much of their time to their obsession with Doraemon, and their house is the best example of that. It’s basically a shrine to the Japanese cultural icon, both on the inside and the outside.

Read More »

The Russian Favelas of Sochi – How Car Garages Can Be Turned into Profitable Multiple-Storey Homes

The Russian city of Sochi is known as a popular seaside destination and for having hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. But what most people don’t know about the seaside city is that it is home to a special type of residential complexes – so-called “Russian Favelas” made up of Soviet-era car garages converted into 3, 4 even 5-storey homes.

Having a garage built into a house or apartment building isn’t unusual at all, but while in the US they are considered annexes to the main building, in the Russian city of Sochi, it’s the other way around. The garage is the main building upon which owners have built several storey residential annexes which they then rent out to migrants or families too poor to afford conventional homes. In order to avoid having to register these bizarre residential buildings as actual houses and paying higher taxes, owners maintain the ground floor as garages, preferring instead to build as many storeys on top of them as legally possible to maximize their profits.

Read More »