Real Estate

Check Out These 15 Jaw-Dropping Real Estate Listings of 2020

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is to browse real estate listings of houses I’ll never buy. Clearly, I’m not alone, because there are certain houses on the market that are so over-the-top, they have been shared on social media tens of thousands of times. Are you curious to take a peek inside of some of the most unique homes that have circulated the market in 2020? Here at Inspiring Home, we’ve taken the time to scour Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and Hubzu for the most incredible and jaw-dropping listings.

Fayette, Missouri, built in 1875. Credit: Realtor.com

15. This House in Missouri Has its Own Adjoining Jail 

At first glance, this house in Fayette, Missouri looks like your average Victorian era home. Originally built in 1875, it has a beautiful brick siding, and tons of curb appeal. The house has been completely renovated, so it has all of the modern luxuries you’d want in a house, in addition to beautiful antique details. But it isn’t until you get around image 30 that you see something strange in the kitchen. There is a metal door that looks like a vault. Once it’s open, you immediately enter a vintage jail.

The vault door in the kitchen leads to the hidden jail. Credit: Realtor.com

This building is called the 1875 Howard County Sheriff’s House and Jail. Years ago, the Sheriff lived right next to the people he was imprisoning. If there is any house that would be a contender for a haunting, this is probably it. According to the listing, the main house only has two bedrooms. But if you’re planning to have a crazy slumber party in the jail, there’s plenty of extra places to sleep.

The Deli King in Tewksbury, MA. Credit: Zillow

14. This Restaurant is Like it Captured a Moment in Time

At first glance, I wasn’t sure why this listing in Tewksbury, Massachusetts was so popular. From the outside, the former Deli King restaurant looks like an unassuming concrete rectangle with a greenhouse-like glass dome. But a few pictures helped me realize just how unique this listing is. The restaurant is like taking a snapshot from a moment in time. It’s obvious that the previous owners unapologetically kept their decor the same for decades, and everything has somehow stayed in immaculate condition. The booth seats are made of leather, and the ceiling is filled with chandeliers and hanging plants that must enjoy the natural sunlight coming through the windows.

Credit: Zillow

It reminds me of the days when Kmart had a restaurant and photo studio attached to the department store. My family would sometimes go and have lunch after my mom went shopping. This style of restaurant was prevalent on the east coast in the 80s and 90s, and most of them have been completely remodeled and newer styles since then. But this restaurant looks as though the owners kept it in nearly perfect condition for decades.  I can see this being a great location for a set of a movie, music video, or television series. 

The birds-eye-view gives you an idea of how huge this compound is. Credit: Realtor.com

13. This South Carolina Mansion Has Literally Everything You Could Want in Lockdown, Including Cows

This mansion in Simpsonville, South Carolina was shared tens of thousands of times. At first, I wondered why this was such a big deal. After all, it’s not uncommon to find massive $10.75 million mansions on the east coast. However, this home is basically a self-sustaining compound that is a dream come true for anyone wishing they could have everything at their finger tips during the pandemic. If you had this house, there would never be a need to leave!

This kitchen has not just one, but two massive kitchen islands. Credit: Realtor.com

Set on 38 acres, the mansion has every creature comfort you could possibly want. It has its own lake with a dock, a greenhouse, outdoor entertainment space, a library, a movie theater, pool house, and so much more. There is even a photo with 13 cows! Do they come with the listing? The house has also been decorated in such a colorful, unique way that is unlike any house I’ve ever seen before.

From the outside, the house looks very normal. Credit: Realtor.com

12. This Unassuming Home Is Secretly an Interstellar Starship

Every once in a while, I will see a listing online where I wonder why the previous owners didn’t bother to clean out their space before it was posted online. Whenever I see this, I scoff, wondering what the real estate agent must have been thinking. But this house in Pittsburgh, PA is a great example of how someone’s personal choice in decor can completely transform a space to the point where there’s no turning back.

There is a hidden control room that looks straight out of vintage sci-fi films. Credit: Realtor.com

From the outside, this house looks very normal. But once you’re inside, you’ll notice that it has a strange mix of decor. In the living room, you see some antiques and vintage art that makes it look more like a medieval castle. Then, there is an entire bedroom that has been transformed into the interior of a spaceship. It’s like someone dreamed of having a spaceship as a kid, and they were absolutely determined to achieve it when they grew up. Many of the custom features installed on the ceiling and floors would be hard for an agent to explain, even if the furniture was removed. So, why not embrace its uniqueness? Maybe a fellow sci fi enthusiast will buy it.

The interior of the property is decorated with the vintage mark signs. Credit: Zillow

11. You Could Have Your Own Amusement Park in the Catskill Mountains

Have you ever dreamed of owning your own amusement park and zoo? Originally, the Catskill Game Farm was opened in 1933, and it operated as a park and petting zoo until 2006. The original owners sold the property in 2012, and there was a multi-year renovation to transform the former giraffe barn into a luxurious bed and breakfast, which opened in 2019. Now, they’re looking to sell the 200 acres of land.

The property is so large, it needs its own map. Credit: Zillow

This could be an amazing business opportunity to anyone who is looking to break into the hospitality business. Considering that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, guests must have cancelled their summer 2020 bookings to the bed and breakfast. This may be why the owners decided it was time to sell the property to anyone who can afford to use the park for themselves. The newly renovated building is decorated with signs from the original park, which gives it a whimsical feel. Personally, I would absolutely love to live somewhere like this, if only I had $2 million to spare.

Credit: Zillow

10. Modern Mini Castle

Sitting in the banks of the Missouri River is something you’d never expect to see in Great Falls, Montana…It’s a modern castle! While the exterior might appear to be medieval, it was actually built in 2010. So this has all of the modern luxuries you should ever need, while looking like you’re a member of the royal family. 

Credit: Zillow

On top of being a show-stopper, this property even has three separate air strips for airplanes, private jets, and helicopters to land. There is also a dock and boathouse, as well as an additional apartment you can use for guests, or renting out for extra income.

The Brentwood Estate is like owning a private summer camp. Credit: Trulia

9. This 18-Bedroom Estate is Jaw Dropping

The Brentwood Estate listing is one of those once-in-a-lifetime listings you see going on the market. This property in Garfield, Minnesota was used as a private summer resort. Sitting on 48 acres, this listing comes with 4 separate houses, a game room, a vintage style ice cream shop, a dock for boating, a beach on the lake, tennis court, and so much more. Basically, this was like a summer camp for wealthy families to enjoy the amenities privately for a week or more at a time.

From my perspective, this is an amazing opportunity for anyone with $6 million to spare. If you wanted to expand the capacity of a summer camp, you could easily open it up to more guests by adding an RV park, tent spots, and so much more. It’s going to serve as either a turnkey business that will eventually turn a profit a few years down the line, or an incredible compound for families to escape in the summertime without worrying about contracting Covid-19. Personally, I wish I was a billionaire so I could buy it for my family to enjoy. Obviously, the huge downside is not knowing when it would be safe to continue hosting guests. For a lot of people, that will be a necessity before they can afford to buy this place.

Credit: Trulia

8. Massive Mansion in Missouri

You may have never heard of Freeburg, Missouri, but someone with a lot of money clearly has. Years ago, some eccentric homeowner decided to purchase 34 acres and build an English-style mansion on the grounds. The house is over 10,000 square feet, with 7 bedrooms, with a huge garage. This property is huge in terms of the amount of space you get, and it has a lot of potential.

Credit: Realtor.com

However, the listing openly admits that it needs at least $100,000 in repairs. I’m not sure if that even includes the fact that the entire house is filled with distasteful neon green and red carpeting, wallpaper, and so many other outdated fixtures that are purely cosmetic. If you took this house and plopped it so many other places in the country, it would easily be worth millions. But because of its location, the owners listed it at just $475,000.

7. The Infamous Maplecroft Mansion Has a Deadly Secret

Fall River, MA is famous for being the home of the Borden family axe murders. Lizzie Borden, the spinster daughter of a wealthy business owner, was accused of killing her parents with an axe. However, she was found to be innocent in court. So she inherited her father’s fortune, and purchased a mansion called Maplecroft, in an aristocratic area of town known as The Hill.

As you can imagine, this house is famous, and attracts a lot of tourism to the town of Fall River. However, with the outbreak of Covid-19, the newest owner can’t swing the mortgage on the $890,000 house. While the murders never took place in this house, some people still believe it could be haunted by Lizzie Borden. Many consider this to be a historic landmark, so hopefully the next owner would be willing to open this up as a museum, as well.

Credit: Redfin

6. The Chicago Home is a Cottagecore Dream

This house in Chicago is a perfect example of how you can take a small house and really transform it into your perfect space. The previous owner of this home really took the time to cultivate mature gardens around the property, and they even have a heated pool with a gorgeous outdoor patio. This house belongs in an artsy neighborhood known as The Villa District, and the vibe truly fits in with what you would imagine a magical artist living in.

Credit: Redfin

While the gardens may be some of the most impressive aspects of a property in an urban area, it doesn’t just stop there. When you look at the interior photos, you’ll see how the owner really took the time to style it in a unique way. The kitchen has a European style oven, and the decor is truly one of a kind.

5. This Durham Mansion Has A Shocking Secret History

Durham, North Carolina is a quaint southern town with a deadly secret. The home was originally built in 1940. It has an impressive 19 rooms, including 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. It’s so beautiful, it was used as the set of the Commander’s house in the 1990 adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. A few years later, it became the home of a novelist named Michael Peterson. True crime junkies out there might recognize this name as the subject of the documentary film The Staircase.

It’s not THE staircase, but the famous spot is on the other side of the house. Credit: Redfin

In case you haven’t seen the documentary, Michael Peterson was accused of pushing his wife Kathleen down a flight of stairs. However, the evidence is incredibly strange, and there are a dozen theories out there as to what really happened, including an owl flying through the window and attacking the victim. A few years after the death in the home, a psychic medium named Biond Fury purchased the house. Apparently, though, his powers aren’t very good, because he had no clue that the house was famous, or that a potential murder had gone down there. I guess the ghost of Kathleen wasn’t interested in communicating with the medium. Not surprisingly, the house sold for $1.6 million in August of 2020.

4. The Pink House in Sherman Oaks

If you’re looking for a unique place to live, this is it. This house in Sherman Oaks, California is pink. Like- Really pink. And the pictures of the interior aren’t any less unique. This house has rainbow-colored steps, murals, and so many other artistic features throughout the entire 5-bedroom home. After doing a bit of digging, I realize that this is the former home of actress and musician Bella Thorne…And if you’ve ever seen any of her YouTube videos, that makes total sense that she would own a house like this.

For just $2.5 million, you can own a house that’s truly a work of art. This house screams “young money.” I can see another young, successful artist in LA wanting to move in here as a party house with their friends. Otherwise, it might take a lot of renovations to cover up the customization that’s gone into this home…But would you really want to?

With this much sunlight, you won’t have any trouble getting your vitamin D fix. Credit: Redfin

3. This House is Peak Los Angeles Indoor Outdoor Living

If you’re a fan of The Golden Girls, you might recognize the exterior of this listing, because it was used as the location for a fictional Miami home. In reality, this house is right near the heart of Hollywood, and the inside may not look anything like what you saw on the TV set of the beloved show. Before I realized that this home has a connection to the sitcom, I assumed it became popular because of its amazing indoor-outdoor living style.

The exterior of the house was used as the setting of The Golden Girls. Credit: Redfin

During the pandemic, people have begun to appreciate their outdoor space more than they ever have before. So if you’re looking for a new home in the Los Angeles area, this one truly does bring the light in with its glass a-frame living room. The ceiling of the interior extends outside, where you have a patio overlooking the mature gardens. A house like this is peak indoor-outdoor living goals. Throughout the rest of the house, you see Japanese style sliding doors, and other Asian inspiration blending with modern American style.

If you ever wanted to live in a castle, you could have your chance in the Montana mountains. Credit: Trulia

2. Imagine Living in a Castle by the Montana Mountains

Built in 2014, this mansion was clearly someone’s dream come true. This 30,000 square foot home is designed to look like a castle, but it has all of the modern amenities most people could only dream of having in their house. Located in Billings, Montana, the home is surrounded by mountains and gorgeous nature.

The inside of this mansion is something out of a fairytale. Credit: Trulia

On top of the house itself, there is an additional guest house, in case you ever wanted to give your friends some privacy. The garage can house 14 cars, so I hope you have some friends and family to move into the castle with you.  You would literally never need to leave this place, because the property includes a movie theater, bowling alley, indoor shooting range, golf simulator, and not just one, but THREE swimming pools. For nature lovers, the property has plenty of outdoor walking trails, including one that goes over a drawbridge moat.

This 10-bedroom Victorian mansion is one of a kind. Credit: Trulia

1. This Victorian Mansion is Truly Whimsical

Originally built in 1897, this Queen Anne style Victorian home is a historic treasure in Weatherford, Texas. The house overlooks the courthouse, and has a view of the city of Fort Worth on a clear day. With an impressive 10 bedrooms and bathrooms, you could fit all of your family and friends in this house with room to spare. The previous owner used this as a bed and breakfast, which you could too, if you feel comfortable accepting guests after the pandemic is over.

The exterior siding is a rainbow of different colors. Credit: Trulia

One of my favorite details of this house is the fact that the exterior siding is a rainbow of different colors. This must have taken ages to accomplish, and the colors have held up very well over the years. I’ve never seen any home like this before, and the future owner should be proud to say they own something that’s one-of-a-kind.

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