Neighbors sue over Florida man's wild multicolored, spray-painted home

Over one week, this $500,000, Naples, Florida home belonging to Jeffrey Leibman, 40, was transformed from boring beige to a wild, multicolored dream house. The grounds and trees have also been, er, brightened up. I think it has great curb appeal! From ABC7News (video below):

A Naples homeowners association said it's actually suing the man they believe trashed this house.

Right now, management said Leibman is no longer living in the home, and court records show he's due in court this weekend for drug charges.

(Thanks to our Florida bureau chief, Charles Pescovitz!)

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Seattle: Bidding war for $330,000+ home that was too filthy and hazardous for anyone to even tour

A Bothell, Seattle house -- so filled with garbage, water damaged, and hazardous that the real estate agent didn't allow anyone inside -- just sold in a bidding war for more than its $330,000 list price. Only one photo, of the exterior, was provided in the listing. There were 17 offers; the buyer and final price haven't yet been revealed. From the Seattle Times:

Despite the fierce pace of offers on the Bothell home, the sale pales in comparison to the all-out bidding war that ensued in 2016 after a derelict West Seattle home was listed for $200,000.

That home, with five feet of standing water and toxic air not safe to breathe, ultimately sold in 10 days for $427,000, more than double the asking price, after receiving a jaw-dropping 41 offers. It was razed and redeveloped, then sold for $1.19 million in 2017...

The offers (on the newly-sold Bothel property) were almost entirely from investors and home flippers, according to agents familiar with the sale.

Other homes in the same zip code sell for a median $620,700, up nearly 50% since 2015, according to Zillow.

“A whole lot of potential awaits,” the listing promised.

(via Fark) Read the rest

Mysterious swimming pool found in abandoned Baltimore townhouse

Inner Harbor Homes highlights a foreclosed home in Baltimore with an unusual feature for an urban townhouse: a deep indoor swimming pool. Read the rest

Skinny, tall, ultramodern home on 16-foot wide piece of land

Cyril Borovsky purchased a 16-foot wide strip of property in Toronto. Then he built a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, four-story house. Borovsky says his design approach could be used to turn parking spaces into homes. You could also buy Borovsky's house for $3 million.

More here: 154 Hamilton Street

And other impressively slender Toronto homes: "Three buyers who found narrow plots of prime real estate and made it work" (Toronto Life)

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How to build a house out of shipping containers

Architecture hacker/maker Ben Uyeda of HomeMadeModern designed and built his house out of shipping containers in the high desert of Joshua Tree, California. And he documented the process in fascinating detail.

How to Build A Shipping Container House (YouTube)

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For sale: home that inspired Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

Ponden Hall, a nine bedroom house in Stanbury, West Yorkshire, England, is considered to be the inspiration for Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and sister Anne's Wildfell Hall. The Brontës spent a great deal of time on the property in the early 1800s. Now it could be yours. Current owner and Brontë superfan Julie Akhurst and her husband have put it on the market for £1.25m. In their twenty years of ownership, they've completed a major, yet careful, renovation and opened it as a B&B for other Brontë geeks. From the Yorkshire Post:

The most popular B&B room at Ponden Hall is the Earnshaw room. It features a tiny east gable window that exactly fits Emily Brontë’s description in Wuthering Heights of Cathy’s ghost scratching furiously at the glass trying to get in...

“We think that Emily based that scene on this room because old documents relating to the house describe a box bed in a room across from the library and you can see where it was bolted to the wall by the window. It is just how it is described in Wuthering Heights.

“Plus the date plaque above the main entrance identifies the hall as being rebuilt in 1801 and Emily’s story starts with that exact date,” says Julie who has had a replica box bed made for the room.

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Traditional Danish houses thatched with tons of seaweed

The island village of Läsö off the Danish mainland has preserved houses built hundreds of years ago, when owners would thatch the roof with tons of seaweed. Read the rest

Watch this whirlwind tour of a completely incompetent roofing job

Even if you don't own a home, this fascinating glimpse into the world of terrible roofing contractors is worth a watch. This inspector says it's the worst he's ever seen, then shows a dozen reasons why. Read the rest

What would 'The Simpsons' house look like in different architectual styles?

The residence of Homer, Marge, and their kids is so unremarkably suburban that it's hard to describe what it looks like, let alone name the architectural style. Here's what it might look like as more distinctive styles found in America. Above: Mediterranean. Read the rest

Chuck Palahniuk hid a timecapsule in his former home and the current owners found it

In 2007, Fight Club and Snuff author Chuck Palahniuk sold his home in Portland, Oregon. Recently, the current owner Jolynn Winter was having some work done in a bathroom and when the contractors opened up the ceiling, they found a time capsule that Palahniuk left behind. Inside was a letter he wrote about the house, a signed copy of Fight Club, family photos, and his original renovation drawings for the bathroom. From Winter's post on Facebook:

SO,THIS WAS A FUN REMODEL FIND!!! We bought our house from Fight Club author, Chuck Palahniuk, 10 years ago. While my contractors were tearing out the ceiling, they found this old Backgammon box full of stuff. It contained the design of Chuck's bathroom remodel, a letter to whoever found the box, an autographed copy of Fight Club, photos and newspaper articles from the date they put the box in the ceiling. Very cool. Thanks Chuck Palahniuk!!! We'll pay it forward!

(via Atlas Obscura)

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3D-printed zombie-proof tiny house

Just look at that headline! It's a nounpunk antideepstate beanie short of pure condensed random Boing Boing. But the prototype PassivDom “autonomous 3D-printed mobile house” is a €200,000 effort at creating a completely self-powered dwelling fit for the "zombie apocalypse."

The first model, the ModulOne, includes solar panels that power the climate control system, a clean water system that takes moisture from the air, and air quality control system that includes includes carbon dioxide control. The frame is made of 3D-printed carbon fiber, fiberglass, and resists and the entire house is recyclable.

There are three models, from ultra-simple to full autonomous. The Autonomous house is 36 square meters and costs €59,900 to pre-order. There is already a model in Ukraine and they have a few thousand folks already on the waitlist for the houses. Luckily the team doesn’t take itself too seriously. They also offer a special “Zombie apocalypse” package that includes armored glazing, an alarm system, extra toilet paper storage, and a bible.

While the whole thing could be a pie-in-the-sky fantasy it seems that they have a real model built already and all of the technology is feasible. I, for one, look forward to spending my time in a zombie-proof passive house in the middle of the taiga.

I would rather not have to see the zombies. The name abbreviates "Passive Domicile," but PassivDom is brilliant; one supposes the innuendo may not be clear to its Ukrainian creators. No-one tell them! Read the rest

Snow White's cottage for sale

Built in 1982, this 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home based on Snow White's cottage is for sale in Olalla, Washington. It's 2,800 square-feet on 7.52 acres and listed at $925,000. From Realtor.com:

There's not a square corner anywhere. Each door was hand built with extensive iron work. Wood beams were hand carved, stained glass windows are everywhere, and the walls appear to more like a magical cave. Perfect for a B & B or a wedding business.

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Ghost houseboat washes ashore in Ireland

A small houseboat, believed to be that of Canadian eco-adventurer Rick Small, has washed ashore in Ireland after apparently drifting across the Atlantic ocean. It was last spotted in September in Newfoundland, reports the BBC, and there's no sign of Small. Read the rest

Inside a Martian house on Earth

For a year, six people lived inside a small dome on the desolate side of a volcano on Mauna Loa, Hawaii. The aim of the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) was to approximate life on Mars (albeit with much more surface gravity). This week, the team stepped out of the dome and National Geographic's Nadia Drake took a tour:

Inside the 1,200-square-foot habitat, they dealt with a 20-minute communications delay, limited water supplies, and a few strict house rules. But as we saw on a recent tour, this habitat is the lap of luxury for Martian hopefuls. And if this two-story house were on the earthbound market, it would be a total steal, considering that room, board, and utilities are all free....

Itching for some entertainment? The living room has a bookshelf full of Russian language guides, DVDs, astronaut jigsaw puzzles, and board games, which are perfect for a wild night on the mountain with your five favorite roommates. There’s also a virtual reality setup where you can explore 30 different environments, in addition to creating your own personal getaway.

Finally, Wi-Fi is already installed. Although there’s that pesky 20-minute delay, you can send emails, texts, and video messages, completely Comcast-free.

"Take a Look Inside a House Meant for Mars" (Nat Geo)

photos above and below by Nadia Drake

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Live in your very own haunted mental asylum

For $1.5 million, you can be the proud new owner of Westland, Michigan's Eloise Complex, a building that started in 1839 as a poorhouse and has served as a tuberculosis ward and insane asylum before closing in 1984. During the Great Depression, it had as many as 10,000 residents. Oh, did I mention that it's haunted?

The main five-story building is 150,000 square feet wile the site contains a 19th century fire station, decommissioned power plant, and two maintenance building. Bonus, it backs up to an eighteen hole championship golf course!

Here's the real estate listing.

"Own a former mental asylum" (MLive)

"Haunted Former Mental Asylum For Sale in Michigan" (Mysterious Universe)

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Dumpster dweller moves out after a year

Jeff Wilson, a university professor in Austin, left his beautifully appointed dumpster this week. For a year, he lived in the 33-square-foot space, set in the school's parking lot. Read the rest

Pumping station disguised as plain old house

In a residential neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, there's a house that looks like most every other house on the block. But it isn't a house. It's a public utility pump station perfectly camouflaged as a house. The inside is filled with massive industrial pumps chugging away. WUNC made a video documentary about the place. Apparently, this is a fairly common way to build electrical generators, pump stations, and other utility infrastructure in residential areas. That quiet house down the street from you? The one where nobody seems to live? Who knows what machinery resides inside… "What's Inside This House On Wade Avenue?" Read the rest

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