Part of the appeal of being a homeowner is the ability to customize your house the way you like it. For some, that means adding a deck, repainting or expanding the bathroom. For others, it means entering the realm of madness and becoming its eternal ruler. We know all of these houses make you want to scream, "Fake!" but we promise: They're all astoundingly, inexplicably real.
#9. Ultra-Small Home
The economy is tough right now, and we all have to cut back. For most folks, that means going out less or securing a lucrative second job in the organ-harvesting market. To others, it means building your entire home in a parking space so tight you might circle the block to look for a better one. Thirty-nine-year-old Fuyuhito Moriya decided to do just that, saving a lot of money and a ton of virginity by purchasing a 30-square-meter parking space on which to build a three-story home for himself ... and his mother.
Well, hello there, tiny sardine people!
To make it work, the Moriyas undertook every space-saving measure imaginable, like using a triangular staircase instead of the normal spiral one (thus saving precious inches), stashing appliances in sliding cabinets and even sharing a bedroom. Though it looks like a bizarre prison crammed into the space between dimensions, the house is functional and livable -- and it only set Moriya back a measly $500,000.
That's right: In Tokyo, a cool half a million dollars gets you a house that looks like an ancient booby trap in mid-crush and a bed that you have to share with your mother.
#8. Just Room Enough
This house is cutely titled Just Room Enough. At first sight, it looks a picture taken 30 seconds before somebody died in a flood, but the structure is actually built on an island exactly the size of the house. Located between Canada and America on the St. Lawrence River, Just Room Enough was bought by the Sizeland family in the 1950s. They purchased the little parcel of land in the hopes of having somewhere to go to to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and they figured an inaccessible island fortress with literally no earth around it on which strangers could stand would work nicely. Instead, due to the novelty of the house, the island quickly became a tourist magnet.
Somewhere in the river, irony is giggling in its tiny rowboat.
Via Google Maps
#7. House Between Two Rocks
Via Daily Mail
This real-life Flintstones house stands in Nas Montanhas de Fafe, Portugal. It was built in 1974 and used as a family's rural retreat. Even though the house is next to several immense wind turbines, it still has no running water or electricity. Instead, all of their appliances have been replaced by repurposed animals that spout smarmy one-liners like "it's a living" when in use.
Once the home started appearing on obnoxious "comedy" websites running lists of stupid crap like "weird houses," hundreds of tourists showed up at the remote location, some even trying to break in. Now all windows in the Boulder House have been converted to bulletproof glass, and the front door was replaced with a slab of solid steel. See? You really can have it both crazy ways: You can live like a character from The Lord of the Rings while still preparing for the zombie apocalypse.
Nothing says prehistoric like blast-proof shielding.
Speaking of both those kinds of lunacy ...
#6. Ultramodern Hobbit House
The Hobbit House stands in Switzerland, near the famed Vals thermal baths. The building was supposedly built this way -- sunk into the mountain -- so as not to disturb the natural environment ...
... of typical suburbia?
The home is only accessible via a secret entrance in a nearby barn or by, you know, walking up to the big conspicuous hole in the ground and jumping in.
"Watch out for that hole, dude." "What h--" Thump!
#5. Zombie-Proof House
You might wonder how the Safety House in Warsaw, Poland got its name if you catch it when it's open for business. But check it out after something spooks the inhabitants ...
There's nothing anywhere saying it was specifically designed to be zombie-proof, but what else would the owners possibly be trying to keep out? Last time we checked, Jehovah's Witnesses could be deterred by some firm words and impromptu nudity -- a transforming concrete bunker just seems like overkill. The Safety House lacks no essential feature for the paranoid psychotic: The exterior walls open and shut at the touch of a button so that the residents can live somewhat normally during the day, then shutter up for the night (or whenever the trees start whispering). The immovable walls are made of pure concrete, while the sliding portions are made of lighter -- but plenty strong -- steel. And until the zombie apocalypse does arise, the massive security door doubles as a projection screen!
The house also features a retractable drawbridge, secret openings and a sliding security gate that seals off the entire property -- not just the home. BAM! While those suckers outside have their entrails feasted upon, the owners are playing bocce and disc golf safe behind the walls of their Paranoia Cube.