Extreme Real Estate: Cave Cribs

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Humans have been seeking shelter in caves since the dawn of time. However, cave living isn’t just for cave men (or women) anymore.

These stone domiciles aren’t exactly easy to find – at least not in the U.S. – so we started our search across the Atlantic, where you might find yourself preparing a nice selection of tapas in your cavernous kitchen.

A Cave Casa in Los Carriones

In the sleepy, rural villages outside Granada in southern Spain, cave dwellings are about as common as tract houses in suburban Los Angeles. For many hundreds of years, Spanish families dug out or closed off caves for use as personal residences because the caves remained cool in the scorching summer months. Over the years many fell into disrepair as cave dwellers sought more traditional housing.

More recently, the cave casas have been restored and upgraded such as ‘Cueva Margarita’ in the tiny Andalucian village of Los Carriones, currently listed with an asking price of €126,000, or about $180,000 US at current rates.

In addition to the three bedrooms and one full bathroom, the recently-rehabilitated cave includes a sitting room with a high ceiling and fireplace, and a large, modern eat-in kitchen with all the comforts of a traditional house, including a built-in washer/dryer. At the front is a large gravel patio for outdoor dining and sunbathing and the property includes an unrestored outbuilding that can be converted into a garage or additional living space.

For additional information, contact 1 Casa in Malaga, Spain by phone (011 34 95 249 5509) or by e-mail at info@1casa.com.


California cave home.


Get In Touch With Your Inner Fred Flintstone

Back in the good ol’ U.S. of A., a labor of cave house love is tucked away on 37 private and unspoiled acres in the Mule Mountains just outside the historic and quirky community of Bisbee, Ariz. The ‘Chulo Canyon Cave House,’ built by its current owner during the past 20+ years, can be snatched up by someone looking to get in touch with their inner Fred or Wilma Flintstone for $1.95 million (due to the unusual nature of the dwelling, the current owners will consider carrying a mortgage with a substantial down payment).

A wide terrace with panoramic views leads to a window-wrapped sunroom tucked into the hillside that serves as the entrance to the cave and the only hint of the roomy, 2,980 (approx.) sq. ft. living quarters that extend deep into the mountain. The cave maintains a constant average temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which means air conditioning is never necessary even in the blistering heat of the desert summer. The interior comprises a large living room with a high rock ceiling, a formal dining room, a yoga platform, a loft bedroom and dressing room, 2 bathrooms and a cook’s kitchen kitted out with high-grade appliances including a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a Viking brand range.

Although just about everything about living in a cave is unconventional, one of the more unusual features of the ‘Chulo Canyon Cave House’ is the custom-made, 400-pound Onyx sculpture/receptacle that catches the 20-25 gallons of water that seeps out of the wall every day at the back of the cave and which can be used for drinking and cooking. A 40,000-gallon steel water tank on the property also stores enough water to last two or three people up to two years.

The uniqueness of the cave house is only matched by the drama of the rugged and rocky landscape which includes a natural stream that collects in three natural swimming holes carved into red rocks and connected by a series of hand-laid stone walkways and patios. The compound-like property also includes numerous detached structures that include a guesthouse and game room (located in what looks like a traditional house), an office and a library as well as several carports and sheds for storage.

For additional information, contact Jean Noreen of Bisbee Realty, Inc. at (520)432-5439 or (520)432-4311.

Arizone cave home.

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