miércoles, 25 de enero de 2012
Inside A $1.5 Million Cave House
The 37-acre Chulo Canyon Cave House was created by mining granite boulders and excavating blasted rocks.
Photo: Bisbee Realty
Locals refer to it as the Cave House and the nickname is apt. Sitting on 37 acres just outside of Bisbee, AZ, a mining town-turned-Baby Boomer retirement haven about 80 miles from Tucson, the Chulo Canyon Cave House is carved into an outcropping of granite boulder, extending more than 2,000-square feet into a desert grotto.
The strange and unusual dwelling is up for grabs and could be yours for $1.5 million. It occupies 2,890-square feet of living space and comes with a 890-square foot guest house, a subterranean game room underneath the guest house, a library building, a stand-alone workshop space, a separate home office, and a carport. The main house features rough petrous walls, rock and cement ceilings, and potable wall water seep that is collected from a natural spring. There’s a glass-walled sunroom, a commercial-grade kitchen with stained glass cabinets and mosaic tiling, an-eight person dining room, a sunken living room, two full bathrooms, a sleep loft with walk-in closet tucked below underneath the loft stairs, and a back room that is currently used as an exercise and yoga room.
The desert abode was built by the current owner, specifically the current owner’s late husband who recently passed away. “It’s technically a man made cave that was actually blasted out of the rock existing there,” explains Jean Noreen, a Realtor with Bisbee Realty and the listing agent for the Cave House. ”But it has all of the good qualities of a cave for living like it stays the same temperature all year round.” Maintaining a so-called ‘rock temperature,’ the house never slides below 66 degrees Fahrenheit or above 72 degrees.
The main house greets guest with a wall of windows before extending back into the cave.
Photo: Bisbee Realty
Creating this man-made cavern home meant recruiting a mining engineer who, using the Swedish straight wall mining technique, injected the ceilings with roof bolts and excavated blasted rock with ammonium nitrate.
But as attention-grabbing as the stone-forged main lair is, the property’s zaniness doesn’t end there. Starting with the pools, which are not your typical chlorinated in-grounds. Rather, the home’s natural pools are a short hike away, up the side of a nearby mountain and fed by a freshwater creek for six to eight months out of the year. The higher up the mountain you climb the more pools you have to choose from. The owners also installed a carefully camouflaged hot tub.
A perk of living in a cave is consistent temperature, which stays between 66 and 72 degrees.
Photo: Bisbee Realty
The other buildings on the premises peddle some secretive amenities, too. Lying below the two-story guest house is a game room with a separate entrance. The subterranean space is constructed of cement blocks and fluorescent lighting. The nearby library building, also constructed of cement blocks, doubles as a safe house, with a back room accessible through a roll-down metal security door hidden behind a sliding glass door. The back room is equipped with a Murphy bed, an air conditioner, an antique vault and a climate-controlled gun safe.
The Cave House has graced the Multiple Listing Services sporadically for years. "When we first put it on we did so for close to $3 million," says Noreen. The price bumped down to $1.5 million last year, when the owners decided they were truly serious about selling. But despite the 50% price chop, a buyer has yet to put up an accepted offer. Noreen believes it will be nontraditional home buyers that ultimately purchase this pad: "It would make a great retreat for something like a yoga retreat or as an alternative healing place. It’s very peaceful."
The real estate market in Bisbee has suffered its share of foreclosures in the past several years and prices plunged about 20% from their early 2008 highs, according to Zillow. Now home prices are cautiously inching back up. Noreen says homes are selling at prices that haven’t been seen since the late 1990s. “We’ve actually been really active…and we have a whole realm of people coming in to buy at these lower prices,” she remarks. Now to find a well-off a New Age nature-lover who wants to plunk down seven figures to live in a cave.