“Half-There” Earth Home Featured In WSJ Luxury Real Estate

by John Glynn on August 19, 2011

I’ve been to East Hampton, NY, and it’s quite a different world from here in the Bay Area, but this property struck me as something you’d be more likely to find here in the Bay Area than on the east coast. At the very least, it would fit in well enough. Here’s the latest in our Creative Real Estate series:

Earth Home

As a matter of fact, if you could find a place to build something like this, it would fit anywhere. Simply because one of the primary attributes is that the home blends into its surroundings discreetly.

A few years ago, I was approached about financing what was called an “Earth Home” here in the Bay Area. It was under development in the East Bay, and the owner was looking to secure a loan post-construction. In that case, a little more extreme than this one, the home was almost entirely subterranean, with windows essentially facing in one direction, like someone had cut a wedge into a hillside and shoved a house in there. The design was amazing, but it was really an outside the box approach. (Reminds me of what was probably my favorite ever scene from the series Lost…)

If you’ve ever been involved in trying to obtain creative mortgage financing for a quirky or unique home, you might recall that one of the frequent trip-ups is when there are a lack of ‘comparable’ properties for the appraiser to develop a sense of relative value. But I digress…. take a look at this feature on the East Hampton home pictured above from WSJ Online, and be sure to watch the video inserted into the page.

Ever seen an earth home in the Bay Area? Could you live in one? Ever tried to finance one? Share your thoughts below!

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