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6 Cool Homes - From a Cave to a Castle

There are lots of ways for homes to be "cool." These six are all unusual in some respect and great places to live.

Pictures, Prices and Descriptions after the Jump....

Cave House
Price: $1.5 million 

Beds: 3
Baths: 3.5
Square feet: 2,980

Description: You thought caves were dank? This Bisbee, Ariz., house might change your mind.

Interior walls are formed by natural rock that is augmented by stone and mortar constructions. Ceilings and walls are rough hewn and robust. Natural nooks were adapted to accept furniture and appliances. And there are lots of nice touches, like the checkerboard tile floors and the big walk-in shower of clear glass. The dwelling is cool  in the most literal sense of the word. Interior temperatures don't move very far above or below 68 degrees despite a sun room that commands views of the surrounding mountains and desert. The key is cross ventilation; a rear door pulls air in through the cave. The property's 37 acres lie at an elevation of 5,300 feet in the extreme southeast corner of the state, which is hard on the Mexican border and far from the crowded urban centers of Phoenix and Tucson. The land is blessed with a natural creek that forms gorgeous stoned-walled swimming pools.

Boulder house
Price: $975,000 

Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Square feet: 1,700

Description: In real estate the word "unique" is one of the most overused. But in this case, it's entirely appropriate. The Joshua Tree house is constructed of artificial stone to mimic the nearby desertscape of Joshua Tree National Park.

A huge, faux-stone wall shields the exterior from the road, rendering the living quarters practically invisible to passersby and shaded from the hot afternoon sun. The living roof is planted with native grasses and flowers, which helps insulate the interior and cut power use, as do nine inches of insulation. The interior is unexpectedly elegant and modern. Finishes are first rate with the up-to-the-minute kitchen clad in high-end stainless steel, fruitwood and mini tiles. 

Converted church
Price: $1.949 million 

Beds: 11
Baths: 9.5
Square feet: 14,929

Description: This repurposed Methodist church in Dallas has been impeccably transformed into a massive and beautiful single-family home. Like most churches it features soaring ceilings, stained-glass windows and expansive public spaces.

People love old churches used as homes, according to John Whiteside, the real estate agent showing this house. "De-sanctified churches are the number-one type of building converted to residential use," he said. The altar has been adapted for use as a granite and stainless steel themed kitchen, in homage to the cooking gods. The choir loft has been rewired for a home theater. Many of the elements of the church remain, such as the wood ceiling beams and polished hardwood floors.Some of the brick walls are exposed, imparting a warm quality to bedrooms. The master bath is quite spectacular, with a make-up table, double vanities and soaking tub. There's a game room, laundry room, fireplaces, butlers pantry, music room and exercise studio.

Former firehouse
Price: $975,000 

Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Square feet: 3,049

Description: This San Francisco house is perfect for the kid who wanted to be a fire fighter but became an accountant (or attorney or teacher) instead. 

For one thing, there's the striking Victorian design, complete with an elaborate cornice and a tall roof tower. The high windows were used to hang out the old canvas fire hoses so they could quickly dry and not mildew, according to the real estate agent Luba Muzichenko. There are lots of great details left over from its former life, including, of course, the fire pole and the old redwood wardrobe lockers where firemen kept their civvies.

Other interior features include high ceilings, a fenced backyard, a hay loft, full basement and enough garage space for many cars. It's on the southern edge of the city, close to the ocean shore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In just minutes, residents can motor out of the city and head down the sublime California coast or out into the Sierras. The current owners are also selling their city-tour business, which is housed in the ground floor garage. That would include a 1955 vintage Mack Truck fire engine used for squiring visitors around town. Muzichenko said owners were prepared to cut a very sharp deal for potential buyers with "the right vibe."

Price: $4.25 million 

Beds: 4
Baths: 4.5
Square feet: 2,900

Description: They say a man's home is his castle, but that's not usually taken so literally. This particular castle, found in the Hamptons, comes equipped with all the modern conveniences and comforts. 

The hundred-year-old dwelling of limestone and brick is a masterpiece of detail. Over-sized windows are separated into individual panes by hand-carved mullions and traceries. Gothic revival archways, beamed ceilings and cobblestone floors add to the atmosphere. And don't miss the narrow winding stairway to the master suite with its antique bathtub. "You feel like you're living and breathing a different air," said Rosemary Renna, the agent for the house. "You're transformed back into time." The half-acre grounds are landscaped in English garden style and feature an ornate gazebo/pool house that doubles as guest quarters. 

Cool location
Price: $575,000

Beds: 5
Baths: 3
Square feet: 4,312

Description: A lovely, custom-built on 20 acres of rolling hillside, this family house has some cool features like fan lights, clerestory windows, a pergola-roofed deck and a stone fireplace.

Even though it's, basically, a single-level home, there are a few short flights of stairs that nicely break up the home into separate areas. There's also a guest suite on a lower level. The property comes with two barns and is completely fenced. If the buyer wants to have horses, the set-up is perfect. There are also two ponds, the smaller one with a resident koi collection. Although this is a large, attractive house with excellent features and a great setting, the reader may be wondering at this point what makes it cool enough to make this list. The answer can be found in the old real estate mantra covering the three most important criteria in selecting a home: location, location, location. This home is 40 miles east of Sacramento in the town of, you guessed it, Cool, Calif.

Which would be your choice?
I'm looking at the Castle because it would make me feel like a King but the one in "Cool", Cali is more my lane. Now who's going to help me with the down payment?

Source Info: CNN Money