25 Amazing Homes in 25 Unlikely Places

No cookie-cutter houses here. From former lighthouses to a school bus, get prepared to be inspired by these You Live in What? homes you have to see to believe. 

Glass House

You’ll never see a home quite like artist Tito Ingenieri’s. Built in Quilmes, Argentina out of 6 million glass bottles, it feels more like a castle than a house. Which is fitting since it’s known as Fortaleza de Vidrio, or “fortress of glass.” The home also highlights many of Tito’s sculptures and works of art, adding to the eclectic feel of the space. The crowning glory? The 3-story lighthouse with gorgeous, multicolored bottles. 


You might think it’d be spooky to live in this cemetery, but the current owners feel right at home. The house in Southampton, England combines what was the former cemetery keeper’s residence and part of the Jewish mortuary chapel. While the 2-story home features much of what makes this structure so unique—like the original stone—there were a few updates necessary to make the space more modern, including a brand-new kitchen. 

Middle Ground Lighthouse

The pre-renovation job for this lighthouse, built in 1891, was no joke as seagulls had been occupying the space for quite some time. But even after all the housewarming gifts from the former owners had been cleared out, the space still presented a few design challenges for the new owners. The furniture for this historic structure had to be custom-made due to the round walls. But the home's new additions--including an outdoor shower--make this space truly one of a kind. 

The Annaly Sugar Mill

Located in St. Croix, this former sugar mill is more than 200 years old. Now, it feautures 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths and one gorgeous view. 

Oast House

This former Oast house, while designed for drying hops (a key element in beer), has an even more bizarre history. Local white witches would apparently host meetings during the time it was abandoned. But now, it’s a home as well as a quaint bed and breakfast.


The U.S.S. Deep Quest, formerly known as Deep Quest, has been given a second life out of the water. Built by Lockheed Martin in 1967, this submarine as the distinction of being the sub that located the sonar signature of the famed Titanic. Now, it’s stationed in Greenport, New York with just enough space for owner Jonnie Ray. The sub has traditional elements like the captain’s quarters as well as a few much needed extras (air conditioning, heat, etc.). And the conning tower was even installed with bulletproof Plexiglas to protect the structure from wild weather. 

Primitive Cave

Who knew there were so many perks to living in a cave? This mountainside retreat has 6 bedrooms—quite the feat considering the home started out as just a few simple holes. With the benefit of natural insulation, this home stays at a perfect temperature all year round. And if you ever need more space, simply carve out another room. But the best part? An unforgettable view. 


This 18th century bird house in Bordeaux, France has been given an upgrade since its former tenants took flight. With no plumbing, electric, or water to speak of, the cozy home was in need of a little TLC. After gutting the home, repairing the roof and adding in the modern touches, the structure was finally move-in ready. The 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house even has a swimming pool. Those pigeons are definitely jealous now. 

Water Tower

In Sonoma, California, a former rundown water tower got a serious boost when one family decided to make it into their home. The 3-story tower now acts as a guest house, while the family’s own home was built around it. The top floor has an incredible panorama of the surrounding area, making it a great getaway space. The owners even made use of the property’s original well for irrigation. Quite the transformation!


In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this houseboat was completely renovated with a new ceiling, flooring and paint to give the space a more updated look. And though it’s small, it’s the perfect size for the owner, Anitta Martin, who put her design experience to good use, putting her own stamp on the structure. It’s not just a boat—it’s a home. 


The Red Brick School in Quinton, Michigan opened its doors in 1848 and educated youth until 1956. All that history is still very much alive today with the building’s new owners who’ve kept the original flooring as well as a few desks that were left behind. More was added on to the building to give the family room to spread out, but the installation of a new bell reminds visitors of the home’s unique past. Life in a schoolhouse never sounded so appealing. 


Located in Wilmette Valley, Oregon, this property unites several metal silos to create one charming house. The former horse ranch is also now home to more than 50 animals, helping to provide food both for the owners to consume and to barter with the local wineries. Picturesque living and delicious wine? Count us in. 

Water Tower

This water tower in Tuxedo Park, New York looks like something out of a fairytale. Rather than remove the eight overflow holes, owners Todd and Jennifer managed to utilize them as windows—and what a stunning addition they are. And with a spiral staircase that might just leave you breathless, it’s the view from the balcony that will really take your breath away. Todd’s dream addition? A zipline. (Ours, too). 


Choo choo! Embrace a life on wheels with this 1912 caboose in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. This vintage train car has just enough space for two, and with electricity and plumbing, it has everything a summer home might need. All aboard!  


Charleston, South Carolina is home to this royal gem. The renovation of this former chapel—known as Mugdock Castle—has seen several major additions under owner Vince Graham, who had a grand vision of creating what he called a “beach castle.” The large estate has been divided into the Winter Hall and the Summer Hall. As if it could get more regal than that, there’s even a throne in the bathroom. 

Music Hall

Built in 1922, this historic music hall in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi suffered due to Hurricane Katrina and was set to be demolished. Luckily, Kerrie and Jesse Loya were able to rescue the property and help to restore it to its former glory. Jesse rolled up his sleeves and did most of the work on his own, even tackling the long neglected public bathrooms. But it was worth it to save a space that the likes of Etta James, Irma Thomas and more once performed.


What was once a dog kennel owned by heiress Adele Colgate is now a luxurious house in Tuxedo Park, New York. It was originally converted in 1974 by artist Robert Bero and today, it features floor-to-ceiling glass windows that add to the warm feeling of the house, bringing the outside indoors. What pooch wouldn't want to call this place home?  

School Bus

Ever dreamt of a house on wheels? Well, Hank Buttita of Minneapolis, Minnesota made that dream a reality when he purchased this 1995 Chevy Blue Bird school bus. Some renovation was needed to make it more homey—and it’s still a work in progress. The home lacks one big necessity: a proper toilet. But while better plumbing is on the wish list, it does have convertible furniture, ideal for a man on the go.  

World War II RAF Control Tower

The owners of this WWII RAF Control Tower, Nigel and Clair, in Norfolk, England have embraced the history of this structure, decorating their home and displaying British WWII memorabilia to help give off a 1930s/1940s vibe. While the conversion was no walk in the park, volunteers from the community donated their time to restore the space and make this home one that not only has an incredible past, but a bright future. 


The Parke Country Jail in Rockville, Indiana used to house convicted criminals, but now, it’s a place that hosts eager travelers looking for a place to stay the night. As a bed and breakfast, the owners have utilized the former cell block as guest rooms. But if you’d like to upgrade from a 7x7 cell, the sheriff’s office is also up for grabs. As for the former drunk tank/dungeon, it’s now a bar. This is one jail you’ll want to do time in. 

Santorini Bakery

Santorini is an absolutely dreamy location to visit. But could you imagine actually living there? Lianne Givens resurrected this former bakery, which had been damaged in the 1956 earthquake, giving it new life as a 4-bedroom, 4-bath home. And those Santorini views? Priceless.  

Catholic Church

Shelby, North Carolina’s St. Mary’s Church opened in 1937 as the first Catholic Church in town. Now, with the pews removed, it’s the home of Fred and Jennipher Harrill. The pair installed a loft which acts as the master bedroom and gutted the public restroom to make way for a modern bathroom. But, several of the original pieces from the church still remain, like a few breathtaking stained glass windows along with the cornerstone piece. 


This former firehouse in Linden, Michigan is being put to use as the perfect bachelor pad for owner and photographer Gavin Smith. While he uses the space as both a home and a studio, it has some pretty unique features including a home theater and a display garage for his bright yellow sports car. He also has a special place for the original fire bell as a reminder of what this structure started off as back in 1908. 

Opera Hall

From an opera hall to office space, this home in McPherson, Kansas has had many different lives. And the new owners, Taryn and Chuck Vetter, found unique ways to incorporate that past into their design including repurposing old office doors. In addition to converting several areas into usable living space, the duo opened up a music shop downstairs and uses part of the former opera hall as their “backyard.” Encore, encore!  


Originally opened in 1885, this asylum in Traverse City, Michigan has a new purpose as a condo and commercial complex. It took a few investors and a 4-year renovation to make the building move-in ready, and with the need for new plumbing and electric—and a new roof—it was no simple task. But all that hard work has finally paid off. When can we move in?  

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