Silo missle sites in various states have been and are being converted into underground homes.

Taxpayers spent $3.3MM for a silo in Topeka, Kasas which has been converted to underground living quarters.  The silo was purchased for $40,000, in bad shape, in the 1980’s by a school teacher who, with his wife, has lived there comfortably ever after.

A 3’ layer of earth covers the top layer of reinforced concrete.  Floors are 3’ thick, walls and ceilings 18” thick and 15’ high.  The special concrete structure was built by the government to withstand a nuclear blast.   The folks who live in it say, “We love the solid, quiet feel of the place.  Not only is it very well built – it is very easy to heat and cool.”  This home has a large greenhouse around the hatch, which brings sunlight into the living space and was formerly used for heavy equipment to manipulate the missiles.  

About half of these former military sites are owned privately or by cities, counties, school districts, water companies and other commercial entities.  This is a niche market for a unique home for real estate agents.  The schoolteacher has made 55 sales, of which 5 have turned over more than once. They said that buyers include some military or former military personnel who are familiar with the silos, and know the benefits.  Others are looking for interesting projects to restore, and some want the seclusion, privacy and security.  Some buyers are survival-oriented.”

Mortgages and appraisals are a challenge.   “Prices have increased and are rising,” they said.

A former 14.5 acre Nike missile base in southeastern Indiana has been converted to three 5,000 sq ft residential spaces.  One features a kitchen, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an exercise room indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi tub.  All have single-phase electric, city water, paved access with remote-control rolling front gates and high security chain link fencing topped with barbed wire. 

An Atlas F site is for sale now in the Adirondack Mountains in New York.  Diameter is 52’ and depth is 180’.  It holds a 2300 sq ft 2-story contemporary home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, finished interiors, a spiral staircase, fiber-optic lighting, a generator and new well.  The floor plan is open, there is a large garage and wraparound porch that hides the underground entryway.  Price has been reduced from $4.6mm to $750,000.  The entrance features heavy security doors that were built to withstand a 2000-lb blast.  Location is on part of an exclusive airport subdivision on a 2050 foot Federal Aviation Administration-approved runway.

A communications vault in Paris, Missouri near the Mark Twain recreational lake is available, needing “fix-up”.  There are 8200 sq ft of usable underground floor space on this 13-acre site.  Ceilings and walls are 24” thick and 2’ to 4’ of earth cover the underground area.  A metal shield envelopes the structure and there are heavy blast doors with an emergency-escape hatch exit.  The property is available for $295,000.  Electricity works and most rooms have heaters and dehumidifiers.

Here is a unique living style which has a following of those seeking secure homes in hardened cold war facilities.


THE BALLINGER HOUSE, a/k/a Villa Leoncini in Palm Beach

Built by Addison Mizner in 1926, inspired by Lake Como villas, this fine property sits on 3/4 acres next door to Palm Beach's exclusive Bath & Tennis Club.

Featured in this Mediterranean Revival-style property are a 3-story tower, 5 bedrooms, a 2-bedroom guest house, and award-winning gardens that are a showcase of tropical plantings archived in the Smithsonian's Garden Club of America Collection.  The estate was landmarked in 1985.  It has a villa-like atmosphere.

The dining room features a pecky cypress beamed ceiling, fireplace and blue and white tiled walls.

The formal motor court entrance circles around the center fountain, past the 3-car garage, and up to the wrought-iron front entrance gates.

The property overlooks the Ocean.



PALAZZO TANAGLI dates back to the XVIth C. and was totally restored in 2004.  It is located in Florence,Italy,just  a few minutes walk to the cathedral and Ponte Vecchio.

Within 3700 sq ft you will find grand halls, hand-painted ceilings, oak wood floors and hand-painted frescoes that resound with history and radiate enchanting beauty.  There are 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a grand living room, beautifully finished kitchen and office/bedroom.  Beautiful balconies and terraces open up to the courtyard and street below.  2-car garage.  EURO 4MM - EURO 6MM.



"Farralone," built in 1951 with 4 bedrooms, 5 baths, is on the market, where Sinatra hosted such well know celebs as Lucille Ball and Ava Gardner. Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli renewed their wedding vows there. Marilyn Monroe resided in the guesthouse and had her last photo shoot there as well as her conversations with Jack Kennedy. The estate nets between $500,000-$2M per year from movie location filming alone!  List price is #12MM.  Such is the price of fame, one could say!

With its 16 ft. ceilings the interior is surrounded by glass walls that open seamlessly to the outdoor spaces. The 10,000 sq. ft. main estate, surrounded by two acres of rolling lawn, is up a long, winding private road on 5.5 acres. It boasts a grand gallery and three lower level private offices complete with a conference room. 

The one bedroom/1.5 bath guest house is 1,000 sq. ft. with its own pool. A detached gym is located adjacent to the stunning 50 ft. pool.  Sinatra rented this house for several years and then bought it, and sold it later. Included are a conference room, gymnasium, guest house with 4 bedrooms,  5 1/2 baths and 13' ceilings, offices, vineyard, pool and parking space for 200+ cars.  A separate private winding road leads up the hill to this "Glass House on the Hill."  The estate is spread out on 9.5 acres.


Just hours before being slated for demolition, a 98-year old Ft Lauderdale house began its move to an empty lot in Hammershee Village.

The Shippey house, occupied by Broward’s second judge Fred Shippey in 1913, will become office space at its new location on Southwest Third Avenue near the New River Inn and Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.

The exterior of the home will be restored to its 1913 state and serve as a historic site.

The Friends of Shippey House Inc. saved the building from destruction after it went into foreclosure and a New York state-based company bought the property.



1248 Coral Way

82 years old, and lived in by owner for 70+ years, this historic home in Miami has 3900 sq ft, 6 bedrooms and 5 baths.

Buyers at auction and another couple plan to renovate and restore the house to its former conditions in the 1920's and add some modern amenities.  This will cost $1mm.