The 1,836-square-foot home is a Terra Dome structure topped with a grass roof. For a buyer who loves lawn care, the home is on the market for $289,900.
“It was built as a retreat house, which is very energy-efficient and very safe,” says listing agent Adam Shively. “The walls are 10-inch reinforced concrete, and the ceiling is a dome. Basically, you excavate the hillside and then you cover it back up and the earth insulates you.”
When looking at aerial views of the 10-acre home site, it’s a bit difficult to spot the house. But a few clues give it away, suh as the chimney popping up in the green grass. Once you get around to the front door, it looks like any other residence.
“It’s all southern exposure, so you get the sun all the time, and the rest of it is very quiet. It’s like being in a full underground basement. There’s very little echo,” Shively says.
The earth also acts like a blanket, keeping the house cool in summer and warm in winter, he adds. Electric bills are about $90 a month, and a wood-burning fireplace also helps keep costs down.
Built in 2012, the house has two bedrooms and two baths, one with a claw-foot tub.
“It’s cool. It’s very updated with nice floors, and it’s all concrete walls. So if you’re hanging a picture, you’re putting a concrete anchor into the walls,” Shively explains.
Some of the walls have tiny holes and crevices. “That’s the concrete,” Shively says. “It’s made of stone and water, so you’re going to get a bit of imperfections here and there.”
Since the house is built on a slab and the walls are concrete, some of the plumbing and other infrastructure run on the outside of the walls, since there is nowhere else to run those lines. It’s one of the few things you’ll notice that’s different about this house.
“When you’re inside, it looks like a normal house with a rounded roof like a dome,” he says.
The kitchen is spacious with stainless-steel appliances.
“The materials that they used in the construction, like the cabinets and the flooring, are all very high-end stuff,” Shively explains. “It’s extremely expensive to build this structure, so [the owner] is not getting back anywhere near what he has put into the project.”
A two-story shed is also on the property and offers plenty of storage (or living) space.
The owners “actually lived there for a little while when they were building the house,” Shively says. There’s also a detached, two-car garage.
The owners built the home as a getaway from the Washington, DC, area, which is about 90 minutes away. Instead, they wound up living in the grass-covered house full time. They’re now selling to head south.
As for mowing the roof, the buyer will get used to it, Shively says.
“It’s just like mowing your yard. You just take your riding mower right up on the roof, nothing special. You could sit up there and throw a football on the roof. It’s part of your yard.”