Get out your Ouija boards and crystal balls. That’s what it might take to solve the double past lives of these unique homes.
See the luxury digs >
On the outside, they all have the appearance of single-family homes. But upon closer investigation, it’s pretty clear these interesting structures were originally designed for different purposes, and were home to other sorts of tenants — like school kids, congregants and even missiles.
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117 Broad St, San Francisco CA
Recently sold: $875,000
Like the painted lady row houses in the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood of San Francisco, here's a home that is a different kind of painted lady. Built in 1896, this San Francisco home (above) was formerly a neighbourhood fire station, painted with a bright red door and trim. Clues to its past still remain inside the 2-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot-home today -- including a fireman's pole. The home sold for $875,000 in December 2010.
1381 Knopp School Road, Fredericksburg, TX
For sale: $2.3 million
This stunning property in Fredericksburg, TX (above) gives little hint to its historic past as a schoolhouse and teacher's residence. The 4,870-square-foot limestone home has been generously expanded and features an open floor plan with high ceilings and enormous glass sliding doors that lead to patios and the rectilinear pool.
1756 Defoor Ave NW, Atlanta GA
For sale: $395,000
A classic bungalow in Atlanta is attractive enough on its own, but it comes with the added bonus of an unusual guest house that is a cozy as, well, a caboose! Painted and completely renovated, the caboose guest house has a kitchenette, small living area and nook-sized bedroom.
1121 Delano St, Houston TX
Currently off the market
The steel, concrete and pipes of a warehouse (above) were transformed into chic accents for this modern home on the Houston real estate market. Built as a warehouse in the 1960s, the home has been customised into a 4,704-square-foot living space with high ceilings and large windows.
2007 NW 61st St, Seattle WA
Pending sale: $789,000
When it was first constructed in 1907, this church served as a religious gathering place for decades -- that is, until a couple of artists bought it and decided to transform the Seattle property into a home that showcases their art and whimsical collections. The details include a tricycle wall, a giant swing in the former sanctuary and a baptismal font-turned-bathroom. (See more about the Ballard Big House).
26 Stillman St Apt 2-1, Boston MA
For sale: $649,000
Many East Coasters have taken advantage of the brick and stone warehouses left over from an industrial age long gone, turning them into luxury condos and apartments. This condo for sale in Boston (above) is located in a former furniture factory and warehouse. The 2-bedroom, 1.5-bath condo has 12-foot high ceilings, recessed lighting and an updated kitchen with gas range and granite countertops.
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