Real estate

Listing of the week: View's always great at underground home

Sep. 25, 2013 at 1:31 PM ET

This 5,000-square-foot home boasts a pool, spa, barbecue, sauna and putting green. And the view stays the same -- since it's 25 feet underground.
Zillow
This 5,000-square-foot home boasts a pool, spa, barbecue, sauna and putting green. And the view stays the same -- since it's 25 feet underground.

3970 Spencer St, Las Vegas, NV

For sale: $1.7 million

Underground rooms are usually dark and dank — the choice place for storage and cobwebs. Even basements, which are only partially beneath ground, are chosen for teenage sleepovers, or movie and game rooms. An entire house underground doesn't necessarily sound appealing, especially one that was built a whopping 25 feet down.

But it's not as unpleasant as you might think, says listing agent Winston King of Kingly Properties. "Everything is ventilated to the surface," he said. "There are lights that reflect the time of day — morning, noon and night. Everything is well-lit."

Even if the home is livable — the previous owner lived there full time — its original purpose was to survive the end of the world.

This two-bedroom, three-bath home was built in 1978 as a place to survive the end of the world.
Zillow
This two-bedroom, three-bath home was built in 1978 as a place to survive the end of the world.

Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson built the home in 1978. He had come into wealth through his involvement in several companies, including Avon cosmetics and the Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., and in the late 1960s he believed that the Cold War would lead to the end of the world. Henderson commissioned two underground homes for his wife and himself — one in Boulder, Colo., and the other in Las Vegas.

If Henderson was going to spend most of his time underground, not only was the home going to be well-lit and well-ventilated, it was going to be luxurious.

The two-bedroom, three-bath house spans 5,000 square feet and includes a pool, spa, barbecue, sauna and putting green.

When Henderson first built the home, a few vents and air-conditioning units hidden behind rocks were the only signs of a residence on the property. Later, a guesthouse/caretaker's residence was constructed, and from there an elevator leads to the underground home.

And if you ever get tired of living underground, "maybe you need to come up for air sometimes," King said, "the [guest] house is functional."

Reach Kingly Properties at 702-461-6577.

Erika Riggs, a real estate writer for Zillow Blog, covers celebrity real estate, unusual properties and home design trends. Read more of her work here

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