I’ll Tell the Story Again

As I was driving to work this morning, Matt and Leslie were talking about this family that couldn’t pay the mortgage and was selling its cave on EBay.

Me: I will gazoogle that when I get to work and write something pithy.
Me: Are you lisping?
Me: Note: don’t talk to self while wearing ear muffs.

I didn’t really know this but people live in some plush caves with some odd stories.


The family is hoping to raise enough money so they can stay in their home. But if things don’t go as planned, they will give it up. The starting bid is $300,000.

The cave home is complete with all the modern amenities – a kitchen, laundry room and even a party room. It also has some unique features.

The eBay description says that geothermal and passive solar keep the house cool and warm without the use of a heater or air conditioning. And the house has its own ground water source, which yields an average of 100 gallons a day.

That sounds fantastic. I’d be heartbroken if that were my in-foreclosure home. From EBay:

The back chamber still has the stage where Ted Nugent, Bob Seger, Ike and Tina Turner, the MC5 and many other bands performed.

I’m speechless. I’ve worked in bars that felt like caves but – in retrospect – there were few actual bats. So it turns out caves are for sale. Something about that suggests comic disaster in the offing, but if it is, it’s at least convenient to wherever you are. In Bizbee, Arizona, one finds a beautiful cave/canyon complex with lovely bathrooms and abright sun room. I didn’t expect that. Halfway between Kansas City and St. Louis, the owner of Jacob’s Cave is retiring and the cave is for sale. I didn’t know cave ownership included employment prospects, but then I’m learning a great deal about handicap-accessible geology, so don’t rush me. In Dallas, we find a market for unfinished caves.

Own Your Own Wine Cellar!! Cave Travels 1400′ Deep into the Mountain. White River Cave Located Just North of Rockmart in Polk County just Off Highway 113. Cave has Stream & Waterfall Far in the Back. Entrance From Top of Mountain Too! Also 2 Large Caverns far under the Mountain. Beautiful Building Site on Top of the Mountain Above The Cave Entrance. Incredible Cool Breeze Exiting Cave as You Enter Cave. Cave Homes are very popular in Spain. Several Caves For Sale in the USA. All over 1 Million Dollars. Great Investment Property! Call Tim 770-356-0708. See more pictures & info at http://www.bigyards.com. Asking $139,900

In New Jersey, we call that and a realtor an ‘attractive nuisance’ and bust out the caution tape. Don’t get me wrong, cave living done right sounds fantastic and ecologically sound. People have lived in caves since the beginning of time. Passive solar heating and cooling have a certain timeless appeal. Who wouldn’t want a bright sun room and spelunkers ringing the doorbell? I guess this is the uneven hem of my class and location showing, but I’m surprised and I’m not sure why. One of those caveowners is asking about $900,000. That’s a high-end cave. At the other end of the spectrum, one imagines people without means taking refuge in modest economy-caves with few amenities, which may or may not be a step up from living under a bridge, as people do here.

I guess the sad novelty of this story lies in the fact that, in 2009, the economy is so bad banks may force people out of caves and onto the street. For me at least, that is an unexpected discovery indeed.

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