Decades ago, Michigan homebuilder Jorma Lankinen built his own royal retreat. Now, over 30 years later, his custom-built castle rules over the land as the most popular home on realtor.com® this week.
Lankinen says he’s enjoyed “the whole uniqueness of the building,” but he’s ready for a new project. While his creation isn’t cheap, it will allow you to live like royalty on the state’s Upper Peninsula for $1.5 million.
This week’s runner-up is a fascinating, historic French-Gothic home in the unlikely location of Mississippi. Built in 1857, Cedarhurst sits on 10 acres and looks as if it would make an ideal bed and breakfast or event venue.
Other notable abodes include the continued presence of Shaquille O’Neal‘s lakefront spread in Florida, a divine historic home in Southern California, and a $14.9 million replica of Mount Vernon in Dallas.
We can’t tell a lie! All of this week’s most popular homes are pretty darn cool. Scroll on down for the full look…
Why it’s here: Cute curb appeal down near the border with Ohio! This two-story, four-bedroom home from 1900 beckons buyers with a gorgeous covered porch. Inside, you’ll find a farm-style kitchen and a partially finished basement. Because the home is so affordable, we’ll guess the next buyer will have the budget to fully finish the basement.
Why it’s here: Dating back to 1800, this renovated Cape Cod has vintage charm. It’s petite, with 1,208 square feet of living space, but includes a two-floor barn or garage that could be converted into additional living space. Outside, there’s a fenced-in backyard and large deck with a hot tub, perfect for relaxing after a day spent at the beach in northern Massachusetts.
Why it’s here: Curious folks can’t avert their gaze from Shaquille O’Neal’s lakefront pad. The basketball superstar’s home has made our most popular list for three weeks running. It’s no wonder. Shaq-apulco has everything you’d expect from the 7-foot-tall legend, and more. Much more…
Why it’s here: Welcome to your summer retreat! Nearly every room offers a water view of the Magothy River flowing into Chesapeake Bay. There’s a large deck with screened-in porch, and a private pier with 115 feet of water frontage, plus a boat lift and boat slips. Inside the four-bedroom home, there’s a gourmet kitchen, two offices, and a rec room with wet bar.
Severna Park, MD
Why it’s here: A historic landmark, the Cordelia Culbertson House is a Craftsman designed by prominent Pasadena architect brothers Charles and Henry Greene in 1911. Along with a U-shaped floor plan and tiled roof, there’s a glorious courtyard garden complete with terraces, patios, trees, and flowering plants. The manse also includes a grand living room, large formal dining room, garden-view sitting room, and a “baronial ballroom” for large parties and gatherings.
Why it’s here: We cannot tell a lie! There’s a replica of George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, in the Big D. The eye-popping mansion on 10 acres has been totally renovated, and includes elevator access to three levels, five bedrooms, a two-story guest house, four-lane bowling center, and 16-car auto facility.
Why it’s here: Talk about a wrinkle in time. This throwback is a perfectly preserved three-bedroom ranch-style home from 1955. You’ll find hardwood floors throughout, plus a kitchen with original cabinets, yellow Formica counters, and doublewide stove. A large screened porch opens to a spacious yard with mature trees, perfect for pets and gardening.
Why it’s here: About 75 miles south of San Francisco, this two-acre spread offers a welcome respite from the rest of the Bay Area. Gated and private, the home features skylights, separate dining and family rooms, and multiple decks. Plus there’s a yard filled with drought-tolerant plants. Best of all? The location is five minutes to town and the beach.
Why it’s here: If this historic brick manor from 1857 didn’t come with its own moniker, we’d be disappointed. Known as Cedarhurst, the French Gothic-style antebellum abode on 10 acres boasts five beds, three baths, and a mother-in-law wing complete with bath and kitchen, making it an ideal property for a bed and breakfast or wedding venue.
Holly Springs, MS
Why it’s here: Hear ye, hear ye, all those with royal aspirations. This is one cool castle. The 15th-century-style facade is festooned with turrets and flags and gives way to a modern interior. Designed and built by the owner, general contractor Jorma Lankinen, the layout includes four bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and 5,546 square feet.
Fit for a king, the spread includes a large living room with floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace, casual and formal dining areas, hand-painted murals created by a local artist, and a well-appointed kitchen. The master suite offers a private deck, plus there’s an office, a home theater with a bar, and a sauna.
Asked why he built the magnificent palace, Lankinen said, “Because I could. It’s my personal home. I’m a builder. I’ve been building homes for 45 years already. I just wanted to build something unique.” Mission totally accomplished!
The home builder says he’s ready to move on to his next project and create another custom-built home. Can he top a castle?