Buying a Home in Skyrim
We live in complex, nuanced times. Sometimes it seems you can barely make it down the street to the market without a dragon swooping down at you. There’s only so much we can do about dragons, unfortunately, but there is one thing that can help: having a place to call home.
Although WRX Property Group is based in Kitchener-Waterloo, we do have an office in the heart of Skyrim (the northern province of the continent of Tamriel) from which we monitor the local market. For today, we’ll be shifting our focus from the Waterloo Region and Wellington County to several of the fine cities in Skyrim. By the end of this article, hopefully you’ll have all the information you need to find the Skyrim sanctuary of your dreams!
Sure, Lock Homes
WRX Property Group works ‘round the clock for our buyers and our sellers: when the right house (or the right buyer) pops up, you don’t want to miss out. And according to our advanced, Dwemer-developed algorithm, there are currently five (5) lovely homes awaiting your approval on the Skyrim mainland. These can be found in the cities of Whiterun, Riften, Markarth, Windhelm, and Solitude. Before we dive into the homes, a word on politics.
Once you’ve decided what area of the map you’d like to call home, it’s important to set aside time for the political side of things. Buying a home in one of Skyrim’s cities often requires a little bit of conversational finesse, over and above the asking price. As you know, Skyrim is divided into 9 Holds, each of which is governed by a local Jarl. No, there is no snarling Jarl named Karl with laurels (though there is one named Laila Law-Giver, the inspiration for Eric Clapton’s “Layla”).
Jarls can be a stubborn bunch. Most often, you’ll find the local Jarl slumped arrogantly in his or her throne, seemingly doing nothing but, according to their stewards, quite busy indeed. When you arrive in a new Hold with a home for sale, it’s important to establish a relationship with the Jarl (and their steward, the steward handles matters like this).
Establishing this relationship often entails a favour or two (perhaps even a quest), and some time chatting with the steward (be sure to consult with your real estate agent before putting ink to paper, though). Also note that there is a little bit of a civil war going on, so do be mindful of what you say and to whom. Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the houses themselves!
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Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Breezehome
First-time buyers take heed: Breezehome might be just the place for you. Your first foray into the real estate world can feel a little intimidating, much like the first time you encounter a dragon. I’m sure we all remember our first dragon, and similarly, homeowners will always remember their first home. Also similarly, both processes get easier with time!
Breezehome is the most affordable of the homes presently available in Skyrim: at a mere 5,000 Septims, it’s nearly 40% the price of the next-cheapest homes. Talk about value! Breezehome stands in Whiterun, capital of the Whiterun Hold and the most centrally-located city in Skyrim.
Breezehome is a shingled A-frame Bungaloft located near Whiterun’s marketplace. Although small, it’s got the potential for its fair share of renovations, including weapon racks in the living room (what living room is complete without a weapon rack?), an alchemy laboratory, and even a children’s room. Breezehome is great for first-time buyers, downsizing, or young families.
Take a Walk on the Honeyside
We’ve written at length about waterfront properties before, and why, throughout human history, they’ve always been a hot commodity. It’s been said that the first real estate bidding war took place over a waterfront cave, some 30,000 years ago (incidentally, the date of the very first WRX Property Group Market Report).
Riften is the capital of the Rift Hold, at the extreme southeast corner of Skyrim. The dominant feature of Riften is, of course, Lake Honrich, one of the largest in the land. Honeyside is the name of the house presently for sale in the Rift, and as its name might imply, it does indeed stand beside Lake Honrich. Before you can buy, you’ll need to gain the Jarl’s approval, potentially even becoming a Thane (an honorary title).
Honeyside is a step up in terms of expense from Breezehome, but at 8,000 Septims (5,000, if you’re an Imperial), it’s still much more affordable than the most expensive house in Skyrim. In addition to its beautiful views of and access to the lake (Honeyside has a balcony jutting out over the water, supported by wooden beams), this lovely home has a gorgeous garden, miraculously-replenishing barrels of fish, and plenty of room to renovate (including a basement just begging to be finished).
You’ll Fall for Vlindrel Hall
The next home for sale can be found in the far west of Skyrim. Indeed, the Reach is the westernmost Hold, and its rugged, mountainous terrain serves as Skyrim’s border with the province of Hammerfell. And this next home is up for sale in the capital of the Reach: Markarth.
Although Markarth is fairly isolated from the other major cities of Skyrim (and it doesn’t help that it’s nestled amongst mountainous peaks), there’s always something to see or do here. Indeed, as the locals say: blood and silver flow through the city. Which is perhaps a compliment? In any case, there’s also an impressive river dividing the city in half (not unlike the mighty Thames over in London).
Fitting in beautifully with architectural stylings of the city, the Dwemer-designed-doozy-of-a-dwelling Vlindrel Hall is one of the most sought-after homes in all of Markarth (and, at present, the only one up for sale). Vlindrel Hall stands tall along the northern limits of the city, and it is in fact the highest home in the entire city.
Vlindrel Hall can be yours for the not-unreasonable price of 8,000 Septims. As with the other homes available for purchase in various parts of Skyrim, you can invest more Septims to furnish individual rooms and add features. Vlindrel Hall is a booklover’s paradise, not only due to its tucked-away locale (no one to bother you!); its beautiful, sun-soaked porch; and its abundance of bookshelves.
Sometimes, a home’s history is one of its biggest selling points. Consider the Christmas House in Waterloo. But there are other times when, well, not so much. Full disclosure: yes, the former owner met her untimely demise in this home, at the hands of local serial killer ‘the Butcher;’ and yes, there is a hidden, subterranean room which once served as the Butcher’s… spare parts storage. But the past is in the past, and the hidden room is a great place to store your potatoes, now! Let’s turn our eyes to the brighter sides of Hjerim, shall we?
Hjerim is an incredible, spacious home of wood and stone, standing over two storeys and boasting not only a visually-imposing façade (particularly its angular roof-work), but also a beautiful backdoor view of the Velothi mountain range. We can neither confirm nor deny that Shaun White snowboards here regularly. Hjerim can be found in Windhelm, bustling capital of the Eastmarch Hold of eastern Skyrim. Initial cost: 12,000 Septims.
We come, at last, to the final home for sale in Skyrim: Proudspire Manor. Immense, ornate, and boasting an enviable location, Proudspire Manor is without a doubt one of the finest homes in not only its Hold, but also all of Skyrim. It also happens to be the most expensive currently on the market: at 25,000 (pre-upgrades), it’s more than double the not-exactly-cheap Hjerim.
Proudspire Manor is located in the majestic, northern city of Solitude, which, in spite of its name, is far from lonely. Indeed, Solitude is not only the capital of its Hold (Haafingar), but also the capital of all of Skyrim. Solitude is heavily fortified (with thick walls and natural features like the Haafingar Mountains and the Karth River), and serves as one of the province’s most important seaports. The point being: this is a pretty important place and living here will cost you a premium.
Whenever a home has the words ‘spire’ and/or ‘manor’ built into its name, you can probably assume it will cost a pretty penny (or Septim, in this case). Proudspire Manor is Skyrim’s most luxurious home on the market, and although it’s sat empty for a little while (acquiring a couple cobwebs along the way), it has nearly endless potential for renovations and additions. It’s large, it’s beautiful, and it’s located in one of (if not the) most important cities in the province (it stands right next to the Bard’s College, in fact – and who doesn’t like living next to a Bard’s College?).
Hearthfire’s Hot Market
Perhaps, once you’ve purchased whichever of the houses available struck your fancy (or possibly all five), you get the sudden itch to buy some more – to expand your property palette. Worry not: there are still more paths to real estate tycoonery to explore. They just require a little addition or two to your Skyrim map.
Buying an older home can be a wonderful experience. When you first set foot inside, it’s as if you can feel its history wash over you. But a Newbuild Home – or, more accurately, a home you build on your very own – is a joy all its own. With the Hearthfire expansion, you’ll be able to build your very own homes in three of the remaining four Holds without properties: Hjaalmarch, Falkreath, and the Pale. Interestingly, these homes are not urban homes (like the other five). If you’re looking for a rural alternative to the hustle and bustle of the cities, look no further!
Well, there you have it! Buying a home in Skyrim doesn’t need to feel like an arrow to the knee: talk to the right Jarl, save up your Septims, and make the journey to your favourite city or Hold, and the home of your (digital) dreams can be yours!
Written by Will Kummer