Sometimes you just never know what your neighbor has in his house, or below it, for that matter. Up in Blaine, WA, a town of about 5,000 located in the northwestern-most tip of the contiguous U.S., is a very normal-looking house with an unusual twist: 45 feet under it is a 1,400-square foot underground bunker. Yes, a bunker. What’s even more amazing is that it was handbuilt between 1976 and 1982 by a man who was legally blind. This house, with numerous secret passageways in and out of the bunker, is now owned by real estate agent Scott Malis who wants to sell it. Our Zestimate gives it a starting point value of $346,299, while Scott is asking around $595k. The key words here are “starting point value” since we have a valuation that does not include amenities such as:
- 1,400+ square feet of underground living space
- 3-foot concrete walls
- Command center/office with computer, phone, intercom system
- “Big Room” (40′ x 15′ with 12′ ceilings) which can be used as a rec room, wine cellar, music studio, theater room, fitness room, etc. (photo above)
- Sump pump
- Gas-powered generator room
- 3-ton motorized door to close the bunker to the outside world
Using the starting point of $346,299, I used the My Zestimator tool and plugged in the square footage, one bedroom and a half-bath for the bunker and got a new valuation of $607,335, which values it just over what Scott is asking — especially since Scott told me the original owner/bunker creator sunk about $250K into it. But, seriously, how do you begin to value a 3-ton motorized door?
Scott isn’t sure whether the bunker builder, Kenley Snyder (now deceased) had Cold War anxieties, but he stocked it with items such as Geiger counters, radiation suits (photo of Scott in the suit), gas masks, bulk vitamins and survival manuals, including the book “Nuclear War Survival Skills.”
The bunker can hold up to 300 people for 1-2 weeks, or one-two families for a few years. Interested? Contact Scott Malis through his “One of a Kind House” Web site.