House of the Week: Grass Dome Home in Florida

1941-1943 Beach Ave, Atlantic Beach FL
For Sale: $1.2 million

You might mow your backyard, and perhaps your front yard, but how about mowing the tops and sides of your house? For homeowners of a grass dune home in Florida, it’s a reality.

This grass dome home is a unique property on the Atlantic Beach real estate market and it’s for sale for $1.2 million. Originally listed for $1.85 million, the property has bounced on and off the market with a few price cuts along the way since 2009. Its latest price cut, from $1.35 million to $1.2 million, is a decrease of 11.1 percent. Median Atlantic Beach home values are currently $214,200 and are rising 2.3 percent quarter-over-quarter and 0.7 percent month-over-month.

Built in 1975, the oceanfront home is actually a duplex, with two separate living spaces, each with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and 750 square feet of living space.

Designed and currently owned by architect William Morgan, the home was, he said, “built to preserve the ecological setting to the greatest possible extent.”

The home is two concrete shells dug into a sand dune, “like giant sea shells in the sand dune,” explained Morgan. It was the first time he had built a home completely encased in the earth.

Located in an area that is susceptible to hurricanes and ocean storms, Morgan says the house is “a bomb shelter.”

“It would be a good place to go if there was a hurricane,” he said. “Inside, you don’t hear anything but you can look out through the sliding glass windows and see the hurricane blowing the waves outside.”

Currently, each of the apartments in the dune duplex are rented and whoever purchases the home can continue to use it as investment property, or as a single-family home.

Real estate agent Tansy Moon says that the home has garnered lots of interest, but in the end whoever puts an offer down will be a unique buyer.

“It’s just really a unique home,” she said.