best houses in skyrim

Best Houses in Skyrim

Latest posts by Arron Kluz (see all)

Skyrim is an RPG that is all about exploration and freedom. That’s why there are tons of fans like me that have run through dozens of playthroughs in the game.

One of the best feelings in all of Skyrim is stumbling on a dungeon while exploring and finding a small self-contained story communicated almost entirely through environmental storytelling. As fun as exploring in the game is, players can’t stay out forever.

That is where player houses enter the picture. These buildings give players somewhere to call home while also allowing them to start families, cook food, and store their various collectibles. With the arrival of Skyrim Anniversary Edition, nine new player homes were also added to the game, raising the bar for what players can get. Not all of them cut, so here are the best player homes for your Dragonborn to call home.

Now, I should say that I’m a bit of a sucker for player homes in games. Whenever an RPG has player homes available in it I make it my priority to get my hands on one and start customizing it to its fullest extent.

Whether it is waiting for hours to try and get a house in Final Fantasy 14 or customizing all of Bowerstone’s homes in Fable 2, I’ve done it. So, I also have plenty of experience with the housing in Skyrim, and have some absolute favorites that I would love to share with you.

Skyrim Houses Overview

When Skyrim was first released, players could purchase a home in all but three of the game’s holds. These houses ranged in price, size, and splendor. They were pretty basic, especially compared to what quickly became available to players from community modders.

However, they still had their uses. These houses were great for giving players somewhere to fall back on when visiting each of the holds during their adventures. They also allowed players to get married, but they largely lacked player choice or customization options.

This made the announcement of the Hearthfire DLC especially exciting for me. Hearthfire added three homesteads to the holds that didn’t have a house from the beginning. Each homestead is an empty plot of land on which players can build custom houses.

This saw players spending a lot of time and gold on resources but rewarded them with large manors with three personalized wings, a basement, and exterior items. The DLC also added the ability for players to adopt children, allowing them to grow their family and send deeper roots than before.

Players who didn’t use mods then went without any new housing options until the release of Skyrim Anniversary Edition, which added nine new houses to the game from the Creation Club.

These houses are each massive houses that were developed by members of the community and officially released by Bethesda. They aren’t as customizable as the Homesteads, but they have incredible themes that help them feel made for characters of a particular type.

Proudspire Manor

Proudspire Manor Houses in Skyrim
Image from Fandom

Location: Solitude

Requirements: Complete the quest Elsif’s Trouble and pay 25,000 coins

Proudspire Manor is the only player home from the base game that appears on this list, and that’s because it is the best of them. Located in Solitude, I buy this house every time I play a character that joins the Imperial Legion for the civil war questline.

The house is one of the most expensive in the game, but it comes with numerous benefits. For one, the house has a fantastic location in Solitude. I love having a house in Solitude because of the sheer number of shops and services available nearby.

The house also has a unique, grounded design, with gorgeous views of the surrounding city and wilderness outside its walls. Skyrim can be a gorgeous game, but the views from Proudspire Manor are hard to beat anywhere else.

I even had a screenshot of the view from its balcony as the background of my Xbox for months after I finished my playthrough.

Proudspire Manor can also be upgraded, with players being able to spend a total of 11,000 coins on doing so. This improves the house’s interior and adds amenities like an enchanting table, alchemy station, full kitchen, and increased storage.

These elements are all pretty standard, and don’t do much to help the house standout from its peers. I would love it if the most expensive house in the game had more to differentiate itself from other options, but it unfortunately doesn’t.

Lakeview Manor

Lakeview Manor Houses in Skyrim
Image from Fandom

Location: East of Falkreath

Requirements: Become the Thane of Falkreath and pay 5,000 coins

Lakeview Manor is a homestead that was introduced in the Hearthfire DLC. It is between Falkreath and Riverwood. It is the homestead that I make my main home most often because of its gorgeous views of the nearby lake, mountain ranges, and dense forests.

Acquiring the house requires players to complete some quests around Falkreath to become Thane, but then the land can be purchased for the low cost of 5,000 coins. However, it will take a lot of work and additional coins to get the house to its final shape. If you want to upgrade the house entirely, you should expect to spend a handful of hours on top of paying tens of thousands of coins.

However, all that extra work and investment comes with unique benefits. To start, players can hire three servants at home. The first is a Housecarl capable of carrying orders for the player to expedite certain aspects of living in the home.

Players can also pay a Bard to live at the house, filling its main hall with music. Finally, there is a carriage driver that players can pay to help them quickly travel to holds, which is excellent when playing in Survival mode.

The second unique aspect of Lakeview Manor is the level of customization that players have with its layout. Unfortunately, the actual interior of the building doesn’t offer many options. Each room has an assigned layout of items and decorations that players can choose to build or not to build but cannot be moved or arranged in different ways.

What can be chosen are what rooms are included in the house’s three wings, as well as whether or not to put an aquarium in the basement if you have the Fishing Creation Club add-on. Each of the wings has three options that can be chosen from, each carrying its appearance and uses. These are:

North Wing

  • Alchemy Laboratory
  • Storage Room
  • Trophy Room

East Wing

  • Armory
  • Library
  • Kitchen

West Wing

  • Bedrooms
  • Enchanter’s Tower
  • Greenhouse

I love being able to customize the wings of the house to include the elements that are most useful for my character. However, I do wish there were more customization options when it came to the house’s actual appearance.

I think the required investment for the Hearthfire homes also helps players feel more pride in completing them, which makes them feel a lot more like home.

Tundra Homestead

Tundra Homestead Houses In Skyrim
Image from Fandom

Location: East of Whiterun

Requirements: Purchase from Whiterun’s steward for 7,500 coins

The Tundra Homestead is the cheapest house added to Skyrim by the Creation Club. It is also the easiest one to obtain. Rather than having to complete a quest or any tasks, players can read a note on the front of the house to unlock the option to purchase it straight out.

The simplicity of getting the house, however, is reflected in its smaller size and more grounded demeanor than the Creation Club’s other houses. While this may seem negative, it makes it an excellent house for players who want to feel more like a humble hero rather than a powerful wizard or insane necromancer.

Tundra Homestead also has everything players need from a house, including workstations, a place to sleep, and a full kitchen. The only missing part of the house is that it gets very cramped if you bring your family along. Tundra Homestead also has an excellent location right by Whiterun, which players will likely spend a lot of time in.

Like all Creation Club houses, Tundra Homestead has a massive storage room filled with neutral displays and reserved for unique items found throughout the game.

One of my favorite parts of Tundra Homestead is how many unique decorations and static items are spread throughout the house. The house feels like an everyday abode for the province, but the unique decorations help give it a distinct identity from the homes players can buy or enter in the various holds.

Tundra Homestead will always have a special place in my heart, however, because it was the first house I got during my survival mode playthrough when the Anniversary Edition first released. If you ever play a survival mode playthrough I can’t imagine not getting the Tundra Homestead.

Its location next to Whiterun makes it extremely useful for sleeping, storing food, dropping off items, and having one place to stop and do all of your crafting before heading into the city. I also really enjoyed getting this more humble home first before moving on to the more exotic houses on this list that felt appropriate once my Dragonborn was more powerful.

Myrwatch

Myrwatch Houses In Skyrim
Image from Fandom

Location: East of Morthal

Requirements: Completion of the quest Myrwatch

Myrwatch is a player home made by the same designer of Tundra Homestead, Elianora. It is a classic wizard’s tower built by a frozen lake. To enter and claim the house for yourself, you’ll have to read a journal left outside of its front door.

This will start the house’s quest, completed by shooting a spell at a seal. Then, Myrwatch will be yours. Having to unlock the house with a magical puzzle is a nice touch for this house, but I do wish that it was more than a thirty-second diversion.

Having a more thorough quest would have helped give Myrwatch an even more special place in the game as well as providing the opportunity to tell the player its story and history.

The shining feature of Myrwatch is the fantastic design of its interior. It has a massive glowing blue orb suspended from the ceiling and many incredible magical decorations. The decorations really give you the feeling of being a wizard secluded in a tower of their own design, which I love for roleplaying.

The tower perfectly captures the aesthetic of a powerful mage that has built their optimal working environment to just hole up in away from the world and anything that could interfere with their work.

Myrwatch also comes with an imposing array of working stations and resources. As the house is perfect for roleplaying with magic-using characters, it is no wonder it is filled with beneficial alchemical ingredients. This can help you stay stocked on your most common or necessary potions whenever you return home.

On top of the usual enchanting table and alchemy station, Myrwatch also includes an alchemy garden, one of the only staff enchanting tables in the game, and an All Forge that gives you access to items normally only craftable at Gunmar’s Forge and the Skyforge.

No matter what kind of crafting you like to do in Skyrim you can do it better in Myrwatch than anywhere else. It is a tower made for wizards, after all, and if they don’t collect the province’s crafting secrets in one place, who will?

The Dead Man’s Dread

The Dead Man's Dread

Location: Sea of Ghosts

Requirements: Completing the quest The Restless

The Restless can be started by reading the book of the same name at the Winking Skeever inn found in Solitude. Playing through the quest will take the player to a hidden pirate ship haunted by a crew of ghosts. Once defeated, the player can claim the ship and get some unique pirate gear.

This house is great because who doesn’t like pirates? But also because it is an excellent reference for dedicated Elder Scrolls fans.

The ship that players end up having as a home at the end of the quest and some of the unique items found in it is a reference to Cyrus, better known as the protagonist of the game The Elder Scrolls Adventures: RedguardRedguard was far from being the best Elder Scrolls game, but it is a fun nod to see all the same.

This home is great because of its theme, but it does suffer from not having the space or utility of most of the other houses on this list. It comes with decent storage and a complete set of crafting stations, but it can feel claustrophobic if you try to store too many things.

But this house does also come with some unique features. The first is a map of the province laid out on a table. Interacting with the table allows players to fast travel to any port in the game. This is a fun way of implying that players are sailing their ship around, and it can be beneficial when playing survival mode.

This house also sees the return of Oblivion‘s Blackwater Blade unique weapon, but it is pretty disappointing with an enchantment that absorbs Stamina from enemies. It also is a bit disappointing that players don’t get a crew as they did in the pirate home in Oblivion, but it still ends up being a solid housing option.

Bloodchill Cavern

Bloodchill Cavern House in Skyrim

Location: Winterhold

Requirements: Completion of the quest Guests for Dinner

Bloodchill Cavern is my absolute favorite house in all of Skyrim. Everything about it is nailed perfectly. From its theme to its unique design, mechanical impacts, and great introductory quest, Bloodchill Cavern hits every single note.

A big reason that Bloodchill Cavern is my favorite is how it is presented to the player. So, bear with me and imagine this if you will.

You are the last Dragonborn, a hero that has adventured all across the province of Skyrim. You’ve slain dragons, dealt with Daedric Princes, and spent countless hours walking around alone in the freezing cold. So, how could you not accept an invite to a mysterious dinner party set inside a warm manor, even if it does have an off-putting name like Bloodchill Cavern.

When you arrive at the party you are met by a group of diverse characters that are also attending the party. The manor ends up being built into a cave on the side of a mountain, complete with a flowing waterfall and hanging moss. When you approach the help for the event you are given a suspicious menu, but you only start feeling strange once you enter the building.

The entire manor is filled with gothic architecture, gargoyles, and strange engravings unlike anything you have ever seen in all of your travels through the province. You’re then led to your place at the table, directly across from the entrance to the dining room.

When you are seated you also notice that there is a letter waiting for you on your plate. Upon reading it you discover that the owner of the house has died and that they bore some grudge against every attendant of the dinner. The letter also states that the house is being given away, but only to those who can survive the party.

Before you can say anything, the entire dining room is filled with animated gargoyles and vampires, suddenly throwing you into a fight for your life. Survive the fight and the house is yours. Getting the gothic home in this way is simply amazing. It is extremely memorable, fits in with the tone and theme of the house, and is a unique little story in the game.

Once you have the house it is also a joy to play with. It is so unique from anything else in the game that I simply love spending time in it. Even when not playing a vampire character it still is a great house to use just because of how every part of it drips with character.

Shadowfoot Sanctum

Shadowfoot Sanctum

Location: Riften

Requirements: Purchase for 7,500 coins

The Shadowfoot Sanctum is the perfect house for any player that wants to roleplay as an elusive thief or as the triumphant savior of the Thieves Guild.

Of course, the house is located in the crime hub of the province, Riften. To purchase it, players need to start the quest of the same name by speaking with Vekel the Man in the Ragged Flagon. Then, players can purchase the house for the tidy sum of 7,500 coins.

With a price equal to that of Tundra Homestead, it is no surprise that Shadowfoot Sanctum isn’t of the size and splendor of some of the other houses on this list. However, it saves itself with its brilliant design decisions and great flavor.

The house is located in the Ratways beneath Riften and has two entrances. The first is from the Ratway, which makes it perfect for running after completing a quest for the Thieves Guild.

However, the second entrance is outside the city by the docks. There, players can find a sewer grate that they can swim through to reach their house if they are looking to avoid the guards in the city. This incredible detail helps give the location a lot of unique flair.

The house is also home to some unique designs that helps it stand out from its peers. While its interior isn’t very spacious, it has plenty of room for everything the player needs and is laid out in a way that feels like an expensive home despite its unassuming design. Then, there is also its secret room.

This is my favorite part of Shadowfoot Sanctum. After first purchasing the house, I was disappointed by its lack of amenities and storage, especially since it is from the Creation Club. Then, I figured I was missing something and started snooping around until I found a hidden trigger that revealed a secret door.

Beyond that door is a massive storage area filled with crafting tables, mannequins, and displays. It was an impressive moment, and entering through the secret door always felt cool, especially once the room was filled with valuables and unique items.

Gallows Hall

Gallows Hall Skyrim Locations
Image from Fandom

Location: Windhelm

Requirements: Completion of the quest Dreams of the Dead

Gallows Hall looks very unassuming at first. It is primarily a rundown tower struggling to stay standing, and when the player arrives, they find only a single room with a corpse in it. The player is trapped until they can solve a puzzle, starting the Dreams of the Dead quest. Once players complete the quest, however, they are given one of Skyrim‘s most unique and powerful houses.

This is because Gallows Hall is a house built for necromancers. It is filled with supplies, loaded with a dark atmosphere, and has many incredible details, such as the ability to make Black Soul Gems. The house also features all of the standard amenities for Creation Club player homes, but it also features a few interesting, unique items and a unique feature.

One of these items is the Staff of Worms. The Staff of Worms is a powerful artifact that once belonged to the legendary necromancer Mannimarco. Finding it is made even better because of the unique effect that flings it across the room where players find it when they first enter the door.

Once you have the staff, you can use it to have one NPC revived and forced to fight with you permanently. Not only is its effect potent, but it is also so satisfying to use. There’s no better way to punish Jarl Ulfric than by forcing his corpse to travel with you and do your bidding for the rest of time. The risen NPC also does not count toward your maximum followers.

The final and most incredible part of the Gallows Hall is the Bone Forge. The Bone Forge is a unique gadget that allows players to build four undead followers who stay and fight with them.

Players can only have one active at a time, but they don’t count toward their maximum followers and can be mighty. The four creations that can be made, and the resources necessary to do so, in the Bone Forge are:

  • Skeleton: Bone Meal, Greater Soul Gem
  • Boneman: Bone Meal, Greater Soul Gem, Frost Salts
  • Mistman: Bone Meal, Greater Soul Gem, Soul Husk
  • Wrathman: Bone Meal, Greater Soul Gem, Frost Salts, Soul Husk, Ancient Nord Helm

Necromancy was done pretty dirty by Skyrim because it is hardly present at all. But this house helps alleviate that a little bit by giving players a fun way to feel like a Necromancer.

I’ve never felt quite as cool in Skyrim as when I walked through Whiterun with a Wrathman and the decapitated corpse of General Tullius following me around everywhere I went. This pack also works really well with the Creation Club packs that add more Necromancer options like zombies and other bits of equipment.

Honorable Mentions

  • Goldenhills Plantation
  • Hendraheim
  • Nchthuanthumz
  • Breezehome
  • Heljarchen Hall
  • Windstad Manor
  • Severin Manor

FAQs

Question: What are the three homesteads in Skyrim?

Answer: The three homesteads are located in Falkreath (Lakeview Manor), Dawnstar (Heljarchen Hall), and Morthal (Windstad Manor).

Question: How many new player homes are there in Skyrim Anniversary Edition?

Answer: The Anniversary Edition added nine new player homes to the game that are all part of the community content released in the Creation Club.

Question: Can your houses in Skyrim get robbed?

Answer: No, all of the items in your houses throughout the province are safe. Bandits can kidnap family members if you don’t visit frequently enough, but they cannot steal any items stored in your house.

Best Houses in Skyrim: Conclusion

Getting your hands on the right house for a playthrough can be huge. It can help you feel more attached to the character, help flesh out their identity in the world, and provide some great perks.

Any options on this list make great choices, and which one you prefer will ultimately be a matter of personal preference. Just make sure to avoid Nchuanthumz unless you enjoy taking ten minutes to walk between the rooms in your house.

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