The U.S. government is auctioning off a collection of properties with history, charm, and unbeatable waterfront views. And unlike most beachside vacation homes, these places are selling for starting bids of $10,000 to $15,000. But there’s a catch: The lighthouses up for sale were built for guiding ships to safety, not relaxing in luxury.
As Inhabitat reports, the six lighthouses include the Craighill Channel Lower Range Front Light Station in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, and five structures on the shores of Michigan’s Great Lakes. One property, the Minneapolis Shoal Light, located on Lake Michigan, was part of a group of lighthouses the state of Michigan attempted to sell to the public last year. This time around, the bidding on the lighthouse is up to $15,000, with the auction set to close August 15. The Maryland lighthouse will remain for sale until September 15; the closing dates for the other four listings have yet to be announced.
Prospective bidders must agree to put down a $5,000 to $10,000 deposit on the lighthouse they’re interested in. They must also be prepared to renovate the house’s interior so it will meet the legal standards for public habitation. The actual property each lighthouse stands on will still belong to the government, but with the building no longer needed for its original purpose, the new owner will be free to transform it into a bed and breakfast, a summer home, or anything else they envision. There are plenty of examples of repurposed lighthouses around the world they can look to for inspiration.