[ The Money Side of Life™ ]

Going Underground: Missile Silo Real Estate

By Stephen Ullmer on July 31st, 2004 • Life
Originally appeared in: Fall 2004Ridiculous

Secret passageways, revolving fireplaces, and sliding bookcases are all fantasies implanted in our minds by movies such as Indiana Jones or the tales of King Arthur. Even for the exceedingly wealthy, building one's own castle, complete with such trickery, seems out of reach.

Dreams, however, often die hard and the dream of Mr. Edward Peden is no different. Peden converted an old missile silo that was decommissioned in the early 1960s into his very own "20th Century Castle."

Underground Mansions

Building off of this idea, Peden is now involved in a real estate venture that buys old, empty silos and sells them to individuals who can, and have, transformed their very own silos into gargantuan underground mansions. In fact, eBay recently featured one of these renovated silos at an asking price of nearly $4 million, complete with underground passageways between the silo and other parts of the former military buildings that lay underground. Some folks have their own three-phase power capabilities on site, indoor hot tubs, and food supplies that could sustain small villages for up to a year. The $4 million silo boasts a 360-degree view, few neighbors, and a secluded location.

Above - and Not So Above - Board Uses

When buying a house, rarely would one ever hear that the home was located in a beautiful setting next to an old, abandoned missile silo. Such facilities beckon criminals like freshmen to fraternity parties. Like any secluded, ludicrously secure and cavernous room in a dark, underground area, a missile silo is tailored to a criminal's specifications.

What Mr. Peden fails to mention on his website or in brochures about these silo properties is that these homes can attract members of the seedy underworld of society. For instance, a drug lord in Texas purchased one of these missile silos as well as the equipment and supplies to produce about one-third of the world's LSD supply. Law enforcement agents were able to apprehend both the equipment and the man, who later agreed to act as an informant and led agents to the capture of two other drug lords involved in the project.

Many people are probably wondering what legitimate need anyone could have for a home that just happens to stretch seven stories underground with the capacity to survive a 1-megaton nuclear blast. In some cases, these silos are actually being put to decent, honest use. For instance, a silo in Kansas was converted several decades ago into a high school.

Missile silos as homes are an interesting and extravagant idea. However, impenetrable palaces of defense ought to be left to the government and fictional lore, not to anybody who can muster the cash to buy their very own underground fortress.

Allowing individuals to buy, live in or do who-knows-what in their own personal silo is similar to Tonya Harding's next job: no one knows what it's going to be, and someone's likely to get hurt.

The Bottom Line

In all honesty, this article probably will not benefit you in any way, shape, or form. However, when you hear about the opening of the Trump Underground Casino, just remember, you heard it from us first. For more information, visit missilebases.com.


Don't tell me that in the future we'll be living underground?

by golfer on December 9, 2009

Who knows? Brings to mind about half a dozen post-apocaplyptic films. =)

by jenniebartlemay on December 11, 2009
Cyprus Property

is this really applicable? I remember the movie that they all live in underground.

by Cyprus Property on December 15, 2009

@jennie, I dont want to live when that happens..hehe..but seriously, estates underground seems to be kinda fascinating..

by golfer on December 16, 2009

@golfer, They're definitely fascinating. There are so many things that can be done with underground estates!

by jenniebartlemay on December 16, 2009

@ Cyprus Property, Whether or not it's applicable, it's certainly a lot of money spent on something out-of-the-ordinary and slightly ridiculous. 

by jenniebartlemay on December 16, 2009

I support people buying these and turning them into homes 100%. We're living in nuclear times. And it's not really a thing of the future, humans used to live underground all of the time.

by Cari on November 7, 2010

There are still lots of underground dwellings, and no doubt many left-over bomb shelters. But an old missile silo is taking it a bit far, don't you think? 

by jenniebartlemay on November 16, 2010
Mariam Watts

I'm about to close my first real estate deal (it's not underground). I even hired this conveyancing Adelaide service to help me. Reading this article, maybe I should start looking at underground silo real estate investment as well. $4Million is not too shabby. Although it might be hard to find a clientele that doesn't mind living underground and is not worried about radiation.

- Mariam Watts

by Mariam Watts on December 2, 2010

 I suppose in real estate investment, you can look at it as purchasing an undervalued property, fixing it up and finding the right buyer. If you can find someone looking for a safe sealed location in preparation of a zombie apocalypse, then you may have a deal. Let us know how your investment turns out!

by jenniebartlemay on December 9, 2010

I have seen something similar set up with sheds. All you see above the ground are the sheds but underground is an elaborate residence.

by Damian on December 21, 2010

It's the whole iceberg idea that's mysterious and attractive. A little on the top hides so much more hidden below the surface. What do the sheds usually cover? Livable houses? Retreats? Or nuclear bunkers?

by jenniebartlemay on December 28, 2010
Rental Property Management

I find this way is a waste of time and money as you should try to invest in international property market as Africa.

by Rental Property Management on March 14, 2011

 How risky is the foreign market? Especially in Africa, especially now? I imagine it probably varies on where you're looking for and its purpose. 

by jenniebartlemay on March 16, 2011

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