Real Estate Tips

Real Estate Tips

Prep for ‘Prost!’ Season: 9 Bavarian-Style Homes to Inspire Your Oktoberfest

If you can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest, you can still enjoy a good beer at one of the American events happening all throughout the country in September.

From Frankenmuth, Michigan, to Fredericksburg, Texas, you’re certain to find a spirited group of Germanophiles somewhere during the month celebrating all things Bavarian.

To get inspired for Oktoberfest, check out these nine Bavarian-style homes for sale right here in the U.S.

A taste of Germany on the central coast

For sale: $795,000

Nestled near the heart of downtown Solvang, California – a central coast town with Danish roots – this traditional Tudor gets you all the charm of a Bavarian home with all the modern American finishings you’re accustomed to, like an updated kitchen with granite countertops and hardwood floors. The home also features a bocce court, a large 3-car garage and an elevator from the garage to the second floor.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Solvang homes for sale.

A cozy Bavarian-style cabin

For sale: $399,000

You’ll think you’ve transported yourself to the Bavarian Alps in this tiny cabin in Leavenworth, Washington. Stunning views of the mountains await when you return from a day exploring downtown Leavenworth, which just so happens to be modeled after a traditional Bavarian village.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Leavenworth homes for sale.

An old-world chalet

For sale: $345,000

This Hague, New York, home was designed to imitate a Bavarian-style ski chalet – and it doesn’t disappoint. With a classic gable roof, ornamental balusters on the sweeping back porch, and floor-to-ceiling windows in the large family room, this home is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the mountain views.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Hague homes for sale.

A colorful German-inspired home

For sale: $329,900

This stately Toledo, Ohio, home features hallmarks of traditional German architecture, such as half-timbering and a light-colored facade, but it stands out with a playful yellow bay window in the front. Although it has mixed European influences, such as an Italian tiled roof and some medieval England-inspired stained glass, this house makes you think you’ve suddenly found yourself in the picturesque German countryside.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Toledo homes for sale.

A (gingerbread) cookie-cutter home

For sale: $324,900

It’s not hard to imagine drinking out of a stein and chowing down on some sauerkraut in this adorable Irons, Michigan, cottage. Reminiscent of a traditional German gingerbread home, it features classic German half-timbering, decorative shutters and a colorfully outlined gable roof.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Irons homes for sale.

A Bavarian stunner in the Elka Park mountains

For sale: $429,000

A cross gable roof, a wraparound balcony trimmed with green balusters, and a Bavarian lodge-style feel inside make this Hunter, New York, home truly unique. Top it off with unbelievable mountain views from nearly every spot in the home, and you’ve got a perfect spot to celebrate future Oktoberfests.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Hunter homes for sale.

A perfectly German ski chalet

For sale: $258,000

After a long day at the slopes, come home to this charming Bavarian-style ski chalet in Bartlett, New Hampshire. Tucked away on a wooded lot near hiking trails, this whimsical home has plenty of space for weekend visitors and tons of quirky details, like heart cutouts on the decorative shutters.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Bartlett homes for sale.

A Bavarian home fit for a Grimm’s fairy tale

For sale: $2.4 million

This Saugatuck, Michigan, home looks like it belongs in the pages of a fairy tale rather than a neighborhood near Lake Michigan. Interior designer Dale Metternich once called this house a home, which features classic German half-timbering, wooden shutters, and a stately interior that any royal family would feel right at home in.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Saugatuck homes for sale.

An inviting Bavarian lake home

For sale: $589,900

This Fenton, Michigan, home is quiet and secluded with a location right on the lake. An A-frame roof over the front entrance, multiple storybook-like balconies, leaded windows and colorful half-timbering are just a few of the details that set this home apart.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Fenton homes for sale.

Top photo from Zillow listing.


Real Estate Tips

Living in Beauty Without Excess: A Small Coastal Home With Views to Spare

On the remote southwest side of San Juan Island, away from the crush of summer tourists, this 715-square-foot, 1-bedroom home melds with the landscape to offer private coastal views.

Completed in 2012 by noted Seattle firm Prentiss Balance Wickline, this home displays the architects’ devotion to “living in beauty without excess,” which won this home the Honor Award at the 2013 NWAIA Design Awards.

The home’s design suits the client’s desire to enjoy the 5.3-acre site’s rugged solitude to the fullest. From this point overlooking the island’s rocky coastline, you can see multiple straits, where whale-watching boats cruise, and beyond – the Olympic Mountains of Washington state.

Careful placement of the home on the lot means the rolling hills and stone outcroppings act as a natural privacy barrier from neighboring residences, as well as insulation from winter weather.

A living roof planted with native grasses creates the illusion that it is rising out of the landscape. The cedar siding is allowed to age naturally, like the driftwood on the shoreline below.

This home is a year-round dwelling rather than a seasonal vacation spot, so efficiency is key to maintaining comfort in all weather. Thanks to 8-inch walls with formaldehyde-free insulation, a thickened roof, and triple glazing on all north-facing windows, the house retains heat even on the coldest days.

The architects note that “solar gain in the winter is significant enough that the client almost never uses the radiant heaters or wood stove.” An on-demand water heater allows for hot baths and showers without the energy output of a large standing tank.

Inside the home, walls of windows give a feeling of spaciousness and continuity with the outside scenery. The focus is on clean lines and economy of space, so all of the comforts of a larger home are present without imposing on the smaller footprint.

Storage is built into the walls where possible, and there is a minimal basement for additional storage and laundry.

A wall of windows in the living room presents stunning views of the surrounding straits from the armchair or dining table. A wood stove in the corner is perfect for evening fireside reading on the couch. Floating bookshelves line the side wall for organization and a subtle play of color.

The kitchen features a long stretch of counter space above a bank of low cabinets. Cooking is easy with a full-size sink, a four-burner gas range, a wall oven and a refrigerator.

The cozy bedroom windows allow sunrise wake-up calls, but they also have blinds for sleeping late in the plush queen-size bed. Floor-to-ceiling closets behind grain-matched wood doors fit an entire wardrobe.

The spacious bathroom has both a shower stall and a deep tub with windows overlooking the landscape.

The most remarkable aspect of this home’s design is the way it spotlights the surrounding landscape in the lead role. Built with natural beauty and year-round comfort in mind, this house is the place to connect with the land in every season.

Photos by Adam Waldo.