Buying a house in Skyrim comes with many considerations. Each house has its unique charm and collection of features that set them apart from other houses. With that out of the way, here are our picks on the best houses Skyrim you can either buy or get for free.
The Alchemists Shack can be found off the main road south of Ivarstead and southwest of Honeystrand Cave. Home to the now-dead Dunmer Alchemist, the shack is geared towards the use of Alchemy.
Inside you will find a selection of ingredients for you to use to create potions as well as an Alchemy Lab and a bed that provides the “Rested” bonus. Another good thing about this home is that the items respawn after some time has passed save for the end table beside the bed which is a safe place to store any valuables you might have come across along the way.
Drela’s Cottage might be seen as a direct upgrade from the Alchemists Shack. The cabin can be found in between the mountains south of Morthal and west of Hamvir’s Rest. Upon arrival, Drelas, the cottage owner and a Dunmer mage, will become hostile to the Dragonborn when detected thus you will need to dispatch him.
A bed that provides the “rested” bonus along with numerous ingredients can be found inside as well as an Arcane Enchanter and an Alchemy Lab. The cottage is argued to be the best unofficial house in Skyrim. All containers are safe for storage meaning they do not respawn over time and there are no quests linked to this location.
Abandoned House (Markarth)
To gain access to this house, you must first complete the first part of “The House of Horrors” quest which can be obtained from Vigilant Tyranus just outside the Abandoned House.
The house does not have any amenities besides a bed that provides the “Rested” bonus, but it is near the ones available in Markarth. The house, much like other unowned houses, does not allow spouses to move in as well. The selling point of the house is that it houses 62 non-respawning storage containers which make them safe for permanent storage.
It is important to note that the 3 chests inside the house contain leveled items. This means that the player may be able to obtain high-level items when the house is entered at higher levels.
This Redoran-style home is obtained after the quest “Served Cold” has been completed and awarded to the player by Lleril Morvayn. One of many houses obtainable via a questline, Severin Manor is the only ownable property in Solstheim.
The house comes fully furnished with a small bedroom and a master bedroom both supplying the “Well Rested” bonus. Within the master bedroom 4 chests, 4 mannequins, 3 display cases, a safe, and several bookshelves can be found.
The Alchemy Lab contains ingredients found only on Solstheim and a few from Skyrim. The Arcane Enchanter can be found across with several soul gems none higher than common. 6 weapon plaques along with 3 shield racks surround the Enchanter making this the most you’ll observe out of any ownable house.
The house also has a full Smithy equipped with a smelter, a workbench, a grindstone, and a tanning rack. In addition, the workshop has two weapon racks, training dummies, and several steel and iron ingots.
Unlike other player obtainable homes, there is no Housecarl assigned, Children cannot be moved here, nor can any other spouse besides Hilund, Morwen, and Halbarn Iron-Fur.
Built in the Dwemer design, Vlindrel Hall is purchasable in Markath for 8,000 gold and a total of 11,900 gold provided you have the Hearthfire add-on. The house is obtainable by speaking and doing quests for Jarl Igmund, completing the “Liberation of Skyrim”, or “Season Unending” quests.
Vlindrel Hall, being the highest house in Skyrim, features a scenic view of the surrounding Dwemer Architecture, waterfalls, and the mountain ranges of The Reach. Along with being spacious, Vlindrel Hall offers a good number of weapon plaques, bookshelves, Alchemy Lab, and an Arcane Enchanter.
Smithing amenities are quite far from the house, but several merchants can be found very close by. A Children’s bedroom will replace the Alchemy Lab with the Hearthfire add-on making the closest Alchemy Labs either in the Hall of the Dead or in the Hag’s cure.
This spacious two-story house in Whindhelm is found in the Valunstrad Quarter. The house costs 12,000 gold with an additional 9,000 for furnishings. Becoming Thane of Eastmarch is a requirement to obtain the said house.
To become Thane, the player must join the Civil War and complete either the “Rescue from Fort Neugrad” quest or the Full Imperial Questline. Owing to the number of quests that need completing makes this house among the most difficult to obtain.
Hjerim has an Arcane Enchanter and Alchemy Lab and boasts the biggest armory among the Vanilla Houses. Conveniently located near the Smithing Facility, an Alchemists Shop, General Merchandise, and the Windhelm Fence, Niranye.
Found in the College of Winterhold through the Staircase to the left upon entering the Hall of the Elements. The Arch-Mage’s Quarters is a calm and quiet circular room with an alchemy garden in the center. The Bed, an Arcane Enchanter, an Alchemy Lab, and several non-respawning storage devices can be found around the perimeter.
The Arch-Mage’s Quarters is given to the player upon completing The Eye of Magnus quest and is an owned space. Spouses do not have the option of moving in these quarters like the Dawnstar Sanctuary and Jorrvaskr.
The quarters slowly regenerate items from potion ingredients, food, equipment, and other consumables. A stone of Barenziah can also be found on a bookshelf.
The Dawnstar Sanctuary would be the second Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary you will encounter and will be the final home for the Brotherhood. This Sanctuary becomes available after the destruction of the Falkreath Sanctuary during the quest “Death Incarnate.”
Seek out upgrades in The Ragged Flagon from Delvin Mallory. The upgrades will cost a total of 19,000 which will include a Master Bedroom, Torture Chamber, a Secret Entrance, and an Alchemy lab with a Garden.
What this sanctuary lacks can be found in nearby Dawnstar such as Smithing and Enchanting, but it does make up for them with its other unique offerings.
The survivors of the Falkreath Sanctuary can also be found in the Dawnstar Sanctuary. The two trainers, Nazir, a Master Trainer in Light Armor, Babette a Potions Merchant, and a Master Alchemy Trainer.
The Night Mother handles the contracts, and Cicero, if you spared him, becomes an essential follower can also be found here. There are two others in the form of two essential companions, a Dark Brotherhood male and female initiate.
Breezehome is one of, and usually, the first houses a player can buy in Skyrim. Breezehome is a small and inexpensive home perfect for new players to use. Conveniently located just beside Warmaiden’s by the entrance gate of Whiterun, it’s perfect when you’re just starting to upgrade your Blacksmithing.
An option to change the Alchemy Lab into an extra room for the Children upon receipt of a courier message called Breezehome Furnishings. Upgrade options will always remain available.
Speaking of Vampires, Castle Volkihar is the perfect home for one that has chosen the path of night. You can reach the keep via the Icewater Jetty found near the sea in Highrock. The Castle is the perfect home for any Vampire, and you will see why.
The player can easily make the castle their home if they decide to the Volkihar Vampires. The castle is perfect for Vampires with its grand main dining area, tables filled with human flesh, tableware smeared with blood, and vampire cattle on each table.
The castle comes complete with its Smithy, Arcane Enchanter, Alchemy Lab, soul gems, merchants, Trainers, safe storage, and your own coffin. One unique feature of Castle is the Thrall Dungeon for when you need to feed. Players can easily see that the Castle is one of the most perfect homes in Skyrim if you don’t mind being a Vampire.
One of the homes that can be built comes with the Hearthfire add-on. The house can be found at the delta of the Hjaal and Karth Rivers closer to the west border of The Pale. Unique from the other buildable houses as it’s the only one with a Fish Hatchery.
Among the few houses in Skyrim which boast a great view. Marvel at the sight of the Capital, Solitude, the Sea of Ghosts, High gate Ruins, and Morthal in a fair distance. The shipwreck of the Icerunner can also be seen provided the quest “Lights Out” has been started.
Windstad Manor being a Hearthfire home, various furnishings can either be crafted or bought directly from the estate’s steward. Furnishings may vary but may include an Alchemy Lab, Arcane Enchanter, Mannequins, Shrines, Cases, Smithing Stations, & Weapon Displays.
Apart from furnishing, the player can also hire a steward, a carriage driver, and a personal Bard. The Family can also be elected to move to the Manor. On occasion, the house might be attacked luckily the holds Housecarl can be assigned to this location.
One of two purchasable city homes in Skyrim that offer exterior areas in this case a porch, a dock, and a garden. Acquiring Honeyside can be achieved by becoming a Thane of Riften by doing several quests for the Jarl and the people.
Honeyside can be purchased from the Jarl’s steward for as low as 5,000 gold. If the player has at least 5,000, the option “I’ll take it” will be available. The steward will take all the player’s gold up to 8,000 so be sure to have the exact amount.
The House can be found just a short distance from Smithing Facilities and shops. Honeyside can also be furnished with an Arcane Enchanter, weapon displays, and mannequins. The porch also comes with two fish barrels which are regularly stocked with fish ingredients and various food.
What is unique to Honeyside is that it is the only city home in Skyrim with direct access from the outside. This is perfect for Vampires, Werewolves, or for bypassing bounties.
Located in the Solitude next to the Bards College, Proudspire manor is the most expensive house you can buy in Skyrim. Luxury comes at 25,000 and 39,000 fully furnished, if you have Hearthfire.
Proudspire Manor’s features can be seen as an improvement to that of Hjerim’s save for its distance from the nearest Smithy. Being in Solitude, the player has access to excellent amenities and a wide selection of shops. Children here are also happier as Solitude is home to many children.
Located between Falkreath and Riverwood, Lakeview Manor is one of three homes that can be built with the Hearthfire add-on. Lakeview Manor, as its name suggests, has a terrific view of Lake Ilinalta. Lakeview Manor is unique to other Hearthfire houses because a beehive may be added to the property.
Becoming Thane of Falkreath is a requirement to obtain this plot of land and can be bought from the steward of the hold for 5,000 Gold.
The last house in this list and considered to be the best house in Skyrim is the Hearthfire home, Heljarchen Hall. Apart from its unique grain mill and customizability, this house has the clearest line of sight of all the homes, allowing incoming threats to be immediately visible.
Located on a rocky mountain slope in the Pale, Whiterun and the Throat of the World can be seen to the south when the weather is clear. The title can be bought from the Skald the Elder upon completion of the quests “Walking Nightmare” and “Kill the Giant” or from Brina Berilis if the player sides with the Imperial Legion for 5,000 gold.