By Caroline Thorpe
As 2020 has seen us confined to home offices, locked down and curfewed, virtual escapism has flourished. And what better way to “flee” than by scrolling through property portals that promise homes with everything from vast gardens to outrageous swimming pools, and outstanding views to lavish interiors.
Here, we help you along the way with a dip into five of the most viewed homes on FT Property Listings this autumn.
For cutting-edge tech and history
Built in 1854, this striking Belgian castle near Ghent sees 19th-century gothic revival architecture meet the latest in home tech. Accompanying the turrets and chandeliers are app-controlled heating, lighting and security systems, a home cinema and a car elevator, which transports vehicles from the courtyard to an underground garage with space for 10 cars. Other features of the five-bedroom home include a spa — with swimming pool, sauna and Jacuzzi — as well as an outdoor pool and sun terrace sitting pretty in the moat. The property is available for €19.5m.
For a lakefront escape
Patagonia’s Lake Moreno is a favoured holiday destination for well-heeled Argentines. This 15-acre property sits on its shores, with a private pier and heated swimming pool overlooking the lake. On the market for $2.2m, it includes a two-bedroom main house and a four-bedroom guesthouse, which was built in 1903 by Swiss settlers. There is also separate staff accommodation.
For a taste of the Wild West
Billed as “truly unique”, Mellonsfolly Ranch occupies more than 900 acres of wooded hills and river valleys of the Central Plateau in New Zealand’s North Island. For NZ$11.3m ($7.5m), the buyer will acquire a “Wild West-themed” street built in 2006 to resemble an 1860s Wyoming frontier town, complete with a licensed saloon bar, a sheriff’s office, accommodation for 22 overnight guests and a courthouse containing a cinema. A separate three-bedroom home with valley views serves as the estate’s primary residence.
For seaside suburbia
This smart, five-bedroom house in affluent Melbourne suburb Brighton is 10km south of the city centre and a few hundred metres from the beach. High-end touches include integrated Bose speakers throughout, a lift, a sauna, an outdoor swimming pool and a pool house. The asking price is A$12.8m-A$13.8m ($9.09m-$9.8m).
For natural surroundings
There is something of the classic gingerbread house about the design of this quirky six-bedroom home, 15km south-west of Moscow. The property overlooks the Neznayka River on one side and on the other a forest of oaks, chestnuts, firs and pines. Man-made features include a gazebo, a two-bedroom guest cabin and a further cabin with a sauna. It is on the market for Rbs75m ($0.98m).
Photographs: Brussels Sotheby’s International Realty; Christie’s International Real Estate; New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty; Kay & Burton; Natalya Vershinina for Moscow Sotheby’s International Realty