Last Updated Jun 15, 2011 4:19 PM EDT
The folks at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com brought a unique property to my attention. It seems that for a segment of luxury home owners and buyers, the bowling alley is making a comeback in a big way. However, throw out your regular conception of a blue collar hangout full of beer and cigar smoke. These lanes are high concept - and exclusive.
Bowling as a sport dates back to ancient Egyptian culture. But the game has deep roots in 20th Century American society. Bowling alley construction was an important facet of property development in the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and in fact President and Mrs. Nixon had one installed in an underground area of the White House in 1969.
Whether it's nostalgia for the 60s or a simple desire to connect with friends in the home over a cherished team sport, the well-to-do are turning to the bowling alley to add a little whimsy (and resale value) to their properties.
1. Naples, Florida (Images Courtesy of TopTenRealEstateDeals.com)
This 20,000 square foot property features a two-story foyer. The Mediterranean-style estate home also offers Mexican tile throughout the living areas. For the price of $6.4 million, you get the included bowling alley (housed over the garage) in addition to some other unusual amenities: two golf-cart garages, a game room and a large swimming pool with a 55-foot lap lane.
2. Hillsboro, Oregon (Image Courtesy of Realtor.com)
For the slightly discounted price of $4.5 million, you can own a 10 bedroom, 6 bathroom, 11,187 square foot mansion which sits atop 10.2 acres of land. Sadly, available photos of the home do not include a snapshot of the property's private bowling alley, however the lower level of the home boasts this feature, in addition to a 12-seat media room, indoor basketball court and wine cellar.
The prices are dropping! For a mere $3.995 million, this mansion with a bowling alley (pictured below) measures 10,327 square feet with 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. The overall lot size is a spacious 2.78 acres, which includes a glass tiled pool and spa with private grotto, waterfalls, fire pits and a huge outdoor kitchen.
The lowest priced estate on our bowling alley menu also offers the most square footage. Do you think 23,118 square feet would do for you and your family? The home offers a staggering 31 rooms, of which 6 are bedrooms and 11 baths. The mansion was built in 1993 and the original owners clearly had entertainment value in mind. In addition to a two-lane bowling alley, amusements include a resort-style in-ground pool, home theater, game room (pictured below) and library.
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Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com and The Equifax Personal Finance Blog, and is Chief Content Strategist at RealtyJoin.com, a community for real estate investors.