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Luxury

Cool and Calm: An Earth-Covered Eco-Friendly Retreat in Arizona

  • earth-exterior-e1443157104503-d4da809f95500510VgnVCM200000d6c1a8c0____

    Earth-sheltered exterior.

  • earth-shower-d4da809f95500510VgnVCM200000d6c1a8c0____

    A spacious shower.

  • earth-kitchen-d4da809f95500510VgnVCM200000d6c1a8c0____

    The updated kitchen.

  • earth-main-d4da809f95500510VgnVCM200000d6c1a8c0____

    The domed entryway.

  • earth-entrance-d4da809f95500510VgnVCM200000d6c1a8c0____

    Stone-covered entrance.

This earth-sheltered Arizona home offers serious Western style -- and at just $279,000 for more than 7 acres of scenic desert land only an hour outside Phoenix, it's a stellar deal for buyers dreaming of wide, open spaces.

The three-bedroom, 1,884-square-foot home isn't your standard ranch. Built from concrete, steel, and gunite, the home is covered in rocks and dirt, creating an energy-efficient, temperature-controlled space. A buyer won't be shelling out a bunch of cash on utilities, because "the electrical bills are just superlow," says homeowner Kathy Johnson.

The round, concrete-walled entryway is distinctive and calming. Inside, an elevator whisks you all the way up to an observation area overlooking the cacti-covered landscape.

The main bathroom features a rock floor, stone walls, and a walk-in steam shower, and sunlight streams in through the skylight. The master bathroom has double sinks and a large closet.

Johnson and her husband purchased the property from the town barbers, who built the home in 1982. The home has since been updated, with smooth Venetian plaster replacing the interior's "rough speckled wall." They also remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms, adding new appliances and updating the countertops and cabinets.

But their biggest change was the art deco -- inspired industrial tile they added throughout the home. Made of ceramic, it actually looks metallic.

The home doesn't just look gorgeous. It tastes amazing, too -- if you turn on the taps.

"It's the cleanest water I've ever [had]," Johnson says. The water from a private well -- no water bills! -- is filtered twice (once before it enters the house's pipes and again when it passes through the faucet).

Note to horse lovers: There's plenty of space outside to build a stable or a horse arena. And there are many riding trails nearby.

"You go for a short walk, and you're a quarter-mile away from all the houses," Johnson says.

The property is near the San Domingo Wash, a historic gold-mining region, and Wickenburg, the Dude Ranch Capital of Arizona.

However, you might not want to flee this unique home, where you can spend each night watching the glorious desert sunset.