It's hard to not be obsessed with real estate that pushes boundaries -- homes that are the biggest, smallest, narrowest, widest, most expensive, and cheapest, or that hit some other superlative that makes us scratch our heads and think, "Dang, what's it like to live in that?" To marvel at just how out there homes can get, check out these prize specimens. While not all hold official world records, they're among the most extreme we've seen lately, and command some major (or minor) bragging rights.
Biggest private home: 398,000 square feet
The Antilia in Mumbai, India, is believed to be not only the world's biggest single-family home, but also the most expensive (more on this later). Built for India's wealthiest man, Mukesh Ambani, this 27-story high-rise boasts a health club, swimming pool, ballroom, and 50-seat cinema for him, his family, and their (presumably) many friends. The ground floor can accommodate 160 cars, while the roof has room for three helicopters to land. Of course.
Smallest high-priced home: 188 square feet
There are scores of tiny homes, but this one caught our eye because its small size comes with a huge price tag. Listed for about $450,000, this one-room home in Barnsbury London, has barely enough room for an umbrella and pair of galoshes. The trip to the bedroom requires one to walk on the kitchen work surface, and the toilet shares a tiny closet with the shower. But that didn't stop hundreds of thousands from checking out the listing when the property went on the market in September 2015.
Most expensive home: $1 billion
The Antilia (see above) slaughters the competition not only as the world's biggest private residence, but also as the most expensive to build, costing $1 billion by the end of construction in 2010. Maybe it's because it was also vying to be the world's greenest home. Given all those excessive amenities, we're guessing it sucks up more energy than the rest of the country's population combined.
Cheapest home: $188
Aside from those "$1 listings" (which don't really count), the honor of cheapest home we've ever seen goes to a surprisingly spacious 1,225-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bathroom home in Flint, MI.
So what's the catch? Well, according to the 2014 listing, the home "needs lots of work, has major fire damage, seller selling AS IS." In other words, this is a fixer-upper to beat all fixer-uppers -- and even if you bulldoze flat and start fresh, you're stuck in Flint, where the median household income hovers around $27,000, about half the national average.
Longest home: 1,614 feet
In 2012, architecture firm Shinichi Ogawa & Associates finished building what is believed to be the world's longest house, located in Khao Yai, Thailand. Comfortably spacious inside, it also goes on … and on. Designed to ensure that residents are able to admire the lush scenery, the walls slide open for a breathtaking view of the surrounding forest. There's also a 40-foot pool in the front of the house.
Skinniest home: 5 feet
Though residents of La Casa Estrecha in San Juan, Puerto Rico, have a decent square footage -- two floors, both 36 feet deep -- there is a catch: Most adults can stand and stretch out their arms and touch opposite walls of each room. It sounds like more of a hallway than a home.
Fastest-built home: 2 hours, 52 minutes, 29 seconds
In 2005, a team of volunteers in Tyler, TX, set a world record building a 2,249-square-foot house in under three hours -- hence its name," 2-Hour House." The blistering construction took two years to plan and involved more than 800 volunteers.
And in case you're wondering if it collapsed as soon as its new owner set foot inside, the structure actually exceeded local municipal codes, and inspired its co-founders to launch leadership and team-building programs across the U.S. While the condition of the home today isn't mentioned on the group's website, it does say the home was eventually sold to benefit a local charity.
Largest home on water: 590 feet long
Meet Azzam, the longest yacht on the open seas, owned by Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates. Launched in 2013, this floating palace cost $605 million to build and an estimated $60 million a year in upkeep. Land-locked living is so overrated.
Home with the 'best light' (i.e., surface area devoted to windows): 100%
If you love lots of light -- and aren't big on privacy -- then the S-House in Saitama, Japan, could be for you. The five-level structure is made entirely of glass. This gorgeous fishbowl was built by Yuusuke Karasawa Architects in 2013 and is intended as a real-world commentary on our lack of privacy in the Internet age. At least the builders had the good sense to make the walls surrounding the bathroom opaque.