While private helipads may top buyers' lists of luxurious yet seemingly frivolous amenities, they're not quite the over-the-top indulgences they were once considered. Sure, the rich and famous still use helicopters to live in the country and work in the city, access their own private islands, or make dramatic entrances to campaign rallies in swing states. But there are some flat-out practical reasons to have one as well.
"Security has become such a prevalent issue given the turmoil across the globe, and having a helipad gives those looking for added security the comfort of knowing they can evacuate in a fraction of the time it could take the average person," says agent Damian Nelson of The Agency. He's representing a home in the Hollywood Hills, where both fire and earthquakes are potential problems.
The helipad (or emergency landing facility) at this home is equipped with "the life-saving ability to fight fires with a stanchion installed on the heliport to fit a Fire Department hose, which can also be used to fill up a helicopter that's fighting a fire in the Hollywood Hills," he says. Of course, the owner can also use the chopper to make a quick getaway in case of the apocalypse.
But before civilization as we know it breaks down entirely, let's have some fun! We found five luxe (and diverse) listings in different parts of the country to give you a high-flying glimpse of helipad heaven. Come fly with us…
First in flight: Sure, the helipad perched atop this five-bedroom Hollywood Hills home offers a landing zone for your beloved personal rotorcraft. But there's another big plus. According to the homeowner, "Standing on the heliport, there's the indescribable feeling of being over 1,500 feet above Sunset Boulevard with a 360-degree view."
Naturally, those views are spectacular.
"Whether we are looking at fireworks on the 4th of July or enjoying a glass of wine with friends, we can enjoy views of the entire city, the ocean, and even Catalina Island," the (lucky) homeowner says. Other luxury features in the mansion include a plush home theater, an elevator, a gym, an entertainer's deck with a spa and barbecue, and a state-of-the-art security system.
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First in flight: This sprawling Michigan property not only has a backyard helipad, it also features a hangar in which to store your chopper. Marketed as a "gated and private French Country Manor Estate featuring over 12,000 square feet of living space," it's a perfect home for an auto industry tycoon with a big family, as it's just a quick chopper ride from Detroit. The six fireplaces and 21 stone urns with flaming gas will keep the family warm on cold Michigan nights.
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First in flight: Who knew Michigan was rife with helipads? This one sits on a private 17-acre island near the top of the Michigan mitten in Lake Huron. A helicopter is almost essential for when you don't have the time or inclination to cruise or sail out of the island's protected steel harbor. Although there's plenty of room in the island's six-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom house, we're thinking this is more of a vacation home, because flying your kids to school every day would give the term "helicopter parenting" a whole new meaning.
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First in flight: Frankly, we're blown away! For under $2 million, you could get a 20-acre estate with a helipad, pool, spa, guesthouse, tennis court, shooting range, outdoor kitchen, and a four-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom house. (God bless you, Pennsylvania!) Located in the rolling green hills near the Lehigh River, the estate appears to be far enough off the beaten path that a helicopter would be a necessity for a quick commute into the city for work.
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First in flight: This Northeastern island paradise is only minutes from Portland by boat, and even less than that by helicopter. According to the listing, the shingled, 10-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom home was completed in 100 days by 100 shipbuilders and craftsmen in 1898. It has since been beautifully restored and updated. A helicopter commute to Boston wouldn't be out of the question, but who would ever want to leave this summertime utopia, with its five beaches, stone pier, quaint playhouse, sizable guesthouse, barn, boathouse, and trails?