Call it paranoia, flights of fancy or good old-fashioned preparedness, but in recent years more and more Americans have taken to stocking up on supplies, taking a second look at their home security, and keeping an eye on the horizon for any signs of an impending apocalypse. Some psychologists argue that our growing infatuation with the end of days has to do with a kind of freedom allotted to those fighting to survive; like the call of the wild, beckoning us from our lives full of credit scores and social obligations.
Others have a less academic, but perhaps more pragmatic explanation: it’s because things are getting pretty scary out there.
North Korea is simply the latest nation to join the once-exclusive nuclear club, and here within the United States, terror attacks and civil unrest have reignited old fears about riots in the streets and enemies attacking from within. Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, you’ve likely heard some like-minded friends pontificate about things like a “new revolution,” as though our political team-picking is meant for physical conflict rather than an ideological one. Even the most level-headed among us can occasionally get swept up in stories about Nazis fighting Communists in the town square, as though we’re supposed to choose a side in a battle between lunatics. Even as violent crime statistics remain at historic lows, high-profile incidents like the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year leave us feeling vulnerable to attack, worried about our loved ones, and longing for a bit of security.
And if money is no object, you can get a whole lot more than “a bit.”
The “Rice House,” located just a few miles outside of Atlanta, was recently listed for sale on the high-end realty site, Sotheby’s. The 36,000 square foot, eight bedroom, nine bath mansion sits on three and a half acres of wooded property and comes complete with all the amenities one might expect from a multi-million dollar home, but for the (admittedly whopping) price tag of $14.7 million, you also get something harder to put a price tag on: peace of mind. The Rice House is far more than just another fancy house: some security experts are calling it the “safest home in America.”
What does it take to earn that distinction? For starters, the entire facility was designed by architect Al Corbi, who previously specialized in building secure structures for the Department of Justice. It comes equipped with an infinity pool, three kitchens, an indoor shooting range, a bowling alley and private theater… as well as steel reinforced concrete walls, ballistic doors designed to sustain fire from 7.62 rounds, a self-sustaining 15,000 square foot bunker complete with well water, secret entrances and a garage so secure it’s actually listed as a “car vault.” That vault, of course, is large enough to comfortably store 30 cars, and had a secret entrance hidden behind a waterfall.
“This is a home where you could put a $20 million painting on the wall and sleep comfortably at night,” said listing broker Paul Wegener, of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty. “The same goes for your family.”
The complex’s near $15 million price tag is actually a bit of a bargain, considering the $30 million the previous owner invested in building his own personal bat cave, but if you were hoping for a move-in-ready fortress, it’s not quite there yet either. According to Wegener, the home still needs somewhere between $3 and $5 million invested to complete the project.
The address of the house is not disclosed in the listing, though it does state that it can be found inside the Country Club of the South, a gated community that has been home to a number of celebrities, including Whitney Houston and Allen Iverson.
Images courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty