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The Phoenix

Location: Greater World, N.M.
Price: $1.5 million
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 5,400

Expensive homes are the architectural equivalents of gas-guzzlers — the opposite of eco-friendly. That has changed — homes are increasingly built with renewable and repurposed materials, and more than ever are being designed to use alternative energy. But passive solar homes made by Earthship Biotecture are way ahead of this curve — they’ve been built green and off-grid for many years.

This particular Earthship structure boasts a waterfall and something you don’t see in any other home: “a jungle in which you can catch fresh fish for dinner.”

Mike Reynolds, architect of the Phoenix Earthship, says it best. "There's nothing coming into this house: no power lines, no gas lines, no sewage lines coming out, no water lines coming in, no energy being used. ... We're sitting on 6,000 gallons of water, growing food, sewage internalized, 70 degrees [or 21 degrees Celsius] year-round. ... What these kind of houses are doing is taking every aspect of your life and putting it into your own hands. ... A family of four could totally survive here without having to go to the store."

If this unusual house looks or sounds familiar, a humbler and drastically cheaper Earthship home appeared previously on CNBC in the “Weird but Wonderful Homes” slideshow.

TopTenRealEstateDeals.com