Buying a house in Skyrim can be a stressful affair. Okay, probably a little less stressful than buying a house in real life, but still, it can be quite a bit of gold! Not to mention there are quite a few different options when looking at the housing market in Skyrim. Each house has a bit of its own flair, advantages, disadvantages, and perhaps most importantly, location. No one wants to sink that much gold into a home they don't enjoy spending time in, so let's take a look at all of the options for home-buying in Skyrim:
10 BREEZEHOME [HOUSE]
Breezehome is one of the first home-buying options in the game. Breezehome is located in Whiterun, available for purchase for 5000 gold after completing the Bleak Falls Barrow quest. It's definitely a good choice for those who like spending their time in Whiterun; but for someone who isn't particularly attached to Whiterun, this house doesn't have a lot of great features. It's the only home in the game that lacks the option to have an enchanting table. Plus, the closest fence is outside the city entirely. However, it has quite a bit of storage in the alchemy lab and is pretty conveniently located inside Whiterun, allowing you to reach a lot of areas you'll want to visit often pretty quickly.
9 HONEYSIDE [HOUSE]
Honeyside is another relatively inexpensive option, coming in at 5000-8000 gold, located in Riften and available after completing the Skooma Trade quest.
Possibly the greatest feature of this house is the inclusion of a private dock, allowing access to the house from outside the city. This is pretty handy for those with a bounty on their head wanting to get to their home without gaining notice.
8 VLINDREL HALL [HOUSE]
Vlindrel Hall is located in Markarth, purchased for 8000 gold after completing a number of quests for the local Jarl, including the quest to Recover Hrolfdir's Shield. This house has both an enchanting table and an alchemy lab, though it does have a significant lack of armor storage with only one mannequin. For those who fancy keeping a lot of reading material on hand, this is going to be the house to buy, coming with three large bookshelves.
7 HJERIM [HOUSE]
Hjerim, located in Windhelm, is available for 8000-12000 gold after completing the quest Blood on the Ice, and either The Battle for Fort Sungard or The Imperial Legion questline. Once upgraded, Hjerim also includes both an enchanting table and an alchemy lab.
It's very conveniently located in Windhelm, being very close to most of the places you're going to need to visit often. It does take quite a bit of work and time to acquire, but for those who have their heart set on it, they'll get there eventually.
6 PROUDSPIRE MANOR [HOUSE]
Proudspire Manor is ludicrously expensive, coming in at 25000 gold. It's located in Solitude, available after completing the quests The Man Who Cried Wolf and Elisif's Tribute. Unfortunately, it's not really located in a very good position in Solitude, requiring quite a bit of walking to get to most of the shops. Interestingly enough, purchasing this house is required to finish the No Stone Unturned quest, since one of the Stones of Barenziah is located inside the house.
5 SEVERIN MANOR [HOUSE]
Located in Raven Rock, Severin Manor is the only house in Skyrim granted to the Dragonborn for free. The house comes fully upgraded, with a forge, an arcane enchanter, and an alchemy lab.
Since the house is located in Raven Rock, it obviously takes quite a bit of time to travel from the house in Solstheim to anywhere back in Skyrim. It's important to note that a spouse cannot move into the house, either.
4 WINDSTAD MANOR [PLOT]
Plots of land can also be purchased in Skyrim. Each plot is available for 5000 gold. A house can be built on the plot, requiring materials to be bought and the house to be upgraded incrementally. The first homestead to talk about is Windstad Manor, purchased either from Aslfur, or, if the Stormcloaks have taken Hjaalmarch, purchased from Pactur. Either way, the plot can only be purchased after completing the quest Laid to Rest. The manor itself is located pretty close to Solitude.
3 LAKEVIEW MANOR [PLOT]
The next plot of land is Lakeview Manor, available for purchase from the Jarl of Falkreath, which is either Siddgeir or Dengeir of Stuhn, depending on the progress of Skyrim's Civil War. The Jarl will require certain quest(s) to be completed, and after they have been, you'll have the option to purchase the land. Lakeview Manor is located a bit south of Bleak Falls Barrow, meaning Riverwood and Whiterun aren't too terribly far away, either.
2 HELJARCHEN HALL [PLOT]
Lastly, there's Heljarchen Hall, available for purchase from Skald the Elder after completing the quests Waking Nightmare and Kill the Giant. However, if on the side of the Empire, it will be sold by Brina Merilis. Heljarchen Hall is located North of Whiterun, seated in the heart of the Pale. One important note about the Hall is that it has a pretty clear sightline surrounding, which could be preferable aesthetically, and also is helpful when it comes to spotting nearby threats.
1 THE VERDICT
At the end of the day, choosing where to set up shop in Skyrim really comes down to personal preference. (It is an RPG, after all) Most of the houses offer a variety of benefits, but also have their own unique drawbacks. The do-it-yourself types may want to build their own home and live in relative seclusion, while others may prefer to buy a house already made and live in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There's really no wrong answer here, but it does help to take a look at all of the options present in order to make a decision that won't one day be regrettable.