Living Large After the Apocalypse

How many residences do you know of that can boast a home theater and concrete walls that are 3 feet (1 meter) thick? Harry Norman, Realtors

If you've ever dreamed of living in a luxury location that seems more fitting for the latest James Bond thriller than for rural southeast Georgia, you're in luck. Harry Norman, Realtors recently listed an underground "bunker" in Tifton, Georgia, for sale for just $17.5 million.

And that price tag is a steal considering this is no ordinary property. Actually, it might be one of the safest dwellings in the world. The privately owned, 12-bedroom, 12-bath nuclear-hardened bunker sits 45 feet (nearly 14 meters) underground, and was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1969 during the Cold War.

That unassuming entrance hides a massive, updated underground bunker.
Harry Norman, Realtors

The two-level bunker was updated and renovated in 2012 by co-owner and counter-terrorism security expert Martin McDermott to meet all government standards for underground residences, and can basically withstand a 20-kiloton nuclear explosion. (To put that in perspective, Hiroshima was 15 kilotons and Nagasaki was 20 kilotons.) It also has a "spring system," which could be handy for absorbing the blast. Today it's thought to be impenetrable, and capable of housing up to 20 people for a year.

Of course, retreating here to survive a doomsday scenario would be quite a sacrifice, but not by too many standards. The space includes four separate apartments — each about 650 square feet (60 square meters) — with its own small kitchen, living room, bathroom, TV, Internet access and security system. 

If you still have executive status after the apocalypse, then this executive apartment could be yours. Throw pillows are optional.
Harry Norman, Realtors

Fresh air is pumped in via six secure HVAC systems, and water is provided from a well that's 300 feet (91 meters) deep. Power comes from a commercial 3-phase power plant and a backup solar system.

The main area, rather like a hotel, features a large home theater, commercial-grade kitchen, staff quarters (because you know you'll need your staff to survive World War III), a rec area, library and TV room, full workshop, business and conference center, fully equipped medical room and decontamination showers, you know, just in case. Seriously, what else do you need?

Well, above ground there's also a renovated caretaker's house, plus 31 acres (almost 13 hectares) of land that includes a firing range and other buildings.

Obviously this doesn't exactly scream first home, right? So who in the world would be interested in dropping $17.5 million for such a sophisticated "just in case" property? Jeanne Shannon with Harry Norman says the "type" of buyer would definitely be someone with substantial wealth who also appreciates privacy.

"This person could also be a collector and want a place to store expensive collectibles," she says. "But it could also be purchased as a training facility. I have seen interest from businesses that are focused on "preppers" that have looked at it for potential training. The government would also be a potential buyer for training purposes, perhaps."

In case you're wondering, you can find other Cold War-era bunkers for sale online, but, according to the real estate company, none of them have been renovated like this one.