Everybody needs a place to rest their head and hoard their extra loot. In Skyrim, there’s no place better than one of the many houses you can buy throughout the campaign. In this list, we’re going to cover the best houses in Skyrim players should consider getting.
Being a home owner has a lot of benefits in the frozen north of Tamriel. Sleeping in a bed you own gives you the Well Rested bonus, which grants you 10% more experience (15% if you have a spouse living with you), a great benefit if you want to level up quickly. Many of them also have special rooms or features that can be added on to give your house some additional functionality such as an alchemy lab or arcane enchanter.
But there are a lot to choose from. Some of them have great locations, others have great designs but are hidden behind lengthy quest-lines. How do you know which house is right for you? We decided to put together this list of the best player houses in Skyrim, so you can find the place that’s right for you and set out to move into your new dream home!
Top 10 Player Houses in Skyrim Ranked from Worst to Best
What’s the best house in Skyrim? It’s time to rank the top 10 player houses in Skyrim from worst to best! We’ve weighed factors such as cost, location, and looks when ranking the houses below.
Location: Riften | Price: 8,000 | Upgrade: 4,300 | Quest: Skooma Trade
Most of the houses available in Skyrim can be purchased from the Jarl’s Steward once your character has proven their worth to the Hold by performing quests that help its people. The first house on our list is just such a location. Honeyside is a moderate-sized house that can be purchased from the steward of Riften. It has (or can be upgraded to have) a tanning rack, a cooking pot, an alchemy lab, and an arcane enchanter. It also has a porch, a dock, and a garden just outside.
Those are all great bonuses, but the main reason to buy this house is its proximity to the Thieves Guild. If you’re planning to play as a rogue, then odds are you’ll be spending a lot of time in Riften. Having a house where you can conveniently stash all your ill-begotten gains is extremely convenient.
9. Arch-Mage’s Quarters (Winterhold College)
Location: Winterhold | Quest: The Eye of Magnus
Are you a looking for somewhere to explore the deepest secrets of the arcane? The Arch-Mage’s Quarters is the spot for those of who decided to go for a great mage build. You only gain access to it after defeating Ancano and completing the final stage of the College of Winterhold quest-line, The Eye of Magnus. Then you will be named Arch-Mage and given access to your new chambers.
The room is one of a kind, with a large glowing herb and flower garden right in the center and several magical artifacts in the surrounding area that are free for the taking. There’s also an alchemy lab and an arcane enchanter, but spouses and children unfortunately cannot move in. It’s also kind of a bummer that you only get access to it after you’ve already completed the major quest line in the area. Still, sometimes you just want to put utility aside and have a super cool magical lair to plot world domination from.
Location: Windhelm | Price: 12,000 | Upgrade: 9,000 | Quest: Blood on the Ice
Next up on our list of the best player houses in Skyrim is Hjerim. This one takes a while (and a good chunk of gold) to get your hands on, but it’s worth it. This traditional Nordic mansion perfectly fits the frozen land of Skyrim. When you get it depends on which side you take in the civil war. You’ll have to complete the Rescue from for Neugrad quest if you side with the Stormcloaks, but Imperialists will have to complete the entire civil war quest line before they have a chance to buy it. Hjerim costs 12,000 gold up front and an additional 9,000 to fully upgrade it.
Hjerim has an arcane enchanter as well as an alchemy lab. It’s also one of the few houses that doesn’t force you to sacrifice one of your other rooms if you want to get add a children’s room. The surrounding area has easy access to a smelter and various other smithing facilities. It also has a secret room that plays a part in the Blood on the Ice quest and had the biggest personal armory in the game pre-DLC, making it a great place to stash all that modded armor you’re so proud of.
7. Proudspire Manor
Location: Solitude | Price: 25,000 | Upgrade: 11,000 | Quest: The Man Who Cried Wolf
Proudspire Manor is the most expensive house in the game. It costs a whopping 25,000 gold just to get in the door and an additional 14,000 to fully renovate it. It’s worth it if you’ve got the cash, though. It’s a huge mansion. It has an alchemy lab and an enchanter’s table, and it’s another house which doesn’t force you to sacrifice one of your other rooms if you want to add a children’s room. In fact, it’s arguably the best house to raise a family in. Not only is the children’s room far bigger and more luxurious than those available most other houses, there are plenty of other children in Solitude for yours to play with.
Then there’s the locational benefits. Proudspire Manor is next-door neighbors with the Bard’s College, and Solitude has the widest selection of shopkeepers of any Hold in the game.
6. Severin Manor
Location: Raven Rock | Quest: Served Cold
The Dragonborne DLC added the entire island of Solstheim, some great quests, and an awesome house right in the middle of Raven Rock. The large Redoran-style manor is gifted to you as a reward for completing the Served Cold quest line. It has large cavernous rooms that feel like the insides of a dungeon, but without the threat of a shambling Draugr getting you in your sleep. The best part? It’s already fully upgraded, so you don’t have to spend a dime!
Severin Manor comes with an alchemy lab, a cooking area, an enchanting station/armory, and its own forge complete with a smelter! Unfortunately, Severin was made for bachelors. Children cannot move in and the only spouses that can are the three that were added in the expansion.
5. Castle Volkihar
Location: Sea of Ghosts | Quest: Kindred Judgment
Who needs a house when you can live in a literal castle? Castle Volkihar was added as part of the Dawnguard DLC. It originally belongs Lord Harkon, but it can be yours once he’s dead at the end of the Kindred Judgment quest (provided you have been turned into a vampire and are a member of the Volkihar Clan).
The fortress has a massive dining hall (laden with human flesh), a laboratory with alchemy and enchanting tables, a smithy, several large bedrooms, a kitchen, a dungeon, and a cathedral dedicated to your patron Daedric Prince. The location is terrible, but this is the best player house if you decide to go the vampire route. After all, nothing says “Lord of the Night” like a big, creepy castle.
Location: Whiterun | Price: 5,000 | Upgrade: 1,800 | Quest: Bleak Falls Barrow
Any real estate agent worth their salt will tell you it’s all about the three “L”s. Location, location, location! Our number four might seem like an odd choice to some of you, but there’s a reason so many people never leave Breezehome. This is the first house many of you get since Whiterun is the first major city you run into in the campaign, and becoming a thane of Whiterun is a pretty simple feat. Because of this, many players will begin unloading their excess stuff here right away… and we all know how tedious moving can be.
The house itself has an alchemy table and a place to cook, but not much else. Still, it’s right next door to Warmaiden’s blacksmith, and there are several shops conveniently located in the city. It’s also incredibly cheap, costing only 5,000 gold. This is our pick for the best starter house to buy in Skyrim.
3. Windstad Manor
Location: Hjaalmarch | Price: 5,000 | Quest: Laid to Rest
The top three houses on our list were all added as part of the Hearthfire DLC. It makes sense if you think about it, though. If Bethesda is going to make an entire DLC about making cool houses, then they’d better be the coolest in the game. Each of them has to be built from scratch, requiring you to gather materials like quarried stone, clay, sawn logs, and nails. These houses can each be customized and furnished, making them unique to your needs and desired aesthetic. Ranking them basically comes down to your desired location.
Windstead manor can be built on land purchased from the Jarl of Hjaalmarch. It’s located directly between Solitude and Dawnstar. The immediate area is snowy and lightly forested. It’s worth noting that it’s the only location of the three with a fish hatchery. Water-breathing Argonians may enjoy exploring the delta and nearby swampland, but they’re probably alone in that.
2. Lakeview Manor
Location: Falkreath | Price: 5,000 | Quest: Jarl of Falkreath’s Errands
Our second choice for a Hearthfire house goes to Lakeview Manor. This house can be built in the densely forested southern province of Falkreath once the land has been acquired from the Jarl. It sits just beside Lake Llinalta. This puts the house very near where the Dovahkiin’s journey began, with Helgen and Riverwood just a short jaunt away.
This home seems to have the highest random encounter rate out of all the ones included in the DLC, though. Wolves and other threats may end up attacking when you’re not around. It might be a good idea to keep your spouse equipped with some solid armor if you happened to marry a potential follower.
1. Heljarchen Hall
Location: The Pale | Price: 5,000 | Quest: Waking Nightmare and Kill the Giant
Ready to kick back after a long day of dungeon delving and dragon slaying? The number one spot on our list goes to Heljerchen Hall. In our opinion, it is the absolute best house to buy in Skyrim. It can be equipped with an alchemy lab, arcane enchanter, armor mannequins, divine shrines, display cases, smithing stations, weapon racks, taxidermied creatures, and all the various other utilities available to the Hearthfire homes, but in our opinion, this is the best place to buy a house in Skyrim.
Heljerchen Hall sits on a rocky mountain slope north of Whiterun and The Throat of the world. It’s stationed right on the cusp of where verdant grassland turns to snowy tundra, giving you the best of both worlds. It’s the only one of the three with a grain mill, but it also has the clearest line of sight, giving it the best view of the surrounding landscape (which is also convenient for spotting approaching enemies).
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Thank you for reading our list of the top 10 player houses in Skyrim from worst to best. We hope we’ve helped you find a great new home for you, your family, and all the stuff you don’t need bogging down your carry weight. Be sure to follow High Ground Gaming for guides, news, reviews, and more lists like this one.