Getting the best house in Skyrim takes a fair bit of work, not least because there are so many to choose from.
Which house is worth your time and gold depends on what you’re looking for and how much you have to spend. However, we’ve put together some of the best houses to try for in Skyrim that should suit nearly any Dragonborn’s lifestyle.
How to buy a house in Skyrim
Each house is connected to a specific region or city, so you’ll usually need permission before building there. That often involves completing a Jarl’s questlines and forking over a fair bit of gold.
However, owning a house gives you a set of special benefits as well. Sleeping in your house gives you a 10% experience bonus for eight hours, and you get an additional 15% bonus if you have a spouse with you.
Houses also have space for storing items and setting up crafting and alchemy stations.
Joining factions is also a great way of gaining "free" access to your own quarters. And you can get some pretty boujie pads if you work your way up to the top.
Alternatively, you can build your own house using the features added with the Hearthfire expansion. This house is called Lakeview Manor, and we'll discuss it below!
Skyrim best houses - Lakeview Manor
Lakeview Manor is easily one of the best houses in Skyrim, and it’s one of the least expensive. You can build Lakeview Manor by purchasing land from the Jarl of Falkreath with the Hearthfire expansion installed (which it is with the special and anniversary editions), and it costs 5,000 gold.
Once you've got the cash, all you need to do is speak to the Jarl of Falkreath and ask for some work. He'll ask for some Black Briar Mead, which you can buy from a pub, merchant, or find throughout the world.
Return and he'll ask you to defeat the leader of a rogue band of cutthroats nearby. Travel to their camp, take them all out, then return to Falkwreath for the right to buy a house.
Speak to the Jarl's steward, Nenya (the elven woman roaming the longhouse), to make the purchase. You can then see Lakeview Manor on your map to the north.
It’s one of only a few plots where you can build a bee farm, and there’s plenty of hunting to be had in the surrounding areas. All of that plus the view make this an unbeatable bargain for the Dragonborn in search of dez-res.
Skyrim best houses - Arch-Mage’s Quarters
The Arch-Mage’s Quarters are ideal for the single Dragonborn, only we mean that literally because your family can’t live in the house. It’s the price to pay for an incredible collection of rare items and books, plus it features plenty of storage spaces — handy if you’re planning on
You’ll need to complete the Eye of Magnus questchain to get access to this one.
Skyrim best houses - Proudspire Manor
Proudspire Manor is splendid, but with a catch in the form of the heftiest price tag in the game. You’ll need to shell out 25,000 gold for this one, and only once you’ve befriended the queen. The benefits are worth it, though.
Proudspire is one of the biggest houses in the game, with plenty of spare room for a family without you having to sacrifice space for other rooms. It’s near the market, located in the capital city, and even has a quest attached to it, No Stone Unturned.
Skyrim best houses - Dawnstar Sanctuary
On the totally opposite end of the spectrum is Dawnstar Sanctuary. This sinister abode unlocks after you complete the Dark Brotherhood quests. This is more of a mood home than a functional one, complete with torture chamber and all manner of related devices. It’ll cost you 20,000 gold to upgrade, but if you want something unorthodox, it’s worth the asking price.
Skyrim best houses - Severin Manor
Severin is part of the Solstheim DLC, and it’s absolutely free. The downside is it’s also very tiny, so you’ll be a lone Dragonborn in Severin.
If you want that lovers’ bonus in Skyrim, you’ll need to get married and can’t be a werewolf, though vampires still get a cuddle boost. Whether lycan or not, make sure you’re sporting the best builds for your character so you can make it back home alive.
For more help with your adventures in the north of Tamriel, here's our full Skyrim guide.