Think you know everything about real estate?

I’m about to prove you wrong.

There are some pretty bizarre, funny, ridiculous and interesting things that have happened in the real estate world.

If you’re looking for something fun to talk about around the dinner table, water cooler, or anywhere else where fascinating conversations happen, I’m going to show you 40 verifiable real estate facts that will shock, entertain and amaze you!

Brace yourself!!!

1. The world’s largest treehouse has over 80 rooms, 10 floors and took the builder over 14 years to build.

2. The five-story pagoda building in Horyuji, Japan, is the oldest wooden building on earth. It was built with timber from trees that were harvested in 600 A.D.

3. Since the Empire State Building was opened during the Great Depression, much of its space initially went unrented. As a result, many New Yorkers referred to the building as the “Empty State Building.”

empty state buildingFact: Wikipedia via BiggerPockets | Image: Mark Asthoff

4. There are hundreds of ancient stones along the coast of Japan’s tsunami-affected areas that say, “Do not build your homes below this point!”

tsunami stones
Fact: NYTimes via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Aleks Dahlberg

5. The primary purpose of a Castle’s moat was to prevent attackers from digging tunnels under the walls.

castle moatFact: AllThingsMedieval via Inman | Image: Kees Streefkerk

6. Adolf Hitler once owned a mansion in Hollywood that he never stepped foot in.

hitler's hollywood mansionFact: CBS Los Angeles via BiggerPockets

7. There are castles for sale in France that cost less than a two-bedroom apartment in Australia.

French castlesFact: via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Nirzar Pangarkar

8. Canada and Denmark have disputed their claim to Hans Island for decades. Both countries will periodically visit the island to remove the other country’s flag and leave a bottle of Danish Schnapps or Canadian Whiskey. This is how friendly nations wage war.

Hans IslandFact: BusinessInsider via Inman | Image: Toubletap

9. From 1908 – 1940, Sears, Roebuck and Co. sold about 70,000 – 75,000 mail-order houses. They arrived as a kit and came with most modern conveniences. Some of them still exist today.

Sears mail-order housesFact: SearsArchives via BiggerPockets | Image: Pixabay

10. The makers of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” had to downsize their makeovers due to families not being able to afford utility bills.

Extreme Makeover Home EditionFact: WSJ via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Mike Yukhtenko

11. In 1997, Pepsi held a contest to win a life-size replica of the Simpsons house or $75,000. The contest winner chose the cash. The house was then renovated to look like a normal home and re-sold.

Pepsi Simpsons house replicaFact: Gizmodo via Inman | Image: Pixabay

12. In several major cities like London, Toronto, New York, and elsewhere around the world, there are entire buildings and developments that exist solely for the purpose of hiding vent shafts, utilities, cell phone towers, railways, and simply to give off the illusion of occupation.

illusion of occupation buildingsFact: WebUrbanist via BiggerPockets | Image: Adam Birkett

13. Fans of the hit TV show “Breaking Bad” continue to drive by and throw pizzas onto the roof of the building featured as Walter White’s house.

Breaking Bad roof pizzaFact: HuffPost via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Andreas Weiland

14. The needle at the top of the Empire State Building was originally intended as an anchor for blimps.

blimp anchor Empire State BuildingFact: SnappleFact via Inman | Image: Marc Ruaix

15. Monica’s apartment from the hit TV show Friends is estimated to be worth $3.5 million.

Monica's apartmentFact: via BiggerPockets | Image: Daryan Shamkhali

16. There is a machine that transforms concrete rubble into Lego-like building blocks. The blocks allow victims of war or natural disasters to construct their own new, earthquake-resistant houses.

Lego converterFact: Engineering via LighterSideofRealEstate

17. Amazon named a building after its first customer, who spent $27.95 to buy one book. The purchase was made in 1995, and the book was about artificial intelligence.

Amazon's first customerFact: MarketWatch via Inman

18. Mark Zuckerberg purchased four houses next to his home in Palo Alto and leased them back to the families that lived there. He did it to avoid the houses from being marketed as “next door to Mark Zuckerberg.”

next door to MarkFact: MercuryNews via BiggerPockets | Image: Alessio Jacona

19. Built in 1859, the Cooper Union Foundation Building included an elevator shaft in anticipation of elevators someday being invented.

Cooper Union Foundation Building elevator shaftFact: TheCooperUnion via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Jørgen Håland

20. The biggest pyramid on earth is not in Egypt, but in Mexico — and it’s hidden under a mountain.

Mexican pyramidFact: ScienceAlert via Inman | Image: Jezael Melgoza

21. MS The World is the largest privately owned residential yacht on earth. It has 165 private residences and is constantly traveling around the world.

MS The WorldFact: Wikipedia via BiggerPockets | Image: Linval Ebanks

22. From 1949 – 1952, the white house was completely gutted and rebuilt with concrete and steel beams in place of its original wooden joists.

White House restorationFact: Wikipedia via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Abbie Rowe

23. The Winchester Mansion was constructed non-stop, 24 hours a day for 38 years. Many claimed the property was haunted by the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles.

Winchester MansionFact: Slate via Inman | Image: Roxanna Salceda

24. In Tunisia, Africa, you can book an overnight stay in Luke Skywalker’s boyhood home for only $10.

Luke Skywalker's boyhood homeFact: BuzzBuzzHome via BiggerPockets | Image: Neil Rickards

25. There’s a company that specializes in building secret rooms and hidden passageways (one requires a chess board played in a certain combination to unlock).

secret rooms with chessboardFact: HiddenDoorStore via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Michał Parzuchowski

26. There’s a building in Japan with a highway going through its fifth, sixth and seventh floors. The highway is listed as the tenant on all three floors.

highway through a building in JapanFact: AmusingPlanet via Inman | Image: Julina Rashid

27. Despite its free-market image, all the land in Singapore is owned by the government, and 85% of housing is provided by a government-owned housing corporation.

Singapore government-owned landFact: HuffPost via BiggerPockets | Image: Mike Enerio

28. In 2013, 300 teenagers broke into a home while the owner was away and caused $20,000 in damages. Some of the parents threatened to sue the owner for outing them on Twitter.

2013 300 teenagers break inFact: NPR via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Julián Gentilezza

29. The Boeing Everett Factory in Seattle is so large that rain clouds would form inside the facility until a state-of-the-art air circulation system was installed.

Boeing Everett FactoryFact: RoadTrippers via Inman | Image: Maurice King

30. Mike Ilitch (owner of Little Caesars and the Detroit Tigers) quietly paid Rosa Parks’ rent for more than a decade after she was robbed in her home and forced to move to a safer, but more expensive part of Detroit.

Rosa Parks rentFact: SportsBusinessDaily via BiggerPockets | Image: USIA

31. Most traditional Chinese temples were designed with curved roofs to ward off evil spirits, which are thought to only move in straight lines.

Chinese temple curved roofsFact: Quora via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Lin Qiang

32. The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. has 365 steps to represent each day of the year.

U.S. Capitol stepsFact: FactSlides via Inman

33. In Japan, most houses depreciate in value. Half of all houses are demolished within 38 years, and there is virtually no market for pre-owned homes. Per capita, there are nearly four times as many architects and more than twice as many construction workers in Japan as the United States.

Japanese homes depreciationFact: Freakonomics via BiggerPockets

34. The location of Tony Stark’s mansion in Iron Man is the same cliff from Planet of the Apes where the Statue of Liberty is sticking out from the sand.

Tony Stark's mansionFact: Wikipedia via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Tyler Lastovich

35. Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world.

Canadian coastlineFact: WorldAtlas | Image: Joshua Harris

36. When the Eiffel Tower was constructed, the designer included a secret apartment for himself at the very top.

Eiffel Tower secret apartmentFact: AtlasObscura via BiggerPockets

37. The Empire State Building makes more money from ticket sales for its observation decks than it does from renting office space.

Empire State Building observation deckFact: Wikipedia via LighterSideofRealEstate | Image: Osman Rana

38. There are legal, soundproofed oil rigs hidden as office buildings in some Californian cities.

California oil rigs disguised as buildingsFact: CurbedLosAngeles | Image: Josh Calabrese

39. If other elevator safety systems failed, and you were the only person in the car, the counterweights would make the elevator ascend, or “fall up,” rather than down.

elevator fall up

Fact: WashingtonPost via Inman | Image: Bruno Kelzer

40. The U.S. Supreme Court building has a basketball court on the top floor known as “The Highest Court in the Land”.

highest court in the landFact: Wikipedia | Image: Claire Anderson

Do you know of any CRAZY real estate facts not listed here? Let us know about them in the comments below!

About the author

Seth Williams is the Founder of - an online community that offers real-world guidance for real estate investors.

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