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Take shelter in an unusual dome home

This unusual dome home in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., is on the market for $338,499.
This unusual dome home in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., is on the market for $338,499.Zillow

503 2nd Ave S, North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
For sale: $338, 499

Despite their affordable and easy construction as well as their ability to withstand nearly anything Mother Nature brings, dome homes are still pretty unusual in American neighborhoods. That doesn’t keep owners from preaching appreciation for the geodesic construction.

“If I had the opportunity, I’d build one again,” said owner Terry Watkins. “A lot of people don’t like it because it’s different, but it’s just a matter of getting used to.”

Watkins built the North Myrtle Beach home from a kit in 1988 after seeing geodesic homes at the World’s Fair in Knoxville. Like many, it’s the dome home’s sturdiness that appealed to Watkins.

“We never were able to do anything with it until we moved to the beach, and we thought it would be the perfect place for a dome with the hurricane situation,” he said.

If a geodesic dome home is constructed correctly, the structure can withstand hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes. First made popular by inventor Buckminster Fuller, who wanted to revolutionize housing in the 1940s, domes are designed to be lightweight, cost-effective, easy to assemble, and built to withstand even the harshest weather conditions.

Watkins says his dome home in particular has survived five or six hurricanes.

“We’ve had friends over the years who have lived in inland areas who have come and stayed with us at the beach because they felt our house was safer than theirs,” he said.

Just because the home is safe doesn’t mean it's bare of amenities. The 2,700-square-foot residence has five bedrooms and three baths. A short walk from the beach, the house has a large back deck, pool and hot tub.

The calculated mortgage for the home would be $1,200 a month, using today’s mortgage rates and assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage.

The listing is held by Randy Privette of the Sloan Realty Group.

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