Example of a home in Skyrim.

Skyrim: How to Buy a House

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If you’re settling into Skyrim, you’ll want to have a permanent residence to store your stuff and return to. This guide has everything you’ll need to know about how to buy a house.

Table Of Contents

    Houses for Purchase in Skyrim

    There are numerous houses you can buy in Skyrim. Houses are available for purchase in Markarth, Raven Rock, Riften, Solitude, Whiterun, and Windhelm. Each home has similarities, though there are also distinct differences—especially when it comes to how to buy them.

    Vlindrel Hall: Markarth

    Vlindrel Hall in Markarth.

    Vlindrel Hall is located up in the mountains in Markarth. You will likely recognize the Dwemer architectural style just by seeing the front door. The view surrounding the house is scenic, as you can see waterfalls and other homes in the city. You can purchase Vlindrel Hall for 8,000 gold.

    Deciding on Vlindrel Hall

    Aside from the scenic view, Vlindrel Hall has some other notable, enticing qualities. These include:

    • Ability to have both an arcane enchanter and an alchemy laboratory
    • Three large bookshelves you can store books on
    • Many weapon plaques
    • Open space

    Note when deciding whether to purchase this property that there are also some disadvantages. The notable ones include:

    • With the Hearthfire DLC, a children’s bedroom replaces the alchemy laboratory
    • Bad lighting in the house
    • Smithing is all the way across town
    • Only one exit

    Vlindrel Hall Upgrades

    You can upgrade your home in Vlindrel Hall for a price. Home upgrades add all sorts of new items and decorations. The following are the available upgrades:

    • Bedroom: 800 gold
    • Children’s bedroom: 700 gold
    • Living room: 900 gold
    • Entrance: 500 gold
    • Alchemy laboratory: 1,000 gold
    • Enchanting laboratory: 1,000 gold

    How to Buy a House in Markarth

    There are three different ways to buy a house in Markarth. Your first option is to speak with Jarl Igmund. He has three total requests of you—two to get Vlindrel Hall and a third to get the housecarl. The Jarl’s first request is for you to kill the leader of a Forsworn group. The second request is to locate Hrolfdir’s Shield, though you can only do this at level 20 or higher. If you complete these two requests, Vlindrel Hall will become available for purchase. To get the housecarl, you must assist five random citizens within The Reach.

    Your second option to getting Vlindrel Hall is to complete the Liberation of Skyrim quest. This option will take more time, as the goal is to aid Ulfric Stormcloak in liberating all of Skyrim from the Imperials. Simply report to Ulfric and follow the quest instructions. Completing this will allow the purchase of Vlindrel Hall from the new steward.

    The final option is to negotiate the exchange of Markarth during the Season Unending quest. This happens through working on the main Dragonborn quest. Eventually, you will need to negotiate a truce with the Jarl of Whiterun. If you negotiate the exchange of Markarth, the new Jarl will be more open to allowing you to purchase a residence.

    Severin Manor: Raven Rock

    Severin Manor in Raven Rock.

    Given that it is located in Solstheim, Severin Manor is a unique property that you can own in Skyrim. It is also the only house available to you in Solstheim. The building is Redoran-style, and it is located between the Earth Stone and the market square. Severin Manor is gifted to you for free upon the completion of a quest.

    Deciding on Severin Manor

    Some of the best draws for Severin Manor include the following:

    • House comes fully upgraded
    • House is free upon completion of the quest
    • Extra storage space
    • Ingredients found only in Solstheim

    Though there are some advantages to purchasing Severin Manor, the house comes with some drawbacks as well:

    • Bad lighting in the basement
    • Lack of ingredients you’d find in Skyrim

    Severin Manor Upgrades

    As stated above, one of the best parts about Severin Manor is that it comes fully upgraded. This means that all the rooms are already full of stuff and don’t require any gold. This way, you don’t have to worry about setting up your house once you’ve gotten it—aside from filling shelves, etc.

    How to Buy a House in Raven Rock

    The good news is you don’t actually have to buy a house in Raven Rock. To get this property, you simply must complete the Served Cold quest. This quest is kickstarted by speaking to Adril Arano, Second Councilor of Raven Rock. He believes that Councilor Morvayn is in danger from members of the Ulen family, so your help is requested. Simply follow the questline through completion, and Councilor Morvayn will award you Severin Manor at the end.

    Honeyside: Riften

    Honeyside in Riften.

    Honeyside is the purchasable house in Riften. It is located in the northwest corner of Riften, right on the edge of a lake. While its appearance might strike you as nothing too special, the property does include some unique draws from the other purchasable homes. The house is sold for 8,000 gold, though it has the potential to be bought for only 5,000 gold.

    Deciding on Honeyside

    When deciding whether you want to purchase Honeyside, you will want to consider the following advantages of the property:

    • Thieves Guild is nearby
    • Smithing is nearby
    • Includes an exit that opens outside of Riften
    • Refilling Thief Cache barrel (if you’re far enough in Thieves Guild questline)
    • Refilling fish and ingredients in barrels on porch
    • Beautiful outdoor porch view over the lake

    There are also a couple of notable disadvantages that come along with Honeyside, including:

    • No nearby smelter
    • Arcane enchanter will be replaced if you desire a children’s room

    Honeyside Upgrades

    As with many of the other properties, you can upgrade Honeyside if you have the coin for it. The following upgrades are available for your Riften home:

    • Alchemy laboratory: 1,000 gold
    • Enchanting laboratory: 1,000 gold
    • Bedroom: 600 gold
    • Children’s bedroom: 250 gold (550 if converting from the enchanting laboratory)
    • Kitchen: 500 gold
    • Garden: 800 gold
    • Porch: 400 gold

    How to Buy a House in Riften

    Unfortunately, the main way to make Honeyside purchasable is by working to become the Thane of Riften. This takes a bit of work, so it’s up to you to decide if the payoff is worth it. Your first major step towards becoming the Thane of Riften is to prove your worth to the Jarl. Riften is having a Skooma problem, so you’ll need to take care of this for the Jarl to see you in a better light. Start by speaking with an Argonian named Wujeeta in or near the Riften Fishery. This will kickstart the Skooma Trade quest that you’ll need to complete.

    You will also need a good reputation in Riften, which can be accomplished before or after the Skooma Trade quest. Even if you prove your worth to the Jarl, she will not pronounce you Thane unless you have a good reputation with the people. Therefore, you will need to complete miscellaneous quests and tasks for the people of Riften. Once you’ve done enough of them, you will see another miscellaneous quest appear in your log, prompting you to speak with the Jarl. She will then happily make you Thane if you’ve also completed the Skooma Trader quest.

    The Jarl’s Steward, Anuriel, will sell you the house for 8,000 gold. However, if the Civil War questline has been completed for the Imperials, Hemming Black-Briar will sell the house to you for as little as 5,000 gold. If you have between 5,000 and 7,999 gold, an option that reads “I’ll take it” will appear, and he will sell you the house for as much as you’re carrying.

    Proudspire Manor: Solitude

    Proudspire Manor in Solitude.

    Proudspire Manor is located next to the Bards College and Vittoria Vici’s house on the east side of Solitude. This property is notorious for being the most expensive home available for purchase in Skyrim. However, considering the number of amenities in Solitude, some players have deemed the cost of 25,000 gold (before upgrades) worth it.

    Deciding on Proudspire Manor

    This Solitude home comes with some advantages that you will want to take into consideration:

    • A patio with a view
    • More luxurious children’s room
    • One of the Stones of Barenziah
    • Both alchemy and enchanting laboratories
    • Good lighting

    There are only a few drawbacks to purchasing the property in Solitude. These include:

    • Restricted storage
    • 39,000 to purchase and fully upgrade (if you have Hearthfire DLC, otherwise 36,000 gold)
    • No smelter

    Proudspire Manor Upgrades

    Despite the available upgrades being quite similar to those of other properties, Proudspire Manor’s upgrades cost significantly more. The following is a breakdown of upgrades you can get with the property:

    • Alchemy laboratory: 2,500 gold
    • Enchanting laboratory: 2,500 gold
    • Living room: 2,000 gold
    • Children’s room: 3,000 gold
    • Bedroom: 2,000 gold
    • Kitchen: 1,500 gold
    • Patio: 500 gold

    How to Buy a House in Solitude

    To unlock the opportunity to buy a house in Solitude, you must complete two quests. Unlike in Riften, it’s important to note that buying this house must happen before you become the Thane of Haafingar.

    The first quest you’ll need to complete is The Man Who Cried Wolf. To do this, simply speak to Falk Firebeard in Solitude. He will have you clear out Wolfskull Cave. Once this is done, return and collect your reward.

    The second quest to complete is Elisif’s Tribute. Note that you must complete The Man Who Cried Wolf to do this quest. Speak with the Jarl of Haafingar and ask about her late husband. She will request that you take her late husband’s war horn to a shrine. Your reward for doing this will be the ability to purchase Proudspire Manor in Solitude.

    Breezehome: Whiterun

    Breezehome in Whiterun.

    Breezehome is one of the easier properties to obtain in Skyrim. The house is located next to Warmaiden’s and the main gate in Whiterun. There isn’t much that distinguishes Breezehome from the other homes in Whiterun in terms of appearance, but if you’re looking to blend in as your average Skyrim citizen or save some money, this might be the place for you. Breezehome costs 5,000 gold.

    Deciding on Breezehome

    There are a couple of perks to purchasing Breezehome, including:

    • Right next to Warmaiden’s
    • Cheapest home (5,000 gold) with cheapest upgrades
    • Wood chopping blocks nearby

    Unfortunately, there are some major drawbacks to Breezehome that you’ll want to be aware of as well:

    • Lacks enchanting table
    • Lacks mannequin
    • Children’s bedroom will replace alchemy laboratory

    Breezehome Upgrades

    The upgrades for Breezehome are basically the same as most of the other property upgrades, with the exception of no enchanting table option. These upgrades include:

    • Alchemy laboratory: 500 gold
    • Living room: 250 gold
    • Bedroom: 300 gold
    • Children’s bedroom: 500 gold
    • Kitchen: 300 gold
    • Dining room: 250 gold
    • Loft: 200 gold

    How to Buy a House in Whiterun

    Breezehome is the first home you can purchase in Skyrim if you’re just following along the main quest. Simply speak with Farengar Secret-Fire—located in Dragonsreach—during your Before the Storm quest, and he will tell you that he’s looking for a map of dragon burial sites. He will then tell you to go look for his Dragonstone map in Bleak Falls Barrow. Follow the questline and return to Farengar with the Dragonstone by the end. You can then purchase Breezehome from Proventus Avenicci or Brill.

    You can also purchase Breezehome if you’ve completed the Battle for Whiterun quest in which you’ve assisted the Stormcloaks with taking over Whiterun.

    Hjerim: Windhelm

    Hjerim in Windhelm.

    Hjerim is located in the Valunstrad quarter of Windhelm. Unlike the other homes, the available house in Windhelm has a fascinating yet haunted history. Hjerim includes a secret room, which is where the Butcher—a notorious murderer in Windhelm—has kept the severed body parts of his victims. He planned to one day reanimate his dead sister with those parts. The room can be cleaned through an upgrade and turned into a combined alchemy and enchanting laboratory. The base cost of Hjerim is 12,000 gold.

    Deciding on Hjerim

    There are a few reasons you may want to consider Hjerim for your permanent residence, including:

    • The home’s interesting background
    • Availability of both an alchemy and enchanting laboratory
    • Close proximity to smithing, alchemy shop, smelter, and general merchant
    • Children’s room addition doesn’t get rid of alchemy or enchanting laboratory
    • Largest armory out of all houses

    You may also want to consider some of the disadvantages that come with Hjerim, which include:

    • Limited use for the secret room
    • Upgrades are expensive
    • Difficult to obtain (due to number of quests)

    Hjerim Upgrades

    The upgrades for Hjerim are a bit more expensive than some of the other purchasable properties, though most of them are similar in nature. The upgrades for Hjerim include:

    • Alchemy laboratory: 2,500 gold
    • Enchanting Laboratory: 2,500 gold
    • Armory: 2,000 gold
    • Murderer’s mess cleanup: 500 gold (Note that cleaning the house before finishing Blood on the Ice quest can break the quest, as the murderer is directly involved)
    • Living room: 1,500 gold
    • Kitchen: 1,000 gold
    • Bedroom: 1,000 gold
    • Children’s room: 1,250 gold

    How to Buy a House in Windhelm

    In order for Hjerim to become available for purchase, you will need to complete many quests within the main couple. You can either fully complete the Civil War questline for the Imperials, or you can complete quests through the Rescue from Fort Neugrad for the Stormcloaks. If you’ve decided to go the Civil War questline route, speak to any Imperial soldier for the prompt to join the Imperial Legion. Follow the questline from there through completion. Alternatively, if you’ve chosen to join the Stormcloaks and work through that questline, simply speak with Ulfric at the Palace of Kings, and he will set you on that path.

    Plots for Purchase in Skyrim

    Perhaps none of the homes listed above float your boat. Luckily, with the addition of the Hearthfire DLC, you can purchase plots in Skyrim instead. If you choose to purchase a plot, you can build your own home instead of choosing from one that already exists in the cities.

    Heljarchen Hall

    If you’re a fan of the mountains and scenic views, Helijarchen Hall might be for you. The plot for it is located near Whiterun on a rocky mountain slope. The plot is surrounded by a scenic forest, and you can see both Whiterun and the Throat of the World from it.

    Deciding on Helijarchen Hall

    If you’re unsure about which plot to choose for building your home, here are some of the benefits to choosing Helijarchen Hall:

    • Includes a grain mill for making flour
    • Has a clear view for spotting potential threats nearby
    • Near Whiterun and Blackreach
    • Clay and quarried stone can be mined in front of the carpenter’s workbench

    How to Buy Heljarchen Hall

    Jarl of Dawnstar.

    There are two different ways to go about purchasing Helijarchen Hall. The first is to complete both the Waking Nightmare and Kill the Giant quests. To complete Waking Nightmare, speak to Erandur and follow him to Nightcaller Temple. Continue following the questline until you either murder Erandur or allow him to complete the ritual. For Kill the Giant, you must be at least level 22 to start the quest. Speak with the Jarl of the Pale in Dawnstar. He will instruct you to kill a giant. Complete his request, and Heljarchen Hall will be purchasable from him for 5,000 gold.

    Alternatively, you can side with the Imperial Legion and work through the Civil War questline. Doing this will result in Brina Merilis, who would become the new Jarl of the Pale, offering the plot to you for 5,000 gold out of gratitude.

    Lakeview Manor

    Lakeview Manor is so named because of its location right on Lake Ilinalta. The area is heavily forested and very scenic. The plot is located between Falkreath and Riverwood, and you can see Bleak Falls Barrow to the north.

    Deciding on Lakeview Manor

    Each plot available for purchase has distinct features that you’ll want to consider. Some of the draws for Lakeview Manor include:

    • The ability to add an apiary
    • Iron, Corundum, and Silver ore veins are located nearby
    • Two Clay deposits across from workbench
    • Quarried stone nearby
    • Hawk’s nest on roof of main hall

    How to Buy Lakeview Manor

    Steward in Falkreath.

    To buy the land for Lakeview Manor, you’ll need to complete quests for the Jarl of Falkreath. Unsurprisingly, you’ll need to become the Thane of Falkreath in order to purchase this plot. If you haven’t already received a letter from him, go to speak with Jarl Siddgeir in Falkreath. He will request that you get him a bottle of Black-Briar Mead. Complete this, and then he will request that you kill a bandit leader. Afterwards, you’ll want to assist at least three citizens of Falkreath to prove that you’re loved by the citizens. The Jarl will make you Thane of Falkreath in response, and you’ll be able to purchase the land for Lakeview Manor from the steward for 5,000 gold.

    Windstad Manor

    The plot for Windstad Manor is located on the banks at the delta of the Karth and Hjaal Rivers, in northern Hjaalmarch. If you look to the west, you will see a great view of Solitude. The Sea of Ghosts and High Gate Ruins are also nearby. The plot for Windstad Manor can be purchased for 5,000 gold.

    Deciding on Windstad Manor

    Windstad Manor has its own advantages over the other two plots available for purchase. These include:

    • An included fish hatchery
    • Iron ore vein nearby
    • Clay deposit nearby
    • Quarried stone deposit nearby
    • Lake with Horkers nearby
    • Hjaalmarch Stormcloak camp nearby

    How to Buy Windstad Manor

    Steward in Morthal.

    The Steward of Hjaalmarch will sell this plot to you for 5,000 gold if you complete the Laid to Rest quest. Go to Morthal and speak with Jonna, the Moorside Inn innkeeper. She will tell you about a house that burned down nearby. This will prompt you to speak with the Jarl. Continue to follow the quest instructions until you’ve killed the master vampire. Afterwards, return to the Jarl in Morthal, and then speak with the Steward to purchase the land. Note that the dialogue option will say “I’d like to purchase a house,” but you will be told that there is land available to buy instead.