Green Homes for Sale - Berea, Kentucky Green Home

Berea, Kentucky — Green Home For Sale

Magical timber frame, straw bale (all natural materials) nestled in the woods. Extremely well-built, space efficient, and self-sufficient home or retreat.

Listing ID: 20534

  • Energy Efficient Home
  • Green Home
  • Healthy Home
  • Natural Home
  • Sustainable Home
  • Straw bale
  • Off the Grid
  • Small Home
Asking Price (USD) $169,998
Annual Property Tax $50
Annual Utility Cost $200
Home Area 960 sq ft
Bedrooms 2
Total Property Area 1.5 acres
Year Built 2010

Property Description

This house and land have been well-loved and tended by the current owner, who also closely oversaw the entire build. It housed our young family initially, then became more of a lake-side retreat after relocating to town during the teen years. The owner is moving on for work-related reasons, and is ready to offer this remarkable house and lake-side spot to new owners. The house is full of fun details, such as a drawbridge over the French drain/gravel path “moat,” and raised walkway to outhouse. Bas-relief sculpture adorns various walls, from the dragon and phoenix on the outside, to various little touches such as star, sun, and spiral inside. There is a 20x24' screened porch on the north side. Outside one may find a 14' treehouse, wood shed, fire pit, and trampoline. rnrnThis property has a parking area close to the road, while the house sits well back in the woods. Straw bale walls create a remarkably quiet, peaceful interior feel. There is plenty of space on the lot to build a garage, barn, boat shed, guest house; or run a kayak rental business. The house is built to code. Current county codes administration is fairly laidback. The house is currently off-grid by choice, but is wired (formerly ran off solar panels), and a utility line runs within 75', if connection is desired. A gas generator (wired in) may be turned on to engage electric hot water tank, pump, refrigerator, lights, etc. 20 oil lamps are installed on brackets throughout the space as well, which create an amazing ambience. There is a phone line to the house, which is the only real internet option in that location. Propane lines are in place for cooking, propane refrigerator, and back-up heat (wall unit). Greywater runs to a surge tank and gravel bed system, sited for maximum sun for gardening (currently planted in raspberries). The composting toilet system includes an indoor bucket option (downstairs bathroom), as well as a (mouse-proof!) masonry outhouse with a dual chamber system underneath (fill one side up, then move the toilet seat over to the other side.) City water is available on the road. Septic systems are available locally, if you wish to add a flush toilet. The water well has a Simple Pump brand manual pump (5 gal/min) installed (to make sure we could get water without requiring electricity). There is a shallow-well jet pump in the cellar that is connected to the cisterns, which fill from the roof. A water line is already buried in place between the well and the house, and could be hooked up at both ends if desired. An 8' cellar (with floor drain) runs the length of the house for wiring, plumbing lines, and storage; with a door to outside plus trapdoor and ladder to kitchen. The porch has an engineer-designed living roof with raised beds deep enough for growing vegetables, flowers, and herbs (with plenty of sun!). A 300-gallon tank also sits on the roof, which could be hooked into house system (plus cisterns and/or well) to gravity feed the entire house, or just the roof garden.

What makes your home a Green or Healthy Home?

Built with 99% natural, biodegradable materials. No utility bills: closed loop cycles for water and waste. Timber frame structure (locally milled). Concrete pier foundation (requires less concrete). Straw bale (locally grown) exterior walls, slipstraw and earthblock interior walls. Earth bag retaining walls (covered with Portland cement plaster). Earthen plaster and clay paint interior. Lime plaster exterior (finish coat). 16” cellulose in truss roof system. Fiberglass batts under floor. Passive solar design.Passive cooling design. Composting toilets. Greywater system. Rainwater collection. Water well. Built-in thermal mass (brick wall, plaster) and humidity buffering. Living roof with raised garden beds

Neighborhood Description

The house sits 7 miles east of Berea, an easy drive on paved roads. Property is directly across the street from Owsley Fork Reservoir, a 151-acre lake surrounded by a hill-lined hollow of mostly-forested land owned by Berea College, which has a commitment to sustainability. A boat ramp just across the street and slightly down the road, open to kayaking, fishing, and electric-motor-only boats. It is located in a sustainable neighborhood, so the immediate neighbors (3 households) share that orientation. The view from the house is forested hills and the lake (when the leaves have fallen).

Market Area

Berea (pop. 16,000) is a small partly progressive town in central Kentucky, where the Appalachian foothills meet the Bluegrass region. Various music, art, and cultural opportunities occur year-round. The town was founded around Berea College, a highly-ranked, small, liberal arts school with a commitment to diversity and racial inclusivism. Lexington (pop. 324,000) is 45 miles north, a great spot and easy drive up I-75 to get the bigger city experience.

School District

Madison County Schools tend to be adequate, but not incredible. There are many homeschoolers around, with several co-ops. My kids homeschooled through junior high, then attended the local high school. They both went on very successfully to college, and one to graduate school.


Radford Hollow has 8 households on it, most of which are set back a good ways into the woods. Mix of local folk, college caretakers, and progressives.

Home Type or Land

Single Family - Two Story

Location of Home or Land


Elevation of Home


Building Details

Air Quality

Agriculture in Area No
Industry in Area No
Air Pollution in Area No
Pesticide Free Yes
Fragrance Free Yes
Cleaned with Green Products Yes

Interior Environment

Heating System Other
Solar - Passive
Wood Stove
Cooling System Passive Cooling
Ventilation System Whole House Fan
Whole House Filtration None
Whole House Vacuum No

Energy & Water

Energy System Off the Grid
Water System Rain Water Collection
Wastewater System Composting Toilet

Construction Information

Construction Type Straw bale
Wood Timber Frame
Exterior Finish Plaster - Other
Interior Finish Earthen Plaster
Interior Paint Other
Floor Material Wood - Solid
Roof Material Metal
Window Material Vinyl or Vinyl Clad
Insulation Material Fiberglass
Recycled Newsprint

Garage / Car Port

Garage / Carport No

Contact Information

Joanna Juzwik

406 Chestnut St., Apt 2
Berea, US 40403 US