A Guide To Becoming a Homeowner… In Skyrim

Have you ever dreamed of one day becoming a homeowner? Being able to gaze out your window at a well-manicured lawn and sip your morning coffee as the sun rises over the horizon? Have those dreams been dashed by an increasingly unattainable housing market, diminishing wages, and a bleak future? Well look no further than Skyrim for all the wonder of home ownership at the tip of your fingers! Simply loot some tombs and buy yourself a house today!

May 22, 2019

This article will guide you on your epic journey from a young homeless adventurer to a multiple residence-owning powerhouse in the vast and coldly beautiful province of Skyrim. Located some distance to the north of Cyrodiil, west of Morrowind, and east of Hammerfall and High Rock, this lovely province has several houses available for your perusal.

As a quick aside there are three types of residence that will be described on this list:

  1. The first type are the houses that were included in the base game and are available for purchase in the major cities of Skyrim
  2. The second type are the houses that were included in the Hearthfire DLC that was released about a year after Skyrim.
  3. The third type are the quarters you are given for ascending to the highest echelons of an organization.

It should also be noted before we get started that any houses that note a “Children’s Bedroom” upgrade will only have that upgrade available if you have the Hearthfire DLC. So, without further ado, here’s how to build houses in Skyrim – or, rather, how to navigate the perilous (and often bloody, much like its real counterpart) roads of Skyrim’s real estate market.

HOUSES FOR SALE

Breezehome (Whiterun Hold – Whiterun)

Located in the first major city you will encounter in the game, Breezehome is a relatively small house that will most likely suit your needs for the majority of the game. Initially the house has minimal furnishings and storage, but you can purchase upgrades to improve its utility.

How To Purchase

Breezehome will enter the housing market after you complete the mission “Dragons Rising”, which is obtainable from Jarl Balgruuf the Greater or Vignar Grey-mane depending on the outcome of certain events. Upon completing this quest simply speak with Proventus Avenicci or Brill, again depending on the outcome of certain events.

Cost

Breezehome and its upgrades are the cheapest in the game, making it relatively easy to acquire and fully upgrade.

Breezehome5000 Gold
Living Room Upgrade250 Gold
Dining Room Upgrade250 Gold
Kitchen Upgrade300 Gold
Loft Upgrade200 Gold
Bedroom Upgrade300 Gold
Alchemy Laboratory -or- Children's Bedroom Upgrade500 Gold
Total Cost6800 Gold

Proudspire Manor (Haafingar – Solitude)

Depending on whether you decide to side with the Stormcloaks or the Empire, you will most likely make your way to Windhelm or Solitude after completing your tasks in Whiterun. As a staunch supporter of the Empire, I nearly always arrive in Solitude long before Windhelm, and so I encounter the exquisite Proudspire Manor next.

How To Purchase

Proudspire Manor will become available for purchase after you complete two quests for the ruling elite of Solitude. The first quest you will need to finish is called “The Man Who Cried Wolf”, which is obtainable from the regent of Solitude, Falk Firebeard. The second quest is called “Elisif’s Tribute”, which is obtainable from Jarl Elisif herself.

Cost

Proudspire Manor is the most expensive house in Skyrim and I would argue it is one of the most impressive once fully upgraded. It is also one of the few houses that allows you to keep your office Alchemy Lab, while also having a Children’s Room.

Proudspire Manor25000 Gold
Bedroom Upgrade2000 Gold
Living Room Upgrade2000 Gold
Alchemy Lab Upgrade2500 Gold
Enchanting Area2500 Gold
Kitchen Upgrade1500 Gold
Patio Upgrade500 Gold
Children’s Bedroom Upgrade3000 Gold
Total Cost39000 Gold

Vlindrel Hall (The Reach – Markarth)

Located some distance south from Solitude, in the former dwemer city of Nchuand-Zel, Vlindrel Hall is your home if you love the confusing multi-tiered but undeniably beautiful city of stone. Due to the ever present danger of Forsworn insurrection, it is not the first place I would choose for my home personally.

How To Purchase

Most houses in the game have a fairly straightforward method to obtaining them. Markarth is a city of complications, and obtaining a house is no different.

If you are looking for the path of least resistance to obtaining this house, simply side with the Stormcloaks and then ask Jarl Thongvor Silver-Blood for permission to buy the house.

If instead you choose the correct side and stand with the empire, you will have to make your way into Understone Keep and have a few words with Jarl Igmund. The rightful lord of Markarth will send you on two quests, both of which you must complete.

The first is a generic bounty-type quest, in which you are sent out to kill a Forsworn leader at a random location.

The second is to complete the quest “Recover Hrolfdir’s Shield”. Unfortunately I cannot tell you exactly where his shield is located because its position is random, but follow your quest markers and you will soon have it in hand. After turning in the shield you will have permission to buy the house.

Cost

Vlindrel Hall is only marginally more expensive than Breezehome and is a pretty significant upgrade in terms of storage. Its location is not ideal within the city, and for the most part you can skip this one unless you are like me and want to collect all the houses in the game. Quite simply there are better houses for your money elsewhere. I should also note the Children’s Room costs 300 gold less than the Alchemy lab, and the two upgrades are mutually exclusive.

Vlindrel Hall8000 Gold
Bedroom Upgrade800 Gold
Living Room Upgrade900 Gold
Enchanting Area Upgrade1000 Gold
Alchemy Laboratory -or- Children's Bedroom Upgrade1000 or 700 Gold
Entrance Upgrade500 Gold
Total Cost12200 or 11900 Gold

Hjerim (Eastmarch – Windhelm)

As your local Skyrim realtor I am compelled to inform you straight up that this is a murder home. No I am sadly not kidding. This house has a rather grisly tale associated with it, and you will have to complete a very cool but disturbing quest chain in order to unlock it. Luckily, during this quest chain you will get the opportunity to explore the lovely floor plan of this manor and I am almost 50% certain the bloodstains can be cleaned up.

How To Purchase

In order to obtain this manor you have to take a cruise through Windhelm’s graveyard at around the witching hour (midnight for those who are unclear). You will find a small gathering of people around the body of a slain woman and thus will begin the quest chain “Blood On The Ice”. I won’t spoil it for you here but enjoy this amazing quest all the way to the end. Once you finish the quest line in its entirety you will be able to speak with Jorleif, who will allow you to purchase Hjerim.

Cost

Hjerim is the second most expensive house that you can buy in the game. It is pretty large, has a fairly open layout and is easy to maneuver in. I would highly recommend purchasing this house even with its unpleasant past. Surely you will be able to make it a lovely and welcoming home once you clear out the bodies.

Hjerim12000 Gold
Armory Upgrade2000 Gold
Enchanting Area Upgrade1500 Gold
Alchemy Lab Upgrade1500 Gold
Living Room Upgrade1500 Gold
Bedroom Upgrade100 Gold
Kitchen Upgrade1000 Gold
Clean Up the Murderer’s Mess500 Gold
Professional Cleaning Services500 Gold
Children’s Room Upgrade1250 Gold
Total Cost21800 Gold

Honeyside (The Rift – Riften)

Honeyside is a lovely wood-finished home in the not at all crime-filled city of Riften. Ignore any rumors of a “Thieves Guild”, you will be perfectly safe here… just don’t go out at night and don’t draw any undue attention to yourself.

How To Purchase

Despite being a mid-tier house, Honeyside is kind of a pain to unlock. There are two ways to go about doing this

The first, and probably easiest way is to side with the Empire and complete the entirety of the civil war questline. Upon the completion of the war Maven Black-Briar should be made Jarl, and at that point you can simply purchase the house.

The second, and more complicated way requires you to complete the “Skooma Trade” quest-line. To start this quest simply talk to Wujeeta near the Fishery on the docks of Riften. Under no circumstances can Wujeeta die before the completion of these quests or else you will not be able to obtain Honeyside without siding with the Empire.

After completing the Skooma Trade quest-line you will meet with Jarl Laila Law-Giver. She will ask you to improve your reputation around town in preparation for you being made thane. There are many simple quests available from the townsfolk around Riften, simply pick a few and complete their quests. You will be summoned before the Jarl after completing enough of these quests and be named Thane of Riften. At this point you can buy the house.

Cost

Honeyside is a mid-priced home. While it lacks the glamor of Proudspire or Hjerim, it is a perfectly cosy home to store your things in while you travel the world. It should be noted that you can only have either the Enchanting Laboratory or the Children’s Bedroom, which will be located in the basement of the house.

Honeyside8000 Gold
Porch Upgrade400 Gold
Kitchen Upgrade500 Gold
Bedroom Upgrade600 Gold
Garden Upgrade800 Gold
Alchemy Lab Upgrade1000 Gold
Enchanting Laboratory or Children's Bedroom Upgrade1000 or 250 Gold
Total Cost12300 or 11550 Gold

Build Your Own House

The Hearthfire DLC brought with it three plots of land located throughout Skyrim on which you can build your own residence. Unlocking them is rather easy, but actually building your new home is a little bit more complicated. I will briefly go into where and how to obtain each of the plots, and then we will go deeper into the itty-bitty aspects of how to build houses in Skyrim.

Heljarchen Hall (The Pale)

How To Purchase

In order to purchase the plot for Heljarchen Hall, you must first travel to the town of Dawnstar and meet with Jarl Skald or Brina Merilis depending on how the Civil War has progressed. Depending who is ruling Dawnstar you will either have to complete the quest “Waking Nightmare” or, you may have access to the plot immediately.

Cost

5000 Gold

Windstad Manor (Hjaalmarch)

How To Purchase

In order to obtain the plot to Windstad Manor you must travel to Morthal and speak with Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone or Sorli the Builder. If Jarl Idgrod still controls Morthal you will need to complete the quest “Laid to Rest”. If Jarl Sorli is in control you will have the plot available to you right away.

Cost

5000 Gold

Construction

Unlike the houses you can buy, you do not simply purchase pre-determined upgrades for your new home to improve its interior. Instead you will have to collect resources, craft items, and choose certain furnishings. Though some of the items are static in each of the rooms you can create, this method of creation offers more flexibility in stylizing your house the way you would like it.

In addition, you will be able to add exterior elements such as an armorer workbench, a smelter, a forge, and other things. We will go into further detail later in the article, but first let’s focus on laying the foundations for your manor.

In order to start your construction you will need to select a blueprint from the drafting table. Luckily this is made easy for you and there will only be one initially, the small house. After you have selected your blueprint you will make your way over to the Carpenter’s Bench and get to work in actually building the things required to erect your new manse.

The initial resources are provided for you, but you will in order to finish your building. Some of these items are relatively easy, if somewhat time consuming, to obtain. Others will require you to break out you blacksmithing hammer and craft them yourself. You won’t need much blacksmithing skill, however. So don’t worry if you have let your anvil gather dust.

Small House

The small house is a simple one bedroom affair with not a whole lot in it. Imagine if you will, a roughshod cabin in the woods with the barest of the amenities and you will not be disappointed.

You must use the Small House layout before you are able to upgrade your house further. The Small House requires a total of:

skyrim nails materials30 Nailsskyrim sawn log materials17 Sawn Logsskyrim quarried stone materials14 Quarried Stone
skyrim clay materials4 Clayskyrim lock materials1 Lock

If you decide to furnish the small house, which I do not recommend because the moment you build a main hall you will want to turn your small house into an entryway, but if you are set on it be sure to bring:

skyrim nails materials20 Nailsskyrim sawn log materials11 Sawn Logsskyrim materials iron fittings4 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials leather strips4 Leather Stripsskyrim materials goat horns2 Goat Hornsskyrim materials iron ingot2 Iron Ingots
skyrim materials straw2 Strawskyrim materials glass1 Glassskyrim materials hinge1 Hinge
skyrim materials quarried stone1 Quarried Stone

Main Hall and Cellar

This is the point where your home will actually start to feel a little grander. Accordingly, you should be prepared to throw a lot of building materials into the creation of your new home. The Main Hall and Cellar require a total of:

skyrim materials quarried stone86 Quarried Stoneskyrim materials sawn log55 Sawn Logsskyrim materials nails85 Nails
skyrim materials clay16 Clayskyrim materials hinge2 Hingesskyrim materials hinge1 Iron Fitting
skyrim materials lock1 Lock

The Main Hall adds a second floor and the Cellar quite obviously adds a cellar. There will be a firepit on the first floor and bedrooms on the second. You will also be given the option to remodel house into an Entryway. This will not cost any additional materials but it will clear out your previous furnishings.

In order to furnish the Main Hall you will have to shell out an additional:

skyrim nails materials22 Nailsskyrim sawn log materials15 Sawn Logsskyrim iron fittings8 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials leather strips6 Leather Stripsskyrim materials sabre cat tooth4 Sabre Cat Teethskyrim materials goat horns3 Goat Horns
skyrim materials deer hide2 Deer Hidesskyrim materials hinge2 Hingesskyrim materials large antlers2 Large Antlers
skyrim materials glass2 Glassskyrim materials bear pelt1 Bear Peltskyrim materials iron ingot1 Iron Ingot
skyrim materials sabre cat pelt1 Sabre Cat Peltskyrim materials snow sabre cat pelt1 Sabre Cat Snow Peltskyrim materials wolf pelt1 Wolf Pelt

Of course you aren’t quite done yet, because to furnish the cellar you will need:

skyrim materials sawn log36 Sawn Logsskyrim materials nails33 Nailsskyrim materials steel ingot30 Steel Ingots
skyrim materials iron fittings19 Iron Fittingsskyrim materials quarried stone17 Quarried Stoneskyrim materials hinge17 Hinges
skyrim materials iron ingot13 Iron Ingotsskyrim materials lock13 Locksskyrim materials leather strips8 Leather Strips
skyrim materials clay8 Clayskyrim materials goat horns5 Goat Hornsskyrim materials straw4 Straw
skyrim materials sabre cat tooth2 Sabre Cat Teethskyrim materials bear pelt2 Bear Peltsskyrim materials deer hide1 Deer Hide
skyrim materials glass1 Glassskyrim materials large antlers1 Large Antlersskyrim materials snow sabre cat pelt1 Sabre Cat Snow Pelt
skyrim materials small antlers1 Small Antlers

The Wings

At this point in time you will have the option to customize your home a little bit. Each of the wings has three “styles” of architecture that can be applied and each has a different material cost that you will have to pay.

East Wing

Armory

The armory adds considerable storage space for your arms and armor. Located to the right upon entering the Main Hall, the armory can be furnished with up to five armor mannequins as well as two weapon plaques and 8 weapon rack slots. In addition there are an array of Cupboards, chests, and dressers you can purchase for the room.

Building the Armory will require:

skyrim materials quarried stone18 Quarried Stoneskyrim materials sawn log14 Sawn Logsskyrim materials nails14 Nails
skyrim materials hinge6 Hingesskyrim materials clay3 Clayskyrim materials iron fittings3 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials lock3 Locks

Fully furnishing the Armory will require a staggering:

skyrim materials nails60 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log47 Sawn Logsskyrim materials iron fittings26 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials hinge10 Hingesskyrim materials goat horns9 Goat Hornsskyrim materials quarried stone8 Quarried Stone
skyrim materials leather strips8 Leather Stripsskyrim materials glass6 Glassskyrim materials iron ingot4 Iron Ingots
skyrim materials straw4 Strawskyrim materials horker tusk2 Horker Tusksskyrim materials sabre cat tooth2 Sabre Cat Teeth
skyrim materials lock2 Locksskyrim materials sabre cat pelt1 Sabre Cat Peltskyrim materials bear pelt1 Bear Pelt
skyrim materials wolf pelt1 Wolf Pelt
Kitchen

Much like the armory, and, to be fair, all of the east wing additions, the Kitchen lies to the right of the Main Hall. In my opinion the kitchen is one of the least useful rooms you can add to your manor, but it can be furnished with a variety of storage objects including barrels, cupboards, and shelves. In addition you can also add an oven and fireplace, making it a cozy place to relax after a hard day of slaying.

Building the Kitchen will require:

skyrim materials nails20 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log18 Sawn Logsskyrim materials quarried stone14 Quarried Stone
skyrim materials hinge4 Hingesskyrim materials clay3 Clayskyrim materials iron fittings2 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials lock2 Locks

Fully furnishing the Kitchen will require:

skyrim materials nails34 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log20 Sawn Logsskyrim materials iron fittings10 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials iron ingot9 Iron Ingotsskyrim materials quarried stone7 Quarried Stoneskyrim materials goat horns7 Goat Horns
skyrim materials leather strips2 Leather Stripsskyrim materials horker tusk2 Horker Tusksskyrim materials clay2 Clay
skyrim materials large antlers1 Large Antler
Library

For those of you who love to collect books, you will most likely want a library. This room has two stories and you will have to travel upstairs from the main hall to reach the second half. As you may expect the room can be filled with a significant amount of bookshelves.

Building the Library will require:

skyrim materials nails34 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log24 Sawn Logsskyrim materials quarried stone16 Quarried Stone
skyrim materials clay9 Clayskyrim materials hinge6 Hingesskyrim materials iron fittings3 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials lock3 Locks

Fully furnishing the Library will require an additional:

skyrim materials nails44 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log23 Sawn Logsskyrim materials goat horns7 Goat Horns
skyrim materials hinge4 Hingesskyrim materials iron fittings4 Iron Fittingsskyrim materials iron ingot2 Iron Ingots
skyrim materials lock2 Locks
North Wing
Alchemy Laboratory

This area is ideal for the budding alchemist in your life. It has a pretty good variety of ingredients for potion making and is full of containers for you to store your plants and animal parts in if you just don’t have time to turn them into a horrific beverage right away. The Alchemy Laboratory can be found if you travel straight through the Main Hall into the “back” of the house.

Building the Alchemy Laboratory will cost you a mere:

skyrim materials nails34 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log24 Sawn Logsskyrim materials quarried stone16 Quarried Stone
skyrim materials clay9 Clayskyrim materials hinge6 Hingesskyrim materials iron fittings3 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials lock3 Locks

Fully furnishing it will set you back an additional:

skyrim materials nails34 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log20 Sawn Logsskyrim materials iron fittings12 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials hinge8 Hingesskyrim materials iron ingot7 Iron Ingotsskyrim materials goat horns7 Goat Horns
skyrim materials steel ingot6 Steel Ingotsskyrim materials lock4 Locksskyrim materials glass3 Glass
skyrim materials mudcrab chitin2 Mudcrab Chitinskyrim materials leather strips1 Leather Stripskyrim materials quicksilver ingot1 Quicksilver Ingot
Storage Room

This room is a must if you feel the need to organize all of your items and you have so… so many of them. Its furnishings revolve around maximizing container placement and it even has a lovely patio on the roof of it. Much like the Alchemy Laboratory, the storage room will be located at the “back” or north end of the house.

The storage room is one of the cheapest rooms to build, requiring:

skyrim materials quarried stone18 Quarried Stoneskyrim materials sawn log14 Sawn Logsskyrim materials nails14 Nails
skyrim materials hinge6 Hingesskyrim materials clay3 Clayskyrim materials iron fittings3 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials lock3 Locks

Fully furnishing the Storage room on the other hand will require some sacrifice. You will need:

skyrim materials nails65 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log41 Sawn Logsskyrim materials hinge21 Hinges
skyrim materials iron fittings14 Iron Fittingsskyrim materials lock9 Locksskyrim materials iron ingot5 Iron Ingots
skyrim materials glass4 Glassskyrim materials leather strips3 Leather Stripsskyrim materials steel ingot3 Steel Ingots
skyrim materials goat horns2 Goat Hornsskyrim materials mudcrab chitin2 Mudcrab Chitinskyrim materials wolf pelt1 Wolf Pelt
skyrim materials goat hide1 Goat Hide
Trophy Room

The Trophy Room is kind of neat in that it offers several flat areas for which you can place items that you would like to display to the world (or really just yourself as you are the only person that will visit your trophy room). Of the three North Wing addons, I think it is the most unique and interesting.

The Trophy Room will require you to dish out:

skyrim materials nails20 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log18 Sawn Logsskyrim materials quarried stone14 Quarried Stone
skyrim materials hinge4 Hingesskyrim materials clay3 Clayskyrim materials iron fittings2 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials lock2 Locks

To fully furnish it with its several display cases and trophy bases, be prepared to spend:

skyrim materials nails30 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log24 Sawn Logsskyrim materials clay10 Clay
skyrim materials quarried stone7 Quarried Stoneskyrim materials iron fittings7 Iron Fittingsskyrim materials goat horns4 Goat Horns
skyrim materials hinge3 Hingesskyrim materials iron ingot2 Iron Ingotsskyrim materials leather strips2 Leather Strips
skyrim materials horker tusk2 Horker Tusksskyrim materials glass1 Glassskyrim materials goat hide1 Goat Hide
skyrim materials lock1 Lock
West Wing
Bedrooms

In my opinion this addon is rather boring. It simply adds some beds and some storage. Quite frankly there are more interesting addons, but if you want extra beds for your home, have at her.

The bedroom addon will require:

skyrim materials quarried stone18 Quarried Stoneskyrim materials sawn log14 Sawn Logsskyrim materials nails14 Nails
skyrim materials hinge6 Hingesskyrim materials clay3 Clayskyrim materials iron fittings3 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials lock3 Locks

Building the storage and beds will require you to hand over:

skyrim materials nails57 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log37 Sawn Logsskyrim materials hinge12 Hinges
skyrim materials iron fittings11 Iron Fittingsskyrim materials leather strips10 Leather Stripsskyrim materials lock5 Locks
skyrim materials straw4 Strawskyrim materials steel ingot3 Steel Ingotsskyrim materials glass2 Glass
skyrim materials goat horns2 Goat Hornsskyrim materials iron ingot2 Iron Ingotsskyrim materials mudcrab chitin2 Mudcrab Chitin
skyrim materials bear pelt1 Bear Pelt
Enchanter’s Tower

The Enchanter’s Tower is probably the best of the West Wing addons. For starters it is a tower, which automatically increases its “coolness” factor. In addition it gives access a pretty considerable amount of storage items, as well as an Arcane Enchanter once it is furnished.

To construct the Enchanter’s Tower, simply acquire:

skyrim materials nails34 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log24 Sawn Logsskyrim materials quarried stone16 Quarried Stone
skyrim materials clay9 Clayskyrim materials hinge6 Hingesskyrim materials iron fittings3 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials lock3 Locks

Furnishing this room is actually not too intensive either:

skyrim materials nails22 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log17 Sawn Logsskyrim materials iron fittings7 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials hinge6 Hingesskyrim materials iron ingot5 Iron Ingotsskyrim materials glass3 Glass
skyrim materials goat hide1 Goat Hideskyrim materials goat horns1 Goat Hornskyrim materials gold ingot1 Gold Ingot
skyrim materials grand soul gem1 Grand Soul Gemskyrim materials quarried stone1 Quarried Stoneskyrim materials refined moonstone1 Refined Moonstone
Greenhouse

We have finally reached our last available addon, the Greenhouse. This room is perfect for those among you who like to grow things. Once it is upgraded it offers several planters, which you can seed and grow your own plants. Neat!

In order to build the Greenhouse you will need:

skyrim materials nails20 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log18 Sawn Logsskyrim materials quarried stone14 Quarried Stone
skyrim materials hinge4 Hingesskyrim materials clay3 Clayskyrim materials iron fittings2 Iron Fittings
skyrim materials lock2 Locks

Those planters don’t come cheap however. Be sure to gather up:

skyrim materials nails56 Nailsskyrim materials sawn log33 Sawn Logsskyrim materials clay18 Clay
skyrim materials iron fittings12 Iron Fittingsskyrim materials glass6 Glassskyrim materials goat horns6 Goat Horns
skyrim materials hinge6 Hingesskyrim materials quarried stone6 Quarried Stoneskyrim materials iron ingot4 Iron Ingots
skyrim materials leather strips4 Leather Stripsskyrim materials mudcrab chitin4 Mudcrab Chitinskyrim materials goat hide2 Goat hides

Seizing a Residence

Some among you may be wondering if there is some way to obtain a place to live without dishing out money or having to collect truly staggering amounts of building materials. If so, you are in luck! Skyrim offers several lovely areas that you can obtain by completing rather lengthy quest lines for several prominent factions in Skyrim.

The College of Winterhold (Archmage’s Quarters – Winterhold)

You will have the opportunity to visit the Archmage’s Quarters long before being allowed to reside with them. Like most of the faction quest-lines in Skyrim, you will enter the organization as a novice and outsider, but at the end of a quest line you will have ascended to a position of prominence.

The Archmage’s Quarters are located at the top of the main tower of Winterhold. It is well decorated and holds a bed, an Alchemy Lab, an Arcane Enchanter, some bookshelves, a chest, and a safe. There are other furnishings scattered throughout the room and a pretty considerable amount of crafting materials if you want to clean the place out.

In order to be granted the Archmage’s Quarters as your own personal home, you must first become the Archmage. There are six fairly lengthy quests you will be required to complete:

  • First Lessons
  • Under Saarthal
  • Hitting the Books
  • Good Intentions
  • The Eye of Magnus
  • Revealing the Unseen

Upon the completion of these quests you will be named Archmage of Winterhold and will be provided with the requisite permission to use your new room. Congratulations.

The Companions (Jorrvaskr – Whiterun)

The longhouse of Jorrvaskr is probably one of the first faction strongholds you will encounter in the game. Located in the first major city you encounter in Skyrim, Jorrvaskr is prominent and will most likely draw your attention. Within its hallowed walls you will find the Companions, which are basically a group of mercenaries with a dark secret.

You will be given access to a bed and shared quarters upon joining the companions, but let’s face it, you won’t be happy in a novice’s room for long. Better get to work on the six quests you will need to complete:

  • Take Up Arms
  • Proving Honor
  • The Silver Hand
  • Blood’s Honor
  • Purity of Revenge
  • Glory of the Dead

Once you have completed these quests you will be given the title of Harbinger, and you will now have a lovely private living area with its own ante-chamber and bedroom.

Dark Brotherhood (Sanctuary – Dawnstar Area)

Do you love covertly killing people and living in what basically amounts to a creepy tomb? Great! Then the Dark Brotherhood is for you. The Dark Brotherhood is unique in that the first Stronghold you encounter is not going to be the stronghold given to your control at the end.

The Dark Brotherhood Quest Chain is pretty long and will require a fair bit of commitment, but even if the Stronghold is not the most aesthetically pleasing, the story you will experience while you work your way to obtaining it, is one of the best in the game. It is also one of the longest Quest Chains in the game.

  • Innocence Lost
  • With Friends Like These…
  • Sanctuary
  • Contract: Kill Beitild
  • Contract: Kill Narfi
  • Contract: Kill Ennodius Papius
  • Mourning Never Comes
  • Whisper in the Dark
  • Contract: Kill Lurbuk
  • Contract: Kill Hern
  • The Silence Has Been Broken
  • Bound Until Death
  • Breaching Security
  • The Cure For Madness
  • Recipe for Disaster
  • To Kill an Empire
  • Death Incarnate
  • Hail Sithis!
  • Where You Hang Your Enemy’s Head
  • The Dark Brotherhood Forever

I should note that the final quest on that list is actually a repeatable quest for gold and not an actual requirement. After completing this lengthy list of goals, you will be given the title of Speaker and Listener for the Dark Mother. You will also be given control of the Dawnstar Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, which will be your newish home.

Thieves Guild (The Cistern – Riften)

Not a group to show a lot of pomp, the Thieves’ Guild are located in the sewers of Riften. They are a ragtag bunch of pickpockets, saboteurs, and grifters who care about one thing above all… Gold.

The Stronghold for the Thieves’ Guild is probably one of the least impressive aesthetically, but it grants access to a fence who will buy your stolen items. This makes it very useful if you obtain a lot of goods in a rather unethical way. In order to become the leader of this domain, you have a fairly considerable amount of quests ahead of you.

  • A Chance Arrangement
  • Taking Care of Business
  • Loud and Clear
  • An Influx of Immigrants
  • Training
  • Dampening Spirits
  • Scoundrel’s Folly
  • Speaking With Silence
  • Hard Answers
  • The Pursuit
  • Trinity Restored
  • Blindsighted
  • Darkness Returns
  • Under New Management

Upon completion of these quests you will be declared as the new leader of the Thieves’ Guild. Unfortunately it does not offer a lot of pomp so don’t expect too much from your new position.

Severin Manor (Solstheim)

Severin Manor was added in the Dragonborn DLC and is actually a pretty useful little house. It has several armor mannequins, as well as about a dozen or so weapon wall mounts. The Manor cannot be upgraded, but includes a full blacksmith suite, Alchemy Ingredients, an Alchemy Lab, and an Arcane Enchanter. It is also very dark.

In order to obtain this lovely underground home, you must first prove yourself to First Councilor Lleril Morvayn. There are several quests associated with the First Councilor that you must complete in order to be given Severin Manor as your reward.

First you have to complete the Raven Rock Mine quest of “The Final Descent”, which you can obtain from Cresius in Raven Rock. You must also complete the quest “March of the Dead” which you can get from Captain Veleth after helping him defeat some Ash Spawn just outside of Raven Rock.

Once these two quests have been completed You will be given the quest “Served Cold” from Adril Arano, the Second Councilor of Raven Rock. Upon the completion of this quest you will be given the house as a reward. It should be noted you must have the “Dragonborn” DLC to obtain this residence.

Conclusion

This is everything you need to know about how to navigate the game’s perilous real-estate world and how to build houses in Skyrim. While a lot of the houses in Skyrim have fairly static furnishings, you can always move items around and add a touch of personality to your home. For example I enjoy putting all my gems in a giant pile so I can feel fancy! Share your own personalized houses below!

Eltimar

Eltimar

Contributor

I was introduced to the world of gaming at a pretty young age. My dad would invite his friends over, and they would descend into the basement for hours. At first, I was too young to really grasp the games they were playing; Dungeons and Dragons, Ravenloft, Greyhawk. But it was when they began to shift their focus to computer games, that I became really interested.

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