Jan. 31, 2017
Thousands of years ago, the Anasazi tribe of Native Americans made their homes in the cliffs of southeastern Utah. Their cliff dwellings provided a cool reprieve from the desert sun, warmth from the cool, dry nights and a measure of defense from their enemies.
Now, a modern off-grid home built into the cliffs is on the market.
In designing their home, dubbed “Cliff Haven,” Bill and Barbara Houghton created a contemporary cliff dwelling that offers 21st century conveniences along with the best of off-the-grid living. Located in Utah’s breathtaking Montezuma Canyon, just outside the small town of Monticello, Cliff Haven is a 2,100-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. It overlooks 12 acres of property that includes a garden, a vineyard and a mature orchard.
However, the care of the home and the property is getting to be too much work for the elderly couple, who built the home in 1986. Their loss can be your gain. The Houghtons are hoping to find a new owner who will love their home as much as they do, and they are offering the incredible property at auction on Feb. 11. (The previous auction date of Jan. 21 was moved back.)
A 2,400-volt solar system that provides 120-volt current powers the home. A well provides fresh water, and a 12,000-gallon cistern collects rainwater and runoff. In case of emergency, the home has propane as well as a backup diesel generator. The home also has WiFi and a phone line.
With an elevation of 7,069 feet, Cliff Haven offers sweeping views of the canyon, and hikes around the property frequently reveal artifacts, such as arrowheads or pottery, from the Anasazi. The entire area is rich in history and beauty. Within a 90-minute drive are Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Lake Powell, Monument Valley and Four Corners.
George Matochan, who lives about a mile away from Cliff House, moved to his off-the-grid home several years ago to escape the rat race lifestyle of Chicago. In an interview on the Cliff House website, Matochan comments on the strong sense of community among his off-the-grid neighbors.
“You depend on your neighbors here,” he says, adding that he knows people in Utah who live a mile or more away better than people who lived next door in his former community.
With walls of solid rock, Cliff House is energy efficient. Behind the home, Houghton created a tunnel that provides fresh cool air, the opportunity for water drainage as well as a fire escape. A separate three-car garage is on the property, and there is ample room for expansion.
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