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I'm looking for the best house location, for two different types of characters.

Craftsman:

The house must be very near to, or include:

  • Alchemy Lab
  • Arcane Enchanter
  • Forge and/or Anvil
  • Grindstone
  • Workbench
  • Smelter
  • Tanning Rack

For the Craftsman, the house in Whiterun is great except it lacks close access to an Arcane Enchanter. The same applies for Riften, but it's missing a Smelter instead. So far, these are the only two houses I have. Are there any that cover them all, either purchasable or inheritable through marriage?

Merchant:

The house must be very near to, or include:

  • Apothecary
  • Blacksmith
  • Inn
  • Jeweler
  • Spells Shop
  • Fence (optional)
  • General Store (optional)

Most of the places I've considered have fairly good coverage for all of the above, except for the Spells Shop and/or Fence. Also, some places have the marketplace (complete as it may or may not be) positioned relatively far away from the general residential area.

A few clarifications:

By "include", I mean to presume that the house has been fully upgraded. So, the house in Riften can be considered to "include" an Alchemy Lab, Arcane Enchanter, and Tanning Rack.

Houses which can be bought directly by the player are preferable, though I'd also be interested in high-value locations which can be acquired through marriage.

I do expect to get two separate listings, as outlined above, since I really doubt there is one property that has ideal access to all of these resources. Still, if there is such a house (or one that comes very close), I'd like to hear of it too.

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The Solitude house is sooo far from all the merchants. But it does have Alchemy lab and Enchanting station. Whiterun except for enchanter FTW. –  ヴァイシャリ Dec 21 '11 at 1:23
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I would go with the house in Whiterun since it's satisfies most of them exc. the Fence. The stuff that isn't very close is still close enough IMO. Plus it's a nice cosy little place :) –  Peter Dec 21 '11 at 2:33
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I'm interested in the answer to this question as well. Something I would suggest adding to the question is that sometimes you might overload yourself from items in your house, so you want to be be able to walk slowly, not be able to fast travel, and it still not take too long. –  GmNoob Dec 21 '11 at 9:45
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8 Answers 8

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Windhelm probably offers the highest convenience factor. The market neighborhood, directly to the South, offers access to a full set of outdoor smithing equipment, as well as an Arcane Enchanter, at least three 'high-value' merchants (two general goods, including Niranye who is a Fence, and a Blacksmith), all without a loading screen. The house itself offers both Alchemy and Enchanting facilities, as well as the highest number of display racks for equipment of any home, and Windhelm offers an additional battery of merchants over in the Grey Quarter on the eastern edge of town.

Downsides include the somewhat high price, long distance from Windhelms fast-travel point, the prolonged string of quests required to buy the house (you basically must resolve the civil war), and the potential for significant bugs related to the Blood on the Ice quest, in which the house is involved.

Riften deserves an honorable mention for Thieves Guild members. While it lacks smelting services, the upgraded Ratway, with it's 4 additional merchants, puts somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 Merchant Gold in close proximity - easily the most of any city. Those who choose to take the moral high-ground may find the mercantile climate of Whiterun to be more hospitable however.

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The only reason I don't like the Windhelm house is its glitchyness and having to pick sides in the civil war before you can buy it. –  z ' Dec 21 '11 at 16:38
    
Honeyside in Riften FTW. –  shanodin Jun 3 '13 at 21:32
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I would say Whiterun, as it is the first house availble, and has almost everything close-by.

The only vendor not availble inside Whiterun is the fence, which is located in the Honningbrew Meadery.

The Arcane Enchanter and Spells Shop are located slightly away from your house inside Dragonsreach, but there's also an alchemy station located in that place.

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yea, whiterun is the most convenient by far. –  z ' Dec 21 '11 at 2:19
    
You call the Arcane Enchanter in Dragonsreach "slightly away"? It's across town, through a doorway (read: load screen) and then still in the far back of that building! Of course, Fast Travel can mitigate some of this, but I'd by no measure call it "nearby". –  Iszi Dec 21 '11 at 2:31
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@Iszi Sprinting, it's what, 30 seconds? –  agf Dec 21 '11 at 4:04
    
@agf It's within a single sprint for me. –  alexanderpas Dec 21 '11 at 4:23
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@Christopher Don't you mean Restoration -> Respite? I don't use Restoration that much. I figure if I'm going to have to pause combat long enough to switch my spells out, I may as well just chug a potion for instant healing instead of taking a chance that the enemy might make a killing blow while my spell charges. And I don't use wards either - all offense. –  Iszi Dec 21 '11 at 14:42
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I've found the house in Markarth is really good. It has an enchanting table. It has a satchel on the stool near the alchemy table. It has a really close general store and a somewhat close blacksmithy. The smelter is between the smith and a nearby mine.

The downsides are the political unrest in the city (situation is usually sorted out by the time you get the house) and a lot of vertical navigation (dwemer love their stairs).


Here's how I navigate those locations in Markarth.

Enter main gate: Here's the general store on the right and Inn across the bridge.

Go to the right of the general store and up the stairs. Go up and up and up to get to your house. If you didn't get to your house, you didn't go up enough.

Go back to the main gate, cross the bridge and go to the left of the Inn. Follow that and you end up at the blacksmith with the smelter below outside the mine.

Places to cure disease: The temple of Dibella and shrine of Talos are in the middle pillar of the city.


My normal loot sell-off/drop-off route is: Fast Travel to the keep. Walk to the smith, then the general store, then my house.

By comparison, WhiteRun is Fast Travel to the gate. Walk to the smith, then the general store, then the enchanting table in the keep (yuck), then my house (far away).

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I can never find my way around Markarth. All the steps look the same. I am usually stumbling around trying to find my house. Except for that it is a good house. –  ヴァイシャリ Dec 21 '11 at 3:20
    
Do you know if you can marry your way into an even better house? Like a lonely old widow? :-) –  ヴァイシャリ Dec 21 '11 at 16:14
    
Hrm, I don't think the marriage people have enchanting tables. Is Jarl Balgruuf available? –  David B Dec 21 '11 at 19:12
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I like the riften house. It is very close to the main entrance to riften (just take a right). It has an enchanting table and an alchemy table and you have the close traders too. THe general store is pretty close. The downside is that there's no smelter. Damn bethesda needs to add smelters near every blacksmith. In all I like riften and i plan on buying the Markarth house to see what it's all about.

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After checking out most (but not all) of the others, my vote is for Breezehome in Whiterun. It's main advantage is that it's central, and it's rarely subject to the dragon attacks that plague other locations such as Winterhold. It has pretty good storage, and because it is small, all of the storage is easy to reach from wherever you usually work in it.

One really nice feature is am ingredient satchel right on the Alchemy table. Why don't all of them have that?

The Smith and most merchants are right near by (although the sundries merchant has little gold unless you upgrade him).

The main disadvantage is that the Enchanting table and magic merchant are on the other side of town.

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Whiterun House: I think you can buy upgrades and add an alchemy lab for $1600 or so. I don't know about the arcane enchanter, though. Just look at the Whirerun Home Decorating Guide in your book, then talk to the stewart.

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Whiterun is a great place to settle in, but I've recently moved to Windhelm. The house has a few flaws… lack of orderly containers/drawers is the most significant.

  1. I cannot (due to personal issues) dump all my stuff in one box. The lack of tabs separating weapons, wardrobe, potions etc. when you open boxes won't let me…
  2. and that missing apothecary satchel is a disaster. It's a disgrace to put your ingredients into a common SACK!

But

  1. It has 3 shops you can invest in and they're fairly straight forward to get to.
  2. In-house enchanter AND alchemy table. These two are my biggest money makers so I don't mind the distance to the smithy (unfortunately also the market hub).
  3. Medium easy to get to it if u use the palace as the fast travel point..
  4. WINNING POINT: SO MANY DISPLAY OPTIONS FOR KIT THAT HAS GOT ME THIS FAR BUT IS OBSOLETE NOW. How BADASS is a house with 3 mannequins dressed in dragon, daedric and glass armor? XD

That said:

  • Whiterun still has an expert level alchemy teacher who you can sell your stuff too and reclaim your "training fees".

Conclusion: I love the murder house in Windhelm and I'd give no other place a second glance if only it had a Satchel on that (beep)ing table.

Also I don't know if its a glitch or its a part of the dark brotherhood theft circle but I have noticed that I sometimes lose stuff in my house in Riften… I visited it after months (game time) and my stash of mammoth tusks was missing.

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I personally love the house in Solitude... You are around plenty or trainers and venders that there js no reason to leave solitude... You are also near the Bard college and the Blue palace.. You have 3 weapons racks and enchanting table alchemy table as well... I believe you have 5 bookshelves a balcony 3 bedrooms (one you don't upgrade looks like a storage room with a sleeping bag) no dragon attacks everyone is nice kids in the streets playing... If your looking for a roleplaying aspect as well i highly recommend Solitude. I have 2 kids a wife (and her stalker) and everyone is happy. You also have 2 weapons mantles and 2 weapon/shield mantles ( holds 2 weapons and a shield) the only problem was the cost... 25k for house plus decorations which ended up around another 15k... So if u want that house fast i recommend the brotherhood questline to get the 20k from killing the emporer. The venders issue? All of the venders there have more then 1k i believe so there is money to be made off of trash loot.

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