Extreme Real Estate: Homes on a Cliff

BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- Want to live life on the edge -- literally?

Consider buying a cliffside home, where you'll get stunning views and often your own private beach or dock.

"Living in a home along the coast lets you feel a sense of magnificence, for lack of a better word," says San Francisco broker Bill Bullock, who frequently sells cliffside homes. "Homes on cliffs have a boldness to them that's different from what you'd get living at sea level."

U.S. cliffside homes are available along rivers and canyons, but some of America's most beautiful -- and expensive -- ones sit next to the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.

Bullock admits that properties right on a beach offer "a much more stimulating experience than cliff homes, because you have the waves coming in right there. But cliff homes provide a much larger, broader expanse of a view."

Of course, cliff homes have some disadvantages.

For openers, they typically cost $1 million to $40 million or more.

By definition, cliff houses also sit in precarious locations. Bullock remembers erosion sending some San Clemente, Calif., cliffside houses falling into the water years back, leaving neighbors "scared like hell that their homes were going to wind up in the Pacific Ocean, too."

Still, the views can't be beat.

"Cliffside homes just have higher views that give you a difference feeling than you'd get anywhere else," Bullock said.

Here are five upscale cliffside homes listed for sale at Realtor.com:

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