A major factor in any home-buying decision is location: is it close to the office, a good school, and necessary amenities? But then there are those for whom an ideal location means something different altogether.

A 200-foot cliff above the water or clinging to the side of a mountain don't sound like a particularly appealing location for your home, but people all over the world live in strange and exotic places and somehow they make it work. These unique homes come in different styles, shapes, and sizes and are located in places you would never imagine.

Hanging Houses - Cuenca, Spain

Photo by Y Anderson / CC BY-SA

Acrophobes need not apply. "Casas Colgadas," which is translated in English to hanging houses, were built in Cuenca, Spain during the 15th century because the city was running out of land to build homes, so they looked up to the rocky cliffs of Huecar Gorge. These cliff homes have wooden balconies and reach up to seven or eight floors high, where homeowners could enjoy beautiful (and frightening) views of the Huecar River. There are only a handful of the structures still in existence, and they are now home to the Cuenca Spanish Museum of Abstract Arts.

Berber Homes - Matmata, Tunisia

Photo by Ian Sewell / CC BY-SA

Star Wars fans will immediately recognize this Tunisian settlement as the filming location for Uncle Ben's home in Episode IV. The ancient site of Matmata has a long history of its locals building homes in a very unusual way. They would dig large pits about 23 feet deep and 33 feet wide into the ground and tunnel out through the side of the walls to build their homes. In Matmata and in many other desert settlements throughout Tunisia, you'll see these underground homes that have been around since late Roman times. Although many people have different theories of why the locals live in underground caves, one of the more logical explanations is that inhabitants would dig their homes underground to escape the extreme heat and Sahara Desert winds. Matmata and other nearby towns in Tunisia consist of these cave-like homes that are located on a shelf of sandstone, which is easy to dig into with hand tools yet sturdy enough to last for centuries.

Casa Malaparte - Capri, Italy

Photo by donchili / CC BY-SA

A house that overlooks the sea may be an ideal dream home, but what if it's sitting on a cliff and is 32 meters above the Gulf of Salerno? Casa Malaparte, on the Isle of Capri, Italy, sits perfectly perched on a cliff above the sea. Although it appears to be a precarious place to call home, it does combine the best of Italian modern and contemporary architecture for a truly unique experience. The home was built in 1973 by Italian architect Adalberto Libera and features a minimalist style that includes a red masonry box with reverse pyramidal stairs leading to a roof patio. It's located on private property, which is pretty hard to get to if you are walking around the island, but it can be easily seen by boat if the waters are calm.

Caveland - Festus, Missouri

Photo by Don Kasak / CC BY

A couple in Festus, MO, who obviously have no problem with the dark, transformed a cave into a modern, livable, two-story dream home. The property was previously used as a sandstone mine, roller rink, and concert venue before being bought and used to build a unique home and office space for a young family. Known as "caveland" the three-acre property was purchased in 2003 on eBay and has been renovated by its owners, Curt and Deborah Sleeper, to include a curved staircase, hardwood floors, exposed rock walls, and 28 salvaged sliding glass doors. It even has a natural spring.