6 Things You Should Never Say When You’re Selling Your Home

You know that expression about loose lips sinking ships? It holds true for selling your home as well. Sure, there are some things you have to disclose to buyers—such as if your home has lead paint or is located in a flood zone. But there’s plenty more you might volunteer when you would be truly better off keeping your mouth strategically shut.

We’ve already revealed the things buyers should never say to sellers. Now, let us share some things that sellers should never let slip to buyers, or the agents representing them.

To help hone your “less is more” attitude when it comes to talking with prospective buyers, here are a few doozies that agents recommend never, ever saying.

‘Our house is in perfect condition’

Your home is your castle, and in your eyes it may seem perfect—but don’t make claims that aren’t true, says Cara Ameer, a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker.

“The home inspection may reveal otherwise, and, as a seller, you don’t want to wind up putting your foot in your mouth,” she explains. Bottom line: “There simply is no such thing as ‘perfect condition.’ Every house, whether it is brand new or a resale, has something that needs to be fixed, adjusted, replaced, or improved upon.”

If you’re not sure what to disclose, talk to your agent about the history of the house. Together, you can figure out what is important for buyers to know. Don’t have an agent yet? Here’s how to find a real estate agent in your area.

‘It’s been on the market for X…’

Never, ever discuss how long the home has been on the market with prospective buyers, says Pam Santoro, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. This info is often listed and available on the home’s information sheet, but bringing it up—especially if the home has been available for eons—can send sellers the wrong message. No one wants to buy a white elephant—and, if they do, it’s probably because they think they’ll be getting it dirt-cheap.

‘We’ve never had a problem with…’

If you’re hoping to move quickly, you may be tempted to tell a few little white lies. So you never had a problem with weird neighbors, eh? Or flooded basements? Or vengeance-seeking poltergeists? Realtors agree that your mistruths—however insignificant they might seem—could come back to you with teeth.

“You’re setting yourself up for potential liability,” explains Ameer. “You may not even be aware of the problem at first, but it could  translate into an embarrassing moment upon inspection.” So come clean with what you know and admit what you don’t.

‘We always wanted to fix/renovate that, but…’

Tempted to mention, “We always thought about knocking this wall down and opening the space for more light?” How about “We planned on renovating this bathroom but ran out of cash”? Mum’s the word when it comes to fixes you intended to address. Nobody cares about good intentions.

“When sellers point out things they might change, this only alerts the buyer of more upcoming costs for them,” says Maryjo Shockley, a Realtor with Keller Williams. Who knows? Your buyers may not even want to knock down that wall or redo the bathroom. So why plant those ideas, along with those dollar signs?

‘We spent a ton of money on X, Y, and Z’

Just because you love the Brazilian koa wood flooring you installed throughout the first floor, that doesn’t mean prospective buyers will be willing to shell out for it.

“The buyer doesn’t care whether you spent $10,000 or $100,000 on your kitchen,” says Ameer. “They are only going to offer what they feel the home is worth in relation to area comparable sales.” So, save your breath, or else you’ll risk sounding like you’re trying too hard to justify your price. Desperation isn’t cool.

‘I’m not taking less than X amount for my home’

When it comes time to sell, it makes sense that you want top dollar. We get it! But at the same time, it’s important to be realistic and open to offers within a reasonable range.

“If you send a message that you are inflexible or not open to negotiating, it may not invite buyers to even try to work out acceptable price and terms as they will feel defeated from the start,” says Ameer. “Word may spread that you have this sentiment as a seller, and people may start to avoid the house.”

Source: realtor.com

How to Invest in Tech Stocks – Tips for Getting Started

Technological innovation has simplified just about everything these days. Going to a brick-and-mortar store to shop around for great deals is a thing of the past, and if you have a question you can’t answer, all you need to do is Google it. From medicine to communication, food, education, and entertainment, technology has made incredible improvements in our lives.

It’s not surprising that technology companies are some of the most highly valued companies in the world today. In fact, according to FXCM, the five largest companies listed on the stock market today are all technology companies.

It’s no wonder investors are piling into tech stocks in an attempt to join in some of the tremendous gains seen in the sector in recent years.

How to Invest in Tech Stocks

With the excitement that surrounds the tech sector and technology companies being some of the biggest in the world, it’s not surprising that investors continue to pile into the space.

However, not all tech stocks will be profitable investment opportunities. In fact, the wrong moves in the tech sector can lead to significant losses.

So how exactly can you go about investing in the best tech stocks?

Pro tip: You can earn a free share of stock (up to $200 value) when you open a new trading account from Robinhood. With Robinhood, you can customize your portfolio with stocks and ETFs, plus you can invest in fractional shares. Sign up for Robinhood.

1. Invest in Nasdaq Index Funds

One great way for investors to gain exposure to the technology sector is to invest in Nasdaq index funds. These funds are developed to provide broad exposure to all assets listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, offering strong diversification in the search for tech stock profits.

The Nasdaq is a tech investment because it is the most tech-heavy index on the stock market today. There are some options for tech investors who want to buy Nasdaq index funds:

  • Nasdaq Composite Index Funds. Nasdaq composite index funds give investors exposure to the 2,500 companies listed on the Nasdaq. Although the index is tech heavy, not all companies listed are tech companies. Nonetheless, many investors enjoy the heavy diversification offered by the Nasdaq composite index, providing relatively safe exposure to the tech sector.
  • Nasdaq 100 Index Funds. The Nasdaq 100 index is composed of the 100 largest and most actively traded stocks on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Because most of the 100 largest companies listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange are tech companies, an investment in Nasdaq 100 index funds is a diversified investment in the tech sector as a whole, but more focused on the large-cap tech giants.

2. Invest in Tech-Focused ETFs and Mutual Funds

In addition to index funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds also provide exposure to various categories of stocks while protecting investors through heavy diversification.

There are several ETFs and mutual funds on the market today that are designed to give investors exposure to the tech sector in a relatively low-risk way. Some of the most popular tech-focused ETFs and mutual funds include:

  • Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK).
  • iShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF (IGM).
  • Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund (VGT).

3. Look Into the Tech Giants

If you want to invest in the tech sector but would like to choose single-stock investments rather than investing in ETFs and mutual funds, a great way to start is by looking into the tech giants.

You know these companies by name. These big tech stocks represent companies that have been so successful that they’ve become household names.

Big tech stocks represent a subsector of the tech space that garners more attention than just about any other corner of the stock market today. Some names in big tech include Facebook, Amazon.com, Apple, and Alphabet (Google).

Although any company — no matter how big or small — can fail, big tech companies have a long history of solid performance, which is what allowed them to grow to become what they are today.

These companies are known for generating compelling revenues and earnings while staying at the forefront of their respective industries. As a result, they haven’t only become household names, they’ve become some of the biggest names on Wall Street today.

Pro tip: If you’re thinking about adding tech stocks to your portfolio, make sure you do your due diligence. Stock screeners like Trade Ideas can help you narrow down the choices to companies that meet your requirements. Learn more about our favorite stock screeners.

4. Consider Smaller Technology Companies on the Leading Edge of Innovation

It seems like new technologies are developed every day. Pretty soon, the average car will drive itself and run on clean fuels, rechargeable batteries, or another form of clean energy. New medical treatments will be developed. Who knows the innovation that’s going to take place in just about any other facet of life?

The companies that develop technologies that change the world tend to be incredible investment opportunities. Just look at Microsoft. In the beginning, many believed home computers would never take off. They were expensive and people had no real need for them.

Today, computers are involved in almost every aspect of the average American’s day-to-day life. At the same time, Microsoft is one of the largest companies in the world with a market cap of more than $1.5 trillion.

Who knows what the next life-changing technology will be? One thing that’s known for sure is that technological innovation is going to continue, and investors who get in on the ground floor of these opportunities have the potential to become millionaires in the process.

Of course, there is a downside. The higher the potential reward, the higher the risk. Those companies currently developing the next big thing may never be successful. For every smash hit product, there were a thousand that didn’t make it. So, if you’re going to invest in highly speculative emerging technology stocks, it’s important that you have a knack for knowing what’s hot and what’s not and that you do detailed research to understand the risks.

5. Invest in the Technology of the Future

The world is changing right in front of you. Artificial intelligence gives you a way to communicate with your house, your computer stores everything in the cloud, and you keep hearing about a digital currency called Bitcoin that’s worth five figures.

What’s the world coming to?

It’s moving toward a more efficient economy. For this economic efficiency revolution to take place, there will need to be further advancements in three key technologies:

  • Cloud Computing. Cloud computing is a technology that makes computer technologies, like data storage and computing power, available on an on-demand basis. Users tap into resources on the Internet, or “in the cloud,” rather than having to own and manage these systems firsthand. This gives the average person access to the fastest computing capabilities and the highest storage capacities possible at a relatively inexpensive cost.
  • Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence is being deployed in various areas of business around the world. It’s driving everything from medical diagnoses to digital advertising, online trading activities, and logistics.
  • Blockchain Technology. The blockchain is a self-regulated system of contracts. These contracts are used to form some of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies. Although cryptocurrency itself is a speculative investment, the blockchain is solid technology. It stands to change the way transactions happen, both in monetary exchanges and the transaction of data from one party to the next.

No matter what the next big change is, it will likely involve one or more of the technologies listed above. By investing in these emerging technologies early, you’ll have the opportunity to tap into potentially life-changing returns.


What to Look for in Technology Stocks

As is the case in any sector, not all technology stocks are created equal. Some will represent incredible investment opportunities while others will lead to significant losses. Before making an investment in any technology stock, there are a few things that an investor should look for:

1. Innovative Technologies

The tech sector is constantly evolving, and if a company in the sector doesn’t stay at the forefront of the evolution, they’ll be left behind.

Just take a look at BlackBerry. Several years ago, BlackBerry devices were the hot item. It took the power of your home computer — at least some of that power — and put it in the palm of your hand. Every businessperson, doctor, student, and trendy consumer had or wanted a BlackBerry smartphone.

As competition started to come into the market, BlackBerry got too comfortable with its leadership position, falling behind in innovation. As a result, BlackBerry lost market share and started a downward run in the market that would last for years. Today, BlackBerry is still alive, largely as a software company, but it’s nowhere near as valuable as it once was.

On the other hand, Apple, the leader of smartphone innovation is now the king of the industry and one of the largest companies in the world.

Before making an investment in a tech stock, make sure that the company represented by the stock is actively innovating.

2. Strong Balance Sheets

Technology is a cyclical sector. When economic conditions are positive, consumers are willing to spend money on cutting-edge technologies. When economic conditions are negative, consumer spending slows and tech companies tend to struggle.

As a result, it’s important that any tech company you invest in has a strong balance sheet with plenty of cash to get through the hard times.

At the same time, being successful and maintaining that success in the tech sector is all about innovation, which, in corporate terms, relates to research and development (R&D) expenses. Tech companies that don’t have enough money in the bank for R&D expenses will eventually fall behind other companies in the space.

3. Consumer Adoption

New technologies are a great place to generate momentous gains. However, it’s important that whatever the new technology is has consumer interest. After all, if nobody’s buying the company’s products, it will never make it to profitability.

Just take a look at GoPro.

The company has compelling technologies. Its extreme action cameras can take a beating, film underwater, and be connected to sports helmets to capture all the action. It’s like a match made in heaven, combining the sports enthusiast with the videographer.

When GoPro cameras were first released, everyone thought that consumers would jump on the opportunity to own one. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Although sports enthusiasts were in love, the average consumer had no interest in an extreme action camera.

As a result, the company has operated at a loss for several years, having to tap capital markets multiple times to stay afloat and losing more than half of its value over the past five years.

The bottom line is that having great technology isn’t enough. In order for tech companies to do well, they have to have a product that appeals to the masses. Look for companies with a track record of growing sales that prove consumers are eagerly adopting their technologies.

4. Competition

Competition is a harsh reality in the tech space. Any time a new technology does well, it seems like every company in the sector jumps on the opportunity to take share in the emerging market surrounding the product.

Those that do best in the tech sector stay ahead of the competition by either carving their own niche with new technologies and continuing to innovate to stay on the top, as is the case with Microsoft, or by fundamentally improving existing technologies to take the market by storm, as was seen when Apple took the smartphone industry from BlackBerry.

Before investing in any tech stock, make sure that the company has what it takes to take or maintain the position as leader in its respective area of technology. If that’s not the case, an investment in the stock may lead to significant losses.

The renowned investor Warren Buffett often uses the term “economic moat.” Just as a moat surrounding a castle protects the castle from intruders, an economic moat protects a company’s value from competitors. There are two fundamental building blocks to a strong economic moat:

  • A Market-Leading Product. The product being sold by the company should be so innovative that it’s hard for other companies to compete with the offering.
  • Intellectual Property Protection. To keep competitors at bay, savvy tech companies have a strong intellectual property portfolio. This portfolio will consist of patents, trademarks, and copyrights surrounding each product sold. Just having the intellectual property isn’t enough either — the best investments are companies that have already proven the strength of their IP portfolio in court.

Before risking your hard-earned dollars on any tech stock, make sure the company has an economic moat that’s strong enough to stave off competition.


Mistakes to Avoid in the Tech Sector

Knowing what to look for in a quality tech stock is a major part of successful tech sector investments. Another major part is knowing what to avoid. Here are a few costly mistakes that you should work to avoid when investing in tech.

Investing in Companies With Nothing

There are several small companies on the stock market that say they have great technologies in the works, but they’re still in the research and development stage. At this stage, there’s no telling how long the company’s technology will take to make it to market, or if commercialization will ever even take place.

Investing in companies that don’t have a product on the market yet is risky business. Sure, many have been successful in doing so — even Bill Gates needed startup funding. However, it’s safer to look for companies that already have products on the market and are generating revenue through the sales of those products.

Paying High Valuations

The tech sector has some of the highest valuations seen on Wall Street. Unfortunately, you’ll have to be willing to pay a higher valuation in this sector than in energy, health care, or just about anywhere else.

For the most part, the high valuations are justified. Maintaining a position as the king of any hill in tech will lead to incredible profits.

However, due to the high interest in the tech sector as a whole, investors often push valuations to unrealistic highs. Keep in mind the average valuation metrics below and try to stay as close to those valuations as possible when making investments in tech stocks:

  • P/E Ratio. The average price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio in the tech sector is around 50.
  • P/B Ratio. The average price-to-book-value (P/B) ratio in the tech sector is about 14.
  • P/S Ratio. The average price-to-sales (P/S) ratio in the tech sector is about 10.

By doing your research and making sure that any tech company you invest in has valuation metrics that come in lower than the industry average, you’ll ensure that you’re not paying too much for your shares.

Investing in Companies With Small Target Markets

Technology is great, but it costs quite a bit of money to develop new technologies. In order to turn a profit from this investment, it’s important that tech companies are able to sell their products to a mass market.

Time and time again, new technologies are created that seem as though they’ll take the market by storm, only to find that when they do reach the public, the target audience is too small.

GoPro was a perfect example of this conundrum, but they aren’t the only company to suffer a similar fate. It happens across all areas of tech. For example, biotech company MannKind Corporation (MNKD) created a product known as Afrezza, an insulin with a unique technology that allows it to be inhaled rather than injected. The investing community predicted that Afrezza would take the market by storm, driving up share prices. Unfortunately, the insulin proved to be appealing only to a small audience, leading to share prices losing more than 60% of their value since March of 2016.

Investing in Companies With Little Money in the Bank

The tech sector is an expensive one to operate in. Not only are there high research and development costs, companies often have to cover the high cost of marketing to consumers or businesses in order to take their piece of the pie.

When choosing tech stocks to invest in, it’s important to find companies that have plenty of money in the bank and that are consistently adding more cash flow to the stash. Should funding dry up, shareholders will pay the price as the company’s stock price falls.


Final Word

The tech sector is an attractive one for two big reasons. Not only is technology a massive industry that’s known for generating compelling gains, it’s also interesting to consumers and investors alike.

Investing is all about research, and researching crude oil or some other sector that lacks an excitement factor can be a tiring process. However, there’s something inherently intriguing about researching the latest and greatest in tech that promises to change the world.

If you’re going to invest in the sector, it’s important to keep in mind that not all tech companies will be a success. Take the time to do your research and get a strong understanding of the risks and rewards that your investment may lead to before ever investing your first dollar.

Source: moneycrashers.com

The Pumpkin Carver’s Lake House: A Home for His Hobby

See how Russ Leno is pursuing his passion in the place he truly calls home.

[embedded content]

‘It would be boring if we all did the same thing’

When he started whittling for fun in his 20s, Russ Leno didn’t know he would one day carve the world’s largest pumpkin.

“I started honing my pumpkin-carving skills because I could be at home with [my kids],” the master sculptor explains.

A design engineer by trade and an artist by heart, Leno relished the days when everything was done by hand. But over time, computers started taking over the job, and he needed a new outlet.

First he started sculpting sand because his friends were doing it, and then he tried his hand at carving snow and ice. Pumpkins were an afterthought.

“It was somebody’s turn to have a party at their place, and they ran down to the store and got pumpkins,” he explains. “It was so much fun to carve in the new style we were starting.”

FISH TANK
Courtesy of Russ Leno

Leno describes his style as “creating a scene on a pumpkin,” but that’s an understatement. From a 1,200-pound mechanical piranha to a medieval castle and dragon, Leno’s Halloween creations are as imaginative as they are complex.

“It would be boring if we all did the same thing,” he says. “Just like people who play music, you wouldn’t want to hear the same style over and over again.”

‘It’s comfortable’

Over the past 25 years, Leno’s hobby has grown into a professional endeavor. He’s traveled all over, carving for wineries and even a vice president.

“I’m averaging 50 pumpkins a year and usually all of them are in the 250-pound range and bigger,” he says. “250 pounds used to be a ‘big pumpkin,’ but now it’s 500-700 pounds.”

His workspace has also grown.

“When I started out, I just used a table in the kitchen,” he explains. “Now I have this shop, where I have a lot bigger space to store my stuff and put my tools. It’s comfortable. You can move around and not have to worry about a mess being made inside your home.”

A work in progress, Leno’s shop is housed in a large garage behind his new lake house in Shelton, WA.

“I think if you have a passion for something that you love to do, you’ll make some type of area or space to do it in,” he says. “It’s important that you have some space that you can set up and then leave and come back to.”

‘You pinch yourself’

Leno moved to Spencer Lake this summer and plans to retire there.

“I’ve looked all around the Northwest, and I’ve never found anything that I’ve liked better than being down here in the south [Puget] Sound region,” he says. “It’s just beautiful down here.”

When he’s not carving, he takes his boat out on the lake or works in the yard. And he’s always thinking of ideas for his next Prizewinner.

“It’s quiet compared to where I’ve been before,” he says. “It gives my mind more room to think.”

view 2

A brown A-frame with a second-story deck, the house is filled with warm wood, walls of windows and Leno’s carvings.

“Life throws a lot of things at you, so to get your dream place is something I never thought I’d have,” he says. “You pinch yourself.”

Video by Jessica Sherry.

Related:

Originally published October 2015.

Source: zillow.com

MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Defending The Castle. Here’s The Wall To Watch

MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Defending The Castle. Here’s The Wall To Watch

Between Friday and Monday, it looked like the bond market might try to hold at slightly better levels than those implied by the recent bounce at 1.0% in 10yr yields.  Apart from being a nice round number, the psychological pivot point at 1.0% happened to coincide with the lower boundary of the trend channel we’ve been tracking for months.  Granted, such trends do nothing to predict every little movement, but they do suggest a general area for support and resistance.  In the worst case, the current trend puts the ceiling at 1.20 to 1.25% in the short term, but other pivot points could step in to help before things get that bad.

Pictures are worth more words in this case.  The yellow lines show the prevailing trend channel with the “worst case” upper resistance area at 1.20-1.25.  As you can see, that looks like it would take some doing based on the recent bounce at 1.19% and subsequent resistance at the horizontal pivot point at 1.125%.  The fact that 1.125% did such a good job over the past few weeks means we can watch it for an early clue about the progression of the trend.  In other words, if that wall is breached, the bad guys might take the castle.

20210202 open.png

There really isn’t any significant data to inform today’s trade, unless you count the overnight data in Europe which already put upward pressure on rates.  As such, we’ll probably avoid declaring victory if bonds hold their ground without further losses today and instead revisit the assessment after Friday’s jobs report.


MBS Pricing Snapshot

Pricing shown below is delayed, please note the timestamp at the bottom. Real time pricing is available via MBS Live.

MBS

UMBS 2.0

103-05 : -0-02

Treasuries

10 YR

1.1070 : +0.0300

Pricing as of 2/2/21 9:45AMEST

Source: mortgagenewsdaily.com

Hot Property: Zac Efron eyes an exit in Los Feliz

Fresh off his travels from the Netflix show “Down to Earth,” Zac Efron is taking care of some business back in L.A. The actor recently listed his perch in the hills of Los Feliz for $5.9 million.

A sale would cap a seven-year stay for Efron, who paid $4 million for the property in 2013. He made some changes during his time there, updating the swimming pool and spa with a waterfall to take advantage of the scenic setting, with views from downtown L.A. to the Pacific Ocean.

The contemporary compound sits at the end of a gated driveway in the Oaks, a coveted neighborhood up against the Hollywood Hills that’s home to celebrities and architectural landmarks such as Lloyd Wright’s Mayan Revival-style masterpiece the Samuel-Novarro House.

Efron’s place spans 5,644 square feet, with five bedrooms, five bathrooms and a handful of Zen-inspired living spaces, each with sweeping views of the city below. A long, covered entry approaches the home. Inside, wood floors, accent walls and custom fireplaces give the common spaces character. A brick wall stretches behind a gold fountain in the sky-lit foyer, and the adjacent kitchen adds clerestories and oversize windows. Floating stairs descend to an indoor-outdoor game room.

Advertisement

The home, with three stories of decks and balconies, stretches laterally across its hillside lot. The spa is tucked into the dining patio, and its runoff water cascades to the swimming pool a story below. The property covers just under an acre.

Kathrin Nicholson of the Agency holds the listing.

A native of San Luis Obispo, Efron rose to fame through the “High School Musical” trilogy from 2006 to 2008. In the years since, the 33-year-old has starred in “17 Again,” “Neighbors,” “Dirty Grandpa,” “Baywatch” and the 2019 film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.”

A smooth handoff among celebrities

Advertisement

In the middle of football season, Houston Texans receiver Randall Cobb managed to make a pass in Tarzana, quietly selling his traditional-style home in an off-market deal for $5.05 million.

Records reveal that the buyers were 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey and his wife, model-actress Vanessa Lachey, who picked up the property through the same trust they used to buy an Encino home in 2016.

It was a short stay for Cobb; he paid $4.76 million for the 7,000-square-foot home two years ago, The Times previously reported.

The amenity-loaded home includes a movie theater, wine cellar, gym, billiards room, swimming pool and basketball court.

The amenity-loaded home includes a movie theater, wine cellar, gym, billiards room, swimming pool and basketball court.

(NearMap)

Advertisement

Gated walls and hedges surround the house, which was built in 2014 and boasts Cape Cod style across two stories. Blue shutters adorn the white exterior. Inside, living spaces feature hardwood floors, coffered ceilings, paneled walls and pocketing doors.

Upstairs, the loft and primary suite — one of five bedrooms — extend to private terraces with views of the city. Other amenities include a billiards room, movie theater, gym and wine cellar.

There’s plenty of space out back as well, as covered patios adjoin a grassy lawn, outdoor kitchen, swimming pool and spa. At the edge of the property, steps descend to a full-size basketball court.

After a standout college career at Kentucky, Cobb was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft. The 30-year-old made the Pro Bowl in 2014, and this April he signed a three-year deal with the Texans worth $27 million.

Advertisement

Nick and Vanessa Lachey married in 2011. The couple co-hosted Netflix’s “Love Is Blind.”

Former Clipper keeps buying L.A. homes

With all the Los Angeles real estate moves Blake Griffin is making, you’d think he was still a Clipper. The Detroit Pistons star bought his second Brentwood home this year right before the start of the NBA season, shelling out $5.87 million for a 1930s traditional.

If he wants to visit his other Brentwood home, all he’ll have to do is hop the fence out back. His new spot sits directly behind his other one, a modern farmhouse that he bought in the spring for $19.1 million. If he combines the two lots, the compound will exceed an acre.

Advertisement

His new place is the smaller of the two, covering about 5,900 square feet, with five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. A stone pathway winds through the frontyard, approaching a tan exterior marked by sets of shutters.

The living spaces could use an update, but highlights include a gym, wine cellar, kitchen with Brazilian granite and a billiards room with a massive stained-glass window. Upstairs, the primary suite features three closets.

Outside, the house wraps around a spacious stone terrace with an outdoor dining area and covered lounge with a fireplace. Down below, a backyard with tropical landscaping includes a swimming pool and spa.

Advertisement

A native of Oklahoma, Griffin became the national college player of the year with the Sooners before being drafted first overall by the Clippers in 2009. He rose to stardom soon after, winning NBA rookie of the year in 2011 and becoming a six-time all-star.

Jordana Leigh of Rodeo Realty Beverly Hills held the listing. F. Ron Smith and David Berg of the Smith & Berg Partners team at Compass represented Griffin.

Publishing royalty lands on the beach

It’s no Hearst Castle, but Anne Hearst’s new place is still pretty nice. The granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, along with her husband, novelist Jay McInerney, paid $10.72 million for a Malibu beach house, The Times has confirmed.

Advertisement

The oceanfront home hit the market over the summer for $11.95 million — the first time it was offered in more than 40 years. The purchase comes about a year after the publishing heiress’ home in the Hamptons was reportedly destroyed in a fire.

Built in 1930, the two-story home sits on one of Southern California’s most exclusive stretches of sand, Malibu Colony Beach, at one point the priciest neighborhood in all of Los Angeles County.

The listing identifies the house as a California bungalow. It takes full advantage of the coastal setting with a patio for entertaining that ascends to a raised wood deck overlooking the coastline. Inside, four bedrooms and four bathrooms are spread across 2,520 square feet.

Advertisement

Beamed ceilings top parquet floors in the common spaces. The living room boasts a brick fireplace. Other highlights include an open-concept dining area and galley-style kitchen lined with yellow tile.

Hearst is the daughter of former Hearst Chairman Randolph Apperson Hearst and the sister of Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in the 1970s.

McInerney has been writing novels since the ’80s, including “Story of My Life,” “Brightness Falls” and “Bright Lights, Big City,” which was adapted into a movie starring Michael J. Fox. The pair married in 2006.

Hilton & Hyland’s Chad Rogers held the listing. Rick Hilton, Barron N. Hilton and Chad Rogers, all with Hilton & Hyland, represented Hearst and McInerney.

Advertisement

Baseball vet swings for the fences

Major League Baseball veteran Asdrúbal Cabrera is hoping for a home run this offseason. After building a 9,300-square-foot mansion in Southwest Ranches, Fla., the slugger listed it for sale at $8.9 million.

The two-time all-star, who won a World Series title with the Washington Nationals in 2019, said in a statement he was selling the home to focus on a more equestrian lifestyle.

The brand-new home was designed by Miami-based architecture firm Choeff Levy Fischman, which has built modern showplaces for New York Yankees legend Alex Rodriguez and Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard.

Advertisement

Cabrera’s place covers two acres in the gated community of Landmark Ranch Estates. An 11-foot wooden door sets a dramatic tone. Inside, seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms are spread across two stories.

The sleek living spaces are marked by modern finishes, high-end appliances and floor-to-ceiling walls of glass. There’s an Italian-inspired kitchen, a bonus room with a wet bar and a living room with a multilevel LED chandelier.

The second-story owner’s suite, accessible by elevator or a floating wood staircase, opens to one of two decks that line the back of the home. Other amenities include a gym, wine cellar and movie theater.

Advertisement

Outside, a marble deck wraps around a swimming pool and spa. A sunken fire pit, basketball court and outdoor kitchen complete the property.

A native of Venezuela, Cabrera reached the big leagues in 2007. The 35-year-old switch-hitting slugger has played for the Cleveland Indians, Nationals, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers, cranking out 199 home runs and 827 RBIs. He is currently a free agent.

Giselle Bonetti of Coldwell Banker Realty holds the listing.

Source: latimes.com

Hearst heiress pays $10.72 million for Malibu beach house

It’s no Hearst Castle, but Anne Hearst’s new place is still pretty nice. The granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and her husband, novelist Jay McInerney, just paid $10.72 million for a Malibu beach house, The Times has confirmed.

The oceanfront home hit the market over the summer for $11.95 million — the first time it was offered in more than 40 years. The purchase comes about a year after the publishing heiress’ home in the Hamptons was reportedly destroyed in a fire.

Built in 1930, the two-story home sits on one of Southern California’s most exclusive stretches of sand, Malibu Colony Beach, which at one point was the priciest neighborhood in all of Los Angeles County.

Advertisement

The listing identifies the house as a California bungalow, and it takes full advantage of the coastal setting with an entertaining terrace that ascends to a raised wood deck overlooking the coastline. Inside, four bedrooms and four bathrooms are spread across 2,520 square feet.

Lumber offsets the whitewashed floor plan, as beamed ceilings top parquet wood floors in the common spaces. The living room boasts a brick fireplace, and other highlights include an open-concept dining area and galley-style kitchen lined with yellow tile.

Hearst — a socialite, philanthropist and publishing heiress — is the daughter of former Hearst Chairman Randolph Apperson Hearst and the sister of Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in the 1970s.

McInerney has been writing novels since the ‘80s with titles including “Story of My Life,” “Brightness Falls” and “Bright Lights, Big City,” which was adapted into a movie starring Michael J. Fox. The pair married in 2006.

Advertisement

Hilton & Hyland’s Chad Rogers held the listing. Rick Hilton, Barron N. Hilton and Chad Rogers, all with Hilton & Hyland, represented Hearst and McInerney.

Source: latimes.com

Palatial $140M Mansion in Palm Beach Is the Week’s Most Popular Home>

Florida’s most expensive home floated to the top of this week’s 10 most popular homes for sale on realtor.com®. Listed for an eye-popping $140 million, the Palm Beach, FL, mansion landed on the market at an opportune moment—thanks to a buyer-driven frenzy in one of the nation’s most exclusive markets.

And because this magnificent mansion sits at the tippy top of the luxury market, curious clickers had to see what the utmost in high-end construction holds behind the high hedges.

What everyone peeped is a beachfront prestige property filled with exquisite art and finishes. Wide-open spaces and high ceilings define this chic estate available to only a tiny pool of ultrahigh net worth buyers.

But it wasn’t the only megamillion-dollar mansion from Florida to crack this week’s list. Race car driver Johnny Gray‘s $32.5 million mansion in Jupiter features a “megayacht” dock and an incredible garage.

Other homes you clicked on this week included a Pennsylvania home in an art community, a funky geodesic dome in a Missouri lake community, and a Sacramento-area castle known as Swan Lake.

For a full look at this week’s 10 most popular properties, simply scroll on down.

Price: $340,000
Why it’s here: In search of a bohemian vibe? Amid the trees, this three-bedroom Bucks County ranch house oozes cool vibes. It’s situated on a 2-acre plot in the Bryn Gweled co-op community. The home is owned by the resident, while the land is leased from Bryn Gweled following a membership application process.

The listing notes that the co-op community includes artists, musicians, and professionals from all walks of life who are “looking for a slightly alternative living style.” The community offers residents a number of shared amenities.

Southampton, PA
Southampton, PA

realtor.com

———

Price: $379,900
Why it’s here: This beautiful old church dates to 1928 and is available for residential or commercial use. A three-bedroom residence sits separate from the house of worship to save on heating costs. The house has a new furnace, plumbing, and electrical. The church itself retains original details such as stained glass, ornate millwork, and wood beams.

Bethlehem, NH
Bethlehem, NH

realtor.com

———

Price: $699,900
Why it’s here: This 25-acre farm includes a stone house built in 1832. The five-bedroom residence has been expanded to 4,622 square feet of living space. The interiors have been updated with contemporary fixtures that meld beautifully with rustic elements like stone walls, wide-plank wood floors, and beamed ceilings.

Other highlights include the sunroom, a covered porch, and a new roof.

Leighton, PA
Leighton, PA

realtor.com

———

Price: $32,500,000
Why it’s here: This megamansion is the largest intracoastal property in the desirable Admirals Cove neighborhood and is being sold by NHRA race car driver Johnny Gray. It’s filled with high-octane amenities like a massive garage, a plush home theater, and parking for a yacht. The 29,676-square-foot mansion comes with 365 feet of waterfront.

Jupiter, FL
Jupiter, FL

realtor.com

———

Price: $189,000
Why it’s here: This groovy geodesic dome was built in 1986 and is located in a private community with a 26-acre lake, beach, swimming, boating, fishing, and more. The roomy three-bedroom dome has a private deck, oversized windows, and a crow’s nest on the third level.

Fenton, MO
Fenton, MO

realtor.com

———

Price: $28,000,000
Why it’s here: Swan Lake Castle is headed to auction. The 5-acre property includes gardens, manicured lawns, and landscaped ponds and waterways filled with “exotic water fowl.”

Inspired by European royalty, the castle near Sacramento is hoping for a bidder with royal dreams to step up. The listing agent says the interiors aren’t being shown to preserve the mystery within for a deep-pocketed buyer.

Granite Bay, CA
Granite Bay, CA

realtor.com

———

Price: $299,000
Why it’s here: Get back to the country with this quant log cabin built in 1991. The farmhouse-style interiors include an open sunroom, hickory wood paneling, front porch, and attached workshop. A new HVAC system, 4-year-old roof, fresh paint, and refinished cabinets are just a few of the recent updates to the home.

Florence, SC
Florence, SC

realtor.com

———

Price: $3,495,000
Why it’s here: A slice of the French Riviera in Pennsylvania? This five-bedroom mansion was built in 2014 and boasts a saltwater pool, home theater, gym, and many more luxe amenities.

Huntington Valley, PA
Huntington Valley, PA

realtor.com

———

Price: $683,000
Why it’s here: Once a humble brick schoolhouse, it’s been transformed into a whimsical and charming two-bedroom home.

The one-room schoolhouse was built in 1883, and the conversion project has won awards for its smart reuse of a historic structure. It features original slate chalkboards, old carvings, and original beams—all lovingly maintained and restored.

Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne, IN

realtor.com

———

Price: $140,000,000
Why it’s here: Florida has a new title holder for the state’s most expensive home. This magnificent mansion was built on a vacant lot that was sold in 2017 for $37 million.

Spectacular in every way, this brand-new, nine-bedroom mansion is elegant and tasteful. Windows throughout allow the oceanfront vistas to take center stage.

The land beneath the beachfront home was once owned by former President Donald Trump, before he sold it in 2008 to a Russian investor. It now awaits a buyer enamored with the idea of the ultimate in Palm Beach luxury living.

Palm Beach, FL
Palm Beach, FL

realtor.com

Source: realtor.com

Bidding Set To Take Flight on $28M Swan Lake Castle Near Sacramento

A brand-new castle, described as being “inspired by the grandeur of European royalty,” is headed for the auction block.

The mansion on Moss Court in Granite Bay, CA, is scheduled for an online auction on March 15. For an idea of where the bidding might hover, the current list price on the place is $28 million.

Located in an upscale suburb of Sacramento, Swan Lake Castle has six bedrooms, seven full bathrooms, and seven half-bathrooms on 15,400 square feet of living space.

The nearly 5-acre property just north of Folsom Lake is filled with eye-catching details.

“It’s like a Disney park, like a theme park,” explains the listing agent, Vadim Eidemiller. “It has three ponds, all kinds of fish, swans—everything. It has waterfalls with lights and music similar to Las Vegas.”

There’s also an intricate gazebo supported by eight classical-style statues, reached by a small footbridge.

Exterior of Swan Lake Castle in Granite Bay, CA
Exterior of Swan Lake Castle in Granite Bay, CA

Vadim Eidemiller

Grounds
Grounds

Vadim Eidemiller

Fountains
Fountains

Vadim Eidemiller

Grounds
Grounds

Vadim Eidemiller

Gazebo
Gazebo

Vadim Eidemiller

Interior
Interior

Vadim Eidemiller

Interior
Interior

Vadim Eidemiller

Eidemiller says the castle took several years to build. It was built to commercial standards, but located in an area zoned residential.

The current owners aren’t releasing a lot of information about the property. Many of the home’s details aren’t visible in the listing photos, and the owners would prefer to maintain the home’s mystique.

___

Watch: Sacramento’s Secret: Why This California Market Is No. 1 for 2021

___

“The sellers want to keep some features not exposed to the general public. They want to pre-screen people, because most likely, whoever is buying the property might be caring about their privacy,” Eidemiller explains.

Ceiling
Ceiling

Vadim Eidemiller

Windows
Windows

Vadim Eidemiller

Staircase
Staircase

Vadim Eidemiller

Bathroom
Bathroom

Vadim Eidemiller

Bathtub
Bathtub

Vadim Eidemiller

Security door
Security door

Vadim Eidemiller

As a result, most folks can’t see anything other than a few windows, ceilings, floors, a staircase, some bathroom fixtures, and a very secure door.

Eidemiller claims that the castle is beautiful inside, built with true craftsmanship and wired with smart home features.

“It’s difficult to describe, because everything so expensive and so high-end,” he says. “It’s literally a castle. They took the design from some European castles.”

Interior
Interior

Vadim Eidemiller

Interior
Interior

Vadim Eidemiller

Interior
Interior

Vadim Eidemiller

Construction on the castle began in 2012, putting to work a fleet of experts.

“[The owner] began his search for designers and craftsmen formerly schooled and trained in European architectures of the 17th and 18th centuries. His goal was to bring a piece of European royal luxury to Northern California,” Eidemiller explains. “[They] set about locating the craftsmen and artisans who could turn these plans into reality and who were up to the task of constructing the amenities, like the grand staircases, Gothic arches, domes, vaults, courtyards, and grand fireplaces, all built on a royal scale.”

The listing describes the master bedroom as having a balcony, walk-in closet, and wet bar. A basement features a theater, wine storage, and a workshop.

There is also a garage with room for seven cars and open parking spaces for dozens more.

Interior
Interior

Vadim Eidemiller

Interior
Interior

Vadim Eidemiller

Most of the construction was completed in the summer of 2020, and construction on the pool is finishing up now. It’s not clear whether the interior is finished, but Eidemiller says the owners had a final permit signed off in 2019.

Putting the castle on the auction block is a way to goose buyers into action, so that the owners can move on to other projects.

Eidemiller tells us that the castle and the land are exceptional: “It truly is a home fit for European royalty. [The owner] built a home his royal forbears would be proud to live in. To see the finished creation is to fall in love with it.”

Interior
Interior

Vadim Eidemiller

Grounds
Grounds

Vadim Eidemiller

Exterior
Exterior

Vadim Eidemiller

  • For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
  • Homes for sale in Granite Bay, CA
  • Learn more about Granite Bay, CA

Source: realtor.com