Supermodel Rachel Hunter Brings $3.5M Home to Market; Take a Tour of the Beauty

The New Zealand model, actress and host of Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty is selling her home above the Sunset Strip.

In hopes that the third time really is a charm, Hunter re-listed her 5-bedroom home for $3,499,000, after two unsuccessful former attempts that led to the property being taken off the market. This time around, the supermodel enlisted the help of Mary Swanson with Compass and Annie Challis of Coldwell Banker to handle the sale.

Rachel Hunter’s Hollywood Hills manor is gated, hedged, and private. With a killer location, close to 4,500 square feet of living space, and with the grounds of the property spanning a quarter of an acre, Hunter’s house is the very definition of prime property. So let’s take a tour of the beauty (pun intended), before a buyer pops up and takes it off the market:

Rachel Hunter's house in hollywood hills
Rachel Hunter’s house. Image credit: Compass

The English Country Manor that Rachel Hunter has been calling home for a little over a decade — the model purchased the home in 2004 — comes with five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, and two half baths.

The oversized living room has a beautiful beamed ceiling, a fireplace, and French doors leading to amazing outdoor spaces.

A recently remodeled eat-in kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a formal dining room with fireplace, two bedrooms and bathroom, and an oversized laundry room complete the main level.

Rachel Hunter's house in hollywood hills
Rachel Hunter’s house. Image credit: Compass

SEE ALSO: A Look Inside Kris Jenner’s House, Her Zen-like Refuge in Hidden Hills

Rachel Hunter's house in hollywood hills
Rachel Hunter’s house. Image credit: Compass

Upstairs, you will find two additional bedrooms and a generous master suite with a loggia showcasing stunning city views, a huge light-filled bathroom with steam shower and tub, and a spacious walk-in closet.

Rachel Hunter's house in hollywood hills
Rachel Hunter’s house. Image credit: Compass
Rachel Hunter's house in hollywood hills
Rachel Hunter’s house. Image credit: Compass

What’s left? A finished basement that would be a perfect fit for a media or game room — depending on how the new owner likes to spend his free time most. Although it’s hard to imagine spending any time inside, since the sprawling outdoor areas are perfect for entertaining and relaxing, with several sitting areas being accommodated, as well as a private pool and spa.

More celebrity homes

Cindy Crawford’s Impeccably Designed Beach House in Malibu Is On the Market
Hailey & Justin Bieber’s Love Nest in Toluca Lake is Now for Sale
Hit Songwriter Ali Tamposi Is Selling Her Gorgeous Mini-Compound in Los Feliz
Scott Disick’s New Flip, a Stunning Contemporary Farmhouse, Hits the Market

Source: fancypantshomes.com

What to Do With the Extra Room in Your House

What would you do if you had an extra room in your house? Get creative because the possibilities are limitless.

  1. Home Gym: Do you love to start your mornings with a good workout, but hate dragging yourself to a crowded gym? If you have some workout machines at home, transform your spare room into a gym. Even if you just buy some weights, a yoga mat, and other inexpensive equipment, you can turn your unused room into something useful.
  2. Playroom: If you’re tired of tripping over your kids’ toys in your nice, fancy living room, turn that extra room into their own space. Paint the walls with chalkboard paint so they can write on the walls, store all of their toys in the room, and allow them to play. They’ll love a space of their own, and you’ll love not having a mess all over the house.
  3. Contemplation Room: Ever just need some time alone with your thoughts? If you find yourself wanting to escape the craziness of the day and not knowing where to go, consider creating a contemplation room. Decorate it in all white with comfortable furniture, throw pillows, and blankets. This creates a serene space where you can go to clear your head, meditate, and relax.
  4. Library: If you’re a bookworm, you’ve probably always dreamed of having your very own library. Now is your chance! Install bookshelves from wall to ceiling, add comfortable, sophisticated couches, and throw in cozy area rugs to make a comfy and inviting space. Just imagine relaxing after a long day in your library with your favorite book, a cup of tea, and candles.
  5. Entertainment Center: If you don’t have a den or finished basement, and only a formal living room, you may want to consider turning the spare room into an entertainment center. Use dark woods and deep colors, reclining chairs and a sectional couch, and top it off with a flat screen television for the perfect movie theater feel. It can be a great place to have a movie marathon on a rainy day!

Having a spare room in the home leaves you with countless opportunities to be unique and create a special room that’s all your own!

Source: century21.com

How Much Does a Home Appraisal Cost? – Redfin

Congratulations, you’ve found a home that you’re ready to buy. From the days of saving for a down payment, searching the housing market for your dream home, homeownership is almost in sight. So whether you’re a seasoned homebuyer or a first-time homebuyer, you’ll need to plan for a home appraisal before you can get final approval for your mortgage. 

You may be wondering just what is a home appraisal and how much does a home appraisal cost? Before heading into the final steps of the homebuying process, find out about the different types of home appraisals and what factors can change the price of a home appraisal.

home-appraisal-cost

home-appraisal-cost

What is a home appraisal? 

A home appraisal is a prerequisite for most mortgages, whether you’re living in Houston, TX or looking to buy a house in Philadelphia, PA. It determines a home’s value and your lender will use the house appraisal to generate an appraisal report. The report helps lenders decide an appropriate amount to lend to a potential homebuyer to purchase that property. State-certified professionals conduct appraisals to safeguard both buyers and lenders against inflated property valuations.

Who chooses the home appraiser? 

Your mortgage lender will often recommend from a list of preferred appraisers, chosen for their track records as reliable, high-integrity professionals. As the buyer you’ll have to pay the appraisal cost, which usually is a fee added to your closing costs. However, your lender should inform you how much the appraisal will cost when you begin the pre-qualification process, so you’ll know just what to expect.

How much does a home appraisal cost? 

A typical home appraisal can range from $200 to $450. However, the cost of your home appraisal will depend on the type of appraisal you need. Here are the four types of home appraisals you might run across:

1) Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR)

This is the most common type of home appraisal out there and lenders typically require a URAR before approving your mortgage.

During a URAR, a trained and certified appraiser carefully reviews both the home’s interior and exterior. The home appraisal process takes two to four hours — and costs between $300 and $400. At the end of the evaluation, the appraiser will give you a detailed report breaking down your home’s value. This is the most extensive, and therefore most expensive, type of home appraisal.

Note: The remaining three types of appraisals are generally not considered sufficient to obtain a conventional loan, but there are reasons why you may want one of these appraisals.

2) Restricted-Use, Short-form Report, or Drive-by Appraisal: 

As you might expect, this type of appraisal provides less information than other types. Therefore, this home appraisal cost is generally less expensive, around $100 to $150. However, lenders generally do not accept this type of appraisal for mortgage approval. More likely, homeowners and real estate agents may use it to help determine a home’s listing price. For this type of house appraisal, a trained and certified appraiser evaluates only the outside of the house and relies on the owner to provide information about the home’s condition and other details inside. 

3) Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): 

Real estate agents use a CMA to value a home, considering factors like nearby home values, ratings for school districts, and the home’s general condition for their analysis. CMAs provide a reasonable estimate for a home’s value when setting a listing price. While this report is more likely used as a tool for sellers rather than buyers, you can always ask your real estate agent for a CMA if you’re looking to buy. It’s important to note that lenders do not consider a CMA as a valid appraisal to determine loan value. 

4) Online appraisals: 

Numerous online sites offer home appraisals directly to buyers who want to know how much their house is worth. An online home appraisal can be free or have some cost depending on how much information you request. Lenders do not accept this type of home appraisal as a valid appraisal. 

home-with-land

Factors that affect home appraisal cost

Before you have a home appraised, know the four important factors that can affect the cost of your home appraisal. 

Type of property

The type of property you plan to buy will influence the cost of your home appraisal. For example, an appraisal for a two-bedroom home will be less expensive than one with multiple bedrooms, a finished basement, and an attic. Additionally, if you plan to set up your home as a rental property to generate income, the appraiser will require a rent survey and an income statement, which may increase the cost.

The home’s value

The general value of the home affects the cost of the appraisal. As a rule of thumb, the larger the home, the more expensive the appraisal. A larger home will take more time to evaluate and results in a more extensive report. As a general reference point, properties priced at or less than $500,000 will typically result in an appraisal cost at the lower end of the range.

The home’s location 

How far does the appraiser need to travel to conduct the appraisal? Driving times and mileage are all accounted for these days, so you should expect to pay more for your home appraisal if the house is located out of town.

Type of mortgage you’re applying for

Depending on the type of mortgage you’ve applied for, it may result in a more costly home appraisal. For example, mortgages that involve a federal agency, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), require an appraisal to include additional safety inspections, resulting in a higher cost. 

If you plan on getting a mortgage loan to purchase your new home, getting an appraisal will most likely be a non-negotiable requirement from your lender. Make sure to ask your lender ahead of time what to expect for the home appraisal cost, so you can be sure to set aside that amount to be paid as part of the home closing process. The more prepared you are throughout your homebuying journey, the more likely you’ll find yourself at ease and ready to become a homeowner.

Source: redfin.com

How Much Does a Home Appraisal Cost?

Congratulations, you’ve found a home that you’re ready to buy. From the days of saving for a down payment, searching the housing market for your dream home, homeownership is almost in sight. So whether you’re a seasoned homebuyer or a first-time homebuyer, you’ll need to plan for a home appraisal before you can get final approval for your mortgage. 

You may be wondering just what is a home appraisal and how much does a home appraisal cost? Before heading into the final steps of the homebuying process, find out about the different types of home appraisals and what factors can change the price of a home appraisal.

home-appraisal-cost

home-appraisal-cost

What is a home appraisal? 

A home appraisal is a prerequisite for most mortgages, whether you’re living in Houston, TX or looking to buy a house in Philadelphia, PA. It determines a home’s value and your lender will use the house appraisal to generate an appraisal report. The report helps lenders decide an appropriate amount to lend to a potential homebuyer to purchase that property. State-certified professionals conduct appraisals to safeguard both buyers and lenders against inflated property valuations.

Who chooses the home appraiser? 

Your mortgage lender will often recommend from a list of preferred appraisers, chosen for their track records as reliable, high-integrity professionals. As the buyer you’ll have to pay the appraisal cost, which usually is a fee added to your closing costs. However, your lender should inform you how much the appraisal will cost when you begin the pre-qualification process, so you’ll know just what to expect.

How much does a home appraisal cost? 

A typical home appraisal can range from $200 to $450. However, the cost of your home appraisal will depend on the type of appraisal you need. Here are the four types of home appraisals you might run across:

1) Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR)

This is the most common type of home appraisal out there and lenders typically require a URAR before approving your mortgage.

During a URAR, a trained and certified appraiser carefully reviews both the home’s interior and exterior. The home appraisal process takes two to four hours — and costs between $300 and $400. At the end of the evaluation, the appraiser will give you a detailed report breaking down your home’s value. This is the most extensive, and therefore most expensive, type of home appraisal.

Note: The remaining three types of appraisals are generally not considered sufficient to obtain a conventional loan, but there are reasons why you may want one of these appraisals.

2) Restricted-Use, Short-form Report, or Drive-by Appraisal: 

As you might expect, this type of appraisal provides less information than other types. Therefore, this home appraisal cost is generally less expensive, around $100 to $150. However, lenders generally do not accept this type of appraisal for mortgage approval. More likely, homeowners and real estate agents may use it to help determine a home’s listing price. For this type of house appraisal, a trained and certified appraiser evaluates only the outside of the house and relies on the owner to provide information about the home’s condition and other details inside. 

3) Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): 

Real estate agents use a CMA to value a home, considering factors like nearby home values, ratings for school districts, and the home’s general condition for their analysis. CMAs provide a reasonable estimate for a home’s value when setting a listing price. While this report is more likely used as a tool for sellers rather than buyers, you can always ask your real estate agent for a CMA if you’re looking to buy. It’s important to note that lenders do not consider a CMA as a valid appraisal to determine loan value. 

4) Online appraisals: 

Numerous online sites offer home appraisals directly to buyers who want to know how much their house is worth. An online home appraisal can be free or have some cost depending on how much information you request. Lenders do not accept this type of home appraisal as a valid appraisal. 

home-with-land

Factors that affect home appraisal cost

Before you have a home appraised, know the four important factors that can affect the cost of your home appraisal. 

Type of property

The type of property you plan to buy will influence the cost of your home appraisal. For example, an appraisal for a two-bedroom home will be less expensive than one with multiple bedrooms, a finished basement, and an attic. Additionally, if you plan to set up your home as a rental property to generate income, the appraiser will require a rent survey and an income statement, which may increase the cost.

The home’s value

The general value of the home affects the cost of the appraisal. As a rule of thumb, the larger the home, the more expensive the appraisal. A larger home will take more time to evaluate and results in a more extensive report. As a general reference point, properties priced at or less than $500,000 will typically result in an appraisal cost at the lower end of the range.

The home’s location 

How far does the appraiser need to travel to conduct the appraisal? Driving times and mileage are all accounted for these days, so you should expect to pay more for your home appraisal if the house is located out of town.

Type of mortgage you’re applying for

Depending on the type of mortgage you’ve applied for, it may result in a more costly home appraisal. For example, mortgages that involve a federal agency, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), require an appraisal to include additional safety inspections, resulting in a higher cost. 

If you plan on getting a mortgage loan to purchase your new home, getting an appraisal will most likely be a non-negotiable requirement from your lender. Make sure to ask your lender ahead of time what to expect for the home appraisal cost, so you can be sure to set aside that amount to be paid as part of the home closing process. The more prepared you are throughout your homebuying journey, the more likely you’ll find yourself at ease and ready to become a homeowner.

Source: redfin.com

$20.75 Million Lakefront Estate Is Wisconsin’s Most Expensive Home

An estate on a coveted piece of lakefront property now holds the title of most expensive home in Wisconsin.

Recently listed for $20.75 million, the mansion on Snake Road in Lake Geneva, WI, is ideal for a wealthy Windy City resident in search of an escape.

Built in 1906, the home, known as Villa Hortensia, measures 12,396 square feet and sits on 20.5 acres of lakefront property about two hours from downtown Chicago.

“From the beginning, [Lake Geneva] has been a retreat for the wealthy. That’s why a house like this gets built,” says the listing agent, David Curry. “The combination of a huge property, with highly pedigreed design, in relatively nice condition, is a rare combination on the lake.”

In Curry’s opinion, the location of the property is hard to top.

“What makes the property exciting—it’s not just a cool house with a classic design,” he adds, noting that it’s on what he describes as “one of the top 10 pieces of dirt on the lake.”

Built for a Chicago meatpacking tycoon, Edwin Swift, and named for his wife, Hortense, the estate has serious architectural credentials. The architect Howard Van Doren Shaw and the landscape architect Jens Jensen worked together to create the timeless residence, which is flanked by a number of other prestige properties.

“It’s on Snake Road, which is where the majority of our large legacy estates are located,” Curry explains.

Billionaires own the homes on either side, but this villa creates an indelible impression.

“When you’re driving up to it, you see it for quite a distance before you arrive at it. It’s just immense,” he adds.

Exterior of estate on Lake Geneva, WI
Exterior of estate on Lake Geneva, WI

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Aerial view
Aerial view

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Driveway
Driveway

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Interior
Interior

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Living space
Living space

Geneva Lakefront Realty

The current owners have held onto the home for about 20 years and are year-round residents. Curry told us that full-time residents are a rarity on this exclusive stretch of lakefront homes.

Despite its size, Curry thinks the prestige property may be better suited to an owner who uses it as a getaway.

“It’s more than likely the ultimate and best use of this property is similar to the other ones on the lake, which are almost entirely vacation homes,” he says.

Bedroom
Bedroom

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Bathroom
Bathroom

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Bedroom
Bedroom

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Bedroom
Bedroom

Geneva Lakefront Realty

The house has 18 rooms, including six bedrooms, 10 full bathrooms, plenty of living space, and a finished basement.

It also boasts great bones.

“Old homes like this with an architectural pedigree, the layouts weren’t complicated. They weren’t busy, like they would be today,” Curry says. “The simplicity of it really stands out. It’s just clean. It’s simple. The rooms are all oriented to face the water.”

He also points out that the house doesn’t seem overwhelming or stuffy.

“I think what struck me the first time I visited is how approachable it was,” he says. “It isn’t some big, weird museum, where you rattle around in it. It’s a really smart, intuitive design.”

Guesthouse
Guesthouse

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Exterior
Exterior

Geneva Lakefront Realty

In addition to the main house, there are a three-bedroom guesthouse, a boathouse, and two storage buildings.

The property also offers 502 feet of lakefront frontage with a gentle slope, a rarity on this lake.

“From the entrance on Snake Road, all the way down to the main house, it’s largely level the whole way through,” Curry explains. “One of the unique parts about the property is that it doesn’t just wind down a big, steep, unusable wooded hillside, and then dump you out on the lake. The whole drive in is reasonably level and usable property.”

Interior
Interior

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Dining room
Dining room

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Living space
Living space

Geneva Lakefront Realty

For entertainment, there is a pool and a clay tennis court. Curry says the land would be perfect for soccer or any other kind of outdoor activity. There are also two piers on the lake for boats.

The current owners have updated the roof and mechanicals, so Curry says that all the new owners have to do is come in and make it their own.

“This home has original millwork, original doors, original windows, and original detailed latticework. It’s got tons of original features, but I do think a new buyer will probably upgrade the kitchen, and probably the baths, repaint, and swap some fixtures here and there,” he says. “It does not need some form of massive renovation. It needs appropriate cosmetic updating.”

Aerial view
Aerial view

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Interior
Interior

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Bedroom
Bedroom

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Living space
Living space

Geneva Lakefront Realty

Source: realtor.com

Lovingly Updated Colonial From 1700 Tops This Week’s Oldest Homes

If the idea of an updated Colonial with acreage to spare sets your heart racing and inflames your passion to buy, this week’s list of the nine oldest homes to hit the market will get you all revved up.

Start with the oldest listing of the week, a crisp white house with a smart, navy-blue door, built in 1700 in northern Massachusetts. Buying a vintage home doesn’t mean you must forgo creature comforts. This home’s airy, sophisticated, and oh-so-contemporary interiors—including the luscious, light-filled library—are the stuff of winter-nesting dreams.

We spotted another impeccable reimagining of an antique Colonial in Scarsdale, NY—a gorgeous, green-and-white beauty with beamed ceilings that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Beyond those two cool Colonials, seven other old-timey homes are worth checking out. Some sit on the banks of a river, others are surrounded by woods, but all of them are charmers, with centuries of history behind them. Have a look!

Price: $849,900

Year built: 1700

Idyllic Colonial: Tucked on just under an acre and a half of land close to the Merrimack River, this five-bedroom Colonial has been updated in all the right places and modernized everywhere else.

Highlights include a new all-white kitchen and renovated bathrooms. Original features like exposed beams, gunstock corners, field paneling, and wide-plank floors hark back to the home’s 18th-century roots.

There’s also a sunroom, a three-car garage, and pergola, with a brick patio out back.

Newbury, MA
Newbury, MA

realtor.com

———

Price: $1,595,000

Year built: 1700

Old Red Farm Inn: This working inn and sometime wedding venue sits on 2 landscaped acres on the way to Cape Cod.

The carefully updated five-bedroom farmhouse comes with a pool, gazebo, wet bar, and two-car garage. The property is surrounded by a local golf course and is within walking distance to the beach.

Wareham, MA
Wareham, MA

realtor.com

———

Price: $344,900

Year built: 1712

Sanford family house: The house was built by the Sanford family, who lived there for two centuries. The current occupants are only the fourth owners in the home’s long history.

The three-bedroom home, which recently housed an antique business, includes wide-plank floors, a beehive oven, and two fireplaces. There’s also a large antique barn, corn crib, and a current tenant who would be willing to stay, if the buyer so desired.

Newtown, CT
Newtown, CT

realtor.com

———

Price: $315,000

Year built: 1720

Motivated seller: Priced below appraisal, this two-bedroom Colonial features a front porch patio, stone walls, and lush gardens. The charming residence sits on a lot of nearly a full acre, close to the Hudson Valley. Inside, the home features original wide-plank flooring, beamed ceilings, and custom cabinets.

Brewster, NY
Brewster, NY

realtor.com

———

Price: $1,499,000

Year built: 1734

Cudner-Hyatt house: Artfully restored and reimagined, this historic four-bedroom farmhouse has maintained its vintage character, with a modern boost.

It now features all-new systems, finishes, and furnishings, which perfectly complement the home’s past. A custom kitchen, new bathroom, and a private deck are just a few of the modern touches incorporated in the timeless home.

Scarsdale, NY
Scarsdale, NY

realtor.com

———

Price: $425,000

Year built: 1739

John Woodhull House: This five-bedroom home on Long Island sits on a half-acre, with views of Miller Duck Pond.

It’s filled with original architectural elements, including four fireplaces, original moldings, wood beams, and wide-plank floors. Complete with a walk-up attic/loft, this space is ready to be reimagined as something spectacular.

Miller Place, NY
Miller Place, NY

realtor.com

———

Price: $519,000

Year built: 1760

Saltbox Souhegan: This three-bedroom home will require some love, but the 5-acre piece of property is sublimely situated, with 600 feet of frontage on the Souhegan River. The saltbox-style home comes with a large dining and living room, mudroom, and workshop.

Amherst, NH
Amherst, NH

realtor.com

———

Price: $319,000

Year built: 1760

In-town Colonial: This two-bedroom home has a stately entryway that opens to a living room with chair rail, pumpkin pine floors, and a fireplace. Other highlights include a sunroom with stone floor, a walk-up attic, and space outside for entertaining, all a few minutes from Flemington’s historic Main Street.

Flemington, NJ
Flemington, NJ

Flemington, NJ

———

Price: $484,900

Year built: 1768

Haines-Lippincott house: First, it was a general store, and then it was converted into a local post office. Later still, it served the Enterprise Library.

These days, it’s a charming six-bedroom brick home with heartwood pine floors, as well as a finished basement with stone walls. The lovely backyard has a koi pond and patio for entertaining.

Mount Laurel, NJ
Mount Laurel, NJ

realtor.com

Source: realtor.com

8 Tips for Creating the Perfect Home Bar Setup  – Redfin

At home bars are becoming increasingly popular as we are all spending more time in our homes. In fact, over the last 90 days, there has been an 80% increase in Google searches for “at home bars.” Because bars and restaurants are currently closed, it seems that this may be the perfect time to start creating an entertaining bar area in your home. When creating and designing your home bar setup, homeowners are getting inventive, using previously wasted space or converting part of their basements into places of relaxation and enjoyment. Here are 8 tips to consider for your own home bar setup.

home bar setup

home bar setup

1. Turn wasted space into functional space

The empty wall you’ve been trying to find a use for, the little closet you don’t need or even use, or the nook you’re not sure what to do with, all can easily be transformed into a little home bar. Adding some shelves or cabinets allows for creative displays and small countertops, a console table, or bar cabinets will also give you a nice working space for a home bar setup. Use that wasted space in your home by creating a simple yet functional home bar. 

2. Show off your wine collection

Fantastic wine displays are growing in popularity, with the wine cellar coming to the forefront. Glass fronted wine coolers are a nice choice because they keep the wine storage space refrigerated and allow your wine to be admired by others. You can also invest in shelves and storage for wine that does not need to be refrigerated. This option shows off your wine collection in another tasteful and beautiful way. 

home bar setup with wine

home bar setup with wine

3. Make cabinetry beautiful

There are so many different cabinet options available for storing drinks, bar glasses, and any other bartending tools. You might want to opt for cabinets with glass doors, floating shelves, or a fun and interesting cabinet design. These cabinet options will allow you to show off your collection of wine and spirits or unique cocktail glasses while also being very practical. Choose a cabinet design that flows with the existing design of your home. You can also add a pop of color to make your area stand out. 

4. Be thoughtful about lighting

Putting a little extra thought and time into designing the perfect home bar setup goes a long way. The lighting can be just as important as the overall design. You can choose to install under cabinet lighting, unique pendants, rope lights tucked under shelves, or LEDs that change color. Any of these lighting options will certainly add some pop to your home bar. 

basement home bar setup

basement home bar setup

5. Head to the basement

It’s so handy to have a home bar in a finished basement, whether it’s used for keeping juice, sodas, waters, and popcorn for family movie nights, or for creating new cocktails while hosting your family and friends. If you live in Kansas City, MO, an area where basements are very popular, and you have the space available, start creating a home bar setup in your basement now. Start by building a countertop and installing some cabinets. Luxurious extras include a sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator so you don’t have to carry all your supplies up and down the stairs. This basement bar is the perfect place to have fun from the privacy of your own home. 

6. Stock up on bar essentials

If you are planning on creating your own home bar setup you will want to make sure you stock it with the essentials. You can choose to go the traditional route and mimic a professional bar by buying all the liqueurs and tools, or you can customize your bar for what you like to drink most. Grab your favorite drinks and mixers and stock up on them. 

You’ll also want to think about the essential bar tools you will need to help you create and mix your drinks. The most common tools you should stock your bar with include; a cocktail shaker, jiggers, mixing spoon, mixing cups, a muddler, beer and wine opener, and a variety of different drink glasses. If you are lucky enough to have a refrigerator and freezer in your bar then buying some unique ice cube trays can definitely add extra flair to your drinks. 

reclaimed wood home bar setup

7. Accent with reclaimed wood

People wanting to add an accent wall in reclaimed wood are finding a home bar is the perfect place to do it. Adding a reclaimed wood accent wall to your home bar setup is a quick and easy way to introduce an organic element into your home. Adding this accent wall is an inexpensive investment that can transform even the smallest spaces. 

8. Decorate with purpose

A home bar is a perfect place to get creative with your design. You can add a pop of color to draw attention or you can match the colors with the rest of your home. You can enhance the space with fun signs or unique art as well as trendy bar stools, a custom sofa, or fun backsplashes. Have a favorite sports team? Add some fan gear and maybe even a small TV to watch your favorite games. The options are endless. Make your home bar setup a place that makes you happy and somewhere you look forward to hanging out. 

Source: redfin.com

NFL Cribs: Checking Back In on the Homes of the Kansas City Chiefs

They’re back. The Kansas City Chiefs smashed the hopes of the Buffalo Bills to reach Super Bowl LV. Now they’re looking for an elusive repeat in the big game.

And because the Chiefs are return visitors to the spectacle of a Super Bowl, we’ve chronicled their housing histories—right around this time last year, in fact.

This isn’t to say there wasn’t more housing dirt to unearth when it comes to the reigning champs. Some team members stayed put, but plenty of others made key moves in the Kansas City metro area—which is exactly the subject we love to tackle.

So while you’re plowing down nachos and wondering whether Patrick Mahomes can vanquish the seemingly unstoppable Tom Brady, we’re pondering exactly when Mahomes’ grand new mansion will be finished.

Here’s the latest on the homes of the defending champs.

Patrick Mahomes dials up big baller homes

He’s the undisputed star of the show in Kansas City.

The young quarterback with the golden arm hasn’t moved away from his deluxe home in the city’s Country Club District—yet.

But coming off last year’s Super Bowl victory, Mahomes inked the league’s largest contract: a 10-year, $503 million deal, which would make most people reassess their real estate situation.

So it wasn’t a huge surprise when he let a bit of housing news slip when he spoke with radio host Dan Patrick last week.

Mahomes told Patrick that he had purchased a plot of land in the Kansas City area with plans to build a home with a number of amenities—including a half-football field.

Following this nugget of information, we tracked down an 8-acre lot purchased in the gated country club community of Loch Lloyd. The private community is centered around a lake and a Tom Watson–designed golf course.

Gates at Loch Lloyd
Gates at Loch Lloyd

realtor.com

An LLC connected to the signal caller purchased a large, undeveloped parcel in Loch Lloyd in September 2020 for $400,000. Although the land was relatively cheap, we can only imagine what the construction costs will be for a custom-built mansion fit for the NFL’s brightest young star.

The acreage will easily accommodate a 60-yard patch of greenery in the backyard. For the man with football’s fattest contract, the cost of a groundskeeper and lawn maintenance is just a rounding error.

This land grab wasn’t Mahomes’ only purchase in 2020. According to GQ magazine, the quarterback also snagged a place in the Dallas metroplex during the coronavirus lockdown.

The same LLC purchased a four-bedroom home in Westlake, TX, in May 2020. Listed for $4,259,750 last March, the “stunning modern estate” measures 7,844 square feet and is part of the gated Vaquero community. The enclave is what D magazine called “a bubble for new money.”

Patrick Mahomes' Westlake, TX, home
Patrick Mahomes’ Westlake, TX, home

realtor.com

Pool at Westlake home
Pool at Westlake home

realtor.com

Naturally, there’s a private golf course for residents. In the offseason the quarterback was teeing off every day at 3 p.m. The club membership fee? A reported $150,000 with annual dues of $17,000.

———

Tyreek Hill may be leveling up

One of the speedsters on the receiving end of many of Mahomes’ passes, All-Pro wideout Tyreek Hill has made his home in Lee’s Summit, MO, over the past year.

In late 2019, Hill purchased a five-bedroom home on nearly 4 acres in the suburb east of Kansas City.

While we weren’t able to deduce what Hill paid for the place, he put the 7,562-square-foot residence on the market in December 2020 for $1.3 million.

It looks to be an entertainer’s delight. There’s a heated saltwater pool out back and a sport court and home gym inside—ideal for an athlete or wannabe athlete.

Hill’s signed with the Chiefs through the 2022 season, so perhaps he’s looking to follow in Mahomes’ giant footsteps and level up his housing situation.

Tyreek Hill's home in Lee's Summit, MO
Tyreek Hill’s home in Lee’s Summit, MO

realtor.com

———

Travis Kelce settles down in Kansas City

Another Chiefs star who’s pulled down his fair share of passes from Mahomes is the longtime tight end. Travis Kelce has been a fixture for the Chiefs since 2014.

The three-time All-Pro has a four-bedroom home in Kansas City’s Briarcliff West neighborhood that he purchased in March 2019. The 4,164-square-foot split-level was listed in December 2017 for $1.2 million. Kelce bagged it a year and a half later for $995,000.

Sitting on an acre lot, the home is equipped with a gym, a wine cellar, and a large pool out back. The master suite is on the main floor, and there’s also a dedicated office.

Travis Kelce's Kansas City, MO, Home
Travis Kelce’s Kansas City, MO, Home

realtor.com

———

Honey Badger finds a home in Kansas City

After being unceremoniously dumped in the desert by the Arizona Cardinals after the 2017 season, veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu has rebounded into All-Pro form for the Chiefs.

The defensive star, who’s known as the Honey Badger, has also burrowed into a home in the Midwest—indicating he might patrol the Chiefs’ backfield for a few more seasons. His contract does run out after the 2021 season, so we’ll keep an eye on this luxe home located in Overland Park, KS.

Mathieu bought the six-bedroom residence in the Farm at Garnet Hill development in April 2019. While the purchase price wasn’t disclosed, the place was on the market for $1,285,000 before the Badger sealed the deal.

Located on the southern edge of the Kansas City metro, the 6,044-square-foot home sits on an acre of land.

Highlights include a deluxe kitchen with a large island, Wolf appliances, and a walk-in pantry. The backyard features a covered patio with a fireplace, and the home’s lower level is outfitted with a bar, media room, and extra bedroom.

Tyrann Mathieu's home in Overland Park, KS
Tyrann Mathieu’s home in Overland Park, KS

realtor.com

———

Overland Park proves popular

The Honey Badger isn’t alone in Overland Park. We spotted both backup quarterback Chad Henne and wide receiver Sammy Watkins as renters in the Kansas City suburb.

When not backing up Mahomes, Henne makes his main home at a rural 5-acre residence about 70 miles to the east of Philadelphia, near Reading, PA. And the well-traveled QB can pump his fist all summer long if the Chiefs win again—or even if they don’t.

In May 2019, he splurged on a brand-new $2,795,000, six-bedroom home on the Jersey Shore in the town of Avalon, NJ.

Chad Henne's house in Avalon, NJ
Chad Henne’s house in Avalon, NJ

realtor.com

Fellow Overland Park renter Watkins has also scored off the field. In July 2020, he sold his four-bedroom starter home in Winter Garden, FL, for $664,000 just a month and a half after listing it for $689,900. The speedy sale follows a big purchase the receiver made in January 2020. Right as the team was prepping for last season’s Super Bowl, the Florida native closed on the purchase of a six-bedroom mansion in Windermere, FL, for $2.28 million.

Anthony Hitchens has put down more permanent stakes in Overland Park. In addition to the homes he owns in Frisco, TX, the inside linebacker bought a brand-new four-bedroom home in the Wyngate neighborhood in April 2018.

Defensive lineman Chris Jones closed on the purchase of a huge home—also in Overland Park—just as the 2020 season was getting underway. The Pro Bowler bought a brand-new, 9,163-square-foot mansion for an undisclosed amount last September. The six-bedroom home was on the market for $1.85 million and features a six-car garage as well as a finished basement that was marketed as “the ultimate man cave.”

Chris Jones' home in Overland Park, KS
Chris Jones’ home in Overland Park, KS

realtor.com

———

Andy Reid and his bosses stay put

Coming off a Super Bowl season, there was no reason for the nonplaying personnel to shake things up. Owner Clark Hunt, general manager Brett Veach, and head coach Andy Reid all stayed put in 2020. However, if the Chiefs manage to win another title, we have a feeling these guys might treat themselves to a not-so-little real estate splurge this offseason.

Source: realtor.com

First-Time Home Buyers Find a Tough Market—Here’s What’s Different This Year

Starry-eyed first-time home buyers are getting a rude awakening to the realities of today’s high-stakes home-buying market.

The coronavirus pandemic supercharged the housing market, as buyers urgently seeking more space flooded the market, lured by low mortgage rates. That’s on top of the usual dynamics of household expansion: Many millennials hit 30 and wanted homes that could accommodate a growing family. Amid a historic shortage of properties for sale, the result has been bidding wars and record-high prices. It’s enough to make a first-time buyer’s head spin.

Just under half of first-time buyers and more than a third of prospective buyers were either outbid on their dream home or discovered they couldn’t afford it, according to a recent realtor.com® survey. Roughly a fifth of these buyers made five or more offers on different properties before having one accepted.

Realtor.com surveyed 1,000 recent and first-time home buyers Jan. 7–11.

“The market has been extremely competitive,” realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu. “There is a critical shortage of homes for sale, which has caused multiple bids to become the norm across the country.

“For first-time buyers, especially, this environment means having your financing and budgeting together is paramount,” he adds.

But it’s not all bad news. About 47% of first-time buyers were thrilled to find their budgets were larger than they had thought, according to the survey. That’s largely due to mortgage rates, which averaged just 2.73% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan in the week ending Jan. 28, according to Freddie Mac. However, 21% learned their money wouldn’t stretch as far as they had hoped.

Even those in a better financial position still had to compromise on what they wanted in a home—and where it’s located. About a fifth were forced to look in cheaper neighborhoods. Another fifth had to spend more than they had originally planned, and nearly the same number had to forgo some of the home features on their wish lists. These included things like a garage, a big backyard, a finished basement, and a pool.

To save up for a down payment, many also had to make sacrifices. Half of recent first-time homeowners saved up in less than three years by setting aside a portion of their paycheck each month, cutting out discretionary spending on the fun stuff, and depositing windfalls like tax refunds and bonuses in the bank.

Just over half, 52%, also turned to their family and friends for help.

“First-time buyers tend to be younger. This generation has higher student debt than any prior generation,” says Ratiu. “Not surprisingly, family help with providing down payment assistance plays a big role in today’s market.”

Source: realtor.com

What I Learned By Donating And Giving Away Nearly All Of My Stuff

When we sold our house and moved into an RV, we had to give away a ton of our stuff so that we could start living minimally in a smaller space. We gave away a lot of stuff to family members, had neighbors come by and take whatever they wanted, we had Salvation Army come to our home to do a big pickup, and more. We didn’t sell a single thing, instead we gave it all away.

One year ago, we gave away all of our stuff, moved into an RV, and start living minimally. Here's what I've learned by living with less stuff.

One year ago, we gave away all of our stuff, moved into an RV, and start living minimally. Here's what I've learned by living with less stuff.And, it felt great.

Now, we live in a 33 foot RV and are definitely living a minimal lifestyle.

We aren’t the norm, though.

The size of the average home in 1950 was less than 1,000 square feet. Fast forward to 2013, the average home size has increased to nearly 2,600 square feet (according to the U.S. Census Bureau).

We were fairly close to that size when we owned a house. The house we owned in the St. Louis, Missouri area was around 2,500 square feet, if you included our finished basement, and it was just for myself, my husband, and our two dogs. Our home in Colorado was almost as big, at slightly over 2,000 square feet (with no basement).

However, we decided to buck the norm and started living minimally by completely downsizing our life.

This isn’t to say that we are perfect, though. I used to keep pretty much everything I came across, and my basement was proof of that. I would always say “Oh, but I’ll use that eventually!”

And then, eventually would never come, haha!

All the clutter and everything else that went with keeping everything you’ve ever bought can get annoying.

We made the decision to start living with less stuff for many reasons, but the main reason was that traveling nearly full-time added to the stress of owning a home. So, we figured why not just take it a step further and actually travel full-time?

All of the belongings we have are now inside the RV, except for a few childhood items and photo albums that my dad left me after he passed away. Those are all stored at a family member’s home.

Now, life is great.

Living minimally has been great, and I’ve learned a lot by giving away nearly all of my belongings.

Below is what I’ve learned by living with less stuff and living minimally.

I have wasted a lot of money in my life.

Okay, so this is probably a given. If I was able to give away nearly everything I’ve ever bought, that means that I’ve probably wasted thousands of dollars in my lifetime.

Knowing this has really helped me understand how to manage my money better.

Now that I realize how much money I’ve wasted, I am much more able to say “no” at the store when debating whether or not I should get something. I now realize that I don’t really need much, and this helps me to only buy what I need instead of things that will just create clutter.

I can also walk into a store and only buy exactly what I need, even if that store is Target!

I have so much more control over my spending and that has saved me a lot of money in the past year.

Related:

I don’t need a lot of the things that I once thought I needed.

I kept a lot of things because I thought I needed them for the future. On a regular basis, I probably only used around 25% of the things I had in my house.

Actually, probably even less than that.

I know I’m not alone – many people keep items because they think they may need them in the future. You know the feeling – you buy something, don’t use it right away, and years later you find it but just can’t throw it away in case there is some circumstance where you need that exact item.

If this is you, then you should put a timeline of no more than one year on the item. If you don’t use it in that timeframe, then there’s a big chance that you’ll never need it.

Chances are that you won’t miss it much.

When I think about how much stuff we gave away, I honestly can’t even remember half of the things. Now, I know that I never really needed the majority of those things.

Owning more stuff doesn’t make you happier.

Having more stuff doesn’t make you happier.

It’s really that simple. Things don’t make you a better person, they don’t make you more successful than others, or anything else.

I know this because I have less stuff than I have ever had, and I am happier than ever.

You should only own something if you truly want it. Who cares about what everyone else has!

Giving away nearly everything feels great.

Sure, this blog is all about making and saving money, and I could have easily sold a lot of the things that I gave away for thousands of dollars.

However, it felt great giving it all away, and honestly, it was a lot easier.

If I had to do it again, I would do it all over again.

Life is much more peaceful living with less stuff.

Getting rid of so much stuff has made life much more peaceful. Hanging on to so much stuff for years and years can add an insane amount of clutter to a person’s life, both physically and mentally.

I know this personally because I kept many things, such as clothing, because they were things I held onto after my dad passed away. I kept outfits that I wore the last time I saw him, from his funeral, and so on.

It just wasn’t healthy.

By getting rid of things, I was able to finally let go. Hanging onto those things and looking at them every day wasn’t healthy.

It’s easy to start living minimally.

As you can see from the above, living minimally has a ton of positives. One last positive is that it’s very easy to do.

Many people think that living minimally would be difficult because you have to get rid of so much stuff, change your mindset, and more. However, it’s been a very easy change for us.

Having less stuff and spending less money on things we don’t need allows us to spend more time on things we care about and actually want to do. Plus, now we hardly ever have anything break because there aren’t many things in our life that can be broken.

We don’t miss anything, we don’t feel like we need anything – we are happier and much more carefree now by living with less stuff.

Are you interested in living minimally? Why or why not?

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Source: makingsenseofcents.com