Sylvester Stallone Reportedly Buys Palm Beach Compound for $35.3M

Sylvester Stallone has punched up a purchase in Palm Beach, FL. According to the Palm Beach Daily News, the Hollywood legend has scored a compound in the Sunshine State.

The star of “Rocky” reportedly paid $35,375,000 for the waterfront spread. The property, listed in “pending sale” status, came on the market in June for $37.85 million. Stallone seems to have snagged a minor discount.

With seven bedrooms, 10 full bathrooms, and two half-bathrooms, the mansion, built in 2014, offers 13,241 square feet of living space and 250 feet of sandy beach on the lake, the listing description states.

What it describes as a “sensational estate” offers three structures, which include a main house, guesthouse, guest pavilion, and an open cabana across from the pool.

The waterfront property also offers a boat dock and is designed with “casual elegance” in mind. Modern interiors include multiple living spaces, a formal dining room, a huge eat-in kitchen, and multiple French doors that open to the lawn outside.

A spacious master suite features a sitting area, private balcony,  enormous walk-in closet, and bathroom.

In addition, the layout includes a gym, wine storage, library, and a family room with a wet bar. Outside, the grounds feature a pool with a beachfront spa that practically touches the lake.

Stallone joins numerous other celebs in the area. Jon Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, the author James Patterson, and the former wife of Tiger Woods, the model Elin Nordegren, own homes in the upscale enclave. President Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago is also nearby.

The “Rambo” star has been busy on the real estate front. This spring, he placed his desert getaway in La Quinta, CA, on the market for $3.35 million.

Stallone bought the four-bedroom home, located inside the Madison Club, for $4.5 million in 2010. But it eventually became expendable. He wound up selling the golf retreat at a loss, for $3.15 million.

Stallone, 74, has been a screen star for decades. He’s known for the “Rocky” series, which more recently led to the spinoff “Creed” films.

Lawrence Moens with Lawrence A. Moens Associates holds the listing.

Source: realtor.com

Primary Residence vs. Second Home vs. Investment

Sometimes I’m surprised I miss the most basic of mortgage definitions, seeing that this blog has been around for more than a decade, but alas, I’ve never written about occupancy specifically.

So without further ado, let’s talk about the three main types of occupancy with regard to qualifying for a mortgage because they’re pretty important.

Mortgage Occupancy Type

mortgage occupancy type

Primary Residence (Where you live)

  • This is the property you live in
  • All or most of the year
  • Underwriting guidelines are easiest for this property type
  • And mortgage rates are the lowest

This is your standard owner-occupied property, a home or condo you plan to live in full time. Or at least the majority of the time. It may also be referred to as your principal residence.

It can be a single-unit property or a multi-unit property, but you must live in it most of the year.

The property should also be reasonably close to where you work, if applicable, and you must sign a form that says you plan to occupy said property shortly after closing.

Now the good news. Since it’s your primary residence, mortgage rates are the lowest, and it’s also easier to get a mortgage because guidelines are more flexible. This means you can potentially put less down or refinance at a higher loan-to-value (LTV).

We’re talking a 3% down payment mortgage, which is pretty much the lowest down payment you can get away with unless the lender has a zero down program, which again would likely only work on a primary residence.

Additionally, you can get all types of different loans, from an FHA loan to a VA loan to a USDA loan. There are few restrictions because it’s a property you intend to occupy.

For this reason, unscrupulous borrowers will sometimes try to fudge the occupancy and say they live in the property, even if they don’t intend to. This is not a matter to be taken lightly as it constitutes fraud.

If you’re a real estate investor, or simply own more than one property, it’s imperative that your bank statements and other important documents are mailed to your primary residence each month.

If you claim one house to be your owner-occupied property, but your bank statements and other financial materials are currently going to another one of your properties, it’s a red flag.

The mortgage underwriter will surely question the occupancy, and your mortgage application will very likely be declined.

Here’s a common scenario. A borrower submits a home loan application for the subject property as their primary residence.

When conditioned to provide verification of assets, they use bank statements from another property they own and the file gets declined for occupancy fraud.

In the eyes of the bank/mortgage lender and the investor, it doesn’t make sense for a borrower to send bank statements, cable bills, and other financial statements to a property they don’t occupy for the sheer reason it wouldn’t make sense if you didn’t live there.

Banks and lenders will likely decline a file if it’s listed as owner-occupied, or at best they’ll counter the borrower to re-submit the loan as an investment property.

Anyway, if the property in question will be the home or condo you plan to reside in, it is considered your primary residence.

Second Home (Where you vacation)

property rates

  • A second home is another way of saying vacation home
  • Not necessarily that you own two homes
  • Should be in a vacation area far from your primary residence
  • Can only be a single-unit property and mortgage rates can be slightly higher

Then we have the second home, which as the name implies, is secondary to your primary residence.

In a nutshell, this means you already have another home you live in full-time, or most of the year, along with this secondary property, which is often referred to as a vacation property.

Think your cabin by the lake, or your ski chalet up in the mountains. Or perhaps your beach house, if you happen to be so lucky.

Distance is a factor here by the way, as is location. Lenders generally want it to be at least 50-100 miles away from your primary home, though exceptions are allowed if it makes sense.

For example, if you live inland and have a beach house 30 miles away.

It should also be a single-unit property, for obvious reasons. And you should occupy it for some portion of the year.

Put simply, it has to make sense as a second home, otherwise the lender may think you’re going to rent it out.

Because the property isn’t your primary, there will likely be a pricing adjustment for occupancy. This has to do with risk.

In the event of financial distress, a borrower is more likely to stop paying on their second home as opposed to their primary. This means mortgage rates must be higher to compensate.

Expect a rate that is higher, all else being equal. How much higher depends on all the loan attributes, but maybe .125% to a .25% higher than a comparable loan on a primary.

Altogether, not too bad. The illustration above might give you a sense of what to expect.

Also note that there will be LTV restrictions as well, meaning you’ll need a larger down payment for the purchase of a second home, or more equity if refinancing the mortgage. Chances are you’ll need 10% down, or a max LTV of 90%.

You may also find that mortgage credit score requirements will rise, so you might need a minimum credit score of 680 instead of 620.

Investment Property (The one you rent out)

  • This is a rental property
  • Can be condo or home, single-unit or multi-unit
  • Typically require large down payment
  • And mortgage rates can be much higher

Finally, we have the investment property, which again as the name makes abundantly clear, is a property you plan to hold as an investment of some kind.

This generally means it will be rented out, and that it will generate income. This type of occupancy comes with the most restrictions because someone else other than the borrower will be living in the property.

Additionally, the borrower will be a landlord, which isn’t as easy as it might sound. That all equates to more risk, which results in more LTV restriction and higher mortgage rates.

You might be looking at a max LTV of 85%, meaning a minimum 15% down payment. This can get more restrictive if it’s a 2-4 unit property. If you want cash out, expect an even lower max LTV.

Also expect higher asset reserve requirements and higher minimum credit scores.

As far as rates go, it could be .50% to 1% higher than a similar loan on a primary residence, depending on all the loan details. It can get really pricey if the LTV is high and it’s a 4-unit property, for example.

In other words, it’ll be harder to qualify and you’ll have to pay more to finance your non-owner occupied property.

The takeaway here is that it’s easiest (and cheapest) to finance a primary residence, followed by a second home, and then finally an investment property.

Each has different rules and guidelines that borrowers must adhere to if they want to qualify for a mortgage. Knowing this beforehand is important to avoid any unwanted surprises.

Source: thetruthaboutmortgage.com

22 Emergency Phone Numbers You Should Know (Printable)

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to the security of yourself and the ones you love. A quick call to animal poison control can save your pet. Having a plumber’s number nearby can help prevent any flooding if you have a pipe leak. Being prepared with emergency phone numbers on hand in an urgent situation can make all the difference.

How to set up emergency phone numbers on your cell

While it’s important to have these numbers next to your home phone, these days many people use their cell phone as the main phone line. Luckily, smartphones allow you to create a medical ID or In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact with your health information and emergency contact of choice.

Set up emergency contact on an iPhone

The iPhone has a Medical ID option that will inform others of your medical history and emergency contact information.

  1. Go to the health app on your phone
  2. Select Medical ID
  3. Edit so that it provides any medical and emergency contact information
  4. Select the option to show when your screen is locked

person adding emergency contact to phoneperson adding emergency contact to phone

Set up emergency contact on an Android

Androids also have a built-in emergency contact information option.

  1. Go to your settings and search “Emergency information”
  2. Select the option to edit and enter your emergency contact information

Set up ICE info on any smartphone

Another way to make your In Case of Emergency number accessible is by making it your lock screen background.

  1. Go to the notes section of your phone
  2. Write down your emergency numbers
  3. Screenshot the note and save it as your screensaver

Label contacts

Lastly, if you don’t have a smartphone that has these capabilities, be sure you are labeling contacts correctly. Create a contact named “ICE” and put in your emergency contact’s info. It’s also helpful to label your contacts with their relation to your. For example, use the contact name, “my husband” or “my wife.” This way, if you are in an emergency situation and someone finds your phone, they will know who they are calling.

22 emergency phone numbers to have handy

The following are 22 emergency phone numbers you should know. Read through and then print out our list to fill with your local numbers and keep next to your home phone.

911 symbol911 symbol

1. 911

This is a number that most people should know by heart. Dial 911 if you or someone near you is having a life-threatening emergency. If you are using a North American phone, this number will connect you with help. Dialing 911 in a non-emergency situation is illegal.

Some situations when you’d want to call 911 include:

  • Crimes in progress
  • Life-threatening situations
  • Fires (boat, canyon, rubbish, structures)
  • Traffic accidents
  • Hazardous chemical spills
  • Fire/smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarms that are sounding
  • Explosive devices
  • Elevator rescues
  • Fuel spills
  • Smoke in the building
  • Aircraft emergencies
  • Cliff rescues
  • Beach or water-related emergency

112 phone symbol112 phone symbol

2. 112

An alternative to 911, 112 is also an emergency telephone number, but it’s primarily used in Europe. If used in the United States, most phone providers will forward you to 911.

symbol that shows police departmentsymbol that shows police department

3. Local police department

Are you having a non-emergency situation that still requires police intervention? In this case, you’ll want to have your local police department number available. This number will get you in contact with officers that are on duty in your area.

symbol that shows hospitalsymbol that shows hospital

4. Hospital

In addition to listing the number and address of your primary hospital, you’ll want to take note of a few others in the area. It may be helpful to note their distance from your home. Knowing this information can save time in the event that you need to take a trip to the hospital.

graphic for a doctorgraphic for a doctor

5. Family doctor

Not all medical issues require calling 911 or visiting the hospital. In the event that you need a personal consultation, it will be helpful to have your primary care doctor’s contact information available.

symbol of poison controlsymbol of poison control

6. Poison control

There are different poison control numbers based on your region. Be sure to have your local poison control number available in the case of an emergency. To reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers, call their helpline at 1-800-222-1222. To add poison control as a contact in your phone, text POISON to 7979797.

symbol of animal poison controlsymbol of animal poison control

7. Animal poison control

Pets are prone to getting into food and objects that are not meant for them to consume. If you think your furry family member may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, you can contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

symbol for veterinariansymbol for veterinarian

8. Veterinarian

Add your regular vet to your list of emergency phone numbers to keep close by. Your veterinarian office will typically provide you with an emergency number if your pet is in trouble after its regular office hours.

symbol for local fire departmentsymbol for local fire department

9. Local fire department

If you are having a fire, you should call 911 and they will inform the local fire station. For more general fire safety information such as involvement in your local CERT program or burn day schedules, it can be helpful to have your local fire department’s number.

symbol for watersymbol for water

10. Water company

When a water line has malfunctioned or a natural disaster has compromised the cleanliness of your water, the local water company can help.

symbol for electricitysymbol for electricity

11. Power company

If you are left in the dark, you’ll want to be able to contact the power company. In addition, it’s important to have this number available to report any downed power lines you come across.

symbol for animal controlsymbol for animal control

12. Animal control

For any animal-related emergencies, you’ll want to have the local animal control number. Situations may include an injured or sick animal, animal cruelty or aggressive animal.

symbol for next-door neighborssymbol for next-door neighbors

13. Next-door neighbors

Knowing your neighbors can be helpful in times of emergency. Meet your neighbors and exchange numbers so that you can contact them if needed. Add the numbers to your phone as well as writing them down near your landline.

symbol for tow trucksymbol for tow truck

14. Tow truck

Being prepared for anything includes having a tow truck or your local body shop’s number accessible. If you have roadside assistance such as AAA, this number would be worth writing down as well. Whether your car won’t start in the morning or you get in an accident, these numbers will be of help.

symbol for insurancesymbol for insurance

15. Insurance agent

An insurance agent refers to any person you may need to get in contact with to file a claim in the event of an accident. This could include agents for home insurance, renters insurance or car insurance.

symbol for bosssymbol for boss

16. Boss

In the event of an emergency, you may not make it into work. If this is the case, you’ll want your boss to know the circumstances so that your job isn’t in jeopardy.

symbol for coworkerssymbol for coworkers

17. Co-workers

Similar to your boss, it could be helpful to have the numbers of co-workers. If you do have an emergency or need to take a sick day, you can let them know about any outstanding work that needs to be completed.

grpahic of a grad capgrpahic of a grad cap

18. School or daycare

Another important contact number to have available is your children’s school or daycare. In an emergency situation, something may prevent you from picking them up on time. In this case, you’ll want to call and tell them you’ll be late or someone else will be coming to pick them up.

symbol for locksmithsymbol for locksmith

19. Locksmith

Whether you’ve been locked out of the house or need to switch out the locks after a burglary, this time-sensitive issue will usually require a locksmith. Find a reliable locksmith in your area and write down their number so you don’t need to do the research in a rush later on.

symbol for coast guardsymbol for coast guard

20. Coast Guard

If you are on the shoreline of a major lake or river it can be helpful to have the Coast Guard phone number available.

symbol for local EMSsymbol for local EMS

21. Local EMS

In some areas, the local emergency medical services (EMS) or ambulance are separate from the fire department and police department. Find out if this is the case in your town and if so, take note of a number where you can reach them.

symbol for wildlifesymbol for wildlife

22. State Division of Wildlife

If you live in a rural location, your State Division of Wildlife number could be helpful to know. This department can help you report any predators on your property such as bears or coyotes.

Emergency contact number printable

Print this list out and keep it visible by your home phone in case of an emergency. Having an extra in your car can also be useful. If you’re visiting somewhere new on vacation, looking up these numbers may be important.

photo of an emergency contact listphoto of an emergency contact listbutton to download emergency number contact listbutton to download emergency number contact list

Keep yourself and your home safe by having these emergency phone numbers easily accessible. No matter the situation, you’ll be prepared to call for help.

Sources:

WUSA9 | HuffPost

Comments

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Source: apartmentguide.com

The Latest Trend in Luxury Home Amenities: National Parks

With spectacular views and invigorating adventures, national parks attract millions of visitors every year. If you’re one of those visitors and love the outdoors, you’ll be happy to know there are communities that border our national parks, giving homeowners easy access to activities like hiking, camping and whitewater rafting.

For example, Balsam Mountain Preserve in western North Carolina is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest, the Pisgah National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Residents in this luxury community enjoy 34 miles of hiking trails, an onsite campground and nature center, as well as easy access to the three national parks. Homesites average two acres, and prices range from the $600,000s to over $3 million.

If you’re more of a northeasterner, Meredith Bay in New Hampshire is another incredible place to live (and even has an on-property sugar shack to make maple syrup!). The luxury community offers easy access to Lake Winnipesaukee, the White Mountain National Forest and Mount Washington.

And if the southwest is more your style, Quail Run, located at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is for you. The community has a golf course, spa and gourmet restaurant, as well as the mountains and access to 103 acres of high desert.

Source: century21.com

People on the move: Feb. 26

DeAndre Lipscomb_headshot.jpg

Lender and servicer Homepoint, based in Ann Arbor, Mich. announced the creation of a new executive leadership role. As the company’s first chief officer of diversity and inclusion, DeAndre Lipscomb will be tasked with developing initiatives that support the company’s corporate social responsibility goals.
Lipscomb most recently served as executive director of the Lake Trust Foundation and as community impact manager for Lake Trust Credit Union. Previous to that, he held executive leadership roles within the healthcare industry, fostering employee engagement, community outreach and enhanced diversity and inclusion strategies in the sector.
“I am impressed by the leadership team’s demonstrated commitment to embedding diversity and inclusion into the company culture,” Lipscomb said in the announcement. “I look forward to working with the team to strengthen communities through financial well-being brought by homeownership and education.”

Source: nationalmortgagenews.com

We Really Dig This Adorable and Affordable Hobbit House in Wisconsin

For anyone driving around an established neighborhood of traditional homes in Madison, WI, one residence on Stevens Street stands out. Or doesn’t stand out.

“It’s an earth-sheltered home. Not necessarily built into the ground, but it’s earth-covered on the roof and on a couple of sides,” explains the listing agent, Jennifer Rios. “It’s in a kind of older neighborhood, with typical midcentury homes and older.”

She says she doesn’t believe any comparable earth-covered home can be found within at least a 10-mile radius.

The style has proved popular with buyers. The home was listed for $329,900, and multiple offers above the listing price came in after just a few days on the market.

“We went into it not really knowing what to expect with the uniqueness of the home,” Rios explains. “I laid out two scenarios: In this market, we’ll either see a very quick turnaround, or we may sit awhile. We tested it and had the best outcome possible.”

Exterior of home in Madison, WI
Exterior of home in Madison, WI

VRX Media Group

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The home has two bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, plenty of living space, and is surprisingly bright.

“It has full exposure on the back side, so there’s lots of nice natural light,” Rios says. “Because of its earth-covered roof and partially on the sides, it’s very temperate inside. The earth provides a really nice installation and flow of air.”

Which adds up to lower electricity bills—a boon in this part of the country.

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Watch: Idaho Home Perched on a Lake Is a Storybook Fantasy Come to Life

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Living space

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Kitchen

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Built in 1980, the home has only had two owners in the past 41 years, and the current owner has lived there for 26 years.

Rios says she feels a perfect buyer would be somebody who is environmentally conscious and appreciates the uniqueness of an earth home, and who also likes being able to walk or bike around the city.

She grew up in the neighborhood and knows this distinctive dwelling quite well.

“I would ride my bike by, and wonder who in the world lives there,” she says.

Now that Rios has been inside and scoped out the place, she says that looks are deceiving.

“When you walk in, you kind of feel like you’re entering a hobbit house,” she says. “It’s really surprising when you open the front door, and it’s an abundance of natural light. It feels like a very traditional home for the most part, except for the curved roof line.”

The curve is an interesting flourish.

“It creates such a nice sort of vaulted ceiling effect, but it’s kind of open and airy, which is what a lot of people like nowadays,” Rios adds.

Living space
Living space

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Inside, the house doesn’t need require any more maintenance than any other 40-year-old home, but Rios points out that the roof does need attention and upkeep—at least after the snow melts.

“You can let it go and become real grassy, or you can mow it,” she says. “The sellers have just gone up there with a weed whacker a couple of times a year.”

Living space
Living space

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Bathroom

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Wine nook

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Aerial view

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  • For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
  • Homes for sale in Madison, WI
  • Learn more about Madison, WI

Source: realtor.com

‘The Shield’ Actor Walton Goggins Lists His Quaint 1920s Home for Sale

Walton Goggins is selling his Los Angeles home, a lovely 5-bedroom home tucked behind dense landscaping just above Hollywood Boulevard. The actor, known for his prominent roles in The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, Justified or Django Unchained and now the star of CBS’s heartwarming sitcom The Unicorn, bought the home back in 2010, when he was getting ready to welcome his son Augustus, now 10.

The two-story brick home has both French and Spanish touches as well as beautiful, eclectic interiors that combine vintage décor and boho chic influences with modern elements. The results are so spectacular that the home caught the eye of over 20 publications, with Architectural Digest, Maison Du Monde or GQ all featuring it in the past. Now, Goggins is looking to sell the charming home for $3.35 million and has enlisted the help of Josh Myler of The Agency to find a buyer.

Inside Walton Goggins’ quaint Los Angeles home, now on the market for $3.35 million. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo

Stylish vintage interiors pay tribute to the roaring 20s

Originally designed and built by Harold O. Sexsmith in 1927, Goggins’ home retains many of its original features. From the original coffered front door to the hardwood floors, or the arched openings to the casement windows, every detail has been meticulously restored, maintaining the original charm, warmth, and essence of the 1920s.

The foyer that welcomes visitors is accentuated by original period tile floors. To the left, there’s a stylish and sophisticated formal living room, whose surrounding windows and overall scale allow light in from every side. The most striking elements in this room are an oversized, original stone wood-burning fireplace and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that line one of the walls.

The foyer leads into the formal living room, which has its original stone wood-burning fireplace. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo

The living room opens to indoor/outdoor dualling lounges, which are connected by French doors and offer privacy for more intimate gatherings. In fact, the whole house is filled with comfy gathering places, both indoors and out.

 “My philosophy is a person shouldn’t have to take more than six or eight steps without having an opportunity to sit down for a conversation to begin,” the actor once told a GQ reporter that toured his home.

The expansive living room has two separate seating areas. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo
One wall of the living room is covered in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo

A wonderfully elegant kitchen

The main floor is completed by a fully equipped eat-in chef’s kitchen with wood and marble open shelving, punctuated by elegant brass fixtures that complement the rich, dark wood cabinets. The actor’s kitchen features a lovely dining area that, just like the living room, is surrounded by top-to-bottom bookshelves that complete the inviting, bohemian look. Next to the kitchen, there’s also a large pantry with accompanying laundry facilities.

The elegant kitchen has rich, dark wood cabinets, marble counters and brass fixtures. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo
The actor’s kitchen features a lovely dining area surrounded by top-to-bottom bookshelves. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo

The bedrooms are bright and inviting

On the main level, there’s also a guest bedroom with a full en-suite bathroom. But the bulk of the sleeping quarters are on the second level, where there’s a primary suite (boasting a chic bathroom and large walk-in closet) and two additional guest bedrooms and a bathroom.

Main floor guest bedroom with a full en-suite bathroom. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo
Bright and spacious master bedroom with vintage elements. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo

Walton Goggins’ retro home office

One of the most eye-grabbing rooms of this celebrity house is the home office, with its distinctive retro style and vintage furniture. With big windows inviting plenty of natural light in, the actor’s office also has a comfy seating area and a wall made entirely out of corkboard, perfect for memorabilia or for staying organized with work files and charts.

The home office has a distinctive retro style and comfortable seating. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo
There’s vintage furniture and a practical corkboard wall. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo

Stepping outside to a whimsical backyard

In line with the overall romantic feel of the European-inspired home, the outdoor area is whimsical and inviting, with a large swimming pool that is framed by citrus fruit trees and string lights. Since the actor finds gathering spaces to be of utmost importance, the quiet, private backyard features two outdoor dining areas, and extra seating set around a fire pit.

Walton Goggins’ house has a whimsical backyard with two outdoor dining areas, a pool, and a fire pit. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo
The quiet, private backyard has several seating areas, including one set around a fire pit. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo
Walton Goggins’ house has a whimsical backyard with two outdoor dining areas, a pool, and a fire pit. Image credit: Anthony Barcelo

Lead image credit: Property – Anthony Barcelo, courtesy of The Agency. Walton Goggins headshot – Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

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Matt Damon’s Zen Los Angeles Home Asks $21 Million
Inside ‘Supernatural’ Star Jensen Ackles Hip Lake House
Check Out this Beautiful House the Hemsworth Brothers Just Sold in Malibu
Extreme Makeover’s Ty Pennington Lists Bright and Beautiful Venice Beach Home

Source: fancypantshomes.com

Messy Tahoe Home Filled With Mannequins Is the Week’s Most Popular Home

A wild residence in South Lake Tahoe, CA, crammed with clutter—including dozens of dead-eyed mannequins dressed in evening wear—is the week’s most popular listing on realtor.com®.

The home ticked all the boxes for the kind of listing designed to be shared far and wide across the web. Unassuming exterior? Check. Listing details with no acknowledgment of the weirdness within? Check. Photos that defy easy description—and leave you with more questions than answers? Check!

Carefully posed throughout the house, with at least one mannequin sprawled across a rug wearing nothing, these eerie ladies—and at least one gentleman—serve a dual purpose. They force you to take a closer look at the listing for an otherwise humdrum duplex and serve to distract from the messy kitchen and bathroom.

The combination was enough to send the listing ricocheting on social media.

Bold move.

Mannequin mania
Mannequin mania

realtor.com

But that wasn’t the only off-the wall listing racking up clicks this week.

A Pennsylvania home with painstakingly customized interior touches—including rounded doorways, a honeycomb-style grand staircase, and floating light fixtures—grabbed your attention, as did a Disney-themed home in Disneyland’s home town.

Other popular picks this week included a pair of dreamy celebrity properties: the historic New Orleans home of a politically polar-opposite power couple, as well as A-lister John Travolta‘s 43-acre oceanfront Maine estate.

There’s a lot going on this week. Scroll on down through the list, and take it all in for yourself.

Price: $3,380,000
Why it’s here: No partisan bickering here. We love this house. The sellers, political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin, are staying in NOLA but have decided to downsize from this 8,279-square-foot Colonial Revival home.

The massive home was built in 1906 and has been updated to perfection. The quarter-acre lot is described as a “tropical oasis,” filled with gardens, mature shade trees, a terrace, a pool, and fountains.

New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, LA

realtor.com

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Price: $197,000
Why it’s here: This is for a buyer looking for something outside the box. Surrounded by 8 acres of privacy, it’s a legitimate, two-bedroom treehouse. There’s a fairly large caveat: The place isn’t finished.

The raised octagon has an open second floor, a deck, and a shop with kitchenette. The home is outfitted with electrical and septic systems and well service, but needs to be completed by a buyer with big dreams.

Cortland, OH
Cortland, OH

realtor.com

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Price: $195,000
Why it’s here: Sitting on just over a half-acre at the top of a hill, this stone house from 1890 is a classic. The five-bedroom home comes with a four-car garage, lookout tower, original hardwood floors, curved interior walls, and updated bathrooms—for a combination of charm and convenience.

Ithaca, NY
Ithaca, NY

realtor.com

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Price: $1,399,999
Why it’s here: This curious five-bedroom house is all angles and sharp edges from the outside, but the interiors were designed with curves in mind. The contemporary home features custom effects like the butterfly-wing entry staircase, rounded doorways, and floating light fixtures that suggest sand dollars from space.

Although it was designed for a very specific taste, the home, from 1987, is upscale, with a saltwater pool, kids playhouse, whole-house generator, and many upgrades.

Southampton, PA
Southampton, PA

realtor.com

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Price: $535,770
Why it’s here: Known as the O’Leary mansion, this historic brownstone dates to 1890. It was built by James Patrick O’Leary for his mother, Catherine O’Leary—the woman considered to be responsible for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Today, the four-level, 12-bedroom home is in need of repair and is being sold as is. It still has much of the original woodwork and moldings, as well as walk-in vaults and a two-story coach house.

Chicago, IL
Chicago, IL

realtor.com

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Price: $700,000
Why it’s here: This hideaway on 11 acres is just steps from the Ice Age Trail, and includes a three-bedroom home built in 1991. Highlights include a large kitchen, a living room with cathedral ceiling, log beams, a stone fireplace, and wet bar.

There’s a heated shop off the garage, a private pond, a new roof, as well as a number of other recent upgrades.

Hartford, IL
Hartford, IL

realtor.com

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Price: $255,000
Why it’s here: Although this storybook home hasn’t been featured on HGTV’s “Home Town,” that didn’t stop folks from clicking. Built in 1929, the three-bedroom residence recently had a stylish makeover, including new paint, windows, and refinished floors.

Laurel, MS
Laurel, MS

realtor.com

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Price: $835,000
Why it’s here: Built in the shadows of Disneyland, this ranch home has been decked out as an homage to all things Mickey Mouse. Happiest Airbnb opportunity on Earth?

The custom Disney designs are so spectacular, the four-bedroom home was featured on the Discovery Channel. Besides the decor, the home includes a heated pool, custom carpets, and a toddler-safe playroom floor.

Anaheim, CA
Anaheim, CA

realtor.com

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Price: $5,000,000
Why it’s here: This 48-acre oceanfront estate is being sold by actor John Travolta. The massive 20-bedroom mansion was featured in Architectural Digest in the 1990s and has been recently renovated.

The extraordinary property includes a deepwater dock, open fields with ocean views, a third-floor children’s space, and a detached barn used for car storage.

Islesboro, ME
Islesboro, ME

realtor.com

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Price: $650,000
Why it’s here: Nondescript from the curb, this five-bedroom residence made waves this week, thanks to the mannequins staged throughout the property.

Most of the mannequins are dressed in evening gowns—adding to the mystique. Built in 1962, the place could use some work—and a lot of tidying up. There’s no word on whether the list price includes the mannequins and/or their glittery gowns.

South Lake Tahoe, CA
South Lake Tahoe, CA

realtor.com

Source: realtor.com

22 Cities Where Home Appreciation Is Spiking

Couple looking at their old home
Photo by Hurst Photo / Shutterstock.com

Extreme demand for homes is pushing home values up at a rate not seen since before the Great Recession, a new Zillow report finds.

Several trends — including new millennial homebuyers, record-low interest rates, trends related to the coronavirus pandemic and the relatively small pool of homes for sale — have converged to heat up the market. The hot sellers’ market is a contrast to flat growth in rental prices nationally, as we reported in “Rent Prices Have Dropped in These 9 Formerly Hot Markets.”

The Zillow Home Value Index rose 9.1% from January 2020 to January 2021, the report says. Year-over-year home value growth hasn’t been this high since June 2006.

That rate may even pick up a bit: Zillow economists expect values to rise 10.1% from January 2021 to January 2022.

The demand has shortened the length of time that homes stay on the market, to a median of just 18 days as of mid-January. Compare that to 46 days at the same time last year and the year before.

A demographic bomb is a factor in the hot market. Millennials — defined by Zillow as Americans ages 25-34 — are entering their peak homebuying years. The number of these millennials increased by 12% — or, about 4.9 million people — between 2010 and 2020.

The generation’s size adds to the housing demand. Also, younger buyers are less likely than older ones to sell a previous home when they buy, which is expected to help keep the pool of homes for sale tight.

Government-stoked low mortgage rates — averaging 2.74% for a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage in January — are driving demand as buyers try to seize the opportunity to either pay less for a home or buy a more expensive one than they otherwise could.

Says Zillow:

“An extraordinary number of home buyers, with budgets supercharged by rock-bottom mortgage interest rates, are competing over a limited supply of homes for sale.”

The pandemic is a final factor. Many workers are now clocking in virtually instead of at the office, driving some to seek larger homes and others to move to smaller, more-affordable markets, Zillow says.

While home values increased in all of the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. from January 2020 to January 2021, some have seen steeper growth rates than others.

Here are the 22 major markets where home values grew 10% or more, along with their typical home price and their home price growth rate:

  • Phoenix: $335,975 (up 17.1% from January 2020 to January 2021)
  • San Jose, California: $1,314,799 (up 14.2%)
  • Austin, Texas: $384,446 (up 13.7%)
  • Salt Lake City: $436,390 (up 13.7%)
  • San Diego: $689,361 (up 13.5%)
  • Seattle: $594,223 (up 12.8%)
  • Tampa, Florida: $257,499 (up 12.8%)
  • Milwaukee: $219,381 (up 12.1%)
  • Cincinnati: $208,352 (up 12%)
  • Providence, Rhode Island: $357,761 (up 12%)
  • Riverside, California: $433,226 (up 11.7%)
  • Buffalo, New York: $193,583 (up 11.4%)
  • Sacramento, California: $478,817 (up 11.3%)
  • Indianapolis: $204,141 (up 11.3%)
  • Memphis, Tennessee: $174,063 (up 11.3%)
  • Cleveland: $176,069 (up 11.1%)
  • Charlotte, North Carolina: $265,397 (up 10.9%)
  • Columbus, Ohio: $234,276 (up 10.8%)
  • Philadelphia: $277,775 (up 10.6%)
  • Kansas City, Missouri: $227,059 (up 10.6%)
  • Pittsburgh: $178,282 (up 10.4%)
  • Detroit: $198,979 (up 10.3%)

If you’re in the market for a new home or refinancing for your existing home, check out the mortgage rate comparison tools in Money Talks News’ Solutions Center.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com