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

Exterior
Exterior

VRX Media Group

Exterior
Exterior

VRX Media Group

Exterior
Exterior

VRX Media Group

Interior
Interior

VRX Media Group

Bedroom
Bedroom

VRX Media Group

Bathroom
Bathroom

VRX Media Group

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
Living space

VRX Media Group

Kitchen
Kitchen

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Porch
Porch

VRX Media Group

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

VRX Media Group

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

VRX Media Group

Bathroom
Bathroom

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Living space
Living space

VRX Media Group

Exterior
Exterior

VRX Media Group

Wine nook
Wine nook

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Aerial view
Aerial view

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Interior
Interior

VRX Media Group

Porch
Porch

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Bathroom
Bathroom

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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

Underground Compound of 4 Fallout Shelters in Montana Awaits Buyer To Burrow In

When spectacular mountain views are available, nearby homes almost always feature an abundance of windows to soak in the vistas.

However, this property in Montana heads in a completely opposite direction. These four homes have no windows at all—they’re completely underground.

The quartet of below-ground homes sit beneath 10.6 acres in Paradise Valley near Emigrant, MT, just north of Yellowstone National Park.

Listed for $1.75 million, the earth-sheltered homes were originally built as fallout shelters. They offer all the amenities a comfortable residence requires—albeit with curved walls.

Views of Montana
Views of Montana

Theresa Lunn

Entrances
Entrances

Theresa Lunn

Entrance
Entrance

Theresa Lunn

Three of out of the four homes measure in at about 2,500 square feet, and each features multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces.

The fourth home is significantly larger, with space to accommodate a crowd looking for a real escape.

“The largest one has several bunk rooms, so you could have more than a couple people in there,” says the listing agent, Theresa Lunn.

Each boasts a basement for food and supplies storage and to house all of the mechanicals.

The earth keeps the houses at a constant 50 to 55 degrees and to increase the temperature as needed, each home is equipped with its own HVAC and ventilation system.

“It never feels musty in there with the air circulation system. It always smells fresh,” Lunn says.

Exterior
Exterior

Theresa Lunn

Kitchen
Kitchen

Theresa Lunn

Kitchen
Kitchen

Theresa Lunn

Game room
Game room

Theresa Lunn

Bedroom
Bedroom

Theresa Lunn

Each home comes with its own kitchen, complete with appliances.

“Once you’re in there, they’re comfortable. It’s just like you’re in a house,” Lunn explains. “You walk down hallways, but then you just you walk into a kitchen that you think is your mom’s kitchen—a great area, bedrooms, very nice bathrooms.”

One house features a pool table in the rec room.

The current owner is a builder and is willing to sweeten the deal for a buyer who might be interested in buying the land and the underground homes.

“He would put a very nice [above-ground] home for an extra $240,000 onto the list price. Underneath the house, it would have a discrete entrance into shelter No. 4,” Lunn explains. “The additional house has not been built. He is offering that as a buyer package, if someone wanted that.”

Hallway
Hallway

Theresa Lunn

Bedroom
Bedroom

Theresa Lunn

Interior
Interior

Theresa Lunn

The Paradise Valley area is known for its outdoor activities.

“It’s arguably one of the most beautiful places in the U.S., for sure. It’s a huge mecca for fly fishermen,” Lunn says, adding hunting, hiking, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, and horseback riding are also popular.

“It’s a great spot for vacation rentals,” Lunn says, adding that renting an underground home could offer a unique allure for guests. “If you bought this, you could live in it and still rent it out. It’s also a great retreat possibility.”

Bathroom
Bathroom

Theresa Lunn

Storage
Storage

Theresa Lunn

Entrance
Entrance

Theresa Lunn

Lunn says buyers have shown an interest in the property—ranging from those in search of a sustainable property, to folks who desire the ultimate in protection.

The agent says she doesn’t like to use the term “preppers,” because of the negative connotations attached to the term. But she acknowledges that that is basically what people do when they store supplies in underground bunkers.

“If our great-grandparents didn’t prep, none of us would be here,” she says. “It’s just being prepared.”

Mechanicals
Mechanicals

Theresa Lunn

Mechanicals
Mechanicals

Theresa Lunn

Mechanicals
Mechanicals

Theresa Lunn

Mechanicals
Mechanicals

Theresa Lunn

The homes are currently attached to the electrical grid, but could be unhooked if a buyer decided to rely on the property’s own generators for power.

As in the case of most fallout shelters, the entrance to each home is through a thick door. Upon entry, the hallway takes a turn at a right angle.

“Any bunker worth its salt has to have those 90-degree turns, because nuclear and chemical material can’t go around [corners],” Lunn explains. “That’s really one of those tips of the trade for guys that are building bunkers.”

Lunn stresses these are regular homes where people would be very comfortable living or vacationing.

“[They’re not] some kind of freaky, end-of-the-world, zombie-apocalypse whatever. There is a lot of need for this type of property.”

Hallway
Hallway

Theresa Lunn

Entrance
Entrance

Theresa Lunn

Kitchen
Kitchen

Theresa Lunn

Bedroom
Bedroom

Theresa Lunn

Storage
Storage

Theresa Lunn

Source: realtor.com

$16.9M French Provincial Mansion Near NOLA Is Louisiana’s Most Expensive Home

Now on the market for $16,895,000, a mansion built to the most exacting specifications has achieved the distinction of being Louisiana’s most expensive home.

Owned by Shane Guidry, CEO of Harvey Gulf International Marine, and his wife, Holly, the house on Northline Street in Metairie, LA, just outside New Orleans, is a 15,230-square-foot French Provincial masterpiece.

“It took him three years to design and build this, and they used the most high-end products in this house that you may ever come across,” says the listing manager, Peggy Bruce, who is working with the listing agent, Shaun McCarthy.

“It’s an outstanding home. When you think of luxury, this is what that entails,” she says.

For starters, to make sure there was enough marble for the ground floor and that all the marble matched, the Guidrys bought the entire quarry in Italy.

“It’s 24-by-24 marble flooring that is just luxurious. The veins are just beautiful, and it all just kind of flows together, because it all came from one quarry,” says Bruce.

Exterior
Exterior

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Entry
Entry

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Entry
Entry

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Interior
Interior

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Living space
Living space

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Master bathroom
Master bathroom

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Closet
Closet

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Quite apart from its ultra-sleek appearance, the marble flooring is heated in the first floor master bedroom and bathroom.

“In the master bathroom, it’s a walk-in shower, and there’s a clawfoot soaking tub in the front of the shower,” Bruce says. “The walk-in has two entrances and four shower-heads. It’s got hand-carved mosaic tile in the shower.”

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Watch: This Ghirardelli Family Home Is a Feast for the Eyes

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In the master closet and elsewhere in the home, the cabinet hardware is solid silver.

“It’s tremendous. Everything was hand-milled and hand-carved—custom-done,” she says.

The enormous kitchen offers an array of custom cabinetry, a chandelier, and a large island with plenty of room for seating.

Kitchen
Kitchen

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Kitchen
Kitchen

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Kitchen
Kitchen

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Kitchen and dining area
Kitchen and dining area

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Bathroom
Bathroom

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Bedroom
Bedroom

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Bedroom
Bedroom

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Bedroom
Bedroom

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

The mansion in the town’s Metairie Club Gardens neighborhood has a total of six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and four half-bathrooms, all with tall ceilings. In the entry, the ceilings are 24 feet high.

“It’s dramatic,” Bruce says, adding that the owners purchased many antique fixtures in Europe and brought them back, rewired them, and included them in their design.

“You go into a lot of homes that look like this on the outside, and you expect the inside to be a little gaudy,” she says. “This is so tastefully done. It is beautifully appointed. Everything just flows perfectly.”

Home theater
Home theater

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Home theater
Home theater

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Gym
Gym

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Many of the home’s features are connected to automated technology, and can be controlled via a mobile device or remote, including the home theater.

Bruce explains that it has leather seats for 15 people and includes a digital ceiling that can be set either to clouds, or to the night sky, with twinkling stars.

Spa
Spa

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Spa
Spa

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Spa
Spa

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Shower
Shower

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There’s also a full spa with a massage room, wet and dry saunas, and hair and nail stations.

Canine friends can enjoy an indoor dog home and washing station.

Outdoor space
Outdoor space

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Outdoor space
Outdoor space

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Outdoor space
Outdoor space

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Outdoor kitchen
Outdoor kitchen

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Outside, there’s a large outdoor kitchen, along with a petite pool.

“It’s a cocktail pool”—a small pool with steps, Bruce explains. “It’s not very deep at all. It’s really for just lounging and sipping cocktails or just kind of cooling off if it’s a hot summer night or summer day.”

In addition to the three-car garage, there’s room to park a variety of vehicles on the half-acre property.

Bedroom
Bedroom

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Bedroom
Bedroom

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Living space
Living space

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

The owners purchased the land in 2011 for $1.2 million, and Bruce says they poured at least $15 million into building this dream home. But times change, and the family is moving out of town to pursue other interests.

“I think the perfect buyer for this home is someone that values being in the New Orleans area and understands what went into this house—because it is a hefty price,” Bruce says.

The pool of buyers looking for this type of home in the New Orleans area is not large, and Bruce says the future owner might be someone from out of town.

“Beyoncé put a play on this house a few years back, and the owner wasn’t interested in selling at that time,” she says. “We have tried to reach out to Beyoncé using some connections we have, but haven’t received a response yet.”

Bedroom
Bedroom

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Living space
Living space

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Wine room
Wine room

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Living space
Living space

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Interior
Interior

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

Living space
Living space

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Bathroom
Bathroom

Nola Real Estate Marketing and Photography

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

Source: realtor.com

House on a Boat—but Not a Houseboat—for Sale in Massachusetts

It’s a house on a boat—but it’s not a houseboat.

“It’s one of the only homes in Buzzards Bay that’s floating and not actually considered a houseboat. It’s considered a floating home, because it does not have a motor inside. For it to be moved, it has to be pulled by a barge or put onto a larger structure,” explains listing agent Jan MacGregor.

Listed for $275,000, the 1,800-square-foot home in Fairhaven, MA, is docked on Fort Street in the Fairhaven Shipyard. However, the location will have to change.

“The person who lives in it currently works at the shipyard, so he was able to keep it there. But a future buyer will have to move it. It’s not going to be able to stay at the shipyard,” MacGregor says.

And the possibilities of where to take this floating home are almost endless.

House on a boat
House on a boat

John Maciel

Exterior
Exterior

John Maciel

There are “marinas that accommodate large vessels like this down in Newport, and then also in Cape Cod, and in Boston,” MacGregor says. “You can go anywhere because you can move the vessel anywhere you choose. It really just gives you the opportunity to explore as much as you want. You could go all the way down the Eastern Seaboard with it if you really felt like it.”

Historic photo
Historic photo

Historic New England

Historic photo
Historic photo

Historic New England

Known now as Tapestry, the three-bedroom and two-bathroom house once served as the Governor Herrick, a dredge for the Cape Cod Canal.

In 1912, the Governor Herrick and its twin, the Governor Warfield, helped build the artificial waterway that joins Buzzards Bay to Cape Cod Bay by removing 100,000 cubic yards of earth and silt each month.

The waterway became operational on July 29, 1914—a month prior to the opening of the Panama Canal.

After clearing the way in Cape Cod, the Herrick continued to work for many more years along the Eastern Seaboard.

Living space
Living space

John Maciel

Living space with wood stove
Living space with wood stove

John Maciel

Dining room
Dining room

John Maciel

In the mid-1990s, an enterprising seaman saw the formerly busy vessel beached along the shoreline and turned it into a home. The Tapestry’s current owner has lived aboard the vessel for about 15 years.

The vessel measures 76 feet long and 27 feet wide, and the shingled exterior hides a welcoming residence.

“It’s definitely surprising. Nothing really stands out about [the exterior], and then when you get inside everything feels so warm and cozy,” MacGregor explains. “It doesn’t feel cramped at all. You feel like you’re in an actual house. It’s really cool being on the water, and it’s super spacious.”

Bathroom
Bathroom

John Maciel

Bedroom
Bedroom

John Maciel

Bathroom
Bathroom

John Maciel

Each floor has a large bedroom with bathroom. The second floor also has a loft area and laundry room. The main level has the kitchen, dining area, and living space.

The kitchen has space for dining as well as a small refrigerator and freezer disguised as cabinets. A full refrigerator sits in the pantry.

Kitchen
Kitchen

John Maciel

Pantry
Pantry

John Maciel

Office
Office

John Maciel

Interior
Interior

John Maciel

The interiors of the Tapestry are more accommodating now than when it was a dredge.

“There are little holes in the wooden walls downstairs because there used to be bunk beds screwed into the walls when there were workers staying on the barge because they were working on Cape Cod Canal,” MacGregor says.

For electricity, the house has to plug in to marina shore power, and all of the other mechanicals are located below the living space.

“It’s basically like a basement in the barge, but that’s where everything is kept so you can live on it year-round,” MacGregor explains.

There are huge heating fuel and water tanks as well as a holding tank for waste. All need regular maintenance as does the steel structure of the barge.

“The perfect buyer for this house is somebody who is adventurous and wants to live simply and not be in the hustle and bustle of the city,” MacGregor says. “They just want to be out of the way and kind of have their quiet and their peace in their space with a nice view.”

Interior
Interior

John Maciel

Exterior
Exterior

John Maciel

Bathroom
Bathroom

John Maciel

Interior
Interior

John Maciel

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

Source: realtor.com

Wyatt Earp May Have Gambled Here: Log Cabin With a Colorful Past Is Listed for $380K

A cozy log cabin with a long and colorful history, this unique dwelling in the historic Idyllwild, CA, area has an unusual past and a very livable present and future.

The original structure is reported to have been built in 1849—an auspicious year in California history—and it’s been improved upon ever since.

Much of what’s standing today was erected in 1943, as what is apparently the area’s only existing “cord home.” The walls of the structure are made of 10-inch cordwood logs that were embedded in concrete, then sealed and protected from insects and the elements.

The building method may sound odd by today’s standards, but it has stood the test of time, as well as the onslaught of vicious wild fires.

Located in the mountains that tower over Palm Springs and the greater Coachella Valley, the tiny town of Pine Cove is accessed by a winding mountain road that breaks off from Interstate 10 near Banning, CA.

The story goes that after the legendary lawman Wyatt Earp retired to San Bernardino, he rode the stage coach up that mountain road to play poker in this very cabin, a stage stop at the time.

The cabin has served a variety of purposes over the years, as a post office, a general store, and a horse stable. It also had incarnations as the Summit Lodge and the Pine Cove Tavern.

A 170-year-old cabin in the Idyllwild area of Southern California
A 170-year-old cabin in the Idyllwild area of Southern California

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Cabin with cordwood walls
Cabin with cordwood walls

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Close-up of cordwood walls
Close-up of cordwood walls
Postcard of the cabin when it was serving as the Pine Cone Tavern
Postcard of the cabin when it was serving as the Pine Cone Tavern

realtor.com

When the parents of the current residents bought the property in 1969, it was their family’s home. Their father used it as an art gallery, while their mother used the parlor for psychic readings.

The property once housed an art gallery.
The property once housed an art gallery.

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It’s still in the family today. The second-generation owners are musicians, and have been filling the house with music for years now.

Nestled among towering pine trees, the home has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. It also has a high, stacked fireplace of river stone, and a shingled, second-story addition above the original cord walls.

Living room
Living room

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Clerestory windows and skylights allow for natural illumination, and pine cabinetry and paneling add to the cabin’s rustic Western feel.

Clerestory windows
Clerestory windows

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Skylights over the kitchen
Skylights over the kitchen

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There’s also plenty of decking outside, with stone stairs, walls, and pathways on the large lot.

Deck
Deck

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Stone steps
Stone steps

Listed in July for $399,000, for the first time in decades, the property appears to have attracted a buyer at the price of $380,000.

The cabin feels remote, yet it’s only a few minutes away from Idyllwild’s galleries, restaurants, and shops. An authentic piece of the Old West in Southern California, it’s a portal to another time and place.

Source: realtor.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

Former Schoolhouse Turned Winning Wedding Venue Needs a Buyer To Say ‘I Do’

For just a few years in the late 1920s, the children of Malabar, FL, attended class in their schoolhouse on Marie Street.

Then the Great Depression forced the school to close. Over the decades, the former schoolhouse has served as apartments, a woodworking shop, a mill, and most recently, a wedding venue.

Now the 8,000-square-foot building, zoned both residential and commercial, is on the market for $1.1 million.

“We fell in love with the building, and we thought we could live here,” says the listing agent and current owner, Joanne Murdoch. She and her husband, Tom, bought the property in 2012 and had big plans to renovate it and make it their home.

However, the demand for quirky event venues intervened.

“Everybody was coming out with these barn venues, and we thought this building would make a great wedding venue. So that’s the direction we went into for a number of years,” Murdoch says.

Interior of former schoolhouse in Malabar, FL
Interior of former schoolhouse in Malabar, FL

realtor.com

Interior
Interior

realtor.com

Interior
Interior

realtor.com

Exterior
Exterior

realtor.com

It took a few years to renovate the property to make it ready for happy couples. The schoolhouse on the Sunshine State’s Atlantic Coast was in sore need of updated infrastructure.

“It was industrial-looking when we got it,” Murdoch explains. “We had to redo all the electrical, the plumbing, the heating, the septic, all the safety stuff throughout, the landscaping, the lighting. It was a complete restoration.”

Exterior
Exterior

realtor.com

Interior
Interior

realtor.com

Rechristened as the Banyan Estate, thanks to the banyan tree on the grounds, the venue has held weddings and other events for the past few years.

The main level has a large pavilion room and a smaller hall—each with new windows and vintage chandeliers. There are also several bathrooms throughout the venue space.

Loft space
Loft space

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Pavilion
Pavilion

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Interior
Interior

realtor.com

Upstairs, the loft area provides a more intimate setting for smaller gatherings. This was the space where the Murdochs initially planned to live.

It has a full bathroom and plenty of room to configure and carve out bedrooms and other living spaces.

Somebody coming in to use the building as a residence will have to tweak it a bit, Murdoch says. But with the home’s major systems in place, the work that’s left will require an eye for design.

Kitchen
Kitchen

realtor.com

Interior
Interior

realtor.com

Interior
Interior

realtor.com

Right now, the only kitchen in the space is designed for commercial prep, so anyone wanting to live in the building full-time will want to add a cooking space.

“We always saw the upstairs part being the loft, and the other two spaces could be any kind of business you wanted,” Murdoch says.

Before deciding to turn the property into a wedding venue, she and her husband imagined a business making cheese in part of the space and setting up a dance studio in the rest.

Aerial view
Aerial view

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Outdoor prep space
Outdoor prep space

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Exterior
Exterior

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Interior
Interior

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The building sits on almost 2.5 acres and abuts 350 acres of environmentally preserved land that will never be developed.

Finding a property with this kind of zoning, great location, and fascinating backstory is a big win.

Murdoch says she imagines the perfect buyer as “somebody who loves historic buildings, who can appreciate a beautiful and large piece of property.”

The property is co-listed with JJ Tippins at Pastermack Real Estate.

Interior
Interior

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Interior
Interior

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Exterior
Exterior

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Interior
Interior

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Source: realtor.com

Fixer-Upper With a Premium Pedigree: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Childhood Home for Sale

A historic home where Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, spent a lot of her childhood is on the market. Although the exterior emits plenty of historic vibes, the home is a real fixer-upper.

“The current interior is unfinished, and needs to be finished by the buyers,” says the listing agent, Paul Hallenbeck.

The agent has high hopes for an enterprising buyer willing to take on this well-pedigreed property.

“It’s going to be incredibly grand,” he says. “I want to go back to the house when it is finished.”

It may not be complete, but that doesn’t mean that this prime piece of property on the Hudson River will come cheap. The 10,000-square-foot Second Empire-style home in Germantown, NY, is listed for $5.25 million.

Known as Oak Terrace, Eleanor Roosevelt’s grandparents built the home in 1865.

“It was their summer house when they lived in New York City. Due to tragedies in her family, she eventually ended up living with [her grandparents] and spent summers there with them. Her bedroom is identified, so you can visit it,” Hallenbeck explains.

Roosevelt’s memoirs say she spent time reading books under the shade of the trees on the estate.

The location and setting is hard to top—for reading or whatever leisure pursuit you choose.

“It’s directly on the Hudson River, with views of the river and the Catskill Mountains beyond. It’s 25 acres and has total privacy there,” Hallenbeck says.

Exterior
Exterior

Stephen Hallenbeck

Exterior
Exterior

Stephen Hallenbeck

Views
Views

Stephen Hallenbeck

Exterior
Exterior

Stephen Hallenbeck

Interior
Interior

Stephen Hallenbeck

Veranda
Veranda

Stephen Hallenbeck

Veranda
Veranda

Stephen Hallenbeck

Veranda
Veranda

Stephen Hallenbeck

Those gorgeous views are visible from a wraparound veranda accessible from a number of spots in the house.

Inside, there are 18 rooms highlighted by a 700-square-foot great room with dramatic 16-foot ceilings. A grand staircase goes up 36 feet and is topped by a spectacular coved ceiling with skylights.

Each of the six bedrooms in the four-story house comes an attached bathroom, including what Hallenbeck says will be a marvelous master suite.

Staircase
Staircase

Stephen Hallenbeck

Interior
Interior

Stephen Hallenbeck

Ceiling
Ceiling

Stephen Hallenbeck

Ceiling
Ceiling

Stephen Hallenbeck

Van Lamprou, a co-founder of Dolce Vita footwear, is the home’s current owner. He bought the home in 2013, for $2.85 million.

In the years since, he has poured lots of money into unglamorous but necessary elements to bring the home into the 21st century.

“The current owner has done an enormous amount of work,” Hallenbeck says. “He has redone the roof, drilled a new well, put in a new septic, installed modern heat and AC in the house, redone the fireplaces, and completely reinsulated the house.”

In addition to that infrastructure work, the home’s entire electrical and plumbing systems are also new.

Mechanicals
Mechanicals

Stephen Hallenbeck

Fireplace
Fireplace

Stephen Hallenbeck

Interior
Interior

Stephen Hallenbeck

Now that the crucial systems are in place, the next step is to finish off the interior.

“The owner decided to move ahead with other projects, instead of finishing the interior—which I think is probably a very good idea when you have a house like this,” Hallenbeck explains.

It will allow any buyers to customize to their personal taste the decor, finishes, and layout.

Hallenbeck estimates that the project will cost at least a million dollars.

“We’ve had quite a few people come with their architects and designers, trying to figure out how to finish it in the right way for them,” he says.

Interior
Interior

Stephen Hallenbeck

Interior
Interior

Stephen Hallenbeck

The perfect buyer is likely to be a family looking for a private weekend retreat, he says.

“When you’re outside here, you see the river and the Catskill Mountains beyond, and if you’re lucky, you see a boat or two on the river,” he adds. “But what you hear is nature, the wind. You don’t hear motorcycles or traffic. There are very few places like that.”

Interior
Interior

Stephen Hallenbeck

Source: realtor.com

‘Nicest House on the Lake’: This $12.5M Mansion Is Michigan’s Most Expensive Home

A sweet lake house on the market for $12.5 million is the most expensive home in all of Michigan.

The 16,000-square-foot house is in Charlevoix, MI—a small town in the upper reaches of the state that markets itself as “Charlevoix the Beautiful.”

Built in 2009, the grand mansion on Lake Charlevoix features seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and two half-bathrooms.

The effort behind the home’s construction was no small feat.

“It took about five years to build, and the decor has been imported from all over the world,” says the listing agent, Rik Lobenherz, praising the craftsmanship and finishes in the residence.

The ornate wooden bar in the family room was imported from Malaysia in sections, and reassembled. Attention to detail is obvious in the home’s grand staircase, which spirals its way between floors, with lots of windows around it.

Aerial view of mansion in Charlevoix, MI
Aerial view of mansion in Charlevoix, MI

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Living space
Living space

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Bar
Bar

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Interior
Interior

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Staircase
Staircase

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Staircase
Staircase

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Upper level
Upper level

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Despite its enormous size, the house doesn’t feel unpleasantly large.

“Each of the rooms are set up so they’re very comfortable,” Lobenherz says. “You don’t feel like you’re in a mansion as such. The rooms are very cozy, and there are eight fireplaces, so it’s just a very comfortable, homey feeling.”

Bedroom
Bedroom

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Master bathroom
Master bathroom

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Bedroom
Bedroom

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Most living spaces and each bedroom offer water views, with numerous windows in place to take advantage of the waterfront setting.

The kitchen is spacious, with a large island and high-end appliances.

“The owner loves to cook, so it even has its own pizza oven. There’s nothing that’s missing,” Lobenherz says.

Kitchen
Kitchen

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Theater
Theater

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Wine cellar
Wine cellar

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For entertaining, there’s a game room, a bar area, a theater room, and a large wine cellar. Adjusting everything from the heat to the lighting in the home is easy.

“It’s a smart house, so everything can be controlled remotely,” Lobenherz explains.

Beyond the smart home features, the agent says the home will only require a minimum of effort to bring it up to date.

Living space
Living space

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Dining space
Dining space

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Dining room
Dining room

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The current owners have lived in the house full-time, but they are looking to downsize. The furnishings are not included in the list price, but could be negotiated into a deal.

The house sits behind gates on 3 acres of land, with 195 feet of waterfront on Lake Charlevoix. The orientation of the house on the lot provides views looking down the length of the lake.

“It’s probably one of the better locations on Lake Charlevoix, which is a very coveted lake that is connected to the Great Lakes. You can go anywhere in the world on your boat from there,” Lobenherz says.

To handle an owner’s vessel, there’s a 400-foot pier.

Pier
Pier

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Aerial view
Aerial view

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Outdoor space
Outdoor space

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Outdoor fireplace
Outdoor fireplace

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There isn’t a pool, but Lobenherz notes that the entire lake is there to swim in. A stream with waterfalls runs along the side of the house.

The house’s lower level has several walkouts to the lake, with plenty of indoor-outdoor living options. A huge stone fireplace is the perfect place to spend an outdoor evening.

Guests have a large garage, with a spacious apartment above it.

“It’s beautiful. It would be the only bedroom area that doesn’t face the water, since it’s above a four-car garage, but it has its own kitchen and its own living room. I could live there,” Lobenherz jokes.

As for who is the perfect buyer for this house?

“If they’re looking for the nicest house on the lake, this is the one they should be looking at,” the agent says.

Living space
Living space

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Garage apartment
Garage apartment

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Garage apartment
Garage apartment

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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