Sculptural rattan chairs, colorful artwork dotting the walls, lush plants stretching toward the ceiling, linen curtains billowing in the breeze, and a jute rug underfoot. It’s a look you might expect from a beachside resort in a glittering vacation town, but this lush, vibrant aesthetic is starting to work its way into homes, too. It’s a trend some on TikTok are calling “tropicalcore,” and the idea is to bring those vacation vibes into your own living spaces. Can you blame us? After the Covid years, any trip feels like a luxury to be savored, so it’s no wonder many are craving that same feeling at home.
If you’re ready to create your own tropicalcore oasis at home, read on for our tips on embracing this vacation-inspired decor trend without going overboard.
1. Channel your favorite destination.
To kick off your own tropicalcore decor scheme, choose a favorite vacation spot that you’d like to emulate in your home. Maybe you love the effortless elegance of Italy, the vibrant colors and textures of the Caribbean, or the laidback, beachy vibes of Palm Springs. Think through what that destination looks, feels, and smells like, then work to re-create that with your decor. The colors, textures, furniture styles, and home scents you choose will all add to the overall feel.
Source: Emily Henderson Design | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp
2. Use resort-ready materials.
To capture that breezy, luxurious feel of a beachside villa or tropical resort, using the right materials is key. Lean on airy fabrics and natural textures in your furniture and decor to get that getaway look. Woven materials like rattan and jute are obvious choices that work in all sorts of forms: seagrass baskets, cane-back chairs, natural fiber rugs, wicker furniture, and more. Other natural materials like terracotta, bamboo, or linen can also add depth and texture to a vacation-inspired design.
Source: @mandychengdesign | Photo by @madelinetolle
3. Incorporate lots of greenery.
Plants are key to the lush, relaxing vibe we’re going for here. Whether you opt for real or faux greenery, the type of plants you choose should align with your desired aesthetic. For a tropical-inspired space, select varieties with large, exotic-looking leaves like monstera, philodendrons, or any type of palm plant. If the Mediterranean look is more your style, opt for a statement plant like a fiddle-leaf fig or an olive tree.
4. Bring decor home from your travels.
The best way to get the look of your favorite vacation spot? Decorate with items that actually came from that place. The next time you’re on vacay, do some shopping for decor that doubles as a souvenir. Artwork or pottery from local makers, handmade rugs or throw blankets, and small trinkets like coasters or candle holders are great places to start. Whatever you pick out, just make sure you leave room in your suitcase for it or have a safe way to transport it home.
Source: Design by Jess Bunge | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp
5. Create an outdoor oasis.
At most resorts, the outdoor spaces are designed with as much care as the indoor ones, and the same should hold true with your own home. Capture that feeling of sitting by the pool or beachside with a drink in hand by creating your own personal outdoor oasis. Whether you’ve got a tiny balcony or a whole backyard patio to work with, deck out the space with outdoor furniture, rugs, and decor for a relaxing hangout you’ll love retreating to after the work day is done.
6. Don’t overdo it.
The goal here is to nod to your favorite vacation spot—not make your home look like a themed Airbnb. A few accent pieces here and there are truly all you need to bring those tropicalcore vibes home. Have fun with a few bright colors or bold patterns, but mix in plenty of neutral tones or natural materials for balance. Including a variety of different styles (a funky boho accent table next to a sleek midcentury-style sofa, for example) can also help you avoid a one-dimensional look.
60+ Summer Home Decor Picks to Spruce Up Your Space for the Season
There are 18 sleeps until Christmas. Have you decorated yet?? I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to deck our halls with a crawling 8-month old puttering around. Our oversized Christmas tree doesn’t really seem practical. It would eat up half of Carter’s crawling space. And since he’s discovered a love of cords I’m not really willing to add even more electrical hazards to the mix. So I’m considering an alternative this year – a modern update on the Christmas wreath with an easy wreath DIY.
Wall-mounted Christmas decor isn’t new. We actually shared an adorable Christmas Tree DIY last year, but I’m in the mood for something a little different. A little modern. I’ve been seeing a lot of different wreath options pop up all over Pinterest, but I’m loving this asymmetrical version. Its simplicity gives it a cool, chic feel, but the use of olive branches lend a rustic touch.
The steps to create something like this are actually pretty simple.
STEP ONE: Cut standard 18-inch wire wreath frame in half, creating a crescent shape
STEP TWO: Gather small bunches of olive branches and overlay them down the wreath frame, securing them with wire. Move along the wreath frame with the branches all going in the same direction.
STEP THREE: Reverse the direction of your olive branch bundles for the last third of the wreath frame that you have left
STEP FOUR: Take a piece of silky ribbon and tie a bow around the empty spot where your branch stems meet.
STEP FIVE: Tie a long piece of twine to each end of the wreath frame for hanging.
I think this is one project I can actually pull off before Christmas Eve rolls around! For more innovative decorating ideas CLICK HERE.
A two-year restoration transformed a Joshua Tree, CA, home into a design marvel.
And now the remarkable dwelling is listed for $779,000, after its initial September 2022 ask of $875,000.
“The current owner bought it as a fixer,” says listing agent Faisal Alserri, with Sharon Rose Realty. “She’s done quite a lot of work.”
After buying the three-bedroom, two-bath, 2.5-acre spread in 2020 for $154,500, the owner—who is an architect—dramatically improved the 1951-era property.
New epoxy-coated, concrete floors in the 1,280-square-foot house offer easy maintenance. And the newly modernized kitchen is outfitted with custom cabinetry; a large island; and high-end, Bertazzoni appliances.
Abundant windows and retracting, sliding-glass doors yield that coveted indoor-outdoor aesthetic.
The two baths are updated with high-end fixtures, and one bath features indoor-outdoor spaces and a retractable, motorized shade.
The updated abode currently operates as a short-term rental.
The home is positioned to offer expansive views of Joshua Tree National Park—particularly from the deck, which has a built-in a soaking tub designed by French industrial designer, Philippe Starck. And a covered front porch is the perfect place to host dinner guests.
“People are looking to elevate Joshua Tree,” says Alserri, who is listing another brand-new, modern build in Joshua Tree for $719,000. Meanwhile, the phenomenal Invisible House nearby is still on the market for $18 million.
“The desert has always been a place for creative people, and I think the architecture is reflective of that,” Alserri observes.
The property could be good fit for someone looking to work remotely from the desert.
“Right now, most of the buyers [in Joshua Tree] are live-in buyers,” Alserri says.
He notes that the Palm Springs International Airport is only 43 miles away from Joshua Tree, which has proven enticing to the work-from-home crowd.
Plus, the area’s robust popularity with tourists makes the house “relatively easy to rent out,” Alserri says.
A cruise can satisfy the greatest wanderlust, satisfy your favorite (and newfound) food cravings and open new horizons and interests you never thought possible. But you can also fall for tourist traps or miss the authentic culture of the places you visit.
If you’ve never cruised, talk to others who have more firsthand insights. Their perspective can shed even more light on the experience you can expect.
Going on a cruise has pros and cons, and it may be worth reviewing them before your next sailing. Let’s look at the pros and cons of cruises.
A good deal
Cruises can be costly, but you get more than just a great view of the ocean. Cruise bookings often include your:
Recreational amenities like pools and waterslides.
Other onboard activities.
You can step aboard the ship and not spend a penny if you play your cards right.
There are plenty of ways for cruises to pull more money out of your pocket on board (think: spa, specialty restaurants, upgraded drink packages, shore excursions, shops and casino), but you can still have plenty of fun without spending an additional dime.
Cruise lines are reinventing their onboard options, and specialty restaurants tap in to the talents of well-known chefs and restaurateurs. This can take some of the boredom away from the same dining rooms, but it comes at a cost.
For the most part, however, if you find a good price on the cabin, the number of inclusions that come with it can quickly drive down the cost of an overall vacation. Of course, the more you spend on the cabin (some of those luxury suites, for example), the lower the bargain you’ll get.
Entertainment and education galore
You read that right — you can learn something educational on a cruise.
Many cruises have port talks, destination immersion lectures covering the history and culture of a place, art galleries and trivia games. You can learn something on board, and then when you’re ashore, you can explore the destinations you visit.
Cruises are a great way to learn more about the world, meet new people and learn from them, too.
And there is more entertainment than you can shake a stick at on board and ashore. From musical performances to game shows and cinemas, you can easily fill up your schedule.
Every ship is different, so it is important to review what is available on your sailing if staying busy is your goal. Otherwise, bring a book and watch the world float by from the deck.
On sea days (when the ship is traveling between ports), it’s like having your own resort with pools and activities included in the overall cost of your vacation.
Maximize your time
A cruise can introduce you to many places at once without your worrying about unpacking and repacking between destinations or paying for transportation between cities.
You unpack once and then are on your way, with all of the details handled for you — from immigration protocols to where to go and when.
The cost of a cruise includes a preplanned journey to some of the most popular points within a region and your transportation between them.
For example, your itinerary may have multiple Mediterranean cities or several European capitals.
There’s something quite relaxing about waking up each morning in a new city. And when you return after a day of exploring, housekeeping has cleaned your room.
A cruise may be a great option for less-frequent travelers because the cruise line is essentially “holding your hand” along the way.
Even better, some stops may be hard to reach by land — like many Alaskan ports — or expensive to reach independently, like some Greek islands or pricy ports in the Caribbean like St. Barts.
Family and group travel come easy
Cruises are an easy option for groups traveling together. Unlike on land, where it can be hard to find restaurant reservations for large groups or find one activity that suits every interest, cruises have something for everyone.
People can branch off to do what they like on the ship and then meet back up an hour later without worrying about traffic or safety issues for kids.
Lots of people
While this varies by ship — some enormous ships have so much space that there are plenty of areas where you’ll be one of only a few people — crowds may flood popular areas.
For example, people vying for their moment in the sun may swarm the pool deck and families may descend on the water park area simultaneously.
Lines can form at popular buffets or restaurants at meal times, and when it’s time to go ashore (or disembark after the cruise), you’ll be one of many waiting in line.
If you’re not willing to pay for specialty venues or you’re on a smaller ship that doesn’t have many free dining options, you may find that the dining rooms become repetitive. Menus change daily, but the setting does not. The window views at dinner will vary by destination, though, adding a bit of pizzazz.
If you make an effort, it is possible to find different things to do each day on almost all larger ships. River cruises, on the other hand, are much smaller and tend to feel more repetitive.
The same premise appears with the destinations for repeat cruisers. Because the cruise line plans itineraries, you may visit places you have been to multiple times if you sail often enough. It becomes harder to exclusively visit “new-to-you” places.
If it’s the latter you’re after, planning your own trip may be a better option.
One price is not always just one price
If you loosen your purse strings easily, spending more than you realize aboard a ship is possible.
A few cocktails by the pool each day, an extra tour or specialty restaurant dinner another, and before you know it, you’ve paid twice as much as you thought. It’s wise to board a ship with a budget in mind and plan your sailing accordingly so you don’t overspend without realizing it.
Cruise lines are often important economic engines for destinations. You may find yourself dealing with tourist traps, such as shops by the port, and beginner tours organized by the cruise line.
If you want the most authentic experience, it might be worth studying local guides and tour options online in advance to find something more authentic without falling for what’s waiting for you right at the port.
If you’re going on a shore excursion through the cruise line, you can count on being carted to places designed for large groups rather than hidden gems. Many tours often include a stop at a local shop or business that may be presented as authentic, but locals will tell you it is not.
This trend is amplified because travelers usually have only one day at each destination. As a result, time is of the essence to visit the most important sights without wasting it at tourist traps.
Frequent cruisers, however, will tell you that you should use a cruise to determine places you want to return to by using it as a sampler to explore many destinations. They also suggest planning what you want to do so you can hit the ground running.
Exploring independently or with a local guide (not booked through the ship) can often be your best bet. It also has the added benefit of directly supporting a local business or guide rather than funneling that cash through the cruise line.
The pros and cons of cruises, recapped
It’s unfair to decide how you feel about a cruise without trying one. Even those who insist they wouldn’t like one may end up having a good time.
Perception is not always reality, and you can be better prepared by considering all of the pros and cons of a cruise in advance. Talk with people on either side to get answers to your questions.
Not every type of travel is for everyone, but the ever-expanding cruise industry keeps adding amenities, perks and destinations. That alone speaks for itself.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Las Vegas is known for many things, typically its world-famous casinos and that legendary nightlife. There’s a reason they say, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
For some people, those features of Las Vegas are exactly what they want. But not everyone loves to play the slot machines, try their luck at roulette, or sip those fancy cocktails. The good news is you don’t have to: There are countless things to do in Las Vegas, and only a small fraction involve drinking and gambling.
Here, learn about the best things to do when visiting Las Vegas because this Nevada town has a lot going on!
Best Times to Go to Las Vegas
The best times to visit Las Vegas can depend on your personal preferences. What do you want to do while you are there? Here are some things to keep in mind:
• Weather: Las Vegas can be very hot if you opt for summer travel. Temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit during that time. So, if you prefer not to be covered in sweat, the best time to visit in terms of weather is usually in the fall (September to November) or spring (March to May), when temperatures are milder. However, if you are planning a visit that involves nothing but casino time, seeing shows, and hitting the pool, you can travel pretty much whenever.
• Events: Las Vegas hosts many events and festivals throughout the year, including the Electric Daisy Carnival music festival in May, the World Series of Poker in the summer, and the National Finals Rodeo in December. If there is a particular event you want to attend, that could influence when you decide to go.
• Crowds: Las Vegas is a popular destination all year, but certain times of year tend to be busier than others. The winter holidays and New Year’s Eve are typically the busiest times, while weekdays in the summer can be quieter.
Generally, the best time to visit Las Vegas depends on what you want to do and see. If you want to avoid crowds and extreme heat, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. If you want to attend a specific event, plan your trip around that. Also, consider travel insurance to give yourself peace of mind in case you hit any obstacles before or during your trip.
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Bad Times to Go to Las Vegas
Again, the bad times to visit Las Vegas are subjective and depend on your preferences. For most people, though, here are times of the year that might be less enjoyable:
• Summer: As mentioned, temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. That could make it an uncomfortable time to visit for many.
• Major holidays: Las Vegas is a popular destination on many major holidays, including New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. During these times, hotels and attractions can be crowded, and prices might be higher than usual.
• Convention weekends: Las Vegas is a popular destination for business conferences and conventions, and hotel rates can be higher during these times. You might also find that the city is more crowded than usual.
As you can see, the worst times to visit Las Vegas also depend on your personal inclinations. If you want to avoid crowds and high prices, it’s best to avoid major holidays and conventions. If you can’t handle the heat, staying away during the summer is best.
Average Cost of a Las Vegas Vacation
The cost of a Las Vegas vacation can vary widely depending on factors such as the time of year, duration of your visit, accommodations, dining and entertainment options, and your budget for spending. It might help if you already have a travel fund, but it depends on how much you will spend. Here is a general breakdown of common expenses for a one-person and couple’s vacation:
• Accommodations: A mid-range hotel room can cost around $100-$200 per night; luxury hotels in Vegas will of course typically be more, but you may be able to use hacks that will lower that cost and help you save money on hotels.
• Flights: Round-trip flights generally cost around $200-$500, depending on the departure city and time of year.
• Transportation: Taxis, Ubers, and public transportation can add up to around $50-$100 or more. Of course, they might cost you more money depending on how often you use them.
• Food and drink: Meals can cost around $20-$50 per day, depending on where and what you eat, plus drinks and snacks can add another $20-$50 per day.
• Entertainment: Shows, attractions, and activities can range from free to several hundred dollars per person. Tickets to those high-profile residencies can get quite pricey.
Total: A one-person vacation to Las Vegas can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the above factors. Also consider things like traveling with pets, which will increase your costs as hotels typically add a charge and you might have additional transportation costs getting to pet-friendly parks.
• Hotels: A mid-range hotel room can cost around $100-$200 per night or more for a luxury hotel.
• Flights: Round-trip flights can cost around $400-$1,000, depending on the departure city and time of year. However, you can save money or get extra perks with an airline credit card or cash back rewards credit card.
• Transportation: Taxis, Ubers, and public transportation can add up to around $100-$200. Again, it depends in part on how much you use them.
• Food and drink: Meals can cost around $40-$100 per day for two people, depending on where and what you eat. Drinks and snacks might add another $40-$100 per day.
• Entertainment: Shows, attractions, and activities can range from free to several hundred dollars per person.
Total: A couple’s vacation to Las Vegas might cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 or more, depending on the above factors. Naturally, how much you can afford will have an effect on your budget.
10 Fun Must-Dos in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is one of the best places in the country for all kinds of entertainment. Whether young or old, you are never more than a few steps away from something interesting. This list of the best things to do in Vegas is culled from top-rated attractions on popular review sites, as well as insider intel from savvy travelers.
The good thing about taking a trip to Las Vegas is that the Strip is generally the focal point. So, if you stay near the Strip, you are sure to find many attractions that are accessible. Just be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, as traversing the Strip takes more steps than you might realize.
1. Visit the Las Vegas Strip
As the main attraction in Vegas, the Strip has numerous shops, restaurants, and shows. Of course, you can visit the casinos if you prefer, but even the Strip has plenty to do that doesn’t involve gambling. Admire the Bellagio’s fountains and the artwork inside the casino, or visit the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. Visit the city’s museums, or enjoy some performances by the city’s various street performers. The Strip offers endless entertainment for all kinds of people. visitlasvegas.com/las-vegas-strip/
2. See a Live Show
Seeing a live show is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas. The city is home to many spectacular shows, including Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, and magic shows. All the best shows are usually on the Strip, so catching a show is convenient, too.
3. Explore Fremont Street
This is the old downtown area of Las Vegas, with vintage casinos, bars, and the famous light show on the overhead canopy. While the Strip is generally the main attraction in Last Vegas these days, many people insist Fremont Street is the “real” Vegas experience. Today, Fremont Street is home to unbeatable experiences like the Viva Vision Light Show, an indoor zip line, and the vintage Golden Nugget casino. vegasexperience.com/
4. Ride the High Roller
Even if you aren’t a high roller in the casinos, you can feel like one in the High Roller observation wheel. This 550-foot-tall Ferris wheel is the world’s tallest observation wheel, offering a stunning view of the Las Vegas skyline. Because the High Roller is so tall, the seats are completely enclosed in glass to keep passengers safe. The High Roller is located in the heart of the Strip, on the property of the LINQ Hotel and Casino. Daytime tickets for a 30-minute ride are typically $8.50 for youth; $23.50 for adults; nighttime is $17.50 for youth, $34.75 for adults. caesars.com/linq/things-to-do/attractions/high-roller
5. Visit the Hoover Dam
Las Vegas has endless things to do, but sometimes, you just need an escape. Located just outside Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering and a great place for a day trip. You can reach the Hoover Dam in about one hour by car from the Strip, so getting there isn’t too time-consuming. It was built between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression. It serves several purposes, including controlling flooding of the Colorado River, irrigating over 1,500,000 acres of land, and providing water to 16,000,000 people. Tickets are $10 for a self-guided tour; $30 for a guided tour. usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/service/
6. Go Shopping
If you’re a shopping fiend, few places are better than Las Vegas. The city is home to many high-end shopping destinations, including the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and the Fashion Show Mall. There are also indie shops, other malls on the Strip, and outlets. That includes Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, where you’ll find deals on designer brands like Versace, Paige, and Michael Kors. This could also be a great opportunity to earn credit card rewards.
7. Visit the Neon Museum
Be sure to check out The Neon Museum Las Vegas to see a visual representation of Vegas’s history. This outdoor museum is located just north of the Strip and showcases vintage neon signs from Las Vegas’s past. The museum provides guided tours of signs from Vegas, some of which are from famous landmarks from the 1930s to today. General admission is $10 for children, $20 for adults, and tours are available. neonmuseum.org/
8. Play Miniature Golf
Adults and children of all ages can enjoy some amazing mini-golf courses in Las Vegas. The city has several miniature golf courses, including the Twilight Zone by Monster Mini Golf and KISS World featuring KISS Mini Golf. Both courses feature mesmerizing glow-in-the-dark mini-golf. Las Vegas is undoubtedly one of the coolest places to play mini-golf, so be sure to check these out.
9. Go on a Helicopter Tour
Experience the stunning views of Las Vegas and its surrounding areas from above with a thrilling helicopter tour. Several helicopter tour options are available in Las Vegas, ranging from short sightseeing flights to longer tours that take you to nearby attractions like the Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam. Some helicopter tours are as brief as 10 minutes, while some can last several hours. Keep in mind that helicopter tours in Las Vegas can be expensive, ranging from around $100 to several hundred dollars per person. The cost depends on the length of the tour and the attractions included. Book now, pay later travel can help, though these services can have caveats, including incurring high-interest debt.
10. Visit the SkyPod
Visiting the Skypod at the Strat Hotel and Casino is a must-do activity when you’re in Las Vegas. This iconic tower offers stunning views of Las Vegas and an array of thrilling rides, including the SkyJump and Insanity. You can also see the surrounding mountains and desert from the observation deck. The tower stands 1,149 feet tall, making it the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. There are several dining options, including the award-winning Top of the World restaurant, which is located on the 106th floor of the tower and offers 360-degree views of the city while you dine. thestrat.com/attractions
Getting Around Town
Las Vegas doesn’t have a wide array of public transit options, but it does have the Las Vegas Monorail that runs along the strip. Unfortunately, the Monorail isn’t exactly cheap, but a 7-day pass might save a bit if you use it multiple times daily. There is also the Las Vegas Loop to transport you between convention halls. Tickets are a reasonable $4.50 per day. Renting a car is always an option as well.
Las Vegas is a great food city. The hotels are packed with amazing options from household-name chefs. You can also stray from the Strip and find local favorites offering affordable tacos, BBQ, and more. Research your favorite kinds of foods, and then let your tastebuds guide you.
Las Vegas is known for its casinos, but there is much more to Vegas than just gambling. With world-class live performances, incredible dining, fantastic museums, and mesmerizing mini-golf, there is something for everyone in Las Vegas.
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How do I get the most out of my Vegas vacation?
You can do many things to get the most out of your Vegas vacation. For example, you can stay on the Strip or at least nearby so you are centrally located and can easily move between destinations. You should also wear comfortable shoes and enjoy free things to do in Las Vegas, like the fountain shows at the Bellagio.
What is Las Vegas best for?
There are many things Las Vegas is great for, including the Strip, Fremont Street, live performances, and museums. Obviously, there are great shows, gambling, and all kinds of delicious dining options, too.
How much money should you take to Vegas?
How much money you should take to Vegas depends in large part on what you plan to do. An individual on a tight budget might be able to skate by on as little as $500 for a week-long stay. But a couple planning a luxury vacation might need as much as $4,000 or perhaps more.
Photo credit: iStock/f11photo
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By Steve Harper and Cathy Poley, Apartment Guide contributor
Does the thought of parking in your apartment community make you wish for a chauffeured car service?
Have you ever decided not to leave your apartment because you dreaded having to find a space when you got back?
Though easy parking is an amenity some apartment dwellers take for granted, other residents face a challenge parking at or even near home. So, until you can get that anti-matter transfer device you’ve been assembling in the back room up and running, you’re stuck with the everyday nuisance of finding a spot, every day — and sometimes more than once.
Parking well is an art and a science… well, no, it’s mostly luck, but a bit of planning and forward thinking just might steady your odds. With these tips, we’ll try to stack the proverbial parking deck in your favor!
Dedicated lot parking: attempted organization, or free-for-all? If your apartment community offers lot or deck parking that is management-owned, consider yourself lucky — especially if an assigned space comes with your apartment unit. In most cases, however, parking is generally first-come, first-parked. Even if your apartment community has a dedicated lot, you may find that there are more cars to park there than available spaces.
The tighter the parking challenge, the more crucial it is to follow apartment parking etiquette. If your apartment community has assigned parking spaces, stick to your assigned space! Even if another space or a visitor space might be closer to your apartment, you really must play by the rules. Think “getting along,” rather than survival of the quickest.
Now, if someone makes a habit of consistently parking in your assigned space, it is likely within your right to tell someone about it on the management team. (Be friendly!)
Those without assigned parking may well find themselves playing parking roulette. If parking is a daily challenge, try avoiding moving your car during peak hours. See if you can shift your work hours to get you back home to your apartment a little earlier, for instance, allowing you to grab a prime parking space. If you notice the parking lot fills up at a certain time, run your errands at off-hours so you can more easily grab a spot when you get back.
Is this dirty-pool parking? You decide. The more challenging the situation, the more critical the creativity.
Though it might be tempting to risk parking in a tow-away zone, avoid giving in. Eventually, you’ll return to find your car towed — and a hefty fine attached to its escape.
Parking on the street… every car for itself! Many of the same strategies listed here apply to finding a safe street space for your vehicle. In addition to these tips, it’s important to know your city’s or neighborhood’s parking rules and regulations. Parking in a certain area might be o.k. overnight, for example, but you might have to move your car during daytime hours. Pay close attention to posted signs as they will often tell you exactly what you need to know.
Garage parking… you pay to park… Another option if your apartment community does not have a parking lot is to rent space in a parking garage. Costs for garages vary, so shop around to ensure you are getting a reasonable price for the area in which you’re parking. Make sure the garage is situated in a safe area from which you’ll feel comfortable walking to your apartment.
Other solutions to parking challenges Here are some other approaches to make parking a second thought, rather than a primary stressor:
Carpool with other residents in your apartment community. (It’s fun and friendly.)
Ditch your car in favor of mass transit, riding a bicycle, or walking. (You’ll experience more of your city on foot.)
Select an apartment community which offers valet parking service. Then, you will never have to worry about finding a space yourself. (You lucky person!)
In today’s modern world, the house goals of yesteryear are a distant memory.
Long gone are the days of window shutters, oversized crystal chandeliers, multiple small rooms, intricate designs, wrought-iron railings, small windows, and large porches with overhanging beams.
Modern mansions favor simple and clean designs with open spaces.
While traditional mansions offer intricate and elegant details, today’s luxury homes feature straight lines, geometric shapes, a flat or low-sloped roof, and clean exteriors with little to no texture.
Luxurious homes of the past featured building materials such as brick, wood, plaster, stucco, and stone. Meanwhile, contemporary mansions favor newer, more technologically-advanced building materials including reinforced steel and concrete.
And windows, lots and lots of floor-to-ceiling windows.
Sophisticated smart homes are all the rage, as are connected outdoor spaces, white rooms and simple color palettes, open floor plans, glass walls allowing for ample natural light, green features, security settings, and the utmost privacy.
While traditional mansions typically featured a number of small, single-purpose rooms, modern floor plans include seamless open-ended spaces.
After all, one cannot be confined to small spaces while living that luxurious lifestyle!
A closer look at 18 of our favorite modern mansions
When it comes to stunning estates, we’ve got you covered.
From wraparound pools featuring panoramic views to glass walls for days, to dream chef kitchens, to seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces, we’re taking a look at 18 modern mansions that have knocked our socks off.
And we think you’ll (really, really) like them too.
A Marc Whipple-designed modern mansion with a wraparound pool
Designed by acclaimed architect Marc Whipple, this massive 11,200-square-foot home in Beverly Hills is quite a stunner.
Offering six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and two half baths, the multi-million dollar manse features disappearing walls of glass, so that its residents can enjoy the stunning views from each and every room.
Speaking of views, they’re completely unobstructed, with downtown Los Angeles, Catalina Island, and the coastline on full display. Those lovely landscapes can be seen from the home’s stunning wraparound pool.
Other luxurious amenities include a movie theater, a secret Zen garden, gym, guest house, glass wine cellar, gated driveway, and an outdoor kitchen.
This Beverly Hills manse had its moment of fame a few years back, when it was rented by Rockstar hitmaker Post Malone. It was later listed for sale with a whopping $26 million asking price.
A breathtaking Hollywood mega mansion with museum-quality energy crystals throughout
Built in 2021, this mega mansion is located in the heart of Hollywood.
Boasting panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean, and the canyon, the home offers six beds, nine baths, and nearly 10,365 square feet of living space.
The sophisticated smart home features museum-quality crystals sourced from around the world and placed with extraordinary care throughout to energetically enhance the residence.
Offering double-height ceilings and incredible indoor/ outdoor living spaces, the California compound also includes a custom home theater, fitness center, wine cellar, second living room and all the finest custom finishes.
Setting a new gold standard for Southern California living, the picturesque backyard — which is front row to the city and canyons — features a beautiful sparkling pool/spa, a built-in BBQ area, and a grassy green lawn.
See more of this unique Hollywood mega-mansion here.
A striking $150M modern mansion in Bel-Air with 360-degree views
This beautiful home in Bel-Air has all the bells and whistles you’d expect in a modern mansion (and then some).
Designed by award-winning architecture and design firm, Saota, the private compound is perched on a promontory high above the city — opening up to unobstructed, 360-degree views of Los Angeles.
Set on a 1.15-acre lot, the swanky crib offers nine bedrooms and fourteen baths spread across 20,841 square feet.
Some of the luxury amenities include an infinity pool with a secluded cabana and pool-side sunken fire pit, three separate staff quarters, and a one-bedroom guest house with a separate, private pool.
This magnificent manse was owned by George Ruan, co-founder of online coupon-clipping company Honey (now part of Paypal).
The Razor House in San Diego, the real-life Iron Man house
The one-of-a-kind architectural masterpiece known as The Razor House was designed in 2007 by San Diego-based architect Wallace E. Cunningham.
The striking concrete and glass mansion — dubbed ‘the Iron Man house’ due to its resemblance to Tony Stark’s mansion in the famous Marvel movie — is perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Offering endless concrete terraces, the stunning estate has mesmerizing views of surrounding hills and the ocean below.
Featuring several outdoor lounge areas, the luxurious three-story home comes with six bedrooms and six baths, with nearly every room opening up to jaw-dropping views.
In 2019, Grammy Award-winning singer Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz bought The Razor House in a $20.8 million deal.
Villa Vella, one of Europe’s finest contemporary homes
Spanish dream house, anyone?
Dubbed Villa Vela, this sprawling 23,476-square-foot property is located in the sun-bathed province of Andalusia, Spain.
Sitting behind its own gates, at the end of a sweeping driveway, Villa Vela offers a total of six bedrooms and six baths.
The posh property has been designed to be free-flowing and, as such, has an open plan, including floor-to-ceiling retracting windows that open directly onto a terrace that stretches from one end of the house to the other.
Not to mention, each of the suites has its own outdoor space, and they also all connect directly to the vast upper terrace, its lawn, garden, and dining area, and benefit from breathtaking views.
A futuristic, yacht-shaped mansion perched high atop the Los Angeles hills
This 17,000-square-foot modern residential oasis in the upscale LA neighborhood of Brentwood is redefining luxury living.
Southern California-based architectural firm de Loren & Associates purposefully designed the building by superior wellness standards, without sacrificing on design but rather adding to it.
Inspired by the clean lines and interior spatial layouts of yachts paired with the motion of the sea, the curving exterior facades are reminiscent of ocean waves, wind, and clouds that make not only for an exhilarating lifestyle but also appealing to the eye.
The modern mansion boasts seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and three powder rooms across three levels.
Featuring a massive list of upscale amenities, the beautiful Brentwood home offers a 610-bottle wine cellar, commercial speed glass elevator, movie theater, state-of-the-art gym, a 300 sq. ft. green wall, and a lower-level entertainment area with a full bar, pool table and more.
And there’s plenty of room for Stormi and Wolf to explore! Turns out, this luxurious residence is owned by none other than rapper Travis Scott.
A newly-built Encino mansion with bright, airy, and warm interiors
We can’t get enough of this amenity-rich mansion with modern interiors and a killer guest house.
The seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom Encino home offers 9,081 square feet of living space enclosed within a private, gated estate with surrounding landscape.
The stunning estate is a beautiful example of modern California living, with picture-perfect interiors, exquisite finishes, jetliner views, and plenty of attractive amenities.
Featuring warm wood tones, the large windows and Fleetwood doors open up to unobstructed views and plenty of natural light.
The carefully thought-out finishes give the home a modern vibe that extends into the bedrooms as well. The second level of this luxury Encino home has four bedrooms, including the master suite, which walks out to a 1,200-square-foot balcony with a fire table.
Naturally, this wonderful modern manse caught the eye of a famous buyer; it’s now owned by Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson and husband Justin Mikita.
A modern 4-story house facing one of the most beautiful coastal shorelines in all of California
We love this modern mansion set in the most desirable area of Manhattan Beach, The Strand, an oceanfront neighborhood lined with modern-looking mansions that typically sell in the $5 million to $15 million range.
Spanning 6,978 square feet of modern living space, the home offers six bedrooms and eight baths.
Designed by renowned L.A. studio KAA Design, this four-story home was envisioned around life, in all its texture, at the beach.
Rather than cluster sleeping areas on a single floor, they’re strategically spaced across the four levels, with the third floor being home to a primary suite with a private office that’s luxuriously sequestered in the style of a penthouse.
The private elevator takes residents and guests down to the beach room, which is level with the Strand itself, and lounge on the patio, front row to a peaceful scene of sea, sand, and sky.
Read more about this beautiful modern mansion here.
A $70M contemporary marvel that reimagines luxury living for the 21st century
Located in the coveted Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, this modern mansion is what happens when a star-studded team consisting of award-winning architect Noah Walker, AD 100 interior designer, Jamie Bush, and renowned landscape designer, Christine London LTD comes together.
Spanning 19,000 square feet, this beautiful abode is set on a sprawling four-acre lot and offers six bedrooms and 12 bathrooms alongside many recreation rooms.
The plush property has 270-degree views of the city, ocean, and canyon, and a long list of amenities that include a theater room — with acoustical wall paneling and a commercial cinema-quality projection system — a gym with a steam room, a 75-foot indoor lap pool, outdoor architectural pool and dual offices.
We first covered this luxurious contemporary home when it first came to market last year with an ambitious asking price of $70 million.
Just a few months later, it was purchased by music mogul Scooter Braun (better known as Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande’s manager, and Taylor Swift‘s manager-turned-foe) for $65 million.
The Ora House in San Diego, where contemporary architecture meets serene living
In the hilly, seaside neighborhood of La Jolla in San Diego, a modern cliffside mansion has all the dream house vibes.
Built by Blue Heron’s BH Elite custom home division, the Ora House, as the property has been named, is a true architectural marvel.
The stellar design team incorporated the same innovative biophilic design and advanced Savant technology used in Blue Heron’s flagship home, VM001 in Las Vegas, to “enhance the flow of life while creating an overall sense of peace and natural wellbeing.”
The cliffside estate is set in La Jolla’s exclusive Bird Rock Waterfront enclave and totals 8,878 square feet of living space.
The architectural marvel has five bedrooms and eight baths across its four levels, with each level embracing the outdoors with spaces tailored for both entertaining and private moments.
A striking celebrity compound with a modern heptagon-shaped house
Check out this contemporary compound in La Crescenta, Calif.
Designed by AD100 architect Michael Maltzan, this dramatic, heptagon-shaped house has spaceship vibes, is surrounded by seven exterior walls (some made out of glass), and is anchored by an open-air courtyard that sits right at the center.
Nearly all the rooms of the house come with sliding floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to either the serene courtyard or beautiful mountain and city skyline views.
Some of the stand-out features of the modern mansion include a primary suite with an entire wall of glass that opens up to a generously sized balcony and a particularly unique bathroom with a blue curved penny-tiled wall surrounding the shower.
This unique home was owned by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Michael Peter Balzary, known professionally as Flea.
A $25 million Napa Valley glass house with killer views
Surrounded by over 40 acres of lush grounds set amidst California’s world-class wine country, this striking architectural home goes by the name of Karinya.
The highly suitable moniker originates from the Australian aboriginal culture and is simply translated as “peaceful home.”
Built in 2017, the stunning estate is nestled in the small community of Deer Park right next to St. Helena in Napa County.
Spanning 8,837 square feet, the impressive residence was built with natural materials, a deep connection to the valley’s views, and a design that boasts both beauty and luxury.
Not a detail is spared at Karinya, with many luxurious features such as endless walls of glass, a 2,000-bottle wine room, and an acoustically-designed media/ theater room.
Fitting a modern dream house, it also comes with a detailed smart home system with mobile phone control access that controls the music, air conditioning, security and programmable LED recessed lighting in 11 separate zones and a fire sprinkler system.
See more of this lovely Napa Valley home here.
A modern mansion that was once featured in the Oscar-winning “La La Land” movie
Set in the popular Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles, this modern mansion offers an impressive cutting-edge design.
The six-bedroom home wows with its soaring ceilings and walls of glass that bring the outdoors in.
Complete with an infinity pool and spa (with a cascading waterfall) and a nifty pool/guest house with a sundeck for outdoor entertainment, the home is peppered with outdoor spots to relax and enjoy the lovely Cali weather.
In case you’re getting a strong sense of deja vu, this beautiful home was featured in the popular film, La La Land.
As the story goes, Mia (played by Emma Stone) and her friends attend a lavish party hoping to meet influential people in the business and finally get their lucky break.
You guessed it, this memorable movie scene was filmed at this gorgeous Los Angeles estate.
A celebrity chef’s former home with a massive kitchen anchored by a 24-foot stone island
Located in the coveted Via Bluffs enclave of Pacific Palisades, this modern mansion spans 6,500 square feet of luxurious living.
Offering massive sliding windows that open up to beautiful views of Potrero Canyon and beyond, the sumptuous five-bedroom, five-bathroom home is filled with natural light streaming in from the surrounding floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors, while the skylights pour even more light onto the main and top floors.
The Pacific Palisades property also flaunts features like a dual-faced fireplace, a nearly 24-foot kitchen island, and a distinct living room that’s pouring out onto the outside deck overlooking the pool.
A large open-layout living area is anchored by an impressive dream kitchen.
This beautiful home was once owned by celebrity chef, Everyday Italian, and Giada At Home star Giada de Laurentiis.
A beautiful modern mansion tucked in the Hollywood Hills
Built in 2019, this Marc Whipple-designed home is a true Hollywood gem.
Located on the glamorous Sunset Strip, in the Hollywood Hills West neighborhood of Los Angeles, this home oozes that clean-lined modernist approach, while still offering warmth and comfort.
The posh property incorporates five bedrooms, six bathrooms, as well as two half-bathrooms, all with breathtaking views spreading from the Hollywood sign right to the Pacific Ocean.
The main entrance offers an open-concept kitchen and three terraces that total 5,000 additional square feet of outdoor living space.
And, the middle level features a second living room and a luxurious ‘floating glass box’ master suite.
All the bedrooms offer easy access to the infinity pool, which provides stunning views of the surroundings and a perfect setting to enjoy summer nights and sunsets in complete privacy.
A Malibu gem that’s often rented to high-profile celebrities
This Malibu celeb magnet is the epitome of indoor-outdoor Cali living, featuring large glass walls that seamlessly blend the interior with the grounds.
Perched above the Pacific Ocean, the three-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2,100-square-foot Malibu mansion is every bit the modern gem.
It’s the perfect property for entertaining, as it includes an infinity pool with fabulous ocean views, a spa, and a fire pit.
The entertainment continues inside, as the house includes not one, but three indoor fireplaces, as well as a media room, making sure you stay entertained throughout the entire year.
Amenities include everything you could possibly need, from in-unit laundry and air conditioning to five parking spaces, an outdoor patio, and a cabana.
The house not only rents out to celebrities such as Matthew Perry, Cardi B, and Taraji P. Henson, but it’s also owned by one.
Betty Moon, a celebrated Los Angeles musician, songwriter and producer, currently owns the plush property which she recently renovated before listing it for rent.
An impeccably designed modern mansion that embraces indoor-outdoor living
Located in the upscale neighborhood Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, this three-story home was designed and built by renowned developer/designer duo David and Eliana Rokach.
This multi-million dollar mansion offers a sprawling 13,543 square feet of modern living space and packs nine bedrooms and twelve bathrooms.
Boasting unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Canyon, the stunning estate offers an open-concept living/dining room finished in a chic, contemporary style.
The living room features custom-made electronic sliding steel doors that open to a beautiful outdoor area, which features a barbecue area, a grassy backyard, and an infinity-edge swimming pool opening up to views for miles.
A modern hillside lair with canyon views
Situated in Los Angeles’ coveted Brentwood neighborhood, this hillside lair with expansive living spaces, eco-friendly details, and ultra-high-end finishes gives us serious dream house goals.
The main entrance features a Japanese-imported Yakisugi front door and bonsai adorned atrium that leads to the open-concept living space.
Here, a chic palette of luxurious stone and reflective glass is accented by unique designer details, and floor-to-ceiling windows provide natural light throughout the day.
Offering sweeping views of the canyon, the four-bedroom home comes equipped with the latest technology for entertainment, comfort, and sustainability.
This includes a full automation system, Lutron Solar System lighting, home theater and surround sound from Bang & Olufsen, a home gym, and much more.
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If we were to ask you to imagine your dream home, what would your mind conjure up?
Perhaps you’d love a penthouse in the skies or a palatial property with sweeping gardens. What about a lush forest paradise away from civilization or an opulent oceanfront property?
Maybe a hillside mansion with an infinity pool or a good ol’ swanky apartment in a coveted address is more your style.
What if we told you that you no longer need to choose just one view or destination because you can have it all?
Welcome aboard the NJORD, a one-of-a-kind superyacht that redefines luxury living as we know it.
Aptly named after the Norse god of the wind and seas, NJORD is being developed by Ocean Residences Development and German shipyard, Meyer Werft.
A look at the luxury homes aboard the NJORD Superyacht
Once completed, NJORD will offer 117 private residences that range from 1,500 to 9,000 square feet with two to six bedrooms. There will also be 16 duplexes and triplexes that have their own private elevators.
The prestigious homes will be priced from $8.5 million to $70 million.
The project is expected to be completed by 2026, but the first ten homes aboard the NJORD Superyacht are already up for grabs. And they’re quite spectacular!
To add a personalized touch, the developers have brought many interior designers and architects on board including Kelly Hoppen and David Linley who have worked on the first 10 units as well as Jean-Michel Gathy, Francesca Muzio, Sabrina Monteleone, Taylor Howes, and 1508 London.
Future residents can choose from 15 different floor plans and — while each residence is intended to be unique — there are also certain similarities like floor-to-ceiling windows, smart home technology, Gaggenau appliances, and of course, private balconies with spectacular views of the ocean.
The epic 948-feet superyacht also includes other features like gourmet kitchens with custom cabinetry by Studio Becker, walk-in closets, ensuite bathrooms, personalized housekeeping, laundry, and tailoring services.
The luxury doesn’t end there though.
The vessel comes with a travel and excursion concierge for the more adventurous residents, a Eurocopter 160, four superyacht limo tenders, two dive and fishing boats, a dive center, and an excursion lounge.
All of the residents’ culinary requirements will be taken care of in the six world-class restaurants and bars on board.
For the health and mental well-being of residents, there’s the Chenot Spa and Wellness Center and a Chenot Gym and Fitness Center.
Other than that, there’s also a telescope space observatory, a golf simulator and pro shop, a gourmet market and shops, a kids club, outdoor terraces, and multiple pools.
Lastly, the party never has to end thanks to the onboard nightclub, jazz lounge, and 10,000 -bottle wine cellar.
The first 10 private NJORD residences are now on the market
While the groundbreaking residential project is only slated for completion in 2026, the first private homes aboard the superyacht have recently been listed for sale.
The sales and marketing for the first ten residences aboard NJORD will be led by global real estate brokerage The Agency, with CEO/founder Mauricio Umansky and principal & managing partner Santiago Arana at the helm.
“We are proud to represent the sales and marketing for the first ten incredible residences aboard NJORD, one of the most innovative and exclusive residential offerings in the world,” says Mauricio Umansky.
“With its thoughtfully designed residences, endless array of amenities and philanthropic and scientific purpose, buyers have the unique opportunity to live aboard one of the finest vessels to ever be built,” Umansky added.
If Mauricio Umansky’s name rings a bell but you don’t know where from, you might know him from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (he’s Kyle Richard’s husband).
You’ll also be seeing a lot more of him on Netflix’s Buying Beverly Hills, which follows him and his stellar team of real estate agents. And we’re kind of hoping the new reality series will also give us a closer look inside the NJORD Superyacht and its luxury residences.
“We’re delighted Mauricio Umansky and Santiago Arana of The Agency will be at the helm of sales and marketing for the first ten luxury residences aboard NJORD,” said Kristian Stensby, Founder and CEO of Ocean Residences Development.
“With their combined record-breaking career success, global reach and white-glove service, we can’t think of a better team than The Agency to represent NJORD, the finest address everywhere in the world.”
Luxury meets sustainability
NJORD is more than just a collection of upscale residences.
It’s an adventure around the globe and, according to Alain Gruber, COO of Ocean Residences Development Ltd, residents can choose to either completely relax or participate in the activities and expeditions planned by the concierge.
The best part about NJORD (other than the fact that you will get to circumnavigate the planet) is that you will do so sustainably.
The developers aim to build it under strict environmental regulations to minimize its carbon footprint.
The vessel will not only use carbon-neutral fuel but also include a professional oceanographic laboratory, a cloud computing system, multibeam echo sounders, and other resources to help the scientific community tackle environmental issues like climate change.
Talk about a new wave of residential living!
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The swoon-worthy Asa Gray House at 88 Garden Street in Cambridge, MA, checks all the boxes—history, charm, and walking proximity to Harvard Square.
The place was recently listed for $10,800,000.
Although always privately owned, the home has been a National Historic Landmark since 1965.
The five-bedroom, 6.5-bath dwelling is named after the famous Harvard botanist and passionate Darwinian, who lived in it for more than 40 years. But his isn’t the only notable name tied to the 7,588-square-foot residence.
“The property was designed by famous architect Ithiel Town and was constructed in 1810, within the Harvard Botanic Garden,” says listing agent Gail Roberts. “The purpose of the home was to be a residence for zoologist William Dandridge Peck.”
After Peck, occupants included botanist Thomas Nuttall and former Harvard presidents James Walker and Jared Sparks.
Gray moved into the house after being appointed Harvard’s Massachusetts Professor of Natural History. He lived there until he died in 1888.
But one of the most interesting aspects of the home is that it hasn’t always occupied this particular lot on Garden Street.
“In 1910, the house was moved further down the street to its current location after it was purchased by Allen H. Cox, an MIT-trained architect,” Roberts says.
Besides its long and storied history, the house has much to offer modern-day residents.
From the richly preserved, custom millwork and stonework to the many fireplaces and high-end appliances, the Asa Gray House is the product of good taste—past and present.
“The entire home was meticulously renovated in 2022 and 2023 by highly skilled architects, interior designers, carpenters, stoneworkers, and landscape architects,” Roberts says. “The gorgeous eat-in chef’s kitchen was completely custom made and will please the toughest critics.”
That expansive kitchen leads outside, through sets of glass doors, to a massive Brazilian-wood deck.
Each of the home’s bedrooms has its own spa-inspired, en suite bathroom with radiant heat.
And the first-floor studio—which has a wet bar, skylights, and a bath—could be used as a gym, guest room, or workspace.
The lower level contains a large media room, guest room, and bath. Other areas include formal living and dining rooms and an office.
The home’s design beckons to the verdant, third-acre property, thanks to its seamless indoor-outdoor spaces.
And if you decide to venture beyond your historic palace, you’re just a short walk from the best city amenities Cambridge has to offer.
“The home is within a mile radius of Cambridge’s Harvard Square, Porter Square, and many great parks,” Roberts says. “Living here allows easy access to Harvard University, Lesley University, MIT, plus renowned public and private schools.”
Let’s start at the beginning: What is an HOA and why do communities have them?
According to Investopedia, “a homeowners association (HOA) is an organization in a subdivision, planned community or condominium that makes and enforces rules for the properties within its jurisdiction. Those who purchase property within an HOA’s jurisdiction automatically become members and are required to pay dues, known as HOA fees. Some associations can be very restrictive about what members can do with their properties.”
An HOA is typically established to make and enforce rules regarding the properties within the jurisdiction. And while they play an essential role in maintaining a community’s guidelines, HOAs can, at times, feel overbearing because of the many guidelines and restrictions they put in place.
And since many people wonder what makes living in a neighborhood with an HOA such a pain, we thought we’d share some of the crazy HOA stories people have posted on Quora — and let you decide whether living in a community with an HOA is the best option for you.
Bad experiences with homeowners associations
#1 Ken’s wooden beams, cherry tree and propane tank
“You do give up certain freedoms regarding maintenance of your home and property, as well as having to adhere to certain standards of conduct. For the most part, these rules are for the good of all and serve to enhance the quality of life in the community and help to maintain property values.
However, it all depends on the individuals who run the HOA. Unfortunately, these organizations are often controlled by retired people with a lot of time on their hands who delight in enforcing mindless rules.
I had several negative experiences with these organizations. The first two were in the Pittsburgh area.”
The wooden beams
“My home’s driveway was lined by wooden beams embedded in the ground. I had only lived there for about a year, and these timbers were rotting. I received a letter from the HOA telling me that these timbers must be removed or replaced in two weeks or I would be fined. Two weeks seemed pretty unreasonable for a considerable amount of work. These timbers were really only visible to someone actually on my property, so they weren’t a community eyesore. They had to have been rotting for quite some time, yet the former owners were not asked to replace them. I did agree that the work needed to be done, but two weeks was an unreasonable time frame. I asked for and received an extension to six months.”
The cherry tree
“My next incident was when I was having some trees pruned. There was a cherry tree planted very close to the house. When the worker was about to prune it, he discovered that the tree was basically hollow and infested with carpenter ants. I had actually noticed the occasional ant in my house. The tree was dying. Rather than pruning, I had it removed. The HOA was upset because I had the tree removed without permission. They tried to fine me $100. Apparently, I should have sent my worker home and then requested permission to remove a dying tree from my property, one that was leading to carpenter ants entering and potentially damaging my home. I sent them a rather nasty letter telling them that I would not pay a fine when the need to remove the tree was obvious. I didn’t need permission to get it pruned, and I only had it taken down because it was diseased. Obviously, permission would have been granted to remove a tree in this condition. They backed off the fine.”
“I’ve since moved to Hilton Head, SC, where most homes are in gated communities with HOAs. I had an recent run-in with them. On the side of my home, there was a propane tank. It had been there at least ten years prior to my buying the house. It was concealed behind some hedges. Someone from the HOA saw this and I was sent a letter informing me that, according to the rules, the tank must be enclosed in a service yard or have some sort of structure around it. Having it behind hedges was not acceptable.
The former owner who installed this tank, who still lives in the community, was once the head of the HOA. No action was ever taken against him. I am the third person to purchase this house since the tank was originally installed. None of the prior owners were fined. The HOA allowed the house to be put up for sale three different times while it was out of compliance with the community rules. Then out of the blue, they decided to fine me for a tank that had been in place for at least nine years and three owners before I ever owned the house.
I tried to protest, as the tank is not at all visible from the road (one of their stated reasons for this rule in the first place), but I was basically told that regardless of its history (and their failure to enforce the rules before), it was my tank now and I had to move it. So I had to pay nearly $300 for the propane company (which actually owns the tank) to move the tank into a service yard.“
Source and link to full comment
#2 Katrina’s grass length and nephew’s bike
Her thoughts on why you should never move in a neighborhood governed by an HOA?
“Because they control everything!
The height of your lawn, the color of your siding, how many cars in your driveway, what plants are grown out front, if you can have a fence, how high the fence is, what color of the fence…. I can go on and on and on. You have limited control of your own property, and you pay dues…. Yea!!”
The cars in the driveway
“My sister and her husband moved to a community with a HOA, she moved 200 miles away from us. Naturally, myself and my parents helped her move.
We decided to spend the night there, my they had a long driveway. It was meant for cars and boats because the community was near the water. So we pulled our 4 cars into the driveway. The last car had about 12 feet extra before reaching the sidewalk.
We were unloading her belongings when the local community police department showed up, they wanted to speak to my sister.
Apparently she broke an ordnance because more than 3 cars were in her driveway, we didn’t get the stuff out the car first…. It was a fine, our first 15 minutes at the property.”
The nephew’s bike
“Another time (same place) my nephew left his bike on the front porch, the same people show up to fine my sister for the bike… Yes a 6 year old’s bike barely visible on a porch was fine worthy.”
The length of the grass
“Grass, in Maryland it is hot and humid and the grass grows so fast, neglect your yard for a week and the grass is knee high. My sister’s husband cut the grass, almost weekly. They would routinely (every week) go on to the property with a ruler and check the grass height.
They were just over a bit and they came on to their property and cut the grass for them, fined them and charged them for the cut.”
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#3 Ted and his A/C-less summer
“One spring, found my A/C quit working at my townhouse. The compressor was located off a mini deck built one floor up specially constructed to hold the compressor. Problem is, I had to have it replaced. Another problem, they didn’t make SEER 10 anymore and had to get SEER 13. SEER 13 units are bigger, heavier and wouldn’t fit on the mini deck. I had a structural engineer check it out, would cost me about $13k to have that deck made bigger (long story). Alternative was to move the compressor to the front of my unit.
HOA made me contact three neighbors and have them sign off on my architectural mod. Then they took all summer to approve the job.
Read that part again.
I found the problem in spring, immediately complied by getting the neighbors signatures, and I didn’t have A/C until the job was approved in August.“
The window unit
“Oh, and as a stop gap measure, I bought a window unit to get me by the summer months until they allowed me to install the new unit. It took the edge off, kept it from getting over 90°F inside.
Took about a week before I got a nasty gram telling me to remove the window unit (against the rules) or get a hefty fine. So, I put it in the window where it shared space by the broken a/c compressor (in other words, hard to see). Got a nasty gram within two days threatening a fine.“
The grey front stoop
“Another story – my next door neighbor bought his place with his front stoop painted grey. He didn’t paint it; the prior home owner did. He gets a nasty gram saying painted stoops are against the rules. It’s gray paint, I didn’t even notice it was painted until it was pointed out. Neighbor fought it at the next meeting. Had pictures of other painted stoops throughout the community (a few others did exist). He made sure he also captured unit numbers. It was noted during the meeting that one of the painted stoops happened to be the porch of the HOA president. They dropped the complaint against him.”
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Now, we’re not saying that all HOAs are bad. Nor are we encouraging anyone to move to a neighborhood governed by one. But since knowledge is key when making a life-changing decision like buying a home, we thought these stories will give you a better understanding of some of the challenges you might face when moving to a neighborhood with an HOA.
Have any stories you’d like to share? Maybe some stories of how your HOA is doing a great job for your neighborhood? Drop us a line at [email protected]
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