I Do! Historic Memphis Wedding Venue Is the Week’s Most Popular Home

most popular homes

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Real estate watchers this week were romanced by an Italianate villa in the heart of Memphis, TN, that serves as a wedding venue and which wound up as the most popular home on realtor.com®.

Surrounded by lush gardens and filled with crystal chandeliers, hand-painted ceilings, walnut paneling, and marble, the Annesdale Mansion has been the site of weddings, rehearsal dinners, and other local events. Once the bouquet was tossed, folks lined to up to catch a glimpse of it. It’s priced at $5 million—and what truly matters is making a potential buyer swoon.

In addition to the restored mansion in Memphis (which comes with 7 acres), every other home on this week’s list is surrounded by wide-open spaces. The smallest piece of property in the 10 most popular properties is a half-acre mansion in Palm Beach Gardens, which opens up to a lake. Perhaps people are feeling a desire to spread out,, in our current virus-fueled climate?

There’s a 25-acre property surrounded by an actual moat in Illinois, a couple of farmhouses with plenty of space between neighbors, and an Ohio barndominium on nearly 6.5 acres in the country. For high-end home shoppers, there’s the waterfront Connecticut mansion of former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.

So wash your hands, have a seat, and scroll on down for a full look at this week’s most popular homes…

10. 3200 Monet Dr W., Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Price: $3,200,000
Why it’s here: Built in 2011, this lavish tropical paradise is move-in ready, and all its furnishings can be negotiated into an offer. Designed to provide premium views of the property’s pool, spa, and lake, it sits on a half-acre in the planned community of Frenchman’s Creek. The more than 7,100-square-foot home is loaded with high-end finishes like marble, with custom built-ins, and a sleek fireplace.

Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

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9. 7997 Giant City Rd, Carbondale, IL

Price: $299,000
Why it’s here: This 25-acre property is known in the area as the “Moat House,” thanks to the sizable moat surrounding the home. Built in 1966, the six-bedroom brick house provides plenty of room for a large family. There’s also a second full kitchen upstairs, and a second-floor private entrance, making this a smart choice for multigenerational living. Outside, the acreage features two fully stocked ponds, plus plenty of wild animals—including deer and turkeys!

Carbondale IL moat house exterior
Carbondale, IL

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8. 1510 E. Gump Rd, Fort Wayne, IN

Price: $799,900
Why it’s here: Lovingly cared for and regularly updated since it was built in 1996, this handsome five-bedroom home has over 5,500 square feet of space. It includes more than 3 acres, which include a pool, patio area, and a steel building currently set up with a full basketball court.

Fort Wayne In traditional exterior
Fort Wayne, IN

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7. 4334 County Road 10, Waterloo, IN

Price: $220,000
Why it’s here: Fully remodeled last year, this farmhouse, which was built in 1900, now features a new roof, and new wiring, drywall, and ceilings, Inside, the three-bedroom is crammed with stylish and modern finishes. The 2-acre property also comes with a detached garage, barn, two pastures, and high-tensile fences.

Waterloo, IN farmhouse exterior
Waterloo, IN

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6. 131 Meadow Rd, Riverside, CT

Price: $26,750,000
Why it’s here: Former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is selling his prestigious property on the water. Custom-built for the exec, the six-bedroom home sits on more than 2 waterfront acres on Thrushwood Lake, with views of Greenwich Cove and Long Island Sound. Clean, white interiors designed by Victoria Hagan make the grand home feel cozy and intimate. The luxe walk-out lower level has a lounge and wine wall, and opens out to an infinity pool with perennial gardens beyond.

Riverside CT mansion exterior
Riverside, CT

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5. 8300 Township Road 19, McComb, OH

Price: $325,000
Why it’s here: A “barndominium” blooms in Ohio! On nearly 6.5 acres, this structure features more than 2,800 square feet of finished living space. Equipped with two bedrooms, the main level has concrete floors, an oil changing pit, workshop, and plenty of storage space.

McComb, OH

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4. 2034 Highway 18, Medon, TN

Price: $289,000
Why it’s here: All aboard! This historic property was the first stagecoach stop in western Tennessee. Built in 1840 by Peter J. Swink, the three-bedroom home has been owned by only two families and was renovated in 1994. It covers more than 19 acres, including the option to purchase an additional 6 acres nearby.

Medon, TN stagecoach house exterior
Medon, TN

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3. 8040 W. 129th Pl, Palos Park, IL

Price: $300,000
Why it’s here: Rescue required! This one-of-a-kind midcentury modern home was built in 1957 and needs a new owner to make it shine again. The good news is that the home already has an offer, but a buyer will need to sink major dough into the place to make it livable again. The five-bedroom, 5,500-square-foot home is filled with charming touches like skylights, transom windows, multiple patios, and a finished walkout basement with a two-lane bowling alley. Once this renovation gets rolling, we know the result will be a strike.

Palos Park, IL mid century modern exterior
Palos Park, IL

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2. 8500 Flourtown Ave, Wyndmoor, PA

Price: $8,900,000
Why it’s here: Inspired by Sutton Place, an Italianate masterpiece in Surrey, England, this Tudor mansion, known as Guildford, was built in 1925. The seven-bedroom residence features antique brickwork, terra-cotta window frames, carved wood paneling, oak floors, limestone walls, and stained-glass windows. We’re in awe of its 13 wood-burning fireplaces. The property, set on more than 18 acres, is fully fenced and located only 25 minutes from downtown Philadelphia.

Wyndmoor, PA Gulldford exterior
Wyndmoor, PA

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1. 1325 Lamar Ave, Memphis, TN

Price: $5,000,000
Why it’s here: The famed Annesdale mansion takes up an entire city block. Built in 1850, it’s one of the oldest and grandest homes in Memphis. The five-bedroom home has most recently been used as a wedding and event venue. The marble entry, spiral staircase, elegant gardens, and mature trees combine to make this place a dreamy romantic oasis in the heart of the city.

Memphis, TN Annesdale Mansion
Memphis, TN

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Most Expensive New Listing: Brad and Jen’s Former Mansion Is Back, Listed for $44.5M

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s Beverly Hills Mansion Back on the Market for $44.5M

realtor.com; Steve Granitz/WireImage; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

The former home of A-listers Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston is back on the market for $44.5 million, and is this week’s most expensive new listing on realtor.com®. 

Last April, the Beverly Hills, CA, estate was listed with a “serious inquiries only” price tag of $56 million. A month later it officially came on the market for $49 million, earning it the title of most expensive new listing at the time.

Now, a year later and with another price adjustment, the home still tops our list of priciest properties.

Built in 1934 for Oscar winner Fredric March, star of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” the eye-catching residence was designed by architect Wallace Neff.

Since then, the mansion has been “meticulously upgraded yet has kept all the architectural integrity,” the listing states. It evokes a bygone era, not just of when Pitt and Aniston were blissfully in love, but also of old Hollywood,

Formal dining room

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Eat-in kitchen

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Screening room

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Living room

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Bedroom

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Bar and sitting room with access to pool

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Tennis court with guest apartment

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The couple purchased the home for $12.5 million in 2001, and then embarked on an extensive, multiyear remodel. They added marble flooring in the kitchen, a screening room, and a pub room with wood floors imported from a 200-year-old French chateau, according to the Wall Street Journal.  

After the couple split up, they sold the home in 2006 to the current owner, hedge fund executive Jonathan Brooks. He continued the improvements to the property, adding a tennis court, viewing pavilion, and guest apartment. 

The 12,000-square-foot main house has four en suite bedrooms, an exercise room, formal living room, formal dining room, and eat-in kitchen with an art deco fireplace.

On the lower level, the bar and sitting room open to a swimming pool and outdoor living area with a fireplace. 

The property’s 1.19 acres include a manicured lawn and patios. 

New listing photos show staging with a more neutral color palette compared with the darker, club-style look of previous listing photos. The home has also switched listing agents, and is now represented by Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency.

Perhaps the new price and new look will do the trick and beguile a buyer for the storied estate.

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Mortgage Rates Are at Nearly 50-Year Lows. How Much More Could They Fall?

Mortgage Rates Are at Nearly 50-Year Lows. How Much More Could They Fall?

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One of the few bright spots in the coronavirus/stock market panic is that mortgage interest rates have fallen to their lowest levels in nearly 50 years, lower than during the Great Recession. That’s quite a windfall for home buyers, as well as for homeowners hoping to cut down on their monthly loan payments. And yet, some are wondering whether rates could go even lower. After all, who wants to leave money on the table?

Real estate experts are divided on whether rates will continue to decline. Some believe they’ll dip into the low-to-middle 2% range. Others say rates have already bottomed out. And some believe we’re in such uncertain times—with a potential recession looming—that there’s no telling in which direction rates will head next.

“We’re in uncharted territory, so you can’t look to history as a guide to what could happen. It’s hard to predict how mortgage rates will react,” says realtor.com’s chief economist, Danielle Hale. “I don’t think they’ll go up until it’s pretty clear we’re out of the woods. They might move sideways, or they might go down more slowly.”

The average 30-year fixed-rate loan was just 3.29% as of Thursday, according to Freddie Mac. This is the lowest it’s been since Freddie Mac began tracking mortgage interest rates in 1971.

How much can these lower mortgage rates save buyers and refi seekers?

Even a small change can add up quickly. Folks can save about $159 a month this year compared with last on a 30-year fixed-rate loan for a $300,000 home on which they put 20% down. That’s because this time last year, rates were at 4.45%. That’s more than a full percentage point higher than this year. And this year’s rate can save buyers or homeowners refinancing more than $57,000 over the life of their 30-year mortgage.

If the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates again, to stave off an economic downturn, rates could go down again.

Hale estimates we’re about a third of a percentage point away from hitting mortgage rates in the 2% range.

“For context, in the last six weeks, mortgage rates have come down by that same amount,” she says. But, “I don’t think they’ll keep moving down quite as quickly.”

Mortgage applications shot up 54.4% from the previous week and 192.4% compared with a year earlier in the week ending March 6, according to the most recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinances made up the bulk of the applications, at 76.5%, up from 66.2% in the prior week and 479.2% from a year ago.

Competition is stiff to secure mortgages, particularly refinances

To handle the rush of buyers and homeowners seeking money-saving refinances, some lenders are raising rates.

“The obstacle now is, lenders are so backlogged, many of them are not putting out competitive rates because they’re not looking to acquire additional applications,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, a personal finance website. “The mortgage industry was not staffed for this type of influx of applications.

“The real challenge is, can you get your rate locked and the loan closed before that lock expires, given that backlog?” asks McBride.

Mortgage lender Don Frommeyer has seen rates tick up slightly to slow down the influx of folks seeking to refinance. His company has hired four new underwriters to assess loans just in the past week, nearly doubling the company’s number of underwriters.

He believes rates will continue to fall into the low-to-middle 2% range, potentially by November during the run-up to the presidential election. President Donald Trump will likely want to keep the Federal Reserve’s short-term interest rates low to stimulate the economy—and mortgage rates are influenced by what happens to federal rates.

(Mortgage rates are related to the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond market. When the stock market is volatile, as it has been recently, investors often sink their money into bonds. And when bonds rise, mortgage rates fall.)

Should folks hold out for even lower mortgage rates?

Folks shouldn’t wait for rates to fall further to lock in a mortgage rate or refinance, warns Sylvia Gutierrez, a mortgage banker at Impac Mortgage based in Miami. She believes rates will rise again once the coronavirus panic is over.

“It’s not worth the risk to wait to see if they’re going to go any lower. Jump,” says Gutierrez, the author of “Mortgage Matters: Demystifying the Loan Approval Maze.”

She adds, “I’ve been in the mortgage business since 1993 and I’ve never seen them this low.”

Gutierrez practices what she preaches. She recently refinanced her mortgage, cutting 12 years off the term of her loan without raising her monthly payments. Her rate was 3.875% on a 30-year loan when she bought her home in December 2018. She refinanced into a 15-year loan with a 2.5% rate.

But she advises folks to act quickly, as many lenders are overwhelmed by the surge in business.

In addition, keep in mind that rising home prices could offset a little of the mortgage savings for buyers. Prices are already rising at a faster clip. In December, annual list prices were up 3%, according to realtor.com data. They increased 3.4% in January and 3.9% in February.

Still, there’s no question the lower mortgage rates are a boon to anyone planning to purchase or refinance a home.

“Whether you get a mortgage that starts with a 2 or starts with a 3, 2020 will be a good year for home buyers,” says Bankrate.com’s McBride.

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For These Young Homebuyers, Age is Just a Number

Nyack, NY

DONNA COX ASSOCIATE BROKER/BHG RAND REALTY

In December, when Amanda Barbarello and Erik Larson bought a beautiful, 105-year-old Arts & Crafts home in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., they were thrilled by the deal they got: $799,000 for the four-bedroom, 2,400-square-foot house—almost $100,000 off its original listing price. The catch—it needed updating.

The couple felt prepared. Ms. Barbarello, a 31-year-old social worker, had watched hundreds of episodes of PBS’s “This Old House,” while Mr. Larson, also 31 and in finance, was confident he could draw on his Eagle Scout skills.

Their first task was to tear out the carpet. “How hard could that be?,” figured Ms. Barbarello. It was a nightmare, taking two days of almost nonstop labor. Nevertheless, she says they are still eager—it will just go “more slowly than originally planned.” The couple believes the work will definitely pay off financially.

While many young buyers avoid purchasing fixer-uppers, a brave few are diving in, lured by the promise of a great deal. Though they are often not looking for renovation projects, they soon realize that they stand to get a great house for a lot less money, says Carolyn Joy, an agent with the Tishelman Joy Team at Houlihan Lawrence.

One area with a large supply of old homes with beautiful detail and large rooms is the New York county of Westchester. Due to construction of a railway network in the 1840s, earlier than many parts of the region, the villages here became suburbs for wealthy urban workers who built stately homes, says Field Horne, a historian and author of “Westchester County: A History.” In the past couple of years, many of these old houses have gone up for sale, as their longtime, baby boomer owners downsize or move to warmer climes.

Unless they have been thoroughly renovated, these older homes tend to sit on the market, real-estate agents say, as many buyers don’t want to do any renovation work. “They want to walk in with a suitcase and a toothbrush,” says Lori Hoffman, an agent with the Usha Subramaniam team at Compass.

This attitude is changing as prices continue to rise: The median sales price of homes in Westchester increased 6.4% to $500,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to a report released in January by appraiser Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate, which estimates that some 61% of the homes in Westchester were built before 1960.

Eastchester home
This five-bedroom Colonial built in 1928 in Eastchester’s Greenknolls neighborhood is listed for sale for $949,000 with Happy French-Zingaro of Houlihan Lawrence.

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Annie Qadir, 32, and her husband, Ahsaan Qadir, 34, spent more than two years searching for a home in Chappaqua, N.Y., where Mr. Qadir grew up as a teenager and where his parents still live. They wanted a renovated house but “the numbers just didn’t make sense,” says Ms. Qadir.

Mr. Qadir first balked when real-estate agent Lindsay Rothman with Compass introduced them to a four-bedroom, 3,776-square-foot ranch built in 1953. But when Ms. Rothman showed them the neighborhood comps the couple, both pharmacists, decided to go for it, paying $799,000 this past December—significantly less than the original list price of $1.395 million in 2017.

Mr. Qadir has been watching DIY videos on YouTube, and has already bought items for the upstairs bathrooms. “He tells me it’s easy to change out the toilet and vanity. I’m a little nervous about that,” says his wife. The couple have spent about $5,000 and expect to spend a total of $25,000 on renovations when they are done. Ms. Rothman estimates the finished home will be worth over $1 million.

Jackie Newman, 39, and her husband Mark Newman, 40, had been living for eight years in a circa-1900 house in Irvington, N.Y., that they’d bought for $540,000. Ms. Newman, who is in digital advertising, and Mr. Newman, an attorney, loved the area, but with three children and a nanny, they “were busting at the seams,” she says.

Last June, Ms. Newman was attracted to a five-bedroom Colonial on a large lot with a swimming pool asking $975,000, but worried it would be too much work. Every room required something: The floors would need refinishing, the wallpaper would have to go, there was a wall between the kitchen and the fireplace she didn’t like, and the bathrooms were outdated.

What she did like was that the house, built in 1965, had been the home of one family who had raised their five children there. “I know its history. I have friends who swam in that pool,” she says.

The Newmans bought the house for $932,000. They think they got such a deal because the ad said “as is,” scaring off others.

So far they have only taken down the wallpaper and painted the walls, but they expect to eventually spend around $200,000 overall. “We know we will get more for our money than by buying something already done,” says Ms. Newman.

Jenn Whittem, a 38-year-old executive assistant, ran into a hornet’s nest—literally—while working on her living room in her four-bedroom fixer upper in Croton-on-Hudson. She says her fingers went through what had looked like drywall but had been turned into a gaping hole by hornets. After some time panicking, she looked up how to pack a hole on YouTube and finished painting the room, saving thousands of dollars. She says she and her husband Lior Galanti eat dinner on the workbench that is in their dining room and spend all of their free time working on the house. He recently read much of the National Electrical Code, a guide of over 800 pages, to do electrical work.

The couple, who paid $700,000 for the home in September, says they have no regrets. They looked at over 70 homes, almost all of them renovated, and found that even when something was nicely done, it wasn’t exactly what they wanted, and they’d rather take a discount and spend the money they saved on their own projects.

On the other side are the owners, who can find it difficult to get their homes to move. Michael DeMarco has taken a Nyack, N.Y., home, which he had gutted after he bought and had listed for $732,000, off the market and plans to do the renovations himself before trying to sell again.

Nyack NY home on the water
This home in Nyack, N.Y., had been gutted and was on the market for $732,000 until last month, when owner Michael DeMarco decided to take it off the market and fix it before trying to sell it again.

DONNA COX ASSOCIATE BROKER/BHG RAND REALTY

Jeff Edelman didn’t think it would take so long to sell the Colonial where his parents lived for 60 years. The three-bedroom house in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., has original wood floors with inlaid mahogany, Palladian windows and views of the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge.

Mr. Edelman listed the house in March for $1.095 million. He is now on his fifth reduction, with the current price at $849,000. He says the house is in great shape except for the porch, which needs to be redone—something his real-estate agent told him has deterred buyers from even looking at it.

“It’s in decent condition. People just don’t want to update,” he says.

Hastings on Hudson home
This Colonial in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., was first listed in March for $1.095 million and is now on its fifth reduction, with the current price at $849,000.

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U.S. Brokers Report Business as Usual as Coronavirus Fears Escalate

San Francisco skyline

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

This weekend was business as usual for real estate brokers in some of the U.S.’s major cities, despite the ongoing spread and escalating concerns over coronavirus.

In New York City, there was little sign of hesitation at open houses this past weekend, according to agents who spoke to Mansion Global, at least not as a result of coronavirus.

“We did see a little bit of drop-off in our most recent open house, but I don’t really think it is attributable to the coronavirus,” said Steven Gottlieb, an agent at Warburg Realty, who had an open house for an apartment in Manhattan on Sunday. “The first hour was a little bit slow, but then the second hour was pretty busy. Believe it or not, I think this was attributable more to daylight saving time [Sunday morning], as people probably slept in a little bit more than usual.”

This weekend was that home’s second weekend on the market, he said.

“As is typical, we had a very busy first open house,” Mr. Gottlieb said. “It’s natural that there would be some drop off for the second open house.”

However, according to a survey released Monday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the effects of the virus are not going totally unnoticed in the real estate world. When asked about the impact of coronavirus on the market, 11% of realtors polled by the NAR indicated a reduction in buyer traffic and 7% reported lower seller traffic. NAR didn’t immediately provide details regarding when the survey was conducted.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally stood at 113,584 on Monday afternoon, and 3,996 people have died as a result, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S. there were 607 confirmed cases and 22 people have died.

“Most of our open houses were as busy as they were before the virus hysteria,” said Joel Moss, another New York City-based broker at Warburg Realty. “Everyone talks about it, but the only noticeable difference was the lack of shaking hands.”

In Florida, “the panic hasn’t really hit,” according to Liz Hogan, a Miami-based broker with Compass. “We really haven’t seen a disruption.”

But coronavirus “is having crazy consequences,” she said. “I can’t imagine that’s not going to spill over to the real estate market. It just hasn’t happened at the moment.”

Like Ms. Moss, Ms. Hogan has also witnessed the precautions that are being taken to avoid the spread of germs. One potential buyer viewing a home made special efforts to dodge shaking hands and touching anything, she said.

During the showing, “the front door was slightly ajar and he used his elbow to open the front door, almost like a kid with sticky fingers,” she said. “The rest of the time in the house his hands were in his pockets.”

“Even for myself, I was thinking ‘whoa, I’m in these homes, my hands are on the counter tops,’” Ms. Hogan said. “It’s definitely on people’s minds.”

To assuage their client’s fears over contamination, agents have been taking extra precautions at open houses, including upping hygiene protocols and asking potential buyers who are feeling unwell to reschedule, Mansion Global previously reported.

It was a similar story this weekend in Los Angeles. Not only has open house attendance been steady, but some have been downright packed, according to Kurt Wisner, a Compass broker who specializes in northeast Los Angeles.

“In the northeast neighborhoods, particularly Atwater Village, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Eagle Rock, we have seen a steady attendance week after week at our open houses throughout various price points,” Mr. Wisner said.

“We had 90 people come to one open house on Sunday,” he said. The three-bedroom property in Glendale is asking $1 million.

Another property—a four-bedroom house in North Hollywood asking $800,000—had 103 attendees at it’s open house this weekend.

A little further north along the West Coast, San Francisco’s high-end market has seen an increase in showings, according to Joel Goodrich, director of the estates division at Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.

“We are seeing an uptick in several private showings of our properties listed over $10 million, $20 million and $30 million this week,” Mr. Goodrich said. “Because of the stock market turbulence related to coronavirus fears, high-net worth investors are looking at hard assets such as gold and real estate.”

The stock market plunged on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2,013.76 points, the first time it has lost more than 2,000 points in a session, according to The Wall Street Journal. It was also the largest one-day percentage drop since 2008.

“In times of volatility, clients are drawn to safe havens and U.S. luxury real estate is certainly near the top of the list for that,” he said.

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Tempted by Tudor Style? 10 Top-Notch Tudors for Sale With Style To Spare

Tudor homes listicle

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Move over, midcentury modern! Tudor-style homes are ready for their time in the spotlight. If you’ve ever dreamed of life in a romantic country manor, we urge you to consider the asymmetrical temptations of a Tudor.

Tudor architecture originated in England during the reign of the Tudor kings, which began in the late 15th century and carried through the end of the reign of Elizabeth I, who died in 1603. It took off in the United States in the mid-19th century, incorporating some medieval Gothic influences, and maintained its popularity through the 1940s.

What defines a true Tudor? The homes often feature a steeply pitched roof with multiple overlapping, front-facing gables. Typically, the exterior is brick, with decorative half-timbering, and features tall, narrow windows with multiple rectangular or diamond-shaped panes. The front doors are typically not centered and are topped by a round arch. Another signature element are the chimneys: Most Tudors have a decorative chimney pot topping brick chimneys.

If this all sounds ideal to you, you’re in luck! We’ve spotted 10 charming Tudors you can buy right now. For buyers in search of a home with an Old World feel, yet stacked with modern conveniences, scroll on down for 10 terrific Tudors.

2333 Rose St, Berkeley, CA 

Price: $2,195,000
Hilltop Tudor: This recently renovated 1927 home stands tall like a castle in a tale by the Brothers Grimm. But have no fear, the inside isn’t spooky at all. Featuring high ceilings with wood beams and plenty of natural light, the 3,359-square-foot home offers plenty of space to roam about. Best of all, the four-bedroom classic is also perched at the top of a hill, with impressive views and within walking distance of the Berkeley Rose Garden.

2333 Rose St, Berkeley, CA

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1118 Berwind Rd, Wynnewood, PA

Price: $1,199,000
Stately stone Tudor: This 1932 Tudor sits on over an acre, with lush green gardens, and exudes an English country vibe. Charming elements include stone and tile flooring, a grand staircase, formal dining and living spaces, and mature landscaping with plenty of English ivy. Although it feels secluded, the Philadelphia-area manse is only minutes from shopping, dining, and public transportation.

1118 Berwind Rd., Wynnewood, PA

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90 Prospect Hill Ave, Summit, NJ

Price: $2,925,000
Storybook Tudor: Quaint architecture here gives way to modern style, and once you walk through the classic arched doorway, you’re likely to be entranced. This charming home comes complete with an authentic stone English courtyard that opens up to ponds, cottage gardens, and a conservatory. Filled with modern conveniences, the home has plenty of authentic Tudor details, including turrets, wood beam ceilings, and stonework. It’s even equipped with an elegant library—tea, anyone?

90 Prospect Hill Ave., Summit, NJ

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11407 Gravelly Lake Dr SW, Lakewood, WA

Price: $3,700,000
One of a kind: If you’re looking for a luxurious Tudor with exclusive access to a private lake, sail on in. Located less than 30 minutes from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, this stately home from 1930, with 300 feet of unobstructed water frontage, is worthy of a second look. It has the feel of an authentic Tudor, with its turrets, brick siding, and arched doorways. Inside, you’ll find formal living and dining spaces and even a wine cellar. Out back, the home features an in-ground pool and brick-laid patio, in keeping with the home’s style.

11407 Gravelly Lake Dr SW, Lakewood, WA

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4309 E. Lake Harriet Blvd, Minneapolis, MN

Price: $2,195,000
Marvelous in Minnesota: Built in 1925, this Tudor underwent custom renovations that retained the historical charm of the home while adding modern touches. The original hardwood floors, millwork, and fireplaces were preserved, while the rest of the 6,000 square feet got a makeover. In the backyard, there’s a charming brick courtyard with beautiful landscaping. The location offers lovely views of Lake Harriet and lies in walking distance of the Lake Harriet Rose Garden.

4309 E. Lake Harriet Blvd., Minneapolis, MN

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110 Muchmore Rd, Harrison, NY

Price: $2,760,000
Bright and light: While Tudors are known for their detailed window paneling, they often conjure the atmosphere of a dim medieval dwelling, thanks to their heavy timber and stonework. This renovated 1928 Tudor, though, was designed to let in the light! It features an open floor plan and a flow ideal for entertaining family and friends. The backyard is open as well—perfectly level for outdoor games or perhaps a pool.

110 Muchmore Rd., Harrison, NY

Realtor.com

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735 S. Garfield St, Hinsdale, IL

Price: $1,599,000
Elegance and charm: Elegant with a touch of cottage charm is the best way to describe this 1924 Tudor. Featuring such formal details as oversized original millwork, hardwood floors, and multiple fireplaces, it is also full of trendy details, like subway tiles, vaulted ceilings, and a new marble bath. The yard features professional landscaping with mature trees, and a gated garden complete with a stone fountain.

735 S Garfield St., Hinsdale, IL

Realtor.com

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4603 Moorland Ave, Edina, MN

Price: $1,899,000
Country club Tudor: Located on a sought-after street, this home, whose price was just reduced from $1.995 million, has everything you want in a Tudor and then some. Built in 1930, the home has been extensively remodeled, while still retaining many of its original details. The home includes an outdoor kitchen space and covered second-floor porch for year-round use—a must for those Minnesota winters!

4603 Moorland Ave., Edina, MN

Realtor.com

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30 Parkway W., Mount Vernon, NY

Price: $830,000
Majestic in Mount Vernon: You’ll find this beautiful brick Tudor just a short train ride away from Grand Central in Manhattan. Built in 1936, it packs in modern conveniences such as Elfa shelving systems, Nest thermostats, and remote-controlled fireplaces. The home also features plenty of lovely landscaping, including a beautiful stone patio and a fenced yard with mature plants.

30 Parkway W., Mount Vernon, NY

Realtor.com

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1830 E. Hampton Rd, Whitefish Bay, WI

Price: $1,195,000
Wisconsin wonder: This Wisconsin Tudor makes a grand statement, thanks to its stone and stucco facade. The copper and clay-tile roof emphasizes the home’s beige stone exterior, and gives the home a unique look. Built in 1928, the home features custom cabinetry, stone tops, high-end appliances, plaster, leaded-glass windows, and a charming sunroom with authentic terra-cotta flooring. The beautifully landscaped backyard with a brick patio and lush perennials also adds immense charm to the home.

1830 E Hampton Rd, Whitefish Bay, WI

Realtor.com

The post Tempted by Tudor Style? 10 Top-Notch Tudors for Sale With Style To Spare appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Organizing Your Pantry in 6 Easy Steps

Food pantries can take just about any form. These versatile storage areas for canned goods, paper products and less frequently used small appliances may be housed in a walk-in room, a simple drawer, a wall cabinet or a closet. Hutches, armoires and even open shelving also work well.

Regardless of the setup, the key to a successful pantry is keeping it organized. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.

Clean it

Similar to a refrigerator, the first step to seeing what you have to work with is emptying it out and giving it a good overall cleaning. Start with the ceiling – look out for spider webs! – and work your way down to the floor.

Next, give shelves a thorough wipe-down with soap and water, capturing any dust and crumbs. If you’re feeling ambitious, repaint your shelves or even wallpaper the pantry. If not, simply line the shelves with contact paper and mop the floors.

Take inventory

While boxes and food items are strewn throughout your kitchen, grab a donation box and think about what you really need and use.

Were certain items out of reach that would be better relocated closer to the stove, like herbs and olive oil? Place those items where they may make more sense, and make a list of the items you need from the store to fill the culinary gaps.

Throw away expired products, and set aside any items you don’t think you’ll use – like the navy beans for that special recipe you never got around to making – for your local food bank

Solve problems

If the clean-out process revealed hard-to-reach items in the back of your pantry, relocate them. Put things you rarely need – like extra mixing bowls and seldom-used appliances – in the back, and label the front of the shelf to remind you of their new location.

If your pantry is deep enough, opt for installing roll-out shelving or wire bins for those hard-to-reach essentials.

Get a better view

If you have open shelving or glass-front cabinets, handling a mix of boxes, bags and random containers can be a challenge.

Invest in a large set of clear glass or plastic jars for storage. Their attractive uniformity will cut the visual chaos, and they’re perfect for storing baking supplies like flour and sugar.

Decide on storage solutions

Once you have a handle on what you want to store, it’s time to round up the items you need to put your pantry back together. Your list may include spice jars, Mason jars, contact paper, racks for aluminum foil and plastic wrap, and bins and baskets to wrangle small items.

Put it all back together

You’ve taken everything out and purged what you don’t need. Now it’s time to reload the pantry with everything you plan to store.

Group like items together – coffee and creamer with sweeteners; flour and sugar with baking soda; pastas and grains with oats; soups and olives with other canned items. Play around with your arrangement until it looks so organized that you feel proud enough to show it off.

Related:

Originally published January 2015

A Startling Peek at Which Cities Have the Cleanest Homes—and Which Have the Dirtiest

Getty Images; realtor.com

The coronavirus seems to have everyone on a cleanliness kick. Grabbed the mail? Wash your hands. High-five a friend? Douse yourself in hand sanitizer.

This newfound obsession with personal hygiene also extends to our home environments, and might have you wondering how your cleaning regimen compares with others’. A new survey by home improvement site ImproveNet has the dirt.

How often do people clean their homes?

For the ImproveNet survey of 4,326 people across the country in January 2020, “We asked residents about a spectrum of cleaning activities representative of both their time invested and the level of detail at which they work,” according to the study researchers.

For starters, the survey asked how much time people spend every month cleaning their homes. On average, people clock eight hours on this task, while a strict 13% slave 16 hours monthly (or more!) scrubbing every germ-ridden corner.

Survey respondents were also asked more detailed questions about how often they change their bedsheets, disinfect their bathrooms, and even wipe down their TV remotes. Here are a few stats in case you want to see where you stand:

  • 4 in 10 clean and swap out their bedsheets every two weeks
  • 28% sweep or vacuum every couple of weeks
  • 1 in 4 hasn’t cleaned their fridge in six-plus months
  • 37% wear shoes in their homes
  • 6 in 10 have dirty dishes in the sink at any given moment

 

cleanest homes
How much time do you spend cleaning?

ImproveNet

So, which cities are the cleanest?

By questioning residents about these cleaning habits, researchers were also able to come up with a ranking of the cleanest and dirtiest homes by city, based on the frequency and duration they spend keeping their homes pristine.

Curious about where the cleanest homes in the country are? Surprise, it’s Las Vegas! These residents spend the most time on a variety of cleaning tasks, followed by Charlotte, NC; Detroit; and San Francisco.

Out of a surveyed 21 cities, Milwaukee came in last, followed by San Diego and Indianapolis.

cleanest homes
Some of these cities did surprisingly well!

ImproveNet

 

How can you keep your home clean?

While this survey doesn’t give advice for the best cleaning practices or recommend how much time you should spend cleaning your house, it’s certainly eye-opening to take a look at what other people are doing—and how often.

But will any of this work on keeping the coronavirus at bay?

Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, told NPR that the COVID-19 virus can likely be killed by most household cleaners like bleach, alcohol, and even soap and water. So, spending a little extra time washing your hands and disinfecting your surroundings could indeed make a difference. Here’s more on how to coronavirus-proof your house.

The post A Startling Peek at Which Cities Have the Cleanest Homes—and Which Have the Dirtiest appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Add Heat Under Your Feet With a Radiant Flooring System

It’s bad enough that you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but that tile – it’s so cold!

The notion of warming floors for comfort is hardly new. Archeological digs reveal that, as early as 5,000 B.C., cave dwellers were drafting smoke through stone trenches in an effort to warm their subterranean floors.

These days, the two most common types of radiant floor heating systems are electric and hydronic, both of which are installed under your flooring.

Hydronic systems: A whole-home heating solution

Hydronic systems heat floors by using loops of plastic tubing to run hot water from a boiler or water heater under flooring. They have lower operating costs than electric systems but, because they generally require a boiler, pump and gas lines, they’re also far more complex. Hydronic heat might be a good option if you’re looking to add heat to your entire home or, at least, a large portion of it. Even if you have plumbing and electrical expertise, you’ll likely want to consult with a heating pro to ensure your system is well designed.

Electric systems: Good for small spaces

Electric systems come in a few options. The most popular of these systems relies on a continuous, pre-spaced heating element that’s woven into a plastic mesh mat and installed beneath your flooring. Electric radiant floor heating systems are easier and more affordable to install than hydronic systems, but they’re more expensive to operate, making them best suited for use in small spaces, such as kitchens or bathrooms. A DIYer with basic skills can install electric radiant heat, even if you need to hire an electrician to do the final hard-wire connection.

If installing an electric floor heating system is on your to-do list, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. In addition to mesh mat, electric heat can be applied using a loose cable which you must position in a serpentine pattern, fasten with hot glue or staples and then “embed” with thinset or a self-leveling compound. Solid mats are the third and most expensive type of electric heat system. The cable is completely enclosed in synthetic fabric, plastic sheeting or foil. The real advantage to solid mats is that you don’t need to embed them. Do your research before deciding which type of electric in-floor heat is right for you.

2. When installing heat over a wood-framed floor, fiberglass insulation between the joists can make the system more efficient by driving heat upward. If you’re installing an electric system over a concrete floor, double-check the manufacturer’s recommendations; you may need to place a layer of foam insulation over the concrete before the heat cable is installed.

3. When calculating the square footage of a room, figure in only the areas where you can walk. There’s no need to spend money on heat that runs under the refrigerator or behind the toilet.

4. Because most electric heating must be installed under your tile, hardwood, stone, laminate or concrete floor, this is a project you’ll want to hold off on until you’re building or are ready to change the floors in an existing room. If you’re intent on adding heat without replacing your floor, you may be able to use solid mats that are sized to fit between joists, allowing you to heat the floor from below.

5. Many electric heating systems can be used under carpet but they’re often not as effective. If the carpet pad is thick, it will act as an insulator and won’t allow much heat through.

6. When you purchase your electric radiant system, pay special attention to the thermostat. Most models are programmable, allowing you to run the heat only during the hours when you’re home and awake. Others come with “smart” features that learn your routine and automatically adjust the temperature.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, radiant heat is more efficient than baseboard or forced air systems. Rather than just blowing hot air around the room, radiant systems slowly and steadily charge the floor with heat, keeping it where you want it, longer. Additionally, the California Energy Commission reports the lack of moving air can be advantageous to those with severe allergies.

Originally published February 2014.

A Sneak Peek at Chip and Jo’s New Spring Line at Target

A Sneak Peak at Chip and Jo's New Spring Line at Target

Target; Getty Images; realtor.com

Ready to hit the reset button with your home decor? Spring is practically upon us—and with it comes a new collection of fresh home looks from the Target line Hearth & Hand with Magnolia by Chip and Joanna Gaines.

This batch of spring designs from the stars of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” show officially drops on Sunday in stores, but photos of the goods are already up online in case you’re jonesing for a preview. You’ll spy ultra-affordable finds among the 300 new items, which include bedding, furniture, garden items, lighting, throw pillows, and much more.

“These products are traditional, on point, and somewhat nostalgic in style. Plus, they’re mostly neutral, which means they’ll fit into any home’s interior and offer timeless appeal and texture—definitely farmhouse in flavor,” says Ana Cummings of the eponymous design firm.

For some help sifting through the latest in the collection, here are 10 picks to get you started. Shop for Mother’s Day, Easter, or just yourself as your reward for surviving a long winter!

1. Accent chair

Gentle lines and a soft seat make this an ideal accent chair.

Target

Caned furniture is making a strong comeback, with several lines showing this woven detail in bar cabinets, headboards, and other pieces.

Amy Bly of Great Impressions Home Staging and Interiors recommends this wood-and-cane chair for its texture and simple style. The mesh back lends an airy feel, but the construction is solid thanks to a sturdy frame ($200).

2. Cereal bowls

Rustic stoneware that’s safe in the dishwasher and microwave.

Target

Face it—your morning oatmeal could use an upgrade, and this well-priced, four-piece set of two-toned bowls is just the place to start. It comes in two other pretty shades of blue and could hold side salads or ice cream sundaes, too ($16 for the set).

3. Wheeled cart

Slide this smart pick into any room that needs a lift.

Target

Is it a bar cart? A rolling buffet? Or a makeshift kitchen island? This multipurpose, powder-coated steel cart is all three and more. You’ll have to assemble it, but once it’s built you’ll find that the two shelves and side racks are endlessly utile ($140).

4. Wastebasket

This pick comes with a plastic liner for easy cleaning.

Target

Sea grass is a natural fiber that’ll add texture to a half-bath, bedroom, or den. Its durable substance is often seen in floor coverings, but smaller accents like a wastebasket, coaster, or tabletop chargers are another way to try this woven detail ($20).

5. Dining bench

Sloping curves and simple construction are the hallmarks of Shaker furniture.

Target

Chair, chair, chair around your dining table is a rather snoozy look. Instead, break up this row of soldiers with a Shaker-inspired dining bench. This perch is perfect for two people and can be cozied up by adding a couple of throw pillows on the back ($200).

6. Throw pillow

Blue and white lend a fresh, clean look to your sofa or chair.

Target

Swapping out throws and accent pillows on your couch or bed is an easy, affordable way to mark a new season. This spring, try this juxtaposition of plain stripes and jaunty gold tassels ($25).

7. End table

This pick sports a caned lower shelf for extra storage by your bed or chair.

Target

You can’t have too many side tables in the home, and ones made from lighter-toned woods are a nice alternative to darker shades when the weather warms up.

This slender accent table fits nicely at the end of a settee or in a reading nook to hold your coffee and bookmark ($100).

8. Shower curtain

This pretty fabric has been verified as free from hundreds of harmful substances.

Target

A shower curtain is one of several items that need swapping out regularly, especially when it becomes worn and musty (see also: bathmats and hand towels). This one’s not only made from stylish soft material, it’s also gently priced and it sports fun fringe along the edge ($25).

9. Faux lavender

Greenery is easy to achieve with faux plants.

Target

This isn’t your granny’s fake ivy! Bringing nature into the home is hotter than ever, and the faux green choices on the market are expanding all the time.

Try this lavender pot with several others in a line on your kitchen windowsill or in a glass terrarium for a look that’ll never die ($5).

10. Area rug

A classic neutral in wool and cotton to warm your room

Target

This piece is everything you’re looking for in a low-key rug, including a flat pile and fringe for a bit of visual interest. Bonus: It comes in two heathered hues, oatmeal and gray ($25 and up).

The post A Sneak Peek at Chip and Jo’s New Spring Line at Target appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.