How the Bernie Sanders Mittens Meme Made a Michigan Home Listing Go Viral

Bernie Sanders meme

For those of you nowhere near a computer or phone in the past few days, here’s the quick backstory: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders spurred a viral meme sensation that has taken the World Wide Web by storm.

It all started when Sanders was photographed outside at Joe Biden‘s presidential inauguration on Wednesday looking relatively unimpressed by the historic occasion. There the 79-year-old sat, arms crossed, in a chair while wearing a practical heavy winter coat and—here’s the kicker—patterned knitted mittens. Something about the image of the gruff-looking Sanders tempered by the childlike mittens lit up the internet’s collective brain. It was meme time!

Soon images of Sanders took over social media feeds everywhere. Be-mittened Bernie, as he’s affectionately known, was digitally added onto the deck of the USS Enterprise, riding on a log flume, and selling Girl Scout Cookies. The hashtag #berniesmittens trended on Twitter.

And now the meme has shown up on the true final frontier: real estate listing photos!

Can Bernie Sanders’ mittens help sell your home?

Bernie Sanders meme
Bernie Sanders is everywhere—even in this Michigan home for sale.

The general rule of thumb for listing photos is to keep them extremely straightforward and free of personal belongings, especially personal photos. The thinking is that personal photos can somehow turn off potential home buyers.

An even bigger no-no than a snapshot of Mom and dear old Dad? A listing with anything at all political that could potentially turn off 50% of buyers.

But try telling that to Tiffany Szakal, real estate agent with in Grand Rapids, MI, who has a property to sell.

“The house came back on the market Thursday as I was falling in love with all the amazing Bernie memes,” she said.

And there was something about Szakal’s listing itself—which is a government-owned home specifically for low-income buyers on, ahem, Donald Place and directly behind Wealthy Street—that reminded her of the self-described democratic socialist senator.

So Szakal decided to have some fun. She asked her admin Aubrey Kuipers to digitally add Sanders into a few of the listing photos.

Now the first photo that comes up for the property on 321/325 Donald Place SE shows Sanders sitting in his chair and wearing his mittens on the home’s porch. And yep, there he is again in the kitchen, looking like he’s making a beeline for some hot cocoa to wrap those mittens around.

Szakal thought the photos would eventually fade into the multiple listing service with the millions of other listings out there.

But two hours after the photos were posted, a real estate agent tagged Szakal in a post. That post was also shared on a popular Instagram account. And so just like Sanders himself, the listing on Donald Place soon went viral. By the time Szakal checked the Instagram post, “there was something like 50,000 likes,” she said.

The quick decision to add a little Sanders to the listing is paying off in dividends.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook. I’ve gotten a ton of calls for a showing and tons of requests for information about the property,” said Szakal. “The timing of adding Bernie lined up perfectly.”

For anyone else who wants to add a little Sanders meme magic to their listing, Szakal is all for it.

“This is a collaborative industry, we should all share our ideas,” she says.

So as you peruse homes for sale this weekend and beyond, be on the lookout for Sanders. The senator might pop up in the family room, in the basement, or maybe even out in the backyard lending his mittens to a newly built snowman.

The post How the Bernie Sanders Mittens Meme Made a Michigan Home Listing Go Viral appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

Our Picks for Bean Bag Chairs

Chill out by finding the right bean bag chair for your space.

Chill out by finding the right bean bag chair for your space. (Sofa Sack/)

Did you think that bean bag chairs went out of style alongside your uncle’s collection of eight-track tapes from the 1970s? You’d be partially right. The “Sacco” chair – as it was originally called – was born in 1969, designed by a trio of Italian designers who were aiming to create an affordable, “shapeless” chair made with new construction materials borne from post-World War II technology. Macy’s department stores in the U.S. caught wind of the creation and immediately placed an order for 10,000 Saccos. A furniture movement was born.

Bean bag chairs have fallen in and out of favor over the decades as styles, materials and trends evolved, but they’re back today as strong as they were in the early ’70s. Today, bean bags offer better filling and a variety of cover choices, including twill, microsuede, leather and even fur. They can be found in any space from a dorm room to a home theater. Here are some of our favorite bean bag chairs.

The inviting cover is made of cozy micro-fibers with a durable woven backing.

The inviting cover is made of cozy micro-fibers with a durable woven backing. (CordaRoy/)

CordaRoy’s long-lasting, furniture-grade foam stays soft and supportive, no matter how many times you wash it. Whether you’re reading, sleeping, or just hanging out, you’ll appreciate the comfort and versatility of this bean bag chair. Just unzip the cover and flip the cushion to turn it from a chair into a queen-sized bed for guests, slumber parties, or just relaxing.

The outside is double-stitched for extra strength and durability.

The outside is double-stitched for extra strength and durability. (Chill Sack/)

For a comfortable piece of furniture that will work in any room and fit your own personal style, you can’t go wrong with this model from Chill Sack. We salute the breathable, moisture resistant, double-stitched cover for its supple and sensuous touch. Made with high-quality foam, hand-selected fabrics, and a premium zipper, it’s easy to see why this quality piece of furniture is one of our favorites.

Lighter than most home recliners, we think they’re ideal for watching movies, game night, or reading.

Lighter than most home recliners, we think they’re ideal for watching movies, game night, or reading. (Sofa Sack/)

This chair’s blend of furniture-grade memory foam and microfibers make it incredibly soft, long-lasting, and a valued addition to any home. These medium-sized bean bag chairs are simple, inviting, and a nice addition to a nursery, playroom, bedroom, or basement. The ideal size for a parent and child to share, you’ll also appreciate the variety of colors available to accent any room.

It’s super tough, stain-resistant, and easily cleaned with a damp cloth

It’s super tough, stain-resistant, and easily cleaned with a damp cloth (Big Joe/)

There’s a lot to appreciate in this chair from Big Joe. The built-in handles make it easy to grab and go when you need an extra seat to watch the game or a quiet place to study. The covers are double stitched and sealed with two safety locking zippers. We thought the built-in pockets were a nice touch and a convenient way to stash smartphones, remotes, and books.

You won’t believe how much it will hold, and with a dozen design options, you’re sure to find one that everyone will love.

You won’t believe how much it will hold, and with a dozen design options, you’re sure to find one that everyone will love. (WEKAPO/)

Make memories with this whimsical offering from WEKAPO. An ideal place to store stuffed animals, pillows, and blankets, it also makes a special seat for your little ones. We love the imagination and ingenuity of this product.

Inside Joe Biden’s Oval Office Makeover: Add Moon Rock, Ditch Diet Coke Button, and Other Changes That Say So Much

Joe Biden

JIM WATSON / Contributor / Getty Images

President Joe Biden is now in the White House, and already busy in his new home office—aka the Oval Office. And, as tradition dictates, he’s already refreshed the decor. On Day One, in fact.

As the newest incoming president, Biden has his pick of all kinds of furnishings for the White House as well as artwork and artifacts that can be loaned from various museums and galleries across the nation, or taken out of the White House archives. And if the coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that a well-designed work-from-home setup can help keep people focused and inspired—which Biden will no doubt need during the long hours he’ll toil in the Oval Office.

And while former President Donald Trump imparted his own particular tastes on the White House during his four years (think: glittery gold drapes), Biden’s style is a lot more subdued. Here’s a look at how he’s refreshed the Oval Office, and the way his aesthetic might influence other parts of the White House once he’s settled in.

Kept: The Resolute desk

The Resolute was built with wood taken from a British naval ship.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Biden’s very first decision is one of the most important: which desk to use for signing legislation and meeting with various world leaders.

While we editors at debated the six choices that every U.S. president ponders and then placed our bets on the C&O desk to win (it was built by a railway company after all, and Biden is a well-known Amtrak aficionado), Biden ultimately selected the old standby, the Resolute desk.

The Resolute is, of course, a worthy choice, also selected by Trump as well as Barack Obama.

But not all is as before. For one, the chair behind the desk is different—Biden opted for a tufted, dark-brown leather seat instead of the reddish-brown CEO style favored by Trump.

Another noteworthy removal? Atop the Resolute once sat a wooden box with a red button, which Trump used to press to summon his caffeine fix, which consisted of Diet Cokes. At least, that’s according to the Associated Press’ 2017 profile of Trump: “With the push of a red button placed on the Resolute Desk that presidents have used for decades, a White House butler soon arrived with a Coke for the president.”

Added: A subtler shade of gold

Floor-length curtains befit the Oval Office’s dramatic windows.

Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP

The window dressing behind Biden’s desk has also undergone a makeover. According to the Washington Post, Biden has swapped out the shiny golden drapes on display during Trump’s time for a more muted, darker set that used to hang during the Clinton administration.

Biden’s very traditional decor approach is clearly evident here, though some details may come off to some as a bit fusty and old-fashioned, according to Amy Bly of Great Impressions Home Staging and Interiors.

“I do like the gold drapes with navy trim, just not those sweeping swags,” she says, referring to the swaths of fabric slung over the top of the window for decorative flair. They “may be presidential, [but] instead I’d do a boxed valance,” she adds.

Added: Deep-blue carpeting

Dark blue is the new hue for the 46th president’s rug.

Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

Biden also looked to the Clinton days for a carpet, selecting the same royal blue rug with a bright red and yellow tassel design to lay underfoot rather than the sunburst floor covering used by Trump, which was actually designed by former first lady Laura Bush.


Watch: Inside Kamala Harris’ Real Estate Portfolio


“Navy blue and gold are classic colors that convey a regal feeling reflective of the weight of the job at hand,” says Bly. And while this works for the Oval Office, she says it’s a bit too extreme to carry through to their private quarters.

“If this color scheme continues to the private residence, I’d lighten it up a bit with simpler curtains, solid-colored upholstery, and less formal wallpaper,” says Bly.

Added: Many family photos

It’s not clutter—it’s the wife and kids!

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Biden is clearly a sentimental type, as he has filled the sideboard near his desk with framed photos of his extended family. The fact that these mementos are well within his sights while he toils away on behalf of the nation suggests he’s eager for all the inspiration he can get.

“The idea is to surround yourself with what makes you want to be a better person, whether it’s pictures or memories, to create a space where you feel happy and productive,” says Gina Colucci, marketing director at the Seattle Design Center.

This sideboard also welcomes a bust of Latino civil rights leader Cesar Chavez—a piece shipped specially to the White House to put on display from the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in California.

Other busts of significant historical figures have also found a home in Biden’s workspace, including the all-American lineup of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Robert F. Kennedy, and a sculpture of a horse and Apache rider that once belonged to the late senator from Hawaii, Daniel Inouye.

On the way back to the storage closet? A bust Trump cherished of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Added: Patriotic paintings

A patriotic oil painting by Childe Hassam

The White House Historical Society

To the right of the Resolute desk hangs a flag-themed treasure painting by Childe Hassam in 1917, which was also featured in the Obama and Clinton offices, too.

As for other artwork swaps, a portrait of Andrew Jackson that Trump displayed is out, while paintings of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are in.

Added: Benjamin Franklin—and a moon rock

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin is on hand to inspire.

Photographer: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Biden has expressed a serious interest in science, elevating key people in the field to Cabinet-level positions. Plus, some of his decor choices reflect this theme, such as a portrait of the inventor and scientist Benjamin Franklin right next to his desk.

Another science-themed artifact Biden embraced in his workspace? A moon rock, brought back during America’s last manned mission to the moon in 1972.

According to NASA, astronauts of the Apollo 17 mission had “chipped this sample from a large boulder,” and since then it’s been sitting at the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility at the Johnson Space Center in Houston under the inconspicuous name “Lunar Sample 76015,143.”

At the request of the Biden administration, this rock was loaned to the Oval Office, within a protective case, “in symbolic recognition of earlier generations’ ambitions and accomplishments, and support for America’s current Moon to Mars exploration approach,” according to NASA’s website.

Who knows? Maybe moon rocks are the next hot decor trend, not just within the White House but beyond.

The post Inside Joe Biden’s Oval Office Makeover: Add Moon Rock, Ditch Diet Coke Button, and Other Changes That Say So Much appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

Existing-Home Sales Rise Slightly, Despite Buyers’ Struggles With Falling Inventory



The numbers: Existing-home sales beat analyst estimates and rose in December, even as inventory dropped once again to a record low.

Total existing-home sales dropped 0.7% from November to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Friday. Compared with a year ago, home sales were up roughly 22%.

“Home sales rose in December, and for 2020 as a whole, we saw sales perform at their highest levels since 2006, despite the pandemic,” Lawrence Yun, the trade group’s chief economist, said in the report.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected that existing-home sales would fall to a median rate of 6.55 million.

What happened: The median existing-home price in December came in at $309,800, which is nearly 13% higher than a year ago. Prices increased across every region of the country.

The inventory of homes for sale fell 16% between November and December. As of December, the market had a 1.9-month supply of homes for sale based on the current sales pace, an all-time low. A 6-month supply is considered to be a sign of a balanced market.

Regionally, home sales rose the most in the Northeast (up 4.5% from November), followed by the South (up 1.1%). Sales remained unchanged in the Midwest and fell 1.4% in the West.

The big picture: While sales didn’t continue the downward streak from November, the increase is likely to be short-lived this winter. Mortgage application data has trended downward — most likely a reflection of tighter lending standards and buyer fears of the current wave of COVID-19 infections, said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

“The bottom line here is that the surge in mortgage demand and home sales is over, for now, and construction will follow suit,” Shepherdson wrote in a research report. “Home prices, however, will continue to rise rapidly, given the imbalance between supply and demand, but we don’t expect to see any further sustained acceleration until the summer.”

That said, economists expect mortgage rates to remain historically low for the foreseeable future, and the economy is likely to show signs of improvement as more people are vaccinated. That should give a boost to the housing market in the spring.

The trouble for buyers is that it’s not yet clear whether more people will choose to list their homes for sale in the coming months. With the inventory of homes for sale at record lows, buyers will be forced to compete more to purchase a home, paying higher and higher prices. Ultimately, the supply of homes could constrain how much room home sales have to grow.

What they’re saying: “While new mortgage applications ramped higher at year-end, housing demand looks to have cooled a few degrees due to rising COVID-related anxiety, a record-low supply of available homes, and escalating prices,” Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a research note.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were both down in Friday morning trading.

The post Existing-Home Sales Rise Slightly, Despite Buyers’ Struggles With Falling Inventory appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

Covid-19 Kindled Washington, D.C.’s Luxury Market. The New Administration Could Make it Even Hotter

Michael Stock listed his home after seeing an upward shift in the local market.

Stephen Voss for The Wall Street Journal

For many years, Michael Stock said he never considered selling his handsome Beaux-Arts Revival-style home on Washington, D.C.’s prestigious Embassy Row—not even when representatives from a nearby embassy stopped by with a case of wine and an unsolicited bid of interest.

Then the pandemic happened, sending the local luxury real-estate market on an unstoppable hot streak. The rise in prices, combined with the promise of fresh demand spurred by an incoming presidential administration, proved too good to pass up: Mr. Stock listed his home, which he bought in 2008 and spent years restoring, for $5.5 million earlier this month.

Like many other cities whose luxury housing stock is dominated by single-family homes, Washington, D.C.’s market has only benefited from the Covid-19 crisis, as buyers—often spurred by ultralow interest rates plus the desire for dedicated home offices and large gardens—move to larger homes. As a result, the D.C. real-estate market is pricier than it has been in years, according to local agents.

Now, with a new administration taking over the White House, those agents say they are busier than ever. “I’m on meetings and showings all day long,” said Daniel Heider of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, noting that he’s already shown Mr. Stock’s house to a couple relocating to the area to serve in President Joe Biden’s administration.

“We didn’t know where we were going to be when Covid hit in March,” said Robert Hryniewicki, a luxury agent with Washington Fine Properties who said he is currently handling a bidding war for a Massachusetts Avenue Heights property priced at $5.65 million. “But after April, it really took off.”

The median price of a home sold in Washington, D.C., was $641,300 in December, a 1% increase from the same time a year prior, according to data from real-estate firm Long & Foster. The volume of sales was up 16% during that same period. The number of signed contracts in December was 731, up 40% from December 2019.

In December, there were just 1.7 months of housing supply available in Washington, D.C., down 12% from the prior year.

The ultra-high-end saw even more of an uptick. There were 72 transactions priced at $4 million and up in the capitol region in 2020, compared with 53 in 2019, according to Washington Fine Properties. There were eight sales priced at $10 million or more, compared with zero the year before.

Coe Magruder’s Massachusetts Avenue Heights home sold for $4 million last year before he could put it on the market.
Coe Magruder’s Massachusetts Avenue Heights home sold for $4 million last year before he could put it on the market.

Stephen Voss for The Wall Street Journal

Coe Magruder, a 67-year-old hedge-fund and asset-management entrepreneur, is one of the many beneficiaries of the hot market. He sold his Massachusetts Avenue Heights home, a redbrick Colonial formerly home to the embassy of Swaziland (now known as Eswatini), for $4 million in August after receiving an unsolicited offer, he said.

He said he and his wife Denise Magruder had already relocated to Vero Beach, Fla., and were planning to do some work to their home, including a paint job and a redo of the bathrooms, before listing it for sale.

The market wouldn’t wait. Mr. Hryniewicki, the couple’s agent, soon had a client for whom the house was perfect. Mr. Magruder agreed to a single showing and threw in a caveat: The buyer would have to meet the fixed asking price of $4 million, or he would continue with his plans to spruce up the property and list it publicly later.

Within a week, a contract was signed for $4 million. Mr. Hryniewicki said the home sold for a notable premium over what it might have sold for prior to the Covid-19 crisis.

Being home with their two young children amid the pandemic made real-estate developer Michael Rocks and his wife Dana Rocks, who was pregnant with their third child, rethink their space. In November, they listed their four-bedroom Tudor in the leafy Wesley Heights neighborhood to move to a larger home in McLean, Va., where the children could each have their own rooms and a bigger yard.

“Little kids have a lot of energy they need to expend,” said Mr. Rocks, 35, who became a father of three in December. “They want a jungle gym, and since they couldn’t go to the playground we wanted to create something like that for them in our own yard.”

The Rockses hosted one open house and about 12 separate tours and received four offers over their $1.795 million asking price, Mr. Rocks said. “What was shocking to us was how many offers there were,” he added. The house went into contract for $2.022 million just four days after it was listed.

While they reveled in the success of a quick sale, the flip side of the market was trickier; the purchase of their new home in McLean required winning a three-way bidding war. “Everything is just so expensive and in such limited supply,” Mr. Rocks said.

Real-estate agents project the market will become even tighter in the next few months, as Mr. Biden continues to roll out new appointments.

Neighborhoods expected to be especially in demand include fashionable areas like Kalorama and Massachusetts Avenue Heights, which are known for drawing Washington high society, including major political donors, lobbyists and wealthy elected officials, as well as billionaires like Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. In these neighborhoods, a short drive from the Capitol, high-end classic homes are clustered together on tree-lined streets.

Despite for a heavy security presence in some pockets, designed to protect residents like Jared Kushner and first daughter Ivanka Trump, the Kalorama neighborhood was quiet on a recent Sunday. A few walkers with their dogs paid little attention to the security as they passed.

Mr. Stock, 44, leads a nonprofit that trains peacekeepers and military forces in troubled parts of the world. While his home is close to the one owned by President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, he said the security is basically discreet and somewhat reassuring. “You couldn’t find a safer block probably anywhere in the country,” he said. “Sometimes, when there are people over for an event, I don’t lock the door.”

During the last presidential transition, administration officials like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway all bought homes within the same tiny area.

“This current administration threw everyone in the housing market for a loop,” Mr. Heider said. “There were people coming from New York and Palm Beach, who were extremely wealthy and that upper bracket market went on fire,” Mr. Heider said.

It isn’t clear if Mr. Biden’s cabinet will be as affluent, or if those Trump administration officials will leave D.C. following President Trump’s departure; as of now, none of their homes are publicly listed for sale.

As for the recent riot at the Capitol, Mr. Heider said he expects it to have little to no effect on demand for homes.

“Obviously, a breach of the capitol building is not something to brush off, but Washington has been home to protest after protest for decades,” he said, though he noted that the curfews imposed because of the riot were inconvenient for residents. “This summer, there was looting and businesses being set on fire and it didn’t impact the real-estate market. It’s just part of living in Washington.”

The post Covid-19 Kindled Washington, D.C.’s Luxury Market. The New Administration Could Make it Even Hotter appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

The Ultimate Garage? Car Lovers’ Nirvana in Texas Is the Week’s Most Popular Home

Gather around, grease monkeys! This week’s most popular property on® is a gearhead paradise situated on 10 acres just outside Dallas. The Lone Star spread devoted to all things automotive sped away with the most clicks.

It features professional-grade automotive facilities—including a glass-repair shop and several auto lifts. There’s also a 10-car garage, a car-painting booth, and luxurious entertaining spaces festooned with auto-themed memorabilia.

However, to peer under the hood of this popular property, you’ll need to back up a Brink’s truck. This paradise for car lovers is on the market for $8 million.

If you don’t have that much cash on hand, a different (and cheaper!) automotive-focused property also revved up a fair amount of interest. This brand-new home in Wisconsin has an enormous garage with a gleaming epoxy floor.

In addition to these two fast and furious residences, you also clicked on a Georgia mansion built for the inventor of Crisco, a must-see time capsule in Tennessee, and the Massachusetts home where Lizzie Borden lived after she was acquitted of murder.

Start your engines, and take a spin through this week’s 10 most popular homes for sale.

10. French St, Fall River, MA

Price: $890,000
Why it’s here: This Queen Anne Victorian is known as Maplecroft, and was once owned by Lizzie Borden, who was acquitted in the ax murders of her father and stepmother.

This seven-bedroom mansion isn’t where the heinous murders took place, but it is where Borden lived until her death. The half-acre lot is part of the historic Highlands District. The turnkey home has been fully restored, and the sale includes the period furnishings.

Fall River, MA
Fall River, MA


9. 1655 W. Frontier Rd, Little Suamico, WI

Price: $724,900
Why it’s here: Constructed in 2019, this three-bedroom home is secondary to the property’s dream garage.

The17-acre wooded lot includes a huge shop with epoxy flooring, a bathroom, heat, and roll-up doors.

One of the glass garage doors opens to a patio, which overlooks a stocked, 3-acre pond. For the full post-snowmobile or ATV experience, there’s even a locker room on site.

Little Suamico, WI
Little Suamico, WI


8. 200 Walhalla St, Westminster, SC

Price: $224,900
Why it’s here: Built in 1932, this three-bedroom bungalow retains many of its original details. High ceilings, multiple fireplaces, and wood floors have been lovingly maintained. Outside, the large yard has plenty of room to play and entertain among the gardens.

Westminster, SC
Westminster, SC


7. 619 College St, Macon, GA

Price: $1,645,000
Why it’s here: Built for the man who invented Crisco, this seven-bedroom, 12,862-square-foot mansion was erected in 1901.

The fully renovated house still shines more than a century later. The property includes a speak-easy bar, home theater, and manager’s cottage.

Macon, GA
Macon, GA


6. 21300 E US Highway 40, Marshall, IL

Price: $263,700
Why it’s here: Fully remodeled, this three-bedroom farmhouse sits on 3.5 acres and dates to 1904.

Interior highlights include Amish shamrock cabinets, original woodwork and crown molding, pocket doors, and an oversized laundry room. Outside, there’s plenty of room to explore, as well as a new pole barn.

Marshall, IL
Marshall, IL


5. 6920 N. Morrison Rd, Muncie, IN

Price: $1,200,000
Why it’s here: A pool, three-hole putting green, pool house, outdoor bar, and basketball court are just a few of the fun amenities included in this sprawling and gated 19-acre estate.

The six-bedroom main house was built in 1995 and is stuffed with luxe upgrades throughout. There’s also an in-law suite, as well as a separate building with a sauna for cold Indiana nights.

Muncie, IN
Muncie, IN


4. 8314 Gann Rd, Soddy Daisy, TN

Price: $240,000
Why it’s here: Black, white, and awesome all over, this time capsule from 1975 has been impeccably preserved in all its glory.

Listing photos show quintessential 1970s custom tilework, bold color schemes, and wild wallpaper. The four-bedroom ranch house sits on 1.5 acres, and comes with a sunroom, in-ground pool, and barn.

Soddy Daisy, TN
Soddy Daisy, TN


3. 350 Van Dalton Rd, Corrigan, TX

Price: $749,000
Why it’s here: This ingenious 6,000-square-foot home is known as the Water Castle. The walls are completely filled with water to “harness the enormous thermal mass and heating/cooling properties of water to eliminate the need [for] A/C or furnace.”

The arched castle on a hill comes with 13 acres of land, accessed by a dirt road.

Corrigan, TX
Corrigan, TX


2. 1202 W. Wayne St, Fort Wayne, IN

Price: $1,290,000
Why it’s here: This seven-bedroom home is the “crown jewel” of Fort Wayne’s historic neighborhood, according to the listing.

Built in 1905, the Richardsonian-Romanesque home served as the Fort Wayne Museum of Art until 1983. For the past 25 years, it’s been known as the Castle Gallery of Fine Art.

Highlights of the extraordinary residence include a handcarved oak staircase, inlaid hardwood floors, and stained-glass windows. All major systems have been upgraded, and it’s ready for a new owner to sketch out its next chapter.

Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne, IN


1. 14250 Chaparral Ln, Roanoke, TX

Price: $7,999,000
Why it’s here: Get your motor running, and make your way to Texas. Car lovers couldn’t help but share this one-of-a-kind listing with their fellow gearheads.

The 10-acre ranch just outside Fort Worth is dedicated to all things wheels. A buyer could choose to live in this auto nirvana year-round, or use it as an events venue.

The listing notes that the glass-repair center can easily host 60 people, “for anything from a philanthropic fete to an intimate wedding.”

Roanoke, TX
Roanoke, TX

The post The Ultimate Garage? Car Lovers’ Nirvana in Texas Is the Week’s Most Popular Home appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

Our Picks for Great Mouthwash For Adults

Smile! Your mouthwash is working to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Smile! Your mouthwash is working to keep your teeth and gums healthy. (Pixabay/)

Tortoise blood, berries, a mix of mint and red wine vinegar – there have been some strange mouthwash combinations throughout history. And then, there is St. Hildegard von Bingen who believed that swishing straight, pure, cold water would do the trick in holding plaque and tartar at bay. It’s a very different story today with a wide array of mouthwashes geared toward gum health, reducing plaque buildup, and/or preventing dreaded gingivitis. With that in mind, we’ve compiled for you a list of our favorite mouthwashes for adults.

This dentist-formulated mouthwash targets sulfur-producing bacteria, which causes bad breath.

This dentist-formulated mouthwash targets sulfur-producing bacteria, which causes bad breath. (TheraBreath/)

This rinse from TheraBreath is clinically proven to be effective for up to 24 hours. The first ingredient is purified water, but the second is OXYD-8, which was patented as an oxychlorine compound (which serves as an effective disinfectant). It is also gluten-free with no artificial colors or flavors, and certified vegan.

According to laboratory studies, this product makes teeth 50 percent stronger than just brushing alone.

According to laboratory studies, this product makes teeth 50 percent stronger than just brushing alone. (Listerine/)

As you might imagine for a brand as old as Listerine, there’s an interesting story behind it. The product was developed in 1879 by a St. Louis chemist who was trying to invent a surgical antiseptic. Named for Joseph Lister, a British surgeon who inspired the idea, Listerine has been marketing over the decades as a floor cleaner and dandruff fighter. The medicinal flavor of the original product was the only option until 1992, when “Cool Mint Listerine” joined the family. These days nearly a dozen flavors are available. The “Total Care” variety is a fluoride-rich, anti-cavity mouthwash. It offers six dental hygiene benefits in one oral rinse to kill germs that cause bad breath, strengthen teeth, help prevent cavities, restore enamel, clean your mouth, and freshen breath. It kills up to 99 percent of germs that cause bad breath.

This rinse features a cool mint flavor that leaves your mouth and breath feeling fresh and clean.

This rinse features a cool mint flavor that leaves your mouth and breath feeling fresh and clean. (ACT /)

ACT is designed to boost your dental care by helping to remineralize soft spots, which help prevent tooth decay. This mouthwash has been clinically proven to reduce cavities up to 70 percent more than brushing with fluoride toothpaste alone. Its alcohol-free formula ensures no stinging and no burning.

Effective for those who are bothered by dentures or other orthodontic appliances.

Effective for those who are bothered by dentures or other orthodontic appliances. (Colgate/)

The main active ingredient in this mouthwash is 1.4 percent hydrogen peroxide, which helps in cleaning and healing minor wounds, sores, irritations, and mouth burns. The oxygenating action removes oral debris to facilitate healing, and soothes minor gum inflammation that can occur after dental procedures.

This option is designed for those whose pearly whites aren’t as pearly white as they could be.

This option is designed for those whose pearly whites aren’t as pearly white as they could be. (Crest/)

While it is alcohol and peroxide free, Crest’s advanced whitening formula is effective in removing surface stains with brushing. That means a whiter smile in just 7 days, while leaving your mouth with a great, clean, mint taste. It’s free from peroxide and alcohol.

Our Picks for Great Cat Water Fountains

Hydration is key to a happy kitty, and these water fountains will help.

Hydration is key to a happy kitty, and these water fountains will help. (Amazon/)

A cat’s genetic design reveals a low thirst drive. In the wild, most of their water intake would come from their main food source, which is high moisture-containing meat. For domesticated cats, this can lead to health problems of the urinary tract and kidney. On top of that, cats don’t usually like drinking still or stagnant water. For that reason, you may have noticed a little watery mess on your hardwood. That’s because cats will sometimes tap the water in the bowl before taking a drink. And depending upon where you live, tap water may have odors or tastes that may be off-putting to your pet. So if you’re thinking of ditching the bowl for Morris, consider a cat water fountain. Here are our top picks for the best ones out there.

The polypropylene resin construction is BPA-free and very durable.

The polypropylene resin construction is BPA-free and very durable. (Veken/)

Measuring below 40dB, this fountain from Veken is ultra-quiet, and with a 2.5 litre capacity, it is perfect for small to medium sized pets. This fountain is easy to operate and clean, and comes with one silicone underpad that is sure to catch water from splashes or spills. It also comes with three different flow designs: flower waterfall, flower bubble, and gentle fountain. Each of the three replacement filters included is composed of a cotton layer, activated carbon, and ion exchange resin. This triple filtration system will keep your cat healthy and hydrated.

A replaceable, round filter has a triple effect, using cotton layers, ion-exchange resins, and coconut shell activated carbons.

A replaceable, round filter has a triple effect, using cotton layers, ion-exchange resins, and coconut shell activated carbons. (Wonder Creature/)

Stainless steel means eco-friendly. It also means unbreakable, durable, and easy to clean. And that makes the top portion of this 2.4 liter-unit hygienic and dishwasher-safe to boot. It comes with 3 filters, 2 brushes (one for the intake tube, the other for the motor cavity), and 1 mat. It is whisper-quiet with a low-voltage pump, and the water level window has an LED indicator to remind you when the unit needs refilling. The circulating filtration system purifies the water and removes hair, dirt, and food particles. The 360-degree multi-directional streams aerate the water for added oxygen and freshness.

This 5-liter system is great if you have more than a few feline friends prowling the premises.

This 5-liter system is great if you have more than a few feline friends prowling the premises. (PetSafe/)

The large built-in reservoir is a huge plus. This fountain from PetSafe also has a free-falling stream that appeals to their inner wildcat and also encourages water intake. The stream is also adjustable, making the waterflow customizable for your pet. It includes a replaceable carbon water filter that removes unpleasant tastes and odors while keeping water fresh. Constructed out of BPA-free materials, this fountain can be easily and quickly pulled apart into five separate components for top shelf dishwashing.

You can hardly hear the noise this space-efficient fountain emits.

You can hardly hear the noise this space-efficient fountain emits. (PETKIT/)

When running, this unit measures in at less than 30 dB and is powered with a USB cable (5V adapter not included). It also includes a water level window, which offers a better view to monitor the overall water consumption of your pet. The onboard LED light lets you know when the water reservoir needs to be replenished. It will also remind you when the filter needs to be replaced. The filter provides high performance purification, composing of a cotton layer, coconut shell-activated carbon, and ion exchange resin. The pump also has an automatic shutoff feature that alerts you when there is a lack of water in the fountain bowl.

It has two different flow designs - bubble fountain, gentle fountain - and three separate components.

It has two different flow designs – bubble fountain, gentle fountain – and three separate components. (WOPET/)

This water fountain is stainless steel throughout its durable construction, which makes for a cleaner and healthier drink for your pet. The automatic water dispenser features an ultra-quiet pump that is low consumption. It’s also equipped with 3 replacement filters that catch hair and debris, keep water fresh and clean, and remove bad tastes and odors.

Here’s Where the Trump Family Is Shopping for Homes Right Now—and Why

Bloomberg / Contributor / Getty Images

Donald and Melania Trump have officially left the White House. So where will they live next?  And what about family members who have followed the former president to Washington, DC?

Apparently, the Trump clan is moving en masse to Florida.

Reports have circulated that Trump is looking to buy property in Palm Beach to augment his private country club estate, Mar-A-Lago.

Meanwhile, his eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr. has reportedly bought a house in Jupiter, while his newly engaged younger daughter, Tiffany Trump, is checking out properties in Miami.

Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have already purchased a plot of land on Florida’s Indian Creek Island.

So why are so many Trumps looking to live in the Sunshine State?

“Florida has no state income tax, which has huge appeal,” says Cara Ameer, a bicoastal real estate agent in Florida and California with Coldwell Banker.

“Florida is a natural fit for the Trumps, as Donald has long-standing roots with his private club and other golf and resort properties.”

Another potential draw for Trump? Florida leans conservative, with 51% of residents voting for Trump in the 2020 election (he also took Florida in 2016, with over 48% of the vote).

Why the Trumps are moving to Florida

The Trump tribe isn’t alone in flocking to this sunny climate. In fact, according to data from the US Census Bureau, from July 2019 to July 2020, Florida added the second highest number of people, after Texas, increasing its population by 241,256.

“Obviously, taxes have been the driving force behind the most recent migrations to Florida,” says Jennifer Lenz, a real estate agent at Dolly Lenz Real Estate.

The sun is almost as important, she adds, explaining, “Weather-weary northerners are lured by endless sunshine and year-round access to golf, boating, and beaches.”

Adds Ameer: “It’s quite possible the Trumps will spend most of the year in Florida, and then retreat to cooler states in the summer. Don Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle already have a Hamptons home.”

Let’s take a closer look at where the Trump family is buying—or in some cases, shopping to buy—and what their new post-White House digs may be like.

Donald and Melania Trump: Palm Beach

New construction and water access, too

Recent reports have indicated that the former president and his wife are not only checking out estates in Palm Beach, but poking around private school options in the area for their teenage son, Barron.

Why not just settle down at Mar-A-Lago? Turns out they can’t live there full time. According to an agreement Donald inked in 1993, Mar-A-Lago is to be used solely as a social club, not a residence. That said, they will remain there until they find alternate new digs.

As for exactly where they may land, that remains to be seen.

“South Ocean Boulevard, which is dubbed Billionaires’ Row, would be the most fitting place for the couple,” says Dolly Lenz of the eponymous real estate firm in New York City.

As on New York’s Fifth Avenue, properties here regularly sell for more than $100 million.

Deep pockets are required to reside in Palm Beach, which has a median list price of $1.79 million. The above photo fits the presidential bill, as it sits squarely on Billionaires’ Row and is available for $56.5 million. It comes with six bedrooms, a dock, deeded beach access, and a gorgeous pool overlooking the waterway.

If the Trumps truly want to splurge, there’s another option.

“If they’re feeling nostalgic, they could purchase a new spec home that just hit the market for $140 million, built on land formerly owned by President Trump,” Lenz continues.

The 2.25-acre plot of land under this house was once part of a larger parcel that Trump sold in 2008 for $95 million.

If it’s sold at the list price, she adds, “[This house] would become one of the highest sales ever in the state.”

Wherever the Trumps settle down, an entourage of home security will no doubt descend on the area to keep this former first couple safe—which might not sit so well with the neighbors.

“Lifetime protection from the Secret Service will be an omnipresent force, which is a turn-off in a tony neighborhood,” Lenz says.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner: Indian Creek Island

Ivanka and Jared have purchased Lot No. 4.

In December, Donald Trump’s elder daughter shelled out more than $30 million for just under 2 acres on Indian Creek Island, which also goes by the name “Billionaires’ Bunker.” This tony spot is just 65 miles south of Palm Beach, which means that trips to see Donald and Melania will be a breeze.

Since it will take many months—or years—to build their dream mansion on this land, the former first daughter and her husband recently signed a lease to rent a condo at Arte—a pyramid-shaped building in the Surfside neighborhood of Miami.

This 16-unit building sports a heated indoor pool, private rooftop tennis court, and 24-hour security—although additional protection will be hired as well.

Indian Creek Island is already the home of many other boldfaced names, including the star quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bündchen, and the billionaire Carl Icahn.

“Security is tight in this premier community; you can’t just get out of your car and take pictures,” Ameer says.

The bottom line? People move to this island in order to avoid being part of the scene, which suggests that after a crazy four years in the limelight, this couple simply wants to be left alone.

Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle: Jupiter

The waters off Hobe Sound on Jupiter Island are pristine.

According to the New York Post, Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle concentrated their home-shopping efforts in Jupiter, and inked a deal to purchase a $9 million waterfront property in Admirals Cove.

The area, especially Jupiter Island, is an ultra-wealthy enclave with lovely homes on the water. It’s where Don Jr.’s ex-wife, Vanessa, and their five kids live. Jupiter is even closer to Palm Beach than Indian Creek Island—just 23 miles.

“Jupiter is a boater’s dream,” says Ameer. “So I could see this couple focusing their search on sprawling waterfront estates and buying a yacht, which is a must-have to hobnob up and down the Intracoastal Waterway and see nearby family members.”

Jupiter’s median list price isn’t stratospheric like Palm Beach, but at $512,000, it’s still a fancy place to drop one’s bags. One property on more than 8 acres might appeal to Don Jr. and Guilfoyle, since it features 17 bedrooms and 22 (!) bathrooms and is listed for $41.5 million.

Jupiter is already a high-profile community, thanks to the huge number of living sports legends who reside in the area (Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, and Michael Jordan, to name just a few).

Tiffany Trump: South Beach, Miami

A Miami Beach pad with a jaw-dropping view

Tiffany Trump won’t be left behind by her family’s rush to Florida. According to The Post, she’s reportedly shopping for a property in the Miami area.

Fresh out of law school and newly engaged, this 27-year-old apparently already lives in South Beach at the posh Setai Hotel, and has reportedly been checking out homes along Miami Beach, the city’s most famous strip of sand.

Unlike her older family members, who crave privacy and gated communities, Tiffany is expected to choose a well-appointed pad in a large luxury building.

“I think a building with good security and top-of-the-line amenities in the Miami Beach or South of Fifth areas would be perfect for her, as these areas have the most luxurious condos in all of South Florida,” says Ameer.

One to try: This Miami Beach penthouse condo is available for $16.5 million and has three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms on 6,000 square feet. Oh—plus 8,000 additional square feet on the rooftop terrace with a private plunge pool (#nottooshabby).

The post Here’s Where the Trump Family Is Shopping for Homes Right Now—and Why appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

That’s So South Dakota: The Most Uniquely Popular Interior Design Style in Every State

phototropic/Getty Images

Because the pandemic has forced many Americans to live, work, and socialize remotely in the confines of their homes, they have had more time than ever before to contemplate their interior design decisions—and they’re looking longingly at the rest of the world.

Interior design web searches surged by 148% in the last year, according to a recent report from Rae Duncan Interior Design.

Global design, which combines international finds, earthy materials, and exotic fashions, emerged as the most-searched style nationally, according to the Chicago-based interior design firm.

The style, notable for using statues, handicrafts, and artwork from around the world,  was particularly popular in the West, Midwest, and Northeast.

Perhaps because folks couldn’t visit their favorite countries amid the pandemic, they recreated the styles in their homes, incorporating the earthy tones brightened with pops of spice-inspired colors.

“People are getting more adventurous,” says Rae Duncan. “People are tired of the gray and the white and the neutrals.

“Global design can be a huge mix of different elements pulled from different cultures and eras,” she adds. “People are finding it’s more fun to live in a space with unique features.”

Farmhouse and modern farmhouse also increasing in popularity, seeing the biggest boost in search volume annually. In the Southeast, this was the most searched-for style. Meanwhile, the Southwest was split between its obsessions with farmhouse and with Southwestern style.

The design firm attempted to figure out which styles are particularly popular in each state. These may not be the top designs overall, but rather the trends that are the most unusually popular in individual states compared to the rest of the country.

An example is coastal design, which has fans in all 50 states—but which ranks as the favorite in Florida.

To come up with its findings, the design firm identified 29 design-related search terms. Then the firm analyzed Google search trends in every state with those keywords, and compared them with those that were most popular last year.

Global interior design has emerged as one of the top styles, according to a recent report from Rae Duncan Interior Design.

Provided by Rae Duncan Interior Design

So what are the most unusually popular design styles in every state?

Alabama: Farmhouse
Alaska: Global
Arizona: Southwestern
Arkansas: Rustic
California: Minimalist
Colorado: Farmhouse
Connecticut: Global
Delaware: Preppy
Florida: Coastal
Georgia: Farmhouse
Hawaii: Global
Idaho: Global
Illinois: Eclectic
Indiana: Farmhouse
Iowa: Global
Kansas: Global
Kentucky: Farmhouse
Louisiana: Farmhouse
Maine: Preppy
Maryland: Global
Massachusetts: Art Deco
Michigan: Rustic
Minnesota: Global
Mississippi: Farmhouse
Missouri: Rustic
Montana: Global
Nebraska: Global
Nevada: Global
New Hampshire: Global
New Jersey: Minimalist
New Mexico: Southwestern
New York: Minimalist
North Carolina: Farmhouse
North Dakota: Global
Ohio: Industrial
Oklahoma: Farmhouse
Oregon: Southwestern
Pennsylvania: Rustic
Rhode Island: Global
South Carolina: French Country
South Dakota: Preppy
Tennessee: Farmhouse
Texas: Farmhouse
Utah: Transitional
Vermont: Asian Zen
Virginia: Farmhouse
Washington: Midcentury modern
West Virginia: Global
Wisconsin: Industrial
Wyoming: Preppy

The post That’s So South Dakota: The Most Uniquely Popular Interior Design Style in Every State appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.