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AOL Real Estate - Blog

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    model homesThe term "model homes" doesn't usually conjure the residences of supermodels, but the skinniest and sexiest among us have to live somewhere. Rob at Curbed.com did some serious sleuthing to uncover revealing photos of the homes of these photogenic phenoms, including Jessica Stam (pictured left), Gisele Bündchen, Cindy Crawford, Adriana Lima, and Miranda Kerr.

    With Paris Fashion Week just winding down, we thought it prudent to take a look back at some of our favorite model homes. No, not the developer one-offs; rather, the homes of supermodels, aka the globe's sexiest residents. Well, it turns out the same people that strut before cameras for a living don't tend to bring the shutterbugs to their places of residence. Camera shy as they might seen at home, we still managed to find some model homes worth a damn. Now, off to the residential runway!

    Jessica Stam doesn't yet have the blue-chip name of Gisele, Heidi Klum, or Cindy Crawford, but she just might be the next big thing. Discovered in a coffee shop in Ontario, Canada, Stam's north-country heritage doesn't show much in her calculated rise to popularity, or in her NYC digs (above). Her gut-renovated apartment, published in a past issue of Elle Decor, is finished in a pastel purple color fit for a girly girl. But it turns out young interiors guru Rafael de Cárdenas was responsible. "I had been living there for a year, and my books were still in boxes," Stam says. In fact, Cárdenas disposed of all her half-assed attempts at decorating (the only remnant was a taxidermy rattlesnake), and crafted this bachelorette pad from scratch. No word on how much she's been spending, but the rising star took home $1.5M last year and has a house in East Hampton. Not bad for a young one.

    Read more at Curbed.com.

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    price of oilWhat does the revolt in Libya have to do with green home design? Well, now that the price of oil has spiked to over $100 a barrel, energy-efficient green homes are looking better and better.

    One reason is that the price of heating oil, the main source of heat for more than 8 million U.S. homes, moves in tandem with petroleum. Today, heating oil costs 25 percent more than it did just two months ago due to fears that popular uprisings across the Middle East could disrupt oil supplies.

    Home builders are making the most of the opportunity in an otherwise dismal climate for home sales. KB Homes has taken to labeling its green homes with the type of energy efficiency stickers you're more used to seeing at a car dealership.

    The Las Vegas Sun reports Meritage Homes unveiled a new development in Las Vegas where homes come with a solar energy system included in the base price, which begins at $150,000. And Pulte Homes' green houses feature real-time energy usage meters, bamboo flooring and dual paned windows.

    There's just one problem: Green home buyers may save money on utility bills, but they're looking at a higher purchase price.

    In a survey from the National Association of Home Builders and Whirlpool Corp. released in November, more than half of respondents of all income levels said a green home would be
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    affordable to live in or maintain. But only high-income respondents said they could afford to buy a green home.

    Buy New Vs. Retrofit

    So which is more cost-effective, moving into a brand-new green home or retrofitting the house you already own? If your brand-new green home is also a lot more space-efficient (fancy way of saying smaller), then it may be a cheaper way to go. Meanwhile, if all you need to do is install solar panels in your current house, maybe that's the economical way to go.

    Federal loan programs including FHA, VA and Fannie and Freddie loans offer energy efficient mortgages. These loans let borrowers finance energy-saving improvements by bundling those costs into the mortgage without increasing the down payment. See http://www.energystar.gov/ for more info.

    Performing a deep energy retrofit on walls, roof, foundation and more starts at about $150,000, says Emile Chin-Dickey, principal at ZeroEnergyDesign, a Boston-based firm that designs new green homes and also retrofits existing homes. But that retrofit pays off over the long term, say several decades, because it vastly reduces the amount of energy needed to heat the home. He advises clients who can't afford that cost all at once to take a staggered approach and renovate over time.

    On the other hand, it's a lot simpler to move into a house that was built green from the ground up. "With a renovation you don't always know what you're going to find, and it's occupied so you may be displacing the people living there.'' Having to move while your house is being retrofitted doesn't exactly sound like an inexpensive proposition.

    More Home Energy-Efficiency Tips From Emile Chin-Dickey

    o. An air source heat pump -- like an air conditioner that runs in reverse -- is extremely energy efficient. Since it runs on electricity, it's also much easier to convert to a future renewable energy source, like wind or solar.

    o. A biofuel pellet stove might be a good alternative to heat a smaller space. Availability of biofuel pellets may be a problem in some areas, however.

    Home Heating Stats From TreeHugger

    o. 10%: Percentage of your heating bill you can save in the winter by using a ceiling fan which circulates warm air from the ceiling to the floor.
    o. 8%: Amount of heat that escapes through your chimney when the fireplace damper is not closed.
    o. 5%: Amount of heating costs you save by cleaning your furnace filters monthly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase the amount of energy used.
    o. $115: Amount of money saved per year by installing an Energy Star thermostat.
    o. 15%: Percent efficiency that an Energy Star qualified furnace is over an older furnace.
    o. 20%: Percentage of energy saved by using an Energy Star heat pump when compared to a standard new model.

    For more insight on mortgages and refinancing see these AOL Real Estate guides:

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    Where will you be watching the "greatest two minutes in sports?" Well, if you can't be rail-side at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, this Franklin Tennessee manse that sits on almost 38 acres can at least put you in the right horsey state of mind.

    The 5,766-square-foot home has five bedrooms and five bathrooms for you, plus a new six-stall barn for your mounts. The interior features white ash and pine flooring, nine fireplaces and a gourmet kitchen; outside there's a screened porch, stone patio, pond and a lighted riding arena.


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    The property was built in 1976 to replicate the 1862 Ashley House in Massachusetts, but the surrounding land and gentle rolling hillsides shout "Southern equestrian" way louder than "old money New England." The brick two-story Colonial has a stately formal dining room and formal living room, as well as a large family room and built-ins throughout.

    But the winner's circle here is the horse facilities. Meticulously kept, the barn may be the Four Seasons of the equestrian world. Perhaps Uncle Mo--scratched yesterday from the Triple Crown race card for a gastrointestinal issue--will check in for some R & R.

    The property is listed with the Clough Team, Keller Williams Realty.


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    Springtime is Connecticut waterfront time! Flowers are blooming, the smell of mown grass perfumes the air, and you know it's finally safe to store the snow boots in the basement. This magnificent French Country stone house sits on the Five Mile River in Darien, and is listed at $13.2 million.

    There are fireplaces in the sunken family room, the gourmet kitchen and its living/dining room. All the public rooms have access to the flagstone veranda, surrounded by iris, heather and peony gardens. Up an elegant staircase are four bedroom suites, including a large master with a fireplace, dressing room, marble bathroom and two balconies.
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    The chef's kitchen has a center island with seating for four as well as a breakfast nook. There are floor-to-ceiling bookshelves built into the library. And the home has a mud room, for that fifth Northeast season.

    The garden-level entertainment room has a temperature-controlled wine cellar with French doors opening to the stone patio. There's also an outdoor fireplace and custom-designed pool.

    The home has a private dock for your boat, although we're not sure why anyone would ever want to leave this place.

    Sheree Frank and Doug Milne, both of Kelly Associates in Darien, Conn., share the listing.

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    Let's face it: The only certain thing about real estate is that no one is creating more oceanfront land. And so our excitement level is sent soaring by this new $42.5 million Malibu beachfront listing that comes with 500 feet of ocean frontage and the kind of views you expect to find in heaven. (My heaven involves beachfront property.) And if you believe that bargains come in all price ranges, this property was listed for $75 million in 2008.

    This rare gated compound, owned by movie producer and former CEO of United Artists, Jerry Weintraub, sits on a secluded seven-acre bluff and has a private road leading down to the beach.

    There are panoramic views of the ocean from every room, and the house features a gourmet kitchen, a large family dining room, a media room, formal living room, and a master suite with his-and-hers baths and a sauna. There are two barns with horse stalls, a large riding ring, two guest houses, gym, lap pool, north-south tennis court with lights, and a guardhouse.

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    Weintraub, who once managed Elvis Presley, was the producer of "The Karate Kid" and "Ocean's 11." He also authored the 2010 book, "When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories From a Persuasive Man."

    Jan Horn of Coldwell Banker International Previews, Beverly Hills North office, shares the listing with Chris Cortazzo of Coldwell Banker International Previews, Malibu West office, according to the MLS.

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    We've been writing a lot about super-small spaces lately. First there was Felice Cohen, who bunks in a 90-square-foot apartment. Then we discovered Luke, a dude who lives large in only 78 square feet.

    Well, our new favorite in the can-you-top-this small-space sweepstakes is Christian Schallert. At 258 square feet, his apartment is practically palatial by comparison, but whereas those other folks make do with half-size fridges and hot plates, Schallert has all the amenities: a full kitchen, double bed, dining room, even a terrace.

    Like a Transformer toy, his apartment swings out, flips up and unfolds to turn into a high-style living space. If you don't believe us, watch the video and let him show you.



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    cape cod styleWhat's a Hamptons' style Cape Cod doing with a Beverly Hills address? This $10,900,000 listing, not yet in the MLS, is a rare bird come these parts. But a lovely bird it is, with almost 8,000 square feet on a perpetually sunny large lot. Must be why this one migrated west.

    The main floor features a generous living room with fireplace, a beamed-ceiling family room with fireplace and step-down bar, a formal dining room, paneled library, master bedroom suite and gourmet eat-in kitchen.

    Upstairs there are two more family bedrooms and a playroom. The home also has a mirrored dance studio, recreation room and art studio.

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    The outdoor space includes an in-ground trampoline, saltwater pool and spa with fountain, and an outdoor pavilion with fireplace. There is a detached guest house as well.

    Listing agents are Billy Rose and Blair Chang of Prudential California Realty, Beverly Hills.

    cape cod style

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    apartment amenitiesAs more homeowners become renters -- whether by choice or necessity -- the demand for higher-end luxury features in apartment buildings is off the charts. Manhattan, a city where almost 70 percent of the residential properties are rental units, leads the charge.

    Features such as an on-site bowling alley, full-size basketball courts, rock-climbing walls and 70-foot-long swimming pools are drawing cards for a high-end clientele, said Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, a brokerage that works with luxury rental developments.

    The granddaddy of this trend is the Ashley, located at 400 West 63rd Street on the Hudson River and with rents ranging up to $13,150 a month for a three-bedroom, three-bathroom unit. A one-bedroom rents for $3,935 per month.The Ashley shares a foundation footprint with the Aldyn, a condominium complex with a small rental program. The buildings feature a top-of-the-line gym, plus the aforementioned rock-climbing wall, basketball court and pool (pictured above and below).

    apartment amenitiesBut buildings with high-end amenities are cropping up all over the city.

    Silver Towers on West 42nd Street boasts the city's largest residential swimming pool at 75 feet. It also has an outdoor entertainment terrace with a cascading wall of water, misting showers and daybed cabanas. There is an on-site nail salon, great outdoor space and even a golf simulator.

    The property also has a children's play area and screening room for the kids, belying the idea that the main market for these high-concept features are upwardly mobile professionals.

    Young professionals are certainly a big part of the demographic, says Malin, but families are also coming back from the suburbs. Some miss the city life and others see buildings that provide on-site conveniences as a better alternative to a long commute.

    "If you build it, they will come," Malin says, borrowing from "Field of Dreams."

    "Developers are looking to create communities within a building," he says. "It's a way to retain renters longer. They think, 'If I move, where else will I find all this?'

    "If you provide amenities that renters aspire to have, if you give them convenience, they will come and pay premium prices for it," Malin adds. Hopping in the elevator and getting a pickup basketball game without having to leave the building has a value, as does picking up an on-site loaner car for trips out of the city.

    Many of Manhattan's renters -- and the Real Estate Board of New York puts their number at 67 percent of occupied units in 2008 -- own second homes elsewhere. "If they own a place in the Berkshires or the Hamptons," says Malin, "they don't need to own two homes, so they rent here."

    Manhattan has always been a rent-centric city. The city's vacancy rate over the past two economically challenged years has remained at just 2.5 percent, far below the national average of about 10 percent.

    apartment amenities


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    house of the day yachtsman's dreamsBuilt by a master yachtsman, this one-of-a-kind architectural home in Bradenton, Fla., provides more than 6,200 square feet of living space for $1,750,000. Make that waterfront space.

    Described as "sturdy as the finest seaworthy vessel," the four-bedroom home, named Casa Whaley, features steel beams, galleys and wrap-around decks. It sits on a secluded lot on deep water in a naturally protected cove at the mouth of the Manatee River and has 102 feet of river frontage.

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    It's been described as "Frank Lloyd Wright meets a mariner's dream." The home is asymmetrically constructed with a cedar shake porte cochere. There are plenty of French doors, fountains, mature palms and high-end features. It has a sunken living room, built-in wet bar, a massive stone fireplace and original Kreissle hand-forged lighting fixtures. The property has a 4,000-square-foot Philippine shell stone patio, a pool, spill-over spa and koi pond.

    So readers, is it a house or is it a yacht?

    Martha Marlar of Signature Sotheby's International Realty is the listing agent.

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    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, so buyers here are well-advised to leave their rock pile at their previous address. The Glass Pavilion in Montecito, Calif., just had a price shave and is now on the market at $23.9 million, a price worthy of a structure that redefines modernism.

    The benchmark building, designed by Los Angeles-based architect and designer Steve Hermann, is indeed a glass house. The boundaries between inside and outside are, literally, transparent. The view from inside the house is one of being totally surrounded by nature, which you are -- 3.5 acres of oak trees and a year-round stream.

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    The 14,000-square-foot house has top-of-the-line luxury finishes, including a Varenna Italian kitchen, Antonio Lupi baths, Movi doors, Crestron home automation, Vantage lighting and Poliform closets. The home also has an art gallery capable of holding 32 collectible cars. Yes, there's glass there too.

    The approach to the home, which took six years to build, is down a long, gated driveway. Given it's glassy nature, the home almost appears to float above the rolling lawns. All the large glass panels are Star Fire glass, a clear glass usually reserved for jewelry displays. The home has five bedrooms, five-and-a-half baths, a grand hallway and large wine room.

    Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby's International Realty, Montecito, has the listing.

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    With the beginning of the end of the world scheduled for tomorrow, it behooves nonbelievers -- those who will languish here on Earth for the next five months as the chaos unfolds -- to at least try and do something to protect themselves, no?

    Should the prophesy of Harold Camping, a self-taught biblical scholar who has determined that May 21, 2011 is Judgment Day, be correct, the world will end exactly 7,000 years after Noah's flood. Believers will be spared the Earthly mess as they will be transported to heaven just as a worldwide earthquake strikes, but nonbelievers will be left behind to endure five months of war, plagues and famine until the planet's total destruction in October. Lovely thoughts, all.

    But it might explain why we've of late noticed a rash of home listings that advertise the fact that they have bomb shelters. Camping is silent on whether a well-equipped bomb shelter will be of any avail, although we suspect that he'd give the idea a big "Roger, that's a negative."

    Nevertheless, for those who want to try (or who wouldn't mind having a safe haven during the next hurricane or tornado), here's a sampling for you:

    1. "Be the only family on the block with your own bomb shelter," says this Fresno, Calif., listing for a home priced at $189,900. The four-bedroom house has a fully functional bomb shelter in its backyard (pictured at left). There's also plenty of room for a large RV, in case you need a quick getaway or plan to live on the road awhile. (Wait! Will there still be roads after The Rapture?) Guarantee Real Estate agent Linda Evans, who co-listed the property with Dick Williams of that office, says that the underground room is accessible through a hole in the ground and has a living space, bathroom, electricity and running water.

    2. In this Fairmont City, Ill., house listed for $99,000, just 10 minutes outside St. Louis, the bomb shelter is in the basement. There's also a mechanic's pit in the garage, which, assuming it is not destroyed during the initial worldwide earthquake, might prove handy.

    3. This Stanfield, Ore., home lists for $149,000, has 2,048 square feet and a 12-foot-by-12-foot bomb shelter that promises 2-inch thick walls and its own water and air supplies.

    4. Safe rooms are, of course, in just as much demand among buyers of higher-priced homes. Take this $4.7 million listing in Alpharetta, Ga. It has imported hand-carved moldings and statues from Italy that are accented with 18-carat gold. And it has a bomb shelter.

    Given the pace with which mortgage lenders have been crawling these days, you may have just run out of days to buy a bomb-shelter-equipped home or a prefab safe room. If that's the case, there's advice here about how to build and stock your own for under $5,000. That, or you could just spend the money on a nice vacation and go out in style.

    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    If there was a real estate equivalent of Playboy magazine, this Malibu beach home would be in its centerfold. It's just about the sexiest beach house we've seen.

    And furthering that image is the erotic artwork scattered throughout -- artwork that includes a large wall photo of a row of Victoria Secret models' behinds (pictured at left).

    The 4,500-square-foot oceanfront home has sliding glass walls that lead to a beach-side deck and outdoor living space. There is a high-tech, stainless steel kitchen with an eating counter.

    The architectural home designed by John Staff sits on 65 feet of prime beachfront. What adds to the sexy feel is the use of exotic woods and natural stone finishes throughout the house. The oceanfront master suite has a spa bath and there are five additional bedroom suites. This is a smart house with flat panel TVs throughout and heated floors on the first level.

    Jeff Chertow and Caroline Lindqvist, both of Pritchett-Rapf & Associates in Malibu, share the listing.

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    There are some things in real estate that are just head-scratchers. Take the case of this 18,416-square-foot knockout known as the Cottontail Run Estate, located in the Arizona foothills just outside Phoenix. It's been on the market for about two years and is now listed at $8,750,000.

    Put this house in Southern California and the price would double and we'd likely have a bidding war. Now I get that Arizona has fallen off many people's list of well-behaving states, but politics and crazed gunmen aside, there are so many outstanding features about this home that it's hard to know where to drool first.

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    There's a massive hand-carved portico entryway and sweeping staircases. Then there's the eat-in wine cellar, theater, game room, and formal living and dining room, which features stone columns rising up into massive wooden ceiling beams -- a neo-classic twist on ancient architectural principles.

    There's a one-of-a-kind fireplace; a professionally equipped cook's kitchen designed for entertaining, and a 3,000-square-foot master-bedroom suite that claims its own wing of the house and features a travertine fireplace and spa bathroom.

    The property has more than 5,000 square feet of outdoor patios and viewing decks along the front of the six-bedroom home. The 50-foot infinity edge pool and spa look southwest toward the sunset.

    There are two outdoor kitchens, fire features and large lanai doorways. The 1.4 acre property sits high on a hill and overlooks a golf course. There is a seven-car garage.

    Walt Danley of The Danley Group has the listing.

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    There is much to commend this house on Los Angeles' Westside listed at $23 million, so forgive us for getting hung up on the Zen-like grounds. It's just one of those places where they could have stopped there and still would have had us.

    The midcentury contemporary sits on about 1.67 acres of serenity and includes a six-bedroom main house of more than 9,000 square feet. There is a detached guest house, a pool house with kitchen and bath, and a detached state-of-the-art gym.

    The walled and gated compound has parklike grounds that include an outdoor courtyard complete with fountain and a resort-style pool. The master suite has his-and-hers baths. The gourmet cooks' kitchen has a breakfast room with vaulted ceilings and fireplace. There are formal living and dining rooms, and a library with built-in, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

    Myra Nourmand of Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, has the listing.

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    The iconic Garberville estate known as Redwood Grove, designed in 1926 by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, has come on the market at $8,750,000. Located in Northern California's Humboldt County, the 5,416-square-foot home has been meticulously restored over the past four years with great attention to its architectural integrity.

    The home sits on two acres that border the Eel River and are surrounded by protected California Redwood state parks. The grand manor house has a Gothic-style great room with an exposed redwood beamed cathedral ceiling. There's a wood-burning fireplace and the original leaded glass windows. It is being sold furnished.



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    The chef's kitchen to-die-for has custom cabinetry, top-of-the-line appliances and a copper salad sink. The master suite overlooks the river and, of course, the ancient redwood forest beyond. It, too, has a cathedral ceiling.

    There are two additional bedroom suites, an office with a built-in desk and cabinets, and a finished basement with a 1,000-bottle wine cellar crafted by a master artisan with bloodwood wine racks.

    The property includes a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guesthouse with a fireplace. The original carriage house is a one-bedroom apartment over the two-car garage/shop.

    The flat, expansive grounds include an organic orchard and garden, Koi pond with lilies and five terraces for entertaining -- one which sits directly above the river and has a built-in Viking kitchen. Many of the furnishings are custom-made and include Persian rugs and artwork.

    Julia Morgan is best known as the designer of the the Hearst Castle and nearby Hacienda at San Simeon Ranch. She designed more than 700 homes, institutional and commercial buildings in her 45-year career, including rebuilding The Fairmont Hotel after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Morgan's trademark references to nature are evident throughout this home at Redwood Grove, which includes the restored hand-painted wall panels.

    The home is co-listed by Melody Rogers-Kelley of Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills and Dave McKenny of McKenny Advisory and Suzi Schultz of Integrity First Real Estate Depot.


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    This is the kind of property that makes you want to let out a low whistle of appreciation. And make it it a nice long one, 'cause this is Texas we're talking about and we all know that things in Texas need to be a little larger than life.

    This 14,795-square-foot contemporary home, listed at $9,750,000, has seven bedrooms, each with a private bathroom. There are another four half-baths scattered throughout.

    The house includes an apartment with a kitchen and living room. There is a full kitchen plus a smaller catering kitchen, featuring Miele and Sub-Zero appliances. The two-story home has a formal living room, dining room, children's playroom, media room and a game room with a bar. There is also a hobby area, a gym and a study. The bathrooms have some way cool fixtures. The property is 1.77 acres.

    Lynette Scruggs of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, an Ebby Halliday company, is the listing agent.

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    mammoth lakes

    In real estate's Old World Order -- back when homes appreciated in value hourly -- it used to be that the best time to pick up a bargain in a ski vacation home was when all the skiers had gone home: To wit, springtime -- now.

    Mammoth Lakes, near Yosemite, has long been Southern California's go-to ski resort, in part because you can fly there in an hour from the Los Angeles basin or, do as most people do, enjoy the scenery along Highway 395 for five or six hours.

    Checking in on the market up there now shows bargains to be had, as many condo prices are about 50 percent to 60 percent off their 2007 peak. And there is this not-so-little gem: A long-admired lodge-style house with 8,000-square-feet now listed at $7.5 million. It had been listed at $9.5 million.

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    While Mammoth Lakes has worked hard to cultivate its image as skiing's "anti-Aspen" -- the high-end amenities have crept both into the town and certainly into the larger luxury homes like this one.

    The house, a log cabin lodge built in 2003, makes good use of its mountainous setting and just oozes character and elegance. The ability to watch the snow fall from your glassed-in eating area is pretty magical. And Mammoth is a four seasons' resort area with real fall foliage for all those ex-New Yorkers living in Los Angeles and then outstanding hiking and fishing in the summer.

    The home sits on a .75 acre wooded lot, fully landscaped and with spectacular views of Mammoth Mountain, the Sherwins and Mammoth Rock. There are five bedrooms, six bathrooms and an enormous family/entertainment room where all the house action takes place around the Rumford fireplace. Absolutely glorious wood floors here of white and red oak that were originally Pennsylvania barn wood. There is indoor-outdoor sitting and cooking areas and since the lot fronts U.S. Forest Service land, no one will be building near you.

    Larry McKee, Century 21 Mammoth Realty, has the listing.

    Got a tip for House of the Day? Know of an exceptional or unusual property currently listed for sale? Please email ann.brenoff@huffingtonpost.com with your suggestions and be sure to include links to listing details and photos.

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    When this property was listed as a "one-of-a-kind," no lies were told. The listing agents here see a Volcano House; personally, we see a UFO. In either case, we thought this place deserves a shout-out on originality alone. Listed at $750,000 and located in the no-man's land of the desert between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, this 60-acre retreat in Valley Springs is the place to get away from it all.

    The two-bedroom main house sits on a mountaintop and has a dome-like roof. The concrete and truss beams form the dome and from the inside, the 360-degree view is of the stark -- we say lunar -- landscape. There is an observation deck at the apex of the dome and a detached one-bedroom guesthouse, should you have visitors of the earthly variety.

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    The property is owned by public-television personality Huell Howser, who is host of the travel documentary show, "California's Gold." It was originally constructed by Vard Wallace, who had a business selling drafting machines and airplane parts to aircraft companies during World War II.

    According to previously published news stories, the home was completed in 1968 and designed to resemble the information center at the construction site of the nuclear power plant at San Onofre. If that's indeed the case, we can only conclude that someone had a sense of humor.

    Mike Deasy and Scott Quattrochi, both of Deasy-Penner, have the listing.

    Got a tip for House of the Day? Know of an exceptional or unusual property currently listed for sale? Please email ann.brenoff@huffingtonpost.com with your suggestions and be sure to include links to listing details and photos.

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    dennis quaid

    Count actor Dennis Quaid among those reducing the asking price on their home. In Quaid's case, the property just took a $3 million shave to $13.9 million, down from the dennis quaidMarch list price of $16.9 million. Quaid is eager to sell the 8,400-square-foot French-style equestrian estate in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles so that he and his family can return to his home state of Texas.

    Quaid and his wife, Kimberly Buffington, did a top-to-bottom remodel completed in 2008. They purchased the home in 2005 for an undisclosed amount, according to public records. At the time of the purchase, records note a first loan of $3.8 million.

    We're not sure how much that make-over cost, but the finished home and an interview with the star of "The Big Easy" were featured in Architectural Digest.


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    Hollywood design duo Krista and John Everage added their touch to the property, which has rough-hewn beams from a Pennsylvania barn and antiques from France. Quaid and his wife also purchased an adjacent lot so they could add horse stables. The home has eight bedrooms, a bells-and-whistles kitchen, formal dining room, and a wine cellar. The grounds feature a pool and spa, horse stables, corrals and secluded horse riding trails. There is also a new putting green.

    Kathrin Nicholson of Westside Estate Agency has the listing.

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    We did a double-take when we saw the price of this Plymouth home, thinking it was in Plymouth Mass., where it would be a steal for $1,999,000. Alas, the difference 1,200 miles make. Located in Plymouth, Minn., this home's magnificence isn't diminished, but its price certainly is.

    With a recent price drop from $2,295,000, and listed by Wade Hanson, a candidate on the last "Apprentice" who was featured in this post by our pal Sheree R. Curry, this 11,717-square-foot Mediterranean-inspired home sits tucked away at the end of a long driveway in a neighborhood of very unassuming homes.

    As the owners noted, "The Joneses had to keep up with us, not us with the Joneses."
    @gmail.com>

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    The property features six bedrooms, nine bathrooms and two fireplaces. Constructed in 2005, it has an indoor pool, a media room, a four-seasons porch and a sauna. There is an elevator and a main floor master-bedroom suite. The home has large bay windows, beautiful hardwood floors throughout, marble columns and a chef's kitchen with center island sinks.

    Plymouth -- the one in Minnesota -- was named as Money magazine's No. 1 Best Place to Live in 2008 for cities with populations of between 50,000 and 300,000.

    The other Plymouth, well, it wasn't.

    Plymouth, Minn., is located 12 miles from Minneapolis.

    Got a tip for House of the Day? Know of an exceptional or unusual property currently listed for sale? Please email ann.brenoff@huffingtonpost.com with your suggestions and be sure to include links to listing details and photos. (Due to the volume of response, we unfortunately are unable to respond to each submission.)

    Still trying to decide which is right for you? Here are some AOL Real Estate guides to help you no matter whether you choose to buy or rent:

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