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AOL Real Estate - Blog

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    Warren Platner aficionados will likely line up for this Connecticut estate that he designed and furnished. Considered his signature home, the property is listed at $16.495 million.

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    Platner was an architect and designer of modernistic furniture that's become an emblem of the 1960s. He designed several well-known interior spaces in New York, including offices for the Ford Foundation and the original Windows on the World restaurant that resembled the interior of an ocean liner. He lived in Guilford, Conn., until his 2006 death at age 86.

    The five-acre gated compound has a conservatory with a 25-foot high ceiling and a natural light gallery/studio. The home has five bedrooms in 10,124 square feet. Some original furnishings by Platner are included in the price.

    Sotheby's International Realty of Greenwich, Conn., has the listing.

    Click the pictures below to see more mega-mansions for sale in Greenwich, Ct.


    See more Houses of the Day and other homes for sale in Greenwich, Conn., on AOL Real Estate.

    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.)


    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to calculate mortgage payments.
    Find homes for sale in your area.
    Find foreclosures in your area.

    See more celebrity real estate.

     

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    earthships New Mexico desert

    Natural disasters like Hurricane Irene, which left millions without electricity and caused billions of dollars in damage, always remind us of two things: the fragility of our infrastructure and the tremendous potency of nature.

    It's enough to make some of us wonder: What if we could be immune to such disturbances? What if gale-force winds, falling trees and torrential downpours were powerless against the conveniences we take for granted?

    Earthship Michael Reynolds Well, as it turns out, one group of tight-knit environmentalists can tell you precisely what it's like. The Greater World Earthship Community, led by visionary Michael Reynolds (pictured at left), acted on the reality of infrastructural vulnerability more than 20 years ago when its founding members moved completely "off the grid," to live in self-sustaining homes built of scavenged material and known as "earthships."

    "A house is a shelter box that nuclear power plants and sewage systems come in and out of," Reynolds says of the the places most of us call home. "[The earthship] is a machine that does all that; it's an independent cellular vessel."

    As it has since its inception, the earthship community, situated in the New Mexico desert, continues to stand as a shining city on a hill of self-sufficiency, a paradigm of sustainable living that, as fuel costs rise, Mother Nature rages, and economies falter, more and more are looking to as a model for the future.

    "We're seeing a swell in interest again," said Kirsten Jacobsen, education director of Earthship Biotecture, a company Reynolds founded that builds and teaches the design of earthships. "Over the past year or so, traffic on the website has been growing exponentially. There's more people that want to buy these homes."



    The Greater World Earthship Community, situated 10 miles outside Taos, N.M., in the sun-scorched desert, boasts members of all ages and includes more than 100 earthships. Sixty of the ships are permanently occupied, while the remainder are rented to open-minded tourists.

    In addition to homes clustered at the community site, at least a hundred more dot Taos' perimeter, reflecting the community's 40-year influence. Beyond their concentration in New Mexico, earthships are scattered across the globe, with Reynolds, who says interest in earthships is reaching a "crescendo," putting the total number on Earth at about 1,000.

    The earthship, Reynolds says, "is really a machine to take the place of housing and infrastructure for the future" built to "sail on the seas of tomorrow."

    Click on the pictures below to see some earthships for sale near Taos, N.M.:



    Partially hollowed into the ground, the structures are built largely from refuse such as tires, beer cans and bottles. They cost, on average, $200 per square foot. (Earthship Biotecture's cheapest design, dubbed the "Survival Model," costs $10,000).

    The recycled materials do less to hinder aesthetics than you'd think: Variegated glass bottle ends nestle into mud walls to create rainbow-colored designs, while three sides of floor-to-ceiling glass flood the homes with natural light.

    Earthships' unconventional materials are not their most impressive trait, however. That honor goes to their self-sustainable power and recycling systems, which render the homes completely independent.

    Solar heat drawn through windows and cool air emanating from earthen walls interact to maintain comfortable room temperatures year-round, while rooftop solar panels and wind turbines harvest power from natural sources and store it in batteries. The homes also catch rain and snowmelt for cooking and sanitation, which treatment cells later recycle.

    Reynolds says that members of the community, like other earthship owners around the world, "share a belief that we need to find a better way for ourselves." But, he adds, political orientations are not as uniform as you might think.

    "Everybody is trying to save their own ass," he says. "There's no Sufi dancing or anything like that."

    According to Reynolds, who serves on the board that governs the community, more than half of its members work at Earthship Biotecture, while others have online jobs -- yes, the community has WiFi -- or make the trek to Taos for work there.

    Beyond saving themselves from dependence on what they see as paper-thin macro-systems, earthship owners also save something else: money.

    Community members report spending no more than $100 in energy costs per year, mostly to pay for propane used for cooking.

    But perhaps the greatest draw of earthships, members say, is the sense of community that the structures stir inside their owners.

    "It was like moving into some kind of living organism," muses Ron Sciarrillo, who subcontracts for Reynolds' company but also builds earthships independently. "[We] go back to the way it used to be. It's more like hunters and gatherers."

    Sciarrillo is an active member of the community's "commando team," a group that descends on parts of the world ravaged by natural disasters in order to pitch the earthship.

    The team traveled to Haiti shortly after the country's devastating earthquake to show Haitians an alternative to corrugated-metal shacks. Currently, the commandos are trying to raise $60,000 so that hey can return to Haiti to build more "easily replicable" features of the earthship.

    See a video of the model earthship that the commando team constructed in Haiti:



    Future projects for Earthship Biotecture include constructing an eight-room school in Sierra Leone, a monastery in Prague and, possibly, a housing project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    But whatever future endeavors Reynolds and his team undertake, one goal will remain paramount to them: finding ways to make earthships even more efficient and accessible.

    "This vessel has to continue to be tailored and streamlined to make it into the uncertain seas of the future," he says.

    Also see:
    Teenager Builds 130-Square-Foot House for College

    Realtors' Latest Challenge: A Surge of Squatters

    Is Your House Making You Fat?


    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    calculate mortgage payments.
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    Scottish castle graffiti

    Art indeed lives in the eye of the beholder, and as far as the Earl of Glasgow is concerned, the psychedelic mural that Brazilian street artists painted on the side of a 13th century Scottish castle is art and deserves to stay. The locals? Yeah, well, they apparently see things differently.

    In a unfolding drama that reeks of those HOA boards who insist that all doors be painted beige, Patrick Boyle -- the Earl of Glasgow to you -- has asked Historic Scotland to allow the drawings commissioned by his children to remain indefinitely on his Kelburn Castle in Largs, Ayrshire.

    (Click through the gallery below.)




    The original agreement was that the controversial graffiti mural, which features surreal cartoon figures in a depiction of urban culture, would be removed in three years. The project cost about $30,000 and was started in 2007.

    With no disrespect intended toward beige doors or those who worship them, graffiti long ago left the realm of gang scribbles. The elusive Banksy's graffiti is considered part of Britain's heritage, and academics there argue that it even deserves protection by law. Some of Banksy's work has sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Besides, isn't a man's home his castle (or in this case, a man's castle his home)?

    On this side of the Atlantic, we've certainly felt entitled to paint our homes in whatever fashion we so chose, as long as we don't have an HOA ordering us otherwise.

    Much fanfare was given this week to Julian Schnabel re-painting his pink palazzo in the West Village. And nobody ever denied our right to bad taste. Check out these.

    Heck, we even transform our homes into life-size billboards by letting someone paint their product logo all over them. And we have a long history of doing this. Remember when the sides of New England barns were used as billboards for chewing tobacco?

    Frankly, we'd like to see the Brazilian crew who worked on the castle try their hand on the New York Subway.

    Also see:
    HOA Sues Marine's Family for Banner in Support of Son

    HOA Halts Construction of Paralyzed Vet's Home
    Soldier Evicted by HOA While Serving in Iraq

    HOAs: What Homebuyers Need to Know

    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    $45 Million Beverly Hills Estate

    Here's a real estate riddle for you: If you list your house in 2009 at $49 million and it doesn't sell, what makes you think it will sell for $45 million two years later? Our best punchline: You've been out of the country and haven't heard about the housing crash.

    In this case, the Korean businesswoman who listed the property that she calls the Hutton House Estate may very well have not been around these parts much. In any case, we wish her well as she attempts to sell the 22,000-square-foot house that was bought -- unfinished -- at auction in January 2007 for about $17 million. The owner finished the construction and put it back on the market where -- surprise! surprise! -- it didn't sell. But if at first you don't succeed, try try again!

    The 5.2 acre property sits on a promontory above Benedict Canyon and, according to the first time it was listed, was modeled after Le Petit Trianon at Versailles. The home has seven bedrooms and 15 bathrooms.

    Listing agents Aitan Segal and Joe Babajian, both of Rodeo Realty, provide very little detail in their MLS description except to note that it is located in a gated community and will be shown by appointment only to pre-qualified buyers.

    See rentals and homes for sale in Beverly Hills, Calif., on AOL Real Estate.

    Also see:
    Jennifer Aniston's Newest Hollywood Love Nest
    It's Official! Candy Spelling's Closing Price: $85 Million

    Buy This House -- With the Seller Still In It


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    House of the Day apprentice

    Long before The Donald co-opted the term "apprentice," people like Frank Lloyd Wright were training young architects to follow in his footsteps.

    This 5,746-square-foot sophisticate in Riverwoods, Ill., is a one-of-a-kind home by Arthur Dennis Stevens, Wright's last and youngest apprentice. How big a deal is it? The roof beam structure is patented and it is the only double-story roof of this kind built by the architect, which in some architectural circles is akin to being the one who gets to work for Trump. The home is listed at $2,678,888.

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    The four-bedroom Zen-influenced home has a 29-foot rubber tree growing in the center of the house, surrounded by boulders. The home, designed as a series of three interconnected pods, is set in a heavily wooded lot filled with mature native oak, sugar maple and hickory trees. The curved support beams are compressed by a special process.

    The pods contain no interior walls. The main pod houses a custom-design kitchen, the dining areas, upper and lower dens, living rooms and two wood-burning stone fireplaces. The great room is 40 feet by 40 feet and has a skylight 39 feet above. The home has custom cherry cabinets and iron-forged hardware.

    Peggy Cobrin of Coldwell Banker has the listing.

    See more Houses of the Day and other homes for sale and for rent in the Riverwoods, Ill., area on AOL Real Estate.

    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.)


    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    House of the Day Malibu

    Not every house in Malibu is beachfront; in fact, some of the nicer ones are off the sand and in the land-side hills overlooking the Pacific. They still get the sea breezes and the vistas are breathtaking -- and the prices tend to reflect their lack of oceanfront status.

    With that in mind, we especially like this four-story contemporary now listed at $10.5 million. The 10,114 square-foot home has five bedrooms and eight bathrooms. There is also a one-bedroom guest apartment. There's a step-down living room with a wood-burning fireplace, a media room with built-in controls for the whole house, a library and wine cellar. The gourmet kitchen has stainless steel appliances and maple cabinetry.

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    But this is mostly a Malibu lifestyle house. Decks, views, fortress-like privacy against those menacing paparazzi, and lots of features for entertaining.

    Donna Bohana of Solstice International Realty has the listing.

    See more Houses of the Day and other homes for sale and for rent in Malibu, Calif., on AOL Real Estate.

    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.)



    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    Find foreclosures in your area.

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    If there was a shred of doubt left in your mind that Las Vegas' real estate market has not only hit bottom but may be burrowing itself deep in the desert sand, take a gander at this 11,640-square-foot beauty whose price has dropped from $11.5 million to $3.9 million in three years.

    It's located in the premium gated 'hood of The Estates at Southern Highlands (think tree-lined streets, lots of lush fairways, cascading waterfalls -- and that's just the stuff surrounding the one-acre property).

    This Italian-style villa screams "old world elegance." It has Swarovski Crystal chandeliers, 187 hand-picked slabs of granite and Giallo Antico marble, Crème Marfil pillars, hand-hewn wood floors and one-of-a-kind hand-made Italian furnishings that are being sold with the estate. The formal dining area has built-in cabinetry custom-made in Italy. There is a music room, a 10-seat home theater, and an owners' wing with entry doors created by artist Leslie Rankin.

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    The master suite is where I want to go when I die -- a piece de resistance with a two-person walk-in steam shower with rain head, oversize hot-air jetted tub with custom sensory lighting, a private sauna, and expansive his and hers closets -- replete with a glass-enclosed area dedicated to just shoes.

    Since this is Vegas, the outdoor living spaces are resort-scale -- lavish pool area, outdoor dining and living rooms. The outdoor kitchen has a built-in stainless steel barbecue and counter seating.

    And honestly? Can prices in Las Vegas seriously fall much beyond this?

    Tanya Murray of Realty Executives in Las Vegas has the listing.

    See more Houses of the Day and other homes for sale and for rent in Las Vegas on AOL Real Estate.

    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.)


    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to calculate mortgage payments.
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    Naples Florida House of the Day

    Talk about move-in ready! This 9,600-square-foot estate in Naples, Fla., is being sold fully furnished, right down to the cigarette power boat and Jet Skis. Asking price: $6.5 million or a long-term lease at $28,000 a month.

    The waterfront home with 170 feet of private bay frontage has expansive water views from its Royal Harbor promontory perch. Built in 2007, it has state-of-the-art automated everything -- including the elevator.

    The four-bedroom house was featured in Architectural Digest and includes an entrance gallery with a 20-foot ceiling. There is a commercial grade kitchen and full pantry, two small breakfast kitchens (one in the master suite and one in the guest suite off the family room), a formal octagonal dining room, study, office, library, bar, den and family room -- all with direct access to terraces and verandas.



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    The home has hand-crafted mosaics imported from Italy, river rock and marble counter tops, fossil stone floors from Lebanon, imported hardwoods, custom cabinetry, and hand-cut tiles from Mexico. There is a free-form Infiniti pool that overlooks the bay, two private boat docks (one with hydraulic lift) and jet ski launch -- and the sales price includes the skis and boat to use it all.

    Grace Lappin at Avalon Partners has the listing.

    Click the pictures below to see some other jaw-droppers in Naples, Fla.


    See more Houses of the Day on and other homes for sale in Naples, Fla., on AOL Real Estate.

    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.)


    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    The Academy Awards may have to add a category: Best Short Film Starring a Real Estate Listing. Listing videos--which for years have been little more than visual tours of homes set to annoying music--have entered a new realm. They've gone Hollywood, right down to having a story line.

    Eric Lavey, an agent with Keller Williams Realty, Beverly Hills, may be the Fellini of this new marketing genre. He produced a "movie short" about a Hollywood Hills listing, marketing it as a sizzling Hollywood Hills bachelor's home and reeled in (pardon the pun) a buyer in less than 30 days. What made his $969,000 listing different from all the others?

    "That video," he says.

    6816 Pacific View Drive, Hollywood Hills from Eric Lavey on Vimeo.

    We tend to agree. He found a young director and scripted the story line for 1,732-square-foot mid-century home. A hunky guy comes home from work (we never really get a good look at his face, enabling viewers to imagine themselves in the role, says Lavey), washes up in the high-tech bathroom (note the fancy watch), and then fixes himself a martini in the built-in bar.

    He moves outsides to fire up the grill and chats up someone on his cell. He leaves in his Lexus convertible (nice plug for the dealer) and goes on a nighttime cruise of one of L.A.'s hippest neighborhoods. The ending scene is back in the driveway where the man exits the car and sure enough, the passenger door opens to deposit his catch of the day. Sex sells, right?

    Readers, what do you think? Would a video like this make you want to buy the house?

    View the listing for this house.

    See other homes for sale in Beverly Hills, Calif., on AOL Real Estate.


    Also see:
    'Sexy' Homes Spice Up North Carolina Market

    Bawdy Brokerage Solicits One-Night-Stand Stories

    Watch: Do Naked 'Davids' Raise Property Value?


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    Guess we won't be seeing much more of Beverly Hills "housewife" Lisa Vanderpump's mansion in Beverly Park on her show. Sources close to the deal tell AOL Real Estate that Vanderpump, of the "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," is about to close escrow on her 17,000-square-foot Richard Landry-designed home there.

    It had been circulating as a not-very-quiet pocket listing -- here's the website -- with a price tag in the $29 million range. The home was sold to a foreign buyer.

    Beverly Hills houswife home Mauricio Umansky, uber-Beverly Hills agent who is married to Kyle Richards, another star of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," represented Vanderpump and was a principal agent involved. He declined to speak to AOL Real Estate because of a confidentiality agreement. Umansky recently left the umbrella of Hilton & Hyland Real Estate -- a boutique agency to which he's related through marriage to the Hilton namesake -- and co-founded his own boutique agency named, appropriately enough, The Agency.

    As for Vanderpump (pictured at left), she's planning on sticking around in the 'hood, but moving to a smaller mansion now that daughter Pandora is off and married to Jason Sabo and that just leaves Lisa, the four dogs and her restaurateur husband, Ken Todd, to amble around the empty ballrooms and spare bedrooms -- all seven of them.
    Click through the slideshow below



    See Lisa Vanderpump give a video tour of the home below.



    See other homes for sale in Beverly Hills, Calif., and other celebrity real estate, on AOL Real Estate.

    Also see:
    Mark Wahlberg Puts Beverly Hills Home in the Ring

    Jason Priestley Lists His Valley Villa
    Lauren Conrad Leaving The Hills -- or Is It The Flats?


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    OK, we admit that to coastal snobs like ourselves, the mere mention of Cleveland brings to mind rivers so polluted that they catch fire. But since the good folks of Ohio long ago cleaned up the Cuyahoga River, perhaps it's time to forgive and forget.

    Easing that memory loss is this gem of a home in Nashport, Ohio, about two hours south of Cleveland. It's owned by Tami Longaberger, the chief executive of the famous basket-makers, Longaberger Co. Listed at $15 million, the Georgian estate on 200 acres comes with a whopping 38,000 square feet of above-ground space, plus another 17,000 in a finished basement. The home is made from handmade bricks, and all patio and outdoor areas use a Pennsylvania bluestone interspersed with the brick to match the home's facade. The property abuts Dillon State Park.

    %Gallery-134568%
    The ground floor is right out of a museum, with a cross-hall plan for large-scale entertaining. The family residence can be closed off from the ballroom wing and guest wings. The property is gated and the guardhouse has a full apartment, so they must be serious about privacy. There are three stocked ponds, and a six-stall horse barn with three fenced pastures.

    The home has all the amenities and then some -- a library, home theater, multiple fireplaces, pool with waterfalls, and all the fine finishes you would expect.

    The listing is with Sharon Znidarsic of Howard Hanna Real Estate. (Take a video tour below.)





    See other grand manors in the Cleveland area by clicking the images below.

    http://realestate.aol.com/homes-for-sale-detail/3085-Fairmount-Blvd_Cleveland-Heights_OH_44118_M31471-95068

    See other homes in Nashport, Ohio, and other Houses of the Day on AOL Real Estate.

    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.)

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    payments.
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    midcentury modern home

    We admit having a soft spot for midcentury modern homes and this one is likely to get a big thumbs-up from midcentury aficionados. It's located just up the street from the soon-to-be-completed Hotel Bel Air, on legendary Stone Canyon Road in Los Angeles. Listing price: $2.795 million.

    %Gallery-134675%
    There's an impressive loft-like great room with an Italian gourmet kitchen and professional grade appliances, a large dining area, living room and open but definitely separate den area, all fronted by walls of sliding glass that open to the private pool area and grassy yard.

    The home has views of the Stone Canyon Reservoir.

    Billy Rose, founder and president of The Agency RE, is the listing agent. See more classics from the era in the gallery below.

    %Gallery-132379%
    See other homes in this Los Angeles neighborhood and other Houses of the Day on AOL Real Estate.

    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.)

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    Talk about elevated living! This oceanfront house in Laguna Beach, Calif., floats high above a white sandy beach and cove. Listed at $9,995,000, the 5,300-square-foot contemporary has disappearing glass walls and a private staircase to the beach below.

    But to cut to the chase: On the Wow Scale, this one raises the bar -- and that's before we saw the subterranean garage which treats your car as an art installation as well as functions as a parking spot. A tunnel with ocean views connects it to the house.

    %Gallery-134740%
    The 5,300-square architectural home has four bedrooms and was built in 2004. There are premium fixtures and custom finishes throughout. The home has a gourmet Gaggenau kitchen, office, meditation area, family room (with fireplace) and game room. The master bedroom has 180-degree views and all bedrooms feature Philippe Starck fixtures.

    Click here to see the listing.

    Donna Pfanner of Coldwell Banker, Laguna Beach is the listing agent.

    Click on the images below to tour other choice ocean-view homes for sale in Laguna Beach, Calif.:



    See other homes for sale in Laguna Beach, Calif., and other Houses of the Day on AOL Real Estate.

    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.)

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
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    payments.
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    in your area.
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    There is just a certain cache to Malibu Colony. In the world's mind, it's where the A-List celebrities frolic in the surf and play. Let's throw a bucket of ice water over that one right now. Most of Malibu Colony is owned by the guys who sign those A-Listers' paychecks. There are probably more business guys there than stars in bikinis for one simple reason: They can afford it.

    %Gallery-135757%
    And this latest Malibu Colony listing is no exception. Owned by businessman Mike Weinstock who runs the multi-city restaurant chains, The Daily Grill and the Grill on the Alley, this four-bedroom architectural is listed at $27.5 million. It has 3,857 square feet and is located on the best part -- which is to say the sandiest part -- of Malibu Colony beach. There is a beachfront patio with a pool -- upping its value in Colony currency -- and pretty much gourmet and top-of-the-line everything.

    Susan Monus of Coldwell Banker, Malibu West office, has the listing.

    Click on the images below to view other Malibu Colony homes:



    See more Houses of the Day and homes for sale in Malibu, Calif., on AOL Real Estate.

    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.)

    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    Let's play celebrity "Six Degrees of Housing Separation." It's a game where in a tight housing market, agents throw in every celebrity name in the refrigerator vegetable bin and hope it results in a soup that buyers can't resist.

    So to that end, we have a pretty adorable house in Studio City, Calif., that, according to the MLS, was once owned by Academy Award-winning actress-activist-exercise guru Jane Fonda and is now owned by Ethan Suplee, the guy who played Randy, the buffoon-like baby brother on "My Name is Earl." Listing price: $2.295 million for the 3,787-square-foot home built in 1951. He purchased the home for $2 million in 2006, according to public records.

    The seven-bedroom home sits on almost an acre and has multiple family rooms, lots of light and a rustic feel. There is a detached guest house/office. And it, of course, has this Hollywood connection thing going for it.

    Hanoi Jane -- a term I use with great respect and mostly because the Occupy Wall Street protesters bring up the inevitable comparison to the anti-Vietnam War marches in which she participated -- divorced CNN founder Ted Turner in 2001. In 2010 she decided to divorce Atlanta too, listing her 4,700-square-foot loft there at $4.5 million -- a price that was dropped to $1.95 million. The unit was leased briefly to Queen Latifah and Fonda was last seen leasing a condo in Los Angeles where she planned to resume her acting career. But forever etched in our memory is Fonda's description of her Atlanta place: "To me it is a womb with a narrow birth channel and then you enter the wide open sunny loft to be reborn again."

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    As for the Studio City home where she once lived and that's now owned by Suplee, we're not seeing any wombs but perhaps you will.

    The listing is with Lauren Reichenberg of Extraordinary Real Estate, Inc. Check out the listing on Realtor.com.

    Click on the images below to see other celebrity listings:



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    I'm all for use of color in a house, but years of watching "Miami Vice" trained my eye to expect pastels in that city, not strokes of bold color. Heck, even the lawn flamingos are pink. So, you might want to bring either your paintbrush or sunglasses to this Miami Beach home listed at $3.7 million.

    The 4,511-square-foot, six-bedroom home has a heated pool overlooking the water. There is a media room, a gym and a dock with electric boat or Jet-Ski lift.

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    As for color, most stagers recommend judicious use of it, especially if you are hoping to sell. Then again, there must be more than one person out there who likes red. What do you think, readers, too over the top?

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in the same area:



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    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.)

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    By Paul Bianchina

    It's something we'd all just as soon avoid, but there's no getting around it: We're all getting older. And that's something worth keeping in mind as you plan and remodel your home. The concept of "aging in place" -- making changes to your home to make it more comfortable and more adapted to your needs as you age -- is one that's been gaining a lot of popularity, especially in these tough economic times.

    There are a number of things you can do, large and small, that will help make your home work for you instead of against you as you age. And many manufacturers are taking note of this trend as well, offering a wide range of innovative and attractive products so that your home can also remain every bit as stylish as you'd like.
    Doors

    Doors can be one of the biggest obstacles to easy movement in the home. Consider opening up smaller doorways to create 34- or 36-inch doorways wherever possible. Another alternative is to use a pair of 18- or even 24-inch pocket doors to make a nice wide opening that's also very attractive. To make doors easier to open, replace doorknobs with levers. Replace exterior steps with simple ramps, or combination step/ramps. With more extensive remodeling projects, also consider making hallways wider -- ideally 48 inches.

    Toilets

    Many companies are now offering "comfort-height" toilets, which are about 2 inches taller than standard toilets. These are easier to get on and off of, especially for people with sore backs or weaker legs. Wherever possible, plan on more free space in front of and to the sides of the toilet to allow for easier movement, especially for a walker or wheelchair.

    Grab bars

    Grab bars are a very useful addition in the bathroom: in the tub, shower and around the toilet. For safety and security, they need to be properly anchored to solid wood, so if you're remodeling your bathroom, be sure to install some blocking in the walls; it's a simple and inexpensive thing to do, even if you're not planning on installing grab bars right away.

    Don't like the institutional look of chrome grab bars? A growing number of companies are offering them in colors, ranging from bright white to shiny black and everything in between, in both acrylics and powder-coated metal. There are also some sleek new styles available.

    Tubs and showers

    There are some simple things you can do to make using your tub or shower easier to use. In addition to grab bars, a seat can be a real plus. These can be portable, or one of the fold-up versions that are attached to the wall. There are many different styles available, in everything from plastic to very stylish teak.

    Lever-handle controls are easier to grip and turn than ones with smooth knobs. That applies to the sinks as well as shower and tub controls. Think about where you'll be standing -- or sitting -- in the tub or shower, and place the controls at a convenient location. Make sure that you install anti-scald valves, and install hand-held spray heads. Also, install a shelf at a convenient location for soap and shampoo, to prevent dangerous reaching or stooping over.

    Barrier-free shower stalls are well worth considering if you're redoing your bathroom. One company I spoke with at the recent Pacific Coast Builders Show was demonstrating a very innovative, dam-free shower pan that's installed on the floor, then sealed in place with a membrane. The entire bathroom floor and pan are then tiled over, creating a seamless, barrier-free installation that's sleek, attractive and anything but institutional. You can check them out at www.designwithoutbarriers.com.

    Another innovative idea comes from the folks at Kohler, with their new Elevance bathtub. This truly unique tub has a vertically sliding wall in front. The wall drops down to create a chair-height seat for easy access into the tub. Sit down, swing your legs in, then raise the wall -- it takes only 5 pounds of force to lift. Fill the tub, and the special double seals snap into place to seal the wall against leakage. When you're done enjoying your bath, drain the water, then lower the wall for easy access to get out. You can see it here and also get a link to a video of it in action.

     

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    Ask any designer and they'll tell you: A home's soul is where the soles go -- its floors. And as a sucker for beautiful floors, these distressed, wide-plank Brazilian cherry surfaces would have us removing our shoes for sure.

    Occupying the full eighth floor of a building in New York City's Gramercy Park, this 4,100-square-foot condo with floors to die for is listed at $5.45 million. The home is more than 40-feet wide and has 11.2-foot ceilings. There are 20 seven-foot tall loft windows with southern, northern and western exposures.

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    The kitchen has a center island with an eight-burner Viking range; double ovens, a vented hood, breakfast bar, granite counter tops, cherry cabinets, and built-in wine refrigerator. There is a den/library with the same beautiful cherry wood as the built-ins, and the corner master bedroom has two walk-in closets and a separate dressing area.

    Jacky Teplitzky and Iman Bacodari, both of Prudential Douglas Elliman Realty, have the listing.

    Click on the images below to see similar homes in Gramercy Park and beyond:



    See more Houses of the Day and other homes for sale in this New York City neighborhood on AOL Real Estate.

    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.)

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    home staging fake furniture

    What mannequins are to store windows, furniture is to the staging industry. It helps the less visionary among us to envision how things should look. But staging a home for sale is an expensive proposition and often not in the cards for today's home sellers.

    Voila! Enter inFormed Space and its new line of fake furniture -- so named because the furniture "informs" the space. The company sells full-size beds, tables, couches and chairs made of glossy white plastic that is so light that it can be easily moved around. And a whole house full of furniture can be rented for less than half the cost of traditional staging with no minimum monthly contract. In the company's own vernacular, this stuff is a "quickie."

    Just don't try to kick back on the sofa. The "nonfunctional" piece would collapse under the weight of a person, but it makes a great backdrop for a few strategically placed throw pillows. The idea, its inventors say, is to use the pieces as a backdrop for evocative props -- "a pair of work boots resting by the club chair [as pictured above], a half-full martini glass sitting on a cocktail table or a handwritten poem left haphazardly on the seat of a sofa" -- to suggest to prospective buyers what life in the space could be like. And, perhaps more important, whether their king-size bed will actually fit through the door of the bedroom.

    The prop furniture is made from Coroplast, the kind of corrugated plastic often used for signs and packaging materials. In addition to being strong and lightweight, it's also recyclable, so at the end of the fake furniture's useful life, it goes into the same processing streams as plastic milk cartons and detergent bottles.

    Douglas Pinter is the brainchild behind the operation, and we extend kudos for recognizing the need for an economical alternative to conventional staging. And nothing sells worse than an empty house.

    Tom Postillio, star of HGTV's "Selling New York" and a founding member of CORE real estate, will showcase inFormed Space in two of his New York listings -- one of them a $13.65 million property. Just remember: Stay standing.

    Also see:
    5 Staging Tricks for a Quick Sale

    Latest Open House Bait: Botox and Thai Massages
    Newest Home-Staging Trend: 'Placement Pets'


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    earth scraper Mexico City

    A new building is proposed for the heart of Mexico City: a 65-story edifice, packed with retail, offices, apartments and a museum. But unlike its skyscraping peers, this giant structure won't reach for the stars: It'll plunge toward earth's core.

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    Architects have designed an "earth-scraper," a giant building that will burrow 300 meters (about 328 yards) beneath the city's main square, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail. Shaped like an inverted pyramid, the design, by BNKR Arquitectura (pronounced "bunker," if we had to guess), is a creative response to the unique building challenges of densely populated Mexico City.

    Lest you think it might be kinda depressing to live and work 65 stories down, a glass "roof" in the city's main square would cover the building and allow natural light to filter down through all levels of the structure. Up above, the glass-covered plaza would continue its function as a central gathering place for the town -- albeit probably not for residents queasy about heights.

    According to the proposal, the first 10 floors down would house a history museum featuring Aztec and Mayan artifacts, the next 20 would hold retail shops and housing, and the last 35 would serve as commercial space, the Daily Mail reports.

    The design, say its Mexico City-based creators, is an attempt to add desperately needed retail, office and living space and at the same time comply with local laws that prohibit the demolition of historic buildings and impose an eight-story height limit on new structures.

    No word yet on whether the Earthscraper--a finalist in the 2010 eVolo skyscraper competition--will see the (filtered) light of day.

    Also see:
    Latest Open House Bait: Botox and Thai Massages

    Mystery Deepens in Ghost Town Bought for $800,000

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