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AOL Real Estate - Blog

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    There are man caves and then there are man caves. This oceanfront La Jolla home has the mother of all man caves: a 27-seat home theater with 10 screens so that you can watch simultaneous sporting events without switching channels. The home theater cost $1 million, according to the listing and has a state-of-the-art sound system. There is also a sports bar.

    The price is listed as "$15,999,999 to $18 million," which is a marketing technique that listing agents in San Diego County famously do all the time -- provide a price range and ignore the fact that buyers are only going to see the lower number anyway.

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    The Italian Renaissance-style 8,400-square-foot house has more than 150 feet of oceanfront, but we guess some people prefer watching TV to the waves. There are five bedrooms and the property sits on a bluff above the Pacific. It has an outdoor entertainment area that includes a five-hole putting green.

    See the video below.



    Liz Nederlander Coden of Windermere Real Estate SoCal has the listing.

    Click on the images below to some other La Jolla, Calif., listings:

    http://realestate.aol.com/homes-for-sale-detail/5316-Calumet-Ave_San-Diego_CA_92037_M17640-98629

    See more Houses of the Day and homes for sale in La Jolla, 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
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    While most of our Houses of the Day have price tags with lots of commas and zeroes, today we departing from the norm to feature this 154-year-old gem in Normal, Ill., Listed at $400,000, the property is a step back in time to a period where rooms were smaller because they were easier to heat that way, and the closest thing to "outdoor living" was a porch swing.

    The charm of this four-bedroom home is inescapable. As owner Amy Millett says, "To a person stepping through our back-door kitchen entrance, it's like walking into the past. You can almost smell the fresh-baked bread as the wood-burning stove comes into view. Our home isn't as flashy as the multimillion dollar estates, but to some, it's just as appealing."

    Yep, it's speaking to me.

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    The 2,625-square-foot historic Italianate has five fireplaces and three porches -- one of them screened. It was built on a stone foundation in 1857 and in a concession to modernity has central air and heat. The property is an acre.

    It has wood floors, a custom built oak bathroom vanity and an antique wood stove.

    The property is for sale by owner.

    Click on the images below to see some newer but similarly priced homes in Normal, Ill.



    See more Houses of the Day and homes for sale in Normal, Ill. 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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    They don't make Hollywood pairings very often that outlast that of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening's, so we're sending some good karma their way in their plans to lease out a Beverly Hills home they own for $27,500 a month.

    What do you get for that much? Six bedrooms and eight bathrooms in a 10,500-square-foot Mediterranean with a sign that says "Warren Beatty and Annette Bening slept here for the past dozen years or so." OK, we're making up the part about the sign.

    They bought this house after the 1994 Northridge earthquake did a dance on the Beverly Hills house they were living in a few miles away. One thing led to another -- you know how remodels go -- and the years crept up. Now they've apparently moved back to the original and expanded home and are hoping to lease out the "temporary" place.

    Beatty, nominated for Oscars for his roles in "Bonnie and Clyde," "Shampoo," and "Heaven Can Wait" has four children with Bening, Oscar-nominated herself for "The Grifters," "American Beauty," "Being Julia" and "The Kids Are All Right." Imagine the size of the fireplace mantle they'd need if they had won them all.

    Click on the images below to see other celebrity real estate recently on the market:



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

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    I'd like to propose that there be an architectural style called "Malibu" and we use this 10,000-square-foot oceanfront home listed at $27 million as the textbook example.

    The five-bedroom main house, designed by architect Douglas W. Burdge took what was once a 1970s seaside estate on the bluffs above Point Dume and, while staying faithful to the home's original modern structure, transformed it into something that reflects its serene coastal surroundings.

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    The home has seamless floor-to-ceiling windows and an inside-outside room flow. Lots of open spaces for entertaining and white French oak floors to ramp up the beachy factor. There are trellised terraces, an outdoor kitchen, a two-bedroom guesthouse, as well as a pool and spa.

    Chris Cortazzo of Coldwell Banker, Malibu, has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see other homes for sale in Malibu, Calif.:

    Broad Beach Malibu house Broad Beach Malibu houseBroad Beach Malibu house

    See more Houses of the Day and more homes for sale 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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    Will Bruder, who designed the Nevada Museum of Art, worked his magic on this Reno house as well. Let's end the head-scratching and just call it Desert Industrial Chic. It's one of those homes that's a piece of art in which people just happen to sleep. And it's now on the market for $2.15 million.

    The 3,879-square-foot home with a 1,040-square-foot garage was completed in 2007. The structure seems to disappear into the high desert site, nestling into the land at the base. It's located in a gated community of 20-acre sites and has views of the the city, the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Carson Mountain range. There are three bedroom suites and a study with floor to ceiling bookshelves. The home has a mini surround-sound theater and an exercise room.

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    Bob Wheeler and Vince Scott of Intero Real Estate Services share the listing.

    Click on the images below to see other homes for sale in Reno, Nevada:



    See more Houses of the Day and other homes for sale in Reno 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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    There comes a time in every real estate writer's life when she simply can no longer see the forest for the trees. She complains aloud that there should be a lifetime ceiling on just how many Mediterraneans one can reasonably be asked to describe and prays that the one she just wrote about will be her last.

    And then along comes a not-so-little charmer that just has a twinkle in its marble flooring that brings her back home. Yes, I'm back in love and checking my sofa cushions to see if $7,195,000 has fallen out of my pockets.

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    This Tuscan-inspired estate in Vero Beach, Fla., has a whopping 10,000 square feet of living space and actually does what other listings only claim to accomplish: combines Old World craftsmanship with state-of-the-art modern construction. The six-bedroom home has a gourmet kitchen, wine cellar, separate guest house with elevator and, according to the listing, "a covered loggia with a summer kitchen." (Sorry, but isn't it summer all-year-round in Florida?) There is also a lagoon pool with spa.

    The home sits just 20 feet above sea level and has a seawall and gated privacy wall. Zoning in Vero Beach has kept high-rise hotels and large commercial centers at bay, so what remains is a quiet atmosphere of vacation homes and gated communities.

    Kimberly Hardin of Treasure Coast Sotheby's International Realty in Vero Beach has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see other Vero Beach, Fla. listings:



    See more Houses of the Day and other homes for sale in Vero Beach, 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.)



     

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    There are some architectural styles that just dictate my behavior. For instance, whenever I see a French Norman estate, I feel like I should lower my voice to a whisper and put paper slippers over my shoes before I traipse on in. This is one of those places.

    Located in Bel-Air, a Los Angeles community of expensive homes that prefers understatement to exclamation points, the home came on the market at $18 million -- although this is one of those situations where if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it.

    One of my favorite features of the 7,500-square-foot mansion is not just that it has eight bedroom suites, but that there is a separate children's wing. How many times have I dragged my weary bones home from work and wished our house had a separate wing for the little ankle-biters?!

    The estate occupies almost an acre, most of it spent on creating a mini-park -- all behind gates, of course.

    The rooms are of a grand scale: formal and everything looks manicured and perfectly royal -- the way a French Norman home should be.

    There is a motor court and a three-car garage.

    Joe Babajian of Rodeo Realty has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see other homes for sale in and around Bel-Air:


    See more Houses of the Day and other homes for sale in Bel-Air 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
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    See celebrity real estate.

     

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    pamela anderson"Baywatch" queen Pamela Anderson -- and for the record, we're Borat-size Pamela fans -- is either giving the website Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) a major publicity boost or the businesswoman in her (the only Malibu mom we've ever seen reading The Wall Street Journal at Little League games) sees a way to put her empty Malibu Colony home to good use. We suspect it's both. The rental price to sleep where Pamela once slept: $20,000 a week or $75,000 a month.

    The Canadian-born Anderson identified herself on the VRBO site as the property owner and explains that she has been traveling a lot and spending more time with family in Canada. Who needs an empty property that is just sucking up money for mortgage and taxes and not earning its keep?

    The house is described as a three-bedroom with a pool and rooftop deck. She proclaims her remodel of the green "Lautner-inspired" home as her "humble stab at perfection." Anderson, known as an animal rights activist, welcomes well-behaved dogs.

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    Readers, what do you think? How much is celebrity afterglow worth to you?

    Click on the images below to see other celebrity real estate recently on the market in Malibu and beyond:



    See more celebrity real estate and homes for sale in Malibu, Calif., on AOL Real Estate.

    See also:
    Bruce Willis Lists His Idaho Ski Retreat
    Lady Gaga's Pre-Stardom Pad Hits Market
    Rent Oprah's Chicago Co-op for $15,000 a Month

     

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    doorwayI regularly walk into my kitchen and open a drawer, only to forget what I am looking for. I walk into our laundry room to claim some clean socks, only to forget what it was I needed. When I call for the dog, my kid's name sometimes comes out of my mouth. And as much as I dislike Rick Perry, I totally got how he couldn't remember the third federal department he plans on eliminating if we elect him president.

    Now finally, we have something to blame for those unfortunately named "senior moments." It's the doorway.

    New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky says that the act of passing through a doorway causes memory lapses. Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an "event boundary" in our minds.

    He says, "Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized." In other words: If you are gift-wrapping at the dining room table and walk to the bathroom to get the scissors, you won't remember that it was scissors you were after once you cross the threshold of the doorway because the decision to get them still lives in the dining room.

    Read the full story on Huff/Post50.

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    Also see:
    Forget Senior Homes: 'Aging in Place' Gains Ground

    Happy End of the Road for RVers: Assisted Living on Wheels

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    Real Estate:
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    It comes as no big surprise that Frank Lloyd Wright was dubbed "the greatest American architect of all time" by the American Institute of Architects.

    But did you know that the home Wright (who's depicted in a bust at left) built for his mistress was set on fire by Wright's male servant who then axe-murdered seven people while the fire burned? That sounds like some prime biopic material....

    See the full story on HuffPost Arts.

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    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    One look at this sprawling contemporary and you can't help but think Hollywood. Floor-to-ceiling windows, marble-tiled floors, wet/dry bars, a huge jetted tub, swimming pool and even meditation area -- so LA, right? Think again.

    This 8,100-square-foot stunner is located in the charmingly small community of Arlington Hills in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although Utah is not particularly renowned for its cutting-edge modern homes, this $2.9 million property may be at the forefront of a new trend: bringing swanky, California-style contemporaries to the Beehive State (check out this similar $6.9 million glass-and-steel masterpiece designed by California architect Guy Dreier, and this 10,211-square-foot, $2.15 million contemporary, both in Salt Lake City).

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    Best of all, this five-bedroom, 3½ bathroom contemporary boasts sweeping views of Salt Lake City and the mountains, and is located very close to parks, walking trails and the University of Utah. Plus, it's just minutes away from New City Creek Center, where you can take in jazz shows, go shopping, or indulge in some art and fine dining.

    California luxury without moving to Hollyweird? Sounds good to us.

    Lee White at Summit Sotheby's International Realty has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see other homes for sale in Salt Lake City, Utah.



    See more Houses of the Day and homes for sale in Salt Lake City, Utah, 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 krisanne.alcantara@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 reply to each submission.)

    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    One Massachusetts dentist got $2,500 in 50s and big ones as a construction crew he hired tore down the walls of a house he owns. As a worker gutted a portion of the home's walls, money suddenly burst from it like feathers, Boston's WHDH reports.

    "I was looking out the window in between patients and the fellow was pulling the wall apart and the next thing I knew I saw a flutter of money," said Dr. Fred Ravens, who had hired the workers to demolish the Reading, Mass., house so that he could expand his office next door.

    After helping his workers grab the rest of the money from between the wall's plaster and framing, Ravens immediately gave some of the cash to them.

    But the dentist's unselfish response to the situation didn't end there: He quickly reached out to the former homeowners, whom he called "the rightful owners" of the cash.

    The owners who had left the cash behind were shocked to hear from Ravens, and said his generosity is "a rare quality."

    While Ravens response to the situation may strike some as honorable, the circumstances surrounding similar past discoveries suggest that you may want to proceed with a little more caution if you happen across hidden cash, since you never know whom it might belong to.

    Take the case of James "Whitey" Bulger, the infamous Boston mobster, who was recently apprehended and is accused of more than 19 murders. He hid more than $800,000 in the walls of his Santa Monica, Calif. apartment, authorities say, in what might have been a rainy day fund if he needed to skip town.

    In that case, it was the police who found the cash after Bulger's arrest, but it's probably wise just to contact authorities if you happen across a money stash. That was what the employers of Jerry LaLiberte decided to do, after the plumber told them about his discovery of $20,000 tucked in an air duct of a Holmes Beach, Fla., home.

    The previous homeowner reportedly had a habit of storing cash in the home, and apparently had forgotten to tell her children about at least one of her hiding places before she passed away.




    Also see:
    Foreclosure Won't Stop Snoopy Christmas Display

    Community Rescues Vet From Foreclosure After TV Story Airs


    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find rentals in your area.
    Find out how to calculate mortgage payments.
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    Home staging experts say every homeowner who intends on showing her home to prospective buyers must, above all else, do one thing to prep the home for a tour:

    Find an objective eye to give the place a look.

    But new scientific findings, MSNBC reports, suggest that one piece of decor might have your hapless volunteer struggling to keep his or her balance, or even running to the washroom.

    Researchers have concluded that a black-and-white patterned rug appears to have the ability to induce "motion-sickness-like symptoms," according to a study in the scientific journal Perception.

    "We were surprised at how quickly people experienced symptoms -- within five minutes," Frederick Bonato, one of the study's authors, told MSNBC.

    Speaking to AOL Real Estate, he added: "I probably wouldn't buy that carpet."

    Bonato and his colleague Andrea Bubka, who researched motion sickness, conducted the study by asking 22 college students to stare at a photo of the rug and a photo of a gray poster for five minutes on separate occasions.

    Completing a motion-sickness questionnaire after the tests, students reported feeling much more off-kilter after gazing at the rug.

    The researchers became originally interested in the rug, MSNBC reports, after a colleague told them that he and his wife began to experience headaches when they stared at the mat. The owner of the mat disposed of the rug, but also told his colleagues about his experience, prompting them to launch the study.

    "We kind of did it almost for kicks," Bonato told AOL Real Estate.

    The lesson? If you're on a mission to offload your home, watch out for black-and-white checkered patterns like the one above (though don't look at them too long).

    After all, according to researchers Bonato and Bubka, the pattern could be found on an array of furnishings and decor, including one that could be particularly dizzying: wallpaper.

    Home sellers who own furnishings with the offending pattern could seriously undercut their efforts to sell.

    That's why, experts tell us, in order to prep your home for a tour, you must "depersonalize" it. That could mean shaking up years-old furniture layouts or removing heirlooms, family photos and mementos.

    Also make sure you pay special attention to "curb appeal": your front yard and front entrance should be spotless -- and, as you're now well aware, should definitely not include a black-and-white checked welcome mat to greet house-hunters.

    "It's not that it's just a carpet," Bonato said. "It's that regular, repeating pattern that seems to bother us."

    Also see:
    Home Staging Mistakes Every Seller Should Avoid
    Home Staging on a Dime


    How to Float Furniture when Staging a Home on a Budget




















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    While picking up some prescriptions recently, my local pharmacist, who knows I write about home construction, asked me if I had any suggestions for how he should build his new house. Since I'm a big advocate for prefab, I suggested that he consider building his house modular. His response shocked me: "I wouldn't want to build modular -- it would upset my neighbors and bring down the neighborhood." I thought that type of thinking about prefab was ancient history, but his response was clear evidence that it is not.

    After having written several books on the subject -- filled with evidence of the beauty and diversity of prefab -- I thought we had moved past the bias that prefab is synonymous with double-wides.

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    Prefab Options

    Prefabricated construction includes all types of buildings that are either partially or completely built in a factory. Modular construction is one of the most common types of prefab. Large boxes are built in a factory and then taken by flatbed truck to a site and lifted with a crane into place. A house can be built with one box or 36 boxes.

    Another common type of prefab is panelized construction. Large exterior wall sections of the house are built in the factory and put together on site like a jigsaw puzzle. A similar method is building with structural insulated panels, known as SIPs, which are like sandwiches of oriented strand board, or OSB, fused together with insulation in between. Other types of prefab include concrete panels, prefabricated timber frames and even some log cabins. The savings varies with prefab, depending on the size of the house, location and type of construction.

    With all that I've learned over the years, I would never consider building a house on-site. The feedback that I get from my readers, when they have acquired some knowledge of prefab, is that they've become believers -- and wouldn't consider the on-site option either.

    Environmental Impact

    My preference for prefab comes from years of investigating the best ways to build a house.

    As an environmentalist, there are many reasons to prefer prefab. Much of the on-site construction debris goes into a dumpster -- the homeowner is paying for the debris, dumper and tipping charges.

    In a factory, wood cutoffs are sorted and used for other houses. Many of the cutoffs from materials, such as drywall and metal, are returned to the manufacturer for recycling. Materials are shipped in bulk to the factories, so they cost less and shipping charges are reduced.

    Prefab houses are built in an environment where the wood is protected from the elements and has less chance of developing mold and rot. And it and won't twist and buckle, creating thermal bridges where air will infiltrate. Furthermore, prefab houses are built by professionals under the watchful eyes of supervisors who are checking the work all along the process.

    These advantages are all in addition to the shorter construction time and financial savings associated with building prefab.

    Prefab Homes



















    Cost Advantages

    Several years ago the Structural Building Components Industry compared the construction of a site-built house to a panelized one in a study called "Framing the American Dream." The panelized house took substantially fewer hours to build, used less lumber, created far less scrap and cost 16 percent less in labor and materials. Another study from a coalition of Philadelphia building experts, titled "Going Mod," found a $32 savings per square foot using modular rather than site-built construction.

    Over the years that I have been writing books on prefab, I have became more and more conscious of the importance of building houses with healthier environments and increased energy efficiency. Heating and cooling houses currently accounts for about 40 percent of the energy used in this country. With the environmental and political ramifications of acquiring energy from fossil fuel, I thought there must be a way to build houses that require less.

    I have also been influenced by the recent power outages in the Northeast. Twice in the last six months, it took Connecticut Light and Power almost a week to restore power to my neighborhood. I began to consider how wonderful it would have been to be somewhat independent of the grid (the power utility) and be able to sustain at least some of the energy in our house during those outages. Through my research I've found numerous ways of limiting the need for energy in the home and several ways to create energy without the need for fossil fuel.

    These options would make the house more comfortable and save on energy costs. According to a report last week by McGraw-Hill Construction, the green housing market is growing rapidly, having tripled since 2008. Green homes, which comprised 17 percent of new residential construction last year, are expected to increase by 29 percent to 38 percent of the market by 2016.

    Prefab to Prefabulous

    About a year ago I decided to write a book profiling prefabricated houses that require minimal energy. I thought it would probably be difficult to find enough of these houses in this country. To my delight, I found more than I could possibly include in one book.

    The houses I found are varied in style, location and method of construction -- but they are all smaller, very energy and water efficient, with healthy environments, and with a more sustainable use of materials. The result of this search is "Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid: Your Path to Building an Energy-Independent Home." (It's scheduled for released by Abrams in October and is available for pre-order this week.)

    I hope you will send in your questions and follow this blog to learn more about the advantages of prefab and environmentally friendly and energy efficient home construction.

    Sheri Koones is an award-winning author of five books on home construction, with the last several focusing on prefabricated construction. Her most recent book is "Prefabulous + Sustainable." Her latest work, "Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid," will be released in October 2012 by Abrams.

    See also:
    WATCH: The Pros and Cons of Buying a New-Construction Home
    Don't Be Surprised by Costs of Homeownership

    Homebuyer's Remorse: How to Avoid and Cure


    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to calculate mortgage payments.
    Find homes for sale in your area.
    Find foreclosures in your area.
    Get property tax help from our experts.

     

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    Living in New York City can leave you a little jaded when it comes to real estate. In this rich man's playground, replete with tiki bar lofts, in-house movie theaters and even penthouses with playground slides, we at AOL Real Estate have been understandably desensitized to such "luxury features."

    And then we stumbled upon this East Village brownstone with a unique feature that's both fun and functional: a disappearing front wall. Though on the outside, it looks like any other building on the block, part of its front wall retracts like a garage door -- "like the building is falling in on itself," owner and architect Bill Peterson observes. Peterson built the retractable wall to re-imagine the traditional parlor-floor balcony, and it's as much a feat of technology as of design. With the push of a button, the living room transforms from an enclosed, four-walled space into an open-air deck that's perfect for summer. And just wait til you see the backyard.

    See the "convertible wall" in action in the video below.

    House of the Week: New York City Brownstone with a Special Feature


















    Like what you see? The "convertible brownstone" is for sale for $2.499 million. Tom Cooper of Corcoran has the listing.

    Got a tip for our House of the Week series? If you know of any exceptional or unusual property currently listed for sale that's video-worthy, please email krisanne.alcantara@huffingtonpost.com with your suggestions. (Due to the volume of response, we unfortunately are unable to reply to each submission.)

    See also:
    'World's Tallest Treehouse' Grew From a Divine Vision

    Just in Time for Summer: The Biggest Hamptons Sale of 2012

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    swimming pool balconies

    A self-described "cybertect" has designed a pair of apartment high-rises that feature balconies with swimming pools -- taking the "infinity pool" concept to a whole new level.

    The residential complex -- commissioned by The Wadhwa Group, a real estate company in Mumbai, India -- is called Aquaria Grande and comprises 37-story twin towers with a distinctive, undulating shape. Each of the more than 200 apartments offers three-sided natural light, in an arrangement that also provides cross-ventiliation.

    But the buildings' salient feature is surely the aqueous outgrowths that edge every unit, seeming to project perilously into the surrounding sky. Reaction from some quarters has been harsh: "No matter what you want to call this," Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz proclaimed, "I would call it crazy."

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    But structural engineer John Michael Grande, studio director at SuperStructures, says, "The concept of the swimming pool balcony, from an engineering standpoint, can certainly be accomplished."

    "From a safety aspect," Grande explained, "a curb and railing system can be designed along the perimeter of the balcony that has a glass wall attached to it. If the glass wall were ever to blow out, the water would escape, but whoever was in the pool would be caught by the railing system."

    "The glass wall, though, should never blow out if it is designed similarly to that of a looking glass at the bottom of an aquarium tank with Shamu the killer whale in it. And we all know how strong those glass walls are." Indeed.

    "All that being said," Grande continued, "is this feasible or is it completely insane? Well, that's a matter of opinion. If you have enough money to throw at anything, you can get it done. It would be a tremendous cost. If a developer has a group of people they know they can sell these apartments to, they're going to build it because they can charge $5 million for them. You don't build it in Detroit, where nobody's going to buy them." In that sense, the advent of the swimming pool balcony is a testament to the rise of India, the world's 10th-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product, and third-largest by purchasing power parity.

    The firm behind the design of Aquaria Grande is James Law Cybertecture International, which describes its neologistic speciality as "the merging of the disciplines of architecture design with state of the art technology to bring people together into a new Lifestyle of the Future."

    See also:
    House of the Week: NYC's 'Convertible Brownstone' (VIDEO)

    Miami's Real-Life Castle, With Moat


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    How to Redecorate a Backyard Pool

     

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    Every little kid dreams of being president one day, but let's face it: For most of us, that's never going to happen. But it doesn't matter, because you can live like a president anyway in this White House replica in Haymarket, Va.

    Though it joins a number of White House replicas across America (see our gallery below), it's
    probably the most affordable of the bunch, at only $1.111 million. That said, the home is a foreclosure, is being sold as-is, and is a cash-only deal.

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    But what a deal it is: You get six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and six fireplaces. It's built on over 10 woody acres in the coveted subdivision of the Piedmont Riding Club, and the home is abundant with terraces and multi-tiered balconies. Inside, it's spacious and grand in an old-school, "Gone With The Wind" kind of way. And it's a colossal 15,735 square feet! A similar property of that size in nearby areas could run you over twice as much!

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    RE/MAX Regency has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in Haymarket, Va.



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    10 Amazing Facts About the White House

     

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    sunset strip house of the day

    This $12.9 million minimalist masterpiece on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip spans 7,500 square feet, with four bedrooms, seven baths and a four-car garage. Featuring walls of glass, the home provides spectacular views of L.A. from every room: see the luminous skyscrapers of downtown from the family room; gaze at Century City and the ocean from the master bedroom.

    A wall of silver travertine traverses the length of the house and a wall of water cascades from a height of two stories. The open, high-ceilinged living room features custom stacking Fleetwood doors that open to create an integrated indoor-outdoor living space.

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    The house has Rift Oak floors throughout and other features include a custom Italian kitchen, tiered movie theater and 980-bottle wine cellar.

    Mauricio Umansky of The Agency has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in the Los Angeles area.



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    Rock N' Roll Tour of the Sunset Strip, Hollywood

     

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    You already know how much we love our edgy, cubic homes and this is one of the best we've seen yet. Though it's floor-to-ceiling windows and sharp, clean lines can trick you into thinking it's another Malibu contemporary, this 10,000-square-foot stunner is actually located in the leafy community of Bethesda, Md.

    And we're talking leafy. In fact, the $6.9 million home is built in the woods, flanked on every side by mature trees and views of the Potomac River. But don't go thinking "country cottage amenities." No, this home boasts every luxury feature that any self-respecting Malibu McMansion would have, and then some: an elevator, infinity pool, heated floors, a five-car garage and (get this) glass bridges linking each wing. And that incredible, colorful facade -- what more could you expect from a Robert Gurney-designed home?

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    The house features four bedrooms and six bathrooms.

    Jayne Ehrens of Sotheby's International has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in Bethesda, Md.



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    Maryland Green Deck Design

     

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    For House of the Day's "Manic Monday" edition, we'd like to present this wildly colorful Manhattan pad.

    From its multi-hued "Star Wars"-themed bedrooms to its spectacular fire-engine-red game room, this $5.7 million fun house is every kid's (and kid-at-heart's) dream. This is anything but your typical vanilla Manhattan apartment, we're talking strawberry here. And chocolate, lime and blueberry. Color aside, it's still a winner with its sprawling wraparound terrace offering killer views of Manhattan's West Side and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows.

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    And if all the color and sunlight gets to be a little too much, you can always disappear into one of your three spa bathrooms and sink into one of those enormous, free-standing, soaking tubs -- with a choice selection from your 24-bottle wine fridge. Happy Monday, folks!

    Michael Bejzak of MNS has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in New York, N.Y.



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    House of the Week: New York City Brownstone With a Special Feature

     

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