MSNBC profiles Don Sammons, the lone resident of Buford. Population 1. The city will be auctioned off for starting bids of $100k, which includes Don's house, post office, gas station & the kitchen sink! You want?
When he was on the TODAY show 8 months ago, he was a plaid wearing bald country bumpkin. Now he sports a diamond stud, city slicker black blazer & drives a sedan. Probably wearing designer Calvin Klein speedos too. Gee, fame changes you!
Bay Citizen/New York Times called me last week for my take on a rumor that San Francisco sellers were waiting to list their homes until after the Facebook IPO. They are allegedly counting on thousands of newly minted millionaires and all cash offers on their homes. Rumor or not, Facebook fever is hitting a feverish pitch. One Silicon Valley executive is willing to trade his 10,000 sq ft 11 acre home in Los Gatos for a stake in Facebook! Are you freaking kidding me? Has the Bay Area gone bonkers or is Facebook really that valuable?!
Due to NYC rent control, Thomas Lombardi pays $55.01/month for a one-bedroom at 5 Spring Street in SoHo. This is unheard of! Simply amazing? Shocking? Unfair? Maybe it's sour grapes for me. Market rate would be $2500/mo.
Gee, I feel bad for that poor (literally) landlord...but then again, apparently this landlord never filed paperwork to increase rent either.
I'm perusing the MLS, minding my own business, when I come across this! How can this be a photo for a property for sale?! Looks like a scene from COPS or Cheaters! Ironically, it says "Cute, Cozy & Clean Clean Clean" (overboard with the alliteration). This area actually is nice quiet suburb. This pic makes it seem like a meth house! Well even crackheads need a home, right?
In honor (or horror?) of Friday the 13th, Zillow did a run down of real estate superstitions. Reminds me of a hilarious article I wrote for A.R.E. (Asian Real Estate Magazine). It's a quick guide to dealing with Asian clients & how to avoid social blunders. I touch upon some superstitions:
*Why listing a house at $444,444 is major no-no!
*Are fruit trees considered unlucky?
*Why you'll lose a listing if you show up wearing all white!
*If buyer ask you if you're familiar with Feng Shui, don't say, "Never had that dish, but I looove Kung Pao chicken"
Secret Garage Door
Now you see it, now you don't! Nothing ruins the architectural look of a beautiful Victorian gem than a rickety suburban garage door. That is one of the drawbacks of putting in garage parking in really old homes (They didn't have SUV's back then!) Look what this creative owner did to preserve the exterior facade of his house. His automatic garage door seamlessly matches the rest of the building. No more architectural anachronism! Full story here.
Kids never cease to amaze me! Check out this insightful little girl who rants and rails against how toy marketers are sexist! Girlfriend breaks it down better than any Media/Business/Women's Studies professor I ever had!
You know, children are more sensitive to design & color than we give them credit for. For all you new parents out there, better think twice before genderizing your new baby's room with pink or blue....you'll never hear the end of it, if they are anything like Riley (you should be so lucky!) Stick with yellow.
This is to die for...literally! I've recently discovered via Jezebel fellow videoblogger Caitlin Doughty of Order of the Good Death. Not unlike myself, this L.A. mortician brings a breath of fresh air to her profession. So funny, self deprecating, smart and accessible. Check out her video series "Ask A Mortician." Muah!
In this video, she takes a stab (haha!) at being a real estate agent, giving a tour of Hollywood homes belonging to dearly departed stars from Michael Jackson to Marilyn Monroe. If I ever drop dead, I'd love Caitlin to embalm me. That way, I can chit chat with her. (Hey, stranger things have happened!).
Gawker spotlights homeowners around the globe who've gone straight up bonkers with their Xmas lights. Couple thoughts swirling in my noggin:
My NYC friend Rebecca just snapped this hilarious pic for me. I just can't stop giggling!
What do you guys think of agents who do this? Egomaniacs? Or savvy marketers?
Look, we realize real esate agents are stressing for business but ummmm, dang, has it really come to this? This is a true bonafide listing for sale on the MLS.
Buyer: I'm calling about Carol Ave. Tell me about it
Agent: It has some water intrusion.
Buyer: That's OK. What about the neighborhood?
Agent: It's changing. It's very fluid.
Agent: Let me put it this way. Do you like the Little Mermaid?
In an affected attempt to tap in the 99%, Forbes highlights America's Doomed Mansions. The before and after photos are stunning, but I think the real story is the amount of dough people have...and how whimsically they treat it!
Left Image: Steve Jobs bought this 1920's 15,000 sq ft mansion just to tear it down because he didn't care for the way it looked. With him passing, the site is just rubble now with no future plans. What a waste of historical architecture!
Middle Image: Winston Churchill, George Gershwin and the Vanderbilts all partied in this mansion that inspired the Great Gatsby. So much history but alas, last spring it was bullbozed to make way for a new, gated community of 5 custom $10 million to $17 million mansions. (ummm, tract home mansions anyone?)
Right Image: The mega compound was 90% finished when Coca-Cola heir & his wife got bored. So they ditch it. Threw it on the market for $40M, and sold it for $16M. Oh, what's $24,000,000 when you really think about really? Chunk change.
On a less cynical note, be grateful for all you have. Life is fragile and money meaningless without good health, friends & family!
photo montage courtesy of gawker.com
OK, what is wrong with this?!
Chris Brown snags steald of the century (a $1.5M Hollywood Hills bachelor pad, listed 2 yrs ago for $2.7M) while poor Rihanna gets shafted with a leaky shortsale (She's selling for $4.9M but paid $6.9M!).
On a side note, it irks me still that someone who pulverized his girlfriend's face has re-launched his career to new heights! This is the messed up era we live in: Reward wackos with more fame & fortune.
Catholic Church plunks down $57,000,000 for the famed "Hour of Power" Crystal Cathedral. Gee, I'm glad to know they are spending their billions on real estate when those thousands of kids they molested around the world could have used some of that dough. Um, priorities?
The Penn State scandal, as horrific as it is, pales in comparison to the global cover-up by the Vatican. And you don't see them snapping up property!
My friend David Winans from TexasMLS just launched a new site called My Agent Story, where us agents share all the wackiest, craziest hilarious stories we encounter on a daily basis. Trust me, we see some weird stuff out there, and it is Cray-cray!
If you are a realtor who has got a story to share, please submit! We all need a dose of laughter in this hard economy. My tale is about wearing bullet proof vest to show property in the ghetto.
I caught this Agent Genius post entitled "Shocking British Mockumentary – comedy, art, or just plain offensive?" I think it is all the above. Love it! It's like the real estate version of "The Office."
This UK Brokerage produces videos starring their own agents. It's probably not for everyone (slightly NSFW at end) and the British humor is sure to be lost on some, but it is certainly memorable. I'm unclear whether this is going to procure more biz for them, but hey, it certainly makes a great reality show pitch!
The feisty supermodel was given a geothermal birthday present from architect Luis de Garrido of Spain. Her very own eco-compound on a private island in Turkey called " Isla Playa de Cleopatra ". The glass domed village comes with its own micro-climate with 25 bedrooms and 5 lounges.
I'm an ancient Egypt fanatic. Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, King Tut, love all that! But if a man built this Eye of Horus for me, the first thing I'd say is "Ummm, where are the falsies?!"
More photos of this fantastical place here.
I've heard of seller enticing buyers with a flat screen TV, pre-paid HOA dues, or even closing cost credits, but this is a first! A home seller outside Chicago is offering a $1000 tab at a bar across the street to the buyer who buys his house. Calling all lushes!
Maybe their strategy is to get buyer so drunk they won't realize they are overpaying! (The listing has had little showings & undergone a price reduction)
My advice to any inebriated buyer: Look beyond the gimmick. $1000 of booze will dry up fast. Afterwards, you'll be left with a house you overpaid for!
From Berkeley to Long Island, here is a slideshow of the oddest homes out there. We've got dome homes, subterranean mansions, Earthships & more! Great for visiting aliens, mole people and people preparing for the Rapture. See more here.
By the way, how do you appraise a property like this? There are NO comparable sales...unless you go to Mars.
Before her smash hits in Devil Wears Prada, Brokeback Mountain, Catwoman, Oscar Host (hmmm, not so much of a hit), who knew this 14 yr old actress named Anne Hathaway would catapult to Hollywood A-List status with a 1997 spot for Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate? Good eye, BHG!
I've heard of twilight tours before, but this listing is taking it too far! Why would someone go to the trouble of snapping a pic of the exterior in broad daylight, and then go back to take pix in 3am in the morning!?
Some very credible hypotheses:
Weigh in below with your own nocturnal photophobic hypothesis!
This is very cool! A 2800 sq ft replica of the house from the movie UP has been built in Utah. It's pretty accurate. Where is the little boy? Not sure if I would buy it for $400k, but if they threw in the little boy from the film, I might consider. He was so precious! This will be interesting to watch because it is such a novelty house. Novelty properties tend to not hold value as much because they are so taste specific. Well, I hope this UP house can sell in this DOWN market!
Now if someone would re-create Castle Greyskull I would totally pay top dollar for that...but only if He-Man & She-Ra were included in the sale.
What is your favorite cartoon house?
As Seen On