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Category Archive: ‘Interesting Houses’

Warren is Selling

Warren Buffett is selling his Emerald Bay vacation home….with an agent who doesn’t work at Berkshire Hathaway!  H/T Richard.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is putting his longtime California beach house on the market for $11 million.

If it sells anywhere near its asking price, Mr. Buffett will score a decent return: He bought the Laguna Beach home in 1971 for $150,000. Mr. Buffett said he bought the house because his then-wife liked it, without giving a thought to its potential as an investment.

At the time Laguna Beach “wasn’t fully developed,” he said, but since then the area “just took off.” He added that he’s put a considerable amount of money into renovating the home over the years.

The 86-year-old Berkshire Hathaway chairman, who lives primarily in Omaha, Neb., said he used the property for years as a beach house for his family, spending summers and Christmases there. But since his first wife, Susan, died in 2004, he hasn’t spent much time there, which is why he’s putting the home on the market.

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Interesting Houses, Jim's Take on the Market | 1 comment

Tiny House for Celebrities

Great promo and endorsement of tiny houses:

Why would Super Bowl champ Deion Sanders want to live in a tiny house? That’s the million-dollar question that inspired us to tune in to the latest episode of “Tiny House Nation,” where hosts John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin build the NFL Hall of Famer a 600-square-foot diminutive dwelling of his dreams, then squeeze him in.

“I want to go tiny because I’ve been through huge and humongous and wanting everyone to know that I’m successful, but I’m past that,” Sanders explains on the show. “Now it’s about needs, not wants.”

And he’s clearly serious about downsizing: In 2014, “Neon Deion” sold his 29,000-square-foot mansion and has since been living in a 7,000-square-foot rental in Dallas—with his mother, his sister, various nieces and nephews, and his five kids coming and going, and a number of other family members dropping in for extended stays.

As if these quarters weren’t cramped enough, things got especially dire when Sanders’ long-distance girlfriend of five years, “Extra” host Tracey Edmonds, dropped by to visit from Los Angeles. Apparently, quality private time between the high-flying couple wasn’t easy to come by. Awkward!

So Sanders purchased several acres in remote Cedar Hill, TX. It is here that he hopes that Weisbarth and Giffin will build the tiny house of his dreams.

“I’m a big fan of the show,” Sanders says of “Tiny Home Nation.” “I record every episode.” Can you say superfan?

With typical optimism (or could he be totally starstruck?), Weisbarth sees Sanders’ move from a 29,000-square-foot home to one that’s 7,000 square feet as a positive sign that he can downsize even further, and will feel right at home in the 600-square-foot retreat he and Giffin plan to build for the couple. But once the pair unfurl their lengthy list of must-have features for their tiny house, Giffin squirms. He and Weisbarth can do a lot with a little, but this is probably their biggest challenge yet.

Just how palatial can a tiny house be?

Answer: Very. Check out some of the posh features the power couple demand, and the creative solutions the hosts of “Tiny House Nation” devise to deliver.

The home itself is just 600 square feet, but to accommodate everything the couple want, Giffin adds another 600 square feet of covered porch area to the front of the home, and uses the entire roof as a deck. This effectively triples the amount of usable space. Cheating? Not really.

Edmonds says she needs a dedicated area for yoga that’s protected from the elements, so Giffin devises a place on the roof, covered by a canvas awning that can be ingeniously flipped to meet another of their needs…

When the couple are relaxing, one of their favorite things to do is screen some flicks. So the yoga awning pivots from horizontal to vertical at the push of a button and becomes a movie screen! The projector is cleverly hidden in a drawer that Giffin builds into the chimney.



Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Interesting Houses, Jim's Take on the Market | 1 comment

Climate Change and Real Estate


This comes from the, not me:

MIAMI — Real estate agents looking to sell coastal properties usually focus on one thing: how close the home is to the water’s edge. But buyers are increasingly asking instead how far back it is from the waterline. How many feet above sea level? Is it fortified against storm surges? Does it have emergency power and sump pumps?

Rising sea levels are changing the way people think about waterfront real estate. Though demand remains strong and developers continue to build near the water in many coastal cities, homeowners across the nation are slowly growing wary of buying property in areas most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

A warming planet has already forced a number of industries — coal, oil, agriculture and utilities among them — to account for potential future costs of a changed climate. The real estate industry, particularly along the vulnerable coastlines, is slowly awakening to the need to factor in the risks of catastrophic damage from climate change, including that wrought by rising seas and storm-driven flooding.

But many economists say that this reckoning needs to happen much faster and that home buyers urgently need to be better informed. Some analysts say the economic impact of a collapse in the waterfront property market could surpass that of the bursting dot-com and real estate bubbles of 2000 and 2008.

The fallout would be felt by property owners, developers, real estate lenders and the financial institutions that bundle and resell mortgages.

Read full article here:


Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Interesting Houses, Jim's Take on the Market, The Future, This Is America | 9 comments

Retire At Sea


Maybe you don’t have to worry about where to move – just float around!

H/T Daytrip!

Retirement has often been synonymous with quietly living out your golden years in a sunny climate. But for a more adventurous breed of retirees, the end of work life opens a door to a more extreme type of sea change.

The siren’s call of cabin life is beckoning increasing numbers to traverse the globe via the ocean. And, it’s a surprisingly more attractive – and affordable – option than assisted living for some retirees.

The number of people who take cruises is at an all-time high, with 24 million passengers expected to set sail this year worldwide versus 15 million a decade ago, according to the Washington, DC-based Cruise Lines International Association. Half of these cruisers are 50 or older, and, of those, a small number are making the ocean a second home or even their permanent home.

Cruise ships might be an ideal retirement destination, although some things such as healthcare can be tricky. They offer, well, everything. From nightly entertainment to exercise equipment to Internet, most ships are equipped with anything you need to make a place home — including the travel, often a big priority for younger retirees. While no group tracks the number of people choosing this new form of retirement, a handful of cruise lines confirmed that they are seeing more near-year-round cruisers with some frequency.

For some, retirement at sea involves taking over a small stateroom on a standard cruise ship with repeated sailings and itineraries. For others, it means purchasing a “residence” (a high-end apartment at sea) on a luxury ship like The World, which is managed by Florida-based ROW Management Limited, or the yet-to-launch Southern California-based Utopia, both offering exotic destinations and expeditions.

“[These are] people who love to travel, don’t want to be responsible for any type of home maintenance, want to ditch the car, are healthy, and are comfortable living with an ever-changing ‘neighbourhood’,” says Jan Cullinane, Florida-based author of The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life.

Read full article here:



Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Boomers, Interesting Houses, Jim's Take on the Market | 0 comments