Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Movie Star Ready in Pasadena, California

Even when the plots (and dialogue) bother us, director Nancy Meyers' movies have such delicious real estate eye candy that we don't mind: The Holiday (Kate Winslet and Jack Black? Ridiculous, but oh that Cotswold cottage and L.A. pad!), Something's Gotta Give (Diane Keaton's incessant crying and turtlenecks? Hideous, but that beach house?!), It's Complicated (a dithering Meryl? So annoying, but her home was like a dream). And this house looks perfect for whatever the director does next. Built in 1915, the classic center hall colonial in fancy southwest Pasadena (less than half an hour from Hollywood/L.A.) overflows with large spaces, burnished floors, rich moldings, and luxe touches like the huge marble topped island in a casual chic kitchen that looks ready made for an A lister. And don't even get us started on the saltwater pool and various outdoor entertaining spaces. Seriously, we'll have a meltdown if we have to contemplate why we don't get to live here. Still, we encourage you to take a closer look at it all here

When Only a Bungalow Will Do

The historic Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina has just about everything you could want: sidewalks shaded by mature oaks, some of the city's best restaurants and shops, its largest hospital in the Carolinas Medical Center (with a Trauma 1 unit, just in case!), and dozens of 100+ year old bungalows. We're sweet on this one in particular: a fully reno'd 3 bed/3 bath beauty with hardwood floors, arched doorways, and clean, classic new baths and kitchen (with breakfast counter). There's a nice shady front porch, perfect for rocking, waving and sweet tea sipping. The $549.9K price tag is more than fair, especially consider the average around here is $645K. Take a closer look here

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Victorian Tuesday: in the Heart of San Francisco

On par with New York City when it comes to housing prices, with a little luck—oh, why be modest? with our help is what we mean!—and a healthy bank account, you can still find something in the City by the Bay with room to grow for under $1 million. Situated in a 114 year old building in the bustling Western Addition neighborhood (bordered by the Haights and Pacific Heights, this is where everything from the historic Fillmore concert hall to Japantown is located), this exquisite 3 bed/2 bath condo is on the market for $899K. Besides the beautifully burnished wood floors, rich moldings and 2 story living, unit highlights include huge windows, two fireplaces, formal dining room, large private deck, deeded parking, storage cellar and shared garden. You'll never find anything comparable in Manhattan, so toss the snow boots and start that West Coast job search now! But first, take a closer look at this condo here

Victorian Tuesday: New Orleans for the Famished

Although not as pricey as San Francisco, real estate in the Big Easy is hardly cheap, especially when it comes fully renovated and in Uptown's West Riverside neighborhood. Built in 1914, the $700K home comes with 4 beds/3.5 baths and 2800 square feet of living space plus 3 porches and backyard deck with built in seating and play area. The interior original details are limited—hardwood floors, high ceilings, crown molding and living room fireplace—but everything's been given a liberal do-over, so things like the kitchen and baths are top of the line, and the windows all look new, too. The other reason we're crushing hard on this one? It's right around the corner from Magazine Street's awesome restaurant scene and two in particular we're gaga for: Apolline (brioche bread pudding and a brunch with $12 bottomless mimosas!), and Guy's Po Boys (the roast beef is renowned and there's alligator sausage for the brave!). See more here

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mid-Century Modern Monday: NYC Adjacent

Just 30 minutes west of Manhattan, the small, affluent New Jersey boro known as Glen Ridge has lots to brag about (great schools, pretty green spaces, excellent transportation options), but our favorite is that it possesses 665 vintage gas lamps to light its beautiful streets. How cool is that? Almost as cool as this killer 1959 contemporary there, which sits on 1.5 acres with seasonal (read: winter) views of the Big Apple. Nicely updated, a few highlights of the 5 bed/3 bath home are: a snazzy gourmet kitchen with skylights, glass-walled staircase, wood clad ceilings, hooded brick fireplace, authentic cedar sauna and floor-to-ceiling glass walls throughout. The reasonable $1.05 million asking price includes many other things, but we can't stop thinking about the Smashburger (a cult burger joint that originated in Denver) that's within strolling distance. While we raid the fridge, you should take a closer look at this fab house here

Mid-Century Modern Monday: Ranching Out in Phoenix

A former orange grove (indeed, citrus trees still line the streets), the highly desirable neighborhood of Arcadia lies in northeast Phoenix close to the Scottsdale border. The schools here are some of the best in the state, the shopping satisfying (hello, Biltmore Fashion Park!) and you can get to the airport or downtown in about 15 minutes. Which means this updated but remarkably intact 3 bed/2 bath 1955 ranch there is a steal at $400K. A list of what we love about it includes: nifty, 2 sided white brick fireplace, sprawling lanai room (we don't really understand what they are, but we want one), lime kitchen counters, turquoise bath tiles, wood-accented brick floors, and this backyard pool with Camelback mountain views. You know you wanna see more, so do it here

Friday, April 11, 2014

Foreign Intrigue Fridays: Splurge-tastic in Andalucia

Tucked away in Spain's Serrania de Ronda mountains, the ravishing Costa del Sol village of Benahavis boasts winding, narrow roads, historic sites and dozens of famously-fabulous restaurants (we recommend La Torre and El Castillo). One of the richest areas in all of Andalucia, it's also less than 5 miles from the Mediterranean and has a whopping 9 golf courses nearby. On the market for $3.36 million, this remarkable 4 bed/4 bath villa, with mountain and sea views, has a dazzling array of amenities, both indoor (marble floors, snazzy gourmet kitchen, radiant heat, 2 fireplaces, wine cellar) and out (patios, porches, heated salt water pool, gardens). It's also situated within the gated Montemayor Golf & Country Club, which means you get even more amenities! See how to spend that unexpected inheritance from cheap old Uncle Percy here

Foreign Intrigue Fridays: County Cork, Ireland

Located in the southernmost part of Ireland, the picturesque village of Glandore sits on the bay of the same name and is a popular tourist destination due in part to its reputation as a prime sailing spot. Indeed, the Irish Coast Guard have a station here and there's a yacht club and annual regatta each August. Asking $344K, this vintage 3 bed/3.5 bath gabled home there has lovely harbor views, along with updates and the kind of character we love: deep set windows, hardwood floors, cozy living room fireplace, and a curved window seat that looks out over the harbor. Considering that great restaurants, pubs with traditional music and the wonders of nature (the area is a magnet for everything from seals to dolphins to gray herons) are within strolling distance, we're thinking you may have to arm wrestle us for this one. Take a closer look at it here

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Thursday Thaw: Historic Miami Manse

Today's history lesson: Architect Walter De Garmo was a Cornell man who relocated to Coconut Grove and was responsible for many of Miami's most magnificent early 20th century Mediterranean Revival mansions. In fact, he designed this luscious, fully renovated 1929 6 bed/6.5 bath beauty in the southwest Grove overlooking the bay. Hidden behind walls, double arched doors lead into the tranquil courtyard, which includes a large fountain and exotic landscaping. Inside, the home has everything we love: thick white walls, soaring ceilings, dark exposed wood beams, multiple fireplaces, gorgeous tiled floors, the kitchen of our dreams and bathrooms we could live in. French doors throughout take full advantage of the exterior spaces, like patios, porches and a pool. $8.95 million might seem a tad high, but when you consider the price of, say, art these days (a Francis Bacon for $142 million?), it seems pretty reasonable. See more of it here

A Bargain in Billionaire Buffet's Backyard

We've still never been to Omaha, Nebraska, but it's moving closer to the top of the list. Far from Wall Street and Silicon Valley, this quiet, midwestern city boasts several billionaires (Warren Buffet, Ameritrade's Joe Ricketts, etc) and Fortune 500 companies, but is known for its excellent quality of living and reasonable home prices. Asking $179K, this sunny 1910 home close to the fancy Field Club and bucolic Turner Park has 4 beds/2 baths has been nicely updated with new plumbing, roof and kitchen, among other things, but retains vintage details like richly burnished woodwork, doors and wainscoting. All of which makes us want to have t-shirts printed up saying 'Omaha or Bust.' Take a closer look here