Hereâs a real estate tip for folks joining the incoming Biden administration: A rental vacancy has opened up in the tony DC neighborhood of Kaloramaâan area known for foreign diplomats and political heavy hitters.
Ivanka Trump and her husband, ex-presidential adviser Jared Kushner, have decamped for Florida, following in the footsteps of her father, former President Donald Trump.
Now, the couple’s former rental is in search of a new tenant. It’s available to lease for $18,000 a month.
The recently renovated home with six beds and 6.5 baths has all kinds of style points. It’s billed as “one of the most well-known and photographed houses on the planetâgiven its recent tenants.”
During the Trump years when the upscale abode served as the DC home of the first daughter and her family, it attracted protests and candlelight vigils, according to the Washingtonian. The 2017 gathering shown below was to protest Trump’s immigration policies.
Concerned Community members from WA, CA, NM, AZ, TX, ID, VA holding a vigil outside Jared Kushner & @IvankaTrump's house #DefendDACA pic.twitter.com/caGf0mIFah
— Cris Ruiz (@votecris2040) September 5, 2017
On the other hand, the Washington Post recently reported that the mansion’s bathrooms were off limits to the couple’s Secret Service detail. As a result, the security team had to rent a nearby studio apartment at a rate of $3,000 a monthâwhich ended up totaling more than $100,000 over the years, according to the Post.
Bathroom access aside, the 1923 home has been âmeticulously maintained by the landlord and former notable tenants,â the listing asserts. Details of the 7,300-square-foot layout include crown moldings, recessed lighting, and wood floors throughout.
Plus, the âvery contemporaryâ interiors boast high-end finishes and electrical updates made within the past four years.
And you might catch a glimpse of former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama in the neighborhood. The couple liveÂ just a âstoneâs throw away,â the listing notes. That proximity to power might appeal to a house hunter joining the Biden administration.
Watch: The D.C. Neighborhood That Power Brokers Ivanka Trump and the Obamas Call Home
While new listing photos aren’t yet available, the images from 2017 showcase a modern, minimalist living space in a neutral palette decorated with abstract art.
The living room features a fireplace and plenty of space for oversized furniture. The sleek kitchen with a long, white island looks to have everything you need to whip up a meal (or unpack takeout). The kitchen also has room for a table and adjoins a family room.
A formal dining room features a fireplace and recessed lighting. The master suite includes French doors, another fireplace, and cool tones.
Down south, the home’s former residents are apparently leasing a luxury condo in Miami, according to the Wall Street Journal. But their long-term plans look to involve a 2-acre lot they reportedly purchased on ultraexclusive Indian Creek Island for the jaw-dropping sum of $32 million.
Rodrigo Valderrama with Keller Williams Capital Properties holds the rental listing.
The post Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s DC Home Is Available To Rentâfor $18K a Month appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Katsumi Murouchi; ablokhin; Anna Peisl/Getty Images
I thought I was up to the challenge of a long-distance home purchase during a pandemic. After all, I was moving back to my hometown after only three years away. I knew the area. Family members could fill in the rest. I had a trusted real estate agent from my last house purchase. Plus, I look at real estate listings as a hobby even when Iâm not in the market for new property. What could go wrong?
But after purchasing a midcentury modern ranch sight unseen and trekking 1,800 miles across the country to finally get an in-person look at it, my husband and I couldn’t be more shocked.
There were so many shoddy details that hadnât translated through video and photos. The ceilings were lower and the rooms were narrower than they seemed in photos. The countertops that had looked like granite in photos were actually laminate. Every single counter and bathroom fixture was customized for a short person. After seeing broken fixtures and a layer of grime over everything, it was clear that I would have to cure decades of bad maintenance.
And then there was the constant noise pollution from the nearby interstate. Our ground team thought the sound was minimal, but a month after we moved in, the surrounding trees dropped their leaves and the dull murmur grew to a roar heard through closed windows.
So what were our mistakes?
Don’t depend on listing photos
In general, experts agree that buying a home without setting foot in it can be a dicey proposition at best and a nightmare at worst. And online listing photos, while helpful in narrowing down your property search, won’t give you the full picture of a house’s condition.
âIâve visited homes only to discover that the yard is steeper than it looked online, the rooms are smaller, and you couldnât tell there were power lines right behind the house,â says Steve Heard, a RealtorÂ® with The Heard Group in the Sacramento, CA, area.
There were so many deal breakers that I would have noticed had I been able to set foot inside the home instead of relying so heavily on listing photos and videos. Case in point: Visitors at the front door of my new home have a direct sightline to the main bathroomâs toilet.
âMuch like anything you buy online, a home’s listing is created to sell, not inform. Theyâre marketing,” says Shana OâBrien, owner of Cascadia NW Real Estate in Washington and Oregon.
Go beyond standard due diligence
A home inspection is standard operating procedure for anyone buying a home, but a long-distance purchase should always go through rigorous vetting to make sure you’re not buying a money pit.
Typically, the buyer pays for the home inspection during the escrow period. This can cost around $300 to $500, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. But to cover your bases and make sure there aren’t any major system failures before you sign a purchase agreement, experts advise bringing in an additional pair of eyes.
Go to theÂ American Society of Home Inspectors, where you can search by your home’s address for a local inspector who can examine the house on your behalf.
Barton L. Slavin, a senior litigation and transaction attorney on Long Island, NY, advises hiring an experienced licensed and insured engineer to inspect the premises before the purchase.
That would have been great in my own long-distance home purchase. After the home inspection, the seller had “fixed” some conditional electrical work that my home inspector found, but those fixes broke other things, which resulted in an electrician visit on my dime. And on the first cold day, when I turned on the furnace, it failed to heat, which was another big repair bill that would have been covered by a warranty.
In my first two months in this house, I’ve also found faulty plumbing hacks and a massive rodent infestation.
How to beat the odds
âThe key to success is extreme buyer due diligence,â O’Brien says. “That means having a team of trusted âboots on the groundâ to physically visit and inspect the home.â
In retrospect, my live-video walk-through was fairly quick, less than 15 minutes. At the time, it felt like it was enough, but now I realize it wasn’t nearly long enough.
Our experts advise an extensive live-video walk-through with a long-distance home purchase.
âFaceTime works great,â OâBrien says. If buyers see something they have questions about during the walk-through, the real estate agent can zoom in. They can even take still photos and close-ups, which have better detail than streaming video.
Pay attention off-property, too.
âWalk around the block, video camera on, and capture the neighborhood, the condition of the sidewalks, the level of pride of ownership in the surrounding homes,” says O’Brien. “Is the narrow street jammed with parked cars? Are the sounds from the elementary school super loud at recess? Whatâs the street traffic and street noise like? The buyer will not know unless their agent does the investigation.”
Despite all of your best efforts, though, there’s still a chance your long-distance home purchase will not be all you bargained for. When that happens, O’Brien suggests taking it all in stride.
âReal estate is almost always a good investment,” she says.
As for me, Iâm already planning out my investment strategy and making the best of my midcentury modern surprise fixer-upper.
The post We Bought a House Sight Unseenâand It Turned Out To Be a Total Nightmare appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to record-high unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression. And this is particularly worrisome for would-be home buyers.
If you were among the 23.1 million Americans who were laid off or furloughed, you might be worried about your financial future. And if you were hoping to buy a houseâeither now or in the next few yearsâyou might also wonder how your current jobless status might affect those plans.
While the situation might seem dire, unemployment does not mean that home-buying plans have to be put on hold for long. Here’s how to navigate a period of unemployment so that it doesn’t derail your hopes to buy a home.
Can you buy a home if you’re unemployed?
For starters: If you lose your job while in the midst of home shopping or after you’ve even made an offer, you might have to put the purchase on hold.
The reason: Given your reduced income, the odds of lenders loaning you money for a property purchase are slim, unless your spouse or partner has a sizable income that can carry the mortgage alone.
And even if you’re getting unemployment checks every week, that money is considered temporary income, so it canât be used to qualify for a mortgage, says Jackie Boies, senior director of housing and bankruptcy services at Money Management International, a nonprofit providing financial education and counseling.
In short, âunemployment could have an effect on your ability to purchase a home in the short term,â Boies says.
But the good news is that once you find a new job, you can likely resume home shopping without trouble, Boies adds. âUnemployment shouldn’t have a long-term effect on being able to buy a home.”
How long after unemployment can you buy a home?
But even once you do find a new job, that doesn’t mean you can easily buy a house just yet. That’s because lenders like to see a steady history of employment before loaning someone money.
“Regular employment must be reestablished as stable, reliable, and dependable,â says Karma Herzfeld, mortgage loan originator at Motto Mortgage Alliance in Little Rock, AR.
So how long is enough? Lenders typically require borrowers to have six months of employment at their current job, and two years of continuous employment. Breaks in employment older than two years shouldnât affect getting a mortgage.
How unemployment affects your credit score
While unemployment doesn’t jeopardize future home-buying hopes per se, financial experts warn that what can put those plans at risk is how you handle your finances while jobless. Unemployment, after all, can stress your budget in ways that can damageÂ your credit history and credit score.
Lenders check your credit score to assess how well you’ve managed past debts. Scores between 650 and 700 range from fair to good; scores below 650 are considered subpar, which could limit which lenders are willing to loan you money for a house. (You can check your score for free on sites like Credit Karma.)
Credit scores can be damaged in a variety of ways during unemployment. For one, if you get behind on paying bills, this will put some blemishes on your credit history and drag your score down.
Unemployment can also lower your credit score by negatively affecting your debt-to-income ratio, a calculation used by mortgage lenders to compare how much you make against how much you owe.
If you’re unemployed, you may face a double whammy as your income is lower andÂ you’re charging more to your credit cards, thus increasing your debt. Both moves can negatively affect your debt-to-income ratio, which may make lenders leery of loaning you money.
âAny factor that affects income or debt may affect the debt-to-income ratio,â Herzfeld explains.
In sum, hopeful home buyers should be careful not to take on too much debt, even while unemployed. You need to preserve cash as best you can.
âI recommend, if on unemployment, [you] cut back on all discretionary spending and make every effort to keep bills current so that the credit score may not get negatively impacted,â Herzfeld says.
Debt-to-income ratio will likely rebalance once you return to work, as long as you havenât racked up too much debt during the period of unemployment, Boies says.
How to handle your finances while unemployed
âMy recommendation is to always try as best as you can to pay at least the minimum required payment on all monthly debt obligations, otherwise credit may be negatively affected,â Herzfeld says.
Boies suggests reaching out to landlords, credit card companies, utilities, auto lenders, and others to find out what options you have, such as payment plans, deferments, or forbearance. You might also be able to reduce some bills, such as insurance, by reviewing your policy.
âDonât think that if you canât pay that bill, you just can’t do anything about it,â Boies says. âYou need to reach out to see what options they have available to you.â
How to bounce back from unemployment
If your credit score is negatively affected while youâre unemployed, itâs not the end of the worldâbut it will take time to repair.
Six months to a year or more of positive credit rebuilding could get you on track to buy a home, Herzfeld says.
âThe sooner past-due debts can be remedied, the sooner the score may begin to improve,â she says.
The post How Unemployment Can Affect Your Plans To Buy a HomeâNow and Later appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
There are a few key factors that set us humans apart from the other mammals out there: self-awareness, language, and empathy among them. But according to Live Science, “The way humans make and use tools is perhaps what sets our species apart more than anything else.”
What may differentiate us even further from our warm-blooded friends: the kooky names we come up with for some of those thousands of tools humankind has invented. You may know a Phillips head screwdriver from a flathead, but do you know what a double cat’s paw wrecking bar is used for? We sure didn’t.
To help introduce you to the wild world of tools at your disposal as a homeowner, here’s a rundown of the strangest we’ve found, and what they’re used for. Consider this your cheat sheet so you can confidently tell a butt marker from a flat bastard file!
1. Flat bastard file
It sounds like a slim, secret dossier someone might keep on people they don’t likeâor an insult in a classic gangster movie. Yet this heavy-duty flat bastard file is used by machinists and engine builders who need to remove metal from anything from axles to lawn mower blades.
2. Butt marker
Where to begin with a tool called the butt marker? We don’t want to make it the butt of an easy joke, but it’s probably found in the rear of your local hardware store.
And what does the tool with a funny name do? It helps mark the correct hinge size and mortise depth for accurate door installation.
3. Double cat’s paw wrecking bar
Adorable cats and utter destruction usually don’t go together. But somehow the double cat’s paw wrecking bar exists as a demolition tool used for prying up joists. And bonus for anyone doing a major demo out there: The claws are slotted to easily remove any type of fastener while you can remain comfortably in a standing position rather than stooping down.
4. Flute chucking reamer
Can this tool be found in the woodwind section of your toolbox? Or is it something breakout flute player Lizzo uses on her projects at home? OK, OK.
A flute chucking reamer is actually used primarily in machine shops to enlarge or finish an existing drilled hole to a more exact size to achieve a precision fit.
5. Pigtail hook
Last time we checked, pigtails are a swine-y shade of pink. So what gives with this bright yellow? The pop of color is because this tool puts safety first and is used by roofers hauling buckets up from the ground. Adding the twisty pigtail hook to the end of a rope keeps the heavy buckets in place.
The spokeshave may sound like it’s meant to get rid of a guy’s 5 o’clock shadow, but the reality is it’s a woodworking tool designed to carve curves into wooden furniture, such as shaping chair seats and legs. While most DIYers won’t have this in a toolbox, many woodworkers will have a spokeshave in their shop.
7. Spud wrench
You say potato, I say potahto. And still other peopleâmostly plumbersâsay spud and buy this spud wrench instead. Yet it is not used on splitting taters, but for making radiator valve repairs.
8. Bull-nose rabbet plane
A rabbetâas opposed to rabbitâis a step-shaped recess cut along the edge of a piece of wood, typically formed to match the edgeâor tongueâof another piece of wood. And the bull-nose rabbet plane? It has a blade flush with the edges of the plane, allowing a woodworker to trim right up to the edge of a piece.
9. Nail eater extreme
For all the nail biters out there who want to take their compulsion a step further, try the nail eater extreme!
OK, actually this bit is typically used by linemen to eat through existing nails in wood as it drills. But homeowners with tough remodel projects can also count on this bit to chew through multiple layers of material (think aluminum siding on top of wood siding).
The post Butt Marker? Flat Bastard File? 9 Weird Home Tools and What They’re Used For appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Homeownership is one of the most time-tested ways to build wealth in the U.S. It can help you build wealth thanks to home appreciation â but this isnât always guaranteed (just ask anyone who bought a home right before 2008).
Another way to build wealth through homeownership is by upgrading your home, thereby increasing its value. The idea is that when you eventually sell your home (or pass it on to your heirs) itâll be worth even more than simply keeping up with basic home maintenance alone.
And since you spend around 90% of your time indoors, you might as well enjoy your home a bit more while growing its value.
10 Impactful Ways to Raise Your Homeâs Value
The opportunities for upgrading your home are endless. But if youâre aiming to boost your homeâs value, some upgrades are better than others. Youâll also need to consider whether you feel comfortable with certain DIY projects, or if you prefer to hire a professional.
You could rig-up a picket fence made of the leg lamps from A Christmas Story if you really wanted to, after all, but chances are itâd decrease your property value (if it didnât burn down your house in the process, that is).
Instead, try one of these investment-friendly upgrades, according to the 2020 Cost vs. Value Report from RemodelingMagazine:
Garage Door Replacement
Minor Kitchen Remodel
Replace Entry Door
Major Kitchen Remodel
If youâre aiming to boost your homeâs value, some upgrades are better than others.
1. Stone Veneer
Estimated cost: $9,357
Itâs no secret that finding ways to add curb appeal is one of the quickest remodeling wins to increase your homeâs value. Right now, one of the hottest trends is adding manufactured stone veneers to the exterior of your home, generally around the base or as accent walls.
You can DIY this, but it might be better to hire a professional because the materials are expensive. Plus, if you do it wrong, you could waste a lot of money and end up with a wonky result.
2. Garage Door Replacement
Estimated cost: $3,695
If youâre not keen on spending tens of thousands of dollars, a relatively quick win you can go for is simply replacing your garage door with a better model that includes a lifetime warranty. Again, this is one thatâs better left to the pros because itâs an especially dangerous job for newbie DIYers. Besides, installing it yourself is likely to void the warranty anyway.
3. Minor Kitchen Remodel
Estimated cost: $23,452
If you donât mind sitting around in some construction dust for a little while, doing your own minor kitchen remodel is definitely within the scope of DIYers. Itâs also a common home remodel on HGTV and other media.
To reach the value-add touted by the survey, youâll need to replace your oven or cooktop, refrigerator, cabinet doors, countertops, drawer fronts, flooring, and add new paint and trim. It requires a lot of changes, but if you have time to watch a few YouTube tutorials, you can do it yourself fairly easily.
4. Replace Siding
Estimated cost: $14,359 to $17,008
Another big curb-appeal booster is simply replacing your homeâs siding. But not all siding is created equal. Fiber-cement siding costs slightly more and recoups slightly more of the cost. The difference, however, isnât huge and might vary for your individual case.
Vinyl siding is easier to maintain and install, but isnât as fire-resistant as fiber-cement â an increasingly important consideration if you live in the arid West. No matter which type you choose, you might need to rent specialized equipment, like scaffolding, unless youâre an NBA athlete working on a single-story house.
5. Replace Windows
Estimated cost: $17,641 to $21,495
Old, leaky, rackety windows arenât great for curb appeal or energy-efficiency. Thatâs why replacing them can also be a good idea. If youâre nervous about smashing them (and we wouldnât blame you), you can hire a professional. Otherwise, itâs a job thatâs possible for most DIYers.
If you have standard-sized windows, you can get ready-made windows from a home supply store. But youâll likely need to custom-order them to fit your own home.
6. Deck Addition
Estimated cost: $14,360 to $19,856
Decks are one of the easiest home additions to DIY, as long as you have basic carpentry and tool safety skills. You can take your time with decks since theyâre outside of your home and not directly in your everyday living space. Composite decks are slightly more expensive than wooden decks but have the advantage of longevity and less maintenance necessary over the years.
7. Replace Entry Door
Estimated cost: $1,881
Another easy and low-cost project, replacing the front door gives you an instant boost to your curb appeal. Just about anyone can do it with the help of YouTube video tutorials and a good, strong arm.
8. Replace Roof
Estimated cost: $24,700 to $40,318
Your roof is literally the cap to your home. Replacing the roof is a big job, and although hammering in shingles seems easy (and it is), itâs generally best left to the professionals. A professionally-installed roof comes with a warranty, and takes a day or two to complete.
If you DIY this home improvement project, youâll lose the warranty, and it could take you longer to complete the job. And the longer your roofing project lingers, the longer your home is vulnerable to damage.
Another point to remember â metal roofs are far more expensive than asphalt shingle roofs, but they also tend to last longer and require less maintenance.
9. Remodel Bathroom
Estimated cost: $21,377 to $34,643
As long as youâre not making major changes to the plumbing and electrical systems underlying the fixtures, a bathroom remodel is possible on your own. This is an especially common remodel for many DIYers, because along with the kitchen and the bedroom, itâs a daily-use room.
10. Major Kitchen Remodel
Estimated cost: $68,490 to $135,547
If youâre looking to bring a 1950s-style kitchen into the 21st century, itâll take a bit more than some extra spit and glue. Youâll need to make big changes, like adding in a vented range hood for those blackened-fish tacos, new recessed and under-cabinet lighting, new cabinets, and even adding in an island for better cooking options. For that reason, itâs usually better to hire a professional team who can make sure everythingâs wired up right.
Your Mileage May Vary
Here’s something to consider: on average, you’ll only recoup a portion of your cost if you complete the upgrade and then sell your home in the same year. That might seem a bit disappointing â shouldnât you be able to recoup all of the cost, and then some?
Remember, your specific case might be very different depending on a lot of factors, like what area of your home could use work. For example, if your exterior looks tired and the siding is falling off, upgrading that rather than adding a new deck might give you a better payoff.
Another factor affecting your return on investment is how long you let your homeâs value appreciate, before selling it. Adding a stone veneer can help you recoup 96% of your cost in the first year. However, in the second year, consider whether you can boost the value of your home by more than you paid for the upgrade.
If you plan on selling your home in the future, asking a local realtor or real estate investor which upgrades are best for your particular home can be worthwhile. After all, market conditions vary dramatically cross the country and no two homes are exactly the same.
Related: 10 Awesome Websites That Let You Estimate Your Homeâs Value
The post 10 Home Updates That Are Worth the Money appeared first on Good Financial CentsÂ®.
When it’s too cold to open the windows, freshen your whole house fast by placing a few drops of vanilla extract on your furnace’s filter. Your house’s heating system will do the rest of the work for you. To scent one particular area, take a small jar and place several cotton balls inside. Dab a few drops of vanilla extract onto the cotton balls. Before putting the cover on the jar, use a nail to puncture a few holes into it for your very own vanilla air freshener.
Make it spicy
To easily deodorize your kitchen, put a cinnamon stick and other favorite spices (such as cloves or ginger) in a mug of water, and microwave it for 2 minutes. Remove the mug and set it on the counter so that the aroma can fill the kitchen. This trick is great for winter, when the scent of the spices will create a warm, cozy atmosphere.
Seal the door
Have a sliding glass door that’s rarely used during the winter? Seal it with duct tape to keep cold air from coming in.
SEE ALSO: Domestic CEO's How to Make Your Home (and Everything in it) Smell Good
Winterize deck furniture
To keep your metal deck furniture free from rust and wear all winter long, reach for the petroleum jelly Just apply a thin layer (especially in areas where the furniture tends to rust) after cleaning the surface with simple soap and water.
Ease painful pads on pets
Many dogs love to play outside in the snow, but their paws can cause them pain if ice starts to build up between their pads. Before heading out for a winter walk, rub some petroleum jelly between each pad. The ice will stay away and your dog can enjoy the outdoors! If your poor pet’s pads are already cracked or dry, gently rub a little petroleum jelly into her pads while she’s sleeping.
Petroleum jelly is completely safe if your pet decides she wants to lick it off later.
Spray on a little D-fense.
Spray WD-40 in the lining of car doors. Doing this once in the beginning of the winter should keep your doors opening easily.
Baby powder to the rescue
Use baby powder or baking soda to absorb the moisture that collects on the rubber seal lining of your car door. Just wipe the weather strip with a dry cloth before sprinkling on the powder. Repeat every few days in the dead of winter to make sure you can always get into your car.
RELATED: Who Knew's 7 Car Hacks for Winter Weather
Easy undercarriage cleaning
Don’t forget to clean under your car, especially if you live in an area where salt and ice assault in winter.
A trick for these hard-to-reach areas: Run a lawn sprinkler underneath the car and drive back and forth.
Block the lock
To keep your car’s door locks safe from ice during the cold winter months, place a refrigerator magnet over the lock. You can even take an old magnet (last year’s calendar from a local realtor, perhaps) and cut it into pieces that fit perfectly.
Brush to better lips
For lips that need a little extra TLC, especially in the winter, try this effective scrub. Mix together 2 teaspoons baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Gently scrub the mixture over your lips with a dry toothbrush for a minute or two, then rinse, and apply some petroleum jelly or your favorite lip balm.
Go crazy for cranberry
For a seasonal solution to chapped winter lips—and a great DIY gift idea for the holidays—try this cranberry lip balm! In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon avocado or almond oil, 10 fresh cranberries, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 drop vitamin E oil (from a capsule). Microwave on high until the mixture begins to boil. Remove carefully as the bowl may be hot. Mash the berries with a fork and stir well to combine. After the mixture has cooled for 10 minutes, strain it into a small portable tin, making sure to remove all of the fruit pieces. Cool completely. You’ve made your own great-smelling lip balm!
If your favorite cashmere or angora sweater is looking a little worn, put it in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer for half an hour. The cold causes the fibers to expand, making your sweater look new again! Who knew there was such a thing as sweater cryogenics?
JUST FOR FUN: Savvy Psychologist's How to Harness Light to Defeat Winter Blues
Your warmest boots
Make your winter boots a little warmer—and make sure they’re completely waterproof—by lining the bottom of the insides with duct tape. The tape will create a waterproof seal, and the shiny silver will reflect your body heat back onto your feet.
A gorgeous home in a private, yet convenient, location was an ideal place for the legendary recording artist Robbie Robertson to settle down and let the inspiration flow.
Now the songwriter behind “The Weight” is hoping to offload his prestigious perch. Robertson’s Beverly Hills, CA, home is on the market for $4,195,000.
Robertson purchased this sanctuary in 2012 for $2,676,755, and it’s been remodeled over the past decade. The home now sports a minimalist, modern aesthetic, with clean lines, new finishes, and up-to-date technology.
He first put it on the market in July 2020 for $4,895,000, and has gradually reduced the price over the months since.
The legendary musician wasn’t just working on tunes behind the front gates of this private sanctuary.
âRobertson bought this home as an escape to pen what would become his New York Times best-selling autobiography, ‘Testimony,’â says the listing agent, Ben Lee of Coldwell Banker Realty.
Lee also notes the appeal of the home’s setting and central location, high on North Beverly Drive across from Franklin Canyon Park.
“One of Beverly Hillsâ best-kept secrets,” he says, “this ultra-private getaway boasts an incredibly scenic landscape, while remaining six minutes from the Beverly Hills Hotel.â
Watch: Jon Bon Jovi Is Wheeling and Dealing in Palm Beach
It must have been the ideal place for out-of-town collaborators of the former member of The Band, whether they stayed in one of the home’s five bedrooms, or in the nearby hotel. Guests could also make good use of the eight-car parking area at the end of the long and winding driveway.
The home has high ceilings, an open floor plan, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors. The large windows connect people in the home to the lush canyon foliage and views.
Adding to the home’s modern vibe are glistening walnut floors, a floating staircase, and a gleaming state-of-the-art kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, custom cabinetry, and a generous central island with a cooktop.
Sophisticated smart home technology is in place, and, naturally, there’s a professional-grade sound system.
Although the design is modern, the 3,219-square-foot residence has a cozy, inviting feeling, thanks to its four fireplaces. Even the cars stay warm (or cool) in the temperature-controlled garage with quartz flooring.
At least one of the five bedrooms appears to have been used for studio purposes. The lavish master bedroom suite features a fireplace, canyon views, a large walk-in closet, and a deck. The master bathroom has a new steam shower, sunken tub, and still more views.
The 1-acre grounds have a retreatlike feel. Outdoor accoutrements include a spacious patio deck made of limestone and Brazilian ipe wood, two fire pits, and a hot tub that flows into a tastefully lit modern pool.
Robertson, 77, served as lead guitarist and songwriter for The Band. He penned rock classics like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” and “Somewhere Down the Crazy River.”
As a solo artist and composer, he’s also known for musical collaborations on Martin Scorsese films, among them “Raging Bull,” “Casino,” “The Departed,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and “The Irishman.”
The post Rock Legend Robbie Robertson Is Selling His $4.2M Beverly Hills Retreat appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
I have five years until I retire. I have a nest egg of $1 million and will also have a monthly military pension of approximately $6,000, and Social Security on top of that.
I like cycling 60 miles a day and want to retire in a place that is known for good, safe cycling. I hate hot humid weather and donât want a lot of snow. I love craft beer. And I would prefer a place with limited or no income tax on a military pension.
Where should I retire? Fort Collins, Colorado, and Asheville, N.C., seem like good places, but the cost of living in Fort Collins seems above average, and I am told Asheville has a lack of housing.
What other places should I consider and how do they compare with the two locations already mentioned? My wife likes the sound of âthe Hill County in Texas,â but she knows the heat is bad.
The Fort Collins and Asheville areas sound lovely. And popular places tend to be more expensive â thatâs just the reality of supply and demand. If thatâs where you want to be, the trade-off might be as simple as a smaller house/condo/rental.
You also could seek cheaper housing a bit further from these two cities â Greeley, Colo. (donât believe everything about the smell), or Hendersonville, N.C. (recommended here), for example. Or what aboutÂ Raleigh-Durham, with the American Tobacco Trail as theÂ trail networkâs spine? Youâd have to accept more humidity with that one, however.
I started my search by looking at theÂ League of American Bicyclistsâ bicycle-friendly communities. Five, including Fort Collins, are platinum. Housing in only one is cheaper than Fort Collins, but I donât think youâll appreciate the snow in Madison, Wis. I ruled out Davis, Calif., because the state isÂ one of seven that taxes military retirement pay in full. (It doesnât tax Social Security checks, though.)
So I looked further down the list while taking weather and taxes into consideration. You can estimate your state taxesÂ using this calculator, but you may want to verify that with a tax professional.
Iâve described three suggestions for you below. Boise (a silver-level BFC) and Corvallis, Ore. (a gold BFC), recommendedÂ hereÂ andÂ here, may be other places to consider.
As always, taxes, housing costs, the number of craft brewers and even bike-friendliness can change over the next five years. And some of these places may not mesh with whatever your wifeâs wish list includes.
Another piece of advice: Be sure to experience a place in all weather, or at least the worst season, to make sure itâs a fit. Data can only tell you so much. Consider renting, at least at first. Your pension and Social Security may cover your regular expenses, but donât make yourself house-poor.
Equally, state income taxes arenât always everything. Virginia, which does tax retirement pay, is rated the best state for military retireesÂ according to this surveyÂ and scores second-highest for the âeconomic environment,â behind Alabama.
Why not check out your shortlist on a bike tour?
Instead of Asheville â¦ Knoxville, TN
Asheville is one of Americaâs premier craft beer destinations, but Knoxville hasÂ an above-average number of breweriesÂ too. By moving here, youâd get a city twice the size (nearly 190,000 people) and the stateâs flagship university (33,000 students andÂ the potential for practically free classes starting at age 65). Youâd be in a valley with the Smoky Mountains visible to the east; Ashevilleâs elevation is more than 1,000 feet higher. Average July highs would be a couple of degrees warmer than in Asheville, and January highs would be a couple of degrees cooler, but a little less snow.
Knoxville is a bronze-level bike-friendly community, as is Asheville. Check outÂ bike rides that tour the breweries. You can also joinÂ BikeWalk KnoxvilleÂ onÂ one of its ridesÂ toÂ explore the city.
Tennessee has been reducing its state income tax and will abolish it at the end of 2020. North Carolina will give you a more modest break on your pension and tax your Social Security check.
Housing is much cheaper in Knoxville than in Asheville, whether buying or renting. HereâsÂ whatâs for sale in Knoxville now, using listings from Realtor.com (which, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp.
AndÂ hereâs Asheville.
You can flip to the rental market for both.
Instead of Fort Collins â¦ Wenatchee Valley, WA
The Wenatchee Valley is a bronze-level bicycle-friendly area of 67,000 people in central Washington, so far from Fort Collinsâ platinum status and even smaller than Asheville. The city ofÂ WenatcheeÂ has nearly 35,000 residents, and the narrow, 50-mile-longÂ Lake ChelanÂ is an hour away. This is an agricultural area â fruit is a big crop, andÂ thereâs wine, tooÂ â so you should have plenty of rural roads to pedal on. Yes,Â youâll also find craft brewers
Washington state doesnât have an income tax, so Wenatchee checks that box. Colorado offers some tax breaks on both military pensions and Social Security.
The Wenatchee area is more affordable and less busy than Fort Collins, which you should think of as a cheaper(!) version of Boulder. Fort Collins has 170,000 people, plus there are almost another 80,00 in neighboring Loveland and 110,000 in Greeley. The plus side is that it gives you a broad range of neighborhoods and prices.
Average summer highs in Wenatchee are in the mid-80s; average highs in the winter are just above freezing. Fort Collins is a touch cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Youâd get little rain, unlike cities on the other side of the Cascade Mountains, but expect 7 to 9 inches of snow on average in December and January. Despite its higher average temperatures, the snow starts earlier in Fort Collins, lasts longer and you get more of it.
You will find plenty of retirees around Wenatchee. Nearly 20% of Chelan Countyâs 77,000 residents are 65 or older, according to the Census Bureau. Fort Collins comes with Colorado State University.
If Wenatchee looks too pricey, check out Spokane, another bronze-level BFC. Itâs far bigger, with about 225,000 people (and 525,000 in the county), and has more craft brewers. The drawback is more snow. If you want to go smaller, Ellensburg, about 90 minutes south of Wenatchee, is a silver-level BFC and a touch cheaper than Wenatchee.
Hereâs whatâs on the market inÂ Chelan County.
This is what the housing market looks like inÂ Fort Collins,Â LovelandÂ andÂ Greeley.
Wild card: Bloomington, IN
If you like older biking movies, you know this town of 85,000 people from âBreaking Awayâ and theÂ Little 500 bike race. But did you know the home of Indiana University is a gold-level bike-friendly community?
And weâre not talking about just biking past miles and miles of corn fields on those 60-mile rides. (That would be retiring near rival Purdue University in West Lafayette, a bronze-level community.) Southern Indiana is hilly â test yourself on theÂ brutal Hilly Hundred weekend rideÂ outside of town during peak foliage. Others might prefer the all-terrainÂ Gravel GrovelÂ through the Hoosier National Forest. To chill, take the 9.2-mile trail that runs from the north end of town to the limestone quarry on the south side.
For beer, check out Upland Brewing, which won aÂ gold medal at the Great American Beer FestivalÂ in 2019. Six more gold-medal winners are in Indianapolis an hour to the north.
Indiana isÂ changing how it taxes military retirement pay; your pension should be exempt as of 2021. The state also doesnât tax Social Security income.
Temperatures in Bloomington reach an average of 86 in July, while January means an average high of 37 and about 5 inches of snow. If you want to hang out on campus,Â seniors get 50% off tuition, and the break starts at age 60.
Here areÂ homes on the market now.
The post Iâll Retire With a Military Pension and Want to Move to a Bicycle-Friendly, Beer-Loving PlaceâSo Where Should I Go? appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.