Acronyms of Real Estate: What Homebuyers Need to Know

Real estate is a regular smorgasbord of acronyms – everything from APR to REO. Here’s a list of the ones you’re likely to run into and what they mean when you’re buying or selling a house:

Acronyms You’ll Hear Associated with Real Estate Professionals

Real estate agents, builders and most other realty-related professions have numerous professional designations, all designed to set them apart from those who haven’t taken advanced courses in their fields. These designations don’t mean that professionals without letters after their names are not as experienced or skilled, but rather only that they haven’t taken the time to further their educations.

Read: How to Build Your Real Estate Team

Let’s start with the letter “R,” which stands for Realtor. A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the nation’s largest trade group. NAR says it speaks for homeowners, and it usually does. But in that rare occasion when the interests of its members and owners don’t align, it sides with those who pay their dues.

Read: A Timeline of the History of Real Estate

NAR embraces a strict code of ethics. There are about 2 million active and licensed real estate agents nationwide, and 1.34 million can call themselves Realtors.

NAR members sometimes have the letters GRI or CRS after their names. The Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation signifies the successful completion of 90 hours of classroom instruction beyond the continuing education courses required by many states for agents to maintain their licenses. After the GRI, an agent may become a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) by advancing his or her education even further.

black family touring a house to buy racial homeownership gap discriminationblack family touring a house to buy racial homeownership gap discrimination

Builders can obtain the GBI – Graduate Builder Institute – designation by completing nine one-day classes sponsored by the educational arm of the National Association of Home Builders. Those who pass more advanced courses become Graduate Master Builders, or GMBs. Remodeling specialists with at least five years of experience can be Certified Graduate Remodelers, or CGRs. And, salespeople can be CSPs, or Certified New Home Sales Professionals.

In the mortgage profession, the Mortgage Bankers Association awards the Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) and Accredited Residential Originator (ARO) designations, but only after completing a training program that may take up to five years to finish. To start the process, CMB and ARO candidates must have at least three years’ experience and be recommended by a senior officer in their companies.

Acronyms Associated with Mortgage Lending

When obtaining a mortgage, you will be quoted an interest rate; however, perhaps the more important rate is the annual percentage rate, or APR, which is the total cost of the loan per year over the loan’s term. It measures the interest rate plus other fees and charges.

An FRM is a fixed-rate mortgage, the terms of which never change. Conversely, an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) allows rates to increase or decrease at certain intervals over the life of the loan, depending on rates at the time of the adjustment.

Female client consulting with a agent in the officeFemale client consulting with a agent in the office

A conventional loan is one with an amount at or less than the conforming loan limit set by federal regulators on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two major suppliers of funds for home loans. These two quasi-government outfits replenish the coffers of main street lenders by buying their loans and packing them into securities for sale to investors worldwide.

Other key agencies you should be familiar with are the FHA and the VA. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures mortgages up to an amount which changes annually, as does the conforming loan ceiling. The Veterans Administration (VA) guarantees loans made to veterans and active duty servicemen and women.

LTV stands for loan-to-value. This important ratio measures what your are borrowing against the value of the home. Some lenders want as much as 20% down, meaning the LTV would be 80%. But in many cases, the LTV can be as great as 97%.

Private mortgage insurance (PMI), is a fee you’ll have to pay if you make less than a 20% down payment. PMI covers the lender should you default, but you have to pay the freight. Fortunately, you can cancel coverage once your LTV dips below 80%.

Your monthly payment likely will include more than just principal and interest. Many lenders also want borrowers to include one-twelfth of their property tax and insurance bills every month, as well. That way, lenders will have enough money on hand to pay these annual bills when they come due. Thus, the acronym PITI (principle, interest, taxes, and insurance).

Real-estate owned (REO) properties are foreclosed upon by lenders when borrowers fail to make their payments. When you buy a foreclosure, you buy REO. Short sales are not REO because, while they are in danger of being repossessed, they are still owned by the borrower.

houses real estate market selling buyinghouses real estate market selling buying

Acronyms You’ll Hear During an Appraisal

There is no acronym for an appraisal, which is an opinion of value prepared by a certified or licensed appraiser (though sometimes other types of valuation methods are used in the buying and selling process).

A Certified Market Analysis (CMA) is prepared by a real estate agent or broker to help determine a home’s listing price. A Broker Price Opinion (BPO) is a more advanced estimate of the probable future selling price of a property, and an automated valuation model (AVM) is a software program that provides valuations based on mathematical modeling.

AVMs are currently used by some lenders and investors to confirm an appraiser’s valuation, but they are becoming increasingly popular as replacements of appraisals, especially in lower price ranges.

Other Terms to Know

If you hear the term MLS, you should know it stands for multiple listing service. An MLS is a database that allows real estate brokers to share data on properties for sale, making the buying and selling process more efficient. There are many benefits to both homebuyers and sellers utilizing an MLS, for more information on how to get your home available through an MLS, work with a real estate professional when selling.

Read: What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know About Multiple Listing Services

Did you know? Homes.com has some serious MLS partnerships, no joke! When you start your home search on Homes.com, you’ll see accurate property information quickly so you’ll never have to wonder if a home is actually available.

House tourHouse tour

However, not all properties for sale are listed on the MLS. A home may be a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO), if the owner is selling his or her property without an agent and bypassing an MLS listing. In addition, some agents fail to enter their listings in the MLS for days or weeks at a time in hopes of selling to a list of preferred clients.

Read: Advantages of Buying With or Without an Agent

Finally, you may find yourself buying into a homeowners association (HOA) when you purchase a house or condominium apartment. HOAs are legal governing bodies that establish requirements everyone must adhere to in order to keep the community it oversees running smoothly and ensure property values are maintained.


Lew Sichelman

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Syndicated newspaper columnist, Lew Sichelman has been covering the housing market and all it entails for more than 50 years. He is an award-winning journalist who worked at two major Washington, D.C. newspapers and is a past president of the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

Source: homes.com

How to prepare for a natural disaster

My world is on fire.

As you may have heard, much of Oregon is burning right now. Thanks to a “once in a lifetime” combination of weather and climate variables — a long, dry summer leading to high temps and low humidity, then a freak windstorm from the east — much of the state turned to tinder earlier this week. And then the tinder ignited.

At this very moment, our neighborhood is cloaked in smoke.

I am sitting in my writing shed looking out at a beige veil clinging to the trees and nearby homes. The scent of the smoke is intense. My eyes are burning. After everything else that’s happened this year, this feels like yet one more step toward apocalypse. So crazy!

Fortunately, Kim and I (and the pets) are relatively safe. We’re worried, sure, but not too worried. Our lizard brains make us want to flee. (“Fight or flight” and all that.) But our rational brains know that unless a new fire starts somewhere nearby, we should be safe.

Here’s a current map of the fire situation in our county. (Click the image to open a larger version in a new window.)

Map of the wildfires in our county

The areas in red are under mandatory evacuation orders. (And the red dots are areas that have burned, I think. They added the dots to the map this morning.) Residents of areas shaded in yellow need to be prepped to leave at a moment’s notice. And the areas in green are simply on alert.

See that town called Molalla? That’s where my mother and one of my brothers live. My mother’s assisted-living facility was evacuated to a city twenty miles away. My brother and his family voluntarily moved from their home to our family’s box factory. But even that doesn’t feel 100% safe. (The box factory is located just to the left of that cluster of red dots at the top tip of the yellow area around Molalla.)

Kim and I live near the “e” in Wilsonville. We’re more than twenty miles from the nearest active fire. We should be safe. But, as a I say, we’re worried. So, I spent much of yesterday prepping for possible evacuation.

Update! As of Sunday afternoon (September 13th), things have calmed for us. The evacuation notice has been lifted for our area. The weather is changing. Rain is only a day or two away. So, we’re standing down. Now, having said that, there are still many people in our country who remain evacuated, and there are others who have lost their homes. (My brother’s town and home will probably emerge unscathed. Probably. For now, though, they’re still evacuated and living in an RV at the box factory.)

Natural Disasters

We Oregonians don’t have a protocol for emergency evacuations. It’s not something that really crosses our minds.

While the Pacific Northwest does have volcanoes, eruptions are rare enough that we never think about them. And yes, earthquakes happen. Eventually we’ll have “the Big One” that devastates the region, but again there’s no way to predict that and it’s not something we build our lives around. (Well, many people have been adding earthquake reinforcement to their homes, but that’s about it.)

In the past fifty or sixty years, the Portland area has experienced four other natural disasters.

Now, in 2020, we’re experiencing the worst wildfires the state has ever seen. That’s roughly one disaster every ten or fifteen years, and it’s the first one during my 51 years on Earth that’s made me think about the need for evacuation preparedness.

Kim and I have been asking ourselves lots of questions.

If we were to evacuate, where would we go? What route would we take? What would we carry with us? How would we prep our home to increase the odds that it would survive potential fire?

Let me share what we’ve decided and what we’ve learned. (And please, share what you know about emergency preparedness, won’t you?)

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Evacuation Preparedness

The first thing we did was brainstorm a list of things that were important to us. Without reference to experts, what is it that we would want to do and/or take with us, if we were to evacuate.

  • Our animals (and animal supplies).
  • Phones, computers, and charging cords.
  • Important documents from our fire safe.
  • A bag for each of us containing clothes and toiletries.
  • Sleeping bags and pillows.
  • Sentimental items. (We have no “valuable”.)
  • Create a video tour of the house for insurance purposes (be sure to highlight valuable items).
  • Move combustible items away from the house.

After creating our own list, we consulted the experts.

In this case, we looked at websites for communities in California. California copes with wildfires constantly. (And, in fact, Kim’s brother and his family recently had to help evacuate their town due to wildfires!) For no particular reason, I chose to follow the guidelines put out by Marin County, California. I figured they know what they’re talking about!

The FIRESafe MARIN website has a bunch of great resources dedicated to wildfire planning and preparedness. I particularly like their evacuation checklist. While this form is wildfire specific, it could be easily adapted for other uses, such as hurricane preparedness or earthquake preparedness.

The ready.gov website is an excellent resource for disaster preparedness. It contains lots of info about prepping for problems of all sorts. You should check it out.

Creating a Go Kit

FIRESafe MARIN and other groups recommend putting together an emergency supply kit well in advance of possible problems. Each person should have her own Go Kit, and each should be stored in a backpack. (In our case, I have several cheap backpacks that I’ve purchased while traveling abroad. These are perfect for Go Kits.)

What should you keep in a Go Kit? It depends where you live, of course, and what sorts of disasters your area is susceptible to. But generally speaking, you might want your kits to contain:

  • A bandana and/or an N95 mask or respirator.
  • A change of clothing.
  • A flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries.
  • Extra car keys and some cash.
  • A map marked with evacuation routes and a designated meeting point.
  • Prescription medications.
  • A basic first aid kit.
  • Photocopies of important documents.
  • Digital backup of important files.
  • Pet supplies.
  • Water bottle and snacks.
  • Spare chargers for your electronic equipment.

That seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s not. These things should fit easily into a small pack. Each Go Kit should be stores somewhere easy to access. Kim and I don’t have Go Kits yet, but we’ll create them soon. We intend to store them in the front coat closet.

Writing this article reminds me of one of the first posts I shared after re-purchasing Get Rich Slowly. Almost three years ago, I wrote about how to get what you deserve when filing an insurance claim. This info from a former insurance employee is very helpful (and interesting).

Final Thoughts

I spent much of yesterday prepping for possible evacuation. This isn’t so much out of panic as it is out of trying to take sensible precautions. I gathered things and put them in the living room so that we can be ready to leave, if needed. If authorities were to upgrade us from level one to level two status, I’d move this stuff to my car.

Also as a precaution, I moved stuff away from the house and thoroughly watered the entire yard. (Not sure that’d make much difference, but hey, it can’t hurt.) I created a video tour of the house that highlights anything we have of value. And so on. This took most of the afternoon.

This morning, I can see that the neighbors are doing something similar. We’re all trying to exercise caution, I think.

Kim and I will almost surely be fine. Although the smoke is thick here at the moment — it’s like a brownish fog, and it’s even clouding my view of the neighbor’s house! — there aren’t any fires super close to us. And barring mistakes or stupidity, there won’t be any threat to our home.

Still, it’s good for us to take precautionary measures, both now and for the future. And it’s probably smart for you to take some small steps today in case disaster strikes tomorrow.

Here’s a terrific Reddit post about what one person wishes they’d known when evacuating for wildfire.

Source: getrichslowly.org

How much does it cost to drive? Driving cost calculators and tools

My girlfriend recently bought a new car. After 23 years, she sold her 1997 Honda Accord to a guy who’s more mechanically inclined than we are. Kim upgraded to a 2016 Toyota RAV4, and she loves it.

One of her primary considerations when searching for a new car was the cost to drive it. In her ideal world, she would have purchased a fully-electric vehicle but it just wasn’t in her budget. The RAV4 hybrid was a compromise. According to fueleconomy.gov, it gets an estimated 32 miles per gallon. (And actual users report 34.7 miles per gallon.)

Cost to drive a RAV4 hybrid

Kim’s quest for a fuel-efficient car prompted me to revisit apps and online tools that help users track their driving and fuel habits. I’ve written about these in the past — and, in fact, this is an updated article from 2008! — but haven’t looked into them recently.

Here’s a quick look at some of my favorite driving cost calculators, tools, and apps.

Cost to Drive

Cost to Drive (stylized Cost2Drive) is an easy-to-use web app that estimates how much you’ll spend to drive from point A to point B. Enter your starting point (address, city, state, or zip code) and your destination, enter your vehicle information, then click a button.

Cost to Drive input

That’s it. Cost to Drive calculates travel distance, approximate driving time, and an estimate of your fuel costs. Here, for instance, is how much it would cost to drive from Portland to visit Kim’s brother in Groveland, California.

Cost to Drive output

This tool is handy for road trips, of course, but it’s also useful for extended journeys. Before Kim and I set out on our R.V. trip across the U.S., I used Cost to Drive to estimate how much we’d spend on fuel. (I was way off, but that’s not the fault of the tool. I overestimated the fuel economy of our motorhome!)

This isn’t the sort of tool that you’ll use every day, but it’s certainly useful enough to bookmark for later use.

Folks in Europe — and possibly the rest of the world — might want to play with the Via Michelin app, which offers route planning and driving cost calculations.

Fuelly

While we only used the Cost to Drive once for our R.V. trip, we used the Fuelly app every single day. And I still use it today.

Fuelly is primarily a smartphone app with which you can track your vehicle’s fuel economy. Whenever you stop to pump gas, you enter mileage and pricing info into the app, and it computes how much it costs to drive.

Here, for instance, are two screencaps from Fuelly showing how it tracked info for our motorhome.

Fuelly cost to drive screenshot  Fuelly cost to drive info

To get more accurate estimates of the cost to drive your vehicle, you can also log maintenance info in Fuelly. And, as you can see, the free version of the app is ad supported. Ad-free premium versions are available, and they include added features.

While the Fuelly website doesn’t offer a lot, there’s one feature that I think GRS readers will find interesting. If you select the browse vehicles option from the main menu, you, you can get a profile of driving info for all Fuelly users. Here, for instance, is what the app has tracked for other folks who own a 2004 Mini Cooper, like me.

Fuelly individual model info

Fuelly cost to drive info

GasBuddy

A decade ago, GasBuddy was a gas price aggregation tool. It collected fuel price info from across the United States, and served it up so that visitors could find the best prices in their area.

Today, GasBuddy is still that website, but it’s a whole lot more. For instance, you can look up a chart of gas price trends over the past couple of years.

Gas price trends

Or you can find local maps and national maps of current gas prices.

Local gas prices

National gas prices

And because it’s 2020 now, GasBuddy offers a smartphone app featuring all sorts of tools to help you calculate (and reduce) your fuel costs.

FuelEconomy.gov

FuelEconomy.gov is the official U.S. government source for fuel economy info. Like all U.S. government sites, it’s a treasure trove of data and resources.

The site includes a car finder (and comparison) tool (also available for iOS and Android devices), a vehicle power search, a fuel savings calculator, and more. There’s even a page exploring extreme MPG!

The site also provides some widgets for site owners (like me!) to share with their audience. Here’s

Find a Car Tool

This tool lets you look up official EPA fuel economy ratings for vehicles back to the 1984 model year.

   

Gas Mileage Tips

This tool displays a fuel-saving tips and provides links to additional tips on fueleconomy.gov.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency produce a Fuel Economy Guide to help buyers choose fuel-efficient vehicles. You can find guides from recent years in the Get Rich Slowly file vault, if you’re interested: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015.

If you’re into alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles, the U.S. Department of Energy has a bunch of different widgets to play with at their Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Sidenote: Many folks want a new Tesla or Prius in order to minimize their impact on the environment. This isn’t as straight-forward as it might seem. The calculations are complicated but the bottom line is this: In many cases, it makes more sense to keep (or buy) an older fuel-efficient vehicle than to buy a new one. That’s because the manufacturing process itself is the source of roughly 25% of a car’s environmental impact.

The Bottom Line

It’s important to note that even the best driving cost calculator has limitations. Most of these tools track only fuel costs, which are a small portion of the overall cost to drive your car.

Your true cost of car ownership includes the purchase price,insurance, maintenance, and more. According to the American Automobile Association, the average new vehicle costs 62 cents per mile to drive. AAA figures the average driver spends $9,282 per year on her automobile.

To truly determine how much you’re spending to get around, you need to take matters into your own hands. Find a cheap notebook or pad of paper. Grab a pen or pencil. Whenever you make a trip – even if it’s just down the street – log the time and the distance. Write down how much you spend on fuel and maintenance. Tally your car and insurance payments.

Do this long enough and you’ll begin to get a picture of your personal driving costs. At any point, you can simply divide the amount you’ve spent on your vehicle by the number of miles you’ve driven to learn how much it costs to drive.

What you do with this info is up to you!

Note: This is an updated article from the GRS archives. The original version from 03 December 2008 was woefully out of date. Some older comments have been retained.

Source: getrichslowly.org

Housing, civil rights groups ask Congress for $25B

A large partnership of housing and civil rights organizations reached out on Monday to congressional leaders advocating for further relief for homeowners in the next COVID-19 stimulus package.  

The letter was signed by representatives of more than 350 housing and civil rights organizations, including American Bankers Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders and the Housing Policy Council, the NAACP, National Urban League, National Fair Housing Alliance and National Consumer Law Center.

The letter calls for $25 billion in direct assistance to homeowners facing hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least $100 million for housing counseling, and just under $40 million for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program.

Of the approximately 3.8 million homeowners past due on their mortgages, over half of them are persons of color, according to Census Bureau.

Recent homebuyers that relied on low- or no-down payment loans from FHA, VA or the Rural Housing Service are at particular risk, the group contends, noting that even six months of forbearance can put borrowers underwater on their mortgages, owing more than their home is worth.


Honest Conversations — a podcast on minority homeownership

Join HousingWire this February as we aim to provide listeners with a greater perspective on how race, housing and wealth intersect, and what experts are doing to close the homeownership gap. Tune into HousingWire Daily every Wednesday to listen to our new miniseries, Honest Conversations, a show that will examine the state of minority homeownership.


“Moreover, these borrowers are predominantly Black and Latinx families, first-time buyers and low to moderate-income families,” the letter says. “Mortgage payments assistance will be critically important to the nearly 3 million borrowers that remain in long-term forbearance plans from their mortgage servicers. We cannot begin to tackle the racial homeownership and wealth gaps if we do not take steps to prevent a wave of COVID-induced foreclosures and loss of home equity.”

The group is hoping the bulk of the requested $25 billion comes through the recently reintroduced Homeowner Assistance Fund, which can be used by state housing finance agencies. In the letter to Congress, the group states that the HAF can help homeowners by providing direct assistance with mortgage payments and get into affordable loan modifications, while assisting with utility payments, property tax and insurance payments, homeowner association dues and other support to prevent the loss of home equity.

The outreach from housing and civil rights groups comes at a pivotal time for the American housing industry. Recently appointed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said she will play a key role in pushing the Biden administration’s economic agenda on Capitol Hill – which includes aggressive aid distribution in order to avoid an even longer recession.

President Joe Biden has repeatedly said his administration is focused on providing aid for those in need of affordable housing, and his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was recently voted into the budget reconciliation process in order to speed up passage. The plan calls for an additional $30 billion in funding for emergency rental, energy and water assistance for hard-hit households, plus $5 billion in emergency assistance to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

All of this at a time in the country where Black homeownership has declined year-over-year, according to a recent Census Bureau report, and the percentage of Americans experiencing housing insecurity has risen to 9.5% – up from 7.2% in late 2020.

“A critical lesson of the Great Recession is that the communities most impacted need targeted, early intervention,” the group wrote in the letter. “Acting now to include these key provisions in the pending COVID-19 relief package will help stem what could be a damaging housing crisis in the U.S. concentrated in low income communities and communities of color.”

Source: housingwire.com

Should You Upsize Your Home When Your Kids Are Teens?

As your children grow into the tween and teen years, your house can begin to feel cramped.

The kids have an increased need for privacy, and they are likely to have more friends over.

They may have more “stuff” as they take part in band, sports, and extracurriculars.  As parents, you may not like having your teen children in bedrooms right next door to your bedroom because they go to bed later and are noisier.

All of these reasons and more are why people often upsize in housing during their children’s tween and teen years.  Yet, is this really necessary?

Should you upsize your home?

Should you upsize your home?

The Upsizing Story

Roger and Payton decided to build a new house when their kids were 11 and 13 for all of the reasons stated above.

The new house had 1/3 more space, and the floor plan was split so that the parents’ bedroom was on one side of the house, and the kids’ bedrooms were on the other side with a living room in between.  They moved in when the kids were 12 and 14.  They loved the house, but within four years, their oldest son moved out.  And while their younger son lived at home while he went to college, they realized they could have easily stayed in their old home, which was plenty big enough for three people.

So often, homeowners decide to upsize when their children will often be out of the house in a few short years.  This may not be the smartest financial move for several reasons:

Increased Housing Expenses

When you upsize to a larger home, you’re going to face increased expenses.

With a larger house comes an increase in utilities, taxes, and maintenance costs.  These extra expenses may run several thousand dollars or more per year.

In addition, you may face a larger mortgage payment when upsizing, unless you made a considerable profit from the sale of your smaller house and were able to make a large down payment.

Increased Demands On Your Money

Not only will you likely have a larger mortgage and other routine costs mentioned above, but you’ll soon be facing many other expenses that come with the teen years.  You will likely have to pay auto expenses for your new fledgling drivers, including car insurance for teen drivers, which can be pricey. In addition, teens may be involved in more expensive extracurriculars as well as social events like prom.

Soon, your children will be off to college, and you may want to help pay some of those expenses, if not tuition, then perhaps some spending money for the kids.  Again, this will likely add thousands of dollars in expenses into the budget yearly.

As if all these increased expenses weren’t enough, this time of life is also when aging parents may need help.  Perhaps an elderly parent requires additional care, so one spouse must cut back on his or her work hours to spend more time with the parent.  Maybe the elderly parent needs additional financial support.

Finally, this is the time when many people try to increase their retirement contributions.  Substantially adding to your retirement can be difficult when you’re shouldering so many other financial burdens.

Many, many people upsize their homes when their kids are tweens and teens.  For families who are in a strong financial position, this is fine.  But for other families, staying in their current home, even for the few years when kids are teens and space feels tight, may make a world of difference in their finances as they face more expenses with their teens and their aging parents as well as their own retirement needs.

If you are the parent of teenagers, did you choose to upsize your home, or did you stay in the house you already owned even though it felt cramped?

Source: biblemoneymatters.com

American History: Massachusetts Home Built in 1647 Is This Week’s Oldest House for Sale

The United States has seen presidents come and go since 1789, but the oldest homes in America have been standing even longer than that.

Only a handful of homes in the nation can claim seniority over the oldest house to hobble onto the market this week. Built centuries ago, in 1647, the residence sits near the Atlantic Ocean in Marshfield, MA, and is one of the oldest homes in Plymouth County.

Updated inside and decorated in a nautical scheme of navy blue with crisp white accents, this old house doesn’t look as if it’s been around for nearly 400 years.

Besides the 17th century abode, there are several other can’t-miss Colonials on this week’s list—two in Bridgewater, MA, alone. There’s also a gorgeously renovated historic home in Charleston, SC, filled with fresh touches that elevate its historic status.

Scroll on down and have a look at all 10 of the oldest homes to land on the market this week.

Price: $659,900
Year built: 1647
Kenelm Winslow House: Lovingly updated, this Colonial sits on just under a half-acre at the end of a cul-de-sac near Rexhame Beach. Besides a plaque denoting its historic status, there’s also a gravestone out front with information on Kenelm Winslow.

The four-bedroom interior includes wide-plank pine floors, six fireplaces, beamed ceilings, built-ins, and a seamless mix of antique and contemporary finishes. The property also has an antique carriage house and storage sheds.

Marshfield, MA
Marshfield, MA

realtor.com

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Price: $1,550,000
Year built: 1704
The Georgian House: Once frequented by a who’s who of historic figures—including the signers of the Declaration of Independence, according to the listing—this is one of the city’s oldest homes.

The five-bedroom home has its original red pine floors, new bathrooms and kitchen, exposed wood beams, an updated country kitchen, and mudroom. Outside, the garden includes a patio, a wisteria arbor, and mature trees.

Annapolis, MD
Annapolis, MD

realtor.com

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Price: $750,000
Year built: 1705
Whitman-Rome House: The listing says this four-bedroom home is loosely associated with the poet Walt Whitman, who once lived in the area.

The charming residence has been updated in all the right places. The old wide-pine floors are still there, as are four fireplaces.

Each door on the main floor boasts a unique design. The nearly 2-acre lot also has a three-stall horse barn, so you can saddle up and explore the nearby 800-acre West Hills County Park, with its miles of trails.

Huntington, NY
Huntington, NY

realtor.com

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Price: $515,000
Year built: 1716
Greek Revival: This 18th-century farmhouse sits on just over an acre. Completely restored in the 1970s by an architect and updated again in 2020, the two-bedroom, 1,722-square-foot home includes a light-filled living room with fireplace, repainted interiors, and a large eat-in kitchen. The basement has a brick floor and workshop, and there’s also a garden shed out back.

Bristol, RI
Bristol, RI

realtor.com

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Price: $524,900
Year built: 1736
Wood/Crowley House: This charcoal-colored, three-bedroom home sits on nearly 3 wooded acres, and includes professional landscaping, an oversized barn and a garage. The antique home recently received a new roof and insulation, as well as a new water heater.

Bridgewater, MA
Bridgewater, MA

realtor.com

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Price: $2,000,000
Year built: 1740
Exclusive Charleston: Situated on one of the most historic streets in the city, this beautiful brick three-bedroom home has undergone several recent renovations and upgrades.

Updates include the custom black wooden shutters and copper gutters, a kitchen with a Calacatta Gold marble island, and a private, brick-enclosed garden. The gorgeous interiors are a potent blend of vintage style and modern touches.

Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC

realtor.com

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Price: $749,000
Year built: 1750
LaBasseur-Martinangle House: This historic four-bedroom home sits close to the water and received a restoration in 2007. Curb appeal is readily apparent, thanks to its covered porch and patio. Awash in airy pastels inside, this dreamy home is a one-of-a-kind antique.

Beaufort, SC
Beaufort, SC

realtor.com

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Price: $549,000
Year built: 1765
Joseph Hewes House: Bearing the name of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who is said to have owned this property, this historic Colonial is just steps from the waterfront, shops, and dining.

After several additions over the years, the handsome home has four bedrooms, a roomy kitchen, and an added closet in the owner’s suite. There are gardens and a storage building in the fenced backyard.

Edenton, NC
Edenton, NC

realtor.com

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Price: $579,600
Year built: 1760
Red, white and black: Impeccable from the exterior, thanks to its lovely lawn and bright-red front door, this Colonial has been updated throughout.

Highlights of the five-bedroom home include the sunny kitchen, four-season sunroom, wide-plank pine floors, and beehive oven. Outside, the 2-acre property has an in-ground pool, a barn with stables, plus a one-bedroom apartment with kitchenette and living room.

Bridgewater, MA
Bridgewater, MA

realtor.com

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Price: $239,900
Year built: 1770
Post and beam: This old farmhouse was restored to create a gorgeous, modern family home with character to spare.

Beamed ceilings, wood floors, and a stone fireplace are just a few of the vintage touches. A new kitchen, modern bathrooms, and updated systems have given this old three-bedroom house new life. The surrounding acreage is filled with fruit trees, raspberry bushes, a patio, and a small horse barn.

Warrensburg, NY
Warrensburg, NY

realtor.com

Source: realtor.com

Former Dollar General CEO’s 45,000-Square-Foot Mansion Is Built for Entertainment

A megamansion that Dollar General built possesses everything a family would need for a retreat.

Owned by Cal Turner, Jr., the former CEO and chairman of Dollar General, the home on Evans Ridge Road in Parker, CO, is on the market for $12.9 million.

“It is a very unique property, and certainly one of the larger homes in the country,” says the listing agent, Liza Hogan.

The family built the 45,000-square-foot house in 2001 as a retreat, and it’s in pristine condition two decades later.

“It has never been used as a primary home, so it’s in beautiful condition,” added Hogan.

The mansion occupies 35 acres of land about 45 minutes from Denver. An adjacent 35-acre parcel is also up for sale, offering the potential for 70 acres of fenced-in privacy.

“The location is fantastic. You have beautiful, panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains,” Hogan says.

It’s approached by a long driveway that dramatically circles up to the house.

“When you come through the main gate, you can’t see anything of the property,” she adds.

Exterior of mansion in Parker, CO
Exterior of mansion in Parker, CO

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Entry
Entry

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Entertaining space
Entertaining space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Bowling alley
Bowling alley

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Bar
Bar

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Theater
Theater

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Pool
Pool

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Conceived as an ideal spot for a family getaway or corporate retreat, the massive house was built with fun and entertainment in mind.

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Watch: Frank Lloyd Wright Home Is a Rare Find in Indiana

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“It’s got a complete entertainment wing, with everything from a heated pool that looks like it was designed for a Roman emperor, Jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna room,” Hogan explains. “There’s also a home theater, a dance floor with a stage, a bowling alley, a billiard table, a pingpong table, arcade room, and a home gym. Outside, there are ponds that are stocked with fish.”

Bedroom
Bedroom

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Bedroom
Bedroom

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Bedroom
Bedroom

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Bathroom
Bathroom

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Guests who are exhausted after all the activities on tap will have plenty of places to sleep and recharge.

The main house offers six bedrooms, including a master suite as well as a one-bedroom apartment with a separate entrance. Two other apartments are on the property.

“You can go outside to get there, but they do connect to the main house. One is a two-bedroom apartment, and the other one is a three-bedroom apartment. That adds five more bedrooms,” Hogan says.

A large caretaker’s residence has two bedrooms. With this much space, there’s room for all guests to spread out and enjoy themselves.

Hogan tells us that the mansion’s layout is ideal for long-term guests.

“If you have guests that are staying for an extended period of time, whether it’s friends, family members, or business associates, they can have their own quarters,” she says.

Kitchen
Kitchen

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Kitchen
Kitchen

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Dining space
Dining space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Dining space
Dining space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Each apartment has its own kitchen, and the main house has a large main kitchen with a catering kitchen nearby. There are also two large dining areas, one more formal than the other.

Owners and guests will have plenty of places to park, thanks to a 29-car garage with space enough for an RV.

Garage
Garage

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Garage
Garage

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Garage
Garage

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

The house is being sold fully furnished, with the exception of a few personal items.

“We have had a complete inventory of all the furnishings done by a professional. It’s approximately 60 pages long, with every item, and photos,” Hogan adds.

Wine cellar
Wine cellar

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

The sale also includes all of the artwork and all the bottles in the extensive wine cellar.

The home has been on the market for a couple of years and was once listed for more than $20 million.

Hogan says the pool of possible buyers who want this size of house at this kind of price tag in the Denver area is limited.

“This is toward the upper end in Denver,” she says, adding that the current price reflects what the market can bear, rather than its true value.

“The seller probably has at least twice the current asking price into the property. You have to be realistic, and a property has to reflect the market.”

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

The Turner family isn’t using the house as much as they used to, so it’s time to sell.

“Lives changed, and people go in different directions. Kids grow up, and all the things that we see happen with these large, legacy homes,” Hogan says. “They still use the property, but not the way that they did for many years. It’s just time to move on.”

Although the house is huge, Hogan says it still feels warm and welcoming.

“There are many intimate areas within the house,” she says. “Every time I show it, people remark on the fact that they’re able to find spaces where they don’t feel like they’re overwhelmed with the size, and they can have privacy.”

Gym
Gym

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Boardroom
Boardroom

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Game room
Game room

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Outdoor space
Outdoor space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Game room
Game room

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Outdoor space
Outdoor space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Living space
Living space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

Outdoor space
Outdoor space

Estate Photo Video/ Michael Hefron

  • For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
  • Homes for sale in Parker, CO
  • Learn more about Parker, CO

Source: realtor.com

Compliments to the Chef

As more Americans turn to home cooking and entertaining, the functionality of a kitchen is more important than ever when choosing a home.

Over the past half-century, kitchens have become somewhat fetishized; a place to display high-tech appliances and high design cookware, a social hub for friends and family, and a continuation of home style that showcases elegance and considered design choices. Pare it back to basics, though, and today’s kitchen is still essentially what it always has been: a place to prepare food. And homeowners, spurred recently by stay-at-home orders, but also inspired by home-cooking television shows, health concerns and the rising expense of dining out, are increasingly relying on their kitchens in times when eating out is not an option, as well as using their kitchens as additional entertainment space; somewhere to try their hand at cooking for their friends and family. For house hunters who relish the opportunity to regularly entertain and prepare food for guests, it pays to know what to look for when assessing kitchen space during your house search—and the best person to ask is an expert.

Edouard Massih is a private chef and caterer in New York City. He hosts intimate dinners in his own home, giving local diners the experience of enjoying his food in a less formal, more personal way. Massih, who was born in Lebanon, found his love for cooking in his grandmother’s kitchen. Sharing food and creating community has always been the driving force behind Massih’s cooking, and he has discovered a way to do that in his own backyard—literally.

“I wanted to invite people into my backyard, because I had a very unique space in Brooklyn, and not a lot of people [in New York] get to have dinners in a backyard,” Massih says. To bring to life his vision of cooking for the community, Massih extensively renovated his Greenpoint backyard, creating a lush urban escape where guests can enjoy the exquisite food that he prepares in his own kitchen—each dish enhanced by a dash of his grandfather’s olive oil, all the way from Lebanon.

Having worked on his kitchen to ensure that it had everything that he needed to support his at-home dining experiences, Massih has the knowledge of both a professional chef and a home cook. We asked him for some tips to help aspiring culinary hosts to choose the right kitchen space, starting with the five kitchen elements that he finds to be indispensable. First, Massih says, is “the right fridge, or the right fridge space.” Part of taking the pressure off yourself when entertaining, he says, is making sure that you’re prepared in advance. “Entertaining is all about making it simple for yourself when people are there— being able to prep ahead and batching the drinks; having the pitchers of water ready in the fridge; and having everything ready to go. Maybe serve more cold stuff than hot. You can do a pasta salad and an orzo salad, and make it two hours in advance.”

Preparing food in advance, chilling drinks and ensuring that all of your produce is fresh all comes down to having the right fridge. And while interactive fridges with weather forecasts and recipe databases can be useful, the main thing is space—and plenty of it. If you want to get fancy, you could go for a hot-water dispenser and temperature-adjustable drawers, both of which assist in various cooking processes; just make sure that you have enough shelf space to hold all of the food and beverages that you’ve prepped for your guests.

Compliments to the Chef image 1

Because you can’t make a lot of food without creating a lot of mess, Massih insists that having two sinks is vital: one dedicated to food prep, and one to cleanup. You can keep your prep equipment near your prep sink (think bowls, colanders, appliances), and dishes near the cleanup sink (which should ideally be close to the dishwasher). In addition, having two sinks creates more flexibility for multiple cooks, and streamlines the flow while you’re cooking.

The third must-have for Massih is “a lot of prep area—lots of counter space.” You need space for laying out, preparing and organizing ingredients, which most people consider when thinking about counter space; but if you’re planning on entertaining groups of diners, you also need enough counter space to plate all of the meals at once. Nobody wants to be balancing plates on top of kitchen stools because there’s not enough room for everything on the countertop.

Fourth for Massih is storage, in terms of both kitchen cabinets and a decent pantry. You want plenty of space, and also space that complements your cooking flow. Pots and pans should be as close to your stove as possible—either on a rack above or in a cabinet below—and serving utensils like spoons and tongs should be close to where you do your plating, to minimize the number of steps you have to take to collect your cooking tools, which helps with efficiency when you’re cooking for a group of people. A walk-in pantry is ideal, with various shelf sizes and storage options for appliances that are not in regular use. For chefs, there’s nothing worse than a cluttered cooktop.

Lastly, Massih emphasizes the importance of, as he calls it, “legit trash.” “You want a trash can that’s near the sink or accessible around [where you’re working], and not one of those little tiny trash barrels that fits nothing,” he says. “Otherwise, every two minutes, you’ll have to take the trash out when you’re prepping.” Massih also spends a lot of time cooking in other people’s kitchens as part of his catering and private-chef business, and the one feature that he is always delighted to see is a back kitchen.

“What is really nice about some of [the private homes that I cook in] is they have a back kitchen, like the ‘help’ kitchen,” he says. “That really does help a lot. If I [had the resources], and I was looking for a house to entertain in a lot or to do a lot of dinners in, then that’s definitely something that I would look for. “A lot of these kitchens nowadays are very open-plan, because the idea of it is that it’s really fun. But it gets annoying when you’re [hosting] a formal dinner, and you can’t do dishes [or hide them away] while your guests are eating. Having a small back kitchen really helps, because then you can hide all of the stuff that you don’t want people to see.”

There’s nothing wrong with a kitchen as a style statement, and most people whose interests lie in kitchens will admit to some fetish-like reverence. Just keep practical concerns in mind, particularly when you have culinary aspirations; remember, you can have a waterfall countertop AND legit trash. That’s what we call the best of both worlds.

For more information on Edouard Massih and his home-style cooking, visit www.edouardmassih.com.

Source: century21.com

Daniel LaRusso’s House on Cobra Kai: A Real-Life Tuscan-Style Villa

In Netflix’s popular series inspired by the iconic ’80s movie the original Karate Kid, Daniel LaRusso, has moved up in the world — and traded the rundown apartment complex he lived in with his mother for a downright gorgeous Tuscan villa in a posh Los Angeles neighborhood.

In the 30 years or so since Daniel (played by Ralph Macchio) famously defeated the Cobra Kai star student and two-time winner of the All Valley Karate Championship, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), LaRusso becomes the owner of a successful car dealership chain in Southern California. He lives happily with his wife, Amanda, and their two children, Samantha and Anthony, in a large home with a swimming pool in Encino — an upscale neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. At least that’s what the storyline of Cobra Kai claims.

Daniel LaRusso’s house in Cobra Kai. Image credit: Netflix

With countless scenes in the series taking place at the LaRusso residence, we couldn’t help ourselves and had to track down the house featured in the Netflix show. Especially since the Tuscan style house is so damn beautiful (and I’m willing to bet I wasn’t the only one reduced to tears to see members of the Cobra Kai dojo make a complete mess out of it at the end of the third season).

Where is Daniel LaRusso’s house in Cobra Kai?

Carefully picked to reflect Daniel San’s new status in the world, his luxurious-yet-homey Spanish-inspired villa is said to be located in Encino, a quiet, affluent neighborhood in San Fernando Valley. While still geographically close to Reseda, where Daniel lived with his mother after moving to Los Angeles, Encino is worlds apart in terms of affordability and home prices — which also signals the divide between Daniel and Johnny, and which worlds they belong to as grown-ups. Boasting impressive architecture and verdant green spaces, Encino has housed a number of notable residents, from Richard Pryor to Johnny Cash, and even got a shot-out from Frank Zappa in his 1982 hit song “Valley Girl”.

Daniel and Johnny next to the pool of the LaRusso house in Cobra Kai. Image credit: Netflix

Where to find it in real life

With its Tuscan-style architecture, Mediterranean-inspired décor, lush landscaping, and generous pool area, the house looks like it was taken straight out of a rich Los Angeles neighborhood. So much so, that many people have pointed out the striking similarities between Daniel Larusso’s house and that of the Walsh family from Beverly Hills 90210. While the two TV homes do share some architectural features, two very different locations were used for filming.

In real life, the LaRusso house isn’t even in California. The house is actually in Marietta, Georgia, a beautiful community located just northwest of Atlanta. While we won’t provide the exact address of the home (out of privacy concerns, as this is an actual single-family house that a lucky family calls home), we did manage to track it down on Zillow.com, and find out quite a few things about it.

With an estimated worth of $1.7 million, the charming Tuscan villa has 6 bedrooms and 7 baths spread across roughly 9,000 square feet of living space. As seen on the Netflix show, the house comes with tons of outdoor space, including a resort-like pool and al fresco dining, and there’s also a greenhouse and an indoor atrium. Other nice features include cork floors, clay walls, and many expansive, rounded windows that add to the appeal of the house.

Cobra Kai – Season 2 – Episode 205. Scene filmed inside the LaRusso house. Image credit: BOB MAHONEY/NETFLIX
Daniel and Amanda LaRusso in their fictional home in Cobra Kai. Image credit: BOB MAHONEY/NETFLIX

Other Cobra Kai filming locations are split between Georgia and California

Despite the action of the show taking place in California, many of the locations seen on screen are actually in Georgia. Just like the LaRusso family home, their dealership and the country club they belong to are both in Georgia, as is the fictional West Valley High School (scenes take place C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center in Adamsville, Atlanta).

In fact, the only prominent location from the series that’s actually based in California is Johnny Lawrence’s apartment building, said to be in Reseda. In reality, it’s located about a 10-minute drive away, on Burbank Blvd in Tarzana.

Outside Johnny Lawrence’s apartment building on Cobra Kai. Image credit: Mark Hill/NETFLIX

This isn’t the first time Georgia serves as filming grounds for shows said to be based in different cities. Due to its great tax incentives, the Peach State has been attracting film crews in droves, with many popular shows being filmed here including Ozark, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, The Haunting of Hill House, Sweet Magnolias, and many more.

More homes from popular TV shows

The ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ House Isn’t Even in Bel-Air
Is it Real? Lucifer’s Den of Sin & Luxury Penthouse at Lux
Where to Find the Real Carrington Manor from ‘Dynasty’
Are They Real? The Opulent Homes in ‘Bridgerton’

Source: fancypantshomes.com