Homebuying Must-Haves: How COVID-19 Has Changed What’s Hot or Not in a Home

The last two months of stay-at-home orders and quarantines have drastically changed how people are utilizing and enjoying their home. The needs of homeowners have changed and that has altered what home buyers are now looking for in a home. What used to be the “must-have” item or space in a home is changing as homes have become people’s offices, playrooms, restaurants, and classrooms. Here’s what you can expect to come back in style, and fade out, in a post-coronavirus market.

What’s In

The Rise in Home Offices

As both children and parents are now working from home, homeowners are discovering the necessity for dedicated home offices. While the new normal post-coronavirus remains to be seen, companies are already planning for employees to work remotely more often. The days of utilizing the dining table as a workspace are proving to not be functional or realistic for the new reality. With an estimated 56% of the US workforce employed in a remote work compatible field and an estimated 66% of employees currently working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s now a critical element for home buyers that a home has a dedicated home office or an area that could be utilized as one. As sellers list their homes this summer, they’d be wise to cater to this new need by staging a room or area as an office for home buyers to see the potential.

Comfortable workplace with computer near wooden wall in stylish room interior. Home office designComfortable workplace with computer near wooden wall in stylish room interior. Home office design

Taking the Living Room Outside

The yard and extended living areas have always been a factor in the home buyer’s mind. But as community swimming pools and playgrounds are shuttered due to the outbreak, the importance of ample backyard space or additional outdoor areas to enjoy and relax have risen in popularity. As quarantine grows, many are looking for ways to escape their four walls in a safe way. Since COVID-19 and food scarcity, many homeowners value the area to create their own garden. Buyers will be looking for existing gardens or spaces to create one.

A Need for Flexible Spaces

As homeowners utilize their homes in new ways, spaces that can serve double (or triple) duty has major appeal. A guest bedroom that also provides a home office area, or a bonus room that serves as a media room and an at-home classroom. Homeowners are getting creative with their spaces and needing their spaces to serve multiple purposes. For those selling in the coming months, staging to promote and define flexible spaces would appeal to home buyers!

What’s Out

Open Concept Floor Plans

Although it has been all-the-rage for the last several years, open concept makes it difficult for homeowners that are cooking, Zoom-learning, and conference calling more often. As many modern designs offer one large room that serves as the living room, dining room, and kitchen, its popularity has waned as families need more individual, quiet spaces to work and learn at home.

Stainless Steel

What has been the “gold” standard in kitchens for many years, in a post-COVID world, home buyers are looking for sanitary surfaces. If you’ve ever stepped back to look at your stainless steel dishwasher, you’ve probably seen its front cluttered with fingerprints and handprints. Having lived through Coronavirus, we know the detrimental power of transferring germs and viruses from touch. More sanitary surfaces such as copper will most likely grow in popularity with buyers. In fact, in a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and funded by the National Institute of Health, researchers discovered that the novel coronavirus survived for only four hours on copper versus three days on stainless steel.

While the future “new normal” is still up in the air, the real estate market is still moving homes. As with other previous events, COVID-19 has forced a change in the needs of buyers—and those needs may continue to evolve as more of our day-to-day lives are changed because of the pandemic. But, buyers are already shifting their needs and wants which we can reasonably expect to have a long term effect on home design.


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Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She’s passionate about the power of real estate. She’s also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.

Source: homes.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

Former OPI Exec Lists Italian-Style Villa in Beverly Hills for $33 Million

Miriam Schaeffer, a former executive at nail polish giant OPI Products, is looking to sell her Italian-style villa in Beverly Hills, CA — and won’t settle for just any amount.

The nail polish mogul — who is also the former wife of George Schaeffer, founder of the popular nail polish brand — is asking a hefty $33 million for her opulent home set in one of the most sough-after streets in the area, Roxbury Drive, a historically popular address among celebrities.

Located on N. Roxbury Drive, the property has a rich history and has been considerably upgraded and expanded in recent years. In fact, Schaeffer invested heavily in the property, expanding its footprint by roughly 40% and significantly boosting the amenity roster.

Originally built in 1926 by the architectural firm Camduff and Camduff as one of the partners’ own homes, the architectural masterpiece was revamped by renowned architect Richard Manion in 2016. The current owner worked alongside the architect to add amenities like a media room and a wine cellar, and to expand the beautiful grounds. 

Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

The combination of Spanish, Italian, and Mediterranean revival architecture is probably why this property is also known as Casa California. It’s a perfect representation of relaxed California living, featuring a long list of fun amenities that includes a fitness studio, a media room, a spa, and a swimming pool. 

The property offers roughly 210 feet of frontage along N. Roxbury Drive, also known as ‘street of the stars’ (a highly popular destination for celebrities living in Beverly Hills), but it also offers privacy from prying eyes via a gated and hedged entrance.

The mansion has 7 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and an impressive total of 13,765 square feet of living space. The rear grounds are home to the pool, the spa, a guest house, and a fitness studio, all surrounded by complete privacy and tranquility.

Inside, a two-story entry greets visitors, leading to a living room with a stunning fireplace and doors that open to the front grounds. There is also a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen, complete with a breakfast room and a wood-paneled family room that opens to the pool. 

Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

Upstairs, there is a gorgeous master suite that incorporates a sitting room, custom-made closets, and a terrace with fabulous views. There’s no shortage of space for family or friends, as the upper levels also include no less than 5 guest suites. 

Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

Additional amenities include a wine cellar, an elevator, an entertainment room, and a bar, making this house perfect for any type of entertaining. 

Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

This luxurious N. Roxbury Drive property is marketed by The Agency, with Jacob Dadon handling the listing. The current owner is Miriam Schaeffer, the former wife of George Schaeffer, who founded the popular nail polish brand OPI. 

Schaeffer bought OPI (then Odontorium Products Inc.) in 1981 in Calabasas. At the time, the company was in the dental supply business, but Schaeffer and partner Suzi Weiss-Fischmann turned the brand into a global nail polish giant. The brand’s products were used in movies like Legally Blonde 2 and Alice in Wonderland, and they are known for their chip-resistant formula and bright colours. The company was acquired by Coty, Inc. in 2010, and Schaeffer stepped down as CEO in 2013. 

Miriam Schaeffer, George Schaeffer’s ex-wife, once worked as an executive and treasurer for the brand. She reportedly purchased the opulent house in 2012 for $14 million, according to Mansion Global, and invested in expanding its footprint by nearly 40%, alongside architect Richard Manion. 

More beautiful homes with famous owners

Chrissy Teigen & John Legend Buy $17.5M Beverly Hills Mansion After Cashing Big on Previous Home
Morgan Brown Re-Lists Stunning West Hollywood Home Amid Split from Actor Gerard Butler
Kendall Jenner Gives Us a Tour of her Peaceful, Art-Filled Home
For $35K/Month, You Could Join the Ranks of the Hollywood Celebs Renting This House in Malibu

Source: fancypantshomes.com

Is It Real? The Creepy Mansion in ‘The Haunting of Hill House’

We recently covered the new Haunting of Bly Manor, director Mike Flanagan’s so-called sequel to the epic mini-series The Haunting of Hill House. And while we were anxiously waiting for the series to drop on Netflix, we thought we’d try to distract ourselves by taking a trip down memory lane and re-watching the first season. 

Are the two seasons connected? Kind of.

Now, the two parts have nothing to do with each other in terms of plot, but you’ll get to see some familiar faces from the first series. Director Mike Flanagan is obviously taking cues from American Horror Story, which tends to re-cast the same actors in each season, much to our delight. 

Another thing that the two seasons have in common is a central character in the form of a mansion that brings all the other characters together. Both The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor are based on iconic gothic novels, namely Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House and Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw

While Bly Manor, according to James’ short novel, is welcoming and warm, bearing no signs whatsoever of anything evil lurking inside it, Hill House is a different story. Mike Flanagan might have strayed from the plot and the characters found in Jackson’s novel, but the central character is the same: a classic, creepy, dark and mysterious haunted mansion. 

The House in The Haunting of Hill House. Image credit: Steve Dietl/Netflix

Hill House’s dark allure

Hill House, both in the novel and in the Netflix adaptation, is sinister-looking, unwelcoming, ominous even, like a warning to those who dare enter. In Flanagan’s version, Hill House is a living and breathing organism that manages to haunt the Crain family for decades, luring them back one by one. 

The Crain family, which includes Hugh and Olivia and their children, Theo, Nell, Shirley, Luke, and Steven, moves into Hill House as the parents have a passion for flipping houses. Hugh and Olivia plan to renovate the crumbling mansion and then sell it to build their dream house, designed by Olivia herself. However, Hill House has other plans in store for the Crains.

Repairs take much longer than anticipated, as if the house itself was committed to causing trouble and keeping the family close. Gradually, the family starts experiencing some strange phenomena. Kids are seeing ‘bent-neck ladies’ in the night, hearing strange noises, while Olivia becomes increasingly unhinged, much to Hugh’s concern. 

Inside the house in The Haunting of Hill House. Image credit: Steve Dietl/Netflix

Things progress and get worse, until one fateful night when Hugh and the kids are forced to flee and escape Hill House, apparently leaving Olivia behind. What truly happened that night is only explained at the end of the series, when the kids, now adults, return to Hill House with their father to finally learn the truth. 

We don’t want to give too much away, in case you haven’t seen the series yet – if that’s the case, stop reading right now for crying out loud and go binge-watch some Netflix. Basically, the house has a strange grip on each of the members of the Crain family, and many years later it manages to lure them back, one by one, for reasons that are only revealed in the final episode. 

Inside the house in The Haunting of Hill House. Image credit: Steve Dietl/Netflix

Is Hill House a real place?

Fortunately, Hill House is an entirely fictional place, so no worries about being inexplicably lured to it like the Crains. However, there is a real place that inspired the look and feel of Hill House, located in LaGrange, Georgia. 

Bisham Manor (courtesy of Zillow)

Dubbed Bisham Manor, the imposing estate at 1901 Old Young’s Mill Road might look like the house in the series, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. The interior shots were filmed on a set, and they look nothing like the interior of Bisham Manor, which is far from creepy. In fact, Bisham Manor is a popular and charming wedding and event venue, so it’s safe to say it’s attracting visitors for non-evil purposes. 

Bisham Manor, according to Zillow, boasts roughly 11,000 square feet of space, and is a 1920s English Tudor-style home that was redeveloped in the early 2000s by master-builder Ben Parham. The four-story estate is being used as an event venue for corporate events, meetings and team buildings, weddings, parties, and so on.

Though it might look like an old English castle, it comes decked out with modern amenities like a gym, spa, sauna, steam, wine cellar, and an outdoor pool. Nothing evil about that, as far as we can see. But Bisham’s former owners might disagree.

Interiors at Bisham Manor (via Zillow)

Neil and Trish Leichty purchased Bisham Manor in 2013, and they reported that the house is definitely haunted by a couple of ghosts of its own. The couple described music playing in the basement despite there being no sound system installed, strange smells permeating throughout the house, and things disappearing in the night.

The Leichtys soon moved to a different home, but continued to experience strange events, much like the Crains were haunted by Hill House decades after they left it. Coincidence? We’ll let you be the judge of that.

If you haven’t watched The Haunting of Hill House, you still have some time until The Haunting of Bly Manor drops on October 9. Prepare to be spooked, but don’t worry, the house is purely fictional. If, on the other hand, you’ve already seen it twice, then check out these other haunted houses we’ve covered here on Fancy Pants Homes. Halloween season is not too far away, so you better start getting ready!

More haunted houses

Behind the Evil Eyes: The (Real) Story of the Amityville House
The Haunting of Thornewood Castle – Where Stephen King Filmed the Rose Red Miniseries
Is It Real? The Creepy House in Stephen King’s ‘It’
The Winchester House — The Haunted Mansion that Inspired the Name of Supernatural’s Winchester Brothers

Source: fancypantshomes.com

Move in Next to Californication’s Hank Moody in This Industrial-Style Loft in Venice, CA

If you’re a die-hard Californication fan with a sizable real estate budget, here’s one opportunity you won’t want to let go to waste: a loft has recently come to market right next to Hank Moody’s fictional home in the popular Showcase series.

The modern loft with panoramic ocean views is set at 25 Brooks Ave in Venice, neighboring Hank Moody’s crib from the popular 7-season series (26 Brooks Ave served as filming location for the troubled novelist’s Los Angeles digs). But there’s much more to love about this loft beyond its association with the hit TV show.

Inside a modern industrial-style loft with beautiful interiors in Venice, CA. Image credit: The Agency

The loft has a pull-up garage door window

Designed by award-winning local architect Steven Ehrlich, the 2-bed, 3-bath loft has open, airy interiors with soaring ceilings and industrial-style ceilings with exposed ductwork. Its light-filled living room has been fitted with polished concrete floors, expansive windows, a large fireplace and a pull-up garage door window that brings the outside ocean air in. 

Modern loft in Venice, CA has a unique pull-up garage door window that opens to the outdoors. Image credit: The Agency
Modern loft in Venice, CA has a unique pull-up garage door window that opens to the outdoors. Image credit: The Agency

There’s a 2-and-a-half-story art wall right in the middle

Right between the living space and the kitchen, there’s a striking 2.5-story art wall that’s visible from every room of the loft condo. This adds to the artsy appeal of the unique abode, making it the perfect choice for art aficionados (or creative types of the Hank Moody variety).

The tall art wall separates the living room area from the kitchen, and is visible from every room of the house. Image credit: The Agency

The bedroom is suspended over the living room

Aiming for that New York-loft vibe, the master suite is suspended over the living room, overlooking the rest of the space — with direct view of the 2.5-story art wall. The bedroom has been fitted with a showroom closet and large master balcony. As the listing rightfully points out, both bedrooms offer the option for communal living with no walls or complete privacy by closing the dividers. 

The two-story loft’s bedrooms are suspended over the living room. Image credit: The Agency
The two-story loft’s bedrooms are suspended over the living room. Image credit: The Agency
The main bedroom has a showroom closet and large master balcony. Image credit: The Agency

The place is great for entertaining guests

The open floor sees the living room open up into the dining room and kitchen, which makes it all one large space for get-togethers (of course, once they become the norm again and we’re done with our current hermit lifestyle). The custom-made chef’s kitchen is outfitted with Viking stove, oversized Sub-Zero fridge and custom cabinetry — to match the rest of the décor.

Open floor plan with plenty of space to entertain guests. Image credit: The Agency
Open floor plan with plenty of space to entertain guests. Image credit: The Agency

And while the industrial-style loft may be great for indoor entertaining, it’s the outdoor space that takes the cake. The 25 Brooks Ave unit comes with a private entertainer’s rooftop deck with corner ocean views of Catalina and Point Dume. In a Hank Moody-esque twist, there’s also a sunset facing soaking tub on the rooftop deck (you know, for those times when the party ends with someone getting drunk as a skunk and falling asleep in the bath tub).

Roof top deck features a quirky soaking tub facing the sunset. Image credit: The Agency

Just steps off the Venice boardwalk

The 1,844-square-foot loft isn’t only close to filming locations; its address places it just moments from the beach, as well as the Venice Boardwalk, Abbot Kinney and Rose Avenue.

To buy into 25 Brooks Ave, it’ll cost you $2,440,000. The Agency’s Jagger Kroener and Michael Grady hold the listing.

The 25 Brooks Ave loft is just a short walk away from the beach. Image credit: The Agency

More cool homes

Extreme Makeover’s Ty Pennington Lists Bright and Beautiful Venice Beach Home
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This Stunning Modern House Was Built With Fire Safety in Mind

Source: fancypantshomes.com

6 Ways to Summer-Proof Your Home

With summertime comes scorching temperatures which can wreak havoc on a home. But, it’s not just record-breaking temperatures that can cause problems with your home in the summer. From hurricanes to deferred safety measures, there are many items homeowners should address to adequately summer-proof their home!

Read: How to Keep Common Summer Pests Away from Your Home

English streetEnglish street

Protecting Your Home From Summertime Heat

In many parts of the country, extreme heat is a common problem during the summer. Heat can not only cause health problems; it can cause home problems. There are several ways to protect a home from extreme temperatures:

Have AC Unit Professionally Serviced

It always seems like if the air conditioning is going to go out, it does it on the hottest day of the year! To prevent that from happening, have a licensed HVAC technician service your AC unit, inspect for low freon or identify any other potential problems. Staying ahead of any maintenance problems can be less expensive and definitely more convenient.

Add Insulation

Did you know the insulation in your attic may not be adequate? Many areas offer free or reduced energy audits to homeowners through their utility companies. Having an energy audit done will not only identify areas where air may be “leaking,” but it also typically includes additional blow-in attic insulation service—at no charge! Even if your area does not provide this free service, contacting an energy auditing service can be a minimal expense that will save in the long run! In fact, you can save up to $600 annually in energy costs just by adding insulation to your attic.

Seal Decks and Railings

As you can imagine, your deck and railing receives blazing direct sunlight for most of the day. The hours of direct sunlight and heat can fade, warp, and damage a deck. By adding a sealant with UV protection, a homeowner can prolong the life of their deck.

deck backyard summer proofdeck backyard summer proof

Read: Six Things to Check for the Safety of Your Deck

Protecting Your Home For Summertime Safety

It’s common that people spend more time outside enjoying warmer temperatures. You want your home and backyard oasis to be a safe haven, so it’s important not to defer safety measures!

Add A Swimming Pool Alarm

Not surprisingly, one of the most common accidents in summer months is drownings. While swimming pools can be a welcomed asset, they can also be a liability. In fact, according to the CDC, on average 10 people per day die in accidental drownings. Protect your family, and reduce the risk, by installing a swimming pool alarm. These simple devices can activate if motion is detected in a swimming pool and have the potential to save lives. In fact, some cities even require that an alarm be installed.

Read: Can Adding a Pool Increase Your Home Value?

Properly Extinguish Fire Pits and Grills

Backyard dining with fresh steaks from the grill or smores from your newly added fire pit is a great way to enjoy long summer days, but it’s also an opportunity for disaster. Anytime an open flame is present there is a risk for fire. In fact, between 2014-2018, over 10,000 house fires were attributed to grills, and July has the highest percentage for grill fires. Routine care and cleaning of a grill is critical to safely operating it. Before grilling, follow as safety measures listed in the manual, and always keep a fire extinguished close at hand. When finished grilling, make sure the flame is entirely extinguished and the grill is in the off position.

summer proof home extinguish grillsummer proof home extinguish grill

Read: 8 New Products to Transform Your Backyard this Summer

Protecting Your Home From Extreme Weather

As many coastal natives know, summertime is also the beginning of hurricane season. Properly protecting your home before a hurricane can help to prevent damage. Prior to hurricane season, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage, including flood and wind damage coverage. During hurricane season, make sure your home is properly protected. To see some simple steps homeowners can follow to protect their home during a hurricane, click here.

Summer is a time to enjoy long days and warm temps at home—which is even more accurate now that COVID is here. By addressing routine maintenance and safety items, homeowners can enjoy their backyard oasis even more!


See more posts by this author

Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She’s passionate about the power of real estate. She’s also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.

Source: homes.com

What To Know Before You Buy Lakefront Property

Many people dream of owning waterfront property, and for those in landlocked states — that dream is a lakefront home. And, since COVID-19 has left people to their own devices when it comes to staying home, the interest in lakefront properties has increased dramatically. In markets all across the country, lake sales have soared in the midst of the pandemic with most of the sales being vacation and second homes as more employers and schools are allowing remote and virtual work.

With the threat of another lockdown or quarantine always looming, people want a place to enjoy with space, recreation, and relaxation while confined to home. However, before you sign on that dotted line to purchase a lakefront property of your own, there are several important factors to consider.

lakefront propertylakefront property

You May Pay More In Insurance

Lakefront buyers may be surprised to learn that home insurance rates tend to be higher the closer you are to water. However, there are other factors that also impact insurance rates. Amanda Cabe, Realtor and lake expert at Drake Realty Lake Area in the Lake Sinclair and Lake Oconee area says “Homeowner’s insurance will take into consideration that it is, more than likely, a second home. It will take into consideration any watercraft, it will also take into consideration where there is water hydrant, and if the fire department is a volunteer department or run by the county.”

Read: Why You Should Buy More Than the Minimum of Homeowner’s Insurance

Tip For Buyers:

Before you make an offer, call several home insurance companies to get a specific quote on the property you’re interested in. This can avoid any surprises down the road. It can also enlighten the buyer as to items that will be of significant to home insurance companies.

You May Not Have Full Control Over Your Property

Cabe explains that lake buyers are shocked to learn that “there are rules to what you can do with your lake home.  For example, these rules can dictate if a home can have a dock or not. They can dictate what type of dock. These rules can dictate something as simple as changing boards on a dock to taking down trees along the shoreline.” While not all lakes are part of Homeowner Associations, some are subject to the rules, design, and upkeep created by an HOA, municipality, or Corp of Engineers. Cabe continues by saying that “Not all property can be built on, not everyone can have a dock, not all trees can come down at the whim of the homeowner.” From building a dock to cutting trees, many of these projects require permits and approvals on lakefront homes.

Read: Before You Move: What to Know About Homeowner Associations

Tip for Buyers:

Call the local HOA, Corp of Engineers, county, or local governing body to learn more about what permits are required, as well as what is and is not allowed on the property. Cabe explains that their local body, “will even meet with the potential homeowner to discuss their questions and concerns.” It is important that this meeting either happen before you make an offer or that your offer is contingent upon your satisfaction of the discovery period.

Some Lakefront Homes Could Be Harder To Finance

While not all lakefront homes are vacation, a large percentage are second homes. If homeowners are not present all the time, they may be aware of deferred maintenance items, failing systems, or damage from elements. If a buyer is obtaining loans like an FHA or VA, there are minimum property standards that must be met. If a home sits in a flood plain, Cabe explains that “Homes that sit on the 350-degree contour line will usually need flood insurance, these are typically flat lots and the homes are typically closer to the water.” Depending on the previous flood history with that property, it could impact financing.

Tip For Buyers:

As with any real estate purchase, it’s critical to have an in-depth conversation with your lender about the potential hurdles the lake property might have. Choosing a local lender that is familiar with lake front property financing will be critical in helping to address any problems.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Each lake area has their own rules and procedures, and it’s critical that buyers are fully informed of the rules for the property. According to Cabe, the best way to do that is to “get a local Realtor! Most agents locally know the rules and guidelines…Local agents know details about the location of the home and the water it sits on.  For example, is it shallow or deep?  Are there tree fields under the water that are impossible to navigate with a watercraft?  Can you get good internet service in the location they are looking??  Local agents typically have a boat and can show the home by water.  Local agents know the land managers, they know the area and know the rules.”

Tip For Buyers:

Research your Realtor before choosing one! It’s okay to ask if they’re local to the area, how long they’ve been selling lake real estate, and what connections do they have in the lake community. Homes.com allows you to find an agent and search for your lakefront home!


Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She’s passionate about the power of real estate. She’s also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.

Source: homes.com

Newly Renovated, 1915-Built Townhouse in Park Slope Asks $4.4 Million

A four-bedroom townhouse with park views and tons of charm has recently hit the market, and we’re dying to tell you all about it. The listing, brought to market by Compass’ Michael J. Franco, is right next to Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s second largest park, and has plenty of outdoor space (and a rooftop deck to boot).

The townhouse sits in one of Brooklyn’s trendiest, most desirable neighborhoods — Park Slope — with its leafy streets lined with brick and brownstone townhouses, many of which were built near the turn of the 20th century and have been lovingly updated over the decades by young families migrating from Manhattan. Much like its neighboring properties, the 2,600-square-foot townhome at 15 Prospect Park was originally built more than a century ago in 1915 and retains its old-world charm — but has been carefully updated to meet modern standards of living.

beautiful townhouse in prospect park, Brooklyn
Park Slope townhouse on the market for $4.4 million. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco

With 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a generously sized living room, and a finished basement, the Brooklyn townhouse also comes with a few rare features for a New York home: ample outdoor space and private parking (that includes a private garage and its own driveway).

The layout is split on three levels, with the first floor housing a large living room and open dining room — both with distinctive pre-war features like classic moldings and arches — and a renovated kitchen that opens up to a lovely terrace.

inside a beautiful pre-war townhouse in Park Slope, Brooklyn
Beautiful living space with distinctive pre-war features like arches and moldings. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco
dining room of a pre-war townhouse in park slope, Brooklyn
Beautiful living space with distinctive pre-war features like arches and moldings. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco
renovated kitchen in Brooklyn townhouse
The renovated kitchen. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco
lovely terrace of a pre-war townhouse in Park Slope, Brooklyn
The Park Slope townhouse has a lovely terrace. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco

The second floor is home to 3 bedrooms and a sizeable landing which is perfect for either a library or a home office, while the third floor is dedicated to the primary bedroom suite and its massive walk-in closet, renovated bath with skylights and soaring ceilings, with a separate sitting area/den. The third level also provides access to the townhouse’s own rooftop deck, which adds more outdoor space and looks like a perfect place to entertain guests.

bedroom of a charming brooklyn townhouse in park slope
Bedroom opens up to Prospect Park views. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco
bathroom with skylight in brooklyn townhouse
 Renovated bath with skylights and soaring ceilings. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco
roof deck of a brooklyn townhouse in park slope
Rooftop deck of the $4.4 million townhouse in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco

The property is listed for $4,400,000 with Compass associate real estate broker Michael J. Franco.

More beautiful New York City homes

This Brooklyn Condo Has a Dreamy Backyard that Will Make You Forget You’re in the City
Trophy Apartment Once Owned by Composer Leonard Bernstein Asks $29.5 Million
These 5 Unique Listings Will Remind You of Everything that Makes NYC Real Estate Special
This $16M NYC Penthouse Has Unobstructed Views of Central Park and the Manhattan Skyline

The post Newly Renovated, 1915-Built Townhouse in Park Slope Asks $4.4 Million appeared first on Fancy Pants Homes.

Source: fancypantshomes.com