Restored $17.5M Historic Craftsman in Palo Alto Attracts a Buyer


Palo Alto, CA, sits smack in the middle of Silicon Valley and lays claim to some of the highest home prices in the nation. Its current median list price is an eye-popping $3.2 million.

Given these high prices, the city has developed a reputation for tear-down projects that have left charming neighborhoods dotted with modern construction. These new homes emphasize sleek lines and contemporary stylings. For example, take this brand-new $4.25 million home. Or this boxy $4.3 million home.

Which is what makes this Craftsman-style home in the city—currently pending sale, with a list price of $17.5 million—so intriguing. Built in 1905, it’s also the second-most-expensive home in Palo Alto, right behind an $18.5 million French-inspired mansion.

And what is it that the Craftsman possesses and these newer homes lack? It’s protected for eternity, thanks to its spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Owned by a former Facebook executive and his investor wife, who bought it for $4.9 million in 2011, this isn’t your ordinary Craftsman bungalow. After buying it, the couple embarked on a massive multiyear restoration project to revive this historic home.

Spanning 7,823 square feet, it packs five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms into a half-acre lot in the Professorville neighborhood, a 20-minute walk from University Avenue downtown. Stanford University is a relatively short jaunt away.

Exterior of home in Palo Alto, CA
Exterior of home in Palo Alto, CA

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Porch
Porch

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Stairwell
Stairwell

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Living room
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Dining room
Dining room

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Kitchen

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Wine cellar
Wine cellar

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Terrace
Terrace

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Outdoor kitchen
Outdoor kitchen

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Garage
Garage

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Garage interior
Garage interior

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Throughout the home are luxury details for the home entertainer, such as the high-end blue range in the kitchen, which was crafted in Italy, multiple fireplaces, and a walk-in wine cellar that could easily host a small tasting.

The bedrooms are spacious and much larger than you’d normally find in a Craftsman home. To bring the home into the 21st century, an upstairs media room, open kitchen layout, lower rec room, and two private offices were added.

To provide additional space for a growing family, the detached garage was converted into a massage and yoga studio, with shiplap interiors and new light fixtures. It could also be used as a one-bedroom cottage.

There’s also a sense of California-style outdoor living, with a chicken coop, and custom alfresco kitchen. A brick terrace has a fireplace surrounded by sectional sofas, for a cozy year-round vibe. Much of the gorgeous landscape work is complete, including planting beds, water features, and mature trees.

Open-beam ceilings, stonework, diamond-shaped window panes and woodwork have all been impeccably restored.

Photos of the home prior to its renovation illustrate the extent of the work on the interior. In addition to its spot on the National Register, the home earned a Palo Alto Stanford Heritage Historic Restoration Award in 2017.

The gorgeous restoration and its historical cred paid off—the multimillion dollar Craftsman is now in pending sale status. A new owner will reap the benefits of the meticulous handiwork.

Carol Carnevale and Nicole Aran of Compass have the listing.



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Film Legend Doris Day’s Carmel House Lists for $7.4M


The actress and singer Doris Day, star of “The Doris Day Show” from 1968 to 1973, was known for being an activist for animal welfare. The sunny star, who memorably sang “Que Sera Sera” in the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” died last year at the age of 97.

Now, her longtime home is on the market for $7.4 million, and is listed with Doug and Lisa Steiny of Sotheby’s International Realty Carmel Rancho Brokerage. This is the first time it has been sold since it was built in 1960.

The estate in Carmel, CA, includes a three-bedroom, two-story house of 8,382 square feet; a 1,236-square-foot guesthouse; and two caretaker apartments in the bright red gatehouse.

Three “lofts” totaling 909 square feet provide additional space for either guests or extended family members to spread out in comfort.

Fun fact: The property includes a spiral staircase that was featured in Day’s show.

Signs of Day’s love of animals are everywhere. The spread also features a large dog-care area, including a canine-friendly kitchen and a dedicated 100-square-foot space for her cats.

Doris Day's longtime home
Doris Day’s longtime home

Wayne Capili for Sotheby’s International Realty

Fountain
Fountain

Wayne Capili for Sotheby’s International Realty

Golf course view
Golf course view

Wayne Capili for Sotheby’s International Realty

Living space
Living space

Wayne Capili for Sotheby’s International Realty

Fireplace
Fireplace

Wayne Capili for Sotheby’s International Realty

Kitchen
Kitchen

Wayne Capili for Sotheby’s International Realty

Bedroom
Bedroom

Wayne Capili for Sotheby’s International Realty

Red gatehouse
Red gatehouse

Wayne Capili for Sotheby’s International Realty

On 8.62 acres, the property’s structures—although built during the 1960s—have been well maintained, and their interiors are awash in light and bright hues and crisp white.

“Everything exudes her lovely demeanor—light, bright and sunny,” says Doug Steiny, “down to the color choice of buttercup yellow.”

The animal-friendly elements are pure Doris. That “dog kitchen [is] pretty unique,” says Lisa Steiny.

Lofted ceilings in many of the rooms coax in natural sunlight. Exposed brick and stone, such as a towering fireplace in the master bedroom and another crafted from Carmel stone in the living room, carve out cozy nooks.

Golf lovers will be enticed by the view of the Quail Lodge and Golf Course. The main house also has two offices, ideal for remote learning or working during the pandemic, plus a library.

The grounds include multiple patios and decks, gardens, and numerous walkways where the animal lover walked her dogs,.

The secluded property is secured with fencing, a gatehouse and gatekeeper. Large live oak trees and beautiful shrubbery fill the grounds. Day, who reportedly loved to garden, surrounded the home with flowers, manicured lawns, and gardens.

Carmel is a town of 3,859 residents and hugs the Pacific Ocean 75 miles south of San Jose. Selling points for the local market, say the Steinys, are its “natural beauty, local charm, sophistication, the arts, and a culinary presence.”

According to the Steinys, all proceeds from the sale will go to the Doris Day Animal Foundation, which Day founded in 1978.

What kind of buyer are the Steinys targeting? Now that many people are looking for an expansive property because of the pandemic, a wide spectrum of potential buyers are out there, they say, noting the property’s size and its “many living options.”

Of course, a buyer with pets would feel right at home in the manicured gardens and courtyards, or under the shade of towering oak trees.

Day had a successful singing career and was one of the biggest film stars in the 1950s and 1960s. She’s known for “Pillow Talk” and several other films with Rock Hudson, “Calamity Jane,” and the aforementioned “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” with James Stewart. 



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Aqua Star! Portland’s Most Iconic Floating Home Makes a Splash


This isn’t the only floating home in the Pacific Northwest—but it is the only one with outer-space vibes.

On the market for $850,000, this futuristic-looking home on the water is described in the listing details as “Portland’s most iconic and famous floating home.”

This 3,000-square-foot, three-bedroom home floats off the shores of southeast Portland, OR, with its own boat slip, as part of the Oregon Yacht Club marina within the Willamette River. The purchase also includes yacht-club shares valued at $550,000.

If this one-of-a-kind home looks familiar, you may have spotted it on an episode of HGTV’s “Extreme Homes” or on “Portlandia.” Locals know the river residence as “Aqua Star.”

The home was built in the 1980s and wrapped in anodized aluminum, and some of its interior ceilings are crafted from polished stainless steel, for a glitzy effect that hasn’t dimmed a bit over the decades.

Living room
Living room

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Terrace

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One of the bedrooms

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Another bedroom

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A third bedroom

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One of the bathrooms
One of the bathrooms

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Domed roofs give the home its signature space-age vibe, and its bulbous appearance calls to mind the Flintstone House in Hillsborough, CA, on the San Francisco Peninsula.

The location is also key. It sits at the end of the line of other floating homes, which means that it packs a potent combo of killer unobstructed views and also plenty of privacy. To enjoy the surroundings, a wraparound deck features enough space to grill, lounge, and garden, as well as to entertain visitors.

Interior features of the home include a fireplace in the living room (artfully suspended from the ceiling), walls of windows throughout, and an open floor plan.

As you might guess based on exterior photos, the walls are anything but right angles. We’ll say the qi in this space is solid, if you’re into feng shui. Even the home’s stairwell boasts a slight curve.

With pent-up vacation vibes on the rise in the pandemic-stricken country, this home is the perfect solution for a buyer who wants to get away—while still living at home.

Jason Mendell of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing.



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Most Artful Use of a Shipping Container Goes to This Boulder Home


A new listing in Boulder, CO, embodies the best of both worlds. It has nature views, yet sits close to downtown. It’s also an intriguing blend of vintage and modern materials.

This four-bedroom residence, which boasts mountain views from every room, is listed for $3,150,000 with Zach Zeldner of Compass.

The current owners, who bought the place in 2005, finished work on a second-story addition in 2018. They took two 53-foot shipping containers from Chicago and paired them with reclaimed wood from an Indiana barn. The wood now clads the side exterior and can be found on the ceiling of the main floor.

Perhaps the home’s greatest example of ingenuity is in the four bathrooms, whether it’s the conversion of a vintage dresser into a vanity or the placement of a Union Jack flag motif between two farmhouse-style sinks.

Front exterior
Front exterior

Kylie Fitts

Back exterior
Back exterior

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First floor

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Entry

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One of the bedrooms
One of the bedrooms

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Deck

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Second floor

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Bathroom No. 1
Bathroom No. 1

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Bathroom No. 2

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Bathroom No. 3
Bathroom No. 3

Kylie Fitts

Bathroom No. 4
Bathroom No. 4

Kylie Fitts

“Both he and his partner are extremely creative,” says Zeldner of the sellers. “Technically, it was a remodel, but little remains [of the original 1954 single-family home]. The lines in the design are modern, but a lot of the materials are rustic.”

Natural light floods the home thanks to walls of glass. A retractable garage-type door on the second floor opens to a spacious deck. And the position of the home on the large lot was intentional.

“You get views in nearly every direction,” says Zeldner. The views include the Red Rocks, foothills, and Flatirons.

Another perk? “Extremely low utility bills,” he says, citing the home’s sustainability features.

The whimsical and one-of-a-kind dwelling has attracted an outsize amount of interest.

“In the past 24 hours [since the listing became active], the views we’ve seen online are off the charts,” says Zeldner.

“What we’re seeing over the last three months in Boulder are buyers coming into the market from Los Angeles and New York trying to find extra space,” says Zeldner. “Boulder is a small city surrounded by open space. Google has a presence here. They just built their fifth-largest campus in the world.”

The University of Colorado-Boulder is also nearby, and downtown Boulder is a 15-minute walk or five-minute car ride.

“Our market is mainly primary-home owners, but there are some second-home owners,” says Zeldner.

He thinks the “functional layout” will appeal to families with young kids: “There’s space to work from home and also for a family to spread out. It’s also fairly ‘lock and leave.’ I could see it attracting a young couple and empty nesters, and everyone between.

“There’s just great energy and a great vibe in that house,” he says. “The buyer will appreciate it as a work of art.”



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Love History? 7 Homes for Sale on the National Register of Historic Places


As any successful applicant knows, documenting your home’s historical pedigree for the National Register of Historic Places is akin to writing a book report. A long book report.

However, if you wanted to skip the documentation and the burden of presenting a case to the National Park Service, you could always purchase a home already on the register.

Owning a piece of the United States’ architectural history is a big get for a buyer intrigued by American historical moments, events, and architectural styles. For a homebuyer looking beyond the basic tract, it’s a chance to purchase a place that is one of a kind.

We scoped out listings from coast to coast and found seven properties for sale on the National Register of Historic Places. The great news? You don’t need to break the bank to own a slice of history—the prices are as varied as the historic styles.

Price: $674,900
Awesome adobe: Located in Phoenix, in the Medlock Place Historic District, this sweet three-bedroom adobe of just under 2,000 square feet has whitewashed brick walls, red concrete floors, and lofted beam ceilings.

Built in 1937, it has had many updates in recent years, including a new roof, electrical, plumbing, and landscaping. The home’s well-preserved vintage elements include original doors, hardware, concrete floors, ceilings, and millwork.

All additions and modifications are in line with the home’s period style. With a restoration this successful, it’s no surprise that the home earned a 2020 Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award.

301 W. Oregon Ave., Phoenix, AZ
301 W. Oregon Ave., Phoenix, AZ

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Price: $12 million
Spanish-style stunner: A beautiful example of Spanish Colonial Revival style, this 14-room manse was built in 1923.

Locals know it as the Bradbury House, and it spans 5,000 square feet. Inside, you’ll find adobe walls, carved-wood accents, hand-stenciled wood beams, and gorgeous tiles.

A truly palatial spread, the home centers on a tiled courtyard. The prized property includes two lots and features a swimming pool, gardens, and two-bedroom guest quarters,

102 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, CA
102 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, CA

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Price: $1.12 million
Wright stuff: Built in 1915, the Brandt House is decked out with Art Deco embellishments. The four-bedroom home was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style. The gorgeous home is nearly 4,000 square feet, and the outdoor spaces truly shine. The current owner—a founder of the local botanical garden—has maintained a lovely acre of raised decks, lush gardens, and a stream for the next occupants to enjoy. Inside, we love the master bath with a Hollywood Regency vibe—black soaking tub included! And, you’ll also have no trouble moving in thanks to an extremely wide front door.

815 E. Warm Springs Ave., Boise, ID
815 E. Warm Springs Ave., Boise, ID

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Price: $1.1 million
Stately beauty: Flaunting Greek Revival style, black shutters and Doric columns provide serious curb appeal. With four bedrooms, the gated estate sits on a nearly 50-acre lot with additional outbuildings. Interior features include heart-of-pine flooring, rectangular glass fans, and oversized double doors.

888 Highway 100, Greenville, GA
888 Highway 100, Greenville, GA

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Price: $249,900
Pre-American: Even among the abundant Colonials in Connecticut, this five-bedroom home is a standout because it was built in 1720—a few decades before the United States even came into existence. The former Babcock Tavern has also been a well-respected bed-and-breakfast. Cozy up to any one of the three original stone fireplaces; relax under wood-beam ceilings, and greet guests for dancing in the ballroom. A detached barn is also included in the sale. The historic home’s curb appeal is cemented by a lovely caramel-hued exterior marked by a red door.

484 Mile Hill Rd., Tolland, CT
484 Mile Hill Rd., Tolland, CT

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Price: $239,900
Tudor-rific: With a peaked roof, dark-stained wood walls, and diamond-grid windows, this is English Tudor to its core. The three-bedroom home was built in 1938 and measures 3,000 square feet. The owners recently upgraded the heating and air conditioning, and there’s a flex space upstairs, plenty of storage in the kitchen, and large bedrooms downstairs.

505 Court St., Hattiesburg, MS
505 Court St., Hattiesburg, MS

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Price: $400,000
Stone groove: Crafted from limestone, this whopper of a Colonial currently operates as an inn but could also be reverted back to a single-family home. Built in 1800, the huge home has seven bedrooms and a one-bedroom guesthouse with a fireplace. For budding gardeners, the 2.5-acre lot is a dream. A space in the home with original stone and wood-slat walls looks like the ideal spot for an art studio or home office.

204 Limekiln Rd., New Cumberland, PA
204 Limekiln Rd., New Cumberland, PA

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Frat House Used in the Film ‘Neighbors’ Lands on Market in L.A. for $1.5M


Think of a typical frat house. Your mind conjures up images of peeling paint, Greek letters above the front door, loud music, parties, and people coming and going at all hours.

Now take a look at this gorgeous Los Angeles Craftsman home—no trace of a toga party or red Solo Cup in sight. However, it served as a cinematic fraternity house rife with debauchery in the 2014 comedy “Neighbors” and its 2016 sequel, “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.”

The popular films starred Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, who, as new parents with a baby, are shocked to learn that a fraternity has just moved in next door. Hilarity ensues, but the real home is no laughing matter.

Built in 1907 and tucked into the West Adams neighborhood, this Craftsman is large enough to host a party, just not of the fratty variety. It has 3,873 square feet with five bedrooms and 2.5 baths.

The listing agent, Andrea Dunlop of Sotheby’s International Realty, priced the property at $1,495,000—a judicious choice, as it happens. Ten offers came in within the home’s first two weeks on the market.

“We’re in escrow now, significantly over asking price,” Dunlop says.

The current owners bought the place in 2012 for $690,000. They agreed not to live in the home during filming, and made a pretty penny doing so.

“They actually had to move out for a few months,” says Dunlop. “With the money they made from the production, they used it to restore the house. They added landscaping, stripped all the trim, replaced the roof and central heat.”

While it is not currently included, central air conditioning could easily be installed, Dunlop added.

“The previous owner put in the pool,” she says. Fans of the films will no doubt recall the (ahem!) raucous poolside parties.

Entryway
Entryway

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Stairwell

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First floor

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Dining room
Dining room

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Kitchen

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Kitchen seating
Kitchen seating

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One of the bedrooms
One of the bedrooms

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One of the bathrooms
One of the bathrooms

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“It’s got a lot of light, which is unusual for a Craftsman,” says Dunlop.

Attached to the modernized kitchen is an outdoor dining deck.

Wide doorways inside are matched with a wide front porch that offers space for plenty of furnishings and can be used as an outdoor “living room.” Original built-ins throughout the home have been lovingly restored.

On the second floor are four of the five bedrooms, and the remaining bedroom is on the third floor, which has a half-bathroom.

The top-floor bedroom could be repurposed as a lounge or home office, or used as a playroom for the kids.

Given the age of the home, it doesn’t have a single living room. Instead, it has two sitting rooms that once served as formal parlors.

A wine/beer cellar in the basement looks like a fun spot to entertain guests.

The saltwater pool is also a huge selling feature—particularly because it’s long enough to swim laps and features an attached hot tub.

The fact that the home spans three stories is a rare amenity for West Adams, says Dunlop. Other perks outdoors include raised vegetable beds, a pergola, garage, and, yes, a taproom. Party!

What is living in this pocket of L.A. like? For one, it’s totally walkable. Most of the homes are historic and well-maintained.

“Almost all of the houses are between early 1900s and 1920s,” says Dunlop.

“It’s midblock on one of the most gorgeous blocks in the area, smack-dab in the center of Los Angeles and close to the 10 freeway. You can get anywhere in L.A. within 10 or 15 minutes.”

She describes the West Adams area as “just emerging.”

“We’re getting very hip restaurants,” she says. Because the location is close to the University of Southern California, “We’ve always had food options, but it seems like there are more now. Art galleries are also popping up, and coffee shops, too.”

Typically, homeowners in the area tend to remain in their homes for decades.

“It’s unusual to have a house that goes on the market, period,” says Dunlop.

Although this property is move-in ready, the next owners may rest assured that financial incentives (in the form of reduced property taxes) will be available in future for the purposes of historical preservation.

The Mills Act, linked to the California Office of Historic Preservation, has already been secured for the property.

And as for the real neighbors, they needn’t worry about the buyers’ being inspired by the films.

“I don’t think the people who saw the house had even seen the movie,” says Dunlop. She says she believes it was “the pool and the Mills Act” that caught buyers’ attention.



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Major Glow-Up! Historic $4.2M Mansion Shines on Chicago’s South Side


The South Side of Chicago is a study in contrasts. Poverty and foreclosures mark neighborhoods just south of the Loop, but promise is also apparent as you travel further south.

The Barack Obama Presidential Center is slated to open in Jackson Park, and in leafy, racially diverse Hyde Park, the Obamas’ former neighborhood, lies the University of Chicago and the Frederick C. Robie House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

If you’d like to live close to the University and live in style, we’ve found just the right spot in Hyde Park. Built in 1898, at the tail end of the Gilded Age, this 8,000-square-foot mansion in Hyde Park is on the market for $4.2 million.

Five short years ago, the property sold for just $1.7 million. As has been the case with other parts of the city’s South Side, this grand manse was brought back to life with concentrated effort.

Designed by the renowned architect William Carbys Zimmerman, this palatial six-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom spread clocks in at 8,000 square feet.

In 2018, the owners embarked on a top-to-bottom renovation that introduced new mechanical systems, state-of-the-art automation, Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, and even commercial-grade Wi-Fi hotspot transmitters.

In the kitchen, you’ll find custom white cabinetry, as well as a large charcoal-gray island with pullout drawers, cabinetry, and electrical.

A casual dining area attached to the kitchen allows for a long dining table, L-shaped sofa and an entire wall of shelving and cabinetry.

A half-flight below the kitchen is the most up-to-date part of the home.

A denlike space has a greenhouse vibe and features high ceilings, as well as three walls of black, industrial-style windowpanes designed to coax in natural light, and a kitchenette at the ready to prepare cocktails.

Exterior
Exterior

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Entry and staircase
Entry and staircase

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Living room
Living room

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Dining room
Dining room

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Kitchen
Kitchen

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Casual dining area
Casual dining area

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Kitchenette
Kitchenette

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Along with these upgrades, vintage touches throughout the home were left intact.

They include classic wood-beam ceilings, leaded-glass windows, oak and mahogany woodwork, and built-ins with diamond-shaped glass panes.

To warm up, there are a trio of fireplaces, including one that warms the vast entryway, with its wide staircase.

The third floor has a luxurious retreat with a master suite, spalike bath, two walk-in closets, and space to both unwind and sleep.

The home is set on a quarter-acre lot, and its curb appeal is readily apparent, with a mature tree in the front yard, a bench on a concrete slab, and the garden arranged in a boxlike design.

A deck off an upper floor has good views, as well as also privacy, and a raised deck in the backyard features a pergola-style roof.

What kind of person might snap this gem up? It might be someone associated with the university—the campus is a block away.

It might also be a seasoned entertainer, because the home’s spacious rooms and high ceilings are made for galas, dinner parties, and cocktail hours. The dining room comes with a swinging butler door.

Alternatively, a family with kids might be attracted to the rec room, with its 20-foot ceilings, pool table, and home gym.

The home is listed with Robert Sullivan of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago.

Master suite
Master suite

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Master bathroom
Master bathroom

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Lower level
Lower level

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Backyard
Backyard

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Should You Adopt a Dog If You’re Spending More Time at Home?


Stay-at-home orders have translated for many folks into more working at home, less time spent outdoors, and little to no chance of a trip out of town.

Some have taken this time to adopt a dog, whether it’s a shelter rescue or buying from a breeder. After all, what better time to train a puppy or bring a new four-legged companion on nightly walks?

The benefits of a canine pal flow both ways.

“Hugging a pet seems to be an amazingly effective antidote to facing the days of social detachment that we are going through now with COVID-19. There are many scientific benefits to having a pet,” says Dr. Amanda Nascimento, the in-house veterinarian at NHV Natural Pet.

“Researchers have found that just holding or being near our furry friends can help to increase the levels of hormones that make us feel good. There are even some studies that suggest that having a dog may be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.”

“Adoptions now are way up in the country,” says Jean Shafiroff, ambassador for American Humane, and owner of five rescue dogs.

She’s seen a particular spike among people who live alone.

“Many are socially isolated,” she says. “To suddenly be alone is a very hard thing.”

But what happens a few months—or years—down the road? As stay-at-home orders are lifted and you return to a less constricted existence, your new dogs may be introduced to pricey dog-walkers, overnight boarding, and the reality of less time spent with their owner.

“We don’t want what’s called ‘owner surrender’ after this is all over,” says Shafiroff.

Before you make a rash choice, weigh out the pluses and minuses of becoming a pup parent.

“Adopting a dog is both practical and mental—so you need to make sure you can handle the day-to-day responsibilities,” says Prairie Conlon, a licensed mental-health professional and clinical director at Thrivetalk, a telehealth company. “Are the pros and cons acceptable to you?”

New adoption rules at shelters

Just a few short months ago, you could drop by a local humane society or animal shelter, fill out an application, and meet dogs on the spot. Not anymore.

“We’re actually doing drive-thru adoptions now,” says Shafiroff of her work with a shelter in Southampton, NY.

After completing an online application and going through a background check, people can visit the shelter.

“They never go into the shelter,” says Shafiroff. “We bring the dog or cat out to them. It’s very successful.”

Be prepared to deal with new policies designed to promote social distancing at shelters. One way to prepare is to peruse profiles of adoptable dogs online. Think about what kind of energy level you can provide, and research breeds to match.

Anticipate all expenses

You know your dog will need food, toys, and a bed. Those items may all slide easily into your monthly budget.

But think ahead. Younger dogs may be in fine health for a few years, but as they age—just as with humans—their needs shift. Your pet may eventually require expensive daily medications or a surgery.

We’ve seen numerous pleas on Go Fund Me from dog owners asking folks to chip in because they lack the funds to take care of their pet.

According to the 2019 Cost of Pet Care Report from the Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation, nearly half of Americans don’t have $400 in emergency funds. An unexpected trip to the vet can range from anywhere between $250 and $800.

“Take a good look at your finances,” advises Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinarian and member of Pup Life Today’s advisory board.

“Does your budget have enough wiggle room to accept an additional $100 a month or so for pet care? Can you afford pet insurance or set aside a lump sum of money to cover veterinary care for an unexpected accident or illness?”

Other associated costs could include a dog walker, should you go back to the office and find that your dog develops separation anxiety. There are also grooming fees for certain breeds.

“Anyone who adopts has to be sure not to look at a cat or dog as a toy,” says Shafiroff. “When you go back to work, you’ll have to make arrangements.”

Dachshund
Dachshund

Jason Tucker/Creative Commons

If money is already tight, try to hold off.

“If you don’t have a dog right now and you can’t make ends meet, this is probably not a good time to adopt a dog,” says Shafiroff.

Know that a dog costs more than a cat in terms of lifelong care. According to a CouponFollow study, pet owners spend just under $1,200 annually on dogs and nearly $600 on cats.

It’s also smart to check with your local vets about their ability to take on new clients during COVID-19.

“Access to vets may be limited. Please check your local resources before adopting,” says Abhishek Joshi, a blogger and rescuer who runs Dog With Blog.

Adopting a puppy comes with challenges

While young dogs are not likely to need as much medical care off the bat, there are still upfront costs. Spaying or neutering—which is never done by a breeder—costs hundreds of dollars. So does the first year of shots.

The good news is that most shelters adopt out dogs that are already “fixed.”

Consider the time you’ll need to invest in a puppy. It will need to be trained—and you may have to puppy-proof your home from a chewer.

Golden retriever puppy
Golden retriever puppy

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Something as simple as a lack of closet doors in an apartment might leave you scrambling for a safe spot to store your shoes. Factor in all the places where objects are placed on the floor or within the puppy’s reach.

If you live in an apartment, a spike in monthly rent or a pet-deposit fee could kick in.

It’s important to remember that young dogs depend on their owner for stability. If you’re expecting your work situation to be in flux soon, you need to be prepared.

“Puppies need as much socialization as possible,” says Laurice Wardini, founder of PuppyWiki. “This means frequent introductions to new sights, smells, and sounds. This can be hard when you are working most of the day.

“Many people adopting puppies right now aren’t giving them the alone time they need. Once they go back to work, the puppy will likely experience attachment issues that can result in destruction and lots of barking while you’re gone.”

Is travel in your future?

If you normally rack up frequent-flier points for work or love to snag last-minute travel deals, a new dog will change all that.

Overnight boarding is an expense and needs to be arranged in advance. Unless you have local family members who can take your dog at their house for no cost, you won’t be as fancy-free as you used to be.

Could dog walks be the new gym?

Dogs are a big plus if you need to stay in shape.

Gyms will eventually reopen with a host of new protocols. But if you have a dog, daily walks are an easy form of exercise.

“You can get fitter and healthier together,” says dog trainer Jeff Carbridge, a consultant for Dog Owner, an online resource for dog owners.

“Pets need exercise, which means you will need to put time aside for this every day. Do you have a garden for them to play in during lockdown, and if not, what kind of exercise plans do you have in place?”

French bulldog
French bulldog

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That said, if you already have mobility issues, or don’t have the time or interest to take walks, perhaps a cat is in order.

Consider a foster pet

Many animal shelters as well as breed-specific rescue groups are in desperate need of foster homes. Shelter space may be limited in some areas.

Rescue groups without a physical adoption center usually like to observe an animal’s behavior for a while before deciding on a permanent placement.

Fostering allows potential dog owners to dip their toe into everything that full-time pet ownership entails.

Senior dog
Senior dog

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“I’d recommend that any individuals considering adopting a new pet start first with fostering a shelter animal. Fostering is a win-win situation,” says Meg Marrs, founder of K9 of Mine, an online resource for dog owners.

Marrs strongly recommends that first-time dog owners begin with a foster dog.

“You get to see what life is like with a new pet, with the full experience of what adjustments you’ll need to make to your life—no strings attached,” she says. “The animal gets to spend time in a real home, outside of the very stressful environment of the shelter (which dogs absolutely hate).

“Fostering is, in my opinion, the first step any and every family should consider before bringing home a forever friend.”



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Who Will Be Lucky Enough To Snag Drew Brees’ Childhood Home in Austin?


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Before Drew Brees became one of the NFL’s all-time greatest quarterbacks, he lived in this four-bedroom, two-bath home in Austin, TX. The home was recently listed for $1,890,000.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Brees attended an elementary school nearby, says listing agent Suzanne Pringle of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty. “I can just see Drew and his brother throwing passes in the backyard.”

Born in Dallas, Brees played football at Westlake High School in Austin. He signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2006, leading the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2010.

The current owners bought the 3,000-square-foot home from Brees’ former stepfather, Harley Clark, in 1993. Clark is best known for introducing the “hook ’em horns” hand signal in 1955, as the University of Texas at Austin’s head cheerleader.

Living room

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Kitchen

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Den

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Pool

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Deck

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Built in 1933, the home is in the North University neighborhood, close to downtown.

“It’s almost half an acre,” says Pringle. “You just never find that in town.”

Despite its proximity to restaurants, offices, and the University of Texas at Austin campus, the home “feels private and secluded, and backs up to a creek,” she adds. “It’s on the higher end of the [price] range, because of all the land that comes with it.”

The sale includes a guesthouse and pool, which the current owners installed, along with central air conditioning. They also enlarged the garage to accommodate three cars.

While the home is move-in ready, one project for the next owner could be to convert a large sunroom upstairs—adjacent to the master bedroom—to a master bath with walk-in closet, which the current owner began to conceptualize but didn’t finish.

Like many homes from the 1930s, “the closets aren’t that big, although in the master bedroom they’ve added some built-ins that can be used as a wardrobe,” says Pringle.

“For someone who loves old houses, it still has a lot of the original character,” says Pringle.

Who might snap up this home? “I envision a family. It’s very close to UT, just eight blocks,” says Pringle. “It could also be a UT professor. We also have a new medical school down the street. Lots of doctors are moving into the neighborhood.”

Brees, 41, began his pro football career with the San Diego Chargers and, before that, played at Purdue University where he remains the Big Ten record holder in several passing categories. He’s currently the all-time NFL leader in passing yards (over 77,000) and touchdowns (547).

Guesthouse

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Guesthouse interior

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Guesthouse kitchen

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The post Who Will Be Lucky Enough To Snag Drew Brees’ Childhood Home in Austin? appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.



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Where We’d Rather Be Right Now: 9 Cozy Bed-and-Breakfasts


Right about now, we’d like to be on vacation in a quaint cottage in a quiet setting, with plenty of fresh air. For those of us who are sheltering in place, the idea of being somewhere (anywhere!) other than home sounds as appealing as waking up to a piping-hot scone and a cup of coffee.

After letting our daydreams get the best of us, we turned our attention to bed-and-breakfasts currently up for sale. And we know that some people might be intrigued by a career (and location) shift in a few months, at the point when things return to “normal.” For those who live to entertain, the B&B lifestyle is ideal.

Instead of starting from scratch, you might consider purchasing one of these nine B&B’s on the market. Many come prebaked with a steady clientele and solid reputation.

Who knows—the seller might even toss in some of his or her favorite recipes for soufflés and muffins. Dream big, and dig in to these beautiful B&B’s up for sale…

Price: $2,250,000

Thanks to the area’s bustling film industry, quite a few celebs have slept at the Graystone Inn, including Tom Cruise, Jay Leno, and Alan Alda. The nine-room, 15,100-square-foot bed-and-breakfast has also been featured on “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill.”

A shining example of Neoclassical Revival style, the residence was crafted from Indiana limestone in 1905. The inn features a two-bedroom owner’s suite, as well as a one-bedroom apartment that could be used as a home office.

100 S. Third St., Wilmington, NC
100 S. Third St., Wilmington, NC

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Price: $550,000

This refined B&B with three suites, in the log-cabin style, lies just 40 miles from Philadelphia and is well-suited to the romance-travel market. Each of the rooms features such amenities as an antique claw-foot soaking tub, a walk-in shower for two, a private porch, and stained-glass windows. There’s even a wine cellar where the next owner can start socking away precious vintages. Perhaps guests will also be allowed to imbibe?

76 Bowne Station Rd., Stockton, NJ
76 Bowne Station Rd., Stockton, NJ

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Price: $9,995,000

Although it isn’t currently configured as a bed-and-breakfast, this massive historic estate from 1745 did once serve as one. Each of the five bedrooms has an en suite bath, so it could be converted back into a moneymaker. There’s also a separate two-bedroom, two-bath house on the property—ideal for the owners.

Despite the property’s nearly $10 million asking price, the new proprietor could charge a pretty penny for a night’s stay, given all the historic design details in the home—all in immaculate shape.

The home boasts 15 fireplaces, impeccable woodwork, a drawing room, double-sash windows, and a ballroom. There’s also a pool out back for summertime dips.

69 Church St., Charleston, SC
69 Church St., Charleston, SC

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Price: $319,900

This five-bedroom Greek Revival structure was built in 1871, yet features a modern farmhouse interior. The updated spaces mesh well with period details like stained-glass windows and built-in cabinetry.

The former bed-and-breakfast features a large kitchen designed for catering, as well as three porches. While it is not currently in use as a B&B, making the transition back, so that it could welcome guests again, would be a breeze.

529 Pierre St., Manhattan, KS
529 Pierre St., Manhattan, KS

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Price: $525,000

The listing details note that this former B&B was once the “only five-star bed and breakfast” in its Phoenix suburb. Could you be the one to return it to its past glory?

The five-bedroom property boasts gorgeous views of the San Tan Mountains and the Superstition Mountains, and sits 300 feet above the valley floor.

You can serve guests breakfast and afternoon tea, or cocktails in the formal living room, with its kiva-style fireplace. A saltwater pool with a rock waterfall will help you to contend with desert summers.

3914 E. Sunnydale Dr., Queen Creek, AZ
3914 E. Sunnydale Dr., Queen Creek, AZ

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Price: $699,000

Nestled just outside Lake Geneva, in Williams Bay, WI, this Colonial-style B&B, built in 1918, is enlivened by its two yellow front doors. It features six guest rooms (five of them en suite), three with fireplaces.

Whipping up breakfast for guests would be a snap, thanks to a commercial-grade Viking range. Two “bonus rooms” could be used for hosting yoga classes or for an innkeeper’s office. It sits on 2.75 acres and is just a short walk to restaurants and the lake.

372 W. Geneva St., Williams Bay, WI
372 W. Geneva St., Williams Bay, WI

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Price: $1,380,800

The Montana Lodge (in Ohio!) also boasts serious celeb cred—both Bruce Willis and Hayden Christensen stayed here while filming the movie “First Kill.” Just a 40-minute drive from Columbus, this inn was built in 2006. Set on 37 acres, the property comes with a second home (ideal owners’ quarters) and a massive 4,800-square-foot pole barn (for storage).

1184 Dry Creek Rd. N.E., Granville, OH
1184 Dry Creek Rd. N.E., Granville, OH

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Price: $299,900

Parents of Texas A&M students or prospective professors are ideal customers for this 1950s-era B&B. It has just had a new roof installed and sports a fresh exterior paint job as well—which means low maintenance for the next owner.

Based on the current layout, the home could be converted into two separate living areas, which would make for ideal owners’ quarters. The true highlight is the open-concept kitchen, which simply begs for a home cook interested in trying to go commercial.

3210 Link St., College Station, TX
3210 Link St., College Station, TX

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Price: $899,900

Built in 1880, this rambling Victorian cottage hugs the Atlantic Ocean and sits near Kennebunk, ME, a popular summertime destination.

At one point in the recent past, the property was in use as a B&B. It features five bedrooms, but a few of the rooms might require en suite conversions. We love the wraparound veranda and the second-floor deck—which take full advantage of water views.

11 Kendall Rd., York, ME
11 Kendall Rd., York, ME

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