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After gaining fame as the host of “Property Virgins” and “Flipping Virgins,” Egypt Sherrod has now teamed up with her husband, Mike Jackson, for a new HGTV show.

In “Married to Real Estate,” Sherrod and Jackson, a builder, help homebuyers around Atlanta find their dream home (which typically involves some renovations to get just right). In the episode “Midcentury Mission,” though, the homebuyers, Jeff and Jessica, buck this trend, insisting that they want to preserve nearly every feature in their 1973 house—dated or not.

“When they say midcentury, they mean they want a time capsule,” Sherrod says. “They love that.”

While it’s a puzzling choice, Sherrod knows the one golden rule in renovation: Never remove a feature you adore just because it’s dated. If you love it, keep it! All it may need is some freshening up.

Here’s how Sherrod and Jackson put their $110,000 budget toward balancing both old and new styles, in a way that keeps the best of both worlds.

entry tile
midcentury living room
modern living room
wall paneling
bar area
bar area
carpet
flooring

It’s virtually impossible at the moment to hire anyone to do any repair, maintenance or construction work on your home, no matter how badly you need it. Right now, repair people are like the hottest kids in high school. Remember them? They were attractive. They had godlike skills at pretty much everything. The whole school envied them. They were utterly unattainable. And you, the pimply-faced freshman, stood by and looked on with a heart full of yearning as they strutted confidently past you toward their lockers.

Back then, you knew better than to just call up one of these high school hotties and say “I need you now.” And you shouldn’t do it with your repair or maintenance person either because you’ll get the same result. The good news is that the techniques that actually worked to attract the attention of the Prom King or Queen also work when attempting to secure the services of your local professional repair person. Let’s break it down:

Enter the Friend Zone: Where does your required service provider like to toss back a couple of brews? Maybe, one afternoon, you just happen to be there when they show up. You start up a casual conversation. Buy them a beverage. Or join their pickleball team, volunteer fire department, or book club. DO NOT mention that you require their services. Just play it cool, for heaven sakes. Did you learn nothing in 10th grade? Only on the third or fourth seemingly casual encounter, when you both know each other’s first names and those of your spouses, pets and children, should you mention that your washing machine hasn’t worked in three weeks. Now that you’re pals, you’ll be top of mind when an opening comes up in, like, a month.

Commit bribery: Are you in a position to provide anything of value to the repair person in question that would get you on their radar? Does their child attend the same school as your child? Think playdates, but cool ones like a trip to Disneyland, the nearby zip-line course, an Ariana Grande concert, or a very expensive dinner and a movie. But not if the children hate each other, obvs. That would be counterproductive. Find out what the repair person’s spouse does for work and patronize the living heck out of the business. Do they have a favorite charity? Be a super-donor! Word will get back. You’ll come off as a thoughtful, generous, selfless person because you give and give and don’t ask for anything in return…yet.

Conscript an intermediary: Remember when you asked your high school crush’s best friend to deliver a note to them that simply said “Do you like me? Yes or No” and all the crush had to do was circle one and return the note. Then it was game on! (Or, sadly, off.) This strategy works with repair people as well. Ask a friend who is already using this person’s services to make an introduction, but not an introduction like “Hey, my friend Jim needs you to fix his toilet.” Make it less The Fonz and more Cyrano: “My dear, kind friend Jim has been having such terrible luck finding a good plumber and he’s been through all the usual suspects. He is just not satisfied. He’s very discerning. I’ve told him all about you and how fabulous you are and he said you sound like his dream come true. Are you interested?”

Mike Clevinger, pitcher for the San Diego Padres, has settled into his new town. He recently picked up a sweet SoCal crib with ocean and bay views for $2,575,000.

The residence in San Diego initially came on the market in April 2021 for $2.75 million. The following month, the price dropped to $2.6 million. In October, the pitcher scooped up the home at the slightly lower amount.

For the ace hurler, the custom abode is quite a catch.

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Deciding to separate is never an easy decision. Sometimes couples simply grow apart or take on new interests and career paths that lead them in different directions. Whatever the cause, it’s vital to keep mortgage payments going on your marital home, even if one person moves out.

Remember, banks don’t care about personal issues and will hold both parties on a mortgage liable for any missed payments. So when it comes to shared property, an option to consider during a separation is for one spouse to pay out the other and then refinance the home.

If you’re interested in refinancing your home during a separation, here’s what you need to consider.

Why you should refinance

Refinancing a mortgage can save you money, usually when the current mortgage interest rates are lower than your existing mortgage. To see how much money you might be able to shave off your current mortgage payments, crunch the numbers on an online refinance calculator. Even if your mortgage payment goes down only, say, $75 per month after refinancing, those savings will seriously add up over a 30-year loan.

Remember that careful planning and timing are crucial in a refinance.

Homebuyers these days are one stressed-out group, and they have plenty of questions.

They want to know how high mortgage rates will rise. How to win insane bidding wars. Whether to join the suburban rush or the big-city retreat. Whether the open kitchen, modern farmhouse, and “cottagecore” designs are still a thing. But amid all the confusion and consternation, there’s one universal question that most consistently bubbles up from the murk:

Just how much home can I really get for my money?

And more than ever, the answer is this: It all depends on where in the country you’re looking.

Because here’s an eye-opener: The median list price of a home in the United States was $375,000 in December, according to the latest data from Realtor.com®. While that price might sound like an absolute fortune in some parts of the U.S., it won’t get buyers much more than a walk-in closet-sized home in pricey places like California’s Silicon Valley or New York’s Westchester County.





The shag is gone—but the ’70s vibe remains.

When we last checked in with Alysha and Nate Jackson six months ago, demolition was underway at the 1970s time capsule home they had bought in Fort Wayne, IN.

To jog your memory, there was colorful shag carpet everywhere when they bought the place—even in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Fans of over-the-top color schemes may have been mourning, but there were practical reasons for its removal.

Alysha Jackson says that many felt that the main bathroom should be left as is, with its scarlet carpet climbing up the tub.








The comedian David Spade doesn’t joke around when it comes to real estate. After reportedly moving to a $13.85 million mansion in Hollywood Hills, the “Saturday Night Live” alum has placed his Beverly Hills pad on the market, the Wall Street Journal reported. He’s asking $19,995,000.

If the star of “Joe Dirt” gets close to his asking price, he’ll walk away with a sizable profit on his longtime abode. Spade purchased the property in 2001 for about $4 million.

Over the past two decades, he has funneled funds into jazzing up the place. He told the WSJ that he had switched out the red-tile roof, put in a new kitchen, added two master bathrooms, and expanded the TV room with a bar.

Now, a new owner can enjoy the posh place just as it is. Built in 1978 by the architect Edward Fickett, the layout offers a sleek, gray-and-white palette, gray flooring, four bedrooms, and 6.5 bathrooms, across 6,426 square feet.

Living room of home in Beverly Hills, CA

(Realtor.com)







From marriage to kids to divorce, Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack have been through a lot together. Now, it seems these “Flip or Flop” stars wish things were the way they used to be—at least when it comes to their flips.

In the Season 12 episode “Back to the Basics,” Haack and El Moussa buy a run-down house in Norwalk, CA, for $430,000, hoping it’ll be a quick and easy flip—just like the ones they did when first starting out. However, they soon find that this house needs a lot more work than they anticipated. Between a new kitchen, renovated bathrooms, and a modern industrial style throughout, the project soon goes over their $120,000 renovation budget.

“We thought we were going into, like, a simple house, like back in the day,” Haack says. “And now it’s costing a fortune.”

Will their investment pay off? Read on to find out what they do, which might clue you in to a few upgrades you might want to try yourself.

Not everything needs to be fixed in a flip

Before: This Norwalk, CA, house was in fairly good condition.

(HGTV)

painted house
kitchen
modern kitchen
gray backsplash
brick fireplace
tile fireplace
cramped bathroom
bathroom
back patio
back patio

With winter’s icy grip in full force, our thoughts are invariably turning to alpine real estate. So we slalomed through ski-oriented homes for sale and found five on the market right now, close to the best snowboarding, sledding, and of course, skiing, in the country.

Naturally, after a day in the mountain air, you’ll need a place to hang up your boards and boots—and a cozy fireplace to enjoy with a cup of cocoa. If you can’t be at your ski-house year-round, you can tap into it for revenue. Many of these appealing abodes could work as short-term vacation rentals.

Pull on your snowshoes, and take a tour of these five homes on the market right now.

Price: $975,000
Terrific in Truckee: Situated about three hours from San Francisco, Truckee offers ski nirvana to cold-weather sports fans and a year-round getaway near beautiful Lake Tahoe.

This residence from the early 1970s fits the bill. Inside, you’ll find three bedrooms, hardwood floors, and a great room. An open kitchen features slab counters and a large island for preparing après-ski feasts.





Justin Timberlake is likely feeling the lyrics to his hit tune “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” these days, particularly the part that goes, “‘Cause I got that sunshine in my pocket.” But in Timberlake’s case, his pocket’s filled with an extra $9 million, thanks to the recent sale of his New York City penthouse. 

According to property records obtained by the New York Post, Timberlake and his wife, Jessica Biel, sold their swanky four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom apartment in Tribeca just before Christmas for an eye-watering $29 million. They had bought this eighth-floor home for $20.2 million in 2017 (after landing a deep discount on the original $25 million listing).

The insane profit after just four years of homeownership is good news for the couple, whose previous “starter penthouse,” located in New York’s SoHo, languished on the market before selling for a loss at $6.35 million in 2017. 

The couple must have learned from their real estate mistakes, as they clearly picked a winning property this time around. So what’s so special about this place? Allow us to explain. 

Rendering of 443 Greenwich St.

(Realtor.com)

443 Greenwich garage
443 Greenwich
443 Greenwich pool
roofdeck

Housing is the largest expense for many Americans. And it’s taking a bigger bite out of people’s wallets, as far as the Consumer Price Index is concerned.

The shelter component of the inflation barometer increased 0.4% between November and December, down slightly from a 0.5% uptick the prior month. Nevertheless, annual growth set records. In particular, the component that measures the equivalent rent that homeowners would pay for their houses rose 3.8% between December 2020 and December 2021, the highest rate since 2007.

The cost of shelter is the biggest component of the overall Consumer Price Index, reflecting the importance of rent and mortgage payments in a household’s budget. For starters, it’s a necessity. Most people can’t avoid having to pay for housing, whether you rent or own.

Renters and buyers face similar headwinds.

Renters and buyers face similar headwinds, for slightly different reasons. For buyers, supply constraints have pushed up prices for housing, exacerbated by rising costs for materials such as lumber. Renters are seeing rents increase as people gradually return to cities.

If you’ve been bit by the dreamy hibernation bug recently—well, you’re not alone. There’s just something about this time of year that makes many of us want to stay inside and luxuriate in the comforts of home. That craving for snugness makes January the ideal time to tackle some fun interior design projects that will add loads of charm to your kitchen, the hygge heart of every home.

Are you up for feathering your nest to make it an even cozier inner sanctum?

For this week’s trending Instagram decor report, we’ve got five looks that are all about warm sanctuary vibes. Here are the kitchen decor looks worth stealing right now.

1. Gold island pendants

 

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Buying a home just became a lot more expensive—and it’s expected to only get worse in the coming months.

Mortgage interest rates surged to their highest point since March 2020—the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic—indicating that the heady era of locking in rates in the 2% range on a traditional home loan appears to be definitively over. Rates averaged 3.45% for 30-year fixed mortgages in the week ending Jan. 13, according to Freddie Mac.

“That’s a triple whammy hitting potential homebuyers,” says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. “People are looking at higher prices, there’s slim pickings in inventory, and now we have higher mortgage rates.”

Plus, many buyers are already grappling with rising rents, soaring inflation, and bidding wars pushing record-high home prices up even further. And it’s just the start of what real estate experts believe will be additional rate increases at a time when the housing shortage is expected to keep home prices high.

While rates haven’t even risen a full percentage point, from a low of 2.65% in early January 2021, the impact that higher rates can have on homebuyers quickly adds up. The difference of just 0.8% will tack an extra $130 a month onto the mortgage payment of a median-priced home of $375,000.  (This assumes the buyers put 20% down and took out a 30-year loan.)

A classic English-style estate tucked in an unlikely place is the week’s most popular home on Realtor.com®.

Located in the hill country of eastern Tennessee, Fisher Manor sits on 7 fenced and gated acres. Real estate gawkers couldn’t get enough of this estate, which looks as if it belongs in jolly old England, and they clicked like mad.

Inside the gates, the grounds of this stone manor, built in 1939, have an abundance of old-school charm. Its interiors, on nearly 7,000 square feet, also offer plenty of throwback appeal, with intricate woodwork, wood ceilings, and bathrooms with vintage tile.

You also clicked on an immaculate midcentury modern ranch in Missouri, a farm in Knoxville, TN, that comes with the option to take custody of the resident Jubilee chickens, as well as a must-see Michigan house from 1953 with walls of wood paneling and a massive indoor pool.

Don’t miss the Hawaii beachfront house on Maui, on the market for $7 million. With only 1,010 square feet of living space, the asking price for this coveted stretch of beachfront property works out at an eye-popping $6,881 per square foot.

Paia, HI
Pentwater, MI
Knoxville, TN
Cherry Hill, NJ
Carthage, MO
Kalamazoo, MI
Long Lake, MN
Saint Louis, MO
Athens, TN

A buyer is ready to call an intriguing Advance, NC, property dome, sweet dome.

“There was a lot of interest in it when it first hit the market,” says the listing broker, Kati Lawrence of Premier Realty. “I think a lot of people just wanted to see it because it is so unique—versus really having an interest in buying it. But right now, it is under contract.”

Listed for $549,000, the intergalactic-looking triple-dome home is connected by walkways, and each dome serves a particular purpose. It’s a triple delight of a design that was custom-built by the original owner in 1981.

“It took the first owner about five years to build. In the 1980s, dome houses were all the rage, and the original owner looked into buying kits, but they weren’t quite what he wanted, so he decided to design it himself,” says Lawrence. “They made everything custom for the house and added the porch and sunroom later.”

For the current owner, the second owner of the property, parting with the place wasn’t easy.











The idea of building your own home is a bucket-list dream for many of us. Imagine: You get to customize it to your needs and tastes—whether that means a classic rocking-chair porch out front or a hot tub in back—and watch your personal palace take shape, right in front of your eyes.

But it’s also a really, really daunting experience. It’s one of the hugest undertakings you can slide onto your plate, and is it ever complicated! So many details, and plenty that can go wrong. I know this from personal experience.

When my husband and I built our house in 2014, we made a bunch of mistakes. Some big ones. And I’m going to put them all out there for public inspection.

Building your own house, no matter what the square footage, involves a steep learning curve.

(Karon Warren)

1. Not working with a licensed architect

One of the best parts of building your own home is considering all the possibilities.

Framing in house under construction
Looking to buy a home? Personalize your search to find a home that's perfect for you
Brick masons applying brick to wall
Basement and foundation of home under construction
Back porch of home under construction
Front porch of home under construction

A private Hollywood “walk of fame” proved to be real estate gold.

The Beverly Hills estate that belonged to the late Kirk Douglas—complete with pavers inscribed with the autographs of countless stars—quickly found a buyer. Listed for $7,495,000 in early December, the home, laden with Hollywood history, sold for $9,015,000 this week.

A buyer not only acquired the longtime home of the legendary actor and his wife, Anne Douglas, but also outdoor tiles etched with over 40 autographs of Hollywood royalty.

Kirk Douglas died at the age of 103 in 2020. Anne Douglas died in April 2021, at the age of 102. The couple left behind a star-studded legacy with their residence, also known as “The Stars of Beverly Hills.”

Star-studded souvenir

Stars who left their mark while attending the couple’s dinner parties included Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Roger Moore, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jane Fonda. The Douglas family also signed their names on the path.





Jenny and Dave Marrs, the hosts of “Fixer to Fabulous,” meet plenty of homeowners who do some upgrades around the house, but their latest clients want to move—to their garage.

In the Season 3 episode “New Tudor Home for a Newborn,” Jenny and Dave meet Brook and Aaron Smith, who own a 1971 Tudor–style home in Rodgers, AR. The Smiths are expecting their second child, and while they’ve lived in this home for years, they want to renovate it before the baby arrives. Armed with a $220,000 budget, they hope to update the exterior and kitchen, and even add a brand-new main suite in their garage.

While moving a main suite to the garage may seem strange, Dave sees this as a hot trend.

“It’s becoming more and more common for people to give up some or all of their garage and then take it for the house,” he says. “I mean, it’s space that you can really finish out without a lot of extra money.”

Find out how Dave and Jenny make over the garage, as well as the rest of the house so it’s far more fabulous (and valuable) than before. Their ideas might inspire you to try a few upgrades around your own home, too.

painted house
front door
wood front door
crowded kitchen
updated kitchen
butcher block island
garage
laundry room

Interest rates are surging on the heels of data showing a concerning outlook for inflation—and home buyers are to set to pay the price.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.45% for the week ending Jan. 13, up nearly a quarter of a percent from the previous week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. It’s the highest average rate for the 30-year loan since March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic first began to send shockwaves through financial markets amid the first wave of lockdowns.

Comparatively, a year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.23%, near record-low levels.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, meanwhile, rose 19 basis points over the past week to an average of 2.3%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.57%, up 16 basis points from the previous week.

‘The Federal Reserve has sped up its timetable for winding down quantitative easing and is likely to begin raising interest rates sooner and more aggressively than previously expected.’

I’m an inveterate rails-to-trails cyclist who most enjoys biking along rivers. I’d like to retire to a small town with easy access to hiking and biking trails, kayaking and other joys of the natural world. 

Can you suggest some walkable small towns (3,000-10,000 population) that are county seats and/or college towns, politically liberal, and have easy access to rivers and bike trails? 

I will have an income of $30,000-40,000. I will be downsizing, and should have sufficient proceeds from the sale of my current home to be able to buy outright and avoid most ongoing housing costs. I’d like to come in under $200,000.

Thank you,

Jesse



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