ALL POSTS IN Real Estate

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The first rule of real estate is location, location, location — but what happens when a buyer’s only option in the right location is a house with horrible design and a clunky layout? Renovation, design and real estate pros Joanna and Chip Gaines say buy it — then fix it! Fixer Upper is the Texas couple’s new show coming to HGTV Thursday, April 24, at 11pm/10c. The network is excited to have their expertise on television — and, HGTV.com is thrilled to have Joanna as our newest guest editor. Welcome, Joanna!

As with last quarter’s guest editor, Nancy Fire, Joanna will be bringing her fun, expert commentary to Design Happens, adding insight to 2014 design and home remodeling trends throughout HGTV.com, and even taking over HGTV’s Instagram here and there.

Joanna Gaines

HGTV.com Guest Editor Joanna Gaines

For you to get to know a little more about HGTV’s new star and our guest editor, we recently interviewed Joanna.

Our Chat

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It’s one of the priciest streets in England with some of the most sought after properties in the country. But behind the doors of many of the mansions on The Bishops Avenue in north London (“Billionaires’ Row”), there is little in the way of opulence or luxury. It is estimated that a third of the homes, worth an estimated $582 million, are in a state of disrepair after lying vacant for decades.

London Mansion

The pricey Heath Hall is on the market for $91million.

Despite their poor condition, the houses remain a safe place for the wealthy to invest their money because of London’s rocketing property values, which rose 11% last year, and because of the road’s reputation as a hotspot for the rich and famous.

London Mansion

A crumbling ballroom in one of the mansions along The Bishops Avenue in north London

Of the homes that are occupied, even those are used infrequently by their owners for short periods each year, with residents complaining that there is little in the way of a ‘community.’

Read more on this story at:

CNN.com
U.K’s MailOnline

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Happy Friday, readers! What are you doing Sunday night? My plans include wine, friends and The Grammys. This is by far my favorite award show of the year with music performances all night long. Music’s biggest night will surely produce some noteworthy — and likely shocking — fashion choices and memorable performances by the year’s hottest acts. From Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to Lorde and Carole King, it’s sure to be three hours of musical bliss.

What better way to celebrate The Grammys than to take you inside some of the performer’s homes? The best part? Some of these celeb pads are for sale. Just get that checkbook ready.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's Home for Sale

This charming Nashville home was built in 1925 and purchased by Taylor in September 2010 for her parents. She ended up selling the place a year later for $1.35 million, $50,000 more than what she originally paid. No sad songs here.

Tour Taylor Swift’s Nashville Home for Sale >>

Jay-Z

560 State Street

In 2009, Jay-Z released a New York anthem featuring Alicia Keys called “Empire State of Mind.” In the first verse he mentions living at 560 State Street in Brooklyn. Well, here she is. And for sale, too.

Check Out the Brooklyn Building Where Jay-Z Once Resided >>

Katy Perry

Katy Perry's House for Sale

This three-acre, Mediterranean-style Park Hill estate was built in the early 1920s and boasts breathtaking views of the Los Angeles skyline.

Tour Katy Perry’s Hollywood House for Sale >>

See More Celebrity Homes

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Former blue-haired pop singer Katy Perry just released the lead single from her fourth studio album titled Prism. The new single, “Roar,” is causing quite an … uproar (sorry), but that’s beside the point. If you came to Design Happens to read about Katy Perry, then you know what you’re getting. DESIGN.

In 2011, Katy sold her contemporary Los Angeles digs for a solid $3.3 million. In June 2011, she bought a three-acre Mediterranean-style estate, known as Park Hill, nestled in the Hollywood Hills. Unfortunately, she never moved in. Four months ago, Katy put the home on the market for $6.925 million. If you’re trying to pinpoint the home on a map, it’s close to celebrity hot spot Chateau Marmont.

Ready to step inside? Tour Katy Perry’s Old World-inspired mansion, starting at the double gate.

Tour Katy Perry's Hollywood Hills Home for Sale

Next, you’ll see the two-story entryway clad in marble and stone reminiscent of Mediterranean style.

Tour Katy Perry's Hollywood Hills Home for Sale

One of the home’s key features is its lagoon-style pool situated between lush landscaping and two on-property guesthouses.

Tour Katy Perry's Hollywood Hills Home for Sale

See more of Katy Perry’s Hollywood Hills home for sale at HGTV.com’s sister site, FrontDoor.com.

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UPDATE: The poll is now CLOSED. Thank you for your participation.

Imagine you could move into any kind of home: Which of these 11 styles would you choose? A tidy Colonial or a picturesque Victorian? Grand Tudor or cozy Cape Cod? Vote now to pick your favorite. Choose one style only. The numbers correspond with the homes in the image below. We’ll reveal the rankings in the September issue of HGTV Magazine, plus show you more homes currently for sale in the top three styles.

september-homes-poll1 Keller Williams Lake Oconee | 2 Prudential Patt White Real Estate | 3 Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate | 4 Prudential NW Realty Assoc | 5 Keller Williams Realty Platinum Partners | 6 Long & Foster – Grove | 7 North Fork Real Estate Inc | 8 HomeTown Realty | 9 Shamrock Realty, LLC |10 Southland Lakefront & Mountain Properties |11 Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

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Have mercy on my soul. Could our government not have picked a better day to take our money than on a Monday? Don’t they know (or care) that we struggle with the start of the workweek anyway — much-less adding this fun to the mix? Ugh. Hang in there, folks.

Let’s try and offset our inevitable irritation and daydream a bit — let’s envision ourselves in Hawaii — in this oceanfront estate. Heck, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones getting a tax refund this year and can purchase it (the house only costs $11,950,000 — again, one can dream).

Feeling any better? Me either — let’s just keep our heads down and power through this day. Sigh. Ah, Hawaii.

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We’re in the midst of award season, and searches are buzzing for the next big show, the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, on February 10. According to Yahoo! Web Trend Expert Carolyn Clark, searches for Grammy nominations are spiking, along with nominee Kelly Clarkson. I’m not only going to point you right to this year’s nominees, I’m also going to give you all something even better: a tour of five Grammy-nominated artists’ homes. Yup.

Katy Perry’s Elegant Contemporary Abode | Los Angeles 

Nominations: Best Pop Solo Performance

Tour Katy Perry's Los Angeles Home

Tour Katy Perry’s Los Angeles Home for Sale on FrontDoor.com >>

Taylor Swift’s Elegant Country Estate | Nashville, Tenn.

Nominations: Record of the Year, Best Country Duo/Group Performance, Best Song Written For Visual Media

Tour Taylor Swift's Nashville Home

Tour Taylor Swift’s Nashville Home for Sale on FrontDoor.com >> 

Tour More Celebrity Homes

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The other morning, I unexpectedly woke at 5:30 and could not get myself back to sleep. But thanks to this bout of insomnia, I found a documentary that I had to share with you all. (Does everyone watch movies when they can’t sleep? I am new to sleeplessness.) The Queen of Versailles chronicles three years in the life of timeshare mogul David Siegel and his wife Jackie. When the cameras started rolling, director Lauren Greenfield thought she was going to document the construction of the biggest personally owned home in America. At 90,000 square feet and outrageous cost of $100,000,000, “Versailles” was the stuff of self-made-billionaire dreams. What the director did not know when she started filming in 2008 was that an economic crash was just around the corner for this family and the entire country.

YouTube Preview Image

Like so many other Americans, Siegel overextended the real estate ventures he personally and professionally embarked on. And after the very sudden and dramatic collapse of the real estate market and the near death of his business, Westgate Resorts, the fate of the Siegels and the unfinished Versailles is unknown. The cameras keep rolling as assets are auctioned off, private schools are spurned for public ones, and the spending habits of a once-billionaire’s wife finds its only outlet at Walmart. If you’ve got time for a movie this weekend, mix yourself a cocktail, grab some movie snacks and stream this stunning piece of cinéma vérité.

queen of versailles

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures; Lauren Greenfield

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We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty today, so if numbers, finances and budgets make you queasy, you may want to click on over to something pretty. You know, like this.

P1010064

The fact of the matter is, Husband and I both freelance for a living. And while freelancing may be synonymous with pajamas, couches and Cheetos, it’s also a lot more difficult than it sounds (and I’m not talking Cheeto dust on my white keyboard).
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