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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    Trump SoHo

    • The Trump SoHo hotel and condo building opened in 2010.
    • Last week, the news broke that the Trump Organization would end its contract with the real estate investment firm that owns Trump SoHo.
    • The cofounder of the development firm that the Trump Organization worked with on Trump SoHo, Felix Sater, is currently being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller.

    Last week, The New York Times reported that the Trump Organization would be cutting ties with Trump SoHo, the five-star Downtown Manhattan hotel and condo building that bears the family name but has been owned by the California-based investment firm CIM Group since 2014.

    As part of the deal, the tower will no longer bear the Trump name, but the Trump Organization will still get a share of its revenue. 

    The hotel has run into various problems since its inception. Aside from empty rooms and recent layoffs, Trump SoHo and its origin story have been under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is actively investigating President Trump's previous business dealings to determine whether the campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

    From grave sites to bar fights, see why the tower's twisted past is being so closely examined.

    SEE ALSO: The Trumps are cutting ties with the five-star Trump SoHo hotel after business plummeted post-election

    Donald Trump announced plans to develop Trump SoHo in 2006, during the fifth season of his NBC television show, "The Apprentice."

    Trump's company had a licensing agreement with the building's developers, the Sapir Organization and Bayrock Group. The neighborhood wasn't exactly welcoming. Both the Soho Alliance and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation protested the building's size, as well as its apparent flouting of the neighborhood's zoning laws.

    Because the area wasn't zoned for residential properties, the 391 condo-hotel units were built for owners to live in for 120 days of the year. They could choose to rent out their units for the remainder of the time.

    Source: Curbed, LA Times, NPR's Embedded


    By the end of the year, construction had been halted due to the discovery of human bones and coffin plates from the Spring Street Presbyterian Church, which was an abolitionist church that had burial grounds on-site. The bones, which came from around 190 people, dated back to the years between 1820 and 1835.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Boone Hunting

    • T. Boone Pickens is selling his Texas ranch for $250 million.
    • It's one of the most expensive homes for sale in all of America.
    • The ranch comprises 100 square miles of land and houses a number of different structures.
    • Pickens said in a statement that he's selling the property because it's "the prudent thing for an 89-year-old man to do." 

    Legendary investor and oilman T. Boone Pickens has decided to put his enormous Texas ranch up for sale, and it comes with an equally enormous price tag of $250 million. 

    Mesa Vista Ranch, which encompasses more than 100 square miles of land in the Texas Panhandle, has long been a hunting and golfing getaway for Pickens, who cited his age and health as the primary motivators for his decision to sell.

    Pickens has owned the ranch for 46 years.

    "Selling the ranch is the prudent thing for an 89-year-old man to do. It's time to get my life and my affairs in order," Pickens said in a statement.

    "There are many reasons why the time is right to sell the ranch now, not the least of them ensuring that what I truly believe is one of the most magnificent properties in the world winds up with an individual or entity that shares my conservation beliefs."

    The property has its own airport and a number of different accommodations, including the 12,000-square-foot Lake House, the 33,000-square-foot Lodge, the 6,000-square-foot Family House, the 1,700-square-foot Gate House, the 1,600-square-foot Pub, and the 12,000-square-foot Kennel, which has space for 50 dogs. There's also a separate, single-story structure where ammunition, hunting gear, rifles, and shotguns are stored.

    Let's take a look around the massive ranch. 

    SEE ALSO: Meet the big shots who live at 15 Central Park West, the world's most powerful address

    Welcome to Mesa Vista Ranch.

    Mesa Vista Ranch covers some 64,809 acres of land in the Texas Panhandle, northeast of Amarillo.

    According to a brochure that provides details about the listing, Pickens assembled the land in a series of purchases, beginning with about 2,900 acres in 1971.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    VIA 57West Building Exterior

    • Manhattan's Via 57 West is a luxury residential building that just won the Emporis Skyscraper Award.
    • It was designed by star Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.
    • Built with sustainability in mind, the building recycles 60,000 gallons of water a day and was built using responsibly forested wood.  


    This week, Via 57 West, a luxury residential building designed by star Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, was announced as the winner of the Emporis Skyscraper Award, the world's most renowned prize for high-rise architecture.

    The unique pyramid-like building, with a 22,000-square-foot sloping courtyard in its center and floor-to-ceiling windows, has been capturing the attention of architecture fans since renderings were first revealed in 2009. 

    The building, which has a total 709 units, was built with sustainability in mind. The energy-efficient building recycles 60,000 gallons of water a day, and it was built using responsibly forested wood. Not to mention, with 178 different floor plans, there's a fit for any type of living situation.

    Units have been on the rental market since March 2016, except for the building's 142 affordable housing units, which range from $565 for a studio to $1,067 for a three-bedroom apartment and were filled via a lottery in late 2015. Average prices for the market-rate apartments range from $2,770 for a studio to $16,500 a month for a four-bedroom apartment.

    Last year, Business Insider got to peek inside five different units, each with a unique floor plan. We were in awe with what we saw. 

    SEE ALSO: 12 eerie images of enormous Chinese cities completely empty of people

    APARTMENT #1, two-bedroom, two-bath: This particular unit was listed for $7,200 per month and is 1,024 square feet.

    Thanks to the building's tetrahedron-like design, some of the apartments are lucky enough to have not one, but two balconies. Here, the smaller room of this two-bedroom apartment leads out to a patio space.

    The master bedroom is separated by a small hallway.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    This week, legendary investor T. Boone Pickens listed his 100-square-mile ranch in the Texas Panhandle, northeast of Amarillo, for $250 million. 

    Pickens, 89, has had a long, successful career in business and is currently the chairman of BP Capital Management (which he founded), so it's no surprise that he owns such an expansive spread.

    There are some features of Mesa Vista Ranch, however, that make it truly unique. We've rounded up the most interesting facts about it here.

    SEE ALSO: This starchitect-designed luxury apartment building was just crowned best new skyscraper in the world — look inside

    When he first bought about 2,900 acres of land here in 1971,the only structure was a corrugated metal house that Pickens used to stay warm during days of hunting quail.

    The ranch has increased by 22 times its original size since then. Mesa Vista Ranch covers some 64,800 acres now.

    And now, there are a number of different structures: the 12,000-square-foot lake house, the 33,000-square-foot lodge, the 6,000-square-foot family house, the 1,700-square-foot gatehouse, the 1,600-square-foot pub, and the 11,000-square-foot kennel.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    San Francisco California

    • Four of the five most expensive housing markets in the country are in California.
    • In these markets, buyers need to make more than $110,000 to qualify for a mortgage with a 20% down payment.
    • In the San Jose metro area, buyers need to make over $210,000.


    Several of the priciest housing markets in the country are in the American West.

    In the third quarter of 2017, the median cost of a single-family home in the region rose to $373,700, up 7% from the previous year and a greater increase than any other region, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

    By contrast, the current US median home price is $247,000.

    As supply lags behind demand, and prices and mortgage rates continue to rise, homebuyers entering the market may find it increasingly unaffordable to buy a home.

    Looking at NAR's data on housing affordability, there are five US metro areas where the minimum salary required to qualify for a mortgage, with 20% down, is above $110,000. NAR assumes a mortgage rate of 3.9% for all areas, with the monthly principle and interest payment limited to 25% of income.

    While the salary needed to buy in these areas is exceptional, purchasing a home in a number of markets across the country remains affordable, with required salaries at or below the median household income of $71,775 . The average qualifying income for the US as a whole is $46,435 .

    Below, check out how much you need to earn to buy a home, and what the median home will cost you, in the most expensive markets.

    The following markets are based on metropolitan statistical areas, with the exception of Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, which is a metropolitan division.

    SEE ALSO: How much you have to earn to afford a home in 23 of the most expensive US housing markets right now

    DON'T MISS: The 10 most expensive ski towns in America — and how much it costs to buy a home there

    5. San Diego-Carlsbad, California

    Population: 3,299,521

    Median sale price: $607,000

    Salary needed to buy: $110,969

    4. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii

    Population: 998,714

    Median sale price: $760,200

    Salary needed to buy: $138,977

    3. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, California

    Population: 3,169,776

    Median sale price: $790,000

    Salary needed to buy: $144,425

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ingleside is miles off the beaten path for most San Franciscans.

    It's a haul from any central location in the city, and it has a reputation as one of the tougher neighborhoods, which has helped the working-class area stay under the radar of tech workers and real-estate investors. In fact, you can still buy a home for under $1 million in Ingleside.

    According to data from Paragon Real Estate Group, only 20% of homes sold in San Francisco since July 2016 went for under $1 million. Of those 593 sales, 83 have been in Ingleside.

    Business Insider visited Ingleside to see what this last affordable enclave is like.

    SEE ALSO: A couple bought one of the most exclusive streets in San Francisco for $90,000 — now the city is making them give it back

    San Francisco's public transit system services Ingleside, but it is by no means a short trip. We hopped on Muni by our office in downtown and arrived a solid 40 minutes later.

    Ingleside sits to the far south of the rest of the city, sandwiched between Balboa Park and San Francisco State University. Highway 280 brushes its western border.

    Our first stop was the community garden at Brooks Park, where locals can grow produce and ornamental plants for personal use. It's known for panoramic views of the city.

    After some serious huffing and puffing up one of Ingleside's (many) steep hills, we arrived. Two people were tending their plots, and the garden was beautifully well-maintained and quiet.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    single family home for sale

    • The US is in the throes of an affordable housing crisis, spurred by high demand and low supply.
    • As a solution, more cities are moving new construction from urban centers to spacious single-family neighborhoods.
    • California, the exemplar of the housing crisis, recently passed more than a dozen laws to push new construction in suburban areas.


    One hallmark of the American Dream — the single-family home — is dying as we know it.

    And it's for good reason: The US needs more affordable housing.

    "Around the country, many fast-growing metropolitan areas are facing a brutal shortage of affordable places to live, leading to gentrification, homelessness, even disease,"Conor Dougherty writes in The New York Times.

    The solution has long been to build upwards, erecting cheap condos and apartments in urban centers. But construction can no longer keep up with demand in many metros, so city planners are looking to single-family neighborhoods, valuable for their sprawl and low-density, for space to build out. 

    "It's an enormous problem, and it impacts the very course of America's future," Edward Glaeser, an economist at Harvard who studies cities, told the Times

    In California, the exemplar of the country's affordable housing crisis, Governor Jerry Brown passed more than a dozen new bills related to housing in September, many of which are aimed at speeding up new construction, especially in suburban neighborhoods.

    In metros like the Bay Area and Los Angeles, single-family neighborhoods make up 90% of the housing stock, according to Issi Romem, BuildZoom's chief economist. "Single-family neighborhoods are where the opportunity is, but building there is taboo," Romem told the Times.

    One way California is pushing new construction in the suburbs is by making it easier for homeowners to build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), or "granny flat," in their backyard.

    granny flats California

    A bill passed in January 2017 put the state in charge of ADU construction and removed some of the red tape for approval imposed by individual cities. Since then, some homeowners have jumped at the chance to build an ADU on their property, to house extended family or earn additional income from renters. Others, meanwhile, have staunchly opposed the legislation, saying it would erode the character and quality of single-family neighborhoods, and accomplish nothing in the way of housing creation.

    But experts, like Dana Cuff, the founding director of CityLAB and a professor of architecture and urban design and planning at UCLA, said ADUs can help create the type of "postsuburban city" America needs.

    The modern household no longer comprises the breadwinning dad, the stay-at-home mom, and 2.5 kids, Cuff previously told Business Insider. Instead, college graduates are moving back in, and homeowners need cash flow from renters and space for nannies, caretakers, and aging parents.

    "There's just an infinite number of ways our housing should be made more flexible for our complete lives," she said, and building additional units on single-family lots "get the ball rolling."

    Cuff's research suggests that ADUs are feasible for 5% to 10% of the 500,000 single-family lots in Los Angeles, enough to make a dent in Mayor Eric Garcetti's goal for 100,000 new housing units by 2021.

    But while ADUs may be a solution for boosting housing supply in the long term, it's not a quick fix, she says.

    "It's a messy process that's going to take time as people try to figure out how to do it efficiently so that the housing that's built there is, in fact, affordable," Cuff said. "The amazing thing about the secondary units is the land is free. It's already there, you don't buy that. And that's the biggest expense in housing today, the land."

    SEE ALSO: How much you have to earn to afford a home in 23 of the most expensive US housing markets right now

    DON'T MISS: Crazy-high rent, record-low homeownership, and overcrowding: California has a plan to solve the housing crisis, but not without a fight

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: JAMES ALTUCHER: The American Dream is a lie

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    Stockton California

    • Stockton, a city in California's Central Valley, filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and was named one of America's "most miserable cities" by Forbes.
    • In the last five years, home prices there have nearly doubled.
    • Prices are surging thanks to an influx of Silicon Valley tech workers who can't afford to live in the Bay Area.


    If the city of Stockton, California, is any indication, misery really does love company.

    Stockton's housing market is on fire, despite twice appearing on Forbes' "most miserable cities" ranking.

    In the last five years, home prices in the Central Valley community have increased 92%, reports Mercury News. The median listing price in Stockton — a landlocked city of about 300,000 residents — is $275,000 right now, according to Zillow. In November 2013, it was $180,000.

    The surge is mostly thanks to an influx of homeowners priced out of neighboring Silicon Valley in recent years.

    "There's flight away from areas where it's expensive, to areas where it's relatively cheap," Andrew Leventis, deputy chief economist at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told Mercury News. "It would be just incredibly improbable if that wasn't driving up prices in the west by some magnitude."

    A real estate agent in the Stockton area told Mercury News that about half of the 18 homes he sold this year went to buyers from the Bay Area willing to take on a longer commute for cheaper housing.

    Stockton California

    Still, there's another major reason for the massive price jump. Stockton was one California city hit especially hard by the housing market collapse, so homes there have been able to make up ground and then some.

    In 2012, the city filed for bankruptcy and had the nation's highest foreclosure rate at more than four times the US average, according to RealtyTrac. The foreclosure rate, along with high unemployment rates and violent crime, helped Stockton land a spot on Forbes' ranking of miserable cities. 

    While remarkable, the increase in home prices in Stockton isn't a total outlier. Nationally, home values are rising at twice the rate of a "normal" market as demand outpaces supply across the country, according to Zillow.

    Oakland, a city located near San Francisco, experienced the second-largest jump in home prices — nearly 86% — behind Stockton, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Seattle metro areas round out the top five.

    Read the full story on Mercury News »

    SEE ALSO: America's future depends on the death of the single-family home

    DON'T MISS: There are 5 places in the US where you need to make over $110,000 to afford a home

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Report says black families would need over 200 years to match the wealth of today's white families

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    rich wealthy couple royal ascot top hat

    Rich people love spending money on real estate, whether it's a loft in London or a mansion in Beverly Hills — or both.

    Wealth-X, a firm that does research on ultra high net worth (UHNW) people, shared data with Business Insider on the residential addresses of people with a net worth of $30 million or more.

    The firm found that 14,574 UHNW people own property — whether a primary home or a vacation spot — in New York, the most of any city in the world.

    Below are the 17 cities where the world's richest people either live or own a vacation home.

    SEE ALSO: Meet the 20 highest-paid celebrities in the world, who made a combined $1.7 billion in one year

    DON'T MISS: Beyoncé and Jay-Z bought an $88 million house — here's why their $52 million mortgage might be a smart business decision

    17. Munich

    Total UHNW population: 1,352

    UHNW residents: 1,060

    UHNW second homeowners: 292


    16. Milan

    Total UHNW population: 1,731

    UHNW residents: 800

    UHNW second homeowners: 931


    15. Toronto

    Total UHNW population: 2,021

    UHNW residents: 1,760

    UHNW second homeowners: 261


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    private jet

    • San Francisco's median rent is $4,450, nearly three times that in Houston.
    • Instead of hiring expensive talent in the Bay Area, one Houston-based law firm flies its lawyers in on a private jet once a month to meet with clients.
    • The firm uses the jet — which costs $2,500 an hour to operate — as a tool for recruiting top talent.

    Rent and home prices in the Bay Area are so high that one Houston-based law firm is using an alternative to hiring expensive local talent: a private jet.

    Patterson and Sheridan, an intellectual-property law firm headquartered in Houston, bought a nine-seat plane to shuttle its patent lawyers to clients in the Bay Area once a month.

    Though the jet cost $3 million, the Houston Chronicle's L.M. Sixel reports, it's cheaper than hiring local lawyers, and even less expensive than relocating the Texas lawyers with business in Silicon Valley to the area.

    "The young people that we want to hire out there have high expectations that are hard to meet," Bruce Patterson, a partner at the firm, told The New York Times. "Rent is so high they can't even afford a car."

    According to Zillow, the median rent in San Francisco is $4,450, while the median home price is just under $1.2 million. Rent in San Jose, a suburb popular among Silicon Valley workers, while lower, is still more than double the median rent in Houston.

    Each flight for the firm costs about $1,900 a passenger — adding up to $2,500 an hour in operating costs — but since the lawyers are working in-flight, the three-to-four-hour ride is billable, the Chronicle described Todd Patterson, a managing partner, as saying. Plus, private flights protect any confidential work and save the firm's lawyers about 36 collective hours they would spend arriving early, waiting in security, and checking bags on a commercial flight.

    The firm says it's "still able to offer companies and inventors lower costs because most of the patent work is done in Houston, where commercial real estate is 43% cheaper, salaries 52% lower, and competition for technical talent far less fierce," according to Sixel, who rode on the jet last summer while reporting the story.

    "We fly it full," Patterson said. "It's not a luxury item."

    It's also "a selling point to recruit young lawyers" who want to work with top tech companies but can't afford Silicon Valley's cost of living, Sixel reported. The firm's frequent visits to California have also brought in new clients including Intuit, Western Digital, and Cavendish Kinetics.

    Perhaps some companies looking for talent in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley's neighbor to the south, could benefit from this strategy.

    A report from the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Business Council published earlier this year found that exorbitant housing costs in Los Angeles were inhibiting employers from attracting "high performers" or top talent to their companies.

    About 60% of the employers surveyed said Los Angeles' high cost of living affects employee retention, with 75% naming housing costs as a specific concern. And nearly all said they viewed high housing costs as a barrier to hiring new mid- and upper-level employees.

    SEE ALSO: America's future depends on the death of the single-family home

    DON'T MISS: In one of America's 'most miserable' cities, home prices have surged 92% in the last 5 years

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: LinkedIn's gorgeous San Francisco offices are unlike anything we've ever seen

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    moraga estate

    • Rupert Murdoch's Bel Air home and winery are under threat from wildfires.
    • The estate is located in the fire evacuation zone.
    • Wildfires have been burning throughout Southern California since Monday evening.


    Rupert Murdoch's home and winery in the Bel Air enclave of Los Angeles are under threat from nearby wildfires.

    Murdoch bought the 16-acre property, called Moraga Estate, for $29.5 million in 2013. It includes a large, five-bedroom residence as well as a winery and vineyard, which Murdoch uses to produce and sell wine.

    Bloomberg reported that the property is within the current evacuation zone, and NBC is reporting that it has caught fire. The estate is located near the 405 freeway, which authorities have closed. 

    Moraga posted a statement on its Twitter account: "We are watching the situation unfold very carefully along with everyone else. Our main concern at the moment is for the safety of our neighbors and first responders." 

    Wildfires have been burning in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties since Monday evening. Nearly 200,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, and more than 65,000 acres and 150 structures have been damaged as of Wednesday morning. Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency.

    California wildfire

    The current crisis follows the deadliest series of wildfires in California's history, which spread through Nothern California in October.

    Here's a map charting the current fires:

    California Fires 10/6 (10 a.m.)

    SEE ALSO: Here's how to help victims of the Southern California wildfires

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund reveals why you should be cautious of the ICO bubble

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    compass maelle gavet Ori Allon robert reffkin

    • Real estate startup Compass has raised $450 million from SoftBank at a $2.2 billion valuation.
    • The money will be used to expand where Compass operates.

    Compass, the New York-based startup with the goal of disrupting the real-estate market, has raised $450 million at a $2.2 billion valuation.

    The new money, which comes from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank's $100 billion tech fund, will be used to bring the Compass platform to more cities than the 11 areas where it now operates.

    “With the support of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we will be able to move quickly to execute our ‘Compass Everywhere’ vision, partnering with top agents and their clients in every major U.S. city," Compass founder Ori Allon said in a statement shared with Business Insider. "Just last week, we launched in Chicago with the number one agent team in the State of Illinois, and we are continuing to gain momentum with top agents everywhere.”

    Compass has now raised $775 million to date. And with a more than $2 billion valuation, SoftBank's investment propels the five-year-old company into the upper ranks of New York's most valuable tech startups.

    While it employs traditional brokers, the main selling points of Compass are the leveraging of data to improve the efficiency of the real estate business along with a sleek mobile app for buyers and renters.

    “Real estate is a huge asset class, but the sector has been relatively untouched by technology and remains inefficient and fragmented,” SoftBank's Justin Wilson said in a statement. “Compass is building a differentiated, end-to-end tech platform that aggregates across diverse data streams to support agents and homebuyers through the entire process, well beyond the initial home search. With disruptive technology and unique data advantages, Compass is well-positioned for future growth in a sector that represents trillions in transaction volume.”

    SEE ALSO: Venture capitalists are betting big on real estate tech

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran: How I went from a 10-kid household and more than 20 jobs to become a real estate mogul

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    leno pool

    • Jay Leno reportedly just bought a $13.5 million mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
    • The nine-acre property features a pool, tennis court, gardens, terraces, and a six-car garage.
    • The home features an ornate, French-inspired interior design.


    While Jay Leno has apparently practiced financial discipline throughout his career, he made a recent exception by purchasing a $13.5 million mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, according to the Boston Globe.

    The nine-acre property would give Leno and his wife, Mavis, plenty of room to house and entertain guests, as there are eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a tennis court, pool, and private beach.

    And the most appealing feature for Leno might be the six-car garage, which will give the antique carenthusiast the opportunity to keep his newest purchases safe from the elements.

    Take a look at the property below.

    SEE ALSO: Vanna White's former Los Angeles home has its own private vineyard — and it could be yours for $47.5 million

    The sprawling property is spread over nine acres.

    The house was built in 1936.

    Its previous owner was Verner Zevola Reed Jr., who was the US ambassador to Morocco under President Ronald Reagan and vice president of Chase Manhattan Bank.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Castle in Moat2

    If you've ever dreamed of owning a French chateau, you're not alone. On Friday, 7,500 internet users banded together to buy a crumbling castle in the South of France through crowdfunding.

    Sadly for them, that doesn't mean they all get a room to crash in. Instead, for a minimum of 60 euros, each participant gets a share of the castle, a membership card, and a say in what happens to its future.

    The organizers of the project are part of a French group called "The Friends of the Castle of la Mothe-Chandeniers" that's dedicated to the preservation of the castle. The money was raised on Dartagnans, a French platform that crowdfunds French heritage preservation projects.

    "It's done, it's historic! The Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers now belongs to thousands of Internet users," wrote the group on the fundraising page. 

    The castle looks straight out of a fairytale, and it's not hard to see why the new owners decided to invest – here's what it's like.

    SEE ALSO: Inside the best public school in America — a charter school that feeds prodigies into the Ivy League

    The castle is in a tiny town in Western France called Les Trois-Moutiers.

    The construction timeline of the castle is unknown, but the organizers think it dates back to the thirteenth century.

    According to the campaign organizers, it was looted and abandoned during the French Revolution before being bought and restored by a wealthy Parisian businessman in 1809. Later, a squire of Napoleon bought it and undertook a massive restoration. 



    But disaster struck in 1932 when a fire broke out and destroyed the castle.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Girasol, a Caribbean estate owned by retired hedge funder Bruce Kovner, has sold. 
    • It had previously been listed for $67 million, though the final sale price is uknown. 
    • The buyer is an unnamed European businessman. 

    A lavish Caribbean estate with a private beach and coconut grove has sold after listing for $67 million. 

    Originally built by banker and businessman Benjamin de Rothschild, the so-called "Girasol" is set on more than seven acres of land on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy, or St. Barts.

    Its most recent owner is former hedge fund manager Bruce Kovner, who bought the estate in 2005 and gave it a major makeover, adding in a new pool and deck. The property includes two villas that have a total of six bedrooms and two pools.

    Christian Wattiau of Sibarth Real Estate had the listing, while Christie's International Real Estate provided global marketing services. Though the final sale price was not disclosed, a Christie's representative shared that the buyer is a European businessman who intends to use Girasol as a vacation home. 

    St. Barts was one of the Caribbean islands most impacted by Hurricane Irma, but Girasol's buildings weathered the storm. 

    "While there is still work to be done, the island will recover and is already recovering, as evidenced by this significant sale," Christie's Executive Director Rick Moeser said in a press release.

    Let's take a tour of the incredible estate. 

    SEE ALSO: Jay Leno reportedly just bought a $13.5 million mansion in Rhode Island — and it looks like it was built for French royalty

    Girasol is set on seven acres of land on Marigot Beach in St. Barts and includes 175 yards of private beachfront. According to the listing, these waters are classified as a natural protected area.

    The island setting is paradise.

    A view from above shows its two mini mansions nestled in the middle of a green oasis that is home to nearly 600 different plant species.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    perch harlem

    Manhattan now has its first rental apartment building that meets passive standards, meaning it requires little energy to achieve comfortable temperatures year-round.

    The luxury building, dubbed Perch Harlem, consumes 80% less energy than one of similar size, said Justin Palmer, CEO of Synapse Development Group. That means residents will save money on air-conditioning and heating costs.

    But that doesn't mean it's cheap to live there. Monthly rents range from $2,500 to $5,500 for one-and-two-bedroom apartments respectively.

    Take a look inside Perch Harlem, which opened in October.

    SEE ALSO: The biggest real estate development in American history is getting a $150 million M.C. Escher-like stairwell

    Synapse built the $8.5 million complex at 542 West 153th Street in Harlem, a Manhattan neighborhood that has quickly gentrified in recent years. The building's facade features an abstract window design.

    The development has 34 units.

    The units range in size from 520 square feet to 900 square feet.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    most expensive home atherton california

    • The most expensive zip code in America is 94027, or Atherton, California, according to Forbes.
    • The median price for a home there is $9,686,164.
    • We put together a list of the most expensive homes currently for sale there.


    If you're looking for luxurious homes, the most expensive zip code in America is a good place to start.

    Atherton, California — or 94027 — has been crowned that title in 2017, according to Forbes' annual ranking.

    The median price for a home in that area is $9,686,164, and homes spend about 190 days on the market. 

    With the help of the team at Yardi, we put together a list of the 11 most expensive homes currently for sale in Atherton.

    SEE ALSO: Meet the world's 50 richest billionaires of 2017

    11. 65 Selby Lane — $10,800,000

    10. 102 Encinal Avenue — $12,900,000

    9. 333 Atherton Avenue— $12,980,000

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    UASDRH Axon Overall

    Cutting down forests is the last thing most people think of when they hear about "going green." 

    But at the University of Arkansas, a wooden dorm building is showing that it's possible.  Called the Stadium Drive Residence Halls, the 202,027-square-foot building is the first large-scale mass timber building of its kind in the U.S.  

    Timber, it turns out, is an eco-friendly alternative to steel and cement. It's causing waves in the design and construction worlds, and some architects think there could be a timber revolution of the same sort that happened with steel and concrete at the turn of the 20th century.  

    The dorm is a dream for college students and sustainability enthusiasts alike. Here's why buildings like Stadium Drive might be the future of design:

    SEE ALSO: Google's new 'landscraper' will be as long as a super-tall skyscraper is high — and it could be the next big building trend

    Going with the log cabin theme, the northern building has a "front porch" area that acts as an entrance point.

    At the ends of each building are large study lounges with floor to ceiling windows. When they are lit up at night, the school envisions them being the "lanterns" of the cabin.

    The entire thing is designed around multiple landscaped terraces that act as an extension of the wooden interior spaces.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    hawaii house

    The biggest cities will also have the most high-end real estate, but how many homes for sale over $1 million are there, and which cities have the most?

    To answer these questions GOBankingRates partnered with Redfin, the real estate brokerage company. Redfin compiled data on the number of million-dollar homes available throughout the U.S. in 2017, and the average cost of these million-plus listings. 

    SEE ALSO: Here's where first-time home buyers can get the biggest bang for their buck

    30. Fremont, California

    Number of million-dollar listings: 560 in 2017
    Average million-plus listing price: $1.46 million in 2017

    Fremont is a city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Formerly a more industrial suburb, the city is now seeing real estate prices rise. The number of million-dollar listings increased 8.5 percent in 2017, compared to 2016.

    29. McLean, Virginia

    Number of million-dollar listings: 566 in 2017
    Average million-plus listing price: $1.96 million in 2017

    McLean is part of the Washington, D.C., metro area and is among the most prominent places to live in the region. According to Redfin's data, the number of million-dollar homes in McLean increased 8 percent in 2017. The average price for luxury homes also went up, from $1.78 million in 2016 to nearly $2 million this year. As for the number of homes priced $5 million or higher, the area had 12 listed at the time the research was collected.

    28. Santa Barbara, California

    Number of million-dollar listings: 586 in 2017
    Average million-plus listing price: $2.4 million in 2017

    Ten of the cities with the most million-dollar homes for sale are located in California, including Santa Barbara. The number of listings in the city grew 4 percent in 2017. Although there are quite a few million-dollar homes, the number of $5 million-dollar listings stands at 33, according to Redfin.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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