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LMFAO singer Stefan Kendal Gordy, better known by his stage name Redfoo, has put his 1,600-square-foot condo in West Hollywood, CA, on the market for $2.4 million, two years after picking it up for just $1.3 million.
Gordy, 42, started LMFAO with his nephew, Sky Blu, in 2006 and produced a string of chart-topping hits, including “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It.” The group went on hiatus in 2012.
Sometime between releasing a solo album, launching a new clothing line, moving to the other side of the planet to be a judge on “The X Factor Australia,” and competing on “Dancing With the Stars,” Gordy bought the condo, located in the Empire West building, and then spent nine months renovating it.
Built in 1964, the 17-story Empire West building is located a block off the Sunset Strip. It includes celebrity-friendly amenities such as 24-hour valet service, tennis court, entertainment center, gym, and rooftop swimming pool with views of the Hollywood Hills and downtown Los Angeles.
Gordy ordered a top-to-bottom renovation of the two-bedroom, two-bath condo around a stark gray and white color palette, with white porcelain tile floors throughout, white walls, ceilings, and built-in cabinets. Splashes of dark gray can be seen in the geometric shower tiles and the floating double vanity in the bathroom.
Gordy’s onstage persona is the irreverent party starter, with bright neon outfits and a wild entourage. His condo, as it appears in the listing, looks like a picture of high-end Swedish efficiency.
He outfitted the unit with Wi-Fi-connected lightbulbs, TVs, and appliances, allowing him to control everything from his smartphone.
As fans of smart home technology, we geeked out over Gordy’s fridge, a double-door Family Hub refrigerator from Samsung, which comes with a 21.5-inch LED touch screen that displays your calendar, weather forecast, notes, photos, and entertainment apps.
One of the fridge’s coolest (pun intended) features? You can see a photo of what’s inside anytime, from your smartphone. So you can check exactly how much milk you’ve got left while you’re at the grocery store. You can also order grocery deliveries straight from the kitchen, using a Samsung app called Groceries by Mastercard. It retailed last year for around $6,000.
“The ideal buyer would be successful, young, spirited creative types who are looking to thrive in a like-minded community,” listing agent Lester Cook says. “Basically the kind of person who walks down the street and thinks to themselves, ‘I’m Sexy and I Know It!’”
Want to know whether a celebrity couple might soon split up? Just check the pages of Architectural Digest. If their home’s featured there, separation could be in the cards.
That, at least, is the latest theory purported by Slate contributor Ruth Graham, who claims she wasn’t surprised by news last week of Jennifer Aniston‘s separation from Justin Theroux. Graham wrote that she suspected as much since the couple had left what she called a “whopping clue right out in the open: a spread in Architectural Digest.”
True, Aniston graced the cover of AD’s February issue, lounging in a rattan hanging chair. Inside those glossy pages, she proceeded to show off her Bel Air home with its hand-painted wallpaper, marble bathtub, and other Mid-Century Modern details, explaining in her signature bland way, “sexy is important, but comfort is essential.”
So, was Aniston just showing off her house—or was there an ulterior motive?
Graham suspected the latter, particularly since this couple’s Feb. 15 separation statement was followed that same day with news that, oh yeah, they’re selling the house they just flaunted in AD.
“Here’s my hunch: Celebrities show off their homes in design magazines when they’re thinking about selling them, because a splashy feature boosts a property’s profile,” Graham wrote. “And property sales sometimes mean a couple is splitting their household and organizing their finances in preparation for a split.”
As such, “this article’s very existence now feels like a tipoff that the couple was on the rocks. Call it the Architectural Digest curse.”
Graham cites other examples, too: Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber showed off their New York loft in AD’s March 2016 issue, a mere six months before their reported breakup. Meanwhile, Marc Anthony and his wife flaunted their Dominican Republic vacation home shortly before filing for divorce, too.
Granted, hardly every couple with a spread in Architectural Digest is divorce-bound; nor does this supposed sales tactic always lead to a sky-high price. Still, gorgeous shots featured in a glossy magazine sure can’t hurt, right?
Soon after Patrick Dempsey‘s Malibu, CA, house appeared in AD’s March 2014 issue, his wife filed for divorce … and the property sold for $500,000 over asking price (although Dempsey and his wife eventually reconciled, this time a bit richer).
“This theory has some validity,” says New York City–based celebrity real estate agent Dolly Lenz. “It could hint at divorce, or just that they bought the house but changed their minds and want to sell it. Good managers will say, ‘You know what, let’s show how fabulous your house is in Architectural Digest or Mansion Global and hope that someone flipping through the magazine thinks ‘hey, I want that.’ Catch it right, and you could raise your home’s price upward of 20%.”
“If you own high-end real estate you want to move quickly, PR through any magazine works wonders,” says Los Angeles developer Tyler Drew. In fact, “I can’t imagine a reason why a celebrity couple would let a photographer into their house unless it was going to make money for them.”
But aside from helping you hone your predictive powers of which famous couples are on the rocks, there’s a lesson for the rest of us regular home sellers in here, too.
“Even if you’re not selling your house because of a divorce, showing off your property on a mass scale will definitely create a buzz that will drive up the price,” points out Drew Henry, founder of Design Dudes. “For the average seller, you can do the same on a smaller scale: Show the amazing life you have in your home on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I would take pics of myself enjoying coffee on the porch, showing off my granite counters, and any other features you love about your home. Your friends just might get jealous and want to swipe it up once it hits the market.”
If you’re in the market for the perfect doomsday cabin in the woods, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better property than Kevin Cross’ lakefront home in the Alaskan bush. It’s self-sustaining and surrounded by millions of acres of prime fishing and hunting land.
“It’s 75 miles from the nearest road, or any kind of town,” Cross says. “That’s 75 miles through woods that you cannot walk through. You might be able to snowmobile through them in the winter, and it’s questionable if you can get there by boat in the summer. For all intents and purposes, this property is designed for somebody to go away and not see anybody.”
The nearest town is Skwentna, with a population of just 37 at last official count.
The 1,250-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath doomsday cabin on 7.6 acres is listed for $159,000. Cross bought the home six years ago as the ultimate getaway for his friends and family. The home’s original owner was a military vet with strategic expertise who spent thousands of hours crafting the ideal home for a hard-core prepper.
Solar panels provide most of the home’s electricity. In the summer, they convert 22 hours of daily sunlight into energy, which is stored in a bank of cell batteries. If the batteries run low in the winter, there are three backup generators.
An 80-foot-deep well provides water, and there’s a propane-powered water heater. The home has a conventional wood stove and backup fuel-oil furnace, propane-powered gas range in the kitchen, and greywater system.
Best of all? The next homeowner will inherit the entire setup, including about a half-million dollars in tools and equipment on the property.
“The only thing I’m taking is my clothes and guns,” Cross says.
He’s leaving behind a Kuboto tractor, modified Chevy S-10 pickup dump truck, small-scale lumber mill, welding and cutting torches, mower, wood chipper, two snow machines, compressors, and a garage full of tools. The larger equipment, such as the tractor, was flown in on a dual-prop cargo helicopter.
The home backs up to a large, unnamed lake (Cross calls it Otter Lake), with year-round pike fishing. He has two floating docks on the shoreline, which he uses to launch his 12-foot-long, flat-bottom fishing boat. Less than a mile away, there’s world-class Alaskan salmon fishing on the Yentna River.
The area sits near the border of two Alaskan hunting zones, 16A and 16B, full of moose, bears, and wolves. There’s a vegetable garden for summer growing.
Cross lives full time in Anchorage, which is 45 minutes away by Beaver, the cargo bush plane made by de Havilland. It costs around $1,000 round-trip to fly from Anchorage to Otter Lake with your family and about 2,000 pounds of cargo. Cross says you schedule a pickup date for the pilot, and confirm with the company using a satellite phone.
Cross keeps multiple first-aid kids on the property, with survival kits and satellite phones, in case one of the buildings catches fire and he needs to rough it until help arrives.
That isolation means there’s a lot of time to read books out by the lake, fish, barbecue, and otherwise relax. It’s so silent out there, you can hear the air hum, Cross says.
During the summer, as the sun sets, the lake’s ecosystem bursts to life, with bugs skating across the water, dodging hungry birds and fish.
During the winter, the night sky is incredible, with the moon shining so brightly, you can walk without a flashlight. And there’s the northern lights, which dance across the sky in bands of green.
So why would Cross ever sell this off-the-grid dream cabin? He says his kids are getting older, and he found himself flying out to the property less. It’s time to turn it over to the next prepper and wait for impending doom in Alaskan isolation.
Investors and policy makers have historically had a tough time predicting the precise moment when a neighborhood is about to start gentrifying.
It turns out that Yelp reviews for everything from cafes to barber shops might offer a solid clue, according to researchers at Harvard University.
Pinpointing a turn toward sharply higher prices can be advantageous for a range of parties, from investors looking to cash in to city managers eager to curtail price jumps, said Michael Luca, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard, whose research focuses on online businesses.
The research, based on data provided by online review company Yelp Inc., could allow policy makers to identify earlier on the neighborhoods to target to preserve existing low-cost housing, for example.
Current tools for predicting gentrification are limited and often yield insights long after the results are obvious to anyone taking a casual stroll in a neighborhood.
U.S. Census data, which tracks home prices, rents, wages, numbers of businesses and demographic changes, often lag by a couple of years, aren’t always available at the ZIP Code level and provide limited information about the types of businesses in an area, a challenge when neighborhoods are changing rapidly.
The new research, conducted by Edward Glaeser, a professor of economics at Harvard, along with Hyunjin Kim and Mr. Luca of Harvard Business School, found that Yelp reviews can offer much earlier clues that a neighborhood is in transition. Yelp posts information about local businesses such as prices, opening hours and menus, and allows users to rate them.
The researchers found, for example, that growth in the number of Starbucks locations—and cafes more generally—is correlated with price growth in neighborhoods. The entry of a new cafe into a neighborhood signals there will be, on average, a 0.5% increase in prices above and beyond similar neighborhoods, according to the research. Growth in grocery stores, laundromats and bars also are good predictors of increases in the share of college-educated residents in an area.
On the flip side, the researchers didn’t find evidence that gentrification pushed certain types of businesses out of neighborhoods, a common complaint among neighborhood residents.
That might partly be due to limitations of the data, which simply categorize businesses and don’t distinguish between a traditional Italian barber shop offering $10 haircuts and a new hipster one offering craft beer and eucalyptus-scented hot towel service.
Tommy Hilfiger’s stylish home in Golden Beach, FL, has dropped in price. Again. This time, the fashion mogul’s mansion, just north of Miami, is on the market for $23.5 million. It was originally offered a year ago for $27.5 million, but the price for the posh property rose late last year to $25.9 million, before coming down again.
Hilfiger and his wife, Dee, didn’t own the place for all that long before putting it back up for sale. The couple purchased the beachfront contemporary in 2013 for $17.25 million to house their eye-popping pop-art collection, and wanted interiors to match.
The trend-setters secured Los Angeles-based interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard to complete the look. The result is a profusion of supergraphic prints, ’70s-era furnishings, and bold hues from floor to ceiling. Plus, the home serves as a colorful backdrop for the couple’s art work, from Keith Haring to Andy Warhol.
Tommy Hilfiger’s beachfront home
Red and blue office
Hallway with sculpture
The dizzying color schemes, from a blood-red home theater, geometric black-and-white kitchen and the frenzy of blue patterns in the sitting room may not be to everyone’s taste. Perhaps the drop in price will allow someone who loves the location and the architecture to budget in for a redo of the interior.
However, the new lower ask may also be tempting to those who want the one-of-a-kind designer home as-is. In fact, the profusion of reds and blues remind us of the designer’s sporty clothing line.
The opulent spread, featured on the cover of Architectural Digest, includes 14,000 square feet of exclusive ocean frontage, a lush landscape, and an infinity pool. The home contains seven bedrooms, eight full and four half-baths, a gourmet kitchen, formal dining room, living room, and multiple sitting spaces. In addition, the layout features an office, a bar, a gym, an elevator, an outdoor lounge area with pool, and 100 feet of ocean frontage, and well, wild finishes throughout.
Even if, with this home, “’wow’ might be an understatement,” as AD noted, the total “Wow” of locale, as well as the look, may be exactly what gets the next owner to notice this home.
Ever since President Donald Trump kicked off his unlikely candidacy for the nation’s top political office in June 2015 at the foot of the golden Trump Tower escalators in Manhattan, he has become an unabashed hero to millions of Americans—and a pariah to millions more. But long before he was a polarizing politician, he was a brash and publicity-savvy real estate mogul who built one of the world’s most recognizable luxury real estate companies.
He spent a half-century building his real estate brand, and two and a half years (more or less) building his political one. We set out to discover what sort of impact Trump the politician—and the many controversies surrounding his presidency—has had on the value of his residential holdings.
“The bottom line of real estate is location, location, location. But that’s not entirely true. It is also perception, perception, perception,” says Marc Rudov, president of California-based MHR Enterprises, who advises CEOs on branding.
To see how Trump properties have fared since he ran for office, realtor.com® analyzed sales in all of the U.S. residential buildings listed on the Trump Organization’s website that had data available. These 23 apartment or condominium buildings, in seven states, come in many forms: from high-rise towers in Manhattan to luxury beach-side apartments in Miami. Some buildings are high-rises with a mix of apartments, hotel rooms, and street-level stores. (Data were not available for the Estate at Trump National, Los Angeles in California.)
Performance of Trump Properties.
According to our analysis, in 2016, the year that Trump was elected president, the number of sales overall in his buildings fell 7.9% from the previous year. It dropped another 7.9% in 2017, his eventful first year in office.
Meanwhile, the median price of his properties dipped 2.3%, to $972,000, from 2016 to 2017. And that was significantly less than the 8.7% drop from 2015 to 2016. (In the 21 Trump buildings with sales in both 2016 and 2017, 15 experienced a decrease in the price per square foot.)
The prices of units purchased in his buildings fell in New York, Miami, Chicago, and Honolulu—four of his biggest luxury markets—in 2017. Only his combined condo and hotel in Las Vegas saw strong price gains. And only Manhattan and Las Vegas saw an increase in the overall number of sales.
Donald Trump’s remarkable skills at branding helped build the Trump empire. But financially speaking, that could be a double-edged sword for the nation’s most famous man, who now has a fervent base of supporters and detractors alike. As Rudov says, “If you are thinking about buying a unit in Trump Tower, what will the people in your social circle think?”
But it’s not only Trump properties that have seen a slowdown as of late. The luxury real estate market has softened nationally as more ultrahigh-end buildings are coming online around the same time, with fewer foreign buyers entering the fray. This is particularly true in New York City, where the bulk of Trump’s residential real estate (and his corporate headquarters) is located. The age and style of Trump’s Manhattan buildings may also be working against them in the sales market.
From cutting red ribbons to red tape
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; George Pimentel/WireImage
It’s important to note that the president’s name on a building doesn’t mean he owns it. The full extent of Trump’s real estate is hard to track, since the Trump Organization is a private company that doesn’t disclose all of its holdings. Just because a building is listed on the organization’s website doesn’t mean the organization owns it or even a majority stake in it, and there are likely some buildings that aren’t listed at all.
Complicating the matter is that Donald Trump often licenses his name for all kinds of things, including to builders and developers. So not every Trump building is owned by the president and his family.
The Trump Organization did not respond to realtor.com’s requests for comment.
How are Trump’s properties doing in the city that made him famous?
The president cut his teeth on Manhattan real estate. And his glamorous, over-the-top luxury buildings have been synonymous with the city since the 1980s.
“Trump tried to get as much newspaper coverage as possible [early in his career], always pushing his Trump [brand] and the adjective ‘billionaire’ attached to his name or ‘successful real estate developer’ and ‘rich,’”says Gwenda Blair, author of “The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a President.” “He targeted [buyers] who wanted to show off.”
Donald Trump, with a model of Trump Tower in 1980, and outside the Tower in 1997.
Getty Images; realtor.com
There are 10 residential buildings in Manhattan, one of the bluest of blue cities, listed on the Trump Organization’s website. Five more developments are located in nearby suburbs in New York’s Westchester County; Stamford, CT; and Jersey City, NJ.
The total number of sales in the Manhattan buildings were actually up 24.6% in 2017—but median sales prices were down 2.4%. Of these, his prize jewel is the 58-story Trump Tower in midtown, where the price per square foot fell 17.8% from 2016 to 2017. That’s the biggest drop of his New York holdings. There were five sales in the building last year, ranging from $1.8 million to $3.6 million.
The 58-story tower, which carries his name in 4-foot-high golden letters, is located in a heavily trafficked stretch of well-off Fifth Avenue next to famed jeweler Tiffany & Co. When it opened in 1983, the edifice and its flamboyant design came to define the wealth, ambition, and unabashed consumerism of Manhattan in that era. At the time the New York Times wrote that the tower “is a clarion call to wealthy outsiders. … The doormen’s scarlet uniforms and white pith helmets—or high black fur hats in the winter months—evoke Buckingham Palace. Ivana Trump had them custom made in London.”
Trump Tower in New York
The city’s democratic bent may be one reason for the famous building’s residential drop-off. But another is the U.S. Secret Service putting up 24/7 barricades on the street next to the tower after Trump won the presidential race. And the building started to attract protesters—lots of them.
Dolly Lenz, a luxury real estate agent and founder of Dolly Lenz Real Estate in New York, who has sold many units in the Trump Tower over the years, concedes that the frenetic scene is a turnoff to some potential buyers.
“People just want to be able to go in and out, and not go through X-rays,” she says. “If you’re getting back from a black tie and in your high heels, the car can’t even drop you off in the front.”
“I’ve had buyers who are looking for places in New York, but specifically said they don’t want to live in a Trump building,” adds Daniel Neiditch, president of New York–based River 2 River Realty, a luxury real estate brokerage, landlord, and developer. Buyers might “not feeling comfortable with people screaming in their face. And some may not feel comfortable with his name on their building.”
The next biggest price decrease among his Manhattan properties was at the 54-story Trump Palace, a 277-unit condo building on the Upper East Side. The number of sales rose from eight in 2016 to 10 in 2017. However, the price per square foot, a measure of the value of real estate, fell 14.9%, to $1,616.
Outspoken left-leaning commentator Keith Olbermann famously sold his three-bedroom condo in the building for $3.8 million in 2016. After the sale, he tweeted a picture of his keys and this message: “I got out with 90% of my money and 100% of my soul!”
Some buildings chose to remove the Trump name entirely. They included Trump Place, three buildings along the Hudson River on the Upper West Side, where tenants circulated a “Dump the TRUMP name” petition before he was elected. The Trump SoHo Hotel rebranded itself the Dominick Hotel, after a dropoff in business, including several visiting NBA teams that stopped staying at the hotel in protest.
Not every Manhattan buyer was uncomfortable with the Trump name. The city also brought some successes for the Trump Organization last year.
The price per square foot jumped 35.8% in Trump Parc, a former hotel converted into a 38-story condominium tower near Central Park. It was also up 25.2% at Trump Park Avenue, a prewar, 32-story condo building on the Upper East Side.
How are Trump properties faring in the rest of the country?
Trump properties in Miami
Nationally, Trump properties generally haven’t fared well since his presidential run.
In his five Florida buildings on Sunny Isles Beach, outside of Miami, sales dropped 23.6% from 2016 to 2017. (The price per square foot in these beach-front towers were also down 6.4% year over year, to $678.) These buildings feature all kinds of high-end amenities, including beachfront cabanas, tennis centers, and heated swimming pools.
Trump Towers at Sunny Isles Beach
At the Trump Hollywood, a 41-story condo building located right on Hollywood Beach in South Florida, sales dropped from 10 units in 2016 to just three in 2017. The price per square foot fell 4.2%, to $692. The building features a theater room, wine cellar, and tasting salon along with a library, two spas, and four tennis courts.
An ocean away, at the Trump Tower Waikiki, which offers hotel rooms and condos in Honolulu, the number of sales also fell, by 13.9% from 2016 to 2017. The price per square foot dropped by 8.4% over the same period with the median sold price of $1,240,000.
But Donald Trump did have some bright spots, even in a state that wound up voting for rival, Hillary Clinton. At the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, a combination hotel and condo tower off the Strip, the number of sales jumped 54.5%, to 51, in 2017. The price per square foot in the building also increased 13.6%, to $511.
But this is no typical Trump property. The median price of the units sold in the building last year was a more modest $265,000, the lowest of any of the properties listed on the company’s website. The small, furnished condos are popular with out-of-towners who stay in the units when they’re in Vegas, and then have the building’s management company rent them out (and arrange cleanings) the rest of the time.
Trump’s Las Vegas hotel
“It’s a great location, it’s got phenomenal views, it’s right across from one of the best shopping malls in Vegas,” says Dino Satallante, real estate broker at Queensridge in Las Vegas, who is selling a unit in the building for one of his clients. And “you’re getting a little return on your investment and you don’t have to do anything.”
But some of that rise may also be attributed to the real estate market in Las Vegas, which has been very much on the rise as of late. In December realtor.com ranked Las Vegas as the best housing market going into 2018, with a projected price growth of 6.9%.
The age of Trump’s buildings is working against them
Another reason that some of Trump’s properties are seeing sales and price declines is their age: They’re older than the new crop of luxury buildings. Many of his New York City buildings in particular went up or were renovated in the 1980s or 1990s. So they’re competing against a slew of new construction with larger floor plans, the newest amenities, and more modern aesthetics. That makes them a harder sell, say real estate experts.
But despite being older than the newest crop of luxury towers coming online in the past few years, Trump’s units are still among the most prized for their price, says Lenz. Trump’s units in Manhattan sold at prices ranging from $551,000 to $15.9 million last year.
“They aren’t super luxury, and their price point reflects that,” Lenz says. But they’re immaculate, she adds. “He wants his [real estate] reputation to be sterling.”
Outside of New York City, the Trump Organization has some newer buildings. The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago opened in 2009, a project that cost almost $850 million to construct. At 1,388 feet, it’s the fourth-tallest building in the United States.
Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago
But the number of sales in the Chicago building dropped from 47 in 2015 to 31 in 2016, and 18 in 2017. And just last year, the price per square foot fell 16.9%, to $756.
“What we are seeing at Trump is atypical of the market,” says Gail Lissner, an appraiser and managing director of Integra Realty Resources in Chicago, which tracks 65 residential buildings in the city. That’s because the Chicago luxury market is typically more steady without big ups and downs.
“This is one of the nicest buildings in Chicago, despite what people might think of the Trump name,” Lissner adds.
The luxury market is softening—not just for Trump properties
Some of the forces working against Trump properties are those affecting the luxury condo market as a whole.
Nationally, it was harder to sell luxury real estate in 2017, as an influx of ultrahigh-end homes have entered the market in recent years. The days that luxury homes sat on the market, a good indicator of the strength or weakness of a market, increased 5.4%, to 116 days, according to realtor.com data. (We’re defining luxury as the most expensive 5% of homes in a given market.)
At the same time, the overall U.S. housing market heated up, with the days on the market falling to 71, a 7.3% drop.
Meanwhile, luxury real estate in Manhattan has taken an especially hard hit over the past few years.
This is partly due to fewer wealthy, foreign buyers, who are big players in the luxury market . For example, the Chinese government has imposed new restrictions making it harder for citizens to buy property abroad. Trump’s comments on immigration may also dissuade potential foreign buyers.
Foreign buyers are also typically in the market for second, third, or even fourth or fifth homes. So it’s not surprising that Trump’s buildings that cater to secondary home buyers, like Trump Tower, are down the most. The Trump International Hotel and Tower, a building that is home to more primary home buyers, has fared better, Lenz says.
“No perspective purchaser has ever told me they didn’t want to look at or buy a Trump property,” says Lenz. “[It’s that] luxury is down, not that Trump is down.”
If you ask us, there’s no better way to celebrate Presidents Day than by checking out a $3.7 million home for sale on property once owned by our nation’s 38th president, Gerald Ford.
For political history buffs, Ford is notable for being the only American to serve as both vice president and president without being elected to either office. He replaced Vice President Spiro Agnew, who resigned amid President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, and took over as president once Nixon himself resigned in 1974.
Alas, Ford was a single-term president, and was promptly voted out of office in 1976. Following the defeat, he and his wife, Betty, moved to Rancho Mirage, CA, and built an unassuming compound at Thunderbird Country Club, the first country club of its kind in the Coachella Valley.
In its heyday, Thunderbird was frequented by Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Dean Martin, and Perry Como.
In building their compound, the Fords bought the house next door (previously owned by actress Ginger Rogers) and turned it into a home office and command center for the U.S. Secret Service.
After Betty Ford died in 2011 (Gerald died five years earlier), the family’s estate put the main house up for sale, and donated the Secret Service building to the University of Southern California.
The house was ultimately sold to prominent Southern California commercial real estate developer Richard Weintraub, who bulldozed the building and replaced it with a brand-new, five-bedroom, 6.5-bath classic Southern California masterpiece, according to listing agent John Nelson.
The 5,582-square-foot home on 0.7 acres draws heavy design inspiration from Mid-Century Modern architecture.
Many of the rooms feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls, flooding the house with Southern California sun. The living room has glass walls on a track, allowing you to push them open for the ultimate in inside-outside living. The living room’s most striking feature is the modern gas fireplace, which runs the length of the room.
The open-concept kitchen has sleek, 1970s-inspired cabinetry, and a chef’s island with gas range.
The home’s master bedroom has an end-to-end glass wall and sliding glass doors to the backyard. The master bathroom features a large, floor-to-ceiling glass box in the center of the room for the shower.
Outside, the landscaping is quintessential Coachella Valley, with palm trees, succulents, and a rectangular swimming pool and spa. Elsewhere, there’s a gas-fired outdoor fire pit and modern waterfall. The listing is held by Nelson-Moe Properties, an affiliate of Coldwell Banker Palm Springs.
Weintraub is currently building a new, 24-acre resort in Rancho Mirage called Thunderbird Resort and Spa. Like this home, the new resort is ultraluxe, with architecture that leans heavily on the Space Age architecture found throughout the region.
We didn’t need to invoke executive privilege. None of these homes were marked down in the writing of this article. They were all bargains to begin with!
After scouring the latest listings on realtor.com®, we’ve pinpointed 10 move-in ready homes priced under $100,000, from all over the country. Despite the fact that the nation’s median home price has been steadily moving up, this is still the land of the free, and you can still find a starter home without having to empty out your bank account.
So while you navigate sales tied to Presidents Day, we invite you to put away the shopping cart and shop for a home instead. Here are 10 homes we wouldn’t mind moving into right now…
Price: $94,900 Discount details: Built in 1968, this two-bedroom home’s interior is well-preserved. The decor could use a change-up, but it’s otherwise a solid choice for a buyer looking to get close to the Gulf.
Price: $79,900 Discount details: This 1920s bungalow offers oodles of charm for a vintage-minded buyer. The listing mentions it’s a perfect choice for investors, but we’d want this home all to ourselves.
Price: $74,900 Discount details: Tiny life, big views. This miniature purple home in a rainy part of the country is designed for a buyer who wants to get off the grid. Overlooking the Hood Canal, it’s perfection in the Pacific Northwest.
The 3,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home was built in 2000 by architect David Yarborough, according to listing agent David Cordova. Buddhist monks from the local Bodhi Mandala Zen Center provided Yarborough with assistance.
The home, which includes a separate studio and Buddhist-inspired chant room, was used by the owners as a spiritual retreat for groups. We confirmed that this is the only home in the entire country to featuring a room devoted to chanting.
The layout of the home, along with its water fountains and fireplaces, were designed with “peace, balance and harmony in mind,” the listing notes.
The estate comes with perennial gardens featuring flowers and herbs, pistachio trees, peach trees, goji berry bushes, sea buckthorn shrubs, and a fish pond. And while the home is connected to the grid, its primary energy source is solar.
The surrounding area features hot springs and waterfalls, making it a great location for hiking.
“You can walk the hills around the house and find pottery shards dating back thousands of years,” Cordova says. The home’s remote location makes it ideal for communing with nature.
As you approach, the residence seems to appear out of thin air, he explains.
In Jemez Springs you can experience Native American, Hispanic, and modern American culture. This home and its picturesque 10 acres in the high desert offer a spiritual setting to quiet the mind and connect with a higher power. All you need is a comfortable sitting position and the right chant. The house does the rest.
If you’re one of the millions of folks enjoying the Winter Olympics, you’re likely entertaining a few Olympic fantasies of your own. Whether they involve your skating across the ice rink, skiing down a mountain, or snowboarding on the halfpipe, golden dreams have their moment in the sun (or snow) every four years.
For whichever category you fall into, we’ve found medalworthy homes. Some are located just a quick slalom from Olympic training venues, while others could be winter sports training venues in and of themselves. You could just walk out the door and slap a hockey puck or go cross-country skiing.
Let’s turn our eyes to the podium as we count down six medal contenders.
Price: $5,895,000 Medal qualifications: This five-bedroom chateau is ski-in, ski-out, because it’s located on the same Deer Valley slopes where the best skiers in the world competed during the 2002 Olympics. The updated luxury “cabin” offers mountain views, an open floor plan with vaulted and beamed ceilings, several stone fireplaces, and numerous decks. A whimsical train track suspended from the ceiling runs through a couple of the bedrooms.
And a buyer can prepare year-round for the Winter Games. The Utah Olympic Park is just a short drive away, where ski jumpers can practice even when there is no snow, landing in a splash pool or on a massive inflatable pad, and bobsledders can practice on a refrigerated track.
Price: $8,300,000 Medal qualifications: This secluded 22-acre retreat near Boston has everything an aspiring hockey player or figure skater needs: a covered ice rink and a skate house with a locker room, bathroom, garage, and living room. There’s also an exercise room with a steam room and sauna.
Price: $16,500,000 Medal qualifications: For aspiring biathletes, this country estate 2.5 hours outside of Chicago features a certified Olympic clay and trap range. There’s also plenty of room to practice cross-country skiing, since it comes with 1,000 acres.
You can fly to national competitions using your very own FAA-approved, 2,600-foot-long grass runway. Or hunker down in the six-bedroom main residence with the remodeled chef’s kitchen, game room, wet bar, spa room with pool, and eight-car garage.
Price: $3,850,000 Medal qualifications: This Adirondack estate is on the shores of Lake Placid, host city of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games. The luxurious house has a bunk room that sleeps six, as well as a master suite.
Warm yourself on cold winter nights at one of three stone fireplaces, relax in the vaulted great room with oak flooring, or enjoy a single malt and a stogie at the oak bar (when you’re not training, of course).
Price: $1,695,000 Medal qualifications: Known as Ski Town USA, this city is home to the largest natural ski jumping complex in North America, plus freestyle mogul and aerial complexes. Nearby is this four-bedroom home, which is located in a wooded setting between downtown Steamboat Springs and the ski areas.
The home features a chef’s kitchen with granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, double ovens, and center island. Outdoor luxuries include a private bridge over a flowing creek, a wraparound deck with hot tub, and a treehouse.
Price: $779,900 Medal qualifications: If you’re into speed skating, this is the place to be. Milwaukee’s Pettit National Ice Center is an official U.S. Olympic Training Center and only 20 minutes away from this mansion. The center has hosted the National Short and Long Track Speed Skating Championships, the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships, and the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Time Trials, among other events.
This mansion features gleaming hardwood floors, tall ceilings, and wood archways. It also has an updated kitchen with a butler’s pantry and a game room in the basement.