Category Archive 'Real Estate'
04 Aug 2018

Peter Hawker’s House For Sale

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Longparish House

For sale: Historic Longparish House, former home of England’s greatest shooting author, Peter Hawker 1786-1853, author of the “Instructions to Young Sportsmen” which appeared in ten continually revised and enlarged editions, 1814-1854, over the course of the author’s lifetime, and which described both the development of the technology of the gun and the evolution of upland gamebird shooting into a major activity of the British aristocracy.

Savile’s has the listing:

Grade II* Listed house 9 bedrooms

Tenure: Freehold

An Elegant Grade II* Listed Country House and Estate in a glorious setting on the world renowned River Test.

Longparish House comprises 4 principal reception rooms, kitchen/ breakfast room, cloakroom, principal bedroom suite, 4 guest bedroom suites 4 further bedrooms, family bathroom.
lower ground floor including billiard room and wine cellars.

Annexe with self-contained 1 bedroom flat.

Outbuildings including garage, granary, stables, manege and stores.

Formal and informal gardens with extensive river frontage, swimming pool & tennis court.

Idyllic estate surroundings including about 26 acres of water meadows, 76 acres of farmland and 54 Acres of woodland.

The River Test
Over 2711 meters (2964 yards — a mile and a half) of double-bank fishing on The River Test and carriers and a lake.

3 further cottages including a pair of Grade II Listed thatched cottages.

Square Footage: 11,664 sq ft — Acreage: 177 Acres.

A mere “excess of £15,000,000”, whatever that means.

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Country Life article

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Captain Peter Hawker, 14th Light Dragoons. Hawker’s military career ended when he was badly wounded at the Battle of Talavera, 28 July 1809.

14 Jun 2018

Welsh Pied-a-Terre, Anyone?

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The Independent describes a relative real estate bargain.

An entire island off the coast of Pembrokeshire is on sale for £400,000 – less than the cost of a one-bedroom flat in London.

Stack Rock Fort is a Grade-II listed fortification built between 1850 and 1852 to protect Britain from French invasion under the rule of Napoleon III.

The large, circular building offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding waterways and is connected to the mainland by a short boat ride. Interested parties (and seasickness sufferers) should note that there won’t be any viewings taking place in bad weather, Ross McKenzie of Purplebricks, the property agent looking after the fort, has confirmed.

Although the island is currently uninhabitable, the property “represents an enormously lucrative and exciting opportunity, with limitless development potential”, says McKenzie.

“Imagine, for example, a cable car being built from the mainland which ferries guests over to a unique, boutique hotel? With the right imagination and investment, it could become a stunning property which would do wonders for the local area.”

Made up of three floors connected by spiral staircases, the building was once armed with sixteen 18-ton guns and manned by up to 150 men. It was manned by a small consignment of men during the First World War.

12 Jun 2018

New Canaan Bans Real Estate For Sale Signs

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Hot Air catches the burghers of New Canaan in denial.

Here’s an odd little story which is probably going to be cropping up more and more in blue states in the near future. The town of New Canaan, Connecticut is instituting a change this summer. Their Board of Realtors has passed a ban on “For Sale” signs placed in front of the properties where residents are selling their houses and moving away. Why is that? Well, if you ask the local government they’ll tell you that there’s simply no need for the signs anymore. Savvy shoppers are looking for houses online and besides… those signs are an eyesore anyway. …

So the official line here is that online browsing has made the signs redundant and people don’t like the look of them. But how much of that is true? I know from personal experience that shopping for a house may certainly include doing some online browsing, but that doesn’t give you a full picture or inform you about the real feel of the house and the neighborhood. Driving around and scouting nice neighborhoods looking for For Sale signs is part of the process for most people. So what’s the real reason that New Canaan doesn’t want all of those For Sale signs lining the streets?

One hint can be found in the comments from local resident Shawn Gardner who said, “The amount of them is giving buyers an idea that this entire town is for sale.”

That seems to be the dirty little secret here. They don’t want people to know how many people are fleeing high tax areas like Connecticut.

RTWT

We got out of far less expensive and fashionable Newtown around 2000. Our real estate taxes which were $2000-per-annum when we moved in had risen to $10,000-per-annum, and Lowell Weicker’s state income tax had ruined the business environment. My wife and I had wound up commuting an exhausting one hour and 45 minutes each way to Manhattan.

02 Mar 2018

Would You Pay $2 Million for this House?

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Somebody did in Sunnyvale (Silicon Valley).

13 Sep 2017

For Sale: Possible Tourist Attraction in 6400 Acres

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Stonehenge sold in 1915 for £6,600, with a pretty decent house thrown in. Today, they get almost 1.4 million visitors a year, many of whom pay the full £16.50 admission price.

From the archives of Country Life.

Obviously you and I were unable to bid, not yet having been born. My father was one-year-old, so he, too, was out of luck. But what were my useless grandparents doing?

20 May 2017

Chateau de Morsan

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7 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 9-10 acres. Only €1,000,000 for the Chateau de Morsan, nestled in the midst of the forests of Normandy, one of the few remaining folies in France. Originally built around 1760 as a hunting lodge by the Marquis de Morsan, a confidant to Louis XV, for the King’s visit. The architect was Ange-Jacque Gabriel who was also the architect of the petit Trianaon at Versailles and the Folie of Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of the King.

The current owner rhapsodizes:

The house is a national monument, a summer house, not built for all seasons. There are two Renaissance towers, standing and three stables, all needing to be restored, and the windows and shutters on the house should be replaced by double glass, etc. The roof which is slate, needs rebuilding, as it is original, that can be done correctly with slate for around 200,000 euros. It has a nice servants cottage and quite a lot of land, it is very safe and protected there, two hours from Paris, and no one could find it. The land is quite fertile for growing vegetables, flowers, and herbs, and there is a very choice parcel of land with trees to build a large guest house, There are about nine or 10 acres, and is great for horses, it is horse country. It has everything.

With a good and responsible buyer who loves the l8th Century, and period furniture, the house can be sold more or less furnished at a very reasonable price. The furnishings are the right period for the house, so it could be sold furnished or semi furnished, to the right person.

A lovely couple reside onsite as caretakers. We have known their family for years, and the young man can do everything, he is very skilled and diversified, and does extra projects. She is very artistic, and keeps the house up.

It has important wood paneling and fireplaces, and it should not be changed or damaged, We can not sell the property to anyone who would destroy any of the original details, it has been maintained for nearly 300 years, and is a summer house. Central heating can be revived, there are radiators that function, and the plumbing should be brought up to date. This is not a house for the faint hearted, it is for a French history buff, and someone who wants to live in the beauty and charm of the l8th Century. I think that it would not appeal to most Americans, it is a romance with the past, and absolutely incredible in the summer… let’s say to die over… and absolutely unique. There are less than six of these l8th Century folies left in the country.”

Handsome Properties International has the listing.

24 Mar 2017

Garbo’s Apartment Listed for $5.95 Million

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Garbo’s Kitchen.

Greta Garbo’s former 5th floor coop apartment on East 52nd Street, private elevator, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, with East River views, $9100 a month maintenance, little changed since the star’s death in 1990, only $5.95 million.

Daily Mail

01 Mar 2016

That Fabulous Dealmaker Donald Trump

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TrumpGenius

Timothy L. O’Brien explains how Trump blew his biggest real estate deal ever.

Through Trump’s rise, fall and rebirth, there was one major real estate project that he tried to keep. The tale of what happened to that property should be of interest to anyone looking for insight into how Trump might perform as president. It was a deal of genuine magnitude and would have put him atop the New York real estate market. And he screwed it up.

The deal involved Manhattan’s West Side Yards, a sprawling, 77-acre tract abutting the Hudson River between 59th and 72nd Streets and at the time the largest privately owned undeveloped stretch of land in New York City. The Yards were a vestige of the Penn Central Transportation Company, a failed railroad enterprise that, in 1970, filed what was then the biggest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history. In the wake of that collapse, Trump leveraged his father’s ties to New York’s Democratic machine and local bankers to acquire pieces of Penn Central’s holdings, including the Yards, in the mid-1970s.

Unable to reach agreements with the city and community groups on how to develop the site, Trump let his option lapse in 1979. His Yards saga began in earnest in 1985, when he bought back the property from another developer for $115 million.

Trump’s plans for the property included office and residential space; a new broadcasting headquarters for NBC; a rocket-ship-shaped skyscraper that would have been the world’s tallest building and cast shadows across the Hudson River into New Jersey; and a $700 million property tax abatement from the city as an incentive to build it. The $4.5 billion project — which Trump called Television City — would have been New York’s biggest development since Rockefeller Center.

Like London’s Canary Wharf, begun a few years later, Television City promised to reshape a significant portion of a major urban center. “It’s an opportunity to build a city within the greatest city, and I don’t think anybody’s ever had that opportunity,” Trump said in an interview at the time.

With the property, financing and plans in place, a large part of what Trump needed to do to make Television City a reality was to bring together different stakeholders: locals (like the late actor Paul Newman) who wanted parks and a less imposing development, and a mayor, Ed Koch, who had his own outsize personality and who was trying to balance the city’s redevelopment with the needs of the area’s longtime residents.

Had Trump appeased these interests, he might have made the project a reality. Instead, the author of “The Art of the Deal” quickly became entangled in an epic, only-in-New-York round of public fisticuffs with Koch in the spring and summer of 1987. The brawl devolved into name-calling — and ultimately helped doom a deal that could have had vastly different results if Trump chose different tactics.

After learning that Koch was going to turn down his request for the $700 million abatement for Television City, Trump dashed off a letter to the mayor.

“For you to be playing ‘Russian Roulette’ with perhaps the most important corporation in New York over the relatively small amounts of money involved because you and your staff are afraid that Donald Trump may actually make more than a dollar of profit, is both ludicrous and disgraceful,” he wrote to Koch.

Koch wrote back to Trump, warning him to “refrain from further attempts to influence the process through intimidation.” Koch then held a press conference, during which he released the letters and said he wasn’t going to give Trump the abatement.

Trump doubled down, holding his own press conference and calling on Koch to resign. The battle played out in a carnivalesque stream on TV and on the front pages and gossip columns of newspapers.

Koch said Trump was “squealing like a stuck pig.” Trump said Koch’s New York had become a “cesspool of corruption and incompetence.” Koch said Trump was a “piggy, piggy, piggy.”

Trump said the mayor had “no talent and only moderate intelligence” and should be impeached. “Ed Koch would do everybody a huge favor if he would get out of office and they started all over again,” he noted. “It’s bedlam in the city.”

07 Feb 2016

Michelangelo’s Villa For Sale

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michelangelo-villa

Only six acres, but quite a trophy property!

Italian Tribune:

The eight-bedroom villa, located near Siena, was bought by the Renaissance master in 1549 and remained in the Buonarroti family until 1867 – more than 300 years after his death. The home is surrounded by the vineyards of Chianti, with views of Tuscany’s rolling hills. Since Michelangelo purchased the home in 1549, the home has only had three owners including the current owner, who possess the original deed to the property. The deed describes Michelangelo as “a dear sculptor and Florentine citizen”. The property, believed to date back to the 11th century, also comes with eight bathrooms, an old mill and a lemon grove and could be yours for $8,165,250 (excluding closing costs).

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Robb Report:

Located on over six acres above the rolling hills, the 12,915 square feet of living space is contained in three multi-story buildings, including an ancient tower, believed to date back to the 11th century. The original architecture is accented throughout with large stone fireplaces, beamed and barrel ceilings. Consisting of eight bedrooms and seven full baths, all rooms pay homage to the period and modern conveniences, though all available, blend into the background. The kitchen has all the rustic romance of the early centuries with high-end appliances that do not take away from the original architecture. Grounds are park-like with lawns and mature plantings with a lemon orchard, olive grove and Chianti vineyards, as well as the original olive oil mill. The listing agent is Joni Hazelton of Handsome Properties International.

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MLS #: H-40-08-010

08 May 2015

Walter Raleigh’s House For Sale

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Downton

You can buy a pretty decent house and a major chunk of history in Britain right now for a mere £1,600,000 ($2,466,543).

Winkworth Salisbury Estate Agents:

The Manor House in Downton is tucked away next to the church in a peaceful corner of this bustling village. It is said to be the longest continually inhabited house in the South of England, from its original foundation as a chapel in around 850, and later as a medieval hall house. In the 16th Century, Elizabeth I leased the house from Winchester College and gifted it first to Thomas Wilkes, Clerk to the Privy Council, and then to Sir Walter Raleigh, who made significant home improvements, not least to impress Queen Elizabeth when she came to stay at the Manor House in 1586. The Raleigh family remained in occupation for the next hundred years and the Raleigh coat of arms is still to be found over the fireplace in the drawing room (historically known as the ‘Great Hall’ or ‘Parlour’).

Via Country Life.

10 Sep 2012

New Yorkers Renovating Philly

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W.C. Fields (1880-1946) desired his tombstone epitaph to read: “On the whole, I would rather be in Philadelphia.”

Susan Gregory Thomas describes the latest neighborhood experiencing gentrification at the hands of desperate New York urbanistas seeking affordable living space: Philadeliphia.

We had a one-bedroom apartment, and our son lived in the dining room.” “Our window looked out onto a concrete courtyard of trash cans and roaches, and a rat came out of our toilet.” “We could only afford to live in Queens—why the hell would we move to Queens? For Indian food?” “Who cares about the Met, off-Broadway and the new ‘It’ restaurant if you can’t afford it, especially with young kids?”

Now, the responses to moving to Philadelphia: “We got a five-bedroom house with a yard and a pool for less than our cruddy apartment!” “Brooklyn says it’s diverse, but neighborhood by neighborhood, it’s not. In our neighborhood in Mount Airy, there are black kids, white kids, mixed kids, lesbian couples, mixed couples—it’s nirvana!” “We can do our work anywhere, so long as we’re within spitting distance of New York and D.C.—why the hell didn’t we come here earlier?”

It’s a haunting question. I, for one, felt that New York had become the protagonist in my life, entering as Holly Golightly-meets-Horatio Alger and, by the third act, morphing into Richard III. My kingdom, horse—all sacked by the Big Apple. This might explain why so many of us have the dazed look of returning veterans, though our battle was of the bourg-y socioeconomic variety. We lost it in New York, but we see hope in Philly.

You’ve seen us on playgrounds in Chestnut Hill and West Mount Airy, all in black, clutching espressos, waxing ecstatically about how “cheap!” and “pretty!” everything is here, while our Ramones-clad little ones run around giddily. We may look and sound insufferable, but the truth is, we’re stunned. Everything is so much nicer—the houses, the people, the landscape—that it can take months for post-traumatic effects to wane. To wit, on the first night in my new house, I stayed up all night unpacking kitchen boxes. At around 4 a.m., I heard a rattling sound. Oh, God, I thought. Rats. It was the automatic ice-cube-maker. I burst into tears.

01 Sep 2011

Now, This Is How To Sell Real Estate

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Aussie realtors Ian Adams and Adrian Jenkins made this advertisement and did sell the property at 15 Queen Anne Court last May.

Hat tip to Theo.

30 Jun 2011

Katherine Hepburn’s House For Sale

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Asking price: $28,000,000. Location: Old Saybrook, Connecticut — An old coastal town in Eastern Connecticut, not conveniently close to anything. Built: 1939. 15 rooms, 6 bedrooms (3 suites), 7.5 bathrooms, private dock, beach, and pond, on 2.87 acres. Estimated mortgage payment: $164,633/per month.

20 photos.

My guess is that they won’t get anything remotely resembling that asking price.

13 Nov 2010

Not All Real Estate Is Doing Badly

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null

A gamer recently sold a virtual property, existing only in the context of an on-line game, for serious money.

Yahoo:

Think the rent is, in fact, too damn high? Then stay as far away from online world Entropia Universe as possible, because its real estate prices will drive you insane.

Take, for instance, what just went down on Planet Calypso, where one of Entropia’s wealthier players has sold off his interests in a “resort asteroid” for an eye-popping $635,000.

The seller is Jon Jacobs, also known as the character ‘Neverdie’. He originally purchased the asteroid in 2005 — eventually converting it into the extravagant resort ‘Club Neverdie’ — for the then-record price of $100,000. For those keeping score, that’s a gain of over $500,000 in just five years. In nerdier terms, that’s an ROI of 535%. Match that, Citibank.

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