Homes Where You’ll Feel Like A Kid Again

There’s nothing like a backyard treehouse to complete a family home. Whether it’s a deck built high in the trees to stay away from pirates or a miniature estate for playing house, kids dream of having a space to call their own and spark their imagination. Here’s a look at homes for sale embracing the great outdoors and what it means to be a kid.

Wimberley, TX

15 Spring Valley Dr, Wimberley, TX
For sale: $392,000

Wimberley, TX
Sometimes kids want the real thing — or as close as they can get. This Wimberley, TX playhouse is made to look like a general store complete with a sign and rocking chair on the front porch. The main residence is also suited for a family with 3 bedrooms and a large eat-in kitchen.

Bainbridge Island, WA

16698 Agate Pass Rd NE, Bainbridge Island, WA
For sale: $465,000

Bainbridge Island, WA
Living in the Pacific Northwest often means you have a forest retreat waiting in your backyard. This Bainbridge Island, WA home is prepped for enjoying the outdoors with a hammock area, fire pit and fire engine-red playhouse.

Mendham, NJ

5 Mansfield Ct, Mendham, NJ
For sale: $775,000

Mendham, NJ
This Mendham, NJ playhouse has some definite curb appeal all on its own. A shingled roof, front porch and white trim are complemented by a manicured lawn and Adirondack chairs — not a far cry fromhomes in The Hamptons.

Henderson, NV

2821 Maryland Hills Dr, Henderson, NV
For sale: $995,000

Henderson, NV
Palm trees and sand — what more could a kid want? Try a swingset complete with a climbing wall, slide, fire pole and more. The property also has a pool and water slide for escaping the hot afternoon sun.

Princeton, NJ

46 Heather Ln, Princeton, NJ
For sale: $2.895 million

Princeton, NJ
A classic treehouse never gets old. Professional arborist and treehouse craftsman Jonathan Fairoaks took advantage of mature trees on this Princeton, NJ property to build a two-story structure and deck only accessible by two flights of stairs.

Sausalito, CA

106 Cloud View Rd, Sausalito, CA
For sale: $2.995 million

Sausalito, CA
This Sausalito, CA home has several selling points. Listing agents Susan Hewitt and C.J. Nakagawalove that sliding doors open directly to an oversized backyard with a deck, fire pit, hot tub, playhouse and climbing walls.

Miami, FL

7245 SW 104th St, Miami, FL
For sale: $4.4 million

Pinecrest, FL
Seemingly out of a cartoon, this green-and-purple treehouse is a fun addition to this Miami Mediterranean. The backyard also features a resort-style pool with a cascading waterfall.

Source: http://www.zillow.com/blog/homes-for-sale-with-treehouses-151364/

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Dome Homes for Sale

In a sea of homes with perpendicular walls, dome homes offer a unique architectural twist. These homes can also be a smart investment: The geodesic dome shape makes them highly energy efficient and can be powerfully protective against stormy weather.

Here’s a sampling of these unique structures currently on the market.

North Myrtle Beach, SC

503 2nd Ave S, North Myrtle Beach, SC
For sale: $321,600

North Myrtle Beach, SC
This charming and sturdy 2,850-square-foot home
 has a variety of desirable features. This 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom home garnered a WalkScore® rating of 89/100, and the assigned schools are ranked 7/10 and above by GreatSchools. The outdoor pool and hot tub pavilions add to the home’s appeal.

Black Hawk, CO

165 Laura Ave, Black Hawk, CO
For sale: $225,000

Black Hawk, CO
This quaint, 1,567-square-foot home may be small in size, but not in style. The interior is vibrant and welcoming, and the exterior has comfort with an expansive patio and hot tub.

Arlington, WA

14805 313th St NE, Arlington, WA
For sale: $363,000

Arlington, WA
The open kitchen, custom tiled baths and refinished hardwood floors give this 4-bedroom, 3-bath home a luxe look. A children’s bedroom, adorned with painted clouds and kites, adds an artistic and playful element. The 2,988-square-foot home is on a fenced 5-acre lot, complete with a private waterfall and creek frontage.

Beaverton, OR

17220 SW Kemmer Rd, Beaverton, OR
For sale: $479,250

Beaverton, OR
This 4-bedroom, 3-bath home consists of two domes, offering 3,865-square-feet of living space on a 1-acre lot. The interior is warm and inviting, with various wood features and a multi-level family/media area.

Stockton, NJ

22 Seabrook Rd, Stockton, NJ
For sale: $549,900

Stockton, NJ
This eclectic gem is located at the end of a long drive, situated on a 5.71-acre lot with lush foliage, open fields, an expansive patio and a pool. The 1,320-square-foot home has an open floor plan consisting of 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

Paso Robles, CA

2395 Nacimiento Lake Dr, Paso Robles, CA
For sale: $749,900

Paso Robles, CA
Have you ever dreamed of living in wine country? This 1,800-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 3-bath home boasts a 360-degree view of the surrounding vineyards and foothills. A solar heated spa and covered shooting range are among the amenities found on this 33-acre lot.

Sedona, AZ

7625 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ
For sale: $985,000

Sedona, AZ
This 3.53-acre compound contains of 10 colorful domes
, with 4,949 square feet in total living space. The 3-bedroom, 3-bath home has been rendered as “one of the most recognizable homes in Sedona,” due to its avant-garde design and fame from television shows such as “Extreme Cribs.” Notable features include a secluded pool and a living room with an indoor water feature.

New Paltz, NY

116 Canaan Rd, New Paltz, NY
For sale: $1.2 million

New Paltz, NY
This 2,400-square-foot oasis
 is nestled in a peaceful, natural setting, only taking up a fraction of the giant 28-acre lot. The 3-bedroom, 3-bath home’s interior has a stylish, minimal feel, complete with soaring ceilings and a deck curved around the circumference of the home.

Source: http://www.zillow.com/blog/dome-homes-for-sale-150460/

Beyond the Red Carpet: What It’s Really Like to Live in Los Angeles

Source: Wikipedia Commons

From oceanfront mansions dripping with luxury to celebrity real estate, Los Angeles is known for housing the rich and famous. But as one of the most populous and ethnically diverse cities in the country, L.A. is about more than the Hollywood scene. We asked 10 residents working in different industries across the city to share their insight.

What’s it like living in a tourist destination?

It’s always fun to see celebrities, and the thing about L.A. is there are so many here — getting coffee, at the gym, just walking down the street. There is always that awkward thought in your head, to say something or not. Approaching them is a total personal judgment call. I remember being at a nail salon and seeing all these photographers swarming around the window to get pictures of a celebrity that was inside. I swear, as I glanced around the salon, I had no clue who was inside with me. That’s the thing: Sometimes the paparazzi bring more attention to them than you would notice as you go on about your own day. Living right off Sunset is cool to see the tourist that come to the neighborhood. They are there for either the rock scene, which is so central to the strip, or they are in an open-air TMZ bus, which is always funny to see how just about everyone that comes to L.A. loves to take a tour. — Stacey Cohen

Do most people work in the media/film industry?

Believe it or not, most people around L.A. don’t work in what we simply call “the industry.” L.A. is the largest manufacturing center in the U.S. Health care is also a common industry, and retail is close behind. (Hey, you have to work somewhere when looking for your next big break!) — MJ Natal

Do you think L.A. is an affordable city? What are some budget friendly things to do?

It’s very affordable, yes. While it may not seem like this, many places — namely museums and big businesses — frequently host free days at their institutions and donation-only programs. The other good thing about L.A. is that you can do free things like go hiking or go to the beach or walk around the grounds of a museum or mall quite easily, which are all free. — Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick

Favorite thing about living in L.A.?

I love that in L.A. there is everything I need. There are great sources for my interior design business, great museums and great food. (Not to mention the ocean nearby!) — Christine Fife

Least favorite thing about living in L.A.?

Traffic! Traffic! Traffic! — Tisha Berg

The Venice boardwalk. Source: Wikipedia Commons

Which tourist attractions are worth it, and which would you skip?

I’m not much one for the typical Hollywood tours — the wax museums and Walk of Fame are probably something everyone should do, but they’re not my top picks. And personally, I can skip Chinatown — it doesn’t really compare to Chinatown in San Francisco. When I have guests in town, I suggest my own personal Three Days in Los Angeles Tour: Day 1: Take a trapeze class on the sand or a surf lesson in Santa Monica; walk the Santa Monica Pier then the Third Street Promenade; cruise up the Venice Beach Boardwalk to see the unique and bizarre; head over to Abbot Kinney to hit the galleries and boutiques; finish with dinner at Gjelina. Day 2: See a taping of your favorite TV show; visit the La Brea Tar Pits; explore Hollywood Boulevard for Grauman’s Chinese Theatre [which is now called TCL Chinese Theatre]; pack a picnic dinner and see a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, or a classic film at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (amongst the headstones!). Day 3: Have breakfast and an architectural tour at the Getty Museum; head into West Hollywood to explore The Grove and Farmers’ Market; see the stars (literally) at Griffith Observatory; dinner at Yamashiro (a mountain-top Asian palace with a 600-year-old pagoda); after-dinner drinks at Chateau Marmont for a little celeb-sighting; late-night rock concert at the Troubadour or club-hopping on the Sunset Strip. — Jennifer Farrell

Best neighborhood to raise a family? What about restaurants and nightlife?

The best neighborhood to raise a family is probably in the Valley, like Sherman Oaks or Studio City. They are close enough to central L.A. without all the craziness. Whenever I get asked about night life and restaurants, I always question, “What vibe are you going for?” I personally like Los Feliz, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Venice. Culver City is on the rise as well. — Whitney Lader

Studio City home for sale

How would you rate Los Angeles schools?

I would rate L.A. schools as inconsistent. The classrooms are too crowded. To rate a Los Angeles school would depend on whether it’s in the L.A. Unified School district or a private school. L.A. Unified is not a favorite of mine. — Meredith Greenberg

Is L.A. traffic really as bad as it seems?

Yes. Most people have long commutes, and there can easily be traffic jams on the weekends and late at night. I try to avoid it by living close to my office and taking public transportation, as it’s sometimes more convenient. — Angela Hamilton

What’s L.A.’s best-kept secret?

There’s good food everywhere, and you don’t have to spend a large amount of money for an amazing meal. Strip malls have some of the best restaurants in the city.  — Candice Berneman Kahn

Source: http://www.zillow.com/blog/living-in-los-angeles-150073/

10 Most Expensive Homes for Sale

If good things come in threes, then we’re due for another multimillion-dollar home sale. The Copper Beech estate in Greenwich, CT just sold for $120 million, stealing the title for most expensive single-family home sale in the U.S., according to Curbed. The famous Fleur de Lys mansion in Los Angeles also recently made headlines when it sold for $102 million cash before hitting the rentals market for $400,000 a month.

Several top contenders currently on the market could continue the trend. While a few of the most expensive homes are luxurious in their own right, most have earned their eight- or nine-figure price tags because of their location and acres upon acres of land. See for yourself with the 10 priciest pads for sale.

$150 million

Owlwood estate, Holmby Hills, CA

Owlwood_Aerial-F2 - Source The AgencySource: The Agency

This listing, held by The Agency’s Mauricio Umansky, is password protected and advertised as “off-market.” But The Agency has confirmed the owners of the Owlwood estate are still seeking a buyer for a whopping $150 million. The coveted property spans three parcels and includes the street, South Carolwood Drive. It’s reportedly more than twice the size of any other residential property in Holmby Hills.

$135 million

1011 North Beverly Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA

Beverly House - Source Hilton & HylandSource: Hilton & Hyland

Located above the Beverly Hills Hotel in the heart of 90210, the Beverly House has a storied past. Once owned by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and actress Marion Davies, the grand residence served as a honeymoon retreat for the Kennedys in the ’50s. Now it’s owned by attorney and investor Leonard M. Ross, who filed for bankruptcy, according to a L.A. Times report. In 2007, it hit the market for $165 million, and in 2010 the price dropped to $95 million. Then in February 2013, Ross tried to rent the estate out for $600,000 a month.

$114 million

12 E 69th St, New York, NY

12 E 69th St, New York, NY
This slice of pricey Manhattan real estate was fashioned after the Palace of Versailles. Vincent Viola, a Wall Street investor and owner of the NHL’s Florida Panthers, owns the place with and his wife, Teresa, who heads Maida Vale Designs. After purchasing the property in 2005 for $20 million and completely renovating the 16,000-square-foot interior, the couple listed the home in December 2013. The buyer can expect a monthly mortgage payment around $444,000, assuming 20 percent down on a 30-year-fixed mortgage.

$110 million

Pumpkin Key, Key Largo, FL

Pumpkin Key - Source Russell Post Sotheby's International RealtySource: Russell Post Sotheby’s International Realty

Like the Owlwood estate, Pumpkin Key is known more for its land — a private island totaling 26 acres in the tropics of Card Sound Bay — than what’s built on it. But the 3-bedroom main house and 2 caretakers cottages are still impressive. The island is remote but only a 10-minute helicopter ride to Miami’s South Beach. In the center of the island, tennis courts serve as a helipad. A 20-slip marina can also reportedly accommodate a mega-yacht.

$108 million

Homer’s Pond on Martha’s Vineyard

Pool Final 1 Panorama(1)Source: SouthLightProperty.com

Another pocket listing, Homer’s Pond on Martha’s Vineyard is advertised as “a vast hidden ‘kingdom’ on a legendary American island with breathtaking views.” The oceanfront property consists of three parcels, each with multiple lots, that can be purchased separately. The entire 314-acre property, which includes a 4-bedroom home, 1-bedroom beach house, 1,200 feet of shoreline and a 35-acre freshwater pond, is available for $108 million.

$100 million

Estate and Lands of de Guigné, Hillsborough, CA

Estate and Lands of DeGuigneSource: Sotheby’s International Realty

South of the Golden Gate Bridge, large parcels of land are hard to come by — and apparently hard to let go of. This historic mansion, located on approximately 47 acres, has been owned by the de Guigné family for 150 years. According to Yahoo Homes, the buyer can move in only after Christian de Guigné IV dies. Decorated by designer Anthony Hail, the 16,000-square-foot interior is ornate, evoking the sophistication and grandeur of a bygone era. The park-like grounds, which include a pavilion and poolside courtyard, afford sweeping views of San Francisco and the East Bay.

$100 million

150 W 56th St, New York, NY

150 W 56th St, New York, NY
The CitySpire penthouse is the highest terraced residence in the U.S., according to the listing description. The home spans three floors and includes 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, a private elevator, wine cellar, maid’s quarters and 3,000 square feet of outdoor living space. It first hit the market in November 2013, and the asking price has held steady at $100 million.

$98 million

(undisclosed address), Southampton, NY

Southampton, NY
According to the listing description, this Southampton estate has a pedigreed past with owners including the Woolworth family and Edmund C. Lynch, founding partner of Merrill Lynch. The Tudor-style house sits on 5.25 acres, but the property comes with four buildable lots totaling nearly 15 acres. The interior has vaulted ceilings, limestone floors and custom bronze doors, while the exterior boasts a sparkling pool, formal gardens, a romantic greenhouse and tennis court.

$98 million

(undisclosed address), New York, NY

(undisclosed address), New York, NY
Hedge fund manager Steven Cohen owns this Bloomberg Tower duplex. He first listed the place for $115 million a year ago, the same time he reportedly splurged on a $60 million Hamptons estate. The 9,000-square-foot space is sleek and modern with 4 bedrooms and 5.5 baths. According to the listing description, architect Charles Gwathmey wanted it to be “the most sophisticated, stunning and elegant apartment in New York City.”

$95 million

781 5th Ave FL 18, New York, NY

781 5th Ave FL 18, New York, NY
Rounding out the top 10 is a 15-room residence in New York’s pre-war Sherry-Netherland building. Formerly a boutique hotel, the Midtown skyscraper was converted into luxury condos in the 1950s. With a long terrace looking directly over Central Park, the location is hard to beat. The listing says “life at the Sherry has been an expression of privilege since 1927. Night and day, this is the one.”

Source: http://www.zillow.com/blog/most-expensive-homes-spring-2014-149204/

Castles for the Ultimate ‘Game of Thrones’ Viewing Party

Where are you watching “Game of Thrones”? With the hit HBO show back for a fourth season, now is the perfect time to dream about a Red Keep of your own. Maybe a medieval-style fortress with turrets galore? Or, perhaps a beachfront palace is calling your name? For inspiration, check out these six castles for sale.

Entertainer’s dream

2071 Clem Road Ext, Rockwall, TX
For sale: $899,900

Rockwall, TX

Known simply as The Castle, this 15,000-square-foot residence has a grand banquet hall that could accommodate a big event with ease. The home also has a drive-in garage space that could house a large kitchen for catering parties and events.

Equestrian estate

7602 Maple St, Marengo, IL
For sale: $1.099 million

Marengo, IL

This 8,500-square-foot castle comes with 10 acres and 10,000-square-foot heated barn with eight horse stalls. Inside, the great room is a focal point with a stone fireplace extending three floors.

19th-century gem

651 Cleveland St, Port Townsend, WA
For sale: $3.4 million

Port Townsend, WA

Originally built as a private residence in 1892, this Pacific Northwest property was later turned into a 41-room hotel. Overlooking Port Townsend Bay and the Cascade Mountains, the castle has been well maintained with period decor and hand-carved wood trim throughout.

Scottish reproduction

1155 N River Blvd, Wichita, KS
For sale: $3.5 million

Wichita, KS

Built to look like a Romanesque Scottish castle, this residence-turned-inn is located on the banks of the Little Arkansas River. The historic property is filled with antiques originally imported from Europe, according to the listing description.

Mediterranean palace

1025 NE Doubloon Dr, Stuart, FL
For sale: $6.4 million

Stuart, FL

Known as the Sea Castle, this Treasure Coast home is described in the listing as “an architectural renaissance where old-world heritage merges with all the conveniences, comforts, privacy and security expected.” Highlights include a grand rotunda, movie theater, wine cellar and tasting room.

Beachfront beauty

16815 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Sunset Beach, CA
For sale: $10.8 million

Sunset Beach, CA

With a prime location right on Sunset Beach, this medieval-style manor features parapets, turrets and gothic arches. High quality craftsmanship and artistry is evident with an oak-and-granite spiral staircase, hand-hewn woodwork and faux-painting details.

Source: http://www.zillow.com/blog/castles-for-game-of-thrones-fans-149102/

Cabins for ‘American Dream Builders’ Fans

Ready to put on your hiking boots and head to the mountains? Leading designers and builders renovated historic cabins in the latest episode of NBC’s reality show American Dream Builders. The classic American getaway represents a simpler way of life where families can gather and enjoy the great outdoors.

Some cabins are built from logs with a simple one-story construction, while others have tin roofs, timber supports and unique elements from nature. But architecture isn’t what they’re necessarily known for. The true sign of a cabin is a rustic, lived-in feel that becomes more rich over time.

On the show, the contestants tried to preserve each cabin’s character, while adding some much needed repairs and upgrades. By doing so, they nearly doubled the Zestimate® home values. The Zestimate is not a substitute for an appraisal, but it is a great starting point for determining a home’s value.

Want to see more rustic retreats? We’ve gathered a few on the market starting at $105,000. Click on the links below to see each home’s Zestimate, square footage, maps of the surrounding landscape and more.

Gatlinburg, TN

507 Hoot Owl Way, Gatlinburg, TN
For sale: $105,000

Gatlinburg, TN
Nicknamed “Blueberry Hill,” this cabin is ideal for snuggling up with a good book by the fire. The 1-bedroom, 1-bath home has a log fireplace, heart-shaped jetted tub and a hot tub. It’s also within walking distance of the Mountain Shadows Resort pool and just minutes from downtown Gatlinburg.

Big Bear Lake, CA

739 Tehama Dr, Big Bear Lake, CA
For sale: $225,000

Big Bear Lake, CA
If you fell in love with the Big Bear, CA cabins on the show, you’re in luck! This cabin is a short walk from the Big Bear Mountain Golf Course. The 1962 construction has a unique A-frame entrance, cozy brick fireplace and a large lot filled with pine trees.

Camano Island, WA

2441 Bretland Rd, Camano Island, WA
For sale: $299,950

Camano Island, WA
With views of Port Susan, the Cascades and Mount Baker, this Camano Island cabin is a Pacific Northwest gem. The 1978-built home has tall, wood-vaulted ceilings framed by a wall of windows overlooking Puget Sound.

Kalispell, MT

4216 Foothill Rd, Kalispell, MT
For sale: $350,000

Kalispell, MT
From the snowshoes hanging on the wall to the rocking chair in the master bedroom — this cabin is filled with rustic details. The property spans nearly five acres with three garages and a guest cabin.

Placerville, CO

4444 Wood Rd, Placerville, CO
For sale: $895,000

Placerville, CO

This custom, Colorado cabin has designer touches throughout. Antlers, animal skin rugs and fluffy throw blankets give the place a mountain-lodge feel. A rooftop deck is a prime spot for soaking in views of the peaks and relaxing in the hot tub.

Source: http://www.zillow.com/blog/episode-4-homes-148802/

Spanish-Style Homes for ‘American Dream Builders’ Fans

NBC’s new home renovation reality show, American Dream Builders, wouldn’t be complete without some Spanish architectural flair. This week, designers renovated Spanish houses with quintessential Colonial Revival details: terra-cotta roofs, overhead beams, stucco walls and arched passageways.

When redesigning architectural gems, the challenge is blending the old with the new. Homes built in the early 1900s typically don’t have open floor plans or defined outdoor living spaces, but their character is undeniable.

By opening up the space for a contemporary lifestyle while maintaining the homes’ architectural integrity, Team Red and Team Blue increased their homes’ Zestimate® home values by nearly $150,000. While it’s not a substitute for an appraisal, the Zestimate is a great starting point for determining a home’s value.

Craving a Spanish-style home of your own? Check out these for-sale listings across the country. You can see each home’s Zestimate, square footage, local school data and more by clicking the links below.

New Orleans, LA

3627 State Street Dr, New Orleans, LA
For sale: $337,000

New Orleans, LA
This New Orleans home features a Spanish barrel-tile roof, covered front porch and backyard patio. Arches are carried throughout the home from the front door to the passageways and coved, game room ceiling. Originally built in 1929, the kitchen has been updated with newer appliances.

Tucson, AZ

2140 E 8th St, Tucson, AZ 
For sale: $539,000

Tucson, AZ
Showing off a Southwestern variation on the Colonial Revival style, this Tucson home has a curved roofline, turquoise window trim and high, coved ceilings. The living room fireplace and poolside patio are also highlights of the Spanish-style home.

Dallas, TX

1406 San Rafael Dr, Dallas, TX
For sale: $1.649 million

Dallas, TX
Described in the listing as a “Spanish eclectic blending old and new,” this 1935-built home was expanded and redesigned in 2006. Period details include Spanish-style chandeliers, ornate ironwork and lancet windows. Upgrades include stainless steel appliances, a two-person shower and soaking tub.

Coral Gables, FL

756 Alhambra Cir, Coral Gables, FL
For sale: $1.898 million

Coral Gables, FL
This old Spanish masterpiece spans nearly 5,000 square feet with 2 guest cottages, a 4-car carport, grand foyer, massive fireplace and more. Standout architectural features include cathedral ceilings, an iron stair railing, tile floors and a terra-cotta covered patio.

Santa Barbara, CA

4090 Cuervo Ave, Santa Barbara, CA
For sale: $5.195 million

Santa Barbara, CA
Designed by an apprentice of noted California Spanish Colonial architect George Washington Smith, this Santa Barbara estate is stunning inside and out. Built around a courtyard like a classic California hacienda, the property is lined with flower-filled pathways, a stone statuary, vegetable garden and an antique Italian stone well. The living room, reminiscent of the famous Casa del Herrero estate, features a hand-carved wood ceiling, four custom-made sconces and a stone fireplace with an intricate wrought-iron grill.

Source: http://www.zillow.com/blog/episode-3-homes-148556/