It took six years to build, but the Rice House Atlanta, a luxury home in North Fulton County, Georgia, was more than 60 years in the making.
The $14.7 million, 36,000-square-foot compound in the Country Club of the South was created by a self-made, octogenarian entrepreneur who wanted to build a home that embodied all of his boyhood dreams.
Now, it’s going to be sold at auction.
According to a Concierge Auctions news release, bidding will begin Tuesday and close Thursday. The starting bid is $3.9 million. So, what do you get for that price?
A bat cave? Yes. Waterfall? Sure. Secret entrances and exits? You bet. Upper and lower motor courts? Um-hum. And the art museum, infinity pool, bowling alley, gun range, game room, solarium, spa, theater and play area that resembles something from Disneyland.
“He is an intellectual thinker and he is a super fun guy,” listing broker Paul Wegener, of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, said about the homeowner. “He dreamed as a child of building something like this. All these things you think about when you are a kid,” Wegener said.
The homeowner had planned to fill the eight bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, six partial bathrooms and three kitchens with family and friends. He had hoped the home would become a gathering place and a legacy for his family to pass from one generation to the next.
He was holding onto the home but ultimately, other priorities won out. His son wasn’t much interested in living there, and with much of his family on the West Coast, the homeowner decided to sell his $30 million project.
In building a home that would last forever and survive any foreseeable catastrophe, he sought out and worked with a team of the best architects, landscapers and security experts in the country.
The process began with a full-scale model, and as construction continued, the homeowner added different features that seemed cool. “He would say, ‘We’ve got more room. I want to add a gun range and a bowling alley.’ The scope of the project continued to grow,” Wegener said.
Atlanta architect Charles Heydt brought to life the homeowner’s vision of the Greek acropolis. Whatever standards were set by building code, the home was made to meet at least triple those requirements. The foundation was dug to the rock bed, anchored with rebar and poured with concrete that can withstand 5,000 pounds of load per square inch. The exterior walls have the same level of strength.
Al Corbi, a renowned security expert, came in to make sure the security features of the home were part of the construction process. Reinforced walls, bulletproof windows and doors, concealed entrances and exits and an underground bunker are just a few of the features that make Rice House one of the safest homes in the country.
The home is also self-contained, and projections indicate that inhabitants could survive for three years on the property without outside assistance, Wegener said.
There are three water sources : municipal, three 1,000-foot-deep artesian wells and a reserve tank of purified water that would normally be used for irrigation on the property and for topping off the pool and fountain.
Wegener was initially skeptical about the need for a house with such high-level security features, but then he thought about events such as 9/11.
“You almost don’t like to say survival, but suddenly it doesn’t become that far-fetched. He was forward-thinking,” Wegener said.
It takes about 2 1/2 hours for Wegener to walk prospective buyers through the property. And yes, there have been prospective buyers.
But who, other than an owner with a vision, would want a property such as this one? Maybe it could be a safe house for board members or executives of a major international corporation or a family haven for another successful entrepreneur in a high-risk industry.
So far, inquiries have been coming from outside and within the country. The security of the home has proved to be the biggest draw, along with the level of detail that went into designing the home, Wegener said.
There have also been some curiosity seekers who are clearly not serious buyers.
“The serious interest comes from the same crowd,” Wegener said. “This particular project is the cream of the crop for the amount of money spent and the degree of security.”
While the home is complete, the finishing touches have been left to the whims of the new owner. Wegener says it is the most unique home he has ever dealt with and it is important to him to find just the right buyer.
“There are homes (in Atlanta) that are beautiful but were never constructed to this level of complexity,” Wegener said. “It was not just meant to be a massive compound. It was important to him to construct this property that would be enjoyable. It was ultimately for family and these other things were layered in. I am trying to find someone that will appreciate all of that.”
For more information on the property ahead of the auction, visit conciergeauctions.com/upcoming-auctions.
A Seattle woman said she came home to find homeless squatters setting up a tent in her backyard.
The home is for sale. Lisa, the owner, who asked us not to identify her or the house so it would not interfere with her sale, said one man expressed interest in buying the house Friday. She told him to come back with an agent.
When she came home Monday, she found that man and another man in her backyard setting up a tent and drinking out of the hose. She said they'd spread items out on the patio and the stairs. She said they'd even brought religious statues to put on the steps.
Lisa said she screamed, told them they were trespassing and told them to leave. She said one man walked up to her and told her that she was the one trespassing, claiming he owned the house.
"The delusion is what scares me. You never know what somebody's capable of when they don't have rational thought," Lisa said.
Neighbors rushed over and scared the men off, and Lisa called 911. While an officer was taking a report, the men came back. Lisa thinks they came to get their belongings.
"I feel completely violated," Lisa said. "I've spent my last seven years putting my hard work and money into this house and I feel fiercely protective. But at the same time, I don't want to threaten my own safety by protecting this property."
She said the men have been back five times. Lisa had a friend stay at the house last night and he was armed.
Lisa worries the men will be back again. "Who is to say it might not happen again?" she asked.
Lisa spoke to KIRO Radio's Dori Monson, who reported this story Wednesday afternoon. Listen to that interview from “The Dori Monson Show” below.
Seattle police took the items from the backyard and are investigating the pair for trespassing and prowling, according to the police report. Officers have been called to the house several times.
"Brady Bunch" fans, it's time to say "Bye Bye Bye" to your dreams of owning the iconic California home from the popular 1970s sitcom.
'N Sync singer Lance Bass tweeted Friday that he was buying the house made famous in exterior shots of the Brady home. It recently was listed for $1.885 million.
"Super excited to announce they accepted my offer on the #BradyBunch house last night!!!" Bass wrote. "This is going to be a fun project!"
But not so fast. A few hours after celebrating, Bass tweeted he was “feeling heartbroken” when he apparently was outbid for the house, KABC reported. And -- Marcia, Marcia, Marcia -- Bass won’t be hosting actress Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady in the series, for dinner any time soon.
Bass said he was told that another buyer -- perhaps a Hollywood studio -- was ready to buy the property “at any cost.”
Bass said after being told he was the winning bidder, he discovered that another buyer, possibly a Hollywood studio, was prepared to acquire the property "at any cost."
"They will outperform any bid with unlimited resources," he tweeted. “I'm hurt and saddened by this highly questionable outcome.”
According to the listing, the 2,477-square-foot home, located at 11222 Dilling St. in Studio City, California, features three bedrooms, three baths and a 12,500-square-foot lot.
"This iconic residence is reportedly the second most photographed home in the United States after the White House," the listing claims.
McCormick seemed pleased when she heard Bass had the high bid.
"Congratulations!" she tweeted to Bass. "May all your problems from here on out always be solved in a half hour."
A Seattle woman says she came home to find homeless squatters setting up a tent in her backyard.
The home is for sale. Lisa, the owner, who asked KIRO-TV not to use her full name or identify the house so it would not interfere with her sale, said one man expressed interest in buying the house Friday. She told him to come back with an agent.
When she came home Monday, she said she found that man and another one in her backyard setting up a tent and drinking out of the hose. She said they'd spread items out on the patio and the stairs, too. She said they'd even brought religious statues to put on the steps.
Lisa said she screamed and told them they were trespassing and to leave. She said one man walked up to her and told her that she was the one trespassing, claiming he owns the house.
"The delusion is what scares me. You never know what somebody's capable of when they don't have rational thought," Lisa said.
Neighbors rushed over and scared the men off while Lisa called 911. While an officer was taking a report, the men came back. Lisa thinks they came to get their belongings.
"I feel completely violated," Lisa said. "I've spent my last seven years putting my hard work and money into this house, and I feel fiercely protective. But at the same time, I don't want to threaten my own safety by protecting this property."
She said the men have been back five times. Lisa had a friend stay at the house Tuesday night, and he was armed.
Lisa worries they’ll be back.
"Who is to say it might not happen again?" she said.
Seattle police took the items from the backyard and are investigating the pair for trespassing and prowling, according to the police report. Officers have been called out to the house several times.
Want to live in Lance Armstrong’s old house?
The six-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom home across the street from Pease Park was built in 1924 and has since been remodeled. The 8,158-square-foot home has a pool with a fountain, a pool house with a full bathroom and kitchenette and a covered outdoor living area.
In the market for a whimsical $550,000 home with carpeted ceilings, vintage cars and statues lurking around every corner? No? You'll still want to check out the now-viral listing for Detroit's Lion Gate Estate. Trust us.
From the moment you start searching for an apartment until your last goodbye to the landlord, there are numerous fees, utility costs and more than can make having your own place a little more expensive than you planned.
There are several money-saving hacks to trim some of those added costs, according to frugal bloggers, lifestyle pros and real estate experts.
1. Check out rentals in the chilly months.
While November through February offer fewer rental options, you can strike a deal for a lower rent more often and more easily in the winter months, according to Lifehacker. Landlords have to look harder for tenants in these slow apartment hunting months, so they might be more willing to take less rent or a lower deposit, or to offer a few extra services than what you'd get in spring and summer.
2. Choose floor No. 2.
While conventional wisdom indicates saving money by opting for a floor that's higher in the building, that cheaper rent could push your other bills higher, according to the Wise Bread blog. Choosing the second floor of a place with three levels of units saves dramatically on the utility bill -- far better than getting a nominal rent break. The best insulated floor of three is the second, which is particularly important if you'll be paying for air conditioning in the sunny South.
3. Power down on the electric bill.
If you're responsible for the electric bill at the apartment, hack away at it, real estate website Trulia advised. Be sure to identify energy sappers like appliances that use a remote control or an external power supply or have a continuous display, Trulia said. All of them continue to use electricity even after they're turned off. To save as much as $150 on your power bill annually, invest in a smart power strip and plug in such devices as TVs, cable boxes and game consoles to cut off "phantom power" at the source.
4. Save on renters insurance.
You could always save on renters insurance by forgoing it altogether, but that leaves you open to losing all you own, according to The Balance. Instead, get the insurance, but economize by exploring professional discounts if you are in a profession such as police officer, firefighter, teacher or nurse or are a credit union member or retiree.
If you haven't already chosen where to rent, you may want to opt for apartments near a fire station, in a low crime area or in a newer building to further reduce your renter's insurance.
5. Make a movable bathroom floor upgrade.
A lot of the most affordable apartments, and even some of the pricier ones, have unattractive, cold or warped bathroom floors. To keep from losing your deposit by altering the actual bathroom floor, consider making an inexpensive deck tile upgrade that merely rests on the floor and can be used at your next place, too, RentManager.com suggested. And instead of cutting tiles to fit that specific floor, fill in the hard-to-fit nooks and crannies with black river rocks.
6. Walk through on your way out.
Make time to schedule a walk-through at the empty apartment before you're gone for good, Wise Bread recommended. Look at the place with your apartment manager, and review any charges you might incur against your deposit and any outstanding bills. While it's tempting to avoid the face-to-face even if you've had a wonderful rental experience, having the supervisor sign off on notes from your conversation lays the groundwork for protests far better than waiting to get the refund in the mail.
The thousands of flood-damaged homes across southeast Texas could bring a boom to at least one Lone Star industry.
These property “flippers,” as they’re known in the industry, expect to take advantage of a tight housing market, especially in Houston, to reap a potentially substantial profit, Reuters reported.
Ray Sasser, a real estate investor and advisor, followed a similar plan advisors are currently reemploying to attract the home front venturers when Tropical Storm Allison struck Houston in 2001.
He bought several homes -- some for as low as 30 percent of their market value -- selling many of them a year later at full market price.
At a recent Houston real estate seminar, Sasser revealed his plan to purchase 50 flooded homes for pennies on the dollar, invest 15 to 20 percent for repairs, aiming to then turn them back onto the market in a short time.
With an estimated 268,000 homes suffering some damage due to the floods, what was a tragedy for a significant number of Houstonian homeowners may be a lucrative opportunity for eager flippers.
Many homeowners may consider walking away from their damaged homes with whatever cash they can get, so flippers can buy properties at near-record-low levels.
Meanwhile, the tight nationwide housing market, combined with Houston’s diverse economy and growing population, are creating ideal conditions for flippers to find buyers.
As new homes go up on the old sites, flippers may also be looking at quick sales for prices at or near full market value.
For homeowners looking to sell their damaged homes, the Better Business Bureau posted some advice on how to avoid scams on its website, including the following:
Read more at Reuters.
Obama’s spokesperson, Kevin Lewis, denied reports that the former first family was looking to purchase a vacation home.
The Boston Globe reported earlier in the week that the “word around the island” was that the Obamas, who have vacationed on the island off the Massachusetts’ coast multiple times, were looking for homes in the rural communities of Aquinnah, Chilmark and West Tisbury.
The Globe listed properties owned by Caroline Kennedy and her husband, Edwin Schlossberg, as ones of particular interest to the Obamas.
Kennedy owns two parcels of land, which were both originally part of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ 366-acre estate, Red Gate Farm. Both pieces of property are currently on the market for $12 million and $15 million, respectively.
President Trump’s childhood home, located in Queens, New York, has been listed on home rental website Airbnb. The house is in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood.
The listing provides a short history of the house, which was built by Trump’s father, Fred:
President Donald J. Trump’s childhood home. In 1946, Donald Trump was born to Fred and Mary Trump and brought home to Jamaica Estates. Here they lived, in a home built by Fred himself. This is their home. Five bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 14 beds and 2 sofa beds.
The house is conveniently located for those who wish to visit the city during the day and retreat to a calmer scene at night.
According to an earlier listing, the 2,500-square-foot house features "a brick and stucco exterior and an old world charm interior featuring arched doorways, hardwood floors, five bedrooms, four and a half baths, library, living room with fireplace, formal dining room, basement and more."
Anyone who’s interested can rent the house for $725 a night. They can also stay longer and receive a weekly discount of 20 percent and a monthly discount of 40 percent.
If one is looking for something a little bit more permanent, Chateau Des Palmiers, Trump’s St. Martin-based estate, is selling for $11 million cheaper than its original asking price.
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