Rumor had it that the NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal was dabbling in the art of home flipping, when he put his luxurious home in a gated equestrian community in Bell Canyon, CA, on the market for $2.5 million in late 2019.
The big man purchased the place in February 2018 for $1,815,000, and owned the home for only a little more than a year before he decided to sell.
However, if Shaq harbors dreams of an HGTV spinoff show, he’ll have to improve his return on investment. He recently let the home go for $1.85 million.
The five-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom, traditional-style home is on a fenced and gated acre lot, ideal for an owner who craves privacy.
O’Neal perked up the 5,217-square-foot home with new carpeting, fresh paint, customized closets, and improved landscaping. The home was originally built in 1990, and its HVAC system, garage door, and some of the plumbing were also updated.
There’s plenty of proof of the property’s provenance. O’Neal’s images, trophies, and mementos greet visitors the second they set foot in the grand black-and-white, two-story formal entry, with a large staircase and circular gallery.
The home has a number of highlights: a wide-open floor plan, beamed ceilings, and hillside views. The kitchen, however, is the true showstopper, according to the listing agent, Emil Hartoonian of The Agency.
“Buyers loved the kitchen and its brightness. They also loved the open living space, with no shortage of natural light and flow,” he says.
Watch: NBA’s Blake Griffin Nets Another Home In Los Angeles
The kitchen has marble counters, a large center island, built-in stainless steel appliances, and designer cabinetry.
Other luxe features in the residence include a wine closet and wet bar in the great room, a media room with a convenient kitchenette, a screening room, and a spacious office with splendid views.
The luxury spills into the outdoor spaces as well. Out back, there’s a rock-rimmed heated pool and spa, a fire pit, multiple seating areas, and manicured lawns.
“We presented this property in the light it deserved, and helped buyers see the true value of a premier updated property behind guard-gates,” Hartoonian says.
He co-listed the property with Nicholas Siegfried, also of The Agency. Gary Keshishyan Pinnacle Properties represented the buyers.
But waitâthere’s more. O’Neal’s sale in Southern California isn’t his only recent real estate success.
The famous “Shaq-apulco” in Windermere, FL, which has been on and off the market at varying prices over the past couple of years, appears to have found a buyer.
O’Neal first put the massive estate on the market in 2018, for $28 million. It was most recently listed at $16.5 million, and a sale is now pending on the 4-acre waterfront property, with its 31,000-square-foot mansion.
O’Neal, 48, is reportedly spending more time in Atlanta with his NBA on TNT gig. The Hall of Famer won four NBA titles during his 19-year NBA career.
The post Shaquille O’Neal Recruits a Buyer for a Luxury $1.85M Spread in SoCal appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Years before I ever dreamed of homeownership for myself, I was an HGTV connoisseur. In college, I double majored in âProperty Virginsâ and âHouse Huntersâ and spent hours glued to the TV with my roommate, ogling other peopleâs granite countertops.
Fast forward nearly a decade, and the time had arrived for me to purchase my own home. (No granite countertops hereâmy house was more like the âbeforeâ scene in an episode of âFixer Upperâ).
Not surprisingly, TV homeownership didnât prepare me for the real thing. There are lots of lessons Iâve had to learn the hard way.
If youâre gearing up for your own journey into homeownership, turn off the TV and gather ’round. Iâll fill you in on a few things I wish I had known beforehand, and a few surprises (some happy, some frustrating) that I encountered along the way.
1. A beautiful yard takes work
I never met a succulent that I didnât kill. Even my fake plants are looking a little wilted right now. But even though I donât have a green thumb, landscaping and yard maintenance are forever on my to-do list.
Each spring, I spray Roundup with impunity, attempting (and failing) to conquer the weeds. My husband handles mowing and edging.
Iâve slowly started to learn which plants can endure abuse, neglect, and a volatile Midwestern climate. I still have a long way to go in my landscaping journey, but all this work has given me a new appreciation for other peopleâs lush, beautiful lawns.
When you’re house hunting, keep in mind that those beautiful lawns you seeâand that outdoor space you covetâcome at a steep price. Either your time and frustration, or a hefty bill for professional landscapers, will be necessary to keep things presentable.
2. You might get a bill for neighborhood improvements
Your property taxes should pay for every improvement to the neighborhood, right? Not necessarily.
When my neighbors came together to petition the city for a speed bump on our busy street, the cost was passed on to us homeowners. It wasnât covered by property taxes, so we got a bill in the mail a few months later. Surprise!
When you’re preparing to buy a house, make sure you budget for homeownership expensesânot just repair and HOA costs, but those pesky fees that crop up when you least expect them.
3. Brush/trash removal? It works differently in every city
As a kid, I spent many fall weekends scooping leaves into yard waste bags that we left on the curb for pickup. But when I became a homeowner, I realized that my early brush with brush removal was unique to the suburb where I grew up. Every city handles it differently, if the city handles it at all.
In Milwaukee, where I live, homeowners can put leaves on the curb for pickup on designated days. For big branches, you need to request a pickup, or potentially dispose of them yourself. Check with your city to find the ordinances and regulations where you live.
4. Youâll want to clean (or hire someone to clean) your nasty windows
Window maintenance was never on my radar as a renter, probably because I never had more than a few windows in an apartment. But then I became the proud owner of many, many windowsâand all of them were coated in a thick film of gunk after years of neglect.
After we moved in, I started to tackle the cleaning on my own. But I quickly realized I was getting nowhere fast, and there was no way I could safely clean the exterior windows up in the finished attic.
So, I swallowed my pride and hired window washers. It was some of the best money Iâve ever spent.
5. You may feel a sudden urge to stock up on seasonal decorations
I never looked twice at a $50 wreath or decorative gourd before becoming a homeowner. Now, I have a burgeoning collection of lawn ornaments in the shape of snowmen and spooky cats. Sometimes I don’t even know who I am anymore.
6. Youâll need to create a budget for Halloween candy
At least I did in my Halloween-loving neighborhood, where the trick-or-treaters come out in droves.
I spent upward of $100 on candy my first year as a homeowner, and most of it was purchased in a panic at the Dollar Store after I noticed that our supply was dangerously low just halfway through the evening.
Now, I stock up in advance and shop with coupons to save a few bucks.
7. DIY renovation is equally rewarding and soul-crushing
For the first few months after we closed on our house, my husband and I spent every free hour after work and on the weekends ripping out carpeting, pulling nails one by one from the hardwood floors, and scrubbing away at generations’ worth of grime in the bathrooms and kitchen. It was some seriously sick stuff.
Being frugal and ambitious means we can accomplish a lot on a small budget. But acting as our own general contractors became a full-time job on top of both of our full-time jobs.
Simple pleasures like âhaving a social lifeâ or âFriday night with Netflixâ became distant memories. Itâs easy now to say it was all worth it, but at the time, I daydreamed about winning the lottery and hiring a team of pros to handle our rehab.
Watch: Here’s How Low You Can Go in Making an Offer on a Home
8. My impulse to check real estate listings lingered for a while
When I started house hunting, I obsessively searched for new home listings every day, poring over MLS descriptions and swiping through photos. Reaching for my phone to refresh the realtor.com app became muscle memory.
But after we closed on our house, my impulse to follow the market didnât disappear overnight. Even though I was a homeowner, I also had a phantom limb where âchecking the real estate listingsâ used to be.
A friend of mine put it best when she wrote about the sensation of loss she experienced when she âno longer had an excuse to occupy [her] free time with these real estate apps.â Itâs surprisingly challenging to turn off your home-buying brain after months of being on high alert.
9. Youâll never want to go back to sharing walls
I like my neighbors. I like them even more because, for the most part, I canât hear them. Gone are the days of people above me making bowling sounds late at night.
Now, I enjoy the sweet, sweet silence of detached livingâno adjacent neighbors blasting music or loudly quarreling. All the yard work in the world is worth it for this level of quiet.
The post 9 Things I Wish I Had Known About Owning My First Home (Before I Bought It) appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
When it comes to Chip and Joanna Gaines, Drew and Jonathan Scott, Leanne Ford, and other popular reality TV stars, we like to think their holiday decor tastes would be an inspiration for all.
But even TV’s top design pros can take a wrong turn, particularly during the holidays.
As proof, we present some of the most questionable and even creepy holiday decor we’ve seen reality stars buy, sell, or otherwise say is A-OK. Um, do you agree? Check out what we’ve seen and judge for yourself.
Chip and Joanna Gaines present a plant mister ornament
Chip and JoannaÂ certainly know their way around a modern farmhouse, and their Magnolia shop is bursting with tasteful decor for every room. Still, when it comes to Christmas tree ornaments, a mini plant mister seems like an odd choice.
“Perfect for plant lovers,” the product description insists. Yes, we know plants are popular, but last we checked, no true plant lover would chop down a tree and hang baubles on it, even for the holidays ($10, Magnolia).
Drew Scott croons a Christmas ballad
And since no holiday home is complete without music, did you know thatÂ “Property Brothers” star Drew could sing? Yupâhe crooned a tune (as seen in the accompanying video) titled “Nothing Feels Better Than Christmas,” which fans can stream on Apple Music or Spotify. Fine, it isn’t the worst thing we’ve heard, but we’re so very glad he can fall back on a successful day job in real estate.
Jonathan Scott offers a vanity ornament
Meanwhile, the other “Property Brothers” star, Jonathan, has allowed himself to be turned into an ornament you can hang on your Christmas tree, complete with chin stubble and a tiny tool belt. It’s possible some people find this look festive and fun, but we’re betting most folks will quickly click past this tragic figurine in favor of another snowman or angel instead ($3, Kohl’s).
Leanne Ford trots out ‘carol art’
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“Deck the Halls” is a classic Christmas carol, but it’s also one of the more annoying ditties you can singâor display on your wall. Still, the co-star of hit show “Restored by the Fords” rewrote this song and designed this poster to celebrate, available at Sapling Press ($30).
Still, though, we thought the “word art” trend has been waning already, and this particular song isn’t exactly something you want guests belting out in your home, right?
Jasmine Roth bought a plastic Santa
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Roth has two top shows on HGTV, “Hidden Potential” and “Help! I Wrecked My House,” but we’re not sure either of these programs plays well with this jumbo plastic Santa. Worse, this design star has decided to work him into her own otherwise chic California home vibe this year.
There’s one saving grace, however, in that this Santa is vintage, so perhaps Roth is going for a throwback theme this season?
The ‘Home Edit’ team introduces a Christmas junk drawer
We dig their sensibility, of course, but must there be a Christmas theme to their junk drawers, too? The tipping point for us: those perfectly placed bottlebrush trees, nestled in their own precious slots. We get why partitions are necessary for a junk drawer, though, so maybe you’ll want these for some purpose. We just doubt you’ll stuff your Christmas lights in here ($3, Container Store).
‘Good Bones’ crew rolls out ornaments made from rocks
If you love the looks from Karen Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, the mother-daughter duo on HGTV’s “Good Bones,” you can shop their designs online, including these rocks for the tree. Sure, they sparkle and shine, but unless you’re a family of geologists, these items are still rocks that should otherwise be left in the bin at the natural history museum ($16.50, Two Chicks District Co.).
The post Holiday Decor From Chip and Jo, the Property Brothers, and Other Stars That’ll Make You Cringe appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.