What will 2020 bring?Â These four trends are expected to impact luxury buying and selling in the new year and decade ahead.Â
1. Luxury Housing Holds Steady
This year, expect âguarded optimismâ to replace last yearâs uncertainty over fears about a global economic slowdown, a U.S.-China trade war and a potential U.S. recession, according toÂ Mansion Global. This is encouraging news for luxury real estate, which has traditionally been tied to global economic growth, yet is generally more insulated from market fluctuations. Many U.S. luxury housing meccas are generally stable, while some high-end hotspots like Los Angeles and Miami could be poised to rise or make a comeback in 2020.Â
2. The Rise of the Mid-Sized Luxury MarketÂ
WhenÂ realtor.comÂ released its annual list of the hottest markets last December, surprise cities like Boise, McAllen, Texas and Tucson topped the list. “The cities that we expect to do best in 2020 are not necessarily big, fancy, coastal cities, but secondary markets where the job market is still pretty good but housing is affordable,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com. Affluent buyers from high-cost cities want a good deal as much as anyone â so we expect to see midsized cities with stable and solid economies and more affordable housing as the top performers in 2020.Â
3. Less Square Footage
âLessâ is becoming âmoreâ â even in the highest price segments. Consistent withÂ NAHBÂ data that found the average new single-family home size has been trending lower since 2015, realtors in some luxury markets are reporting that a growing number of affluent buyers are willing to “trade space for place.â This is especially true in the luxury condo segment, where buyers are increasingly getting flexible on square footage if a building has amenities or hospitality programs attached to it.Â
4. Urbanization of the âBurbs, Emergence of âHipsturbiasâ
People are moving back to the cities, itâs true â but as millennials start families another phenomenon has emerged, according to Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020, a report released by Urban Land Institute and PwC: âhipsturbias.â Hipsturbias are suburban markets with hip or cool live/work/play environments offering walkability and/or transit access. Brooklyn is a prototype, but hipsturbia examples are beginning to crop up across the U.S. â from New Jersey communities such as Hoboken, Maplewood, and Summit, to New Yorkâs Yonkers and New Rochelle, to Evanston, Illinois and further out west â Santa Clara, California, and Tempe, Arizona.
Which trend do you see impacting your community?
The post Luxury Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2020Â first appeared on Century 21Â®.
Year in and year out, we know the holidays are almost upon us when TV networks start airing Home Alone, the iconic family movie that has by now become synonymous with Christmas cheer. And while the first two Home Alone movies starring Macaulay Culkin are the clear fan favorites, the third one (written and produced by the same John Hughes that gave us the first two festive flicks) was deemed the least successful in the series — by far — and failed to make a lasting impression.
And that’s not because of the plot, cast, or setting, but rather the result of the ultra-high expectations created by the first two Home Alone movies, and the fondness audiences had for Macaulay Culkin (which refused to return for a role in the third one, despite popular demand). In fact, the plot of the third Home Alone was quite an elaborate — and downright frightening — one, seeing Alex Pruitt, an 8-year-old boy living in Chicago, fending off international spies who were seeking a top-secret computer chip that was hidden in his toy car.
Unlike a normal cat burglar situation â the first two movies featured petty thieves just trying to score a hit during the holidays, eyeing million-dollar-homes left unattended while the owners were celebrating elsewhere â Home Alone 3 is actually a matter of national security. With four thieves (said to be working for a North Korean terrorist organization) looking to retrieve the toy car/computer chip gifted to Alex by his unknowing neighbor, Mrs. Hess, the movie’s plot tackles a far more dangerous situation that the first two, despite the light way in which it is presented.
But there are two major things that all the Home Alone movies have in common: a clever, brave 8-year-old that will stop at nothing to protect himself and a beautiful Chicago-area home that acts as the ‘battleground’ of sorts where the bad guys get what’s coming to them. And since we’ve already covered the house in the first Home Alone movies, we thought I’d be the perfect time to do some scouting and find the one in the third movie too, especially since it’s no less beautiful.
The real-life house from Home Alone 3
While the movie’s storyline places it in Chicago, the house used in the third Home Alone is located in Evanston — a city 12 miles north of Downtown Chicago. According to ItsFilmedThere.com, the exact address is 3026 Normandy Place, Evanston, and a quick Google Maps search confirms that, showing us the exact same Pruitt family house we see in the movie.
According to real estate website Zillow.com, the Pruitt family home is worth a little over $1,000,000, with neighboring properties all selling for about the same amount — though admittedly, none of the other houses that line the street had a high profile movie credit in their property history. Nor did they have Hollywood A-listers on their grounds (just in case you forgot, the most famous cast member in Home Alone 3 was none other than Avengers star Scarlett Johansson, who played Alex Pruitt’s sister in the 1997 movie).
Just in case you were wondering, the house where Alex Pruitt’s neighbor — Mrs. Hess — supposedly lived is actually located next door, at 3025 Normandy Place.
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The post Where’s the House from ‘Home Alone 3’? appeared first on Fancy Pants Homes.
The record-breaking 2020 fire season has seen huge wildfires tear across California. In fact, five of the six largest fires ever recorded in the state have occurred this year, endangering residents, prompting evacuations and leading to thousands of lost buildings.
Unfortunately, researchers are forecasting even longer, more extreme wildfire seasons in the years to come — which means fire safety is now fast becoming a feature more treasured than even the most extravagant of amenities. And home builders are starting to cater to that need, coming up with ingenious ways to ‘fire-proof’ their projects.
One stunning example of that is this newly-built $5 million home in Marin County, Calif. that prioritizes fire safety — something that’s likely to become a new standard for million dollar homes throughout the Golden State.
The builder picked all of the outdoor finishes with fire safety in mind, using only steel, glass and concrete. Even the decks are made from Fibergrate (a type of molded fire-resistant fiberglass and stone).
In fact, the only wood you’ll find in this home is the wide-plank engineered oak floors. As expected, there is also a fire suppression system throughout the home.
Yet fire safety is not the only area in which this home excels. With its dramatic walls of glass, soaring steel beamed ceilings, and high-end designer finishes, the property is a stunning example of modern 21st century architecture.
Set in the coveted Country Club neighborhood of San Rafael — roughly 11 miles north of San Francisco — the house boasts a modern industrial design, with its walls of glass opening up the indoor areas to the outdoor greenery and flooding the home with sunlight and captivating views. The space is anchored by a stunning ultra-modern kitchen and features wide-plank oak flooring and a modern fireplace.
The fire-resistant home comes with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and quite a few ultra-modern features. It has its own solar system (powered by 28 solar panels) and battery back up systems for when the power is out, and has been outfitted with smart home technology like a Doorbird Entry System, Nest thermostats, smart lighting, automatic blinds and more.
Adding to that wow factor is a dramatic, Instagram-worthy foyer at the entrance, which has ‘living walls’ of exotic plants on both sides. Same goes for the outdoor pool, which comes with a built-in spa, automatic safety cover and gas heater.
The home is currently on the market with a $4,995,000 price tag. Thomas Henthorne with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty is exclusively representing the property.
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The post This Stunning Modern House Was Built With Fire Safety in Mind appeared first on Fancy Pants Homes.
The more time we spend indoors, the more we feel a need (read: itch) to update our spaces. And while we might not have a budget to set aside for costly renovations right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t use some handy tricks at our disposal to freshen up our interiors — maybe even add a touch of elegance and luxury without the costs that normally come with that. Sure, in an ideal setting, you would probably have a renowned designer at your fingertips to make your rooms exude comfort, luxury, and elegance. But until that lucky day comes, let’s
Many lines have been written on the importance of cleanliness and household chores (remember that iconic speech by U.S. Admiral McRaven, urging us all to make our beds in the morning?) and the role they play in maintaining our mental and physical health.
And since we now see ourselves in a position to spend far more time in our homes (whether we want to or not), we can think of no better time to circle back on this subject, and focus on what’s arguably the first room of the house to get messy: the kitchen.
Naturally, with more of our family members inside, our kitchens are bound to become dirtier and more cluttered. And while there’s no way we’ll reach that perfect, Mr. Clean sparkling kitchen anytime soon (and you definitely shouldn’t feel the pressure to take it to that extreme), keeping your kitchen tidy and clean can have positive effects on your state of mind, especially during these troubling times.
According to a 2010 study published in The Personality and Social Psychology bulletin, higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol were observed in women who felt that their homes are cluttered and who had lots of unfinished projects around the house.
That’s why it’s vital to keep your house clean to reduce stress levels and help you feel more relaxed and comfortable at home. In addition to reducing stress, maintaining a healthy cleaning regimen for the home also makes you more productive, helps you sleep better, and protects your family from illness-causing bacteria and pathogens.
However, maintaining a clean home is easier said than done. This is especially true when it comes to the kitchen. And that’s because the kitchen requires more attention than any other room in your house, especially if you have more family members and young children. After every meal, there are spills that need to be cleaned, dishes and utensils to be washed, and lots of tidying up to do. Not to mention that if any dirt or spills are left unattended, there may be a buildup of bacteria that poses a significant health risk for your family. After all, this is the room where we keep all of our food.
Maintaining a clean kitchen requires a systematic approach, and that’s why it is vital to create a kitchen cleaning checklist. Taking a structured approach to your kitchen cleaning will ensure no cleaning task skips your mind and your kitchen is spotless at all times — without making you feel overburdened by all the chores that comes with kitchen maintenance.
Read on to find out what to include in your kitchen cleaning checklist and the tasks that you should schedule on daily, weekly, and monthly basis — so that you don’t feel all the tasks weighting on you without having a clear plan to address them.
#1 Tasks to include in your daily kitchen cleaning list
To ensure that food is not contaminated during preparation, and that your family enjoys meals in a clean and safe environment, there are a few cleaning tasks that must be carried out daily. Don’t worry, they’re not the type that take hours to get out of the way, but they’re crucial to keeping a clean kitchen. Here are the things you should watch for on a daily basis:
Cleaning spills on counters, tables, floors, and appliances as soon as they occur
Washing dirty dishes immediately after meals
Emptying the dishwasher and dish drainer as needed
Putting everything back in their rightful place after usage (think condiments, cooking ingredients, pans and pots, and utensils)
Checking fridge and kitchen counters for expired/spoiled food and throwing them out if you suspect they might have gotten bad
Sweeping the floor whenever something gets spilled
Cleaning the sink with a multi-purpose cleaner so that bacteria doesn’t get a chance to form
Removing items that don’t belong in the kitchen (like the kids’ toys)
Taking out the garbage
Making a habit out of these tasks will ensure that your kitchen is always tidy and will make your weekly and monthly cleaning easier.
Something else that might help, but that might need some advance planning, is choosing an easy to clean and maintain countertop material, which will also reduce your workload.Â Quartz is not only easy to clean, but is also visually stimulating. Read more information on kitchen countertops to understand why quartz may be a good choice for your kitchen and to find good alternatives that are easy to keep clean.
#2 Tasks for your weekly kitchen cleaning list
Depending on your weekly schedule, pick a day to schedule your weekly kitchen cleaning. Setting a specific day is the first step to ensure you do not bail on your weekly kitchen cleaning checklist — and it really doesn’t have to be in the same day you clean up the rest of your house. Having a separate schedule for the kitchen makes sense, and will allow you to spend more time on this crucial room of the house.
For your weekly kitchen cleaning, you’ll want to go a bit deeper into it than you do on your regular daily cleaning routine. Tasks to include in your weekly kitchen cleaning checklist are:
Mopping the floor (if you have small children or pets — or just a clumsy husband, like me — you may need to do this more often)
Cleaning the exterior of appliances thoroughly
Sorting out leftovers in the fridge and throwing away those that have stayed too long
Cleaning off smudges and fingerprints from drawers and cabinets
Cleaning your dishcloths and towels
Cleaning and disinfecting the sink and faucets
Cleaning the interior of your microwave
#3 Tasks for your monthly kitchen cleaning list
If you are thorough with your daily and weekly kitchen cleaning, you’ll breeze through your monthly cleaning. Monthly cleaning should be set for the first or last week of the month to make it harder for you to skip it, and should cover some essentials that don’t need to be checked on as regularly as the other items on our list.
Monthly kitchen cleaning tasks can include, depending on your home setup:
Checking your pantry to see what needs to be tossed out and which items should be restocked
Checking the freezer to see if there are any items that should be eaten soon, and those that need to be thrown or restocked
Cleaning the oven and stove
Cleaning your refrigerator and disinfecting the drip pan
Targeting the dirt and crumbs that hide between cabinets and floors during your daily and weekly cleaning
Dusting light fixtures as well as cabinets and the refrigerator
Cleaning the dishwasher and dish drainer drip pan
General tips to make kitchen cleaning easier
Thereâs nothing more daunting than cleaning a kitchen that’s been neglected for some time. So that you’ll never have to face this challenge, follow the following tips:
Create visual checklists with your daily, weekly, and monthly kitchen cleaning tasks — use our suggestions above to create your own, personalized list with areas that require more attention in your household
Post your checklists in a visible place and encourage other members of the family to take cue on the things that have to be done on a daily basis
In fact, you could take things a step further and assign minor tasks to different family members
Make a habit of dealing with spills immediately and sweeping the floors each meal
Keeping your kitchen clean and safe for your family begins with healthy cleaning habits and a good tidying up regimen. Create a system that works for you and put it in a checklist so that you can keep your mind off all the things that need to be done, and instead, enjoy your time at home with your family.
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