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Collette McDonald & Associates

Paula Abdul Lists Sherman Oaks Home for $1.889 million

March 1, 2012 by Collette · Comments Off
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Source: Wikipedia

Most people hold garage sales or donate to thrift shops when preparing to move. Celebrities hold auctions.

About two months ago, Paula Abdul hired an estate sale company to hold her “Designer Estate Sale,” where she unloaded high-end furniture and her “fabulous collection of clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories.”

With her closets purged and her furniture sold, Abdul then hoisted her Mediterranean-style mansion on the Sherman Oaks real estate market for $1,899,000.

According to property records, Abdul picked up the home in 2000 for $1.285 million — a few years before she renewed her fame as a judge on FOX’s show “American Idol.”

Abdul rose to popularity as a highly sought-after choreographer in the mid-1980s before scoring a string of pop music-R&B hits in the late-1980s and early-1990s. She presided over “American Idol” as a judge for eight years before moving onto her next judging role on the American version of “The X-Factor” with her former “American Idol” co-judge Simon Cowell.

A few weeks ago, FOX announced that Abdul will not be returning to “X-Factor” explaining the Simon Cowell wanted to take the show in “a new direction.”

Finding herself between gigs, Abdul may have decided that it was the perfect time to officially list her home.

The gated two-story home has 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and over 4,500-square feet of living space. Built in 2000, Abdul’s home features a grand entry with double staircase, a great room with hardwood floors and a fireplace and French doors opening to a private patio and pool areas. The master suite includes a massive walk-in closet, which once held Abdul’s designer duds, and a spa-like bathroom with a balcony overlooking canyon and city views.

The listing is held by Michael Collins of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

 

Terrell Owens Faces Foreclosure on 2 Dallas Homes

March 1, 2012 by Collette · Comments Off
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The talented Terrell Owens is hoping to make a splash, and some cash, in the Indoor Football League. SOURCE: AP

By Teke Wiggin

Terrell Owens has been fumbling with his real estate portfolio for some time, but now it looks like he’s really dropped the ball. Owens reportedly faces foreclosure on not one, but two Dallas condominiums.

The football star’s ritziest Dallas condo, which Owens once listed for $2.25 million, along with a more modest unit located less than three miles away, are both scheduled to sell at auction on Tuesday, March 6, online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac reports.

Owens owes a total on the properties of well over a half a million dollars, RealtyTrac says.

The foreclosure, brought to our attention by The Huffington Post, appears to be the latest chapter in Owens’ ongoing struggle to manage his real estate holdings.

Owens, who signed a $34 million, four-year deal with the Cowboys in 2007, listed the two properties in 2011. He later slashed the price of his more expensive condo, located in Dallas’ Azure high-rise, to $1.6 million in an attempt to sell the home in a short sale, according to Dallas blogger Candy Evans.

 

The Azure in Dallas, where Owens has two units facing foreclosure.

In 2010, Owens sold his Moorestown, N.J., property for less than half of the $3.9 million he paid for it, Zillow reported. As of February, his Atlanta home is still sitting on the market, GQ reported.

Despite raking in over $80 million during his tumultuous career, Owens has lost most of his money to ill-advised investments, which included the $2 million stake he bought in an entertainment complex in Alabama. Its electronic gambling operation was judged illegal.

The Dallas Cowboys released Owens from his contract in 2009, following repeated clashes between Owens and other team members. Currently, he is playing for the Indoor Football League’s Allen Wranglers, but says he intends on returning to the NFL. He turned some heads with his debut performance last Saturday, when he scored three touchdowns on three catches.

With his departure from the Azure high-rise, Owens leaves behind fellow football star Deion Sanders, who owns a penthouse in the building that was once listed for $7.5 million. Sanders mediated a feud between Atlanta Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall and Owens in 2006, which began after Owens spit in Hall’s face

 

“Dancing With the Stars” Stars Hope to Move Their Homes, Too

March 1, 2012 by Collette · Comments Off
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Now that the awards for the Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes have been handed out, it’s time to move on to the next celebrity prize: The mirrored ball trophy for the winner of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

The DWTS contestants have just been announced for the 14th season, which begins March 19. Ranging from actor Jaleel White, best known as Urkel on “Family Matters,” to soul singer Gladys Knight and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, this seasons’ contestants undoubtedly have been busy busting their best moves for their debut.

A few of the contestants have also been busy prepping their homes for the real estate market. DWTS contestants Gavin DeGraw and Melissa Gilbert have homes currently listed and host Brooke Burke recently removed her home off the active market.

Gavin DeGraw’s Home

 

Source: IMDb

Singer/songwriter DeGraw first gained popularity when his song “I Don’t Want To Be” was used as the theme song for TV’s drama “One Tree Hill” and his following album release “Chariot” was certified platinum.

His home is not typical celebrity real estate. Although the singer/songwriter’s home is listed on the Hollywood real estate market, it’s the other Hollywood — the city located in sunny Florida, not sunny SoCal — where DeGraw’s home exists.

Listed for $365,000, DeGraw’s Hollywood home was built in 1958 in a classic Spanish bungalow style. The 3-bed, 2-bath home features 1,700 square feet of living space on a 0.14-acre lot a short distance from the downtown Hollywood and lakefront beaches. The home takes advantage of Florida’s light and breezes with large windows and outdoor entertaining areas.

Melissa Gilbert’s Home

 

Source: People.com

The home owned by Melissa Gilbert, famous for her stint as Laura Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie,” and Bruce Boxleitner, best known for his role on TV series “Babylon 5,” was on the Tarzana real estate market already when the couple announced their separation after 16 years of marriage.

The 4,609-square-foot home is a quite a step up from the Ingalls’ modest home on the prairie. Sold to Gilbert and Boxleitner in 2005 for $1,260,000, the home was first listed at $1,349,000 in February 2011, before it dropped to its current price of $975,000. The current median home price in Tarzana, CA is $586,600, a few hundred thousand above the national median home price, and even significantly above the mid-point price of homes in most L.A. neighborhoods.

Built in 1955, the gated estate sits on a one-third of an acre at the end of a private cul-de-sac. The 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath home has stayed true to its original one-story ranch style with a partial brick exterior and sprawling lawn.

Brooke Burke’s Home

 

Source: IMDb

Dancing with the Stars host Brooke Burke and David Charvet’s home, aptly named Chateau Charvet, was designed to evoke a house in the south of France, where Charvet was born.

The home was last listed for sale on the Malibu real estate market for $12,500,000 — property listing information shows it as an 880 percent price increase from when the land was sold to Charvet in 1998. The chateau-like estate was built in 2007. As of the January 2012, the home is no longer listed for sale.

The home for sale is located in the exclusive celebrity enclave of Serra Retreat, where Mel Gibson and Kelsey Grammar own homes. Although these homes don’t offer views of the water like ones found in the Malibu colony, many of them have larger property lines and enjoy greater privacy. Current median Malibu home values are $1,361,000.

 

“Scary Spice” Melanie B. Lists Tarzana Home for Sale

January 30, 2012 by Collette · Comments Off
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Just like that famous Spice Girls song says: If you really “Wannabe” the owner of this Tarzana home for sale, better grab your sparkly platforms and microphone. The California estate is currently owned by Melanie Brown, best known as “Scary Spice” from the fab pop girls’ group, and is listed for $3.45 million.

Like the Spice Girls, Melanie B. has kept busy in the years following the group’s wild success. She released a successful solo album, performed in Broadway’s “Rent,” competed on “Dancing with the Stars” and most recently starred in a reality TV show on U.S. Style Network, ”Mel B: It’s a Scary World.”

 

Although Melanie B.’s musical career was predominately focused in Europe, she eventually joined fellow Spice Girl Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice) in Beverly Hills. It was there that Melanie B had a daughter in 2007 by comedian Eddie Murphy. It was Brown’s second daughter.

According to the property listing, Brown and her husband of four years, producer Stephen Belafonte, bought the home in 2009 for $3.159 million.

The gated compound encircles a cobbled driveway and courtyard. Inside, Melanie B.’s home boasts a $1 million renovation, which includes a built-new gym, detached recording studio and professional gym. The mansion opens with a grand foyer with chandelier and winding staircase that leads to a majestic master suite.

Chandeliers are a theme that continues throughout the home, from the European-style living areas to the bedrooms and baths. A first-floor gourmet kitchen includes top-of-the-line appliances and a breakfast bar area. Outside, “state-of-the-art” grounds include an outdoor dining area with chandeliers, cabana and flat-screen TVs.

Like most pieces of celebrity real estate, the home comes with a fully-loaded security system.

The cost of living like a (former) Spice Girl? According to Zillow’s mortgage calculator, a monthly payment on Scary Spice’s home would be $12,851, assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year-fixed rate mortgage.

Rumor Has It: Jennifer Aniston Buys Bel-Air Home

January 30, 2012 by Collette · Comments Off
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So long, New York?

Jennifer Aniston continues to inspire media and paparazzi buzz with her recent sighting in L.A., where the famously flat-iron-haired star is said to have bought a new place in Hollywood.

That’s what the Wall Street Journal and TMZ – who broke the story — are reporting: A source close to the star has revealed that Aniston and current beau Justin Theroux have plunked down mega-bucks for a modern love nest in Bel-Air.

Maybe this Big Apple friend has had a change of heart?

If so, it’s a quick turnaround for Aniston, who sold her custom L.A. home “Ohana” a little over six months ago and moved to the Big Apple, where she picked up two penthouse apartments in West Village.

At the time, as she explained to “Good Morning America,” she had been missing New York City.

I grew up here. I miss it. There’s nothing like being in the city…[it's] the city of every man. It’s all walks and I love that.”

But celebrity love can be fleeting — or perhaps the winter weather in the Big Apple had her pining for L.A. sunshine. There had been rumors about Aniston and Theroux shopping together for New York apartments, but apparently they have decided to go West and buy a piece of Bel-Air real estate instead.

Only 6 miles from Aniston’s previous Beverly Hills mansion, Ohana, the couple’s reported new place is a mid-century modern home designed in 1965 by noted Los Angeles architect A. Quincy Jones.

 

According to the property listing, the home was first listed in 2008 and has bounced on and off the market. Priced at $24.9 million, Aniston reportedly snagged the home for around $22 million.

The Bel-Air home is set on a 3+ acre promontory with high gates, providing Aniston and Theroux privacy as well as spectacular city views. The 8,500-square-foot, 4-bedroom, 6.5-bath home is a decent size upgrade from Aniston’s New York penthouse. Embracing a California indoor-outdoor lifestyle, the property also has extensive lawns, patios, pool and vineyards.

Fed Announces Low Rates Through 2014, Mortgage Affordability Remains High

January 30, 2012 by Collette · Comments Off
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The Federal Reserve announced today that they will keep interest rates low until at least late 2014 in an effort to help jump-start the sluggish economy by making it less expensive to borrow money across all segments of the economy.

What this means for home buyers and current homeowners is that mortgage rates for a purchase loan or to refinance will remain remarkably low in the near-term, keeping affordability high. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell below four percent on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace in mid-October 2011 and has dropped as low as 3.67 percent in recent weeks.

Here’s a quick comparison of mortgage rates and affordability using today’s rates compared to 2008:

Today’s rates: For a home buyer shopping for a home today assuming 20 percent down and today’s interest rate of 3.7%, they would be able to afford a $215,000 home with a monthly mortgage payment of about $1,000 per month (including principal and interest).

2008 rates: If a home buyer shopped for a home in 2008 when mortgage rates averaged roughly 6 percent, the same home buyer would only be able to afford a $165,000 home for $1,000 per month (including principal and interest)

Difference: $50,000

State of the Union and Obama’s Plan for Housing

January 30, 2012 by Collette · Comments Off
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Last night, President Barack Obama took to the podium to deliver his annual State of the Union address before a packed house of his Congressional peers, esteemed White House guests, and millions of Americans who tuned in to the live broadcast.

Obama outlined his plan for economic growth, with an overarching theme of creating an America “where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.” While job creation, education, and clean energy initiatives dominated most of Obama’s economic plan of action for his hopeful next term, the issue of the ailing housing market was not side-stepped. “While government can’t fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners should not have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief,” Obama said.

Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries shares a similar view: “Housing presents a bit of a conundrum for Obama,” said Humphries. “People care a lot about it and it will figure prominently in this election year, but there isn’t much the government can do without addressing the main issue of negative equity, which is a $750 billion dollar problem. There aren’t any easy solutions to make it go away.”

What the President did propose to Congress was an expanded refinancing plan “that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low rates.” Despite an immediate bed of skepticism to the new refinancing plan, the revamped program has the potential to “help a lot of people and represents a decent amount of stimulus for the economy,” said Humphries, who has previously discussed the potential benefit of such a program. But, expectations for this stimulus need to be kept at realistic levels. “It‘s important to note however that it isn’t going to fundamentally change the pace of foreclosures or the trajectory of the housing market,” Humphries continued. “Unfortunately, the plan is going to require Congressional approval, which makes it exceedingly unlikely to happen this election year.”

The second bullet item on Obama’s housing agenda tasked the Attorney General to create a special unit to further investigate abusive mortgage and lending practices that led up to the housing crisis. According to Dr. Humphries this special task force “is an effort to satisfy demands for greater accountability for wrong-doings during the housing boom. That’s fine, but it isn’t necessarily a proactive effort to change things going forward. Foreclosure and short-sales are state issues so there isn’t much the federal government can do.”

What else can be done about housing? What actions can the government realistically take to help turn the market around? A more in-depth analysis from Zillow’s Chief Economist outlines six ideas that could not only push the housing market in the right direction, but are ideas both Democrats and Republicans could support (this seems to be the catch).

There is a consensus that housing and home ownership lie at the base of American values and will play an important role over the next 9 months leading up to the election. Obama showed this in his speech last night and, for now, we’ll continue to absorb what each Presidential hopeful has to say before the big voting day.

Regis Philbin Sells Greenwich Home

January 17, 2012 by Collette · Comments Off
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Source: IMDb

With retirement came a bit of real estate luck for TV personality Regis Philbin.

After trying to sell his Greenwich, CT estate on and off for the past five years, the former TV host has finally sold the home for $3 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The talk show host first listed the home in 2008 for $5.9 million, and hoped the 4-bedroom, 6.5 bath property would attract a buyer who appreciated the 5,919 square feet of living space on a cul-de-sac, but it did not sell.

In May 2011, Philbin re-listed the home shortly before he announced retirement from his morning talk show gig “Live With Regis and Kelly,” after almost 25 years on the air. The 79-year-old star has long been a familiar face on American television — so much that Philbin holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera.

Philbin’s’ Greenwich home was re-listed in May for $4.195 million and took price cut to $3.8 million in July before finally settling for a sale price of $3 million.

Although Philbin has now sold this estate, he and his wife Joy still have a place to call home in the well-heeled Connecticut town. The couple had purchased a second Greenwich home about three years ago, although they spend most of their time at their Manhattan residence.

Less than an hour’s drive from Manhattan, Greenwich has long attracted celebrities and financiers (such as David Letterman) who can well afford median Greenwich home values of over $1.156 million — and rising.

Real Estate Superstitions

January 16, 2012 by Collette · Comments Off
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You may avoid walking under ladders, have never crossed paths with a black cat and have a lucky pair of socks, but have your superstitions affected your real estate decisions?

In honor of Friday the 13th, the most popular superstition in the world, we’re taking a look at some of the irrational fears that can make buyers or renters take drastic measures to avoid potential misfortune.

 

 

Friday the 13th
Let’s start with this unpopular day. It’s a relatively common phobia as an estimated 17 to 21 million people are affected by fear of Friday the 13th, causing roughly $800 to $900 million lost in business as people refrain from traveling or buying a new home.

What is your take? Would you sign a mortgage on Friday the 13th or move into a new house?

That Unlucky Number

Many people’s fear of Friday the 13th stems from fear of the number 13 itself. Considered to be the number of an occult power, fear of the number 13 is a common phobia. Many buildings don’t include floors numbered 13 and some streets and house numbers simply skip over the ominous digits.

There are many things that might sway a decision about where to live and house numbers just may be one of the many superstitions that paralyze home buyers. Despite an age of online property research, and mortgage calculators, the number 13 could loom heavy over a prospective buyer.

According to research analyzed in the book No.13: Unlucky/Lucky for Some, one in ten people who lived at number 13 believed their house number brought them bad luck. Taking it even a step further, researchers conducted a survey in which they asked real estate agents whether people were resistant to buying houses numbered 13. The results showed a whopping 40 percent of agents believed there was considerable resistance that resulted in sellers having to lower their prices.

Feng Shui for Homeowners

Some homeowners turn to the Chinese practice of feng shui to ward away misfortune. A popular method of boosting feng shui is to decorate your home with statues and images of elephants.

There are many applications of the use of elephants in feng shui depending on the material of the elephant and its placement in the home. Some of the more common applications are:

  • Placing a statue of an elephant, or a pair of elephants, at the front door brings good luck, protection and strength to the household.
  • An elephant or a pair of elephants displayed in the bedroom promotes love and faithfulness between two people.

Saint Joseph, Patron Saint of Real Estate

Those trying to sell a home often feel in need of some divine intervention and a widespread superstition about good old St. Joseph might has to do with real estate. The Catholic saint has long been believed to help with home-relate d matters and according to some, burying a statue of St. Joseph in the front yard of a home for sale will spur a quick bid. With hundreds of testimonials swearing by the real estate powers of St. Joseph, the practice has caught on; you can even purchase a St. Joseph “home sales kit” online.

Here are some suggestions on how to properly bury your statue:

  • Dig a hole near your “For Sale” sign by the street approximately 3 inches deeper than the statue. If you have no yard, use a large plant pot.
  • Place the St. Joseph statue facing the street in the hole.
  • When covering the statue, prayers should be said. They are very often included in the packaging.
  • Once you have sold your home, remove the statue and place it in your new home

Elin Nordegren Razes $12 Million Home

January 16, 2012 by Collette · Comments Off
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Elin Nordegren will build a dream home for herself and her children, Samantha and Charlie Woods. SOURCE: Extra

For a private woman who suffered one of the world’s most humiliating cheating scandals, Elin Nordegren waited a long time to explode.

Make that implode.

The former wife of Tiger Woods, who has custody of their two young children, bought a massive, 17,178-square-foot Florida house in March for $12.2 million, located just 10 miles from Wood’s expansive estate on Jupiter Island.

But rather than move the kids into the Florida mansion, TMZ reported the former model decided she didn’t like the place and had it demolished.

Kind of a bold move for a Swede who kept a very cool, low public profile two years ago when Woods’ stunning string of adulterous affairs came to light.

Nordegren has moved on, thanks to the $100 million divorce settlement. According to TMZ, Nordegren has hired a “high-priced architect to build her dream home” and each of the additional workers hired are required to sign confidentiality agreements.

Before the wrecking crew took the place down to the sandy dirt, Nordegren’s ex-home was an enormous white Colonial-style home flanked by columns on a stretch of beach-front property. The North Palm Beach piece of real estate is located in the super exclusive Seminole Landing, a gated, 77-acre community of 60 multi-million dollar properties.

While Nordegren purchased a home in Sweden in December 2009, the Seminole Landing property was her first personal purchase in Florida. Previously, Nordegren held several joint real-estate assets with Woods, including a few properties on Jupiter Island, two homes in Windermere, FL, and a beach-front condo in North Palm Beach.

According to TMZ, Nordegren is currently renting a nearby mansion while her new dream home is constructed.

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