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AOL Real Estate - Blog

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    While you have to go to the theater to see "The Hobbit," some people experience J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth every day. The books that inspired the new movie and the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy have also inspired home design for years. Among the most recent dwellings is one built for a diehard Tolkien fan in Chester County, Pa.: a 600-square-foot guesthouse with a cartoonishly curved roof and a 54-inch circular cedar door.

    Inside are wood arches, a "butterfly window," a stucco fireplace -- and walls of shelves where its owner displays a vast collection of Tolkien memorabilia acquired over 30 years. The whimsical home was built with stones from a collapsed 18th-century wall in the owner's yard.

    "This isn't something that you can re-create on a suburban cul-de-sac," Peter Archer, the architect behind the fantastical house, told The Associated Press. "It was made for this specific location, and it wouldn't work anywhere else."

    This hobbit's dream joins several similar homes that we've featured before. See more of it and some other variations on this theme below.

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    See also:
    Ohio Dentist John Learner's Gingerbread Houses Will Give You a Toothache
    The Narrowest 'House' in the World Is Unveiled
    Artist Makes Luxury Home in a Dumpster

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
    Find homes for rent in your area.

    Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

    Far From the Shire, a Hobbit House in Pa.

     

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    Chateau d'Or, Bel Air

    We've featured some fairly majestic mansions in the past. But none of them live up to what this listing calls the "incomparably majestic" Chateau d'Or in Bel Air, Calif.

    But perhaps "majesty" isn't a term everyone would agree with. In a previous article about this 15-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion, Curbed called it a "hideous" and "grotesque example of over-the-top architecture." The folks at Trulia feel differently about the 26,000-square-foot house, referring to it unabashedly as a "masterpiece" and saying that "it doesn't get more luxe than this."

    Whatever your opinion, it seems a relative bargain at $22.5 million, since it rests on 1.7 acres of prime land in a high-end cul-de-sac in lower Bel Air. (It was once listed at $39.995 million).

    Based on the photos below, you might say it's trying a bit too hard. According to the listing, it has not one, but two gated entires, a six-bedroom guesthouse, a separate building with a "professional style" fitness center, a large pavilion, a lighted tennis court and an outdoor pool. The mansion itself features "master handcraftsmanship details" (you be the judge of that) and a "royal" master bedroom suite.

    After looking at the photos below, would you knock down this mansion to make better use of the land, or keep it as is?

    %Gallery-173622%
    See the listing for more details.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in Los Angeles.




    See more Houses of the Day on AOL Real Estate.

    Got a tip for House of the Day? Know of an exceptional or unusual property currently listed for sale? Please email krisanne.alcantara@huffingtonpost.com with your suggestions and be sure to include links to listing details and photos. (Due to the volume of response, we unfortunately are unable to respond to each submission.)

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
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    See celebrity real estate.

     

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    Lee Najjar home in Atlanta


    It's hard being beautiful. Luckily, for the next owner of this home, you won't have to go very far to get yourself all gussied up. It's just a walk down the hallway -- to the home's own freakin' hair and nail salon!

    Atlanta's priciest listing -- up for grabs for $19.9 million -- is for the vainest of them all. It's a 27,000-square-foot monster that, besides the in-house beauty boutique, has 16 fireplaces (talk about a fire hazard!); seven kitchens; 15 bathrooms; nine bedrooms; two gyms; a "wellness center"; a giant theater; and a courtyard pool (pictured above).

    Who on earth needs all of this? (We do!)

    You might also get a kick out of the home's heavy history in TV and film: It was Bill Murray's home in "Zombieland," appeared in the recent movie, "The Three Stooges," and has been on MTV's "Teen Cribs" and HGTV's "Million Dollar Rooms." Of course, the mansion is a heavyweight in real life, too: It's the home of Lee Najjar, reality TV star Kim Zolciak's former lover -- known as "Big Poppa" on "Real Housewives of Atlanta."

    (Hmmm, it seems like there's a lot of "Housewives" homes on the market these days, like this one and this one.)

    Find more homes for sale in Atlanta, or search listings in your area.

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    See also:
    'Jersey Shore' Stars' Homes: Their Living Situations at Series' End

    Britney Spears Can Be Your Neighbor in Wayne Gretzky's Former Home

    Leonardo DiCaprio Puts Malibu Home on Market

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    See celebrity real estate.
    Find homes for rent in your area.

    Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.


    Bravo Real Housewives Star Kim Zolciak Files Gag Order On Her Parents

     

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    Reclaim NYC turns Hurricane Sandy refuse into home furnishings.

    A group of New York City designers have come together to turn wreckage from Hurricane Sandy into beautiful housewares that will be auctioned off to benefit storm victims. Reclaim NYC, a group started by design/architecture writer Jennifer Krichels and some of her colleagues and friends, called on local designers and artists to create furniture from materials gleaned from Sandy cleanup sites. The group now has the work of 24 contributors to auction off.

    "We hope our fallen trees and storm-damaged building materials can be reborn as objects that represent the city's recovery," the group's founders said. Reclaim NYC is having its first auction on Thursday. The proceeds from the lamps, tables, chairs and other craft objects will go to the American Red Cross in Greater New York.

    See the Reclaim NYC Charity Auction's Facebook event, and learn more about Reclaim NYC's mission.

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    See also:
    Hurricane Sandy Victims' Electric Bills Show Charges for Power Despite Blackout

    Hurricane Sandy Batters Home Sales in Storm-Affected Areas
    Home Insurance for Hurricanes and Floods

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    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
    Find homes for rent in your area.

    Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

    Hurricane Insurance: Catalyst Or Catastrophe?

     

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    Once owned by opera singer and film star Kathryn Grayson, the famous "House of Rock" in Santa Monica, Calif., is looking to snag a mega-rich buyer with $22 million to burn.

    The six-bedroom, eight-bathroom estate is located in the swankiest of neighborhoods and has a rich history, aside from Grayson: A myriad of designers, including Elaine Culotti, Sami Hayel and David Bromstad, have left a mark there. But it was originally designed by esteemed architect Elmer Grey.

    The coolest part about this home? It gives a whole new meaning to singing in the shower. A system of "microphone panels, fiber optics and digital lines" connect the master bathroom, guestroom and library to a top-floor recording studio, so you can belt out a tune from almost anywhere in the house.

    Interior features also evoke its past. They include English Oak paneling, archways, high-pitched beams and leaded windows. The home was also recently renovated to add modern amenities, such as an infinity pool, guesthouse and home theater.

    Billy Rose, Mauricio Umansky and Susan Pekich of The Agency have the listing.

    %Gallery-173714%
    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in Los Angeles:



    See more Houses of the Day on AOL Real Estate.

    Got a tip for House of the Day? Know of an exceptional or unusual property currently listed for sale? Please email krisanne.alcantara@huffingtonpost.com with your suggestions and be sure to include links to listing details and photos. (Due to the volume of response, we unfortunately are unable to respond to each submission.)

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
    See celebrity real estate.


    Tour 'The House of Rock' With Mauricio

     

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    Celebrity real estate deals of 2012, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon

    While we commoners have been wondering all year where all this housing recovery business is coming from, it seems like it's been a housing boom for our celebrity counterparts over in La La Land and elsewhere. This year has seen A-listers flinging mansions on the market like they're having a yard sale, selling their palatial digs to fellow Hollywood royals and renting summer homes at exorbitant prices. Click through the gallery below to see some of the biggest celebrity real estate deals of 2012.

    %Gallery-173108%See also:
    'Jersey Shore' Stars' Homes: Their Living Situations at Series' End

    Britney Spears Can Be Your Neighbor in Wayne Gretzky's Former Home

    Leonardo DiCaprio Puts Malibu Home on Market

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    See celebrity real estate.
    Find homes for rent in your area.

    Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

     

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    Singer Rihanna's new house in Pacific Palisades

    Rihanna
    's smash hit "Diamonds" might be topping the music charts, but we're not sure the house she recently bought is as big of a winner.

    The powerhouse songstress plopped $12 million on a super-modern 11,000-square-foot mansion in Pacific Palisades, Calif., that honestly looks a little like an airport. Or a spaceship. (There's a lot of those going around right now.)

    RihannaWe're guessing RiRi was taken by the home's chic amenities, including a pool and spa, wet bar, 6,000-square-foot garden, and outdoor barbecue and bar. The interior is pretty slick, too, with wide-open spaces lined with walls of windows and 14-foot-ceilings throughout.

    We may not be overly enthusiastic about this place, but she sure is. She tweeted: "I literally wake up every morning at 530 ish and stare at my pool til the sun comes up! Just waiting! #isthismylife"

    Yes, Rihanna, it's your life and not ours. Thanks for the reminder. Just like the title of her seventh studio album, she seems pretty "Unapologetic" about this purchase.

    Find homes for sale in Pacific Palisades, Calif., or search listings in your area.

    %Gallery-173777%

    See also:
    'Jersey Shore' Stars' Homes: Their Living Situations at Series' End

    Britney Spears Can Be Your Neighbor in Wayne Gretzky's Former Home

    Leonardo DiCaprio Puts Malibu Home on Market

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    See celebrity real estate.
    Find homes for rent in your area.

    Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

     

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    Embracing its leafy surroundings, this large Colonial home comes gift-wrapped in ivy and exquisite landscaping. @HoulihanRE snagged another #housepornthurs win by submitting this home in swanky Scarsdale, N.Y. The entry beat out @DouglasElliman's submission in a duel on our Facebook page.

    The house's design takes a quaint home style and puts it on steroids: The home stretches a whopping 12,000 square feet.

    It has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a three-car garage with ample space for a pool -- should the home's buyer find the $7.45 million listing lacking in extravagance. Amenities include a large exercise room, master bathroom, walk-in closets and a fully-stocked kitchen.

    The interior is decked out with exquisite furnishings and materials, and it also boasts a sound system that can blast tunes into all the home's many rooms.

    %Gallery-173813%

    The #housepornthurs contest is a weekly Twitter conversation hosted by @aolrealestate. Tweet listings every Thursday to AOL Real Estate -- with the hashtag #housepornthurs -- for a chance to have one of your submissions featured as a House of the Day the following week.

    Click the images below to see more homes for sale in Scarsdale, N.Y.:



    See more Houses of the Day on AOL Real Estate.

    Got a tip for House of the Day? Know of an exceptional or unusual property currently listed for sale? Please email krisanne.alcantara@huffingtonpost.com with your suggestions and be sure to include links to listing details and photos. (Due to the volume of response, we unfortunately are unable to respond to each submission.)

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
    See celebrity real estate.

     

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    If you take a look back at our year in video, you'll see that life here at AOL Real Estate is anything but ordinary. Thanks to our "Inside Look" series, our crew (pictured above) has had the opportunity to visit some of America's most unique and downright crazy homes. And judging from all your positive feedback, you guys have enjoyed the ride, too! Here's a look back at some of our favorite "Inside Look" episodes this year.

    1. NYC's Steampunk Loft

    When we got a look inside this apartment for sale in New York's trendy Chelsea neighborhood, our jaws literally dropped. There was a Technicolored, floating, 30-foot-long zeppelin hanging from the ceiling! And enough vintage nautical artifacts and retro-futuristic decor to make your head spin. We were sad to hear, five months later, that the zeppelin and steampunk decor had been removed to boost its marketability -- but we're happy we have this video to remind us of the craziness that once was.

    AOL Real Estate's Inside Look: Steampunk Apartment



















    2. The Hamptons' Shipping Container Home

    There are those (extremely) rare days when you just can't wait to wake up and go to work. For us at AOL Real Estate, those are the days where work takes us to the Hamptons. Now, this particular Hamptons home was not your typical beachfront mega-mansion -- quite outside the box, actually. Well, inside the box, technically. ... You'll see what we mean in the video below.

    Inside Look: The Beach Box



















    3. The Home 'Built for Jesus'

    For decades, this New York home was at the center of a juicy rumor that it was built for the second coming of Jesus. So of course we had to check it out for ourselves! Not only did we get to the bottom of that wacky rumor, we also got to spend some time in one of the most extravagant and opulent houses we've ever set foot in! Vatican-inspired floors, anyone?

    Inside Look: Divine Intentions



















    4. President Obama's Former Apartment

    Before President Obama called 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home, we heard his digs were a lot more down-to-earth, to say the least. Naturally, we jumped at the chance to check out his (very average, but still cool nonetheless) college apartment for ourselves, and even got the chance to chat to his college roommate, Phil Boerner!




    5. Connecticut's Crazy Christmas House

    In case you missed our last holiday-themed episode of "Inside Look," here it is: a home that boasts a Christmas lights display like nothing you've ever seen. We're talking 80,000 twinkling lights, 400 Christmas wreaths, 600 holiday dolls. ... It's Christmas on steroids!

    Inside Look: Holiday House




















    On behalf of AOL Real Estate, we'd like to thank everyone for tuning in this year and for all your wonderful feedback! And we can't wait to bring you all another fun year of "Inside Look."

    See also:
    Hobbit Houses: Dwellings Right at Home in Tolkien's Middle Earth
    Dentist's Gingerbread Houses Will Give You a Toothache

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
    Find homes for rent in your area.

    Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

     

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    Fratpad house, Paradise Valley, Ariz.


    Some in Paradise Valley, Ariz., aren't happy about a mansion there that's home to Fratpad, an adults-only webcam service, describing it as a "pornography house" that's out of place in their community. But Fratcam's owner says his business is actually a boon to the neighborhood.

    Activities at the 7,500-square-foot house came under scrutiny recently when former employee there, Cherr Monroe, told the AZFamily.com in Phoenix that the webcasts from subscription-only Fratpad are "just guys pleasuring themselves. They would walk around naked. That's kind of part of the daily show." Monroe is in a labor dispute with the company that operates Fratpad.

    One area homeowner was prompted to send a letter to neighbors encouraging them to get in touch with City Council members about the "pornography house."

    "We're not really doing pornography," said Fratpad owner John Marsh. "It's live webcam and very fun and silly."

    He acknowledged that "it is adult-oriented," but added that his company has "other website properties that are operated in other locations that are much more sexually explicit than Fratpad."

    AZFamily reported that police last summer investigated activities at the house but didn't find any code violations or that Fratpad even required a business license. Marsh told the news site that by renting the large house for years his company has "really saved that house from foreclosure. We've been taking very good care of it."




    See also:
    Illegal Immigrant 'Stash House' in Houston Had 48 People Living Inside, Police Say
    Homeowner's Storm-Damaged Ceiling Collapses During TV Interview

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
    Find homes for rent in your area.

    Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

    %Gallery-171322%

     

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    There are currently over 600,000 Americans who won't have a bed or warm meal to come home to this Christmas, with about 1 in 6 of them predicted to be homeless for more than one holiday season (otherwise known as chronically homeless). But despite these somber statistics, there is hope for the homeless -- particularly those who, like Pedro Rodriguez, have been taken in by a homeless support program and offered rehabilitation, temporary shelter and employment.

    Rodriguez became homeless and a drug-user when he was only 15, and lived as an addict for more than 30 years. Now he helps feed those who struggle to survive, as he once did, on the streets New York City.

    Thanks to the federal government and local communities, there have been vigorous efforts to increase resources available to emergency shelters and homeless support services -- efforts which have helped the homeless rate remain steady despite a still-sluggish economy and job market. Bolstering national and local efforts to curb the further growth of homelessness are programs such as the 100,000 Homes Campaign, which work to place 100,000 homeless individuals in permanent supportive housing by July 2013.

    %Gallery-173796%
    Support services (in the form of shelters such as NYC Rescue and the Bowery Mission in New York, and government initiatives such as HUD's 'Shelter Plus Care' across the country) and programs like 100,000 Homes have provided individuals like Rodriguez the opportunity to move forward and build a successful life. In most cases, homelessness is a temporary and transient experience that has been spurred by a combination of factors that can include poverty, joblessness and foreclosure. ("Homelessness can happen to anybody," recent cases have revealed). And though the road isn't easy, rising above homelessness into a life that is stable, fulfilling and even "gives back" is fully achievable, as proven in the case of Pedro Rodriguez.

    Pedro's Story: 'Thankful to be a beacon of light'

    Life was never easy for Pedro Rodriguez. Born and raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn long before the neighborhood's rapid gentrification, Rodriguez began drinking at the age of 11 and started using drugs at the age of 15. ("Remember when crack first became popular, around 1985? I was one of the people using it," he said.) According to Rodriguez, he became addicted to cocaine and heroin because it helped him to "not feel anything."

    Pedro Rodriguez, NYC ShelterIn the hope of rehabilitating the troubled teen, Rodriguez was sent by a concerned family member to live in Puerto Rico to keep him off the harsh Brooklyn streets. The change was unsuccessful -- "when you're an addict, you'll use anywhere," explained Rodriguez -- and he found himself on the streets again, falling deeper into a hole of addiction and "spiritual bankruptcy." Though he never attempted suicide, he admitted to entertaining continual thoughts of it.

    That was until Sept. 11, 2001. Rodriguez recalls the experience of watching televised footage of the Twin Towers' fall as a slap in the face and a reminder of the fragility of life. He made the decision to return to New York, where he began a long and challenging process of detoxing himself and rebuilding his life. Rodriguez was taken in by rehabilitation program in Brooklyn and attended narcotics help groups on Schemerhorn Street, while finding temporary housing. Though he still struggled with addiction, the support he was offered was his life raft.

    "It was hard, I would still use. But I knew I would never go back in that deep, like before, because I finally knew where I was going," Rodriguez told AOL Real Estate.


    His luck persevered: Through a friend, Rodriguez learned of employment in the kitchen at NYC Rescue in downtown Manhattan. He applied for a chef position, and was offered the job in October 2007. It's been five years since that day, and Rodriguez (now drug-free, married and with a daughter), finds himself serving food to homeless, troubled individuals for a living. His life, according to Rodriguez, has "come full circle."

    "These holidays I'm thankful I overcame [life on the streets and the addiction]. I'm thankful for the opportunity I have every day, to get to know people who have had experiences in life that are challenging and worthwhile," Rodriguez told AOL Real Estate. "And I'm thankful to be a beacon of light, anywhere I go, because of what I've been through. I have the peace of God in my heart and I know I'll be OK no matter what circumstances may surround me."

    Also in this series:
    'Just Grateful for a New Day'
    'I'm Thankful for Life Itself'

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
    Find homes for rent in your area.

    Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

    Not In My Neighborhood

     

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    This year we launched #housepornthurs in order to leverage the Twittersphere to discover some of the country's finest listings. To participate in the weekly Twitter conversation, you just tweet a listing with #housepornthurs on a (surprise!) Thursday.

    After reviewing the submissions, we select two finalists and then put them to a vote on our Facebook page the following Wednesday. Then we feature whichever submission gets the most likes as our House of the Day the next day -- on #housepornthurs!

    We're proud to say the social media campaign was a smashing hit (in our humble, totally unbiased opinion) with Realtors and brokerages from all over tweeting a vast array of jaw-dropping listings.

    Have a look at some of 2012's best #housepornthurs winners.
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    Every year, it seems, architects start a new race to see who can create the wildest building in the world. And 2012 was no different.

    This year, we saw everything from dancing buildings to bow-tie structures and wacky "forests" of jagged condos. Our friends at Curbed wrapped up the wildest buildings from starchitects across the world to hit the architecture scene in 2012, and they are definitely some of the strangest we've ever seen. (Or are they?) Click through the gallery below to see what we mean.

    %Gallery-174196%

     

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    One thing we learned in 2012? Some people have no idea how to create home listings properly.

    We've seen some of the most disgusting listing photos this year, from bloody bathtubs to frying pans with rotting food still in them. And why would these photos be included in a home listing in the first place? Beats us. We're just the messengers.

    We've also seen funny listing photos, scary ones and just plain bad ones. Click through the gallery below to see our best of the worst in real estate listing photos this year. (Hope you're not eating right now.)

    %Gallery-174214%

     

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    Things you can get at an auction: A 27,415-square-foot mansion in Queensland, Australia, with horse stables. And a gym. And a heated indoor swimming pool and spa. That's a pretty awesome auction.

    This 44-acre estate, dubbed the "Bellagio La Villa," seems to be the subject of a nasty split: Owners Paul and Viki Sweeney, founders of home-building firm Coral Homes, are putting it on the block as part of a court-appointed separation sale. That means they couldn't decide who gets the house (and we wouldn't be so willing to part with it, either). The auction happens Jan. 31.

    The listing calls the manse one of the "most gracious and elegant horse estates in the region." And there is some evidence to back up that claim: Southern Lord, a Group 1 winning thoroughbred (with a career earning of more than $161,000) was bred and raised there.

    The main house features 10 ensuited bedrooms, a bar, a library, and media and music rooms. The kitchen even has a walk-in cold room, and there is a giant dining room big enough to entertain 16 guests.

    There's no price listed for the home, but to give you an idea, the Sweeneys reportedly purchased the property for about $8 million and then put another $8 million into renovations.

    %Gallery-174188%
    Ray White Prestige Gold Coast has the listing.

     

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    Kate Winslet has just married her third husband, Ned RocknRoll, but we wonder, does she still have that pesky penthouse she owned with ex Sam Mendes on her hands?

    Last we heard in August, as soon as Mendes handed over the luxurious 3,300-square-foot NYC duplex apartment to Winslet, she immediately put it up for rent -- for $30,000 a month. She supposedly thought of the place as a "house of horrors" because of all the fights she and Mendes had there, the New York Post reported. But she wasn't so desperate to get out from under the pad of past memories as to put it up for sale.

    So what now? The listing has since been taken down, which means either it's been rented or it's just off the market. Will Winslet finally sell the home (with a wood-burning fireplace, two showers and sinks, oak floors, a "double-corner living room" and a 1,700-square-foot roof terrace)? Or -- gasp! -- will she move her new beau into her old one's territory?

    If we were Mr. RocknRoll, we'd suck it up, leave the past in the past and call this jaw-dropping place home. See how gorgeous it is below.

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    Happy New Year, and welcome to 2013! We're barely into the new year, and we're already thinking about what we can expect from the housing market in the next 12 months. Luckily, our friends at online real estate site Trulia were thinking the same thing.

    They rounded up 13 of the healthiest markets in the U.S. going into 2013, and 13 of the least-healthy markets. In coming up with their lists, they took into account how local employment, foreclosures and home sales and prices are affecting each market. Click through the gallery below to see which real estate markets are off to a good start in 2013 and which are already down on their luck in the new year.

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    Psy's Gangnam Style condo

    We've all heard the viral pop song "Gangnam Style," a song written about the flashy, ostentatious lifestyle of Gangnam, a wealthy neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea. It's maybe no surprise then that its singer, Psy, is living "Gangnam Style" himself -- having just snapped up a superbly swanky condo in Los Angeles.

    The world-famous pop star and his wife, Hye-yeon Yoo, reportedly purchased the condo in the exclusive Blair House on Wilshire Boulevard (pictured at left) for $1.249 million -- in cash. The two-bedroom luxury condo features city views, high ceilings and access to a saltwater swimming pool and tennis court.

    The property sprawls over 2,776 square feet and boasts massive windows and contemporary fixtures. According to TMZ, the star plans to completely remodel the condo. Zillow states that the pop singer recently signed a record deal with Scooter Braun -- who also manages Justin Bieber -- and the purchase of this property only solidifies his "transition" to America.

    See also:
    Rihanna's Cold-as-Diamonds House
    'Jersey Shore' Stars' Homes

    Britney Spears Can Be Your Neighbor


    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
    homes for sale in your area.
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     Colorful Florida cottage

    It's the start of a new year, and to celebrate, we'd like to present a House of the Day that's anything but your ordinary. With every room painted in a different, lively hue and quirky decor to match, this colorful Key West home will surely brighten up your 2013 -- if you have a spare $2.998 million, that is.

    According to our pals at Curbed, the delightfully colorful Florida cottage was listed this past spring for a much heftier $3.19 million. But just yesterday, perhaps to ring in the new year, the price was slashed to just under $3 million.

    The 4,400-square-foot home features a fusion of eclectic and country-style decor, lush tropical plantings, a unique exterior kitchen decked out in blues and pinks, and character to boot (reminiscent, we think, of the MacKenzie Childs estate we filmed in upstate New York). See for yourself below.

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    Century 21 has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more houses for sale in Key West, Fla.



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    Mary Tyler Moore Show home in Minneapolis

    It's TV's "most famous bachelorette pad," according to Entertainment Weekly, and we'd have to agree. Attracting nearly as many visitors as Elvis' Graceland, this Minneapolis home is featured in the television classic, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

    Though on the outside it looks like your typical, quaint, turn-of-the-century home, it attracts up to 30 tour buses a day in the summer (much to the chagrin of its current owners, we think). The sprawling 9,500-square-foot home was depicted on the series as the place where Mary Richards, her best friend Rhoda, and landlady Phyllis lived. (The home's exterior also appears in the show's opening credits.)

    Built at the turn of the 20th century, it features "ornate millwork, bayed rooms, and leaded glass," according to our pals at Zillow. From what we can see, it's also got marble fireplaces, sprawling living spaces, and expansive windows framing picturesque, leafy views. It's the perfect classic country-style home, really -- and it better be, for $2.895 million!

    It joins the home featured in the film "Steel Magnolias" and the home featured in "Strangers When We Meet" as "screen homes" recently up for sale.

    The Barry Berg Group of Coldwell Banker has the listing.

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