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AOL Real Estate - Blog

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    Rosie O'Donnell home in Miami Beach

    Rosie O'Donnell is one of a kind. She's not only inimitably hilarious, but she's the only celebrity we know who's quirky enough to have bought and renovated the former headquarters of the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church (a purported marijuana cartel that claimed to be its own religion in the 1970s).

    Not that you can tell. The mansion in the Star Island neighborhood of Miami Beach, Fla., has been completely remodeled since its glory days, now looking every inch the celebrity pad that it is: marble floors spanning 11,000 square feet, soaring wood-paneled ceilings, an aquarium, a spiral staircase, a beige stucco finish and lush landscaping. The actress and former talk show host has just dropped the home's price to $17.5 million -- from the $19.5 million it listed for when it first hit the market in May 2012. We're not sure why O'Donnell's home hasn't sold yet -- with its quirky "ganja church ' past, celeb associations and awesome location -- but our pals at Curbed have an interesting explanation: some "potheads" probably cursed the place.

    %Gallery-174532%
    Lana Bell of Sunny Realty has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in Miami Beach, Fla.



    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 harris.effron@teamaol.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.)

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    Miami Beach Home of Late Bee Gee Sells for $13M

     

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    Naked intruder attacks dog in Florida home, police say.

    Of the bizarre home break-in stories that have happened recently, this one tops the list so far in 2013. Early Wednesday morning, a Miami homeowner reportedly awoke to find a naked intruder attempting to choke his pet Rottweiler.

    The peculiar fracas happened at around 5 a.m., police said, when the sleeping homeowners were startled awake by their dogs barking. The homeowner got up to investigate the noise, only to find a naked man attempting to choke one of the dogs.

    "The homeowner attempted to get this individual's attention," Miami Police spokesman Willie Moreno told NBC 6 in Miami. "He immediately jumped onto the owner and started fighting with him."

    At this point the homeowner, armed with a shotgun, reportedly fired it, shooting the intruder in the leg, and then held him until police arrived. The break-in suspect was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where, according to police, he attempted to bite the homeowners, officers and hospital workers and was thought to have been under the influence of drugs.

    According to police, the shooting was "justified."



    The strange incident joins a slew of other reports of bizarre home invasions in the past 12 months. In January 2012, a man allegedly broke into an 82-year-old woman's apartment in New York, only to snack and play with the Xbox in her living room. In April, an armed man was said to have forced his way into a Colorado Springs apartment, only to fall asleep in one of the bedrooms. In July, an intruder purportedly broke into a Las Vegas man's home and beat him with a toilet lid and wooden guitar. Also in July, a 25-year-old man allegedly broke into a Connecticut home completely naked, and proceeded to bite the homeowner's arm.

    There are a number of ways that homeowners can prevent break-ins without installing a pricey, state-of-the-art home security system:

    %Gallery-174642%
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    Listing fail home at 546 Munich St., San Francisco

    We at AOL Real Estate love a good surprise -- just not when it comes to buying a house. After all, if you're putting all your hard-earned savings into a home, it's only natural you want to know exactly what you're getting!

    Clearly, the seller of this San Francisco home didn't quite get that memo. The listing states that the seller "will not provide any interior showings or inspections" or post any interior pictures of the home until after the home has been purchased. "Drive by," the listing adds, and "sold AS IS" -- in case potential buyers didn't get the picture.

    To sweeten the deal even more, the home appears to be bank-owned and tenant-occupied! Addressing this, the listing adds: "The buyer assumes all risks associated with the existing tenancies after close of escrow." So to our understanding, this means that once you buy the home of mysterious interiors, you also have the responsibility of kicking out the tenants! Score!

    Thanks to our pals at Curbed for tipping us off to this hilarious listing fail. (And check out all our listing fail posts).



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    Google real estate search results

    Think real estate is a boring topic? Not according to Google! (And us, obviously). According to a new study from the National Association of Realtors, real estate-related searches on Google have skyrocketed 253 percent over the past four years.

    Apparently, this hike in real estate interest can be attributed to a surge in the use of online home shopping and research tools, as well as the tendency of first-time buyers to utilize the internet for information regarding home grants, loans and assistance.

    According to the study, first-time homebuyers frequently searched terms like "FHA loan," "FHA," "home grants," "home loan," and "home buyer assistance."


    "Increasingly, online technologies are driving offline behaviors, and home buying is no exception," said Google's head of real estate, Patrick Grandinetti. "With 90 percent of home buyers searching online during their homebuying process, the real estate industry is smart to target these people where they look for and consume information -- for example through paid search, relevant websites, video environments, and mobile applications."

    The data also revealed that homebuyers search most frequently for homes by number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, garages, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and swimming pools. Such home features represent 70 percent of all searched features on the listing site Realtor.com -- which attracts over 20 million unique visitors each month.

    According to Steven Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc: "Technology has transformed the way Realtors do business. [But] rather than displacing real estate agents, the Internet is actually helping connect them with home buyers."

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    How to Buy a Home Online

     

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    Oh, LiLo. We wait patiently for the day when this talented but troubled actress turns a new leaf, but alas, it seems we wait in vain. This time it appears that Lindsay Lohan is being forced out of a stunning Beverly Glen, Calif., home because she allegedly can't keep up with the $8,000-a-month rent. (Steep to us, but a bargain among the Hollywood crowd, where stars are known to shell out up to $125,000 a month on a rental home.) It's currently back on the rental market for $10,450 a month.

    The three-bedroom, Georgian-style home boasts a resort-style pool and views of Century City. The 2,509-square-foot house was apparently renovated recently by Kathryn Ireland of Bravo's "Million Dollar Decorator." It's pretty, indeed -- but worth $10,000 a month? You decide.

    Brett Lawyer of Hilton and Hyland has the listing.

    %Gallery-174999%See also:
    Pop Singer Psy to Live in (Gangnam) Style in Los Angeles
    Rosie O'Donnell Slashes Price on 'Ganja Church' Home
    'Mary Tyler Moore Show' Home Hits Market


    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    Find
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    Lindsay Lohan In Court: Gets Final Decision On Assault Prosecution

     

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    homeowners insuranceLooking to know more about home insurance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy? Republished here is one of AOL Real Estate's best guides to understanding a homeowners policy.

    Many homeowners are baffled by trying to figure out the maze that is home insurance. Take Stephanie and Eric Jones, who for 15 years paid too much because they weren't clear on which coverage they needed and which they didn't.

    Their local insurance company wasn't very responsive to the Jones' inquiries about how they could lower their rates. When the couple decided to change agencies, inspectors were sent to their property, and they uncovered roof issues. One agency was adamant that a new, $10,000 roof was needed, while another said that a simple $400 repair would be enough. It was then that they learned how different home insurance agencies could be.

    "The Jones' would have definitely benefited from doing some research into the types of policies available to consumers," says Eric Sharfstein, claims director with National Underwriters Insurance. "It's easy to just say yes to everything, thinking that's the best course of action and, sadly, that leads to wasted money." Having too little coverage isn't ideal either, he says, because you may end up paying out of pocket for damage to your home.

    To help, here's a comprehensive list of what homeowner's insurance covers and what it doesn't:


    Differences Between Home insurance and Fire Insurance

    Dwelling fire policies are less expensive, but coverages are more limited. The more-comprehensive dwelling form is the DP-3. Dwelling fire policies are most often used by landlords for rental properties, but they're sometimes purchased by owners who occupy the property.

    The Form HO-3 is the most common type of homeowner's policy. It's generally the most comprehensive coverage and therefore the most expensive. The HO-3 policy is divided into two sections: Section I covers property, and Section II covers liability. Policies are typically divided into sections which identify what's covered, what it's covered against, what's not covered, and general terms and conditions.


    What's Covered in Home Insurance, Section I

    Coverage A covers the house itself -- roof, walls, cabinets, plumbing and electrical systems, HVAC (heating, ventilation and cooling system), etc. Most policies provide replacement cost coverage for the structure, provided that the property owner purchases sufficient insurance to cover 80 percent of the replacement cost. Failure to "insure to value" can result in a co-insurance penalty, that is, the insurance company pays only a percentage of the claim.

    Coverage applies for "all risks." In other words, the coverage applies to a loss by any cause, except for those that are specifically excluded. Examples of excluded losses are earth movement (earthquake) and flood. Examples of covered losses include fire, theft and water that escapes from within an appliance. A windstorm is typically a covered peril, but there are areas of Florida in which private insurance companies will exclude them from policies. In these areas, property owners may purchase such an "x-wind" policy, and then purchase a separate windstorm-only policy from Citizens Property and Casualty. Citizens is the state-run insurer of last resort.

    Coverage B covers "other structures" on the insured location that are separated from the primary structure by a clear space. This can include sheds, detached garages and the like.

    Coverage C covers personal property. Under the base HO-3 policy, personal property is covered for "named perils." These are specified in the policy and include fire and lightning, theft, water that escapes from within a plumbing system or appliance, windstorm (again, the x-wind discussion above applies), rain (if wind damages the structure so that rain can enter), damage from vehicles or flying objects, etc. For an additional premium, many policies will provide "all risk" coverage, as for the structure.

    Coverage D covers additional living expenses that are necessitated when a covered peril causes the structure to be unlivable.


    What's Covered in Home Insurance, Section II

    Section E covers liability. This is typically for property damage or personal injuries to third parties, due to the neglect of the insured. Examples would be injuries to a guest who slips and falls in the insured's home due to a hazard of which the insured person was aware and failed to correct. If the friend sues, the policy will provide a defense, but in most cases, the insurance company will attempt to negotiate a reasonable settlement based on the severity of the injuries and the degree of the insured's negligence.

    Available coverage amounts vary, and the insurance agent should be able to recommend a level of coverage suitable for the individual's needs. Obviously, people with significant assets should carry higher limits of coverage. Consumers should be aware of the increasing use of exclusions. Specifically, insurance companies are excluding claims for animal liability (dog bites and the like), trampolines and swimming pool injuries, to name a few. Agents can explain the differences between policies and should always advise clients on the coverage that they require.

    Section F provides medical payment coverages, which pay for medical bills incurred by persons injured on the insured property. The important distinction is that this coverage applies, regardless of the existence of negligence. Coverage amounts vary and can be increased by payment of an additional premium.

    Finally, consumers like the Joneses should be 100 percent truthful with their agent when they're applying for coverage. If the applicant provides a false response to an underwriting question and the insurance company issues the policy, the insurance company may have the right to later deny a claim. The Joneses learned the hard way, finally coming to their senses and opting for another insurance company once they were dropped, but by then, the damage had been done and lots of money was lost. This list at the outset could have saved them a few headaches.

    See also:
    Should You Buy a Standby Generator for Your Home?
    How To Protect Your Home From Damage in a 'Perfect Storm'
    Homeowners Insurance 101: What You Need to Know

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

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



    How to Buy Homeowners Insurance

     

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    Huell Howser's

    Broadcasting legend and former owner of the famous "Volcano House," Huell Howser, has died at age 67.

    Huell HowserThe host of a popular travel documentary show on public television, "California's Gold," Howser at one time inhabited the flying-saucer-shaped retreat on 60 acres in Valley Springs, Calif. The unique two-bedroom main house, featuring a dome-like roof, is perched atop a volcano cone, offering 360-degree views over Valley Springs. The one-of-a-kind property features an observation deck at the apex of the dome and a detached one-bedroom guesthouse.

    The space-age home was constructed by Vard Wallace in 1968. It was listed for $750,000 in 2010 and was recently donated by Howser to Chapman University in Orange, California.

    %Gallery-125005%See also:
    Pop Singer Psy to Live in (Gangnam) Style in Los Angeles
    Rosie O'Donnell Slashes Price on 'Ganja Church' Home
    'Mary Tyler Moore Show' Home Hits Market


    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    antelope run ranch, Daniel, Wyo.

    Maybe it's because we live in the Big Apple, but there's something so magical about endless green acres, sweeping mountain views and glistening bodies of water. This picturesque ranch in northwestern Wyoming looks like some kind of heaven to us city rats.

    At first glance, Antelope Run Ranch in Daniel, Wyo., seems as if it's been lifted straight out of "The Sound of Music." Boasting over 9,800 acres of sunlit green pasture, including seven miles of national forest and three lakes for fishing, this property is your dream country home -- located in the middle of nowhere to ensure supreme privacy. Worried about how you'll get there? By plane, of course! Along with its seven-bedroom home, the stunning ranch includes a private, 7,500-square-foot airstrip.

    %Gallery-175064%
    Interested? Better start saving those pennies, because Antelope Run Ranch is on the market for $14.9 million.

    Hall & Hall has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in Daniel, Wyo.



    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 harris.effron@teamaol.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.)

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    Go on a Wyoming Ranch Getaway

     

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    Kim Kardashian, Kanye West are rumored to have bought this home.

    We already know that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are having a baby, but they may have bought a house, too!

    Kim Kardashian, Kanye West Rumor has it that "Kimye" have just dropped $11 million on a 10,000-square-foot mansion in Los Angeles' exclusive community of Bel Air. According to TMZ, the reality star and the rapper, pictured together at left, will gut-renovate the home and deck it out with a gym, movie theater, full hair-and-makeup salon, bowling alley, basketball court and pools. (Above is a photo of the construction.) Living the good life, unsurprisingly.

    Though the couple has yet to confirm that they've bought the home in Bel Air, they've been seen house-hunting together across the country. In October, the pair reportedly looked at four homes in Miami "worth between $7 million and $10 million."

    Maybe that's the reason Kardashian packed up out of her old Beverly Hills manse and into a gorgeous new ($40,000 a month!) rental. ... Will the home the new couple settles in be better than the place that Kim has been renting? (It's pretty freakin' sweet, see below.)

    %Gallery-175283%See also:
    Pop Singer Psy to Live in (Gangnam) Style in Los Angeles
    Rosie O'Donnell Slashes Price on 'Ganja Church' Home
    'Mary Tyler Moore Show' Home Hits Market


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


     

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    foreclosure home sale signThough one of the biggest sighs of relief for the housing market last year was a decrease in foreclosure activity across the country, not every city followed the trend. As online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac noted, some metros actually experienced an uptick in foreclosure starts and foreclosure completions for the year. And that means one thing: Those cities can expect an influx of foreclosure home sales in 2013.

    If you're looking for a bargain on a home, then the cities below are where you'll want to be this year, as foreclosures are often sold at deep discounts. Of course, that's great news for buyers but not necessarily for homeowners whose home values are bound to be affected. Housing markets in Florida and North Carolina make up a good chunk of the list below, but some other areas may surprise you. Click through the gallery below to see 20 cities where foreclosure home sales should rise this year.

    %Gallery-175077%See also:
    Multimillion-Dollar Foreclosures: Mansions Claimed by the Housing Crisis
    Foreclosure Sales Increase as Homebuyers Look for Deals

    Vacant Homes Plague Neighbors as Lenders Drag Feet


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    beach house: 702 Jersey Court,  San Diego, Calif.

    We at AOL Real Estate are partial to beach houses that are non-traditional, so naturally, this one caught our fancy.

    With its boxy, ultramodern exterior, out-of-this-world sculptures, glass light fixtures, starship entryways and other futuristic and quirky decor (is that a couch and loveseat made from car parts?), this $4.495 million San Diego home is definitely not your standard beach home. According to the listing, its "versatility" makes it the perfect home for the "most discerning connoisseur of architecture and art." Broker babble aside: It's totally awesome.

    The three-bedroom, four-bathroom home stretches across 3,496 square feet and offers fantastic beachfront views (as seen in the gallery below).

    %Gallery-175378%
    Thanks to our friends at Estately for the tip!

    Greg Noonan of Prudential California Realty has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in San Diego.



    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 harris.effron@teamaol.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.)

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    Kelly Grammar's house in Beverly Hills is up for sale

    It seems that Kelsey Grammer can't stay put. He bought a palatial mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif., for his fourth wife, Kayte, just eight months ago, but he's already throwing it on the market for $7.25 million.

    Kelsey Grammar's house is up for sale This is the latest addition to Grammer's already extensive real estate portfolio: He has three other homes in California on the market right now (including a Malibu home he bought with ex-wife Camille Grammer).

    Kelsey bought the home -- which was previously listed for rent -- for his move out West with Kayte and their new baby, Faith, after leaving New York City. He had a new series, "Boss," but it was canceled after two seasons. Without that income, he reportedly can't afford the mortgage on all his homes. Hey, we'll take it off his hands!

    Who wouldn't? The six-bedroom home boasts upper- and lower-level gallerias with wood-burning fireplaces and arched windows. They look onto "enchanting" gardens with a large pool, and the place is super-private -- concealed by gorgeous landscaping and vines. There's a media room and a sunken living room (we love that). Each bedroom has its own en suite bathroom, and there's a separate guesthouse.

    %Gallery-175515%

    See the listing on Trulia for more details.

    See also:
    Pop Singer Psy to Live in (Gangnam) Style in Los Angeles
    Rosie O'Donnell Slashes Price on 'Ganja Church' Home
    'Mary Tyler Moore Show' Home Hits Market

    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.


    Kelsey Grammer Reflects on the Success of 'Boss'

     

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    There are hilariously weird listings. There are overtly deceptive listings. Then there are just plain confusing listings.

    Take this recent Craigslist ad for a three-bedroom apartment in the hip Williamsburg neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Its title reads, in bold: "TERRIFYING PLACE SO RELAXING." We're not entirely sure what the owner was trying to convey with that description. Clearly, there's an enormous difference between "terrifying" and "relaxing." (We'd say it's an either/or situation.) We'll leave you to draw your own conclusion.

    Thanks to our pals at Curbed for tipping us to this very odd listing fail. (And make sure to check out even more listing fails.)

    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    Find out how to calculate mortgage payments.
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    Just months after the self proclaimed "Material Girl" listed her swanky townhouse on New York City's Upper West Side, Madonna also appears to be throwing her Beverly Hills house on the market -- for $22.5 million.

    Madonna has owned the luxurious mansion for almost a decade (Madge allegedly purchased the home when she married director Guy Ritchie), and it features nine plush bedrooms, two guesthouses, an indoor gym and a huge screening room. The French country-style manse sprawls over 17,000 square feet and also boasts a resort-like infinity pool and tennis court. It's apparently so swank that even Victoria and David Beckham were reportedly interested in snagging it in 2007. Well, now they have another chance!

    Sotheby's International Realty has the listing.

    Find homes for sale in Beverly Hills, Calif., or search listings in your area.
    See also:
    Kelsey Grammer's House Hits Market for $7.25 Million

    Pop Singer Psy to Live in (Gangnam) Style in Los Angeles
    Rosie O'Donnell Slashes Price on 'Ganja Church' Home

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    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.

    Madonna Selling Huge NYC Duplex For $23.5 Million

     

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    We've come across a number of home listings that inadvertently scare off potential buyers (crime scene tape, anyone?), but never have we seen a listing that seems to openly and deliberately do so -- until now.

    This Detroit home, dubbed by our pals at Curbed as the "angriest listing of all time," lists quite matter-of-factly the ways in which it is undesirable. Some of its salient points include: "One of the beams has rotted." And then, "Be aware there is lead paint." Followed by, "It is a target [for] local criminals who the police won't arrest." And then there's the golden: "Only true Detroiters know how to live with [these] problems because they are familiar with it." How charming!

    The owner does gently concede, however, that the home is "beautiful and historic" -- although we gather that most people won't be able to see past the jarring descriptions. But if it doesn't scare you off, the home can be all yours for $35,000. For this, though, we think that's too much.

    %Gallery-175764%
    Check out more of our listing fails!

    See also:
    20 Cities Where Foreclosure Home Sales Should Rise in 2013
    Top 10 Turnaround Housing Markets in 2012

    Housing Market 2013: Best and Worst Cities in the New Year


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    Joe and Tina Simpson, parents of pregnant pop star Jessica Simpson, must be having trouble selling their home: They've given it a third price cut. Their majestic turreted manse in Encino, Calif., is now on the market for $3.595 million -- way down from the original price tag of $4.395 million. (Thanks to our friends at Estately for pointing this out to us!)

    The Simpsons first put their six-bedroom, seven-bathroom storybook home up for sale in October amid reports that they were ending their 34-year marriage. Rumors swirled that Joe Simpson had a gay extramarital affair, though a family rep denied that a third party was involved. But pretty soon, the price of the home came down to $3.995 million in November. And now, it's been slashed again.

    We're not sure why there would be any trouble finding a buyer. The home, sitting on 1.5 acres, oozes luxury. Outside, you'll find a pool, spa, grotto waterfall, putting green and fire pit. There's a turreted entrance inside that leads to gracious living spaces, vaulted ceilings, a home theater and a gourmet kitchen. (See the listing for more details.)

    And, hey, Joe and Tina's (other) famous daughter, Ashlee Simpson, held her wedding there. We'd want to hold onto the house forever, but we can only imagine that the Simpsons are anxious to get rid of it and put the tabloid scandal that has become their lives behind them.

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

    %Gallery-175843%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 reply to each submission.)

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


    Tina and Joe Simpson File For Divorce Amidst Gay Rumors

     

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    landlord from hell's demands

    We've all heard tales about "landlords from hell," but this one might make all those nightmares look like sweet dreams. When actress Laura Evelyn inspected an apartment for rent in London, she says that she was handed a typed list of 31 "house rules" by her potential landlord, which she posted to Twitter.

    The lengthy list of directives include "No Pork EVER IN HOUSE or fridge," no more than two visitors a month, no showers longer than 15 minutes -- and only in the mornings between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and evenings between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. -- and no cooking for longer than 30 minutes. Also, overnight guests are prohibited unless discussed two weeks in advance and are subject to landlord approval.

    Broken rules would lead to fines, a lost deposit or even immediate eviction. Unsurprisingly, Evelyn chose not move in.

    The photograph of house rules on Evelyn's Twitter account, posted on Wednesday, has so far garnered over 2,500 retweets. For more strange (and in some cases, creepy) landlord requests, check out AOL Real Estate's "Listing Fail" series.


    Incredible List of Rules from World's Worst Landlord


    See also:
    Family Finds Hidden Cameras in Rental Home
    Are Thermographic Snapshots of Your Home an Invasion of Privacy?

    Homeowner Says Facebook Photos Show Teens Broke Into Home, Threw Party


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    One Detroit house demolished included the home of Kristine Diven and Micho McAdow.

    Imagine purchasing a home at an auction only to check up on it weeks later -- and find it completely demolished. This was the case for artists Kristine Diven and Micho "Detronik" McAdow.

    One Detroit house demolished included this home of Kristine Diven and Micho McAdow.The couple had purchased a dilapidated two-story townhouse in Detroit (pictured at left) for $500 at a tax auction in October 2012. They had planned to entirely renovate the home so they could move into it by spring of this year.

    But weeks later, when they drove to the home on the city's east side to get measurements for boards that they were planning to have installed, the couple was shocked to discover that their house was nothing but "a pile," Diven told The Detroit News. (The couple is pictured with the remnants above.) And their house wasn't the only one: 11 other properties, which had been purchased by a local investor, were also demolished.

    According to Detroit's planning and facilities department, it was a mistake made by the state's Land Bank Fast Track Authority -- who had demolished all 12 properties as part of a program to eliminate blight near three local schools.

    According to the state government, the 12 homes shouldn't even have been sold at auction. In fact, the Fire Department had identified the buildings as "vacant and dangerous," reports The Detroit News, and ordered them to be demolished in June.

    %Gallery-165260%
    Diven's home was demolished the day before the deed of its purchase was recorded. The city, though not responsible for the mistake, has offered Diven and McAdow a list of city-owned properties that they can buy instead. But Diven says they don't compare to the "diamond in the rough" that was the house they bought at auction.

    The couple was refunded the $500 they paid for the now-demolished home.

    See also:
    Detroit Home Listed as 'Beautiful and Historic,' and a 'Target for Local Criminals'
    20 Cities Where Foreclosure Home Sales Should Rise in 2013
    Top 10 Turnaround Housing Markets in 2012


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    Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos loft in New York City

    Kelly Ripa and her husband, Mark Consuelos, have impeccable taste when it comes to homes -- the kind that they're hoping will fetch $24.5 million. That's the price tag of their gigantic loft in Manhattan's upscale SoHo neighborhood, which they just threw on the market last week.

    And if they can get that price, it'll be a big profit for the power couple: As the New York Daily News noted, Ripa and Consuelos bought the penthouse for only $9.1 million in 2005.

    We'd be surprised if they don't get their ask because the home -- besides hitting the mark on "location, location, location" -- drips with luxury. The 6,800-square-foot loft has a 3,000-square-foot outdoor area with a hot tub, a kitchen and a quaint seating area covered by trellises.

    It gets even better on the inside. There's a gourmet kitchen filled with top-end appliances -- including two dishwashers. The home has five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, but the best is the master bedroom with two walk-in closets and a gorgeous marble bathroom. And don't miss the home's gym and private roof deck (which has an outdoor fireplace).

    Adam Modlin and Raphael De Niro of The Modlin Group have the listing.

    Find other homes for sale in New York, N.Y., or search listings in your area.

    %Gallery-176123%See also:
    The Paul Rudolph House in NYC

    10 Least Affordable Cities to Buy a Home

    Calvin Klein's Former New York City Duplex Penthouse



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    Kelly Ripa With Marlo Thomas

     

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    The home in the Journal News gun map that reportedly was targeted by thieves.

    A home in New York's Westchester County (pictured above) that was identified in The Journal News' infamous interactive map outlining gun permit holders last month was burglarized on Saturday, local TV station WDEF reported. The thieves' target? The homeowner's gun safe, officials said.

    Homeowner whose house in the Journal News gun map reportedly was targeted by thieves.The thieves reportedly used a ladder to enter a second-story window while the homeowner (pictured at left), a man in his 70s, was out. The thieves unsuccessfully attempted to break into the homeowner's gun safe, where he kept a number of legally-owned weapons.

    According to a statement by New York State Sen. Greg Ball, "the burglar used the Journal News' interactive gun map to target a home included on the map." Ball adds that the local newspaper should be held entirely accountable for this burglary and that The Journal News has "placed the lives of these folks at risk by creating a virtual shopping list for criminals and nut jobs."

    See WDEF's video here.

    Ball's sentiments are echoed by former crooks, who said that the information published online by The Journal News could be "highly useful" for criminals, who now know where they are able to steal weapons.

    Officials are still trying to determine whether the break-in was directly connected to The Journal News map. UPDATE -- 5:35 p.m. EST -- Officials told The Journal News that it was "premature" to say whether there was any connection between the newspaper's map of gun permit holders and the burglary. "We see no pattern of people breaking into homes based on the map, but we're certainly paying attention and monitoring that," said White Plains Public Safety Commissioner David Chong. Three other burglaries occurred in the area Saturday, and police said that they did not appear to be connected to The Journal News' map.

    It is possible for anyone to find out if neighbors own gun permits in their area -- but it depends on whether your state has a gun registry. In those states that do, you can file a Freedom of Information request to find out names and addresses listed on the registry. Only a minority of states have them, however, since most states do not require residents to obtain a permit to purchase a firearm.

    And even in those states with registries, you can never know if your neighbor possesses a gun illegally. You also can't be sure if someone who has a gun permit actually owns a gun, because state registries only track the permits, not guns.

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    New York State Senator Blasts Gun Map

     

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