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AOL Real Estate - Blog

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    Steampunk loft, New York City

    Our dream of owning New York City's "steampunk loft" has come to an end, when news broke that the property was (finally) under contract. Though we were huge fans of the loft's psychedelic, steampunk-inspired decor (we even did a video on it), it seems that the owner's decision to strip it of its steampunk theme was for the better.

    Last December, owner Jeremy Noritz re-listed the loft with a serious make-under -- although if you look closely, you can still see subtle little remnants of the apartment's old steampunk days. (The kitchen, for example, still boasts repurposed wrenches as kitchen handles). It's now under contract, the property's listing agent, Nikki Beauchamp, confirmed to AOL Real Estate. The success, she says, can be credited largely to the fact that potential buyers were finally able to see beyond the home's crazy furnishings.

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    "Following the transformation, we saw an increase in inquiries and open-house traffic," Beauchamp said. "[Interested parties] mentioned several times that they had been tracking the apartment online, and the change was a deciding factor to revisit considering the apartment." No word on how much exactly it was sold for, but it's most recent listed price was $1.59 million. It's still fun to reminisce about its glory days, however! See the "Inside Look" episode we did on the loft last year below.

    AOL Real Estate's Inside Look: Steampunk Apartment


    See more on steampunk: Decorate Like a 'Steampunk': Mix History and Futuristic Sci-Fi

    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    It's been more than a year since ex-New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni sprung his surprise resignation on the team. But saying goodbye to a sweet piece of upstate New York real estate must be a little harder to come to terms with. Only now is D'Antoni finally trying to unload his suburban homestead in Rye, N.Y., according to Realtor.com. Good timing: Playoff hopes for the Los Angeles Lakers, the team D'Antoni now coaches, aren't looking so bright, so hopefully netting the home's $6.95 million asking price will lift his spirits.

    According to Realtor.com, D'Antoni and his wife, Laurel, bought the sprawling 7,142-square-foot Colonial for $5.75 million in 2008. D'Antoni had just joined the Knicks at the time. If the property sells for the asking price, it would make for a nice profit for him -- and for good reason.

    The seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom waterfront home sits on one acre in one of the oldest and most exclusive country clubs in America, the Apawamis Club, which dates back to 1890. The home has a unite pool and a combo three-car garage and gym, Realtor.com said. There's also an eat-in kitchen, balcony and walkout basement.

    See the listing for more details.

    Find more homes for sale in Rye, N.Y., or search listings in your area.

    %Gallery-185063%
    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 colin.croughan@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 reply 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.

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

     

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    You'd think that once a home is demolished, it's gone for good, right? Wrong. In Honolulu, a non-profit organization called Re-Use Hawaii tears down old, abandoned homes and gives them new life -- by providing the leftover materials to residents to build new houses.

    The organization collects waste from home demolitions and construction (that would otherwise end up in a landfill) and stores it in a warehouse. Homeowners can "shop" at the warehouse for items to build their own homes or embark on DIY projects, KITV4 News in Honolulu reported. According to Re-Use Hawaii, 80 percent of waste from home demolitions can be reused for other construction projects.

    "It's cheaper for us and better for the environment," said Travis Edwards, the owner of a custom furniture business. Watch the video below to learn more bout Re-Use Hawaii, and see their inventory here.

    Re-Use Hawaii Takes Unwanted Materials and Turns Them Into Housing

     

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    Tiny Paris apartment

    Like many of you, we're obsessed with tiny homes. New York City microstudios measuring 325 square feet, San Francisco apartments at 160 square feet -- good things come in small packages, we say! And just when we thought it couldn't get any smaller, we saw this: A teeny, tiny 130-square-foot apartment in Paris!

    Though many of you would automatically think "nightmare," it's actually a pretty clean, uncluttered and streamlined space! Storage is largely hidden inside sleek, built-in shelving, and a split-level floorplan was implemented to ensure greater flexibility and the illusion of space. (The bed, for example, can be tucked right underneath the raised "kitchen area"). Like NYC's microstudio, all the furniture is custom-made and modular, and it gives the apartment the feel of a jewel box.

    Thibaut Menard, a student and the son of the apartment's owner, is the Paris microstudio's current inhabitant, and he told Wired that he noticed "new architectural features every day." The studio was designed by Julie Nabucet and Marc Baillargeon. We dig it (being located in Paris doesn't hurt, either), but do you? Would you live in this 130-square-foot apartment? Tell us in the comments below.

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    See more on tiny homes:
    Tiny House for Sale in Arkansas Has Everything but Room

    NYC's Amazing 'Transformer' Apartment Puts 6 Rooms in 1
    Tiny House for Sale in Arkansas Has Everything but Room

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
    Find
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    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
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    Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

    Top Tiny Apartments You Won't Believe

     

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    Playboy Bunny house, Los Angeles

    The Playboy Bunnies must be hopping off to live somewhere else because the famed Playboy Bunny house (just across the street from Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion) has just hit the market for $11 million. TMZ was the first to report that the scintillating home of Hefner's lovely ladies is up for sale, then Omg! and The Real Estalker quickly followed up with their own confirmations. Known as the "Bunny Hutch," the 6,690-square-foot home pales in comparison to Hefner's massive estate. But it's pretty cool in its own right.

    Every man in the universe is probably pulling out their checkbooks right now to slap an offer on this five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home -- picturing that backyard pool and spa, where some of the hottest Playmates, including Jayde Nicole and Jaime Edmondson, are sure to have taken a dip. (OK, slap yourself and focus!) There's much more to be had at the Playboy Bunny house: a wine cellar, an aviary, a grotto, sauna and bathhouse, noted Realty Today. Yeah, that probably didn't help you focus any better, did it? The home was featured in the hit show "The Girls Next Door."

    See the listing for more details.

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

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    See more on Playboy Bunnies: Playboy Bunny Holly Madison: Hounding by HOA Over Doghouse Forcing Me to Sell Home

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    Paris Hilton Dons Sexy Bunny Costume For Easter at the Playboy Mansion

     

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    House or apartment? You might think that everyone's American dream is to own a cute suburban single-family home, but voters in our #housepornthurs contest this week blew that theory out of the water! Even this cozy Tudor in Rye, N.Y., was no match against a sleek, contemporary apartment in Portland, Ore. Clearly, y'all prefer city views over woodland, because Oregon practically took out the competition blindfolded!

    It's a "Manhattan-style" loft-like penthouse with an ultramodern feel, plush carpet, blonde hardwood floors, soaring ceilings and an oversize terrace. The 1,620-square-foot pad boasts two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a study, spacious kitchen and even two full-size wine fridges (because you need two of those). And it can be all yours for $999,000. That's totally less than $1 million!

    See the listing for more details.

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

    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.

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    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 colin.croughan@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 reply 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.

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

     

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    A shocking number of U.S. homeowners who had foreclosure proceedings brought against them by the biggest mortgage companies during the housing bust nearly lost their homes because of a potential banking error, The Huffington Post reported. Nearly a third of foreclosed borrowers, or 1.2 million, in 2009 and 2010 were fighting off foreclosure even though they never defaulted on their loans or were otherwise in good standing under bank-approved plans.

    Bank foreclosure errors: Bank liquidation signThis from The Huffington Post:

    Close to 1.2 million borrowers, or about 30 percent of the more than 3.9 million households whose properties were foreclosed on by 11 leading financial institutions in 2009 and 2010, had to battle potentially wrongful efforts to seize their homes despite not having defaulted on their loans, being protected under a host of federal laws, or having been in good standing under bank-approved plans to either restructure their mortgages or temporarily delay required payments.

    More than 244,000 of those borrowers eventually lost their homes, government data show.

    The estimates, disclosed Tuesday, far exceed projections made over the past few years after document abuses known as robosigning gained widespread attention in late 2010.

    Read the entire story at The Huffington Post.

    See more on foreclosures:
    10 Banks Foreclosing On the Most Homes
    Foreclosures Returning to Pre-Housing Bust Levels
    Boomerang Buyers Return to Market After Foreclosure

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
    calculate mortgage payments.
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    homes for sale in your area.
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    Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

     

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    Housing bubbleThere are rumblings in the real estate world about whether we're entering another housing market bubble. We took a look recently at California and whether some frenzied homebuying activity there is a sign that a bubble is returning. The consensus remains that, on a national level, no, we are not in a housing bubble -- yet. But there are cities that could be seeing the beginning of one.

    According to real estate firm Redfin, the markets in four large metros are showing the kinds of overheating that typically lead to a housing bubble, though it's not necessarily safe to say that a housing bubble is happening just yet. In these areas, home prices are rising fast and listings are getting multiple offers. But Redfin also noted that a national housing bubble is not a concern right now. One of the major reasons for that, the online real estate brokerage said, is because home prices are not widely outpacing income levels. If they were, it would be a true sign of a housing bubble. Also, as many others have noted, the type of sketchy home financing that was prevalent during the last housing bubble is not available today.

    Still, there are certain areas where the housing market's recovery has been so fast and furious that it raises concern that a bubble is forming. Click through the gallery below to see Redfin's most and least "bubbly" cities in America right now.

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    See more on housing bubbles:
    Is California's Wild Housing Market a Sign of a Bubble?
    4 Current Myths About the Real Estate Market
    Another Housing Bubble? Recovery Shows Dangerous Signs, Reports Say

    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.

    Another Housing Bubble? Realtor Not Fearful

     

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    Flying palace of Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal

    Just when we thought we'd seen the heights of luxury, we get wind of this news: Saudi Arabia's Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal has purportedly sold his "flying palace," valued at approximately $500 million, to a fellow unnamed billionaire. It's not so much the transaction that got our attention, however. (The 1 percent play millionaire's monopoly all the time.) It's the fact that the property is literally an airborne palace.

    According to Curbed, Prince Al-Waleed hired interior designer Edese Doret to turn his double-decker jumbo jet into a jaw-droppingly luxury space. From the glass chandeliers, to the 14-seat dining table, to those ornate glass lamps, plush leather cream sofas and flat-screen TVs, it's a McMansion with wings. In fact, if it weren't for the tiny circular windows, you wouldn't even be able to tell from the inside that you're on an airplane!

    According to Arabian Business, Prince Al-Waleed's Airbus A380 "superjumbo" was sold in late 2012 and supposedly had a layout that accommodated "two Rolls-Royce cars and a number of horses." No confirmation on that, but we're guessing TSA shot the horse idea down.

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    See more royal accommodations:
    Kensington Palace Reopens to Public After a Royal Makeover
    Russian Princess Kristina Kovalenko Puts NYC Condo Up for Sale
    Prince William and Kate to Flee City for Remote Home

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    Ongoing Problems with the Airbus A380

     

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    Matt Damon home, Miami Beach

    Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana, renewed their vows over the weekend, but the couple is separating from their gorgeous Miami Beach home. Damon has put the seven-bedroom, 10-bathroom waterfront mansion on the market, The Wall Street Journal reported, and he's betting on making a sweet profit. The Oscar-winning actor bought the double-lot property -- one for $10.3 million and the other for $4.2 million -- in 2005 and 2006, respectively, according to Realtor.com. But Damon is selling the whole thing for $20 million.

    Matt DamonThe 12,705-square-foot home "boasts breathtaking, unobstructed views of Biscayne Bay and beyond," the listing says. The property consists of a two-story main house with rooftop terrace that gets panoramic views, and a two-bedroom guesthouse. In the main house, you'll find a stunning master suite with private terrace and "spa-like bathroom," Realtor.com said. There's also a home theater, wine cellar, custom office, gourmet kitchen and large living room overlooking the water. The home also sits on a street full of A-list homeowners, including Alex Rodriguez and Chris Bosh.

    "If you want to live in a home that has the most breathtaking views in one of Miami Beach's most coveted locations, then you must see this property," listing agent Jill Eber of The Jills said in a statement to The Miami Herald. Damon also owns a home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., which he bought last year for $15 million.

    See the listing for more details.

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

    %Gallery-185636%
    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 colin.croughan@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 reply 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.

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


    Matt Damon Lists in Miami Beach For $20 Million

     

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    So you want to be a real estate investor? It can be all about where you're buying property. You of course want to be in a market where you stand the best chance to get the most bang for your buck. So where to look?

    Maybe not even in the United States. Try Panama. Buying homes overseas can be a cash cow for many. And Panama's economy is one of the few in the world that was virtually untouched during and after the economic crisis. But other overseas markets should be considered, too, as is explained in the above video.

    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.


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

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    Boston Marathon bomb explosion

    By Colin Croughan and Graham Wood

    Realtor Vickie Cox can't help but think about her native New York as Boston struggles to cope with the tragic bombings at Monday's Boston Marathon. She's an agent at the Rye, N.Y., office of Sotheby's International Realty -- a suburb just 20 minutes outside of New York City -- and she remembers 9/11 like it was yesterday. She also happened to be running in the Boston Marathon on Monday, and those terrible memories of the 2001 terrorist attacks came flooding back as she watched smoke pour over runners' heads.

    "I was running down Boylston Street. ... I crossed the finish line and stopped with the other runners and started walking," Cox told AOL Real Estate. "It was no more than half a city block from the finish line, and suddenly there was a very, very loud, deafening boom from behind us.

    "There was this mushroom cloud of white smoke. My first thought was that something had gone wrong with the marathon equipment or something by the finish line. Ten seconds later, the second explosion went off -- that was when everyone started running. It was very frightening, and being a New Yorker, I immediately looked to the sky. All of the sudden, it was fresh in my mind -- it reminded me very much of 9/11."

    Cox was also reminded of something else: some of the lingering impact on that community immediately following 9/11. She remembers, for instance, how the Westchester County housing market took a dive in the months following the attacks. "The rental market completely fell off," Cox said. "There was a huge drop in the people being transferred [to our office], there was a great concern in Westchester for sure." (Of course, though many New York residents left the city after 9/11, any population dip has more than recovered since. The population in and around Lower Manhattan, where the Twin Towers fell, doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to Census data.)

    Once the shock of Boston Marathon bombings wears off -- reports on Tuesday put the casualty count at three and the number of wounded at more than 170 -- one question might become: How will that city's neighborhoods be affected by the apparent terror attack? "It's really too soon to say," Cox said. "I'm unsure about what the effect will be. Boston is a beautiful place, a historic place, with a strong group of people and a strong community." Several big real estate firms with Boston branches declined to comment for this article, but Cox pointed out one thing: A lot of student housing is in the area where the blasts occurred. Might they be reluctant to come to the city's colleges. "Obviously, a drop in student enrollment means a drop in student housing," she said.

    Many others doubt that the tragedy will have such an impact on Boston. One Facebook commenter responding to a question on AOL Real Estate as to whether the Boston Marathon bombings might scare people away from the city said: "A tragedy can happen anywhere at any time. Have people stopped moving to New York since 9/11? Have people stopped moving to Colorado since James Holmes?" Another added: "Wouldn't change my mind. ... Boston's a great city!"

    Katerina Canyon, 37, a poet who was recently accepted to the Fletcher School at Tufts University in Boston, said that Monday's bombings won't stop her from moving there from Los Angeles. "The sad reality is that these bombings could have happened anywhere, and we cannot live our lives in perpetual fear of what may happen. Bad events aren't exclusive to one location. All you can do is try to live the best life you can while you have the chance."

    Right now, Boston residents are reaching out to those displaced by the bombings. According to MainStreet.com, neighbors are using local websites to offer shelter, and Boston.com is hosting a forum where those affected by the bombings can reach out for help.

    See also:
    10 Most Diverse Neighborhoods in America

    5 Cities Where Homes Are Still Cheap

    Signs the Housing Recovery Has Moved Into Your Neighborhood

    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 rental housing in your area.


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    Tragedy Hits Boston

     

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    People must believe everything is bigger in Texas, because the most popular city to move to in 2012 was Houston, according to new data on relocation trends released by U-Haul. The moving company's figures were based on one-way truck rentals from January 2012 to December 2012. It's Houston's fourth year in a row ranking No. 1 on U-Haul's annual list.

    Of course, other lists of most popular moving destinations have differed from U-Haul's list. In January, Penske Truck Rental put Atlanta at the top of its list for 2012. Houston was ranked No. 6. U-Haul placed Atlanta all the way down at No. 33 on its list.

    Regardless, what can people expect once they arrive in Houston? For one, a booming job market filling up fast with transportation and financial services employment openings. That'll support the local housing market pretty well. According to Trulia, the average listing price in Houston is $322,473, but the median sale price between January 13 and March 13 was a much more affordable $78,000.

    Click through the gallery below to see U-Haul's top 15 moving destinations (and homes for sale in those areas) in 2012. To see U-Haul's complete list of the top 50 destinations, click here.

    %Gallery-185944%
    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 rental housing in your area.


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

     

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    It's getting warmer out there, and you're probably eyeing that porch of yours. You're probably dreaming of kicking back in a rocking chair with a good book and glass of iced tea, hearing the warm breeze rustle the trees and feeling it rush over you. But is your porch ready to give you maximum comfort? If you've got an old porch that still has good bones, there are a couple of easy ways that you can renovate it and have it looking as good as new for the spring and summer. Watch the video above to get some ideas.

    See more about porches:
    Need More Space? Add a Porch
    AOL Real Estate's Home Improvement Guides

    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 rental housing in your area.


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

     

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    Nightmare roommate: leaving a mess

    Devon Fleming said that she thought she had found the perfect roommate. The woman seemed smart, was easy to spend time with, and the two shared many mutual friends. It was an almost serendipitous situation: The roommate had just broken up with her boyfriend and Fleming had an extra room in her apartment in Manhattan's Upper East Side neighborhood. It was the perfect arrangement.

    Devon FlemingThat was until one day, Fleming said, that she received a call from a nearby Ann Taylor store. A representative there was calling to inform Fleming that her store account was overdue for a payment. Fleming was shocked: She'd never shopped at nor opened an account at Ann Taylor. Someone apparently had impersonated her, using her name, credit card details and all of her contact information to open a store account.

    Fleming said that she called the first person she could turn to: her roommate. "I told her, 'Oh my god, I'm being impersonated!' Then strangely, she told me she had to go and hung up quickly," Fleming told AOL Real Estate. "Shortly after that, I got a call back from Ann Taylor saying they found out who it was -- and it was my roommate! She'd also listed her real cell phone, and they figured it out."

    Fleming said that she immediately went to her roommate's office to confront her -- and found her dressed head-to-toe in Fleming's clothing. "I was freaked out and asked her, 'Why?' She said that 'You have so much, I want to be just like you. But I don't make as much money, so I just pretended I was you.' It was so creepy. I asked her to find another place to live, and she moved out."

    Vanessa WadeVannessa Wade also said that she thought she'd found the perfect roommate to share her Houston apartment. They'd gone to the same college, the woman seemed friendly and funny, and they'd spoken extensively on the phone. She moved into Wade's apartment, and everything seemed to be going well. But that was until Wade began to notice the mess -- and not just a stray sock here and there. The apartment began to seriously resemble a garbage dump.

    "When I walked though the door, I was greeted by cups, plates and candy wrappers. The table would be outlined with whatever meals she had for breakfast or lunch -- our table was her wasteland. The trash would overflow, things overflowed in the sink," Wade told AOL Real Estate. "I felt slighted and upset. Looking back, I would have dug deeper and asked questions like, 'What type of living space do you like? How often do you clean?' That would have saved me the frustration."

    How to Find a Good Roommate

    Though Fleming and Wade's cases are extreme, many of us have experienced a bad roommate -- whether simply because of bad judgment or Craigslist gone wrong. But there's a lot we can do to ensure that doesn't happen.

    According to rental expert Rory Bolger of New York realty firm Citi Habitats, a lot of roommate-related heartache and frustration can be prevented in the vetting process. It's nice if friends can vouch for a potential roommate, but as in Fleming's case, this isn't always successful. It's important to seriously do your homework -- you'll be living under the same roof, after all, so it's important that they're not just "cool" and "nice" but also compatible with you.

    "Take a look at what they are currently doing with their life. What do they do for a living, and what are their interests and hobbies? Look at their Facebook and LinkedIn pages, it can be a huge help in getting to know more about this potential roommate," Bolger advised. "The more info about a person you can ascertain, the better."

    His thoughts are echoed by Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats and a longtime Realtor, who says it's important to ask all the "awkward" questions upfront -- and not just to your future roommate, either.

    "Ask yourself: Are you a neat-freak, or do you take a more laissez-faire approach to cleaning? Your roommate should likely have a similar attitude to avoid conflict," said Malin. "Also, how do you feel about houseguests? The more the merrier, or do you prefer a quiet home? Nothing can be more annoying than to walk into a wild party when you've had a rough day at work."

    Both Bolger and Malin also added a word of caution about Craigslist. While it's a convenient way to find roommates, especially on short notice, added caution must be taken when committing to share an apartment with complete strangers. Bolger also advised renters to have numerous in-person meetings before agreeing to move in together -- and to "listen to your gut."

    Wade adds that it's important to speak openly and clearly with your potential roommate about expectations, particularly when it comes to cleanliness and house conduct. Be honest about what you'd like them to do before moving in together. "I talked extensively to my messy roommate, but now I know it was not to the extent we should have. I told her I like a clean space," Wade told AOL Real Estate. "Now, I know to go into greater detail, because 'clean' is in the eye of the beholder!"

    See more about roommates:
    Roommate Agreements, and Breaking Up When Things Go Badly

    How to Interview Potential Roommates

    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find rental housing in your area.
    Find out how to
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    Waterfront home, Larchmont, NY

    The city or the suburbs? Despite Census data last year showing that many cities were growing at a faster pace than their surrounding suburbs, voters in our #housepornthurs contest this week overwhelmingly chose the suburbs. This fabulous waterfront manor in Larchmont, N.Y., north of NYC, handily trumped a chic, modern condo in the Big Apple's famed Tribeca neighborhood. Hey, we all need to get away from the city sometimes.

    Houseporn thursday logoAnd the Larchmont home is the perfect place to retreat to. Perched on a private peninsula overlooking the Long Island Sound and Larchmont Harbor, the 7,259-square-foot home is a serene getaway unlike any other. With seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms, it's a spacious Colonial with sparkling water views. There's a private dock, a staircase to the shoreline, stone seawall and private deep-water mooring, according to the listing. But don't let the uber-private 1.33-acre estate fool you: The home is a convenient walk away from the village center, where there are shops, restaurants, transportation and schools. Privacy plus convenience? That'll cost you. The home is on the market for $12.7 million.

    See the listing for more details.

    Find more homes for sale in Larchmont, N.Y., or search listings in your area.

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    Got a tip for House of the Day? Know of an exceptional or unusual property currently listed for sale? Please email colin.croughan@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 reply to each submission.)

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    House of the Week: Waterfront in the Adirondacks

     

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    Lance Armstrong's new home

    It was just days ago that we got the news that embattled cyclist Lance Armstrong sold his massive Austin, Texas, estate. Seems property changes hands quickly, because now Armstrong has already snapped up a new home in the Austin area, according to the Austin American-Statesman. While he put his last home was on the market for $10 million, Armstrong paid considerably less for his new one: reportedly only $4.34 million. (We use the term "only" lightly.)

    Realtor.com flags the 12,500-square-foot home as a perfect hideout during the "zombie apocalypse" because of its wooden escape bridge that extends from the main house to the boathouse. We're more interested in the home's angular stone facade, as well as the interior wood and stone flooring. The six-bedroom, eight-bathroom house also has a library, game room and gym.

    Find homes for sale in Austin, Texas, or search listings in your area.

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    Lance Armstrong Sells Austin Estate For Millions Below List Price

     

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    When housing inventory is as tight as it is -- it hit a 13-year low in January -- it gets pretty tough for buyers to even find homes for sale. And if you're a Realtor, that means slow business for you. There are very few buyers or sellers to represent. So what's a gal to do? Well, like any good salesperson looking to drum up business, you cold call.

    That might seem like a telemarketer's job, but cold calling is becoming increasingly relevant to real estate. How does a cold call work for a Realtor? It's a little unconventional -- and maybe somewhat awkward -- but it's basically calling a homeowner and asking if he/she would be willing to sell the home. (Hopefully, they didn't just move in!)

    As KUSA-TV in Denver reports, Realtors in that market are turning to the tactic as the supply of homes for sale dwindles further. According to KUSA, 6,682 homes were on the market in Denver in March, and about 6,000 of those went under contract. That's a fast-moving market! But does cold calling really work? According to Inman News columnist Bernice Ross, cold calling can score an agent some serious referrals and even listings. But you have to have patience, and don't give up (no matter how bad your fingers hurt from dialing). One bold real estate agent was able to score a client's dream home -- which wasn't for sale -- by walking up to the front door, knocking and asking if the homeowner was interested in selling. As it turns out, the homeowner was.

    See more on homebuying:
    More Young Couples Say 'I Do' to Buying a Home Before Marriage
    Listing's Stale? 6 Ways to Land a Home Sale
    VIDEO: Home Inspections for Sellers

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    green home: solar paneled roofWith Earth Day fast approaching, real estate firm Redfin took a look at the 10 cities with the greenest homes. Redfin determined the rankings by number of homes for sale with green features in each market, as well as each city's carbon-dioxide emissions ranking. Green home features include solar panels, LEED certification and Energy Star appliances.

    "The residents of these cities are reducing their environmental footprint and saving money at the same time," said Redfin agent Julie Jacobson, who has been designated an LEED Green Associate, on the company's website. "By making your home green, you can reduce monthly utility bills, make your home's indoor air quality healthier, reduce your environmental footprint and even help increase the value of your home without any sacrifice in design or comfort. It is truly a win-win."

    Click through the gallery below to see the 10 cities with the greenest homes (text provided by Redfin). And to find a green home for yourself, check out AOL Real Estate's green home listings.

    %Gallery-186246%
    See also:
    Solar Power at Home Saves Money
    Green Living for Renters
    7 Green Home Trends: From Baby Steps to Extreme Updates

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    Actor Ed Begley Documents His Attempt to Build an Ultimate Green Home

     

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    Our friends at Tech Crunch kindly invite you into the "greenest home in America." In the hills of Silicon Valley lies the grand home known as Tah.Mah.Lah (which draws from the Native American Ohlone tribe's word for "mountain lion"). Dreamed up by Foundation Capital partner Paul Holland and his wife, Linda Yates, the home has the highest LEED certification in the country. It's been built to have minimal environmental impact. So how exactly does it do that? Check out the video above and see for yourself.

    See more:
    10 Energy-Efficient Home Upgrades You Should Make Right Now
    How to Sell a Green Home: Lose the Environmental Speech
    10 Cities With the Greenest Homes

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