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AOL Real Estate - Blog

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    rent martin lawrence house

    Martin Lawrence may be known for his comedic talents, but there's nothing funny about the Beverly Hills home he's renting out ... for a very serious $200,000 a month.

    While the "Bad Boys" star's 13,900-square-foot French contemporary is a surefire looker, $200,000 is a whole lot of coin. Granted, you get a movie theater with concession stand, a 1,000-square-foot gym, a wine room, and sprawling living and dining spaces. It's also really pretty. Pink marble finishes, marble floors, and stained glass skylights by Salvatore Polizzi.

    Worth shelling out $200,000 a month for? You decide.

    %Gallery-158511%
    Connie Blankenship of Hilton and Hyland has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in Beverly Hills, Calif.



    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
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
    See celebrity real estate.


    Martin Lawrence Renting His Mansion For A Ridiculous Amount

     

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    texas treehouse

    Remember when you were little and you wanted to live in a treehouse? Well, now you can. Sort of. Thanks to elevated, modern architecture (see above) which allows you to feel like you're living among the treetops, this is grownup treehouse living at its most stylish.

    Located in Dallas, the striking $7.2 million contemporary boasts huge floor-to-ceiling windows that "bring the outdoors in" and offer tranquil, leafy views from every room. Inside, you'll find nothing but sleek natural finishes, fireplaces, sprawling living spaces and soaring ceilings. Outside, you can enjoy that incredible pool-with-waterfall, which is flanked, of course, by towering, mature trees.

    What we love most? It's not your typical, classically romantic Dallas mansion. All clean lines and sharp edges, it almost exudes a Malibu-style sense of luxury -- except it's tucked away in the lush and pristine Texas Hill Country.

    %Gallery-159090%
    Julie Gilbert of Briggs Freeman/Sotheby's International Realty has the listing.

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



    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
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
    See celebrity real estate.


    Aol Real Estate's Inside Look: Slide Home

     

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    We'll save you the "Celebrities: They're Just Like Us!" spiel today, because let's face it -- they're not. While we humble plebeians are busy seeking mortgage assistance and mourning our plummeting home values, our favorite celebs are busy playing millionaire Monopoly. Whether it's flinging one Miami manse on the market to nab another or playing musical houses with their multimillion-dollar California beach houses, it seems that our favorite A-listers just don't know what else to do with their money. But we're not complaining because that just means more real estate eye candy for us! Here are our favorite celeb houses on the market (in no particular order).

    Celine Dion's Island Getaway

    celebrity homes
    Price: $29.655 million
    Location: Quebec, Canada
    Details: We love Queen Celine. She recorded nine albums before she turned 18 years old, she's a five-time Grammy winner, she earns about $100 million a year and she owns this incredible house -- which is built on a private island. Known as the Gagnon Mansion and located in Quebec, Canada, the opulent home is built like a French Norman chateau and boasts 24,000 square feet. We're not sure of the exact interior aesthetic that the "greatest singer in the word" was going for, though it looks like a cross between Versailles and Tara in "Gone With the Wind." And that's not a bad thing, especially if you like chandeliers, winding staircases, plush red velvet carpets and soaring, coffered ceilings. The home also features a vaulted stone wine cellar with integrated tasting room, a paneled library, a gym and its very own helipad. Naturally. Joseph Montanaro of Sotheby's International Realty, Quebec, has the listing.

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    Martin Lawrence's California Contemporary

    celebrity homes
    Price: $200,000 a month
    Location: Beverly Hills, Calif.
    Martin Lawrence may be known for his comedic talents, but there's nothing funny about this stunning home that he's renting out for a very serious $200,000 a month. While the "Bad Boys" star's 13,900-square-foot French contemporary is a surefire looker, $200,000 is a whole lot of coin. Granted, you get a movie theater with concession stand, a 1,000-square-foot gym, a wine room and sprawling living and dining spaces. It's also really pretty. Pink marble finishes, marble floors and stained glass skylights by Salvatore Polizzi. Connie Blankenship of Hilton and Hyland has the listing.

    %Gallery-158511%

    Gianni Versace's Miami Palace

    celebrity homes
    Price: $125 million
    Location: Miami
    Versace's world famous home, built in 1930, is sprawled across 19,000 square feet. It features 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a 54-foot-long pool lined in 24-karat gold and ornate, Medusa-emblazoned front gates (the same gates where Versace was fatally shot in 1997). "This is not only the most well-known property on South Beach," said listing agent Jill Eber of Coldwell Banker, "it's also known worldwide for its attention to detail throughout every room, its elegance and its style." Its link to one of the world's most iconic fashion designers probably doesn't hurt, either. It boasts a 6,100-square-foot south wing, a mosaic-covered courtyard, frescoes on the home's walls and ceilings, and the aforementioned gold-lined pool. The Jills of Coldwell Banker have the listing.
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    Chris Brown's Hollywood Bachelor Pad

    celebrity homes
    Price: $1.895 million
    Location: West Hollywood, Calif.
    Though singer Chris Brown may be a nightmare neighbor, we can't deny that his West Hollywood digs are a sweet, sweet dream. The sleek, 3,000-square-foot space boasts blond bamboo floors, double-paned windows, soaring ceilings and a wraparound terrace with city views. Additionally, the bathrooms are decked out in "designer appointments," and the kitchens boast Caesarstone counters and stainless steel appliances. Fit for an A-list singer-actor-rapper, indeed. Manuela Villa of The Agency has the listing.

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    Jim Carrey's Malibu Beach House

    celebrity homes
    Price: $13.95 million
    Location: Malibu, Calif.
    We have no idea why our favorite funnyman, Jim Carrey, would ever want to sell this sweet piece of real estate. (Check out that beachfront hot tub!) But our guess is that he'll be making a pretty penny on the home, if it sells at list price. Apparently, the "Liar Liar" star snagged it in 2002 for a significantly cheaper $9.7 million. Carrey's contemporary boasts an expansive rooftop deck with a hot tub and mood lights, offering gorgeous sunset and surf views. Inside, you get five spacious bedrooms, 5½ bathrooms and generous, museum-like living spaces sprawled across 2,866 square feet. Janelle Friedman of Sotheby's International Realty has the listing.

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    George Harrison's Swiss Castle

    celebrity homes
    Price: Undlisclosed
    Location: Montagnola, Switzerland
    "I don't care too much for the money," crooned the Beatles in their 1964 hit song, "For money can't buy me love." What it can buy, though, is Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison's sprawling, stately Swiss mansion. But we're not sure exactly how much money. The listing agents at Christie's International affiliate Wetag are keeping mum about how much the late Beatle's digs are going for. But we're assuming a ballpark figure of a whole lot (apparently Harrison had purchased the estate for $10 million back in 2001) because it's out of this world. The castle-like structure has views of scenic Lake Lugano, the Swiss Alps and Monte Rosa. The 10,800-square-foot main house boasts classic Palladian architecture and impeccable European craftsmanship. Standout features include a massive wine cellar, a four-story elevator and a Roman-style swimming pool.

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    Amy Winehouse's London Pad

    celebrity homes
    Price: $4.2 million
    Location: Camden Square, London
    The beautiful home of the late Amy Winehouse has recently hit the market, less than one year after she had her fatal drug overdose there. Located in Camden Square in northwest London (pictured above), the three-bedroom apartment is listed for $4.2 million. Though Winehouse reportedly loved the home, the late singer's family members have said that, with great regret, they didn't feel "it was appropriate that they should live in it." The home boasts three double bedrooms, three reception rooms and "well-proportioned" private front and rear gardens. HouseNetwork UK has the listing.

    Claire Danes' Manhattan Loft

    celebrity homes
    Price: $5.99 million
    Location: New York City
    Claire Danes' classic 3,851-square-foot space features three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The building itself dates back to 1882, but the apartment has been restored with wooden beams and columns, beautifully blending old-school New York with modern conveniences. There's a rotating breakfast bar, which apparently is meant to give Danes extra space in the kitchen -- maybe to rehearse lines for her latest movie or to make homemade marshmallows. By the way, the home also once boasted a swing in the living room. (Oh, how the 1 percent live!). Elaine Schweninger of Town Real Estate has the listing.

    %Gallery-158210%

    Michael C. Hall's 'Killer' L.A. Mansion

    celebrity homes
    Price: $1.995 million
    Location: Los Angeles
    "Dexter" fans rejoice: You, too, can live -- rather than die -- in the onscreen murderer's home. Well, his real-life home. "Dexter" star Michael C. Hall is selling his stunning home in The Outpost Estates for a killer price of $1.995 million. The 3,535-square-foot home features four bedrooms and five bathrooms. The master suite has a spacious master bathroom with views of Runyon Canyon. Both of the upstairs guest bedrooms have their own baths, and the basement gym/guest bedroom (/kill room) has its own ¾ bath. Jeff Kohl and Josh Myler of The Agency have the listing.

    %Gallery-157989%

    The Rolling Stones' (Rumored) NYC Townhouse

    celebrity homes
    Price: $7.95 million
    Location: New York City
    This townhouse was rumored to be the home of the iconic rock and roll band The Rolling Stones for a brief time in the 1960s. According to the realtor, it was where hits such as "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Paint It Black" were penned. "While The Rolling Stones didn't own the house," listing agent Jeremy V. Stein told AOL Real Estate, "I do believe they did live there at some point." According to the listing, the Anglo-Italianate home has kept many of its original details, such as ornate plaster medallions and crown moldings, nine fireplaces with white marble mantels, skylights and an elliptical stairway. The 4,930-square-foot home features five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and a stunning, south-facing garden. Jeremy V. Stein and Robin Stein of Sotheby's International Realty have the listing.

    %Gallery-157092%
    More on AOL Real Estate:
    Find out how to
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    Find
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    See celebrity real estate.
    Find homes for rent in your area.

     

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    Oh, if these walls could talk. Apparently, the Washington, D.C., home that ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his soon-to-be-ex-wife Anne Sinclair once shared is not doing too well on the market. They've just slashed its asking price from $5.2 million to $3.8 million.

    But don't whip out your checkbooks yet: According to our friends at Curbed, you can expect the newly-reduced price to slip even lower in the future to "something in the $3.5 million range." It's a fair ask, we think, for a very pretty 7,200-square-foot Federal-style home that's been through a head-to-toe renovation.

    The home boasts a huge pool and spacious patio area, a state-of-the-art chef's eat-in kitchen and three elegant bedrooms. We're not exactly sure why DSK's selling, but it could have something to do with his recent separation from his wife and his ongoing rape investigation. (Yikes!)

    %Gallery-160119%
    Nancy Taylor Bubes and Jamie Peva of Washington Fine Properties have the listing.

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



    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
    homes for sale in your area.
    Find
    foreclosures in your area.
    See celebrity real estate.

     

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    House of the Day Penniman Castle

    We admit it, we're obsessed with castles. Ever since that dream Miami castle with a moat, we've been scouring the interwebs for similar royal properties. And though this one doesn't have a moat, it's just as grand.

    Penniman Castle in Battle Creek, Mich., is a local landmark (it's on the National Register of Historic Places), and it's just hit the market. The majestic castle home boasts stunning crenulated towers and arched windows, and it's built in a traditional "H" pattern, flanked by octagonal towers that anchor each point. Inside the six-bedroom house, you'll find classic features, such as solid wooden door lintels, stony outdoor siding in the living rooms and antique wood-burning stoves. Adorned with vintage chandeliers and furnishings, the home boasts an Old World, romantic vibe.

    Best of all, the home -- built in 1906 -- is only $165,000. Who says you can't live royally on a commoner's budget? Hat tip to our friends at Realtor for the tip.

    %Gallery-160209%
    The Joy Brown Team has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in Battle Creek.



    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 reply 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.

    Visit the State of Michigan

     

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    kitchen lighting

    Beautiful and functional kitchen lighting breaks down into three categories: Ambient, task and accent lighting. Incorporating all three into your kitchen layout will provide you with a well-lit and attractive space. Considering how much money goes into outfitting a kitchen with cabinets, counters, sinks, appliances and flooring, it's a wise to approach the task with a solid grasp of kitchen lighting options.

    Ambient lighting

    Ambient lighting is the overall background lighting of a room. The obvious benefit is that it enables you to navigate the room without bumping into things, but when put on a dimmer it can also serve as mood lighting for entertaining. Here are some popular kitchen ambient lighting options:
    o. Drum chandeliers are the hottest kitchen-lighting trend. These playful lighting options look like giant, illuminated lampshades suspended from the ceiling.
    o. Casual chandeliers add drama, style and function in larger kitchens that have a ceiling height of nine feet or higher.
    o. Ceiling fixtures add style and function in smaller kitchens with a ceiling height of eight feet or lower.
    o. Recessed lights spaced evenly through the kitchen.
    o. Up-lights tucked behind decorative objects on top of the cabinets.
    o. Rope lighting tucked behind crown molding or beneath the upper cabinets. These lights will illuminate softly and cast a glow over the kitchen, which looks particularly elegant for evening entertaining.

    %Gallery-114033%
    Task Lighting

    Task lighting is exactly what it sounds like: lighting to help you accomplish the tasks you set out to do in your kitchen. Whether it's preparing meals, washing dishes, paying bills, or helping kids with homework, all of these jobs would be difficult to complete with poor lighting. Task lighting sources include:
    o. Recessed or "can" lights -- there should be one over the sink, one for every four feet of counter space (at a minimum), and also over the island, if not using pendant lights.
    o. Pendant lights over the kitchen island serves three purposes -- they provide task lighting, make a design statement, and serve as a visual distinction between the open spaces.
    o. Under-cabinet lighting, in the form of compact fluorescent lights, is another great option for task lighting in the food preparation areas.

    %Gallery-138487%
    Accent Lighting

    Accent lighting is used to draw attention to the unique details of your kitchen. Accent lighting sources include:
    o. Puck lights to illuminate glass front cabinets, much like in a curio or china cabinet.
    o. Toe-kick lights to focus attention on flooring with a unique texture or design. They are also helpful to those who like a midnight snack but don't want bright overhead lighting waking them up.
    o. A table lamp on the counter adds a warm glow to visually soften the hard surfaces of a kitchen. This looks particularly attractive near the desk area of the kitchen, keeping it away from the prep stations and kitchen sink.

    One final recommendation: Put each light source on a separate control and a dimmer. This gives you infinite options for creating the perfect ambiance for any situation.

    See also:
    10 Home Improvements That Are a Waste of Money

    Home Improvement: Do's and Don'ts From a Pro
    Remodeling: When It's Worth the Cost


    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.

    How to Plan a Kitchen Remodeling Project

     

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    As #houseporn fiends and real estate junkies, there's nothing we love more than poring through fabulous home listings -- except maybe sorting through the tragically un-fabulous ones. They'll definitely make you laugh, and some of them could make you cry. Every Friday, AOL Real Estate brings you the sorriest listings we could find on the Internet to show you what you should never do when posting your home online. We very appropriately call it #listingfail.


    'A Great Opportunity'



    Tip No. 1: Listing a home is like making an online dating profile: You need to select and highlight your best angles and features. But if your profile looks like this, then you're on your way to becoming a 40-year-old virgin. What would possess someone to post photos of massive, gaping holes where the air conditioner used to be? Not to mention the charming brown stains and cracks on the wall.



    Tip No. 2: The listing describes this three-bedroom home in Phoenix as a "great opportunity." Let's be clear about what that means: It's a great opportunity to empty your entire bank account, because whatever's in there is what it'll take to get this home to some semblance of livability (see also "fixer-upper").

    Tip No. 3: Hanging a lone, frayed blanket on the wall probably looks just as bad as what you're trying to cover. Come to think of it, maybe worse.



    Other things this listing has taught us: Before you take a listing photo of your "nice-size backyard," make sure you've cleared it of shoes, random, weird furniture and debris. Click through the gallery below and you'll see what we mean.

    %Gallery-159994%
    See the original listing here.


    'Just Drive By'



    Tip No. 1: When the listing says, "Just drive by. Do not disturb tenants," that's your first clue that it's either a marijuana grow house or just a really bad idea in general. Try saying "Viewings by appointment only." So much sweeter -- and so much less terrifying.

    Tip No. 2: Though mood lighting is cool sometimes, could you shed a little light on the bedroom, please? Not that we're anxious to get a better view of the clutter, but when it comes to listing photos, brighter is better. The owners of this two-bedroom home clearly did not get that memo, nor the one about making the bed before taking beauty snaps of their master bedroom. A messy bed we can let slide, but empty plastic bottles strewn at the foot of the bed? That's just embarrassing.



    Tip No. 3: Why all the dimness and heavy drapery? Are the owners of this two-bedroom home vampires? Open the curtain and show us what you're working with! ... Quick, close the curtain!



    OMG! They use our brand of laundry detergent!

    Shame about the above pictures, because the condo itself is actually pretty decent on the outside (thanks to our friends at Curbed for the tip!). It even has a pool! Check it out below.

    %Gallery-160019%
    See the original listing here.


    'Property Needs TLC'



    Tip No. 1: The listing says this Hawthorne, N.Y., home needs "TLC." That's code for "it could almost be condemned."

    Tip No. 2: Hey, guys, ever heard of storage? Nobody will buy your home if it looks like it was featured on "Hoarders." Even if it's just for the sake of the listing photo, clear out those packing boxes, shelve those stuffed toys and hang those clothes in some kind of closet. Also, if your teenage daughter's best friend is lying facedown, sleeping on the floor (she's at the bottom of the picture in case you can't find her) -- best to put her away, too.



    Tip No. 3: Is this a family room, a media room or a storage room? (And do you really need two television sets and a stereo you bought in 1995?) This room is confusing, and there's no way to tell what people should use it for. Also, a streamlined space is a sold space! So toss those Christmas decorations, wires, stuffed bunnies and used gift bags before photo time.

    It doesn't end there, either. To see a bathroom cluttered with toothpaste and personal products (hey, at least you know they're hygienic), check out the gallery below.

    %Gallery-160018%
    See the original listing here.


    'Quite Bunglow' Country Home



    This probably takes the cake for our favorite listing fail of the week (thank you, Craigslist). Not only does this listing describle this three-bedroom home in Greensboro, N.C., as a "quite bunglow," it "bosts" that the home has "solid-oak, not snap-in floors," "vinal windows" and "electricfide" heaters (a picture of which is used as the feature image for the listing). All in all, the listing promises that it's a home made for "convinance, quiet and comfort living."

    The most important tip to take with you today: Spellcheck. That is all.

    See more pictures of this "quite bunglow" here.

    %Gallery-160017%
    See the original listing here.


    Don't let your home be a #listingfail! Take some pro advice from our home staging guides:
    Home Staging Mistakes Sellers Should Avoid
    Home Staging Tips for Every Season
    Home Staging: Hire a Pro or Do It Yourself?



    Join in on the conversation! Tweet us listing fails @aolrealestate and hashtag #listingfail, and you could get a shout-out in next week's post!

    See more AOL Real Estate galleries:
    Charming Homes You Can Score for 150,000
    Gayborhoods
    Best Beach Towns for Buying Foreclosures


    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.



    AOL Real Estate's Inside Look: Steampunk Apartment

     

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    Anderson Cooper Apartment Sells

    The closet isn't the only thing Anderson Cooper has come out of. The CNN host just moved out of his midtown Manhattan apartment.

    Cooper listed his sleek, industrial penthouse for $3.75 million in March, and it went into contract a month later. This week, the public record of the closing was released.

    Cooper sold the place to the Richard K. Maloof Family Trust for $3.8 million, slightly higher than the listing price.

    Boasting smoked Chambord oak floors, white satin-glass walls, wood-burning fireplaces and a floating staircase, the penthouse duplex embodies Cooper's clean, sophisticated urban style. Apparently he renovated the space, which he bought in 2005 for $2.48 million, to further "evoke its industrial roots." (Like many properties in the area, the apartment was a former manufacturing space.)

    %Gallery-149772%
    Minimalist aesthetics aside, the penthouse spans 3,000 square feet and boasts an additional 1,700 square feet of outdoor living space, which Cooper has transformed into a beautifully landscaped deck. Located on West 38th Street, the pad is close to a number of Manhattan landmarks, including Bryant Park, the New York Public Library and Times Square.

    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.

    See also:
    90% of Bank-Owned Homes Held Off Market, Estimates Suggest
    Listing Fails: The Best of the Worst in Real Estate This Week
    Hoping for Blockbuster Sale, Home Gets Hollywood Treatment

     

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    To kick off this week's set of awesome Houses of the Day, we have a one-of-a-kind beach home that's picked by, well, you. (Thanks to all who voted for 1 Hazzlett St. on Facebook!)

    Considering how cool this Hamptons-style, 8,399-square-foot Delaware beach house is (it even has a bell tower), the result didn't exactly shock us. With flawless wood-paneled and vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, 4,300 feet of outdoor decking and it's supreme location on Rehoboth Beach, it's a stunning waterfront home that's refreshingly devoid of any Malibu pretention. AOL Real Estate readers, you did us proud!

    Want to call this sweet piece of real estate your home? Well, all you high rollers and big spenders, be prepared to fork over a cool $7.5 million.

    As for the rest of us, we'll have to make do with drooling over these pictures.

    %Gallery-160373%
    Bryce Lingo and Shaun Tull have the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale on Rehoboth Beach.



    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 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.

     

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    cities best social lifeIf you hate staying home and wish you could go out every night of the week, then you might want to consider living in these cities.

    Coldwell Banker took a look at some of the trendiest places in the country and narrowed their list of the "Best Places to Live for Social Seekers" down to a hoppin' Top 10. The real estate firm used criteria such as access to transportation, the volume of restaurants and bars, nightlife and entertainment to mold its list.

    "Americans believe that their home is a reflection of their identity, and that clearly goes beyond the property line and into the communities where they live," said Budge Huskey, president and COO of Coldwell Banker. "Social Seekers are drawn to the nightlife and action."

    So click through the gallery to see the cities that will help you get your groove on -- or get your groove back.

    %Gallery-160482%
    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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    We know Valentine's Day is long gone, but this heart-flutteringly romantic adobe villa in Phoenix has us longing for a little lovin'. From its lush, rose-flanked grounds and ivy-covered columns to its intimate, sun-kissed rooms and whimsical antique chandeliers, it evokes Old World European, days-gone-by romance. (Unsurprisingly, it was built in 1935).

    Each of the home's four beautiful bedrooms has its own private courtyard filled with leafy shade trees -- perfect for dining al fresco with your sweetheart at sunset. The home's endless garden walkways offer plenty of opportunity for a lover's stroll.

    %Gallery-160488%
    Love at first sight? This home will cost you $4.7 million.

    Sandra Baldwin of the Baldwin Team has the listing.

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



    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 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.
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    Inside Look: Colors

     

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    morgue beach cottage

    We've seen plenty of beach houses in our time, but this one isn't like any other. That's because this charming little chapel-like beach cottage, located in the idyllic English coastal town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea, used to be a morgue.

    Built in 1881 and fully operational until the mid-1960s, this mortuary-turned-England's coastal property du jour even boasts the original mortician's "body slab." (See the quite lovely "view from the headrest" at left).

    Though you may initially balk at the unusual feature, the rest of the building is actually in incredible shape, considering that it's been around for more than a century. The Guardian's not too impressed, describing the interior as "gloomy" and the atmosphere as somewhat "morbid," despite the sunny lift offered by the skylights. (It's also "possibly haunted," adds The Daily Mail.)

    If you take it for what it is, though, we think it's kind of cool. The structure itself has great bones (forgive the pun), with its high-beamed, cathedral-style ceilings. Not to mention -- the location is fantastic: a prime seaside town known for its surfing. At the moment, the price is only being disclosed to interested buyers, but if it's decent, we could probably get over the fact that the home used to house dead bodies. Could you?

     

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    This home is the winner of last week's #housepornthurs, a weekly Twitter conversation hosted by @aolrealestate in partnership with Curbed.com. (See Curbed's #housepornthurs feature here.) Tweet listings to AOL Real Estate with the hashtag #housepornthurs every Thursday for a chance to have one of your submissions featured as a House of the Day the following week.

    Long Islanders may take some flack now and then for their accents, but we'd get past it if it meant we could get our paws on this $8.8 million jaw-dropper.

    "Gold Coast" luxury at its finest, the palatial mansion commands three acres of prized real estate in Old Brookville, N.Y., a posh bedroom community near Long Island's north shore.

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    The six-bedroom home boasts a stately brick-and-slate exterior, with window balconies and a double-door entrance tucked behind four soaring marble columns. Carving out its fair share of the more than 11,000 square feet in the home, the foyer has coffered ceilings and an elaborate mural that looms above a double-helix staircase.

    Marina Davis of Laffey Fine Homes has the listing.

    Feast your eyes on Curbed's #housepornthurs pick.

    Click on the images below to see other gorgeous homes near Old Brookville, N.Y.:

     

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    Barack Obama New York apartment

    Want to live like a president?

    No, we're not suggesting you move into one of the many White House replicas around the country (also see this White House Replica and this gallery of even more White House replicas). We mean that you could be living where a president used to live -- specifically, President Barack Obama.

    The apartment that Obama lived in as a Columbia University student in New York City is up for rent. Of course, you won't be paying what the prez did back in 1981. Obama's rental tab for the Manhattan pad was only $360 a month -- but if you want to move in today, you'll fork over $2,400 a month. (Hey, Bam, can't you do something about all this inflation?!)

    Obama had a rough start in NYC. His autobiography mentions that he couldn't get into the apartment when he showed up to move in -- so he spent his first night in NYC sleeping outside. Supposedly, he crashed in this alleyway across the street from the apartment. But Obama was eventually able to move in and enjoy the proximity to 25-cent bagels.

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    "Obviously, this is not a Mount Vernon or a Monticello," Zak Kneider, one of the apartment's listing agents, told The Wall Street Journal. "It's a typical New York City walk-up. A million other people in New York live in these type of apartments."

    But as the listing points out, it does provide for "unbeatable dinner conversation."

    Zak Kneider and Dalila Bella of CitiHabitats have the listing.

    See also:
    Lost Your Home? You Can Still Have a House -- Just Rent One
    90% of Bank-Owned Homes Held Off Market, Estimates Suggest
    Underwater Mortgages Keeping Housing Market Afloat?

    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 For Sale: Higher Rents, Lower Vacancies

     

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    As #houseporn fiends and real estate junkies, there's nothing we love more than poring through fabulous home listings -- except maybe sorting through the tragically un-fabulous ones. They'll definitely make you laugh, and some of them could make you cry. Every week, AOL Real Estate brings you the sorriest listings we could find on the Internet to show you what you should never do when posting your home online. We very appropriately call it #listingfail.

    A Bloody Good Deal



    Tip No. 1: First of all, our deepest apologies if you're eating right now. But we should point out that if it looks like someone was murdered in your bathtub, your home isn't going to sell. Needless to say, a little Clorox and some elbow grease prior to taking that all-important listing shot will take your bathroom from "gross" to "great." ... Well, in this case, "good enough."



    Tip No. 2: Don't you hate that there are some things you can never un-see? On that note, sellers, please refrain from taking any detail shots of your toilet. Quite frankly, unless it's made of 24-karat gold, nobody wants to see it. And if you do insist that a photograph of your toilet is somehow necessary to sell your home, then kindly flush it -- or risk flushing your entire listing down the drain.



    Tip No. 3: We know you think your kids are cute, and perhaps they are. But there's no need to showcase their wall graffiti to potential buyers, particularly when they look more like drawings by a demon child. And after that bathroom massacre shot? This isn't helping anything.

    See the original listing and more pictures of this, er, killer home below. (Is that poo in the sink?!). Note: As of yesterday, the listing shows that this place was sold! If you're the buyer, please identify yourself in the comments section below. We'd love to know what you were thinking!

    %Gallery-160748%

    Just a Little 'Elbow Grease'



    Tip No. 4: Realtors love the terms "fixer-upper" and "needs a little TLC" to justify homes that look like they should be bulldozed. But let's get it straight: No matter how much cheerful-sounding broker babble you throw at potential buyers, it won't fool them into thinking that some scrubbing will turn this boarded-up baby around.

    The listing for the Detroit home above says it just needs a little "elbow grease." Really? We think it needs a lot more. Like a roof. And windows. And a door, perhaps.



    Ditto for this Jackson, Mich., home (above). No amount of elbow grease is going to fix those gaping holes--unless the elbows come attached to a contractor.



    Likewise, we're not sure what's going on with the aluminum-foil siding of this forlorn-looking frame house in Cleveland (are the owners trying to bake it?), but we're pretty sure that "elbow grease" won't save it. See more photos of these "fixer-uppers" (cough, disasters, cough) below.

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    Caught on Camera



    Tip No. 5: Unless you're a "Sports Illustrated" model, we strongly advise against showing your tush in your listing photo. Unless it's a hot tush -- and it comes with the home -- it's not going to help sell.



    Sex sells -- when it's sexy, not kind of creepy. Please keep your private time private.



    And thanks for suggesting that your place is pet-friendly, but Lassie can watch TV when you're not taking a photo that you plan on using to sell your home. See more listing-photo bombs below (courtesy of Hooked on Houses).

    %Gallery-160750%

    Don't let your home be a #listingfail! Take some pro advice from our home staging guides:
    Home Staging Mistakes Sellers Should Avoid
    Home Staging Tips for Every Season
    Home Staging: Hire a Pro or Do It Yourself?



    Join in on the conversation! Tweet us listing fails @aolrealestate and hashtag #listingfail, and you could get a shout-out in next week's post!

    See more AOL Real Estate galleries:
    Charming Homes You Can Score for 150,000
    Gayborhoods
    Best Beach Towns for Buying Foreclosures


    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.

    AOL Real Estate's Inside Look: Steampunk Apartment

     

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    house of the day tiburon san francisco bayWe love the Bay Area. It's almost impossible not to. And clearly you do too, judging by the sheer amount of Bay Area submissions we get on #housepornthurs (oh you didn't know? Join the conversation on Twitter!). This house in particular, tweeted to us by FHA Realtors, caught our eye and it's not hard to see why.

    Boasting incredible views over the Golden Gate Bridge and Angel Island, this unique $3.15 million home in idyllic Tiburon, Calif., is a dream.

    Perched high above the rocks of Keil Cove, this three-bedroom home takes advantage of its elevation via numerous balconies, terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the glory that is Northern California.

    Not that you need it: The home's just as glorious inside.

    Featuring exquisite indoor murals, a curved, etched-glass staircase and light-filled entertainment and living spaces, you'll never want to leave the house.

    The home features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a massive living room with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a gourmet chef's kitchen that Jamie Oliver would be proud of, complete with a charming breakfast nook.

    %Gallery-160827%
    Frank Howard Allen Realtors have the listing.

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



    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 reply to each submission.)

    More on AOL Real Estate:
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    Not that we're a fan of reality television shows, but we have to tip our hats to their creators, who -- thanks to hits such as ABC's "The Bachelor" -- are basically sitting on major bankroll and playing millionaire musical houses.

    Take, for example, this $6.45 million mansion in Malibu, Calif., put on the market recently by "The Bachelor" creator and producer Mike Fleiss. Seems like Fleiss has been sitting pretty while his show's ratings continue to soar. His sprawling, beachfront Craftsman boasts endless ocean views and is luxuriously flanked by lush greenery. It has two bedrooms, three bathrooms and a to-die-for luxury pool.

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    Ironically, rumor has it that the man responsible for bringing so many couples together (for the cameras, anyway) hasn't had the same luck in love. Apparently, Fleiss is selling due to a divorce with his high school sweetheart, Alexandra Vorbeck.

    Thanks to our friends at Zillow for the tip!

    Valerie Fitzgerald has the listing.

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



    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 reply to each submission.)

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    Brad Womack Dishes on The Bachelor

     

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    As #houseporn fiends and real estate junkies, there's nothing we love more than poring through fabulous home listings -- except maybe sorting through the tragically un-fabulous ones. They'll definitely make you laugh, and some of them could make you cry. Every week, AOL Real Estate brings you the sorriest listings we could find on the Internet to show you what you should never do when posting your home online. We very appropriately call it #listingfail.

    Crime Scene Investigation



    Tip No. 1: We love "CSI" -- on TV. But we don't want to actually live at a crime scene. And if a crime did happen in your home, this is a really bad way to make light of it. The "Caution: Do Not Cross" tape on this home in Dover, Del., might as well read, "Caution: Do Not Buy!"



    We didn't think we had to say this, but if you have a body-shaped stain on your floor like this home in Raleigh, N.C., we strongly suggest you (a) scrub, sand and bleach that stain into oblivion before you even think about putting the home on the market, or (b) just skip pictures of that room altogether. Though we appreciate the "full disclosure" thing ... we guess. (Hat tip to our buddies at Curbed for this oldie-but-goodie listing).



    Everyone wants to leave their mark on their home -- but, please, not like this. You might think this is funny, but potential buyers will more likely think it's terrifying. (Hat tip to Hooked on Houses for this nightmare).

    %Gallery-160955%

    Creep-a-Boo



    Tip No. 2: Thanks to cinematic masterpieces like "Paranormal Activity 3" and "The Others," most of America harbors an irrational phobia of little children and old people lurking about in empty houses. So, please, tell Grandpa to steer clear of the camera when you're taking listing photos -- because he looks like he's haunting this Prattvile, Ala., home.



    Five-year-old girls can be precious -- unless they look vaguely possessed. This little girl standing limply in the middle of a doorway, staring blankly into open space, reminds us of Cole Sear in "The Sixth Sense." We suggest that she save her creepy movie poses for when you're not taking pictures to sell your house. Little girls should be the stuff of sweet dreams, not nightmares. (Courtesy of Hooked on Houses).



    OK, does this not look like a still shot from "Paranormal Activity"? Not everyone thinks a toddler standing transfixed in front of an eerie, darkened window is adorable. (Although the owners of this home in Rochester Hills, Mich., apparently do. "He's such a curious boy!" they'll tell you.)

    That's nice. But we think he sees dead people.

    Love photo-bomb listingfails? So do we. Check out our gallery below. Some pictures are creepy, and some are just ... awkward.

    %Gallery-160989%

    Animal Kingdom



    Tip No. 3: Fear of snakes is common and universal. It's a fact. So don't -- like the owners of this otherwise-pretty home in Kansas City, Mo. -- alienate potential buyers by posting pictures of poisonous reptiles in your home, much less lounging on your bed.



    And, by the way, don't try to hide those scary animals behind your couch. Needless to say, alligators (taxidermied or not) simply aren't the friendliest-looking creatures. You know what? Let's just make an over-arching rule that disallows any pets from being in listing photos -- unless they come with the house! (Thanks to our friends at Nichols & Associates Real Estate for this listing photo of a home in Conroe, Texas.)

    Well, OK, there may be some cases where pets in listing photos are cool (if they're the types of animals that won't maul people).

    See the gallery below to discover why -- in many cases -- your pets, their litter boxes and taxidermied animals just shouldn't star in your listing.

    %Gallery-160991%

    TMI



    Tip No. 4: Talk about #houseporn! Homeowners: there are some things potential buyers shouldn't see -- and don't want to see. Take extra care when shooting in a room with mirrors! (Thanks to our friends at Curbed for this titillating listing).



    We simply have no words for the above picture, taken at a home in Houston. (Thanks again to Nichols & Associates Real Estate for sharing this, er, winner).



    We politely suggest that you do what this homeowner in Dunkirk, N.Y., did not: Tell six-pack Jack to get off the couch while you take listing photos. Actually, maybe it's best to just get him off the couch forever.

    Can't get enough of our listingfails? Click on the gallery below at your own risk. The images of these two homes, unsurprisingly, don't get much prettier.

    %Gallery-160987%
    Don't let your home be a #listingfail! Take some pro advice from our home staging guides:
    Home Staging Mistakes Sellers Should Avoid
    Home Staging Tips for Every Season
    Home Staging: Hire a Pro or Do It Yourself?



    Join in on the conversation! Tweet us listing fails @aolrealestate and hashtag #listingfail, and you could get a shout-out in next week's post!

    See more AOL Real Estate galleries:
    Charming Homes You Can Score for 150,000
    Gayborhoods
    Best Beach Towns for Buying Foreclosures


    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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    What's not to love about the French? They've bestowed upon the world Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, Louis Vuitton, croissants -- oh, and this: an almost overwhelmingly Gallic apartment that'll make you feel like you're on a Paris idyll (when you're really surrounded by the noisy, bustling streets of Manhattan).

    Owned and designed by the charming -- and also overwhelmingly French -- interior designer Jean-Paul Beaujard, this NYC apartment is replete with so many pieces of flawless 19th century French art and antiques that it'll make your head spin. After spending our days shooting psychedelic steampunk lofts and sleek, glass-walled penthouses, this sumptuously elegant Parisian home was like a breath of fresh air. That said, we invite you to pour yourself a glass of Bordeaux and enjoy! We certainly did.



    Like what you see? "Paris in New York" can be all yours for $3.2 million. John Tarjavaara of Citi Habitats has the listing.

    %Gallery-159856%

    Got a tip for our Inside Look series? If you know of any exceptional or unusual property currently listed for sale that's video-worthy, please email krisanne.alcantara@huffingtonpost.com with your suggestions. (Due to the volume of response, we unfortunately are unable to reply to each submission.)

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


    Follow AOL Real Estate reporters Krisanne Alcantara (@krisannetraz) and Teke Wiggin (@tkwiggin) on Twitter (@aolrealestate).




     

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    Jay-Z Beyonce rent Hamptons house of the day

    Hollywood powerhouse couple Jay-Z and Beyonce are usually way ahead of the pack. From pioneering the raciest new fashion trends to buying hot new basketball teams, this duo's got the inside track on anything that's even halfway cool -- except this house.

    We had our greedy eyes on this ridiculously over-the-top Bridgehampton, N.Y., mansion months ago. We were even in discussions to feature the home on our "Inside Look" video series, but we were told at the last minute that the home was in the process of being rented out. (The owners, the friendly Joe and Kristen Farrell, did not disclose to us who the renters were.) Now, we discover that the pesky renters standing in the way of our video shoot were none other than Jay-Z and Beyonce. Figures!

    Not that we can blame them. The home has a bowling alley, 10-seat movie theater, virtual golf course, skateboard half-pipe and rock climbing wall, for crying out loud. Plus, there's a spa facility with an indoor Jaccuzzi and massage area.... Oh yeah, and a 60-by-20-foot heated gunite pool with underwater speakers. Who else could afford this place but Jay-Z and Queen B? (It's on the market for $43.5 million, but apparently they're renting the home for $400,000 a month).

    %Gallery-154358%
    Whatever. We maintain that we, AOL Real Estate, had our sights on these palatial digs first, but, alas, those celebrities always get their way.

    Chris Burnside of Brown Harris Stevens has the listing.

    Click on the images below to see more homes for sale in Bridgehampton, 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 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 reply to each submission.)

    More on AOL Real Estate:
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