The Property Brothers’ Latest Renovation Will Make You Cry—Guaranteed

“Property Brothers” stars Drew and Jonathan Scott often elicit tears of joy once they do their big reveal at the end of a project, but tears from start to finish? Now that’s something new!

In the latest episode, titled “Searching for the Heart of the Home,” we meet Sandy and her devoted husband, Pat, a tax accountant who just landed his dream job in Nashville, TN. So Sandy, a retired schoolteacher, insisted that they leave their dream home in Wisconsin and move south to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

For Sandy, leaving behind the state where she’d lived her entire life was hard, and it didn’t help that her Nashville living arrangements were far from ideal: They share a two-bedroom apartment with Sandy’s elderly father (who uses a walker) and the couple’s two sons—one in high school, the other in college.

Pat has promised Sandy a new, prairie-style dream home, with accommodations for Sandy’s father as well as a big, beautiful kitchen that Sandy considers the heart of the home. And luckily they have a generous $840,000 budget to spend on the purchase and renovation. The Scotts come up with a number of heartfelt and ingenious ideas that could work wonders for any home—and bring tears of joy to your eyes, too.

Property Brothers
Sandy wants a new kitchen that will become the heart of the home.

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Homes that sit on the market are prime targets for negotiating

Drew finds a rare Prairie-style home that came on the market almost a year ago in the low $900,000, and has since been gradually reduced to $729,000. What’s up with that?

“When a house has been on the market and overpriced for so long, you kind of wonder if the seller is really motivated to sell,” says Drew. “Maybe they just don’t want to let it go.”

Looking at the comps, Drew suggests they offer $660,000 for the home. What have they got to lose? With what Drew claims is a combination of timing and luck, the sellers accept their offer.

A ‘submaster’ is the new in-law suite

There are a number of names for a bedroom with its own bath: en suite, guest suite, in-law suite, and probably more. But Drew goes out on a limb and calls the room they’re going to set up for Sandy’s father a “submaster.” You go, Drew! They make it bigger and more private by closing off the bathroom entrance from the hall and making it accessible only from the bedroom. Then they add the extra hall space to the bathroom.

Property Brothers
Jonathan’s designs look right at home in Tennessee or Wisconsin.

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Accessible bathrooms can be stylish, too

Grab bars to help avoid slips and falls in the bathroom have come a long way since they were constructed to be purely functional. Jonathan has found some that are actually elegant and curvaceous, made of attractive brushed stainless steel. In fact, they’re so attractive they almost look like intentional design features.

Have a secret fund for something special

Tears flow in this episode even when Sandy isn’t around! Pat reveals he wants to do something especially nice for Sandy. Since she loved to sit outdoors in their former home, Pat asks Jonathan to install large glass doors leading to the enclosed terrace, which will allow the outdoors in. Jonathan tells him those types of doors are expensive, and could cost up to $7,000. But Pat says he has a secret fund to cover something special like this. This makes both grown men cry. (You might, too.)

Use native plants to feel at home

Jonathan recruits Pat and Sandy’s two sons, who are home from school, to go to the nursery with him to pick out some plants for the terrace that are native to Wisconsin and will remind Sandy of home. To make sure the plants don’t die, they consult with a plant specialist to find out which native Wisconsin species will do well on an enclosed Nashville terrace. The end result is thoughtful and looks great.

Try ‘framing’ wallpaper

Pat and Sandy’s new home has a two-story wall that Jonathan thinks would look great covered in dark gray wallpaper with a wavy pattern, but when he unfurls a roll of it down the wall from the second-floor balcony, the couple think it’s a little too dark—and altogether a little too much.

So Jonathan switches gears and selects a different wallpaper design. He cuts two rectangular swaths, adheres them to the wall, and then frames them, so there’s just enough pattern and not too much, This is an affordable, attractive, and practical alternative to wall art, and it looks just right.

Property Brothers
Finally, Pat and Sandy are dancing, rather than crying. Note the framed wallpaper in back.

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So do the Scott brothers deliver?

Of course!

“It’s even better and brighter than the Wisconsin house!” declares Sandy. “I love it! It’s overwhelming.”

The only question is, how many are crying now?

Santa Monica Beach House With Hollywood Pedigree Is Listed for $12M

Amid the boxy modern homes, beach clubs, chic apartments, and parking lots that huddle shoulder to shoulder on the sands of Santa Monica Beach, there remain intact a few bastions of old Hollywood glamour.

One of them—the former home of Cary Grant, Howard Hughes, and Joan Fontaine, among others—has just landed on the market for the first time in 38 years with a price tag of $12 million.

The beachfront home was built in 1930 by architect Paul R. Crawley for silent-screen star Norma Talmadge, on what was known at the time as the “Gold Coast,” or first movie beach colony in Los Angeles.

Hughes added barbed wire to the property walls, a privacy feature that was sure to have been appreciated by other A-list residents, including Grant and Western star Randolph Scott, who eventually acquired the property.

The former Cary Grant beach house
Cary Grant’s former beach house in Santa Monica, CA

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Cary Grant's former Santa Monica Beach house
Private courtyard

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The current owners have long since removed the barbed wire, but you can still imagine Hollywood A-listers from the past playing paddle tennis on the court out back, raising a glass of Bordeaux from the wine cellar, or sitting on the raised deck while viewing the sunset over the Santa Monica Pier and Malibu.

“The views at dusk are stunning,” says listing agent Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.

Beachside paddle ball court and deck
Beachside paddle ball court and deck

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Current homeowner Jennifer Diener lived there for almost four decades with her husband, Royce Diener, who died in May 2017. Mr. Diener, the president and CEO of American Medical International, was on the board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 25 years. He spearheaded the successful campaign to refurbish the Hollywood Bowl.

Street view
Street view

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The couple preserved the gracious elegance of the 5,530-square-foot, French Normandy–style beach estate, which has five bedrooms and 4.5 baths.

Some of the striking original features include the remarkable, colorful tile in the bathrooms and the leaded-glass windows on the main floor. Many of the wood and tile floors and the extensive custom woodwork have been exceptionally preserved.

Bathroom with well preserved, original tile
Bathroom with original tile

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Living room
Living room

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Other unique features of the home include a circular staircase in the formal foyer; a sheltered courtyard with a fountain; a heated, brick-lined pool; and a master suite with a fireplace, two baths, dressing rooms, and sitting areas.

Master suite
Master suite

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The home stands out on its particular stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway. It appears to be a private oasis, with public parking lots on either side.

“With no noise from neighbors on either side, and the parking lots emptying out by late afternoon, it’s very peaceful and totally quiet,” says Mills.

A private oasis
Private oasis

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The location is one of the best in Santa Monica, with the beach just outside the back door. The Santa Monica Pier, the Santa Monica Promenade, the Santa Monica Palisades, and top restaurants are all within walking distance.

“For beach property of this size, with a pool and court, you generally have to go far out,” Mills says. “There’s nothing else like this so close in.”

Charlie Sheen Selling Infamous Beverly Hills Mansion for $10M

It figures troubled actor Charlie Sheen would have a master suite with its own dumbwaiter for snacks from the kitchen, a screening room and wet bar complete with bar stools, neon signage, and a cigarette machine.

However, he won’t be sleeping in his Beverly Hills, CA, home much longer if all goes according to plan. He’s just listed the seven-bedroom, seven-bath mansion in Mulholland Estates for the curious price of $9,999,999.

According to public records, Sheen bought the place in 2006 for $7,200,000. While living there, he married and divorced his third wife, Brooke Mueller, and had a number of other live-in girlfriends, including his “goddesses.”

It was also his home base when he had his public fracas with “Two and a Half Men” creator Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros., as well as several run-ins with the law.

Charlie Sheen's Beverly Hills home.
Charlie Sheen’s Beverly Hills, CA, home

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Charlie Sheen's bedroom. Yes. Bedroom.
Sheen’s bedroom. Yes. Bedroom.

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The 8,932-square-foot mansion on a half-acre lot comes with other unusual luxury features, including two pools, an elaborate gazebo with a bar, and high-end kitchen. There’s also a canopied dining room and a Creston home theater with heavy, red velvet drapes.

Gazebo
Gazebo with bar

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Dining room
Dining room

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Home theater
Home theater

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Other interesting features include a children’s room with the universe painted on the ceiling (Sheen has five children and one grandchild), a bonus room that’s currently being used as a gym, and an elegant game room.

Children's room
Children’s room

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Bonus room
Bonus room

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Elegant game room
Elegant game room

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The Mediterranean revival–style home also comes with celebrity neighbors, including Christina Aguilera, Paris Hilton, Vanna White, DJ Khaled, and Kendall Jenner.

Backyard pool
Backyard pool

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TMZ reported that Sheen whisper-listed the mansion in November 2016 for $9 million, but there must not have been any takers.

Sheen, 52, starred in popular sitcoms such as “Spin City,” “Anger Management,” and “”Two and a Half Men.” For the latter, he was paid $1.8 million per episode, making him the highest-paid actor on TV. He’s also appeared in dozens of films, including “Apocalypse Now,” “Platoon,” “Wall Street,” “Major League,” and the “Hot Shots” franchise.

NFL Legend Cris Carter’s Longtime Home Is Listed for $2.3M

Legendary NFL wide receiver Cris Carter’s longtime home in Boca Raton, FL, is on the market for $2.3 million. Months earlier, he’d lost the 7,165-square-foot mansion in his divorce.

The Hall of Famer spent 15 years in the pros, mostly with the Minnesota Vikings. After retiring from the NFL in 2002, he became a sports analyst. He currently co-hosts “First Things First” on Fox Sports.

Carter, 52, and his ex-wife, Melanie, bought the Boca Raton home brand-new in 1996. Court records show the couple separated 10 years ago, and filed for divorce in 2016.

The seven-bedroom, nine-bath, two-story, Mediterranean-style home is part of the exclusive gated community of Les Jardins (which is also reportedly home to Ariana Grande’s mother, Joan).

Exterior
Exterior

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The dramatic entry opens to an octagonal sitting area with a coffered two-story ceiling and walls of windows with custom drapes.

Entrance
Entrance

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The sitting area flows into a formal dining room and kitchen, which has twin islands and top-of-the-line appliances. The kitchen also has a two-story ceiling, with stairs leading to a second-story landing. From there, you could look down into the kitchen and see what’s cooking.

Kitchen
Kitchen

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Adjacent to the kitchen is a family room and eating area, with french doors leading to the outdoor kitchen and bar.

There’s also a home theater, game room with pool table, wet bar, two offices, and a home gym. The master suite includes three walk-in closets. Outside, there’s a pool and screened-in porch.

Master bedroom
Master bedroom

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Master bathroom
Master bathroom

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Home theater
Home theater

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Pool
Pool

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Carter played two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before joining the Minnesota Vikings in 1990. He played for 11 seasons with the Vikings, and a single season with the Miami Dolphins before retiring. He made the Pro Bowl eight times in the 1990s, and led the NFL in touchdowns in 1995, 1997, and 1999. He’s one of 14 players in NFL history to haul in more than 1,000 receptions.

How the Japanese Art of Kakeibo Can Help You Buy a House

There’s a Japanese art to everything, including how to save up for a house! It’s called kakeibo, and it’s catching on for good reason: It claims to help people save more than one-third of their income—which could add up to a down payment on a house pretty quick.

Pronounced kah-keh-boh (which means “household financial ledger”), the term and practice was invented in 1904 by Hani Motoko, purportedly Japan’s first female journalist, to help manage household budgets. While the practice is common in Japan, the newly published English translation of the book “Kakeibo: The Japanese Art of Saving Money,” by Fumiko Chiba, is currently selling like hotcakes here in the States.

Kakeibo promises to help those who follow it save about 35% of their income every month. If you’re interested in amassing this sizable chunk of change to buy a house (or, say, overhaul your kitchen), read on to find out how kakeibo works, as well as how you can adopt these same habits in your own life.

What is kakeibo?

Kakeibo is a method of keeping a journal that helps you meet long-term saving goals by closely monitoring your spending. The main rule is to be mindful of what you pay for so you can trade in frivolous indulgences for a meaningful purchase such as a house.

The approach is fairly straightforward: On the first of each month, you sit down with your kakeibo journal and think about how much you would like to save, and by when. (Not sure how much you need? Here’s some guidance on how much you need to buy a house.)

To kick things off, ask yourself these two questions:

  • How much money do you have coming in? This is the amount you take home each month, after taxes.
  • How much would you like to save? Set a realistic monthly goal in the beginning—it does not need to be 35% straight out of the gate! Start small with, say, 10%. And once you gain some momentum with this method, you can inch that goal higher.

 

Break down ‘musts’ vs. ‘wants’

Once you’ve written down how much you have coming in and how much you want to save, write down your expenses for the month ahead. Kakeibo has you divide them between “musts” and “wants,” says Caleb Backe, a finance consultant for MapleHolistics.com schooled in kakeibo. Divvy up your expenses into four categories:

  • Survival: Beyond food, water, and shelter, these are things you need to live in the modern world. They could include utilities, cellphone, child care, transportation, and health care.
  • Optional: These are things you enjoy but don’t necessarily need, such as eating out, having new clothes, and going on vacations.
  • Culture: These are entertainment and experiences (e.g., books, movies, concerts, and Netflix or Spotify subscriptions).
  • Extra: These are things you don’t necessarily face every month but that crop up fairly regularly—think birthday gifts.

 

Add up your expenses to see how much you spend each month. Once you know where your money is going, kakeibo urges you to ask yourself: How can you cut back? Here’s where you whittle down your “wants”—meaning your “optional” and “culture” spending—so you can bank the amount you want to save.

Let’s say you want to save up about $24,000 for a down payment in a year’s time to buy a house. That would mean you’ll have to save $2,000 a month. That may sound tough, but by scrutinizing your “wants,” it’s possible to purge many from your budget without feeling the pinch. Rather than buy books and movies, borrow them from the library. Work out at home instead of paying for gym membership, or stick to staycations for the next year.

Practice kakeibo every day

Kakeibo is about saving money one day at a time. So every evening, write down each penny you spent in your journal, place it in the correct category, and then reflect on it. The logic is very similar to how keeping a food diary makes you watch what you eat: This extra dose of consciousness is all that’s really needed to cut back.

“The basic act of writing down every dollar as you spend it and then categorizing it makes you less likely to spend more,” says Jennifer Beeston of Guaranteed Rate Mortgage.

“The biggest reason people don’t have money for a down payment is they have no idea what they are spending their money on,” says Beeston. Kakeibo solves that mystery by making you accountable for your spending, as well as making saving a part of your daily life.

Ex-Detroit Lions Coach Dumps Motown Mansion but Scores Week’s Most Popular Home

Dumped by the woeful Detroit Lions at season’s end, Jim Caldwell is officially jobless. But his departure had a silver lining when it comes to real estate. As he burns rubber out of the Motor City area, Caldwell’s home was the most-viewed listing on realtor.com® this week.

His Michigan mansion, which sits on 1.27 acres, has plenty of winning attributes. You may need to huddle up with your lender before making an offer on the $2.5 million, 8,500-square-foot home.

This week’s runner-up is a fancy-pants historic home in Kentucky. Known as the Creel Brown estate, it’s “impeccably preserved” and priced at $1.35 million. We can see the estate’s appeal, including hand-crafted millwork, expansive balconies, and a fountain.

For you decor disaster fiends, an Indiana home that has taken design tips from the Palace of Versailles also made our list. Check out the photos of this doll-riddled decor, and see if you can spot the life-size mannequin by the piano.

So let’s take a historic walk through the rest of the week’s most popular homes.

10. 1469 S McAdams Rd, Rockville, IN

Price: $264,900
Why it’s here: Log cabin living on 22 acres! Enjoy a rustic three-bedroom getaway with an eat-in kitchen and a den. Take in nature from the wraparound porch, and house your horses in the two-stall barn.The land includes pastures, trails, and a winding stream.

Rockville, IN
Rockville, IN

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9. 2305 Buckingham Ave, Mechanicsburg, PA

Price: $125,000
Why it’s here: Built in 1978, this bank-owned property is a steal. “The home is a blank canvas to paint your Picasso,” the listing states. Hyperbole aside, there’s a chance to score a real bargain if you’re willing to put in the restoration effort.

Mechanicsburg, PA
Mechanicsburg, PA

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8. 200 Jackson St E, Rich Square, NC

Price: $54,900
Why it’s here: For only $16 per square foot, this restoration opportunity is tantalizing. Built in 1895, the formerly grand home has a living room, sitting room, and enclosed back porch. Original details include the staircase, mantels, and wood flooring.

 Rich Square, NC
Rich Square, NC

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7. 719 Smokehouse Loop, Benton, LA

Price: $555,900
Why it’s here: This brand-new, five-bedroom home includes a living area with coffered ceiling and fireplace, kitchen with cedar beams, shiplap accent wall in the breakfast area, and dining area with butler’s pantry.

Benton, LA
Benton, LA

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6. 112 S Orchard St, Kendallville, IN

Price: $204,500
Why it’s here: Built in 1880, this distinctive dwelling with ornate decor looks ready to receive royalty. With the window treatments and Old World furnishings on display, this may be Indiana’s answer to Versailles. The listing photos for this four-bedroom are heavenly for those who love homes crammed with overdone decor.

Kendallville, IN
Kendallville, IN

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5. 34001 Great Cove Rd, Burnt Cabins, PA

Price: $64,999
Why it’s here: This former tavern is now a serious DIY project. The historic stone cabin dates to 1800 and has no plumbing, wiring, or heat. But it does have an original two-seater outhouse. So there’s that.

Burnt Cabins, IN
Burnt Cabins, IN

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4. 3244 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI

Price: $26,900,000
Why it’s here: This big beachfront residence is located on Keawakapu Beach in sunny South Maui. With nine bedrooms and a great room that opens to the ocean, there’s plenty of room for friends to visit. The home is built for privacy, with a pool and garden in the central courtyard, penthouse-level sun decks, and a lawn protected from beachgoers’ views.

Kihei, HI
Kihei, HI

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3. 304 S Lakeview Ave, Sturgis, MI

Price: $375,000
Why it’s here: There’s still a chance for you to enter this 1970s time capsule, which was last week’s most popular home. The interior photos have to be seen to be believed. There’s purple everything, an indoor pool, and “wild” decor.

“It’s just so unusual and eclectic,” says listing agent Dennis Bamber. Yes indeed.

Sturgis, MI
Sturgis, MI

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2. 12005 E Osage Rd, Anchorage, KY

Price: $1,350,000
Why it’s here: Built in 1900, the Creel Brown estate has three stories and sits on almost 8 acres. The “impeccably preserved and well-maintained” mansion features hand-crafted millwork, hardwood flooring, and antique light fixtures. Outside there are gardens, a fountain, and a tree-lined drive. Sadly, the listing may soon be history—the home is pending sale.

Anchorage, KY
Anchorage, KY

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1. 26570 Drummond Ct, Franklin Vlg, MI

Price: $2,499,000
Why it’s here: Head coach Jim Caldwell is no longer leading the Detroit Lions, but his home is a true winner. As we recently reported, his recent firing precipitated the sale of this graceful mansion, which measures 8,566 square feet and comes with 1.27 acres. Befitting a competitive sort of dude, the 3,500-square-foot lower level includes a sport court, billiard room, rec room, additional dining area with kitchen, and a bar.

Franklin Vlg, MI
Franklin Village, MI

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