She Can’t Stop! Pop Star Miley Cyrus Buys Yet Another House

It was only a matter of time before pop star Miley Cyrus bought a little pied-à-terre back home in the Nashville, TN, area.

After all, the chart-topping songstress has already invested in three homes in Los Angeles, and her mother, Tish, and sister Brandi are busy beautifying Nashville one house at a time on their home renovation series, “Cyrus vs. Cyrus.”

Alas, the Franklin, TN, property that Cyrus recently paid $5.8 million for won’t require her family’s decor advice.

Cyrus bought the property through her Sunshine Girl Trust, and it looks just fine as is. Built in 2014, the five-bedroom, five-bath home sits on 33 acres and features an upscale ranch style, with soaring ceilings, wide-plank wood flooring, and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout.

Miley Cyrus's new homestead in Franklin, TN
Miley Cyrus’ new homestead in Franklin, TN

Fridrich & Clark Realty

Great room
Great room

Fridrich & Clark Realty

There are also a number of reclaimed wood walls and sliding barn doors, as well as a suspended swing sofa in the enclosed back porch. The kitchen has custom white cabinetry, copper accents, a brick backsplash, and a large island. There’s even an elevator!

Swinging sofa
Swing sofa

Fridrich & Clark Realty

Country kitchen

Fridrich & Clark Realty

Outside there’s a pool with spa, a putting green, a three-bay garage, and an equestrian barn.

Pool and putting green
Pool and putting green

Fridrich & Clark Realty

Equestrian barn
Equestrian barn

Fridrich & Clark Realty

By our count, Cyrus also owns a $5 million horse property with a vineyard in L.A.’s exclusive Hidden Hills; a $2.5 million,1,384-square-foot, four-bedroom home in Malibu, CA; and a $3.9 million Mid-Century Modern mansion in Studio City, CA.

Bird's eye view
Bird’s-eye view

Fridrich & Clark Realty

Some of those purchases were likely investments, as she hardly has time to enjoy all four properties. The 24-year-old entertainer has been working overtime since she began her acting career as a child on the TV show “Doc.” She eventually landed the Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana,” in 2006, which launched her into pop stardom, and she’s never looked back.

Cyrus has amassed an estimated fortune of $360 million, earning $200 million in 2017 alone from concerts and endorsements. As a testament to her popularity, the video for her latest single, “Younger Now,” was viewed over 8 million times in its first two days of release.

Registry Remorse: 10 Things to Never Waste Money on at Williams Sonoma

Getting married means you’re liable to receive a crazy amount of loot from your family and friends. In fact, the minute the ring hit my finger, I rushed to Williams Sonoma to sign up for practical kitchen items like cutlery and a 12-piece set of pots and pans. But somewhere along the way I was seduced by more extravagant gadgets like a fondue set and a huge wine decanter—items that, at the time, I somehow believed I had to have for my kitchen. Full disclosure: I melted cheddar in my fondue set a grand total of one time, and I have yet to let a single bottle of wine breathe in my decanter.

The bottom line: Some seemingly fancy items just aren’t worth the space on your registry.

With the help of two savvy shoppers, we compiled a list of items that might seem like they belong on a registry, but, in reality, they’re things that no one really ever needs.

Knife block

We’re guessing even a professional chef like Anthony Bourdain would be a bit freaked out by a 23-piece knife set.
We’re guessing even a professional chef like Anthony Bourdain would be a bit freaked out by a 23-piece knife set.

Williams Sonoma

If the $3,499.95 price tag alone doesn’t make you wince, the 23 knives that come with this set are just too much blade for one bride (unless you’re a trained chef, of course).

“Knife blocks seem like a smart gift, but most people only use a few of the knives that come with the set,” notes Kendal Perez, a savings expert with Plus, it’s bulky to have on your counter, she says. “You’re better off registering for one or two high-quality chef or utility knives.”

Pasta machine

Chances are you’ll quickly tire of making fresh pasta after the novelty wears off. Or even before
Chances are you’ll quickly tire of making fresh pasta after the novelty wears off. Or even before

Williams Sonoma

Want to relive your honeymoon in Italy? Cranking out your own linguine with this $500 gadget is not the way to do it. Frankly, this is the last thing you’ll want to do after a long day at work, and you’ll never use it when you have kids. (Frozen ravioli for the win!)

“Single-use appliances like pasta makers, panini presses, or bread machines are among the first registry items to hit the donate pile or garage sale bin,” points out Perez.

Picnic basket

You’ll need to have a lot of picnics to get your money’s worth out of this $300 set.
You’ll need to have a lot of picnics to get your money’s worth out of this $300 set.

Williams Sonoma

Like that silly fondue set I just had to have, a fully loaded picnic hamper is a pipe dream.

“Romantic outings in the grass are a newlywed fantasy,” says Perez.

And this thing weighs a ton. Even if you do go on a picnic, it doesn’t require a formal basket with service for four, she adds. (Just toss some cheese and a baguette in a tote bag, and call it a day!)

Apple slicer

Life’s too short to worry about having perfectly sliced apples.
Life’s too short to worry about having perfectly sliced apples.

Williams Sonoma

Unless you’re in the dessert biz, direct your store scanner elsewhere. Sure, this stainless-steel apple slicer is just $12, but it’ll take up precious drawer space. Plus it’s only really useful at Thanksgiving, when multiple apple pies are made.

Perez also recommends you walk right past those pineapple and strawberry cutters. There’s really no need for individual fruit slicers; a good ol’ paring knife works just fine.

Cookbook holder

We promise this cookbook holder won't make cooking any easier.
We promise this cookbook holder won’t make cooking any easier.

Williams Sonoma

Craving black bean soup? Or chicken enchiladas? Chances are you’ll get through the recipe just fine without a cookbook holder. Asking a wedding guest to pay $50 for a piece of wood to hold your book or iPad isn’t smart. If you’re set on registering for something to help you cook, why not ask a kitchen-savvy family member for the name of their favorite cookbook?

Souped-up ironing and steaming station

never buy at williams sonoma
This ironing and steaming station is bulky and expensive. Pass.

Williams Sonoma

Do you really have the closet space to store this comically large ironing board and iron? Sure, some people get a kick out of steaming and pressing their own pillowcases and tablecloths to perfection; however, for most people a contraption this expensive just isn’t worth it.

“If you would pay $2,000 for an iron, you can probably afford to have someone iron your linens for you,” says wedding planner Christine Cox of Blue Palm Events.

Fancy trivets

never buy at williams sonoma
A trivet like this is beautiful, but not necessary—especially for $75.

Williams Sonoma

Le Creuset is known for its splurge-worthy Dutch ovens you’ll use for the rest of your life, but their trivets don’t make fiscal sense.

“Sure, it matches your casserole dish, but it’s still pretty pricey for a hot pad,” says Cox.

Pro tip: A potholder works just as well.

Onion baskets and other single-storage items

never buy at williams sonoma
Someone actually thought calling these onion baskets would make them more desirable.

Williams Sonoma

Much like single-use tools (see the apple slicer above), specialty containers like an onion basket are impractical and waste space, says Perez.

“A Pyrex food storage set is a better buy,” she adds. Other crazy picks in this category include banana holders (does fruit really need “holding”?) and avocado storage containers (it’s called plastic wrap, people!).

Lid and tray organizer

williams sonoma
There are cheaper and more useful ways to organize your lids and trays.

Williams Sonoma

Sure, it looks sleek, but who’s going to see it in your drawer?

“You can still get something that functions just as well for a lot less,” reports Julie Coraccio, the shopping and organizing genius behind Reawaken Your Brilliance.

In fact, Ikea sells almost the same thing in stainless steel that’s just as attractive and a fraction of the price, she adds.

Plus, in time we all succumb to haphazardly throwing lids in the drawer and never looking back.

Recipe box

never buy at williams sonoma
As traditional as a recipe box is, today’s technology renders it obsolete.

Williams Sonoma

Your name—on a box! Brides adore personalization, splashing their new monogram on everything from sheets, towels, and even the shower curtain. But don’t bother putting your name on this $70 recipe holder—because no matter how pretty it is, you’re probably not going to be using it much.

“They say we make the same nine recipes over and over. And with all the great apps out there, you can keep your recipes organized online,” says Coraccio.

Pop Quiz: Which of These 7 Cute Converted Schoolhouses Would You Buy?

Wait a minute … is September really right around the bend? If you’re missing the whole “back to school” vibe, you could choose to shack up in the warm confines of a classroom and never leave. If you’re inclined to learn all about life in an old schoolhouse, we have a lesson for you. Just pack up your books and invest in a schoolhouse conversion.

From coast to coast, former schools—whether a white clapboard building in New York’s Catskills region or a red-shingled structure in Maine—have been artfully converted into single-family homes.

One thing’s for sure: These seven homes offer plenty of charm and charisma. Some will require a few updates, but there’s nothing that demands your breaking out the eraser and starting from scratch.

Before the school bell rings, we invite you to take a recess and investigate these seven schools.

N7694 County Road H, Luxemburg, WI

Price: $164,700
Why it made the grade: Built in 1942, this 2,198-square-foot brick schoolhouse underwent a recent makeover, which includes the addition of a walk-in closet. But plenty of charming features remain, including a claw-foot tub in the second bath, hardwood flooring, and two wood stoves.

Luxemburg, WI


72 Hilltop Rd, Sharon, CT

Price: $280,000
Why it made the grade: Class is in session! Behind the red front door is a five-bedroom Colonial. This former schoolhouse in this historic town now has a new roof, a cozy fireplace, an updated electrical system, and an all-white backdrop.

Sharon, CT


1404 Mount Auburn Rd, Evansville, IN

Price: $242,000
Why it made the grade: Operating as a schoolhouse until the 1940s, this three-bedroom, three-bath brick beauty was converted to a home in the late 1980s. A skylight and walk-in closet in the master bedroom (the school’s former workshop) and a jetted tub in the master bath redefine this old schoolhouse while the exposed-brick walls in the living room are memories of its history.

Evansville, IN


59475 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY

Price: $67,000
Why it made the grade: Rocking the tiny-house trend at 873 square feet, this former one-room schoolhouse—built in 1900—is now a two-bedroom home with a white clapboard exterior. Despite the home’s small size, the backyard is huge. Original hardwood flooring, a stunning staircase, and a new roof are among its star features.

Hobart, NY


11998 Route 240, Concord, NY

Price: $329,000
Why it made the grade: Built in 1944, this former schoolhouse sits on a massive 1.8-acre lot. Design details include a steel roof, high ceilings, and crown molding throughout. Instead of cubbyholes to store kids’ belongings, there’s an antique light fixture in the foyer for instant glam. The 1,450-square-foot bonus building would make for an awesome guesthouse. Next lesson: Airbnb?

Concord, NY


25071 Banks Rd, Millsboro, DE

Price: $325,000
Why it made the grade: Cedar-shake siding encases this schoolhouse from 1924. Although it’s being sold as is, the potential for this two-bedroom, three-bath house is huge, with its large closets, wood-burning stove, and rooftop space above the garage that could be transformed into a green roof and/or vegetable garden.

Millsboro, DE


2 Howard Siding Ln, Abbot, ME

Price: $45,000
Classroom cred: With a little bit of TLC, this could be an artist’s studio that would ace all tests. Dating to the early 1900s, the 972-square-foot schoolhouse with red wood siding retains its original hardwood flooring and window trim. Natural light pours in through its many windows, and the school’s chalkboards are still visible on the walls.

Abbot, ME

Who Will Rush to Buy Former NFL Star Corey Dillon’s Calabasas Home?

Four-time Pro Bowler and former NFL running back Corey Dillon won a ring in Super Bowl XXXIX with the New England Patriots. But among all the victories, he was bound to lose a couple along the way.

Such is the case as Dillon picks up the pieces from his divorce. The split forced the sale of the house in Calabasas, CA, he and his ex-wife owned. The sumptuous Southern California mansion is now on the market for $2.25 million.

The 5,024-square-foot house sits on a half-acre lot and features five bedrooms and six bathrooms. The chef’s kitchen includes an eat-in breakfast area, pantry, butler’s nook, gorgeous cabinetry and countertops, and center island with a separate sink.

The first floor features a family room and staff room. Upstairs, there’s a master bedroom with a walk-in closet, private office,  private balcony, and dual fireplace. There’s also a media room, entertainment area, and gym.

Dillon's framed jerseys.
Corey Dillon’s framed jerseys

The kitchen.

Outside, there’s a Tiki bar and barbecue area (which seems to be a theme among NFL players) and a gorgeous rock pool with waterfall, slide, and spa. A half-court basketball court and a four-hole putting green round out the exterior—just in case juking and stiff-arming down a football field gets tiring.

The tiki hut.
Tiki bar

Dillon played college football at the University of Washington before getting drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1997. He was a stalwart at running back for seven seasons with the Bengals and remains the franchise’s leading rusher of all time. In 2004, he joined the Patriots, and his powerful running style was exactly what New England needed to notch its third Super Bowl championship.

The pool.

‘Flipping Out’ Star Jeff Lewis Shows Off His Home Renovation—Nursery Included

Remarkably enough, “Flipping Out” has just aired its Season 10 premiere. That’s right, Jeff Lewis—the Los Angeles house flipper and designer famous for his crazy tirades, somewhat abrasive client relations, and, of course, the amazing renovations that somehow make up for all his eccentricities—has returned. And in this season’s very first episode—titled “What Will Jeff Do?”—it’s clear that Lewis is facing some major changes, both in terms of his life and his home.

In October, Lewis and his partner, Gage Edward, welcomed their baby daughter, Monroe, into the world. Yet since Season 10 began filming just a month before Monroe’s birth, we get a front-row seat watching Lewis scramble to finish renovations on his own property (which is also where he and his staff work). By watching Lewis juggle his attention between his staff and his contractors, we can glean a ton of great design tips—particularly of the nursery variety!—that can apply to all kinds of reno scenarios. Here’s what we learned this week by tuning in.

Stay on top of your contractors

Lewis has chosen to stay put during his home renovations—which is always hard, since you’re essentially living (and in his case, working) in a construction zone. Yet this also has its advantages, Lewis informs us: “Because we were living here, we would spend a lot of time on the space and really think it through and figure it out,” he says. “So we’re really happy.”

Every renovation expert gives the same advice: You have to stay on top of your contractors. Living virtually next door to them keeps them on their toes.

Jeff Lewis heads up to his own farmhouse renovation
Jeff Lewis heads up to his own farmhouse renovation.


During home renovations, put away your pets

Even if your beloved pets are very friendly and your construction workers claim to love animals, a work area is no place for pets—you never know what can happen. When an inspector comes in to check on the progress, Lewis thinks it will involve little more than a flashlight and tape measure, so he doesn’t bother to put his pets in another room. But when something accidentally goes crashing to the floor, Lewis’ cat Patrick is spooked, springs up, bumps its head, and then dashes away to hide. It takes quite a while to lure the traumatized feline out again.

Jeff Lewis
Lewis isn’t afraid to get bossy with contractors and clients.


Nurseries don’t have to be traditional

“I didn’t just want to do a pink-and-white nursery,” says Lewis as he directs the hanging of animal prints on the wall. “I wanted it to have a little bit of edge.” So he adds some black accents, like a pop art painting with a black background.

“The black accents are unexpected,” adds the designer, who counts among his worst fears being called “predictable.”

Jeff Lewis's nursery


But nurseries should be baby-proof, too

Lewis is about to install shelves over the changing table where he can place cutesy things like “stuffed animals and books.” But his part-time assistant Megan points out that items falling on the baby are not the only issues. As the baby grows, she could sit up on the changing table and bump her head, or pull herself up on the shelves. Good thing Lewis listens to his employees and decides against the shelves after all.

Combine old with new

Lewis has gone all-out renovating his kitchen, of course, remarking that the look is “traditional farmhouse.” Yet he also adds, “I wanted new to look old, which is why I used reclaimed wood beams and reclaimed wood shelves.” Meanwhile, stainless-steel appliances, “brass fixtures, and brass pulls make it feel a little more current.”

Jeff Lewis loves his own farmhouse kitchen renovation
Lewis loves his farmhouse kitchen renovation.


Sure, Lewis’ home reno looks fabulous. But how will this pristine place look like once little Monroe arrives on the scene? We’ll find out soon enough.

7 Reasons Why Buying a Vacation Home Might Be No Holiday

Stop if this sounds familiar: Summer’s coming to a close, and you’re feeling wistful. The long, lazy days in your favorite vacation spot will soon be a distant memory. But then a wild idea comes to you, like the last ferry to the Hamptons: If you just buy a place in your chosen getaway destination, the fun doesn’t ever have to end, right?

That would be nice if it were true. And granted, sometimes it is. But before you drop a wad of cash on a vacation property, you should be certain that this investment is right for you.

“Nobody actually needs a vacation home. People just want one,” notes Heather Caine, a real estate investor and founder of Caine Premier Properties in Florida. “Oftentimes, they don’t realize the level of commitment—financial and time—that it takes to own a second home stress-free.”

Do you have what it takes to own a vacation home? Check out some of the most common reasons why buying a relaxing retreat can end up stressing you out.

1. Vacation homes often require a larger down payment

Unless you’re paying in cold, hard cash, “the cost of financing your second home can be an unexpected drawback,” points out Marc Carver, principal at the Carver Property Group in Atlanta.

“Depending upon the location, condition, and market value of the property, as well as your financial status and credit history, a typical 15- to 30-year mortgage for a non-owner-occupied property usually requires a 20% to 30% down payment of the sale price,” Carver says.

2. You might need special insurance

Depending on where your home is located, you could be required to have additional insurance coverage—and that can add up fast. On top of a higher policy cost, coastal home insurance policies could include a separate hurricane or windstorm deductible.

No matter where you are, flood insurance could be a smart move. And if you have a pool, you might want an umbrella policy—especially if you’re renting out the place.

3. You’ll need to pay someone to be on speed dial

Let’s say your home is more than an hour away from your primary residence and you’ve chosen to rent it out to offset some of the cash you’ve poured into it. What happens if your temporary tenants get locked out, discover your fridge has gone on the fritz, or worse, trash the place?

“It’s best to have someone local oversee the affairs of your property,” advises Cedric Stewart, a residential and commercial sales consultant and team leader of Entourage RG at Keller Williams in the Washington, DC, area.

A property manager can do a lot of the heavy lifting—for instance, meeting guests before and after rentals, doing spot checks before releasing deposits, and offering emergency support.

And, even if you’re not planning to rent out your place, you’ll still need someone to keep eyes on it if you live a distance away, Stewart says. After all, what happens if the rising tides seep into your idyllic beach home—but you’re not there to know about it until after water damage and aggressive mold sets in?

4. Routine maintenance costs time and money

Just like with your primary residence, you’ll need to be prepared to shell out for stuff that breaks or simply to keep things running smoothly.

“From repairing or replacing an HVAC unit and utilizing plumbing services when there’s a leak or clog to replacing major appliances and upgrading your windows to hurricane-proof grade, all can end up costing hundreds, if not thousands,” says Dina Dwyer-Owens, co-chair of The Dwyer Group, which specializes in home service and repair.

Plus, there’s the time involved. That’s one problem that John O’Brien’s encountered in the past 27 years he’s owned a Lake Michigan vacation home.

“Being a somewhat incurable do-it-yourselfer, the term ‘vacation home’ has become an oxymoron,” he admits.

Aside from a few notable exceptions—like when the pipes in his home froze and burst one winter—O’Brien takes care of all the home maintenance and repairs himself. That’s included putting in a new sump pump, replacing split-rail fence posts, and building a porch, shed, and two patios.

“My vacation home has become just another house that I work on, and my ‘vacations’ are spent, in part, doing so,” O’Brien says.

5. Renting out your vacation home can actually cost you money

In theory, renting out your new home should make you some money—but it could also raise some of your expenses beyond the cost of a property manager.

“Utility costs can be surprisingly high on vacation rentals,” Stewart points out. “People that don’t live in your home tend to take a less considerate approach to water and electricity usage.”

You’ll need to budget for this during your peak season. Otherwise, adds Stewart, “your projected return on investment could be significantly diminished.”

And aside from those monthly electric, water, cable, and heating bills, you might also have to pay for lawn care, snow removal, or pool maintenance. And don’t forget about the cleaning fees every time your guests depart.

6. You’ll spend a small fortune on furnishing and stocking the place

“It’s easy to get so excited about the purchase of a second home that you forget to calculate the associated costs of decorating that home,” says Bee Heinemann, designer for Vant Wall Panels.

How much cash you drop depends on the type of abode you buy, and whether you plan to rent it out when you’re not there. For instance, “an off-the-grid cabin may not need all the elements of good design, but if we’re talking about a beach home or mountain retreat? The cost of decorating can be substantial,” Heinemann notes.

We don’t just mean sofas, chairs, and tables; we’re talking window treatments, flooring options, appliances, towels, bedding, lamps, dishes, flatware, bakeware, lawn mower or snowblower, washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaner, etc.

7. Your passport could gather dust

“After paying a significant amount of money each month for a second home, some buyers feel obligated to constantly visit the property to justify their significant investment,” Carver says.

That’s what happened to Judy Woodward Bates. For 18 years, she and her husband maintained a vacation home on Alabama’s Lewis Smith Lake.

“We made some great memories there, but my husband felt we shouldn’t spend time traveling anywhere else since we already had a vacation house,” she says.

After recently selling it, “we’re enjoying not having all that responsibility,” Bates admits.

What they’re also enjoying? Recent sojourns to Norway and Spain.


We’re not trying to dissuade you from going all-in on a vacation getaway. It can truly be your own little slice of paradise—as long as you know what you’re getting into. And if you do end up buying a relaxing retreat? Just let us know when to mark our calendars for a visit.


Watch: Buying a Vacation Home? You’d Better Watch This First

This Fabulous Warehouse Conversion Heats Up the Hermosa Beach Market

It takes a sizable imagination to look at an industrial warehouse and envision it as a perfect family home. But that’s exactly what visual effects designer Ash Beck did when he bought a warehouse in Hermosa Beach, CA. He transformed what was once the location of a microchip manufacturer into a luxurious loft-style retreat. The stunning conversion is now available for $2.75 million.

Beck, who purchased the property in 1998, says the initial challenge was “getting the plans approved by the city, because they initially wanted the structure torn down and a new conforming house constructed.”

But he won them over. “Once they saw what I was doing with the design based upon code and their feedback, they embraced my vision and approved the plan,” he says.

Rather than tearing down the building, he converted it into a warm and inviting space.

Hermosa Beach converted warehouse
Hermosa Beach converted warehouse

Brian Thomas Jones

In partnership with architect Brian Noteware—who finalized the designs—the one-story building morphed into two stories with a wraparound deck. Cinder block brick was smoothed into a stucco exterior. The parking lot out front was demolished, replaced by a front yard with fire pit, seating, and drought-tolerant landscaping.

Warehouse pre-conversion, 1997
Warehouse preconversion, 1997

Courtesy of Barry Gray

The neighborhood has also been dramatically transformed since the 1990s. It’s now zoned “strictly residential,” says listing agent Barry Gray. He believes Beck’s warehouse conversion from commercial space to residential home was the first of its kind back then.

That doesn’t mean the former warehouse exactly blends in.

“It’s unusual for that beach community, where traditional and Cape Cod homes have become popular,” he says. This residence is more “urban downtown.” The interiors include high ceilings, multiple skylights, french doors, concrete flooring, and exposed wood beams and rafters.

The 3,259-square-foot layout features four beds and three baths. The second-level deck has already been pre-engineered to be enclosed, should the next owner want to add more interior space.

Great room
Great room

Brian Thomas Jones

Open plan
Open floor plan with concrete flooring and exposed rafters

Brian Thomas Jones

Dining area
Dining area

Brian Thomas Jones

Master bedroom
Master bedroom

Brian Thomas Jones

Ocean views from roof deck
Ocean views from rooftop deck

Brian Thomas Jones

The first level features a great room with fireplace, a kitchen, and dining and living areas. There’s also a wine cellar, recording studio, garage, and rooftop deck with ocean views. The home sits on a quiet cul-de-sac and is close to the beach and park.

Despite the structure’s commercial roots, “it has a very warm feel about it,” Gray says. Beck “saw a unique opportunity, and took it. It is unique and will remain unique simply because there aren’t a lot of options [like that] anymore.”

“It has a great personality, interacting with the sunlight and clouds,” Beck adds. “The actual feeling of the house, it’s amazing. The quick walk to the beach makes our living all-encompassing with nature. We love that we can walk to the area restaurants and feel like we are on vacation.”

In addition to the masterful warehouse conversion, Beck also has a long and impressive resume as a visual effects designer. His music video work for Nine Inch Nails and Madonna are in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York through director Mark Romanek.

Along with working with film directors such as David Fincher, he also visualized scenes for “The Amazing Spider-Man” (1 and 2), “The Shallows,” “Chasing Mavericks,” and “Point Break.”

Beck is moving on to his next project, so the next owner can relax in the home he created from a concrete box.

The Foreclosure Process Explained in 4 Simple Steps

The foreclosure process isn’t something any homeowner wants to go through. And yet, the Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that 250,000 new families enter into foreclosure every three months in America.

So what actually happens in the foreclosure process? Does a foreclosure always mean a lender will take away your home?

Here’s a look at the steps a homeowner will likely go through—plus some ways to get off this train and stop a foreclosure from happening.

1. Default

A bank can’t just foreclose on a home whenever it wants. Homeowners have to first default on their mortgage, failing to pay their required monthly payments. And it’s rare for lenders to begin foreclosure proceedings after just one late mortgage payment.

“They will usually give the borrower a grace period because they recognize the reality that people face temporary financial hardship at some point in their lives,” explains Lisa Blake, a real estate broker and owner of The Blake Team in Aurora, CO.

That said, banks want their money, so borrowers can expect an influx of emails, letters, and phone calls from their lender or bank trying to collect.

Lenders usually offer alternatives during this period, including different payment plans to help the homeowner get back on track, keep their home, and keep paying their monthly mortgage bill. This is partly because it’s in a lender’s best interest to make things work—after all, the lender wants its money. But it’s also the law in many states, says real estate attorney and broker Bryan Zuetel of Esquire Real Estate in Irvine, CA.

In many states, a lender or servicer cannot file a notice of default until 30 days after contacting the homeowner to assess the homeowner’s financial situation and explore options to avoid foreclosure, Zuetel explains.

Termed a foreclosure avoidance assessment, this period might include requests for a payment adjustment, interest adjustment, deferral, or other accommodations.

You can also get foreclosure avoidance counseling at or by calling 888-995-HOPE. Selling the home to cover the mortgage might also be an option at this point, so Blake advises calling a real estate professional during this time to take advantage of all your options.

“It is not uncommon to see homeowners sell their home, pay off the missed mortgage payments plus fees, and then downsize to a more affordable living situation and avoid foreclosure all together,” Blake notes.

2. Notice of default

If a borrower can’t come up with the funds to pay what he or she owes, a lender will issue a notice of default. This form will be sent to the mortgagee in the mail via a certified letter, and it typically gives a homeowner 90 days to pay off the most recent bill.

“This step marks the beginning of the formal and public foreclosure process,” Zuetel says.

There’s still time to save your home after a notice of default—if you can find the cash. One option is a mortgage reinstatement, whereby you “reinstate” your mortgage by making up all the missed payments at once, plus interest and lender fees. You’ll then go back to paying your monthly bill as usual.

3. Notice of sale

If the homeowner hasn’t come up with the money within 90 days of the notice of default, the lender may proceed with the foreclosure process. Next comes a notice of sale, which will state that the trustee (the lender) will sell the home at auction within 21 days.

A notice of sale is also sent via certified letter to the homeowner, but it also must be published weekly in a newspaper in the county where the home is located for three consecutive weeks before the auction date. This helps get the word out to potential buyers, but even at this late date, the option to reinstate your mortgage is still possible up until five days before the sale, so long as you can come up with the money.

4. Auction

The home will be sold at a public auction to the highest bidder, who will have to pay the full amount of the bid immediately. This buyer will receive a trustee’s deed once the sale is complete, at which point he becomes the official owner.

From there, the home’s new owner must serve any remaining occupant of the home with a three-day written notice to “quit” (move out).

“If the occupant does not move out in the three days, the bidder must go through the formal eviction process in court in order to get possession of the home,” Zuetel notes.

What happens if a foreclosed home doesn’t sell?

If a house isn’t sold at auction, the property becomes what’s known as an REO, or real estate owned property. But don’t assume this is a free pass to stay in the home.

“If the bank owns the foreclosure, more often than not, they will arrive at the property shortly after the foreclosure date and kick you out,” Blake warns. “They might offer the previous homeowners ‘cash for keys’ or relocation assistance, where the bank offers a certain amount of money to the previous homeowners to vacate the premise.”

While you can’t count on this money, it can’t hurt to ask in case this sum helps you move out, and on with your life.

How Real Estate Agents Use Your Favorite Restaurants to Sell Homes

That pizza place down the street could make or break your home sale. The best real estate agents know how to use your favorite restaurants as evidence of a great neighborhood when they market your home to buyers—helping you get a faster sale and a better price.

Top real estate agent George Graham stands behind using your favorite haunts to your advantage when selling your home. He told us that “having great food options is definitely a consideration a person makes when buying in an urban location.”

How does your real estate agent use the trendy diner down the street to sell your house? We interviewed three top real estate agents to show you their tricks of the trade.

1. Seller’s agents talk up restaurants as a big part of the community

Restaurants help create the pulse of a neighborhood. When buyers decide on a location, the neighboring restaurants and shops are an essential component to the life—and the energy—of the area they’re investing in. That’s why real estate agents often use the best restaurants in the area to advertise how great the home is. As Minneapolis real estate agent Alexander Boylan pointed out, agents are “not only selling a house, but they’re also selling a community.”

Boylan went on to say that real estate agents will often “advertise restaurants as a selling point for the home because of the walkability of the neighborhood.”

That isn’t just the case in Boylan’s market. Graham told us that many buyers are concerned with the walkability of a listing. He said that pointing out “the close proximity to great shopping, food, and restaurants is helpful, especially if you are dealing with a downtown location.”

Elizabeth Weintraub, a top-performing seller’s agent in Sacramento, even tried out the top Mexican joint in the neighborhood of her latest listing and wrote about it on her blog.

She writes, “The location is perfect. Imagine living a half block away from William Land Park. It is also close to Starbucks and a terrific Mexican restaurant with outdoor dining, Dali’s Kitchen. . . . The point is, if I lived at this home with a view of William Land Park, I would be dining almost nightly at Dali’s Kitchen.” Weintraub specifically calls out the name of the restaurant to advertise how close that house is to delicious food.

Agents use your favorite neighborhood restaurants to market your house and its community in a few ways:

1. They call out five-star restaurants or hole-in-the-wall treasures in the listing description.
2. They tell buyer’s agents the top restaurants they can tell their clients about.
3. They talk up amazing eats at the open house.

In your next meeting with your real estate agent, tell them about your favorite restaurants in the area. They can use those trendy or quaint spots to advertise your house and your neighborhood’s charms.

2. Buyer’s agents meet clients at restaurants to show off the location

Buyer’s agents will use restaurants to show off the location and help their clients settle on a house. Realtor® Alex Boylan told us, “Sometimes when I have a first-time client meeting and I know they want to be in a certain area, we’ll meet at the coffee shop or the local restaurant and I’ll tell them, ‘This is a part of the community!’ That is a selling point for the community they want to be in.”

This immersion in the neighborhood helps buyers get a solid grasp of its vibe and culture. It’s similar to exploring a city for the first time—you wouldn’t visit the tourist traps to get to know what it’s really like. You’d walk up and down the city’s streets, find a coffee shop, and sit there for a while. That’s what buyer’s agents do to give their clients a more complete picture of the area.

Boylan even goes the extra mile and “buys gift cards for the clients as welcome home gifts for moving into the neighborhood so they can visit their local restaurants.”

The best way you can get buyer’s agents to show their clients the great restaurants in your area is to communicate with your own real estate agent. They can talk to top buyer’s agents at their firm and in the area to make sure they know the hot spots and family-friendly joints perfect for a coffee meeting that shows off the neighborhood.

3. Seller’s agents use restaurants to attract buyers with active social lives

Restaurants are an important part of social life for millennials, and nearby eateries are also a big draw for couples and families who take their kids out to eat after school or after activities on the weekend. Without nearby spots, these clients are forced to travel farther to meet up with friends or for a great meal, which isn’t ideal.

According to Weintraub, showing off the great restaurants in the area can be a big draw for millennials who brunch and party at the local haunts with their friends. She told us that “properly marketed, a hot-spot restaurant or even a trendy hole-in-the-wall near a group of homes is a big selling benefit to many millennials today. That particular buying group likes to meet friends at restaurants and watering holes. That’s their social life. They generally do not entertain at home.”

Take note of which restaurants you think your agent should use to market to specific types of buyers. For example, the pasta place with delicious spaghetti and paper tablecloths the kids can draw on is a great place to show off to families. The trendy bar-restaurant combo with the best cocktail in town is perfect for nightlife-hungry millennials. It really depends on your area, and your agent will know the type of buyer you’ll need to woo.

Your local food scene is one of your property’s greatest assets

The best way you can take advantage of your favorite restaurants is to tell your real estate agent about them. Though they will be a local expert and probably have a good idea of which eats are the best, they won’t know exactly which ones are your favorite and why. So tell your agent about the hole-in-the-wall diner that you love because your kids love the apple pie. Specifics like that help agents market your house even better.

As Boylan told us, telling buyers about the best restaurants really says, “Hey welcome to the community—now go enjoy it!”

Once you’ve successfully sold your own home by leveraging the power of your local eateries, you may be in the market for a new home—and a new mortgage. Find out everything you need to know about mortgages in our Mortgage Learning Center.

This article was written by Alexa Collins and originally published on


More from

Vladdy Vamoosing From the O.C.? Vladimir Guerrero Selling $2.19M Mansion

Nine-time MLB All-Star Vladimir Guerrero is selling his home in Anaheim Hills’ highly sought-after Copa de Oro neighborhood for $2.19 million.

The 5,800-square-foot home has five bedrooms and 5.5 baths. It features an open floor plan, cathedral ceilings, and travertine and crushed marble flooring. A highlight of the Mediterranean-style property is the 1,500-bottle commercial-grade wine cellar.

“It’s absolutely gorgeous,” says listing agent Felicia Morris.

Naturally, the outside of the house includes an athletic court area and a pool with a waterslide, grotto, waterfall, and spa. There’s also a cabana with granite counters, a barbecue, a bar, and a fire pit.

Food prepared in the fully appointed chef’s kitchen, where Guerrero’s mother regularly cooked for him and his teammates, can be enjoyed in either the breakfast nook or formal dining room. The master suite has its own outdoor sitting area as well as a fireplace and bathroom with jetted tub.

The 24/7 guard-gated community and cul-de-sac lot make this an ideal property for anyone who’s in search of privacy.


A fearsome slugger, Guerrero spent 16 years in the MLB, starring for the Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles. He retired after the 2011 season. He was voted MVP of the American League in 2004, the year he led the Angels to an American League West division championship. Though he narrowly missed election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017, he will be inducted into the Angels’ own Hall of Fame later this month.

Talent runs deep in the Guerrero family. His brother, Wilton Guerrero, also played in the big leagues, and his son, Vladimir Jr., is now making a name for himself in the minor leagues as a top Toronto Blue Jays prospect.