Miami ShoresWhen we look for historical shelters every week, we always find some beautiful homes with interesting stories — and that’s true this week as well, with the Simmons Estate in Miami Shores, Florida.

It’s always fun to go back and look at 1920s architecture — the era embraced luxury in a way that was potentially over the top, but so well crafted that to this day newer construction often attempts to emulate the grandeur.

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Greenwich

Boxwood garden fans take note, this Instagram worthy estate is all the inspiration you need! We love Greenwich, Connecticut, with its serene country escapes and in-town gems. So this week, we decided to up the ante and see how far $10 million would go in the Fairfield County oasis. Our search led us to the 1930s English Manor nestled at 32 Vineyard Lane. Currently listed by Leslie McElwreath of Sotheby’s International Realty Greenwich for $9.750 million, it is exactly the kind of home to brighten up even the most discerning real estate buff’s day.

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Torrance

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 38th city on the list — The Woodlands, Texas. This week, we look at Torrance, California, and found you could find a great selection well within the mid-$300,000 range to just slightly more than the median price of $600,000.

So why is Torrance on the list? In short, it’s close to Los Angeles, but provides that smaller community feel that some might desire, the publication said.

“If you like the idea of living near Los Angeles but would prefer living in a smaller community, Torrance could be just the place you’re looking for!” MoneyWise said. “This town is home to California’s famous sunny weather and promises easy access to nearby beaches.”

“It’s a little pricier than some of the communities we have listed so far, with a median home value of $600,000,” the piece continued. “Median household income is just below $80,000. With 15 healthcare centers, Torrance is a good place for medical care.”

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Diamond Head

3165 Diamond Head Road (Unit C highlighted)

Back in 1982, two oceanfront thirds of an acre caught the eye of a developer who created a four-unit community behind private gates. Called Ku’u Makana it’s located in Honolulu at the foot of Diamond Head crater on the island of Oahu.  Each of the four units are identical 3,536 square feet indoors and another 674 square feet of lanai space.

In the photo above, the demarcation of the units is obvious with the center fireplace chimneys.  No, it doesn’t get cold enough to need a fireplace and you’d likely need the air-conditioning cranked if you used it, but there you go. There are left-right and up-down units.

Currently the two upper units are for sale – one in need of an overhaul and the other already renovated. Unlike a recent gut job I toured in Dallas, with $1,023,000 separating the units, the renovation is more than priced into the deal.

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VirginiaWhen you begin looking for houses of historical significance, especially on the week of Thanksgiving, you often turn to the places where the country was born. For this week’s historical shelter, we found a Virginia home owned by a Revolutionary War soldier turned inn owner, with ties to a founding father and future president.

The Green Hill House, located in Salem, Virginia, was built in 1776. But the land it sits on was granted to William Walton in 1774, by none other than the Governor of Virginia — Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson granted 1,200 acres along the Roanoke River in what would eventually be Salem to Walton, who built the brick home we’re featuring this week. About 10 years later, Walton obtained a license to open an inn, and became a popular stopover for people heading to what would become the Louisiana Territories. (more…)

The WoodlandsRecently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 39th city on the list — Cape Coral, Florida. This week, we look at the first Texas spot on the list —  The Woodlands, and found you could find a great selection well within the $300,000 to just shy of $500,000 range.

Why The Woodlands? (more…)

galvestonIt’s not often that the home of what many would consider to be Texas retail royalty comes up for sale — which is why this week’s historical shelter in Galveston immediately caught our attention.

The Victorian Robert I. Cohen built in 1896 is a half mile from the beach and a little more than a mile to the Strand.

If Cohen’s name doesn’t sound familiar, perhaps the store he bought will. In 1917, Pat and James Foley sold their Houston store, Foley Brothers, to Robert, who then turned the day-to-day running of the dry goods store to his son George, who then grew sales to almost $1 million by 1919. By 1922, the Cohen’s moved the store to a three-story building on Main Street in Houston, becoming the city’s largest department store.

Foley Brothers Store, 1906, Historic Houston Photographs, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 10, 2018.

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Cape CoralEditor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 40th city on the list — Scottsdale, Arizona. This week, we look at Cape Coral, and found lots of incredible inventory for as low as the $150,000s to the millions.

There is something for every budget, it seems. (more…)