Turks and Caicos

Philadelphia

game of thronesAre you the ultimate “Game of Thrones” fan? Are you sure? Because maybe you can’t lay claim to that unless you pony up $656,452 for the castle in Northern Ireland that has served the series as Riverrun Castle, the ancestral home of Catelyn Stark.

Gosford Castle — or, you know, Riverrun, was of course also the site of the Red Wedding from the HBO show’s third season as well.

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Photo courtesy Visit Athens

Editor’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 20th city on the list — Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This week, we look at Athens, Georgia, and found three great homes — all for less than $300,000.

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Strait“I still have my home in San Antone
When I greet my neighbor with a ‘hi y’all’
I’m wealthy as a king upon a throne
You can have your mansion or your cottage small
I’ll just take my home in San Antone”

Or, you know, not. Seems George Strait is putting his San Antonio Santa Fe-style abode on the market — and if you’re looking for plenty of room to roam and some pretty plush living, this estate in The Dominion might just be the luxury property you’re looking for.

How do we know? Well, there’s the 12.2 secluded acres that come with the property at 10 Davenport, the one-of-a-kind design by the late Bill Tull, 14 hand-sculpted fireplaces, stained glass windows, Saguaro cactus rib shutters, custom long leaf yellow pine hardwood floors, and a custom-designed copper bar top, for starters.

Outside, there are plenty of spaces to entertain, including an infinity pool and spay that overlooks downtown San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country.

Realtor Tamara Strait (yes, the country legend’s daughter-in-law) with Strait Luxury and Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty told Cowboys & Indians the nearly 8,000-square-foot home isn’t just special because of who is currently on the deed.

“What is so special about this house is not really who owns it,” she said. “It’s special because of the amazing thought and attention to detail that was put in to every step of the build. This home truly is one of a kind and can never be recreated.”

Interested? Head over to SecondShelters.com to get more details.

BerkeleyIf you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind historic showplace in Berkeley, California, this 1926 treasure is a must-see. From the stunning 3,087-square-feet home to the naturesque 6,970-square-feet lot, every inch of indoor and outdoor living space is designed to dazzle the senses.

Located on a private cul-de-sac at 2772 Hilgard Avenue, the sprawling two-story home – nestled amid lush native greenery and old growth trees – has the secluded feel of an intimate compound although UC Berkeley and the Greek Theatre are just steps away.

Between sweeping interior design, arched doorways, ceramic tilework accents, terra cotta tile flooring, and multiple stucco fireplaces, the three-bedroom – four bath home has the look and feel of a European villa.

The home’s distinct connection to nature and the outdoors is part of its magical appeal. In addition to expansive paned windows and glass walls with loads of natural light, double doors opening to the balcony and earthy courtyard let the alfresco feel in, and views of San Francisco and the bay are breathtaking. (more…)

second homeHawaii? Nope. California? Nope. Florida? Nope. Where is the hottest second home market in the U.S.? Ocean City, New Jersey.

According to an analysis of second home purchases by SmartAsset, Ocean City rose to the top of the list thanks to a whopping 79.38 percent of its mortgages were for secondary residences. The coastal town has 2,865 mortgages for second homes and 744 for primary residences.

For comparison’s sake, the next closest city on the list, Salisbury, Maryland, had 54 percent of its mortgages going to second homes.

And areas you’d think might be at the top like Destin, Florida or Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii had a mere 53 percent and 45 percent, respectively.

“To complete our rankings, we compared two metrics: the total number of home purchases and the number of home purchases made for non-primary residences,” SmartAsset said.

How did Texas fare? Who else made the list? Head over to SecondShelters.com to find out.