01/15/19 12:00pm

Passing by a long-vacant lot, a sign suddenly appeared heralding the future of six townhouses facing the ocean on Oahu’s storied Kahala Avenue.  The lot’s most recent history involves a Japanese billionaire who purchased over 30 homes and lots in this small enclave that he subsequently let deteriorate. Some thought his plan was to degrade the neighborhood so he could buy more at a bargain. Publicly, he boasted of wanting to return this wealthy area back to native Hawaiians by enabling them to rent mansions for pennies. Neither can be proven true. What is known is that many of the neglected properties required razing. Along Kahala Avenue these lots turn a gap-toothed smile to the ocean.

This lot, 4607 Kahala Avenue, is slated for redevelopment. Instead of a single home across its 1.33-acre site, six are planned, which has rankled some neighbors. In truth, there’s only one other multi-family oceanfront development in Kahala, and its leasehold is expiring in 2027.

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01/15/19 9:30am

Our Splurge: Ray Chin with Hawaii Life has listed 972 Kai Hele Ku Place Apt. A in Lahaina for $3.998 million.

A new study finds Hawaiians have the longest life expectancy in America. This is according to a recent review published in the highly respected journal, JAMA, entitled “The State of US Health, 1990-2016 Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Among US States.”

The group analyzed previously published studies and data to look at things including mortality, life expectancy, and disease by state. In 2016, the review found that Hawaii had the highest life expectancy, averaging 81.3 years. As for other U.S. States? Mississippi had the lowest, clocking in at 74.7 years, respectively. Are you intrigued by this study?

Do the winter doldrums have you wishing for a beach getaway? Well, take a moment for yourself and warm up with our latest Splurge vs. Steal in West Maui, Hawaii – also known as the second most visited island with around 2.4 million visitors each year.

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01/13/19 9:00am

gold rushAlways a hotel, this week’s gold-rush era historical shelter in California also has its place in history as the location for an office and stage stop for an express company that ran mail across the country.

The site of the current Hotel Sutter, located in Sutter Creek, California, was first home to the American House Hotel, built in 1851. It served as a stop for Adams & Co., later Adams Express Company, which pre-dated Wells Fargo.

Sutters Mill

Sutter Creek is named after a local creek, which in turn got its name from a local prospector, John Sutter, who discovered gold nearby in 1848, triggering the California Gold Rush.  Sutter owned a sawmill where the mother lode was found, and after fortune hunters began trampling his land, he decided to prospect, too, moving to Sutter Creek to begin his own mining operation, using his servants to mine, something that drew the disapproval of the miners also working to find gold. Eventually, he returned to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento and never mined again.

By 1852, Sutter Creek had a post office. Two years later, it was a town. In 1913, it incorporated.

Over time, the town became a boomtown, moving from gold mining to quartz mining until 1942, when most of the gold mines were closed during the war.

In 1865, disaster struck the town of Sutter Creek when fire ravaged the business district, burning the American House Hotel to the ground. It was rebuilt, and went through several name changes — the American Exchange Hotel, the Belotti Inn, and now the Hotel Sutter.

And while gold mining doesn’t happen in Sutters Creek anymore, there are plenty of nearby wineries and breweries, restaurants, and shopping. And the area that was once known for gold is now known for having land perfect for growing grapes, making Amador County a go-to place for a more dressed-down wine country. (more…)

01/12/19 9:00am

MobileEditor’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 32nd city on the list — Overland Park, Kansas. This week, we look at Mobile, Alabama, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“Mobile offers inexpensive living and a mild, temperate climate. The median household income is $38,000,” MoneyWise wrote. “Winters are rainy and summers are hot and humid, making the town a perfect retirement getaway from snowier areas.”

“The city’s 18 major health care centers include a hospital and two nursing homes.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Mobile? Jump with us, won’t you? (more…)

01/10/19 9:00am

Jason Oppenheim of The Oppenheim Group has listed 1707 Rising Glen Road, Los Angeles, California for $9,675,000.

See what agent Jason Oppenheim of The Oppenheim Group is calling, “The most exquisitely conceived single-story estate with city/ocean/canyon views on one of the most sought after streets in the Hills.”

City, Ocean, & Canyon, Oh My!

Yep, you read that right. City, ocean, and canyon VIEWS!!! There are only a few places where you get all three and that my friends is in “the Hills,” the Hollywood Hills – the site of many a reality TV show and one of the most coveted hillside neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Updates Galore In This New-Century California Modern

According to the listing, “The owner spent more than $4 million to remodel the home for himself, crafting a timeless masterpiece with soaring wood-lined vaulted ceilings, a master bedroom that turns into a movie theater, private library with a working bell-tower clock, master bath with 15 ft. dual-shower and unlacquered brass fixtures, custom sauna, copper outdoor tub, countertops and vanities made from solid steel, custom built and suede-lined walk-in closets, a hidden 85″ living room tv that comes up from a concrete bunker under the house, floating stairs to a wine cellar, a copper/steel custom bar with recessed steel and leather niches, four fireplaces, outdoor BBQ/bar, LED lighting and smart home technology throughout.” Yasssss! Now that is a luxe list of upgrades.

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01/08/19 9:00am
Cedar Creek Lake

Our Splurge: David Burgher of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty has listed 5663 Lakeshore Court in Log Cabin, Texas for $1,850,000.

It’s only a matter of months before lake season creeps in. And if you’ve been eyeing lake homes in and around the Dallas area, have we got the Splurge vs. Steal for you! This week we put the spotlight on Cedar Creek Lake – a charming destination located just one hour southeast of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

As the fourth largest lake in Texas with over 320 miles of shoreline it affords idyllic lake recreation, water sports, and a variety of lake homes at every price point. Whether you’re searching for a Lakeshore splurge or a Malakoff steal, Cedar Creek Lake has it all. Which would you choose? We would love to hear in the comments.

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01/07/19 9:00am
Sinatra

This gorgeous Malibu view once belonged to Frank Sinatra — and it could be yours for $12.9 million.

Whether you want a beachy retreat or a swank pad you can pick out in episodes of Mad Men, Frank Sinatra hung his hat in two homes that are on the market at the same time, for nearly identical price points.

Malibu Frank’s Way

If Malibu is your bag, the estate at 30966 Broad Beach Road was designed by architect Ted Grenzbach and Sinatra and his wife, Barbara in 1992, and is listed by Leonard Rabinowitz and Jack Friedkin of Hyland & Hyland for $12.9 million. Grenzbach also designed homes for Cher, Rupert Murdoch, and Barbra Streisand.

When the Sinatras lived there, a veritable who’s who of Rat Pack era celebrities visited, from Dick Martin, Jack Lemmon, Gregory Peck, and Dick Van Dyke, and more.

And it’s a beautiful home designed to showcase the ocean views, with an open floor plan and floor-to-ceiling windows. The 5,800 square foot house has seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

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01/06/19 9:00am

AmericanThere is just something about a Colonial and Early American era home that makes you want to pull out the David McCullough books and transport yourself back to the incredible point in time where a new nation was born.

And we’ve made no secret of our love of a well-preserved home from that era — we’ve written about the Green Hill House in Salem, Virginia; the Philadelphia home of Joseph Hopkinson; the Daniel Bliss Homestead in Rehoboth, Massachusetts; and the Samuel Jones house in Concord, Massachusetts.

This week’s historical shelter was built in 1672, and was home to Joseph Hosmer, who was a lieutenant at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. In fact, he acted as adjutant in the Battle of Concord, which happened the same day as the Battle of Lexington — April 19, 1775.

The Battle Of Concord, 1775

It was a date that is now pointed to as the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

“I really don’t have time to spare from our household chores to write in this Journal–and yet, I must, to calm my nerves and enable me to think clearly about these perilous times,” wrote Hosmer’s wife, Lucy the night before. “This I must surely do to help my husband, Joseph Hosmer, our four children, and our dear village of Concord. No shots have yet been fired but already we are a wartime community…Last night Joseph and I drove by ox team two wagon loads of ammunition from Acton to hide on Deacon Jonathan Hosmer’s farm there. His twenty-year-old son, Abner, is Joseph’s third cousin and an Acton Minuteman.” (more…)