SpellingWhen Aaron and Candy Spelling built The Manor, their lavish 14-bedroom, 56,500-square-foot estate in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Holmby Hills, they ticked off a lot of neighbors.

“The Spellings were generally unpopular among their Mapleton Drive neighbors, who watched the French chateau-style mansion slowly take shape over two years, at an estimated cost of $12 million,” Realtor.com explained a few years ago when current owner (and British heiress) Petra Ecclestone bought the home at age 22. “At the time, they described dealing with heavy construction equipment and throngs of curious onlookers.”

In fact, one neighbor filed an injunction against the Spellings that sought to limit the number of construction trucks that came to the property and to require reimbursement for any damage to neighbors’ property.

Before the Spellings began building, they had to tear down the home of another Hollywood legend — Bing Crosby, who lived in a 15,000 square foot (what a shack, right?) mansion from 1943 to 1964.

Ecclestone bought the home in 2011, and briefly placed it on the market in 2016 for $200 million. It was listed again seven days ago for $160 million. (more…)

If the opulence of Versailles makes your heart aflutter, then catch an eyeful of this magnificent French-inspired estate on Lake Ray Hubbard in Heath, Texas. Seated on 2.5-lushly-landscaped-acres, with 440-feet of westward facing lakefront, it’s a palatial gem and one of the most desirable homes on the lake.

Listing agent Carla Perez of the Carla Perez Group at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty tells us: “The only limit to the property is your imagination. Helicopter pad, anyone? Here you have County Club amenities without having to pay membership dues. It has a pool, tennis courts, complete workout facilities, guest quarters – the equivalent of prime Dallas oceanfront property.”

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Turks and CaicosThe Turks and Caicos are hot, but it’s getting harder to sell a house in the Hamptons (good news if you want a deal, though). We also look at the most expensive listing this week, and a home in a certain favorite movie that is now up on the market.

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Looking for Luxe? Turks and Caicos Brings It

Turks and Caicos

Photo courtesy Turks And Caicos Tourist Board

Thanks to strong demand for luxury homes and the popularity of Airbnb and VRBO, Turks and Caicos is becoming quite the demand destination for second-home purchasers who want a safe bet for a relaxing break, Ellen Paris writes in Forbes. (more…)

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.

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California’s coastline has certain towns, as well known as prime wine varietals, with names that have become shorthand for wealth, luxury, golden light fading into soft rose at twilight, and sparkling off the water in the heat of the day. Montecito has drawn celebrities for decades, but what lures Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and a bevy of executives to Santa Barbara County?

Montecito’s unique position provides a host of microclimates, and some of the most prized real estate isn’t along the coast. Instead it’s above East Valley Road, where a combination of gentle breezes, warm sunshine, and ocean views provide an idyllic setting. In this area you will find the most extravagant estates often boasting exemplary gardens.

Montecito’s reputation as a garden paradise began at the end of the 19th century as the East Coast wealthy began to seek out the restorative effects of a Southern California winter.

A modern example that has a similar appeal to some the George Washington Smith homes in the areas is 710 Picacho Lane. The home was built in 1996 and has been created for modern living with commanding ocean and mountain views.

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Oh my, from Beverly Hills to Beverly Drive! I am so very, very proud to announce that  SecondShelters.com, has been named one of the top 25 luxury real estate blogs in the nation by one of the top luxury Realtors in the nation, Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Previews International, in Beverly Hills. What makes me blush with even more pride is the fact that SecondShelters tops a power list of my brilliant blogging mentors like CURBED, Homes of the Rich, Hooked on Houses, Reside SF, among others, including my bestest blog mentor, friend and hero of them all, Mama at The Real Estalker!!! Many of the blogs are online web step-children of print pubs. Here’s what Jade says about all of us:

We love providing Jade’s readers with the best luxury homes resources available, and we know that you like to keep up with the latest news, trends and tips on luxury real estate. That’s why we’ve made a careful examination of all that’s available on the web and selected for you the Top 25 Luxury Home Blogs. Each of these blogs has something unique to offer you, whether you simply like to keep an eye on the latest news in the luxury homes market or are interested in inspiration for changes to the exterior and interior design of your home. Even if you have no particular project in mind, these sites offer gorgeous eye candy for anyone with discerning tastes.

We are so honored! I called Mama at The Real Estalker, and we celebrated over the phone. Mama, of course, is in L.A. so gave me the lowdown on Miss Jade — agent to the all the movie stars. She sold Jennifer Aniston’s $35 million manse in 4 months!  She’s not just totally successful, said Mama, everyone loves her!

We are so thrilled and plan to keep on keepin’ on. Coming up soon: an exclusive look inside the hottest new fractional ownership in Costa Rica: The Palms! Then owning a piece of the rock at Trump SoHo, Calistoga Ranch, Park Cities, Utah’s hottest new fractionals, and more! There are just not enough hours in the day!