CharlestonEditor’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 28th city on the list — Tampa, Florida. This week, we look at Charleston, South Carolina, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“You can live comfortably in Charleston on an income of around $55,000, and the median price of homes is about $250,000,” MoneyWise said. “In Charleston, you will have access to beaches, excellent restaurants, and plenty of outdoor fitness activities.”

“The summers can be hot, but winters are relatively tame. The city also boasts two hospitals and eight healthcare centers.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Charleston? Let’s jump! (more…)

chapelThis week’s historical shelter takes us to the village of North Lopham, Norfolk, England, where a Methodist chapel built in 1826 shows us that you can never, ever, judge a book by its cover.

The former chapel that once contained three bays, is now an open floor plan sitting on a little more than a half acre of land. And as you know, we’re suckers for a good church conversion.

Listed by Bedfords, the 2,245 square foot conversion takes advantage of the grand proportions you’d expect of a chapel, creating a light-filled interior that is anything but stuffy. Curved walls were designed intentionally to draw the eye up.

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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 29th city on the list — Wichita Falls, Texas. This week, we look at Tampa, Florida, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“Tampa is located in a protected ocean inlet, so it is less susceptible to the harsh weather problems beach communities tend to have,” MoneyWise said. “Sunny Tampa is also home to a diverse population of about 350,000, and the cost of living requires an income of around $44,000.”

“With two hospitals and 17 health care centers, you can count on getting high-quality medical care in Tampa.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Tampa? Let’s jump! (more…)

Peter PanIt’s not every day that the estate of Peter Pan (or at least someone who played Peter Pan) hits the market, but when we saw this Norwalk, Connecticut listing from Holly Giordano, we knew we had to share.

In her Peter Pan, Nellie Forbush, Annie Oakley heyday, it’s not hard to imagine that Broadway legend (and Weatherford, Texas native, and mother to JR Ewing himself, Larry Hagman) Mary Martin needing a quiet place to kick back.

And this incredible three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath, 3,160 square foot home sitting on more than two acres of rolling, lush grass would certainly do the trick.

But the home has a bit more history than just Martin — it was built not long after the U.S. won its independence from England. And its current owner has taken pains to marry the historical with the entertaining spaces Martin undoubtedly appreciated, along with the modern touches homeowners nowadays come to expect.

This ‘wow’ house was originally built in 1790 by Epenetus Kellogg then brought today’s high standards by recent home owner Helen Barr of Barr and Barr Bags,” said Giordano, who is with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty.

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RiversideHe designed 33 homes in Riverside, California, and the one acclaimed architect Robert Spurgeon Jr. built for his parents, Robert Sr. and Lillian, is now up for grabs.

Riverside, albeit landlocked in the Inland Empire, is actually an ideal second home location for a few factors — it’s an easy hour drive to the beach, and less than 45 minutes to Disneyland, for one. It’s also home to Fairmount Park, an urban oasis with a stocked pond that is a refuge to several species of birds — and designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed New York’s Central Park.

And back in the day (in fact, when we say “back in the day” in this case, we mean exactly around the time Spurgeon built this home), Riverside’s close proximity to Hollywood, along with all its interesting architecture, made it one of the frequent spots film studios would pick for the perfect scenery for their movies, including the 1919 film Boots, starring Dorothy Gish.

On days you don’t want to drive to the beach or Disneyland, there is still plenty to do closer to home. The California Citrus State Park (Riverside is believed to be the birthplace of California’s citrus industry) provides ranger-led tours, fruit tastings, and more.

You can also tour the historic Mission Inn, and hike up to Mount Rubidoux, and the University of California Riverside offers 39 acres of botanic gardens, plus several museums.

From left: Robert Spurgeon Sr., Lillian, granddaughter Gloria, daughter Grace, and Robert Spurgeon, Jr. Right: An early photo of the home Spurgeon designed for his parents (Photo courtesy Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery).

It was this town that the Spurgeon family ended up settling in, living before in Chicago, New York, and Denver. His parents moved there not long after the younger Sturgeon returned to the country after serving in World War II, to assist his sister after her husband died. He joined the rest of the family not long after that, eventually building homes and properties all over Riverside, including the employee homes for Pinkerton Detective heir Allan Pinkerton, the rebuilding of the Porter House, and the Elijah Parker House. (more…)

Mardi GrasOn a street lined historic homes, in a neighborhood full of historic homes, this week’s historical shelter may be small, but it’s also the antidote for any Mardi Gras FOMO you might be experiencing this year.

After all, if you’ve been flicking through photos of all the festivities going on right now, you might also be having a bit of internal conflict — how do you get close to all that fun, but not so close that you’re dealing the hustle and bustle of the New Orleans French Quarter?

The answer just might be in this 1919 Greek Revival building, where one of 10 units is up for sale for $299,500. Located at 1206 Chartres St., Unit 2 is the perfect pad for the occasional NOLA visitor, who wants more comfort and freedom than the usual hotel.

Courtesy of MardiGrasNewOrleans.com

And, bonus, it’s also on a few of the parade routes, but not every parade route.

The 509 square foot home is in the lower residential end of the Quarter, and is one of five Greek Revival buildings in the area that are considered architecturally significant, listing agent Wayne Wilkinson with French Quarter Realty said. (more…)

evansvilleEditor’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 31st city on the list — Mobile, Alabama. This week, we look at Evansville, Indiana, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“This is a fairly small city with a population of approximately 120,000, and the cost of living is very low,” MoneyWise said. “An income of $35,000 will get you a comfortable lifestyle here. The climate is subtropical, meaning that summers are hot but winters are blissfully mild.”

“With more than 15 healthcare centers in the city, you’ll have peace of mind and all the doctors and hospitals you’ll need in your old age.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Evansville? Let’s jump! (more…)

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…)