I’ll bet Jenna Bush Hager and her cute hubby, Henry, sure wish they had bought a place in Dallas. They would get a bigger home to bring home baby Mila, and mom and dad would be nearby. Instead, because of work, they bought a cute townhome in the Federal Hill area of Baltimore back in 2008, shortly after they married. They tried to sell the 3 bedroom, 3 bath historic home that dates back to the 1880′s in late 2010, to no avail They lowered the price to $449,000, only $9,000 more than they paid, according to Curbed. Still no action. So they did what any smart young couple does who wants to move to New York but owns real estate: they leased it.
This is pretty cool to those of us obsessed with second or vacation homes. Which is, like all of us. Everyone knows that the Hamptons is the vacation home playground of Manhattan — or it is? Actually, yes. A cool blog called PropertyShark did all this research to find that 35 percent of Hamptons vacation homes are owned by Manhattanites, who have poured $20.8 BILLION into homes here, paying $100 million in property taxes. Overseas buyers own only about 100 vacation homes in the area, with three quarters of those owners hailing from Britain.
When it comes to selling your home, experts agree hands down the kitchen is the most important home in the house! If you have limited funds and must choose your upgrade areas, a decision that can make you feel like choosing which kid you love best, sink that money in the kitchen first, master bath second.
New York City, of course, is first with 53 billionaires who collectively are worth $1.53 trillion. But Forbes Magazine says Dallas came in right behind the Big Apple with 17 of the wealthiest, beating out San Francisco at 16. Of course, a lot of billionaires are scattered along the Peninsula south of San Fran. But then, I saw that Fort Worth had 8 billionaires, which collectively makes 25 of the world’s richest billionaires residents of North Texas.
A little NYC Hotel Porn courtesy of Dallas Cantoni over on SecondShelters.com.
Update: My friend Samantha tells me more about her grandparents’ amazing Kingston, NY home:
“The kitchen is a box off of that living room they showed (below). It has the ugliest wallpaper ever (brown armadillos – I think) with very outdated cabinets. The washer and dryer are in the kitchen as well. I am positive that the new owners had to put in new appliances as well – especially the stove (my grandmother had dementia late in life and burned the crap out of the stove and burners). The bedrooms overlook the back yard. All have big windows and the same outdated cabinets. It does appear that the boys (as my mother calls them) did update the patio – which is very nice. There are two bathrooms – one green that has a shower stall and linen closet and the other brown that had the bathtub.”
This home is in Kingston, New York, in the Hudson River Valley, and was just written up in the New York Times. I’m writing about it because a) it is a second home for a NYC couple and b) it was built in 1958 by the grandparents of a friend who grew up in the area but now lives in California. They were the “meticulous couple” mentioned in this article. My friend, Samantha, says all that is missing is the Day-Glo white Christmas tree and — oh yes — she also says she has never heard it referred to as the Jetson’s House. The home is in a lovely neighborhood and the mid-mod design makes for easy maintenance, which can be a real pain when you own multiple homes. (Maintaining one drives me nuts!)!
Having a second home in New York City or state may be more expensive now than ever. For those with places in the city, the state Taxation Department will require state residents who own second homes in New York City to report the number of days they spend in the city, which will likely result in more audits for commuters. Albany, you see, wants that New York City income tax. Don’t think you are off the hook if you own a home in, say, the Hamptons, but live in Connecticut. In January. a New York tax appeals tribunal affirmed a decision that a New Canaan, Conn., resident who worked in Manhattan and owned a Long Island home, still owed the state an additional $1 million. The million is taxes on income the resident, John Barker, and his wife earned outside of New York, plus interest and penalties. Of course, Mr. Barker already was paying New York state taxes on income he was earning in the state.
I found this jazzy website showcasing 5 East 44th, and listening to it just reminded me of the good old days when properties could be sold for $1500 per square foot. (Ah, those were the days.) Also found out this building¬† is one of the narrowest “slivers” in midtown, only 28 feet wide, designed by Alan Ritchie of The Office of Philip Johnson, which also designed the Urban Glass House at 330 Spring Street. Developer was Sam Suzuki of The Vintage Group. I wondered what was going on across the street: the Cornell Club.¬†¬† Here’s the fun stuff: the site once was occupied by Canfield‚Äôs Gambling House, which was closed in an anti-vice campaign in 1901 by District Attorney William Jerome and, according to New York Songlines, a website, was ‚Äúperhaps the most prestigious illegal joint of the Gilded Age.‚Äù
Before I leave the Big Apple I must treat you to a little House Porn. This unit is small by Texas standards at 629 square feet, but perfect if NYC is your second home. You just don’t need a Sam’s closet in Manhattan; Duane Reade is a block away, they are open 24/7 and even have food.¬†