Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich, Conn., sold for $120 million. It originally was listed for $190 million.

By MSN Real Estate partner Tue 8:19 AM

realtor.comBy Neal J. Leitereg, realtor.com 

 

April is apparently the month for $100 million deals.

 

On the heels of the $102 million sale of the Fleur de Lys in Los Angeles comes word that Copper Beech Farm, the most expensive single-family home in the United States to ever list publicly, has sold for a staggering nine-figure sum. 

 

Like the Fleur de Lys, the prized Greenwich, Conn., property was similarly thought of as unsellable — at least at its $100 million-plus price. After debuting on the market for a then-record $190 million in May 2013, Copper Beech Farm saw its price drop considerably in the months that followed — first a $50 million price cut in July and then a $10 million adjustment this past January.

 
Tags: celebrity

If one of these scenarios sounds familiar, buying a home may not be in the cards right now.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 12:14 PM

© PhotoAlto/Eric Audras/Getty ImagesBy AJ Smith, Credit.com

 

One question I heard frequently throughout my 20s was, "When are you going to buy a house?"

 

Some believed I was already missing out on the benefits of homeownership, while others thought that with my career constantly taking me to new cities, I was better off renting forever. Many people grapple with the decision of whether to buy or rent a home.

 

Although there are pros and cons to each and the decision is ultimately personal, here are some signs you should keep renting.

 

The average homeowner pays $2,800 in property taxes annually. In some states, residents pay five times as much.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 11:06 AM

Westchester County, N.Y., is home to the state's most expensive suburb, Scarsdale, N.Y. (© Alan Schein/Corbis)By Camille Salama, Zillow

 

The second biggest cost of homeownership — following the mortgage — is usually property taxes. In 2012, U.S. homeowners paid an average of about $2,800 in property taxes, according to a recent Zillow study. And if you live in New York, New Jersey or Colorado, your taxes were in some cases five times more than the national average. The numbers are based on an average of real estate taxes paid on single family housing in 2012.

 

The residents of Westchester County in New York pay more in property taxes than the typical resident of any other major American county. The average property-tax bill for a single-family home in Westchester County comes to $14,829 a year.

 

Chinese buyers are laying the groundwork for their kids, some still in diapers, to study abroad by snapping up high-end real estate in college towns.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 10:29 AM

© Radius Images, Radius Images, Getty ImagesBy Alyssa Abkowitz, The Wall Street Journal

 

Chinese businessman Li Sheng is looking for a $900,000, four-bedroom home in Australia, where he hopes his two children will someday attend college. At this point, neither child has finished grade school — one is still in diapers — but Li hopes to buy a family home in Melbourne in the next year.

 

Li, who lives in Harbin, an industrial city in northern China, sees the purchase as a good investment in both his real estate portfolio and his children's future. While China has plenty of universities, he and other affluent parents say they want their children to experience life abroad, where the educational system is less rigid.

 
Tags: buying

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, which is why sprucing up your home is crucial.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 8:20 AM

Patio furniture on modern deck © Martin Barraud, OJO Images, Getty ImagesBy Teresa Mears, U.S. News & World Report

 

U.S. News & World ReportYou’ve decided to sell your home, and you want to get top dollar for it. And you’ve seen TV shows where homeowners spend thousands of dollars staging their homes for sale, but there’s an important detail to consider: You don’t have thousands and thousands to spend.

 

The good news is there are many things you can do to spruce up the look of your home without shelling out a lot of money.

 

Here's a look at assistance programs available to homebuyers and where to find them.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 9:10 AM

© Getty ImagesBy Polyana da Costa, Bankrate.com

 

The days of easy credit are gone, but homebuyers can still get mortgages with little to no money down if they know where to look.

 

From down-payment assistance grants to interest-free second mortgages and other special mortgage programs, there is a growing number of options for people who want to buy a home without a down payment. But these are not the no-questions-asked type of loans that buyers found during the housing boom, says Rob Chrane, president of Down Payment Resource, which provides information about down payment programs across the country.

 

If you're putting your house up for sale, try some of these trendy colors on the walls.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 8:50 AM

HomeAdvisorBy Andrea Davis, HomeAdvisor

 

Is it time to add some fresh splash of paint to the house interior? Do you plan to sell the house this year or in the near future?

 

If you want to be up on the popular trends in house-painting, then be sure to consider painting rooms according to this year's trends in colors.

 

Some of the top trends in interior painting include these five tones.

 

Facts about fancy features and a touch of drama can help. Some 'puffing' is good, but don't go overboard.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 8:23 AM

© Stockbroker/SuperStockBy Sanette Tanaka, The Wall Street Journal

 

It's not what real estate agents say, it's the way they say it.

 

Home listings that tout property characteristics, such as granite countertops and wood-burning fireplaces, in the description sell for a premium, says Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., who studied the makeup of listings.

 

"The more verifiable information, the better," he says. Each property characteristic mentioned in a listing increases the sale price by just under 1 percent and its probability of selling by 9.2 percent, on average. That means a listing with 15 additional property characteristics sells for roughly a 13.5 percent price premium. Waller excluded standard features, such as bedrooms, from the analysis.

 

 
Tags: selling
 

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