Country Girl Miley Cyrus Buys $5.8M Tennessee Mansion

Miley Cyrus might be singing about ‘Malibu,’ but she’s done buying houses there. The Disney-actress-turned-pop-star just picked up a new $5.8-million pad in Franklin, TN.

This is Cyrus’ first home purchase in her birth state, but she’s been on a shopping spree in California over the past couple of years. In 2015, she bought a horse ranch in Hidden Hills, and 2016 called for a Malibu bungalow.

The latest addition to Miley’s collection is a sprawling 5-bed, 6-bath manse nestled on 33+ acres.

Photos from Zillow listing.

The home boasts classic Southern features including a wraparound porch and a screened-in sun room (with an indoor porch swing!). Inside the 6,869-square-foot estate, hardwood floors, a soaring stone fireplace, red brick accents and vintage exposed beams contribute to a rustic vibe.

A pool and mini-golf course dominate the fenced-in backyard. If you’re not taking a dip in the pool, then the yard is really best experienced from a second-story deck that sits atop the sun room and overlooks the property’s private 33 acres.

This home purchase comes hot on the heels of Miley’s announcement that she’s releasing a new album — one that many are speculating might be a return to her country roots. While a home purchase is hardly definitive proof, it is another signal for fans anxiously anticipating her next move.


from Zillow Porchlight

Attending Bachelor Parties Adds Up – to More Than a Third of a Down Payment on a Home

Destination bachelor and bachelorette parties are becoming the new norm, especially among millennials who prize experience and grew up with The Hangover’s depiction of pre-wedding adventure. While flying off to Vegas with your closest friends can certainly be a trip of a lifetime, big ticket vacations can add up quick– a lost faster than a $19 avocado toast.

A new Zillow report found that millennials who attend just nine of these trips in a lifetime will have spent up to $13,788, or 35 percent of a down payment on the median home.

Owning a home is important to millennials, yet many of them are struggling to save enough money for a down payment. To help first-time buyers, Zillow calculated how much cash is needed for a 20 percent down payment on a home, and how much of it may be going toward bachelor or bachelorette parties instead.

Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

A destination bachelor party costs on average $1,532 ($1,106 for a bachelorette), according to wedding website, The Knot. If the average person attends nine parties in a lifetime, or three a year for three years, they will have spent up to 34 percent of the cash needed for a down payment on the median home.

In some metros like Cleveland and Pittsburgh, millennials can spend up to half (51 and 50 percent, respectively) of their future home’s down payment on bachelor parties and well over a third of a down payment on bachelorette parties. However, in hot and expensive markets like San Jose or San Francisco, nine destination bachelor parties equates to only 5 or 6 percent, respectively, of the down payment on the median-priced home.

The Wedding

Bachelor and bachelorette parties are not the only expense associated with attending a wedding. On average, bridesmaids and groomsmen spend an additional $1,154 for things like wedding day attire, a gift for the bride and groom, as well as travel and accommodations for the wedding day. Guests not in the bridal party still pay $888, on average, to attend each wedding.

Help with Budgeting

Buyers can use Zillow’s affordability calculator to see how much they can actually afford to spend on a home, based on their income, debts and savings. Zillow’s mortgage calculator can also provide custom down payment estimates based on home price and interest rates.

Curious where bachelor and bachelorette party expenses make up the largest portion of a down payment on a home? Check out the full report here.


from Zillow Porchlight

Quiz: Can You Guess the Price of These Homes?

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Top image, as well as the first and last quiz images, from Zillow listing.

More Quizzes:


from Zillow Porchlight

Rachael Ray Is Selling Her Southampton Home for $4.9M

Photo: Shutterstock

Celebrity cook Rachael Ray and her producer husband, John Cusimano, are ready for new digs after being longtime owners in the Hamptons. The couple paid $2.1 million for their 3-bed, 5-bath Southampton estate in 2008.

Nearly a decade later, they are asking $4.9 million for the home, which was renovated during their ownership. In addition to being located in an exclusive Long Island zip code, the home sits adjacent to the Southampton Golf Club.

The 3,000-square-foot pad feels airy thanks to a white and beige color scheme throughout the home.

Unsurprisingly, a kitchen designed for both functionality and entertaining awaits the future owner. Guests can sit on a conveniently placed window seat in the middle of the wraparound counters while the cook selects a bottle of wine from the island’s built-in wine rack.

Photos courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens

The backyard is also designed for entertaining, with well-maintained gardens, a blue stone patio and an enormous gunite pool. Also located on the 6+ acre lot is a pool house that boasts additional rooms for sleeping, living and entertaining – including a second kitchen.


from Zillow Porchlight

‘I Wasn’t Looking to Sell My Home, But for the Right Price…’

Francis, a Seattle homeowner, shares what it was like to sell a house without putting it on the market. As told to Jamie Birdwell-Branson.

Shortly after moving into my Seattle house in 2015, I listed it on Zillow’s for-sale-by-owner pre-market feature, Make Me Move. I got everything organized and listed my home for $100,000 more than what I had just paid.

I thought my home had a lot to offer. I played up the lot, which was giant for Seattle at about 8,000 square feet. The house was also in a really picturesque neighborhood with a great location. The real selling point of the house, though, was the excellent public school district, which I thought would speak to young families.

I knew that I wasn’t going to sell the house right away, because I didn’t want to pay a capital gains tax, which you incur if you sell your primary residence before you’ve lived in it for two years. Knowing this, I just wanted to feel out the interest in the neighborhood and the house – just to keep a pulse on the market. If I got a wild offer, however, I figured I’d take the 15-percent capital gains hit, even knowing that it would be more complicated to deal with than just waiting the two years.

A couple of months went by without anyone approaching me, but a few potential buyers and agents slowly started to reach out. Once the buyers started to throw serious offers my way, I thought I might need to raise my price, because I wanted to avoid selling it under the two-year mark. Eventually, I did increase the price, because I was getting too much interest. To help me determine a better price, I looked at the comps to know if I was under or over the appropriate value of the home.

Showing the home

Out of the 20 or so hits I got over the two-year period, I showed the house to seven people. When they wanted to check it out, I set up a time for them to walk around the house for 20 minutes. During the showings, I spoke very frankly about the home’s condition. And I didn’t feel the need to give a hard sell, because I had the benefit of not being in a rush to move. I could have gone either way between, “Oh yeah, I can stay here,” or “I’ll take the offer.”

I ended up with a cash offer, but it wasn’t enough. I got another cash offer that was pretty high, but then a couple whose friends lived on the street approached me with an even better offer. We sealed the deal on the condition that closing day would be after that official two-year mark so I could avoid the capital gains tax.

This was a pretty easy decision to make, because I knew I could buy my sister’s condo. That was really the deciding factor: I knew I could take the cash offer and buy a condo at a good price, without competing in the market with everyone else. At some point, you have to say to yourself, “OK, this is enough money to feel comfortable and happy moving from this investment to another one.”

The process

In comparison to a traditional real estate transaction, the Make Me Move experience was surprisingly straightforward. If you’re not in a big rush and you find a buyer that’s willing to work with you, drawing up a contract is relatively easy. If you’re hesitant to do it alone, don’t let the paperwork intimidate you, because it’s all boilerplate and very sensible. If you’ve gone through buying a house once, you can handle the paperwork without any issues.

Listing your home pre-market is a great way to test the market and buy or sell in a low-pressure way – and potentially save money.

The best thing about selling a house on your own is that everyone can just be honest about their expectations – whether it’s the buyer or the seller. For the buyer, it’s more transparent if the seller is serious. And then you can say, “OK, can I afford this? And is that what I want for that price?” versus just going into a blind bidding situation.

For the seller, you’re not on any hard timeline, and you don’t have to stage a house or lose money on a mortgage for a house that’s just sitting there. You can plan the logistics a little better when it’s all on your terms.


Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

from Zillow Porchlight

Hidden Costs of Homeownership Typically Top $9,000 a Year

Buyers too often focus on a home’s list price or mortgage payment to determine what they can afford. However, the numerous less-obvious costs associated with homeownership can affect the monthly bottom line.

To help home buyers budget more accurately, Zillow and Thumbtack identified several common but often overlooked home expenses and calculated what homeowners around the country could expect to pay for them. The analysis also included utility cost estimates from UtilityScore.

While each extra expense might seem small, they cost U.S. homeowners, on average, $9,080 a year, according to the report.

Unavoidable costs

Nationally, homeowners pay an average of $6,059 a year in unavoidable costs, which include homeowners insurance, property taxes and utilities. Since nearly half (47 percent) of home shoppers today are first-time buyers, many of these extra costs may come as a surprise.

San Francisco homeowners pay the most of the metros analyzed ($13,019 on average), primarily due to the market’s high home values and property taxes. Indianapolis homeowners pay the least ($4,699).

Maintenance expenses

Nearly all homeowners (96 percent) have made some kind of improvement to their homes, according to the 2016 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends. While many complete these projects themselves, those who pay professionals can expect to spend an average of $3,021 for the six most common hired home projects requested by Thumbtack users: carpet cleaning, yard work, gutter cleaning, HVAC maintenance, house cleaning and pressure washing.

Labor costs can vary significantly by region, with Seattle homeowners paying as much as $4,052 a year on average for those six projects, while San Antonio homeowners pay an average of $1,962.

Budget planning

More than a third of buyers go over budget on a home purchase. To help buyers better understand the total cost of homeownership, Zillow Group launched, a website that allows people to search by the “All-In Monthly Price” of owning that home. In addition to the mortgage, the price includes estimated property taxes, insurance, PMI, utilities, taxes, HOA fees and closing costs.

Curious how much these hidden homeownership costs are in your area? Here’s a breakdown of the metros analyzed in the report:


from Zillow Porchlight

Meg Ryan Will No Longer Be Sleeping in Soho

Photo: ShutterStock

UPDATE: After five months on the market, Meg Ryan’s Soho loft has found a willing buyer. The acclaimed actress sold the home for $1.05 million less than her original ask, but unloading for $9.85 million means she can move on to her next project. Ryan admits she is a serial renovator, and if her history holds, it won’t be long before she “Meg-anizes” another spot.

ORIGINAL POST 2/16/17: Rom-com darling Meg Ryan just put a $10.9-million price tag on a SoHo loft she recently featured in Architectural Digest.

The home’s 4,100 square feet are structured for comfort: When you’ve got mail, you can kick back and read it in the high-ceilinged, light-filled living room. When you’re sleepless in SoHo, there’s a black-and-white bathroom with penny tiles and a luxurious tub perfect for a long soak. When Harry meets Sally, there’s a kitchen with a table for recreating everyone’s favorite scene.

It’s an apartment with classic lines, from the long, windowed hallway that invites light — but not sound — into the living spaces, to the glass walls and French doors that create a private space for the formal dining room. The listing is with Barbara Hochhauser of Corcoran Group Real Estate.

Photos by Evan Joseph

Ryan bought the home from “The Simpsons” actor Hank Azaria in 2013 and renovated it, adding ebonized wood floors and black lacquered cabinets, The Wall Street Journal reports. The apartment spans the fifth floor of a building constructed in the 1880s, and has 2 bedrooms plus a sleeping area with French doors.

Ryan, who last year directed and starred in the movie “Ithaca,” is an antiques collector. Above that long table in the kitchen hang two industrial lamps from a salvage shop in Maine. They complement exposed pipes on the ceiling, which add to the home’s factory-meets-elegance vibe. The kitchen boasts a double range, two stainless steel refrigerators and a windowed pantry.

A master bedroom with an exposed brick wall and eight closets contribute to the industrial chic aesthetic, as do seven architectural columns, transom windows and 12-foot ceilings.


from Zillow Porchlight