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.
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.”
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 RealEstate.com, 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:
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.
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.
Fresh off her show’s much-anticipated return for Season 7, “Game of Thrones” actress Lena Headey is parting ways with her home in Sherman Oaks.
The 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom mid-century modern house is far from the castles of Westeros Cersei Lannister frequents in the popular HBO series. Reclaimed wood floors are laid out in a herringbone pattern, and the ceiling features prominent exposed wood beams in a charming rustic gray color.
The mid-century modern aesthetic carries throughout the 2,900-square-foot house, with a prominent gold chandelier hanging above the living room space.
An open kitchen features a mirrored backsplash and blue-and-white patterned tile, for a touch of SoCal life.
A child’s playroom opens up to the backyard, where lines of warm lights are strung above a saltwater pool.
And in case you’re wondering how Headey cared for the home’s environment when she’s spending every day on set: She’s installed a low-maintenance vertical garden of succulents and drought-tolerant landscaping, according to the listing.
No word on whether the home — currently listed at $1.945 million — also comes with a knight in shining armor.
If you’ve never heard of Millennial Pink, don’t worry – you aren’t that out of the loop. Though the term was coined last year, it’s been popping up for years, and Pantone’s selection of Rose Quartz as one of its 2016 colors of the year was just a preview of the pink craze to come (yes, there’s a hashtag). Stars from Rihanna to Harry Styles have embraced light pink hues, though it’s more about the vibe than a distinct color, and its popularity goes beyond the 20-something crowd.
Millennial Pink has put rosy-colored homes on the map as well. While painting a house pink is nothing new – several historic, stucco and adobe homes sport the hue – it’s certainly on trend.
Check out these six homes for some Millennial Pink inspiration, and see what all the fuss is about.
Tropical color schemes are a trademark of Key West design and architecture, as embodied by this delightful revival-style duplex. Bright blue shutters pop against a pale pink exterior with white trim, while the interior bursts with cheerful, vibrant blues, yellows, greens, and – of course – more pink.
A former mayor’s home, this restored Victorian is Millennial Pink inside and out. With a whimsical two-tone pink façade and a few light pink rooms in the interior, the bright paint choice is architecturally on point. “We often see a color similar on Victorian homes throughout Vermont,” explains listing agent David Parsons, “and I believe it has a historical precedence.” Because of an increase in the number of pigments available and a reduction in the cost of paint, brightly colored homes became de rigueur in Victorian New England.
This historic home full of Southern charm proves that Millennial Pink is nothing new. Built around 1815, the current owners bought the pink house in 2004 and simply repainted it the same color since it worked so well. “There are many pink houses in Charleston, including one on Rainbow Row which is a block away,” explains listing agent Adam Edwards. “Pink is a longtime popular color because it helps keep the interiors cooler in the hot summer months.” Black shutters and white trim give the house an elegant, refined look.
For a prime example of a bold Millennial Pink, check out this 4-bedroom, 3,080-square-foot gem close to all the action in Seattle. The exterior is painted a solid shade of warm, earthy pink called “New Pilgrim Red” and is complemented with off-white woodwork in “Navajo White.” “We had seen that on another Colonial Revival house years ago when we were just about to repaint,” owners Clint and Elizabeth Miller recall. “It looked dramatic to us and suggested a New England sort of look.”
Stucco exteriors are common in the Southwest because they’re durable and – most importantly, for a desert climate – energy efficient. This pink-hued home shows that stucco doesn’t have to be drab. Here, the pink provides a dose of personality while maintaining a neutral, earthy vibe that meshes with the landscape.
New Orleans is no stranger to colorful homes. In fact, this cute, single-story house is subdued in comparison to many in the Big Easy. But that’s part of its appeal – and of the appeal of Millennial Pink in general. It manages to straddle the divide between playful and refined, youthful and classic.
Grammer bought the 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom condo in the Chelsea neighborhood in 2010. The home offers unobstructed views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline, along with 11-foot ceilings. The living room has a fireplace, wet bar and wine fridge. Motorized shades help keep the place cool and west-facing windows frame dramatic sunsets.
The building was designed by architect Jean Nouvel and is noted for its dramatic, glassy exterior.