Whistleblowers out Falwell's Liberty University as a grifty, multibillion-dollar personality cult

Jerry Falwell, Sr founded the Moral Majority, brought evangelicals into the voting booth, elected Ronald Reagan, and changed the face of American politics forever; his son, Jerry Jr now commands the Falwell empire, including Liberty University, which now has $3b in assets. Read the rest

For Sale: Offshore fortress and gun tower built in 1851

This incredible offshore fortress and defense gun tower at Pembroke Dock, South West Wales, UK is for sale. Read the rest

Island from Fyre Festival promo video is now for sale

Saddleback Cay, the private island seen in the Fyre Festival promotional videos, is for sale. Only accessible by boat, the 35-acre Bahamian island features seven beaches, a main house, and multiple cottages. It's yours for just $11.8 million, FEMA tents and cheese sandwiches not included.

(CNN)

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Real estate title insurance company exposed 885,000,000 customers' records, going back 16 years: bank statements, drivers' licenses, SSNs, and tax records

First American Financial Corp is a Fortune 500 company that insures titles on peoples' property; their insecure website exposed 885,000,000 records for property titles, going back 16 years, including bank accounts (with scanned statements), Social Security numbers, wire transaction receipts, scanned drivers' licenses, tax records, mortgage records, etc -- when notified of the error, the company (which employs 18,000 people and grossed more than $5.7B last year) closed the misconfiguration. Read the rest

After double lot sold to separate owners, one of them erects fence through pool and garage

An Orlando homeowner owned a second lot next to the house. He added a pool that straddled the property lines. Then, following foreclosure, the two lots were sold to different owners, one of whom erected a fence. Over the pool. Through the garage.

When you're just dipping your toe in the real estate market

It's all so very "Florida"! Cities that don't enforce setback rules. Cities that tolerate structures spanning multiple residential lots. Sales that split combined lots into multiple lots without consideration of what is on the lots. Inspectors, appraisers and mortgage lenders saying "this is fine!". People building fences over pools and through garages. Read the rest

You could own this zoo complete with menagerie

York's Wild Kingdom Zoo & Fun Park in York, Maine is up for sale. For just $14.2 million, you could be the proprietor of this beachside attraction complete with the likes of lions, monkeys, lemurs, camels, pigs, deer, kangaroos, a butterfly kingdom, paddle boats, miniature golf, bumper cars, and a haunted house. No lowball offers though.

According to owner Joe Barberi, a realtor called and “asked if we would consider selling the park. Not getting any younger and everything having to do with its price, I told him he was free to pursue the idea.he could find someone who would like to buy it and would be willing to pay the price without any negotiations then, fine, it’s a deal,” he said.

Barberi's a patient man.

“For now, it’s business as usual,” he said last week. “71 days until opening.”

(Seacoast Online)

Read the rest

Unique business opportunity: Nudist park for sale

You could be the new proprietor of Katikati Naturist Park, a popular nudist resort in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand! The 5.7 hectares (approx. 14 acres) features motel units, cabins, tent sites, a swimming pool, mini-golf, saunas, and, of course, hot tubs. It's listed at NZ$380,000. From Stuff.co.nz:

The park is surrounded by gardens, a secluded bush drop and a river. Guests are able to partake in mini golf, pétanque and swimming, provided they abide by the "compulsory nudity" rule.

Of the park, (Coffeys property broker Matt) D'Anvers says "there are no sexual overtones whatsoever" and that guests are "simply people who love to run around with no clothes on".

"There are quite a lot of families that go there."

Interested parties may want to visit the property on New Year's Eve for the annual "World Famous Nudeoke" event.

Naturist Park - A Unique Business Opportunity" (Coffeys)

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Cheap Old Houses Instagram becomes too popular, creates home-buying wars

Cheap Old Houses is one of my favorite Instagram accounts. The folks behind it scour real estate listings around the U.S. to find and showcase cool old homes being sold at ridiculously inexpensive prices, i.e. real estate pR0n. Sure, most of the houses are in places I'd never move to or they are "major fixers" but they're all under $100K. Well, it seems that the feed is becoming too popular, as evidenced by this PSA they released on Friday:

View this post on Instagram

I have a public service announcement to make! (haha and no, I’m not going to stop posting 😉) I started this feed as a service to gather together a community of people who love and respect older homes that have been neglected and need TLC. I’m super proud of all the homes I’ve helped land in the hands of people who truly love them. That said, the feed has gotten more wildly popular than I could ever have imagined! Although (at least to my knowledge), no one has yet gotten into a bidding war because a house was posted on this feed, I do fear that it could happen. Please, PLEASE do me a favor: If you are planning to look at a house that is for sale for under $100,000 and have serious intentions to buy it, and if I haven’t already posted it, PLEASE send me a message and let me know and I will NOT post it! 💛💛💛 Thank you!!!!

A post shared by Cheap Old Houses (@cheapoldhouses) on Dec 14, 2018 at 12:31pm PST

Here are some examples of these cheap old homes:

View this post on Instagram

402 E Jefferson St, Mount Pulaski, IL — Lotsa work.

Read the rest

Amazon employees snapped up NYC real estate before headquarters announcement

Like the billions in public money destined for Amazon's benefit and that of the world's richest man, it's all perfectly legal.

The two employees decided to the buy units just before the first press reports surfaced that Amazon was likely to choose Long Island City for its new headquarters, Mr. Aguayo said. The buyers now live in New Jersey and Queens, he added.

While employees aren’t permitted to buy and sell stocks based on nonpublic information, several real estate lawyers said they were aware of no such prohibition for real-estate transactions.

The WSJ reports no "reliable figures" on sales in the area since Amazon's announcement (and immediately before it, evidently) but it's explosive. One brokerage says it sold 150 condos in the last four days, 15 times its normal volume. Read the rest

Discover if someone has died in your house

Have you ever wondered if someone died in your house, or worse?

Enter DiedInHouse.com. A simple $11.99 search through them will tell you everything you (probably don't) want to know.

A query on this website will uncover if a specific address is "stigmatized," meaning that it's got issues beyond its physical condition. Sellers are generally not under legal obligation to share if something horrible -- like a murder, suicide, or, say, a meth lab -- has happened on a property. And they certainly aren't required to disclose "paranormal" activity.

Software engineer Roy Condrey founded the site in 2013 after getting a strange text.

Forbes:

The website’s creation begins like a ghost story. ...Condrey received a text message in the middle of the night from one of his tenants that read: “Did you know that your house is haunted?” Condrey went down a cyber rabbit hole seeking, but not finding, an easy way to determine if his property had indeed seen a gruesome crime or fatality.

“I went online to find a ‘Carfax’ of sorts for deaths in homes and I didn’t find anything, but I did find pages and pages of people asking if there’s a way to find out if their house is haunted,” says Condrey, who rents out several properties. He later learned through his data collection that, in fact, at least 4.5 million homes nationwide have had documented deaths take place on the premises. The number of homeowners that know about the history of their home, however, is unknown.

Read the rest

HGTV not saying how much it paid for the Brady house

The Hollywood studio that crushed Lance Bass' dream of buying the Brady Bunch house has been revealed. It's HGTV. But the amount they paid has not yet been disclosed.

'N Sync singer Lance Bass ... was “heartbroken” when his deal fell through after the bidding deadline. In an Instagram post, he wrote that an undisclosed corporate buyer wanted the house "at any cost."

Bass doesn't seem to have any hard feelings, though. In a tweet published Tuesday, the singer explained, "How can you be mad at HGTV? My television is stuck on that channel." He added, "Kudos, HGTV. I know you will do the right thing with the house. That was always my biggest worry. I can smile again."

Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced the sale Tuesday morning:

“One of our projects for HGTV will speak to those Brady Bunch fans on the call... You may have heard that the house from the iconic series was recently on the market in California. I’m excited to share that HGTV is the winning bidder and will restore the Brady Bunch home to its 1970s glory as only HGTV can. More detail to come over the next few months but we’ll bring all the resources to bear to tell safe, fun stories about this beloved piece of American TV history.”

Buy, buy, buy.

Previously:

Here's the story of how 'N Sync's Lance Bass won and then lost the Brady Bunch house

For Sale: The real-life Brady Bunch house

(The Wrap) Read the rest

Here's the story of how 'N Sync's Lance Bass won and then lost the Brady Bunch house

'N Sync's Lance Bass tweeted on Friday afternoon how he had won the bid to buy the real-life Brady Bunch house.

A couple of Brady kids congratulated him.

Actress Maureen McCormick (Marcia Brady), wrote:

Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady) wrote:

View this post on Instagram

I really didn’t know I cared that much until I found out that the house will be owned by someone who will give it live. Besides, in his efforts to experience space travel, he underwent Cosmonaut training. That makes Bass a living personification if a Bobby Brady dream sequence! Grats man!

A post shared by Susan Olsen (@thesusanolsen) on Aug 4, 2018 at 1:41pm PDT

But by Saturday night, he shared that the agent called to tell him a Hollywood studio was willing to buy the house "at any cost":

Marcia Marcia Marcia! Im feeling heartbroken today. As many of you may have heard, we placed the winning bid on the iconic Brady Bunch house—at least that’s what we were told. The agent representing the estate informed us we made the winning bid (which was WAY over the asking price) after the final deadline for all offers had passed—even writing up the “winning bid” for my team after informing me of the good news.

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For Sale: The real-life Brady Bunch house

The house at Klump Ave. and Dilling St. in Studio City, also known as the Brady Bunch house, has been put on the market for $1.885 million.

LA Times:

The Brady Bunch house, a Traditional-style residence near the Colfax Meadows neighborhood, was used for outdoor representations of the beloved television family’s abode. That included the show’s opening and closing scenes as well as numerous interludes to denote the time of day. Interior scenes for “The Brady Bunch” were filmed in studio.

Violet and George McCallister bought the two-bedroom, three-bathroom house in 1973 for $61,000, records show. The series ran from September 1969 to March 1974 before moving into reruns in syndication.

Ernie Carswell, a Douglas Elliman agent who is listing the property, said the split-level house has been updated and upgraded but retains almost the exact interior decor from that era, though the layout does not resemble the TV show home.

The article reports that Carswell is expecting many lookie-loos and to thwart the masses, he will not be holding any open houses. Interested buyers will need to book an appointment to see the "never-ending attraction." There's also a chance that its new owners will tear it down as it "sits in an area that has been ripe for tear-downs and new development." Caswell says the sellers would prefer to sell it to someone who will preserve it.

-----

So, I have a funny story about this property. A few years ago I had the opportunity to ride in a Wienermobile. Read the rest

London luxury housing market bubble bursts: 39% of sales last quarter were to deep discount wholesalers making bulk buys

London's property market continues its implosion, brought on by a combination of tightening capital controls (much of the market exists to help offshore criminals launder their money), Brexit, and a long-overdue correction to a wildly inflated market. Read the rest

Modest Silicon Valley home breaks record for highest price paid per square foot

They say that, in real estate, it's all about location, location, location. That's especially true if you're a Silicon Valley worker who wants to avoid a horrible commute.

The 848-square-foot house at 1062 Plymouth Drive in Sunnyvale is in a great location for someone in tech, as it's about a 10-minute drive to the Google, Apple, LinkedIn or Yahoo! campus.

And it just sold for $2M, a mere $550K over asking, according to KRON4.

That is $2,358 per square foot, the highest price paid per square foot ever recorded by the MLS in Sunnyvale.

The two-bedroom, two-bath house sold in just two days of being on the market, reports listing Agent Doug Larson. He told KRON4, "Well [laughs], I was kind of blown away."

The new buyer does plan to live there. He is a young, single man who works in tech.

And he paid all cash for his new home.

The Mercury News writes:

Friday morning, a realtor called Larson and told him she was sending over an offer. Larson told her his client wasn’t accepting offers until the following Wednesday, but the persistent realtor refused to take no for an answer and sent her client’s offer that afternoon.

It was too tempting to pass up — $2 million, all cash, closing in 10 days. The seller was shocked.

“She said, ‘What?'” Larson said. “She was as taken aback as I was.”

Read the rest

Unreal estate: World's largest chest of drawers for sale in North Carolina

Built in the 1920s as High Point, North Carolina's "Bureau of Information," this 36-foot-tall The Goddard-Townsend style dresser/building represents the area's furniture and hosiery industries (note the socks).

It is considered the world's largest freestanding chest of drawers, though down the street an 80-foot-tall bureau was created a few years back as a building's facade.

Now, for a mere $235K, this unusual High Point icon -- a commercial property -- could be yours.

(Pee-wee Herman, Old House Dreams)

first image via Google, second photo by Laurie Hlywa Read the rest

Nevada's creepy "Clown Motel" for sale, ghosts included

You could be the next proprietor of the Clown Motel in Tonopah, Nevada. Packed with kitschy-creepy clown figurines, paintings, and mannequins, it's conveniently located next to a cemetery with the graves of residents and prospectors who died of a strange plague in 1902. Reportedly the ghosts of some of those folks haunt the Clown Motel. You could own it for $900,000 so long as you contractually agree that the Clown Motel won't shut its doors. From Mysterious Universe:

The greasepaint ghouls came from Leona and LeRoy David, a brother and sister who built the motel in 1985 and chose the site next to the cemetery because their father was buried there. They put their small collection of clown memorabilia on display and ran the inn until 1995 when they sold everything to Bob Perchetti, whose family has lived in Tonopah for four generations and most certainly knew the haunted history of the motel and its clownish contents...

Seven-year employee Marlena Dufour says she’s seen apparitions and moving mannequin hands and has heard disembodied voices. Dufur told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that a guest had a room key mysteriously disappear. However, it’s the clowns that cause the most trouble. While many guests come dressed as clowns and enjoy the experience, others have walked into the office and screamed or fainted.

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