Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch for Sale for $100 Million

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Michael Jackson's 'Neverland Ranch' Hits Market for $100 Million

By Melissa Allison

The acreage that was once a fantastical amusement park for the King of Pop is on the market — but without the carnival rides, orangutans and elephant, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The 2,700-acre estate north of Santa Barbara is listed for $100 million.

RP 2009 Tote
Associated PressMichael Jackson in 2002

Still standing are the railways and grand train station Jackson built, the Journal reports, as well as a floral clock that spells out “Neverland,” and a fire department, minus the firefighters.

The property features some 22 structures, including a 12,000-square-foot main house with six bedrooms and attached staff quarters. There are also two guesthouses, a swimming pool, basketball court, tennis court and 50-seat movie theater with a private viewing balcony.

Jackson, who died in 2009, paid $19.5 million for the property in 1987. A real estate investment firm later bought a loan on which he defaulted and put the title into a joint venture with him, the Journal reports.

Suzanne Perkins and Harry Kolb of Sotheby’s International Realty and Jeffrey Hyland of Hilton & Hyland hold the listing for the property, now known as Sycamore Valley Ranch.


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Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie Selling Home in New Orleans

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Angelina Jolie Joins The Children's Health Fund To Raise Awareness For 55,000 Children Still in Crisis in the Gulf
WireImage/GettyAngelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, shown here with local children in 2007, bought their New Orleans home in 2006.

By Melissa Allison

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have listed their prime French Quarter mansion for $6.5 million, but a rep tells US Weekly the couple remain committed to New Orleans and will look for “something off the beaten path down the road.”

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Are Selling Their New Orleans Mansion

Pitt and Jolie became involved in philanthropic efforts in the city after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and bought the renovated 1830s home in late 2006 for Pitt’s filming of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” In 2007, Pitt cofounded Make It Right, a non-profit organization based in New Orleans that builds environmentally friendly homes and other buildings for people in need.

The home the Jolie-Pitts put on the market has five bedrooms, five baths and all the grandness you’d expect from a Big Easy mansion: Venetian plastered walls, marble mantles and fireplaces, crown moldings, a grand spiral staircase and — bringing it into the modern era — an elevator. There’s also a two-story guesthouse.

The couple let actor Jonah Hill crash at the home when he was filming “21 Jump Street.” Hill, a months-long guest, called Pitt “the nicest guy” for letting him stay there but said it came with some fan baggage.

“I would go home every day from work, and there’d be a tour outside and they’d be freaking out,” he told Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.” “I’d get out of the car, and you could hear a collective audible sigh of annoyance when it wasn’t Brad Pitt.”

The listing photos, alas, include only exterior shots.


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House Hunting for Two: How to Find Your Happy Home

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hispanic couple outside home...

By Vanessa Nix Anthony

While it can be tough enough to find just the right spot to rest your head at night on your own, it can be even more difficult when searching with a partner. Choosing where you’ll live, whether you’re renting or buying a home, is one of the most important and personal decisions you’ll ever make.

It’s the definition of complicated: the extra weight of the long-term commitment that sharing a living space brings. That means good communication is key.

“Moving in together is a huge commitment, perhaps more than a marriage itself, because it’s a substantial financial commitment to each other,” author and counselor Kerry Cohen says. “Any issues each person has around commitment, both in general and with each other, are surely going to come up.”

She advises couples to be prepared when looking for a place together.

“There will likely be arguing or maybe even hurt feelings,” Cohen says. “A lot of who a person is comes to the surface when buying a house — how detail oriented, how controlling, aesthetics, etc.”

Just because the potential is there for emotions to run high doesn’t mean they have to. Not if you take the time to do a little home-shopping prep. Here are a few do’s and don’ts, straight from the experts.

DO: Expect Feelings to Be on the Surface

Every expert we talked to brought up how emotional the home-selection process can be. And that makes sense, especially for buyers. C’mon: we’re talking about one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, in both time and money. Things are guaranteed to get heated.

Setting clear expectations and communicating clearly and kindly throughout the process will go a long way toward defusing volatile emotions.

DO: Communicate Openly and Often

Joan Rogers, a principal broker at the Portland agency Windermere Stellar in Oregon, recommends that clients identify their old emotional pulls before starting the home search. “As with most other emotional processes, people carry all kinds of baggage into buying a home.” Use collaborative tools such as Trulia’s new boards to share properties that you find in real time.

DO: Understand What You Both Want in a Home and Why

Amber Salvador, a clinical psychologist at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital in San Diego, suggests both parties make a list of their top three to five must-haves, then compare their lists and prioritize for budget and neighborhood before heading out on the search.

When searching for homes, make sure your list reflects who you are now as well as who you think you’ll be in five years, rather than clinging to old ideas of who you once were. The key component to success in agreeing on living arrangements is to make sure you truly understand why you want what you think you want.

DO: Be Willing to Compromise

“Be flexible. It’s important to be collaborative and work together versus against one another,” offers Salvador.

As Mick Jagger sings, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes,” with a little compromise and understanding, “you might find, you get what you need.”

DON’T: Be Impulsive

“Impulsive decisions are typically made based on emotions,” says Salvador. “A major financial decision such as buying a home requires thought, preparation, and planning to carefully decide the most appropriate home given the couple’s budget, lifestyle, and needs.”

DON’T: Spend More Than Your Budget

The heightened emotions during the home search can also persuade you to spend more money than your budget may be able to bear. This can lead to long-term consequences in the partnership. Salvador says it’s essential that you choose a new home together based on rational decision making instead of emotional desires.

DON’T: Manipulate Your Partner to Get What You Want

Your home should be a place where you both feel comfortable. Manipulating, lying, or bullying your partner to get more of what you want in a home can lead to resentments down the road when money is needed for repairs or upgrades to features that weren’t jointly agreed upon.


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Living Large in a Tiny Home on San Juan Island Near Seattle

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Tom Hanny/ZillowBrady Ryan and Leah Wymer’s tiny home measures less than 100 square feet but they have room to roam on the island.

By Catherine Sherman

Our boots sloshed around in the mud. It was a dreary Pacific Northwest day filled with slate-colored clouds and the feeling it could downpour any minute.

After several calls of “pardon me” and “coming through,” we got the tripod inside and forgot about the looming storm. We settled into a world of nooks and crannies, warm blankets — and the smell of chocolate.

It’s what you do when you live in a tiny home. You get cozy. And you make brownies on a rainy day.

Leah Wymer and Brady Ryan’s house-on-wheels wasn’t some big, planned project. Wymer’s dad, a carpenter, thought it would be fun, so they bought a used trailer off Craigslist for $500 and started building.

Two years later, the tiny home named Tina developed into “this huge thing.” Not a huge footprint — she’s only 98 square feet — but a huge, move-to-the-island and start-your-own-business thing.

Tiny Home Feature Final
Video by Tom Hanny/Zillow

Ryan insists they aren’t “hardcore tiny homies” because his parents’ house is nearby. But for many owners of tiny homes it isn’t about escaping normal life or community, anyway.

“We’ve had many times where we’ll sleep upstairs and then our friends, usually a couple, will sleep down here on the pullout and it’s like a sleepover,” Ryan says. “I love sleepovers. I’m still a little kid at heart.”

Tom Hanny/Zillow

Wymer says it instantly brings you closer because your proximity is so close, but she’s the first to admit living “tiny” isn’t for everyone.

“If you leave your laundry on the ground, it’s in the kitchen,” she says. “Everything kind of overlaps a little bit.”

Tom Hanny/Zillow

But if you don’t mind things — and people — overlapping, making do with less can be life-changing.

“Things don’t bring you happiness,” Wymer says. “Our lifestyle brings us happiness.”

Tom Hanny/Zillow

It’s not easy making money on an island. Wymer has her own wedding-flower business, and Ryan keeps busy making honey and sea salt.

“The tiny home is like the cog in the wheel that allows the whole thing to spin,” Ryan says. Not only are the couple’s living costs reduced significantly, but they’re able to do what they love most right in their backyard.

“There have been a lot of times where I wonder if I’m dreaming, really, because of the beauty that is all around us,” Wymer says. “I love when it gets later in the season, and the grass comes up to your waist. …There is nothing like walking out there and brushing your hands against it.”


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