If you want to pay off a mortgage early, should you do it gradually or all at once? An expert answersSpaces1 day ago
Welcome to the launch of Yahoo Homes' Ask an Expert feature. Our money maven Ilyce Glink will be answering readers' home-related finance questions on subjects like mortgages, refis, and home equity or home improvement loans. Click here to submit a question. She might answer in a future post here on Yahoo Homes!
Our first question comes from Tami, a 56-year-old single woman who wants to be mortgage-free by the time she's 66:
Q: I am wondering what your opinion is about paying additional money toward my mortgage principal to pay off the balance early. Is it better to put extra money into paying off the mortgage, or should I invest that same money in another investment or 401(k)? I'd like to be able to either pay off the mortgage in 10 years at age 66 or have the funds available from other investments or my 401(k) to pay off at that time. -- Tami
- Spaces2 days ago
A year-and-a-half rental stint as the love nest of Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux -- not to mention big price slashes -- hasn't been enough to sell this made-over Beverly Hills beauty.
The owners paid $4.6 million for 425 Martin Lane in April 2010, then fixed it up and heaved it onto the market about a year later for an ambitious $14.9 million -- more than triple the purchase price -- Curbed L.A. reported at the time. Lest your eyes pop out as far as ours did: Afterseeing the home in person, the rarely credulous Curbed declared the renovation one of "humility" and the price tag "deserved" because "every last detail is expensive."
- Spaces3 days ago
When "America's oldest teenager" Dick Clark listed this hilltop beach property in Malibu almost exactly two years ago, media reports had some fun with its resemblance to "Flintstones" architecture. (And yes, they're having fun with it yet.)
The home, which still hasn't sold, has just been marked down; it's now half a million dollars less than its original $3.5 million asking price.
Listing agent Diane Carter of Coldwell Banker tells Yahoo Homes that the residence in Malibu, California, was built as a "romantic getaway" for Clark and his wife, Kari, in 1988. He died not long after the house went on the market in 2012, and now his widow owns it.
- Spaces8 days ago
The six-bedroom, one-bathroom home, with 3,500 square feet of living space on half an acre of land, is for sale for the first time in at least a century -- for $3 million. (Click here or on a photo to go to a slideshow of the house.)
Why the huge gap?
The home may have played an important role in helping to end slavery. Now located at 28 College St. in Brunswick, Maine -- and owned by the same family since 1905 -- it's said to have an impressive literary pedigree and an old window etching to prove it: Stories passed down through a century's worth of family generations say that Harriet Beecher Stowe rented a room here to seek peace and quiet from her six children so she could write her abolitionist novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
Backing up the lore, a window etching says "angels home." Family stories hold that it's in Stowe's hand and refers to a song sung by Uncle Tom in the novel.
- Spaces10 days ago
Even more than meals, memories are made in the kitchen, Merillat Cabinets reminds us.
That couldn't be more true than in this birch kitchen. Its charming retro look at the recent Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas stopped passersby (including your faithful Yahoo Homes correspondent) in their tracks.
Except it turns out the kitchen isn't just retro- looking : It's essentially an original 1940s kitchen, meticulously restored and preserved. (Click here or on a photo to go to a slideshow.)
Orville Merillat and his wife, Ruth, hand-built the kitchen for friends of theirs about 70 years ago in Adrian, Michigan -- where they went on to establish a woodworking company that became America's biggest cabinetmaker.
The kitchen stayed in the same home for decades, until Merillat employees tracked it down, pulled the cabinets out of the house (replacing them with new Merillat cabinets, of course), reassembled the kitchen, and presented it as a surprise for Mr. and Mrs. Merillat when their company turned 50 years old in 1996. Employees have since carefully maintained it.
- Spaces15 days ago
Lee Marvin, the late gravelly-voiced, white-haired film star, would have been 90 today. He was born on Feb. 19, 1924.
Known for playing tough guys in detective shows, war flicks and westerns, Marvin’s defining role (or at least one of them) was drunk wreck, philanderer and gold prospector Ben Rumson in “Paint Your Wagon,” a film that is part Western and part musical.
Apparently, Marvin took his debaucherous role seriously and even carried on his Rumson-like antics off the site, according to a family selling the home where Marvin stayed while filming “Paint Your Wagon” in Baker City, Ore.
Marvin lived in the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home at 2595 Main during the summer of 1968 and he managed to dust up quite a bit of attention while there. Urban legends still surround his stay: Some say he rode his motorcycle up the front steps, through the house and out the back door. He partied at the yellow Victorian with co-star Clint Eastwood. All this led to substantial damage to the home, but the owners apparently didn’t care because they were handsomely compensated, the listing says.
- Spaces16 days ago
Yoko Ono, the artist and musician who is most famous as the widow of slain Beatle John Lennon, was born in Tokyo on this day 81 years ago -- Feb. 18, 1933 -- so Yahoo Homes is looking at a couple of her properties.
The home pictured above is a converted horse stable that she bought for their son, Sean Lennon, in 1995. He lived in the penthouse on Downing Street in Manhattan for only a few years, after which it sat empty. She said she'd been trying to sell it but the co-op board stood in her way. The listing can still be found on Yahoo Homes, although it appears to be under contract.
- Spaces20 days ago
Even a bloodthirsty and paranoid despot likes to unwind.
For Joseph Stalin, the best place to clear his head was in the refreshing mountain air of Sochi. The camouflaged sanctuary in leafy Green Grove was his favorite among his many dachas, or villas. There he could enjoy all the amenities that his stature and predilections called for: a shallow indoor pool (he couldn't swim), a billiard table (rigged in his favor), a study/cinema (with bulletproof sofa for repose), and much more.
This slideshow wraps up Yahoo Homes' Flickr Focus of the Week, Stalin's Sochi dacha -- looking into every nook and cranny we could find. Click the photo above to enter the unsettling home of one of history's darkest characters.
- Spaces20 days ago
The stories these walls could tell!
When Elvis Presley died in August 1977, he owned two properties: Graceland, and this post-Priscilla bachelor pad in Palm Springs, California. Its current rundown state belies a "juicy history" that the New York Times briefly explored in 2003.
Elvis and wife Priscilla bought this house in 1970, moving in with their 2-year-old daughter, Lisa Marie. After their 1973 divorce, he added a wing that brought the house to its current square footage: 5,040. The addition contained a new master bedroom, plus a rec room that current listing agent Eric G. Meeks tells Yahoo Homes was basically a "big party room," with a steam room and a sauna that each open directly onto it.
"Supposedly Priscilla is not fond of this home," Meeks said, "because it symbolizes so much of Elvis' afterlife" as a single guy.
- Spaces21 days ago
As with so many things surrounding Stalin, there's more than meets the eye in the billiard room of his dacha (villa) in Sochi, Russia.
But it probably comes as no surprise that Rule No. 1 of playing pool with the dictator was: He wins.
Measures were taken to ensure that. Its height was altered to make the game easier for him (he wasn't more than 5-foot-8, and possibly more like 5-foot-4, according to some reports), and he had a specially made pool cue that was weighted and took into account his poor vision in one eye. That favorite cue is still on display there. Visitors can even take shots.
Through Friday, Yahoo Homes will be looking at Stalin's Sochi dacha as our Flickr Focus of the Week. Come back each day to see another space in the residence, plus the story behind it:
Monday: The grounds of Stalin's Sochi dacha.
Tuesday: Stalin's study.
Wednesday: Stalin's indoor pool.