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>California Leads In High Priced House Sales

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Sold! A Look Back at 2010’s Most Expensive Real Estate Sales
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See 2010’s Most Expensive Home Sales

While the past few years have been tough on real estate, the market still saw plenty of double-digit, multi-million-dollar sales in 2010. Looking back, here are some of the
notable sales from 2010

1. Le Belvedere – Bel Air, CA

Listed at: $85 million
Sold for: $50 million

Inspired by the Palace of Versailles, this 38,000-sq ft mansion was the most expensive real estate sale of 2010 with a final sale price of $50 million. It was originally listed for $85 million starting in 2009. 

See Le Belvedere

sold-belvedere


2. Beauty on Billionaires Beach – Malibu, CA

sold-carbonbeach Listed at: $57 million
Sold for: $36,969,000

This 12,785-sq ft estate is located along Malibu’s coveted Carbon Beach, which is also known as Billionaires Beach, where celebs such as David Geffenand Jennifer Aniston also own homes. 

See Beauty on Billionaires Beach


3. Pebble Beach Jewel – Pebble Beach, CA

Listed at: $25 million
Sold for: $18,750,000

Cradled in beauty near Pebble Beach’s famed17-Mile Drive is this newly built estate of 9,750 sq ft where indoor-outdoor living is punctuated by the sound of crashing surf or the thwack of agolf ball.

See Pebble Beach Jewel
sold-pebblebeach

» See More Notable Sales of 2010

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>Alien Ants Are Devouring Everything In Texas. Ants so Devastating Who Needs al Quaeda and the Taliband?

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Destructive ants marching on San Antonio

01:31 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Deborah Knapp, KENS 5

Video

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May 18th, 2009

The crazy rasberry ant is named after exterminator Tom Rasberry, who first discovered it in 2002.

>More News video

A destructive menace is heading west on Interstate 10 toward San Antonio.
It’s the crazy Rasberry ant that was first spotted in Houston in 2002. No one knows where it came from or how to control it, but it reproduces faster than any insect experts have ever seen.
“This is an alien species,” says Sam Houston State University Entomologist Dr. Jerry Cook. “This is in higher densities than any other insects I’ve ever seen. They number in the billions and cover everything around them.”
“Where you’ll have 200,000 ants in a big fire ant mound, you’ll have billions of crazy ants in one area, in that one group. They form a carpet of ants over acres that is several inches thick.”
“It’s a potential ecological disaster, displacing everything in front of it, other insects. Some people think getting rid of insects is good but it’s not good for the environment. Insects play a vital role. When you destroy insects, you destroy the food for birds and other animals that depend on these insect populations. It could affect our food supply, reducing the crop yield by 30 to 40 percent.”
The crazy ants even kill fire ants, which many may think is good news, but they are more destructive to homes and businesses than fire ants. They pack into electrical equipment in such dense numbers that they short out computers, air conditioning units and car computers.

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>Latest WSJ Home and Building News

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The Wall Street Journal Online - Real Estate Update Email
Online Journal E-Mail Center
January 30, 2009 — 10:54 a.m. EST

Creating New Roots

Architect Kyu Sung Woo’s Vermont retreat blends architectural traditions of New England and Korea.

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How To Downsize Your House

Many people are looking to declutter their lives these days. But editing a lifetime’s worth of possessions can be difficult. Here are some tips.

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Builders Offer Rock-Bottom Rates

Beleaguered home builders are promoting interest rates well below the national average, with industry giant Lennar lowering the bar to 3.875%.

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Insurer Courts Coastal Homeowners

As large, mass-market insurance companies withdraw from coastal areas, a small, high-end insurer is pushing for the wealthy among these customers.

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John Edwards’s Former Home for Sale

Two years after John Edwards sold his Washington home for $5.2 million, its current owners are trying to sell it … actor Nicolas Cage has cut the price on a Los Angeles house … and more.

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Artist Views

Homes where a rising art scene is part of the landscape.

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Option ARMs See Rising Defaults

Defaults are rising for adjustable-rate mortgages, threatening to worsen problems for housing lenders.

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Capital Spending Continues to Fall

Durable goods orders slumped 2.6% in December for the fifth month in a row. Meanwhile, sales of new homes sank nearly 15%.

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Central Bank to Alter Mortgage Terms

The Fed moved to stem foreclosures by modifying mortgages tied to assets it acquired via bailouts.

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Home Prices, Sentiment Keep Sliding

U.S. home prices in the 20 areas tracked by S&P/Case-Shiller fell 18.2% in November from a year earlier. Consumer confidence hit a new low.

REAL ESTATE TOOLS

>Foreclosures Spike Up

>Associated Press

WASHINGTON — More than 2.3 million American homeowners faced foreclosure proceedings last year, an 81% increase from 2007, with the worst yet to come as consumers grapple with layoffs, shrinking investment portfolios and falling home prices. Read the WSJ story . . .
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DUBAI — Construction of a one-kilometer-tall tower slated to be the world’s tallest has been delayed by its government-owned developer, in a sign of how a city that seemed to have limitless resources and ambition now is struggling to avoid a hard crash. Read the Story
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By MAURA WEBBER SADOVI | SPECIAL TO THE WSJ

California’s Inland Empire, the two-county region that stretches east of Los Angeles, has gone from a booming development smorgasbord to a basket case in a few short years. Read more . . .
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>In This Housing Market Expect The Worst

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Now that there are one million foreclosures and a browned out lawn every ten houses in almost every subdivision, it’s time for the fancy-dan boys to come out of the woodwork. If it isn’t a reverse mortgage advertised by movie star Robert Wagner, it’s a quick-cash carnival character like the guy above who promises money now for your house regardless of its condition. In fact, they hope it is in poor condition so they can offer you less–not 50% of market value, not 30% or even 20% in many instances. “Would you take 10%?”

Many homes in America were bought at too high a price and are now in what we call a reverse mortgage situation. That means the house is worth less in today’s market than what is owed to the Mortgage company. There may be ten million of those around. Yet, experts tell us only five percent of the homes in America are in line for foreclosure. And that’s because five percent of the owners stopped paying their monthly mortgage bills.

And the U.S. Congress is poised to bail out these people with your tax dollars and mine? I think that is patently unfair to the rest of us.

I say, let the free market take care of those houses and those mortgages. In many cases, Michael Corbett said on Larry King the other night, 57 percent of those receiving foreclosure notices do nothing about it. They don’t care. They don’t even call the bank or mortgage company to see what they can do.

Banks don’t want their houses. They want those people to get in touch with their “workout” office and see if the mortgage and monthly payment can be lowered so the people can save their house. But 57 percent? Yes, those figures come from HUD, the Housing and Urban Development office. If 57 percent of the foreclosed people don’t care enough to even call the bank, why are we even considering our tax dollars helping them out. If they can’t help themselves, they are beyond help. Don White