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First-time buyers see costs soar in a year as average deposits reach record of £46k

Sunday, January 26, 2020

The average price paid by a first-time buyer in Britain last year was £231,455, up 9% - or £18,252 - on a year earlier, according to research by Halifax.

Essence of jasmine: fragrant memories of childhood, love, and comfort

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Used in many Thai desserts, woven into leis and offered up in prayers, jasmine sambac is easily used in a heavenly sweet scented beverage

It took us two years to find our house. I wasn’t looking for a house so much as I was looking for space to liberate the roots of all the potted fruit trees, vegetables and herbs I had accumulated which moved from rental house to rental house with us. They certainly outnumbered our boxes of possessions which were mainly made up of books on plants.

We found the perfect block in the neighbourhood that I grew up in, it was only slightly sloping and had water tanks. I must be the only person naïve enough to favour and choose real estate based on the existing water tanks on a property.

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Kitsch confidential in New York

Sunday, January 26, 2020

A Greenwich Village designer’s passion for rebooting reclaimed treasures brings her prewar duplex apartment bang up to date

Behind the classic facade of US-born designer Sasha Bikoff’s prewar Greenwich Village duplex lies a tale of 18th-century France and glam disco-era bravado. Or, to put it another way, Marie Antoinette meets Studio 54 and 1980s Palm Beach.

“I’m inspired by the eccentricity of different eras,” says Bikoff. “So when I discovered the original 80s powder room in this place, it sealed the deal. It was just so far out that I had to live here.”

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Grow your likes: the unstoppable rise of the Insta plant

Sunday, January 26, 2020

They’re green, photogenic and social media stars

Instagram may well have changed the way you garden, even if you don’t have an account. From the plants you buy – and where you buy them – to the gardens you visit, the platform has driven a profound change in the tastes and habits of even established gardeners, not to mention encouraging a new generation of green fingers.

Plants have been inspiring artists for hundreds of years, so they are well suited to the photo app. A younger generation (urban, cash-strapped, Insta-obsessed and renting) are driving houseplant sales, sharing pictures of their plant babies instead of the human ones they can’t afford. From the dramatic structure of mother-in-law’s tongue to blousy tea roses, you can say a lot about your taste through the species you share. Connecting with nature reduces stress, much needed in these chaotic times; even bursts of online greenery, amid Instagram’s sometimes frantic commercialism, are a tonic.

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Gardening tips: chit potatoes for an early summer crop

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Then plant a dark-leaved elder and visit Bicton Park Botanical Gardens in Devon

Plant this Dark-leaved elder (Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla ‘Black Tower’) produces pink flowers in spring followed by elderberries. It has the added benefit of growing up rather than out, making it ideal for smaller gardens. Height and spread 250cm x 120cm: full sun or partial shade.

Chit this Get some potatoes sprouting now and they’ll be ready by early summer. Try ‘Kifli’, a blight-resistant, high-yielding salad potato that’s ideal for planting in sacks or pots. The first step is chitting: place tubers in an old egg box, blunt end uppermost, on a windowsill until the shoots are about 2cm long.

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We grew up close by, but our paths never crossed. Was it fate to meet now?

Sunday, January 26, 2020

I turned our encounters over and over in my head, wondering if I had been too boring, unattractive, or callow. Why would he text, then drop me, then text again?

Hot Property: John Travolta gets $18 million for longtime Brentwood home

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Also: Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick have bought a home in Malibu, and Pauly Shore is selling his contemporary spot in the Hollywood Hills.

Thriving social scene can in a town can add 10% to property prices

Saturday, January 25, 2020

As thousands of country pubs, shops and post offices have shut down over the past few decades, loneliness has become an increasingly serious problem for village folk.

At 88, veteran TV director Howard Storm has lots of stories to tell

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Storm's decades in entertainment play out in a new book and in his collection of photos with famous friends.

Home of the Week: A new Craftsman in the Bird Streets

Sunday, January 26, 2020

A newly built contemporary in the Bird Streets neighborhood draws from the popular Craftsman style of the early 1900s. Asking price: $7.195 million.

Languishing luxury: Auckland beauties await buyers - some for years

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Auckland property market is forecast to romp ahead again this year, yet some of our city's finest homes are failing to sell, despite months - sometimes years - of high-profile marketing.Mansions in the $10 million-$20m league...

Frederic Berman, Protector of Renters in New York, Dies at 92

Saturday, January 25, 2020

He helped institute safeguards for tenants of 1.4 million rent-controlled apartments in the ’60s and was a key player behind the Rent Stabilization Law.

When the Prince of Wales Is Your Landlord

Saturday, January 25, 2020

On England’s southwestern coast, a community built by the Duchy of Cornwall is attracting residents who have bought into Prince Charles’s housing philosophy.

Famed novelist Zane Grey's Altadena estate asks $3.995 million

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The historic Altadena estate of famed Western author Zane Grey is up for grabs at $3.995 million.

Let’s move to Romney Marsh, Kent: ‘It takes a certain someone to love it’

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Many will run for the hills, but others find its squelchy fields, sluice gates and forlorn villages impossibly romantic

What’s going for it? It takes a certain someone to love Romney Marsh. That someone happens to be me. Many will gaze at its landscape of squelchy flat fields, sluice gates and forlorn, atmospheric villages, and run for the hills, as they did for centuries. Some, though, will find them all impossibly romantic and fabulously attractive. The neighbourhood did seem to attract those certain someones: Noel Coward, for instance, or Edith Nesbit, seeking escape in a spot lifted above the day-to-day in its own existential universe. It’s hard to fathom exactly where Romney Marsh gets its particular character from. Its history of malarial marshes and smugglers’ haunts hangs about like a miasma. The blank landscape is peppered with remote medieval villages, astonishing churches, such as at Fairfield, built on the riches of the wool trade, and flat-faced postwar bungalows, staring out to sea. Or perhaps it’s this landscape’s own peculiar geographical history that is so attractive, its sense of temporariness, of the mastery of nature. The fortunes of Romney Marsh and its inhabitants have risen and fallen with the tides, and the accumulation of silt and shingle. These flatlands, just north of Dungeness, were once the English Channel, the now redundant cliffs arcing miles from the sea, from Hythe to Rye. This patch of land has only been lent to Britain by the waves, and the waves might want it back some day.

The case against Bleak. Roads that turn and twist violently, dangerously, with the ditches.

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New heat pump raises temperature in Auckland body corporate dispute

Friday, January 24, 2020

An Auckland city-centre flat owner is upset he has to hand over a key to his complex's body corporate so they can enter his apartment at any time.Queen St apartment owner Zhiren "James" Xian's frustration stems from a dispute over...

The High Line’s Latest Starchitect Project

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Thomas Heatherwick, who created the Vessel at Hudson Yards, has designed buildings where every window is a bay window.

'Entourage' creator Doug Ellin lists new-look Beverly Hills home

Saturday, January 25, 2020

In Beverly Hills, 'Entourage' creator Doug ellin is asking $7.995 million for a traditional-style home he bought from actor James Caan.

Dealing With Clutter Hangover

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The holidays are a distant memory and so too is the joy from all that new stuff you acquired. Marie Kondo would not be pleased.

Whitley Heights home with star-studded past seeks $1.995 million

Saturday, January 25, 2020

In the historic Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Whitley Heights, a Mediterranean-style stunner with Hollywood pedigree is on the market for $1.995 million.

In the Bahamas, a Strong Market for New Luxury Homes

Friday, January 24, 2020

Three new high-end developments have brought a rise in sales to foreign buyers. The lack of an income tax is another attraction.

In NoLIta, a Rental Renovated in Shades of Purple

Friday, January 24, 2020

It took a lot of nerve (and a very understanding landlord) to do what one Russia-born designer and his partner did. And it wasn’t the first time.

On a beautiful day, nothing beats the kid-friendly gardens at the Huntington: Four Hours

Saturday, January 25, 2020

On a beautiful day, nothing beats the botanical gardens at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens. There's something for everyone.

Vintage SoCal: Pasadena Craftsman set the stage for the Greenes' style

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Arts & Crafts-inspired Duncan-Irwin house is listed for sale in Pasadena.

Bitter feud sees famous Huka Lodge sold to private equity firm

Friday, January 24, 2020

An agreement has been made to sell Taupo's Huka Lodge to a US private equity firm in a deal requiring Overseas Investment Office approval. The luxury lodge was put up for sale as part of the bitter feud between businessmen Michael...

CNBC's 'Listing Impossible' delivers hard truths to wayward homeowners

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The real estate reality show, which premiered Jan. 15, turns hot-mess mansions into palatable properties.

Cosy cottages for sale – in pictures

Friday, January 24, 2020

Live a fairytale life in these character properties, from Oxfordshire to Norfolk

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What to do in the garden this weekend

Friday, January 24, 2020

Protect monarch butterflies from paper wasps; stop wisteria strangling your house; which veges to sow now.

Great Scott! Actor Christopher Lloyd lists his Ventura beach cottage

Friday, January 24, 2020

In Ventura, 'Back to the Future' actor Christopher Lloyd is asking $2.95 million for his cozy cottage on the beach.

Meryl Streep sells New York penthouse for $15.8 million

Friday, January 24, 2020

Actress Meryl Streep has sold her New York penthouse overlooking the Hudson River for $15.8 million, or $8.8 million shy of her original price.