MONEY Apple

Steve Wozniak’s Apple-Styled Former Home Sells for $3.9 Million

The Apple cofounder's former residence was built by the same contractors that designed Apple's offices.

Ever wonder how Apple’s signature aesthetic might look when applied to a house?

Look no further than Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak’s former home in Los Gatos, Calif., which just sold for $3.9 million. The design is simple and futuristic, with plenty of shiny silver, white, and glass surfaces. Essentially, it looks like a giant Apple device (slash spaceship).

That’s no coincidence, says listing agent Arthur Sharif. The home was originally built in 1986 for Wozniak with the help of the same contractors who built Apple’s offices.

“That’s why it looks slightly more like a commercial rather than residential space,” Sharif says. “I actually had to ‘de-Apple’ it by adding a walnut finish to the floors.”

The 7,500-square-foot, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home has been listed and delisted several times since 2013 and was finally snatched up by pharmaceutical entrepreneur Mehdi Paborji, according to Sharif. (The Wozniak family sold it for $3.1 million to patent lawyer Randy Tung in 2009.)

Wozniak, who still lives just a few hills over in Los Gatos, built the home with his kids in mind.

In addition to a playroom, pool, and koi pond, the house includes a $40,000 scientifically accurate replica of a prehistoric limestone cave, complete with fossils, dinosaur footprints, stalactites, stalagmites, and semi-precious stones embedded in the walls.

Click through the gallery above to see more images of the home.

MONEY Utilities

Home Solar Energy Gets Jolt from Financing

Solar technology is growing, and financing is making it more accessible for homeowners.

As solar-powered technology becomes more popular, more financing options are being offered to make solar panels more accessible. From the Solar Impulse 2, the solar cell aircraft, to rooftop solar panels for war-torn hospitals in the Gaza Strip, more and more people are making use of the technology in a residential setting.

MONEY real estate

Atlantic Hurricane Season Could Bring High Costs

Prepare your home and finances for a disaster.

Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. While the 2015 season is expected to bring ‘below average’ activity according to NOAA, that still means six to 11 named storms. Homeowners in geographic areas susceptible to hurricanes should be prepared with homeowners’ and flood insurance. For more information about hurricane-proofing your finances, check out It’s Hurricane Season: 5 Ways to Disaster-Proof Your Finances.

TIME real estate

You Can Buy Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch

Neverland Ranch
NBC NewsWire—NBC NewsWire via Getty Images Neverland Ranch

But all the giraffes are gone

The world-famous former home of pop star Michael Jackson is now on the market.

Neverland Ranch, now known more mundanely as Sycamore Valley Ranch, is up for sale for a cool $100 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Jackson bought the 2,700-acre estate in Los Olivos, Calif. for $19.5 million in 1987 and lived there until the mid-2000s, when financial troubles forced him to leave the location.

Unfortunately, the amusement park rides and zoo animals that made Neverland Ranch famous are now gone, though there is still at least one llama on the premises for some reason. The train station and railroad tracks that Jackson built are also still on the property.

Don’t expect this to become the next Graceland, though. The person selling the ranch is specifically looking for a buyer who doesn’t plan to turn the place into a museum for the singer.

“We’re not going to giving tours,” realtor Suzanne Perkins told the Journal.


TIME Uber

Here’s Uber’s Plan for a New Sci-fi Headquarters

Photo courtesy of Uber

Fast-growing company will be moving into fancy new offices

Ride sharing service Uber is planning a fancy new headquarters to go with its recent stratospheric $50 billion valuation.

Futuristic buildings will be connected by glass walkways, according to designs recently released by the company.

The new headquarters, located in San Francisco’s Mission Bay, is expected to open by late 2017 or early 2018, according to Quartz. It will be comprised of a six-story building at 1515 Third St. as well as an 11-story building at 1455 Third St.

The buildings were designed by Shop Architects PC, a New York City firm. The structures measure approximately 423,000 square feet, which the San Francisco Chronicle reported last year will triple Uber’s footprint in the city.

Business software giant Salesforce previously occupied the space.

It will be the eighth move for Uber, according to the Chronicle.

Here are a couple more images of the designs:

Uber headquarters
Photo courtesy of Uber
Uber headquarters 3
Photo courtesy of Uber

 

MONEY

Attention Millionaires and Millionaires in the Making!

Do you already have a seven-figure net worth, or are you on your way there? If so, MONEY would love to chat with you about the smart financial moves you’ve made that put you on the path toward becoming a millionaire. Whether you’re a relentless saver, a shrewd investor, real estate mogul, or an entrepreneur, we want to know what makes you tick, what drives you, and strategies you’ve employed to get you to your goals.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a young professional or a seasoned investor — millionaires in the making from all walks of life are welcome!

 

MONEY home prices

This Is America’s Biggest, Priciest New Home

Construction continues at a home being built by Nile Niami, a film producer and speculative residential developer, in this aerial photograph taken in Bel Air, California, U.S., on Monday, May 18, 2015. Niami, who hopes to sell the house for a record $500 million, is pouring concrete in L.A.s Bel Air neighborhood for a compound with a 74,000-square-foot (6,900-square-meter) main residence and three smaller homes, according to city records.
David Paul Morris—Bloomberg via Getty Images Construction continues at a home being built by Nile Niami, a film producer and speculative residential developer, in this aerial photograph taken in Bel Air, California.

An insane mansion is rising in Bel Air.

When the Los Angeles Business Journal reported last summer that work had gotten under way on a megamansion construction project in Bel Air, Calif., the property was expected to measure around 85,000 square feet, including a 70,000-square-foot main house. The New York Times wrote about the NIMBY issues being raised by property last December, when the expected listing price was estimated at $150 million.

These numbers are enormous, astronomical, absurd—hard for the average person to fathom, let alone afford. Yet apparently, these figures were on the low side.

The latest on the property, as reported by Bloomberg News, has it that the compound will exceed 100,000 square footage of living space, including a 74,000-square-foot main residence and three smaller houses on the four-acre property. If this turns out to be true, the Bel Air property would trump the notorious 90,000-square-foot estate in Orlando featured in the documentary The Queen of Versailles for the title of America’s largest recently built home. (The White House, by the way, is a mere 55,000 square feet.)

What’s more, the developer, film producer and speculative real estate investor Nile Niami, says that $150 million is chump change. He plans on putting the property on the market for the more fitting sum of $500 million. Bear in mind that the most expensive price ever paid for a home was $221 million for a London penthouse in 2011, and that no home in the U.S. is currently listed for more than $200 million.

In any event, what does one get in a Bel Air megamansion that measures potentially 100,000 square feet and costs potentially $500 million? Here are some of the key figures:

• 30-car garage
• 5,000-square-foot master bedroom
• 4 swimming pools, including a 180-foot infinity pool
• 1 “jellyfish room” with glass fish tanks on three sides
• 45-seat IMAX-style home theater
• 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Beverly Hills, downtown L.A.
• 74,000-square-foot main mansion
• 100,000+ total square feet on property’s four homes
• 8,500-square-foot private nightclub inside the mansion
• 40,000 cubic yards of earth to be removed for construction
• $500 million expected listing price

TIME World

Indonesian Woman Who Offered to Wed Whoever Bought Her Home Finds Groom Is Already Married

For sale: House (and wife) in Indonesia
Anadolu Agency—Getty Images Wina Lia, 40, poses at her home in Sleman, in Indonesia's Yogyakarta province, on March 12, 2015

A publicity stunt that could eventually turn into a soap opera

Perhaps it was always too good to be true. Indonesian homeowner Wina Lia, who offered to marry whoever agreed to purchase her house, has now discovered that the man of her dreams is in fact already married.

Redi Eko agreed to wed Wina as well as buy her home, and had admitted that he was once married, but another woman has since stepped forward, claiming she is still his legitimate wife, Indonesian media reports.

Wina, a 40-year-old single mother, is ostensibly surprised. “He never told me,” she said, as quoted by Kompas daily. “Yes, I am shocked when I read from mass media that he already has a wife. I am disappointed.”

Redi’s alleged wife, Endang Titin Wapriyustia, who, like Wina, who earns a living by running a beauty salon, also said that she was “surprised” when she heard her husband wanted to marry another woman.

Endang said she and Redi were married on March 8, 2014. They had known each other since they were teenagers and they reconnected after Redi’s first marriage ended and Titin’s husband passed away, leaving her with three children. The couple don’t see each other often because he lives in Lampung, in Sumatra, while she resides in the central Javanese town of Solo — not far from Yogyakarta, where Wina lives.

Endang said she wouldn’t stop her husband from marrying Wina, as long as they get divorced first.

But she hopes Wina would reconsider her plan to marry Redi. “He gave me many promises before, from buying me a luxurious house, a car for my child and taking me for an umrah [minor pilgrimage to Mecca], but until now, nothing,” Endang said. “Since we married [in March 2014], he didn’t give me money apart from 300,00 rupiah [$23] for Eid al-Fitr and 10 million rupiah [$760] for the wedding.”

Whether any of this has influenced Wina is unclear, though she has put her marriage plans on hold, saying: “I am postponing it, until this matter is taken care of.”

MONEY buying a home

Why You Still Can’t Afford to Buy a House

DreamPictures—Getty Images

Homeownership is at a 25-year low

Last month did not bring good news for those looking for evidence of a housing recovery. According to the Commerce Department, the seasonally adjusted home ownership rate for Q1 2015 sank to 63.8% — a number not seen since 1989. That represents a 1.2% decrease from Q1 of 2014, a 0.2% drop from Q4 2014, and the continuation of a general ten-year decline from a peak of over 69%. A few more months of this trend would put home ownership in historically low territory.

At the same time, household formation (those striking out on their own) increased by 1.7 million in Q4 of 2014 and another 1.5 million in 2015. Home prices are continuing to rise according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, and the inventory level of unsold housing has dropped below five months according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Six months is a typical supply for a healthy housing market.

So, the number of households is increasing, the housing supply is low, and prices are rising — yet the number of homeowners keeps decreasing. How does this add up?

It appears that too many of these new households still cannot afford to buy a house, at least not the ones that are available to them. They are forced to rent instead, and as a result, that market is also out of balance. Diana Olick of CNBC reports that rental vacancies are hitting historic lows. The current market could be considered a “pre-recovery” stage, if you will — millennials and those knocked down by the housing crisis have recovered to the point where they can enter the rental market, but not to the point where they can afford to buy a home even with the currently low fixed interest rates.

There is a cascade effect going on in the housing market that will take some time to remedy. Those who want to upgrade their homes are having difficulty gathering down payments and qualifying for loans, thanks to wages that are still stagnant and credit that is still relatively tight. Thus, the supply of starter homes is low, making first-time ownership difficult for those who have recovered enough to qualify. Some signs of wage pressures and loosening credit are present, but not enough to fuel a true recovery.

In terms of numbers, the calculation methods may make the situation look worse than it really is. Since the overall number of households is increasing and the majority of these are renting, the number of homeowners relative to the total is shrinking. It is not as though large numbers of people are losing their homes, as was the case during the housing crisis.

Many economists expect the decline in home ownership to begin stabilizing finally and to stay stagnant until the true recovery phase can kick in. A combination of rising wages, job increases, government approaches to make credit more affordable to first-time homebuyers, and the general decline of underwater homes through home appreciation should lead to a housing upturn. Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is: how long will it take to reach full recovery and convert renters into first-time homebuyers?

Nobody has that answer, and the housing market has defied most predictions of recovery over the last few years with frustratingly mixed progress. However, we can predict one thing with certainty. If the housing outlook is still struggling at this time next year, politicians and policymakers up for re-election will panic and start to take action, most of which will probably be misguided. Let’s hope the market intervenes before the politicians can act.

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