A Big House With Some Really Interesting FeaturesThe internet has taken notice of a home listing that illustrates the difference in home prices by region. This house covers 2,900 square feet and has five bedrooms and five bathrooms on 3.6 acres. It also has a mother-in-law suite and an extra cabin on the grounds. The asking price? $349,000. Really. This home is in Florence, Alabama, where you can get such a house for under a million dollars.
Do You Really, Really Like Aqua? This beachfront house in Hopkins Landing, British Columbia, takes its inspiration from the sea in a big way. Anything that's not blue is green, or somewhere between the two. This is SeaGlass cottage, a 1,289 square foot house with three bedrooms and one bathroom on a little more than an acre.
Lively Front Yards Make Happier NeighborhoodsIt was once a given that your front yard should be small but welcoming, with chairs on the porch to make it easier to talk to people walking by, while the back yard is a private family spot for vegetable gardens, cookouts, and children's toys. Now science is looking into what a front yard has to do with the wellbeing of the people living inside. The hypothesis was that front yards that showed a sense of the resident's personality led to stronger ties among neighborhoods. This sense of personality could be anything from carefully planted flower beds to chairs to flags to holiday decorations to welcome signs. A group of researchers rated homes in Buffalo's Elmwood Village neighborhood by their openness and personality, while a different group contacted the homeowners and had them take a survey on their sense of place. The results show that front yards with personality and a sense of welcome correlated with the residents's contentment, attachment to the neighborhood, and stronger ties with their neighbors. Homes that had fences or hedges in front showed a negative correlation. It makes plenty of sense to me. I met most of the people in my neighborhood just by being outside near the street. Those who were home to see the eclipse ending up all observing it from the same yard. Read about this study and others that corroborate it, plus ways you can make your front yard appear more welcoming at The Conversation.(Image credit: Reading Tom) 
How to Make a Broken Lamp Work AgainI love antiques, and I'm always on the lookout for something vintage that will work in my home. But I have a problem with ancient electrical appliances, the kind with well-worn fabric-covered cords that whisper "fire hazard" in my ear. That's why I'm looking for a real pedal-powered sewing machine, but that's an entirely different story. Antique lamps are lovely, but useless if you are afraid to plug them in. It's the same for a great-looking lamp you find at a bargain because it doesn't work. But now you can make it work, and have a wireless vintage lamp!All you need are battery-operated light bulbs. No, not a flashlight, but real bulbs that screw into a socket, but don't need any electrical connection. There are many of them available. They have screw ends to fit into the lamp sockets, and come apart so that you can charge the LED light with a USB connection. Stick one of these into your vintage lamp and you don't even need a cord anymore, which is great if you have an old house with an insufficient number of electrical plugs. Plus, you'll have a brighter light than the original owner ever saw. Just be sure that the bulb you buy isn't too big for the lamp and shade you found at the thrift store. Read more about this wonderful workaround at Apartment Therapy. And now I can think of at least two lamps I regret getting rid of. (Image credit: Thomas Quine)
Freddie Mercury's London Home is For SaleLegendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury bought a unique home named Garden Lodge in the posh Kensington district of London in 1980, and lived there for the rest of his life. The house has quite a history, having been built for two well-known artists in 1908-09. It was also owned by a British spy during World War II. After Mercury died in 1991, he left Garden Lodge and all its contents to the love of his life, Mary Austin. Austin lived there for 30 years without moving any of Mercury's furnishings, and then finally auctioned off Mercury's possessions last fall. Now she has decided to let Garden Lodge go to someone who will respect its history, and it is on the market for the first time since 1980.​Despite being in the heart of west London, the house is remarkably secluded behind an eight-foot-high brick wall, with plenty of trees and gardens on its one-acre lot. The eight bedrooms of the home are augmented with a Japanese sitting room, a music studio, and Mercury's magnificent dressing room with floor-to-ceiling mirrors, where he stored his stage costumes. But don't think you will find it on Zillow. The home is being sold through Knight Frank, and they are accepting offers starting at £30 million ($38 million). -via Mental Floss (Image credit: Knight Frank)
A Nightmare Scenario for Landowners and Home BuildersIn 2018, Annaleine Reynolds bought an empty lot in Puna, Hawaii. She did not plan to build a house on it, but instead would use it for women's retreats. Her plans were delayed by the pandemic, and she was stuck in California. In 2023, she found out that someone had built a house worth a half a million dollars on her property! A developer hired a construction company to build about a dozen houses in a subdivision and accidentally built a house on Reynold's lot. You might think that would be a great problem to have- free house, right? But this case is far from simple. The developers offered to sell Reynolds the house at a discount, or swap an empty lot with her. She refused both deals, as her attorney said it would set a dangerous precedent to let the developers and builders off that easy. So the developer is now suing Reynolds for refusing those offers! Okay, as if that weren't enough, there are now squatters living in the house. Who has jurisdiction over them? Reynolds is countersuing, and the case is headed to court.​The lesson to be learned here is to keep an eye on any property you may own, which may require enlisting an agent in the case of a long distance deal. Even if you are willing to let someone else have it, there are certain liabilities that come with ownership. And if you are building homes, it will pay to double check and triple check all the paperwork, surveys, and permits. -via reddit ​(Unrelated image credit: Charles O'Rear/National Archives)