John & Cindy's Family Home
Remember the 2008 presidential election when Republican candidate John McCain was unable to answer a reporter’s question about how many homes he and his wife, Cindy, owned? Various news sources pegged the number at anywhere between four and as many as ten homes. No one, including Senator McCain, seemed to know for sure but, according to Politico, the McCains owned at least eight properties in Arizona, California and Virginia.
Although the 2008 election didn’t turn out so well for McCain, he was fortunate that he sold their longtime Arizona family estate, also the home where Cindy was raised, in 2006, just before the real estate crash. The next owner, investor-buyer, Jane Popple, purchased the property for $3.2 million and after spending a small fortune adding 4,000 square feet and a total kitchen overhaul, Jane got stuck when trying to sell the large compound. Two years after she purchased it, she put it back on the market for $12 million. Attracting no buyers, she put it up for auction in August of 2011 starting at $10 million. Once again, it didn’t sell. At this point desperate, the home was offered as a short sale and finally sold for $1.8 million - a $2.7 million loss for Jane.
The new owners have now had two years to enjoy the property while keeping an eye on the 25 percent upswing in the Phoenix real estate market and have listed the former McCain estate at $2.9 million. At 14,383 square feet the Tuscan-styled property has seven bedrooms and seven baths in the main house with an additional two bedrooms in a guest house. Floors throughout the home are of hand-scraped antique walnut. The home's ceilings, many of which are vaulted and covered with warm woods, have been raised to give airiness and light. The master retreat is quite the romantic retreat with its private walled garden with sunken hot tub and a master bath. The chef's kitchen and blended commercial catering kitchen make all manner of dining and entertaining possible. The two acre, gated compound contains vast lawns, patios, a swimming pool with spa, and two sun-sheltering ramadas.
Al Capone Home Cashes In
Al Capone is still #1 in the minds of most Americans as the all time king of organized crime. Back in the 1920s and 30s, news coverage of men such as Capone, Jack Diamond, Lucky Luciano and Dutch Schultz made prime time newspaper headlines all across the United States. They were rich, famous and even today, the subject of legends, books, TV shows and movies.
Capone's annual income was thought to be over $100 million a year. He gave much of his money to various charities and became a strong public figure in spite of his methods of acquiring the money. Although many called him a modern day Robin Hood, his reputation was somewhat crushed when his likely involvement in the 1929 St Valentine’s Day Massacre hit the news. Then in 1931, the IRS arrested him for tax evasion and he went to several prisons including Alcatraz. He was released on parole in 1939, but suffered the worsening effects of neurosyphilis, which he had suffered for years. He died in 1947 at the young age of 48 in his waterfront Miami Beach home on Palm Island.
Capone's Palm Island home that he purchased in 1928, was recently sold after being on the market for several years. The .7 acre compound consists of 6,103 square feet, seven bedrooms, and seven baths in the main house, a two bedroom guest house and a two-story pool house built by Capone to house his bodyguards. The main house recently underwent a $4 million renovation and has plans and permits in place for further expansion. The home sold for $7.43 million.
George Washington's Last July 4th
In the early days of the United States, July 4th wasn’t much different than it is today. It was a day of parades, red, white and blue decorations, picnics, political speeches, and a lot of oohing and ahhing over brilliant displays of firecrackers exploding in the dark night sky.
On his last 4th of July in the year he died in 1799, George Washington stopped by his favorite tavern, Spring Gardens Tavern, in Alexandria, Virginia, to celebrate the holiday on his way from Washington to his home at Mt. Vernon. In this tavern - now a fabulous residence for sale - our first President dined with friends and military officers and enjoyed the local militia parade.
Locals say that this tavern was originally built in 1780. Today, it is a beautiful red brick home with green shutters, a white picket fence, gleaming wood floors and lots of white woodwork, molding and cabinets in the historic Old Town neighborhood. The home is 4,296 square feet with four bedrooms, five bathrooms plus new guest and game rooms that are connected by an enclosed, elevated walkway. Original elements of the home are evident such as parts of the original brick walls and the exposed beams in the kitchen. The house has been brought completely up-to-date with detailed restoration and 2013 technology.
The home's gardens are extensive and the property is a bit over a half acre, which is hard to find in Old Town. There is a pool, a small pond, extensive landscaping and lots of brick and flagstone paths. The former tavern, now an All-American home, is for sale asking $4.2 million.
Arnold's Love Nest Sold
The California home where Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted that he had fathered a child in 1997 with the family housekeeper of 20 years just sold after several years on the market.
Arnold and Maria Schwarzenegger purchased the home when they married in 1986 and lived in it until 2003 when they sold it for almost $18 million. All the while with Maria not knowing the maid’s son was fathered by Arnold, they even took the maid with them to their next house.
The 10,000 square foot house sits on 2.5 acres with nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms spread between the main house, a guest suite and guest quarters. The house has huge spaces for entertaining and a cook’s kitchen with commercial appliances. The grounds contain a pool and tennis court and landscaped gardens. It was originally priced at $23 million, reduced to $13.9 million and finally sold for $12.9 million.