Our Favorite Homes of the Silver Screen

Cinema magic or good design? These iconic homes from some of the most well known films, both classic and contemporary, almost act as standalone characters in each film, providing the setting in a beautiful and appropriate way. Take a look at some of our favorite homes, architecture, and interior designs from the world of cinema.

Home Alone

This home, made famous in the 1990 John Hughes classic epitomized the dream estate for America’s upper class families of the midwest. This Georgian-style Colonial home was grand from the inside out, and featured a classic red-brick exterior with plenty of windows and an elegant archway, making it easily recognizable to anyone who has seen the film. Featuring a grand staircase, ample amounts of room, and a very of-its-time wallpaper, it’s easy to see why this was one of the warmest and coziest homes of our childhoods.

Gone with the Wind

Set upon this sprawling plantation, the home from Gone with the Wind is a deep south mansion that seems to have the importance of a character of its own, serving as the setting for Scarlet O’Hara’s family. This piece of Georgia history lies on the fictional plantation of Tara, which the house has come to be known as. Tara goes through its own transformative journey, from being a place of glamor and prestige to its destruction and desecration during the Civil War. In its prime, the house most notably has a large front porch, columns, and a white brick exterior, with big windows and blue shutters. While its furnishings remain bare towards the end of the film, it’s still possible to see the architectural beauty of the home it once was.

A Single Man

It’s easy to see the artistry of Tom Ford’s keen eye even in the backdrop of this film. In Ford’s directorial debut, this designer turned director chose a 1949 mid-century modernist’s dream as a backdrop for Southern California in the early 60s. Dark woods, paneled and beamed ceilings, with a sleek, low-slung sophistication provide the setting for this 2009 drama. Walnut woods create a warm, but quiet and understated home in this mid-century marvel that sits in the middle of an oak forest, with concrete and glass permeating the perimeter.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

There are two homes prominently featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that are still remembered by audiences over 20 years later. Ferris’s home had all the charms of an 80s time capsule, complete with the postered walls of a rebellious teen bedroom, and was what we all imagined a comfortable suburban home to be like, boasting 7 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. But more importantly, let’s talk about Cameron’s mid-century glass house that gets its moment to shine towards the end of the film. Not only is this small house set back among the trees, showing us just how secluded and luxe it is, but there’s a detached garage especially for the family Ferrari that makes its home inside. Made of steel and glass, this home is a gorgeous marvel that showcases all the best of mid-century design.

Clueless

Talk about a dream closet. Not only did Cher’s bedroom and walk-in closet give us serious envy, but she also had the ideal staircase to make an outfit debut in. This sprawling Beverly Hills mansion, complete with multiple balconies and white pillars, allowed us to live out our valley girl dreams through our screen, and still remains vivid in our memory. It’s the quintessential Beverly Hills backdrop, but also acts as if it’s a character of its own. One thing is for sure, this film would not have the same effect without it.

Rental Property Management 101

So, you’ve decided to rent your property out. If this is your first foray into the world of property management, there are some ins and outs to learn. While essentially, you just purchase a property and lease it out to tenants and collect rent, property management is a little more nuanced than that broad definition.

While property management may be the easiest way into the world of entrepreneurship, it could potentially be the most risky as well. You will be liable for property that you don’t live on, you will have to deal with tenants, and you will also owe it to yourself to make your property as profitable as possible.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to property management, but there are some basics and general practices that will help you to avoid certain pitfalls. If you are a new landlord, don’t fly blind. Here are some guidelines to help you navigate property management and do so successfully.

Purchasing your first rental property

You have to be selective about what property you purchase for your first property management venture if you are not renting a property that you already own. Until you have a firm grasp of property management, it is best to start with a single family home. They are cheaper, and you only have to worry about maintaining one housing unit. Additionally, you only have to worry about one tenant or group of tenants instead of numerous tenants and rental agreements.

It is better to get your feet wet in a small pond before jumping into the ocean. If you do decide that you want to become a real estate mogul, managing one single family home will be a great proving ground for you. It will acclimate you to the responsibilities of making repairs, collecting rent, and managing the finances tied up in that property, including taxes.

If you don’t have the cash to buy a property outright, then you will have to sift through tenant credit check to see which one is right for you. You want to ensure that you get a mortgage that will allow you to make money off of your property rather than chain you down to a fruitless venture. Keep in mind when contemplating mortgage loans that you will need to consider your mortgage payments as an overhead cost of doing business. If your monthly mortgage payment doesn’t allow you to profit off of your property, then it is defeating the purpose of you renting out your property.

Also, you want your property to amaze prospective tenants. To do this, you have to think like a tenant. This shouldn’t be too hard to do since you likely have been a tenant before.

If you’re renting out a property that has been lived in previously, then you may want to do some bathroom and kitchen remodeling. These tend to be the two areas of the house that either draw or repel tenants. You want theses areas to be both stylish and functional.

Monetizing your property

The best business minds know that the key to maximizing profits, no matter the business venture, is to think outside of the box. You are not just a landlord who rents out your property to tenants who live there. You are a property manager who is open to all opportunities for growth.

Depending on the size of your property, it might be good for much more than just a space for renters to live. If you have property with an abundance of trees, you could sell the rights to your lumber to a local lumber company. If you have a green thumb and love to plant, you could use excess land to plant an organic garden. With the growing popularity of Farmer’s Markets and increasing health-consciousness, there is some serious coin to be made this way. Also, this is a great opportunity to make your property eligible for agriculture-based tax exemptions.

Dealing with tenants

How you deal with your tenants could be the foremost deciding factor in terms of your success as a landlord and property manager. You will want to screen prospective tenants to make sure that they are capable and responsible leasees. A simple tenant credit check will tell you most of what you need to know, especially when paired with a background check.

The thing that attracts most people to property management is the prospect of earning a profit without having to do much work. However, truth be told, there is much work that goes into successfully managing a property. The key thing is to do the work before buying and leasing out the property. If you do that, and remain diligent in maintaining your property, then you can enjoy passive income for a lifetime.

Easy Ways to Protect Your Home During a Home Renovation Project

This is the time of year when most homeowners begin thinking about all those renovation projects they’ve been putting off. It usually happens early in the year when we start looking back at all the things that we set out to accomplish but somehow never got to the previous year. It’s a time when we are tired of being closed in during the long winter months and are almost dreading spring cleaning. This year, it’s time to combine spring cleaning with that new kitchen you’ve been dreaming of but to make your task easier, why not combine the two? There are easy ways to protect your home to prevent difficult clean-ups while installing that new counter or painting the walls a cheery white. Here are some of those ways you can protect your home during a renovation project.

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Move Whatever You Can Out of the Way

Just because you are renovating a kitchen, for example, doesn’t mean you will be buying all new appliances. It pays to move them as far out of the way as possible during the time of renovation. Furniture in any room being remodeled or renovated should be moved into other rooms, if possible, but at least move everything to an area that isn’t likely to get covered in sawdust or paint.

Cover Whatever You Can’t Move

Do you know just how many people don’t take the time to buy a sufficient number of dropcloths when undergoing a home renovation project? The sad truth is that this is something many homeowners fail to do. Not only will you need to protect furniture and appliances, but you will also need to protect that hardwood floor you just had resurfaced last year or the lovely brick fireplace in the living room that would be a pain to get paint spatters off if left uncovered.

Turn Off Electricity If Necessary

This is an especially important step in protecting your home if you will be replacing wall or ceiling panels. Don’t forget to cut power to rooms where you are likely to run into electrical wiring because one cut into a wire can cause you serious injury due to electrical shock. Cutting or nicking a wire can also cause a short that could spark an electrical fire, so even if you aren’t working on any electrical fixture, if there is a danger of cutting a wire, make sure there is no power going to that room.

When it comes to a home renovation project, it pays to protect anything that isn’t being worked on. From those hardwood floors to the appliances which would cost a small fortune to replace or repair, why add expenses you don’t need when you could prevent destruction or damage before commencing work? This is your home and you do want to bring it up to date or accomplish a whole new look. However, always protect any items or fixtures not being worked on so that when the job is done, everything can be set right again and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.