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    Who’s building where in Acadiana? Here are the building permits issued June 22-26 – The Advocate - July 7, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    New commercial

    OFFICE BUILDING: 117 E. Broussard Road, Lafayette; Asim Baloch, owner; Weiser Realty, applicant; Keith Bates Construction LLC, contractor; $241,000.

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    APARTMENTS: 3600 E. Simcoe St., Lafayette; Riverside at Oakridge Apartments, owner; description, reroof; Abshire Roofing, applicant and contractor; $166,901.

    GENERAL RETAIL: 600 Lamar St., Lafayette; Doralene Mary Heber Derenthal, owner; William Yeats, applicant; $0.

    HOSPITAL: 4811 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, 401 Lafayette; Park Place Surgical Hospital, owner and applicant; description, neurology suite alteration; Carolyn Stansbury Interiors, contractor; $8,500.

    HOSPITAL: 4811 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, 401A, Lafayette; Park Place Surgical Hospital, owner; description, pulmonary suite alteration, fourth floor; Pulmonary LPG Specialty Clinic, applicant; Carolyn Stansbury Interiors, contractor; $31,180.

    STORAGE BUILDING: 2300 E. Main St., Broussard; Mike's Marine and ATV, $34,766

    New houses

    2725 Gendarme Road, Carencro; Manuel Builders; $193,500.

    206 Gable Crest Drive, Lafayette; Manuel Builders; $229,500.

    310 Stanwell Ave., Lafayette Parish; DSLD LLC; $171,000.

    328 Woodrich Lane, Lafayette; Savoski Scott; $274,500.

    117 Millie Park Drive, Lafayette; South Louisiana Custom Homes LLC; $193,500.

    115 Millie Park Drive, Lafayette; South Louisiana Custom Homes LLC; $193,500.

    113 Millie Park Drive, Lafayette; South Louisiana Custom Homes LLC; $193,500.

    112 Millie Park Drive, Lafayette; South Louisiana Custom Homes LLC; $193,500.

    113 Wild Cherry Lane, Lafayette; DSLD LLC; $319,500.

    115 Wild Cherry Lane, Lafayette; DSLD LLC; $216,000.

    125 Sparrowhawk St., Broussard; DSLD LLC; $220,500.

    128 Sparrowhawk St., Broussard; DSLD LLC; $220,500.

    409 Atmos Energy Drive, Lafayette; DSLD LLC; $225,000.

    413 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $225,000.

    411 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $207,000.

    409 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $243,000.

    403 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $216,000.

    402 Begnaud Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $247,500.

    421 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $171,000.

    419 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $225,000.

    415 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $306,000.

    416 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $216,000.

    418 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $225,000.

    420 Starlight Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $270,000.

    109 Woodhollow Drive, Lafayette; Shivers Brothers Construction; $256,500.

    201 Woodhollow Drive, Lafayette; Shivers Brothers Construction; $283,500.

    401 Norman Drive, Lafayette; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $198,000.

    101 New Trails Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $301,500.

    109 New Trails Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $310,500.

    229 Hapsburg Lane, Lafayette; Manuel Builders; $189,000.

    105 New Trails Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $270,000.

    107 New Trails Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $270,000.

    201 New Trails Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $342,000.

    119 Deer Lake Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $252,000.

    117 Deer Lake Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $270,000.

    115 Deer Lake Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $211,500.

    113 Deer Lake Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $279,000.

    111 Deer Lake Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $234,000.

    107 Deer Lake Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $310,500.

    105 Deer Lake Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $342,000.

    103 Deer Lake Lane, Youngsville; D R Horton Inc. Gulf Coast; $301,500.

    902 North Larrivere, Broussard; AM Design Inc.; $246,450.

    302 Habitat Ridge, Broussard; Acadiana Dream Homes LLC; $258,162.

    625 Easy Rock Landing, Broussard; Hart Homes LLC; $227,479.

    104 Snapping Lane, Broussard; E.J. Rock Construction; $316,145.

    The Lafayette Police and Fire departments are conducting random checks of area businesses for compliance with coronavirus safety guidelines.

    Blue Dog Caf has closed its doors after 20 years of serving Cajun plates in a restaurant that showcased the artwork of George Rodrigue.

    Kara Castille is co-owner of Thee Heavenly Donut, which as two locations in Baton Rouge and will soon open a location in Henderson near the Ca

    Fenstermaker has promoted Hannah Link to human resource manager.

    Judge Jules Edwards, who has served in the 15th Judicial District Court for 27 years and is a candidate for Lafayette City Court judge in Nove

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    Who's building where in Acadiana? Here are the building permits issued June 22-26 - The Advocate

    Exquisite Homes. The very best of Gulf Coast Living – - July 7, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    With 44 years of experience representing the Gulf Coast's finest and most distinct properties, we are pleased to introduce these stunning properties and homes for sale.

    Artfully designed gardens and grounds

    6 beds | 6 baths | 7,799 sq. ft.

    Breathtaking Gasparilla Sound views showcase this spectacular Mediterranean estate, poised atop 2 acres. A meandering pebble drive through swaying palms and sparkling ponds leads to the impressive courtyard with tiled fountain. Exquisite interiors feature terracotta tile floors, exposed beams, and rustic arched wooden doors while expansive living areas on every level offer many places for family and friends to gather or relax and take in the stunning water views. 4090 Loomis Ave

    The style pure Palm Beach

    4 beds | 4 baths | 7,003 sq. ft.

    Located on sun-soaked Siesta Key, this waterfront estate pays homage to artistry and craftsmanship. Exquisitely constructed and poised on the protected deep boating waters of Cocoanut Bayou, the appealing layout features imported finishes from Europe, including exotic woods, hand-carved travertine, and antique lighting from the great estates of Palm Beach. French doors open to an alluring loggia that overlooks the water and open-air swimming pool and private dock. 4205 Higel Ave

    Gulf-front majesty

    4 beds | 4 baths | 4,574 sq. ft.

    Nothing stands between you and your view at Siestas Keys newest boutique luxury offering, Oceane. Walls of glass, immense living spaces, and the latest in modern design highlight one of the best views on the island. More than 700 sq. ft. of terrace along more than 70 feet of Gulf of Mexico frontage sets the stage for stunning sunsets accented by the distant twinkle of downtown Sarasota. 4750 Ocean Blvd #101

    17th Century-style Tuscan farmhouse

    3 beds | 3 baths | 5,099sq. ft.

    Lavishly embellished with Old-World authenticity, this custom home built by John Cannon blends craftsmanship with panoramic water views.No detail has been overlooked. Walls have been finished to look like aged plaster; terra cotta floors with hand-made tiles have been acid-washed and stained to look like theyve seen centuries of wear; popular frescoes; and ceiling beams were hand-selected. 315 S Shore Dr

    For more information about these properties and to view more Manatee, Charlotte, and Sarasota homes for sale, visit

    Exquisite Homes. The very best of Gulf Coast Living -

    The 10 most expensive Twin Cities homes sold in 2020 (so far) – City Pages - July 7, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    This installment's timing? Not great! As an eviction/foreclosure crisis looms and human suffering soars to historic levels across the globe due to COVID-19, showcasing the 1 percent's status-flexing lodging choices feels particularly weird.

    But the luxury housing market is immune to thetravails of thehoi polloi, chugging right along with eye-popping square footages and asking prices. It has been something of a transition year according to Ross Melby, our trusted Realtor source on the wheelings and dealings of mega-dollar Twin Cities properties.

    "Its safe to say 2020 has thrown us for a loop or several," theLakes Sotheby's agent tells us. "The last few years felt like a gold rush, referring to the legendary sales on Lake Minnetonka where we saw unbelievable price tags and land assemblies to drool over... I will go out on a limb and say tone has changed."

    That rush cycle has slowed, Melby says, with high-end homes sitting on the market longer but still fetching record prices.... eventually. Buyers are looking for long-term investments, he says, noting an uptick in renovations instead of new constructions. In the age of Coronavirus, clients are seeking convertible spaces like garages with finished office or den spaces up top for holding work-from-home Zoom calls, Melby adds.

    "I dont expect any sharp spikes or declines in our market," he says. "We're experiencing a more 'normal' market in the luxury sector."

    So far in 2020, 27 metro homes have been sold at the $2 million-plus tier. Those estates, on average, sat on the market for just under a year and closed for $2.8 million. What do the 10 most expensive look like? You might just say, a little something like this...

    10. 6000 Fox Meadow Ln., Edina

    Specs: 8 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 13,326 square feet, 3-stall garage, build in 1920Original asking price: $6.2 million (Feb. 27, 2017)Sale price: $2.8 million (June 1)Days on market: 200Listing pitch: "Grand Edina Lake Estate. Private 4.5 acres with over 375 ft of lakeshore. From the marble flooring to the crystal chandeliers, this home showcases immaculate details throughout! Chef's kitchen with sub-zero fridge, Thermador stove & double oven, granite counters & more. 6 spacious bedrooms on upper level including owner's suite with luxurious owner's bath - spa tub, dual sink & marble vanity. Over 12K finished sq. footage including indoor pool, conservatory, greenhouse & separate guest quarters."

    Click here for more photos

    9. 8 Park Ln., Minneapolis

    Specs: 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 5,950 square feet, 4-stall garage, built in 2002Original asking price: $3.3 million (Feb. 4, 2019)Sale price: $2.82 million (June 12)Days on market: 494Listing pitch: "An exemplary Minneapolis Lakes waterfront home in the style of acclaimed architect Robert A.M. Stern - where every detail is masterfully planned and superbly executed. A luxe calming material palette, warm marbles and stones, rich wood tones, spa bathrooms, exquisite kitchen, two owner's suites with dramatic volume, one-of-a-kind cascading stairwell, unique architectural details, hand-crafted moldings and custom built-ins and creative skylight accents. Designer landscaping includes extensive dry-stacked bluestone walls. Set on one of the most picturesque park-like city lots with sweeping water and nature vistas - and all-things water at your fingertips."

    Click here for more photos

    8. 275 Lake St. E #302, Wayzata

    Specs: 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3,125 square feet, 2-stall garage, built in 2019Original asking price: $2.8 million (April 2, 2019)Sale price: $2.97 million (April 27)Days on market: 391Listing pitch: "Contemporary, forward thinking design sets this exciting new condominium community apart! Concrete construction w/steel stud framing for state of the art bldg. Generous room sizes and open design gives you the ultimate reason to check out Wayzata's newest condo development. Experience the Wayzata lifestyle. Enjoy the ease of walking to restaurants, shops, beach. Selling fast!"

    Click here for more photos

    7. 259 E Lake St. #204, Wayzata

    Specs: 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2,550 square feet, 2-stall garage, built in 2017Original asking price: $1.4 million (July 1, 2016)Sale price: $2.97 (Jan. 30)Days on market: 801 daysListing pitch:"Wow! Views of Wayzata bay! This corner unit luxury condominium features a huge terrace and pocketing patio doors providing the ultimate indoor/outdoor living. Site is on the corner of Barry Ave and Lake Street across the street from the Boatworks and walkable to all downtown Wayzata has to offer."

    Click here for more photos

    6. 2760 Woolsey Ln., Woodland

    Specs: 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 7,373 square feet, 4-stall garage, built in 1941Original asking price: $3.2 million (Jan. 9)Sale price: $2.97 (May 8)Days on market: 120Listing pitch: "Spectacular Lake Minnetonka Estate on 3.61 acres inWoodland with 238 feet of frontage on picturesque Woolsey Pond. A long private tree-lined driveway leads down to the traditional brick and shake home. The gently sloping yard provides easy access to the permanent dock with 3 boat slips, and the yard is large enough for any activities, including a hockey rink. With over $3.5 million in recent renovations by Kyle Hunt Partners and Streeter & Associates, this home is move-in ready. Older touches like a wood-burning fireplace are preserved, while state of the art mechanical and technological systems provide modern convenience. The open floor-plan is focused on casual lake living and views of the yard and lake. There are 5 bedrooms on the upper level, with two master suites. Exceptional millwork and quality is evident throughout, and the home is warm and filled with natural light. Exceptional storage, including a walkup attic plus a garage accessed from the lake side for lake gear and toys."

    Click here for more photos

    5. 990 E Shady Ln., Wayzata

    Specs: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3,249 square feet, 2-stall garage, built in 1982Original asking price: $3.5 million (Dec. 9, 2019)Sale price: $3.2 million (Feb. 17)Days on market: 71Listing pitch: "Nature paints a different view every day from the ceiling to floor windows of this modern styled home. Located along the shores of Wayzata Bay, just minutes from the Wayzata Yacht Club and a short walk to the historic downtown village area. Featuring a great room with wood-burning fireplace, cathedral ceiling and main floor master suite with fireplace. The expansive lakeside deck wraps the home, providing fantastic space for entertaining. A lower level walkout features a den and two bedrooms with a tuck under, heated garage. Perfect for your custom updates or a creative new rebuild!"

    Click here for more photos

    4. 2427 E. Lake Of the Isles Pkwy., Minneapolis

    Specs: 4 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 8,474 square feet, 6-car garage, built in 1911Original asking price: $6 million (Dec. 29, 2017)Sale price: $4 million (March 9)Days on market: 801Listing pitch: "Designed by famed architect Frederick Soper, this signature Spanish Revival is one of the most legendary homes of the Twin Cities. Perched on a sprawling corner lot overlooking Lake Of The Isles, multi-tiered terraces wrap the home and offer sweeping lakeside views. Inside, a gallery of signature rooms--including a large owner's suite w/two spa baths, a world-class kitchen, theater rm, elevator, and unique solarium--dazzle with custom details, deluxe finishes, and high-end modern conveniences."

    Click here for more photos

    3. 6472 Smithtown Rd., Victoria

    Specs: 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 9,298 square feet, 4-stall garage, built in 2007Original asking price: $4.7 million (May 23)Sale price: $4.52 million (May 29)Days on market:7Listing pitch:"Once in a lifetime opportunity to own the best and most compelling home on 160 ft of west facing Smithtown Bay. Surrounded by water views on both sides, never miss the incredible lake sunsets or morning sunrises that will continually amaze you. This Custom built home has every feature in mind by Stonewood Builders and design by Kathy Alexander. The new gourmet kitchen is spacious, light and bright. The meticulously thought-out floor plan, coffer ceilings and wood trim detail can only be found in the most elite custom homes. Luxurious master suite with panoramic views of the lake. Master walk in closet that will fit every need plus more. Enjoy lake lifestyle from the picturesque screened porch with cozy fireplace. Lower level walk out is just steps from the lake with the best elevation. The house is even outfitted with an Irish pub, wine/tasting room, exercise room and a game room/sport court to be enjoyed by all. Over-sized 4 car garage with heated floors make this a collectors dream."

    Click here for more photos

    2. 3125 Fox St., Orono

    Specs: 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 7,959 square feet, 7-stall garage, built in 1952Original asking price: $6 million (June 20, 2019)Sale price: $5 million (Feb. 28)Days on market: 253Listing pitch:"Only once in a blue moon does a landmark property, forever situated on 8 private acres overlooking nearly 340 feet of Maxwell Bay on Lower Lake Minnetonka, find its way to the real estate market. Welcome to 3125 Fox Street. Perfectly built in 1952 and meticulously brought into today's design and expected standards, flows this south facing home with main floor master, dining, living room, family room and screened-in sleeping porch along with all second floor bedrooms taking in serene pictorial views of the water."

    Click here for more photos

    1. 430 Ferndale Rd. W., Wayzata

    Specs: 6 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, 18,649 square feet, 6-stall garage, built in 2003Original asking price: $9.45 million (March 13, 2017)Sale price: $5.5 million (May 29)Days on market: 756Listing pitch: "Hidden Ferndale A+ Lakeshore Estate! A ready to move in custom home within walking distance to downtown Wayzata. This luxury home has every amenity including indoor and outdoor pools, home theater, golf simulator, grand main floor master suite, and the finest finishes. Includes a 1bd/1ba apartment with full amenities including living room, kitchen, laundry, and walk in closet. 2 garages boast a 6-car capacity! Located on 2.61 private acres of prime lakeshore, with 180 feet of commanding southerly views of the main lake."

    Click here for more photos

    (All photos courtesy of property listings)

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    The 10 most expensive Twin Cities homes sold in 2020 (so far) - City Pages

    Home improvement: Pierce Built Homes owner weighs in on remodeling projects – Community Impact Newspaper - July 7, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    As some Fort Bend County residents stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, many are keeping busy with home improvement and remodeling projects.

    Jason Pierce, the founder of Pierce Built Homes in Sugar Land, spoke to Community Impact Newspaper about which home improvement projects are in demand and when to call in a professional to help get a project off the ground.

    4 things to know:

    1) The effect of the coronavirus

    Pierce said the coronavirus pandemic has made certain materials that come from countries or regions hit hard by the virus and related closures scarce. The affected materials include treated lumber, tile, granite and items necessary for pool construction.

    2) Trends in home construction

    Pierce said a lot of people interested in building a custom home or remodeling their existing home want an open floor plan. This floor plan refers to homes where walls are taken out so the kitchen is open to the living room.

    3) Projects for homeowners versus projects for the professionals

    Painting is one project Pierce said some homeowners are willing to take on. However, he recommended homeowners leave other projects such as electrical work, plumbing and framing up to the professionals.

    If you start wanting to replace tile and cabinets, its probably time to call in the professionals just so that its done correctly, he said.

    4) Routine home maintenance

    Pierce said homeowners should check that the exterior of their windows and doors are properly caulked and that exterior paint, siding and stucco is maintained. He also said it is important for homeowners to keep up with air conditioning maintenance and to have the water heater checked once a year.

    Pierce Built Homes is located at 526 Brooks St., Sugar Land. For more information, call 281-201-8711 or visit

    Original post:
    Home improvement: Pierce Built Homes owner weighs in on remodeling projects - Community Impact Newspaper

    With graduation canceled, I still got to take a victory lap – CNN - July 7, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Then the pandemic struck.

    With my official graduation canceled, it felt like I'd be making my victory lap with no cheers -- just the echo of my feet crossing the finish line. Of course, if I'd had my moment to walk across the stage in front of thousands of people, it would have been embarrassing. I would have broken down crying; I just know it.

    And yet I mourned the loss. More than anything, I wanted to leave my two adult children with a powerful impression of their mother, who against all odds, finally succeeded in completing her education -- and, in doing so, reclaimed her story.

    In 1965, when I was three, my biological father disappeared. My mother, though never officially diagnosed with a mental illness, was a recluse. As my siblings and I grew older, our lives were about surviving her abusive episodes and dreaming of escape. Traumatized, without a support network, I knew my only way out was education.

    Fourteen years later, when I was just 17, my mother dropped me off at a bible college in Oklahoma with a suitcase, $100 and a note to never return home. Without a means to pay for my education, I lasted a year.

    In need of safety and stability, I married a devout Southern Baptist and returned to Texas, my home state, and then college at age 20. While studying interior design, I began designing custom homes. One project quickly blossomed to more than two dozen.

    Three years later, I left my marriage.

    At that point, entrepreneurial success felt like the ultimate measure of self-worth, so I dropped out of college and expanded my interior design business, designing hotels and working internationally. I didn't need a psychiatrist to tell me that there'd never be enough designer luxury goods to erase my pain, yet I kept shopping, addicted to the thrill of acquisition. And, for a while, making and spending lots of money filled the void.

    A decade later, I married a man from France and helped form one of the first internet companies -- XOOM. When we started out, everyone wanted to know where I had attended college. I had a spiel, "Steve Jobs and Bill Gates didn't complete their degrees either." After our company went public and we cashed out, people stopped asking me that question.

    But then I became a mother, and everything changed.

    I wanted my children to have everything I hadn't -- stability, love and a great education. Though we were financially well off, I felt incomplete. I considered returning to college, but my vanity and buried shame of not finishing the first two times prevented me.

    I thought making lots of money would make me feel better. It didn't. So, I took another difficult step -- leaving a hollow marriage in search of real meaning. I never thought not having a college degree would come up in court, let alone hurt me, but when my husband said, "She doesn't have a college degree," it struck a nerve. He was right, and I didn't want to be defined by what I hadn't accomplished.

    Returning to school to write would be my way of taking control of my narrative.

    In 2016, after attending two community colleges while raising my children, I showed up at Bard College with straight As and a $48,000 scholarship. My 17-year-old daughter, who'd just started at Mount Holyoke College, came along. An admissions officer offered my daughter a tour of the campus. "I'm the student," I said, wondering who felt more awkward.

    I drove 44 miles round-trip, five days a week to Bard. Studying literature opened my eyes to a whole canon of writers challenging the status quo like James Baldwin, Rachel Louise Snyder and Tressie McMillan Cottom. When we discussed how people often chain themselves to worldly goods like money and luxury products, I had a lot to say about how those attachments produce biased judgments and distorted perceptions.

    After two years, I left with a hard-earned Written Arts degree, a friendship with Cliff, Bard's beloved security guard, as well as the support of the dean whose program funded my free writing workshops for victims of violence and marginalized populations. But I never walked across the stage because my children were studying abroad, and it seemed pointless without them there.

    I went on to pursue an MFA at The New School, which gave me the confidence to develop my voice in a community as diverse in culture as writing styles. Then coronavirus interrupted my academic career, robbing me of quality time with my thesis advisor, networking events and the opportunity to pitch my memoir about overcoming my Dickensian childhood.

    I was determined not to let the pandemic rob me of my graduation celebration -- not entirely anyway. In partnership with Virginia Valenzuela, the editor of LIT Magazine, where I'm the book review editor, we decided to host a virtual commencement celebration.

    I reached out to three writers to participate: Lara Love Hardin, a former opiate addict turned New York Times bestseller; Rachel B. Neumann, an author and alumna of my program; and Kristen Roupenian, the author of The New Yorker's viral essay "Cat Person."

    On May 15, before our virtual event began, I woke up to balloons, which spelled out "Class of 2020 Quarantined," that my daughter and dearest friend hung across my living room. That discovery was followed by a range of congratulatory posts on my Facebook page from the Dean of Humanities from Austin Community College to a classmate I'd studied with 37 years earlier.

    A relative stranger messaged me, "We met years ago when you sold me the couch I'm sitting on. As a 57-year-old woman myself, I'm in awe of your drive and determination. If you can make an impact on a stranger you met years ago for less than an hour, you can be sure that your children and their children will speak of your legacy for years to come." I wept.

    My daughter then played a video she made of friends congratulating me. My sister-in-law and six-year-old niece read a commencement speech quoting Dolly Parton. "The way I see it -- if you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain."

    I cried when I heard my son, who's studying music production in London, say, "You've shown us that no matter what age you are, you can still achieve happiness and pursue your dreams. That's a message I'll take with me forever."

    Then, when I signed on to Zoom to co-host my commencement graduation, I scrolled through the 33 classmates and professors on my screen. Perhaps sensing my anxiety, Virginia texted, "Take a deep breath, smile and celebrate your four decades of hard work!"

    Later that night, wearing masks and seated six feet apart, I shared cocktails on the rooftop of a new friend's apartment. I'd met her in a writing group I'd joined days before the pandemic. It felt like serendipity when we realized we lived a block apart in Manhattan, then fate when my best friend's daughter moved in next door to her. In a city with more than 8 million, we'd connected life stories -- from one spanning 25 years to a one just a few months old. I was reminded of how some of my greatest friendships were forged during the most uncertain times.

    While reflecting on our virtual celebration the day after, Virginia said, "The speakers reminded me that, though it's okay to feel sorry for the things you've lost, it's more important to overcome those feelings and to change the narrative." And, after four decades of trying to change my narrative, I finally had.

    But I'd done more. I'd taken Lara Love Hardin's message to our virtual graduation class to heart. When she spoke, she said she didn't want to be known for the worst thing she had done, but for the sum of her actions. And I didn't want my narrative to be just about an abandoned or abused child. Nor did I want to be the mother without a degree. My celebration was my opportunity to openly declare that my story matters -- that I matter.

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    With graduation canceled, I still got to take a victory lap - CNN

    5 swanky homes that recently sold in Mississauga – - July 7, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Although some expected the COVID-19 pandemic to adversely affect the housing market (and in many ways, it has worsened conditions for some buyers), the crisis has done little to drive prices down inMississauga.

    In fact, pricesthough down a bit month-over-monthare higher than they were in2019.

    According to real estate brokerage and website Zoocasa, the average home price in Mississauga grew 5 per cent year-over-year to $796,577 but declined 4 per cent compared to April. The average home price in the region in May was 10 per cent lower than in February 2020, before COVID-19 measures wereintroduced.

    Zoocasa says detached and semi-detached average house prices also grew annually by 2 per cent and 8 per cent to $1,118,835 and $795,856 respectively. In the condominium segment, the condo townhouse average price grew 7 per cent year-over-year to $631,185 and condo apartment average price increased 4 per cent to$498,640.

    Since prices are stubbornly high, it's not surprising that some pretty magnificent properties changed hands inMay.

    Here's a look at some of the swankiest homes that recently sold inMississauga:

    2180 ParkerDr.

    This Gordon Woods home sold for $3,305,000 after being listed for $3,649,000. The house boasts five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, 20 parking spaces and over 5,000 square feet of space on the ground floor. It also features a master retreat with a private courtyard and outdoor shower, an enclosed porch with a hot tub andmore.

    1248 Lorne ParkRd.

    This prestigious estate home sold for $2,700,000 after being listed for $2,799,888. The six-bedroom, six-bathroom, 10-parking spot home boasts a backyard retreat, a bright kitchen and a potential nannysuite.

    4005 WoodchuckLane

    This Kingsway-style home sold for $2,600,786 after being listed for $2,495,000. The home boasts six bedrooms, five bathrooms, and 14 parking spaces. It also features a premium ravine lot and a great room with a cathedralceiling.

    1343 MiltonAve.

    This custom-built home sold for $2,568,500 after being listed for $2,699,000. The home features four bedrooms, five bathrooms, approximately 5,000 square feet of space and six parking spaces. It also boasts a grand entrance with highceilings.

    701 AtokaDr.

    This custom-built home sold for $2,375,000 after being listed for $2,475,000. The house features four bedrooms, four bathrooms, up to 5,000 square feet of space and six parking spots. It also boasts a master retreat with a fireplace and sittingarea.

    View original post here:
    5 swanky homes that recently sold in Mississauga -

    These 12 Things Will Make a Tiny Home Feel Much Bigger – New York Magazine - May 2, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A tulip table, one of the authors favorite pieces for small homes, anchors a dining room featured in her new book. Photo: Weston Wells fromThe Little Book of Living Smallby Laura Fenton. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

    I have been living in (relatively) small spaces since I moved to New York City 22 years ago, so Ive learned firsthand how to make the most use of limited square feet. As a journalist whose career has focused on home design and dcor, Ive also had the luxury of snooping around other peoples homes to find out what works for them. Last year, while writing my first book, The Little Book of Living Small (which came out in April), I got to see how all kinds of people were living in their own small spaces. While those homes had custom solutions and DIY fixes, they were also filled with a lot of affordable, off-the-shelf products their owners bought to maximize their spaces. Below, Ive listed the best 13 of those products, some of which serve very specific functions, while others are more versatile. All, however, work hard to make a tiny home feel (and sometimes even look) much grander than it is.

    Photo: retailer

    The Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto is a classic design that can be a stool, a side table, a bedside perch, or a plant stand. Fortuitously, if you dont have the budget for the real deal, there are dupes on the market. A telling detail of the dupes is their four-legged construction the original Stool 60 is three-legged but if youre really committed to the originals look, Ive met people who have removed the fourth leg and rejiggered the other three with the help of a power drill. Piled on top of one another, they take up the floor space of a single seat and you can still rest a drink or a plant on top! This set of four from Home Depot is a great deal at just $16 per stool, but if you only need one or two, Bed Bath & Beyond sells them for $22 apiece.

    Photo: retailer

    For years, I used clear plastic shower liners as my shower curtain because they made my small bathrooms look bigger (I liked to think of them as a poor mans glass shower door). But while space-opening, those always looked like cheap shower liners. So I was delighted when my friends Michael and Lisa Fine at Quiet Town started making these sun shower curtains, which are a fancy version of my budget solution with a little pop of color at the base. West Elm has them in a few more fun colors if you dont like the yellow. And if you do go the inexpensive-liner route, be sure to get one labeled crystal clear not a frosted liner, which will look cheap.

    Photo: retailer

    This genius sculptural stool is actually made of paper, and the material makes it reminiscent of a sculptural Noguchi lamp. The stool has a felt seat, collapses down to flat, and weighs next to nothing. I first saw a stool like this in decorator Sally Breers apartment, when it was featured in T magazine.

    While nobody will be squeezing in guests anytime soon, the time to gather around a table will come again. Whether youre dining with one, two, or more, a tulip table like the Odyssey from CB2 (a riff on Eero Saarenins iconic mid-century table for Knoll) is an ideal small-space table because it takes up less floor space than a rectangular counterpart while offering just as much seating. Plus, its single pedestal makes it super-easy to add extra chairs when needed (no legs to get in the way). Tellingly, six out of the 12 homes featured in The Little Book of Living Small had some variation on a tulip table.

    Photo: retailer

    While stools like the Aalto lookalikes and the folding-paper model are great for guests, you want something sturdier with a back for your daily meals (especially if its a chair that does double duty in your work-from-home setup). Seats with a petite footprint can often feel really flimsy to sit upon, a fact I became acutely aware of when I was pregnant. Not so with these hardwood, spindle-style Salt Chairs manufactured by Ton Design Team for Design Within Reach, which are similar to some vintage chairs I have in my own home. DWR has been selling them for more than a decade; while not exactly cheap, at a retailer where other dining chairs can go for $1,000 or more apiece, they are kind of a bargain, especially considering the European-made quality.

    Photo: Amazon

    See-through furniture made of glass, Lucite, or acrylic keeps things looking light and airy. While glass is less likely to show scratches than the plastics, it also poses the highest risk of chipping and is much heavier to move. Lucite is the highest-quality version of acrylic but will be priced accordingly, which is why acrylic can be a better bet if youre shopping on a budget. No matter the material, a transparent, waterfall-style coffee table like this acrylic one goes a long way in opening up a cramped living room (just know youll need to keep its surface tidy to maximize its space-opening potential). Another bonus of clear furniture: It (literally) blends in with most any style of dcor.

    Photo: retailer

    For anyone (everyone?) trying to shoehorn a work-from-home situation into an already-full home, a corner desk will work wonders. It makes an often underutilized part of any room instantly super-functional, and because of the triangular shape, you still have plenty of leg space. I have a vintage version in my living room that looks kind of like this unfinished one from Home Depot, which even has some storage in the form of a drawer. If youd prefer something stained, this mid-century-inspired model has a more finished look (and is $11 cheaper).

    Photo: retailer

    Ive often seen shelves mounted next to beds in teeny spaces, but I personally need a bit more space than a ledge to stash my stuff. Thats why I bought a pair of minimalist floating nightstands on Etsy (the seller, right now, is only taking requests for custom orders). This simple style, from Crate & Barrel, is spiritually similar and has a drawer for keeping anything you dont want out on display. Another virtue of a floating nightstand: If you, like me, have drawers under your bed, wall-mounted furniture will never get in the way when you need to open them.

    Theres a reason mini-cribs are the choice of small-space power bloggers like Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves and Alison Mazurek of 600sqft: They have wheels and fold up so you can have a mobile or tuck-away nursery. Ive used and recommend the Babyletto Origami mini-crib, which is bigger than some mini-cribs on the market; it feels plenty sturdy even though it folds. That said, experience taught me that its a good idea to buy Babylettos mini-crib mattress, too, because the one included with the crib is pretty skimpy (and finding another mini mattress that fits is a lot harder than youd think).

    Photo: retailer

    These wall-mounted ledges from Ikea are a cheap and practical way to store books, magazines, or toys for kids or pets. Weve got three installed in my sons room to hold his various books, and with a little styling, their colorful covers look like wall art. If youre hanging them in a home with kids, a word of warning: Mount the shelving high enough that your little one cant try to climb it like a ladder!

    Photo: retailer

    Clip-on lamps like this are a dime a dozen at hardware stores: Theyre dirt cheap and you can attach them (almost) anywhere you need a little extra illumination. We have one that I spray-painted red and clipped to a book ledge, but they can also latch onto bookcases or directly on a bed frame.

    Photo: retailer

    Okay, technically this collapsible step stool can only support up to 300 pounds but thats still a lot of weight for something that can fold flat and be tucked away in such narrow nooks as the gap between a fridge and a wall. In your average city apartment, the Rhino can help you reach most things, making it great for maximizing vertical space. It comes in lots of fun colors, too; Amazon has it in green, white, and black in addition to the red shown, and Buy Buy Baby has it in pastel pinks and blues as well as a pleasing light gray (while its two bucks more at Amazon, it qualifies for either free or Prime shipping; at Buy Buy Baby, the price of the stool alone doesnt qualify for free shipping).

    Actually good deals, smart shopping advice, and exclusive discounts.

    The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

    Original post:
    These 12 Things Will Make a Tiny Home Feel Much Bigger - New York Magazine

    Washington gets back to construction, with safeguards in place – - May 2, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    VANCOUVER, Wash. A big part of the economy in Washington state is moving again. At construction sites large and small, they are working with new health safety rules in place.

    Washington Governor Jay Inslee calls this "phase one" of restarting construction, which allows construction to resume at current job sites. The requirements to do it runs several pages long. Among them: employers must provide personal protective equipment, including gloves, goggles, or face shields as appropriate. And of course, masks and social distancing.

    From along the Vancouver Waterfront to a custom home build in Camas, subcontractors like Carter Murray are following the rules.

    "(Home builder) Affinity's done a really good job of laying it out for us, right when we walk in, sign in sheet and everything like that, its not too hard to follow at all," said Murray.

    Tim Gordon, KGW

    "Were working under some pretty strict modifications but we think its super important that we follow that to the 'T'. We definitely dont want any kind of interruption in the workflow again," said John Colgate of Affinity Homes.

    Colgate says it is great to be back to building, great for clients with a timeline for moving in, and great for workers.

    "Theres a lot of families that are fed based on the construction industry here in this county, and its gonna be different from here on out. But I think everyones adjusting quickly, and the new norm, I dont think its gonna slow things down at all," said Colgate.

    In Oregon, construction with safeguards never stopped.

    The Building Industry Association of Washington estimates its workers lost out on $690 million in wages. They want everyone to stay safe, so the next phase can happen to open up more of this industry.

    RELATED: Washington's stay-at-home order will extend past May 4; no reopening date set

    RELATED: Some fishing, golfing, hiking, hunting can resume May 5 in Washington state

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    Washington gets back to construction, with safeguards in place -

    This Austin Realtor relies on valuable experience and an optimistic outlook – CultureMap Austin - May 2, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Julie Ann Derham has worked through uncertain times in real estate before. She began as a Realtor in 2007, "justminutes prior to the collapse of the market," but learned that real estate always bounces back.

    Today's market, in fact, might be one of the strongest times for Austinites to buy a home.

    "Historically, the Austin market has not experienced the same volatility seen in the majority of other markets," Derham says. "Our market finds stability due in part to the fact that we are a tech hub, an industry that constantly evolves to meet new demands, and tech will likely play a role as we come out of the shadow of the COVID virus.

    "Currently, and despite COVID, home values continue to rise while inventory remains low, which indicate a strong seller's market. But historically low rates make this an attractive time to buy. I hear many people say they want to wait it out, wait for prices to go down, and that just doesn't seem likely. Prices will continue to increase if you haven't invested yet, now is the time."

    Derham herself discovered the wonders of Austin a decade ago, having arrived to visit a friend and knowing immediately this was the city for her. Likewise, real estate has also always been a calling. Hermother built custom homes at the Jersey shore, while her father worked on and invested in commercial projects up and down the East Coast.

    Prior to planting her roots in Austin, Derham sold over $25 million in real estate for the high-rise developer she worked for, then transitioned to Kurfiss Sotheby's in her home town of Philadelphia. Before entering real estate, she lived in Manhattan where she worked in PR, representing such iconic NYC institutions as Tavern on the Green and The Waldorf-Astoria.

    That valuable insight and experience in how to manage the expectations and demands of top-tier luxury clients are skills that she now regularly utilizes as a Realtor with Kuper Sotheby's International Realty. When she has free time, Derham spends as much time as she can outdoors, ideally close to the water, seeing live music, or trying a new restaurant, often with her English bulldog James in tow.

    We chatted with her to find out more about her work and what drives her.

    CultureMap: What inspires you to do what you do?

    Julie Ann Derham: Purchasing a home is one of, if not the biggest, decision in a person's life. Navigating that decision and being part of the process is an incredible responsibility, and it's an honor to be handed so much trust. New beginnings are a huge part of life. Whether you are moving across the globe or across town, a new start is a big deal.

    I have the most fun watching clients when they start to discover what they love about different properties buyers tend to find a new appreciation for certain things they never knew they had. Suddenly, they can't picture a home without brass hardware or the light fixture "looks too '90s" it's fun to watch their sense and taste evolve along with their knowledge of properties. I also love that every day is different for me, there is great freedom in not being tied down to a desk or a 9-5.

    CM: What's one piece of advice you'd give to people looking for their dream home?

    JAD: It is never too early to start looking. Create a list of what you cannot live without and create a list of what you don't want that isn't negative, it's a great way to find direction and save time. The sooner you are able to weed out and prioritize, the quicker I'm able to provide you with the best guidance.

    Buying with a partner? Talk it out. Each of you should create your own lists, then share to see where you align and where you are off. It's truly amazing to me how the majority of couples don't see eye to eye on very much at all. Find your common ground.

    CM: And advice to those who are selling?

    JAD:Every home has a story and a personality to showcase.Think about why you bought this home. How did it make you feel? How and why did it stand apart to you? Figuring out how best to convey that feeling and reasoning to the next audience is key.

    CM: Sum up Austin in three words.

    JAD: Energized. Surreal. Vibrant.

    CM: What do you consider your "special skill"?

    JAD: I like to try and relate my client's situations or questions to similar experiences I have handled for previous clients, or to my own personal experiences in buying and selling my own homes. It's a good tool to make the overall experience personable and build a deeper relationship. I am incredibly fortunate to have great relationships with my clients and past clients, something I value in the highest regard. Being both relatable and authentic have high returns.

    CM: What's one thing people might not know about you?

    JAD: I love to cook, and am a good cook, too. I'm not sure why, but people tend to find that surprising. I have been snow skiing since I could walk. I am a cancer survivor. I am adopted.

    CM: Finish the sentence: "It's a good day when..."

    JAD: It's a good day when the sun is shining down on Austin and I am working to help someone find their piece of this city. As a Realtor, being out and about town most days allows me to be constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have landed here. Austin has incredible variance in terms of different areas to live and different styles of architecture to appreciate: stunning downtown condos, expansive lake homes, estates hidden in the hills, charming cottages from the '40s.

    We are exceptionally fortunate to live in a city that continues to evolve, a city where there truly is something for everyone. Finding what that means for you is what inspires me each day.


    See Julie Ann Derham's latest listingshere, or contact her

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    This Austin Realtor relies on valuable experience and an optimistic outlook - CultureMap Austin

    Virtual tour available of model in The Enclave of Distinction – Naples Daily News - May 2, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    AboveWater Public Relations & Marketing, LLC, Special to Naples Daily News Published 6:22 a.m. ET April 25, 2020

    View the exquisite Sanctuary model to show what life can be like living in the Enclave of Distinction in North Naples. Tours available by appointment only for new custom homes.(Photo: Submitted)

    Naples interior designer Molly Hoover decorated an exquisite model to show what life can be like living in the exclusive new Enclave of Distinction. Tucked away on Livingston Road in North Naples is a development of only 27 custom smart homes designed by Naples architects Stofft Cooney and built by one of Southwest Florida's most reliable custom homebuilders, Distinctive Communities.

    Interested buyers can visit the website and view a virtual tour of the model upon request to see how Hoover takes full advantage of the unique developments coastal contemporary architecture. The creative site planning means every home in The Enclave of Distinction has a view of surrounding preserve areas or lakes. A feature most commented about in the model are the 10-foot tall pocket sliding doors that open to the outdoor living room and kitchen. As an optional use of the poolside patio area, the doors none-the-less offer a breathtaking unobstructed view of the lush landscaped outdoors.

    The architectural integrity of these homes is so sound. There is detail without things being overdone, said Hoover. Something like the addition of the woodwork over the television nook helps to create some interest and texture.

    Five unique three, four, or five-bedroom floor plans are fully customizable and range from 3,200 to 5,200 square feet on one-third or one-half acre lots. Each one or two-story home will have a three-car garage, private pool and lake or private garden views. Starting at $1.6 million, the home exteriors feature upgraded stucco, awnings, flat tile concrete roofs, lush landscaping and automatic irrigation, Andersen windows and French doors that meet current Florida wind impact codes and brick pavers around the swimming pool, as well as the driveway and streets throughout the entire development.

    Hoover likes the fact that you walk in to see an impressive, soaring 16-foot ceiling with numerous oversized windows and 12-foot ceiling heights through the rest of the home. The Sanctuary model conveys a feeling of spacious luxury. Luxury tile flooring is included with the design package and wood floors are an upgrade. She used deep mahogany wood floors leading from the entrance to the kitchen, living room, and hallways. To lend a clean, modern look are features not commonly found in Florida homes, such as the tile-floor mudroom, walk-in pantry and a huge air-conditioned storage area under the stairway.

    The model at The Enclave of Distinction opens up so beautifully to the outdoor living room and pool. We held an open house and had 120 people here, but you would never know it, says Hoover. The kitchen looks out to the lanai and its all completely open like this.

    Well-appointed with Viking stainless steel appliances, the kitchen includes a walk-in pantry, custom frameless Crystal cabinetry with a large island, standard granite or quartz countertops, Kohler faucets and under-cabinet LED lights. The laundry room comes complete with base and upper cabinets and Whirlpool high-efficiency top load washer/dryer.

    To soften the look, Hoover relied on a richer blue to work with the warmer wood tones in the living room. She carpeted up the stairs into the guest bedrooms, saying that is popular now and gives the homeowner the feeling of comfort in each cozy room.

    My favorite is the loft with four windows, Molly says. Architecturally it all came together. We were excited to see all the natural light it brings to the landing and the space isnt too big.

    It can actually be used as an additional room in the home.

    Distinctive Communities quality building practices are evident in the standard oversized bedrooms and baths. The builder added his and hers vanities, granite or quartz countertops, wood dowel closet shelves and the lovely touch of a freestanding tub in the master bath. Solid core doors are eight feet high with four hinges, exhibiting the craftsmanship and extras many would overlook.

    Last, but certainly not least, are the smart home features. Every home built in The Enclave of Distinction is prewired to anticipate future technical needs beginning with the fastest and most advanced built-in fiber optics and internet speed available for a residential community. Security is assured not only at the entrance gate, but in each home with a front doorbell camera, security systems at all doors and windows, the swimming pool, and a keyless entry to the garage. The homes are pre-wired for cameras and speakers and have a wireless access point network extender. Distinctive Communities even anticipates the homeowners need to mount a television and Sonos beam speaker system. Each home includes a saltwater smart pool with low maintenance features like an automatic chlorinator and mobile phone technology to help homeowners monitor the water temperature and quality remotely, if needed.

    The Enclave of Distinction is a low density, quiet, secluded location on nearly 18 acres that feature two lakes and preserve areas with open green space, landscape buffering along the community perimeter as well as easy access to I-75 and close proximity to the regions premier shopping, dining, beaches and community parks. A lush park just beyond the secure gated entrance to the community welcomes residents to only 27 homesites and serves as the gathering area for private or community events. Built by Distinctive Communities, design packages specify the highest quality materials, including Crystal cabinets, Andersen windows, and Viking appliances.

    John R. Wood Properties is a partner in the marketing and sale of each home in The Enclave of Distinction. John R. Wood Properties has over 500 real estate agents and actively serves Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Ave Maria, and Sanibel/Captiva Island.

    Call 239-301-3131 for an appointment to view the newly opened model at The Enclave of Distinction, located at 16711 Enclave Circle, Naples, FL 34110 or visit You may also request a brochure, photos and copy of a comprehensive video walk-through of this stunning model home called The Sanctuary.

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    Virtual tour available of model in The Enclave of Distinction - Naples Daily News

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