October 16, 2023

What’s new, friends?

Hope you enjoyed a beautiful fall weekend. I took my kids to see the Eras movie and had a great time dancing in the aisles to some of our favorite songs. I’ve also spent some quality time on Zillow, marveling at what feels like the tiniest glimmer of hope for a softening of historically high real estate prices. Have you seen the same in your communities?

Today, we’ve got plenty of charming cottages in the ✈️Affordable Abroad category, specifically in 🗼France, the 💂UK, the 🍇Mediterranean, and 🌲Scandinavia, and all under $500,000. Then we head to a wild Tenneesee property with a hidden underground bunker in this week’s ICYMI.

But first, on to our main event, a just-listed midcentury modern masterpiece with a bit of a discounted price.

Imagine this. Its 1966. A gallon of gas costs 32 cents, “Yellow Submarine” by the Beatles is on the radio, and you’re about to have your friends over for your housewarming party. You just finished construction on your new home in a private gated community at the foothills of Mt. Lemmon in Tucson.

Pretty swanky, right? Your eyes aren’t deceiving you; that top floor is balancing precariously on a support beam that is INSIDE the pool. I can only imagine how impressed your guests would be.

Now, I should mention that the pool is not, in fact, filled, and the listing calls it “unfinished.” It turns out putting a structural beam in water 24/7 may not be the best idea, or maybe it just needs some TLC. Either way, this property is being sold as an “unfinished structure” and priced accordingly at $800,000. So, let’s see what we’re working with…

There’s lots to love about this swanky, great room that looks out onto the pool deck.

I can almost hear some light jazz playing while some of your guests sip cocktails by the fireplace and others lounge by the pool.

The kitchen is mostly original, down to the mottled metallic brown wallpaper, but with its location next to a spacious dining room, you could certainly renovate this to have a more open floor plan.

Speaking of open floor plans, in very posh ’60s style, the primary suite up above is not only open to the floor below, but it’s got the most magnificent (not-so-private) wall of floor-to-ceiling windows looking out across the valley.

Time now to turn to the bathrooms, which, well.. let’s just say they may be a bit of a stumbling point for you…

This sunken tub/shower may look inviting, but it’s incredibly narrow and oddly shallow. And the basement bathrooms… where do I even start?

While it is part of a walk-out basement entertaining space with a wet bar… this below-grade bathroom in the desert filled with nooks and crannies for scorpions, insects, and critters of all kinds does not exactly look inviting to me. The basement also features this fully-tiled sauna/shower, which looks like it could easily fit 6-7 of your friends but has also seen better days.

Other homes in this neighborhood will cost you above $1,000,000, with some reaching $2,000,000, so there’s room to make some sumptuous improvements to bring this home into the 21st century.

What do you think? Would you take the plunge on this unique piece of midcentury architecture?

‘Til next time!

More Hidden Gems & Outright Disasters

✈️Affordable Abroad

We’re focusing more on the ‘hidden gems’ side for today’s newsletter. We are heading across the pond for some very affordable – and quite charming – properties in Europe. All of these come in under $500k, some significantly under, and they have me daydreaming of buying a great place to escape to and rent out whenever I’m not using it…


This property in Tennessee went under contract in less than three days on the market.

It has almost everything a doomsday prepper could ever want – from an outdoor Wild West-themed shooting range to a secret underground bunker hidden behind a bookcase.

Check out the video on Instagram or TikTok in case you missed it.