November 20, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! 🦃

As we look ahead to Thanksgiving in the U.S., I have to start with how grateful I am to all of you! You brighten up my inboxes every day with your witty commentary, hot takes, and kind messages. I hope you will all have the opportunity to be with the people you love this holiday.

Today, I’ve got a bizarre Clearwater, Florida mansion that, despite being two minutes from the beach, has absolutely NO windows. We’ll find out why. After that, you won’t want to miss some quaint and quirky 🛖Hobbit Homes, some recently-listed 🌟Celebrity Condos in NYC, three 🤏Pint-Sized Pricey Pads that have a staggering price per square foot, and we’ll finish it up with a crowd favorite,🍄Midcentury Modern Marvels under $700k.

Off we go to sunny Clearwater, Florida, home of the Phillies’ (my hometown team) spring training and three miles of white sand beaches. While there are certainly luxurious mansions in Clearwater, the average home price hovers around $360k.

So, what luxuries would you expect for a house priced at 10x that, at $3m? I’m thinking beachfront, gorgeous views, and tons of space. For our feature home today, you’ll get just one of those things, and the rest is well… simulated.

The last owner, an “Indy car team owner and millionaire,” spent $1m renovating this 7k sqft, highway-adjacent residence. At 33 ft elevation, the thick concrete “fortress-like walls” mean it is unlikely to flood or sustain severe hurricane damage.

But what’s with those blacked-out windows, you ask?

Well, it turns out the owner has replaced all the windows with dozens and dozens of TV screens.

Depending on the time of day, you can load a different beach scene or keep it at sunset all day long. (If you don’t mind a little disruption to your circadian rhythm, that is…)

But, of course, you’re not limited to beach scenes. If you wanted to, you could transport the whole house to a European ski village or even the surface of Mars. (One more thing for the kids to bicker over, if you ask me…)

The listing says, “VIRTUAL REALITY WINDOWS … will take u to Space & Time of your Choosing due to $$$$$ TECH! Be in the land of childhood / Put on the RITZ on the Paris' Champs Elysées. If u prefer real WINDOWS – GC may have pre-placed proper arrangements.”

A number of companies have popped up lately that offer virtual windows to “solve your . Some even play a 24-hour recording of an actual vista to give you the most realistic view possible.

You may have seen this viral video of one of the most high-tech options, which is recessed into the wall and controlled by your smartphone.

While some have said this could be a great solution for an underground bunker, a windowless office, a basement apartment, or even jail cells, there are some major drawbacks, too. Commenters on the video raised these potential concerns:

  • “Just wait until they start showing unskippable ads”

  • “Vitamin D has left the chat”

  • “It’s all fun and games until your view changes to the 30 pornhub windows you forgot to close.”

  • “This is 1984 type ‘ish!” “A Black Mirror episode,” and “Dystopian”

And sadly, this home’s screens are not quite as high-tech as the listing agent may claim.

The images look pretty static, and many of the screens appear to be malfunctioning or broken in the listing photos.

I don’t know about you, but something about seeing an “error” message instead of the beach would really kill the vibe on my vacation.

In the “pro” column, this house has high-end appliances and designer furnishings (although you’ll have to shell out $49k extra for them) and a rooftop deck that actually does offer ocean views.

What do you think? Are virtual windows the way of the future? Or are they a bit too dystopian for you?

Til next time, enjoy your families and travel safely!

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