New Waterfalls at Yosemite

It’s official, guys – the California drought is over, thanks to a heavy rain- and snowfall last winter! The unusually wet weather also had another miraculous effect: it produced dozens of new waterfalls at Yosemite National Park! Yosemite gets the majority of its water from snow in the Sierra Mountains melting throughout the summer and running down into the trademark valleys below, and this year the snowpacks were 200% bigger than is usual. That means it’s bigger than the past four years combined, and that means the famous waterfalls of the park just keep on multiplying!

The spring/summer season, which normally sees an increase of visitors to the park, is practically exploding with people intent on seeing the beauty of this increase in water and the lush, verdant growth it’s causing. However, though it is providing so many natural wonders, the water increase means that danger of flooding is extremely high. The Merced River was only half a foot away from being a technical flood, and that was at the beginning of May! Park officials, who have many seasons at Yosemite under their belts, say there’s still about 20 more feet of the snowpack that will melt, meaning a potentially dangerous flood might be imminent.

We don’t predict that possibility is going to deter anyone from visiting the park, however. Scott Gediman, a park ranger, doesn’t think so either. “With the incredible waterfalls going right now, it’s attracting a lot of people.” If you plan on being one of them, remember to listen to the park’s radio stations for flood warnings and respect road closures and warning signs to stay safe. And take lots of pictures, because this Spring is promising to be incredible!

The Ultimate Airbnb is an Entire Country – Welcome to Sweden!

Sweden is nothing if not an enterprising country that really gets social media and this whole internet thing. After all, it’s the nation that brought us the Curators of Sweden, a project which in part handed over the official Swedish Twitter account to a different citizen for a week. It was very cool for a few months, then suddenly, it wasn’t. link :

Source: Airbnb

That’s not to say that the idea of the project wasn’t amazing; after all, Sweden is a beautiful and unique Scandinavian country with a fantastic culture. That’s why Sweden recently listed itself, the whole country, on Airbnb! They’re inviting the whole world to come to the nation and explore freely, an experience called “allemansrätten,” or “the freedom to roam.”

Source: Airbnb
Source: Airbnb

The listing reads, “Allemansrätten… is a principle protected by Swedish law that gives all people the right to be free in Swedish nature. In other words, Swedish nature isn’t just a piece of land with trees and lakes and cliffs – it’s a home with all the necessities and amenities that any great home should have.” Not the least of which is spectacular views, by the way. The photos on the listing are breathtakingly beautiful, and the listing provides info on nine separate regions of the country, to get your journey off the ground.

Source: Airbnb

We’re already backing our bags, and the listing has only been up for a few days! But with promises of warm hospitality and boundless natural wonders, we’re kicking ourselves that we haven’t visited sooner! As the ad says, “It’s a place where you can eat berries from the ground, sleep under the stars, swim in the lakes and roam freely.” Count us in!

Source: Airbnb

Why Right Now Might Be the Best Time to Buy a Vacation Home

In 2016 vacation home purchases accounted for 21% of all home sales, with an estimated 1.13 million properties purchased. This is surge accounts for the highest level of vacation homes purchased since 2003 and a marks 57% increase from 2013 alone, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Source: CNN

The median price for 2016 vacation home buyers was around $150,000, which interestingly enough is an 11% decrease from 2013. Everyone loves the potential of a fixer upper and these less than visually appealing properties made up around 45% of vacation home sales according to the NAR. “People looked at long-term opportunities and grabbed low bargain prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.


Baby boomers just about to retire also had a part in the vacation home boom, according to Yun, 19% of all vacation home buyers are planning to someday make their second home their primary residence. “If they have the financial capacity to buy a vacation house today, once they officially retire in three to five years, they will turn that home into their primary residence,” Yun says.

Source: Webice.com

Where does everyone want to vacation? Nothing makes for a relaxing vacation home local quite like the mountains or beach of course. Many sought out endless summers with nearly 50% of the vacation homes purchased located in warmer southern states.

 

7 Unique Homes On the Market That Could Be Yours Today

Most of us are content with the usual styles of houses – colonial or ranch style, white picket fence or garden wall? However, if you’re one of those people who needs unique digs, check out the following list for some killer ideas:

  1. The Gilmore Houseboat – This 1948 original houseboat has lost none of the old-Hollywood glamour that it was built with, a feat considering that in 1960 it was washed onto a highway from the Atlantic by a hurricane. These days it has permanent berth on land in Islamorada, Florida.

  2. Converted Church – If one of your requirements for a new home is unique lighting, look no further than this converted church in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. It has seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, and many original stained glass windows depicting religious scenes.

  3. Firehouse – If you’ve got a penchant for brick, perhaps consider buying this former firehouse in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Built in 1905, it’s only three blocks from the ocean and boasts a whopping five-car garage!

  4. Dome Home – Communing with nature is a must for this remote dome-shaped home in Monte Rio, California. Not only is the locale stunning, but it also has three levels, cathedral ceilings, and a sunken hot tub! Sign me up!

  5. Norumbega Carriage House – If money is no option, check out this former carriage house for the extremely wealthy in Camden, Maine. It has five bedrooms on 1.85 acres, and once was able to house seven to nine carriages!

  6. Teton Treehouse – This home is perfect if you like to get your daily cardio in while going to get the mail: It requires climbing 95 steps to arrive at the front door! Built in Wilson, Wyoming, this huge multi-level house is built into a hillside and is currently a bed and breakfast.

  7. Converted Barn – “Unfinished” is it’s own brand of decorating these days, and lovers of the look will rejoice in this barn-turned-home’s raw wood walls and exposed beams. Built in Hortonville, Wisconsin, it has vaulted ceilings and a gorgeous water view!


The Coolest Houses in the World

If you’re stoked about your home, prepare to rethink that when you see what The Richest is calling the coolest houses in the world!

Who made the cool cut? Take a look for yourself

  1. Flintstones House. Live like your favorite stone age family for just a cool 3.25 million. Of course you won’t have to time travel to step foot into this sprawling stone home, it’s located over in Malibu, CA and comes with its own beach!
  2. Wooden Skyscraper House aka a giant fire hazard. What started out as a plan to build just a two story home quickly escalated. It’s amazing what can happen when your both your budget and disappointment are sky high. The structure ended up towering in at 13 stories, over 144 high! We really hope he had an elevator installed, those stairs must be brutal. Unfortunately, the structure is no longer standing.

    IMAGE SOURCE: SIGHTBYWALK
  3. Bubble House. That’s right BUBBLES. The Bubble House was designed and built in 70’s in France. The Bubbles are so damn cool that the French Ministry of Culture considers the Bubble house to be a historic monument.  

    IMAGE SOURCE: DESIGNRULZ
  4. Eliphante and Hippodome House home to artists Michael Kahn and his wife Leda Livant. The home was built using materials the couple found over 28 years. The name comes from some animals the house resembles.  

    IMAGE SOURCE: APARTMENT THERAPY
  5. Upside-Down House. Travel to Szymbark Poland to take in this topsy turvy marvel. When they say upside down, they mean upside down! Even the furniture is mounted to the floor/ceiling.

    IMAGE SOURCE: INSPIRED ARCHITECTURE
  6. Foam House. The house is made entirely from polyurethane foam and basically screams 70s!

    IMAGE SOURCE: STAR TRIBUNE
  7. Fallingwater House. Now this is a Frank Lloyd Wright classic. It doesn’t get any more serene than this. In fact the property is so stunning, that the Smithsonian has listed it on the 28 places to visit before you die. With windows all around, you can’t help but feel one with nature.

    IMAGE SOURCE: FALLINGWATER
  8. The Hobbit House. Don’t worry you won’t have to walk all the way to Bag End to glimpse this beauty. Just hop the next flight to Wales and you’ll be in this hobbit house just in time for second breakfast. Plus, at just $5,200 this humble hobbit home is sure to be the most affordable house on the list.

    IMAGE SOURCE: MY MODERN MET
  9. Exploding Houses. A bungalow that was set to be destroyed was turned into a vortex of epic proportions.
    IMAGE SOURCE: WONDERSTODAY