Mary Hart’s Montana Ranch Offers a Tranquil (and Exclusive) Getaway

Mary Hart

Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for VISIONARY WOMEN

There are vacation getaways for those who want to avoid the stress of humdrum life, and then there are vacation getaways for those who want to escape the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

The 13,600-acre Yellowstone Club in Montana sits solidly in the latter group, a private retreat for successful folks who want to return to simpler times when they could relax with family and friends in a casual (albeit majestic) outdoor setting.

Former “Entertainment Tonight” anchor Mary Hart and her television producer husband, Burt Sugarman, have put their 160-acre Elk Horn Ranch in the club on the market for $19.5 million. You won’t find the property on the multiple listing service, because this exclusive club isn’t for everybody, explains Bill Collins, vice president and director of sales with the club.

New owners will be invited to join the club, which adjoins a 254,000-acre national forest. The Sugarmans’ ranch includes a 6,000-square-foot home with six bedrooms and a loft, along with seven bathrooms and a powder room. There’s also a one-bedroom wranglers’ cabin and a detached garage with an apartment above it.

Main house

Karl Neumann

Hart ranch front

The living room in the main house features a vaulted ceiling and opens to a large outdoor deck. The kitchen, which includes wood cabinetry and top-of-the-line appliances, leads to a bar area, which in turn connects to the living room. “It’s rustic,” says Collins, “but it’s also sophisticated.”

The residence, one of only 500 currently built in the club, was created as an equestrian property and is ideal for anyone who enjoys horses and wants to keep them on the property, Collins notes. Wildlife abounds in the area, making it perfect for nature lovers, too. “You see deer, elk, bear, bald eagles, fox,” Collins adds.

Living room

Karl Neumann

living room

The Elk Horn Ranch sits on the western edge of the club. Its entrance roadway is crossed by one of the many hiking trails in the club, and the area features other activities such as skiing Pioneer Mountain, biking, and fishing. The club includes many families with children, so family activities are a large part of the lifestyle there, Collins notes.

Nature everywhere

Karl Neumann

hart ranch entrance

Despite the grandeur of the club, there’s little pretense among members, Collins notes. “The people who come up here are sort of anti-Aspen,” he says, joking about the renowned ski town in Colorado that attracts the glitterati. “The people who are up here are here to get away. Members who are celebrities want to be treated the way they were before they were celebrities. They want to be part of the community.”

Hart was America’s sweetheart for 30 years as host of “ET” and grew up in South Dakota, so it’s understandable why a place like the Yellowstone Club was an attraction for her.

Supermodel Cindy Crawford Flips Malibu Home for $13.34M

LOS ANGELES - OCT 23: Cindy Crawford at the De Re Gallery & Casamigos Host The Opening Brian Bowen Smith's "Wildlife" Show at De Re Gallery on October 23, 2014 in West Hollywood, CA

Supermodel Cindy Crawford and her restaurateur husband, Rande Gerber, have become moguls in the house flipping scene recently.

This past year, the power couple dropped $6 million on a beautiful gated beach home in the pricey Point Dume neighborhood of Malibu.

They set an asking price of $15.45 million for this three-story, 3,651 square-foot home. Can you blame them? See for yourself.

What is a 5/1 ARM?

adjustable_rate mortgageIf you’re like some people, when you hear the mortgage term 5/1 ARM you might say something like, “Ahhhh! Numbers and an acronym—nooooo!!”

Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I think it’s fair to say that a 5/1 ARM doesn’t appear to be the friendliest of terms. And that’s really too bad because he’s actually a nice, straightforward guy.

So what is it?

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are just that—mortgages with interest rates that adjust depending on market movement. Meaning that if rates go up, your monthly payment will increase, and if they go down, your monthly payment will decrease.

The corresponding numbers tell you how often the rate will change. With a 5/1 ARM, the 5 means that the rate will stay fixed for the first 5 years, and the 1 tells you that it’s subject to change every 1 year after the initial 5.

Don’t wait too long to take advantage of today’s low rate environment.  Contact us today to see if we can save you money on your home payments.

The good

One of the best things about 5/1 ARMs is that they usually have significantly lower interest rates than fixed-rate mortgages. For example, our current rate for a 5/1 ARM is 2.375%, while our 30-year fixed rate is at 3.750%. Not only does the lower rate save you money on your monthly payment, but it also gives you the opportunity to take out a larger loan.

* Rates accurate as of 9/23/15. See below for assumptions.

Of course, they do have the potential to adjust to higher levels, whereas fixed-rates stay at the same level for the life of the loan. However, there are ways to take advantage of the low rate without the risk of a rate hike, such as:

  • You plan to move within 5 years, therefore the potential rate increase wouldn’t apply to you
  • You think your income will have risen to a level where a rate increase would be insignificant
  • You want a lower initial monthly payment than is typically offered by fixed-rate mortgages
  • You plan on refinancing out of the ARM before the rate gets adjusted to a higher level (can be a risky option because you can never be certain what rates will be like when you want to refinance)
  • You have a crystal ball and it says interest rates will go down in the future

The bad

It’s not always possible to work the system like the above scenarios. And sometimes the rate environment trumps even the cleverest of schemes. So when you’re evaluating your own situation, it’s almost certainly a bad idea to get a 5/1 ARM if:

  • Rates are rising
  • You do not expect your income to grow substantially

What you should find out

  • Is there a rate cap?

Some loans have a rate cap built into them, which puts a limit on how high the lender can adjust the rate to. It’s good to have because nobody wants to see their rate being adjusted upward for eternity. Although it is a possibility that the cap is set at a level that would still be crippling for most borrowers.

  • Is the loan assumable?

If you sell your home, can the buyer take over your existing mortgage at the current rate? Depending on what rates are up to, having an assumable loan can be a good selling point to have.

  • Is there a prepayment fee?

Sometimes, you want to pay off your loan early. If there is a prepayment fee, you’ll get charged for paying off your loan before the original agreement.

SEC seeks to prevent damage from runs on mutual funds, ETFs

SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White

The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules Tuesday to help ensure that mutual funds and exchange-traded funds can redeem shares when investors want to exit during times of market turmoil.

Under the rules, the funds would have to develop liquidity risk management programs, maintain a three-day liquid asset minimum and assess the liquidity of their holdings.

The proposal also would allow funds to implement so-called “swing pricing.” Funds could charge higher prices to shareholders making large purchases or redemptions above a certain limit, which would force the shareholders involved in the move to bear more of the transaction costs.

The rules are designed to reduce the likelihood of market disruptions caused by mutual funds and ETFs, which hold more than $18 trillion in assets.

“Together, these rules should greatly enhance funds’ ability to manage their liquidity risks, strengthening our securities markets and better protect investors,” SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said at a commission meeting.“The reforms will also improve the commission’s ability to supervise funds and to monitor and address any liquidity risks that their activities may pose to the overall stability of the U.S. financial system.”

The five-member SEC unanimously approved releasing the proposal for a 90-day comment period, which will start after it is published in the Federal Register. The agency will review the comments and possibly modify the proposal before releasing a final rule.

(More: Read the SEC’s fact sheet on liquidity risk management programs)

The initiative is part of the agency’s ongoing effort to address systemic risks posed by the asset management industry. In May, the SEC proposed rules to increase data reporting and disclosures by funds and investment advisers. A future rule will address the use of derivatives in mutual funds.

Tuesday’s proposal is the “next logical step to managing liquidity risk,” said Jay Baris, partner at Morrison & Foerster and chairman of the law firm’s investment management practice.

It could result in improving investment advisers’ ability to steer their clients toward safer funds.

“There will be more transparency into liquidity, which could affect their investment decisions,” Mr. Baris said.

Although all the SEC members supported putting the rule out for comment, some of them want to see it modified before being finalized.

Republican SEC members Daniel Gallagher Jr. and Michael Piwowar raised concerns about the three-day liquidity requirement and swing pricing.

Mr. Piwowar argued that funds should have a seven-day liquid asset minimum and that swing pricing should be accomplished through liquidity or redemption fees rather than through the fund’s NAV.

“As is pointed out in the release, adopting a swing pricing threshold also could create the potential for shareholder gaming behavior because a fund’s shareholders could attempt to time their purchases and redemptions based on the likelihood that a fund would adjust its NAV,” Mr. Piwowar said at the SEC meeting.

Democratic Commissioner Kara Stein would like to see the rule expanded to address funds that use complex strategies utilizing alternative and fixed-income investments. Funds in this category, which tend to be less liquid than traditional mutual funds, grew from approximately $365 million to $334 billion in assets from 2005 to 2014.

Actress Jessica Chastain Is Renting Out Her Greenwich Village Duplex for $11,500 a Month

Jessica Chastain

Critically acclaimed actress Jessica Chastain has earned two Oscar nominations—could being a landlord possibly be more rewarding? Probably not, but the 38-year-old actress is looking to rent out her chic two-story apartment in New York City for $11,500 a month.

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The “Interstellar” star’s posh pad is located in Greenwich Village, just a couple of blocks from Washington Square Park. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom duplex comes fully furnished, including a 65-inch flat-screen TV, so you’ll save money on move-in costs. The listing says a tenant needs just a toothbrush and some clothes.

The first floor features a 10-foot-5 ceiling, a six-person dining area, a 316-square-foot living room with fireplace, and a chef’s kitchen. Upstairs, the ceiling is 11 feet high, the master bathroom has a designer soaking tub and separate shower, and the master bedroom has a walk-in cedar closet and a dressing nook.

Chastain co-stars with Matt Damon in “The Martian,” which rockets into theaters in a couple of weeks.

Dining area

Dining room.

Chef’s kitchen

Chef's kitchen.

Master bedroom

The master bedroom.

Master bathroom

Master bathroom.

Bucks Guard Michael Carter-Williams Buys Lavish Home in Milwaukee

Michael Carter-Williams

NBA guard Michael Carter-Williams, who was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in a midseason deal earlier this year, snagged a lavish pad in a tony suburb of Milwaukee last month.

The 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year paid $1.65 million for the five-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom home measuring 9,900 square feet. On the market for six months, the Tudor-style home on a half-acre property in the village of River Hills was designed by Russell Barr Williamson, a former associate of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The high-scoring shooter made an initial splash in the NBA with thePhiladelphia 76ers, but he will now look to gel with the up-and-coming Bucks squad. Signed through 2017, he’s making himself at home with an in-ground pool (with a diving board), wine cellar, game room, pool, guesthouse, see-through fireplace, and workshop.

This purchase makes him a resident of Wisconsin’s highest-per-capita-income community. That figures.

Speaking of figures, Carter-Williams also shaved $300,000 off the $1.95 million asking price, making this a slam-dunk sale for a 10-year-old property that blends traditional design with modern comforts.

Media room

The theater


The kitchen

Pool with diving board

The Pool

Lush landscaping


Why NFL Star Tom Brady Needs 2 Pool Covers—and So Do You


Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The latest Deflategate scoop has given us some interesting insight into … pool covers.

In the wake of the cheating scandal and quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, a bunch of the quarterback’s emails were made public as part of the NFL players union’s counterclaim against the NFL.

They’re mostly quite blah, reports Business Insider: buying a URL, going golfing, approving game plans. And then there’s Brady’s profanity-laced reaction when his manager, Ben Rawitz, broke the news in October that he and his wife, supermodelGisele Bundchen, will have to drop $8,300 (plus a $240 installation fee) for a secondpool cover at their house in Boston.

“Why can’t I use the same cover we have on now?” Brady asks. When told that winter covers are better suited to deal with snow, ice, and changing temperatures, he asks, “why don’t we have that same cover for the year round cover?”

Celebrity athletes—they’re just like us! They’re concerned about throwing away money on unnecessary home accessories!

Except, as Rawitz explains, there actually is a reason to switch your pool cover when the weather turns.

“In the winter the water level is lowered so when it freezes the tile does not get damaged,” he writes after asking around. “The pool cover on there now rests on top of the water to support its weight and it cannot hold the weight of the snow/ice in the winter. The winter cover is designed to support the weight and also allows water to train through it so there is no need for pumping water off.”

We asked an expert to weigh in on this. Are seasonal pool covers really a thing? It turns out Rawitz does know what he’s talking about.

“There’s definitely a difference between a winter and summer pool covers, so if you’re Tom Brady or any pool owner who wants to take good care of your pool and you live in a part of the country where there are four seasons, you need to have two covers,” saysJesse Funk, director of sales for American Pool.

What’s the difference?

Winter pool covers require drilling into the surrounding deck for straps that then pull the cover “so taut that it can hold a car—a lot of weight,” says Funk. This winterization process should not be tackled casually.

“You have to be very careful,” says Funk. “The water has to be reduced no more than 18 inches beneath the cover, so that when the pool freezes the tile doesn’t crack. You want a cover that is installed so that all that snow and ice sitting on the cover is properly supported.”

So why not just pull the plug and drain the whole pool for winter?

“You should never drain the pool yourself,” Funk says. “If you don’t do it properly, your pool can literally pop out of the ground because of the hydrostatic pressure. Sometimes we even have to drill holes into the pool to release pressure.”

So, as Brady asks, what’s the point of a separate summer cover?

Summer covers are designed to protect your pool from debris, Funk says. Even if someone is skimming the surface regularly for leaves and such, you want to minimize maintenance on your pool and not overwork your filter. Brady probably has a fancy retractable cover; Funk recommends a mesh one that filters out debris and protects the pool from extensive sunlight, which allows algae to grow.

“It leaves you with cleaner water, requires less chemicals, and ultimately extends the life of your pool,” says Funk.

In the end, Brady caved and threw down for the winter cover (not that $8,000 is a big deal for a guy who’s earned $150 million by tossing around a slightly deflated pigskin). And considering the epic winter snows that followed, he’s probably glad he did.

Mia Maestro’s Bright, Airy ‘Canyon Chic’


Argentinian-born actress and musician Mia Maestro (you may know her as Carmen in the “Twilight” movies) is a woman of discerning tastes—design magazine Lonnyfeatured her Venice, CA, beach bungalow in a profile last year. So if you’re a fan of “canyon chic,” as the listing describes her airy and colorful home in Beverly Hills, read on for my tips to bring her style into your home. And if you’re interested in winning your own home makeover by me, valued at up to $45,000, enter our “Get This Look” sweepstakes! See the video at the end of this piece for more information.

get this look mia maestro-01

Shingle siding: Maestro’s rustic modern home sets the style right at her front door. The exterior features cedar shingles, which give the house a sense of history and cabinlike coziness. While individual cedar shingles can get pricey, there are greatcement fiberboard panel options that look like the real thing but have greater durability and a much better price—less than $2 per square foot.

get this look mia maestro kitchen

Cottage kitchen: This charming kitchen was recently remodeled with custom cabinetry that features beadboard doors and drawers. The effect feels vintage and modern at the same time, but custom cabinets can cost a small fortune. A great budget-friendly option is the Hittarp door from Ikea, which starts at around $70 per cabinet door.

get this look mia maestro bathroom

Open shower: A hot trend in bathroom design is the open shower, which features only a hinged glass door with no enclosed wall. It’s a great way to make a bathroom feel contemporary and open, but a custom glass door like this one can cost as much as $2,000. A great off-the-rack choice is the Aqua Uno door from DreamLine, available on for under $300.

get this look mia maestro marble

Carrara marble: Marble has made a huge resurgence in recent years for kitchen and bathroom design. Its classic color palette and veining give a sense of timelessness to even the most modern of spaces. A slab of Carrara marble can be wildly expensive, depending on the stone itself. But instead of spending thousands of dollars on a high-end stone slab, Maestro made a great financial choice selecting a marble tile. Daltile has a beautiful Carrara white tile available at Home Depot for less than $9 per square foot.

get this look mia maestro rug

Pattern punch: Mixed patterns are everywhere the season, and the old rules of stripes having to match a solid no longer apply. Maestro’s living room, above, features kilim ottomans in rich harvest colors, against a contrasting black-and-white dhurrie rug. The rug makes a perfect anchor to the room, but it doesn’t have to weigh down the budget! Here’s a fabulous striped black-and-white rug from World

6 Classy Hangouts for Truly Cool Cats


LYCS Architecture

Cat owners, don’t feel left out. We know we’ve written about fancy canine condos, but fear not: We haven’t forgotten the 36 million of you who have cats. You, the lucky, need not spend thousands of dollars to house Kitty or Tiger (those are in fact the most popular cat names). You can spend as little as 50 bucks—or as much as $4,800.

A table with tunnels

LYCS Architecture



Crafted by Hong Kong architect Ruan Hao (LYCS Architecture), this creation—cut from a solid piece of wood, with tunnels and openings galore—is ideal for tight living situations, as it can easily double as a table, given that it is a table. It also happens to be perfect for shooing away cats that insist on cuddling near your laptop or pile of papers. Currently in beta phase, production expects to be right around the corner. Price: $4,799.


A pod bed


Pod Cat Bed

Hepper Pod Cat Bed

Is your cat the next Judy Jetson? With this pod bed—built to emulate a spaceship—she just might be. The green fabric is lined with Sherpa fleece that’s fitted over a steel frame featuring a powder-coated finish. Price: $119


A modern and artful bed


Modern Cat House

Cat Cave

Even the maker—Seattle’s modernmews—poses the question: Is it a cat cave or a cat bed? Laminated plywood walls, with a white panel front (where a cat can climb in and out, the 8.5-inch round opening artfully off-center), easily blend in with various home décor schemes. Bonus: It doubles as a nightstand or side table. And it comes with catnip and a handmade pillow, so your cat can move right in! Price: $450


A cabin made of natural materials


Cat Cabin

Cat Cabin

Your cat can adopt an Up North vibe with this cozy feline cabin that emulates a bird’s nest. Designed by the German company Homebasic and crafted from natural materials such as liana, rattan, and wood, it’s the kind of cat home that can transition from indoors to out. In addition to the entry and exit, openings are here and there in the design, allowing fresh air to flow through. Price: $1,396


A monumental space


Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower Cat Condo

For felines with a love for travel, history, and architecture, this Leaning Tower of Pisa–inspired cat condo does the trick. SquarePaws is an Etsy shop specializing in whimsical spaces for felines. This is only scratching the surface: There’s also a tiger-print stiletto and lifeguard chair—for the cat with a wild side. Price: $685


A wool cocoon

Vaiva Nat

Cat Nap Cocoon

Cat Nap Cocoon

It’s no secret that cats like tight corners (cue brown-paper bags). Boiled merino wool and a felting technique create this Etsy wonder from a Lithuanian studio called Vaiva Nat. It’s available in shades such as blood-red, teal, lilac, and lime-green. Bonus: Felted balls for kitty to kick around are $4 more. Price: $53

Use Shipping Pallets as Building Blocks of Rustic-Cool Style

courtesy of Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Home improvement can be expensive—even if you want the slightly battered reclaimed-wood look, be prepared to pay through the nose. Or you could get creative with shipping pallets, the bulky wood crates companies use to move goods.

No, really. Pallets are the perfect material for just about any home project, rustic or modern, you can imagine. And you might be able to get those pallets for free. Repurpose them as smaller décor pieces, furniture, or even remodeling material for your house.

courtesy of Bobby Sue Bower, A Building We Shall Go
courtesy of Bobby Sue Bower, A Building We Shall Go

Getting creative

Bobby Sue Bower of A Building We Shall Go used pallets to create a rustic hardwood floor in her home. The idea was part inspiration, part ingenuity. After a house fire in 2012, Bower wanted to rebuild using reclaimed materials, but the cost was high.

“One contractor quoted $12,000 just for the floor,” Bower says. Instead, Bower used pallet wood—and a lot of hard work—to build the floor herself. “We just love it,” she says.

Not ready to commit to a full-room remodel? Shannon Acheson ofAKA Design used pallets to create a sliding barn door in her home.

“The inspiration was born out of both necessity and our love of all things rustic-industrial. We needed to create a bit of a barrier between our living room and the downstairs family room noise,” Acheson says.

Pallets can work outdoors, too. Funky Junk Interiors created a beach boardwalk–style walkway along a garden path by using pallet wood planks as steppingstones.

And if you’re looking for something smaller, pallets can be used to create accent furniture as well. In “Make Garbage Great,” author Albe Zakes converted a pallet into a modern-looking side table with minimal fuss.

courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors
courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors

Go get ’em

Typically, if a company—like a big-box retailer, local clothing store, or town newspaper—receives goods, it’ll have pallets. While some companies have contracts to remove and recycle these pallets, many don’t, and they’ll be happy to hand over the goods—all you need to do is ask.

If you need help finding pallets, 1001Pallets has created a Google Map of known spots.

Once you have a stack of pallets, make sure you’re taking home only the safest materials. Check for spills, stains, and discolorations, as they might be a sign of something toxic. If the pallet is clean, check for labels.

Not all pallets will have a label or stamp, but if they do, 1001Pallets says to look for the following:

  • HT: The HT label means the pallet was heat-treated. Heat-treated pallets are not harmful to your health.
  • KD: KD stands for kiln-dried lumber. Done to reduce moisture, KD isn’t harmful.
  • MB: MB pallets were fumigated with chemicals. Avoid any with this marker.

courtesy of Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

courtesy of Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

courtesy of Shannon Acheson, AKA Design

Getting down to business

To get a gorgeous end product, plan to pick up more pallets than you think you’ll actually need for your project and do a lot of inspection.

“I always tell people upfront. More than half the planks we prepared for our floor were not actually used on the floor,” says Bower. “We were very meticulous in choosing the planks we put down.”

Check each pallet for signs of warping, discoloration, or cracks. While discoloration may buff or stain out, warping and cracks could cause your project to break down quickly.

And if you find any you can’t use—don’t forget to recycle!