All posts by Ben

The Real Downton Abbey on Airbnb

With the “Downton Abbey” movie premiering on Sept. 20, many of the show’s fans may be wondering: What would it be like to live like Lord and Lady Grantham in such a posh place?

Well, here’s your chance: Highclere Castle, the real-life Downton, located in Hampshire, England, will soon be up for booking on Airbnb! And best to set your alarm to beat the crowds.

Reservations open Oct. 1 at noon, British Standard Time. Only one night is available: Nov. 26. The cost of this unforgettable experience is shockingly cheap, at $159. Making the deal that much sweeter, Airbnb will donate a portion to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Source: Inside the Real Downton Abbey—Now Up on Airbnb | realtor.com®

Top Ten Hottest Houses this Week

Here’s the top ten most viewed listings (and they’re not all super expensive.)

The cover picture is from a $14.8 million dollar home on Dale Hollow Lake on the Kentucky/Tennessee border. As a child, we’d sometimes spend a few days on a houseboat at Dale Hollow. Lovely spot…

It isn’t owned by an A-lister, but that fact didn’t put a damper on the public’s interest in a massive, 61-acre estate in Byrdstown, TN. The $14.8 million lakefront spread racked up the most clicks this week and wound up as the week’s most popular home on realtor.com®.

The gated mansion sits just two hours outside Nashville, high on a bluff overlooking Dale Hollow Lake. The huge, 31,600 square-foot home casts an imposing shadow on the rugged and pristine terrain below. It was completed in 2017 and is currently owned by an entrepreneur, according to listing agent Charlie Neese.

“The current owner believes it to be the second-largest house in the state at the moment,” says Neese. The agent then dashed our hopes for a country music connection. “The owner is an entrepreneur, not a celebrity from Nashville. It’s such a unique property, that’s the reason it’s attracting so much attention.”

Source: Massive $14.8M Tennessee Mansion Is the Week’s Most Popular Home | realtor.com® (Click to see all ten homes)

The Surprising Benefits of Gardening in Retirement

Each autumn, the fruits of the harvest fill the shelves of local groceries and farmers markets, a colorful reminder of the many nutritional benefits of fresh produce. But growing produce offers equally sustaining, though perhaps less visible, benefits.

Beyond reduced grocery expenses, gardening offers many positive effects financially. A garden may be a good way to improve property value, for example, says David Ellis, director of communications for the American Horticultural Society and editor of its magazine, The American Gardener. But most people garden because they enjoy it, he says. “They grow vegetables and improve their own nutrition,” says Ellis, “and they grow flowers, which they give away and spread joy.”

A form of light exercise, gardening can be a great way to stay active. The exercise involved varies, depending on the task, and seniors should be careful not to overexert themselves, Ellis says.

Spending time outdoors has been linked with improved mental health. Recent studies have shown that the quantity of nearby green space buffers life stresses across ages. Gardening may lower cortisol levels in your brain, and in turn reduce stress levels, according to a study in the Journal of Health Psychology.

Gardening may also lower the risk of dementia by as much as 36%, according to a study conducted in 2010 in Australia. For this reason, horticultural therapy is a growing area proving helpful for seniors with dementia, says Ellis. With this form of active therapy, people are led through gardening tasks and see the results, often making use of fragrant herbs that stimulate memory, he says. “It has become a great tool,” says Ellis.

Source: The Surprising Benefits of Gardening in Retirement