A few weeks ago, I was at a conference with fellow BiggerPockets blogger Chad Gallagher. He is owner and founder of a property management company. I wanted to understand how they grew so fast, so I decided to turn the camera on and have a talk with Chad.
Even if you aren’t an established rock star or world-renowned voice-over artist, the thought of wandering into the studio whenever inspiration strikes and laying down a track sounds like sweet music.
Nowadays, amateurs and professionals alike realize that if space in your home is plentiful, it can be a lot less expensive and more convenient to build an in-house studio. It sure beats renting studio space. Plus, digital recording methods have shrunk both the size and price of equipment to a fraction of what they used to be.
But does a tricked-out studio have any value to someone who doesn’t happen to be in the recording industry? That’s the question almost every would-be home studio owner must face before making the leap to convert unused space into a recording wonderland.
Singer-songwriter Cara Jones uncovered the answer after spending tens of thousands of dollars converting her three-car garage into a state-of-the-art recording studio. She made extensive use of her convenient space for several years before deciding to sell.
After only two weeks on the market, “we had five offers, and I don’t think any of them were really interested in the studio,” she says. “The people who ended up buying it, an older couple, said they’d probably convert it back to a garage, or maybe make part of it into a man cave.”
So does she regret building the studio?
“Not at all! We ran a successful business out of there for many years,” she says. “And we’ll build another studio as soon as we buy our next home.” Jones and her family are currently leasing a home near the beach and renting professional studios when the need arises.
The even better news, though, is that her buyers paid well above the asking price, because the home was located on a corner lot in a red-hot neighborhood. The studio didn’t help or hurt the sale.
But if a studio matters to you, and you’d rather not build one from scratch, we’ve found several that are available right now and ready to use. Some of them are even owned by famous musicians! Here’s what’s available-just think of those midnight jam sessions with your besties!
The score: This home belongs to Paul Simon‘s son Harper, a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. It’s located in Laurel Canyon, which has been the home of countless rock legends and celebs. This gated Spanish-style compound was built in 1929 and has four bedrooms and four baths divided between a main house, a guest apartment, and a separate casita, which is currently in use as a recording studio.
The score: This modern rustic home, which Nine Inch Nails‘ Atticus Ross owns, is also located in Laurel Canyon. But this place is at the very tiptop, which affords it stunning views and total privacy. In addition to the fully soundproof and wired studio, it has five bedrooms within 3,350 square feet of living space. The 3,969-square-foot lot doesn’t have much of a yard, but it’s close to hiking trails and protected wilderness areas. Ross, a Grammy- and Oscar-winning musician and composer, has moved on, while the property has been on and off the market since 2016.
The Score: This San Fernando Valley home belonging to musician, songwriter, producer, and engineer Curt Cuomo-best known for his work with KISS-features two music studios, one of which is two stories!
The three-bedroom ranch home offers an ideal live-work situation. The studios are equipped with spacious control/mix rooms, a large live room, a soundproof edit room, and three iso booths. Most of the space was designed, wired, and grounded by studio specalist Art Kelm.
The score: Not far from Northern California’s wine country sits this remodeled three-bedroom ranch. There’s a hot tub, an outdoor pizza oven, and a free-standing recording studio. The studio is soundproof, but hardly anyone will hear you on this 1.3-acre lot. There are new wood floors throughout the house, and plenty of room for expansion under the property’s mature pine and oak trees.
The score: This professional-quality recording studio-known as “Cave”-comes with an updated ranch home belonging to drummer Ryan Hoyle. A member of Collective Soul, Hoyle has recorded TV themes, and played on albums for Carrie Underwood, Pet Shop Boys, and Alice Cooper. Located on a gated lot in the San Fernando Valley, the house has three bedrooms and 1.5 baths. The studio is soundproof (which the neighbors surely appreciate), has a huge tracking room with vaulted ceiling, control and reception rooms, and special accommodations for drums.
No matter how carefully you plan for a move, we’ve got bad news for you: Odds are, there are at least a few things you’ll pack all wrong. Why should you care? Because, of course, possessions that aren’t packed well tend to break. Here’s how to do it right.
1. Cleaning supplies
Cleaning supplies and other potentially hazardous household materials are common things that people tend to pack incorrectly, says Cori Bamberg, a certified professional organizer at DitchTheClutter.com.
People tend to clean up until they move, meaning everything from bleach to tile spray is simply thrown in a box at the last minute. During a bumpy move, these containers can open up and create a leaky mess-or worse, toxic mixtures. Instead, tightly pack chemicals and cleaners in an upright position so they can’t open or spill in transit.
2. Flat-screen TVs
Many people pack their flat-screen TVs flat, or horizontally. But that’s a risky move, since these screens are built to have their weight balanced when set upright. This means when you lay the screen flat, there won’t be adequate support in the middle, which can lead to cracking or distortion of the edges, says Mike Glanz, co-founder and CEO of HireAHelper.com, which has assisted with more than 250,000 moves.
Add in the vibrations of the moving truck, and the chance of cracking or distortion only increases. Pack your TV correctly in a specially made vertical box and protect the front with a moving blanket.
3. Anything with electrical cords
As for TV cords and remotes, they tend to get thrown into a bundle without proper labeling-which makes reconnecting them later a huge headache. Preserve your ability to binge-watch by snapping photos of which cords go where before disassembly. Then label every cord, and tape remotes to the devices they belong to.
The issue is not hurting a book, but injuring yourself by overpacking a box with tomes.
“Don’t put all your books in one container!” says Kelly Tenny of zippboxx.com, an on-demand storage company that also offers packing services.
Sure, it’s convenient to know where all of your books are. But a box of 30 hardcovers will be unwieldy and prone to collapsing under the weight. The best way to pack your favorite reads is to distribute them among all of your boxes. Pack several books on the bottom and then add lighter items on top.
Another tip-most people pack books with the spines up so they can see the titles. But it’s better to pack books flat to protect the spine.
People tend to pack dishes in stacks-big mistake! In a flat stack, all the pressure rests on the bottom dishes, says Sharon McRill, owner of the Betty Brigade, a relocation management and organizing company. It turns out dishes stacked on their side are much less likely to break.
“Just like eggshells, plates are strongest on their edges,” says McRill. Dishes should be well-wrapped in paper with sections divided by cardboard pieces in a special dish-pack box. Be sure to also push crumpled paper down around each side and on the top.
6. Unusually tall items
The taller the item, the more interesting the bad packing becomes.
“We’ve seen people wrap items such as a tall vase or grandfather clock in a rug, or buffer them with a combination of blankets and duct tape,” says Glanz. This creates a bulky object that’s not only difficult to move but also vulnerable to breakage.
A better solution is to take two moving boxes and create one suitably sized and easily packed carton taped together like a clamshell. Place the breakable item within the clamshell. And remember to pad the bottom and top of your custom box well and fill it with paper stuffing so everything sits snugly inside.
7. Anything in bubble wrap
Delicate ceramics and glass items will be safe and snug in bubble wrap, right? Not if you consider a new study commissioned by Duck brand packing supplies, which found that 2 out of 3 people don’t know how to use bubble wrap right.
So what’s the secret? Here goes: The bubbles should face toward the item you’re wrapping, rather than away. This is because the purpose of the bubbles is to cushion the item and hold it in place as it bounces in the back of a moving truck; bubbles can do that only if they’re touching the item that needs protecting.
If you’re thinking about moving to Colorado but don’t want all the traffic and crowds of a big city, Aurora, CO is a great option. Just a 25-minute drive from Denver, Aurora has a population of a little less than 400,000; it also has great schools, loads of open space, and advanced healthcare. Want to […]
It’s rare to find an architectural masterpiece available for an accessible price, and rarer still to find two masterpieces on the same lot for one low price.
But it’s a current reality at the hillside property known as the J.J. Mulvihill house, now on the market for $1.59 million.
The property includes a main residence designed by midcentury architect Harwell Hamilton Harris and a design studio built by award-winning regenerative architect John T. Lyle.
The terrific twofer is nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains just outside of Pasadena, CA, in a quiet community called Sierra Madre.
How quiet is it? “It’s up in the hills, quiet, serene, where you can enjoy the beauty surrounding you, and even make friends with your bear neighbors,” says Matthew Berkley of Deasy/Penner & Partners, who is co-listing the property with Judy Webb-Martin of Podley Properties.
Yes, he said bear neighbors.
Homeowner Harriett Lyle, the widow of the aforementioned John T. Lyle, frequently observes bears in the yard, drinking from the koi pond, but oddly enough, not eating the fish. The bears leave the premises with little more than a stern command, she reports.
Harris, who worked for and was mentored by Richard Neutra, created the main house in 1949.
Real estate agent Barbara Lamprecht, who’s also a writer and teacher in architectural history, described it as “an ocean liner poised on a promontory … a powerful horizontal form against its mountainous backdrop. Its prow of glass, grey-green painted redwood, and red brick sails into space high above its hillside landscape and the unending carpet known as greater Los Angeles.”
The 2,002-square-foot, three-level main residence has three bedrooms and four baths. Original features include wood-beamed ceilings, brick fireplaces, built-in book cases and shelving, and walls of glass to take in the views.
It also features what could be considered one of the original indoor-outdoor “California rooms,” which Harris dubbed a “summer living room.”
The room is sheltered on top, but is open to breezes on two sides. It has a concrete floor and brick fireplace ideal for entertaining guests al fresco. Above it is an enclosed living room intended for use in the winter.
The building designed by Lyle in 1986 is located to the side of the house and oriented with the windows facing south into the oak woodland. It was last used as an architect’s design studio, but would be ideal for a painter, sculptor, musician, or guest. It has a bathroom and a bedroom.
Lyle also designed the award-winning landscaping, adding paths that call to mind a river winding its way downhill, and native plants and trees. The gnarled Engelmann oak was already there.
Little is known about original owner J.J. Mulvihill, but Harris, who died in 1990, was known for his work assimilating European and American design influences. After working for Neutra, the architect started his own practice, and served as the dean for the School of Architecture of the University of Texas and a professor at North Carolina State University.
Lyle, who died in 1998, was a professor and designer of landscape architecture at Cal Poly Pomona. He was known for his regenerative style, and the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona is named after him.
If this double dip interests you, you’ll have to act fast. According to Berkley, the property has been shown multiple times a day since it went on the market earlier this month.
The seller is “very concerned about maintaining the legacy of the property,” he adds. Ideally, the new owner will be “someone who will want the property because of what it is.”
Moving with kids can be a challenge, especially when it comes to choosing a school from far away. However, if you do some preliminary research before, it can make a big difference when it comes down to the wire. If you’re planning a move to Aurora, CO in the near future and want to face […]