Monday, July 11, 2011


Richie is a great advocate of windowshopping. As he gleefully points out, "It's FREE!"

Many women and quite a few men like to dreamily house hunt. And we're not interested in some little beach shack, an abandoned hut or, God forbid, a fixer-upper! We want the good stuff!

And I found a terrific source for big time daydreams. Architectural Digest runs a monthly column called "On The Market" -- breezy, catch-y, no? They also run the properties up for bid on their Website --, then inner search for "estates for sale."

Let's start small and move on up, shall we?

Palm Springs 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 8,000 sq. ft. $13.9 million Cool factor! Parts of the James Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever" were shot here.

East Hampton 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths 3,400 sq. ft. $38 million Cool factor! Dahlings, it's on Further Lane, THE address in the Hamptons

Oh, the Hamptons are so over for you? How about Blair Castle then, in Ayrshire, Scotland. It's 900 years old and has been completely restored. There are 18 bedrooms, 16 baths, 25,000 sq. ft., along with four farms, seven cottages, a carriage house with stables and a tennis court. 13 million! (What a deal! For $13 million you could have your own city!)

Countess Nathalie Volpi has moved on, but you can buy her old house. Located in Sabaudia, Italy (an hour south of Rome) this 11,370 sq. ft. place has seven bedrooms, five baths, a guesthouse, caretaker's quarters and stable. The land stretches from the Tyrrhenian Sea to Lake Paola. $28.1 million

The hell with it all, you say? Start from scratch with Ronde Island, Grenada. This undeveloped island covers 2,000 acres and costs $100 million. And that's just for the dirt -- you have to install electricity, gas, water, fi-os, sewage disposal and all of the rest. Based on the helicopter-shot photo, set aside a lot for trimming out the trees.

Makes the mortgage payment look downright friendly, doesn't it?

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