5 Reasons I Hate Marie Kondo (Admit It, Deep Down You Do Too)

Unless you’ve been living in a cave—and a very cluttered cave, at that—you’ve likely heard of Marie Kondo. This Japanese organizing consultant’s first book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” has sold over 5 million copies worldwide since its release in 2014. It’s inspired people across America to purge their closets of everything that did not, as she says, “spark joy.” Time magazine even dubbed her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Think about that for a moment—an organizer!

So I gave her methods a try—and quickly realized that while her approach might work for some, it seems downright dumb to me.

Maybe it’s the fact that she encourages people to talk to their old socks, thanking them for their service before tossing them in the trash. Or the fact that she wrote a follow-up best-seller outlining how to fold clothes so they’re “happy.” Whatever the reason, I’m here to say that Kondo’s approach is definitely not for everyone—and I don’t think I’m alone. Here’s why I hate Kondo (and why, deep down, you probably do too).

1. Not everything in life can—or should—’spark joy’

Kondo’s method has a number of components, but the main thing that she is known for is holding up every item and asking if it sparks joy. If so, the joy-sparking object stays. If not, off it goes.

Let’s unpack that “sparking joy” thing a bit. I have a lot of T-shirts. Do they spark joy? Not really. But when I need to get dressed to go to the park on a Tuesday, they do just fine.

Every now and then I will pull out something that I’ve had for forever and put it on. And out of the blue someone will admire it. I feel like saying, “This old thing?”—but I don’t. I smile and say thanks, and then I feel a spark of joy—because I was able to elicit a compliment for a pair of pants that I rescued from my neighbor’s Goodwill bag or a 10-year-old dress I had first worn to a 30th birthday party and was bringing back for a 40th celebration—yes, that happened. So who’s to say what sparks of joy might lie in the future?

Final nail in the coffin for the concept of relentless purging? Mom jeans. If those can come back in style, anything can.

2. I don’t have time to maintain this ridiculous system

I know there must be people who have oodles of time to neatly fold and put away laundry, and some might even find it soothing. But, alas, I am not one of them. The people in my house are lucky to have clean clothes, and they are more likely to be shoved in a drawer than lovingly folded.

Please, watch Kondo videos and tell me if you could do this while you were on a conference call or simultaneously checking homework and making dinner.

And yet, Kondo dares to term this method “effortless.” Yowza. Throwing my yoga pants and T-shirt on a shelf so I can quickly grab them later is what I call “effortless.”

3. I could never get the kids on board

I can just hear the guffaws (or sobs of panic) if I asked my three boys to determine which of their action figures sparked joy, and then toss the rest. Or their baseball cards. Or, let’s face it, the rocks they collected from the front yard or the toys that came with their fast-food burger.

To kids, everything sparks joy. Given that Kondo gave birth to her first child in early 2016, this reality is probably sinking in as I write this. According to interviews, she admits, “since my child was born, we have a lot more things.” Apparently, though, her daughter is “still not at the age where she’s scattering things about.” Just you wait!

Furthermore, I can quickly see this becoming a valid excuse for getting rid of those items they don’t really want, like shirts with collars, or raincoats.

“Sorry, Mom, this tie didn’t spark joy. It’s outta here.”

4. Someday someone is going to need it

I have an art cupboard filled with colored pencils, crayons, paints, stamps, stickers, etc. My kids have never been too into crafts, but I bought the requisite googly eyes, glue sticks, and so on—all that stuff that prepared moms have on hand.

And there they sit in the cupboard, until someone announces they have a project due the next day. I bet you anything Kondo would have to make a midnight run to the 24-hour Staples. Not me. Joy is sparked when I can reveal the contents of my art cupboard to the little slacker who gave me no warning.

5. What really sparks joy? Not wasting money

I’m not saying your closets and cupboards should remain overflowing, but neither should they be so bare you’re one day left in a lurch. Consider how little joy you’ll feel, in fact, when you wake up next week and have only four T-shirts—and they’re all in the laundry?

On the Level? This Crooked House in Pennsylvania Is a Slice of Off-Kilter Colonial History

Imperfections can also be beautiful. There’s twisty Lombard Street in San Francisco and the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

This Oley, PA, property known as the “Crooked House” follows the same imperfect yet beautiful path. Now on the market for $279,000, it visibly slopes a bit to the right as you view it from street level.

The home traces its roots to a 1713 land grant to the DeTurck family from William Penn, the state’s founder. In 1681, Charles II of England gave much of what is now present-day Pennsylvania and Delaware to Penn in an attempt to pay off the debts he owed to Penn’s father.

Penn then set sail from his native England to his new territory and named it the Province of Pennsylvania—Pennsylvania roughly translating to “Penn’s woods.”

The kitchen.
Kitchen

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In 1713, Penn laid down a land grant that paved the way for this off-kilter gem to be built. Built in 1750, the home retains much of its 18th-century charm.

The two-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom home features original hardwood floors, exposed beam ceilings, horsehair plaster walls, deep window sills, and period hardware.

But you won’t find an icebox or a butter churn—the home comes complete with modern amenities including a newly updated kitchen, remodeled baths, and central air. The back of the house features a porch for relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet of the yard as well as a cigar room for enjoying a stogie.

The fireplace.
Fireplace

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The town of Oley is steeped in history. Many of the homes in the town were built in the Colonial era, and the entire township of Oley is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A buyer just has to strike the right balance with a solid offer for this crooked piece of Americana.

Actor Dabney Coleman Renting Out His Posh Brentwood Home for $12K a Month

Any actor who has survived more than five decades in Hollywood has to be extremely talented as well as substantially lucky. You might be able to soak up some of Dabney Coleman‘s enduring success by taking up residence in his longtime home in Brentwood, CA. It’s now available for rent for $12,000 a month.

Although Coleman has often been cast as a rich guy abusing his power (“Boardwalk Empire,” anyone?), most who know him say he’s the opposite in real life, and his comfortable, light-filled home built for entertaining attests to that.

Great room
Great room

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The 2,985-square-foot, traditional-style house has four bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Entertaining spaces include a heated patio with a flat-screen TV, a pool, and a lushly landscaped yard. The family room has a built-in entertainment center.

Lushly landscaped backyard
Backyard with lush landscaping

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Covered porch with flat screen tv
Covered porch

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The spacious master suite features a vaulted ceiling and french doors leading to a terrace overlooking the pool. The master bath comes with a steam shower and spa tub.

Master suite
Master suite

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Renovated about eight years ago, the home has wide-plank wood floors, french doors, and plenty of windows. A quaint Dutch-style door leads to the kitchen.

Kitchen with Dutch door
Kitchen with Dutch-style door

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The home is located in the hilly Brentwood Heights area, where posh neighbors include actors Tobey MaguireGwyneth Paltrow, and Jessica Alba.

Coleman has over 200 credits to his name, from the TV series “Naked City” in 1961 to Warren Beatty‘s “Rules Don’t Apply” in 2016. He’s also been in critically acclaimed series such as “Boardwalk Empire” and “Ray Donovan,” and movies including “9 to 5,” “Tootsie,” and “Taken.”

Massive $150M Hamptons Oceanfront Offering Is Most Expensive New Listing

sprawling estate in Southampton, NY, offered for a whopping $150 million is this week’s most expensive new listing on realtor.com®.

The massive oceanfront offering includes 14 acres of coveted Hamptons land with 700 feet of beach frontage. The property comprises three separate lots with existing structures, plus an empty bay-front lot.

The large amount of land on Meadow Lane makes it a “world-class trophy location,” according the listing.

Indeed, Meadow Lane was dubbed “Billionaire Lane” by Forbes, thanks to the wealthy residents who have called this street home, at least for the holidays. A-list neighbors have included billionaire David Koch, hotelier Ian Schrager, and fashion designer Calvin Klein.

Move here and you’ve arrived. But once you make it here, be prepared to get to work.

The spread includes a 12,000-square-foot main residence which can be torn down or renovated, according to listing agent Harald Grant. The structure has an indoor pool surrounded by glass to take in the water views.

Pool on Southampton property
Pool

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On a second lot, there’s a tennis court with a smaller house, plus a pool and spa with a pool house on the ocean side.

Putting greens and golf houses
Putting greens and golf houses

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Adjoining that lot are two putting greens and two golf houses. There are three private walkways to the beach.

One of three walkways to the beach
One of three private walkways to the beach

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The property was once owned by media entrepreneur Robert Sillerman, who also held other Southampton properties in his real estate portfolio.

In 2014, Sillerman sold a 3.6-acre parcel, which included a house, for $37.5 million. Last year, he sold another parcel that included a house, pool house, swimming pool, and tennis court, according to a local report. The lot with the putting greens also sold last year, according to property records.

Water views
Water views

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Perfectly placed between the ocean and the bay.
The estate sits between the ocean and the bay.

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All the lots were acquired by a buyer with grand plans that didn’t come to fruition. The buyer, according to Grant, “was going to build a big family compound but instead decided to put it back on the market.”

This property is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to create a custom compound, Grant adds.

With a list price of $150 million, what’s a few million more to build a brand-new dream house or two?

What will draw people to this parcel is the 700 feet of oceanfront. “A lot of people have a lot on the ocean, but it’s very rare to have three lots on the ocean all contiguous,” Grant says.

And lest you think the price tag would scare buyers away, the agent says he’s showed it a “number of times already.”

10 States Facing the Most Foreclosures Right Now

This summer there’s some good news. June foreclosure activity has dropped to its lowest level since November 2015. In June 2017, there were a total of 73,828 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing, down 22% from a year ago and even more from previous years.

This is all according to ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s largest multi-sourced property database, which released its Midyear 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, showing a total of 428,400 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings. This includes default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions that occurred in the first six months of 2017. Data has been collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, with those counties accounting for more than 90% of the U.S. population.

Although the study is full of foreclosures, they’ve become fairly rare in the housing market.

“With a few local market exceptions, foreclosures have become the unicorns of the housing market: hard to find but highly sought after,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions.

As homeowners stay on top of their mortgages and housing payments, fewer foreclosures have been occurring. (If you’ve been faced with foreclosure, you’ll likely see the damage to your credit score. Not sure? You can see two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com).

Here are the ten states with the highest foreclosure rates as of June 2017.

10. New Mexico

June 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 272 housing units

Change from January to June 2016: Down 10.57%

Change from January to June 2015: Up 1.77%

9. Ohio

June 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 229 housing units

Change from January to June 2016: Down 18.49%

Change from January to June 2015: Down 24.33%

8. South Carolina

June 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 221 housing units

Change from January to June 2016: Down 15.05%

Change from January to June 2015: Down 14.31%

7. Florida

June 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 217 housing units

Change from January to June 2016: Down 33.60%

Change from January to June 2015: Down 56%

6. Nevada

June 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 215 housing units

Change from January to June 2016: Down 30.59%

Change from January to June 2015: Down 40.45%

5. Connecticut

June 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 200 housing units

Change from January to June 2016: Up 3.19%

Change from January to June 2015: Up 44.75%

4. Illinois

June 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 183 housing units

Change from January to June 2016: Down 10.19%

Change from January to June 2015: Down 25.78%

3. Maryland

June 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 161 housing units

Change from January to June 2016: Down 30.62%

Change from January to June 2015: Down 31.55%

2. Delaware

June 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 137 housing units

Change from January to June 2016: Down 6.48%

Change from January to June 2015: Up 20.42%

1. New Jersey

June 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 101 housing units

Change from January to June 2016: Up 1.8%

Change from January to June 2015: Up 8.53%

This article was written by Page DiFiore and originally published on credit.com.

Rosie O’Donnell Picks Up Magnificent Manhattan Penthouse for $8M

Rosie O’Donnell, the actress and comedian who continues to lead the charge against President Donald Trump, has purchased a 3,563-square-foot triplex in midtown Manhattan for $8 million, according to 6sqft.

The four-bed, three-bath penthouse on East 49th Street is très chic. High-end features include a fireplace made of black granite in the living room and a dining room with views of the East River and the city skyline. There’s wide-plank Russian oak flooring throughout.

The kitchen is 33 feet long and features two of every appliance, a spacious island, and north- and east-facing views.

Rosie O'Donnell's chic new pad
Living and dining spaces with views

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The master suite includes a bathroom with a walk-in steam shower for two, freestanding tub, and double vanities with medicine cabinets that appear to be floating.

Bathroom with double vanities
Bathroom with double vanities

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On the bottom floor are two more bedrooms (one with a private balcony) and a Swedish sauna.

Glass enclosed dining room
Dining area

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The 1,620-square-foot rooftop terrace offers views of the East River and the Empire State and Chrysler buildings.

33-foot-long kitchen
Kitchen

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The apartment last changed hands in 2013 for $4.37 million.

O’Donnell, a former host of “The View” and vocal critic of the current president, sold a Greenwich Village penthouse for $9 million a couple of years ago. And she’s still trying to offload a West Palm Beach, FL, waterfront retreat, which is now listed for $5.75 million.

Terrace
Rooftop terrace

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What Is a Land Survey? A Way to Clear Up a Lot of Confusion

What is a land survey? In the simplest terms, it’s a graphic depiction of a property, much like a map, outlining its legal boundaries and other features. While land surveys typically aren’t required during real estate transactions, they’re extremely useful tools that can clear up a whole lot of confusion. Here’s what you need to know about land surveys and how they can come in handy.

How are land surveys made?

Surveyors lay out the exact dimensions of a property by using your home’s deed, which should include a description or map of your property line. Unfortunately, these descriptions can be hazy and might use outdated landmarks such as trees that have long since disappeared. For that reason, a surveyor will physically measure the land as well.

“GPS is one of the possible tools we use when completing a survey,” says Robert Sandlin, a land surveyor in Missouri and Kansas with Shafer, Kline & Warren. But the individual survey will dictate the appropriate tool. An altimeter, for instance, would be used to measure a property’s elevation.

Once the property’s boundaries are determined, each state has a minimum standard for so-called monumentation that a surveyor is required to follow.

“In many situations, the surveyor will set rebar with a plastic identifying cap on it into the ground,” says Sandlin. If property corners are on asphalt or concrete, magnetic nails or marks might be chipped into the pavement.

Reasons to get a land survey

People get surveys for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • To resolve boundary disputes: Typically on the residential level, people get land surveys when there’s a disagreement over where one person’s property ends and another’s begins, Sandlin says. One common example is when a neighbor erects a fence that appears to be over a property line. If the neighbors can’t come to an agreement on their own, they might hire a land surveyor to figure out whose land it is—and where the fence can legally be built.
  • To pinpoint plot size and price: Land surveys can also accurately determine how large a plot of land is that’s being bought or sold. As such, it’s a great negotiation tool; if a survey finds that a plot is actually smaller than advertised, buyers can bargain accordingly.
  • To build a new home: If you’re building a home, most states require a land survey. For instance, topographical surveys show the elevation points across a property to determine the best place to build a structure or establish drainage.

 

What to look for in a land survey

The land survey needs to include the property boundaries and the location of any improvements such as buildings, paving, or fences, says Catherine Gilliland, an engineer with Vitruvian Designs & Engineering, in Texas, who frequently uses surveys in her work.

The survey should also do the following:

  • Identify any easements, building setbacks, or other restrictions on the property, which will affect your use and future development of the site.
  • Include a written description for the property deed, because properties often lack visual boundary markers like an iron rod in the ground.
  • Determine whether or not your home is in a floodplain. If a house is in a floodplain, the surveyor will also provide an elevation certificate, which includes your home’s floor elevation as well as the lowest and highest ground elevations near the house.

Your surveyor should also verify the boundary descriptions of all adjacent properties to ensure that the property lines are defined exactly the same on all documents. Occasionally with older adjacent parcels, there is a discrepancy over who owns what; in such cases you can call in a surveyor to sort things out.

How much does a land survey cost?

While the cost of a land survey varies by the size and complexity of the plot, in general the price can range from as low as $200 for a simple one-side boundary marking to well over $1,000 for a full property survey.

To find a surveyor, check out the National Society of Professional Surveyors, which lists members who must adhere to a certain level of education and ethics.