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Home allegedly stalked by eerie 'Watcher' back on market for $1.25M

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Six bedrooms. Four bathrooms. One stalker.

A colonial-style Westfield, New Jersey, home that made headlines after the current owners claimed someone who identified himself as "The Watcher" sent them creepy, anonymous letters is back on the market for $1.25 million, NJ.com reports.

According to USA Today, Derek and Maria Broaddus bought the house for $1.3 million in 2014, but the couple and their three children never moved in after supposedly receiving threatening letters from the so-called "Watcher."

>> See the Zillow listing for the home

"My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time," one letter read, according to NBC News.

The writer also said, "Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Once I know their names I will draw them to me," NJ.com reports.

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The Broadduses tried to sell the house but failed. Last summer, the couple sued the previous owners, John and Andrea Woods, claiming that they knew about the stalker but kept quiet, according to The Associated Press and NJ.com. The Woodses denied the accusations, saying they did receive an anonymous letter but that it wasn't disturbing. They have filed a counterclaim against the Broadduses for causing them emotional distress.

Learn more here.

>> Take a video tour of the home

Trump’s former $95 million mansion to be torn down

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An oceanfront mansion Donald Trump sold to a Russian billionaire for $95 million in 2008 is going to be torn down.

The demolition of the estate, which was the largest single residential sale ever in Palm Beach, Florida, was approved this week.

>> PHOTOS: Former Trump estate

Long before he became the 2016 Republican presidential front-runner, Trump purchased the mansion in 2004 at a foreclosure auction for $41.4 million. He then renovated the property before selling it to fertilizer mogul Dmitry Rybolovlev in July 2008, five months before the Great Recession hit Palm Beach.

The Architectural Commission green-lighted the demolition in a 4-3 vote.

Commissioners were not given specifics about what is being planned at the property, which measures 6 acres with 475 feet of oceanfront views.

But sources familiar with the estate told Palm Beach Daily News that it may be subdivided and redeveloped into two or three houses.

The main house encompasses about 62,000 square feet. Outbuildings bring the total square footage to 81,738, according to property records.

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Landscape architect Lynn Bender told the board that once the demolition was complete, the lot would be resodded until plans for it were finalized. Only the perimeter walls, fences, access gates, columns and small portion of main entry driveway will be retained. A fountain at the main entrance also will be removed.

Known as Maison de L’Amitie, the estate was the longtime home of the late health care magnate Abe Gosman, who lost it in foreclosure. Gosman died in 2013.

Over the past several years, the estate was among the disputed assets in contentious divorce proceedings, stemming from 2009, between Rybolovlev and his ex-wife, Elena. Last June, a Swiss judge reduced her $4.8 billion payout to about $604 million, but the couple reportedly settled for an undisclosed amount said to be close to $1 billion. Details were also not disclosed about whether ownership of the house had changed.

Commissioners discussed the project for about 25 minutes Wednesday. Newly-elected chairman Richard Sammons recused himself from the agenda item because of conflict, although he did not provide specifics as to why.

Anthony Mauro, of Mauro Brothers LLC, spoke on behalf of the owner’s representatives at the meeting.

A carriage house built in the 1930s is the oldest building on the property. The French provincial-style main house, finished by Gosman in 1988, has one story and a basement. “The house is in relatively good shape,” Mauro said.

Commissioner Michael Small said he was given a tour. “It truly is an exquisite property,” he said.

Mauro said there are a number of people interested in buying it.

Vice Chairwoman Ann Vanneck voted against the demolition. After the vote she explained that in demolition cases, commissioners usually are given an itemized list of trees that will be affected by the demolition with corresponding photos. Applicants typically include a notation for each plant listed as to whether plans call for it will be left in place, relocated or removed.

9 cities where it's getting cheaper to rent

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It will come as a surprise to no one that rent prices in most of the country’s largest markets are expected to rise in 2016, according to a forecast from real estate data company Zillow. But there’s some good news in that forecast, even for people who live in some of the most expensive cities in the country: Rents won’t increase as much as they have been, Zillow predicts.

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For example, in 2015, rents in San Francisco grew 12.5 percent, but this year, Zillow expects that growth rate to slow to 5.9 percent. Of course, that’s probably not too comforting to a population of renters that already lives in one of the most competitive, expensive markets in the country, especially since Zillow said people in San Francisco can expect to spend 40 percent of their income on rent in 2016.

West Coast rents are an extreme — Zillow data says the three most expensive cities for renters are all in California. At the same time, tenants throughout the U.S. can expect modest rent increases, with a projected annual growth rate of 1.1 percent in 2016, from a median monthly rent of $1,381 to $1,396. 

And in some bigger cities, rents are poised to drop. They’re not necessarily the cheapest places to live, but they’re certainly not anywhere near the $3,699-per-month people can expect to pay in San Jose, California, this year.

Out of the 35 largest metro areas in the country, nine cities will see rent price drops in 2016, Zillow predicts.

9. Detroit

December 2015 Median Monthly Rent: $1,132Projected December 2016 Median Monthly Rent: $1,128Change: -0.4%

8. Philadelphia

December 2015 Median Monthly Rent: $1,558Projected December 2016 Median Monthly Rent: $1,550Change: -0.5%

7. Cleveland

December 2015 Median Monthly Rent: $1,124Projected December 2016 Median Monthly Rent: $1,117Change: -0.6%

5. (tie) St. Louis

December 2015 Median Monthly Rent: $1,123Projected December 2016 Median Monthly Rent: $1,115Change: -0.7%

5. (tie) Baltimore

December 2015 Median Monthly Rent: $1,714Projected December 2016 Median Monthly Rent: $1,702Change: -0.7%

4. Pittsburgh

December 2015 Median Monthly Rent: $1,090Projected December 2016 Median Monthly Rent: $1,079Change: -1%

3. Chicago

December 2015 Median Monthly Rent: $1,633Projected December 2016 Median Monthly Rent: $1,611Change: -1.4%

2. Las Vegas

December 2015 Median Monthly Rent: $1,212Projected December 2016 Median Monthly Rent: $1,191Change: -1.8%

1. Indianapolis

December 2015 Median Monthly Rent: $1,181Projected December 2016 Median Monthly Rent: $1,138Change: -3.6%

No matter where you’re looking to rent, good credit can make the process of finding a new place a lot easier since landlords tend to look at a version of your credit report when screening tenants. If buying a home is an option, that may be the more economical choice, as a monthly mortgage payment is sometimes less expensive than the median rent in some areas.

88-year-old nearly loses her home after mortgage company thinks she’s dead

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An 88-year-old woman almost lost her home because her mortgage company mistakenly thought she was dead, WKRN-TV reported.

Minnie Fish took out a reverse mortgage years ago as a way to pay her taxes and bills, so when the company thought she was dead, it cut off access to the loan and prevented Fish from making payments. When she got the loan, the agreement said the company could sell her property when she died.

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The company prematurely started going through with that end of the deal after an errant death report. In the summer, the company started sending notices to Fish’s estate that her loan was due because she had died, with the most recent notice saying the company would refer the loan to foreclosure processing.

Since then, the issue has been corrected, and Fish can access her loan again.

“We have been working with Ms. Fish over the last few months to resolve this issue, and as of Nov. 30 we received the final documentation required to correct her file,” the company said in an email to WKRN-TV.

While it’s great Fish didn’t lose her home, the story remains a troubling tale for consumers.

The whole thing happened because the mortgage company acted on what it thought was accurate information — the problem stemmed from an incorrect death report, the company said — leaving Fish without the resources she needed for everyday expenses.

WKRN-TV didn’t specify any issues Fish had when she couldn’t pay her bills, but there are a lot of possibilities. For example, if you fail to pay a utility bill, the company may shut off your service. If a bill goes unpaid long enough, you might start to hear from debt collectors, and on top of that, a collection account on your credit report can significantly damage your credit scores. 

It’s unclear exactly how the errant death report occurred, but Fish’s experience serves as a lesson to consumers: Watch all your accounts for signs of errors. The sooner you ask questions about an odd notice or unexpected activity, the more quickly you’re likely to get a resolution. Of course, as Fish learned, proving something seemingly simple (like being alive) can still take a long time, hence the urgency of acting quickly.

Florida mega-mansion Le Palais Royal hits market again for $159M

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A massive Florida mansion dubbed Le Palais Royal is back on the market for a whopping $159 million.

According to Forbes, the 60,500-square-foot Hillsboro Beach home is the second highest-priced listing in the nation, behind the $195 million Gemini compound in ManalapanThe Palm Beach Post reported in September 2014 that the 4 1/2-acre property includes an 11-bedroom, 17-bathroom main house; 465 feet of ocean front; a 492-foot dock that can accommodate a 185-foot yacht; and an underground garage with parking for more than 30 cars. It also boasts the first-ever IMAX Theater contracted for private use, featuring a 50- by 27-foot screen and seating for 18.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: $139M Florida mansion becomes most expensive listing in U.S.

>> PHOTOS: Florida mansion Le Palais Royal relisted for $159M

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The Palace of Versailles-inspired estate was originally offered for $139 million last year but was taken off the market, the Wall Street Journal reports. Project manager Joseph Leone, who has been working on the home for seven years, told WSJ that the owner, Middlesex Corp. founder Robert Pereira, decided to hold off on listing the property until the main house was nearly complete. Pereira also is building two guest houses on a smaller adjacent lot that will include an underground entertainment center with a go-kart course, ice-skating rink, bowling alley and nightclub, Leone said.

The new listing agent is Mayi de la Vega of One Sotheby's International Realty. 

>> Click here to see photos of the home

One of America’s priciest residences, $159 million,  is now listed by One Sotheby's International Realty.  The Wall Street Journal has the scoop: http://on.wsj.com/1PCNrogPosted by One Sotheby's International Realty on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

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