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As the old saying goes, you can’t buy taste. Exhibit A: The $30 million home (compound?) that publishing tycoon Duane Hagadone built in Palm Desert. According to this account in the Los Angeles Times, Hagadone wanted “a residence that blends into the mountain, that is very subtle, not a pinnacle seen from all angles.” The home, reports LA Times writer Valerie Reitman, would feature a copper roof composed of “angles and curves” that mimicked the ridge of the mountain, while its rock walls would be molded from those on the hillside.
So entranced were city officials that they granted Hagadone an exemption from zoning ordinance that allowed him to build his 32,016-square-foot monstrosity – which is eight times the normal limit.
But the photo above shows what Hagadone built (also, here’s a slide show the LA Times put together, which shows the development from different angles.) You think this blends into the mountainscape? Har. Viewed from above, it looks like the space station crashed here, splattering its parts across the desert.
So this got me thinking: Let’s have a contest to pick the ”Ugliest House Ever Built.” (Bonus points for homes where the owner dropped a small fortune in the process; no fair picking on the Average Joes.) Readers, nominate your candidates, with links to the photos, as comments to this thread (if you just have a digital photo, feel free to email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Ugliest House contest” in the subject line). If we get enough readers willing to play ball, I’ll pick a winner and award a prize: A copy of Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust by David Lereah, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors (and subject of the David Lereah Watch blog).
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.