This HGTV Expert Gives Us the Inside Scoop on Celeb Home Trends
Closets as big as bedrooms, in-home IMAX theaters: We can’t get enough of checking out the goods that, to the rich and famous, are simply standard. To get the real inside scoop on celebrity real estate, we talked with Lisa Johnson Mandell, HGTV’s long-time West Coast correspondent and founder of AtHomeInHollywood.com. She’s sharing with us the biggest celeb home trends and taking us inside some very famous homes.
The Latest Home Theater Trends
Anyone who watched Cribs in the early 2000s knows that an in-house movie theater is a celebrity home staple, but Mandell says that recently, the trend is reaching an even more impressive level. “A home IMAX theater, which can cost up to $3 million, is most coveted,” she says. “Seth MacFarlane got the first IMAX ever installed in a private residence, and a number of directors are following suit so they can watch their own movies in the format they’ll be shown when they’re released.” Mandell says the reasons why IMAX theaters are crazy expensive is because they require stadium seating, a curved screen at least 12 feet tall and outrageous sound systems.
Mid-Century Modern Decorating
As far as decor, right now it’s all about MCM. Mandell says celebs go crazy for anything Jonathan Adler. Her tip for us civilians is to shop his JCPenney line, which is actually very trendy, even among the rich and famous. She tells us celebrities often attend MCM design shows in LA and Palm Springs to see the latest pieces. Celebs like Julie Bowen and Jenna Elfman have been known to host MCM design galas in the past. (Photo via @jonathanadler)
Airbnb, Celebrity Style
Since many celebrities often spend months away from home while filming a movie or on a music tour, some actually rent out their homes. Yep, you can stay in a celeb’s house — if you can afford it. “Many celebs like Jessica Alba, the Winklevoss twins, Sandra Bullock, Cindy Crawford and Joan Collins will rent out their houses by the month or year,” Mandell tells us. “Leonardo DiCaprio’s swank home in Palm Springs, formerly owned by Dinah Shore, can be rented by the night for $4,500, with a two-night minimum stay.” Interested? Head to 432 Hermosa for details. (Photo via 432 Hermosa)
How Celebs Flip Houses
Courtney Cox, Ellen Degeneres, Jeremy Renner, Corbin Bernsen and Cindy Crawford all love the flip, according to Mandell. Crawford bought a mansion earlier this year for $6 million and is now asking $15.5 million. “I think she’s set her expectations a little high because the rehab wasn’t all that extensive,” Mandell says. “Its chief asset is not beach views — they are very limited. It’s the beach access to a very private and exclusive beach that is so valuable.” Mandell tells us that Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber have a much larger house on the Enciinal Bluffs and just bought the extensive property next door, which they plan to renovate. They are also renting out their cottage on Broad Beach for $45,000. (Photo via Coldwell Banker)
The Most Expensive Home In Bel Air
Mandell tells us that one developer is building a $500 million spec home in Bel Air, which will be over 100,000 square feet. “I suspect the price is merely a publicity stunt,” she says. “Previously, the most expensive house on the market was $195 million, and I thought that was suspect as well.” This new, outrageously priced property is boasting four pools, 5,000 square feet for a master suite and a 30-car garage. You can check out all the details on Mandell’s site.
Of course, even when a 100,000 square foot home is not enough, there is also the prospect of buying your own island. Mandell says a Dutch company is building private islands in the Maldives, Dubai and Miami, and she expects even more to be sprouting up in other locations soon enough. (Photo via BloombergBusiness)
What home feature would you treat yourself to if money wasn’t an issue? Share in the comments.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com