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The best black tights that don't rip — these are the 6 pairs we swear by



  • Black tights are a cold-weather staple, and brands like Spanx, Commando, and DKNY make some of our favorite durable pairs.
  • Whether you're looking for tights with smoothing control tops or pairs to wear while pregnant, you'll find what you're looking for in this list. 

Tights are a closet staple that will never go out of fashion, whether you wear them for work, formal occasions, or general fall and winter weather.

This versatile piece of hosiery does tend to be delicate, though. Even when you take care not to snag them on your surroundings, they often still find a way to rip, rendering them unwearable.

I've gotten tired of throwing out tights that rip with impressive ease, which is why I asked the women of Insider Picks about the styles and brands that they know can hold up to regular wear. These are the tights you can trust not to tear right before you need them the most. They're also comfortable, supportive, and usually available in different colors. 

Though you might think you have to pay $30 to $40 for a quality pair of tights, we also wear and swear by under $20 options. 

Here are our favorite tights that never rip:

SEE ALSO: The best black ankle boots you can buy

Spanx Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights

Spanx Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights, $28, available in 4 colors at Spanx and Nordstrom

Spanx makes my all-time favorite tights. The Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights are a true workhorse in my fall and winter wardrobe since that never rip, never pill, and hold me in in all the right places, without suffocating me in the process.

I wear and wash them many, many times throughout the season and am consistently impressed by how well they hold up compared to tights from other brands. I buy two new pairs at the beginning of every fall — it is $56 incredibly well spent. Spanx makes a very similar pair of tights for expecting moms too! — Ellen Hoffman, Insider Picks director of content strategy

The Spanx tights are ideal for fancier occasions or for wearing slim-fit dresses that show any extra pudge you have around the middle. The fabric is strong and densely black, which I like — I've never been fond of tights that are nearly sheer. I sized up in these tights because I knew they'd be form-fitting, and I'm glad I did. — Malarie Gokey, Insider Picks senior editor 

Spanx Luxe Leg Blackout Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights

Spanx Luxe Leg Blackout Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights, $38, available at Spanx

I love these tights from Spanx. They're similar to the previous pair recommended by Ellen and Malarie, but they're super dark and opaque, and thus very flattering! They never rip and are just generally awesome. — Grace High, Insider Picks senior analyst 

DKNY Opaque Control Top Tights

DKNY Opaque Control Top Tights, $16, available in 3 colors at Nordstrom

Although I more or less live in tights as soon as the temperature drops below 60, I had never actually bought high-quality tights until a year ago. Then I bought Spanx and DKNY tights, both of which I love. I wear the DKNY ones most often, though. The 60 denier tights are comfortable, opaque, and strong. I wore mine almost daily last fall and they haven't ripped or snagged at all. I'm also a fan of Spanx's tights, but the DKNY ones are less restrictive around the middle, making them ideal for everyday wear. — Malarie Gokey, Insider Picks senior editor 

My experiences with tights used to be restricted to last-minute trips to CVS, and the first time I bought a "nice" pair was revelatory. DKNY's Control Top Tights are comfortable without feeling restrictive, opaque without passing for leggings, and they've outlasted every other pair I own in terms of ripping — making the few extra bucks well worth it for the convenience and security. — Mara Leighton, Insider Picks reporter 

Commando Ultimate Opaque Control Top Tights

Commando Ultimate Opaque Control Top Tights, $38, available at Nordstrom

I bought my first pair of Commando tights at a sample sale in Chelsea years ago for maybe $20. Even at their full price of $38 a pair, I still consider them a great value buy for women like me who wear tights on most winter days. This pair is extra opaque (which adds warmth) and has a high-waist control top that's impressively dig-free at the stomach for all-day comfort. Like Spanx's tights, Commando's also hold up very well to frequent wears and machine washings. — Ellen Hoffman, Insider Picks director of content strategy

While living in a sorority house in college was both a blessing and a curse, I miss the days when I could turn to one of my roommates to help me pick my outfits. There was one winter night when I had no idea what to wear but knew I wanted to wear a skirt, so my stylish roommate let me borrow a pair of her black tights. Now, these Commando tights are my go-to, mainly because they're warm enough to wear when it's cold out, have a control top so I can cheat a little and suck everything in, and won't rip when I use my typically-too-long nails to pull them on. — Ciannah Gin, Insider Picks editorial fellow

Nordstrom Opaque Control Top Tights

Nordstrom Opaque Control Top Tights, $15, available in 7 colors at Nordstrom

I make it a habit to pick up two pairs of these functional tights each winter mainly because of their low price. Like my favorite Commando pair, these Nordstrom tights have a control top (I like anything that's high-waisted, really) and all my pairs have yet to rip. — Ciannah Gin, Insider Picks editorial fellow

UNIQLO HeatTech Tights

UNIQLO HeatTech Tights, $14.90, available in 3 colors at UNIQLO

I am very thankful to own Uniqlo's $15 HeatTech Tights on brutally cold days. I'm not sure what witchcraft went into the design of these tights, but they do a great job of keeping my legs warm during NYC winters. Uniqlo says they are specially engineered to protect your legs from dryness and chill — and that they even incorporate argan oil to help your legs better retain moisture — I just know that they're warm and comfortable and that they look nice, too. — Ellen Hoffman, Insider Picks director of content strategy

Leaked Kroger memo says its brand is failing and teases a major announcement coming next week (KR)


kroger grocery store

  • Kroger is rebranding, according to an internal memo obtained by Business Insider.
  • "Today, customers don't know what to make of the Kroger brand," states the memo, which was circulated internally on Monday. "We're trying to be everything to everyone — saying too many things in a fragmented way. And it shows."
  • The nation's largest grocer is overhauling its brand as it faces heightened competition from rivals including Walmart, Amazon-owned Whole Foods, discount grocers Aldi and Lidl, and dollar stores.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Kroger appears to be gearing up to announce a major branding overhaul, according to an internal memo obtained by Business Insider.

The memo, which was shared internally on Monday, stated that Kroger's "old approaches aren't working" and teased an announcement on Nov. 6 in which "all will be revealed." Kroger is planning to host an investor conference in New York on Nov. 5.

"It's been long proven that strong brands drive business," the memo states. "But today, customers don't know what to make of the Kroger brand. We're trying to be everything to everyone — saying too many things in a fragmented way. And it shows. We're a Fortune #17 company that doesn't break the top 100 in brand value ranking."

The nation's largest traditional grocer appears to be rebranding as it faces heightened competition from rivals including Walmart, Amazon-owned Whole Foods, discount grocers Aldi and Lidl, and dollar stores. Walmart and Whole Foods are rapidly growing their online grocery services, while discount and dollar stores are driving down prices. 

Kroger's memo concedes that the company is losing to some of those competitors when it comes to branding.

"Core equities that drive strong grocery brands, including quality, freshness, making life easier and saving money, are now what our competitors are known for," the memo states. 

So what's next for Kroger?

The company provided a few details about its new brand, saying it "takes a clear stand that fresh shouldn't just be for some, it should be for all," and that it "has a standout look that is instantly identifiable and ownable and will linger in the hearts and minds of our customers."

Kroger expects the new brand to"drive repeat trips and very firmly solidify our leadership position in the industry," the memo states. 

Kroger is the largest traditional grocer in the US with more than 2,700 stores and roughly 450,00 employees.

The company recently executed a store-management restructuring that involved hundreds of firings, demotions, and transfers.

"Like many industries, grocery retail is navigating through disruptive change," a Kroger representative previously told Business Insider, regarding the layoffs. "These are not easy decisions, but we do believe they are necessary to ensure the Kroger family of companies can continue to deliver fresh, affordable food for customers, jobs with good benefits and growth opportunities, and our commitment to ending hunger in our communities."

Kroger made the staffing changes after announcing last month that it wouldn't hit its three-year target of $400 million in incremental operating profit as part of the transformation plan that it calls "Restock Kroger."

At the same time, Kroger announced improvements in other metrics. In the most recent quarter, same-store sales grew 2.2% excluding fuel, compared with a 1.6% gain in the previous year, and digital sales grew 31% year-over-year.

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (646) 768-4757 using a non-work phone, email at hpeterson@businessinsider.com, or Twitter DM at @hcpeterson.

SEE ALSO: Kroger workers say firings and job changes have sparked fear and 'chaos' in some stores

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We went to a Champagne vineyard in France to find out why it's so expensive

23 Hanukkah gifts for everyone on your list


hanukkah shirts

  • This year Hanukkah will begin on December 22 and end on December 30. If you or someone you know will be celebrating, you'll probably need to find a gift to give over the course of the eight nights.
  • We rounded up Hanukkah gifts that anyone on your list will love, from techy gadgets to party games and classy cookware. 
  • Keep reading for 23 Hanukkah gifts anyone will love. Check out all of our 2019 holiday gift ideas here.

If you've ever heard Adam Sandler's festive anthem "The Chanukah Song," you know that "instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights." 

While the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah isn't rooted in gifting, it's become commonplace to give gifts over the course of the holiday. Some may choose to give and receive gifts on all eight nights while others may choose to do just one; some may have traditions of giving lots of small, stocking stuffer-like trinkets, while others may gift big-ticket items. There's no right or wrong way to go about Hanukkah gifting, but with the holiday right around the corner, now is a good time to think about what you're going to give those in your life who celebrate. 

To make it easy, we rounded 23 Hanukkah gifts that work for everyone on your list. From luxury beauty products they can take on their next vacation to fun games that'll add excitement to their holiday parties, we've got you covered with plenty of gift ideas.

Keep reading for 23 great Hanukkah gifts anyone will be happy to receive:

SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift ideas, in one place

A candle inspired by holiday delicacies

Homesick Hanukkah Candle, available at Amazon, $26.97

Layered with notes of butter, apple, and potato, this candle will take them back to Hanukkah parties spent celebrating with loved ones, with fresh potato latkes and jelly doughnuts frying. If you want to add some humor, go for the Jewish Christmas option instead. Notes of butter, popcorn, and clove will remind them of their favorite Christmas Eve tradition— Chinese food and a movie — every time they light the candle. 


A set of high-quality olive oils

The Alive Duo, available at Brightland, $70

The fresh flavors of Brightland's quality olive oils are the perfect companion to their array of fried Hanukkah treats and all of the other dishes they enjoy year-round. 

A comfortable travel pillow

Trtl Pillow, available at Amazon, $29.99

Do they have a holiday vacation planned? If so, they'll appreciate this smart travel pillow. Small and compact, the Trtl Pillow wraps around their neck like a scarf but provides serious support, so they can actually get some sleep on the go. 

A hilarious game for holiday parties

What Do You Meme?, available at Amazon, $29.99

The holidays mean lots of time spent with family and friends. Give them a fun card game that's sure to provide ample laughs — they'll be the holiday party hero. 

A plush blanket for cold nights

Nordstrom at Home Kennebunk Bliss Plush Throw, available at Nordstrom, $39.50

Nothing says holidays like cuddling up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and some cozy accessories to keep them warm. This plush throw is the perfect addition to their cold-weather rituals. 


A great read

"Educated" by Tara Westover, available at Amazon, $13.99

Give them a page-turner to add some excitement to their holiday vacation. "Educated" has received consistent praise, but there are plenty of other great books you can find on Amazon whether you want to go with a hardcover, paperback, Kindle, or audiobook version. 

A small smart speaker

Echo Dot (3rd generation), available at Amazon, $49.99

Whether they're tech experts or novices, they'll love the small but mighty Echo Dot. It's a great speaker for its size, and they can use it to create a smart home system or add to their pre-existing setup. 

A stylish and practical desk accessory

Smartphone Valet & Planter, available at Uncommon Goods, $60

This ceramic phone dock is an elegant way to keep their important tech within arm's reach while they work. The vase can be used to add some greenery to their desk, or to store pens, pencils, and other small office goods. 

Sustainable and affordable cashmere

Essential Cashmere Sweater, available at Naadam, $75

At just $75, Naadam's Essential Cashmere Sweater is a luxury that won't break the bank. Naadam calls the sweater "heavenly soft" and Insider Picks reporter Mara Leighton agrees, making this a cozy piece anyone will love to receive. 

A really nice water bottle

Hydro Flask 32-ounce Wide Mouth Bottle, available at Amazon, $39.95

Hydro Flask's signature double-wall vacuum insulation will keep their hot beverages hot and their cold ones cold for hours. With 18-, 32-, 40-, and 64-ounce options, there's a right size of this trending water bottle for everyone. 

A camera that makes instant memories

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera, available at Amazon, from $49.85

Smartphones may have taken away the need for cameras for the most part, but there's still something fun about getting to snap pictures on a camera and watch them develop. With this small Fujifilm instant camera, they can snap away and get their physical prints on the spot. 


Nice socks that give back

Bombas Socks, available at Bombas, from $10.50

Socks are an underrated, but seriously important part of any wardrobe. Bombas has mastered the art of the sock with its thoughtful details and design. While pricier than most socks, for every pair of Bombas sold, the brand donates a pair to a homeless shelter — something you can feel good about, especially over the holiday season. 

A convenient port that takes away the pain points of charging electronics

Elago 3-in-1 Charging Hub, available at Amazon, $24.99

Three devices, but just one outlet? That's no longer an issue with this charging hub, which has enough room for all of their most-used electronics. 

A custom reel viewer filled with their favorite memories

Create Your Own Reel Viewer, available at Uncommon Goods, from $14.95

The ultimate in nostalgia, this grown-up version of the classic reel viewer makes a sweet, personal gift. Fill the reel with snapshots of their favorite memories that they'll love to flip through for years to come. 

A unique cooking kit

Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $35

Give them the chance to create their own condiments with this hot-sauce-making kit. It's filled with bottles, labels, and all the special ingredients they need to make the spicy sauces. 

A travel set of luxe scents

Le Labo Santal 33 & AnOther 13 Set, available at Nordstrom, $98

This Nordstrom exclusive features two of Le Labo's most popular unisex scents in travel sizes made for when you need a fresh scent on the go. 


Shirts inspired by their favorite Jewish foods

Boots Tees Hanukkah Shirts, available at Etsy, from $22.95

Ugly Christmas sweaters get most of the spotlight around the holidays, but these funny tees are a great Hanukkah-appropriate alternative. The shirts are inspired by beloved Jewish dishes, like brisket, challah, and matzo balls, and are sure to give them a laugh. 

A retro-looking wireless speaker

Lofree Vintage Bluetooth Speaker, available at Amazon, $99.99

Vintage aesthetics paired with modern technology make this a unique piece that looks and sounds great. It's small enough to take on the go, making it a nice addition to pool parties, picnics, and all kinds of activities. 

A small gadget that cooks eggs quickly

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, available at Amazon, $19.99

Whether they like their eggs poached, boiled, scrambled, or in omelet form, egg lovers can make their favorite preparations with this small gadget. All they have to do is choose their preparation, set the timer, and their breakfast will be ready in a flash. 

Cookware inspired by their favorite film

Le Creuset Mini Round Cocotte Set, available for pre-order at Williams Sonoma, $79.95

The highly anticipated Le Creuset x Star Wars collection is set to debut on November 1. These mini dishes are perfect for baking and serving individual portions, plus they're adorned with designs inspired by their favorite Star Wars characters. 

Relaxing and detoxifying bath salts

Herbivore Botanicals Natural Soaking Bath Salts, available at Amazon, $18

Who doesn't love to relax? These calming bath salts make a great gift for anyone on your list. Inside there's vanilla, ylang ylang essential oil, and Himalayan pink salt crystals, which will soothe the body and flood the room with a calming scent. 


A journal they'll use for years to come

One Line a Day Journal, available at Amazon, $10.13

This little journal will eventually hold five year's worth of memories. Each date in the diary has five blank spaces (one for each year) that they can fill with random musings, ideas, and memories. Even after five years pass, this will be a fun keepsake they can look back at. 

An armband that keeps their important belongings safe while they run

Tribe Water Resistant Armband Case, available at Amazon, $10.98

Runners and fitness enthusiasts will appreciate this practical gift. The armband keeps their important things like a phone and set of house keys nearby and secure. Plus, it can fit just about any phone. 

I went on a 3-day camping and hiking trip led by REI's travel company — here's why I recommend REI Adventures to anyone


rei adventures review

  • REI doesn't only sell outdoor gear. You can also go on an outdoor adventure anywhere in the world through its travel company REI Adventures
  • REI Adventures offers more than 250 guided trips for a variety of activity levels, durations, and activities (hiking, camping, kayaking, backpacking, and more). 
  • Though trips can be pricey, you do get a significant discount if you're an REI member. Ultimately, you're paying for the included meals and equipment, as well as the incomparable convenience, organization, and guide expertise. 
  • I attended the Pinnacles National Park REI Adventures trip and loved it. I was impressed with the whole experience, from the organized pre-trip preparation to the delicious meals to the outstanding guides. 

My alarm jostled me awake at 5 a.m. PT, around the same time I'd usually wake up on the East coast. But instead of getting dressed for work, I layered up in comfortable gear, made sure my daypack had enough water in it, and rolled out of my tent, ready as I would ever be for a sunrise hike in Pinnacles National Park. 

I owed this unique opportunity to REI Adventures, the travel company arm of outdoor co-op REI, which has been guiding adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts on these trips since 1987. This hiking and camping excursion through one of the country's newest national parks is just one of the many outdoor adventures it offers around the world. 

If the idea of an "outdoor adventure" sounds intimidating or intense, don't be discouraged. REI Adventures offers trips for a wide variety of activity levels, durations, and activities, so you can find one that suits your comfort level and interests. The more important point is to get you outdoors (your body and mind will thank you for it) with less hassle and work. 

Learn more about REI Adventures and get a glimpse into an REI Adventures trip below. 

Where does REI Adventures offer trips? 

At the time of this writing, there are more than 250 trips you can choose from. The world is your oyster — there's a trip for every continent, even Antarctica. You can kayak and zip line in Costa Rica, hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, make the classic base camp trek at Everest, and more. You can narrow your search by region or destination (e.g. national parks). 

rei adventures review 2

How long are REI Adventures trips? 

There are trips that are three days long, 23 days long, and everything in between. That means you can take a quick weekend trip when you're craving proximity to nature more involved than looking at your desk plant, or collect all your vacation days to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. The majority of REI Adventures trips are three to nine days long. 

Are all REI Adventures trips strenuous? 

No. Each trip has a number rating from 1 (relaxed) to 5 (strenuous). While a relaxed trip will involve a few hours of activity on flat terrain and with little or no elevation gain, a strenuous trip is designed for very active travelers and includes 10+ hours of activity per day, steep ascents and descents, elevation changes of up to 4,000 feet per day, and altitudes topping 14,000 feet. 

About half of the available trips have a 3 rating (moderate), which is suitable for outdoor novices and casual recreationalists. While browsing trips, you can filter by activity level rating and gauge which ones are most appropriate for you. 

How much do REI Adventures trips cost and what's included? 

The trips range from $759 to more than $10,000 per person. They're pricey, but there are a couple factors to consider: REI members get significant discounts, and the price is inclusive of things like park fees, meals, camping tents, cooking equipment, some transportation, and professional guiding expertise. 

Beyond the cost of expensive outdoor equipment, you might want to consider the price tag you put on convenience and expertise. If you're willing and able to pay for a less stressful outdoor experience in which someone else handles all the research and costs of itinerary design and equipment, then you should seriously consider an REI Adventures trip. 

I've signed up for an REI Adventures trip. Now what? 

After you sign up and submit a deposit, you'll get access to a portal where you can review everything you need to prepare for the trip. This includes a checklist of the gear you need to bring, forms about your medical history and physical fitness, and the option to purchase travel insurance.

In the days leading up to your trip, you'll also receive a final itinerary that includes the details of each day, as well as important contact information. 

What else can I expect from my REI Adventures trip? 

As part of an REI-sponsored media trip, I went on a shortened version of the Pinnacles National Park trip— it was three days instead of four, but the rest of the experience remained the same.

Keep reading to learn about all the details, including the tents we stayed in, the food we ate, and the guides who led us through the journey. 

Sign up for an outdoor adventure trip through REI Adventures, starting at $659

SEE ALSO: An inside look at how REI prepares and sells its affordable Used Gear

After arriving at the park, we jumped right into the sunny afternoon with a five-mile hike.

Our group of nine people total (seven participants and two guides) traversed mountainous terrain, stopping to admire distinctive rock formations and attempt to spot the elusive California condor. We learned a bit about the history of the park, its geography, and its notable features. 

With our first hike checked off and our bodies sufficiently warmed up, we drove back to the campground to set up camp. Everything for our trip fit in this van and small trailer.

Packed into the trailer were tents, cooking equipment, food supplies for all three days, and camping chairs. 

The guides showed us how to set up our tents, which were surprisingly easy to assemble, even for a novice like me.

I haven't camped in at least 10 years, so I was a little nervous about having to set up my own tent. But thanks to the clear direction of our guides and the simple design of the tents, I had my humble abode set up in no time.

In case you're wondering, we slept in these airy REI Co-op Kingdom 4 Tents ($399). Since I don't camp often, I appreciated that these were provided to us. I wouldn't use it enough if I bought one for myself, and I also have nowhere to store it in my own apartment. 

They also provided us with sleeping pads, small personal tables, and a woven mat to make the tent feel more comfortable. It was a nice and thoughtful touch.

The guides are expert camp cooks and have all the equipment and food supplies necessary to make delicious meals ...

... which meant everyone else in the group got to sit back and enjoy a drink by the campfire as we rested from our hike.

I wouldn't mind helping make dinner, but I have to admit it also felt great not worrying about any of our meals throughout the trip. Our main task that evening was to be on the lookout for wily, hungry raccoons. 

And all the meals were amazing. I didn't expect to eat this well on an outdoors trip, where I'm usually getting by on dried meats, squished sandwiches, and mysterious stews.

Our first dinner included salad, salmon, pork loin, and potatoes.

If you have food restrictions or allergies, don't worry — our guides were careful and attentive about concerns like keto or dairy-free diets in our group and always had alternatives available. 

Seriously, I don't even eat breakfasts this balanced and filling at home.

Not having to prepare food, then filling ourselves with the delicious meals, meant we had plenty of energy to attack each day's activities. The guides also carried snacks and prepared picnic-worthy lunch spreads during our hikes. 

Of course, our guides were more than excellent cooks. Having personally scouted destinations and led countless trips before us, they were experts — professional, friendly, and energetic to boot.

I felt confident in their capable hands as they led us through noteworthy parts of the park, and I learned a lot about the wildlife and geology of Pinnacles. The guides are also great resources for types of outdoor gear you should carry, cool parks and hikes around the world, and other tidbits of outdoors knowledge. 

They showed us different rocks ...

... exposed us to woodsy areas that made Pinnacles feel like a completely different park ...

... and took us into the dark and exciting caves that Pinnacles is so well known for.

On the morning of the last day, we embarked on a short sunrise hike to Bear Gulch Reservoir, where we enjoyed breakfast and some quiet time.

It's not often I can watch the sun rise and listen to the birds and other animals come alive in the morning, so I relished the respite from city life. 

Overall, I also enjoyed the company of my group.

When you go on a trip with REI Adventures, chances are you'll be traveling with like-minded people. Everyone may have different backgrounds and interests in different outdoor activities, but you're ultimately bonded by a love of the outdoors. 

REI says that half of its trip participants are solo travelers, so trips are an excellent opportunity to meet new people. There are also friends, couples, and families who travel together. 

The bottom line: Explore the outdoors with REI Adventures.

Thanks to these standout features from my experience, I wouldn't hesitate to go on another trip through REI Adventures.

  • The guides: The organization, expertise, and friendliness of the guides are everything. They make the trips both fun and informative. 
  • The convenience: Annoying hassles like large, expensive equipment and detailed itineraries are all taken care of, so you can enjoy your destination even more. 
  • The destinations: Since the outdoor destinations are living, breathing entities, there's never any guarantee that you'll be able to see a specific animal or capture a specific view on your camera. However, there's no questioning that they're beautiful, interesting places to explore and appreciate. 

Sign up for an outdoor adventure trip through REI Adventures, starting at $659

15 common, expensive things that aren't worth your money



  • Whether you're overpaying for cellular data each month or choosing a large cable plan over streaming services, there are several ways you can cut costs and pay for only what you use and need.
  • We spoke with several financial planners about common, expensive things that most people can do without, and we came up with a few of our own, too.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Showing off lavish items is an undeniable aspect of American culture. But when it comes to making sound investments in expensive items, there are some purchases financial planners say you should exclude from your budget.

Several expensive items are becoming obsolete based on the age of their likely consumers. Millennials, for instance, are opting for streaming services instead of cable packages with hundreds of channels that will never be watched. Other things like unlimited-data plans are also not worth the money, according to one expert we spoke to.

Before making an expensive purchase, ask yourself whether you can find a cheaper product that will bring as much joy, Jeremy Straub, the CEO of Coastal Wealth, told Business Insider. He said that while asking for joy from a product may be cheesy, it could help you think of a big purchase differently.

Another question to ask yourself, Straub said, is: "Could I use this money on an experience that would last a lifetime?"

Business Insider spoke with several financial planners over email about common, expensive things that most people can do without. Take a look at 12 expenditures they say aren't worth the money, plus another three we've come up with.

SEE ALSO: 12 clever ways to save money every day, according to financial experts

DON'T MISS: Millennials and Gen X are both stressed, broke, and in debt — but Gen X is more worried about it

15. Unlimited-data plans

Unlimited-data plans look attractive on the outside, with a lure of saving. But the average person used about 4.6 GB per month in 2018, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

"People should stop paying for data that they don't use," said Rob Webber, the founder and CEO of MoneySavingPro and an expert on saving.

One key thing to remember is that unlimited data doesn't mean unlimited LTE or 4G data, Webber said — major carriers typically provide 22 to 50 GB of high-speed data before reducing speeds.

"This money could be allocated elsewhere in their budget," Webber added.

14. Gourmet coffee

The difference between gourmet coffee and coffee you make at home is the price and place of consumption. While many people prefer high-end coffee, it can be a spending trap, especially when you're paying for the coffee to be made in front of you. Going to Starbucks once a day, for example, and spending $3 to $5 on a latte could cost you hundreds per month and thousands a year.

"You can make it yourself at home for much less," said Megan Luke, a senior vice president at PNC Bank.

13. Name-brand everything

Making an investment in a luxury handbag or designer shoes can be worth the money if it spends more time on the streets than in a closet. But purchasing an entire wardrobe of name-brands clothes isn't worth the investment, Straub said.

"Mix and match price points, and only invest in a few designer staples you can wear often and with multiple outfits," Straub said.

12. New smartphones

Before running to the nearest Apple Store to buy the newest iPhone, take a step back and consider the necessity of an upgrade before spending a boatload on it. Research the differences between the newest model and what you currently have.

11. Nice watches

While many see a shiny, new, brand-name watch as a status symbol, it is not a necessity.

"Smartwatches have changed the game, so you don't necessarily need a Rolex to show your 'status' anymore," Straub said. "More and more wealthy people are choosing to wear an iWatch instead of the IWC."

10. Cable TV plans

Netflix and save? Many millennials are not purchasing the large cable packages that their parents did. More and more people are ditching the dish and sticking to streaming because they don't want to pay for hundreds of channels when they watch only a few, Webber said.

"My advice would be to opt for a live streaming service like Sling TV or DirecTV now and save 50%," he said.

9. A dozen roses on Valentine's Day

On average, a dozen roses will cost about $50, box and all. For the holiday, show your love through more meaningful gestures, like cooking a meal or spending the day exploring something new, Luke said.

"There are less expensive — and more fun! — ways to show your affection," she added.

8. Self-charging robot vacuums

Though these vacuums are popular, they are costly and tend to leave a spot. Additionally, they have little resale value if you decide you don't want an automated machine wandering around your house, said Erach Screwvala, an estate-planning attorney.

"A traditional vacuum is a more cost-efficient option," he said.

7. Heavy furniture

People tend to spend a good amount of money on large, heavy, expensive furniture to fit their perfect vision of a home. But for those who move frequently or change tastes, that isn't the best investment, according to Straub.

"You don't want to be stuck with pieces you have to sell for a fraction of your purchase price," he said.

6. Overpriced steakhouse dinners

A luxurious date or group outing may include an over-the-top steakhouse dinner that you could easily enjoy for less money. Luke recommended trying local, lower-priced foods that can give you a great experience without hurting your wallet.

"Or, even better, make it at home," she said.

5. Loans to family members

Lending money to family members is a slippery slope.

"We all too often see that the agreement of payback to our clients is never as discussed when it comes to loans given to family members," Straub said. "I would try to stay away from these types of personal loans."

4. "Fine" jewelry

It's easy to think of jewelry as a good investment — and it can be when you have natural diamonds, emeralds, and other precious gems. However, Screwvala said your jewelry might not be as inherently valuable as you think.

When you're looking into purchasing valuable stones, be sure to do your research. Screwvala said jewelers might use lab-grown diamonds with no inherent or resale value.

"As they're neither precious nor rare, they won't receive a meaningful appraisal, which means as soon as you leave the store, the value will start to decrease," he said.

Natural diamonds will retain their value over time because of their rarity, meaning they could be passed down from generation to generation or sold later down the line.

"If you are given the option, you should go for the real thing every single time," he said.

3. High-end gym memberships

If you're not working out regularly, maintaining a luxury gym membership (like one at Equinox, pictured above) could mean you're wasting hundreds of dollars per month.

Equinox's top membership, which gives you access to every location, costs $500 per month. Even if you opt for a single location pass in New York City, it can cost anywhere between $185 and $220 per month. Compare this to Planet Fitness, which offers a $22.99 per month PF Black Card membership to access any gym location, and a $10.00 per month classic membership to access one gym location.

2. Coworking space memberships

If you are a freelancer in New York City, perhaps you have considered joining The Wing or WeWork to access coworking space.

That could become a significant expense: The Wing membership costs between $2,350 and $2,700 a year, and a hot desk at a WeWork will cost you between $400 and $760 depending on your location per month (that's $4,800 to $9,120 per year) in Manhattan.

1. Food delivery

DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless — they're all charging you a delivery fee for the privilege of staying in your sweatpants and having food brought to you. Even if it's only a few dollars per order, that starts to add up if you are getting multiple meals delivered to your home per week.

A small business owner and therapist paid off $87,000 in debt in 2 years and quintupled her revenue in 8 months. She explains how she learned to 'date her money' to save better and spend smarter.


Nicole Iacovoni

  • Nicole Iacovoni's mental health clinic was $87,000 in debt and losing money every day.
  • The licensed couples therapist started "dating her money," applying the techniques used in her practice to her relationship with money. She quintupled business revenue in eight months and paid off her debt in two years.
  • For bootstrapping entrepreneurs, business is personal. Iacovoni said changing her personal spending habits had the biggest impact on her company's success.
  • She also got out of her lease, adopted a new lead generation strategy, and reduced expenses to save more.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories

Nicole Iacovoni paused to look around the wellness and counseling center she was so proud of, founded in her hometown of Bloomsburg, PA. She'd just realized something: It's all gotta go. 

She was only six months into a five-year contract on a 21,000-square-foot, brand-new construction building she'd leased to expand her small therapy practice into a holistic wellness center. She was $87,000 in debt and losing money on her business every day. 

Winter sunlight streamed through the large windows onto the green walls and woodsy accents she'd chosen to match the name of her business, Willow Tree. Clients sipped complimentary tea and sank into cozy couches on the way to a yoga class, nutrition counseling session, or psychotherapy appointment. But at the end of the month, those couches hadn't seen enough butts to pay for all the services she offered — in addition to yoga and counseling, Willow Tree offered music therapy, speech therapy, and medication management — as well as a chic building and a team of 10 professionals.

Out of her monthly revenue of $9,000, she was paying $3,000 for rent and "ridiculous" property taxes, and an inefficient heating system had spiked her utility bill to $1,000 when winter hit. To pay for all the trimmings of a new office, she'd maxed out credit cards, refinanced her car, and took out a home equity line of credit on the house and three acres surrounded by cornfields where her family of four lived. 

"A client came into the new office," Iacovoni recalled the painful day her epiphany hit. "They were swooning. Like, 'This is so beautiful. This must be a dream come true for you.' And when they said that, I realized I didn't agree with them. Actually this is a nightmare. I can't sleep at night because I don't know how I'm gonna pay for this place."

Four years later, debt free and running a profitable business, Iacovoni wants to share the techniques she employs as a licensed couples therapist to help other people change financial habits, grow a business, and have a better relationship with money. She calls her method "Date Your Money," and says it helped her pay off $87,000 in two years and in even less time (eight months) grow her business revenue fivefold.  

Iacovoni's "Date Your Money Planner" — a 10-page document sprinkled with hot pink hearts, curly cues, and XOXO's — contains saucy advice like, "make time for lovin' up on money so it will love you back." One idea in the planner for a "sexy, flirty money date" includes a romantic getaway "devoted to relaxing, dreaming, and getting in touch with your desires." 

The point of her strategy is to take the time to let your imagination run wild all over your financial goals: "Feel ALL the feels and get crystal clear on what you envision for this passionate love affair with money" the planner states.

It sounds hokey, but taking a deeper look at this entrepreneur's wisdom, backed up by her own story and training in psychology, might just make you want to pull up a Google spreadsheet and give your budget another chance. Here are her biggest tips.

Start where you are

According to Iacovoni, the first thing a young therapist learns in training is to help patients "find strengths" and "start where you are." In the case of a bank account, this means loving your money for what it is. Only have $100? At least you're in the black. $40,000 in debt? At least you have a job and hey, you cooked dinner at home last night — that's a good start.

Nicole Iacovoni

"When we feel like we're stuck, that's a bad place to begin if you want to create change," Iacovoni told Business Insider. "Ask yourself, 'What's going well, what are you proud of?' That will empower you to keep going."

In the thick of debt, closing in on six figures, pride was the last thing Iacovoni felt. But she knew she was really good at being a therapist. She'd been so distracted with growing her business and working as the receptionist, office manager, and HR department rolled into one that she hadn't devoted time to building her roster of clients. Plus, therapy was the money maker, the service for which she could bill the most compared to the other services Willow Tree offered. To focus on therapy, she had to let her contractors know she'd be dropping their services, and she had to hire a receptionist. Willow Tree now employs three therapists, including Iacovoni. 

Another one of her strengths was organization — she just had to learn to apply it to her budget. "I wasn't making plans for my money or tracking where it was going or using a budget," she recalled. "So that's something that I started to change."

Show your budget some tough love, and find creative replacements

By far the biggest expense for Iacovini's business was her large, gorgeous, and brand-new building, on which she'd signed a five-year lease. 

"I thought it would be good advertising and would generate buzz," Iacovoni said, looking back on that decision with some regret. "I didn't even negotiate. I should've advocated for my new business."

She loved the building, but decided she loved the promise of financial stability more. It was a tough decision, but it had to go. It cost her $20,000 to break the lease, but the difference in monthly payments made up that cost over the same five-year time period. Now she owns her building — a small, 1930s stone house that needed a lot of TLC but came with a $1,000 monthly mortgage payment and a chance to build some equity.

Iacovoni also had to do away with another expensive budget item: paid advertising. She'd heavily invested in trying to grow her client base while fighting the stigma against therapy that can exist in a small town. She sponsored sports teams, made print ads to put up around town and in the local paper, and boosted Facebook posts. None of these seemed to be working. She decided to try direct outreach to medical doctors in the area.

"Doctors are usually the first ones to identify that there is an emotional or mental problem to begin with," Iacovoni said. "I started going to their clinics and trying to form relationships with them and educate them on what I do and how I can help their patients."

Align your spending with your values, and avoid the pull of good marketing

When Iacovini talks about marketing, she describes it as an attack on her lover. (In case you've been sleeping on us, her lover is money.)

"Consumerism and marketing are a threat," Iacovoni said.

What a lot of people don't know is that marketing is not just fluff. Neuromarketing, Iacovoni explained, uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to observe how brains respond to different marketing stimuli. She said that most of our buying decisions are unconscious neural responses to certain colors, pictures, music, and shapes. 

Many of the ads we are constantly fed are scientifically engineered to push your buttons, a.k.a. your insecurities, enough to make you think this purchase will make your life better.

"It's not about the new pair of boots," Iacovoni pointed out. "It's the feeling you think that thing is going to bring [you]."

Be skeptical of advertising, Iacovoni warned her clients. She recommended pausing to ask, "What is it about this advertisement that appeals to me? Why does it make me feel that way. Does buying that product align with my values?"

Her values, Iacovoni discovered, didn't actually have anything to do with having fancy furniture in the waiting room. When she listed out the hopes and dreams she had for her money, Iacovoni found that "doing what I love, choosing who I work with, [and] helping people" are the most important. 

The first step toward that kind of freedom was getting out of debt, and that was the vision she held onto during the two years she spent getting her finances in order. She changed her phone and internet plans, bought less expensive clothing and furniture, paused all vacation plans, and stopped eating out and meal planned instead. Her family even changed to a less expensive home heating source. 

It was only after improving her relationship with money and cutting out all the excess mistakes, Iacovoni said, that she was able to add back in what she values and decide how she wanted to spend that beloved cash. 

For this entrepreneur, therapist, mom, wife, and dog lover? "Travel, time off, using my financial power for good," Iacovoni said. "Money has a lot to do with my power to do these things."

SEE ALSO: I'm a headhunter with 34 years of leadership experience who's placed female executives at Fortune 500 companies. Here's what it takes to break through the glass ceiling.

READ MORE: 'It's not frugal, but it's intentional': The cofounder of the fitness app Strava describes the money principles that shape his business and personal finances

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Taylor Swift is the world's highest-paid celebrity. Here's how she makes and spends her $360 million.

Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian took 16 weeks of paid paternal leave after his daughter with Serena Williams was born in 2017. Now he's taking the fight for paid family leave to Congress — and explaining why.


alexis ohanian olympia serena williams

When Alexis Ohanian started a paid parental leave policy for his employees at Reddit, he didn't expect to be using it himself — let alone that he would soon become one of the most prominent paternal leave advocates in the US.

"We implemented a policy that I didn't think I was going to be using anytime soon, but a few years later I found myself using and talking about [it] publicly," Ohanian told Business Insider.

Since taking four months off after his daughter with Serena Williams was born in 2017, Ohanian has become a leader in the fight for paid paternal leave, and his social media profiles are the front lines. 

Now, Ohanian is taking the fight to Congress. In October, he spent an entire week on Capitol Hill lobbying business leaders and lawmakers from both parties for a national family leave policy, he told Business Insider. 

Keep reading to learn more about Ohanian's own experience with paternity leave and what he's done to make sure other fathers can have the same experience.

SEE ALSO: 11 famous people who built their fortunes off their side hustles

DON'T MISS: 5 Hollywood celebrities who became billionaires and are vastly more rich than their peers

Ohanian didn't plan on becoming an advocate for paid family leave before his two-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., with his wife, tennis star Serena Williams.

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"Before I went on leave, I planned to use my entire four months and was casually asked about it on CNBC," Ohanian told Business Insider in a phone interview. "I didn't think anything of it other than, 'Oh, here's this great policy, and I should use it.'"

Ohanian took 16 weeks of paternity leave and has used social media to publicly encouraged other fathers to do the same.

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"Out of office," Ohanian wrote on Instagram in September 2017. "This is Parental Leave life. She's clearly dreaming up all the startups she'll start... And Grand Slams she'll win.... And...."

Williams suffered from health problems after Olympia's birth, requiring Ohanian to take charge of Olympia's care.

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"Because Olympia's birth was such a complicated one and I watched everything that my wife went through and persevered through ... I realized that we had so many advantages and yet this was still such a traumatic experience," Ohanian told Business Insider. "I couldn't imagine anyone being put in [that situation] without the peace of mind knowing that they had paid leave."

Since the birth of his daughter, Ohanian has used his social media platforms to celebrate the way fatherhood has transformed his outlook on life and encourage others to do the same.

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"This is a movement," Ohanian told Business Insider. "And for fathers in particular, a chance for us to step up and say that we want to be there and furthermore to make sure that every dad and mom has the access to paid family leave."

Ohanian has become an advocate for paid paternity leave, partnering with Dove Men+Care to promote The Pledge for Paternity Leave, a program offering grants to working dads to help them care for their newborns full-time.

"With 30k+ pledges for #PaternityLeavePledge, my partner @dovemencare& I launched a NEW @Facebook group to mobilize dads & allies," Ohanian tweeted in June. "Join us this #FathersDay to help make paternity leave the new standard for all dads."

He's been outspoken about some of the more shocking statistics about the state of paternity leave in the US.

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"Only 15% of dads in the U.S. have access to paid leave to bond with their newborn," Ohanian captioned a photo on Instagram in February. "Let's change that."

Ohanian also uses his platform to praise companies, including Sweetgreen and Target, that offer paid parental leave to their employees.

"Excited to see this arms race happening right now for #PaidFamilyLeave benefits," Ohanian tweeted. "@SweetGreen giving employees 5 months (!!) of family leave now + @Target made big moves this week. It's not just tech companies."

In October, Ohanian took a week away from his venture capital firm to meet with Congressional leaders to discuss legislation for federally mandated paid leave.

"We live in a nation that prides itself on family values," Ohanian told Business Insider, "and what better way to show what we actually support and these values than by having a program like paid leave for new parents and folks who aren't already in the best-case scenario."

Ohanian believes a federal mandate for paid family leave is the best way to ensure all workers, especially those in low wage jobs and with disabilities, can take time off to be with their families, he told Business Insider.

And paid parental leave isn't just good for families, according to Ohanian — it's also good for business.

"I call out hustle porn for its BS and celebrate founders who are taking care of themselves and spending time with their families because it's the right business decision," Ohanian told Fast Company in June.

Ohanian would know — he cofounded Reddit and launched his own venture capital firm, Initialized Capital, in 2011.

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Don't expect to see Ohanian taking up any new projects anything soon, however.

"[Initialized] is my everything when it comes to work," he told Business Insider.

But he says that being a father is the most important role he'll ever have.

"Forget @reddit, forget @initialized," Ohanian tweeted, "the most important job I'll ever have is being a father. Are you a parent? Add your voice to the @UNICEF parenting poll. #EarlyMomentsMatter"

The Beverly Hills estate that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt spent 3 years renovating before their divorce just got a $4.5 million price cut. Here's a look inside the $44.5 million home.


jen brad beverly hills house

  • The former Los Angeles home of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt just got a $4.5 million price cut, bringing the asking price to $44.5 million, The Los Angeles Times reported.
  • The Beverly Hills estate was first listed in May for $49 million, Mansion Global reported.
  • The seller is a hedge fund executive who bought the home in 2006 after Aniston and Pitt's divorce.
  • The two actors reportedly spent three years renovating the home, adding heated marble kitchen floors, a private screening room, and a pub room with wood floors from a 200-year-old French château.
  • The Beverly Hills pad also includes a swimming pool and a championship tennis court.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The former Los Angeles home of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt has gotten a $4.5 million price cut, making the asking price $44.5 million, The Los Angeles Times reported.

It was first listed in May for $49 million, Mansion Global reported.

The current owner is Jonathan Brooks, a hedge fund executive who founded Smithwood Partners. Brooks bought the home from the actors in 2006 after their divorce, according to The Journal.

Aniston and Pitt bought the 12,000-square-foot California house for $13.1 million in 2001 from the entertainment attorney Ken Ziffren and spent three years renovating it, adding features including heated marble floors in the kitchen and a pub room with wood floors imported from a 200-year-old French castle.

The home, described by the Journal as a "French Normandy Revival property," has four bedrooms and comes with a swimming pool, ample outdoor space, and a championship tennis court. It's listed by Susan Smith of Hilton & Hyland.

Here's a look inside the $44.5 million home.

SEE ALSO: A Los Angeles mansion once listed for $250 million has finally sold for 62% off after 3 years. Take a look inside what was once America's most expensive home.

DON'T MISS: The founder of Reebok has slashed $52 million off the price of his mansion. Take a look inside the $38 million estate, which sits on 7 acres in a ritzy Boston suburb.

A 12,000-square-foot Los Angeles estate that was once the home of the actors Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt just got a $4.5 million price cut, bringing the asking price to $44.5 million. The current owner is a hedge fund executive who bought the home from the actor couple in 2006 and first listed it in May for $49 million.

Source: Mansion Global,The Los Angeles Times

The house is in Beverly Hills, one of Los Angeles' most upscale neighborhoods. The area, beloved by celebrities, is about 11 miles from downtown and 13 miles from Los Angeles International Airport.

Source: Hilton & Hyland, Google Maps

Aniston and Pitt bought the California house for $13.1 million in 2001 from the entertainment attorney Ken Ziffren. They sold it to Jonathan Brooks, a founder of Smithwood Partners, in 2006 after their divorce.

Source: Wall Street Journal

The four-bedroom house was built in the 1930s, designed by the architect Wallace Neff for Fredric March and his wife, Florence Eldridge, both actors.

Source: Curbed LA

Aniston and Pitt, who owned the home from 2001 to 2006, spent three years remodeling it and lived there for less than two years.

Source: Wall Street Journal

They added a screening room, as well as heated marble floors in the kitchen.

Source: Wall Street Journal

They also created a pub room with wood floors brought in from a 200-year-old château in France.

Source: Wall Street Journal

A marble fireplace anchors the dining room, which can seat 20 people.

Source: Wall Street Journal

The spacious great room features floor-to-ceiling windows ...

... and opens directly to the backyard pool area.

Like many Southern California homes, this one was clearly designed to merge indoor and outdoor living.

The French Normandy Revival-style home, which sits on 1.2 acres, includes a spacious outdoor area for dining and entertaining.

Source: Wall Street Journal

The pool area includes shaded lounge chairs and privacy hedges.

Brooks added a championship tennis court to the property after buying it from Aniston and Pitt.

Source: Wall Street Journal

The $44.5 million price tag may seem extravagant, but it's in line with other homes in the neighborhood. According to The Journal, a neighboring home that once belonged to Danny DeVito sold earlier this year for about $66 million.

Source: Wall Street Journal

The most popular Halloween candy in every state


Halloween Candy Sugar

  • Americans unite around candy come Halloween time, but they're just as divided as ever over which candy is the best.
  • CandyStore.com, an online bulk candy retailer that's tracked its sales over the last 12 years, released a map that showed the most popular candy in each US state.
  • The most popular candy nationwide was Skittles, followed by Reese's Cups and M&M's. But some states preferred niche choices like Lemonheads or saltwater taffy.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A love of candy is something that unites Americans around this time of year.

But a new map of America's favorite candy by state, based on analysis by CandyStore.com, shows that we are more divided than ever. 

CandyStore.com, which sells candy in bulk across the US and Canada, has tracked its best-selling candy in every state for the last 12 years. According to this year's updated data, the best-selling candy in America is Skittles, followed by Reese's Cups and M&Ms. 

Read more: Teens' favorite snacks are mostly chips and cookies, even though almost half of those surveyed say they prefer healthy snacks

Of course, there were odd states out. Saltwater taffy is surprisingly popular in Washington, but there's also Montana and Oklahoma, which ordered more Dubble Bubble gum than anything else. Louisiana and Kentucky eschewed more mainstream choices for Lemonheads and Swedish Fish, respectively.

A surprising number of states ordered more candy corn than anything else. Among them was Iowa, the nation's capital of corn production. Also popular were Snickers, Starburst, and Hot Tamales.

The National Retail Federation estimated that shoppers will spend the same amount as they did last year on Halloween candy: $2.6 billion. This stagnation is partially due to heightened consumer uncertainty in the face of the Trump administration's tariffs.

most popular halloween candy every state map

SEE ALSO: The best places to buy Halloween costumes online

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Rare Italian white truffles cost over $4,000 per kilo — here's why real truffles are so expensive

12 abandoned mansions around the world that likely used to be worth millions


abandoned mansion carleton villa

When they were built, these lavish homes were likely worth today's equivalent of millions of dollars. Now, they're falling apart.

Read more:Inside one of the oldest and most expensive mansions in Charleston, which is selling for $15 million and was once owned by Abraham Lincoln's granddaughter

From a villa that's been sitting empty for 70 years on an island in upstate New York to a Gothic manor in Scotland, here are 12 abandoned mansions around the world that were once worth millions of dollars.

SEE ALSO: The most expensive home for sale in every US state

DON'T MISS: 10 abandoned underwater sites and the history behind them

The Carleton Island Villa, a dilapidated mansion that sits on an island in Cape Vincent, New York, hasn't been inhabited for 70 years.

Source: Realtor.com

The 11-bedroom mansion was constructed around 1895 for William O. Wyckoff, who made his fortune from the Remington firearm and typewriter company. Around the World War II Era, contractors went in and removed the interior and doors and windows.

Source: Realtor.com,Curbed

The mansion is now for sale for $495,000 — but whoever buys it will certainly need to spend much more than that on repairs and restoration.

Source: Realtor.com

Halcyon Hall in Millbrook, New York was built as a luxury hotel in 1893 and became part of Bennett College in 1907. The women's college closed down in 1978.

Source: Untapped Cities

The now-decrepit mansion was purchased in 2014 with plans to demolish it and replace it with a park.

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal

But in August 2016, the owners reported that the mansion would stay standing for "a few years" while they untangled property rights issues.

Source: The Millbrook Independent

The Swannanoa mansion in Lyndhurst, Virginia, was built in 1912 by railroad millionaire James H. Dooley, who reportedly built it for his wife.

Source: Atlas Obscura

When the couple passed away, the 52-room house was used as a country club for a time. Then, a scientist couple leased the mansion and turned it into a museum while continuing to live there until their deaths. Nobody has lived in the house since 1988.

Source: Atlas Obscura

The mansion is occasionally still open to the public for weddings and other events, but local residents have complained that the estate has been mismanaged and that its condition is deteriorating.

Source: News Leader

The Cambusnethan House in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, is one of the last remaining Gothic mansions in the country.

Source: Register for Scotland

The mansion was built in 1819 to replace an early 17th-century house that burned down in 1810. In the 1970s, the house was used for mock medieval banquets, but it was further damaged by fire in the 1980s.

Source: Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland

Cambusnethan House is on Scotland's Buildings at Risk Register at a "critical" risk level. A group called "Friends of Cambusnethan Priory" was established in 2014 to try to save the building from any further deterioration.

Source: Canmore National Record of the Historic Environment, Friends of Cambusnethan Priory

Lynnewood Hall, a 110-room, century-old Gilded Age palace just outside of Philadelphia, was designed by Horace Trumbauer in the late 1890s.

Source: Curbed

It cost an estimated $200 million to build in today's dollars. Although it's still in relatively good condition, it could cost up to $40 million to restore the hall and its grounds to their former glory, according to David B. Rowland, president of the Old York Road Historical Society.

Source: Terrain.org

Despite its state of disrepair, Lynnewood Hall is actually still worth millions — it's on the market for $15.5 million.

Source: Fox & Roach Realtors

Pidhirtsi Castle in the Lviv region of Ukraine was built as a leisure home for a high-ranking Polish military commander between 1635 and 1640 by Italian architect Andrea dell'Aqua.

Source: World Monuments Fund

The mansion prospered for years, but in the 19th century, new owners took over and neglected the castle, so that by the end of World War II, it had massively deteriorated.

Source: World Monuments Fund

Pidhirtsi Castle has been damaged by fire and flooding over the years. The Lviv Art Gallery foundation aims to restore the mansion, but a lack of funds seems to have hampered progress. The foundation is calling for investors to help with the restoration while local students volunteer their time to try to repair the estate.

Source: The Vintage News

The McNeal mansion, which sits along the Delaware River in New Jersey, was built by industrialist Andrew McNeal in 1890 after he founded a pipe plant and foundry.

Source: Burlington County Times

U.S. Pipe bought property in 1899 and used it as its headquarters until 1953, after which it was abandoned.

Source: Burlington County Times

In 2016, the city bought the property and approved a redevelopment plan for the mansion that might include a restoration of the Victorian home, but the plan has since stalled and the home continues to sit empty.

Source: Burlington County Times

This "Swingers Tiki Palace," as it was dubbed by one photographer, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was built in 1972 by strip-club tycoon Billy Hull to be the ultimate party palace.

Source: The New York Post, Abandoned Southeast

The unique structure felt into decay after Hull was arrested for tax evasion. The now-abandoned mansion is known for its Playboy bunny pool and its dramatic history.

Source: Abandoned Southeast

The owner got 20 years in prison, and the mansion, including an empty pool, is also now home to graffiti.

Source: The New York Post

The Villa de Vecchi, known as the "Ghost Mansion" of Italy, was built between 1854 and 1857, meant to be the summer home of a Count named Felix De Vecchi, who was head of the Italian National Guard. The home had all the modern amenities of the time, including indoor heating pipes and a large pressurized fountain.

Source: Atlas Obscura

But it was home to a mysterious family tragedy. In 1862, the Count killed himself after he came home and found his wife murdered and his daughter missing. Relatives continued to live at the mansion until World War II, but the mansion was left uninhabited by the 1960s. The home's grand piano is said to be played at night by "a ghostly entity."

Source: Atlas Obscura

A 2002 avalanche destroyed nearby homes, but the once-lavish and now battered "Ghost Mansion" remains standing.

Source: Atlas Obscura

These ruins that resemble an ancient European castle actually sit just outside of Kansas City, Missouri, and are the results of a dream of businessman Robert Snyder, who wanted to build a European-style castle in Missouri.

Source: Atlas Obscura

Snyder started building in 1905, but the next year he was killed in a car accident and never saw it finished. His sons took over construction and lived there until the family ran out of money because of several lands rights lawsuits surrounding the castle’s property.

Source: Atlas Obscura

After the youngest brother was forced to leave the home in poverty, it was turned into a hotel until 1942, when it was destroyed by a fire. In the 1970s, the state of Missouri bought the property and did some restoration work, but the former mansion remains largely in ruins.

On Pollepel Island in New York's Hudson River sits the Bannerman Castle. It was built by Scottish entrepreneur Francis Bannerman VI in 1901.

Source: The New York Times

However, instead of using it as his home, Bannerman used the castle to store military weapons for his business.

Source: The New York Times

After the powder house exploded in 1920, the upkeep of the castle dwindled. It was eventually acquired by the Hudson Highlands State Park Reserve.

Source: The New York Times

In 1992, the Bannerman Castle Trust was started in an attempt to repair the ruins. Since then, it has raised over $1 million to refurbish the castle, which is now open to the public for tours.

Source: The New York Times

The Pineheath House in Harrogate, England sat abandoned for 27 years.

Source: Independent

It was purchased in 2013 by a local businessman after spending over a quarter of a century untouched.

Source: Independent

The mansion dates back to the 1920s and was originally owned by wealthy aristocrats Sir Dhunjibhoy and Lady Bomanji.

Source: Daily Mail,Independent

After Lady Bomanji died in 1986, the home remained untouched with the couple's items still scattered around.

Source: Daily Mail

The mansion was left to Lady Bomanji's daughter, Mrs. Mehroo Jehangir, who left the home as it was prior to her mother's death. She passed away in 2012.

Source: Getty Images

A doll that appears to have been left behind by the couple was found in one of the home's 40 bedrooms ...

Source: Getty Images

... and a playlist of songs was left in the ballroom.

Source: Getty Images

The couple lived in the home during the colder months of the year and spent their summers at their home in Windsor, England.

Source: Daily Mail

The current owner has vowed to turn the mansion back into a luxury home.

Source: Independent

Photos show how obsessed the wealthy are with underground mansions


hacienda de la paz home rolling hills california 18

  • Multi-million-dollar homes for the 1 percent are hardly eyebrow-raising.
  • They are, however, when they extend stories beneath the earth's surface.
  • Here are photos that show how obsessed the wealthy are with subterranean homes.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

For the wealthy, owning a luxury home is no rare feat. 

But even for the some of the world's wealthiest individuals, underground luxury mansions are an extravagant expense.

But, whether these mansions have been fashioned out of a desire for pure opulence, a lack of space, or paranoia (yes, luxury bomb shelters are a thing), for some, they are a must.

These photos show just how obsessed the super rich are with underground mansions.

SEE ALSO: A tech billionaire just listed his Palo Alto home for $100 million, the most expensive Bay Area listing in a decade — take a look inside

At the St. Moritz ski resort in Switzerland sits a lavish, seven-story home, dubbed The Lonsdaleite, or The Ice Palace.

Source: Business Insider, Vimeo, and Vimeo

It was listed on the market for $185 million last fall. Realtor Senada Adzem told CNBC that the home was "designed to make a billionaire's jaw drop."

Source: Business Insider and CNBC

The home's great room is covered in 35-foot floor-to-ceiling windows on one wall ...

Source: CNBC

... and mink fur on the other wall.

Source: CNBC

There's also a library with red velvet furnishings.

Source: Business Insider

An egg-themed breakfast nook is on the main level as well.

Source: CNBC

Its walls are decked out in 24 karat gold ...

Source: CNBC

... and a $145,000 egg-shaped sculpture hangs from the ceiling.

Source: CNBC

You might think this is your average luxury castle built for the everyday billionaire — that is, until you head downstairs ...

Source: Business Insider

... which is where the real extravagance begins. The underground amenities include a home theatre bedecked in red ...

Source: CNBC

... as well as a wine cellar.

Source: Business Insider

And perhaps the home's most stunning feature is the underground lake.

Source: Business Insider

Owners and guests can go for a swim in Swarovski crystal-lit waters.

Source: Business Insider

Guests can admire Venetian artwork on the ceiling as they swim.

Source: CNBC

Another prized gem of the house is the private ski den.

Source: CNBC

Owners can ski in and out of a private lift to access the powdery slopes of the Swiss Alps.

Source: CNBC

Back inside, a home spa awaits after a long day of skiing.

Source: CNBC

Owners can also take it easy in a lounge ...

Source: CNBC

... or in the Himalayan salt room.

Source: CNBC

An inviting Turkish bath also awaits ...

Source: CNBC

... as does a high-tech shower equipped with controls that can change the lighting and color schemes.

Source: CNBC

There are other underground homes that match this Swiss castle's opulence.

Like one in Rolling Hills, California, for instance.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

This colossal, luxury, 7.4-acre Spanish Hacienda took 17 years to construct, and five of its six stories are underground.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz and Forbes

The home is the brainchild of John Z. Blazevich, CEO of Viva Food Group, who circumvented zoning codes prohibiting home expansion by building down into the ground.

Source: Forbes

The infamous underground mansion, dubbed Hacienda de la Paz, spans 51,000 square feet and sports nine bedrooms, 25 bathrooms, and a six-car garage.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

One of the estate's two tennis courts is on one of the five underground levels.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

When owners aren't using it for a court, it doubles as a ballroom that can accommodate 350 dinner guests and a dance floor.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

A Hamam, a traditional Moorish-style bath spa, also sits underground and is one of the site's two pools. The interior is hand-crafted from imported marble and sandstone, and 24-karat gold Venetian tiles line the space.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

Skipping around the estate is a breeze — elevators take owners from floor to floor ...

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

... like to the wine cellar, for example ...

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

... or back into the open air, where the estate's extravagance is just as unparalleled. An outdoor clay court is lined with comfy seating for spectators.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

And why not throw another pool into the mix? The property was originally listed at auction for $53 million before selling in November 2018 for $22.4 million — nearly 50% less than its asking price.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz and The Wall Street Journal

While Hacienda de la Paz was born out of a desire for luxurious living quarters ...

Source: Forbes

... other underground homes were fashioned out of the paranoia of their owners.

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

Entrepreneur Jerry Henderson and his wife, Mary, built "The Underground House" in 1978 in the midst of the Cold War as a luxury hideaway bomb shelter.

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

The property sits 26 feet below the surface with two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a six-foot-deep pool, putting green, and a spa.

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

And though it's protected from the elements above, owners are still afforded sweeping landscape views, thanks to full-sized murals that line the walls.

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

The Hendersons passed away in the 1980s, leading to the property's eventual foreclosure before its current owner swept it up and spent more than $1 million renovating it.

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

The Hendersons paid around $10 million in constructing the home in the late 1970s. That's about $40 million in today's money.

Source: The BEST in US

For a long time, the property remained a bit of a mystery to its neighbors. But the owner opened it to the public during a gala in 2018, and now it's listed on the market for $18 million.

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal and The Washington Post

On the other side of the country sits another luxurious subsurface bomb shelter in Kansas as part of a project dubbed Survival Condo.

Source: Business Insider

The $20 million property spans 15 floors underground and is housed inside an old missile silo. The silo, like Las Vegas' Underground House, was built in the midst of the Cold War.

Source: Business Insider

The project offers up 12 single-family homes to homeowners wishing for a surefire way of preparing for potential catastrophic events.

Source: Business Insider

A full-floor unit spans 1,820 square feet and can fit six to 10 people. Buyers shell out $3 million for one, which includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a great room.

Source: Business Insider

In place of a natural views, the windows are outfitted with screens that show live footage of the landscape outside.

Source: Business Insider

More lavish amenities are also included, like a home theatre ...

Source: Business Insider

... a 75-foot-long swimming pool with a water slide ...

Source: Business Insider

... and a gym.

Source: Business Insider

And if staying fit with gym equipment isn't your forte, there's also a rock-climbing wall.

Source: Business Insider

Family pets are also invited — there's a park in the compound for dog walks.

Source: Business Insider

Not bad for a doomsday shelter.

Source: Business Insider

The best stockpots


best stock pot

  • A top-quality stockpot will last you for the rest of your life and serve as the perfect tool for creating stock from turkey and chicken carcasses, slow simmering your best chili recipe, and for canning projects.
  • The Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Covered Stockpot is our top pick because it heats evenly, is easy to clean, and comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
  • See more: The best cookware sets 

Frozen turkey is a loss leader at many supermarkets around the holidays. In our house, we stock up on these birds and celebrate "turkey weeks" well into the spring. We never let the carcass go to waste. With a good stockpot, some vegetables and spices, and a few hours of simmering, you can turn your turkey remains into a stock that beats anything you'd buy at the store. I usually add dumplings and more vegetables and meat to create a delicious turkey and dumpling soup.

Of course, a good stockpot is useful for making any kind of soup, even if you decide to use bouillon. It will also serve you well for large canning projects, cooking for large groups, and much more. Basically, a stockpot is an integral part of any home cook's repertoire. We're here to help you with your buying decision.

What to look for in a stockpot

The most popular material used in the construction of stockpots is stainless steel. However, not all stainless steel is created equal. 18/10 stainless steel is commonly found in top-quality stockpots, and it means there is 18% chromium and 10% nickel in the steel's composition. Steel with a higher nickel content is more resistant to corroding and will last you longer. If you are looking to save money, 18/8 stainless steel will serve you well. But, avoid 18/0.

Stainless steel does not conduct heat as well as other metals, such as aluminum. Therefore, many stockpots have an aluminum disk in the base to help with heat distribution. More expensive options are "tri-ply," which means there are three layers throughout the entire pot: an outer layer of stainless steel, a middle layer of aluminum, and another interior layer of stainless steel. These stockpots tend to be more durable and heat more evenly.

Anodized aluminum is also a popular material for smaller stockpots. Through the electrochemical anodizing process, aluminum bonds with a nonstick material. This produces a pot that has great nonstick properties while conducting heat well.

As part of our research for this guide, we looked at the reviews and ratings from hundreds of experts and buyers. The stockpots we chose to highlight in the following slides are easy to handle, tend not to scorch, and strike an excellent balance between size and functionality.

Here are the best stockpots you can buy:

Updated 10/31/19 by Jada Wong: Updated prices, formatting, and links.

SEE ALSO: The best food storage container sets you can buy

The best stockpot overall

If you're looking for a stockpot that is easy to clean, large enough for a turkey, and heats evenly, Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Covered Stockpot is the one that'll do it all.

The Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Covered Stockpot stands out with its uniquely-shaped lid that Farberware describes as "self-basting" because its tight fit helps trap in moisture and heat. The mostly 18/10 stainless steel pot has a base with a thick aluminum core that helps with even heat distribution.

Though it may be too large for most dishwashers, this pot is dishwasher safe. It is also oven safe to temperatures up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, which is useful if you are caught without a Dutch oven and want to sear a large slab of meat before slow-roasting it in the oven. Farberware backs the stockpot with a lifetime limited warranty, too in case you run into any problems.

The experts love this stockpot, too. Cook's Illustrated liked the even heating and how the lid's lip captured much of the condensation. However, the testers found the handles to be slippery and uncomfortable.

Sugary Kitchen also recommended the Farberware stockpot, but the reviewer noted that when using low heat, the bottom got scorched. Similarly, Best Reviews didn't like the amount of upkeep the stainless steel required. Nonetheless, the evaluator praised the pot overall.

Approximately 87% of the buyers who reviewed the Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Covered Stockpot on Amazon gave it five stars. One reviewer appreciated that the handles were welded to the side of the pot, rather than using bolts or screws. However, the buyer recommended carrying the pot by its sides because the handles didn't seem very sturdy.

Other buyers mentioned that they liked the size of the pot when making chicken or turkey stock, pasta sauce, applesauce, and more.

Pros: Dishwasher and oven safe, even heat distribution, made of 18/10 stainless steel, lifetime warranty

Cons: Handles can get hot and uncomfortable

Buy the Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Covered Stockpot on Amazon from $42.97 (originally $49.99) 

Buy the 16-Quart Faberware Classic Stainless Steel Covered Stockpot at Walmart for $52.99 (originally $79.99)

The best high-end stockpot

The All-Clad Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Stockpot is a great option if you have a little more room in your budget. It has even heat distribution and comes in two sizes.

The All-Clad Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Stockpot comes in two sizes: 12 quarts and 16 quarts. But, counterintuitively, the smaller 12-quart version costs nearly twice as much as the 16-quart.

According to a seller of the All-Clad stockpot, the reason for the vast difference in price is that the 12-quart model has three layers of high-performance metal, including 18/10 stainless steel, aluminum, and another layer of stainless steel, that extend from the base to the rim. Whereas, the 16-quart version just has an aluminum disk in the base.

Also, the 12-quart version is made in the United States, while the 16-quart pot is made in China. The 12-quart All-Clad stockpot is the better option because the three layers of metal allow for even heat distribution, which makes it so you don't have to constantly stir and otherwise babysit your simmering food. However, experts and buyers rate both styles highly.

Foodal evaluated a broad variety of stockpots, and the All-Clad stockpot was the top-rated choice. The Spruce also recommended this pot but stopped short of calling it the best because of the hefty price tag.

Cook's Illustrated's reviewers were impressed with the easy-to-grip handles that required potholders but didn't get too hot. They also liked the heft of the pot.

Around 91% of the people who reviewed the All-Clad Stainless Steel Stockpot on Amazon gave it four or five stars. Buyers appreciated that the wide design made it so one could easily clean it in the average kitchen sink. Others noted that the lid is not the best fit with about half a centimeter of play.

Nathaniel Allen's review was voted the most helpful buyer review. He mentioned that he and his wife have been cooking on All-Clad cookware for 17 years and that their pieces, including this pot, have held up remarkably well. He likes that it heats evenly and that he can use Barkeepers Helper and Brillo pads to clean it thoroughly.

Pros: Aluminum core that extends up the sides, lifetime warranty, easy-to-grip handles

Cons: Expensive

Buy the All-Clad Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Stockpot on Amazon from $199.95

The best affordable stockpot

The T-fal Specialty Total Nonstick Stockpot is a great affordable stockpot. It doesn't skimp on quality and it's among the more lightweight stockpots on our list. 

I purchased the 8-quart T-fal Specialty Total Nonstick Stockpot about two years ago and use it about three times per week. It's not quite large enough for a turkey, but I make plenty of chicken stock, soups, chili, pasta, and more. The handles stay cool and easy-to-grip even when the contents are boiling hot.

The only issue is that the nonstick surface is lightly scratched these days, but that's due to misuse. Sometimes, one is too lazy to remove the potatoes from the pot before mashing them with a metal potato masher. Despite the scratches, it still retains its nonstick properties, which is a good thing since I'm sure my misuse has voided the lifetime limited warranty.

The pot is made of heavy-gauge aluminum, which produces reliable and even heating. The clear lid lets you check on your meal without releasing heat and moisture, and it has a tight fit. There is a small steam vent. If you would prefer not to let any steam out, use a plate or baking sheet instead of the lid and place something heavy on top of that, like a cast-iron skillet. I use this method to make sushi rice.

Expert reviewers at Thoroughly Reviewed appreciated the lightweight design, which made it easy to maneuver around the kitchen. Testers at Twenty Motion also noted the light aluminum construction as well as the non-stick coating.

The T-fal Specialty Total Nonstick Stockpot has more than 800 positive reviews on Amazon. One reviewer who goes by MenCook2 on Amazon was impressed with his purchase: The lid fit well, the pot heats evenly, and the interior is truly nonstick. His main complaint was that it's hard to clean the exterior base after a spill since there are grooves along it. Also, he recommends giving the pot generous baths in vinegar then concentrated orange cleaner to get rid of the initial chemical odor.

Pros: Lightweight, nonstick, dishwasher and oven safe, stay-cool handles

Cons: Hard to hand clean the exterior of the base

Buy the T-fal Specialty Total Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe Stockpot on Amazon from $16.99 (originally $39.99)

The best stockpot for induction ranges

If you have an induction range and need a stainless steel pot, the Update International Induction Ready Stainless Steel Stock Pot has an aluminum core that distributes heat evenly.

Rather than using an electric heating element or a gas flame, induction ranges rely on the transfer of magnetic energy. Therefore, to cook on these environmentally-friendly surfaces, you must have a pot that is flat-bottomed and magnetic. The Update International Induction Ready Stainless Steel Stock Potis made of magnetic 18/8 stainless steel, which is ideal for induction cooking.

Included in the base of the pot is a 5mm aluminum disk that helps it heat evenly. There are nine different size options ranging from 8 quarts to 100 quarts. The smaller pots have spot-welded handles, while the larger versions feature rivet handles that stay secure when the pot is full of food.

The experts at Foodal, Best Reviews, and Twenty Motion all recommend the Update International Stock Pot. Best Reviews noted that the larger pots might warp when exposed to excessive heat. 

More than 400 buyers on Amazon have left five-star reviews of the Update International Induction Ready Stainless Steel Stock Pot. Many of the reviewers mention that they purchased this pot specifically for use on their induction range, and they have found it performs well. Other buyers were impressed with how well the spot welds on the smaller models held up.

However, one buyer mentioned having trouble with rust. When they contacted the seller, the buyer was told that the 30-day return period offered by Amazon had expired and there was nothing they could do, but they would pass the information on to the manufacturer. The manufacturer never contacted the buyer.

Pros: Tight-sealing lid, variety of sizes, great for induction ranges

Cons: Questionable customer service, no manufacturer warranty

Buy the Update International Induction Ready Stainless Steel Stock Pot on Amazon from $38.45 (originally $56.94)

The best ergonomic stockpot

The Cuisinart Chef's Classic 12-Quart Stockpot has easy-to-grip handles that face upward so carrying is a breeze even if the pot is filled to the brim with chili or hearty stews. 

With its stainless steel mirror finish, the Cuisinart Chef's Classic 12-Quart Stockpotlooks attractive on your stovetop. Encapsulated in the base is an aluminum disk that facilitates even heat distribution, which helps you avoid hot spots and burning. The rim is tapered, which is helpful for drip-free pouring.

Cuisinart warns against using this pot on high heat. Instead, if you are looking to boil water, they recommend medium-high. Still, the pot is oven safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is also dishwasher safe. We recommend using a soft cloth or sponge and a mild detergent to wash it by hand and help extend the life of your pot.

The Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stockpot comes highly recommended from Heavy and The Spruce. Reviewers at Cook's Illustrated found it to be very similar to the much-more-expensive All-Clad pot with its easy-to-grip handles that sat well in their hands. The testers found that the contents of the pot were easy to pour thanks to the upward tilt of the handles. And, when they cooked chili in it, the bottom of the pot was pristine (and not scorched.)

Around 91% of the people who reviewed the Cuisinart Chef's Classic 12-Quart Stockpot on Amazon gave it a positive rating. Buyers remarked that it strikes a good middle ground between being able to accommodate plenty of stock while still fitting in the sink to be hand washed. The lid is also aligned well.

There were a few complaints, though. One buyer noted that the rivets inside of his pot appeared to have corroded. Another buyer was disappointed that the item's listed dimensions on Amazon were different from what they received, which made canning with quart-sized jars difficult.

Pros: Handles that facilitate easy pouring, tends not to burn food, limited lifetime warranty

Cons: Complaints of rivets corroding

Buy the Cuisinart Chef's Classic 12-Quart Stockpot on Amazon for $37.63 (originally $49.95)

An abandoned hotel in California was once a popular destination for Hollywood celebrities. Now some think it's haunted.


Byron Hot Springs Hotel

  • The Byron Hot Springs Hotel is an abandoned resort in northern California. 
  • Over the last century, it has hosted Hollywood celebrities, housed prisoners of war, and attracted worshippers from the Greek Orthodox church.
  • But the building has been vacant for decades. Today, the hotel lures curious spectators, some of whom believe the property is haunted.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Byron Hot Springs Hotel has been the subject of numerous ghost stories since it was abandoned decades ago.

One look at the northern California property and it's clear why: The ceilings are crumbling, the walls are coated in graffiti, and the empty hotel rooms are littered with rubble. 

But, like the spirits that some believe occupy its floors, the property refuses to die. 

The building has gone up for sale numerous times, and many owners and prospective buyers have expressed plans to restore the hotel to its former glory. But for now, it remains in a state of decay, attracting curious visitors who are technically trespassing. 

Photographer Thomas Hawk snuck into the site at night in 2009. Here's what he saw. 

SEE ALSO: A nearly abandoned town in California could sell for around $6 million. It's been 'trapped in time' for decades.

The abandoned hotel had two predecessors on the site, both of which burned down.

The original hotel was made of wood and built in 1889, but it burned down two years later. The second hotel — this time made of stucco — lasted from 1901 to 1912. But it, too, was consumed by a fire. The hotel that's now standing is made of brick. 

The hotel was popular among celebrities in the 1920s.

The resort hosted baseball players like Joe DiMaggio and Hollywood actors like Charlie Chaplin, Mae West, and Clark Gable. Guests were fond of soaking in the hotel's natural hot springs or playing on its golf courses, which were among the first to be built on the West Coast. 

The resort closed in 1938, near the end of the Great Depression. 

The US government took over the property in 1941. It was used for interrogations during World War II.

The military interrogated German and Japanese prisoners of war on the hotel grounds. At the time, the property was known as "Camp Tracy." 

After the war, the property was sold to the Greek Orthodox Church. It served as a monastery until 1956.

Since then, multiple developers have tried to renovate the property, but various financial setbacks prevented most of them from moving forward with their plans. 

The building has been empty for decades. It sustained minor damage during a fire in 2005.

The fire burned down a Victorian cottage that was still on the grounds, but the hotel remained standing. 

Hawk visited the property a decade ago. He used a flashlight and colored filters to accentuate its ominous appearance at night.

Hawk explored the hotel rooms, balconies, and kitchen with a group of six photographers.

The walls are covered in graffiti. Hawk spotted this spooky portrait.

Over the years, many people seem to have tagged and drawn on the hotel walls.

The hotel has four stories. No glass remains in the windows, and some of the walls have toppled.

There's a vacant shaft where an elevator once stood.

Dead cows have occasionally been found in the empty guest rooms.

The property is surrounded by lush landscape that's ideal for grazing. But cows that wander inside the building can get injured by the sharp rubble. 

The hotel attracts curious spectators who believe the property is haunted.

A common tale is that the property is haunted by a man wearing white rags and a child scurrying about.

Some visitors have reported strange sounds that they attribute to ghosts.

In all likelihood, the screeches belong to owls nestled in the hotel's upper floors. 

Another legend suggests that the property is haunted by a student who died in a train accident nearby in 1902.

The collision, which occurred near Byron, California, killed an entire wedding party and injured 12 people. The wounded passengers were taken to the Byron Hotel, where they received emergency medical care. One of those passengers, a 22-year-old student at the University of California, Berkeley, died on the premises.  

David Fowler, who purchased the property in 1989 for $1.5 million, wanted to turn the site back into a resort. He held onto it until 2011, but lost the building in foreclosure.

It was put up for sale again last year, but no developer has snatched it up yet.

Despite many people's attempts to visit the hotel, it's on private property, so visitors are technically trespassing. Neighbors are also known to harass spectators and chase them off the land, which may be scarier than any paranormal encounter.  

13 of the most famous last words in history



  • There's something comforting about poetic, funny, or interesting last words.
  • These quotations give us hope about facing death with dignity or even humor.
  • From an early American patriot to a famous rock star, these individuals all died after uttering some particularly memorable last words.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

We love famous last words.

There's a reason there are so many books listing memorable deathbed sayings throughout history out there. Perhaps we'd just rather believe well-known figures tend to die saying something clever and profound. It makes death itself a little less scary.

But, for that reason, final words can be quite tricky. As with any quotes on the internet — and historical quotes, in general — it's hard to sort out what's true and what's phony or exaggerated.

Here are several poignant, strange, or otherwise memorable last words from throughout history:

Anaele Pelisson contributed to a previous version of this article.

SEE ALSO: 18 people who accomplished incredible things at a shockingly young age

Jane Austen

At the age of 41, the celebrated novelist suffered a painful death in 1817 from an unidentified disease — although Addison's or Hodgkin's lymphoma are potential culprits, according to the blog Science-Based Writing. Her final words were recorded by her brother Henry, according to "The New Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes."

Winston Churchill

In 1965, the British Prime Minister fell into a coma and died in his London home at the age of 90, according to the Phrase Finder. According to "The Private Lives of Winston Churchill," he was speaking to his son-in-law Christopher Soames, who had offered him some champagne.

Nathan Hale

Historians believe the 21-year-old school teacher-turned-spy was paraphrasing a line from the popular 18th century play "Cato" as he stood on the scaffold, according to the book "Cato's Tears and the Making of Anglo-American Emotion." The British hanged Hale after he was captured during a failed 1776 espionage mission in Long Island.


The Roman statesman met his fate in 43 BCE, after Mark Anthony put a hit out on him during the power struggle following Julius Caesar's death.

Cicero attempted to flee, but accepted his death when confronted by his assassins. He even stuck his head out of his litter in order to make it easier for the killers to strike, according to "Forgotten Justice."

Marie Antoinette

According to the 2016 biography "Marie-Antoinette," the deposed French queen apologized to her executioner on the scaffold in 1793. She had accidentally stepped on his foot on her way to the guillotine.

Joe DiMaggio

According to the book "Joe and Marilyn: Legends in Love," the famous baseball player expressed his desire to reunite in the afterlife his late ex-wife Marilyn Monroe just before dying in 1999.

George Jacques Danton

The French politician and revolutionary was ultimately devoured by the bloody regime he had helped to establish.

According to "Famous Social Reformers & Revolutionaries," he was guillotined in 1794 after making a defiant and snarky remark to the executioner.

Napoléon Bonaparte

Napoleon reflected on both his career and stormy personal life before dying in exile in 1821, according to the Guardian. His final words were a list — ending with the name of his former wife and lover Josephine.

George Harrison

According to his wife and son, the ex-Beatle succumbed to lung cancer in 2001 after passing on one final message of love, the Guardian reported.

Thomas Carlyle

The Scottish philosopher — who also was the first to label economics a "dismal science" — also worked as a essayist, historian, and mathematician. He died in bed at the age of 85 in 1881, according to his biographer Fred Kaplan.

George Patton

After helping to lead the fight to defeat the Nazis in Europe, the American general was paralyzed in a car crash in December 1945. He succumbed to his injuries on December 20, 1945, according to "Patton and His Third Army."

James French

After brutally slaying a West Virginia motorist who gave him a ride, the convicted murderer strangled his cell mate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. He was sentenced to the electric chair on August 10, 1966, according to News OK.

Before he was executed, he yelled a famously morbid suggestion for a headline to gathered reporters, according to the Mirror.

Noel Coward

After bidding his longtime partner and friends a good evening on the night of March 22, 1973, the playwright died of heart failure in his Jamaican Firefly Estate, according to Philip Hoare's biography of Coward.

In favor of the wealth tax: The tax code doesn't fully comprehend how the wealthiest Americans make their money, and it's hurting everyone else


Jeff Bezos

  • Paul Constant is a writer at Civic Ventures, a cofounder of the Seattle Review of Books, and a frequent cohost of the Pitchfork Economics podcast with Nick Hanauer.
  • In this opinion piece, he says that wealthy people have pushed against a wealth tax for years, arguing for a trickle-down theory. Instead, the opposite is true — "wealthy people have gotten so good at avoiding taxes that we're all hurting," he says.
  • He argues that we're seeing the effects of this "tax starvation," and it's time to figure out how to responsibly tax wealth.
  • For more on this topic, listen to the latest episode of Pitchfork Economics.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

We're taught to perceive wealth as something physical that you can touch — think of Scrooge McDuck swimming around the gold doubloons in his money bin and you have an idea of what every child believes a rich person's fortune is like. 

The truth, of course, is much more complex. Jeff Bezos doesn't have $106 billion in liquid assets ready to go at a moment's notice. It's tied up in Amazon stock and other investments around the world in a complicated and (intentionally) confusing network. Put simply, wealthy people don't make money the same way you or I do. So why should they be taxed in the same way that we are?

This week's episode of Pitchfork Economics directly addresses outsize wealth and taxes. Nick Hanauer and Zach Silk talk with Chye-Ching Huang, the director of federal fiscal policy at The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. She examines the "economic and social effects of taxes and budget policies," which means she contextualizes how changes in tax policy impact the real world.

Huang joined Pitchfork Economics to discuss some groundbreaking new research from Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman which, according to Huang, "counts all of the sources of income of people at the very top of the income distribution when figuring out how much tax they pay as a share of their incomes." 

Paul Constant

It's hard to know how to tax the wealthiest Americans because the tax code is set up to recognize traditional income. Bezos, for example, "takes a salary of about $80,000 a year. That's what's showing up on his tax return," Huang says. "He sold about $6 billion worth of stock over the last 10 years. Sometimes that will show up on a tax return, but in economic terms that's really not his income. His income is the hundred billion dollars' worth of gain in the value of his Amazon stock." 

While you and I have taxes taken out of our paychecks in advance, Bezos's income isn't really recognized as income. It often doesn't even show up on tax returns at all, Huang says. Our system values assets over labor, meaning owners of extreme wealth are favored with a tiny tax rate while people who have to work for a living pay a "normal" rate.

And conditions are tipping even further in favor of the mega-wealthy. The tax cuts passed by President Trump and former Speaker Paul Ryan in 2017 famously handed one and a half trillion dollars to the top one percent. Now, America's 400 richest families pay a smaller tax rate than the American middle class. The $4,000 raise promised to American workers during the tax cut fight didn't materialize, and all that money leveraged to our wealthiest families and corporations hasn't trickled down to any of us. It just gets added to the money bin, where it sits forever.

The Trump tax cuts, Huang says, "really made everything worse. It's such a complicated law, and behind that complexity are a whole lot of new ways for high-income people and large corporations to game the rules to avoid tax."

Rather than simply slashing the tax rate, as previous administrations have done, Huang explains, the Trump tax cuts are a "threat to the integrity of the tax code." Under the new rules, she says, huge chunks of wealth "just sort of disappear off tax returns."

This isn't a problem that can be solved by tweaking a few percentages on the existing tax code to rebalance the scale toward fairness. In this global age of wealth disparity, we're going to have to rethink the very idea of taxation and its goals.

This is why the concept of a wealth tax has flourished in the Democratic presidential primaries. But there's no single, monolithic method of taxing wealth that would guarantee success. Progressives are debating a variety of different ways of calculating and collecting taxes: You might tax a person's total assets every year, for example, or you could tax the value that their fortune has grown since the last tax period.

No matter which kind of wealth tax you choose, Huang says, "you could effectively come out with almost the same [total] over the lifetime of a person, whether you tax the income from their wealth or their wealth itself. But either way, you're getting at that problem, which is the fact that none of that currently faces tax, whereas the salaries and wages of people are subject to annual taxes."

There are those — primarily wealthy people and status-quo-preserving pundits — who complain that a wealth tax is too drastic a solution, that taking from "the makers" and giving it to "the takers" will inevitably backfire and hurt everyone. We've been hearing that trickle-down threat for decades. 

But it's now evident that the opposite is true: Wealthy people have gotten so good at avoiding taxes that we're all hurting. You can see symptoms of this tax starvation in the news every day — from the faulty electrical grid in California that's actively causing wildfires to the lack of mental health and drug addiction services for the most vulnerable Americans. We can't begin to repair our gaping income inequality until we have an honest conversation about the realities of wealth, and how to responsibly tax it.

Paul Constant is a writer at Civic Ventures, a public policy incubator based out of Seattle, and a cofounder of the Seattle Review of Books. His writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed News, the New York Observer, and the Seattle Times.

Listen to the podcast: In 2014, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer warned his fellow plutocrats that our growing crisis of economic inequality would lead to an uprising or a dictatorship. Two years later, angry voters elected Donald Trump. In Pitchfork Economics, Nick explores why the pitchforks are coming, who they're coming for, and how the stories we tell about the economy can change the economy itself.

SEE ALSO: The Green New Deal is the perfect retort to trickle-down fear-mongers: Finally, progressives have the game-changing argument that can swing a majority of Americans toward a better future

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High paying jobs, great health, and free time galore: The 13 US cities where people enjoy the most balanced lifestyles


working freelance taxes

While living in one of America's major cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Miami may sound glamorous, it's no secret that the lifestyle in those places can be difficult. Long work hours, tedious commutes, and a high cost of living can take a toll on residents.

Some of the best places to live in the US are actually places you might not expect, according to data from personal finance website MagnifyMoney.

The site compared the top 50 metro areas in the US using a variety of indicators including average commute times, income inequality, the cost of housing relative to income, the number of hours residents work in relation to how much they earn, the percentage of people in good health, and the cost of living compared to the national average.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top cities tended to have shorter average commutes and high marks for income equality. Miami, New York, and Los Angeles all scored abysmally on those two measures and all landed at the bottom of the list.

Here are the cities in the US where Americans live the most balanced lives:

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13. Oklahoma City has the 3rd shortest average commute and the 5th lowest housing cost on the list.

Source: MagnifyMoney

12. Buffalo, New York, has the shortest average commute time at 21.5 minutes.

Source: MagnifyMoney

T10. Virginia Beach ranks 2nd for income equality. Its goods and services are also priced at 4.4% lower than the national average.

Source: MagnifyMoney

T10. Columbus, Ohio, has the 6th shortest commute time on the list and the 4th cheapest goods and services.

Source: MagnifyMoney

9. Hartford, Connecticut, has the 7th shortest commute time and 7th lowest number of weekly working hours necessary to make $50,000 at 24.9 hours per week.

Source: MagnifyMoney

8. Denver, Colorado, is getting the most sleep out of any city on the list, with only 26.9% of its residents clocking fewer than seven hours.

7. Portland, Oregon, ranks 7th for income equality, 5th for hours of sleep, and 10th for amount of time it takes to earn $50,000.

Source: MagnifyMoney

6. St. Louis, Missouri, ranks 7th for affordable housing and 2nd in terms of cheap goods and services at 7.2% below the national average.

Source: MagnifyMoney

5. Raleigh, North Carolina, has been drawing residents to the Research Triangle for years with its concentration of high-tech jobs. It ranks 4th for income equality and 3rd for best rested.

Source: MagnifyMoney

4. Cincinnati, Ohio, ranks 3rd for cost-effective housing, 2nd for best rested, and has the cheapest goods and services at 7.3% lower than the national average.

Source: MagnifyMoney

3. Salt Lake City, Utah, ranks 2nd in shortest commute time and 4th in most sleep. It also has the best income equality.

Source: MagnifyMoney

2. Kansas City, Missouri, has the 4th shortest commute time at 23 minutes, 6th best housing costs, and 6th most well-rested residents.

Source: MagnifyMoney

1. Taking the top spot overall, Minneapolis, Minnesota, ranks 5th for income equality and 8th for best sleep. 57.1% of its residents reported having very good or excellent health.

Source: MagnifyMoney

Google turned its homepage into a spooky trick or treat game to celebrate Halloween (GOOG, GOOGL)


google doodle halloween 2019

Google is celebrating Halloween in the only way it knows how: an incredibly intricate, interactive Doodle animation on its homepage.

The search engine frequently decorates the Google logo on its homepage to pay homage to important days in history, notable figures, and special events and holidays. October 31 is no different, and Google is celebrating Halloween with an incredibly detailed animated game.

If you click on the logo on Google's homepage on Thursday, it'll disappear and expand into this Halloween-themed street block. There are at least a dozen spots throughout the illustration that you can click on to reveal fun animations or to discover spooky creatures — including an owl, a bat, and a spider — that you can ask to give you a trick (another fun animation) or treat (a fun fact about the animal).

google doodle halloween 2019

Visit Google's homepage for yourself to see all the animations that the Google Doodle team has created.

Google's Halloween celebrations go beyond its homepage, however. Several of the Google-associated Twitter accounts have been given new display names: the main Twitter account is named "Boogle," complete with pumpkin emoji for both O's; Google News and Google Maps are now "Ghougle News" and "Googhoul Maps"; Google Drive's Twitter is now named "The Haunted [house emoji] on Google Drive." 

Google isn't the only tech company to get in the holiday spirit. Facebook's app features some Halloween-themed animations and cartoons — see them for yourself.

Join the conversation about this story »

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The best online deals and sales happening now


best online sales deals

We rounded up the nine best sales and deals happening online today, with savings on menswear at Bonobos, MacBook Pro laptops on Amazon, watches and wallets at Fossil, and more. 

Deals in this story are subject to change throughout the day. The prices listed reflect the deal at the time of publication. For even more deals and savings across the web, check out Business Insider Coupons.

The best sales and deals happening today at a glance:

SEE ALSO: The best mattresses you can buy

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1. Save an extra 40% on sale styles at Bonobos

Shop the Bonobos sale now

You might be dressing up this Halloween, but Bonobos is having a sale on regular clothing to wear once it's time to take the costume off. Now through November 2, you can save an extra 40% on sale styles by using the promo code "EXTRASPOOKY" at checkout. The sale includes button-up shirts, dress shirts, dress pants, chinos, jeans, outerwear, and plenty of other menswear styles.

2. Save up to 27% on 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros on Amazon

Shop the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro sale on Amazon now

If you're looking to buy a MacBook but want to save on the high retail prices, Amazon has a great deal on certified refurbished laptops. As a deal of the day, you can save up to 27% on 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro computers. Available in Space Grey and Silver Colors, these 15-inch MacBook Pros LED-backlit Retina display, 256GBs or 512GBs of flash memory storage, and Apple's Yosemite MacOs. Don't let the certified refurbished status deter you — these laptops come in like-new condition, showing little to no signs of wear. They also include all the original accessories and a one year warranty from Apple.


3. Save 20% on one full-price item at Backcountry

Shop the Backcountry sale now

Backcountry is a one-stop-shop for all things related to the outdoors. Right now, you can save 20% on one full-priced item at Backcountry by using the promo code "TAKE20WINTER" at checkout. While most outdoor sales going on this time of year include past-season summer items that you'll have to hold onto until next year, this is a great opportunity to get the latest and greatest gear for winter now.

4. Save up to 40% on Fossil watches and wallets

Shop the Fossil sale now

Ranging from classic analog displays to hybrids and smartwatches, Fossil has a watch for almost every style preference. Right now, many of its sale styles are up to 40% off. Whether simplicity is key for your style or you like smartphone integration and fitness tracking, you won't have trouble finding something that works for you. In addition to watches, the sale also includes handbags, sunglasses, wallets, belts, and more. 

5. Save up to 50% on outdoor gear and apparel at REI

Shop the REI Garage sale now

While great deals can be found across REI's site on a regular basis, the REI Outlet section is known for the biggest discounts. Now through November 4, you can save 50% or more on handpicked items at REI Outlet. The sale includes everything from outerwear and footwear to backpacks and sleeping bags. 

6. Get $750 worth of travel points when you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred from our partner The Points Guy.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great option if you're new to earning points and miles, as it has a reasonable $95 annual fee. You'll earn 2 points per dollar on all travel and dining purchases and 1 point on everything else, and the card includes some valuable benefits like trip delay coverage and primary car rental insurance.

You can earn 60,000 Chase points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred when you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. That's worth at least $750 toward travel. Read our review to learn more about the card's benefits.

Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network if you apply for a credit card, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

7. Save up to $275 on a Bear mattress, plus two free pillows

Shop the Bear Mattress sale now

Named the best mattress for hot sleepers in our buying guide, Bear Mattresses are designed to keep you cool and comfortable at night. Additionally, the mattresses feature Celliant, a material that converts heat from the body into far infrared — a type of energy that's been proven to help rebuild cells. The technology can help you wake up feeling well-rested and free of aches and pains, plus you won't break a sweat in your sleep. Right now, you can save $175 on orders of $1,075 with the promo code "SAVE175" and $275 on orders of $1,075 with the promo code "SAVE275" at checkout. You'll also receive two free pillows.

8. Save 15% on all orders at Framebridge as a new customer

Shop the Framebridge sale now.

In addition to offering customizable framing options for your prints and original paintings, Framebridge will turn your favorite digital images and smartphone pictures into beautifully framed artwork that's suitable for display. Simply pick a frame, upload your image, and Framebridge will ship it to you ready to be hung and shown off. Right now, new customers can save 15% sitewide by using the exclusive promo code "INSIDER15" at checkout. 

9. Save $200 on Sennheiser PXC-550 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones at Daily Steals

Sennheiser PXC-550 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, $199.99 (Originally $399.99) [You save $200]

As one of the lightest pairs of headphones in the industry, the Sennheiser PXC-550 headphones are perfect for wearing during long listening sessions and while traveling. They feature Bluetooth connectivity, a touch-sensitive trackpad, and adaptive noise-canceling. Right now, they're $190 off on deal site Daily Steals, but you can save an extra $10 by using the Business Insider-exclusive promo code "BISPXC" at checkout. 

The Woolworth Building and its iconic green roof have been a defining part of the NYC skyline for 106 years. Take a look inside its most expensive listing, a $30 million condo.


woolworth condo pavilion

  • The Woolworth Building is an iconic, 106-year-old New York City skyscraper.
  • The 58-story downtown Manhattan tower was the world's tallest building from its completion in 1913 to 1930.
  • After a five-year restoration, the Woolworth Building is unveiling a set of luxury residences ranging in price from $2.85 million to $29.85 million.
  • We got into the most expensive unit currently for sale, a $29.85 million condo that spans half the 29th floor and comes with skylights and 2,770 square feet of terrace space. 
  • It was a stark contrast to the glossy, super-tall skyscrapers rising along Billionaires' Row.
  • According to Joshua Judge from Sotheby's International Realty, The Woolworth Building's residences have been selling mainly to New Yorkers who actually want to live in them. On the contrary, units on Billionaires' Row are often picked up by international or out-of-state millionaires and billionaires who may rarely even live there.
  • And while on Billionaires' Row, four of the towers are still under construction, the Woolworth Building is one of the city's most historic buildings, with a 106-year-old history. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The 106-year-old Woolworth Building is one of New York City's most historic and iconic towers.

The 792-foot tower was the tallest building in the world for 17 years, from its completion in 1913 until 1930, at which point the Chrysler Building overtook it.

Originally developed by the F.W. Woolworth Company as an office building, the Woolworth Building was nicknamed the "Cathedral of Commerce" and housed tenants such as Nikola Tesla and the Manhattan Project.

Today, while the lower 28 floors remain offices, Alchemy Properties now owns floors 29 and up and transformed them into 32 luxury residences over the course of a five-year, multimillion-dollar renovation. The restoration work on the exterior alone cost $22 million.

We got inside the building for a tour of one of these residences: Pavilion A, a $29.85 million condo that's the most expensive unit currently listed in the building. When the building's 9,680-square-foot penthouse is finished, Pavilion A will be the second-most expensive condo in the building. 

Joshua Judge, Stan Ponte, and Tate Kelly of Sotheby's International Realty hold the listing.

Take a look inside the Woolworth's Building Pavilion A, which spans 6,711 interior square feet and comes with two terraces.

SEE ALSO: I spent a day on NYC's Billionaires' Row. Here's your ultimate guide to one of Manhattan's glitziest areas, home to the city's priciest street and the most expensive home ever sold in the US.

DON'T MISS: The most expensive home for sale in NYC is a $98 million penthouse that spans 5 full floors and comes with a private roof deck. Take a look inside the condo.

The Woolworth Building is an iconic, 106-year-old New York City building. From its completion in 1913 until 1930, the 792-foot tower was the tallest building in the world.

The downtown Manhattan skyscraper was built for $13.5 million by the F.W. Woolworth Company, a retail company started by Frank Winfield Woolworth that launched the five-and-dime store concept.

For five years, the historic skyscraper has been undergoing both exterior and interior renovations. Historically an office building, the Woolworth Building's top 30 floors have now been transformed into 32 luxury residences — all of them have been completed.

Some of the Woolworth Building's residences were already put on the market before they had floor plans and before anyone could see them.

In 2017, the building's 9,680-square-foot penthouse, Pinnacle, hit the market for $110 million.

As of October 2019, eight residences are listed for sale, starting at $2.85 million and going up to $29.85 million.

On a recent October afternoon, we went to go check out the most expensive residence currently on the market in the Woolworth Building.

The Woolworth Building's main entrance — for the office floors — is on Broadway across from City Hall Park.

The residential entrance to the building is just around the corner at 2 Park Place.

The residential lobby is intimate, with a small seating area ...

... and a reception desk complete with the Woolworth "W," a motif throughout the building.

The lobby is staffed by a 24-hour doorman and a full-time concierge.

Pavilion A, which was unveiled to the public last week, is one of two luxury residences on the 29th floor.

The listing calls Pavilion A "the perfect blend of Tribeca loft meets historic penthouse."

The entryway of the holds a sitting area and leads into a bedroom that's currently set up as a study.

The residence spans about 6,711 square feet of interior living space.

The great room is about 52 feet long and boasts 22-foot ceilings, which were partially made possible by Alchemy adding about six feet to the top of the unit.

The great room's dining area can seat at least 10 people comfortably.

A grand piano occupies one corner of the great room.

The kitchen comes with marble countertops, Miele appliances, a wine fridge, and two dishwashers.

Through the kitchen's skylight is a view of the building's limestone and terracotta facade.

Just off the kitchen is a laundry room decorated with cheerful butterfly wallpaper.

Through the great room, you pass through a TV room on your way to the bedroom area.

Then there's yet another sitting area, from which you can access one of the two terraces.

The residence's lower terrace, with its iconic terracotta and green cooper details, comes with a grill and an al fresco dining area.

Looking up, you get a clear view of 30 Park Place, which is home to Four Seasons Private Residences perched above a Four Seasons Hotel.

Source: StreetEasy

Windows installed in the facade offer views uptown. The cluster of brand-new skyscrapers at Hudson Yards can be seen in the distance.

Up a spiral staircase is the second, larger terrace, which offers panoramic views of the city. We could spot One World Trade Center peeking out from behind

Looking in the other direction opens up views of the Manhattan Municipal Building and One Manhattan Square, a brand-new luxury condo tower on the East River.

From Pavilion A's upper terrace, you can also look across to Pavilion B, a slightly smaller version of Pavilion A that's on the market for $17.7 million. You can see the modern addition to the building on top of the historic green copper, which Pavilion A also has.

The three-bedroom residence shares the 29th floor with Pavilion A. 

The hallway leading to the bedrooms is illuminated by skylights.

Even though it's not technically a penthouse, the residence is able to have skylights because it's located in the first setback of the building.

Pavilion A has five bedrooms, some of which open up to the lower terrace.

The bedrooms are located on both wings of the unit.

The master suite comes with private terrace access and a walk-in closet.

The marble master bathroom comes with a freestanding soaking tub, a steam shower, dual vanity, and radiant heat flooring.

The master suite even has its very own "morning kitchen," so you don't have to go all the way to the kitchen for coffee first thing in the morning.

Of the Woolworth Building's 32 residences, 10 have been sold so far — mainly to New Yorkers, according to one of the listing agents, Joshua Judge.

"[Pavilion A] is for someone who appreciates legacy, history, and quality that will ensure the test of time," Judge said.

Right before our tour of Pavilion A, Judge had showed one of the residences to a local family with a baby who wanted more space for their family.

Each Woolworth Building residence comes with its own personal wine vault that can hold at least 185 bottles.

Adjacent to the wine cellar is a wine tasting room.

Another amenity for residents is the 50-foot lap pool, which was originally commissioned by F. W. Woolworth and reimagined by Thierry Despont.

There's also a hot tub and sauna.

Unlike many of the modern-day luxury skyscrapers that tower over the city, the luxury residences of the Woolworth Building come with over a century's worth of history.

The history of the Woolworth Building puts it in stark contrast to the brand-new, super-tall and skinny skyscrapers rising on Billionaires' Row.

While the Woolworth Building's residences have been selling mainly to New Yorkers who actually want to live in them, the condos on Billionaires' Row are often picked up by international or out-of-state millionaires and billionaires who may rarely even live in them.


Millennials might lag behind their parents when it comes to money, but there's something they do better: talk about it



Millennials may be behind in building wealth compared to previous generations, but there's one thing they're doing better: talking about money.

A new survey by Insider and Morning Consult polled 2,096 Americans about their financial health, debt, and earnings for a new series, "The State of Our Money." More than 670 respondents were millennials, defined as ages 23 to 38 in 2019; 730 respondents were baby boomers, defined as ages 55 to 73 in 2019.

The survey asked all respondents who they share their financial information with, including salary and savings. Eighty-eight percent of married millennials have shared how much money they have with their spouse, on par with the 87% of boomers who have done the same.

But the similarities stop there. Millennials are much more open about money than their parents are.

Thirty percent of millennials share financial info with their friends, compared to just 9% of boomers; 25% of millennials share financial info with their siblings, but 12% of boomers do the same; and 12% of millennials talk to their colleagues about money, whereas only 2% of boomers do.

When it comes to sharing their finances with family, millennials are also more likely to do so — 46% talk to their parents about it, while 24% of boomers talk to their kids about it.

While married respondents of any generation are overwhelmingly most likely to share with their spouses, it's worth noting that when boomers do share financial info with someone aside from their spouse, it's most likely with their kids. And when millennials do discuss their finances outside of their marriage, it's most likely with their parents.

Talking about money helps others become more financially literate

That younger generations are more open to talking about money signifies a shift in what has historically been seen as a taboo topic.

Millennials recognize the many benefits of being open about their finances. "Knowledge is power and people tend to feel a huge sense of relief from discussing their situation and possibly fears with regard to money," Greg Heller, founder and CEO of HCR Wealth Advisors in Los Angeles, told NBC News. "This in turn allows them to make better decisions, avoid critical mistakes, set attainable goals and demystify the subject of money."

New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland, who saves almost all of his estimated $1.2 million salary, has a similar mindset. He teaches a financial-literacy class he nicknamed "Life 101" at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. His goal, he previously told Business Insider, is to share the financial knowledge he's learned with as many people as possible.

Copeland aims to make students more comfortable and knowledgeable when talking about money and encourages them to talk to mentors and parents about it. Having open conversations helps those involved build their own financial situation, he said.

When it comes to setting yourself up financially, "it's all about access to info and sharing it," he said. "[It's] not what you do with your own stuff, but how you bring other people up with you."

SEE ALSO: 45% of millennials think they earn less than their peers, but even more think they have less debt

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Join the conversation about this story »

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