There are those whose holiday cards seem crafted to create envy: photos of themselves in green and red taken in front of their grand estate or at the Aspen ski chalet where they vacation. For those who live more modestly for the moment, here are five properties you can Photoshop yourself onto to show the world how well you've done. Memorize a few key facts and drop the card in your Facebook Timeline. And if people notice "your" home is for sale? That's just because you're moving on up. Congrats on all your success!
1. This is a good one because the property has a name that sounds vaguely Viking or Round Table or something indefinably romantic: Balinor. It was also designed by legendary architect. Drawback? It was featured on HGTV and you weren't featured with it. But that just shows how easy it is for you to acquire things. You see something you like on TV, and you snap it up—even if it's a couple million dollars.
2. Plumb Nilly. My, that's a grand estate you've got there. Is that a croquet set on the lawn? Funny how you provided a link to the sale listing—the gallery shows you're very much into historical preservation and maintaining your...what, is it 8 acres of land? No, 8.7 acres? Well, perhaps one day before the $2.5 million sale you'll have guests to the cottage for a swim and a game of night tennis on the lighted court.
3. Villanova's Albermarle has big ideas (worth $25 million, it seems) about outdoors and indoor space and nature and interiority and...oh, who cares, the main thing is it has an aerial photo for you to use. It was an expensive lark, to hire a helicopter and a photographer to get the shot, but what the heck, right? You've got money to burn.
4. The Lippincott mansion was built for and home to a venerable American publishing family that brought works by Oscar Wilde and Harper Lee to the world. It was operated as a bed and breakfast for many years, demonstrating that it was so beautiful and conveniently located, people would pay for the honor of staying there. Now you live there, and this casual dining room is where you grab dinner.
5. You've been friends with Rafael Viñoly for years—or Rafa, as you call him. He originally built this Fort Washington estate for you, but you took pity on Advanta CEO Dennis Alter (he was homeless at the time) and passed on it so he could live there. Now you're home at last—in the cozy burrow of your 40,000 square feet and 70 acres. The kids are really into the playroom but you'll confess to sneaking down to the 4,000-bottle wine cellar at the end of a tough day and knocking some back in one of the farm houses. Rustic living at its best.