Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
WINTER PARK, FL— How would you like to watch the evening news, in the comfort of a living room, formally owned by one of Orlando's top news anchors? Well now's your chance!
WESH-TV anchor Martha Sugalski has recently entrusted Fannie Hillman + Associates with the sale of her gorgeous Wingfield Reserve home. This four bedroom, three bathroom home has brought years of enjoyment to Ms. Sugalski, her husband and children, but as recently announced, that family is rapidly growing. Ms. Sugalski expects to deliver triplets this summer so finding a bigger home locally has become a priority!
"For so many years this home has been my safe haven. Because of the intense exposure of my job, this community has provided much needed privacy to me and my family. Watching my children run around our large yard or watching a movie during a 'date night' with my husband in our theatre room are all happy memories I will take with me wherever we go." said Ms. Sugalski.
Wingfield Reserve is located in Lake Mary and offers a variety of features including tennis courts, private security patrols and A+ rated Lake Mary schools, all while being close to I-4, shopping, restaurants and bike trails.
For a private tour of Ms. Sugalski's home or for more information about the property, please contact Fannie Hillman Realtor Glad Messeroff at 407-497-0132.
About Fannie Hillman + Associates
A member of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, Fannie Hillman + Associates is listed in Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, Luxury Portfolio and Chicago-based RELOHomeSearch, a website run by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the world’s largest network of premier independent residential real estate firms representing 600 companies with 5,000 offices and 150,000 sales associates in more than 30 countries. Fannie Hillman+ Associates is located at 205 W. Fairbanks Avenue. For more information call 407-644-1234 or visit the company’s web site at fanniehillman.com.
Courtesy of Amy Plotkin of Surterre Properties®
Monarch Beach and Newport Beach residents were able to dispose of their old electronics and documents in a clean, green and efficient manner thanks to our recent Monarch Beach and Newport Beach eWaste and document shredding events.
Held at the South Shores Church parking lot in Dana Point on April 27, the Monarch Beach event collected approximately 2,550 pounds of electronic waste, and shredded approximately 2,975 pounds of confidential documents on-site. For this event, the Monarch Beach community’s commitment to ProShred’s environmentally conscious shredding and recycling service saved 14 trees.
The Newport Beach event, held at Surterre's headquarters a week later, did a tremendous amount of good for the environment as well, collecting approximately 4,893 pounds of electronic waste and shredding approximately 4,200 pounds of documents on-site, which saved 21 trees.
Betty Comegys, one of our distinguished real estate agents and leader of the Monarch Beach event reported, “We had about 67 cars come through the South Shores Church parking lot, with some of them stopping by twice to unload their eWaste and papers in a responsible manner. We’re thrilled to see the enthusiastic turnout we continue to experience at all of our eWaste events.”
A free service to the public held on a quarterly basis in four different areas of Orange County, our eWaste and document shredding drives offer you an easy opportunity to safely dispose of your unwanted electronics and papers.
If you haven’t had a chance to attend one of our eWaste and document shredding events yet, don’t miss our San Clemente drive at the San Clemente Presbyterian Church this Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Visit www.SPeWaste.com for more information about our upcoming events.
Courtesy of Summit Sotheby's International Realty
I read a really fun article in Forbes called “The Era of the $100 Million House” by Morgan Brennan. The article discusses the rise of $100 million homes for sale around the United States. Here are some qualities shared by these mega estates:
- Location- The home must be in an expensive zip code. Beverly Hills, Hillsborough, New York City, Miami, and Dallas all have listings in excess of $100 million.
- Size- The homes are typically larger than 10,000 square feet.
- Amenities- If you can conceive it, you can achieve it, given a large budget. These homes have amenities such as ballrooms, 50-seat home theaters, private nightclubs, spas, and tennis courts.
- Pedigree- Previous ownership by a famous person or if the home was the site of a famous event, is helpful.
We have a few such homes listed for sale right now in Park City. The Huntsman Estate, the Ski Magazine Dream home and the home of a very famous producer are all located in Deer Valley and available for under $50 million. Wow, what a deal!
Courtesy of Amy Plotkin of Surterre Properties
Buy In Bulk
When buying items that you use daily or in large quantities, consider buying in bulk; you will save money and packaging. Consider splitting bulk purchases with neighbors or friends to get that savings but not the full quantity of the purchase.
Find Recycled Items
Look for products that contain or are packaged with post-consumer recycled materials whenever possible.
Use CFL Light Bulbs
When your incandescent light bulbs stop working, replace them with the new, energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) CFLs use two-thirds less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and last 10 times longer.
Get Reusable Bags
When going to the store, consider bagging your own groceries in cloth, reusable bags. Many stores sell reusable bags and charge to provide plastic grocery bags. If you decide to use plastic bags, remember to recycle them. Thousands of locations are available across the country.
Regulate the Temperature
In the summer, raise your thermostat two degrees. In the winter, lower your thermostat two degrees. You probably won’t notice the difference, at least until your utility bill arrives.
So Fresh, So Clean Air
Open doors and windows to let the fresh air in; indoor air quality is often times worse than the air outside. Open doors and windows daily to circulate fresh air in and germs and smells out.
Adding insulation to prevent leaky ducts, walls, windows, and doors can improve your home’s energy draw by 20 to 30 percent. If totally redoing your insulation isn’t in your budget, try thermal shades, which block the sun in the summer and retain heat in the winter, or even something as low tech as a draft guard on your outside doors.
Compost Your Cup O’ Joe
Save your old coffee grinds and reuse them to fertilize indoor and outdoor plants.
Get a Home Energy Audit
Invest in an energy audit of your home. For minimal cost, you can get tips on where you could become more efficient.
Turn Off Water While Brushing Your Teeth
Turn off the tap while you brush those pearly whites. You’ll save up to eight gallons of water a day or 2,880 gallons a year. If everyone in the U.S. did this, we’d save 875 billion gallons of water a year.
Invest in Light Sensors
Installing light sensors in all your rooms means that when people leave, the lights go out, and you save energy and cash.
Buying locally produced meat, produce, and dairy products helps the environment in many ways, and also helps the local economy. Consider shopping at farmer’s markets or looking for foods labeled “locally grown” in specialty stores.
Replace Old Shower Heads
Your old shower head probably delivers a lot more water than you really need. Reduce that to two-and-one-half gallons a minute or less with today’s standard shower head – it can make a difference in your water bill.
Sign Up for Green Electricity
More than half of all electricity consumers in the U.S. now have the option of purchasing green power from their utility. Find out how you can buy it by visiting the Department of Energy’s state-by-state list of providers. You can also check with your own utility to see what’s available.
Already adapted to local conditions, native plants are easy to grow and maintain, generally requiring less fertilizer and water, as well as less effort to rein in pests.
Lease Solar Panels
Companies are now offering solar leasing programs that allow you to avoid thousands of dollars in installation costs, in exchange for sharing the cost-savings on your electric bill.
Without fail, I have the same conversation with every new Warburg agent after they have spent about a year in the business. They say to me, “I had no idea it would be so hard.” Well, I knew it would be hard! When I interview prospective hires, I try to warn them. Success in residential real estate requires a multi-faceted approach. A number of skill sets must be developed simultaneously. Nonetheless, newbies tend to project their own romantic notions onto the business: they will be earning six figures in no time; they will show fabulous properties and collect big checks. And all the while, they will be making their own schedule.
The reality they discover is substantially different. Despite our extensive internal training, there is still a very steep learning curve. New agents must get to know the inventory, which is extensive, diverse, and filled with subtle yet significant distinguishing characteristics. They must learn (and they can only learn by experience) the processes involved in shepherding a sale from its inception to its closing. Their first deal falls through. Their second deal falls through. Maybe they are fortunate enough to assist a senior broker, thus accelerating their experience and receiving some mentoring. And all the while they are trying to figure out how to generate a steady stream of their own clients and customers.
For all agents (and for everyone in sales everywhere) success at creating a pipeline of future business determines the arc of your career. Your skills, important as they are, are only meaningful if you have someone on whom to deploy them. Successfully developing your sphere of influence, and making that sphere work for you, are the critical elements to building a sales career. Like charm, if you have it, nothing else matters. And if you don’t have it, nothing else matters!
In every interview, I say to the eager person across the desk from me, “Everyone you know knows someone else in real estate. So why are they going to hire you?” Mostly I am met with a blank stare. But this is the crux of the matter. Who do you know, and how can they help you generate leads?
Here’s what I have learned about creating business: you have to ask for it. You have to overcome your feeling that it is crass, or embarrassing, or too aggressive. You have to cultivate people everywhere you go. You have to know the business well enough so that you can talk about it knowledgeably whenever it comes up (and in New York, it ALWAYS comes up.) You have to have cards with you at all times. You need a broad enough economic perspective so you can help prospective clients put their contemplated transaction into a larger financial and global context.
You have to accept that, more often than not, the people closest to you will break your heart. Your brother, or your stepmother, will buy through someone other than you. Your best friend will hire you, then complain about everything you do. I figured out early on that people in my second circle of influence, the friends of friends, the referrals I knew slightly, were going to be the ones whose recommendations built my business. And I stay in touch with everyone, because only when I am top of mind and putting myself regularly before them are they likely to remember me when the moment to make a purchase or sale arrives. Best of all, over the years many of them have become friends.
Real estate in New York State has a very low bar for entry. But there is a high bar for success, and many people don’t make it. It takes years of cultivation, of dedication, often of frustration. You do make your own schedule: often 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When it works, it’s the best job on earth. It’s no surprise to me that Forbes recently noted, based on interviewing thousands of Americans, that real estate agents are the happiest of any workers. As an agent, your fate is in your own hands. After 5 or 6 years, you have the skills in your fingertips – at a certain point, pricing and Board package prep and financial review becomes like muscle memory. But no matter what, you always have to be out in the world, meeting people, making connections. Till the day you retire you are always feeding the pipeline.
You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog.
Courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
This is from a recent article by Cheryl P. Rose, Homes correspondent from the Houston Chronicle
"An eclectic neighborhood with a strong preservationist penchant, Boulevard Oaks is a group of 21 subdivisions near Rice University. Many of the homes are on the Historic Register and designed by some of Houston's finest architects.
"Boulevard Oaks residents are people who really appreciate older homes and established neighborhoods," said Kathy Wetmore, who has lived in the area for 25 years and is a real estate agent with John Daugherty, Realtors. "Not everyone appreciates old homes, but we live here for a reason. We are about restoration, rather than teardown.""
Click Here for link to Houston Chronicle article
I grew up in Manhattan, and many of my early memories involve Central Park. We played every day in the Mother Goose playground (now a concert venue!) in the days when the playgrounds were nothing but concrete. We rode the carousel on Sundays, my brother and I nattily attired in wool coats bought by my mother in London. We posed by Balto, the sled dog whose statue rises on a little hill above the East 66th Street gate. And then, not too many years later, in the early 60s, there was the first time someone tried to steal our sled.
The history of the Park is the history of the city. In my lifetime, that history has been a wild ride to the extraordinarily beautiful conclusion we all enjoy today. It started as an idyllic environment, one to which we went every day as kids. This was in the 50s, when the city was safe and essentially law-abiding. Street crime was not familiar to us on the Upper East Side and our slice of Central Park felt as safe as the streets of our little village. The day of the attempted sled theft (my brother and I successfully fled) that all changed for me. Fear gradually became a reality associated with the Park, first after dark and then, increasingly, at any time. The grass and bushes died as money for their maintenance dried up. By the mid-70s, when bankruptcy loomed for the city, the Park was desiccated and grim, filled with roving bands of young thugs who were shaking down other kids and intimidating women. Real estate prices plummeted, and living near the Park seemed, for a time, like a questionable benefit. Apartments in the San Remo on 74th and Central Park West, which now sell for $12,000,000 or more, changed hands for $50,000.
The Park remained in this sad state for a decade or more. Crime was rampant everywhere in the city, but in the Park, where there were no lights at night and many hiding places, fewer people ventured. I remember in the 80s that the Great Lawn was a dust bowl, and no one with an ounce of sense ventured into the Ramble at any hour (well, some people did, but that is another story…)
And then, little by little, the Park came back to life. The public/private partnership of the Central Park Conservancy has been largely responsible for that (the Conservancy has been one of New York’s major success stories), but it also mirrors the rebirth of every other part of the city. At about the same time that one could once again park one’s car on the street without putting a sign in the window saying “No Radio” (and probably having the window broken anyway), at about the same time as every phone booth in our neighborhood ceased to be surrounded by a litter of crack vials, the Park came back to life. Reseeding, repaving, replanting – little by little over the past two and a half decades we New Yorkers have been given again the extraordinary landscape of this huge, unique oasis.
This past Sunday my wife, my grandson and I went to the zoo. Crowds of all ages joined us in enjoying a day outdoors in Central Park: the most democratic of all city entertainments. Daffodils and forsythia are everywhere in bloom. The grass is lush on the Great Lawn, which is ringed by flowering trees. The ponds are filled with ducks and geese and turtles; hawks soar overhead. Like me, the Park has matured. It is more sophisticated and diverse in its flora than at any time I can remember. As the city has shed its nimbus of crime, the Park too has shed its old skin and emerged reborn – the most important real estate in Manhattan and, most importantly, belonging to us all.
You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog.
Courtesy of Shane Aspen Real Estate
“You playing is the best argument I’ve ever heard for the existence of God, because I don’t really believe a human alone can do this,” the late Steve Jobs said about Grammy-winning cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, after he played for the computer industry icon in his Silicon Valley home.
Jobs and Ma met in Aspen in 1981 at the Aspen Design Conference and maintained a close relationship. Now the author of the Steve Jobs biography, Walter Isaacson, who is also the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, will be bringing Ma back to town as the 2013 Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence. The exclusive Artist in Residence Program which has featured art dignitaries such as Chuck Close and Julie Taymor, will bring Ma to the Aspen Ideas Festival in June where he will lead a session about arts and community mobilizations in the 21st century.
Ma is in perfect alignment with the programs goal this year of increasing citizen artist opportunitites to contribute to society. “As a musician, I’m trained to do two things at the same time: work toward a goal larger than myself and pay attention to the smallest possible detail,” Ma said in a press release. “I am delighted to join my good friend Damian Woetzel in catalyzing a national conversation about how artists practice citizenship, and can think of no better place to do that than the Aspen Ideas Festival.”
Courtesy of Beacham & Company, Realtors
Beacham & Company, Realtors is proud to celebrate its top agent of 2012, Janey Lowe, who was also among the top four agents in the city last year with nearly $33 million in sales. Janey’s performance was so prolific in fact that it set the company record for dollar volume sold by a single agent in the six-year history of Beacham & Company.
Dac Carver, Vice President and Managing Broker for Beacham & Company, said tracking Janey’s sales became the talk of the office toward the end of last year.
“We are very proud of Janey and fortunuate to have her at Beacham & Company,” Carver said. “She is not only a fantastic agent, but a smart businesswoman who understands and excels at all the things an agent has to do to be successful in this business.”
Last year was special for Janey not just because of her sales success but also due to her earning the prestigious Crystal Phoenix Award given by the Atlanta Board of Realtors to agents who have made the Multi-Million Dollar Club for 20 consecutive years. Only a handful of Realtors have achieved this honor in their career.
A native of Winnetka, Illinois, Janey had no idea what the future would hold when she graduated from Tulane and headed to Atlanta. She moved into Garden Hills, the Buckhead neighborhood that she still calls home today. She got her license in 1986, but real estate was in her blood from an early age.
“I’ve always loved homes. Growing up, my dad always took us to open houses. We moved a lot because he loved new construction. And I think the main reason we moved was because when the house got a little old and things started to break, he didn’t know how to fix anything, so we just moved,” explained Janey with a laugh.
Janey credits her success to the level of communication and attention to detail that she provides her clients. She genuinely loves the business and is living proof that if you do what you love, the rest will fall into place.
What does the Crystal Phoenix Award mean to you?
“It really means more that I have had a wonderful opportunity to make so many agent friends and client friends over those years. It’s very personal. And memorable. Every person I deal with, every agent I deal with is important to me. I am fortunate enough to have developed many friendships agent-wise and client-wise.”
Why did you choose to live in Garden Hills?
“I just love the neighborhood. It had the feel we wanted. We were looking for an in-town neighborhood that was friendly, vibrant and with charming older homes. The proximity to all that Buckhead has to offer, plus the neighborhood pool and park just made it all that more attractive. Garden Hills just felt like home. The architecture is very reminiscent of where I grew up.
What sparked your love for real estate?
“I used to pour over these books that my parents had that depicted these beautiful homes and their interiors. They showed all sorts of different types of homes from Tudor to Dutch Colonial. I would spend hours looking at these books - I just could not get enough! They had pictures of old beautiful homes like the homes on Cherokee, Habersham or Andrews and I just fell in love with each one.”
“In college, I majored in Art History but took as many architectural history courses as I could because that is what I loved. I took courses from Architecture in Ancient Rome to emerging architecture in Japan. I couldn’t be an architect because I can’t draw, so selling homes just seemed like a natural path for me.
How has real estate changed? What do you wish had stayed the same?
“Prior to the internet we presented all offers in person to the seller when we represented the buyer…… Now the offers are emailed and just the listing agent meets with the seller. There was more personal contact and residential real estate is very personal so meeting with the agent who brought the offer together with the sellers was invaluable. Email has make it more impersonal”.
Why did you choose Beacham & Company?
“I came from a very large real estate firm that has a local name but they are now owned by a company in Minneapolis. I wanted to be with a firm that was locally owned and that also had incredible marketing, was innovative and forward-thinking. Beacham & Company understands the Buckhead market which was also imperative.”
In her office, there is a shelf for awards that is quickly running out of space. To her, each one represents a memory for which she is grateful. She is looking forward to a bright and successful future with her growing team that now includes her daughter, Elise Baumann, son-in-law, Kyle Baumann, and fellow agent, Margaret Harman.
To contact Janey Lowe about buying or selling you home, please click here to email her.
Pleasanton, CA –The agents, managers and staff of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate, in partnership with the World Transformation Center (WTC), will host a Charity Poker Tournament on Friday, April 26 to benefit The Children’s Village of Sonoma County. The event is open to the public, and will be held at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant in Pleasant Hill.
A raffle will be held, and tickets are now on sale to the public. The lucky winner of the Grand Prize will receive one month’s paid mortgage, up to $5,000, donated by Land Home Financial. “We are happy to support this wonderful cause and hope that this donation will make a difference in someone’s life,” said Brad Waite, president, Land Home Financial.
This is the second annual Charity Poker Tournament hosted by Mason-McDuffie. In 2012, the company raised $75,000 for The Children’s Village. Kathy Ollerton, Director of Charities for Mason-McDuffie, looks forward to making another sizable donation to this worthwhile organization in 2013.
“This great charity establishes a stable, family-like setting for children in foster care, minimizing the upheaval and disruption of multiple placements, and providing the opportunity for siblings from all over the Bay Area to grow up together,” said Ollerton.
Tickets are $66 per person, and include dinner. Check-in and lessons begin at 5:30. The event is open to the public, and will be held at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, at 611 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill.
To purchase raffle tickets or event tickets to the Children’s Village Charity Poker Tournament, contact Jim.Georgantes@bhghome.com or (925) 586-1155. Raffle tickets pricing is: 1 for $20, 2 for $40, 3 for $50. The Grand Prize winner does not need to be present to win.
About the Children’s Village
The Mission of Children’s Village is to provide nurturing, stable family homes in a multi-generational, enriched environment for children and their siblings in foster care. Opened in 2006, The Village currently consists of four large houses serving 24 children, and six apartments for seniors who act as surrogate grandparents (the Village is currently seeking two additional seniors for this opportunity). “Village Parents” staff the homes and care for the children. The Village is located on a 2.2 acre site in Santa Rosa. www.thechildrensvillage.com
About Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate
Our heritage began with the founding of Mason-McDuffie Real Estate in 1887. In 2010, the company was named the 19th largest real estate services firm in the nation (REALTrends 500), and Number Two in the San Francisco East Bay (SF Business Times). The company provides comprehensive solutions to home buyers and sellers, and handled 6,500 transactions in 2012, generating $2.8 billion in sales volume. Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate includes joint ventures with partners Highland Partners in Piedmont and Montclair, Wine Country Group Realtors in the North Bay, and Tri-Valley Realty in Pleasanton-Hopyard and Ruby Hill, and Bahay Co. in Concord. Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate is locally owned and has more than 1,200 real estate professionals with 30 offices in eight counties in the Bay Area and the Tahoe/Truckee region. For more information, go to www.bhghome.com.
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