Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
In the Sunshine State we need to be in bathing suit shape all year long. The best step to get back into those incredible habits is to get a personal trainer…but not just any trainer.
The Taranto Team and world-renowned personal trainer Nick Smith have teamed up. For a limited time on Sundays in April at 3255 Rum Row in Port Royal, Nick will be conducting health evaluations, preparing juice drinks and providing samples of his protein drink—all free of course!
The Taranto Team cares (a lot!) about their clients’ health. To prove it, when you buy a home with the Taranto Team, your first 24 VIP training sessions with Nick Smith are INCLUDED! These sessions would normally retail for several thousand dollars. With Team Taranto, twenty four high caliber, custom, one-on-one sessions are INCLUDED!
Nick Smith is the former Mr. Universe 1992 and has trained dozens of celebrities. Nick’s philosophy on health is all encompassing and considers every aspect of life including: physical, emotional, professional and environmental components. Nick’s philosophy is reflected in his products and customer service. Quality of life and health for the customer is top priority to Nick.
You are invited to check out this magnificent home, learn more about Team Taranto … and get healthier and happier. Grab your health … after all, it’s yours!
When: Through the end of April, EVERY Sunday, 1pm-4pm
Where: 3255 Rum Row in Port Royal
For more information please contact Lauren Taranto at: 239-572-3078 or by email at: email@example.com.
Courtesy of Michel Cruz, Rimontgo Real Estate
The luxury sector is booming. Why? Because in addition to a solid traditional base in the developed economies of Western Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan there is now also a veritable explosion in the numbers of people from emerging markets who are euphemistically called ‘emerging classes’, but might more accurately be referred to as the New Rich.
Though just a tiny demographic within their home countries, they tend to come from countries with such large populations that their sudden growth in real terms over the past ten years has been phenomenal. Hailing from countries such as China, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico and Russia, they have swelled the ranks of the world’s wealthy significantly within a very short space of time.
New spending power
Each region naturally brings its own cultural background and consumer characteristics to the table, but one thing that all these people have in common is a hunger for luxury, both in the tangible and the symbolic sense of the word. Money provides access to travel, information, refinement, luxury goods and services, and the ability to mix in circles that could be described as an international elite.
While the majority of these new industrialists, technocrats, innovators, entrepreneurs and socialites do not come from the heartland of Europe, this is very much the region at the heart of their attention, as it is above all European luxury and tradition that they seek in the form of the continent’s many luxury brands and products ranging from jewellery, fashion and cosmetics to cars, watches and yachts.
Europe’s unique position in this field is based upon a rich cultural tradition that dates back to the times of kings and aristocrats, and the exquisite works created for them by the finest craftsmen. The latter form the foundation of many of the legendary brands that everybody wants to have a piece of – and which are driving the current boom in the luxury sector.
Naturally Asia and North America also have rich traditions of craftsmanship and quality products, but somehow Europe’s history has endowed it with an iconography that is not only hard to emulate but also very highly desired because it is the very embodiment of what people the world over continue to regard as ‘luxury’. For this reason, those who have ‘arrived’ waste no time in acquiring their share of it.
Implications for European real estate
Though there is a natural time lag between spending on European luxury brands and real estate on the continent, the desire to acquire signature properties in Europe is the ultimate culmination of the same process. After building up private, residential and commercial residential property portfolios within their own regions many of the new wealthy people invariably turn their focus on classic locations in Europe and the USA.
The most famous of these are naturally New York, Paris, London and Monaco – and they continue to top most wish lists – but more and more people are spreading their horizons to also include the likes of Florida, California, Hawaii, the Caribbean and also iconic locations across Europe. In this, Europe’s rich cultural and geographical diversity within a relatively compact area once again puts it in a unique position.
In addition to city pads in Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna and Rome there are the country estates of France, England and Switzerland, historical properties and wineries in Italy and Spain, and of course the classic Riviera appeal of the Mediterranean, in such places as the Côte d’Azur, Sardinia, Portofino, Mallorca and the luxury Spanish coastal resorts on the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol.
It is these areas, but also other parts of Europe, that affluent and increasingly well-informed buyers from regions across the globe take a keen interest in, opening up a highly diverse but ever more important new market especially in the luxury segments. Where good air links, communication facilities, security and services meet spots of exclusivity married to cultural refinement and/or natural beauty, demand is at a premium.
European uniqueness as a prime commodity
Though price is often not a primary consideration, value and prestige are. Apart from England, France and Switzerland, the main geographical emphasis of this real estate demand is along the Mediterranean coastlines of Italy, France and Spain, with regions such as Valencia and Jávea experiencing a surge in interest from especially Russian and Chinese buyers, along with a very steady level of demand from Northern Europe.
Rimontgó’s clients in this field are usually successful businesspeople who wish to spend part of the year in a safe, warm environment with good services, exclusivity and a very high quality of life. The fact that the rest of Europe is seldom more than two hours away is another key element in this formula, as is a broad choice of exclusive properties and residential areas.
Asian, Russian and South American clients tend to purchase a home for their own use, but always as a sound investment, and quite frequently they widen the playing field by also investing in commercial properties with a certain prestige, such as wineries, resort hotels, land and also prime offices and retail outlets. In all of this a sense of uniqueness simply adds value to the very special position that European luxury currently holds.
Courtesy of Elyse Schneiderman of Leibowitz Realty Group
Lots of great news for those in Palm Beach Gardens. Home sales are up in this part of the county. Buyers have returned. The Palm Beach Post and other real estate magazines claim that home prices have stabilized. Nobody can say that the prices will be higher in a few years, but I do not feel they will be lower. Rentals are very scarce, and the rental market seems to be doing quite well. Also, there are new homes being built again. Mirasol is built out and there will be no new homes to choose from in this area if a buyer wants a country club, except at Old Palm.
Boat sales are the highest that they have been in 10 years after hitting record lows. Boat sales, translated, means more disposable income. Shopping centers are finding new tenants. In the LA Fitness Plaza at PGA National (where the old Walgreens used to be) a Health Food and Grocery Store has leased the space that has been empty for a few years. Next door a new restaurant, Brooklyn Water Pizza and Pasta has taken over several spots. They are a relative of Brooklyn Water Bagel which is also booming with customers in Palm Beach Gardens and other new locations. Downtown at the Gardens is busier than the new owners projected. The attractions geared towards children have been a huge success and filling all the restaurants (because of the average prices and family geared eating).
Restaurants are busy, demonstrating that people are eating out again, and the economy in Florida is growing.
The two magnet high schools in Palm Beach County, Suncoast and Dreyfus School of the Arts were rated in the top 50 high schools Nationally (Suncoast #14). The new JCC to be located on Hood Road will be completed in a year and will offer more events to the community. The live telecast events that they sponsored through the 92nd Street Y were hugely attended. I attended their “evening with Madeline Albright” and found it amazingly interesting. I was also told the interview with Sandra Day O'Connor was fabulous, too. Take advantage of all the things going on around us.
CONTRACTS SINCE JANUARY 1, 2012
The numbers below demonstrate that buyers are back and sales are remarkably different than the past couple of seasons:
· BallenIsles - 29 sales, 12 under contract
· Mirasol and Mirabella - 36 sales, 50 under contract
· PGA - 107 sales - 52 under contract
· Admirals Cove - 24 sales - 9 under contract
· Frenchman's Creek - 12 sales 3 under contract
· Old Palm - is booming. The luxury buyers are back. The maximum for this community is 310 homes. As of two weeks ago they had sold 160 homes, most in the past year. There are now 29 children living in Old Palm. Old Palm is unique in that it really has people of all ages; and if you want to be catered to, it is the place to go. Edmund James Hair Salon has opened another location in Old Palm for their residents. Old Palm is very private and intimate, with touches that larger clubs cannot offer their members. The starting range at Old Palm is about $1,300,000 and goes up to $10,000,000. Many of their expensive 1 acre lots are already sold.
As I have repeatedly said, there is something for everyone in this area, ranging from as little as $150,000, in PGA or Ibis, to the very expensive.
PGA is booming again, too. I listed and sold a small home in less than a week. If a home is priced to sell, it sells. For those who might be interested in PGA, I need to warn of one issue if you join their club (which is a wonderful club for the price), but it now seems almost impossible to get any return of your membership money if you leave. I have several clients who bought homes years ago and were told they would have their membership deposit returned when they sold. (I, myself, lived in PGA and had my initiation fee returned nine months after we sold in 1999). Today, however, they are not returning the money, but PGA still remains a very nice place to live.
New Activity for kids:
The Black Sparrow Pirate Ship, just written about in the Palm Beach Post, is a boat ride around Peanut Island (with Pirates, Treasure Hunts, Face Painting and various other activities for kids). It is a 75 minute boat ride - three times a day.
The JCC will relocate to a new facility on Hood Road, and the new location will open its doors for the public (activities, bridge, lectures, events, etc, etc, for all age groups) in one year. The Pre-School will likewise move to Hood Road.
The Meyer Academy (first grade through eighth grade), presently located in West Palm Beach, will be moving to the new JCC grounds on Hood Road one year after the new JCC opens.
Courtesy of Windsor
Vero Beach, FL (May 14, 2012) The Gallery at Windsor is pleased to present Christo & Jeanne-Claude, A Visual Study. On view will be original preparatory works by Christo (Javacheff) and Jeanne-Claude (de Guillebon), husband and wife artists who together created environmental artworks in urban and rural sites around the world. The study derived from the Weston Collection at Windsor, Vero Beach, bridges the gap between the artists and their projects, offering an account of the creative process involving some of the monumental projects undertaken between 1971 and 1998.
Christo, originally from Bulgaria and Jeanne-Claude, originally from Morocco of a French military family, seemed destined to live and create together, as they were born on the same day in 1935. Christo studied art in Sofia and in Prague. Jeanne-Claude studied Latin and philosophy in Tunis. They met in Paris in 1958 and went on to create an impressive body of large scale, deliberately temporary works together.
Throughout their 51-year relationship, they paid all expenses associated with their artworks, including planning, construction, and de-construction, partly from the sale of Christo's preliminary drawings, early works from the 1950's and 1960's, and lithographs. They accepted no contributions, grants or other financial assistance, preferring to make their decisions separate from any potential influence of financial backers. Their works involved years of planning, meetings and hearings held by governments and communities for approval of their projects.
The collection is available for viewing by appointment from May 15 through the end of July, 2012.
Christo and Jeanne Claude, A Visual Study
Dates: May 15, 2012 – July 31, 2012
Venue: The Gallery at Windsor, 3125 Windsor Boulevard, Vero Beach Florida, 32963
Visiting Times: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM by appointment
Entry: Visitors to contact 772 388 4071 to arrange their visit or firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 2002, The Gallery at Windsor is an independent art space. The Gallery, which is home to important works from the George Weston Collection, invites curators to respond to the space with museum quality shows of contemporary paintings, works on paper and photography. The Gallery has exhibited works by leading contemporary artists including Peter Doig, Bruce Weber and Nan Bush, Ed Ruscha, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Alex Katz, Tony Scherman, and most recently Beatriz Milhazes, the first exhibition in the Gallery’s curatorial partnership with the Whitechapel Gallery in London.
Windsor (www.windsorflorida.com) is a private residential community spanning 416 acres of lush barrier island between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean in Vero Beach, Florida. Established in 1989 by Hilary and W. Galen Weston of Toronto, Canada, Windsor was designed by renowned town planners Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk following the New Urbanism principles of urban design.
Courtesy of Leibowitz Realty Group
Why has the exclusive Bear’s Club community in Jupiter, FL become such a hot address for golfers—particularly pro-golfers? It used to be that Orlando was where the pro golfers flocked to, but now our own Jupiter, FL area is quickly gaining ground. According to Brian Wacker at PGATOUR.COM, "…Woods, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Camilo Villegas and Steve Marino [are] among the dozens of current PGA TOUR players now calling the area home (not to mention several more part-time residents such as Luke Donald or those from the Nationwide and Champions Tours and LPGA)."
Noted in Wacker's article at PGATOUR.COM, "The opportunity to practice 52 weeks a year appealed to Greg Norman. Orlando meanwhile, can get frosty in the winter months. Other states such as Arizona and Nevada -- two smaller player hotbeds that, like Florida, don't have a state income tax -- can be chilly and even get occasional snow or ice."
Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, Florida have been known for their luxury country club communities such as Frenchman's Creek Beach & Country Club, Mirasol Country Club, Old Palm Golf Club, BallenIsles Country Club, Frenchman's Reserve Country Club, Admirals Cove, and many more. Now, more than ever, Bear’s Club in Jupiter has lately been attracting pro golfers as the perfect enclave for the true golf enthusiast and for its exclusivity and secluded atmosphere (even though it's only minutes from beaches, restaurants, shopping & culture). Designed by Jack Nicklaus, and noted on the Nicklaus Design website, "Jack spent years searching for the perfect site to bring his dream to reality. The Bear's Club is the realization of Jack's decades-old vision of creating a golf club in his own South Florida backyard that reflects his passion for the game. The Bear's Club is not intended to be a tournament golf course, but is instead a premier private club. And perhaps Jack's legacy."
In addition to the onsite real estate office at Bear’s Club, a select few outside luxury real estate firms have procured sales in this exclusive neighborhood including the 20 year old, family owned and operated luxury real estate firm Leibowitz Realty Group. Owners /Brokers Michael and Andrew Leibowitz of Leibowitz Realty Group attribute their success in Bear’s Club & surrounding country club communities in Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens, FL due in part to their high level worldwide marketing, but mostly because of their close knit influential network of country club buyers and sellers with whom they have formed relationships (both business & personal) over the years. Because of their niche in the country club market, they have been leading sales cumulatively in the above communities for years. Last year Leibowitz Realty Group was responsible for marketing and ultimately selling one of their exclusive listings in Bear’s Club to a professional golfer's family for $3.85 million on June 17 and more recently, on March 14, 2012, Leibowitz Realty Group closed on a property in Bear’s Club for $3.1 million.
Michael and Andrew Leibowitz of Leibowitz Realty Group are most excited about their newest spectacular home in Bear’s Club at 144 Bears Club Drive available for sale at $12,900,000. It can be seen on Leibowitz Realty Group's premier website at www.leibowitzrealty.com. This breathtaking estate presents 11,741 square feet of exquisite Balinesian inspired living space and overlooks the 13th hole of Bear’s Club's spectacular course with additional breathtaking lake views. This estate is truly one of a kind and coupled with the outstanding golf club in which it resides, it is the perfect home for any pro or amateur golfer who desires the ultimate golf and residential existence. To preview or discuss more details regarding this incredible home or Bear’s Club itself and its membership, please contact Michael or Andrew Leibowitz of Leibowitz Realty Group directly at 561-262-0721 or 561-262-0722.
Diana Bull, Broker Associate with Sterling Properties attended the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2012 Issues Conference in Miami, Florida. The focus of the Issues Conference was to plan NAR’s strategic and political direction for the upcoming year.
According to Diana Bull, a veteran NAR Director for over 26 years, “The National Association of REALTORS® is working hard to protect the American Dream of home ownership. This means making our voices heard by government leaders, policymakers and Congress as they enact laws and write regulations that impact the real estate industry.
Specifically, NAR will be focused on protecting the Mortgage Interest Deduction, extending the Mortgage Debt Cancellation Relief for homeowners in trouble, preserving the capital gains exclusion on the sale of residences, and maintaining the property tax deduction for homeowners.
Our goal is to strengthen housing and real estate investment and ensure that the dream of home ownership is available now and for future generations.”
Diana Bull was President of the California Association of REALTORS® (CAR) in 1999 and served as CAR’s first female Treasurer in 1996 and 1997. She has served on NAR’s Executive Committee, as a Regional Vice President, on numerous NAR committees, including service on NAR’s Finance Committee which manages the assets of the organization. Diana Bull is currently NAR’s Chairman for Risk Management.
In 2011, Diana Bull was named REALTOR Emeritus by the National Association of REALTORS® and, in 2010, became a member of NAR’s Hall of Fame.
In addition to her REALTOR commitments, Diana Bull is the 2012 President of the Santa Barbara chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She has been active with NAWBO in the Public Policy arena and lobbying on issues which affect women business owners.
Diana Bull can be reached at email@example.com.
Courtesy of Michael Edlund, Director of Technology at Luxury Real Estate
Here at Luxury Real Estate, we are constantly updating our website to make it more useful for you, our members. We like to hear what features you like and could use, so due to popular member feedback, we recently added new functionality in the Luxury Lounge.
Each second home market has feeder markets—the areas that buyers most often come from. For example, Seattle is a feeder market for second homes in Idaho. It's of great value for brokers in a market to network well with brokers from their feeder markets so that they can pass referrals to people they know and trust. Previously as an agent in the Luxury Lounge, you could only display your particular service areas, but you can also now add your Feeder Markets. If you’re an agent in Hawaii, you may wish to add Seattle as one of your feeder markets—or if you’re in Brazil, Florida may be a lucrative feeder market for you.
When you log into the Luxury Lounge, click on the blue “My Lounge” button in the top right hand corner. Then click “Profile” to edit your personal profile. From this page, you will notice a horizontal line of tabs, one of which says “Feeder Markets”. We’d like you to be among the first to take advantage of this new tool in the Luxury Lounge—so go ahead, fill it out. I’ll wait.
Done? Good. Very soon, we will make it possible to match service areas and feeder markets between different members and suggest who you ought to network with based on this information. We are excited for the new business opportunities within the LRE® network this will enable!
So please, keep trying out all the features in the Luxury Lounge, and as always, let us know what you think—we are here to work for you!
“Inkubus” an R rated horror film starring Robert Englund (Freddy Kruger) comes to Sanibel’s Island Cinema for three nights only: Oct. 29-31. Island Cinema is located in the Bailey’s Center at the intersection of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road. Showings are at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. Inkubus tells the story of a skeleton crew working the final shift at a soon to be demolished police station. As you might expect when Inkubus shows up, the real demolition begins.
Mr. Chad Verdi, who owns the production company for “Inkubus” is the owner and part time resident of a home on Captiva. He is the movie’s producer and appears as one of the characters. Mr. Verdi decided to limit the release of “Inkubus” to communities where he has a personal tie. Island Cinema was selected because of his ties to Sanibel and Captiva. Mr. Verdi & Island Cinema are donating all proceeds to Captiva Holiday Village. Don’t miss your chance to see Robert Englund in a limited release film sure to become a horror cult classic. For additional information go to Island Cinema’s Facebook page or call 239-472-1701.
For additional information on Chad Verdi’s ties to the local community or to learn what other cities this film is being released contact:
Tiffany Orsino @ 239-340-99607.
Saint Petersburg, FL– With demand for social networking, SEO, design, content creation and website construction services on the rise for small businesses and professionals, it is with great pleasure that Real Sparks LLC announces the launch of their West Coast Division. Under the direction of Sonya Winterhalder, the company is now poised to bring a wealth of professional and marketing services to companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
Sonya comes to Real Sparks with a history of media management, marketing and sales experience. Originally from Eastern Washington state, Sonya graduated from Western Washington University and attended Graduate School at Seattle University. Most recently operating as the Real Estate Sales Manager for the San Francisco Examiner, her professional background also includes periods at Hartle Media, California Home & Design Magazine, 7×7 Magazine, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate and a notable position as Director of Estates Marketing at Pacific Union International Real Estate, an exclusive affiliate of the Christie’s network.
“We are thrilled to have Sonya as part of our team,” says Matthew Haber, owner of Real Sparks LLC. “Sonya is a marketing and media expert with a tradition of providing over-the-top service for her clients. Her experience and personality blend perfectly with the philosophy behind Real Sparks.”
About Real Sparks LLC
Real Sparks LLC is a full service design, marketing and consulting agency based out of Saint Petersburg, Florida. Formed in 2011, Real Sparks LLC is founded on the principles of providing excellent service and accessible technology to businesses. Real Sparks personnel grew up during the dawn of the Internet and are experts in the fields of website construction, social networking strategy, search engine optimization, logo, brand and identity design, content creation and consulting. For more information, please visit: realsparks.net
While many bemoan the state of the property market, it is good to know that there are real estate companies that are recording good results. The success achieved may have been hard-fought, but it provides an encouraging sign that those who are willing to innovate and adapt – and are well-prepared in terms of marketing, organisational structure and the service they provide – can do well.
In terms of significant sales, i.e. the sale of so-called important properties, Inmobiliaria Rimontgó recorded four such transactions in its home market area in 2010. These included two luxurious villas in Jávea, along Spain’s scenic east coast, a large villa just off the city of Alicante, a little further south, and a grand property in the region of Elche.
But in addition to such ‘local’ transactions of note have come the fruits of the international cooperation that Rimontgó has worked so hard to develop, and which finds itself embodied in EREN (European Real Estate Network) and the other international organisations that the company belongs and contributes to.
Most notable among these are a luxury Vienna apartment bought by an American-based
couple that was being transferred to the Austrian capital. Working closely with its EREN partner in Vienna, Marshall Immobilien, Rimontgó succeeded in finding its transatlantic client a beautiful new home and concluding the multi-nation deal in an efficient and transparent manner.
· A record sale to a Danish citizen of an estate in Lugano listed at CHF30 million
· The close working relationship with its partners in New York was also emphasised in the purchase of an important apartment by a Venezuelan national
· When a Florida resident wanted to sell his property in the Oliva Nova Golf Course near Valencia, without having to travel to Europe. Powers of Attorney were issued on behalf of Rimontgó and the proceeds from the sale of the property to a Madrid family were wired to the seller, who was very pleased with the service received
It all proves that international cooperation between likeminded companies can produce excellent and mutually beneficial results. For Rimontgó, the good results of 2010 serve as further encouragement and reward for the hard work and dedication they have shown in pursuit of a clear and effective market strategy.
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