Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
The 9th edition of the Millionaire Fair (Miljonair Fair), held in Amsterdam between the 9th and the 13th of this month, has proved to be a total success, with a record number of visitors and sales. Over 53.000 people attended the exhibition of luxury items and the media turnout was also high: more that 400 Dutch and international television and radio stations, magazines, newspapers and internet sites broadcast news of the event as it took place.
Over 5 days, the RAI exhibition centre in Amsterdam became the home of luxury goods from exclusive international brands. The latest models of Mercedes, Jaguar, Mini, Land Rover and Jeep were on show for the visitors to experience first hand, along with many works of art, including paintings and sculptures with a limited production which are collector’s items. Boats and yachts, the latest hi-fi equipment by Bang and Olufsen, furniture and accessories, …, the list and choice of luxury products was endless.
Gassan Diamonds had the biggest stand: 850 square meters worth of very expensive jewellery and watches, by prestigious brands like Chopard, Cartier, Chanel, Omega, Tag Heuer, Rolex, Jaeger LeCoultre, Breitling and many many more.
In addition to the stands, the fair also provided top quality catering services with a Laurent Perrier champagne bar, an oyster bar and a wine bar amongst others. Fashion shows and live music followed one another throughout the day, providing entertainment for everyone.
Luxury Homes by VAPF, the Spanish real estate developer and builder affiliated to the Luxury Real Estate Network, was present at the event, within the Exclusive Properties section of the fair. The stand attracted the attention of many clients due to the image on the back wall of the stand showing one of the modern villa projects that Luxury Homes by VAPF has designed. The Hi-Tech villa designs are extremely popular with the Dutch market, as we had the chance to ascertain.
Next year will be the 10th anniversary for the Millionaire Fair in Amsterdam and the organization is already booking stands for the event, which will take place between the 8th and the 12th of December, 2011.
Courtesy of Michel Cruz of Rimontgo
To count on the international scene a city needs a certain...well, stature. Names such as New York, London, Paris and Rome speak for themselves, and are so famous that they promote not just a city but country too. In Spain cities such as Madrid and Barcelona enjoy that kind of status – and Valencia would very much like to join this elite group.
A centre of business, tourism and conferences, as well as cultural and sports events, Valencia has much to gain from such international recognition. While it has firmly cemented its status as the third largest city in Spain, both in terms of population and its contribution to the national economy, this Mediterranean port has sometimes struggled to be recognised on the international stage.
Putting yourself ‘on the map’
The likes of Seville and Granada long overshadowed Valencia in this regard, but thanks to a host of prestigious high profile events the metropolis of around one million people has been able to make its name resound to the farthest corners of the globe. The America’s Cup came to Valencia in 2007, while Formula One started using the city as a backdrop for the European Grand Prix in 2008. Both events ensure the international jet-set comes to town, along with TV audiences of several hundred million, but Valencia’s facilities also enable it to host Moto GP races, Champions League football, visiting orchestras and important European and global conferences and trade fairs.
Valencia’s international stature is now as high as it ever was, and the ‘brand’ is achieving international recognition as one of the places not to miss in Spain. In the wake of this has come the growth of cultural, sports, business and tourist traffic, as the city raised its corporate profile and established itself as a major Mediterranean centre. Visitors, whether here for business or pleasure, will perhaps be surprised to find this an elegant city with grand boulevards and stylish shopping districts, where the beautiful historic quarters balance the modern edge present in the avant-garde architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences.
This vast complex, designed by Valencian-born Santiago Calatrava, has helped to define the city just as the Eiffel Tower does Paris. Moreover, it has become the symbol of the dynamism and confidence that has elevated Valencia to its newfound status.
Posted by Courtney Jackson Mon, 26 Jul 2010
This prestigious award is given twice annually to the Luxury Real Estate member who has set an example for the real estate industry, displayed excellence throughout their career and is truly a legend.
Patricia Choi was born in Birmingham, Alabama and moved to Hawaii in 1975 to be an estate, tax and real estate paralegal with the law firm of Torkildson, Katz, Conahan & Loden. There she met her husband, Cedric Choi, who was an associate attorney and licensed real estate agent. In 1981 she started her "boutique" real estate firm, specializing in luxury real estate and commercial properties. During the 32 years that she has been involved in real estate sales, Patricia has achieved over One Billion in sales and has distinguished herself as a leader in regional, national and international real estate organizations.
Locally, she was the first recipient of the Aloha 'Aina Real Estate Award as the Realtor's Choice in 1998 for her service to the industry and clients, her professional and ethical conduct, her cooperative business approaches and extraordinary service to all in transactions. She was appointed by the Governor in 1999 to the Real Estate Commission of the State of Hawaii, to which she devoted part of her time as a public service until 2003. Patricia is also very active as a director and volunteer fund raiser for various charitable institutions such as the Kapiolani Hospital for Women & Children’s capital campaign committee and the Washington Place Foundation for the restoration of the Governor's mansion. Patricia has achieved the coveted designation of CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member), held by less than 10,000 of the 1,118,000 realtors in the nation and the international real estate designation of CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist). She has served on the National Association of Realtors International Operations Committee and received an award as the Outstanding International Reciprocal Director to Korea for 2000. Her outstanding performance as a luxury broker has led to her selection as a Board of Regents member for LuxuryRealEstate.com, an exclusive organization of over 800 of the world’s top brokers. In 2006, Patricia was nominated by her peers to be a member of the Board of Regents Executive Committee, which serves as a council and advocate for other Regents members and works to promote as well as expand the Regents program. Pat is also a member of the LuxuryRealEstate.com Billionaire’s Club, in recognition for her outstanding sales achievements. Additionally, Patricia is proud to be a founding member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a member of LuxuryPortfolio.com and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. With over $200,000,000 in sales in 2005, Patricia was ranked #3 of the Top 200 Brokers in the U.S. and recognized as one of the 35 Most Influential People in Luxury Real Estate. Hawaii Business Magazine's prestigious list of "Who's Who in Hawaii Real Estate" recognized Patricia for three successive years as the #1 Realtor in the State of Hawaii, and recently honored her as Oahu’s #1 Realtor for 2009. Patricia has also been honored as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Women in Real Estate" for 2008 by renown real estate trends expert and best selling author Stefan Swanepoel. Patricia has been the leader in luxury residential sales in Honolulu by dollar volume for the years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and into 2010.
Because of Jim Walberg’s focus on a global internet marketing strategy, we are serving Buyers from all over the world. The latest Buyer called from Greece last month.
We have a very focused internet marketing strategy for our San Francisco Bay Area and Caribbean real estate services. In addition, our participation as members of the exclusive Who’s Who In Luxury Real Estate allows us to have all of the properties we represent on LuxuryRealEstate.com - the worlds most viewed website for luxury real estate throughout the world. That one website receives between three to four million hits a month!
So, here is the rest of the story regarding the latest home that we sold in Blackhawk Country Club. You may recall I was in Paris last January speaking at the Luxury Real Estate’s international conference. Just before we left for Europe we received a phone call and immediately picked it up. It was from a man calling from Greece who had found us on the internet and he was looking for a single story home. We happened to have a single story listing in Blackhawk Country Club. ( The key to any of the inquiries from our internet listings is an immediate response. Most of the time we answer the call immediately when it comes in. )
Our new client calling from Greece let us know he wanted to purchase a home for his parents who lived in the East Bay, because he wanted them closer to his younger brother’s family who lived in San Ramon. At first we thought it was some type of a joke. But, as the subsequent conversations continued, he told us he was flying out on a Friday and wanted to complete the purchase by Sunday night. He did exactly as he said. We met him at the home, he previewed it, and he asked us to write up a purchase contract for it. Within just a few hours the transaction had been accepted by our Seller. It just closed escrow several weeks ago.
The added fun to this story is our Buyer was making this purchase without his parents knowing about it. Since it closed escrow, we arranged for new hardwood floors; travertine; bathrooms; window coverings, and interior painting. The Buyer even had ordered very item a home would need and had it shipped to the home; silverware, appliances, linens, towel, outdoor furniture, light fixtures, etc. Everything was prepared for a turn key move in by his parents.
He just flew in from Greece a few days ago in order to prepare the home for a “Welcome Home” party for his parents. He told his parents that he wanted them to join him at a friend’s home in Blackhawk to celebrate the birthday of their grandson. They still didn’t know the home was for them. They arrived, thinking that it was the home of their son’s friend and they brought presents for their grandson. After taking them on a tour of the spectacular home, and having some appetizers and wine, the son broke the news to them that the home was actually a gift to them. They were speechless, and there were lots of tears, and non-stop comments such as, “You should not have ever done such a thing for us.”
This was one of those magical moments that happen from time to time while we are serving the needs of our customers. And, it would have never happened if we didn’t have a laser focused global internet marketing program. Plus, always getting back to the people who contact as fast as possible. Contact me if you ever have questions or need assistance. Until next time…more good news to follow regarding how we are coming out of these challenging economic times…
By Christine Watson
From her blog: Hide Your Personals! Protecting your privacy when selling your home!
Putting your luxury home on the market poses two very personal concerns:
1. Invasion of privacy: that your personal life will be on show;
2. Theft: your personal effects are prey to any “prospective” buyers
De-clutter your property before placing it on the market: this is my first piece of advice for those vendors concerned with their privacy being publicised to the world.
To some it means removing everything from bench tops, cupboards and shelves and to others it means keeping the home clean, neat and tidy. But how do you protect your privacy and hide your personal items?
Your home generally depicts your personal life, showing your taste in furnishings, colours, art, antiques and family photographs. Is opening your home to the public an invasion of your privacy? Absolutely!
The experience of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes shows that people buy the home that “ticks most of the boxes”. When selling your home, you should take the distractions away so the buyer can concentrate solely on looking at your home.
Furthermore, we are not great advocates of open inspections in a troubled market and it is important to appreciate that household-contents insurance does not cover the loss of personal effects during a viewing of a property. Remove the opportunity for theft and protect yourself as if you were a celebrity like Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise or Hugh Jackman.
Selling your home can be stressful enough without the concern that someone is taking an interest in your personal life and possessions.
Marquette Turner Luxury Homes we will not allow anyone to view your home without showing their photo identification. If someone objects they are not respecting your home and are not serious about buying the property. Only a luxury agency can truly protect your privacy.
Christine Watson is a Director of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, a member of Luxury Real Estate in East Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Founded on Australia Day 2007 by Michael Marquette and Simon Turner, Marquette Turner is a property consultancy company covering the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. Along with Marquette and Turner, now we have a new blogger providing excellent content for the Luxury Real Estate Blog. Wonderful! Thank you very much for the excellent advice, Christine. Don’t forget that both sellers and real-estate agents are at risk at open houses, so it’s best to be as safe as possible. The photo above is from www.flickr.com/photos/jef/1526987585 and it is the copyright of Jef Poskanzer.
By Serge Cowan
Cyprus offers a superb tax system whereby foreign pensions will only ever be taxed at 5 percent – maximum. “This is exceptional,” says Serge Cowan, MD at Unique Living, specialist property agents offering supreme luxury and lifestyle homes around the world including luxury homes for sale in Limassol.
“When looking for a retirement home, one has to consider not just what the country has to offer but also where you stand financially. Cyprus must come high on people’s agenda because it has so many benefits”.
In some countries you could be paying tax in your home country on pension income of 40 percent or even higher, so the 5 percent is something that really needs to be taken into consideration when buying abroad.
Cyprus also has many other benefits: good year-round weather, low crime rate, you drive on the left, a cosmopolitan atmosphere, quality golf courses, European Union membership and superbly located at the east end of the Mediterranean, providing convenient access to the Middle East and Far East as well as Europe.
In addition, the Government of Southern Cyprus is making big strides to be a serious contender in the world of “movers and shakers.” Developments are increasingly for the luxury market, and soon to be released is a Marina Resort in Limassol. This is to include a manmade island for residential villas, plus there is rumoured to be a 5-star hotel and berths for 600 privately owned boats. All of which is to be in the heart of the old town of Limassol and its rapidly growing commercial and business centre.
“Southern Cyprus is rapidly changing and those who are astute can be part of this altering picture – one that is creating a supremely elegant and sophisticated island to appeal to discerning buyers from around the world. A shrewd buyer looking at the current market place will not be disappointed with Cyprus and in particular luxury real estate in Limassol,” concludes Serge.
Founded in 2002 by Serge Cowan and Sophie Hammond, Unique Living’s portfolio of luxury properties for sale includes new property developments, resale property, villas, townhouses, penthouses and apartments in prime locations around the world. Unique Living is headquartered in London and it is a member of Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate. Let’s see, in the past week or so we’ve received blog entries on Costa Rica, Mexico, the Caribbean, Australia, Vanuatu, France and now Cyprus. This is very exciting. Keep checking the Luxury Real Estate Blog for great information like this. Also, feel free to submit your own blog entries for consideration. The photo of the Limassol, Cyprus shoreline is from www.flickr.com/photos/mamchenkov/281322233 and it is the copyright of Leonid Mamchenkov.
By Todd Cutter
Breathtaking beaches, stunning rainforests teeming with wildlife, pristine waterfalls, lakes, and rivers, along with endless activities ranging from adrenaline-boosting eco-adventures to soothing relaxation in some of the worlds premier resorts are just a few of the reasons why Costa Rica has become a Mecca for vacationers, retirees and investors from the world over. Costa Rica’s stunning natural beauty and abundance of wildlife are matched only by the warmhearted and peace-loving people who call this paradise home.
The unique combination of tropical rainforests, stunning beaches, active volcanoes, world-class surfing, an array of adventure activities, some of the world's most breathtaking rivers, waterfalls, and other dazzling natural phenomenon have made Costa Rica an ideal location for travelers from all walks of life, looking to rediscover the natural wonders which inspire us all. In recent years, Costa Rica has also become increasingly well-known for its investment potential, stable democracy, inexpensive cost of living, first-class health-care system, and overall lifestyle it can offer the international community.
With an environment of enormous potential, Costa Rica has investors, retirees, as well as vacationers from all over the globe flocking to seize on the opportunities to own their own piece of this tropical paradise. Whether you are looking for a vacation getaway for you family, a rental property offering secure annual returns and appreciation, or the retirement spot of your dreams, Costa Rica offers the answer.
Finding a more complete destination is nearly impossible. To have such a spectacular natural backdrop, without sacrificing a peaceful and stable democracy, tremendous investment potential, a fantastic health care system, booming tourism, and an ever-expanding infrastructure makes Costa Rica a truly unique destination for investors, vacationers and retirees alike.
Todd Cutter is a real-estate agent with 2Costa Rica Real Estate, a member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate. Originally from Birmingham, Ala., Cutter came to Costa Rica in 1998 after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Spanish for International Business. Upon his arrival, he founded an online travel business. Although his travel business is still in operation today, he sold the business to dedicate all of his time and energy to 2Costa Rica Real Estate. He specializes in large development parcels, hotel development and marketing programs for developer partners. Another LuxuryRealEstate.com member has submitted content to the Luxury Real Estate Blog. This is wonderful. That’s a lot of praise for Costa Rica! I’ve been hearing quite a bit about great investments to be found in that beautiful country. Maybe that would be a good place to seek your new luxury home.
By Jim Walberg
From his blog: Caribbean Fractionals Expanding To Botany Bay Resort!
St. Thomas, USVI is the location, and the former Preserve At Botany Bay is the spot!
Caribbean fractionals continue to be THE real estate choice of thousands of Caribbean buyers. Last week David Burden – founder and CEO of Timbers Resorts – announced that the ultra-luxury resort located on the western tip of St. Thomas will be managed by the international hospitality management group – Jumeirah Group, which is a member of Dubai Holding. This announcement was made at the signing ceremony with Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman of Jumeirah (Remember my past article about the Virgin Islands fractional market?).
“We selected Jumeirah as the ideal hotel company to partner with at this unprecedented resort on the secluded western tip of St. Thomas,” remarked David Burden. “Based on their internationally renowned hotel experience in luxury service, they will be a perfect match for our discerning owners and resort guests.”
Jumeirah Botany Bay Resort is one of the true world-class luxury resorts which include mashed-potato sand beaches, private coves to explore, protected coral reefs and a nature conservancy, ultra-fine dining, a beach club as well as a Talise Wellness Spa.
Jumeirah Group will manage the five-star luxury hotel of 84 rooms, spread over nine tropical buildings in a very secluded setting on St. Thomas’ western shores. Scheduled to open in 2011, the 400-acre resort will also include 30 fractional residences, 30 whole-ownership villas and 20 grand estates. These full-service residences will be managed by Jumeirah Living, combining the luxury of a prestige hotel with all the privacy and comforts of your home away from home.
Jumeirah Group is also in the midst of ultra-luxury resort developments in Phuket, Shanghai, Argentina, Mallorca, London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Jordan, among others. “We are impressed by Timbers Resorts’ commitment to responsible development and the care with which they intend to develop this protected enclave,” said Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman of the Jumeirah Group. “With its secluded location in a tropical environment, the Jumeirah Botany Bay Resort will be true to our ‘STAY DIFFERENT’ promise.”
Timbers Resorts is a world-class developer that we have enjoyed working with in serving our client’s needs. The Timbers Collection is a group of small, private, luxury resort properties in the world’s most sought-after ski, golf, beach and scenic countryside locations. They include One Steamboat Place in Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Botany Bay Resort on St. Thomas in the USVI; Castello di Casole in Tuscany, Italy; The Rocks Luxury Residence Club in Scottsdale, Arizona; Esperanza Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; The Timbers Club in Snowmass, Colorado; and there latest is The Orchard at The Carneros Inn in Napa Valley.
For further information regarding Botany Bay Resort, or any other of the Jumeirah and Timbers Collection, contact me today! We are standing ready to serve any of your luxury real estate needs around the world! I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Jim Walberg is the co-Broker/Owner of The Bay Area Team, the most-successful team at Keller Williams Realty-Danville. He is also a member of the global Luxury Real Estate network. Jim is an exceptional blogger, as you can see by visiting his blogs, East Bay Real Estate and Caribbean Islands Realty, and reading his great blog entries like the one above. He is the master of fractionals and other luxury homes in the Bay Area and the Caribbean, and he always has a lot of great opportunities to share. Hmm… Botany Bay. You know what that reminds me of? Call me crazy, but Botany Bay brings to mind Khan Noonien Singh, the famous villain in one of my favorite films of all time, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. As Khan would say: Ah, Jim Walberg… my old friend. Do you know the proverb that says vacations are a dish best served warm? It is very warm and pleasant… in the Caribbean! Feel free to nerd out in the Comments section if you know what I’m talking about.
By Robert Lockard
Ilya Moshenskiy, the Principal Photographer of Ilya’s Photography, recently came home from an eventful trip to Cannes for the International Boat & Yacht Show. He arrived with a whole bunch of beautiful photos highlighting the celebration of luxurious watercraft of all shapes and sizes. Check out his collection of photos here:
Ilya is no stranger to covering big events with his keen eye for small details. Near the end of summer this year, he took time to photograph beautiful images at Seafair in Seattle. He has also been present at many Luxury Real Estate conferences, and he will be at the 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference on Oct. 11-14, 2008. He’s such a hard worker and we definitely appreciate all of his efforts here at Luxury Real Estate.
Enjoy some of his amazing work below. Be sure to contact him at Contact him at ilya (at) ilyaestate.com or 425.883.2246 for all of your photography needs, including luxury homes, events, food and more.
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of Luxury Real Estate's newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. All of the photos in this blog entry are the copyright of Ilya’s Photography.
By Michael Marquette
From his blog: Australia’s most expensive apartment SOLD in Potts Point
Potts Point in Sydney has achieved Australia’s record apartment price with a $20 million penthouse sale.
An undisclosed “prominent Sydney businessman” bought the apartment off-the-plan after the Sydney City Council approved the development on Monday.
The two-level penthouse, with views across Woolloomooloo Bay towards the central business district, Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, will have 530 square metres of internal space and 115 square metres of balcony.
The Wylde Street sale trumps an $18.2 million off-the-plan penthouse sale in East Melbourne and the $16.8 million Sydney record sale in Macquarie Street’s Bennelong block earlier this year.
The Ashington Group, chaired by mortgage broker Mark Bouris, bought the development site for $15.5 million last year, indicating it viewed Potts Point as one of the true urban villages of Sydney.
“The sale was a sign that buyers will act quickly for distinctive apartment product,” Ashington’s director, Craig Minahan, said yesterday.
The design by architects Tzannes Associates echoes the curved glazing and copper roofing in the neighbouring 1930s heritage-listed Wyldefel Gardens residential complex.
The nine apartments included in the development with the penthouse will have interiors by fashion designer Alex Perry.
Interestingly, the Australian newspaper incorrectly quoted the apartment as being in Point Piper, not Potts Point.
Michael Marquette is the co-Founder and Director of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, a member of Luxury Real Estate in East Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Founded on Australia Day 2007 by Marquette and Simon Turner, Marquette Turner is a property consultancy company covering the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. Marquette has a background in medicine and a large retail and wholesale business. Marquette and Turner just can’t stop providing excellent content like this for the Luxury Real Estate Blog. People are still interested in purchasing luxury properties for the right price. Keep looking for good news and you’re sure to find it.
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