Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
Courtesy of: Luxury Homes in Spain
A local chef from a town in the Alicante region of Spain is conquering New York without leaving his home town of Denia. The Michelin star's dishes are overstepping the borders to delight the most demanding palates. An article published in the “New York Daily News” chooses the Alicante chef Quique Dacosta as the best European chef according to a consumer interview. The results arise from a blog that the prestigious British gastronomical critic Jay Rayner and the famous chefs Tom Colicchio and Anthony Bourdai took part in, testing the opinion of the net users.
Dacosta's menus combine local produce with creativity, obtaining Mediterranean flavours, according to the New York press.
The Alicante chef leads the list, followed by other renowned Spanish chefs and these, in turn, are followed by French chefs.
Dacosta's restaurant, that bears his name (Quique Dacosta Restaurant), is located in the region of the North Costa Blanca, an area which is fast becoming a popular destination for luxury tourism and the construction of exclusive homes.
Courtesy of: Kirsty Bryson, Sales Executive Luxury Homes
The spectacular Yacht Festival & Summer Fair in Moscow will take place this week at the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow and the Spanish luxury developer, Luxury Homes by VAPF, will not be missing the opportunity to take part in this exclusive event.
This luxury exhibition of yachts, fast cars, exclusive real estate and designer jewellery commences on Thursday the 19th of July with an inaugural evening gala, progressing over the next 3 days and coming to a close on Sunday the 22nd of July. The Russian Department at Luxury Homes by VAPF have taken a 25sqm stand at the event which is invitation only.
For several years, the summer version of the Millionaire Fair has been a mandatory part of the secular calendar of Europe. The Yacht Festival & Summer Fair bring together the entire spectrum of the Russian luxury-industry, and involves a wide variety of manufacturers of products related luxurious lifestyle.
This year's program is rich as ever as, in addition to the traditional yacht exhibition in which the most famous world manufacturers of luxury-yachts will present their latest models, there will also be performances by leading jazz artists, a unique cooking-show by Igal Gorelik (Member of the Russian Guild of Chefs) and a Bike Day held by the world's most famous motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson.
The Spanish property group Grupo VAPF will be taking part in the 1st Spanish real estate fair to be held this coming weekend on the outskirts of Berlin in Germany. Specializing in properties on the Costa Blanca coast of Spain, where Grupo VAPF’s developments are located, the exhibition will also provide an introduction to the Spanish way of life, with wine tasting, flamenco dancing and “tapas”, typical Spanish taster dishes which include Spanish omelette and cured ham.
The event has been organized by ERES, the European Real Estate Service and is to be held at the magnificent Ribbeck Castle, starting at 10am on Saturday the 9th of April and lasting until 6pm on the Sunday evening, followed by a piano concerto by Antonio Soira to bring an end the event filled weekend.
Grupo VAPF will be presenting the new villa designs that have been produced by its in-house architect and the luxury villa projects marketed by the luxury division Luxury Homes by VAPF to the German prospective buyers, after interest in the Spanish property market from this Northern European country has risen considerably for the first time since the world crisis hit the nation.
For all of those living in the Northern hemisphere, the month of February is possibly the coldest of the year, with plenty of rain, snow and low temperatures. Well, just to make you a teeny bit envious, just take a look at the weather chart for the whole of Spain for the next 4 days: the whole country is in the sun, with daytime temperatures reaching as high as 20º Celsius on the Mediterranean coast.
This is not a freak weather pattern, however, because the Spanish White Coast or “Costa Blanca” is classified as enjoying a Mediterranean climate, with warm weather all year round and mild winters. The centre and North of the country aren’t as lucky as the East coast and the Southern area as the temperatures tend to be more pronounced at both ends: colder winters and hotter summers.
The Mediterranean coast is the number one tourist destination in the world in terms numbers of holidaymakers each year with the main advantage being the climate that can be enjoyed in this natural environment.
From a tourist and residential point of view, the Mediterranean climate, also referred to as Warm Climate with Dry Summers, offers added advantages over Humid Tropical and Subtropical climates.
The total amount of rainfall is far less, with more sunny days for enjoying the beaches and outdoor sports. The months with less rain coincide with the summer months. Fine weather is far more prevalent in Mediterranean areas, particularly in La Costa Blanca.
Alicante, in La Costa Blanca, enjoys a Mediterranean climate. The altitude, orography, distance to the sea and orientation are decisive factors in defining this climate, which allows us to enjoy warm weather all year round. The main centres of action are the polar front, which unloads masses of humid air, and the area of high pressure of the Azores, which dominate in summer.
The sea breeze marks a very regular rhythm from May to October. In this period, it has very moderate values, even calming down entirely at night in July and August.
La Costa Blanca enjoys exceptional weather with more than 2,800 hours of sun per year and an average annual temperature of approx. 18º C, making this microclimate perfect for all-year-round living, with winters that feel like spring or summer.
This climate is classified as one of the healthiest by the World Health Organisation, WHO, in its reports on healthy towns, cities and communities.
So, what are you waiting for to visit the area and improve your quality of life by buying a property on the Costa Blanca? Take a look at the luxury homes for sale in this area of Spain at www.luxuryhomesinspain.com and go for it!
Courtesy of Luxury Homes by VAPF
According to the well-known ‘A Place in the Sun’ magazine, Spain has once again come top as the favourite British destination for buying a holiday home, ahead of neighbouring France, Portugal, Italy, Florida, Turkey and other Mediterranean locations.
The results of the study carried out by the British publication, specialized in overseas properties, situate the Spanish coast as the most popular location for second homes, having carried out a worldwide research on the standards of living and the property options available in each country. Hundreds of the magazine’s readers and visitors to the exhibitions they organize have pointed out their reasons for purchasing their dream hideaway home in Spain and the survey also reveals the costs involved in buying and owning a house in this sunny country. The result is that Spain tops the chart of the best places to buy abroad in 2011, with all the right ingredients: a great transport network that makes travelling to and from Spain extremely easy, an extensive cultural offer, well-established infrastructure and, of course, the fundamentals, sun, sea and siesta!
France comes on the list as a close second, followed by the other European countries of Portugal and Italy. Florida has dropped to 5th position from 2010’s second place, then its back to the European continent to Turkey, in 6th place, Greece, in 7th, and the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 8th position. Finally, the 9th and 10th places are taken by two new entries, Malta (which officially is the most crowded country in Europe) and Egypt, with countless new developments bordering the Red Sea.
Don’t miss out on the trend of owning a luxury seaside villa in Spain and take a look at the kind of properties that you can enjoy in 2011’s ideal destination by logging on to the Luxury Homes by VAPF website, www.luxuryhomesinspain.com.
Courtesy of Kirsty Bryson of Luxury Homes by VAPF
The President of the Valencia Region of Spain, Mr. Francisco Camps, said that the launch of the new high speed railway this December, linking the Spanish capital Madrid to the coastal city of Valencia, and the construction of the Mediterranean Corridor will multiply wealth expectations and competitiveness in the tourism sector. Mr. Camps expressed these words during the presentation of the Global Strategic Plan of Tourism of Valencia for the next ten years, which will reach 27 million tourists.
Thanks to this new fast connection with the capital, Spain is soon to overtake France and have the longest high-speed rail network across Europe and rank third in the world, something likely to create jobs and boost the country’s profile as a place with great transport links and accessibility. The new service will mean that Spain will then have over 2,000 kilometres of rail track compared to France which has 1,900 kilometres of rail track. The new link to Valencia will make the journey from Madrid only 90 minutes long, down from the current time of four hours. President Camps also made reference to the diversification of tourism that has taken place in the Valencia Region, noting that "the sector has been able to look into other fields and different ways to continue growing strongly into the future."
Specifically, the President Camps stressed that, in addition to maintaining traditional European markets, the tourism industry has opened up new markets like Eastern Europe or North America.
Referring again to the high speed train, known as the AVE, Camps pointed out that this infrastructure also must eventually reach the cities of Castellón and Alicante creating the “Mediterranean Corridor ", because only this way will the high speed railway effectively reach the Valencia region, made up of 3 provinces, Castellón, Valencia and Alicante. The AVE is a further boost to the tourism situation in Valencia.
The celebration of the IGTM in Valencia will mark a before and after in golf tourism in the Valencia region of Spain.
The meeting, which will take place from the 15th to the 18th of November in Valencia, will attract around 500 professional buyers from the world of golf, some 600 exhibitors from 60 countries and about a hundred specialized media.
The Valencia Tourism Minister highlighted that the combination of the warm climate, the convenient and fast access to the area, a consolidated global offer of golf tourism and good value for money are the factors that have finally determined that the Valencia Region (which includes the provinces of Alicante, Valencia and Castellón) should host this event.
For the minister, "golf tourism golf has become a strategic segment that needs to be encouraged and promoted."
The Tourism Council is consequently conducting familiarization trips for tour operators, attending trade fairs related to golf and establishing partnership agreements to promote this sport with different organizations.
In short, golf tourism is a segment that corresponds to a demand for higher level of spending and a longer stay. Thus, "the average 900 euros that this type of tourist spends during his stay is three times higher than the traditional tourist".
Therefore, the minister concluded that "we will continue our commitment to promote this tourism segment that has grown so much over the last few years and is extremely important for tourism development on the whole, as it diversifies the tourism offer of the region therefore reducing the seasonal tourism.”
In particular, the Cumbre del Sol residential estate in the North of the Alicante province, where Luxury Homes by VAPF is developing exclusive villas with unbeatable sea views, is located within 5km of a golf course, enabling the residents of this prestigious estate to enjoy the sport right within a hop, skip and a jump from their homes.
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 Robert Lockard
I have some very fun news to share. A new TNT movie starring Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. is currently filming in the Detroit area, and part of the filming is being done at a waterfront luxury home on Windmill Point Drive in Grosse Pointe Park. This property is being represented by Higbie Maxon Agney, Inc. Realtors, a member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate and the Board of Regents.
Check out this wonderful story in the Grosse Pointe News that I received earlier this week. Sorry I don’t have a link to the story online. Apparently, that newspaper doesn’t post some of their stories on their Web site, but luckily I have a PDF version of the printed article.
The movie is called “Gifted Hands: The Story of Ben Carson” and it follows the life of Ben Carson, born into poor conditions, who was able to lift himself up and become a famed pediatric neurosurgeon. It’s scheduled to debut on TNT on Feb. 7, 2009. I love inspirational stories about good people triumphing over difficult circumstances. Actually, this discussion reminds of a blog entry that Jim Walberg, the co-Owner/Broker of The Bay Area Team, just wrote about not giving in to fear despite our difficult financial market.
The luxury property on Windmill Pointe Drive is quite remarkable. It includes near two acres of land, its own private dock and 12,000 square feet of living space for $7.3 million. If you’d like more information, you can contact Heather Adragna Ulku or check out this brochure on the property.
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. Feel free to share your good news like this with us, as well. I love reading and writing good stories for the Luxury Real Estate Blog. The photo of Cuba Gooding Jr. is from www.flickr.com/photos/rafamado/2635448556 and it is the copyright of Rafael Amado Deras.
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.
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