LRE® Blog

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October 13, 2008

Protect your privacy when selling your luxury home

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!  

October 9, 2008

New Cuba Gooding Jr. movie films at Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan estate

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.

October 9, 2008

Economic meltdown causes fear in East Bay real estate community

By Jim Walberg From his blog: Economic Meltdown Causes Fear In East Bay Real Estate Community! No matter how positive and resilient one is, we are in stormy economic times! However, opportunities abound in the midst of this economic hurricane! I was chatting with my friend, Bob Waun – president of Vacation Finance, which is headquartered in Michigan – about the financial meltdown going on in the credit markets and the stock markets. He asked if I was afraid for what is next for our real estate businesses in the Bay Area and the Caribbean. I told him, “Nah… we are still having the time of our life!” The mantra of a sailor is…, “Do not be fearful!” And, the definition of FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real! If you didn’t know, my favorite condition in sailing is with the gunnels (side rails on each side of the boat) in the water and salt water spraying all over me. You can’t imagine the big grin on my face while I am sailing in those conditions. However, it is not the time for the faint of heart if you are a sailor in stormy seas. It is the time when experience pays off. Both our Bay Area and Caribbean real estate businesses are thriving… however, it is taking all hands on deck to pull it off. We are blessed with a great team who only look at the glass half full, and are committed to creating a GREAT experience for our customers. Many of our competitors are running down to Starbucks talking about how the sky is falling. The vacuum they are leaving within our real estate community is amazing, and whoever fills that void today will have a larger market share when the market shifts again – which it will. In order to make it through these tough financial times we all need to work together, side by side, realizing storms don’t last forever. At the end of Bob’s and my conversation, he left me with these thoughts:

October 8, 2008

Costa Rica: A tropical paradise for luxury property buyers

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.

October 3, 2008

Ilya’s Photography offers amazing views of Cannes Yacht Show

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) or 425.883.2246 for all of your photography needs, including luxury homes, events, food and more.

October 2, 2008

HGTV and R. CHAYLA Immobilier team up for “House Hunters international”

By Benjamin Pradel From his blog: [TELEVISION 3] HGTV & R. CHAYLA Immobilier - "House Hunters international" Pie Town Productions est une importante société de production américaine basée à Los Angeles et à Chicago. Elle cumule aujourd’hui plus de 3200 émissions de télévision de tous les styles. Elle s’est tournée ces dernières années vers des émissions de décoration et de rénovation qui font fureur actuellement dans tous les pays anglophones et dont on commence à voir quelques exemples sur nos chaînes françaises. De leur série d’émissions House Hunters international (n°1 aux usa) diffusée sur la chaine américaine HGTV (Home and Garden Television) ils parcourent le monde à la recherche d’agents immobiliers spécialistes des transactions internationales. Cette émission au format Télé réalité, diffusée dans de nombreux pays anglophones (USA, Grande Bretagne, Canada, Australie, Nouvelle Zélande & Finlande), détaille les différentes étapes de l’acquisition de biens immobiliers par des clients étrangers. Pour les besoins de leurs émissions dynamiques à très forte audience, (91 millions de foyers rien que sur les USA), que vous pouvez revoir sur leur site internet ou sur celui de la société de production Pie Town TV (, ils filment des achats de biens immobiliers à Paris pour un appartement ayant vue sur la Tour Eiffel, ainsi qu’à São Paulo, Prague, en Jamaïque, Hollande, en Ecosse, aux Bahamas... et en passant par cet épisode qui vient de se tourner au sein de notre agence de Limoux.

September 30, 2008

Mexican luxury real estate leaps forward with Las Villas De Mexico

By Las Villas de Mexico Las Villas de Mexico, a newly announced collection of luxury resorts spread across Mexico’s top tourist locations, is sponsoring the 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference, which will be hosted in Philadelphia on October 11-14, 2008 at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia. Planners of Las Villas de Mexico are currently building 1,000 luxury properties in four locations: Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Subsequent phases are expected to include other Mexican destinations such as San Miguel de Allende. The first pre-construction purchase opportunities are scheduled to be offered in the first week of December 2008. “We have created a whole-ownership concept that is altogether different from anything else on the marketplace,” said Brett Sawyer, director of international sales at Las Villas de Mexico. “By purchasing a Las Villas de Mexico home, owners become part of a greater community of multiple locations throughout Mexico, all of them dedicated to the very best luxury experience, from world-class golf and spas to stunning beaches.”

September 25, 2008

Credit lenders suffering from withdrawal

By Robert Lockard I am sorry to keep talking about sad things in my luxury real estate blog entries, but I just read an article in CNN entitled “Ex-bankers on pushing customers to rack up debt” and it once again brought up many familiar concerns to my mind on the topic of consumer debt. I wish that I could talk about happy topics. I would much prefer to discuss luxury properties or any other topic, including how getting adequate sleep can lead to more success, but, alas, I feel it much more pressing to focus on the problems upon us. I am absolutely disgusted by the state of our financial markets. It seems to me that dishonesty is rampant and the very people who are responsible for this mess are asking for a great deal of money to supposedly solve the problem. But I care about people much more than institutions. And, based upon the testimony of the two honest women in the CNN article, who both have good consciences, I see little difference between the practices of certain banks and lenders and the practices of drug pushers. Many lenders trick people into taking more money than they need, they strive to get young people addicted and they keep people in a state of dependency for extended periods of time. All of that adds up to trouble. Debt is a plague that, when handled unwisely, can lead to all sorts of problems that I think are even worse than the horrible effects of drug abuse. People can at least stop taking drugs and eventually go through a process of withdrawal and recovery. But with debt, even if a person stops going into more debt, they still have interest building up on the money they owe and they face all sorts of roadblocks on the way to recovery.

September 24, 2008

Decorati designer feature: Robert Passal, style infusion

By Donna Sapolin From her magazine article: Decorati Designer Feature: Robert Passal, Style Infusion Welcome to a designer feature by Decorati, the online resource for high-end interior design. In this post, we are featuring New York-based interior designer Robert Passal, who has transformed this 2,200-square-foot apartment on Manhattan’s tony upper eastside. See below for some tips that you can use for staging your next home. His mission: to diffuse the banality of new construction by administering a healthy dose of visual intrigue to heartily lived-in, white-box rooms devoid of interior architecture. Designed for a couple with two infants, his furnishings plan shuns the sort of precious, hands-off quality that some elegant schemes engender and, instead, welcomes the thrills and spills of everyday life with wear-resistant surfaces and a few colors that politely refuse to show the (sometimes grubby) touch of human hands. Passal’s design concept focused on the creation of dimension and interest through geometry and texture.

September 23, 2008

The Russians are coming to the U.K. luxury market

By Jason Leach From his blog: What’s the market doing? And the Russians ARE coming There are a lot of mixed signals out there and different people have different angles on the French property market at the moment. The Brits are still buying, but not in the numbers that they used to. But then again July and August are generally quiet months for the Brits to buy. On the other hand, there is still, and increasingly more so, lots more interest from the Dutch, German, Belgian, Swiss and Scandanavian countries, but more than ever it’s the French. France hasn’t really been affected by the credit crunch due to the fiscal regulations that exist. We did see some small protests when the fuel prices were increased but even that’s come down again now to a more reasonable level.
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