LRE® Blog

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July 23, 2009

Now is The Time to Buy

By: Gail L. Krolick of Alpine Realty International I believe we all know this, but we now have to get the buyers off the fence. Housing Experts: Now Is a Perfect Time to Buy Don’t forget to remind potential buyers of something that is obvious to real estate professionals: Now is the time to buy, but that opportunity may be slipping away. For people who have a job and money, a dream house is within reach, writes Marc Roth, founder of Home Warranty of America and a columnist for BusinessWeek. He points out that mortgage rates remain low, prices are still at historic lows, and the government is offering incentives for first-time homebuyers. He also adds that the inventory of homes to buy is still large, but it is shrinking. According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the housing inventory peaked in November 2008 at an 11-month supply. At the end of May 2009, it had fallen to a 9.6-month supply. Roth says anyone who dallies will miss a good opportunity to buy a first home at a terrific price or go shopping for a move-up property that is a great buy.

October 15, 2008

Farewell... and thank you for your kind words

By Robert Lockard This is my last blog entry in this luxury real estate blog. After more than a year and a half of blogging, I'm afraid my time has come to an end. I'm about to move on to something new and scary, but I suppose change always involves some degree of fear and discomfort. I will no longer be the editor of the Luxury Real Estate Blog. Thank you very much, everyone who has taken the time to share their thoughts on this blog. I'm sorry if I wasn't able to respond to all of your comments, but I definitely read them all and tried to incorporate what I learned from them into future posts. I have grown a lot in the past year and a half and I think you can definitely see that by going back through my many blog entries and seeing me try to articulate my feelings and ideas.

October 15, 2008

REALTOR® report shows strength in Hawaii luxury real estate market

By Cedric Choi SEPTEMBER 2008 STATISTICS FOR SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCES – HONOLULU, HAWAII Honolulu Board of REALTORS’® Monthly Statistical Report for September 2008 (released October 1, 2008). Each month, the Honolulu Board of REALTORS® issues a statistical report analyzing residential real estate activity on the island of Oahu. In addition to the general island-wide statistics, following is information for select individual neighborhoods: Waialae/Kahala – See page 8 of Monthly Statistical Report The statistics for this month are significantly different from last month, it is amazing! Comparing September 2007 to September 2008, the median price for a home in 2008 was down 33.3% (the same comparison for August 2007 and August 2008 showed the median price was up 37.8%). For the year-to-date statistics for January through September of 2007 versus January through September 2008, the median price for the neighborhood was up 7%.

October 15, 2008

Some in East Bay real estate are on the slippery slide of FEAR!

By Jim Walberg From his blog: Some East Bay Real Estate Is On The Slippery Slide Of FEAR! Once you get on the Slipper Slide of Fear, it is difficult to get off! Please stay off that slippery slide! So, I picked up USA Today last Saturday on my flight to the Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference in Philadelphia where I was a presenter. The USA Today headline was, “FEAR is a slippery slide!” In some of my past comments I have used the sailor’s mantra, “Do not be fearful!” It still applies today, in spite of an almost 900-point recovery on the Dow Jones the past two days. Don’t forget… once you step on the “slippery slide” of fear, the momentum carries you away very quickly. The voice of experience, the voice of the local authority, and the voice of credibility can still prevail. And we are the ones that need to be that voice. I just completed a walk from the Philadelphia Ritz Carlton to Constitution Hall, the Liberty Bell, and other reminders of the work our founding fathers did on our behalf 230+ years ago. What an inspiring day! (You may recall this is the organization that is the acknowledged authority of luxury real estate! It was founded by John Brian Losh with a vision of connecting the best luxury brokers and agents in the world – 1,900 members from 65 countries.)

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

Cyprus: A perfect spot to retire and buy a luxury home

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.

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 6, 2008

Caribbean fractionals expanding to Botany Bay Resort!

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.”

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

Australia’s most expensive apartment sold in Potts Point

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.
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