Luxury Real Estate Blog

East Bay real-estate community selflessly serves homeless veterans

Aug 20, 2008

By Jim Walberg From his blog: East Bay Real Estate Community Supports “Stand Down”! 2008 “Stand Down” serves 600 homeless veterans at the Alameda County Fairgrounds August 7th - 10th! Another example as to how your real-estate community and its service providers continue to give back to the needs of the Bay Area was demonstrated on Friday, Aug. 8 at 5:30 a.m. at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Members of the REALTORS® Marketing Association served breakfast to a “village” of war veterans. Every two years the Diablo Valley Vietnam Veterans Association arranges for an entire “tent city” to be set up in the East Bay so homeless veterans can be served. “Stand Down” is a term used during war to describe the practice of removing combat troops from the field and take care of their basic needs in a safe place. That is exactly what has been created for 600 homeless veterans this week. The RMA contracts Ruggie’s Restaurant in San Ramon to supply ALL the food they serve.

Ed McMahon and Donald Trump: Is this justice?

Aug 19, 2008

By Robert Lockard Nick Antonicello, Director of Sales for Unique Homes, pointed out an interesting story to me last week in the Los Angeles Times Blog. You might have already heard about it, but I just want to put in my two cents about the whole affair. Peter Viles, Senior Producer for Real Estate at, wrote in his blog entry that Donald Trump, possibly the best-known real-estate developer in the world, is seeking to buy Ed McMahon’s mansion to save him from foreclosure. In an even more bizarre turn of events, Mr. Trump now might be having some competition for buying Mr. McMahon’s luxury home. That’s according to a new blog post today by Ann Brenoff, author of the Los Angeles Times’ weekly “Hot Property” feature. As Mr. Spock would say, “Fascinating.”

Luxury homes better off avoiding auctions

Aug 19, 2008

By Michael Marquette From his blog: Luxury Homes Fail to Sell at Auction It has always astonished me how many real estate agents advise everyone they meet to auction their home home. In Regional cities like Newcastle this happens all too often with the inevitable result of the property passing in, and in most cases not even receiving one bid from a potential buyer. The process is horrendous for vendors who quite often have their hopes set high only to have them come crashing down on auction day. Potential purchasers use the fact that the property passed in to show that there is little if any interest in the home and accordingly offer much less for the property or just wait for the price to continue falling in the hope of snapping it up for a bargain price.

Ten places in America to see before you die

Aug 15, 2008

By Andrew Harper Many people have a list of places they’d like to visit before they move on to the next world; here are a few American suggestions of my own. For conversation’s sake, I have avoided the obvious targets, but a stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge or a trip up the Empire State Building is still definitely worth it. Though we are lucky to live in a beautiful country, I have focused on smaller, man-made locales, simply because a catalog of pretty American places could stretch on forever. This list is admittedly subjective, but it comes from 30 years of professional wandering. Some places are more well-known than others, but all share a sense of tranquility and wonder. And since I review small boutique hotels for a living, I have included nearby recommended places to stay. Happy travels!

Luxury Lounge Progress

Aug 15, 2008

We're so excited with the progress of the Luxury Lounge. We're currently busy creating user accounts for professionals within the Luxury Real Estate network. We're up to 1,000+ people so far, and counting. We're aiming at being at 3,000 before the Luxury Real Estate conference in Philadelphia. Please do search for your colleagues and contacts in the lounge and request to connect to them. And please feel free to invite other professionals within your organization that we haven't yet set up accounts for.

View from the bridge: Michael Marquette’s comments to the Australian Financial Review

Aug 15, 2008

By Michael Marquette From his blog: View from the Bridge: Michael Marquette’s comments to the Australian Financial Review Homeowners and investors have welcomed suggestions that the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut interest rates this year, but will the banks pass the rate cuts onto borrowers? Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has told Australians to change banks if they fail to pass on rate reductions. The banks have had no problem increasing rates to levels higher than official rate increases and have even increased rates despite the Reserve Bank keeping them on hold.

Live like the king: Elvis Presley estate now for sale

Aug 13, 2008

By Robert Lockard There are so many fun one-liners I could use to sum up this story, it’s hard to pick just one. I’ll go ahead and try this one: Elvis has left the building, and now that building can be yours! Yeah, that’ll work. Elvis Presley’s “Graceland West” estate in Palm Springs, Calif. is now for sale. Talk about a house with some history, this two-acre estate, nestled in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains, is where Elvis (the king of Rock and Roll) lived for almost eight years, recorded eight songs in the living room in 1973 and spent his last birthday. He died on Aug. 16, 1977 at the age of 42.

FACT: Print advertising drives Web traffic

Aug 12, 2008

By Brian Langhorst I have heard many times over that print is dead, but this is false information! Whoever is saying this does not know the audience for luxury homes and their habits. Yes, people look to the Internet for information and, according to a National Association of REALTORS® survey, over 80% of home seekers are starting their search online for real estate. The main question we should think about is how do they know where to look for real estate online? The answer is print!

Cayman Islands fractionals are some of the BEST in the world!

Aug 12, 2008

By Jim Walberg From his blog: Cayman Islands Fractionals Are Some Of The BEST In The World! The Waterford” on Grand Cayman is setting a new standard of excellence with Caribbean fractional ownership! You know that I am not only a fan of fractional ownership in the Caribbean, it has been the hottest real estate purchase options for the past year. I have let you know about the opportunities in the Cayman Islands in the past, but what is unfolding at The Waterford on Grand Cayman continues to evolve into one of the top luxury properties in paradise. Grand Cayman is the ultra-chic island in the Caymans. It has the international shopping, high-end nightlife, along with the traditional Cayman-style homes and a rich Caribbean history. George Town is the on Grand Cayman and it is the capital of the Cayman Islands. George Town is also the fifth largest financial center in the world!

Australian auction clearance rates crash!

Aug 08, 2008

By Michael Marquette From his blog: Australian Auction Clearance Rates Crash! Auction Clearance rates for the week ending July 27, 2008 indicate a property market in crisis. Sydney’s Clearance rate of just 36.5 percent is indicative of the disparity between vendors and buyers, with some real-estate agents caught in the middle. Luxury real estate agents’ skills in both marketing and negotiating homes are being put to the test and many are being found short. Agents with reputations for overpricing properties (the practice of overpricing is used by some agents to win listings) are struggling to match the prices offered by buyers with the price expectations of vendors. Agents with the ability to communicate the best strategy at the time of listing are best placed to negotiate the highest price for vendors in the current market – well before a property is seen to become “stale.”
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