Luxury Real Estate Blog

What's on the real-estate forecast? Perhaps a change

Mar 26, 2008

By Robert Lockard Predicting the future is a tricky game, as you can easily see from the failure of many experts last year to predict the problems this year in this Inman News article, entitled “2007 real estate forecaster report card.” I don’t expect people to be perfect and so it’s completely understandable even for experts to make mistakes from time to time. But here’s my question: Why do these experts spend time trying to predict things that they ultimately have little ability to control? Why not devote more time to simply suggesting good courses of action for regular people to take? That would definitely be more helpful to you, me and other homebuyers and sellers.

New York luxury market shrugs off real-estate worries in 2007

Mar 26, 2008

By Robert Lockard Check out this excellent article from Forbes.com, entitled “Priciest home sales of 2007.” After conducting extensive research, Forbes.com discovered that the top five most expensive U.S. home sales this past year were in Manhattan. In fact, two real-estate sales records were broken in New York City: the priciest apartment with the $60 million purchase of almost an entire floor of the renowned Plaza Hotel, and the highest price per square foot ($6,287) at another property in Central Park West. It’s safe to say that the luxury real estate market is alive and well in New York and other places.

New real-estate term for your consideration: Hondo

Mar 26, 2008

By Robert Lockard Working in luxury real estate, I have noticed a great number of terms being used that I like, but that I think could be better. For instance, in the Winter 2008 issue of LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine, I wrote an editorial on hotel condos. A hotel condo is a condominium located inside a hotel. People actually own their own hotel room and they can receive all the benefits of hotel living whenever they like. It’s a great concept, really. While writing this editorial, I felt a little awkward naming this property type, so I decided to try coming up with a better name. Condo hotel, hotel condo and condotel are all too long and don’t really describe this property type particularly well. That’s why I propose that this property type be known as Hondo. It sounds sleeker, plus it solves the problems inherent in the repeated vowel sounds in “condo hotel” and the clunky awkwardness that is “condotel.” I’m probably not the first to suggest this, but I thought I’d throw it out there anyway. I’ll also hopefully suggest replacements for other terms in the future. Hondo. What do you think? Editor’s Note: 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.

Charity never fails: Rob Thomson gives children hope

Mar 26, 2008

By Robert Lockard I like talking about good people and the examples they set for others to follow. One particularly noteworthy person is Rob Thomson, the president of Waterfront Properties, which is the exclusive member of the Luxury Real Estate Board of Regents in Jupiter, Fla. About six years ago, this charitable man founded Charities for Children to pick up and deliver gifts for children who have little means of their own. In each of the past several years, this charity has delivered tens of thousands of gifts to local children.

Sound advice on luxury open houses

Mar 26, 2008

By Robert Lockard Open houses are excellent opportunities to bring potential buyers into a home and let them gain insights that are difficult to convey through written descriptions or even virtual tours. However, there is a potential risk for luxury real estate agents and others to be aware of, according to a recent article in The Chronicle Herald – stealing. Apparently, two women managed to steal $73,000 worth of jewelry and other valuables during several open houses in New York and New Jersey. Thankfully, they were caught and hopefully the belongings were returned to their rightful owners.

Brad Pitt leads by example in New Orleans

Mar 26, 2008

By Robert Lockard It’s been more than two years since Hurricane Katrina. The water has receded and hundreds of thousands of people have returned to their homes in New Orleans, but much more effort is needed to resurrect this city to its past greatness. Actor Brad Pitt is doing his best to lend a hand to this recovery process, according to this article on The Times-Picayune. Pitt and Angelina Jolie bought a palace in the French Quarter of New Orleans earlier this year with the help of their broker, Eleanor Farnsworth, the president of Prudential Gardner, Realtors. Farnsworth is an exclusive member of the Luxury Real Estate Board of Regents.

Altitude is everything: Harry Norman, Realtors riding high in strong Atlanta market

Mar 26, 2008

Atlanta’s luxury real estate market is enjoying a remarkably strong boom, according to a recent article entitled “What mortgage crisis? Million-dollar homes still selling” in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Sales of million-dollar homes in Atlanta and around the country march steadily along,” author Dan Chapman said. In May 2007, 97 homes sold for $1 million or more in the Atlanta area. These 97 homes represented just 1.6 percent of the total number of homes sold in Atlanta, but this small fraction accounted for 9.1 percent of the total dollar value of all the homes sold in this city, according to the article.In its 2007 luxury home report, Harry Norman, Realtors succinctly explained why the luxury real estate market in Atlanta and many other places across the United States has remained so strong: “Altitude is everything.” High-end buyers have ample resources to purchase the homes they want without requiring adjustable-rate loans. With an increasingly buyer-friendly market, these people are gaining more purchasing power. “August has been one of the two biggest months of my career,” said Travis Reed, the top seller for Harry Norman, Realtors. “In the last five years, Atlanta has seen an enormous growth in the $1 million to $1.3 million price point.”

Several states enjoy appreciating home prices in second quarter 2007

Mar 26, 2008

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight recently released quarterly information about the strength of several U.S. home markets, according to an article in The Seattle Times. While the overall U.S. market remained mostly unchanged in the second quarter, rising 0.1 percent compared to the first quarter, several states enjoyed potent growth. Utah’s home prices topped the list of states in terms of home appreciation, posting a 15.28-percent increase. Wyoming placed second with prices increasing 12.84 percent, and Washington came next with a 9.12-percent jump.Several Luxury Real Estate members are located in these top-performing states. Utah includes Painted Hill Realty and Jess Reid Real Estate, among others. Wyoming includes Real Estate of Jackson Hole, Jackson Hole Real Estate & Appraisal, LLC and Snake River Sporting Club. Washington includes Ewing & Clark and Tomlinson Real Estate, among others.

Federal Reserve cuts discount rate to boost real-estate sales

Mar 26, 2008

The Federal Reserve, in a symbolic move to encourage banks to lend more money to borrowers, lowered the discount rate from 6.25 percent to 5.75 percent, according to a CNN/Money article. In the article, Paul R. La Monica, CNN/Money’s editor at large, noted that even though this lower rate does not directly affect the amount of money that borrowers pay on credit cards, home equity loans and other lines of credit, this will hopefully give banks confidence to lend money to qualified borrowers.With a shifting stock market, qualified borrowers will probably look to safer investment choices, adding strength to luxury home markets. Since real estate has historically been the source of higher and more-stable returns on investment than the stock market, many people will probably want to put their money into real estate. Selecting someone with thorough knowledge of the market, a top-notch luxury specialist, for real-estate transactions is always important. While some investments may become shaky, real estate is always a strong choice.

Ready, set, retire! Luxury Real Estate brokers can help make it happen

Mar 26, 2008

Forty-three percent of Americans above the age of 30 are financially unprepared to retire, according to a news release from Entrust New Direction Inc., a Colorado investment firm. The study itself comes from the Center for Retirement Research and was published on July 31. Even wealthy respondents are not immune to the poor preparation affecting a large portion of Americans. “Even people in the top third of earned income were not adequately prepared; 36 percent of these people of all age groups are at risk,” according to the author, John Sheflin. Sheflin mentions that one cause of this dearth of preparation for retirement is the fact that many people are being asked to invest their money in 401(k) plans without adequate knowledge of the market and how to invest properly.Luckily, there are solutions to this problem. Sheflin suggests several ways to effectively prepare for retirement, including investing in IRAs, in which his company specializes. People should invest in what they know best, according to the release. For people hoping to retire in the near future, purchasing high-end properties is a useful strategy because real estate is historically one of the best and most-reliable investments to make. With superior skills and expertise, members of LuxuryRealEstate.com can help people make strong investments and ensure that they are able to retire comfortably.
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