Top 10s of 2014: Luxurious Baths

San Diego, California

Gabhart Real Estate Advisors

Curtis Gabhart | 858-356-5973

Cgabhart@gabhartinvestments.com

www.thelakehouzz.com 

 

Laguna Beach, California

RE/MAX Fine Homes

Lee Ann Canaday | 949-249-2424

LeeAnn@canadaygroup.com

www.CanadayGroup.com 

 

Ojai, California

The Fred Evans Team

Editha Cotilli | 805-477-3689

editha@fredevans.com

www.fredevans.com 


Rolling Hills, California

Hilton & Hyland

Marcie Hartley | 310-691-5950

Marcie@marciehartley.com

www.christiesrealestate.com 


Marco Island, Florida

Keller Williams Realty

Pat Wilkins | 239-970-3444

patwilkins@marcoexpert.com

www.marcoexpert.com 


Bozeman, Montana

PureWest Christie's

Sally Uhlmann & Mike Schlauch

Sally 406-223-5964 | Mike 406-580-8380

info@suplatinum.com

www.BozemanLuxuryRealEstate.com 


Camarillo, California

RE/MAX Olson & Associates

Jordan Cohen | 818-435-5220

Jordan@jordancohen.com

www.jordancohen.com 


Manhattan, New York

The DeNiro Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Raphael DeNiro | 212-460-0655

deniroteam@elliman.com

deniroteam.elliman.com


Mississauga, Canada

Sam McDadi Real Estate, Inc.

Sam McDadi | 416-801-2400

sam@mcdadi.com

 www.mcdadi.com 

 

San Diego, California


Gabhart Real Estate Advisors

Curtis Gabhart | 858-356-5973

Cgabhart@gabhartinvestments.com

www.thelakehouzz.com


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Top 10s of 2014: Man Caves

Orange, California

RE/MAX Fine Homes

Lee Ann Canaday | 949-249-2424

leeann@canadaygroup.com

www.CanadayGroup.com


Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Premier Estate Properties

Julie Jones | 954-525-0018

Julie@premierestateproperties.com

www.LuxuryRealEstateFtL.com 

 

Bozeman, Montana

PureWest Christie's

Sally Uhlmann & Mike Schlauch

Sally 406-223-5964 | Mike 406-580-8380

info@suplatinum.com

www.BozemanLuxuryRealEstate.com 


Ocala, Florida

Joan Pletcher

Joan Pletcher | 352-226-9100

Joanpletcher@aol.com

www.joanpletcher.com


Tempe, Arizona

Geneva Real Estate & Investments, LLC

Tina Garcia | 602-451-8462

Tinasells4u@cox.net

www.TinaSellsArizona.com 

 

Boxborough, Massachusetts

William Raveis Real Estate

Peter Darveau | 617-592-3266

Peter.Darveau@Raveis.com

www.Raveis.com 

 

Camarillo, California

RE/MAX Olson & Associates

Jordan Cohen | 818-435-5220

Jordan@jordancohen.com

www.jordancohen.com 

 

Argyle, Texas

RE/MAX Masters

Lisa Good | 214-212-0017

lisagood@gmail.com

www.LisaGood.com 

 

Ocala, Florida

Joan Pletcher

Joan Pletcher | 352-226-9100

Joanpletcher@aol.com

www.joanpletcher.com

 

Bozeman, Montana

PureWest Christie's

Sally Uhlmann & Mike Schlauch

Sally 406-223-5964 | Mike 406-580-8380

info@suplatinum.com

www.BozemanLuxuryRealEstate.com


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Hulk Hogan's Belleair Estate Sells for $6.2 Million

Formerly listed on duPontREGISTRY.com, Hulk Hogan's Chateau de Willadel in Belleair, Florida has sold for $6.7 million. Modeled after a French country chateau, the 17,000-square-foot chateau features 5 bedrooms, 8 full bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen with a butler's pantry, a large exercise room with a glass-enclosed spa next to it, an outdoor patio, a 2-tier waterfall pool, a boathouse, two boat lifts, and gorgeous views of Tampa Bay. Chateau de Willadel has been featured on the cover of duPont REGISTRY A Buyers Gallery of Fine Homes® with an original asking price of $25 million.


Luxury Real Estate Marketing: Do You Know What Your Time Is Worth?

As a luxury real estate marketing professional it is important to constantly improve the way you run your business.  Inefficiency in any business is equal to amount of time wasted.   In financial terms this is known as return on investment or ROI.   First, you have to establish what your hour is worth.  Then, keep a diary of all the things you do in a day and note the time you are spending on doing these items.  What is your return on the time you spent doing that cycle of action?  Could some of these items be delegated to someone else whose hourly rate is considerably less than yours?

Which items produce actual income?  Those are the cycles of action that lead to a listing/sale.  One of our clients has trained her assistant to shoo her out of the door on a daily basis.  They both know that when she steps out the door to get a cup of coffee or have lunch, she will invariably run into someone who has a listing or a referral or a clue as to what may be for sale, or who is in the market.  The longer she is out of the office, the more listings she gets. 

Recently, we spoke to another one of our clients who plays golf regularly.  This 4-5 hour activity (three times a week) has landed him several sales and listings in a month.   Another is an exceptional tennis player, and he plays at the club in his marketplace and in all the local tournaments. This enjoyable activity leads to sales and listings. 

Busy work and all the other minutiae that need to be done should be executed by someone who is good at it, and you should do what you are good at, which is bringing in the business. Delegating can be the springboard to increasing your business as well as increasing your discretionary time for yourself and your family.   Do we practice what we preach?  Absolutely, we have a virtual assistant and a local one.  We have found that we are happily getting a great ROI on the time we spend working. Do you know what your time is worth?


  This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra. 


50 Top Luxury Real Estate Markets in the USA: Sun Valley, Idaho

 

Author Ernest Hemingway completed For Whom the Bell Tolls while staying in suite 206 of the Sun Valley Lodge in the fall of 1939. Olympic medalists including Gretchen Fraser, Christin Cooper, Picabo Street, and Muffy Davis have all called Sun Valley their home. Today, Sun Valley, known for its extensive cross country ski trails, is a serious contender to become the Official Olympic Nordic Training Site. It is also considered by many to be a top winter resort, a summer getaway, and simply a wholesome place to raise a family.

According to Jed Gray, “Sun Valley is the finest ‘private’ ski resort in the world because it is uncrowded.  There are no “weekend warriors” here.  Celebrities and high-profile business people are not hounded by the media. It has a rural feel with a tight knit sense of community”.

Alpine Touring is a popular winter sport in Sun Valley.  It is a form of skiing in which athletes make their way up the mountain on their skis that have special bindings and ‘skins’ that keep them from sliding back.  At the stopping point, the skins are removed and the skis are used to descend the hill. Eeva Pregitzer, a fan of the sport, shared this experience, “Recently, some friends and I ascended a nearby hill just to view the magnificent full moon from the top of the hill.  It was a wonderful way to commune with nature, with like-minded people who enjoy Alpine Touring and also get a great workout”.

The summer season in Sun Valley draws even more visitors than in winter. According to Tom Heinrich, “It’s not just about the great outdoors. Sun Valley has a vibrant arts community that offers a variety of opportunities through dozens of presenting organizations. Local and nationally known artists are represented in our art galleries, through concerts, theater productions, dance productions, opera, symphonic performances, film festivals and lectures.

Alex Higgins adds, “We have a writer’s conference in August, for example, that is usually sold-out well in advance.  It is a community of readers and well known writers who get together to discuss ideas in fiction, nonfiction, journalism, poetry, and filmmaking”.

In Terry Palmer's opinion, “Mountain biking in the summer is the best in the world. There are nearly 28 miles of hiking and biking trails on beautiful Bald Mountain alone”. Suzanne Williams said,  “Sun Valley is the only place in the country that offers an outdoor symphony each summer for free for three weeks, supported by donations. It is like the Hollywood Bowl with the magnificent backdrop of the mountains”.

In Sun Valley, black diamond runs in the winter are matched by challenging links in the summer. Elkhorn Golf Club was the last collaborative effort between the well-known design team of father and son Robert Trent Jones Senior and Junior. Mike Murphy says, “The back nine follows a creek and has a water hazard on every hole but one. With over 100 sand traps and bunkers, Elkhorn can be a very challenging course”.

More and more, Sun Valley is gaining a reputation as being a great place to raise a family because there is so much for kids to do here. Tom Drougas mentioned that, “Dollar Mountain now has a world class Terrain Park with more than 40 features including a new half pipe, 20 new rails & jibs, a Cross Course with rollers, jumps, and berms.  It is fun and challenging for skiers and riders of all ages and skill level. Plus, all Terrain Park features are included in the cost of a lift ticket”.

Sue Englemann says, “Kids thrive here because the schools are terrific and people are genuinely happy here. The Sun Valley Ski Academy offers promising athletes access to world-class coaching, training, and competition along with an outstanding college-preparatory program for locals as well as boarders. My daughter’s school does four camping trips each year. They actually build and live in ice caves for two nights. It gets the kids out of their comfort zones and builds character”.

We asked Dick Fenton to express what is unique about Sun Valley. He said, “In our small mountain village, that is so rich in culture, you can find true balance. There is an extraordinary balance of community, resort and recreation here”. 

 

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra. 

 

 


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Posted on: 2/28/2012 at 10:20 AM
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Mortgage Common Sense in a Bad Economy

 

Qualifying for a Mortgage Loan

The three Cs determine if you are qualified and the interest rate you are quoted:

Credit Reputation- everything from the borrower’s credit score and history of mortgage or credit delinquencies, to the status of credit card accounts.

Capacity- includes monthly debt payment to income ratio, cash reserves, whether you’re salaried or self-employed and the type of loan product – fixed or adjustable rate, along with 30-year, 20-year or 15-year terms.

Collateral- takes into consideration the amount of down payment, property type, such as single family home, condo or multi-family, and property us

 

Some read estate experts are predicting that 2012 will be a year of opportunity for homebuyers. But is that true? As banks develop stricter rules on credit eligibility, many people are finding it more difficult to qualify for a loan. According to the Florida Realtors Association, trouble securing a mortgage was one of the prime factors in limiting a customer from purchasing a new home.

                As banks develop stricter rules on credit eligibility, many people are finding it more difficult to qualify for a loan. According to the Florida Realtors Association, trouble securing a mortgage was one of the prime factors in limiting a customer from purchasing a new home.

                And what about refinancing? Even with interest rates at record lows, does it really make sense to refinance?

                In these challenging financial times, it can be difficult to know which direction to turn for advice on home mortgages. According to Cathy Pirtle, vice president and sales manager for SunTrust Mortgage, the outlook for the housing market in 2012 is definitely a little more positive. With interest rates as low as they are and real estate both available and affordably priced, Pirtle says the timing might be excellent for qualified individuals to purchase a home.

But in today’s economy, who is qualified?

                It all comes down to “the three Cs,” says Pirtle. That’s credit reputation capacity and collateral. All three factors not only determine if you’re qualified for the loan, but also the interest rate you are quoted.

                Credit reputation refers to everything from the borrower’s credit score and history of mortgage or credit delinquencies, to the status of credit card accounts. Capacity includes monthly debt payment to income ratio, cash reserves, whether you’re salaried or self-employed and the type of loan product – fixed or adjustable rate, along with 30-year, 20-year or 15-year terms. Collateral takes into consideration the amount of down payment, property type, such as single family home, condo or multi-family, and property use.

                The type of loan you are seeking will also play a role in any discussion about qualification. Conventional loans, FHA loans and VA loans all have their own variables in requirements, says Pirtle. “There is no one rule of thumb.”

                When it comes to refinancing, there are just as many factors to consider. It is never a one-size fits-all approach. “We work one on one with people to review their current mortgage and help them determine the true benefit to refinancing,” says Pirtle.

                That includes looking at how long the homeowner expects to retain the home, whether there is an opportunity to reduce the term of the loan and where they can get the most significant savings.

                If refinancing doesn’t make sense, Pirtle suggests the option of making an extra payment each year or setting up a bi-weekly payment plan if the lender offers that type of program.

                When Lisa Langer, of BB&T Private Wealth Management, advises her clients, she looks at the big picture, taking into consideration all of their financial needs, not just their current mortgage situation.

                For example, she says, a client may be paying over a four percent interest rate on their mortgage right now, but it may not make sense to refinance, depending on their personal and professional goals. And for some people, it might make more sense not to refinance, but to liquidate some of their investment holdings and pay off the mortgage altogether.

                But before any of those decisions are made, she advises clients to consider issues ranging from how much cash will be required at the closing, to what the appreciation of the home will be over the period of the loan versus the interest they could earn by investing that money instead.

                Cash flow is one of the biggest determining factors, says Langer. “Someone who is very entrepreneurial may need access to immediate cash for new business ventures that come up,” says Langer. “Maintaining a mortgage on their home may be more practical rather than paying it off because having available cash is more important to them.”

                The bottom line is every financial situation and every client is unique, says Langer. Before making any decision on refinancing or obtaining a new mortgage consult a trusted advisor.

 

Is Refinancing the Way to Go?

It is never a one-size fits-all approach.

There are many factors to consider:

How long the homeowner expects to retain the home?

Is there an opportunity to reduce the term of the loan?

Where can the most significant savings be obtained?


River Meadows Ranch Chosen for the HGTV 2012 Dream Home Location

River Meadows Ranch- Home of the 2012 HGTV Dream Home

In the heart of Heber Valley is River Meadows Ranch in Midway.  River Meadows Ranch is just 45 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and 20 minutes from Park City.  The valley is spectacular and the community breathtaking with the average lot size 1.5 acres, and estate lots up to eight acres.  Rockworth Companies, the development company of this community, features 39 lots offering state park and Provo River frontage, with both existing homes and lots for sale.

Property buyers that have a taste for the great outdoors will fall in love with the community as the valley offers nature and its spectaculars at its best.  There is fly fishing, boating and water sports on the Provo river, world class golf at Soldier Hollow Resort, The Homestead, and Wasatch Mountain, and skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing at Sundance Resort, Deer Valley, Canyon Resort, and Park City Mountain Resort.

To gather an idea of the area, picture the majestic Wasatch Mountains as the back drop and the Provo River running through the development.  The area is so beautiful that it has been chosen for the HGTV 2012 Dream Home Location, which will award one lucky winner a modern, 4,000 sq. ft. three bedrooms, four and a half baths home on two and a half acres with the Provo River running through the backyard.  This scene is not uncommon for River Meadows Ranch, as its lots are breathtaking, and the homes that exist, are fabulous.

For property and homebuyers that are interested in one of the most beautiful areas in the nation, River Meadows Ranch is a fabulous choice and one that will definitely provide a lifestyle that is exemplary and unimaginable as you are in the heart of some of the most beautiful scenes in the nation.

Search for more Park City Homes For Sale.

 

 

  This blog posting has been provided by Ben Fisher, an agent at  Summit Sotheby's International Realty in Park City, Utah. He services Park City Real Estate  http://www.parkcityluxuryrealestate.com  as well as Deer Valley http://www.parkcityluxuryrealestate.com/deer-valley.php. He specializes in online marketing for luxury real estate clients.



The International Allure of Miami

Miami is an incredibly beautiful city known throughout the world for its commerce, cultural diversity, music, and arts. South Florida’s central business district is located in Miami, emitting a profusion of lights over neighboring South Beach. With its sun kissed sand, art-deco hotels, and exhilarating night scene, South Beach poses as the face of Miami’s international allure. Latin beats, Jazz, and subtle down tempo music fill the streets from Lincoln Road to 1st street. A flourishing art scene functions not only to inscribe a sense of aesthetic wonder but also brings people together, generating a network of artists, enthusiasts, and connoisseurs. And of course the beach, with its endless stretch of golden sand meeting the blue and emerald Atlantic, sets the stage for all of these developing activities taking place in this culturally diverse milieu.

 

Lincoln Road:

Let’s begin our tour of South Florida with a stroll along Lincoln Road, replete with street performers, outdoor dining, shopping, restaurants and an eclectic mix of Miami natives and out-of-towners. Running north and south, Ocean Drive features side-by-side Art Deco architecture, exemplifying the ambiance we’ve come to recognize as distinctly “Miami.” South of 5th street, the South Beach scene heats up-hotels and beautiful lofts are situated within walking distance of fine dining as well as swanky lounges, bars, and clubs.

Developments in South Beach and the surrounding Miami area signal the area’s growing, changing, trend-setting and culturally vibrant character. Diane Lieberman of South Beach Investment Realty emphasizes the value of Miami’s creative influences, including the Art Basel exhibition, the MoCA museum, and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The Design District’s Wynwood Art Walk offers monthly opportunities to gallery hop while imbibing cocktails in the company of other connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

Diane also credits Miami’s New World Symphony, a first-rate orchestra that provides free Wallcast concerts to park-goers. By synthesizing its ever-changing natural beauty, arts, and entertainment venues, South Beach has successfully marketed itself as not only a great place to live, but also as an oasis where influxes of new buyers are thriving and enriching the local scene.

 

Miami Ocean House:  

Established in 1896, Miami is best known for its 15 miles of fabled beaches, beautiful people, and year-round sunshine. Of course there’s more to its charms than that. The city has a booming art scene, authentic music and food, many vacation apartments, and a variety of historic architectural styles. As Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner of Cervera Real Estate Services, says, “The biggest perks of living in the area are the weather, the fact that the city is easy to get in and out of, and the multicultural people who live throughout Miami.”

This subtropical city is home to 150 ethnicities who speak more than 60 languages, making up a population of close to 2.5 million people. It’s no wonder this popular destination is so well known for its authentic music and cuisine. According to Alicia, “Someone could go around the world with the variety of cuisine this city has to offer.” All these different cultures add to the color and life of this city, providing a broad world view for residents and tourists alike. Miami has the world’s largest collection of Art Deco architecture. A perfect example is Ocean House, a restoration of the former Walburne Hotel. This condominium is a classic example of Miami modern architecture, influenced by the Art Deco and Streamline Modern periods. The property exterior retains many of the design details of Miami’s Art Deco history, while the interior marvelously blends the past with contemporary touches, including an opulent pool deck, cabanas and full beachfront luxury amenities. 

Alicia’s favorite thing about Ocean House is “how it makes people feel at home while still providing them with a relaxing tranquil place to get away.” She adds that “it’s neatly nestled in a friendly, pedestrian neighborhood that’s literally four blocks away from Ocean Drive.” Today, the property exudes the charm and beauty of the old Walburne Hotel, while eclipsing it as the ultimate South of Fifth oceanfront residential address. A multi-million-dollar historic renovation makes Ocean House a residence like no other, in a place that is the envy of South Florida and far beyond.

 

Villa Magnolia:

Art isn’t always a painting or a sculpture. A masterpiece can be a home, steeped in unparalleled appointments and furniture. Such is this 12,879 square foot palatial estate, designed like no other. Resplendent and lavish, customization abounds. “Nothing is left untouched,” says Jill Hertzberg of The Jills, one of the listing agents.

“From Lalique faucets to matching-grain Macassar Ebony throughout, the home is filled with exquisite finishes,” adds Jill Eber, Hertzberg’s partner at The Jills.

Villa Magnolia sits on 200 feet of wide waterfront, offering a front-row seat to dazzling sunsets, dripping with breathtaking, fiery hues that blanket the sky. Electric gates open to reveal a majestic neoclassical home towering above verdant foliage, giving the property a dose of South Florida’s tropical ambiance. The rotunda foyer features a soaring 40-foot ceiling, curved marble and a striking two-sided staircase. The rest of the home is as luxurious as the grand foyer.

“This is the finest and most unique home in South Florida,” says Howard Marcus who is co-listing with The Jills. High end details include hand-crafted stone throughout the interior and exterior; specialized European paint finishes; 15-foot coffered ceilings; a third-level rooftop entertainment area and sun terrace; temperature-controlled 850-bottle wine room; a magnificent, large kitchen with a built-in 750-gallon aquarium in the eat-in breakfast area; art-filled living and dining rooms; a media room with a 10-foot screen; and a glass and granite elevator. Two infinity-edge pools, one right off the master suite, and a wide-open waterfront view create an ambiance befitting the South Florida lifestyle.


Chateau in the Sand: A Piece of Provence – Atlantic Beach, Florida


A rare opportunity to own and live in a work of art, this authentic Provence style home is located in the northern most frontier of residential oceanfront property in Florida, called “Old Atlantic Beach.” Initially settled many decades ago by old guard Florida families seeking a summer escape, the homes are nestled among high dunes and Oak hammocks that provide a quiet and luxurious atmosphere for people who value their privacy.

Perched on the edge of a dune on Atlantic Beach, this home is a lifelong dream of the owners. The home has Palladian roots with the timeless architecture of symmetry, elegance and simplicity, as well as an interior that displays a collection of art and antiques. All the doors are unique, all the light fixtures are careful reproductions or antiques, and finishing touches such as a Turkish marble sink and copper footbath filled with black river rock. 

The kitchen is a Chef’s dream. With an expanse of marble laid atop a worktable and a one-of-a-kind double sink carved out of stone by French sculptor Marie-line Foussier. The Library is another jewel – an entire room, seamlessly installed from a turn of the century New York home.

There is approximately 12,000 square feet of museum-quality construction with 7,000 square feet heated and cooled. Five bedrooms, five baths, two powder rooms, 1000+ bottle wine cellar, and massive hand-hewn heart cypress timber beams and rafters on terraces and in the kitchen.

The cabana level offers a luxurious 2-bedroom apartment with its own garage, private entrance and access to a private boardwalk to the beach.


Fabulous Florida

Florida has seemingly endless possibilities with its gentle climate, booming business opportunities, major attractions, and diverse year-round recreational activities; you can be sure that you will always have something to do in the Sunshine State. And whether you’re seeking a spacious family home, a waterfront property, or an intimate and secluded environment, Florida has options that will perfectly suit your taste and lifestyle. Florida’s stretch of beaches, theme parks, golf courses, and many other famous attractions are always available when you want them. If you’re the type who likes to avoid the crowds, the Sunshine State also offers plenty of carefully preserved places to explore, such as its beautiful state parks, estuaries, natural springs, hiking and bike trails, and greenways.

Whether you want to come to Florida to vacation or live, the striking diversity of coastal and inland lifestyle choices will surely impress. 

 

BONITA SPRINGS

Located on the southwest coast of Florida, Bonita Springs is considered one of the most beautiful 0laces to live in America. “Some of Bonita Springs’ charm lies in its season-less, sub-tropical climate,” says Barry DeNicola Sr., a proud resident of the city, an established broker, and the owner of Barry DeNicola Realty. This translates to warm weather with cool breezes nearly all year long for its residents.

If you find yourself evading the cold by day and dreaming of ideal climate by night, this area could be a perfect fit. From 20 somethings to business professionals, families to retirees, Bonita Springs has quickly become a destination for many lifestyles because of everything it has to offer.

From a housing standpoint, Barry happily says property sales have increased by 40 percent this year and that his company closed the year with its best figures since 2006. “With the increase in sales, there has been a group in available property,” Barry says. “Now is the best time to come enjoy the perks of Bonita Springs, a city that puts the ‘sunshine’ in the Sunshine State!”

OCALA

As an equestrian’s utopia, Ocala is well known for its bucolic farms, horse ranches and estates surrounded by Marion Country’s rolling hills. Ocala’s climate celebrates warm weather, clear skies and just enough cold or rainy days to make its residents truly appreciate how beautiful the area really is all year round.

With easy travel to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, residents can take advantage of the coastal recreations that have attracted so many to the Sunshine State. Ocala also offers a number of other popular outdoor activities, such as tail hiking, road and mountain biking, and golf. Of course, it’s the full gamut of equine disciplines that make Ocala a paradise for horse enthusiasts. These activities include polo, thoroughbred racing, jumping, mounted shooting, dressage, carriage riding, and cross-country events.

                Ocala further offers a warm and friendly downtown area with superb restaurants and retail establishments. The city’s diverse, multi-faceted community also boasts fantastic artistic and cultural offerings, such as art galleries, theaters and even a symphony orchestra Ocala’s resident’s can also enjoy a calendar year’s worth of social gatherings, benefits, and a slew of other well-attended events.

Though there are ample reasons to live in Ocala, it’s “the people who really help distinguish this city from any other,” according to local realtor, Joan Pletcher. Joan exclaims that the city’s residents are very friendly and are “always willing to welcome someone new into the neighborhood.” Her advice? Experience Ocala’s intimate, “small town feel” for yourself!

WINDERMERE

The quaint town of Windermere offers some of the most exclusive, architecturally appealing real estate in all of Central Florida. Windermere is nearly placed amongst the Butler Chain of Lakes, providing an unrivalled view of the natural landscapes. A prime setting is just one of the reasons this town commands some of the most sought-after waterfront properties in all of Florida.

An example of the town’s exquisite lakefront properties would be the Villa Paradiso. “Designed with unprecedented architectural mastery, this waterfront estate celebrates Tuscan architecture and commands panoramic views of the famed Lake Butler,” remarks Carol Ann Hewitt, broker at Oxford Realty, Inc.

Windermere is part of the greater Orlando area, which Carol Ann describes as the “playground” of Florida. The small town is tucked away in the southwest region of Orange Country, with Disney and all of Orlando’s fabulous attractions only 15 minutes away.

Unlike some popular destinations in the Sunshine State, Windermere has achieved a harmonious balance of modern-world amenities and historic charm. Avoiding over-zealous development, the town has preserved its authentic roots, ensuring the town’s quaint character for future generations to come. If you are looking for lush landscapes, waterfront living, and proximity to world-renown family attractions, Windermere is a town not to miss.


Featured Property: Hill Country Magnificence

Near San Antonio, Texas

 

Rarely does a luxury property become available that you can develop exactly as you wish-without having to start from the ground up. Such is the case for 533 U.S. Highway 87, a ranch near Boerne, Texas. With five dwellings-a main house, a lodge, a guesthouse, a cabin, and a lake house-located on more than 255 acres, this ranch can become whatever you want it to be.

“533 U.S. Highway 87 is everything you could imagine,” says Debra James of KW Luxury International. “The diversity of use is incredible. It could so easily work as a family compound, a corporate or religious retreat, an exclusive high-end hunting lease, a sports camp, or an equestrian property.” 

For anyone who enjoys a vacation getaway, there’s enough space to create a landing strip for airplanes, and four of five dwellings are already full furnished. For the athlete, it’s an absolute dreamland. On the property you’ll find an indoor sports complex, indoor clay and hard surface tennis courts, an indoor basketball court, three outdoor grass tennis courts, indoor and outdoor volleyball courts, two indoor fitness centers, a batting and pitching cage, a putting green, an archery range, and a diving pool. For avid outdoors enthusiasts, 213 acres are high-fenced for exotic game, while a seven-acre lake, fed by active springs, is stocked with bass, catfish, and hybrid perch.

Multiple water wells, with elaborate water conservation and catchment systems, are notable features of the property. “Having this much land with this much live water is a big deal,” Debra says, noting that water development is crucial for a property of this scale.

 

And if you find yourself wanting a different atmosphere after enjoying the ranch, San Antonio is only 45 minutes away. There you can explore the Riverwalk – the number one tourist attraction in Texas with the finest hotels, renowned restaurants, art galleries and theatre venues, featuring beautiful Moorish and German architecture dating back to the late 18th century.

 


Luxury Real Estate Personal and Company Branding: Is Your Slogan on Point?

As a luxury real estate marketing professional you can distinguish yourself from the competition with a great slogan.  The slogan is effective when you can distill in a few words the essence of your brand.  How are you distinct from your competition?

In the highly competitive world of auto insurance, there are many slogans.  One company is expressing its unique promise of value using this slogan:  “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”  Here is Mercury Auto Insurance’s slogan: “It takes more than a good neighbor to save you money!”

State Farm is promising neighborly personal service when you have a claim.  That is nice. Isn’t that what is expected from any insurance company?  Mercury Auto Insurance is saying that they are not just a good neighbor, they also save you money. Being a good neighbor is important, but isn’t it more important to save you money?   

In the smaller competitive world of Farmers’ Markets in Central and Southern California, one of the growers has this slogan, “No baloney just vegetables”. In a venue full of organic vegetables, fruit, etc, this has no validity except for expressing a sense of humor.  

A slogan has to be so compelling that in an instant it can communicate its value.  In women’s shoes Donald Pliner has a slogan which distinguishes his brand from other shoes made in Italy:  “Made in the Mountains of Italy”, which evokes an instant emotional response:  the notion of craftsmanship and attention to detail in a small town rather than in an industrial city such as Milan.

What is great about all the slogans mentioned here is the brevity of their communication.  The key is getting the entire value proposition condensed into just a few words.  That is the art of slogan writing which is what we strive in our strategic branding practice.

 

   This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra. 


Luxury Real Estate Marketing: Say “Audi-os” to Vampires

 

One of the best venues to understand the marketing arena is by watching the Super Bowl.  The Super Bowl reaches over 90 million viewers, and   the advertisers’ intent is to generate “buzz”, and to firmly establish their position in the marketplace.  As luxury real estate marketing and brand strategy consultants, we pay close attention to how luxury purveyors are differentiating themselves in their arena.

Luxury car makers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and now Audi are competing for eyeballs during the time outs of the most watched football events of the year.  In 2011, Audi clearly wanted to continue establishing itself as the “new” luxury car.  Its message was, “escape the confines of luxury.”  It showed wealthy people imprisoned (prison with gold bars) by their old standards of a chauffeur driven Mercedes and listening to Kenny G.  This commercial translated into measurable post game sales.

This year Audi has turned to vampires. In its commercial, a vampire driving his Audi S7 on his way to join his vampire friends drinking blood cocktails in the woods around a bonfire. As he approaches the grounds, he eliminates all his buddies because of the powerful LED headlights.  These lights are according to Audi the closest to daylight.

Check out the Audi Super Bowl Commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw9ZeXB2uKs&feature=player_embedded

 

Here is what Andrew Lipman, communications manager of Audi had to say about this commercial, “Audi’s upcoming spot puts Audi signature LEDs up against the focal point of today’s most ubiquitous pop culture craze: vampires. As the most-viewed television program of the year, the Super Bowl is one of the best platforms to showcase a brand’s creativity and voice. The S7 is the epitome of luxury.”

 As viewed by Ron Schott, senior strategist at Spring Creek Group, Seattle. “I think this latest campaign is definitely a way for Audi to actually get a little closer with the average consumer during Super Bowl time, I really don’t think it portrays Audi as luxurious .”

This commercial is humorous and entertaining.  However, it does not communicate with the luxury consumer whose interest in vampires is minimal, and who is definitely not the average consumer.  Will the luxury buyer buy the epitome of luxury to kill vampires? 

This is a clear case of competing on features rather than differentiating yourself from the competition.  Mercedes already has LED lights around its headlights.  LED lights are not a unique feature, and installing enough of them to mimic daylight is not a differentiator.

As luxury real estate marketing professionals it is important not to depart to stay the course of your position (stay in your niche), and to compete on your fundamental difference (not features) in the marketplace.


   This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra. 

 

 


Living on the Water: The Luxury and Enjoyment of Coastal Ownership

 

For some tropical waterfront homeowners, living by the water affords an endless variety of activities and sights to behold-fishing, boating, bird watching, sailing, kayaking, swimming, and surfing.

For others, coastal living equates to a quiet refuge, a place to escape and connect with nature.

THE BAHAMAS

 

Take a quick 40-mile trip south from Florida, and you’ll reach a 700-island country unlike any other: the Bahamas.

“We have a monopoly on our location to the United States,” says Colin Lightbourn of Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty in the Bahamas. “The Bahamas will always have an appealing location because of its proximity to the United States. You don’t have to go too far from home to reach paradise.”

The Bahamas and its capital, Nassau, has become a popular destination for travelers looking for the ultimate island getaway, but recently, many affluent buyers are looking for more than just travel. They’re investing in the island’s undiscovered rural areas for business and the niche luxury real estate markets were the property values are going up, Colin notes. “An investor recently purchased a private island for $100 million. It’s an indication that luxury real estate in the Bahamas is still in high demand, despite what’s going on with the worldwide economy.”

In addition, the Bahamian government has done heavy investing to improve the Bahamas, like putting $400 million into Lynden Pindling International Airport, the largest airport of the island, to create a new terminal. The government has also passed multiple legislative acts, including the Hotels Encouragement Act, which gives tax and development incentives to those who decide to build or restore hotels, like buyers from Europe, South America and Canada who have been purchasing boutique hotels throughout the island. And those who do invest can enjoy a tax friendly environment. The Bahamas doesn’t levy taxes on capital gains, corporate earnings, personal income, sales, inheritance or dividends, making it an ideal location to start a business.

But of all the pros of moving to the Bahamas, Colin believes the quality of life is what makes living in the Bahamas so ideal. “If someone wants a beautiful home with a great location and friendly neighbors, the Bahamas is the place to live.”


 

NAPLES

             

 

Naples has its own downtown municipal airport for private jets, which simplifies travel in and out of the city. Bill Earls of John R. Wood Realtors describes neighborhoods such as Port Royal, with entitlements like the world-class yacht basin and beach club which boast extensive docks and luxurious ships along Naples trend setting coast. The quaint, 1920s charm of Old Naples boasts exquisite shopping, dining and art galleries. Everywhere activity flourishes in this low-density, well-designed community.

                It’s no wonder that Naples is a top retirement choice for many captains of industry. With its eclectic mix of beautiful homes-ranging from custom compounds to Mediterranean, French and British Colonial styles-Naples offers one of the most desirable locations in Florida to purchase luxury real estate.

 

FORT LAUDERDALE


 

 

 

With its beautiful setting, cultural attractions and 300 miles of winding intracoastal waterways, Fort Lauderdale has earned the reputation as the “Venice of America” The south Florida city, acclaimed for its Mediterranean-inspired architecture, clean white beaches and sophistication, has drawn savvy international and domestic investors who appreciate the city as a haven for enjoying friends and family.

Boasting weather in the upper ‘70s to low ‘80s from November to April, Fort Lauderdale is one of the world’s yachting capitals, perfect for fishing and enjoying water sports on the Atlantic Ocean. Fort Lauderdale’s residents also enjoy the convenience of nearby executive and commercial airports, as well as easy access to the Broward Performing Arts center, the Fort Lauderdale Art Museum, and a wealth of fine dining and shopping. Luxury homes within the city often boast distinctive features, such as outdoor summer kitchens and open-air living areas to grace beautiful, custom resort-style pool areas which take full advantage of Fort Lauderdale’s balmy, tropical climate.

As Julie Jones, Associate Broker at Premier Estate Properties, explains, “Fort Lauderdale is truly a stunning city, with the waterways and beaches. It is clean and safe, constantly improving and are-inventing itself even during these recessionary times.” She adds, “just visit and see the mega yachts behind the waterfront mansions, and you can be assured that this is a great place to live!”

SOUTH BEACH



 

South Beach, Miami is best described as having something for everyone, no matter their age or interests. Known to the locals as SoBe, it is located at the southernmost tip of the main barrier island in the beautiful sunshine state, Florida. Whether you’re looking for tranquility, spectacular beaches, or just some excitement, South Beach is the perfect place for you. One of the best aspects of South Beach is that everything you would possibly want is close at hand.

Living in South Beach is like having your own personal looking glass into the different cultures and diverse people of the area. There are multiple emerging districts developing at a rapid pace, yet this changing landscape only adds to the multi-faceted appeal of South Beach, Diane Lieberman of South Beach Investment Realty says, “This is a world-class sophisticated neighborhood and is one of the most exciting places in the world.”

In addition to its famous beaches, South Beach offers exceptional dining, beautiful architecture, an exciting and energetic nightclub scene, relaxing spas, and many fashionable boutiques. It’s also home to the highly acclaimed New World Symphony. Diane adds, “South Beach is a fun place to live and work, and it seems that it just keeps getting better and better!”


50 Top Luxury Real Estate Markets in the USA: Carmel, CA

Actor-director Clint Eastwood once was the mayor of Carmel. Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, two of the most innovative and influential 20th century American photographers lived here. Each of these men are considered true masters in their own right and faithfully represent the rich artistic history that is at the core of Carmel-by the Sea, the center point of  California’s North Central Coast.

Over the years, the natural beauty of the area has inspired poets, writers, painters, and architects alike. Mike Canning, who represents Carmel's legendary Butterfly House, says, “It is one of only 5 true oceanfront properties in Carmel.  The home, designed by Frank Wynkoop, is anchored directly into the rocky shoreline and has panoramic views from Point Lobos to Pebble Beach. Captivating Carmel residents and tourists for decades, this oceanfront architectural landmark exceeds unique”.

According to Peter Butler, “Some of California’s finest architect-designed homes can be found in the Carmel-Pebble Beach area.  The homes are beautiful here and the lifestyle is casual, yet cosmopolitan. You can get just about anywhere in the area in 15 minutes. People live here because they choose to, not because they have to. As a second home market, properties tend to hold their values because there is a finite supply and a strong demand”.

Judie Profeta says, “One of the most enchanting aspects of the area is the diversity of people, topography and the compactness of the area. Highly accomplished people live here; they have come to Carmel, to Monterey or Pebble beach to relax and live the life they have worked very hard for.  The natural beauty is stunning. Cultural events are also plentiful, such as theatre, the famous Monterey Jazz Festival, the Bach Festival, and Concours d'Elegance, the world renowned auto show that features classic cars”.

Judie Profeta says, “One of the most enchanting aspects of the area is the diversity of people, topography and the compactness of the area. Highly accomplished people live here; they have come to Carmel, to Monterey or Pebble beach to relax and live the life they have worked very hard for.  The natural beauty is stunning. Cultural events are also plentiful, such as theatre, the famous Monterey Jazz Festival, the Bach Festival, and Concours d'Elegance, the world renowned auto show that features classic cars”. 

 

For those who seek the seclusion of a rural retreat, there are two magnificent master planned communities just a few miles outside of town:  Tehama (above Carmel) and Monterra (above Monterey). According to Mike Jashinski <http://www.mikejashinski.com> , who specializes in selling property in these exclusive enclaves, "Tehama is a Native American word that means ‘abundance of nature’. Guided by Clint Eastwood's vision of sustainable development, Tehama has preserved more than 85% of its land as pristine open space. With gated private access to its 2000 acres of rolling hill country, residents of just 90 estate lots, ranging from 4 to 17 acres can enjoy a social-fitness membership (fitness center, tennis, swimming and dining, included with purchase) and private membership (by invitation only) at the Tehama Golf Club, featuring an 18 hole championship course designed by Jay Moorish”. 

   Tim Allen, who specializes in oceanfront and ocean view homes, explains that “Carmel and Pebble Beach are natural second home or retirement home markets for nearby Silicon Valley residents as well as for San Franciscans who are only 120 miles away. Our world class golf is a major draw”. Pebble Beach Golf Links is the most famous course in the Western United States, and the only course which has ever beaten Pine Valley Golf Club for the top spot in Golf Digest's biennial list of America's 100 greatest. 

 

  Judy Midgely adds, “The Links at Spanish Bay evokes the original Scottish concept for the game of golf that was established over 500 years ago. The Monterey coastline is very rugged like the natural beauty of Scotland. Every evening the bagpiper closes the course in true Scottish tradition. It is pleasant to sit on your front porch and just listen even if you are not playing golf”. 

 

  Molly McGee says, “The town of Carmel has a very special charm. Every day seems like a vacation. The shopping, art galleries, and the food and wine scene here is terrific. Carmel is an amazing place to meet people from all over the world.”

 

 This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.