California's Bay Area, A Cultural Hub

Known for outdoor activities and temperate weather, the Bay Area has also made a name for itself as a cultural hub, presenting a feast for the senses. Rick Richetta & Associates of Alain Pinel Realtors are a direct reflection of this new Bay Area culture and consider their home a one-of-a-kind destination.

Karen Nelsen and Rick Richetta are representative of the international team at Rick Richetta & Associates. Nelsen has lived in Russia, speaks five languages, and is an alumni parent of Ecole Bilingue and San Francisco’s International High School. Richetta’s past includes marketing Arabian horses overseas. He currently sits on the board of Ecole Bilingue De Berkeley, and is a philanthropic force in his community. No matter where the world takes them, the two realtors are ecstatic to call the Bay Area home.

Music venues, creative gallery spaces, innovative dining, symphony and opera, remarkable museums and of course, the San Francisco Giants: the Bay Area has never been short of entertainment and restaurant options. San Francisco, Oakland, Piedmont, Berkeley - each have their own style and culture, yet share great regional parks and the joy of just taking off for a day at the ocean, wineries or in the mountains.

The monthly Oakland Art Murmur beckons all walks of life, from aspiring teenage artists to Berkeley intellectuals, for a celebration of art, cuisine, and music. From colleges to preschool level, schooling in the Bay Area presents many options for even the youngest Bay Area locals.

“These are cities where people want to set down roots and enjoy a unique home, often with lovely gardens or fantastic views, in a richly diverse community” says Richetta.

The price of living is higher, but with such a standard of living, people treasure this place. Nelsen says the housing market is strong, with many houses selling over the asking price in short time periods.

With a style as unique as the people that inhabit these cities, the Bay Area sets itself apart as a cultural haven. With houses in high demand, a strong, tech-driven economy, and endless options for entertainment, it may be time to claim a little piece of your own Bay Area bliss.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/9/2012 at 12:00 AM
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Striking Gold in Newport Beach, California

Amid a temperate year round climate and dozens of entertainment attractions and recreational activities, lives a population of friendly, casual happy people who are fit, health conscious, active and culturally refined. This is the Golden State. This is California.

“The state of California has great weather year round,” says Lee Ann Canaday of the Canaday Group. “The weather is not too cold or too hot; perfect to enjoy our gorgeous white sandy beaches, mountainous or desert areas.”

This climate is ideal for enjoying all of the outdoor oriented recreational activities and water sports. Coupled with these activities is a thriving arts community with renowned performing arts centers and educational institutions. Among a strong cultural sense, California offers a wide variety of family fun – amusement parks of all varities, harbors with Gondola rides, ferries and fun zones – as well as an efficient freeway system granting easy access to everything.

One of our favorite glittering is one of the newest featured properties represented by the Canaday Group: a beautiful waterfront home located at 2832 Bayshore Drive in Newport Beach, Calif. This spectacular 9,400 square-foot, 6-bedroom, 6-bathroom estate is a waterfront masterpiece. In addition to a beautiful organically designed interior with formal live and dining rooms, two offices, gym and sumptuous master retreat is a well-equipped backyard perfect for entertaining. Through the backyard with Viking barbecue, outdoor bar, fire pit and patios is a spiral staircase leading to the 2,000 square-foot subterranean apartments, laundry and 6-car garage. With sweeping harbor and water views and a gated neighborhood offering docks, private beaches and playgrounds, this elegant home is fit for a star… or someone who wants to live like one.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/8/2012 at 12:00 AM
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Deer Valley Ski Resort

People certainly look forward to spending time in the snow and enjoying the outdoors during certain times of the year. Combine skiing and a relaxing vacation for a really fun time. The Deer Valley Ski Resort is a beautiful ski resort that is located in Park City, Utah. This is a fabulous resort that is perfect for those vacationers who look for exquisite surroundings in a lavish setting. In fact, Deer Valley Ski Resort is one of the highest ranking resorts in the country.

Deer Valley Ski Resort is the number one ranking ski resort in the Utah area and in North America. There are a number of valid reasons why Deer Valley Ski Resort is ranked number one. Other ski resorts in the area simply do not compare. They do not offer the type of luxury amenities provided by this upscale resort.

Vacationers prefer the Deer Valley Ski Resort because they provide five star services in a lavish ski resort. Such extra luxury is rarely provided by a ski resort. In fact, they offer wonderful gourmet meals, beautiful suites, beautiful slopes, valets, and child care. The beautiful resort is a delight and attracts numerous visitors yearly.

The Deer Valley Ski Resort works hard to provide the very best for vacationers. The slopes are beautiful and there is snow at the location for a large portion of the year. There are slopes that are available for the beginner to more advanced ski enthusiasts. Deer Valley Ski Resort is a one of a kind truly unique vacation destinations and contain luxurious homes for sale throughout the area. Step into the lap of luxury at his first class resort. You will return again and again to experience the excitement that awaits at the Deer Valley Ski Resort.

This blog posting has been provided by Ben Fisher, an agent at Summit Sotheby's International Realty in Park City, Utah. He sells Park City luxury homes and specializes in online marketing for luxury real estate clients.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/7/2012 at 7:27 AM
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Timeless Elegance in Los Altos Hills, California

Timeless elegance awaits you in this stunning French Chateaux.  The 4.5 acre retreat exudes old world craftsmanship while the interior speaks to Silicon Valley’s sophisticated yet contemporary taste.  The 7,500+ square foot home includes 5 bedroom suites, one of a kind dressing room, fitness room, safe room, wine cellar, sauna, spa, pool, fire pit with built in seating area and media room.  Enjoy the quiet from the valley and yet still be minutes from the Stamford Campus, surrounding shopping and dining destinations of Silicon Valley. For more information, contact Art Sharif at 650-804-4770.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/7/2012 at 12:00 AM
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Splendida Dimora in Vero Beach, Florida

Splendida Dimora is a European-style compound gracing a 2.1 acre site with 155 oceanfront feet in Vero Beach’s estate section. The main residence offers 13,715 sq ft with 5 bedrooms, 9 full baths, 2 half baths, and every amenity commensurate with the world’s greatest residences. The guest residence offers 2,425 sq ft with 2 bedrooms, 2 full and 1 half baths, and a full kitchen with dining area. Enjoy features including an underground garage, infinity edge pool, and dune crossover. This incomparable estate is nearing completion and is magnificent in detail and finishes, offered at $18,875,000. For more information, contact Michael Thorpe and Kimberly Hardin at 772-532-0449.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/6/2012 at 3:15 PM
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Marketing Luxury: Christmas in Beverly Hills-Where is the Joy?

The theme in the bright colored pennants in Beverly Hills this Christmas season is "Live Joy".  Bijan. known for dressing moguls and royals, was the only one to express this sentiment as seen in the lead photo.  Here is a tour of what we saw:

Ralph Lauren's window was beautifully composed. The mannequins looked bored. X-mas Ennui (French for boredom)

Tom Ford's windows featured Christmas in gray with gray boxes and mannequins dressed in gray.

Cartier had its signature playful panther batting the red boxes. Even the cat is subdued.

Louis Vuitton's good wishies came in 4-leaf clovers...

and in wishbones displays, but the message was way too subtle  and understated for the SEASON of JOY.

An origami wreath at David Yurman was innovative, but against a bleak background?

Rodeo Drive's median had bare fake white trees (between the live palm trees) with white lights (you can barely see them in the photo). There are also  a few hanging white stars (again, you have to look carefully to find them here) as its only other  decor apart from the red pennants that proclaim, "Live Joy".  But, with the exception of Bijan, none of these purveyors of luxury on Rodeo Drive exemplified the primary marketing message.  Where is the Joy?

Cheers, Ron & Alexandra

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 by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/6/2012 at 8:39 AM
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dR Home: Bar None

A home bar will become a gathering point when you entertain.

Even if you never consider setting up a bar during the year, chances are that your holiday entertaining will call for a space dedicated for drinks. Where and how you use this bar really depends on your own personal style. If you have the room and the inclination, you can have a bar ready to entertain at all times. In other words, think of this as a “dedicated bar”. Others cannot devote the space to a bar or do not want this to be the focal point of a room.

For those is this category, there are two schools of thought about how to make room for a bar. One is that the bar should be seen only when it is on use. I call that the “hideaway bar”. In other words, the bar looks like another piece of furniture when closed. When open, it is ready for entertaining. The second idea is to have a temporary area, which becomes a short-term bar. The “on-display bar”, as I call this category, can be placed wherever you want and can be mobile if it has wheels.

Whichever placement and whatever furniture you select, may the holidays be filled with good spirits in your home. Here are some ideas for making your entertaining easier.

At Your Service: The handsome Crossroads Collection Serving Cart from Henredon features bronze mirrored serving surface on top with antique brass gallery, a drawer with silver liner, and two shelves below on antique brass casters. Dimensions are 43.25" L x 33.75”W x 19.75” D.  It brings your party to wherever you are entertaining. $3885, Livingston Interiors Inc. www.livingstonfurniture.net 

Counter Culture: This raised panel Northport bar by Ty Pennington for Howard Miller Home is finished in Burnished Black and includes a black faux leather armrest, accentuated with antique brass nailheads. The many features include lockable door for liquor storage and built-in ice bucket. Dimensions are 75-3/4” L x 43” H x 27.5” D. $2699, Design Interiors Furniture. www.designinteriorsfurniture.com 

Tall Story: Reminiscent of an apothecary cabinet, this Beveled Tall Cabinet is a signature item from designer Thomas Pheasant for Baker furniture. This version in mahogany is equipped as a dry bar-with two long doors, a lined drawer, a mirrored back, and a brass gallery. Dimensions are 30.5´Lc 60.3/4” H x 20.5”D. $12,495, PJ Newman Fine Furniture and Interiors. www.pjnewman.com 

Spirited Style: The  Elegante Bar Cabinet by Oggetti is a small but sophisticated Art Deco addition to any room. It can fit in almost anywhere. The cabinet is finished in an ebony macassar with Antique Shagreen. The Interior has partially mirrored shelves, with cubbies and one drawer. Open it, and the party begins. Dimensions: are 29"L x 46 1/2"W x 14"D. $6500, Home Resource. www.homeresource.com

Take It Away: The Biscayne Bar Table is the perfect size for a small party or can be placed in various spaces or pared together. A finely polished collapsible structure supports a sophisticated tray lined with faux croc and gated with deep walls. The cut out handles allow for easily transporting delicacies and beverages to mingling guests. Dimensions are 23" L   x 23" W x 32" H. $159.95, Z-Gallerie. www.zgallerie.com

Open and Shut Case: Southern hospitality is the inspiration for this Paula’s Bar Hutch from Paula Deen Home for Universal Furniture. Finished in Spanish moss, Tobacco, Linen, Sea Oat or white, the cabinet opens to great storage for glasses and spirits. The interior doors are chalkboard. Dimensions are 48”L x 87”H x 24”D. $1799, Matter Brothers Furniture and Design. www.matterbrothersfurniture.com

Ice Cool: The perfect martini starts with a chilled glass. And if you are a perfectionist, you will want this 10 glass martini rack that can be added to Perlick’s Signature Series 24-inch under-counter Freezer. Convertible door design allows the door the ability to be converted to wood overlay from stainless steel. $3208 includes Freezer with martini rack, Appliance Gallery. www.appliance-gallery.com  

Bar Tended: This traditional Edwardian Bar from Pulaski is made of polished wood accented with antique brass hardware. It has laminated marble top  with inset stone pull out cutting surface and four utility drawers  There are also glass storage racks, wine racks plus an  adjustable shelf behind lockable door Dimensions are 72"L x 42"H x 26"D. $2,495.00, Robertson’s Billiards and Bar Stools. www.robertsonsbilliards.com 

All Shook Up: The Century cocktail shaker in sterling silver has chic art deco attributes. While it does not promise to make your cocktails better, it is a beauty to look at.  It may be personalized with 3-letter monogram.  Dimensions 10” H. $2250, Tiffany and Co. www.tiffany.com

The Chill Factor: The Massena crystal ice bucket from Baccarat sparkles in the sunlight. The stylish 330.2/5 oz. bucket features a highly textured exterior with classic beveled pattern and has a stainless steel handle for easy transporting.  Dimensions are 4.78" H. $760, Saks Fifth Avenue. www.saksfifthavenue.com

Pull Out The Stops: Waterford’s Mixology Argon Blue Decanter is not your grandmother’s crystal decanter. It clearly with an electric blue over deep cuts of clear crystal pushes the use of storing spirits for a very happy hour..  Dimensions 5.75” L x 9”W x 5.6” H. $375, Silver Queen. www.silverqueen.com 

Pitcher Perfect: From the Belle Époque Collection of French manufacturer, Christofle Silver, this Asian-Inspired water pitcher is the perfect addition to your barware. A beautiful anemone decorates the handle pf this silver plated pitcher, which holds 51 fluid ounces. Dimensions are10.5 "H X 7" w. $1,150, Saks Fifth Avenue. www.saksfifthavenue.com 

Spiked Wine: These original Spike Glasses from Artech Glass Blowing Studios are a tactile delight; a scotch thistle inspired glass that massages the hand as you indulge in a good drink. Whatever your poison, these  6 ounce thorny wine glasses are quite the conversation piece. $40, Carter’s Gallery. www.cartersgallery.com 

Mix It Up: Ever have blender envy when you see the powerful commercial bar blenders? Well, this Xtreme Hi-Power Blender MX1200XTX from Waring Commercial can be yours.  It is capable of handling virtually every blending need as and smoothies well as preparing ice-based drinks like a pro with its 3.5 HP motor. $1,122.71, Restaurant Depot.  www.restaurantdepot.com


duPont REGISTRY Holiday Gift Guide 2012

While we normally feature luxury homes, we're pretty sure that a multi-million dollar estate isn't going to be a holiday gift for many. Instead, we've found a few home accessories for discerning buyers.

 

Decorative and functional animal sculptures made from recycled metal by Yardbirds. These unique and whimsical creatures for the garden and home are full of personality! Giraffe, $630 at Carter's Gallery. www.cartersgallery.com

The Lynx is a 54-inch, 100,000 btu with a cooking area of 1,555-square-inches and comes on a cart. It also has a sear zone and rotisserie. $6,100 at Appliance Gallery. www.appliance-gallery.com

Identical to the classic photo booths found in amusement parks, arcades and boardwalks, this photo booth can take and print a four-frame strip of pictures in 16 seconds. Comes with two rolls of film that provide up to 3,200 pictures (or 800 sessions of four-frame photo strips). Uses a thermal printer exclusively designed by Polaroid, producing 2-inches high x 2-inches wide, 72 dpi monochrome images. The booth is made of powder-coated 14-gauge steel. Plugs into AC. The dimensions are 74-inches high x 37-inches wide x 60-inches long and is 770 pounds. $11,000 at Hammacher Schlemmer. www.hammacher.com

The Venetian is a six-leg, solid maple wood pool table in the Olhausen Signature Series. Customizable in terms of size, finish, legs, rails and sights. Can be made as a billiard table of snooker table. $7,995 at Citrus Park Billiards. www.citrusparkbilliards.com

Polished gemstone and Swarovski crystal picture frame. Handcrafted in the USA. Price for 4x6 is $675 (5x7 is $775). Sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus this holiday season. www.neimanmarcus.com

A soft cashmere blanket with suede trim features a scene from the famous Grand Priz de Monaco, which takes place every year in Monte Carlo and was held for the first time in 1929. Produced in a limited and numbered series. $5,450 at Loro Piana. www.loropiana.com

A 24-set handmade leather cufflinks' case is crafted in fine Tuscan calf and Italian leathers. The world-class quality men's storage box also serves as a men's jewelry ring holder. $799 at Brookstone. www.brookstone.com

A chic contrast of graphic black and ivory, Courtly Check three-tier sweet stand by MacKenzie-Childs features hand-painted tiers and decorative solid brass. $435 at MacKenzie-Childs. www.mackenzie-childs.com

Magnifico! From the Enzo Mari Collection, a collaboration between acclaimed Italian artist Enzo Mari and Corsi Design Laboratory of Milan Italy. Scacchi Cono, a stunning vase of bubbled resin. 12-inches high by 9-inches wide. $700 at Barney's of New York. www.barneys.com

From California glass blower, Caleb Siemon's Meteor series. Murrine made of overlaying colors on a clear core created and then fused together in a carefully laid out arrangement. The slab is then rolled up and shaped into form showing differences in the viscosities of the colors used creating a heavily textured piece. Piece is signed and numbered. $2,650 at Barney's New York. www.barneys.com

Every inch of this table is beautiful and finished in an actual auto-body shop to showroom quality. It's even painted in original 1965 "Rangoon Red" and clear-coated with real automotive clear coat and buffed and polished by hand! $9,995 at Gibbs Sports. www.carpooltables.com

MWE Emporer 200 Workstation is the ultimate high-tech workstation for the home or office with three monitors, a touch-screen interface, air filtration system, electric powered leather seat and light therapy illumination. $49,150 at MWE Lab. www.mwelab.com

Lighted countertop makeup mirror by Electric Mirror Company has 3 times magnification. Available in polished chrome finish. 8-inches wide by 8-inches tall. $425 at Olde World Cabinetry. www.oldeworldcabinetry.com

Relax in this beautiful chaise lounge chair. The headrest adjusts to fit you perfectly and the premium leather is available in Cappucino or Snow White. $1,185 at Scan Design. www.scandesign.com

One of the world's finest backgammon sets. Chrome plated checkers inlaid with Water Snake and trimmed with Swarovski crystals, a giant inlaid Water Snake and chrome Doubling cube, ball cornered precision dice for a perfect unbiased roll. $8,800 delivered at Geoffrey Parker Games. www.geoffreyparker.com

Love watching stock car racing and wish you could try it too? Now you can with a realistic state-of-the-art simulation experience. The Stock Car Racing Simulator reproduces the racing conditions you'd find at the track like entering a turn and moving up a bank. Realistic audio surrounds racers who sit in a padded racing seat as they speed around 21 renowned stock courses. Realistic graphics are displayed on a wide-screen LCD monitor. $60,000 at Hammacher Schlemmer. www.hammacher.com


Top 10 Master Suites

The master suite is your private sanctuary,  a place to unwind, relax and re-energize your mind and body.  This is an area where you can read, watch your favorite show or movie on television, listen to music,  have casual conversation, enjoy a fantastic view and  definitely a place for some peaceful shut eye. The surroundings in your master suite reflect what makes you comfortable whether the design is modern, traditional, classic, custom design or eclectic.  We have selected the top master suites for  this month for your review below.  Take a deep breath and enjoy!  

Miami Beach, Florida • www.thejills.com

Fort Lauderdale, Florida • www.diplomatoceanfrontresidences.com

Lake Tahoe, Nevada • www.chaseinternational.com

Corona, California • www.thevalenciaestates.com

Laguna Hills, California • www.canadaygroup.com

Fort Lauderdale, Florida • www.luxuryrealestateftl.com

Park City, Utah • www.summitsothebysrealty.com

Barefoot Beach, Florida • www.barrydenicola.com

Boca Raton, Florida • 305-351-5830

Jackson Hole, Wyoming • www.carollinton.com


Luxury Home Auctions: 5 Big Challenges with Opulent Real Estate Sales

So, your luxury property has been in the market quite some time now, with just a few showings? Are you annoyed with the impulsive timing of the conventional luxury real estate sales procedure? Besides, there are various factors that determine the amount purchasers are ready to spend on buying a luxurious home. Of the various factors, there are some like real-estate market condition or your home’s locality that are beyond a person’s control. AS for real estate buyers, they may ask mortgage questions and answers to their lender. There are other factors like home renovations and maintenance, proper home planning and advertising that play an important role in deciding the market price of your luxury home. These problems are sufficient enough to lead any real estate seller from customary luxury real estate sales into the property auction industry. When it comes to traditional real estate sales, there are countless challenges to be faced both by the selling and purchasing side of the deal.

  • Erratic timing: Don’t just sit idle waiting for the appropriate consumer to turn up. With luxury home auctions, a particular date is fixed, eligible buyers assemble to bid, and the utmost bidder wins.
  • 1-5 years of lodging in mainly luxury real estate markets: For traditional real estate sales, you are actually contending with all other luxury homes on the market, and in a lot of markets now the inventory levels are pretty high. In luxury home auctions, your home is separated from the crowd and positioned under a spotlight as the most excellent opening in the marketplace.
  • Purchaser anxiety of market events: Buyers are often apprehensive of whether they are overpaying for a particular home or that the home may lose its value after a few months of their purchase. Erase this concern from the equation. When it comes to home auction, purchasers hold confidence that they are paying a reasonable price, market-determined price on auction day. Now, the question is - why? Since they have the chance of seeing other prospective buyers as they bid, and the victor is just one bid higher than the subsequent highest bidder.
  • Purchaser has hold over terms and timing: In case of a traditional sale, the purchaser controls the sale timing. Assessments and other due processes may take several months, even after a fixed sale value is consented upon. For an opulent real estate auction, the seller sets the terms, and the sale on auction day is conducted.
  • Negotiated sales value: Are you tired of wasting time in a fruitless negotiation process? As an alternative, fix your opening bid, and let the bidders set the cost. Once the auction is over, you can be assured that the transaction is complete. The purchaser had already evaluated the auction agreement, so you just need to proceed effortlessly to the closing table.

If you’ve gone through the above mentioned points, your real estate sale process shouldn’t seem that tough. So, be confident and move on.

This post was provided by Gabriel Knight, a commercial writer from Carson City, Nevada. He write several articles on mortgage, luxury real estate market and business topic for different financial and real estate communities. He can be reached at 916-745-8174.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/5/2012 at 8:00 AM
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French Country Inspired Home in Berkeley, California

Profoundly incomparable, this French-Country-inspired home combines distinctive antique Provencal elements and striking architectural artistry throughout. The expansive, private property encompasses a four-bedroom, three and one-half bath main house plus a separate guesthouse, and is surrounded by gardens, an enchanted creek and leafy canyon views. Yet, the location offers great proximity to restaurants, transportation and the renowned Claremont Hotel & Resort.

For more information, contact Anthony Riggins at 510-693-7931.



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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/5/2012 at 12:00 AM
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Grab Your Jumbo Mortgage Loan – Know How It Helps Boost the Luxury Home Market

Did you search through the market and find your dream home that costs well over $400,000? Since your dream home costs a little too high, are you worried about the prospects of taking out a home mortgage loan that can offer you such a huge loan amount? However, the good news is that it is possible for such homebuyers to make their dream come true by taking out a jumbo mortgage loan. Reports reveal that the jumbo mortgage loan rates are successfully enhancing the luxury home loan market. Read on to know how the convenient jumbo mortgage rates are affecting the luxury home buyers and the entire market.


What do you mean by a jumbo mortgage loan?

A jumbo mortgage loan is a mortgage that surpasses the mortgage loan limits that have been set up by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since these two institutions are the ace mortgage institutions, they’re the ones who purchase majority of the residential mortgage loans from the lenders; they set some parameters regarding the amount of loan that a borrower can borrow from a mortgage lender. Any loan that exceeds the parameter set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are known as jumbo mortgage loans.

Jumbo home sales increase by 8% - Some stats that prove this

As compared to 2011, the jumbo home sales jumped more than $1 million and this was up by 8%. The analysts are of the opinion that the surge in the luxury home sales is partially due to the most favorable jumbo mortgage loan rates. The fixed rate jumbo mortgage loans were at 4% high range and the adjustable rate mortgage loans were also at their all-time low levels. All this made luxury home affordability soar and this was seen in the form of increased jumbo mortgage loan applications. In 2011, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduced the conforming loan limits in the luxury home areas from $730,750 to $630,500. The New York buyers have been reported to have lost access to the government-backed mortgage loans in areas like Los Angeles, Manhattan, Virginia and California.

What is the maximum loan amount that can be borrowed through the jumbo mortgage?

Most people who dream of buying a costly house take resort to the jumbo mortgage loans but there are many who are not even aware of the amount that they can borrow through a jumbo mortgage loan. Though the jumbo loan requirements keep on changing with time, the present jumbo mortgage loans allow a borrower to borrow an amount from $418,000 to $2,000,000 in certain parts of the United States of America where houses are pretty costly. Not every bank offers jumbo mortgage loans and the rates also vary from one lender to another. Unlike the government-backed loans from FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it certainly pays to get multiple quotes from multiple lenders so as to choose the best one in the market. A difference of 0.25% in the interest might equate to a huge savings on the loan payments. Sometimes the bottom limit is even set at $625,000 in states like Alaska and Hawaii.

Are there any drawbacks of taking out jumbo mortgage loans?

Just as everything has its pros and cons, the jumbo loans are no exceptions. Since the loan amount is a huge one and approving it from the lender is also an equally difficult task, the mortgage lender usually charges high rates on the loans. Unlike traditional mortgage loans, the jumbo mortgage loans even require higher down payments and this may often become tough for a person who hasn’t saved enough money for the down payment. Moreover, the fluctuations of the value of the luxury homes are highly skeptical and therefore most lenders ask for double appraisals. Nevertheless, you can certainly opt for it with the present market conditions as the luxury home market seems to boast the jumbo mortgage loans.

Therefore when you’re looking for getting a jumbo mortgage loan for purchasing your dream house, you can negotiate with your lender for such a loan. However, ensure that you take such a loan only when you have enough ability to repay the loan on time. Don’t make the mistake of letting the interest rates accumulate.

This post was provided by Gabriel Knight of Carson City, Nevada, who is connected to the MortgageFit Community as a Mentor. He has been working with the community since 2009 and has offered several easy solutions to individuals with mortgage questions. He has also written various mortgage,luxury real estate related articles for the different financial and real estate websites.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/4/2012 at 8:55 AM
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Cape Cod Style Residence in Osterville, Massachusetts

The very definition of a Cape Cod style residence awaits in a highly desirable Wianno location. Framed by a private 1.52(+-) acre setting with golf course frontage, this four-bedroom residence boasts numerous updates. You can literally just “move in.” Beautifully landscaped grounds with mature trees and plantings, an enticing, red cedar pergola covered brick terrace combine with a sought after location to create a compelling offering. Convenient to all Osterville village attractions, Nantucket Sound beaches, yachting and rights to West Bay.

For more information, contact Jack Cotton at 508-776-0009.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/4/2012 at 12:00 AM
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The Ultimte Ski Home in Park City, Utah

One would expect the extraordinary from the CEO of Dreamworks,  the film studio that brought us Shrek, Madagascar, and the Lion King. The Park City residence of Jeffrey Katzenberg does not disappoint.  

"It is the ultimate ski home," says Paul Benson of Sotheby's International Realty, who is handling the sale of the $20.5 million Park City, Utah property.

On two lots within the prestigious Bald Eagle community, the home was designed by Rick Otto and Charles Gwathmey with interiors by Naomi Leff, whose celebrity clientele includes Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani and was built by renowned hotel developer New Star, a true dream team.

"They set out to build a home with a cabin feel -- a true family trap," says Benson.

A 14,100 square foot rustic lodge, with 7 bedrooms, 10 baths, and multiple entertaining spaces flowing beautifully from one to another, including a living room with 30-foot windows offering shimmering views of  the silver mining town.

"It shows like an art gallery," says Benson, but one where you "want to jump on a sofa and enjoy a fire."

This is a house you want to be snowed into, he says, with a resort-style entertainment center on the lower level that includes an indoor pool, sauna, spa, gym, and game room. An 80" LED TV allows for private film screenings and a ski room with a bar that walks right out onto the slopes.  

Should you emerge, three of the world's best ski areas are outside the door along with a dozen world class golf resorts and exceptional restaurants and shopping -- as expected from a town that attracts thousands of glitterati to the Sundance Film Festival and counts Mitt Romney and Katherine Heigl as part-time residents.  

This once silver mining town is enjoying a latter day rush, with home sales-- and prices -- climbing. 

"The Olympics put us on the map," says Benson. "Sundance keeps us there."

With consistently sunny days and a lung-building altitude,  the town remains a training paradise for Olympic-level athletes. "We have the lowest percentage of body fat in the U.S." Benson laughs.

It increasingly attracts buyers from the United Kingdom, France, China, Mexico, even Russia, says Benson, who markets properties around the world. In one recent month he ran magazine ads in 7 countries.   

The  strategy has paid off.  With a client list that reads like an international who's who, Benson was named one of the country's top agents by the Wall Street Journal and is Utah's top broker, selling over 100 homes and over $100 million in volume in 2011 and 2012.

"It was," he says modestly, "a pretty good year."

For more information about this property, contact Paul Benson at 435-649-1884.


Al Firdaws

This noble custom-built compound reflects a North African heritage and culture rich in artistic architectural design. “Designed around a central courtyard, the main structure follows the century-old tradition of the ryads of the Moroccan desert and inland Arab cities,” says Penny Smith Jones, Director of Public Relations at Martha Turner Properties. “The result is an enclosed world of privacy and, at Al Firdaws, regal luxury and serenity with extraordinarily modern, cosmopolitan flair.”

Once inside the gated entrance and tall security fences of this majestic 20,000-square-foot Moroccan estate, a three-tiered fountain rises into the air before the deeply recessed double-height front doors of the main house. Designed for grand entertainments, reception rooms in the Moroccan style have intricately carved and mirrored dome ceilings that appear to float above gorgeous light fixtures. The reception rooms are also furnished with built-in banquettes upholstered in fine Italian silk. A professionally equipped kitchen adorned in fine rose marble is hidden behind deeply carved doors.

This gorgeous estate offers spacious European-inspired formal rooms with marble floors and elegantly carved fireplaces as well as informal rooms surrounding the central courtyard, a tranquil place enhanced by fountains and parterre gardens. It is here we find two floors of traditional living spaces for the family including a double staircase, elevator, a second professionally equipped marble kitchen and dirty kitchen, and open family room overlooking the lawn and Olympic-scale swimming pool. Lavishly appointed master suites are on both first and second floors as well as an additional seven bedrooms.

“Moroccan artisans labored for two years to fabricate calligraphy, carved wood, filigree plaster and interlaced geometrical design that cover walls and ceilings throughout the estate,” says Jones.

An electronic touch-screen system automates virtually everything in the residence, from lighting to audio-visual control to five security cameras equipped with human recognition technology. The estate has garages for up to six cars and separate entrances and living quarters for a large staff.

Words cannot express the nobility and magnificence of such an ornate, grand and meticulously designed estate.

For more information about this property, contact Martha Turner Properties at 713-558-3246.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/2/2012 at 2:54 PM
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Categories: duPont Marketplace | duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties
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