Luxury Real Estate Website Design: Nature Can Inspire Extraordinary Design -Part 2

Many luxury home markets are in vacation destinations, which means buyers are seeking a relief from the stress of their current environment when they purchase a vacation home. Therefore, using intense colors in your personal and company branding may be jarring to your target market.  In our fast-paced world of luxury real estate marketing it is a good idea to slow down to a snail’s pace every so often to appreciate the exquisite subtlety of colors in nature that can be more soothing to the eye. 

It is important to select colors for your brand identity and website design that are your personal favorites.  However, tempering the shades and hues of your favorite colors to harmonize with local colors is often advisable. Conversely, if your personal favorites are subdued and your marketplace is more lifely you may consider amping up your color scheme.

Some of the obvious colors that are associated with luxury goods are burgundy, forest green, gold and black. Although, the simple use of two or three colors is often effective, an expanded color palate can add a rich diversity to the visual experience.

Green shells (left)

Snail shells (right)

In our luxury real estate strategic branding and website design practice, we often look to nature for inspiration when selecting a color palette for our clients based on their basic preferences. These snail shells provide some examples of non-obvious color schemes that depart from burgundy, forest green and gold.  

Always keep in mind that everyone has personal color preferences.  These colors may not resonate with you. There is an entire psychology of colors that we will delve into in future articles. Stay tuned for Part 3 where we take our color palette inspiration from sea scallops.

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.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/9/2013 at 7:56 AM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Marketing Tips
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Discover Ocala with Valerie Dailey of Showcase Properties

Talk about pedigree! Consider the birth place of Affirmed, the thoroughbred who riveted the nation, winning the last Triple Crown.

In the heart of Ocala, Florida, known as the Horse Capital of the World, sits a magnificent 60-acre spread with nearly 30 acres of wooded riding trails a trot away from barns and paddocks, the main house and guest house.

The centerpiece is the vast barn and show arena featuring observation decks, locker rooms, 30 stalls (there are 60 in all), a full kitchen, and a conference room.

The 5,428 square foot main house was crafted from the original stallion barn -- four stalls remain as a whimsical reminder of the property's storied past.

The four bedroom home features exceptionally fine wood and stonework, a huge custom kitchen and patios outside every door offering magnificent vistas. 

Call Valerie Dailey, Broker Associate, at 352-351-4718 for a tour of this exceptional property.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/8/2013 at 1:10 PM
Tags: , ,
Categories: duPont Marketplace
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

New Home on West Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

A rare opportunity to live on exclusive Chapoquoit Island in West Falmouth. This spectacular 6,800-square-foot new home has mesmerizing panoramic west-facing views of Buzzards Bay. A locale and property to be cherished for generations. For more information, contact John Weyand with Sotheby's International Realty Cape Cod at 508-245-1908.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/8/2013 at 12:56 PM
Tags: , , , ,
Categories: duPont Marketplace
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Luxury Real Estate Website Design: Nature Can Inspire Extraordinary Design - Part 1

In a recent article series, A Whale of a Good Time, we talked about the importance of setting aside time to get out, meet new people and pursue new interests that can broaden your knowledge base just for the joy of learning.  On our behind-the-scenes tour of Santa Barbara’s Natural History Museum one of the curators showed us samples of the millions of sea-shells and mollusks that they keep for research purposes.

We had a wonderful time on this outing, and we were also thoroughly inspired by this particular exquisite collection.  In the following articles in this series, we will demonstrate how Nature can be a fabulous source of inspiration for luxury real estate website design and branding.

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.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/8/2013 at 10:48 AM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Marketing Tips
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Majestic Country Estate in Colts Neck, New Jersey

A majestic country estate situated in beatiful horse country. This 12,000 square foot estate home with gated entry has three professionally designed levels of elegant and inviting spaces. Featuring seven bedrooms, ten baths, two gourmet kitchens, incredible move theater, gym and more. Delightful, manicured gardens, pool and patios create a peaceful serenity that reflects the attention to detail throughout this polished home and spectacular property. Approximately one hour to Manhattan. For more information, contact Heritage House Sotheby's International Realty at 732-946-9200.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/7/2013 at 12:48 PM
Tags: , ,
Categories: duPont Marketplace
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Casa Piena in Poway near San Diego County, California

The spectacular and expansive Casa Piena (meaning Full House) may be located on 4.5 acres of land in San Diego, California, but the Italian-inspired estate is as authentic as they come. To say that the 39-room estate was a major “labor of love” for all parties involved during its construction could never be considered an understatement.

The 11 bedroom, 17 bathroom Casa Piena took almost 5 years to complete and brought together some of the world’s finest artisans and craftsmen to create one-of-a-kind murals, wood paneling, mosaics and other high-quality handcrafted touches.

“The amazing quality of craftsmanship and attention to detail in the Casa Piena estate is unparalleled in any other property that I have had the opportunity to work on,” stated Ed Earl of Priority One Properties.  Earl served as the Owners Construction Project Manager for this estate and represented the homeowner in all interactions with the contractor, architect, designers and tradesman during the construction of the estate home and is now performing as the broker.

Hand forged iron gates usher visitors into the palatial estate, which is composed of four separate buildings. The main house, pool cabana, guesthouse and detached garage total 26,862 square feet under roof. Outdoor features include a sunken tennis court, 3,000+ square foot pool with exhilarating water features, a gazebo, terraced areas, an olive orchard and a private jogging trail that surrounds the estate.

The interior of this private estate showcases and array of classic details, such as carved wood moldings, solid walnut doors, elaborate beamed and hand painted ceilings, ancient stone floors, exotic wood-paneled walls, authentic Italian lighting, and imported hand-carved stone fireplaces.

The materials used for Casa Piena come from over 20 distinct countries all over the world, including Egypt, Tunisia, Madagascar, Bali, China, Brazil, Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, England, Canada, and Mexico.

Old-world styling and imported materials are a large focal point of Casa Piena. Not only do they add value and a rich uniqueness to the home, but they bring all of the ease and grace of an Italian countryside villa to the lush green setting of Southern California. A historic opportunity for ownership of the Casa Piena Estate awaits.  To learn more about the estate or to schedule a private tour, please visit www.mycasapiena.com


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/6/2013 at 10:54 AM
Tags: , , , , ,
Categories: duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Have a Whale of a Good Time!

One of the keys to being successful as a luxury real estate marketing professional is having a wide range of interests, which enables you to connect on many levels with your clients and referrals sources.  Being more interested than interesting will serve you well in your career.  Setting aside time in your busy schedule to develop new interests, and meet new people, is just as important to own health and well being as it is to your career.  And, you will have a whale of a good time in life if you do!

Recently, we were invited to join a select group of people for a private, behind the scenes tour of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.  The absolutely fascinating tour was conducted by two of the curators of the museum, both of whom are biologists.  Dr. Krista Fahy is in charge of vertebrates and Patricia Sadeghian specializes in invertebrates, particularly crustaceans. 

What made this an extraordinary experience was the level of passion that these professionals feel for their work and their commitment to excellence. We had no idea of the extent of research in which the museum is involved. Nor, did we realize the level of cooperation within the international community of Natural History Museums and universities throughout the world.

The skeleton of the 76-foot long, 10-12 year old blue whale (depicted here) weighs about 7000 pounds.  Live, this whale weighed 140,000 pounds. Adults can live into their nineties and grow to 96 feet.  Their calves consume 110 gallons of milk every day, and gain 200 lbs a day.

Blue whales, the largest known mammals, are found right off of our Santa Barbara coastline during their migration. At that time,(July-October) you can participate in a whale watching expedition by boat.

Get interested! Take the time to explore some of the wonders that are accessible in your own community. And, have a whale of a good time!

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.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/5/2013 at 12:10 PM
Tags: ,
Categories: Luxury Guest Writers
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Splendid European Elegance in Atlanta, Georgia

An exquisitely crafted estate that perfectly recreates gracious old world European splendor, this North Atlanta treasure is the ideal home for someone who loves to entertain on a grand scale or is seeking a quiet escape from the city’s bustle.

With more than 14,300 square feet, the home has a classical layout and generous room proportions that welcomes both residents and guests, starting with a new motor court outside and a two-story marble rotunda in the grand foyer. Additional public spaces include a Versailles-inspired living room with marble fireplace or, for more casual evenings, a billiard room and lounge on the terrace level. All floors are accessible by an elevator.

Of course, the kitchen is the heart of any home, and this Country French kitchen is no exception. Equipped with double islands, two pantries, and Dacor appliances, it appeals to the home cook and the professional chef, and is complemented by a separate catering kitchen. A breakfast room and a formal dining room offer two options for meals. A newly installed wine cellar and tasting room reflects a connoisseurs’ care for vintage wines.

With its elegant public face, the home has an intimate personal side, too. A library/study has a quiet fireside reading and conversation area. On the second floor, four bedroom suites open to a central family gathering area. A separate apartment is on the terrace level and includes a kitchen and living area. The breathtaking master suite is a luxurious retreat that includes a sitting area, his and hers bathrooms, and boutique-style closets and dressing rooms. Keller Williams agent Cynthia Pierce exclaims, “I could die for that closet -- it’s the stuff of dreams!”

All rooms on the first floor walk out onto the veranda that overlooks the estate’s custom saltwater pool and formal gardens. “The gardens have an old-world, European feel, with charming surprise nooks and retreats.” Pierce says. “It’s a very happy house.”

On two prime gated acres inside Atlanta’s Perimeter and contiguous to Buckhead, with six bedrooms, six baths and four half-baths, the estate is listed at $6,400,000. Interested buyers can contact Cynthia Pierce and 770-757-0001.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/5/2013 at 10:17 AM
Tags: , ,
Categories: duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Victorian Estate in Port Townsend, Washington

One of the last Victorian Estates remaining in Port Townsend. 2.3+ acres of amazing landscaped grounds. In 2008 a kitchen remodel was completed, the results can only be described as perfect. The charm and timeless elegance of the Victorian Era on the first floor, with the convenience of modern living on upper floors. Upper floors-light and bright with extensive use of skylights. Soundproofed meditation room on third floor, 2 car garage, too much to list is an understatement. Offered at 1,300,000. Interested buyers can contact Charlie Arthur at 360-531-3357.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/5/2013 at 9:46 AM
Tags: , ,
Categories: duPont Marketplace
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Chicora Wood Plantation in Georgetown, South Carolina

Sitting in its home park of magnificent moss- draped ancient oak trees and beautiful formal plantings of azaleas and camellias this serenely graceful antebellum manor house commands a mile of its own river frontage on both east and west sides of the Great Pee Dee River in South Carolina, a one thousand acre former rice plantation. It is no exaggeration to call Chicora Wood Plantation one of the most successful rice plantations in South Carolina of its time. In 1850 it was home-base for Gov. Robert F. Allston, who owned a network of 7 plantations along the Pee Dee River. His holdings produced more than 1.5 million pounds of rice in a years time. From 1896 to 1921 the Gov.’s daughter, Elizabeth Allston Pringle, was the last rice planter of Chicora Wood, “surviving in a man’s world and in a society in upheaval”. Elizabeth Pringle is known for her contribution to literature as the author of “A Woman Rice Planter”- her own account of a woman’s role in daily life on a rice plantation; “Chronicles of Chicora Wood”;  “Rab and Dab”.

Only three families have actually occupied the plantation since it was granted to the original owner by King George second in 1732. The restoration combines all of the authentic structures with every modern amenity and comfort allowing a life style as elegant or as casual as one might desire.

A 10,000 square foot mansion. The foyer greets you with a grand staircase, a large formal drawing room to the right and an exquisite dining room to the left. Each with massive doors, ornate chandeliers and elegant fireplaces with hand-carved decorative mantels. Overlook the formal garden and the peaceful Pee Dee. The drawing room is adjoined to the library sharing a double sided fireplace. The dining room, elegantly embellished, overlooks majestic live oaks adorned with Spanish Moss. The kitchen has a cozy fireplace, abundant cabinet space and opens to a lovely breakfast room. The second floor of the main house includes the master suite, Mrs. Pringles bedroom and two guest bedrooms. A masterfully designed staircase leads to hidden attic access and the home office with the most amazing atop the oaks view to the river. The staircase is a marvel in itself as it offers “nanny windows” to the former nursery.  Positioned on either side of the office are two additional bedrooms.

Behind the wall mural in the foyer you will find a passage to the original structure that was built around 1784. Descending stairs lead to an additional living area and bedroom. The second floor includes two charming bedrooms.

The 8 dependencies on the property: the Summer Kitchen, Smokehouse, Driver’s House, Carriage House, Rice Threshing Mill, Shipping Barn, Slave Cabin and School House; most with original pieces of furniture or equipment and restored to their time period with the utmost care.   

Over 100 acres of impounded former rice fields afford bountiful hunting opportunities. The plantation in its entirety is protected by a conservation easement with The Historic Charleston Foundation. Many of the neighboring plantations up and down river observe this protection as well, assuring that these lands will never be encroached upon by commercial development. Chicora Wood Plantation is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.           

Interested buyers can contact Carol Jayroe of Prince George Sotheby's International Realty at 843-240-4492.


Lavish Playroom in Lake Ray Hubbard, Texas

5 Bedrooms, 5.1 Baths, 8,393 Square Feet - $1,395,000 

LOCATION! Private Cul-de-sac Street.  5 bedroom estate situated on coveted inlet of Lake Ray Hubbard and designed for Lavish Lakeside Living! Stunning Pool, Spa, Decks and Outdoor Stainless Kitchen!  Complete privacy in backyard.  5 car garage.  Foyer opens to living areas and view of wall of windows overlooking pool.   Indoor  Sports Court!  Upstairs game room (50X26)  with full kitchen has window overlooking sports court and is actually a self contained suite that would be excellent office suite, grown children or to entertain in style with no mess in the main part of the home as the current owners do.  Fantastic Balcony Views! 

Interested buyers can contact Barbara Hensley at 866-772-9699.

 


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/4/2013 at 9:44 AM
Tags: , ,
Categories: duPont Marketplace
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Can You Refinance When You Owe More Than The Worth of Your Home?

If the price of your property is less than the mortgage loan, then it’s an underwater mortgage. It often becomes difficult for homeowners to manage an underwater mortgage. Refinance may help in these circumstances but most of the lenders may not be that willing to cooperate with you. Especially private lenders would never like to show the eagerness to help you.

Generally, most of the lenders will allow you to refinance only when you’ve at least 20% equity in your property. Any figure less than that number may be dangerous for troubled homeowners. So you can realize how tough it may be to refinance an underwater mortgage loan. There is still a solution for the troubled homeowners. Check out the segment below to learn how you can refinance when you owe more than your mortgage loan:

  1. Home Affordable Refinance Program may save you: Home Affordable Refinance Program famously known as HARP is a refinance program offered by the government. Of course the homeowners who have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage loan will be able to apply for HARP. The mortgage worth must be from 105% to 125%. There must be no late payments within the last 12 months of application. The credit score, level of income and the severity of financial hardship of the mortgage owner will be checked for the qualification.
  2. Home Affordable Modification Program can also be an option: If your payments history isn’t that much clear, then Home Affordable Modification Program or the HAMP can still be an option for you. If your mortgage loan has been originated on or before 1st January, 2009, then you may apply for HAMP. Also your mortgage loan must be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The candidate’s proof of income, the mortgage loan related official documents and the duly signed IRS 4506-T are required for application. Once you qualify for HAMP, government will inform your lenders officially so that you get to refinance your mortgage loan effortlessly.
  3. You lender may be your last resort: The list of requirements for government mortgage loan refinance programs is really long. That’s why it’s not that easy always to qualify for these refinance programs. In that case, you need to talk to your lenders. If you could convince your lenders, then it’s possible to get assistance from them. The prominent mortgage lenders like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae generally offer worried borrowers some special options to work on the mortgage loans. So, you may expect some help for loan modification from your lenders. Just have a detailed session with your lenders. Present your loan related documents and discuss your financial hardship in details with your lender. It’s better to surrender to your lender rather than loosing your home due to foreclosure.
  4. Be honest to your lender: Hiding your financial condition from your lenders will do nothing for your mortgage loan. So you must be honest about your actual financial standing. If you’ve lost your job and can’t continue your loan payment, then you must inform your lender about that. Otherwise the lender may make you face an unfortunate foreclosure and certainly this will not be a preferable situation for you. So you must fill out the Uniform Residential Loan Application accurately while refinancing to avoid any misunderstanding in future.


It’s not an impossible task to refinance your mortgage when you owe more than the price of your property. All you need to do is to look for the suitable option for yourself. If you could qualify for HAMP or HARP, then it’ll be better, otherwise you may have to try your negotiation skills to convince your present lenders.

This post was provided by Gabriel Knight, a real estate blogger. He has associated with various real estate and financial communities across the USA. He has written several articles for various real estate, finance and law websites. He can be reached here.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/4/2013 at 7:02 AM
Tags: , , ,
Categories: Luxury Guest Writers
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Old Town in Park City, Utah


With historic beginnings as a mining town for silver in 1869, Park City, Utah, has an illustrious history that included a hundred saloons at one point. Its mining origins gave the town a mix of unique characters, merchants, gamblers, saloon keepers and brothels. Today, this 17+ square mile city boasts lovely restored homes and newer homes in a Rocky Mountain setting. Both North Old Town and South Old Town are the site of many fine homes and properties as well as art galleries and shopping. Transportation choices are varied, and one can easily walk or ride the Main Street Trolley.

Real Estate in Old Town

Homes and condominiums can be found in Old Town and are within walking distance of Main Street. One bedroom condos are available in the mid-thousand dollar range and might be within a short distance of the ski mountain. Included could be a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, underground parking, floor to ceiling windows, gas fireplace and mountain views. A four bedroom townhouse might be close to golf in the Silver Star area. Additionally, luxury ski properties are among the condominium choices in Old Town.

Single family homes and cottages are part of the charm of Old Town. A small and picturesque cottage, recently restored, might be in the $350,000 range. Larger luxury properties might appear as historic; however they have a multitude of upgrades and charm. Larger homes in the million dollar range are available in Old Town; stone fireplaces and vaulted ceilings add to the architectural drama of spectacular homes.

About Park City and Old Town

Not only can one ski at Deer Valley Resort and Park City Resort, an array of outdoor activities is part of living in Park City. Ride an Alpine Coaster with family or friends. Hiking and biking in summer months are ideal, and an abundance of fine trails can be found. Enjoy the historic old charm ambiance of the Egyptian Theatre on Main Street for weekly events, professional productions and community theater happenings. Walk to the Kimball Art Center in the Old Town area for exciting exhibits such as the marvelous Chihuly glass exhibit that recently took place; the Art Center also offers classes for children and adults. There is much to do both indoors and outdoors in Park City, and Old Town is a great location from which to access it all.

Ben Fisher, the author of this post, is a real estate agent at Summit Sotheby's International Realty in Park City, Utah.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/3/2013 at 1:32 PM
Tags: , , , ,
Categories: duPont Marketplace
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

10790 Encino in Oak View, California

Saddle Mountain in the Ojai Valley. Miles of horse trails. Custom built. First time listing. 3 plus 2 1/2 bath high end estate! Crafted in 2006 with more than 2.5 acres. Master suite includes separate closets, walk-in shower, and 2-person spa tub. Outdoor fireplace and BBQQ; gourmet kitchen opens to family room. Wine cellar. Separate office with built-ins. Art studio, possible third bedroom. Approximately 3,700 plus square feet with 947-square-foot garage and 1,065-square-foot loggia with brilliant views of TopaTopa. Tuscany in Ojai Valley! For more information visit www.10790Encino.com.


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/3/2013 at 10:02 AM
Tags: , ,
Categories: duPont Marketplace
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed

Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage: Real Estate Isn't Only About Property, It's About People

Christina Candy of Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage is master in real estate investments, including high-end luxury residential, commercial, retirement/nursing homes, and national/international land development investment opportunities. With over 25 years of real estate experience, Christina is a top producer, in the top 1% in Toronto, Canada and a paralegal. She attributes her expert business negotiation skills, professionalism, honesty, and integrity to her experience in working with her physician father and her volunteer work.. Her high commitment to her health care executives and physician clientele has gained her recognition as the MD Preferred Affiliated Real Estate Professional for the Toronto area for the second consecutive year.

Beautiful Toronto, a well-ordered, relaxed, and friendly city, is one of the choice cities for family homes. In 2013 the average selling price is expected to hit $500,000 for the first time, as prices have been rising steadily since 2000. Christina recommends areas York Mills and Bayview Village, with properties in excess of $1 million. These communities are close to downtown Toronto, near great shopping centers and private schools. Similarly, Bridle Path and Yorkville, with homes starting at $2 million, and Cabbagetown with homes ranging from $600,000 to $3 million, are some of Christina’s featured properties in downtown Toronto near lake Ontario—one of Canada’s most beautiful destinations.

Toronto isn’t the only market Christina Candy dominates. The private Cotton Tree Bay oceanfront estate in the exquisite Negril (Montego Bay) Jamaica is one of her international luxury properties. Offered at $8 million, Cotton Tree Bay is nestled in Jamaica’s northwest coast on approximately 200 acres. With helipad and private marina, it’s easy to visit whenever the mood strikes for a stroll on two miles of sandy beaches or a swim in its private protected bay. The property is suitable for both resort and residential development, and could easily accommodate spas, tennis courts, a nine-hole gold course, and riding stables. Turquoise water and extensive coastline make for an ideal sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing destination spot. To discover more of Cotton Tree Bay’s beautiful landscape visit cottontreebay.com.  


Share | |

Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/3/2013 at 9:41 AM
Tags: , , , ,
Categories: Featured Realtors
Post Information: Permalink | Comments (0) | Post RSSRSS comment feed