02/24/17 10:23am

Sienna - Exterior Glamor 1

Often we feature homes and apartments intended as getaways, but what about a destination that challenges how we live our lives?  Sure, some fabulously wealthy person could purchase a property like this and simply add it to their portfolio, but the real tug for the rest of us comes from utilizing a property like this as a springboard to alter your life.  You’d still need some serious money or a willing bank, but this property offers a vastly different lifestyle.

Let me explain.  This 12th century fortress compound encompasses 154,139 square feet of interior living space that includes 110 bedrooms, 100 bathrooms, four swimming pools, a chapel, and two fishing lakes (feel free to re-read that). Along with the castle, there are 1,594 acres of rolling farmland of which only a speck is being used for wine grapes and olives.

See what I mean?  This property could change your life in many ways.

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02/15/17 7:49am
A view you could sell tickets to see

A view you could sell tickets to

I hadn’t even got on the plane and this Florence villa captivated me.  Is it any wonder when this is the view from the home’s back deck?  Perfectly situated to frame the ancient city of Florence, this home could be a dump and still there’d be this.  Of course it’s no dump …

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02/10/17 10:58am
This pretty property in Crested Butte is among the vacation destinations featured at the No Place Like Home Event. Photo courtesy of Austin Street Center.

This pretty Crested Butte property is among the vacation destinations featured at the No Place Like Home Event raising funds for the Austin Street Center.

What a shame to let a gorgeous vacation house stand empty when it could be put to good use raising funds to support the homeless!

If you’re going to rent a vacation place anyway, why not book a spot that will do the same?

Austin Street Center is hosting a fundraiser that has your name all over it if you own a vacation home that you are willing to lend, or if you are interested in purchasing a stay at a lovely vacation property to benefit the Center’s facilities and programs to help the homeless. The second annual No Place Like Home Event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Pirch NorthPark Center. Linda and Frank Roby are co-chairing the event.  (more…)

02/09/17 12:00pm

Clotilde View 1

Often in Paris, discoveries are made by chance. Out for a walk one evening, up Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, I happened upon one of the Sotheby’s offices and peered into the window (as you do).  I was struck by this photograph, snapped a picture to remind me to follow-up when the office was open.

As if the picture didn’t tip it off, I have quite nice taste.  I mean, who reading this wouldn’t count their lucky stars to be standing here with a glass of champagne in their hand?

The Left Bank property on Rue Casimir Périer in the 7th Arrondissement, is on the upper floor of a vintage building across from the pictured Basilique Sainte-Clotilde, in all its Notre Dame-esque gothic-ness. The apartment’s nine rooms are listed with Véronique Prévost and includes six bedrooms with five bathrooms. The apartment is on two floors with the main public rooms and master suite on the sixth floor while the remainder of the bedrooms are on the fifth along with an office/bedroom.  The whole property covers 2,690 square feet (250 square meters) and is listed for a pinch more than $5.26 million or4.9 million … that’s $1,957 per square foot.

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02/06/17 2:29pm
Steamboat Springs Hot Springs

Photo courtesy of the Colorado Tourism Office

Every ski town seems to have its own appeal. It’s easy to get to, or it’s isolated and exclusive.  It’s snowboarder heaven, or it’s snowboard-free. It a great place for beginners, or  it’s dominated by advanced-level runs and black diamond-lovers don’t have to navigate around skiers like me.

Steamboat Springs in northwestern Colorado is known as an exceptionally family-friendly town. It’s known for lots of programs for children, kids-only lifts, and play areas and parks designed with juveniles in mind.  But,  the area has a unique natural feature with special appeal for adults: mystical natural hot springs where skiers, snowboarders, and hikers can relax and soak away tired muscles and aches and pains.  Click here for a look at these therapeutic wonders and a gorgeous new vacation home listing in Steamboat Springs:

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02/02/17 2:12pm
A visit to Bill and Hillary's starter home in Fayetteville, Ark., prompted Bethany Erickson to take a look at what the real estate market in the area looks like - and it's a boon for second home hunters.

A visit to Bill and Hillary’s starter home in Fayetteville, Ark., prompted Bethany Erickson to take a look at what the real estate market in the area looks like — and it’s a boon for second home hunters.

Love mountains, but also love shopping? Love Austin, but hate the traffic?

Haaaaaaaave you met Fayetteville, Ark.?

Now, I must confess a great deal of bias — Fayetteville is my old stomping grounds, and whenever we get a chance, we head there for R&R. In fact, we were there over Christmas vacation, and had the chance to tour a very well-known starter home — Bill and Hillary Clinton’s first home — where they lived while both taught at University of Arkansas’ law school.

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02/01/17 9:45am
A Wallet-Emptying View of Sacre Cour from Champs Elysées Penthouse

A Wallet-Emptying View of Sacre-Coeur from Champs Elysées Penthouse

You have to hand it to the French.  Here in the US, we’re thrilled if we can cobble together real estate sales and rental data going back a few years.  In preparation for my trip to Europe on Friday, I took a look at what data was available in Paris.  A lot.  Easily downloadable are the purchase and rental data for Paris from 1200 to 2016.  Yes, the year 1200 … 816 years of data at your fingertips.  The data is tracked by the Conseil Général de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable (CGEDD).  Quite a mouthful.

Looking back a bit more reasonably to 1965, there are some interesting comparisons to be made.  First of all, the average property in the US as measured by Freddie Mac and Case-Shiller was consistently higher than in France from 1965 until 2001, when the costs merged.  From that point onwards, French residential real estate has greatly outperformed the U.S. market.

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