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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02/09/17 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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02/01/17 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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355 Oak Hills - Lake 1

The Right (Tax) Side of Lake Texoma

Pied-à-terre is French for “foot on the ground” and is often described as a city apartment used by suburban or rural residents to get a cultural fix.  Who’s to say it can’t work in reverse?  Why can’t urban dwellers put a “foot on the ground” in a small town just a bit too far away to be commutable?

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01/18/17 11:11am

Denman - Exterior 1

Do you believe a vacation home is a refuge to literally get away from it all?  Perhaps the lush landscape of the Pacific Northwest calls to you, but Seattle has become too “Microsoft Millionaire” for you.  How about hopping across the Canadian border to one of the Gulf Islands between the mainland of British Columbia (containing the City of Vancouver) and the large Island of Vancouver?  Denman Island has just what the doctor ordered.

Located at 1800 Triple Rock Road is this gem of an eco-friendly house rests on a pinch over five acres with relaxing views of the forest canopy, Baynes Sound waterway and the Vancouver Island mountains in the distance.  Named Butterfly House due to the roofline, the home is a modest 670 square feet with one bedroom and one bathroom.  It’s listed with Margaret Rabena of Pemberton Homes for $439,000.

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01/11/17 2:00pm
Ocean Views from Everywhere. Second floor shows Master Bedroom.

Ocean Views from Everywhere. Second floor shows Master Bedroom.

Talk about location, location, location — 202 Kaikuono Place in Honolulu is two doors away from what’s arguably the most famous piece of residential property in Hawaii, Doris Duke’s Shangri-La estate.  Both are located on the ancient lava flow “toe” that juts out into the Pacific called Black Point.  It’s one thing to say you live in Diamond Head, but to call Black Point home raises your cred exponentially. It’s been estimated that were Duke’s five-acre oceanfront estate ever to make it to market, it would be the most expensive piece of residential real estate in the state. And it’s two doors down.

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01/04/17 12:14pm

Sand Castle White House 1

For each year of his presidency, President Obama spent the holidays on the same stretch of Kailua beach, near the Marine base at Kaneohe.  Rumors continue to swirl on which home exactly the president is in.  Partly for security reasons and partly because several of the homes in the area have changed hands during his presidency.  At any rate, this year, as has been tradition, several friends drive over to the long expanse of beach for a Christmas morning walk.  The 3.5 mile round trip’s turn around has been the Secret Service tent at the far end of Kailua beach to keep looky loos away.

This year, in addition to the tent, was this White House replica in sand with a message from the people of Hawaii to the outgoing President.

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12/22/16 9:59am

kahuku-map-1

Today, when locals hear “Kahuku” they often think of Kahuku sweet corn or shrimp from this agriculture-heavy area. But for over a century, one stretch of Kahuku was smack in the middle of history.  Now, over 28 acres of beachfront land and historic … proper historic … buildings are up for sale for $18 million by Julia Napua Fetzer of Hawaii Life Real Estate. It is by far the most fascinating piece of property on the market in Hawaii.

After researching the history of the place, friends and I dropped the top on the car and headed up north to see it in person.  What a treat to share with you …

It all began in 1899, when a group of investors at the behest of the Hawaiian King (Texas ain’t the only state that was a country!) brought Marconi wireless telegraph stations to Hawaii and formed the Inter-Island Telegraph Company. At the time it was UK-based Marconi’s first major order.  They’d read of the Marconi demonstration sending wireless Morse code signals across the English Channel. The purpose was to provide real-time communications between the Hawaiian Islands.

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