Thursday, November 29, 2007

Good & Not So Good Real Estate News

Palm Island home sold for $16,400,000

There is good news and bad news in real estate today. Here is the good news; on Miami Beach, there are 2 adjacent islands, namely Palm Island, and Hibiscus Island. Recently 2 ultra-luxury homes on those islands sold for $16,400,000 and $9,000,000 respectively. That is great news, because it demonstrates that people are still willing to spend big bucks for Miami luxury homes, regardless of all of the news reports about the dismal real estate market. Now for the not so good news. A report on CNN stated that foreclosures nationwide were up again in October ( 2% from September), and were up an amazing 94% in October as compared to October of 2006. Last month 50,000 (people/families) were forced out of their homes due to foreclosures. I guess all of this goes right along with the adage, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Today's Real Estate Report

Home prices are falling all over the country. According to the NAR, prices continued to fall during the 3rd quarter of this year, accompanied by declining sales. The biggest declines in home sales are in those areas where the most significant speculative investment took place, including Florida, Arizona, and Nevada. Hardest hit is the Melbourne and Palm Bay area, where the steepest decline in prices was recorded. Median home prices fell in this part of Florida 12.4%. Sacramento California comes in 2nd, with median home prices plunging 10.4%. In stark contrast is the Northeastern part of the United states, where the median home price rose 3.2% during the quarter ending September 30.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Corbin Crossing - time to revist...

I posted a few months back about a wonderful new community, Corbin Crossing, that is coming to Orange County, North Carolina. More specifically, the site is located just north of historic Hillsborough. I am happy to report that there is additional infomation now available and it seems as though plans are progressing nicely.

As a recap, Corbin Corssing will have 10+ acre lots with homes built by the best custom builders! Only 39 home sites will be available making this truely an exclusive enclave.

Here is a tentative map of Phase 1:

For more information regarding this unique and choice community please send me an email or give me call. I will be happy to help you with your query.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Miami Beach Real Estate - North Bay Road

For a cool $18,900,000, anyone can buy this gorgeous home on Miami Beach.
North Bay Road has some of the most luxurious estates in Miami and all of Florida.
Many celebrities, including the Bee Gees, Jennifer Lopez, and Hulk Hogan have owned homes on North Bay Road. For anyone interested in in this home, call 786-344-8776 for more information.

When is a chair not a chair..?

...When it has been transformed into a truly beautiful, one-off gorgeous piece of vintage furniture!!!

Earlier this year, I asked Niki if she would consider making me a slip cover for an old chair of ours. It's a 1930s armchair which had been re-covered in recent years, but was now rather drab, dreary, tattered and torn (thanks to the cats!) and more than a tad grubby in places! I had a vision of a patchwork of rosey vintage fabrics and having some fabrics that I thought would be perfect, I went on the hunt for more. Of course, I regularly changed my mind with regard to colours, styles etc! So, after a few months, I decided to stop dithering and took what I had to Niki. She gathered together some of her own gorgeous fabrics, mixed them with mine and voila! this is what she created!! How beautiful is this?!! She asked me if it's how I imagined it; Niki, it is even better! I know how busy she is with her website so I am really grateful that she made time for this one-off project.

There is such a lovely variety of fabrics here; old Sanderson linen; 50s roses cotton; French florals; rosey barkcloth - all stitched together in a charming patchwork!

There's even a sweet little cushion - an added extra! I am so pleased with it - thank you Niki! The chair will live in the clock house which means there is the temptation to sit back and relax every day!

But the relaxing will have to wait - first I have to update the website with more vintage goodies!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

15% Recent Home Buyers Have Negative Equity

This is the fourth consecutive quarter that home values have declined nationwide, 5.7% year-over-year, according to a third quarter 2007 home value report released by Zillow earlier this week. That is the largest year-over-year decline in more than a decade. In addition, as of the end of the third quarter, 15.6% of homeowners nationwide who purchased a property in the past 12 months, and 17.5% of buyers who bought two years ago have present home values that are less than the original mortgage amount. In contrast, 1.8% of those who purchased a home five years ago have seen their equity slide into the negative.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Signs Of What's To Come?

Realtors, sellers, and just about everyone else, wish that this real estate crisis had never happened, but it did, and more reports came out today. Last month, applications for building permits dropped to a 14 year low. Furthermore, construction of single family homes shrunk to its lowest level since 1991. That's 16 years. That's not all though. Freddie Mac reported a 2 billion dollar loss amid a worsening real estate mortgage crises, partially created by unscrupulous and greedy lenders looking to make a quick buck. It all sounds so bad, but then again the darkest hour comes right before dawn, and it does seem that people are still spending dollars in Miami. Miami Beach's Lincoln Road Mall was packed with out of towners this past week, and more people are coming for the warm weather and sunny climate. Will that translate into more real estate sales this winter? We shall soon see.

Friday, November 16, 2007

International Spending on the Increase

According to a report on CNBC, international spending is expected to increase in the USA, by 12% in the coming year, due to the shrinking dollar. Europeans are coming here in droves just to shop, because everything is so cheap. One euro buys $1.50, so it's bargain basement time for the Europeans visiting the USA this holiday season, and in the coming year. This is going to hopefully also boost home sales, especially in the Miami area, because Europeans love to come to Miami for vacation, and they are famous for buying up homes and condos during the tourist season. For sellers of real estate, this may well be a good time to bring asking prices down, and in line with present market conditions.

Frosted Roses and Autumn Colour...

I awoke this morning to another glorious day of sunshine and heavy frost! Many of the roses are in bloom, so they're now covered in a beautiful frosting! Only last week, we took these photos of autumnal colour in the garden...

Here are some photos taken this morning...

More pretty, frosted roses...

The beauty of nature...

The view across from our cottage...

I think we're due for a change in the weather at the weekend - apparently we have wind and rain to look forward to. What brilliant timing; I'm off to an antiques fair tomorrow - with outside stalls! So instead of gloves and scarves, it will be wellies and brollies! Enjoy your weekend wherever you are!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Result of Subprime Mortgages

A report by CNN Money said that "According to the Center for Responsible Lending, 7.2 million households have subprime mortgages, and more than 14 percent of those are in default. It projects that one of every five of those loans issued in 2005 and 2006 will end in foreclosure, with 2.2 million families losing their homes".

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Exclusive Fisher Island In Hot Water

I received a very interesting email this morning, informing me that this weekend hundreds of people are going to protest discriminatory and abusive treatment of the workers that clean, maintain, and protect Fisher Island, a neighboring Miami Beach community and one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the U.S.A.

From Jimbo’s to Fisher Island
Nov 17th: Activist Armada of Small Boats to Take “Private” Beach of Exclusive Fisher Island Public

Visual: A dozen decorated small boats will ferry more than a hundred activists close to shore of Fisher Island. Activists will then swim to island with purple flags and beach umbrellas.

MIAMI, FL—An armada of decorated boats will carry hundreds on Saturday November 17, to the sheltered and until now thought to be off-limits beaches of Fisher Island, named the nation’s most expensive zip code by Forbes and labeled “Fantasy Island” by the New York Times, to protest discriminatory and abusive treatment of the workers that clean, maintain, and protect the island.

Participants will meet at Jimbo’s, the iconic smoked fish and boat dock on Virginia Key at noon. The first wave of boats will leave Jimbo’s at 1:00 p.m.

In a letter to Joseph Kay, president of Fisher Island Holdings, LLC, the company that runs the island, SEIU notified the island of the guaranteed public access to the Fisher Island beach according to the Florida Constitution and Covenant 12 of the Second Substituted Declaration of Restrictive Covenants Governing Development of Fisher Island. The covenant also states that the public shall have access to this beach by means of a “public easement pathway” leading “from the ferry boat landing” to the beach. SEIU asked the island to allow the boats to dock at the Fisher Island Marina and to provide a public pathway to the beach. If not allowed to dock, participants plan on SWIMMING FROM THE BOATS TO SHORE.

WHAT: Boat launch to take “private” Fisher Island beach public
WHO: More than a hundred community activists
WHEN: Saturday, November 17, 12:30 p.m. First wave of boats will leave at 1 p.m.
WHERE: Jimbo’s on Virginia Key to Fisher Island Directions to Jimbo’s: Take the Rickenbacker Causeway to Virginia Key. Take the first left after the light at Mast Academy, and follow the signs.

UPDATE:below view the video of the protest:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Landlord Foreclosures - Let The Renter Beware

Something very interesting with regards to real estate, but unbeknownst to most renters of homes or apartments, is that renters must be very aware of exactly what they are getting themselves into when they sign a lease contract.

Due to the high rate of foreclosures these days, many apartment buildings, as well as homes are being foreclosed, and the owners of those properties abdicate responsibility to the building or its tenants upon foreclosure. So what happens if you are a renter, and you signed a long-term lease, and subsequently the owner undergoes foreclosure?

You may end up losing your security deposit, and your last month's rent, and you may be forced to evacuate the apartment with very little notice, unless you are careful to take the right steps. Therefore let the renter beware, and research the status of the space he/she/they are about to occupy. Is the landlord solvent? Are the mortgage payments up to date? Have the property taxes been paid? These questions can be answered more easily than a renter may think.

For example, most states have property records available for view right on the Internet. From there, the renter can often find all sorts of good stuff, like the mortgage amount owed on the property, the tax records, and the date the property was purchased. Many properties were purchased in the past few years with the help of unscrupulous mortgage brokers and lenders, by investors who couldn't really afford their purchases, but were able to close the deals by giving sub-prime mortgages to the lender.

As the adjustable interest rate on those mortgages climbed, many owners found, and are finding themselves unable to pay their mortgage loans, and of course the result is foreclosure. The innocent and uninformed renter can be left with no place to live, and a loss of the equivalent of two month's rent. Therefore, a renter should research all of the readily available information before signing a lease agreement.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Exceptional European Estate....

Exquisite European style estate overlooks the 14th tee of TPC Golf Course. Breathtaking views of course from several patios and balconies throughout estate. There has been no detail untouched in this master crafted, quality constructed dream home. Main level boasts a dramatic foyer with huge iron doors, curved staircase and open receiving foyer. Detailed millwork abounds in this home! Opulent master retreat with french doors leading to private balcony with fireplace, coffee station in master suite and lavish bath. Gourmet kitchen with built in Meile cappucino maker, two dishwashers, detailed custom cabinetry, massive center island and richly appointed. Family room has stunning view of golf course through numerous french doors leading to terrace, massive fireplace and soaring ceilings. Library is located and open on both main level and second level with access on both floors. Richly detailed with deep wood paneling and located in a round turret room this room offers many hours of reflecting. Formal dining room has coffered ceilings and fireplace. Upstairs on second level has nanny suite with their own private living area, bedroom and bath. Third level has Sports Arena with basketball flooring and goal, mirrored wall ideal for dance lessons and also an Italian Soda Bar. Basement level provides easy entertainng wtih common recreation room, wine cellar, old pub-style billards room, humidor, exercise room with sunken jacuzzi and a second kitchen. Custom designed swimming pool with three levels and a water fountain also meanders into the patio on basement level. Elevator services all 4 levels of living. In addition, there is a panic room/vault and theatre room located on basement level.

Every element has been thoughtfully planned and this home leaves no detail or amenity overlooked! Quality craftmanship throughout and living at it's finest throughout! If you would like additional information regarding this home or to arrange a private tour please feel free to give me a call.

Bunga Citra Lestari Special Edition, Sexy Indonesian Artist

Bunga Citra Lestari, BunCit, Special Edition! She is so real Sexy Indonesian Artist and Singer. Free download wallpaper and image, really free! Always visit this web for more updates picture, images, wallpaper and anything about handphone.

Bunga Citra Lestari, is a hot Indonesian artist. She is so beautiful and sexy! Always visit this web for free images, pictures, wallpaper and many more about your handphone.

Gorgeous Four Seasons Condo For Sale

Former Chicago Bulls NBA basketball player, Boris Gorenc, whose teammates were Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, has put his condo on the market for sale. It's a gorgeous 2 bedroom apartment high up on the 48th floor of one of the finest buildings anywhere, The Four Seasons in Miami. Here is a link to the information on the condo. Boris is a friend of mine, so if you're interested you know what to do. Here is a link to a virtual tour of the apartment.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Major Price Drop Forecast in 2008 Housing Market

RISMEDIA, Nov. 8, 2007-The U. S. housing market, already stressed by mortgage challenges, will experience falling home prices at a record rate in 2008, according to the new annual Housing Predictor national forecast.

Home prices are forecast to drop in the overwhelming majority of markets in all 50 states. Housing Predictor independently tracks more than 250 local housing markets in all states and regularly reports changes in each market place to keep visitors up to date on local market conditions.

Some markets, especially in highly populated states, which experienced all time record high appreciation during the real estate boom will see prices plummet at double digit levels in 2008. While others will see less depreciation. The loss in average home values is expected to be the worst since the 1930’s, according to Housing Predictor analysts.

The deflation being experienced in most of the nation’s housing markets is a result of low mortgage interest rates, overly creative financing provided by mortgage companies and massive mortgage fraud on the part of both mortgage brokers and some home buyers. The series of issues has stalled home sales in the majority of the country after prices in many areas reached all-time highs and has resulted in sales activity of less than a third of the number of sales in 2006.

All real estate markets are local in nature with their own regional economic and political influences, which drive the local market place. Some areas in the Pacific north-west and in southern states will experience less deflation in 2008.

Housing markets that cater to second home and vacation buyers may have already bottomed out in areas of Florida and Idaho. However, Florida also has one of the highest rates of foreclosures in the nation, due in part to over building in the Miami condo market. Miami has seen more new condominium projects constructed in the past few years than ever before in the city’s history, and many other projects have been canceled or put on hold until market conditions improve. For more information, visit

Everything's coming up ROSES!

It's been a week since Vintage Home moved into its new home and already I've managed to fill it with everything ranging from stock to favourite vintage pieces of my own. I haven't had much time for relaxing on the sleepdeck, in fact, it has been all hands on deck to get the new vintage stock photographed and in the shop!

There is a very distinct French flavour amidst today's new additions - some truly gorgeous curtains and textiles!

Also, there is an abundance of roses in the shop! There are French roses...

...English roses...

...religious roses...

...and a special Christmas gift idea!

Plus I've selected some delightful vintage items which would make ideal gifts for friends and loved-ones!

Talking of gifts, look at these pretty creations from Louise...

...beautiful handmade corsages and tags! I was delighted to be the winner of her recent giveaway - thank you Louise - I will enjoy wearing the corsages but I'm not sure I can part with the tags!! Another recent surprise parcel from across the pond came from Kim at the colourful Daisy Cottage - we swapped some items and I received these four US magazines - how generous, thank you Kim!

I hope you enjoy having a browse in the shop!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Found a great website!

Each unique luxury home is distinct not only by it's design, and qualitiy of materials used but also by it's individual nature and it's furnishings. Not only are the interior finishes and furnishings important but the exterior atmosphere should be just as discriminating. I found this exceptional website that offers some of the most distinct, one-of-a-kind, custom stonework for your home and garden. Absolute works of art!

If you are searching for that signature piece for your lawn, outdoor haven or an exceptional statue please check out Earthstone Studio. I am sure that they will be able to assist you with your creative ideas and a few suggestions of their own.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Work, rest and... more work!

Well, it's certainly been a busy week! Monday was a day of packing and posting parcels. Tuesday was spent at a huge International antiques fair and despite a thoroughly exhausting day spent shopping, shopping and yes, more shopping, it was very enjoyable and I have some gorgeous new stock for the shop. Wednesday was 'moving day' - the desks and computers - and their miles of cables - were set up in the Clock House. Thursday was spent sorting stock and attempting to make it look tidy!! But before that, I had to indulge myself and spend a little time on the sleepdeck with some vintage comforts around me. This is, after all, what the sleepdeck is intended for!

Although you can't see it, the view from the little 'Amityville' window is through the trees and out across the fields. It really is the perfect spot to get away from it all!

It doesn't get much better than lazing around on an old eiderdown with a book and a cup of tea or glass of wine with a pretty view to distract you.

So, now we will leave this peaceful, tranquil haven and descend the steps...

After that little interlude it was back to work on the website! I had intended to update the site this week but the move took a lot longer than I thought it would! Some of the treasures you see here will be for sale in the shop after the weekend. Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post - I do often visit and really enjoy reading your blogs but I don't always have time to leave a comment.

Now, that just leaves Friday and I shall be blitzing the cottage to get it clean and tidy for our guests on Saturday - this is how the kitchen looks at its tidiest! Hopefully I can get it looking as near to this as possible..!

Have a lovely weekend!