Thursday, January 31, 2008

Casa-Del-Sol - Outer Banks, NC

Gorgeous home located in the fabulous Outer Banks in North Carolina. This home offers six bedrooms with five of them being ensuites. Spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean with breath-taking sunrises!

This home is fully furnished and tastefully appointed. Home currently has a $70,000 annual rental income. A few of the amenities that are available to potential tenants are a game room with wet bar, a pool and hot tub. Specialty shops and fantastic restaurants located within minutes.

Great investment for second home with potential income! For more information on this home please send me and email or give me a call! I would be happy to put you in touch with Matt Huband - HometownOBX who has graciously given his permission for me to advertise this exceptional coastal home.

One Billion Dollar Home Built By India's Richest Man

The wealthiest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, is in the process of building a 27 story, $1,000,000,000 home. Isn't it amazing how much value the zeros gain as they increase in number, simply because there is a 1 in front of them?

The home is being built in one of the plush areas of Mumbai, India, formerly known as Bombay. The 570 feet tall, 27 story home will appear more like a 60 story edifice because the ceilings are very high, according to some published reports. The glass house has been named Antilia, after a mythical island, and was designed by Perkins & Will, a Chicago architecture firm.

It has been rumored that the palace home will house 600 servants. The home will have 6 floors of parking space, maintainance areas, a theater, guest rooms, 4 floors of living space for Ambani's immediate family, pools, gardens, excercise rooms and helipads. Check out the video below.

What To Do If You Are Faced With Foreclosure

The video below is a wonderful mini instruction as to what to do if you are faced with foreclosure on your home. Barbara Corcoran appeared on the Today Show on Tuesday, and told viewers how to make the best out of a bad situation. Many Americans throughout the US are in the process of losing their homes, but all may not necessarily be lost. If you are faced with foreclosure, here are some things you can do....

Video no longer available!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Miami Beach Home Sold For $10,000,000

1401 W 27th St, Sunset Island 2, Miami Beach, Florida
Originally listed for sale in May 2005, a beautiful Sunset Island Estate finally sold last week for $10,000,000. The listing agents had been unable to sell the home for more than 2 and one half years, when a real estate agent from South Miami brought in the buyer and made the sale.

The gorgeous home features 9 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, with 9,626 square feet of living space, on a 20,000 square feet waterfront lot. Amidst all of the bad news coming out these days regarding the real estate market, it’s good to know that change may well be around the corner.

This beautiful home located on Sunset Island 2, one of the four Sunset Islands on Miami Beach, was previously sold in 1997, when it was purchased by Sophia Marcovitz for $750,000.

Miami Home Prices Fall Sharply

According to the latest report from S&P Case/Shiller released yesterday, the housing market continues to get worse each month. The real estate industry considers the report to be one of the most accurate with regards to home prices.

The report states that the worst hit market of the 20 metro areas they cover was Miami, where median home prices fell a depressing 15.1 percent in value from one year ago. In addition, the number of new home sales across the nation fell more sharply than any year on record; and the sales of existing homes fell to their lowest level in 27 years.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2007 Foreclosure Report

Foreclosures across the country soared an incredible 75% in 2007, according to RealtyTrac, a company that sells foreclosure properties. In December of 2007, foreclosures were up 97% compared to December 2006.

There were a total of 405,000 households that lost their homes last year, with more than 1% of all US families in some stage of foreclosure during 2007. In California, almost 66,000 foreclosures took place last year, and in Michigan 47,000 families lost their homes. Hard hit also was Nevada, where 10,000 households were foreclosed.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Luxury Real Estate At Any Price?

12 Indian Creek Drive For Sale $32,000,000

Although the real estate market has slowed dramatically throughout the nation, as well as in the Miami area, it seems that some people are unaffected, especially in the high-end market. For example, in May 2006, an ultra-luxury home on exclusive Indian Creek, namely the property located at 12 Indian Creek Drive, sold for the hefty price of $18,650,000. Today, just more than a year and a half later, the same property is on the market for sale, but this time at a whopping price of $32,000,000.

In 2004 and 2005, it was very common to see homes sell at inflated asking prices, but even as prices have come down substantially in Miami Beach, the most luxurious homes seem to hold value. The property mentioned above will most likely have to come down millions of dollars in price, in order to sell in the next year or two, unless, of course, the real estate market makes a magical turn around in a very short period of time. That would be very nice, but is highly unlikely in a market place which so heavily favors buyers.

A Sunday Market

Our vintage website keeps us very busy these days and during the course of a month, we often visit the large International fairs and markets all over the country, sometimes setting off as dawn is breaking (wonderful in the Summer months!) So it was nice to visit a smaller flea market on Sunday, deep in the heart of rural Somerset. This has long been a favourite fair of mine, but in the winter months there are less outside stalls and sometimes none at all if the weather is very bad. But Sunday was a bright and breezy day - albeit a bit chilly - so there was a good spread of hardy stallholders outside! Despite arriving much later than usual (we had decided a long and leisurely breakfast was needed that morning!) and having to park almost outside on the road due to the number of visitors, we did indeed have a very successful day!

I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful haul of textiles I managed to find. I thought you would like to see a selection of them; as you can see, there is a very Spring-like feel to the collection above, with the delightful violets and fresh, pretty lilac colours.

These wonderful French rosy curtains are just gorgeous - and huge! The pretty boxed pillowcases have never been used.

These beautiful fabrics, including a 1930s print and 1950s barkcloth and chintz are wonderful!

The majority of these will be for sale on the website soon or transformed into something beautiful for our handmade section.

We left the market fairly early as we decided that a leisurely breakfast should really be complemented by a leisurely Sunday lunch, so we set off in search of a country pub - the perfect way to round off a very enjoyable trip!

Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NEW! The Handmade Range at Vintage Home

I am pleased to announce the first batch of our handmade items are on sale at the Vintage Home website from today! We have created a range of beautiful cushions made from vintage fabrics and trims to suit a wide variety of interiors.

Here is a little taster...

...there are breathtaking barkcloths...

...perfect patchworks of delicate French textiles...

...floral linens, barkcloths and pretty trims...

...fresh Gustavian-style cottons...

...and subtle linen roses.

We are currently working on our other exciting ranges of soft furnishings and accessories - I will bring you news of them soon!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Statistics - Home Sales - Dade & Miami Beach

The real estate market in the Miami area has continued to remain soft, with prices falling in both the housing and condo markets. Listings of homes on the MLS have increased, and sales have decreased.

According to data supplied by the Coral Gables, Homestead-South Dade, Kendall-Perrine, and Northwestern Association of Realtors or their MLS, in December of 2006, in Dade County (of which Miami and Miami Beach are part), there were 11,340 single family homes for sale, and there were 750 home sales made during that month. One year later, in December of 2007 there were 16,446 homes for sale, and 334 homes sold.

The condo market results were similar. In December 2006 there were 20,463 condos listed for sale in Dade County, with 846 closed sales. Twelve months later, in December 2007, 24,316 condos were listed, and only 305 sales were made.

A few short years ago, on Miami Beach, it seemed almost like every home or condo that was listed, sold in a very short time. Things have changed dramatically, and this is what has happened recently. In Miami Beach, in December 2006 there were 380 homes for sale, and 18 homes sold. One year later, 456 homes were listed, and 7 homes were sold.

The results of the Miami Beach condo market (including South Beach) were similar. There were 3,631 condos for sale on Miami Beach in December 2006, and 121 closings. Twelve months later, in December 2007, there were 3,880 condos listed, and only 44 condos sold last month.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Al Capone's House Miami Beach

The infamous gangster Al Capone, once lived in a wonderful Miami Beach home located on Palm Island. The home at 93 Palm Ave. is on the market for sale for the first time in over 35 years.

Still in it's original condition, the home which was built in 1922, is in dire need of restoration and is being sold "as-is". This historical house has 6,103 square feet of living space and sits on a 30,000 square foot lot with 100 feet of waterfront. The asking price is $6,800,000. Henry Morrison owns the home, according to the Dade County property records, and according to a report by the Miami Herald, he purchased it in 1971 for $56,000.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Letter From The House of Representatives

The following letter from Congressional Representative Debbie Wasserman Shultz, of the The United States House of Representatives of the 20th District of Florida, recently came in the mail. It addresses some issues regarding the mortgage crises in this country, and, according to Representative Schultz, what our Congress is doing to fix it. Here is the letter, reprinted from the original.

Dear Mr. Shay:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 1852, the Expanding American Homeownership Act. I appreciate hearing from you regarding this important matter.

The American mortgage crisis threatens the U.S. economy, but no state has felt the effects of this problem more than Florida. The 110th Congress is acting to strengthen the housing market and the economy, expand affordable mortgage loan opportunities for families at risk of foreclosure, and strengthen consumer protections against future risky loans. I am proud that the House Democrats passed legislation to help make home ownership affordable and make lending institutions more accountable as part of our first 100 hours agenda.

It may please you to know that on September 18, 2007 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1852, The Expanding Homeownership Act. This bill revitalizes the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which was established to provide a reliable source of affordable mortgage loans for first-time homebuyers. The FHA is now enabled to serve more subprime borrowers at affordable rates and terms, and to attract borrowers to safer and more affordable mortgage alternatives instead of risky predatory loans.

As a proud supporter of The Expanding Homeownership Act, I am also pleased to announce that House Democrats are continuing to improve upon our recent success with H.R. 2895, National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act. The bill establishes a national affordable housing trust fund to build or preserve 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years. We have made real progress during the 110th Congress to create more affordable housing options, and I am committed to pursuing these initiatives throughout my tenure as your Representative.

Finally, on November 15, 2007 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3915, The Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. This legislation will crack down on mortgage lenders by forcing them to get licenses, making them responsible for discovering whether borrowers can really repay and fining them for steering people toward risky subprime loans. The measure is designed to keep more people from sinking into the current mortgage crisis, where prospective homeowners with shaky credit are allowed to get mortgages by financial institutions, with low interest rates only to see the rates rise and bring monthly mortgages up to prices they cannot afford.

Again, thank you for contacting my office, and please do not hesitate to do so again regarding this or any other matter. I will keep your concerns in mind and continue to update you on this and other pressing issues of the 110th Congress. I also invite you to visit my Web site and signup to receive my newsletter at for additional information and legislative issue updates.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Member of Congress

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wakefield Estates and Back Nine Estates

Wakefield Plantation is a sprawling community with a diverse mixture of homes. There is sure to be one for everyone's taste and price range. While there are homes that are estate worthy within Wakefield Plantation there are two sections just a little removed from the main subdivision. They are Wakefield Estates and Back Nine Estates.

Wakefield Estates offers true estate homes and the lots sizes make them very private and removed from the main traffic. Currently on the market you can find prices from $1,100,000 to $3,500, 000 in Wakefield Estates. Each home showcases a different style and feel. Some even have horse priviledges allowing you to keep your horses on your property.

Back Nine Estates is an exclusive enclave that is gated. There are only a handful of homes in Back Nine Estates with only one being available for sale at the moment. The details are:

  • 5 bedrooms, 7 full baths and 2 half baths

  • 3 full kitchens

  • exercise room

  • media room

  • study/library

  • billards/pool table room

  • pool and hot tub

  • wine cellar

This estate is situated on a private 3.12 acres. This estate is the epitome of Baldwin Homes and encompasses their finest design and construction.

If you would like more information regarding Wakefield Estates or Back Nine Estates please feel free to get in touch with me either by email, phone or text message.


A Colourful History

There are many beautiful vintage items which help to make a house a real home - and there are a handful of vintage items which provide each room in that home with its centre piece or crowning glory.

For the bedroom, one of those special items must surely be the patchwork quilt. What was once made out of necessity and sheer practicality has now become a very collectable item. The many fabrics were often salvaged from favourite items of clothing or soft furnishings which were no longer serviceable. A patchwork quilt was also a very good way to preserve and enjoy fabrics which carried a special meaning or fond memories.

This absolutely stunning patchwork quilt is an exceptional find; in near perfect condition, it is made from many varied and beautiful fabrics. The quilt is entirely handsewn and dates from the late 1930s to the early 1940s. Even the soft cotton/linen backing and forest green cotton edging is hand stitched. Every single hexagon is handsewn and great thought has been given to the placement of the many different fabrics.

There is an astounding variety of fabrics in this quilt; velvets, needlecords, crepes, cottons, chintzes, satins, silks and slub-silks, brocades and damasks - and more! There are some very pretty Sanderson and Bernard Wardle fabrics in the form of roses and rosebuds. There are also several cottons most typically used for the pretty eiderdowns of that era, and delightful polka dot, gingham, floral and jacquard patterns. Such an amazing array of gorgeous fabrics which complement each other perfectly. This beautiful quilt is one of today's many new additions to the Vintage Home website which also includes some rather pretty French fabric boxes; this one is lined with a beautiful old wallpaper...

...this one is covered in peonies and pinks...

...and this one dates to the 1920s.

There will be more vintage treasures coming soon - in the meantime, here's a taster of the forthcoming range of Vintage Home handmade goods, which incorporates an exciting and beautiful array of vintage textiles and trims.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Miami Florida - A Wonderful Place To Live

Miami at Night

So much has been said about Miami. It is undeniably a wonderful place to live, and Miami Beach is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The Miami area has its own unique international flavor. It’s January now and the weather is warm and mild with temperatures in the 70s. People can be seen at the beaches, or at the pools of the many hotels and luxury condos in Miami Beach.

The Miami area includes a number of cities and communities, and the City of Miami is the second-largest city in Florida, with a population of 386,417 as of 2005.

The Miami Beach area is comprised of a number of communities and small cities, a few of which are the Sunset Islands, La Gorce Island, Indian Creek, Star Island, Palm and Hibiscus Islands, the Venetian Islands, Bal Harbour, and Bay Harbor Island.

The City of Miami Beach was incorporated on March 26, 1915. As of the census taken in 2005, the population of Miami Beach was 87,295, and the city occupies an area of 18.7 square miles. Miami-Dade County Public Schools serves the city of Miami Beach. There are six public schools which serve the Miami Beach community.

Real estate in the Miami area is some of the most desirable in the world, and in comparison to cities like Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Greenwich, or New York, homes and condominiums are still undervalued in Miami. The consensus among luxury realtors in Miami Beach is that the real estate market will begin to turn in the next year or so, and at that time it may not be quite as easy to make as great a deal on a home purchase as one can make right now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Real Estate - Foreclosures & Investors

According to Default Research, a provider of lis pendens data, foreclosures in the South Florida area were up by 66% in 2007. In Miami-Dade the increase in foreclosures was 26%, while in Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, the increase was 64%.

The research company, which provides pre-foreclosure information, states that they saw an average of 220 foreclosures daily in Florida last year. The median price of a home in Florida is $221,000. The Miami–Broward area is much pricier, with a median home price of $346,800.

The foreclosure crises is bad, but for some investors of real estate, there is an upside, especially in the Miami area. One can make a great deal in today’s real estate market, and buy a condo or a home for well below market value.

Furthermore, as more people resist buying until the market changes, the demand for rental property is increasing. For an investor who wants to buy a property for less than its market value, and rent it out until the market swings in the other direction, this may well be an excellent time to buy, or, at the very least, a prime time to negotiate a great deal on real estate in Miami.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Amazing Gables Club Penthouse $14,900,000

Roof Top of Gables Club 2 Story Penthouse

It took 3 years to finish this 2 story masterpiece in Coral Gables. Recently completed in 2007, the 11,000 square feet Gables Club penthouse boasts 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. This beautiful home in the sky offers
amazing panoramic views overlooking the skyline of Downtown Miami, Biscayne Bay & the city. The asking price is $14,900,000.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Julio Iglesias Razes Miami Home

Julio Iglesias Indian Creek Estate

World famous singer Julio Iglesias recently razed his Indian Creek Island Estate. The large 10,328 square foot home no longer met his family needs, according to the 64 year old singer.

The home was on the market for $25,000,000, but his agents were unable to find a buyer. Unwilling to sell the property below market value, Iglesias razed the existing home, and the news is that he plans to build a Spanish hacienda on the beautiful 4 acre lot.

Indian Creek Island is an exclusive
Miami Beach community with its own private golf course. The front of every home in Indian Creek faces the golf course, and the back of many of the homes feature the wide bay, with amazing vistas, making this some of the most desirable real estate in all of Florida. Indian Creek is a city, with it’s own police force; Indian Creek Village was incorporated and the police department was created in 1939.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New Year, New Stock!

A Happy New Year to you all and I hope you have enjoyed the holidays! It's back to work for most of us now but we shouldn't complain, there's only so many times you can watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and only so many mince pies you can eat!!

I've been busy sourcing new vintage stock for the website and have added a varied selection today. There are some very pretty accessories; the beautiful hanky case shown above is part of a boudoir set; the handpainted roses are exquisite!

There is a distinctive boudoir theme...

...and pink is popular too!

These pretty chocolate boxes were a lucky find. This one has delicate pink roses...

...and this one has sprigs of mimosa!

More vintage stock coming soon, in the meantime have a lovely weekend wherever you are and whatever the weather!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dan Marino Home For Sale In Weston Florida

Dan Marino Weston Home For Sale For $13,500,000

Former Miami Dolphin, and Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Dan Marino listed his home for sale. Located in Weston's prestigious Windmill Ranch Estates, this 15,000+ square foot home is situated on a 4.3 acre lot, surrounded by a beautiful lake with fresh water bass. Check out the short clip of this wonderful private estate.

The home has 10 bedrooms and 12+ bathrooms, as well as staff quarters. The pool area is enhanced with a spa, and there are 2 guest houses on the property. It's a great place to live if you need to be close to Miami or Fort Lauderdale, but want to live away from the big city life.