Archive for the ‘Luxury Homes’ Category

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The changing luxury market

April 20, 2010

 

The Changing Luxury Market

I am a specialist in luxury homes and marketing luxury goods to clients throughout the world. This current economic climate though has changed my opinion of the definition of luxury. Times change, people change and luxury has changed.

Luxury clients were once an elite group of individuals who were fairly obvious to even the most amateur of sales executives. But luxury elite status has dimmed somewhat as firstly, many people are now able to afford luxury goods and secondly, many luxury clients are experiencing their first economic crisis of a lifetime.

Today’s luxury homeowner may look and feel like luxury (expensive diamonds, cars, art) but underneath their demeanor is a homeowner who is living month to month and wondering how to maintain appearances.  It’s a fragile world and frankly, they are not prepared for what is to come.

Today’s TRUE luxury client may look different and seem different. The smart ones are people who have not fallen prey to every excess on the market, purchased a bucket load of baubles and continue to drive the latest most expensive cars. I am finding many luxury clients asking me to assist them as they work through a financial downturn they never anticipated or saved for. It’s a scary world.

Today’s luxury client could mean dreadlocks and diamonds. In other words – today’s luxury is not the obvious…in fact, it’s the reverse. They are the people you least expect and they have invested well and with discretion. They may drive a Ford and not have a multi-million dollar medieval castle. They wear jeans and Nikes. They are totally unique and totally in tune with the market. 80% of today’s luxury buyer is tech savvy and researches every purchase. And most importantly, today’s luxury customer rarely buys on impulse. Long term investments are the rule with multiple properties instead of one show home. It’s actually an interesting turn of events.

I am reminded of my grandmother who came from great wealth but lived her later years in a charming bungalow of about 970 square feet. She mowed her own yard in knee highs and pearls. She drank her tea on fine china in a tiny kitchen. That’s today’s luxury. They are different, they act different and they have a certain rule for living that is going to redefine the future. They may not have a million dollar home but their home will be chic and charming. Gaudy is out and tasteful and charming is in. Small is the new big. This is going to be amazing to watch the old world appeal of  outrageous display transformed by a new era of discrete buyers.

To quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The rich are different…”

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Be It Ever so Humble…it’s HOME

August 6, 2008

by Linda Hutchinson

There’s no place like home but let’s face it – when it comes to luxury homes, no one is eating humble pie. Most people now think of home as the place where homeowners can strut their stuff.

Home is the new place to show off. With the advent of designer show homes and the popularity of HGTV we have created a sub-culture of decorating wanna-bees who go over the top with the latest in design and luxury touches.

When was the last new home you saw that did not include (a) stainless steel appliances (b) bowl bathroom sinks (c) Mediterranean exterior (d) all of the above. The amazing thing is a lack of originality and the fact that too much is not too much. In a time where the economy is tanking…excess is in. As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said “The rich are different from you and me.”

Humble pie? I don’t think so. It’s home style – supersized!

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Orlando Luxury Home Stats – Plenty of Options, Plenty of Sales

July 22, 2008

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There are currently 15,661 homes for sale in the Central Florida region – specifically, Orlando! WOW. That’s an astounding figure.

But what is even more interesting is that there are 699 homes currently for sale over $1M in Orlando with the highest priced home on the market hovering around $12M. Most of these homes can be found in the Dr. Phillips/Bay Hill or Windermere areas (all in the same neighborhood) and sales there remain brisk. Most, if not all, are on ski lakes. Waterfront brings top dollar in Orlando.

Currently there are 37 homes pending for sale over $1M with the highest priced home under contract at $6.12M having been on the market for almost a year.

Finally, in the last 90 days, there have been 699 homes sold over $1,000,000 in the Orlando region. For many areas of Florida, there weren’t 699 homes sold in ALL price ranges. This is VERY good news indeed.

So should you think that there is a lack of interest in homes in the luxury price point…you only have to look at the facts. Just keep in mind it pays to live in Windermere…the home of many professional athletes! It also pays to live on water! No wonder they call it the City Beautiful.

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Dog Day Architecture

March 31, 2008

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You know I couldn’t resist this one….as the owner of three precious rescued dogs, I thought this was absolutely one of the cutest things I have seen on the market in a while. For the luxury or upscale homeowner, you can now have a beautiful piece of furniture that also serves as a dog crate for your luxury pooch. This is fine furniture for Fido and can be found on their website. These cute furniture finds are great end tables and accessories for your dog-friendly home. They are absolutely the most adorable furniture pieces I have seen for dogs to date. Check it out…our dogs have never had it so good!

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Say What?

March 8, 2008

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THE LOST ART OF LISTENING…

One of the best pieces of advice that was given to me when I started this business can be summed up in two simple words (although not very eloquent) and they are “shut up”. When you work with clients, they need to be THE focus. It sounds simple but too often sales executives want to talk and they can simply talk too much. I practice the art of questioning and then paying attention to the answers provided. It is so important to really pay attention to the client’s responses instead of thinking about the next question you wish to ask…our client wants to know that we comprehend and are paying close attention to their verbalized needs, wants, and desires. The skill of listening is truly an art form

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Here’s to Your Health!

February 3, 2008

Wine

Eat, drink and be merry

I know this is a luxury home blog but most luxury homes now come with wine cellars or wine coolers. It seems like wine is the “in” thing and for a good reason. It’s good for your health. According to a recent article, Roger Corder, PhD, professor of experimental therapeutics at the William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, there are many benefits to “moderate” wine drinking. The healthiest wines were as follows:

Laboratory analyses of more than 400 red wines at William Harvey Research Institute show that the following have high levels of healthful procyanidins…

Argentina. Cabernet Sauvignon, from Bodegas Catena Zapata.

Australia. Cabernet Sauvignon, from Wynns.

California. Cabernet Sauvignon, from Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Reserve… and many other Napa Valley cabernets.

Chile. Cabernet sauvignons from Veramonte.

France. Large numbers of Bordeaux wines — both at the top end of the market and modestly priced — have high or better-than-average procyanidin levels.

Italy. In Tuscany, wines made from the Sangiovese grape that tested well include Il Colombaio di Cencios Chianti Classico Riserva.

In Sardinia, where wine-drinkers are particularly long-lived, a good choice is Rosso Superiore del Mandrolisai.

So drink up, but do so in moderate amounts and keep that heart healthy. I need you to be fit and ready to stock your next luxury home wine cellar!

 

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WEEKEND home projects

January 28, 2008

 

I find that most buyers today are looking for a home that they can move in without having to lift a finger to make any improvements. TV has brought us the designer dream homes, designing on a dime and trading houses. It’s a whole new world full of ideas for today’s homeowner. For the luxury buyer…there is always the hired help. For those of you who can’t afford hired help, here are some great suggestions for the weekend home repair warrior.

According to Cecilia Sherrard with RISMEDIA, the following are the top things you can finish over a weekend.

1. Replace Old Knobs and Door Handles. This is an easy, inexpensive way to dress up or change the look of doors, cabinets, and more. Many homes in the Cleveland Ohio area are older and have outdated hardware. These small changes can actually transform the look and style of your home. Whether you choose vintage glass, shiny metal or even rustic wood, installing these new knobs and handles can add to the value of your home, as well. Don’t overlook the hinges! If you can’t quite get to those now, but have a squeaky door, try spraying the hinges with a cooking spray like Pam. It works!

2. Install a Greenhouse Window. A beautiful addition to any room in the home, a greenhouse window will allow you to grow flowers, herbs and other plants even during the winter! Replacing a regular window with a greenhouse window adds dimension, light and display space while eliminating clutter. Available at home supply stores, they come with many options including granite finishes and glass shelves.

3. Paint, Paint, Paint! Painting can instantly change your home’s look and feel. Don’t limit your color change to just your walls – an updated color on furniture or cabinetry can really spice things up, as well. Play with new colors, patterns and techniques. Don’t be afraid of going bold; remember, if you don’t like the way the color looks, you can always paint over it! There’s a wall, trim or doorway in everyone’s home that could use some paint or freshening. Cheap and easy, get to work!

4. Replace Builder Lighting or Outdated Fixtures with remote ceiling fans. Not only will it save energy and keep your air circulating, it will add appeal, value and enhance the beauty of a room and pull your entire decor together from the floor up. Ceiling fans today are modern, fun, classy and relatively easy to install. They come with directions and there’s help online. If you purchase one in a home improvement store the sales people will help you as well! Make sure you call on their advice and expertise, that’s what they’re there for!

5. Work on your closets and cabinets. Most homeowners have secrets hiding in their closets and cabinetry. The closet is the least looked at part of the home and there we tend to find cracking or peeling paint, old contact paper and clutter! How about taking a few hours and organize, adding new shelves, hooks or hardware and giving yourself more room by throwing out or donating some of the items you think one day you’ll use but haven’t in a decade!

6. Don’t forget your home’s air quality. Change your furnace filter! You can add a couple of dryer sheets to the new one to add a cheap and whole-house air freshener. Remove your vents and soak them in a hot bleach bath while you vacuum inside to remove dust and build up. Clean the hard to reach spots in your home that you don’t get to often. Behind entertainment centers, baseboards, behind heavy furniture and under beds. Removing dust in the home can make it smell better and create a healthier environment!

These fun projects are a great way to pass the time this winter, not to mention the way they’ll quickly improve the look and value of your home!

For more information, tips, and ideas, see: YouShouldOwn.com.