Luxury Property Spotlight: Asheville, St. Barthelemy, and Cancun

Intracoastal Realty’s luxury listings are featured on LuxuryPortfolio.com, the award-winning website that attracts over 3 million high-net-worth visitors.  We often spotlight outstanding listings from around the world on this blog.  This month’s property selections showcase stunning architecture and exceptional interior and exterior design in exotic locations!  We hope you enjoy learning more about these three extraordinary properties.

VILLA ARTEPEA IN SAINT BARTHELEMY

A remarkable architectural achievement, villa Artepea was designed to fully optimize its environment in the heart of the Domaine de Lurin. Johannes Zingerle’s project  is harmoniously integrated into the land thanks to a bridge, a unique feature in St Barths, a lift and a building set over three levels.  The surrounding nature blends beautifully with the lovely tropical garden, where you can through the stone paths and across the beautiful lawn, smelling the delicate scent of jasmine.

For the design, stone floors and customized wood furnishings provide a natural, mineral atmosphere, where elegance and simplicity prevail.

For the layout, the main floor has a fully open lounge/dining room that extends onto the terrace where you can laze in the sun next to the long emerald pool, facing St Jean bay. The kitchen, a TV lounge and a first bedroom can also be found on this level.

The master bedroom occupies the 1st floor, with a huge sofa facing the panoramic window, a designer desk, and height of luxury is an outdoor bathtub and shower, nestled in an alcove.  The garden level offers two bedrooms and the technical rooms. The villa also has  high-tech equipment, including a home control system and curved flat screen televisions.

Modern and refined, yet still warm and inviting, villa Artepea ideally reflects tropical elegance.

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CASA LYDIA IN CANCUN

Spectacular designer home in Puerto Cancun.  This unique residence of 6512 Sq.ft on a 6000 Sq. ft lot offers three bedrooms, canal front and is a ‘one of a kind’ opportunity for owning a fully furnished ‘turn key’ home. It’s prime location on one of the best spots in this gated community and a well thought out architectural concept gives it great privacy.

It is located inside Cancun’s modern high end gated development ‘’Puerto Cancun’’, one of Mexico’s most exclusive Marinas, which offers residential and commercial amenities. A new spectacular Marina Mall has just opened its doors offering the best international and local stores and many new restaurants and bars offer great food and entertainment around the marina walks. Puerto Cancun is right between Cancun’s famous ‘Hotel Zone’ and Down Town’ in the very best location.

The residence is very well thought out and designed with a lot of luxury details, and furnished with great taste. It’s in ‘’ready to move in’ condition.  The location of this canal home is inside a private gated residential development with 24 hour security control.  The large terrace has a pool and a wooden sun deck and offers a very private outdoor dining area.  A 75 foot dock is right next to the terrace area.

It is definitely worth to take a look at this property if you are looking for a luxury residence in Cancun.

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HISTORIC 1926 HOME IN ASHEVILLE

Historic 1926 home in highly desirable community of Lake View Park.  Restored and renovated while keeping the coveted detailing that make this era’s homes so in demand. Get your daily exercise on the trails or use the non-motorized boat access on Beaver Lake less than a half mile from your door.

Updated mechanicals, including central AC. Historic charm: stone fireplaces, arched doorways and incredible lush, mature landscaping. Conveniences for today’s lifestyle. Stonework by Grove Park Inn masons.

This 3-story home, which features approximately 7,525 square feet, is situated on 1.8 acres of land.

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Breaking Down the Zestimate

When it comes to purchasing a new home, or selling the one in which you currently reside, the initial process can be confusing and overwhelming until you get the assistance of a good real estate professional.  So, it stands to reason that when beginning the process, buyers and sellers might do some preliminary research using a third-party site like Zillow.

Zillow is known for price estimates, both for buyers and renters, as well as providing limited community information for those who have never visited the neighborhood. On the outside, it seems like a handy resource when dipping a toe into the waters of real estate.  However, the property information and price estimates are often inaccurate, which can create major issues for buyers and sellers.  In other words, if you decide to use these big third-party websites, proceed with caution or forgo them altogether and get accurate data from a trusted, local real estate website and resource.

When you need assistance in your pursuit of the perfect home, there are several reasons to turn to an established agency with local knowledge and experienced real estate agents on its side. Otherwise, you may find yourself relying on the Zestimate, a computer-generated estimate that is not always the best measure of a home’s value.  Zillow knows this, and discloses this in small print on their site.

How is the Zestimate made?

As Zillow states, the Zestimate is meant only as an expression of the estimated market value, not an actual appraisal. The site is actually a computer program that automatically generates its report based on what is available to anyone: data and statistics that can be accessed with relative ease by the general public. As such, the program doesn’t take into account the additions you or its previous owner might have added while in residence. This can affect the Zestimate, putting the home at a lower or higher value depending on the extent of repairs or damage.

In Southeastern NC, we’ve seen Zestimates on some properties be off by as much as 45%.  For illustration purposes, evan a 15% margin of error on a $400,000 home results in a difference of $60,000 in value!  Further, the same algorithm to estimate the value of a home in a Detroit suburb is used to estimate the value of a home on the water in our region.  That’s pretty telling, isn’t it?

Even more telling is this article, which features information about the home of Zillow’s founder and CEO.  The day before his home sold for $1.05 million, the Zestimate for his property showed $1.75 million.  Need we say more?

How can your agency help clear the air?

When it comes time to sell or buy a home, don’t always trust that the Zestimate has given your house enough credit for what it’s worth.  Instead, broach the subject with a trusted real estate agent.  He or she can walk you through the criteria in further detail, help you get a professional appraisal and, for sellers, pull a list of comparable properties that have recently sold.  And while Zillow does have access to area information to prep you and your family for relocation, a local real estate agent has the insider knowledge that can never be replaced by statistics alone.

When it comes to your home, whether you’re buying or selling one, it’s important to have all the information available to you. With the help of well-established agencies like Intracoastal Realty, you can be sure you’ll have all you need to get settled. Contact us today to help you with the process!


Luxury Property Spotlight: Cayman Islands, Italy, Florida

Intracoastal Realty’s luxury listings are featured on LuxuryPortfolio.com, the award-winning website that attracts over 3 million high-net-worth visitors.  We often spotlight outstanding listings from around the world on this blog.  This month’s property selections showcase stunning architecture and exceptional interior and exterior design in exotic locations!  We hope you enjoy learning more about these three extraordinary properties.

VILLA MARE – VISTA DEL MAR CAYMAN ISLANDS

One of Grand Cayman’s finest residences, Villa Mare is set on an estate size lot within Cayman’s premier gated community, Vista del Mar, offering a 24-hour manned security and extensive amenities, including on-site property management and tennis courts.

A spectacular and significant 12,000 square foot±, six bed, eight bath residence, developed on 1.64 acres, built in the French-Mediterranean Style, the residence is meticulously maintained and comes with a nearby double dock allowing birthing of substantial craft up to 60 feet+ in length as well as a unique North Sound front dock for mooring smaller vessels. The imposing front gates, flanked by secure walls, open onto a winding driveway, offer a spectacular sense of arrival whilst the lushly-landscaped grounds provide substantial terraces, patios and a selection of charming poolside and waterfront entertaining areas as well as a “beach escape”, all affording stunning views of Cayman’s beautiful North Sound.

The home’s living areas include five en-suite bedrooms, with a spacious “master wing” to the ground floor as well as numerous formal and casual living and entertaining areas, and a recently renovated kitchen featuring rare, up-lit, onyx counters. Efficient and well-planned utility rooms and storage areas link the main residence to the four-car garage, above which is located a staff quarters with separate entrance. Plans exist for a separate staff/gatekeeper’s cottage and the site can easily accommodate this or further garages as needed. Undoubtedly one of the Cayman Island’s finest homes, offering waterfront living to the highest standards and levels of sophistication.

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VILLA CARLA FELICE IN SARDINIA, ITALY

Situated in one of the most desirable and private corners of Porto Cervo, Villa Carla Felice stands out for its modern lines and uncommon elegance, also for the high standards of the Costa Smeralda.  Offering a luxury and privacy in an enviable natural setting, this exquisite six-bedroom villa benefits from direct beach access, via a small path that winds its way through idyllic gardens to the glistening shoreline beyond.

Built to the very highest standards and designed to maximize its location, the home is arranged so that every room enjoys a sea view, while sliding doors open on to balconies and terraces, allowing the light to flow in.  The main villa comprises four beautiful en suite bedrooms and generously proportioned living areas, and the property also has a spacious two-bedroom guesthouse with independent access, which fully meets the needs to accommodate up to 4 other people.

Nestled in a wide, lush Mediterranean garden, the property include a covered outdoor dining area, a magnificent pool, a heated Jacuzzi, and a secure parking.  An authentic jewel in the heart of the Costa Smeralda, this immaculate home offers resort-style living at its finest.

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SUBLIME PROPERTY IN FLORIDA

Nestled in Anchorage, one of the most prestigious gated communities in Coconut Grove, this sublime property lies behind impressive gates. Designed in classic, elegant Italian Palazzo style, this remarkable home built in 1995 feels as though it has been in situ for generations.

Introduced by a superb entrance hall/courtyard, the dwelling’s distinctive interior is characterized by beautiful wood and marble floors, striking encased ceilings, boiserie, and exquisite fixtures and fittings. You will enjoy a fine living room with a grand chimney; a large office/library, which has magnificent custom-built bookcases; a comfortable and pleasing breakfast room; and the impressive dining room and charming terrace radiate true sophistication. The master bedroom comprises an en-suite dressing room, walk-in closet, and sauna. All other bedrooms have their own private bath.

Other highlights include a four-car garage, an elevator, and a saltwater-heated pool. This estate is one of Coconut Grove’s most unique homes.

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We’re Local. We’re Global.

As an affiliate of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, Intracoastal Realty is a local and global market leader working on our clients’ behalf. LeadingRE’s world-class marketing resources and international connections allow our firm to deliver a truly exceptional real estate experience. Our global network produced $55 Billion more U.S. home sales volume last year ($372 Billion total) than the closest competitor.

Intracoastal Realty is proud to be an independent real estate firm. Our independent status means that we do not pay exorbitant franchise fees to large corporations outside of our local area. In turn, the company is able to invest more in marketing and in philanthropies that serve the communities in which we live, work, and recreate.


Absorption Reports: 1st Quarter 2018

Absorption rate, also referred to as “inventory levels” or “months of supply”, gives you an idea of the number of months it will take for the current inventory to be sold out based on the last 12 months of sales.

Housing prices stabilize when supply and demand come closer together. Generally speaking, 5-6 months of supply is “normal”. Less than 5 months of supply will result in APPRECIATING home prices, while 7 months or more of supply will result in DEPRECIATING home prices.  New Hanover County is showing a total of 2.5 months of inventory for existing home sales (for comparative purposes, it peaked at 22.6 months in 2009); Brunswick County is at 4.53 months (peaked at 20.0 months in 2009); and Pender County is at 3.65 months (peaked at 22.1 months in 2009).  As you can see from the three county charts below, inventory levels vary by price segment.  Take a look at the absorption reports for a better idea of where your house stands in the market:

New Hanover County

 


Brunswick County

 


Pender County


House Flipping Tips and Tricks

You’ve heard the success story: a worn-down eyesore, an optimistic buyer, and a quick transformation followed by an even faster sale. Flipping houses can be a lucrative occupation, but it certainly isn’t an easy feat. If you’re interested in trying your hand in the market, you’ll want to keep a few insider tips in mind.

Don’t go it alone

From buying, to the renovations, and then to the actual sale of your project, it helps to have some experienced professionals on your side to help streamline the process. And if you’ve never tried to flip a house before, it’s even more important to have a helping hand or two at your disposal. Build your team by talking to real estate agents, contractors, and other seasoned homeowners you can trust to point you in the right direction.

Shop wisely

While it’s always incredible to watch a run-down property be remodeled into a functioning home again, be sure that you can put your money where your mouth is and that you don’t purchase too ambitiously. Before buying a house to flip, make a sound budget that you can easily stick to throughout the renovations. That way, you’ll know from the beginning how much you have to allot to the purchase itself and any costs incurred afterward.

Check your expectations

When the remodeling is done and you put the newly-decorated home back on the market, remember that the idea is to engage in a quick sale, not haggle over every nickel and dime. The success of house flipping lies in the ability to close each deal efficiently. As such, you probably won’t make very much off the first few sales. Don’t get discouraged! If you find that flipping houses is something you enjoy, keep a record of your successes and setbacks so that each time there are fewer surprises and more to gain!

Timing is everything

The housing market is in constant flux, so above all else, remember to be patient and time your purchases and sales accordingly! At this stage, an experienced real estate agent is your best bet in learning the ropes and optimal times for buying and selling property in your area. Flipping a house is only possible when the conditions are right for buyers, so you’ll need to catch those waves as they come.

If you’re ready to buy or sell a home, contact Intracoastal Realty and get connected with some of the most knowledgeable agents in the coastal North Carolina area!

 

 

 


Drawing the Lines: How Redistricting in New Hanover Schools Could Affect Your Move

The boxes are packed, the moving truck is gassed up and ready to go – but what happens once you arrive in your new town? There’s always a lengthy list of to-dos when you move, both before and after you make the trip, but the last thing you want to have to account for is if your child’s school district is going to change after you’ve all gotten settled.

Earlier this year, New Hanover County Schools announced plans to redistrict the four county high schools to avoid overcrowding issues. Laney, New Hanover, Ashley, and Hoggard high schools have all seen a few different drafts of district maps in the last few months, which could make it difficult for incoming residents with students to choose a new home based on educational and social stability for the teens.

But even as the lines shift and change, there are ways to keep your head above water while looking into a new home in the county that will help you prioritize you and your family’s needs.

Stay updated

First and foremost, when you know you’re about to make a move, be sure to periodically tune in to the area’s local news. This will help you not only be knowledgeable when it comes to redistricting and school news, but the other happenings and even current weather patterns of your new town as well. By the time you unload the van, you’ll already have a handle on your environment.

Keep flexible

Searching for a new home can already be stressful and often tedious, especially if it takes a while to find the perfect accommodations. While you and your real estate agent work to find the house that will best suit your needs – including proximity to the best schools – try to be flexible and willing to allow for more than one possibility. If you’re considering the New Hanover County area, you’re in luck as far as schools are concerned!

Strategize

If you’re concerned about which school your student will attend once you arrive, you can always use the neighborhoods and regions as your guides in searching for a home to buy. Most redistricting is done in sections according to the nearest neighborhoods, so if you already have a particular school in mind, research which streets and complexes are currently included in that institution’s borders and then assess the available homes there. If nothing strikes you from the selection, it may be time to reevaluate your expectations and broaden your horizons.

If you and your students are ready to make the move to our area, contact Intracoastal Realty for local experts and the best selection of homes to suit your needs!


What to Expect from Your First Home Inspection

You’re putting a house on the market for the first time, and your to-do list is probably about a mile long. One of the most important items – and a step that needs to happen sooner rather than later – is scheduling a professional inspection of your home.

Just like during the process of purchasing your next home, it’s important to know as much as possible regarding the condition of the house before you put it on the market. With a quality inspection, you can get all of the knowledge you need to work with potential buyers and settle on a fair deal for everyone.

Timing and involvement 

When you schedule a home inspection, you’ll want to go ahead and account for roughly 2-3 hours of walk-through time. It’s recommended that you stay nearby to answer any questions that might come up, and the best inspectors don’t mind if you follow along and ask some of your own as they arise. As the inspection progresses, he or she will be making enough notes to answer some preliminary questions about possible repairs and alterations, but remember that the more detailed report will be delivered soon – sometimes by the end of the business day depending on the time of your appointment. 

The report

The typical inspection report will give you a rundown of what about your house is up to current standards and what potential issues the inspector caught. The amount of detail really depends on the condition of the house; if, for example, it’s practically brand new, you probably won’t have as many damages and weakened areas to address. Older houses, those that have been through rougher weather, or the residences that were not cared for in years previous typically have more notes and ideas for improvement included in the report. The results tend to be broken down by sections of the house, such as the basement, attic, roof, crawlspace, the plumbing work, and the ventilation system. 

Next steps

As the seller, you don’t technically have to make any of the repairs suggested in the inspector’s report. However, the chances of your house selling for a desired price are higher if you do. Essentially, it all boils down to the severity of the renovations and what price range you’re hoping for with your buyer. Sometimes, your realtor can negotiate with the buyer not to include the repairs, but to drop down the asking price instead. If you’re unwilling to fix the problems before you vacate the house, this is an option to bring up with your agent from the beginning.

Putting your house on the market for the first time can be daunting, but when you have a trustworthy real estate agent on your side, the workload decreases exponentially! If you’re ready to sell your coastal home, contact us and get started today.


A Guide for First-time Home Sellers

When you don’t know what to expect, selling your first home can quickly evolve into a convoluted and frustrating process, even with a knowledgeable realtor on your side. The experts here at Intracoastal Realty have come up with a few helpful hints to walk you through the process, so you can confidently move forward with the sale.

Meet with a trusted real estate agent.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but this first step to selling your home is the most important one. When you find and meet with a capable real estate agent, he or she will be able to assess your home and neighborhood, help you establish your needs and some realistic goals for the sale, and navigate the showing and closure process. You’ll probably also do a walk-through of the house to familiarize the agent with its physical attributes, as well as find a few tweaks to make in order to show off the place in the best possible light.

Set expectations, but remember to be flexible.

Just like you have items that are non-negotiable, so does each potential buyer that crosses the threshold of your home. When the residence is ready to be shown, discuss with your real estate agent potential compromising points, and outline very clearly what you absolutely cannot bend on before you assess the first offer.

Keep track.

In the lucky event that you receive multiple offers on your house, it would benefit you to have some sort of filing system so as not to confuse one buyer from another. This is also a handy way to compare and contrast offers with your real estate agent, so that when you’re ready to make the final call, you can easily glance at the profiles and pull out the pros and cons of each.

A clean home is a happy one.

Even after the initial showings have occurred, and after you have an offer or two for consideration, keep your house up to showcase standards. The nature of selling a home involves plenty of risk; your buyer’s credit may not be up to par with their chosen lender, he or she may suddenly back out of the deal, or your reason for moving may throw a wrench in the plans. To hopefully put off any unforeseen complications in obtaining another buyer – or keeping the one you have – maintain a tidy household to the very last day of your residence.

Plan accordingly.

As was already mentioned, there are countless ways that the eventual sale of your home could deviate from your carefully laid plan. But, with a skilled real estate agent on your side, you can be sure to include a few fallbacks and contingency courses of action in your general outline. It will also be helpful to plan out any major changes you want to make to improve your home’s appearance such as fresh paint, more intensive lawn work, or furniture rearrangement prior to opening your home to buyers.

Be prepared to offer extra features.  

It’s easy to claim that there are things you could do without in your current house: appliances, curtains, and other interior decorations to name a few. But when someone makes an offer that includes something you might have planned on taking with you after the sale, it’s time to make a decision regarding what you will and won’t miss. Just remember that at this point, it’s about being reasonable and rational, not necessarily emotionally invested. If someone requests the inclusion of appliances, consider the benefits and costs before refusing. By conceding a little, you might just gain a lot in the sale.

The main thing to keep in mind when you’re ready for a move and need to sell your house is that in spite of the stress that often comes with the process, it’s still an exciting change for you and yours to experience! By putting yourself in the hands of a capable and trusted real estate agent, you’ll also take some of the pressure off and gain a valuable resource to see you through the sale. If you’re ready to sell your house on North Carolina’s coast, contact us today!


Setting the Stage

When trying to sell your home, you want to make sure its best features are on display without going over-the-top or downplaying anything that could sway a potential buyer. Obviously, the exterior of a house is easier to show off in spring or summer, when the sun is out and your grass is a pleasant shade of green. But even when winter is still keeping the plant life to a minimum, the experts here at Intracoastal Realty have a few ideas to combat any lingering winter chill.

Keep everything accessible

There’s a reason the term is “spring cleaning.” But, in order to put your house’s best foot forward and get it sold, you might have to bust out the gardening gloves a little earlier than planned. The very first impression you can give is of your home’s exterior, so make it a memorable one – and in a good way, too. Clear the walkways, establish comfortable paths between shrubs and other plant life that will be returning in the spring, and in the case of snow or ice, be sure to shovel the sidewalk and steps when a potential buyer is coming over.

Timing is everything

Some homeowners like to spruce up the outdoors with some decorative lighting, even before and after the major holiday season. You can use this to your advantage if you’re trying to sell your house when the branches are more than likely bare. Strands of twinkling lights and strategically placed adornments can fill up the empty space left once the leaves fall, and go a long way in making your home look and feel warm and comforting, even when the temperatures outside say otherwise.   

Play to your strengths

Let’s face it: every house has its flaws. The advantage to selling yours in wintertime, though, is that if it’s a matter of a small yard or otherwise awkward terrain, you can go ahead and address these drawbacks openly with potential buyers while still having plenty of room without encroaching foliage to point out the positives. Take a walk around the property with your real estate agent and take stock of the pros and cons, then discuss the best ways to present them to those that come for a viewing of the house. With the right agent, any interested parties will promptly get both sides of the story, without you truly risking the sale in favor of disclosure.

No matter the time of year, putting a house on the market is always going to be a challenge. With experienced agents like those at Intracoastal Realty, you can be sure that you have someone to walk you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started!