Inspired by…Outdoor Kitchens

Labor Day Weekend, the unofficial end of Summer, is upon us.  Many Americans are preparing for a weekend sun, fun and of course, backyard barbecues.  Here are some fantastic homes with outdoor kitchens ideal for the ultimate BBQ.

$14,900,000 USD | Atlanta, Georgia | Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

One of the finest estates in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia, Rododendrum Hall is located on 10+ park-like acres. The property includes swimming pools, tennis courts, a fitness pavillion, a guest house, home theater and fabulous pool-side outdoor kitchen.

$7,500,000 USD | Coeur D Alene, Idaho | Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty

This magnificent mountain home on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho invites seamless indoor / outdoor living.  Equipped with integrated smart home technology, the home includes an indoor basketball court, private dock, a wine cellar and spectacular outdoor kitchen with sweeping lakefront views.

Gig Harbor, Washington | Morrison House Sotheby’s International Realty

This Nantucket-style home in Gig Harbor, Washington,  is situated on a bay in Puget Sound.  This incredible home has a dock to accommodate a 70 foot vessel, entertaining space for up to 250 and a well-appointed outdoor kitchen which overlooks the harbor.

Evergreen, Colordao | Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty

This one-of-a-kind estate in Evergreen, Colorado, is surrounded by magnificant country-side ideal for horseback riding and hiking.  Smart House enabled, this home includes LED waterfalls, a 6 stall barn, a basketball court and gorgeous outdoor kitchen.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida | ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

This majestic thirty-one room estate in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is located on the Intercoastal Waterway.  The home impeccably blends indoor and outdoor living with its 100+ foot resort-style pool complete with a waterfall and water slide, a in-pool bar, Spanish-style verandas and a fully equipped summer kitchen.

For more outdoor inspiration, follow our ‘Outdoor Spaces’ board on Pinterest.

Iconic College Towns

Post provided by guest contributing blogger, Natalie Gilmore, Director of Marketing at Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty in Princeton, New Jersey.

With back-to-school season upon us, college and university towns are bustling with the annual surge of students and faculty members.  Colleges and universities draw a rich cross section of people from all over the world.  This creates a melting pot of cultures that invigorates the community with active, creative and intelligent foundations.  More and more people are being drawn to these towns year-round for the extraordinary lifestyle not found on your average Main Street.  Here are a few iconic college towns that have much to offer outside of the halls of ivy.

Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Princeton University is the only Ivy League school that is actually named for the town in which it is located.  As such, people come to Princeton for the unparalleled education, but many stay for the exciting community which is enriched by the University.  The result is a lively town which includes the award-wining McCarter Theatre, global world business leaders such as Black Rock and Bristol-Myers Squibb, innovative restaurants like Witherspoon Grill and the Princeton University Art Museum which features works from Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso. Here are two wonderful properties perfect for someone looking to make Princeton their year-round home.

$1,995,000 USD | Priceton, New Jersey | Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty

Comfortable and glamorous, this modern Princeton home, which was designed by the architecture firm Richardson Smith, boasts the most stunning curated grounds appointed with spectacular birch, weeping hemlock and Japanese Maple trees.  Sleek sycamore cabinetry pairs with granite in the chef’s kitchen.

Priceton, New Jersey | Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty

This stunning brick colonial home in Princeton‘s coveted Institute for Advance Study neighborhood. Timeless in appeal, the home offers five gracious bedrooms, four fireplaces, hand-hewn wood flooring, a lovely enclosed backyard and a charming guest cottage.

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

The University of Tennessee, located in Knoxville, offers a global appeal as an energetic college town.  Known world-wide for its championship athletics, the University’s sports programs attract athletes and fans from all over the globe.  Sixteen current and former Tennessee athletes participated in the 2012 Olympic Games, representing 10 different countries.  Indulge in southern hospitality all year long with this beautiful home in Knoxville.

$2,295,000 USD | Knoxville, Tennessee | Alliance Sotheby’s International Realty

This exquisite French Country-style estate in Knoxville, Tennessee is located on Gettysvue Country Club.  With eight fireplaces, a media room, gym and pool house, this golf-side estate offers the ultimate in privacy and security.

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Boulder welcomes the fresh energy and young, optimistic spirits that arrives each fall with open arms.  This college town claims to have everything except an ocean, the University of Colorado has long been destination for education, but many students also find it a place to call home once their degree is in hand.  Beautiful mountain views and all the amenities of Boulder, make this property an idyllic home.

$4,900,000 USD | Boulder, Colorado | Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty

Inspired by the hills of Italy, this architecturally stunning home in Boulder, Colorado,  was designed by Arcadia Architects, is situated on 40 acres of breathtaking Sunshine Canyon forestry.  With city-views of Boulder at night, the Eco-friendly property includes two renewable energy systems which efficiently heat and cool home.

Berkeley, California, USA

The international flair felt in Berkeley is like no other and truly has created a global community. The best part about The University of California, Berkeley is its accessibility by public transit allowing those who live there to easily take advantage of the mild year-round weather to explore all that the town offers.  This home is ideal for those interested in a worldly town just a short ride away from the big city of San Francisco.

 

 

$8,400,000 USD | Berkeley, California | East Bay Sotheby’s International Realty

A modern home in Berkeley, California designed by Swatt Miers Architects, this home sits atop the highest elevation in Berkeley and neighboring Oakland and has jaw dropping views of San Francisco Bay and Mt. Diablo.  The star of this home is the master bedroom suite which is separated by a nine foot pocket door and includes a master bathroom, sitting/media room, office, laundry, and huge walk in closets.

Austin, Texas, USA

Austin, home to the University of Texas, is not only one of the most unique college towns, but also one of the most desirable towns to live in America. With its top-ranked Longhorn football team, this capital city’s vibrant culture has something for everyone. With more than 200 festivals a year, from BBQ to any variety of music imaginable, Austin is at the top of many “best of” lists.  Austin also has a thriving economy and with a university churning out some of the greatest minds in America, has become home to top technology companies such as Dell, Apple and IBM. Here is a majestic home for those considering making Austin home.

Austin, Texas | Capital City Sotheby’s International Realty

Stunning custom Lou Kimball masterpiece on 14+ acres of spring fed Onion Creek frontage. This 5-Star Energy Home in Austin, Texas features reclaimed wood ceilings, hand chiseled rock work, wide plank pecan floors, Organic soil brought in for yard, a BBQ area, rainwater collection and two fire pits.

Many thanks to our guest blogger, Natalie Gilmore from Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty,  central New Jersey’s premier real estate firm that combines the rich heritage and deep experience of two highly respected families that have served this community since 1953.  Situated in Princeton’s historic town center, the Princeton office is the hub of their network, which includes locations in Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset.

Inspired by…Private Helipads

For some truly unique properties, travel by helicopter may be one of the limited – if not the only – means of accessing a property.  Whether by design or due natural circumstances, a private helipad offers the ultimate in convenience and privacy.  From remote private islands to secluded inland retreats, here are some stunning homes from around the world with a helipad as the ultimate amenity.

$65,789,474 USD | 50.000.000 € EUR | Mallorca, Spain | Mallorca Sotheby’s International Realty

Cielo de Bonaire is one of the premier properties in Mallorca, Spain.  Nestled in the hillside between two bays, the home has some of the best panoramic views on the island.  Sophisticated and luxurious, the contemporary estate includes a steam room, tennis courts and its own private helipad for easy access to the mainland.

Bays of Islands | New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty

Rahimoana, located in the heart of the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, is the crown jewel of the award-winning Eagles Nest luxury resort hotel.  The property boasts endless views, extensive beach frontage, a helipad and an infinity pool, which was named one of the top 10 cliff edge pools in the world.

Ball Ground | Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

Located in the exclusive Hawks Ridge golf community, this gated estate in Ball Ground, Georgia sits atop a hill overlooking the golf course, lake and mountains.  The property contains a professional recording studio, two pools, a tennis court, English-style pub, spa facility and conveniently located helipad.

$6,950,000 USD | Puntarenas, Costa Rica | Costa Rica Sotheby’s International Realty

Villa Paraiso, located in the remote village of Montezuma, is an architecturally significant home in an idyllic natural setting.  The private oceanfront estate in Costa Rica is surrounded by the lush tropical jungle, sandy beaches and waterfalls.  It includes a riding stable, free-form infinity pool, swim-up bar, wood-fire pizza oven and an auto court designed to accommodate helicopter service from Costa Rica’s two international airports.

Price Upon Request | Sassari, Italy | Rome Sotheby’s International Realty

Located on the breathtaking Riviera del Corallo, this coastal castle-like villa in Sardinia was built in 1880 on the ruins of an ancient watch-tower and is shaped to resemble a medieval castle.   During the late 19th century, the villa became a meeting place for the high society and Italian Royalty.  The property includes twenty-five bedrooms, a fitness facility with spa, heated swimming pool, Turkish bath, a helipad and a private beach.

Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced its entrance into Australia with the signing of an exclusive 25-year master franchise agreement with Michael Pallier to develop the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand in Australia’s New South Wales market, with its first office set to open in Sydney in September 2012.

The firm will operate as Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty, with Pallier serving as owner and managing director of the company. Pallier spent the last 11 years as a principal and the licensee of Raine and Horne Double Bay in Sydney, and was a top selling principal for the network. The new Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty offices will focus exclusively on luxury homes, apartments and high-quality farm, ranch and land markets in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The first office for New South Wales is located at Level 3, 45-51 Cross Street, Double Bay in Sydney. Additional offices are planned to open in Sydney’s North Shore and the Central Business District between 2013 and 2015.

“Sydney is a strategically important market for the brand and this signing represents a key step forward in our overall growth plans across Australia,” said Michael R. Good, chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “Michael Pallier has built a team of seasoned executives with talent and expertise. Under his leadership, we are confident that Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty will bring quality service to clients in Australia and worldwide.”

“Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty will provide owners of high-end luxury properties in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory the best tools to attract premium buyers from around the world and showcase their properties to a global audience,” said Pallier. “Clients of Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty will have the ability to bring the world to their home. We strive to provide the very best in service and marketing for our clients, and we look forward to doing that with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s access to exceptional properties and exceptional people.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 12,000 sales associates located in approximately 625 offices in 44 countries and territories worldwide. Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty listings will be marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.

June 2012 Significant Sales

Each month the top 30 sales represented by our network are showcased through an issue of Significant Sales.  The June 2012 issue is a very impressive representation of our global network that serves the high-end markets worldwide.  The top sale in June is for a magnificent property on France.  Below is a preview of the top three sales for the month.

1. Burger Sotheby’s International Realty | €48 Million, $60.3 Million | France

The legendary Palais Maeterlinck on the French Riviera is a neo – classic property located on the tip of the Cap de Nice, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The property is made up of three buildings. This impressive estate offers a total of more than 7,000 square meters (approximately 75,340 square feet) of living space. It was the former home of famed Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck and his wife, artist Renée Dahon. After her death, the property was divided into condominiums before becoming a luxury hotel in 1990. The hotel operation ceased in 2008.

2.  Sotheby’s International Realty-East Side Manhattan Brokerage | $19,000,000 | New York, USA

Manhattan Luxury Apartments

Situated off Fifth Avenue, this impressive townhouse is distinguished by a Roman Brick and Limestone Beaux Arts façade designed in 1915. Sunfilled, open and airy, this impeccably renovated house is made up of five stories and a basement. A graciously ascending staircase leads to the parlor floor, where soaring high ceilings compliment the living room and elegant dining room. Adjacent, the eat-in kitchen has charming outlooks over the neighboring gardens. A planted roof terrace with open city views completes the layout.

3.  Sotheby’s International Realty-East Side Manhattan Brokerage | $17,850,000 | New York, USA

This renovated brownstone is ideally situated in the heart of Greenwich Village. Encompassing 8,100 square feet, this unique house represents a very successful melding of traditional architectural details and contemporary finishes. Designed in 1845, the house has undergone a complete renovation. The grandly scaled residence is distinguished by soaring ceiling heights, well proportioned rooms and a graciously ascending staircase.  The dining room opens onto the lush garden. The house includes a full floor master suite with a dressing room, study and two baths. Other features include a top floor loft with skylight, two terraces and an elevator.

To see the entire list of top 30 sales for June 2012, click here.

Living the Equestrian Lifestyle

Whether it’s a trophy ranch, historic equestrian center or iconic rural retreat, owning an Equestrian-style property is truly a unique experience.  Our newly launched niche lifestyle website, farmandranchsir.com, is dedicated to Farm & Ranch real estate.  Here are just a few spectacular equestrian properties to satisfy your inner cowboy.

 Simi Valley, California | Sotheby’s International Realty – Beverly Hills Brokerage

Located just thirty minutes outside Los Angeles in Simi Valley, California, Hummingbird Nest Ranch is a world-class equestrian center specializing in the Hunter / Jumper style of horse riding.  The 123 acre property includes a Grand Prix arena, rubber and sand mixed ring, derby grass arena, sixty stalls, three barns, and a FAA-licensed helipad.  The Ranch also includes a 17,000 square foot Spanish-style mansion which is perched atop a mountain and provides the most spectacular views of the verdant riding fields.

Waimea, Hawaii | MacArthur & Company Sotheby’s International Realty

Waiki’i Ranch is a premier equestrian property in Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The Ranch includes a European-inspired residential estate, guest cottage, seven stall stable, barn and riding arena.

Maryland | TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Tudor Farms is one of the most significant hunting and equestrian estates in the United States.  Located on Maryland’s eastern shore, this spectacular 6,000+ acre ranch offers unparalleled recreational and sporting activities.   The property includes a private lake, barn, horse stables, tennis court and yoga studio.

$17,500,000 USD | Cornwall, Connecticut | Litchfield Hills Sotheby’s International Realty

Pinnacle Farm is a magnificent property that encompasses approximately 140 acres of pastures and hillsides which include a state-of-the-art equestrian facility and a stately residential estate. This country farm in Cornwall, Connecticut, nestled in a private valley, has been home to some of the finest Friesian horses in the world, and includes a veterinarian lab complete with x-ray facility, Belebro Training Mill, over fifty stalls by Loddon of England, a drive-in basement and a Farrier shop.

Bridghampton, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – Southhampton Brokerage

Historic Two Trees Farm in Bridghampton, New York is a world-class equestrian center which has played host to the Mercedes Benz Polo Challenges.  The equestrian estate stretches across 115 acres three barns, eight grooms’ apartments, 100 stalls, two indoor arenas, and two polo fields. The primary residence, with four bedrooms, and four fireplaces, is fully-renovated yet retains its old-world details.

For more Equestrian properties, visit our Farm & Ranch specialty site.

6 Tips to Creating Amazing Property Videos

It’s common knowledge that Google is the world’s largest search engine. But take a guess as to what the 2nd largest is…

  • Yahoo? Not since October 2008.
  • Ask.com? Not since Jeeves was given the pink slip.
  • Bing? Nope. Even Microsoft’s marketing muscle can’t break past #3
  • Facebook? Zuckerberg’s working on it, I’m sure… but not yet.

At an astounding 2 billion views every day, YouTube is the #2 largest search engine in the world. There are some more impressive statistics that could easily be rattled off (24 hours of video uploaded every 24 seconds, average person spends 15 minutes on YouTube a day, etc.), but what’s most important is this: People are no longer using YouTube and other video websites only for seeing cats on skateboards¹.

They’re using it as another search and information gathering venue, one which offers some amazing opportunities for home owners and sellers. Here’s how to make the best video you can:

Tip #1: Keep it Short & Sweet

If Titanic was shot for YouTube, the ship would have been sunk, the jewel found and Leo off that door in 8 minutes flat. For your purposes, 3-5 minutes is the maximum length you should take to grab the viewer’s attention and finish before he or she moves on.

Audience Retention on an 8 minute video

This shows audience retention through the length of a video – Brevity is Essential

Tip #2: Shoot in High Definition

Your iPhone records in HD. At this point, if any video is less than 720p resolution, you must be doing it out of spite. And with videos being watched on TV sets and devices with higher and higher resolutions, Standard Definition just doesn’t cut it.

Tip #3: Craft a Spectacular Soundtrack

Audio in movies is everything. Can you imagine how different Star Wars would be without John Williams’ amazing score? The same hold true for online video. Chose background music that is engaging but not distracting, and if voiceover is necessary make sure it’s clear, well enunciated and informative.

Amazing use of Sound & Editing to create pacing

Tip #4: Smooth and Steady Shooting

Let’s be blunt – no one likes “shaky cam.” If you’re shooting your own footage, take steps to reduce vibrations by purchasing inexpensive add-on equipment. Post-production digital stabilization can be useful as well, but only sparingly. Otherwise, consider having your video professionally shot.

Tip #5: No Shameful Slideshows

Avoid the use of still images in your video. Unless you’re doing something wholly unique or it is reliant on archival photography, using still images in your video just screams “I made this in iMovie 18 minutes ago!

“A pictures worth a thousand words” Not anymore.

Tip #6: No-Go for Logo

Fundamentally, your video is a means to sell a product. But online, the product is secondary to the content itself. Let your imagery and the quality of the video do the work and save your logo or contact information for the end. If you hold the user’s interest instead of forcing branding right away, they’re more likely to come around at the end.

For your daily dose of video inspiration, subscribe to the Sotheby’s International Realty® YouTube channel.

¹Dogs are better anyway.

Inspired by…Spectacular Swimming Pools

The perfect swimming pool can be a stunning statement to an already amazing property.  Here are some truly inspiring pools from around the globe.

Kauai, Hawaii | Sleeping Giant Sotheby’s International Realty

The First LEED® Platinum Home, this North Shore estate in Kauai, Hawaii, is the epitome of relaxation.  The ocean-side infinity pool has an ensconced spa and firepit, and an adjacent grand lanai for pool-side dining.

 

$19,900,000 USD | Atlanta, Georgia | Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

Featured on HGTV’s Million Dollar Rooms, this palatial Mediterranean-style estate in Buckhead, the exclusive area of Atlanta, Georgia has an enormous breathtaking courtyard pool, which is beautifully mosaiced and complete with fountains and spas.  Ideal for entertaining, this private resort features seven kitchens, a ballroom, cigar room and private theater.

 

Sant Vicenc De Montalt, Spain | Barcelona Sotheby’s International Realty

This artfully designed modern home in Sant Vicenc De Montalt, Spain has stunning panoramic views and an impressive infinity pool which overlooks the sea.   The home combines modern architecture with the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle.

 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty

Casa Pacifica is a magnificent estate located just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The home boasts a stunning indoor pool which was inspired by the pool at the Ritz Paris.  Light fills the space from a retractable glass roof and five sets of French doors that open to the terrace and lawns. The pool area has a full kitchen for easy entertaining, plus a dining area, casual living room, a sauna with a cold-plunge pool, a foot-soak bath, walk-in shower and two dressing rooms.

 

Chiang Mai, Thailand | Hunter’s Sotheby’s International Realty

Featured in Architectural Digest in April 2007, this magnificent home in Chiang Mai, Thailand in the foothills of the Himalayas.  Conceived as a visual extension of the landscape each villa, has gardens that enfold onto a private pool with natural streams, boulders, and a diverse array of tropical flora and plant life, sculptures and lit pathways.

 

$10,000,000 USD | Sarasota, Florida | Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

Classic Mediterranean-style estate in Sarasota, Florida.  This gulf-front haven has a glamorous pool and cabana with a waterfall, lounging area, spa, slide, and stage for live entertainment.