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Jun 22, 2016
Staying Focused


(INDIAN WELLS, CA) After more than $100,000,000 in total real estate sales volume in 2015, you might expect the luxury residential community and private equity club of Toscana Country Club to enjoy its success and relax a bit. Instead, they embarked on a series of focus groups with their members to hear exactly what members wanted to see happen at the club. Those focus groups led to the announcement this week that the club will add new facilities, including a casual restaurant, sports club pavilion, pool pavilion, event lawn, and tennis courts. An outdoor garden terrace, off the new restaurant, will include a long linear fire pit to enjoy drinks while overlooking the 9th hole of the Jack Nicklaus Signature South course that’s framed by the Santa Rosa Mountains. That’s what we’d call staying relevant and keeping your members satisfied.

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Jun 20, 2016
Last Gasp for Realtors?


(WASHINGTON, DC) Last week, Consumer Reports released its “Top Real Estate Trends for 2016.” They include the rise of semi-suburbs, the decline of the starter home, down payment assistance programs, and the effect the “sharing economy” is having on cities. All interesting stuff, but perhaps none more interesting than how the rise of technology is changing the role of the real estate agent. Online real estate sites—like Redfin, Trulia, and Zillow—already abound (Though Consumer Reports found that none provide a complete picture of what’s on the market). But even if you find something through those services, you’ll probably still need an agent to guide you through the buying and selling process. All that may change with the online real estate marketplace, Ten-X. Google Capital has bet big ($50 million big) on this tool that allows homeowners to manage the entire buying process online, from price negotiations to final closing.

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Jun 17, 2016
Net Loss


(PACIFIC GROVE, CA) Golf course home dreams don’t include being pinged by errant golf balls, but it’s one of the prices homeowners pay for living course-side. One of the options for protecting homes from slices, shanks, and screaming mishits is to install netting. Should make everyone happy, right? Not if that netting obstructs your view of the water. Some residents in Pacific Grove are not happy about a new net planned for the golf course, saying it will block their view of the bay. It all started when one homeowner sued to have netting put up. The court agreed and the city plans to install a net 30-feet high and 320-feet long. Much like fans at major league baseball parks around the country who are now watching the game through extended safety netting, some homeowners here will be watching the sun set through a net. Kind of takes the magic out of the view.

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Jun 15, 2016
Holy Ground


(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK) While the world’s best golfers will be praying hard to avoid Oakmont Country Club’s daunting “Church Pew” bunkers at this week's U.S. Open, Oklahoma City golfers don’t have a prayer of saving their local course. The Oklahoman reports that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City has purchased the Brookside Golf Club and plans to build a new church there. The archdiocese purchased the 9-hole golf course for $2.1 million last March and is currently leasing the course back to Brookside Golf Club. No timeline has been set for construction of the new church and local golfers have been told they can expect the course to stay open for another two years. That's a small blessing anyway.

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Jun 13, 2016
Because He Can


(BEVERLY HILLS, CA) Not everyone’s spouse would appreciate them covering their backyard in acres of artificial turf. Especially when that turf is punctuated by sand bunkers and greens. Actor Mark Wahlberg’s latest addition to his 30,000-square-foot mansion is an extravagant golf complex that appears to engulf his entire backyard. Wahlberg posted a picture of the finished project on Instagram a few days ago (click the link below to see the photo), accompanied by a shout out to Back Nine Greens, who created the eye-popping layout. But, as the Daily Mail points out, Wahlberg seems to have “a penchant for making upgrades to his abodes. His last house — an 11,5000-square-foot mansion — included a full-size basketball court, a massive pool with waterfalls and grottoes reminiscent of the Playboy Mansion's, and a two-floor private gym built in a converted airport hangar that featured a professional boxing ring.”

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