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Aug 28, 2014
Canine Controversy


(UNIVERSITY PLACE, WA) This controversy has some teeth to it. Seems dog owners in University Place believe they were promised a permanent off-leash dog park on Chambers Creek Properties, next to Chambers Bay golf course. The county says there’s not enough room for a new 18-hole golf course and a dog park. And next year’s U.S. Open site is right in the middle of the controversy. Right now, there is a temporary dog park on the property, but that will close next May when the USGA takes over the site for the U.S. Open. Dog owners believe that a 2007 master site plan for Chambers Creek Properties spells out a permanent off-leash dog park where the second golf course is now proposed. Country officials interpret the master plan differently, saying it only “allows” for a dog park, not promises one. That interpretation isn’t sitting well with dog owners. “The golfers have their golf course, the joggers have their trails, the beach people have the beach. We want a place to come down and enjoy our best friends,” resident Byron Debban told the News Tribune. “We’re just asking for a foothold in this massive development.”

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Aug 27, 2014
Royal Mission


(ISABELA, PUERTO RICO) Usually it’s the land that supports a golf course. This time around, the golf course is helping support the land. The Links at Royal Isabela, the centerpiece of the private gated community and golf club, Royal Isabela, is situated on some of the most dramatic oceanfront to be found anywhere. The magnificent landscape includes cliffs, dunes, wetlands, caves, and native plant and wildlife serves as a spectacular home for one of the world’s most highly acclaimed golf courses. To help preserve their land, the club will host the third annual El Pastillo Golf Classic on September 27. All proceeds from the event will fund El Pastillo Conservation Trust, which is dedicated to preserving El Pastillo Beach and its surrounding cliffs. You can be part of the effort by playing in the Classic or as a sponsor. For more information, contact Royal Isabela toll free at (855)609-5888 or visiting their web site at www.royalisabela.com

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Aug 26, 2014
Record Virtual Sale


(TRUCKEE, CA) Cash buyers have been all the rage this year. Now comes news that virtual currency, bitcoin, was used to purchase a $1.6 million homesite at the luxury real estate community, Martis Camp. We won’t pretend that we understand all the intricacies of how bitcoin works, but this wasn’t the first time the digital currency has been used to buy real estate. It is, however, the largest recorded real estate transaction (by more than $1 million) involving bitcoin. The newfangled means of buying luxury real estate didn’t seem to phase Martis Camp. Sales Director, Brian Hull, told the Wall Street Journal, “The transaction itself was simple. An invoice was sent and the buyer’s bitcoin was easily transferred into U.S. Dollars to complete the sale. We now welcome the opportunity to work with buyers and their bitcoin through the Bitpay service.” With real estate sales of over $175 million in the first half of 2014, Martis Camp seems to be doing quite well with more traditional means of payment, too.

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Aug 25, 2014
Good News


WASHINGTON, DC) It’s been a tough year to handicap the housing market. But all the markers seemed to come together in July to finally say with confidence that things are looking up. July saw the fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes, home construction starts rose 15.7 percent, building permits strengthened, and homebuilders indicated they are confident about future sales. Add to those positive indicators a rise in the number of homes for sales, a drop in the number of homes sold in foreclosure, and a slight dip in prices to improve   affordability. And by the way, did you notice 30-year mortgages fell to 4.1 percent last week, the lowest level this year? But perhaps the best news of all came from Zillow last week. Their research shows that homebuyers are spending just 15.3 percent of their incomes on their mortgage, compared to 22.1 percent back in 2006.

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Aug 22, 2014
Vacation Home Deals


(BOSTON, MA) Sales of vacation homes are on the upswing as baby boomers near retirement. They were up 30% last year, according to the National Association of Realtors, and are expected to continue surging as 2014 wraps up. But if you want the best price, it pays to know when to buy. While the best times of year to buy vary by region, in New England the fall is a great time to shop, especially on Cape Cod. Sellers have already either enjoyed their summer on the Cape or collected big rents from vacationers. Rather than pay for the upkeep during the quiet winter months, they are often willing to drop the price. A Martha Vineyard’s realtor told Boston.com he recently brokered a deal in which the seller dropped the price from $900,000 to $699,000. For sellers, spring in New England is key to getting a higher price as all the would-be vacation home owners are anxious to close so they can enjoy summer in their new home. 

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