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Jul 25, 2014
Own Your Own Town


(ALADDIN, WY) Why just buy a home when for the price of a luxury model you can own the whole town? The 30-acre hamlet of Aladdin, Wyoming, comes with a 126-year-old general store and post office and a bar. Listing price? $1.5 million. Managing the town shouldn’t require much heavy lifting. There are only 15 full-time residents, according to CNN Money. And, yes, your home is included. The town’s current owner, Judy Brengle, is throwing in her family's four-bedroom home as part of the deal. There are a few drawbacks. No indoor plumbing or sewage system. But wait! For your money you’ll also get an outhouse! Alas, there’s no indication of golf course in town and not really enough land to support one. But the Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club is just over a half hour away.

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Jul 23, 2014
Sunny Outlook


(MIAMI, FL) The single-home market is looking rosy. More closed sales, higher median prices, increased new listings and a rise in inventory in June. Sales of single-family homes were 23,181 last month, up 14.6 percent over June of last year, reports World Property Channel. Not only that, it was the 31st consecutive month that median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhome-condo properties. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $185,000 last month, up 5.2 percent from the previous year. It’s always good to put these numbers in perspective though. Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo does just that, saying, June was a very strong month for both the single-family and the townhouse and condo markets in Florida, and we are very encouraged by the data. But a look at one month alone does not ever truly describe the market. So when the strong June report is balanced by a somewhat weaker May, the picture of a market settling-in emerges. We are generally seeing slower increases in both sales and prices, and a rising level of inventories. All of this points to a continued steady, manageable growth in the Florida housing market."

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Jul 21, 2014
Slow Rise


(SEATTLE, WA) When will I break even on my home? That’s the burning question for those who bought at the peak of the real estate market, back in 2006 0r 2007. Not quite yet, says Zillow. Three years into the housing recovery, home values are still 11.3 percent below their peak and data indicates that it won’t be until sometime in 2017 that most markets will have recovered all the value they lost when the real estate bubble burst. There is a silver lining…for buyers. “Because home values remain so far below their peak levels in so many areas, it is still possible for buyers to find bargains. This will be critical to maintaining home affordability over the coming years, especially as mortgage interest rates rise,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. 

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Jul 18, 2014
Record Sale on Kiawah Island


(KIAWAH ISLAND, SC) The odds of finding an undeveloped, seven-acre oceanfront homesite anywhere is rare these days. But in one of the world’s most desirable communities? Kiawah Island has set a record for residential real estate with the sale of 99 Flyway drive for $22 million, the largest in the island’s history. Already in 2014, Kiawah Island Real Estate has sold more than $158 million in residential property. The seven-acre oceanfront parcel, with 250 feet of Atlantic Ocean views, was owned by the late Dennison A. Royal, who had been a longtime landowner at Kiawah Island. The buyer is a longtime Kiawah property owner, too. In a nice twist to the tale of the record-setting sale, the proceeds will go to charities according to the wishes of Royal. “As oceanfront estates of this caliber on Kiawah and perhaps anywhere in the southeast become more scarce, the value of this type of property is hard to quantify,” said Ellen Walkley, the Kiawah Island Real Estate sales executive who represented both the buyer and seller.  “Already on Kiawah alone, we have seen property similar to this double in value in a very short period of time.”

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Jul 17, 2014
Hoylake House


(HOYLAKE, UK) The weather was beautiful for the first round of The Open Championship and all those stunning shots of the seaside got us to wondering what it would it be like to live there.  So we poked around and found a property for sale on a slice of land between the Royal Liverpool Golf Club and the sea. For the tidy sum of £820,000 (about US$1.4 million) you can lovely 5-bedroom house on a cul-de-sac with “the most breathtaking beachside views and stunning seaside sunsets.”  From the rear stepped garden, you can behold “the most outstanding views across to Hilbre Island and the Welsh hills and on through to Liverpool Bay.” In the British tradition, the house even has a name: Kingsford. Reading British listings takes a little familiarity with the lingo. Some are easy, like the ground floor WC, referring to the bathroom. Others, not so much. A big benefit of the house is that there is “no ongoing chain,” which we learned means the seller does not have to buy another house in order to move out and complete the sale. Good to know.

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