Nov 13, 2015
Kitchen No-No’s

(SAN JOSE, CA) Designer kitchens are in. But if you building or renovating, you might stop and think before you sink big money into the latest trends. Unless, of course, you never plan to sell. Jamie Wiebe, who writes about home décor for House Beautiful, Veranda, and others, reports for about five kitchen design trends that could be costly and embarrassing mistakes. Our apologies to those who’ve already made to the move to these fads predicted to fade quickly. Her list of top five no-no’s includes mixing metals (“appalling”), DIY concrete countertops (“already passé”), open shelving (“unattractive, dust collecting”), reclaimed wood (“horrible”), and industrial style (“unless you’re living in a loft”). And those granite countertops? “Designers expect they’ll be in style for the foreseeable future, so you’re safe giving them a starring role in your makeover,” says Wiebe.

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Nov 11, 2015
Stronger Sales, Younger Buyers

(BOCA RATON, FL)  It’s a recipe for ongoing success: home sales trending up while attracting younger members.  St. Andrews Country Club reports a 73% increase in home sales in the past twelve months with the average age of new members at 58, driving the overall club average age to the low 60’s. How did they accomplish that? By investing $18 million in improvements and expansion over the past three years that are appealing to a younger, more diverse, membership. Those enhancements are heavily weighted toward family-oriented amenities that focus on health and wellness. St. Andrews Country Club is recognized as one of America’s Top Ten Healthiest Clubs thanks to the state-of-the-art Fitness Center, a dedicated Nutrition Educator who works closely with the executive chef to create healthier menu options, and a spa that offers the latest advances in skincare, massages, luxury manicures and pedicures along with a hair salon and barber service. “Our Club Improvement Plan has played a significant role in attracting younger and more diverse members by creating recreation and dining areas that promote spaces for families of all ages to enjoy,” said Craig D. Martin, St. Andrews Country Club Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. “Continuously improving our amenities and offering the best of everything to our membership and gives us that ‘X’ Factor to stand apart from other clubs in the area.”

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Nov 09, 2015
Tiger Redux

(NASHVILLE, TN) Tiger’s back woes may have him sidelined from play, but his course design business seems to be picking up the slack. Beacon Land Development, the group that brought us Tiger’s first American golf course design outside Houston, apparently has a second U.S. development built around a Woods’ design in the works. According to the Nashville Business Journal, the proposed community 30 miles south of Nashville would be built on 1,200 acres and include custom homes and a music venue. Construction could begin in the spring. Is this just wishful thinking? Beacon Land Development principal Michael Abbott Abbott told the Nashville Business Journal his company does not yet have an official deal with Woods for the project, but “that's certainly our preference and we're working toward that.” Be nice for Tiger to have something to fill his time while waiting for his back to heal.

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Nov 06, 2015
Youth Movement

(LAKE OCONEE, GA) Time to get with the times. Harbor Club, a 1,000-acre, family-owned lake and golf community on Lake Oconee, has unveiled a comprehensive new club membership program that enhances benefits to both current residents and outside individuals, families and companies. One highlight of the attainability strategy is Executive Memberships for those under the age of 40, who are incentivized by a 50% reduction on the up-front initiation fee. They have also reduced the up-front initiation fee for new members, refreshed their amenities, added Zumba and yoga classes, and are drawing young families with the lure of a highly rated new charter school located just minutes from the community.

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Nov 04, 2015
Vancouver's Hot, Too

(VANCOUVER, CANADA) We may think everything’s colder north of the border, but when it comes to the price of luxury homes, nothing’s hotter than Vancouver. A recent report by London-based international real estate consultants Knight Frank, says the Canadian city had the highest increase (20.4%) in luxury-home prices in the world over the past 12 months. Sydney, Australia was second at 14% and Shanghai, China was third at 11%. Vancouver’s rapid rise in luxury home prices corresponds with tighter supply and burgeoning international, as well as local, interest in the city’s premier real estate. The Province reports that “according to Sotheby’s International Realty, sales of Vancouver homes in the $4-million range rose by 71 per cent in the first half of 2015, while sales of homes over $3 million in Greater Vancouver jumped 79 per cent over the same time period.”   

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