Mar 04, 2016
Spectacular Debut

(KIAWAH ISLAND, SC) As if life on Kiawah Island wasn’t special enough, yesterday they debuted Ocean Park's first built-for-you neighborhood, Marsh Walk, with homesites overlooking broad marshland and the front nine holes of The Ocean Course and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. The neighborhood will be the only place on Kiawah where residents can enjoy a view of the marsh, rivers, creeks, beach, ocean, and golf. Marsh Walk's light-filled homes, they say, will invite sea breezes, tree-dappled sunlight, and carefree living inside. Just steps away from The Marsh House, the intimate community will feature four floor plans, each designed by a renowned local architect exclusively for Kiawah Island Real Estate. The streamlined building process has been designed to make moving in simple, and the homes have been designed to make living easy. You can choose from three or four bedrooms, plus a swing space, in up to 3,200 heated square feet. They had us at “overlooking the front nine of The Ocean Course.”

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Mar 02, 2016
Five-Star Experience

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) Congrats to Keswick Hall and Golf Club, which has been honored with the prestigious Forbes Five-Star Award in recognition of its exceptional level of luxury and service for the second year in a row. It’s one of only 154 properties worldwide to achieve this coveted tribute and one of only three in Virginia. The 600-acre luxury resort, set in Virginia's scenic wine and hunt country, has garnered other significant accolades over the past year including for its new Pete Dye-designed golf course, Full Cry at Keswick Golf Club, debuting at No. 47 in Golfweek's "Best Resort Courses." Full Cry was also honored in Golf Digest's "2015 Best New Courses" list last December. Keswick Hall has also attained Condé Nast Traveler "gold" status, and is one of Travel + Leisure's 500 "World's Best Hotels." Not bad for a “boutique” resort. Of course, the resort is a property of Richmond, Va.-based Riverstone Group, which also owns and manages the prestigious The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Resort, The Sea Pines Resort, The Jefferson Hotel, and The Hermitage Hotel.

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Feb 29, 2016
Just Like Old Times

(LIVERMORE, CA) We weren’t sure we would ever see the return of lotteries for home releases. But at Sage, a master planned community by Shea Homes in California, the first homes sold out earlier this month. As a result the next release of homes will be offered by lottery. If we’re surprised, we’re not alone. Shea Homes Northern California President Layne Marceau said in a statement, “We’ve never seen anything like this. The model homes haven’t been completed as yet and the home sites sold out immediately to pre-approved home buyers.” The community, with homes ranging from the mid-$500s to the high $600s, will offer a swimming pool, cabana, bocce ball court, fitness center, clubhouse, spa, yoga lawn, community garden, bike paths, art walk, wellness circuit, and “quiet spaces to recharge and refresh the body and soul.” There’s no golf in the master plan, but no worries. There is plenty of golf in the area, including the Rees Jones-designed Poppy Ridge right in there in Livermore.

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Feb 26, 2016
California Vibe

(INDIAN WELLS, CA) While the Honda Classic is being played on a Jack Nicklaus layout this week, two Nicklaus Signature courses at Toscana Country Club are helping fuel real estate sales. The premier luxury resort community, set in sun-soaked Coachella Valley, has completed several project enhancements following 11 successful years of real estate sales and development. Last year, Toscana sold 56 homes, resulting in a sales volume of over $96 million, with plans to release additional home sites this year. They also opened the final nine holes on the Jack Nicklaus Signature North Course; introduced a new golf instruction center; and debuted three newly renovated and redecorated show homes. In addition, the club recently completed a major kitchen expansion for its restaurant, Il Forno Trattoria. That’s what we’d call a very productive year!

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Feb 24, 2016
London's Falling

(LONDON) If you’ve been holding off buying that luxury home in London, you’re not alone. Sales in London’s poshest neighborhoods fell to a seven-year low thanks to a changes in the Stamp Duty Land Tax. Seems buyers, naturally, are turned off by the prospects of a new tax that will increase the stamp duty tax to as high as 12 percent for the most expensive homes. The new tax goes into effect in April and effects all investment and second home purchases in the UK by making them subject to a higher tax (3 percent more) than primary residences. The pending tax has already had an effect in the desirable London neighborhoods of Kensington, Chelsea, Mayfair and Westminster where sales in January were 30 percent below the average, the lowest since 2009. The Stamp Duty Land Tax applies if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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