Aug 12, 2014
Silent Partners

(LAND O' LAKES, FL) “COURSE IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.” That’s all the information you get when you visit the website for the Plantation Palms Golf Club.  Those who live in the Land O'Lakes golf community would like to know more. The course closed without notice in May. It’s unkempt greens, overgrown fairways, and uncertain future have homeowners, who once enjoyed the course views, fretting about their property values. According to the local TV station, Bay News 9, neighbors say the course was bustling after its opening in 2012. No one seems quite sure why the course closed without notice. The ownership group has not returned phone calls from residents or the TV station. Gives new meaning to the term “silent partners.”

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Aug 11, 2014
Eagles Par for Course

(BONITA SPRINGS, FL) Talk about living next to high-flying neighbors. The final phase of 15 luxury homes at Baywoods at Bonita Bay will curve around a preserve where great horned owls and eagles nest, and will be surrounded by the Bay Island golf course. The owls are currently staking claim to a two-decade old eagle’s nest, but the eagles may return in October when their nesting season begins. Whoever the nest’s occupants are, they’ll be protected by a 325-foot preserve buffer, according to a report in the Naples Daily News.  The estate-sized home sites in Baywoods have been off the market since the real estate recession and their sale to Stock Development last month for $8.78 million pretty much wraps up the available sites at Bonita Bay. Three models are planned for a December completion. The furnished models will be in the $3 million range, with the unfurnished ones expected to go for more than $2 million. The eagles and owls, presumably, got their homesite for free.

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Aug 08, 2014
The Million Dollar Starter

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) Remember when a million dollars would buy you the home of your dreams? Actually, it still will, just not in San Francisco. For the first time, the median selling price for a home hit seven figures in the City by the Bay.  But according to a story today in The Salinas Californian, “the cool million that would fetch a mansion on a few acres elsewhere will now barely cover the cost of an 800-square foot starter home that needs work and may or may not include private parking.” Limited supply, a strong tech economy, and the lure of one of the world’s most desirable cities have combined to make San Francisco the most expensive market in the country. And no other market is even close. But take heart, there’s never been a better time to find the home of your dreams in a premier golf community where your million will buy you more square footage than you could ever use…and probably a lot less fog.

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Aug 07, 2014
Lap of Luxury

(TAMPA, FL) While “average priced” homes have been in decline nationally this year, luxury home sales have been soaring. They are up about 21 percent compared to last year. The Tampa area is no exception. Sales of homes priced $500,000 or higher are up approximately 11%, not quite the national average, but enough to fuel the housing market. According to the Tampa Tribune, luxury home sellers and realtors are drawing in prospective buyers by taking showings up a notch. Think fine wine tastings at open houses instead of a plate of cookies and bottles of water. That would seem a great strategy to lure home-buying oenophiles, especially for a current listing in FishHawk Ranch that features a climate-controlled wine cellar. Nothing like getting a taste of the good life before you buy.

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Aug 06, 2014
History for Sale

WRAYSBURY, UK) History buffs take note. For $6.65 million you can own the historic British island in the River Thames where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. The 3.725-acre private island, where King John signed one of the most important documents in history, includes a 7-bedroom home, four reception rooms, swimming pool, cottage, moat, and “a Charter Room housing the stone on which Magna Carta is believed to have been sealed on this very spot.” According to Forbes, “The lush grounds, which feature a vast lawn, whimsical yew topiaries and several mature trees, lead down to the River Thames, where the property has almost 440 yards (402 metres) of frontage. A small bridge links the island to the mainland.” The UK’s Independent notes that the property is “in need of modernisation.” There’s also the matter of whether this is actually the spot where the Magna Carta was signed. Some references use the term “reputedly” when referring to the island. Maybe that leaves some haggle room in the selling price.

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