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 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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Aug 21, 2014
Caddie Camp

(SIASCONSET, MA) Kudos to the Sankaty Head Golf Club on Nantucket. At what is thought to be the last private-club caddie camp in the country, if not the world, they have been instructing teen boys in the art of caddying since 1930.  As profiled in The Boston Globe, the Sankaty Head Caddie Camp has 54 campers in attendance this summer being instructed in “how to judge a putt, carry a golf bag, locate an errant tee shot, rake a bunker, and impress club members with their smarts and maturity.” Camp foundation trustee Richard Drucker says, “We’re the last of a kind and, we hope, also the first of a kind.” That would be great news for private clubs, the golf industry, and future caddies. The kids at Sankaty will earn $3,000- $15,000 apiece in caddie fees and tips, working six days a week. And get the education of a lifetime.

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Aug 20, 2014
Abstinence Averted

(LONDON, KY) It was a good day for the cart girls, maybe not so much for the manufacturer of those covert golf club-shaped drink dispensers. You’ll now be able to buy alcohol at Crooked Creek Club. Club & Resort Business reports that, in a special election, the emotional issue passed by the narrowest of margins, 157 to 156. While that leaves nearly half the folks unhappy, at least one non-imbibing homeowner was glad to see the measure passed. “I live at Crooked Creek, on the golf course, and for a lot of golf courses around here, business is struggling,” resident Bill Moore told WYMT. “I’m not a drinker but I just really think it would be advantageous to the community especially those of us that are home owners on Crooked Creek.” We’ll see how he feels after that first wave of “buddy trip” bookings comes barreling through the course.

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Aug 19, 2014
Cash is King

(ORLANDO, FL) Buying a luxury home with cash in hand has become the norm across the country, but in Orlando it’s been taken to a new level. Nationally, 45 percent of homes sold for over $2 million were cash transactions. In Orlando, that figure was been 60% in the last quarter. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the rate for cash sales of $1 million or more has doubled in the last five years. (Less expensive homes are becoming predominantly cash, too. In Orlando’s  $100,000 or less range, more than 80 percent of the buyers paid cash. The recent sale of NBA star Dwight Howard’s estate gives one clue why cash is so popular. It sold for $3.4 million cash, $1.5 million less than the asking price. Sellers are willing to come down in price when you have cash in hand. The Sentinel also reported an interesting facet of cash sales: crowd-funding. Apparently cash buyers are raising money by borrowing it from family and friends. After the sale is completed, they then get traditional financing to repay those loans.

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Aug 18, 2014
A mansion with your Rolls?

(JERICHO, NY) Looking for a $12 million mansion that will go nicely with your $475,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead coupe? You’re probably too busy making money to shop for both an ultra luxury car and multi-million dollar mansion. Unless, of course, you can do it in one stop. The New York Times reports that Shawn Elliott Luxury Homes and Estates will open next month inside Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Likely the first pairing of real estate office and car dealership in the country, it allows superluxury car shoppers to view Elliot’s roster of $5 million-plus listings. See something you like? You’ll be driven to your viewing in a Rolls-Royce. As Eliott says, buyers can “find a home for their new car. They have the opportunity to see the most beautiful homes in the world while they see the most beautiful cars in the world.” And just in case a Rolls doesn’t fit the style of your new mansion, the dealership also sells Bentleys and Lamborghinis.

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