Living the Good Life

From the pages of RESIDE®: Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World, Fall 2012 Master Edition

Patrick and Theresa Macri’s dream of coastal living was a distant retirement plan. Until they decided to accelerate their timetable by a decade and turn “someday” into today.

The couple bought a five-bedroom summer home in the resort destination of Fire Island, NY, and remodeled it into a full-time residence. While the summer population swells into the tens of thousands, year-rounders number 250 or so. The Macris are among the fewer still who make the daily commute from the barrier island to the mainland. Despite the concessions–no grocery, no dry cleaner, no movie theater and just a single restaurant–the Macris are living the life they longed for.

“All the tension washes away when you see the water and when you fall asleep at night listening to the ocean,” Patrick says. More than a beach house, it’s a place to “remove yourself from the hectic day-to-day.”

Like the Macris, luxury home buyers are looking for a lot more than a change of address these days. They’re looking for a change of lifestyle. Square footage and number of bedrooms are no longer the de facto starting points of their home searches. In some cases, even price is being muscled out by passion. Lifestyle is king. In fact, more than 2.2 million homes were searched by specialty categories like Waterfront and Skiing on the Sotheby’s International Realty® site last year.

Affluent buyers know what they want and have the means to own their passion.

For most people, an aspirational lifestyle “is something exceptional, something that is just a pause in their lives. One goes to the beach, one goes to the mountain, one goes to the countryside, one visits a capital city,” explains Marc Göhring of de Rham Sotheby’s International Realty in Lausanne, Switzerland. “It becomes a luxury lifestyle when it is an asset in your life. You own the beach, you own the mountain.”

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Content provided by Iyna Bort Caruso exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty®.

House Tour: Daryl Hall’s New York Farm

As half of the “rock and soul” duo Hall & Oates, Daryl Hall is best known for the 70’s and 80’s chart topping hits like Maneater and I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do). When the musician isn’t recording or touring, he enjoys restoring historic homes to their one-time glory. Having grown up in an 18th-century historic house in Pennsylvania, it is no doubt his childhood influenced his passion for early period architecture.

Huckleberry Farm, one of Hall’s more complex restoration projects and current residence, is currently on the market for $8.75 million. The 248-acre estate in Dutchess County, New York about 100 miles north of New York City.

new york farm daryl hall

Hall currently lives in the home where he films a monthly Web series Live From Daryl’s House. Past shows have brought musicians like Smokey Robinson, Rob Thomas and Jason Mraz by for jam sessions.

new york farm daryl hall

Hall worked with antique dealers and historians using authentic and re-created materials to rebuild the property with authentic period detail. Though, modern conveniences were not spared in the gourmet kitchen which includes Miele and Sub-Zero appliances.

new york farm daryl hall

Hall was involved all the painstaking details of the renovation including having paint samples carbon-dated to match the home’s original colors.

Daryl Hall Farm

The great room also serves as a recording studio where Hall hosts is monthly Web series. He often provides private tours of the home during recording sessions. Click here to watch Hall as he gives a private tour of the home’s wine cellar to show guest Jason Mraz.

The estate is currently listed with Heather Croner, broker and owner of Heather Croner Real Estate Sotheby’s International Realty and available for private showing by appointment only.

Specialty Ski Property Website Launches

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced the launch of a Ski specialty market website, the latest in a planned series of branded websites for specialty markets.

The specialized website, which can be found at, matches the look and feel of the brand’s website,, and provides detailed Ski lifestyle real estate listing information and resources. The website enables buyers and sellers to search for the finest properties in this segment and the sales professionals who represent them. It covers a full spectrum of lifestyle types and properties including: ski-in and ski-out, base of mountain living and close proximity to mountains. The site was launched with more than $2 billion of ski property listings worldwide.

The website will also highlight notable sales internationally and feature area-focused sections, resort mountain descriptions and advanced search capabilities.

“The Sotheby’s International Realty brand has long been a powerful force in world-class Ski markets around the world,” said Wendy Purvey, chief marketing officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “So it was only natural for us to seek to delve further into this market. From ski-in, ski-out properties to villas in the mountains, this specialty website offers a robust inventory of extraordinary homes in locations as diverse as Aspen, Colorado; Hong Kong; Whistler, Canada; Colony, Switzerland and many more.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 12,600 sales associates located in approximately 650 offices in 45 countries and territories worldwide.

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San Diego: A Diverse Junction of Land and Sea

From the pages of RESIDE®: Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World, Fall 2012 California Edition

On any given morning the San Diego County beaches from Point Loma all the way north to the Trestles at San Onofre State Beach are lined with surfers. Seen from the shore the figures look the same, paddling out toward the breakers and gliding home over rolling swells in an early light that gives the scene an almost iridescent clarity. What separates this choreography from those that play out up and down California’s southern coast is not just San Diego’s particularly diverse junction of land and sea but also a subtext that isn’t evident from land.

“We think we have some of the wealthiest surfers in the world,” says Steve Games, Chairman of the Board at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. “You’d be amazed at the active business people in San Diego that surf every day. Every day. They get up way in advance and instead of going to the gym they go to the water.”

Accordingly, some of the most prestigious addresses in Southern California sit above the beaches, coves, harbors and bluffs of San Diego County’s 70-mile coastline. Just as residents of New York or Miami instinctively adopt the pace and rhythms of their cities, those who live in these coastal communities naturally arrange their lifestyles around year-round outdoor activities such as sailing, fishing, cycling, surfing and golf.

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Content provided by Derek Duncan exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty®.

Significant Sales September 2012

The September issue of Significant Sales features stunning waterfront properties in California, The New York Hamptons, New Zealand, Connecticut and Florida. These sales coincide with the launch of our specialty Waterfront real estate website, which features the world’s finest waterfront properties.

HOM Sotheby’s International Realty / $22,000,000 USD / Newport Beach, California, USA

Newport California Luxury Real Estate

Newport ? This is the finest waterfront residence on Newport Harbor with more than one half acre looking across the widest expanse of the bay. The unparalleled setting, within the private community of Bayshores, is awash in sunlight and gentle breezes.

HOM Sotheby’s International Realty / $20,000,000 USD / Laguna Beach, California, USA

Laguna Beach California Luxury Real Estate

Laguna Beach ? This contemporary designed home epitomizes the seamless interface between interior and exterior spaces, and is nestled into the coveted front row of the exclusive Montage Residences. It includes access to all Montage Laguna Beach amenities and features the finest hardwood and stone materials transitioning throughout to create a dramatic living experience, softened by the casual overtones of its seaside setting.

Summit Sotheby’s International Realty / $19,500,000 USD / Utah, USA

Farm Ranch Luxury Real Estate

Utah ?This majestic ranch, historically known as the Whiles Away Ranch, is set among more than 100 acres of breathtaking scenery and backs up to The Canyons Resort.  A new ski run at the resort abuts the property, making it the first ski-in / ski-out ranch property in the area. Winding streams, serene ponds, abundant wildlife and sprawling pastures make this an extraordinary retreat.

See All Significant Sales in September 2012 >

Tantalizing Taipei: Financial and Cultural Avatar

From the pages of RESIDE®: Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World, Fall 2012 Asia Edition

If you were an investor and could travel back in time to buy property in pre-emerging markets, where would you go? The Upper East Side in the 1950’s, or the West Village in the ‘60’s? Aspen or Santa Barbara, or St. Moritz in the ‘70’s? Malaysia and Singapore 10 years ago?

While purely hypothetical—and tantalizing to think about for all the possibilities—the question is also a reminder that in real estate there are always yet-to-be-discovered markets and opportunities hidden in plain sight. Today’s Tirana or Tacna could be tomorrow’s Taipei.

Serious investors are in fact turning to Taipei, lately surging as one of Asia’s most visible financial and cultural avatars. The capital of Taiwan with a metropolitan population of nearly 7 million, Taipei strikes newcomers as a vibrant and diverse city bisected by six scenic rivers and bordered by mountains and the stunning Yangmingshan National Park. An influx of capital, low interest and estate tax rates, rapid development in the tech sector and proximity to vital Asian markets has encouraged governments and corporations around the world to bring business here, and increasing numbers of international travelers are newly exploring the city’s historic sites, museums, restaurants and famed street-side delicacies. Moreover, luxury property and apartments remain priced far less than in places like Hong Kong and Singapore.

Since the 1960’s, Taiwan’s economy has been driven by robust textile and manufacturing operations based primarily in and around Taipei. Recently, however, Taipei has transitioned strongly into banking and technology. According to David Tran, Founder of Taiwan Sotheby’s International Realty, white-collar workers account for 72-percent of Taipei’s current labor force, the highest such proportion in Taiwan. Nearly 10-percent of the workforce is now in the financial sector, and nearly 7-percent find employment in high-tech, information and communications industries. Powered by production from Taipei, Taiwan’s economy is one of the four strongest in Asia and ranks among the top 20 in the world by GDP.

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Content provided by Derek Duncan exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty®.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Sammamish, Washington / House Tour

As one of the 20th century’s preeminent designers, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright is known for his unique vision and signature style. Wright pioneered the organic architecture movement and believes that every building should grow naturally from its environment.

Built in 1952, the Ray Brandes House is one of only three Wright-designed homes in Washington state.  The home is listed on both the National and State Register of Historic Structures.  Situated on just over 3 woodland acres, the home is exceptionally private and seamlessly integrates with nature. By day, the home is flooded with natural light—by night, redwood cutouts that band the clerestory windows capture the interior light, and turn the whole into a glowing “jewel box.”
frank_lloyd_wright_housesAs is true of Wright’s designs, the home’s innovative use of natural materials was ahead of its time. So was the hovering horizontal roofline that spans the carport and connects the home to a separate office space.

frank_lloyd_wright_washingtonThe interior of the home is in soft contrast colors and materials. The living room’s original furniture and bookshelves are made of redwood – and all designed by Wright.


The master bedroom has a built-in bed and Japanese soaking jetted tub. The room embraces the Northwest greenery and opens directly on to the grounds.

brandes_house_frank_lloyd_wrightThe home is currently listed for sale for $1.39 million with Sam CunninghamSandy Justen, and Julie Biniasz with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. Click here to view the property details.

Dallas, Texas Real Estate / Market Spotlight

Recent reports note selling prices for top homes in Dallas and other luxury markets in Texas showed growth or continued strength in the second quarter of 2012.

luxury_real_estate_texasDallas was one of the few markets to post gains in median sales price, ranking it 12th among S&P/Case-Schiller’s 20 index markets. All of that bodes well for the luxury home market.

“In the second quarter, I saw a renewal of confidence in homebuyers, and that came from the lower interest rates. I haven’t seen that kind of confidence in a long time,” said Robbie Briggs, president and chief executive officer, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty in Dallas.

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Los Cabos, Mexico Real Estate / Market Spotlight

The Los Cabos market continues to rebound with demand increasing for both condos and single-family homes, according to Julie Kershner of Los Cabos Sotheby’s International Realty. The number of condos sold year-to-date is up 55 percent over the same period last year, with volume up 38 percent. Single-family home sales are up 51 percent year-to-date. “While the overall average sale price is down 35 percent year-to-date, to $493,000, the large drop off mainly reflects re-pricing of high-end single-family homes,” Kershner said.

“It is really a tale of two markets,” Kershner continues. Condo prices in the Cabo San Lucas Corridor-Inland area, for example, are up 70 percent year-to-date on relatively strong volume. With less demand for high-end single-family homes, however, the average sale price in San Jose Del Cabo Corridor-Oceanside declined over 30 percent to $2.5 million. “With prices re-setting, inventory levels falling and the Mexican elections behind us, Los Cabos should continue to gather steam,” she added. “The global exposure Los Cabos received from the G20 meetings will no doubt help. One risk remains a lack of attractive financing for foreigners, which will likely result in an uptick of seller financed transactions.”

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The Molecule House, Casa Konstandt in Argentina / House Tour

When Argentinian inventor and builder, Matías Konstandt was 16 years old, he built a living space for himself on his parent’s terrace while they were away on a trip. It took Konstandt’s parents two days to assess the impact of the new construction and to admit that the result was quite good. It was the first step towards other construction projects in the house and a clear sign of their son’s future.

In 2001 Konstandt built Casa Molecule, what would be the prototype for his US patented Molecular house building method, which is located in the gated community La Celina, in Ingeniero Maschwitz, less than an hour drive from the Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Ingeniero Maschwitz, Argentina / Argentina Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

The Molecule House method is comprised of an aluminum socket system simply made out of tubes and knots, in geometric repetitions which not only is incredibly lightweight, but also extremely strong. Konstandt’s concept for the project was to create a light house, which was easy to assemble and disassemble and something that could serve Kondstadt’s need to travel and to create new settings in his habitat.

Konstandt designed the iron sheet modern sofas which are reminiscent of French architect, Le Corbusier. There are very few elements in the living room, as with the entire house, which is reflective of Konstandt’s dislike of cluttered spaces.

The dining room continues the minimalist style with warm wood floors, expansive light-flooding windows and a sculptured wood dining table.

The kitchen has an industrial aesthetic with open shelving and two Molecule-structure and butcher block center islands.

This one-of-a-kind architectural masterpiece is currently on the market for $1.35 Million USD and listed with Argentina Properties Sotheby’s International Realty.

$1,350,000 USD / Ingeniero Maschwitz, Argentina / Argentina Properties Sotheby’s International Realty