Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Third Week in December 2014

Highlights from this week’s top news stories on luxury and global real estate, art, collectibles and home.

2014_12_19 Aspen_Colorado$65,000,000 USD| Aspen, Colorado | Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

In a survey conducted earlier this year, 64% of wealthy Americans said they were likely to buy a legacy home to keep in the family, according to a report published earlier this year by Sotheby’s International Realty, which surveyed about 700 affluent consumers around the world.”

The Ultimate Heirloom: A Sprawling EstateThe Wall Street Journal

What You Get for … $1,400,000The New York Times

On the Market: A contemporary barn-style residence in the countryside in Salisbury, ConnecticutArchitectural Digest

Bruce Willis’ lakefront lodge in the woods in Hailey, IdahoArchitectural Digest

House hunting: 6 classic Florida housesThe Week

Home Builder’s New Sweet SpotCNBC

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty Expands Coverage Area To Represent Brand In Fort Worth, TexasSotheby’s International Realty

Housing Outlook 2015: 11 Predictions From The ExpertsForbes

Raleigh, North Carolina | Market Spotlight

Raleigh$7,800,000 USD | Raleigh, North Carolina | Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty

“Raleigh is the quintessential blend of southern charm and sophisticated urban living. As the capital city, perfectly situated between North Carolina’s majestic mountains and beautiful coastline, Raleigh offers world class shopping and dining, excellent education with proximity to universities, exceptional healthcare, and a wide variety of sporting and cultural opportunities. Raleigh is consistently ranked at the top of the ‘Best of’ lists because it is a premier city to live, work, and play. All of these factors combine to create a robust housing market here in the Research Triangle area; with its moderate climate, diverse workforce and affordable housing, it is a desired destination for people moving here. Recognized by both Forbes magazine and CNNMoney as ‘one of the nation’s fastest growing cities,’ we are confident that our real estate market will only continue to improve and thrive.”

– Joe Hodge, president, Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty

Search Luxury Real Estate in Raleigh, North Carolina > 

Warm Contemporary Elegance in Niagara On The Lake, Canada | Video House Tour

The early 1900′s Craftsman style exterior of this lakeside home was sympathetically restored and enhanced, while the interiors have been completely transformed to create a calming, comfortable and soothing residence. Dramatic windows on all sides provide abundant natural light from all directions creating a constantly changing ambiance. Spacious backyard and patio spaces make this home ideal for entertaining.

1 395 000 $ CAD | Niagra-on-the-Lake, Ontario | Canada Sotheby’s International Realty

Living in The British Virgin Islands: Sun, Sea and Stability

From the pages of RESIDE® | Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World | Fall 2014 Caribbean Edition

The history of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is the stuff of epic tales. Norman Island, at the southern tip of the chain, is said to be the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” Nearby caves once hid riches plundered by pirates. The ocean floor is a graveyard for sunken ships.

Yesteryear’s swashbucklers are today’s sailors and divers. The sheltered waters of the BVI’s Sir Francis Drake Channel attract wind-chasing yachters, and the exotic marine world draws divers from all corners of the globe.

BVI 2$7,775,000 USD | Tortola, British Virgin Islands | British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

More than 60 islands and cays make up the BVI. Less than a third are inhabited and those that are have managed to avoid the kind of overdevelopment seen in some parts of the Caribbean. BVIslanders, as the locals are called, are protective of their resources, and it shows in the pristine beaches, sapphire waters and palm-treed skyline. There are no high rises or casinos. For crowds, look elsewhere.

Tortola is the largest and the most populated island in the chain–which isn’t saying much in a territory with a total population of fewer than 30,000. Across the Channel lies Virgin Gorda, a secluded destination of yacht clubs and exclusive resorts ideal for those who value privacy. One of the BVI’s most famous sites is here: The Baths, a geological wonder of granite boulders that forms pools, grottos and swim-through caves. More adventurous types head to get-away-from-it islands like Jost Van Dyke, Great Camanoe and Anegada, which is the only coral island in the BVI’s volcanic chain. Divers love it here. The Caribbean’s largest barrier reef surrounds it, which explains old shipwrecks on the sea floor. It’s a virtual amusement park for underwater explorations.

BVI 1

$2,750,000 USD | Tortola, British Virgin Islands | British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

The architecture of the BVI is in keeping with traditional Caribbean style. Residences are typically concrete construction with wide verandas, high ceilings and bright colors. The incorporation of pergolas, lush landscaping and local stone and woods softens the hard edges of the concrete. The choicest homes accentuate a sense of place. “If a home has a Caribbean Sea view with a vanishing-edge pool, everything else is forgiven,” says Dietmar Lichota, sales agent with BVI Sotheby’s International Realty in Tortola Lichota.

The vacation market is a consistent one: slow yet steady. Many international investors scout the second-home market on buying trips of the Caribbean. For those who decide to purchase in the BVI, economic and political stability is a big reason. Although self-governing, the BVI is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. “You’re looking at $750,000 minimum to buy here–not an inconsiderable amount to invest in a foreign country thousands of miles from where you live,” says Lichota. “The stability pretty well guarantees it’s a safe place to invest.”

Virgin Gorda BVIPrice Upon Request | Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands | British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

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

Discover More Island Escapes in the British Virgin Islands >

West Indies Inspired Masterpiece in Wilmington, North Carolina | Video House Tour

This West Indies inspired masterpiece is set high on a bluff overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean. Old world architecture and precision craftsmanship can be found in every finish of this magnificent home designed by renowned architect Charles Dietsche.

$5,500,000 USD | Wilmington, North Carolina | Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty

New and Notable Luxury Properties for Sale | November 2014

From a wine country home in California to a palatial residence on the outskirts of Moscow, this month’s collection of exceptional properties for sale showcases exquisite lifestyles from around the globe.

St Helena_California$28,000,000 USD | St. Helena, California | Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty

California- Created with the concept of a private, exquisite and exclusive resort, this compound offers an extraordinary blend of amenity, location and attention to detail. Ideally located between Napa, Yountville and downtown St. Helena, the home is minutes from world-class Napa wineries. With an approximately 10,000 square foot main residence, two guest suites and private staff apartment, the home also includes a 1,700-bottle wine cellar, gym, steam room and sauna, and elevator. Outdoor entertaining areas include a view-side terrace with covered outdoor kitchen and sparkling infinity pool, all embracing the unsurpassed view of the richly verdant Napa Valley.

Moscow_Russia5 347 618 885 RUB | Moscow, Russia | Moscow Sotheby’s International Realty

Russia- Hidden by a thick pine forest, this palatial home is part of the Nikolino villa settlement just outside Moscow. The exterior of the home is that of European aristocracy, while the interior resembles barocco palatial design. The nine bedroom home is complete with its own spa including, massage room, sauna, lounge and two swimming pools. The villa is surrounded by acres of ponds, pedestrian pathways and recreation meadows.

Miami_Florida$25,000,000 USD | Miami, Florida | ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Florida- This oceanfront penthouse is located on the prestigious Fisher Island in Miami. With high ceilings and a sweeping terrace, the spacious top floor home as endless unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean. The five bedroom home has direct beach access, a separate master wing and state of the art appliances and systems throughout.

Costa Del Sol_Spain18.000.000 € EUR | Costa Del Sol, Spain | Kristina Szekely Sotheby’s International Realty

Spain- Located in southern Spain, this beach front residence has magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea and all along the coastline with mountains in the backdrop. The six bedroom home was originally built in the 1970’s but has been completely updated, featuring marble floors, hand painted ceilings and murals and intricate moldings throughout. The home also features a rooftop terrace providing 360 degree views, an elevator, an outdoor pool as well as indoor pool and spa and a home cinema.

Home for the Holidays | Entertaining Tips

Holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate, reflect on the past year and look forward to a bright new year ahead. From tablescapes, to menus and more, the devil is in the details when designing the perfect event for your guests.

Jamie Horton, managing director for Harlequin London, UK’s leading source of luxury tableware, decorative accessories and lighting, shares his top tips on planning a festive holiday celebration to entertain family and friends.

No 14 Verbier - Harlequin LondonNo 14 Verbier courtesy of Harlequin London

Dining is one of the most magical experiences this time of year – so don’t skimp on dining accessories. Sparkling crystal flutes for champagne and exquisite porcelain tableware will ensure your evenings have a truly five-star feel.

Roaring Fire WyomingPrice Upon Request | Wilson, Wyoming | Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty

Roaring log fires are an absolute must for holiday entertaining. Perfect ways to bring warmth and style to your holiday party include keeping extra firewood in decorative baskets and adorning couches with lush throws.

Harlequin London Christmas Roses Table FlowersChristmas Table – Courtesy of Harlequin London

When it comes to your holiday dining table, don’t be boring! Unusual colors will bring your table to life and work really well to create something memorable. Also, think about the color wheel, and go for subtle splashes of complementary colors against your main hue, to keep the scheme from looking monotone.

Table setting London£6,950,000 GBP | London, England | London Sotheby’s International Realty

No holiday is complete without beautiful floral arrangements adorning dining tables, mantelpieces and staircases alike. Combine lower-level pieces in subtle whites to add pretty interest with more dramatic arrangements using traditional winter foliage to give a truly festive and striking feel.

Christmas Table Candles - Harlequin LondonChristmas Table – Courtesy of Harlequin London

Candlelight is an essential part of winter – layer up your lighting to enhance the cozy feel with plenty of lanterns and tea lights alongside sophisticated table lamps.

Once the scene is set, you’re ready to share a memorable holiday with your dearest companions. Wishing you a wonderful holiday celebration!

Jamie Harlequin CEO

Many thanks to our guest blogger, Jamie Horton, managing director at Harlequin London. Follow Jamie on Twitter at @J_F_Horton and Harlequin London at @harlequinldn. Visit Harlequin London.

Hidden Gem in Indianapolis, Indiana | Video House Tour

This elegant hidden gem is nestled on 4.05 acres at the end of a winding tree-lined drive. Originally built in 1921, the home retains its charm and character and has been updated with modern features. Gorgeous gardens surround the entire estate made up of a five bedroom main house and a guest house.

 $1,950,000 USD | Indianapolis, Indiana | Encore Sotheby’s International Realty

Lake Travis Waterfront Villa in Spicewood, Texas | Video House Tour


Inspired by the renaissance of an old Italian village, Villa La Isla is perched overlooking the Lake Travis waterfront. Villa La Isla is an exceptional estate offering 2.89 acres of breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Travis and the Texas Hill County. The home is perfect for entertaining with abundant outdoor lounge spaces surrounding the infinity pool and a state of the art home movie theater.

$9,995,000 USD | Spicewood, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

Travel Spotlight | Bliss in Belize

From the pages of RESIDE® | Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World | Fall 2014 Edition

Even among passport-worn globetrotters, Belize has been an under-the-radar destination, a playground for thrill-seekers who prefer traveling with a backpack to a set of monogrammed luggage.

No longer.

The country’s maturing tourism industry and some A-list heavyweights have helped amp up its profile. Director Francis Ford Coppola owns two luxury resorts here and Leonardo DiCaprio has a private island. Which is not to say that Belize has gone Hollywood. Despite dramatic infrastructure improvements, visitors from the U.S., Canada and Europe are still taken by Belize’s natural beauty and restrained development. The country’s tallest structure dates back more than a thousand years–a Mayan temple.

Belize tdek5v$1,995,000 USD | San Pedro Town, Belize | Belize Sotheby’s International Realty

Geography defines the Central American nation. Hundreds of cays and islands lie off its Caribbean coast, along with its most prominent natural asset, the world’s second largest barrier reef.

The region was once a great center of Mayan culture. Sacred temples, pyramids and monuments are open and accessible. Archeologists believe many ruins have yet to be discovered, which may explain why it’s possible to stumble upon a piece of ancient pottery.

These days, visitors can embrace Belizean life at all levels of interest, activity and creature comfort. Dive in the Great Blue Hole, a submarine sinkhole so massive it’s visible from space, or swim up to a pool bar for a fruity cocktail. Take a nighttime jungle tour of the world’s first jaguar preserve or relax dockside in a hammock under a glorious thatched-roof hut.

Belize j3edsh$1,295,000 USD | San Pedros Town, Belize | Belize Sotheby’s International Realty

Brittany McCann, an owner of Belize Sotheby’s International Realty on the island of Ambergris Caye, was first introduced to the country by her now-husband, Shane. Her first thought was: “Where are you taking me?” Her second: “Oh my god. This place is awesome.” Five years ago, the couple relocated from Houston, Texas.

“It’s an active lifestyle,” says McCann. “No one dresses up. And there’s a great community of people who live here from all over the world.”

And more coming every day. The influx is fueling residential construction, especially in the high end vacation market where demand for modern beach and riverfront villas as well as amenity-filled condominium developments is changing the housing landscape.

Just ask McCann’s parents, who bought a property during a visit and later built a vacation home. “They love it here, too,” she says.

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

Explore more homes in Belize >