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®.

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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®.

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Belize | Market Spotlight

Belize$1,595,000 USD | Ambergris Caye, Belize | Belize Sotheby’s International Realty

“Belize is an incredible market with so much opportunity, both in investment benefits as well as in the variety of landscapes offered. Belize is an English speaking country that offers foreigners the opportunity to hold title with a very affordable property tax system. There is also a very attractive system in place known as the Qualified Retired Persons Program. This allows for US and Canadian citizens who are over 45 to apply for many benefits including exemption from importation duties on personal effects for the first year in the country as well as exemption from importation duty on a personal vehicle every five years. Belize also offers lifestyles ranging from island living, rain forest and eco-living, to farm and ranch. The value obtained in this market is incredible. The Sotheby’s International Realty brand has already had an amazing effect here and will continue to do so. This brand is a vehicle which will push quality development forward in Belize. Our team in combination with the brand is taking the real estate market to the next level in regards to service and professionalism.”

– Brittany McCann, owner, Belize Sotheby’s International Realty

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand to Enter St. Martin

St MartinSotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced Pierres Caraibes in St. Martin has joined the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand and now will do business as St. Martin Sotheby’s International Realty.

The firm, which is owned by Lesley Reed, is located at Plaza Caraibes Bat A BP 144 Rue Kennedy, Marigot and 48 Rhine Road, Cupecoy, and is expected to open in November.

“St. Martin is a unique territory, with two countries, three currencies, three official languages and a multitude of cultures that spread over the 34 square miles of the island,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “This Caribbean gem is outlined by sandy beaches, hillside valleys and a steady tropical climate. We are proud to welcome Lesley Reed and her team to our network, combining the rich history of our brand with their experience of more than 26 years in the local luxury market.”

According to Reed, she looks forward to the worldwide reach the Sotheby’s International Realty brand offers. “We are thrilled to become part of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s exceptional global reach,” she said. “Our mission is to provide a customer experience dictated by our professionalism and commitment to quality. It is company standard to keep our customers’ interest in all decisions and we pride ourselves on the reputation we have built since 1999.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 15,000 independent sales associates located in approximately 720 offices in 52 countries and territories worldwide. St. Martin Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Innocence Island in Exuma Cays, Bahamas / Video

There are corners of the world that are simply more beautiful than the rest: Innocence Island is one of them. One of the last pearls on the magical Exuma chain of islands, Innocence seems separated by not only space, but time. Innocence Island is a private 681 acre paradise with great elevations, secluded bays, 6 white sand beaches, fresh well water, rich soil with mature native fruit trees and tropical foliage.

This private island is selling to the highest bidder at or above $10 million on May 15, 2014.

$10,000,000 USD (Reserve) / Exuma Cays, Bahamas / Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

New and Notable Luxury Properties for Sale / November 2013

From the Mediterranean coast to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean, this month’s collection of exceptional properties for sale highlight some of the world’s finest waterfront locales.

luxury real estate monaco

Price Upon Request / Monte Carlo, Monaco/ C.I.C. Immobilier Monte-Carlo Sotheby’s International Realty

Monaco—Unique and exceptional this superb duplex penthouse encompasses spectacular panoramic sea views. Located in the most exclusive and prestigious residences, the apartment is only steps from the beaches.

almalfi coast italy villas for sale

50.000.000 € EUR / Positano, Italy / Tuscany Sotheby’s International Realty

Italy—Located on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, this world-renowned luxury villa is uniquely situated as the largest single private resort with beach access along the entire coast. With breathtaking ocean views, the villa has direct access to crystal blue waters and sandy beaches. The epitome of luxury living in Italy, the villa has its own organic garden, which includes a variety of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, parsley, basil, and many other ingredients that are used by the house chef to prepare incredible, fresh home made dishes.

newport ri waterfront homes for sale

$45,000,000 USD / Newport, Rhode Island / Gustav White Sotheby’s International Realty

Rhode Island—This incomparable 45-acre oceanfront estate anchors the southern point of Newport’s celebrated Ocean Drive. Breathtaking vistas span from the greens at Newport Country Club, across acres of rolling lawns to the spectacular southern ocean views. Amenities include an infinity-edge pool, private water frontage, and a mooring on Price’s Neck Cove. The handsome indigenous-stone residence with open airy living provides the ultimate in quality and comfort.

franch riviera waterfront villas for sale

27.000.000 € EUR / Cap d’Ail, France / Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty

France—Built on 3 levels, this contemporary waterfront villa offers vast rooms with majestic sea views. With superb terraces and direct access to the sea by way of a private underground gallery, this spectacular villa embraces southern France’s extraordinary lifestyle.

grand cayman mansions for sale

$35,000,000 USD / Grand Cayman Island / Cayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Cayman Islands—Without doubt Castillo Caribe is one of the finest beachfront estate homes in the world offering every luxury for modern day life with all the lifestyle options one would expect from the Cayman Islands. Enjoy year round sunshine and a luxurious Caribbean lifestyle all on a private pristine white sandy beach overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Newly Listed Luxury Properties for Sale >

New and Notable Luxury Homes for Sale / October 2013

From a sleek apartment in the heart of New York City to a medieval castle set on a vineyard in Tuscany, this month’s collection of new and notable luxury properties for sale showcase the diverse lifestyles of those who value the unique.

luxury modern kitchen manhattan

$50,000,000 USD / New York, New York / Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

Manhattan — Located in the famed Time Warner building this one of a kind home is situated on Central Park with jet liner views of the city and Hudson River. A grand entertaining eat-in kitchen also has Park and city views.

vineyard for sale in Chianti Italy

Price Upon Request / Chianti, Italy / Tuscany Sotheby’s International Realty

Italy — Magnificent property in the heart of Chianti in a lovely private location perched atop a hill. The property, which is partly covered with vineyards, produces roughly 70,000 bottles of wine labeled “Castello di Tornano” and includes a charming medieval castle, 11 suites, 8 apartments, a private chapel and swimming pool.

luxury real estate Israel

$32,500,000 USD / Herzliya Pituach, Israel / Israel Sotheby’s International Realty

Israel — Located on one of Israel’s most prestigious street, this Ilan Pivco designed architectural estate is situated on a meticulously manicured and artfully landscaped dunam. This state of the art house is unmatched in its artisan details and luxurious finishes.

luxury homes for sale palm beach florida

$32,000,000 USD / Palm Beach, Florida / Sotheby’s International Realty – Palm Beach Brokerage

Palm Beach — This impressive home boasts six principal bedrooms, nine bathrooms, two powder rooms and a privately gated beach house. The Main House includes a tennis court with balustrade gallery and a chic oval swimming pool. Inside, the exquisite millwork was imported from France and installed on site.

luxury country homes for sale france

22.000.000 € EUR / Neuilly, Ile-De-France / Paris Ouest Sotheby’s International Realty

France — This rare and sublime private mansion features a huge reception room, family kitchen with a pantry, swimming pool and fitness room.

Newly Listed Luxury Homes for Sale >

Luxury Real Estate Headlines: Last Week in October 2013

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

turks and caicos luxury condos for sale

$1,900,000 USD / Providenciales, Turks And Caicos Islands / Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty

“There are a great amount of advantages from a financial point of view that attract international buyers to the Caribbean. There are currently over $2 Trillion in deposits in various banks in the Caribbean. Especially on our level, with our brand, we are looking at the top tier of the market and an incredibly sophisticated buyer. They know the market very well and the Caribbean is an incredibly attractive region for a lot of these buyers,” says Michael Valdes, Sotheby’s International Realty’s Director of International Servicing, Latin America & Caribbean Region.

An expert look at the Caribbean market - Turks & Caicos Magazine

Pending Sales of [US] Existing Homes Slump by Most in Three YearsBloomberg

Forget Affordability — Housing’s Trends Signal A Bright FutureForbes

63% of International Buyers Pay CashNational Association of Realtors®

China Home Prices Jump by Most This YearBloomberg

Real Estate: A Week in the Life of Denver’s Market5280.com / The Denver Magazine

Malta Sotheby’s International Realty launches luxury outlet office in SliemaMalta Today

Realogy’s NRT subsidiary acquires big brokerage in California wine countryInman News

Sotheby’s Australia to Auction $24,000 Sheep ShearsWSJ Scene Asia Blog

Jony Ive & Marc Newson Design Watches For (RED) AuctionForbes

Famous Jane Austen watercolour portrait to be auctioned at Sotheby’sThe Guardian

 

Living on the World’s Best Beaches

Sandy shores and picturesque scenes make-up Travel + Leisure‘s first-ever Best Beach on Earth survey. From people-watching to seclusion to wildlife viewing, the list of 30 blissful beaches has something for every interest.

Want to own your own slice of paradise?  Here are four homes located on one of these acclaimed beaches.

South Beach, Miami

south beach luxury penthouse for sale

$25,000,000 USD / Miami Beach, Florida / ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Über chic South Beach penthouse with a private rooftop deck, double walk-in glass wine rooms and the latest SAVANT home technology. The fabulous driftwood-inspired color palette is surrounded by 270? ocean and beach views. This spectacular home is the only penthouse in SOBE with movie theatre.

Pink Sands Beach, Bahamas

Pink Sands Beach Bahamas

$7,500,000 USD / Harbour Island, Bahamas / Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

Perched  above the famous Pink Sands Beach, a coveted 3-mile long beach, is a 2-acre family compound known as Driftwood Beach House. The compound includes a main house with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and stunning sea views, a separate guest apartment, abundant covered and open terraces and an idyllic beachside cabana perfect for lounging in the gentle sea breeze.

Hapuna Beach, Hawaii

Kamuela Luxury homes for sale

$3,795,000 USD / Kamuela, Hawaii, MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty

Located with easy access to Hapuna Beach, this lovely town home has endless ocean views perfect for gorgeous sunsets and seasonal whale watching. Ownership privileges at Kauna’oa include a private par 3 practice golf course, an exercise pavilion, individual wine storage lockers and an on-site residential concierge.

Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands 

seven mile beach homes for sale grand cayman

$750,000 USD / Grand Cayman Island / Grand Cayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Plantana, Grand Cayman is located on the Seven Mile Beach. The most sought after beachfront location in the Caribbean.

Search Beachfront Homes for Sale>

New & Notable Luxury Properties for Sale / July 2013

From a metropolitan  penthouse in the heart of Manhattan to the European countryside, this month’s collection of exceptional properties for sale highlight a variety of properties that offer the ultimate in privacy and solitude.

New York City Penthouse

$75,000,000 USD / New York, New York / Sotheby’s International Realty- East Side Manhattan Brokerage

Manhattan — Design by Tony Ingrao, this magnificent apartment has been completely renovated and redesigned. The New York City Penthouse occupies the entire floor with a private entry foyer.This penthouse features extra high ceilings throughout, elegant and dramatic entertaining space and warm and inviting private sanctuaries.

Switzerland real estate

Price Upon Request / Gingins, Switzerland / de Rham Sotheby’s International Realty

Switzerland — At the heart of the Côte, in the charming village of Gingins, this unique chateau is surrounded by 68,700 m² of grounds, offering the property incomparable privacy. This magnificent mansion dates from the 15th century and has recently been restored by the current owner.

Turks And Caicos Islands private island

$45,000,000 USD / Dellis Cay, Turks And Caicos Islands / Turks And Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty

Turks & Caicos — A combination of tide and currents make this uninhabited 560 acre private island a splendor of nature. One of the most desirable private islands in the Turks and Caicos, Dellis Cay—named for the family that inhabited the island in the 1950?s—is a few miles from the main island of Providenciales and accessible by a 20-minute boat ride.

Dominican Republic Real Estate

$27,600,000 USD / Cabarete, Dominican Republic / Cabarete Dominican Republic Sotheby’s International Realty

Dominican Republic — La Goleta is a prime undeveloped parcel of land approximately 3 kilometers west of Cabarete on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. This parcel of land has been held in a family estate for nearly 100 years and is unspoiled farmland lying between the ocean to the south and the main federal highway to the north. The property is unique for the area because of the large acreage between the main road and the ocean, encompassing sufficient space for a modern, creative planned unit development.

Washington DC real estate

$26,000,000 USD / Washington, District Of Columbia / TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Washington, D.C. — An architectural and historical landmark prominently sited on Dupont Circle in the heart of the capitol city, this Italianate mansion was designed in 1901 by Stanford White. In 1927, President and Mrs. Coolidge temporarily resided in the mansion as The White House underwent renovations. During that time, President Coolidge hosted Charles Lindbergh at the residence after his solo transatlantic flight.

Newly Listed Luxury Properties for Sale >