The $250 million Sandow Lakes Ranch is located about an hour from Austin and pretty much dead-east of Georgetown. I say “about” and “pretty much” because at 33,777 acres, it’s hard to be precise. No, that’s not a typo. The ranch is 52.78 square miles. Slap a mortgage on that and your monthly nut might hit $1.8 million.
Bermuda: Endless views of pastel houses and endless water.
In case you missed it the first time back in January 2016, on June 16, 2017, this post was awarded “silver” in the “Best International Real Estate Story” category by the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE).
Bermuda is a cluster of 130 picturesque islands you think is located in the Caribbean, but it’s actually in the North Atlantic Ocean about 650 miles east of North Carolina and 950 miles north of the Bahamas. Bermuda is known as much for its beauty as it is as a tax haven for multinational businesses.
Driving around Hamilton, you’d think the world consisted of bars, restaurants, insurance companies, and banks surrounded by ocean. That’s because while 400,000 tourists visit the island annually, 60 percent of the island’s GDP is derived from financial services.
As much as I detest corporate tax avoidance, I understand that without it, this island would be a lot poorer than it is. Certainly Bermuda has fallen into a sleepiness since its heyday in the 1960s as a jet set destination. While meticulously maintained, large hotels tend to be of that era. Tourists tend to be visiting executives eager for sun, sand, and high finance as well as east coasters wanting something more tranquil than some of the other more touristy islands of the Caribbean.
Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory so driving is on the left, but oddly the Bermudian Dollar is pegged to the US dollar (1-to-1) which makes currency conversion as easy as it gets. The local population of about 67,000 consists of those who trace their lineage to the UK and Africa (a legacy of the slave trade). Like many conquests, the original populace were wiped out by smallpox and STDs brought over by the original Europeans (how cheerful).
Back then prices in the 81-unit tower started at $160 per square foot for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,051-square-foot unit. Flash-forward and now the developer wants to sell off the 10 remaining units at auction sealed bid accelerated sale. So if $160 per square foot wasn’t interesting enough, how does $115 sound?
There’s nothing seemingly historic about this duplex penthouse on the 13th and 14th floors of Marathon House, a modern-ish high-rise in London (Map). Thankfully for someone who loves big views, modern buildings are not the issue in London that it can be in Paris where old almost always beats new.
For those not familiar with Marylebone (pronounced Marla-bone), it’s just north of Mayfair and borders the 410-acre Regent’s Park. It’s highly residential and lighter on tourists. But as you can see, it’s still quite close to the action. The tall light slightly left is the Shard while slightly right you can see the arc of the London Eye Ferris wheel. Truly, London is at your feet.
I say you’re Sherlock’s neighbor because the closest underground station is Baker Street, which, as fans will recall, is the street Mr. Holmes fictionally lived on … number 221B to be exact. It’s also just down the road from Euston Station, the home of Eurostar where Sharon Quist of Dave Perry-Miller and I alighted from a train to see this beauty (Brits don’t “hop off”).
Living in Paris is a dream for many people, but a dream financially unattainable. It may also be that the vagaries of foreign property ownership and the added wrinkle of currency fluctuations are simply not for you. I mean, while a property may appreciate, if the currency tumbles, appreciation can quickly turn to loss. For example, in late 2008 the Euro was pushing $1.60. Today it’s nearer $1.05 … essentially erasing a third of its value in nine years. As recently as the autumn of 2014, the Euro was hovering around $1.40, making for a precipitous loss is a short time … simply from currency. I can tell you that any Parisian market gains in no way offset the currency declines.
You want a second home, not a tax write-off.
While I was in Paris last month, I had a perfect confluence of the stars. CandysDirt.com friend and HGTV hostess Adrian Leeds was on hand to give a sampling of rental units. Also scoping out the market was Dave Perry-Miller agent Sharon Quist who was in town with a friend selling her Paris home.
Often we feature homes and apartments intended as getaways, but what about a destination that challenges how we live our lives? Sure, some fabulously wealthy person could purchase a property like this and simply add it to their portfolio, but the real tug for the rest of us comes from utilizing a property like this as a springboard to alter your life. You’d still need some serious money or a willing bank, but this property offers a vastly different lifestyle.
Let me explain. This 12th century fortress compound encompasses 154,139 square feet of interior living space that includes 110 bedrooms, 100 bathrooms, four swimming pools, a chapel, and two fishing lakes (feel free to re-read that). Along with the castle, there are 1,594 acres of rolling farmland of which only a speck is being used for wine grapes and olives.
See what I mean? This property could change your life in many ways.
I hadn’t even got on the plane and this Florence villa captivated me. Is it any wonder when this is the view from the home’s back deck? Perfectly situated to frame the ancient city of Florence, this home could be a dump and still there’d be this. Of course it’s no dump …
Often in Paris, discoveries are made by chance. Out for a walk one evening, up Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, I happened upon one of the Sotheby’s offices and peered into the window (as you do). I was struck by this photograph, snapped a picture to remind me to follow-up when the office was open.
As if the picture didn’t tip it off, I have quite nice taste. I mean, who reading this wouldn’t count their lucky stars to be standing here with a glass of champagne in their hand?
The Left Bank property on Rue Casimir Périer in the 7th Arrondissement, is on the upper floor of a vintage building across from the pictured Basilique Sainte-Clotilde, in all its Notre Dame-esque gothic-ness. The apartment’s nine rooms are listed with Véronique Prévost and includes six bedrooms with five bathrooms. The apartment is on two floors with the main public rooms and master suite on the sixth floor while the remainder of the bedrooms are on the fifth along with an office/bedroom. The whole property covers 2,690 square feet (250 square meters) and is listed for a pinch more than $5.26 million or €4.9 million … that’s $1,957 per square foot.