Thinking of purchasing a second residential property as an investment as well as a vacation home? Property purchase outside of the U.S. may diversify risk and take advantage of the dollar’s relative strength against lesser currencies. But where? Live and Invest Overseas, a website dedicated to providing information on foreign real estate and the expat lifestyle, recently published a list of their top picks for investment potential. Lief Simon, editor-in-chief of the site’s affiliated newsletter, gave us his take on the 10 countries he and other Live and Invest Overseas editors singled out. Care to take a guess at them before you make the jump?  (more…)

Villa Mainini, Piazza Lago 50, 6987 Caslano, Switzerland is currently listed for $8,316,008 by Philipp Peter, Wetag Consulting.

Switzerland has long been hailed as a paradise for nature lovers, which is why we are pleased as punch to introduce you to the hottest Swiss waterfront on the market! Meet Villa Mainini, a 20th century architectural wonder on an isolated parcel of Caslano, Switzerland.

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Les femmes d’Alger

In 2015, a Picasso painting sold for a record $179 million. It was painted in 1955 and titled “Les femmes d’Alger” and was a tribute to friend and rival painter Henri Matisse.  Compared to that, the auction of Picasso’s last home should be a breeze where bidding will start at € 20.2 million tomorrow at Residence365.com, a Christies affiliate. Coming full circle, Les femmes d’Alger was also sold by Christies.

Unassuming, yet stunning main entrance (door behind tree)

The home, known locally as Mas de Notre Dame de Vie was the artist’s home from 1961 until his death at 93 in 1973.  It’s located in the hills about four miles north of Cannes, France. When Picasso purchased the home it already had 24 rooms. His first addition was a studio space with its own terrace. Over the ensuing years, the home grew several more times.  The main house encompasses 13,000 square feet with five bedrooms and nine full and one half baths … oh, and two kitchens. A guest house and gatekeeper’s cottage clock in at another 4,000 square feet. Not to worry, the home sits on eight acres spread across a hillside offering mind-boggling views over Cannes and the sea.

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Trip Advisor recently announced a list of the Top High-End Vacation Rental Properties in the World. What does it take to head the list?

  • A great locale
  • Spectacular views
  • Gorgeous architecture and furnishings
  • Posh amenities
  • A wonderful host

Can you guess the location of the No. 1 property pictured above? Make the jump to check your answer, learn more about it and catch a link to the entire list of high-end rental venues TripAdvisor declares the world’s best:  (more…)

 

Marathon - View 1

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.

This 4,079-square-foot apartment has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. It’s listed with Simon Tollit and Hannah McDougall of Sotheby’s International Realty for £7,950 million ($9,857 million) which works out to $2,417 per square foot.

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”).

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Arc Small 1

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.

Rent.

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.

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Sienna - Exterior Glamor 1

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.

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A view you could sell tickets to see

A view you could sell tickets to

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 …

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