All posts by Unique Homes Staff

Under the Radar: North Cyprus and Canada

By Jessica Ganga and Marlene Ridgway

North Cyprus 

“With 300 days of sunshine,  golden beaches, friendly people, and stunning countryside, it’s no wonder that many visitors seriously consider buying property in North Cyprus,” explains Aylin Pelin Onar, Broker/Owner and Global Luxury Ambassador of Coldwell Banker Maximum.

Cyprus consists of 480 miles of stunning coastline, attracting buyers from all over the world. ©iStockPhoto.com / Mindstorm-Inc.

As the third-largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus boasts 480 miles of coastline, citrus groves, gorgeous beaches and has a capital growth average of 20 to 40 percent annually over the past three years, making it a prime opportunity for luxury buyers, according to Onar. There’s also a certain mystery surrounding the island that is appealing. “It’s no surprise that according to legend, Julius Caesar gave the island to Cleopatra as a token of his love.”

 

With the highest-priced listing in the area being an $8 million, 150,000-square-meter villa built on a private hill, it’s clear that there is an expanding demand for luxury properties. “Our market is growing due to improving local and international economic conditions,” says Onar. Situated between three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa, the location has contributed to the growing international market. “We are receiving clients from Turkey, Russia, Scandinavian countries, the Middle East, England, Israel and Australia,” notes Onar.

 

With the continuing development of new constructions and homes, the luxury market is expected to keep expanding to sustain the demand. Up and coming areas such as East of Kyrenia can provide the 5-star accommodations that luxury buyers now expect, including social facilities such as gym centers, spas, pools, and high security. “East of Kyrenia is the shining star, especially with its seafront luxury sites. The natural beauty, beautiful beaches, amazing mountain views, 18-hole international golf course, and 5-star hotels with casinos are the attraction points of this area,” says Onar.

Aylin Pelin Onar

Aylin Pelin Onar

Broker/Owner, Global Luxury Ambassador

Coldwell Banker Maximum

AylinPelin.Onar@CB.com.TR

www.MaximumVelver.com

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Luxury properties in Esentepe, Kyrenia, North Cyprus embrace the island’s natural beauty, such as this home with gorgeous ocean views that sold recently for $900,000 USD. Photo courtesy of Sadi Yolgecen.

Recently sold for $7.7 million USD in Kyrenia, North Cyprus, this house examplifies the ultra-luxury listings available. Photo courtesy of Sadi Yolegecen.

Canada

With its diverse landscape and abundance of land, Canada is an ideal location for luxury buyers seeking a new place to call home. Of Canada’s many cities, Toronto is one that is family friendly and among the safest in the country. “People see Canada as a safe place to invest their money and raise their family. Toronto is the biggest city in the country and the financial centre of the country,” says Barry Cohen, Broker at RE/MAX Realtron Barry Cohen Homes Inc., Brokerage in Toronto.

As Canada’s largest city, Toronto has grown to be a rich metropolis with no shortage of things to do. “It’s a very cosmopolitan, multicultural city,” says Susan Macarz, Broker at RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc. Brokerage. Toronto boasts picturesque parks and playgrounds, country clubs, a theater district and nightclubs, to only name a few. Toronto also features some of the best schools in the country, attracting families seeking to provide their children with a top-notch education, according to Macarz.

Toronto, the largest city in Canada. ©iStockPhoto.com / PGIAM. 

Toronto’s real estate market is diverse and continuously changing. “What’s happening is that there is very little land left in Toronto, so what people do is they buy big properties with an older house on it and they tear it down because they are buying it for land value,” says Macarz … Another trend that Macarz noted was the increase of townhomes and condominiums in the area, specifically Central Toronto, adding to the variety. “What I’m finding more often now is … there’s townhomes that are being built along the major streets. These townhomes start at about $1.5 million CAD and up,” says Macarz. Tall high-rises are being built that feature luxurious condominiums that have sizeable square footage, according to Macarz.

Along with urban-styled living spaces, Toronto is home to spectacular estates and mansions. According to Macarz, luxury buyers can find homes priced from about $4 million CAD to $30 million CAD. The most expensive listing in Toronto is located in the Bridle Path area, on the market for $32 million CAD by Cohen’s team. “It’s a magnificent multi-generational estate with a completely separate two story in-law apartment with its own entrance, elevator, and garage,” says Cohen. The 35,000-square-foot home also features an indoor pool and tennis courts.

Overall, both Macarz and Cohen made clear that Toronto is a premier location for people seeking to find their dream home.

In the St. Andrew-Windfields area of Toronto, elegance and contemporary blend in this listing recently sold for $7.1 million CAD by the Barry Cohen Team. Photo courtesy of Barry Cohen.

Barry Cohen

Barry Cohen

Broker, RE/MAX Realtron, Barry Cohen Homes Inc. Brokerage

Susan Macarz

Susan Macarz

Broker, RE/MAX Ultimate, Realty Inc. Brokerage

This editorial appeared in the Unique Homes Global ’19 Issue.

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Vestige of the Historic Grand Estates of Chicago’s North Shore

In an exceptional lakefront location, with panoramic views of Lake Michigan, this incomparable French Regency residence, in Winnetka, Illinois, remains a vestige of the historic, grand estates of Chicago’s North Shore.

“It was built in 1913 and designed by notable Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall,” says Mary Ann Kollar and Betsy Burke of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago who are listing the property for 3.999999 million.

The current owners, in collaboration with prestigious architects and engineers, recently undertook a three-year restoration and preservation of the house, grounds, bluff and shoreline, creating both a wonderful family retreat and an exceptional venue for entertaining. 

“The property combines historic significance, fine architectural details, impeccable updating and maintenance, and solid structural elements.” Say Kollar and Burke “It is for the buyer who enjoys the extraordinary in a treasured waterfront landscape.”

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Elegance in Key Largo

This Florida Keys home is the perfect blend of serenity and luxury.

A perfect place to escape, relax, and unwind as a family away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, this 4,870-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-full and two-half-bath home was designed in harmony with panoramic water views. The home was designed as a transitional space, dictated by the style and taste of the homeowner, from traditional to contemporary. The current homeowner has chosen a more contemporary decor so nothing detracts from his eclectic art collection or from the views.

From the moment you enter the home you are instantly transported to a serene, peaceful, and timeless space. The open floor plan includes a spacious living area, which flows seamlessly into the kitchen, dining, and bar area. The kitchen features Amazonite granite and quartz countertops, a circular dining room table, and a low-slung wet bar that’s angled out to optimize water views, all while perfectly placed underneath the vaulted barrel ceiling.

On the first floor, there are three beautiful bedrooms with en suite baths. A staircase leads down to an enclosed garage that offers multiple entertainment spaces for kids and family, and numerous doors that open to an intimate backyard and keystone fire pit. Upstairs, the master bedroom boasts a wall of windows that opens to panoramic water views and a wraparound balcony.

While the exterior of the two-story home is traditional yet sophisticated, Nury Feria, principal of Design Perceptions Inc., created interiors that are “minimal, modern, clean, and comfortable.” The owners did not want anything to detract from the views and the art. The living room and kitchen open onto a spacious patio with pocket sliding glass doors. A curvaceous infinity pool with glass walls, dual fire globes, and a 16-foot cascading waterfall overlook the ocean and Buccaneer Island — one of the favorite amenities among Ocean Reef Club’s members.

Nestled on 2,500 secluded, tropical acres on the northern-most tip of Key Largo in the Florida Keys, Ocean Reef Club is considered one of the U.S.’s most unique and comprehensive communities. Located within an hour of Miami International Airport and 1.5 hours from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, Ocean Reef Club is also serviced by its own 4,456-foot lighted runway. Offering 1,700 waterfront estates, private homes, condominiums, and boat slips. Ocean Reef Club also features an oceanfront Inn, a full-service spa and salon, and an array of dining and shopping options. Leisure amenities include a 175-slip marina, two 18-hole championship golf courses, world-class tennis and lawn sports, jogging/cycling paths, a cooking school, nature center, an art league, and more.

The blended elegance of one of the world’s most exclusive and private club’s paired with one of the Florida Keys most spectacular residential properties, makes 103 Andros the perfect place to call home. Eric Woodward and Molly Taylor of Ocean Reef Club Sotheby’s International Realty are representing the property. $22,000,000.

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Exquisite Seaside Villa

Through a long-winding and manicured driveway, off of the Old Highway on Plantation Key in Islamorada, FL, this villa sits on two acres facing the Atlantic Ocean. With 170 feet of shoreline with deep water dockage, a boat lift and a sandy beach, it is a rare find in the Florida Keys. 

The home features 8,226 square feet of living space with three levels offering six bedrooms, four and one half baths and an additional one bedroom en suite on the ground level. It also showcases an imperial staircase, gourmet kitchen, private verandas, a custom-built living room entertainment center, sub-zero Viking appliances, Versace designed lighting, and a master suite with a grand balcony. “The chef’s kitchen is our favorite room because you can entertain friends, while looking out towards the beach and ocean — watching swimmers and beach volleyball players,” says Cynthia Hughes of Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty, who is listing the property for $6.995 million.

The distinctive features of this home consist of exquisite wood and marble floors, eight-foot high solid wood doors, ironwork fixture, imported stone from Mexico, architecturally designed ceilings, and custom crafted furnishings. Additionally, each bathroom is tiled in exotic marble and mosaics, and the walls are finished with Italian-inspired, hand-drawn paintings. No detail has been missed. “This home has an old world charm with a relaxed coastal feel,” says Hughes.

Outdoors, enjoy a heated infinity pool with adjacent spa and a grilling area for the perfect outdoor host. 

“This home is perfect for anyone who wants to share their island living with family and friends,” says Hughes.

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Oceanfront Luxury in the Cayman Islands

This oceanfront suite, in the highly regarded Renaissance on Seven Mile Beach in the Cayman Islands, is a rare double unit comprising four bedrooms, four and one half baths and 3,652 square feet of living space. Features include two oceanfront master suites, a gourmet kitchen, private screened patio, and gorgeous views of the Caribbean. 

“What we love best about this unit is the way it brings in natural light,” says Allen Bloomrosen of Coldwell Banker Cayman Islands Realty, who is listing the property for $5.749 million. “With 48 feet on the ocean, not only are you seeing the incredible breathtaking views of Seven Mile Beach at its best, but you also are enjoying it from one of the most elegant properties on Grand Cayman. And the sunsets — they are priceless.” Additional property amenities include an infinity-edge pool, heated spa, two spaces in the under-building parking garage and fitness center.

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Virtually New Condo in the Cayman Islands

This four-bedroom, four-bath condo, on Seven Mile Beach in the Cayman Islands, is one of only 12 condos in a well-established and beautifully maintained complex. This unit, on the top floor, features 3,400 square feet, a large screened patio, two beachfront master suites and a hidden office. Completely renovated and redesigned at the end of 2018, it is virtually new.

“With only twelve units, no rentals permitted and all the amenities, this is as close as you can get to owning a house on Seven Mile Beach,” says J.C. Calhoun of Coldwell Banker Cayman Islands Realty, who is listing the property for $4.295 million. Additional features include a covered carport, private garage and use of a beachfront pool, on-site gym and tennis court.

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Colonial Revival in Massachusetts

On 4.4 acres on a pristine hilltop in Beverly, Massachusetts, this stunning 6,000-square-foot Colonial revival is surrounded by manicured lawns, meadows, extensive gardens and stone patios.

The home features six bedrooms, three full and two half baths, four wood-burning fireplaces, and many Victorian-era architectural details, including detailed moldings and plaster ceiling medallions. Additionally, the wraparound covered porches are a perfect gathering spot overlooking the outdoor garden spaces

“This home is elegant, but not overly formal,” says Patricia White of Century 21 North East who is listing the property for $2.299 million. “It has a feel for a country estate with accessibility of a neighborhood home — perfect for a growing family.”

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Paradise Living in Panama

With a view of the beach and plenty of bedrooms, this Panama home is the oasis of your dreams.

On the idyllic island of Saboga, in the Las Perlas Archipelago in Panama, this three-level, five-bedroom, five-bath house is surrounded by tropical plants and trees and overlooks a gorgeous beach. “The islands that make up the archipelago are one of the very last undeveloped island chains in the world,” says listing agent Stephanie Villarreal of Your Panama Real Estate Connection.

Conveniently located, the island has a heliport, there is a daily ferry service to Isla Saboga from Panama City, and the neighboring island of Contadora has an airstrip.

The home, which comes fully furnished and is listed for $850,000 USD, was “custom built to provide the very best in island living,” says Villarreal.

The lower level of the house has two bedrooms, each of which are small studio apartments with full kitchens — and decks and patios overlook the beach just 26 steps below. “Perfectly situated, you can enjoy a perfect balance of indoor/outdoor living,” says Villarreal.

The main level has one master bedroom, kitchen and living room and a large open deck with a pergola overlooking the beach and ocean. From here, “you can enjoy the spectacular views of the beach and ocean,” says Villarreal. “Imagine waking up in the morning, sitting on the deck and enjoying coffee — listening to the birds.” Or at the end of the day, “enjoying a fresh coconut or cocktail —and watching the sun go down.”

The upper level of the house has two bedroom suites with a shared kitchen between them. Each upper bedroom suite has a deck overlooking the beach. “This beautiful house is a perfect fit for a family looking for a change or adventure — or is well suited for anyone wanting to start a sport-fishing lodge, as the area boasts some of the best sport-fishing and an abundance of marine life,” says Villarreal. “No matter where you are in the house or the property, there is no forgetting that you are on one of the most beautiful islands in Panama.”

 

For more information, visit the link here

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Travel in 2020

All photos courtesy Tourradar.com

Now that the holidays are over and business is back to usual, it’s time to get excited about where you’re traveling in 2020.

Unique Homes and Tourradar.com have rounded up all the buzziest destinations for the year ahead so you can start planning your next great adventure!

Costa Rica

If you’re hoping to reconnect with nature this year, Costa Rica is the answer. It’s where tropical backgrounds are the norm, as is exotic wildlife, robust coffee flavours and the relaxing wellness retreats waiting for travellers beachside.

Stroll across suspension bridges up in the forest canopy and find yourself completely and utterly face-to-face with Mother Nature while in the dreamy cloud forest region of the country in Monteverde. 90% of Costa Rica’s energy is created by renewable sources, and they’re on track to become one of the first carbon-neutral countries this year. Play your part by choosing to spend vacation time in a country that’s going above and beyond to make a difference to our global climate crisis.

Just in case activities like hiking volcanoes, surfing and zip-lining through lush hilltops isn’t your thing, Costa Rica is also home to cities tailor-made for an escape, from San Jose to Puerto Viego. While there’s something for everyone in Costa Rica, the natural beauty and jungle life definitely come first place.

Bhutan

It’s been a couple of years now that people have been talking about Bhutan and for good reason. The country proudly boasts a nearly untouched natural landscape that will stun even the most well-travelled among us. Already the world’s only carbon-negative country, taking a breath of fresh air means something entirely different in Bhutan.

Nestled tightly in the Himalayas, you’ll find plenty of mountain trails capable of delivering you some awe-inspiring views in Bhutan, like those of Paro Taktsang – also known as Tiger Nest – it’s an iconic sacred Buddhist monastery that sits cliffside. There’s also the chance to see ornate palaces from as far back as the 17th century and national parks that are home to rare and exotic wildlife like the Himalayan black bear and red panda.

If you’re hoping to make 2020 the year for some spiritual respite, a visit to the world’s real-life Shangri-La is in order. 

Ireland

Easily enjoyed in under a week, the Emerald Isle is full of pursuits that balance adventure, nature and history with ease. 

The only road trip you’ll need for 2020 is along the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,500-kilometer route that you can tackle in parts during your first visit. Embrace the elements along this sprawling route and enjoy discovering small-town life, coastal landscapes and secluded beaches across the country.

The sooner you visit, the faster you can start conquering your resolutions. Just make sure your trip itinerary includes a stop at the Blarney Castle where the famed Blarney Stone is located. As the legend goes, those who hang upside down and lay their lips on the stone is bestowed the gift of gab, which will help to ensure you get everything you want and more out of 2020.

Argentina

Home to one of the world’s most impressive networks of waterfalls, Argentina is teeming with extraordinary natural wonders that put travellers in the centre of it all. For example, visitors to the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls can enjoy kilometres of trails that will take you in and out of lush forests and within arm’s reach of the waterfalls themselves. If you’re in search of something a little cooler, then Glaciar Perito Moreno will not disappoint. You can witness the soaring beauty of this glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. And thanks to the park’s extended network of steel catwalks and platforms, Perito Moreno is one of the world’s most impressive and accessible glaciers.

You want a city escape with fiery music, and experimental takes on classic dishes, Buenos Aires, the country’s capital, is an essential stop on your 2020 adventures. Argentinians know their way around beef, and their steaks will wow your tastebuds. You can end your night in Buenos Aires by visiting a tango bar and working off your dinner in a flurry of dance moves taught to you by local experts.

Looking to include world-class wine? Just head to Mendoza (Argentina’s wine country). You can learn how the grapes are grown and cared for in the thick of it all. We promise once you’re walking alongside the farmers, hearing their stories firsthand, a glass of Malbec will taste all the more satisfying.

 

 

Want to learn about other potential travel destinations? Visit Tourradar.com for more opportunities!

 

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A Castle in Tuscany

Located approximately 25 kilometers from Florence, this magnificent castle for sale occupies an incredibly dominant position and is without doubt one of the most spectacular castles found anywhere in Tuscany.

Named Torre Del Castellano, the exact origins of the castle are unknown however documents dating back to the 14th century note the castle within local records. It is believed to have been built around a watchtower, first with a signalling function and then as a garrison, hosting a small group of soldiers for the control of the major roads that linked Florence to Arezzo and Rome.

Throughout the centuries the castle increased its strategic importance as it was located on the southern borders of the Republic of Florence, in an area where the power of noble feudal families was still strong, and where they often took refuge during wars and disputes of the time.

The castle eventually lost its military function and was subsequently transformed into a manor house. As with many other former military buildings located in the countryside, it was later converted into a farm and at that time cellars and an oil mill were established in the basement. After a long period of dilapidation in the first half of the 20th century, the castle was restored by the current owners.

The main tower at a height of 30 metres offers absolutely breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside.

The property has all the characteristics to be transformed into a luxury boutique hotel or alternatively it could be used as a stunning private estate. This is a unique opportunity to purchase one of the most impressive castles currently on the market not just in Italy but throughout Europe.

Distances

Florence: 25 km

Arezzo: 50 km

Siena: 70 km

Airports

Florence: 40 km

Pisa: 110 km

Details

Price: Price upon request

Interior: Living Space: Approximately 1,277 square meters

Cellar/Cantina: Approximately 434 square meters

Land: 9 hectares/22-plus acres

Rooms: 26

Bedrooms: 9

Baths: 7

Chapel/Capella: Separate and included in this offering

 

For more information, contact:

Jean Mastagni, Broker Associate

DRE License#00479256

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

36 Tiburon Boulevard

Mill Valley, CA 94941

jeanlmastagni@gmail.com

Office:  415 381-7686

Cell:   415 310-7386

www.jeanmastagni.com

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