A Priceless Mount Rushmore View

The first thing you notice is the view through the 13-foot-tall bank of windows that lines the entire south side of the house. The hills and rock formations against the vivid blue sky are what gave the home its name: Seven Peaks.  

“Then, after you’ve soaked in that spectacular view, when you turn to face the west, it just keeps getting better!” say owners Karen and Steve Kowalke. “Because there’s Mount Rushmore clearly visible! Morning is the best time to appreciate that view, as the rising sun hits the faces on the monument. But evening is great too, because the monument is lit up. And when they shoot off Fourth of July fireworks on top of the monument, we don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy the spectacle!”

Yet as amazing as that sounds, the owners believe it was something else that earned their home a “House of the Week” feature. “We think it was probably the tower that caught the attention of The Wall Street Journal,” they say.

The guest “tower” beside the main home is made to look like the Harney Peak lookout tower; it has living spaces on the first two levels and a 360-degree viewing deck on the top with a spiral staircase connecting all. The tower is connected to the main house via a bridge, so access is easy between the two buildings.  

While unbelievable views and a unique tower might entice a buyer, it’s probably the finer details of this home that will win someone’s heart for good. Entering the home through a massive glass door designed by Thomas Schwaiger from California, and go through a barn-style hanging custom sliding door to the open kitchen/dining/living room area with solid scraped hickory floors and a vaulted wood ceiling that continues out over huge deck.

The kitchen has custom cupboards from Dakota Cabinets, granite countertops, a copper sink, breakfast bar, Hammerton lighting pendants, a custom rangehood by Creative Iron Works and more. The living area is centered around a custom fireplace with stonework by West River Masonry and a custom designed hood and doors.

Yet despite all of that, when asked of their favorite details, the property owners speak of the community.

“Our home is located within the 80-acre Lakota Lake Encampment development, which was developed to preserve wildlife movement, provide privacy between lots and protect the environment,” they say. “All 18 property owners have access to a community lodge where they can host events, grill on the deck, sit around a fire or just meet other neighbors for a talk overlooking the garden. And, an old cave on the property has been converted to a wine cave where owners can store wine at a constant 57 degrees, and have a tasting at the picnic table outside the mine!  Plus, we’re surrounded by natural forest so there are all kinds of hikes starting from or very close to the property.”

Whether reading a book in the living room next to the fire on an evening with a slight chill to the air, or hunkering down in the bedroom —which feels almost like a tree house sanctuary among the pines with views of the night stars after dark — Seven Peaks provides the details, comfort, peace and community needed to feel at home.     

This property is listed by Faith Lewis of Keller Williams Realty Black Hills for $1.599 million. 

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Finish This Castle in the Sky

In 1859, Charles Dickens wrote, to begin A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Millennium, a property near Sturgis, South Dakota, that is unlike any other, is built to allow its owner to enjoy the best of times, while being prepared for the worst of times.

Partially completed and marketed as an amazing mansion, museum, place of worship or retreat, the first thing that strikes a visitor is the beautiful 360 acres of varied terrain. Long-range views, meadows, pine and scrub oak, and a large artesian-water-fed pond provide for the ultimate in year-round wildlife habitat. But Millennium is unique not only because of its setting. The home is designed to last 1,000 years.

“My wife and I have traveled extensively and with my medical missionary experiences have been to many uncommon locations, such as Mongolia, Cambodia, Western Africa and Vietnam,” says owner Edward J. S. Picardi. “We wanted to create something which would be a monument to the World — and one which would last, really last.”

The Millennium’s basement (basically a 5,000-square-foot safe room) is in place and is supported by 48 subterranean pillars and reinforced with rebar every 4 to 8 inches, both vertically and horizontally. The large four pillars in the center are 30 inches in diameter and extend to 24 feet below the surface. The main open level is graced with beautiful ornate columns and dividing walls.

“My wife and I traveled to various regions to view structures that have withstood time,” Picardi says. “We examined the Great Wall of China, examined both the exteriors and interiors of over a dozen pyramids in Egypt, countless Roman, Greek and Trojan ruins and even the Taj-Mahal. I took what they did and utilized modern building techniques to make something which will last just as long.”

 Picardi talks at length about both the location and the construction of the Millennium. “It is located, quite literally, in the center of the nation. In fact, the ‘Geographic Center of the Nation Monument’ is about 15 minutes west of the Millennium.” Also, he adds, “It is located in the most geological stable regions in the USA. There are no earthquakes here.”

For Picardi, his engineering background is a source of pride and came in handy as he worked on Millennium.

“The four center Roman columns, which extend over 25 feet below the ground level, are designed to each support over 75 tons by the sides alone. That doesn’t even include the load support from the ground underneath the columns,” he says. “There is so much steel reinforcement within the walls that there is a magnetic compass deflection of about 30 degrees inside the structure. For that reason I embedded a compass relief showing true north in the concrete.”

For the best of times, Millennium’s location is perfect for enjoying the sheer beauty and natural diversity of this region. “Devil’s Tower, Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills, the Bad Lands National Park are all in this vicinity and are all quite breathtaking. Being nestled on the east side of the Black Hills helps block the winter storms which originate in Wyoming and creates a more temperate climate, Picardi says.

And for the worst of times? “The foibles of both human nature and Mother Nature have not escaped me,” Picardi says. “As there has never been a 1,000-year period of peace since the dawn of man, I considered such issues in the construction.”

This property is listed by Faith Lewis of Keller Williams Realty Black Hills for $3.8 million. 

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Jump for Jubilado

©istockphoto.com / SimonDannhauer

Government-sponsored incentives are drawing retirees to Panama.

From superior benefits for retirees and an assortment of visa options, to the captivating sights and real estate options available, there is much to see and even more to experience as a resident of Panama.

For retirees in particular, the benefits offered through Panama’s programs have crowned it as “one of the top retirement destinations in the world,” according to Stephanie Villarreal, president and Realtor for Your Panama Real Estate Connection. She notes that the government-sponsored “Jubilado” retirement program provides impressive discounts on a range of expenses, including dental/eye exams, medical consultations, restaurant bills, airline tickets and even car purchases. What is needed to qualify is an annuity/pension-like income of $1,000 USD per month. Having good, affordable medical services like, amongst others, the Johns Hopkins-affiliated hospital in Panama City is another added benefit, Villarreal says. New residents find themselves taking on the Panamanian lifestyle in no time at all.

The process of immigrating to Panama is relatively simple as well, Villarreal says, and with the help of experienced law professionals, the process is straightforward and easy.

Basilica of the Mother of God is prominent in Casco Viejo, where churches dating back hundreds of years blend with activities for those of all ages.

Photo  ©istockphoto.com / rchphoto

“We work alongside attorneys to assist our clients with immigration and residency,” she adds. The Panama Friendly Nations Visa, for example, is also a popular special immigration program for citizens of selected countries who have professional or economic ties with Panama.

Those exploring their immigration options should also understand the differences in lifestyle of Panamanians, from “slower pace of life” to the fact that Spanish is the country’s main language. However, every difference also offers an opportunity to learn and experience the unique nuances of Panama. “Things in Panama move slower than in North America and Europe,” says Villarreal, “but with our team’s extensive knowledge and experience of how things work in Panama, we can assist our clients to adjust to life in the country.”

Adjusting to life in Panama can come easily with the help of the right brokerage team who will help guide potential buyers to their dream home or neighborhood. Villarreal says her team recommends that buyers should visit the country first to get a feel for what Panama is all about. “There are established ‘expat’ communities in Panama City, various communities at the beaches … there are many clubs offering get-togethers, bingo, Spanish courses and more.”

Add this to the plethora of good restaurants, cafes and bars amidst the cobblestone roads and churches of Casco Viejo, Panama City’s old quarter, and the amazing beaches and archipelagos, and there’s too much to fit into one trip. So, perhaps, make it a trip to last the rest of your life?

 

This article originally appeared in the Unique Homes Spring ’20: Elite edition

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ELITE 2020: Custom Spring Lake Home in Michigan

This exquisitely designed and custom-built, 2-story estate in Michigan is on 118 feet of Spring Lake waterfront.

This David Bos smart home estate epitomizes luxury and boasts five bedrooms, four full and two half baths, over 9,000 square feet of living space, four kitchens (including a commercial-grade kitchen), a gym and every amenity imaginable.

“This Hamptons-style luxury home would be perfect for a boater, wine connoisseur, entertainer or waterfront lover,” said Sandi Gentry of Re/Max Lakeshore who is listing the property for $3.4959 million.

 

Sandi Gentry originally appeared as an Elite agent in the Unique Homes Spring ’20: Elite edition

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Elite 2020: Trusted in Marblehead

Heather Stewart Kaznoski and Mary Stewart:

Offering Integrity, Trust and Consistent Communication

Representing home buyers and sellers in Marblehead, Massachusetts and the surrounding North Shore communities, Heather and Mary (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Agents) bring over 60-plus years of real estate experience.

They are trustworthy negotiators offering a high level of service, consistent communication, integrity and trust. Heather and Mary are well known in the real estate industry and have long-standing relationships —  not only with loyal clients, but with fellow agents, attorneys, and lenders — which ensures that your sales transaction will have a successful and positive conclusion. 

 

Heather Stewart Kaznoski and Mary Stewart originally appeared as Elite agents in the Unique Homes Spring ’20: Elite edition

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Foxworth Realty: Luxury Real Estate in New York City

Foxworth Realty is like an artist’s palette when you need a primary, secondary or a weekend residence in New York City and the outer boroughs.

It can be located in a modern, state-of-the-art one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea or an apartment with panoramic views located at The Cityspire, a luxury full-service high-rise building with a doorman, concierge, pool, conference room, gym and garage. Within 15 minutes from the Upper West Side of Manhattan you are in Riverdale located on the Hudson River.

Enjoy sunsets in a modern midrise in a one-bedroom that has been renovated with a Viking Kitchen with Taj Mahal quartzite countertop imported from Italy, Carrera marble, white-oak floors and Mont Blanc natural stone. All in a luxury full-service building with a 30,000-square-foot Green Roof.

Features include:

A five-level heated garage

24-hour doorman, concierge

Pool

Deck

Club

Gym

Valet

Apartment Jr4 is a convertible two-bedroom with N, S, E, W exposure, seasonal park and city views in a 1960s building with 66 apartments located on a tree-lined residential street.

Live in a renovated, centrally air conditioned and heated nine-room ranch-style home on 63 acres surrounded by majestic trees and flora in Westchester in a cul-de-sac adjacent to the Knollwood Country Club. 

 

Eugenia Foxworth originally appeared as an Elite agent in the Unique Homes Spring ’20: Elite edition

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Commanding California Escape

Stunning Bay Views!

Commanding wide angle vistas are ever present from this superbly elevated Sausalito hillside home. Most interior rooms are appointed with large view windows framing sailboats in the Sausalito Marina, the Mill Valley hills, and spectacular skyline panoramas. The continuous change of colors throughout the days and changing seasons, provides a joyous ambiance year round.

The first floor, with easy access from the street and carport, consists of delightful public rooms flooded with light through wall of windows. Pristine hardwood floors compliment this level, an ideal space for entertaining with viewing deck attached. The large dining area adjoins the living room with  newly installed gas fireplace and hearth.  The adjacent kitchen is highlighted with all new appliances and sunny breakfast area.  A well placed powder room serves guests.

Lower level with 3 Bedrooms, 2 baths features panoramic bay views and attached exterior deck.

Master bedroom with en suite bath and walk-in closet.

2 Additional bedrooms and 1 full bath.

Workshop level presents potential for expansion.

4-car parking deck. 

 

Price: $1,949,000

For more information, contact:

 

Jean Mastagni – CalRE #00479256

Broker Associate – Global Luxury Specialist
415.310.7386 | jeanlmastagni@gmail.com | JeanMastagni.com

Anna Roberts – CalRE #00854780

Associate Broker
415.331.7355 | anna@cbsausalito.com | Anna.cbintouch.com
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A Peaceful Paradise

Tired of being cooped up working from home? Work from the beach! Make your summer of 2020 as enjoyable as possible on peaceful Isle of Palms.

Located just a block from the beach, this rental property situated 3005 Cameron Blvd in Isle Of Palms, SC boasts a beautiful private pool and fenced yard outside. Inside, the well-designed open floor plan offers elevator access and large spaces to enjoy inside and out, including the rooftop deck with ocean views, and private yard with plenty of seating to lounge around the pool and enjoy a poolside barbecue.

The well-maintained home is like your own private resort, boasting two master suites with oversized showers and Jacuzzi tubs, four additional bedrooms including a bunk room off the main living space, fully equipped gourmet kitchen, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors throughout, and elevator for easy access for all guests.

The light-filled great room with exposed beams and a cathedral ceiling is a comfortable place for your whole crew to gather for entertainment around the 60-inch HDTV with surround sound. Some may opt to enjoy the evening breezes and sounds of the ocean from the adjacent covered porch.

 

When it’s mealtime, preparation is a pleasure with the open kitchen and gas cooktop island where the chef can be in the center of the activity of the group. Large dining table seats 12 with additional options for seating at the breakfast bar, covered porch, or al fresco poolside.

A “reverse floor plan” with the living space above 4 of the 6 bedrooms, the master suite on this floor has a coffered ceiling, walk-in closet, and huge master bath with a double sink vanity, Jacuzzi tub and oversized shower. Just across the hall from the powder room is the bunkroom with two sets of bunk beds and TV.

The floor below has another master suite with the same layout as above, and an additional king-bedded room – each with their own private porch overlooking the pool. There are two more bedrooms with queen beds on this floor, the laundry room, and another covered porch with a row of rocking chairs off of the main entry foyer.

The location is ideal – just a short stroll one block to the beach access path at 30th Avenue to the gorgeous wide stretch of beach that spans the eastern side of the island halfway between the Isle of Palms Connector and the marina. See dolphins play near the shore, and on moonlit walks you will encounter crabs scurrying out of your path and you may even find sea turtles nesting during the summer or their hatchlings racing toward the ocean on warm evenings. Bike for miles on the beach, or tool around the island on a golf cart – rentals available.

Make Admiral’s Roost your summer home this year!  

For more information contact Michele Miller, Realtor®
Charleston Realty Services – eXp Realty LLC
843-388-4693 mobile
michelemiller.realtor@gmail.com

 

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In the Heart of Key West

Currently owned by legendary Dale Earnhardt Jr, the property is in the heart of Old Town, Key West, Florida. “This truly is a unique property steeped in rich and mysterious history,” says listing agent Bob Cardenas of Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty. “One of the highlights of the home is, undoubtedly, its secret hatch door in the parlor, which has been a part of the house since its inception.

This five-bedroom, three-full- and 1-half bath home, listed for $3.7 million, was built in 1863 during the Civil War era, and it retains most of its original architecture that was lovingly maintained. It has one of the deepest and largest pools in Key West, reportedly being about 13 to 14 feet deep. A gate from the second-floor porch opens allowing daring (or crazy) individuals to jump off the second floor into the pool. 

The kitchen was artfully designed by Earnhardt to resemble the inside of a pirate ship, including a large ships wheel at the end of the bar, bringing in a taste of another era of Key West history. A legal guest house at the other side of the huge lot is currently one huge bedroom, however the owner had planned to turn it into two bedrooms and one bath. His local contractor has the plans and estimated costs ready for construction. This house must be seen to be appreciated. 

This is your chance to buy a bit of Key West history, along with a unique house with serious celebrity status!

 

Photos by Andre van Rensburg.

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Prestigious and Pristine Property in Portugal

The finest property in Portugal, in the most prestigious location in the country, has been put on the market – and it could be yours! 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Portugal offers Quinta de Lago, one of the most exciting and exclusive resorts in Europe, boasting some of the most spectacular and beautiful villas in the Algarve. Founded in 1972, this 800-acre residential estate borders miles of golden coast along the Atlantic Ocean, with views of sprawling pine forests and some of the world’s top golf courses. You can rest assured this area will remain pristine, with a strict 8 percent building restriction as part of the UNESCO Ria Formosa bird sanctuary, ensuring your investment will prosper for years to come. 

On over 44,000 square feet of land, with over 16,000 square feet of living space, this 8 bedroom villa includes high-quality kitchens with full equipment, a 4-level glass electric elevator, and full fitness equipment. Enjoy a movie with friends and family in the 12-person theater with 4 Control system touchpanels, and Lutron light switches and thermostats. A wine gallery freezer in the basement is stocked with top Portugeuese wines and champagne, and drinks can be enjoyed in the basement bar lounge.

.Six indoor and outdoor gas fireplaces provide ambience, and the villa is decorated with top indoor and outdoor furnishings. Enjoy the luxurious outdoors with 3 heated pools and an outside lounge, and top garden Quinta landscaping. With spectacular views, amazing amenities and dazzling details, this luxurious villa is sure to impress. €20,000,000

Photos courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Portugal.

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