Oh! Canada

Featured image: ©istockphoto.com / benedek

Canada, a land of beautiful scenery and congenial spirit, balances energetic city life with a calmer, relaxed lifestyle by the water. And if you ask Billie Pat Dall, sales representative at Bernice Whelan Realty Inc., about the real estate market, she’ll tell you that the area in which she sells (the Lake Simcoe and Barrie area of Ontario) is attractive for buyers who are looking for more space.

Only an hour north of Toronto, Barrie offers luxury homes at more affordable prices than in the city, ranging from $2 million to $20 million. Homes are complete with gourmet kitchens, main floor principal suites, home theaters, wine cellars, sports courts, and pools. Residents who live on the water enjoy charming boat houses with guest suites and tranquil water views.

According to Dall, Barrie is also an ideal area to raise a family, as residents have a wide array of outdoor activities at their fingertips.

“It is a place where kids can ride their bikes down to the beach and then over to one of the many tennis courts or to play basketball, and then back home to swim in their backyard pool. All of this is at your doorstep when you live in this region. There is also the added bonus of only being a one-hour drive away from Toronto, so parents can commute if they work in Toronto and visit for a Jays baseball game, theater or concert,” she explains.

Besides athletic endeavors, the Lake Simcoe region also hosts Canada’s largest camping and country music festival, The Hearts and Boots Festival, and Ontario’s biggest waterfront festival, Kempenfest.

Oakville, located just 45 minutes south of Toronto, boasts a thriving market as well, being one of the most densely populated regions in Canada. Lesley Cumming, sales representative at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, describes Oakville and Burlington as the “home to hikers, bikers, economic trail glazers, casual boaters, and local vendor enthusiasts.”

In Oakville and Burlington, you can find condos situated on the shores of Lake Ontario and 50-plus-acre properties with rolling hills, bank barns, horse stalls, ponds, and paddocks. Locals can head over to lakes, beaches, marinas, and conservation trails to absorb the stunning landscape.

Cumming notes that most new buyers in this region were previously urban dwellers from the Greater Toronto Area, in search of a smaller community with more property space. With varied landscape, cuisine, and population, Oakville and Burlington find a way to keep residents and visitors entertained while also cultivating an at-home feel.

“There is so much that is attractive about our region from the diverse cuisine, our local specialty shops, to our beautiful landscape. We have something for everyone,” Cumming says.

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North Cottage in Norton Shores, Michigan

Offering 100 feet of private beach frontage on Lake Michigan in Norton Shores, this two-bedroom, two-bath cottage showcases three miles of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline.

“The property is contiguous to the P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, so no one can build to the left of the property — and you can enjoy private walks along the beach, miles of hiking and skiing trails and kayaking in the summer,” says Bradley Wisk of Keller Williams Harbortown who is listing the property for $1.5 million.

The home has been recently restored and features include a teak deck leading to the beach, an open floor plan, a chef’s kitchen with luxury appliances, a bath with a large walk-in shower and jetted bathtub, and a lower level with two bedrooms, a full-bath, and  laundry room. 

 

Photos courtesy of Bradley Wisk.
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A Rare and Unique Opportunity in Lake Champlain, New York

On one of the largest contiguous parcels in the NY Champlain Valley, this 431-acre farm and custom 8,000-square-foot waterfront home showcases mountain views on 646 feet on Lake Champlain. It offers the very finest custom details.

“From the library to the floor-to-ceiling windows, you feel as though you are outside in a gorgeous glass room looking through a filtered view of the manicured mature cedar trees at Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains,” says co-lister Jodi Gunther of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Adirondack Premier Properties, who is listing the property with Margie Philo. “In the media room and dining areas there are completely different views of Lake Champlain, but my favorite is the main suite with oversized windows that swing open for amazing Adirondack air and a higher vantage point.”

The property, listed for $9.5 million, boasts a totally renovated working 10-building farm, including a horse barn, hay barn, cow shed, a renovated year-round farm home, old slate gable roof barn and more.

It is even equipped with an underground water distribution system to the buildings, high speed internet, and a security system.

 It is only minutes to the ferry to Vermont and includes a 2,000-foot grass runway for a serene and safe getaway. 

 

To learn more about this proeprty, contact:

Margie Philo and Jodi Gunther

Berskire Hathaway HomeServices Adirondack Premier Properties & Adirondack Realty

O: 518.523.3333 C: 518.576.9840 Margie@adkpp.com www.adkpp.com

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Luxury Waterfront Property on Hilton Head Island

Only once in a lifetime does a legacy property like 136 Fort Walker Drive become available! A unique home with spectacular water views on 3 sides, a stunning great room featuring floor to ceiling windows with 270-degree views. This elegant 2-story waterfront home features 2 master suites, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, gourmet kitchen, granite counters, 3-car garage and a boating dock. This private enclave is perfect for entertaining and enjoying. Located where Port Royal Sound meets the Atlantic Ocean, delight in brilliant sunrises and sunsets from multi-level decks, swim in the sea or the pool, or relax in the spa or on your own private beach surrounded by nature. $3,849,999

Click here for a virtual tour of this stunning South Carolina property! 

For more information, contact:

Wayne McDonald
Premier Island Properties
hiltonheadluxuryproperties.com
info@hiltonheadluxuryproperties.com
843.384.5764

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Exceptional Luxury in Minnesota

With 500 feet of privately owned river frontage (with a dock) this stunning home in Minnesota overlooks the St. Croix River and is set on 17 acres. “The setting is spectacular,” says listing agent Sharon O’Flannigan of Coldwell Banker Realty. “It is completely private and secluded.”

Architecturally designed and built by Vujovich Design, the home features exceptional use of quality materials and details, creating a warm, inviting environment. “The great room, dominated by a stone fireplace, provides intimate spaces for conversation and relaxing,” says O’Flannigan.

Listed for $2.236 million, the home features a pool, pool house, pond and fire pits. “This home would be ideal for a family or couple who enjoy the outdoors, wildlife and the joy of navigating the magnificent St. Croix River,” says O’Flannigan. “It is a home to create memories in a naturally beautiful setting.”      

For more details and a full tour of this property, go to www.oflannigan.com.

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Direct Oceanfront in Massachusetts

Sophistication abounds in this property, which has sweeping views over all of Plum Island sound and the Atlantic Ocean in Ipswich, Massachusetts. With this direct oceanfront property, you can step down to the beach into a boaters and swimmers paradise, which features a deep water channel for mooring. 

Inside features include soaring columns, cathedral ceilings, a marble fireplace, Brazilian hardwood floors, Venetian tile kitchen countertops, and a tremendous amount of glass to enjoy the views and natural light. 

The master bedroom suite has a private deck and tile bath with whirlpool tub overlooking the water.

The property is listed for $1.495 by Andrea Osbon of Churchill Properties. Escape from the city into your own sanctuary just 33 miles North of Boston.

Churchill Properties was recently featured in Unique Homes Ultimate 2020. Click here to view this year’s edition!

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One-of-a-Kind Residence on Lake St. Clair in Michigan

With approximately 445 feet of water frontage, this property is set on 4.3 acres in Grosse Point Shores, Michigan and showcases panoramic views of Lake St. Clair.

The mid-century modern main house features four bedrooms and a heated terrace. Most of the main rooms have beautiful views of the lake. The house has been expanded and undergone extensive renovations to create what is now a 5,490 square foot home. The charming mid-century modern ranch style was retained and the great room features a stunning wood-paneled cathedral ceiling, two fireplaces, and floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors, which provide fantastic views of the lake. The open floor plan, along with the skylights, allows the home to be filled with even more natural light. The master bedroom suite includes two baths, an office and a walk-in closet.

The current owner purchased the adjacent property, which was then razed to create the gigantic 4.3-acre lot on the water. The property also includes a charming guest cottage with lake views and a quaint 1,065-square-foot farmhouse with two bedrooms, plus an additional carriage house.

The estate, listed for $9.5 million by Kay Agney of Higbie Maxon Agney Realtors, is one of the largest estates in Grosse Pointe — and the scenic home is the ideal place to lead a quiet life, surrounded by trees, with a perfect view of lake St. Clair.

For more information about this property, contact:

Kay Agney-Broker/Owner

Cell: 313 460 3041

83 Kercheval Avenue, GP Farms, MI

www.higbiemaxon.com

This property was featured in the Unique Homes Ultimate 2020 Issue. Click the link to learn more!

Photo courtesy of Kay Agney.

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Elegance, Luxury and Sophistication in Michigan

Sitting on 130 feet of frontage on Lake Michigan and 130 feet of frontage on Bay Harbor Lake this custom-built estate is on the gated Peninsula at Bay Harbor. This captivating offering features luxury living indoors and out and can accommodate a guest house and/or boat house on Bay Harbor Lake.

“This property is uniquely situated to capture the most spectacular northern Michigan sunsets and provides the most comfortable, yet sophisticated ambience,” says Chris Etienne of Harbor Sotheby’s International Realty who is listing the property for $9.25 million. “It is elegant and welcoming at the same time.”

Features of the home include five en suite bedrooms overlooking the water, private balconies, a sophisticated den, formal dining, and an exquisite award-winning custom kitchen with a separate chef’s kitchen. It is a rare and exceptional opportunity — and you can even dock your 120-foot mega yacht at your private dock.  

For more information about this property contact: 

Chris Etienne

231.838.2031

chris@harborsothebysrealty.com

harborsothebysrealty.com

This property was featured in the Unique Homes Ultimate 2020 Issue. Click the link to learn more! 

Photos courtesy of Chris Etienne 

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World-Class Retreat on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire

This one-of-a-kind waterfront estate boasts 710 feet of protected shoreline in Moultonborough New Hampshire. “On the venerable Lake Winnipesaukee (located 100 miles north of Boston), it is a chosen site for summer retreats by anyone seeking natural beauty and privacy, which is the hallmark of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region” says the homeowner. “This property even has the additional benefit of being one of few that has private, legal seaplane and helicopter airports on the lake.” 

The home features views of the exquisite sunsets from the western exposure and an impeccable white-sandy beach, which is bookended by jetties and punctuated by a shorefront granite patio and private guesthouse. Listed for $5.5 million by Randy Parker of Maxfield Real Estate, this stunning, custom-built 6,400-square-foot home is situated on 1.36 private acres, features five bedrooms and 6 baths, and offers Adirondack living at its best with water views from every room.

For more information on this property, contact Randy at 603.455.6913
or visit the property’s website, 
www.randyparker.maxfieldrealestate.com. 

 

This property was featured in the 2020 Edition of Unique Homes Ultimate. Click here to view the issue!

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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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