By Jessica Ganga and Marlene Ridgway
“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.
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.
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.
A star property itself, this private estate offers incredible attention to detail and elegant interiors that exude sophistication.
Patrick Fogarty of Hilton & Hyland represented the buyers, German national Ekkehart Hassels-Weiler and his new husband Omar Romero, who were eager to acquire this unique home. Fogarty says the home was on the market for less than a month and bought in under four.
Externally, the home is almost mysterious at first glance, as the long driveway affords complete privacy from the street. That mystery transitions into pure awe once the house is in full view, as Fogarty says the home’s proportions and classic design give it a grand feel that enhances with every meticulous detail. “The style is timeless rather than of the moment,” he says, adding that the overall aesthetic is tasteful yet opulent.
Built and developed by the seller, British property developers Ian and Richard Livingston, the estate greets visitors with a graceful motor court that features both trees and fountains. The front doors open to a striking grand entry with 30-foot ceilings and walls of marble, all opening up to a grand staircase and detailed floor plan. A strong yet beautiful harmony is felt in every room, from the dramatic kitchen to the tasteful master bedroom and baths. Interestingly, Fogarty notes that though “the home is grand in scale, [it] still manages to feel like a home.” Other features of this estate include a master wing, gym, theater, guesthouse, staff quarters and bocce court. The expansive backyard also boasts an ozone pool that highlights the perfect California indoor-outdoor lifestyle.
Only approximately five minutes from Rodeo Drive, the 8-bedroom, 11-bath home remarkably reflects a sense of tranquility and serenity, allowing the new owners to relax with complete privacy. The blend of rich landscaping and natural materials, such as stones, wood, steel, and brass, also enrich its character and depth, making it a true sanctuary.
Photos by Berlyn Photography 2019.
The perfect home finds a balance between style and substance.
Style or substance? The perfect home finds a balance between both of these concepts, and this newly built mountain residence is no exception. 1548 Explorer Peak Drive, located inside the Red Ledges residential development in Heber City, Utah, was carefully sited on a dynamic hillside to optimize unobstructed views of Mt. Timpanogos. Its architectural design pairs with hand-selected materials and luxury finishes, perfect for retreat seekers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Every detail of this home creates a seamless transition from indoors to out. Abundant natural light is cast through the home’s soaring windows, while the vast outdoor living areas are situated to connect the home to nature’s beauty. The expansive indoor/outdoor living spaces, featuring a custom spa, fire pit, fireplace, and more, make this home perfect for both entertaining and relaxing, with stunning mountain views as the ideal backdrop. Interior features that capture attention as much as the surrounding beauty include French oak flooring, a gourmet kitchen with a waterfall quartz island, and a large main-floor master suite.
With its coveted location in the Heber Valley in the heart of Utah’s Wasatch Back mountain recreation mecca, Red Ledges offers an active outdoor lifestyle, according to Mitchel Burns, Red Ledges chief operating officer. “Members come together and immerse themselves in some of the most beautiful — and accessible — natural habitats in the world.” Red Ledges offers such outdoor attractions as world championship mountain biking, world-class fly fishing, boating, hiking trails and more.
Management at Red Ledges agrees that those who find a place at Red Ledges not only share in the coveted mountain lifestyle, they also form close kinships with their neighbors. “Lifelong friendships develop as members laugh and play together and create the real personal connection for which Red Ledges is known,” says John “JJ” Johnson, Red Ledges Club general manager. For $3.595 million, one can find peace of mind at this contemporary mountain haven with enough style and substance for all.
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.”
©istockphoto.com / ClaudioVentrella
While the pace of wealth creation may be slowing, the story now is how it’s spreading around the globe.
“The increasingly footloose nature of wealth.” That’s how global consultancy Knight Frank characterizes today’s trend in affluence. When it comes to real estate, all it takes is a quick look at the worldwide activity of major brands to see a clear illustration of this concept.
The locations of new affiliates of Sotheby’s International Realty in recent months include Oklahoma City, Arkansas and Kansas, along with Cyprus, Slovakia and Qatar. Qatar is the second location in the Middle East for Sotheby’s. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has extended its reach to global hubs, partnering with major firms in Europe and the Middle East. Now, they count Berlin, London, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, Dubai and Frankfort in their network. Coldwell Banker has offices in 49 countries. Luxury Portfolio International, the luxury arm of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, has affiliates in more than 70 countries.
“The fact that the world is becoming smaller and smaller, the speed of information flow, and travel contribute to people’s interest in owning properties elsewhere, both for Americans and foreign nationals,” explains Joyce Rey, executive director, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.
Markets may go through cycles and new partnerships emerge, but the foundation of global real estate hasn’t changed. “The luxury buyer understands that one of the best, if not the best, investments they can make is property,” explains Michael Jalbert, executive vice president, Global Field Operations for HSF Affiliates, the parent company of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.
Chatter regarding a potential recession might form a smokescreen, but wealth creation will continue to be a constant, according to Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report, which forecasts a rise, over the next five years, of 22 percent in the number of individuals whose net worth exceeds $30 million, a group often classified as Ultra High Net Worth, UHNW. Over the next year, existing UHNW, especially in the U.S., expect their wealth to increase.
When Rey began her career in the 1970s, foreign buyers were a rarity, especially in Southern California. Today, she says, the percentage of foreign buyers purchasing ultra-luxury properties, those priced above $20 million, has remained pretty steady. “Usually it waffles between about 20 percent to 25 percent. And that hasn’t changed over the years.” For the first nine months of 2019, foreign buyers accounted for 31 percent of purchases of $20-million plus residences in Los Angeles’ tony west side.
Rey was one of the first to reach outside U.S. borders to forge connections. After the increase of Japanese buyers in 1980s, she traveled to Japan to meet one-on-one with agents and potential buyers. “I feel if a quarter of your buying population is foreign, you should be reaching out to the foreign market,” she says.
Bob Hurwitz, founder and president of the Hurwitz James Company (HJC), was also on the leading edge of the global outreach. “In the early 90s, I recognized that the buyers for my highest-priced properties were more and more often originating from overseas. This was actually before the Internet was even a reality for marketing purposes. As a result, I started focusing a significant percentage of my marketing to exposing my listings here in the states to affluent foreign buyers.” He also created a network of HJC representatives to promote his listings overseas. Currently, Hurwitz represents nearly $3 billion in luxury properties and developments worldwide.
Even those who work in the global arena today are occasionally surprised by the geographic diversity of investors and buyers. “One stat that recently jumped out at me is Aruba is home to 90-plus nationalities and ethnic groups, which I thought was fascinating,” shares Stephanie Anton, president of Luxury Portfolio International. “One of our affiliates there also pointed out that many of their buyers are coming from India.”
And this isn’t an isolated instance. Indian buyers are cropping up in many other primary and second-home locations, including Portugal. Among foreign buyers in the U.S., India ranks third after China and Canada. India is expected to lead the five-year growth in Asia’s ultra-high net worth population with a 39 percent increase, followed by the Philippines (38 percent) and China (35 percent).
Increasingly, the ultra-wealthy are not necessarily tied to one country or one region. Approximately, 26 percent plan to emigrate in the next year. Already, more than a third hold a second passport and 22 percent plan to buy outside their country of residence, according to Knight Frank.
However, 2018 saw only a marginal increase (0.8 percent) in the size of the ultra-wealthy population, which Wealth X describes as a “marked slowdown” from the year earlier. The combined net worth of the ultra-wealthy declined 1.7 percent, the first annual fall in three years, according to Wealth X. However, it’s important to view these changes in context, because 2017 saw dynamic wealth creation with double-digit growth in the number of ultra-wealthy and impressive gains in asset markets.
The global outlook this year is nuanced. Rising interest rates and the end of quantitative easing means we are reaching the end of super-charged returns on everything from classic cars to art and property, according to Knight Frank. Government policies continue to transition as some countries seek to attract wealth, with a record number offering citizenship and residency through policies regarding investment, while others restrict outflows of capital. Others, including Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK will continue to make it more difficult for wealthy non-residents to purchase properties.
Looking ahead, expectations are for slower price growth in key markets. But, as with any correction, a shift in values is an opportunity to which buyers respond, something that is already happening in London, where agents see a potential turnaround, particularly for higher-priced properties, underway.
“London’s general property market has experienced a slowdown and fall in housing prices. That said, the luxury property market is certainly bottoming out and we are experiencing buyers returning to the market, which is demonstrated by our revenues being up 146 percent year on year,” says Martin Bikhit, managing director at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co.
“Given all the uncertainty of Brexit, values in London have come down significantly. It’s a buyers’ market,” says Jalbert.
The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar to sterling makes the value equation even more appealing. “American buyers have been able to take advantage of savings up to 45 percent compared to the 2014 peak of the market. U.S. buyers believe that the market is going to spike post-Brexit and there is now an opportunity to buy competitively. Indeed, this is illustrated by the fact that American hedge funder Ken Griffin was the buyer behind two of London’s most expensive property transactions within the past year,” according to Bikhit, who calls this surge a “pre-Brexit boom.”
Hurwitz sees luxury penthouses in many traditional hot markets, including London, as good opportunities for buyers, since those prices have seen a big decline. Other recommendations in Europe include France as well as Tuscany, which, he says, has an appeal that transcends the strictly financial. “Finding something totally renovated in an authentic manner is key.”
A flat or pied-à-terre in Paris has become a rite of passage for Americans, says Anton, noting reports of particular interest coming from Silicon Valley. Paris is one of the bright spots in Europe, placing third on Knight Frank’s list of the
fastest-growing luxury markets.
“France and Italy are still two of our top locations and our offices are expanding in numbers and experiencing a very solid claim in the market,” says Craig Hogan, vice president, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.
Berlin is Europe’s rising star. It has topped Urban Land Institute’s list of markets to watch in Europe for four years in a row, and currently ranks second after Madrid on rankings of the fastest-growing luxury real estate markets. Luxury residential here is a small but vibrant niche, with the number of privately owned apartments selling above 1 million euros growing by 17.5 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Stefan Schulze, COO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rubina Real Estate, says, “If Berlin succeeds in further expanding its potential in scientific and culture fields and remains one of the influential centers in Europe, it can be deemed certain that not only the number of premium new development projects but also the quality of luxury real estate will continue to grow sharply.”
Global Buyers in the U.S.
From the perspective of foreign buyers in the U.S., Hurwitz says, the market has changed multiple times over the last few years, fueled by factors as diverse as the attitude and oversight of a foreign buyer’s own government regarding money leaving their country, to crushing economic changes in their country of origin, to U.S. government restrictions on shell companies buying, to various others. Hurwitz says, “I still believe the U.S. is a safe bet and I am telling my clients to buy here.”
During the 12 months from April 2018 to March 2019, global purchases of U.S. properties fell sharply, with purchases declining by 36 percent. The dollar volume as well as the average price also declined. Rather than lack of interest from potential buyers, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, cites what he calls “a confluence of factors — slower economic growth abroad, tighter capital controls in China, a stronger U.S. dollar and a low inventory of homes for sale.”
John Smaby, NAR president, adds, “There is still significant interest in U.S. properties across the globe, and the U.S. is still seen as a safe, secure place to invest.”
©istockphoto.com / _ultraforma_
©istockphoto.com / mammuth
©istockphoto.com / Givaga
©istockphoto.com / SeanPavonePhoto
Global Bright Spots
Along with real estate professionals from over 27 countries, Stephanie Anton recently returned from her company’s international conference in Athens. “It was thrilling to hear and see firsthand about so many bright spots in the market,” she says, including places where property markets were hard hit by political and financial turmoil during the recession. “One that was particularly obvious was our host city itself. The optimism of the Greek people was palpable.”
Both Spain and Portugal are seeing an influx of buyers and a surge in sales. Both suffered during the recession and are experiencing a strong turnaround.
“I think there is a sentiment of Europeans kind of holding their breath and waiting to see what happens with Brexit. But yet, there are also bright spots and the bright spots are more of those second-home markets because they’re lifestyle purchases. And so people are less concerned about the economic impact of Brexit because of making decisions on purchasing second or third homes,” Anton observes.
Some of the strongest luxury markets this year have been in resort locales. San Miguel de Allende continues to rank at the top of best cities and second-home destinations. “Our typical luxury buyers are investors looking for properties to take advantage of the lucrative vacation rental market, or shopping for their second or third vacation homes,” says Nancy Howze, with CDR San Miguel.
“Upscale consumers tend to have a broad world view,” says Jalbert. “They understand markets and are attracted to a range of places. Buyers in different parts of Europe are looking for a weather change, so it’s no surprise to see the resurgences of locations along Costa Del Sol and Portugal.” Jalbert adds that almost 100 percent of the luxury transactions in their eight offices in Portugal are from buyers outside the country. “It’s just an incredibly enchanted place where they have beautiful properties, but where there has also been significant investment in infrastructure,” he says.
One thing that has remained constant across the globe is the attitude of the elite regarding buying. Some of the highest sales in the last year can be tracked to global buyers, according to Hogan. “They will spend the money but need to know it’s a wise decision.”
Photo by Charles Roach / aloha films
Experts say it’s the perfect time to buy in Hawaii. But when isn’t it?
Aloha is much more than a salutation or expression of farewell in Hawaii. The “Aloha Spirit” is a way of life. This philosophy of mutual regard and compassion for others was a gift from native Hawaiians and is still practiced today to contribute to the overall experience on the islands.
The relaxed nature combined with pristine beaches, luxurious homes, and natural beauty make Hawaii a dream location for a second or permanent home.
“Oahu, known as ‘The Gathering Place,’ offers a wonderful combination of the amenities you would find in a vibrant metropolitan city as well as easy access to the tropical environment, including beaches, trails, and spectacular scenic ocean views,” according to Tracy Allen, the vice president and global luxury ambassador for Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties in Honolulu. The Hawaiian Islands are a true place for gathering, from outdoor enthusiasts to business professionals, with the surrounding Central Pacific Ocean offering added benefits for all.
“Oahu is truly magical in that it has all of the beauty of Hawaii while offering the ultimate lifestyle in paradise — outdoor activities, dining, and culture,” says Tracy Bradley, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hawai’i Realty. Similarly, Dannette Andrews, at Oceanfront Sotheby’s International Realty, says, “moving to Kauai is a lifestyle choice for people who appreciate the natural beauty and laid back lifestyle.”
Ideally located at almost the mid-way point between the United States and Asia, Hawaii is an oasis with easy access to flights in both directions. Although, visitors may never want to leave the world-renown beaches, gentle waves for canoe surfing or the more extreme Pipeline, gorgeous waterfalls, hiking, ziplining, luxurious homes, and high-end restaurants. “Year-round we are able to surf, play tennis, hike, snorkel, sail, bike, and enjoy paradise,” says Bradley.
Whether buyers are relocating or hunting for a second home, “it’s the perfect time to buy,” says Andrews. “Luxury real estate on [Kauai] used to be considered anything over $1 million, but I would now say it’s pushing closer to $1.5 million. And the ultra-luxury for high-end gated estates start around $4 million and go up.” According to Allen, Oahu is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the U.S., with a strong influx of foreign buyers. “The leading foreign investing is still from Japan, followed by Canada and Korea. U.S. West Coast buyers are also a dominant force in our market and make up a large segment of our second-home buyer market.”
Hawaii Luxury Experts
Vice President, Global Luxury Ambassador
Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties
D. 808.593.6415 C. 808.927.6415
Tracy Bradley, R
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hawai’i Realty
Realtor (S), CRS, CLHMS
Oceanfront Sotheby’s International Realty
No matter how experienced, every real estate professional can benefit from training, and Tom Ferry is the gold standard in the industry.
Photo courtesy of Tom Ferry
Tom Ferry • 888.866.3377 • www.tomferry.com
Tiger Woods never stopped relying on a coach, and the most successful professionals in any field recognize the value of consistent training. Over the last decade, real estate has become such a dynamic, rapidly evolving industry that most agents are too busy chasing deals to capitalize on new trends and techniques that can make them more successful.
Tom Ferry, founder and CEO of Ferry International, specializes in coaching and training real estate agents through one-on-one counseling, experiential training events and online productivity products. Explaining that his specialty of motivating people is literally in his DNA, Ferry reports, “Most people were raised on milk and cookies. I was raised on Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and my dad, Mike Ferry.” At 18 the younger Ferry joined the family business, learning everything from the ground up.
Acclaimed as charismatic and inspirational, Tom Ferry denies being naturally gifted, commenting, “When I first started out as a presenter, I was horrible.” He jests, “When somebody comes up to me and says, ‘I saw you back in ’93,’ I want to tell them ‘Oh, I’m sorry … I should probably give you a refund.’” Trained by renowned speech coach Ron Arden, Ferry developed his current style, reinforcing his belief that any skill can be taught. “There are no bad audiences, only unprepared presenters,” says Ferry, who enjoys both individual sessions and conference centers packed with 6,000 clients.
In his 30 years as a leading real estate coach, Ferry has perfected sales skills, marketing systems and team-building techniques that help agents not only succeed but dominate their markets. Ferry and his team have coached more than 30,000 agents, holding them accountable to fulfilling their greatness. “Today the key to any successful business is trust, and I help my clients scale trust,” states Ferry, who reports the best agents are keenly aware that closing deals and building a client base both depend on trust.
Insisting organizations sustain themselves through innovation, Ferry believes business professionals should reinvent themselves every 18 to 24 months. “At my large events, I deliver 20 to 100 strategies, techniques and marketing campaigns, but you need to pick the three that are right for you, your market and your maturity as a businessperson,” says Ferry. In his list of “superpowers” of successful real estate agents — items like effective negotiation, marketing and business development are naturally among them — the primary superpower is empathy, a quality that builds trust and relationships.
Addressing organizational philosophy, Ferry states, “Team leaders need to have the ability to transfer skills to maintain the continuity of the client experience.” He adds for emphasis, “I would never
invest in a company whose CEO had the attitude, ‘Nobody can do it better than me,’ because that’s a non-scalable business.” All of Ferry’s work is built on the premise: “The consumer deserves a higher quality real estate agent and experience.”
The Orange County, California-based Ferry enjoys investing in a wide range of companies, from technology to spirits, and sits on the board of directors of Miracles for Kids, a non-profit serving families with critically ill children. And while he enjoys golf, the coach admits to a healthy obsession with business, believing every person should identify his or her natural skills and pursue them with intensity.
“I want to coach, create, connect, and contribute,” says Tom Ferry, who is uniquely qualified to teach you to maximize your own skills and passions.
A modern traditional masterpiece of privacy and perfection. An exquisite Mediterranean work of art and appeal. An elegant estate designed with soaring ceilings and refined finishes. Their common denominator? All located in the Lone Star state, and sold through Supreme Auctions, known for accelerating marketing for luxury real estate. See these exclusive sales below.
Piney Woods Edge – Houston Texas
Piney Woods Edge is a modern traditional masterpiece of privacy and perfection showcasing pristine lines of modern architecture, and the impeccable mastery of Houston’s premier homebuilder, Randy Ratcliff. Each corner of this home is filled with exquisite detail and opulent features. Located in Piney Point Village within the prominent Houston suburbs of the highly desirable Memorial Villages communities, just minutes from the heart of Houston for both business and pleasure.
Even though the property was located in a highly sought-after community called Piney Point Village in Houston, it lingered on the market for over two years with the listing agent doing all that was available to market the property to potential buyers with little to no activity. Supreme Auctions implemented our 45-day Accelerated Marketing Program which drove prospective buyers to take action.
Catina Hollow – Dallas Texas
Catina Hollow is an exquisite Mediterranean work of art that will dazzle you with its serene setting and abundant appeal. Designed with distinguished architectural elements and refined finishes throughout, this outstanding property is positioned in one of the premier estate neighborhoods in Dallas within the highly sought after Preston Hollow Community. Located a brief 15 minutes from Dallas Love Field Airport and downtown Dallas with all that the city has to offer.
The property was on the market for about a year and not stimulating any new buyer activity. With summer fast approaching, which is not the best time of year to sell in Dallas, plus the fact that the seller had already purchased another home, they chose an expedited sale with Supreme Auctions.
Starwood Creek Manor – Frisco Texas
Privately nestled on over an acre, Starwood Creek Manor is an impeccable Traditional estate designed with soaring ceilings and refined finishes throughout. Located within the gated Starwood Community, this exquisite home is positioned overlooking the creek and walking paths with access to the Community amenities. Situated within 25-minutes away from DFW International Airport.
The property was on the market for a little under a year, during which it received only seven viewings. The listing agent conducted three months of research as to which auction company to select, she contacted Supreme Auctions.
All photos courtesy Supreme Auctions.
©istockphoto.com / Arita Cimermane
“The seasons in the landscape, much like the seasons of one’s life, are to be embraced, appreciated and weathered.” — Robin Kramer
When it comes to the seasons, an adaptable landscape is always a challenge. In northern climates, the focus is too often on the fleeting warmer months where blossoms are abundant and beautiful. Into late fall, the vibrant leaves have fallen and a bare winter — and landscape — sets in. In warmer areas, the challenge is less about the seasons and more about weather extremes such as droughts or rain.
We talked to luxury landscape designers about how they work through the challenges of the changing seasons and find beauty in the landscape all year long.
A Strong Framework
“I consider structure to be the most critical component in any garden. A successful garden design will look good in any season if the bones of the garden are well designed,” says New York City-based Landscape Designer Robin Kramer. “Paths, walls, edging, hedges, pergolas and water features are the permanent features that make a garden strong and confident. The flowering plant material is the dressing of the landscape and can easily be modified based on the desires of the gardener.”
“Ideally, a landscape is something that transitions throughout the year and it has its glory days throughout every season,” says Vermont-based Landscape Designer Ashley J. Robinson. “They are rarely looking for a one-shot wonder with a full-on explosion of bloom in the spring.”
Robinson seeks out materials such as wood, metal or other elements that are not herbaceous in order to craft a composition that is visually intriguing despite the blooms, or lack of blooms. “Natural stone, boulders, outcropping in the garden. A well-intentioned feature is important for a winter garden.”
Similarly, Teresa Watkins, a Master Gardener and specialized horticulturist for over 20 years in Florida, relies on hardscape and garden art to design spaces that truly fit a client’s personality, while at the same time ensuring the health and sustainability of the landscape. “I have an ongoing two-year project designing a formal estate landscape with a rose garden with walls, a faux stone bridge, butterfly garden, water features, orchard, meandering pathways and poolscaping.”
An architectural framework is key to high-end landscape, and Pennsylvania-based Landscape Designer Donald Pell is an expert at finding a balance of this within a range of vernaculars — from English-style to modern. “Our work always includes thoughtfully designed architectural spaces. These can be simple and they can be very substantial,” he says. “Right now, I am building a very large promenade through a woodland
A beautiful wild garden crafted by Vermont Landscape Designer Ashley J. Robinson. Photo courtesy of Ashley J. Robinson.
Donald Pell Gardens gave this 1700s Colonial Farmhouse garden an update with native and cosmopolitan plants used to evoke the regional landscape. Photo courtesy of Donald Pell.
that I would describe as very classical, and the plantings are very much impressionistic woodland. I specified hand-cut fieldstone curbing with paths that has a Pennsylvania Colonial feel, and I really like bond pattern paving details angled from the home, which tend to be very modernist.”
When it comes to warmer climates, such as those of the Sun Belt, structure has less to do with looking good throughout bare seasons, but more to do with a landscape that can sustain year-round outdoor living. “For contemporary homes in Southern California, the indoors rolls right outside,” says landscape architect Scott Zucker. “You’ve got enormous sliding doors with pocket entry, kitchen and family rooms that pour right out onto the terrace.” In designing these homes, materials that can withstand the outdoors, but also look just as beautiful indoors is the challenge. A huge trend, Zucker points out, is utilizing porcelain or ceramic pavers that not only keep a stunning transitional look, but also require very little maintenance.
Above, an outdoor portico crafted from stone at a Southern California residence designed by Scott Zucker of Zucker Design Associates, Inc. Below, an arbor for a Laguna Beach residence offers an eye-catching landscaping feature.
Top photo courtesy of Jeri Koegal. Bottom photo courtesy of Scott Zucker.
The Four Seasons
“The seasons themselves aren’t a challenge, but an exciting opportunity,” says Pell. “Even thinking about texture and emotion of the dead tissue of herbaceous plants can be an opportunity to compose something beautiful. It’s the same as working anywhere in the world — there are opportunities and constraints.”
While spring and summer’s spotlight is on the flower, that shifts completely when fall arrives. “I never focus on just the flower,” advises Pell. “They are just too ephemeral. They are, of course, an important component, but the structures of the plantings at their worst is where I start. I am looking for plants that look very beautiful in a given composition, and I want the composition to be able to hold up in extremes of weather.”
“Designing through the seasons takes careful planning and a thorough understanding horticulturally on the attributes of trees and plants,” says Kramer. “Floral succession bloom is created by selecting perennials that will create a parade of flowers from spring through to the first frost. This is supported by spring bulbs and flowering trees.”
“In fall, we plant thousands of spring bulbs. It is a late task in season, but such an important one,” continues Kramer. “In the spring, I want the ground to be punctured with green shoots pushing their way forward, poising for their bloom. After months of frigid temperatures and inches, even feet, of snow, New England begins to warm. Those rather odd-looking bulbs we planted are now a sure sign of spring and a reminder that we too, have survived another winter.”
“There’s a lot to be said for winter in the garden,” says Robinson. “It requires you to not do a lot of cut back or maintenance. Generally speaking, you should wait out the things you don’t want there, such as foliage debris and leaf litter — these things are good for increasing organic matter in the soil. You shouldn’t scrape landscape bare — it’s all about layering and allowing that to happen naturally.”
While places with warmer climates, such as Southern California or Florida, don’t have the challenges of designing through autumn and winter, they do have seasons of their own: dry season, fire season, and wet season.
“The water use in California really drives what we can and can’t do,” says Zucker, who mentions WELO (Modern Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance) and fire departments regulations, as well as restrictions on paving and the amount of non-permeable landscape a property is allowed to have. “One of the trends that is big in California these days — necessitated by lack of water — is drought-tolerant plants.” These include plants such as succulents or agaves that also offer stunning structural plant material that really create a powerful look for a landscape.
“When I’m working on my designs, I take into account not necessarily annuals or perennials, but the permanent flowers that clients especially desire so that at any time of the year it will be blooming,” says Zucker. “I tend to group plant material together to give a bigger impact. Instead of giving too many species, I pare it down so that aesthetically, from the front yard to the backyard, the whole landscape ties together.”
While Zucker is looking for colorful plantings that can withstand the lack of water, places like Florida experience the opposite — with a wet season that lasts at least half of the year. “Florida winter season can be dramatic. We can go from 85 degrees one day to 28 degrees the next, which is not enough time for tropical plants to acclimate to cooler temperatures,” says Watkins. “The other issues are temperatures averaging 85 degrees for six to seven months out of the year, where our plants can be growing all year, and over 50 inches of rain.”
It’s in these areas where irrigation designers are needed most fevertly along with specialized consideration of the amount of sunlight, soil moisture, soil pH — all extremes associated with the tropics. Without seasonal change, there is also a shortage of compost, plant material and nutrients, which is easily received each fall with the turning of the seasons in other parts of the country.
“I often say, all of life’s lessons are learned in the garden,” says Kramer. “Each season delivers reminders and rituals. It is the moments on which lives are built and cherished.”
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