I truly believe that we should not judge a person by the color of their skin, their country of origin, their sexual preference, their economic status or their religion. One’s actions, words and treatment of others is the most important thing that one can do. Treat others as you want them to treat you with respect, with kindness and with love. In the words of Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Whether you travel with your body or in your mind through books or discussions, open your heart and mind to others.  I can not begin to convey what Martin Luther King, Jr. stated so eloquently on August 28th, 1963. I have only chosen a few lines of that incredible speech. The link to the complete speech is listed below. I hope that you take the time to read it. With much hope & love, Annalisa

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.  Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Source: https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/i-have-dream-address-delivered-march-washington-jobs-and-freedom

MLKEC-INP, Martin Luther King, Jr. Estate Collection, In Private Hands

 

These are some of the best “Smart Home” devices that may help to sell your home or increase the selling price of your home. Some may even help to lower the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Worth checking out. Let me know what you think or which ones you’ve utilized.

 

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Is This the Year to Move Up to Your Dream Home? If So, Do it Early | Keeping Current Matters

It appears that Americans are regaining faith in the U.S. economy. The following indexes have each shown a dramatic jump in consumer confidence in their latest surveys:

  1. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index
  2. National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Small Business Optimism Index
  3. CNBC All-America Economic Survey
  4. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey

It usually means good news for the housing market when the country sees an optimistic future. People begin to dream again about the home their family has always wanted, and some make plans to finally make that dream come true.

If you are considering moving up to your dream home, it may be better to do it earlier in the year than later. The two components of your monthly mortgage payment (home prices and interest rates) are both projected to increase as the year moves forward, and interest rates may increase rather dramatically. Here are some predictions on where rates will be by the end of the year:

HSH.com:

“We think that conforming 30-year fixed rates probably make it into the4.625 percent to 4.75 percent range at some point during 2017 as a peak.”

Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s Chief Economist:

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the 30-year fixed mortgage rate hits 4.75 percent.”

Mark Fleming, the Chief Economist at First American:

“[I see] mortgage rates getting much closer to 5 percent at the end of next year.”

Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist:

“By this time next year, expect the 30-year fixed rate to likely be in the 4.5 percent to 5 percent range.”

Bottom Line

If you are feeling good about your family’s economic future and are considering making a move to your dream home, doing it sooner rather than later makes the most sense.

Agents, did you know you can share a personalized version of this post? Learn more!

 

The 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship is being held tonight in Tampa. It looks like a repeat of last year’s game the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers.

Time: Monday, January 9th at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

Thousands of fans started arriving last week. According to the news last week 15 of the top hotels in the Tampa Bay area-including St Petersburg & Clearwater Beach-were completely sold out with many other area hotels filled too. The fans aren’t just college kids. Alum of all ages have been arriving from all over the country too. Raymond James Stadium is expecting more than 50, 000 people to attend the game tonight.

The festivities started on Friday with Fan Day where you had the chance to meet the players & coaches. Saturday was the beach competition with football and special appearances by both championship team bands and cheerleaders.

 

Yesterday there was a concert with Jay Pharoah introducing the bands-Jamie N Commons, Gavin DeGraw & Usher. Nice line up.

 

 

 

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  • Sunday, January 8th, 2017
    10:00am to 5:00pm
Where:

271 Main Street in Dunedin, FL     Cost:Free Admission

Along Dunedin’s Main Street, some of the nation’s most talented artists are showcasing various mediums including sculpture, photography, glass, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media and more. You will have the opportunity to meet with the artists, commission a work of art, and learn what inspires the artists’ work.

Dunedin, one of the oldest towns on the West Coast of Florida, has almost four miles of picturesque waterfront, a relaxed lifestyle, and activities for all likes and ages, making Dunedin a truly delightful place to live or visit.

dunedin

The name of this small town, located on the west coastal of central Florida comes from Dùn Èideann, which is the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh-the capital of Scotland.

Dunedin is one of the few towns or cities that still has open waterfront views to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Its beaches, including Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island, and Caladesi Island State Park, are consistently rated among the best beaches in the world. Dunedin is located between Clearwater, the Gulf of Mexico and by Palm Harbor. And yet it is close to Tampa, St Petersburg and Tampa International Airport. A very nice location. Small town feel with worldly connections.

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In the 1800’s Scottish families originally settled in the area. In 1852 two Scotsmen by the names of J.O. Douglas and James Sumerville, called the area Dunedin after their hometown in Scotland-Edinburgh. Once upon a time Dunedin was one of Florida’s main ports with the largest fleet of sailing ships in the state.

Once a year, usually in April,  the Dunedin Highland Games are held with competitions including caber tossing, sheep herding, stone throwing & pipe and drum bands. There is also the DUNEDIN CELTIC MUSIC & CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL, usually held in November.

Dunedin has been the training site for every Blue Jays Spring Training season for the last 40 YEARS. This makes Toronto the only major league franchise to have remained in the same location for all of its spring training.

If you want to know about Dunedin, Florida, you might want to watch this short video produced by St Pete-Clearwater. It is a great overview of city of Dunedin, the Pinellas Trail, Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island State Park.

 

Happy New Year!  ¡Feliz año nuevo! Frohes neues Jahr! Bonne année! Feliz Ano Novo!

Ευτυχισμένο το νέο έτος! Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh! Godt nytt år! Manuia le tausaga fou!

Felice anno nuovo! 新年快乐!Xīnnián kuàilè!  明けましておめでとうございます!

Do you need some ideas on where to celebrate this New Year’s Eve? From First Night to rooftop parties to white sand celebrations, here are some of the many ways to ring in the NEW YEAR:

  First Night St. Petersburg’s 24th Annual New Year’s Eve celebration of the Arts. A family-friendly event featuring live music, entertainment, drama, dance, games, art, fireworks, musical petting zoo, a poetry celebration at Studio@620 and a New Year’s Salsa at Museum of Fine Arts.  The festivities begin at 4pm and run through midnight.  Day of tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children (6-12) and children 5 and under enjoy the events for free. http://www.firstnightstpete.com

New Year’s Eve Takes Flight at Loews Don CeSar, St Pete Beach
Have your “passport” & your imagination ready to return to the Golden Age of travel without leaving the white sands of St Pete Beach. “Experience the flavors of Havana, the revelry of New Orleans and immerse yourself in the glamour of Mumbai’s Bollywood”. Enjoy a premium open bar, action stations, hors d’oeuvres and decedant desserts throughout the entire 5th Floor of the classic 1920’s elegant Pink Hotel. Dance to the sounds of Blonde Ambition, playing top 40, pop, rock, country and cross-over Latin music hits along with our top dance DJs. Event runs from 9pm-1am. Tickets are $229 per person. Loews Don CeSar, 3400 Gulf Boulevard.

 

The Laser Comedy Show at Unscripted Theatre, St Pete
Before you ring in the New Year, see the show Chicago can’t stop talking about. Chris Fair brings his incredible improv talents to the Burg for the Laser Comedy Show, a glow in the dark etch-a-sketch show that illustrates an improvised story. Shows at 11am and 2pm. Tickets are $10 online, $15 at the door OR two tickets from $25. Unscripted Theatre, 14 18th Street South.

The Witch’s New Year’s Eve Private Party, downtown St Pete
Join the Ale and the Witch as they close out 2016 with their traditional house party. Only 60 seats are sold and the ticket enables full access to all items at the bar. Event runs from 8pm-1am. Tickets are $66 and are available for purchase at The Ale and The Witch, 111 2nd Avenue Northeast.

Toast by the Coast New Year’s Eve Party at TradeWinds, St Pete Beach
TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach hosts their annual gala in the Grand Ballroom, featuring an open bar, an extensive hors d’oeuvres buffet, and dancing to live music from Motel Funk. From 9pm-1am. Click HERE for more details. TradeWinds, 5500 Gulf Boulevard.

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New Year’s Eve Havana Nights at The Canopy
Join The Canopy for the hottest New Year’s Eve party in the Burg. Enjoy two floors of open bar, hors d’oeuvres, dinner buffet, live band in the grand ballroom, DJ on the rooftop and a champagne toast at midnight. Doors open at 8pm. Tickets are $182.65 in advance, $195 at the door if available. The Canopy at The Birchwood, 340 Beach Drive Northeast.

Swingin’ in the New Year at the St. Pete Coliseum
All-ages welcome to dance to the music of Mitch Woods and his Rocket 88’s Band. Balloon drop, party favors, noisemakers, chocolates, prize giveaways, cash bar. PLUS a vintage fashion photo shoot and contest, so dress accordingly! Doors open at 7:30pm, with a swing dance lesson from 8-9pm. The party continues until 1am. Tickets are $30. St. Pete Coliseum, 535 4th Avenue North.

Taste of Bavaria Party at Hofbrauhaus, St Pete
Welcome in 2017 with a taste of Bavaria featuring live German music a balloon drop and a champagne toast. Order all three of the special courses & receive a free bottle of champagne with two Hofbrauhaus flutes, midnight balloon drop and champagne toast. Click HERE to make your reservation or call 727.898.3333. Hofbrauhaus, 123 4th Street South.

DAYA at Jannus Live, downtown St Pete
High-energy dance party for anyone 18+, Oh and it’s “All You Can Responsibly Drink” for the 21 and older crowd. Music by DJ T-Quest, DJ Knex, and  DAYA. Gates open at 8pm. $20 for 18+, $30 for 21+. Click here to purchase. Jannus Live, 200 1st Avenue North.

Gatsby Gala at Mastry’s Brewing, St Pete Beach
Mastry’s Brewing Co on St. Pete Beach hosts a 1920’s-style evening featuring a new Berliner beer release called “Bubbly,” tapas, photo booth, and DJ. Free entry from 7pm-1am. Parking on-site is limited; additional parking can be found at the community center one block behind the brewery. Mastry’s Brewing, 7701 Blind Pass Road.

Marchand’s New Year’s Eve Party at The Vinoy, downtown St Pete 

Special hors d’ oeuvres from 8-8:30pm. Food stations will be open from 8:45-10pm. Food options include: seafood raw bar, beef tenderloin, herb crusted lamb, butter champagne poached lobster. The dessert at 11pm, featuring dark chocolate chambord truffles, black forest cupcakes, bourbon old fashioned bon bons, drunken cherry tartlets, passion fruit custard, broken vanilla macaroons and more. Click HERE for a full menu. $150 per person. Black tie optional. Call 727.824.8072 for reservations. The Vinoy, 501 5th Avenue North.

The 360 Rooftop Lounge at Kimpton Hotel Zamora, St Pete Beach
Unrivaled views of St. Pete Beach & the fireworks. Includes an open well bar, decadent desserts and a champagne buffet. Food and drink specials start at 4pm. The Boogie Nights rooftop celebration featuring music by The Hunks of Funk begins at 9pm. $175 all inclusive, in advance online. $250 at the door. 360 Rooftop at Kimpton Hotel Zamora, 3701 Gulf Boulevard.

****Don’t drink and drive! Use SPRides downtown or Florida Free Rides at 727.512.4765. Or use Uber and Lyft & local cab companies. Help keep everyone safer.

Happy New Year!  ¡Feliz año nuevo! Frohes neues Jahr! Bonne année! Feliz Ano Novo!

Ευτυχισμένο το νέο έτος! Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh! Godt nytt år! Manuia le tausaga fou!

Felice anno nuovo! 新年快乐!Xīnnián kuàilè!  明けましておめでとうございます!

Record 103 Million Americans Traveling This Holiday, Most Seeking Warmer Weather

 
According to AAA, more than 103 million Americans–the most on record–are expected to travel for the year-end holidays. This represents a 1.5 percent increase, or 1.5 million more people traveling, compared with last year. This comes despite one fewer travel day this holiday season. The year-end holiday travel period is defined as Friday, December 23 to Monday, January 2, 2017.

The increase in holiday travel this year is being driven by additional consumer spending, a result of improvements in the labor market and rising wages. Additionally, low gas prices and increased consumer optimism will prompt more Americans than ever to set out on road trips, take to the skies, or board trains, buses and cruise ships to celebrate the holidays.

“It’s the season for holiday travel, and this year more Americans will travel to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney. “Rising incomes and continued low gas prices should make for a joyous holiday travel season.”

Most travelers will drive this holiday season

The vast majority of travelers–93.6 million people–will take a holiday road trip, an increase of 1.5 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase by 2.5 percent, with more than 6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will decrease slightly, to 3.5 million travelers.

New Year’s gas prices second-cheapest in nearly a decade

AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $27 billion at the gas pumps so far this year compared to the same period last year. Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.23, 23 cents more than the average price on New Year’s Day 2016 ($2.00). Most U.S. drivers will pay the second-cheapest New Year’s Day gas prices since 2009, when the national average was $1.62.

Holiday airfares, hotel rates and car rental prices mixed

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, holiday airfares are projected to average $204 for a roundtrip flight along the top 40 domestic routes. Rates for AAA Two and Three Diamond Rated lodgings are expected to increase 7 percent, with travelers spending an average of $128 and $160 per night, respectively. Daily car rental rates will average $66, slightly lower than last year’s holiday travel season.

Warm-weather destinations top the list of most popular holiday destinations

With the exception of New York City–an-ever popular holiday destination–warm-weather locales in Florida, Nevada and California top the list of most popular destinations for this holiday season travel.

WPJ News | AAA 2016 Year end Travel Forecast

Vacation News » Miami Edition | By Michael Gerrity | December 23, 2016

house outline on tablet

Every real estate agent wants a well-informed home buyer who’s prepared to take on the responsibility of home ownership. Of course, not everyone is enlightened about the homebuying process when they seek your services. One way to get your clients ready for the transaction is to refer them to homebuyer education courses before they launch their search.

A Sample of Homebuyer Education Programs

HUD provides a comprehensive list of its approved resources, including homebuyer education courses and one-on-one counseling. Here are a few of those programs, which are available online and can be completed at the buyer’s leisure.

Framework
Cost: $75
Time to completion: About four hours
Includes nine education modules with a quiz at the end. Coupons are available, which agents can provide as a gift to clients. After completing the course, users download and save a Certificate of Completion. For buyers who purchase a home through Fannie Mae’s HomePath REO program, the cost of the course will be reimbursed. Fannie Mae also offers closing cost incentives to first-time buyers in the HomePath program who complete the Framework course.

MGIC Homebuyer Education
Cost: Free
Time to completion: About an hour
This program is suitable for buyers who are just beginning to learn about the homebuying process and who do not yet have a lender. It’s approachable and user-friendly, and the course can be taken by a “stealth” user without registering. Users can also register and take a quiz at the end, which will satisfy requirements for Freddie Mac Home Possible programs.

eHome America
Cost: $99
Time to completion: Eight hours, taken online at your own pace
This is one of several financial courses offered through the HUD-approved “Home Purchase” program. It covers topics such as determining if now is the right time to buy, shopping for a home, and getting approved for a home loan.

CreditSmart Steps to Homeownership
Cost: Free
Time to completion: About two hours
This program focuses on good credit: how you can improve your credit score, why it’s necessary to do so, and how it leads to home ownership. Users receive a certificate, which can be used for Freddie Mac Home Possible programs.

United Guaranty’s Home Ownership Course
Cost: Free
Time to completion: Two to three-and-a-half hours
Satisfies the homeownership education requirement for Freddie Mac’s Home Possible affordable home program. After you complete the course and assessment, your lender (if applicable) will be notified by email.

These courses, many of which are now being offered online by lenders and nonprofit community organizations, are useful for all clients — those entering the market for the first time or even making a second or third home purchase. Many real estate professionals try to act as full-service providers able to solve any problem or answer any question, notes Joe Weisbord, director of credit and housing access at Fannie Mae, whose HomeReady program requires prospective buyers to take a HUD-approved homeowner course in order to qualify for a loan. But “people don’t like to admit what they don’t know,” he says, and your clients may not always come to you if they’re embarrassed about their lack of knowledge.

By linking them to a course providing “independent, unbiased information that helps them understand choices they’re going to make,” you’re helping meet your clients’ needs while building trust.

For nervous first-time buyers, those with poor credit, or others who need extra attention while learning the homebuying process, pointing them to a course can also be a great way to solidify the client-agent relationship. Homebuyer courses aim to demystify credit-score requirements, budgeting, shopping for a mortgage, home inspections, insurance, and maintenance, among other items. This takes the pressure off you, and you can spend your time honing in on the type of properties your clients are interested in. You’ll be ready to go once they are, and “it’s less likely that unknown circumstances will arise that will lead to the sale falling apart,” Weisbord says.

But homebuyer courses — many of which are free, but costs can fall along a range of up to $100 — can also convince a prospective buyer that they’re not ready to purchase. That’s still good for the agent in the long run, Lane says. “I’m not afraid of losing [a client]. If someone wants to rush and make a bad decision, I don’t want to be a part of that. It’s important in our business to take our clients through a rigorous fact-finding mission.”

The in-depth programs position buyers who may struggle with the lending process to successfully purchase once they’ve built up their savings or repaired their credit. That could help them secure a more competitive mortgage rate and lead to a bigger home sale later on. “Today’s sale might be critical, but the way to build a real estate career is through a chain of referrals,” says Anne McCulloch, senior vice president for credit and housing access at Fannie Mae. “People who don’t succeed are not the best referrals.”

For certain lending programs, including Freddie Mac’s Home Possible Mortgages, completing a HUD-approved homebuyer education course is mandatory. A newly revised course called Framework, a joint enterprise of the Housing Partnership Networkand the Minnesota Homeownership Center that is available to consumers nationwide, draws on research of best practices in online learning, says Framework president Danielle Samalin. “We’ve learned that content tied to emotional information is more readily retained,” she says, adding that Framework employs motion-graphic videos and homebuyer stories, among other content. “Most people complete it within a day of signing up.”

Other lenders are offering education resources with incentives. In May, Wells Fargo debuted a new program called yourFirstMorgage, which includes a 1/8 percent reduction on mortgage rates for buyers with down payments of less than 10 percent if they complete a homebuyer education course.

For Lane, referring clients to these courses is a way to make her value proposition as a real estate professional stronger. “Every time you provide something for a client, you build that bond,” she says. “It’s a way to separate yourself from the herd, a long-term relationship-building opportunity.”

BY BETH FRANKEN   http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2016/10/help-clients-get-smarter-about-ownership

Forget what you think you know about the best cities in the world – here are 10 that you’ll want to keep your eyes on

These ten cities are set for great things over the coming years, and each has something unique to offer. Bogotá is an upcoming international tech hub, while Panama City is a playground for the rich and famous. Vienna and Porto are cultural hotspots, and Cincinnati is a sensational place to bring up a family. Read on for more on these on-the-up locations, and a glimpse of some hot properties on the market.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s stunning architecture, such as its parliament building, town hall tower and statue of goddess Pallas Athene, enhances the city’s excellent quality of life. Photograph: Getty Images. Banner image: Downtown Cincinnati and the Roebling Suspension Bridge.

Vienna’s stunning architecture, such as its parliament building, town hall tower and statue of goddess Pallas Athene, enhances the city’s excellent quality of life. Photograph: Getty Images..

Sophisticated, affordable, clean, safe, aesthetically exquisite, and socially democratic, it’s little wonder Vienna regularly tops quality of life polls; the Mercer Quality of Life Survey recently named the Austrian capital number one in the world for the seventh year in a row. Geographically central, overflowing with work opportunities and excellent transport links, it has become a key European business hub. Equally, Austria now boasts one of the highest figures for GDP per head globally, according to the World Bank. A large student population ensures superb recreational activities and vibrant nightlife; Vienna’s bar and multicultural restaurant scene is on the up, while the city’s elegant café culture continues to flourish.“A beautiful city steeped in history, Vienna draws in vast numbers of tourists every year and benefits hugely from this financially,” says Julie Leonhardt LaTorre, Senior Vice President, Head of Operations, EMERIA, at Christie’s International Real Estate. “The government pours money back into the city’s infrastructure, meaning Vienna runs exceptionally smoothly, and residents have a very high quality of life.”

Panama City, Panama

High-rise condominium buildings line Balboa Avenue in Panama City, one of the most exclusive streets in the country. Photograph: Getty Images

High-rise condominium buildings line Balboa Avenue in Panama City, one of the most exclusive streets in the country. Photograph: Getty Images

Boasting a great combination of city, beach, and rainforest in a gloriously tropical climate, Panama’s economy is booming, partly due to the recent expansion of the Panama Canal, according to Bloomberg. Its capital is also rapidly becoming a playground for the super-rich. The new Soho Panama mall brought Chanel, Versace, Burberry, and Ladurée to the city, while the Ritz-Carlton hotel opens later this year. By 2024 its impressive transport, healthcare, and tax systems are expected to attract a further 7,000 super-rich residents. Meanwhile, a new Panamanian cuisine is beginning to emerge at hotspots like Manolo Caracol and Riesen.For savvy investors looking to acquire a luxury residence in this bourgening regional economic hub, Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate Panama Premier Estates is marketing this stunning waterfront apartment, which sits proudly above Panama City. Fitted with three bedrooms and several expansive living areas, this contemporary home is ideal for those wishing to take advantage of everything this exciting city has to offer.

Auckland, New Zealand

Beautiful Waiheke Island, with its pristine beaches and world-class vineyards, is just 40 minutes from Auckland City by ferry.

Beautiful Waiheke Island, with its pristine beaches and world-class vineyards, is just 40 minutes from Auckland City by ferry.

The largest Polynesian city in the world, Auckland is a melting pot of international cultures. It also has one of the most business-friendly markets: the city accounts for 35% of New Zealand’s GDP and is growing at 2.9% annually, attracting new investment and entrepreneurs from around the globe.Auckland ranked as the world’s “hottest” market for prestige property this year in Christie’s International Real Estate’s 2016 Luxury Defined report. Strong local, expat, and overseas buyer demand fueled an incredible 63% annual increase in million-dollar-plus home sales.

“Living and working in Auckland means you get the best of both worlds – a bustling, modern city set in a stunning natural environment,” says Kim Harris of Auckland-based Bayleys Realty Group, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. “The city has a stable business environment, a growing economy, a diverse and skilled talent pool, a worldwide reputation for innovation, and an enviable lifestyle.”

Its most popular areas include Waiheke Island with its vibrant arts scene; Grey Lynn, famed for its chic feel and international food; Viaduct Harbour, full of superyachts and elegant dining, and Mission Bay, which offers a relaxed beach atmosphere.

Lisbon, Portugal

The Alfama district in Lisbon is made up of narrow streets, tiny squares, churches, and whitewashed houses. Photograph: Getty Images

The Alfama district in Lisbon is made up of narrow streets, tiny squares, churches, and whitewashed houses. Photograph: Getty Images

The reigning European Entrepreneurial Region of the Year, Lisbon has worked hard to support domestic business and market itself as an accommodating place for entrepreneurs since the Eurozone crisis. Startup Lisboa has helped found hundreds of businesses, with around 30% of new entrepreneurs coming from abroad. People here are warm, friendly, and laid-back but also energetic and ambitious, and more and more high-tech, tourism, and creative start-ups are appearing. The city runs on a “work hard, play hard” ethic, with its golden beaches and 250 days of sun per year offering plenty of ways to unwind. Culturally, Lisbon has a thriving arts scene, booming nightlife, and a range of fantastic restaurants.“A wonderfully good value coastal city with a relaxed vibe, beautiful beaches, a tremendous culinary scene, and terrific weather, more and more people are understanding how attractive Lisbon is,” says Julie Leonhardt LaTorre, Senior Vice President, Head of Operations, EMERIA, at Christie’s International Real Estate.

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium, which once made a top-150 list of American architecture, sits on the waterfront next to The Banks entertainment district.

Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium, which once made a top-150 list of American architecture, sits on the waterfront next to The Banks entertainment district.

Forbes recently named the Cincinnati-Middletown area the top up-and-coming city for college leavers, given the huge number of openings for graduates and a vibrant job market. The city is also an emerging food and drink capital: approximately 500,000 people attend Taste of Cincinnati annually, making it one of the largest street festivals in the United States. Key neighborhoods include foodie central Over-the-Rhine; European-style Mount Adams, full of young professionals and artisans; exclusive Indian Hill; well-educated Hyde Park; and family-oriented suburb, West Chester.“The city borders northern Kentucky’s lush Bluegrass region, where the conditions for breeding and racing horses are ideal. Several horse farms have recently been purchased by international buyers,” says Kathleen Coumou, Christie’s International Real Estate’s Executive Director. “These clients can take advantage of the city life, fine dining, cultural amenities, museums, ballet, symphony, and major league sports.”

Honolulu, Hawaii

Set against the backdrop of Diamond Head State Monument, Waikiki in Honolulu was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Photograph: Getty Images

Set against the backdrop of Diamond Head State Monument, Waikiki in Honolulu was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Photograph: Getty Images

The Hawaiian capital of Honolulu boasts great shopping centers, restaurants, and miles of beaches, leading to it being ranked one of The 50 best places to live in America by Business Insider. This modern Pacific city – which runs on a diet of tourism, entertainment, recreation, and exquisite scenery – also has superb air quality and low instances of cancer and heart disease.“In addition to wonderful weather all year round and beautiful natural surroundings, Honolulu is an energizing, multicultural city,” says Les Enderton, executive director of Oahu Visitors Bureau. Honolulu’s art scene has also taken off in recent times.

Kahala Avenue, the most desirable street in Honolulu, is home to a wealth of luxurious homes including this modern, five-bedroom, single-level home designed by Geoffrey Lewis that features high cedar ceilings, and an open-floor plan allowing dynamic indoor–outdoor living. Currently marketed by Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate Choi International, the outdoor pool includes water features and tiki candles, and steps opposite the property lead directly to the beach.

Calgary, Canada

The Peace Bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, connects the northern Bow River pathway and downtown Calgary. Photograph: Getty Images

The Peace Bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, connects the northern Bow River pathway and downtown Calgary. Photograph: Getty Images

The cool, cosmopolitan Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta, regularly ranks high on global living standard lists, and for good reason: low taxes, clean air, low crime rates, and an abundance of nature – the Canadian Rockies are an hour-and-a-half away by car – making life here easy to love. New businesses spring up daily, and, compared to Toronto and Vancouver, house prices here are low: the average price of a property in Calgary in the year to August 2016 was $457,000, significantly less than many other Canadian cities.The city is not only an auspicious destination for young professionals, but also for Canada’s leading real estate market. With a secluded garden backing onto the Heritage Pointe Golf Course, this luxurious, three-bedroom residence is being marketed by Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate The Alberta Collection. Expansive windows flood the open-plan, 3,830 sq ft property with natural light, and warm wooden furnishings and stone fireplaces lend the home a sumptuously rustic feel.

Bogotá, Colombia

Bogotá, the second highest capital city in the world, is an intriguing mix of skyscrapers and incredible scenery. Photograph: Getty Images

Bogotá, the second highest capital city in the world, is an intriguing mix of skyscrapers and incredible scenery. Photograph: Getty Images

Named by Forbes magazine as “the next capital of cool,” Colombia’s capital is an alluring mix of business and pleasure. Boasting a beautiful historic center, a thriving luxury shopping and dining scene, and an excellent cycling network, Bogotá is simultaneously becoming South America’s newest tech hub – Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have all opened offices, while local start-ups are booming. Huge improvements to security and stability have made Bogotá more attractive to both international investors and overseas home buyers, and and has boosted quality of life immeasurably.“The attitude of people in Bogotá is very driven, entrepreneurial, family-oriented, and outdoorsy. In terms of neighborhoods, Zona G is known as the Gourmet Zone, where the high-end and up-and-coming restaurants are located. Meanwhile, Zona T (which has a T-shaped area at its center) is most recognized for exciting bars and the best nightlife,” says Rick Moeser, Christie’s International Real Estate’s Executive Director for the Southeast Region, Caribbean, and Latin America.

Porto, Portugal

The historic center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes the picturesque Ribeira district on the Douro River. Photograph: Getty Images

The historic center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes the picturesque Ribeira district on the Douro River. Photograph: Getty Images

Recently named “Europe’s most compelling new food destination” by The Wall Street Journal, Porto’s restaurant scene is catching up with its outstanding wines, and the city is quickly shedding its title of “Lisbon’s little sister.” Portuguese chefs such as Nuno Mendes in London and George Mendes (no relation) in New York, have put the country’s cuisine firmly on the global food map. People are now flocking to sample both Porto’s cellars and dining halls, where the focus is on excellent local produce and “urbane rusticity.”Laid-back and low-key, Porto ripples with cobbled streets, Baroque churches, Art Deco architecture, food markets, jazz bars, exhibitions, and music festivals such as Primavera Sound. For those looking to embrace the region’s charms as a permanent resident or second-home owner, this traditional Portuguese quinta (“country estate”) in the Maia region just north of Porto may entice. Marketed by Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate Luximo’s, it has 10 bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a swimming pool, tennis court, and winemaking facilities attached to its own vineyard.

Valencia, Spain

Santos Juanes church and the Central Market beyond are some of Valencia’s most popular attractions. Photograph: Jorge Bellver

Santos Juanes church and the Central Market beyond are some of Valencia’s most popular attractions. Photograph: Jorge Bellver

Hit hard by the 2008 property crisis, Spain’s historic city of Valencia is now overflowing with real estate bargains, luring young Spaniards from other cities as well as international young professionals keen to take advantage of the coastal city’s low cost of living, warm climate, and attractive culture. Its rich and storied history lends itself to an extraordinary mix of cultures and styles, most identifiably in the city’s architecture, which ranges from old fishermen’s cottages in the Cabañal, to ultramodern flats overlooking the City of Arts and Sciences center, and beautiful façades in Carmen old town.Valencia is considered the most creative city in Spain. The way of life here is ideal for families due to the quantity and quality of schools – including international schools – and the many leisure opportunities,” says Francisco Ballester of Rimontgó, Christie’s International Real Estate’s affiliate in Valencia, Spain.

The city ranked as the world’s top “comeback” property market in the 2016 Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Defined report, and posted an incredible 89% annual increase in luxury home sales. Thanks to a weak euro, property prices below the 2007 peak, and a surge in overseas visitors, Valencia’s luxury housing market is likely to continue on its upward trajectory.  

http://luxurydefined.christiesrealestate.com/blog/luxury-lifestyle/10-cities-to-watch-in-2017

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

(727) 804-6566
AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com

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            PROFarm Info Session Thursday, February 23 10:00 – 11:30 am PRO (Auditorium C) Make plans to join us for our PROFarm Info Session on Thursday, February 23 from 10:00 – 11:30 am at PRO (Auditorium C). We’ll show you the topics we’ve used for past cards and show you hands-on examples […]
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  • ‘Welcome’ to all our new members who joined us in December January 4, 2017
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  • Last Call for 2017 D6 Leadership Institute Applicants January 3, 2017
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