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Thank you to Carlos Fuentes, all of the attendees, the Pinellas Realtor Affiliates and Pinellas Realtor Organization for a great CIPS Americas course yesterday! The course was packed with a tremendous amount of useful information for anyone planning to conduct Real Estate business in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. Carlos not only teaches the class but also adds so much personal experience. Historical and cultural influences, regional relationship, and investment opportunities were covered along with a special focus on Mexico.

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7 things you have to know before you visit Belize

A natural attraction (Picture: Getty)  article by Ellie Hattersley   https://metro.co.uk/2018

 

Beautiful Belize, a small country in the northern part of South America, sure packs a punch. Despite its relatively diminutive size, it manages to fit in some of the world’s best beaches, the second biggest coral reef in the world, a unique natural phenomenon, and some seriously impressive ancient ruins. 8 things to know before you go to the Czech Republic And honestly, it’s worth going just to spend some time sprawled upon the sands of Caye Caulker, perhaps its most famous island. Here are seven things you should know before you go to Belize.

  1. It’s the only Central American country with English as an official language. Due to its history as a British colony, the majority of people in Belize speak English, alongside Spanish and Creole. Belize became independent in 1981 and changed its name from British Honduras in 1973.
  2. The capital is, surprisingly, not Belize City. Though Belize City was the capital of the country but after the hugely destructive hurricane Hattie hit in 1961, plans were conceived to move the capital inland. The newer capital is called Belmopan. However, Belize City is still the country’s cultural and commercial capital, and also hosts the country’s only major airport.
  3. It’s got a whole bunch of Mayan ruins Mayan ruins. 7 things you have to know before you visit Belizeat Cerros (Picture: Getty) More than 900, in fact. They are spread out across the country, and many can be reached easily from Belize City.
  4. The second biggest coral reef in the world lies off its coast. After the Great Barrier Reef, Belize’s barrier reef is the largest in the world. It stretches more than 180 miles along Belize’s Caribbean coast, and supports wildlife as wide ranging as West Indian manatees and American crocodiles. It has plenty of fish, too.
  5. And the most bewildering natural attraction in the Great Blue Hole. 7 things you have to know before you visit Belize (Picture: Getty) The Great Blue Hole is the biggest sea sinkhole in the world, at a depth of 407ft. It’s a diver’s dream, with crystal clear visibility, and even snorkelers can spot nurse sharks and reef sharks patrolling its outer rim.
  6. It has more than 450 small islands, called cayes. 7 things you have to know before you visit Belize Caye Caulker. (Picture: Getty)
  7. Cayes are low-lying, sand-based islands, located at the surface of a coral reef. Caye Caulker is probably the most famous of these, but they are all pretty paradisiacal.
  8. Belize has the lowest population density in Central America. With only 382,000 people, and just 37 people per square mile, it’s little wonder that Belize’s population density is the lowest in Central America. But, of course, the population numbers are considerably boosted by the tourist crowds.

 

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/05/01/7-things-you-have-to-know-before-you-visit-belize-7488826/?ito=cbshare   Ellie Hattersley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

5 Best Caribbean Islands to Live in 2018 Revealed

Great article-some of my favorite Caribbean Islands made the list including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic and Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Long ago when it was affordable, I lived on St John & St Thomas & I love it. Going on a trade mission the Dominican Republic in October 2018.

According to a new report from International Living, based on affordability, value, safety and lifestyle, these five islands made their list of the Top 5 Caribbean islands to live in 2018.

Vacation News » Miami Edition | By Monsef Rachid |2018  http://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/

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Ambergris Caye, Belize

Over the last few decades, expats have flocked to English-speaking Ambergris Caye, Belize, and there are good reasons for its popularity. (Among them the fact that in 2013 and 2014, TripAdvisor readers ranked Ambergris as the best island in the world.)

Ambergris and the small nearby islands are not overly developed, which means they’ve maintained a laidback vibe. Ambergris is Belize’s center for ocean sports during the day and for partying at night. In view of all this, it’s easy to understand why real estate prices have risen, especially for beachfront property.

Getting to Ambergris is easy because both of Belize’s domestic airlines–Tropic Air and Maya Island Air–have frequent flights to the island from Belize City. You can also reach Ambergris by water taxi.

San Pedro is the major population center on Ambergris, a town of roughly 18,000 part- and full-time residents. The once-sandy main streets are now paved. But golf carts are still expats’ favorite means of transportation from home to the beach, or to the dozens of restaurants, nightclubs, and friendly mom-and-pop stores.

Surprising to many, moving to Belize is easy–U.S. currency is accepted, credit cards are widely used and well-known U.S. brands are available too; they’re expensive, but substitutes are easy to find.

After years of 16-hour days as owners and operators of a Victorian B&B and cupcake shop in Richmond, Virginia, the easy-going lifestyle of San Pedro is just what Dawn Schick and her husband, Albert, were looking for.  And in 2010, they made the move.

“We’d been vacationing here several times a year for more than six years and decided this would be our eventual retirement home. But after years of hard work we thought, why wait until ‘someday,’? Why not take the plunge right now?” Dawn explains.

“We love being outdoors and the year-round warm weather lets us go snorkeling or paddle-boarding anytime we want. The marine life here is amazing. Swimming alongside rays, tropical fish, and turtles is like being in another world. We also love that it’s not touristy here.

“Life on the island moves at a slower pace, and that’s just fine with us.”

For between $2,700 and $2,900 per month, a couple can enjoy a comfortable retirement in Ambergris Caye–a budget that includes the cost of a house or apartment rental. If you own your own home on the island outright, then expats report it’s possible for a couple to live quite comfortably on less than $2,000 a month.

Roatán, Honduras

On the English-speaking Bay Island of Roatán, 30 miles off the coast of Honduras, you will find what is arguably the best-value island real estate in the region.

For less than $175,000, you could have a two-bedroom Caribbean home right on the water in a quiet neighborhood with no tourists–your own private getaway. If you stayed just part of the year, you could rent your place out to help cover your holding costs.

If you lived on Roatán, you’d have the sound of gentle waves and the rustle of palm fronds to wake you in the mornings. Looking out your window, you’d see clear, blue skies and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. You could occupy yourself with a swim…enjoy a cup of coffee on your deck…or just sit back in your Adirondack chair, warm up in the sun, and take in the view of your own private stretch of beach…

On this tropical island, beachfront lots can be had for under $100,000. We’re talking established developments, with amenities like a community pool and/or shared or private docks. Utilities are in place. Construction costs are reasonable, and you can build a home to your specs.

There are also plenty of turnkey condos for well under $200,000–in resort communities on the beach. And if you’re okay with walking a few minutes to the water, or setting up on a hillside with views, you’ll pay even less for a lot, home, or condo.

This is an island where “normal” people can buy a vacation home or permanent digs to live out their sunny, low-cost, and comfortable retirement. The infrastructure is good and getting better all the time, with a new power plant online and the recent opening of a hospital with specialist care and a 24-hour emergency room.

It’s still out of the mainstream, at least compared to other Caribbean island getaways, and that has kept prices affordable for real estate and day-to-day costs. A couple could live well on $2,000 to $2,500–that includes all expenses.

And it’s simply a beautiful place to look at, thanks to the tall, jungle-covered mountains, white-sand beaches, and blue Caribbean (turquoise within the reef and a deep azure beyond it). Living here, you’ll have no shortage of things to do, with plenty of parties, sunset happy hours, water sports, and other fun.

Roatán boasts an international airport–with regular flights in and out it’s accessible and it’s quick and easy to see family back home.

“The one word that always comes to mind when asked how I like living here is ‘contentment,'” says Ann Winters of her retirement on Roatán. “I have never felt so content anywhere.”

Ann and her husband Ron have much to be content about. The couple are settled into a three-bedroom house set amid lush vegetation, overlooking the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea.

“I immediately loved the sounds and smells of Roatán,” says Ann of what drew her to the island. “The sound of the ocean soothes me. I love the smell of the salt on the breeze and the way the air smells so fresh after a rain. I love the cooking smells in the downtown mercado (market) and along the streets of West End, the scents coming from the open-air fruit and vegetable stands and the fish and meat markets. The flowers in my gardens that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.”

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Legend has it that an ancient Maya Goddess of childbirth, identified Isla de Mujeres as a sacred place. The name Isla de Mujeres means Island of Women.

It was the Spaniards in the 16th century who decided that Island of Women would, therefore, be a fitting name for this tropical paradise where they noted hundreds of idols and carvings of women.

Today Isla Mujeres, eight miles off Cancún on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, is a retreat for tourists and retirees alike and offers easy living in the sun year-round.

You can own a one-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse condo with a view from $230,000 or rent a one-bedroom place for $700 to $1000 a month, according to local expats.

When it was time to retire back in 2008, Lawrie Lock and his wife Lynda drove from their long-time home in Canada’s Okanagan Valley to Isla Mujeres.

“We live on the windward side of the island, facing the open ocean,” says Lynda. “That’s where all the action is. We often see pods of dolphins feeding just offshore and sea turtles basking right on the surface.

“We’d vacationed on the western side of Mexico for many years. But when we discovered the Caribbean side back in 2002…Wow! The turquoise and green water, fresh sea food, and the friendly islanders here on Isla Mujeres, along with the warm weather, were too much to resist.

“We have a large circle of friends. Some live here full-time and others come for the winter months. Winter is our busiest social time and summer is our wind-down, re-group time.”

The island enjoys a warm tropical climate (low to mid-80s F for most of the year) and a laidback vibe; golf carts are preferred to cars as the main means of transport.

Every winter, the permanent population of around 13,000 is joined by thousands of snowbirds fleeing colder weather up north. At four miles long and less than a half-mile wide, this tiny Caribbean island is connected to the mainland by high-speed ferry service that leaves every 30 minutes during daylight hours.

There is plenty to do on Isla Mujeres. Naturally, water activities top the list as the nearby reef offers amazing opportunities for scuba, fishing, swimming, boating, and snorkeling. There’s even an underwater museum set up by an English sculptor to explore, if the local sea life isn’t enough. And of course, there is the seasonal migration of whale sharks which draws many to view and swim with them.

Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

Most Americans have never heard of the little beach town of Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic’s northeast, on the Samana Penninsula. That’s understandable–it’s a spot better known among Europeans. But it offers one of the Caribbean’s best-value escapes today.

Here you’ll find 19 miles of public beaches, and palm trees swaying in the breeze. And compared to other Caribbean islands, property in this little corner of the D.R. is a roaring bargain.

French and Italian vacationers have been coming here for decades–vacationing and then coming back to stay. Along with the tang of saltwater in the air and the scent of fresh-cut coconuts, you’ll smell French bread and croissants baking. The Italian influence is strong, too, with rich Italian gelato on offer and strong, Italian-style coffee. There’s steak, sushi, and grilled seafood, too.

Las Terrenas has everything going for it that a Caribbean island escape should. It’s not overdeveloped–there are no mega-resorts here, just boutique hotels. It has great dining, stunning scenery at every point, and a vibrant expat community.

The most incredible thing about it, though, is the real estate prices. A one-bedroom, one-bathroom loft apartment can be had for as little as $99,500.

A couple can live in this tropical haven for around $2,000 a month, although most choose to spend closer to $3,000 a month.

When Dan Williams decided to retire there, he had been working for eight years as an environmental engineer for the Missouri state government. At the time, he was 57 years old, single, and longed to retire to the beach.

“The country is a mini-continent, with a wide variety of terrain, from oceans to the highest mountains in the Caribbean, and everything in between,” he says. “The climate is wonderful. It is close to the U.S. and is economical. Weighed in the balance, it is the ideal country for me.”

After a few months in Sosúa on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, Dan decided to tag along with a friend who was taking a road trip to Las Terrenas.

Dan was enchanted and decided to relocate there. “I loved the beach, the vibe, the natural beauty, and the European flavor of the place,” he says. “It seemed like a hidden Shangri-La.”

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

The Corn Islands are two little dots of paradise just 50 miles off Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast–a retirement nirvana with white sands, gently swaying palms and blue waters where English is the official language.

Big Corn–about four square miles in size and with maybe 6,000 inhabitants–is just 10 miles (or a 30-minute boat ride) from Little Corn, one-fourth the size of Big Corn in both land mass and population.

On Little Corn, there are no roads, just a three-foot-wide sandy walkway…so no vehicles allowed.

It’s a truly undiscovered, little-developed escape. Many say it’s like the Bahamas or Grand Cayman 30 or 40 years ago.

If you’re looking for a “throw-back” getaway, you won’t find a better one in the Caribbean. Here a custom-built home with an ocean view a 15-minute walk to town and beaches can be had for $150,000. And that’s fully furnished.

“With no vehicle traffic on Little Corn and lots of hotels, hostels and restaurants, it’s fun to walk around and see what there is to see,” says Bonnie Hayman, IL Nicaragua Correspondent. “This is the place where the tourists go.

“Big Corn is more adventurous with fewer tourists. Many hire a taxi to travel from one gorgeous beach to another sampling the wonderful “Islander” food like coconut bread and rondon (fish/seafood coconut stew). Either way, a fabulous time is to be had on the Caribbean side of Nicaragua.”

The Corn Islands aren’t for everyone. Supplies that aren’t locally grown or pulled from the waters must be shipped in. With small exception, restaurants tend to serve variations of the same dishes.

“The cost of food on the island is slightly higher than on the ‘main,’ as islanders call mainland Nicaragua,” says Mike Hopkins who lived on Big Corn while housesitting on the island. “However, in general, costs are still less than U.S. prices. Weekly, my food costs averaged about $30. I also ate at some local restaurants, where meals and a couple of drinks ranged between $15 and $20. My total food and drink cost for the three-month period was approximately $610.”

The islands have a rustic charm, perfect for those looking for an off-the-beaten-track retirement.  The healthy reef is ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and lobstering. With friendly locals and very few tourists an authentic island experience is ensured.

Two Islands not making the 2018 list

The beauty and tropical appeal of St. Thomas and Grand Bahama are impossible to deny. However, they can be costly.

“While we at International Living have nothing against St. Thomas or Grand Bahama–they’re thoroughly ‘discovered’ and that translates to more expensive,” says Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor of International Living. “If money is no object, you might well like the polished escape either island can provide. But our list of 5 better-value picks in the Caribbean points you to lesser-known retreats where you’ll find a more laid-back vibe and lower costs.”

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Located in the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands is made up of over 60 islands–most of them uninhabited. The three most populated, and most visited, are St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix.

The appeal of these tropical islands is the mixture of the exotic and the recognizable–an island paradise with modern comforts and a balance of Caribbean culture and American practicality.

While St. Thomas may be a nice place to live, the International Living report says “avoid” due to the high cost of living. Apartments rent for about $2,000 a month and to buy a two-bedroom house in a good neighborhood will cost about $285,000-plus.

Grand Bahama Island, the Bahamas

The Bahamas is often thought of as a paradise–an upscale group of islands with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

And the Bahamas has many advantages–friendly to newcomers, there’s no foreign language to cope with, crime is relatively low, and the islands are positioned just off the Florida coast.

But the bad news is that properties aren’t cheap. Medium-sized residences in exclusive gated communities with ocean views often cost more than $2 million.

Grand Bahama is the closest major Bahamian island to the U.S.–about 55 miles off the Florida coast. It has become a haven for beach-lovers as well as divers, fishermen, golfers, and sports enthusiasts of all kinds. It’s also a prime destination for people who enjoy world-class shopping.

But living here costs a premium as it’s between 30% and 50% more expensive than in the U.S.

Do you want to learn about the real estate business in the Dominican Republic?

Then don’t miss this great opportunity to learn from Larissa Ortiz about the Dominican Republic & opening doors to new real estate possibilities!

Larissa Ortiz, NAR President’s Liaison for The Dominican Republic, 2015-2018, will be here in person to give you the latest info. Be prepared-she is full of energy & will get you so excited about the Dominican Republic!!

Reserve your seat for our international marketing session and network with those who view the world as their market.

Although this opportunity is FREE for you, you must reserve your seat. REGISTRATION:https://www.calendarwiz.com/calendars/popup.php…

Wed, Jan 17, 2018  3:00pm – 4:30pm at Pinellas REALTOR Organization

 

Make sure to register today.

 

Larissa Ortiz International Marketing 1-2018

This a great checklist to read & keep if you plan to move from one country to another. Take a deep breath, tackle one thing at a time and remind yourself that you can do it!

from    https://www.justlanded.com/english/United-States/USA-Guide/Moving/Before-you-move?sf154660322=1

Preparing everything to move to another country involves much more than simply packing. If you do not plan in advance, you may have many difficulties when you arrive (or even be refused to enter the country).

 

from   https://www.justlanded.com/english/United-States/USA-Guide/Moving/Before-you-move?sf154660322=1

 

 

What a great opportunity to make business connections in the Bordeaux region of France while enjoying the beautiful landscape, food, wine and, of course, the graciousness of the people!

If you are interested in being of part of this adventure, you must act quickly-the deadline for reserving your place on a trip of lifetime is AUGUST 30th. 

 

Please contact Marina for more information.

 

 

 

Pinellas International Council Marketing & Networking Session is thrilled to have Macarena Rose return once again to speak on living in & purchasing real estate in Belize on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 3:00 – 4:30 pm!!

 

 

Thank you, Macarena Rose, for sharing your time and incredible knowledge with us. She is very vivacious and makes learning so much fun!

Macarena is the owner of Rainforest Realty in Belize, developing it into one of the leading real estate agencies in Central America. She remains a vital presence in the Central America real estate industry, maintaining an ongoing leadership role. She has a busy schedule that includes creating the International radio shows “Belize Talk Radio” ,  “International Real Estate Talk” and her newest show “Tuesdays with Morey Tax Tips“, filming her 6th HGTV House Hunters International program in Belize, speaking as an International Real Estate Consultant in various forums and serving on the board of many community organizations in Belize.

Macarena’s latest adventures includes the first Belize filming of HGTV’s Show called Off the Grid and has filmed 6 other episodes for HGTV House Hunters International in Belize!

Additionally she is now the Operating Principle of Keller Williams Belize.

An inspiration as to how to live a fulfilled life…her motto is – Throw Your Hat Over the Wall, Don’t Look Back & Just Do!

Although this opportunity is FREE for you, you must register due limited space, snacks & wine.


Click here to register. 

http://pinellasrealtor.org/education-and-events-calendar/

Contact: Martha Vasquez
Email: martha@marthavasquez.com

Pinellas REALTOR Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater FL 33762

 

 

 

This beautiful turnkey contemporary Bed and Breakfast with 2 Professional Tennis Courts and 6 units can be yours for business or pleasure or both! Located in the stunning area of Tamarindo, on the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the Province of Guanacaste, where the main attractions are surfing and eco-tourism.

There is a total of 7 bedrooms so you can use one for yourself & the rest for your family, friends, or guests. It is short walk to Tamarindo’s main surfing beach and the business center. Playa Tamarindo is a long, rocky beach with excellent waves and two main breaks for advanced surfers.

Some eco-friendly activities in the area include watching turtles nest during their season, diving, snorkeling, body surfing, zip-lining, estuary trips, sailing, horseback riding and fishing.

Guest suites include a 2 bedroom apartment, 2 – 1 bedroom suites, and 3 guest rooms with a total of 7 bathrooms. Also included is a restaurant and a gorgeous pool which creates a great spot for entertaining. Imagine sitting out by this pool in the morning sipping some fresh Costa Rican coffee from the nearby mountains. The property is 1600 Square Meters with 300 Square Meters of structures. This property offers the owner several means of income & attracting a variety of guests. All of these wonders can be yours for $1,195,000.00.

Tamarindo is easily accessed from Liberia Airport (approx. an hour or so away) with airlines from many major cities arriving daily. Commercial airlines include: Air Berlin, Air Canada, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Jetblue, US Airways and several others.

As well as 3-4 supermarkets, a farmer’s market is held every Saturday morning.  With such fresh food & so many outdoor activities available, it is easy to see why so many are moving to Costa Rica for La Pura Vida!!

Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about this wonderful property. Thank you so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans love their personal space. A new study by Point2 Homes finds that U.S. homes provide the most space per person when considering house sizes across countries. Americans enjoy 45 percent more personal space than the Brits or the French and 70 percent more space than homeowners living in Spain.

However, Australia still nudges out America when it comes to actual home size. Americans have the second largest homes among the nine countries studied, coming in at 1,901 square feet. Australians boast the largest at 2,032 square feet.

Point2Homes surveyed 29,000 people across nine countries — the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia. Though they’re living small, it seems Brits dream as big as their cousins down under. On average, respondents in the U.K., Australia, and Mexico identified a “good-size home” as one that contained more than 2,501 square feet. Americans settled on a smaller size to define this aspiration, between 1,501 and 2,000.

Source: “Home Sizes in the U.S.: Expectations vs. Reality,” Point2 Homes (Jan. 30, 2017)

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

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  • Pinellas REALTOR® Organization awards members for volunteerism, longevity, creativity September 17, 2018
    The Annual Business Meeting & Installation was held on September 14, 2018.  The following PRO members received the Good Neighbor Award for making an extraordinary impact on our community by giving their time and resources: • Kim Adams, RE/MAX Elite Realty – Wheelchairs 4 Kids • Susan Littlejohn, Littlejohn Real Estate – Dunedin Museum, Inc. • Jaime McKni […]
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  • 2019 Pinellas REALTOR Organization Board of Directors September 17, 2018
    The following members will be serving on the Board of Directors in 2019: Chair: Kevin Batdorf, Batdorf and Associates Chair Elect: Cyndee Haydon, Future Home Realty Past Chair: Paul Hendriks, Gulf to Bay Homes & Estates Secretary: Tom Steck, Century 21 Real Estate Champions Treasurer: Glen Richardson, Smith & Associates Real Estate Director: Ken Brel […]
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  • ‘Welcome’ to all our new members who joined us in August September 4, 2018
    The Pinellas REALTOR® Organization would like to welcome all of our new REALTORS® who joined us in August! We are happy to have you as a part of our organization and wish you much success in your careers. A Better Life Realty Christian A. Ellis All County Advanced Prop Mgmt Sarah D. Holsopple A-Team Home […]
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  • July 2018 Pinellas County Real Estate Statistics August 21, 2018
    Click here to view the report to see what the numbers tell us about the market.
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  • PRO recommends candidates, Clearwater Mayor ordinance, Flood insurance update August 3, 2018
    PRO Recommends Candidates for State and Local Elections The Board of Directors of the PRO announced its recommendations for Florida State House District 66, State House District 69, Pinellas County Commission District 6, Pinellas County School Board District 2, District 3, District 6, and District 7. Based on the public service, respect for property rights, […]
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