5 Ways You Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Community in a Trying Time

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During this time of uncertainty, it’s crucial to remember that, while following the CDC’s recommended safety steps, there are many ways we can support those in our communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sotheby’s International Realty agents are proudly invested in their local communities and, together, we wanted to share this resource for those able to make a positive impact during this trying time.

Support Small Businesses

Small businesses like local restaurants and retailers are some of the hardest hit as many states and provinces implement curfews and shutdowns. Think of the impact these establishments have on your community – and of what it would be like to not have them. Ordering take-out or delivery from local restaurants, purchasing gift cards for use at a later date (many restaurateurs have pledged gift card proceeds to support their impacted employees), or ordering a delivered meal for a loved one or neighbor are great ways to help your favorite local spots.

Give Blood

The Red Cross is reporting a severe blood shortage and is urging those healthy enough to donate to do so. Donating blood is a way to, quite literally, save lives. Some companies like Rejuvio or Vitalant will make house calls to collect your donation from your own home.

Check in on Friends, Neighbors, and Family

While social distancing or sheltering in place is in effect, those who struggle with anxiety and depression may feel worsened symptoms. Take the time to connect with loved ones and neighbors on the phone or through video chat. Social distancing can make some feel alone or overwhelmed, check to see if they need any assistance or necessities like food or toiletries.

Donate to a Food Bank

As schools and businesses are forced to close, food banks are under pressure. “One of the most significant impacts has been school closures. Without access to school meals, children lose a consistent source of healthy food,” says Feeding America, a nation-wide network of food banks. Monetary donations to your local food bank or items of need will help feed those struggling in your community.

Feeling Lost? Help the CDP

Not sure where else to turn and help? The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is a nonprofit organization that helps when disasters strike. With a fund dedicated to this current crisis, your donations will support healthcare workers, social service organizations, and those whose health puts them in a more vulnerable state.

Most importantly, continue to practice safe social distancing. We are all in this together, from our individual communities to the larger global society, and we hope you stay healthy and safe during this trying time.

 

 

Source: 5 Ways You Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Community in a Trying Time, Sotheby’s Extraordinary Living Blog

We’re all in this together

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The health of our employees, agents and clients is our greatest priority.

For the time being, our staff is continuing full business operations remotely. During this time, we are prepared and equipped to provide an unchanged, exceptional level of service to our clients and sales team. Our commitment to you has not changed.

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The Trips Outside Magazine Editors Are Taking This Year

“From visiting Alaska’s fat bears to traveling solo across Scotland, here’s how we’re spending our PTO”

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In 2020, the Outside editors are all about finally taking the dream trips they’ve been thinking about for years. Here’s one idea we especially love.

Taking a Cross-Country Train 

Staff picks

With all the climate-fueled talk of train travel lately—and news that Amtrak is on the verge of doing away with its sleeper trains and getting rid of long-haul lines—I’m going to make this the year I plan a trip around a rail route. I’ll either take Amtrak’s Empire Builder, which runs from Seattle to Chicago, and stop at Whitefish, Montana, to spend a few nights at Glacier National Park, or I’ll hop on the Crescent after a weekend in New Orleans, get off in Charlottesville, Virginia, and bike the 37 miles to Shenandoah National Park.

—Erin Riley, senior travel editor

 

Click Here to see the rest of their PTO picks!

Economists say consumers should lock in low mortgage rates now

Mortgage rates reached the lowest point in 50 years last week, and one economist predicted they could plummet even more this week

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Mortgage rates reached the lowest point in 50 years last week.

The Treasury yield began this week by hitting a record low.

And one economist predicted they could plummet even more this week.

So should consumers consider locking in a mortgage rate now or, instead, play the waiting game?

“I would go ahead and lock in a rate,” Kapfidze said. “We don’t know how this is going to play out. Lending Tree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze said it’s hard to anticipate what rates are going to do, but if you’re a consumer and there are already savings on the table, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

Mortgage rates and treasuries are connected, yes, but rates won’t move downward as fast as treasuries.

“It’s possible that Treasury rates could go lower, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that mortgage rates will go lower,” Kapfidze said. “Lenders are hitting capacity and we’ve already seen that the spread between Treasuries and mortgages have widened since the financial crisis.”

How do you lock in a mortgage rate?

A rate lock, according to real estate tech giant Zillow, is “a guarantee from a mortgage lender that they will give a mortgage loan applicant a certain interest rate, at a certain price, for a specific time period.”

Essentially, if the rates go up in that time period, you keep the lower rate that you locked in. But if they go down, unless you’ve agreed to a “float down,” — in which the consumer pays a fee to allow the mortgage rate to come down, if the market moves that way — you’re also stuck.

Loan officers can help consumers shop for the lowest rate, then ask the lender if a rate lock is available, according to Zillow. But there are a few things consumers should look out for.

“First, you don’t want to lock in the rate too early on, as rate locks are usually only good for between a few weeks to 60 days, so if your loan doesn’t process within that period, your rate lock offer will no longer be good,” the company’s information guide reads.

“Therefore, you need to make sure that the duration of your lock-in will give the lender enough time to process the loan. To do that, ask the lender to share the average loan processing time and try to get the lender to lock-in your rate for as long as possible to protect yourself.”

There are also fees often associated with a rate lock, but if the rate is so low — and expected to rise — the actual cost could be negligible. Short-term rate locks — those of less than 60 days — range from free to roughly 0.25-0.5 percent of the total loan, according to Zillow. If you need a longer period, the rate goes up.

 

 

Source: Economists say consumers should lock in low mortgage rates now | INMAN

Six Female Designers You Need To Follow

We are celebrating International Women’s Day in good company. Meet the six female designers everyone needs to be following right now.

TAMARA MAGEL | BALANCE AND HARMONY

Hamptons-based interior designer Tamara Magel feels that inner harmony is found when a body recognizes its surroundings. Thus, she combines organic elements, fine finishes, client preferences, scrupulous attention to detail and a dash of whimsy in her designs for both aesthetic appeal and an intangible something that is not seen but felt.

Keep up with Tamara Magel: Site | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

ERIKA WARD INTERIORS | COLOR MEETS TEXTURE

Atlanta-based interior designer Erika Ward’s approach incorporates her previous experience as an accountant managing commercial real estate projects, and her keen design sensibility. Not one to be afraid of sharing, she brings personal flair to her Instagram account, where chronicles of projects and life with five kids seem to balance in unison.

Keep up with Erika Ward Interiors: Site | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

MEL BEAN INTERIORS | STUNNING AND FUNCTIONAL

Tulsa-based interior designer Mel Bean has assembled a talented team of women that strive to incorporate comfort, glamour and pragmatic usability into each project they take on. Architecture, existing light, timeline and financial considerations all come into play from the very beginning. The firm works closely with each client to ensure one hundred percent satisfaction.

Keep up with Mel Bean Interiors: Site | Instagram | Pinterest

GEORGIA TAPERT HOWE | NO BOUNDARIES

Los Angeles-based interior designer Georgia Tapert Howe believes that good design shouldn’t be restricted by rules or boundaries. Her overarching philosophy is to meld classic elegance, contemporary vibes and 21st-century practicality. This approach allows her to work with countless styles and periods, and create interiors that are both stunning and functional.

Keep up with Georgia Tapert Howe: Site | Instagram

TALI ROTH | ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Aussie Tali Roth, who now lives and works in New York City, loves to layer textures, shapes and colors in her creative and contemporary approach. She likes to include vintage furniture in her designs, and she enjoys the challenge of working on projects with multiple spaces, needs and requirements.

Keep up with Tali Roth: Site | Instagram | Pinterest

BEATA HEUMAN | POETIC PRACTICALITY

Sweden native Beata Heuman believes that every room should sing, so her designs are a blend of poetic lyricism and common-sense practicality. Her intuitive approach is always informed by the client’s preferences, inspirations and experiences. She draws on both past and present when working on all aspects of a project, from loose furnishings to the interior architecture itself.

Keep up with Beata Heuman: Site | Instagram

 

 

Source: Six Female Designers You Need To Follow, Sotheby’s Home 

For Homeowners Across the Country, Spring Signals a Time to Sell

WSJ’s Seller’s Guide includes exclusive analysis of the top buyer’s and seller’s markets in the U.S., plus expert advice from real-estate agents and home sellers

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Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty

Ready, set, sell. While all real estate is local, as the saying goes, the one constant is that February is the month when the spring market looms and sellers nationwide begin prettying their properties and readying them to list.

To help aspiring sellers prepare, The Wall Street Journal, with an analysis by Realtor.com, identified the top 10 luxury markets that currently favor either buyers or sellers. ( News Corp, owner of The Wall Street Journal, also operates Realtor.com under license from the National Association of Realtors.) We then looked at the mavericks who eschew hiring a real-estate agent—with their attendant 5% to 6% commissions—and market their properties themselves. The result is the first Seller’s Guide, a deep dive into today’s market conditions, with insight, strategy and advice from sellers, agents and experts who have recently closed deals in every market condition.

Continue Reading Here…

The Northern Lights Will Glow Across the U.S. This Week – Here’s Where To See Them

This coming week, skywatchers across the northern United States may well be treated to an excellent aurora display. The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is predicting a night of strong solar activity on the night of March 4th; on that night the Kp-index is expected to be higher than 4. On a scale of 0 to 9, the Kp-index is a measure of predicted aurora activity. Most nights in great aurora destinations fall between 1 and 3, so a night of activity that’s higher than 4 is a good chance to try and see the northern lights.

A level 4 or higher means that the aurora may be visible across the northern part of the contiguous U.S. that night (or surrounding nights – always check the weather and aurora forecasts before heading out!). If you live along the U.S.-Canadian border, or are willing to take a last minute trip, here are some of the top places that you can enjoy the northern lights this week or all winter long.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Unsurprisingly, Glacier National Park is a fantastic destination for night sky experiences. Far from the development that causes light pollution in some other national parks, Glacier is remote and a wonderland for those who love cold, snowy weather and starry winter skies.

The nearest major cities are Missoula and Helena, Montana, and Calgary, Alberta – all are between a 2-3 hour drive to reach Glacier National Park. While the most famous drive in the park, Going-to-the-Sun Road, is closed for the winter, you can still set up along St. Mary Lake in the east and Lake MacDonald in the west for good aurora viewing.

Fairbanks, Alaska

Fairbanks is widely known as one of the best aurora destinations in the world thanks to low humidity and precipitation, placement under the auroral oval, and fewer cloudy days during the aurora season than other places in the globe. If you’re ready to hop on a plane, it’s only a 3.5-hour flight from Seattle to Fairbanks, a common flight route for aurora chasers.

You don’t need to head all the way to Fairbanks to see the aurora. Alaskan locals and visitors should be treated to aurora displays as far south as Anchorage and Juneau too.

North Cascades National Park, Washington

Western Washington’s northernmost national park, North Cascades, is a better aurora chasing destination than other parks – like Olympic National Park where clouds may interfere or Mount Rainier National Park where light pollution from the Seattle-Tacoma area may obliterate your aurora views. North Cascades is home to some of the state’s tallest mountains and has great northern views toward less developed British Columbia across the border. It’s a two-hour drive from Seattle to the national park, or under three hours from Vancouver – flying into either of these cities will give you easy access for an overnight trip.

Headlands International Dark Sky Park, Michigan

Located at the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Headlands International Dark Sky Park was certified in 2011 as the ninth dark sky park in the world. Today it draws crowds year round for astronomy programs and northern lights viewing; straddling Lake Michigan and Lake Huron gives the park a great vista of the northern horizon and any aurora.

It’s a four-hour drive from Detroit to Headlands International Dark Sky Park, which necessitates making this an overnight or two-night trip. You could also fly into Grand Rapids (3.5 hours by car) or Traverse City (2 hours) if you’re willing to make a connection.

Acadia National Park, Maine

There are only a few great pockets of dark skies in the Eastern Seaboard; Acadia National Park is one of them, and during the busy summer months the park is host to a variety of astronomy programming. In the winter, it’s a good spot to try and see the northern lights too. Hike or snowshoe up Cadillac Mountain for the best view overlooking the entire surrounding region with plenty of views toward the northern horizon; an alternative spot is Jordan Pond, which can be accessed via Maine Highway 3 during the winter months. The easiest way to reach Acadia is by flying to Portland, Maine. It’s a three-hour drive from there to the town of Bar Harbor, where you can base yourself for exploring the park.

 

 

Source: The Northern Lights Will Glow Across The U.S. This Week – Here’s Where To See Them | FORBES

PROPERTY SPOTLIGHT | Cooper Farms

Significant Mixed-Use Development Opportunity

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Cooper Farms
215 Mt-82, Kalispell, Montana

Offered at $5,900,000

The gently rolling hills of Cooper Farms affords views spanning the Swan Mountain Range and hosts some of the area’s most diverse array of birdlife nestled among the lush wetlands of Flathead Lake. This heritage land has been farmed for decades to offer a development and investment opportunity to create homes and businesses to meet the rising need in one of the fastest growing communities in Montana. Cooper Farms sits ideally located with highway frontage on US 93 to the west and US 82 to the south, at the front door of Flathead Lake and with easy access to Kalispell. This investment and development opportunity offers 360 acres of farmland with a plan in place for mixed residential and commercial development.Nichole1.jpgA Neighborhood Plan provides for up to 700 units; which could include single-family residences, multi-family residences, an assisted living facility, or a golf course. Entitlements secured include water and sewer agreements, a Traffic Study, a Defined Floodplain Study, and a Wetland Crossing and Replacement Land Study reviewed and approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.
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The call of the Flathead Valley sounds as clearly as the song of the red winged blackbird that lives here. Cooper Farms is well situated for people to access the attractions of the area. Located less than an hour drive from Glacier National Park and two ski hills, near Flathead Lake, the Swan River and the Flathead River System, this area offers a perfect match for those looking to master the work and play balance with a thriving community holding exceptional outdoor recreation activities.

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Click Here for Property Video

Click Here for More Information
or contact the Listing Agent, Nichole Perrin, at nperrin@glaciersir.com or 406.253.8121

We raised the bar. Again.

2019 Brand Performance

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Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to announce that its affiliated brokers and sales professionals achieved more than $114billion USD in global sales volume, the highest annual U.S. sales volume performance in the history of the brand. $102 billion USD of the global sales volume was achieved in the U.S., marking another record accomplishment for the brand.                                                                                     

“In 2019, the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand continued to achieve solid growth,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer for Sotheby’s International Realty. “The brand expanded into new countries and territories and entered new markets in the U.S. We continued to make strategic business decisions that benefitted both our independent sales associates and affiliate companies. I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication from our vast global network, and I look forward to continuing this momentum in 2020.”

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Propelled by a strategic business move in March 2019, when Sotheby’s International Realty integrated its affiliate network and company-owned brokerage into one global organization, 50 new Sotheby’s International Realty offices were opened, bringing the brand’s presence to 1,000 offices in 70 countries and territories and more than 23,000 affiliated sales associates worldwide.

Sotheby’s International Realty continued to lead the category with the roll-out of exclusive marketing affiliations and first-ever technology launches, announcing it will soon unveil a new, fully integrated website. The brand’s existing website, sothebysrealty.com, saw another record year with more than 34 million visits, a 14 percent increase year-over-year. In addition, Sotheby’s International Realty was the first real estate brand to launch and implement mixed reality to its Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty sm augmented reality app, which merges the real world with virtual home staging. The platform can be utilized in various homebuying and selling scenarios, and particularly benefits agents and developers to help prospective buyers envision their new home. To support the daily business needs of the network’s more than 23,000 independent sales associates, the brand unveiled Current by Sotheby’s International Realty® a robust marketing suite of technology tools consisting of best-in-class and exclusive apps, which provide sales associates with a distinctive and competitive edge in the market. For partnerships, the brand entered into an affiliation with Bloomberg.com as the exclusive launch sponsor for a new luxury properties marketplace.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand and its independent sales associates continued its support for New Story, the brand’s charitable partner and a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As a result, 83 families, who were among those who lost their homes in the 2017 earthquakes, were able to move into their new homes in Morelos, Mexico. A total of 153 homes in Haiti and Mexico were funded through the initiative.

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This year observed significant growth for the brand’s existing affiliate companies in the United States through recruitment efforts and strategic mergers and acquisitions. Most notably, the brand increased its market presence in Brooklyn, New York; the Greater Boston area, Massachusetts; and Indiana. The brand also entered several new key markets last year, expanding the Sotheby’s International Realty network’s presence to 43 states across the country.

Outside the U.S. the Sotheby’s International Realty brand achieved more than $12 billion USD in sales volume and continued to expand into key markets around the world. In Europe, the brand grew its presence in Monaco; France; and Berlin and Binz, Germany. New offices were also opened in Doha, Qatar; and Paphos, Cyprus, expanding the brand’s global presence in marketing luxury listings. In the Caribbean and South America, the brand saw growth in Zapallar, Chile, an upscale residential community located two hours outside of Santiago; and agreements were signed to expand into the Anguilla territory. In the Asia-Pacific region, new offices were opened in Tauranga, New Zealand; and Port Douglas, Hobart, and Perth, Australia.

The 5 home features milliennials love

How the emerging affluent buyer is choosing where to live

It seems like just yesterday that the millennials were considered tomorrow’s emerging affluents. Now, many are in their mid-to-late thirties and constitute an ever-increasing share of the luxury real estate market. Some millennials may be looking to enter the market for the first time, while others are established homeowners and perhaps already looking for second or third properties.

But regardless of their age or real estate experience, many members of this generation desire similar things in their dream homes. Here, three top real estate agents give a glimpse into the five features millennials look for first.

1. Streamlined, convenient living

Convenience comes in many forms, but it’s always a leading consideration for millennials. “They are looking for ease of maintenance and prefer full-service condominiums versus townhomes, with a gym and swimming pool in the building and rooftops for entertaining,” says Mae Bagai, Global Real Estate Advisor and Associate Broker with Sotheby’s International Realty in New York. “If they can afford it, they will solely focus on new constructions which include smart home integration for their appliances and devices.”

Elliot Machado, Broker Associate with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, sees similar demands in the Miami market, with amenities such as rooftop pools, dedicated entertainment spaces, and gyms driving buyers to certain buildings. “The attention to detail and quality of the build are really starting to be focused on,” he says. “This is a big plus for the millennial buyer and just the overall market.”

In Denver, where detached homes are still popular among millennials, Kylie Russell, Broker Associate with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty likewise sees a strong demand for intelligent, connected technology. “Another feature that I see buyers seeking — if square footage allows — is a home office space,” she says. And if their condos won’t allow space for an office, her clients opt to live close to work.

2. Urban settings

That leads to another top priority for millennials: location. “It’s a lifestyle identity for millennials,” says Machado. “Some of my buyers’ decisions can change if they’re even a couple of blocks away from the action.”

Bagai has buyers who will limit their search to specific blocks to be near their offices. “In Manhattan in particular, we are seeing millennials wanting to live downtown — particularly Chelsea and Flatiron, as there is an influx of tech companies in those neighborhoods,” she says. “Both locations are centrally located and walking distance to the best restaurants, lounges, shopping, parks, fitness facilities, and major transportation.”

While millennial buyers in markets like Miami and New York opt for condos in the city center over larger homes out in the suburbs, the trend of downtown living extends to more outdoorsy markets like Denver.

“I see a lot of my millennial clients choosing to buy closer-in, prioritizing location over square footage, but also seeking nearby parks, trails, and easy access to public transportation,” says Russell. “Being able to walk to at least a few restaurants and bars is a top priority to my younger clients; and bonus points for walkability to coffee shops and yoga studios where they feel like they belong to a community.”

3. Built for socializing

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This desire for a sense of community is another critical consideration for millennials, who seek places that let them nurture their pastimes. “Whatever their passions are, they want their home to complement and enhance it,” says Russell.

Because this demographic is so socially inclined, open-concept spaces are still very much in vogue. Bagai cites open kitchen layouts as one of the main things her millennial clients look for, as does Machado. And he has a theory as to why that is. “Being able to cook in an open gourmet kitchen that flows seamlessly into the living spaces means millennials never have FOMO, or ‘fear of missing out,’” he says.

Young affluent buyers also tend to spend more money on creating memories, as opposed to amassing possessions, and Russell sometimes notices this in the properties they choose. “I see my millennial buyers being a bit conservative on their budget and seeking to buy below their means in order to save money for travel, experiences, and long-term plans.”

4. Room to grow

Many millennials are thinking long-term and big-picture, for themselves and for future generations. “My millennial buyers, like most buyers, want a place they are proud to call home — a place that has longevity and gives them the flexibility to grow as they get their first pet, have roommates, couple up, and maybe even start a family,” says Russell. “They are ambitious and up for DIY projects that help differentiate their home. They grew up with HGTV and are not intimidated to do work.”

This eagerness to renovate doesn’t apply in all markets, as Bagai notes that many of her clients have multiple residences around the world and are looking for turnkey smart homes that require as little work as possible. However, there’s a consensus that millennials are more aware of environmental problems than their predecessors, and place more emphasis on sustainability.

“LEED-certified, energy-efficient buildings and homes are important to my clients,” says Bagai. It seems that when millennials think long-term, they’re not only thinking of their own personal wellbeing, but the planet’s as well.

5. Outdoor access

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Knowing that preserving the planet is of high value to millennials, it’s not surprising that this generation prizes greater access to green spaces. Russell mentioned that her clients often want homes near trails and parks — but it goes further than that. “More than ever, my clients are into gardening,” she says. “We see a lot more composting and an increasing number of buyers that want chickens.” And in Denver, clients are often able to choose between detached housing with a yard or a condo or townhome with amazing rooftop mountain views.

Downtown-dwellers in Miami and New York may have to settle for houseplants — and their affinity for them is well-documented. But they also want to feel the fresh air. “A big expectation for my market is larger terraces that open up and seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living,” says Machado.

To engage, anticipate

Millennials have high expectations of their agents, as well as their homes. For agents, this means leaning on the time-honored tradition of responsiveness. “They’re looking for efficiency and streamlining in their homebuying process,” says Bagai of her younger clients. “They want quick response times and someone who understands their lifestyle and needs.”

This generation prefers to communicate with agents by text, not email or phone, and Russell utilizes group chats to ensure all her clients are on the same page. She also relies on video chat apps like Marco Polo where videos can be rewatched multiple times — helpful for clients reviewing footage of a potential home. Machado, for his part, leverages automation. “For me, it’s all about personalization and creating real-time e-alerts so they get the right properties directly to their phones,” he says. “I always try to stay as innovative as possible to add value.”

No matter what your millennial buyers are looking for, providing exemplary service tailored to their preferences ensures that you’ll be with them when they find it.

 

 

Source: The 5 home features millennials love, Leading in Luxury, Inman