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Silly Articles

This past week we’ve endured our fare share of media articles that were either incomplete, inaccurate or downright misleading. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal published an article about some academics discussing how overpaid real estate agents are and how to fix this problem…..in a publication that supposedly believes in free markets and capitalism.  It was another embarrassing moment for the WSJ which used to focus on facts and data and tell the complete story.

The writer for this article was basically making the case for any entity on the planet that would sharply reduce the excessive fees us agents charge for doing what this troupe deem as ‘quick and easy’ money. The article continued the myth that all agents everywhere earn ALL 6% commission simply by doing a little paperwork, a few showings and bingo! Jackpot!  Not one real estate brokerage or agent was consulted in this embarrassing lapse of journalistic drivel. So while I could go on and break down each and every ridiculous claim and their solutions, I’d rather focus on the more important lesson from this moment.

Here again we see how some of the fame-seeking, drinks-throwing loons on Reality-TV calculating their commissions BEFORE a showing (never mentioning splits or expenses of course….or the time and energy and work that happens well before a transaction and forever afterward) have given the world – even College Professors – the completely false/distorted impression of what we do and how we earn our fees. That’s aside from boasting about the ‘millions’ they make, the private jet lifestyle they lead, etc. The damage they have done over a decade may take a decade to undo……but only if we do something about it.

We as a profession have failed miserably in CLEARLY messaging to the consumer exactly what a PROFESSIONAL agent does to earn their fees. Everything. Not just the open house or the showings. Not just the advertising, marketing, social media management, etc. EVERYTHING. As well as all the planning and advisory work that happens BEFORE something is listed and all the work that happens AFTER the closing. We also have to message the extensive expenses we incur and the mammoth expenses of our brokerage that we participate in with our splits. What does a website, tech tools, offices, staffing, advertising, marketing teams, etc cost to build and operate? WE – not the WSJ or the crafty drivers of this narrative whose sole purpose is to replace us or minimize our income for THEIR gain – must message this. The COMPLETE picture.

So let’s get started. Today. What can you do that messages the WORK and VALUE you deliver, not just the income, glamor, etc. And yes, all of this can showcase beautiful property too. Boasting about our incomes and successes is nice but may also message that we are indeed overpaid and its all too easy. (Most of us never message how tough it was to sell a listing over 18 months…..maybe the time has come to do so!)

PLEASE contact us today and we will show you our VALUE of WORK as agents that we will bring to helping you to get your real estate needs taken care of with professionalism.

New, New, New!

There is a common theme around the globe: home buyers and renters want brand new or newly renovated homes and are willing to pay a premium for them, often a large premium. It’s almost become an obsession. I’ve always been attracted to ‘projects’, but even I’m finding these projects more cumbersome these days. Here are my TOP 10 reasons I’ve identified for the NEW craze:

1.  Time is the Last Luxury: enjoying a home immediately is more meaningful to most. Waiting for a renovation or new build is time lost. The time and effort spent on a home build/renovation project is time you can spend on your career making the money to pay for a home, or enjoy with friends and/or family.

2.  In a rising interest rates environment locking in to a rate has value.

3.  When you buy a renovation project you need cash or (difficult to obtain) additional financing to renovate. One financed lump sum is quicker/easier.

4.  With rising labor and materials costs, anticipated costs for renovation at closing are bound to rise. Most projects go over budget regardless.

5.  Consumers want the least aggravation: older systems require more time, effort and money to service, maintain and replace.

6.  New homes are usually much more energy efficient.

7.  New/renovated homes have been adjusted to today’s lifestyle needs.

8.  When you buy one apartment in a 50-unit building by a top architect/interior designer there is economy of scale:  you would pay MUCH more for that quality of design for a single home project.

9. Decorating and furnishing is the fun part. Sorting through a complex permitting and approvals process is not nearly as much fun.

10. Seeing exactly what you’re going to get is much easier than imagining what could be.

I am sure that there are many more reasons to add. What ones would you add?

Happy Birthday! COMPASS brand turns 6 in 2021

Yes, a few weeks ago the COMPASS brand turned 6 years old. Originally named “Urban Compass”, the brand name, logo, and graphics were changed in early 2015 when we were merely around 300 family members in total.


The speed at which Compass’ brand name recognition has grown – especially amongst home buyers, sellers, landlords, developers and renters, specifically in more luxury markets around the nation – in the past 6 years is quite remarkable. The brand name recognition amongst those monitoring the financial markets has been further accelerated since our IPO a month ago. The TOP 5 luxury brands in the world are:  Gucci, Chanel, Hermes, Christian Dior, and Louis Vuitton: all are at least 75 years old.  According to Statista, there is only one brand amongst the world’s TOP 20 Most Valuable Worldwide Brands that is 10 years old…..the majority have been around much longer. Of the Top 25, only seven are not one-word name brands. 

“Compass is a simpler, more universally memorable brand name that speaks directly to the connection between people and technology that is so central to what we are building,”  Matt Spangler, February 2015 when discussing the shift from URBAN COMPASS to simply….COMPASS.

A powerful brand name is possibly your most competitive advantage: imagine Coca-Cola without its brand name…..it would be merely just another soft drink. A brand with a distinct personality drives value perception. A brand has to evoke a perception, a story. COMPASS’ brand speaks to modern luxury. It speaks to the next generation of luxury, regardless of age. It speaks to a mentality. Boldly broadcasting our best-looking properties promotes an identity and association that has tremendous value to ALL properties we market. The brand sets the tone. A brand has to speak its own unique language. The COMPASS brand speaks to simplicity, the new language of modern luxury that is more about authenticity and simplicity than gilded opulence or stodgy heritage. It speaks to contemporary, tech-fueled efficiencies and A-grade service.


When a newly built Condominium comes to market called for example “THE PRETTY CONDOMINIUM”, many locals may identify it after many weeks of advertising and marketing. But it would cost many millions of dollars to achieve the same recognition and quality association that you achieve if you were to brand-associate the building, eg: “THE FOUR SEASON’s Pretty Condominium”.  That association INSTANTLY messages to the consumer years worth of advertising and personal experience no brand can ever hope to achieve without massive investments in money and time.


Imagine the value of the COMPASS brand when 20,000-plus in the COMPASS family are messaging that brand name multiple times per day, if not by the hour. Here are some examples:

* If every Compass agent sends out one social media post per day with the name COMPASS attached to it…..that’s over 7 million posts per year. If each social media post is exposed to on average 500 people, that’s 3.5 BILLION impressions.

* Imagine if every COMPASS family member sends 25 emails per day (I’m being kind!) with the COMPASS brand name attached….that’s close to 200 million impressions per year: that’s pessimistic knowing how much we email.

* Now add in T-shirts, print and digital advertising, billboards, mugs, video, public relations e, 6-million-plus website visits per month, yard signs, office signage, ticker-tape appearances, Robert’s book (coming out this week), etc…..you get the picture.


The COMPASS brand is now delivering MILLIONS of impressions ….daily. And Consistently. While all of this is very impressive, you may be asking the obvious question: “What’s in it for me?” As agents and teams, we are all our own individual brand and that is empowering and extremely valuable. Creating your own unique and differentiating identity is great. Attaching that identity to the COMPASS brand multiplies its effectiveness dramatically. It is a brand association/endorsement that speaks of invaluable marketing aspects – INSTANTLY – that is impossible to replicate.


BRAVO to our multiple teams of creative and marketing geniuses around the country who consistently and brilliantly build and nurture the COMPASS brand and maintain its high-quality standards every single day. THANK YOU!

Looking to Move-Up to a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

by The KCM Crew

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If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer, or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

In a recent Washington post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs, and are looking to step into a luxury home… Now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.

Coldwell Banker Closes Three Landmark Properties in the Desert

by President Jamie Duran, Orange County, San Diego, and Desert Companies

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We want to Thank President Jamie Duran of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for this Presidents Message!  And we were honored to have been the ones that handled the Sells of these hallmark properties that were features in numerous books and received several architectural awards for its “timeless architecture.”  As quoted by us :These are stunning estates with rich history, remarkable design, and incredible vistas.  The transactions fell into place beautifully and we were fortunate to be involved with the sales”

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346 Tamarisk Rd – Zanuck Estate – Sold /$4.9M

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64725 Acanto Drive – Pond Estate – Sold /$7.5M

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2212 Southridge Dr – Boat House – Sold /$1.75M

We Cat Moe & John Nelson of Nelson-Moe Properties Coldwell Banker Presidents Premier Properties would also be HONOREDif given the chance to SELL your “Timeless  Architecture” Estate as well!  Contact us TODAY!

SOLD!! $7,700,000 Elrod/James Bond House SOLD!!

We were very HONORED to have been the ones that listed this Iconic architectural property in the desert of Palm Springs!

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Earlier this year after four years of working with Lloyds Bank of London, we announced the listings of the iconic architectural properties at Southridge. Today as an update we are proud to announce the successful closing of escrow of the famous Lautner/James Bond House. This sale marks a historic bench mark as the highest sale in Palm Springs history – a sign of a healthy direction in our Real Estate market as Palm Springs continues to attract the next generation of successful investors from outside the area. We are honored to have another very happy client and appreciate the opportunity given to us. Known as the Elrod House this monumental, world famous residential sculpture was designed by 1968. Organic shapes, monumental construction and world class design create an extraordinary experience of space that Lautner himself described as “timeless” architecture. The 60′ wide circular living room has a conical dome that fans out in nine petals between nine clerestories angled up to bring in light. Retractable curved glass walls open the entire living room and pool terrace to panoramic views of Mt San Jacinto, Mt San Gorgonio and the full sweep of the valley below and mountain ranges beyond. The very rock of the ridge is incorporated into the design throughout the home. A very rare opportunity to acquire an inspiring example of architectural perfection. SOLD!!!

This $2 Million Home Was Built to Look Like a Ship

But surprisingly, it’s located in the desert of Palm Springs

Text by Jennifer Tzeses  Posted July 8, 2016
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The “ship” is situated next to a road and surrounded by palm trees.Photo: Courtesy of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers

Part irony, part wishful thinking, this Palm Springs, California, home, aptly named Boat House for its shiplike exterior, happens to be located in the heart of the desert. Built in 1992 by architect Michael P. Johnson for race-car driver Jim Jeffords, the property is located on the side of a hill in the gated community of Southridge. Inside the towering glass walls, the interiors feature 14-foot ceilings. Vistas of the arid landscape and valley take center stage in the living room at the bow of the “ship.” There’s also an open-plan kitchen with sliding privacy screens, a dining area, and three en suite bedrooms, including the master suite, which features a skylight and fireplace and overlooks the living room. Outside, there’s an infinity pool and large sun deck, both with beautiful views. Listed for $2 million, this 3,905-square-foot home has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. Contact: Coldwell Banker, 760-325-4500; coldwellbankerhomes.com

Walls of glass and wood beams surround the living room.

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Photo: Courtesy of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers

A skylight crowns the master suite.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers

The pool area offers amazing views.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers

Thank you Jennifer Tzeses with Architectural digest for including our “Boat House” listing as one of your recent articles you can also see it here: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/ship-home-palm-springs

Palm Springs’s Iconic Elrod House, a John Lautner Gem, Asks $8M

Famous for appearing in Diamonds are Forever, the concrete masterpiece returns to the market


by Patrick Sisson

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A famous modernist home in Palm Springs designed by John Lautner, known by many for its brief appearance in a Bond film, has recently been re-listed, quickly drawing attention and offers. The one-of-a-kind dwelling, which hasn’t been open to the public for years, returns to the market after a lengthy legal battle and is asking $8M, according to The Desert Sun.

Real estate investor Michael Kilroy purchased the Elrod Home, as well as two other properties (the Steve McQueen House and Boat House), for $11 million.  Years later, Kilroy fell on hard times and in 2012, UK-based lender Lloyds Bank sued Kilroy, claiming he had stopped payment and owed $1.8 million. In addition, the nearby Southbridge Property Owners Association also sued, claiming Kilroy owed $150,000 in fees.

Last April, Kilroy filed a petition for bankruptcy, and the creditors agreed he had until the end of 2016 to sell. Last week, local broker Nelson Moe Properties listed the home.

Designed for a noted interior designer and considered a key example of Lautner’s exemplary means of blending architecture and nature, the Elrod House is one of the most famous Modernist homes in Palm Springs. Highlights of the home’s layout include a circular concrete canopy framed by glass windows and a projecting pool deck that seems to float above the landscape.

This isn’t the only John Lautner-designed home to be in the news this year. In February, it was announced that his famous, dramatically slanted Sheats-Goldstein Residence, which made a cameo in The Big Lewbowski, was donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

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2175 Southridge Drive, Palm Springs, California [Nelson Moe Properties]

Iconic John Lautner ’60s House Will Be Donated To L.A. Museum [Curbed]

John Lautner’s Elrod House in Palm Springs Wants $10.5M [Curbed]

John Lautner Houses in the Movies: James Bond to Big Lebowski [Curbed]

Thank you Patirck Sisson with L.A. Curbed http://www.curbed.com/authors/patrick-sisson for including our iconic famous high end real estate home as one of your articles!

Stock market swoon stalls luxury home sales

Article by Diana Olick

Rampant volatility in the U.S. stock market is showing up in the high-end housing market. But as with all things real estate, the impact depends entirely on location.

2016 started with a severe stock swoon, and that had an outsized impact on homebuyers with a higher net worth. Historically, high-end housing suffers most in a market downturn.

“As you go up the income quintile, into the top 10 percent, 5 percent, 1 percent by income, their stock exposure increases,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at CoreLogic. “For the typical family, the bulk of their equity is tied up in home equity not stock equity. It’s the reverse for high income.”

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Source: Sam Khater/CoreLogic

Khater compared the share of million-dollar home sales to the S&P 500 and found a distinct correlation. While the share of $1 million or more homes is very small, just 1.2 percent of all home sales historically, it can move dramatically depending on stock market gains or losses. From the worst of the financial crisis in 2008 to the peak of the equity markets in May 2015, the share of million dollar and more home sales nearly doubled, according to Khater.

Read More Homeowners and the Super Tuesday vote

“Since its peak in May 2015, the S&P index declined 10 percent as of mid-February. This decline in the S&P index was matched by a 30 basis point or 15 percent decline in the $1 million or more share,” Khater said.

The correlation, however, is far more acute in certain locations.

In New York City and San Francisco, where the local economies are tied most to financial markets, sales of high-end homes have weakened, and supply is rising. That jump in inventory will likely affect prices down the road, as supply outstrips demand. Nationally there was a 9.3-month supply of homes listed at $1 million or above in December 2014, but that increased to 13 months by December 2015, according to CoreLogic.

“With more than a year’s supply of inventory, prices, for the most part, won’t be increasing,” Khater said.

Read More House flipping: Deja vu all over again

In Washington, D.C., however, the stock effect is far more muted. Government, and the high-priced lawyers and lobbyists that surround it, are a steady denominator.

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“Demand is higher, even though the stock market has gotten in the way and the snowstorm has gotten in the way, but demand is there, people are feeling very good about the economy,” said Nancy Taylor Bubes, a 30-year veteran of high-end D.C. real estate and currently an agent with Washington Fine Properties.

She was standing in a $5.75 million listing that received a solid offer in just 10 days. Taylor Bubes, who specializes in the area’s high-end neighborhoods, says she has sold six million-dollar-plus listings year to date, three times what she did last year. Her buyers, mostly domestic and local, are not swayed by Wall Street.

“I actually think the stock market is good for my business. I think people are going to really think about divesting a little bit and putting it into something they would really enjoy,” Taylor Bubes said.

In southwest Florida, however, where real estate is primarily driven by wealthy retirees from the Northeast and Midwest, the story is very different. Sales have slowed dramatically.

“The stock market volatility has definitely impacted the luxury homebuyer in Florida, particularly in Naples and Sarasota,” said Kristine Smale, a senior consultant with John Burns Real Estate Consulting who is based in Florida. “Seasonal traffic is still strong, but would-be buyers are slow to commit this year due to the significant hits to their portfolios. Builders are disappointed, and some are increasing incentives to generate sales,”

Read MoreYours for $44M: Margaret Thatcher’s London home

The direction of the luxury real estate market now depends entirely on both the trajectory of the stock market and on inventory levels. Supply of less-expensive homes is extremely tight, and homebuilders are leery of building to that market, as it is harder to meet margins at lower price points. Early last year, before the stock market began its fall, the CEO of Pulte Group, Richard Dugas, said the company would focus more on high-end product, because that is where the demand is.

If the stock market settles, the spring housing market could see a resurgence on the high end. If not, supply will surely increase, and prices will chill.

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2015 Survey Exclusive: Wealth, Real Estate & the High-Net-Worth Investor

 

Article by Real Estate News

Rising home prices? C’est la vie, say a majority of today’s high-net-worth (HNW) individuals. According to new research Coldwell Banker Previews International®/NRT commissioned from Ipsos MediaCT, 54% of HNW individuals say they plan to make a real estate investment this year, up from 48% in 2014. The report surveyed the wealthiest 1.5% of the U.S. population with an average net worth of $8.5 million, and their outlook on real estate was generally positive.

An overwhelming majority — 94% — expect their property to grow, on average, 16% in value over the next five years. However, appreciation is not their primary motivator for wanting to buy. Those considering a purchase are twice as likely to be looking for a residence for personal use, as opposed to purely for investment/rental purposes. Still, 40% of respondents cited investment attractiveness as a reason to be in the real estate market.

“Property has been a mainstay of high-net-worth investor portfolios for decades, but what is notable now is that so many those investors continue to be bullish about real estate, even in the face of rising real estate prices in many U.S. cities,” says Ginette Wright, vice president of marketing for Previews®/NRT. “Financial market uncertainty and other recent global economic factors, such as a potential slowdown in China, all seem to have contributed to their view of real estate as a safe haven.”

Young, Free and Willing to Pay a Premium

Even younger affluent generations are taking an interest in real estate. The survey found that 69% of HNW millennials (those under age 35) say they plan to purchase a new property in the coming year — running contrary to the myth that millennials are reluctant to enter the housing market. Compare that to 50% of Gen Xers (ages 35-49) and 17% of baby boomers (50 and older), who expect to purchase new property in the coming year. Millennials are also leading the movement toward embracing a “live anywhere” lifestyle, a trend spotted in last year’s survey.

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In addition to being more inclined to invest in real estate, younger wealthy consumers are also purchasing homes at substantially higher prices than baby boomers. Gen Xers paid an average of $5.24 million for their last home, and millennials spent $4.96 million. Baby boomers, who tend to be in downsizing mode, reported an average closing price of $1.55 million on their last home purchase.

Most Wanted: Tech and Green Features

What features and amenities do HNW individuals most desire? A home that’s move-in ready was at the top of their list, followed by modern appliances and technology, as well as the latest in “green” features. A growing share of HNW individuals say that a fully automated and wired home environment and a LEED-certified green home are becoming more important.