While a few U.S. Olympians in Sochi, Russia, are celebrating bringing home the gold, their real estate families back at home are making room on the mantle for their prestigious awards.
That seems to be a familiar storyline in Park City, Utah, where a number of members of the Park City Board of REALTORS® are watching as their sons, daughters, and brothers compete in the Winter Olympics. They’ve got a lot to be proud of: Two Olympians with real estate families in Park City have taken the top honor for their events, while a third isn’t coming home with a medal — but she landed in the history books.
Barry Van, GRI, AFR, BPOR
Keller Williams Park City Real Estate
Daughter: Lindsey Van
Lindsey’s Olympic results: Ranked 15th, Ski Jumping Women’s Normal Hill
Lindsey Van might not have had the greatest showing at her event on Feb. 11, but she can still claim victory. This was the first year ever that ski jumping — traditionally a male sport — was open to female competitors at the Olympics. And Lindsey was one of the trailblazers who helped to break the barrier. Continue reading »
We thought we’d seen it all when we caught wind of a peculiar marketing tactic to let potential home buyers spend the night in a house before making an offer. But, of course, things can always go a step further.
At luxury communities in Park City, Utah, a sleepover isn’t going to cut it. Instead, house hunters can vacation there before deciding whether to buy a property.
Resorts West, a company that manages high-end, ski-in/ski-out winter vacation-home enclaves, has a program that allows potential buyers to shack up for a minimum of three to seven nights in one of its exclusive properties before agreeing to purchase. Resorts West has a range of homes for sale, starting with a $1,089,000 two-bedroom condo and sliding up the slope to a $16 million eight-bedroom juggernaut with a stadium-seat theater and slope-side hot tub.
Rates to stay in these homes start at $677 a night for the condo and go up to $12,000 a night for its priciest property, known as Red Cloud Estate. Oh, and that includes the full suite of Resorts West services: daily housekeeping, complimentary shuttle service, and a private concierge. Tracie Heffernan, Resorts West’s communications director, says buyers can negotiate longer stays — a month or more — at higher rates.
“These properties are ski vacation homes that owners use a few times a year and otherwise rent to other vacationers,” Heffernan says. “Sellers do not have to commit to a certain time away [to allow buyers an opportunity to stay], but these properties are not full-time residences.”
Resorts West is also a rental company, and some of their clients are high-net-worth home owners who choose to keep their homes in the company’s rental database when they are away during the off season.
“We manage a small, hand-selected inventory of individually owned luxury properties, and renting these homes to skiers is our primary business,” Heffernan says. “Because we offer higher levels of service and set higher rates than other property managers in town, we do not have the high-occupancy mindset of some property managers. And since we target guests who are also often interested in real estate, owners see the value in keeping their homes in our rental inventory. We particularly find value in attracting a potential buyer who also sees the advantages of keeping a home in the rental inventory. We work with many homeowners whose properties are not on the market.”
In a statement, Resorts West points to recent data from the Park City Board of REALTORS®, which shows strong growth in housing demand in the area, as a sign that “vacation-to-rent” marketing can be successful. According to PCBR, total home sales in Park City in 2013 were up 22 percent from the previous year, and sales were up year-over-year for every month.
Resorts West Broker Jeff Spencer, a past president of PCBR, says that letting potential buyers experience a vacation at a home they’re interested in gives them a unique perspective on how they would use the home if it were their own — and it helps both buyers and sellers with a transaction.
“It’s really a rare opportunity for buyers to get a feel for the home they want, and sellers have a chance to show off the nuances of a property in a way that you just can’t in a walk-through,” Spencer says. “How do you show off the view at sunset from the front deck? Oftentimes, a photo doesn’t do the experience justice.”
We spend a lot of time at the end of the year thinking about how we can make the next year so much better than this one. A lot of us gloss over what did make this year a success, focusing more on what fell short and what we need to improve on in the next 12 months. Why don’t we spend more time congratulating ourselves for what we did well this year and what made it a success? That’s exactly what we’d like to do.
We turned to our Facebook page recently and asked our loyal readers what their greatest accomplishments were in 2013. It turns out that there are a lot of things real estate professionals did this year that deserve congratulations! Below are some of the biggest accomplishments this year that our readers told us about. Take a moment to pat yourselves on the back for a job well done in 2013, and if you have an accomplishment you’d like to gloat about, tell us in the comments section of this post. Continue reading »
Sitting around a table at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco, the four women seem more like they’re at a sidewalk café trading war stories about life, love, and happiness than at a business conference. The first thing that comes to mind — clichés be damned! — is a scene from “Sex and the City” where the girls are at their favorite diner, giggling over the frivolities of each other’s sordid lives. Someone might be Carrie, someone might be Charlotte — probably no one would claim to be Samantha.
What brings these women together is their love and admiration for one another, and it’s fitting that here they sit at the same venue that launched their great four-way friendship: the convention. Continue reading »
It’s what happens between sessions at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo that makes the experience of NAR’s biggest annual event for many attendees. New friendships budding, business connections made, memories added to the bank. And one practitioner at the San Francisco convention this year logged one of the biggest memories of all: Getting married — legally, finally — to his spouse of nine years.
Brian Copeland, GRI, ABR, CRS, an agent at Village Real Estate Services in Nashville, Tenn., exchanged vows with Greg Bullard, a pastor, at San Francisco’s Fay Park near Lombard Street on Tuesday. And the REALTOR® community was there to rally around the couple and their 2-year-old son, Micah Copeland, to show their love and support. Continue reading »
Organized by volunteers, Real Estate Bar Camp is a completely unstructured day of sessions led by anyone who steps up — on any topic. Here’s how it works: REBarCamp attendees volunteer to lead a session on whatever topic is of interest to them and form roundtable discussions with other attendees. There are no individual presentations; a discussion group can pop up at any moment.
“We really build a conference on the fly,” explained REBarCamp founder Andy Kaufman, e-PRO®. The Berkeley, Calif.-based Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie real estate agent told meeting attendees at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco on Thursday that REBarCamp “is open source — you guys do it yourself.” Continue reading »
A false Facebook post is making the rounds claiming that if you don’t pay the penalty for not buying health insurance, the IRS can file a lien against your home.
The health care reform law requires individuals who don’t meet one of the law’s exemptions to buy an insurance plan that meets minimum requirements or face a penalty. The law set up online state insurance exchanges to simplify cost comparisons among plans and to make purchasing a plan easy. Open enrollment for these insurance plans on the online exchanges began Oct. 1 and runs through March 2014. We’ve outlined all your options in a separate blog post.
Those who choose to have no insurance at all by the open-enrollment deadline will be penalized $95 or 1 percent of their income (whichever is greater). That penalty will go up to $695 or 2.5 percent of income in 2016.
However, it is not true that the IRS can file a lien against your home for failing to pay the penalty.
Though the IRS does have authority to garnish wages and file liens to collect unpaid taxes, the Affordable Care Act explicitly prohibits it from using such measures to collect health-insurance penalties, according to Kaiser Health News, an independent nonprofit news organization dedicated to covering U.S. health policy.
Instead, the IRS will withhold the penalty from your tax return, Kaiser Health News reports. Read the KHN piece here.