Realtor News, Second Home and Home Office Trends

The latest news, trends, and gossip in the real estate industry.

Realtor News

Sales Down, Parties Up
Will Realtors be writing contracts while humming “Auld Lang Syne” this year? Depends on their creativity and party-giving skills, some say. From the condo sales offices to the penthouses, wining and dining other agents is an effective way to show off a property (and a sure sign of a slowdown). Eleanor Mowery Sheets was swamped with agents eager to tour her Plaza I Residences penthouse 706 this fall when lemon drop martinis were served and Barneys gift certificates were in a giveaway. She must be doing something right: Mowery Sheets has been Coldwell Banker’s top agent in the world for four years, having sold $165 million last year alone.

We can look forward to a lot of creative marketing if this market chugs out any more, appraiser D.W. Skelton says. His take: Anything higher than $1.5 million and anything lower than $500,000 is in slowdown gear. All the properties in-between are selling just fine.

As far as condos, never say never. “We don’t know how that market will fare,” Skelton says. He believes the baby boomers are leading the sales pack. This is the first generation of wealthy, hip, active retirees who won’t be tuning out quietly. It could be that some will stay in their McMansions forever, but some will grab a condo or head for the hills—or both.

“The condo market in Dallas is evolving and doing pretty well,” says Michael Puls of Foley and Puls Inc. Strategic Residential Market Research. Thirty-five percent of the condos sold in West Palm Beach, Puls says, were bought by telephone, sight unseen, for example. “The high-end home buyers’ market doesn’t follow the herd.”

photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker

Breckenridge, Colorado
211 Tarnwood Dr. $1,950,000

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Breckenridge offers the best of skiing, snowboarding, and for the daring, snowcap-skiing. This Colorado resort town is located about an hour from the Eagle County Airport, which offers daily hour-and-a-half flights from Dallas during the ski-worthy months. After a long day of hitting the slopes, warm up by one of four fireplaces in this five-bedroom, five-bath home. With 6,102 square feet, a media room, and a wine cellar, this home will beckon you off the ski lifts and into the Jacuzzi. Tony Carosa for Coldwell Banker. 970-390-4500.—SARAH LOUISE WINDHAM

An Office Off the Office

Home offices get messy. Papers, bills, mail, and all those cords and wires are everywhere. Maybe that’s why some builders are now creating an office off the office, out of sight and lockable, thereby saving the owner from those last-minute pickups before guests arrive.

photography by Getty

“We are making this custom in all our homes now,” builder Mickey Munir says. “We build counters on three sides and add extra ports and outlets for the equipment. When company comes, the door looks like a closet.”

Some builders are even creating offices behind hidden doors, adding safes and fireproof walls to preserve data. No word as to whether homeowners will need another office to better organize the other two, but we wouldn’t be surprised.

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