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September Unique Property of the Month

Versailles Replica of Louis The XIV's Palace Being Built in Florida for $100,000,000 Sale Price

6121 Kirkstone Ln, Windermere, FL 34786-For Sale-$100,000,000-Monthly Payment-$539,595

Bedrooms:  13 Bathrooms:  23 Sqft:  66,800  Lot Size: 10 Acres

Click Here for Pictures
Description

VERSAILLES IS THE LARGEST MODERN DAY PALACE UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN AMERICA. 90,000SF UNDER ONE ROOF,SITUATED ON 10+ ACRE PENISULA WITH 1250FT OF PRISTINE SHORELINE ON LAKE BUTLER OF THE FAMED BUTLER CHAIN OF LAKES.13 BEDRM, 23 BA, 20 CAR GARAGE and 3 POOLS.$100MM FINISHED TO BUYERS SPECIFICATIONS. $75MM "AS IS". THE HOUSE DESIGN IS BASED ON THE ROYAL RESIDENCE OF LOUIS XIV OF 17TH CENTURY. THE RESIDENCE IS 200x200 AND 67FT TALL. UNPARALLELED FEATURES INCLUDE LARGE BOATHOUSE, FORMAL GARDENS, 1 STORY GATEHOUSE WITH APT. BASEBALL FIELD, 2 TENNIS COURTS,60x120 GRAND HALL WITH 30FT STAINED GLASS DOME,2 GRAND STAIRCASES, 37X30 KITCHEN, 10 SATELLITE KITCHENS, 2 STORY WINE CELLAR, ROCK GROTTO WITH 3 SEPARATE SPAS BEHIND 80FT WATERFALL, FITNESS CENTER WITH SPA FACILITIES, TWO LANE BOWLING ALLEY, INDOOR ROLLER RINK, VIDEO ARCADE, 1/2 ACRE MAIN POOL DECK, CHILDREN'S WING W/ FAMILY RM, THEATER, ACTIVITY RM and COMPUTER RM, ADULT MOVIE THEATER W/BALCONY, 4 FIREPLACES, FORMAL DINING RM SEATS 30, EVERY FULL BATH HAS FULL SIZE JACUZZI. 160 TRIPLED PANED WINDOWS AND BRAZILIAN MAHOGANY FRENCH DOORS COST $4MM ALONE.HIS and HER OFFICE WITH 12FT TWO SIDED AQUARIUM. TRULY ONE OF A KIND PALATIAL HOME RESORT.

America's Best Housing Markets For Investors-Why some cities, like Austin and Raleigh, look like great buys right now.  Francesca Levy, 09.10.10, 07:30 PM EDT Forbes Magazine

Home buyers and sellers can take heart: Companies of all stripes are investing in real estate again. While the actions of big Wall Street funds and global corporations might seem to matter little to families choosing cities and towns in which to live, consumers can learn a lot by following which investing markets heavy hitters are focusing on--and which ones they're avoiding.

The housing health of a city is affected by a lot of factors including the jobs picture and the rate of vacancies and foreclosures. But some cities where
home prices have been battered look like great buys for investors, a good sign that in spite of deep declines, they might turn around dramatically.

Two years ago the idea of putting money behind real estate ventures seemed too risky for even the most reckless of capitalists. But investor skittishness about the real estate market is slipping away, and speculators are seeing value in distressed markets.

But in a housing market this volatile, it can be hard to tell when low sales prices on property indicate a market that has bottomed or one with little hope of a turnaround any time soon. We asked Cary, N.C.-based Local Market Monitor (LMM), a real estate research firm, to identify the markets that were the best bet for residential real estate investing.

Raleigh, N.C.; McAllen, Texas; and Austin led the list. These cities didn't see the same dramatic run-ups in prices as many Sand State cities did between 2001 and 2006. As a result, they were spared a corresponding bust. They are also buoyed by a mix of jobs that's weighted toward growth industries like government and education.

"Markets with a high percentage of jobs in those categories tend to be more or less stable markets," says LMM president Ingo Wizner. "Then there are the categories you want to stay away from, like construction and finance."

LMM wasn't looking for markets that had come back--this list identified where they think the housing market will come back, with the greatest chance for price appreciation.

"We're not trying to predict which markets will all of a sudden have double-digit growth in home prices again," says Wizner. "We won't know that until the economy starts recovering again."

But investors aren't just looking at the jobs picture, and neither should families seeking promising cities in which to live. One of the characteristics of a city poised for a comeback is a population that was booming before tough economic times made relocating difficult for most Americans. Raleigh saw its population expand by 18% in the first half of the last decade, and McAllen and Austin each had 16% population growth during those five years.

That's the story for other cities on the list, like Nashville, Tenn. It had a 10% population surge. San Antonio, Texas; Colorado Springs, Co.; and Albuquerque, N.M., all on the list, grew by 9% each before the downturn hit.

"These are markets that in the past year have had sharp turndowns but we think they have longer-term potential," says Wizner. "Markets with longer-term prospects in general have had above-average population growth between 2000 and 2005."

At the other end of the spectrum, Lakeland, Fla.; Reno, Nev.; and Orlando are the absolute worst real estate markets into which you could put your money, with LMM calling them "frankly dangerous." Home prices in these metros have dropped to dramatic lows--in Lakeland, they fell 18% between the second quarters of 2009 and 2010. Worse yet, they are forecast to continue declining.

To select the best markets for investing, LMM analyzed the 145 Metropolitan Statistical Areas with populations over 400,000 on a variety of factors, including historic population growth, job growth, housing price changes and the mix of jobs in an area, using data through Sept. 1. The investing sweet spot is a market where strong job growth is predicted over the next three years, the population was expanding rapidly before the recession began and home prices are at or near their bottom.

Although much of the housing crisis fallout has already occurred, investing in residential real estate is still dicey, and valuations are trickier than ever. Wizner says that's exactly why real estate is becoming exciting again.

"You tend to get the best bargains in the market when nobody knows where price ought to be," he says. "The question is no longer which are the risky markets. Now that that adjustment has taken place, it's what's going to happen from here on in."

1.  Metropolitan Statistical Area: Raleigh-Cary, N.C.

Q2 2010 Home Price Change: -3%

Three- year home price forecast: 0%

Population Growth, 2000-2005: 18%

2. Metropolitan Statistical Area: McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas

Q2 2010 Home Price Change: 1%

Three- year home price forecast: 7%

Population Growth, 2000-2005: 16%

3.  Metropolitan Statistical Area: Austin-Round Rock, Texas

Q2 2010 Home Price Change: -1%

Three- year home price forecast: 5%

Population Growth, 2000-2005: 16%

4.  Metropolitan Statistical Area: Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn. (MSA)

Q2 2010 Home Price Change: -4%

Three- year home price forecast: 3%

Population Growth, 2000-2005: 10%

5.  Metropolitan Statistical Area: San Antonio, Texas

Q2 2010 Home Price Change: -4%

Three- year home price forecast: 2%

Population Growth, 2000-2005: 9%

6.  Metropolitan Statistical Area: Colorado Springs, Colo.

Q2 2010 Home Price Change: -3%

Three- year home price forecast: 0%

Population Growth, 2000-2005: 9%

7.  Metropolitan Statistical Area: Albuquerque, N.M.

Q2 2010 Home Price Change: -3%

Three- year home price forecast: 1%

Population Growth, 2000-2005: 9%

8.  Metropolitan Statistical Area: Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colo.

Q2 2010 Home Price Change: -3%

Three- year home price forecast: 2%

Population Growth, 2000-2005: 9%

9.  Metropolitan Statistical Area: Springfield, Mo.

Q2 2010 Home Price Change: -3%

Three- year home price forecast: 1%

Population Growth, 2000-2005: 8%

10.  Metropolitan Statistical Area: Indianapolis-Carmel, In.

Q2 2010 Home Price Change: -2%

Three- year home price forecast: 2%

Population Growth, 2000-2005: 7%

September 2010 Top 10 Reasons to Buy

10 Reasons to Buy a Home
Time magazine is being overly pessimistic in its recent cover piece that called into question the benefits of homeownership. In fact, now is a great time to buy. And, what's more, tomorrow will be a great time to own, because the fundamental strength of homeownership hasn't changed.

Why is now a great time to buy? Here are 10 reasons:

1. You can get a good deal. Prices are down 30 percent on average. They're at a level that makes sense for people's income.
2. Mortgages are cheap. At 4.3 percent on average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, your costs to own are down by a fifth from two years ago.
3. You can save on taxes. When you add up the deductions for mortgage interest and others, the cost of owning can drop below renting for a comparable place.
4. It'll be yours. The one benefit to owning that never changes is that you can paint your walls orange if you want (generally speaking; there might be some community restrictions). How many landlords will let you do that?
5. You can get a better home. In some markets, it's simply the case that the nicest places are for-sale homes and condos.
6. It offers some inflation protection. Historically, appreciation over time outpaces inflation.
7. It's risk capital. If the economy picks up, you stand to benefit from that, even if you're goal is just to have a nice place to live.
8. It's forced savings. A part of your payment each month goes to equity.
9. There is a lot to choose from. There are some 4 million homes available today, about a year's supply. Now's the time to find something you like and get it.
10. Sooner or later the market will clear. The U.S. is expected to grow by another 100 million people in 40 years. They have to live somewhere. Demand will eventually outpace supply.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Brett Arends (9/16/10)
 
Fall Cleaning-Tips for Getting Your
House Ready for Winter

Fall cleanup

Any deep cleaning you didn't get to this spring should probably be done this fall, said Chris Miller of Household Help Inc.

She suggests doing tasks such as:

  • Turning over your mattress and washing all of your bedding, including comforters and blankets.
  • Getting your carpets professionally cleaned. Think of all the sand and grass clippings that have been walked in on your flip-flops this summer.
  • Cleaning your windows, inside and out, including in between the sills. Miller said many new windows have UV filters and aren't supposed to be cleaned with glass cleaners. Instead, she suggests buying some microfiber towels. She gets them at the dollar store. "Take a microfiber cloth and get it damp with warm water," Miller said. "Wipe the window, then use a dry microfiber cloth to dry it. That's the way I clean all my windows.

Other deep-cleaning ideas for the fall from the Web site organizedhome.com include:

  • Cleaning your house from top to bottom, focusing on public rooms such as the living room, family room, entryway and guest bath.
  • Get out the vacuum. Vacuum the drapes, window treatments, baseboards and in the corners. Move furniture and vacuum beneath and behind it. Vacuum upholstered furniture, or have professionally cleaned if needed. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall, and vacuum the condenser coils. For bottom-mounted coils, use a long, narrow brush to clean coils of dust and debris.

Other home maintenance tasks for the fall include:

  • Examining your chimney for any damage, Kruchko suggests.
  • Covering up your air conditioning unit to protect it from ice and snow.
  • Putting away summer equipment, such as outdoor tables and chairs, umbrellas, grills and children's toys.
  • Touching up paint on and decks, trim and railings, says organizedhome.com. Use a wire brush to remove flaking paint; prime bare wood first.
  • Draining and storing garden hoses, the site recommends. Install insulating covers on exterior spigots and have sprinkler systems blown free of water.
  • Inspecting washing machine hoses for bulges, cracks or splits. Replace them every other year.
  • Checking the dryer exhaust tube and vent for built-up lint, debris or birds' nests. Make sure the exterior vent door closes tightly when not in use.

Other energy saving maintenance ideas for the fall include:

  • Installing ceiling fans, which Kruchko said might sound like a strange autumn task. However, he said with the fan blades tipped to push warm air down, homeowners can help save on heating bills and make themselves more comfortable.
  • Using a hot water heater blanket.
  • Insulating and wrapping pipes.
  • Checking the attic insulation and adding more if necessary.
  • Replacing windows, which, if you can afford it now, can really help save with energy costs, Kruchko said.
  • Have an energy audit done, which will tell you where heat is escaping your home and costing you money.

August Unique Property of the Month

Dunafon Castle - In Denver Foothills

Courtesy of:  www.dunafoncastle.com

The Dunafon Castle is 15 miles west of Denver is beautiful Bear Creek Canyon. Located six miles west of Morrison CO, off Mountain Parks Road (Hwy 74), it is four miles east of Evergreen, CO, and midway between Idledale and Kittridge.

The Castle, completed in 1941, is built ion a peninsula which present a breathtaking view of the crystal-clear waters of Bear Creek.

This stunning seventeen-acre setting has 1500 feet of private trout ponds and is surrounded by an open space park with a walking, hiking, and mountain bike trails that form a part of the Jefferson County Open Space Complex.

The new owners immediately developed a restoration plan based on existing blueprints, photographs, personal interviews with surviving members of the Wright and Barnes families, as well as recommendations from professionals and artisans with knowledge of that period.

Restoring an aged, complex structure, in disrepair, is a daunting task. So, the first order of the day was a work forced! Step 13, a drug and alcohol rehab program, was utilized exclusively as the source. On a daily basis, as many as twenty men from this group were on site restoring the castle to the condition described by the designer and builder, Mr. Wright.

Presently the Castle is occupied by a full time caretaker, and is occasionally used for charity events. Proceeds from these benefits are used to support the continuing success of Step 13, Central City's Opera Program for youngsters, and the YMCA.

The aforementioned ponds have been restocked, and a plan is being developed to feature fly fishing programs for young people in conjunction with the Colorado Fish & Game Department, local fly fishing organizations, and by a generous donation of fly fishing equipment from Eagle Claw.

The Castle is comprised of two upper roof tops, overlooking the large trout ponds and spectacular views of the property, which are ideal for cocktail parties, dances, or an elegant dinner. Directly below are the Carriage Hall, Lower Carriage Hall, and Celtic Room. Both the Carriage Hall and Celtic Room boasts massive stone fireplaces, stunning old-world, faux wall paintings and a panoramic view of the castle's stately grounds.

Colorado 1 of 3 Best States to Conduct Business Nationwide

Courtesy of CNBC, July 2010

Texas reclaims the top spot from last year’s winner, Virginia, which slips to No. 2. Texas was last on top in 2008, and Virginia took the crown in the inaugural year of our study, 2007. That leaves Texas and Virginia dead even in the battle for bragging rights at two wins apiece.

Rounding out the top five are No. 3 Colorado, No. 4  North Carolina, and No. 5 Massachusetts, which makes its first appearance among America’s Top States for Business.

The Best Investors Buy During The Most Pessimistic Time

Mortgage Market Update August, 2010

Remember, the best investors buy during the most pessimistic time. To highlight this, and to give a better perspective and some hope towards the future, something that was pointed out by Dennis Gartman, a well respected market analyst. Back in 1992, an article in Time Magazine included this passage:

"The US economy remains almost comatose. The slump already ranks as the longest period of sustained weakness since the Depression. The economy is staggering under many “structural” burdens, as opposed to familiar “cyclical” problems. The structural faults represent once-in-a-lifetime dislocations that will take years to work out. Among them: the job drought; the debt hangover; the banking collapse; the real estate depression; the health care cost explosion and the runaway federal deficit."

It's amazing how eerily similar the picture from 1992 compares to today. We all know that the period following 1992 included terrific growth and opportunities in the economy, stock market and housing. If history repeats itself, which it often does, this could point to much better days in the future with opportunities in the present.

The Home of the Future, Bye-bye, fix-and-flip

Denver Post, July 2010

According to the 2009 American Housing Survey, the median age of an American home is 36 years. That means half of all U.S. homes are older. When I asked Irving what homeowners could do to turn their houses into homes of the future, he gave me a sneak preview of what's appearing on the market, and on upcoming episodes of “This New House,” which premieres Thursday.  

   The new real wood. Years ago I made a tough choice between installing a real redwood deck and one made of synthetic wood. I was torn: Real wood would look, well, real, but would cost more, require maintenance, and could fade, warp and splinter. Imitation wood would never fade, never need staining and cost less. I chose the imitation. Today, a whole array of real wood products nontoxically treated to never need paint or stain offers the benefits of both, which bodes well for outdoor improvements. (See one at  accoya.com  .)  

   Energy-leak sleuthing. Homes of the future will increasingly embrace energy conservation. To get yours on track, start with a whole-house energy audit. Find a company that uses both a thermal-imaging infrared camera and a blower-gun test to detect your home’s energy leaks. You don’t have to patch them all at once, but knowing your home’s weaknesses is a good first step.  

   House as thermos. The Passive House, which originated in Europe, is so well sealed and insulated that it uses 90 percent less energy than the average home and gives the rest of us something to strive for (passivehouse.us). You can approach its efficiency by packing walls with unbelievable amounts of insulation, having supertight windows and sealing all holes “until you build yourself a thermos,” says Irving. Ultimately, body heat and appliances heat your home. Cellulose is still a good insulator, but watch for aerogel products, which feel like liquid smoke and offer better insulation per inch than anything on the market.  

   See-through drains. In the why-didn’t-Ithink-of-this category comes a clear p-trap. You know that u-turn piece in your drain that always gets clogged? This clear one lets you see exactly what and where the holdup is, and lets you watch what you’re doing as you fish out your wedding ring with a coat hanger. An internal wiper cleans the interior. What’s not to love? (pfwater  works.net  )  

   Not your grandpa’s rain barrel. New systems are catching rainwater better. The Rainwater Hog (aqua  barrel.com  ) uses a modular collector that fits between deck joists or strings together on a wall, and lets you reuse rainwater for irrigation. In even more evolved homes, filtration systems purify water for cooking, drinking and bathing. “I think we’ll see the day when collection systems are so efficient that rainwater will take care of 100 percent of our homes’ water needs,” Irving said.

July Unique Property of the Month

The White House

Highlights and Description

  • 5 bedrooms
  • 9 full bathrooms
  • 4 half bathrooms
  • Colonial style construction
  • 3 stories
  • Built in 1792
  • Lot size is 18 acres
  • Views of park and neighborhood
  • Forced Air heating system
  • Central AC cooling system
  • City provided sewer/wastewater
  • Has 28 fireplaces
  • 6-car Garage (detached)
  • Professionally landscaped
  • Swimming pool
  • Has a workshop
  • Has a basement
  • High efficiency appliances
  • In the Foggy Bottom neighborhood
  • Part of the School of Public Opinion school district
  • $175,000 estimated taxes (yearly)
  • Average utilities: $4,500.00
  • Home Inspection available.

Prestige and curb appeal define this classical live / work home in the center of our nation's capital.

First built in 1792, this home has been extensively remodeled many times: after a fire in 1812, with new plumbing in 1912, new balconies in 1948 and an historic makeover in 1961.

With all the latest in security features as well as convenience. Hold full briefings for the press indoors or outside in a lovely rose garden. Need some privacy? Nap time has never been so secure as in your own private war room.

43 different residents over the years ( some longer than others ) each leaving a distinctive mark and some lovely furniture. Great for a young family - play football on the lawn or hold a wedding in the state dining room.

Walking distance to the office. Comes fully furnished with added amenities including limo fleet, helicopter, private jet and intense pubic interest.

Not for sale in a strict sense but available for the right person every 4 years with the proper combination of credit, charisma and drive. Special consideration given to applicants with an electoral college rating of 270 or better.  Courtesy of Owners.com

Interest Rates Hit 50-Year Low

www.fool.com

By Selena Maranjian



/Photos/120x/20743.jpg Steve@CallColoradoHome.com
Home Smart Cherry Creek
Office: Steve Hughes
Direct: 720.317.7604
Cell: 720.317.7604
Fax: 303.317.8847
8300 E Maplewood Ave
Suite 100
Denver, CO 80111
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