10 most lucrative places where older Americans can sell their homes, maximize profit and retire elsewhere

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Why Real Estate Agents Are Not Thrilled About Your White Kitchen Cabinets

OK, so real estate agents don’t passionately hate your white kitchen cabinets, but they sure do have some thoughts about them. For some, it’s just that they’re so tired of seeing them over and over again. For others, it’s the fact that the long-popular kitchen trend of all-white-everything is finally falling out of favor, making these types of kitchen spaces a harder sell. Five realtors dished about why they dread seeing white kitchen cabinets in a listing, and why you should probably dread seeing them too. They’re falling out of style. Yawar Charlie, director of the estates division at Aaron Kirman Group with Compass, says that people aren’t looking for neutral kitchens as much anymore. “Right now we are seeing a trend towards darker and bolder cabinets,” Charlie says, indicating that the previously sought-after neutral just doesn’t seem to appeal to people the way it once did. “Sometimes people can interpret white cabinets as being boring, or outdated,” he says. They create expectations that traditional wooden cabinets can’t meet. Not all realtors dislike classic bright white kitchen spaces. In fact, Michael Sadis, the founder of IN•HOUSE Real Estate Group, says he loves white cabinets because the classics never go out of style. “What I hate about them is [they’re] all buyers want.” Many buyers will simply write an otherwise perfect home off if they have natural or stained wood cabinets. Their upkeep can scare buyers away. White cabinets can scare buyers off because they can be a lot of upkeep, which might overwhelm some people (especially those with kids or pets, or kids and pets). “Depending on the white material utilized for the kitchen cabinet, white will discolor, show dirt, spills, and scratches,” says agent Karen Kostiw of Warburg Realty. If the maintenance doesn’t scare them away, the lack of a cozy, homey feel might. “To some buyers, an all-white kitchen looks too modern or commercial and lacks warmth,” she says. They don’t make a home stand out. Every kitchen Yashmin Lloyds, a licensed real estate salesperson with Compass, shows her clients these days is a “turnkey” model with white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and Carrara white marble countertops. “It’s so boring and unmemorable,” she says. Instead, she prefers homes that stick out in a buyer’s mind, like ones with unique design details, like high gloss lacquer colored cabinets or unexpected hardware. “Blue cabinets are getting more popular and so is sage, which is calming but not at all dull,” she says. They’re not what a buyer has in mind. Finally, the biggest reason a realtor has for hating your white kitchen cabinets: they aren’t what their client wants. “In my experience, the only people that dislike the white cabinets are the ones that have a super specific vision about how they want their kitchen to look,” explains Tom Meaney, a broker associate with Compass. https://www.thekitchn.com/why-real-estate-agents-dont-love-white-kitchen-cabinets-23512265

In Los Angeles, a European-Inspired Estate With Two Houses Asks $42 Million

Handbag designer Tyler Ellis is listing a newly renovated Los Angeles estate with two houses for $42 million. Ms. Ellis purchased the roughly 0.6-acre Brentwood Park property through a trust for $12.375 million in 2016, property records show. The designer and her husband, investor Benjamin Shriner, tapped the home’s original architect, William Hefner, and design firm the Archers to reimagine and renovate an existing house built around 2005 and add a second structure, according to marketing materials. The roughly 6,000-square-foot main residence and the newly built entertainment house overlook a garden, pool and bocce court, according to listing agents Aaron Kirman and Morgan Trent of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate. Ms. Ellis said in an email that after purchasing the home, she and her husband saw “incredible potential” to enhance it further. The couple added about 1,000 square feet to the main house, which has four bedrooms. In the primary suite, they created his-and-hers closets and baths and a “cozy” den, she said. There is also a chef’s kitchen with a La Cornue range and an office with floor-to-ceiling glass French doors. Ms. Ellis said the couple built the home for their family, including their young son and dogs, and intentionally separated the main house to keep it a “discrete family sanctuary” while using the other house for entertaining. The entertainment house is about 5,000 square feet with two bedrooms and a covered terrace, Ms. Ellis said. A hidden button opens a door to a marble staircase that leads to a lower level speakeasy, home theater and a roughly 6,500-bottle limestone wine cellar, according to the listing agents. “As a designer, it’s all about the details,” Ms. Ellis said. More: An Oceanfront Estate in San Diego to Hit the Market for $38 Million She said she and Mr. Shriner are selling because they are “actively looking for our next project to develop.” Ms. Ellis is a handbag designer who founded an eponymous line in 2011. She is the daughter of the late fashion designer Perry Ellis and TV writer and executive Barbara Gallagher. Mr. Kirman said luxury homes are trading in Brentwood Park, though there is very limited inventory because sellers are holding on to properties. “When we see a trophy house like this, we know there’s innate value because inventory is so few and far between,” he said. https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/in-los-angeles-a-european-inspired-estate-with-two-houses-asks-42-million-dac761fe

In Running Springs, Deluxe Horse Property Gallops Back Onto the Market

Almost two years after it first popped up for sale with a frisky $9.2 million price tag, this 4.5-acre equestrian spread in the San Bernardino County community of Running Springs is still waiting for a buyer to take the reins, this time at a reduced $8 million ask. Built in 2013 — and described in the listing as “one of the best equestrian estates in Southern California” — the place includes a five-bedroom main house decorated with custom hand-crafted wood finishes, separate amenity-packed guesthouse, and nine-horse barn/stable with a tack room and an arena — for a total of nine bedrooms and 14 baths in nearly 9,300 square feet of living space. Pair all of this with sprawling grassy grounds laced with freshwater streams and meandering trails — and it’s the ideal setting for the well-heeled horsey set to hang their hat. Why, there’s even a hot tub to relax in and fire-pit to toast some marshmallows at after those long rides! A lengthy gated driveway empties out at the main house, which is fronted by an attached three-car garage. An eye-catching entryway is flanked by a welcoming porch, and opens into rustic yet stylish interiors highlighted by a large sunken living room sporting walls of glass spilling out to an expansive terrace and a massive stone fireplace that stretches all the way up to the top of the soaring vaulted ceiling. A staircase tucked away in the corner leads to a loft, while a chandeliered dining room connects to an eat-in kitchen outfitted with a built-in buffet, central island and top-tier stainless appliances. Holding court upstairs is an inviting master retreat, which comes complete with a fireside seating area, private balcony, separate lounging nook, and luxe bath equipped with a copper-clad soaking tub and glass-encased shower; and elsewhere is a study and maid’s quarters with its own entrance. Back outside, another fork of the driveway flows to a two-story guesthouse with three ensuite bedrooms and a game room nestled alongside a cozy living area, plus a wet bar, music stage and covered patio warmed by a fire-pit. As for the aforementioned barn/stable, it also offers a gym and sauna, along with an office space, bedroom, bath and kitchenette to accommodate a live-in caretaker. The listing is held by Kyle Siwik, Aaron Kirman, Aleks Lipovic and Holland Ashrafnia of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate. https://www.dirt.com/gallery/more-dirt/real-estate-listings/equestrian-house-running-springs-california-1203622733/runningspringshouse_sb9/

Perry Ellis’s Daughter Seeks $42 Million for Chic Brentwood Park Chateau

Around six years ago, Tyler Ellis doled out $12.3 million for a fairly plain French-inspired residence in the western reaches of Los Angeles. Now the luxury handbag designer — the only offspring of legendary fashion designer Perry Ellis and screenwriter Barbara Gallagher — has flipped the stylishly redone chateau-style estate in a prime pocket of Brentwood back up for sale, asking nearly $30 million over what she paid for the place back in late 2016. Originally built in 2005, Ellis and her investor husband Benjamin Shriner implemented a full-scale customization of the premises during their tenure, working in collaboration with original architect William Hefner and longtime favored interior designers The Archers. Today, the property features an expanded main house and a tacked-on “entertainment” house — for a total of six bedrooms and 10 baths in 11,800 square feet of stylishly eclectic living space. “This is a rare and exquisite estate that perfectly blends classical and contemporary styles,” says Aaron Kirman, who is co-listing the property with Morgan Trent, both of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate. “From the moment you step into Bristol Château, you are transported to a tranquil and lush European oasis in the heart of Brentwood Park. The details and design put in by William Hefner and The Archers make for a one-of-a-kind residence that embodies timeless elegance and sophistication.” Nestled behind walls and gates, on over a half-acre parcel laced with towering cypress trees, the two-story main house is accessible via reeded-glass entry doors that open into a grand foyer displaying a feathered pink bear crafted by Italian artist Paola Pivi. Other highlights include a formal dining room topped by a custom-built Studio Molen chandelier, library sporting blue lacquered walls, and black-hued gourmet kitchen spotlighted by new subway tile and bronze hardware, plus a pricey La Cornue range. There’s also a sumptuous upstairs master retreat outfitted with a separate den, as well as dual walk-in closets and baths. As for the other house, that three-level space spans around 5,000 square feet and comes complete with an office, along with glitzy amenities like a speakeasy, movie theater and 6,500-bottle limestone wine cellar. A covered terrace blends seamlessly with the grassy backyard, which hosts a pool and spa, garden, bocce court, and additional spots for al fresco lounging and entertaining. According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the listing, Ellis and Shriner are selling because they’re actively looking for their next project to develop. https://www.dirt.com/gallery/moguls/fashion/tyler-ellis-house-brentwood-park-1203622540/tylerellishouse_bp21/

Christie’s affiliate owners: In a downturn, spend money (prudently)

In these times, double down — on your skills, on your knowledge, on you. Join us Aug. 8-10 at Inman Connect Las Vegas to lean into the shift and learn from the best. Get your ticket now for the best price. Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate owners heralded the school of thought that investing in business during a downturn can significantly pay off during the brokerage’s annual Owners’ Conference, which took place Monday and Tuesday at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. “When the market turns, take out your checkbook,” Karen Hubble Bisbee, third-generation owner of Hubble Bisbee Christie’s International Real Estate, said, quoting her grandfather’s advice. Other owners echoed this sentiment over the course of the two-day conference, which according to Christie’s drew about 120 broker-owners across four continents, 20 countries and territories and more than two dozen U.S. states to network and discuss the state of the industry. “We’re not afraid to spend significant dollars on things that will impact retention and growth,” said Reed Jackson, owner of a number of firms under the Ivester Jackson Christie’s International Real Estate brand in the Carolinas. “But we’re also going to exercise extreme fiscal discipline in this market. We’re going to scrutinize the $150 purchase. We’ve looked at every line on the P and L.” Ivester Jackson Christie’s International Real Estate was also the recipient of the Christie’s International Real Estate’s Affiliate of the Year award, which was announced on the second day of the conference. Aaron Kirman, who teamed up with Christie’s in November to launch his own brokerage, said his company is investing in newly accessible markets of buyers in Asia, as some countries in the region have only recently loosened COVID restrictions. “There is such a herd mentality in real estate; it is easy to stand out if you are willing to be different,” Kirman said. “Everyone is fighting for listings now, so we are spending money to acquire buyers, particularly in Asia, where COVID restrictions have only recently been lifted. In addition to a heavy digital marketing budget, we are also putting a bigger focus on editorial and print.” Kirman also noted that his team typically looks to fashion, art and architecture for inspiration in his marketing, rather than within the real estate industry itself. Other notable speakers over the course of the conference included Christie’s International Real Estate CEO Thad Wong and President Chris Lim, brokerage M&A expert Nicolai Kolding of August Hill, economist Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, Metaverse Institute co-founder Danielle Garofalo and author of “The Millennial Whisperer” and “Save Your Asks” Chris Tuff, as well as a number of owners and executives across Christie’s affiliates. The luxury real estate company also highlighted a number of accomplishments it has achieved since being acquired by @properties at the end of 2021. Since then, Christie’s has added multi-billion-dollar affiliates across Southwest Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and Atlanta, signing on more than 20 new affiliates in total, including six in Europe. Christie’s has also established master license agreements in Japan and the Caribbean, and recruited a number of nine-figure producing teams. Additionally, the real estate firm has expanded its relationship with Christie’s auction house, leading to a nearly 600 percent increase in the referral of consignments from the real estate business to the auction house and a 28 percent increase in the referral of real estate listings from the auction house. During this period, Christie’s has also introduced new marketing resources for broker/owners and agents, including a network-wide social media marketing app, a new global advertising campaign and new digital and physical listing presentation kits. Participating Christie’s affiliates in the U.S. have also received access to @properties’ proprietary pl@tform brokerage technology. “We’re improving our service in every category: technology, marketing, affiliate service and referrals,” said Chris Lim, president of Christie’s International Real Estate. “And this is only the beginning. We are looking at growth opportunities in every major city and markets that are important to our auction house partner and to your referral business.” https:/https://www.inman.com/2023/03/03/christies-franchise-owners-in-a-downturn-spend-money-prudently/

7 economists and real estate pros on what to expect in the housing market this spring

2022 saw higher home prices and higher mortgage rates that sidelined many buyers. So what’s in store for spring 2023? Here are more predictions from pros. Prediction 1: Mortgage rates are a wildcard “Buyers who had been sitting on the sidelines were likely encouraged by mortgage rates that fell from higher than 7% in November to just about 6% in early February. But while it’s widely expected that rates will fall this year, mortgage rates shot up in early February, showing that no one can count on a consistent downward trajectory for rates this year. If rates rise in March, buyers could pull back right as many sellers are planning to list their homes,” says Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow. See the lowest mortgage rates you can may get now here. For her part, Nadia Evangelou, NAR senior economist and director of real estate research, says: “With mortgage rates projected to stabilize below 6% in the second half of the year, more Americans will likely become homeowners, boosting the homeownership rate.” And Holden Lewis, home and mortgage expert at NerdWallet, says: “The biggest events of the month will be the release of the consumer price index on March 14 and the Fed’s monetary policy meeting that concludes March 22. If the inflation rate doesn’t slow significantly, the Fed will maintain its aggressive stance and that could push mortgage rates higher and home prices lower. But if inflation cools, the upward pressure on mortgage rates will ease.” See the lowest mortgage rates you can may get now here. Prediction 2: Prices will remain relatively stable Heading into March and the official start of spring, experts think it’s likely that prices will stabilize. “We’re still seeing market volatility as interest rates continue to rise, but I think prices will remain close to stable since we still have a lack of inventory,” says Aaron Kirman, founder of AKG Christie’s International Real Estate. Jacob Channel, LendingTree’s senior economist, notes that: “Prices will likely remain more or less near where they are in March. Not all real estate markets behave in the exact same way, so there will be some price movement variability depending on where a person lives or is looking to buy, nonetheless, the majority of Americans shouldn’t expect to see any drastic price changes in the immediate future.” That said, we may see prices go up a bit:” Price declines are leveling off as US home values fell just 0.1% from December to January and remain up 6.2% annually. Inventory is still low, adding fuel to the fire and making the market more competitive as buyers compete for limited options so I expect that that will push prices up at least a little in March,” says Tucker. Prediction 3: More people will be looking to buy ‘Tis the season for buyers to start house hunting. “Buyer traffic is expected to pick up in March like it always does at this time of year and more sellers will list their homes than in January or February,” says Tucker. See the lowest mortgage rates you can may get now here. Prediction 4: Housing inventory will remain an issue “A large number of homeowners refinanced in the last couple of years at historically low-interest rates and giving that up and trading it in for one that is a hair away from 7% means people are choosing to stay unless they absolutely have to. Homeowners are literally sheltering in place, hoping for rates to drop and other homeowners to drop their prices so they can afford what they want. The problem is everyone is doing this simultaneously causing the real estate version of a standoff. Unless we see rate relief, we’ll see this trend continue in March,” says Dave Spears, general manager of brokerage at Houwzer, a real estate and mortgage brokerage firm. That inventory shortage is one reason prices aren’t projected to fall too much. “Inventory is low enough, especially at price points below $400,000, to keep a floor under prices in most markets. What were some of the hottest markets in 2020-2022 are now ice cold, with plunging demand and rising inventory making those areas susceptible to a continued retreat in prices. Rising mortgage rates in February could sting hopes of a spring rebound in home buying activity,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. Prediction 5: Buyers will snap up second homes “Housing remains a primary investment for the world’s most affluent citizens and a safe hedge against inflation,” says Mauricio Umansky, CEO of billion dollar brokerage firm The Agency. “The luxury market is strong and there is much wealth to be distributed across markets and generations. I think a lot of buyers are still ready to buy and are collectively waiting for the next move once markets have stabilized. Now buyers can finally purchase a property at more realistic pricing without being completely outbid. We’re also seeing interesting trends that I believe will continue like buyers snapping up what would be considered their second homes first, using them as investment properties. With the US dollar remaining strong, buyers will continue looking overseas for their next purchase, from Mexico to Canada and Europe to Asia.” https://www.marketwatch.com/picks/7-economists-and-real-estate-pros-on-what-to-expect-in-the-housing-market-this-spring-21686203

Top Real Estate Agents for Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and More Dish on Lavish Properties

AKG Christie’s Intl. Real Estate Kirman struck out on his own last year, partnering with Christie’s Intl. Real Estate, opening even more of the world to the luxury real estate team. “We wanted a luxury boutique brokerage that dominated the luxury spectrum that focused on what we focused on, which is technology,” Kirman says. AKG developed Estate Dynamics, an artificial intelligence program that allows it to more efficiently find buyers and market their listings with more precision and success. AKG’s sales volume to date is $1.9 billion. “I think the market is going to get better. I think interest rates are going to go down. It seems like inflation is under control. It feels like the stock market has leveled out. There’s a lot of cash out there right now,” he says. https://variety.com/lists/showbiz-real-estate-agents-los-angeles-miami/aaron-kirman-3/

The ‘Invisible House,’ situated on 60 remote acres of land bordering Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert, is now available for purchase at an asking price of US$18 million.

The mirrored glass and steel-framed structure, which resembles a 22-storey skyscraper resting on its side and gives rise to the Invisible House moniker, offers 508sq m of minimalist living space, according to The Dirt. The Invisible House is currently owned by Chris Hanley — a film producer whose works include American Psycho and The Virgin Suicides. Features include an indoor pool, three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a sleek eat-in kitchen, and a spacious living room/lounge area with sliding glass doors. The home has also been featured on the Netflix series The Most Amazing Vacation Rentals and is a favourite of high-profile celebrities. Designed by architect Tomas Osinski in collaboration with Mr Hanley, the property is highly sustainable, complete with eco-friendly features such as Solarcool Glass exterior, foam roof, solar panels, and whole-house Halo water-filtration system. The home also boasts a small ecological footprint and a prefab guesthouse on the property. The listing is represented by Aaron Kirman and Matt Adamo of AKG|Christie’s International Real Estate. https://eliteagent.com/californias-invisible-house-hits-the-market/

This $14 Million Modern Manse Was Built Into the Bel-Air Hills for Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Living

Architect Zoltan Pali, cofounder of Los Angeles–based firm SPF:a, is known for his innovative and contemporary projects throughout the City of Angels, drawing on its history of midcentury modern architecture. One of Pali’s recently completed projects is a contemporary residence in the city’s tony Bel-Air neighborhood, listed for $14 million. The distinct, monolithic-like facade is built into the hillside landscape of Stradella Road with a paned, curved exterior. The 7,180-square-foot residence sits on over an acre of land and has striking views of the city, ocean and mountains. Like all of the architect’s projects, no expense was spared in sourcing the finest materials from around the world. This residence offers up plenty of free-flowing, open-plan spaces—lined with floor-to-ceiling windows for plenty of natural light—that seamlessly integrate the indoor and outdoor areas, from the gourmet eat-in chef’s kitchen to the living room that opens directly onto the terrace. And that wraparound terrace can be accessed from nearly every room and includes many places to lounge and enjoy the Southern California weather. Of the home’s many prominent features, the primary bedroom is surely the stand-out, with its private terrace, a secluded living area, a massive walk-in closet and a spa-like bathroom that includes a freestanding tub and large windows. The property’s overall design is dominated by clean lines, natural materials and neutral hues, allowing the vibrant nature to take center stage. Like most homes in Los Angeles, the magic awaits outside. There are several patios, deck spaces and an epic rooftop deck for even more spectacular views of the city and mountains, perfect for early morning sunrise yoga or sunset dinner and drinks. The volume of spaces is great for those who love to entertain. Other amenities include alfresco dining, an infinity-edge pool, a spa, loungers and a grassy nook for lawn games and more. There’s also a covered patio for inclement weather. The home is co-listed by Aaron Kirman of AKG at Christie’s International Realty and Angelo Fierro at Compass. Check out more photos of the property below: https://robbreport.com/shelter/homes-for-sale/zoltan-pali-designed-home-los-angeles-on-sale-14-million-1234812817/

Dodgers Star Mookie Betts Lists Encino Home For Nearly $10 Million

L.A. Dodgers star Mookie Betts is trying to score a homerun of a sale before the new MLB season starts up with the listing of his Encino home. Asking $9.995 million, the right fielder paid $7 million even for the property in 2018. The new-ish estate boasts nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms across 9,415 square feet of living space. Located just south of the boulevard, the multi-structure property features the main house, a two-story guest house—with two bedrooms upstairs and a full kitchen/living room downstairs—and a recently completed gym/basketball court complete with bathroom and roll up doors. Back inside the main residence, the chef’s kitchen is sure to impress with its top-of-the-line appliances and ample counter space, along with a huge walk-in pantry. The primary suite is located upstairs and features dual walk-in closets and two separate bathrooms and a nook off the primary that could be used as an office or nursery. The four additional bedrooms upstairs offer plenty of space for family and guests, while the two bedrooms downstairs are perfect for live-in staff. Conveniently, there are both upstairs and downstairs laundry rooms. The home also features a home theater, while the outdoor living space boasts a zero edge pool/spa with sunken fire pit, putting green, cabana, outdoor kitchen and firepit. https://californialistings.com/2023/02/24/dodgers-star-mookie-betts-lists-encino-home-for-nearly-10-million/?fbclid=IwAR1amObZZf9xj-DqkUFVLDIiVo9rV2oFoX2VpQCEQUR2PIOESIpmTjrlf28

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