November 21st, 2014 admin
The large Tribeca penthouse in a luxury building features bright and open rooms, high ceilings and a terrace with Hudson River views.
November 21st, 2014 admin
The high-end ski resort of Courchevel 1850 in the French Alps is a relative upstart. Created in 1946, it competes against other bastions of luxury like Switzerland’s St. Moritz and hubs for hard-core skiers like Austria’s Mayrhofen ski resort. But it has found another way to stand apart from the competition: The “super chalet.”
These sprawling lodges run over 20,000 square feet and feature amenities like screening rooms, private chefs, hair salons and personal discos. At the peak of the ski season, they can rent for up to €350,000 a week, or roughly $60,000 a day.
In the Three Valleys area of the Alps, Courchevel 1850, named for its altitude in meters, is completely encircled by ski slopes. In recent years, local authorities relaxed planning restrictions, allowing builders to tear down some relatively frumpy old chalets and construct luxury chalets loaded with amenities.
“Clients now want bigger and bigger chalets going deeper and deeper” underground, said real-estate agent
head of Immobilière Courchevel and the granddaughter of Francis Eugène Mugnier, one of the hamlet’s founding fathers.
A number of luxury properties are available for sale in the Courchevel area, but none of the so-called super chalets are currently listed. They are, however, available for rent. Among the most luxurious is Le Petit Palais chalet, which was completed in 2012.
Built over five levels, Le Petit Palais is a ski-in, ski-out lodge right on the Bellecote slope, Courchevel’s most popular because it goes straight into the center of the village. Behind the traditional facade of this mountain estate are contemporary interiors. Six guest bedrooms and a large master suite can accommodate 14 guests, and amenities include a screening room, a fitness center, an eight-meter swimming pool—plus its own nightclub and hair salon. It is for rent between $100,000 and $250,000 a week.
Le Petit Palais connects to its sister chalet, Le Petit Château, via a large underground parking area. Both can be rented for about $375,000 a week at the height of the ski season, which runs roughly from December to April.
The rate includes the services of a private chef, butler, garage attendant and concierge. Location is its selling point. “The Bellecote slope is just outside the two properties,” said
who owns both chalets. “You can also walk into town, have a couple of glasses of wine and walk back home without having to jump in a taxi.”
Mr. Crema, a 53-year-old British hedge-fund manager and oil trader, grew up in the U.S. and moved to London in 1995. Winter holidays took him and his family to Courchevel in the 1990s, prompting him to buy the two chalets, one in 2008 and the other in 2010. Mr. Crema declined to say what he spent on the chalets and improvements, but he now values them at well over $60 million.
Three other chalets are widely regarded as super prime: Edelweiss, which rents for up to $450,000 a week during high season, Chalet La Bergerie and Art Chalet. They all offer luxury accommodations and services. Art Chalet, which rents for up to $313,000a week during peak season, has eight bedrooms for 16 guests and comes with a general manager, a butler, three housekeepers, laundry service, a masseuse, a chef and kitchen assistant, a driver and two waiters. Setting this chalet apart is the owner’s artwork on display. “The chalet has originals from Dali, Picasso,
and others” valued in the multimillions, said Jérôme Lagoute, manager with real-estate firm
the company that looks after Art Chalet.
Edelweiss and Art Chalet both confirmed they’ve rented out their chalets at the maximum price of €350,000 and €250,000, respectively. But this price is only during two or three weeks in the year at the height of the season. Normally it would rent for less but not much less. “Those prices are upfront prices subject to negotiations,” said
a civil servant and director of general services at Courchevel.
A handful of new chalets are under construction, but “new urban development rules are being prepared to prevent chalets building too big for their lot,” Mr. Feidt added. New rules also limit the height of chalets. To create the vast spaces, builders must go underground.
In Art Chalet’s case, Mr. Lagoute explained, the builders dug about 10 meters deep. “It was challenging to build a massive concrete structure around the walls to retain the soil around it,” he said.
The big draw for wealthy visitors coming to Courchevel isn’t just expensive properties and hotel-like services. Great skiing abounds, said
a 54-year old homeowner who has been visiting the area for roughly two decades. Courchevel, which encompasses Courchevel 1850 and four other villages, offers 375 miles of slopes, roughly the equivalent of the five largest ski resorts in the U.S. combined. “You can spend a month and not go down the same trail,” Mr. Sheridan said.
For those less inclined to hit the slopes, the village has over 100 boutiques, including Chanel, Prada, Hermès and Bulgari. Among the seven Michelin-starred restaurants is Le Chabichou, famous for its fish sourced from a nearby lake.
Still, Courchevel as a resort faces some challenges. The village has in the past been seen as a market predominantly for Russians or Eastern Europeans, so the locals and chalet owners have taken steps to market more broadly and diversify the clientele.
“We don’t want to put all of the eggs in one basket,” Mr. Crema said. “This year we’ve had many clients of many nationalities, Russian being the biggest, but also American, Brazilian and English clients.”
Super-prime properties in Courchevel also face competition from other European ski resorts. Chalet Mont Blanc, for example in Megève, France, is a high-end rental property with a helicopter pad, indoor/outdoor swimming pool and a spa with its own hair salon. Chalet Mont Blanc is available for $375,000 a week at the height of the season.
November 21st, 2014 admin
A lifetime of saving and investing can make retirees feel secure, but showing that assets translate into income remains key when qualifying for a jumbo mortgage.
Debt-free retirement has its allure, but with interest rates so low for jumbo mortgages, some retirees are calculating bigger returns if they leave cash invested and borrow to buy their retirement home, says
executive vice president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Jumbo mortgages have higher loan limits than government-backed loans, which top at $417,000 in most places but go up to $625,500 in some high-price areas. Average interest rates were 4.11% for the 30-year, fixed-rate jumbo and 3% for a five-year, adjustable-rate jumbo on the week ending Nov. 14, according to HSH.com.
A retiree, like any other borrower, generally must meet a 43% debt-to-income ratio (DTI), mandated by federal mortgage rules. This number reflects the borrower’s percentage of monthly debt payments relative to monthly income.
Retirees who plan ahead can qualify, and lenders have methods to translate investments into eligible income even if a borrower can’t produce a W-2, Mr. Blackwell says.
Today’s typical retiree will receive income from Social Security; distributions from IRAs, 401(k)s, annuities and other retirement accounts; and possibly a pension. Business owners may no longer get a salary but still receive profit shares and/or have significant wealth tied up in an enterprise, and many high-end retirees may draw revenue from commercial real-estate ownership, residential rental properties or other sources, says
executive vice president of home lending at
High-net-worth individuals often will argue that they clearly have enough money in assets to pay off a loan at any time, says
vice president at Quicken Loans. “They may be thinking that they have a big IRA and they could use that to take a distribution to make the loan payments,” he adds. “That’s all good and fine, but we’d like to see that all set up before they apply for the loan.”
‘The key to qualifying is showing that a retiree’s assets translate into income.’
The key to qualifying is to demonstrate that a retiree’s assets translate into income via tax returns, bank statements and other documents, he adds. “The lender is going to want to make sure you have receipts for distributions and a schedule for receiving them,” he adds.
Retirees also need to show proof that the payments will continue in the same amounts for at least three years into the future, Mr. Banfield says. If a borrower is an early retiree under 59½ years old, the threshold for taking withdrawals from IRAs without tax penalties, the lender will adjust income estimates accordingly, he adds.
For retirees who don’t want to increase their distributions, another possible option is a nonqualified jumbo mortgage, which offers flexibility on the federal DTI rule, Mr. Wind says. Lenders have to waive liability protection to issue nonqualified mortgages, but some lenders will take that risk with retirees who have substantial invested assets they don’t want to liquidate, he adds.
To calculate an income estimate in such cases, EverBank will assign a conservative earnings rate to the total dollar amount of the assets and amortize the amount to the loan’s term length, Mr. Wind says. Wells Fargo uses a similar method to calculate DTI for nonqualified mortgages for borrowers with multimillions of dollars in assets, Mr. Blackwell says.
The first step for any retiree or person approaching retirement is a financial adviser, Mr. Blackwell says. An adviser can look at a retiree’s overall financial picture and advise whether to pay cash or borrow when buying as home. The adviser can also calculate retirement-account distributions that will help the borrower qualify for a loan, he adds.
Here are some more considerations that retirees may want to weigh when deciding whether to apply for a jumbo mortgage:
• Credit scores. Retirees with a sufficient income stream but lower credit scores still may not qualify for a mortgage or will receive a higher interest rate from a lender.
• Trusts. Retirees who want to buy a home and hold it in a revocable trust as part of their estate plan still have to demonstrate their ability to repay the loan, Mr. Blackwell says. Still, assets in the trust are considered in the ability-to-repay debt calculation, he adds.
• Capital-gains taxes. When deciding whether to cash out investments to buy real estate, remember to calculate not just lost returns but also the potential capital-gains-tax hit, Mr. Banfield says.
November 21st, 2014 admin
The 11.2-acre East Hampton, N.Y., estate of education entrepreneur
will list for $140 million. Real-estate agents believe it will likely be the priciest listing in the pricey Hamptons.
Called Briar Patch, the property includes 1,156 feet of water frontage on Georgica Pond and is part of a historic district recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. It includes a roughly 10,000-square-foot, six-bedroom, Georgian-Revival shingle-style house built in 1931.
Mr. Whittle and his wife
bought the property in 1989, he said in an email. Soon after, they embarked on a 2½ year renovation with architect
which included creating a three-story-tall great room in the main house and building a detached four-bedroom guesthouse. The property was on the market in 2002 and 2003 for up to $45 million, the couple said. They chose to wait to relist the home until their children were older.
Mr. Whittle, 67, is the founder and chairman of Avenues: The World School, a private school system with a location in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. Tuition is more than $40,000 a year. He is also known for his involvement with the Edison Schools, now known as EdisonLearning, an education management company. Ms. Rattazzi is a photographer and writer, and is the niece of the late
the former head of
“We are embarking upon a new chapter of our lives as empty nesters,” the couple said in an email. Their primary residence is in New York City, but they said they would maintain a presence in the Hamptons, even as they spend more time in China, Europe and Palm Beach, Fla. They said they would miss the home’s natural light and the views.
president of Brown Harris Stevens in the Hamptons, has the listing.
November 21st, 2014 admin
Big Sky, Mont.
Six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two half baths
The roughly 17,000-square-foot home spans three stories and offers views of Lone Mountain. Amenities include a ski room, steam and sauna room, vented cigar room and a private ski bridge separating the home from the Big Sky Resort slopes.
Agent: Jeff Helms, Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty and Larry Jones, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty
Park City, Utah
Six bedrooms, six bathrooms and four half baths
The 13,536-square-foot home is built into the slopes of Deer Valley Resort. It has a ski room with warmers and boot dryers. Also inside: a DJ booth, 550-gallon aquarium and movie theater. Radiant heat as well as 14 fireplaces throughout the house.
Resorts West Real Estate
Seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and four half baths
The 12,674-square-foot house is adjacent to the Buttermilk ski area. It has a modern decor and extensive use of unusual materials like a concrete spiral staircase and silk light fixtures. The kitchen features high-gloss red cabinetry.
Agent: Carrie Wells, Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate
November 19th, 2014 admin
The La Cañada Flintridge home underwent a large remodeling and includes a two-story guesthouse, screening room and three-hole golf course — Caitlin Huston
November 19th, 2014 admin
This waterfront house is part of the Wexford Plantation and comes with a summer kitchen and solarium — Sarah Tilton
November 19th, 2014 admin
prepares to throw the switch Tuesday on its mountainous electronic sign in the heart of Times Square, other landlords just outside the high-profile intersection of Seventh Avenue and Broadway are also betting on the digital-sign business.
The sign along the front of the Marriott Marquis hotel will run the length of a football field and be six to eight stories high, according to a Vornado executive and company financial documents.
Landlords often make their billboard income working with companies that manage the displays. But in recent years, those signs have become an attraction for potential retail tenants. Chains such as
and Express Inc. opted for Times Square flagship stores where they control the electronic signage above, real estate executives and brokers said.
“Tenants decided they would pay for it [the signage] and pay a lot more than the advertising companies,” said
a retail broker with Winick Realty Group LLC, which is marketing the retail space and new LED signage planned for 1441 Broadway. This sort of deal works well for landlords, who no longer have to worry about slow advertising periods, she said.
The so-called bow-tie juncture of Seventh Avenue and Broadway is the center of the business. In 2012, One Times Square, where the New Year’s Eve ball drops, took in more than $23 million from renting the tower’s signs, according to documents related to the tower’s refinancing. Moody’s Investors Service estimated the owners of 1500 Broadway—the site of ABC’s Good Morning America studio and the network’s highly visible undulating billboard—could make about $5 million annually from four of the seven signs they control on the property. That’s about 9% of the property’s gross income.
“There’s not that many places in the world you can have digital signs like those in Times Square the whole world sees,” said
executive vice president at RKF, a retail real estate service firm that has worked on Times Square projects and is about to market the retail space and LED signs at 140 W. 42nd St. “It’s constantly being exposed to the world through other media.”
On average each day, more than 300,000 pedestrians enter the bow-tie area, and another 115,000 drivers and passengers pass through, according to the Times Square Alliance. The exposure is even greater as visitors often share their Times Square impressions through social media.
About 57% of visitors said they shared their Times Square experience or thoughts through at least one social media outlet, according to a recent survey commissioned by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and the Times Square Alliance.
The vivid digital billboards can also serve as both marketing tools and a stream of income for the retailers with stores below, some of whom have subsidized their rent with the money they make selling advertising time on their displays.
“Those subsidies [provided] by the signage have juiced the rents for space in Times Square,” said
a managing director at
SL Green Realty
, a real-estate investment trust that has built several stores with large electronic signs in the center of Times Square, including the
store and its high-profile electronic sign. “Now all these guys outside of the bow tie are saying, ‘If I am afforded the same opportunity to put signage up, why not use the signage subsidy to get my rents higher.’”
SL Green Realty recently purchased 719 Seventh Ave., which sits just north of the bow tie. The company plans to demolish the building and develop a new one with 8,000 to 10,000 square feet of LED signage. The property is visible from the heart of Times Square—a critical factor, Mr. Herschenfeld said. “You have to still be able to be visible from the center of the bow tie.”
Swig Co. and Himmel + Meringoff Properties, which own 1460 Broadway, will build 6,000 to 7,000 square feet of LED signs at the tower as part of a larger redevelopment project. The owners already have been in discussion with tenants interested in the 35,000 square feet of retail space and at least one of the signs, said
a principal at Himmel + Meringoff Properties.
The signage attracts “tenants looking for flagship recognition,” she said. “Tenants from the center of Times Square are being priced out with asking rents north of $1,500 a square foot and are seeking the same visibility but with more affordable rents south of Times Square.”
At one of those buildings to the south, at 1441 Broadway, owner
is investing millions to build some 12,000 square feet of new LED signage that will be available next year along with about 56,000 square feet of retail space. The signs will wrap around and extend vertically from the West 41st Street building, which has storefronts on both Broadway and Seventh Avenue.
“You are almost overwhelmed in Times Square,” said
a spokesman for Mr. Charney. “We’re at the southernmost tip of that, and we think we stand out a little more and that’s an advantage for a retailer.”
—Eliot Brown contributed to this article.
Write to Keiko Morris at Keiko.Morris@wsj.com
November 19th, 2014 admin
The building that helped transform Times Square from a brew of urban maladies to a showcase of big-city rebirth has enjoyed a successful 15-year run thanks to a pair of marquee tenants who kept it fully occupied since the day it opened.
Now, 817,000 square feet of space in 4 Times Square has hit the market as media company Condé Nast completes its move to One World Trade Center. And another 826,000 square feet could come on line if…