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6 Unique Homes You Can Own

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Among today’s burgeoning suburbs and made-to-order homes, a one-of-a-kind property catches the eye. Whether through a bespoke bamboo terrace or impeccably-preserved French Revolution-era décor, a truly unique home announces itself in the details, in unexpected flourishes and hidden charms that astonish and delight. When an original design comes along, prospective buyers stand up and take note. Never one to blend, these uncommon homes are full of the finishing touches you won’t find anyplace else, no builder catalog required.

The Upgraded Mountain Lodge, Beaver Creek, Colorado

Mick KellyLIV Sotheby’s International Realty

This modern Beaver Creek build reinterprets and transcends all the rustic, live-off-the-land grit of the traditional mountain home. Awash in American-country design, every room is warm, charming, and perfectly homey, even on the snowiest days. Of particular note: the three-level submersible pool with dramatic oceanic murals, crafted by Cirque du Soleil
engineers, and the 1,674-square-foot terrace offering sweeping mountain views.

The Incredible Equestrian Villa, Seville, Spain

Angeles GuerreroKristina Szekely Sotheby’s International Realty

Just 15 minutes from Seville stands this incomparable 3,000-square-meter cortijo, a window into the past. Across 152 hectares, the estate encompasses a bull ring with hand-carved Mexican woodwork, a beautifully-decorated hermitage for religious celebrations, and a pavilion complete with cinema, flamenco tablao, billiard area, decorated bar, sprawling swimming pool, and two dressage rings. Livestock, bullfighter costumes, and horse-drawn carriages come with the home, so you can revisit 1929 at your leisure.

The Revolution-Era Dream House, Chantilly, France

Alexandre AbitbolParis Ouest Sotheby’s International Realty

Romance is alive and well on the grounds of La Faisanderie du Grand Conde. Dating back to 1774, the property was inaugurated by the Duchess of Bourbon prior to the French Revolution in 1789. Today, the 17th-century details remain amongst modern upgrades, chandeliers and statues commingling with refurbished antiques, a magnificent French garden with ponds, multiple terraces, and a swimming pool.

The Modern and Tranquil Glass House, Hokkaido, Japan

List Sotheby’s International Realty

Whether  enjoying views of lush trees from the comfort of an indoor hinoki wood tub in spring or reading a book by the fire while the snow falls in the winter, you’ll be at one with nature in this custom-built home in Hirafu Village. A gorgeous blend of glass, concrete, and steel, this is a property that marries comfort and design (and was voted one of Japan’s top 200 homes for just that reason). Floor-to-ceiling windows let in much more than light—namely, panoramic views of Niseko and Mount Yōtei in the distance.

The Ultimate Beach Villa, Queensland, Australia

Joseph Lordi and Douglas TonkinQueensland Sotheby’s International Realty

Australia’s Sunshine Coast is unlike anywhere else in the world, and there’s no better way to experience it than inviting its rays and ocean breeze right in. Bright blue Pacific waters are just beyond the infinity pool perched at the edge of this hilltop house. Across four levels, indoor-outdoor entertaining is at its peak with a sprawling terrace overlooking the township below. Elsewhere, a retro breakfast booth, master suite spa, and 12-car garage make a masterful impression, as does the short-and-sweet walk to the beach below.

The Laid Back Coastal Gem, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Sabrina MajelloItaly Sotheby’s International Realty

Steps up the coastal rock of the famous Amalfi Coast, bathed in the light from the shining blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, waits Villa Pieds dans l’eau (feet in the water). This incredible home was once a rope factory, until the Chandon family turned it into a private residence under the careful watch of Spanish architect Julio Lafuente, who merged the factory building with a stone house in the back, once owned by Coco Chanel herself. A love of outdoor living was top priority for the Chandons, and the beautiful bamboo-roofed terrace remains the crown jewel of a beautiful home composed of natural rock walls, bright white and sea blue decor, and a spiral stone staircase leading to eight bedrooms, each with their own sea view.

These six unique homes blend history, design, and setting in unforeseen ways, making them some of the most sought-after properties in the world.

Find your own unique abode from among the best the world has to offer, and get the inside track on the latest show-stopping homes on the market today.

New & Notable Luxury Properties for Sale | March 2018

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From an inspiring, modern home in New Zealand to a grand, suburban estate in London, England, this month’s collection of exceptional properties for sale feature homes from some of the world’s finest locales.

Queenstown, New Zealand | Julian Brown & Mark Harris – New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty

Meticulous planning during the construction of this home has resulted in a truly inspiring property, one that cannot help but impress. Precise attention to detail is evident throughout this significant home; from the moment of your arrival, the awe-inspiring, modern lines of the home’s striking exterior leave a lasting and powerful first impression.

Tribeca, New York | Laurie Silverman – Sotheby’s International Realty – Downtown Manhattan Brokerage

140 Franklin Street is situated on the highly coveted corner of Franklin and Varick Streets and is considered one of Tribeca’s most important landmarked loft buildings – an architectural masterpiece built in 1887. Designed by Albert Wagner, the architect of the famous Puck Building, with a lobby specially commissioned by world-renowned artist Sol LeWitt, this exquisite home offers two master suites, four additional bedrooms, four full-baths, a karaoke room, and powder room for guests.

Portofino, Italy | Barbara Fregonara – Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Overlooking the beautiful Bay of Portofino, this villa is spread over multiple levels for a total surface of 750 square-meters, plus parkland of around 1,800 square-meters overlooking the sea. The property consists of large living room and dining room, kitchen and office, service area, three master suites with bathroom and wardrobe, studio, wellness area with indoor swimming pool and whirlpool, and fitness center.

San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico | Marco Ehrenberg & Jhoanna Higuera – Los Cabos Sotheby’s International Realty

Bahia Rocas is a 12,000-square-foot, nine-bedroom estate within the gated community of Villas Del Mar. Exceptional Spanish architecture meets modern comfort and features wrought-iron fixtures, intricate tile work and colorful linens, all reflecting the artisanal skill and vibrant spirit of Mexican design.

London, England | Aree Rand – United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty

This newly-built, 14,358-square-foot home is set on Ingram Avenue, a highly sought-after leafy road in Hampstead Garden Suburb, which is defined by absolute privacy by backing directly onto Turners Wood Bird Sanctuary. The property is within walking distance to Kenwood House as well as Hampstead Heath.

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New & Notable Luxury Properties for Sale | September 2017

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From a sprawling historic ranch in Hawaii to a historic palazzo in Rome, this month’s collection of exceptional properties for sale feature homes from some of the world’s finest locales.


$260,000,000 USD | Maunaloa, Hawaii | Carvill Sotheby’s International Realty

The Island of Molokai, central to the main Hawaiian Islands, has for generations been an oasis for Hawaiian royalty, tycoons and naturalists alike. Comprising approximately 55,575 acres and 35% of the island, Molokai Ranch is the most significant offering in the state of Hawaii. The successful new owner will be among the top five private landowners in the state.


$25,000,000 USD | Redondo Beach, California | Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

With over 62,000 square-feet of beachfront property on two parcels, this dramatic compound is almost impossible to duplicate. The main house comprises over 10,000 square-feet of exquisite living area, and the “companion house” has over 5,500 square-feet. Both homes are located behind gated entrances, both with direct access to the sand, a spectacular pool with spa, a private sand volleyball court, and a large yard. The views span from Palos Verdes through the beach cities, including the entire Santa Monica Bay.


$39,000,000 USD | Nassau, Bahamas | Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

Magnificent and one-of-a-kind, this grand 20,000-square-foot home is bespoke, sits on approximately one-and-one-half acres, with 246 linear feet of gorgeous sandy beach. Its southern border backs the 16th hole of the Ocean Club Estates Golf Course. This beachfront estate is equipped with resort-style amenities including an infinity-edged pool, pool deck, outdoor shower and professional tennis court with an air-conditioned pavilion.

New York

$34,950,000 USD | New York City, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

With 140 feet of Park Views on two levels, this incomparable Penthouse is one of the most significant to come to market; a renovation that took several years has transformed the home into an oasis above the Park. The Penthouse has a large terrace with a clear glass parapet wall on Central Park, spanning the entire 21st floor with access from magnificent French doors. The Penthouse offers approximately 3,974 square-feet of interior living 480 square-feet of terrace space.


Price Upon Request | Rome, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Palazzo Sacchetti is a late Renaissance building among the most beautiful of Rome. Its construction was carried out in 1542 by Sangallo, the architect of Palazzo Farnese and coadjutor of Raffaello in the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica. Sangallo built it for himself, dedicating the last years of his life to make it the “perfect building.” In 1608, it was bought by the Archbishop of Naples, who built the chapel frescoed by Agostino Ciampelli. Later, in the second half of the 17th century It was purchased by the Marquis Sacchetti of Florence. Palazzo Sacchetti is a pearl in the heart of Rome; not surprisingly it has been used as a set for some scenes in the Oscar-winning film The Great Beauty, of which the eternal city is the real protagonist.

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New & Notable Luxury Properties for Sale | August 2017

Posted on September 4, 2017


From a one-of-a-kind Mediterranean-inspired estate in St. Barthelemy to an enthralling Chalet in Italy’s Dolomites, this month’s collection of exceptional properties for sale feature homes from some of the world’s finest locales.


Price Upon Request | Pointe Milou, St. Barthelemy | St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

Located on the craggy hillside of Pointe Milou, this one-of-a-kind home faces east and boasts sensational views and wonderful breezes. All white, with Greek, Croatian, Moroccan and Mediterranean inspirations, this villa is often featured in magazines and is suited for the discriminating buyer who requires luxury and privacy. This four-bedroom villa with pool and Jacuzzi extends over 5,400 square-meters and overlooks a bay, accessible by private path.


$44,975,000 USD | Rancho Santa Fe, California | Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

Designed by world-renowned architect Guy Dreier and located in the exclusive covenant of Rancho Santa Fe, two-story walls of glass highlight the magnificent water features surrounding the home and showcase spectacular sculptures. A thoughtful design that perfectly melds technology, art, and natures create an unforgettable ambience; indoor and outdoor living spaces, tennis courts, zero-edge pool, staff quarters, master suite with fireplace, and meticulous landscaping are only part of what defines this masterpiece.

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UF403.500 | Chilean Patagonia | Chile Sotheby’s International Realty

Hacienda Three Lagos is one of the most exclusive properties in Chilean Patagonia; with more than 2,000 square-meters of living space on over 1,000 hectares of Patagonian land, the home features direct access to three different lakes. One of the property’s signature features is a two-bedroom floating cabin on one of its lakes, said to be the only floating cabin of its kind in South America.


14.700.000 € EUR | Salzburg, Austria | Austria Sotheby’s International Realty

Known as the “Fondachhof,” this home finds itself if one of the finest locales within Salzburg. Located at the foot of the Gaisberg and embedded in a private park, this palatial residence can reach the center of Salzburg in minutes by foot. Grand landscaping, fountains, and an enclosed gazebo dot the grounds of this remarkable property.


16.000.000 € EUR | Bulluno, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

This extraordinary chalet offers the beauty and comfort found in five-star resorts. Located in the area closest to the famous “promenade” in Cortina, it offers a breathtaking view of the Dolomites and Cortina. The 870-square-meter chalet is arranged over four floors served by a private elevator and a service staircase. The atmosphere is designed to welcome guests and make its host comfortable; the modern interior design elegantly combines a combination of high-grade materials and finishes. A soundproofed private cinema, home theater sound system, and ultra-ergonomic chairs brings the Hollywood experience to the privacy of your own dwelling.

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Significant Sales | Volume I – Issue XI

Posted on February 28, 2017


From a contemporary mountain home in Aspen, Colorado, to an exquisite lakefront estate in Austin, Texas, this issue of Significant Sales also showcases homes from throughout the United States, Australia, Belgium, Italy and Germany.

01. Aspen

$24,000,000 USD | Aspen, Colorado | Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

Situated on a captivating front row lot on Aspen’s prestigious Willoughby Way, this home is a vision of contemporary style and sophistication. Intelligently designed by David Johnston Architects and meticulously crafted by Paul Rasmussen, Pitkin Green will be well served by its newest addition. Comprising 8,710 square-feet of elegant, yet comfortable heated living spaces, the development team has brought all of their experience and expertise to bear on this unique project. The home utilizes three levels to incorporate six bedroom suites, six-full baths, two-half baths, exercise room, wine room with bar, o ce, 750-square-foot three-car garage, and 2,960 square-feet of patios and decks. The comprehensive landscape plan allows for enjoyment of the outdoor experience as much as the indoor.

04. East Side

$13,900,000 USD | New York City, New York | Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage 

On Fifth Avenue, you have it all; the best of the city, architecture, museums, and tree lined streets. Carnegie Hill is a neighborhood that o ers a perfect dose of charm. As you exit the elevator that opens up onto the private landing of your 12-room residence, you are lured into your living room by the captivating views of picture-perfect Central Park, the Central Park Reservoir and the south-facing New York skyline. Beyond perfection, this unimaginable renovated home enjoys soaring ceilings and large picture windows that showcases Central Park greenery from every room.

05. Kuper

$11,500,000 USD | Austin, Texas | Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

This exceptional Mediterranean villa overlooking Lake Austin offers four opulent acres of breathtaking panoramic views surrounded by a lush landscape. This magnificent waterfront estate is highlighted by six oversized bedrooms, seven-full and two-half baths, three living rooms, two dining rooms, wine room, butler’s pantry, gym with kitchenette, library and office, pool, boat house and seven boat slips, four-car garage, and detached guest quarters. Masterfully designed to provide supreme privacy and lavish entertaining while also being conveniently located to downtown.

Browse past editions of Significant Sales

Noteworthy Sales from Around the World


Price Undisclosed | Australia | Peninsula Sotheby’s International Realty

Offered for sale for the first time, this signature position at the spectacular and sheltered end of Fisherman’s Beach within the tightly held cul-de- sac of Weeroona Estate, provides incredible views across Port Phillip Bay, Police Point and Portsea Pier. Once owned by Australia’s 17th Prime Minister, Harold Holt, this 1,885-square-meter allotment is the perfect private setting for this modern home. Constructed in 1990 and featuring a N/S mod-grass tennis court and fully tiled self -cleaning pool, the home also features private stairs, providing quick beach access to the water’s edge and stunning cove of Weeroona Bay. Comprising five bedrooms over two levels, the residence also offers a spacious kitchen that overlooks the dining and living areas with a gas log fireplace that spills out to a generous terrace where ships sailing through punctuate an otherwise serene outlook.


€5.550.000 EUR | Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

This one-of-a-kind penthouse, situated in a prestigious building built at the end of the 19th century, enjoys unrivaled views of the Castello Sforzesco. The property is set over two floors and features a large living room on the top floor with double sun light exposure, game and reading area, dining room, bath, kitchen with balcony and a service area with laundry and bathroom. The top floor is complemented by a planted panoramic terrace. The master bedroom features a walk-in closet and bathroom while the home also offers a second double bedroom and a large bedroom with adjacent bathroom all situated downstairs.

Discover more in Significant Sales | Volume I – Issue XI

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New & Notable Luxury Properties for Sale | December 2016

Posted on January 2, 2017

From a nine-bedroom villa in St. Barth to a tranquil island paradise in Hawaii, this month’s collection of exceptional properties for sale feature homes from some of the world’s finest locales.

Price Upon Request | Columbier, St. Barth | St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

This spectacular nine-bedroom 10-and-a-half-bathroom estate, located in Colombier’s exclusive gated Domaine known as Les Étoiles, offers sensational views of the incoming yachts, Saba, Statia and the sunset. This very private property cascades down the hillside; it features a five-bedroom villa, a two-bedroom villa, a caretaker cottage and three swimming pools. La Grande Maison des Étoiles is the perfect choice for buyers seeking a very private, luxurious retreat.


$50,000,000 USD | Chicago, Illinois | Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

An unprecedented urban estate, this 25,000-square-foot masterpiece is located on Lincoln Park’s finest street. Sited on an enormous parcel totaling more than eight city lots, every step has been taken to provide complete privacy and tranquility. Manicured grounds with multiple fountains, reflecting pool, and hand-forged antique garden pavilion transport you to another world. Absolutely no expense was spared inside or out throughout this sun-filled mansion.


Price Upon Request | Venice, Italy | Venice Sotheby’s International Realty

An architectural historic of the highest level by Palladio from the mid 16th century – visually stunning and in perfect condition, only 40 minutes from Venice.


Price Upon Request | Makena, Hawaii | Island Sotheby’s International Realty

Simply stated, one of the most beautifully custom detailed homes to ever be built on the island. The home, perched on a lushly landscaped one-acre parcel of land, entertains endless Pacific Ocean views. With eight bedrooms and more than 10,000 square-feet of interior living, one can enjoy the true essence of Hawaiian indoor-outdoor living. The main home features a plethora of custom wood detailing, fountains, ponds, movie theatre and ocean views with privacy. An additional pool house provides more bedrooms, a full kitchen and a living room to enjoy Makena’s great weather while lounging around the resort-like setting. In the evening, an outdoor theatre rises from the pool deck, allowing for some of the most epic private cinema opportunities a residence can offer.

In countries all around the world, discover more New & Notable properties that have recently come to market.

Houseguest: Chef Joe Cicala finds culinary inspiration in Tuscany


As the Executive Chef at Le Virtu, and the Co-Owner and Culinary Director at Brigantessa in Philadelphia, Joe Cicala regularly travels to Italy to feed his passion and research authentic local flavor that he will infuse into his cuisine.

In this awe-inspiring episode of Houseguest, Joe visits Via di Cappello, a secluded villa nestled in the Florentine countryside.

Watch as Joe finds inspiration for his latest recipe: Tagliatelle with Tuscan Pork Sausage and Mushroom Ragu.

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Architectural Digest: 5 Incredible Properties for Sale Around the World

Whether you’re in the market for a summer getaway or an alpine escape, a property steeped in history or something with a modern twist, one of these five newly listed estates is bound to catch your eye. Nestled on a forested peninsula in southern Sweden, the opulently restored Fogelvik Castle sits on land that once belonged to a 15th-century king. Another pedigreed gem encompasses 50 lush acres in Yucatán, Mexico; currently a luxe bed-and-breakfast, the 17th-century Hacienda Katanchel was refreshed by architect Aníbal González and designer Mónica Hernández. And in Tuscany, two storied parcels are being offered as one sumptuous 12-acre compound that includes a four-bedroom main villa, a 1647 chapel, and a studio that once served as the atelier of avant-garde Dutch artist Karel Appel. Meanwhile, two modern homes in the U.S. boast stunning designs by high-profile architects. In 2009, on a sprawling 105-acre spread just outside of Vail, Colorado, AD100 talent Annabelle Selldorf crafted a refined structure embellished with copper brise-soleil, masonry siding, and pine beams. For the more beach-inclined, there’s a serene ipe-clad residence in Provincetown, Massachusetts, that was completed in 2013 by the esteemed New York firm Hariri & Hariri Architecture.

Valdemarsvik, Sweden

Photo: Courtesy of Sweden Sotheby’s International Realty

8 Bedrooms
2.5 Baths
23,700 sq. ft.
$4.2 million

Set on a private peninsula some 140 miles south of Stockholm, historic Fogelvik Castle was designed in the 18th century by Carl Hårleman, the father of Swedish Rococo style, on land that in the 1400s was home to the country’s King Charles VIII. In 1995 the current owners undertook a painstaking restoration of the three-story castle’s period details, among them murals by artist Jean Baptiste Masreliez. The verdant three-acre property includes a pair of spacious detached wings—with guest quarters, a grand entertaining hall, and a sauna—plus a summer cottage.

Contact:; +46-8-545-80-000

Chianti, Italy

Photo: Courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate/Agenzia Romolini Immobiliare S.R.L.

4 Bedrooms
6 Baths
6,200 sq. ft.
$19.4 million

Once a convent and later an agricultural estate, this impressive 13th-century Tuscan compound encompasses 12 rolling acres peppered with vernacular structures. The main villa, a meticulously refurbished beauty with its own watchtower, is joined by four outbuildings—including a 1647 chapel and an atelier that previously served as the studio of Dutch avant-garde artist Karel Appel—housing 23 additional bedrooms. An equestrian statue by Appel can be found on the manicured grounds, which also boast bountiful olive groves and a vineyard that yields some 3,000 bottles of Sangiovese and Chianti Classico each year.

Contact:; +39-0575-788948

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Photo: Eric Laignel/Courtesy of Hariri & Hariri Architecture

3 Bedrooms
3 Baths
2,500 sq. ft.
$3.4 million

Perched high on a dune at the tip of Cape Cod, this 2013 house overlooks Pilgrims’ First Landing Park, the storied stretch of sand where the Mayflower originally docked in 1620. When conceiving the striking building, the Manhattan firm Hariri & Hariri Architecture looked to a more recent past, taking inspiration from the Bauhaus. (Walter Gropius designed the landmark 1959 residence next door.) Clad in Brazilian ipe wood and gray stucco, the two-story home features a dramatic asymmetrical roofline, double-height window walls, and a sleek glass-and-steel bridge connecting the bedrooms on the second floor.

Contact:; 508-349-2782

Edwards, Colorado

Photo: Courtesy of Selldorf Architects

7 Bedrooms
9.5 Baths
11,900 sq. ft.
$33 million

For the design of this 2009 alpine getaway—located on 105 pristine acres just outside Vail—AD100 architect Annabelle Selldorf took cues from the surrounding swath of White River National Park. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the rugged landscape (the best views are from the three-level tower), while at the center of the dwelling is a lush courtyard that Selldorf envisioned as an intimate counterpoint to the sweeping vistas. To infuse her sophisticated aesthetic with a decidedly rustic edge, she used local materials, from fieldstone to copper to pine beams.

Contact:; 970-925-8810

Yucatán, Mexico

april-2016-estates-04.png Photo: Courtesy of Guadalajara Sotheby’s International Realty

3 Bedrooms
4 Baths
2,300 sq. ft.
$10 million

In 1996 Spanish architect Aníbal González and his wife, designer Mónica Hernández, purchased this former sisal plantation on the outskirts of Mérida and transformed the 50-acre property into a luxurious boutique resort. Christened Hacienda Katanchel, the sumptuous compound comprises a 17th-century manor, a lofty warehouse turned grand salon, and a whopping 33 guest pavilions, each with its own plunge pool. A private rail system services the fruit-tree-dotted grounds, which are just a short walk from Mayan ruins.

Contact:; +52-33-3627-6437

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Luxury Lifestyles: Embracing the Green Life

Not long ago, the notion of eco-chic was a contradiction in terms. Green homes were associated with off-the-grid choices and environmentally conscious homeowners were viewed as pioneers. Options for melding style and sustainability were far and few between.

What a difference a few years make. Now more people are asking if homes can be high performance, health and aesthetically pleasing. And the answer is an across-the-board yes.

Changing Perceptions

“The sustainable home marketplace is experiencing a monumental shift in consumer perception and understanding,” says Channing Boucher, broker associate of Benson Sotheby’s International Realty in Crested Butte, Colorado. Technology has reset consumer expectations and helped them realize there’s no need to compromise on creature comforts. “Today’s homebuyers are better educated about the opportunity and, therefore, place a higher value on features like improved indoor air quality, energy efficient electrical, plumbing and heating systems and water-saving equipment and appliances,” he says. The surge in environmentally friendly housing and landscaping is more than a trend. It’s a way of life. Homebuyers who once made decisions based on location, price and floor plans are inquiring about green elements as a fourth consideration. They realize the investment in technologies and materials will pay for itself.


$3,300,000 USD | Crested Butte, Colorado | Benson Sotheby’s International Realty

Green improvements change the economics.

“As cost differentials for green-built versus conventional code-built homes shrink, the time horizon on the payback of the investment also shrinks, making eco-friendly homes more desirable and attainable,” Boucher says.

One of Boucher’s listings, a ranch on a 35-acre lot on the edge of Crested Butte (pictured above), is a prime example of environmentally sound planning and construction. The ranch was the first LEED Gold-certified residence constructed on the state’s Western Slope. The LEED designation recognizes leadership in green building strategies and practices. The home is equipped with LED lighting and solar water panels for heat. Cabinetry and flooring are both made from reclaimed lumber.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, firms building new single-family homes report 15 percent of their projects are green, a figure that is expected to jump to 84 percent by 2018.

Reaching Critical Mass

The eco shift is global with homeowners and developers deliberating how they can retrofit existing homes or build smarter ones from the ground up. In one example of adaptive reuse, a series of centuries-old farmhouses in Tuscany, Italy, is being dismantled and rebuilt into modern residences using the original stones, wood beams and terracotta roof tiles. Repurposing the materials keeps them out of the landfills. These older materials are being supplemented with locally sourced new ones, including products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which ensures the lumber comes from responsibly managed forests.


4.500.000 € EUR | Alessandria, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

In the principality of Andorra, Narcís Socías, CEO Andorra Sotheby’s International Realtysays he’s seen increased interest in sustainable and energy-efficient buildings in recent years. “New construction of eco-friendly homes in the Pyrenees have three pillars of importance: economic, social and, most importantly, environmental. Renewable energies are being applied to the construction of new properties, adding benefits including maximum comfort and safety, potential savings and, of course, a lower impact on the environment.” An apartment for sale in the Andorran parish of Escaldes Engordany is in a south-facing building to take advantage of the sunlight, incorporates a home automation system to maximize energy efficiencies and uses solar panels for its electrical supply.


1.275.000 € EUR | Escaldes Engordan, Andorra | Andorra Sotheby’s International Realty

Green building growth is being fueled by a number of factors, reports the U.S. Green Building Council including market demand, cost savings, health concerns and a boost in local, state and federal mandates. LEED-certified homes on market in the U.S. rose 9.7 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to the 2015 Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report with Wealth-X. In fact, green-certified residential construction rose in every nation in Western Europe in the past year, while growth has been especially dramatic in China at 19 percent, spurred on by government incentives.

Sustainable Scalability

The idea of a green home is not an all-or-nothing proposition but a scalable effort. Owners can incorporate as few or as many elements in their homes as they like. And they can be simple or complex: Employing rainwater capture systems, using native plants that thrive with minimal watering, installing satellite irrigation systems that monitor the weather and then adjust watering accordingly, incorporating renewable materials like bamboo and investing in geothermal heating systems.


$8,250,000 USD | San Francisco, California | Sotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage

“An eco-friendly home is ideally a balance of environmental responsibility and attention to non-toxic materials and healthy living,” says Los Angeles Interior Designer Sarah Barnard, who is also recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED-accredited professional. “Homeowners are excited to be living in homes that support their healthy lifestyle and reinforce a connection to living in nature.”

As the number of high end eco-friendly products on the market increases to meet the “responsible luxe” market, the learning curve in technology continues to decrease. Today’s touch-screen home automation systems are intuitive to use, simple to program and easy to navigate. And that makes it easier than ever for homeowners to make green both a practice and a goal. “It’s important for homeowners to consider sustainability in their homes design so that they be positive contributors to the health and happiness of their family and our planet,” says Barnard.

Article provided exclusively to Sotheby’s International Realty, LLC. by Iyna Bort Caruso

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Celebrating Cinema | From the Screen to the Streets

With the Sundance Film Festival coming to a close last month and the 2016 Oscars this coming weekend, the movies that are critically resonating most this year portray an undeniable realism. From Best Picture frontrunners Spotlight and The Revenant, to Sundance favorite The Birth of a Nation, it would indicate that true stories are where filmmakers are putting their focus.

Yet the 2015 (and early 2016) Cineplex had its share of colossal moments of grandeur and escapism for the masses. Jurassic World broke the opening weekend box office record in June, followed swiftly by Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattering that record again the week before Christmas. Despite Star Wars using every modern digital technique to bring the story to life, the filmmakers made a conscious (and heavily promoted) decision to ground the movie in realism by using 35 mm film instead of digital, using on-set animatronic creatures and costumes, and, just as imperatively, shooting on location to bring the many worlds of the galaxy far, far away back to audiences just like George Lucas first did in 1977.

One of the most exciting and exclusive ways for film fans to re-experience their favorite films are to visit those amazing locations themselves.

To Catch a Castle


Price Upon Request | Cannes, France | Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty

The opportunity to actually own a piece of cinematic history comes rarely.  Even rarer are those items and locations touched by the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock. Yet, nestled prominently on the French Riviera, the grand La Croix des Gardes in which the classicTo Catch a Thief starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant was set is now for sale.

Do as the Romans Do


3.900.000 € EUR | Rome, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Released just two years prior to the aforementioned Hitchcock classic is the quintessential romantic comedy Roman Holiday. Starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, two actors who define the phrase Movie Star, Roman Holiday has become one of the finest examples of Hollywood’s golden age. Set throughout the romantic and historic local of Rome, Italy, the film employs classing framing techniques by combining staged interior sets, rear projection to simulate Rome’s street, and on-location photography, all with a delightful and enjoyable tone.

Where the Magic is Made


Price Upon Request | Beverly Hills, California | Sotheby’s International Realty – Sunset Strip Brokerage

If discussing classic Hollywood productions, the romanticism of European locales always come second to the capital of motion picture production – Los Angeles, California. The headquarters of every major (and most minor) production studios, the clear skies, modern culture and luxury living of LA have been the backdrops of hundreds of films. Of note is the 1997 film LA, Confidential. Winner of two Academy Awards and nominee for an additional seven, the Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger-starring crime drama makes impeccable use of the City of Angles in service of throwback noir tropes with modern filmmaking style.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

For children of the 80s and 90s, there is no more influential filmmaker than the late John Hughes. And when discussing the works of the writer and director of classics such as The Breakfast ClubSixteen Candles, and Uncle Buck, it should incontrovertibly include his portrayal of the city of Chicago, Illinois. Often set among its suburbs, John Hughes’ loving portrayal the Windy City is most notable in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a travelogue of Chicago’s exciting cultural sites.


$3,099,000 USD | Winnetka, Illinois | Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Also of note are his writing and producing credits on films not also directed by him. The Christmas classic Home Alone, written by Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus, is yet another Chicago suburb-set picture. For those also looking to live steps away from film history, this gorgeous Nantucket-style home is down the literal street from the McAllister residence. Happily, the previous owners of this home were not victims of the infamous Wet Bandits, so any concerns of water damage are entirely unfounded.

Hope is a Good Thing

The ways in which movies are now experienced has drastically changed over the last several decades. From the advent of home video in the late 70s to the ubiquity of cable and premium TV, all the way to the adoption of DVD in the early 2000s and the recent evolution of on-demand streaming networks, the theater is becomes less and less essential to the cultural impact of modern films.

A quintessential example of this is the popularity of The Shawshank Redemption.

Released in 1994 and critically acclaimed at that time (it was nominated for Best Picture alongside Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction), it was a financial failure, garnering only a smattering of viewers in theaters. Yet over the years, through its VHS release and consistent scheduling on cable TV stations, The Shawshank Redemption became an absolute classic. As evidenced by its top spot on the IMDB Top Movies list, millions of home viewers experienced the final reunion of a freed Andy Dufresne and Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

St. Croix

$1,975,000 USD | St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands | United States Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Interestingly, that final location was not actually filmed on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Instead, the filmmakers ended their story on the white, sandy shores of St. Croix. Contrasting with the greys and browns of the prior two-plus hours we spent with the characters, it’s fair to forgive the filmmakers for the slight of hand given how blue and bright the waters of the Caribbean shine.

One Location to Rule Them All

New Zealand

Price Upon Request | Queenstown, New Zealand | New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty

Thousands upon thousands of films have made their indelible mark on cinema by embracing exciting locations around the world, yet none have been able to use a single destination to bring the audience to another world entirely as The Lord of the Rings. Shot throughout the country of New Zealand over the course of half a decade, Peter Jackson and his fellow filmmakers utilized locations ranging from the frozen peaks of Centerbury, to the rolling hills of Matakana, to the lush rivers and forests of Wellington, and the soundstages located in Queenstown. So absolutely bound is New Zealand to the cinematic legacy of The Lord of the Rings that many landmarks from the films have been made permanent to support the $15 billion in annual tourism, allowing movie buffs and sightseers to go there and back again many times over.

This post was provided by guest contributor, Christian Russo, Senior Interactive Marketing Manager for Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.

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