Well, almost. Bluegreen Communities, a developer of premier, master-planned residential home communities, has launched a new program that pays real estate agents big buckeroos for referrals. Through the Realtor¬Æ Referral program, participating real estate agents who refer buyers to a Bluegreen Communities property earn a full six percent of the resulting sale.
Most of the time, the six percent commission is split between the buyer’s and seller’s agent. In this case, of course, Bluegreen is the “seller” so they are playing nice and giving it all to the agent.
We’ve talked about Val Kilmer’s Pecos River Ranch, the unbelievable beauty of the property about 22 miles east of Santa Fe, most recently listed for $18.5 million but originally on the market in 2009 for $33 million. Talk about lowering the price! The ranch is so very special because it has roughly six miles of a popular trout-fishing river running through, glorious wildlife, a four-bedroom, four-bath log-built house as well as several guest and staff houses. There are 10 natural springs, world-class fishing and more than 50 miles of hiking and biking on a beautiful trail system on 6,000 acres. The 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom main home has 11,573 square feet. There’s also an equestrian complex. The Wall Street Journal reports its under contract. There was speculation Kilmer would split some of the 6,000 acres for a quick sale but the agent tells me no,¬† the entire property is under contract. Also says: “still working out the particulars and able to take alternative offers.” Hear that? May not be too late! Now that’s a good, cautious agent because as anyone in this market knows, it ain’t over till everyone’s closed.
The New York Times ran this wonderful interview with former First Lady Laura Bush on April 1, I hope the link to the slide show works — never know with the pay walls these days. In the interview, she says she didn’t know she was stressed until they moved back home,¬† Barney and Miss Beazely had a harder time adjusting and miss the large White House staff, she has found how incompetent she is around the house after 14 years of not cooking (which would be, to me, the best part about being First Lady), she and President Bush have a secret door from their bedroom to the girl’s part of their home in anticipation of grandkids, she loves Hilary Clinton & walking canes by Roosevelt Wilkerson, the Crawford ranch was green before its time, and she loves to clean. I recall Mrs. Bush saying, years ago, that she Cloroxed her kitchen counters and cleaned cabinets regularly, that she loved to keep a clean, organized home. But the best part of the interview, for me, was learning that her most cherished rug was one she bought from ARZU. I had the pleasure of interviewing the woman who started ARZU about a year ago when she was in Dallas.
His 6,000 acre Pecos River Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico is under contract and set to close April 5. $23 million folks. (The rich are certainly getting out their check books!) The Pecos River Ranch is about 22 miles northeast of Santa Fe, with wildlife, 10 natural springs, world-class fishing and more than 50 miles of hiking and biking on a beautiful trail system. The 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom home has 11,573 square feet. Dying to know whose name is on the dotted…
That’s Butter Pecan and her new baby born on March 7, 2011 at The Preserve at Walnut Springs, in Johnson City, Texas, a shared-ownership ranch.
One more indicator that the bottom feeders are out shopping and picking up some great deals on second homes, even the wealthiest of the wealthy. Larry Ellison, the sixth-richest man in the world, has bought the 249-acre golf course estate of Edra Blixseth for $42.9 million, this according to records filed in Riverside County, California. Last known listing price: $55 million, which was a 27% reduction.
I found the most amazing property today in Gunter, Texas. Would make an AWESOME second home. Way the hell north of Dallas, north even of Deion Sander’s home, which I think is still on the market, all 29,122 square feet of it but I think it’s been reduced from $21,000,000 already. Anyhoo, this development is called the Bridges at Preston Crossings, a 1580 acre former private horse farm (Cattle Barons was here twice and no cars got stuck in the mud, nanny nanny boo boo!) that a brilliant group of developers named Bluegreen turned into a living community. There’s an 18 hole golf course, a clubhouse, pool, 24 acre fishing lake, greenbelts and forests and yes this is all in Gunter, which is like a little Marble Falls (minus river) north of Prosper. Like we got there in less than an hour. Anyhow, here I am riding western as we trotted the property. More stories and photos to come. Listen to this: these lots range from one-third to two full acres and get this pricing — don’t fall off your horse: $70,000 to $120,000. I have an idea. let’s get a 5,000 square foot home here, a condo in downtown Dallas (Ritz, House) and call it our second home!
Value and a pretty darn good view — beachfront or mountain — that’s what people generally want when they seek second home real estate. After all, that’s the whole point of buying a second home, getting out of Dodge and enjoying peace, quiet and nature. But one thing has changed since the real estate bubble burst: folks want smaller second homes. (Do you blame them? Give me a one-vacuum-cleaner home on the range.) Two to three bedrooms max, creative living space, multi-function rooms. According to the E360‚Äôs 2nd Home Trend Report,¬† 45% of homeowners believe this year — maybe 2011, also — is the best time to buy a second home. No brain-killer here: timing, cheap interest rates, close-out pre-foreclosure sales; property characteristics, location, and price were the major preferences or influencing factors.