Saturday, December 24, 2016

Today's Best Mansion and Top  Luxury Estates in Los Angeles, Phoenix, 
San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle Listed For Sale.

The exact definition of the word "mansion" varies but in U.S. real estate terms, it generally defined as single family residence of more than 6,000 square feet. Mansion derives through Old French from the Latin word "mansio". The English word "manse" originally defined a property large enough for the parish priest to maintain himself. The word "manor" comes from the same root territorial holdings granted to a lord who would remain there. Therefore, it is easy to see how a "mansion" came to have its meaning.

Today's Best Celebrity Mansion Listed For Sale  

#1     Johnny Depp Reduces Price of French Estate from $55,000,000 to $39,000,000 .

The actor,  who recently seperated from actress Amber Heard in a much-publicized divorce, has changed the asking price several times since listing the estate last year. Last July, he increased the price to $55 million, from $25 million. The 37-acre estate comes with a main house, its own complete Provencal village, a former chapel that’s been converted to a guest  house, a number of guest cottages, as well as a bar and a restaurant, according to listing brokerage Hilton & Hyland. There are two swimming pools, the larger of which is surrounded by sand, creating a beach-type setting, a gym, and a painter’s studio.

#2      Santa's House, The North Pole  is "pocket listed" for $35,000,000.  The main estate residence includes 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, and over 4,000 sq.ft.  with numerous out buildings including workshop and guest house.  Seller requires life estate leaseback.

As featured on Zillow, this toy-lover's paradise nestled on 25 idyllic acres at the North Pole   is perfect for spirited reindeer games. The home, constructed in the 1800s of gorgeous old-growth timber logged on site, is steeped in Old World charm but offers modern-day amenities, thanks to a 2013 renovation.

A welcoming entryway leads to the living room with a floor-to-ceiling river rock fireplace for roasting chestnuts. The gourmet kitchen is a baker's dream, boasting an oven with 12 different cookie settings.
 Cookies are served directly from oven to table in the adjoining dining room.

Boughs of holly deck the hall leading to the master bedroom, which features sprawling mountain views. Jingle all the way to two charming guest rooms that guarantee visitors are never left out in the cold. Cuddle close to the wood-burning stove in the queen suite. Or bunk up in the cozy loft. The more, the merrier.

Tiptoe down the hall to Santa's quiet study. An impressive writing desk is flanked by the same sewing table Santa used to make the original teddy bear. Substantial built-in shelving stores toy prototypes.

Over the river and through the woods is a state-of-the-art toy-making facility with workstations for 50 diminutive craftsmen. Nearby are a garage, with space for Santa's all-weather sleigh, and stables that board eight live-in reindeer, plus a bonus stall for red-nosed company, eagerly awaiting Christmas Eve. 
Image result for Santa's House

Today's Best Mansion Listed For Sale

#1     38 Mathews Road Wainscott-East Hampton, New York, 11975 with 8 bedrooms, 15 baths and 18,000 sq.ft. is now listed for sale at $75,000,000


On an ultra-private, approx. 25-acre peninsula on Georgica Pond with spectacular sweeping water views on 3 sides, this world-class estate is built to the highest standard with every luxury amenity. Main house, self-contained guest wing, waterside pool with spa, tennis court, dock. Sold fully designer furnished. Minutes to ocean and East Hampton airport.
It is now reduced form $95,000,000 to $75,000,000. Built in 2000 and published in Architectural Digest, the house was custom designed by architect Francis Fleetwood with interior architecture by Brian O’Keefe and interior design by Marjorie Shushan. Built with steel frame construction,the house features a double-height entry hall, 200-year-old antique flooring and wide water views from almost every room. Five principal bedroom suites plus additional 3-bedroom self-contained guest wing.

Today's Top Real Estate News

Existing home sales continue to climb at highest pace since 2007

Snow House

NAR: This is the healthiest job market since the Great Recession

Existing home sales increased for the third consecutive month in November to the highest pace in almost 10 years, according to the most recent report from the National Association of Realtors.

Existing home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.61 million in November. This is up from a downwardly revised 5.57 million in October, up 15.4% from last year’s 4.86 million and the highest since February 2007.

“The healthiest job market since the Great Recession and the anticipation of some buyers to close on a home before mortgage rates accurately rose from their historically low level have combined to drive sales higher in recent months,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.  “Furthermore, it’s no coincidence that home shoppers in the Northeast – where price growth has been tame all year – had the most success last month.”

The median existing-home price rose once again in November to $234,900, up 6.8% from last year’s $220,000. This marks the 57th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Inventory, on the other hand, dropped 8% from October to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale. This is now 9.3% below last year’s 2.04 million, and the 18th consecutive month of annual decreases.

“Existing housing supply at the beginning of the year was inadequate and is now even worse heading into 2017,” Yun said. “Rental units are also seeing this shortage. As a result, both home prices and rents continue to far outstrip incomes in much of the country.”

However, home builders reported a significant boost in confidence after President-elect Donald Trump won the election, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, leading some to believe that it could push new home builds up in 2017.

Properties are now staying on the market slightly longer than before at 43 days, up from 41 days in October, but down significantly from last year’s 54 days. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 110 days in November, while foreclosures sold in 55 days and non-distressed homes took 41 days. Overall, 42% of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month.

Today's Top LA Luxury  Estate Listed For Sale 

The median home value in Los Angeles County is $542,600. Los Angeles County home values have gone up 7.1% over the past year, Zillow predicts they will rise 1.8% within the next year.

The median home value in Brentwood is $2,420,000. Brentwood home values have gone up 8.4% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.7% with the next year.

The median home value in Malibu  is $2,782,400.  Malibu home values have gone u[p 3.5% 
over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 0.6 % with the year.

The median home value in Beverly Hills is $2,930,800.  Beverly Hills hhome values have gone up 1.9% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 0.4% with the next year.

The median home value in Bel Air is $3,258,800. Bel  Air home values have gone up 4.1% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 0.8% within the next year.

#1     687 Amalfi Drive, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 with 7 bedrooms, 10 baths, and 11,150 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $14,995,000

Outstanding new construction. Luxurious East Coast traditional melds seamlessly into modernized farmhouse vernacular creating an elegant yet comfortably informal living experience. This superb Ken Ungar design exemplifies a bright open floorplan with walls of doors that fold away for a naturally intuitive indoor/outdoor flow. Enjoy alfresco dining, the BBQ center, pool deck areas with water features and fire pit as your own personal resort. Gravitate to the kitchen with triple islands which navigate easily for convivial mingling while meals are made. There are 7 bedrooms with 5 on the upper level, including a kid’s wing with separate playroom/study. The master wing is introduced by a vestibule and has adjacent sitting room and a generous terrace with a view. The main floor has an office/den, formal dining room and living, kitchen/great room, pool room and maids. The lower level has the gym, wine room, game room and bar, home theatre and guest room. All levels are serviced by an elevator. This is the ultimate in luxury lifestyle.

Today's Top Phoenix Luxury Estate Listed For Sale 
A photo showing the skyline of Phoenix, looking north.  It shows the various buildings of the downtown area, as well as Sunnyslope Mountain in the background
The median home value in Scottsdale is $413,200. Scottsdale home values have gone up 3.6% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 1.8% withiin the next year.

The median home value in Carefree is $729,000. Carefree home values have gone up 3.6% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.7% within the next year.

The median home value in Paradise Valley is $1,590,000. Paradise Valley home values have gone up 1.8% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will 1.4% with the next year.

#1     10966 E Grandview Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85255 with 7 bedrooms, 7 baths, 
and 14,512 sq.ft. is listed for sale $8,429,000.

Masterfully designed residence in the acclaimed Silverleaf exudes the authentic feel of a Mediterranean villa one could only find on Lake Como. Handpicked finishes and details flow through out the home to exude a genuine character while tastefully maintaining the feeling of a home: marble, stone and wood flooring, bathrooms, and fireplaces; vaulted, cross beamed, and coffered ceilings; rich wood cabinetry; room-like walk-in closets with boutique style built-ins; imported stone counter tops; large living spaces for entertaining encourage indoor/outdoor living with retractable and sliding doors to access veranda patios such as the great room, games room, theatre room, bar, and outdoor great room. Additionally, the den, wine room, bonus area/ loft, and upper deck with fireplace are perfect for for smaller gatherings.

Today's Top San Diego Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

The median home value in San Diego County is $524,900. San Diego County home values have gone up 6.4% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 2.1% within the next year.

The median home value in La Jolla, 92037 is $1,464,200. La Jolla, 92037 home values have gone up 2.6% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.4% within the next year.

The median home value in Solana Beach 92075 is $1,326,500. Solana Beach 92075 home values have gone up 10.8% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 3.0% within the next year.

The median home value in Del Mar is $1,598,800. Del Mar home values have gone up 
6.2% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 2.3% with then next year.

The median home value in Rancho Santa Fe is $2,639,500. Rancho Santa Fe home values have declined -5.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will fall -1.7% within the next year.

#1     18346 Avenida Apice, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, and 4,846 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $2,650,000.

Brand new custom estate in Upper Cielo with panoramic mountain and lake views. Architectural details throughout including chef's kitchen with honed granite counter tops, top-of-the-line appliances, breakfast nook, walk-in pantry and wine refrigerator. Gorgeous DuChateau floors, designer lighting, formal dining room with ornate ceiling details, and serene main floor master with fireplace, marble bath with soaking tub and impressive walk-in closet. This timeless estate is just under 5,000 sq ft with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths and an open, flowing floor plan. Enjoy the office with wood paneling, game room/bonus room with wet bar and balcony, and great room with wood paneled ceiling and stunning views. Backyard is ready to entertain with its built-in BBQ, grassy area, limestone patio and forever views. Kitchen appliances/finishes include: Wolf Range, Miele espresso maker, warming drawer and two dishwashers, Custom wood overlay on Sub-Zero refrigerator, Vinotemp wine cooler, Carrera marble and DuChateau wood flooring, laser cut mosaic marble and porcelain tile back-splash and custom cabinetry. Bathrooms feature Restoration Hardware mirrors and some lighting. Master bath features calacatta gold Italian marble counter tops and hexagon mosaic tile flooring. Wired for smart home. 

Today's Top San Francisco Bay Area Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

Image result for San Francisco skyline pictures
The median home value in San Francisco is $1,116,300. San Francisco home values have gone up 0.8% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will fall -0.0% within the next year.

The median home value in Sausalito is $1,217,500. Sausalito home values have gone up 3.0% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 1.3% within the next year. 

The median home value in Tiburon is $2,383,000. Tiburon home values have declined -0.1% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 1.2% within the next year. 

The median home value in Saratoga is $2,367,600. Saratoga home values have gone up 1.3% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will fall -0.3% within the next year.

#1      1164  Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117 with 6 bedrooms, 4 baths, and 3,780 sq.ft. is listed for sale. Price on Application.


Incredible design and attention to detail are at the forefront of this dramatic contemporary home. Fronting the north side of Alamo Square Park, the home enjoys beautiful vistas of the park as well as stunning views north across San Francisco. 1164 Fulton Street enjoys four bedrooms, four full and one half baths, approximately 4,640 square feet, and a two car garage. Details include a roof deck with panoramic views, vaulted ceilings, a dramatic custom designed central staircase, an elevator to all levels, and a large family room/in-law suite with direct access out to the yard. The renovation was led by Jensen Architects and DrömHus General Contractors. Located near the bustling Divisadero corridor which includes Bi-Rite, NoPa, Bar Crudo, 4505 Meats, La Urbana, The Mill, Souvla, and so much more.









Today's Top Seattle Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

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The median home value in Kirkland is $593,000.  Kirkland home values have gone up 15.6% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 6.6% within the next year.

The median home value in Seattle is $611,500. Seattle home values have gone up 14.4% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 6.3% within the next year.

The median home value in Bellevue is $743,500. Bellevue home values have gone up 13.9% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 5.9% within the next year. 

The median home value in Clyde Hill is $2,301,000. Clyde Hill home values have gone up 12.3% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 6.0% within the next year 

The median home value in Medina is $2,311,900. Medina home values have gone up 
10.4% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.8% within the next year.

#1      8612 NE 10th Street, Medina, WA 98039 with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, and 
4,500 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $2,698,000.

A touch of the Côte d'Azur and a stately Southern Mediterranean feel distinguishes this masterpiece among many other enviably precious Medina gems. Thoughtfully designed by the current owners with premium materials and a subtle focus on space, ease of movement, light, and togetherness, its tasteful elegance supports all superlatives. This oasis of comfort and convenience — Medina families enjoy quiet, peaceful walks to excellent schools and parks—presents a rare opportunity. Entertaining family and friends becomes a cinch amidst an open floor plan with room to move and plenty of places to gather and share. Manage chef's gourmet masterpieces on a six-burner gas stove, complete with a stainless retractable pot filler for seamless cuisine prep. The triangulated cooking center ensures ergonomic access to three built-in ovens, plus a walk-n pantry. Guests can slip out onto an enormous patio and private, meadow-like green for backyard summertime joy.

30 Yr FRM4.33%4.35%-0.023.34%4.38%
15 Yr FRM3.51%3.54%-0.032.69%3.58%
FHA 30 Year Fixed3.85%3.90%-0.053.15%4.10%
Jumbo 30 Year Fixed4.35%4.37%-0.023.41%4.40%
5/1 Yr ARM3.15%3.19%-0.042.80%3.25%
Mortgage Rates Drift Lower Ahead of Extended Weekend
Dec 23 2016, 2:02PM

Mortgage rates made their biggest move of the week today, although the competition wasn't very stiff, considering yesterday's microscopic improvement was the first noticeable change.  Today's improvement was certainly bigger, but still microscopic by normal standards.  Few, if any lenders will be quoting lower "contract rates" today. The gains would instead be seen in the form of slightly lower closing costs.

As for the contract rates themselves, 4.375% remains the most prevalent conventional 30yr fixed quote for top tier scenarios.  Several lenders still up at 4.5% and a few are down at 4.25%. Barring the unforeseen, lenders will have little incentive to make meaningful adjustments to rates between now and the end of the year, thus decreasing the risk and reward associated with a "lock vs float" decision. 

Bond markets close early today and will be fully closed on Monday in observance of Christmas.  As such, lenders won't be updating rate sheets again until next Tuesday.  Between now and then, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Loan Originator Perspective

Very limited participation, an early close, and markets don't resume until Tuesday. If you're rate is within striking distance, I recommend locking through the holiday weekend, albeit it is unlikely we see much action next week. The concern is that we have been in an upward cycle fueled by a euphoric driven trade on conceptual future economic growth that has yet to be confirmed. Unfortunately until this is either confirmed or revealed as a farce, the euphoria will continue to power the markets current momentum.  Defense is the best approach. Keep in mind to take an extended rate lock period due to the holiday lag.  Ho-Ho-Ho.  -Gus Floropoulos, VP, The Federal Savings Bank

Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.375-4.5%
  • FHA/VA - 4.0%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375-3.5%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  3.0 - 3.5% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Rates had been trending higher since hitting all-time lows in early July, and exploded higher following the presidential election
  • Some investors are increasingly worried/convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates has been permanently reversed, but such a conclusion would require YEARS to truly confirm
  • With the incoming administration's policies driving a large portion of upward rate momentum, mortgage rates will be hard-pressed to make significant improvements until after Trump takes office.  Rates can move for other reasons, but it would take something big and unexpected for rates to move appreciably lower.
  • We'd need to see a sustained push back toward lower rates (something that lasts more than 3 days) before anything less than a cautious, lock-biased approach makes sense for all but the most risk-tolerant borrowers.
  • As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we've termed 'best-execution(that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers, based not only on the outright price, but also 'bang-for-the-buck.'  Generally speaking, our best-execution rate tends to connote no origination or discount points--though this can vary--and tends to predict Freddie Mac's weekly survey with high accuracy.  It's safe to assume that our best-ex rate is the more timely and accurate of the two due to Freddie's once-a-week polling method). 
Today's Best Real Estate Humor

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Please call, text or email me.  Most importantly, have a great day!

Merry Christmas and a Happy Prosperous New Year,