Luxury Home Market is Silver Lining Today

October 11, 2011

In every economic downturn there is a silver lining. And in housing, it continues to be the luxury home market.

But you need to move fast if you want a deal. Foreign buyers have been busy doling out cash on discounted properties brought on by the housing crash and the deals on a piece of luxury won’t last.

In Manhattan, a shrinking inventory means if you want a place to live for under $1 million, it will need some renovation. In Miami, prices are starting to rise as the economy slowly recovers and luxury properties are selling quickly. Realtors in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Malibu, California, report inventory on luxury homes is dropping, although prices continue to be stable.

From March 2010 to March 2011, the National Association of Realtors found that international buyers bought more than $82 billion in real estate, up 24% from the previous year.


Milestones

July 15, 2011

Last weekend, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees achieved a milestone only 27 other major league baseball players have ever done in more than 100 years of America’s Pastime — 3,000 career base hits. And he did it with a home run.  We saw the excitement in his face as he rounded the bases and, we were just as excited for him.

We are a society of milestone lovers, whether personal or otherwise. When we decide to lose 20 pounds, and we reach that plateau, we relish in that feeling of accomplishment. We also love seeing someone else succeed — Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition is a pretty riveting show.

And it does not have to be just about numerals. It can be firsts, or lasts, the latter of which we are collectively celebrating right now as the last Space Shuttle — Atlantis — completes its mission. Quite a milestone.

Other milestones have nothing to do with numerals or rankings: getting married, having a baby, buying your first home, graduating from anything. These events and others sprinkled throughout our lives make us feel good, special.  

No doubt, milestones are one of the keys to happiness. We are happy when we reach them; we are happy when others do.  

So relish those milestones. Derek Jeter did. And so did we.


Happy Mother’s Day

May 13, 2011

On Mother’s Day morning, 2011, a man on our quiet neighborhood street took his own life on his back patio. A chilling morning for many to say the least, but a more devastating one for his mom, to be sure. 

Reasons are not important, nor how it all went down. The reality is the lives of his survivors were changed forever in a single instant.  

Since Sunday, two things have weighed on my mind that should be food for thought for all of us. 

First, more of us need to watch closely for depression in our fellow man before it is too late. According to WebMD,

more than 90% of people who die by suicide have clinical depression or another diagnosable mental disorder.

And second, guns do kill people. In 2007, 34,598 people killed themselves, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half of them used a firearm.


Winning — A Relative Term

April 25, 2011

Winning, as we have seen in the post Two-and-Half-Men saga is a relative term. 

Indeed, there are certain recognitions you tout, others you may want to sweep under the rug.  This month,Orlando had the honor of appearing on three separate recognition-type lists this month. 

 First, Kiplinger.com namedOrlandoas one of the nation’s 11 comeback cities for 2011, in a list of cities whose unemployment rates have exceeded the national average, but are showing strong signs of a rebound. Kiplinger forecasts job growth at 2.9 percent inOrlando, with an emphasis on health care and life sciences, as well as hospitality and tourism. All good.

Next, hearing that the Orlandoarea ranked 35th in the ‘small business vitality standings’ of 100 major metropolitan areas, sounded like more good news on the surface. However, rated by The Business Journals, the online arm of American City Business Journals, Inc., the report shows Orlando dropped from number 17 last year and from 7th in 2009. Not so good.

And finally, Playboy released its list of the top 10 party schools in the country — and there at number nine was theUniversity ofCentral Florida. TheUniversity ofColorado took top honors, unseating last year’s number party school,Texas. 

Really? I don’t think that’s what the epicenter of ‘MedicalCity’ was looking for.