Miami: Playground of Rich and Famous

Downtown Miami Luxury Real Estate
October 22, 2015

By Hannah Goodman of Trulia As one of the top luxury real estate markets in the world, Miami has become the playground of the rich and famous. Celebrities and business moguls alike invest in Miami real estate to get their own piece of Magic City’s incredible vistas, beautiful beaches, and nightlife.  Those who seek a secure home with all of the latest technology and furnishings will find all of that…


Swiss Homeowners Most Indebted in World

February 23, 2013

  by Roberta Murphy Would you believe that Swiss homeowners are sitting on a “mountain of debt” and that the Swiss National Bank claims that mortgage credit now represents 103.6 percent of Switzerland’s Gross Domestic Product or GDP? The Swiss are only outdone by the Netherlands  with 107.1,  according to SwissInfo, who also report that other heavy debtors include the United States at 76.5 percent and Spain at 64. The…


La Revolte d’ Atlas

October 8, 2012

by Roberta Murphy The luxury real estate market in Paris is beginning to bulge with inventory, as wealthy business tycoons prepare to leave France and its looming tax rate of 75 percent of annual income above 1 million euros. According to France 24 , around 400-500 residences worth more than one million euros ($1.3 million) have recently hit the Paris market–and other French cities are being affected as well. But…


Most Expensive Cities in the World

by Roberta Murphy It’s interesting to study living costs in the most expensive cities in the world–at least as tabulated for 2009. According to Mercers, who tabulate these statistics for expatriate living, the 10 most expensive cities (based on housing, food, entertainment, clothing and transportation) are: 1. Tokyo 2. Osaka 3. Moscow 4. Geneva 5. Hong Kong 6. Zurich 7. Copenhagen 8. New York 9. Beijing 10. Singapore Mercer’s, in…

June 7, 2010

Luxury Hotels and Timeshares Struggling?

by Roberta Murphy We are seeing luxury scaled down on many fronts, and luxury hotels and timeshare resorts are taking it on the chin as well. For the first five months of this year, according the the Wall Street Journal, U.S. hotel occupancy has declined 53 percent. This is the lowest drop in occupancy since 1987, when Smith Travel Research began tracking these numbers. While both luxury and budget hotels…

June 25, 2009

Top 10 Things to Buy Before Economy Recovers

by Roberta Murphy According to, now may be the best time to make some of those major purchases wise shoppers have been putting off for so long, particularly if one has the luxury of capital.  The Forbes list: 1. Homes. Low prices fueled by foreclosures and short sales, coupled with low interest rates and possible income tax credits, make this an opportune time to shop real estate. 2. Cars….

April 22, 2009

10 Money Saving Tips–for even the Gucci Wallet

March 30, 2009

by Roberta Murphy Magic must be in the air. Even our middle son Eric — who has never, ever cottoned to bagged lunches — packed one the other day and probably saved at least $5. This college student works part time, but last week discovered the agony of having to pay $1,800 or so for a new bumper and rear quarter panel that met a brick wall when he was…


All Mortgages Are Now Assumable

mortgage czar
February 14, 2009

by Roberta Murphy If I could be  President Obama’s Mortgage Czar for just one week, the first thing I would mandate is that all existing mortgages become assumable. When starting my real estate career in Houston, Texas during the last century, it was not uncommon for buyers to assume or take over  existing  financing. In fact, it was a perfect way for the self-employed or those with dinged credit to…


Even Luxury Home Loans Can be Modified

by Roberta Murphy One Can Modify Luxury Home Loans, too? Not all clients took my conservative mortgage advice over the years, and some ended up with home loans that have turned downright nasty. In one case, a client and dear friend was persuaded to take out a Negative Amortizing Adjustable Rate Mortgage (Neg Am) along with a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) a few weeks after the purchase of…

February 4, 2009

A Crash in Classified Ads?

by Roberta Murphy Earlier today, a client emailed my husband Mike about a great deal on a red Mercedes 500 SL convertible available on eBay. It was a 2004 model with only 7000 miles and offered a three-year warranty to boot. Located in Florida, this two-seater beckoned with a red price tag of around $28,000. Ever the bargain hunter, Mike grabbed the San Diego Union Tribune’s Sunday classified section for…

December 11, 2008