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…


In Praise of Sexy, Black Appliances

kitchen home decor
April 11, 2015

by Roberta Murphy In Praise of Black Appliances Several years ago, we sold a luxurious oceanfront condo in San Diego. The buyer, from Palm Springs,  loved the views, the spaciousness of the remodeled unit and the highly upgraded kitchen. The only thing she couldn’t stand was the stainless refrigerator (which the seller was happy to take with him).  In fact, she wanted to replace everything with black appliances. I asked why…


One Luxurious Treehouse

luxury treehouse in Italy
March 28, 2015

by Roberta Murphy I’ve loved the idea of a treehouse since a young kid. Never had one, but imagined how I might climb up to my hideaway and maybe stay there forever. Am still fascinated with ideas of small homes and a treehouse, but not quite ready to actually live in such a primitive abode. Until now. Check out this Italian treehouse, appropriately called 25 Verde–and discovered on Australia’s Outdoor Design….


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…


The Luxury of a $500,000 Closet

February 9, 2013

by Roberta Murphy We’ve written about luxury closets in the past, but these days some are spending up  to $500,000 for a luxe master closet that might include a champagne refrigerator, sound system, glass-enclosed display cabinets, wet bar or even a breakfast area. Gone are the simpler days of a luxurious dressing room. The master closet area has become a destination room. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday on four…


The Luxury of a Warm Wood Deck

by Roberta Murphy We once lived in Big Bear Lake and had a redwood-stained deck that meandered as a set of platforms through the pines. During the warm summer months, we would dine outdoors and savor the quiet setting. The only problem with those decks and the harsh winters that buried them in snow is that we had to have them refinished every couple of years. It was no easy…

January 13, 2013

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

States Soak the Rich–and Lose

Donald Trump and Soak the rich
September 28, 2009

  Soak the Rich? Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that millionaires are fleeing their luxury homes in New York to establish residency in less-taxing states. As a result, New York is receiving far less revenue than was expected from the wealthy since these wealth taxes were enacted last April. Call it the law of unintended consequences. To be fair, many of these losses come from scaled-back salaries and layoffs on…


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