In Praise of Sexy, Black Appliances

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 treehouses, 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. And…


The Luxury of a $500,000 Closet

Luxury Closets
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 luxe clothing storage 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 luxurious…


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

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…


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…


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

Real Estate Market Bottom and a Radical Resolution

This is a continuation of last week’s discussion with real estate and luxury home legend Bob Dyson, who has a radical proposal that is being quickly embraced by Realtors, lenders and local Real Estate Boards. Why resort to radical resolutions? Because, says Dyson “This is a real estate depression–a serious, serious issue.” He sees an immediate need to stabilize real estate markets and neighborhood values. He also believes the motgage…

September 1, 2008

A Most Unorthodox Market: Bob Dyson

by Roberta Murphy Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to sit across from Bob Dyson at his office in Del Mar and listen to this real estate legend discuss today’s real estate market. We were also fortunate to have Chris Dyson videotaping much of the discussion, which we have divided into four segments. At the start of our interview, Bob Dyson said these are the worst conditions he has seen…

September 1, 2008

When Will the Real Estate Market Return to Normal?

  Luxury Real Estate Market: What is Normal? I often turn to Billy Taylor, financial services guru at San Diego’s Villa Sotheby’s, when I want to hear the latest scoop on the mortgage market. Just last week, for example, Billy shared that Chase had moved out of the jumbo mortgage market entirely. That leaves a mere handful of lenders who will even consider doing jumbo loans, which help fuel much…

August 30, 2008