Thursday, January 31, 2008

One Billion Dollar Home Built By India's Richest Man

The wealthiest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, is in the process of building a 27 story, $1,000,000,000 home. Isn't it amazing how much value the zeros gain as they increase in number, simply because there is a 1 in front of them?

The home is being built in one of the plush areas of Mumbai, India, formerly known as Bombay. The 570 feet tall, 27 story home will appear more like a 60 story edifice because the ceilings are very high, according to some published reports. The glass house has been named Antilia, after a mythical island, and was designed by Perkins & Will, a Chicago architecture firm.

It has been rumored that the palace home will house 600 servants. The home will have 6 floors of parking space, maintainance areas, a theater, guest rooms, 4 floors of living space for Ambani's immediate family, pools, gardens, excercise rooms and helipads. Check out the video below.

What To Do If You Are Faced With Foreclosure

The video below is a wonderful mini instruction as to what to do if you are faced with foreclosure on your home. Barbara Corcoran appeared on the Today Show on Tuesday, and told viewers how to make the best out of a bad situation. Many Americans throughout the US are in the process of losing their homes, but all may not necessarily be lost. If you are faced with foreclosure, here are some things you can do....

Video no longer available!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Miami Beach Home Sold For $10,000,000

1401 W 27th St, Sunset Island 2, Miami Beach, Florida
Originally listed for sale in May 2005, a beautiful Sunset Island Estate finally sold last week for $10,000,000. The listing agents had been unable to sell the home for more than 2 and one half years, when a real estate agent from South Miami brought in the buyer and made the sale.

The gorgeous home features 9 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, with 9,626 square feet of living space, on a 20,000 square feet waterfront lot. Amidst all of the bad news coming out these days regarding the real estate market, it’s good to know that change may well be around the corner.

This beautiful home located on Sunset Island 2, one of the four Sunset Islands on Miami Beach, was previously sold in 1997, when it was purchased by Sophia Marcovitz for $750,000.

Miami Home Prices Fall Sharply

According to the latest report from S&P Case/Shiller released yesterday, the housing market continues to get worse each month. The real estate industry considers the report to be one of the most accurate with regards to home prices.

The report states that the worst hit market of the 20 metro areas they cover was Miami, where median home prices fell a depressing 15.1 percent in value from one year ago. In addition, the number of new home sales across the nation fell more sharply than any year on record; and the sales of existing homes fell to their lowest level in 27 years.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2007 Foreclosure Report

Foreclosures across the country soared an incredible 75% in 2007, according to RealtyTrac, a company that sells foreclosure properties. In December of 2007, foreclosures were up 97% compared to December 2006.

There were a total of 405,000 households that lost their homes last year, with more than 1% of all US families in some stage of foreclosure during 2007. In California, almost 66,000 foreclosures took place last year, and in Michigan 47,000 families lost their homes. Hard hit also was Nevada, where 10,000 households were foreclosed.

Under the weather :(

It is unusually cold in Gurgaon this week...

Ideal time to catch those 'elusive' viruses and bacterias

Hang on a second...

Is viruses and bacterias grammatically correct?

I mean, are they the words..

...That remain the same

whether singular or plural?

I will find out

When my dearest unwell laptop recuperates!

Yes, all this cold has not affected me

But my laptop is down with some virus

And hence the absence from posting

My laptop plans to return from its sick leave

In another day or two

And that's when I will be back too!

You take care meanwhile....

[and I hand over Mr. Shaking Head's laptop back to him before he wears out the floor by his anxious pacing! Apparently, "I can't handle sophisticated equipment like laptops"!!]

Monday, January 28, 2008

Luxury Real Estate At Any Price?

12 Indian Creek Drive For Sale $32,000,000

Although the real estate market has slowed dramatically throughout the nation, as well as in the Miami area, it seems that some people are unaffected, especially in the high-end market. For example, in May 2006, an ultra-luxury home on exclusive Indian Creek, namely the property located at 12 Indian Creek Drive, sold for the hefty price of $18,650,000. Today, just more than a year and a half later, the same property is on the market for sale, but this time at a whopping price of $32,000,000.

In 2004 and 2005, it was very common to see homes sell at inflated asking prices, but even as prices have come down substantially in Miami Beach, the most luxurious homes seem to hold value. The property mentioned above will most likely have to come down millions of dollars in price, in order to sell in the next year or two, unless, of course, the real estate market makes a magical turn around in a very short period of time. That would be very nice, but is highly unlikely in a market place which so heavily favors buyers.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bahut Shukriya...

... Katie, Bronwyn, Selya and BudgetCasa for showing love to An Indian Summer Bazaar!

Striped stole in the winter sun, on my favorite rug, with my favorite flower
Striped stole: Available in the bazaar
Favorite Rug: Similar can be made available
Winter Sun: Priceless

The current lot of goodies are available for another 5 days. Make sure you have picked up what you like before the bazaar closes to prepare for next month!

[Bahut Shukriya means Many Thanks!]

As straight as it gets

I am setting up my home office [fancy name for work table ;-)], and have recently picked up furniture very similar to images below. This place, where I picked up my desk and rest, is quite interesting. While they source and restore old and antique furniture from the corners of the country, they also custom make straight line contemporary furniture with wood that has been treated to look old! The result is quite must-buy-licious!

And as I set up my work place, I might as well pick up something for nap place...


Ofcourse, I also need a new rug, a lamp, a pen/paint brush holder, chair cushions...among other things before I can start 'working' ;-)

I will share the pics of my home office when it is ready!

[Psst: Let me know if you like the kind of furniture as shown above, or old Indian planning to debut small furniture pieces in next month's bazaar! Email me if there is something specific you would like)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Statistics - Home Sales - Dade & Miami Beach

The real estate market in the Miami area has continued to remain soft, with prices falling in both the housing and condo markets. Listings of homes on the MLS have increased, and sales have decreased.

According to data supplied by the Coral Gables, Homestead-South Dade, Kendall-Perrine, and Northwestern Association of Realtors or their MLS, in December of 2006, in Dade County (of which Miami and Miami Beach are part), there were 11,340 single family homes for sale, and there were 750 home sales made during that month. One year later, in December of 2007 there were 16,446 homes for sale, and 334 homes sold.

The condo market results were similar. In December 2006 there were 20,463 condos listed for sale in Dade County, with 846 closed sales. Twelve months later, in December 2007, 24,316 condos were listed, and only 305 sales were made.

A few short years ago, on Miami Beach, it seemed almost like every home or condo that was listed, sold in a very short time. Things have changed dramatically, and this is what has happened recently. In Miami Beach, in December 2006 there were 380 homes for sale, and 18 homes sold. One year later, 456 homes were listed, and 7 homes were sold.

The results of the Miami Beach condo market (including South Beach) were similar. There were 3,631 condos for sale on Miami Beach in December 2006, and 121 closings. Twelve months later, in December 2007, there were 3,880 condos listed, and only 44 condos sold last month.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Heart @ Bazaar...

The bazaar has been up for five days now, and is getting a steady, good response :-)

Readers, shoppers and fellow bloggers, have shared appreciation, suggestions, encouragement...hearing from all of you has meant a lot to me. Thank You once again!

And a special thanks to Erinn, nay-k, Jo and Kim, Joanna, Linda, Barb, Shelly for giving a special spot to the bazaar on their beautiful blogs ~ Gracias ladies!

Today, I thought I'll share with you some of my personal favorites in the bazaar...
[From left to right- Code: D25-26; D06-07; P12; P13; D15; P21]

I would love to hear what do you heart @ bazaar! :-)


I owe this post to Bronwyn [of the fabulous Smoke and Ochre] for quite some time now. She tagged me to list '7 random and/or weird things about myself, and I thought...only 7?!! I can come up with a good laundary list of these things! ;-)

So, here goes!

I can not stand the 'Arial' and the 'Times New Roman' font. Especially 'Arial'. People who have worked with me for some time know that any document they send me for review, will get back to them with its font changed!

My signature is not consistent. There have been multiple times when I had to write a new cheque just because my signature came out to be so different that the bank rejected the last one. Things that impact my signature: kind of pen, surface I am signing on, my mood...

I like Cerelac. Love it actually. Ofcourse, I am in no way close to being a toddler right now...if I had been, I would have been quite a prodigy...writing a design blog at the age of 1! ;-)

There are two things that I do when I am stressed. One: I clean. Anything and everything I can lay my hands on. And Two: I shop :)

I have a mental block against day to day Maths. I can easily strategize about financial models, understand corporate balance sheets etc; but can not calculate 15% off on a Rs.3500 duvet cover. I call my husband to find out the final discounted price. He had an advanced calculator installed in his brain when he was a child

This weird fact is according to my 'aforementioned husband': He thinks that every night, I use enough moisturizer on my hands to nicely moisturize an elephant. That, ofcourse, is not true. I do have soft hands though... ;-)

The latest random but nice fact is that I have taken a sabbatical from work [after 6.5 years in the same company] to spend some time doing non-corporate work. Like write about design, shop for and run the bazaar, maybe do a couple of interior design projects, travel, learn pottery etc. It feels weird at times, to have moved out of my comfort zone...but most of the other times it feels quite nice :-)

--Thanks for tagging me, Bronwyn!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Al Capone's House Miami Beach

The infamous gangster Al Capone, once lived in a wonderful Miami Beach home located on Palm Island. The home at 93 Palm Ave. is on the market for sale for the first time in over 35 years.

Still in it's original condition, the home which was built in 1922, is in dire need of restoration and is being sold "as-is". This historical house has 6,103 square feet of living space and sits on a 30,000 square foot lot with 100 feet of waterfront. The asking price is $6,800,000. Henry Morrison owns the home, according to the Dade County property records, and according to a report by the Miami Herald, he purchased it in 1971 for $56,000.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Getting ready for final launch today...

First of all, a huge THANK YOU for the amazing response to the bazaar! I am overwhelmed by all the lovely emails and comments you have sent me...It truly feels like I have opened shop for my friends, and not an unknown virtual world :-)

The update for today is:

The bazaar would go offline from 11:00a till 4:00p IST. I will use this time to ready the bazaar for the final opening. From 4:00p IST (that is + 5.30 hrs GMT), you can start buying from the bazaar!


*Happy Shopping!* The bazaar is live now!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Letter From The House of Representatives

The following letter from Congressional Representative Debbie Wasserman Shultz, of the The United States House of Representatives of the 20th District of Florida, recently came in the mail. It addresses some issues regarding the mortgage crises in this country, and, according to Representative Schultz, what our Congress is doing to fix it. Here is the letter, reprinted from the original.

Dear Mr. Shay:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 1852, the Expanding American Homeownership Act. I appreciate hearing from you regarding this important matter.

The American mortgage crisis threatens the U.S. economy, but no state has felt the effects of this problem more than Florida. The 110th Congress is acting to strengthen the housing market and the economy, expand affordable mortgage loan opportunities for families at risk of foreclosure, and strengthen consumer protections against future risky loans. I am proud that the House Democrats passed legislation to help make home ownership affordable and make lending institutions more accountable as part of our first 100 hours agenda.

It may please you to know that on September 18, 2007 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1852, The Expanding Homeownership Act. This bill revitalizes the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which was established to provide a reliable source of affordable mortgage loans for first-time homebuyers. The FHA is now enabled to serve more subprime borrowers at affordable rates and terms, and to attract borrowers to safer and more affordable mortgage alternatives instead of risky predatory loans.

As a proud supporter of The Expanding Homeownership Act, I am also pleased to announce that House Democrats are continuing to improve upon our recent success with H.R. 2895, National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act. The bill establishes a national affordable housing trust fund to build or preserve 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years. We have made real progress during the 110th Congress to create more affordable housing options, and I am committed to pursuing these initiatives throughout my tenure as your Representative.

Finally, on November 15, 2007 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3915, The Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. This legislation will crack down on mortgage lenders by forcing them to get licenses, making them responsible for discovering whether borrowers can really repay and fining them for steering people toward risky subprime loans. The measure is designed to keep more people from sinking into the current mortgage crisis, where prospective homeowners with shaky credit are allowed to get mortgages by financial institutions, with low interest rates only to see the rates rise and bring monthly mortgages up to prices they cannot afford.

Again, thank you for contacting my office, and please do not hesitate to do so again regarding this or any other matter. I will keep your concerns in mind and continue to update you on this and other pressing issues of the 110th Congress. I also invite you to visit my Web site and signup to receive my newsletter at for additional information and legislative issue updates.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Member of Congress

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

An Indian Summer Bazaar is Live!

With a lot of pleasure

anticipation and excitement

I invite you to the soft launch of

Click on the link above or on the left sidebar to travel to the bazaar

And do tell me how you like it! :-D

Monday, January 14, 2008

This is Bazaar Reporting Sir. And Maam!

Update [4:00p IST]:

Well, the quick update is that after finally posting everything on the bazaar site [its a wordpress blog], and doing a quick UAT, I found out that a lot of pictures are not visible!! I can view them as the author, but others can't view them! :(

Appreciate your patience hugely as I figure this out! And, if there are any wordpress experts out there- Help!



Right now, as of this very moment, I am working very hard [I'll be modest some other time ;-)] to get the bazaar ready for today evening (ie evening India time). I know a lot of you are clicking on the bazaar link but can't get into the site...that is because I am working on it right now and have disabled access.

Please come again in another 3-4 hours and voila! the bazaar would be open!

See you then! Back to hard work now!

Psst...Sneak Preview of the Bazaar!

The bazaar is finally coming to town!

Quick preview of some of the goodies you can buy from the bazaar

The Good News:

I am getting closer to completing all the prep required to get An Indian Summer Bazaar online and running :-). Some %^&* logistics still need to be closed, for which my fingers and toes are all crossed and I am touching every piece of wood I can lay my hands on [while my best half works to figure them out]!

If everything goes as per plan, and the Gods smile, and the birds sing, and all the good stuff happens, the bazaar will go online at 2p IST on Jan 15th! (yippee and yips!)

The Not So Great News

I am still waiting for the ^%&* licence that will allow me to sell within India. Can you imagine it is easier (relatively) to set up to transact outside India than within India! So, unfortunately, my fellow countrymen and women will have to wait for next month's bazaar :(

What to expect in the bazaar?

1. I have handpicked unique items straight from the craftsmen for the bazaar :) My bit towards Fair Trade

2. For the soft launch tomorrow, I have products under furnishing, wall art, decor knickknacks and some interesting items for personal use. You will get a chance to browse leisurely through the products tomorrow...the bazaar will start accepting orders from Jan 16th

3. Each item is unique, which means that I don't have a ready mass stock for any one item. The first person to place an order will be the lucky buyer. You will find simple and clear instructions on 'how to' on the bazaar site

4. I will ship every Tuesday and Friday, in lots, to be able to get better shipping rates for you :)

5. The bazaar site and operations are quite simple (that means non high-tech!) and personally handled right now. That means no shopping cart right now... but all payment and shipping is secure and trackable

6. Want something and didn't find it on the bazaar? No worries! Just drop in a request form to your *Personal Shopper* (i.e. Moi!), and I will help you procure that special product :)

Have a question or a suggestion? Drop in a comment! :-)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Miami Florida - A Wonderful Place To Live

Miami at Night

So much has been said about Miami. It is undeniably a wonderful place to live, and Miami Beach is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The Miami area has its own unique international flavor. It’s January now and the weather is warm and mild with temperatures in the 70s. People can be seen at the beaches, or at the pools of the many hotels and luxury condos in Miami Beach.

The Miami area includes a number of cities and communities, and the City of Miami is the second-largest city in Florida, with a population of 386,417 as of 2005.

The Miami Beach area is comprised of a number of communities and small cities, a few of which are the Sunset Islands, La Gorce Island, Indian Creek, Star Island, Palm and Hibiscus Islands, the Venetian Islands, Bal Harbour, and Bay Harbor Island.

The City of Miami Beach was incorporated on March 26, 1915. As of the census taken in 2005, the population of Miami Beach was 87,295, and the city occupies an area of 18.7 square miles. Miami-Dade County Public Schools serves the city of Miami Beach. There are six public schools which serve the Miami Beach community.

Real estate in the Miami area is some of the most desirable in the world, and in comparison to cities like Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Greenwich, or New York, homes and condominiums are still undervalued in Miami. The consensus among luxury realtors in Miami Beach is that the real estate market will begin to turn in the next year or so, and at that time it may not be quite as easy to make as great a deal on a home purchase as one can make right now.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

And then Ivanhoe said...

My dear Masha, you paint so well!

Adorable water colors from Masha D'yans who is originally from Russia, and now stays in the US. She is a professional graphic designer, and loves to paint and illustrate

She also has a product line of cards, bedding, T-shirts and prints!

Cathoe says:
"I so agree with you Ivanhoe!"

Find more of Masha's beautiful work here

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Real Estate - Foreclosures & Investors

According to Default Research, a provider of lis pendens data, foreclosures in the South Florida area were up by 66% in 2007. In Miami-Dade the increase in foreclosures was 26%, while in Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, the increase was 64%.

The research company, which provides pre-foreclosure information, states that they saw an average of 220 foreclosures daily in Florida last year. The median price of a home in Florida is $221,000. The Miami–Broward area is much pricier, with a median home price of $346,800.

The foreclosure crises is bad, but for some investors of real estate, there is an upside, especially in the Miami area. One can make a great deal in today’s real estate market, and buy a condo or a home for well below market value.

Furthermore, as more people resist buying until the market changes, the demand for rental property is increasing. For an investor who wants to buy a property for less than its market value, and rent it out until the market swings in the other direction, this may well be an excellent time to buy, or, at the very least, a prime time to negotiate a great deal on real estate in Miami.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Amazing Gables Club Penthouse $14,900,000

Roof Top of Gables Club 2 Story Penthouse

It took 3 years to finish this 2 story masterpiece in Coral Gables. Recently completed in 2007, the 11,000 square feet Gables Club penthouse boasts 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. This beautiful home in the sky offers
amazing panoramic views overlooking the skyline of Downtown Miami, Biscayne Bay & the city. The asking price is $14,900,000.

Take a deep breath and...

Be Calm.

I need to do some deep breathing
and, Relax.

As I frantically try to set up everything for the bazaar
New bottlenecks come up
While my explorer runs some god forsaken thing called active scripts
and nicely jams up my internet

If I had my way
I would turn all the red tape in the world to green tape
Don't know if that would help too much
But at least it would be green...
...and eco friendly

Totally random. I know.
This burst of randomness happens
when I am very happy
or very stressed

What calms me
looking at images like these

Coz, I too have white couches
And through these images
I appreciate their future potential

Where am I headed
If I feel calm
By looking at nicely done interiors

Wherever it is
The one consolation I have is
That at the least, the place would be
Aesthetically pleasing


[some of my favorite images from Marie Claire]

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Julio Iglesias Razes Miami Home

Julio Iglesias Indian Creek Estate

World famous singer Julio Iglesias recently razed his Indian Creek Island Estate. The large 10,328 square foot home no longer met his family needs, according to the 64 year old singer.

The home was on the market for $25,000,000, but his agents were unable to find a buyer. Unwilling to sell the property below market value, Iglesias razed the existing home, and the news is that he plans to build a Spanish hacienda on the beautiful 4 acre lot.

Indian Creek Island is an exclusive
Miami Beach community with its own private golf course. The front of every home in Indian Creek faces the golf course, and the back of many of the homes feature the wide bay, with amazing vistas, making this some of the most desirable real estate in all of Florida. Indian Creek is a city, with it’s own police force; Indian Creek Village was incorporated and the police department was created in 1939.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Rainbow colors for 2008!

I wish 2008, for all of us, is:

V ibrant

I nteresting

B ountiful
G reen
Y outhful
O ptimistic and

R ewarding

Hope to see and hear a lot from all of you in this new year! :-)

[images from Marie Claire, Mads, Mediterranean Lifestyle]

Pretty Pretty

I just couldn't resist these charming patterns from Galbrith & Paul. Reminds me of spring and early summer!

Do check out their site for more designs and for custom designing of rugs!