Monday, March 31, 2008

Venetian Islands Home Sold For $2,350,000

114 West Rivo Alto Drive Miami Beach Florida sold for $2,350,000

The Venetian Islands are very desirable to Miami home buyers, because of their beauty and central location on Miami Beach. A few days ago a fine Rivo Alto Island bayfront home sold for $2,350,000. The 2 story mediterranean home, located at 114 W. Rivo Alto Drive in Miami Beach is situated on a 10,500 square feet lot, with 60 feet of bayfront.

The home has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and 3,305 square feet of living space. The sales price comes out to approximately $711 per square foot of interior living area, a decent price in this market for a home which needs renovation.

The Venetian Island home was on the market for sale at an asking price of $2,990,000, and stayed on the market for 144 days (almost 5 months) before closing, which took place on March 27.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Swagat Volksfaden!

I am very proud to present to you the new sponsor of An Indian Summer - Volksfaden.

Volksfaden is a online fabric boutique from Berlin, run by Linda. What makes me so proud to have Volksfaden on my blog is not only because the Volksfaden collection of fabrics completely awe-inspiring, but also since Linda is a lovely friend!

More about Volksfaden:

Volksfaden when literally translated, means 'people's threads'. Volksfaden specializes in 100% cotton fabric, that is personally selected and imported from the United States and Japan. The collections are unique and emphasis is on pattern that is bright and eclectic. Shop for:
Fabrics here
Patterns here
Products here

A warm Swagat (welcome) to Volksfaden!

One Of The World's Finest Homes

Although this blog is dedicated to informing readers about real estate in Miami, and other generally useful real estate information, there are times when a little deviation from the norm is interesting. This is one of those times.

One of the world’s finest homes is located in the U.K., and as there were videos made of the exterior and interior of this extraordinary residence, some readers of this blog may appreciate viewing a totally amazing home, albeit in another country. Situated on 58 acres, this is reportedly England's finest home. Enjoy the videos below.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Miami Beach Pending Sale $14,900,000

24 S. Hibiscus Drive, Miami Beach Florida on Hibiscus Island $14,900,000
A beautiful Miami Beach mediterranean estate located on Hibiscus Island, and priced at $14,900,000 is now listed as a pending sale on the Miami MLS. The home located at 24 S. Hibiscus Drive was first put on the market for sale in 2002 for an asking price of $11,900,000.

As more improvements were made to the property, the price was raised to $15,000,000 in 2003, and then to a whopping $19,000,000 in 2004, and $22,000,000 in 2005. Unable to sell the magnificent Hibiscus Island home during the Miami real estate boom days of 2004 and the first half of 2005, or when the market collapsed, the owner finally lowered the price to $14,900,000 in October 2007. Stay tuned to see if it closes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Miami Beach Mediterranean Estate $10,500,000

6431 Pinetree Drive Circle, Miami Beach Florida - Asking $10,500,000

Discretely located between Lagorce Island and Allison Island on Miami Beach, a beautiful mediterranean estate situated on a 20,815 square feet lot, and boasting 8,606 square feet of living space, with 8 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms, is for sale. The Miami Beach home was purchased in August 2006 for $3,800,000, and the new owner completely renovated this now gorgeous mediterranean enclave. Here is a before and after view. The stunning Miami Beach luxury home is presently listed in the Miami Beach MLS for $10,500,000.

Kalamkari - The Art of Textile Painting

I am in love. With the amazingly rich textile tradition of India! As I select exquisite fabrics and furnishings for the upcoming bazaar, I can not resist buying double the quantity, so that I can have them at my home too. You can very well imagine what this is doing to my budgeting and thoughtful financial planning!

One such rich textile art that I am planning to get is Kalamkari. Kalam means 'pen' and Kalamkari literally would mean 'Pen craft'. The name is believed to be derived from trade relationships between Persian and Indian merchants as early as the 10th century. Interestingly, European merchants had different names for similar textile art in their geography: the Portugese called it pintado, the Dutch used the name sitz, and the British preferred chintz. Kalamkari today is synonymous with both painted and hand block printed textiles that incorporate natural vegetable/organically derived colors, and the art is primarily practiced in the state of Andhra Pradhesh in India.

Kalamkari in contemporary furnishing...

Beautiful designs from Anupama

Kalamkari bed furnishing found on Overstock

If you would like to try your hand at creating Kalamkari fabric or painting yourself, you can find excellent tutorials here

[History source: Kalamkari Art]

Monday, March 24, 2008

All that color!

I am still recuperating from the mad revelry and color onslaught of Holi - the fun festival that was celebrated in India this weekend. What a weekend it was! With Holi, Easter, Eid Milad and Navroze being celebrated all over the world!

Colored powder called Gulal used to play Holi. Yes, it is smeared on people's faces, hair and everywhere else!

Glimpses of Holi celebrations in old Indian paintings...
Lord Krishna and Radha are popular icons for Holi in Indian mythology
And, Holi spirit and colors captured very well by Steve McCurry
Hope you all had a great weekend too!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

All The News Not Fit To Print

The Beautiful Venetian Islands Looking West to Miami

It is always interesting to read news reports, especially when those reports are accurate. It has been said to not believe everything you read, and a real estate article that was printed in the New York Times a couple of days ago is a clear example of that. The writer published an article all about the Venetian Islands in Miami Beach.

Did you know that there are 11 Venetian Islands in this area? I didn’t know it till I read it in the New York Times the other day. All of the information I could gather after selling
luxury homes on Miami Beach for more than 20 years, was that there is Belle Isle, Rivo Alto, Dilido, San Marino, San Marco, and Biscayne Island; these six make up what I have always known as the Venetian Islands.

I was looking for the other five uninhabited Venetian Islands, thinking that someone knows something that has always remained hidden from me. If I could find those islands, I know so many real estate investors who might be interested in purchasing some of the lots to build homes on those islands. There has been overbuilding in the condo market, and everyone knows that, but the number of luxury waterfront homes on Miami Beach is still limited, and is going to be in demand as long as
Miami remains an International city.

The article goes on to describe how “hot” the Venetian Islands are right now, as compared to other areas of
Miami Beach, but a more accurate statement would have been that at the present time there are an unprecedented 31 luxury bay front homes for sale on the Venetian Islands. It's true that the Venetian Islands are very beautiful, and the homes are very desirable, and only those with substantial funds can buy a home on these islands; but it’s always better to read accurate news reporting.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Miami Home Sales Statistics

According to statistics compiled by the Realtor Association of Miami Dade County, in January of 2007, 2,245 single-family homes sold in Miami-Dade at a median asking price of $340,800. Twelve months later, in January 2008, things changed dramatically with only 885 single-family homes selling at a median price of $319,900.

The condo market had similar results, although there may be some positive news, at least temporarily. In January 2007, 2,772 condos were sold at a median price of $250,000, and in January 2008 1,237 condos sold at a median price of $286,500. Condos are selling at a snails pace, but according to these latest statistics, the median price is higher than it was a year ago.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Miami Beach Bayfront Home For Sale

595 North Shore Drive, Miami Beach For Sale $1,149,000

Located on Normandy Isle, a beautiful Miami Beach guard gated community surrounded by Biscayne Bay on one side and an 18 hole golf course on the other side, this fine home was recently put on the market for sale at what seems to be an excellent price of $1,149,000. That amounts to an asking price of just over $413 per square foot, for a renovated 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2,778 square feet waterfront home on Miami Beach.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NAR Supports Florida Homeowners

The National Association of Realtors is doing everything they can to support homeowners who are facing foreclosure. Today this letter from the NAR came in the mail....

Tell Congress that Market Conditions Demand FHA Reform

The increased loan limits for FHA that were included in the Economic Stimulus package are set to expire at the end of the year. NAR supports an FHA Reform Bill that includes realistic and permanent increases in the loan limits.

Please Take Action in support of making the increases permanent. Tell Senators Martinez and Nelson as well as Representative Wasserman Schultz that realistic loan limits will help all areas of the country to bring lasting stability to the marketplace.

Send this sample letter to Senators Martinez, Nelson and Representative Wasserman Schultz:

Subject: Permanent Loan Limit Increase Key to FHA Reform Bill

Dear [decision maker names automatically inserted here],

As a constituent and a REALTOR® I want to stress how important it is for FHA reform legislation to be quickly enacted. These bills, passed the House and Senate in 2007, are now stalled in conference. Permanent increases in the FHA loan limits, lowered FHA downpayment requirements, and new opportunities for condominium purchases are needed to create safe and affordable mortgage options for our state's homebuyers and those wishing to refinance. These changes will also provide much needed stability to our local housing markets and economies.

The new loan limits passed in the recently enacted Economic Stimulus bill will expire in less than 10 months. Dramatically reducing these limits at year's end will push our nation's fragile housing markets into turmoil once again. Realistic loan limits that permanently help ALL areas of the country are needed to bring stability to the marketplace.

FHA's downpayment levels led many borrowers to opt for the exotic, risky mortgages that have been the hallmark of the foreclosure crisis. The FHA reform bills will allow FHA to modify downpayment requirements and offer flexible financing to eligible borrowers.

In many areas of the country, condominiums remain the most affordable option for homeownership, but FHA owner/occupancy and documentation requirements, make it very difficult to purchase a condominium using FHA mortgage insurance. The FHA reform bills will move condominium financing programs into FHA's single-family program where they belong and ease the way for condominium purchases.

We cannot wait any further for FHA reform. Pass a permanent FHA reform bill NOW to give American homebuyers and homeowners the peace of mind they so desperately need.

Contemporary Terracotta

Kumbham, the brain child of Jinan, an NID alumni, has taken terracotta to a new level. And, in the process, also brought about a positive change in the life of potters and artisans from Aruvacode, a tiny hamlet in the state of Kerala. A gradually vanishing community was revived and Kumbham Pottery was born.

Kumbham has an amazing range of sustainable products. Some of the wall murals and tiles are showcased here:

Available at these places in India...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Palm Island Home Sold For $11,500,000

16 Palm Ave. on Palm Island in Miami Beach Sold for $11,500,000 in March 2008

A beautiful Palm Island estate was sold this month for $11,500,000. The mediterranean walled in 7 bedrooms, 6+2 bathrooms home, boasts 6,345 square feet of living space, a 35,348 square feet lot, and 215 linear feet of bay front. The home was previously purchased in 1992 for $1,700,000; it was listed on the market for sale for almost a full year before closing on March 3.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Miami Condo Market Crashes

Condo sales in the Miami area are decreasing month after month, and it looks like there is going to be a bloodbath with regards to the condo market in the near future. This is great news for buyers, of course, because condos can be bought on the cheap these days, whether we are talking luxury condos or otherwise. In Miami-Dade County only 305 condos/townhomes sold in the month of January. Last year in the same month, 846 condos sold in Miami, in a market which was already dismal. The news clip below describes what is happening in the Miami condo market.

Joining the club...

...The club that is 'Kathryn Ireland Ojai Home Fan Club'! Thanks to this wonderful blog, I got introduced to Kathryn's home, and have been drooling ever since! Ok, that's not a very pretty picture and doesn't befit this post. Let me say it again... I am mesmerized by this eclectic colorful dream that Kathryn calls home!

What I also noticed about this home is the incredible collection of textiles/furnishing inspired by Asian and Arab/Moroccan culture. Which should not be surprising since apart from being an interior designer, Kathryn also runs a successful fabric and furniture line.

So, if you haven't been introduced to this beautiful home as yet, feast your eyes on the images below and read the complete article here:

Suzani top left. The top right fabric seems to be inspired by bandhej/bandhani. Bottom right Moroccan pouf is very similar to embroidery done by gypsy women from Kutch

Check out the coffee table!

And the outdoor are as gorgeous as the indoors!

This outdoor sitting is one of my favorites!

Sample of color accents used in the house..


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Star Island Homes On Miami Beach

Miami Beach is an Island in Southeast Florida, and there are a number of smaller islands on Miami Beach, one of which is exclusive Star Island. Each home on the Island is a waterfront home situated on a lot of 40,000 square feet or more. Star Island has been the home of many famous celebrities and personalities, and the real estate is some of the most desirable in the US. Check out the areal video tour...

Monday, March 10, 2008

These are a few of my...

... Favorite things!

Thank you once again for the great response to the Feb-March bazaar! And heartfelt thanks and hugs to my blogger friends who have showcased the bazaar on their site.

I have started working for the next bazaar...but hurry, stocks are gradually getting sold out in this month's bazaar! So if you have been eyeing something in the bazaar, let me know asap! :-)

The French connection

Marc Hertrich and Nicolas Adnet have come together to create a very contemporary interpretation of history and culture of South East Asia, India, and Africa, with a dose of Creole charm!

Their association with Club Med as resulted in some stunning resort interiors - all across the world. Below are some images from Club Med's villages in South East Asia...

Checkout the cool fan..
Different interior options for a room!

Marc and Nicolas draw inspiration from each country they visit. Local craftsmenship and cultural heritage is omnipresent in each of their creations, as is evident by their online portfolio.

I hope , that we see their work in India too in the future!

Phew! All that html, xhtml...

I have been working on An Indian Summer's format, layout and other good stuff. HTML used to be Greek for me....but now I feel as if I have been handed the 'English-Greek' dictionary - which means I can manage some bit, thank you! :-)

The best thing is that I have updated my blog roll section [on the right...look look, there is a right sidebar too :D], and tried to put them in different categories. Though I have added some of my new fav blogs, I know I have missed some too... There is a section called 'Tools', where you will find online tips and tools useful in blogging. Will keep updating the lists in the coming days!

Keep reading....couple of posts coming up in the next few hours!