Tag - real estate

Widow won’t sign, and that puts timeshare giant in a bind

Widow won't sign, and that puts timeshare giant in a bind

ORLANDO, Fla./August 18, 2017 (AP)(StlRealEstate.News) — There’s a new twist in the standoff between an octogenarian widow in Florida who refused to sell her townhome and the giant developer that constructed a timeshare resort around her vacant, two-story building anyway.

In order to get a county permit for tenants to move into the new timeshare units, the company needs her signature — and she’s not giving it. That prompted the parent company of Westgate Resorts to sue Orange County, Florida, this month, demanding that the county issue the occupancy permit anyway.

The timeshare giant’s lawsuit is the latest development in the ongoing fight between Julieta Corredor and Westgate Resorts. Corredor was the last owner in her condominium development who refused to sell to Westgate so it could build the new timeshare complex in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district. The company tweaked its plans, but moved forward, building a seven-story, multimillion-dollar edifice within feet of the Corredor townhome.

The 82-year-old woman’s townhome was damaged when a contractor for the timeshare company was clearing the site for the construction of Westgate’s timeshare complex. No one now lives in the property, which was used as a vacation home by the South Florida-based Corredor family. The home, which Westgate said the family has not used in more than a decade, has now been deemed uninhabitable because of the damage.

Orange County officials have told Westgate their contractor needs a demolition permit for the unpermitted work done on Corredor’s building before it will grant the occupancy permit for one building and a building permit for the second building in the timeshare complex. That requires the signature of Corredor, who has so far steadfastly refused all of the company’s offers to buy out her unit.

The fact that Westgate apparently undertook demolition without proper permitting from Orange County, substantially damaging Mrs. Corredor’s condominium in the process and rendering it uninhabitable, is one of the big reasons that we’re in this mess,” said Corredor’s attorney, Brent Siegel.

County spokeswoman Doreen Overstreet said the county wouldn’t comment due to the pending litigation. Corredor and her sons weren’t named as defendants in the lawsuit, although their fight with Westgate looms large over the complaint.

In emails filed with the court, a lawyer for Westgate complained that the county’s decision not to issue the occupancy permit is costing Westgate “tens of thousands of dollars every day.” The lawsuit said the company has passed all final inspections and that the county has “a clear legal ministerial duty” to issue the occupancy permit.

The county also told Westgate it needs to make repairs to the Corredor home in order to get the permit, and that also requires Corredor’s signature. That’s something she is willing to sign off on, provided she gets all the details on the proposed repairs, her attorney said.

Officials at the timeshare company said they’ve offered to rebuild the Corredors’ unit at the same or a new location and provide $50,000 in furnishings. They’ve presented an offer of a $150,000 cash buy-out, and they’ve said they’re willing to offer a comparable, newly-renovated unit in a different building. The Corredors have repeatedly said “no.”

The Corredors have said that their case is a matter of principle on property rights and that they feel bullied by Westgate.

The Corredors have two lawsuits pending against Westgate. There have been no steps toward settlement talks since the beginning of the year, Siegel said.


Inc. Magazine Names Platinum Drive Realty One of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies–the Inc. 5000

Inc. Magazine Names Platinum Drive Realty One of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies--the Inc. 5000

NEW YORK/ August 18, 2017 (PRN)(StlRealEstate.News) — Inc. Magazine named Platinum Drive Realty on its 36th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for the fourth consecutive year. The real estate firm has been recognized for its impressive three-year sales growth of 220%. Platinum Drive Realty is also the fastest growing real estate firm in Westchester County on Inc. Magazine’s 2017 list.

“We are thrilled to have been once again named on the Inc. 5000’s list of America’s fastest-growing private companies,” said Zachary Harrison, President of Platinum Drive Realty. “It’s a true honor and recognizes our innovative marketing strategies, local expertise and commitment to providing extraordinary service beyond the real estate transaction to generate the absolute best results for our clients.”

The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small and midsized businesses. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000.

“The Inc. 5000 is the most persuasive evidence I know that the American Dream is still alive,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “The founders and CEOs of the Inc. 5000 tell us they think determination, risk taking, and vision were the keys to their success, and I believe them.”

Heather Harrison, co-founder of Platinum Drive Realty added, “We are very excited to be recognized again by Inc. Magazine. It’s a tribute to our stellar team of real estate professionals and wonderful clients! Our firm’s commitment to excellence has helped us achieve incredible milestones and expand into new markets, including our newest location in Long Island!”

About Platinum Drive Realty
Platinum Drive Realty is an award-winning real estate firm that specializes in Westchester County, Long Island, Fairfield County, CT and the suburbs of New York City. The firm prides itself on delivering exceptional service to first time buyers and sellers, experienced homeowners, builders and investors throughout the process of buying and selling a home. Platinum Drive Realty has been named one of the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for Four Consecutive Years, (2014-2017). The firm is headquartered in Scarsdale, New York and has five office locations including Larchmont, Chappaqua, Long Island and Greenwich, CT.

SOURCE: Platinum Drive Realty

Luxury Auction® Approaches for Waterfront Home Within FL Community Ranked as One of Nation’s Most Exclusive by Forbes Magazine

Luxury Auction® Approaches for Waterfront Home Within FL Community Ranked as One of Nation's Most Exclusive by Forbes Magazine

BOCA RATON, Fla./ August 17, 2017 (PRN)(StlRealEstate.News) — Luxury real estate auction firm Platinum Luxury Auctions is preparing for the upcoming auction sale of a contemporary waterfront estate located within the Sanctuary of Boca Raton, a gated residential community in Boca Raton, Florida. The ritzy neighborhood, situated on the western side of the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach County, has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the most exclusive gated communities in the United States. Although recently offered for an asking price of $3.8 million, the property will now be sold to the highest bidder who meets or exceeds a bid of only $1.5 million at the live auction sale, to be held on the property site on August 26, 2017. Platinum, a firm specializing in the non-distressed auction sale of multimillion-dollar homes on behalf of their affluent sellers, was retained by the property’s owner to exclusively manage the sale.

“We’re pleased to be working within the Sanctuary, a community long-known to be one of Boca Raton’s best,” stated David Enriquez, Platinum’s vice president of operations. “Its relatively boutique size, excellent security and waterfront amenities have made it a preferred location for many prominent business moguls and their families. It’s extremely rare for an auction to be conducted within this coveted enclave.”

Completely renovated by its current owner in 2012, the single-story, contemporary estate offers 5,000 square feet of interior living area, with 5 bedrooms, 6 full and one half bath. It is situated on a wide, deep-water canal, and boasts 70 linear feet of dockage. The large canal, combined with the wake protection and privacy offered by a 27-acre wildlife preserve located immediately east of the community, create exceptional dockage conditions for the avid boater. There are no fixed bridges between the property and the nearest inlet, making a cruise to the Atlantic Ocean a breeze.

Designed in a beach chic style with a light color palette, the residence features lofted ceilings and bright, airy living spaces, with most rooms offering views of the pool and the waterway through floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. Several bedrooms feature direct access to the pool deck, creating a seamless blend between indoor and outdoor living areas. The impressive kitchen, located just off the main salon, was designed by Pedini New York, and features Viking appliances and a welcoming, open layout that flows into the other living areas.

Outdoor living areas include a large front yard with a semi-circular, paved entry, and a backyard offering a manicured pool deck outfitted in custom pavers and artificial grass, a custom pool and spa with sun-soaking deck, and a summer kitchen with video and audio systems.

Additional features include a +300-bottle wine room, integrated Smart Home features controllable via iPad, a spacious master bedroom suite with a designer bath, and a three-car garage.

The Sanctuary of Boca Raton has long been considered one of the most exclusive gated communities in Palm Beach County. Its ninety estates – two-thirds of which feature private, deep-water dockage – typically range from $2 million to more than $20 million in price. In addition to its namesake, 27-acre wildlife preserve, The Sanctuary offers a 23-slip marina (built to accommodate boats up to 65 ft. in length), Har-Tru tennis courts, a children’s playground and round-the-clock security patrolling both the roads and the waterways behind its manned gates.

About Platinum Luxury Auctions
Platinum Luxury Auctions is responsible for developing the luxury auction® model for high-priced real estate auctions. The firm specializes in the non-distressed sale of multimillion-dollar properties within and beyond the United States. Platinum’s team has closed more than $700 million in luxury real estate auction sales to date, while consulting on more than $2 billion in additional luxury properties worldwide.

SOURCE: Platinum Luxury Auctions LLC

US home construction slumped in July

US home construction slumped in July

WASHINGTON/August 16, 2017 (AP) (StlRealEstate.News) — Homebuilders pulled back sharply on construction of apartment complexes in July, causing housing starts to tumble to a three-month low.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts fell 4.8 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million. Groundbreakings for multi-family buildings such as apartments slumped 17.1 percent, while single-family house construction slipped 0.5 percent.

Home construction has increased 2.4 percent year-to-date, but the gains have done little to offset the dwindling number of homes listed for sale. The shortage of properties for sale has pushed prices up at a faster pace than income growth, making home ownership less affordable for many would-be buyers.

Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities, said that because of the lack of homes on the market “builders are attempting to meet that need but are hamstrung to a degree by shortages of skilled workers” and land restrictions.

Housing starts dropped in the Northeast, Midwest and West but rose modestly in the South.

Building permits, an indicator of future construction, decreased 4.1 percent to 1.22 million.

While home construction has increased, it’s done little to ease the pressure from a decline in listings for existing homes — a much larger segment of the housing market.

The number of sales listings has been falling on an annual basis for the past 25 months. There were 1.96 million homes for sale in June, a 7.1 decline from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

More importantly, home construction is concentrated in certain markets, according to a new analysis by the real estate firm Trulia.

Dallas, Houston and Austin in Texas are on pace to build a combined 130,000 new homes this year. That total would be more than 10 percent of all U.S. permits and account for nearly as much as construction in the 50 other large metro areas combined.

The lack of properties on the market has helped to bolster confidence among homebuilders who see healthy demand for the homes that are available.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday rose to 68 in August, a four-point gain from July. Any reading above 50 signals expansion.

By JOSH BOAK ,  AP Economics Writer


GainClients Begins Large Sales Campaign Targeting Top Credit Unions In The U.S.

GainClients Begins Large Sales Campaign Targeting Top Credit Unions In The U.S.

TUCSON, Ariz./ Aug. 14, 2017 (PRNewswire) (StlRealEstate.News) — GainClients, Inc. (OTC: GCLT) (“GainClients” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that on July 24, 2017, it began a second large-scale sales campaign in the U.S. with its new software, the Home Purchase Service.

The Company has obtained verified contact information for 750 credit union targets. According to Ray Desmond, the Company’s CEO/president, “Credit unions are very valuable to us because they have millions of members and are open to new services. We expect to do well by increasing their new purchase money business, which in turn will increase our earnings and customer base.”

The Home Purchase Service is the Company’s new purchase money solution for the real estate, lending and title companies.

The Company is simultaneously running a sales campaign targeting the top 75-lenders in the U.S., which is also creating new users and revenue.

About GainClients, Inc.
GainClients products, the GCard, the Home Purchase Service and GCHomesearch consist of custom-built data and marketing services designed specifically for the real estate industry.  The company’s clients include real estate related organizations such as banks, credit unions, real estate and lender brokerages and title/escrow as well as individual real estate, mortgage, and title and escrow professionals.

SOURCE: GainClients, Inc.

Real Estate Experts Say Buying In The Fall Has Benefits

Real Estate Experts Say Buying In The Fall Has Benefits

August 14, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Spring and summer has typically been viewed as the best time to buy a home.  However, real estate experts claim there are advantages to purchasing a home in the fall.
RE/MAX President Geoff Lewis is one such real estate expert who agrees that there are benefits to the buyer during this time of the year, “This time of year has big advantages, like motivated sellers and less competition.”

According to RE/MAX officials, eager sellers may be more likely to negotiate and thus offer a better deal to the buyer.  Another factor that comes into play is the reduced chance of bidding wars.  According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly half of all home sales occur from May to August.  As a result, there is less competition.

Moving day may be less costly in the fall too.  Moving companies aren’t as busy during the fall and winter, which often results in more flexible schedules and lower prices.  The same applies to title companies.  With less traffic during the fall and winter, closings may be quicker and less stressful.

In addition, RE/MAX brokers recommend that sellers assess and prioritize repairs before placing their home on the market, no matter the time of the year.

“Flaws come in every form imaginable. Some result from normal wear and tear, such as worn or soiled carpeting.  Others develop as a home ages,” explained Jack Kreider, executive vice president of RE/MAX Northern Illinois. “Doors don’t close properly because of settling, mechanical systems show signs of fatigue or porch railings have deteriorated from weather exposure.  And of course, there are those things that just happen, like the bedroom your teenager painted black and purple and then put stars on the ceiling that glow in the dark.”

These all come under the category of cosmetic issues.  A prospective buyer may be impressed or want to walk away depending on the visual impression of the home.  RE/MAX experts recommend fixing the cosmetic flaws and then move on to any issues an inspector could identify as a problem.

Former St. Louis chief’s mother accused of fraud

Former St. Louis chief's mother accused of fraud

ST. LOUIS/August 12, 2017 (AP) (StlRealEstate.News) — The mother of a former St. Louis police chief is accused in a federal indictment of embezzling millions of dollars from a Missouri real estate company.

A grand jury has indicted Carol Dotson with one count of wire fraud that alleges she bilked an Olivette real estate business between July 2003 and February of this year while she worked there since 1990.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports she’s also accused of writing checks to herself totaling $20,000, embezzling $2 million and falsifying financial reports.

Dotson’s son, former St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson, says he’s been estranged from his mother for years, and that he’s sad and mad about the allegations.

Online court records don’t show whether Carol Dotson has an attorney.


Childhood home of Harriet Beecher Stowe for sale on eBay

Childhood home of Harriet Beecher Stowe for sale on eBay

HARTFORD, Conn./August 11, 2017 (AP) (StlRealEstate.News) — The birthplace of abolitionist writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, which was disassembled and stored in trailers 20 years ago, has been put up for sale on eBay.

The move is the latest in the unusual history of preacher Lyman Beecher’s Litchfield house, which was built in 1811, served as the childhood home for his 11 children and was later a sanitarium and then a dormitory for a private school.

It was sold by the Forman School for $1 and deconstructed in 1997 by a buyer who planned to move it and turn it into a museum about the early life of the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” author. But those plans never came to fruition.

The remains of the house, which have been stored in four storage trailers in Massachusetts and Connecticut, were acquired two years ago by a Woodbury antiques dealer, Art Pappas, who is looking for someone willing to purchase and restore the building.

Pappas said he has advertised the house with organizations that specialize in the sale of historic homes and offered it to the Smithsonian and other museums, but with no luck.

“A lot of them just don’t show any interest whatsoever, which blows my mind,” he said. “It’s the birthplace of Harriet Beecher.”

Folk singer Pete Seeger also lived in the building when it was a dormitory during the 1920s.

Pappas said he’s now turned to more mainstream internet marketplaces to list the home, including Craigslist and eBay, where a $400,000 listing expires on Aug. 14. There were no bids for the property as of Friday. Pappas says the price is negotiable.

“The thing about eBay is it doesn’t really cost anything for the advertising at this point. We’ve spent a lot on advertising, but we’ve gotten more of a response from eBay and Craigslist,” Pappas said.

The antiques dealer says he has the original plans for the home and can put any buyer in touch with experts who can help put the “thousands of pieces” back together.

The home is listed on the state’s Register of Historic Places. But Rob Michalik, a spokesman for Connecticut’s Historic Preservation Office, said they have no plans to acquire the house.

“Our interest is in preserving the historic fabric of structures and given that this has been in storage for 20 year, we don’t know how much of that historic fabric remains,” he said.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford also has no plans to bid on the property. Executive Director Katherine Kane said that organization’s focus remains the upkeep of the museum and Hartford house where Stowe lived as an adult on a property adjacent to Mark Twain.

“When (the birthplace) was available 20 years ago both the Stowe Center and the Litchfield Historical Society evaluated the building and determined there was not much left of it from Beecher era,” she said. “I wouldn’t say that it wasn’t worth preserving. But it’s not on the site where it was built or in the community where it was built. So it’s lost some of its context already and then being deconstructed makes it even more difficult. It’s very sad.”

Pappas said he likely will put up another 30-day listing on eBay if he gets no offers before Monday, but eventually must decide whether it might be better to sell off pieces of the home as antiques and the rest as building material.

“It can’t stay in storage forever, it will just rot at some point,” he said.

By PAT EATON-ROBB ,  Associated Press


Cornerstone Solutions Offers Virtual Server Management Solution to Integrate with Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate version 17.1

Cornerstone Solutions Offers Virtual Server Management Solution to Integrate with Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate version 17.1

CHICAGO/ Aug. 11, 2017 (PRN) (StlRealEstate.News) — Cornerstone Solutions (Cornerstone), an Authorized Sage Partner regarded among the Midwest’s top-tier, premier solutions providers to construction and real estate firms for over 30 years, announces the official launch of its Sapphire Prime Cloud Services, offering a powerful virtual server and cloud management solution specifically customized to support the advanced system requirements and features of Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate version 17.1, including the newly released Sage Mobile Projects management solution.

The latest version of Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate features the ability to query a SQL database, allowing multiple users to simultaneously access the most up-to-date information, whether from the office or in the field on a mobile device. Version 17.1 also includes automatic data backup and easy database maintenance and administration to further ensure data security. Contractors can also efficiently consolidate data from various sources to gain comprehensive insight into their business operations.

The current release of Sage Mobile Projects incorporated in version 17.1 includes web-based capabilities to complete Daily Field Reports (DFR) and Requests for Information (RFI), with the ability to complete submittals, commitments and change orders scheduled to roll out over the next year, offering the potential for significantly improved operational efficiency and field-to-office communications.

Cornerstone Solutions has designed Sapphire Prime Cloud Services, a cost-effective means to respond to the need for more robust server and operating system processing power to seamlessly support the new web-based applications, SQL replication and full breadth of Sage Mobile Projects functions offered in Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate version 17.1. Since the newest Sage release no longer supports Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter or 32-bit operating systems, Sapphire Prime provides users with access to a powerful, highly secure virtual server management solution, equipped with a Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Edition server configuration, hosted by telecommunications giant, CenturyLink.

“We want to make sure that we’re giving our customers all the tools they need to be able to fully embrace all the current and anticipated features coming to Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate,” said Dom Pernai, President of Cornerstone Solutions. “Sage Mobile Projects, the SQL database replication – all of that provides incredible value and feels truly groundbreaking for the industry. This release is the best yet, and Sapphire Prime is our way of ensuring businesses can get on board in a way that’s affordable with a partner they trust in Cornerstone.”

Initially launched in late 2016, Cornerstone’s Sapphire Cloud Services are rapidly becoming an industry benchmark among virtual server management solutions on the market, offering ease of use and unmatched reliability to provide immense value to construction and real estate business owners.

“With Sapphire Cloud Services, I love that I’m able to remotely access my data from my home or office, and it’s totally reliable,” said Kenneth Silverman, Chief Accounting Officer for LG Construction & Development. “Honestly, it’s probably the smoothest running service I’m currently using or have ever used.”

In addition to the Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Edition server configuration, an annual contract with Sapphire Prime includes one authorized user, two 10-core CPUs, 32 GB of RAM, complimentary data usage of up to 200GB per month, nightly server backups to a cloud-based server and a redundant, off-site Sage data backup. Users can also flex their server capabilities as needed, with the option to add on storage, additional users, RAM, CPUs and IT help desk services. Fully equipped to run all current applications and near-future releases expected for Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, Sapphire Prime provides construction and real estate businesses with an exceptional level of storage and server scalability, data security and system reliability to respond to industry growth – all at an efficient price point that amounts to far less than the total cost of owning an in-house server of similar caliber.

To learn more about Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate version 17.1 and Sapphire Prime features and pricing, please visit www.cornerstonesapphire.com, or email Dominic Pernai at [email protected] For more background on Cornerstone Solutions’ long-standing dedication to providing construction and real estate partners with an innovative, solution-oriented approach, please visit www.corner-sol.com.

SOURCE: Cornerstone Solutions

Agility Grows As A Priority Among Corporate Real Estate Executives

Agility Grows As A Priority Among Corporate Real Estate Executives

ATLANTA/ Aug. 10, 2017 (PRN) (StlRealEstate.News) — The concept of creating agility, the ability to scale up and scale down, and to relocate quickly and easily, is growing in urgency as a priority among corporate real estate executives according to a survey of their leading strategies and focus areas.

As surveyed by CoreNet Global and CBRE, occupiers pursuing agility-focused initiatives increased 5 points to 40%, while those targeting pure space efficiency initiatives fell 21 points to 58%.

“For the second year of this survey, we are seeing a continued trend across industries and geographies where real estate executives are seeking greater operational flexibility as a top strategy to add value across their real estate portfolios,” said Julie Whelan, Head of Occupier Research with CBRE.

Accordingly, respondents shared the percentage who will either use or intend to use shared workspaces will increase to 45 percent by 2020, up 15 points from today.  Cost, flexibility in lease terms, and the need for short-term space were the leading decision drivers cited for engaging in this space model.

That said, “today’s top occupiers are pursuing increased agility through a multitude of avenues” said Matt Toner, Leader of CBRE Institute and co-lead with Julie Whelan on a forthcoming study by CBRE and CoreNet Global exploring this issue. Their team is seeking to further define trends in occupiers’ use of organizational, portfolio, process, financial, and digital agility initiatives – and will have results published by year-end.

“The shared workspace is exciting and one of the most transformative movements we are seeing in corporate real estate today,” said Tim Venable, senior vice president with CoreNet Global. “The term shared workspace may refer to serviced/furnished offices, an innovation center, co-working space, or a business incubator. In any iteration, we believe this concept has great potential to change the look and the feel of the workplace over the next 3-5 years.”

Globally, corporations are listening to the desires of the workforce as they work to compete for top talent. In the Americas, 64 percent cited amenities as a top workforce request.  In response, 86 percent of companies are reinventing their workplace standards in pursuit of rising employee satisfaction levels. In Europe, employees are focused on attaining greater comfort through indoor environmental quality, and companies there are leading the pursuit of WELL-certified buildings. And in Asia, where employees desire connectivity and collaboration above all, organizations are focused on rolling out true activity-based work environments. Overall, wellness is a fast-growing trend with increased worker engagement leading the charge.

The CoreNet Global/CBRE survey was conducted in late 2016 and yielded more than 350 responses across a wide range of industries and all global regions. Deeper analysis is available in CBRE’s regional and Global Occupier Survey reports, which draw upon the findings of this survey.

SOURCE: CoreNet Global