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What $12 Million Buys In Australia, Hong Kong And Manhattan



outside the home at 7 Edzell Avenue in Toorak, Melbourne, Australia

Australia’s housing sector has proven to be exceptionally resilient during the coronavirus pandemic, with each of the country’s capital cities seeing an annual rise in property prices. Last month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported a 3% increase in residential property prices in the December quarter 2020, led by Sydney (at 3%) and Melbourne (3.4%).

In this week’s look at international real estate markets worldwide, I compared homes in Victoria’s capital of Melbourne against similarly priced properties in Hong Kong and New York City. From a timeless estate in the Toorak neighborhood to a designer-done home on the coast of Deep Water Bay, here’s a closer look at what about $12 million buys in Australia, Hong Kong and Manhattan.

Lenox Hill, Manhattan, New York City | $12.75 million

A sophisticated setting on 65th Street in Manhattan, this Lenox Hill residence comes with designer credibility thanks to a meticulous renovation by Trish Reger of Manhattan-based Reger Designs. The three-bedroom apartment takes in tree-top views of Park Avenue from its second-story perch.

Features: The open-concept floorplan is full of custom details, including two gas fireplaces decorated in French limestone, modern fixtures, textured wall treatments and custom white oak doors and floors. The primary bedroom, which has park-facing windows, has been enhanced with paneled walls and an updated bathroom. A sitting room with another full bathroom sits adjacent.

Other perks: In addition to an open-concept living/dining room, a formal library and a media room, the residence opens to a private outdoor terrace shaded by mature trees. The 15-story pre-war building, designed by J.E.R. Carpenter and built in 1931, also has such building amenities as doorman and concierge services, a fitness center and central laundry.

Represented by: Andrea Wernick, Warburg Realty

Shouson Hill, Hong Kong | $12.62 million (HKD 98 million)

Located in Shouson Hill, an affluent hillside neighborhood on Hong Kong Island, this designer-done apartment comes with a unique perk in the dense urban community: a large wraparound terrace garden with an outdoor fireplace and space for dining.

Features: Large windows and oversized sliding glass doors bring garden views inside the four-bedroom, two-bedroom home. Inside, dark polished concrete details and dark hardwood floors create visual contrast against the home’s cream-colored walls. The step-down living and dining rooms have direct access to the terrace.

Other perks: A total of four bedrooms and two bathrooms includes a decadent primary suite with a marble-clad bathroom and a soaking tub. The open-concept kitchen is anchored by an island/bar with a waterfall edge.

Represented by: Jonathan Miller,

Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | $12.45 million (AUD 15.95 million)

Overlooking the Yarra River on Edzell Avenue, a coveted stretch in Melbourne’s Toorak neighborhood, this 1930s gem is a stellar example of the Deco style. Subtle curves, clean lines and white-painted brickwork lend a timeless quality to the five-bedroom home, which retains many of its original fixtures and fittings.

Features: Entered through lacy iron gates, the updated and enhanced floor plan features a principal living area on the main floor consisting of various living and entertaining rooms. Additional living and entertaining spaces lie on the second floor and include a subdued bar room that flows into a large communal space. A total of five bedrooms includes a primary suite on the main floor.

Other perks: With a private jetty, a pontoon and a boatshed, the Edzell Avenue home is in prime position for enjoying the delights of the Yarra River. The property also features a large grass field and upper balconies that take in the river.

Represented by: Ken Jacobs, Private Property Global, Private Property Global and Warburg Realty are exclusive members of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.

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Real Estate

Historic Foursquare Home With Hollywood Ties Hits A Red-Hot Los Angeles Market



american foursquare style home in spaulding square los angeles at 1357 Genesee

Dig deep enough through the history of almost any Los Angeles home and you’ll likely come across a tie to Hollywood—whether it’s as an owner, former resident, house-flipper, or guest.

This classic residence in the Spaulding Square neighborhood of Los Angeles has twice been home to showbiz types. Seven years ago, director-turned-period renovator/designer Steven Antin of The Goonies and Burlesque fame set a price record for the historic neighborhood when he sold the 1919 American Foursquare-style home for $2.932 million.

Some 80 years prior to Antin’s stay, the property was home to Pedro de Cordoba, a classically trained actor whose credits include Cecil B. DeMille’s 1915 film Carmen and the 1940 Boris Karloff-led thriller Before I Hang.

Now for sale at $4.25 million, the house has been extensively updated and enhanced while staying true to the classic architecture. Features of note include beautiful hardwood floors, custom French windows and designer fixtures and fittings that tastefully complement the home’s character details. A 40-foot saltwater swimming pool with a spa highlights the private and hedged backyard.

The primary suite—one of three bedrooms and three bathrooms— takes up the entire rear section of the second floor. All areas of the principal suite have access to an expansive terrace that overlooks the backyard.

The Hollywood backdrop to classic American culture, Spaulding Square gets its name from Albert Starr Spaulding, the real estate developer who in the early 1900s purchased and subdivided the land that would become the historic neighborhood. 

Located off Sunset Boulevard, the setting was popular among actors and directors because of its proximity to nearby film lots. Actress Lucille Ball and director Hugo Hass are among stage legends who once lived in the area. More recently, the neighborhood has been home to such stars as Lena Dunham and Jodie Foster. The hit television show This Is Us is also filmed in the area.

The Period Revival-style homes that make up the eight-block neighborhood are protected under the Historic Preservation Overlay Zone Board, and it’s a major reason why homes in the neighborhood continue to be some of the most sought after in Los Angeles, according to listing agent Jonathan Nash of Beverly Hills-based luxury brokerage Hilton & Hyland.

“Because Spaulding Square is protected under the HPOZ laws, it is a timeless neighborhood,” Nash said. “In an ever-changing city, it’s kept its local charm through the decades.”

The market for single-family homes in Los Angeles is hotter than ever, according to Nash, who said that exceptional properties such as the home on North Genesee Avenue are still achieving premiums.

“This is certainly the quintessential example of a historic property finished to a very high standard,” he said.

Looking ahead, Nash believes the demand for quality homes will only accelerate over the next few months as pandemic-related restrictions ease and people begin to travel more. That could lead to even more competition in an already highly competitive housing market.

“We have experienced a high demand for great real estate over the past 12 months, and much of that has been achieved without the airways being open,” he said. “As the world continues to recover and global travel becomes accessible again, I believe the L.A. market is going to see an even greater level of demand.”

Hilton & Hyland is an exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.

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Real Estate

How to Build the Outdoor Kitchen of Your Dreams



how to build an outdoor kitchen

An outdoor kitchen can be a major benefit to any home, making it possible to hold barbecues, pool parties, and picnics without having to cook indoors and miss all the fun. The right outdoor kitchen can increase property values and boost satisfaction with added outdoor living space. 

However, all outdoor kitchens aren’t made the same, and the wrong kitchen for your space can compromise your summer plans. Before charging ahead with building an outdoor kitchen, be sure you have a solid plan in place that ticks every box.

Choose a Location for your outdoor kitchen

Properties with large yards can offer plenty of areas to build an outdoor kitchen, but choosing the right space in your yard can make or break kitchen success. Make sure you do your research or contact a professional before building out your space or you’ll potentially find yourself with an awkward layout.

When picking a place to put your kitchen, consider factors like:

  • Proximity to pools, patios, or other favorite backyard features
  • Accessibility from exterior doors
  • Privacy from neighbors
  • Storage and security
  • Ease of installation

Determine Features to Highlight

Every chef has individual preferences. Some love grilling with gas, while others are dedicated to charcoal. Kegs and taps may matter to summer party fans, while an ice chest for blending chilled drinks could be priority number one for others. Regardless, it’s critical to understand that an outdoor kitchen isn’t intended to be an equivalent of an indoor kitchen. Instead, it’s a separate space to meet unique demands and likely won’t be able to accommodate the same functions and appliances as inside spaces.

When planning your kitchen, know what priorities matter most to you. This can mean the flow of your cooking space, what appliances you’d like to have, any extra amenities you can’t live without, and especially the appearance of your outdoor kitchen. Determine what you want to highlight in your outdoor kitchen – before the ball starts rolling and it’s too late.

Hire the Right Contractor

The right contractor can be the difference between an amazing end result and a failed project. Without someone who can see your vision and properly execute it, you may be left with a subpar kitchen that doesn’t meet your needs.

When vetting contractors, it’s important to look beyond the basics, like price. Instead, be sure to also consider:

  • Experience with similar projects
  • Completion timeline
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Creativity and flexibility

Select Flooring

Flooring isn’t often considered in exterior projects, but it can play a big role in how to build an outdoor kitchen space. In an outdoor kitchen, flooring needs to be safe to use while cooking, easy to clean, weather-resistant, and in line with the style preferences that will guide the rest of your kitchen decor.

If you’re not sure what kinds of flooring are common in outdoor kitchens, speaking to your contractor can help you narrow your choices and determine the right avenue to take when choosing wood, tile, stone, or concrete to use as flooring.

patio cover 1748371 1920

Shop for Countertops

Like choosing flooring, shopping for countertops is a decision that must be informed by style as well as functionality. Your counter needs to be the right size and shape for cooking expectations, but also in line with the overall look and feel you want from your kitchen.

And, like flooring, outdoor conditions need to be part of the evaluation process. Unless your kitchen will be completely covered and closed off at all times, countertops must be able to stand up to rain, wind, hail, high heat, and potentially low temperatures. So, if you live in an area like Phoenix, AZ, your countertops need to be able to withstand high temperatures, or if you live in Vancouver, BC they need to be rain resistant. Choose your countertop with appearance in mind, but durability as well. A counter that can’t stand up to your cooking demands or the local climate will not be effective. 

Select Your Appliances

The appliances you choose when building an outdoor kitchen will define its cooking abilities. The wrong appliances, such as those meant for indoor kitchens, or ones that don’t fit the space can limit efficiency and can minimize both its current value and resale value. 

When choosing appliances, use those graded for outdoor use, whether that means better durability or more weatherproofing options. In addition, keep size and scale in mind. For example, if you’re planning on hosting large barbecues, you’ll need a bigger grill than a standard residential product. 

Note that in colder climates, appliances that require electricity or water lines may need to be winterized to prevent frozen pipes and other seasonal damage.

Choose Proper Lighting

Lighting may seem like an afterthought in a kitchen that will be at least partially lit by the sun, but the lighting you choose can make a difference in providing an accessible cooking area. Further, the right lighting can keep an outdoor kitchen functional after dark.

Hanging lights, floodlights, lights built into a backsplash, or outdoor lanterns can all be effective choices depending on your space. Evaluate your usage plans, the location of your kitchen, and professional advice when it comes to knowing how to build an outdoor kitchen space. Regardless of personal preferences, always make sure lights are appropriate for outdoor use.

Decorate Your Outdoor Kitchen 

Once the basics are built out, selecting decor is the final step in how to build an outdoor kitchen. This can include adding wood or stone accents, potted plants, a fire pit, a patio, a comfy outdoor couch, or a table and chairs. How you decorate will depend on your own preferences, as well as what the space itself can accommodate.

While decorating, also consider whether you may want an awning or roof area to provide shade while cooking or to safeguard kitchen equipment from the weather. Some appliances, like refrigerated units, are best kept out of direct sunlight, so some cover could be advantageous.


An outdoor kitchen can be the perfect way to add a mini oasis to your backyard. The ideal complement to a spacious patio, a pool, or lovely landscaping, an exterior kitchen can make hosting parties or simply relaxing with friends and family a little easier. With the right location, a clear plan, a talented contractor, and educated choices about flooring, countertops, appliances, and decor, it’s possible to turn your yard into the entertainment destination of your dreams. 

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Real Estate

How Diverse Entrepreneurs Nurture The American Dream



Real estate agent greeting couple at house

There is perhaps no business more grounded in community than real estate. As trusted advisors to people looking for a place they can call home, real estate agents and brokers have an influential role in promoting and developing communities in the markets they serve. It is for this reason that operating with integrity and mindfully promoting equality and inclusiveness is impactful. As community leaders with deep local contacts and connections, agents and brokers are well positioned to shape the communities they serve. As we often say within our Coldwell Banker network, working in real estate is truly important work.

During fair housing month, we reflect on people across the United States that may share the commonly held dream of homeownership, but may not have the means, information or the partner to help achieve that dream. We have made some strides since the Fair Housing Act was established in 1968, but there is a great deal of work yet to do.

Discrimination impacts buyers and renters today. Through our work in the business, we can promote fairness and reap the benefits of being inclusive. One way of doing so is ensuring representation at all levels of the real estate industry, and particularly among broker owners. While most agents are women, many owners and leaders are not. There is plenty of room for more diversity of all types in real estate careers. Representation at the agent and owner level adds greater possibility for in depth knowledge, respect and understanding of needs in our business and client base.

At Coldwell Banker, we have been focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion through strategic initiatives including our programs like Agents of Change and What Moves Her, as well as partnerships with AREAA, NAHREP, NAREB, and the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance. Many of our agents and affiliates are active participants in local and national realtor boards promoting diversity. And, just over a year ago, we launched our Inclusive Ownership program, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the industry aimed at increasing representation of minority, women, LGBTQ+ and veteran entrepreneurs in real estate through exclusive resources, tools and mentorship – and it has already made a significant difference for affiliated members. One of the first business owners to join the program was Tina Marie Hernandez, a Latina entrepreneur who has found a home and partnership with Coldwell Banker.

Partnering with Entrepreneurs to Build Businesses & Communities

Tina Marie Hernandez is a broker and co-owner of Coldwell Banker Omni Group in Southern California with her husband Rich A. Hernandez. As a Latina woman working in real estate for 30 years, Tina is the ultimate entrepreneur, who operates a successful business and investments, while constantly generating new business initiatives. She also knows firsthand that the Latinx community deals with several disadvantages when finding a home, from being shown less listings, quoted higher fees, or given heavier application processes’ than their white counterparts. Latinos can also be challenged by a lack of generational wealth, which can show up for buyers as they race to qualify for home purchases, particularly in markets that are as competitive for buyers as the one we are in today.

Tina recalls instances in which earning her leadership role took extra energy. “Both as a woman and Latina, working my way up to the broker-owner level took a lot of proving myself. I had to fight harder than my male counterparts for a seat at the table, and always felt pressure to prove to prospective business partners that I am successful and can help them be successful too,” she explains.

For decades, Tina and Rich’s main goal for their business has been to give their Latinx clients equal opportunities and help them build generational wealth. But they were only able to do so much of that when their brokerage, The Omni Group, was independent.

“Independent brokerages often have a lack of structure and a smaller network of connections and resources,” she explained. “Knowing how important it is for business leaders relate to the people they serve, Rich and I knew that we had that special connection with our community but were lacking a platform to expand our impact. When we found out about the Coldwell Banker initiative to boost diverse owners and their businesses, it was the absolutely best decision both personally and professionally for us to join. Coldwell Banker has made it crystal clear to us the value we bring to Coldwell Banker as well. As we share our perspective, knowledge and initiatives. The relationship is of mutual value – it’s a true partnership”

The Value of a Trusted Brand for Community-Building

Today, Tina Marie says affiliating with Coldwell Banker through the Inclusive Ownership Program was the best decision she has ever made for her business. “By joining Coldwell Banker, we’ve joined an incredibly warm and professional group of networked people, and added the tools, structure, mentorship and national recognition to back up the hard work that goes into our business every single day to serve every aspect of our beloved community,” she said.

Tina, and other owners who joined the program, say that the credibility and customer confidence that comes with affiliating with Coldwell Banker has been priceless. Having the Coldwell Banker name behind our new affiliates’ businesses and access to its exclusive resources has elevated their brand, their reputation and their impact on their communities. By way of a simple current example, Coldwell Banker prepared social media assets for brokers to highlight during fair housing month, as well as the Delivering the Promise of Fair Housing course and a pledge. In fact, Coldwell Banker invites everyone in the real estate industry to give some thought to the important role we play in shaping communities, and take the pledge. Change often begins with a shift in mindset, and a commitment.

Real estate is a “people” business built on genuine connections between brokers, agents and their clients. For clients to feel represented by businesses that they trust, that empowers them to find the home that they desire and deserve. A place where they and their loved ones will thrive, where they will be a valued member of a community. We are on a continued journey and guiding our clients in a trustworthy way is a meaningful service that agents and brokers provide, which can have worthy results.

I am happy to report that 13 new affiliated companies have been welcomed into the program and Coldwell Banker looks to double that size in the coming year. If you are a business entrepreneur who could benefit from the Coldwell Banker Inclusive Ownership program, we would like to hear from you. Learn how to apply.

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