Saturday, May 24, 2014

Trend Spotting: Fashions and Passions in the World of Wealth.

We have a 'three mentions' rule before an observation becomes a trend.
From Barron's Penta blog:
Turnkey Condos
A trend is developing in the rebounding second-home market: fully furnished residences with everything from dishes, glasses, and flatware to sheets, towels, and art bundled in with the purchase price. 
The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Vail, Colo., 
where fully furnished condos sell at prices up to 
$9.5 million Photo: Ritz-Carlton Residences
Impatient buyers want designer-furnished homes "with minimal effort on their end," says Alex Iskenderian, chief operating officer of Vail Resorts Development. "Our buyers lead busy lives and want to use the home right away."

At the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Vail, Colo., for example, nine of the last 11 units sold were furnished, and all but one of the 16 remaining two-to-five-bedroom condos priced from $2.4 million to $9.5 million are in turnkey condition. "People walk in and make their decision right on the spot," says Iskenderian. 

Half of the units at the Montage Residences Deer Valley -- an 81-unit development in Park City, Utah -- each costing $2.9 million to $10 million, were sold in furnished condition. "Our designers thought of every detail, right down to the picture frames," says Neil Johnson, a director at Ohana Real Estate Investors, the firm that built the Montage. 

At the Old Palm Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., meanwhile, four new homes in the Isle Estates neighborhood are turnkey. 

The 4,300-square-foot-plus homes are priced from $2.2 million to $3.2 million, while a fully furnished Montage residence adds, we are told, $150,000 to $300,000 to the basic purchase price.
"People have closed in seven days and then used it immediately," says Johnson.
-- Carrie Coolidge
Latest Time Share: Wooden Puzzles
While no one was paying attention, puzzles went berserk. Today, high-priced puzzles can come with bespoke options, and even their own rental and time-share programs. 

ELMS Puzzles in Harrison, Maine, offers an 800-piece puzzle in wood that is 17 inches by 24 inches and costs $2,595. But ELMS also offers a rental-club program that charges a lifetime membership of $75, plus a per-rental fee based on the puzzle's size, such as $80 for a 400-piece puzzle for three months. Stave Puzzles in Norwich, Vt., specializes in handcrafted and custom-designed wooden puzzles -- many offering optical-trick or teaser designs – that cost up to $7,495 for a limited edition puzzle....MORE
Puzzle, by Stave, where it costs $4,495 
to test drive the games
 Photo: Steve Puzzles Inc.