Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Picture yourself collecting shells on Trip Advisor's BEST Beaches then coming to your affordable lifestyle or 2nd home in Tropical St. Pete. Carpe Diem..For the Ongoing Collection of LIFE!

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Tastes for Everyone in the Family!
Browse through world class museums, or stroll along streets lined with graceful Mediterranean-style architecture. Whatever your taste, St. Petersburg offers you everything under the sun.
Tampa ranks No. 3 best city to find a job
Cocktails and Dog Watching!
JIVE ALONG BEACH DRIVE: Cafe tables and umbrellas, a wide array of bars and restaurants and the Tampa Bay area's best parade of people - and often their dogs - are a nightly occurrence along downtown St. Petersburg's Beach Drive. With waterfront parks on one side, and shops and restaurants along the other, this is the city's most fashionable promenade.
St Pete beach drive seeing major resurgence!

Ron Goldstein

Luxury Broker Associate

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The sun almost always shines on St. Petersburg, the "Sunshine City" that enjoys an average of 361 days of clear skies per year. Combine that with 244 miles of glimmering coastline along Tampa Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, Boca Ciega Bay and the intra coastal waterways and you have one hot beach destination. Catch the sun, surf and sand at Ft. De Soto Park, or take a hike up the 37-mile Pinellas Trail. Enjoy a Devil Rays game during baseball season or escape to the shady oasis of the Sunken Gardens.
Tampa ranks No. 3 best city to find a job
Carpe Diem..For the Ongoing Collection of LIFE!
Check out downtown ST. PETE & all the culture!
From the newly built Sundial to every style of Music, concert and performing arts venues, St. Pete. Check out 50 fascinating things to do!
Check out our brand new facility on Beach Drive!
(Corner of Beach& Sunshine)
100 Beach Dr. NE, Suite 101
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
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© 2014 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a Broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lincoln Park's Million Dollar and Up Home Sales Booming

 Honored to be interviewed by DNA info for this article on the luxury mkt in Chicago! Ron

LINCOLN PARK — Real estate in the neighborhood is looking like a million bucks these days.
According to a survey, more than 130 homes sold in the area for $1 million or more in the first six months of 2014.
Indeed, home prices in the Lincoln Park area have reached previous pre-recession peak price levels observed during the housing boom, the only submarket in Cook County to do so, according to DePaul University researchers.
Paul Biasco looked into why the luxury home market is booming in Lincoln Park:
The vigor of the local real estate market reflects a nationwide trend which has seen luxury homes outpacing other types of homes in sales activity.
"The luxury market in 2014 has changed dramatically," said Ron Goldstein, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, who said that in June, he closed the biggest deal of his 15-year career in the luxury market: a $3.795 million 4,000 square-foot penthouse unit at the Lincoln Park 2550 development.
According to the survey, five of the top 10 sales were at the 2550 development at 2550 N. Lakeview. Described as an oasis in the city, it's one of the tallest buildings in the neighborhood at 39 stories, topped with a mansard roof.
The building, which opened in 2011 and is located directly across from Lincoln Park, contains 218 condominiums, and nearly all have been sold. Some 20 units, at a total cost of $30 million, were sold during the second quarter of 2014.
The top home sale in the neighborhood during the first half of the year, according to the survey, was a unit in Lincoln Park 2550, sold to William Kozek, president of Navistar's North America Truck and Parts business, for $5.34 million.
The 2550 development includes a movie theater, health club and even a church. While the building is directly across from Lincoln Park and the North Pond lagoon, the development also has its own 1.5-acre private park to the west as well as a children's play area.
The success of Lincoln Park 2550 is an example of where the high end of the real estate market is in Chicago, according to John T. Murphy, the developer of the project.

 Five of the top 10 home sales in Lincoln Park in the first half of 2014 were in Lincoln Park 2550.
Lincoln Park 2550
"Generally speaking, it's going great," Murphy said. "The market continues to gain momentum and we are getting down to just a handful of remaining units."
Murphy said interest in the development "seemed to pick up tremendous momentum at the end of last year and the beginning of this year."
Buyers initially were local people from Lincoln Park and the neighboring communities, but that has shifted more recently to include people from the suburbs and even other parts of the country.
The attraction is buyers can get a condo with sweeping views of the lakefront and skyline, while remaining in a neighborhood setting with access to the parks, according to Goldstein.
On his $3.795 million deal made in June at the 2550 development, Goldstein said there were three other parties interested in the three-bedroom property.
"The expectations have been increased rather than lowered with affluent folks. It's becoming, on the luxury side, a true sellers market."
Goldstein said his clients, who have kids at neighboring Francis W. Parker School, loved that they could have everything in one place.
Besides the condominiums, the development also includes 19 custom home sites around the property, which have now all been sold. The last remaining single-family lot on Deming Place sold for $1.8 million in June.
Lincoln Park 2550 is representative of not only the local housing market conditions, but also the national conditions, which have seen the high-end market bounce back from the recession while middle-class property values remain greatly lower than their pre-recession peaks.
Nationwide, luxury $1 million home sales have outpaced less expensive homes, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.
In March, sales of $1 million homes rose 7.8 percent across the country compared to a year earlier, while at the same time sales of homes in the $100,000 to $250,000 range fell 9.9 percent, according to the association.
Cook County saw the largest year-over-year increase in single family home prices in the first quarter of 2014 since at least 1998, according to the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University.
Much of that was led by strong growth in Chicago, where year-over-year prices increased by nearly 20 percent, according to the Institute.
In the fourth quarter of 2013 — the most recent available data from the institute on price change on single family homes — found that the Lincoln Park/Lakeview submarket was the only submarket in Cook County to have returned to pre-recession peak levels during the housing boom.
"One of the things we have seen in Chicago, really, it's important to drill down to submarkets and neighborhoods and that’s really where a lot of the more interesting price dynamics are playing out," said Geoff Smith, executive director of the DePaul institute.
Smith said a major factor that has resulted in a return to pre-peak levels is the lack of supply of homes in Lincoln Park and Lakeview.
"Demand has gone up too," Smith said. "One of the reasons you are seeing price dynamics like we have seen, you have a limited supply of homes for sale and growing demand. In some of the weaker markets you don’t have that same sort of demand happening.”

Ron Goldstein,MBA
Certified Luxury Broker@Berkshire Hathaway Chicago & St. Petersburg
Principal, Silver Professionals
(o)312-264-5846 (c)312-771-7190 (f)312-264-5746

Offices in Chicago and St. Petersburg
Connecting people w/ jobs & homes!

Monday, July 21, 2014

2014 State of the Smart Home

2014 State of the Smart Home


Uncovering the drivers and barriers to smart home adoption and the innovations that will move the industry forward.
The smart home has really hit its stride. We hear it in the news – and from our neighbors – every day. So what are the drivers behind the move toward mass adoption? For one, there are more and more devices launching into the market each week that can connect to your home. BI Intelligence says there are 1.9 billion devices today, and there will be 9 billion by 2018, roughly equal to the number of smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, wearable computers, and PCs combined.
Clearly the numbers indicate a fast growing industry. But we want to know why – what are the features within the smart home that interest people? Why are some people more likely to buy while others are not? And what does owning a pet have to do with anything?
The 2014 State of the Smart Home Report uncovers the real drivers behind smart home adoption. It predicts the new features that will push the industry into the next generation as our homes become the hub for smarter living.


In December 2013, we deployed a quantitative survey to 932 respondents. Surveys were fielded to an even split between male and female respondents with the following criteria:
  • 25 years of age or older
  • Total household income of $40K or higher for renters and $50K or higher for homeowners.
Of those surveyed, 73% were homeowners and 27% renters. Because the difference between these two groups was not substantial, our findings from this research look at overall results from all 932 respondents. With that said, we have noted when differences between homeowners and renters are present.
In April 2014, we fielded 10 questions using Google Consumer Surveys, each among an online sample of 1,000 U.S. adults. The online samples were demographically and geographically stratified and then weighted to the most recent Current Population Survey (CPS) to ensure the surveys reached a representative sample of U.S. adults.
It was not a requirement that the respondents have a smart home system in order to participate in the studies.
Smart Home EnthusiastsWhen reviewing the findings, we found that it wasn’t the respondent’s age, gender or income level – but rather their level of enthusiasm for technology – that was most predictive of their preferences.
We segmented our audience into the following categories based on enthusiasm for technology:
• Strong enthusiasts
• Ambivalents
• Enthusiasts
• Disenthusiasts
• Moderates
Here’s what we found out about them:
32 percent  Technology enthusiasts represent 32% of the market and are much more interested in more robust smart home solutions.

  • For tech enthusiasts, just having control over the basics is not enough when it comes to automating the things inside their homes. This group’s optimal solution includes control over not only thermostats and lights, but also over other features like home entertainment systems, appliances, door locks and garage door openers.
  • Outdoor automation proved to be extremely important for strong enthusiasts, but was not as appealing to the disenthusiasts. Strong enthusiasts want a solution that includes not only outdoor lighting, but also lawn irrigation and water leak warning/valve shutoff. 

Family Security is Critical

Yes, everyone loves the simplicity and convenience of a smart home, but consumers overwhelmingly agree that security tops the list as the most important feature of the smart home. 
Ninety percent of respondents said personal and family security is one of the most important reasons for using a smart home system – with 67% ranking it as the number one reason overall. In fact, not including at least some type of security capability in a home automation system is considered unacceptable by all.
Fire and carbon monoxide alarms are essential when it comes to personal and family security.
85 percentRespondents said fire detection was one of the most important features when it comes to protecting themselves and their families – with nearly 60% citing it as number one.
64 percentThough only 11% ranked carbon monoxide alarms as the most important feature, the majority still recognized its importance – with 64% including it in their top three.
  • Though less important, more than half of consumers also listed gas leak alarms and valve shutoff as a top feature for personal and family security.
  • In contrast, respondents said they were less interested in the ability to monitor dependent care loved ones, track family members via location tracking or utilize wearable emergency devices, all of which were features mentioned in the top three by only 20% of respondents. 
Respondents said personal and family security is one of the most important reasons for using a smart home system.

In fact, not including at least some type of security capability in a home automation system was considered unacceptable by all

Respondents ranked personal and family security as the number one reason overall for using a smart home system.

The investment in these features may just pay off. A majority of Americans (51%) indicate they would pay up to $500 for a fully equipped smart home, with one-third (32%) showing willingness to pay between $500 and $3,000.
Along with security comes greater peace-of-mind and flexibility, for parents in particular. Nearly one-fifth (18%) of respondents say they would be more likely to leave their kids at home unsupervised at a younger age if they had live video feed into the home, and could automate home functions, such as lights, locks and TV. Women are less likely than men – by 12 points – to consider leaving children unattended at a younger age (37% men; 49% women).
Nearly 60% of U.S. broadband households have some level of interest in safety, security, and convenience benefits enabled by security and smart home products, which is more than double the size of the current market (Parks Associates).
18 percentOf respondents say they would be more likely to leave their kids at home unsupervised at a younger age if they had live video feed into the home, and could automate home functions, such as lights, locks and TV.
30 percentOf respondents were unsure how they felt, implicating that smart home tech and child supervision will likely become an area of focus as the market matures.
 “Security has always been the workhorse of the smart home system. As this industry grows, the definition of security will only expand to include even more features that help consumers keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.”
- Paul Dawes, Executive Vice President, General Manager
Icontrol Networks

Protecting Your Most Valuable Things

Beyond protecting one’s family, respondents also viewed the ability to protect one’s personal property as a key feature to the smart home. 
86 percentRanked property loss protection as one of the top reasons for using a smart home system.

After personal and family security, respondents more often mentioned property loss protection as an important feature of the smart home over any other feature, including indoor convenience, energy/resource management and outdoor convenience.
Home Icon

HOMEOWNERS– Gas leak (natural gas or propane) alarm and valve shutoff was ranked number one by more homeowners in terms of features designed to protect their personal property.

Renters Icon

RENTERS – As for renters, they ranked recording of events for law enforcement and/or insurance purposes as the number one most important feature designed to protect their personal property, followed by gas leak alarm and valve shutoff.

“For now, safety and security are driving initial mass market adoption. But, the convenience associated with a connected home will likely play a greater role as consumers realize how much easier automation makes their lives.”
- Jim Johnson, Executive Vice President, General Manager
Icontrol Networks

The Promise of Energy Management

Seventy-eight percent of respondents ranked energy management as one of the top features that matter most in the smart home.
Everyone wants to save money and become more environmentally-friendly – and now, thanks to the smart home, consumers can do so in the course of their everyday lives – an appealing promise to more than three-fourths of those surveyed.
What features are most important when it comes to energy management.
80 percentOf respondents said HVAC heating and cooling management is one of the most important features for reducing utility bills and becoming more environmentally-friendly – with more than half citing it as number one in terms of importance.
66 percentNearly two-thirds of respondents also said indoor lighting and ceiling fan control is a desired feature, followed next in importance by water management.
ARE ENERGY-SAVING SMART DEVICES AS APPEALING AS LIFE-SAVING SMART DEVICES?Consumers are nearly just as interested in the idea of a smart thermostat as they are in the idea of a smart smoke detector or smart carbon monoxide detector.
42.5 percentOf respondents indicated being very interested in replacing their thermostat with one that automatically adjusts when the home is unoccupied.
“Energy management features are gaining mass market adoption because they are part of the connected home. The user experience around devices like smart thermostats and smoke detectors are much more compelling when tied into a whole home system that benefits from not only environmental data but also valuable occupancy, weather and historical usage data.”
- Letha McLaren, Vice President, Product Management
Icontrol Networks
3 Boxes
35-44 year olds (those who are most likely on the newer spectrum of first time homebuyers) show the highest interest in all the smart home features tested. They are particularly interested in better energy management (32% interested compared to 21% of the whole).

Pet Monitoring

New reports show that Americans spend more than $60 billion on their pets annually, with the average household spending just over $500 each year. That’s more than the average household spent on alcohol or men’s clothing (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). As the popularity of pet monitoring technology continues to increase – and the pet industry continues to grow in the billions – how much of the pie will be spent on technology in the future?
Ever wonder what your pet is up to when you’re away? If so, you’re not alone. Pet owners agree the ability to monitor their four-legged friend is an important feature of the smart home, outranking both outdoor convenience and entertainment.
Consider these findings:
52 percentOf pet owners mentioned pet monitoring as one of the top five most important reasons for using a smart home service.

29 percentMentioned entertainment and the ability to remotely control and/or automate home entertainment systems in the top five.

Pets are now part of the family, and therefore it should come as no surprise that the same features considered most important for personal and family safety are also considered most important for pet monitoring.
  • Similar to personal and family safety, fire and carbon monoxide alarms were most frequently mentioned in the top three features designed to protect their pets.
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Convenience Plays a Big Role

People are interested in managing their appliances from their smartphones, and they think this level of control is in our near future. In fact, 41% of respondents think it will be just 1-2 years before they can send commands to their home appliances via text message with two-thirds (64%) who feel it will be 5 years or less.
Imagine if your home ‘knew’ you were on the way home. What would you want it to do to prepare for your arrival? If you’re like most Americans, you want to eliminate all the button-pushing activities that make your home ready for you and give you piece of mind and comfort upon entering. According to our research:

What Lies Ahead?

56 percentOf respondents think the Internet of Things will become a reality within 5 years, with 20% reporting the things in their lives, such as appliances, HVAC, entertainment systems, clothing, food and cars, are already ‘connected’ to each other.

53 percentOf respondents who provided at least one answer to future commonplace technologies predict a singular remote that controls everything in the home will be the norm in the next 10 years, verifying that convenience remains top of mind with consumers when thinking of the smart home.
Smart home technologies that will be commonplace in the next decade? Respondents who provided an answer rated:
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With Juniper Research predicting the smart home market will reach $71 billion by 2018 — up from $33 billion in 2013, and $25 billion in 2012 – it’s safe to say we are just scratching the surface of the potential for smart homes to usher in an era of smarter, more connected lives.
Icontrol Networks’ vision is to provide a connected home solution for every household, so people worldwide spend less time managing their lives and more time living them. Icontrol is making the connected home a reality through its software platforms, which are deployed by home security companies and service providers, and the all-in-one Piper Home Awareness device for consumers. Icontrol is further pioneering the next generation of connected living through its OpenHomePartner Program, the first community for application and device makers to partner on a common platform. Venture investors in Icontrol include Charles River Ventures, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers iFund, and Intel Capital, with strategic investments from a variety of service providers including ADT, Comcast Ventures, Comporium and Rogers Communications. For more information about Icontrol Networks and Piper, visit and

Ron Goldstein,MBA
Certified Luxury Broker@Berkshire Hathaway Chicago & St. Petersburg
Principal, Silver Professionals
(o)312-264-5846 (c)312-771-7190 (f)312-264-5746

Offices in Chicago and St. Petersburg
Connecting people w/ jobs & homes!