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News | Your Solution to Real EstateInfinityRealtyGroup

Wayne Gretzky’s $14.9 million estate on the market

Wayne Gretzky’s $14.9 million estate on the market

1072 Newbern Ct, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
For sale: $14.995 million

It makes sense that “The Great One” would have a great house.

Wayne Gretzky’s custom estate, which is currently listed for sale, is situated in Thousand Oaks on 6.5 acres within the gated Sherwood Country Club — an exclusive secured community that is home to several people seeking privacy, including Britney Spears.

“The privacy of the property and community is a major draw for celebrity buyers,” explained listing agent Joyce Rey, executive director for Coldwell Banker Previews International – Greater LA.”The location is superb, with the Pacific Coast and famed Malibu only a short 20-minute drive, and only 35 miles from Los Angeles.”

The home was built by Wayne Gretzky and architect Richard Landry. Landry, commonly referred to as the “architect to the stars,” has worked with other big names to design custom homes, including Mark Wahlberg, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, and Sylvester Stallone.
The spacious home has six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms.

The spacious home has six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms.

Gretzky’s home measures 10,815 square feet, but that doesn’t include square footage of the two detached guest houses, one of which has a full gym. A circular motor court leads to the front entrance of the home, where the grand entry opens to dark wood floors and white walls with intricate plaster detailing. An open floor plan connects the gourmet kitchen with the family room. The home has six bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, as well as a home theater room, state-of-the-art surveillance and security systems, a wood-burning pizza oven, pool and sunken tennis court.

Built in 2002, the home has already had a large renovation, in which the master his-and-her baths were completely redone and the kitchen was expanded and remodeled and opened up to the family room. New floors, landscaping, new brick patios were added and the pool and tennis courts were both resurfaced.

5 Tips for Better Listing Photos

5 Tips for Better Listing Photoshttp://www.infinityrealtygroup.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/photo-of-an-house1.jpg

About 85 percent of online listings include photos, but the type of photo really can make a big difference, says Ken H. Johnson, an associate professor of finance at Florida International University’s Hollo School of Real Estate, who has studied the importance of photos in selling real estate.

“When people first look at a home, they look at five or six scenes, and that will make the determination if they want to look at more,” adds Brian Balduf, chairman of VHT Inc., a visual marketing services company for the real estate industry.

Here are five tips for improving your photos, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal:

Shoot from the corner of a room with a wide-angle zoom lens if you want to make the room look its largest.
Remove large pieces of furniture to make rooms feel more spacious.
Consider a fresh coat of paint to neutralize walls in beiges and browns and cover up any potentially off-putting colors such as oranges and purples.
Tidy up the outside by planting some flowers and paying careful attention to the condition and look of the front door.
Eye details for a focal point in your photograph, such as intricate design work in the home or the quality of the fireplace.

Source: “How to Make a Home Picture-Perfect,” The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 14, 2013)

Slight up in Mortgage rate

Slight up in Mortgage rate

Mortgage rates up slightly as economy adds jobs
Fed may scale back or end efforts to keep rates low if job gains continue
By Inman News, Thursday, January 10, 2013.

Mortgage rates were up slightly this week following an upbeat employment report showing that the economy added 155,000 jobs in December, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

At 7.8 percent, the unemployment rate is now at its lowest point since December 2008. If unemployment continues to drop, the Federal Reserve is expected to scale back or end measures aimed at keeping long-term interest rates low.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.4 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Jan. 10, up from 3.34 percent last week but down from 3.89 percent a year ago. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans hit a low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971 of 3.31 percent during the week ending Nov. 21, 2012.

For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, rates averaged 2.66 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from 2.64 percent last week but down from 3.16 percent a year ago. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate loans hit a low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1991 of 2.63 percent during the week ending Nov. 21, 2012.

Rates on five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans averaged 2.67 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.71 percent last week and 2.82 percent a year ago. That’s a new low in records dating to 2005.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARM loans averaged 2.6 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from 2.57 percent last week but down from 2.76 percent a year ago. Rates on one-year ARM loans hit a low in records dating to 2005 of 2.52 percent during the week ending Dec. 20.

Interior Design Guru- Matthew Plumstead

Interior Design Guru- Matthew Plumsteadhttp://www.infinityrealtygroup.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/entry_31.jpg

In the design world, you come to expect that if a firm is called “McCarty Quinn” then it was probably founded by someone called McCarty and someone called Quinn. But this is not the case: McCarty Quinn is, in fact, Matthew Plumstead, a 38-year-old designer and graduate of Michigan’s famed Cranbrook Academy, now based in his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Plumstead HeadshotLast year was a big one for Plumstead, who finished his degree, won recognition at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair for his student thesis project, and launched his own practice, all in the space of scarcely six months. The engine behind much of his recent success, and the winner of ICFF’s Studio Award, is ClipTree—a modular, easy-to-assemble, wall-mounted storage system that he first developed over a year ago and that went viral on design blogs after he posted it online. “I didn’t realize it was going to take off like it did,” says the designer. “I’m still enjoying the whole process.”

On its way into design retail outlets now, ClipTree gave Plumstead the impetus he needed to strike out on his own, and just this August he founded McCarty Quinn. But why the name?

“That’s a good question,” explains Plumstead. “It’s actually my middle name, plus the middle name of my daughter.” The youngest Plumstead, not quite three years old, has already traveled with Plumstead from Iowa (where his wife pursued a law degree and he worked on small Etsy-type designs) to Michigan (starting in 2010) before finally settling down in the Twin Cities.

Hiding behind a corporate pseudonym was a deliberate choice for Plumstead, he says. “I wasn’t terribly sure what the business model for my company was going to be—whether it would be my authorship or with other designers under the label.” Having the quasi-anonymous moniker gives him the option of bringing other designers aboard in the future; for now, however, he’s flying solo, ramping up sales on ClipTree while developing prototypes for a sleek new office suite and work lamp.

Housing to drive economic growth

Housing to drive economic growth

CNN Money– Just over half of economists surveyed by CNNMoney identified a housing recovery as the primary driver of economic growth this year. The rest were split fairly evenly between consumer spending, increased domestic energy production and stimulus from the Federal Reserve as major growth drivers.

“Homebuilding activity will likely remain the strongest growing component of the economy in 2013,” said Keith Hembre, chief economist of Nuveen Asset Management. “After several years of excess supply, demand and supply conditions are now in much better balance.”

Home sales rebounded to the strongest level in five years in 2012, as home building bounced back to levels not seen since early in the recession. Near record low mortgage rates, rising home prices and a drop in foreclosures have combined to bring buyers back to the market.

The economists surveyed also forecast that there will be just under 1 million housing starts this year — roughly matching the 28% rise in home building in 2012. Moody’s Analytics is forecasting much stronger growth — a 50% rise both this year and next year, which it estimates will create more than 1 million new jobs.

“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for housing, and very little supply,” said Celia Chen, housing economist for Moody’s Analytics. “As demand continues to improve, home builders have nothing to sell. They’ll have to build.” She said that growth in building will mean adding not just construction jobs, but also manufacturing jobs building the appliances and furniture needed in the new homes, which in turn drives overall consumption higher.

Related: The road to real recovery is open

And economists say the tight supply and renewed demand for housing should lead to higher home values — about a 3.7% increase according to the survey.

“One of the most significant indirect effects from the housing recovery is the ‘wealth effect’ on consumers due to the recovery in home prices,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist of Deutsche Bank, who said better home values can affect both consumer psychology on spending as well as their actual finances.

“Even small moves in home prices can have large effects on consumption, because housing comprises such a significant share of household assets,” he said.