Kimpton-Seafire-Resort

That arctic blast made me long for a warm beach with a tropical breeze! Time to head for Seven Mile Island, named by Travel and Leisure as “The Caribbean’s Best Beach.” The destination I am longing for? The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman, the first new hotel in the Cayman Islands in a decade. Developer Dart Realty opened the boutique hotel just this past November, and announced the launch of an affiliated residential option: The Residences of Seafire, 62 luxurious modern units in floor plans ranging from 600-square-foot studios to 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom abodes that share the resort’s landscaped gardens and pools, panoramic views, and open access to gorgeous Seven Mile Beach.

Click here for a peek at pics of this posh paradise, enhanced with famed interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullards’ Carribean-inspired public spaces and the stunning natural beauty of the setting on SecondShelters.com.

Waco fixer upper

The Shotgun House was renovated on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, and is for rent on AirBnB for $325 a night. It was featured in season 3, episode 12 of the show. Photo: AirBnb

If you’re a fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, then you know their renovated homes are all near Waco, Texas. It turns out several of the owners of these monuments to shiplap and style showing up on popular rental services AirBnb and VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) as celebrity-designed spaces available by the night.

The cable television stars have made their name creating rustic chic homes in this town about 95 miles south of Dallas. And people from Dallas and around the country are flocking to these homes, according to The Waco Tribune. People come to Waco in part to see the Gaines’ Magnolia Market and take part in the celebrity culture.

Read the whole story on SecondShelters.com!

 

 

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The lot is characterized by rocky outcroppings with dogwood trees where hawks nest; the buildings have been designed to showcase this magnificent natural setting.  In the main house, four separate pavilions on two levels are connected by breezeways which can be opened or closed to the exterior by automated glass doors.

Expansive decks and floor-to-ceiling windows are other features that bring in the light and views that make this contemporary lake house a unique retreat on Lake Texoma.

See Valerie Jarvie’s full write-up on this interesting listing from Ed Murchison of Virginia Cook Realtors on SecondShelters.com.

Cape Cod

In Provincetown, Cape Cod.

Every June, my family and I rent a cottage in Orleans, Mass., for a week, which is in the heart of Cape Cod. Our place is right on the bay, and we watch the tide ebb and flow from our large front porch. We just returned last week and the temperature was never above 80°. Last summer, it was so chilly, we rarely swam. The air smells clean and briny, and the architecture everywhere is like a storybook. If this sounds like paradise, you’re not far off.

Life is pretty sweet in Cape Cod—I’ve had the opportunity to spend many hours driving and exploring the 15 towns that make up its 339 square miles. Cape Cod stretches from Woods Hole in the southwest (where you catch ferries to Martha’s Vineyard) to Provincetown in the northeast (where we go whale watching and fishing).

The year-round population of 220,000 swells during summer months, when many thousands like us flock to Cape Cod for a holiday. I can’t help but wonder what it would cost us to buy a place up there—it’s easy to afford something if your budget is massive, but what about more reasonably priced Cape Cod real estate?

I found three places that I think just might fit the bill.

Read the whole story at SecondShelters.com!

 

 

 

Photo: Courtesy Watersound Origins

Who’s ready for a three-day, fireworks-popping, America-celebrating, Fourth of July weekend?

As Valerie Jarvie points out on SecondShelters.com today, Florida is a wonderful and picturesque place to visit during the long summer holiday weekends. The problem? Many of the great spots are full of people who want to do the same things you do, and then go back home.

If you’re ready to live less like a tourist and more like a local, Jarvie offers up Watersound Origins, which just launched its second phase with more than 100 lots. See what you can buy along 30A on SecondShelters.com today.

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Recently former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert sold his $6.2 million ski-in, ski-out house, right near the Dreamcatcher Lift in Park City Utah. It was sold at auction to another Dallas family who bought it for their grandchildren. Now here is the best part of the story: the family already owns a home in Deer Valley. They just wanted a place for the grandchildren to ski where snowboarding was allowed. So of course, they bought a house in Park City. Got a good deal, too: $4.2 million. The auction was conducted by the good folks at Heritage Auction here in Dallas.

The vacation home market is estimated to be at $100 billion worldwide, and a lot of it is because of grandparents wanting fun for their grandkids. In New Orleans at NAREE this month, I gathered five top vacation home experts, including Bill Furlong of HomeAway, Jackie Doak of Dart Enterprises Ltd., the developer of Camana Bay on Grand Cayman Island, Hunter Harman, Broker/Owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida, Tina Necrason of Montage Hotels & Resorts, and Tyler Niess of Crescent Communities.

Vacation home sales are robust but not as furious as they were in 2014. Still, 920,000 vacation homes were sold in the U.S. in 2015, the 4th highest number in NAR survey’s 13-years. In 20015, 16 percent of all US home sales were vacation homes. In 2014, 21 percent of all were vacation homes, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The median price vacation home is now up to $210,000 in 2015 from $197,200 in 2014. To find out where the hottest markets are — surprising! —  and see the entire panel in full video, click on over to our sweet sister blog, SecondShelters.com.

homeaway eiffel tower

HomeAway’s Eiffel Tower apartment. Photo: HomeAway

If Paris is the city of love, then the Eiffel Tower is one of the most romantic landmarks in the world. Lots of people get engaged there, but what if you could do that, or renew your vows, in an Eiffel Tower apartment?

Vacation rental website HomeAway has partnered with architect Benoit Leleu to design a temporary and totally fabulous apartment inside the Eiffel Tower. They’re running a contest, called the HomeAway LoveAway sweepstakes, which ends tonight at midnight.

Read the whole story on SecondShelters!

 

 

Michael Gooden

Rendering of the MC13 House by M Gooden Design

The craze for shipping container homes shows no signs of slowing down, as consumers seek out the eco-friendly, unusual abodes.

One Texas design firm is following up their acclaimed shipping container home in East Dallas with another industrial chic home near Waco, Texas.

M Gooden Design, a residential design studio based in Dallas, is in the design and documentation phase of the MC13 house near Waco. The home will be constructed from 13 locally sourced shipping containers, with around 3,500 square feet on two stories, says founder Michael Gooden.

“It will sit on the top of a hill in the middle of 300 acres, and the aesthetic is a blend of industrial feel with some Midcentury modern undertones in there,” he said. “The clients currently live in a 1950s Midcentury Modern house and we wanted as a design team to remember to that era.”

Read the whole story over on SecondShelters!