Sponsor of the Month – Las Vegas Review Journal

logo-rjRJ real estate innovations create informed Vegas buyers who act

As a real estate professional, you want a robust local market, an interested and active group of buyers and sellers and people on all sides who know and can use the existing and emerging tools to make transactions.

Buyers and sellers also want a robust market and active, interested players who know what’s going on locally and how to take advantage of opportunities that speak to them directly.

While the media can’t drive market activity or the economy, it can be the major player in helping ensure that the audience is educated, interested and connected.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal and its affiliated publications have taken that approach to real estate coverage, and it has helped pump up interest among potential buyers and sellers, greatly increased traffic to real estate stories and delivered meaningful content to people in the forms they’re most comfortable with.

They’re not entirely new concepts – giving people what they want, when they want it and where they want it. But the delivery systems and the ways people look for and find the information has changed and must reflect today’s technology and how people look for information.

Newspapers traditionally have put topical content next to topical advertising so that buyers and sellers have a common place to discover each other. The Review-Journal this year has put that concept on steroids. It’s created multiple easy channels where readers at the cusp of decision-making can look for and find the specific information that helps them make those decisions, and where advertisers who can fulfill their needs can connect with them.

Stories are aimed more at answering readers’ and buyers’ questions and giving them information they might not know about that will help — and often spur — action. Articles talk about trends in homes that might fit a specific reader’s lifestyle (like multi-generational homes, walk decks, RV lots or indoor-outdoor living) or needs (such as adjusting to retirement living, innovations in the loan process, community amenities or Realtor values). Review-Journal readers ask and Las Vegas experts answer would-be buyers’ and sellers’ questions about local real estate. Real estate is the transaction that drives more other transactions than anything else, and this approach creates multiple comfortable places for that to happen.

Starting in January, the RJ started putting real estate articles online before they hit the paper, and posting other local real estate stories, some that never make the print edition. Having all those searchable stories online early and often makes it more likely that people can find Las Vegas-oriented information for their specific needs. For example, buyers or sellers looking for Las Vegas resale home sales, or how to price their home in Las Vegas, or information about master planned communities in Las Vegas’ north valley, will find those article by typing in those key words. That recognizes and accommodates how people look for information.

Also in January, the Review-Journal added several new real estate sections on top of the previously published one on Saturday. The line-up now presents Real Estate on Sunday, New Homes on Saturday and Sunday, and Rentals on Sunday. And last year’s new edition, the popular Million Dollar Homes section month – also continues on Sunday. Its online version has grown to 40,000 to about 400,000 pageviews a month.

Readership growth demonstrates the interest, and response from professionals Indicate the results.

For example, John Kelly, RJRealEstate.com reporter, wrote about a new development in Pahrump brought a wave of interested buyers to the site. William Lyon Homes sales consultant Reba Liz Reinertson, told him “I’ve had double the normal traffic yesterday, too, so it’s working.” America West Homes’ Vice President Danny Welsh told Kelly that his article about new basement homes in Las Vegas brought in two buyers (who bought) who had no idea that option was even available here before the story ran.

The Review-Journal continues to look for ways to apply these principles to real estate and other topics – providing targeted, useful and relevant to interested people in the forms that are comfortable to them, creating an easy and non-threatening environment for transactions and fulfillment.

For more information contact Carla Royter, RJ Real Estate Division Manager, at 702-383-4619.

Builder of the Month – Century Communities

logo-century-communitiesCentury Communities arrived in Southern Nevada though the acquisition of Dunhill Homes last year. The Colorado-based builder, founded in 2002, identified Las Vegas as a prime metropolitan market where their brand could grow and flourish for years to come and began purchasing land in Nevada several years ago.            Century Communities is a top 50 homebuilder in the United States and is one of the top five fastest growing homebuilders. The company offers a wide variety of product lines and is engaged in all aspects of homebuilding, including the acquisition, entitlement and development of land and the construction, marketing and sale of homes.

Currently, the builder has five dynamic new home communities in the Las Vegas area: Rhodes Ranch, Tuscany Village, Westmont, Redstone and Cambria. Each with their own personality and character, you’re sure to find something for everyone at Century Communities.

“We are committed to making Century Communities the most vibrant and unique communities in Southern Nevada,” said Ryan Soucie, Director of Sales at Century Communities.

Rhodes Ranch

An oasis in the desert, Rhodes Ranch offers value far beyond the purchase of your home and it is one of the only golf course communities in Las Vegas where you can still purchase a new home. Rhodes Ranch provides a strong sense of community you can feel as soon as you pass through the 24-hour guard-gated entrances. The lush, championship golf course designed by Ted Robinson Sr. is the centerpiece of the community. The multi-million dollar 35,000-square-foot recreation center houses a full-size gym and fitness center, basketball and racquetball courts and billiards room. Outside residents can enjoy a 13,000-square-foot resort-style pool, 25-meter lap pool, multiple spas and hot tubs, and ample shaded areas and cabanas. The Fun Zone, featuring eight water slides, is available exclusively to residents and their guests.

The newest model homes at Rhodes Ranch opened this spring and focus on personalizing the livability and finishes of the home to the buyer’s personal taste. This means plenty of natural lighting, spacious kitchens, merging of indoor/outdoor living options, multigenerational designs and dual master bedrooms per plan. These nine floorplans start in high $200s, range in square footage from 1,742 to 3,609 and feature two to six bedrooms.

Three additional floor plans will enhance the already remarkable product offering at Rhodes Ranch and Century Communities will begin taking lot reservations for the new series this month.

Tuscany Village

Century Communities’ master-planned golf community in Henderson is none other than Tuscany Village. New models opened this summer and Tuscany Village now offers 12 floorplans from which to choose your new home. Ranging from 1,678 to 3,609 square feet, this sanctuary-like community features single and two-story homes with casitas, bifold patio doors, state-of-the-art appliances and all the finishes and surfaces an elegant home commands.

Tuscany Village residents enjoy exclusive use of the 35,000 square foot recreation center which hosts a fitness center with the latest in exercise equipment, aerobics room, racquetball court, and billiards room as well as a resort-style pool and spa, lap pool and cabanas. Tuscany is home to miles and miles of walking-trails and there are quiet community parks nearby.

Pricing for homes in Tuscany Village begin in the mid-$200s.

Westmont

Our Westmont community is nestled in southwest Las Vegas right across from the 26-acre Red Ridge Park which features baseball fields, playgrounds and swing sets, splash pad, full lighted basketball court, disc golf course, picnic pavilions and walking trail. Close to excellent schools and less than a mile from Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas, this community is perfectly located for a family of any size. Westmont presents six two-story floorplans ranging from 1,532 to 2,646 square feet for first time and established home buyers. This series of homes includes stainless steel appliances and generous islands in the gourmet kitchen, walk-in closets in most secondary bedrooms, oversized garages with bonus storage, plus paver walk and drive ways which adds to the neighborhood’s charm. Homes in Westmont begin in the mid-$200s.

Redstone

Redstone is a beautiful gated community in southwest Las Vegas located just off West Sunset Road and South Grand Canyon Drive. This premium location is assessable to the Las Vegas Beltway, within a mile of Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center and in close proximity to several reputable retail and dining establishments. Ranging from 1,532 – 2,229 square feet with three to four bedrooms, the two-story floor plans at Redstone feature maple cabinets, granite countertops and island, skip trowel wall finish, walk-in closets, bonus storage in garage and signature valet area per plan. These beautiful homes have optional fireplaces, covered patios, fourth bedrooms or downstairs bedroom suites available. Adjacent to Summerlin, the Redstone community also features standard paver driveways, all cul-de-sac streets and privacy gate. With only 66 lots, this neighborhood is a private oasis amongst our bustling city. Pricing starts at the mid-$200s.

Cambria

If you’re seeking a single story home in North Las Vegas, look no further than Century Communities. Cambria is an intimate collection of homes with just 17 home sites, located in a beautiful gated community, near Ann Road and Commerce Street. Cambria also sells homes to be built at Madison Estates, which is located just two miles away, with 23 larger lots that can accommodate optional three car garages. This new home community is close to excellent dining and shopping, and even has its own private community parks with playground equipment for children. With major employment centers like Nellis Air Force Base just a few minutes away, it is also very conveniently located. Cambria is located near the Craig Ranch Regional Park, which is comprised of 170 acres and offers lots of activities including baseball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, a skate park, a dog park and sand volleyball courts. Pricing is simply unbeatable for these single and two-story homes, starting in the low-$200s.

Future Communities

Century Communities is growing rapidly having opened two new communities and two new model parks so far this year; but they are not done yet. Coming later this year is a new community in Mountains Edge called Sage Canyon. Century is also opening a new model park of single and two-story homes in southwest Las Vegas called Parkview, which will feature a privacy gate, community pool, sport court and playground. They are also designing new estate homes to be built inside their master-plan of Rhodes Ranch by the end of the year and two new communities inside the northwest master-plan of Skye Canyon. In 2016, Century will also open a second home site in Mountains Edge, a gorgeous new community perched upon a hillside at Lake Las Vegas and a lovely community in northwest Las Vegas featuring oversized lots called Meadow Ridge.

Word On The Street, vol5

logo-vegas-seven

Seven Hot Las Vegas Neighborhoods

In the market to make a move? Consider these hot Valley communities.

By Brian Sodoma 5/28 8:00am

Rancho Bel Air in the Rancho Corridor. | Photo by Jon Estrada

Rancho Bel Air in the Rancho Corridor. | Photo by Jon Estrada

As we enter the height of the real estate buying season, experts, analysts and pundits weigh the relative health of the Southern Nevada market. Sure, there’s reason for concern. In the past couple of years, prices have risen sharply—perhaps too sharply—and skeptics always point to the still stubbornly high number of underwater homeowners.

On the bright side, interest rates remain low, and supply has increased enough to level off some of those price spikes. Another positive: Many people who lost homes during the Great Recession are credit-worthy again, and those in the real estate trenches say sales are definitely trending up. According to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, single-family home sales in March climbed 9 percent from the same month last year; April’s sales weren’t quite as robust, but still up 5.1 percent from April 2014.

“As long as interest rates stay down and the houses are priced right, it’s going to continue to be a burning-hot market,” says Dave Tina, managing broker/owner of Urban Nest Realty.

And “anything under $250,000 is moving very quickly,” says Deanna Garber, a Realtor with The Brooks Team at Realty ONE Group.

Of course, when it comes to big-city real estate, some areas of town are always hotter than others. With that in mind, we reached out to trusted real estate sources and scoured the Las Vegas Valley looking for seven communities that are catching the attention of local buyers. Here’s what we found:

Inspirada (Henderson west)

Established: 2007.
Location: Volunteer Boulevard/ Via Inspirada Drive.
Price range: From the high $100,000s to $500,000s.

Why it’s hot: This was Henderson’s introduction to New Urbanism right before the start of the recession. Construction was at a virtual standstill from 2008 through 2011, but today, Beazer Homes, KB Home, Pardee and Toll Brothers are building out one of the Valley’s most popular master-planned communities. Park amenities were unveiled in earnest about 18 months ago, and new townhomes and single-family residences are selling quickly. Inspirada is zoned for great schools, with the eastern part of the community sitting adjacent to Anthem and the west bordering M Resort. New three-bedroom townhomes start in the low $200,000s, but some resale models built in 2008 or 2009 sport price tags in the high $100,000s, which Garber says makes them attractive to first-time buyers.

Silverado Ranch

Established: Early 1990s.
Location: Gillespie Street (west), Pebble Road (north), Eastern Avenue (east) and Cactus Avenue (south).
Price range: From $75,000 (condos) to the $700,000s.

Why it’s hot: Primarily comprising the 89183 and 89123 ZIP codes, Silverado Ranch started its build out in the early ’90s, and a decade later, it was one of the most desired spots in the city. The thinking behind Silverado Ranch has always been to be a master plan without excessive fees for homeowners associations, special-improvement districts (SIDs) or local-improvement districts (LIDs). American West is still building some new homes, but beyond that there isn’t much new construction in Silverado Ranch. Still, the community has a healthy inventory of three- and four-bedroom resale homes and condos, plus several quiet, quaint gated communities that tip toward luxury—residences Tina says move very quickly when priced right. Its location, with easy access to both Interstates 15 and 215, is very much an appeal. Says Tina: “Silverado Ranch has become very hot for those who work on the Strip and others who want quick access to it.”

Downtown Summerlin adjacent

Location: Desert Foothills Drive (near I-215 and Charleston Boulevard) and Sahara Avenue (between I-215 and Hualapai Way).
Price range: From the high $100,000s to $1 million-plus.

The Willows Park near Downtown Summerlin. | Photo by Jon Estrada

The Willows Park near Downtown Summerlin. | Photo by Jon Estrada

 

Why it’s hot: Last year’s big retail story, Downtown Summerlin—situated east of the 215 between Sahara Avenue and Charleston Boulevard—also had a positive impact on nearby residential real estate. Both Garber and Tina say the area, which was long considered underserved for retail, is enjoying a boost in interest from homebuyers. Nearby Red Rock Country Club is one of those hot spots. “It’s the only guard-gated community with two golf courses and a country club,” Tina says. “People love that.” Garber, who has worked with buyers looking for homes in the nearby Willows or Summerlin Centre neighborhoods, says it’s not uncommon to once again see bidding wars—a pre-recession staple—for homes in the area. “When a new shopping center goes up,” she says, “that area is going to boom.”

Downtown (John S. Park Historic District/Huntridge District, etc.)

Established: 1960s.
Location: Las Vegas Boulevard (west), Charleston Boulevard (north), Eastern Avenue (east), Sahara Avenue (south).
Price range: From $70,000 to $300,000.

Why it’s hot: These areas were the original Las Vegas suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s. While you’ll find plenty of fixer-uppers in these neighborhoods, millennials are embracing and scooping up the 1960s mid-moderns. Live here and you can walk to First Friday, Life Is Beautiful and numerous other Downtown events. You’re also within a few blocks of the city’s burgeoning tech startup and Fremont East nightlife scenes. “These are people who want nothing to do with stucco, tile roofs and HOAs,” LeVine says about the profile of buyers in this area. “Downtown is really a big pocket; it’s very culturally and ethnically diverse and unique, and it’s close to everything.”

Aliante (North Las Vegas)

Established: 2002.
Location: Aliante Parkway/ Interstate 215.
Price range: From the mid-$100,000s to $500,000s.

Why it’s hot: The north Valley has long been desirable because it offers more dollar-per-square-foot bang for the buck. Aliante, North Las Vegas’ first master-planned community, is no exception. The 1,900-acre development has a golf club, the Aliante hotel-casino and several city parks (about 400 of those acres are set aside for recreational use). Some see it as a more affordable Green Valley or Anthem of the north. As was the case elsewhere in the Valley, the recession slowed Aliante’s build out considerably, but Pardee and Harmony Homes are quietly developing subdivisions now. Garber says the north Valley’s lower price points in general make the area attractive to investors; additionally, some who work in the middle of town and don’t mind the commute also head north.

Rancho Corridor (Downtown)

Established: 1960s.
Location: Rancho Drive (roughly between U.S. 95 and Charleston Boulevard).
Price range: From the $100,000s to $1.5 million-plus.

John S. Park in the Rancho Corridor. |Phot by Jon Estrada

John S. Park in the Rancho Corridor. |Phot by Jon Estrada

Why it’s hot: Jack LeVine, a longtime Downtown Realtor, refers to this area as the “Rancho Corridor,” which is home to Rancho Bel Air, Rancho Circle and the Scotch 80s (just south of Charleston). These hip, older communities associated with such legendary city luminaries as Howard Hughes, Steve Wynn and Oscar Goodman (among countless others) bring their share of diverse architecture: You’ll find Colonial, Mediterranean, 1940s-style mansions, mid-century modern and much more. “No two houses look the same,” LeVine says. What also gives this area a unique touch is the affordability of the homes outside of these high-profile historic communities. Many were built between the 1960s and 1980s and are priced between $100,000 and $300,000. You might need to do some updating, but for some, being a stone’s throw from a revitalizing urban core justifies the investment.

 

Sky Terrace (Henderson east)

Established: 2008.
Location: Sunridge Heights Parkway/Canyon Heights Drive.
Price range: Starting from the high $600,000s.

Why it’s hot: This ultra-modern, semi-custom subdivision began construction in 2008, then quickly became a casualty of the recession. Developer Blue Heron eventually bought the lots and resumed building, but not until it brought its own earth-friendly, modern design approach to the table. A 44-unit community, Sky Terrace has five floor plans and plenty of custom options, and is now filling out nicely with only about a dozen lots remaining. Billed as “desert contemporary,” courtyard-style architecture, the designs are attractive to young professionals and families alike, with many models having rooftop and other outdoor living spaces. “They’re kind of like dream homes,” says Robin Yates, a local Realtor with Windermere Real Estate. “The outdoors is like a living room. You’ll see lots of water, things like fire pits, ponds … and you get the same amenities you find in Blue Heron’s multimillion-dollar homes.”

Legal Ease, vol5

logo-black-lobelloSocial Media Trappings And Waiver Of Privileges And Confidences
By Maximiliano D. Couvillier III, Esq.
May 2015

Facebook®. Twitter®. Instagram®. Such examples of social media allow people to stay connected and share many things with their internet “friends” and “followers.” People share funny stories, jokes, rants, pictures and life events. Posting on social media sites also give people a forum for ideas or social or political commentary. Postings are sometimes driven by how many “likes” or “followers” a person believes the posting may generate. It is worth repeating that internet and social media postings live on forever in cyber space and that postings and pictures can be manipulated by cyber hackers. In the litigation context, repeated stories circulate about social media postings which have significantly impacted lawsuits. Examples are plenty: The litigant who claims an injury in a lawsuit but posts pictures of herself exercising vigorously in a spin class; the husband who inadvertently posts compromising pictures of himself with another woman; the video uploaded showing off speeding in a new car that is later shown by the accident victims. There are, however, other lesser known ways that social media posts can come back to bite.

Confidentiality. When parties are able to settle lawsuits they generally enter into settlement agreements which contain confidentiality provisions. Those confidential provisions must be taken seriously and considered carefully.   They often prohibit parties from disclosing the terms of the settlement, including any monies exchanged between the parties. Litigation can consume ones’ life. It can be very emotional and leave bitterness between the parties, even when a lawsuit is privately settled. That said, it is natural for people to want to talk about their lawsuit and plight with their friends, families and even work colleagues. There may be an even stronger urge to want to discuss a lawsuit when a settlement is reached, especially if a person feels vindicated by a settlement. Boasting on the internet about how much money a bitter adversary paid to settle, however, will quickly crush any perceived vindication or victory if the settlement agreement contained a confidentiality provision. Do not grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.   Just ask the Florida father who lost a $140,000 discrimination settlement from a private school (which included the school paying the father’s $60,000 attorneys’ fees) after his daughter posted on her Facebook® page: “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.” The school quickly learned of the post and sent a letter to the father stating that he had breached the confidentiality provision of the settlement agreement and would not be receiving any money. When the father asked a court to compel the school to pay the settlement, the Florida appeals court sided with the school. So in the end, the father not only lost out on his $80,000 share but also lost his discrimination case against the school because he could no longer sue the school. Furthermore, the father is probably now stuck with his $60,000 attorneys’ fee bill that the school would have otherwise paid.

Attorney-Client Privilege.  The attorney-client privilege is held and controlled by the client and not the lawyer. Thus, while the attorney-client privilege is often raised by the lawyer, the lawyer does so on behalf of his or her client, and ultimately it is the client (and not the lawyer) who may assert the privilege or waive its protections. A client can waive the attorney-client privilege by disclosing to third-parties the contents his communications with his lawyer. For example, a client can waive the privilege by telling his golfing buddy what his lawyer opines about his pending lawsuit. A client can also waive the privilege by courtesy copying others in emails or texts with his lawyer. Social media has created additional pitfalls for inadvertent waivers. One such example is the growing trend to post on-line lawyer reviews. The growing popularity of lawyer review sites like AVVO®, Yelp® and Martindale® encourage clients to post lawyer reviews (good or bad) and lawyers are often rewarded with better marketing opportunities depending on the number of reviews that they receive. The problem arises when a client’s on-line review discloses the contents of lawyer communications.   A client unhappy with progress of a lawsuit may go to an on-line review site to air out his or her frustrations and discuss what the lawyer told him about the prospects of his case and how they have not materialized as promised. Another client may go to internet lawyer review sites to seek a “second opinion” about what her lawyer told her regarding her case. In these cases, there is a very likelihood that the client waived the attorney-client privilege and the client’s communications with his lawyer are now free game for the adversary.

If you are involved in litigation, you should consult with your attorney about social media management. Your attorney should work with you to develop a social media protocol to follow. You should also communicate with your attorney about posting on-line reviews. If a positive review is intended, the attorney will obviously be pleased but can remind the client about keeping privileged communications out. If a negative review is intended, a consultation with the attorney may help resolve a client’s concerns.

 

View From The Top, vol5

By Nat Hodgson
Executive Director
Southern Nevada Home Builders Association

The National Association of Home Builders announced earlier this year the winners of the Best in American Living Awards – a prestigious award program that spotlights design excellence for the entire residential building industry.

Award recipients are lauded as the most creative and inventive builders, remodelers, architects, developers, land planners and interior designers in the nation.

The awards’ submissions reflect the newest trends in design that home buyers will see over the next several years. Here’s a few of those trends, which can be found in the new homes being constructed in metropolitan Las Vegas.

White-on-White Kitchens: This continuing trend can be seen in both traditional and modern-style homes. The look features white cabinets topped with white countertops and finished off with white back splashes and white trim.

Double-Island Kitchens: Back-to-back and side-by-side islands are showing up in all styles of homes. Often one island is used for cooking and preparing food and the other for serving food and dining. The second island may also take the place of a more formal dining room table.

Centered Bathtubs: As part of the continuing “bathroom as spa” trend, well-designed large tubs are becoming the center of attention. They’re pulled away from the wall and treated like sculptures in the room’s design.

Natural Elements Mixed with Contemporary Materials: A softer side of modern design is evolving. Wood, steel and glass are a popular combination, allowing the best from both worlds. Modern textures are being combined with old-world or classical elements.

Get-Away Rooms: Whether it’s a room with a view or a game room, creating “escapes” is increasingly popular. These spaces are designed to encourage relaxation, family time or provide room for hobbies.

Wine Rooms and Bars: Wine displays under the stairs stylishly fill spaces that may otherwise go to waste. Full rooms dedicated to wine or liquors are no longer just for the avid collector. Wet-bar nooks are adding to the overall encouragement of relaxing and enjoying time at home.

Indoor-Outdoor Living: No matter their location, home buyers are attracted to designs that offer space on the roof to give them a great view while soaking in the surroundings. Indoor-outdoor transitional spaces are also showing up by using screens and removable or foldable walls.

Smaller Entries: Entries are still very well designed, but the amount of space allocated to the entrance is shrinking. Large pivoting doors are making grand statements, but open immediately into the main living space of the home.

Non-Car Centric Design: While cars, driveways and garages are a part of American life, design features that seem to be taking their place are sidewalks, bike paths and community gathering spaces.