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Blog :: 04-2020

Wear Your Hard Hat

On April 28th, Joe Taggart, LandVest’s President, shared the below message to all LandVest personnel.  We are sharing it with you, as it underscores our commitment to protecting our staff, clients, and our community at large.

 


Here again, this petulant virus has presented yet another unifying topic for us as a company.

For decades, our forestry staff has been adapting to the evolving realities of personal protective equipment. PPE first gained traction in the timber falling community in the ’60s. At first, it was big companies and insurance underwriters who mandated the provisioning of hard hats. It quickly progressed to hearing protection, and eventually eye protection. Typically, the toughest loggers didn’t wear them – or only did so when the boss was on the landing because they were either too experienced to fall victim to an accident, or too strong to become injured if such tragedy befell them.

When I started out in the logging industry in the early ’90s, I was surrounded by deaf, partially blind 60-year-olds who were missing fingers. Seriously. Some of them had succumbed to the realities of contemporary business…some of them did so in regret of their past ways. Even then, protective equipment wasn’t universally accepted. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that it became cool to want to come home at night in one piece.

As we look to ease physical distancing and operational work constraints, we are all going to be asked to increase our adherence to personal protective equipment. Understandably, there are times when our own vanity will tug at the directional needle of our moral compass and tell us that it isn’t cool. Kind of like seat-belts for adults, or car seats for babies in the 1970s. Remember that the arrow points north for a reason.

Leadership is about doing the right thing, even when 51% of society isn’t following. It separates the shepherd from the sheep. You won’t ever find me on an active landing without a hard hat, proper boots, and eye and hearing protection. In the coming weeks, you won’t see me relating among others without a mask. For the time being, that is likely the reality and the expectation of our working lives.

Embrace and accessorize the change. It will give our clients comfort and will set you apart from the competition. It will also bring you, and others, home in one piece.

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    The World in 360 Degrees: Take a Virtual Tour of 4 Famous Buildings

    If the constraints of your home are beginning to make themselves known, these virtual tours can make all the difference. With a simple click, you’ll be transported to buildings in the deserts of Arizona, on the Sydney waterfront, or along Barcelona’s historic streets—often with exclusive behind-the-scenes access that few are lucky enough to be granted. Here’s where to begin your online adventure.

     

    Taliesin West, Arizona, U.S.A.

    Today, Taliesin West is the main campus of the School of Architecture at Taliesin and houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Image: Jill Richards

    Last year, eight of Frank Lloyd Wright’s unmistakable buildings were officially inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The first modern architecture designation on the List in the United States, Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen West in Arizona, is justly among those eight.

    Related: Learn More About Frank Lloyd Wright’s Iconic Architecture

    Taliesin West was Lloyd Wright’s desert home and school from 1937 until his death in 1959, aged 91. The virtual tour takes visitors around the property—you decide which parts to visit, from the entrance and entry courtyard, through living spaces, out to the garden and reflection pool. You can also visit the maestro’s office and rock-hewn lecture theater. Click on your chosen thumbnail and then click within it to experience the sensation of floating through each space, or press the play button to be guided through each room.

    franklloydwright.org/3dlab

     

    The Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

    Sydney Opera House

    Jøm Utzon, the original architect of the Sydney Opera House, never visited the icon he designed. Thankfully though, its current closure doesn’t mean you can’t explore it digitally. Image: Adam J.W.C.

    In partnership with the Google Cultural Institute, the Sydney Opera House has produced The Unseen House, an eight-minute video that takes virtual visitors through a 360-degree whistle-stop tour of all parts of the building, in rehearsal and at rest. The tour starts with the iconic exterior—said to be based on the sails of a ship—before inviting us in to see a cellist Benjamin Schwartz rehearsing. It then tours both public and private spaces, stages, and dressing rooms, accompanied by the soaring tones of soprano Nicole Car.

    The Sydney Opera House Cafe

    The Opera House's virtual tour allows you to see every facet of the building—inside and out. Image: Alamy

    The Opera House’s other online exhibits include Late Night House, an exploration of how the city’s club culture has shaped the venue, and A Backstage Pass, a more in-depth look at rehearsal spaces and dressing rooms. It has also launched a new digital initiative, From our House to Yours, an evolving weekly program of full-length performances and talks, never-before-seen footage, podcasts, long-form articles, and behind-the-scenes content.

    sydneyoperahouse.com/our-story/exhibits-with-google.html

     

    Casa Battló, Barcelona, Spain

    Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain

    Many visitors to Casa Battló are intrigued by the building's skull-like balconies. However, look a little closer and you'll pick up on the many marine references Gaudí included in its design. Image: Casa Batlló S.L.U.-Gaudí

    Spain‘s Catalan capital might be shut to outsiders for the time being, but you can still explore Casa Battló, one of the buildings by the city’s most famous architect Antoni Gaudí. Known by locals as Casa dels ossos—house of bones—thanks to the skeleton-like balconies that jut from its façade, it is said that Gaudí actually looked to the colors and shapes of marine life as inspiration when he was commissioned to redesign the building in 1904.

    Related: See 4 of the Most Famous Spanish Artists’ Works

    Visitors can take a full virtual tour of Casa Battló, from street level to the rooftop terrace. Passing through the building you’re treated to glimpses of the colorful tilework and glass so beloved of the Catalan architect, and the undulating, organic designs that helped to make his name.

    casabatllo.es/en/virtual-tour

     

    Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s house, Mexico City, Mexico

    The colourful art museum dedicated to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo

    Located in one of the oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods of Mexico City, Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul (the Blue House) was converted into a museum in 1958, four years after her death. Image: Alamy

    Through a series of navigable images, you can explore the two interconnected houses that make up the Museu Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo in San Angel, Mexico City. The work of painter and architect Juan O’Gorman, the buildings sit on land that was once the tennis courts of the San Angel Inn, which was so popular in its day that the neighborhood used to be known by the same name.

    Related: Discover 6 of Mexico’s Top Architects

    One of the first functionalist buildings in Latin America, today the colorful museum offers an insight into the working lives of Mexico’s most famous artists, each of whom had a separate building. In Diego’s house, painted white and red, are works from his Riveriano-ruso era, which explored his passion for communism. Here, you’ll also find his papier mâché cartonería figures of humans and animals. A highlight of Frida’s blue house is the original bathroom complete with the tub that appears in her painting Lo Que El Agua Mi Dió (What the Water Gave Me).

    inba.gob.mx/sitios/recorridos-virtuales/casa-estudio-diego-rivera-frida-kahlo

     

    Find a New Home Virtually

    Virtual visits aren’t just for landmark buildings. You can enjoy 360-degree house tours of some of the finest listings from Christie’s International Real Estate and its global network of affiliates without having to leave your own home.

    Sustainable Splendor in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

    A luxury villa in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
    Situated in an exclusive gated residential community, this modern, luxury villa is located right on the water's edge and is surrounded by lush landscaping.

    This beautifully furnished four bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home features a pool and private dock, with thoughtfully-designed outdoor spaces that seamlessly integrate the indoors and outdoors. On the market with Provenance Properties Cayman Islands, the home has been designed for sustainable living. Electricity is generated through solar panels and the villa is cooled using geothermal technology. (Click on the “3D Virtual Tour” tab within each property to start your tour.)

    Idyllic Ocean Views in Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos Islands

    Point House in the Turks and Caicos Islands
    Designed by world-renowned architect Cheong Yew Kuan, this spectacular beachfront private estate spans over 7,000 square feet (650 sq m) with unobstructed ocean views.

    Located on an exclusive, privately-owned island in the Turks & Caicos, this villa is made for seamless indoor–outdoor living thanks to vast glass windows, a covered terrace, and a pool finished with a unique lava stone from Bali. On the market with Regency, it boasts five bedrooms with five-and-a-half baths, and a chef’s kitchen.

     

    Loft-Like Luxury in the West Village, New York City

    An eco-friendly apartment in New York's West Villlage
    This breathtaking apartment offers access to a private terrace that spans 447 square feet (42 sq m) and overlooks Jackson Square Park.

    One Jackson Square, on the market with Christie’s International Real Estate Group, is one of the most beautiful apartments in New York’s West Village. This two-bedroom, three-bath corner duplex is designed for entertaining with an open loft-style layout. The main level features a professional-standard kitchen and double-sided living room fireplace, while on the upper level you’ll find the master bedroom and spa-like master bath, along with a spacious second bedroom.

     

    Georgian Glamor in Belgravia, London

    A home in Belgravia, London
    Perfectly suited for both entertaining and modern family living, this period house includes a bespoke open-plan kitchen and dining room, a cosy TV area and a fantastic formal drawing room.

    This freehold period house, on the market with Strutt & Parker, seamlessly combines original Georgian elements with contemporary features. It offers six bedrooms and five full baths, with a large master bedroom suite that occupies the entire second floor. On the lower-ground floor, you’ll find a cinema room, wine cellar and a bar with bi-folding glass doors that open onto a patio garden.

     

    Post courtesy of Christie's International Real Estate, Luxury Defined Blog.

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      Nonquitt – The Best Kept Secret of Massachusetts' South Coast

      Tucked away around several coves along Dartmouth’s coast, is the little-known beach community called Nonquitt. It was founded in the late 1800s as an artist’s colony. Inspired by the tranquil and understated elegance of the natural landscape, Nonquitt has long been a destination for families from Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Providence. Many of these original homes pass from one generation to the next or are sold from within. Properties offered on the open market are a rare opportunity to buy into the exclusive community.

      Amidst the 455-acre gated enclave, you will find three sandy beaches, a nine-hole golf course with no tee-times, six tennis courts, its own little post office, The Casino, and a community center. Wildflowers mark the waterfront landscape, and bike paths are well-worn from decades of leisurely exploration. The architecture is primarily gambrel and gingerbread-style cedar-shingled homes that were not winterized, as residents typically arrived at the start of summer and left before Labor Day, but modern Nonquitt properties are suitable for year-round living.

      One such year-round resident is LandVest luxury real estate agent, Betsy Lawrence. She recently listed 5 King Philip Street in Nonquitt. We were able to get from her, her top 5 things she loves about the property and Nonquitt:

      1. 5 King Street has a great, Great Room. Mahogany ceiling, radiant heat, and balcony overlooking it!
      2. Steps from the 6 tennis courts and 9 holes of Nonquitt golf, the Post Office, and the Casino.
      3. Tons of storage throughout including a huge, very dry basement suitable for finishing.
      4. The barn – great for storage, Ping-Pong table, and also has many possibilities for future expansion.
      5. Built in 2012, the property has modern amenities, but looks like an historic Nonquitt house that’s been here forever!

      Today, Nonquitt is largely inhabited by families, unlikely to discuss one of New England’s best-kept secrets. But if you’re curious, and want to see this place for yourself, you’ll have to obtain a personal invitation from a resident – or the resident real estate agent.

      For more info on 5 King Philip Street or for other Nonquitt listings, contact Betsy Lawrenceblawrence@landvest.com.

      Images sourced from Halsey Fulton and Nonquitt Instagram

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        Bring Your Horse Home

        Right now, many riders are separated from their boarded horses. With everyone being advised to stay at home, it’s a good time to think about what you’d need to make your home your horses’, too. Not long ago, we looked at what people search for in an equestrian property. If you haven’t already, pop over to that post for a quick read-through; but, here’s a refresher on the essentials that people want for their horses:

        • Turnout, pasture, or grazing with reliable fencing and shade/shelter
        • Good footing
        • Big, open, airy stalls with ins and outs
        • Radiant heat in grooming/wash stall with hot/cold water
        • Heated tack room
        • Trail access

        60 Washington Street | Sherborn, MA

        We highlighted Bridle Brook Farm previously, with its 10 acres of gracious country living close to Boston and Providence. It had all the amenities (from the six stalls to the outdoor ring) to make you and your horse happy. Here, we’ll explore some other homes that match the criteria.

        Buttrick Farm | Concord, MA


        To start, here’s another property in Boston’s western suburbs. Buttrick Farm is a historic property on Concord’s Monument Street that offers over 10 acres of broad fields, paddocks, and picturesque post-and-rail fences. In addition to the restored Georgian farmhouse and guest cottage, the property also has a barn with eight stalls, a wash stall, bath/laundry room, grain room, and tack room.

        Birch Tree Farm | Woodstock, VT

        If you’re looking for a home with a lot of your own land to explore, Birch Tree Farm in Woodstock, VT may be the right fit. This family recreational retreat has over 460 acres with miles of carriage trails, which connect to the Green Mountain Horse Association trail network. There is an exceptional 3-level bank barn with 7 box stalls, heated tack room, wash stall and a viewing room on the top floor, which can also accommodate an overflow of guests. There are lots of options for turn-out with 9 fenced pastures.

        Blue Sky Farm | Essex MA

        Boston’s North Shore is also home to several available equestrian listings. First is Blue Sky Farm on the Essex River in Essex. The timber-framed barn has two full-sized stalls your horses can call home and over 17 acres to explore. Plus, the barn has a finished and heated tack room, a heated bathroom, and plenty of storage space.

        10 Miles River Rd | Hamilton, MA

        Next on the North Shore is 10 Miles River Road in Hamilton. This 6-acre farm abuts the trail system you can explore. The property has two barns with 8 stalls, all with walk-outs and ample grass paddocks, as well as an oversized sand/fiber arena.

        Hoof-N-Woof Farm | Boxford, MA

        Finally, in Boxford, is Hoof-N-Woof Farm, a 13-acre picturesque farm with a perfect balance between family life and equine facilities. There’s a workshop, two attached barns with 7 stalls, 180 x 100 riding ring with GGT-Footing and a full drainage system, and 8 paddocks and run-outs.

        Fleetwood Farm | Tamworth, NH

        Fleetwood Farm in Tamworth, NH sits on over 100 pastoral acres with a recently renovated Colonial and 11-stall barn with tack room, both dating back to the 1790s. You’ll get plenty of space to roam and fenced pastures for any number of animals to call this property home.

        Sleepy Hollow Farm | Jefferson, ME

        About 35 minutes outside of Camden, ME, Sleepy Hollow Farm covers 530 acres of rolling hills and open meadows with recreational trails, woods, ponds, and gardens to explore. The main house has been impeccably updated and the two-story heated post-and-beam barn, built by Rockport Post & Beam, has excellent stables and a workshop.

        Maple Leaf Farm | Lyme, NH

        Let yourself and your horses enjoy the sweet life on a New Hampshire hillside. There are endless ways to enjoy the great outdoors at Maple Leaf Farm, in Lyme, NH near Hanover, but doing it on horseback is certainly a contender for the best way to take in this 86-acre property.

        Twin View Farm | Addison, VT

        Enjoy the views of the Adirondacks to the west and the Green Mountains to the east from the 275-acre Twin View Farm in Addison, VT, near Middlebury College. Along with the 900-foot airstrip and hangar, the property is also equipped for equestrian pursuits, including a 2-stall barn with power and water and 2 fenced pastures. There is also a chicken coop next to the stables.

        Tunbridge Hilltop Farm | Tunbridge, VT

        Tunbridge Hilltop Farm in Tunbridge, VT, on 135 acres, has miles of groomed carriage-width trails. After a day of hacking the Vermont countryside and enjoying the big views, come home to a 6-stall barn with a tack room, feed room and 3 fenced pastures. Once you have settled in your furry friends, you have options: take a swim in the half-acre spring-fed pond, or heat up the tea kettle on the Aga, before cozying up to a roaring fire in the great room.

        Explore more equestrian properties on the market by clicking here.

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          Mortgage Applications Fall for Fifth Week

          First-time mortgage applications have fallen for five straight weeks and Y-o-Y activity is now down a painful 35%. Add to that a 42-point fall in the NAHB Housing Market index for March to 30, the lowest level since 6/12 and the biggest decline in the Index’s 35-year history. With March housing starts down 22%, it’s clear the housing industry, which had been going gangbusters, is suddenly very troubled.

          Solid Q1 Fundamentals Point To Quick Boston Recovery.

          Solid Q1 Fundamentals Point To Quick Boston Recovery 4/7/20, 10:58 AM 

          Tim Carroll, Bisnow Assistant News Editor

          Even amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, data from the first quarter of the year show Boston is in a unique position to persevere.

          Bolstered by a diversified economy that counts among its chief drivers countercyclical industries such as healthcare and education, the city’s commercial real estate prospects look good, Colliers Boston Managing Director of Research and Client Services Aaron Jodka said. The region’s fundamental real estate numbers prior to the economic crisis indicate that, while the drop may be precipitous, Greater Boston's rebound could be sharp

          page1image4241985984

          “Rents were all-time highs in Boston, all-time highs in Cambridge and performing well in the suburbs,” Jodka said. “The underlying fundamentals were strong.”

          A Q1 report from Newmark Knight Frank was similarly bullish, pointing to the region’s economic versatility.
          “The metro area’s large, diversified and innovative economy will prove vital to the area’s long-term growth story,” the

          report said.

          Perhaps the most confidence-inspiring Q1 data came from new projects, Jodka said. He pointed to Hines breaking ground on its 1.1M SF, 678-foot tower over South Station and other air-rights projects as indicators of a strong market, saying those were deals the city hadn’t seen since the development of Copley Place in the 1980s.

          Boston’s office vacancy rose from 11.3% to 11.7% in Q1, but it remained at a cyclical low of 7.1% in the central business district, NKF found. The office sector experienced negative net absorption of 51K SF, according to NKF’s report. The Colliers report pegged Boston’s negative net absorption at 155K SF across all sectors.

          Colliers also found overall positive net absorption of 127K SF and 363K SF in Cambridge and the suburbs, respectively.

          The spread of the coronavirus and resultant widespread work-from-home policies will dampen gains in the office market across the country. But Boston’s office market is partly driven by technology firms essential to people working from home, insulating it from the broader economic shutdown.

          “We have cybersecurity as a growing driver here,” Jodka said. “LogMeIn and GoToMeeting, they’re busy with everyone working from home, so we have a number of these technologies that are at the forefront of what’s happening today and what will happen tomorrow.”

          An industrial sector report from NKF shows even greater reason for optimism. Rents grew 1.9% in Q1, marking the 13th consecutive quarter of positive growth. Industrial vacancy decreased to 5.9% despite 467K SF of deliveries, and there was positive net absorption of more than 919K SF.

          “While uncertainty looms, expect the industrial market to press forward as normal,” NKF officials wrote in the report. “Expect tenants to continue to transact to meet growing demand, and expect buyers and sellers to operate quickly to take advantage of market

          conditions before a potential shift.”

          With the uncertainty of the pandemic, in spite of the presence of recession-resistant industries in Boston, the office market is due for a downturn, Jodka said. But when it gets better, it should be a sharp rebound.

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          Girl Scout Cookie Sales

          Girl Scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies/year. At $5/box, that’s $1 billion in sales, more than the annual US sales of Oreos, the best-selling US cookie. Thin Mints are the favorite of 24% of Americans. Samoas/Caramel deLites are next at 16%, while Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties are third at 10%. The remaining eight flavors are collectively favored by 29% of the population; 21% have no opinion.

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