Luxury Summer Retreat in Cabo

Luxury Summer Retreat in Cabo

Jennifer W.

What better way to celebrate summer than enjoying the pristine views of the ocean by rooftop, Off-Roading, or just laying with my feet planted in the sand. I had the privilege of heading to Cabo (Puerto Los Cabos) to check out a stunning Airbnb home and review it. Although this home was way more home than one person would need for traveling, it felt unbelievably comfortable, and intimate. I got to take in many of the rooms and observe the exquisite detail in the traditional decor of a Mexican vacation home.

My dear friend allowed me to take a few days to spend at his vacation home to review it, and blog about it! One of the many perks of the work I do as a business consultant is meeting, and working with clients, developers, and boutique hotels all over the world. I love traveling to new destinations, and by checking out their hot spots I get to share my genuine experience and thoughts with all of you.

To check out the gorgeous home I stayed at click this link!

One of my favorite Boutique Style Hotel’s in Cabo right down from the fishing pier. Their restaurant is quaint and offers an amazing breakfast menu to start your day. That cow creamer truly was one of a kind! Caroline is a wonderful manager, and friend. To me the best part of boutique hotels is getting to know the staff, and creating new friendships. La Marina Inn Cabo.

Styling and outfits by one of my favorite boutique stores Scout and Molly’s.

As most of you know when I travel to destinations I am mainly going to submerse myself into the rich culture, and enjoy exactly what the local’s enjoy.

Here are my top things to do if in Cabo, and you want to venture off as locals do.

Playa playa playa- Most locals get off on Sunday’s and use this as their beach day. There is so much beach to see that’s completely private, and desolate. I had the beach to myself for hours, and heard nothing but waves. The best way to get to the beach is by utilizing an off road ATV. Riding on the razor by far was one of the best experiences while traveling.

For an amazing rooftop view with a chill NYC vibe go to The Cape. It is by far one of the best rooftops I have ever been to. The acoustic music was just as divine.

I am not one to actually golf, but I love a stunning golf course, and enjoy the golf cart experience. If you are wanting to play a round on a Jack Nicholas designed course try out the stunning Puerto Los Cabos golf course! The owner of the airbnb has a membership, and can get you a discount if interested! PS. their taco stands along the course are insane!

Downtown San Jose del Cabo is also a fun spot to walk around and eat authentic Mexican food. They have traditional singers, and food to die for! It’s wonderful to run into locals and even tourists to see and hear about their experiences, and what they enjoy.

I am a huge fan of working remote from beautiful views. Fortunately this home was perfect for a lovely view while attending to work calls and emails. The roof deck was stunning to wake up to, and enjoyed taking in the full moon and stars at night. The pool was so peaceful and exactly what I needed when I would get a bit hot. The sound of the infinity pool and that view gets me every time. I am not one to enjoy the large all inclusive hotels due to wanting to be completely remote, and love the quiet to recharge. Airbnb homes offer that intimate experience without all the energy and people.

What I would recommend Cabo for overall-

A girls weekend, intimate family and friends wedding, honeymoon, birthday weekend getaway, or a nice work retreat!

Let me know if you want to hear more about my trip, and if you’ve ever been! Stay tuned as many new exciting hotels, and developments are being built in Cabo. It is quite the destination right now to visit. There are so many stunning hotels and places to check out and review.

Whale Watching: Best Spots in Mexico!

It whale be a good time

Whale watching in Mexico has become a top-rated event that takes place from November to April when California Gray Whales migrate South to warmer waters of the Pacific. You’ll find that when traveling to Mexico this time of the year you’re going to want to spot some of these majestic animals. When you reserve one of our fabulous luxury villas Los Cabos is known for, you’ll be in for a treat especially when it comes to catching a glimpse of these ocean creatures.

Luxury Villas Los Cabos

Some of the best views of potential whale sightings are from the windows of our very own luxury villas located in Los Cabos. As many of our rentals in Mexico allow beach access or views of the ocean, you’re going to want to book one for your stay so you can hang out in your private oasis while keeping your eyes peeled on the water for these ocean beauties.

Beach View

If you’re planning a day at the beach, opt to go to one of the South West beaches near Cabo San Lucas. The direction of these beaches facing South-West tends to have more sightings of whales than if you’re on the South-East side due to the proximity to the Pacific coast rather than the Gulf of California as many whales do not venture to that side of Baja California.

On the Ocean

If you’re wanting to dive into finding some whales while on vacation this spring, check out a charter boat? Charter boats or expedition rides will ensure you see some of these mighty beasts. Plus, you’ll get to experience the stunning panorama of the ocean. Here are three excellent charters to get you started on boat tours.


Whale Watch Cabo

Marina Boulevard s/n, Tesoro Los Cabos Resort, Lote 10, Local E-16 Plaza de la Danza, Centro, Marina, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico


Cabo Expeditions

Blvd. Marina s/n, Plaza de la Danza Local 6, Centro, Marina, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico


Cabo Whale Trek

Boulevard Paseo de La Marina Local A-20, Tesoro Hotel, Centro, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico

Don’t Forget These Items

You won’t want to head out on a whale watching expedition without some necessary gear to help you spot the whales. Binoculars and a camera are items that will come in handy, especially if you’re near a beach or one of our luxury villas Los Cabos has to offer. Your binoculars will help you see whales that are farther away, and a camera with a great telescopic option can let you capture the moment even at great distances.


No matter if you catch a glimpse of these beautiful ocean mammals or you thoroughly enjoy your trip to Mexico, there is so much to do here. From the dining experiences to the luxury villas Los Cabos is known for, you’ll find just what you’re searching for when you book the ultimate getaway to Elite Destination Homes.

3 Things to do in Paris in the Wintertime

When thinking about a trip to Paris, France many people imagine the soft breeze of the spring and warm summer air, but one of the hidden gems of Pairs is that vacationing during the wintertime is unbelievable. Not only will you experience a stunning winter wonderland, but you’ll also get to experience the city without as many visitors. Plus, there are still plenty of fun things to do when you book an elite Paris getaway. Here are our top three favorite things to do in Paris when it’s cold outside!

Ice Skating on the Terrace

Paris and winter activities like ice skating go hand and hand, and there are lots of locations to skate. One of the most notable areas is the first-floor terrace of the Eiffel Tower. Featured with lovely winter decor, you can skate here until February 18, 2018. Don’t forget to check out The Cacao Corner where you’ll be able to warm up with tasty beverages such as hot chocolate.

Lots of Chocolate!

With Valentine’s Day coming up and the month of love, Paris makes for an unbelievably sweet getaway for two, especially when you stop at a cute cafe, pastry shop, or chocolatier. Sipping hot chocolate on the Eiffel Tower won’t compare to the decadently sweet and creamy warm treat of hot chocolate by Cafe de la Paix. Located right next to the fantastic Opera Garnier you’ll feel as if you stepped into another world with the decor featuring a mid-1800’s style. If you’re looking for something even more opulent, head to Angelina’s where your frothy hot chocolate will be served in pitchers and don’t forget to try their winter pastry collection which pairs perfectly with a warm beverage.

The Big Wheel

There is still plenty of time to see The Big Wheel in Paris, and with the stunning winter views, you’re sure to be in for a treat! Going on now, until May 5, 2018, you can hop aboard a gondola on one of the world’s most massive, movable Ferris wheels. Located at Place de la Concorde, this fantastic and sky-high option is only available during the winter season. So, you’ll want to go for a ride before it goes away, until next year!

No matter what you opt to do during your winter wonderland stay in Paris, France, Elite Destination Homes will make sure you get the most out of your vacation at one of our European rentals. Whether it’s skating on the Eiffel tower, searching for the best hot chocolate and treats, or you marvel at the view, your elite Paris destination vacation is waiting!


A Vacation to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions!

5 of the Top New Year’s Resolutions you can do while on vacation in the Turks and Caicos

1. Lose Weight and Eat More Healthfully

Providenciales is noted for its culinary sophistication and offers a variety of healthy options any menu.

Another fantastic option is utilizing the gourmet kitchens featured in our villas and go to Graceway Gourmet for any healthy grocery needs. Graceway is an upmarket type of store right in the heart of Grace Bay. Graceway Gourmet features a great selection of meats, fish, produce, plus all the other necessities for breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks. The store also has a complete wine and spirits selection, and of course, ice cold beer for a relaxing day on the beach on the water. There’s even in an in-store deli, salad bar and coffee shop.


2. Exercise More

Enjoy yoga on the beach or Providenciales is home to a world-class gym called Wrightfully Fit.

Grace Bay Beach also provides a great opportunity to start getting into shape.

At over 12 miles of beach, it’s perfect for walking and jogging, as well as some activities can only be experienced in the Turks and Caicos.

A great workout for your core, paddle boarding and kayaking is also a fun way to get out and move your body while exploring the natural environment of this pristine corner of the Caribbean.


3. Spend More Time With Your Family

Coming to Providenciales makes it easier to reconnect with your family, and pay attention to the moments that matter.

While on your family vacation, charter a private cruise or go horseback riding. Or just build a massive sand castle with the kids on Grace Bay Beach. There are endless opportunities to reconnect with your family while you’re here.


4.  Try Something New

When you’re in the Turks and Caicos you’ll have the time to try something new. The challenge will be deciding what you want to do. Providenciales is one of the best places in the world to try kiteboarding, it is a real workout and provides some spectacular stories to tell your friends and family back home.


5.  Work Less Play More

You will be on 12 miles of powdery white sand…kick back and relax.

Tips for Finding the Best Luxury Property Management Co

Luxury Property ManagementYou’ve had your second home for a while now, and you’re starting to think it’s a good time to rent your property, but you’re just not sure about who the best luxury property management company is. Or you might be in the market for finding a new property management partner. There are a few things you’ll want to keep an eye on when searching for a leading luxury-focused management company and we’ve got all the tips and tricks you could need to reevaluate and benefit from your next luxury property management company.

1. Services

To start out, we’re guessing you didn’t buy your stunning second home just for it to sit there or spend weeks if not months managing it yourself. You most likely purchased to invest in it somehow, whether you have been working with a management company for a while or you just want some return on this investment, with our professional management team, you’ll be able to acquire that return and more successfully.

You’re also going to want to have someone who you can trust will service your home properly and take the stress out of your busy and hectic life. With a top luxury property management company the only focus you’ll need to do on your unique home, is time well spent on a vacation! Everything else, a great vacation management company can handle, view more about our en-suite of fabulous services we offer our owners.

2. Guest Experience

We know that in this luxury industry not only are you expecting more from your second home, but the guests that stay there do as well. When placing your property in the hands of our professionals, we’ll deliver customer service that will create a pleasant travel experience for all involved. From the time of booking your family or guests will come to a fully prepared home with all the necessary household amenities. Guests also receive a fabulous pre-stay concierge service to help them with their vacation planning, as well as coordinating with local staff for additional services upon arrival, finally contacting guests after stay is our top-notch approach for following up with comments and positive reviews.

3. Top Luxury Inventory

When looking for a Luxury Property Management company, you’ll find that our inventory surpasses much of our competition, especially when you want to rank next to some of the best properties. We recommend checking out inventory that is currently managed by a vacation rental company. From this step, you’ll be able to see where the experience of caring for wonderful homes like yours. Do you want to rank next to those vacation homes? If so you should learn more about what a luxury property management company can do for you!

4. Market to Return

It’s important to note that any great vacation rental company is going to have some marketing presence to ensure you get the most value out our your investment. When you have a stronger return on your investment, you’ll have a higher occupancy which equates to more revenue in the long run. More revenue means a higher return on your value. With the proper marketing tactics used to intrigue luxury branded travelers to your destination home is not only better for your property, but we can get you there.

5. Added Perks

With so many options for a genuine luxury property management company, it can often be hard to choose which one is the best. Sometimes it can come down to the added perks of what you get with your services. Most companies are going to focus on technology, your return, and services but not many will offer more than that. At Elite Destination Homes, you’ll find that our home exchange program might come in handy. This fantastic add-on means that you’ll get to travel the world all the while reaping the financial benefits of owning more, for less!


Ready to take that leap towards rental management so you can get to spend more time relaxing? Take a glimpse at our services to learn more about how Elite Destination Homes can help you improve customer service, guest expectations, finding the best leading inventory, marketing your property for a higher return value, and our unique perks of partnering with one of the best luxury property management companies.


Head South this Autumn for a Dream Vacation

Central Park Place, Destination Homes, Elite rentals, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Family Friendly Vacation HomesSummer is winding down, and fall is just around the corner. With temperatures beginning to cool-off slightly south of the border, it’s time to think about planning your dream vacation. When working with our leading travel experts on vacationing to Los Cabos Mexico, you’ll find lots of luxury rental options to choose. Once you’ve selected your desired home, planning for your vacation can begin! Here are three reasons to travel to Mexico this fall season for a magical getaway you won’t forget.

Fall Travel in Mexico

Each season in Mexico offers a different experience to travelers; wintertime sees an influx of visitors as many people from colder climates travel south to warm up for a few days or a few weeks. Spring brings a simple but peaceful time because the busy season is dwindling and temperatures begin to climb again. Summer is bustling with activities in and around towns especially along the coastal locations like Los Cabos Mexico. Although all of these times of year are renowned for heading south, for frequent travelers, they often will say that fall is truly the best time of the year.

It’s also a perfect time for your dream vacation with your loved one. Planning a romantic trip is easy when the crowds aren’t as large, and you can see plenty of sights on your own. You can also bring the family as well; especially if it’s a long holiday weekend for the kids at school. Just tack on a few extra days off for them, and you will be set for the ultimate family vacation that could rival any summer trip.

Central Park Place, Destination Homes, Elite rentals, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Family Friendly Vacation HomesAutumn Weather to Expect

You might be wondering why fall? Falls seems to be synonymous with back to school, busy work weeks, and not much time for a vacation. If you didn’t make it out for a summer trip, fall brings a particularly good time of the year to travel. As the temps have cooled down, because much of the summer months revolve around the rainy season, you’ll be able to get outside and enjoy the weather without getting caught in a downpour.

We highly advise that you keep an eye on the weather no matter what season you spend in Mexico. It’s also important to remember that summer through fall is hurricane season, and it will end in November. In regards to what you should make sure you have in your carry-on, including a rain jacket for that day in case, it does sprinkle and a few sweaters as the nights tend to get chilly. Most of the time, the weather can be quite humid, so light and comfortable clothing are key for your dream vacation!

Central Park Place, Destination Homes, Elite rentals, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Family Friendly Vacation HomesSeasonal Festivities

There is something special about going to Mexico during the harvest season because their annual festivals start to shine. September marks El Mes de la Patria, which translates to the month of the homeland. Plus it’s also  Mexico’s Independence, and many locations have month long celebrations for that. With the massive amount of patriotism, you might want to see what events are occurring within Los Cabos. October brings, even more, culture with one of its biggest cultural festivals of the year, the Festival International Cervantino. The month also ends on a high note with the events of Day of the Dead that span October 31 through November 2. Finally, November hosts Revolution Day on the third Monday in November, but parades and parties can take place throughout the month.

While the summer is slowly drawing to end, don’t worry that you haven’t been able to set out on your dream vacation. It’s coming up this autumn season! Book your trip with a charming, luxury vacation rental from Elite Destination Homes. You’ll love spending time nestled along the coast in Los Cabos Mexico, and adventure out into the town to experience the sights, sounds, and culture during the harvest months.


How to Choose your Vacation Destination

Central Park Place, Destination Homes, Elite rentals, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Family Friendly Vacation HomesYou’ve made the decision to travel, but you’re honestly not sure where you’d like to go. The beginning of your planning is going to start with a destination for a vacation with family, friends, couples, or even yourself! With rentals that span the entire globe from Europe to Central America, we’ve got plenty of options for you to choose from – but what if all the rentals look AMAZING – what do you do now? We’re here to help you choose the best destination home for you and your budget.

Let’s Ask Some Questions!

First up, how does one choose a destination when everything on the market, sounds like so much fun? It’s time to ask some serious questions to help narrow down your selection of locations.


Central Park Place, Destination Homes, Elite rentals, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Family Friendly Vacation HomesQuestion 1: City, Beach, or the Countryside?

This inquiry alone will help you immensely. Are you looking at the city as an option for a travel spot? Nothing is better than New York City, the Big Apple; you name it – New York has it. Plus, it’s playground is a lot larger than you imagine it to be, even on the small Manhattan Island, the city dominates.

Want something a bit more subtle, like a beach? Head south and by south we mean the Caribbean for soft, sandy beaches for miles. All of our options will get you in the perfect relaxation mode, plus it’s a destination where your worries can float away.

Does countryside living sound perfect to you? Look into a European vacation destination. Our Rentals in Italy, France, and Scotland will place you smack-dab in the middle of miles and miles of sprawling countryside.

Central Park Place, Destination Homes, Elite rentals, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Family Friendly Vacation HomesQuestion 2: Warm or Cold Weather?

Planning your getaway is also incumbent upon the weather – do you want to go somewhere sunny and warm, or crisp and cool? This question mainly just separates which hemisphere you’d like to be on – North or South.

For nice cooler weather, check out our rentals in the United States especially around Utah for a beautiful view of the mountains while also staying cozy in the cabin-like rental options. It’s a great choice year-round, as the season’s change, so does the temperature, but it won’t be as warm in the summer as say, the Caribbean or other locations south of the border.

Need something a little warmer? Summertime in Central America is ideal for anyone wanting to be toasty warm while sipping on some tequila. Many of our fabulous rentals in Mexico offer decks for lounging, while a few of them are just a few steps away from the beach. You’ll love the warm air and soft ocean breeze when you visit.

Question 3: What are the Local Amenities?

What would you like to do doing during your vacation? This topic is a big one because how you spend your vacation and what you do can change the entire trip!

Being adventurous can get you to see new sights, experience the land, and enjoy fun activities that get you moving. While relaxing is also fantastic, spas or lounging by a pool can bring peace and tranquility to any getaway.

However, you decide to enjoy you trip know that there are plenty of amenities around the world to keep you busy as bee or soaking in the much-needed rejuvenation of a vacation.

Central Park Place, Destination Homes, Elite rentals, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Family Friendly Vacation HomesCheck out this Featured Rental!

You’ve got your vacation location ready, now, it’s time for you to choose from our selection of destination homes! It’s a perfect time to head to the country for some much-needed relaxation at our new Highland Retreat, located in the Scottish Highlands. Ideal for those who want to get away to the rolling hills and Scotland’s amazing scenic surroundings. With easy access to Edinburgh, Inverness, and London, there is sure to be plenty for you to do on your European travels.

Finding the excellent rental or top destination homes is easy when paired with Elite Destination Homes. Our talented team works endlessly to find only the prime locations for our guests to visit and with years of travel ourselves, we’re sure to help you find not only the best place but also your home away from home. Don’t make the mistake of picking the wrong spot for your getaway! Give us a call at 866.650.4334 for any questions about traveling with us and how to make the most out of your trip.

Family Friendly Homes at Elite Destination Homes

Destination Homes, Elite Vacations/Rentals, Elite rentals, Family Friendly Vacation Homes


Elite Destination Homes isn’t just for couples or groups of friends. Bring the whole family and experience a fantastic vacation with everyone! No need to leave the kids at home with a babysitter, let them join you on your getaway of a lifetime. Here are our favorite family-friendly villas to enjoy your Elite rental.


Orlando Family Vacation

Ready for your Florida vacation? Our Lakeland Estate is perfect for families! Not only does it have four bedrooms, accommodating up to nine people, but one of the bedrooms is a kids room. It will be hard to pull your children away from this rental; the kid’s room comes fully stocked with PS4 console and games, bunk beds, and there is a full basketball court outside. Plus, this estate is only a few minutes away from fun in Orlando. Experience Legoland, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Seaworld (15-45 minutes depending on location) when staying at this fantastic home.

Destination Homes Elite Vacations/Rentals, Elite rentals, Family Friendly Vacation Homes
The Rich Coast

Our Casa La Big Sur is located in Costa Rica and ideal for families or gatherings. Designed with beautiful coastline views in mind, everyone will enjoy the coast when visiting. On 9 acres of land and gated, this home boasts an on-site security and alarm system so you shouldn’t have to worry if you leave the kids playing in the game room while you get groceries. Plus, the area is full of life and activities at every corner you and yours won’t ever get bored!

Beautiful by Nature

There are plenty of islands to fit every family’s needs in the Caribbean, but we recommend visiting Villa La Percha in Turks and Caicos for an unforgettable and unique experience. Right next to Taylor Bay your family will enjoy spending their days kayaking and snorkeling with new gear. The primary focus of this rental is it’s large, spacious pool deck, perfect for gatherings. You’ll love all the family time you’ll get when renting this beautiful Caribbean home.


Create an incredible vacation with your family when picking one of our amazing Elite rentals. Elite Destination Homes will help make sure your family has the best getaway, whether stateside or out of the country. You’re just minutes away from your luxury vacation of a lifetime.  Book your rental today and start planning for your delightful retreat.

Art & Culture on a European Luxury Vacation

European Luxury Vacation, Luxury Villas Los Cabos, Destination Homes, Elite Vacations/Rentals,Europe is one of those places where history is embedded in every corner, and France is not an exception. Your Elite Destination Homes retreat would not be the same if you did not immerse yourself within the art and culture while staying in Paris. When you choose to stay at one of our destination homes; Le Triomphe, Rue du Four, or Rue Saints Peres, you will have all that you need to enjoy the sights, sounds, and lifestyle of a Parisian. Below we have listed a few must-see museums to experience the rich traditions and artwork of the past and present during your European luxury vacation.


If you want to get a taste of artwork from late 1800’s through early 1900’s, this is the museum for you! You will be enthralled to walk through 60 years of art history from Impressionism all the way to the Pont-Aven School. That means, Van Gogh, Courbet, Manet, and Monet. This beautiful museum is set within its architectural feat, an impressive metal and glass structure which once was an old train station. We recommend that you enjoy a sip of coffee and a treat from their onsite café.

European Luxury Vacation, Luxury Villas Los Cabos, Destination Homes, Elite Vacations/Rentals,

Petit Palais

This little museum makes our list for art and culture in Paris, just steps from its big brother (Le Grand Palais). Full of painting and sculptures from the 1900’s, this is an Art Nouveau fan’s dream come true. With beautiful knick knacks, furniture, and jewelry, among other artwork, you will enjoy the fine art of Petit Palais. Originally built for the World’s Fair in 1900, this small museum is the perfect spot to see some amazing pieces. We recommend you take a break while visiting and enjoy the courtyard which the museum encompasses.

European Luxury Vacation, Luxury Villas Los Cabos, Destination Homes, Elite Vacations/Rentals,

The Louvre

We cannot leave The Louvre off of any museum must-see list! This fantastic palace is home to the world’s largest museum and boasts some spectacular artwork (roughly 35,000 pieces). Not only will you experience three separate wings: Denon, Sully, and Richelieu. The mazes of passageways and galleries this triumphant museum houses is as equally impressive to its’ outside, one of the most well-known and iconic architectural designs of the western world. There are a handful of restaurants for you to choose from within the museum, everything from French café fare to an elegant restaurant, The Grand Louvre. It can be an awful lot to take in, so, we recommend that you visit this museum more than once during your trip as you will not want to experience more than two galleries at a time. Take your time at this one; it will be well worth it in the end!

We know that while Paris can seem like a bustling city, it is jam packed with excellent museums and world-class restaurants for you to try. As you travel around this gorgeous and historic city, it is hard to not stop in a museum or two or five! They are practically everywhere you go, which makes finding one to visit, not difficult at all. When you stay with Elite Destination Homes, we will make sure you can see everything you want to while on your vacation of a lifetime. Make sure your elite vacations is one to remember as you spend your days and nights getting to know the City of Lights.

Business is coming back for Minnesota’s fractional real estate industry

Fractional ownership is a concept that’s akin to a timeshare, but often comes with deeded ownership.

Dreaming of a place at the lake, but don’t want to shoulder the ­burden of maintaining it and paying for it ­yourself?

For some, co-ownership through an unusual model called fractional ownership is the answer. It’s a concept that’s akin to a timeshare, but often comes with deeded ownership. Such arrangements were wildly popular before the recession, but the sector crashed exceptionally hard and has been among the last areas of the real estate industry to recover.

Now there are signs that fractionals are starting to come back. “It’s as if a light switch was flipped,” said Lavonne Christensen, the sales agent for Odyssey Development in Duluth, which specializes in owning and managing resorts.

While the volume of fractional transactions remains far below pre-recession levels, some think the concept is on the verge of a rebirth as millennials who have embraced the sharing economy start thinking about owning a place at the lake.

Christensen pointed to one of her company’s properties, a small resort on the North Shore of Lake Superior, and said shares have been selling quickly. “I’m going to start a waiting list.”

Fractional ownership is just one variation of real estate with shared ownership. The category includes private residence clubs, timeshares and destination clubs, but there are no hard and fast rules that define each label.
Often, a fractional interest is associated with projects where the real estate is divided into shares that are deeded individually to buyers. Destination and residence clubs often sell multiyear memberships that entitle owners to tap into a network of vacation homes in multiple locations. A timeshare is typically a situation where there are more than 26 owners.

In an annual survey of more than 304 fractional projects and residence clubs and six destination clubs, Ragatz Associates found that only 68 of the properties made sales in 2015. Total sales volume was $505 million, down slightly from the two previous years and nearly a fifth of what was sold during the peak of the market in 2007.

Dick Ragatz, the firm’s president, said the industry crashed particularly hard compared with other segments and has been among the last to recover in large part because of limited access to financing for such projects. “Demand is increasing slightly, but it will never be what it was before the recession, not for a long time if ever.”

Before the recession many buyers were using home equity to pay cash for their shares, which average $105,425 for fractional projects and $363,550 for private residence clubs, according to the Ragatz survey. Then, as now, access to financing has been an issue for such purchases.

Slow recovery

A lake place is a completely elective purchase and so sales of recreational properties have lagged the housing market recovery in the Twin Cities and other metro areas. With the housing recovery approaching the half-decade mark, the market for second homes is gaining some momentum.

At Duluth-based Odyssey Real Estate, fractional sales have rebounded. So far this year, the company has had $17.5 million in sales compared with $11.2 million last year. Odyssey has had 95 transactions so far this year, with about a third that fractional ownership.

“It’s [been] kind of a slow, slow ride,” said Odyssey founder Bob Ryan. “The real estate recession was an alarming thing for many people because they lost a lot of equity in their homes. That was an equity source to purchase a vacation home.”

The company’s primary focus has been developing and managing resorts in northern Minnesota. Though Odyssey has been involved with five fractional ownership projects, including Trapper’s Landing Lodge on Leech Lake and Grand Superior Lodge, resort operations remain the biggest part of Odyssey’s business. The company manages the properties it develops.

One of the company’s most successful projects was ­Larsmont Cottages, a $30 million development with 40 units on the shores of Lake Superior just north of Duluth. Christensen, the Odyssey sales agent who marketed the project, said that when the 40 units, mostly divided into quarter shares, came online in 2005 and 2006 the project sold out quickly. Prices started at $150,000 for a three-bedroom quarter share and peaked at $175,000. Resales started right away, with some units selling for $35,000 more than the sellers had paid.

By the time the recession rolled around demand evaporated and several shares sold for as little as $135,000 per quarter share. Today, demand is back and there’s a waiting list for shares of buildings that face the lake. Christensen said that so far this year there have been 10 resales with an average price of $162,000.

Ryan said that in some respects the fractional market has come back a little stronger because they’re at a lower price point and another level of maintenance fee. The company’s newest project is Breezy Point, a Two Harbors resort with 12 cabins on 12 acres and more than 1,000 feet of private ledge rock.

Odyssey bought the resort in July 2015 and did a six-month, multimillion-dollar renovation of the cabins and started marketing quarter shares of those 12 cabins last fall. Prices range from $74,000 to $134,000, and Odyssey has already sold 25 of the 48 shares.

Much of that demand was fueled by families who had been regular customers of the resort and wanted to maintain a connection, but a large share are new leads who want a long-term connection to the North Shore.

Luxury destinations

At the opposite end of the price spectrum, Twin Cities-based Elite Destination Homes currently has a pool of nine houses in Paris; Los Cabos, Mexico; Turks and Caicos Islands; and New York City that are shared among 60 fractional owners.

Founder and CEO Bill Bisanz, said buyers have paid $130,000 to $600,000 each depending on the property and their ownership interest. He said that while the business, which he started 11 years ago, definitely softened during the recession and some owners decided to divest, the business is back. Since the beginning of the recovery in 2012, he’s had 36 sales.

“People are attracted to us because we are unique, and it feels like a friends and family business model with clear rules that govern it,” Bisanz said.

Andy Sirkin, a San Francisco lawyer who specializes in fractional ownership deals, said that during the recession the biggest projects took the biggest hit in many cases because the properties weren’t well managed and didn’t have the proper reserves to maintain them.

He predicts that as millennials and others who have embraced the sharing economy move beyond buying their first home, they’ll turn their attention to making an investment in a vacation home. He expects fractional interests to be particularly attractive to them because of their willingness to share their second home with other owners.

He said the model will hold particular appeal because it limits the amount of time and money they’ll have to invest. And, as time has shown, such investments can be volatile.

Bisanz likens fractional ownership to other forms of recreational spending. “It’s more like owning a boat,” he said. “No one owns a boat to make money, they do it [in]case they want to have fun.”

Talk Fractional with International Architecture & Design Magazine

Culture Club

Fractional ownerships let urban tourists put down roots

Even the most seasoned of tourists have left a city feeling like they missed something. In a foreign metropolis, a week or two leaves barely enough time to scratch the city’s surface. For a new breed of traveller, there’s a desire to move beyond a brief getaway to the beach and into an extended urban escape. With the unique opportunity to take up residence abroad in some of the world’s most enticing cultural hubs, fractional ownerships pick up where time-shares leave off. Visitors drawn to the bustling streets and infectious energy of cities may find that fractionals serve their needs in a way that a remote, private villa never could.

Time-shares can tally upwards of a few dozen buyers who purchase the right to use a property for a week or two a year. Fractionals, on the other hand, offer residents prime ownership over elegant foreign real estate while limiting shares to three to six parties. Fewer buyers mean more time to gain cultural grounding and put down some temporary roots for a fraction of the cost of sole ownership. The properties are rare gems—plush apartments in sought-after downtown neighborhoods. Most put scrupulous effort into interior design and modern renovations while maintaining historic architectural structures within enticing, upscale edifices.

Each share of the property is purchased outright in exchange for a few months a year, while a management company oversees and maintains the home. There are also the monthly carrying costs of the property, which are paid year round. Imagine the ease of arriving to a fully furnished apartment with the convenience of amenities like laundry, maid service and a concierge desk to ensure that repairs, for instance, never have to cross your mind. Though a time-share would have locked you into a single property in the past, some fractionals permit swaps with fellow owners in sister cities or tropical destinations. And so, you would have the flexibility to visit sandy shores when the mood strikes.

European cities like Paris and Madrid become a home away from home when you can settle into a familiar environment. With more time to immerse yourself in a city, a pied-à-terre invites you to discover new sights and sounds every year, with the flexibility to book when your schedule permits. At its core, fractional real estate helps you discover your niche, trading in the traditional pitfalls of tourism for a more refined glimpse of the city’s stature. Whether it’s a music festival, an art show opening or a visit to a sidewalk café, you can embed yourself in the DNA of a foreign urban sprawl by mixing the old with the new. As you adapt to the cultural climate, local tastes become second nature and your comfort level will strike the chord of being in a home sweet home, enticing you to linger longer, explore at leisure and experience the city without urgency.

For information: —Anna Cipollone


Elite’s “Villa La Percha” Featured in Ocean Home Magazine

Provo Paradise

Melissa C Gillespie | Ocean Home Magazine

La Percha is the newest luxury living experience in Turks & Caicos

The allure of the British West Indies has entertained the the fantasies of royalty, aristocrates, and celebrities for centuries. Now, Providenciales (or Provo, as it’s called by locals) in the Turks & Caicos Islands welcomes La Percha, a new luxury villa, to the prestigious Ocean Point Drive.

Villa La Percha, a shared-ownership, resort-style home that sleeps eight guests, boasts four large bedrooms with patio or balcony access and awe-inspiring views, plus indoor and outdoor living space. On-site amenities include access to tennis courts and kayaks, a private dock, and ocean facing hot tub and fire pit, a private pool, a screened porch, an outdoor kitchen with a grill, and a gazebo. Steps from the villa, guests can wade in the shallow waters of Taylor Bay.

La Percha’s concierge is available at any time to arrange for restaurant reservations, in-villa spa treatments, or for activities like boating excursions and horseback riding. For a one-of-a-kind experience, take a trip to the only conch farm in the world, located right on Providenciales.

Though the island has numerous resturants nearby, dining at La Percha is a customized culinary treat. We recommend flagging down the lobster boat from the villa’s private dock, picking out some choice crustations, and utilizing the concierge’s connections to bring a personal chef to the villa. Abundant outdoor dining options range from beachside to cliffside to poolside.

Ownership of La Percha, which is part of the Elite Destination Homes network, includes access to Elite’s global exchange program. Villa La Percha is also available for rent from $8,500 per week.

Elite’s CEO, Bill Bisanz, Talks With FOXBusiness About Fractional Ownership

Fractional Real Estate Ownership: Getting a Slice of a Vacation Home

By Cindy Venegas | Published May 21, 2012 | FOXBusiness

A new breed of vacation home ownership is gaining steam that allows individuals to share ownership of a property.

Think of it like this: A whole pie may look delicious, but it doesn’t make financial sense to buy the entire dessert if you are just having a few bites.

However, if you split the cost among several buyers and ensure that everyone gets a slice, then the purchase makes sense.

That’s the theory behind fractional real estate ownership, in which second homes are purchased under a multi-owner structure and cost and access to the home is shared.

“It allows you to create a connection between the time you spend in the home and the amount of money you pay for it,” says Andy Sirkin, a fractional homeowner and attorney who specializes in real estate co-ownership at Sirkin & Associates []. “It causes fewer headaches, costs less money and I still get everything I want.”

The concept of fractional ownership may sound similar to a timeshare, however fractionals have fewer buyers which increases the amount of time available to each buyer and tend to be an option at more upscale destinations.

According to Sirkin, “the meaningful differences between most old-fashioned timeshares and most modern fractional ownership arrangements are the extent to which each participant’s rights and responsibilities are limited to a particular home or group of homes, and the extent of each participant’s ownership and control.

The concept is reserved for expensive homes in vacation destinations, and offered by both multi-unit developers and high-end resorts. Single-family homes make up a small, but up and coming, part of the market.

Elite Destination Homes [] has been buying resort properties and single-family units and selling them as fractionals for the last seven years. Its offerings range from a three-bedroom in Paris’ St. Germain neighborhood to a five-bedroom chalet in Steamboat Springs, Colo. As the sponsor, the compny handles putting together the buyer partnerships, which can range from four to 12 buyers, as well as the purchase agreements.

Bill Bisanz, founder and CEO of Elite Destination Homes, recommends that buyers research the sponsor’s track record before completing a purchase. “Check to see if the sponsor’s other properties are sold out and be careful of how much the sponsor is marking the deal up,” warns Bisanz, who typically charges at 25% premium. Other considerations include analyzing the sponsor’s resale program, if a buyer wants to sell his or her fraction, and evaluating on-going carrying costs.

Once potential fractional buyers select a property they should verify that the contract includes usage terms, expense sharing, conflict resolution and exit strategies.

“Make sure the contract clearly spells out how usage is going to work among owners,” recommends Sirkin. This is especially important in seasonal properties where multiple owners will be vying for the best times of the year.

He also suggests that contracts include details of how the budget will be created each year. “When bills come in, you don’t want to have to figure out last minute how you are going to pay them.”

Buyers also need to protect themselves against what the industry calls “rule-breakers.”

“Buyers should ask, ‘what happens if someone is in the property when they shouldn’t be or doesn’t pay when they need to? Do we have a system that doesn’t cost a lot of money and take a lot of time?’” advises Sirkin.

For foreign property owners, if a conflict escalates and requires judicial intervention, defining where conflicts will be handled is a must.

The fractional ownership structure is not ideal for every vacation homebuyer. Debra Savage, a real estate agent at Railey Realty [] in Maryland says this type of ownership only makes sense with certain vacation and lifestyle goals.

“The biggest thing is how they plan to use the home. If they are only popping down on weekends once in a while then fractional residence makes sense. If you want to spend a whole summer here, it won’t work,” she says.

When buyers approach Elite Destination Homes, management begins the courting process with a “fit” conversation to see if the concept will meet the buyer’s goals. “We tell people, ‘don’t do this if you are not in it for a seven-year hold,” says Bisanz.

Just like in primary residential real estate, the main roadblock to fractional ownership is mortgage funding. “During the financial meltdown the market experienced a financing freeze,” says Sirkin. “Potential buyers got hesitant about buying anything. Now buyer confidence has returned, but financing is still a problem.”

Girls’ Guide to Paris talks with Paris Apartment’s with EDH’s Kathryn Lynden

I love real estate, especially real estate in Paris. I’ve bought and sold a place in Paris and now own a place near Bordeaux, and if I could I’d buy and fix up many more houses and apartments around the globe. It’s my second passion, right behind travel. So it’s only natural that I’d meet Kathryn Lynden, who like me is from the American Midwest, and who with a partner or two has bought 50-plus homes around the world, fixed them up and sold them as “fractionals.” Continue reading “Girls’ Guide to Paris talks with Paris Apartment’s with EDH’s Kathryn Lynden”

Elite’s Saint Germain Paris Apartment Rental Gets Nod From Swell City Guide

Location alone can often be the deciding factor when choosing a place to stay while traveling. However, when the opportunity arises to not only stay in a great part of town, but to also stay in an amazing three bedroom apartment, it doesn’t get much better.
Continue reading “Elite’s Saint Germain Paris Apartment Rental Gets Nod From Swell City Guide”