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Beyond the Hedges: Palm Beach listed among top spots for vacation homes

Posted On: 03-15-2012

By Darrell Hofheinz 

Updated: 7:55 p.m. Thursday, March 15, 2012

Posted: 4:34 p.m. Thursday, March 15, 2012


It’s official, at least as far as the folks at Barron’s Penta magazine are concerned: Palm Beach is among the country’s best spots to buy a vacation home.

But then, you already knew that, didn’t you?

The weekly supplement published by the financial powerhouse this month placed Palm Beach in the No. 15 spot on its Top 20 list, bracketed by the mountain spa town of Highlands, N.C. (No. 14) and ski mecca Sun Valley, Idaho (No. 16).

Topping the list was an area many Palm Beachers know well: Hamptons, N.Y.

“New money calls these Long Island beach towns the Hamptons, while old money calls them the East End,” the article noted. “We would call them a relative bargain if you are in the market for a $1 million to $2 million home, without water view, found north of Montauk Highway.”

The Hamptons/Palm Beach connection was noted obliquely in the write-up’s mention of “conservative mogul David Koch” as being among the notable who stash their duds in Southampton. Koch, of course, also owns a mansion here on South Ocean Boulevard.

Written by Steven Sears, Mark Veverka and Sandra Ward, the article noted second homes are beginning to sell again across the nation but not necessarily if they need major renovations: “The theme these days is location, quality/condition, location,” the article said, and that dictum has certainly applied this season in Palm Beach, particularly among more expensive properties.

Penta, by the way, is a weekly Barron’s supplement targeted at readers with at least $5 million in assets. And what was its take on Palm Beach?

“Residents joke that you never realize how young you are, or how poor, until you visit Palm Beach,” the write-up said. “The tight space of Palm Beach, a heavily developed barrier island, tends to support real estate prices. But folk near retirement eventually trade down.”

As an example of the latter scenario, the article noted that Jimmy Buffett bought a $4.95 million house here last year after having divested himself of his family’s $18.2 million oceanfront estate in 2010.

The writers gave a shout-out to Palm Beach real estate attorney Les Evans and the sales reports he regularly posts at LREvans.com. And to illustrate the article, the editors chose a photo of Jim and Susan Keenan’s home at 233 Tradewind Drive on the North End, priced at $3.795 million and only recently listed as a pending sale by Brown Harris Stevens.


 Source: Darrell Hofheinz, March 15, 2012, Palm Beach Daily News



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