Tag Archives: Sotheby’s International Realty

Art & Home: April 2017


Inside This Issue

Click to see the full magazine – Compliments of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC 



Extraordinary Properties: Owning a Castle is a Passion Project

In the world of luxury real estate, perhaps no category of residence invites as much fantasy as the castle. Germany, England, Spain and, most notably, France, offer high concentrations of these historic buildings, where bedrooms number in the dozens and amenities include moats, towers and turrets.

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Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s
Romantic Santa Barbara Villa

When beloved talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, first saw this elegant stone villa in the hills of Santa Barbara, they were immediately taken by the pastoral ambience of the Tuscan-like countryside around it – the gentle sunlight, the rugged stone and the reverence its construction had shown for the natural surroundings.

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Gloria Cortina’s New Expression
of Mexican Design

When it was time for college, Gloria Cortina desperately wanted to go to architecture school, but her fiercely conservative father forbade it, so adamant was he that she become a stay-at-home wife and mother. Ironically, marriage proved her liberation: “My husband Santiago introduced me to a world of possibilities,” says Cortina, now a much sought-after interior designer.

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Best of Burgundy

Undisputedly prestigious and highly coveted, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is the most revered of Burgundian wines, whose acronym alone – DRC – commands the attention of anyone seeking to enter fine wine’s Valhalla.

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Centuries of Style at Chatsworth

Chatsworth House, the Derbyshire seat of the Dukes of Devonshire and home to the Cavendish family for five centuries, has long been celebrated as one of the great treasure houses of England.

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Newton School District Make Niche’s List of Top Schools in MA, Along With Several Other Bay State Area Schools


Niche, a website for researching schools, recently released the rankings for the top schools in America*. There is no shortage of great schools in the state, with many of the best schools clustered in the town of Newton.

Newton’s strong real estate market demands stem from families from across the country – and the globe – who want to live in the Newton villages for the high quality schools. No matter what grade level, Newton has top ranking schools on both state and national levels.

As a state known for its education, many other Massachusetts school districts have ranked highly in the US. We’ve broken down the numbers to highlight the best schools in in the state:

  • 2017 Best Public School Districts: The Lexington, Wellesley, Newton, Acton-Boxborough, Wayland, Belmont, Weston, Westford, Brookline and Cambridge School Districts make up the top ten. All top ten MA public high schools rank in the top 100 in the entire country as well.
  • 2017 Top 10 Best Public High Schools: Lexington, Cambridge Rindge & Latin, Newton North, Wellesley, Acton – Boxborough Regional, Brookline, Newton South, Boston Latin, Weston and Wayland High Schools make up the top ten.
  • 2017 Top 10 Best Public Middle Schools: William Diamond (Lexington, MA), Jonas Clarke (Lexington, MA), Oak Hill (Newton, MA), F.A. Day (Newtonville, MA), Wellesley (Wellesley, MA), Bigelow (Newton, MA), Raymond J. Grey (Acton, MA), Winthrop L. Chenery (Belmont, MA), Blanchard (Westford, MA) and Wayland (Wayland, MA) Middle Schools make up the top ten.
  • 2017 Top 10 Best Public Elementary Schools: Maria Hastings (Lexington, MA), Bowman (Lexington, MA), Mason Rice (Newton Centre, MA), Schofield (Wellesley, MA), Joseph Estabrook (Lexington, MA), Ward (Newton Centre, MA), Harrington (Lexington, MA), Bridge (Lexington, MA), Fiske (Lexington, MA) and John D. Hardy (Wellesley, MA) Elementary Schools make up the top ten.

Many of our sales professionals work and live in the area and many of them have had or have children in the Newton school systems. Looking to buy in this town? Contact us to learn more.

*The ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings, and more. 

Image Credit: NewtonISD


$95 Billion Global Sales Volume in 2016

broke the news this morning
that for 2016, the Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC affiliated brokers and sales professionals achieved approximately $95 billion in global sales volume, the highest annual sales volume performance in the history of the brand, driven largely by a brand record of over 127,000 transactions.

“During a year when the words “slowdown” and “slump” were used to describe the luxury housing market, 2016 turned out to be a banner year for Sotheby’s International Realty.” – CNBC

Global Growth

The Sotheby’s International Realty® brand also reported growth across its global network, which now encompasses nearly 70 countries and territories worldwide. At year-end, the network totaled 880 offices and more than 20,000 sales associates.


Outside the United States, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand achieved $10 billion in sales volume in 2016 and continued to expand into key markets. The brand saw continued growth in Europe, entering the countries of Austria, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Montenegro. The brand also expanded in the Asia-Pacific region through affiliations in Fiji and Shanghai and continued to grow in Hong Kong and greater Thailand. Finally, the brand expanded its presence in the Caribbean with the addition of affiliates in Roatan and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

In the United States, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand achieved $85 billion in sales volume in 2016 and also added seven independently owned and operated residential real estate firms as well as 45 new offices to its network across the country.  This past year witnessed continued significant growth by existing affiliate companies through talent attraction and mergers and acquisitions, most notably increasing the brand’s market presence in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, throughout southern Rhode Island and on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The brand also entered several key new markets last year, namely: Gulf Shores, Alabama; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

 Innovative Technology

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand was at the forefront of interactive technology in 2016 with the introduction of 3D Tours with Virtual Reality capability on sothebysrealty.com. Additionally, the site saw the most traffic in its history with nearly 22 million visits, a 54% increase year-over-year.Capture2
The brand also launched the first luxury real estate app for Apple TV, featuring professionally curated high-resolution photography and high-definition video giving consumers the opportunity to explore homes on a screen larger than ever before. An alliance with Juwai.com was launched in 2016 that gives the Sotheby’s International Realty network an edge to generate Chinese homebuyer interest on one of the world’s most prominent real estate websites with over two million monthly visitors. As a truly international brand, Sotheby’s International Realty has the most global representation on Juwai.com, displaying luxury listings from 66 countries and territories.

“CEO Philip White told CNBC in a recent interview that Sotheby’s makes “the consumer the real focus, and that’s important when you do business in the luxury space. We made a decision early on to provide the consumer a high level of exceptional service and true global exposure.”‘- CNBC


The Sotheby’s International Realty brand was the No. 1 real estate company represented in two of the six categories that comprise the annual REAL Trends/The Wall Street JournalTop Thousand” report. The Sotheby’s International Realty brand claimed 45 of the top 250 sales associates in the Individual Sales Volume category, more than any other real estate company. The brand also had the highest combined individual sales volume from sales associates in the same category. In addition, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand had the most individuals represented in the Individual Average Sales Price category, holding 17 of the top 50 spots (34%), further establishing the strength of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand as a leader in luxury real estate sales.

Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, each brokerage firm and its clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.

First Thursday Art Walk, February 2nd 6-8pm


Join us Thursday, February 2nd, for the Jamaica Plain First Thursday Art Walk from 6-8pm! Work from our featured artist, Joann Boback, will line the walls while we mingle and snack. Stop by and meet the artists!

When: February 2nd 6-8pm
Where: 673 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain
What: Art, Refreshments and Fun!


About Joann Boback

Thru the inspiration of the postwar artists I face my own limitations and barriers; as well as my creative skills. The desire to overcome one’s limitations is only magnified by the time spent doing it. Style develops from your inner self as it relates to your life and I am constantly digging deeper.

Represented at:
Colo Colo Gallery, New Bedford
Galatea Fine Art, Boston
deCordova Corporate Loan Program

Learn more at joannbobackart.com or email her at joannboback@gmail.com


Newton Centre Office Open for Business

Newton office-01

At the beginning of December we shared the exciting news that we were expanding into Newton Centre!


Well the doors have officially been open for a few weeks now and we’d like to invite you to stop by and say “Hello!”. The new office is located at 767 Beacon Street in the heart of Newton Centre (located next to Lee’s Burgers and the Tete a Tete Salon). We are open 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and agents are in the office on the weekends as well.


Internationally Recognized. Nationally Known. Locally Owned.

We look forward to becoming a big part of the local community in Newton! If you are looking to buy or sell, in Newton or the surrounding the communities, reach out to us today at 617.332.1400 or info@unlimitedsir.com so we can connect you with one of our top-notch agents.

EXPLORE: Living in Cambridge, Massachusetts


As one of the most sought-after places in greater Boston to reside, Cambridge has ample charm to go along with its history and intellectual fame. First established when America was still under British rule, it has aged so gracefully that its ivory towers and historical churches blend seamlessly with its thriving science and technology hubs. Combine all of these perks with easy access to the Hub of the Universe and Cambridge becomes a city almost unbeatable in its desirability.


Cambridge is most distinguishable on a global scale for being the home of multiple top universities. Harvard University, established a year after Cambridge itself, is America’s first established university and needs no further introduction at the top of the Ivy League and the world’s most prestigious institutions. Its intimate ties with Cambridge shines best with the ample amount of cultural, scientific, and artistic museums and events available to the public.

A mere five-minute subway ride from Harvard lies the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose specialties in STEM education has brought a slew of advancements for the world at large. MIT’s focus on innovation has left its mark on Cambridge in everything from its quirky architecture to proffered programs and collections available for viewing.

As if two of the most prominent educational institutions weren’t enough, Cambridge packs itself with more academic power in schools including Lesley University and Hult International Business School. This amount of college-educated professionals serves the greater Boston area well, securing its place as one of the most educated metro areas in the country.


Steeped in colonial history, Cambridge is a hotbed of historical architecture with residences, churches, and other buildings that stretch back hundreds of years. Highlights include Christ Church on Garden Street, a National Historic Landmark, as well as the Longfellow House on Brattle Street, which served as headquarters for General George Washington before it housed one of America’s greatest poets.

Looking for something a bit more contemporary? There are low-cost events offered daily via Harvard and MIT. Lectures, film screenings, festivals, and more can be found unfolding throughout both campuses. Additionally, their breadth of museums – including the List Visual Arts Center, Harvard Art Museums, and the Harvard Museum of Natural History – provide rotating exhibits and content for all ages to enjoy.


Cambridge has several transportation options for visitors and residents: the MBTA offers service on the Green Line, Red Line, and with multiple bus routes that crisscross the city. On the commuter rail, the Porter Square stop connects Cambridge with both Boston and its father western suburbs.

With one in every four Cambridge residents (or 24%) commuting to work on foot, the walking paths and infrastructure are incomparable. With paths along its many squares and the Charles River, it’s no wonder it was named the Best US City for Walking.

Dining and Shopping

It’s earned the nickname “The City of Squares” for a good reason: Cambridge hosts a number of town squares, each with its own personality and mini-culture. Lechmere Square is best known for the Galleria Mall and just steps away from the Museum of Science. Kendall Square, also home to the MIT campus, is known as “the most innovative square mile on the planet” due to the high concentration of start-ups it houses. In contrast, Harvard Square holds court as the historic center of Cambridge. For a square that boasts more ethnic restaurants and live music venues, Central Square is the official Culture District to flock to.

For every square there’s a particular gem that’s a must-visit for both natives and newcomers. Check out the Garment District in Kendall Square after eating at Catalyst. Celebrate your offbeat find from Harvard Square’s Black Ink with a cocktail from the Russell House Tavern. Savor some ice cream at Toscanini’s after picking up a book from Seven Stars in Central Square. No matter your preference, Cambridge has a restaurant and store that’s sure to be your favorite.


The average price of a single family home is roughly $1.9 million, according to Trendgraphix, making it one of the most expensive markets in the Boston area. Due to its surplus of college students and young professionals, more than sixty five percent of Cambridge units are rented.

Cambridge real estate has historically been highly valued due to its proximity to prestigious universities and to downtown Boston. Its diverse community and extensive opportunities further cement it as a highly attractive location for real estate interests.

To learn more about Cambridge and see the latest listings in the area, click here.

Sotheby’s International Realty® | Houseguest Episode IV – Chef Joe Cicala


Houseguest” is the new custom video series presented by the Sotheby’s
International Realty® brand. This series follows influential and inspirational people as they become a houseguest in a home represented by the Sotheby’s International Realty brand and meld their life with the unique lifestyle found with their extraordinary accommodations.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand is the first real estate partner to
develop this type of custom content with the Wall Street Journal. Houseguest will be featured in Sotheby’s International Realty brand media units and
social platforms.

Episode 4 | Executive Chef, Joe Cicala, visits Via di Cappello, a secluded villa nestled in the Florentine countryside

As the Executive Chef at Le Virtu, and the Co-Owner and Culinary Director at Brigantessa in Philadelphia, Joe Cicala regularly travels to Italy to feed his passion and research authentic local flavor that he will infuse into his cuisine. In this awe-inspiring episode of Houseguest, Joe visits Via di Cappello, a secluded villa nestled in the Florentine countryside. Watch as Joe finds inspiration for his latest recipe: Tagliatelle with Tuscan Pork Sausage and Mushroom Ragu.

Want a taste? Craft Joe’s Tagliatelle with Tuscan Pork Sausage and Mushroom Ragu at home with the below recipe:

Ingredients for the pasta:
2 cups flour
3 whole eggs
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the ragu:
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 pork sausage links, casings removed
1/2 pound fresh porcini mushrooms, sliced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Toscano
1 small black truffle

On a flat surface, form a “well” with the flour. Add eggs and olive oil in the center and start to beat with a fork. Slowly incorporate the outer layer of flour into the egg mixture until dough starts to form. Discard the fork and knead the dough for three minutes until it becomes firm. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour. On a floured surface, roll the dough by hand until it’s 3mm thick. Fold the sheeted dough in half and in half again. Using an 8″ chef’s knife, slice the dough into 1/4″ pieces. Unfold and form the noodles into “nests.” In a large pot of salted boiling water, drop the pasta, cooking for 4-6 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through yet retains a firm bite (about 2 minutes after the pasta floats). Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the prepared ragu (see below).

In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil and garlic cloves. Cook over medium heat until the garlic is browned on all sides. Discard the garlic. Add sausage to the pan and caramelize well. Add the porcini mushrooms and rosemary, and cook in the pork fat until tender. Deglaze the pan with the pasta water and loosen the brown bits on the bottom of the pan by scraping with a wooden spoon. Add the cream and reduce by half. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss or mix well with a fork and spoon to incorporate the sauce throughout the pasta. Add the Pecorino Toscano and do the same. Slice fresh black truffle on top of the dish and serve immediately.

Learn more about the house:

Price Upon Request | Florence, Italy | Italy Sotheby’s International Realty

Built in the late 19th century by Giuseppe Poggi, one of Florence’s greatest architects, the 1060-square-meter villa is to the south of the city and just outside the town of Impruneta, famous for its terracotta and olive oil. Fifteen minutes from the center of Florence and thirty minutes from the airport, this impressive Florentine country estate is the unusual combination of a wonderful rural location with easy access to a magnificent renaissance city. The estate, enjoying fantastic south-facing views over the Chianti landscape, is accessed by a cypress-lined private drive. Set on a hillside with commanding views over formal gardens and the surrounding countryside, the property reveals astonishing views of the Chianti landscape.

Learn more about the Guest

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Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty Attracts Local Talent and Expands to Newton, Massachusetts

Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty today announced the opening of its new office located at 767 Beacon Street in the heart of Newton Centre. Locally owned and operated, Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty now has a total of three offices strategically located in Brookline, Jamaica Plain and Newton. These key markets will allow it to better serve an international clientele, at all price points, who are coming to live in the Boston area to take advantage of the many opportunities available in the Boston Medical area, local universities and the innovation economy; many of whom are also looking to live in the communities with strong school systems like Brookline, Chestnut Hill, and Newton markets.

“We are thrilled to have been selected to represent the prestigious Sotheby’s International Realty brand in Newton. The power of a global brand, built on a 272 year heritage, is unparalleled in the real estate brokerage industry. When the opportunity to expand into Newton presented itself, we felt like the brand saw us as the future leader in these key strategic Boston and suburban markets that run throughout the entire Route 9 corridor.  With our new strategic position and strength, we feel Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty offers top agents and clients the best option for luxury real estate and international exposure in the marketplace” said Jon Ufland, principal and managing broker, Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty, and Newton resident.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand attracts top agents around the world. Recently, the brand had the most individuals represented in the Individual Average Sales Price category, holding 17 of the top 50 spots (34%) in the 2016 REAL Trends/The Wall Street Journal Top Thousand report. Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty is now uniquely positioned to represent distinctive properties across the Greater Boston area.

Newton broker and resident, Margie Kern will also be joining the company as a Principal and top performing sales agent. Kern, one of the elite luxury residential brokers in Newton and the Greater Boston area, will be heavily involved in helping to grow the Newton office.

“We are thrilled to have Margie Kern joining our team. Margie has positioned herself as one of the most successful luxury residential real estate agents in the area as a result of her unmatched work ethic, incredibly loyal clientele and dedicated team of talented agents.” said Jon Ufland. “Margie’s market knowledge, collaborative spirit in helping others succeed, and her strong business acumen will enhance our ownership team as well as attract other top performing agents to our company.”

Joining Margie at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty’s Newton office are agents Sandra Fromm, Beverly Berman, Beth Barry, Valerie Beaver, Marsha Marchant, Ward Shifman, Linda Brennan, and Chris Lee, all of whom are, or have been, Newton residents and active community members.

Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty serves clients in Brookline, Jamaica Plain, Newton, and surrounding Greater Boston communities. The global advertising and marketing tools are unparalleled, offering sellers unprecedented access to buyers around the world, through the Sotheby’s International Realty network of more than 850 offices in 65 countries and territories worldwide. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house.

For more information, visit, unlimitedsir.com.

See the full press release here.

Sotheby’s International Realty Beats Zillow And Realtor.com To 3-D

sirmatterportSotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that its global website, sothebysrealty.com, now supports 3D Tours on its property detail pages allowing real estate consumers the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in homes listed by the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand. The 3D Tours will also feature a Virtual Reality Tour (VR) experience that can be viewed through a compatible device such as an Android phone or VR headset.

The 3D and VR Tours are produced by strategically placing specialized cameras throughout a home to create a result that transforms the traditional way people view homes online. The 3D and VR Tours add an additional layer of content to the existing property detail pages on sothebysrealty.com which also provide a written description, high-resolution photographs and high-definition videos. At launch, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand will have 3D Tours available on over 1,000 properties that are viewable on desktop, tablet or smartphone.

“Introducing 3D and VR Tours on sothebysrealty.com is just another example of how we are keeping the Sotheby’s International Realty brand on the cutting edge while creating an immersive experience for consumers,” said John Passerini, global vice president, interactive marketing at Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “Distance can present a challenge when looking to buy a home and virtual reality has provided a provocative solution. This technology is allowing buyers to purchase homes without having to physically travel to view them, which is especially relevant to the global clientele we serve.”

In coordination with this announcement, Sotheby’s International Realty is also a real estate launch partner for Matterport’s CoreVR release— the largest collection of virtual reality content across multiple disciplines. With the adoption of CoreVR, Sotheby’s International Realty will be able to offer both a 3D and VR experience. Additionally, Sotheby’s International Realty property listings on Mansion Global, the digital luxury real estate destination from Dow Jones, will also be equipped with the 3D Tour feature.

View our latest 3D tour for 60 Princeton Road in Chestnut Hill.

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Featured Listing: Spacious Townhouse on the JP/Roslindale Line

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5 Organ Park – Roslindale

Offered at $579,000

You’ll love living in this 7 year young, one owner townhouse just over the JP Bourne Area line on a cul-de-sac! The over-sized formal living room with gas fireplace and oak floors shines in the afternoon sun. The chef’s granite/stainless kitchen with maple cabinets and breakfast bar seating and the adjacent generous dining area are ideal for entertaining. Off of the dining area, a patio and sizable private fenced yard allows plenty of outdoor space for al fresco dining. Upstairs, three bedrooms and two baths await, including a Master Bedroom Suite with bath and double vanity as well as a deep whirlpool/soaking tub. All located on a quiet cul-de-sac just minutes from the bus/T (Forest Hills). The basement was constructed a high ceiling and rough plumbed for a bath. Enjoy easy living in this pristine condo. Fantastic neighbors! Learn more at 5organpark.com

Listing Agents:
Trisha Solio, 617.293.8070, trisha.solio@unlimitedsir.com
Jay Balaban, 617.293.8932, jay.balaban@unlimitedsir.com