Sotheby’s International Realty Expands In Alabama

Photo by Bham Now

Sotheby’s International Realty has announced that LAH Real Estate, Inc. has joined the network and will now operate as LAH Sotheby’s International Realty. The addition marks the brand’s continued growth in Alabama and its seventh office in the state.

The firm, co-owned by Maurice Humphries, Tom Carruthers, Charles Robinson, Mike Graham, and Coke Williams, will serve the city of Birmingham and the surrounding area, with offices in Homewood, Mountain Brook, and Hoover.

“The luxury market in Birmingham has seen tremendous growth, according to local records,” said Philip White, president and CEO, Sotheby’s International Realty. “The area is known for its medical and research community and growing tech presence with notable companies such as, Shipt, making Birmingham their home. We are thrilled to welcome LAH Sotheby’s International Realty and the entire team to our global network and we look forward to putting the strength of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand behind their business.”

“Our mission is to be a company where clients and our associates always come first,” said Humphries. “Our vision has always been to be the leading team of real estate professionals committed to quality service and results. Our affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty offers our firm unprecedented levels of support, as well as the opportunity for global exposure and recognition. We look forward to continuing to provide our clients with the highest level of service and expertise as a part of the Sotheby’s International Realty family.”

Leading Texas Real Estate Team Forms New Company Under Sotheby’s International Realty Brand

Sotheby’s International Realty has announced that Southern District Properties Group has joined the network and will now operate as Southern District Sotheby’s International Realty. The addition marks the brand’s continued growth in Texas and its 28th office in the state.

In 2022, the team achieved more than US$71 million in sales volume and has consistently been recognized in RealTrends’ rankings by volume and by transactions in Texas, achieving a Top 10 sales ranking for the last three years for Washington, Austin, and Fayette Counties. Southern District Sotheby’s International Realty is owned and operated by Cari Goeke who brings more than 20 years of experience to the firm.

“I am thrilled to welcome Cari and her powerhouse team to our network,” said Philip White, president and CEO, Sotheby’s International Realty. “Their expertise and industry recognition enables us to effectively target a growing market, which was recently described as ‘the Hamptons of Texas.’ The area has become popular for second homes, farms, and ranches, exemplifying the growing trend of buyers expanding their searches, and we look forward to supporting Southern District Sotheby’s International Realty.”

“Sotheby’s International Realty is the real deal,” said Goeke. “They are leaders in luxury and possess a phenomenal network around the globe, something we have been longing for in a company. Our clients come back to us time and time again because we work with integrity, and they trust that we always have their best interest in mind. Our affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty allows us to build on our local knowledge and expertise that will further benefit our agents and clients.”

The company has two offices, one in Brenham, and another in Bellville, Texas.  They also plan to open a third location in College Station. The company will service the South-Central Texas region, consisting of the greater Brazos Valley, Bryan-College Station and popular towns such as Brenham, Bellville, LaGrange, and beyond.

Sotheby’s Launches New You Tube Channel Trailer

Welcome to Sotheby’s YouTube, where we bring you inside the world’s premier auction house for art and luxury. Hear from our world-renown specialists, experts in their fields, and watch the bidding action live from the auction room. We’ll take you behind the scenes in artist studios and into the living rooms of some of the greatest collectors around the world.

Sotheby’s International Realty Announces 2023 Luxury Outlook Report

An ambitious exploration into high-end residential markets across the globe.

Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to announce the release of the 2023 Luxury Outlook report, an in-depth exploration into high-end real estate markets across the globe. Following two years of residential real estate frenzy and historically low interest rates as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the report reveals that many luxury agents are continuing to see interest in high-end properties among the affluent, despite record interest rate hikes. Global wealth creation is expected to increase over the next several years, translating to a potential influx of luxury buyers and an increase in price points in high-end property markets around the world.

The Sotheby’s International Realty 2023 Luxury Outlook report was compiled by surveying Sotheby’s International Realty agents around the world who transact in the US$10M+ price category. This information was complemented by gathering supporting data from other leading industry experts, including Morgan Stanley; the Federal Reserve; Credit Suisse; Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management, the National Association of Realtors; in addition to art and luxury experts at Sotheby’s, the famed auction house, to round out luxury trends in the year to come. 

Key findings featured in the report include :

  • Sellers are choosing not to sell and take on new mortgages, which could end up being two to three percentage points higher than the ones they have now, protecting home prices from falling
  • More than 60% of leading Sotheby’s International Realty agents said inventory is low or very low in their regions
  • Now that interest rates have more than doubled over the past year, buyers are turning back to cash
  • Credit Suisse, global investment bank and financial services firm, expects global wealth to increase by US$169 trillion, a cumulative rise of 36%, by 2026
  • The U.S. dollar reached a decades-long high, resulting in U.S. buyers flexing their buying power abroad
  • Real estate sales across major metaverse platforms totaled US$501 million in 2021, according to MetaMetric Solutions
  • The most important amenities for today’s luxury buyers are a salt-water swimming pool, water purification systems, electric car charging stations, and floor-to-ceiling windows 


This Friendly Town In Florida Is The Perfect Day Trip Destination

This article first appeared on

Exploring those unique day trip destinations in Florida that you stumble across by accident is always fun. Boca Grande, Florida, is one of those places. This small residential community on Gasparilla Island in southwest Florida is small, to say the least, but it is the perfect place to kick back for a weekend away. Bring your flip-flops, your swimsuits, and your beach chairs – this day trip is going to feel like paradise.

Read the Full Article Here

Contemporary Landscapes, Party Barns, and Bespoke Home Cocktail Bars are All The Rage

This article first appeared on

Landscape painters are telling stories that reach far beyond stars, sky, and sea; backyard barns are playing host to elaborate get-togethers; and custom cocktail bars are serving drinks in style at home.

Here are the latest trends in art, architecture, and design.

Amy Bennett’s Camp, 18 by 24 inches, oil on panel, 2020.

Photo Credit: Chris Snook Photography 


In the hands of contemporary artists, landscapes—which for centuries have served as voyeuristic travelogues of exotic locales—are pushing traditional boundaries.

From edgy scenes to outright abstractions, these new works have become settings for imaginative interpretations and narratives that allow viewers to see the world in a vastly different way.

Amy Bennett, whose studio is in Cold Spring, N.Y., sees herself as an omniscient narrator, an explorer not of the geographic terrain but of inner themes such as “isolation, family, time, and the difficulty of knowing and relating to one another.”

Her works, which she says offer a “God’s eye view,” start with a realistic miniature 3-D model that serves as a still life as well as a stage set.

For Small Changes Every Day, a 48-inch by 60-inch agrarian-themed oil painting, she created an eight-square-foot model that ultimately featured over 500 structures that she cut out of wood and painted by hand.

The models, which she often takes apart so she can reuse pieces for future works, allow her to control everything from lighting and poses to colors and to remove walls and “peer into places I don’t belong.”

Bennett’s inspiration, for the most part, comes from her own life and observations, including things she has read and watched. “The scenes usually percolate in my imagination,” she says.

She’s more interested in depicting a scene that makes viewers wonder than in painting a setting purely for its aesthetic appeal. A cocktail bar by Emma Green Design

Photo Credits: Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm


Bespoke backyard barns, which are being built to host big events as well as private parties in primary residences, are expanding the concept and physical boundaries of the traditional family room.

“They serve multiple uses,” says Daniel K. Glick, founder and partner of B&D Builders, an award-winning barn-building company based in Paradise, Pa. “People are drawn to spending time in a barn structure because of the inherent feelings of comfort and relaxation the atmosphere naturally provides.”

He notes that the company’s barns, which typically are made of Douglas fir, include accent beams, wall paneling, and furniture crafted from reclaimed wood. They also feature hand-forged hardware, and are used for everything from large-scale charity events to family reunions and weddings to yoga studios, basketball and tennis courts, and art studios.

In some cases, existing barns are renovated. For a private historic estate in Chester Springs, Pa., B&D Builders was commissioned to reimagine a working barn as an events space that features heated floors, a full kitchen, restrooms fashioned out of old horse stalls, a guest suite, a bar, several seating areas, and fireplaces.

The trend for party barns, Glick adds, took off in high gear when people were forced to stay home during the pandemic.

“Typically, they are a labor of love for the owners,” he says. “And we end up being invited to the first big event, which is always fun.”


Sophisticated and glamorous, the bespoke cocktail bar has taken up residence in the private abode.

“Clients want the option to entertain more from home without forgoing the fun or luxury of a night out,” says Emma Green, whose namesake interior design firm is based in London. “They are using them to reward themselves with a drink at the end of a stressful day or busy week and as a reason to have their guests in their best room, which is often the living room, and to create something of a spectacle.”

The cocktail bars offer sparkle power to new and old homes alike. Outfitted with illuminated mirrors and glass shelves that showcase glittering collections of cut-crystal bottles and drinks glasses, they are comfortably inhabiting alcoves, including those on each side of the fireplace, and hallways adjacent to public rooms.

“I tend to design the bars to be a feature in themselves,” Green says. “Who wants to hide a gorgeous cocktail cabinet away?”

Called into action for before-dinner aperitifs and after-dinner cocktails, they often feature a refrigerator/freezer that promptly produces ice cubes as well as a small sink for washing all those lemons

A barn renovated by B&D Builders

Photo Credit: Jana Bannan Photography

Sotheby’s Expands in Georgia and Michigan

Sotheby’s International Realty announced its expanding presence in the state of Georgia with the opening of Mountain Sotheby’s International Realty in Blue Ridge. The addition marks the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s eighth affiliated office in the state.

The office is owned by David Boehmig, president and CEO, and Jenny Pruitt, executive chairman, of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty. The new location will be led by Lisa Johnson, executive vice president and managing broker, and will service the entire North Georgia mountain market. Johnson possesses 25 years of experience in residential real estate and maintains numerous leadership roles within the state of Georgia’s leading real estate association.

“Blue Ridge is considered the jewel of North Georgia,” said Philip White, president and CEO, Sotheby’s International Realty. “The market began developing years ago among retirees and second homeowners but became more popular for buyers looking for large outdoor space. The area also offers affordability compared to the surrounding areas and is within driving distance to Atlanta. The addition of the Blue Ridge office allows the company to further service their clients and I am thrilled to support their continued growth.”

“Given the demand we are seeing for homes in the North Georgia area, it made sense for us to expand to better support this growing market,” said Boehmig. “While the availability of mountain and lakefront homes are highly competitive, our company is able to provide on-the-ground knowledge, a white-glove level of service, and international marketing opportunities through our affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty.”

Mountain Sotheby’s International Realty will have several agents supporting the new office who bring an extensive familiarity of the North Georgian market.

Sotheby’s International Realty also announced the opening of Great Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty, signifying the brand’s continued growth in the state of Michigan. The addition marks the brand’s seventh office in the state.

Great Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty is owned and operated by Dean Groulx and Wendy Groulx, who bring more than 60 years of collective experience to the company. Headquartered in the city of Elk Rapids, the office will serve the greater Traverse City area in Michigan including Alden, Bellaire, Elk Rapids, Elk Lake, Lake Leelanau, North Port, Suttons Bay, Torch Lake, and Traverse City.

“Greater Traverse City has a robust luxury home market,” said Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s become attractive for high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs and we’re seeing both U.S. and international buyers purchasing primary and secondary homes in the area. Our continued growth in the state enables our brand to service this growing market and I look forward to supporting Dean, Wendy, and the entire Great Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty team.”

“The Traverse City area boasts a lifestyle and culture that few other places can match,” said Groulx. “Our area has access to some of the largest and most pristine freshwater lakes and access to world-class entertainment and fine dining. Few real estate companies can match the background and experience of our brokers and sales associates, and our affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty will offer sellers and buyers in the greater Traverse City area an experience like no other thanks to its prestige, global presence, and marketing capabilities.”

The company has plans for future growth in Alden, Bellaire, Traverse City, Northport, and Leelanau. Great Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty was launched in partnership with Russ Post, owner/broker of Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty.

The Sotheby’s International Realty® network currently has nearly 26,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 1,000 offices in 81 countries and territories worldwide. Mountain Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients will benefit from an association with Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Hurricane Ian Help — Meals and Groceries

Photo provided by World Hunger Kitchen.

For those without power and access to food preparation spaces, please consider these options for meals at this time.

Free meal sites in Southwest Florida

#ChefsForFlorida is offering free food from lunch until sunset in: 

  • Cape Coral at 2016 Kismet Parkway E.;
  • Port Charlotte at Walmart, 19100 Murdock Court;
  • Fort Myers Beach at 33 Tropical Shore Way;
  • Fort Myers at Broadway Palm Dinner Theater, 1380 Colonial Boulevard;
  • Englewood at Ann & Chuck Dever Park, 6941 San Casa Drive;
  • Englewood at Elks Lodge, 401 N. Indiana Ave;
  • Port Charlotte at The Home Depot, 12621 S. McCall Road. 

Harry Chapin Food Bank, Lee County

Visit the Harry Chapin Food Bank website The Fort Myers location, for those who want to donate food items 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., is at the Fort Myers Distribution Center, 3760 Fowler St., Fort Myers, FL 33901. 239-334-7007

The food bank is expanding its locations to help get food to more people. It  will be distributing water and food from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Oct. 6, at the following locations: 

  • Cape Coral Elementary: 4519 Vincennes Blvd, Cape Coral, FL 33904. CanoHealth Group will be on-site with a medical mobile unit offering free services, including measuring blood pressure, heart rate and glucose checks, wound care, and some lab services depending on the case.
  • Sacred Heart: 211 W Charlotte Ave, Punta Gorda, FL 33950. It will also be holding normal distributions from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the following locations:
  • Faith Assembly of God: 7101 Bayshore Rd, North Fort Myers, FL 33917
  • Human Services of Charlotte County: 21500 Gibralter Dr, Port Charlotte, FL 33952

The organization will update its distribution schedule on a daily basis. Visit for more information.

This information is from the following article:

Give, get help: Where to offer time, money, food and other supplies for Hurricane Ian victims

By Erica Van Buren, Harriet Howard Heithaus and Dave Osborn

Fort Myers News-Press

Where to find World Central Kitchen free meal sites in Southwest Florida after Hurricane Ian

By Jimmy Geurts

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Hurricane Ian Resources

Photo from H Wetzel, run as a photo essay in the Boca Beacon.

A large and destructive Category 4 Atlantic hurricane, Hurricane Ian caused widespread damage across western Cuba and the southeast United States, especially the states of Florida and South Carolina.

As many homeowners will be impacted through the clean up and rebuilding efforts we have compiled a list of resources for those in need.

How to Apply for FEMA Help

Florida homeowners and renters in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Seminole counties counties (the list might be expanded) affected by Hurricane Ian may apply for FEMA disaster assistance:

Connecting with Insurance Companies in Florida

Click here for phone numbers, websites and email addresses for property insurance companies serving Florida. Unless they need emergency repairs, policyholders are urged to first contact their insurers with damage claims before signing over their benefits rights to repair contractors. Most of the companies listed enable policyholders to initiate claims at their websites. 

Florida insurance companies cannot drop policies until Nov. 28.


Property & Casualty Insurance Companies

Flood Insurance Companies

Contact your property and casualty insurer if they service your National Flood Insurance Program policy. If you are unsure of which company services your policy, call the National Flood Insurance Program at 877-336-2627. The following companies also sell NFIP policies and excess flood policies:

Florida Disaster Contractors Network

Florida’s Disaster Contractors Network (DCN) has been activated to provide support to homeowners in need of post-Hurricane Ian home repairs. This is a free service founded in part by the state agency that regulates Florida’s construction industry, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Its mission is simple – connect homeowners needing emergency repairs with licensed contractors and construction suppliers

Take Ten with Banyan Gasparilla Sound’s Tracy Lee of TLee Spas

TLee Spas Founder and Visionary Tracy Lee with VP/COO Michael Lahm.

In our Take Ten series, we highlight different partners from the Banyan Gasparilla Sound project to learn the role they are playing to create the leading wellness community on the Gulf Coast of Florida and what reservation holders can look forward to as soon-to-be residents.

  1. How do you explain the work you do to potential buyers in a project like Banyan
    Gasparilla Sound?

    TLEE Spas specializes in development and strategic advisory within the spa and wellness space – from initial ideation and facility planning, soft programming, pre-opening services to onsite implementation and launch support. We see ourselves as experience architects: defining the concept and vision and translating that into the end-user experience.
  2. When you started the ideation process, what surprised you about the area where the
    project is located?

    With so much of Southern Florida undergoing massive change, we love the timeless aspect of Gasparilla Island and the community’s commitment to retaining it’s ‘old Florida’ attitude and attributes, while still evolving.
  3. How did that evolve into the plan your firm proposed to Integra?
    The spa plan has emerged from a diligent discovery process: based on the positioning of the project as a luxury wellness-focused resort community, the overall site plan and the goal to be a vibrant hub of wellness for both the property and the broader community.
  4. What are some of the therapies and services the spa will provide?
    The spa will have a mix of traditional spa treatments, such as massage and integrated body therapies; a robust skincare program combining manual techniques, best-in-class products and leading-edge technology; nail services and a broad array of wellness offerings including, contrast bathing, hydrotherapy, mind/body classes and fitness activities.
  5. Are there any treatments inspired by local ingredients or historical practices of the people in the area?
    We’re excited to dig deep into the history and local culture – to discover and distill what’s unique and relevant and translate that into contemporary wellness offering. We have our eyes on the past, present and future to develop a menu that is timeless, on-trend and trend setting.
  6. Reservation holders were treated to a sample of some products that will be featured at the Sea Salt Spa, with so many brands, what process do you use to select what is stocked on the shelves of your clients?
    We are passionate about brands and spend lots of time researching and partnering with brands that have a unique point of view or story to tell. We also ensure that they align with the spa’s market positioning, provide depth and diversity, and most importantly, have a proven success factor both in terms of quality, efficacy and expert training.
  7. The Juice Bar is a fun amenity for residents and guests, we were wondering what you would put in a spa-inspired smoothie or juice?
    Florida is a mecca for year-round produce, so we want to feature ingredients that are as fresh, seasonal and organic when possible. Thinking about the tropical climate and active lifestyle culture that will permeate the property, the day might start with a smoothie of coconut water, mango, fresh mint and high-quality plant protein. A perfect pre- or post-workout boost.
  8. If you are what you eat, what Florida delicacies are you most interested in trying when you
    visit the area?

    Fresh-caught seafood and seasonal fruits & veggies are always top of the list – but that certainly doesn’t preclude sampling locally-inspired deserts or craft cocktails made with a healthy twist!
  9. With so much technology coming to esthetic arts, which therapies are you most excited to bring to BGS residents and guests who are coming to the spa for the first time?
    Technology has definitely changed the game, and we will bring different modalities to the spa to amplify the benefits of high-touch services: LED, microcurrent and Jet Peel for skincare; LED, infrared and cryotherapy for recovery and performance. But we’re equally excited about the traditional yet timeless offerings: contrast-bathing (alternating between hot and cold temperatures) to kickstart the body’s natural healing power and master bodywork to remedy aches, pain and stress; improve posture and body alignment or enhance active pursuits: such as golf, watersports or tennis.
  10. What skincare advice and recommendations do you have for the residents of this area who will be making BGS their home?
    Effective skincare is highly personal and dependent upon lifestyle factors and personal preferences.
    Women typically are more committed to their regimes, so we’re especially excited to get our male contingent on track. That typically means keeping it simple and straightforward: deep cleansing to prep the skin (especially at night), Vitamin C to build collagen and correct sun damage and consistent use of high-quality sunblock (mineral-based) to protect from UV and environmental damage.