Archive for January, 2013

How Soon is Phil Mickelson Moving to Florida???

January 31st, 2013
After unloading his beach house in San Diego for $2.7m in June of 2012, 2-time Masters Champion Phil Mickelson is continuing to market his main residence, a Tuscan-style 9500-square-foot home for $7.1m, leading to speculation that he is in the process of selling all of his California real estate assets and most probably moving to Florida along with Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy. Mickelson originally listed his home in 2008 for $12m at the peak of the market.

Phil Mickelson’s California Home

Likely Sales Price

His asking price, $7.1m, should really be reduced to $6.9m as buyers search in rhythms of ½ millions, and will most likely sell for the $5.9m he paid for it in 2001, as most real estate today is selling at the same prices as 1999 to 2001.While Mickelson has incredible views, a wonderful, sparkling blue pool with waterfall, separate spas, tennis courts, guest houses and a cul-de-sac locale, architecture has changed dramatically since his home was built. Buyers today, when looking for Trophy Properties, prefer to be on the water. Next, they want the latest in architectural trends, which happens to be cleaner lines and a softer palette. Out is ornate Mediterranean; in is a transitional contemporary look. The buyer will most probably not buy his furniture and antiques, which probably cost a small fortune, as the buyer will change the overall look of the interior.

Michael Jordan’s Massive Modern Contemporary Mansion

Tiger Woods’ Jupiter Island Swedish Ikea Modern Spread

Rory McIlroy’s Ultra-Modern Home

13.3% California Income Tax

California’s 13.3% onerous income tax and nearly 10% sales tax continues to impact high wage earners, except perhaps in Silicon Valley, and the exodus out of California, New York and other high income tax states continues. California was at one time the fastest-growing state in the nation and now it is losing more residents annually than any other state. In the past 10 years, nearly 2.5m residents have exited California.Phil speculated that his tax rate is 62-63%, meaning that the first 230 days of the year he works exclusively for both the United States and California governments. That means that around August 20, 2013 he can begin taking home his earnings.A typical Mickelson day requires 10-12 straight hours of planned, concentrated practice, day in, day out. Being a top-ranked player not only means you are great, but requires an unusual dedication honing your game into shape. It stresses the body, mind & soul.With the level of competition so keen today, the days of the old-timers staying out late, drinking and womanizing are long gone. That even caught up with Tiger last year!The demands of sponsors, grueling travel schedules, advertising photo shoots, charity work, autograph signing and dedication to family leaves the pro golfer with very few precious days off.

Michael Jordan’s House | Tiger’s Sports Complex | Venus Williams’ Mansion | Celine Dion’s House | Donald Trump’s Private Club | Burt Reynolds & Friends | Elin Nordegren’s Home | Rory McIlroy’s House | Rush Limbaugh’s Palm Beach Home

Is California the next Greece?

California has long been the leader in deficit spending and unfortunately that has now caught up with it. Just as residents in the Northeast are leaving in droves for Florida, which negates any possible revenue increase for the state despite increases in the income tax rates, so too are California residents.

Passive Income v Earned Income

Mickelson is different from the hedge fund guy who is taxed at 15%, the oil companies with their depletion allowances, General Electric with its off-shore subsidiaries, etc. So Phil is on solid ground if he wants to move to Florida which dozens of high profile, high wage earners call home.

Phil saves $7.3m

Speculation has Phil earning $55m per year, so over a 10-year period, based on the 13.3% tax rate, Phil would save $7.3m by moving to Florida, more than the asking price of his current California house.

Phil Mickelson’s California Home

Phil Mickelson’s California Home

Where in Florida will Phil buy?

Where will Phil buy if he moves to Florida? Most probably the Jupiter Island area or a gated community like Admirals Cove, The Bear’s Club, or Old Palm. Each of those will offer him the privacy and water features so desirable today.

Michael Jordan’s House | Tiger’s Sports Complex | Venus Williams’ Mansion | Celine Dion’s House | Donald Trump’s Private Club | Burt Reynolds & Friends | Elin Nordegren’s Home | Rory McIlroy’s House | Rush Limbaugh’s Palm Beach Home

Michael Jordan’s Massive Florida Home is Complete!

January 30th, 2013

He’s In!

Click Here for more Celebrity Homes

Being from Chicago, I can never forget the two most famous words of the 1990s, ”I’m Back”, referring to when Michael made his famous comeback to basketball after giving up his baseball career with the Chicago White Sox.  Now, two words describe Jordan’s new Florida home, “He’s In!”.  As the finishing touches got put on Jordan’s new home, 18 months of construction, 6 months of planning have produced what I will term “The Jordan Contemporary House”.

The Jordan house makes a clean break with the Mizner Traditional Mediterranean architecture so familiar to the Palm Beach area for the past 80 years. Other celebrities are breaking out as well in this direction, as evidenced by Rory McIlory’s and Tiger Woods’ houses.

What we are seeing now is a shift to clean lines, much more glass, sliding pocket and disappearing doors, marble and stone that is honed instead of polished, kitchen cabinets and granite that are white or cream. We are seeing slate-colored roof tiles made of concrete.

Micheal Jordan’s House

Tiger Woods’ House

Rory McIlroy’s House

Architecture is much more open, meaning that rooms are less defined by walls and more defined by furniture layout. Living rooms in many cases have disappeared completely and great rooms have emerged with 80″ TVs and open kitchens. The outside is now part of the inside.

The Jordan house counts 18 separate roof structures that break the massiveness into houses within houses. It is so tastefully done, the architecture is brilliant, as there is an intimacy uncommon with size.

The Bear’s Club, developed by the world’s greatest golfer, Jack Nicklaus, is now home to the world’s greatest basketball player, Michael Jordan.

The Bear’s Club was just a huge empty piece of land for years with a few cows and a lot of barbed wire owned by John D. McArthur until it was sold to Jack Nicklaus who had a dream for his ultimate golf course community. Jack Nicklaus later split the parcel into two pieces and developed the 2nd parcel into the Ritz Carlton of Jupiter, now the Trump National Golf Club of Jupiter.

While The Bear’s Club and The Ritz share the same stop light and first few hundred feet, the Ritz home owners drive straight and The Bear’s Club members and homeowners turn right into a magnificent, gated, stoned entry.

The Bear’s Club – Entrance

The Bear’s Club – Guarded Entry

Michael Jordan’s House | Tiger’s Sports Complex | Venus Williams’ Mansion | Celine Dion’s House | Donald Trump’s Private Club | Burt Reynolds & Friends | Elin Nordegren’s Home | Rory McIlroy’s House | Rush Limbaugh’s Palm Beach Home

The caddies at the Ritz, when asked what the difference between the two clubs is, respond that the “Ritz homeowners are all millionaires, but the Bear’s homeowners are billionaires”. While that may not be universally true at The Bear’s Club, they do have more than their share of ultra-wealthy members.

MJ’s choice of a 3-acre homesite at The Bear’s Club is not all that unpredictable. His desire for privacy will certainly be well-served there, as entry to The Bear’s Club is well guarded.
His home has already been landscaped with a literal forest of trees, giving little or no glimpse of his mammoth 28,000-square-foot home, together with 3 separate structures; a guard house, guest house and pool house.

He paid $4.8m for the land and $7.6m for the construction, making this $12.4m mansion probably the most expensive non-waterfront home in the Palm Beaches. MJ’s total commitment when furnished will probably exceed $20m.

Micheal Jordan’s House – Check out the HUGE 2nd floor deck!!!

Michael Jordan’s House

What is surprising, comparing Jordan’s piece of land to Tiger Woods’, (click here to see Tiger Woods’ Jupiter Island home) is that Tiger put together 3 parcels on Jupiter Island so that he has frontage on both the ocean and the Intracoastal. It would be interesting to see what the Jordan home resells for, being that its location, while great for MJ’s privacy, is not ideal for resale to the trophy and yacht buyer.

Jordan’s house has 11 bedrooms, 6 on the 2nd floor alone, a 2-story guard house, an athletic wing together with basketball court, and a lavish workout facility. It’s rumored his huge media room with state-of-the-art electronics is ‘cigar friendly’.

Michael Jordan’s House

Michael Jordan’s House

Michael Jordan’s House

While MJ loves cigars and gambling, it’s rumored he’s tamed the latter in deference to Jack Nicklaus’ wishes to ‘tone it down’.

The Bear’s Club has 55 estate residences, with starter estate homes beginning at $4-5m and the largest homes being priced just under $20m. Besides the estate residences, they have 3 other categories, Golf Villas, 14 Club Cottages, and 13 Vintage Estate Homes. (Click here to see all of Michael Jordan’s new neighbors homes on the market at The Bear’s Club real estate for sale.)

The stone-clad Clubhouse is truly magnificent looking, both architecturally and the lush, dark-wooded interior. Jack Nicklaus spared nothing when building this masterpiece, notwithstanding the $90,000 initiation fee and $25,000 annual dues.

The Bear’s Club Clubhouse

The golf course is not your typical palm tree lined Florida course; instead, the property is blessed with hundreds of mature pine trees and well maintained scrub that eats golf balls when struck off line.

The Bear’s Club Golf Course

The greens are firm, ultra-fast, and can be treacherous when cut very tight. I played there over a dozen times and always averaged about 3 to 4 strokes higher than my normal score. The course has a very high course rating and is fair but on the difficult side. Their caddy program is terrific.

Comparing it to Trump National Golf Club of Jupiter, where I was a member for 4 years before 2 back surgeries forced my early retirement from golf, I found the Trump to be a hair easier, maybe 1 to 2 strokes. Jack Nicklaus also designed the Ritz (now the Trump) and made it his chief project to not let it be a lesser course, and he definitely achieved his goal. Both courses are terrific, great challenges, and a joy to play.

Having built homes in Highland Park, Illinois, I remember when MJ bought his parcel of land in Highland Park and built a 29,000-square-foot house together with a 3-hole golf course in his backyard. MJ had the number 23 on his entry gate. We are still waiting to see if that gate will go up. Will history repeat itself?

–Cary Lichtenstein is a former golf rater for GolfWeek Magazine. He started playing when he was 7 years old. His handicap varied from 4-5. He lives next door to The Bear’s Club at Admirals Cove. Cary and his son, Jeff Lichtenstein, are realtors for Illustrated Properties and Christies Great Estates.


10729 Grande Boulevard | The Grande | Ibis Golf & Country Club

January 28th, 2013

The Avalon model is a rare “great room floorplan” find at 10729 Grande Boulevard in The Grande community at Ibis Golf & Country Club. As you enter this fabulous 2BR/2BA home with a den, the 11’ high tray ceiling in the foyer captures the essence of this home. Light & bright throughout, all of the rooms have volume ceilings, leading to a sense that this home is much larger than it actually is. The traffic flow from one room to the next is smooth, as no walls block the openness of this great room home. There is a dinette in the kitchen, as well as a formal dining area. The screened, covered patio looks out onto a small lake. This is the perfect home for snowbirds or permanent residents who want to enjoy living in a gated community with 3 magnificent Jack Nicklaus golf courses. Available decorator furnished.

10729 Grande Boulevard

10729 Grande Boulevard – View from back


10729 Grande Boulevard | The Grande | Ibis Golf & Country Club

8846 Marlamoor Lane | Bay Hill Estates

January 28th, 2013

 Tranquility at its best! 8846 Marlamoor Lane in Bay Hill Estates is a beautiful 3BR + study with desirable southern exposure & stunning golf course views. The brick paver walkway leads through the frosted French doors of the foyer & into elegance. Voluminous ceilings & a stone fireplace in the living room greet you. The open kitchen includes lots of counter space, a pantry, and a huge island for entertaining. The family room boasts high ceilings, crown molding, and wet bar. Stunning arched windows accent the dining room. The master is spacious & includes 2 walk-in closets. The master bath is large with a Roman tub. A mother-in-law suite with separate doorway is ideal for guests. The study has a built-in desk/entertainment center. The huge, screened, covered area has a pool/spa. Extras include hurricane protection & a 3-car garage.

8846 Marlamoor Lane

8846 Marlamoor Lane – Swimming Pool & View


8846 Marlamoor Lane | Bay Hill Estates

14 Via Aurelia | Villa d’Este | PGA National

January 26th, 2013

This beautifully remodeled great room plan at 14 Via Aurelia in Villa d’Este in PGA National is immaculate. Volume & cathedral ceilings mixed with skylights bring in lots of light. The floors were redone with oversized porcelain. The kitchen is fantastic; granite counters, stylish newer wood cabinetry with pullouts, top-of-the-line appliances, and 4 range gas burner. A large pass-thru lends an open feel. Separate sitting area or den with built-ins opposite the larger family room. The master is open & spacious with a comfortable bathroom and walk-in closet. A good-sized guest room will keep company coming. The private loggia is screened with pavers and lush landscaping. Extras include updated A/C, water heater, and professional window treatments. Perfect locale off cul-de-sac. Steps to the pool. Available turnkey.

14 Via Aurelia

14 Via Aurelia – Patio



14 Via Aurelia | Villa d’Este | PGA National