27 February 2015

Three Modern Homes by Duckham and Singer in Fort Lauderdale's Garden Tour

Last Saturday, the Fort Lauderdale Garden Club in it's "Secret Gardens" tour featured five homes – or gardens and exteriors to be precise, since the homes themselves were not available to the public – three of which were modern homes by beloved local architects, Dan Duckham and Donald Singer.

If viewing only the gardens and none of the interiors sounds a bit like a consolation price, it is. But in the choice between a consolation price or no price at all, it was an easy choice.

The homes, all of which are located in the aptly named Shady Banks neighbourhood and are hardly visible from the street:

Luxury Florida modern homes offered by Tobias Kaiser http://www.ModernSouthFlorida.com/
Uchin residence, 3/3.5, 5,071 sf on a 48,300 sf waterfront lot, architect Donald Singer, 1977.

Waterfront luxury homes in Florida, by modern architecture expert Tobias Kaiser
Uchin residence by architect Donald Singer, 1977.

Modernist architecture real estate agent Tobias Kaiser offers homes by Dan Duckham, Don Singer, Al Parker and others
Singer residence, 2/2, 2,631 sf on a 14,300 sf lot, architect Donald Singer, 1976.

Modern architecture specialist and real estate agent Tobias Kaiser – midcentury modern homes by Chuck Reed, Marion Manley and Rufus Nims
Singer residence by Donald Singer, 1976.

South Florida modern homes by modern architecture specialist and Realtor Tobias Kaiser at http://www.ModernSouthFlorida.com
Allen residence, orig. 2/3 single story, later expanded to 4,377 sf, lot 24,200 sf, architect Dan Duckham,1963

Dan Duckham designs and other modern homes - by modern architecture specialist Tobias Kaiser
Allen residence by Dan Duckham,1963

contemporary and mid century modern homes in Florida for sale, by real estate agent Tobias Kaiser
Allen residence by Dan Duckham,1963
If you were on the tour or are familiar with these homes, I'd love to hear your impressions!

Photos ©tckaiser

20 February 2015

OT: German Carnival Floats Skewer Politicians

What Fat Tuesday is for New Orleans, Rosenmontag ("Rose Monday") is for the German Rhineland area, mainly for the towns of Düsseldorf and Köln (Cologne).

The Carnival parades in these two towns draw thousands of spectators every year, who come to applaud or critizise the elaborate floats, which – built in secrecy weeks or even months ahead of time – skewer everything and anybody, from world leaders to local mayors to terrorists. During the Carnival Parade, freedom of speech is taken to new heights.

Some of my favorite floats from last Monday's parades in Cologne and Düsseldorf:

"Terror... has nothing... to do with Religion"

Mr. Putin's real physique: Economy (left) and Military (right)

On the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris: "One can't kill satire"

Arm-wrestling between ISIS and El Quaeda

The shark (GOP) and the lame duck (Mr. Obama)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Cyclops under fire from a Greek boy

Did you ever visit a Rhineland Carnival parade? What did you think of it?

all photos ©dpa

06 February 2015

A $6.9m home with $1.59 light switches?

Leviton lightswitch
Something wrong with this light switch?

Nope, nothing really. Last week I found it in many times in two open houses. It's your standard Leviton switch; $1.59 for the ten-pack, contractors' pricing probably a bit cheaper.

And therein lies the rub.

In the morning, I saw this switch being installed in a $1.4m modernist house under construction. No issues.

Then, same day an hour later, I encountered it and many of its siblings in another brand-new modern home for sale.

This time, the asking price was $6.9 million.
Alternative switch, nicer

But – $1.59 switches in a $6.9m home? Visible screws and all?

If I was a prospective buyer in that price bracket, I'd blow a gasket. Upscale pricing should get more than an upscale location and more space, it should also demand better materials.

But sadly, I often observe stunts like that. And I can't help but wonder what kind of buyer will let a detail like this slide by. You don't have to be in the building trade to be a bit more discriminating.

Is the builder's margin really that poor that s/he has to resort to this? Are luxury buyers really that indiscriminate that glitzy appearance of a big house is worth more than substance in details?

Seems so. In my book, that gets filed under "pathetic".

What's your opinion?