5 Best International Cities to Live With a Family

Alright, you know how much I love to travel - and yes I too have contemplated where would I live if I were to move internationally. 

Lucky for you & me, my brokerage was able to compile a list for us and the pros & cons. 

If you’ve ever considered moving your family to a metropolis on the other side of the world you may have asked yourself ‘do good places to visit make good places to live?’ That worldly metropolis you’re hoping to call home should indeed have all the short-term wonders that excite your family from the get-go. But there are more important things to consider than allure and excitement. In fact, it’s things like health and well-being, childcare and integration opportunities that will help determine whether a destination will be a good long-term fit.

Top-10 lists of exciting places to live are one thing, but what you will actually experience in those locales matters most. So to help you get a feel for which of the world’s great cities are best for you and your family, we not only looked at numerous lists and data such as HSBC’s Offshore Offspringreport and Mercer Consulting’s “Top 25 Cities for Quality of Life,” we also turned to multiple home owners, jetsetters, expats, and brave world travelers. The result: our—and your—Top 5 Family-Friendly Cities to relocate to, with insights into each city and, most important, connections to resources and expats living there who can help you look before you leap. —by Cameron Swain

1. Vienna


Vienna is a city of neighborhoods. Choosing your municipal district can define your lifestyle. Want to live close to the city’s largest green space and great running paths and have a comfortable space for your young family? Pick the 3rd (Landstraße) or the 4th (Wieden) district. Want to introduce your kids to a hip and happening scene (a place where Mommy and Daddy won’t go mad amid a sea of strollers)? Consider the 6th (Mariahilf ), the 7th (Neubau), or the 8th (Josefstadt). If suburbs and wealth are your thing, head to the 13th (Hietzing), the 19th (Döbling), or the 18th (Währing).

You can read more about the rest of the cities: Zurich, Hong Kong, Singapore and Munich on our Elliman Insider by clicking here

Babes for Boobs

The 4th annual Babes for Boobs live auction was so fun last week! Saving lives and ending breast cancer is the ultimate goal and in doing so - a live auction for a date with a bachelor was a fun way to support it! 


There were many booths set up giving out free samples, free hair/makeup touchups, nail polish, jewelry, healthy snacks, photo booth and even a silent auction as well! 

So much fun - my friend even won! Congrats to her! 

I enjoyed a complimentary hair touchup! 


You can click here for their link to get involved or get more information! 

3 Tips on How to Stage Your Home With Art


Each year during New York’s spring art fair season, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the galleries and exhibitions in search of their next piece to refresh or complete their spaces.

After you’ve made the rounds at The Armory ShowThe Art Show, or Frieze New York you may be walking home with a few new prized possessions. But how do you incorporate it into your space?

Choosing the right artwork might be a daunting task, but there are a few simple tricks you can keep in mind to ensure your art highlights your unique home in the best way.


Ask the Expert

When it comes to staging art in your home, nobody knows the do’s and don’ts better than the experts at Interior Marketing Group. As the largest, full-service design and marketing firm in the United States, IMG has staged art in some of the world’s more luxurious homes.

“When it comes to displaying artwork in the home, proportion is everything. It’s important to select pieces that compliment the size of the walls they are being displayed on,” says Cheryl Eisen, Founder & CEO.

In my opinion, the bigger canvas the better. Try to max out the amount of wall space you can cover.

Eisen, whose company has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street JournalGood Housekeeping and Vogue, spoke with Elliman to give our readers a few tips.

1. Gallery Walls

When creating gallery walls, feel free to mix up the size and orientation of the frames. But, do use the same color frames and wide matting. I find the best gallery walls feature close up black and white family photos.

2. Color Balance

When you’re designing a room with colorfully painted walls, stick to black and white art to balance the palette.

3. Sculpture Art

Sculptural elements don’t always have to be on pedestals. They can find a place on coffee tables or credenzas to incorporate them more into the design.

You can find more tips on Elliman Insider here

Less than 3 hours away: Puerta Vallarta

Did you know that Puerto Vallarta is only about a 3 hour one way flight away from Los Angeles? I had the chance to visit this past weekend for the first time and wow - it's very city-like. 


We stayed at an all-inclusive resort since we weren't familiar with the area and the resort was very nice. Clean rooms, beautiful amenities, and of course...unlimited food! 


My time there was short, however I would highly recommend a day trip with Outdoor Adventures. We went on 9 different zip-lines, rock climbing, waterfalls and slides! So fun! You can get more info on the details at their website here.

Next time I'll definitely be checking out the city a bit more! Here are some pictures of the trip! 

Interest Rate Impact

Many homebuyers question when is the right time to buy in this market...

Well, that depends on a lot of factors. What is your timeline for the property? Are you looking for short term or long term investment? What are your immediate needs? 

I love sitting down with clients to figure out the best plan for their real estate needs. However as we continue on in the year, the government says they plan to raise interest rates and mathematically, while interest rates rise, you will be paying more, even if housing prices stall (which in our market place right now, isn't as likely). 

Call me so we can sit down and curate a plan that's best for you! 


6 Steps to Use Scent to Improve Your Home’s Appeal to Buyers

Smell is one of the senses potential buyers (not to mention friends and family) react to and remember most about a home. Because the olfactory system is close to the brain’s memory and emotional centers, aromas can trigger strong feelings the moment they hit us—and influence our decision-making. That makes scent an important factor to consider when selling your home. — by Amy Nebens

Scent works best as a backdrop against which everything plays,” explains Caroline Fabrigas, CEO of Scent Marketing Inc., a scent and sensory marketing firm based in New York. “It should be subtly diffused, not obvious or overt.

These six steps will help you use aroma to your advantage.


People often become nose blind to odors in their own homes, but chances are yours has lingering smells that newcomers will notice. It could be garlic from last night’s cooking, pet odors, or even potent potpourri. Offset any potentially offensive smells by deep cleaning your home—linens, carpets, floors, kitchen, furniture—with lightly scented or unscented cleaners. (Avoid bleach and ammonia.) Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and furniture to absorb odors. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then vacuum it up. (You can sprinkle it in the kitchen trash can, too.)


Studies show that some of the most agreeable aromas in a home are orange, lemon, and grapefruit. Comforting, inviting scents like vanilla, apple, and cinnamon are also appealing.


Research suggests that complex combinations of scents (orange-basil-green-tea or ginger- cinnamon-nutmeg, for instance) can backfire even if they’re pleasant because people find them distracting. Buyers focus on identifying the aromas, which keeps them from thinking clearly or making decisions easily. Instead, stick with a single scent throughout your home.


Pine or cedar will reinforce the ambience of a rustic stone-and-wood home in a forested area or a mountain setting but will seem out of place in a beachfront home. Another approach: Let the season dictate the scent.


They are very personal and can be polarizing. What one person finds pleasing might be overpowering or cloying to another.


A variety of aromatherapy home products are available, including candles, reed diffusers, and oil warmers. But “for home selling, the scent should be easy to control and consistent to set the stage,” notes Fabrigas. So, rather than one candle in the bedroom and a reed diffuser in the bathroom, she prefers a mist diffuser with an essential oil. Three models she recommends are the Zaq Paradise($70); the URPower Essential Oil Diffuser, which doubles as a humidifier ($26); and the Stadler Form JASMINE Aroma Diffuser ($60). Her picks for essential oils include Young Living Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil ($32/5ml), dōTERRA Citrus Limon ($13/15ml), and Enfleurage Vanilla Absolute($57/5ml).

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