Villas In Florence Wed, 20 Oct 2021 08:13:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Villas In Florence 32 32 9 luxury vacation ideas for the next long weekend (October 2021) Wed, 20 Oct 2021 05:10:44 +0000

An intimate getaway, a nature getaway, an adventure-seeking trip or a detox retreat: take your pick from these luxury vacation ideas for the upcoming October long weekend.

The coming long weekend is the perfect window of opportunity to take a little trip. Whether it’s to reconnect with nature, go on a tropical getaway, or explore heritage and history, here we recommend nine vacation ideas if you’re looking for some inspiration. There is something for everyone here.

Escape to nature

If you like nature and glamping, the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle makes the perfect vacation destination. The property allows guests to be completely immersed in nature during the day and relax in glamorous tents at night. Surrounded only by lush greenery, this is the ultimate escape for nature lovers, with a touch of luxury.

Learn more about Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle.

A sustainable stay

Recently recognized as a ‘Considerate Collection’ hotel under SLH, Keemala is a certified sustainable property. Between wildlife-inspired interiors, spectacular rainforest views, and gorgeous tented pool villas, this Phuket rainforest property beautifully embraces sustainability.

Learn more about Keemala.

A getaway to a tropical island

If the beaches and the mild weather are more to your liking, consider booking a stay at Six Senses Yao Noi for a tropical island getaway filled with spectacular seascapes, beautiful beaches and tropical goodies. A 45-minute boat ride from Phuket, this Six Senses offers an unbeatable location.

Learn more about Six Senses Yao Noi.

A wellness weekend

Hua Hin has always been a favorite weekend destination among locals, and for good reason. This weekend, instead of the typical beachfront properties, consider a stay more focused on wellness for a feast for the mind, body and spirit. The Barai is the creation of the combination of the serenity of Hua Hin and traditional wellness treatments, where you can truly indulge in a spa weekend.

Learn more about The Barai.

An adventure trip

Do you prefer an activity-packed trip rather than a relaxed vacation? Rayavadee in Krabi offers several adventure activities including sea excursions and cultural activities. Active travelers can go hiking, kayaking, windsurfing, and even rock climbing. If you like action, Rayavadee is your calling.

Learn more about Rayavadee.

A detox on the island

The past few months have been a stressful time for many people, so maybe a regular vacation won’t be enough this time around. Maybe you need a digital detox, and which place is more suited to that than Kamalaya? Nestled on the beautiful island of Koh Samui, this property is a wellness sanctuary and holistic spa retreat. This long weekend rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit with their detailed wellness programs.

Learn more about Kamalaya.

A holiday with history

Between heritage and history, paradise 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai embodies the elegance of Chiang Mai. The exquisite teak wood building pays homage to its 19th century origins and yet fully embraces contemporary luxury. Book a stay here and immerse yourself in history.

Learn more about 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai.

An intimate getaway

If the sound of an intimate getaway piques your interest, Amanpuri is the place to be this long weekend. Providing a break from everyone and everything, indulge in fine dining options, an idyllic private white sand beach, and a bespoke holistic wellness center. Whether you come as a couple or in a large group, Amanpuri’s private villas fully imbue the spirit of an intimate getaway.

Learn more about Amanpuri.

A stay in Bangkok

Maybe you’re loyal to the city, or maybe you don’t want to travel too far. In both cases, Capella Bangkok currently has an incredible stay offer. The chic and airy riverside enclave offers an “All Things Suite” package in commemoration of their first anniversary. The staycation package includes a free night, a bottle of house champagne, daily sunrise yoga and more.

Learn more about Capella Bangkok.

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Double Crisis: Regional Housing Shortage In Australia Worsens Poor Mental Health | Lodging Wed, 20 Oct 2021 00:42:00 +0000

The housing crisis and the mental health crisis are converging in the Australian region as rental vacancy rates in some areas fall below 1% with city dwellers on the move, rentals converted to Airbnbs or landlords taking advantage of high real estate prices.

Regional cities have seen a significant reduction in available properties and rental affordability, especially since the start of the pandemic.

While Sydney CBD currently has a vacancy rate above 7% and Melbourne CBD above 5%, vacancy rates across regional Australia, including regional Queensland, the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, and southwestern Washington, are less than 1%, SQM Research has shown.

Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM, said this has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in rental and housing prices over the past 12 months with areas such as the North Coast of New South Wales, with a combined increase in rental prices of 18.6%.

“It’s a huge rent increase. In our series we have never seen such acceleration in rents in regional Australia, ”said Christopher.

Ellen Jones, a lawyer in the city of Orange, NSW, said like all regional centers, her hometown has a divide between rich and poor, but demand for housing for sales and rentals had greatly increased the gap.

“It used to be a rural backwater that people were eager to get out of,” she said.

“Now this is the trendy place, with visitors to Sydney on two degree days when it snows, saying ‘isn’t it nice and wintry’ which is great for business and we have a younger population coming in. “

Jones’ legal practice primarily deals with transfer of property and family and housing law in these two areas.

Four years ago, customers bought homes for $ 450,000 that now sell for $ 1.1 million and demand is causing a boom in renovations. Low income housing options that were released for $ 150,000 are now $ 450,000, a price low income people or the unemployed cannot afford.

At the same time, she deals with the separation of couples who are forced to stay under the same roof with children because one of the partners cannot obtain rental accommodation. Jones described the immediate separation phase as the most dangerous time for women and “really bad for the kids.”

“If something doesn’t change, we’re going to see single mothers sleeping under bridges. I’ve seen people with kids and even more so if they have pets who can’t get rental housing, ”Jones said.

“If the market is tight, landlords want to offer properties to singles or professional couples and people pay more than market rents.”

The NSW government this week announced $ 500 million for 75 additional shelters for women and children, doubling the number of shelters, as part of a Covid economic recovery strategy.

New South Wales Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said 40% of those with access to specialized services for the homeless had experienced domestic violence.

The Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, the state’s top body for community mental health, said the situation “is pushing people with mental distress into homelessness.”

QAMH also called for a boost for social housing with integrated mental health support from the Queensland government.

The alliance gives Mackay, Townsville and Rockhampton just three examples of where the recent infusion of public funds into public housing is woefully insufficient to meet the needs of the community.

Karen Bonham, community development coordinator at Mackay’s community nonprofit organization, Madec, said “Anyone who is underprivileged, even people on low incomes, just don’t stand a chance.”

“There is a visible increase in the number of people who have to find alternative sleeping solutions, in cars in parking lots, and that includes young families with children, in local parks, behind our town hall, wherever it is. vacant, out of weather, ”Bonham said.

In Mackay, recent state funding will provide 10 homes in the area. However, nearly 500 people are on the waiting list – many of whom have been on the list for more than three years, a client for more than seven years, according to Bonham.

The situation forced Madec to rent private properties at social housing rates and invest her own limited funds to embark on housing construction.

Bonham said the lack of housing support creates a perpetual cycle of poor mental health as there is a “general bottleneck where there is no exit strategy from crisis housing services to options. more independent accommodation “.

She said this translates into even worse mental health outcomes, because “for someone with episodic mental health issues, the more negative they have in accessing housing, the more they feel. distress and more distress is insurmountable ”.

Jeremy Audas, North Queensland executive director for the Richmond Fellowship Queensland, a charity that provides community and clinical mental health services, also says the problem is twofold.

“First, people with mental health problems find it difficult to find and keep housing,” Audas said.

“On the other hand, people who do not have a mental illness but who are homeless may have mental illness triggered by the stress of being homeless.”

Audas said people with co-morbidities such as alcohol or other drug addictions are particularly at risk, but other indicators also exacerbate housing difficulties.

“Native people struggle to find suitable housing because of systemic racism, as well as young people because they don’t have a rental history,” Audas said.

He said migrants and refugees, as well as those fleeing domestic violence, were also among those struggling to find accommodation.

Audas says that one of the main reasons that roaming rates are higher in regional and rural Australia than in the capital cities is that people in large urban areas have access to more resources in terms of travel services. housing assistance and organizations that support disadvantaged individuals and families. .

However, he says part of the problem is that “the benefits of an increase in housing are medium to long term benefits, but governments live in an electoral cycle that does not support long term planning.”

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]]> 0 Getting around Chile by bus, bike or boat Tue, 19 Oct 2021 19:11:26 +0000

Chile may seem like a small country, but the distance between Punta Arenas in the south and Arica in the north is about 5,000 km (3,100 miles). It’s roughly the same distance between New York and San Francisco. Traveling in this long, narrow country is almost always a question of north or south. Whether you choose to travel by bus, boat, train or plane, we’ve got all the information on the best ways to navigate up, down, and all around Chile.

Many people travel by bus through Chile © James Strachan / Getty Images

Getting around by bus

The bus is the most popular way to get around Chile for budget travelers. Pullman and Turbus are the biggest companies and dominate the market. Smaller brands like Nilahue, Cruz del Sur or JAC are a better bet for niche destinations, including small resort towns or surf beaches. Recorrido is a good English website for comparing rates and booking without a Chilean ID number (which many other websites require). In general, the buses are pretty cool, air conditioned, and often have entertainment options, wi-fi, or even USB sockets. If it’s a long-distance bus, you can also expect an attendant to serve snacks or a light breakfast.

Unlike elsewhere in Latin America, buses generally leave on time, although arrival times may vary due to traffic conditions, particularly if traveling to or from Santiago. Premium seats tend to be in a smaller section at the bottom of a double-decker bus. They are sold as “semi cama” or “salon cama” and are generally wider, more spread out, and have a deeper slant. You won’t regret spending the extra pesos over the long haul.

Bus stations are not always located in the best part of town and can be known for petty crime. It is recommended that two people travel and keep a watchful eye on luggage. Also, be sure to confirm the arrival station, as different bus companies often use different stations in larger destinations.

Getting around by taxi

Most Chilean cities have taxi service – both downtown and to and from airports – and the prices are quite affordable by international standards. Ridesharing apps like Uber and Cabify work in Santiago and many regional cities, and you can use them to flag both built-in rides and nearby taxis. Very few drivers speak English, so apps can be the safest way to get to where you want to go.

Getting around by metro and train

The Santiago Metro is by far the best and cheapest way to get around the capital. Its sprawling network is growing rapidly, and trains will take you to most places in the city that you would want to visit (except the airport). You can buy a one-way ticket or charge a Tarjeta beep! with money for multiple trips on the metro and city buses (which are now mostly electric). No other city in Chile has a metro, although some (like Valparaiso) have commuter trains.

Trains were once a mainstay of domestic travel, but are now little used outside the central valley. The service from Santiago to Chillán is the only one likely to attract visitors, although there are also occasional tourist trains from Santiago to nearby resorts or wine valleys.

Cyclotourist on a dirt road of the Carretera Austral highway
Chile has a number of cities with a strong cycling culture, including Santiago, Viña del Mar and Concepción © Guaxinim / Shutterstock

Getting around by bike

Santiago is one of the most cycling cities in Latin America with an extensive network of ciclovias (cycle paths) that you can use to get around. Among the patchwork of different bike share options, the most common is Bike Itaú. Other towns with a strong cycling culture include Viña del Mar, Concepción, Temuco, and Puerto Varas. Many visitors come to Chile for multi-day bike tours around the Lake District or on the Carretera Austral.

Driving in Chile
Go to the most remote parts of Chile by car © Philip Lee Harvey / Lonely Planet

Getting around by car

To realistically explore Chile’s wildest corners, you’ll need to hire a car. Most of the highways and roads are well maintained, although the rural areas of the Andes, Altiplano or northern Patagonia are often unpaved and riddled with potholes. Carrying an extra gas can on the Altiplano is a must, while punctures on the Carretera Austral are normal for the course. Note that most rental companies do not allow you to cross the border to Argentina, Peru, or Bolivia.

Rental cars in Chile tend to be slightly more expensive than in North America or Europe, especially if you prefer an automatic instead of a manual (which is more common and cheaper). Fuel costs are also higher, while high tolls on the Pan American Highway (and throughout Greater Santiago) can add up quickly. If you plan to explore only one part of the country by car, it’s best to hire it at the airport on arrival instead of driving all the way from Santiago.

Getting around by plane

LATAM is the main airline of Chile with the largest network of domestic flights and the best quality of service. Sky Airline and JetSmart are new low-cost carriers that also cover much of the country and may offer slightly cheaper fares (sometimes equivalent to bus tickets). Be careful, however, to read the fare details, as the cheapest tickets usually only include a personal item such as a small backpack. All Chilean commercial carriers have a good reputation for safety, so you can let times and prices determine which airline to fly with.

In general, most regional capitals in Chile have a commercial airport, with the exception of those located near Santiago. If you have a little flexibility, flying to busier hubs like Puerto Montt (to the south) or Calama (to the north) will offer better times and cheaper fares.

Man standing on a boat looking at the glacier
A boat trip through the fjords is an amazing way to experience Chile © Ruben Earth / Getty Images

Getting around by boat

Traveling in southern Chile can often be easier – and more fun – by boat than on land. Popular ferry routes across the fjords include Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales, Puerto Yungay to Puerto Natales, and Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams. Ferries also connect islands such as Chiloé and Tierra del Fuego with the mainland.

Several ferries in northern Patagonia take travelers across the border to Argentina. These include the scenic drive from Petrohué (near Puerto Varas) to San Carlos de Bariloche and the adventurous drive from Villa O’Higgins (at the end of the Carretera Austral) to Candelario Mancilla (for later treks to El Chaltén). Traveling on the Carretera Austral also requires planning your trip with several car ferries along the way to places like La Arena, Hornopirén and Caleta Yungay.

Accessible travel to Chile

Chile doesn’t have the best infrastructure for disabled travelers, but it does have a group of dedicated activists who are fighting to make the country more accessible. One of the largest travel agencies for disabled travelers, Wheel the World, is based here and runs tours across the country. For more information, see Lonely Planet’s accessible travel online resources.

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Approval of the ‘Crash Pad’ apartments in Liverpool city center Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:47:09 +0000

Proposals to renovate a building in the city center and turn it into crash pad apartments have been approved by Liverpool City Council.

Members of the city’s planning committee voted this afternoon to approve plans for 49 apartments in buildings adjacent to 14-16 and 18-20 Stanley Street.

The buildings are currently a mix of apartments and offices, but the redevelopment would see Orchard Secured Capital redevelop the Grade II listed buildings into serviced apartments for short stays.

READ MORE: Jack Grealish’s £ 5,000 donation to family of woman who died in tunnel accident

The plans had already been approved last year, but a number of changes to council and country planning policy meant that it needed to be reassessed by committee members.

Documents submitted to the council said it was hoped the apartments would be used to accommodate people working in Liverpool city center in the shorter term.

One section of the documents read: “The studios are a development of serviced studios supported by the necessary management, staff and service facilities. Thanks to the central location, support facilities can be reduced to a minimum.

“The studios vary in size but are generally around 20m².

“They will offer comfortable and contemporary living spaces that can be rented for short or long term. They are also ideal as downtown crash pads serving the downtown workforce.

The documents indicated that the changes to the exterior of the building would be minimal.

Planning officers present at this afternoon’s meeting said they believed changes in local planning policies since the plans were approved had not altered their original recommendation to approve the plans.

The committee then voted unanimously to approve the development after brief deliberation.

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Bay Area VRBO Vacation Home Renters Targeted by Neighbor Threat and Vandalism After Booking Incident Tue, 19 Oct 2021 01:43:04 +0000 FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KGO) – It was a nightmare scenario for a group of friends on a recent vacation to the wine country.

The group, who rented a house on VRBO, woke up with their van tires slashed and a threatening message painted on the garage. They soon realized they were caught in the middle of a controversial neighborhood debate over short-term rentals.

“I can’t even believe it’s real, honestly,” Alana Harrison told ABC7 News.

Harrison, from Kansas, said her friend booked their group of 11 a short-term rental in the Green Valley neighborhood of Fairfield. On the third day, they woke up to find a threatening message spray painted on the garage.

RELATED: Rental Warning for Long and Short-Term Rentals

“This is your final warning. The tribe has spoken. Leave this place or else,” a post said over part of the garage.

Scrawled across the garage was, “You have no idea who lives on this mountain.” Don’t underestimate our people!

All four tires on their rental van were also flat.

“I was terrified. Honestly, I thought it was a joke,” Harrison recalls. “I don’t understand why they vandalized our car if they wanted us to leave.”

It was only after this that the group learned that the couple who owned the house did not have a permit for short-term rental. According to Solano County Supervisor James Spering, this was recently denied after a controversial debate and denial from the neighborhood.

“From what I understood, the permit was denied and delayed, so I was surprised to see that there were people staying there,” Spering told ABC7 News.

He explained that short-term rentals are very controversial, especially in Green Valley and some residential areas across the country.

“These are concerns about the impact on your neighborhoods, property values, fire risk. These are the main concerns we hear,” Spering said.

RELATED: Some Sonoma County Vacation Rentals Bypass Shelter-in-Place Guidelines Amid COVID-19

When ABC7 News visited the home on Monday, new tenants were currently staying at the property.

ABC7 News tried to contact the owners about the incident, their license and the reasons they continue to rent, but they did not respond.

Cliff Neal, a neighbor who lives in the same cul-de-sac as the short-term rental, shared surveillance video from the night of the vandalism which showed a suspect entering the property and shortly after running away . He said he didn’t recognize the suspect.

“No and I hope someone will,” Neal said. “It’s appalling. No one can justify spray painting and pumping tires.”

Yet Neal is also one of the many neighbors who are fed up with this short-term rental. He said he signed a petition with more than 100,000 households asking the county to shut them down.

“They’re packing this house with seven rooms and 10 beds, trying to make it a party house,” he said. “And they were explicitly denied a permit.”

As for Harrison and his friends, they are disturbed by all aspects of this experience: the reaction of the neighborhood, the owners and VRBO.

“The worst for me would be the owners because they are like we keep renting no matter what,” she said. “But VRBO should have policies in place to investigate.”

VRBO did not respond to ABC7 News by the deadline. Harrison said after much pushing, the website appeared to withdraw the rental.

After the incident, the group did not feel comfortable staying in the house and told VRBO that they were planning to leave. But VRBO didn’t help them find a new rental, and they couldn’t find affordable alternatives. They ultimately had no choice but to stay.

At this point, Harrison said they could no longer book through VRBO, so they had to book directly through the owner, who said he could only stay if he paid.

Harrison posted an article about the incident on the “Girl Loves Travel” Facebook group. After her post gained attention online, she said VRBO reimbursed the group for the two nights they ultimately paid for through the rental website. They are still hoping for a refund from the owner. They also had to pay the cost of the flat tires out of their own pockets.

The group are still trying to get reimbursement from the owners and are shocked to learn that they have currently rented it.

For now, Harrison shares their story as a warning.

“I felt compelled to share so that this doesn’t happen to people who use VRBO anymore,” she said. “Just found out, be very diligent in looking at the property you are staying at. Don’t just read the reviews on your own.”

The group has filed a police report and is hoping someone will be arrested and charged.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.

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SC Housing partners with local organizations to help families find rental and utility assistance Mon, 18 Oct 2021 19:35:00 +0000

SC Stay Plus
Courtesy of: SC Housing

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) – More families in South Carolina are facing evictions after the Supreme Court ruling to end the federal moratorium on evictions. Through the SC Stay Plus program, SC Housing and local organizations continue to help families find rental and utility assistance.

In addition to past due rents or utility bills, the program offers up to three months of potential rent to eligible applicants facing housing insecurity.

“While thousands of residents of our state have successfully requested help through the web or our call center, we want to make sure that every South Carolina that needs help has an opportunity to apply,” said Bonita Shropshire, Executive Director of SC Housing. “By partnering with these established community organizations, we have the opportunity to meet the residents of our state where they are and provide them with additional support and assistance to help them stay safe in their homes.”

South Carolina tenants who have been evicted or are threatened with displacement can apply by calling 803-336-3420 or emailing

The program has already helped more than 6,400 families with nearly $ 30 million in rent and utility payments.

For more information, visit

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Real estate market sets new records as prices continue to climb in Q3 Mon, 18 Oct 2021 12:01:46 +0000

Much of the increase in activity over the past twelve months has been focused on villas and townhouses, with those who can afford it opting for larger properties with outdoor space. Villa prices in privileged communities have seen substantial increases, while apartment price increases have been lower than villas over the past year, many privileged areas have seen double-digit growth, Palm Jumeirah being in the lead again with a 26% increase.

However, there are signs that the pace of recent price increases is starting to slow as the dynamics of supply and demand change in response to recent price increases. Richard continues: “After 12 frantic months, many brokers felt in September that the market was stopping to catch its breath. While a few months ago a seller could ask for 15-20% more than the last sale in their community, buyers just weren’t biting at that kind of increase. As a result, motivated sellers have adjusted asking prices accordingly, and when they do, demand is plentiful.

But do I think that signals that prices have peaked? Absolutely not. The recent UBS Real Estate Bubble Report placed Dubai as the world’s most popular real estate market. With a global audience reinvigorated by Dubai right now, I expect prices to continue to rise for the foreseeable future, albeit at a slower pace than last year.

Main conclusions:

Residential sales

The Dubai real estate market continued to set new records in the third quarter with 15,406 transactions recorded by the Dubai Land Department (DLD), 81% more than in the third quarter of 2020 and 48% more than in the third quarter 2019. time on the market, with a lot of activity on the off-plan and secondary markets.

Total transactions for the year are now 74% higher than in 2020 and 51% higher than the same period in 2019, before the pandemic. The rise in the value of goods sold in the third quarter exceeded transactions, rising 128% year on year, reflecting price increases that have been recorded in many areas since the market bottomed last summer.

Completed villa transactions are up 105% compared to the same period last year, while the apartments sector has also seen a rebound with a 96% increase in volumes compared to Q3 2020.

Villa prices in prime communities have seen substantial increases from their record lows last summer. Palm Jumeirah (55%), Jumeirah Islands (54%) and Emirates Living (52%) are leading the way, as buyers, mostly end users, sought lifestyle purchases in established communities.

While the rise in apartment prices has been lower than that of villas over the past year, many prime areas have seen double-digit price growth, with Palm Jumeirah again leading with a 26% increase. . Price increases observed in the apartment sector were less uniform than in the villa sector, with some communities such as Discovery Gardens (-2.45%), Dubai South (-12.9%), Silicon Oasis (- 8.05%) and International City (- 5.67%) have all seen prices drop in the past year.

While the third quarter of 2020 was dominated by domestic end-user demand following the foreclosure, the third quarter of 2021 saw a shift in the market towards investors, both local and international. Among new deals closed at Bettehomes in the third quarter of 2021, 62% of successful buyers identified as investors, up from 51% a year ago.

Residential rental

Buyers looking to retrofit their homes but are priced out of the current secondary market are considering new developments with lower prices and great payment plans offered by many developers. Buyers in Dubai are certainly turning more to off-plan investments, with the number of off-plan transactions dropping from 39% to 45% QoQ. Transactions are expected to reach the pre-pandemic level of 57% recorded in the third quarter of 2019.

At Betterhomes, leasing transactions are up 21% over the year, and 6% over the summer months. While many new tenants entering the market will look to well-established apartment communities such as Downtown Dubai, JBR or the Marina, there are a growing number of wealthy professionals and business owners who are moving to Dubai, which has increased the number of rentals for villas with more than 5 bedrooms to 63%.

In September, Betterhomes recorded its highest ever annual rental contract, a villa in Emirates Hills rented at AED 1,850,000 to an expat recently arrived in the United Arab Emirates.

When it comes to apartments, the most popular communities among Betterhomes tenants were Dubai Hills Estate, with the highest number of deals, followed by Dubai Marina, which typically ranks first when it comes to leads and tenant deals. . The most sought-after villa community among renters in Q3 2021 is The Springs, followed by Al Barsha and Jumeirah.


Founded in 1986, Betterhomes is one of the oldest and largest real estate companies in Dubai. It is one of the UAE’s most recognized real estate brands, attracting thousands of buyers, sellers, tenants and owners every month, and offers a wide range of properties across the UAE, from studios to spacious villas. as well as a variety of commercial spaces. The company covers all aspects of the market from residential and commercial sales and leasing to property management, off plan and short term rentals. With more than 200 community specialists in 4 branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Betterhomes has an excellent average satisfaction score of 9.6 out of 10 by its customers on Trustpilot. For more information, visit


Diana Dzaka Bico
Marketing and brand communication manager
+971 4 408 1000
+971 52 881 8057

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Burglaries and fire add to residents’ uncertainty after Dallas apartment explosion Mon, 18 Oct 2021 10:03:48 +0000

Roshunda Tilley was making steaks, mashed potatoes and green beans when a neighbor called with disturbing news that someone had set their SUV on fire.

A day earlier, Tilley and several residents of the Highlands Hills Apartments had learned that their homes had been broken into overnight. TVs, PlayStation consoles, and games had been ripped from Tilley’s apartment.

Tilley was already in shock after being moved about two weeks ago when an apartment building southeast of Oak Cliff blew up. She did not live in the building that was destroyed on September 29, but she stayed in hotels because utilities were cut.

Tilley takes care of nine children between the ages of 2 and 16. She also takes care of her 25 year old daughter who uses a wheelchair. She said she learned of the SUV fire while she was working. She cooked for her non-profit employer who provides hot meals to food insecure children.

Dallas Fire-Rescue said the SUV fire was reported shortly before midnight Thursday, but there was no lead. Police say one person was arrested in connection with the break-ins, but the investigation is continuing.

“I try to stay strong for my kids,” Tilley said. “I don’t want my kids to see me cry; I’m not going to do this. If they see me cry, they’ll think I gave up, and I’ll never give up. I just do what I can.

“Fear for his life”

Tilley and around 250 other residents who were displaced by the blast face an uncertain future.

Some of the buildings at the Highland Hills Apartments are still off-limits because the management company has shut off the water and gas at the Highland Hills Drive complex while it assesses the damage. The building that exploded had to be demolished and city inspectors are studying the structural integrity of two neighboring buildings.

The city has paid for hotel stays over the past two weeks, but that will end on Tuesday.

In addition to facing the uncertainty of where to live, many residents face other challenges.

Some said they were struggling to send their children to school and had received little or no advice from property managers. A few are even considering suing the management company.

Dylan Bess, an Atlanta-based attorney for Morgan and Morgan, a Florida-based law firm, said at least five people have expressed a desire to keep the law firm.

He said he was disappointed with the lack of accommodation and response from the property management company. The socio-economic status of displaced residents should not affect how they are treated, he said.

“The management company certainly has the resources to do a few things; one of operating a property in a safe manner and not allowing such things to happen, ”Bess said. “But when they do, to fully support the people who have paid them rent.”

Odin Properties, the Philadelphia-based company that manages Highland Hills Apartments, did not respond to requests for comment.

In an email sent to residents recently, the management company said it was trying to restore utilities to all buildings near the apartment explosion. The company said it was still assessing the two buildings next to the blast site, but wanted to get residents back to their homes.

“Our wish is to have exterior repairs carried out shortly” so that residents can relocate, the company wrote.

Even though she could come back, Tilley said she wasn’t sure she would go back.

“My oldest daughter is more terrified than anyone,” she said. “Who can say that we are going home and that this will not happen again?” My daughter is afraid for her life, and I am afraid for everyone’s life.

Help the city to end

Residents, who are scattered across four different hotels, were told on Monday that the city’s emergency management office would stop paying for stays after Tuesday.

Rocky Vaz, director of the Dallas Emergency Management Office, said the deadline was decided based on when the apartments would have utilities again. He said the city would adjust its plans if necessary.

“Right now we have extended it to [Oct. 19] but we are continually monitoring repairs and communicating with the owner of the complex, ”said Vaz.

The condition of buildings 5730 and 5706, located right next to the blast site, is still “on hold,” Vaz said, adding that repairs to both properties could last until the end of the month.

The city’s deadline for providing hotel rooms to residents will still apply to those who have been moved from both properties, Vaz said.

Several residents also said The news that an additional obstacle to their situation is the lack of transport for their children to go to school.

Chanté Nakapaahu, who lives in building 5706, has been living with a friend since the explosion. Her friend lives about 30 minutes from the schools her children attend, and Nakapaahu said providing them with transportation is an added stress.

“It’s an additional factor that I have to navigate every day with the move,” Nakapaahu said.

Christina Hernton, 34, who lives in the same apartment building as Nakapaahu, said Catholic Charities provided small grants to residents to help them adjust to their temporary living situations, but added that most of that money was spent on gas to bring her children back on the bus and out of school.

“There has to be some type of housing with the kids and the schools,” Hernton said.

Dallas ISD spokeswoman Robyn Harris said the district is trying to find out which families in the district need services.

She encouraged families whose children require assistance with transportation or other educational needs to contact the neighborhood through its education program for the homeless.

Harris said the program, which helps families experiencing homelessness in the short and long term, is poised to help families affected by the apartment blast.

“We have made ourselves available to families who have expressed a need,” said Harris.

Go forward

City council member Tennell Atkins, whose District 8 encompasses the apartment complex, said his office and other community organizations were working to help residents.

“I am worried about the residents who have been displaced,” he said. “We are doing everything in our power to make sure that they are safe now and that when they return they will have a safe place to go. “

Since the day of the explosion, the local nonprofit Not My Son has provided residents with food, hygiene items and other resources, such as computer stations to find new places to live.

Tramonica Brown, the organization’s founder and executive director, said the group has helped at least 15 families find new places to live.

She stressed that even though the explosion happened more than two weeks ago, its effects will persist.

“We are working with other nonprofits to help residents pay for the costs of finding new apartments so that we can give them as much fresh start as possible,” said Brown.

For Rahim Budhwani, 30, and his fiancée, Sarah Shuker, 36, life right now is full of unknowns.

They lived on the second floor of the building which exploded. Since they cannot return home, they try to find new accommodation.

She said the couple’s lease application was recently turned down by a nearby apartment complex following a credit check.

Rahim Budhwani (center) offers snacks to Aubrey Hernton, 2, in his fiancee Sarah Shuker's hotel room (left) at the Hilton Anatole on October 11, 2021. Aubrey's mother, Christina Hernton (right) ), was a neighbor who was also left homeless after the explosion.  They weren't close before, but since the event consider themselves "family." (Liesbeth Powers / Special Contributor)
Rahim Budhwani (center) offers snacks to Aubrey Hernton, 2, in his fiancee Sarah Shuker’s hotel room (left) at the Hilton Anatole on October 11, 2021. Aubrey’s mother, Christina Hernton (right) ), was a neighbor who was also left homeless after the explosion. They were not close before, but since the event consider themselves a “family”. (Liesbeth Powers / Special Contributor)(Liesbeth Powers / Special Contributor)

“We’re just looking for anything that can work,” she said, “and right now it’s a bit of a struggle.”

In addition to losing her house and all of their furniture, Shuker said she lacked valuable personal items, including a collection of porcelain enamel dolls that she has kept since she was 5 years old. One of them is the first doll she has ever had. She also lost her mother’s hand-made wedding dress.

Work crews were at the site of the blast on Friday afternoon, loading trucks with debris left by the demolished building.

A few hundred yards outside Tilley’s apartment, what was left of his GMC Yukon sat alone in the oddly empty parking lot. A faint smell of burnt rubber and plastic lingered around what was left of his SUV.

A ring of glass, blackened by the fire, surrounded the burnt vehicle. Inside were ragged clothes, charred car seats, and mutilated electronics.

Insurance will help pay for vehicle damage, Tilley said, but the recent explosion, vehicle fire and burglaries have robbed him of his peace of mind.

“It scares the hearts of my kids – that’s what bothers me,” Tilley said.


How to help

Donations can be made to Dallas Emergency Aid Fund. If any non-profit groups are interested in helping residents, they can email the OEM at with their contact details.

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South Florida’s sky-high rent urges longtime locals to find affordable place – CBS Miami Sun, 17 Oct 2021 13:46:37 +0000

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Finding rent in South Florida has been difficult for many longtime and native residents.

When Miami Lake’s Sadiq Malik heard that his rent was going to go up, he wasn’t ready.

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“We noticed on the deal that it was going to cost some $ 100 more per month,” said Malik.

Although he said this wouldn’t normally be a problem, his wife was recently fired from her medical record-keeping job due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The couple decided to move and look elsewhere, but elsewhere was not much better.

“We just didn’t budget for it,” said Malik. “We didn’t know how much of a problem the rental situation was going to be when it came to pricing. “

Not only was the price an issue, even finding an apartment or condo was impossible for many.

“We’d find out like, ‘Hey, listen, somebody’s offering us 4-5 months rent in advance. “

Alyssa Adams, who has lived in downtown Miami for a few years, had the same experience. For her, the ads would be removed by the top bidders before she could even get in touch for a tour. She has reviewed dozens of them and submitted nominations and offers on a few. She is hoping that one of them will pass, or she may have to move.

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“If not, I should probably put some stuff away and go back to Atlanta for a few weeks and consider a later move-in date and save a few weeks of rent,” Adams said.

Adams finally wanted to live without a roommate, but now she is considering two potential bedrooms to share with someone because bedrooms and studios are so unaffordable.

Meanwhile, Malik and his wife have found a home in another Miami Lakes rental community, but he never wishes to move.

“Because we had to scramble and find something at the last minute, we found another rental property… but we end up paying 200 more than what we were paying at the old location,” said Malik.

Sarah Desamours, real estate agent at Compass, said her clients have found themselves in all kinds of scenarios: from potential buyers who lose their homes to tenants who have offered high cash rent for a year in advance to clients who are overwhelmed by all the competitive agents they are. receive at the rental of their properties.

“We had to offer 6 months in advance almost $ 1,000 more than ask in order to secure a property,” Desamours said of another client.

Desamours recommends looking into rental communities like Malik and trying to find higher rents for that next lease, and spending that time figuring out what to do.

“It’s going to give other people the opportunity to live somewhere without being tied to someone raising rent like landlords do,” Desamours said of rental communities.

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“We’re going to try to make it work and in the meantime we’re really going to do our research and focus on finding a place, so when our year is over we’ll be better prepared,” said Malik, who think the process is intimidating and the high prices might not come down anytime soon.

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OMG, I want to rent this house: Saint Lucia Sun, 17 Oct 2021 09:06:10 +0000

Saint Lucia (Vrbo): There was something about this summer that was particularly busy. First, there was the pressure to bounce back to a normal life; then we went through the pendulum swing of the next peak of COVID “is she okay or not?” Through it all, we have been forced to navigate the extremely varied security protocols and personal preferences of our cities and acquaintances. It’s no surprise that this fall appears to have sparked a massive case of collective exhaustion. But the good news is that we in the travel community like to call this the perfect excuse to plan the longest, most relaxing winter vacation of your life. Winter is the new summer when it comes to travel in 2021.

After familiarizing ourselves with COVID protocols, we have a new appreciation for indoor-outdoor life. There is something very healthy about letting a cool tropical breeze blow right into your living room all day. (For those of you who fear the heat, rest assured that this home also has AC on tap.)

Just looking at a photo of this calming room already lowers our burnout levels. Now multiply that by four, add your seven closest friends, and we think Jalousie Villa is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Excuse us while we scream into our pillows after learning that this pool is 1,165 square feet, which is much larger than our apartment. Don your fanciest bikini and get ready to descend the Roman steps like the reincarnation of Cleopatra that you are.

We love people who say it the way it is. For example, these chairs are not intended for sunbathing – the rental listing describes the patio as having “seating, dining and sleeping areas”. Wake up, dress for the pool, pick out your outdoor bed, and get ready to nap until happy hour. This is our idea of ​​a relaxing vacation.

Our idea of ​​cooking, on the other hand, is to make delicious take-out food, which means we don’t know what to expect when a cuisine is described as “Italian-style”. But it looks classy and filled with pasta, two things we love a lot.

Jalousie Villa has a butler. We repeat: on your burnout vacation, you will have a butler.

In this vacation home there are indoor beds with Egyptian cotton linens, poolside beds with giant umbrellas for shade, as well as beach beds where the sound of the waves looms large. he ocean will put you to sleep in another restorative nap. Which begs the question: If you’re only awake for a quarter of your vacation, does your PTO only dock a quarter of the days you’re OOO? We take note of asking HR.

Beaches and mountains, pools and oceans, indoor and outdoor kitchens. This home redefines having it all.

Jalousie Villa is also part of the luxurious Viceroy Resort Sugar Beach, which means you have all the perks of your own private space, including the ocean-sized pool, but with access to all the amenities that come with life of the complex.

This is one of those vacations where you really don’t have to leave the general neighborhood of your rental. The only downside is that you would miss the spa-like wonder that is Sulfur Springs. Just 15 minutes away, the ‘hot black water pools’ are where you dive in, coat in mud, then dive again. Natural exfoliation takes many years to age your skin, doesn’t it?

A full indoor bar offers all the preparations for your next happy hour creations (can we suggest you whip up a themed cocktail for your vacation?), While the exterior offers all the gorgeous backdrops for sunset photos. sun that will make your Instagram friends scream with jealousy.

Forgive us while we get the beach ready at this cute little beachside hut. Can you say grand tropical entrance?

The listing describes this house as a “bungalow”. While that’s not exactly what comes to mind when we think of “bungalow,” we’ll take their word for it as we update our list of dream real estate attributes.

These days people are suddenly quitting their jobs, picking up issues and moving across the country, and making crazy decisions they never dreamed of making in the days of 2019. So we won’t be surprised if your vacation in Saint Lucia is going so well that you decide to extend it to “forever”. A desk on the beach is what your boss meant when he gave the green light for “remote work”, right?

Book your stay: Villa Jalousie, Saint Lucia $ 6,050 / night via Vrbo

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