Archive for March, 2007

Summerlin Hospital: $100 Million Expansion

Friday, March 30th, 2007

The Summerlin homes community is nationally recognized as one of the most beautiful and functional residential master-plans you could possibly choose to live in. The wealth of amenities and services to be found within Summerlin itself create a quality of life that many find incomparable. A very important component of the Summerlin residential experience is the Summerlin Hospital. Approaching its tenth anniversary, this outstanding medical facility has grown from a 147-bed community hospital into a full-scale 281-bed medical center that offers comprehensive services ranging from pediatric intensive care to open heart surgery. Ever in touch with the needs of Summerlin and Southern Nevada, Summerlin Hospital is about to embark on a $100 million expansion that will include a third patient tower in addition to a larger, more spacious Emergency Room. The new tower will stand six stories high and provide 170 additional beds. Expanded emergency room facilities will mean that patients receive care in the timeliest possible manner. Another positive development associated with the expansion process is job creation! It’s estimated that the additional capacity will generate employment opportunities for over 100 medical professionals and support staff. The Michelle Sterling Team at Prudential Americana enjoys an extensive level of experience in the Summerlin real estate community. Our services are at your disposal.

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Expansion – A Very Cool One Billion in Upgrades!

Monday, March 26th, 2007

The size of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is about to double! Morgans Hotel Group and DLJ Merchant Banking, the new owners of the Rock, are doubling-down Las Vegas style! The expansion plans include 950 more rooms and a 15-story luxury tower that’s all suites baby. Ya gotta remember, this is the Hard Rock Resort, in Las Vegas, a place where luxury suites get worked to the max….and we’re not talking about the way they’re decorated! Morgans HG owns the Delano in South Beach as well, and they know what it means to take it all the way. Oh, hey, we almost forgot, the casino is going to get 35,000 square feet bigger and for some unknown reason, they are adding 60,000 feet of meeting and convention space too. Who could make it to a meeting in a place like the Hard Rock? It’s simply beyond my comprehension. Speaking of things totally beyond, we almost forgot to tell you that the hottest, sexiest, most explicit pool in the galaxy is getting bigger and more sumptuous (read voluptuous) in all the right ways. When will all this be finished? Plans currently call for the expansion to be fully operational in late 2009. The hippest, hottest piece of resort-style Las Vegas real estate is about to push the envelope even further! Good thing there’s no shortage of unbelievably hot women available to maintain the Hard Rock Las Vegas reputation. No worries there!

Subprime Lending – Another Perspective to Consider

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

I can’t help but wonder as to why politicians and the news media are so intent on blaming subprime lenders for changing conditions in the mortgage market. Why can’t people take more responsibility for their own personal financial decisions?

The sub-prime mortgage market has taken a real beating in the last few weeks. More and more investors are pulling away from the market. Wall Street is cutting-off lines of credit left and right. But ask yourself, is this the whole picture, the totality of the situation? I honestly don’t think so. Let’s face it, many borrowers were less than prudent in terms of over-extending themselves financially. Unfortunately, some real estate investors and borrowers have been doing and saying amazing things to get their hands on a property and a corresponding loan. Purchasers who jumped on the red-hot Las Vegas real estate bandwagon without the proper education, guidance and financial discipline are the ones who are now in trouble. It’s a safe bet that you know (or have heard of) someone who cannot make their current mortgage payments. Put simply, they have not managed their credit potential in a prudent fashion.

A typical non-prime loan is fixed with a hard prepayment penalty for a period of two or three years. This gives the borrower that two or three year window to work on their credit and financial profile. If handled correctly, the two to three years would be used to improve credit scores and debt ratios. After this “opportunity window”, borrowers should ideally be in a position to refinance into a prime rate loan. Sadly, I have noticed that for some borrowers, the prudent advice provided by true lending professionals (such as myself) ends up forgotten immediately after the close of their new Las Vegas home loan. Consequently, the two to three year “opportunity window” flies-by……but the client’s financial profile has not improved. Clients need to be continually reminded that their future depends on making prudent and productive financial choices after the closing of their loan.

Subprime mortgage lenders serve a great purpose in a dynamic economy. But the moral of this story is simple; mortgage products should be utilized prudently and in the way in which they were intended and designed. This is the type of advice and guidance all my clients receive. I hope your mortgage professional does the same. If not, maybe it’s time we had a chat.

Carl Christensen is a Home Loan Consultant with MJM Home Loans powered by Countrywide. He can be contacted at

Prudential Americana Group and the Sunshine Kids Foundation!

Friday, March 16th, 2007

The Michelle Sterling Las Vegas Real Estate team is very proud to be a member of the Prudential Americana family. Mark Stark, Prudential Americana Group CEO, has just posted a great story on his blog about our drive to raise money for the Sunshine Kids Foundation. I’m happy to report that fundraising efforts have been a huge success! The Sunshine Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to the cause of childhood cancer. They provide a variety of programs (free of charge) for kids that receive cancer treatment in hospitals all across the country. Please enjoy reading Mark’s post…….Prudential Americana Group Raises $177,992 for The Sunshine Kids Foundation. We hope you’ll be inspired!

The 2007 Southern Nevada Housing Day

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Prudential Americana Group Branch Manager Kathryn Bovard attended the single largest gathering of the Greater Las Vegas real estate industry on February 21st and provides this report on market conditions and market realities.

This years Southern Nevada Housing Day (sponsored by the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association) “told it like it is” by providing insightful information to the nearly 1,300 attendees about the market for new Las Vegas homes. We’ve all heard about the “housing bubble” that the media has been hyping relentlessly over the last 12 months. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to hear the positive facts about the true and realistic market picture for Southern Nevada. It’s worth noting that we shouldn’t be overly optimistic about the small decrease in (year to year) median resale pricing to $280,000. All indications are that this “flattening out” of the Las Vegas real estate market reflects a trend that will continue until well into the third quarter of 2007. However, it’s worth considering the one true thing about land…..they’re not making any more of it in our valley! Based on the current rate of building permits, the only economically viable option in 5 to 6 years will be to go vertical residentially. These last few months have shown strong mid/high rise closings, although this is based on sales figures stretching back over the last 24 months. Panorama Towers Condos leads the pack with 242 closings in January, but this is by no means reflective of our current overall sales activity. Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons (one of the distinguished keynote speakers) addressed some of the current issues and challenges facing the Las Vegas housing market. Among the topics highlighted by the Governor; the pressing issue of affordable housing, future water supplies and resources and the possibility of acquiring more BLM land for residential and commercial development.

The Loan Market in Las Vegas – What a Ride!

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

What a ride! The loan market is tightening in the Las Vegas real estate arena, as it is all across the country. Southern Nevada has recently experienced a major local lender closing its doors. Sub-prime lenders nationwide are shrinking at an incredible rate, with some leaving the market altogether. Foreclosures and REO’s are up across the board. Quite necessarily, lending guidelines are being tightened. What we could finance last year we would be hard pressed to do today. IE: 80-20 combo loan with a 620 credit score in yesterday’s environment now requires a credit score of 660 and up. The subprime market would do 100% financing with a 580 at the higher rates, but are now asking for 620+ to perform the same magic (maybe this is why there are so many foreclosures?).

Today’s surviving lenders are leaner and smarter as a result of the challenging conditions. The lending business is still very exciting and I’m happy to be a part of this dynamic profession. More than ever, it’s important for clients to work with a quality lender who will be there in the long-run to provide for their needs. At MJM Home Loans I am privileged to work with a team of dedicated mortgage professionals that are committed to making the loan process as fast and smooth as possible. My name is Carl Christensen and I am available to answer your questions at your convenience at 702-349-6321 or toll-free at 866-551-7388. It would be my pleasure to assist you!

Henderson Real Estate at the Tuscany Residential Village

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

Las Vegas golf real estate at the Tuscany Residential Village has rapidly become one of the most sought-after communities of Henderson homes for those seeking a relaxing Italian-inspired residential experience. Tuscany real estate features seven model home communities that offer a total of 22 individual models and 33 floor-plans. Pricing begins in the mid $300’s and includes unique and exciting three-story models. The complete build-out of Tuscany homes will number almost 2,000 residences within a framework of 18 inviting neighborhoods. The heart of the community is the Ted Robinson designed golf course and the meeting place for food and fun will be the Botticelli Market Place. The Tuscany Residential Village tops this all off with a spacious recreation center (35,000 square feet) that provides basketball, racquetball, tennis, swimming and multiple playgrounds. MS Las Vegas Real Estate is very excited about the Tuscany Las Vegas golf community and we’re ready to take you on a tour at your convenience.

Augusta Canyon at Southern Highlands

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

The Estates at Southern Highlands homes introduces it’s newest neighborhood of custom home lots, Augusta Canyon. The Estates at Southern Highlands is a truly unique enclave of Las Vegas luxury golf homes wrapped around the private members-only Southern Highlands Golf and Country Club. Augusta Canyon is comprised of 100 estate lots that are priced from the $600’s to well past one million dollars. Augusta Canyon lots range in size from one half acre to more than two acres and provide stunning views of city lights, rolling fairways and spectacular mountains. Southern Highlands real estate has always been one of the most sought after master-planned communities in Southern Nevada. The residential expansion of the southwestern portion of the Las Vegas Valley was initiated by the creation of Southern Highlands and continues forth with neighboring communities such as Mountain’s Edge real estate. The Michelle Sterling Team at Prudential Americana enjoys extensive experience in the Southern Highlands community. Our services are always at your disposal.