At the beginning of 2017, we caught up with Karen, a New York City-based insurance actuary and an Equity Residences Villa Fund investor. Karen, according to her own admission, is “becoming spoiled” by her travel experiences.
After joining Equity Residences as a Partner and enjoying many vacations in $1,000,000+ million homes that she likes to share with family and friends, she thinks that her investment is paying off in many ways.
We asked Karen about her decision to invest with Equity Residences and to highlight her experiences.
Enjoy the food for thought below (and get a little jealous).
Karen’s research into real estate investment options started after the 2008 recession. Karen found that after the financial crisis she had to “go out there and take advantage of the historic opportunities to invest” in properties.
She came across Equity Residences by the time the Villa Fund had five homes. After doing a lot of research and looking at other different vacation models, including timeshare and fractional ownership, Karen pulled the trigger on the private equity fund.
Karen, who is used to calculating monetary risk-reward and “value of an investment”, found that the time she has been spending with family and friends is a priceless perk of becoming an Equity Villa Fund Partner.
Because Karen and her husband have access to large houses through Equity Residences and strategic partners Third Home and Elite Alliance, it makes it easy to invite their loved ones on luxury vacations without anyone having to worry about spending money on hotels.
Karen says that, before investing, she “did a lot of investigation, did all the math, and got involved.” And once got involved, the experience became “better and better.”
Since investing, Karen has recommended Equity Residences to her friends, who also chose to become Partners. They shared memorable trips together, some of which we highlight below.
One year, Karen and her husband assembled their California college friends at a Palm Springs home for a “special occasion.” After having a small wedding in Bermuda, the newlyweds wanted to bring their friends from the Golden State under one roof for a celebration. They invited all the friends over and celebrated a wedding and New Years at the residence.
The Deer Valley home was Instagram-worthy and inspirational enough to beg an invitation from friends of friends to join the fun. Karen and her husband went to this mountain home with friends, forming a 3 couples party. The 5 bedroom house served as a perfect getaway to celebrate Chinese New Year and have a Super Bowl celebration.
Karen joined friends and fellow Equity Residences investors for a week at The Big Island of Hawaii house, the one featured on the HGTV show “Building Hawaii” for its unique finishes and stunning views.
The vacation was a memorable one for its discovery of an authentic local coffee shop, getting lost in some gorgeous Hawaiian mountains while trying to locate the place, and lounging in the now-TV -famous pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Karen’s friends and Equity Residences Partners booked a home in Marathon Island in Florida, bringing friends together for some fun under the sun once again. Karen says that, although she had to work, she “really enjoyed the house: “they enjoyed cooking in the kitchen, the outdoor pool, being outside and dancing with the kids.”
One of the experiences Karen likes to talk about is the vacation in Oceanside, California, which she booked through the Equity Residences partner Third Home.
Karen has a lot of LA friends, which inspired her to pick the location. As result, her friends and parents came. The “trip was wonderful” because “every night” they “had different people cooking at the place, so there was no reason to go out for dinner. Every night was amazing!”
And indeed, food is an important experience to be shared. Cooking together is celebrating community. While small New York City apartments do not permit big family-style dinners to be cooked and served every night, Equity Residences investors get out of the city and make the most out of their precious time with friends and family.