Interview by Marina Brennan
Barbara and her husband Rob, who are early investors in the Equity Platinum Fund, are a busy New York couple raising four children in Westchester County. Barbara regularly commutes to Manhattan for her job as an Emergency Care physician at one of the New York City’s top hospitals.
When I asked Barbara how she finds time for a demanding career and a big family, she said, smiling: “Sometimes, I don’t know myself.”
I think her secret is the ability to disconnect from a busy lifestyle and find time for family activities. One such activity is vacation travel. It brings the family together and allows these busy New Yorkers to recharge and enjoy nature and recreation. Barbara and Rob include the extended family on their trips and find that time away to be the time that bonds them together.
As early Equity Residences investors, Barbara, Rob, and their four children explored both Equity Villa Fund and Equity Platinum Fund homes on both U.S. coasts. They are now venturing to international locations, as well, with a recent visit to the Cap Cana Resort Villa in the Dominican Republic.
Read on to learn what brought Barbara and Rob to Equity Residences and how they are enjoying their investment thus far.
Trading in a second home for a portfolio of investment vacation homes
Barbara and Rob previously owned a vacation rental condominium in the Florida Keys that they often used for personal vacations.
“It was a three-bedroom with a beautiful layout that we renovated and improved, but It was difficult to manage,” Barbara said. “We had a local property manager but it didn’t reduce the stress the way we thought it should.”
Because absentee ownership had become a part-time job, Rob and Barbara decided to sell their vacation condo. After the sale, they knew they wanted to “invest in real estate” and “didn’t want to put money in the stock market.”
Barbara researched real estate investment options and discovered Equity Residences via Sherpa Report, a premier publication that covers the shared luxury ownership investment category.
Barbara says she “really liked the business model, really liked the way that the enterprise was constructed. I thought it was well designed.”
And, after having a conversation with Equity Residences Managing Director Greg Salley, Barbara and Rob became an Equity Platinum Fund founding partner.
Changing travel habits after investing with Equity Residences
Barbara and her family have been Equity Residences investors for more than two years. In that time, they’ve enjoyed homes in both the Equity Platinum Fund and Equity Villa Fund portfolios.
Barbara and her family previously visited their Keys condo twice a year and took a third trip to a different destination, usually staying in a small rental home or squeezing into a hotel room.
According to Barbara, their Equity Residences investments have dramatically upgraded the family’s lodging options during travel and opened up a new world of destinations.
Noting that her family previously did most of their traveling on the East Coast, Barbara said, “Investment in Equity Residences broadened our horizons. We do much more West Coast than before and we venture out of the United States.”
Exploring Utah and California Stunning Nature
“It has been an education,” Barbara said about having access to houses and resorts with breathtaking views in so many diverse places in the U.S. and beyond. They have traveled to Utah, Hawaii, Dominican Republic, California, and Florida homes in the Equity Residences portfolio.
The “enormous and beautiful” Park City house served as her family’s home base for summer explorations of Yellowstone National Park and Moab, Utah.
Barbara and her family appreciated the comfort, views and central location of the Park City home. Living space, always a priority when traveling with four children, was abundant.
Barbara was very excited to tell me about her trip to the Equity Platinum Fund Northstar Resort home in California. She traveled to Northstar in summer and explored the gorgeous mountain scenery just outside their door.
“We went in August to Tahoe for seven nights. There is one place called Sand Harbor where the water was cold and the scenery was spectacular, something like the Italian Riviera – mountains jutting straight up. It was a magic place, we loved it.”
The family also explored Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe, where they found Vikingsholm, a Scandinavian style “castle” that is now considered a great example of Scandinavian architecture in the United States.
The location of the Northstar Resort home provides a spectacular home base for trips to the nearby quaint and charming towns, such as Truckee, California.
Traveling To Hawaii and the Dominican Republic
Barbara visited both Maui and the Big Island on the Hawaii trip, but the Big Island stole her heart.
Barbara gushed that the Big Island is her “favorite place in the world.” She continued, “I don’t know how to explain it, but there is something so magical about the Big Island. It’s really so beautiful”
During family Hawaii trip, they stayed at the Equity Villa Fund residence at the Kapalua Resort on Maui and continued on to Big Island where Equity Platinum Fund owns a home at the Mauna Lani Resort.
Rob is a golfer. He was able to play at both the Kapalua golf course on Maui and the Francis H. I’l Brown Course on the Big Island while staying at the Equity Residences homes.
Although making it to Hawaii required nine hours of flight time for her and her family, Barbara said that the trek was totally worth it. For her, pictures do not do the Big Island justice — you just have to see it in person. She can’t wait to plan her next trip back.
The brilliant white sand beaches and clear sparkling water of the Caribbean in Cap Cana also did not disappoint. Cap Cana is Barbara’s husband’s favorite destination. In particular, he loves the Punta Espada golf course, which was ranked as the number one golf course in the Caribbean and Mexico.
As Barbara reflected on the amazing and unforgettable experiences she and her family have had since investing in the Equity Platinum Fund, she knows there is still so much more to see and explore. One of the destinations currently being contemplated is the Equity Platinum Fund Costa Rica home.
Barbara believes in taking advantage of all the opportunities life has made available to her. She said she feels very fortunate to be able to travel all over the world and stay in magnificent homes.
“Might as well take advantage of this fabulous option that’s available to you and make yourself a more interesting and broad person,” she said.
To learn more about our Northstar Resort at Lake Tahoe, Cap Cana Resort in the Dominican Republic, or any of our other luxurious resorts, please visit our home collection page.
Learn about other Equity Residences investors by visiting our blog.