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When it came to market the project, Bonnie Munster said she researched ski resorts throughout out North America.

"We were looking for what was selling, what were the amenity packages that were expected in a very high-quality home and what was the price point," Munster said.

Dream team
The team convinced Realtor Winde-mere Sea to Sky Real Estate Ltd. and Christine's Great Estates the real estate arm of exclusive European auctioneers Christie's to forge a marketing relationship.

"We didn't feel this way going to sell to someone in Vancouver or that we could just rely on the Whistler market," Munster said.

The house was initially listed at $? million. But the Munster's soon raised the price to $? million to include all the taxes in an effort to simplify the process for foreign buyers.

After about a year on the market, the house on February 15. There was also a backup offer over the asking price.

Realtor John Ryan, of Whistler Real Estate co. (, said most Realtors thought the property was aggressively priced when listed.

"The biggest thing you could say with Akasha and their marketing was patience. They priced it and stuck with it and they were very patient. They were on the market for a long time and their patience paid off," Ryan said.

Market marker?
Ryan said he doesn't know if the one sale has changed the Whistler market, but said it is a testimony to the increasing wealth-from dot com executives to successful investors- - that is steadily streaming into the market. It is also a sign that Whistler Realtors have to become more creative in marketing to reach an increasingly savvy international customer.

The Whistler Real Estate Co. now gives virtual tours and sends out glossy color brochures of its high end properties. It has also started to advertise in the coffee-table-style magazine Leading Estates of the World.

Whistler Real Estate president Drew Meredith said the sale of Akasha could present interesting problems for the Whistler market.

"Everyone all a sudden thinks that they can double the price of their home and get away with it with one sale. You normally base a price on the value of the improvements, what it costs to replace it, the value of the land and what comparable homes might have sold for. The owners may argue that there isn't anything comparable, but is still two-by-fours and nails," said Maredith.

Andy Munster has built custom, high-homes in Whistler for three decades. His first home was a squat that he built next to Diversion Creek in 1974 for $50. It was the first house on the future site of Whistler Village.

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Phone: 1-604-932-6254 / Fax: 1-604-932-2462

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