Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Miami Beach Real Estate Blog. We are always looking for input so if you have any questions or comments we would welcome them.  We strive to get only to give the best to our community.  Look forward to hearing from you soon.   


Take Care,

May 27, 2015

Boating and Dockage on Miami Beach

Miami Beach is a barrier Island that separates the City of Miami by Biscayne Bay.  There are many homes on the bay with little or no protection from the wakes of boats or the weather.   If you have a large boat that will be moored in the water you have to be careful of certain parts of Venetian Islands, Sunset Islands facing west, North Bay Rd, Bay Rd and LaGorce Island.  Most people keep smaller boats on lifts behind their house opting to put their larger yacht in a protected marina with all the services.  These would include Sunset Harbor, South Beach Marina and some at the private Fisher Island Marina,  at the current time some dockage is being built for larger yachts on Watson island as part of a large project.

 

FISHER ISLANDFishing, boating outlets and dockage on Miami Beach

With the only way to get to this Island is through a ferry there is private dockage on the South Side of the Island for boats of all sizes.  Do not approach from the South East side as its shallow and full of rocks.  When approaching from the West stay closer to the Island as there is a flat that runs from there to the West and South to Virginia Key.

 

INDIAN CREEK CANAL

Pinetree Dr is located on the canal and is more protected and has a no wake zone throughout.  You have a draw bridge on 63rd street which you can enter the waterway.   Draft is average around 7ft but can be as much as 15ft.  It also can be entered though Surprise lake (around 47th Steet) but you will have a west bridge on Alton and 47th with a 11ft vertical clearance and then entering Indian Creek another fixed Bridge of only 7ft.

On the East side of the waterway you have A1A (Collins Ave) where there is some dockage available through some of the Condo Associations.  Most will require you to be a member of the association in order to be approved for docking your boat.  Most spots are for 30ft boats or less.

 

BISCAYNE WATERWAY

This can be entered from the South on 32nd and Chase Ave just a little north of North Bay Rd and goes through to 51st and Alton.  Fixed Bridges exist on the 32nd street of 9ft if you continue to the north you will have a very small vertical fixed bridge on 41st Street that only has about 4ft vertical clearance.  You then on 47th Street have another fixed bridge with 7ft clearance and if you continue on to the open Bay you have 11ft Vertical clearance there.  

 

SUNSET ISLANDS

You have a total of 4 Islands with One and Two being connected and Three and Four being connected.  Between Two and Three you have a small canal you can access Sunset Lake which is very protected for all boats.  Whether you are on North Bay Rd on Surprise Lake or any of the Sunsets you boat will be very protected from most weather and boat wakes.  You have fixed low vertical bridges connecting the islands.  Draft can be anywhere from 6ft to 10ft.  

 

 

VENETIAN CAUSEWAY

There are currently 2 draw bridges that can be accessed from both the East end of the Island group and the West.   They open on the 1/2 during the week days and upon request within reason on the weekend.  Currently, they are doing maintenance on the bridges and you may have to run from one side to the other. (June, 2015)  Be Careful if you come back on the South side as this is a no wake zone. 

 

PALM HIBISCUS AND STAR ISLANDS

Star Island the East side is open water with boats going by all speeds all day and night long.  On the west side it is a no wake zone going to the Palm and Hibiscus Islands.  If you have a bigger boat you'll need to watch your approach between Monument Island and Star Island as there is a flat there on which many boats run aground.  

 


LaGorce Island 

LaGorce Island to the West can be very rough from being in the wide open bay and boat traffic.  As you pass going to the North side you enter a no wake zone.  This will eventually take you to Allison Island and Indian Creek Canal.

 

 

 

Allison Island

Great location that is seperated by 63rd street.  To the South you have condos and townhomes with some docks but I believe they are all sold out.  To the North you have all single family homes with deep water access that is pretty protected as its a no-wake zone.

 

Normandy Island

Best kept secret on Miami Beach; where else can you find an Island with a golf course in the middle of it.  On North Shore Dr you have wide bay access but boat wakes can be a problem.  On South Shore Dr. there is a fixed bridge canal with the Bridge on the East side only having around a 5ft clearance.  On the West side the bridge is a little larger around 7ft clearance.  The Canal is fairly wide with around 6ft draw.


Biscayne Point Island

You have around the outside of the Island deep water access from most homes on the island.  Be careful there is some shallow water close to shore in some of the homes.  On the west side of the Island there is a sandbar that is only visible on low tide.  In the center of the island there is a little canal that goes though the whole island but has very small fixed bridges to enter of only 5ft.  


Indian Creek Island

With some of the most expensive homes in South Florida this Island for the most part is no wake except on the West side where you are supposed to stay away from no less then 100ft but could be more.   I always keep my distance when navigating around this Island as the Indian Creek Police will be there watching for you to make a mistake.

 

Bay Harbor Islands


The Island to the East is predominately condos with some dockage on both the East and West sides of the Island.  On the West Island there are single family homes with the homes facing West exposed to a large amount of boat wakes as there is not a no wake zone running in the Channel from under Broad Causeway to just before the Haulover Sand Bar.  Out of the Channel it is a no wake zone from there to the East into Bal Harbour and out into Haulover inlet.

 

 

 

 

I have been hearing other realtors say they are the "Nautical Realtor" I would love to challenge them.  My extensive 22 years experience selling real estate plus fishing these waters for over 30 years can prove that no one knows it better than I.  If you have a boat and need advice on point, why would you call anyone else?  If you like fishing I have a page on Facebook called "the Reeltor" on fishing and real estate. Give me a try and I promise satisfaction.

Tight lines and hope to see you out there.

May 18, 2015

Watson Island Miami Florida

Changes to Watson Island with the Flagstone Island GardensWatson Island Florida

Watson Island is a man-made island located in Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach. It's connected to the mainland and South Beach by the MacArthur Causeway. For 80 years developers and politicians have discussed grand dreams for Watson Island and toyed with notions such as statues, a space needle, shopping mall or theme parks. But today, this city owned island is home to jungle Island and the Flagstone property group. The Miami Children's Museum was constructed in 2003 and features 10 galleries, birthday party in classrooms, a resource center and a 200 seat auditorium and dining space. Since 1948 the Miami Outboard club and the Miami Yacht club have been located on Watson Island offering boat slips, social and educational activities, youth and adult sailing programs and restaurant and lounge. There's also a public boat ramp with 50 oversized parking spaces for vehicles with boat trailers.

A recent article for Local 10 news discussed potential plans for mega-development project on Watson Island. However, city residents feel that it might be more difficult for people to get to Miami beach along the causeway.

This potential project would be called the Flagstone Island Gardens project and is set to include to hotel towers and more than 200,000 ft.² of retail and restaurant space. The mayor and city commissioners are spending more than $200,000 for a traffic study that could impact the development and construction has already begun on Watson Island for the over $500 million project. 

A seawall is already underway which will be part of the first stage of the project, a marina. The major problem is that the city has already signed off on this project over a decade ago but will it really have an impact on traffic? Some Miami residents feel that it will while others are looking forward to the change.

 

So what you think about Watson Island? Will it affect where you purchased the home, either in Miami or Miami Beach?

Image by Phillip Pessar Flickr of the Children's Museum

May 14, 2015

Selling Miami Real Estate and Understanding Absorption Rate

If you are selling a home in Miami or Miami Beach or thinking about it over the next year, you will need to understand absorption rate to calculate how fast your home might sell.

Absorption rate is the rate at which homes sell in an area or for a particular price range. The higher the rate the faster the homes are selling. It helps to know the absorption rate for your area so that you know how quickly your Miami home has a chance of selling.Selling Miami Real Estate and Understanding Absorption Rate

Figuring this out can be easy if you take the number of homes sold in a particular month or year for an area and divide it by the total number of homes for sale at the end of the month or year.

If you’re selling your home, it helps to know about this rate so you have an idea how fast your home could sell. Absorption rate is one of the most basic and practical ways to calculate homes sold. This rate calculates how the market absorbs or gets rid of inventory. Real estate markets are always changing and new inventory (properties) is being added as old inventory (properties) is sold. Knowing the absorption rate gives you a good idea as to how your home will sell.

First, you need to know how many homes in a particular price range or area have sold in the last 12 months. You also need to know how many homes of the same price range or property type is currently on the market. Let's say that in the past year there were 8,000 homes in a certain price range. There are currently 2000 homes on the market that match that search criteria and price. This means that the current inventory level sold four times in one year. Then we will want to divide that number by 12 and you have the absorption rate in months. Typically it will take about 2 to 3 months for a home to sell with this type of market on average.

You can also check out online calculators to determine the absorption rate but the best way is to speak to your real estate agent. It is my job to help you find the absorption rate for your area and price. Still, it all comes down to pricing the home correctly, staging it appropriately and getting the right buyer into that home. It’s a combined effort from the agent and the seller to present the home to potential buyers in a way that will help get the hold sold. Some homes will sell in 30 days while others will sell closer to three or four months. The average is that absorption rate, but knowing this can set you up for selling success.

If you're interested in learning more about absorption rate or would like to speak to me about how long it will take for your Miami condo or home to sell feel free to give me a call at any time.

May 7, 2015

How Much Condo Will $700,000 Get You on Miami Beach?

It tough market out there right now; anything that is priced below market value or right where it should be doesn't sit on the market for very long. The $700,000 mark seems to be one of the more popular price points for those looking for a condominium in Miami Beach anything lower might not be worth your while anything more expensive simply stretches beyond most home buyers price range.

So what can $700,000 get you in Miami Beach?How much condo will $700,000 get you in Miami Beach

You might be surprised; there are roughly 40 properties at any given time around the $700,000 $750,000 price point. If $700,000 is your maximum you might consider going for properties that are priced just a little bit over $700,000, perhaps $715,000 and then offer less. One and two bedroom homes are often the most common but it's possible to find a three-bedroom condominium. Right now at the Regatta at Indian Creek there is a three bedroom, two bath condominium with nearly 1500 ft.² of living space price at $720,000. The Corinthian condo, an older condominium building on Collins Avenue has a three bedroom and two bath home with 1900 ft.² of living space for $749,000. (Currently, as of the publishing of this post these are the only three bedroom condos currently available. The majority are one and two-bedroom units.)

Sizes range from about 800 ft.² to 2000 ft.² although several high-end studio apartments of less than 600 ft.² are currently selling for $745,000, such as the Fountainbleau 3 Sorrento on Collins Avenue.

What's selling fast?

Basically anything that is priced right, has a lot of amenities, low homeowners dues and decent association sells pretty quickly. Surprisingly enough those newest on the market are some of the smaller apartments, which tells me that these are actually selling faster.

The oldest condominium within this price range has been on the market more than a year. At this point, it comes down to stubborn sellers, a stubborn bank or homeowners that simply refused to take less.

Most of the condominiums between the $700,000 and $750,000 range will come with extended amenities such as swimming pools, views of the ocean, fitness centers and multiple building amenities including such items as doorman, concierge services and secure parking.

 

Start your search here for condos in Miami Beach starting around $700,000. Give me a call if you’d like to see any of the current listings in person.

April 27, 2015

Shakira’s Miami Beach Home on the Market

Shakira’s Miami Beach Home on the Market in North Bay Road 

The Latin/Pop sensation Shakira is listing her Miami Beach home for $13.9 million. She had originally listed it back in July for nearly $15 million and was reduced in December to just under $13 million and canceled in February. It was relisted again in March for the same price tag as in February, immediately canceled and now back on the market for $13.9 million.North Bay Road Homes - Miami Beach Real Estate

Shakira's waterfront home is located on North Bay Road with beautiful bay views and nearly 9000 ft.² of living space. This luxury mansion was originally built in the 1950s and currently features about six bedrooms and over eight bathrooms. It also has a dock and a boat lift.

The North Bay Road neighborhood features a variety of single family homes built from the 1950s to the 2000's. These waterfront estates sit on larger lots with views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. Other notable celebrities to own homes in North Bay Road include Matt Damon, Perry Ellis and Alex Rodriguez. This community is a short drive to shops, museums, restaurants and nightlife as well as some of Miami's most pristine beaches. This is an ideal location for a permanent home or a vacation property and is just 20 minutes from the Miami International Airport.

At any given time there are roughly 30 properties for sale in this neighborhood. Most of them are priced between $1.2 million and $37 million. Some of the more high-end homes may offer more than 15,000 ft.² of living space and every amenity one could imagine. Private pools, outdoor living areas, luxury features inside and out, multiple car garages, stunning views of the Miami skyline and the bay, unique features such as wine cellars, theater rooms, master suites and guest houses.

 

The North Bay Road neighborhood is nestled along N. Bay Rd. just north of the I-195 cause way about 10 minutes from downtown Miami in a private and secluded neighborhood along Biscayne Bay. For more information on Shakira's new listing or similar properties in North Bay Road neighborhood feel free to give me a call at any time. Most of these celebrity homes are classified as private and not listed on the general MLS, so for a private tour, answers to your questions or personal buyer representation. Image shown not Skakira's  - North Bay Road Home

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April 20, 2015

Downsizing to a More Affordable Location

Moving to a more affordable city is an excellent way to save money, cut down on spending, taxes, daily expenses as well as maintenance costs and bills. However, it may only SEEM like that’s the case. There are both pros and cons to moving to a more affordable city or house. Check out these tips for relocating to a cheaper place and some great information to think about when moving to a more affordable neighborhood.

More affordable cities may give you access to cheaper housing. This means that the same type and size of house you’d have in a more expensive city could cost less in a more affordable city.Downsizing to a More Affordable Location

You could also always get a smaller home. Smaller homes are easier to maintain and utility bills are cheaper. A third option is to buy something bigger and better in a more affordable city for the same price as your current home in a more expensive city.

Moving to a less expensive home does not necessarily mean you have to downsize. The decision you make just all depends on your plans. Just because the cost of living in a city is lower than the national average, doesn’t mean the housing costs are, so be aware of that.

When moving to a different city, explore the costs of housing, food, restaurants, recreation etc. to make certain the cost of living situation you’re about to put yourself into. Also check local taxes and compare all costs and incomes between now and when you move so that you don’t have any surprises. You should also consider what you will do about employment.

Just because you’re moving into a cheaper situation/location doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to find employment. A lot of times moving to an area with a lower cost of living means working for less money than you’re used to too. Think it ALL through. Don’t forget the organizational elements of the move either. Moving to a less expensive home may allow you to get rid of some things. However, make sure that you’re paying attention to every detail and thinking things through.

Many retirees move to the Miami real estate area for the sun, relaxation and activities but there are affordable housing options as well. You don't have to break the bank for a million dollar home on one of the Biscayne Bay Islands, unless that was in your plans all along! There are some great single family homes and tons of condos on Miami Beach and in smaller communities such as Coral Gables and Brickell. 

 

A great moving company can help you with organizing and packing as well as the actual move. Moving to a more affordable area can be a great move if you’re prepared in advance for what you can expect. Give me a call anytime for tips on moving, downsizing or finding your perfect retirement home in Miami and the Miami Beach area.

April 13, 2015

Nautilus Homes and Real Estate

Nautilus - Biscayne Bay View Neighborhood

Located just north of Interstate 195 and the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami Beach Florida is a small community of the Nautilus. The Nautilus comprises a small island and part of Miami Beach from Pinetree Drive to Highway 112 stretching from Biscayne Bay to the Biscayne Waterway on the east. In the center of this community is the Nautilus middle school and just across the Biscayne waterway is the North Beach elementary school. There are numerous parks, residential neighborhoods and of course the main interstate running east and west to the rest of Miami Beach and downtown Miami. The Mount Sinai Medical Center is located in the southern end of this community.

Nautilus  Homes and Real Estate

The average home price for the Nautilus community is between $950,000 and $1.5 million. There are several high-end estates along Biscayne Bay priced upwards of $15 million. Home prices are a little bit lower between the Biscayne Waterway and Indian Creek. These home prices start at about $300,000 to $1.5 million. Although there are a couple main thoroughfares running north and south through the Nautilus, there are also several quieter residential neighborhoods. 47th St. to the north crosses over that Biscayne Waterway as does 41st in the South.

VIEW ALL HOMES FOR SALE IN NAUTILUS NOW

Most of the homes in Nautilus were built between the 1950s and the 1980s however many of the waterfront homes may have been renovated or completely torn down and rebuilt in the 1990s and 2000. These homes are likely to be priced higher than a 1950s home. There are smaller lots on the eastern side of Nautilus. Condominiums start at about $250,000 and are found mainly to the south of the neighborhood.

Nautilus  Homes and Real Estate

Parks

Muss Park is located in the center of Nautilus along Biscayne Waterway. This small park offers shelters, waterfront activities and green space.

Pinetree Park is the largest park in Nautilus located along Indian Creek on the east side of the community. It is a heavily wooded park open sunrise to sunset. There's a dog park in Pinetree Park with two double gated dog runs. There's also benches, drinking fountains, and green space.

Polo Park is adjacent to the novelist middle school and features tennis courts, basketball courts, sports fields and green space.

If the Nautilus sounds like your type of neighborhood,  there are typically 50 to 100 properties for sale at any given time in this community. The free to browse our website for all current listings or simply contact me for a personalized list of homes in the Nautilus community that match your search criteria and price

April 7, 2015

Golf Course Homes on Miami Beach

There are four golf courses up-and-down Miami Beach Florida. Two of them are further north in Bal Harbour; Indian Creek and Normandy Shores. The two south are La Gorce County Club and The Miami Beach Golf Club.

 Golf Course homes on Miami Beach

Miami Beach Golf Club - Originally opened in 1923 by developer Carl Fisher, the Miami Beach Golf Club is one of the largest courses on Miami Beach. Over the years, different remodeling tasks has made it out to be the beautiful and luxurious course it is today. There is a pro shop, restaurant and venue for hosting weddings and gatherings. This golf course is located on the southern and with views of Sunset Islands in the Bayshore neighborhood of Miami Beach. There are homes on the west side but due to Highway 907 most of these are not golf course frontage. Those on the east side along meridian Avenue are priced from one point $1 million-$3 million and along Prairie Avenue priced from $1.8 million.

La Gorce Golf Course - This course is located in the La Gorce neighborhood of Miami Beach a little farther north than the Miami Beach Golf Club. Located on its own little island west of A1A. Originating in 1924, this course was completed in 1927 and received national prominence when the Miami Beach/La Gorce open was played here. Membership is required. The club features an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts with lessons and clinics, a croquet lawn, pool facility, fitness center, massage therapy, sauna and steam room, fine and casual dining and children's programs. This course probably has the most homes completely surrounding the course priced from $1.3 million all the way to $30 million or more for luxury waterfront homes and estates.

Normandy Shores Golf Club - Further north still between the North Bay Village and North Beach is the Normandy Shores Golf Club. Also nestled on its own little island, this course was founded in 1928 in the city of Miami Beach created a man-made island specifically for the golf course. There's a restaurant, pro shop and golf instruction available for members. Homes completely surround this course along Fairway Drive and Shore Drive with more affordable options starting at about $600,000. There are also condominiums that overlook this golf course starting at about $115,000. The Normandy waterway runs directly through Normandy Isle, so many condos and homes on the south side have both waterfront and golf course views. 

Indian Creek - Located west of the town of Surfside Indian Creek Country Club is a premier golf course on its own man-made island surrounded on three sides by the Indian Creek Island Road boasting luxury estates and larger waterfront properties. Course access is private and exclusive. Homes that surround the course start at over $20 million. There are only a handful of exclusive and extremely affluent homes on this island.

 

If you would like information or a list of homes that meet your search criteria and price along any of these golf courses for Miami Beach to Bal Harbour please give us a call today. We can offer you an elite list and a personal showing of any of the homes for sale along golf courses in Miami Beach.

Image by Joshua Smith Flickr

March 30, 2015

Investment Opportunities in Miami Beach

Investment Opportunities in Miami Beach - Prices, Features and Where to Start

Miami Beach currently has many multi-residential or multifamily investment properties to choose from. At the publishing of this post there are currently 24 properties for sale priced from $450,000-$6,990,000. Of these properties are located from Surfside to North Bay Village all the way south to Fisher Island. SEARCH NOW

What you need to know about Investment Properties: Investment Opportunities in Miami Beach

Choose the right agent. It helps to choose an agent that is well-versed in investment properties in running the numbers. As a Miami Beach real estate expert is my passion to understand the market, current trends, neighborhoods and to find you the best property for your investment.

Consider vacancy rates. Look over the past vacancy history of the complex to see if this is an issue you will have to deal with in the future. This can be one of the most costly expenses you're likely to face so understanding local property management, the average vacancy rate and setting aside some funds just in case are all smart investment strategies.

Features of a Profitable Rental Property:

Understand the neighborhood. The quality of the neighborhood influences the type of tenants you'll attract and how much vacancies you're likely to expect. Neighborhoods near universities and schools may have potential tenants made up of students that may rotate quite frequently. Those in retirement communities may find tenants for the long haul.

Attractive schools. Consider the school district that your investment property will reside in and if it gains positive remarks and ratings from students and parents alike. This would be a great feature to emphasize when looking for potential tenants.

Complex amenities. The complex in which you are purchasing a multifamily residential property or even the neighborhood may feature unique amenities such as walking distance to shops, restaurants, a gym, and public transportation stations. All of these are excellent features to emphasize when looking for potential tenants.

Future development. If you're considering investing in an up-and-coming neighborhood understand how the future development will affect your tenants and income. If it looks like there will be future development in a positive light, understand that you may have the potential to gain more income so this could be an excellent investment.

Natural disasters. We do live in Florida and there is the chance of a violent storm. Be cautious about the type of insurance the complex or property will require and if this will be a factor in determining possible tenants.

If you're ready to get started looking at investment properties in Miami Beach please feel free to give me a call today or start your online search here for all investment opportunities in Miami Beach and surrounding areas. SEARCH NOW

March 23, 2015

Selecting a Home in Miami with a Hidden Room

This idea is not just for the movie stars and celebrities. More and more homes are offering a hidden room or secret space that most people would never find had they not know it’s there. “If walls could talk” has a whole new meaning but how popular are these and what are they really used for?

Hidden rooms in Miami HomesBuilders have been getting interesting requests to create hidden rooms in existing homes as well as new construction not just to serve as an office or wine cellar but for security zones as well. Many construction companies are creating unique disguises for hidden spaces. Whether it’s a trap door, stone wall or armoire that opens to a new space, these hidden rooms are becoming very popular. Even gaining access to the rooms are becoming more common place than just the movies. Touching the right spot on a wall or leaning a book back to move the wall is all becoming more common place. 

This notion has really increased over the past few years and about 30% of some contractor’s work is solely creating designs for high-security rooms. These would also include soundproof doors and possibly involve bullet proof material as well. Sometimes even the crew doesn’t know it’s suppose to be a secret until after it’s built and then the secret door is added later. 

So what do you do if you want to sell a home or buy a home with a hidden room? 

Most of the time the room will only be disclosed during walk throughs but certainly not advertised as such. Adding a private room can actually boost a home’s value if it increases square footage but adding a secret room is not cheap. A simple bookcase concealing a hidden room can run put o $4,000 and more shelter or secure places could be upwards of over $15,000.

Homes listed and sold that included a secret room from 2010-2014 in 48 markets had a median sale price of $409,400, well above the $235,000 for homes without a clandestine space, according to Redfin.” [Source]

Wine cellars are also going underground to keep the wine at perfect temperatures and low humidity. Doors that hide these places can be easily disguised and visitors won’t know any difference.

Hidden or secret rooms in homesThere are however the ugly side to these rooms. Because they are so well hidden tragedy can occur as in the Cleveland girls hidden for years by a wall that concealed a room. Nevertheless, these rooms are used for privacy and safety above all. Disclosure to would-be buyers is crucial for the sale. 

If you’re interested in buying a house with a hidden room in Miami or Miami Beach please give me a call. As a licensed real estate agent I have access to all the agent remarks and can inquire as such.

Images Source & ChadStark