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,

July 1, 2015

4th of July Events in Miami and Miami Beach 2015

Where to Watch Fireworks in Miami and Miami Beach 2015

If you're looking to enjoy the fireworks this Fourth of July there are several locations throughout Miami and Miami Beach. We always recommend that people enjoy citywide fireworks instead of letting them off themselves to prevent injury, fire and damage to homes, yards and neighborhoods. A small spark from even just a sparkler can set off a large fire that could be very damaging. It's best to leave this to the professionals and enjoy a fantastic warm day either on the beach or throughout the city and then finish it off with a fantastic firework display by Miami or Miami Beach.fireworks in Miami

On Miami Beach you can enjoy Fire on the Fourth Festival.

Beginning at North Shore Park Bandshell at Collins Avenue and 73 Street, starting at 9:00 AM enjoy live music, tons of food trucks, free entertainment and of course, fireworks at 9:00 PM. The entire event kicks off at 9:00 AM with yoga on the beach and then at 11:00 AM the food trucks open. Enjoy fantastic bands, entertainment, and there's even free shuttles to and from the park from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM.

In Miami you can enjoy America's Birthday Bash at Bayfront Park.

The festival begins at 2:00 PM with fireworks at 9:00 PM. Enjoy multicultural music, delicious food, entertainment, a beer garden and kids fun zone.

Click here to find the best place to watch the fireworks in our area

 

Key Biscayne is celebrating the Fourth of July with the parade beginning at 11:00 AM along Crandon Boulevard. Enjoy an old-fashioned Fourth of July at the Barnacle.  Although there are no fireworks at this event, there will be dozens of children's activities and fun for the whole family. You can bring a picnic lunch or purchase food on-site.

 

Just a reminder, the state of Florida does not allow the sale or the use of any consumer fireworks by the general public. Just the approved a list of sparklers are allowed

June 24, 2015

How to Sell (and Buy) in a Hot Miami Real Estate Market

How to Sell in a Hot Miami Real Estate Market

Selling might not seem like an issue in a hot real estate market, especially a sellers market, but if you're planning on buying as well as selling, it might be hard to compete against cutthroat buyers. There are ways to compete but it can be stressful when you need to sell and buy at the same time. Having the right real estate agent that understands the micro markets of the communities and neighborhoods around Miami and Miami Beach as well as unique selling strategies can really help bridge the gap between when you're home sells and when you purchase the new one.Miami real estate market

A sellers market is a real estate market in which sellers are more likely to sell their home for close to their asking price and at a faster rate than if it were a buyers market. A buyers market is where there are plenty of homes to go around and not enough buyers.

Miami is certainly hitting a hot seller's market these days but if you're planning on buying in the same area as you are selling, meaning you're not moving out of state or several counties away, you'll want to start planning early. Seek professional advice early on and meet with your real estate agent and lender if necessary far in advance to plan the strategy for selling and buying at the same time.

There are a couple different options when it comes to buying and selling. You can buy first and then sell your home or you can sell first and then buy secondly.

If you're planning on buying first and then selling understand that you'll likely need to prove to your lender that you have enough money to make not only the down payment but to pay closing costs and cover any mortgage payments for two homes should your existing home not sell in time. This can be extremely stressful but it also can mean that you find the home of your dreams first before even listing.

The second option is to sell first and then buy home, which is primarily the most common way of doing things. Homeowners list their home and once they receive an offer that looks decent then they start looking for homes to buy. The tricky part is closing around the same time. If you communicate with your buyers and the sellers that you're trying to coordinate things around the same time it might be easier to get the job done.

There is a third option in which you can include a rent back clause in your sales agreement, in which the buyer allows you to rent your home back for a given amount of time after closing so that you can find a new place. This is a little tricky and if the homeowners really want to move into the new property, you may find yourself literally without a home.

It really comes down to planning. If you do your research ahead of time, have a great real estate agent understands the market and how to negotiate for a fast sale and a quick closing on your new property, plan ahead with financing and communicate with your lender your needs, you can make this transition as smooth as possible.

 

For more information on getting your home listed and sold were finding the right home or perhaps both please give me a call at any time.

June 17, 2015

Miami Beach Condo Market Value and Reports

If you're planning on buying or selling a condominium on Miami Beach helps to know the prices, values, days on the market and size in order to compete or to make sure that you're not spending too much.

This condo real estate market report is for June, 2015. Prices and statistics may vary depending on the time of year.Miami Beach condo report

The total inventory for condominiums on Miami Beach are 2110, 41% less than they were just a year ago. This tells sellers that homes are selling in the supply and demand are in favor of the sellers. The median list price is $440,000 up 5% from one year ago. Only one percent of the market is currently distressed, in foreclosure or short sale status. The median days on the market are about 97, up 11% over last year and the median house size is around 900 ft.² with a median price per square foot at $536.

The median list price for Miami Beach in April 2014 was around $470,000. Since then it steadily increased to $500,000 at the beginning of this year. There is a drop in February and March but that has increased back up to its current status.

The median price is the price in the middle of the list of condos for sale, which is dramatically different than the average listing price. The average listing price takes all of the condominiums for sale, adds up to the price and then divides them by the number of condos for sale. The average listing price for Miami Beach is $1,617,000. The South Pointe neighborhood still brings in the highest average listing price at $2.7 million. Fisher Island is one of the top islands in Miami Beach with an average listing price of $8.7 million. But, due to the limited number of condominiums for sale this number could get skewed dramatically.

What sellers really need to know is how much they can get for their condominium and how long it will be on the market. Typically if it's priced correctly anywhere from 30 to 90 days is a reasonable amount of time to be on the market. Anything longer than that needs to be reevaluated for the correct price.

 

For more information on the condo market at Miami Beach or to price your condominium please contact me at any time.

June 10, 2015

Homes on Allison Island

Homes and Condos on Allison Island in Miami Beach

Homes on Allison Island

Allison Island is a nearly 9 acre island located in North Miami Beach Florida primarily consisting of high-end waterfront condominiums and luxury estates. Most of the condominiums are located at the southern end of the island, also known as Aqua. The northern end of the island is primarily luxury residential property. Every home features beautiful water views and an unobstructed water access to Biscayne Bay and the Indian Creek waterway. It is referred to as part of the La Gorce neighborhood and North Beach. 

Commuting from Allison Island is about 20 minutes to downtown Miami and about 10 minutes to Bal Harbour and South Beach.

Most of the lots on Allison Island are at least 16,000 ft.² or larger. These are larger lots then are typically found throughout Miami Beach. At the southern end is the Aqua area consisting of three mid-rise waterfront condominium buildings with 105 units and 46 Island townhomes.

Allison Island is popular due to its security and its close proximity to South Beach and surrounding neighborhoods and communities. It originated around 1950 when Carl Fisher was developing Miami Beach. Fisher dedicated the island to his good friend Jim Allison and in 1926, Allison opened a luxury hospital for Miami Beach owners. In the 1990s, Craig Robins and other prominent architects created the mid-rise condominium buildings that now inhabit the southern end of the island.

Although Allison Island is primarily luxury and exclusive homes it is not currently gated to the south. The north end offers limited gated security to the residential homes. 

 

Home prices start at about $900,000 up to $13 million or more depending on size, condition, amenities and location. All single-family homes have access to the waterway. Condominiums start at about $750,000. For more information on Allison Island or to get a customized list of homes and real estate that match your search criteria and price on Allison Island or similar islands in Biscayne Bay please contact me at any time.

June 1, 2015

Things to Know When Buying Florida Waterfront Property

There are numerous waterfront homes throughout the Miami and Miami Beach area. If you're planning on buying one of these homes is important to be aware that the home inspection is slightly different than a non-waterfront home. Here are some things to look for and surprises you might find in a waterfront home inspection.

Things to Know when Buying Florida Waterfront Property

Pests.

You'll want to make sure that there are no termites or other pests including ones that could be common to waterfront homes that have destroyed any part of the foundation or the woodwork of the property. A home inspector will be able to verify this but may recommend an additional pest inspection. Carpenter bees can also be an issue on any holes in the siding or in the foundation. You'll want to make sure that those are sealed and that any nests are destroyed.

Related: Information on Lakefront Properties

Land survey. 

Does the land extend to the water's edge? You'll want to verify the boundary of your land to determine what you actually own, if you own any part into the water, and any requirements for seawall or construction on the beach or close to the water.

Speak to the neighbors.

The best way to understand your waterfront property and any issues it may have in the future is to speak with existing neighbors. Ask about whether, erosion, saltwater issues, pests or construction issues that may be of concern. Also, speak to neighbors that have been in the neighborhood for several years if not decades if possible.

Control

Double checked any local ordinances that may restrict the use of the waterfront. If you're unfamiliar with how mortgage, dockage or boating traffic works, contact the city and check the ordinances on requirements for Miami Florida waterfront property.

Read more: Dockage and Boat Traffic in Miami

Insurance

Waterfront property may require different insurance so double check with your homeowners insurance so that your property is covered. Waterfront homeowners in Florida must by three distinct policies including a wind policy, a flood policy and a general hazard policy, typically not alter the same insurer.

Boatlifts, Docks and Seawalls

A seawall is also common in Florida waterfront homes. They can be made of vinyl, aluminum, concrete or steel. These are an important part of your property as they can be a successful way to control coastal and water erosion. They need to be constructed well and out of particular materials that can withstand force of ongoing waves and water but they also need to be maintained on a regular basis.

Many of these waterfront homes will feature a dock and depending on the size of boat it can accompany, they can be just a few feet to 20 or 30 feet. This provides a safe and easily accessible place to park your boat and allow access for swimmers, jet skiers and other water activities. You want to clean your boat dock with a three to one blend of olive oil and white vinegar for stains and mineral salts. For oil stained areas you can scrub a paste of baking soda and water and rinse it off. You want to inspect your boat dock at the start and end of every season for sound structure. Replace any splintered or rotted wood and check the nuts and bolts and other metal fasteners for their integrity.

 

Miami Beach and Miami waterfront homes may also offer a boatlift. To ensure longevity you want to grease all the inserts on the lift and the gear plate, check the cables for wear spots and replace them every 2 to 3 years and you'll want to spray the lift down all your washing the boat because of the saltwater. Make sure to get the proper weight distribution on the left and ask the previous homeowner for any care tips if this is your first time owning a boat lift.

Understand the HOA

Homeowners associations for waterfront properties may be different than in a typical association. Talk with the management about any changes, requirements or details you'll need to know about owning a waterfront property in a particular subdivision.

Related: Checklist for home inspections

 

Waterfront homes don't have to be difficult but with a little bit of research you can feel more comfortable owning and maintaining your waterfront home. For more information feel free to give me a call at any time or browse all waterfront properties here on my website throughout Miami and Miami Beach Florida.

May 29, 2015

News You Can Use in the Miami Real Estate Market

The Miami real estate market is booming with new construction, high-rise complexes and increased housing values. Here are the top three stories in the Miami and Miami Beach real estate market you need to know about.

Miami home prices continue to increase according to Case-Schiller.News You Can Use in the Miami Real Estate Market

According to the Case-Shiller analysis home prices in Miami were a .6% from January to February and up nearly 10% over February 2014. This is the third strongest increase in the nation. Home prices are increasing all across the nation and 17 cities saw their yearly increases increase with the Denver and San Francisco showing the strongest increases. Month-to-month prices were a bit more modest on the national  index.

 Should we be worried that this rapid price gain could ultimately come at the expense of other economic trends? We assume that home prices will continue to rise and outpace both inflation and wage gains. However, in many markets across the country prices still have a ways to go before truly recovering. The Case-Shiller National index has seen 34 consecutive months with positive year-over-year gains.

Miami's new construction is on the rise in 2015.

2015 is proving to be a very big year for new construction. According to recent analysis, residential construction spending in Miami totaled roughly $576 million in March. However, this is not the nation's highest residential construction spending. That top billing belongs to Houston followed closely by Dallas and Atlanta with Miami coming in at number four. In March 2014, Miami's new construction spending was just at 275 million, so you can really see the difference that it is almost doubled over last year.

 Even more encouraging is that the residential spending has increased substantially totaling $1.5 billion, a 30% increase from the same period in 2014.

 Foreclosures could be extending past their statute of limitations.

And finally in real estate news, Florida's 3.7% foreclosure inventory has more than double that of the national average. But, regardless of our foreclosure rankings, the Florida Supreme Court ruling could alter rules surrounding the life of the foreclosure suit, prolonging a bank's authority to seek payments on a past foreclosure, even after the existing five-year statute of limitations has passed. Up until recently, the statute of limitations gable under five years to obtain past payments after the promissory note but this decision could alter that ruling allowing banks to go after previous homeowners long after the statute of limitations has expired. This is something we definitely should pay attention to and watch as we are unsure what the  final ruling will be.

For more information on the Miami real estate market stay tuned to our blog or contact us for details on buying or selling in the Miami area.

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.