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,

Oct. 5, 2015

Upper and Lower Brickell Miami Condos and Lifestyle

Brickell is in urban neighborhood located in downtown Miami and home to over 30,000 residents. The neighborhood sits between the Powell Bridge and the Miami River stretching from Interstate 95 to the bay. It includes the small island of Brickell Key. Brickell condos for sale - Upper and Lower Brickell

There are two main sections to Brickell, the upper and lower areas. There is also a small Sub neighborhood called Westbrook out, west of the Miami retro rail line.  These areas are some of the fastest-growing in Miami and was once considered Millionaires Row in the early 1900s. There were lavish mansions along Brickell Avenue but by the 1970s, these were often replaced by large towers, hotels and office buildings. Brickell is the court to Miami's banking, investment and financial sectors.

Upper Brickell -  This location has a variety of condominiums, high-end apartment buildings and a few single-family homes. The median list price is about $455,000 with a median list price per square foot at $486. Over the last 90 days there have been about 180 property sold.

Lower Brickell -  This features a median list price of around $500,000 with about 44 homes sold over the last 90 days. There are more residential properties in the upper and then the lower end.

The Shoppes at Mary Brickell Village is the main shopping area for this location and features shops, cafés, markets and restaurants. There are beautiful restaurants right along the waterfront on Brickell Bay Drive. Brickell Key is primarily condominium homes with studio apartments starting around $150,000 to large high-end penthouses with stunning Miami Beach abuse of over $1 million. Although there are smaller single-family homes in Brickell, the majority of properties are condominiums.

 Brickell is part of the Miami-Dade County public school system and operates several elementary schools and private schools. There's the Southside elementary, Ada Merritt elementary and the Riverside elementary. There are three private schools and the downtown campus of the Florida international University is also located in Brickell. Miami's main library is located in this neighborhood as well.

Transportation is provided by the Metrobus throughout the area as well as the Miami Metrorail and Metromover. There are 12 office towers and 40 residential towers in Brickell. Brickell is home to seven parks and nature preserves with a variety of sports fields, walking trails, playgrounds and green space.

Very little remains of the original historic Brickell as many large mansions and estates have been replaced by office buildings and high-rise residential towers. However, there is one small section of Brickell that remains a historical landmark. The St. Jude Catholic Church since 1946 and Southside school since 1900 are still standing. 

 If you'd like to know more about Brickell and the condominiums for sale therein please browse the website or contact me at any time for more information on this location or a customized list of properties and condos that mean your search criteria and price.  As an expert in Brickell real estate with over 22 years experience selling in all the buildings on Brickell, I can help you find the right condo or sell your condo for top value.

"Miami skyline northern Brickell 20100206" by Averette - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons -

Oct. 2, 2015

Avoiding Foreclosure Scams in Miami Real Estate

 Foreclosure is a stressful ordeal and for some can leave them feeling hopeless and maybe a little embarrassed. There is nothing to be embarrassed about,foreclosure can happen to anyone due to unavoidable and unexpected life circumstances. Going through the process of foreclosure may keep you awake at night trying to figure out how to deal with the process and come out alright on the other side. When people are in this vulnerable and stressful state it unfortunately brings scammers to the door promising to help you avoid foreclosure waiting to prey on the weak. Foreclosure is avoidable but you need to be carful who you trust to help you. Here are some ways avoid scams.

Be Aware That Scammers are Real and EverywhereAvoiding Foreclosure Scams in Miami

Foreclosure scams come in many different forms and some are hard to recognize unless you know what to watch out for. Scams can come in the form of equity skimming and stripping, refinance offers with too good to be true interest rates, fake counseling agencies with high fees, people masquerading as lenders asking for sensitive information over the phone or internet that end up stealing your identity, or people offering to purchase your home for cash for well over market value.

Related Post: Keys to Selling a Home As-Is - external post

Know the Facts About Foreclosure

It is hard for a scammer to come in and offer you a way out of foreclosure if you already know the facts about the foreclosure process and your rights. Take some time to do your homework and get to know the laws of foreclosure in the state of New York. You have options and rights that protect you as a homeowner. You may want to consider hiring a lawyer to help you easily understand the foreclosure process and your rights and options and ultimately what would be the best route to take for your personal future.

Consider Selling to Avoid Foreclosure

Instead of letting your home become bank property you have the option to sell your home for what you owe on the property to pay back the mortgage or get bank approval for a short sale if your home is worth less than the amount of your mortgage. When selling a home to avoid foreclosure you will need to sell quickly and a cash home buyer is a great option when needing to sell a home quickly. Don’t just trust anyone who says they have a lump of cash and is interested in purchasing your home. Do your homework on any cash buying agency. Ask for referrals and proof of funds to buy your home. 

For more information on selling your home to avoid foreclosure in the Miami or Miami Beach area please contact me anytime! I can help you get to where you need to be quickly and efficiently. 

More on Selling Your Home Quickly:

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

Selling Miami Real Estate and Understanding Absorption Rate

Are you Selling Your House All Wrong? - External post

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Sept. 21, 2015

Keystone Islands North Miami

Looking for a waterfront home in North Miami? Look no further than Keystone Islands. Nestled between the bay and Highway 1 just south of Little Arch Creek and north of Highway 922 or the Broad Causeway, is a group of homes priced from about $600,000 to over $1.5 million. Every home in Keystone Islands is a waterfront home. Most of these homes offer unobstructed bay views, Mediterranean style architecture and outdoor living spaces. These homes were built over the last 10 to 20 years and there are several homes still being built out.Keystone Islands North Miami

 Keystone Island has a population of about 2500 residents and is less than one square mile. Although this community is not dated, it is typically not through street neighborhood as most traffic will be property owners. Most of the road to dead end with cul-de-sac streets and homes. There are two main entrances from Highway 922 and NE. 18th Ave.

The location is ideal, just 10 to 15 minutes from downtown Miami and right across the street is the 127th St. Shopping Center. LA fitness is on the corner and there are shops and restaurants all just outside this neighborhood. Bal Harbour and the Bell Harbor shops are just across the causeway as is the beach. Several homes border the bay while the rest have their own waterfront inlet throughout Little Arch Creek.

 Most of these luxury, waterfront homes have backyard swimming pools and boat docks. The median real estate prices about $500,000 and the average rental price in Keystone Islands is currently $1400. This is a coastal urban neighborhood and is primarily made up of small to medium-sized single-family homes and residential estates. Some of the neighborhoods are well-established with mature landscaping dating back nearly 50 years.

 Currently there are about 35 properties for sale listed from $400,000 to $5.3 million. The highest priced is a five bedroom and 5.5 bathroom house with over 7500 ft.² of living space. From there, it drops to a four bedroom and five bath home for just under $3 million.

If you're looking for waterfront living, Keystone Islands offers a wide variety of home prices, styles and designs. If you'd like more information about this North Miami community or would like a customized list of homes that meet your search criteria and price throughout Keystone Islands please contact me at any time.


Posted in Real Estate
Sept. 18, 2015

Miami Home Prices Jumped Nearly 10% Over Last Year

A recent statistic shows that the annual appreciation rate for Florida has increased 9.24% from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. The statistics are derived from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Appreciation can vary from year to year. The appreciation by state housing price index is up 2.84% over last year for the state of Florida.Miami Home PRices jumped nearly 10% over last year

The long-term trend of rising home values is continuing. Regardless of whether you are buying or selling, this neutral and balanced market offers great hope for the future of Florida and Miami real estate. Rising home values generally are a sign that the economy is back on track. According to the research done by the Federal Reserve Board, home ownership is one of our country's greatest contributors to personal wealth. Went home values increase, the equity in your home can be a key component to securing financial future.

Growing value of homes may allow homeowners to access cash, eliminate mortgage insurance or refinance. If you're a new home buyer, with the rates still extremely low and home prices on the rise, now may be an excellent time to consider purchasing your first property.

 Currently the median list price for Miami's $362,900. There are about 77 properties on the market, up 2% from one month ago and down 45% from last year. This is an enormous drop as properties continue to become more scarce. If  new construction does not catch up, we may find ourselves with inflated home prices. 3% of the market is distressed and the median days on the market is about 84.

 For the condo market, there are currently 4752 properties on the market with a median list price of $359,000. Days on the market is up 8% at 94.

 The average list price for Miami is $443,929 and the median sales price is $246,800, up 7.9% over last year or around $18,000.

 Miami's most popular neighborhoods continue to be Coral Way, Wynwood, Edgewater, Upper East Side, Flagami and West Little Havanna.  The highest priced home is in the Upper East Side at $896,000.

 To get in on the hottest real estate market in the country give me a call. Want a list of great investment properties? How about a condo in Miami Beach? Maybe a waterfront home in Miami? Let's talk!


Sept. 11, 2015

Miami Condos for Sale

Miami Condo and Townhouse Real Estate Market

 There is no shortage of condominiums in the Miami area as real estate explodes, new construction is on the rise and new listings are hitting the market every day. If you're planning on buying a condo in Miami understand that you have over 4000 properties to choose from. As of the publishing of this post theMiami Condo Marketre are currently 4342 condos throughout the Miami area for sale.

 The price range for condo start at about $100,000 up to $41 million depending on size, condition, location and exterior amenities such as a view or condo building amenities.

 The median list price for a condo in Miami is currently $350,000, up 16% over last year. 2% of the condos on the market are distressed meaning bank owned or foreclosures. The median days on the market is currently 95, up 9% over last year.

 Since July of last year the median list price has gone from $315,000, dropping in January to $275,000 in back up in April to nearly $350,000. It is currently just over the $350,000 mark.

In August there were 2248 new listings, 2633 sold or expired listings and 1362 price reductions. Distressed properties remain the same as a percentage of the total market in September. The median list price in Miami dropped from August to September and there were 219 price increases in August.

 For a good snapshot over the last five years, the median list price for Miami in January 2010 was under the $200,000 mark. Other than a slight decrease at the beginning of this year, the Miami market is soaring rapidly. Real estate agents always say it's a good time to buy but the way the Miami real estate market is going, it's only going to increase. Home sellers might be able to get more out of their property by next year but for home buyers, now is their chance.

As an experienced Miami condo real estate agent is my duty to help you through all the nuances of purchasing a condominium in an association throughout the Miami and Miami Beach area. For more information or to value your Miami condo please contact me at any time.

Read more: Coral Gables real estate market

Sept. 4, 2015

Coral Gables Real Estate Market Report

Home Prices are rising dramatically and in July alone, prices rose by 6.9% year over year in July, 2015 according to CoreLogic®. Projections predict a 4.7% increase July, 2015 to July 2016. 

Whether you are buying or selling a home in Coral Gables Florida, it helps to know the prices, the projections, and the future of real estate in this area. If you're on the fence about selling no that prices will potentially go up in the next year. However, buyers may decrease as more and more of them find what they're looking for this year. It is a risk that a lot of homeowners are willing to take but if you're considering selling before the end of 2015 here's what's happening as far as home values in Coral Gables Florida.Coral Gables Real Estate Market Report

Were about on the fence between a buyers market and a sellers market which is a great neutral and balanced place to be. The home value index according to Zillow is currently $739,000 for a median home. Home values have gone up 10.2% over the past year according to Zillow with predictions of just .5% in the next year. The median sales price is currently at $585,000. According to other real estate sources, the median list price is around $989,000, up 24% over last year. The median days on the market is between 60 and 90 days.

The average list price for a home in Coral Gables is $1.3 million. The reason this is so high is because the average is taking all of the homes for sale including the high end $30 million luxury properties as well as the low priced homes, adding them together and dividing them by the total number of homes currently on the market. This is why the median sales price and the average list price are so different. Websites such as Trulia show the  median sales price of $515,000, down 11% over last year.

The reason there is such a discrepancy between the website is due to recently sold homes, how many homes they are technically counting on the market, averages of homes sold in general input as well as a variety of other algorithms these websites use in order to calculate these numbers.

 Home prices in Coral Gables currently start about $80,000. There are many homes that require estimates or an actual contact for it the numbers of these are numbers we can only run on what is actually available online. The highest priced home is currently worth $67 million for an nine bedroom, 10 bath home with nearly 2100 ft.² of living space situated in the exclusive Gables Estates. From there, prices drop to $35 million, then $22 million, $18 million and then  the list averages from $16 million on down. (So you can see the average and the median house price is quite different. The median house price is taking the house price in the middle of the list of properties for sale. There are currently over 900 properties for sale throughout Coral Gables.

If you're considering buying a home in Coral Gables understand that it is one of the most exclusive areas in Miami and Miami Beach. Even though there are still bank owned homes, great investment opportunities and foreclosures, you can also find luxurious oceanfront property, large estates and gorgeous view homes.

Feel free to give me a call at any time for more information on a particular neighborhood in Coral Gables, properties for sale or information on listing your Coral Gables home.

Image by Janie Coffey Flickr

Aug. 27, 2015

New Construction is Booming in Miami and Around the Country

 In a recent article by Miami Agent magazine, the latest home sales stats from the US Census Bureau show many things are at work in the new construction marketplace. Three things we can learn about these important trends happening in the new construction market throughout 2015.New Construction is Booming in Miami and Around the Country

#1. Real estate historical gains. New home sales in July showed extremely positive gains up 5.4% from June and 25% from July 2014. However, so far in 2015 there up 20% year to date and historically, year to date readings are the most accurate take on new home sales. July's rate of 507,000 sales marks the third time this year that new home sales have posted their best numbers since 2008.

#2. This is not a rebound. Not only is this a good market for new construction but homebuilders are constructing more affordable properties. Construction of new homes priced under $200,000 has grown dramatically while homes priced over $500,000 and above have seen their market share fall. These affordable new construction properties show just how vigorously new construction has shifted to a top-heavy industry.

#3.  Price moderation. The median sale price for new homes in July, 2015 was $286,000. This was a 2% increase from last July and a 3% increase from June, 2015. The average sale price was up nearly 5% yearly and nearly 14% monthly at $361,000. Prices are still historically high with median prices up 26% from the boom era pricing in 2005.

New construction is on the rise and at the Miami area grows dramatically, we are seeing a great balance between affordable units in homes and luxury high-end properties. With this balance in place, everyone is more likely to find a home that they're looking for in the price range they can afford.

For more information on the Miami new construction real estate market please contact me at any time. [Source]

Aug. 18, 2015

321 Ocean - Brand New Luxury Condo in South Beach

The Aria Development Group has recently finished construction on the new South Beach luxury condominium designed by Enrique Norton. 321 Ocean is the first new luxury construction since 2011 in this location. This ultra luxury condominium project is located in Miami beaches South of Fifth neighborhood and features two towers with a total of 21 units, including two penthouses and to beach villas. Only one remains unsold.321 Ocean Luxury Condos

The average square foot price for the building is about $1650. One of the penthouses recently sold for $3000 per square foot and features five bedrooms and six bathrooms. The final selling price was $20 million.

321 Ocean will feature a variety of amenities including direct beach access, and oceanfront infinity swimming pool and concierge services. Most tenants are expected to be in the building by the end of the year.

 Enrique Norton is a prominent Mexican architect and designer. In 2008 he was presented with the Excellence in Architecture and Design Award as well as the Legacy Award by the Smithsonian Institute for his contributions to the US art and culture. With numerous awards under his belt, he advises on numerous committees such as the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition in New York City. His world-class architecture and design is now coming to 321 Ocean.

Located at 321 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, this fantastic collection offers a unique homes with breathtaking views. Residents enjoy 24-hour valet service, concierge and security on-site, management, landscaped urban design by Enzo Enea, the Ocean Library, which is a residence lounge featuring art, architecture and culinary books. Residents also enjoyed beachfront access, the infinity edge heated swimming pool, beach service and attendants. 

The building features 4 oceanfront properties, 2 two-story Beach villas and an oceanfront penthouse. For more information on the fantastic condominiums at 321 Ocean please contact me at any time. I would be happy to let you know if there are any cancellations or buying back outs or for details on similar properties in the area.

Aug. 11, 2015

Florida Home Prices up 7.8 Percent

Florida is rapidly joining the rest of the nation with increased home prices. The average listing price for Miami is $383,000 up 6% over last week. The median sales prices it $250,000, up 12% over last year or $27,000. The median list price is about $360,000, up 14% over last year. There are about 3% distressed properties on the market with a median days on the market at about 84, which is also up 8% over last year. This is for single-family homes, town houses and condominiums across the board.Florida Home Prices up 7.8 Percent

 According to CoreLogic,  the year over year price has increased by nearly 8% not including distressed sales. This is higher than the national average of 6.5%. This current cycle of home appreciation is going strong for nearly 4 years. With higher consumer confidence coupled with a robust labor market, this can feel this jump in home prices the route 2015 and well into 2016.

The same research shows that only four states saw home price depreciation, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The number of sales for the Miami area has actually dropped over the last year at 2.7%. The total number of sales was 3339 over one year. This proves the trend that supply and demand is playing a large factor in the increase in home prices. Fewer sales naturally drives up the price.

The hottest markets throughout the Miami real estate area include Coral Way, Wynwood, Edgewater,  Coconut Grove and West Little Havana.

 For the townhouse and condominium market the median list price is $350,000 with a median days on the market at 95, up 12% over last year. Total inventory has dropped a 44% from last year at this time. This makes condominiums and town houses a hot commodity.

 Miami's average rent rose by $80 in just three months this summer. In May, Miami's average rent was $1800 a month and now is at $1880 a month. This increase comes during Miami's traditional slow season, which is actually the hot sticky summer. We've seen rents actually drop in the summer in increase in the winter.

To stay up-to-date with the Miami real estate market or to view any homes or real estate in Miami, Miami Beach and surrounding neighborhoods please view my website or contact me at any time.

Read More: Financing a Second Home in Miami

Property Values Increase in Miami

Chinese Buyers Set Their Sights on Miami Condos

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

Aug. 5, 2015

Financing a Second Home in Miami

You don't have to have all cash order to buy a second home or vacation property in the Miami area. Yes, it certainly helps and makes the process much easier but if you don't have the cash outright in order to buy a home but still have the means for a monthly budget, financing is quite doable. You may have been toying with the idea of buying a second home and because rates are so low and home prices are starting to rise in many markets across the US, now is a great time to consider a vacation property or second home. Those that are well-qualified and want to purchase a second home have great interest rates and options available to them.

The first thing you'll want to do is to understand the current market. The Miami real estate market is growing rapidly at this time. Home buying during the summer and the spring is an interesting time because even have more homes on the market but the home prices might be a little out of your budget. Make sure you understand the market and the micro markets of the different neighborhoods that you are considering. This can be extremely helpful with the use and knowledge of a Miami real estate agent.  Because I specialize in helping people buy second homes, vacation homes and primary residences, I can help you find the right property for your needs and your budget, taking into account everything you want out of a second home.

Tips on getting a loan.Financing a Second Home in Miami

According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly half of all vacation home buyers pay cash, but this doesn't necessarily mean that you have to in order to qualify. Two thirds of those homebuyers made a down payment of more than 20%, which can be easily drawn upon by a home equity loan or line of credit if you don't already have the liquid cash.

Lenders want to understand what type of risk you are when financing property. They will check out your credit score, credit history, report, liquid funds, assets and all liabilities to determine your level of risk when it comes to buying a second home. If all of these factors add up in your favor you are more likely to be approved for that loan. 

 You'll also want to take a look at your rate of return. While you might not be renting out the property, it might be something to consider in your off-season. While everybody wants a property that will appreciate over time, speeding up that process by renting the home out for vacation rentals might be a good way to increase your monthly income and pay off the home even faster.

Another thing to consider is insurance. If you own a home on the beach you must factor in flood insurance and different types of homeowners insurance that you'll need to pay. If you choose a condominium or a home in an association, you may have additional homeowners fees and dues monthly, quarterly or annually that could cut into your monthly housing budget.

The bottom line is financing a second home, especially in the Miami area, should mean that you have at least 20% down payment in order to get the best rate and loan. These down payment funds can be pulled from a variety of sources so be sure to check with your lender on the different options that you might have in order to finance and afford second home.

Ready to get started looking at the micro markets throughout the Miami real estate area? Please give me a call at any time or begin your online search right here on my website.