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.
5 Things to Know About Buying a Condo in Miami Beach
Miami Beach Florida has such a diverse culture that it can appeal to many different budgets and lifestyles. It's 86 blocks long from north to south and gets more narrow the farther north you go and has numerous single-family neighborhoods on the west side with condominiums on the ocean front side. It is one of the most desirable areas in the world but many people ask, "where's the best place to live and what should I know about buying a condominium in Miami Beach?" Real estate is pretty expensive here so unless you're moving from another area of Miami, here are some things to know about buying a condo in Miami Beach when relocating from somewhere other than our area.
1. Understand what your budget may mean in Miami Beach.
If you're moving from a location that has a lower cost of living you might be surprised as to the high cost of living in Miami Beach. Not only do you need to consider monthly mortgage payments but homeowners dues and any other special assessments required from the condominium complex in which you buy. You'll need to look at the location of the building, whether you're going for waterfront or bay-front, the type of unit itself, any parking facilities and which neighborhood in Miami Beach you'd like to live. Map out your budget, your search criteria, and a building that matches what you're looking for in services and amenities. Most Miami Beach condos will offer a variety of resort style amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and business rooms, but others may offer even more such as a spa facility, concierge services, room services and valet.
2. The higher you go on the building the more expensive the unit will be.
This is probably standard no matter where you're purchasing a condominium but in Miami Beach it's even more prominent. The higher you go in the condominium buildings the better view you'll have and typically more square footage. You need to know whether you want a view of the ocean or of Miami and what your budget can maintain.
3. Don't forget about homeowners dues.
Whether you're buying in a country club community, gated neighborhood or high-rise condominium complex, you'll likely have homeowners dues. These dues are typically required each month or quarter and may be several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars depending on the amenities and the caliber of building. These will need to be paid directly to the homeowners association and cover common area maintenance, landscaping, exterior building maintenance and may also include several utilities such as trash pickup, water and limited insurance. You may be able to afford a $3000 mortgage payment but add on another $1000 for homeowners dues and you may be out of your budget.
4. Most condo associations will have their own application requirements and restrictions.
You may need to fill out a condo association application in which a board will need to approve your residency. The homeowners association may have several people appointed to the board that live in the building or a combination of on and off-site residences. They will approve different things such as your budget, finances, lifestyle and whether or not you have pets.
Homeowners associations will also present you with their CC&R, which stands for covenants, conditions and restrictions. These are all the rules of the complex and state what you can and cannot do and any legal proceedings that may be necessary. It's a good idea to read through this or have your real estate attorney go over all the paperwork answering any questions you may have. This is also a great way to find out if the complex is under any liens or if you'll have to pay any special assessments in the near future for larger purchases such as painting or siding. You will also want to verify whether you agree with the way the building is run and if there are too many contradictions or discrepancies on how the association handles the management of the property now is the best time to find that out.
5. Have your financing ready to go.
This is probably one of the most important things about purchasing any type of property. Having a lender that understands Miami Beach condominium purchases and getting you the right mortgage and interest for your needs is crucial. Your lender will issue a pre-approval letter stating that you've already done the financial homework necessary in order to purchase this property. This paperwork will need to be presented with an offer and potentially the board for approval as well.
Purchasing a condominium building in Miami Beach is quite different than a single-family house sold by one owner. Sometimes, you have to jump through hoops but enjoying the lifestyle once you've moved in can make it all worthwhile.
The Miami-Dade County has been ranked as the #1 County in the entire Southeast US for new home building. This is based on new residential building permits in the first quarter of 2014. According to the Census Bureau, the Miami area grew faster than any other part of Florida with the 218% increase over last year. Orange County, Palm Beach County and Sumter County followed as the #3, #4 and #5 by expenditure. This is also one of the highest valued housing areas in the entire country as the average cost per unit was nearly a half $1 million.
“These numbers are encouraging for prospective Miami homebuyers and investors alike, as construction spending is a strong economic indicator of job growth and market demand. The rise in new home construction has raised price tags on South Florida properties, but offers more alternatives for buyers and higher resale value.” [Source]
In Miami-Dade County, building permits were the top grossing performers for the first quarter of 2014 at $772,790,360. This is the seventh most populous county in the US with the downtown Miami and Miami Beach area as well as its numerous suburbs. With new construction projects, condominium buildings and multifamily housing, there's an increased cost of rent and a healthier stabilizing economy. The average cost per unit was about $400,000 in the first quarter and as Miami grows it continues to be twice the size of growth of the second fastest area in Lake County.
As of the publishing of this post Miami Beach has a total inventory of around 4000 properties with a median list price of $480,000. The median days on the market are roughly 90 with a median house size of about 1010 ft.². This roughly translates to $521 per square foot up 5% over last year.
For the condominium and townhome market, the median house size is about 910 ft.² with about $500 per square foot.
If you're looking at selling your Miami or Miami Beach home but you worried about the competition from new subdivisions, there are many buyers looking for established properties with fenced backyards and mature landscaping. Because there are numerous buyers moving to this area or relocating with in the state of Florida, you shouldn't worry about finding the right buyer for your property.
If you're considering buying, there are numerous new homes, condominiums and well-established neighborhoods throughout Miami and Miami Beach.
Call me today for more information on new subdivisions, condominiums, or any property for sale within the Miami-Dade County area.
|In the Market for a Hyper-Luxurious Floating Island?|
|Written By Erik Bojnansky, Senior Writer|
IF YOU CAN’T FIGHT SEA-LEVEL RISE, WHY NOT JOIN IT? HOW ABOUT RIGHT HERE ON MAULE LAKE?
ADutch company has submitted plans to anchor 30 artificial floating islands in Maule Lake, a privately owned lake in North Miami Beach. Maule Lake lies east of Biscayne Boulevard, adjacent to the Aventura community of Point East, the North Miami Beach neighborhood of Eastern Shores, and the twin 24-story towers of Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences, currently under construction at 172nd Street and the Boulevard.
The project’s name: Amillarah Private Islands -- North Miami Beach. The project’s developer: Dutch Docklands USA, a company owned by Frank Behrens, chairman of the Miami Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
Behrens didn’t return several phone calls for comment, but in August 2013, he told Miami Today that his company was considering a body of water somewhere in Miami-Dade County as the site to unveil Dutch Docklands’ floating-home concept in the United States.
“You can create whole new communities, and because it’s floating and on the waterfront, it would mean very high-end real estate,” he told the weekly newspaper. “You can create private beaches, private islands. Those big projects could be easily realized in Miami and would be fantastic attractions.”
Dutch Docklands, based in Delft, the Netherlands, is the parent company of Behrens’s U.S. subsidiary. The award-winning firm, which specializes in floating technologies and design, was founded in 2005 by real estate developer Paul H.T.M. van de Camp and Koen Olthuis, an architect who has made a career designing luxury homes and other floating structures via his architecture firm Waterstudio. Olthuis also has patents for floating foundations strong enough to hold dozens of homes, roadways, cars, and parks, even cruise ship terminals.
Utilizing Olthuis’s patents, Dutch Docklands is designing a floating apartment complex for South Holland, re-engineering the floating islands for Dubai’s Palm Island project, and building a series of floating projects for the Maldives. In fact, the proposed floating islands within Maule Lake are named after another Dutch Docklands project, Amillarah, in the Maldives. The word amillarahmeans private island in Maldivian, according to Dutchdocklands.com.
Maule Lake, with direct access to the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean, covers 174 acres and has a deep bottom that can accommodate yachts up to 100 feet long, according to a real estate website.
Under the plans Dutch Docklands submitted to the City of North Miami Beach on June 26, the Maule Lake version of Amillarah would consist of 29 manmade, anchored islands, each of which would include a two-story, four-bedroom villa, a patio, garden, sandy beach, swimming pool, rooftop terraces, al fresco dining areas, and two boat slips. A 30th island would be an “amenity island” staffed 24 hours a day for the exclusive use of residents and their guests.
If the project moves forward, all 30 of the islands, co-designed by Waterstudio and Coconut Grove-based Bermello Ajamil & Partners, would be constructed offsite and transported to Maule Lake.
Boats would be an essential element for the islanders: Each island would be at least 500 feet from shore and about 80 feet from its nearest neighbor.
Another interesting feature of Amillarah Private Islands: They would be off the grid.
“Dutch Docklands have designed the floating islands to be virtually self-sustaining,” according to Greenberg Traurig environmental attorney Kerri Barsh, a lobbyist for Dutch Docklands in a letter to Carlos Rivero, North Miami Beach’s acting planning director.
“By deploying cutting-edge technology and sustainable building designs, Dutch Docklands will eliminate the need for the floating islands to connect to existing potable water supplies, waste water collection systems, or to electric utilities,” her letter states.
Freshwater would be provided by “collectors and advanced filtration systems,” according to the letter. Solar panels and “hydrogen-powered generators” would provide electricity. Solid waste would be gathered by a private contractor and a special vessel “will be kept ready at all times for the exclusive use of municipal emergency responders.”
As for the disposal of human waste, each of the 6900-square-foot villa islands, and the 6800-square-foot amenity island, would be equipped with a “biological sewage facility” to “address wastewater and sewage consistent with U.S. EPA regulations.”
Perhaps the best news for a city in search of additional revenue, the letter points out, is a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that floating homes are “akin to real property and not vessels,” and thus can be taxed. (The case was brought by North Bay Village resident Fane Lozman against the City of Riviera Beach, which demolished his houseboat.)
Since the islands will be marketed to affluent islanders who will live on Amillarah only “40 percent of the time,” there will be few, if any, floating homeowners claiming a homestead exemption.
“Assuming each residential island is appraised at a value of $12.5 million and applying 2013 millage rates,” according to Barsh’s letter, “we anticipate that the project will generate approximately $2.8 million annually in [property] tax revenue for the city.”
But for Amillarah to happen, part of Maule Lake will need to be rezoned, Barsh noted. North Miami Beach’s swath of Maule Lake is currently designated “as an open water and transportation corridor.”
Thus Barsh is asking for PUD-3 zoning for a 39-acre section of the 174-acre lake. Under PUD-3, a developer could construct up to 1941units in buildings as tall as six stories on 39 acres. With bonuses, a developer could create 2911 units in towers up to 12-stories in height on PUD-C zoned land. (Development is not permitted in Aventura’s sliver of Maule Lake, which the city refers to as a “conservation district.”)
Dutch Docklands USA still needs to close on its contract to buy the lake from a trusteeship headed by Raymond Williams, a descendant of E.L. Maule, founder of the Maule Rock Mining Company.
During the early 20th Century, 60 train carloads of limestone rock each day were mined from what is now Maule Lake, and used to construct roads, bridges, and buildings in Dade and Palm Beach counties. The limestone also served as ballast for Henry Flagler’s railroads before being replaced with granite, says local historian Seth Bramson. Maule Rock Mining wasn’t alone. Ojus Rock Mining Company, owned by A.O. Greynolds, was extracting rock from the earth just a mile west of Maule’s mine. Sometimes the competition turned nasty. In January 1921, Ojus Rock Mining took out an ad in the Miami News claiming that Maule’s rock was shoddy.
Eventually, Maule’s rock pit became a lake. “When you go down to a certain level in South Florida,” Bramson explains, “you hit water.”
Whereas Greynolds gave his rock mine to the county for Greynolds Park (see “Green Piece,” June 2013), Maule Rock Mining sold chunks of its 300 acres to real estate developers and to the state (for highways). In 1957, Maule Lake was dredged for fill for the creation of Eastern Shores.
Brackish water flows in and out of Maule Lake via Snake Creek, the Oleta River, and neighboring Dumbfoundling Bay. So, too, does aquatic life. Snook, catfish, and tarpon have been fished at Maule Lake for decades. The lake was even used in a few scenes for the hit show Flipper, according to a 1964 Miami News article.
Maule Lake was popular for boat racing, especially during the 1950s and 1960s. But in 1991 the state enacted strict speed limits at the lake to protect manatees. Between 1974 and 1993, 19 dead manatees were found in or near Maule Lake, according to the Miami Herald.
Since 1998, Patrick Killen, commercial director of Keller Williams Elite Properties, and his wife Karen, broker/owner of The Villas, LLC, have been trying to sell Maule Lake on behalf of the Williams trust. (In this pending deal, Patrick Killen is representing the potential buyer, Dutch docklands. Karen Killen represents the seller.)
A picture of Maule Lake adorns the top of Patrick Killen’s Facebook page. At one point, according to Killen, Donald Trump was under contract to buy Maule Lake so he could fill it in and build a high-rise there.
“I think most people don’t know that it’s a private lake,” Patrick Killen says. “For whatever reason, it’s not common knowledge.”
Maule Lake is not only private, it is pricey. Four years ago the asking price was $17 million. More recently it was listed at $19.5 million, says Killen.
Maule Lake will be a nice fit for Amillarah, explained Barsh in her letter to the city. The lake’s depth of 22 feet means it’s unlikely that “sensitive environmental resources” will be present at the bottom. Then there’s the fact that North Miami Beach and Maule Lake happen to be in South Florida.
“No place in the United States is as vibrant and exciting as South Florida,” Barsh notes in her letter. And no place in the U.S. is as threatened by sea-level rise, she adds.
In as few as 50 years, low-lying areas, such as Eastern Shores, Keystone Point, and Sans Souci Estates, may be regularly flooded during high tide. (See “Lost in a Rising Sea,” September 2012.)
For this reason, Amillarah is not just a quirky, alternative lifestyle -- it’s also the future of development in South Florida, according to Barsh, writing that “Dutch Docklands believes its technology will help address some of the threat of sea-level rise. By choosing North Miami Beach for its first project in the United States, Dutch Docklands hopes its approach can become a model for the whole of South Florida and the world.”
Whatever Dutch Docklands’ intention, Marina Palms developer Neil Fairman can’t help but like the company’s top executives. Fairman says he met them a few months ago and was struck by their agreeable demeanor. Among other things, they assured him that their project won’t interfere with the operation of Marina Palms’s 112-slip marina.
“They seem like nice people, and they seem very soft-spoken and ready to cooperate with the community,” he says. As for the project itself, Fairman says, “I think it’ll be very cool.”
New Listing 6 Bedroom Home in Miami for Sale
Ready for the ultimate in luxury? This beautiful 6 bedroom home offers 4 baths and nearly 4,800 square feet of living space for just $1,699,999.
Every room is uniquely designed, staged and ready to move in. Each area has been carefully maintained to provide the perfect oasis for your Florida retreat.
This Tuscan inspired estate has left no expense is spared. If you've been looking for the ultimate in design and luxury look no further than this amazing home.
The best thing about the home is the outdoor entertainment oasis. It looks as if you stepped directly into a luxury, four-star tropical paradise with a perfect outdoor swimming pool, spa, palm trees, outdoor living area and one of the most unique features, a tropical Koi Lagoon ecosystem with cascading waterfalls, bridges and docks. You simply have to see this place to believe it!! Wow!
Other details include a circle driveway and covered parking, built-in grill and outdoor kitchen area, high-impact doors and exterior lighting, and open porch and a fenced backyard. The lot is three quarters to less than 1 acre with gorgeous garden views and just minutes to Tropical Park, the University of Miami, Coral Gables and Lake Catalina.
Want to know more? This home won’t last. For custom design and one of the best outdoor living environments in Miami, call me for a free tour of this amazing home.
4 Bedroom Home on Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach Needs Work
Looking for the perfect home on Stillwater Drive just off A1A in Miami Beach Florida? Then it's time you looked at this four bedroom and 2.5 bath home with nearly 2200 ft.² located at 1341 Stillwater Dr. This home was built in the 1950s with a unique combination of indoor and outdoor living.
This home is ready for remodeling since it still has the original bathrooms, kitchens and floors. However, because this home was built in the 1950s, this home has a grandfather's dock that are not allowed to be built in Miami Beach any longer. Because it was already here, you get the full use of this unique dock. This dock is wider than most other docks making it perfect for entertaining, launching from or just sun bathing.
The home features a large backyard with bay access and the neighborhood is guarded with a security gate so you won’t have to worry about unwanted visitors knocking on your front door.
If you have been looking for a bayfront home that needs some work for instant equity, this is it. Easily accessible to A1A along 85th and just minutes to Hwy 922 back to Miami, this property offers views to the Indian Creek Country Club, the Biscayne Bay and the high-rises of Miami. Yet, your home is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can walk to the Stillwater Park and the North Shore open Space Park along the Atlantic Ocean and you’re just a short drive from most shops and restaurants.
This home is priced at $1,895,000 but with the right upgrades, this home could pull in a lot more. Homes around here are going for $1.1 million to $4.5 million. Call me for a free tour of this home and the area or other fixers in the neighborhood.
Published Author Kenny Raymond, Broker and Owner in Miami and Miami Beach Florida talks about what local buyers should know about the Miami area and buying in general before purchasing or moving to the area.
A resident of the Miami area since the 1940s, Mr. Raymond and his family have experienced the rise and fall and balance of South Florida real estate. Being in real estate for over 20 years, Mr. Raymond not only knows the area but the business as well. Whether you are buying a condo or a single family house, Mr. Raymond is the go-to guy in Miami real estate.
What you may not know about Miami:
"Mid-Miami Beach is broken up into two different types of communities. On the east side along Collins Ave or A1A, you have condos running along the street. In the middle to the west, you have mostly single family residences."
Buyers often ask about numerous location details such as schools, crime, location and commute. Mr. Raymond has all that covered in his Home Buyers Guide. Even going as far as talk about the noise level in different communities and neighborhood amenities.
Looking for a smaller home to get you started? How about a luxury condo to enjoy your retirement? Perhaps a beautiful dream home in resort style ambience with pools, a club house, maybe even a golf course? Because Mr.Raymond knows it all, he can help you find the right home for your tastes and budget.
"Buyers who want to get ahead of the competition should use the knowledge I have from living and working in the area. Keeping current on market conditions and having a good working relationship with many of the area brokers gives me an edge not many can compete with."
Speaking of the market, Mr. Raymond stays on top of all the details so you don't have to. Market trends, hot markets, where to buy and where NOT to buy. What and where to purchase for increased equity and resale value. Looking to stay for a while? Find the right house the first time, not the 2nd or 3rd.
What does Kenny Raymond need from his buyers? Honesty. Tell him exactly what it is you are looking for. Get pre-approved for a home loan ahead of time if you need one and know your limits. Buying a house takes time and can be stressful but Kenny Raymond wants all his buyers to take the time and patience needed in the home buying process, and that's why knowing the process and explaining it to his clients is the crux of a great experience.
Does Kenny Raymond just help buyers?
Absolutely not! Because he's a licensed broker AND knows the market as well as he does, why wouldn't you have someone with his knowledge and skill set SELL your house? Want the most from it? Want a fast sale? Trust someone that also knows what buyers want. in this knowledge, Mr. Raymond helps stage, set up and price your property in Miami for what it will sell for fast. No one likes to sit on the market longer than they have to but with the right price, you'll walk away from your house with a profit and a satisfied feeling that everything was done correctly.
"I honestly believe we offer the most marketing opportunities for our customers. We have a customized marketing system that employs a diverse range of marketing strategies to expose your home to the most qualified buyers and customize your home marketing plan to fit your needs, your neighborhood market and your expectations. "
So, why wouldn't you think Kenny Raymond when you think about Miami Real Estate? They simply go hand-in-hand.
About the Author
825 Arthur Godfrey Rd., Miami Beach FL, 33140
License Number #: 0613345