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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.   


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July 29, 2019

Surprising Findings from the 2019 Miami Real Estate Survey

Surprising Findings from the 2019 Miami Real Estate Survey

The 2019 Miami real estate survey is out but there's a lot to digest so I'm going to give you some of the main points to know with this year survey.

The neighborhoods of Kendall and North Miami have been rated as some of the best neighborhoods for homebuyers. The Brickell neighborhood is one of the hottest areas in town as well as the most overvalued. Miami traffic is also playing a role in where people are choosing to buy and live and because our housing costs have dropped slightly, it may be a good time for buyers to jump into the market.

This 2019 Miami Herald Real Residential Real estate Survey has been conducted for the last five years and surveys over 100 of the Miami-Dade's top brokers in agent analysis.

Brickell

For the second year in a row, the high-end neighborhood of Brickell was voted the hottest area for renters with downtown Miami coming in second. Miami Beach and Edgewater tied for third. There are more than 6300 new rental apartments added to the downtown area including Brickell since 2014. There are another 5000 rentals expected by 2022. Just because it's a hot market doesn't mean it's affordable. The highest average rental price for a one-bedroom is over $2300 for Brickell alone and 2200 for Miami.

Brickell also came in as one of the top spots where many people would buy a condo if they were in the market, which doesn't really do much for the statistics at large. However, Brickell has come in as one of the best neighborhoods for young professionals as well and Brickell is coming to its full potential. There are more educated, upwardly mobile young professionals drawn in by multiple residential options in Brickell. However, on the flip side, many people said they'd avoid Brickell altogether because of its overvalued neighborhoods. Currently, it has a medium per square foot price of $491, much higher than Miami's median of $417. Brickell is a no go for many investors because of the oversupply that exists and the higher-priced properties.

Kendall

The affordable neighborhood of Kendall is also one of the hottest areas for buyers for the first time. Miami Beach and Coral Gables have come in top of the list in previous years and Kendall is still a lower-priced option for many first-time homebuyers and have a lot of the things that these first-time buyers are looking for. Kendall offers good schools, shops, restaurants, and residential neighborhoods in a more affordable option.

North Miami

North Miami is also becoming one of the fastest-growing cities in the county. It was voted the most undervalued neighborhood, which has piqued interest from investors. New York-based companies plan to raise the value of the neighborhood which still has a median list price of just $196 per square foot. North Miami has seen some very attractive price points and its close proximity to the beach, great schools and shopping centers make it perfect for families and anyone looking for this type of home.

So what's up with the value versus price?

Home values in the county have slowed for the last few years but have not tanked at all. Many experts feel that the county home values will appreciate over the next 12 months but not at a high rate. Just 16% of experts feel that prices may depreciate. The total number of home sales have dropped just over 6% year over year and this will may home prices continue to rise. 65% of experts feel that the current inventory of properties under $1 million is considered good value up from 47% in 2018. Good value simply means the home is fairly priced.

More: How locals can compete with foreign buyers

What about out-of-town buyers?

The Trump administration placed a $10,000 cap on the amount of local and state taxes that households could deduct from their tax returns and this has resulted in a mass exodus of wealthy investors in both New York and Florida especially in the Miami area. However, 68% of experts feel that they have an increase of buyers from the northeastern United States and has been snapping up luxury property, that $10 million-plus at a rapid rate. Tax driven purchases are about 70% single-family homes and 30% condominiums, most being in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, and the server-side communities.

More: 8 Financial predictions that have come true

83% of experts feel that traffic is one of the biggest influences in decisions regarding real estate throughout the county. This is more of a lifestyle decision than a real estate decision. Traffic has become such a concern that you either will choose to live with it or choose a different home. Many people fill they want to be less than 15 minutes away from their job even above schools, shopping, and home values. [Source: Miami Harald]

Posted in Miami Real Estate
July 23, 2019

Pros and Cons to a One-Story and Two-Story Home

Pros and Cons to a One-Story and Two-Story Home

There are advantages and disadvantages to both a one-story and a two-story home so if you are wide open when it comes to the type of architecture or layout this article might be beneficial. Many new construction homes are two-story now so that they can give homeowners more footprint for the acreage or lot size but a one-story home does have its benefits as well. Here are pros and cons to both a one-story and a two-story property.

Cost per square foot.

Price per square foot is an issue that you'll need to consider to discover the true value. With a two-story home, you have less roof for the same square footage so when you need to replace the roof it won't be as expensive if you had replaced the same square footage roof on a one-story. You're getting twice the square footage with less roof.

The issue of stairs.

Stairs can be dangerous for both elderly, small children, and anyone on a bad day. Did you know that stairway falls are second only to motor vehicle accident as the leading cause of accidental injury according to the National Safety Council? This may or may not be an issue for you but it is definitely something to consider. However, stairs can be good for your health by making you walk up and down stairs multiple times a day.

Fresh air.

In a one-story home, you will probably keep the windows closed and locked at night but in a two-story, you can open the windows allowing fresh air in. This may also give you a sense of security as most burglars are not going to break into your house on the second floor.

Emergency.

If you need to evacuate for any reason a single-story home can make it easier so depending on your evacuation route, a one or two-story home may be more beneficial.

Hide the mess.

In a two-story home, most of the bedrooms are upstairs which means you can hide a lot of the mess and clutter upstairs away from houseguests.

Defined as spaces.

Depending on your lifestyle you may want to have the traditional bedrooms upstairs and gathering spaces downstairs but then again, you may like an open floor plan where everyone has access to every room all on one level. This is something you'll need to decide for yourself.

There are pros and cons to both one and two-story homes so you'll need to decide which you prefer based on your lifestyle and mobility. The Miami real estate market has a variety of both in addition to two-story townhomes and condominiums. Give me a call and I can send you a complete list of homes that meet your search criteria and price.

Start Your Search

 

Posted in Real Estate
July 8, 2019

8 Financial Predictions That Have Come True

Economists and financial experts are constantly trying to predict the future of the real estate industry and finance overall. Those predicting the 2008 financial crisis and housing boom crash are keeping a close eye on the future. These economists have been eerily correct over the last few years and here are some of the top 8 financial predictions that have come true over the last few years.8 Financial Predictions That Have Come True

  • Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney predicted that Citigroup would lose billions in 2007. The financial services Corporation was forced to cut its dividend to counteract billions of losses of bad assets and ultimately contributed to the subprime mortgage bust. She found a hole in the company's strategy and encouraged her clients to stay away from the company's stocks.
  • In a 2006 International Monetary Fund speech, Nouriel Roubini predicted subprime mortgage lenders would be the cause of the housing bubble burst and it would start with the subprime lenders and increase foreclosures and the loss would be spread to banks and multiple financial institutions.
  • Euro Pacific Capital president Peter Schiff also predicted the 2008 financial crisis suggesting that the US economy would weaken from too much consumption and borrowing without enough production or savings.
  • The Big Short film was the inspiration by Michael Burry predicting the housing market crash in 2004. This young stock market investor and hedge fund manager noticed a looming bubble in subprime mortgages in 2004 and bet against the housing market effectively shorting the bond market and winning big when banks and markets started to collapse.
  • Economists in St. Louis Missouri forecasted rising federal rates three times by the end of 2017 and it did.
  • Warren Buffett predicted that the S&P would outperform hedge fund Protege Partners and instead invested in the Vanguard 500 index fund, which returned nearly 5% more than the Protege Partners. 
  • Seattleite Brooksley Born warned back in 1998 that over-the-counter derivatives would play a role in the international economic downfall. Credit default swaps contributed to the financial crisis and she was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her efforts to bring the issue to light before it was too late.
  • The president of Dohmen Capital Research, Bert Dohmen, correctly predicted the bear market would last 20 years in 1981 followed by a 30-year bull market which started in 2001 as predicted. This has caused over $21 trillion in national bank debt.

What does all this mean? Well, we want to pay close attention to the predictions of the future. One is investing in real estate now and hanging onto it. As always, this remains a solid investment so long as you don't buy high and sell low... as with anything.

Have a Real Estate Question? Ask Now

 

Posted in Miami Real Estate
July 1, 2019

Is Buying Harder for Those with Children?

A recent article and survey by Zillow says that homebuyers with children can face greater struggles in the real estate market. While the summer is usually our slow time, there are still buyers and sellers out there and because school is out, more families are now looking to relocate and move. Buying a home can be tricky but if you have small children it can be far more stressful. According to Zillow research, parents with children under 18 are far more likely to exceed their budget and make a smaller down payment. However, there are also more likely to end up with a longer commute and smaller homes and they really want, especially in the Miami market, where home prices are exceeding faster than wages.Is Buying Harder for Those with Children?

Children's needs are constantly changing and impossible to anticipate but parents are still trying to create homes and environments that they can thrive and grow in, but unfortunately, the budget does not support that type of housing in our area. Many people that work in downtown Miami or Miami Beach area must commute over an hour or more simply to afford the home they really want. Parents tend to have a long wish list when it comes to the houses they're looking for and things that may be negotiable for folks without kids may seem mandatory for parents. Parents are looking for safety, great schools, fabulous communities and enrichment in their life. There's also a need for more bedrooms, bathrooms, and private outdoor spaces. Community amenities, close access to parks, coffee shops, shopping, and community events are also a huge draw for many parents. Location is key but it can be a dealbreaker for many parents who need access to daycare, great schools, and of course work. Sometimes it's a trade-off because if you're spending hours in your commute time you really are not spending those hours with your kids and two-thirds of buyers with children say they ultimately made sacrifices to stay within their budget including the size of the home, the lot, or the commute.

A third of homebuyers sacrificed shorter commute, a third a larger home, and a third their desired finishes, details, or materials.

But it's not just homebuyers that are feeling the crunch. Renters with children and families also are having a tough time as they fill out nearly twice as many applications as renters without kids and it can take them a month longer to find a home.

The flipside of this is that nearly 95% of parents who recently bought a home say they love it which is slightly average than those without kids, a welcome statistic. Our market is cooling off just slightly allowing for more buyers and those with kids to enter into the housing market. Interest rates are still at historically low rates and buyers can lock in an affordable monthly payment that can last through children's college years. The goal is finding the right home that fits the families needs both now and 5 to 10 years from now.

Give me a call today if you're interested in finding the right home for your kids, your needs, and your family. I'm an expert in finding exactly what you need so that you will be satisfied for years to come.

Posted in Miami Real Estate
June 25, 2019

How Can Locals Compete with Foreign Buyers?

Prices in Miami are continuing to skyrocket even after the bottom fell out in the market in 2011 and property values plummeted. Many were suddenly underwater but today, home prices and condominium prices are rising faster than the locals can keep up. Those trying to purchase a moderately priced home in the Miami-Dade County area are finding that inventory is tight. In the fourth 1:45 thousand 18 there were 995 single-family homes under $300,000. There's an average of 330 homes sold each month and by mid-May 2019, only 872 single-family homes were listed under $300,000 for the entire County. There was only 677 in Broward County. The South Florida area is continuing to grow into an international destination beyond the vacations and resorts. Today, locals must compete with the cash-rich foreign and out-of-state buyers who keep driving up prices while local wages remain stagnant.How Can Locals Compete with Foreign Buyers?

Foreign investors pulled out of the industry in 2009 after the perception and there was an abundance of foreclosed homes and condominiums throughout the community. The economic and political problems throughout Central and South America actually became a blessing to our local real estate market. Foreign buyers use Miami real estate is a safe place to park their money during the upheavals in certain countries. But Miami has also been known for money laundering with shady buyers using anonymous companies to snap up homes and condos when it's a seller's market, which drives the prices up even more for those seriously trying to afford a home.

In 2016, the US Treasury Department launched a dragnet to combat money laundering throughout the Miami-Dade County and this ongoing effort has spread to a total of 10 cities along the East Coast. 20% of Florida's homebuyers between 2009 and 2017 were foreign buyers. Today, we are still seeing that influx of buyers as foreign purchasers spent nearly $8 billion on residential properties in the county.

Related: How to buy a home in a tight market

The US is unlike some countries, where foreign buyers can face significant restrictions. But the US puts all buyers on the same playing field and the same tax rates and laws apply to all. This isn't just happening in Miami, New York is seeing a serious influx of out-of-state and foreign buyers as well. Florida has ranked third in the list of states that added the most construction jobs between March 2018 in March 2019. Florida also added 24,100 new jobs for annual growth of 4.5%.

While all of this is positive, local buyers are finding themselves priced right out of the market. The median price for existing condos went up 4.3% over last year with a single-family home increase of nearly 4%. Median sales prices have increased from 29 consecutive quarters. Cash has been the biggest advantage to buyers even though a cash offer is not necessarily the best offer. This is why it is essential to have a qualified and experienced buyers agent on your side to help communicate with the listing agent and get your offer noticed and accepted. [Source]

More: Is a bidding war a good thing for a seller?

Posted in Miami Real Estate
June 18, 2019

Terminal Island to Potentially Have a Luxury Condo Building

Terminal Island is the unique workhorse of the beautiful Venetian and Palm Islands between Miami and Miami Beach and is often forgotten about. But developers are looking into this small triangular piece of land along the MacArthur Causeway as the home to a new luxury condo building. This triangular plot of land has been Miami Beach's maintenance and sanitation building housings as well the gas station for city vehicles, FPL plant, and the Fisher Island ferry terminal but it's also next-door to a very busy Coast Guard station, which could be the real linchpin holding up the entire project.Terminal Island to Potentially Have a Luxury Condo Building

Developer Related Group is moving forward with plans for a 35 story luxury condominium tower with up to 90 units. In exchange for permission for this glitz and glam, the developer is promised to build a new fleet maintenance facility in Miami Beach to replace the current one. The original one on Terminal Island was built in 1945 and definitely needs an upgrade.

The developers are looking to put a 400-foot tall residential building in this location only zoned for industrial uses so far. However, the Coast Guard has been strongly opposed to the project saying it would negatively impact its ability to safely and effectively carry out existing operations. It may also have limitations to expand the Coast Guard's activities. They worry that future neighbors would complain about the constant, noisy activity at the station, which includes ship repair, forklift operations, unloading drugs seized offshore ships and cargo loading. The Coast Guard has also voiced concern that residential yachts could deter maritime operations. This residential tower could provide a lookout point for criminal organizations monitoring the Coast Guard stations, which is located on a neighboring island and the tower could interfere with communication systems.

The Miami Beach City Commission will that the project before commissioners vote on whether to approve it or not. This proposal is just one of several plans in the Miami Beach area that exchange a public benefit, permission for a building in exchange for new maintenance facilities, etc. For instance, developers Russell Galbut of Crescent Heights and David Martin of Terra Group received permission to build a 519-foot condo tower on Alton Road at the entrance of the MacArthur Causeway in exchange for building a 3-acre public park.

The Related Group has pledged to build a 50,000 square-foot facility for Miami Beach's fleet maintenance and will upgrade the fueling stations and create new parking garages. But, in order for the new facility to be built, the developer will offer Miami Beach 26,000 ft.² of land to add to its current site. There has been a lack of space at its current facility, which hinders the replacing or upgrading of the facility where it sits. [Source]

This is a work in progress so we will see how the city and Coast Guard vote in the next coming weeks.

June 6, 2019

Can I Accept Another if I've Already Accepted a Contingent One?

"We want to sell fast but all we're getting is contingent offers? How does that work and do I have to accept them?"Can I Accept Another if I've Already Accepted a Contingent One?

This is a common occurrence, especially in buyer's markets. A contingent offer is typically referring to an offer a buyer has submitted that states they will buy the house once their own house sells first. Many buyers can't manage two mortgage payments so they must sell one to buy another. The offer may be great in the way of terms and price but the term contingent can make people wince, and it really shouldn't. Here's what's really going on.

A contingent offer simply states that the buyer is willing to buy your house once their's sells so they can use the money as a down payment on the new house. Your house can't close until their house does. While this may sound like locking the seller down, it really isn't that big of a deal. The buyers can either negotiate for a couple of different scenarios; they have already listed the property and it's currently on the market, or they promise to list within a certain amount of time, usually 3 days after mutual acceptance. The original seller can still keep the listing on the market under the classification of "contingent" and still market the property to other potential buyers. There may be stipulations on how aggressively the homeowner and agent can market, but regardless, it can usually stay on the market

If the seller receives another offer that is better than the first, non-contingent, the rules in the contingency typically state that the buyer has 3 days to either remove the contingency and go ahead with the purchase or withdraw their offer. Basically, the seller still has all the cards. They can keep the home on the market in case a better offer comes in and if not, the seller can take the contingent offer all the way through. There is also wording in the contract about the buyer's home getting an offer. They usually cannot accept a contingent offer since there would be too much riding on one contract. The buyer must accept a non-contingent offer, allowing the original seller a little more freedom in closing rather than waiting for deal after deal to close before they can finally walk away.

So a contingent offer is not bad and with the right terms could be a favorable option, especially if there haven't been any other bites on the house so far. Don't negate a contingent offer right away. It may be your best option! 

Have more question? Give me a call! I can help list and sell your Miami home or condo and have decades of experience negotiating and getting my clients exactly what they want.

Have a Real Estate Question?
Ask Now

Posted in Miami Real Estate
May 8, 2019

Scheduling the Closing - What is it and When is it?

Finally. You found your dream house and your Realtor® is writing up the offer. Your next hope for this, fairytale scenario is that you can move in the morning of the 30th of next month since that's when your lease expires so that you don't have to pay extra rent! Yay! However, most people are not lucky enough to live in this dream world.Scheduling the Closing - What is it and When is it?

Closing or Close of Escrow is the day that the house you've just bought actually becomes yours. On this day all the final paperwork is signed and usually the day that all the money or funding changes hands. You can often get your keys that same day too, but not always.

A problem you may run into is that things don't always go exactly as planned especially near the end of the month. Why? It's due to a ton of other people who are also hoping to close the same time you are. The result? The end of the month crunch or race for the finish line...it makes for a lot of traffic in closing.

Related: What's the best way to get your offer accepted?

It is simply not possible for mortgage lenders, title companies and other services to handle the high volume of closings that tend to get scheduled for the last few days of the month. A high volume of closings makes it so that documents don't show up and closing gets delayed. OR, the financing may get delayed. When this happens, upset and disappointed buyers are the result.

However, there's hope. The solution is to schedule your closing near the middle of the week and during the middle of the month. Be realistic and allow ample time, usually 30 days, for the escrow period. It's true that you may end up paying a few more days of rent, but the frustration you save your self will be well worth it.

As with all my clients, we try to be very strategic as to when to schedule the closing. We want the most possible benefit for our clients as well as convenient for all parties. This is why we schedule sometimes sooner or later than expected.

 

Have a Real Estate Question? Ask Now

MORE: 

How to Tell if You Need a Jumbo Loan

Do I Need a Real Estate Lawyer When Buying?

5 Things to Know Before Making an Offer on a New Home

Posted in Miami Real Estate
May 2, 2019

How to Choose a Property Manager for Your Miami Investment

We have lots of investors and property owners throughout Miami and Miami Beach, many of which either don’t live here full time or reside in the state at all. It can be difficult to decide who will manage your property in your absence but here are some things to consider when choosing a property management service in Miami.

Questions to ask:How to Choose a Property Manager for Your Miami Investment

  • What are my responsibilities as the property owner and what are your responsibilities as the property manager?
  • How much does it cost to have the property managed and maintained?
  • Is there an initial cost for tenant placement as well as ongoing monthly management fees?
  • What expenses are tax-deductible?
  • In case of damage or repairs, do you have a list of resources that you refer to and may I see it?
  • How long have you been a property manager?
  • How many properties do you currently manage and you have assistance?

You want to make sure you use a local property manager that is familiar not only with the area and the neighborhood but local resources and referrals as well. You certainly wouldn’t want your property manager calling 10 different places to find the right plumber, charging you for their time.

You will also want to property manager with experience. Too many properties to manage without enough staff could mean that your property will get neglected or that your tenants will not receive service in a timely manner. Yes, it’s important for property managers to have a good book of business each month but too many properties without assistance or help could mean that your property and your tenant will be neglected. This could cause your tenant to be frustrated and move out, leaving you to find a new renter.

Customer service is also extremely important, not just to you but to your tenant as well. Yes, there are those renters that can become a nightmare but many renters are extremely upstanding people that deserve just as much customer service as you do. Make sure your property manager is courteous, communicative, and responsive timely manner, not just to you but to your tenants as well.

Talk to references. Ask about the property managers book of business and if you can contact current property owners. This is a great way to learn more about your property managers.

Understand exactly how fees and payments will be handled. Most property managers will collect rent on their own, and then deposit the leftover amount after their commission each month into your personal account. Make sure you get all financial agreements in writing and that everyone is on the same page.

Contact my office anytime for information on property managers in Miami and Miami Beach

More Resources

Helping Foreign Buyers and Sellers in Miami

Don't Make These Mistakes When Looking for a Condo

Posted in Miami Realtor
April 16, 2019

How to Move or Pack Delicate or Tricky Items

That funky Tiffany lampshade, a unique mirror, the handblown glass the sculpture you got for your anniversary, all of these unique things are tricky to pack and carefully store and the last thing you want is to risk breaking it during your relocation. Here are some moving and packing hacks for those tricky or delicate items when it comes to relocating.

Power tools.How to Move or Pack Delicate or Tricky Items

First, remove any detachable parts from the tools and use rags or bubblewrap to protect sharp edges. Pack tools securely in a tool caddy or strong box and add extra packing like a newspaper or plastic bags around the tools to stop them from sliding and bumping into each other.

Your television.

Most televisions are pretty large these days and need careful handling. If you can, packet back in the original box and packing but if you don't, like most of us, wrap your monitor and pedestal carefully in a sheet or thick blanket and secure with duct tape or packing tape.

Lamps

Lampshades are best transported in a box and if possible, nest several shades together so that it can protect each other. Wrap with paper towels or plain paper but never newspaper as the print could come off on the shades.

Aquariums.

Place the tank on top of the strong box that's larger than the tank and line the base with bubblewrap. Aquariums are pretty heavy even without water so place layers of cardboard on top of the tank and add more packing to the box until it's full. Make sure you put fragile on the box.

Lawnmowers.

Remove all oil and gas from the mower before packing to avoid leaks and spills. Clean the mower, and wipe off all the grass to avoid the spread of quarantined plants and grasses.

Odd shaped items.

Wrap these items in bubble wrap or paper and secure it well with tape. Pack one or two items that are fragile in with other items for cushioning such as blankets, towels, and clothing. Pack fragile glass items in the center of a box filled with soft items.

If you're concerned about movers damaging your precious items during packing and relocation, simply pack them yourself to ensure that you have a good cushion.

Relocating to or from the Miami or Miami Beach real estate area? Use my website to search for all homes, moving tips, buying and selling advice, or to get in touch with a qualified, experienced real estate agent in Miami.

Posted in Real Estate