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,

Jan. 9, 2019

How to Buy a Home in Miami in a Tight Market

How to Buy a Home in Miami in a Tight Market

From too many homes on the market just a few years ago to home buyers having a problem finding a home that they really want, the housing market certainly has had its ups and downs and we're starting to get dizzy from the roller coaster ride. Demand is extremely high right now in just about every market across the country and home prices are starting to rise due to the increase in demand.

Investors tend to outbid owner occupied buyers and even with today’s low interest rates the urgency has never been greater to jump on the home of your dreams. If you wait, investors will swoop in especially on short sales and distressed homes that can make a quick profit from flipping.

So how do buyers jump on the ball ahead of investors and those ready to buy?

There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself:

Make sure you're preapproved for a home loan before even looking at homes. By knowing ahead of time that you can afford a particular price range and having a letter of preapproval in hand, sets you up for success.

Have your offer ready to fill out. As your Miami agent, I can prepare an offer ahead of time and simply fill in the remaining specifics on any one particular property when the time comes.

Write a letter to the seller specifically telling them why you want their home. Appeal to sellers by explaining your situation and why they should accept your offer over an investor.

Make sure you have minimal contingencies and addendum’s so that there’s not a lot of hoops to jump through for sellers.

Buying in Miami and Miami Beach is getting tough and there is still a lot of competition. If you’re a first-time home buyer or you’re looking to move up, give me a call anytime. I specialize in luxury homes and condos in Brickell, Miami, and Miami Beach. 

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Posted in Miami Real Estate
Dec. 27, 2018

Price Should Not Be the Only Reason to Buy a Home

There are a lot of factors to consider when buying your first home but price should not be the only factor. Of course, you have to consider price when you're looking in a specific price range, but there could be some of the things you're missing when you focus solely on the price.

 

Consider resale value.Price Should Not Be the Only Reason to Buy a Home

 

Probably the last thing you're thinking about when buying a home is selling it, but you do have to consider that, especially if this is your first home. Chances are, this won't be your last home, so consider how others might feel in the future. If you like the house now, somebody else will probably like it down the line, but it's important to look at all factors including resale value when buying a home.

 

Consider schools.

 

You may not have children but the next homeowner might and schools and certain school zones and service areas could be extremely important to buyers. It's something to consider when purchasing the home even if you don't plan on having kids for a while ... or ever.

 

Consider maintenance.

 

How much maintenance will the home is tail? Are you prepared for lawn care, keeping up with the construction of the home, replacing appliances? If you've rented up until now, taking on a new home can seem a little bit overwhelming so being prepared and simply understanding what you are responsible for can put you ahead of the game. A condominium might be a better option as it eases you into homeownership without the 100% responsibility for everything including the land.

 

Consider utility costs.

 

If you are going from a 900 square-foot apartments to a 3000 square-foot home your electricity and utility costs are going to practically quadruple. Make sure you understand what the utility costs are to a home before finalizing the purchase. You can ask the existing homeowner or get copies from local utility departments. You may be able to afford the home but not the cost of heating and cooling it.

 

Consider commute.

 

You may have found the perfect home only to discover the commute route is two hours from work through 37 stoplights and some of the worst traffic in the city. Before finalizing a purchase and sale contract on a home drive the commute routes during the heaviest times of the day so you have a good understanding of what your daily commute will look like.

Buying real estate is so much more than simply the price tag. Make sure you understand what you are getting into with these simple additional search criteria.

 

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Start Your Search Now

Additional Resources:

First Time Home Buyers Guide

3 Things to Know About Buying a Home with a Pool

Who Owns What in an HOA?

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Dec. 17, 2018

5 Ways to Prepare Your Brickell Condo for a Sale in the New Year.

I understand that a lot of people are just not considering selling their property over the next couple of weeks. With Hanukkah, Christmas, and the new year looming before us, the last thing you want to worry about is staging and listing a home. But, if you're planning on selling, January or February, there are a few things you could be doing now to set yourself up for home selling success. Here are five things you could be doing in the next couple of weeks to prepare your home for a 2019 sale.

 

#1. Take a look at home values.5 Ways to Prepare Your Brickell Condo for a Sale in the New Year.

 

Condo and single-family home values do vary greatly throughout Miami and Brickell. It's important to understand what the market is currently doing. Feel free to give me a call and let's discuss home values for your area or building, as they can vary greatly from one building to another. There are several condo buildings in Brickell and Brickell Key right now that are going crazy, and if you have one of those units, you might benefit from selling sooner rather than later. Having a good idea of what the market is currently doing for your area and your building can help you plan for a more profitable sale.

 

#2. When you pack up holiday decorations, pack them up for good.

 

There are probably things you will not use until you move into your new home so start now by packing those items up in boxes, use packing supplies, and pack up any seasonal items that you know you won't use until next year. This is a great way to get a jumpstart on the packing process.

 

#3. Start interviewing agents.

 

I know that cramming in an interview over the next couple of weeks is probably the last thing on your list, but it might be a perfect time to do it. Be able to squeeze in a good hour or so of a real estate interview. Call if you up and ask them what they specialize in. Myself, I specialize in condominiums throughout Brickell, Miami Beach, Brickell Key, and the waterfront and in very proficient in home values, how to stage, and what today's buyers are looking for.

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#4. Make a list… Check it twice.

If you have some time off for the holiday season, go through the house with a checklist of items that need to be replaced, updated, or repaired. There may be items that you've completely become blind to because you've gotten used to the house over the years. If you are unsure what needs to be repaired or replaced, have a trusted friend or your real estate agent accompany you through the house making notes and suggestions on what buyers might look for.

 

#5. Don't stress out.

 

That's almost impossible this time of year, but if you start planning early you can avoid a lot of stress and hassle in the new year. By fixing those little things one at a time as they come along or simply scheduling out your packing, staging, updating, or repairs, you'll be ready to list sometime in January or February. But… Don't forget to enjoy this holiday season.

 

And with that, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and a wonderful holiday season.

Schedule a Listing Consultation

Posted in Selling
Dec. 12, 2018

Shocker: People Like Real Grass Along Brickell Ave

It appears that if enough people complain, anything can get done and that's certainly the case when it comes to the debate over artificial and real turf along Brickell Ave.Shocker: People Like Real Grass Along Brickell Ave

Back in October, the city replaced all of the real grass with artificial turf. The grass along the avenues of Brickell, one of Miami's iconic roadways was replaced with a carpet of artificial turf. This synthetic grass was glued with an adhesive to the concrete slabs on top of the soil. I will say, it was one of the tachy us moves the city has ever done. This $230,000 project is designed to save maintenance expenses and beautify these bare patches underneath shade trees, but the residents of Brickell absolutely detested this "improvement". Most residents thought it was the stupidest and tackiest project the city has come up with to date. Well, enough people protested and it looks like the city listened.

One of the biggest issues was that residents say the fake grass creates a smell when dog urine and uncollected feces cannot decompose into the ground. It certainly makes sense. That's the last thing you want to see walking by Brickell Avenue.

Well, the artificial turf or is officially over. Real grass will again replace the fake grass… That replaced the real grass originally. The mayor ordered the removal of the synthetic grass that was installed on the swells of Brickell Avenue and Brickell Bay Drive. Originally installed by Easy Grass to the tune of $230,000, has now been hired to remove it and the concrete slabs it's going to and replant with topsoil and sod. One of the best things is that Easy Grass will do the restoration at no additional charge saving the city thousands of dollars.

The mayor and Commissioner Ken Russell met with residents after several weeks of protests with signs saying "No Fake Grass on Brickell". The mayor agreed that in theory it was a well-intentioned idea but the outcome was certainly not expected. It doesn't matter if it beautifies the area if the objective of making citizens happy goes by the wayside. Once it became apparent that residents of Brickell were not happy with the project, the mayor's responsibility was to figure it out and fix it.

Beautifying the bald and patchy swales along Brickell with real grass or landscaping and paying maintenance expenses would've cost just as much as the fake grass. They are now prepared for the upkeep. [Source]

Dec. 4, 2018

Luxury Real Estate Buyers are Scaling Down

Luxury Real Estate Buyers are Scaling DownUp and down the Florida coastline luxury and multi-million-dollar home buyers are finding that less is more. In a recent article by MSN.com, people are finding that in Miami and Palm Beach Florida, these high-end clients are actually looking to scale down. I can confirm that as well in the Miami and Miami Beach area. Many of these multimillion dollar or high-end clients don't necessarily need the largest property on the beach. Looking for something a little more manageable but yet, may have two or three of these type of properties rather than one large one. There realizing that to gain interest in the real estate market, the biggest is not always the best.

High-end clients are now prioritizing quality over quantity. This becomes evident in that these types of buyers are not only downsizing their primary residence but they're spending about $4000 a month to live in luxury, extended-stay hotels for the convenience and the amenities. However, many of today's luxury condo buildings in Brickell and Miami Beach, offer these type of amenities for an additional homeowner association fee. 

High-end buyers are prioritizing quality over quantity so much so that they are spending up to $4000 a month to live in luxury, extended-stay hotels for their amenities and conveniences. It seems they prefer the benefits of a fully stocked kitchen, fitness centers, personal trainers, weekly housekeeping and more to managing a large property. This is also why properties on Brickell and Brickell Key that offer these type of full-service amenities are doing so well, even for smaller layouts of less than 2000 ft.². According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of upscale extended-stay hotel rooms has increased by 34% over the last five years and these luxury apartment buildings are catering to the demands. They're offering tenants increasingly lavish amenities, rooftop running tracks and dog parks, movie theaters, resident only bars and restaurants, and many more options.

Take for instance UNA, Miami's newest luxury condo building. This building will feature 135 private residence each with their own elevator, spa, fitness center, private Marina, three pools, beauty suite for private services, private movie theater, outdoor lounge, and many more options. These residents are taking note from places like the Four Seasons, which offers permanent residents housekeeping services, making the need to vacation elsewhere nonexistent.

For more information on Miami's premier condo buildings and full-service apartment complexes, contact my office today or simply schedule a showing for free.

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Nov. 27, 2018

Beautiful 6 Bedroom Home for Sale in Miami

Located at 2301 NE. 191st St. in North Miami just outside of the Ojus neighborhood just south of the Aventura Mall is a beautiful six bedroom and three bath home with nearly 2900 ft.² of living space priced at $899,000.

Beautiful home in Miami

This home features 155 feet of water frontage to a canal with ocean access. The home has been updated from its original 1960 design. It has granite countertops, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, spacious rooms, a recreational room, backyard swimming pool and more. It sits on a quiet dead and Street close to a park and just minutes from the Aventura Mall. 

This home also includes the lot next door, which has a professional size tennis court, fenced area, and it's lighted. This unique home sits on .35 acres just across the street from the St. Lawrence elementary school.

There are no homeowner association fees associated with this home or the neighborhood. Residents are part of the Miami school district and are served by the St. Lawrence elementary school, the Highland Oaks middle school, and the Michael Krop Senior high school. The Aventura waterways K-8 center also serves this community and is less than a mile and a half away.

Beautiful 6 Bedroom Home for Sale  in Miami

This is a great location just seconds from downtown Miami, Miami Beach, and with access to the ocean, you can have your own boat with easy access to the Intracoastal Waterway or the ocean.

This home won't last long with all the amazing amenities and perks that come with. If you're looking for something close to home, single-story, close to the city, and with great amenities, this home is it. Give me a call and let schedule a showing today or I can send you a list of similar properties in the area.

Click on the link above to view all images of this listing

 

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Posted in Miami Real Estate
Nov. 13, 2018

Experienced Listing Agent for Miami and Miami Beach

Miami Beach Realtor"Kenny is a no-nonsense pro who will sell your property with the maximum of haste and the minimum of fuss. He was the very first estate agent who got in touch when I put a general ad online. When we met up he was courteous and efficient and went out of his way to ascertain my needs as a potential client. I needed to get the property sold as soon as possible and as soon as interest was shown, Kenny was highly attentive to the potential buyers through forming an immediate relationship and rapport with their agents.

The property was on the market only a few days before a suitable offer came along. You just can't ask for more from a realtor." Irvine W.

 

This right here. This is why I love doing what I do. I don't just do this for a job, I am highly passionate about real estate, especially in the Miami, Miami Beach, and Brickell areas. When it comes to selling a property, I am a no-nonsense type of Realtor that will get in, price your home correctly, be honest with you on how to sell, and get it sold as quickly as possible for as much money in your pocket as the market can bear.

Here's what to expect when you meet with me.

We will talk about comparable properties in the area. I not only look at what has sold recently, but what's currently on the market and what's pending. There are three different types of comparable properties to look at; those that of recently sold within the last six months, those currently on the market but have not had an offer yet, and those with the pending status, meaning the seller has accepted an offer and it's in the process of closing. Although we cannot see the accepted offer price in a pending transaction, we can look at what is being listed and what have sold. We can also get a good idea of what is being listed to the percentage of being sold. Meaning that if the property listed for $900,000 and it sold for $850,000, there is a 99% list to sale ratio. This is great news because we know that when we list at a certain price, chances are we will get extremely close to that price.

We will also talk about the risks of underpricing a property in order to create more of a feeding frenzy on the multiple offer standpoint. This may or may not work in your case. Because I know the individual neighborhoods around Miami we can make these calculated moves in order to get you the best price possible without giving away the home.

I also want to know your goals and expectations out of the home selling process. What's the number you need to walk away with? What's your bottom line? Are you underwater? All of these questions help a two discover the best possible price range, where to start, and how to appeal to your buyers.

Buyers differ all over the Miami area from Little Havana to Miami Beach so depending on where the property sits, we will market differently to different demographics. Higher in condominium buyers tend to have their own buyers agents ahead of time, and my connections with those agents will help get more eyes on your condo quicker. Perhaps it's an estate out in Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, those buyers are looking for something different than a condo buyer on Brickell.

When it comes to listing your property you need experience, education, and a tough negotiator. Let me guide you through the home selling process to get the right offer on the table, money in your pocket, and an easy and swift move for you and your family.

Schedule a listing consultation today

Find Out What Your Home is Worth

Nov. 6, 2018

Have Natural Stone in Your Home? Consider Sealing it

Many of the newest Miami and Brickell condos have beautiful natural stone but most people don't know how to properly care for this type of material. Whether you are planning to sell your home or condo and are fixing it up, or just plan on updating your home, care of natural stone is a must. Have Natural Stone in Your Home? Consider Sealing it

Natural stone is a gorgeous, durable, and long-lasting finish in many different areas of the home. Natural stone is often used in areas of the home that see the most use including floor tiles, bathroom vanities, kitchen counters, and shower and tub tiles. Each of these areas comes in contact with a myriad of substances from water, to cosmetics, to soaps, and food. Due to a large amount of use, it is best to apply a protective sealer to natural stone to keep it in its best shape and prevent staining.

Even more important than sealing your stone is making sure you have the right type of sealer for your specific stone. The deciding factors in which type of sealer you need for your stone depends on the location, use, and type of stone. A professional cleaner can help you to decide on the type of sealer and application.

Misconceptions about Stone Sealers

After applying a sealer many stone owners believe they have applied a cure-all shield of protection that will prevent any and all damage to their stone. While sealers do provide a layer of protection and are important they do not completely prevent all possible damage. Even with the protection of a sealer, the stone is still susceptible to acidic items, scratches, dulling, damage from traffic patterns, etching, and other damage. Sealers also do not make stone stain proof, rather they make your stone stain resistant. It is still important to stick to a cleaning and care routine with a pH neutral cleaner and routine professional cleanings, re-finishing, and re-sealing.

So what exactly does a stone sealer provide? It provides a protective layer that keeps substances like cosmetics, soaps, food, juice, water, etc. on the surface of the stone a little bit longer to give you time to clean these substances away before they sink below the surface and stain the stone or require more expensive measures to try and repair. It may seem like sealers don’t provide much, but with everyday life and use you will be very glad the sealer is there providing the extra layer of care.

Ideally, a sealer should be applied by a professional at least once a year after a professional cleaning. Over time a sealer wears away and so does its protective power.

Planning on selling? Give me a call to find out exactly what you should repair or replace and what can be ignored.

Posted in Selling
Oct. 10, 2018

Want to Sell Your House? Stay Away From This Design Trend

If you're interested in selling your home in Miami you're probably looking at price, the right real estate agent, how to list and market your home as well as setting up your home to be attractive to the majority of homebuyers. But many sellers are making serious mistakes when it comes to accessorizing and designing their home for today's buyers.

Design Trends to stay away from

Adapted from a recent article in MSN Money, here are five design trends that home sellers should stay away from if they want to attract the right buyer.

#1. Bold colors.

Red painted kitchens, lime green bathrooms or bright pink or blue bedrooms really turn off the buyer but the good news is there one of the easiest and cheapest things to fix. A simple neutral tone can work wonders. Whites and grays are a popular choice nowadays.

#2. Open floor plan bathrooms.

Now before you think this is a crazy idea, many brand-new homes are making this a trend with is an open master tub in the master bedroom. This literally means you could be laying in bed watching TV while your partner is in the bathtub right next to you. This trend really should go away. This can be an expensive thing to fix but there should be some separation between the bathroom and the bedroom.

#3. Converted rooms.

Buyers want to see a room as it was originally intended. This means that if you have turned a bedroom into a yoga studio or an exercise room it should be turned back into a bedroom door, turned into an office. An office is a great option for those extra bedrooms that your home may have.

#4. Wall-to-wall carpeting.

Wall-to-wall carpeting might've been great in the 70s and 80s but today, especially in Miami, buyers are looking for cool floors in either the form of hardwoods or tile. It's fine to have carpet in the bedrooms as it's warm and comforting but in the living room, kitchen and dining room, a smooth, cool floor is what buyers desire.

#5. Shiny hardware.

The shiny brass, chrome, and metallic finishes are out. Even though a lot of people are seeing these make a trend, I'm noticing that buyers do not like them at all. It's the brushed brass, polished and brushed nickel and other patina or distressed finishes that the buyers are really looking for.

Every home is different and there's usually something that each home can benefit from by making a small change or upgrade. If you're looking to sell your Miami, Miami Beach or Brickell home contact my office today about the value and how we can get it sold quickly in today's market.

What You Need to Know About Selling Your Home Yourself

Thinking of Selling? Do These 20 Things First

 

Image adapted By Andman8 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7530902 & Jeremy Levine

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Oct. 2, 2018

What is Luxury Real Estate?

There are dozens of different features and amenities that go into creating the perfect luxury home. One of the most common requirements among buyers is curb appeal. While the inside of the home may be impeccable, nobody wants his or her home to look plain or rundown from the outside when the inside is jaw-dropping. Everything from the curb appeal to the kitchen sink should meet and exceed all your expectations when purchasing a luxury home. There are a few different key points that make a house, a luxury listing.What is Luxury Real Estate?

While we may think luxury real estate is simply the listing(s) of mansions with acreage, that isn’t always the case. With today’s market, often luxury homes are getting smaller. Small yards and lots are easier to maintain and upkeep which is a common need among homebuyers. With smaller lots available, this often means that luxury homes are becoming multi-level with different features and sometimes even different designs on each level. Whether you like your home to flow together as one cohesive piece or like each room to be a stand-alone jaw-dropper, the multi-level homes that are becoming our newest and greatest luxury listings are sure to please. The majority of homes in today’s luxury market(s) offer beautifully open concepts with an airy kitchen, living and dining room allowing for peak entertainment all year round.

The lifestyle that is lived in luxury homes requires more than simply good looks and beautiful finishes, luxury homes are meant to be suitable and comfortable for their owners. For example, a luxury home may be built with a massive walk-in closet with a seating and dressing area to help a young couple feel they have the space to get ready for a night out. Lighting as well as updated electrical, such as USB ports, are all a huge bonus in luxury real estate. While the most important person to please is the buyer, everyone wants a home that can not only wow their guests but can also start a conversation based on specific features that are etched into the home

While the “perfect” home in one city may be something totally different a few states away, the ideal luxury home is a home where you feel you are at your best. Whether that be indoor/outdoor flow, greatly covered patios in case of rain, enclosed sunrooms allowing you to enjoy the outdoors while still having the comforts of the indoors, ultimately it is your decision what features are on your must-have list. Media rooms, generators, garages, and shops all allow you to feel as if your home is a fortress. Build your fortress or begin your search for the perfect luxury home that embodies all of the visions you’ve had for your dream home.

[Related Post: High-End Vs. Affordable Luxury]

You may have seen the movie “Smart House” that appeared on Disney Channel and in that time many were left in utter awe at the sophisticated and virtually interactive home. The luxury real estate market has been demanding more and more electronics to fit into the “smart house” theme. Whether your floors are heated and/or cooled, you have a room by room temperature controls, voice-activated televisions and music systems, motion detectors, cooled wine cellars, controlled blackout windows or top of the line home monitoring systems, we all can say, a smart house is a coveted house. These high-end amenities are exactly what it takes to make a luxury home.

Whether you are in the market for your first luxury home, looking for a vacation getaway or are searching for an upgrade, you can’t go wrong when choosing a luxury home. With an array of different features to offer, your search for a luxury home will be one you won’t soon forget. Start your search today and find out for yourself what beautiful features and amenities the luxury homes in your area have to offer.

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