March 14, 2014
When choosing a Miami Beach Realtor, you do research, you ask around and you look at real estate sales and movement in your area – but do you know what to ask a Miami Realtor once they are in front of you? Here are some basic questions you should ask to help you make an informed decision when choosing a Realtor.
1. Are they in Real Estate Full Time?
This is huge since a lot in the industry have had to take second jobs to supplement their income. You want to make sure that the professional you choose can handle and is focused in handling your real estate needs at a moment’s notice.
2. Do they know sign language?
Communication is key between parties and that’s the number one objection we hear from our customers about the real estate industry. Ask how your Realtor will communicate with you during the process – regular e-mails, phone calls, smoke signals, snail-mail, telex (I’m dating myself here).
3. How will they promote, push and plug your property?
The word “marketing” can be very broad. Make sure the agent details their marketing plan with specifics – Social Media, Print advertising, Internet and Traditional methods. Placing a property in the MLS and putting a sign in front of a property is not enough in today’s market.
4. Who will do the honors?
Ask who will show your property – will they have an assistant available or will they use the legendary lock-box? If this is important to you, make sure you ask. I would also make sure to ask who will have the keys to your property and how will access be granted if they are not the ones showing the property.
5. Do they answer their phone?
I know this seems trivial, but you would be surprised how few agents answer their phone and actually return messages in a prompt manner.
6. Do they have paparazzi qualities?
This is the number one complaint from buyers today – when looking for properties they skip the ones without photos or the ones with bad or few photos. Make sure you ask your agent how quickly they will photograph the property and include those photos in all marketing and who will take the photos. (there’s an inside joke in the industry about agents who photograph toilets). Sometimes a creative eye that discriminates a particular property feature will attract traffic to the listing. And professional photography is a MUST!!
7. Can they dance?
Once your property is under contract – how do they manage the transaction? Are they experienced in dealing with all the problems and objections of today’s real estate market. Many contracts that fall through due to poor transaction management.
8. Do they sleep around?
Will they look out for your best interest or theirs? This is a difficult question to ask and you need to be able to discriminate against true and honest answers.
9. What’s their annoyance factor?
It is customary for agents to keep in touch with you so you remember them and refer them business. It’s never a bad idea to ask how they plan to do this. This is very personal since you may not mind drip campaigns for the rest of your life made up of postcards and recipes, phone calls and inquiries. But this is also a great way to learn about the agent’s business practice.
**one of my faves – originally written on January 24th, 2009**
February 28, 2014
To make a National Geographic Top 10 list is no easy task and then to see Miami Beach sit amongst ridiculously gorgeous destinations like Nice, Honolulu and Rio de Janeiro is a dream come true for us locals. Yes, we always boast that we live where you vacation, but this just adds a little “umph” to that statement.
photo by Hendrik Holler, Photolibrary
Here’s what National Geographic has to say:
Separated from Miami by Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach is a barrier island and city unto itself fringed with nine miles (14 kilometers) of sandy Atlantic beaches, the red-hot center of which is South Beach. Once a seedy outpost, the 25 art deco-filled blocks known as SoBe has emerged as a stomping ground for the glitterati. Park your towel among the glamorous denizens at the southern tip of the beach.
Other famous Beach Cities on the list include Barcelona, Cape Town, Sydney and Tel Aviv. Thank you National Geographic for reinforcing the fact that Miami Beach is an amazing place to live and enjoy.
February 21, 2014
I love unpretentious, low scale projects and Beach House 8 is one of them. Designed by Arquitectonica and developed by Valerio Morabito from Morabito Properties and Ugo Colombo from CMC Group. We’re talking right on the ocean on Collins and 36th Street and only 8 residences. The epitome of luxury and exclusivity and to top it off, interiors by Michele Bonan.
Developer Valerio Morabito explains the concept behind Beach House 8,
“I wanted to create the feeling of being in your own space, almost as if you are on the bow of a yacht. This idea is reflected in every aspect of the building: the maritime feeling of the sleep interiors, the generous glass surfaces, the long terraces, the light filtering from every corner of the space.”
Architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia explains the play on volumes of the facade,
“Unlike the usual Miami high-rise where everything lines up and everything is exactly the same, this facade consists of a series of shifted frames, expressing a series of houses in a very pure and abstract way – shifting as if moving from the water to the land, capturing the wind, all the dynamic movement of Miami, all the energy of the ocean waves.”
Beach House 8 Features and Amenities
- NY concierge services provided
- 2 parking spaces for each residence
- 1 pool-side cabana for each residence
- Fitness center with Technogym equipment
- Completed terrace floors with stone
- 75′ pool with jacuzzi
- Private pool and beach service
In shared outdoor and lobby areas, elements from wood-paneled drawing rooms to decking finished in Mauritian Teak, from natural-fiber banquettes to dark-blue mosaic tiling in the pool, from the garden waterfall to the airy 14-foot ceilings at the entry – combined with a full suite of concierge services appropriate for cosmopolitan living – all create an atmosphere of both understated elegance and contemporary informality. Just right for where the city meets the beach.
Beach House 8 residence features
- Boffi Kitchens
- Marble countertops quarried in Italy for kitchen and baths
- Custom made, built out closet systems
- Energy efficient LED downlighting in key areas
- Lutron Home-Works lighting control system
- Creston home automation system with the ability to control audio, video, HVAC, lighting and window treatments
- Prewired for motorized window treatments
- Prewired for HSIA (high speed internet access)
- Prewired for telephones, cable TV and satellite video
- Security System
Beach House 8 Price List
Pricing starts at $5.9 Million and residences start at 3,783 sq.ft. (378 meters) with 989-2,899 sq.ft. of exteriors(99 to 290 meters). The penthouse will have 5,242 sq.ft.(524 meters) with 6,230 sq.ft. exteriors(623 meters).
Accepting deposits now of 10% to guarantee price as well as residence. Remember that these developments vary in pricing depending on popularity and increase in price upon demand – these prices are valid now and will increase (Don’t say we didn’t warn you). We always tell our clients to reserve early since deposits are refundable.
Remember our team is ready to help you with your Beach House 8 Purchase and of course surrounding condos as well. We also have floor plans. Call us for details 305.758.2323 or email@example.com
February 17, 2014
What a great surprise to find in Sunday’s Miami Herald – Congratulating 2014 Miami Leaders from Miami Association of REALTORS (the largest Realtor Association in the nation!). Proud to serve with such esteemed colleagues in the YPN Leadership Board. (yours truly in lower left corner)
May 3, 2013
If you are thinking of selling your house, what’s the ideal Realtor for you?
- Is it the one that will tell you what you want to hear?
- Is it the one that will list your house at the highest price?
- Is it the one that works for the biggest brokerage?
If you are like most people, you will talk to a couple of Realtors to get an idea of pricing and see how the market is doing. You may have an idea of what your house is worth and hope your number is close to reality. You may even have a grasp of reality but know your house is superior and NEED to sell for more than the market dictates. Even if you don’t know it, you establish a selling strategy before you even interview a Realtor – you set goals in your head of what you want to happen and have pre-conceived ideas on how to achieve those goals.
When the time comes to interview different Realtors, you will end up hiring the one that comes closer to your predetermined plan. This may be a good thing if your plan comes close to reality and what’s happening in your local real estate market – but what if you are really off?
So let me ask you a question from a Realtor’s perspective. Wouldn’t it be easy for me, as a Miami and Miami Beach Realtor, to tell you what you want to hear in order to get the listing? It would look great in my long register of listings, even if the house doesn’t sell – it’s a numbers game, so the more listings I have, the better the chance I have of selling and making money.
Why can’t you realize that overpricing your house will not benefit you!!
Many agents out there will list it at whatever price you want – it’s simple (and one of the reasons the Real Estate Industry has such a bad reputation). Here’s another scenario: you may think, let’s list high now and we’ll see if the market responds and then we will lower the price. …but you wait, and wait and wait. You don’t lower the price and then blame the agent for not doing their job.
I just want you to be realistic here. Please think strategy before you even list your home. Please take a deep look into your pre-conceived ideas of what is to happen, and hire a Realtor because they will get the job done right. Take a look at their reputation, at their ability to market the property not only locally but nationally and abroad. Take a look at how they will make your property stand out from other listings, how they will communicate and how available they are.
Then make an educated and rational decision of who’s the best man for the job. And if you decide not to hire the best one for the job, at least know why you did it.
I’ll leave you with a great article written by a colleague in Tucson: The Effect of Great Marketing – And Good Pricing
The intent here was to make you think – Please know that our team will always tell it like it is – no fluff, just plain truth. Keep in mind that if you are looking for fluff, we may not be the perfect Miami Beach Realtor for you.
*original article from July 2010
March 28, 2013
There are so many differing opinions on the current Miami Real Estate market conditions. Some are rushing to buy into one of the country’s hottest real estate markets, others feel the comeback is too good to be true.
So which one is it? Who do you believe and what does your gut tell you?
The truth is that fast growth is always scary, especially right after one of the most horrible real estate crashes in history. But there are some facts that can’t be ignored and that has to do with Foreign Nationals trusting and buying into our market. South Americans are rushing to buy in Miami because let’s face it, many see a brighter future here and the return on their investment is secure.
Secondly, Miami is a vacation destination that as Richard Florida, founder of The Creative Class Group, mentions, is “different” than other second-home destinations.
Miami is not just a resort destination, but a global economic spike. The flip side of globalization has been the transformation of a small number of global cities — London, New York, and Hong Kong, for example — into locational hubs for what Chrystia Freeland has dubbed “the global super-elite.” Miami fills an intriguing niche in the global economy, which combines elements of a global economic and financial center and an international resort and second-home destination, with all the growth and unevenness that comes with it.
Miami has become a “go-to” destination with arts and culture (ART BASEL leading that effort), with renowned architects changing our city’s skyline (Herzog and De Meuron, Zaha Hadid,Frank Gehry), not to forget a hub for celebrities, and all of that topped with perfect weather,gorgeous beaches and global connectivity which makes it easy to travel in and out of.
Of course as real estate professionals, we want to make you believe that there is no bubble and there will not be another crash, but not even the most in-tune economists can predict that. The question remains whether or not foreign national investments will be enough to keep our hot market afloat and whether or not the diversity in economic backgrounds will ever start converging in our magnificent city.
I was glad to hear that our colleague, Peter Zalewski agrees with us:
It is impossible to argue decisively for or against the hypothesis of no more real estate boom-and-bust cycles for South Florida given that data necessary to prove or disprove the hypothesis will not be available for several decades.
As your Miami Beach REALTORS we will always make you scrutinize your own personal real estate goals and will give you direct, honest and realistic information. Just because the highest condo sale of $34 Million was just recorded in Miami Beach may not at all be relevant to your own objectives.
March 23, 2013
Time to bring an old article back to life from April 2007 – The concept of combining my architecture expertise with our Miami Real Estate Business keeps separating us from our competition. Make no mistake though, architecture consulting is exclusive to our real estate clients…continue reading my thoughts from almost 6 years ago!
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Miami, and hence all the Hurricane stuff you see me with. I worked with a couple of big firms both locally and abroad and then started my own architecture firm doing additions and remodelings in Miami Shores and Miami Beach as well as other neighboring cities. I did several projects, including the design of the Brockway Memorial Library addition in Miami Shores, and always helped friends visualize the potential of homes before buying them.
That’s when the vision of our business was born. If so many of our own friends had benefited from my architectural consulting services prior to purchasing a home, wouldn’t it be ideal if I had a Real Estate License and offer those same services to potential customers? (the answer was a really LOUD YES!!!)
As a Miami Beach home buyer, when working with me, you will gain from having free architectural consulting at your fingertips. Finding the “perfect home” is no easy task, properties will need some work and some changes most of the time. Whether it is to open a kitchen out to a family room or to “formalize” a dining room, or to add a master suite to a property, as our customer you will benefit from me sitting down with you to help identify your needs. I usually sketch out numerous schematics and will come up with a conceptual plan. Having worked in the field and built additions, I will be able to estimate the cost of construction and will then lead you to an architect or design professional that can finalize the plans.
As a Miami Beach home seller, the advantages are endless. I will ask that you acquire floor plans of your properties (most cities will have floor plans and are easy to order); I will have those floor plans ready to show any prospective buyers. I will also help you identify any weaknesses in the current design of your property and will accentuate all the positive features.
I will help you stage your property with a very detailed list of suggestions that is customized to you and your particular property. I will even help you hire the right construction professionals to prepare your home for showings (like floor refinishers, carpenters, painters, etc.). A lot of our customers are absentee owners and we take care of the coordination of these jobs for them.
Having a passion for architecture and for helping people visualize the potential of a property is what makes my job so much fun. Our customers will tell you how I light up when I see a good space (they will also tell you what my reaction is when I visit “butchered homes”), how I will go out of my way to make their dream a reality within their financial parameters. I am an architect by profession, but a Realtor by trade, the combination of these is what we offer to our customers in unmatched service.
February 15, 2013
If you haven’t noticed, Miami has gotten bombarded by investors from every corner of the world. For locals buying Miami investment properties this is a huge disadvantage because the competition is fierce. But this only means that you must have the right team on your side.
So here you are, Mr. investor from somewhere in our small world; you hear such great things about Miami and don’t even know where to begin. You have cash sitting in a bank account but are not sure whether to pull the trigger. The good news is that if so many people are running to Miami, it can’t be all that bad, no?
The numbers in your own city are not adding up and buying a property far from you can be scary – unless, of course, you have a team working for you who can manage and help you with every detail of the transaction. We’re talking not just buying the property, which is the easiest part, but having all the resources necessary to buy, remodel and manage the property as an absentee owner.
What’s exciting for us is the diversity of clients we are currently helping. From the multi-million hotel buyer, to the investor who flips single-family homes and even the multi-family investor who depends on rental income to make a living. Let me remind you that I am an architect by trade, so seeing construction defects as well as architectural potential is second nature to me and is a home-run for our clients. Let me also remind you that my husband and business partner, Enrique Garcia, can break down financials and give you real cap rates because of his accounting background. We also have a list of resources for our clients including zoning attorneys, contacts within city building departments, contractors and managers to help with the purchase decision.
In addition to the local resources, we also have real estate connections all over the United States and abroad which we are happy to collaborate with. We don’t usually use Miamism.com as a billboard for our services, but want you to give us a call if you’ve been thinking about investing in Miami. We go out of our way to make sure our real estate clients make sound investments that lead to happy pocket books.
PS – we also run a profitable commercial property management company since the early 90′s.
January 23, 2013
We have recently received calls and e-mails from our Miami investor clients, asking about 1031 exchanges. So I decided to explain it in a brief and hopefully understandable way. We always recommend that you contact and attorney and/or CPA, and we’re here to help you with the Miami properties when you are ready.
What is an IRC 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange?
A 1031 Exchange, is a transaction which specifies if an asset (usually some form of real estate such as land or a building) is sold and the proceeds of the sale are the reinvested in an asset of a similar kind, therefore no capital gain or loss is recognized, allowing the deferment of capital gains taxes that would otherwise have been due on the first sale. The actual law is Title 26, section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.
In plain English, this means that a 1031 Exchange is a rollover of equity of like properties, rather than an avoidance of tax.
There are 3 important parts that are important for a smooth and successful 1031 Exchange:
1. Time Requirements
2. Identification Rules
3. Monetary Requirements
There are two time requirements: identification period and exchange period which total 180 days.
- Identification Period
– 45 day period to identify specific properties as potential replacements.
– 45 day clock starts when the relinquished property is settled. (the day the first property closes)
– Three rules for declaring potential replacement properties (See Identification Rules)
- Exchange Period
– Begins on the date the taxpayer transfers (closes) the sale of the relinquished property and ends at midnight of the 180th day.
– There are no extensions for the 45th or the 180th day and there are no extensions for Saturdays, Sundays, or Holidays.
**UPDATED** Exchanger may need to file an extension on their tax return if the replacement property is not closed in time to file yearly taxes.
- Three Property Rule – The exchanger may identify three (3) properties of any value
- 200% Rule – The exchanger may identify any number of properties if the total fair market value of what is identified does not exceed 200% of the sale price of the relinquished property; or (i.e. relinquished property sold for $200,000 – identified properties cannot be more than $400,000)
- 95% Rule – If the exchanger identifies more properties than are permitted under the two rules above, the exchanger must acquire 95% of what was identified. (Be care careful with this one )
There are three monetary requirements which dictate whether or not a transaction qualifies as a 1031 Exchange:
- Sales Price
All three of these amounts for the relinquished property must be equal to or greater than these amounts for the replacement property. If not, some amount of capital gains taxes and /or depreciation taxes will apply.
There are many other things to consider when doing a 1031 exchange. Every transaction is different so be sure to consult your attorney and/or CPA to see if a 1031 exchange is right for you.
*edit from June 2008 article*
January 4, 2013
When it comes to Miami Beach real estate, a lot has happened in a year, especially when it comes to Miami Beach homes and the waterfront/luxury market. There are 145 Miami Beach waterfront homes for sale right now ranging from a $750,000 North Beach home on Biscayne Point, to the previously JLo owned $40 Million North Bay Road home (close to Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh).
2012 marked the highest single-family home residence sale in the history of Miami Beach when 3 Indian Creek, originally listed for $60 Million, sold in August, for $47 Million!
This sale, in addition to the Miami Beach condo market boom, marks the beginning of a crazy luxury market that many even interpret as another bubble. The truth is that Miami Beach remains to be desirable not just to locals, but to the whole world – it is an escape from brutal winters to a great global hub destination for both primary homes, vacation and second home getaways. Let’s break down all the 2012 waterfront home sales by island to better understand the nature of each.
The Median Listing price for a Miami Beach waterfront home is currently $6.9 Million. Out of the 113 waterfront homes sold in 2012, the median sold price was $2.8 Million in 2012 – let’s look at those numbers in detail.
Star Island Home Sales
2 Star Island waterfront homes sold – averaging $1,221 per square foot with the highest sale at $14.325 Million for the house located at 29 Star Island Dr – with 10,160 sf of living space, 5 bedrooms, 40,000 sf lot and 100 feet of water frontage.
Palm Island Home Sales
4 Palm Island homes sold on the water – highest sale at $14.5 Million for the house located at 70 Palm Ave. with 19,000 sf of living space, 9 bedrooms and 100? of water frontage. The average price per square foot for Palm Island homes coming in at $1,211.
Hibiscus Island Home Sales
4 Hibiscus Island homes sold on the water – price ranging between $5.85 and $4.5 Million. The highest sale of $5,850,000 was for the home located at 265 N. Hibiscus Dr. with over 5,000 sf of living space, 11,375 sf lot, 5 bedrooms and 65? of water frontage. The average price per square foot in Palm Island was $1,099.
Venetian Islands Home Sales
There were 13 Venetian Island waterfront homes sold – prices ranging between $1.45 Million to $6.45 Million, with an average price per sf of $804. The highest sale was for the very dated home built in 1995, located at 835 E Dilido Dr, with over 7,000 sf of living space, 26,816 sf lot, 6 bedrooms and almost 200 feet of water frontage.
Sunset Islands Home Sales
There were 16 Sunset Island homes sold on the water – prices ranging between $1.67 million and $12.9 Million. The average price per sq.ft. coming in at $976. The highest sale was one of our featured Miami Mod homes located at 1835 W 27th St., with 22,192 sf of land, over 10,000 sf of living space, 7 bedrooms and over 150 feet of water frontage.
North Bay Road Home Sales
There were 6 North Bay Rd waterfront homes sold this year. Their prices ranging between $5.5 to $10.6 Million and averaging $964 per sq.ft. The highest sale was for Ricky Martin’s Miami Beach home boasting over 9,000 sf of living space and located at 5130 N Bay Rd, with over 19,000 sf of land, 7 bedrooms and 105 feet of open bay water frontage.
La Gorce Island Home Sales
There were 2 waterfront La Gorce Island homes sold. One for $5.75 Million and the other for $11 Million and averaging $908 per sq.ft. The highest sale was all about land with more than 1.78 acres (77,748 sf), located at 100 La Gorce Dr Cr with over 10,000 sf of living space, 7 bedrooms and 180 degrees of water views.
Allison Island Home Sales
There were 5 waterfront Allison Island homes sold on the water in 2012. Their prices ranging from $2.7 Million to $8325 Million with an average price per square foot of $685. The highest sale was for the brand new construction located at 100 6633 Allison Rd with over 12,000 sf of living space, 7 bedrooms and 207 feet of water frontage.
North Bay Island Home Sales
There were no waterfront homes sold in N. Bay Island
Normandy Island Home Sales
There were 13 waterfront homes sold in Normandy Island, which historically, has been the least expensive waterfront real estate in Miami Beach. They ranged in price between $770,000 and $2.6 Million for the bay front home located at 425 N Shore Dr – with 4,700 sf of living space, 4 bedrooms, over 11,000 SF of land and 65 feet of water frontage. The average price per sq.ft. in Normandy Island coming in at $346.
Biscayne Point Home Sales
9 Biscayne Point waterfront homes sold in 2012 ranging between $420,000 for a foreclosure, to $2.125 Million for the home located at 1550 Daytonia Rd. This completely remodeled Key West Style home has over 3,000 sf of living space, 5 bedrooms, 11,250 sf lot and 75 feet of water frontage. The average price per sq.ft. in Biscayne Point coming in at $393.
Stillwater Island Home Sales
7 Stillwater Island waterfront homes sold ranging between $780,500 for a foreclosure, to $1.8 Million for the home at 1370 Stillwater Dr – with 3,000 sf of living space, 5 bedrooms, 8,000 sf lot and 50 feet of water frontage. The average price per square feet for Stillwater being $590.
Pinetree Drive Home Sales
There were 6 Pinetree waterfront homes sold ranging between $1.75 for a short sale, to $13.1 Million. The highest sale of $13,100,000 was for the mediterranean mansion and one of Pinetree’s historic gems located at 4821 Pinetree Dr, with over 18,000 sf of living space, over 80,000 sf lot, 13 bedrooms and 200 feet of water frontage.
Built in 1928 by renowned architect L.M. Barrett for Byron D. Miller Esq. (president of the F.W. Woolworth Co.), this stunning 18,000-plus-square-foot gated compound in Miami Beach is a rare historical masterpiece that has hosted more political dignitaries than any other home in Miami. The estate commands 250 feet of water frontage and is situated on a two-acre parcel on the widest span of the Indian Creek waterway.
The average price per sq.ft. in Pinetree coming in at $660.
Miami Beach’s waterfront housing market has not only recuperated, but has come ahead faster than anyone could have predicted. We are asked often why we think this is and the answer is very simple: Miami Beach is still coveted amongst celebrities and the wealthy because there is a certain lifestyle you can’t get anywhere else, because of the fact that we are so easily accessible, because of our year-round great weather, and simply because Miami is a beautiful place.
To those clients I urged and pleaded to buy back in 2011….now you see why – all the pending doom energy has come and gone and no one even felt it, so now you’ll pay a bit more, but it will always be worth it.
Take a look at this graph and how different islands compare. Star Island is still at the top of the game, but followed closely by Palm Island and Hibiscus Island. The Venetian Islands still offer a great option when compared to The Sunset Islands, North Bay Road and La Gorce Island.
Normandy Island continues to be the least expensive waterfront real estate in Miami Beach and Pinetree Drive will continue to offer homes that are historically significant in a unique setting.
We have come a long way and I’m sure home sellers are happy that the market has come back and doing well. There are still great opportunities out there and we look forward to continuing to be your Miami Beach Real Estate Resource and also to working with you, as your REALTORS, in 2013.