Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sales activity and median prices for Florida’s existing home and existing condo markets rose in August

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 21, 2011 – Sales activity and median prices for Florida’s existing home and existing condo markets rose in August, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Existing home sales increased 15 percent last month with a total of 16,206 homes sold statewide compared to 14,131 homes sold in August 2010, according to Florida Realtors. The statewide median sales price for existing homes last month was $137,500, up 2 percent from the year-ago figure of $134,900. August’s statewide existing home median price was also slightly higher than it was in July.
by Florida Realtors®

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time, a Seller was able to price their property and chances were that the lender would match the sale price on the appraisal. This was occurring because appreciation was happening faster than transactions were being closed on. Not anymore! Today, appraisers are under great scrutiny and closely regulated. In today’s market, Sellers need to be realistic about market value and list their property accordingly.
If a Seller wants to close on the sale of their property, they must understand that loans are made based on appraised value. If a property doesn’t appraise for the sale price, it’s likely that the Seller will have to consider selling for appraised value. If the Seller disagrees, the Buyer may cancel the purchase contract and move on. Sellers need to know that the industry, in an attempt to maintain uniformity for all appraisals, has set rigid standards and mandates that specific information about the subject property and its comparables be collected and used when appraising. 
Sellers have an emotional attachment to their property. They sometimes see value that is not really there or have unrealistic expectations of what their net proceeds should be. Too often, I am told by the Seller; ‘I can’t sell for that; I owe more on my mortgage and I have to cover the commission.’ The outcome of this usually ends up costing the Seller. The market value rules no matter how leveraged a property is.
The listing agent knows best and uses the latest technology and data to come up with the approximate opinion of value. The agent may adjust the price up or down depending on the Sellers expectations. If the Seller is motivated, one would adjust down and up if the Seller has time to test the market.
A realistically priced property should sell in 30 to 90 days. When selling a property, time is of the essence. The sooner a property is sold the less it cost the Seller. Once a Seller has made the decision to sell, they must consider the monthly cost of keeping the property and calculate the consequence of a lengthy selling period. Maintenance, taxes and depreciation are some of the forces working against the Seller’s bottom line.
The first two weeks are vital to this process. During this time the Seller’s agent will be gathering the information needed to determine if the sale price needs to be adjusted up or down. The number of showings and feedback received from the prospect Buyers will give the Seller’s Agent the data he or she needs to suggest the appropriate adjustment to the sale price. It is very important that the Seller and the Seller’s Agent work closely together on this. Sometime between the fourth and sixth, the Seller’s Agent should reanalyze the subject property area and re-evaluate any further adjustment to the marketing or sale price of the property. Some of the factors which the agent will look for in the new analysis are new listings and closed sales in the area, which may have changed the playing field since the property was originally listed.
In the real estate business, many agents say ‘the first offer is always the best offer.’ When an offer is received, the Seller should carefully consider it and try to work closely with the buyer in order to work out any disagreement there may be from either party. This may very well be the best opportunity and may be the last for a while.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Brickell under Construction

Everywhere you look it seems Miami is under construction. In the long term this is all great for those who can tolerate the detours and the noise. Miami is still a great real estate opportunity and improving its looks and infrastructure can only make it better. Construction projects are currently going on all around town.

By all estimates, Brickell continues to be one of Miami’s most desirable areas. And, with all the improvements, Brickell promises to be better than ever. The major over hall is estimated to last another year, possibly a year and a half.

The Brickell area has seen its ups and downs. In the eighties Brickell boomed due to foreign investor who bought anything with a door on it. Condo sales were out of control. But, like all good things, it came to an end and the 90’s saw condo prices plummet.

Again, history repeats; in 2005 the number of available condo units for sale in the Brickell area had peaked. Shortly thereafter, the real estate market tanked and values were once again affected. Nevertheless, Miami is resilient and has always overcome adversity.

Today, the available condo inventories in the Brickell area are down and there is talk of the first pre-construction project in 5 years. This project will possibly go on sale as soon as the end of this year or the beginning of next.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Seville Sub - Little Hidden Secret

A  Little Hidden Secret

Miami Dade County is notorious for the multitude of Municipalities within its’ boundaries. For example, Miami, Coral Gables, South Miami, West Miami, to mention just a few.  Some of these Municipalities are nationally and even internationally known by people who travel to South Florida.

What many don’t know is that within many of these municipalities, there are sections with characteristics of their own. ‘The Roads’ for example, is an area within the City of Miami. It is called ‘The Roads’ by the locals because of the numerous ‘Road’ designations of streets within the area. Shenandoah, Silver Bluff, etc, are a few others popular sections with the locals.  

I recently listed a property in the Shenandoah and took a closer look. Many of the homes in this area were built as early as the 20’s. New owners moving into the area are renovating these magnificent homes.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


FHA Limits by

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cuban Hambuger - the 'Frita'

One of Miami’s best 'Fritas,' can be found at Morrow Castle – the milkshakes are unbelievable as well.

For those of you who have never experienced a frita, it is a spicy hamburger made of ground beef and Spanish sausage. It is topped with hair like fries (made from scratch), chopped onions and then packed into a soft hamburger roll while still hot.

Prices are moderate and so is the decor. Attire should be very casual and light for a semi-outdoors experience – no AC. No luxury here, just great quality. The staff is pleasant and very helpful. I suggest you don’t order all the fritas at once, if you and your guest ( yes, great place for a group) are still hungry after the first one, order a second – they turn them very quickly..

My favorite combination is 2 fritas (they are too good, 1 is not enough), a malt chocolate shake (The menu offers an endless variety of flavors) and an order of fries. After I am done, it is time to order churros (5 in an order – you can share) and cafe Cubano like the pros.

Located at 2500 NW 7th ST in Miami. Check reviews at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Beautification of Ponce de Leon

The beautification of Ponce de Leon project in Coral Gables is almost completed. The palms are up and the ground covering foliage is being planted as we speak - I also noticed new concrete benches along the way.

My guess is that once this is completed, they will start to repave the streets. What a difference this will be for the appearance of this busy area. Pedestrians will get shaded from the sun and trolley goers will have a place to sit while they wait for the trolley.

The yellow ropes running the length of the medians are unsightly, but had to be put there to keep people from stepping on the newly planted shrubs. Time after time I see people crossing the street and stumping on the foliage. They are not only damaging the landscape, but also risking their safety.

We all need to remember it is not safe to cross streets anywhere other than designated areas. We must also observe the signs letting us know when to cross and drivers need to observe traffic signals, particularly when driving in pedestrian busy areas

Friday, May 13, 2011

the Venetian Pool, located in Coral Gables Florida

Did you know that the Venetian Pool, located in Coral Gables Florida, is like no other aquatic facility in the Country? The pool was created in 1923 from a coral rock quarry containing 820,000 gallons and is fed by an underground aquifer. In the spring and summer the pool is filled and drained daily.

The Venetian Pool was opened in 1924 and then called the “Venetian Casino” and was part of George Merrick’s grand plan to create a city with a sense of true hometown living.

With the efforts of George Merrick, artist Denman Fink and architect Phineas Paist, the pool became a paradise which  todate remains included in the National register of Historic places.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some of the Gables’ Amenities -- Coral Gables, Florida

Some of the Gables’ Amenities

Coral Gables is not just a superbly clean and beautiful city appointed with lush trees and manicured lawns, it offers its’ residence and visitors many magnificent amenities.

The following are some of the City’s great amenities.

·         Golf courses, Riviera Country Club (private), Granada Country Club and the Biltmore Hotel (public).

·         The Coral Gables Fitness Center

·         The Venetian Pool-Formed from a rock quarry in 1923, is included in the National register of Historic Places. 

·         An array of Summer Camps for Children of all ages.

·         Free Trolley service for the Coral Gables Commerce and Business area.

·         Over 40 parks and open spaces.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The City of Coral Gables

Ponce De Leon
The City of Coral Gables has begun planting beautiful date palms along the center of Ponce De Leon as part of the installation of new medians and road improvements. Once the City has completed planting, these elegant palms they will be lit at night from below.

The City Beautiful as Coral Gables is commonly referred to, is recognized for its beauty and well appointed amenities making it one of the most desirable cities in the world.

Coral Gables is one of Miami-Dade County's greatest municipalities. The Gables, offfers many sites and activities for people to enjoy. World class hotel accomodations, dinning, shopping and entertainment is just minutes from anywhere within the City limits. Coral Gables is a metropolis, centrally located and only minutes away from  the international airport, Miami Beach, Downtown Miami and the Brickell area.  

Florida’s existing home, condo sales up in February

According to NAR, ORLANDO, Fla. – March 21, 2011 – Florida’s existing home and existing condo sales rose in February, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Existing home sales increased 13 percent last month with a total of 13,701 homes sold statewide compared to 12,164 homes sold in February 2010, according to Florida Realtors. February’s statewide sales of existing condos rose 29 percent compared to the previous year’s sales figure.
At the National level, however, the National Association of Realtors reports that in February existing-home sales decline following sustained gains.

WASHINGTON – March 21, 2011 – Existing-home sales fell in February following three straight monthly increases, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

Existing home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from an upwardly revised 5.40 million in January, and are 2.8 percent below the 5.02 million pace in February 2010.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects an uneven recovery.

“Housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving, but home sales are being constrained by the twin problems of unnecessarily tight credit, and a measurable level of contract cancellations from some appraisals not supporting prices negotiated between buyers and sellers,” he said. “This tug and pull is causing a gradual but uneven recovery. Existing-home sales remain 26.4 percent above the cyclical low last July.”
See the rest of the report at

Saturday, April 2, 2011

2010 Repeat Florida Home Buyers

The breakdown for repeat buyers in Florida for 2010 according to the NAR, National Association of Realtors is as follows; 66% are married couples, 16% Single Females, 8% are Single Males, 8% are Unmarried Couples, and 2% are Other.

Note: Adult Composition of Florida Home Buyer Households 2010 is as follows; 56% Married Couples, 19% Single Females, 11% Single Males, 11% Unmarried Couples, and 2% Other.

Friday, April 1, 2011

World Properties

As a member of the Florida Association of Realtors, I have the privilege of membership at World Properties and can assist local buyers with the purchase of property around the world.

World Properties is a consortium of Real Estate Associations from around the world and the home of the best agents.

As a courtesy to my visitors, I have added a link to this website. Click on the Link at the bottom of the Blog.

Whisk, a Must Try!

Who would have known that one could enjoy a SOBE style restaurant in South Miami? Whisk Gourmet Food & Catering offers a really cool atmosphere and fabulous food. I knew Whisk for their catering and takeout, but had never dined in their restaurant.

They recently moved from Coral Gables to 56 Avenue, between 72nd and 74th Street in South Miami. I took a friend there for lunch and we both really enjoyed it. We ordered the BBQ pulled pork and cornbread appetizer, which was large enough for both of us share. Next, we shared the buttermilk battered fried chicken over baby spinach salad with avocado and mushrooms.

Everything was amassing.Take my advice, go! Try sharing as many items from the menu as your stomach and wallet can bear.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

In the middle of it all!

Great location, 2/2 apartment, 2 blocks from world famous Ocean Drive i

n SOBE. Dine, Shop, Club and enjoy our beatiful beach.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If It Was Fun, Post It!

In addition to the inside MIA real estate scoop, I believe our local color should be shared with all of my blog guests. This is why I would like to encourage everyone to post your personal local experiences, for example dinning, theater, events, etc. Anything that illustrates our local color is acceptable.

First-Time Homebuyers

Today’s Florida's first-time homebuyers are in their 30s, earn around $53,000 a year and are single. This is according to the Florida Realtor magazine. Nationwide, the number of first-time homebuyers is split down the middle; in Florida the numbers are a bit less.

Of recent buyers, 19% are female and 11% are males. A Typical home purchase is about 1,800 sq ft, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Over 70% of buyers consider the commuting cost.

4 out of 10 homebuyers looked online for properties. 98% of buyers viewed agents as valuable sources of information and 79% of Buyers purchased their homes through a real estate professional.

For a copy of the full report, go to

Are You Ready to Buy a New Home? Now May Be The Time!

By now, we are all well aware that the real estate market has not been in the best of health. With the meltdown of the mortgage market and the overall economy, homeowners have been losing their homes to foreclosure and buyers have been unable to get financing to purchase new homes.

Today, however, the gloom seems to be clearing for some. Although, no one expects a repeat of the past, overnight souring equity and multiple contracts for the purchase of property, I am seeing some stability in home prices and increased sales. I believe this is in part due to the government’s efforts to stabilize the housing and mortgage markets and lower home prices.

There is no doubt that now is a great time to buy a home, however, for many it is still hard to come up with the required down payment and to qualify for the necessary financing. Regrettably, this will be the hard reality for many, but, don’t give up yet. Doing so, may be the difference between buying a new home today or having to put off this purchase for many more years and paying more for less.

If buying a home today is what you want, you should consider the following. Before you begin to shop for a new home, I recommend that you explore your options -- do some online research. This will help you with questions you will need to ask a mortgage professionals (Below, I have provided a list of websites that will help you with your research). After you have completed the your research, start by contacting a mortgage Broker. He or she will be able to explain your options based on a pre-qualification of your financial state. I recommend that you consult with more than one mortgage professionals. A mortgage professional will be able to tell you the price you can afford and the terms and conditions required when purchasing a home.

If all goes well, you will be ready to start shopping for a new home. The process of buying a home can be daunting for some, particularly for those who are buying a home for the first time. Although, consulting a real estate professional is not required, it is highly recommended. A real estate professional (must be a REALTOR ® to have access to the MLS and other tools provided by the National Association of Realtors), will be able to provide you with a current list of available properties that are within your budget, desired area and configuration in just a few minutes. Note, working with a real estate professional should not cost a buyer anything; commissions are paid by the seller.

With the knowledge of real estate law and the local market place, a real estate professional will make the process of buying your new home less intimidating and increase your chances of succeeding.