Hans Huseby, proprietor of FootWorks, father of the Mercedes Benz Corporate Run, a fixture in South Miami for the past 40 years, and THE most wonderful man passed away this past Saturday. So wonderful and loved was he that Sunset Drive from Red Road to SW 59th Avenue was closed last night just to have the space needed to celebrate his life. In the true spirit of Hans Huseby it was styled as another ‘event’.
I bought my first pair of running shoes from Hans in the 1980s, my first “Life is Good” shirt from him in the 1990s, and my children got their first Crocs from him in early 2000. I not only sell real estate in South Miami but am part of the wonderful family of South Miami residents, and FootWorks and the Huseby family are part of the landscape. Their famed “South Miami Twilight Run,” which is the right of passage into summer, brings everyone in my neighborhood outside; whether you run, walk, or just water everyone down who comes by.
Hans’ son, JP, summed him up best: “He was perfect in every way, more loving and compassionate and hard-working than anyone I’ve ever known.” His wife, Laurie, added that “He was ridiculously nice to everyone and made life better for so many people.” I think those are the true definitions of SUCCESS.
Although controversial, Barack Obama’s recent executive actions to overhaul the immigration system will further feed real estate development in Miami. The EB-5 visa can lead to citizenship if a foreigner invests a minimum $500,000 in US-approved real estate projects and creates jobs locally. Some developers are using the EB-5 to help fund residential and commercial projects.
Miami is a prime focus of foreign investment from Latin Americans and important to Europeans too. The US has already reached its 10,000 EB-5 visas cap this past year, with many visas going to Chinese investors, so think about the Venezuelans, Brazilians, and other South Americans that have missed out! Local demand for EB-5 visas is so great that the City of Miami has created an EB-5 Regional Center for Foreign Investment!
By expanding the Miami program we could be expanding Miami!
How Does the Recent Waterfront Sale on North Bay Road Compare to Coral Gables and Coconut Grove Waterfront Property? Hmm…
A magnificent “builder’s acre” (37,895sf) on tony North Bay Road just closed for $15,250,000 (asking price $15,900,000, listed in February, 2014). What the Buyer will do with the existing 6 bedroom/5 bath home, circa 1929, remains to be seen but all are guessing that it is coming down. A Coral Gables-based family purchased the property which makes one ask what could they have purchased on the water in Coral Gables or Coconut Grove for a similar amount?
If you are out shopping for “waterfront” property in Coral Gables or Coconut Grove between $15,000,000 and $20,000,000 there are only six options; four in the Gables (two in Gables Estates, one in Cocoplum, one in Journey’s End), and two in the Grove (one in Entrada Estates and of course the uber cool nest LeGone James just left)
Only Lebron’s house at 3590 Crystal View Court, and 3575 Stewart Avenue in Entrada Estates have the sweeping Bay views that compare to the North Bay Road property, but it would certainly be desirable to live in Gables Estates, Cocoplum, or Journey’s End! Here is a snippet of what’s out there!
The Real Deal, which is a daily read or feed for active realtors, released the “Thankful in Miami Edition” today which highlights some interesting South Florida stats. This information isn’t going to make or break your day but they are fun facts:
- How many hurricanes have hit South Florida since 2005? 0 / Nada
- What is Miami’s average temperature? 75.9 degrees (Have you seen what is happening across the country this week? Six feet of snow in Buffalo in one day – yikes!)
- What percent increase did South Florida have in median sales prices in the 3rd quarter? 8.7%
What percentage of Miami real estate transactions have been conducted by international buyers this year? 29% This is down from 2013 when then the number was 35% . I am having a hard time believing the number of international buyers is down because I have never had so many international clients. Just this week alone, one property that I have listed in Coral Gables at 515 San Antonio has been looked at by buyers from Italy, Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, and Spain.
- How many people are predicted to pass through MiamiCentral (All Aboard Florida’s downtown Miami station) each year? 12 million!!!! The dollar impact of that is unknown to me but my first thought when I heard about All Aboard Florida was, ‘Where was that when I was trekking to Walt Disney World and Halloween Horror Nights those 30 or so times?”
Give Miami Day began 3 years ago and has been ‘giving’ ever since; with 115 new charities coming on board this year alone. Give Miami Day is a 24-hour period where donations can be made online to over 500 charities, beginning today, November 20th at 12:01AM. Last year, Give Miami Day raised over $3.2 million in donations for 407 local nonprofit charities!
Some of my favorite charities participate in this event: Breakthrough Miami, Casa Valentina, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami, South Florida SPCA Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Paws4You Rescue. Visit givemiamiday.org and check out all the charities that are listed, then donate! Donations between $25.00 to $10,000.00 will qualify for a bonus to the receiving charity, depending on how much is raised in the bonus pool. This is a great, easy way to support our community; hurry time is running out!
I’ve sold this flagship building on Red Road in South Miami twice! In 1999 Sunhouse Construction and the developers of Downtown Dadeland purchased the property for $465,000 and when they relocated in 2003 the building was purchased and completely renovated by the very talented Jorge Blanco, DDS, and his dental practice, Images Aesthetic Dentistry.
Today ‘Images’ stands elegantly among a swath of commercial office fronts along Red Road (SW 57th Avenue) between Davis Road and Sunset Drive, in a rather quiet residential section of South Miami (where I am primarily a residential realtor). You would never know this classic Mediterranean dental office was a mid-century product! It’s timeless, beautiful, and I am proud to have been part of the transaction!
I’ve had a couple of clients who recently moved to Miami ask me where they can relax and enjoy a Halloween Party with their kids.
If you live in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, South Miami, Pinecrest, or Palmetto Bay you are in SO much luck! These communities are so exceptional, and I don’t say that because most of my sales are in these neighborhoods; my sales are in these neighborhoods because the communities and the government centers that manage them are THE BEST! Enjoy Halloween Events at anyone of these venues:
Coral Gables: Halloween on the Mile. From 4 pm to 7 pm, there will be trick-or-treating along the Mile and its adjacent streets. Other activities include story time at Books & Books at 4:30 pm, a children’s costume contest at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre at 5 pm and a doggie costume contest at the Coral Gables Museum at 5:30 pm.
Coconut Grove: Howl-o-ween at Cocowalk. From 2 pm until 7 pm, children are invited to trick-or-treat in and around Cocowalk. In addition to loading up their Halloween goody bags, children will also be able to enjoy face painting, a costume contest, magicians and clowns.
South Miami: Safe Streets Halloween. From 4 pm until 7 pm, the City of South Miami will be closing off Sunset Drive from US1 to Red Road for its annual Halloween trick-or-treating event.
Pinecrest: ‘Track or Treat’ at Evelyn Greer Park. Show up dressed in your Halloween best at any time from 5 pm until 7 pm and join the community trick-or-treating along the track and sampling yummy treats from local businesses.
Palmetto Bay: ‘Where Monsters Go’ at Coral Reef Park. This event begins at 6 pm, with a free movie screening of Hotel Transylvania at 7 pm. Trick-or-treating, games and other activities are just a sampling of the fun that the Village of Palmetto Bay has in store for its residents for Halloween. Children and adults dressed in costume will be automatically eligible to receive a raffle ticket to win ghoulishly.
That was tucked away on page 3 of the Business Section in the Miami Herald today (had it been bad news it would have been plastered across the front page!). That 10.5% increase is reflective of the Miami real estate market since August 2013.
I have been selling residential real estate in Miami for 20 years: specializing in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, South Miami, Pinecrest, and Palmetto Bay. I know that real estate statistics should be looked at neighborhood by neighborhood; it is neither possible nor fair to ‘blanket’ a percentage across an entire town, especially one as diverse as ours. In some areas the prices have far exceeded a 10.5% increase!
Let’s look at the single family home markets from August 2013 through August 2014 in the wonderful communities I spend most of my time in. Although Coral Gables had a small slip in sales price this past August, it has generally seen more than a 30% increase over the year, and the sales prices in Pinecrest have had a similar increase! The sales prices in Coconut Grove look like they have been taking steroids (wait until the most expensive luxury/waterfront home listed in Miami sells).
There have been months with really strong price increases in Palmetto Bay, but over the year the prices averaged about a 10% gain. In South Miami, where I live, love, and have sold over 100 homes it looks like we’ve had significant decreases in sales prices but the truth is South Miami has such disparity in the price ranges of the properties and neighborhoods that the numbers can look very skewed. In the more expensive neighborhoods there is hardly any inventory, but over the next 6-12 months there will be so many newly constructed homes coming on the market and closing in the $2mil+ market that we will see a very strong price increase.
I put my Halloween wares out last night. Actually, we carved a pumpkin about 10 days ago but with all the rain and heat it didn’t fare so well – it had a melt-down so to speak. Our house on “Happy Street” is ready for the Halloween Parade, which is the unofficial name for Halloween night on SW 85th Street in South Miami. “Happy Street” is the unofficial name given to our little stretch of SW 85th Street by Mitchell Kaplan (of Books & Books fame) when he described our cool neighborhood, where his boys often visited friends.
“Our” Halloweens are extraordinary. Hundreds of kids will pass up and down the street between 6pm and 9pm (and then the crazy teenagers come out). I can only compare it to a children’s Mardi Gras with lots of parents in tow. I’m not sure who has more fun, the big people or the little people! At just about every door you can grab some candy, a beer, and a slice of pizza.
One of my greatest decisions was buying a home in charming South Miami, the fact that we landed on “Happy Street” was pure luck!
In 1997 I sold this home in South Miami to very good friends (seems like a lifetime ago). It wasn’t the ‘dream house’ we had been looking for but it had all the makings for it: a beautiful half-acre on a quiet winding street, good floor plan, a giant detached garage that could someday be converted into a guest quarter, and bar none the greatest neighborhood in South Miami, near Epiphany School and Dante Fascell Park, and just behind my own home. For purely selfish reasons I talked them into this jewel, and nearly 20 years and many good times later that house has seen a new kitchen, new pool, glorious family room and master suite additions, impact glass, and a complete exterior transformation.
I took the ‘After’ picture this morning, and while I was there I thought about our birthday parties, incredible Halloween events, outdoor movie nights, and really fun post-hurricane gatherings. Made me want the old house back!