I read last week in the Miami Herald that Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is ending the 1% surcharge they imposed on most homeowner’s policies in 2007 because of the damage from the last of the hurricanes we had in 2005 (Dennis, Rita, & God-awful Katrina and Wilma). That “storm tax” (as some have called it) began as a 1.4% charge but was reduced to 1% in 2011, and will be ending July 1, 2015.
There are some private insurance alternatives to Citizens Insurance, two of them being Tower Hill Insurance and Universal Property and Casualty Insurance. I did some research and recently switched to Tower Hill for coverage on my home in South Miami and couldn’t be happier, although that is a relative thought. Homeowners and Flood Insurance are still ridiculously expensive, but I’ve come to believe that is the price we pay to live in paradise, and we do live in paradise. Knock on wood and cross your fingers because we may have escaped another hurricane season unscathed.
Well this was a dramatic change, especially in South Miami! The original house was built in 1961 and occupied by the most wonderful family for over 50 years. Bettie and Frank may have been my very favorite neighbors, and when we sold this sweet house on the Snapper Creek Canal in South Miami in 2012 I was really sad to see them go. We had multiple offers and sold the house very quickly. All Go Construction built a beautiful new home and it was sold while still in the design stage!
That little slice of paradise in South Miami behind Dante Fascell Park is a very special place to live; and I know for a fact that address has good Karma, because Frank and Bettie left it behind.
I quote that from this week’s Miami Herald Business Monday, and I can vouch for it! I have been out this month searching for the ‘perfect’ condo in Coral Gables for 3 different Buyers and 2 different Renters, and in both markets condos are moving like hot cakes; especially in the $300,000-$750,000 range. Special writer Peter Zalewski says Coral Gables is statistically outpacing – on a per capita basis – nearly every coastal condo market east of I-95 in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.
All of my clients are looking for a newer building with the bells and whistles like luxurious lobbies, 24-hour security, gym (or two!), club & party rooms, business rooms, and resort style pools. Of course all of that needs to be within walking distance to downtown Coral Gables and its wonderful restaurants, boutiques, and farmer’s market!
There are so many wonderful developments that fit that bill, and they are not only great to buy to live in, but they are wonderful to rent until you’re ready to buy. My new favs are 55 Merrick Place, the Andalusia (although there’s no pool), 1300 Ponce, and 50 Alhambra. I’m so glad Peter Zalewski found the time to write about Coral Gables; it was refreshing to hear about something other than Brickell City Centre for a change!
A home sweet home with charm galore on one of George Merrick’s most quiet, beautiful, tree-lined streets in historical north Coral Gables. It’s one of the very few homes with three bedrooms and two baths under $500,000 in Coral Gables! An impressive double door entry opens to a warm, sunny home with wood floors, an updated kitchen, recent baths, and a one-car garage.
• 3 Bedrooms / 2 Baths
• 1,422 Adj. Square Feet / 5,000 Square Foot Lot
• List Price: $495,000
So Le Palais Royal on Millionaires Mile in Hillsboro Beach has weighed in as the most expensive luxury home in the US at $139 million dollars. There are a lot of things to do at this 4-acre ocean front estate like watch a movie in your Imax Theatre, sip drinks at your bar & lounge, or play some golf on your putting green. The rest of the bells and whistles one might expect; 11 bedrooms, 17 baths, 492-foot private dock, and underground parking for 30 cars.
I would still rather live in the most expensive luxury home in Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, or Coconut Grove so I could walk to a cool place for breakfast like the Donut Gallery on the Key (their “Heart Attack” is the best), Greenstreets Café in Coconut Grove, the News Café on South Beach, or brunch at The Biltmore Hotel. Sunday Breakfast is the highlight of my week so I would have to remain local if I were to live in the most expensive home. Hillsboro Beach wouldn’t cut it for me.
This house in South Miami has had nine lives and lots of kids since I first sold it back in January, 2004. Originally built in 1952 with a ‘hacienda’ flair, it had been partially updated when I listed it in 2004 and then again when I sold it in 2010. The current owner waved a magic wand (as well as much time, talent, and money), and the finished product is a sleek, uber cool house. I shouldn’t say the ‘finished’ product because I heard he is getting ready to add a second floor! That is how much we love this wonderful neighborhood behind Dante Fascell Park and adjacent to Epiphany School; no wants to leave. We just modify when needed.
This one definitely got better with age. I sold this home just behind Dante Fascell Park near Epiphany School the first time in 1994 and then sold it again in 2011. The current owners have excellent taste; the interior is as beautiful as the exterior, and the landscaping is simply perfect.
Well, for kicks you might swim with the alligators in the canals at Gables-by-the-Sea; or maybe check out Ray Allen’s house while the wife and kids are sleeping? NOT. It does make for some interesting reading though. This weekend some restless party goers at a home on Lugo Avenue in Gables-by-the-Sea jumped into the canal to swim and apparently ticked off an alligator who bit the two kids (South Miami Hospital ER probably hasn’t seen that in a long time).
That event still doesn’t score as high on the knucklehead richter scale as that of the kids at the Tahiti Beach party who ‘snuck’ into Ray Allen’s house while his wife and kids were sleeping. Could that have sounded remotely like the Sean Taylor event a few years back? Although different circumstances, what if Ray or Shannon Allen had defended their homestead with a shotgun? Would the Coral Gables police still be debating what crime occurred?
Last question: since Ray Allen finally bought the home he had been renting in Tahiti Beach (for $11,000,000), does that mean Miami will be home? T-minus 48 days until game 1 of the Heat season.
This is probably my favorite throwback in South Miami because it goes ALL the way back! Every time I drive or walk by this home I think, “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better”! I love this place (and its owner) and the gorgeous 15,000sf corner lot it sits on. Had developers been able to get their hands on when I listed it in 2003 they would have torn it down; thank goodness the Buyer loved it at first sight, and bought it before a speculator could. This house and the one-of-a-kind neighborhood surrounding it are priceless!
List Price: $1,099,000.00
3 Bedrooms | 3.5 Baths
The Club Villas are the best kept secret in Deering Bay, maybe in all of Coral Gables! Located midway between the illustrious Milano, Verona, and Siena buildings and the Estates of Deering Bay Yacht and Country Club, these very spacious residences offer the comforts of a single family home like a private backyard and 2-car garage, with the all-star amenities and maintenance free lifestyle offered in this world class community. Congratulations to the Buyers!