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Thinking About Moving ‘One Last Time’?

 

empty nesterIf you’re thinking about  your retirement or near-retirement years I hope an ELEVATOR is in your thoughts!   I’ve had an onslaught of clients moving out of the Big house with the Big yard and Big maintenance, and opting for comfortable and easy.  These scrutinizing folks want space (#1 request) and high-end appointments (tied for #1), and this often comes in the form of vertical living!

Lesson 1: You never anticipate or prepare for knee and hip surgeries.  Lesson 2: Most master bedrooms in 2-story residences are upstairs! No matter if you are looking at South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove,  Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, or the Ponce & Davis corridors, these ‘empty nester’ residences are often going to have 2 floors, so you have to imagine going up and down the stairs when it’s not going to be so easy!  Is there enough space in the staircase to accommodate a chair lift? Even better, is there an elevator?  If the thought of using an elevator turns your nose up now, just use it for storage while those hips and knees are cooperating. They make great closets!crutches

I have a beautiful home for sale in the Ponce Estates area (adjacent to Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and South Miami) that has it all: lots of space (4,000sf), lovely appointments, and an ELEVATOR!!!  It’s the baby boomer’s luxury.

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7830 SW 48th Court
4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms
List Price: $1.549,000

To learn more about real estate in South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

EWM #1 in Sales Over $1,000,000!

No one sold more properties over $1,000,000 in Miami-Dade County in 2013 than EWM Realty International.  EWM agents sold 420 single family homes and condominiums in that price range last year, and that was 26% more than our next closest competitor (who sold 334 properties in that same price range)!

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Releasing that information made me want to look back a few years at the prices in Dade County!  In January,  2003 the average price per square foot of a property priced over $1,000,000 in Dade County was $375.  When the market “peaked” in that 2007ish period the average price per square foot was in the $550-$600 range.  By mid-July, 2013, we were looking at about $625 per square foot, and by the end of the year we were in the $650ish price per square foot.  As we settle into 2014 I will be keeping my blog updated with facts and trends,  especially in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, South Miami, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, and the Ponce/Road corridors, where I specialize in luxury real estate, both for sale and for rent. 

The Last 10 Years In Luxury Real Estate Sales
($1,000,000 and over)

 To learn more about real estate in South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

The Grammys, the Emmys, the Oscars, and the Chairman’s Club!

EWM Realty Alone RedEWM announced the 2013 Chairman’s Club members this weekend.  32 EWM agents in Dade and Broward Counties have been given the highest honor, the Diamond Club Level, for selling the most real estate (dollar volume) company-wide, and representing the most selective “top” 1/2 of 1%  of realtors nationwide.  They say a person is judged by the company they keep, and as a member of  the Diamond Club I am honored to be keeping company with these outstanding professionals, especially those selling real estate in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, South Miami, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, and the Ponce/Davis corridor.   I not only specialize in real estate in those neighborhoods, but have lived in or been a property owner in each one of them too!Herald for Sherrie to email.indd

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Val Byrne
Working For You!

 

A very special thank you to the Buyers and Sellers who worked with me this past year – it was a complete pleasure, and I am happy to call each one of you ‘friend’.  As they say at my son’s high school (Christopher Columbus High School), Adelante! 2014 is off to a great start!

 

To learn more about real estate in South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

Star Light, Star Bright, First Star I See Tonight…My Wish is To Live in the Penthouse at the Faena House!

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There are some spectacular condominium developments sprouting in Miami but the proverbial ‘crème de la crème’ is the FAENA HOUSE, one of seven Faena creations in the FAENA DISTRICT MIAMI BEACH.  What is a FAENA DISTRICT?  It’s a $1 billion dream (transported to reality) of Argentinean hotelier/real estate developer Alan Faena, whereby an entire urban development anchored by arts and culture is created.  FAENA DISTRICT BUENOS AIRES was the first, and is a confirmed success.Faena House

Spanning north and south from FAENA HOUSE, which is the epicenter of the project and located at 3209 Collins Avenue, and land locked between Indian Creek and the Atlantic Ocean will be the glorious assemblage of the FAENA SAXONY HOTEL, FAENA ARTS CENTER, FAENA BAZAAR, FAENA GARDENS, a car park, and a marina.   The full-floor penthouse at FAENA HOUSE (LP $50mil) is where my dream begins. Yes, I would leave my haven in South Miami for that gorgeous penthouse with the dreamy private rooftop pool.  White Venetian Terrazo floors, glass walls, and sinfully large balconies are the backdrop, with too many other features to mention, so click here for those details and a millionaires price list.

COLLABORATORYAlan Faena

FAENA gracefully credits “THE COLLABORATORY” for creating and executing the dream.  Could not have been done without Foster+Partners, Rem Koolhas / OMA, Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Studio Job, and Miami’s own infamous landscape architect, Raymond Jungles.

To learn more about real estate in South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

 

Are You An Unmarried Couple Thinking About Buying A Home?

I’ve worked with unmarried couples that decided to purchase and settle before marrying; and I’ve worked with couples that will not be marrying – not in the State of Florida, anyway. 

The Miami Herald published a great article last week on this topic. If you are thinking about buying a home with a significant other you should read it!  There are 6 tips that are invaluable:

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1) SWAP FINANCIAL HISTORY

Know about each other’s student loans, credit card debt, retirement accounts, etc.

 

 

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2)  AGREE ON WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD

Determine what each person can (and cannot) contribute.

 

 

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3)  SIGN A CONTRACT

And this is not referring to a Sales Contract! Enlist an attorney and draw up a contract before you buy a property outlining contributing amounts, equity amounts, rights of survivorship, and the unthinkable: what if the relationship dissolves.

 

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4) UNDERSTAND OWNERSHIP OPTIONS

Joint Tenants vs. Tenants in Common

 

 

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5)  REVIEW TAX IMPLICATIONS

 

 

 

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6)  RESET WEDDING EXPECTATIONS

The author suggests there might not be enough money left over for a wedding after purchasing a home.  Hey, wait till you have kids!

 

 

To learn more about real estate in South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

 

‘It Takes a Village’ to Successfully Buy or Sell a Home

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It takes more than a willing Buyer and Seller to close a real estate transaction, especially in today’s market where low inventory can produce stress and hasty decisions. It ‘takes a village’ of professionals who can work together harmoniously for the same goal.

I’ve been very fortunate this year to have worked with not only great Buyers and Sellers, but some of the kindest, most wonderfully experienced realtors, home inspectors, permit processors, title companies, and real estate attorneys working in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest, South Miami, Palmetto Bay, and the surrounding corridors. 

Thank you for a fantastic year, and best wishes to all of you in 2014. 

To learn more about South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International or www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com at email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You

Why You Should Determine Your Insurance Rates During the Inspection Period!

Citizens_Insurance_logo_(640x480)_20100706101331_320_240I have seen some jubilant Buyers turn ashen-white when they learn what their insurance premiums are going to be.  In many of those instances the “insurance bomb” is dropped just a few days before closing – when there is no turning back.  This past week I have been working with Buyers whose insurance premium could possibly exceed their property taxes; luckily we are in our ‘inspection period’ and have alternatives!

When Seller or Seller’s realtor tells you they are paying a palatable “X” amount for homeowner’s insurance please take it with a grain of salt!  Your insurance rate has many factors that may not have been considered when your prospective home was last purchased!11

Flood maps have changed, for instance, residences in flood zones beginning with “A” (AE, AH, etc.) are subject to MUCH higher rates beginning October 1st, 2013 (unless Florida State WrightFloodLogolegislature changes that).  Regarding wind-storm insurance ask for your wind-storm insurance quotes based on complete Dade County-approved hurricane protection, and incomplete protection if your prospective home does not have completely “approved” protection. Compare the difference! All of your  property’s openings (windows, skylights, doors, and garage doors) must be protected with County approved materials in order to get the MOST discounted rate (the lowest rate).

Do your homework during the inspection period so you can plan accordingly. Perhaps you can negotiate price (with your Seller or your insurance carrier!), perhaps you can allocate money to make the necessary hurricane protection changes so you receive your best insurance discount a.s.a.p.; no doubt you will make better decisions. 

 To learn more about South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International or www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com at email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You

Thinking About Remodeling? Houzz This!

houzz-logoWith the tremendous upswing in the housing market and decline in inventory Buyers are purchasing properties that need more renovating than they were prepared for!  I’ve sold several homes in South Miami, Pinecrest, and Coconut Grove recently and my Buyers have the heebee geebees about updating bathrooms, remodeling kitchens, and adding swimming pools.

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I’m updating a bathroom in my South Miami home right now, and it is overwhelming and ginormously time consuming. Do you know how many different tiles are out there?  And there are as many stores selling them as there are exits on the Palmetto Expressway.  Last week I re-directed myself to the Design District but found myself completely distracted (and hungry).

Enter HOUZZ (houzz.com), perhaps the greatest design and decorating tool on the internet (and extremely easy to navigate).  Volumes and volumes of stunning pictures of every room and space imaginable are a click away;  with virtually every design element found in that space at your fingertips; and a ‘go to’ on where to buy it.

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Houzz is turning heads in the real estate community too.  I have it downloaded on my iPad so when I am showing a home or condo to Buyers who need help visualizing the home’s or a room’s potential, or just need new landscape and garden ideas, I whip out “the magic wand”.  I love it.

To learn more about South Miami or any other community – including Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International on www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com or email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You! – See more at: http://miamirealestateworks.com/category/south-miami/#sthash.1TkyzSjU.dpuf

Recently Listed By Val Byrne in Coconut Grove! 3080 Center Street

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Property Details:

              •  2 Bedroom/2.5 Baths + Cozy Office
              • 1,530 Adjusted Square Feet
              • 2,428 Square Foot Lot
              • List Price $465,000
              • www.3080Center.com

To learn more about Coconut Grove or any other community – including Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International on www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com or email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

To Be Or Not To Be…In South Miami Or High Pines?

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There is a mad influx of Buyers wanting to purchase homes east of US1 and north of Kendall Drive in the South Miami and High Pines neighborhoods.  I’m often asked, “What’s the difference”?

I sell a lot of real estate in South Miami and High Pines and consider each to be prime “pedestrian communities”, and by that I mean kids play in the streets; and evening walks for dinner and ice cream are common place.

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Built in 1960’s. Renovated in 2010.

Geographically they are near mirror images of each other – South Miami lies on the west side of Red Road (SW 57th Avenue), and High Pines on the east side.  Public school districts are different: east of 58th Avenue generally belongs to the Coral Gables schools and west of 58th Avenue will attend the South Miami schools. South Miami is an incorporated City with its own government center and police; High Pines is part of Unincorporated Dade County.

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Original “Ranch-Style” built in 1961.

Physically the profile of houses in each area is similar  – “ranch style” original houses were built in or near the 1950’s and were generally 1,600 – 2,200ish adjusted square feet.  Many houses have since had considerable renovations and additions.  Both South Miami and High Pines have seen a renaissance of new construction in the last 12 years with Mediterranean, Florida Vernacular, and tropical styles adding to the landscape. Each neighborhood has a handful of popular gated communities: i.e. Pine Manor and Oak Lane in High Pines; Parkside Village and Orr’s Pond in South Miami.

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“Key West-style” built in 2006.

Home prices are not significantly different, especially in these times of low inventory.  Some recent sales in High Pines have climbed above the mid $300/sf mark; South Miami has reached the mid $300/sf but decent homes are still available the high $200/sf range.  In my 20+ years selling properties in both communities High Pines has often been about $25/sf higher than South Miami, but the gap has closed significantly in the last year.

I live in South Miami – I love my home, my neighbors, and my neighborhood BUT the truth is, if I picked my house up and move it over to High Pines, I would feel the same.

 

To learn more about South Miami or any other community – including Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International on www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com or email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!