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It’s a Dog’s Life Near Hammock Lake Park

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The pond at the dog park in Dade-County Nursery

One of my favorite things to do is take my dogs to that beautiful park adjacent to the Hammock Lake and Snapper Creek Lake communities that I call ‘dog park’ (but many refer to it as the Dade County Nursery). It’s a vast parcel of unspoiled land nestled between Old Cutler Road and Red Road that the Matheson family gave to the County many years ago.

imagesCACWIDIDIt’s dog nirvana.  Most any time you’ll find dogs fetching frisbees  and swimming in the pond. On weekends (I am there every Sunday) I think there are as many breeds at the park as there are at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. If you don’t have a dog it’s still a great place to hike!  You can park across the street from Fairchild Tropical Garden in the unpaved parking lot and follow the trail, or you can enter at the most southern end of School House Road (SW 52nd Avenue), and there is plenty of room to park.

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‘Dog Park’ is sandwiched between two premier, gated Coral Gables communities: Hammock Lake Park and Snapper Creek Lakes. Homes averaged $550ish per square foot in the last 18 months.  I sold the most beautiful home in the area in 2013 – a dreamy residence designed by Portuondo Perotti Architects.  The Buyers have dogs – I wonder if they found nirvana down the street!

 

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

 

Attention Urban Dwellers!

farmers market colorful fruitfarmers market fruitLUCKY YOU if you live in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, South Miami, High Pines (and Ponce corridor), or Pinecrest, because they are Farmers’ Market communities!  A community is only as good as its ‘sense of community’, and there is something wonderfully refreshing and ‘grass roots’ about bumping into friends and neighbors while shopping for fresh produce!

Pinecrest GardensI shop at least one Farmers’ Market each week, and to add to the adventure, I either walk or cycle (sometimes I don’t recognize myself). I have to admit my favorite is the Pinecrest Gardens Farmers’ Market.  I live in South Miami but I am a Pinecrest Farmers’ Market girl.

Aside from the stellar fruits and vegetables, there are a few things I don’t resist:  Fatima’s Soaps and Candles are amazing, the guacamole guy has bar none the best EVER, my peeps LOVE the maple bacon and sweet Italian sausage,  and the lady in the middle-aisle bread station has THE best Asiago bread.

orangey faceWhether you live in one of these great communities or are thinking about buying real estate in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, South Miami/High Pines, or Pinecrest, be sure to support the local economy, the local farmer, and HAVE A GREAT TIME!

 

 

 

Pinecrest Gardens Farmers’ Market | Pinecrest Gardens Parking Lot (the old Parrot Jungle) | Sundays, 9am – 2pm | November – May

Coral Gables Farmers’ Market | Lejeune Road & Miracle Mile (at City Hall) | Saturdays, 8am-1pm | anuary – March

Fairchild Farmers’ Market | Fairchild Tropical Botanics Garden | Saturdays, 9am – 2pm | I am not sure which months, but definitely March

Grove Green Market | Coconut Grove Playhouse parking lot | Thursdays, 2pm – 8pm | Check the months!

Coconut Grove Organic Farmers’ Market | 3300 Grand Avenue | Saturdays, 10am -7pm | Year-round

South Miami Farmer’s Market | SW 57th Court and Sunset Drive | Sundays, 9am – 2pm | Year-round

 

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

 

 

New Construction Shines In South Miami and High Pines!

7530 SW 57th Court

7530 SW 57th Court | LP $2,350,000 | 6 Bedrooms | 5,372 Adj. SF | 27,085 SF Lot

If you want a new home in South Miami or High Pines there couldn’t be a better time or selection than NOW.  There are some stunning homes nearing completion and under construction with beautiful clean, sleek lines, and all except architect Roney Mateu’s modern masterpiece (6485 SW 84th Street) are timeless classics.

South Miami and High Pines are near mirror images of each other with respect to what they offer (see July 10th “To Be Or Not To Be” blog) in so far as proximity, schools, shopping, and the general landscape.  Properties in High Pines are usually priced a little more per square foot than properties in South Miami, but in general the list prices of “new construction” in both areas are almost the same.  I’ve lived in South Miami for over 20 years, sold over 100 homes in the area, and have seen many cycles of “new construction”.  These are fabulous homes!

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

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] or at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

 

What to do, What to do… Election Day is Around the Corner in South Miami!

Vote buttonTomorrow is election day in South Miami.  I am still not 100% sure who I will be voting for – every time I get a candidate’s “hate card” I vow not to vote for them, but now they are all generating “hate cards”,  so I’m conflicted.  The winners in this election should be the residents, property owners, and merchants of South Miami, and truthfully, we shouldn’t be subjected to the slime the government folks throw around.  The South Miami government could learn a thing or two about respectfully and productively running a town from the Village of Pinecrest!

Who Will Be The Next Mayor of South Miami?

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Incumbent Mayor
Philip K. Stoddard

Rodney WIlliams

Rodney WIlliams

Commissioner Valerie Newman

Commissioner
Valerie Newman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Will Be The Next South Miami Commissioner in Group 1?

Donna Shelley

Donna Shelley

Gabriel Edmond

Gabriel Edmond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Will Be The Next South Miami Commissioner in Group 4?

Walter Harris

Walter Harris

Horace Feliu

Horace Feliu

Yay or Nay?

Resolution 1

Shall we change the City’s General Elections from February to November of each even numbered year to coincide with the federal government’s general elections and allow the resulting eight month extension of term for elected officials that would be caused by such a change?

Resolution 2

Shall the Charter be amended to make various technical changes, including but not limited to,
(i) adding a preamble,
(ii) making City ordinances effective on the date they are executed unless otherwise specified,
(iii) allowing the City to publish notices in a newspaper of general circulation in the City, and
(iv) specifying that the City Manager shall approve proposed expenditures
in accordance with the approved budget?

Resolution 3 (and the one that will ruffle the feathers in the future)

Shall the Charter be amended to make various substantive changes, including but not limited to,
(i), allowing a majority of Commissioner members present to pass an emergency ordinance,
(ii) requiring the Commission to coordinate all investigations through the City Manager,
(iii) allowing the City Manager to designate an acting city manager in his/her absence for a period of ninety days, and
(iv) changing the procedure for initiative and referendum?

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

 

A New Year, A New Police Chief in South Miami!

ray martinez

Raymond “Ray” Martinez

The hunt is on for a South Miami Police Chief.  Former Police Chief Orlando Martinez de Castro was ousted back in the summer (more City drama) and since then Rene Landa has been the Acting Police Chief.

Rene Landa

Rene Landa
Acting Police Chief

Acting Police Chief Rene Landa, a former officer and South Miami Police spokesperson,  is one of two candidates who have been announced.  The other, Raymond “Ray” Martinez, is a 30-year police veteran and the current Miami Beach Police Chief.  I’ve been friends with Ray Martinez for many years.  He is a phenomenal husband and father, a “top cop”, and South Miami should be honored to have him as Police Chief if that comes to fruition.  Ray must be well seasoned in the “politics” of the government and police business, but I chuckle when I think of him sitting in on one of South Miami’s City Meetings – he has never seen anything like it!  I want to be a fly on that wall.

Steven Alexander

Steven Alexander, City Manager

There should be a few more candidates named to the list soon.  City Manager Steven Alexander has indicated candidates from Coral Gables and Hialeah are being interviewed.  Under the South Miami City Charter the City Manager appoints the heads, subject to a majority approval from the City Commissioners.  There is a Chief of Police Search Committee involved in this process: Golden Beach Chief of Police Don de Luca, North Miami Assistant Police Chief Leonard Burgess, and Miami-Dade Deputy Police Director Juan Perez are diligently working to find just the right person.

2014 will be a year of “news” at the City of South Miami (aka The City of Pleasant Living).

 

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 [email protected] or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

Look What’s ‘Up and Coming’ in Commercial South Miami!

South Miami’s commercial real estate is getting a splendid facelift with 4 new stunning office buildings! 

mariani

Mariani Orthodontics

The orthodontics office of Richard Mariani, DDS MS, at 7741 SW 62nd Avenue in South Miami is bar none, a ‘masterpiece’. There isn’t a more beautiful low-rise office structure in all of Miami (not to mention ‘medical’ office), and this Bermuda meets Key West style of architecture is as beautiful inside as it is outside! (You would have to have kids in braces to really appreciate the interior design). Several years ago I sold the property which is now Mariani Orthodontics to my dear friend Chris Mariani, and of course knew something very special would evolve.

5966 South Dixie Highway

5966 South Dixie Highway

Marcelo Fernandes at Oxford Universal is building a beautiful Class A mixed-use structure at 5966 South Dixie Highway in South Miami. Award winning architect Roney Mateu has designed this fabulous breath-of-fresh-air building which lies a few yards east of the new South Miami Pharmacy building. I get so many inquiries about office space in South Miami (and refer them to commercial real estate broker/husband Tom Byrne), and am pleased to say the 5966 building will have nearly 40,000sf of new office space (and over 10,000sf of retail space).

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7400 SW 57th Court

 Adjacent to First National Bank of South Miami’s ‘drive thru’ block is going to be another fabulous addition to the neighborhood. The Caribe Group is nearing completion of a very warm, “island house” which will accommodate about 6000sf of office and retail space. Sotolongo Salman & Henderson Architects did an outstanding job of designing a building that blends into a neighborhood that borders residential South Miami. Open air balconies and coral rock entry are flagships of this beauty which I have heard is “sold out”.

7400 SW 59 Place

7400 SW 59th Place

Just behind Fox’s Sherron Inn (best Fish Fry in Miami) at 7400 SW 57th Place, Tom Byrne and Charlie Martinez are just putting the finishing touches on plans for a classic mixed use building, also designed by Sotolongo Salman & Henderson Architects. Again, the architects have done an excellent job of creating a low-key building in quiet neighborhood of commercial and residential properties.


 Are you or anyone you know looking for office or retail space in The City of Pleasant Living (aka The City of South Miami)? Give me a call!

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 [email protected] or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!