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What About Those “Diamonds in the Rough”?

Sometimes realtors describe a property as being a “diamond in the rough”; or maybe “a gem that needs polishing”; or a house that has “good bones”. The current buzz phrase is “classic mid-century”, which when translated often means a home built in the 1940’s-1960’s that may or may not have updates.

"BEFORE"   5900 SW 83rd STREET

“BEFORE” 5900 SW 83rd STREET

Some of those homes can be fabulous! Sure it takes time, money, and energy but many find it so rewarding! The markets that I specialize in: South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest, & Palmetto Bay are low in ‘turn-key’ inventory, especially in the $500,000 – $1,250,000 range, so now might be the time to consider those properties which need some TLC!

"After"   5900 SW 83rd STREET

“AFTER” 5900 SW 83rd STREET

Try and separate the cosmetics from the fundamentals!  First and most importantly,  is the property in a neighborhood you desire? Does the property have the needed space, both inside and out? If not, can space be added? Is there good light? Is there room for a pool if you want to add one later? If the fundamentals are there, maybe you consider the ‘labor of love’route!

I recently sold the two homes in South Miami to Buyers who would have preferred ‘turnkey’, but they didn’t exist at the time or were unaffordable. Thank goodness they had vision! Both families are so happy with their decisions, and I have great neighbors!

 

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!

Miami’s Rental Market Madness!

In my 20-year real estate career in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, South Miami, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, and the Brickell corridor I have NEVER seen so many for rent illustrationpeople looking to rent.  I’m predominantly a Buying and a Selling Agent in Miami’s luxury home market, but I’m well versed in the local rental market, and typically have 5-10 rental transactions per year.  That is until this year:  I’ve had 10 rental transactions and 5 current prospects, and it’s only April.  I’ve been preparing Leases from $2,000/month to $20,000/month, and I don’t see a slowdown. I’m finding this month that it will cost at least $2 per square foot to get a decently clean, updated single family home with a pool, and in Coral Gables many will have to pay that and skip the pool!

15 rental transactions in four months is so far out of the norm for me that I decided to stop and look at my own stats, as well as a those where I have been renting: Coral Gables, South Miami & High Pines, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and Brickell.  Glaring at me are the number of new-comers to Miami just in my own chamber of business.  There are 10 renters from out-of-state that have moved for job reasons (5 of them physicians); all wanted to rent and scout before buying.  Only 1 is from out-of-the country which confirms what we already know: the “foreign investor” knows Miami is a safe bet; no need to rent and no time to fool around – prices are going up.   The remaining folks are locals renting while they build their new home or are in-between homes; and my favorite renters are an 88 and 95-year old married couple: they wanted a more simple, maintenance free lifestyle so they could relax (me too!).

 

Comparing Price PSF in Coral Gables, 2012-2014

Comparing Price Per Square Foot in Coral Gables, 2012-2014, For Properties Starting At $2,500/month, Minimum 3 Bedroom

Comparing Price Per Square Foot In Pinecrest, 2012-2014, For Properties Starting At $2,500/month, Minimum 3 Bedrooms.

Comparing Price Per Square Foot In Pinecrest, 2012-2014, For Properties Starting At $2,500/month, Minimum 3 Bedrooms.

Comparing Price Per Square Foot In South Miami, 2012-2014, For Properties Starting At $2,500/month, Minimum 3 Bedrooms

Comparing Price Per Square Foot In South Miami, 2012-2014, For Properties Starting At $2,500/month, Minimum 3 Bedrooms

Comparing Price Per Square Foot in Coconut Grove, 2012-2014 for Minimum 3 Bedrooms, $2,550/month and Higher

Comparing Price Per Square Foot In Coconut Grove, 2012-2014, For Properties Starting At $2,500/month, Minimum 3 bedrooms

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!

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)!

420

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 [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!

 

MIAMI TODAY INTERVIEWS EWM’S NANCY BATCHELOR AND ME!

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Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and Ponce/Davis Corridor
Homes for Sale vs Sold vs Pended in 2013
$1,000,000 and Over

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Pinecrest Homes for Sale vs Sold vs Pended in 2013
$1,000,000 and Over

Miami Today ended 2013 real estate news with a bang last weekThe December 31st issue recaps a very successful year for Dade County in the luxury real estate market (sales prices of $1,000,000 and up).

Read the article for details but in summary nearly 1 in every 5 single family homes closed in Dade County sold for $1,000,000 or more.  In the condo market about 1 of every 8 properties sold for $1,000,000 or more.  Bringing this reality a little closer to home let’s look at the $1,000,000+ single family home stats in Coral Gables (including the Ponce/Davis corridor), Coconut Grove, and Pinecrest, where I specialize in luxury properties. The graphs represent properties which have sold, are pending a closing, or are for sale on the MLS system.

Another fun fact: real estate agents at EWM Realty International sold a property for $1,000,000 or more about every 17 hours in 2013!  It was an exciting year in real estate and all indications are that the momentum will continue 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 [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!

‘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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You! – See more at: http://miamirealestateworks.com/category/south-miami/#sthash.1TkyzSjU.dpuf