LeBron James’ Mansion Sells for $13.4 Million

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on November 28th, 2015

Miami sold home James le Bron

LeBron James may not be too happy with the sale of his home as it was under $1.6 million from the last ask. The owners of Mayfair in the Grove, Timo and Nathalia Kipp, purchased the home to use as their new primary residence. They closed in August, 2015. They have purchased the property for $13.4 million.

LeBron James, the NBA superstar, originally placed the house on the market asking $17 million for it. This was in October 2014 and after one year of no real interest, James lowered the price. The Kipps had been eyeing the 12,178 square foot property for a while, but thought the price was too high.

The $13.4 Million Home

The property located at 3590 Crystal View Court in Coconut Grove boasts a 4,500 square foot guest area with a lounge and game room, an infinity pool, an outdoor kitchen, private theater, office, and wine cellar, according to The Real Deal. Most impressive is the addition of a concrete dock with space for two 60-foot yachts.

The home has 6 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms and private master rooftop sun deck. Glass doors open to covered terraces. The private estate offered state-of-the-art security and security quarters, according to Realtor.com. The home was built in 2010 and includes a three-car garage. The guesthouse features one bath, one bedroom, and a living room. Interior features from the main house include an elevator, walk-in closets, pantry, and a bar, not to mention the beautiful view of the bay.

James leBron sold his mansion in Coconut Grove; however, he is enjoying an even larger one built in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. This new home boasts 6 bedrooms, 8 full baths, and 6 half baths. The kitchen offers stainless steel appliances and wood paneling, pulled together by a circular island and bar stools.

Forbes describes James’ new home as “basically a castle plopped in the middle of Ohio.” This “castle” also houses a basketball court and small garden maze on its seven acres. The property is expansive.

James also built a “man cave” into his home considered larger than some actual sports bars. Forbes reports that at Thanksgiving last year, James invited his entire NBA team to hang out with him in this room. It is decorated in warm and vibrant hues of oranges and reds and features a pool table and bar.

Even the master bathroom in James’ new home speaks volumes in regards to luxury. Similar to the bathrooms at 3590 Crystal View Court in Coconut Grove, the tub is extra deep and decadent.
No matter which home LeBron James decided to live in, his choice is high-quality. This high-quality in real estate must be what caught the eye of Timo and Nathalia Kipp. Now that they are the new owners of the home in Coconut Grove, the question will be what new additions this couple will make to this already expansive property.

Miami Home Sales Break Records over the Summer

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on November 24th, 2015

Miami homes for sale

This past June was a record breaker for home sales in Miami. 1,390 single-family homes were sold. This was a record-breaking month as the highest month totaled 1,310 in June 2005. The month of July 2015 closed almost as many with 1,354 homes sold.

This is exciting news in the market as the prices for these homes have continued to rise year-over-year. Currently the price for a single-family home in Miami is up 8.6% and up 2.6% for condos. A single-family home that may have sold before for $255,950 is now $278,000. Condos that sold for $190,000 will now sell for $195,000.

Miami condos this summer also saw an increase in sales growing 4.8% year-over-year. 1,471 condos sold in July compared to last year’s number of 1,403.

This rise in home sales is thought to be from the city’s improving job market and low mortgage rates. Christopher Zoller, the 2015 Residential President of Miami Association of Realtors, refers to Miami as being “a global city with the second largest financial hub in the country.”

Mortgage Loans

The interest rate is down for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. In July 2014, the rate was 4.13%. In July 2015, it had dropped to 4.05%.

The Miami Association of Realtors had this to say about mortgage loans in Miami in a recent report, “Despite the rise in sales, access to mortgage loans for existing condominium buyers remains limited. The lack of Federal Housing Administration loans for a large number of existing Miami condominium buildings is preventing further market strengthening.”

“Of the 8,523 condominium buildings in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, only 29 are approved for FHA loans, according to statistics released earlier this year from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and FHA.” The statement goes on to report that only 0.0034% of local condos are approved for FHA loans. The U.S. average is 30%.

More Affordable Condos

Although the prices have seen increase year-over-year when compared to condominiums in global cities, Miami’s condos are quite affordable. A Miami condo which sells for $149,900 is comparable to condos in London ($960,840), Hong Kong ($776,280), and New York ($1.6 million).

The homes tend to sell near asking price. The Miami Association of Realtors reports that the average amount of days on market is only 41, compared to 43 in July 2014. The original list price received was 95.6%. As for condominiums, the days on market remained at 59, the same as July 2014 and the average list price received was 93.8%.

Cash Buyers

Cash purchases accounted for 48.2% of total home sales in July 2015. The national average is 23% in comparison. Miami’s number of high cash purchases is due to the fact the city attracts international buyers that tend to purchase properties in cash, according to the report.

The outlook for the housing market continues to be bright as increases in home sales continue despite the lack of FHA and price increases.

Brazil Is Still Ranking Number One For Miami Real Estate

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on November 18th, 2015

Miami Beach real estate

Brazil is ranking number one for online searches for South Florida property, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. Brazil has held this spot for 13 months straight. When it comes to
purchasing property in Miami, Brazilians are serious buyers. They purchase more per property than other countries, averaging $495,000 per property. This accounts for 11% of all of Miami’s international real estate purchases. The only other two foreign countries that dominate the international real estate purchases are Venezuela (16%) and Argentina (12%). Most of the Brazilian buyers are upper-middle-class families working as professionals or entrepreneurs.

Christopher Zoller, the 2015 President of the Miami Association of Realtors, stated, “Brazilians not only love Miami’s shopping, restaurants, and beaches, but they love Miami’s diversity and are totally at home here. Miami, which has thousands of Brazilians living here, is America’s most international city with 51% of residents born in foreign countries.”

Russia and the Ukraine

Currently interest in South Florida properties is on the rise again for buyers in Russia and the Ukraine. Russia placed fifth in June 2015 for online property searches, while the Ukraine placed sixth, entering the list for the first time.

The following is the complete list from the Miami Association of Realtors of the top ten countries searching for South Florida properties in June 2015:
1. Brazil
2. Colombia
3. Canada
4. Venezuela
5. Russia
6. Ukraine
7. Argentina
8. India
9. France
10. Italy

U.S. Markets for Miami

The Miami Association of Realtors also tracks the states interested in real estate in South Florida. The top ten states in June 2015 included: California, Texas, New York, Georgia, Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana, Nevada, and New Jersey.

Brazil Ranked #1

However, with all of this tracking it is clear that Brazil remains the number one foreign country looking for South Florida property. Miami is considered a global city and has seen an upturn in the economy, thanks in large part to Brazilians living in the city as well as tourists. Although real estate prices have continued to rise, the properties in South Florida are still quite affordable compared to other global cities like London, Hong Kong, and New York City.

The Miami Association of Realtors describes this comparison as, “A 120-square meter condo in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach costs $149,900 on average, according to the National Association of Realtors 2015 Profile of Home Buying Activity of International Clients. The average prices for the same condo in London ($960,840), Hong Kong ($776,280), and New York ($1.6 million) were at least five times higher.”

Even with the downturn in Brazil’s economy as of late, Brazilians are still searching for properties. With more Brazilian businesses opening in the South Florida area, the trend should stay high for a while longer despite the economy and political turmoil. Brazil helped Miami during the real estate crisis five years ago during their employment boom. As more Brazilian businesses open in South Florida and are patronized by locals and tourists, perhaps this will help the Brazilian people to stabilize once again.

Faena House Attracts Big Name Buyers

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on November 13th, 2015

Faena Miami Beach Penthouse

In early September the first of the four highly anticipated Faena condo towers (see all available Faena condos for sale here) reached completion. Faena House, or the 3315 Tower condominium, stands 18 stories and houses 44 ultra-luxury units. Transactions for the project started to be recorded on September 3, according to deed records in Miami-Dade County.

It wasn’t long before names of buyers started coming out in the world of real estate news. It certainly comes as no surprise that many of those buyers are highly recognizable players in finance and other high-powered industries.

Timeline of Early Faena Sales

On September 25, real estate publication The Real Deal reported that the rooftop penthouse at Faena had sold for an astonishing $60 million, a price that shattered the existing Miami residential record by $13 million. With eight bedrooms and 9900 sq. ft. in exterior living space alone (featuring a 70 ft. rooftop infinity pool), the 12,516-sq.-ft. luxury pad went for just under $4800 per sq. ft.

By early October TRL learned that the penthouse had been purchased by Kenneth Griffin, the billionaire hedge fund manager and CEO of Citadel, an investment company. This revelation shouldn’t have come as a surprise as Griffin has reportedly spent nearly $300 million on luxury real estate in New York, Chicago, and Miami Beach over the past couple of years.

On the heels of Griffin’s massive purchase came the sale of unit 9-B, to Brian and Randye Kwait of Greenwich, Connecticut. Brian Kwait is one of the founders of Odyssey Investment Partners, a private equity firm that has raised over $5 billion in funds since its inception in 1998. The Kwaits will enjoy 5400+ sq. ft. of luxury, including four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and an elevator that serves as the unit’s entrance.

On September 30 TRL revealed that yet another one of Faena House’s premium condos had sold. This one, on the sixth floor, was purchased by Aventura-based company ABF6A LLC for $11.75 million. Unit 6A boasts four bedrooms, six bathrooms, and more than 4700 sq. ft. of living space, plus a terrace nearly a third the size of the condo itself.

TRL again reported on a Faena buyer on October 12, this time the CEO of a London-based transportation company called Addison Lee (a competitor of Uber). Daryl Foster, also a shareholder in Infinity Creative Media Ltd., shelled out $8.8 million for a handsome 5466-sq.-ft., four-bedroom, five-bathroom piece of the Faena pie. Unit 7B has 4165 sq. ft. inside and 1301 outside. Foster’s address on the deed was listed in Monaco.

Faena Miami Beach condo for sale

The list of elite buyers into the luxury condo building continues with names like Mark Rachesky (CEO of Lions Gate Entertainment), Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein, and sugar mogul Jose F. Fanjul, Jr.

With this phase of the project sold out, developers Alan Faena and Len Blavatnik turn their focus to the remaining towers – Faena Hotel (the former Saxony Hotel), Faena Versailles Contemporary, and Faena Versailles Classic.

Renting in Pure Luxury in Miami

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on November 11th, 2015

Mansions at Acqualina unit for rent

Maybe you aren’t yet interested in buying in Miami, but you happen to be very wealthy and are looking for a rental that you can try to see how you like the city. Let us stress that to rent the property we’ll be talking about here, you need to be extremely wealthy, as it will cost you $40,000 a month. Of course, once you see everything that the place offers, you’ll see why that price tag is not quite outrageous as you might believe at first.

What Can $40,000 a Month Get You?

The Mansions at Acqualina unit 3002 is located in Sunny Isles Beach and is now on the market, offered for $40,000 a month. It actually gets you quite a bit for your money. It’s located on the 30th floor, so you will naturally have a world-class ocean, Intracoastal and downtown Miami views that you simply can’t get anywhere else in the world. You will be able to see pretty much entire Miami including the famous Miami skyline you see in the movies.

In addition, it is fully furnished with some of the finest quality pieces you could want, and there are a number of designer features that the owners put in over the past five years. Some of the furniture is actually from Fendi Casa and some was custom-built. If privacy is a concern, don’t worry. Each room was designed with impeccable taste. It is an elegant property that feels like home when you walk inside. The white marble floors in the living room are beautiful, and the floor to ceiling windows ensures an uninterrupted view. Oh, and since Mansions at Acqualina is brand new, no one had ever lived in this unit, so you’ll be the first one!

It has all of the modern conveniences you could want as well. You will find the most advanced kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances. It also has a smart home system built in so you can automate things such as the window shades, the lights, and the thermostat so you can actually program your home to your liking. It’s a home that is meant to be lived in and enjoyed, and that’s just what the owners want their renters to do.

Does the $40,000 still seem outrageous for this unit? Consider some of the other rentals in the area that are smaller and that don’t have elements such as a pool or a terrace. They are charging between $40,000 and $50,000 a month and they are able to rent out the space without too much trouble. Given the additional features that this unit offers, and the fact that it’s brand new, it looks as though it has a very good chance of getting rented. It might seem high until you compare it with all of the other units in the area and what you get. Keep in mind that renters will also be able to have access to all of the other features and amenities that are available at the Mansions at Acqualina.

Office and Retail Space in Miami Popular with Foreign Investors

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on November 9th, 2015

Commercial real estate in Miami

The Miami area is not only a great place to live and to buy residential property, but also a fantastic place to buy retail space and office property. In fact, a number of people from Latin America, and other countries, have been looking for both office buildings and properties with just a single-tenant building all around Miami, as well as in other parts of the county. The number of purchases and clients looking for these properties has skyrocketed over the course of the last year and a half or so.

Why Are These Properties So Popular?

While we certainly know that the real estate market for residential homes is doing well, the other parts of the Miami economy are growing just as quickly. Smart businesspeople want to get in on this action, and that has set them racing toward buying up these office properties as fast as they can. In fact, they are buying at a rate that’s faster than what even many of the real estate experts in the Miami area had anticipated. Many of the buyers seem to be coming from Latin America, as there have been an increasing number of purchases made by people from Argentina, Brazil, and El Salvador.

International investors from all around the world see the potential that Miami is offering. It is a multicultural city that is a major hub for all types of business, and the area is continuing to grow quickly. They realize that investing now and holding onto those retail and office spaces has the potential to provide them with a nice return on their investment.

Many of the buyers already have at least one home in the Miami area. They might be using this as an investment rental, or as a vacation home. They have the money to buy – with the average investor able to purchase retail and office properties between $3 and $5 million in most cases. Some of the wealthier buyers are even able to buy property and build their own. In other cases, developers are looking at the need for more of these types of properties and are building them for clients, knowing that they will be able to sell them. The Solution Group said that they are building an office condo in Coral Gables to meet the demands of their customers. Others are doing similar things to help increase their sales.

It Keeps Growing

The power of commercial property in Miami and the surrounding area is growing quickly, and foreign investors do not want to waste time getting properties in the country that they can then lease, or even start their own business. The commercial market has seemingly limitless potential right now, so you should expect to see even more investors from other countries snapping up properties as soon as they become available. Since there are limited properties now, it is a seller’s market. However, with developers starting to build new properties, this could change in the future.

Sky Villas at Jade Signature

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on November 3rd, 2015

Jade Signature Villa for sale

Fortune International Group announces the release of the beautiful Sky Villas at Jade Signature (http://www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/Sunny-Isles-Beach/Jade-Signature/see more details here). These condominiums were designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, the PYR led by Pierre-Yves Rochon, and the award-winning landscape designers, Raymond Jungles, Inc.

The two-story five bedroom and seven and a half bathroom residencies are priced from $13M. These spacious condos offer living areas from 6,305 to 6,735 square feet and have 20-foot, double-height ceilings. The expansive terraces add an additional 1,161 to 3,908 square feet. The condos offer 180 degree views of the north and south villas and the east and west flow-through views of its center villas, according to Sunny Isles Beach.

The Sky Villas offer:

• Private master suite with midnight bar
• Office or study
• Master sitting room
• Gym and sauna in the south and center villas
• Private elevator vestibule to both levels
• Smart technology
• Gaggenau and Sub-Zero kitchen appliances

Homeowners will enjoy the oceanfront resort deck which allows access to the beach and ocean on one ground-level floor. The resort deck highlights a restaurant and swimming pool, hot tub and cabanas, 25-meter lap pool, and an entertainment lounge complete with billiards, poker table, and a wine bar. Children can play safely in the teen tech lounge or the toddler sensory and reading center.

Jade Signature Penthouse for sale

Sky Villa residents will also appreciate the lobby which features a spa and fitness center, clubroom for private events, and a library and reading lounge. The spa and fitness center feature a juice bar, Jacuzzis, massage cabanas, training areas, spinning, and a Pilates studio. Yoga can be enjoyed on the outdoor sunset deck.

The design of the landscape offers incredible views. From the floor-to-ceiling windows inside each condominium to the ocean view seen from the Jacuzzis to the zen garden surrounding the yoga deck, it seems with the Sky Villas at Jade Signature no expense was spared to offer luxurious lifestyle living. From the lush garden landscape that greets every arrival; the magical, seamless connection that links the ground floor with the pool, deck, gardens, beach and ocean beyond; and the vast, beautifully sculptured and shaded terraces that dramatically increase the living space of each and every residence; all such features have made inside/outside living a truly wonderful reality.

The Fortune International Group is known for their commitment to customer service and quality in luxury real estate. Striving for excellence in the industry, visionary founder Edgardo Defortuna has worked hard to bring Fortune International Group to the front of both development and sales and marketing in South Florida. The company is considered a leader in luxury real estate. The company’s many developments include Jade Signature, Jade Beach, Jade Ocean, Jade Residences at Brickell Bay, 1200 Brickell, Artech, Le Meridian Sunny Isles Beach, Auberge Beach Residencies and Spa Fort Lauderdale, Hyde Resort and Residences Hollywood, and The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach.

Phil Collins Buys Jennifer Lopez’s Home in Miami Beach

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 28th, 2015

Miami Beach property for sale

To say that Miami Beach is popular with celebrities would be a massive understatement. Songs have been written about Miami, celebrities are always enjoying the entertainment and nightlife, spending time on the beaches, and thinking about buying a home in the area. Even though they might live in Hollywood or as far away as England, having a property in Miami Beach is more than just a status symbol. It’s a place to call home when visiting one of the most vibrant cities on the planet.

Phil Collins Buys Miami Beach Home

Miami Beach homes for sale

You know Phil Collins from his work with Genesis, as well as his solo work. He’s one of the most famous and successful singer/songwriter musicians in the world with hits ranging from “Invisible Touch”, “Land of Confusion”, “Another Day in Paradise”, and “Groovy Kind of Love”. He also happens to love the United States almost as much as his homeland of England. That has led him to buy a fantastic property located in Miami Beach that once belonged to another famous face – Jennifer Lopez.

Collins bought the mansion on North Bay Road, and he paid a hefty $33 million for the property. He bought the property from Mark Gainor, a healthcare executive, who bought it from Lopez in 2005. At that time, the Gainors paid $13.9 million for the mansion. Collins closed on the sale in early June.

What Does the Property Offer?

The mansion is extremely large for starters. It is 12,153 square feet and offers seven bedrooms. In addition, it has eight full bathrooms and three half bathrooms. It also features a Jacuzzi and a pool. The home has some lovely modern features thanks to updates, even though it was built in 1929. One of the best features of the property is that it offers 200 feet of waterfront right on Biscayne Bay.

Another nice feature is that it is on enough land to provide some privacy for Collins. One of the problems with many homes bought by celebrities is that they don’t actually have enough privacy. They are willing to pay more for that added sense of security and privacy.

It’s a mansion for sure, and it takes someone with the status and money of Phil Collins to get into a property like this. The location, along with the property features, helps to make it well worth the price tag. It also shows just how strong the market is in Miami right now. When there are homes in South Florida that are routinely selling for more than tens of millions, it shows that people see just how much potential the area has. Many buyers from other countries, like Collins, love Miami and know that the property has the potential to go even higher.

In the future, you can expect to see even more celebrities purchasing homes in Miami Beach and the surrounding area. The city is only getting more popular, and that means the rich and famous will be spending more time here.

Paramount Miami Worldcenter Getting Closer to Completion

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 21st, 2015

Miami real estate for sale

One of the most anticipated upcoming condominium towers, the 60-story Paramount Miami Worldcenter, which will be attached to Miami Worldcenter, is getting closer to completion…slowly but surely. They recently announced that they are starting to convert their reservations to contracts, which should be great news for buyers who can’t wait to get into the new property.

What Does the Building Offer?

The units in the building have been selling quite well, and they’ve already sold about 40% of the 512 units in the building. They are currently mailing out the contracts to buyers. Many of the buyers are actually from other countries, including those in Latin America. A number of Russians have also purchased units in the building. The developer of the building believes that they will have a very good conversion. In addition, a large number of buyers (about 13%) are from China.

In the past couple of years, the number of sales to buyers in Latin America has been dropping because they’ve had dips in the economy in many countries. However, China has stepped up significantly when it comes to buying real estate in the Miami area, including at this building. There’s actually another reason that the sales to Chinese buyers have been so high. The developers have actively been marketing to the wealthy Chinese audience, going as far as to bring in Feng Shui consultants to help ensure the units would appeal to a Chinese buyer.

They had a sales model that was typical for many properties in recent years. They required a 50% deposit to hold the unit for them. The buyers put down about 10% at various stages of the development until they’ve reached 50%. The size of the units in the building varies from around 1,180 square feet to about 2,300 square feet. The price averages to be about $700 per square foot.

How Long Before It Is Finished?

They haven’t actually broken ground at the site, 950 Northeast 2nd Avenue yet, but they are getting nearer now that they have their demolition permits. This was actually what was holding up the building. Work on the site will actually start very soon, and they believe that they will be able to get the entire building finished in about three years, give or take. While three years might seem like a long time, other projects sit in limbo for far longer. Most of the buyers already have homes in the area, while others are still in their native countries. While everyone is excited to get into the building, they know that quality and luxury takes time. They are willing to wait to ensure the property is perfect and meets their expectations.

Since they’ve already sold about 40% of the units in the building, they still have plenty of time to sell other properties at Paramount Miami in the coming years. Given the hype and popularity of this upcoming property, you can be sure that the units will be selling briskly.

Home Prices Rise and Foreclosures Drop

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 19th, 2015

Miami real estate for sale

Miami has been doing very well in the world of real estate over the past several years. When the market started to recover, the prices in Miami – a very popular home buying destination – rose very quickly. People wanted to snatch up properties as quickly as they could, knowing that the market was gaining strength and that they were making a great investment. Today, the prices in Miami are still on an upward trend, albeit a bit slower than it has been in over the course of the past few years.

The Price Increase Slows Slightly

In the metropolitan area of Miami, there was an overall 8% increase in prices over the past year. However, it is important to note that there was only a 0.8% growth between April and May. Still, this continues a good trend, despite some slight dips in the market in recent months. In fact, it’s actually normal. Think about the growth that the area saw over the past three years. Since the end of the downturn, the increase in prices, not to mention interest in the area, has been phenomenal, as usually happens during a market turnaround. For three years, the prices rose steadily, and now they are hitting the point where they will stabilize, and that’s certainly not a bad thing for buyers who are interested in the area.

The interest in Miami is not slowing at all, and new buildings are still being constructed, not to mention there are still a number of units readily available. The fact that the prices are stabilizing could actually mean even better news for the developers as well as area owners who are trying to sell. They should be able to find more potential homebuyers who are able to afford the properties.

Foreclosures Drop in Miami

There is some more good news coming out of Miami as well. A report from CorelLogic shows that the rate of foreclosure in Miami and other areas of Dade County are down again. This year, the number of foreclosures in the area represented only 3.68 percent of the foreclosures across the entire country. Last year at the same time, the rate of foreclosure was over 6.5%. In fact, over other parts of Florida the number of foreclosures is down as well, by around 2.43%. Even the number of delinquent accounts is down. In fact, it is down by around 4.11%. (See all Miami foreclosure condos for sale)

Why are the rates going down? It’s likely several factors coming into play. First, there are more stringent requirements when buying a property today than there were several years ago when foreclosures were unfortunately common. This means that the people who are getting into the homes today are actually able to afford the properties, reducing the risk of foreclosure. In addition, the overall economy is better than it was a few years ago, which means people are making more money and are far less likely to become delinquent on their mortgage. (See all Miami foreclosure homes for sale)

The stronger market and the stabilizing prices continue to be great news for Florida real estate, particularly in the Miami area.