Living at Aqua on Allison Island

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 21st, 2016

Aqua Allison Island for sale

Aqua Allison Island real estate is a small island that’s located between Miami Beach and La Gorce Island, and it has become a popular place to call home. One of the best places to call home on the island is Aqua on Allison Island. This condo community has a lot to love. The design is very eye-catching. It has a definite art deco feel with some brilliant colors.

What Does the Community Offer?

The community has heated pools available for children and adults, as well as a spa. Those who want to keep in shape can do so at the fitness center. You can also walk through the mango and citrus groves, spend some time on the jogging paths, and admire the art installations that have been added to the area.

You can also make use of the private docks. This is very handy for those who own watercraft, and those who want to buy a boat. There is a children’s play center, as well as private garages so you can keep your vehicles safe.

What Do the Residences Offer?

While the community has a lot to love, you are probably wondering just what type of units are available and what they offer. You can expect gorgeous, luxury units that have all of the amenities you could need. Aqua at Allison Island offers wraparound balconies, as well as 10’ ceilings. They also have designer kitchen fixtures and brand name kitchen appliances. There is beautiful wood cabinetry, as well as high end fixtures throughout the units. The units also have whirlpool tubs.

After you spend a long day at work or at play out on the beaches and in the city, you will love coming back home to Aqua. The homes have everything you could possibly need whether you are going to call the place home year round or you are just using it for a vacation property.

Privacy and a Great Location

Other reasons to consider Aqua at Allison Island include the privacy that it offers and the fantastic location. Since you are on an island, it means that it is going to be quite a bit more private and secluded when you compare it to some of the other areas to call home in Miami Beach. This might be just what you and your family want. Of course, since you are still so close to the heart of Miami Beach, you will find that it is just a short drive to all of the great things that you want to see and do.

You can head to Miami Beach, go into downtown Miami, and find plenty of fantastic places to shop and dine. Whether you need to head to Miami or Fort Lauderdale for work or for pleasure, it’s easy to do from Allison Island thanks to the bridge.

If you love the idea of living in Miami Beach, but you’ve always wanted to find a place that has some more privacy and plenty of waterfront, this could be the place for you. Check out all currently available properties on Allison Island here – www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/Miami-Beach/Aqua-Allison-Island/

Total Wealth of Americans Rises Thanks to Housing Values

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 19th, 2016

Miami real estate

Over the last year or so, the value of homes in the United State have been on the rise, and this has actually helped to increase the overall wealth of Americans (as a whole) to $88.1 trillion for the first quarter of 2016. This is the highest it has ever been, and when you look at the housing trends, you can see what a difference it has made.

Real Estate Values Up

The residential real estate values in the country climbed to $498 billion in the first quarter of 2016, and this has helped to negate the shakiness that the stock market has seen in those same months. In fact, the overall value of equities in the country during the first quarter dropped by $160 billion, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve.

The power of the real estate market was able to turn around the faltering stock market, and that’s quite impressive given the fact that it was only a few years ago that real estate was in turmoil. Everyone remembers the recession of 2007 and what happened to the housing market. At that time, the housing market lost more than $12 trillion. In 2009, the Americans’ net worth dropped to $44 trillion.

Even though the numbers have not been adjusted for inflation, there has been a substantial amount of growth that has been able to outpace inflation. The increase in home values has helped to boost the wealth of many middle class families across the country.

What Else Has Contributed to the Increased Wealth?

One of the other major factors that has contributed to the rise in Americans’ wealth is the fact that fewer people in the country are taking on debt. They seem to have learned quite a bit from the last recession, and the millennials who are now adults are following the path of the older generations who have learned their lesson.

With good fortune, good investments, and by keeping debt low, it might be possible to keep the wealth of the country high, and hopefully make it rise even more in the coming years.

To view Miami real estate properties for sale please CLICK HERE.

Consider the Homes on Allison Island

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 5th, 2016

Allison Island homes for sale

Located just a short distance north of Miami Beach, you will find the community of Allison Island – view site here. The homes are all on an island, and those who live there have a very strong sense of community. If you are looking for a high quality place to call home, and you want a place that is family friendly, then Allison Island could be a good solution for you. However, you have to keep in mind that the homes that come up for sale here tend to go very quickly. If you find a place that you would like to learn more about or would want to buy, you should act on it swiftly.

There is a convenient bridge that connects you with the mainland, but one of the reasons to live on an island is because you have more privacy than you will in many other places. On Allison Island, you can enjoy a substantial amount of waterfront, and you feel separate from the hustle and bustle of the city, even though you are just a short distance away.

Types of Homes Available

You can find a number of different types of homes available on Allison Island, and many of them are quite large. This makes them a nice option for those who want to raise a growing family, or those who have extended family living with them. The price of the luxury homes can vary based on their size, location, and amenities.
Whether you want to buy a home and live in it permanently, as many do, or you are just looking for a vacation home, you might be able to find what you need here. Of course, you might also be considering using one of the properties for an investment, which could also be a good idea.

What Can You Do in the Area?

When you want to venture off the island, you will find that there are plenty of great things to see and do that are just a short distance away. You can head to South Beach or Miami Beach and spend some time taking in the sights. You are only a short distance from popular shopping areas such as Bal Harbour Shops, as well. There are plenty of interesting dining areas as well. Go fishing, check out art galleries, head into the city to catch a game, spend some time at the nightclubs, and visit the beaches for some fun in the sun. There is never a shortage of things to do.

When you want to live in pure luxury, and you like the idea of being close to all of the action, but still having a bit of a buffer between you and the city, Allison Island could be a great option. If you see a home for sale that interests you, it is important to talk with your real estate professional as soon as possible so you can see the property and determine if it’s the right one for you.

Consider the Beautiful Homes on Pinetree Drive

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on August 30th, 2016

Pinetree Drive Homes

Many people who live in the Miami area feel that Pinetree drive – (see website for all available homes for sale) is one of the most beautiful locations in the entire city. When you start to look at the fantastic homes in the area, as well as the land, it is easy to see why. This community is located in the eastern portion of the city, and this is where you will find some of the most luxurious and high end properties in the state. The drive, lined with trees, extends from 23rd Street to 63rd Street. It’s a lovely place to drive, and when you see the homes, you will understand why so many people feel this is one of the best places to live in the city.

Many Types of Homes

Some of the homes are located on the water, while others are located inland. Regardless of whether the home has a spot on the water or not, you can agree that all of the homes are stunning, not to mention at the upper end of the market price. You can find homes of different sizes and with different features and amenities, and this should be something that you consider before you go house hunting.

What are you looking for in a home on Pinetree Drive? Do you want to have some additional rooms for a growing family? Do you want to have a spot that’s right on the water with a dock? Do you want a gated home with security? How large does the garage need to be? You have to think about all of the different things that you and your family need when you are choosing a home whether it is on Pinetree Drive or any other area. You can talk with a real estate agent for help in this matter if needed.

A Wonderful Location

Undoubtedly, you want to find a piece of property that is in a safe location. This drive is a safe area, and you will find that it can be a nice place to raise your family. In addition to being a safe location, you will find that it is close to many of the places in the Miami area that you might want to visit. You can head to Miami Beach if you would like, or into South Beach. There are plenty of places to dine and to enjoy the nightlife. You can get to the airports in around 20 minutes, you can head to Fort Lauderdale, Bal Harbour, and more. Whether you want to catch a game, visit a museum or a gallery, or anything else, it’s easy when you live on Pinetree Drive.

If you love the idea of living in an area that is peaceful and quiet, but it still close to all of the action that Miami can offer, the homes in this area could be for you. Take the time to speak with a real estate agent and learn more about the homes that are available.

Home of South Florida Philanthropist Up for Sale

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on August 21st, 2016

Golden Beach home

Barbara Schlesinger was a wealthy woman who lived in South Florida. She was married to a man named Sheldon Schlesinger, a prominent attorney in Fort Lauderdale. Her massive estate is up for sale currently, but we’ll come back to that in a moment. First, let’s get to know more about Barbara and the type of person she was.

Who Was Barbara Schlesinger?

Barbara was the type of person to live well, but she also liked to put her money toward good causes, and was a philanthropist. More than that, she was well liked. She still wrote handwritten notes to friends and she was heavily involved in the social, education, and art scene in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Hollywood, Florida. She threw great parties as well, including annual Halloween parties and Thanksgiving gatherings where she would invite a hundred people or more.

Through her life, she also occasionally rubbed elbows with celebrities. Some of those include Marilyn Gleason (Jackie Gleason’s wife) and Audrey Hepburn. She was the head cheerleader in high school, she was a wonderful mother and grandmother, and she brought happiness to the people around her. Those who knew her knew that she was generous and hospitable. When she recently passed away at 82 years old, she left a hole in the lives of many.

Her Home Is Now for Sale

After her passing, her Golden Beach property went up for sale. It’s a very impressive home that sits on a 62,750 square foot lot, and the current asking price is $42.5 million. The estate is located right on the beach at 387 Ocean Boulevard. The home has 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, and was erected in 1941. The home has a lot of history, and the Schlesinger family bought it in 1985. At the time, they paid only $865,000 for the home.

The home has a Mediterranean style design and is painted entirely white. It includes a wealth of fantastic features including a large oval swimming pool, a cabana, a movie theater, and an onsite gym. One of the other nice features of the property is the fact that it also includes a large two-story guesthouse, which has its own kitchen, pool, and beach. This is the first time the home has come up for sale since the last time it sold.

Golden Beach (see all homes for sale in Golden Beach here) is a wealthy area. It’s located just to the north of Sunny Isles and just east of Aventura. The town of Golden Beach only encompasses 247 acres, but it is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world including Bill Gates. It is a very exclusive property and it is certainly going to make headlines when it sells again.

While the home might not be within the budget of everyone who is looking to buy in the South Florida region, it’s still a home that’s worth knowing about given its history and the wonderful, generous woman who called it home since 1985.

What Did the Miami Real Estate Survey Show?

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on August 5th, 2016

Miami Beach real estate

Bendixen & Amandi International along with the Miami Herald conducted a survey of 100 real estate professionals in the Miami area to learned quite a bit about the real estate market in Miami-Dade and the outlook the professionals have for the city. The results are quite telling, and they are quite promising. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most important information gleaned from the survey.

What Miami Neighborhood Is the Hottest?

This was naturally one of the most important questions for many who looked at the results of the survey, and the answer wasn’t really much of a surprise. Far and away, Miami Beach was the hottest area of the city, and also the most overvalued. Consider the sheer number of different neighborhoods in the Miami Beach area. There are islands, single family homes and estates, brand new and preconstruction towers – (View list of pre-construction properties in Miami), and older remodeled towers. All of these areas in Miami Beach are popular and the homes in those locations tend to sell out quickly.

They agree that those who are retiring, as well as the empty nest couples, might want to move to Miami Beach. This is especially true if you are looking for a condominium.

Little Havana Could Surprise You

Another one of the things learned from the survey is the fact that Little Havana is undervalued. However, this could change soon. The community is close to the hottest urban areas, as well as public transportation and plenty of things to do for residents. Many of the real estate professionals feel it is ripe for gentrification, and it could be where developments and real estate pros start to push next.

More Lessons Learned from the Survey

In addition, the survey has helped to shine a light on some other important facts about the area’s real estate market. For starters, the inventory is higher than it has been, and many of the real estate pros consider the current market to have a “high inventory”. What does this mean? It means that right now is actually a good time to buy, but it is not a great time to sell.

Even though the inventory is high, the majority of the available properties are higher than the $200,000 range. They feel that it would be nice if there were some more homes that were in this range and lower, as it means more people could buy. Right now, the trend is toward renting rather than buying for many who simply don’t have the budget.

Coral Gables is doing quite well, which is to be expected for one of the top communities in Miami Beach. Those who are looking for single-family homes in the Miami Beach area will certainly want to check out what Coral Gables has to offer.

These are some of the most important pieces of information from the report. It’s an interesting survey that can help not only real estate agents who are working in the area, but those who want to buy as well.

Panama Papers Show Secret Money Tied to Luxury Miami Real Estate

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on June 23rd, 2016

Miami real estate

As you’re probably aware by now, at the beginning of April, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists dropped a bombshell when they published leaked documents that have since become known as the Panama Papers. In total, there are some 11 million documents which allegedly make clear that worldwide corruption is happening thanks to a clandestine financial network that ensures large sums of money never get taxed.

Ties to Miami Real Estate

If some of the information is accurate, the network has fingerprints all over Miami. For years, it’s been well known that the luxury real estate market here is eyed by buyers all over the world, many of whom make purchases anonymously. This was seen as one of the driving forces behind the Miami luxury condo boom – click here to see the website.

Now, though, a much different picture is being brought to light—one that depicts these beautiful homes as simply hiding places for billions of dollars.

Shell Companies and Condos

The way it would allegedly work is that the law firm of Mossack Fonseca would set up foreign shell companies for the wealthy members of this network. This is the firm that the leak originated from and, as they’re based in Panama, that’s how the name started.

A client of Mossack Fonseca’s could then put money into one of these shell companies and that organization would then purchase a luxury unit somewhere in Miami—we’re definitely not lacking for options, after all.

This sort of transaction would effectively hide the money from governments looking to levy taxes on people like Paulo Octávio Alves Pereira, just one man who was allegedly a part of this scheme.

Paulo Octávio Alves Pereira

In Brazil, Paulo Octávio Alves Pereira is known as a politician who is under indictment on charges of corruption. However, prior to his political life, he made his fortune by developing shopping centers throughout his home country.

When his old boss had to step down as governor of Brasilia after being arrested for bribery, Paulo Octávio Alves Pereira stepped in. However, he was quickly slapped with the same charges.

At some point, Pereira took an interest in Miami real estate, though. He purchased a beautiful unit at the luxurious St. Regis Bal Harbour, where 24-hour room service is just one of many amenities available to residents.

However, this would make him just one of 19 foreign nationals named in the report who reportedly bought properties in Miami-Dade County. He also makes a much more exclusive list as being one of the eight who has been linked to some type of crime back in their home countries.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Own Investigation

Keep in mind that the U.S. Treasury Department had launched its own investigation just a couple months ago into these shadowy dealings. They specifically took aim at the shell companies that were scooping up real estate for anonymous buyers and paying in cash.

Considering foreign nationals spent $6.1 billion in South Florida homes last year, the department certainly has its work cut out for them, though the Panama Papers definitely help.

Sammy Sosa Scores with $9M Sale of His House in Golden Beach

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on June 13th, 2016

Golden Beach House

If you know anything about of Sammy Sosa, you know that he’s used to winning. Most of us will never forget the home run record chase of 1998 when he and Mark McGwire took turns, night after night, blasting pitches into the stands in pursuit of Roger Maris’ single season mark. While this run earned him the nickname “Slammin’ Sammy”, he’d go on to achieve other feats worthy of the moniker. Although he’s now retired, Sosa recently proved he still knows how to score in a big way.

Sosa Sells Golden Beach Neighborhood

At the end of March, Sosa parted ways with a luxurious waterfront mansion he owned in the exclusive Golden Beach neighborhood – see all Golden Beach homes for sale here. The home was two stories with seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms and a half-bathroom. In total, it occupied an impressive 24,900 square feet right on the beach.

Stuart Drossner of Drossner Realty confirmed that the sale had closed earlier this month. His boutique brokerage, which is located in Aventura, co-brokered the deal with Alexander Goldstein of Miles Goldstein Real Estate. At the time of this writing, though, neither party has offered any further comment about the deal. It had not yet cleared county records when the announcement was made either.

The house had been built in 1998 and Sosa only owned it for about three years. He purchased it for $7.6 million—which equates to nearly $1,044 per square foot—but sold it for $9.15 million. In case you’re curious, that’s $1,258 per square foot.

That’s definitely an enviable profit and I’m sure Sosa has other great spots to lay his head at night, but still, consider some of these amenities.

The Home’s Amenities

Aside from the features we mentioned above—including the fact that he was right on the beach—Sosa also had a large master suite to enjoy that came with its own terrace which overlooked the ocean.

There was a central courtyard, as well, so Sosa could take in some fresh air from inside his own walls. It even featured a fully stocked koi pond too.
Inside, Sosa’s meals came from a modern kitchen outfitted with industrial Miele appliances.

Still, reports say that Sosa almost never visited the home, so chances are he’s enjoying the profit more than he’s missing his koi. It was probably always meant as an investment property, given the trajectory of prices in Golden Beach over the years.

Other Athletes Selling in the Area

Sosa’s sale isn’t unique, despite the profit he made and the amazing property he sold. Other professional athletes are playing the South Florida real estate market too. Earlier in March, Jason Taylor—formerly of the Miami Dolphins—put his mansion in Weston on the market for $4.15 million.

Other NFL players live in the area too. Asante Samuel has a home in Southwest Ranhes, a luxurious enclave in Broward County, for example.

Kevin Durant, who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, sold his Miami penthouse at 900 Biscayne for a cool $3.15 million.

None of this is anything new, though. Southern Florida has long attracted athletes from all over the country who often trade real estate like kids do their playing cards.

Art Dealer Larry Gagosian Buys Faena House Unit for $13M

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on May 5th, 2016

Faena Condos For Sale

If you’re remotely familiar with Miami Beach real estate, Faena House needs no introduction. The luxurious condo complex is one of the nicest in the city. The closest thing you can get to an objective ruling on this happened in September of last year when a penthouse went for $60 million, a new Miami record. While the previous record for a condo in Miami-Dade County was $3,342 per square foot, this transaction beat it handily with $4,794. See all available Faena condos for sale HERE.

Therefore, to learn that art dealer Larry Gagosian recently purchased a condo in the building for $12.995 million is suddenly a lot easier to believe. Still, let’s take a look at the details.

Gagosian

For those who aren’t familiar with the man, Larry Gagosian is an Armenian American art dealer and collector. He owns the Gagosian Gallery art galleries which enjoy an international presence. You can find them here in the U.S., but also in Paris, London, Athens, Rome, Hong Kong and Geneva.

The Unit

Gagosian will be laying his head down in unit PH-C of the 18-story Faena House according to Miami-Dade County records. The unit—one of 42 in the entire building—has four bedrooms and six-and-a-half bathrooms.

It’s 4,730 square feet, so Gagosian dropped roughly $2,747 per square foot. He also got a beautiful terrace to take in the view. That’s another 1,516 square feet.

Other Occupants

The new resident will be in good company. As we mentioned above, the building is notable for having the most expensive unit—per square foot—in the entire county, which is saying a lot.
Ken Griffin, a hedge fund manager and billionaire, is the owner of that unit. Still, with an annual salary that’s believed to be about $1.7 billion, the amount actually wasn’t that much (you can bet he owns other properties too).

In fact, Griffin shocked people a second time when he put the penthouse—and another unit in the building he owned—right back on the market. He paid $60 million for both and then listed them for $73 million.

Other extremely wealthy neighbors Gagosian will be seeing in the lobby include British billionaire, industrialist and philanthropist Alex Blavatnik. Lloyd Blankfein, the Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs lives there too.

Craig Effron—another hedge fund manager—is also a resident, as well as Mark Rachesky, Chuck Khubani and Jose Fanjul Jr.

If you’re feeling left out, don’t worry. The developer, Alan Faena, has plans to build three more oceanfront towers packed with luxurious condos just like the ones Larry Gagosian bought. Right now, the address for the initial one is 3315 Collins Avenue if you want to get an idea about what $13 million can purchase.

Whether or not Gagosian actually stays in Faena House or if he’s simply another investor will take some time to find out. However, if Griffin’s confidence is anything to go by, the luxurious tower may represent a real money-making opportunity. Worst case scenario, you have a beautiful home in one of the most sought-after buildings in one of the most sought-after markets in the entire world.

Tips to Avoid the All-new LLC Disclosure Law

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on April 15th, 2016

Miami Beach condos for sale

Thanks to the new federal disclosure requirements, which go into full effect in March, Manhattan and Miami luxury real estate (click here to view site) buyers are going to be thrust into the spotlight.

No longer is anonymity the name of the game, with this new requirement, these high-end buyers are going to have the shield of a limited liability corporation taken away. While this will not result in the complete end of anonymous buyers, it is going to limit their “hiding” quite a bit.

This new requirement is an effort that has been put forth to try and uncover any illicit funds that are being laundered through luxury real estate in New York and Miami. According to the U.S. Treasury, cash purchases made in Manhattan and Miami through shell companies are going to be tracked and will apply to deals that are $3 million and more in New York and $1 million and more in Miami. This means that title insurance companies will be required to disclose the identity of the buyer to the government regulators.

Some strategies that buyers can use to help overcome these new requirements can be found here. While they are not ideal for everyone, they can provide some effective steps in avoiding this new tracking requirement.

Utilize a Straw Buyer

Buyers can set up a “nominee agreement,” with their chauffeur, where the chauffeur is being named the owner of the LLC that is purchasing the upscale condo. Once complete, the buyer is able to purchase the LLC, rather than the condo, from the chauffer. This means the transaction is not on the books.

Set Up a Non-LLC, Partnership or Trust

While each member of an LLC has to be identified, there are other legal entities that only have to disclose an owner that holds over 25 percent of total ownership. If the shell company has 100 shares that are divided equally among 10 different people, they are able to remain anonymous.

Purchase Via Wire Transfer

The government regulators are only tracking buyers who are paying by certified bank check or cash. If you pay with a wire transfer, all this can be avoided. However, there are some tight banking regulations that will require the customer be identified, as part of the “Know Your Customer” requirement.

Opt Out of the Title Insurance

There is really no comparison to a $1 million lawsuit when you have just purchased a multi-million dollar condo. While this is a rare occurrence, buyers can opt out of the title insurance completely.

Wait about Six Months

This new requirement will be effective starting March 1st and will expire on August 27th. If you are really nervous, just wait six months to make the purchase.

Buy Commercial

While this may seem obvious, the fact is, the current order only applies to the residential purchases made in Manhattan and Miami. All commercial purchases have been excluded, which means that buyers are able to purchase properties for investment while retaining a relative amount of anonymity.

For more information on luxury condos in Miami Beach for sale please contact One Sotheby’s International Realty office at (305) 336-0457.