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.

The Real Estate Cycle in Miami for 2016

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

Miami Beach condos for sale

Even though there is quite a bit of confidence among developers in Miami that the real estate market will not face much of a downturn during 2016, there are some experts who are still cautioning that the sales are going to continue to fall. This may result in some type of mild recession when December rolls around.

Prices are likely going to continue to go up – (see Miami Beach prices for condos for sale) and appreciate during the first portion of the year; however, at a rate that is much lower than usual. During the last portion of the fiscal year, the prices will likely flatten, due to an increase in inventory, as well as a slower demand from the buyers in Miami.

The Selling Trends in Miami

According to Ugo Colombo, the CEO of the CMC Group, when condo sales begin to move slower, it is a sign of a real estate market that is healthy. He also stated that this means that the market is able to level off at rates that make the progression sustainable. There is no realistic way to continue to sell 100 units each month. Currently, a healthy balance is present in the market regarding supply and demand.

Since the middle portion of 2014, the increase of foreign buyers helped to impact the condo boom. This began directly after the recession in 2008 but has now has begun to taper off because of the reduced value of foreign currency compared to the value of the U.S. dollar. However, Colombo stated that the real estate market in South Florida has gotten so diverse that it is able to successfully weather the economic issues in countries where a number of developers cull their buyers.

Foreign Investments Increasing

There are a number of people from the Middle East, Asia and Europe who are interested in buying who are new to the area, having never made a purchase in the past. The Brickell Flatiron condo project is also beginning to experience more steady sales from buyers that hail from the Caribbean, Mexico, Colombia and even domestic markets, such as New York.

The Melo Group’s Carlos Melo, which has currently developed condo and apartment projects in the Edgewater area, as well as the Arts & Entertainment District stated that there will be a consolidation seen in the South Florida real estate market for 2016.

Is an Overextension in the SoFla Condo Market Coming?

The most recent statistics that are available have indicated that the condo market in South Florida is starting to see the struggle associated with overextension. According to the report from the Association of Miami Realtors, there was a total of 14,770 condo transactions throughout November, which was down from the 17,142 that were seen in the same period the previous year.

With the sales slowing down, the total number of condo buildings that are planned or being constructed has continued to increase. There are plenty of condo towers being built currently and a number that are still in the planning and proposal phase, which means that they are likely to be developed and completed in the next few years.

Home Sales in Miami Breaking Records for 5th Year in a Row

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on March 28th, 2016

Miami Beach homes for sale

Before December, the area of Miami was on track to break the all-time home sales record with almost 13,000 homes sold. For the past five years, the Miami-Dade area has put up a home sales record that it continues to beat, year after year.

When you take a look at the sales figures that were posted in November, there is no question that this area is on track to do it, yet again.

In the previous month alone (November) the Miami-Dade area saw a total of 907 single family homes sold – see website for recent Miami home sales. This brings the total for the year to an impressive 12,857 – just through the month of November.

Setting New Records

The record for the 2014 calendar year was 13,521, which means that it will not be impossible to reach and overcome. This actually equated to 21 homes sold each day, or one home per hour for the entire month of December.

This impressive sale momentum is not going to end anytime soon, either. This trend is expected to continue moving strong well into 2016, with more developments being offered and more homes coming available.

Also, the median sales price for the single family homes in the Miami-Dade area were $274,900 back in November, which was up a total of 12.2 percent from the previous year. For the condos, the prices increased by to an average cost of $203,000, which represents a seven percent increase when compared to the same period in the previous year.

Declines in some Real Estate Sectors

Even though they are nearing the record, the residential market for the Miami-Dade County is still seeing some declines. For example, the sales that were posted for November by the Miami Association of Realtors was down by 6.7 percent when compared to the year over year numbers for the single family homes in the area. However, the number of new listings being sold is still going up. In fact, the total number of new listed single family dwellings that were listed during November was up by 3.5 percent to 1,785 from the previous year’s listings from November of 1,725.

The Thriving Condo Market

However, there is another side. The condo market in Miami-Dade has sped up in the previous months and the sales are going up with more units available than ever before. The sales for the current condos for the month of November increased by 1.9 percent from last year and jumped from just 1,077 total closings to a total of 1,097 closings this year.

There is no question that the number of new listings for condos in the Miami-Dade area is going to continue to increase. There are at least 11 projects in the planning or construction phases, which equates to almost 4,000 new units, coming in the next five to 10 years. While the increase in condos from the previous month was only 12.2 percent, this is a trend that is going to continue for the foreseeable future. While these condos are coming in quickly, they are also highly sought after, which is helping to strengthen the economy.

Home Prices in Miami Up – South Florida Construction Down

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on March 24th, 2016

Miami homes for sale

Compared to February 2015, developers in South Florida signed fewer construction contractors. This is the result of a drop-off in residential building.

According to a report from Dodge Data and Analytics, there was $405 million new residential contracts during the month of February, which represents a reduction of 60 percent from the $1.016 billion that were signed in the same month of 2015.

However, non-residential contracts were up by 17 percent during the same period of time. The construction spending totals from everything from churches to government offices reached about $289 million during November, which was up by $246 million from the previous year. The construction contracts that were signed in the month of November 2015 was $694 million, which is down by 45 percent from the $1.26 billion that was seen in November 2014.

The Beginning of the Decline

This falling trend started in October 2015, which was the month when here were also a number of significant cuts in residential building contracts. However, even with the reduction, the spending totals are still considered to be on track for outpacing 2015. Approximately $8.9 billion is being spent on building from the period of January to November, which is a growth of two percent compared to the $8.7 billion that was spent in the same months during 2015.

Continuing Trends

November also marked another month of increasing home prices in Miami Dade County – click here to see Miami homes for sale as well as sold history. This includes information in regards to sales for both distressed and non-distressed properties. What was discovered was that the prices had increased by 7.6 percent from 2014 to 2015, which was considered a substantial jump, even though the appreciating prices have begun to slow down recently.

From the months of October to November the home prices only increased by 0.5 percent, which means they remained steady.

Contributing Factors

There are a number of factors that impacted this, which included a strong demand, as well as a tight supply in a number of markets. These are all factors that have begun to contribute to the long running increase in prices and home equity, which is ideal for homeowners. However, on the flip side, the prices have outstripped some incomes for a number of years in several regions. This means in 2016, affordability is a more important factor in regards to home sales in some markets.

The overall home prices in the state of Florida, in its entirety, have actually outpaced the Miami-Dade area, which is where the most expensive homes in the state can be found. Florida witnesses an increase of 7.9 percent in the price of homes year-over-year.

Across the nation, home prices saw a similar amount of growth – the cost of homes in the U.S. rose by 6.3 percent year over year in November, and a total of 0.5 percent from the period of October to November.

December saw Impressive Home Price Growth for Miami & South Florida Real Estate

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on January 28th, 2016

Miami real estate for sale

While the residential real estate market in South Florida is experiencing a slight battle with the global economic crisis, this has not put a damper on housing prices in the region. These prices are steadily appreciating and there is no end in sight for this upward trend.

The prices for Miami and South Florida homes grew by 8.1 percent year over year in November. This data was gathered from a report published by S&P/Case Shiller.

In Palm Beach County, the median price for pre-existing single-family homes hit $305,000, which was an 11 percent increase from the previous year, even more than the average of 8.1 percent. However, there were several other areas that saw this kind of growth, as well. Broward County had a median home price that was also $305,000, which represents a seven percent increase from the prior year. This was the first time that either of these county’s crossed the threshold of $300,000 since over the summer.

Faster Growth in SoFla

This means that the tri-county area saw a faster pace of price growth than almost all of the remainder of the United States. In fact, the only areas that were ahead of South Florida were Dallas, Texas at 9.4 percent, Seattle, Washington at 9.7 percent, Denver, Colorado at 10.9 percent, San Francisco at 11 percent and Portland, Oregon at 11.1 percent.

It is not the entire economy that is suffering. In fact, the consumer portion, which includes automobile sales and housing, was actually quite strong in the previous year. In fact, this improved economy has provided homebuyers with the confidence necessary to actually enter into the market; however, there are some who have been less than overjoyed with the options available, specifically in the range of $150,000 to $400,000 homes. Thanks to strong sales in the past few years, a large number of listings have been depleted all throughout the region. The current owners are still unable or unwilling to test the market, with some not understanding what they could actually get for their home currently.

Economic Struggles in Miami

However, other parts of the economy are not doing quite as well. For example, businesses in the energy and oil sectors have begun to suffer from the significant drop in oil costs over the past 18 months. The strong buying power of the U.S. dollar is also resulting in slower exports. Unfortunately, the housing market is not big enough to help and offset these weak areas.

In December, the national housing market also saw a number of similar gains. In fact, prices increased by 5.3 percent year over year, which accelerated quite a bit from the 5.1 percent jump seen in October.

To get more information on currently availability, please VISIT OUR WEBSITE