Avanti Offers Incredible Townhomes

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 26th, 2016

Aqua Allison Island for sale

When most people think about buying real estate in Miami Beach, they immediately start to think about the condominium towers that dominate the skyline. While it is true that there are some truly gorgeous condos in these towers, it is important to remember that they are not the only place that you can call home in the city. Avanti, for example, offers townhomes – click this link to view, which is typically going to mean more space and fewer neighbors. This could offer you the privacy you’ve been looking for. The properties are located on Normandy Isle, and you will notice that the design of these properties is decidedly modern.

What Does the Property Offer?

At Avanti, you will find a lot to love. First, the residences feature oversized windows, which will allow in plenty of natural light. They will also give you some great views of the surrounding area. There is a private rooftop garden terrace, where you can add a spa or a hot tub. They make the perfect spot to retreat to when you need some time away from it all.

Some of the residences are on the waterfront side and others are on the park side. You can have a boat dock, which is fantastic if you have your own watercraft of if you have been thinking about getting a boat of your own. The available docks are actually large enough to accommodate houseboats that are up to 35’ long. The docks also have water and electrical hookups ready to go. The park side residences have great views of Normandy Park. There is also a pool that is just for the use of the residents of Avanti.

The townhomes range in size from 2,800 square feet to 3,600 square feet. They have a two-car garage, and 24-hr security surveillance. Inside of the residences, you will find granite kitchen countertops, custom Italian wood cabinets in the kitchen and the bathroom, as well as marble flooring and countertops in the bathrooms. They have central air, as well as washers and dryers. You will also be happy to know that the windows are hurricane resistant.

If you’ve been looking for a home that can offer you a bit more privacy and that still has plenty of space and amenities, Avanti could be a good solution for you.

A Fantastic Location

One of the other reasons that you might want to consider a townhome at Avanti is the location. When you live here, you will find that you are not only close to the beach, but you are also just a short distance from everything that you could possibly want to do. It takes just a short time to get to places such as Miami Beach and the downtown Miami area. You can go shopping, find great places to dine, and spend some time enjoying all of the things that make this part of the country so great.

With everything that Avanti has to offer, it could be the perfect place for you to call home.

Vector Group’s Howard Lorber Highest Paid CEO in South Florida

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 8th, 2016

Star Island Hiami

Many people who live and work in South Florida have good jobs. It helps them to cover the cost of living in the city. After all, there are many luxury properties in and around Miami Beach, so having a good job that pays well is important. However, there are some people in South Florida who make more in a year than most people can imagine. Let’s look at some of the highest paid people who call South Florida home.

Howard Lorber

Howard Lorber is the president and CEO of Vector Group, and in 2015, he was the highest earning CEO in the South Florida area. His overall income was $42.5 million. This was approximately $13 million more than he made in 2014. Most of the increase came in the form of stock awards. His salary for the year was $3.1 million. He had another $28.4 million in stock rewards, as well as pension money, and other options. This is a substantial amount of money, but there are a number of other CEOs in the area who are also doing quite well for themselves.

Scott Scherr

CEO Scott Scherr of Ultimate Software Group Inc., was paid $38.3 million in 2015. His company is responsible for creating and providing web-based software solutions for payroll and for managing workforces. Previously, Scherr was the vice president of operations at Automatic Data Processing Inc.

Frank J. Del Rio

The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., Frank J. Del Rio, brought home $31.9 million in 2015. The company’s overall market value was $13.35 billion, which is actually far more than Vector Group or Ultimate Software Group’s worth, even though their CEO brought in less in earnings. Still, making nearly $32 million is nothing to scoff at.

Stuart Miller

When it comes to real estate, there were quite a few names on the list of top paid CEOs in the area as well. Stuart Miller, a resident of Star Island – (view Star Island listings), is one of the top earners in the area. He is the CEO of Lennar Corp, and in 2015, he brought in $17.9 million and had a base salary of $1 million. This made him the fourth highest paid CEO in the area.

John Kanas

John Kanas comes in at number 16 on the list of top paid CEOs. He is the CEO of Bank United, and he was paid more than $6 million.

Phillip Frost

Phillip Frost is the CEO of Opko Health, Inc., and he brought in $3.84 million, putting him at number 22 on the list of highest paid CEOs in the South Florida region.
These are some of the top earners in the South Florida region of the state. Each of the CEOs earns a considerable amount of money, and the ones mentioned here are just a handful of the CEO multimillionaires in the region. There’s a reason that one of the most popular places in the city to live is called Millionaire’s Row.

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.

Super Rich? Miami Is the 12th Top City for You

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on May 31st, 2016

1000 Museum Miami Zaha Hadid

For those of us who live in or around Miami, it comes as no surprise that there is a lot of money here. Sure, there’s been a bit of a slowdown recently to our famous condo market, but that hasn’t done much to stop the ultra-wealthy from making Miami their home (or at least one of them). According to Knight Frank, though, our beautiful city is actually the 12th best place for the super rich to live.

Dropping Out of the Top 10

Knight Frank made these comments to the Real Deal last month. Although it’s definitely good news—wealthy people bring lots of money—there’s a bit of bad mixed in with it too.

As it turns out, Miami was actually ranked number six last year. This year, we fell out of the top 10 by a fair amount. Still, it’s not like we’re not in good company. Tokyo is right ahead of us. Furthermore, 12th place makes us second place for cities in the United States. New York City took the cake there.

Still, are you curious what caused us to slip?

A Dent in Foreign Currencies

Unfortunately, it’s mostly out of our control. Frank claims that weakening Latin American currencies are actually to blame.

On top of that, it doesn’t help that the U.S. dollar has been getting stronger. While it’s definitely good for the economy as a whole, a lot of foreign currencies simply don’t have the buying power they once did, meaning investors from other countries will look for other opportunities.

Frank even said that he regarded this drop in the rankings as nothing more than a “blip.”

For his part, he recommended keeping an eye on Coconut Grove and Miami Beach as the top neighborhoods in Miami for future investment opportunities.

The Top 10

As we mentioned above, we lost to Tokyo, which came in at number 11. The rest of the top 10 looks like this:

1. London
2. New York City
3. Singapore
4. Hong Kong
5. Dubai
6. Shanghai
7. Paris
8. Sydney
9. Beijing
10. Geneva

Making the List in 2017

Hopefully, Frank is right and Miami bounces back next year. Again, wealthy people represent money and opportunity for the rest of us.

That being said, there’s some reason to remain cautious with your optimism. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network began requiring that title insurance companies essentially verify the identity of anyone who wishes to purchase property in Miami.

Why is this a big deal? Well, there are suspicions that much of the money that helped the condo market explode in the last few years is coming from foreign shell companies that operate as illegal tax havens.

While it’s good to ensure these investors aren’t breaking the law, cutting them off could hurt Miami’s economy.

At the end of the day, Miami is still an amazing place to live and people are going to continue trying to find a home in Miami to enjoy this incredible city. Still, here’s hoping our economy picks up again and we start making some progress on that list for next year.

Bay Harbor Islands Going Under Massive Redevelopment

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

Miami real estate for sale

Bay Harbor Islands – (view website) sits between North Miami to the west and Bal Harbor and Surfside to the east and was once the best place you could visit to see mid-century Miami Modern style architecture—often called MiMo—in the entire country. Recently, though, it’s become clear change is coming.

Some of Miami’s Best Architects

In many ways, Bay Harbor Islands can be seen as a gallery for many of Miami’s best architects. Head to Bay Harbor’s East Island and you’ll find a number of low-slung apartments and condos that were designed by legends like:

• Henry Hohauser
• Morris Lapidus
• Charles McKirahan

They took the art deco style that was so widespread in Miami during the 1930s and pulled it into the MiMo designs that cropped up during the middle of the 20th century.

The famous Bay Harbor Continental, a co-op building in a curvy wedge shape that is anchored by a cylindrical outdoor staircase, was created by McKirahan in 1948. It also features multi-colored glass that dots certain portions of the exterior.

McKirahan is also to thank for the Bay Harbor Club, the two-story V-shaped building located right on the water with great beanpole columns going from the ground all the way to the ceiling. Fans of the TV series Dexter would most likely recognize it as the main character’s home.

Times Are Changing

Although much of this history is worth maintaining, there’s a reason the National Trust for Historic Preservation named East Island to their annual list of their “11 Most Endangered Historic Places” back in 2014.

Many examples of MiMo architecture have already been demolished, though plenty more are awaiting their date with the wrecking ball.

What will this secluded portion of Miami become in its next life?

If current trends are anything to go by, it’s going to transition into boutique living. The area is truly a hidden gem. It offers a great location to anyone who wants to get around the city or hit downtown. Of course, if you want to visit the beach, you’re almost always within walking distance. This means plenty of waterfront views too.

Furthermore, the area benefits from an excellent school district. There are also Bal Harbour Shops nearby to enjoy too.

Its greatest feature, though, may simply be a sense of community. Whereas other areas throughout the city are expansive, Bay Harbor Island’s odd positioning gives it a small town feeling, despite all the big city amenities that are within driving distance.

Although most people who can afford these new developments will definitely have enough money for an automobile, public transportation in Bay Harbor Islands is very accommodating.

There is a free shuttle that runs between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. It makes stops in North Miami, Surfside and other popular locations. There are also public bus routes people can jump on too.

While Bay Harbor Islands definitely had a good run, it’s clear that the time for change has arrived. Hopefully, much of the amazing architecture the area is known for will remain and new examples of Miami’s top talent can find a home as well.

Check out homes for sale in Bay Harbour Islands HERE – www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/Bal-Harbour/Bay-Harbor-Island/ and call our office to set up showing – (305) 336-0457.

Was the WSJ Right in Predicting a Condo Bust in Miami?

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

Miami real estate for sale

Back in March, Anthony M. Graziano, MAI, CRE was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. As he is the Senior Managing Director of IRR Miami, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the article was about real estate in South Florida. However, what surprised many was the headline that accompanied the actual piece: “Another Condo Bust Looms in Miami.”

Graziano Responds

Well, as it turns out, no one was more surprised by the headline than Mr. Graziano himself. In his own OpEd, Graziano responded, saying he was “shocked” at how “sensationalized” the headline was.

Until the reporter issues a reply, we’ll never know exactly what they were thinking. As Graziano points out in his OpEd, this definitely isn’t the first time there’s been some kind of disconnect between what a source said or meant and what the reporter put into their piece. Still, in this case, it would seem the latter wildly missed the mark.

It’s also worth noting here that reporters don’t always choose their own headlines, so an editor could actually be the one to blame.

So What’s the Truth?

As any realtor in Miami will tell you, the condo market has definitely slowed considerably. In fact, many projects have been shelved and stopped at various points in their development.
That’s hardly the same thing as predicting a bust in the condo market, though. If you look at the past 12 to 18 months of the market here, you’ll definitely see it slowing down, but there aren’t any sudden drops or any signs that one is just about to happen.

Plenty of Good News

Keep in mind, too, that this slowdown may actually be a good example of developers and investors reacting to the market instead of recklessly pressing forward. That’s how an actual bust could happen.

Instead, shelving certain projects may have had the intended effect of correcting the market’s over-enthusiasm for more condos.

Consider, for example, that 85% of condos currently under construction in the Greater Downtown area of Miami are slated to be finished in 2016 and are already sold.

Furthermore, 7,200 units that are under construction will be delivered over the course of the next three years. In 2006, before an actual bust really did occur, that number was 18,500. Click HERE to view Pre-construction condos in Miami

Over 80% of the condo sales that went through over the past three years were purchased entirely with cash. This speaks to the foreign interest that exists in buying condos here. However, this also means that there won’t be any foreclosures resulting in empty condos long after they’ve been taken off the market.

For his part, Graziano doesn’t see a bust waiting on the horizon. He did, however, advise people to exercise caution and carry out due diligence where new deals are concerned. This is good advice to take no matter what the market is doing.

Until more buyers enter the market, you can probably expect the slowdown to continue throughout Miami, but that’s hardly the same thing as ushering in the crash of an entire industry.

Home Prices in Miami-Dade Grow Yet Again

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on December 14th, 2015

Miami homes for sale

The average home price in Miami-Dade County grew yet again in August, 2015, albeit at a slower pace compared last year’s growth. CoreLogic – a business and real estate analysis firm – reported that residential prices grew 7.4% in August compared to the same time last year. This number includes distressed properties. That statistic represents a slight decline from the previous month, during which home prices went up by 7.9% year-over-year.

In real numbers, the rise looks like this – the median selling price for single-family homes was $250,000 in August of 2014, and rose to $260,500 in August 2015. Condos enjoyed an even more drastic increase in median selling price, from $182,000 in 2014 to $204,000 in 2015.

In addition to price growth, sellers have been getting closer to their asking price than in 2014. The average selling price compared to list price was 96.1%, which represents a .7% increase year-over-year from 2014.

Even Slow Growth Is Good

As mortgage rates go up and single-family home inventory increases, the report predicts that the growth rate will continue its slowing trend. Experts, however, emphasize that this leveling off isn’t necessarily a negative thing.

2013 and 2014 brought with them a real estate boom that caused double-digit prices increases, which is generally regarded as unsustainable over the long-term. Part of the reason for that boom was high activity on the part of foreign investors; due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, their buying power has been subdued. The gradually slowing growth simply represents a shift from an extremely frenetic real estate market pace to a brisk, healthy pace.

Across Florida, home prices went up by 8.1% during August, when compared year-over-year. According to CoreLogic’s report, the national growth rate was slightly lower at 6.9%.

Only a few other areas across the nation showed stronger housing price appreciation than Miami:
• San Francisco – 10.7%
• Denver – 10.7%
• Dallas – 8.9%
• Portland, OR – 9.4%
• Seattle – 7.6%

According to CoreLogic CEO and president Anand Nallathambi, prices in these metropolitan areas “remain very strong reflecting higher demand and constrained supplies.” Adding to this, Nallathambi pointed out, “Continued gains in employment, wage growth and historically low mortgage rates are bolstering home sales and home price gains. In addition, an increasing number of major metropolitan areas are experiencing ever-more severe shortfalls in affordable housing due to supply constraints and higher rental costs. These factors will likely support continued home price appreciation in 2016 and possibly beyond.”

Sales Growth Slows Down

On the sales rate side of things growth has also slowed, partially due to an influx of new condo developments (see all Miami pre-contruction condos here) which refreshes inventory, giving buyers more choices. According to the Miami Association of Realtors, an organization boasting 38,000 members, residential sales in Miami-Dade County rose nearly 3% in August, from 2409 the year before to 2479. There was a minor 1% decrease in single-family home sales year-over-year when compared to August 2014, going from 1157 to 1145. Condo sales increased for that same month year-over-year, from 1252 to 1334.

Despite the slight decline in rate of growth, the fact remains that the Miami real estate market continues to enjoy steady growth, which is a healthy indicator for an area undergoing much construction and reshaping.