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.

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 ( 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.

Out of Town Buyers Want True Luxury

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 15th, 2015

Estates at Acqualina Sunny Isles for sale

It’s well known that many of the people who buy property in the Miami area are originally from out of town, and sometimes out of the country for that matter. These out of town buyers are very interested in the properties that are available in the area right now, but they are also helping to determine the look and options of new properties that are being developed in the area.

What Do They Want?

Many people are used to larger properties, and they want to buy something that offers true luxury. They might want to have units that have extra rooms for maids, nannies, and more. Some might always want to have guest homes and villas for people who come to visit. They also want high-tech throughout the apartment, and that includes in their security measures. The wants of these buyers are not overlooked by developers in the region. They consider everything that these out of town buyers want and see how they might be able to integrate it into their building.

Buyers from all around the globe are helping to shape the design of these buildings. Whether they are from the United States, Canada, China, Russia, Latin America, or any other region, these wealthy buyers are important when it comes to determining just what types of features the developers are deciding to include in their buildings, and that’s a good thing – they are giving the buyers what they want, and this increases the possibilities of making sales.

One of the biggest requests is to have extra quarters, offering a separate entrance, for the maid or for other help. In the past, many buyers would actually have to buy a separate smaller residence in the building for their help, and that was a poor option. Today, it’s recommended that units that have more than 3,500 square feet have separate lockout quarters for the maid. Of course, if the owner doesn’t have a maid and doesn’t want one, they can always use this area for an office or anything else they would like. It simply gives them an option that was not available in the past.

Another one of the luxuries that some builders are considering for their clients from Latin America is the inclusion of Argentine grills in the outdoor spaces on the property. Those who are coming from Argentina want to have things that remind them of home, and this is one small way that developers can help. Of course, it’s not always easy to ensure these changes are added, and it sometimes requires more inspections and getting allowances from the zoning department. Some developers who are creating single-family homes are even utilizing the rooftops for added outdoor living spaces.

The new Sunny Isles preconstruciton condos offer just that. Take Estates at Acqualina for example or Turnberry Ocean Club or Armani Residences – they all have a lot in common – spacious layouts, top-of-the-line luxury as well as superb location. As you can see, there are plenty of ways that developers are listening to the wants and needs of their buyers and incorporating them into the development of their new properties. It’s great for buyers looking for something special, and for the developers who can increase the chance of making actual sales.

Will the Sunny Isles Beach Tax Rate Get Lower?

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

Sunny Isles Beach condos for sale

Taxes are the bane of most people in the country. Whenever the word tax is mentioned, most people bristle. They might be necessary, but no one likes them. Many times, when city policy makers convene to talk about taxes, they discuss ways that they can raise them. However, that’s not the case in Sunny Isles Beach. In fact, this is the fourth year in a rose that the city of Sunny Isles Beach is trying to lower the property tax rate.

The commission is proposing that they lower the tax rate to $2.50 for every $1,000 of taxable property value. This does not translate into a huge savings. Let’s look at some simple numbers to see how it would work. If a homeowner had a property that cost just $100,000, they would pay around $250 in property taxes. This is lower than what they would have paid a year ago, but only by a few dollars. It also depends on whether the owner qualifies for the homestead exemption, and how much the home’s value increased over the course of the previous year.

The city doesn’t want to raise the tax, which is nice, and most feel that the city will either lower them or keep them the same as they are currently. They are actually quite low compared to some other areas of the country.

Of course, many are also wondering what other effects this might have. When you lower taxes in one area, it often means that services will be affected in some way. In this case, some worry that the services the city offers would have less money and that this could cause issues with how the city operates. They administration says that this should not be a concern though, as the growth in other areas of the tax revenue has made it possible to keep the level and quality of services the same. They have enough coming in through taxes that they will not have to use any of their reserve funds either.

The city manager has also said that not only will the services remain the same, but they will actually be working to improve the quality of their services. This includes a large number of projects for the city in the upcoming years. Some examples include the Intracoastal Park system, Gateway Park, Sunny Isles Beach Civic and Senior Center, and a new school.

The city is very lucky compared with other towns across the country since they have the money needed to take care of projects that actually help to improve the city and the way of life in the community without overtaxing their residents.

Of course, everyone in the city may not agree with the assessments. To address this and to let the public know what’s happening, they are having a public hearing – September 24 at the City Hall. Those who live in the area and who are interested in what’s happening will want to attend.

The Beautiful Estates at Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 10th, 2015

Estates At Acqualina Sunny Isles Beach

Many different towers are currently undergoing construction in the South Florida area right now, and it is an exciting time to be a potential buyer. There are a wide range of different properties and areas from which you can choose. One of the first things that you will notice is that you are in complete luxury at many of these units. They really want the buyers and residents to feel special. Some of the most impressive towers and units going up right now are the Estates at Acqualina (View Estates at Acqualina site here). The towers will feature some truly stunning amenities that will provide the residents with a one of a kind lifestyle. Let’s look at what the Estates at Acqualina will offer.

The Experience at the Towers

Each of the two towers that will make up the Estates will be 51 stories high and will each include 90 units. These units will vary in size and measure between 2,800 square feet to a little more than 13,000 square feet. Naturally, the prices for the units vary greatly as well. The preconstruction prices are from $3.9 million to $40 million. You can choose from three, four, five, and six-bedroom units based on your needs. The towers will be just a short distance from the Acqualina Resort and Spa and The Mansions at Acqualina. It is a perfect addition to the Sunny Isles Beach area. The units will have great terraces as well, which will provide residents with great views of the surrounding area.

The gatehouse offers security and the lush landscaping offers beauty from the moment you arrive at the Estates. The area will feature an array of infinity pools, and even a FlowRider for surfers. There will be plenty of other things to keep everyone happy and busy at the towers as well, including a basketball court, and a beachfront bar and restaurant. Residents will also love the fact that they can walk right out of the towers and onto 502 feet of beautiful beachfront that’s just for them. It’s nice and private, and just what so many buyers are trying to find in a South Florida property.

Estates At Acqualina Restaurant

The towers will also have more than 45,000 square feet of facilities to make the lives of the residents even better. They will have access to a great spa and a fitness center that features all manner of equipment for working out and keeping in great shape. Grab a bite to eat a Circus Maximus and take in some of the other unique amenities that will make Acqualina the best place to call home. These include bowling lanes, an ice skating rink, a Wall Street Trader’s Club, and even a movie theater. Everyone will find something to love at the Estates at Acqualina.

Make It Your Home

Each of the towers offers just 90 residences, and this means that the units will have more privacy than you might expect with some of the properties in the area. Those who are looking to live in the lap of luxury, and who want a great place to call home will enjoy plenty at the Estates at Acqualina.

New Tower in Sunny Isles

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 4th, 2015

Ritz Carlton Sunny Isles Beach

There’s a brand new tower that will be going up in beautiful Sunny Isles Beach very soon. The tower will include 250-feet of beachfront, and will be at the southern end of Sunny Isles very close to Haulover Beach Park. This is a 99-acre urban park located in metropolitan Miami just a short distance north of popular Bal Harbour. The name of this new tower is the Ritz-Carlton Residences Sunny Isles, which is a name that should be familiar to many. Quite a few buyers are already scrambling and trying to get in on the action. The residences promise to be quite beautiful, and they will have excellent views of the ocean, Miami Beach, and Downtown Miami.

Preconstruction Underway

The preconstruction for the condos is already underway, and they’ve already started to sell. The price of the units varies based on a number of factors, including size. The condos with two bedrooms are starting at $2.2 million, while the ones with four bedrooms are selling for $5.4 million. In addition, the tower will be home to five large penthouses, and the price for these will be substantially higher.

The demand for these units, particularly internationally, is great, and they are being sold in waves. The first phase prices are actually between 5% and 10% less than the final listing price which will be announced when the sales center opens. This gives more incentive for those buyers who have the inside track to make their purchase as early as possible.

Who Is Buying?

People from many different countries are buying up property in the area. Many of the buyers in Sunny Isles are actually from South America, Europe, and Asia. Quite a few are actually from China. However, that’s not to say that the domestic sales are slow at all. In fact, Sunny Isles has a large number of buyers who are from the New York area and who are looking for some great property right on the beach. New Yorkers are finding that even though the Miami prices are getting higher, they are still a very good deal compared with the prices in NYC. In addition, you get more for your money in Miami.

Preconstruction investment is a good idea for many buyers who have an interest in the property. Not only will they find that the prices are cheaper, they will also find that they have equity in the property instantly, and that they can receive more incentives from the developer. Ultimately, it can lead to the creation of a better building.

Quite a few different preconstruction developments in the area are getting attention as well. Some other examples of hot properties include Turnberry Ocean Club and the Estates at Acqualina. With so many choices, it’s time that potential buyers started to look at all of the different options in the area to see what might be available for them. These properties in Sunny Isles are luxury through and through, and could make wonderful homes for those looking for permanent residences, as well as those who are looking for investment properties.

The Future of Condominiums in Miami

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 1st, 2015

Porsche Sunny Isles

A couple of decades ago, having a built-in microwave, along with a dishwasher, was the epitome of living in the future when you bought a new condominium. Then came the idea of adding in swimming pools to the roof, and high-tech fitness centers, all of which were welcome additions. However, with all of the wonderful and amazing technology that’s available today, things are changing rapidly in the condo world. Let’s look at one of the premier examples of high-end technology integrating with condos to see just what is in store for people now and in the future.

The Porsche Design Tower Miami

This tower, which is still under construction and is set to open next year, has an ingenious elevator system called the Dezervator, named after the tower’s developer Gil Dezer. This is an elevator the likes of which you’ve never seen, and probably never imagined, before. It doesn’t just take you up to your floor… the glass elevator takes you and your vehicle up to your floor. The elevator then places you and your car in your elevated garage right next to your unit.

Think about just how beneficial this could be. You don’t have to leave your car in a parking garage, hoping that it will be safe. Even though most of the towers in the area have very secure garages, most people still have that little worry in the back of their minds that something could happen to their vehicle. This worry is exacerbated when they have a high-end vehicle. In addition, think about just how much easier it will be to transport everything inside after you’ve gone out shopping. It offers convenience and privacy that you simply won’t find elsewhere, at least for now.

You can be sure that this type of technology will start to make its way into more and more buildings as they go up in Miami, as well as the rest of the world. Instead of “wasting” space on additional parking, or not having parking at all, they can roll everything right into the building. This could mean they can develop more units and make much better use of the space that would have been spent on the parking facility.

Creating this design was not easy though. Dezer had to gather a number of the best elevator specialists on the planet to create this design. They also had to go through a number of different tests and safety certifications to make sure the elevator would work, was fast enough, and was safe enough for people to use. They actually built a test building (nine stories high) in Chicago to make sure that it would be functional when it went into actual use.

The addition of this technology, as well as other new types of tech is good news for buyers. People want to live in homes that are on the cutting edge of technology, and the developers are listening. Who knows what other robotic wonders are waiting for buyers just around the corner!

Sunny Isles Denny’s Site Getting a Verzasca Makeover

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

Verzasca Sunny Isles

The Verasca Group is planning its third site in the US, and it will be located at the Denny’s property on Collins Avenue. The .99 acres in Sunny Isles is slated to be the new home of a 19-story tower of luxury units, and it will be the first condos that provide luxury, amenities and the quality finishing touches that buyers expect on the water, but according to the Verzasca Group executive chairman Gennady Barsky, these units will cost less. As this is one of the first new projects in that area of Collins in years, it has certainly generated some excitement.

The Sunny Isles Tower

The planned 19-story tower will have 76 units, and Revuelta Architecture International’s Luis Revuelta is designing the architecture. The current information on these luxury condos is that they will start at under $1 million, and go as high as just under $2 million, with each square foot costing less than $1,000. Each unit will have an ocean view. The development will also have a street-level restaurant and commercial retail space, as well as a pool that faces the ocean.

Other Projects

The Verzasca Group ultimately intends to invest a total of $700 million into projects in South Florida. Currently, the group has two boutique projects going in Bay Harbor Islands. The Pearl House, which is located at 101st Street, has 15 units, with sizes that start at 1,440 square feet and go up to 2,259 square feet. The apartments start at $540,000 and go as high as $972,370. The second project is Le Jardin at 102nd Street, which has 30 condos with an average cost per square foot of around $400. These units are available from $500,000 up to just under $1 million. Both of these towers are currently around 50% sold.

The group is also planning other projects, such as an iconic building that will be the tallest in Edgewater.

Collins Avenue Poised for Discovery

The Verzasca Group’s attorney, Steve Bassin, along with other developers believe that this project could be the start of a discovery period for the west side of Collins Avenue. This is due to the considerable increase in Latin American and Russian buyers that have driven property values up, and the overall scarcity of available space on the ocean side of the avenue. As interest in South Florida continues to grow, developers are expecting further expansion, which will force investors to look at other areas for building new luxury properties that can still provide the ocean views that foreign investors are looking for.

The Verzasca Group was formed in 2014 by Tim Lobanov, Darius Kasparaitis, and Gennady Barksy. The group gained development experience through public infrastructure projects and residential communities that they built in Russia.

As work gets underway on the Sunny Isles development (see all Sunny Isles pre-construction projects here), it will remain to be seen if other developers follow suit to continue attracting new buyers to the area that are looking for luxury condos with all the amenities, even though they won’t be right on the water.

S&P Case-Shiller Indices Show Miami Had Highest Gains

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on June 30th, 2015

Sunny Isles Oceanfront condos

According to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices for January 2015, Miami real estate – view website had the second highest gain year over year in the last 12 months, with an 8.3% increase in home prices. Additionally, the city tied with San Diego and Charlotte for month-over-month increases, with .7% rises.

Year over Year Increases

S&P Case-Shiller provides both 10-City and 20-City Composites for year over year prices, and both saw increases for year over year numbers over December’s totals, with the 10-City showing an increase of 4.4% compared to December’s 4.3%. The 20-City Composite shows an increase to 4.6% compared to the previous 4.4% increase.

Month over Month Indices

The month over month indices, however, showed a decline of .1% with a majority of the cities showing no change. The report explained that the noticeable decline in cities such as San Francisco, which has a .9% decrease, and Washington, D.C., which had a .5% decrease, could have been due to the weather that was unseasonably wet and cold during the period.

Overall, there continue to be price gains across the housing market. While this is a major benefit that is likely led by an increase in consumer confidence, low inflation, cheap oil, and low interest rates, there are some difficulties in the housing market, as well.

Market Difficulties

The housing market still faces difficulties for a few different reasons, which include:

• Wage Deficit – While home prices are increasing, wages are not seeing the same growth. In fact, the home prices are rising at nearly twice the rate of average wages. This means that if the home prices continue on the same pace, without the wages catching up, would-be homebuyers will not meet the median income requirements to qualify for homes that meet their needs.
• Interest Rates – While the interest rates are currently low, the differences between wage and home price increases could cause problems. If the interest rates increase the slightest bit, it could result in a major setback as homebuyers are put under even more pressure.
• Residential Construction – New residential home construction has still not made it back to the pre-crisis peak, and the current level of one million is not comforting. Historically, any time prior to 2008 when these numbers were that low, the economy was suffering from a recession. Due to this, the new home sector is still considered weak, and this can present its own problems if there are changes in the future.

Miami developers are still seeing increases, which is a major bonus for them and the South Florida economy. However, one area that has shown some decreases is the sale of condos. While these numbers are still higher than previous years, there are some that believe that this sector may be reaching its peak. Time and future indices will tell, but for many in the Miami housing market, the future is still looking bright, and the area is expected to continue growing due to interest from foreign buyers.

In France, the Response to South Florida is a Resounding “Oui!”

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on June 29th, 2015

Miami condo for sale

Miami-Dade County has become a hotspot for foreign buyers from all over the world, but the France is sitting in the top spot when it comes to European countries whose citizens are taking a very close look at what South Florida real estate (see website here) has to offer.

While France has taken notice of South Florida, realtors and developers have noticed the interest as well, and they are certainly playing into it. So much so, that ONE Sotheby’s International and Century 21 both use Janet Choynowski’s website to translate their listings into French so that potential buyers can search for homes in their native language.

French Search Patterns

Choynowski, who has researched the nationalities using her site, has also tracked their search their patterns. What she discovered about the French searchers was that they are generally males that are interested in sports. Additionally, most of them also began their searches by checking out a few properties in California. After that, the searchers ended up looking at properties in Florida. Another interesting thing about those Florida searches: there were also more page views on properties in the area, as well.

US Interest

It isn’t a secret that foreigners have an interest in the US. After all, there is plenty to offer. However, the main draw from the searches revolves around the weather and waterfront. Warm sunny climates and waterfront locations garner more interest, and of those, South Florida is the hands down winner in France and among other international potential homebuyers.

Another part of the interest is based on the types of outdoor amenities that are offered by the properties. Paramount Miami Worldcenter, which is a current project that is being brokered by OneWorld Properties, is a location that caters to those desires. This condo tower is a total of 60 stories, and it will include a number of outdoor amenities, including pools, a running area, a soccer field, and tennis courts in the ninth floor recreation deck. Additionally, the floor will also be home to 12 two-story Balinese-style villas that are situated among water features and pools. The final outdoor space attraction is the outdoor living rooms that replace the traditional balconies.

Foreign buyers have shown interest in the Worldcenter, and currently, 15% of the total reservations made since sales launched have been European natives.

Euro Value

Another major consideration for European buyers is the value of their own euro, which is decreasing. When these buyers invest in properties or second homes in areas like South Florida, they are able to preserve their fortunes, despite the lowering in value of their own currency. As the interest in South Florida continues, it is also easy to see that these investments are lucrative, as home sale prices continue to increase, as do the number of home sales that are all cash. Again, a vast majority of these are buyers that are coming from all over Europe, and this is not a trend that is showing any signs of decreasing in the coming year.