Miami real estate news and information

Archive for the 'ITALIANO (CASA A MIAMI)' Category

Casa a Miami – Beni immobili di Miami – Comunità del Lago “E” – Miami

Voglia di vivere in qualche luogo realmente divertente?  Barca, pesca, nuoto?  Una comunità davanti ad un lago di circa  76 acri limitata ad un numero selezionato di residenti. Case costruite negli anni 60 /70  per $15.000 – $20.000.

E Lake Aerial ! 

Oggi gli stessi lotti vengono venduti per più di milione di dollari! Ne abbiamo appena listato uno su un lotto d’angolo con tutta la pavimentazione,bagni e cucina appena rifatti.



Jet sky, barche a vela e spiagge riservate ai soli residenti…… perfetta qualità dell’acqua (testata mensilmente) Dalla vostra casa potrete ammirare degli splendid tramonti ! Il Lago permette non solo un completa attivita’ sportiva-ma anche una pace ed una tranquillita’ per quelli che la vogliono.


 La proprieta’ e’ direttamente  sul lago permettendovi cosi di usufruire del vostro posto barca.

La storia del lago risale agli anni 20  quando Henry Flagler la compro’ per utilizzarla come cava di roccia di corallo, il calcare, anche conosciuto come oolite, fu usato  per la costruzione della sua ferrovia.   La roccia schiacciata per formare la base delle piste ed utilizzata nella fabbricazione del cemento per i ponticelli necessari. La ferrovia di Flagler aveva il compito di andare da  Miami a Key West. Con il passare del tempo la cava comincio’a riempirsi d’acqua. Nonostante gli sforzi fatti non si riusci a bloccare questo processo d’infiltrazione. Negli anni 40 il lago fu completamente riempito dando ,visto dall’alto, la forma della lettera“ E”.


Negli anni 60 due progettisti iniziarono  le opera di costruzione sul Lago “E”: Il piu’ conosciuto era  JENNINGS.

Oggi questa comunita “E’ una delle piu’ ricercate  a Miami!

Per ulterior informazioni rivolgersi a Vicki ed Alexandra Restivo (Agenti immobiliari a Miami)  001-305-793-1365 oppure 001-305-632-0164

Comunita’ del Lago “E” –   uno stile di vita degno da esplorare!

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

PUNTINO: Miami Restaurants are Bringing In the Business! ITALY LOVES FLORIDA!

The Miami  Restaurant, Puntino Downtown, in the heart of Downtown, caters to a local business crowd during business hours  and serves up traditional Italian fare  in a lively atmosphere until 11pm…. drawing  patrons from as far away as Palm Beach and Pinecrest!  CIMG1520Downtown  Miami seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, with new restaurants opening up and flourishing!  

Jazz  performer Leo Casino spiced up Prosecco Night at PUNTINO last night. 

Reality show participants from Italy, touring the entirety of Florida in a camper (their Florida adventures filmed and taped for TV syndication in ItalyFriendsTour“) were there,  sipping Berlucchi… invited by the Italian Chamber of Commerce.  They were on their last leg of a month long trek. From New Orleans, they had travelled the perimeter of Florida’s two coasts… literally…  from Tallahassee to Key West and up the other side. Not surprisingly, Florida was the location chosen for FriendsTour’s  month-long ‘coast to coast’  scheduled to air on Italian Cable TV’s “SKY” Reality Show. Why Florida? Florida… is the number one state …enticing Italian vacationers and second home buyers to the United States!   

Between the jazz music and the buzz of excitement over the Reality Show “FriendsTour”  I felt  as though I were somewhere between New Orleans and Italy!  Miami is quite the melting pot of diversity and culture!  Oysters, caviar, cheeses, prosciutto , stuffed pizza …  the hors’doervres  and Berlucchi certainly add to the mix.

Puntino Downtown serves both lunch and dinner ( somewhat of a novelty in Downtown Miami). The  lunch menu offers reasonably priced antipasti, insalate, panini, and pizza & pasta ($5-$10 for the most part).  Yes, they deliver!Downtown Miami is on it’s way to becoming a mini New York (with restaurant deliveries  to your doorstep!)   The dinner  menu is more varied but similarly priced …  with a nice array of appetizers, and freshly made specialties, meat, fish, cheese selections, dolci, espresso…. and Italian wines.  CIMG1522Neighborhood feel… nice atmosphere… warm service… Worth trying!  For dining reservations in Miami:  http://www.opentable.comCIMG1521

MiamiRealEstateCafe… your source for  Miami Restaurants, Local Happenings, and of course Real Estate …  everything and anything Real Estate in Miami!  Looking to buy, sell or visit ?  We Sell Miami  – Better, Faster, Smarter!  Vicki Restivo and Alexandra Restivo EWM Realtors … Miami   – Call us at 305-7931365

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

Miami: Truly a Foreign Affair !

Love at first sight?   As Realtors, we work with a myriad of foreign buyers.  Many foreign investors are drawn to Miami, as much for the  location and weather as for the laid-back lifestyle, reputation and romantic allure. kissspaceball2

Our buyers  come from Italy, Germany, Spain, Brazil, England…    looking       for exactly the same thing:         a  home in the tropics … a bit   of Miami …  “Un Posto al Sole!” …  a taste of paradise.  They fall     in love, often,   before they even  set foot   here.  Miami has an aura…  a reputation.  Miami is      truly magic.   Miami          HAS  the stuff that     dreams are made of. spaceballspaceball

Buyers want waterfront    homes, and waterview    condos, at great prices, in perfect condition, and  in very, very specific areas.   Brickell and Miami Beach  and the Venetian Causeway seem to be the front-runners, the hottest destinations for  international buyers,  observe international real estate experts, Vicki and Alexandra Restivo at EWM Realtors, Miami.

“Coming from a world rich in history, the veritable lack of history that Miami offers is  almost magnetic, drawing foreign buyers in,  in droves.  They  embrace  the ‘new’ with a fervor that doesn’t seem to be found elsewhere.  What is it about our  ultra modern highrise condos?   They seem to offer something  that appeals on almost every level imaginable:  Floor to ceiling glass (impact resistant, hurricane glass) with an intrinsic sense of safety…  Concierge for every whim and fancy… Valet Parking… Lunch “on-the-run”  ( the famed American sandwich)… breakfast, wi-fi and a  laptop  (otherwise  known as a stop at Starbucks!) …  and the all important proximity to the beach.  After all, Miami  IS, the epitome of the eternal vacation.  Salt water and yachts… No  mountains …   The sweltering sun and  tropical romance  are intoxicating:  The people watching  and seemingly endless nightlife are addicting.  So… what exactly is it about Miami that makes it such a foreign affair?”

 “Word of mouth”…   A comment between friends.  A secret, a shared story, a dream or two.   A guest coming to visit.  Vicki Restivo  enjoys working with the foreign investors:  “I must say, the foreign buyers’ enthusiasm is catching… isn’t it? Working with international buyers is a whirlwind:  translating not only contracts, but conversations:  for interior decorators, furniture suppliers, marble and tile designers, car dealers, and legal advisors. It puts  a whole new spin on real estate.  Miami is unquestionably a foreign affair…  with Miami being  a “melting pot” in the very best sense of the term!” … and…the Restivos welcome your thoughts and insights on their Blog: !  For international relocations or vacation property acquisitions, contact Vicki  at 305 793 1365 or Alexandra at 305 632-0164… or through [email protected].  Again, your comments are always welcomed!

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

Summer: BEST Beaches in Miami and Key Biscayne!

Everyone has their own personal  “favorite”  beach get-a-ways  in Miami.    ( I have two!)   One is on Miami Beach.  One is on Key Biscayne.

The Palms Hotel and Spa in Miami BeachOn Miami Beach,  my top choice is the beach at The Palms Hotel and Spa at 30th and Collins…  where,   for some reason, we  always,  always,  always  run into Italian guests, visiting from overseas…     “vacanza” a Miami…    oppure cercando   “CASA   A  MIAMI!”  How Italy discovered The Palms Hotel,  I have no idea!  We’ve lived in Miami for two decades now, and  we only recently discovered  The Palms.   The beach there looks like it was hand-painted for the cover of a tropical beach resort brochure! It’s charming and romantic … and relatively uncrowded.

On Key Biscayne,  I love the beach by the Ritz Carlton … and I also like the beach that’s literally a stone’s throw south of that  (just in front of the “former”  Sonesta Beach Hotel).

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne

I don’t care if it’s a chaise lounge at the Ritz (as a guest of the hotel) or ‘roughing it’ …  schlepping folding chairs and an umbrella and hoofing it down to what I STILL call “Sonesta Beach” … The beaches on the “hotel side ” of Key Biscayne are sprinkled with sea turtle nests …  and sea weed that washes up on shore. Those beaches tend to be more serene and less crowded than the beaches at Crandon Park… and make me  feel as though I’m far from the madding crowds, and very much “on vacation”.

I’ve been getting “summer special”  brochures from The Palms, and thought they were worth sharing. Click here to view.   Looking for delightful beach spots, or weekend retreats?  …  The Palms and The Ritz are two of my favorites…. (and I’m sure the Ritz has summer specials too).  One of the perks of living and working in Miami:   from anywhere you happen to be, the beach is  not much more than a hop, skip and a jump away… and waterfront dining makes eating fun!  (Makes selling real estate fun too!… There’s water everywhere!)  Love to hear which are your favorite beaches, so feel free to share!   If you are wanting to buy or sell propery in Miami, please call me at 305-793-1365 or send me a note here.

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

SUMMER FUN IN MIAMI: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden: SUNDAYS are FREE in August

Looking for a great spot to picnic in Miami this summer?:   Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden  offers Free Admission Every Sunday in August. 

83 acres of grounds … with delighful nooks and crannies to explore, paths to wander, scenic havens, tables, benches, and shady spots for a blanket and picnic… for local residents, artists, photographers,  and visitors from across the globe!  13-fairchild-Gardens-Federico-Carosio-III The breathtaking view of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden shown in here is the work of local artist Federico Carosio III  .  Carosio will apparently also be creating scenes of Italy (of Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast) …  in a similar style.. which I can’t wait to see! Website:  

Spend a Sunday in Fairchild Gardens!   Tram rides run continuously, offering superb narrated tours, and visitors can hop on and off at will. (I repeated the full tour, three times in a row,  one afternoon, when John Soliday  – University of Miami Professor –  was the tour guide. Worth calling ahead just to see if he’s doing tours that day!)  The gardens, and that tour guide, got me hooked on Fairchild’s wealth of information!  Truly fun! 

Acres of lush tropical foliage,  waterfalls, wildlife,  endangered plants, art, open air cafes, and cultural ‘happenings”. 10901 Old Cutler Road, Miami Florida.  For information about Fairchild:  (305) 667-1651 …  and to read more about this other events scheduled all summer in Miami:  check out Robert Burr’s Great Gables Events   (updated, like clock work, each week).

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

BEST SELLING CONDOS on Brickell? Miami Real Estate Condo Opportunities! The Plaza on Brickell

A few condo buildings on Brickell seem to intrigue buyers more than others.   International buyers gravitate toward a handful  that epitomize the ‘dream’ of living IN MIAMI,  and  South Florida’s sunny, easygoing  lifestyle.  One that  appeals BIG TIME to foreign buyers is THE PLAZA ON BRICKELL .  The Plaza is actually two towers: 951 Brickell Avenue  and 950 Brickell Bay Drive. (The two towers are also somewhat confusingly referred to  as #851 and #901,  from  recent pre-construction days, before  the US Postal Service changed the “original” street addresses.  You’ll  occasionally  find  listings on, or through the MLS, or other websites – condos listed currently for sale or for lease –  referencing  those old street numbers. ) 

p2Brickell (literally overnight) became Miami’s  “in”  place to own a condo …  in large part due to the addition of Mary Brickell Village , which added charm and infrastructure to the area, and made Brickell come alive!   Read more about Mary Brickell Village here.

The PLAZA ON BRICKELL  has breathtaking night views (waterfront  mixed with city-lights),  spacious balconies and  sleek design.  There are (as of this date) still a handful of one-bedroom units with  striking views (water, city and pool) priced between $276,000.00 and $355,000.00 including a lovely 847 square foot unit on the 43rd floor.  Realize that you are looking at an additional 6%-12% percent below the current prices I’ve quoted above.  The developer is selling out the last of the units, and making for some interesting buyer opportunities  at below the  original preconstruction pricing.   Give us a call if you’re interested in buying one of the units in The Plaza… Contact us by email at [email protected] … or respond via our blog here at

The two  “Plaza” towers are veritable   “eye-candy” … especially for  foreign buyers …  a ‘sweet deal’.   I’m intrigued  though that  less than 20%  of the building was purchased (thus far) as income property (to be rented out) …   Buyers seem to be purchasing condos in The Plaza on Brickell as their primary residence,  or alternatively as a second home/vacation property. 

Of the 560 units in  Tower #851:   389 have closed so far, and 32 others are under contract.  There are 139 units left to be sold, as of now.    

Of the 440 condos in Tower #901,   392 have closed and 12 more are currently under contract, leaving 36 available for purchase.  

Statistics for  owner occupied units/vacation homes/ and investment property in The Plaza On Brickell are worth noting:  58% are owner occupied, and 23% are vacation or second homes, and 19%  were acquired  by investors for rental purposes.  Fannie Mae approval is expected  within the next two to three weeks.   You are invited to contact us for updates.

Please add your thoughts or insights regarding Brickell, it’s infrastructure, condo purchases or opportunities.   Your input to the MiamiRealEstateCafe Blog is MORE than  welcome!

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

Florida Home for Sale “Includes Wife”? How far would YOUR Realtor go to sell YOUR Home?

Widely tauted as perhaps the most over-the-top sales scheme to sell a house (at least this summer) is Deven Traboscia’s marketing strategy to sell her own 4 bedroom Florida house.    Auctioning off her Palm Beach Gardens home on  e-Bay and Craigslist, the 42 year-old single mom and licensed Realtor added herself to the pot, to sweeten the deal.  

Bids opened at 99 cents. That, for a house, might seem too good to pass up for most homes, let alone one that included a “hot mamma”.  This particular house-for-sale  had one tiny  little catch though:  a whopping $500,000 for shipping charges.   Actually, it had another catch (for better or worse):   a wife … included in the sale.   Trabosh was selling her South Florida house…  and… looking for the fairytale ending.


Struggling to sell property in a semi-stagnant Florida real estate market…   she came up with a  plan to combine love and real estate.  Two for the price of one is catchy in America, where ‘more’ is better, and supersizing it is the order of the day.   While many Realtors rummage through the more traditional ways to make a lisitng stand out: spiffing up the interiors, and sparking up the ‘curb appeal’, and designing colorful and descriptive marketing pieces, Deven Traboscia  literally just grabbed the media.  Overnight, hers became a household name.

 Did the house sell?   “No”   … But…   She gave it a shot.   e-Bay pulled her ad: their guidelines and regulations “prohibiting the sale of human beings…  or body parts“.  Her auction ground to a halt, before a sale could be  finalized.  

ABC covered the story.  CBS  chimed in.  NBC did a piece.  

Each interviewed, quoted,  photographed, and plastered her name and her story on TV and through the internet.  

Newpapers across Florida, across the continent, and around the globe gave her instant notariety

Her house may not have sold, but she took full advantage of the media.  Before her ads were pulled from eBay, Deven Traboscia got her money’s worth… and a nibble:  An Italian gentleman expressed interest in flying over for a “viewing” …wanting apparently a  “CASA A MIAMI”  because somehow  Miami was suggested as the location for that viewing.   Miami is a tad distant from Palm Beach Gardens , and  I usually recommend that my clients see the actual house before buying…but… amazing things are possible on the internet!  Visual tours, and  Google Earth give us tools that aid in visualizing a property, and the Palm Beach Gardens house was a package deal afterall.   I  have to hand it to her for being creative.  Hers  is now literally a household name…for better or worse‘Home for sale includes Wife“… Catchy, isn’t it?   We all need to be creative in a tough market!   And using technology, and media coverage,  works!

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

Summer Activities in Miami: Italian Cooking Show in Coral Gables at Mia Cucina !

This summer  again:  Miami welcomes residents and visitors to Coral Gables,  hosting several Italian Cooking Show EXTRAVAGANZAS at the MIA CUCINA design showroom on Coral Way…. with food and wine and laughter! range-landscape-final1 This “open-to-the-public”  gourmet food fest honors various regions in Italy, and is sponsored by local restaurants, purveyors,  talented local chefs and restaurateurs …  in conjunction with the Italy America Chamber of Commerce.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the  “Mia Cucina” Italian Cooking Show   in year’s past,  held each and every summer at their  Italian design kitchen showroom on 105 Miracle Mile.  The third of four cooking shows is coming up  July 16,2009  and space is apparently quickly filling up.  Since many of you ask to be notified of upcoming events, July is here, and the next Italian Cooking Show focuses on VENEZIA and VALLE d’AOSTA!    The Biltmore’s Fontana Restaurant competes against Tiramesu… for regional fare .   YOU sample, and YOU judge:  July 16  6:30-8:00 pm Mia Cucina Showroom  105 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, Florida.  Reserve early.

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

How to find a SOLID CONDO INVESTMENT on Brickell (Casa a Miami)

BUYERS ( …  and … REALTORS)   WANT TO KNOW:   “Which condos in  Miami’s Brickell area  are SOLID ? ”    …     “Where can we buy ?”    …    “Where SHOULD we buy ?”     …      “What do you recommend ?”   

cimg0077The short answer is:  “Depends on the buyer”.   Yes, of course there is  a longer answer too.   Finding a solid investment requires staying on top of the changing inventory and being very, very diligent.  New construction is popping up left and right… the Miami skyline changing minute by minute.  Financial stability of any given building, and desirability of a particular building or area can morph, given time, and given the ever-changing mix of buyers/renters. 

Lenders have  strict criteria which can seriously impact one’s ability to obtain a mortgage.   Miami Condos are at times “ousted”  from lender’s lists of “qualified buildings”…  based on percentages of unsold units,  investor-owned units,  owners in arrears on  condo association fees,  short sales or foreclosures in specific buildings themselves.  With the newspapers and news channels  brimming with stories about the South Florida condo ‘glut’… where do you turn for direction? Which buildings do you look at ,and which do you consider?  And Why?

There ARE solid condos scattered all across South Florida, and some exquisitely beautiful opportunities in the Brickell area.  On Brickell, I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen of  the 43 floor creation designed by Architectonica: The 500 Brickell Condo building  located between 5th and 6th Streets, with it’s breathtaking  floor-to-ceiling views of the bay. And 500 Brickell is Fannie Mae approved!  The photo above is taken from the 34th floor of 500 Brickell, which we just sold to international buyers purchasing  a second home in Miami.  

Of the  633 units in  500 Brickell’s two towers (East and West):   591  sold  … and 42 are currently available for sale.  Of those 591 units sold, 252 have actually closed.   63% are owner occupied (373 units) …  and 18%   (or 107 units)  were bought as vacation or second homes.  Only 19%  (or 112 units)  were purchased for investment purposes (and rented/leased out).

Those bits of information are helpful in knowing whether a bank will or will not provide  financing… and whether you, as a buyer,  will need cash to close.

Important to know, in any condo building,  is the percentage of occupants  in arrears on their association payments.  Those percentages can seriously impact whether a new buyer can obtain financing, and  may predict even how the building will or will not  be maintained (peering off  into the future)… and ultimately whether possible assessments are on the horizon.   Without a crystal ball in hand, facts and figures go a long way in paving the road  and helping buyers with their selection process.  

Have any questions about 500 Brickell?  Contact us anytime.  You may work 8am-6pm, but we are available after you’ve left the office, and you can always contact us through our website.  You’re always welcome to explore current listings or glean information on Miami’s eclectic and charming neighborhoods at www.MiamiRealEstateCafe.comCare to know about other intriguing opportunities in the Brickell area?  We’d love to hear from you.  Please leave your comments regarding Brickell… opportunities you’d like to share… insights, thoughts, and questions.

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

Miami Lures You. Coral Gables Grabs You, and Holds You.

You came here by chance. The allure of the palm trees, ocean and tropical paradise that Miami is known for.  A gentle way of life.  Miami, southern gateway to America, beckons…. and Coral Gables definitely, unequivocally invites you to stay.  If historic Coral Gables whispers, there’s a rooftop terrace, and outdoor summer kitchen … and rooftop jacuzzi…. and an entire private villa beneath it waiting to have your name attached to it. For now, your villa holds the name of a fine wine or special story… just waiting to be told.
Step through the wrought iron gates.  Slip the key in and
Read the rest of this entry »

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.