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Archive for the 'MIAMI MARKET CONDITIONS' Category

Renting vs Buying

If you’re in the market for a new home, you should know the differences in renting vs buying. Here is a chart, presented by Steve Harney, showing the cost of renting vs buying, historically and now. You’ll notice that the percentage of income needed to afford a median home is LESS than what you need for median rent!

Buying a home can be a lot of money up front… you’ll need a down payment – the lump sum due at closing, usually a percentage of the purchase price. It’s usually 20% down, but some lenders will do as low as 3.5%. You’ll have monthly mortgage payments, which include principal and interest payments, taxes and homeowner’s insurance. During the buying process, you will have inspections done and the lender will order an appraisal. There are closing fees such as state and local taxes, loan origination fees and recording fees, among others. Usually these closing costs run 2%-4% of the purchase price.

When you buy a home, you build equity(ownership) over time. You get tax breaks-like Homestead Exemption and some Federal Tax Exemptions. Besides the financial benefit of buying, you may also improve the home to your liking. You will need to be ready to maintain the home, or call services to help maintain, as you have no landlord to ask for help.

20161014-rent-vs-buy-kcm-768x994Renting ends up being less money up front…you usually need first month’s rent, and 2 months security deposit or 1 months security and last month’s rent. If it’s a condo, there is almost always an association which runs credit and background checks as well as an application fee. If it’s a home, the landlord will usually request credit and background check as well, but there is no association fee. You will incur the cost of movers each time your lease comes to an end, many times you will be paying utilities such as electric and sometimes the water bill.

If you’re renting, you’re paying the mortgage for your landlord but if you own your home, the money you spend every month goes towards paying off your mortgage and owning the home! If you’re paying for it, the mortgage might as well be your own.

Renting is great if you’re going to be in that area temporarily, or if you’re moving to a new city and aren’t exactly sure of where you want to settle down. It’s a great way to get a feel for a neighborhood and everything that goes with it. In rentals, the landlord is usually responsible for maintenance and repairs, and that’s a comfort to many people.

It all comes down to what’s best for you… do you have enough to cover the upfront costs of purchasing a home? Are you ready to be fully responsible for maintaining a home? Are you ready to move to a specific area and settle in or do you want to explore your options and test out living in an area before buying? These are some of the questions you need to answer in order to decide if buying or renting is for you.

Whether it’s renting or buying, the Restivo Hechtman Team is here to help. We can help you run some numbers, explore neighborhoods, lend an ear and ultimately find you the perfect home. Contact us today to get started.

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Adjusted Square Footage … What It Means

If you’re grappling with how to determine home value, based on SQUARE FOOTAGE,  you’re not alone.

One of the most frequently questions our clients ask us is “How does this property compare to that, as far as price is concerned, based on square footage?

Knowing what comparable properties are LISTED and SELL for, helps.  But sometimes the square footage is   “adjusted” … sometimes “total” …. and sometimes “living”.

Realtors make every effort to calculate property value based on “Adjusted Square Footage”  –  at least in Miami Dade.  It can be confusing though, because the tax rolls and the property appraiser’s office and the MLS often differ as to the information shown  …  (and sometimes the  is inaccurate) …  Sometimes “adjusted square footage” isn’t shown, but instead “living area” and/or “total area” is).

In  Miami Dade we tend to use “ADJUSTED SQUARE FOOTAGE” in the Multiple Listing System (the MLS).   Many of the other internet sites (Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, etc) feed from the MLS.

“Adjusted square foot” measurements combine ground floor interior spaces & living areas, along with a percentage of each of these: the second story,  the garage, & any covered patio/porch/carport areas.

THE BREAKDOWN FOR DETERMINING ADJUSTED SQUARE FOOTAGE IS:

100% –  main house under air (1st floor)

80% – main house under air (2nd floor) … And this is because second story construction only costs roughly 80% of that of the ground floor costs to build.

66%  – Florida room/enclosed patios or additions.

50% – garage … again based on construction costs relative to the building costs associated with the main house.

50% –  laundry room

33% – covered patios/porches with overhangs.

 

***Screen-covered pool areas would not  be included (unless they had a solid roof).

***Sheds are not included.

 

I hope this helps clarify adjusted square footage .  If you have other questions or want more information, please call us …  The Restivo Hechtman Team at EWM Realty Int’l  305 793-1365  305-632-0164

(Appraisals for loan purposes  … that is another topic …for another blog).

“LIVING AREA” (air conditioned)

“ADJUSTED” (a percentage of  various covered spaces)

” TOTAL AREA” (everything).

 

 

 

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The Underline – Reinventing Miami’s Outdoor Space

jcfo_underline_00-typical_proposed-dayHave you heard about the Underline? It’s a fabulous new project that will redevelop a 10-mile path along the MetroRail from Dadeland to Brickell. The plan is to redesign the space underneath the MetroRail and make it into a linear park with an urban trail. The Underline is especially meant to connect communities with a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly way of getting around, while making the park into usable spaces for everyone. The idea is to add exercise equipment, native vegetation, bike kiosks, pop-up shops, playgrounds and art. There are also plans to improve all the stations and intersections along the MetroRail.

jcfo_underline_04-brickell-hammock-trail_proposedFounded by Meg Daly, this project is not only going to improve the space underneath the MetroRail, but it will also have great economic impact in the surrounding areas. There will be new development along the corridor, creating new jobs and real estate appreciation. Their studies indicate up to 25% increase in the value of properties adjacent to the corridor and up to a 5% increase in property values up to 1/3 a mile away.

The Master Plan was designed by New York’s James Corner Field Operations, and the University of Miami School of Architecture Studies – under the Dean of the University of Miami’s School of Architecture,  Rodolphe el Khoury – received valuable input from student and faculty resources. Professor Rocco Ceo led a class of 10 students to create a concept design for park space, trail and intersection improvements.

Tjcfo_underline_08-university-rain-garden_proposedhe Master Plan is fully funded, while construction funding is up to $5 million. The rest of the funding will come from public and private donations, while the trail and intersection improvements will be funded by private sources. The Friends of the Underline is a non-profit organization responsible for getting this project going and seeing it through to it’s completion. Similar projects have taken about 10 years to complete, so the Underline could take that long to complete. If you would like to help with ideas or donations, you can do so by joining the Friends of the Underline.

Thank you to Friends of the Underline for sharing their images, renderings and statistics with the Restivo Hechtman Team. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this wonderful project will have on the community.

 

 

 

 

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Deering Bay is in Hot Demand … Second Closed Sale in 2 Months

FullSizeRenderBuyers have been hovering (for quite some time now) in Deering Bay (mulling over the plethora of options available for purchase).  There are currently 23 listed for sale, and no two units are the same.

Deering Bay  … This is an impeccably manicured & well-maintained  golf, tennis and yacht club/resort in Coral Gables … with a guard gate, security & clubhouse.

No two condo buildings are the same…  nor are any of the individual units identical to one another.  So matching the right buyer with a ready seller boils down to selecting, exploring and showing the top listings.FullSizeRender (1)

This upscale, gated community in Miami has seen  a significant upswing in recent sales as well as an increase in new listings.  Deering Bay is in hot demand!   Baby boomers downsizing …  Homeowners wanting to travel more and worry less about the upkeep and maintenance of their sprawling Pinecrest homes … Golfers … Yachting enthusiasts … And those wanting a vacation resort atmosphere …

We just closed on another gorgeous unit in Deering (after showing a dozen or more condos over a period of two months):  13641 Deering Bay Drive – Unit 138.  It sold for $1,164,000…. exquisitely updated and move in ready … 3 bedrooms.   This is our second sale in Deering Bay in the past 2 months.  Congratulations to our buyer, who got a spectacular condo!

FullSizeRender (2)If you are considering Deering Bay  …  either to live there or  perhaps to relocate elsewhere … we can help.  The Restivo Hechtman Team at EWM Realty International.  Call us!   Vicki (305) 793-1365  &  Alexandra (305) 632-0164  [email protected]

Buying or Selling in Deering Bay …  The Restivo Hechtman Team.

Currently there are 23 listings in Deering Bay  ..  asking $950,000 to $2,900,000.

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Spectacularly Updated Deering Bay Condo with Views of the Marina … Under Contract Although Not Listed for Sale

With gorgeous views of the Grand Marina in Deering Bay,  this spacious 3 bedroom condo in  “Venice”  was perfect for our buyer… although it wasn’t  listed for sale.

The current owner meticulously remodeled it  (removing walls to create a stunning ‘open concept’ contemporary home) … and everything about it was  ‘right’, except that  it wasn’t for sale.

venice marina view

BUT … sometimes that doesn’t matter.

Warmest congratulations to our buyer, who is officially under contract, and closing in mid May… and congratulations (too) to the seller, who is thrilled as well.

If you are looking for something specific that isn’t on the market, please let us know.  We may well be able to find you just what you’re looking for!  The Restivo Hechtman Team at EWM Realty International :  Vicki Restivo 305 793-1365   …   Alexandra Hechtman 305 632-0164 [email protected]  …   MiamiRealEstateCafe.com  … your real estate blog and website.

 

venice dining livingDeering Bay Yacht & Country Club has a number of options for  golf, tennis & yachting – as well as for social membership.   Deering is one of Coral Gable’s finest gated communities, offering a refined lifestyle for those wanting a condo, townhome, or single family estate home in Coral Gables….  within a variety of price categories.  Right now there are 25 condos, townhomes & single family homes listed for sale, each with different views, layouts and styles. Those actively listed have asking prices from just under $1 million upward close to $3 million … A great place to live … A great time to buy!

Venice  is a charming complex …. overlooking Deering Bay’s Grand Marina ….   It’s wide wrap-around terraces, high ceilings, sliding glass doors, floor to ceiling windows & tranquil views of palms, water & yachts (and the magnificence with which it was renovated!)  made it perfect.   Buyer and seller both benefited  …  Our warmest congratulations to both parties!

VENICE KITCHEN

The Restivo Hechtman Team SOLD  2 units in Deering this month ….  So, whether you are thinking of buying or selling, we would love to make that happen for you!   Call anytime …. 305 793-1365 or 305 632-0164

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Baptist Area Progressive Open House Schedule for SUNDAY May 1st

If you are considering living in the Baptist Hospital area of Miami, this weekend might be a good one to house hunt.  With 24 listings priced from $500,000 to $1 million, many of us who have listings  in the Baptist area will be hosting a PROGRESSIVE OPEN HOUSE …  Many will open for 2-3 hours … between  2-5pm on Sunday May 1, 2016.   Please join us!

Our featured listing at 8625 SW 110th Street – newly priced at $665,000 – is an impeccably maintained 4 bedroom 2 bath home – 3,116 square feet – with a spacious back yard and plenty of room for a pool –  located near Vineland Elementary.  Contact the Restivo Hechtman Team at EWM Realty International  305 793-1365 or 305 632-0164 for additional information.   [email protected]  OPEN 3-5pm Sunday May 1,2016

Map of participating homes  …

 

FullSizeRender

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Warmest Congratulations to the Trimboli Family on the Sale of Your Pinecrest Home !

trimboli2It was a privilege to share in your journey, Bill and Helen Trimboli … Alexandra and I wanted to thank you both, for allowing us to list and sell your home of 50 years, and for allowing us to get to know you, and be touched by your story.

It’s your story, and the stories like yours …  the reasons why people move from one home to another …  and the people themselves… that make selling real estate fun.

Many of you who follow our Miami Real Estate Cafe  blog  and many of you who live in Pinecrest and have known the Trimboli family for decades will miss them, and the wonderful neighbors that they were.

Bill and Helen … after 50 years of being the neighbors everyone hopes to find… (good ones!) … we are sad to see you go.  Happy  60th wedding anniversary too …  (coincidentally enough,  the same day that your home of 50 years SOLD and CLOSED) …  50 years to the day from when you originally purchased that house.

trimboli1 Makes for a good story!   And the St. Joseph photos add to it!  When you asked me whether I’d heard the superstition of  St Joseph … the wive’s tale about burying a small plastic statue of Saint Joseph in the yard… to help ‘sell your house’,  I remember telling you that houses like yours sell themselves …  that it was just be a matter of bringing in the right buyer.

Whether St Joseph helped,  I don’t know … but I do know that the right buyers bought your house…  and they are happy.  You, the buyers, and their Realtor (Wendy Armstrong, a colleague of mine at EWM) were a pleasure to work with.

Alexandra and I loved watching you plant that good luck charm, the little plastic statue of St Joseph in your front yard, head down under the drip line of our “FOR SALE”  sign.   Thank you for the smiles,  and for having entrusted Alexandra and me with the sale of your house.  We enjoyed helping you sell and move (… right next to your daughter) and we know how fortunate she and your new neighbors are to have you!

SOLD by Vicki Restivo and Alexandra Hechtman:

7330 SW 116th Terrace, Pinecrest Florida 33156

$585,000  … The  Restivo Hechtman Team of EWM Realty Int’l

 

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Florida’s Housing Market Report – July 2014

In a recent report release by Florida Realtors, the housing market in Florida had increased inventory and rising median prices in July. The figures show a 5% increase (from July 2013) in single family homes that closed statewide, totaling 22,099. Overall, inventory for single family homes has risen 17.5%. The number of sales shows a lesser number of short sales last month as compared to last year…54.8% less short sales for single-family homes in the state.

According to Florida Realtors,  inventory for single family homes was at 5.5 months supply and townhouses at 5.7 months supply.According to Dr. John Tuccilo, Florida Realtors Chief Economist, “The July numbers look very much like June’s when each is compared to the prior year. This tends to verify our preliminary view that the market is settling into a stable pattern.”

This is good news for the local real estate market, as we have seen the months of inventory in South Florida grow as well and it seems that the market is stabilizing. With fewer short sales and foreclosures closing, the market is getting back to “normal”. Now is a great time to buy or sell. Contact the Restivo / Hechtman Team for help with all your real estate needs.

 

 

 

 

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Perfect Alternative to the Million Dollar Pinecrest Estate?

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If you want a Miami neighborhood (with acre estates – and priced below what you’ll find in Pinecrest) there is one neighborhood that relatively few people know about:  Historic Sunset ( by South Miami).

Architects and builders have been building personal residences  for themselves and their families  there for years now … living there and not wanting to move.  Up until a few of those multimillion dollar homes actually came on the market, and began to sell, prices in that neighborhood remained low – for lack of comps and lack of inventory. The neighborhood still isn’t as well known as Pinecrest or Coral Gables … and that adds to the value … Where is this “secret gem of a neighborhood” ?   It’s the Historic Sunset area …   south of St. Thomas the Apostle Church & School … north of Sunset Drive … south of Miller Road… and east of the Palmetto (SR 826)  …  It abuts both Coral Gables &  South Miami  … very close to the University of Miami.

It’s a quiet tree-lined neighborhood that juxtaposes recently-built multi-million-dollar acre-estates  with rather modest smaller older homes… in an area that many people are  only vaguely familiar with (unless they’ve searched a five mile radius of UM for property and stumbled across it that way … or have driven around to explore).  Buyers tend to be familiar with/ or “know”  Pinecrest, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and South Miami … but this Historic Sunset Neighborhood is an awesome alternative for home buyers, and can offer significant bang for your buck.   And … it’s  literally just minutes from everything.  May be worth exploring if you’re relocating to Miami, working for the University of Miami, Baptist Hospital, or wanting to live and work in the general area of Coral Gables,  Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, High Pines, Ponce/Davis, or South Miami … and not stuck on needing to be within the boundaries of Pinecrest Elementary School.

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We  listed a unique French-style two story pool home in this  Historic Sunset area  last week.  It’s an acre estate, with a lighted tennis court, fenced and gated … with European feel,  flair & warmth: 7411 SW 66th Street.  Listed for $1,100,000 this home’s façade hints of France (with it’s mansard roof)  … It blends the Mediterranean with a tropical Miami vibe and location …  It has an outdoor summer kitchen and paella grill…  Grounds surrounded by fruit trees (mango, avocado, lychee, citrus, star fruit, kumquat) … Located at the far end of a cul-de-sac across from a mega mansion that’s going up just across the street… and from what I know, amazing neighbors.

This home is  gated and fenced … with a circular drive … It’s a two story (with three of the bedrooms upstairs).  There are 3260 square feet of living area –  and the home was completely remodeled in 2001.  Lighted spacious tennis court. Sparkling pool. Outdoor summer kitchen and built-in paella grill. An understated theatre/media room.  Full house generator.  4 air conditioning units. 60 foot deep well. Impact windows/shutters. Alarm. Fireplace. Wine cellar. Wine Fridge.  4 bedrooms. 3.5 baths. Upstairs terrace overlooks the pool and tennis courts and grounds. Vegetable garden.  Covered patio entertainment area downstairs.  Surround sound (indoors and out). Located on a cul de sac with no through traffic.

To see this property or others, or to list your property for sale, contact the Restivo Hechtman Team at 305-793-1365 and 305-632-0164.  This house is a pleasure to show!   Visual Tour 7411 SW 66th Street, Miami Florida

 

 

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Coconut Grove Upsurge

If you’re thinking of investing, it might be worth keeping an eye on the Grove.   Coconut Grove’s waterfront revitalization plan, and recent real estate developments have put Coconut Grove on our radar screen (again).

The Convention Center was demolished a few months ago,  with plans approved to transform Coconut Grove’s waterfront area…Dinner Key Marina and Sailboat Bay … into pedestrian-friendly public park areas with water-front promenades, new marinas, restaurants & shops.  The 3 new waterside restaurants are likely to include Don Shula’s … a revamped Scotty’s Landing … and a seafood spot.

2 mega-luxury spiraling-condo-towers (where the former Grand Bay Hotel stood, at 2675 South Bayshore Drive)  broke ground earlier in 2014.  What’s now under construction there will soon be The Grove at Grand Bay – a high end condo project with spectacular views and amenities.  It’s now in it’s early stages of construction  –  and although the units were priced from $3 million to $5 million per individual condo unit, The Grove at Grand Bay has already virtually sold out.  The handful of uber chic  condo units still available have price tags between $900 -$1,100 per square foot. Read the rest of this entry »

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