Miami real estate news and information

Archive for the 'MIAMI’S TOP NEIGHBORHOODS' Category

Luxury communities & enclaves in and around Miami.

feet in hammock

The Cloisters: Located in Coconut Grove, this gated community features 40 private villas. Each villa has three floors and offers 4,500-7,900 square feet of living space and private elevators. Each villa has 3-5 bedrooms, 2 car garages, and a rooftop terrace overlooking fabulous views of the bay, ocean and city. The Cloisters community offers residents a pool, clubhouse and tennis court.

Gables by the Sea: Located in Coral Gables, this prestigious community has much to offer. Residents enjoy luxurious estates and channels/waterways with ocean access. The community boasts a playground, basketball and tennis courts as well as 24 hour security patrol and guard house. True to its name, life revolves around the sea, with sailing, water skiing, and scuba diving as year round activities. Gables by the Sea offers luxury living in a tranquil coastal setting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Miami has something for EVERYONE! Which neighborhood is RIGHT FOR YOU?

Miami Neighborhoods …  by Alexandra and Vicki Restivo … Esslinger, Wooten,Maxwell

lady in hammock over water

Each neighborhood in MIAMI has a vibe… a rhythm of it’s own… something different, unique, and special. Miami literally has something for everyone! 


Brickell, abutting Downtown Miami, is Miami’s up and coming neighborhood with new construction springing up seemingly overnight. Businesses, banks, offices, shops, restaurants and condos, waterfront walkways, the quaint Miami River and spectacular views of the Bay (from literally everywhere) have catapulted the area into a bubbling metropolis. Nouveau chic, and truly the place to Read the rest of this entry »

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Miami Real Estate| E Lake Community – 9200 SW 140 St. Miami

Want to live somewhere really fun?  Boat,  fish, swim?  You might want to take a peak at  E-Lake.  The 76 acre Miami lakefront community is home to  a handful of residents who rarely relinquish their claim to the lakefrontJennings-built homes originally sold for $15K – $20K in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Today the lots themselves sell for more than a million! We have one listed now… at 9200 SW 140 St …  the least expensive piece of property on E Lake… updated and beautiful!

E Lake Aerial !

Wave runners, sailboats, ski boats, rafts, wake boarders… private sandy beaches… and a water  quality (which is tested monthly) that has been (for over 30 years  now) exceptional!  From your dock you can see fish. From your beach front chickee hut you’ll enjoy breathtaking sunsets.  E-Lake affords  an active-lifestyle for the sports-oriented.  It also offers laid-back peace and quiet for those wanting resort-style tranquilityin the privacy of their own backyard.  Curl up in a hammock with your favorite book.  Enjoy a leisurely bar-b-que down by the waterfront.  Take a boat ride at sunset over to visit with friends.  Enjoy  the privacy … or the sense of community.  At E Lake you can certainly have both.  Living on the lake affords an outdoor, active lifestyle unique to this particular area of Miami… and it offers a retreat where you can savor every minute of your spare time.

Everyone has a backyard that butts up on the lake.  Many of the residents have boats.  Because of the sense of community, rules are few and far between, but there’s a sense of caring and respect that’s refreshing. Residents have a voluntary annual contribution of $150 toward testing and treating the water and a desire to maintain not only the lake and but the quality of life.  There is no homeowner’s association.  What there is, is a common thread… a lifestyle that revolves around the outdoors, and an enjoyment of life and living… and a glimpse back, to a time when being a “good neighbor” .. and where pride and respect mattered. 


What’s the history of E Lake?   In the early 1920’s Henry Flagler  bought the land around E Lake  as a rock quarry… for the coral rock, limestone (also known as oolite)   needed to build his railroad.   The rock was crushed to form  the bed of the tracks, and  used in making the cement for necessary bridges and other structures. Flagler’s railroad was to go from Miami all the way down to Key West.  Because of the aquifer and Miami’s unique water table, the quarry began to fill with water. In spite of concerted efforts, the digging apparatus couldn’t contend with the infiltration of water… eventually causing excavation to cease.  By the 1940’s  a fresh water lake filled in the rock quarry, and  when seen from above, the lake looks like  the letter “E”.  The largest of the fingers is to the north, with the depth ranging  from 35 ft on the east  to  over 60 ft on the west side.   E-Lake Community extends between SW 136th Street  and SW 144th Street (on the north and south), and from SW 92 Avenue over to SW 97 Avenue (on the east and west).

9200 SW 140 St - E Lake - Miami

Not surprisingly, the rock quarry site which is now the  historic Venetian Pool in Coral Gables similarly filled with water,  due to Miami’s natural underground springs. The Venetian Pool ( a few miles to the north of E-Lake)  became an elegant  public swimming hole for local Gables residents. Not much of a surprise to see other construction in and around Miami having to deal with that Miami aquifer even today!

By the 1960’s two developers began building homes on the land immediately surrounding E-Lake.   F & R  Builders and Jennings were the two prominent builders and many of their homes are still right where they built them.  Jennings homes are known for the scalloped edges in the closets, and their solid construction… enabling Jennings homes  throughout South Florida to withstand hurricanes in the days when  shutters or impact windows were the name of the game. Today,  many of the original Jennings homes on E-Lake have been added to, enlarged or remodeled.  Nevertheless,those homes that originally sold for $15,000.00-$20,ooo.00  occupy lots  today that themselves are valued at over a million dollars.   Real estate has long been a wise investment!  There are certainly market ups and downs, but in the long run, real estate (especially water front property) often appreciates nicely.   Homes are not often available on E-Lake.   If you have an interest in E-Lake, contact The Restivo Team at EWM Realtors  (305) 793-1365.    The Restivo Team just listed 9200 SW 140 St on E Lake for sale, and the beautifully updated  4 bedroom lakefront Jennings-built home is for sale at $1,195,000.00.

E-Lake Community … a lifestyle worth exploring!

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Wake Up to Private Recreational Lakefront – Boat/Fish/Swim/Jetski – E-Lake: 9200 SW 140 St. Miami

Private Lakefront PropertySWIM.  JETSKI. BOAT. FISH.  Wake up to waterviews and direct LAKE ACCESS.   Your own private dock  and your own white sandy beach. Resort-style recreational living in Miami: 9200 SW 140 St, Miami Florida.   Sunset Daquiris as you gaze out over the water. Two Chickee Huts (one lakefront and another in the backyard by the Koi Pond and waterfall). Richly landscaped 1/2 acre of grounds… with a backyard that will TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY! CIMG1294 Brick pavers … paths … a sparkling pool and a covered terrace. And… YOU CAN LIVE HERE!                        

9200 SW 140 St, Miami, Florida… on E-Lake!

This property is really ALL ABOUT THE OUTDOORS, and the LIFESTYLE OF LIVING on E-LAKE! 

The ONLY thing hard about living on E-Lake would be leaving  for work in the morning!   Fortunately the location is central and  just minutes to Coral Gables, South Miami, Coconut Grove, Miami International Airport and the expressway.

Wild horses couldn’t  tear me away!                                                            May I invite you to see it?


CIMG1355Perhaps you’d like to know a little something about the inside the house at 9200 SW 140 St?     Beautifully UPDATED 4 bdrm/ 2 bath home with rich amber-colored travertine flooring and  Brazilian cherrywood floors throughout…   a comfortable flow. CIMG1377


Spacious and elegant kitchen design,    perfect for entertaining…  granite counters,  warming drawer, wine fridge, self-closing drawers, exquisite cabintry work, and stainless steel appliances. 

There’s a charming breakfast room … with glass  doors overlooking the garden and pool.   This E-lake house is available now, listed for sale  by Alexandra and Vicki Restivo at $1,195,000.00  ( 9200 SW 140 St – Miami – Florida 33176 ).

The interior of the home is light and open… the family room framed by a massive fireplace  that just begs to be lit (…even if you might have to crank up the airconditioner first!).  Glass doors overlook  the grounds. There’s a separate, formal,  comfortable dining room for entertaining.

CIMG1302Gardens are tasefully and lavishly landscaped… and … the backyard will   absolutely TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY!  9200 SW 140 Street.  E-Lake is a totally RECREATIONAL lake in  Miami, Florida.

The setting and the ambiance give this  home a somewhat secluded feel (in the very best sense of the word)… E-lake, and this particular house at 9200 SW 140 Street, are a world apart from the hustle-bustle of Miami. What sets it apart most is the magnificence of the lake, the superb backyard and grounds, and the subtle elegance of the home itself.CIMG1304

Sun, shade, nooks and crannies  … You can      curl up under the palms and tree canopy with a good book … or wander   off to savor your   morning ‘caffe’ on a    shady terrace…. relax       in the backyard …  or stroll barefoot  along      the waterfront  …  burrowing  your toes in the sand

Start the day out right, go for a swim… take the boat for a spin…then unwind in paradise after a day out in the ‘real world’.   Just come home… Living on E-Lake is unique … offering you an utterly enviable lifestyle … and this home offers  a rare chance to have that!

In the back there’s a spacious chickee hut surrounded by a moat/pond…a beautiful Koi pond with sounds of the waterfall that feeds into it. Property on E-Lake is not often available.  This home at 9200 SW 140th Street  is situated on a corner lot. It’s one of the most sought-after  locations on E-Lake… and the home itself  is beautifully re-done!  Waterfront with understated beauty and a lifestyle you won’t find anywhere else.


CIMG1355The outdoor allure of E-Lake is unique…        simultaneously offering you an active lifestyle                    along with a  tranquil twist.

Shady nooks and  crannies to curl up with a book … savor your morning ‘caffe’ …. or unwind after a day in the ‘real world’. 

Come home to paradise, to pampering… and to utter relaxation.   

One of the most sought-after waterfront locations           on E-Lake!   

Come home.   The REST is ALL ABOUT YOU!  

Call the Restivo’s … and take a peak a what E-Lake is all about.

OPEN HOUSE: SUNDAY August 23  (noon-2pm)

BROKERS OPEN: WEDNESDAY August  26 (noon-3)

… or … contact Vicki Restivo (305)793-1365  and  Alexandra Restivo (305)632-0164 for a private viewing.

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Great Deal in Miami-Short Sale in Neo Vertika!

NeovertikaA charming 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom condo is available for sale! Asking $130,000 in the stunning Brickell area, this unit features 7th floor views of the Miami River. Double balcony off Living Room / Kitchen / Bedroom. Loft-like. Washer and Dryer in the unit. Upgraded. Brickell nightlife and restaurants at your footsteps. One of the lowest prices in the building…Do not miss out on this fantastic opportunity!

Click here to see a brochure and contact Vicki or Alexandra with any questions!

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HOW to CHOOSE a MIAMI neighborhood. Ever had a neighbor you WISHED you didn’t? Wish you’d known before you bought?

Ever had a neighbor you wished you didn’t?   If ONLY you’d  KNOWN  before you Bought! People move for hundreds of reasons.  A bad neighbor is ONE!   Not normally the FIRST  item divulged on a seller’s disclosure… a BAD NEIGHBOR is  frequent “enough” to warrant a BLOG!  pedestrian-720462

I sell homes in Miami… all kinds of homes, and all over… from the Keys up as far as Hallandale (mostly in Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Brickell, South Miami and Pinecrest though) .

I’m asked (a lot of questions!) – not only questions about the house itself,  or about the buying-process, or for guidance on what to offer and why…   but as to what any  given “neighborhood” is like.

Here’s what I suggest:  Driving by will give you a “rough idea”.   Rather than just driving by once though,  swing back by  again…. at another time of day.  If you’ve seen a house on a Monday morning,  spin by later in the afternoon or in the evening … or over the weekend.    Wander the neighborhood. Explore the streets. Talk with the neighbors.  Get a feel for what it would be like, to actually live there. Hang out for awhile.  Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make.  If it’s going to BE YOUR HOME,  take a few minutes to feel at home!  Miami is FULL of beautiful neighborhoods and homes to choose from.  It may be tougher than you think to narrow down the choices.  We look forward to welcoming you to Miami, and helping you find just the right fit!

LOOK AT THE NEIGHBORHOOD DESCRIPTIONS ON  and  take a peak at the NEIGHBORHOOD BLOGS  (listed by BLOG CATEGORY )  … for insider information, tips, chuckles, and otherwise USEFUL insight!!!

One resource that’s very helpful for new residents is the Miami Dade Website… stocked full of information on schools and school boundaries, parks, libraries, utility companies, trash pick up dates, general community information.  Put in an address, and it will spit out a wealth of valuable information on that particular neighborhood…. That link to the  Miami-Dade Website  is a great tool.  We look forward to helping you find the right house… in a neighborhood you’ll feel at home in.   Beach?  Brickell?  Urban or suburbs?  High rise condo, townhouse or single family homeCoral Gables, Pinecrest, Miami Beach or South Miami?  Miami has a wealth of possibilities to choose from!  Explore the listings on our website  or call  305 793-1365.  Alexandra and Vicki Restivo would be pleased to help, whether you are wanting to buy, or looking to sell!

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Favorite New Restaurants in Mary Brickell Village: Oceanaire, Rosa Mexicano, Blu’ Pizzeria”

EWM’s Blog has a wealth of information on not only  Miami Real Estate Market trends, but specific listings, statistics, market trends and conditions, neighborhood information, community insight, restaurant reviews, and “Just for Fun!” martini_glassAs reported  by through EWM’s Blog, Mary Brickell Village has opened a WHOLE  SLEW of absolutely lovely dining spots…  Oceanaire (elegant surroundings and scrumptious  fresh fish) …  Rosa Mexicano (to-die-for frozen-margaritas  with pomegranate juice…   heavenly guacamole concocted table side!)…  Blu’  Pizza e Cucina (umbrella-covered outdoor courtyard setting with Mediterranean fare and thin,crusty wood-burning  pizza:  ”two-for-one” each Tuesday).   Read more  in an article published by about Blu‘! And if you want to search for restaurants, or make reservations online,  I just  stumbled across  an online service for reserving tables at fabulous  restaurants  throughout Miami:  It may be old news to some of you, but  it’s worth sharing: Which are  your favorite dining spots in Miami ?  (Brickell  restaurants … or elsewhere in Miami! )  We’d love to uncover more!

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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).

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Miami Recycling – For a Greener Neighborhood

sexy-recycling-binRecycling bins  delivered curbside  months ago may be too small or too large for some of us.    If you’d like a  size other than the standard 65 gallon bin provided to you by the county,   call 3-1-1  and they’ll deliver one that works better for you.    They will substitute either a larger (95 gallon) or  smaller (35 gallon)  bin for your existing one,  within 1- 10 days of your call.   In order to receive your new container,  you’ll need to leave the old one at at the curb for them to exchange.   Recyclables are collected every two weeks.   Miami areas serviced by the new recycling program include Miami-Dade County, Aventura, Cutler Bay, Doral, Florida City, Medley, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes, Miami Springs, North Bay Village, Opa-locka, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Sunny Isles, Surtside, Sweetwater, West Miami and Virginia Gardens.

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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!

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