Miami real estate news and information

Archive for the 'REAL ESTATE NEWS' Category

National Average Rental Prices ON THE RISE

Chris Thornberg  had a  change of mind about  real estate. 

Back in 2007 he warned “WAIT TO BUY, because you’ll get it for 10% less in a year”.     And … He was absolutely right. 

He was recently quoted  saying :   “If you have been thinking about buying in Las Vegas , or a condo in Miami BUY NOW!”.   That’s now … in 2012.

I agreed with him then …  I agree with him now.

National average rents are headed upward.   A rental that you could have had for $1000 in 2009 is forecasted to reach $1,175 by 2014.  When rental prices are on the rise, it’s a good indicator that it’s time to look at buying.

If you’re thinking about purchasing property  anywhere in Miami, we would love to work with you.  We know the market, and we know the neighborhoods you want to live in and invest in, and we look forward to helping you.  Call us anytime on our direct number 305 793-1365  The Restivo Team … experienced …  reliable …  local …  real estate experts.

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What’s My House WORTH? Here’s Where It Gets Sticky…

When you see a house, and like it, and are ready to put in an offer, you may know what it’s worth to you …. what you’re willing to pay. (Same holds true if you are buying a piece of art, or a dress.)  Price and value are subjective.  And they (at least in part) hinge  on your budget.

If you’re getting a mortgage though, the lender will want an estimate of value from an appraiser.  They will loan based on the appraised value and that has a LOT to do with square footage .  And here’s where it gets sticky. Read the rest of this entry »

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Time to Buy Real Estate in Florida … or Not ?

Is this really the time to buy real estate in Florida?    Have we hit bottom and leveled out?

Steve Harney, in his Keeping Current Matters, seems to think so.  

Speaking to Realtors at EWM Realtors International in Downtown Miami last month,  Harney projected that real estate pricing would remain relatively flat in Miami in 2012.   But he added  ‘If you don’t buy today, you will likely regret it – big time – five years down the road.’

And he further indicated that with Miami real estate pricing being at the same level as it was back in 2002, now, but with interest rates having fallen from 6.11% to under 3.87%  the cost was actually lower (with cost and price being two entirely different animals).

Sales are up …  Prices will follow suit.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Crash in Housing Market … WHO DO YOU LISTEN TO? – “Sell Now?” … “Time To Buy?”

Well, if you’re reading any of John R. Talbot’s books , he has it pretty much spelled out:

Here are the titles :

2003:  “The Coming Crash in Housing Market

2006:  “Sell Now! End of the Housing Bubble

2012:  And now  he is quoted as saying …   “It is time to buy a new home!”. 

Warren Buffett agrees …  saying it’s time to buy…   and if you are looking for a top real estate agent in the Miami area, the Restivo Team at EWM Realtors would love to help you move on – whether you’re looking to sell or wanting to buy.  Alexandra and Vicki  305 793-1365 or 305 632-0164  both write for,  a Miami based real estate blog  providing information to investors, buyers and sellers.  The Restivo’s are top local real estate experts  in Miami who work with buyers and sellers, and offer referral recommendations  of top realtors nationally and internationally to relocating clients.    



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Private Island For Sale in the Florida Keys

Who hasn’t dreamed of owning their own island? Now you can, and it’s in our backyard. East Sister Rock Island is up for sale in the Florida Keys. The 3 bedroom, 2 bath home is situated on 1.4 acres and about a quarter mile off the coast of Marathon in the Keys. It boasts over 5000 sq ft of living area, with about 2700 sq ft of veranda, helicopter pad, a pool and two docks.

The island, reachable only by boat or helicopter, is nestled amongst a coral reef, making it great for water sports and snorkeling and fishing. It’s located about 2 hours from Miami and about 45 minutes from Key West. The house has 19 sliding glass doors and also features a veranda which wraps around the entire house, providing views all the way around.

Klaus Meckler built the island by digging a moat from the coral rock and making a plateau that rises 15 feet. The house was concrete poured and rests on 75 pilings drilled into the coral rock. The current owners – the Willifords – who bought the island in 1995 from Meckler, made the island green by installing a wind turbine and solar panels. Water is taken from rainwater that is filtered and stored for use.

Imagine watching the sun rise from the veranda, snorkeling and fishing all day and winding down with a glass of wine and watching the sun set from the hammocks nestled among the trees. I have stayed here, and let me just say…it’s worth the hype!

The estate is listed for $12 million and available now. It is one of 9 private islands in the Keys.

Contact the Restivo Team to own your own piece of paradise.


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3.8% Capital Gains Tax Starts in 2013 … How Will It Affect You ?

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) a new real estate tax will go into effect in 2013.

The fact is that this capital gains tax of 3.8%  will impact relatively few sellers. First of all, it targets home sellers with  high annual incomes  (individuals earning $200,000 per year plus, and married couples earning at least $250,000) … who reap sizable profits on the sale of their homes ($250,000 in profit for an single individual …$500,000 if you’re talking about a married couple).   Link here for the pdf tax form.

And even for sellers who qualify under these two conditions, a tax may still not be levied. 

The reason why?   Other tax details need to be taken into consideration before the 3.8 percent tax can kick  in.   Simply having a high income (even if you make a substantial profit on the sale of your  home)  doesn’t necessarily indicate that you’ll be charged  3.8%  in capital gains tax.

Link here for the full article and the forms.   

If you’re considering selling now or in the near future,  and are looking for a top real estate agent to list and sell your house with, we would be delighted to meet with you.  Call or email us with your questions or connect with us here to arrange a seller consultation.   We are a mother/daugher team … experienced top local realtors in South Florida  …  Alexandra and Vicki Restivo … 305 793-1365     [email protected] and we would love to help you buy, sell or relocate… locally or internationally.   Call us.

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If you are SELLING within next 6 months … WHY you should SELL NOW!

Prices for Miami real estate are expected to remain stable.  We are currently in a so called ‘normal market’ with 5-6 months of inventory a the close of February 2012.

That said, IF you are planning to sell within the next 6 months, every indication suggests that you sell now.

The reason behind that is just last week the banks and the federal government came to an agreement as to how to move forward with the current inventory of foreclosed properties (‘shadow inventory’).   They came to an agreement as to how that bottleneck would be released (by the lenders) onto the market .

And not only that, but now there will be a new onslought of properties  that are Read the rest of this entry »

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Misleading Information and Appraisal Woes over a Kitchen…

From the MLS description, this townhouse sounds fabulous …  but it’s the information that’s missing that concerns me.  


Looks and sounds fabulous.  And from the MLS photos, it appears to be lived in. 

What’s missing is the fact that there is no kitchen  …   Nowhere is that mentioned.  

When I made the appointment to show the listing, nothing was mentioned.   The only way it even came up was when I called back to reconfirm our appointment, asking about immediate move-in / and a possible lease-purchase option or pre-occupancy prior to closing.  The listing agent said it might be tough to move in right away, because there was no kitchen … but … there were plans to add a kitchen and laundry room.  

The listing agent confided that there had been two solid offers (contracts)  on the property,  both of which fell through before closing.  Wonder why.

 There are several problems with listings like this:    

1)  Not only does this kind of lack of information spin the wheels of the buyer  (and Realtors!)  who might like it online… but the buyer won’t get financing without there being a kitchen.   (And maybe this explains why the listing agent has had two offers that mysteriously fell through … and couldn’t figure out why.)

2)  Listing something without showing it for what it is (or isn’t!) attracts the wrong buyers.

3) Nowhere will a future appraiser grasp that there is no kitchen…  NOWHERE!   And that means that  (if and when) it sells,  the written information in the MLS will cause it to become yet another of the many  misleading ‘comparable sales’  used to calculate property values on other properties under contract.

Information is key.  Our reputation has been well-earned, by consistently providing information that enables our clients to make informed decisions …

If you’d like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation  (without obligation to list or sell through us) we would like to meet and chat with you.   Call us any time at 305 793-1365  –  our direct line.   Or you can connect with us here  by clicking this link …  or email us at [email protected] .  We look forward to chatting with you.  Alexandra and Vicki Restivo … The Restivo Team at EWM Realtors, International.

We appreciate your reading and following our real estate blog,  and invite you to subscribe if you’d like to receive market updates directly to your email.

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The Cork Blew on Shadow Inventory – Last Month

The court-imposed dam on Shadow Inventory blew last month.  There is a wave of distressed property that will come, which will impact sales prices all across America.  Some areas will be more battered than others.

If you are looking to sell,  and wanting to move within the next 6 months,  now is the time to agressively and compelling price your house for sale … before the real estate market is impacted by shadow inventory that’s about to be released onto the market. Read the rest of this entry »

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Real Estate Sales Are On The Rise in South Florida

Buzz word on the streets, all over Miami, as well as in this recent article published by  HOUSINGWIRE.COM  is that real estate sales in South Florida are up from last year: 

“Home prices in South Florida jumped in the fourth quarter as international buyers and investors nabbed affordable inventory.

In Broward County, where Fort Lauderdale is the county seat, existing single-family home and condo sales increased 6% to 6,572 sales in 4Q 2011 from 6,225 in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.

In Miami-Dade County,  sales of existing, single-family homes and condo  increased in 4Q 2011 to 5,839 sales from 4,722 in the comparable year-ago period.”

Inventory is down  … having dropped drastically …  Inventory in Miami-Dade  is currently 40%  less than what it was  last year.  

Whether you are buying or selling, this is the time to be in real estate … especially if you’re looking anywhere in Miami.   Looking for an uber local real estate agent to work with ?  It’s  the Restivo Team at EWM Realtors …  305 793-1365  [email protected].   We look forward to hearing from you!

It’s important to understand the market and know where the opportunities lie.  Whether you are buying, selling, investing, relocating …   We appreciate that you’re reading our blog …    And we invite you to subscribe if you’d like.   Our real estate blog is and we are a mother daughter team of local real estate experts in the Miami-Dade areas of Miami Beach, Miami, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, High Pines, Ponce Davis, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, South Miami … and neighboring areas.   Call anytime!  We would love to work with you!   305 632-0164  or 305 793-1365   (direct lines)  … Alexandra and Vicki Restivo

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