Coconut Grove Neighborhood Tour

I created this Coconut Grove Neighborhood tour so my clients from all over the world could catch a glimpse of Coconut Grove.

Coconut Grove Neighborhood Tour
Coconut Grove Neighborhood Tour

I need to make another video that shows the bohemian vibe of the neighborhood in center Coconut Grove, and the luxurious homes in North Coconut Grove.

This is by no means an exhaustive video, but just a few of my favorite spots in the neighborhood.

Click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I will be posting neighborhood tours of different parts of Miami as well as helpful real estate tips.

I hope you found this post informative and helpful. If you need an experienced and tech savvy agent who knows the Miami market inside and out, you can reach me at paula@greatmiamihomes.com or 786.663.4382.

Paula Barrera Scheer

EWM Realtors

A modern agent for a modern client.

 

1/1 Condominium For Rent at The Mirador

Those of us who live in South Florida feel lucky to live where so many simply vacation. The beaches, culture and year-round wonderful weather are just a few of the reasons why we love South Florida. Miami Beach is one of the most renowned  vacation destinations in the world and I just listed an amazing condominium for rent at The Mirador in  the heart of it all so you too can call this great slice of paradise your home.

Feel like you are on permanent vacation in this spacious and tastefully furnished 1/1 at The Mirador. With its remodeled bathroom, large bedroom with lots of closet space and balcony with ocean views to the east and west this condo is a haven to come home to. Brand new state-of-the-art gym and pool deck both overlook the bay. A convenience store in the lobby makes it easy to enjoy a staycation! Valet parking spot, water, and cable included. Peaceful yet modern building with ample shopping, amazing restaurants, vibrant nightlife and beaches nearby!

If you are interested in renting a condo click here another great option.

Kitchen
Kitchen
For Rent at The Mirador
For Rent at The Mirador
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Living Room
Balcony
Balcony
Balcony
Balcony
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Bathroom
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Bedroom
Convenience Store
Convenience Store
For Rent at The Mirador
For Rent at The Mirador
For Rent at The Mirador
For Rent at The Mirador
For Rent at The Mirador
For Rent at The Mirador
Gym
Gym
For Rent at The Mirador
For Rent at The Mirador

4/2.5 Home For Sale in Charlestowne

I recently listed this beautiful 2 story 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home for sale in Charlestowne. It has a 2 car garage and features an expansive living room, open kitchen overlooking dining/family room and updates throughout. Master suite with laminate wood floors and two closets leads to a spacious and remodeled master bathroom. Downstairs has an open, flexible layout with lots of light & a half bath for guests.

Centrally located in the heart of family-friendly West Kendall, Charlestowne is a 24 hour gated community offering a large pool deck with hot tub, clubhouse, playground, tennis courts, and beautifully landscaped common areas. The community is close to main highways, shopping, entertainment and great schools; also within commuting distance to Coral Gables, Downtown/Brickell and South Miami.

For more information on this community visit my partner’s website here.

 

4/2.5 Home For Sale in Charlestowne
4/2.5 Home For Sale in Charlestowne
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Living Room
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Kitchen
4/2.5 Home For Sale in Charlestowne
4/2.5 Home For Sale in Charlestowne
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Bathroom
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Master Bedroom
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Master Bathroom
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4/2.5 Home For Sale in Charlestowne
4/2.5 Home For Sale in Charlestowne
4/2.5 Home For Sale in Charlestowne
4/2.5 Home For Sale in Charlestowne

Miami Real Estate Market Forecast 2017

What is the Miami real estate market forecast for 2017? Here are the latest statistics and trends as presented by a panel of experts: Ron Shuffield, president and CEO of EWM Realtors along with Dr. J. Antonio Villamil, economist, and Alice N. Bravo, Director of Transportation and Public Works for Miami Dade County.

There are two major markets with two major outlooks in 2017:

Miami Real Estate Market Forecast 2017 – The “Affordable” Market

The affordable market, properties priced under $300,000 in Miami, remains vibrant and strong with only 2 months of supply (meaning that if nothing else were to come on the market for sale in this price range, and houses continue selling at their current rate, it would only take 2 months to sell all of the inventory on the market).  This would explain why buyers in this price point often face multiple offer situations and steep competition.

Miami Real Estate Market Forecast 2017
Only 2 months of supply in Miami’s “affordable” market

 

 

Miami Real Estate Market Forecast 2017 – The Luxury Market:

Over 1M properties are faced with a very different situation.  With 25 months of inventory in the over 1M single family market and 54 months of inventory in the over 1M condo market, there is a definite saturation.  In other words, it is a buyer’s market.  Sellers in this price point will have to price aggressively to stand out from the competition.

Miami Real Estate Market Forecast 2017: Miami Real Estate Market 300-999k 2017
A divide between the single family and condo markets in the 300k-999k price point for 2017

If you are asking yourself: “What about everything in between?” The answer is broken up into single family versus condo.  The 300-999k SINGLE FAMILY market is stable with 6 months of inventory and the CONDO market in this price point is carrying 28 months of inventory.

2017 is projected to be the year of the domestic buyer in Miami with foreign investment in the decline due to weakness in relevant foreign currencies PLUS awareness of some saturation in the luxury condo market.

Having said that, I remember when the Miami market was in the midst of the recession and industry experts (our dear Ron Shuffield aside, of course) claimed the market would take 25 years to recover.  It took 7.

What I advise my clients to consider most is the longevity of the investment.  If you think you will sell in a year or two, don’t buy luxury right now.  If you will hold on to the property for 5 years or more, shop to your heart’s content. Miami, though volatile, always rides out its down cycles due to its internationally accessible location, year round beach weather, cheap pricing relative to other major international cities, arts scene, low taxes, status as an emerging tech hub and the melting pot of creative energy that inhabits it.

Miami Real Estate Market Forecast 2017 Florida Population Growing
Influx of permanent residents to Florida

 

 

Click here to view the report in its entirety.

I hope you found this article informative and helpful.  If you need an experienced and tech savvy agent who knows the Miami market inside and out, you can reach me at paula@greatmiami homes.com or 786.663.4382.

Paula Barrera Scheer

EWM Realtors

A modern agent for a modern client.

 

 

 

 

2/2 for Rent at The Aston


Most people think of Brickell/Downtown when they think of the trendy young professional area of Miami.  Brickell and Downtown are amazing if you can afford it, but the Coral Way corridor has buildings like The Aston Condo that are just as nice, are close to shops/restaurants and are less expensive to rent or buy in.

Located at 3000 Coral Way in Miami, The Aston is an 18 story condominium building consisting of 235 residential units as well as retail space located on beautiful and historic Coral Way. It features a gym, pool, conference room, plenty of visitor parking, a doorman, secure lobby & onsite management.

When I walk in the door, the lobby is always clean, the concierge is always friendly and I never have trouble finding parking since The Aston Condo is one of the few buildings in the city that has plenty of guest parking available in the garage.

I just listed this 2/2 Penthouse on the top floor of The Aston.  Besides having three balconies with awesome views of the Miami skyline, its large living areas, spacious bedrooms and lots of natural light are just what Brickellites want with  better bang for their buck! Best of all, this unit has all three of these elusive rquirements: “plenty of closet space”, “washer/dryer inside” and “TWO parking spaces”.

The Aston’s central location is one of its best features, only minutes away from Downtown Coral Gables (Miracle Mile) with its fine dining, vibrant entertainment and plentiful shopping and short commute to Coconut Grove, South Miami and the Brickell/Downtown area.

If you are looking to purchase a condo, click here to read my blog post on condo financing.  The Aston Condo is one of the few FHA approved condos in Miami, so financing here will not be a problem.

I hope you found this article informative and helpful.  If you need an experienced and tech savvy agent who knows the Miami market inside and out, you can reach me at paula@greatmiamihomes.com or 786.663.4382.

Paula Barrera Scheer

EWM Realtors

A modern agent for a modern client.

Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Miami FL
Aston Condo Living Room and Balcony
Aston Condo Miami FL

1/1.5 For Sale at the Epic

Downtown Miami is becoming an increasingly populated area with 12 Billion in new development in a 20 block area.  Nestled on the gorgeous north bank of the Miami River, is Epic.  True to its name, you can see Mark Cuban’s yacht docked there, you can see all sorts of sportscars from Lamborghinis to Aston Martins to Rolls Royces parked at the Epic on any given day.

I just listed this impeccable 1/1.5, 799 sq/ft, move in ready, condo featuring top of the line appliances, stunning views, modern finishes, as well as a “smart concierge” to order food or request your car!

The Epic is a luxury 54 story tower made up of 342 residential units as well as one of the most exclusive hotels in the city of Miami.  The condominium offers resort style amenities which include pool deck with phenomenal views, state of the art gym & Exhale Downtown (Epic’s own unique spa), 24 hour manned security, concierge, covered and valet parking. Two of Miamis most beloved eateries, Zuma & Area 31 – both Zagat rated – are located within the Epic; and it is within walking distance of some of Miami’s most exciting entertainment, shopping and restaurants. Minutes away from the vibrant Brickell area and commuting distance to Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and South Miami.

At $395,000, this unit is less than 1/2 the price of a new condo for better quality, amenities & location!


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ten steps to buying a condo in Miami Florida

Buying a condo in Miami? Not an easy process. Here is my step by step guide:

Step 1 (skip this step if buying cash): Get preapproved by an experienced mortgage banker. Typically this will mean providing 2 pay stubs, 2 bank statements & 2 years worth of tax returns and running a credit report. It is VERY important to not make any unusual deposits or debits from any of your accounts during the mortgage approval process. Also, do not make any large purchases, especially on credit. Doing these types of things will, at best, trigger more conditions and delay your closing or, at worst, cause the lender to decline your mortgage loan application.

Step 2: Execute a contract for sale and purchase. Be sure to include an inspection contingency and a financing contingency in your offer contract. A typical time frame for inspections is 10 days. A typical time frame for a financing contingency is 45 days. A typical time frame for closing is 45 – 60 days if financing or 20-30 days if cash. I highly recommend you instruct your lender with these specific words “my goal is to have the clear to close by my financing contingency deadline”. Read more on this in my article “important things to know about a real estate contract financing contingency”.

Step 3: If you are obtaining financing (even if you aren’t) order a condo questionnaire immediately after entering into a contract. A condo questionnaire is a “make it or break it” document that is required by lender in order to assess the financial and legal standing of any condominium project. This document is given to a buyer by their lender and contains anywhere from 11 to 35 questions for the building to answer. There are two types of condo questionnaires: a full review condo questionnaire and a limited review condo questionnaire.

A buyer needs to obtain a full review condo questionnaire when they purchase a condo with less than 25% down payment. If a buyer is purchasing with 25% or more down payment, they can order a limited review condo questionnaire. I always tell my condo buyers that their lender will not only need to approve them as buyers, but will also need to approve the condo building.

Step 4: Be sure to give any and all required documentation to your mortgage banker as soon as humanly possible. A good mortgage banker will try to have the most complete and seamless file to present to underwriting and any missing or incomplete documents will trigger a new set of conditions which means another review of the file, increasing the chances of even more conditions and requested documentation.

Once the appraisal has been completed and the appraisal report has been delivered, AND assuming the appraisal comes in at or above your contract price (click here for my article on what to do when your appraisal comes in low) you should apply to the condominium association. Most condominium associations take at least 7 business days to approve a new buyer. Therefore you must plan accordingly and apply to the association according to the time frame they give for approval. That time frame may or may not coincide with the timing for the appraisal.

The reason I try to time the association application this way is so that my clients do not spend money needlessly on an association application if they are not past inspections, condo questionnaire, and appraisal. Having said that, it is not always possible to wait until these items are done. Sometimes it is necessary spend the money on these items and the association application at the same time.

Step 5: Be sure to review the condominium documents, the most recent year end financials, frequently asked questions, the rules and regulations, and the budget for the building. In the state of FL, any buyer has 3 days from the time they receive the condo documents to review them and cancel if they are in disagreement with any of the terms. This will help you to avoid pitfalls such as rental restrictions when you are purchasing for investment and want to rent out the unit or pet weight restrictions if you have a large pet or multiple pets. If you are able to, review the budget before doing anything else because if the budget does not have at least 10% in a reserve account, it will be very difficult to get financing.  If you still MUST buy the condo, look into local portfolio loans.

Step 6: Have a local & reputable title company or attorney run a title search and a municipal lien search as well as check on the annual real estate taxes and whether they are up to date. If you are using the seller’s title company, I highly recommend you have an attorney review the title commitment and transfer documents. Be sure the title company orders the estoppel letter from the association in a timely manner so that your closing is not delayed.

Step 7: Have a final walk through of the property prior to closing. I have had clients tell me they don’t have time for this, and in that event, I go perform the final walk through for them because you just never know. If the property has been vandalized or if the tenant took all the appliances or if something died in the crawl space and the property became infested with flies (yes these have happened to me) you want to know BEFORE you close on the property. Things like this can happen in ANY price range and you could regret skipping the walk through. Do a walk through.

Step 8: Go over the Closing Disclosure (formerly known as a HUD 1) as soon as you receive it from your lender.  The federal government passed a law effective October 2015 that requires that all buyers have a 3 day waiting period between receipt of the CD or closing disclosure and the actual closing.  The sooner you receive, understand & approve this document, the sooner your closing can take place.

Step 9: At the time of closing, be sure to bring your association approval and two forms of ID.  Keep a few hard copies of the ALTA Master Settlement Statement as proof of purchase until the deed gets recorded and mailed to you with your title insurance policy.

Step 10: Contact your accountant to go over tax deductible expenses (your mortgage interest is tax deductible, MIP or mortgage insurance premium is tax deductible and real estate taxes are deductible).  Also, be sure to apply for homestead exemption if the newly acquired property is your primary residence.  You can click here to apply for homestead exemption in Miami Dade county. Finally, remember that if you sold a home in Florida before buying this one, you may transfer or “port” some of your homestead exemption savings to the new property.

I hope you found this article informative and helpful.  If you need an experienced and tech savvy agent who knows the Miami market inside and out, you can reach me at paula@greatmiamihomes.com or 786.663.4382.

Paula Barrera Scheer

EWM Realtors

A modern agent for a modern client.

*This article is advice from the first hand experiences of a veteran real estate agent and is not to be construed as legal advice. Real estate agents are not attorneys.  If you are in a real estate transaction and need legal advice, consult with a real estate attorney.

 

Why should I own my home? – A short confessional by a veteran Real Estate agent.

Mrs. Portman is 90 years old. I met Mrs. Portman while I was out showing properties about 10 years ago. She approached me for help finding a rental because her landlord at the time was receiving foreclosure notices at the property Mrs. Portman was living in. Mrs. Portman was paying rent to a landlord who was pocketing the money and defaulting on the mortgage. Mrs. Portman was worried that the bank would foreclose on her landlord and kick her out of her rental.

I helped Mrs. Portman find a small “affordable-by-Miami-standards” one bedroom apartment in a rental community near a grocery store and near my parents who I knew would check in on her. She still had enough money to supplement her $700 a month social security income and pay for her rent and utilities. She did not share with me at the time, exactly how much money she had left in savings to live off of.  I wish she had had the means and desire to purchase a property at the time but she had not.

Mrs. Portman worked as a legal secretary in the best law offices in Miami in the 1950’s – 1980’s and belonged to multiple professional associations and country clubs. She met the Kennedys, Johnny Carson, Barbara Walters and the like. When she divorced, her family home – a 7 bedroom home in Coral Gables, was sold. From that time on, Mrs. Portman rented an apartment. She retired in 1989 with what she thought was enough in savings to supplement her social security income for the rest of her life. She saved 15-20% of her income from each paycheck in the form of savings accounts and CDs. Mrs. Portman decided not to buy a property, but instead, continued to rent. Back in 1989, $700 a month in social security was enough to pay the rent on a nice condo in a good neighborhood, plus utilities. She did not qualify for any help from her spouse’s social security because she had not been married for 9.5 years.

My 2005 Mrs. Portman, still in good health, realized she would outlive her savings. She began trying to apply for senior housing and affordable government housing only to be turned away because she still had some assets (a little bit of cash in the bank). By 2012, two years after I helped her with her request to find a legitimate rental, she told me her situation was getting dire. We began going around to low income housing buildings and trying to apply. She was either told she had too many assets or that the waiting lists were closed/buildings were full. We were given the run-around at every agency we visited. We even drove to one with the correct address on a mailbox in front of an open field. AN OPEN FIELD. Where the government housing agency was supposed to be. We contacted over fifty low income housing sources. It became apparent that no agency would help unless the applicant was on the verge of homelessness or had/was a minor child.

Fast forward to last week (2015), Mrs. Portman had to write her December rent check. This last check wiped out the last of her funds. She had already sold her only valuables (jewelry she wanted to be buried in) and that money also went towards her rent. We, once again, drove from agency to agency, building to building. All of them were full and had a 5-7 year waiting list or closed waiting lists. We visited Social Security, The Housing Authority, The Department of Children and Families… we managed to get help with food, but that would not help with the $400 deficit in housing expense not to mention utilities. Each agency told us that we had to find housing that was within her budget. As a real estate agent in Miami, I can tell you there are NO condos available for under $700 a month. Actually, there was one, and it was in a run-down building in a crime ridden neighborhood. Not a place for a 90 year old lady, or for ANYONE. I then looked in the entire tri-county area. There was ONE other option in an over 55 community in Broward County, but they wouldn’t accept her because she could not prove income of $30,000 a year.

We went to another Housing Authority office to see if they could help. They told us they are only now getting to the waiting lists from 2010 and that the waiting lists are all closed. Section 8 is closed. A waiting list might open next year, but they have to get through the waiting lists from 2010 to 2015 before they even begin considering anyone from a 2016 waiting list. They said “what about a reverse mortgage?” Being a realtor, I know a reverse mortgage is almost never a good idea. In this case a reverse mortgage would have saved the day. 

Except, a reverse mortgage is NOT an option because Mrs. Portman does not own any real estate.

At the end of my rope, I set up a Go Fund Me fundraiser and have raised enough money to buy us a couple of months to find a housemate living arrangement for Mrs. Portman. The idea is to have her living with another elderly female or two – a la “Golden Girls”.

During our wild goose chase of trying to obtain housing assistance from the government for Mrs. Portman, she broke down in tears in the car. She said to me “I don’t know why I am going through this. I saved all my life. I would rather be dead than end up in my 90’s and in this situation.” Then she paused and said, “I think the reason this is happening to me is so I can be an example to you – so you never, ever end up in a situation like this. Be sure to save even more than I did while you are still working. I never want this to happen to YOU dear, and if I can save you the suffering that I am going through, then I understand why God is allowing me to continue to live.” I cried with her for a while.

And then it dawned on me – this is not just a lesson to me, it is a lesson to anyone and everyone I can reach with Mrs. Portman’s story. Own your home. Do not rent – BUY. Buy and keep your property long term. It will ride out any market fluctuations if you keep it long enough. Mrs. Portman bought her home in the 1950’s for about $7,000. That home today would be worth about $1,000,000. Do you think that would have made a difference in her life today?

Before last week, I helped people who WANTED to buy real estate. I helped people who had already decided they wanted to buy a home. Now, I am on a mission to save people from the fate of Mrs. Portman.  If you are reading this, you might be my friend or you may have googled Miami real estate agents. I don’t care who you are – do what you have to do to BUY your home. Then, do what you have to do to PAY IT OFF. Then, hold on to it, rent it if you have to, so that when you are elderly, you have an option of last resort.

A month ago, I viewed my career as a way to make a living. It has its pros and cons. I viewed it as a somewhat fulfilling career that pays the bills. Now, I realize my career is not only about making a living and is not only about my own personal fulfillment, but about helping others make a LIFE and a FUTURE. I have developed a specialized skill set to help as many people as I can get to old age as homeowners. I must pass on Mrs. Portman’s lesson. Do NOT spend your life savings on rent. Own your home. Whether it is with me or with another agent, owning your home is the best thing you can do for your future.  If you’d like to donate to help “Mrs. Portman” please click here to access the Go Fund Me account.

Nine at Mary Brickell Village – New Miami Towers Series

Located in the heart of Brickell, above the Publix at Mary Brickell Village, Nine is a 35 story luxury condominium tower. The building features one bedroom to three-bedroom condos and penthouses. Features include:

– Porte-cochere entrance with valet parking

– Secure parking garage for self parking

– Double height marble lobby

– Electronic access for amenity areas

– 24 hour security and concierge

– Complimentary Wi-Fi for all common area

– Enclosed dog run

– Direct private elevator access to Mary Brickell Village, LA fitness, and Publix

– VIP access to the grand Bay Beach club on Key Biscayne

– One acre elevated amenity deck

– Yoga studio

– Fitness center

– Lounge

– Children’s play area

– Zen Garden

– Fire pit

Prices start from $380,000’s for 1/1s

To $700,000’s for premium and penthouse units.

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I specialize in Miami Real Estate , in particular Downtown, Brickell, Midtown, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, South Beach & surrounding areas. I value technology, communication & your time.

If you would like to meet with me regarding a purchase or sale of Real Estate in Miami, you can contact me on my cell 786-663-4382 or at paula@greatmiamihomes.com.

Greatmiamihomes.com seeks to keep the public informed about Miami real estate market trends , new development projects, neighborhood information and, of course, great homes and condos for sale in Miami!