Brickell Heights – New Miami Towers Series

Brickell Heights is another project by Jorge Perez ie The Related Group. This project is 73% sold as of 3/12/2014*

The project consists of two towers that will be located between Mary Brickell Village and Brickell City Centre. The first level consists of a 30,000 square-foot Equinox gym featuring a giant mural by artist Fabian Burgos.

Prices range from $420,000 to $1,293,900.

– Design by Arquitectonica
– Double height lobby featuring original art installations and designed by David Rockwell
– Rooftop pool with views of Biscayne Bay and Miami skyline
– Eighth floor pool terrace including a lap pool
– Movie theater room
– Two social entertainment rooms
– Kids club
– 24 hr concierge and security
– Self parking and valet parking available

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!

*according to the in-house broker associate for Brickell Heights.

Echo Brickell – New Miami Towers Series

Echo Brickell will be the first of its kind luxury building in the Brickell submarket of Miami. Just south of the Four Seasons Hotel on Brickell, Echo will be one of the tallest most cutting edge buildings to grace our skyline. The wave-like façade of the building ties in perfectly with the futuristic aesthetics of Brickell Citi Centre And other forward thinking architectural “works of art”.  The robotic parking system will make your jaw drop as will the stunning glass enclosed pool deck in the sky!

The address of Echo Brickell condo will be:

1451 Brickell Ave., Miami, FL 33131

Echo Brickell Rendering

Short list of features (there are many more):

-180 luxury condominium residences

-57 stories

– 21 penthouses

– 635 feet tal

– Developer PMG (Property Markets Group)

– Conceptual Design by Carlos Ott

– Interior Design Carlos Ott and Yoo

– Robotic parking

– Architects of Record Cohen, Freedman, Encinosa

– Groundbreaking Spring 2014

– Apple® home technology in all residences

 

UNITS AVAILABLE:

Echo Upper Penthouses: 4 Bedrooms/4.5 Baths + Den + Maid’s Quarters (Carlos Ott Penthouse)

Echo Lower Penthouses : 3 Bedroom / 3.5 Baths + Den + Maid’s Quarters

3 Bedroom/3.5 Baths + Den

3 Bedroom/3.5 Baths

3 Bedrooms/3 Baths

2 Bedrooms/2.5 Baths + Den

2 Bedrooms/2.5 Baths

2 Bedrooms/2 Baths

1 Bedrooms/1.5 Baths

 

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!

PAULA BARRERA

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

paula@greatmiamihomes.com

 

Fall Market Update by EWM President Ron Shuffield

Our Real Estate market has had a slight increase in inventory (a much needed increase IMHO).

Three of my buyers who were having trouble getting under contract have finally been able to buy and my sellers who sold this summer are glad they did!

I expect a little bit of a slowdown over December/January and a kickstart to 2014 beginning in Feb/March.

Inventory in the high end condo market will increase as 150 new projects are planned in south Florida with about 23,000 condos coming up for sale.

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!

PAULA BARRERA

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

Current Fannie Mae Approved Condos in Miami and Miami Beach

Currently, there are only FIVE Fannie Mae approved condos in Miami/Miami Beach

What does this mean?  This means you can purchase a condo in these buildings with relatively little hassle from the banks because Fannie Mae has already reviewed and approved the buildings.

For example, if you wanted to purchase a condo in a building not on this list, and if you wanted to buy with 10% down, the bank would scrutinize the legal and financial standing of the condo.

If the building IS on this list, the bank will only scrutinize the buyer’s qualifications and the appraisal report.

Eden House Entire Project/ Miami Beach 3/15/2013 9/15/2014

FL Nine45 Jefferson Condominum Entire Project/ MIAMI BEACH 8/6/2013 5/6/2014

FL NORDICA CONDO Entire Project/ MIAMI 8/13/2013 5/13/2014

FL Ponce Tower Entire Project/ MIAMI 5/17/2013 2/17/2014

FL South Two Seven Lofts Entire Project/ MIAMI 6/4/2012 12/6/2013

That’s all folks!

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!

PAULA BARRERA

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

 

Market Update on South Coral Gables South of US1 West of Le Jeune and north of Sunset Dr.

One of my clients purchased a 3/2 in this slice of Coral Gables earlier this year and she wanted to know what the market has been doing. When she and her husband purchased, the competition was INCREDIBLE.  There were many offers on the house and the seller had listed with a flat fee broker who only put the property on MLS but had nothing to do with the handling of the transaction.  As a result, this seller would receive an offer, then tell every other buyer what he had received in order to pit the buyers against each other to get the highest offer possible.

Of course, this is completely unethical and no agent would have been allowed to behave in such a way. In the end, after a grueling Sunday afternoon of negotiations, my client prevailed over the other competitive buyers, who, it was rumored, had waited years for a house to come on the market on that street. Of course, we analyzed every house on the market and even wondered, was the offer too high?

Gables Slice
This precious sliver of Coral Gables is known for its quiet streets, prestigious addresses, and stellar school district, not to mention a location convenient to everything!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since May of this year, there have been 53 closed sales in this subsection of Coral Gables and there are 9 houses currently under contract.

UNDER CONTRACT:

The least expensive of the pending (under contract homes) is 5626 Granada at $450,000.  To be clear, this was the asking price.  The actual sales price will not be known until the sale closes. This house was marketed as “land value ” with the following description: “As is, sold at land value. Construction has been vandalized and in bad shape. Can not be shown inside due to hazard. No certificate of occupancy.”

The priciest of the currently pending (under contract) homes is 6250 Granada at $1,350,000.  It was only on the market 12 days and went under contract in the MLS today.

CLOSED SALES:

Of the actual closed sales, the priciest was 5724 Riviera Drive for $4,000,000.

The least expensive was 6355 Maynada for $454,350 – this was a distress sale that needed MAJOR rehabbing.

THREE BEDROOM HOMES:

If we look only at 3 bedroom single family homes selling in the area, there were 28 sales from May 2013 to November 2013.

13 of the homes sold for less than $735,000.  These homes were on a single lot (5,000 in Coral Gables is considered a single lot) and/or needed major renovations such as roof, kitchen or bathrooms.

Of the 15 homes that sold for over $735,000, 7 were in my client’s neighborhood, between the Riviera waterway and Le Jeune.

Click here to see the 3 bedroom homes that sold between the Riviera waterway and Le Jeune from May 2013 to the present (November 8, 2013).

540 Gerona sold for $735,000 – while it is remodeled, it makes sense that it sold for this price as it is on a 6,250 Sq Ft lot

444 Miller Rd (definitely a comparable to my client’s home, except it is NOT on a corner lot and lot is smaller) sold for $725,000 unanswered questions would be the condition on inspections and whether there is anything that needs repairing/replacing

444 Marmore (larger than my client’s by 600 Sq Ft according to MLS… it is however on a smaller lot and not a corner lot) sold in July for $799,000.

5725 San Vicente (just four blocks away from my clients) has lovely curb appeal, is remodeled, has a one car garage and is also on a corner lot.  It has no pool but does have room for a pool.  It sold in June for $775,000.

411 Como Avenue (too large to be a comparable) sold for $920,000 in June.

417 Amalfi Ave (on a 5,500 sq ft lot) is newer construction has a one car garage and a pool and sold in July for $905,000.

5801 Riviera (not on the waterfront and too large to be comparable) sold in September for $1,050,000.

In conclusion, my clients did whatever it took to get the house that they wanted. Time and closed sales have shown that the price they paid was right in line with the market.  There is a very high demand for this area, much more so for a corner lot and a pool.  When we were preparing the offer we carefully analyzed all the recent sales and everything on the market and concluded that buying was less expensive than renting even at a price that (at the time) seemed higher than market value.  Turns out, in retrospect, that it was not.

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!

PAULA BARRERA

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

 

 

Coconut Grove Bayfront Renovation Approved by Voters

Approved Coconut Grove Waterfront Master Plan
Approved Coconut Grove Waterfront Master Plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a Coconut Grove resident, I find this news to be exciting for the community.  Although naysayers believe that it will turn the Grove in to a commercial Bayside-like atmosphere with too much traffic, I think the redevelopment of the 7 acre bay front area will highlight Coconut Grove’s aviation history with the restoration of the two Pan Am airplane hangars, will modernize it with a new and chic shopping/dining area, will provide alternative parking options, will attract more residents and visitors to the parks/green areas (also set to be revitalized), and I believe it will also enhance the character of the older, more bohemian Grove.  People will come out to shop in the new district and with only a few restaurant options in the bayfront area, they will walk to Cocowalk or try the restaurants along & off of Main Highway such as Lulu’s, Greenstreets, The Sandbar, Le Bouchon, Calamari, Jaguar, the list goes on.  This investment in the Coconut Grove waterfront will boost interest in the area and boost local shops and restaurants.  CLICK HERE to read more about the plan to renovate the Coconut Grove Bay Front area.With everything that is happening in Miami – the upper east side/Edgewater area exploding, the new Frost Science Museum along with the Perez Art Museum in our downtown area, the plans for the total overhaul of the Miami Beach convention center – Miami is undergoing a renaissance and personally, I think it’s about time Coconut Grove went from a diamond in the rough to a polished valuable gem while preserving it’s historic and bohemian roots.  If you are thinking of buying a condo in Coconut Grove or any surrounding areas, click here to read more about condo financing in Miami, FL.  You don’t have to memorize all these ins and outs of financing, I have an amazing banker who will help you navigate the world of financing.

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!

PAULA BARRERA

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

paula@greatmiamihomes.com

Common mistakes when buying a condo

Common mistakes buyers make when buying a condo:

– not asking “condo questionnaire” questions before making an offer (buildings must meet lending criteria unless you are putting more than 25% down and it’s better to find out quickly whether you will be able to get a loan in the building or not)

– not reading your condominium documents during your 3 day condo doc review period (the building may have restrictions on leasing and you may be thinking you are going to rent the unit out or the building may have chosen to waive reserves and you may not be ok with that)

– waiting until right before closing to apply to the condo association (it can take two to three weeks to be approved and if there is a back up offer on the condo you are buying and you cannot close on time because you didn’t apply to the association, you may lose the unit)

– not including a condominium association rider as part of your contract (this is an extra “safety net” if there is any problem with the building and it specifies which parking space(s) are included)

– asking whether parking is deeded or assigned. If assigned, your parking space can be changed. Not the end of the world, but good to know…

– not requesting (in writing) the budget and most recent year end financials… The condo association rider states they must be requested in writing.

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!

PAULA BARRERA

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

paula@greatmiamihomes.com

What’s up with condo financing?

 

I have many clients interested in condos in Miami Beach and the downtown, Midtown & Brickell areas of Miami.  Purchasing a condo in Miami has its challenges because of lending restrictions on buildings.

A gorgeous view from the Icon South Beach courtesy of SEF MLS and listed by Zilbert Properties. List price $3,750,000

If you have 25% or more to put down on a condo, then you are free to look at any building as banks will approve a loan with minimal “review”.  This means, the bank will check YOU out, but they will not ask as many questions about the building you choose to purchase in.

Most of us, however, do not have upwards of a 25% down payment  laying around, therefore, we must apply for a FULLY REVIEWED loan  – meaning the lender has to review the legal and financial standing of the condominium before they will agree to lend.

In order to purchase a condominium with 5% or 10% down (or any percentage down up to 24.9%), a buyer must pay the condominium association of the building he is interested in a fee to get a “full review condo questionnaire” filled out.  This condo questionnaire tells the lender everything they need to know in order to issue a loan approval.

You may have awesome credit, good savings, a great income, etc. and still be denied a loan because of the lender’s building review requirements.

Condo Questionnaires typically ask questions such as:

– number of units rented (hint: Fannie Mae just changed the rules on this one, and if mortgage insurance companies come on board, high rental ratios may not be a reason to decline your loan) It used to be if more than half the building is rented, the loan is a no go… however, this JUST changed the day before yesterday.  Now, if you will live in the unit (if the unit will be OWNER OCCUPIED) the number of rented units in a building does not matter.  Tell that to the mortgage insurance companies, though…. we’ll have to keep an eye on this one!

– does any one person own more than one unit and if so, describe (hint: if any ONE person or entity owns more than 10% of the units in the building the building will not meet lending requirements)

– how many units are 30 days delinquent on maintenance dues? (hint: cannot be more than 15% of units)

– are there any pending special assessments? (hint: as a buyer it is in your best interest to know this before you buy.  I do not know if it would cause the bank to decline or just to further analyze your qualifying criteria – ask your banker. I have an amazing banker if you need one.)

– Is the Condo Association involved in any litigation? (hint: if there is any litigation related to construction defects, the lender may have a problem granting any “reviewed” loan)

– how much does the building have in reserves? (hint: usually lenders are looking for 10% of funds collected to go towards reserves)

– what kind of insurance does the building carry and for what amounts?

usually condo questionnaires have about 35 questions on them, some more important than others.  The ones listed above are the big mamas and are usually the cause of many buyers not being able to purchase with a low down payment.

It is always helpful to work with a real estate agent who knows the buildings and knows to ask these questions before presenting an offer.  I visit the condo association when we visit the unit and attempt to get the “big mama” questions answered in front of my client, rather than have my clients spend $150 on a condo questionnaire on every building they are interested in. Some associations are nice and just tell you flat out, others will not say anything and you must submit a questionnaire and a fee.

The exceptions to this thorough analysis are condos that are Fannie Mae approved.  There are not many in Miami at the moment, but here is a list of the condo buildings that are currently Fannie Mae approved.  These are much easier to get a loan in.

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.

 

How will the changes in Flood insurance affect the Miami real estate market?

You may have heard the news: flood insurance rates are going up. Will this affect the Miami Real Estate market?

On October 1, 2013 the following changes were announced:

Historically, flood insurance was subsidized by the federal government (used to cost the government about 15 Million and has increased to about 37 Million a year in federal funds), but with recent flooding events and government budget issues, the government will no longer subsidize flood insurance.

New policies will have the higher rates effective immediately.

You should STILL get flood insurance if you are in an “X” zone – 30% of flood insurance claims are in flood zone X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For existing policies, there will be increases of 25% for high risk zones over a 4 or 5 year period and 20% for moderate risk zones until the policy reaches what a new policy would cost according to the flood zone maps.

FLOOD ZONES:

AE, AH, AB, V & VE are high risk zones – homes in these zones will now start paying the new, higher rate because the federal government will no longer subsidize part of the flood insurance policies in these zones.

Flood zones X, B & C do not require flood insurance.

Click here to check on your Flood Zone in Miami Dade County.

These changes should not affect condos

These changes come as a result of the Biggerts-Waters Reform Act.

The following videos will help you understand the new changes:

Getting to know Flood Reform

Basics of Flood Reform Laws

Do not let your policy lapse or it will automatically go to the new higher rate.

Investment or second homes will go to the new rates immediately.

Number of homes affected by the changes in flood insurance rates in different areas of Miami Dade County area:

Coral Gables 477

Cutler bay 302

Doral 0

El Portal 26

Key Biscayne 2,705

City of Miami 5,561

Miami Beach 22,259

Palmetto bay 150

Pinecrest 72

South Miami 61

West Miami 0

Unincorporated Miami-Dade County 7,572

Source: Florida office of insurance regulation

How will this affect the Real Estate market in Miami, FL?

I believe it will NOT have dramatic impact. However, I do foresee a higher demand for homes NOT located in a flood zone.  For home buyers, for example, the price differential between having an “X” based flood insurance cost vs. an “AE” flood insurance cost can make the difference on whether or not the buyer is approved for a mortgage.  Mortgage lenders REQUIRE that a buyer obtain flood insurance if the property is in a flood zone.  Buyers who qualify “by a hair” may not qualify anymore if they have to have a higher flood insurance rate.

Alternatively, there may be scenarios where a longtime homeowner on a fixed income can no longer afford their home if their flood insurance rate goes up a couple thousand dollars per year.  In instances where homeowners can no longer afford the insurance on their home, we will see some homes in flood zones come on the market for sale this year.

West Miami and Doral should not see an effect from these changes and areas on a ridge, such as Coconut Grove, west of Bayshore Drive should be ok as well. (Refer to link for flood maps above, if in doubt about your flood zone).

These changes will undoubtedly affect the market some, but I do not believe the impact will be dramatic at this time, since there is a very high demand for homes in Miami combined with only a four month inventory AND there is plenty of local and international interest in our market.

I specialize in Miami real estate, in particular Downtown, Brickell, Coconut Grove, 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!

 

 

 

 

 

PAULA BARRERA

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

paula@greatmiamihomes.com