South Florida Real Estate
Archive for the 'Florida Life' Category
Too hot for snow men. It is 78 degrees today in Miami!
Like most friends and co-workers I know, I have been dealing with many older relatives and neighbors in the last couple of years. Many of them are living independently, still driving, and have increasing health issues. An article in Tuesday’s Miami Herald, Assessing an aging relative, made me think of how difficult it is to tell whether or not an older person is truly okay living on their own or whether or not they may need assistance. The labyrinth of social and medical programs that are out there to help people age in their homes are confusing and hard to navigate. Luckily, Nancy Stein, an adjunct professor at UM, found the same issues facing her in caring for her parents so she brought the information together on a website called Seniority Matters.
The Village of Pinecrest has made a concerted effort to provide programming for seniors at the parks and community center, has a quarterly Pinecrest Pioneers luncheon for residents over 80 years old, and, in recognition of how much history our seniors provide, has been recording their oral histories. All of these local services and resources help our seniors remain involved in the community, live independently, and give all of us caregivers peace of mind and assistance when needed.
Home.com released their 10 Best Cities to spend the holidays and, not too surprising, only Orlando made the list for Florida and it came in at number 6. The top city was New York, which I found ironic since so many New Yorkers are in Miami for the holidays! Number 2 was Chicago, 3 San Antonio, 4 Washington DC, 5 Las Vegas, 7 Denver, 8 Baltimore, 9 New Orleans, and 10 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reason for the picks were because they were the most cheerful and festive. Obviously it was not because of the weather.
Many Floridians love to leave Miami for the holidays since we don’t have a winter and it is hard to get into the “holiday spirit” when it is over 80 degrees and humid. We are eagerly awaiting our cold front, expected to arrive on Saturday and drop temperatures from today’s 81 degrees down to a brisk 70, so we can whip out our jackets and boots. On the other hand, many of the residents from the chilly cities on Home.com’s list want to spend their holidays in Miami. It is so much easier to shovel sand than snow!
Art Miami, the original and longest running contemporary art fair that kicks off art week and culminates with Art Basel Miami, starts in one week on December 4th. This year Christie’s International Real Estate and a group of Christie’s global affiliates, including EWM are Art Miami 2012′s Exclusive Real Estate Sponsor.
Art Miami, located in trendy Midtown Miami, hosts 170 artists and galleries.
There are a lot of great breakfast spots in Miami, from Wagon’s West in Pinecrest; Greenstreet and Peacock Garden Cafe in Coconut Grove, and one of my favorites, The Big Pink on South of Fifth. But for Sunday Brunch, I want something a little more extravagant. Here are some of my top brunch spots from Coral Gables to Miami Beach:
- Biltmore Champagne Brunch Coral Gables – Whether you enter through the grandiose lobby or by their gorgeous pool, the setting for the Biltmore’s Sunday Brunch reminds me of the Great Gatsby era and I love the history of the place.
- Gibraltar at Grove Isle Coconut Grove – This restaurant has one of the most gorgeous views in Miami.
- The National Hotel Miami Beach – Though not as decadent on the food end as the others on this list, the fact that it is so reasonably priced and comes with complimentary access to the hotel’s beach and pool
- Terrazza at the Shore Club Miami Beach – the outside open porch over looking the pool is so relaxing.
- Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Setai Miami Beach – It is the Setai, need I say more?
- The Forge Miami Beach – Fresh, seasonal ingredients make for a varied menu and great food.
The SouthFloridaGourmet.com has a much more extensive list of locales serving brunch in Miami
1. Movie screening of “Last of the Haussmans” at Coral Gables Art Cinema [youtube width="425" height="344"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGM-1bh-HN0&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]
2. Early voting starts Saturday. The ballot is long, so know how you are going to vote on everything before you go so you don’t add to long lines. Pack your patience!
3. Deering Estate’s Wine On Harvest Moon is Saturday night.
4. South Florida’s Jazz Orchestra’s, Great American Songbook is at Pinecrest Gardens on Saturday night
5. Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is going on Friday-Monday. Fireworks and flyover scheduled for Sunday.
6. Gables Bike Day is on Sunday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m
I attended a very informative windstorm insurance session at the Miami Realtors Association this afternoon. The presentation by Lee Gorodetsky, The Home Insurance Guru and President of L & S Insurance, was my third insurance update of the year because that is how much of a moving target Florida insurance has become.
So why is property insurance a more important issue than taxes in South Florida? It is not because hurricane Sandy is churning off the coast of our neighbors in the Bahamas. It is because we only have a sales tax and property tax, no state income tax and Citizens, what has been the major insurer in Florida, is so grossly overexposed that it is changing all of the rules to minimize it’s exposure if The Big One hits.
In Miami, property insurance prices for a primary or secondary home range from 1-3% of the replacement cost of the home, calculated by multiplying the living area square footage by $135 for an average standard home. Luxury homes would use a higher dollar amount. The 1% is for homes built after 2006 that receive all of the current wind mitigation credits. Most homes are closer to the 3% range. Property insurance runs at about 2% of the purchase price and as long as you have homestead exemptions, it cannot go up more than 3% or CPI per year, whichever is lower.
The rates on Citizens insurance are expected to increase dramatically next year to raise money to try to close the gap they have between their reserves and their risk exposure. They will also be dropping an estimated 300,000 policies, mostly in south Florida.
There are three amendments relating to property taxes on this November’s ballot and not one amendment addressing insurance.
Related Post: Hurricane Insurance: Will It Be The Next Shoe To Drop In The Recovering Real Estate Market
The fact that Miami-Dade County Public Schools won the nationally coveted Broad Prize is great news for the county as a whole. Items that businesses consider when relocating are labor/workforce and quality of life issues, both of which include education. Congratulations to MDCPS’ students, teachers, school board, and especially to the talented superintendent, Alberto Carvalho. His vision for the future has resulted in innovated programs to help students and teachers succeed and in improving the overall quality of education in this county. He and the school board have managed to achieve this while over $290 million have been cut from the budget over the last three years.
South Florida doesn’t have fall leaves to indicate our move into fall, but October is when we start getting occasional cool days. October is also Miami Attractions Month, which is offering Buy-One-Get-One-Free deals to many of our local attractions. There are also other free events going on throughout the month. So get out and enjoy South Florida!