I was on the phone with a friend the other day and we were both talking about how grateful we are that we live in Miami/South Florida. Our main reasons were for the cultural diversity, the environment, the vibrancy of the city and people, and the ease with which you can travel anywhere in the world.
Traveling is one of my favorite pastimes, but I always love coming home. If you don’t love where you live and work, now is the time to consider a move. I invite you to come to Miami and see why so many people and companies are relocating to South Florida.
So, now that you know about 832 Granada Groves Ct., let me introduce you to 401 A Street in Saint Augustine Beach. This is the experience where I identified my fear, labeled it completely irrational, found the help I needed to get through it, and purchased this investment property. As you will see, the jump from Granada Groves to A Street was long. I hope you don’t take as long as I did. I am here to tell you if you do, you will miss out on a ton of great opportunities.
So, after Granada Groves Ct., my husband and I stopped actively looking for investment properties. We weren’t ready, the market was too hot, we couldn’t afford it, all of the excuses. Whatever. We finally got back into the discussion in 2014 and decided we would combine our investment property with a second home idea, so we started looking in St. Augustine Beach.
After we lost several properties in a competitive market, a friend of ours told us that she had biked by one that they were getting ready to put the sign on. I called the listing agent, asked her to FaceTime me so I could walk through the house, and we put an offer on it, $1,000 over asking, not subject to financing, sight unseen. Wait, what? Was I setting my self up to scare myself out of another deal? Absolutely not. We knew the market well, had run the numbers, had a pre-approval, had a good size deposit, reserves etc. I knew exactly where the house was, it was newer construction so less maintenance and we were feeling good. Our offer was accepted, I drove up for the inspections, had the “this feels right feeling”.
The house was only a couple of years old, so it sailed through inspections, my friend already had friends who wanted to rent it, things were moving along. Right before the end of the inspection period, the what if’s creeped in and I started to lose sleep. My husband tried telling me everything was fine, we were prepared, it was going to work out, he was rational. Still, I am the one who does the family finances, so I told myself if it didn’t work out, it would all be my fault that we were bankrupt and homeless (see a theme here?). Anyway, we made it through the inspection period, but now my fear kicked in full steam, wild-horse stampede mode. What if it doesn’t appraise? We won’t get the mortgage (not true)! We will have to pay all cash thereby draining all of our savings (also not true)! Those of you who know me, know that I am fiscally conservative, I am a Questioner (read The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin), I research and prepare. Yet I, almost always calm, cool and collected, was losing sleep over a purchase the felt right. I was barely functional due to lack of sleep. I backed into someone’s really nice car and that is what made me get a grip. After exchanging insurance cards with a really nice and understanding gentleman, I picked up the phone, called a great friend and relative who I knew could help me. The conversation went like this: Me “Hi. I need to ask you a question and your answer has to be ‘Yes'”. Him “Okay. What is the question?” Me “The question doesn’t matter, your answer just has to be ‘Yes'”. Him TOTAL SILENCE, but I could hear him thinking, “She’s lost her mind. How am I going to say yes when I don’t know the question” so Me “Do you trust me” Him “yes” Me “Would I ever ask you to do something that was illegal, unethical, or that would hurt you, your family or anyone” Him “No” Me “So if I ask you a question can your answer be yes” This time he didn’t even hesitate “Yes”. Me “Thank you. Good-bye”. I didn’t even ask him the question. I just knew that he had my back. I went home, slept soundly, and we closed on the house, which appraised OVER our offer.
Built as a result of Henry Flagler’s Railroad, Cauley Square is a charming collection of small businesses. Connected by meandering walkways under a lush tree canopy, it is far from the rowdy place it was in the early 1900’s.
Saved from demolition at two different times by women investors, Mary Anne Ballard in the 1970’s and Frances Varela in 2001, the historic cottages, 10-acre grounds, and fountains, have been beautifully restored. Come spend the day visiting restaurants such as the Tea Room, pictured above, and charming shops that are located throughout the property. It offers such a nice change of pace to the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Miami.
Commercial real estate is different from residential real estate in so many ways, starting with finding it! Residential real estate has local MLS, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, residential real estate company websites, and plenty of social media posts, pictures, and video.
Commercial real estate has always been a bit more elusive. Investors either relied on their network/word of mouth, commercial agent, or driving neighborhoods and knocking on doors. Commercial agents who didn’t have properties that met their investors’ criteria also relied on their network/word of mouth, driving neighborhoods and knocking on doors.
With the advent of the internet and rise of social media, real estate investors have become more efficient in their search for property and millennials are driving the demand for more information and data. As a result, there is a lot of money being spent on gathering commercial property data and developing new, on-line methods of marketing, some of which can be very expensive.
This platform takes all properties, excluding residential which are already on public platforms, that are listed in MIAMI Realtors MLS and allows the public to search for free, without registering or providing any contact information. It is intuitive and the searching public can choose to search in English, Spanish, or Portuguese, a variety of currencies, or in square feet or square meters.
The numbers relating to the public site for November are as follows:
2,068 new users
25,087 page views
Argentina, Venezuela and China were the top four countries outside of the U.S that searched the site and the top three U.S. States outside of Florida were California, Texas, and North Carolina.
Searching for commercial property in South Florida? Your search just got a bit easier.
You know how as soon as you decide on the make and model of the new car you want you start seeing it everywhere? Well, that same phenomenon is happening to me now with Dubai. A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to go on a trade mission with Florida Realtors to Dubai. What an amazing trade mission it was. Now, I see Dubai everywhere! Ads for Emirates Airlines, with convenient, direct flights from Fort Lauderdale; an article in Prestige Magazine, and now a good friend and designer extraordinaire, Adriana Hoyos‘ furniture is in Bloomingdales Dubai.
So how is Dubai a bit like Miami? Other than having a Bloomingdales and being hot, a lot hotter than Miami, there are other similarities:
Amazing Architecture – Like Miami’s Instagrammable architecture, Dubai is an architect’s dream. From Palm Island Jumeirah to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, to the beautiful mosques, there are amazing buildings everywhere you look.
Culturally Diverse – Dubai is an extremely international city with a large community of expats.
Real Estate – Miami real estate is in demand by investors from around the world. Dubai real estate is being sought out by investors looking for deals due to the high inventories.
Malls and Shopping – The Dubai Mall, like Bal Harbour Shops and Aventura Mall, is a place to visit even if you are like me and don’t particularly like to shop. There is an indoor aquarium in the middle of the mall and beautiful art installations throughout.
I really enjoyed our trade mission to Dubai and am grateful for the experience. I am even more grateful that I love life in South Florida and get to call Miami Home!
Quick Disclaimer: I rarely eat doughnuts and when I do, it is usually only a jelly doughnut. A long time ago, a very non-nutritious friend of mine told me that the jelly doughnut was the most perfectly balanced food because it contained all of the 5 basic food groups. When I asked her how she figured that, she told me with a straight face, “The dough is the bread/grain group, the jelly is the fruit group, and they are made with milk and eggs.” I pointed out that she was missing the vegetable group and she responded that they are fried in vegetable oil! Anyway, I digress and have made this disclaimer longer than I thought.
Remember several of years ago when cupcakes, large and mini, were everywhere? Cupcake wedding cakes, cupcake birthday cakes, bridal showers, you name it, there were cupcakes and little cupcake shops were popping up in neighborhoods everywhere. I rarely eat cupcakes either, but I did enjoy all of the new, creative flavors that popped up when the cupcake craze hit. The craze hasn’t necessarily died down, I am happy to say that both Misha’s Cupcakes and Buttercream Cupcakes in Coral Gables near South Miami are both still around and are very popular. Misha’s are still so popular that you can find them at Miami International Airport.
But we’ve moved on in the carb alphabet from the “c’s” to the “d’s” for the latest food fad. Although they actually started popping up in 2015-2016, stores are opening up second locations and Instagram activists are snapping away. In South Miami, Honeybee Doughnuts has been open since 2016, they are frequently closed when I drive by because they sell out so often, and they are opening a second store in The Falls Shopping Center. Their doughnuts are works of art and extremely Instagrammable.
The Salty Donut has been around since 2015, since it started as pop-up in Wynwood. They recently opened their second store, this one in South Miami. They too have a cult following and I am sure the reason they opened up in South Miami was to satisfy their customers in the southern end of the county who spent countless hours driving to their Wynwood location.
Mojo Donuts, with locations in Hollywood and Miami, are opening up a third location in Coral Gables/South Miami. Mojo Donuts also has fried chicken, so I guess they are the new “chicken and waffles”.
I drove by The Underline’s Brickell Backyard, the first phase of 9 phases, and am excited to see that construction has started. This ambitious project will convert 10 miles and 120 acres of unused space under the existing MetroRail into a vibrant linear park. In the process, it will transform the real estate along the 10 mile corridor as well.
In case you hadn’t noticed, summer in South Florida is in full swing and the dog days of summer, the hottest time of year, starts today!
The rich smells of mangoes, mixed with the briny smell of the ocean, flowering jasmine, and bug spray are held in the humid air that surrounds us. School has been out for a while, the streets are less chaotic at rush hour times, and the beaches are a lot less crowded. Still, the heat and humidity can get the best of us.
Here are some tips to surviving the dog days of summer.
Relax! Miami Spa Month is actually two full months of discounts and special deals at Miami’s top spas.
Chill out – There are so many great ice cream spots to help you cool off. Two not in that link that I like are, for 21 and older only, Aubi & Ramsa, and Wall’s Ice Cream Parlor, which has good old-fashioned ice cream.
Spice it up – Miami Spice Month is also two full months of discounts and fixed-price menus are many of Miami’s award-winning chef restaurants.
Part of what I do every year is travel to Tallahassee and Washington D.C. to lobby for private property rights and issues that affect commercial real estate. This year, we had a lot of wins, especially at the state level, with Governor DeSantis signing several bills we supported into law in the last month. These laws will be going into effect between July 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020 and all have an impact on commercial real estate.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed several bills into law that have a direct impact on real estate. The results include the following:
Reduction to the state tax on commercial leases to 5.5%. Known as the business rent tax (BRT), the decrease will take effect January 1, 2020. (HB 7123). If you are a landlord, remember to adjust the sales tax on your invoicing. If you are a tenant, make sure the adjustment has been made.
Allowing local governments to close a permit six years after issuance, as long as there are no apparent safety hazards, and preventing local governments for penalizing property owners for open permits applied for before they owned the property. This law will take effect Octover 1, 2019. (HB 447). This is great news, as closings should not be delayed for permits that were opened and not closed long ago.
Authorization of online remote notaries while protecting the integrity and security of documents being notarized. You can start using online remote notaries beginning January 1, 2020. (HB 409) This is especially good news for our international buyers and sellers as notaries in other countries are quite different from notaries and the U.S., making getting documents notarized abroad a challenge.
Allocation of $682 million for environmental projects specifically for improving water quality and for Everglades and beach restoration. This is wonderful news for all Floridians. After all, people come here for our beaches and water activities, not our mountains!
Developers in areas lacking private wetlands mitigation credits may now partner with local governments to mitigate on publicly-owned conservation land. Goes into effect July 1, 2019. (HB 521)
Legalization of self-driving cars. Effective July 1, 2019 (HB 311). How will this change parking requirements in buildings, cities, and neighborhoods?
If there is an issue in your neighborhood or that you are facing that restricts your private property rights or that affects how you conduct business in a negative way, give me a call to discuss.