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South Beach versus Downtown Miami

I was recently asked the question by a UK Estate Agent how the prices of condominiums in South Beach compare to the prices in Downtown Miami.    As an average, the current prices of listed condominiums in South Beach (zip code 33139) is significantly higher at $821 per square foot than in Downtown Miami (zip code 33132) which has an average listing price of just $462 per square foot.  However, this does not tell the whole story.  The median listing price of condominiums in South Beach as of November 2013 is just $565 per square foot which is only 25% higher than Downtown Miami’s median listing price of $455 per square foot.    South Beach has a far greater variety in types and ages of condominium units for sale than Downtown Miami does.  Many buildings in South Beach date back to the art deco era of the 1920s and 1930s and only approximately 30% of the buildings in South Beach are 2000 and newer.  With such an array of properties it is possible to find a small, older and fairly run down apartment in South Beach for less than $200 per square foot or a luxury ocean front penthouse unit such as a [...]

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SOLD – The Versarce Mansion on Ocean Drive

Yesterday saw the sale of the Versace Mansion located at 1116 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach to Jadache Enterprises, the owner’s of the neighboring Victor Hotel, for $41.5 million.  Their plans are to turn the mansion into a boutique hotel and with the Versace family’s consent, in his name.    The sale was a bankruptcy auction.  Other bidders included Donald Trump, who was the back up, bidding to $40 million and Glenn Straub, owner of Palm beach Polo and Country Club.

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The world’s most expensive Real Estate

Back in Miami after a week in the UK and it’s humbling to learn that Miami Beach’s multi-million dollar waterfront penthouses and homes are positively a ‘bargain’ in comparison to London’s ‘mega-homes’.  According to a recent article in the Evening Standard there are 14 mega-homes for sale in the best areas… if you have a cool GBP50 million + to spend.  There are around 1.7 billion GBPs worth of property in the capital’s most elite postcodes on the market.  The homes have an average value of more than 120 million pounds, more than 300 times the average property price in London.    I think with that kind of money one could quite possibly buy a small island in Miami, and with our glorious year round sunshine and easy way of life, I personally would opt for that instead!

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Miami Beach’s Beachwalk

Miami Beach is uber friendly for pedestrians, skateboarders, rollerbladers, bike riders and the like.  The beachwalk is an on-grade path lining the beach front between the sand dunes and the condominiums, protecting the dune system and the sea turtle nesting habitat.  It currently runs from the length of Miami Beach from South Beach to Mid Beach with some breaks in between.  The city of Miami Beach is underway to construct the missing portions of the beachwalk so cyclists, walkers and joggers will be able to enjoy approximately four miles of uninterrupted pedestrian pathway.    Leave the car at home, get out and enjoy the best of Miami Beach with a stroll on the beachwalk!

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South Beach on YouTube

Life in Miami Beach is pretty darned close to living in Paradise.  I am blessed that my daily routine involves zipping around on my little scooter in the 2.7 sq mile area of South Beach, showing properties in this wonderful little island enclave.  From Fisher Island, to the Apogee, Venetian Islands and pre-construction condos like Glass.  Stopping for a bite to eat at the Big Pink or catching an open air Wednesday night move at the New World Symphony.  For a taste of life in Miami Beach take a look at this YouTube video… you’ll want to be here too! South Beach Condos – Live Life in Paradise!

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Fine Dining at Miami Beach’s Golf Courses

Miami Beach hosts two public golf courses with preferred golf rates for Miami Beach residents.  Both have exquisite on site restaurants open to members of the public with complimentary parking available.  Restaurant hours 9am to 6pm.   The Miami Beach Golf Club at 2301 Alton Road features chef Theiry Bontoux.  The Miami Beach Golf Club Restaurant is one of the most popular lunch time venues on the Island.  Whether its Chef’s classics Bayshore Benedicts for breakfast, Ahi Tuna Salad of Mahi Mahi Jardinier from the grill at lunch, you will immediately understand why the grill is filled with knowledgeable locals 7 days a week.    The Normandy Shores Golf Club at 2401 Biarritz Drive is a hidden gem on Normandy Island.  Popular with the locals but little known outside of the neighbourhood.  With the new historically replicated clubhouse now open, Miami Beach residents are starting to flock to the grill for its wonderful lunch time fair and charming atmosphere.  Patio dining overlooking the course is a must!    Want to live on a golf course?  Check out golf course homes for sale.  Want to sell your golf course home?  Contact me for a valuation.

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Transportation options in Miami Beach

One of the great things about Miami Beach, especially South Beach is that it is one of the very few places in Miami, or even the US where everything is within just a few blocks from each other making it a great walking city.  Residents in South Beach predominantly get around by bike, skateboards, rollerblades, walking, jogging, scooters, segways… or any other form of beachtown transport that you can possibly think of!  The city of Miami Beach has approximately 150 bike racks and will add another 500 by 2015.  Decobike – a bike sharing scheme was launched in 2011 and recently celebrated it’s fourth millionth ride!  New bike paths are being completed on Dade-Boulevard and one is planned for busy Washington Avenue.    South Beach residents also benefit from the ‘South Beach Local’ – a local bus which makes circular clockwise and anticlockwise loops around the South Beach area for just 25c per ride.  The city is looking at the feasibility of adding a similar local bus to benefit the residents of the Mid Beach and North Beach regions.   Swoop and FreeBee are fairly new to South Beach – environmentally friendly, electric cars taking riders anywhere they wish to [...]

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Cultural Sites in Miami Beach

When you think of South Beach and its main strip, Washington Avenue you probably think of night clubs, bars and parties.  But Washington Avenue actually has a lot more to offer than that.  Many of Miami‘s historic art deco buildings and cultural activities line this busy street in the heart of South Beach.  Here is a low down on what’s on offer:   Fillimore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater.  Located at 1700 Washington Avenue, the Fillimore South Beach’s art deco theater showcasing the biggest names in live entertainment.  Seniors, students and Miami Beach residents enjoy discounted tickets.  305 673 7300   New World Symphony’s World Center (NWS) The New World Symphony Center at 500 17th Street, in it’s beautiful glass, Frank Gehry designed building, features gifted graduates of distinguished music programs that are training for leadership roles in orchestras and ensembles around the world under the leadership of Michael Tilson Thomas.  Check out Friday night’s ‘Pulse’ for a modern collection of orchestral music.  305 673 3331   SoundScape’s ExpoStage This beautifully landscaped garden outside the New World Symphony at 400 17th Street includes a state-of-the-art sound system and 7,000 square foot projection wall that features classic (and even [...]

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Foreign Investment in Florida Real Estate and Taxes

Foreign buyers of Florida Real Estate need to be aware of certain tax implications.  Foreigners should seek professional guidance from a tax attorney who can help outline the tax implications and mitigate some of the potential downfalls of owning Real Estate as a non US Resident.  Here are some things foreign buyers should be aware of:   The United States imposes an estate tax of up to 40% on the portion of a foreign individual’s gross estate located in the United States and exceeding $60,000.    A foreigner‘s gift, sale or transfer of American Real Estate is generally subject to U.S. income tax under FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act).  The federal government collects this tax by requiring that 10% of its gross proceeds are collected and withheld at closing (sale of the property).  The seller may then file a tax return to redeem any balance due back from this withholding.   A foreigner present in the US for more than 120 days per year, or more than 182 days in a three year period may be deemed a U.S. resident for income tax purposes.    With the correct help from a U.S. tax professional who specializes in [...]

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Life in Miami Beach

According to a recent survey conducted by the City of Miami Beach, 89% of residents stated that the quality of life in Miami Beach is either excellent or very good with 3/4 of them recommending our city as a place to live and work to others.    Over the previous decade crimes have been decreasing year on year with added police officers and a population growth of 41% Miami Beach is growing in diversity.  Spend any time here and you will hear not only the obligatory South American accents, but Italian, French, German, American, English, Israeli, Russian… Miami Beach is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world and it is ready to welcome you too!    If you are interested in moving to Miami check out some currently available properties for sale or rent, or contact me directly for help.

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