Sales of Homes in the US on the Rise Thanks to Strong Sales in the South

Miami real estate

Nationwide, the sales of new homes rose in the month of May. However, while this might initially seem like great news and that the real estate market is strong, it is important to realize that most of these home sales were from activity taking place in the south. Overall the purchases of new single-family homes were up by 6.7%, which was higher than what was projected by a substantial amount. The prediction from the economists was that the home sales would only increase by 0.9%.

What Was It that Caused the Growth?

The increase in sales that were seen in May is due mostly to what was happening in the south, where there was an increase of 17.9% in home sales. This was a massive gain. In fact, it was the largest gain that has been seen since the last part of 2014. In the Midwest, the rates remained flat, whereas they actually dropped in the West and in the Northeast.

It is also very important to remember when looking at this figure that there was a huge margin of error in May. In fact, it was a margin of error of 14.1%. Additionally, the numbers released are only indicative of new home sales, which make up only a small percentage of the overall home sales, which would include previously owned homes.

The sales for homes that already exist, including condos, townhomes, and single-family homes, was only up by 1.4% in May. The National Association of Realtors believe this was due to the fact that mortgage rates and prices are increasing. The mortgage rates are likely to increase a couple more times over the course of this year, and in the following years, as well. This is due to the Federal reserve raising interest rates, which they hope will help them to deal with inflation. However, it does mean that the prices for homes are going to go up.

This has caused some buyers and potential buyers to consider some of the other ways that they can get the money they need for a loan. Rather than turning to the traditional lenders, they are instead looking at nonbank mortgage lenders. They believe that they can get better deals than they can with traditional banks. Additionally, because of the rise in rates, there are many lenders who are looking to become more competitive, and they are trying to make it easier for buyers in the Florida area to get homes.

While these both seem like good options currently, and they can spur more sales, there is also some danger associated with them. With the traditional lenders, they are taking on more risk than they might be comfortable doing, and they could be letting people borrow who should not. In addition, the nonbank mortgage lenders do not have the regulation and liquidity of traditional lenders, which could also cause some issues for borrowers down the line.

5 Questions to Ask Before Deciding the Next Location for Your Apartment

Apartment hunting is an exciting yet often stressful process.

However, before you can start thinking about the number of bedrooms you want, whether or not you need a porch, or if you prefer a gas or electric range, you need to determine the location where you want to live, something that can be much easier said than done.

To help you make a better and more efficient decision, there are some important questions to ask. Some you can answer yourself, and others will require some research, but put the time in to find the answers so that you can be sure you’re looking for apartments in the best possible place.

What are the neighbors like?
No matter how much you love a place, noisy, inconsiderate neighbors can quickly ruin your life.
Find out from either the current residents or the landlord who lives next door, above, and below, to see if there are any issues.
You may find that those living in the place now can offer you better advice than the landlord, but it’s good to ask both.
This question is especially important when you’re moving into an apartment building. Thin walls and noisy neighbors can ruin your sleep and make the rest of your life miserable, so make sure to check out who you’ll be sharing the space with and how much they will impact your experience in the apartment.
You may also want to inquire about what goes on in the neighborhood. If someone down the street has lots of loud parties, that too could be a dealbreaker.
What are the parking/public transport options?
You may fall in love with an area, but if it’s a pain to commute, or you can’t find parking for your car, then many of the positive aspects of living there will be negated rather quickly.
Find out if the apartment comes with a parking spot, and if it doesn’t, spend some time driving around the area to see what it would be like to find somewhere to leave your car.
Make sure to look at peak times, too, such as weeknights after six, to see what it would be like to park when everyone else is also looking for parking.
If you don’t have a car and plan to take public transport, do a few practice runs before committing to the place. Making two transfers might not seem like a big deal when you’re looking at a place, but it could end up being a major problem in your day-to-day life.
What else is nearby?
The living space you choose to rent is a top priority. But also make sure you’re moving to an area that’s going to provide you with all the amenities you might need and want.
For example, consider how far it is to the nearest grocery store, pharmacy, hardware store, post office, etc. Again, your new place isn’t going to be all that exciting if you have to travel a half hour or more to get food.
However, you will also want to make sure there are enough entertainment options for you.
If you like going out to bars and restaurants, find out how many are nearby that you’d like to check out. Also, look up how close the nearest gyms and movie theaters are, and ask yourself how willing you will be to travel to these.
Having these options will also make it easier for you to integrate into the neighborhood. You won’t have to travel as far for a good meal, and who knows, maybe you’ll find a place “where everybody knows your name.”
Is it safe?
Your home needs to be a place where you feel completely comfortable. No exceptions.
To begin, take a look at some statistics regarding the area, such as the crime rate, number of break-ins, car insurance prices, etc.
These will give you an idea of what the area is like, but they shouldn’t be the only thing you use to make your decision. Some statistics could be out of date, and others can be deceiving, meaning they might not reflect the current state of the neighborhood.
Instead, consider checking the area out at different times of the day, especially at night. Are there people on the streets? Is it well lit? Do you feel comfortable?
Doing this will give you an idea of what it might be like to rent in that area, and this should help you decide if it’s really where you want to live.

Is it an in-demand neighborhood?
While this is a question you might think is more fit for someone investing in real estate, it’s important you consider it because it will give you an idea of what might happen to the rent. More specifically, will it go up?
Most landlords these days are also property investors, and so they are looking for maximum return on investment. This means that if you move into an apartment in a good area where a lot of people want to live, they may start raising the rent year after year until you can’t afford it and they find someone who can.
However, this question is more suited for those who are looking for a long-term rental. So, if you’re worried demand in the area will drive you out after a year, talk to the landlord/property manager about signing a long-term lease.
This will lock in the price and will free you from worrying if you will be able to afford your place from one year to the next.

Take Your Time
You will need to ask hundreds of questions about an apartment before choosing to rent it, but these five are the most important when trying to figure out where you want to live. But because this is such a big decision, make sure to take your time, weigh all your options, and go with the place that makes the most sense for you.
Author Bio:
Liana Tanaka is a property manager and rental agent at 10x Living at Grandview in Austin, Texas. She helps renters find the right amount of luxury for their budget while also managing an apartment complex that has exceptional amenities designed to offer tenants an unparalleled living experience.

New Technology Helps Miami Real Estate Developers

miami real estate technology

Real estate developers in Miami are finding a number of new and interesting ways that they can utilize all of the new technologies available to help them with many different aspects of their business.

Benefits of Embracing Technology in Real Estate

Thanks to the power of big data and artificial intelligence, there are many who are now looking to more ways that they can use the technology as a means to analyze development deals they are considering and to analyze whether an acquisition would be beneficial or problematic for them. The technology makes it faster and easier to look into other issues, including the current and forecasted market conditions, along with regulations.

There are a range of applications and technologies available today that have the capacity to help real estate developers and professionals and to help to make their businesses more efficient overall. Let’s look at some of the ways that this technology is being put to use.

One of the most helpful functions is to help collect allowed uses, zoning regulations, infrastructure projects, and similar elements for various neighborhoods into a single platform or app. This can be helpful for many different areas of real estate, and it is sure to help increase efficiency. Currently, everyone who needs to have this information needs to look it up on their own, and they will likely need to use a number of different resources in order to do it.

Companies working in this field, such as Gridics.com, are making great strides in these fields. They are a development company that is working in the area of real estate data, along with analytics and application. The technology they are creating is software that ties together geographic information along with real estate information, all with the goal of making acquisition and real estate development easier.

Another company, called Deep Blocks, has been doing other work in this field. They work in artificial intelligence and have technology that has been used to create development analyses in a matter of minutes.

Consider how long this typically takes – week in most cases – and it becomes easy to see why so many are excited about the possibilities that these new technologies can provide.

Many are looking beyond just the initial development phase when it comes to incorporating technology. Artificial intelligence and big data could also help with many of the amenities that developers want to add to the condo projects on which they are working. One of the ideas that has been floated would be to use the tech as a way to anticipate traffic around the city, which would then allow the homeowners to adjust their schedules, as needed.

Another good example of technology being at use is the way the information is presented for a buyer or a seller to analyze the market, or a specific segment of the market, such as a particular residential area or a condominium building. Being able to analyze the information such as current availability in terms of the amount of properties for sale, the number of rentals and past history sales provide a clear picture of the market for any particular segment. A good example is Sunny Realty, a local Sunny Isles Beach real estate company – see company website here. Just click on any building on the left side and you will have all the information at your finger tips.

There are many ways that technology can be added to buildings in Miami and beyond, particularly with the new developments that are still in the works. It will be interesting to look at the way that these and other types of technology are implemented into the field in the years to come.

Sunny Isles Beach Real Estate in 2019

Sunny Isles Beach real estate

Sunny Isles Beach, Florida is a city located on a small barrier island bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the East side, the Intracoastal Waterway on the West side, Golden Beach on the North and Bal Harbour on the South side. It offers about 2.5 miles of newly built most luxurious oceanfront condos with an average listing price of over a million dollars and ranging on the high end into tens of millions of dollars. Because of its ultra high-end condos, the city has earned several nick names such as ‘The Venice of America’, ‘The Florida’s Riviera’, ‘The Billionaire’s Row’ or ‘The Billionaire’s Beach’.

The concept of “condominium” living has been redefined by the new, brand-named condos offered in Sunny Isles Beach. These are more like private mansion in the skies, serving to the most discrete buyers looking for top amenities, private beaches, 5-star in-house dining, various sports and fun activities and spectacular views – the sunrise and the sunset as well as downtown Miami and the Intracoastal island life. Sunny Isles Beach also offers some of the most pristine single family homes located in an area called Golden Shores, which is situated directly across the street from the beach and offers easy access to major shopping in the area.

Sunny Isles Beach has always been thought of as a great investment community for many reasons – it offers top luxury condos situated directly on the beach, ample parks, warm tropical climate, warm Atlantic ocean waters, diverse culture, fine restaurants and great shopping are all within the short walking distance from your condo. The luxury condominiums turned Sunny Isles Beach into one of the most desirable places to own a home in the country, and you can ensure that Sunny Isles Beach real estate will continue to attract most sophisticated buyers in the world.

If you’re into activities, no matter what your sport of choice is, Sunny Isles Beach has it all – from various beach activities such as parasailing, jet skies, fishing, diving, boating or just sun-bathing – Sunny Isles Beach offers the best of all the worlds!

Although the luxury condo market, in most of the desirable areas such as Aventura, downtown Miami, Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, have experienced a slight drop in value in 2018, Sunny Isles Beach showed a 1 percent increase from the prior year. Year-over-year, the inventory marginally declined 2 percent from 1,541 listings to 1,510 homes for sale on the market.

Housing Marketing Predictions – 2019 – Sunny Isles Beach Florida

Since the area did see a drop in the past years, the area continues to grow which has led local governments to carefully examine and properly assess the real estate taxes and to get the correct outlook and forecasts on the future real estate market values in 2019. However, as of the beginning of 2019, the Miami-Dade continues to see decent gains in property values, mainly due to continued demand for single-family homes in the mid-range markets, where countywide, property values grew 3%.

The market has been very active during the last quarter of 2018 and into the beginning of 2019 which is a good indication for good things to happen in 2019. The higher-end properties however are still going to decline due to market correction in that segment. With the prices coming down 20 to 30 percent lower, the higher-end properties will become attractive again to investors and end users, so it will be a good time to buy again.

Sunny Isles Beach housing trends

The table below, taken from Zillow.com represents the real estate facts and average home values in Sunny Isles Beach.

Sunny Isles Beach Real Estate Facts

Total Homes for Sale: 1,617
Median Home Values Estimate: $405,800
Home Value Forecast: -1.9%

Average Home Values by City
Sunny Isles Beach – $405,800
Aventura – $342,900
Bal Harbour – $1,043,000
Bay Harbor Islands – $289,300
Golden Beach – $932,400

The median home values have risen from below $400,000 to $405,800 for the area. Although the home value forecast is still in negatives, with the new condos hitting the market in 2019, this for sure will change to a positive number by the end of 2019. With Sunny Isles Beach being not the most affordable, but surely not the highest priced in the area, next to Bal Harbour. It is expected that these prices are going to drop first before they start to rise again.

Sunny Isles Beach Insights 2018

According to the graph below courtesy of Trulia.com, Sunny Isles Beach is a very well-organized community that is dedicated to those that are living in the area. With the majority of those living in the area holding a degree, the area continues to be a favorite for those of all ages.

The housing market trends are also shown in the graph below provided by Trulia.com regarding Sunny Isles Beach condos and other properties for sale in the area. This provides more insight into the trends from the previous months leading up to this current month.

Sunny Isles Beach market report

According to the charts, the median sales price for homes in the area from October to Jan was $325,000 based on 97 different homes during that time. The price per square foot for the properties in the area was $321. This is a decrease of -5% compared to last year’s amounts. The decrease continued the trend to this year.

The median rent per month was around $4,000 between December and January, making it one of the bigger amounts in the area that is steadily going down in the cost per square foot to buy, while rent continues to be a large amount.

The trends continue to change with every passing month, making this something that continues to be talked about and investors continue to watch. With the prices falling low, the time to purchase real estate in the area is now. The prices per square feet are expected to rise again with the coming year according to numerous sources.

This additional chart shows the home values that are along the strip by the beach itself, providing further information and a graph that you can actually see the amounts side by side. This provides a good comparison for those looking to invest or purchase in the Sunny Isles Beach area.

Real Estate Appreciation

Neighborhoodscout took to tracking the Sunny Isles Beach real estate appreciation. This information was given to those that are looking to invest or purchase in the area and want to make an informed decision. According to the chart that they provide, Sunny Isles has many condos that have been performing above average.

The chart below, courtesy of Neighborhoodscout.com shows us that the top producing neighborhoods in the area are Collins Ave, N Bay Road, Bayview Drive, City Center and Bal Harbour Blvd. These areas are not only seeing a lot of development, but a lot of changes for the future.

Sunny Isles Beach real estate trends

The number of homes and apartments in the area is over 10,000 with a median value over $600,000. The renting is at an all-time high, coming in at $2,500 for the available median values. With homes costing this low to purchase, yet renting being as high as it is, many investors are quickly purchasing the real estate below the current market value.

Purchasing it prior to having the assessments done on the buildings can help those investors that want to get a great deal, get one before the assessments bring the property value and taxes much higher.

The current market shows that more condos and apartments are provided in the area over single-family homes. This is making it easier for those moving to the area to rent a place prior to owning one, if they ever wish to in the area. Over 50% of these apartments and condos are in the two-bedroom range, providing a decent size for a large rent amount.

Reasons to Invest in Sunny Isles Beach

1. The Beach
This brings everyone and anyone around when it comes to investing in something. You will find renters from around the country, around the world, that choose to make Sunny Isles their home just for the simple fact that it is by the beach. Investors can charge more for ocean-front properties.

2. Limited Supply of Homes
There is currently not a lot to choose from for those that are moving to the area. Many of the rentals are already being rented and some of them might not suit the needs of the person. By investing in apartments or condos, you can have a prime rental that can easily be filled. There is unlikely to be any new building in the area in the coming years.

3. Strong International Market
Not just those from the area like to purchase real estate on Sunny Isles. Those from other countries like to purchase luxury vacation homes that they can use during the off-months. Providing a way for them to rent these during those months, and then provide rent for other months to other individuals opens up numerous options to the investor.

4. Massive Rental Population
Miami alone is a massive rental market, but when considering the amount of people that want beach homes, the rental population becomes even larger. Some are unable to pay high prices to purchase homes, so they rent for a specified amount of time. Those that are living in the area are used to the high rental prices and willing to pay for them in a nice condo or apartment.

5. The Job Market Continues to Grow
As more and more people continue to look for jobs throughout the Miami area, many will move to this area, as the job market continues to grow. According to Simply Hired, there are over 30,000 new jobs that need to be filled with close to 3,000 of them being posted recently. This means more people will move to the area to find work.

6. Strong ROI for Landlords
Those that are renting to anyone coming to the area are going to experience a strong ROI on the investment that they make. There is a high demand for properties by the beach and Sunny Isles Beach is one of the premier destinations. This means having a lavish condo or a high-end apartment in the area is going to go for a decent amount of rent in the area. Throw in extra amenities, a pool, large deck and a backyard ocean and those renting the properties out are hitting a strong ROI.

7. It is Easy to Be a Landlord in Florida
Many states throughout the US have strict rental laws that landlords have to abide by when renting to someone. Florida does not have the same laws. They are a landlord friendly market and they ensure that you have the control if rent is not paid on time, or when there is damage done to a property. It doesn’t matter who you’re renting too, they ensure that all violations are taken care of; making is less of a burden for landlords.

8. Most Tourists and Residents are Renters in Sunny Isles Beach
Those that are coming to the area will need a place to stay. Many look for rental properties to turn into their vacation homes, regularly renting them every year at the same time. Those residents that live in the area will rent for some time because the prices to purchase may be too high or they may not want to deal with the costs of purchasing a home. Plus, renting also comes with amenities and extras, providing them with a care-free way of life.

Investing in Sunny Isles Beach Real Estate in 2019

Investing in Sunny Isles Beach condos and other properties continue to be a great choice to make. Not only is the area active and flourishing, but the prices are currently at its lowest point since 2012, making it an ideal investment. Additionally, adding in the cost of renting and you are easily able to rent the condos that you purchase, making up the costs that you’ve spent on them ten-fold.

Sunny Isles Beach has always been an investment playground for buyers across the entire globe. Not only that, but according to The Real Deal, Sunny Isles Beach is Miami’s new billionaire playground, bringing in a much luxurious, lavish crowd that these condos and rentals can tap into.

The Definitive Guide To Real Estate Investing

sunny isles real estate prices

The housing prices keep increasing year after year, sometimes by just few percent, sometimes into double digits, but nevertheless, it always increases in some parts of the country, mainly in the big coastal cities such as San Francisco, New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington DC, etc. The growth may be due to low mortgage rates, high demand which causes tightening inventories and sometimes because of the growth and popularity of the city.

GoBankingRates recently published that Buffalo, New York gained over 34%.  Atlanta, Georgia is another example of an unprecedented growth – over 24.5% and Cincinnati, Ohio grew by over 20%.

The one thing is always true when it comes to US real estate – it will keep growing year after year, like it has done since the beginning of the history.

Some cities experience steady growth year after year, like San Francisco, California, others keep spiking up and down, like Manhattan, New York. Some will take you on a roller-coaster ride, like Miami, Florida. Nevertheless, the time to invest in US real estate is now and the market presents great opportunities.

sunny isles real estate prices

Are You Ready To Invest In Real Estate Now?

Read these tips below as they may help you achieve your real estate goals:

Rule #1 – Know what you are in for and always be realistic!

Any real estate investment is a long term project. Real estate is illiquid, meaning you can’t sell it in a short period of time, like stocks for example. You may need to be patient and wait until the time is right to sell the property. 

Rule #2 – Be ready to invest additional funds into your property

You may also need additional funds to improve, fix or maintain your property. You need to be financially stable for this type of investment. This means you need to be aware of your financial situation and may need a loan. You may even need to consult a financial planner.

Rule #3 – Start slow, learn the business

Like any business, real estate investments could be tricky to learn. Besides, everyone makes mistakes which could be costly.  Focus on just one property in the beginning, whether it is a commercial or residential property, to minimize your mistakes. It is always easier to manage just one property to keep your learning curve to a minimum.

Rule #4 – Get a plan of action

It is absolutely necessary to spend some time on plan of action. A solid plan of action will save you time and will narrow down your search for potential properties. Identifying the type of property you are looking for is first step. This will give you a plan of action for years to come with your property – whether you need to renovate it, lease it out, sell it or even turn it into a commercial unit, if the zoning permits it.

sunny isles real estate investment

How to find a good real estate opportunity?

It is always a great idea to work with a real estate professional. You need to find a knowledgeable broker in a local market. Some real estate brokers may have “pocket listings” which are properties that are not advertised to the general public. On top of that, you need to know how to work the internet and how to find the information you need.

There are several types of real estate investing these days…

pre-construction condos sunny isles beach

1. Investing in pre-construction properties

This is a super popular way to invest into up-and-coming properties. Cities like Miami, Manhattan, Atlanta, Washington are very popular since there is a lot of new construction in these areas. These could be single family homes as well as high-rise condos. In Miami for example, pre-construction investments are super popular and a lot of people made a lot of money buying pre-construction property, then selling it after it’s built. The profits could be huge when you time the market just right. However, it takes experience and knowledge and most of all, it take a long time. My advice would be to consult a professional who knows the market very well. Nevertheless, if you follow some of the most experienced companies who develop new properties and/or areas you have a great chance to succeed. Some of the very well known companies are The Related Group, Fortune Group, Chateau Group for luxury high-rise oceanfront condos. The single family home development are lead by Lennar, LGI Homes, Pulte Homes, DR Horton to name a few.

2. Real estate ETF’s – maybe a great way to invest!

Exchange Traded Fund or ETF’s for short is a combination of real estate stocks and bonds which are held in a single fund. This is similar to an index funds or mutual funds. This is a popular type of real estate investing if you are looking to diversify your investments but still invest in real estate. Some of the most popular and well known ETFs, are Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund which for 2018 shows an increase of 36.27%, Schwab US REIT ETF – for 2018 shows an increase of 44.73%, iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF – an increase of 36.53% and Real Estate Select Sector SPDR Fund – which shows an incredible increase for 2018 of 57.51%. These funds make their portfolio by purchasing multi-family rental apartments, office buildings and various types of commercial real estate.

3. Real estate mutual funds

Real estate mutual funds maybe another great passive investment. Mutual funds are combination of stocks managed by an investment group. This is a great way for investors to diversify their portfolio. The majority of real estate mutual funds hold various equity securities and REITs that are focused on generating returns from specific subsectors of the real estate market, including apartment buildings, office buildings, health care facilities, hotels, shopping centers and industrial properties. This type of investing provides an opportunity to gain exposure in domestic as well as international real estate markets where there are historically favorable returns over some period of time, usually long term. Some mutual funds, such as DFREX offers low cost entry points and is supported by top economists. Another popular mutual funds is TIREX which is a $1.9 billion assets in real estate holdings.

4. REITs investing

REIT stands for Real estate investment trusts. This type of investment allows individuals to invest in large-scale, income-producing real estate. Again, this type of investment, which is similar to mutual funds and ETF’s allow you to invest and participate in a real estate related assets without physically owning and operating a real estate property. REIT is ideal for diversifying your real estate investment portfolio.

5. Real estate notes investing

Investing in real estate notes allows you to buy notes from banks, hedge funds and private equity firms that are willing to sell them off at significant discounts. There are non-performing notes which are the first mortgages secured by real estate where the borrowers have failed to make the payments. Again, this type of investment allows you to invest in real estate without actually owning physical real estate.

6. Investing in Fundrise on-line

Fundrise is an on-line investment service available for individuals to invest in REIT’s – Real Estate Investment Trusts. They are managed by Fundrise professionals, which allows you to passively invest and watch your investment grow.

Fundrise has produced a hefty return in 2017, an average of 11.44%. Although nothing is ever guaranteed, however, Fundrise have sustained these kinds returns for over 4 years. Fundrises are fairly easy to get into. Just create your own account on-line and built your profile. They present an opportunity to invest in a particular investment style, such as long-term growth, balanced Investing or supplemental Income. You may even invest in commercial or residential real estate venues in return for cash flow distributions.

The 3 common ways to invest in real estate online are Lending Club, RealtyShares and PeerStreet.

RealtyShares allows investors to pick either commercial or residential real estate projects. It also allows a minimal investment amounts, as little as one thousand dollars. You can pick either real estate loans or equity across the country with many projects to choose from.

RealtyShares are one of the most popular ways to get started in an on-line real estate investment because the fees are only 1% annually.

Lending Club is also very popular among on-line real estate investors. They produce a bit less – about 5% annually for 2017 but have done better in the past – around 9%. It’s easy to create an account and start investing as Lending Club allows you to search through hundreds of options. It’s a great way to diversify your portfolio.

Peerstreet produces a venue for you invest in real estate loans. You’ll need just one thousand dollars to start investing in “notes” which are actually just a fraction of loan, not the loans themselves. These typically produce between 6% and 12% annually.

Conclusion

Real estate is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio and allows you to make different kinds of investments – from passive to active, from hands on to an on-line investment. You can choose your own style that suits you best. Whatever your case might be, all investments demand thorough research, excellent strategizing and perfect timing.

For more information on great opportunities in Miami, please consult Sunny Realty – leading international real estate brokerage in Sunny Isles Beach, Miami, Florida. (305)-998-9922.

Things to Do in Miami

Things to do in Miami

Miami had always been a warm place to travel to for the snowbirds. Let’s face it, it offers sunshine 360 days a year, so many people flock to this area. Over the years, it grew to be a huge tourist destination. It is also a place where many like to settle down and enjoy the nice weather and amenities throughout the entire year. If this sounds like something you would like to do, then knowing what is offered is always a good thing.

The ocean is always warm, so you’ll have something to do in the morning – whether you like to jog in the sand, play volleyball, or just lay in the sun and do nothing, going to the beach is always fun and exciting. There are plenty of happening beaches in Miami so we suggest you check them all out.

Top Miami Beaches

Top Miami Beaches
The beaches in Miami are why so many choose to come here. If you’re moving to a beach area, if you just want sand, sunshine and surf or if you’re retiring, Miami beaches bring in a lot of people. The area is beautiful, the beaches are clean, and you can just hang out and actually enjoy life. South Beach is at the top of the chart, offering plenty of excitement and beach games – volleyball, footvolley, soccer, football, freezby, etc or relax by some of the happening places like Nikki Beach Miami for some music, drinks, party and fun. You can always find a bite to eat across the street on Ocean Drive, which offers plenty of restaurants, dancing and entertainment.

Surfside beach is also quite popular destination with lots of activities such as parasailing, sailing, seadoo cycles for rent, boating and more. Sunny Isles Beach offers one of the most visited places – The Sunny Isles Beach Pier. You can get great lunch right on the pier or walk across the street. By the way, there are stories about fisherman catching some big fish – tuna, snappers, snooks, groupers, mackerel and more. Make sure to check out some of the most popular beaches in Miami.

Top Miami Parks

Miami Parks
Miami also offers plenty of parks with incredible settings from lush tropical gardens to native Floridian trees and shrubs. Miami’s parks are very safe, clean and offer tons of activities.

Hobie Island Beach Park
This beach and park area is pet-friendly, giving dogs the ability to splash in the shallow waters, which puts it at the top of so many people’s list. You can enjoy watersports with the gear rentals that are right on the beach. The water is shallow than most other beaches, also giving children an easier time while in the water.

Crandon Park
The protected beach of this park is beautiful because there is no trash. It has an amusement center and tennis court to spend time and get a little exercise. Eco-tours are provided to those that want to learn more about the area and water and concessions are always served.

Lummus Park
This is a very sandy park that many love to visit with young children because the water is beautiful, the views are wonderful and there are small playgrounds for the children to use when they are not in the water. Fitness equipment is also available for adults to use.

Haulover Park
This park is a bit of everything. It is a family-friendly beach that also welcomes dogs. You can picnic right on the sand or in the shade at a picnic table. Clothing is optional at this beach though, so take care when arriving.

Matheson Hammock Park
This is a beautiful beach to spend some down time at. Smaller than the others, it is not overcrowded and it doesn’t offer much more than a place to relax in the sun, enjoy your time and take a dip in the water.

Top Miami restaurants

The Best Restaurants in Miami
Finding a place to eat doesn’t have to be difficult. These top restaurants have made the list of places to eat. You want to eat in the best Miami restaurants and plenty of people have voted and found that these fun restaurants in Miami have made the cut.

Makoto
As a top raved about restaurant on the list of the best Miami restaurants, Makota makes the top do the list because it looks and feels like luxury the second you walk into the place. Makoto Okuwa is the head chef in this restaurant and the owner. With the real-deal in everything Japanese, you can expect the sushi to be exquisite and the bincho charcoal robata to have the biggest line of them all.

Pinch Kitchen
Fashioned after a neighborhood diner-type of spot, this is a homey place with many favorites. With twists on many classics found right here in America, you can find plenty of food you’re familiar with that they actually made better. The beer list is expansive and the prices are fair. Definitely a fun restaurant in Miami.

27 Restaurant
Literally located inside a house, this is a restaurant that offers various dishes that come from the Middle East, South America and Caribbean. You can find a laid-back atmosphere here and inventive drinks that you will love to sip. They are an exciting place to try for the first time, but they warn you that you will become regulars after that.

Zak the Baker
While not a full-on restaurant, he is the one that supplies almost every restaurant in the area with his award-winning bread. You can enjoy a lot of different options. With both a grab-and-go bakery and a full on store, you can find breads, pastries, soups and sandwiches that he expertly crafted right here.

KYU
A mix between a BBQ and Asian food, you will find many unique dishes that are sure to get your attention. The modern feel of the restaurant is a bit different from the others. Brisket lettuce wraps, duck and sushi choices are all top of the list for so many looking for something delicious to eat. Thought of as one of the best Miami restaurants.

Famous Travel Destinations
These destinations are those that many are thinking about visiting and making a trip too. Many rave about them after they visit. If you’re searching for a place to travel and want somewhere that so many recommended, these are those famous and high traffic areas to find tourists and others.

Miami Beach
Not just sung in songs, Miami Beach is a popular tourist destination. Mostly everyone that comes to this area can be found right on this beach spending time. With plenty of nightlife, resorts and beaches, it is probably one of the most fun, but also densely populated during tourist season.

Art Deco Historic District
Any type of museum is going to have the tourists all over it. Many people that are over the beach or want to do something a bit differently can find themselves looking at all that this museum has to offer. Uniquely designed buildings, plenty of artwork and more line the streets for visitors to enjoy.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Beautiful to look at and touching a piece of history one walk at a time, this museum is situated on 28-acres of land and used to be the winter home of James Deering. It was originally constructed in 1916 by authentic European designers. Adding to the grounds are decorative art pieces and beautiful landscaping.

Bayside Marketplace
As one of the largest marketplaces that you will find in the area, you can not only find well-known shops hidden in the streets but also vendors that are selling just about everything imaginable. This is a place that many of the locals are drawn too, which also brings in many of the tourists, as well.

Free Things to Do in Miami
There are plenty of free things to do in the city. When you want to save some cash and do something fun, then these are the exciting things you want to take advantage of.

Art Déco Tour
This is a nice architecture and art tour, but also a history lesson. Many of the buildings that are up and being shown in the district were built there between the early 1920’s and the early 1940’s. It was actually once riddled with crime and pollution. It didn’t clean up and look so posh until the 1990’s when it gained more popularity.

Everglades National Park
1.5 acres of park welcome one and all to come and take a look. You can explore the wildlife and enjoy the outdoors for free when you’re in the area because it is a protected piece of land and they allow anyone to be on it. Just don’t litter and refrain from bothering any of the animals that live there. You just have to ride in on a bus from Homestead, otherwise it is $25 per car.

Metromover Rides
This is probably one of the most exciting things to do because it is literally electric powered. It is a free mode of transport for the area and you can go to many popular destinations while in it like the Bayside Marketplace or Miami-Dade College.

Top Miami museums

LIST OF FREE MUSEUMS
All of these museums are around Miami and they all have free admission if you want somewhere to go to check out and have a good time, but don’t want to spend too much to do so. These are definitely a great answer.

Institute of Contemporary Art
Wolfsonian
Perez Art Museum
Bearcut Nature Preserve>
Biltmore Hotel
Live Jazz at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami

Things to Do with Kids in Miami
If you’re traveling with kids, then you have to make sure that you give them something that is going to keep them occupied. Definitely easier said than done. When it comes to the many things to do in Miami, you want to find those things that are kid-friendly and actually hold their attention. Bringing them around to place after place that is dull or stuffy is not ideal. Here are some of the top places to visit when you’re in Miami having a good time with kids.

Sawgrass Recreational Park
You can take a tour through the Everglades while entering this park. You also have a chance to see a 1,000-pound alligator and take a look into three different exhibits which house iguanas and turtles. You can take a tour on the airboat and even take photos of kids holding the alligators from the area.

The Wynwood Walls
These are beautifully decorated and colorful pictures that stand out. Many of them change from time to time. It is important to come during the day, in the morning if possible to refrain from running into rowdy crowds that might not be ideal for children. They can take pictures with cameras and enjoy the beautiful pictures people have put together.

FunDimension
This 15,000 square foot building is packed with things to do and fun and games to be had. With laser tag, bumper cars, arcade games, bungee dome and more, you can find that there is plenty here to not only keep your kids occupied but to completely knock them out from being so tired once they leave. It is the ultimate playzone and in the winter months, they hold classes and events for the kids.

Jungle Island
This 18-acre zoo is filled with so many animals that you will find yourself spending all day visiting them. You can enjoy the normal animals, but also the exotic ones that are not as commonly seen and known. There is also a private beach with splash park and a playground that you can send the kids too.

Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
This museum is all about hands-on experiments and fun that you can have. The kids can touch and do in this museum. It is one that allows little hands to actually explore and not just watch as things they pass come and go. It is a great place to bring the kids to learn and also explore. It offers a planetarium and aquarium.

Other Things to Do in Miami
There are plenty of other things to do in Miami that you can make the most of. When it comes to doing things that might not be a tourist destination, or might not be just for kids or free, then you need to check out these options instead.

Little Havana and Calle Ocho
Little Havana is a small Cuban district within Miami and it is one of the most loved place for many to visit. They have many cultural areas, such as restaurants and little shops. You can even see how they make their famous Cuban cigars. Calle Ocho is the main strip of the area for those visiting to walk through.

American Airlines Arena
Home to the Miami Heat team, and also hosting many big shows and concerts, this is a great place to book something to watch while you are in the area. With seating for 19,000 people, you can find that this is a massive place to find yourself. It is energy efficient and is an artfully designed piece in the heart of Miami.

Coral Castle
A collection of 28-years of carving using homemade tools, this man’s hobby turned into a beautiful masterpiece. Made by Edward Leedskalnin out of limestone between 1923 and 1951, it has since been a great piece that many visitors find themselves walking through. He did all of these carvings privately, so no one knows how he did any of his work.

There is always plenty to do and see when you visit any of these areas throughout the city. When someone wants to do something while in Miami, you’re not short on the amount of things that can be done. You can enjoy all of what each of them offers. Whether you are coming alone, with a partner or perhaps bringing the family, Miami welcomes you and makes sure that you have a full trip planned with all of the offerings. Take in the sights, sounds and excitement that follows. Miami is here and ready when you are, plan your trip today!

South Florida residents bought more condos than homes in October

Sunny Isles Condos For Sale

Home sales and median prices are on the rise in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties this holiday season, marking the highest values this year. The Miami Association of Realtors claims that this strengthening demand for Miami real estate has been set off by steadily increasing interest rates, which led to October’s dramatic hike in residential closings. Accordingly, there was a 20 percent swell in condo sales: good news for real estate specialists with Miami condos for sale like Sunny Isles Condos and searching buyers alike.

Miami-Dade’s Residential Swell

A fourth month of back-to-back residential closings increases shows a 15 percent year-over-year growth to 2,284 during October. Total sales volume for the Miami-Dade area came in at $949 million.

Demand for Miami homes for sale saw an 8.1 percent jump to 1,073. This illustrates a median price hike of 1.9 percent to $350,000.

Even more notable is the 21.3 percent upsurge in condo sales up to 1,211, with an 8.7 percent increase of median price to $235,000.

Miami homes hold one of the longest on the market periods of 53 surveyed US metros, sitting vacant an average of 84 days, accordingly to a new report. However, the Miami Association of Realtors claims the median span between listing and contract for single-family homes fell 8.5 percent year-over-year to 43 days in October. An increase in demand has driven these surges and shows no sign of stopping.

Miami real estate price

Broward County Growth

Miami-Dade was not the only county to put up impressive results, reaching $918.5 million in October. Residential closing numbered nearly 2,800, up 15.1 percent year-over-year from last October.

The area saw a 10.1 percent increase to 1,322 single-family home sales. This was accompanied by a whopping 33 percent hike for sales between $400,000 and $600,000. The median closing roseby 6% up to $355,000.

Condos performed even better with a 20 percent increase in sales, up to 1,476. Nearly 30 percent of these fell between $200,000 and $400,000, increasing the median price by 1.3% up to $157,000.

Palm Beach Trends

Like Miami-Dade and Broward, Palm Beach County continued to show promising growth.

In Palm Beach, Single-family home sales showed an 15.6 percent increase over the previous October, reaching 1,458. Median prices rose to $347,250, a 6.8 percent increase, for single-family homes.

Condos faired similarly well, jumping up 19.2 percent year-over-year, mostly in the range of $50,000 to $250,000. This accounts for the continued upward trend in median price to $185,000 for condos, a 9.5 percent increase.

Biggest Retail Sales in October 2018

There were several large retail deals in Miami in October – the largest one was the sale of Downtown Dadeland, which was built in 2008 and renovated in 2015. The purchase was for ground floor which offer around 126,000 square feet of retail space at 7270 North Kendall Drive. The property is currently leased out at almost the maximum – 97%. It was sold to Midtown Capital Partners for $78.2 million. Pebb Capital and Duncan Hillsley Capital paid $39 million for the property in 2014. It was 50 percent leased at the time.

Another sizable deal was the purchase of a waterfront lot located at 18320 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach. Gil Dezer of Dezer Development paid $31.7M for an acre of land. Publix Super Markets sold the lot located on the Intracoastal Waterway. Dezer Development currently owns a lot immediately adjacent to this lot, which in sum total about 4.5 acres of land, which is a prime location for another condo project.

Popularity of Supercar Branded Condos

Miami Beach condos for sale

Many of the various condominiums in the Miami area have branding deals, which help to give them more flavor and appeal, along with style and often a substantial amount of financial backing. There have been many different types of branding associated with top architectural designers, such as 1000 Museum by Zaha Hadid, Jade Beach and Jade Ocean by Carlos Ott, as well as new luxury condominiums associated with top designers, including Georgio Armani and Fendi. Over the course of the last several years, some of the most impressive buildings with interesting features have been those branded after supercars.
A very popular example of this is Porsche Design Tower, which features its own car elevator, a patented addition that has proven to be quite useful not only for the residents of the tower. When Hurricane Irma was threatening Florida, Porsche Design Tower offered to keep safe some of the supercars that are in Miami. There are other towers in the Miami area that have similar themes with supercar branding, and this trend really started to take off around 2015.

The Supercar Condo Boom

An Italian firm called Pininfarina was hired in 2015 to work on 1100 Millecento in the Brickell area. This was a 42-story luxury complex, and the developers had wanted it to have a feeling of being sports car friendly. Since Pininfarina had worked to create designs for some of the biggest names in the sports car field including the likes of Maserati and Ferrari, they were the perfect choice. The company added large photos featuring supercars in the public spaces of the building, and they even had elevator lobbies that were decked out in the famous Ferrari red.

The most recent building with supercar branding to grace the Miami skyline is Aston Martin Residences. The units in this building are truly luxurious, and the starting price for a condo in the building is $700,000. The units can go all the way up to $50 million. The design and the style of the building does reflect the Aston Martin style quite well, too. Rather than having some of the more common materials, such as wood, used for elements of the building and units, they have made use of leather and even carbon fiber.

The buildings that have been branded after supercars tend to be quite popular, as well. Not only do they have the added interest of being associated with a popular car brand and style, but they also tend to be true luxury buildings. They have a range of features and amenities that help to make them true standouts among all of the other buildings available in the Miami area.

Why Branded Condominiums Can Work Well

Supercars are a very popular option when it comes to hotel branding, but as mentioned earlier, they are not the only option. The other branded properties also tend to be very popular, and it is often for the same reasons. They are luxury condominiums with excellent design choices and features. Because of their high-end features, it typically means that the units are going to retain their value and there should always be potential buyers who want to live there.

Increased Lender Competition Good News for Buyers

Mortgage

Those who are looking for a home mortgage might find that it is a good time to buy right now. Even though the interest rates have risen slightly with the latest bump from the Federal Reserve, it turns out that now could still be a good time to buy a home. Many mortgage companies have been having a rather rough go of it over the past year, and particularly with the first half of 2018.

The originations of new loans have started to diminish somewhat with the aforementioned rise in the interest rates, and the refinancing market is shrinking, as well. Lenders are having more trouble finding people who are looking to get a loan, and some of the lenders have found that they did not make a profit in the first quarter of 2018. In fact, loan originations were lower than they have been for the last three years.

Competition Among the Lenders

Because things are starting to get tougher for lenders, it means that the competition between those lenders is heating up. The lenders are becoming more competitive with one another because they want to be the business that gets the borrowers to go through them. Banks and mortgage companies are trying to get business, and they are putting more offers on the table for those who are shopping for homes.

This means that if you are currently looking to buy a piece of property, there is a good chance that you will have more offers than you might have a couple of years ago. This allows you to shop around for a loan that is going to work well for your needs. Lenders are starting to expand their number of loans, and some are relaxing their credit standards somewhat in order to do this. The goal, of course, is to pull in as many potential borrowers as possible.

There have been some lenders who are looking for different ways that they can help to make their deals appear more attractive to borrowers. For example, some have done more than just reduce the credit score requirements. Some have also reduced the down payment requirements, and other underwriting terms. They have been trying to make mortgages more favorable for consumers in an effort to help them get more borrowers. Some of the lenders seem to be willing to take on more risk.

What Should Consumers Do?

If you are looking to borrow and get a mortgage, now could be a fantastic time to do that thanks to the increased competitiveness between the lenders. You can shop around, check out the competing offers, and figure out which one is going to work the best for your needs.
However, you will want to still be cautious. With the relaxed requirements from some lenders, it could mean that certain homeowners are getting approved for a home that they might not truly be able to afford. Make sure that you will be able to pay for the mortgage and all of the other costs that come from owning a home.

Are We Due For A Recession in 2019?

GDP Graph

Is a recession looming? It’s an important question because the U.S. economy has been experiencing one of its longest expansions ever. There were two recessions in the 1970s, two in the 1980s, one in the 1990s and two in the 2000s. Since 2010, there have been none.

Is there A Trigger?

Every recession has a trigger. In the 1970s it was energy price shocks. Could that happen today? Probably not, because the U.S. is now the world’s biggest oil producer. one potential trigger could be an unsustainable rise in borrowing. But the fact is consumer debt has risen only about 5 percent annually for the last few years. Although that’s fast, it’s not catastrophic. Past recessions were preceded by debt increases of 10 percept or more. More importnat, the largest part of household debt is home mortgages and those loan balances total about $10 trillion today, about the sme as 10 years ago even though housing values in the aggregate have climbed from $18 trillion to $28 trillion.

Another trigger could just be psychological. Pessimism leads consumers to spend less. That leads businesses to scale back, reduce investment, and not build that additional factory or office. But consumer confidence this year is at an index level of 127, the highest reading in more that 20 years!

Finally it could be policy error. Turkey is an example of how a decision – lowering interest rates in the face of rampant inflation – can lead to a crisis.

Although it’s not clear what could trigger the next recession, it’s a good bet it won’t have anything to do with our industry. The housing market still has room to grow. A total of 6.1 million existing homes plus newly constructed homes will be sold this year. That’s the same level as in 2000, when the market was considered well balanced. Homebuilders are at last responding to pent-up demand by increasing housing starts and creating jobs. For these reasons, the odds of a recession in 2019 are slight. And if we do see a drop in GDP, it will likely be mild – nowhere near the intensity of the recession a decade ago.

Concerns about a housing slowdown NOT supported by the data. However, the pace of existing home sales is expected to decline slightly by the end 2018, despite population and economic growth, lower unemployment, and modest wage gains. Declining affordability is the issue.