FHFA Loan Limit Increases Signal Strong Housing Market

The Federal Home Finance Agency (FHFA) announced an increase in the maximum loan limit for government-backed mortgages nationwide. South Florida counties including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach received an increase of $7,100 to $424,100. While the amount of the raise may seem insignificant, this shows acknowledgement on the federal level that the housing market is strengthening. According to Zillow, this means a larger pool of borrowers will be able to take advantage of flexible options offered by government backed loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As the first increase in over a decade, the growth of the loan limit means that things are on the mend for good. “As a result of generally rising home values, the increase in…

Industrial Real Estate: South Florida’s Hottest Investment

South Florida is known for its tropical climate, white sand beaches, hot nightlife, and upscale mansions. But another sector of real estate is providing good dividends, and it’s not the branded condos from Missoni and Aston Martin. Beyond the bright lights and exclusive nightclubs, large industrial spaces like warehouses and logistics facilities prove to be a lucrative endeavor for investors. Changing consumer trends and Florida’s close proximity to Latin America contribute to this rise in activity. Unlike the change in the residential market, which is due to overall economics, the increase in industrial real estate activity comes directly from the local economy. With over 4 million square feet of industrial space in Miami-Dade expected this year, the market is continuing…

Year End Planning for Real Estate Investors

The end of the year is a busy time in the personal and professional lives of real estate investors for a number of reasons. In addition to calculating income and evaluating tax liability, there are a number of other considerations that will help you thrive when looking to invest. The following will help you take a look at your current portfolio and make any changes or adjustments as needed. Keep your eyes peeled for valuable trades Instead of selling a property outright, you can defer tax on the gain if you trade for a similar property. This cannot be property that you intend to sell immediately, but if you are looking for a new rental, it may be easier to…

There’s Still Time to Invest in Real Estate Before 2017

Looking to invest in real estate? Even though the year is coming to an end, it’s not too late to buy. A wide variety of benefits exist when buying a home at the end of the year.  And even though some of these benefits are traditionally for homeowners and not investors, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t cash in on them too. Let’s examine some of the great reasons to buy an investment property at the end of the year. Write Expenses off Your Taxes If you play your cards right, you can write a variety of expenses off your taxable income, especially if you buy and begin renovations right away. Tax-Free Income With depreciation, mortgage interest and other tax…

A Miami Holiday

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas or snowy holidays, South Florida may not be the place for you. But there’s still plenty to enjoy in the land of sunshine and white sand beaches. The following four events are long standing South Florida traditions and provide holiday cheer for the entire family. Ice Skating at the Intercontinental While there may not be any snow on the ground, Miami’s Intercontinental hotel creates a winter wonderland every year with an indoor ice skating rink.This year, the hotel promises even more Christmas fun with special catering and spa packages, as well as a Breakfast With Santa event. Tickets are $15/hour for adults and $12/hour for children.  Tickets are available at interconmiamionice.eventbrite.com. Santa’s Enchanted…

Elysee Miami to Add Wellness Features to Planned Condominium Tower

Developer of the 57-story Elysee Miami condo tower, Two Roads Development, has announced that it will be partnering with the Miami-based Wellness Habitat Company to integrate the latest health and wellness-oriented systems into the building’s common areas, making Elysee Miami the first wellness condo development in the city. Wellness Habitat Company has specialized in the installation of health and wellness systems in private residences throughout South Florida as well as hotels in Mexico; the 100-unit Elysee Miami will be the first condo project for the company. The systems set to be integrated into the building will include various levels of water filtration, air purification, aromatherapy shower diffusers in the spa that deliver vitamin C and collagen, eco-friendly paint, and LED…

Home Prices in South Florida Reflect a Healthy Market

Despite a market slowdown, South Florida home prices have continued to rise. A new report shows solid growth in home prices during the month of August, making South Florida 1 out of 10 metro areas with a higher year-over-year increase in August than July. According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller housing index released earlier this month, home prices in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties rose 7.1 percent from home prices recorded in August of 2015. Home prices saw an increase in every one of the 20 metro areas tracked by the housing index, with Portland, Ore., and Seattle topping the list with 11.7 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively. The index ranks South Florida sixth for fastest rate of appreciation…

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent

Investing in real estate can be a very lucrative endeavor when done correctly. Many people try their hand in real estate investing without an agent, but very few are successful. Unless you’re already a seasoned real estate investor, you should consider hiring an experienced real estate agent to ensure a smooth transaction from start to finish. Here are 5 specific reasons why you should utilize a professional: Create a Lucrative Future A good agent will bring you investment options that match your required criteria, and if you don’t like a certain deal, they will keep bringing you more until you find the perfect fit. If you build a good rapport with your agent, you’ll be at the top of their…

Aston Martin Residences Coming to Downtown Miami

The presence of luxury brands such as Porsche Design, Fendi, Armani/Casa, and Bentley in Miami’s real estate market is well known. Aston Martin has announced it will be joining this high-profile group with its first branded condo tower in Miami. The luxury sports car company will be teaming up with the Coto family of Argentina to erect the Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way. The 66-story development will be situated at the mouth of the Miami River, and will feature 1 to 4-bedroom units as well as 7 penthouses and a duplex penthouse with private pools and terraces. In total, the development is slated to contain 390 units, with pre-sales to commence sometime in November as per German…

Paramount Miami Worldcenter Construction Underway

Starting at 2:00 AM on a Saturday morning in late October and ending the following Monday morning before Miami’s rush hour, an army of cement trucks and construction workers collaborated to pour 52 million pounds of concrete into an excavated hole containing 43,000 square feet. Dubbed Miami’s “Big Pour,” the foundation for Paramount Miami Worldcenter is complete and developers have indicated that they’re ready to go vertical. The 700-foot, 60-story residential building will be erected adjacent to the larger Miami Worldcenter project’s 450,000 square feet of retail. The first phase of construction for Miami’s second-largest urban development comes approximately 13 months after demolition crews cleared 1.1 million square feet on the north side of Miami’s downtown. According to Paramount Miami…

Why to Invest in Distressed Florida Real Estate

During the housing collapse in the early 2000s, Florida was hit hard with foreclosures. With over a quarter of 2015 South FL real estate sales in the distressed home market, many of these homes are still available for sale. South Florida real estate investors are wise to invest in distressed properties. Their low sales prices combined with low-cost labor and easy exit strategies are an excellent way to get some quick cash back in your pocket. Low Sales Prices There are a number of ways to find distressed homes in South Florida outside of the MLS. Trustee sales, tax liens, and online auctions are just a few. Be sure to work with an agent who understands where to find investment…

Government-Backed Options for Renting or Developing South Florida Property Can Be Profitable

In 2013, over half of Miami lived in rental property. This is great news for real estate investors, but the competition is fierce. It’s important to understand your options and choose what will maximize your profits. The following options can help you uncover government resources for your real estate investments, whether renting or developing South Florida real estate. Affordable Housing Programs for Single/Multi-Family Rental Homes Because Miami residents spend over 40% of their income on rent, affordability in housing is an important feature. Look into participating in the Section 8 program from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Getting started requires a trip to the local housing authority to set up an initial inspection and certification. HUD…

Want to Invest in Retail? South Florida Better Investment Than Manhattan

Even though the US economy has been steadily improving, many foreign real estate investors have shied away from retail developments.  However, Miami area retail experts say the South Florida market is the best investment in the country, with vacancy rates at 3.1 percent, lower than Manhattan’s 3.7 percent. While the average rent is over double the national average of $15.50 per square foot, South Florida’s average asking price of $32 per square foot pales in comparison to Manhattan ($88/sq ft). Even though the rents may not seem lucrative when compared to other major US cities, retailers flock to South Florida because retail sales per square foot are the highest in the country at $7.60. The influx of retirees and foreign…

What’s Happening in South Florida: Fall-Winter 2016 Edition

If Miami’s pristine beaches and great weather aren’t enough to keep you entertained this fall, there’s still plenty to do.  From Italian films and art to boating, the Miami area’s year-round moderate temperatures make it an ideal place to enjoy outdoor entertainment throughout the seasons. Check out our top picks for what’s happening this fall in South Florida. Cinema Italy Miami: October 6-11 Check out this film festival celebrating the best of Italian cinema at the Regal Cinemas in South Beach. In true Miami style, there will also be after parties at area nightclubs, as well as an opening and closing party at the Delano.  Click here for a full schedule and passes. III Points: October 7-9 For those of…

How to Get Your Investment Property Ready for Rental

You’ve taken the plunge and bought a hot South Florida investment property. But buying is only the first step. Now it’s time to turn your investment into a moneymaker. When temperatures in other markets cool down, many flock to Florida’s warmer climate. Locals call these temporary residents “snowbirds,” and now’s the time to get your property ready to rent as this is one of the busiest rental seasons of the year. Check out our suggestions to get your property ready for the incoming migration: Now’s Not the Time for Major Renovations Though it’s tempting to gut your new property and remake it completely, timing is critical to get top dollar for your seasonal rental. Unless the renovations are necessary for…

Why Florida Sunshine is Good for Business

Move over, Silicon Valley. South Florida is a great place to be in business. Florida is so good, that Inc. Magazine called it a startup hub in 2015, and TechCrunch praised the tech scene in Miami. Because of its proximity to Latin America and concentration of Latino immigrants, Miami has always been a hub for businesses operating in both the U.S., Brazil, and other countries south of the Equator. The entire South Florida region, which includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach, is number two on the Kaufmann Index of Startup Activity for both 2015 and 2016. Two of the top 50 companies on the Inc. 5000 List 2016 — Blackstone Labs and Tribeca Marketing Group — call South Florida…

Dried Up? Far East Foreign Investors Beg to Differ

It’s hard to ignore all the negative headlines about Miami’s foreign real estate investors these days. Latin America, a region that was integral in Miami’s recent real estate boom, is struggling as major markets like Brazil and Venezuela take hits to their currencies. But while old players pull out, the door is opened for new foreign investors who offer exciting opportunities for this South Florida city — stepping to center stage is China. Chinese buyers have played a large role in the U.S. real estate market for a long time. Between the spring of 2015 and the spring of 2016, for example, Chinese buyers spent $27.3 billion on U.S. real estate.  Miami may be the next Chinese favorite. Earlier this…

U.S. Home Sales Hit Record High in July 2016

Now’s a great time to buy a home in South Florida, especially for investment purposes. Home sales in July were higher than they have been since October 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Department reports that 654,000 new single-family homes sold in July 2016, over 30% higher than July 2015. Low interest rates combined with a strengthening economy are the major factor in the uptick in the market. As new home sales rise, builders will be able to invest in larger commercial and multi-family residential projects, which is good news for investors. Another factor important to investors is that the homeownership rate went down by half a percent, meaning that the U.S. is flush with opportunities for…