Archive for the 'Properties in Focus' Category

Bankers Held In Contempt Over Bird Grove Condo

posted on January 18th, 2011 filed under: Financial Responsibility, Properties in Focus, Real Estate News

The Daily Business Review reported last week that a Miami trial judge held six banks in contempt of court, and threatened bankers with jail, in connection with the default-besieged Bird Grove Condo at 2734 Bird Road in Coconut Grove.

Miami Real Estate Images -- Bankers Held in Contempt

The Bird Grove exemplifies one of the ways in which the financial industry has socialized the consequences of the bust after privately profiting from the boom.  Two units in the Bird Grove are bank-owned (REO or real estate owned).  Seventeen others are in default, but banks have not followed through on the foreclosure process and taken ownership.  With ownership comes responsibility for condo association dues, taxes, insurance, maintenance and all the other joys of home ownership.  And when repossessed properties are sold, banks must recognize the losses on their balance sheets.

So instead, banks leave the units in limbo, avoiding expenses and deferring loss-recognition.  When half of the unit owners aren’t paying either, the condo association is starved for dues and the building goes downhill fast.

The court appointed a receiver for the Bird Grove, who found a condo building where “garbage hadn’t been collected for weeks, electricity was about to be cut off, the building had no insurance, and an elevator was broken,” according to the DBR.

Bird Grove Condo, 2734 Bird Rd.

Bird Grove Condo, 2734 Bird Rd.

The good news for the banks is that the law is on their side.  Florida law, as interpreted by the appeals court with jurisdiction over the Miami area, simply does not require banks to pay condo dues and expenses until they take ownership.

The banks involved are Bank of America, Flagstar Bank, GMAC, PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.  Congenial billionaire Warren Buffet, whose company is Wells Fargo’s largest shareholder, probably doesn’t have to worry about garbage collection and electricity.

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1010 and 1033 Asturia — Bank-Owned (REO) Foreclosures in Coral Gables

posted on January 8th, 2011 filed under: Properties in Focus, Real Estate News

For all the sturm und drang of the real estate collapse in South Florida, there haven’t been that many bank-owned (REO) properties for sale in the more desirable parts of Coral Gables.  Recently, however, two listings have cropped up that ought to please even the most finicky bargain-hunters.  Both are on Asturia Avenue, a pleasant street two blocks north of historic Coral Way, and one block south of Granada Golf Course.  Locals enjoy walking, jogging and biking around the golf course as much golfing on it.

1010 Asturia was listed as a short sale a while back and seemed to have sold, but apparently the deal never closed.  Now its’ a bank-owned (REO) listing.  I remember seeing this property a few years ago when the asking price was about $900,000.  Today’s listing price: $499,000.

1010 Asturia Ave.

1010 Asturia Ave.

Similar story with 1033 Asturia: previously listed as a short sale, went pending, now back on the market as a bank-owned (REO) home for sale.  Price: $678,150.

Tough times on the 1000 block of Asturia Avenue in Coral Gables.  But with crisis comes opportunity.

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Recent Sale — 2333 Granada Blvd., Coral Gables — $1.125 Million

posted on November 26th, 2010 filed under: Properties in Focus, Real Estate Market Data

The home at 2333 Granada Boulevard sold in September 2010 for $1,125,000, or about $296 per square foot.

Seems a little rich.  The house is nice, but the location is not for everyone; it’s right at the the corner of Granada and Coral Way, with traffic sitting in front of the house waiting for the light to change.  Needed updating too.

2333 Granada Blvd.

2333 Granada Blvd.

In terms of historical valuation, the price was reasonable.  The house last sold in July 1991 for $550,000.  The current purchase price represents about 3.8% compounded annual appreciation from that prior sale price.

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Recent Sales: 741 Tibidabo Sells for $904,000

posted on November 11th, 2010 filed under: Properties in Focus

The 2889-sf ranch home at 741 Tibidabo Avenue in Coral Gables sold for $904,000.  O.k., it was updated, but there’s only so much you can do to dress up a 1954 rambler.

741 Tibidabo Ave.

741 Tibidabo Ave.

The house previously sold for $1,050,000 in November 2006 and $845,000 in October 2004.  Diving deeper, it sold for $265,000 in April 1989, which works to a compounded annual appreciation of 5.84%, and $169,800 in November 1983, which works to a compounded annual appreciation of 6.38%.  Those annual rates of appreciation suggest that the recent sale was overpriced relative to other market opportunities.

I wonder if the buyers thought they were getting a key to the magnet language program at Sunset Elementary School.  As explained previously here (and probably nowhere else), living within the traditional boundaries of Sunset Elementary does not assure you admission to the magnet language program, and does not even assure you admission to the regular program at the school.

Whatever the explanation for this richly priced transaction, watch out for listing sheets in Coral Gables that purport to tell you which school your kids will attend.  In many instances, they are misleading.

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Q2 Review: Closed Sales in Miami, Pinecrest and Coral Gables Real Estate, Zip Code 33156

posted on October 29th, 2010 filed under: Properties in Focus, Real Estate Market Data

The table below reports closed sales of single-family homes in zip code 33156, encompassing parts of Miami, Pinecrest and Coral Gables, FL.  Recently closed sales are the principal guide to current property values in a local real estate market.

Coral Gables Real Estate -- Closed Sales -- Single-Family Homes -- Zip Code 33156 -- 2Q10

Because The Real Estate Fountain focuses on mid-range to luxury properties, the table may exclude sales of smaller homes on smaller lots, or outside the usual areas of interest.

9050 Hammock Lake Dr.

9050 Hammock Lake Dr.

Data are from tax records, and thus are not limited to MLS transactions.

10300 SW 61 Ave.

10300 SW 61 Ave.

What someone got for $730k:

6000 SW 104 St.

6000 SW 104 St.

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Q2 Review: Closed Sales in Miami and Coral Gables Real Estate, Zip Code 33143

posted on October 24th, 2010 filed under: Properties in Focus, Real Estate Market Data

The table below reports closed sales of single-family homes in zip code 33143, Miami and Coral Gables, FL, for the second quarter of 2010 (April 1 to June 30).  Recently closed sales are the principal guide to current property values in a local real estate market.

Coral Gables Real Estate -- Closed Sales -- Single-Family Homes -- Zip Code 33143 -- 2Q10Because The Real Estate Fountain focuses on mid-range to luxury properties, the table may exclude sales of smaller homes on smaller lots, or outside the usual areas of interest.

7901 Los Pinos Blvd.

7901 Los Pinos Blvd.

Data are from tax records, and thus are not limited to MLS transactions.

621 Gondoliere Ave.

621 Gondoliere Ave.

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Recent Sales in Coral Gables Real Estate: 1234 Alhambra Circle Sells for $935,000

posted on October 22nd, 2010 filed under: Properties in Focus

The house at 1234 Alhambra Circle recently sold for $935,000.  The advertised listing price was nearly $1.2 million.

1234 Alhambra Cir.

1234 Alhambra Cir.

1234 Alhambra is a 4-bed, 3-bath, 3765-sf house on a fairly small lot, built in 2000, with a 2-car garage and a pool.  The sale price works to $248/sf, pretty good for a nearly new house in a nice Coral Gables neighborhood.

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Q2 Review: Closed Sales in Coral Gables Real Estate, Zip Code 33146

posted on October 4th, 2010 filed under: Properties in Focus, Real Estate Market Data

The table below reports closed sales of single-family homes in zip code 33146, Coral Gables, FL.  Recently closed sales are the principal guide to current property values in a local real estate market.

Coral Gables Real Estate -- Closed Sales -- Single-Family Homes -- Zip Code 33146 -- 2Q10Because The Real Estate Fountain focuses on mid-range to luxury properties, the table excludes sales of smaller homes on smaller lots.

6311 Leonardo St.

6311 Leonardo St.

Data are from tax records, and thus are not limited to MLS transactions.

6505 Caballero Blvd.

6505 Caballero Blvd.

Data are believed accurate but not warranted.

4949 San Amaro Ct.

4949 San Amaro Ct.

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Q2 Review: Closed Sales in Miami and Coral Gables Real Estate, Zip Code 33134

posted on September 24th, 2010 filed under: Properties in Focus, Real Estate Market Data

Closed sales data are key to understanding current conditions in the real estate market.  Although broad indices like the FHFA House Price Index or the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index break down the numbers by metro areas, including Miami, real estate values can be highly localized.

The table below reports closed sales of single-family houses in zip code 33134, which is mainly within Coral Gables.  Because The Real Estate Fountain focuses on mid-range to luxury properties, the table generally excludes sales of small homes on small lots, like the many bungalows found in north Coral Gables.

Coral Gables Real Estate -- Closed Sales -- Single-Family Homes -- Zip Code 33134 -- 2Q10Data are from tax records, and thus include transactions both on and off the MLS.

816 Castile Ave.

816 Castile Ave.

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Property at 3717 Toledo St. in Coral Gables Sells for $850,000

posted on September 9th, 2010 filed under: Properties in Focus

A previous post discussed the firm demand for real estate in the Golden Triangle neighborhood near the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, and cited as an example the possible sale of the house at 3717 Toledo Street in Coral Gables.  The sellers wanted no less than $850,000, and it seemed like they might have gotten it.

Indeed, they did.  Sold for $850,000.  That’s not cheap, when you consider that even the sales pitch conceded that this well-worn Coral Gables home needed at least $250,000 of work.  But at $248/sf before renovation or $320/sf after renovation, the price is in line with the market for sub-luxury professional homes in Coral Gables.

3717 Toledo St.

3717 Toledo St.

Upper-middle-bracket buyers continue to face meaningful competition from one another in the quest for a decent home in the Miami area.  The desire for a signature older home instead of a cookie-cutter South Florida ranch is a principal attraction of Coral Gables.  Make no mistake — the bulk of the housing stock in Coral Gables consists of undistinguished cookie-cutter ranches.  But at least Coral Gables has a decent selection of older homes as well.  If you’re trying to rise above the vast architectural wasteland that is South Florida, you don’t have many alternatives.

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