Miami Real Estate News

Oct. 16, 2019

Discover Coral Gables "The City Beautiful"

It's So Miami - Coral Gables: Courtesy of Greater Miami Convention and Visitor Bureau

Whether you are considering a move to live within the city of Coral Gables or in a nearby area such as Coconut Grove, South Miami, Schenley Park, Pinecrest or Brickell, you'll be close enough to discover the many restaurants and points of interest within The Gables.  Here's a short video narrated by Mitchell Kaplan, local independent bookseller and owner of the popular Books and Books stores. Check out the newest Coral Gables Homes for sale here, and also the newest Coral Gables condo listings for sale.  Please reach out to me for more information about Coral Gables, its surrounding communities and the wonderful homes for sale. Enjoy!



Posted in News
Oct. 8, 2019

Tips To Fix A Property Before Selling

Quick Remodeling Tips to Sell A Condo or Home Fast - Examples From a Condo Sold In 1 Day

Wanted to share this quick story of a condo listing I sold very quickly with multiple offers and showings the first day on market.  Sharing the total remodel my sellers did prior to putting the property for sale.  This condo was totally original and was completely redone.  As a part of my job as a Realtor, I meet with sellers prior to listing a property to discuss,  "what are the most important things you can do in order to get the most in a sale." In this case the sellers gutted and remodeled the entire property.

Please have a look...  and please subscribe to my YouTube channel.



Posted in Listings
Sept. 17, 2019

What is Florida Tax Portability?


If you are a current homeowner claiming Florida as your primary residence and plan to move to another home within the state, you can transfer a portion of your homestead exemption savings from your current home to your next home by using tax portability. This is the Save Our Homes Amendment passed in 2008 to the Florida constitution. In this video, I explain how to calculate tax portability for a future move or transfer of your homestead exemption savings.

There are two calculations to determine how much of the savings a homeowner can transfer, depending on whether you are downsizing or upsizing in market value.  The amount of savings that can be transferred between properties is capped at $500,000, and timewise, you have up to December 31st of the following year after the first property homestead exemption is abandoned, for the next intended homestead property must be then established. 

Determining Tax Portability Amount

First gather some information from the county tax roll, specifically the market value shown, and the assessed value.
For Upsizing: Your tax portability amount is the difference between the market value on the property appraiser site, and the assessed value.   Then subtract that tax portability amount from the future market value of the next property at the time of applying for tax portability.

For Downsizing: Divide the property assessed value on the tax roll by the market value to come up with a rate.  That rate is then multiplied by the new market value on the tax roll of the new property to come up with the tax portability amount.  Then as above the tax portability amount will be subtracted from the future market value of the next property at the time of applying for tax portability and homestead exemption.

Be sure to visit your county website to follow any guidelines on timing and application status as they are subject to change. Contact me for any questions on tax portability or otherwise!

Posted in News
Sept. 4, 2019

Ever Wonder What Happens to a Real Estate Contract If A Hurricane Hits?

Hurricane Trees When purchasing and selling a house damaged by a hurricane or other disaster, there's a provision called "Force Majeure" that outlines how a buyer and seller move forward in the case of a home that is already under contract for purchase. Here's a summary of the key points from the latest Florida Realtors/ Florida Bar: AS/IS Sale and Purchase Contract, revised in June 2019.

What is Force Majeure?

Force Majeure (meaning superior force) is an automatic extension of the contract that comes into play when a dramatic unusual or unplanned event prevents a property from closing. This clause is triggered in some of the following examples, such as "hurricanes, acts of God, and acts of terrorism." Once the clause is triggered, specific time periods of the contract, such as the closing date or inspection period, will be extended for a reasonable time up to 7 days after the force majeure event no longer prevents the parties of the contract to close the sale. Either party may terminate the contract by delivering written notice if force majeure continues to prevent performance more than 30 days beyond the closing date.

Access to the Property to Conduct Appraisals, Inspections, and Walk-Through

After the hurricane or event passes, a buyer usually wants to take another look at the property, regardless of whether the buyer is still in the inspection period. This clause generally favors the buyer's request, and provides that the seller shall provide access within reasonable notice, and provide that utilities be connected for such inspections prior to closing.

Risk Of Loss - What Happens If Damage Is Discovered?

In the case of property damage, then the Risk of Loss paragraph comes into play. If the cost to restore the property is equal to or less than 1.5% of the purchase price (this includes the cost to prune or remove damaged trees), then the cost is a seller obligation. If the restoration isn't complete prior to closing, the seller will hold back in escrow until completed, a sum equal to 125% of the estimated cost to complete the restoration.  But - If the cost to restore the property is greater than 1.5% of the purchase price, then the buyer has the option to either take the property along with the 1.5% of the purchase price, or receive a refund of the deposit, releasing the buyer and seller from all further obligations under the contract.

These are the provisions that are automatic in the contract, however, the buyer and seller may choose to amend the contract and come to a separate agreement besides what is outlined here in the AS-IS contractual language. 

Damage To Rental Properties: Section 83.63 of the Florida Landlord/ Tenant Act:

This section provides a clause for rental properties that are damaged or destroyed. In a case where "the enjoyment of the premises is substantially impaired, the tenant may terminate the rental lease and immediately vacate the premises." Another option is that the tenant vacate part of the premises that is unusable by the casualty, in which case the tenant's rent shall be reduced by the fair rental value of that part of the damaged property. 

Fortunately we are not dealing with Hurricane Dorian, but this is always good information to keep in mind when selling or buying a property. 




Posted in News
Aug. 8, 2019

Declutter For Peace Of Mind

Without a doubt, there's an ongoing movement towards minimalizing or decluttering - perhaps born as a counterbalance to our cultural need to have the latest and greatest gadget, smart phone or name brand. The topic of re-organizing and reducing the number of things in our lives definitely coincides with real estate, especially when I meet with sellers to discuss how to organize prior to listing a house for sale - but does decluttering and re-organizing have to wait until we are selling a property?

I recently watched on Netflix, Minimalism: A Documentary About Important Things, by Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus.  They show how their lives have become better with less.  Joshua says, "The things that truly bring us joy are rarely things."  I personally agree - except for things that have sentimental value. They say material things may bring joy in an instant, but that rush of dopamine wears off and we are in search of the next new thing. Another advocate is Marie Kondo, the Japanese personal organizer and author of, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She's quickly becoming a household sensation through her unique method of personal categorization. 

Does this mean we should all move to a "Tiny House"? For most, that's taking it a step too far, but the idea of simplifying and decluttering for peace of mind is certainly appealing. I always feel good after I make room in my closet.  The Minimalists and Marie Kondo are definitely on the must see or read list.  Meanwhile, here are a few tips from both:

  1. Decide what is really essential, eliminate excess.
  2. Tackle items by category, in order of: clothes, books and documents, miscellaneous items, and then sentimental things.
  3. Hold each item and decide if it "sparks joy" - Marie Kondo.  If something no longer serves you, thank it and say good-bye!
  4. Organize the utility shed/ garage. Properly dispose of old paint cans and corroded chemicals.
  5. Check out the "project 333 challenge" at  Figure out 33 items of clothing and accessories you wear in a 3 month period.
  6. Gifting is joyous! You can't take it with you when you leave this earth, so if you plan to give something to a loved one, do it now while you are alive!

I've noticed that people who move a lot usually have less to get rid of, because the moving process itself requires a re-organization.  Those who have lived in one place for many years often accumulate more over time, so it's a process to prepare to move.

Thinking about downsizing?  I can help you. Call me to discuss it! 

Posted in Listings
Aug. 6, 2019

Alfred Browning Parker Architecture and Homes - Lisa Fox Real Estate

You can’t be a Realtor in the Coral Gables, Coconut Grove or South Miami area for long without hearing the name Alfred Browning Parker.   I recently had the pleasure of learning more about this great Florida architect while selling one of his masterpieces, a modern home built in 1950, located at 5189 Alton Road on Miami Beach. 

A.B. Parker put a mark on South Florida by creating his brand of modernistic architecture to blend in with the characteristics of our tropical area.  He, along with other modern architects of his era, adhered to the principle of "form follows function", and that design should have a purpose, not solely be ornamental. This swayed from the Victorian home design age of the past.

Parker opened his office in Miami in 1946, and designed 500+ projects over 60 years.  He received a lifetime achievement award from the American Institute of Architects, and he was a Living Legends Honoree by the Dade Heritage Trust.   Post retirement, he continued to design a few dozen projects while joining the faculty in the School of Architecture at the University of Florida.  He is still recognized today as “Florida’s best architect ever.”

The majority of Parker’s projects were regional to South Florida, from a complete subdivision for incoming GI’s after WWII in the 1950’s, to middle class and luxury homes in Coral Gables - Gables Estates, Coconut Grove, South Miami, and Miami Beach. He also designed commercial projects, such as the Hope Lutheran Church Sanctuary on Bird Road, the Miami Marine Stadium, and several other important works, including a proposal for a memorial in NYC after 911.  Several of his homes were featured in House Beautiful magazine. I am told that the property on Alton Road is his only remaining build on Miami Beach, and fortunately being cared for by its new owner, a retired architect.

Parker’s philosophy and work have a consistent element still desirable today. He two main influencers were architect Frank Lloyd Wright and ecologist and University of Miami professor of tropical forestry, Dr. John C. Gifford.  Parker developed a strong design viewpoint from his respect for the nature, its power and resources.  Many of his homes utilized cypress wood. His home office in Coconut Grove was said to feel like a treehouse.   Although he still practiced in his later years, in the 1980’s he shifted his attention predominately to the design of renewable and alternative energy systems and his Solar Reactor Corporation.

Here are a few notable reads on A.B. Parker:
The Architecture of Alfred Browning Parker: Miami’s Maverick Modernist by Randolph C. Henning and Alfred Browning Parker
The Discipline of Nature: Architect Alfred Browning Parker In Florida, Allan T. Shulman, editor.


Posted in Listings
June 2, 2019

Get in the Game Near Miami Beach Homes

The ultimate golf experience is found at the Miami Beach Golf Club. Conveniently located close to Miami Beach homes at 2301 Alton Road, golfers get in the games that dreams are made of. On the course 18 holes offer challenging par 72 play. Generations have golfed at this Arthur Hills designed club which opened way back in 1923 as the Bayshore Golf Course.

World class instruction is offered at the Miami Beach property in the Jim McLean Golf School. Private instruction provides plenty of one on one time. Weekly clinics teach beginners basic skills and touch up intermediate techniques. Golf schools put it all together. Juniors can get in the game too. Junior lessons are available for kids ages 5 to 14. Utilizing the best in US Kids Golf equipment  youngsters learn all about the sport the right way.

The Florida Sun Shines Brightly on Miami Beach Property Golf Games

In the pro shop the best equipment and gear is expertly presented. From apparel to clubs it’s all found here. State of the art rentals are also stocked for out-of-towners wanting to play a round or two.

Hungry golfers head on over to the Miami Beach Golf Club Restaurant after the game. Plenty of cheers and jeers are heard amongst friends. Holes in one are celebrated and missed shots are commiserated over cold beverages. Dining options are both decadent and casual. Many choose to linger over luncheon on the patio watching players move on by the 18th hole. Open to non-members of the club a crowd often grows for weekend brunch. Box luncheons are great grab and goes for  golf outings.

Beautiful Florida sunshine settles in over glorious greens and sparkling water features presenting a perfect backdrop for golfing. Book a tee time online or call 305.532.3350 for reservations for the Miami Beach Golf Club. Memberships are great for locals living in Miami Beach homes with only a limited number accepted allowing for a feel of exclusivity. 


Posted in News
May 30, 2019

Coconut Grove Real Estate Makes Mouths Water

Coconut Grove real estate is filled with good taste. Residents and visitors explore the landscape one bite at a time. Miami Culinary Tours lead the way through one of the oldest and most disguised Miami neighborhoods. Witty company guides relay history and trivia about the inner workings of the area with the Coconut Grove Food and History Tour. Those with hearty appetites for adventure and good food are easily satisfied with an eclectic menu featuring international delights.

Step by step “the Grove” is traversed. A lively scene sets the backdrop for an exciting three hour experience. Taking place each Saturday at 12:30 p.m. eager groups gather for lunch. Roughly half a mile of easy terrain is covered with pauses made for tastings at multiple restaurants and eateries. Stops occur at popular Coconut Grove real estate establishments as well as those more elusive and off the beaten path.

Walk the Walk on Coconut Grove Property

The menu boasts a diverse flair corresponding with the vivid cultural scene of the historic Miami neighborhood. Tastings are lip smacking good. An array of colorful dishes await diners including Thai, Indian, Cuban, and Latin-American fusion cuisines. Walking about folks soak up the sights, scents and sounds of Coconut Grove property.

Miami Culinary Tours is the best in the business. Additional tours frequent other popular neighborhoods including Little Havana, South Beach, Wynwood and Miami City. Private tours are also available and cater to individual needs. Call 786.942.8856 for more information.

Participants meet up with guides at the Peacock Garden Bistro to check in and get going. Parents are welcome to bring strollers for their youngsters and there is no charge for children who are not eating. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advanced notification. Reservations can be made online. Delve deeply into the Coconut Grove real estate region and discover new food destinations today.


Posted in News
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates