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This Used To Be A Playground

  ALLAPATHA, FL View this email in your browser Each spring Major League Baseball teams travel South to prepare for the upcoming season.  Over the years Spring Training has become big business for MLB clubs. They spend millions of dollars upgrading stadiums and facilities to create a special and intimate experience for passionate baseball fans to enjoy. I had my first taste of this somewhere between 1988-1990 at a park in Allapatha known as Miami Stadium. As a kid my first love was baseball.  I have almost no memory of my early childhood. Basically the memories I have left from my first 10 years of life are only images.  Some images I can’t put precisely where I am, and others are exceptionally clear. Stored in my memory bank are the images of going to Spring Training games at the old Miami Stadium.  My dad would take my brother and I to see the Baltimore Orioles.  I can’t recall how often I went, nor would I be able to give you details of what the place looked like inside.  But I vividly remember Cal Ripken Jr. and his brother, Billy, were on the team and their father, Cal Sr., was the manager. This was VERY inspiring . . . I was going to play short-stop for the Baltimore Orioles, my brother was going to play second base and my dad was going to be the Manager. As a boy growing up, this wasn’t a dream . . . this was an option!! I can recollect the sentiment of being at a major…

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From The Window

    MIAMI, FL View this email in your browser Having a “cafecito” in Miami is not the same as an early morning or an afternoon Starbucks run. It is way less expensive and in some circumstances it can be unbelievably fast. In many cases you simply can order a coffee, take 2 sips, leave the change for the girl at the window and proceed onward with your day. But if you’re anything like my grandmother then having a “cafecito” is an extremely intimate experience. At a Starbucks you may have 30 individuals occupying the space inside. Patrons of these establishments have turn these places into mobile offices.  Faces glued to their portable PCs as they listen to music while totally ignoring each other is generally the standard. It can be so quiet that you literally could hear a pin drop.  At a cuban “ventanita” or “window” you will encounter the complete opposite. Good luck whipping out the laptop or jamming your headphones into your ears, nope – we will talk over them.  At the Window we are socializing.  And that is how it is.  What do you want to talk about?  Politics?  Perfect.  We can talk about politics until we run out of coffee . . . and we never run out of coffee.  We can get into a sports conversation where we will argue that Jose Canseco could have been better than Mickey Mantle. We can even gossip on the latest celebrity babble or whatever dumb thing is trending on TMZ . . . but we are talking.  That is how…

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Stone Crabs and Football

    CORAL GABLES, FL View this email in your browser Before we had Wade County, it was Marino’s Miami.  The Miami Dolphins were as synonymous with the city as was our famed Joe’s Stone Crab.  As we move towards the fall with summer in our rearview, we can get excited about 2 things: Football and Stone Crab season. My mom taught me early in life that Joe’s Stone Crab was closed in the months that did not have an “R”.  May, June, July & August were a “NO GO” on the Stone Crab front.  But come September we could always bank on the return of Stone Crabs and another year of Miami Dolphins Football. The tailgating at home games is absolutely one of the most enjoyable things known to man, but when your home team is on the road, you always look forward to the house gathering parties. The most important element to these gatherings is “what’s on the menu?”.   At our house it was Joe’s.  My parents would supply the Stone Crabs as we huddled around our TV to watch Dan Marino make magic happen. Miami was an obsessed Dolphin’s town.  My parents were crazy about the Fins.  Urban legend has it that my mom got kicked out of a bar in San Francisco (1984 Super Bowl) for evoking a fake “Rozelle Rule” (she made that up) where a hosting super bowl city had to be nice to the fans of the visiting teams.  This all started because she asked the DJ to play “Thriller” and he refused because she was wearing a Dolphins pin and he was a 49ers fan.…

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    LITTLE HAVANA, FL View this email in your browser From a pitching mound in Little Havana, you put on display a passion and flair we all identified with.  You showcased that to the world with MIAMI written across your chest. Your “chispa”, the way you played and they way you lived life was a representation of us. You were so Cuban, you were so American and you were so Miami​. ​Miami will never be the same because you were here and Miami will never be the same because you are gone.  ​ RIP ACE.​

Muhammad Ali Was Born In Miami Beach

  MIAMI BEACH, FL View this email in your browser Muhammad Ali’s Legacy Began In Miami Beach In 1960, a few months after winning a gold medal in the Rome Olympics, Cassius Clay turned pro. He would make Miami his base, putting his career in the hands of Chris and Angelo Dundee – fight promoters who trained boxers at the Fifth Street Gym in Miami Beach. On February 25, 1964 Ali, who was still fighting under his birth name Cassius Clay, became an international celebrity. The cocky 22-year-old was a massive underdog on the marquee fight which was held at the Miami Beach Convention Center against the reigning champ, Sonny Liston. Clay defeated Liston on a TKO in the 7th round and the rest, as they say, is history. His connection to Miami didn’t end with that huge win. The very next day he converted to Islam and while living in Miami, Muhammad Ali, became a living legend.  He trained for years in the 5th Street Gym, a humid space on the second floor of a building at Fifth Street and Washington Avenue in South Beach. It was in Miami where he uttered his most famous line, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” at the weigh-in for his 1964 bout with Liston. It was also here that he began voicing his objection to the Vietnam War in a statement in front of his home, “I ain’t got no quarrel with the Viet Cong.” It was at the World Famous 5th Street Gym, which back then was a “scruffy loft above a liquor shop and drugstore,” according to the Miami Herald, where Ali put…

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Natural Foods Effect

    EWM REALTY INTERNATIONAL View this email in your browser How Natural Food Stores Are Effecting The Real Estate Market One of the biggest trends in this country has been that of a healthy lifestyle and clean eating. Local, organic and healthy –  French fries are not cool anymore, veggies are.  Friday Fitness has dethroned Happy Hour.   In recently collected data this trend is playing a role in real estate. Zillow’s new book, “Zillow Talk: Rewriting The Rules Of Real Estate”, weighed the appreciation rates of areas before and after a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods open in the neighborhood.  The results found were rather shocking.   Even in the areas where appreciation rates were down versus the average, a new Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods saw those rates increase within the first year of their openings.  Both stores target well educated – but low income – markets in an attempt to bring up the value of said area. The Miami Herald recently dove into our own community to see how the natural food stores have effected values in our communities. This year, average sold prices escalated year-over-year in North Miami by 29.2%. These numbers were effected by abnormally large sales in July; however, it was still a great year to be near Whole Foods North Miami. Surprisingly, despite adding a Whole Foods in Downtown Miami, it failed to even keep pace with the Miami-Dade market, only seeing a year-over-year price increase of 2.4%. This is more of a reflection of the condo market slowdown that started last year. North Miami is an exception. All the other local…

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A Toast to Miami

    EWM REALTY INTERNATIONAL Wednesday night I was in attendance for an event that celebrated more than just Miami as a city. It was a celebration of those that form the community around Miami. In Mid-Beach, Alan Faena’s hotel played host to Haute Living’s annual Haute 100 dinner party.  This prestigious list honors the most influential and philanthropic people in the city. All in attendance made their way into the breathtaking velvet and crystalline theater where they praised and toasted to Miami life. The major standout at this gathering was Brett Ratner, who addressed the room during dinner. His speech was filled with accounts of the city that raised him – including his talks with neighbor, Mayor Lansky, whom Brett spoke to for an hour every day while he walked his dog on Miami Beach. Brett took some time reflecting on how important Miami is to him.  He spoke about his family and his relationships, but he won the room over when he uttered, “The coolest people in the world come from Miami.”  “The coolest people in the world come from Miami.” -Brett Ratner  He mentioned that his happiest time, is when he gets to Miami and is driving over the Julia Tuttle on the way to the Beach.  “Thats when I know I am HOME”, he passionately stated, almost getting emotional as he spoke to this intimate room of influencers. Only a handful of cities in the world can offer what Miami does and plenty has to do with the people who live here. So in closing I would like to congratulate YOU . . . according to Brett…

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Window Shopping Part 2

  AREA 41 Below are some condo/townhouse listings in Area 41 (Gables, Grove, Brickell, SoMi).  These are in the same price range of which we have been looking at over the last 3 weeks: $500K-$1M.  One thing to pay close attention to are the monthly HOA fees that each building association will charge.  These maintenance fees go towards the expenses and improvements of the building.   If you have any questions regarding these listings, current market status or on other inventory please feel free to contact me.  Have a happy and safe weekend.  ICON BRCKELL 495 BRICKELL AVE UNIT#505 2b-2br  /  1,450 sqft  /  HOA Fees: $1,186 Beautiful Italian cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. Spectacular limestone tiles in the bathroom. Breath taking views of Biscayne and South Beach, Downtown Miami, Key Biscayne.  $575,777  3 GROVE ISLE 3 GROVE ISLE DR UNIT#C206 2b-2br  /  1,643 sqft  /  HOA Fees: $1,281  Great two bedroom unit priced to sell at Grove Isle. Enjoy island living with great amenities. 12 Clay tennis courts, gym, swimming pools, marina, beach, and playground. Palmeiras beach club with restaurant and spa. $645,000 BRICKELL TOWN HOUSE 2451 BRICKELL AVE UNIT#21J 3b-3br  /  1,703 sqft  /  HOA Fee: $1,000 Panoramic Bay View in every room. Completely renovated excellent floor plan. Bamboo and Granite Floors. Wired for home theatre, costume walk in closet, electric shutters. The building include tennis, great pool and gazebo area, gym and a grocery store. $795,000 50 BISCAYNE 50 BISCAYNE BLVD UNIT#3610 3b-2br / 1,789 sqft / HOA Fee: $1,259 Upgraded unit, porcelain floors, french doors, Italian kitchen, stainless steel…

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Window Shopping

  AREA 41 Just a quick follow up to my email from last week, where I updated you on the market in Area 41 (Gables, Grove, Brickell, SoMi).  I thought it would be fun to see what we could buy in that same price range of $500K-$1M. Below are some listings to give you an idea of what is available in the market place today. Enjoy the window shopping.  If you have any questions regarding these listings, current market status or on other inventory please feel free to contact me. Next week I will highlight condo listings.  Have a happy and safe weekend.   3611 RIVIERA DR  3b-2br  /  1,942 sqft  /  9,300 sqft lot Corner lot, newly remodeled home on Coral Gables’ historic Riviera drive. Home boasts terrazzo & wood floors, Remodeled bathrooms. Open floor plan invites light throughout the home that features a remodeled kitchen with a gas stove, neutral marble counter tops and a one car garage.  $950,000 1019 VENETIA AVE 4b-3br  /  2,563 sqft  /  5,500 sqft lot Two-story home on a quiet tree-lined street close to Coral Gables city centers shopping, restaurants & golf courses. New roof, new porcelain tile floors & all new bathrooms. Custom kitchen with wood cabinetry & quartz counter tops opens to light filled family room. $799,000 1414 LISBON ST 3b-2br  /  1,963 sqft  /  10,500 sqft lot Remodeled double lot home in prime Coral Gables OAK lined street. The home is very well maintained with top of the line finishes throughout. The property sits on a corner (1 side neighbor) and has…

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Q1 Market Update 2016

Median prices in Miami continue to stay significantly below the peak of 2007. Compared to other world-class cities, Miami real estate remains a bargain. Domestic and International clients showed how desirable Miami is – in February the total dollar sales volume in single-family homes increased 7% compared to the previous year. This email is a quick market update for Area 41.  For those unfamiliar, Area 41 covers: Brickell, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and South Miami.  The graphs below are broken down by Single Family Homes and Condo/Townhouses in the $500K-$1M category.  I have much more information on other luxury categories of which I can share as requested. For Sale vs Sold // $500K – $1M SINGLE FAMILY HOMES CONDOS – TOWNHOMES There is about 7 months supply of inventory for single family homes in this category. A balanced market is 6 months. The inventory is high but homes that are priced correctly are selling.  As we go through this market correction it is important for sellers to price their homes correctly and be ahead of the market as to not be left behind.   The condo market is at 30+ months supply.  A balanced condo market is approx 9 months. Buyers should NOT shy away.  As Warren Buffet (who bought EWM in 2003) says “when people are running away from something, run towards it”.  This is still Miami folks. There will always be a desire for real estate in South Florida. If you have cash or solid financing in place you could find tremendous value in an appreciating and desirable area. We are currently experiencing a market…

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