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Thread: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

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    Default Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Hi everyone! I've been watching the forum since 2010, learning as much as I can and vacationing in Sobe and Mid beach each December, considering buying a vacation condo with a view of the ocean, that might double as a retirement location in a few years. Looking for the impossible? Not in a huge rush as I still have to sell my home here this spring or summer to pull this off. I plan to rent where I am living now, if I buy at the ocean.


    I am very young minded and professional 50+ Looking for a Livable area- diverse population mix cultures, lifestyles.
    Not in the middle of Sobe but not isolated and totally car dependent with grocery, coffee shops, bars within
    4-8 blocks. Same thing most people ask for.. A retreat, but things nearby if you want them..And Im not adverse to walking a few blocks or more. Ability to walk to ocean access ..Cab or bus ride to Sobe not over $15 each way. Near a mall for shopping or at least an easy drive or cab ride. Walk score above 60 would be nice. Just trying to narrow down areas and building names right now so I can watch and plan.


    Another consideration..I have a 27 yo son who frequently travels with me and or him and his gf, and staying once at Grand Beach Hotel, he was bored silly after a day or so.


    Budget between 150-300K Size not as important as the view as Work from home is likely at that point. I can always start out small and trade up in a few years right. I will number these questions for easier reading!


    1. Of the 21 condos between 40th and 65th.. any standouts (management, safety, value for the price?)? Something that might appreciate in value? Would you advise anything lower than 40th? Recently Sobespace mentioned 2600 Collins....Condos without assessments or huge HOA fees (over 500-600 a month).


    2. I know its far away from Sobe, but Hollywood Beach has been mentioned frequently but I've read its mostly for families with young kids? Is that totally off?

    3. So many people on the forum are renting and so many of the units are rentals in each building, is it crazy to buy? I thought buying at the ocean would be a good investment esp since interest rates are so low....and may never be this low again. ???




    PS I have some Sobe specific curiosities:


    --Whats the deal with Memorial day urban festival in Sobe? Is it true that everyone leaves for the weekend?


    --What is the restaurant at 14th and James, with the hedge all around? Looks mysterious!




    Thanks for any info. This is a very helpful forum. Sorry for the long post!

  2. #2
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Memorial Day is terrible some years. Manageable some others. It's a hip hop beach weekend, and not any kind of official event. So it attracts a very ghetto crowd. That some years creates violence, and other years is fairly tame. But it's a lot of that sort walking around the beach, a lot of loud music and crowds. So most people do leave. But that's primarily in South Beach, if you're living up around 55th it won't be a present. Still a good time to get out of town, though.

    I wouldn't say it's crazy to buy if housing is a utility. If you're spending money to have a nice place to vacation and or live, go for it. Don't worry about gained or lost value, if it's worth the money to you to have the place go for it. That said the market here is incredibly volatile. It's better now, might be shitty in five years. Might be even better. It's kinda like a hurricane, you can track it and make predictions but ultimately only God knows for sure.

    Hollywood Beach isn't really a "family" area, per se. It's just a kind of throwback, northeastern-type beach town as opposed to the highrise hell that a lot of South Florida is along the coastline. Or the insanity that is South Beach. It's walkable and peaceful and has resources nearby. But I would not describe it as particularly exciting.

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Thanks Matt.

    I think the thing is looking at these different locations is narrowing down to those where you can actually live versus vacation.
    Just having a grocery store nearby for ex. Where I live now I have the choice of 5 in a 10 mile radius and two malls nearby.
    Living nearby everyday amenities like drug stores, physicians, groceries, etc. would make living there easier than having to make a long drive in traffic every time you needed something. Do people who live near south beach do their actual shopping on Lincoln road
    or do they drive out to malls?

    S.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    That's a pretty broad question..it very much depends on what you're buying. I mean, if there's a store on Lincoln that has what you want, sure, why wouldn't you go there. But a lot of folks will go up to Aventura for a "shopping" day since there's more options up there.

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    It's good you're spending some time in advance, studying the pros and cons. Whether it's good to buy or rent depends on whether you have the money to buy, are sure of staying there 5+ years, and it's a good deal. The number of good deals has been dwindling of late, but not impossible, and who can tell 2 or 5 years from now. The Miami market is a bit slippery so be sure to read the fine print, twice, very carefully.

    From what you've posted, it sounds like you'll be best off in south beach, or somewhere close. I would rule out Hollywood and anything that far. Within your budget it will be hard to find the type of place I think you have in mind with ocean view. If you are flexible on the view it should be possible.

    In south beach, look at these areas: South of Fifth, West Avenue, Flamingo Park, Collins Park.

    If you plan to use the place as a vacation home and rent it out also, be sure to read the rules about renting. Most condos have minimum rental periods (such as 6 or 12 months).

    Re. restaurant, I believe you're thinking of Casa Tua (1700 James Ave)

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Thanks RK.

    Once I sell my home here and move into an apartment downtown, I will be in the position to a) have the money b) buy on my terms and not be rushed. Hope to use a solid buyers agent.

    I will take a look at the Sobe areas you mentioned; however, Im not sold on Sobe due to lack of ocean view and having to leave or be stuck in the house Memorial and Columbus day weekends or have to leave town. The ocean view is important and access to a beach. Thats the real reason for my purchase. Its not convenient to drive or cab or bus to amenities but Im accepting it might be a trade off now.

    I can get that farther north and have seen several in the 200-350 price range so I know they exist. It would be perfect to find something just north of Sobe that was on a high floor with a view, but so far have not seen anything like that. Also many of the buildings are old
    and I was advised against for several reasons not to mention cracks (bugs) and lack of interior laundry, central air, parking, and those special assessments. Additionally I just learned that many buildings are not qualified for financing so you must put down not 20%, but 30-40%.

    Homepath is also interesting. The downpayment is 10% for non primary residences. I check out this website frequently just to see what's out there.

    As enticing as it is, not one local advised living in Sobe which I found disappointing. Even the guy who does the Sobe walking tours. Not one person we have met in three years of visits lives there or advised me to live there. They lived at 40th, 60th , 70th , Avenura and Surfside. This gives me pause. Espanola Way is a neat area I reviewed but not much for homes. It a big bundle of trade offs.

    I will check on the rental policies though should I narrow down my search. Thanks for that heads up.

    S.

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Do you have any particular opinions about Terra Beach Side development at 60th street? They say they are in South Beach which is obviously not true but the place looks very interesting. It must be under construction..

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    I'm confused....there's a ton of places with ocean views in South Beach

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    I too was Made in Jersey! Cherry Hill / JFK Hospital

    2600 Collins and 2642 Collins are 2 solid buildings in Miami Beach. Close enough to South Beach but without some of the craziness. a 2 Bedroom there would fit your price range and your HOA criteria as well as easy to rent. It offers Washer/Dryer in unit, balcony, and covered parking - all big bonuses. No Pets is the major drawback for some tenants, but it keeps the noise down. Units there stay rented. There are 2 at each building right now and they'll be gone before the end of the month. 2 Idiot Realtors didn't include Front Door keys so its embarrassing to stand outside with a client for 20 minutes hoping someone comes outside.

    Terra Beachside will be above your $300k threshold. A good 2 story loft there will run $450k+. Its a great community with a Zen like feel. Not a ton of stuff to walk to but they just finished the new publix on 67th & Collins and its across from the beach.

    Mid Beach is nice (45th - 60th) but most of those buildings have high HOA fees. Yes it includes your Cable, Hot Water, A/C, Insurance, Parking, Pool, Gym, Security, Concierge, but it also makes the rent prices go up to cover the fees when you aren't using it. If you get a building that allows short term rentals, you could rent a 2/2 furnished for $2200-$3000 during high season through passover week.


    It sounds like South Beach has what you are looking for. Lots to do, lots to walk to, multiple grocery stores (Whole Foods, 2 Nice Publix, Fresh Market, Epicure), restaurants, bars, lounges, stores, shops, etc.
    Lots of smaller buildings with $200-$350 HOA fees for a 2Bedroom and lax rules on renting/re-selling.

    I'm working with a lady now that has your similar budget and interest in mind and I found about 15 properties that match, including a 2-story townhome on 9th & Euclid for $250k that we're going to see tomorrow. $400/HOA, which is kind of high for a building with no pool/24hr security guard. Its best to stick to around $300-$350/month for an average building on a 2/2 (its based on sq footage).


    As far as the Mystery restaurant, James Ave doesn't extend to 14th street so it must be on the 17th/18th side that you've seen..Probably is CasaTua like they mentioned above.


    Keep doing your research so you can make a good informed decision and be happy with the unit you've chosen for your little piece of Paradise!
    (Yes Matt, its still Paradise here)

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Terra Beach at 6000 Collins... http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/3...cessfully.html

    It advertises as in South Beach on the website, says condos in mid 200's but no activity since 2010. Has anyone heard of this place?

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    6000 is 60th and Collins. I wouldn't even call that Mid Beach, let alone South Beach. That's way up there nearer the shops in Sunny Isles.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Yeah just FYI South Beach is considered 24th street and lower. So if an address begins with 25__, it's not in South Beach. And higher the number, the further you are.

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Is are 6000's so bad though? Im not ready yet but today I saw a beautiful condo online at 6450 Ocean Park (2 of them actually) fully furnished (nice,not grandma junk) under 300, 2/2 with 514 Hoa fees and ocean views. Cab to South Beach would be about 20 dollars right? You would have your nice beach right there.

    I plan to look between 40-50th ideally .

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Hmmmm 9th and Euclid she will only be 5 blocks from the recent homicide..

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    Senior Member Marc Middleton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    3 Blocks from me...

    Recent homicide isn't going to have everyone move..this is Miami..we probably have 1 per day!


    Terra Beachside is Very nice and very expensive..nothing in the 200s there. They have huge 2-3 bedroom, 2 story lofts/townhomes with patios, parking, etc. Expect about $500k for a nice unit there.

    Jess - 64th isn't near Sunny Isles..That's about 140-190 for real Sunny Isles..Closer to the Shops at Bal Harbor maybe.

    6450 Ocean Park sounds like a good deal with great HOA fees. I showed a 1 bedroom in a decent building in Mid-town today and the HOA was $660/month.
    900 Bay Dr (King Cole building in Normandy) is $740+ for a 1 Bedroom for HOA fees. And neither are on the beach!

    A 2/2 for under $300k in Mid Beach is a good price point to consider. yes you can get more but there are good deals to be had. Contact me when you are getting serious and I'll email you a real list of available properties. Keep in mind lots of stuff on Zillow/Trulia/hot Pads are old/outdated and realtors in Miami aren't too quick at updating their pending/closed deals.

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    It depends on what you are shopping for...fifth and Alton has Ross and tj maxx. The site of the old hospital will soon be retail shops and apts. if you decide to pay 300.00 for denim then that is your issue . There are plenty of reasonable places here. Btw I wouldn't touch most of Hollywood with someone else's wallet. Too many crack motels next to the million dollar condos(built when you could fool someone into thinking that a condo there is worth 1 mil).

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    You wouldn't be stuck in the house unless you were right around ocean...and last year the pd started video taping everyone who was coming to the island for that weekend... Surprising how many thugs decided not to show up. I am hoping they do that every year because we get enough business here that we don't need a reputAtion for allowing that behavior.

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Interesting and clever solution to the problem! Perhaps it will deter some from attending who plan to cause violence and trouble.

    One question regarding nearby the ocean. What is everyone's opinion of Decopauge Condo at Lincoln and the ocean? Is it a safe place to live with all the rentals in the building and people coming and going? Is it a stable HOA? They always have several for sale in there and I ventured into the lobby last visit to the beach, it seemed well maintained with parking, security in the lobby, etc.

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    Decoplage is kind of like a older version of the Flamingo in a better location in South Beach. Lots of short term furnished rentals there. I read your older posts and funny how you mention that you want to avoid older buildings because of cracks and possible bugs. LOL I feel exactly the same! New construction all the way!

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    Default Re: Pent up questions about condos - What meets my needs best- any ideas?

    I live in Hollywood Beach, and I am close to everything. I am 431 feet from my front door to the water during regular tide, I have more than about 6 grocery stores withing about a 6 mile radius (mind you my radius is a have circle since the other half is beach). Everything is either a short drive away, or walk-able and I am about 5 minutes from a Super Walmart (which I did not even count as a grocery store). Two movie theaters nearby, so many bars and restaurants as well. I love this area, I am 24 years old, and while there are families and kids, I still see an active younger crowd as well.
    Gus likes this.

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