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  1. #21
    rk
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    Fred, where are you getting those figures? I see it selling for $7m in 2003 and $9.9m in 2009, and at 7400 sf that makes it about $1300/sf. Actually PH-2 might be more your style when you upgrade, I see that's 11,000 sf give or take.

    You are really up on the history. When you have the time please post a few items in the History thread over in the General Discussion area. I haven't read the book by Seth Bramson but will look for it.

    Kenneth, great deal. What general area are you in? As I recall I think you were planning to post before and after photos. Will look for those. Good luck with the new place.

  2. #22
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Wink thanks!

    it was condoreports.com

  3. #23
    Full Member kmrotterdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rk View Post
    Kenneth, great deal. What general area are you in? As I recall I think you were planning to post before and after photos. Will look for those. Good luck with the new place.
    My SoBe condo is on 13th and Drexel, right behind the post office. I'll definitely post the before and after photos. I'm a interior decorating aficionado. I've been shopping like crazy already, and I'm looking forward starting the work. I'll also submit more posts about my experience of the foreclosure process in South Beach, which was quite a drama until hours before the closing.

  4. #24
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hey Kenneth, some friends of mine from one of the stages of my 'previous south beach life' used to live in a nice condo behind the post office -- my life is full of weird coincidences. I wonder if it's the same one?

    That's a good block to live on because it's right next to crazy Washington Ave, but secluded enough to be quiet especially because it's a one-way with no meters and you sort of dead end on the school there. I had many lunches & dinners with my old friends in that unit.

    You can walk to everything from there. Congrats!

  5. #25
    rk
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredgarvin View Post
    it was condoreports.com
    Ahh, Ha, AAHH HAAA! (trying to quote the great one), I see where you (or rather condoreports) slipped up. The correct order of sequence is this:

    2003, June 30: Howard and Lillian Steinberg purchase PH-1 for $7m
    2007: Steinberg's put PH-1 up for sale, asking $22m
    2009, May 14: L. Steinberg signs a quit-claim deed for $1.78m (for her share)
    2009, May 15: Steinberg's sell PH-1 to Alex Birkenstock for $9.9m

    (all this and more from the county assessor's web site)

    So you see Norton, I mean Fred, both the quit claim deed and the warranty deed were recorded the same day (May 19, 2009), at exactly the same time, but the quit claim deed was assigned one seq. number higher by chance. This led the condoreports.com computer to erroneously report Steingberg as still the owner, and $1.78m as the sale price.

    I wondered if this was _the_ Alex Birkenstock, and apparently his lawyer denies it, but the Maimi Beach Insider blog was not convinced:

    Continuum Condo South Beach: Alex Birkenstock Buys Penthouse for $9.9 Million - ? Plum TV

  6. #26
    Full Member kmrotterdam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just closed on my South Beach condo

    Yes, Maria, that is my new place! Not the one directly on the corner, but the three-story, narrow building two doors down, with the fence and gate and lush tropical plants obscuring a view of most of the building. Yes, the location is brilliant: parking on one-way street that dead-ends at the school, a block from Washington Ave (but buffered by the post office), Espanola Way is on the other side of the school, Starbucks is a street away, Ocean Drive and the beach are two blocks away. I'm on the third (top) floor with lots of light. I'm so excited!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de los Angeles View Post
    Hey Kenneth, some friends of mine from one of the stages of my 'previous south beach life' used to live in a nice condo behind the post office -- my life is full of weird coincidences. I wonder if it's the same one? That's a good block to live on because it's right next to crazy Washington Ave, but secluded enough to be quiet especially because it's a one-way with no meters and you sort of dead end on the school there. I had many lunches & dinners with my old friends in that unit. You can walk to everything from there. Congrats!

  7. #27
    Full Member kmrotterdam's Avatar
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    Default Anatomy of a South Beach Foreclosure, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de los Angeles View Post
    Gus ... wouldn't this make a great post? "How I Dealt With Buying A Foreclosure and Why It Was Worth It" ... I'm not in the market but I would be very curious as to how someone worked that out!
    Since Maria asked for further details of my South Beach foreclosure experience, I thought that I would oblige. So, here we go:

    During my daily trawl through realtor.com at my desk in Arlington, VA, I found a $59,000 studio condo in South Beach behind the post office in Washington! Great location! From experience, I knew it wasn’t one of the ‘known’ buildings with issues. But still, there must be something really wrong with it. Doing a little online detective work, I discovered that the unit was recently foreclosed on by Well Fargo, and the asking price was slowly being lowered from the mid 90s to the current $59K.

    A few days later, I found myself flying down to South Beach on the day before my birthday last February after my North Beach short sale fell through (that is another story altogether – with 6 months of waiting). I rarely treat myself to last-minute trips, and this was primarily a trip to relax.Yet, I was still a little curious about this Drexel Ave unit. I met my realtor, Doris, the next day at the unit. The building was decent looking -- OK, it is a third story walk-up, but there were big windows and lots of light, with central AC and new limestone tiles throughout. Doris gave me a printout of the unit details: the foreclosing bank had JUST lowered the asking price to $49,000 on my birthday! Needless to say, I was signing the contract shortly thereafter at Starbucks a block away offering $51K, just for good measure.

    A week later back in Virginia after my 1st period class (I’m a teacher), Doris calls: “The bank’s agent says this is a multiple offer situation.” I should have thought to myself, come on, after months of no action, now there are multiple offers! (looking back, I know why hindsight is 20/20), nevertheless, I raised my offer to $56K. I’ll spare you the details, but after a week of waiting, my offer was accepted. A couple of weeks after that, I had a ratified contract.

    It’s not as easy as it seems … the drama is only beginning. After three banks, two appraisals, a surprising inspection, a dispute between the foreclosing bank and the condo association for thousands in unpaid condo fees, two delays in closing dates … I eventually closed. I’ll share those details in part II.

  8. #28
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    I really can't believe that you and Fred got a condo for less than $ 100K. I understand the market has gone down and there are lots of forclosures and short sales...but do you know what your Drexel Ave condo was valued at when the market was higher, around 2006 or so? Can you see what others paid in your building during that time?

    I asked my current landlord how much it would be to buy my place and he said $190K. Although clean and bug-free, the building has no ammenities and the size of my apartment is about 500sq ft. There's central ac, remodeled kitchen (but with very few cabinets, no dishwasher, and a mini-fridge). The bathroom and bedroom are spacious but the bedroom is seperated from the living area only by a pocket door. It does feel like a hotel room sometimes. For now I absolutely love it (great south of fifth location and close to the beach), but the interior is dated and I think I'd outgrow the space.

    Can a 500 sq. ft. condo in sofi have a value of $190K? It seems a bit high now..

  9. #29
    rk
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    Sungal, I have no idea what Fred got his condo for. I was just using $100k to illustrate the 15% and 16% drops he mentioned.

    It is possible to get a condo for under $100k (right now there are 67 listings in that range for 33139 at realtor.com), but like you saw when you were renting, you would have to compromise on something. You are not going to get all of the following: great location, spacious, great neighbors, elevator, pool, well kept, view, parking, bug free, etc. That said, you can perhaps get a good or even great deal by being patient and doing your homework. Some luck and good timing also help. If you want to revive your other thread about buying a condo by posting there you may get some good tips.

  10. #30
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Cool I Wish

    Sungal,

    I wish I could get a sofi condo for under 100K. There are a few as RK and Kenneth have pointed out.

    I was happy to get something in the $300/ft range which is $200 to $1700 (in the case of the apogee) lower than my neighbors and neighboring buildings.

    As RK said, I wanted a full service building and that limits choices somewhat in terms of super deals. Even forclosures and short sales are in the $500-$800/ft range in some of these buildings.

  11. #31
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Oh, ok...I thought I was the only one being told a high number.

  12. #32
    Full Member kmrotterdam's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Wish

    Quote Originally Posted by fredgarvin View Post
    Sungal,

    I wish I could get a sofi condo for under 100K. There are a few as RK and Kenneth have pointed out.

    I was happy to get something in the $300/ft range which is $200 to $1700 (in the case of the apogee) lower than my neighbors and neighboring buildings.

    As RK said, I wanted a full service building and that limits choices somewhat in terms of super deals. Even forclosures and short sales are in the $500-$800/ft range in some of these buildings.
    I posted on 411 a nice-looking foreclosure/short-sale a couple of weeks ago for under $60K in SoFi at approximately 500 sq. ft., but I noticed that shortly after that it was already under contract. You can set up an alert on realtor.com whenever there are new listings that satisfy your criteria (location, price, etc.).

  13. #33
    Full Member kmrotterdam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just closed on my South Beach condo

    Sungal, I know you want to be in SoFi, but below is a link to a 1 bedroom on Jefferson Ave directly behind Van Dyke Cafe on Lincoln Road. I looked at a studio for sale in this building last summer -- it's an OK, build, no amenities (thus it also has a low condo fee). This would be great if you like the Lincoln Road area. However, I can imagine it could be a bit noisy being so close to Lincoln Road, and parking would be more difficult, too.

    Miami Beach, FL, 33139 - MLS #D1397372 - Condo/Townhome/Row Home/Co-Op real estate - REALTOR.com®


    Quote Originally Posted by sungal View Post
    Oh, ok...I thought I was the only one being told a high number.

  14. #34
    rk
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    Kenneth, thanks for posting about your experience. Looking forward to part-II.

  15. #35
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Default Wow!

    I still can't get over seeing a list price of $65,000!! It's just so wierd...I worked as a NJ Realtor for a few years and nothing was ever below $350K in my town. Some properties I've sold to buyers had a parking space in a garage, and that alone was $35,000.

    Anyway, I should take advantage of the low prices. The Cosmopolitan in SoFi looks nice but the one beds there are about $250,000 and the monthly common charges are high.

  16. #36
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    Hey guys give us the names of your great brokers. I am seriously looking for another condo and want a water view but I am stuck on West Avenue, I love it there and don't want to give up the neighborhood although the Continium would change my mind. My budget is not hefty, I already got clipped on my present unit, and could use all the advice I can get.

  17. #37
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Smile Realtor--

    Sunaddicted,

    Just sent you the contact info on my agent-- Bob Lash from Carson Realty Group via PM.

    I highly recommend him to all!

  18. #38
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Default Cosmopolitan

    Quote Originally Posted by sungal View Post
    I still can't get over seeing a list price of $65,000!! It's just so wierd...I worked as a NJ Realtor for a few years and nothing was ever below $350K in my town. Some properties I've sold to buyers had a parking space in a garage, and that alone was $35,000.

    Anyway, I should take advantage of the low prices. The Cosmopolitan in SoFi looks nice but the one beds there are about $250,000 and the monthly common charges are high.
    Sungal, this seems to be a great place. If you go to the site RK recommends, Condoreports.com, you can see the list of owners is very impressive! Many writers!

  19. #39
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just closed on my South Beach condo

    Quote Originally Posted by kmrotterdam View Post
    I'm on the third (top) floor with lots of light. I'm so excited!!!
    OMG ... my friends lived on the third top floor and there was lots of light! You could see the tree tops from there (esp. the palm fronds). It was studio size but partitioned in such a way that it had 2 small "bedrooms" with an open kitchen/living room layout. It was a lovely apartment on the corner at the end of the hallway. I would absolutely crack up if it was the same exact building. It was exactly as you described it!

  20. #40
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Oh and Kenneth ... thanks for sharing your story! Looking forward to part 2.

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