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  1. #1
    Full Member kmrotterdam's Avatar
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    Default Just closed on my South Beach condo

    Maria and the 411 gang, I just closed on my South Beach condo today. Since I shared my woes with this foreclosure on here, I thought I might share the news that I finally closed! It's worth the effort to get a good price, but be prepared to work.

    BTW, I'll be moving some things down to South Beach from the DC area, so if anyone wants to share a u-haul cargo van to the Miami area, send me message. I'm available to go anytime in the month of May. I am willing to drive, or we can share the driving, or you can follow or be a passenger. We can split the cargo space.

    Kenneth

  2. #2
    Gus
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    Congratulations, Kenneth! Tell us about the view.

    You said...

    It's worth the effort to get a good price, but be prepared to work.
    What do you mean by work? Are you saying, be prepared to look at a bunch of places?

    Did your real estate agent find the condo, or did you do the work and find it on your own?

    Are you planning to do any remodeling? Fred Garvin is in the process of remodeling his new condo and may have some suggestions for you.

    Also, make sure to check the AC and the heat on your walk through.

    Luluu forgot to make sure her heat was working, before she moved in, and ended up freezing her ass off, last winter.
    Last edited by Gus; 05-07-2010 at 11:10 AM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Congratulations Kenneth! I'm glad everything worked out for you. Thanks for keeping us posted. I hope you'll continue to update us on your forthcoming new South Beach adventures. Good luck with the move!

  4. #4
    Full Member kmrotterdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus View Post
    Congratulations, Keith! Tell us about the view.

    What do you mean by work? Are you saying, be prepared to look at a bunch of places?

    Did your real estate agent find the condo, or did you do the work and find it on your own?

    Luluu forgot to make sure her heat was working, before she moved in, and ended up freezing her ass off, last winter.
    I meant "work," because foreclosures and short sales take a lot of patience and a good realtor. These are not as simple as a regular sale, but the money saved can be tremendous. I had a great realtor, who really led me through the process and represented my interests.

    The central AC does not work, but I knew it from the inspection, and I took this under consideration regarding the sales price.

  5. #5
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    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!

  6. #6
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Default Way to go!

    Welcome!

    I hope you have much happiness in your new place!

    Look forward to meeting you!

  7. #7
    Gus
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    Thanks for the explanation, Kenneth.

    Happy you found a good Realtor; they're not so easy to come by, down here.

    I imagine a short sale would also require the help of a good mortgage broker.

    These are not as simple as a regular sale, but the money saved can be tremendous.
    Can you give us an idea on how much money can be saved?

  8. #8
    Gus
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    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!
    Yes, I bet many of our readers would appreciate a story like that.

  9. #9
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Default even moreso!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus View Post
    Thanks for the explanation.

    Happy you found a good Realtor; they're not so easy to come by, down here.

    I imagine a short sale would also require the help of a good mortgage broker.



    Can you give us an idea on how much money can be saved?

    A short sale reqires the patience of Job on both the buyer and agents part.

    There was some thought about passing a law to require disposition in several weeks, but it typically takes several months. Its not fun and often leads to dissapointment.

  10. #10
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Hey Kenneth, Congrats on your new home! Can you post a link to your forclosure stories? I think I'm the only person here who doesn't know how to search threads.

    I don't want to ask the exact sales price as that may be to personal, but what what was the percentage difference between the list price and the sales price? Please hold onto that Realtor's number for us, that's very valuable!

    Well good luck and be sure to fix the central air before summer! The new TJ maxx at 5th and Alton is great for inexpensive decrative home stuff. Nest on Lincoln is great but $$$$$. Has anyone been to the CB2? I guess you know there's also a Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, and Pier 1.

  11. #11
    rk
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    sungal, here's a good link to answer some of the questions:

    http://www.buybeach.com/recent_sales/data/con0410.htm

    It lists all (actually most, not all) condo sales in the Miami area for April 2010. You will notice it is sorted by zip code, and lists both asking and final sale prices. To the far right are two columns titled "reo" and "short" to indicate whether it was a foreclosure or short sale.

    The nice thing is you can look at any past month by changing the last part of the url, e.g.

    http://www.buybeach.com/recent_sales/data/con0409.htm (April 2009)
    http://www.buybeach.com/recent_sales/data/con0108.htm (January 2008)
    etc.

    There are similar pages for single family homes if you're interested.

    My general observation about foreclosures is that they can sell from anywhere between a 30% discount to 15% premium from what the bank lists them for, so it's hard to say what a specific foreclosure should go for based on others. You really have to do your homework. Same with short sales and great advice from Fred about that. Foreclosures are usually much easier to buy than short sales, but the number of short sales is many more than reo's (foreclosures).

    For condos that are not foreclosures or short sales, people tend to ask too much, so most of them eventually sell below what is asked, almost never a premium. In the Miami area market discounts from original list price range between 5% and 50% with perhaps a 10% to 20% average.

  12. #12
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sungal View Post
    Hey Kenneth, Congrats on your new home! Can you post a link to your forclosure stories? I think I'm the only person here who doesn't know how to search threads.
    Hey Sungal, Kenneth hasn't posted any stories yet. I merely suggested to Gus that his story (which he could write anonymously or perhaps I could interview him) would make a good informative post on the Miami Beach 411 news section.

  13. #13
    Full Member kmrotterdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredgarvin View Post
    A short sale reqires the patience of Job on both the buyer and agents part.

    There was some thought about passing a law to require disposition in several weeks, but it typically takes several months. Its not fun and often leads to dissapointment.
    Yes, a "short sale" is certainly not short in regards to time, but as others have commented, the savings can be very significant, 10-50% compared to a regular sale; in general, a regular sale just cannot compete against foreclosures or short sales in this market.

    I'd be glad to write about the adventures of my South Beach foreclosure experience. This would be a good thread. I am sure others also have stories to tell. The process was precarious up until an hour before the scheduled closing. There were last minute cash offers by investors after I had signed the contract and pressure by the selling bank to get me to back out of the deal for the cash offer. There were two extensions to the closing date by the bank because of disagreements between the foreclosing bank and the condo association for condo fees and special assessments dating back almost two years. It was an emotional roller coaster ... but in the end, I have a condo in the heart of South Beach close to Espanola Way for $56,000!

  14. #14
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    What??? You bought a condo for the price of a car???? Way to go!! What was the asking price?

  15. #15
    Full Member kmrotterdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sungal View Post
    What??? You bought a condo for the price of a car???? Way to go!! What was the asking price?
    Asking prices for foreclosures, and especially short sales, are mere suggestions. Some short sale asking prices are set ridiculously low to elicit bids, while some foreclosed properties are still too high. In my case, the original asking price was eventually lowered by almost $40,000, and I ended up paying $7,000 more than the lowest asking price. I have heard that the latest game is phantom multiple-offers. After the property has been on the market for months with no bids and someone finally makes an offer, all of a sudden there are supposedly multiple bids coming in, and the bank wants your highest offer to compete; this was the case with my initial offer.
    My best advice is to really do your homework. I monitored condo sales in South Beach for months (over a year actually). I knew practically every building and the story behind why there were so many units on offer in that particular building. I knew if the homeowners association was actually viable. For instance, 763 Pennsylvania Ave. is actually a condo hotel, and the maintenance fees are very high (currently almost half of all the units are for sale). I am not a realtor, just a guy who was looking for a good deal. All I can say is that in the end, it is worth the effort. Oddly, it's rather fun, like a big jig-saw puzzle. My realtor also stood by me through this long process, and that also says a great deal, because this was a small sale and a complicated transaction. If you want her name, I'd be glad to share if anyone is really serious.

  16. #16
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Kmrotterdam and RK great posts!!!!!!!

    RK, you NEVER cease to amaze me!

    Great links! Wonderful information! You are the man! Thanks!


    Kmrotterdam,

    I can't wait to hear more about your closing! It will be so helpful for people going down that path! Your insights and experiences bring back clear memories of frustration, joy, and wonder---what a help to have a narrative from someone who has been through it!

    In the end, I'm glad my 9 month short sale did not go through (also at the last minute). I think i did better in the end buying an condo, seen only by my broker, after the seller had radically cut his price (16% after a previous 15% reduction). Like you, I had a SUPER agent I would recommend to anyone. Still, there were some minor 'hitches' during the closing that never would have happened in Chicago or New York.

    The days of the 'binder boys' may be gone, but real estate adventures in miami beach continue!

    Congrats again and best of luck!

  17. #17
    rk
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    Fred, thank you very much!

    I should have added, for anyone looking at that sales data:

    The "asking price" shown there is the "most recent asking price", not the original. So, to take Fred's example, if the original asking price was $100,000, and then it dropped 15% to $85,000 and then it dropped another 16% to $71,400, you will find that last number ($71,400) listed in the asking price column.
    Last edited by rk; 05-08-2010 at 04:48 PM. Reason: typo

  18. #18
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Question how did you know..................

    .................................................. .......how much I paid for my condo??????????

  19. #19
    rk
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredgarvin View Post
    .................................................. .......how much I paid for my condo??????????
    Haha, easy, I looked up the sales records for PH-1, 100 S. Pointr Dr.

    I am glad you decided not to go with Roney. Even though it's named after only the second "Newt" I ever heard about, you're better off in SoFi. I never get tired of watching the ships go by. Almost like the Fountains of Bellagio.

    Where have you been reading about "binder boys". Did you know they appeared in Miami the same year (1925) that Newt Roney built the Roney Plaza? Newt also gave us Espanola Way.

    I got some of these facts from a book I read recently: "The Billion Dollar Sandbar" by Polly Redford (1970).
    Last edited by rk; 05-08-2010 at 05:07 PM.

  20. #20
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Nice purchase Mr. S, I mean RK!

    Quote Originally Posted by rk View Post
    Haha, easy, I looked up the sales records for PH-1, 100 S. Pointr Dr.

    I am glad you decided not to go with Roney. Even though it's named after only the second "Newt" I ever heard about, you're better off in SoFi. I never get tired of watching the ships go by. Almost like the Fountains of Bellagio.

    Where have you been reading about "binder boys". Did you know they appeared in Miami the same year (1925) that Newt Roney built the Roney Plaza? Newt also gave us Espanola Way.

    I got some of these facts from a book I read recently: "The Billion Dollar Sandbar" by Polly Redford (1970).
    RK, as I have posted, if I had a hefty budget, I would strongly consider living at the Continuum. (unfortunately I do not) The listing you mention is way interesting. A penthouse for 242/ sq foot? An 8 million discount from its last sale? Clearly something is 'fishy' with those figures!

    Stories of the binder boys can be found in almost all histories on miami beach. The most recent book I read was a very nice short history called something like cheesecake to stone crabs--i'm sure you seen it at joe's take away by seth bramson I think.

    I still have a soft spot for the roney, and I so hope our friend 'juicy' likes it!

    I cant wait to hear more about Kenneth's place! Recalling the photos he shared of his old place, I hope he has the opportunity to share before and after photos of his new south beach triumph!
    Last edited by fredgarvin; 05-09-2010 at 05:11 AM.

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