Like it or not, there are LOTS of baby peacocks roaming the streets here in Coconut Grove.
The peacocks seem to have had a very busy mating season, I have 20 new babies on my street alone!
The Internet has completely changed the real estate business. More than 75% of home buyers begin their home search online. The nation’s top 2 real estate websites are Realtor.com and Trulia.com. Now let me just say that I don’t have anything against people starting their home search online. It is a great way to get an idea about what is available in your price range in a given area.
But if you are searching for a home strictly on the Internet, beware! I have found that the information these sites provide is not always accurate. I have homes that have closed months ago but still appear “For Sale” on Trulia.com and Realtor.com. And many times price changes don’t take effect for several weeks.
Another problem I have found with these sites is with the search criteria and results.
In order to fully explain it I would have to get into extreme detail, so I will save you the explanation behind it and instead get right to the point.
When doing a search in Coconut Grove on Trulia.com or Realtor.com you have two options. You can choose to enter in the City or Zip Code. Many people probably just type in “Coconut Grove” because they don’t know the zip code here. The problem is that when you use “Coconut Grove” as the search parameter you only get a small fraction of the number of homes that are listed for sale here.
See the image below. I got 13 results when I did a search for homes in “Coconut Grove” with a price range of $800,000 to $1,000,000.
The other way to search for homes in Coconut Grove on these sites would be to use a parameter of 33133. When I did a search for 33133 in the same price range as above, I got 40 results!!!
Keep in mind that 33133 extends beyond Coconut Grove, so in order to get an accurate count you have to weed out those homes that don’t fall within our boundary (in this case 5 homes).
So if you are doing searches in Coconut Grove on Realtor.com or Trulia.com, using the zip code as the search parameter is the best method (although very inefficient and confusing).
It is because of the inaccuracy and the difficulty of searching on sites like these that I believe the need for Realtors will always be there.
Construction has broken ground at The Residences at Vizcaya (3535 Hiawatha Avenue, Coconut Grove). There will be 18 condo units total, and 9 units have already sold. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2009, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t finished until 2010. Builders are typically very optimistic about their completion date. I am happy to see developers building small scale boutique condos here in Coconut Grove (as opposed the mega waterfront buildings that have recently been proposed and denied).
The units at The Residences at Vizcaya are high end with pre-construction prices running in the $3,000,000 to $4,000,000 range. There will be two docks and boat slips will be available.
The developers are also in the process of renovating Steele Park that is located at the entryway to the Residences at Vizcaya. They will be putting in new picnic benches, trees, sod, lighting, new dogipots and a waterfountain.
Recent Closed Sales in Coconut Grove
Single Family Homes:
Townhouses and Condos:
When we last left off on “A Foreclosure Story in Coconut Grove – Part One” my clients were waiting the bank’s approval of the counter offer. After 10 days we finally received all of the signed papers from the bank.
From the day of acceptance by the bank, my buyer had 7 days to complete all of the inspections on the home. Typically, in a non-foreclosure transaction the buyer will perform his inspections and if the amount required to fix the problems in the house exceeds the stated amount in the contract then the buyers can (A) get out of the deal, or (B) renegotiate the contract.
On this particular contract, the bank said that they would give him $5,000 back at closing but they would not renegotiate the deal no matter what the inspection report said. Or, he could cancel the contract at that point.
So the very next day he sent over some inspectors to begin the process. There was one major problem…..there was no water or electricity turned on in the house.
The inspectors did what they could, and we tried to get in touch with the other Realtor to get these things turned on. At this point, my client was not willing to buy the house without knowing the electrical and plumbing status of the home. We waited for the entire 7 days for the bank to turn on the utilities, but it was never done. On the last day of the inspection period, my client was ready to cancel the contract when the other Realtor called to let us know that she had gotten everything up and running.
We had to have both parties sign an extension of the contract so that my client could get in there to do his inspections.
In a foreclosure purchase, the buyer often has to take a leap of faith. In this case, my buyer did, and he agreed to go ahead with the sale even though the inspection report came back with many issues.
On Friday, my client was notified that the bank who was doing his loan would not release the money unless two things happened: the house had to be “habitable”, and the pool had to be “clear”.
If you recall from the last post, all of the appliances had been stripped from the kitchen. The bank said at the very least there needed to be a working stove installed before they would make the loan. This issue was resolved with a quick call to my handyman, who went over to 8th Street and bought a used electric stove to install in the kitchen. Now the house is “habitable”.
As to the second issue, the bank was worried that the pool was a liability because it was too murky to see the bottom. That was no problem either, we sent over a pool company to drain and clean the pool.
We have now done everything that both sides have asked of us, and the closing is scheduled to take place this week.
I hear all the time how hard it is to find a boat slip in Coconut Grove. And if you’ve ever driven by the public boat ramp on Bayshore Drive on a weekend you’ll know why….I’ve seen wait times as long as 2 hours there.
If you are looking for a place to dock your boat (and might be interested in buying some real estate as well)….I have the solution!
I just listed a condo at 100 Edgewater Drive (Unit #330) that includes a boat slip for the price of $449,000.
For a little perspective on what a great deal this is, I was paying close to $5,000 a year for a similar size boat slip at Dinner Key Marina.
You could potentially save $25,000 in just 5 years by buying this condo.
This is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo (1,237 square feet) that has been totally updated. The master bedroom is large with a dressing area and 2 closets. The building has a beautiful waterfront swimming pool. There are no bridges to the bay and power and water are provided at the dock. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!
I have received several emails regarding yesterday’s post about the foreclosure property on 3970 Kumquat Avenue. People are wondering why the bank so severely underpriced the house.
There are a couple of reasons why they did it. First, the house was being used as a grow house for marijuana and has been totally damaged inside. Second, and more importantly, the Realtor for the house is very aggressive with his pricing and likely talked the bank into underpricing the home in order to get a quick sale. Which he accomplished. Lastly, banks are eager to get rid of properties where there has been this kind of illegal activity. They don’t want to take the responsbility for what could go on in the house if it were to sit on the market vacant for a long time.
Foreclosure Sale | 7,000 square foot lot | 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath House | 3970 Kumquat Avenue | Listed at $259,000
I got a call yesterday afternoon from the listing agent for this house at 3970 Kumquat Avenue in South Coconut Grove. It was a “heads up” call to let me know that he had just (minutes ago) put this house on the market in Coconut Grove, it was a foreclosure sale, and if I had any clients interested that they should make their offer FAST.
Boy was he right. I took a client over there last night to view the property and we were ready to draw up the offer first thing this morning. I called the listing agent and he told me that there was more than several all cash offers already in place. It was too late for my client.
The land alone on this property is worth well over $300,000. This is a steal.
You have to be fast in this market, and I learned my lesson. We should have put in the offer last night.
You and your Realtor should be in constant communication whether it is to discuss the changes in the local market, showings, open houses or you just want some feedback on what people are saying about your house. Ask your Realtor to send you an update such as the one I send out to my clients every month (see below picture). It includes a list of all showings, broker’s open houses, regular open houses and any advertising that we have done. The letter also gives exact numbers regarding the internet traffic that their home is receiving on EWM.com, Realtor.com, Trulia.com and TheRealEstateCoconut.com.
Here is a sample letter from one of my current listings (click to view larger image):
This is the first of many posts that I will do which will feature different streets in Coconut Grove. I think it is a good way for people who are relocating to the Grove to get a sense of what living in our community is like.
For the first street, I have chosen Seminole Street (I thought it was appropriate because the house that I was born and raised on is located on Seminole Street). I can honestly say that this is my favorite street in all of Coconut Grove. The lots along Seminole are extra large, the homes are set back from the street, it has an overwhelming canopy of oak trees, and peacocks wander the streets at all times of the day. The trees were so dense back then that as a child I could walk down the road and stay dry even in the rain!
Seminole Street is located off of Tigertail Avenue, across from Ransom Everglades Middle. It is in the North Grove so homes do come at a premium. There is currently one house on the market on Seminole, here are the details:
2908 Seminole Street | 4,080 Square Feet | 40,000 Square Foot Lot | 4 Bedroom, 4.5 Bath | Guest House | Coral Rock Wall Surrounds Property | Originally priced at $1,935,000, currently priced at $1,735,000
Address: 550 South Dixie Highway
Coral Gables, FL 33146