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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Real estate recovery hopes fizzle with rise of mortgages in default

Foreclosure filings across South Florida continue to rise, as hopes for a housing recovery have fizzled. The number of people behind on their mortgage payments in July almost tripled in Broward County from a year ago, from 517 to 1,430, according to Plantation-based Realestat.com.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Housing market is bound to change!

I hear more and more negative news related to real estate in South Florida than I care to mention. Most of it comes from people who are only repeating what they heard from somebody, who heard it from someone, who heard it from their friend. Usually news from the grapevine shouldn't be trusted; but let's be clear, while it's true many people are losing their property and taking financial hits, there are loads of buyers acquiring condos, homes, commercial property and positioning themselves to get great deals. The trick is to understand your local market in relationship to the national market.

Here are a few good clips to give you a look at both the Miami South Florida Condo market and the Nation's situation.

Miami Real Estate March 07

Play the Crumbling Housing Market

Seeking Foreclosures Miami For Real Estate Investment
Written by EditorsChoice
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Foreclosures in Miami are appealing for a variety of reasons. Some people see them as retirement or vacation homes; others consider them terrific rental or investment opportunities. Buying a foreclosure in Miami for less than its true market value is a great way for someone to either get their present home at a discount or secure income for their future.

Homes end up in foreclosure, no matter which financial institution--HUD, the VA, or a bank--holds the mortgage on them. As soon as information on foreclosures in Miami is made public, it generates considerable interest.

It's not always possible for homeowners, evening Miami to sell their homes before they go into foreclosure. As desirable the housing markets in some sections of Miami may be, foreclosures can happen before the homeowners have time to find buyers for their homes on their own.

Those homeowners who have not accumulated sufficient equity in their homes and have them go into foreclosure in Miami will often not have enough time to attract buyers qualified to assume the balance of their loans. Those homeowners may become so desperate to sell that they accept offers which are too low, only to have them turned down by their mortgage holders. So the homes are put into foreclosure, and even if they sell for less than what was offered to their owners, the lenders are assured of recovering the full amounts of their loans.

Investors In Search of Turnarounds

Investors see foreclosures in Miami as a prime target, buying when of job shortages and force more homeowners to fall behind on their payments, and selling when real estate prices recover. They will study the listings of foreclosures in Miami for the properties most likely to generate the largest profit in the shortest time.

If those purchasing foreclosures in Miami do not have to put any money to the properties they buy, they will often sell them for only slightly more than the foreclosure price, still getting a profit without having to maintain the properties any longer than is necessary. For more info see http://www.foreclosureshomeguide.com/Pre_Foreclosures on real estate investors.

There are other investors in foreclosures in Miami, however, that look for properties in poor condition and but them at dock-bottom prices. They put enough money in the homes to make them presentable, and sell for their costs plus a nice profit. So many undesirable foreclosures in Miami eventually become transformed once again into desirable homes.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Aventura Condo Mortgage Meltdown or South Florida

Mortgage meltdown: Vulture investors
Real estate investors are betting on bargains in depressed markets they think are ready to bounce back.
By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer
September 27 2007: 11:01 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Real estate investor Matthew Martinez is the point man for a private equity group that plans to invest $200 million in Florida condo developments.

But recent forecasts show many housing markets in the Sunshine State are looking at double-digit drops in home prices. What is he thinking?

"The smart money is thinking about buying there right now," says Martinez. "It may be six to 12 months early, but it's a good time to be searching for deals."

Local housing markets that have fallen far, yet have the potential to recover soon, are ripe targets for "vulture investors," who buy cheap in the hope that prices will rebound.

One area suffering from steep declines is the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/Palm Beach region, where prices are expected to drop as much as 12 percent. The correction comes after years of intense real estate speculation.

"We believe in the long-term viability of the Florida real estate market, but we're buying on rental economics," Martinez says. "People had been purchasing on condo economics and those numbers no longer apply."

He's looking for 15 percent or higher discounts off previous condo prices to make his purchases viable. He then plans to convert the apartments back into rental units.

Read More click here

Chris Dodd on CNBC's "Power Lunch" discusses the recent fluctuations of the market and issues confronting the mortgage market.

Aug. 31 - President Bush and Fed Chief Ben Bernanke both say no bailout for speculators in housing while White House pushes plan to help some people keep homes. At the White House, President George W. Bush adopted a tough love stance toward speculators and homeowners who over-reached during the housing boom.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Aventura Condo Auction?

There are many condos available in the City of Aventura. Many people bought Aventura condos when they really couldn't afford it, they were able to qualify for a mortgage so these buyers jumped in the deep end. This leaves many properties headed for foreclosure. There are many trying to save themselves by auctioning off their Aventura condo. Is this a good idea?

Last week there was an auction for condos in Miami. Here is a excerpt from the article (click to read more) in the MiamiHerald.com...

South Florida condominium developers may be reluctant to resort to auctioning off unsold units anytime soon, if last week is any indication.
The developer of the new Platinum condominium in Miami's Edgewater neighborhood auctioned 20 units Thursday in hopes of speeding up sales in the sluggish housing market. But Maysville now says bids were so low that it is rejecting all offers except those it promised to honor regardless of price. It plans to rent the units and wait until the market improves.
''The bids were significantly lower then even our preconstruction prices,'' said Alex Redondo, Maysville president.
''I had hopes that units would at least sell north of that,'' he said.
The auction drew widespread attention because it was the first to sell newly-built Miami condos since the housing boom soured, drawing curious developers assessing whether they should auction units as well as bidders. Cameras from cable business channel CNBC rolled.

This issue with the Aventura condo supply will work itself out as time passes. If you are thinking about buying or selling, make sure to contact a real estate professional. In these turbulent times when everyone is trying to get out of trouble by structuring different buying and selling gimmicks, it's important that someone who knows helps you with the process.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mall hosts Freedom Walk for Sept. 11

BY JASON GELLER - MiamiHerald.com

Elementary school students, firemen and rescue workers from ground zero gathered at Aventura Mall Tuesday morning to honor lives lost Sept. 11, 2001.
After a short ceremony at the first-floor, star-shaped Fountain Court, about 200 people walked the perimeter of the mall as part of the third nationwide America Supports You Freedom Walk.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans around the country marched in appreciation for people serving in the military, said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Public Affairs.

''The America Supports You Freedom Walk has become the new national tradition in the way of commemorating 9/11 -- for lives lost and out of the respect for first responders who immediately raced to the scene,'' Barber said.

Four members from the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center Miami stood single-file, in uniform, holding rifles and American flags while The Star-Spangled Banner played.

The Aventura City of Excellence second-grade choir then sang It's a Small World on a small stage, accompanied by chorus director Phillip Lakofsky on guitar.
A student-made banner, full of yellow, green, blue, and orange hand-prints to honor troops serving overseas, hung over the lectern, where former Hialeah Fire Department Lt. Luis Espinosa hosted the ceremony.

''I think it's important that we don't forget what happened,'' Espinosa said. ``For some reason, our memory is different than the older generation and we don't like living with the negative stuff. I think it's very important that we remember 9/11.''

On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked four planes. Two struck the World Trade Center towers in New York, one the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and another crashed in a Pennsylvania field. In total, nearly 3,000 people were killed.

Many of the more than 100 students from Aventura City of Excellence School and Lake Stevens Middle School were too young to have known the severity of the attacks at the time.
Fourth-graders Jonatan Ward and Stephanie Diaz led the march, holding up an American flag upon which was written names of 9/11 victims.

''I like it because we're honoring the people who died,'' said fourth-grader Daniela Lampru. ``I'm glad to have the privilege of this experience.''

The event drew people who lived amid the events. ''We saw them going down and we saw the smoke rising for days,'' said Aventura resident Ruth Albert Levine.

``People were walking the streets like zombies, nobody smiling, nobody greeting each other. We've lost friends and neighbors. Many of those coffins were empty. We had a friend who was only identified by his hand.''

The ceremony honored the deceased and celebrated efforts of the armed forces.
Tech Sgt. Howard Watkins, from the United States Air Force, who served in Iraq in 2006, stressed the importance of military service.

''We're willing to do this to ensure that the kids can be safe,'' Watkins said. ``When I look out at the sea of young faces, I question how could I not serve.''


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Aventura Walking Club

It's very easy to go outside and take a walk to get exercise - no membership fees, lines for machines, or other distractions. I don't mind walking by myself, but when you workout with other people it makes it more enjoyable. If you have difficulty finding a walking partner, then you should consider joining the Aventura Walking Club.

Here is the ad that was posted on MiamiHerlad.com

• Do a little window shopping and get in shape with the Aventura Walking Club presented by Aventura Hospital. Meets 8 to 9 a.m. today Thursday and Friday at the Fountain Court at Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura. Club has no dues. More info: 305-935-1110.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Aventura Going Green

I did some research on the City of Aventura website and discovered that Aventura is trying to "Go Green." The City Manager, Eric Soroka, signed an initiative to promote GREEN in our city. This link will take you to the pdf file on the city website City Programs to Promote Green Initiatives . This is a great start!

If you have any questions or concerns take a walk to the Aventura City Hall. It's located right near the Aventura Mall. The address is 19200 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180 or call 305-466-8900. Here is the contact information of Eric Soroka, ICMA-CM City Manager 305-466-8910 FAX 305-466-8919 esoroka@cityofaventura.com

In case you cannot find it, look for this building.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Keep on Truckin

I grew up in the City of Aventura, since before this area was known as Aventura. It was all marsh land, but that would change once the Aventura Mall was built. Soon the mall became a popular destination and several new condos and communities were slowly created. As we all know the construction did not stop and it's still happening before our eyes. Growth is great, but I hope that the people of this city don't loose sight of the big picture. The City of Aventura spans ONLY about 3 miles, that's not much - let's learn to respect the land we inhabit.

Lately, I've been walking the trail around the golf course at the Fairmont Resort in Aventura. This is also known as "The Circle." It's a three mile circle around Country Club Drive. I've noticed that Aventura has made an effort to help its residents keep the city clean by placing city garbage cans around the circle and other areas.

These cans are great to keep Aventura clean; however, plastic recycling cans would be a great addition. The track is filled with bike riders, runners, walkers, and dog walkers each holds a plastic water bottle. If there was an option to recycle on the trail it would be appreciated by all the residents.