Miami – I’m Baaaack

January 12, 2008 by Lucas Lechuga

I arrived back into Miami last night. NYC was awesome and I was actually contemplating extending my stay until Sunday but I’m happy to be home. Being in Chicago and NYC for the past couple of weeks reminded me just how many people are in this world. Walking (or driving) the streets of Miami you kind of lose site of that after a while. Walking one city block of Chicago or NYC though and you regain that perspective.

The Real Estate Connect Conference was a good experience. I met a lot of great and insightful people and listened to some very intelligent keynote speakers. I’m not sure if the conference was completely worth the price to me but it was still a great experience and I have no regrets. I’m a very tech-savvy person though, so for a Realtor who isn’t tech-savvy this conference would pay for itself in spades.

I decided to install the “Recent Comments” plug-in onto my sidebar. (You’ll find it down the right-hand side of the screen). I’ve known about this plug-in since I began this blog but I never really liked the look of it. I’ve decided to install it regardless because I know that you all enjoy participating in the latest conversations. I’ll often receive comments on a blog post that I wrote 4-6 months ago. Unless you periodically check that post or happen to stumble upon it via a search engine, then you’ll likely never know about the latest comment on that post. The “Recent Comments” plug-in will reveal the latest conversations occurring on this blog.

Here are a few tid-bits of information:

  • Plaza on Brickell will begin closings in the 901 tower within the next week. I think Plaza on Brickell is the most affordable new condo development on Brickell Avenue. About three weeks ago, one bedrooms started at $210,000. I’ve mentioned before that I feel that Plaza on Brickell will act as the buoy for the Brickell condo market. If any of you are strongly considering purchasing in Plaza on Brickell then let me know because I can now get you inside so you can preview the development and walk inside condos that you may have an interest in buying.
  • Avenue on Brickell (1060 Brickell condos) will begin closings within the next 7-10 days. This means big competition between Avenue on Brickell and Plaza on Brickell since closings will begin around the same time. They are basically right across the street from one another. It will be interesting to see which offers a better product.
  • As most of you already know, Bank of America purchased Countrywide Financial Corp. yesterday morning for $4B in stock (a total investment of $6B when considering its $2B investment in Countrywide in 2007). With this acquisition, Bank of America will overnight become the largest mortgage originator and servicer. BOA is acquiring a HUGE customer base from Countrywide. Countrywide, however, will have huge losses as a result of bad loans and their credit risk will now be passed along to Bank of America. On the bright side, as a few financial articles have pointed out, Bank of America will enjoy huge tax savings because of this acquisition. Bank of America, which has large annual profits will be able to offset these profits with big write-offs from Countrywide. Wall Street, however, didn’t particularly like the details of the acquisition as Countrywide lost a little over 18 percent of its value on Friday.
  • The Brickell and Brickell Key Condo Indexes will likely return later this month. I have a million things to get done before that but I should be able to make the time to get that done. It’ll be interesting to see if anything has changed now that we’re a few months into our peak season in Miami.
  • I plan to hire a professional videographer/editor within the next couple of weeks. Up to this point, I’ve done all the video work on my own. I’m just an amateur videographer though. Every listing that I get from here on out (and the ones that I currently have) will have a professionally made video tour. The quality will be much better than I could ever do. About 80% of the buyer leads that I get from this blog are from non-locals. I think video will help these out-of-state or out-of-country buyers tremendously when previewing properties. Many brokers may not agree, but virtual tours are a thing of the past. Video may be cost prohibitive to most Realtors when compared to virtual tours but I think the investment for me will separate me from the rest. I’m trying to find a reputable videographer/editor in the Miami area. If any of you know of one then please let me know. I don’t need a production studio but rather an individual who knows what they’re doing and can deliver great Internet-quality video. Also, if any of you developers that read this blog are interested in having your development showcased then let me know because I would love to get inside with a camera crew to tour the common areas and various units. It’s all about eyeballs these days. Get more eyeballs to view your development and you’ll get more closed sales. Miami real estate has become an international market. You’ll also gain insightful comments from visitors of this blog. You may hear someone comment “The lobby looks amazing!” or “The closets are way too small”. This is the feedback that you need to hear, even if you may not want to.

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15 Comments on "Miami – I’m Baaaack"


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Anonymous
GLEN
8 years 8 months ago

Welcome back Lucas.I don’t think you missed out on too many SALE’S when you were gone.I think everyone was waiting to buy ..till you got back.How much lower do you predict price’s will drop this year?What in your proffesional opinion is the BEST LOFT /condo in Miami Dade area TODAY?(if you had 300K ) to spend max.Let’s get some comment’s going here, and nice to have you home!!!

Anonymous
8 years 8 months ago

Welcome back Lucas,
the canadian eyeballs are wide open.
Pockets full of high canadian dollars ready to pounce. Keep up the good info. Looking forwards to the video tours, good idea.
Regards from Ottawa, SA

Anonymous
8 years 8 months ago
Glen, Thank you! It feels great to be back. Actually, I did miss out on some sales while I was gone. I had two closed sales that took place that I wasn’t able to attend. (I became the first agent to resell a unit at Ten Museum Park since closings began and sold a unit at Atlantis on Brickell. I also received an executed contract on a new sale at Plaza on Brickell while I was in NYC.) Business is great! I’m not saying that business for all Miami Realtors is good but I can only comment on how things… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 8 months ago
SA, Great to hear from you! I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls and emails from Canadians interested in the Miami condo market lately. It’ll be interesting to see if the US Dollar continues to plummet. Hopefully, for our sake it doesn’t but as an agent working with many foreign buyers I’m pretty impartial. As an aside, Miami NEEDS new businesses to fill in the puzzle! That’s the bottom line. Once there’s significant growth rate in jobs throughout Miami, then we’ll begin to see true international interest in this real estate market. Read “Irrational Exuberance” by Robert Shiller and… Read more »
Anonymous
gustavo
8 years 8 months ago

any idea of how much is the HOA at Plaza?

Anonymous
8 years 8 months ago

Hi Lucas – Happy New Year! check out vidlistings when you have a chance – they have a great video product (I’ve done a few with our listings) and they are tweaking their product every day.

Anonymous
8 years 8 months ago

Hi Ines! Happy New Year to you as well. What is their URL? I typed in vidlistings.com and nothing came up.

Gustavo, I’ll have to check. I think it’s 45 cents per square foot but don’t quote me on that.

Anonymous
cyrus
8 years 8 months ago
good to see you back! i think this is going to be a very interesting year in markets – as the dow drops, it will take condo markets down with (not just miami). Lucas, i will probably contact you towards the end of the year … as i think some real deals will pop up. one thing i wanted to tell you as an often reader of your blog is that – if you have the time – to periodically update the “DEALS” section … i think this could be a huge part of the site … as people will… Read more »
Anonymous
Daft
8 years 8 months ago

Any idea when the second tower at the Plaza will begin closings?

Anonymous
8 years 8 months ago

Cyrus,

Thanks for the suggestion. That’s one thing that I’ve definitely been wanting to do but haven’t found the time. I’m also in the process of looking for an administrative assistant so hopefully that’ll free up some time for me to get that done once I have one. The “Deals” page is the highest visited page on my blog so hopefully it’ll eventually materialize into what I had envisioned for it.

Anonymous
8 years 8 months ago

Daft,

I’ve been hearing March. This is probably accurate because I’ve been hearing that the Grand Opening party will be in March as well.

Anonymous
Mario
8 years 8 months ago

Fantastic blog. Am looking in Sunny Isles for condo with amenities. Have you heard anything good or bad about Trump Palace?

Anonymous
Sean
8 years 8 months ago

Hi SA,get your Canadian Greenbacks ready!!!!The Right Time is coming soon.Where are you looking to buy??I’m also on the sideline’s waiting to pounce on a DEAL.I think we have a little way to go …but time is going to be soon.We should get a group of us together and really keep Lucas busy. GOOD LUCK.

Anonymous
8 years 8 months ago
Sean, I am focusing on water front condos in the Brickell and the Entertainment District areas in Miami. However, I will consider other areas in Florida, especially the Golf coast (anywhere on the water from Naples to Sarasota). As to the market timing, while no one can predict how far we will go on the way down in this cycle, I think the housing picture in the US will be bleak (unfortunately) for many years to come, especially in Florida (subprime, oversupply, inventory, economy, credit crunch, recession, $100 oil, $900 Gold, rising inflation, bad unemployment numbers, stagflation, … the headlines… Read more »
Anonymous
G
8 years 8 months ago

Lucas,

Just found this site and it is extremely helpful. I live in NYC, and am really interested in seeing the video of Avenue as soon as you get it. Also, can you please provide me with your honest opinion about this condo once you get a chance to see it?

Thanks

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