Vue at Brickell – Overpriced or Insanely Overpriced?

May 24, 2007 by Lucas Lechuga

Vue at BrickellVue at Brickell 2

I’d have to go with the latter on this one. A look at the current inventory of condo units for sale at the Vue at Brickell will show that the average price per square foot that these units are currently listed for is over $550. $550 per square foot! That’s for a non-waterfront condo unit, with partial bay views at best, in a building that is, by most standards, NOT a luxury high-rise building. In fact, Vue at Brickell was formerly known as Summit Brickell View when it was a rental building. The acquisition of the Summit Brickell View was made in December 2004 and conversion of the 323 units to condos began quickly thereafter. Grant it, the Summit Brickell View had recently been completed when the acquisition was made, and almost 70% of the units had never been occupied. Either way, it had, and in most cases still has, the features of a rental building. The majority of the units currently for sale still have the ceramic tile and carpeting throughout just the way they were sold when the units were sold as condos. The pictures below will show you a typical unit at Vue at Brickell.

Vue at Brickell interiorVue at Brickell interior 3Vue at Brickell interior 2Vue at Brickell interior 4Vue at Brickell interior 5Vue at Brickell hallway

Keep in mind that this is a typical unit at Vue at Brickell. I realize that some units have upgraded flooring and appliances, but the majority of units listed at Vue at Brickell look like this. Some units are even listed at over $700 per square foot! Those better come with marble floors, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a Miele dishwasher, and a butler and maid! But they don’t even come close. In fact, two of those listings priced at over $700 per square foot come with ceramic tile and carpeting throughout, just as they were when the building was known as Summit Brickell View. One of those listings says “motivated sellers”. Motivated? Maybe they’re motivated to WAIT. Even the three bank-owned listings in this building are overpriced, ranging from $436 to $510 per square foot.

The average 1 bedroom at Vue at Brickell is listed for over $413,000. That can get you one of the nicest one bedrooms in some of the newest additions to Brickell such as One Miami, Brickell on the River North, Neo Vertika and Emerald at Brickell. Not to mention, a premier one bedroom unit in the soon-to-be-completed buildings in Brickell such as Plaza on Brickell, 1060 Brickell, Latitude on the River and Brickell on the River South. In my opinion, all of the aforementioned buildings have better amenities, units and views.

So what made this building so insanely overpriced? Did everyone get together and smoke the wacky tobacky without me or is something more afoul going on here? A look at closed sales for 2007 in the building reveal that mortgage fraud may have been the culprit. Three of the eight closed sales in 2007 sold for prices much higher than the asking price. Here they are below:

  • List price: $549,995
  • Sales price: $720,000
  • List price: $619,000
  • Sales price: $770,000
  • List price: $647,000
  • Sales price: $830,000

These types of cash-back deals have been the focus of a recent mortgage fraud investigation throughout the country. A cash-back scam occurs when a buyer offers to pay a significant amount more than the asking price, with the difference returned to them at closing. Most banks like to keep the cash-back amount to no more than 3% of the purchase price, and almost all lenders have a ceiling of 6%. In most cases, the seller and the listing agent are not aware that anything wrong is occuring and are just happy to have finally sold the property. Lenders, on the otherhand, are unaware of these large cash-back payments because the details of the arrangement are concealed within an addendum that does not get submitted to the bank along with the rest of the sales contract. Unscrupulous appraisers are often used to justify the inflated value of the property and the bank lends based on the purchase price stated on the contract after review of the appraisal.

It is no secret that Florida is well known for the mortgage fraud that has been running rampant throughout the state. In fact, according to a report released by the Mortgage Bankers Association, Florida led the nation in mortgage fraud in 2006. Hopefully, the mortgage fraud investigation throughout the state, and the rest of the country, will put an end to this nonsense so property values can return to an equilibrium state as dictated by the law of supply and demand.

If my assumptions are correct, and previous condo owners at the Vue at Brickell did fall prey to this sort of cash-back scam, then prices there will come in for a crash landing. There’s another building in Brickell that I feel may have a similar fate but I’ll leave that for an upcoming blog entry.

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14 Comments on "Vue at Brickell – Overpriced or Insanely Overpriced?"


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Anonymous

[…] with a friend of mine who is a mortgage broker in Miami. One of my earlier blogs entitled “Vue at Brickell – Overpriced or Insanely Overpriced?” was what initiated this conversation. A few of his comments are below: So you know, most […]

Anonymous

[…] May 24, 2007 I posted an entry entitled, “Vue at Brickell – Overpriced or Insanely Overpriced?“, in which I questioned the average price per square foot of the condo units at a building […]

Anonymous
NOLA
8 years 10 months ago

Bravo to you. I’m a “legal” appraiser and I concur with you. Condos in the brickell area have become notorious for mortgage fraud and I refuse to even appraiser in some of the buildings built between 2002 and 2006. I’m sure you know which ones I’m referring to. Good for you for speaking out.

Anonymous
8 years 10 months ago

Thank you NOLA. I’ve written a lot about mortgage fraud. I think this was one of my first posts about it.

Anonymous
S. E.
8 years 8 months ago
I don’t think you are being completely fair with Vuet at Brickell. If it’s true that mortgage fraud has become a big issu on the coutry lately, not all of the sales for 2007 on Vue at Brickell have been due to mortgage fraud. You are only giving a bad reputation to a nice building that is suffering the same crisis as any other building in the brickell area. If you take a closer look, you’ll se that even the Jade is having problems, and we’re talking big problems. Vue at Brickell may have been a rental comunity before, but… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

Yes, I agree, VUE at Brickell is a decent place to live… It is very close to Merry Brickell Village. I dont think paying 500K for a 1/1 is a good deal, but some units in the building are priced very well… So Lock it up. This was written a while ago so I will give you a fair chance in conducting a more accurate assessment, I look forward to reading it… Just a tip, check out condos.com to gain an accurate price range for the remaining units at the Vue.

Anonymous

[…] May 24, 2007, I wrote a blog post entitled “Vue at Brickell – Overpriced or Insanely Overpriced?“. At the time, the average list price of condos available at Vue at Brickell was over $550 […]

Anonymous
You know me
8 years 6 months ago

THis building sucks. 3 apartments were robbed, probably by security people. Stay away

Anonymous
Vue? I think NOT!
8 years 2 months ago
Allow me to preface my Comment by saying that I’ve been a resident at The Vue for three years. I regret having made the decision to move into this monstrosity of a building, but at the time it was the ideal decision to make. For those of you defending The Vue at Brickell, I would presume that you are “motivated sellers” hoping to discount the negative reviews that are all too familiar on the internet. Many of your “contributions” (and I use the term lightly) are erroneous at best. Allow me to address you individually : S. E. – aside… Read more »
Anonymous

[…] some time.  It’s incredible to think that in May 2007 when I wrote the post entitled, “Vue at Brickell – Overpriced or Insanely Overpriced“, the average price per square foot of condos listed in the building was over […]

Anonymous
Renter Tom
7 years 11 months ago

I suppose there is a knife-catcher out there who will buy it at this still inflated price! Just kidding! Not bad price at all, wonder if it will set the market. Still, buying into a condo building with massive HOA problems is like being in a life raft with people what are only concerned for themselves and aren’t hesitant to turn to cannibalism. Desperate people do desperate things…

Heck, maybe I’d buy one just or a hurricane evacuation pad….

Anonymous
7 years 11 months ago

Is that a new way? Are you interested in my sexy disposal Fresh joke! What is a cannibal’s favorite type of TV show? A celebrity roast.

Anonymous
Bruno
7 years 7 months ago

A 2/2 unit just came up available at $150K REO (bank owned). It comes in at a whoping $133.00/sqft. I am wondering if the HOA is going to make it, because if it is, I think prices are coming in at a reasonable rate now.

Anonymous
7 years 3 months ago

All the people that keep saying bad things about this building. If someone offers you the price of almost 90K for a 1/1 apartment. Would you accept?

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