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Fannie Mae Special Approval Designation – Updated

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The following are six well known condo buildings in Miami that were given the Fannie Mae Special Approval Designation since my last update on January 18, 2010.  The special designation makes it now possible to obtain financing for condos in these buildings using a conventional loan.



95 thoughts on “Fannie Mae Special Approval Designation – Updated

  1. oh, first to comment. Should I be a realtor and say prices are going up and buy now, or should I be like Renter Tom and say I am waiting for the bottom. No need to feed the war, it is just cool that more buildings are getting approval for conventional loans…that helps everybody.

  2. Not true Enzo. That’s the exact purpose of the special designation. The following is from the Fannie Mae website:

    Q: What types of eligibility items does Fannie Mae consider waiving for a Special Approval designation?

    A: The decision to waive one or more of our standard eligibility requirements is based on a project-by-project review and the overall physical, functional and financial condition of the project. Examples of eligibility issues we may consider waiving include, but are not limited to: pending litigation, excessive HOA fee delinquencies, and investor concentration.

    That’s why some of the most problematic condo developments in Miami have been granted the special designation.

  3. Lucas – Do you have any info on what was required to be waived for each building? That might be helpful for some people considering buying in these buildings. The special approval designation is helpful for each building to move into a healthier financial picture, but simply dropping the purchase prices would be far superior instead of just allowing people to take on debt which is what a mortgage is. It is still a finance game.

  4. Guys,

    My bank of america processor/agent/underswriter that handled my condo loan told me that if the condo is Fannie Mae approved (along with my 20% down, high credit score, low debt ratio and good aprrsail) then that is all they need concerning the building to approve the loan. Bank of america never asked for any HOA past due or that type of information from the building. This is what he told me sept 2008 and this guy has a very smart,

    I would suggest if anyone who really wants to buy a Fannie Mae approved condo get a deal worked out with seller for the condo, present the sale contract your bank/lender and along with all you info and see if they ask for HOA past due or that type of information for the building.

    Worst case if you or the buiilding doesn’t qauility you have you sales contract created in such a way that you get your deposit (or earnest money) if you don’t qauilty.

    I find in life you have to try, all they can say is no. I would be afaird of financing until you try.

  5. Lucas,

    If the building has more than 15% HOA delinquencies and more than 30% of units are rentals, it will be difficult to get a mortgage. Sure, the broker may even close the eye, but it’s up to the appraiser to check ratios. If the appraiser doesn’t ask the building for delinquency and rental ratios, you can get the loan. That rarely happens, though, because crooked appraiser aren’t that predominantly anymore.

  6. Please, by all means, go ahead and try to get a mortgage in a building with those high ratios. I talk to brokers all the time. Don’t believe me, try yourself.

  7. You know what, I’m not going to bring reality to the blog anymore, since everyone wants rainbows and unicorns. You prospective buyers go out there and find out for yourselves. I’ll continue to read it but won’t be participating to prepare buyers for reality. Plus, what do I know since I just talk to brokers, developers, and Realtors in a weekly basis. It’ll be better for this blog’s groupthink

  8. Drew — That story lacks a lot of detail, but a commenter at the Herald site says the guy was shot inside a club. Know anything more about it?

  9. Joe – No, I don’t have any details. But it is amusing that the police releaseed a statement that the shooting had nothing to do with the South Beach Wine & Food Fest. Hmmm, no shit.

    But I think there is a tendency for local media to play down all this Miami Beach crime in fear of pissing off the City of Miami Beach and the tourism industry players, hence the sketchy details and the late release of the story. I don’t know what’s worse: trigger-happy scumbag corrupt Miami Beach cops or all the criminals wandering the streets at 3am.*

    *The above statements are not intended as nor shall be construed as cyberbullying.

  10. When will you ever learn The Ace asks rhetorically.

    The question is not whether property values will raise or fall over the next two years but how much they will fall. Every consensus which now includes the NAR belatedly and the most highly respected “The Ace” as well as the Case Schiller Index and predicts that housing prices including Condos in Miami will drop a minimum of 30% in 2010.

    How much they will drop in 2011 is still being anyalised by The Ace amoung others and therefore too early to call. This is not open to debate as it is a foregone conclusion so The Ace now askes and not retorically, $125.00 per square foot are we their yet?

    The Ace, fair, balanced and unafraid for over six years.

  11. Yes, Ace, we’re there already…
    Model City is selling at $125/sq ft and is poised for 500 years of 3% annual appreciation.
    Since I can’t improve on 900Fan’s wise message, I’ll just join it. “Shut the hell up troll” sounds about right to me…

  12. I know it is possible to get refinancing on a Miami Condo. I was able to refinance my Condo in Brickell Key at 5% interest for 30 year fixed loan (Loan amount was above $500K). The building I live in has over 15% of the units are HOA delinquent and over 36% are rented out. I should say like similar posters I have very high credit, no other debt, high net worth and make a very good living and finally the loan to value is below 75%.

  13. Ace,

    “Every consensus which now includes the NAR belatedly and the most highly respected “The Ace” as well as the Case Schiller Index and predicts that housing prices including Condos in Miami will drop a minimum of 30% in 2010.”

    Where did the NAR or the Case/Schiller index predict condo’s will drop 30% in Miami? An index doesn’t predict future prices people use the information present in the index to make predictions.

    Could you also qualify your $125 per square foot prediction since we’re nowhere near $125 per square foot. Are you talking about the average or off all condos are does your prediction that high end ocean view condos will sell for $125 per square foot still stand. I’d like to know because I’m looking at a few 14oo square foot ocean view condos so I’m waiting until your prediction comes true and they sell for $175k.

    Average price per square foot of Miami-Dade condos:
    Jan ’09 $219
    Feb ’09 $188
    Mar ’09 $193
    Apr ’09 $176
    May ’09 $197
    Jun ’09 $199
    Jul ’09 $189
    Aug ’09 $189
    Sep ’09 $190
    Oct ’09 $192
    Nov ’09 $188
    Dec ’09 $206

    How much longer is it going to take for these prices to drop 40%??

  14. Renter Tom,

    “The special approval designation is helpful for each building to move into a healthier financial picture, but simply dropping the purchase prices would be far superior instead of just allowing people to take on debt which is what a mortgage is. It is still a finance game.”

    I disagree that dropping the price would be superior to allowing people to take on mortgages. I think this is where your desires are clouding your judgment. The majority of people have mortgages on the home they live in. Why drop the price to make the property more attractive to investors when the goal is to fill the units with home buyers. There is the issue of affordability and accessibility. While in some cases affordability may be the issue but as prices have already dropped ~40% the main issue at most buildings is now accessibility. If I can afford a $300k condo with 20% down but I can’t get a mortgage, what does dropping the price another $20 or $30k do? I still only have $60k cash. So unless you drop the price to $60k I’m going to need financing.

    Dropping the price another 10% – 30% without allowing most people to get mortgages only makes the building more attract to investors which in return makes it even less likely for someone else to get a mortgage or want to live there.

    Now if the building is unaffordable to most people even with financing they obviously the building needs to come down in price. But with sales starting to hit a point where the margin between renting and borrowing is pretty slim I don’t see affordability as the main issue.

    So right now there is a catch 22. Financing is restricted at places that have a high percentage of rentals and HOA delinquencies but the percentage of rentals and HOA delinquencies cannot be reduced until financing restrictions are lifted allowing people to buy units. The Fannie Mae Special Approval Designation is designed specifically to address the catch 22. They are still looking at the overall financial condition of the building and simply try to decide which ones could be stable with more buyers.

  15. Gixxer 1000 – You mean lower prices are not good for end users? Lower prices would restore the balance in these buildings that would attract end users especially if there are restrictions in place regarding leases to curtail investors/rental units. Right now, IT IS a finance game…artificially low interest rates in order to sustain high prices. People finance because the price is too high to be able buying without it (in other words, perhaps they can not really afford it), if you lowered the prices significantly then more people could afford to buy without having to resort to borrowing money….over 30 YEARS!. I think you have failed to question the price/finance paradigm that has been ingrained into American thinking. If real estate prices dropped say 25% tomorrow, the crisis would be over…but we continue to try and put a floor on housing prices.

  16. Renter Tom – I don’t think that you are considering that if house prices actually did drop 25% in a day then the banking system would fail and the unemployment rate would sky-rocket and a depression and deflation would ensue. The whole “Recovery” plan (love it or hate it) was to stop the bleeding and not have the utter wealth destruction that occurred 75 yrs ago. The system is what it is; and, it’s leveraged and has been for quite some time. Borrowed money is required in all circumstances to keep this game going. I do agree that if prices were to slowly fall then your argument has some merits.

  17. RT,

    You’re missing my point.

    “If real estate prices dropped say 25% tomorrow, the crisis would be over…”

    Not for these condos. Even if you drop prices 25% people are still going to need financing. I’m sorry but no one is walking around with $200k+ in their pocket to purchase a condo to live in.

    And again I’m talking about people who can afford these payments. Let’s say my household income is 110k and I have 60k for a down payment. I can easily afford a $2500 monthly payment. A $300k condo with $60 down would give me a payment less than $2500 with HOA and taxes. But I can’t get financing because the of the percentage of rentals and HOA delinquencies. What does dropping the price from $300k to $225k (25%) do for me?? Now my $60k deposit is 27% instead of 20% but that doesn’t do me any good because I still cant get financing.

    I agree that there are some buildings that still need to come down in price. But that is a different subject from regular people who can afford and want to but but just cant get financed because of the current state of these condos. No one is talking about giving people who can’t afford a condo a mortgage to create a false floor.

  18. Gixxer 1000 – But that is what the U.S. Govt is doing by requiring so little down…heck even giving tax credits that can be used as part of the down payment. While private business has stopped the real estate bubble music, the U.S. Govt continues to play on… Also, my comment on 25% drop was for an average drop…some more, some less.

    Glad Smart Money Magazine is now agreeing with me…a few months late, but….

    smartmoney.com/personal-finance/real-estate/short-sales-to-the-rescue

    “It’s Looking Like the Year of the Short Sale”

  19. Personally I don’t think we are that close on rent vs buy, but getting there.

    @Gixxer, a good example of a $300K condo, paying about $1300/month for the loan, $500/month in property taxes, and ~$400/month for HOA = $2200/month.

    Using this example, it seems realistic to pay about $1500/month in rent, that is a big difference between the $2200/month.

    Also using this example, a 25% price drop won’t make a big difference (about $200/month in lower mortgage + taxes = ~$2000/month), but I would expect a 25% price drop in some of the obviously overpriced buildings to be beneficial to sales. Most building still have a large inventory of units priced well above $350K and could use some form of reset to make them more affordable. Regardless of what people say about the stability of Miami’s economy we are still seeing a disproportionate amount of foreclosures compared to other major cities in the US.

  20. RT,

    You seem to be talking in circles. What does this have to do with approving mortgages in condos with high percentages of rentals and HOA delinquencies???

    And how does more short sale approvals prove your point about how wrong it is that the government is propping up home prices?? The whole reason the government wants to speed up the short sale process is to continue to prop up prices. If more short sales were approved in ’09 we would have had more sales at current prices reducing inventory and the chance that prices will go lower.

    http://www.miamicondolifestyle.com/blog/archives/629/

    Scroll down and look at the pended sales vs. closed sales. Streamlining the short sale process is not going to drastically reduce pricing.

  21. Gixxer 1000 – You read too much into my post. The article was separate to the topic at hand. For months and months I have said this would be the year of the short sale and also banks getting rid of REO’s, that was the point. My point was simple, if home prices — OVERALL — dropped significantly, then buyers would swoop in and bring balance back into the market. Since you read the achieves, then you should also note that I advocated keeping mortgage rates down and allowing people to refi into low fixed rates as the only real fix to prevent a grave over correction….but that really was all the fed govt should do….instead the fed govt continued to meddle and it has gone on long enough, is silly regarding the credits, and is interfering with getting to a healthy market in many areas.

  22. Elvis,

    “@Gixxer, a good example of a $300K condo, paying about $1300/month for the loan, $500/month in property taxes, and ~$400/month for HOA = $2200/month.

    Using this example, it seems realistic to pay about $1500/month in rent, that is a big difference between the $2200/month.”

    The problem with you argument is that most units that cost $300k don’t rent for $1500.

  23. Units in my building (Met 1) that sell for about $500K rent for $2K/month.

    I would be interested to know what a $300K condo gets in rent. I know that $1M condos (900 Biscayne 06 line) rent for about $4K/month. That is about $1K/rent for every $250K in purchase price. I know smaller units yield better, but I am not finding many examples to show better than $1K/rent for $200K/purchase price (which is $1500/month on $300K condo).

  24. Elvis,

    you said,
    Personally I don’t think we are that close on rent vs buy, but getting there.
    @Gixxer, a good example of a $300K condo, paying about $1300/month for the loan, $500/month in property taxes, and ~$400/month for HOA = $2200/month.
    Using this example, it seems realistic to pay about $1500/month in rent, that is a big difference between the $2200/month.

    —> I know that there are 2 large units in Infinity that sold recently in the 305-310k range. These are 2bed 2.5 baths with 1530 square feet. I know these larger size units at Infinity are renting for $2300 to $2400 per month.

    —> For these larger size units the HOA fees would be more then $400, more like $600 and taxes maybe be more like $500, but when you add up the cost of owning the unit it would cost around $23400-2500 per month, and it you rented it around $2300, that is pretty close to breaking even, and if you add the tax write offs that you generally have on rental properties, (for the cost of maintaining the unit, etc) you would break even, as long as you keep it rented.

    —>I am seeing this happening more and more – another example is my own condo that I bought as my perm home in Infinity on the 50-51 floors with a direct east water view and city view. I can rent it for the same amount as if costs me per month to own it. Cause the same unit 2 floors below is renting (unfinshed) for the same per month as I am paying per month to own mine. Also if I ever had to rent mine I would include the furntire, so I would get another $50-$100 or so per month more then the owner below me is getting, so I would actually make a few dollars a month on it.

    —-> My point is that the prices have came down enough that there are condos that you can buy (with your 20% down) today that you can rent out for close to or the same as what you are paying for the condo monthly to own it. You just need to to do a lot of homework on the various buildings before you buy.

    —->reseaching is pretty simple since sites like condoreports.com tells you the prices that the condos sold for recently and other sites like http://www.miamicondolifestyle.com that tell you want the condo actaully rented for.

  25. 900 Fan*

    I was wondering what your observation is of, in particular your building, regarding the mix of renters in your building and if it detracts in any way from the building. Any problems with renters being loud, having wild parties, doubling up with in a one bedroom with 3 roomates etc. ?

  26. thanks @owneratinfinity. Maybe we are starting to get to the breakeven point for some buildings and the examples I was looking at are the ones that need a bit more price adjustment. Good to know we are leveling off.

  27. Elvis,

    “Units in my building (Met 1) that sell for about $500K rent for $2K/month.”

    You might want to recheck the value of units in your building. One bedrooms have been renting at at about $1300 and two bedrooms at $2000. Average one bedroom’s have been selling for $181k and average 2 bedrooms have been selling for $273k.

  28. Charles said, “I know it is possible to get refinancing on a Miami Condo. I was able to refinance my Condo in Brickell Key at 5% interest for 30 year fixed loan”

    Sure, REFINANCE, might be easier. We aren’t talking about REFINANCE here, are we?

  29. Elvis, Gixxer, et. al.

    On the topic of rental prices vs. sales prices…comparable units to mine in my building rent for about $2,200 to $2,500/month. I’m pretty confident I could get a slight premium if I wanted to rent mine due to it being four floors down fron the top, with the most desirable view, and expensive finishes.

    I paid $361,000 for my unit, and my carrying costs are about $1,100 per month (taxes and maintenance only – since I paid cash). You can run the various calculations if I had taken out a mortgage on varying amounts, but if I had it seems the rent vs. buy price is pretty similar.

  30. Enzo,

    I was pointing out you can get financing on a miami condos but that the standards are much higher than in other parts of the country. I know my bank requires on Miami Condo Mortgage (financing or refinancing) the following for 30 year fixed mortgage with interest rate around 5%;

    High Credit Score (above 750),
    Down payment of at least 25% of the purchase price,
    Debt to income equal or less than 2,
    Main residence

    Again this is for Jumbo Loans (loans above $417K). I am guessing the reason you seem so frustrated is that you do not meet all of these criterias.

  31. Enzo

    You said,
    Charles said, “I know it is possible to get refinancing on a Miami Condo. I was able to refinance my Condo in Brickell Key at 5% interest for 30 year fixed loan”
    Sure, REFINANCE, might be easier. We aren’t talking about REFINANCE here, are we?

    —> I had same easy time as Charles did when it came me financing my new condo I bought 3-4 months ago from the DYL group the developer at Fannie Mae approved Infinity at Brickell building.

    —-> I got a loan with bank of america. I put down 20% and got a 5.00% fixed rate mortgage 30 years. The bank of america appriaser apprasied my condo for 9K more then I paid for it.

    —-> Also like charles, I had a high income, in my case zero debit, low expenses and excellect a+ credit. Bank of America loved me and approved me right away.

    —-> So as you can now see my condo deal was a for new purchase of a new condo directly from the developer not a refi of an existing condo and I got the same good deal as charles did

    —-> Futhermore, I have meant other peolpe in my building that bought units in my building with loans from Bank of america and other large banks and got the same good deal on their new purchase.

    —-> the bottom line is that peolpe can get financing for new purchases and refis for condos in miami, the peolpe just have to have good credit, etc like charles and I have.

  32. Kramer, I don’t live in 900 biscayne. I am just a fan of the building. It offers everything you would probably need in a building and of a higher quality than most with incredible direct east views from east facing units. However if it was in fact a case of 3 people permanently residing in a one bedroom then it is up to the neighbors to complain to the management. Legally as per condo docs you would only be able to have 2 permanent residents in a one bedroom, 4 permanent residents in a two bedroom, etc. While rentals may be high I don’t believe it is as high as many would think.

  33. Ok 900 Fan…. Thanks – I thought i read previous posts from u that mentioned u rented there. My mistake. Ok. Anyone else? In general for those living anywhere downtown – Are renters an issue? Any anecdotal info you can provide. Someone mentioned here in a previous post that Marina Blue had isuues with renters trashing the place. Comments…….

  34. owneratinfinity said, “the bottom line is that peolpe can get financing for new purchases and refis for condos in miami, the peolpe just have to have good credit, etc like charles and I have.”

    Like I said, people should go ahead and try to find out. I say isn’t that easy, you say it’s. Folks should find out on their own, if it’s easy to get a mortgage for buildings that have over 15% HOA delinquencies and over 30% rental ratios. Don’t believe me, go ahead and try for yourselves.

    One more thing, owneratinfinity, even though you said that units at your building were sold pre-construction, you should also inform that previous buyers have 20 days to block purchases of new buyers. For example, if you try to buy an unit at Infinity now and go through all the paperwork, finance, and mile long contract, and counter offers, etc, etc, etc…after all that time spent, which might take a couple of months, the buyers who bought pre-construction first, and haven’t show up yet for some reason or another, still have 20 days to contest your offer. That means you’ll have to wait another 20 days on top of everything else, to see if previous buyers allow you to purchase that unit. If they do, those 2 months you put on it were wasted.

    Hey, don’t believe me, go ahead and try the rainbow and unicorns being sold here. Don’t you find strange that people who bought units already have to be here daily pumping the market and their buildings? Why is that?

  35. “Don’t you find strange that people who bought units already have to be here daily pumping the market and their buildings? Why is that?”

    -Maybe they’re happy about their new condos and want to gloat a little a spread the word on their building, which if they bought in, they obviously like.

  36. Regarding the HOA delinquency and owner-occupied threshholds, the appraiser is not responsible for supplying those figures as Enzo #7 claimed. Nor does the lender ask the buyer to supply those figures as owneratinfinity #6 claimed. Lenders (via their counsel or title agent) request that info from the condo board in the form of a “condo questionnaire” that asks for specific occupancy and financial info for the association.

    In my experience, there is rampant fraud in the representations made by the condo board officers on these documents as they are trying to get buyers approved so they can move in the condo. The board officer knows that answering in a certain way can result in an automatic denial so they play with the #’s and fraudulently represent the health of the building and association. If the condo meets the HOA delinquency/occupancy standards, the bank will approve.

    So if you’re buying a condo in an unhealthy building make sure the condo board prez or VP is willing to lie to the bank in order to get your loan approved.

  37. I would love to know the delinquency and owner/renter ratio at Marina Blue. Btw – Hi DJ – Do you know the situation in your building? Also wondering if you have had any problems with the 79 street bridge yet. i know a couple of years ago it was getting stuck in the raised position and stranding cars there for an hour or more.

  38. “So if you’re buying a condo in an unhealthy building make sure the condo board prez or VP is willing to lie to the bank in order to get your loan approved.”

    We’re in Miami, OF COURSE they will lie for you, why would you think otherwise… silly rabbit.

  39. Kramer,

    There was a board meeting the other day and the developer covered a few stats. There are 164 total units in the building, and of those, he has 13 left to sell that are empty. He personally rents out approximately 40 units. Other than that I don’t know the exact figure on how many units are rented by owners, but I don’t believe it’s very high.

    Another thing that I’ve found reasuring is that there is no problem with delinquecies in my building. Actually, that’s related to the topic of the most recent board meeting…..it was to approve a new rule to the condo docs, whereby if a unit owner is renting their unit, the lease would need to be approved by the board and include an addendum whereby maintenance will be taken directly out of the rent payments if the owner falls delinquent in HOA dues. Obviously this rule was passed unaninously. All in all, the building is run surprising well, and that’s my honest opinion, and not just because I live/own there.

    No problems with the bridge on 79th street yet, other than when it’s up ocassionally to let boats pass, but that’s really only happnened about two or three times since I moved in. Of course Murphy’s Law kicked in, and everytime the bridge has been up was when I was rushing home to use the bathroom or something, lol.

  40. Just an observation. It seems that the buildings in Brickell – Downtown – Park West/Pace – that went up last ironically may end being the healthiest of the bunch. For example One Miami was the first up – and seems to have an inordinate or un- healthy delinquency and owner/renter ratios as prices came down. I am guessing now that Icon – as an example of the last building to go up may end up more healthy because of this. As Icon fills up over the next year or two with buyers who are purchasing at reduced prices there will be less delinquencies – aren’t these owners much more stable financially and less likely to BK or short sale their unit and thus the HOA is in much better shape than the first buildings up like One Miami who had to and still do Flush out the weak buyers (financially speaking). I suppose even owneratinfinity can make this claim and will apply to Paramount near Pace Park when ever they start selling units at discounted prices. Comments……..

  41. Drew, 100% correct. I have seen condo associations cook the books on the number of rental/empty units when asked by banks because they need to get those units sold. Do you really think the banks are going investigate to verify those numbers given by the condo assoc?

  42. Enzo,

    Not sure how I am pumping my building since I did not give the name of my building. I was pointing out you can get financing (since you kept insisting you could not) but the criteria is much different now – no more free credit – you actually have to have skin in the game (20% or higher down payment), excellent credit and a well paying job. For my work I spend a considerable amount of time outside the USA and enjoy my time when I am in Miami. I could live anywhere but I have chosen Miami because I enjoy the atmosphere. Another consideration is that Florida does not have a state income tax. I am living well within my means. I am guessing you do not have the means. Reading some of the posts on this website I am guessing you are not alone.

  43. gee, I was hoping someone would have posted a response to my question re: post #42.
    since we have so many people here doing rent/buy calculations.

  44. Enzo, :
    you siad,
    One more thing, owneratinfinity, even though you said that units at your building were sold pre-construction, you should also inform that previous buyers have 20 days to block purchases of new buyers. For example, if you try to buy an unit at Infinity now and go through all the paperwork, finance, and mile long contract, and counter offers, etc, etc, etc…after all that time spent, which might take a couple of months, the buyers who bought pre-construction first, and haven’t show up yet for some reason or another, still have 20 days to contest your offer. That means you’ll have to wait another 20 days on top of everything else, to see if previous buyers allow you to purchase that unit. If they do, those 2 months you put on it were wasted
    —>I am not sure excating what you are saying here but here is what happened …My unit was sold pre-construction to some one esle for a lot more money, before the developer could sell it to me he had to send a letter to the orginal pre-construction buyer and letter told that orginal buyer that he had 20 days to close. If they didn’t close in that time (which they didn’t) I become in first position to buy the condo (which then I bought it). I just had to wait the 20 days before I close, if was no big deal.

    Hey, don’t believe me, go ahead and try the rainbow and unicorns being sold here. Don’t you find strange that people who bought units already have to be here daily pumping the market and their buildings? Why is that?
    —>I have be very honest and patanice explaning myself ,mmy knowlegde about my financing and my building and condo. I am just one end user guy who bought a condo in a building that not many peolpe seem to know much about on this blog, therefore I thought it would be very good and very nice of me and very helpfull to others to explained what I learned from buying my place in infinity. I wish someone on this blog who actually bought a unit in the building as an end user like myself would of explained all this information about the infimity building and their condo financing before I bought mine. I would of helped me alot – This my shock you, but I am helpfull person (that is the why I have always been) who happens to have alot of time his hands, who has helpfully information that can help others in the same position – I know you will not believe this, but hidden agenda in explaining what I know about infinity there is nothing I want from anyone.
    —-> PS I have already helped someone last week via this blog. The man was a pre-contruction buyer and he was buying the excat unit as mine. So I showed him my unit since my unit all finished floors etc and I spent some time and money to decorate it. Seeing my unit completed is helping me to decide if he wants to continue with his deal and buy the unit or cancel the deal and lose his deposit. So deal with the fact that there are still good peolpe in world.

    DJ:
    Your said,
    -Maybe they’re happy about their new condos and want to gloat a little a spread the word on their building, which if they bought in, they obviously like.
    —> thank you for understanding my honest intensions – The building is Ok, is alot like all the other new brickell middle of road buildingsl. That I like is the fact that my unit was the best value for the money of all the condos I reseached in miami and miami beach. The unit and deal I got is what I care about most, the building is secoudary

    Drew,
    You said,
    Nor does the lender ask the buyer to supply those figures as owneratinfinity #6 claimed. Lenders (via their counsel or title agent) request that info from the condo board in the form of a “condo questionnaire” that asks for specific occupancy and financial info for the association.
    —> actually I think you are right on this – the title agent who was closing all the units infinity could of all ready had a qeastionaire for the infiniity condo, however my bank of ameria processor/understand acted like a condo questionare was needed since the building was Fammie Mae approved. But who knows he and the title agent sent stuff to each other so maybe he did need it adn he got it from her. But I still think peolpe should at try to get finnaicing before they assume it not possible due to the buildings issues.

  45. Kramer,

    Just an observation. It seems that the buildings in Brickell – Downtown – Park West/Pace – that went up last ironically may end being the healthiest of the bunch.
    —> you are a smart man! that is excatly what I tell everyone – my building is one of the last buildings completed in Brickell so odds are that condos in the building will sell for less then other newer building condos that closed 1-2years ago (example my buddy bought at Q on the Bay in Mid town in 8/08- his view is not as good, and his floor is lower then mine, however he paid $295 per sf and I paid $220. And he was NOT a pre-construction buyer)
    —-> I would think these latest to be sold building like mind all have a lot less short sale/repos in the future, so therefore more poelpe will be paying their mainteance fees and taxes
    —-> plus peolpe who are buying today (like myself) know what they are getting themselfs into – they know they need to keep the condo for 5 plus years before they are sell it -

  46. Charles,

    your to Enzo,
    Not sure how I am pumping my building since I did not give the name of my building. I was pointing out you can get financing (since you kept insisting you could not) but the criteria is much different now – no more free credit – you actually have to have skin in the game (20% or higher down payment), excellent credit and a well paying job. For my work I spend a considerable amount of time outside the USA and enjoy my time when I am in Miami. I could live anywhere but I have chosen Miami because I enjoy the atmosphere. Another consideration is that Florida does not have a state income tax. I am living well within my means. I am guessing you do not have the means. Reading some of the posts on this website I am guessing you are not alone.
    —-> I like miami and florida for the same reasons. I think Enzo was addressing his comment to him.

  47. Kramer,

    I live at 900 and love it. I cannot really tell who is renting from who bought. None of the issues you cited above are clearly present in the building. I have neighbors who entertain quite often and I do not hear them through the walls. The only reason i know they entertain is because they invite me over and I can see them from my balcony. The sheetrock at 900 is double the thickness of regular sheetrock as I was told by the gentleman who was putting up my television sets on the walls when i first moved in. This has to help with noise supression to some extent.

  48. 1. Charles, until posters show me the money, nothing what they say has credibility. I wouldn’t brag about my personal finances on a blog either, behind an alias, when there’s no way to verify my claims. That’s why I don’t do it. But good for you that you travel so much. (???)

    2. Owneratinfinity, no offense but it seems that you’re trying to fill your empty building with buyers, after you bought your unit. Or you’re trying to convince yourself about your own purchase. I might be wrong, of course. It happens.

    3. We heard all these rosy scenarios here before, which were eventually discredited.

    4. I don’t believe anything that anyone says on a blog, behind handles and rosy scenarios. You shouldn’t trust what I say either, that’s why I tell everyone to go ahead and try it for themselves. Never said that getting a mortgage was IMPOSSIBLE. I just said that it wasn’t easy to get mortgages with those negative ratios, even though the building was Fannie Approved.

    5. I’m not selling anything here. And as some of you readers can see, the story keeps changing. Before nobody was talking about ratios; now they admit the ratios exist but it doesn’t matter. Does anyone here want to contest that such ratios exist? Lucas? Anyone?

  49. Enzo,

    I agree getting a mortgage is not easy if you do not meet the qualifications I mentioned. Not sure I was bragging just listed the criteria that you need to get a mortgage – no more free credit. I would not even bother to apply for financing on a Miami Condo unless you meet the criteria I listed above.

  50. Kramer,

    Regarding your questions about 900 Biscayne: I live in a 1,043 sq ft 1 bdrm 2 bath unit on a high floor (>40) with modest finishes. I rent at $1,900 monthly and have been living here for a few months. I started renting in this building because I had intentions to buy. The large majority of people I meet in this building are renters – approx 1 out of 5 people I meet are renting. By my estimation, the building is probably around 50-55% closed 25% occupied. There were rumors of vandalism to the spa area which is why they now lock down the men’s and women’s spa at 9pm after the attendant leaves. I once found a drunk pissing in the corner of an elevator on sunday morning. My only other complaint is the lack of freight elevators. I still love this building but have some reservations about buying here – the ultra-luxury category was just not meant to be a renter’s paradise.

  51. Enzo, .

    You said:
    Owneratinfinity, no offense but it seems that you’re trying to fill your empty building with buyers, after you bought your unit. Or you’re trying to convince yourself about your own purchase. I might be wrong, of course. It happens.
    —-> Sorry, this is one of those times that you are wrong. Write it down in you dariry tonight before you go to bed. I am sure that it doesn’t happen that often.

    —–>You must of had a lot peolpe cheat you or something in your life. I guess I am more trusting and I also remember that this is just a blog with some facts and some opinions — no one is asking for your ss# or bank acct number -Try to be more trusting or a least less untrusting.

    —-> One more thing, Infinity is controlled by the FDIC since they took over Corus bank who held the construction loan on the building. The FDIC has to continue to fund the building until to it sold out. And they are not in a hurry to sell the condos for what I had to go through to buy my place. So what do I care if the building sells out this year or 2 years for now. I am NOT paying for the other empty units maintance fees. Plus I am really enjoying the empty queit building .

  52. “The *large majority* of people I meet in this building are renters – approx *1 out of 5* people I meet are renting.”

    Ha ha … There’s some Miami math!!

  53. Oh how times have changed….people used to lie by over inflating their incomes and assets to get a mortgage (usually to buy more than one condo or to cash out the phantom equity later), now they lie by claiming no income and no assets to do a short sale. Put the crooks in jail.

  54. Lara – Thank you once again for that link. And Golly Gee – is it just me or does February condo sales look robust. Volume has returned and you have people buying in every corner of the market and at first glance at prices that look to be stable and steady. And a few examples of very healthy prices. I think it is time to say – “Prices Have Bottomed”.

  55. Joe,
    Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I meant to say 1/5 people are end users and not renting (owners who live in the unit they’ve bought).

  56. Hello Kramer. Were you being sarcastic? There were a fair number of sales in Miami Beach but not that many. Please elaborate on your post. Thank you.

  57. 900 Club — I was just joking around.

    ——

    Kramer — Every corner of the market? High end is still a big standstill, especially in SoBe and SoFi.

  58. To Post #49

    Your buddy paid $295 you paid $220 and The Ace paid $97 bulk sale.

    $125 are we there yet.

    The Ace: fair, balanced and unafraid for over six years.

  59. “Oh how times have changed….people used to lie by over inflating their incomes and assets to get a mortgage (usually to buy more than one condo or to cash out the phantom equity later), now they lie by claiming no income and no assets to do a short sale.” – - Renter Tom

    Agreed with the first part of your post, but I am reminded of the words of Judge Learned Hand who once opined:

    “[T]here is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible.” Commissioner v. Newman, 159 F.2d 848, 850-51 (2d Cir. 1947).

    scriv

  60. The Ace,

    Your said:
    To Post #49
    Your buddy paid $295 you paid $220 and The Ace paid $97 bulk sale.

    —-> I am assuming that your $97 per foot units you bought were not in the Q on the bay or in Infiniy at Brickell, since I don’t see any $97 per sqaure foot units sold in Q on the bay or Infinity at brickell in condoreports.com

    —-> What was the building called that you purchased the for $97 bulk sale condos in? Cause not all buildings, their locations , and the condo views are alike. So prices are lower for less desirable condo units, in less desirable areas and buildings.

    —-> My condo at infinity at brickell is at the top of building (50-51 floors) facing east and since it’s taller then nearly evvery building in front of it has an azaming of views of the bay, south beach, fisher island, ocean etc.

    —> My buddy at Q on the bay in mid town, is on the 47th floor, his condo has a great water view facing north to the bay.

    —-> So please in future provide the name of the building that has these low price per square foot bulk sales. It would help all to understand better where are good deals are. Just saying $97 per foot doesn’t help much. Thank you.

  61. Computer Consultant,

    You can check asking vs. sales price on rentals here on Lucas’ site. Just go to an individual building’s page and click on the “recent rentals” tab. I’ll caution though that it’s not very acurate for some of the buildings I’ve seen, but it might give you an idea. I haven’t found a way to look up that particular info on the condoreports.com yet.

    Ace,

    Please fill in some details about your $97/ sq. foot bulk purchase. Building, # of units purchased, sale date, etc., etc. Thanks.

  62. owneratinfinity-
    You’ve successfully hammered home the point that you have a majestic 2-level condo 500ft in the sky which you are clearly very proud of with its jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring views of the water, moon, etc. We get it loud & clear- you have a nice place. But your posts are becoming redundant.

  63. INFINITY AT BRICKELL SALES FOR FEB 2010:

    For those of you interested in Infinity at brickell – here is what a summary of what the devloper sold in Feb 2010

    —-> there was total 15 sales for Feb (15 deeds recorded in the dade county public records for feb). That is most units the developer ever sold in month, since I bought my condo there 3-4 months ago.

    —-> so the total deeds/sales recorded for the building so far is 88. Of the total 459 units in building 19% of the building is now sold.

    —-> so I think at this rate Infinity will sold out way before Icon on Brickell since Icon only sold like 100 -125 or so units of the 1600 or so units they have in their buildings.

    —-> of these 15 sales, 7 were sold to LLCs and rest where sold to individual peolpe names. There was no bulk sales, however one individual bought two units

    —-> for infinity condoreports.com showed 12 of 15 sales for feb so far

    —–> of the 12 sales showed in condoreports.com for fe b- 8 of them sold at $200 per foot (most of these units were on lower floors) – the remaining 4 condos sold for 255, 217, 221, 306 per foor.

    —->so it looks like the going rate for the building is $200 per square foot for new buyers, it looks like any pre-construction buyers are paying more then 200 per foot

    —-> of the 15 deeds/sales recorded in the dade county public records for feb – 13 of the them where 100% CASH deals and 2 were financed both with 20% down (one with bank of american and the other with a credit union) So there are folks like myself who qauify for mortgages on miami condos.

    —-> I think 15 (non bulk sales) are very good for 1 month, however as you can see most of them where cash deal so that means most liking they were bought by investors to rent out.

    —-> I love how the building is now. Sooo clean, new, perfect, sooo queit. I am not not looking foward to the investors renting out their units. Cause as we know renters have a habit of beating up the buildings.

    —-> However a large number of renters is a very normal thing today in all the large new middle of the road condos buildings like Infinity in miami, so I guess I have to get used to the idea that Infinity will have tons of renters just like the rest of the buildings and it will get beaten up. Too bad, cause the building is like a new car that no one ever drove.

    —-> Well, At least I am NOT paying more per month to own in the building then to rent the same unit in the building. Paying the same per month to own as a renter pays to rent will make me feel a little better I hope

    —-> Although at this point the building manager and staff are really really managing the building very very well, so maybe they will be able to control all the renters.

  64. Drew,

    That is because I had to try to prove to the Enzo guy that I was beening honest and helpfully with no hidden agenda which I don’t think I was sucessfully at. I am not going to go through that again for anyone,

    Also I wanted to explain as an example to Ace for type of the details on my condo and my buddies condo so he could supply these details concerning his $97 per foot bulk condo purchase.

    At this point I have said everything there is to say about my deal and the Infinity building, from now on if someone wants any information that I already covered in previous comments I will direct them to the previous posts.

  65. scriv – Tax planning isn’t fraud, but hiding one’s assets from creditors is…. I have met people who brag about having their mom hold their gold and money for them, then they get upset that the bank isn’t approving their short sale quick enough!… Crooks, plain and simple.

  66. Visionary,

    Over 10 peolpe have emailed me thanking me for the information that I provided and also asked me to continue to post information. They tell me that it’s the best informatiion they rec;d about any building from this site and they wish the site had more comments with the same type information for all the other condo buildings in miami.

    So I would suggest that you and anyone else who feels that I am providing too much information just to skip over my comments in the future. I would not hurt me if you don’t read him. At least my comments forthe most part have to do with RE and loan finincing.

    I hope more of the folks on this blog actually buy a place, so they can explain the deal and the building they got, cause it will help others to buy a place. However , I am getting the feeling that many of the bloggers on this site don’t have the means to a buy a condo today, so insetad they just like talking about it. But if I am wrong on this, please forgive me.

  67. Don’t worry owner@infinity – we appreciate new voices in here and at least, as you say, it is a positive voice. Also don’t pay attention or respond to the Ace. He is considered the Village Idiot in this forum so to reply to his phony posts only encourages him. Have a nice day.

    Franklin – I will elaborate further on my statement post #62 that – “Prices Have Bottomed” – when i have more time.

  68. owneratinfinity, i for one appreciate your comments. i understand your bias as an owner and take it into consideration. but i do like to get first hand accounts of particular buildings-both good and bad. i am a housing bear, but not wishing on bad times-just being realistic. but when i buy (and i will), i would rather make an educated buy into a building than a crap shoot. your posts enlighten me to your building. thanks.

  69. owneratinfinity, I don’t mind if your are giving detailed information about condo buildings in the Miami area. My comment was only referring to the Infinity.
    In general, I appreciate your posts.

  70. gables,

    owneratinfinity, i for one appreciate your comments. i understand your bias as an owner and take it into consideration. but i do like to get first hand accounts of particular buildings-both good and bad. i am a housing bear, but not wishing on bad times-just being realistic. but when i buy (and i will), i would rather make an educated buy into a building than a crap shoot. your posts enlighten me to your building. thanks.

    —> I understand what is you are saying and I am glad if my info can help you in the future when you ready to buy more places.

    —-> But to totally honest with you I am not that bias about Infinity, (all the new buildings are the same to me) Actully I was about to close on a new unit on 32rd floor in the 1060 brickell ave building facing north (no water view unless you looked east from the patio).

    —-> The reason I didn’t buy the 1060 unit is will cause the apprisial on the 1060 unit came in 19K under my purchase price, so I canceled the deal I got my deposit back from the developer. I was not going to pay 20% down, plus another 19K more to make up the difference between the apprisal and purchase price.

    —-> Also I had a big issue concerning my lease on the condo on the beach was about to expire and I needed to find a place quick – I wanted to stay in the Brickell area, be in walking distance to the supermarkets, dry cleaners, haircuts, mary brickell village, etc.

    —> I also wanted a brand new building (I like new homes) and I wanted to buy from the a devloper in an EMPTY building. I felt once an empty gets sold out at today’s lower prices, with mostly cash deals (and at some 20% down deals) the bulding would be stronger financlly in the long term. I thought that the building would have a lot less short sales and REOs in the furture, so the buildings’ HOA should be healther in the long term.

    —-> the ONLY building that met this crirtra in my price range was Infinity at Brickell. Infinity was my ONLY choice. If not Infinitty, I would had to find another place to rent and I was REAL tired of renting.

    —> The Infininty developer treated me very good and worked with me ALOT cause I was the first person that closed after the FDIC took cver the building’s contruction loan. Due to the FDIC thing getting closed took almost 2 months longer and it was a major pain in the A**. I even had to call the FDIC myself. The developer actually let me stay for 2 months (free) in one of his other units in the buiilding until the FDIC approved my deal so I could close.

    —-> I didn’t like buying a loft orginally, however I love it now, cause it is some unquie. I didn’t like and I still don’t like the fact the Infinity had so many really small units that will rent (once they are sold) real cheap to bunch of young kids who will be beat up the building.

    —-> But my Infinity condo was 15K more then the one I was going to buy at 1060 brickell ave,however the infinity unit was larger, it had another bathroom, it faced east with a great water view, and it was 18-19 floors higher, so was a much much better value then the 1060 brickell ave unit. Worst the extra 15k

    —-> bias- I don’t know about that, It’s more like Infinity was my ONLY choice for what I was looking for. But I guess I lucked out cause once I moved into my unit I started to like the unit more and the building more and how saw how great it’s being managed more then I thought I would.

  71. Visionary,

    —>That is great that you got a place that you like.

    —> Just FYI I know ALOT about other new miami and miami condo buildings. I spent two years living on miami beach. During that time I researched all the building on beach and in miami (in mid-town, downtown and brikell) that are near the water and in my price range.

    —-> So I would be very happy to anwser any questions concerning any of the other condo buildings in miami and miami beach,

    owneratinfinity, I don’t mind if your are giving detailed information about condo buildings in the Miami area. My comment was only referring to the Infinity.
    In general, I appreciate your posts.

  72. Owner@infinaty take no notice of Post #78 for the advice given on this blog by the Ace is highly regarded and sought after by the vast majority of its readers, me included.

  73. Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

    I don’t care what people say about The Ace … his shtick will never stop being funny.

  74. And down goes Falcone, I told this fool 4 years ago that his real estate investments would break him but did he listen………..you be the judge.

    The Ace; fair, balanced and unafraid for over six years.

  75. owneratinfinity said,

    “—->so it looks like the going rate for the building is $200 per square foot for new buyers, it looks like any pre-construction buyers are paying more then 200 per foot”

    –> Yes, I totally agree with owneratinfinity. Buyers should run to offer $ 200 / sf for units at Infinity. It’s a deal and the comps that owneratinfinity has shown clearly prove that you should get the units for $200 / sf, like he strongly affirms. And remember that mortgage is easy to get now, so you should just put 20% down and enjoy the good life.

    Gixxer, it sounds like a good option for you. You should jump on this great opportunity of buying a nice unit at infinity for just $200 / sf, like owneratinfity says.

    Thanks for the insightful info, owneratinfinity.

  76. That Falcone story is very sad, from “riches” to rags….. I tell people up north about the craziness down here and they have a hard time believing. Can’t trust anyone in real estate down here…and now getting 4-5 emails from realtard Tommy Barone…he apparently is branching off on his own from Condo Vultures. The guy can’t even spell right in his email subject line, screws up his email address, has to resend the emails and still doesn’t catch he isn’t “with new real estate frim”. Sad, but he seems very qualified now for writing typo filled real estate listings. Seriously, are there no standards to be a realtard? :-) So very unprofessional.

  77. Enzo,

    I am glad you understand.

    And if you want to look up recent condo sales youself, you need go to http://www.condoreports.com. To has lots of good information on most condo building in dade and broward.

    Here is link to place on http://www.condoreports.com where I found the information on recent sales in Infinity.

    http://www.condoreports.com./real-estate-reports/infinity-at-brickell_miami_condo_recent_9026

    Enjoy, it’s great for rearchings buildings.

  78. Hat tip to Renter Tom as I expected a lot of “huhs” to my comment about Fast Eddie Falcone from the armchair investor brigade and the realtards that pollute this blog.

    The Ace; fair, balanced and unafraid for over six years.

  79. Well we all know that Renter Tom has always considered me an armchair investor but at least he’s never called me a Realtard.

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