Miami Condo Rankings Page Goes Live

July 21, 2008 by Lucas Lechuga

Miami Condo Rankings

For quite some time, I’ve been wanting to launch this new addition to my site. I think part of me was a bit timid about publishing the Miami Condo Rankings page because I knew that there would be a lot of criticism about my rankings.  It’s important for everyone to realize that this is only my subjective opinion.  I felt it necessary, however, to publish these rankings to provide nonlocal Miami buyers with a way to sift through the various condo developments here in Miami in order to narrow down their choices.  Besides, I’ve received a number of emails from people suggesting that I provide them with this sort of information.  The link to the Miami Condo Rankings page will remain towards the top of this page underneath the header.

When creating the Miami Condo Rankings, I tried to be as unbiased as possible.  The rankings are based on my experience of viewing the various condo buildings and condo units throughout Miami in order to arrive at the stated figures.  Everyone is going to have a different point of view, however.  My Miami Condo Rankings aren’t set in stone.  I will be revising them over time and adding new condo developments as I get the chance to view them.  For example, the risk adjustment category will be adjusted periodically once I feel that the risk for buying in a particular condo building has changed.

I’m a firm believer in democracy and rarely delete comments.  I appreciate everyone’s input on various topics and, although I may not agree with certain opinions, I do believe that visitors to my site should be able to read a variety of opinions.  Therefore, you will all have the ability to submit your personal rankings for any or all condo buildings.  This came as a suggestion from my website developer and I loved the idea.  I want everyone to view not only my feelings about the various condo developments in Miami, but also the opinions of the general public as well.  I just ask that everyone try to be as unbiased with their scores as I have been.  It doesn’t do anyone any good if you give your condo building all tens for each category, or if you give another condo development all zeroes just to make your own condo building look good.  You can also submit your thoughts about the various condo developments in the comments section towards the bottom of the Miami Condo Rankings page so everyone can learn about other aspects that aren’t transparent in the five included categories.  There are a plethora of other factors that, in reality, also play a role in someone’s decision to choose one condo development over others such as parking, floor plans, balcony space, etc.  I tried to keep it as simple as possible, however, and highlight the most important contributing factors.  The Miami Condo Rankings page is to act as more of a guide to nonlocal buyers.  Nothing is cut-and-dry when buying real estate.

Below, you find some determining factors that I took into account when deciding on the score for each category for the Miami Condo Rankings:

Location

  • It’s important to note that the scores for the location category were determined based only on Miami.  I did not take Miami Beach into account.  Obviously, because of the proximity of the beach, restaurants and nightlife, Miami Beach buildings would have received higher scores.  I may include Miami Beach condo buildings at a later date and adjust the scores for the location category of each condo development throughout Miami.  I know that a lot of people who frequent this site are very attached to their neighborhoods and may feel that their neighborhood deserves a higher score.  Please feel free to contribute your comments so others can view what you have to say.   Proximity to restaurants, grocery stores, shops, nightlife and the overall quality of the neighborhood played a determing factor when creating the location scores.

Views

  • I based my scoring for this category on the average views offered in the condo building.  Most condo developments provide the best views to the 3 bedroom units (or 2 bedroom units if 3 bedrooms aren’t offered).  Obviously, if you’re in the market for a 3 bedroom and the condo development that you might have your eyes on only has a score of 6 then you’ll need to make the adjustment for yourself.  Again, the score for views is based on the average views of all of the condo units in the building.

Quality

  • Of the 5 categories included in the Miami Condo Rankings, this was the most difficult to determine.  This category was the reason why it took so long for me to publish these condo rankings.  There were so many factors to take into account when calculating these figures.  First most, I took the quality of the building into account along with the amenities offered.  Second, I wanted to factor in the average quality of the units.  This was difficult because some of these Miami condo buildings have been around for over 20 year and some of the condo units have been completely upgraded.  As a result, age of the building played a role in determining the scores.  Some people love the stability, larger floor plans (in most cases) and historical significance of older condo buildings.  Meanwhile, I think most people, at least the buyers I have encountered, love the freshness of a brand new building.  If you’re the type of buyer who appreciates the positive aspects that an older building affords, then you’ll definitely want to adjust my score upwards for this category as well.

Waterfront

  • This was the easiest of the 5 categories to determine scores for each condo development even though it wasn’t as simple as one might think.  If a condo development is located directly on the waterfront then I gave it a score of 10.  If it isn’t waterfront but resides across from a city park or other unobstructed piece of land with no other future use then I gave it a 7.5.  If it is a riverfront condo development then I gave it a 5 and if it was completely landlocked then it got a score of 2.5.  I did make an exception for Four Seasons Residences, however.  The condo units at Four Seasons Residences begin on the 40th floor.  Even though it is a landlocked building, I gave it a 7.5 because it offers gorgeous views and I don’t think any nearby buildings will impede on these views any time soon.

Risk Adjustment

  • There’s definitely risk associated with buying a condo in Miami.  The risk varies from condo building to condo building, however.  I calculated my risk score for older buildings based on how many foreclosures and short-sales there currently are in the condo building.  The score was determined for newer buildings based mainly on how well the condo development is presently doing with their closings.  The risk adjustment score will periodically be adjusted to reflect any changes in risk.  I’m hoping that these scores will eventually be close to a score of 10 within 3-5 years.  We shall see.  It is important to note that risk isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  With risk comes reward (in some cases). Jade at Brickell Bay currently has a risk adjustment score of 4.  It’s a gorgeous building but there are a ton of foreclosures, hence the score.  With recent closed sales near $400 per square foot, I think prices have fallen in line with what the market is dictating.  Regardless, the building does have a lot of foreclosures so there is risk.

I also added a few other columns to the Miami Condo Rankings page.  You will find Year Built, Developer and Architect included on the page.  These columns weren’t used to create a final ranking but they are important to note.  I hope the Miami Condo Rankings page helps nonlocal and local Miami condo buyers in their search for a Miami condo.

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107 Comments on "Miami Condo Rankings Page Goes Live"


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Anonymous
Condo Type Thang
8 years 2 months ago
Kudos Lucas – this is a great add to your web portfolio. Glad to see that while others are “looking for new adventures” and leaving the REI world, you’re sticking it through and bringing enhancements online. Nice work! Now, can you work on some enhancements to your Property Search? I get very inconsistent behavior on there. And free form entry of SQ Footage would be nice. Also, how about older condo complexes too – it seems like there is much focus on the new complexes being put up around town, but there are some older gems out there too.
Anonymous
cyrus
8 years 2 months ago
EXCELLENT addition LUCAS. you’re certainly starting to set yourself apart … this will definitively work out for you in the future. real nice job. on a sidebar, did you or anyone on this site see this? Miami Herald: July 21, 2008 Report: Criminal records in Fla. mortgage industry Florida’s chief financial officer is calling for the state’s top mortgage regulator to step down after a newspaper report found that thousands of people with criminal records were allowed to work in the mortgage industry. In addition to Don Saxon’s resignation, Florida CFO Alex Sink is also calling for an executive order… Read more »
Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 2 months ago

cyrus
my question is was this a surprise? i mean, isn’t the herald reporting on something we , albeit tacitly, knew already?

Anonymous
umer ahmad
8 years 2 months ago

Lucas,
awesome addition! i would like to request however specially for those of us who are not as familiar with the miami buildings to perhaps have a link from the name of each building to some details about them such as location on map, some pictures if possible, that would certainly save from searching about that building individually….Thanks.

Anonymous
Shelley
8 years 2 months ago
Lucas, This is a great idea and I’m glad you did it. Is is possible that each building could have a hotlink on it for individual discussion? Seeing raking numbers is great, but actual dialog on a building someone is interested in would be a fantastic addition. Also, I realize you specialize in Miami area condos, but I’m sure a lot of your readers are also interested in the Ft. Lauderdale area. Do you think you could make a section for new buildings in those surrounding areas for individual rankings and discussions? It wouldn’t require any work on your part… Read more »
Anonymous
jorge
8 years 2 months ago

Hi Lucas,
I just tried accessing the condo ranking page using safari (mac) and is not showing properly. Not sure if you need to do some adjustments.
thank you
jorge

Anonymous
Juan
8 years 2 months ago

Jorge,

I think the Safari Browser looks good now. Nice!

Anonymous
8 years 2 months ago

If you are able to leave comments on each building then it could be like a forum, that would be really good especially if the perspective is from residents of those buildings

Anonymous
RCR
8 years 2 months ago

The Miami area is in a recession. Could you imagine what would happen to this area if we took away all the money funelled into the community from real estate, mortgage, medicare, political fraud and drug dealing? It would be ten times worse than the Great Depression, for this area.

Anonymous
Nate
8 years 2 months ago

Lucas,
As you intended, this is a great resource for out of state people like me. One thing that might make it even nicer is to link each condo to the units for sale. For example, it would be interesting to easily see the average listing/sale price per square foot next to the rankings to see if they match up.

Anonymous
Richard
8 years 2 months ago

Good job Lucas–it could almost lend itself to becoming a wikapedia style list where people could add facts to each property.

Anonymous
cyrus
8 years 2 months ago

jcrimes,

just posting an article. maybe it’s a surprise to some and obvious to others. personally i thought 10,000 criminals was a high number but nothing new for south florida as a whole.

Anonymous
moretroops
8 years 2 months ago

I think we’re all asking a bit too much from Lucas. Fort Lauderdale? Wikipedia?

He’s just one man for Godsake!

Anonymous
8 years 2 months ago

Cool feature Lucas but could you make the property names linkable to their listings? I had to search thru your site to find out where Santa Maria is…

Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 2 months ago
cyrus not shooting the messenger (you). i was just under the impression that folks viewed mortgage brokers on the whole as a suspect group of folks and the herald’s “groundbreaking” review is much ado about nothing. really, cutting to the chase, i just think the herald sucks…that’s right cote – bring it!!! lucas – i like the addition. i guess the only criticism is that i think everything should be relative rather than absolute. for example, blue arguably has the best views for the arts district and thus, everything should be compared to it in that hood. on a sidenote,… Read more »
Anonymous
Juan
8 years 2 months ago

“Cool feature Lucas but could you make the property names linkable to their listings? I had to search thru your site to find out where Santa Maria is…”

No way!! You actually had to search thru the site!!! Shame on Lucas

All kidding aside, good job Lucas. I like the new addition.

Anonymous
Grant
8 years 2 months ago

Lucas, great job again. I noticed that there are a a couple of buildings missing like Star Lofts and Onyx. Or maybe they wouldn’t score. I’m curious as I follow them in tandem with Quantum, Opera, and Cite.

Anonymous
8 years 2 months ago

Lucas Maybe you can link the page so I can tag pictures and videos to the buildings from my iPhone! You should also be able to comment and everyone should be able to upload pictures, also we should get streming live video and place webcams in the Lobby ahajajajaj im just kidding, poor Lucas stop asking for so many things!

Anonymous
8 years 2 months ago

The building names will eventually be linked. I still have a lot of other new ideas for the site that you’ll see in the coming months. The changes take time to roll out though.

Anonymous
Rental Problem
8 years 2 months ago
I am hoping someone here can help… I have been living in a rental unit for the past 2 years and my landlord told me yesterday that because the unit has dropped so much in price (40%), he is actually upside down on the mortgage (owes $80k more than what the unit is worth) and therefore wants to stop paying the bank to try and negotiate. I was thinking on moving out by December, but what should I do now? I am afraid that the bank will kick me out. How long does the process usually take? Should I move… Read more »
Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 2 months ago

rental
if a foreclosure hasn’t been filed…no need to worry. it’s taking about 120 days for an uncontested foreclosure.

as for your landlord, if he already has last month’s rent and security deposit, i’d be very careful with how much you give him going forward

Anonymous
Shelley
8 years 2 months ago

@Moretroops. Yes I know it might take a *little* more effort to add a few links to buildings in Ft. Lauderdale and hotlink the buildings for forum discussion. But that would be it – just the list of buildings and forum links. The rest would be reader supplied. I’m sure lots of readers on here are considering purchasing a unit either in Miami or a little further north. It would be a great resource, since I haven’t found condo rating forum anywhere on the web.

Thanks again Lucas.

Anonymous
Generalmagic
8 years 2 months ago
Rental Problem, I would be careful. You might get process servers coming to your apartment and putting notices on your door at any given hour in a day. Foreclosure, especially in this market, can take a lot of time especially if owners keep postponing the inevitable. I would also be very careful of your deposit and getting it back. So if you have last months rent and a deposit with the landlord you may just want to tell him that you are no longer paying him and move into an apartment where the owner is not upside down. I am… Read more »
Anonymous
Rental Problem
8 years 2 months ago

Thank you for your help!

How do I know if a foreclosure has been filed? He said he is current up to July 31st, but how do I know?

Anonymous
dobieman
8 years 2 months ago

rental problem, go to the clerk of the court website to see if a case has been filed in circuit court also,, look up the owner’s name in the public records portion of the clerk’s website under mortgages to see if you can find the lender name although the mortgage is usually sold and the new mortgagor does not file

Lucas, hats off to you for all you do here, hope it brings you business — you deserve it

Anonymous
8 years 2 months ago
Try and get your deposit back if you can and dont worry if the foreclosure just started they will give you time to pack your stuff especially if they are trying to negotiatie a short sale and they keep extendeding the sale date. If he stops paying this month it will be at least 3-4 months until you get a notice of Default and a Lis Pendes is filed. You should always check to make sure that the apt you rent is not in foreclosure, many times I have seen apartments that are asking 1 month to move in and… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 2 months ago

Seems like a surprisingly honest landlord.

Anonymous
Carrie T
8 years 2 months ago

What a great website!! Your information has been so helpful. I have been searching for Miami property through a site called property maps. Your information has been a great addition to it.

Anonymous
Brian
8 years 2 months ago

I would like to know what nightlife there is in Brickell. Sleeping? Watching TV?

Anonymous
JR56
8 years 2 months ago

just closed on a unit, the building is usuing a cable company named “primecast” any one ever heard of them? any good?

Anonymous
Richard
8 years 2 months ago

Renter–would be very tempting to stop paying and ride out the foreclosure for free–banks claim they hate vacant units and the owner must have his own place.

Anonymous
la la
8 years 2 months ago

Brian,

I live on Brickell, don’t forget reading and playing video games which is pretty much what my husband and I do…heeeeeeee, we’re crazy that way! We just got Wii fitness! And I’m addicted to Wii tennis! Can you handle it!

Anonymous
la la
8 years 2 months ago

Oh and reading Lucas’s blog of course!

Anonymous
la la
8 years 2 months ago

From what I hear, my more hip friends go to Segrafedo and Novecento…that’s pretty much it…

Anonymous
la la
8 years 2 months ago

Did I spell Segrafedo right?

Anonymous
la la
8 years 2 months ago

shit, i didn’t’! Segafredo:)

Anonymous
Richard
8 years 2 months ago

JR–A lot of new buildings seem to sign up with a middleman for cable–I am sure its a profit center for the developer. Actual service is regular cable company or satelite.

Anonymous
moretroops
8 years 2 months ago

There’s a surprising amount of of new nightlife on Brickell, actually. Segafredo is bumpin’, plus Badrutt’s Place, Transit Lounge, the entire Mary Brickell Village Scene (incl. Blue Martini), the new Irish pub at One Broadway, Centro and Novecento. It’s a far cry from the wasteland of just a year or two ago.

Anonymous
Dick Tracy Wrist Watch Phone
8 years 2 months ago
Actually the IPhone will be old hat. Two months from now the wrist watch phone is coming out and I hope your website works with it. Why don’t you do a review on each cell phone and how it works for real estate hunters. I just bought the iphone killer for example the instinct by samsung. Later on your could have a discreet section to order, get some revenue off this website 4 you. I like the suggestion for a forum on each building, could talk about some of the issues with buildings such as airconditioning not working, leaks, perhaps… Read more »
Anonymous
Brian
8 years 2 months ago

That is more nightlife than downtown and the arts district?

I don’t know how Brickell can be considered a 10 in location. What if I want to dance, where do I go? What if I want to go to see a concert, where do I go? What if I want to see the Heat, where do I go? If I want to see Art, where do I go?

Not Brickell…

I mean, is Brickell’s nightlife that much different than Coral Gables?

Give me downtown or the arts district. Which are more fun, and closer to the beach, than Brickell.

Anonymous
8 years 2 months ago

Where do you guys think price will bottom out at the jade? I recently saw an apt at the Jade Corner Unit 1 bed plus Den 2 bath 1293 SqFt on the corner but low floor but you see the bay drom the balcony. I havent gotten the pricing from the lender yet but its coming at around 200K if I had the cash I would pick it up at 200K that would be $154 a Foot for Jade

Anonymous
perez
8 years 2 months ago

Alejandro, price is very good, but don’t forget to add $750/month maintenance fees. With building’s foreclosure notoriety and corresponding budget shortfalls, possibility of fee increases and assessments have to be factored in.

Other than contacting the condo association, is there a publicly available resources which tracks condos’ fees and assessments?

Anonymous
probably too cynical
8 years 2 months ago

I was walking Brickell at 5:30am this morning going in to the office early, and I couldn’t help but notice how many early-risers there are at 501 Brickell and Axis. How ambitious those residents must be! there were as many lights on in those buildings at 5:30am as at 10pm! Unlike the lazy bastards in the surrounding, more-established buildings, which generally had only small number of lights on at that early hour.

Anonymous
Un-Related
8 years 2 months ago

probably to cynical,

That is the funniest damn thing I have ever read on here, albeit, I inadvertently made large “donations” to both.

The only “lazy bastards” that will be getting their wake-up call will be the paper shufflers at RCRS!

Anonymous
renting at plaza on brickell
8 years 2 months ago

The Plaza has Primecast. I had not had any problems. I have the basic cable that is included plus I pay 34.95 for internet (less than what I paid AT&T at my old place).

Anonymous
perez
8 years 2 months ago

Excellent article about condo associations problems with lender foreclosures, references Bentley Bay, and the steal at the Bath Club.

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202423176300

What is the easiest way to determine the financial health of a condo association? are income statements, balance sheets, fees per sq ft, or special assessments publicly available?

Anonymous
Un-Related
8 years 2 months ago

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

“The Hypocracy of Jorge Perez”

http://beckandlee.wordpress.com/

Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 2 months ago

perez
assuming the ass’n is operating in a cash positive manner, in my opinion, reserves are by far the best indicator of financial health.

Anonymous
moretroops
8 years 2 months ago

Un-related — the author of the article you linked is an attorney who is known to bring a condo suit or two. So take it with that in mind. And btw, the author talks about the hypocrisy of of Perez, but what about the hypocrisy of the condo flippers, who sue to get out their contracts simply because the market has turned. They were more than willing to abide when the market was up. Just sayin.

Anonymous
Juan
8 years 2 months ago

I agree with moretroops completely. Un-Related it is not Jorge’s fault you made a bad investment. You signed 2 contracts thinking you could flip the units. He kept his end of the bargain and delivered the units as described, you’re the one asking for your money back.

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