The Future of Real Estate

October 3, 2009 by Lucas Lechuga

A few months ago, I referred to a secret project that I was working on that would crush my competition.  We’ve had a few delays, but after a little over 3 months of work we are now very close to completing it.  Today, I provide you a sneak peek of that project.  It’s an iPhone application that will revolutionize the industry.  I’ve done a ton of research on the capabilities and flaws of the iPhone and have thought of everything.  I won’t go into the features of the application at this point for obvious reasons but I must say that I’m very proud of this little pocket rocket.  In the picture above, you see the start up screen.  I didn’t want to reveal too much at this time but I will unveil other screen shots within the next two weeks and go into all of the features of the Miami Condo Investments iPhone application.  I’m also preparing to launch the same application on the Android platform early next year.

Early next month, I’m also planning to launch a new website.  It’s coming along very well and it has exceeded all of my expectations.  I recently brought in an assistant and showing agent to help me during these months of expansion.  I’m looking to bring in 1-2 additional agents within the next couple of months.  My plan is to solely concentrate on this website and the iPhone application and crank out 5-6 posts per week.  Unfortunately, that means that I won’t be able to do anymore showings.  However, you can be rest assured that you will always meet with a quality agent who knows the South Florida condo markets as well as I do (well maybe not that well).

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68 Comments on "The Future of Real Estate"


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Anonymous
Lara
6 years 11 months ago

http://www.buybeach.com/recent_sales/data/con0909.htm

I think it will be interesting for you to look at this info.

Lucas your new website is going to absorb this blog is not it?

Anonymous
6 years 11 months ago

” I’ve done a ton of research on the capabilities and flaws of the iPhone and have thought of everything.”

Lucas,

You’ll turn out a much better product getting eyes on it early in the devlopment cycle.

Anonymous
Drew
6 years 11 months ago

Eagerly awaiting your explanation, Lucas, because I’m having a hard time figuring out how a “real estate app” will be useful from a practical standpoint compared to any other real estate research that can be done on a laptop or PC.

Anonymous
900 Fan
6 years 11 months ago

Hope you didn’t spend too much money on building an app. Most of the readers here aren’t really buyers. Incase you haven’t discovered.

Anonymous
gables
6 years 11 months ago
Lucas, Excited to see the new web and app. Hope it is all you dream it to be. Will be fun to see a steady stream of posts again! 900 Fan, You would be amazed at the number of people on this blog, or who silently read it, that are buyers. Remember that a buyers time horizon is not 6 weeks. In reality, a buyer may look for a year or more before deciding to purchase-and this is in normal times. Under current conditions that time lines may be 2, 3 or 4 years. In case you failed to realize,… Read more »
Anonymous
On the money
6 years 11 months ago

Is it possible to post more CONDO DEAL’S on the site Lucas?//I’m sure there MUST be some deal’s around. thank you

Anonymous
Juan
6 years 11 months ago

Congrats Lucas. I’m curious to see the final product

Anonymous
Kramer
6 years 11 months ago

Lara Post # 1

I have to thank you again for posting those closings. This information is invaluable and yes Lucas needs to somehow start including this.

Gables

Regarding your post # 5 it appears to me that after perusing Lara’s closing table that we are closing in on $200. per sq. ft as the new norm. Skyline – Brickell River – Emerald – Imperial House – One Miami etc.

Anonymous
gables
6 years 11 months ago
Kramer, Some of the low hanging fruit can be had at a good price, but activity wont pick up until the more average units reach these lower prices. Right now most people cannot afford a $200k loan in a building once tax and HOA are included. Watch rents over the next 6 months. They all dropped to around $1700-$2200 for 2B new units-which does not cover carrying costs. If we see another drop, look out. That means the owners are heading into foreclosure and capturing any cash possible. Note all of the short sales listed in these buildings. These are… Read more »
Anonymous
6 years 11 months ago

Amusing read on most of the current stalled/empty projects

“Suspended Habitation”
http://www.biscaynetimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=403:suspended-habitation&catid=46:features&Itemid=162

Anonymous
scrivener
6 years 11 months ago

Kudos on the innovation.

Best regards.

scriv

Anonymous
OM
6 years 11 months ago

Congrats Lucas on taking the lead! Perfect time to start investing in new projects and getting prepared for the future.

Anonymous
Hugo P
6 years 11 months ago

What are these guys smoking???

http://www.miapoliscity.com/

Anonymous
pink panther
6 years 11 months ago
Paramount Bay 2066 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami Developer: Royal Palm Communities Status: Unoccupied Even compared to its other high-rise neighbors towering over the new concrete canyon along N. Bayshore Drive, Paramount Bay is big, really big. Reaching 555 feet at its tallest point, the L-shaped tower contains 346 residences, a two-level fitness center, a 40-seat movie theater, nightclub spaces, pedestrian retail, and a rooftop pool. But during a recent visit, the only signs of life were lighting fixtures in the ceiling of the three-story lobby and a security guard posted at the mouth of the condo’s parking garage. Carlos Gutierrez,… Read more »
Anonymous
scrivener
6 years 11 months ago

JL, DREW, et. al:

While I applaud Lucas’s use of technology and won’t criticize the soup before it is served, I would offer this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/technology/05apps.html?_r=1&ref=business

See paragraph 3 re: Redfin’s app. (just a thought)

pink panther – – I particularly enjoyed the part of your post concerning the crane falling on the 1920’s era house. Priceless!!

scriv

Anonymous
DJ
6 years 11 months ago
Hugo (#13), If that link you posted is to the same project, and I’m about 90% sure it is, then it’s really old. I remember back in 2004/2005 I met this guy hanging out by my buddy’s pool that was trying to raise capital for the project. He gave me the whole song and dance, promising that it was a sure bet and that this would be like nothing else in the world, then asked for a million bucks. What a joke. I wonder how many people actually fell for that garbage. Lucas, Congrats on the app! I’ve already got… Read more »
Anonymous
Wild Bill
6 years 11 months ago

When America looks back and starts documenting this real estate depression I’m sure these iPhone apps will be mentioned in Wikipedia.

Not sure I would want my product, company, or name linked to historical stories about the depression.

Anonymous
6 years 11 months ago

An iphone app that would use the GPS function and show you all the properties within x miles that fit yor criteria and map it out would be interesting… is the app something along those lines?

Anyway, the danger, especially with Real Estate is that it’s a labor intensive search meaning people would probably like to do their research at home in front of a large screen. RE is a serious purchase and a large purchase so an application needs to bring the steak and not just sizzle. Most iphone apps are sizzle.

Anonymous
Un-Related
6 years 11 months ago

Good one Lucas,

You will make a lot more monry off of this that you will selling RE over the next 10 years!

Anonymous
jcrimes
6 years 11 months ago
i have to admit, i was a big fan of filling station. the amenities were awesome (parquet basketball floor, free weights gym etc.) and the unit layouts with the 18ft ceilings were (high enough to put a workable mezzanine level in) made for a great concept. now however, the developer cut so many corners just to get the place half built, that it’s no longer appealing even if it does get finished. as for ios, i think it’s a great project, probably one of the best in the biscayne corridor, but the prices are still too high once you consider… Read more »
Anonymous
Renter Tom
6 years 11 months ago
Coool, I’m on my third iPhone and another great app would be great. Best wishes and look forward to seeing what the end product is. – On a side note, on HGTV the show Real Estate Intervention is great! Unreal how people get anchored on wishing prices despite riding the market down…for 2 years in one recent episode (yes, two years of denial). If there aren’t tears then the host isn’t doing his job. It is sad really but the sympathy ends when you see someone who took out a $525,000 interest only loan with ZERO down payment for a… Read more »
Anonymous
6 years 11 months ago
Anonymous
SwissLuxury.Com
6 years 11 months ago

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/realestate/2009989812_realcondoguy04.html

Complimentary article from Seattle about Mr. Tibor Hollo………………

Anonymous
Randomly Guy
6 years 11 months ago

I’m surprised the Biscayne Times article didn’t mention that Biscayne Landing (in addition to being built on a Superfund site that was dubiously de-listed) was built right next to a water treatment plant and the area smells like a sewer a lot of the time.

Anonymous
Randomly Guy
6 years 11 months ago

From what I saw of Ios, it looked nice on the outside. Too bad nobody was there to show off units when I arrived during business hours. They still want too much, though.

Anonymous
Renter Tom
6 years 11 months ago

Randomly Guy – Driving west on 163rd from Collins sometimes you can smell the sewage plant, depending on the weather. It is nasty. The smell sometimes travels to Biscayne Blvd and beyond. Nasty smell. If Biscayne Landing has that very often….there is no way that would be livable.

Anonymous
Randomly Guy
6 years 11 months ago

Tom – I’ve passed by that area a lot over the past 6 years. Biscayne Landing is almost right at ground zero for that smell. It’s not livable. I don’t know why anyone okayed that project in the first place.

Anonymous
Drew
6 years 11 months ago

Randomly Guy- one word why that stupid stinky project was approved: GREED

Anonymous
DJ
6 years 11 months ago

That Biscayne Landing area STINKS! I used to go to the FIU library when I was studying for the bar exam a few years ago, and literally the whole area smells like raw sewage.

Anonymous
Lara
6 years 11 months ago

SwissLuxury, thank you for your article. It was very interesting to read. Tibor Hollo seems like a brilliant and very brave guy. It is so amazing that at his age he keeps sharp mind, creativity and business qualities instead of crying over bad market. I really admire that.

At the same time I completely disapproved his actions towards Lucas.

Anonymous
Randomly Guy
6 years 11 months ago

Drew – On city of North Miami’s side, it’s obvious that it was greed. But it’s the developers’ side I don’t understand. After smelling that smell, how could any developer in their right mind think they could shine that turd? What buyer in their right mind would buy there after smelling that? When they first started developing there, neither the Biscayne Commons shopping center nor the Total Wine even existed at that time.

Anonymous
SwissLuxury.Com
6 years 11 months ago

Hi Lara! He’s not my favorite developer, but I hope I’m that feisty at 81 (or simply make it to 81 LOL!) Maybe you can answer a question for me….we sold our apartment at LATITUDE back in August (#1411 3BDRM $360K, my last name is Randall), yet it shows up nowhere in the previous sales figures on sites like these…Do you know why? It makes me think there are a lot of other transactions we can’t see…..I do know it is a TON of work to look at actual closings on current buildings like 900, ICON, Marquis, etc……

Anonymous
Lara
6 years 11 months ago

Response to #32.

I have no idea why your closing is not reflected in any info table or statistics. May be it has not been recorded yet. Go to miami-dade county website and if you do not see it there it means it was not recorded. The next step would be to address this issue to your closing title co.

Anonymous
SwissLuxury.Com
6 years 11 months ago

2009 R 610649 is the clerk’s file # so we know the sale recorded, just doesn’t show in the MLS records I guess………

Anonymous
DJ
6 years 11 months ago

SwissLuxury,

I checked, and the condo I bought recently is recorded here on Lucas’ site under the “recent sales” tab for that building, but there is another sale in the building that occured at around the same time (as per county records) that does not show up here. Mine actually showed up within like a day after I closed. Who knows.

Anonymous
Lara
6 years 11 months ago

Can someone recommend reliable insurance co in Miami. Since I have tenants in my apartments and due to new Laws I fould like to get liability insurance. I would appreciate your responses.

Anonymous
Drew
6 years 11 months ago
Randomly Guy- Blame it on irrational exuberance. Many development decisions, in hindsight, made no sense. But the market was so hot at the time that everything made perfect sense. Now we are realizing how absurd it was. For example, look at TAO in Sunrise. A developer (Weitzer) and lender (Corus) actually thought it would be a great idea to build twin 26 story towers in suburban Sunrise on the fringes of the Everglades…failing to comprehend that people move to West Broward to live in a house w/decent sf and have a yard, not to live in a shitbox in the… Read more »
Anonymous
Lara
6 years 11 months ago

Swiss Luxury, do you know something about Neo Vertica. Since it is in the neibourhood what is your opinion about the building?

Anonymous
scrivener
6 years 11 months ago
Lara: I had a friend who lived there for a year and did not like it. She reported that the parking garage is narrow and the spaces are very close together – – increasing the chances that a car will be dinged by a neighboring vehicle. She reported that the glass windows are not low-e glass (or treated) so her unit (2 bedroom) heated up like a sauna every morning when the sun came up. This meant that her electrical bill doubled as the air conditioner ran constantly – – particularly in the summer. She also reported that residents were… Read more »
Anonymous
Lara
6 years 11 months ago

scrivener, thnk you very much for taking your time and expressing your opinion.

Anonymous
Hugo P
6 years 11 months ago
scrivener… I sincerely doubt that the developer used classic pvc pipe in the sprinkler system. Not sure how the city woudl miss something like that and why a subcontractor would use it and be faced with the huge potential liability. Plastic pipes can tolerate the pressure and are regularly used in sprinkler systems across the US, but they are generally made of CPVC, which is heat resistant and much easier to install than the metallic alternative (no torch, light weight, etc.). A lot of the new buildings in So FL have this system, so it’s not something new There was… Read more »
Anonymous
SwissLuxury.Com
6 years 11 months ago
Lara, Here are the positives on NEO VERTIKA 1. Low price point 2. Good Location walking distance to mary Brickell & riverfront you can watch the boats go by……. 3. Great views on higher floors 4. Restaurants nearby: River Oyster, Andu, Grazzianos Negatives: 1. Not super high quality construction 2. Noise (this depends on which way your unit faces)….not only from the 2 river clubs mentioned but they just opened an irish pub bar on the premises “Waxy O’Connor’s” as well… This property is probably best for the younger crowd and if bought cheap enough might work out as a… Read more »
Anonymous
gables
6 years 11 months ago

I recall water and pipe issues a couple of years ago when neo vertika first opened. Almost moved in there, until Lucas showed the pics of a few disaster units. Thanks for the save Lucas!

Are there any steps a unit owner can take to control noise issues? Insulation on the walls, ceilings or floors to suppress neighbor noise? Or are you just stuck with the mess?

Anonymous
scrivener
6 years 11 months ago

Hugo P:

I’m just reporting what my friend/former resident reported. Thanks for the information on CPVC. Neat stuff!

gables: I had forgotten what a great job Lucas did on this issue. See:

http://www.miamicondoinvestments.com/2007/06/05/neo-vertika-living-in-a-war-zone-pictures/

http://www.miamicondoinvestments.com/2007/05/21/shoddy-construction-at-neo-vertika/

http://www.miamicondoinvestments.com/2007/06/06/feedback-forum/

Kudos Lucas!

scriv

Anonymous
Renter Tom
6 years 11 months ago

gables – There is a special drywall that is sound absorbing that you could just lay over the existing drywall…it is about an inch thick so if you are already finishing out the unit that may be the easiest to apply to the adjoining wall(s). You would think there would be some sort of sound part of the building code….. It is a huge issue in some buildings. I can’t imagine spending $500K+ and being able to easily hear your neighbors or the people in the hallways…absurd when the cost at the time of construction would have been minimal.

Anonymous
Lara
6 years 11 months ago

Thank you for all your opinions about Neo Vertica. I’ll take it into consideration. It is not that I reached the price point with the owner. If I do not reach it to my satisfaction then forget about it. To me it is a pure investment.

Anonymous
jcrimes
6 years 11 months ago
herald’s running an article on the corus sale. pretty impressive terms. the face value makes it look as if starwood bought it for 60 cents on the dollar. the reality is that the purchase price was $554 million. all starwood has to do is payoff a chunk of 0% notes and a billion dollar credit line (which is being provided to finish construction). presumably, no guaranty exposure. depending on starwood’s hold strategy (along with the value of non-fla portfolio) . they will make a killing. the gov’t is literally giving them free money to finish everything, rent it while paying… Read more »
Anonymous
Renter Tom
6 years 11 months ago

I thought I would look at a few non-new buildings. Wow, there are some really cr*ppy condo buildings out there…

Anonymous
Probably too Cynical
6 years 11 months ago

http://www.globest.com/news/1512_1512/florida/181481-1.html

just a hunch that condo prices won’t be resetting upwards……

Anonymous
Renter Tom
6 years 11 months ago
Will this video shock you?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbUk4H3FRMw In my opinion, these people are scum. THEY signed the contract, no one put a gun to their head and now us taxpayers will be footing the bill from the damage they create. Also, neighboring property values will also decline as the sales comps for the neighborhood will tank. Gray area of the law? No it is not. Time to prosecute…go to jail. I wonder how many of these people took out all the equity possible to finance their lifestyle…..a majority of foreclosures are due to using their homes as an ATM than just… Read more »
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