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Miami is the 4th Healthiest City according to

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on April 24, 2015

Miami is the 4th Healthiest City by Livability -

By now you have learned to know that I love when Miami makes it to TOP LISTS, especially when those lists are as positive as this one.  We sell Miami and knowing we are on a positive light, makes us happy. says that there are 2 ways to look at a great healthy city,

The first and obvious way is to look for cities with the best health care in terms of access, quality and affordability. The second is to dive a little deeper into how the city promotes and enables a healthy lifestyle for its residents. For our Top 10 Healthiest Cities, we looked at both sides of the equation.

10. Yonkers, NY

9. Fort Collins, CO

8. Honolulu, HI

7. Santa Ana, CA

6. Alrlington, VA

5. Bridgeport, CT

4. Miami, FL

3. Madison, WI

2. Cambridge, MA

1. Minneapolis, MN mentions that the connection between beauty and health is best seen in Miami (yeah baby…that means we look good!).  Because Miami is considered one of the most attractive cities in the country, we take eating right and exercise seriously!

Miami-Dade County ranks No. 1 among Florida counties when it comes to healthy lifestyle choices. The majority of residents get in some kind of daily exercise at least three times a week, which has helped keep the city’s obesity rate under 23 percent. While Miami’s spicy nightlife scene is celebrated and draws thousands of tourists, the majority of residents resist the urge to drink excessively or smoke. Besides, dancing counts as exercise. White sand beaches beckon sun lovers to come out and play in the surf, while Miami’s many parks and recreation centers provide more opportunities to get in a workout. Add the lures of deep-sea fishing, tennis and golf, and it’s hard not to get moving.

The nearby Everglades National Park features hiking and biking trails, and offers great views of this unique habitat for crocodiles and panthers, while the 30-mile M-Path and South Dade Trail form a nearly continuous path from downtown Miami to Florida City. There’s also opportunities close-by to canoe and kayak.

Although the Miami has a high number of uninsured, it’s doctor-to-resident ratio is high, and most residents get annual health screenings. Hospitals and doctors offices in Miami hold high rankings in the health-care world. With dozens of vegetarian and vegan restaurants along with juice bars and smoothie shops, finding a healthy treat is easy in Miami. An assortment of farmers markets and co-ops supply residents with organic and/or locally grown fruits and vegetables. Good air quality (compared with the rest of the state) and clean drinking water help make Miami a healthy place to live.

I was pleasantly surprised at the quality content provided by Livability, go check them out.  We thank our South Haven, Michigan colleague, Ryan Servatius, for the blog fodder – Thanks Ryan!


Bal Harbor Real Estate Market Report for March 2015

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on April 23, 2015

Bal Harbor, Fl - Real Estate Market Reports by

There are currently 173  Bal Harbor condos for sale: (2 less than last month)

  • Highest priced listing: One Bal Harbour Penthouse (PH2604) for $27 Million  – 5 bedrooms / 5.5 bathrooms and 7,779 sq. ft. of living space
  • Lowest priced listing:  1 bedroom co-op at Brownstone Co-Op Apts for $225,000
  • Pending Sales: 18 (same as last month)
  • Closed sales in March: 17 (4 more than last month)

The 17 Bal Harbor Condos sold in March were the following:

  • Admiralty Apts Co-op – 10160 Collins Av #303n – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,800 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $499,000 in January and selling for $525,000 ($236/sq.ft.)
  • Bal Bridge South Co-op – 10230 Collins Av #204 – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,400 sq.ft. of living space.  Originally listed for $275,000 in January of 2014, reduced to $265,000 in March of 2014 and selling for $230,000 ($164/sq.ft.)
  • Balmoral Condo at 9801 Collins Av had 4 sales averaging $593/sq.ft. (same as last month)
    • unit 19C – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,688 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $979,000 in January and selling for $950,000 ($563/sq.ft.)
    • unit 19L – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,968 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $1,250,000 in January and selling for $935,000 ($475/sq.ft.)
    • unit 12U – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,688 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $959,000 in February and selling for $930,000 ($551/sq.ft.)
    • unit 17Y – 3 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms with 1,983 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $1,695,000 in September of 2014 and selling for $1,550,000 ($782/sq.ft.)
  • Carlton Terrace Condo – 10245 Collins Av #6B – 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom with 1,204 sq.ft. of living space.  Originally listed for $569,000 in December of 2014 with several price reductions and selling for $499,000 ($414/sq.ft.)
  • Harbour House at 10275 Collins Av had 3 sales averaging $565/sq.ft. (compared to $515 in February)
    • unit 527 – 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom with 896 sq.ft. of living space.  Originally listed for $445,000 in October of 2014 with several price reductions and selling for $425,000 ($474/sq.ft.)
    • unit 725 – 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom with 896 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $499,000 in December of 2014 and selling for $465,000 ($519/sq.ft.)
    • unit 730 – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,056 sq.ft. of living space.  Originally listed for $719,000 in July of 2013, with several price increases last one at $750,000 and selling for $740,000 ($701/sq.ft.)
  • Majestic Tower at 9601 Collins had 2 sales averaging $984/sq.ft.
    • unit 1409 – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 2,160 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $2.2 million in January and selling for $2,025,000 ($938/sq.ft.)
    • unit 1510 – 3 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms with 2,430 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $2,435,000 in April of 2014 and selling for $2,5000,000 ($1,029/sq.ft.)
  • Ritz Carlton Bal Harbour – 10295 Collin Av #613 – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,667 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $1,850,000 in January and selling for $1,625,000 ($975/sq.ft.)
  • St. Regis Bal Harbour at 9703 Collins Av had 2 sales averaging $1,466/sq.ft.
    • unit 405 – 1 bedroom / 2 bathrooms with 1,475 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $2,199,000 in June of 2014 and selling for $2,000,000 ($1,356/sq.ft.)
    • unit 1805N – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,777 sq.ft. of living space.  Listed for $3.25 million in May of 2014 and selling for $2,800,000 ($1,576/sq.ft.)
  • The Plaza at Bal Harbour – 10185 Collins Av #515 – 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom with 1,019 sq.ft. of living space. Originally listed for $299,999 in February of 2013 with several price drops and increases, last one at $319,000 and selling at $310,000 ($304/sq.ft.)
  • Tiffany of Bal Harbour – 10175 Collins Av #705 – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 2,018 sq.ft. of living space.  Originally listed for $989,000 in December of 2014 and selling for $930,000 ($461/sq.ft.)

We separate Bal Harbour Condo sales by building because price varies drastically from building to building and although we like to look at neighborhoods as a whole, it’s only right to know how your own building is performing.  The highest priced building continues to be the St. Regis with Majestic Tower right behind and The Ritz Carlton in third place.

To compare these sales to 2014 figures, please visit Bal Harbour Real Estate Market Update for 2014.

Did you know that Miami came in at #6 in the most important global cities from the Knight Frank Wealth Report for 1015?  If you want a digital copy of the report, please let us know, we will happy to share.

To sign up to our Home Trend Reports, go to and fill in your information.

Call us Today for a listing appointment!

If you are interested in getting a list of all properties currently for sale in Bal Harbor or your particular building, we will be happy to send you a digital copy at your request.  We can also send you monthly market reports directly to your inbox. Feel free to email us at



Automated Miami Home Values – Myth or Reality?

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on April 21, 2015

automated miami home value

The whole concept of automated home values has become quite controversial. We’re talking about automated home valuations provided by real estate portals like Zillow and even our own system. The controversy stems from the question of accuracy and inconsistency. How in the world can an automated system, that pulls public information from tax rolls and other sources, replace the real estate agent?

Automated Home Value Systems will NEVER replace the real estate agent

Well here’s the thing, these automated systems will NEVER replace us, real estate agents, but are meant to give you a quick idea of value. These systems give you a ballpark figure that need to be verified by a REALTOR.

Think about it, how many times do we find errors on tax rolls? From amount of bedrooms, to square footage, even city and location!!

David Howell, executive vice president and chief information officer at McEnearney Associates, criticizes Zillow’s Zestimate on his Washington Post article.

As real estate agents, we know that one of our most difficult tasks is pricing a home. That holds true whether we are representing a seller or a buyer. Market pressures change from week to week and from neighborhood to neighborhood. The motivation of the parties is always a factor, as is the condition of a home and those around it. No algorithm, however sophisticated, can quantify the value of a kitchen that was remodeled just before a home was put on the market or a yard that is poorly maintained. It simply isn’t possible for any AVM to predict the value of a home with a level of accuracy sufficient to make a housing decision.

Let’s get Angry at Automated Home Value Systems

Is it right to get angry at these automated valuations?

Is it logical to go out of your way to insult agents and companies that provide these services?

That’s like asking for someone’s opinion and getting angry when they don’t agree with you.  As a seller, when you interview agents to list your property, do you choose the agent that gives you the highest possible selling price for your home? or are you realistic about the actual value? These systems are created to be a quick convenience that then need to be confirmed and adjusted by a professional real estate agent.

An experience with an Automated Home Value HATER

Let me share a recent experience with a seller that did not like the “automated home value” he received from our system.

December 2014 – Mr Seller logs into our system out of his own accord and decides to request an automated value of his Miami Shores home. (this is an OPT-IN system)

Value comes in at $850,00

The communication goes as follows:


Good morning and Happy Holidays to you and your family, 

We noticed that you requested a home value report and we want to warn you that the report is automated and we’ve noticed that waterfront homes, at times, come in low with automation.

There have been a few low and high canal-front sales in Miami Shores and price will depend on location within the canal, house condition/updates and of course, condition of seawall and dock.

Either way, if you want a more exact figure, we can schedule an appointment at your convenience, to take a quick look at your home. ….


Hello, You are exactly right about the value of my home as it came up.  Very under priced.  You should not have a system in place that gives false values to lookers.  It can affect drastically my ability to sell my property at the desired price.  I don’t need a realtor, I was curious, Thanks.


Hi Seller,

I appreciate your response, but unfortunately, automation works that way and doesn’t take into consideration human factors.  It’s the reason I e-mailed you personally.

Zillow’s Zestimate is a perfect example, it still prices your home under $1 million (Zestimate $956,662).

Even with the adjusted home value attached, your home has the potential to sell for higher and it all depends on how the property is marketed and who it is marketed to and as I mentioned before, the home’s condition and updates, which cannot be considered by an automated system.

Best wishes to you and your family,


You are hereby notified to cease and desist all emails to my account.  Failure to do so will result in legal protection on my part.

Fast forward 1 week and the house is listed for $995,000 as a “handy-man special” and sells 3 months later at $870,000 (that’s $20,000 more than the automated value the seller was so angry with – that’s pretty close if you ask me!)

The reality behind Automated Home Values

I went through all this just to prove that Automated home values are not evil and should never be interpreted as an end-all to your actual home value.  It’s just a tool, one that will give you an idea that you will then have to verify with a REALTOR.  It will also give you the opportunity to correct erroneous facts about your home across real estate portals.  Take them with a grain of salt and when in doubt, contact us.

But most importantly, don’t hire a REALTOR because he/she gives you the highest home price for your home.  Don’t kid yourself,  hire the REALTOR you genuinely believe will do the best job.


Miami and Miami Beach 1Q Elliman Reports 2015

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on April 16, 2015

The first quarter Elliman Reports for Miami Beach/Barrier Islands are ready!  As always, these market reports are produced in conjunction with Miller Samuel to provide you with the most comprehensive and neutral market insight available. Dottie Herman, President and CEO of Douglas Elliman reports the following,

Housing prices in the Miami Beach and Barrier Islands increased. Limited inventory and fewer distressed sales kept the pressure up. Higher prices and luxury new development brought more supply to the market, enabling more sales to occur.
The number of sales on the Miami Coastal Mainland increased as rising supply enabled more sales. Housing prices increased, especially within the condominium market as high quality newly developed units were sold off.

Unlike our hyper local real estate market reports that we share on a regular basis like Miami Shores homes, Surfside homes or even Azure Condo Reports in Surfside, these reports are useful because they provide overall numbers and give you a general idea of how our Miami and Miami Beach real estate markets are doing.


Elliman Reports

Miami Real Estate Market Report – 1Q 2015

Quarterly Survey of Miami Coastal Mainland Sales for the first Quarter of 2015 show price indicators continued to rise at a double-digit pace.  Inventory gains outpaced sales growth and days on the market fell, as listing discount moved higher.

Elliman Reports for 1Q 2015 Miami - by

Low inventory and a decline in lower priced distressed sales caused price indicators on Miami’s coastal mainland to surge.  Median sales price for all property types jumped 18% to $242,000 from the prior year quarter.  Condo price gains continued to outpace single family gains as new development product is absorbed.  Condo median sales price surged 35.5% to $210,000 and single family median sales price increased 7.3% to $268,250 respectively over the same period.

Condo prices in the luxury market, defined as the top 10% of all sales, showed the largest gains of all property types.Luxury condo median sales price surged 76.1% to $1,250,000 from the prior year quarter, as the mix shifted towards higher end product.  The rise in sales was largely attributable to the expansion of listing inventory, a by-product of rising prices.

There were 4,340 sales, up 12.6% from the prior year quarter.  Listing inventory rose 22.6% to 11,017 over the same period.

Days on market, the number of days from the last price change to the sales date, fell 9.5% to 57 days.

Listing discount, the percentage difference between the listing price at time of sale and the sales price, edged 0.6% higher to 5.9%.

Miami Condos Report

Number of sales jumped despite large decline in distressed sales.  Listing inventory expanded faster than sales.  Price indicators surged as bigger gains occurred in larger sized units.  Marketing time fell as negotiability expanded.

Miami Homes Report

Price indicators moved higher.  Number of sales increased as listing inventory slipped.  Marketing time and negotiability remained largely unchanged.  Distressed sales fell sharply.

Miami Luxury Homes and Miami Luxury Condos Report

Condo price indicators surged as marketing time edged higher.  Condo inventory increased despite decrease in listing discount.  Single family price indicators moved higher as inventory increased.  Single family marketing time slowed as listing discount stabilized.

1Q 2015 ELLIMAN REPORT for Miami via

This report will also include individual stats for cities of Aventura, downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Brickell, South Miami, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay.





Miami Beach Real Estate Report – 1Q 2015

Quarterly survey of Miami Beach / Barrier Islands Sales for the first quarter of 2015 shows Negotiability tightened as marketing time stabilized.  Continued double-digit growth of all price indicators.  Number of sales declined as inventory expanded.

Miami Beach Sales Elliman Report by miamism.comAs seen in the past several quarters, rising housing prices in the Miami Beach and Barrier Islands pulled additional inventory into the market.  Listing inventory increased 19% to 4,376 over the same period.  Overall price indicators showed double-digit gains as both condo and single family moved higher. The median sales price for all property types increased 13% to $437,750 from the same period last year.  Condo median sales price expanded 10.7% to $375,000 and single family median sales price rose 6% to $1,550,000 respectively over the same period.  The overall number of sales declined 13.3% to 1,026 from the prior year quarter.  A portion of increase in price indicators is attributable to the drop in the number of lower price distressed sales, namely foreclosures and short sales.

The number of distressed condo sales fell 48.7% and the number of distressed single family sales fell 71.4% respectively from the prior year quarter.

Like the overall market, the luxury market, defined as the top 10% of sales moved higher.  The luxury condo median sales price increased 11.5% to $2,587,500 and the luxury single family median sales price rose 1.8% to $7,125,000 respectively over the same period.

Miami Beach Condos Report

Price indicators continued to rise.  Sales declined as listing inventory increased.  Days on market stabilized as listing discount fell.

Miami Beach Homes Report

Price indicators were mixed as sales mix shifted toward smaller homes.  Number of sales declined as listing inventory expanded.  Listing discount fell as days on market moved higher.

Miami Beach Luxury Homes and Miami Beach Luxury Condos Report

Sharp rise in price indicators for Miami Beach luxury condos as luxury price threshold surged and marketing time edged higher as negotiability fell.

Price indicators for Miami Beach luxury homes were mixed, but showed stability.  Negotiability tightened despite rise in listing inventory.


DOWNLOAD PDF OF ENTIRE 1Q 2015 MIAMI BEACH / BARRIER ISLANDS SALES HERE1Q 2015 elliman report for miami beach and barrier islands by

This report will also include individual stats for cities of Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor, Surfside, North Bay Village, Miami Beach Islands, North Beach, Mid-Beach, South Beach, Key Biscayne and Fisher Island.


**The Douglas Elliman Report series is recognized as the industry standard for providing the state of the residential real estate market.  The report includes an extensive suite of tools to help readers objectively identify and measure market trends, provide historical context to current information and provide comprehensive analysis of the results.  Prepared by Miller Samuel, Inc.



14 featured by Web Marketing Today

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on April 14, 2015

We are honored and humbled by Web Marketing Today and their recent feature of and our business.  One thing you may not know about us is that we believe in giving back.  Not only do we go out of our way to mentor other REALTORS in Miami and in other cities on the U.S. and abroad, but we also teach and share about our marketing methods.

You may think it is counterproductive to give away our trade secrets, but we’ve learned that by sharing, we get back in ways we never imagined.  We are also involved in the Miami and National Association of REALTORS. So please take a look at this article and let us know what you think.

Miami Beach Realtor Avoids Traditional Marketing, Thrives featured by web marketing today

For other media features, take a look at the “About” tab above under “Media Articles About Miamism” and you can also take a look at your Speaking Engagements.