It’s funny how things go full circles. I wrote this article back in May of 2007 and are getting a bunch of questions and information requests about Stiltsville, so we thought it would be appropriate to share again. In addition, Suzette Laboy from The South Florida Times, wrote an article about it with Dr. Paul George’s take on what’s left of this Miami Landmark.
I have retaken a lot of the photos for each house, need to make it a point to share those with you. Take a look at the new photos posted below, taken by yours truly.
Ask and you shall receive – image above and collage below by Michael Pancier Photography (go check out the rest of his amazing gallery).
Stiltsville – A Miami Landmark
When it comes to Miami Beach Real Estate, Stiltsville is famous! I’ve always been curious about the history of Stiltsville. Not many people know about it unless they frequent Biscayne Channel by boat. These “shack-like wooden structures” just sit there, like monuments in the landscape, a landscape of ocean blue. Stiltsville is a string of structures on pilings that you can only reach by boat. Thousands of boaters frequent this area South of Key Biscayne.
I decided to take a trip there and photograph each house, not only with the purpose of exhibiting them, but also to document their condition. The history of Stiltsville is fascinating, at least I hope you find it as entertaining as I do.
The Stiltsville community began in the early 1930’s; at one time there were 27 dwellings, used for weekend retreats and parties but seldom for full-time homes. All these were privately owned and later acquired a colorful reputation as hangouts for “gamblers, boozers and flashy women”.
Stiltsville’s founder and first resident was “Crawfish” Walker, who had a bait-and-beer shack for passing fishermen. Soon several more shacks sprung up, some built by prominent Miami businessmen. In the 1940’s the Quaterdeck opened, featuring electricity, a bar, dining room and gaming tables featured in Life Magazine in 1941. Soon, other clubs with an “anything goes” atmosphere opened up – police raids began in the 50’s to stop prostitution and illegal gambling. In the 60’s an eccentric grounded a 150′ yacht on the flats and named it the “Bikini Club”.
There are 7 structures left with architecture that is everything but fancy, and were recently saved from demolition with the help of a group of conservationists. Because the houses stand inside the boundaries of Biscayne National Park, the park service fought that private homes did not belong there. The land lease would expire and home owners would have to demolish the homes.
One argument to keep these homes is that Stiltsville had become a useful landmark and warning signs for boaters navigating the complicated winding finger channels. Removing the homes would be detrimental to the surrounding flats in addition to the increase in vessel groundings, and scarring damage to the sea grasses, marl banks and tidal cuts.
Another argument by known historian, Dr. Paul George, sums up the meaning of this place,
It really is an only-in-Miami kind of thing. It had an aura, a rascally mischievous past. But it was also just a place people could go to enjoy getting away. It would be a terrible loss.
Finally an agreement was reached to preserve the structures under the Stiltsville Trust (made up of all 7 leaseholders now called caretakers and 8 community members). Now owned by the National Park Service, the homes have been secured and access to the buildings is by permission only. Possible uses include “community meeting spaces, a National Park Service Visitor Center, research facilities, an artist-in-residence program and satellite park offices that could provide the National Park Service with a presence closer to South Florida’s population center in the northern part of the park”.
I’ve always regarded cruise ships leaving the port as a “city detached“, but Stiltsville, to me is the perfect representation of just that, and I was happy to hear that this piece of our Miami History was not demolished. (make sure you click on each photo to get more information on each house).
**article originally written and published May 1, 2007**
Surfside Real Estate Market Report
Every month, we publish a Surfside Real Estate Market report for the previous month. So in case you wonder, “Wait, it’s August, why would the report say July?” – now you know it’s for the previous month.
There are currently 38 Surfside homes for sale: (compared to 33 in June)
- Highest priced listing: $5,000,000 (for the partially renovated, Biscaya Island home with 100′ of water frontage, located at 1332 Biscaya Dr)
- Lowest priced listing:
$669,000 $629,000 (8934 Harding Ave)
- Pending Sales: 4 (compared to 9 in June)
- Closed sales in July: 6 (compared to 5 in June)
- Median Sales Price in July: $681,500
The 6 Surfside homes sold in July were the following:
- 8811 Emerson Av – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms – 1,610 SF on 5,600 SF lot – listed in October 2015 for $685, with several price reductions and finally selling at $525,000 ($326/SF)
- 500 91 St – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms – 1,629 SF on 5,625 SF lot – listed and closed for $609,000 on same day (maybe it never hit the market) – ($374/SF)
- 9349 Abbott Av – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms – 2,142 SF on 5,600 SF lot – listed for $699,000 in April and selling for $660,000 ($308/SF)
- 9208 Byron Av – 3 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms – 1,656 SF on 5,600 SF lot – listed for $689,000 in May and selling for $660,000 ($399/SF)
- 8943 Carlyle Av – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms – 1,902 SF on 5,600 SF lot – listed for $779,000 in March and selling for $714,500 ($376/SF)
- 8911 Byron Av – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms – 1,930 SF on 5,600 SF lot – llisted for $790,000 in May and selling for $750,000 ($389/SF)
The average selling price per square foot for Surfside homes not in the water in July was $362 compared to:
- June average $356
- May average $373
- April average $396
- March average $372
- February average $338
- January average $390
- 2015’s average of $350.
Surfside happens to be one of the most stable real estate markets in Miami-Dade. Crazy to think that values increased so much and so quickly but inventory remains pretty constant and so do prices. The only thing that varies drastically is when a waterfront property sells and that’s because the sales are rare and so very different in location, condition and views.
Notice how most homes sit on 5,600 SF lots and notice how most homes are under 2,000 SF. If your house is slightly larger or your lot is bigger, expect to sell quickly because you live in what we call, a “rare find”. Here’s what you need to know if you are thinking of selling. Buyers that are willing to remodel will expect a good deal and will not want to pay market value. Buyers that don’t want to do work, will pay top dollar to avoid the hassle.
And for the record, offering less commission to the cooperating agent is a total disservice to you and your home. An agent working with a buyer is more likely to push homes that will make them more money. Although commissions are not fixed, make sure you understand the importance of fair compensation for both listing and selling agents.
To get a FREE, no obligation CMA (comparable market analysis) go to MiamismValue.com 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 Surfside, 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 Surfside@miamism.com
We just sold a Miami Shores home for a beautiful family from Argentina. We are so fortunate to work with people that appreciate our expertise and who we enjoy working with. Every step of the transaction was a real pleasure and they liked us so much that they decided to use us for the purchase of their new home.
Not to toot our own horn, but it was also the highest sale per square foot in Miami Shores this year!
Miami Shores Record Sale
This Miami Shores Home was another record sale by The Miamism Sales Team – Highest Price Per Square Foot in 2016. 1177 NE 100 St in Miami Shores sold for $1.45 Million, making it the only sale above $400/SF this year.
Here’s the testimonial we received in both English and Spanish. For more client testimonials, please click on the “ABOUT” tab above.
Ines Hegedus-Garcia es, primero que nada, una persona muy seria, se nota que conoce perfectamente el mercado de Miami y en particular el de Miami Shores. Fué muy comprensiva con todas nuestras necesidades y logro satisfacer no solo nuestra demanda en precio sino también aquellos pedidos especiales que hacen la diferencia.
No fué para nada invasiva a la hora de mostrar nuestra casa, siempre se manejo con mucho respeto y profesionalismo, y nos acompaño en todo el proceso, y aun mas alla de lo que incluso le correspondia.
Estuvimos tan contentos con su servicio que decidimos que fuese ella quien nos buscara la propiedad a la que nos mudaremos.
Y sera ella sin duda quien se ocupe de nuestros futuros deals en real estate. Gracias, Inés !!!
Ines Hegedus-Garcia is, first of all, a very serious person, who without a doubt, knows Miami’s real estate market and The Miami Shores real estate market in particular. She was very understanding of our needs and succeeded in satisfying not only our demand on price, but also our special requests that really made a difference.
She was not at all invasive to show our house, always being respectful and professional, and accompanied us throughout the process, going beyond the call of duty.
We were so happy with her service that we decided for her to also look for the next property where we will move to.
And it will be her, without a doubt, who will handle our future real estate deals. Thank you, Ines !!!
Marcelo Kohen, Miami Shores
We wish the Kohen Family the best in their new gorgeous home and also welcome the new home owner to Miami Shores.
For a no obligation consultation, feel free to contact us any time. The Miamism Sales Team is ready to help as your architecture and technology realtors.
I have a huge beef with people who litter. I have zero tolerance for ignorance associated with littering and my brain can’t wrap around the concept of someone not caring about our environment. With that said, we frequent the Haulover Sandbar during the summer which is only accessible via boat. A lot of people that visit the sandbar are kayakers who rent their kayaks at Oleta River State Park. I spend hours cleaning up garbage left behind by kayak renters from the park. My family and I, on a regular basis, fill our boat with garbage left there. My kids even pick up floating debris and take it back to the perpetrators to try to teach them a lesson.
This past weekend, this sight made me so happy that I had to share. It was so pleasant to see these guys filling up boxes with garbage and loading their kayak to take back their garbage to land. Gives me hope that many people do care. I only wish Oleta would educate people before they take out kayaks. Let’s follow this example and pick up after ourselves.
If you’re interested in learning about littering campaigns in Miami, take a look at these links:
I’m a true believer that we can each make a difference. Please don’t litter and let’s teach our kids the same.
For more Haulover Sandbar Photos – visit our Flickr Page
How is the Miami Shores Real Estate Market Doing?
There are currently 104 Miami Shores homes for sale: (compared to 103 in June)
- Highest priced listing is
$3,999,000 $3,795,000 for the bay front home at 1300 NE 94 St (has been listed since December 2013)
- Lowest priced listing is $239,900 for the Foreclosure at 269 NW 111 Ter
- Pending Sales (Properties under contract): 33 (same as in June)
- Median Sales Price in July: $479(compared to $489 in June)
- Closed sales in July: 11 (compared to 22 in June)
The 11 Miami Shores homes sold in July were the following:
- 24 NW 98 St – 2 bedrooms / 1 bathroom with 1,377 SF of living space on 5,100 SF lot – listed in November of 2015 for $389,000 and selling for $373,000 ($271/SF)
- 77 NE 95 St – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,659 SF of living space on 11,440 SF lot – listed in January for $455,000, with several reductions and selling for $340,000 ($205/SF)
- 965 NE 92 St – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,458 SF of living space on 7,000 SF lot – listed for $525,000 in April, with several price reductions and closing for $400,000 ($274/SF)
- 922 NE 91st Ter – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms Short Sale with 2,223 SF of living space on 12,375 SF lot – listed for $510,000 in February with 2 contracts that fell through according to the MLS, and finally selling for $430,000 ($193/SF)
- 2 NE 108 St – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,513 SF of living space on 9,194 SF lot – listed for $450,000 in April and selling for $435,000 ($288/SF)
- 10326 NW 1 St – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,638 SF of living space on 9,797 SF lot – This house sold for $165,000 in March of 2015, was relisted for $259,000 in April of 2015 and sold for $236,000 in May of 2015. It was re-listed again for $489,900 in February of 2016, then increased to $519,000 just 13 days later then dropped a few times and selling for $455,000 ($278/SF) <<this one has been busy!
- 112 NE 111 St – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,836 SF of living space on 9,225 SF lot – listed for $569,000 in February, showing a few price drops and closing at $520,000 ($283/SF)
- 990 NE 99th St – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms with 1,724 SF of living space on 11,841 SF lot – listed for $765,000 in August of 2015, with several price reductions and canceled contracts, and finally selling for $640,000 ($371/SF)
- 335 NE 101 St – 4 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms with 2,690 SF of living space on 10,350 SF lot – listed for $950,000 in August of 2015, with several price drops and selling for $756,000 ($281/SF)
- 680 NE 97 St – 4 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms with 2,427 SF of living space on 15,197 SF lot – listed for $1,200,000 in March, showing several price drops and finally selling for $929,000 ($383/SF)
- 925 NE 98 St – 4 bedrooms / 4 bathrooms with 2,999 SF of living space on 15,450 SF lot – listed for $1,100,000 in October of 2015, several price reductions and selling for $990,000 ($330/SF)
The average sold price per square foot in Miami Shores in July was $287compared to:
- June average $255
- May average $275
- April average $281
- March average $308
- February average $319
- January average $249
- 2015’s average $264
Some people claim Miami Shores is already a buyer’s market but I don’t quite agree. The market is still correcting and although properties are taking a bit longer to sell and the inventory has increased a bit, sellers still have somewhat of the upper hand. The reason for this is that the bulk of the inventory needs work. Those homes that are in move-in condition, because there are not many of them for sale, are getting top dollar and are selling quickly.
Please keep this in mind because a few upgrades like paint and new appliances or even a kitchen counter-top, may come a long way. Because I’m an architect and because we know what buyers are looking for, we will let you know where to best spend your money. You would be shocked at what you think is a good upgrade compared to what a buyer is looking for. One example is sod – buyers don’t care if the grass is perfect, they rather see a new air conditioning or new appliances. Be smart about your quick fixes and that’s what we’re here for.
We would be happy to give you a no obligation consultation. Send us a text message, an email, or better yet, give us a call.
If you are curious about where your house is priced, you can always log into MiamismValue.com and request an automate value, just keep in mind that price will ALWAYS need to be verified and tweaked, because a machine will never be able to estimate the true value of a home.
Miami Shores House of The Month
We are sooo excited to tell you about this Miami Shores House of The Month. It’s a new listing that will soon come on the market and it is quite a treat. This East of The Boulevard home is not just artist owned and designed, but it’s a piece of art in itself. The home has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, beautiful pool area, and top of the line finishes. It’s a green home and was completely remodeled last year with the most beautiful and intricate finishes I have seen in Miami Shores in quite some time. It’s the epitome of luxury from custom European kitchen, electric blinds and awnings, state-of-the-art security and lighting system, Geothermal air conditioning….the list goes on and on!
Call us for a showing appointment – 1195 NE 100 St
Priced at $1,300,000
Please contact us for more information and to coordinate a showing appointment.
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