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What makes a Miami historic house special

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on February 23, 2015

If you have visited a Miami Beach historic house with me you know how I light up.  The architect in me wants to jump out and point out every single historic detail, no matter how minute.  I can’t begin to tell you how many calls and e-mails we get from people wanting to know more about historic houses, or people thanking me for writing about window proportions, Historic Cuban Tile or Cuban Tile flooring.  (There’s even a Historic Homes category on the menu bar on the blog).

The fact is that Miami historic real estate is my specialty – many times I point out features that listing agents are clueless about and later thank me.

Miami Shores Historic Home Rendering

But I’m not writing this post to pat myself on the back or to tell you “If you are buying a historic home in Miami, call me!!” (although it would be that easy).  The purpose of this post is to help you be critical about the reasons you may be captivated by historic homes.

I see it all in this business – the person that walks into a gorgeous Miami Beach Mediterranean Revival Home and appreciates every nook and cranny, and those that get disgusted by the “old feel” and want to replace everything in site with modern features.  When showing a historic home, it is obvious who appreciates the home and who doesn’t.

So what is it you like about historic homes?  Is it the charm and character?  Is it the warm materials (textured stucco, hardwood floors, mill-work) Or is it just the look and feel of these properties?  Are you aware that Historic Properties are known to hold their value much better than other properties and have a particular public who recognize the value and are willing to pay for it?  Whether Mediterranean Revival, Art Deco, Tudor …..or whatever…….historic homes sell for more – I’m not making this up, the numbers prove it.

This doesn’t mean that these homes may sell quicker (although many times they do), it means that they sell for more than the average home.  There are certain neighborhoods in Miami that have historic homes:  Miami Shores, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Miami Springs and Historic Morningside are the most known….but there are also hidden pockets with beautiful gems all around Miami……even where you least expect it.

Owning one of these old homes is not all fun and games either – with old homes comes a lot of work and sometimes problems.  From structural deflection (sagging beams), to old plumbing, to termite damage.  It’s time to think of the reasons why you may be attracted to these old homes, and if you are not interested in working with the “buying an old home package” while paying a premium, then it may be a good idea to skip these altogether.

Please note that I’m not a purist either – I believe in reaching a happy medium between restoration and modernization…’s doable, as long as you always respect proportions and materials.  Ultimately, you will be the one living in the house…..just think of resale value and don’t go butchering and altering the historical integrity without taking into consideration the consequences, which could include resale value.

Have a historic problem or an anecdote you want to share about a historic house?  Add it to the comments so everyone can pitch in.

*originally published on October 8th, 2008*


Throwback Thursday – The Temple House #TBT

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on February 19, 2015

Throwback Thursdays always bring great memories.  Here’s one of a listing we had back in 2009 that is worth the share because it’s a perfect representation of change – change for the better, especially when it comes to Miami Beach real estate.  Although we will share our old 2009 article, a lot has happened not only to the South Beach real estate market, but to this property as well.

In 2009, the Temple House was marketed and zoned as a single-family home with a ticket price of $7.5 Million – it was the largest single-family home in South Beach with over 16,000 square feet of living space.  We’re talking a home that was previously a temple, designed by renowned L. Murray Dixon, then expanded in the 60′s by another renowned architect, Lester Avery – and now a fully operational and profitable business with a new ticket price of $19.9 Million.

The current marketing description reads (and we can translate abbreviations upon request):

SOUTH BEACH TROPHY INVESTMENT PROPERTY WITH COMMERCIAL LICENSES. The Temple House, spectacular venue for major corporate & celebrity events, exciting film & television productions. Renovated 13,111 SF Iconic Art Deco building on dbl corner lot. 6,000+ SF grand room w/ 25 ft high ceilings, 2,400 SF sundeck w/ pool. The unique 5-bdrm mansion w/ elevator & 2 car garage is a licensed event & catering facility w/ hotel B & B license. Multimillion dollar income potential from multiple income streams! MUST SEE!

Here’s the original article for your enjoyment and please call us if you are interested in the purchase of The Temple House.

front frame

The Temple House in South Beach is one of those “wow” houses you don’t see every day.  The largest single family home in South Beach with over 16,000 square feet of living space.  This house is amazing all on its own but when you hear its history, then you realize it is so much more than a big house.  Originally designed in 1933 by none other than famed architect L. Murray Dixon, converted into a temple in the 40′s, expanded in the 60′s by renowned architect Lester Avery and then converted back into a home in 2003 by the current owner, Dan Davidson.  This home defines South Beach Living with no expense spared – 30 foot ceilings in the 6,600 square foot great room, theater room, 1,200 square foot kitchen, state of the art lighting and audio system, new terrace pool with iridescent mosaics and waterfalls…..imposing and majestic.

1415 Euclid Avenue – Miami Beach, FL 33139

Listed for $7,500,000

Check out (website removed)

South Beach Luxury Real Estate - The Temple House

This impressive home is short of being a palace and located in the Art Deco District within walking distance to shopping, restaurants and beaches…right in the middle of the Chic South Beach Action.  The MLS description reads as follows:

The Temple House is South Beach’s largest private residence.  Steps to the beach, Lincoln Road and Lummus Park.  Over 16,000 SQ FT as per previous tax records.  This former synagogue was transformed into an ultra contemporary residential compound over a two-year period.  Living quarters abound on both levels, 6,000+ SQ FT grand LOFT with approx. 30 foot high ceilings, 2.500+ SQ FT outdoor terrace, two car garage + parking for 3 additional vehicles.  Newly finished rooftop swimming pool!

South Beach Luxury Real Estate - The Temple House

Miami Beach Luxury Real Estate - The Temple HouseYou may recognize The Temple House from music videos, movies and television shows – it is a favorite amongst celebrities and popular shows because of its extraordinary features.  The owner’s charitable organization, The Miami Cultural Arts Foundation is also responsible for hosting fundraisers for local causes like the recent REBarCamp Miami that I helped organize (an educational event for the real estate industry with proceeds going to the foundation).

Here’s a video done for the event that features the home at its best:

Property Features:

  • 16,350 square foot home
  • 6,600 square foot great room with 30′ vaulted ceilings with polished concrete floors
  • Newly finished rooftop swimming pool
  • 5 bedrooms / 6 bathroom plus theater room
  • 2,700 square foot loft room with entertaining “pre-kitchen” for catering/entertaining events
  • 1,200 square foot dine-in kitchen
  • 1,100 square foot mezzanine overlooking great room with Brazilian Cherry wood floors
  • central air conditioning (new 50 tons of a/c)
  • Impact resistant windows and doors
  • state of the art lighting, audio, telephone and security systems
  • 2 laundry facilities (one on each floor)

South Beach Luxury Real Estate - The Temple House

Miami Beach Luxury Real Estate - The Temple House

**property information courtesy of South East Florida Multiple Listing Service and Majestic Properties **



Azure Condo, Surfside – Real Estate Market Report for January 2015

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on February 16, 2015

Azure Condo by miamism.comThe Azure luxury condo is one of our favorite buildings in Surfside, Florida.  It was built in 2005 and is considered a boutique condo because of its scale and quaint amenities – with 74 residences, 150′ of ocean frontage, contemporary design and very close proximity to Bal Harbour Shops.  The condo was designed by Revuelta and offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom condos.

Azure Condos – Building Features

  • Fitness center with separate sauna, massage and treatment rooms for men and women
  • Social room with billiards, game tables and leather armchairs
  • 150′ of ocean frontage
  • Heated swimming pool
  • air-conditioned cabanas
  • Whirlpool spa
  • 24-hr valet and security

Azure Condos – 2014 Sales

To see 2014 Azure condo stats, click HERE – you’ll see the average price per square foot in 2014 was $626 with the highest at $847/sq.ft.

Azure Condos – current listings

There is currently only 1 Azure condo for sale.  Residence 206 with 2,480 sq.ft. of living space – 3 bedrooms / 3.5 bathrooms.  This unit has direct ocean views, marble floors, wraparound glass balcony, floor to ceiling glass sliding doors and it’s priced at $2,800,000 ($1,129/sq.ft.).

azure 206 for sale for $2.8 Million

This condo was originally listed for $2 Million in September of 2013, then raised to $2.4 Million in October of 2013 and then again in November of 2014 to $2.8 Million.

Azure Condos – pending sales

There are currently no Azure condos under contract as per the Multiple Listing Service

Azure Condos – January 2015 Sales

There were 2 Azure condos sold in January of 2015:

  • Azure PH1106 – 2,480 sq.ft. of living space, 3 bedrooms / 3.5 bathrooms – listed for $2.6 Million in August of 2014 and was under contract in September, closing in January for $2.6 Million ($1,048/sq.ft.)
  • Azure residence 505 – 1,614 sq.ft. of living space,  2 bedrooms /2.5 bathrooms – listed for $1.2 Million in November of 2014 and selling for $1 Million ($620/sq.ft.)

The average sales price per square foot in January coming in at $834 which is drastically higher than 2014′s average of $626.

Sales prices at Azure have to do with updates, finishes, floor heights and views, like any other Miami Beach luxury condo, but price ranges can radically vary because of lack of inventory and high demand.


The Miamism Sales Team specializes in Azure and can represent you in the sale or purchase of a condo.  Please contact us  We prepare monthly market reports to keep you informed of sales stats at Paramount Bay.

We are now also providing these quick services to help with your real estate needs:


Condo Name:  Azure
Architecture:  Revuelta-architecture
Location:  9401 Collins Ave – Surfside, FL 33154


Miami Real Estate Bidding Wars

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on February 12, 2015

Multiple offer scenarios have become common in many areas of Miami and can be frustrating to all parties involved.  It’s part of being in a Seller’s market where inventory is scarce and demand is high. It is important to be able to gauge a multiple offer scenario before it happens and it is key to have a strategy, whether you are a buyer or a seller of Miami real estate.

We have been on both sides of the spectrum when it comes to bidding wars and it can be trying and stressful.  Some areas of Miami where we are seeing Bidding Wars are Surfside, The Roads, Miami Shores, and Miami Beach.  But what all these have in common is that you need the right representation to achieve your goals – someone who will make you feel comfortable throughout the process and someone who you know is maximizing your chances of getting the best results for you.

These markets are seeing multiple-offer scenarios because, as we said before, there are few properties for sale and high demand.  The law of supply and demand comes to play yet again! There are buyers that get consistently outbid and this makes the market seem extremely aggressive and at times caustic.  And there are sellers that don’t take full advantage of the situation and end up losing potentially higher sales with better terms.  Here are some tips to consider if you find yourself in one of these situations.

winning bidding wars with miamism sales team

How to position yourself on top of a bidding war if you are a Miami home buyer

Remember that price is not the only determining factor in winning a bidding war on a home.  A seller will look at several factors when choosing a winning offer and of course this depends on the Seller’s goals, but you need to know what they are to be able to get the best chance depending on your own limitations.  And even if you don’t know anything about the seller or their goals, make sure you write the strongest offer possible.

  • PRICE – know your market and recognize when properties are selling above asking prices – analyze whether or not you can or want to do that.
  • CLOSING DATE – short closings are the most popular, but also make sure you are flexible depending on seller’s needs.
  • CASH OR LOAN – cash is always king but if you are financing, make sure your type of loan and terms are clear at the time the offer is made.
  • SUBMIT COMPLETE OFFERS – not just purchase contract, but loan pre-approval, proof of funds and any other relevant documents.
  • IF FINANCING – WATCH TERMS! – who is the lender, loan commitment date, type of loan depending on property. Dropping appraisal contingencies will also place you on top of cash offers, but you need to be careful and very specific at offer time.
  • ESCROW / DEPOSITS – putting $1000 down on a $600,000 property will not do the trick.  Show the seller you are serious by including considerable deposits and make sure your agent explains how these will be protected.
  • INSPECTION PERIOD – the current AS-IS contract has a standard 15 calendar day inspection period, shortening this will also strengthen your contract, but make sure you have enough time to schedule inspections so you don’t get stuck with a questionable inspection report you can do nothing with.  You will not be able to negotiate inspection findings AFTER inspection period expires!
  • HAVING A CLEAN AND CLEAR CONTRACT – please go digital, faxed and illegible hand-written contracts is so 1990! Technology is the new BLACK.
  • LETTER to owner – you will be surprised how much this helps, it gives an emotional quality to a very frigid process.
  • GOOD COMMUNICATION – ask questions:  when will offers be reviewed, will you have a chance to submit highest and best, what is important to the seller.
  • DROP THE CONDESCENDING ATTITUDE – it’s a Seller’s market, telling seller what’s wrong with their house will not give you any advantages.  If the house is that bad, why are there multiple offers and why are you interested?

**Remember it is not always about the highest price and you should have several plans  in place depending on the type of property.

**Don’t assume that by going directly to the selling agent will give you an advantage because they can reduce their commission.  Commissions have been pre-determined by seller contract with their listing agent – assuming that having no agent will automatically get you a 50% reduction on commissions is completely false and naive on your part.

How to get the most of a multiple-offer scenario if you are a Miami home seller

  • EXPOSURE – before placing for sale sign on your property, discuss with your agent, when to begin marketing and when to start showings.
  • TIME FOR BUYERS TO SUBMIT OFFERS – have a clear plan on how long you will give people to submit offers and communicate with them and their agents.  A lot of buyers will assume that first offers will get a better chance but seeing all offers at the same time in order to compare them, will make a huge difference.
  • KEEP IT CLEAN AND PROFESSIONAL – don’t disclose terms of other offers with potential buyers but you can be honest about what’s important to you:  Example, be out of house by a particular date, having a tenant which will determine type of loan buyer will need to get, or simply getting the highest offer without specifying amount.
  • CHANCE TO RESUBMIT HIGHEST AND BEST – many buyers don’t like to submit the highest offer at first because they are unaware of the interest on the home.  It may be a good idea to contact all interested parties and give them the option of re-submitting highest and best before a specific deadline.
  • KEEP TERMS CONFIDENTIAL – this is not about poker faces, it’s about protecting your best interest.  Do not disclose contract terms unless you do it will all parties involved.
  • EMOTIONAL COMPONENT – you need to decide if there is an emotional component that will make you pick a buyer or if you want the highest and best terms that fit your needs.  This is key in identifying the right buyer.  Example:  investor that will flip property for a buck, or an end user that loves the house and will make it a home.
  • KEEP BACKUP PARTIES INFORMED – this will not just keep friendly tones with secondary offers, but will keep you in close touch in case your picked deal falls through.
  • DON’T BE GREEDY – yes it’s a seller’s market, but don’t go overboard, more times than none, this will kick you in the behind.

**not always about the highest price, but about the strongest contract that will make it to a closing date.  Accepting an offer quickly will usually be a disservice unless you have an offer that clearly sits above the rest.

** A seller’s market with multiple-offer scenarios doesn’t mean you should overprice your home – that will surely bump you out of a chance to negotiate offers and may even make you sit on an unsold property.

So there you have it, although every purchase and sale of Miami homes is different, it will give you a general idea what you could be up against in certain areas of Miami.  The most important factor is for you to work with a Miami Realtor with experience and one that will have your best interest at hand.  If you’ve experienced any of the above, we want to hear from you!

The Miamism Sales Team is ready to list or to help you buy your Miami home today!


Bal Harbor Real Estate Market Report for January 2015

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on February 10, 2015

Bal Harbor Real Estate Market Report

Bal Harbor, Fl - Real Estate Market Reports by

There are currently 174  Bal Harbor condos for sale:

  • 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: Harbour House Cabana for $85,000 (only available to Harbour House residents).
  • Next Lowest priced listing:  1 bedroom co-op at Brownstone Co-Op Apts for $219,900
  • Pending Sales: 19
  • Closed sales in January: 12

The 12 Bal Harbor Condos sold in January were the following:

  • St Regis residence 1603S – 3 bedrooms / 3.5 bathrooms – 3,424 sq.ft. listed in October of 2013 for $7.7 Million, showing pending sale in November of 2014 and selling for $6.85 ($2001/sq.ft.)
  • St Regis residence 1603N – 3 bedrooms / 3.5 bathrooms – 3,424 sq.ft. – originally listed for $7.9 Million in January of 2014 with several price reductions and finally selling for $6.375 Million (1,862/sq.ft.)
  • One Bal Harbour unit 503- 3 bedrooms / 3.5 bathrooms – 3,105 sq.ft. – listed for $4.8 Million in December of 2014 and selling for $4.33 Million ($1,395/sq.ft.)
  • St Regis residence 2512 – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms, 1,785 sq.ft. – originally listed for $2.7 Million in November of 2012 with several price increases and decreases including short-term rentals.  Selling at $3.1 Million ($1,737/sq.ft.)
  • St Regis residence 506 – 1 bedroom / 2 bathrooms, 1,261 sq.f.t – originally listed for $2.549 Million in June of 2013 with several price reductions and selling at $2.25 Million ($1784/sq.ft.)
  • Majestic Tower Condo unit 908 – 2 bedrooms / 2.5 bathrooms, 2,250 sq.ft. – Listed for $2.1 Million in July of 2014 and selling for $2.1 Million ($933/sq.ft.)
  • Kenilworth Condo unit 1006- 2 bedrooms / 2.5 bathrooms – 2,060 sq.ft. – listed for $1.259 Million in August of 2014 and selling for $1.2 Million ($531/sq.ft.)
  • Harbour House unit 1022 – 2 bedrooms / 2.5 bathrooms, 1,462 sq.f.t – listed for $990,000 in August of 2014 and selling for $859,000 ($588/sq.ft.)
  • Kenilworth Condo unit 1505 – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms, 2,060 sq.ft. – listed for $975,000 in January of 2014 and selling for $860,000 ($417/sq.ft.)
  • Balmoral Condo #16K – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms, 1,776 sq.f.t – listed for $989,000 in October 2014 and selling for $864,000 ($486/sq.ft.)
  • The Plaza of Bal Harbour unit 905 – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms, 1,312 sq.f.t – listed for $508,000 in September of 2014 and selling for $490,000 ($373/sq.ft.)
  • The Plaza of Bal Harbour unit 904 – 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom, 978 sq.ft. – listed for $365,000 in October of 2014 and selling for $340,000 ($348/sq.ft.)

Because Bal Harbour’s pricing varies drastically from building to building, we recommend that you look at pricing in each condo instead of general figures.  The St. Regis wins in January with 4 out of the 12 sales and average price per square foot of $1,846.

Runner up was Kenilworth Condo with 2 sales in January averaging $474/sq.ft.

And 3rd place in sales volume was The Plaza of Bal Harbour with 2 sales in January averaging $361.sq.ft.

If you missed the stats for 2014, make sure you visit Bal Harbour Real Estate Market Update for 2014.

We are Bal Harbor REALTORS, ready to list and market your property! Call us for a listing appointment.

We are now also providing these quick services to help with your real estate needs – your email address will be necessary to get the reports. And always keep in mind that these are automated and should only give you a ballpark figure.


To sell or buy your Bal Harbor home or condo, please contact us at