Comments about real estate, economy, and issues that affect my job as a Realtor.
Lately, of great importance is the display of the most important
PRE-CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN SOUTH FLORIDA.
My name is Henry B. Nathan
I am a realtor at United Realty Group.
My phone # is 954-296-6741
I have hardly made a single sale that wasn't hard cash since 2007.
My business is in large part about condos of all kinds and values.
But a fact that is not usually known by the public is that getting financing for an average condo is more complicated than for a single family home.
A typical middle class FHA financed condo in Dade or Broward County should be limited to an approximate $250,000 to $270,000 value. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow higher limits.
However FHA has established very strict rules to govern its loans to condominium type properties. Among the requirements: a high percentage of owner-occupied units and a low percentage of investor-owned units; strict insurance requisites; rigorous re-certification steps to be taken periodically by the building associations; reserves requirements, etc.
It often proved to be an overwhelming task to many condominium associations which simply found it too bothersome or costly.
In reality, condominium management was never at the root of the big real estate crisis and the mortgage catastrophe was mainly the result of bankers, lenders and "financiers" greed and ruthlessness. But condominiums suffered much of its consequences; The eyes and vigilance of HUD and FHA were (as an example) transfixed on the fact that many of these condominiums did not have sufficient reserves to confront an unusual amount of failures. This was true but it was also true that reserves are not built up to tackle recessions and debacles of this magnitude, especially when they are caused by external macro-economics out of condo associations control.
This official policy has been a drawback on home affordability. I am a realtor and I daily observe it in my job.
The bureaucratic fury against the least important factor in mortgage loans risk assessment had been -ironically- killing much of Federal government's incentives to revive the "American Dream of Home Ownership".
The following, let's hope, could be the beginning of a step in the right direction.
HUD eases FHA condo financing rules
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Principal Deputy
Assistant Secretary Ed Golding announced changes to FHA condominium policies
last night at the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) convention in San
Effective immediately, FHA will streamline the condominium
re-certification process and expand its definition of acceptable
"owner-occupied" units to include second homes not owned by
investors. The provisions expire in one year "until the agency can implement
a more comprehensive condominium rule change."
The change should qualify more condo complexes for FHA
loans. That, in turn, will give more buyers access to FHA low-down payment
The new rule:
Modifies the requirements for condominium project
Revises the calculation of FHA's required
Florida homebuyers, perhaps more than any other state, will
benefit from FHA's new rule.
"This is going to be an amazing stimulus to the housing
market for the first-time homeowner and entry-level housing buyer," says
Frank Kowalski, president of Florida Realtors in 2005 and an insurance agent.
"It's a catalyst for change and long overdue.
Thousands of contracts could
not use FHA financing, and buyers were forced to come up with 25 – even 30
percent down payments."
Kowalski says FHA's rule change should help more than just
first-time buyers, however. Condo financing problems also frustrated the
move-up market – condo owners who want to make the move to single-family
"It's difficult to sell an existing unit if you can't
find a qualified buyer," Kowalski says. "A lot of people are frozen
in place: Those in (a condo unit) can't get out; those out can't get in."
According to Golding, the just-announced FHA changes are in
line with ones requested by NAR, which has been an advocate for reform. NAR
cited problems with a lengthy and complex recertification process, burdensome
owner-occupancy requirements, and the limits on acceptable property insurance.
One major benefit for Florida condo owners: the property
insurance rule change. FHA will now accept Citizens Property Insurance coverage
– the Florida-owned company and largest condo insurer in the state. In
addition, FHA changed the way it will view co-insurance clauses, which exist
with most Florida condos.
That change alone will help up to 85 percent of
Florida's condo associations, according to
Danielle Blake, the Miami Association of Realtors' government affairs director
and a long-time advocate for FHA change.
According to Golding, insurance and recertification changes
will take place immediately. Policy changes related to owner occupancy,
commercial space percentage, FHA concentration and spot approvals would be
addressed through formal rulemaking in the near future.
"Condos are often the most affordable option for
homebuyers, especially first-time buyers, and making sure FHA financing is an
option is important to supporting homeownership," says 2015 NAR President
This information was read in FloridaRealtors.orgon Nov. 13, 2015
We read today in theSouth
Florida Business Journal :
Soffers and LeFrak buy 55 acres as part of $4B project in
The $4 billion SoLē Mia project in North Miami took a big
step forward as the developers acquired 55 acres from the city for $22 million.
The entire site is 183 acres at 15045 Biscayne Blvd. Oleta
Partners, a joint venture between the Soffer family in Aventura and the LeFrak
family in New York, plans to build 4,390 high-rise residences, a 150-room
hotel, and more than 1 million square feet of commercial space, including
open-air retail, office and a Warren Henry Auto Group dealership.
The site will
also get two clear swimming waterways from Crystal Lagoons.
“We continue to work toward building a world-class mixed-use
community within the City of North Miami,” Michael Tillman, president of Oleta
Partners LLC. "This is just another milestone in our efforts towards
making SoLē Mia and North Miami prime destinations in South Florida.”
The city financed 80 percent of the $22 million purchase
The additional acreage that wasn’t acquired is controlled by Oleta
Partners through a lease with the city.
In June 2015, the South Florida Business Journal had already announced:
Billionaire duo Soffer and LeFrak break ground on $4B SoLe
The billionaire Soffer and LeFrak families broke ground on
Thursday on one of the largest development projects in South Florida, the $4
billion SoLē Mia in North Miami.
They aim to transform the 183-acre former superfund landfill
at 15045 Biscayne Blvd. into a community with residential towers, upscale
retail and commercial space. The project, formerly known as Biscayne Landing,
was decades in the making as many previous attempts to build there stalled out.
Two condo towers were built on the site overlooking Biscayne
Bay during the last real estate boom before the city took back the property
during the recession. Now North Miami has a lease with Oleta Partners, led by
the Soffers, who developed much of Aventura, and the LeFraks, who have built
major projects for 100 years.
The SoLē Mia name is the combination of Soffer, LeFrak and
Miami. The project is expected to open in 2018 and it will require the
remediation of the landfill to be completed.
“Miami is growing and we understand the demographics very
well and this is like the hole in the doughnut,” Jeffrey Soffer said. “In 20
years people will call it one of the premier communities to live in in Miami.”
The retail portion of the project is called SoLē Mia
Mainstreet. Jackie Soffer said it will have 400,000 to 500,000 square feet of
retail, with tenants such as a gourmet grocer, a bowling alley, a sporting
goods store and restaurants. There will also be a 40,000-square-foot dine-in cinema.
She said they are talking to multiple tenants and are prepared to sign leases
The project will draw shoppers from Aventura just to the
north and throughout the county, Jackie Soffer said.
The design features an open-air main street style with
children’s play areas and a fountain.
“It is the center of the community and people want an area
where they can see and be seen,” Jackie Soffer said. “Part of shopping is
getting out and seeing other people. That is part of the entertainment. It’s a
modern version of what main street is in the United States.”
SoLē Mia Mainstreet will have office space above the retail
as well as freestanding office buildings, she said. The commercial space will
total 1 million square feet. The office space is estimated at 220,000 square
feet and nearly 4,200 parking spaces are planned.
Other components of the project include 4,390 high-rise
residences in at least 10 towers, two man-made lagoons, a 150-room hotel, a 100,000-square-foot
Warren Henry Auto Group dealership featuring Land Rover, Infiniti and Jaguar,
and a 37-acre public park.
The development team includes ARQ and EDSA as the planners
and designers for the residential portion and Design 3 International as the
planner and designer for the retail.
Right now, the developers are building the roads and
preparing to fill the lake, said Lenny O’Neil, senior VP of construction for
Tunberry Associates, the Soffer’s company. That’s part of $150 million in
infrastructure funded by the developers. The retail space and two rental towers
will start construction in about a year.
Jeffery Soffer compared the project to how his father
developed the Aventura Mall and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach when they took on
overlooked sites and transformed them into thriving centers for those cities.
"We believe we can put the right components in here and
create the jobs and create the right amenities to make this a great place to
live,” Jeffery Soffer said.
Harrison LeFrak said both families have demonstrated their
long-term commitment to building and owning projects for many years. They are
putting their own money into this project and they have the talent to make it
work, he added.
“If you have a big piece of land in a great location that
other people have forgotten about, it is an incredible business and community
development opportunity,” LeFrak said. “We share a long term strategy of
commitment to the community.”
North Miami Councilman Philippe Bien-Aime noted that the
development agreement requires that city residents receive preference for jobs
at SoLē Mia. The developer also promised to provide vocational training to city
residents so they can work there, he said.
While the property value revenue from the project would aid
the city, the biggest beneficiary from those funds might be the North Miami
Community Redevelopment Agency as it gets the tax incremental increases in its
district. North Miami Mayor Smith Joseph said the city is in the process of
restructuring the CRA and asking the county this fall to approve its charter
for another 20 years.
He expects the CRA to use the windfall from SoLē Mia’s
property taxes to spur redevelopment across the city, especially in the
downtown area where it’s seeking to draw businesses.
“Today North Miami realizes the dream that has been in the
works for decades and today that dream comes to fruition,” Joseph said.
Spacious new residences with premium views at Marina Palms
Palms Yacht Club
Highly anticipated -final release of 04, 08 and 10 lines
With their generous floor plans and premium views, the 04,
08 and 10 lines are among the most sought-after residences in Marina Palms
South Tower. This release represents the final inventory of these three highly
Located on the south side of the South Tower, all three
lines offer premium views overlooking the adjacent park as well as towards Bal
Harbour, Haulover Inlet and across the Intracoastal to Miami Beach and the Atlantic.
Palms Yacht Club & Residences, the North Tower is already sold out with
move-ins already happening, and the South Tower is now 80% sold.
Marina Palms prices
2 bedrooms 2.5
bathrooms starting at $900,000
2 bedrooms 3
bathrooms + convertible den starting at $950,000
3 bedrooms 3.5
bathrooms + den starting at $1,200,000
South Tower is
under construction, 40% deposit due at contract
The Marina Palms - a great new development
Two Waterfront Towers (with ocean access) offering:
112-slip private marina for yachts up to 90 feet in length
Full-time dock master
Full service yacht club concierge
Dockside high speed internet and cable TV
Well-equipped sundry store
Picturesque marina promenade.
Luxurious Generously Sized Residences
Call me for more information or reservations:
HENRY B. NATHAN
(800) 416-2747 (954) 296-6741
Imported Italian cabinetry by Snaidero with stone countertops
Grohe bathroom fixtures
Subzero and Wolf appliances
Elegant floating Italian bathroom vanities by Snaidero
Frameless glass enclosed showers with hand-held head in bathrooms
Generous 8-foot deep private terraces with glass railings
Expansive marina and panoramic water views of Intracoastal and beyond
Freestanding soaking tubs in master bathroom
Large walk-in closets
Smart technology ready
Solid core doors throughout
Sound insulated walls throughout
Spacious open floor plans with ceilings heights in excess of 9’
Full-sized, front loaded washer and dryer in every residences
PLEASE CALL ME AND ASK ME ABOUT THE LAST UNITS INVENTORY AND PRICES.
Some of the best units have just been released. South Tower is under construction.
Take advantage of this project, unique of its kind. Last chance!