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Miami news, Miami local news

Invest in an Inspection Before Buying Miami Real Estate

December 16th, 2009

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When buying homes in Miami, a great investment, it’s standard practice to check out equivalent sales in the area to get an idea of value. But what do you do next?

You can do a walk-through and see that the back door sticks, but why? Maybe it because a hinge is loose but it could be much worse. It’s possible with some homes in Miami that something is wrong with the foundation.

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to pinpoint the problem unless you’re a building inspector.

Claude McGavick, a board member with the Florida Association of Building Inspectors, says, “A good home inspector will look at 800 to 1,000 things in a home.” He says inspectors follow standard guidelines that tell them what to look at and how to look at it.

Here are some tips for finding an inspector:

  • Word of mouth is one of the best ways to choose an inspector for homes in Miami. Home inspectors in Florida are not licensed but that will change as of July 1st.
  • Search professional organizations databases. They train their members and giving them inspection guidelines. Here are three places to start:

• Florida Association of Building Inspectors              800-544-3224
• American Society of Home Inspectors                    800-743-2744
• National Association of Home Inspectors               800-448-3942

According to the Florida Association of Building Inspectors, standard inspections involve a visual examination of the Miami real estate property from top to bottom. The inspector will check the heating system, the central air-conditioning system, the interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure. The inspector should tell you about any system that may be near the end of its serviceable life or not up to par, and why. It’s very important to pay special attention to the roof and to termite damage of Miami real estate properties.

In general, expect to pay about $300 to $500 for an inspection, says McGavick, who also is an inspector with Home Check Home Inspection Services of Bradenton. The size of the Miami real estate property, the age, special structures and so on can affect the price.

It’s not up to the inspector to tell you whether or not to buy a house in Miami. No house is perfect; you must decide which imperfections and eventual repairs are acceptable.

Miami Foreclosures fall 5.62%

December 10th, 2009

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The number of Miami homes in November, in some stage of the foreclosure process, dropped by 5.62% in Miami-Dade County compared to October. However, according to figures released Thursday by foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac, Miami foreclosures were still up by double-digit percentages versus the same month last year.
In November, 7,306 Miami homes had either received a foreclosure notice, were scheduled for auction or taken back by a bank in an auction sale. This was an increase of almost 13% from year ago.
The number of new Miami foreclosures filings was up from last year by a large 30% predicting a bigger lump of Miami homes that are likely to enter the market later on.
Miami-Dade ranked seventh in the state for foreclosures, with one of every 133 Miami homes in some stage of the process. By comparison, one home in every 417 was caught up in foreclosure nationally.
In November, the foreclosure rate in Broward fared slightly worse compared to October, rising 4.44%, with one of every 113 homes in the pipeline.
The rate was up 4.38% from a year ago and new foreclosure filings were up 27% from last year.
Following Nevada, Florida (with one home per 165 in foreclosure) displaced California for the state with the second-highest percentage of Miami homes in foreclosure. In Nevada, there was one home in foreclosure for every 119 that were not.

Bookings Rise, Looks good for South Beach Hotels

December 8th, 2009

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Winter looks better for tourism this year.
As Art Basel Miami Beach heralds the unofficial launch of the “high” tourism season this week, demand has finally begun to rise for South Beach hotels and Miami Beach vacation properties. That could signal a turning point for a hotel market besieged by discounted rates and weak demand, trends that have pushed some of the region’s flashiest hotels to the brink of foreclosure.
Severe cutbacks in travel spending haven’t stopped art buyers from driving up hotel rates in Miami Beach this week. The cheapest rooms at the Delano are $825 a night this weekend and $345 next weekend.
After the country’s largest contemporary art show turns off the lights at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Sunday the real test begins.
Peter Sahora, general manager of the Z Ocean Hotel in South Beach says, “It looks like the slide is either slowing down or reversing. We’ll see what happens in January and February.”

New Airport-Beach Flyer Bus Route

December 3rd, 2009

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A column by Daniel Shoer Roth was published in El Nuevo Herald on November 4th criticizing transit officials for not offering a bus route from Miami International Airport to South Beach. Shortly after that, Miami-Dade Transit chief Harpal Kapoor announced that such a route, which will be called the Airport-Beach Flyer route, will exist starting December 13th. Kapoor assures that the new route has been in the works for some time and was not prompted by Roth’s column. The much-needed and heavily-traveled bus route from Miami International Airport to South Beach will follow State Road 112 and make one stop at the Earlington Heights Metrorail station along the way for those wishing to reach Downtown Miami. The bus trip will cost $2.34 and takes about 30 minutes.

If you are a traveler from somewhere else, keep up-to-date on Miami travel tips to make your Miami vacation as smooth as possible.

The Delano Miami: Miami Beach Hotel Rates

November 4th, 2009

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In what is one of the worst economic crises, the iconic Miami Beach hotel, The Delano Miami, has kept pretty steady rates. Miami Beach hotel rates went down a bit this summer, but The Delano Miami stayed clear of the Miami Beach hotel rates price war that has been going on in the rest of the city.

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Florida Travel News: Broward County Hotel Occupancy Rates Rise

November 4th, 2009

September occupancy rates for hotels in Broward County rose 2 percent since last year. This rise has been the first gain since April of 2008. The increased occupancy came accompanied by lower daily rates which dropped an average of 15 percent from last year. In September, Fort Lauderdale hotels’ occupancy rate dropped 5 percent and rates dropped 14 percent since last year.

Miami News: The Stronger Clevelander Hotel in Miami Beach

October 13th, 2009

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The Clevelander is the party hotel of Miami Beach. They know exactly who they are and they are damn proud of it. The Clevelander’s most recent $40 million renovation made the rooms party-proof so that the aftermath of its typical guests wouldn’t cost them an extra penny anymore. The more durable Clevelander reopened to guests after the Clevelander Hotel renovation at the end of April.

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The New and Improved Venetian Pool in Miami

October 13th, 2009

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The Coral Gables Venetian Pool, which started off as just a rock pit when they were planning to build Coral Gables in the 1920s, underwent a six-month, $730,000 renovation that was completed just before summer of 2009. The Saturday following the Friday grand reopening welcomed 471 guests. The Venetian Pool renovation included new and improved bathrooms, walkways, fountains, roof tiles, concession area, patio furniture and wrought-iron gate.

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Florida Local News: The Effects of Recession on Cosmetic Surgery

October 13th, 2009

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Since our economy has gone into recession, plastic surgery procedure popularity has slumped drastically. The more expensive the procedure, the more it has decreased in procedure popularity in requests by patients. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, sales for liposuction went down 19 percent; tummy tucks procedure popularity went down 18 percent;and breast augmentation procedure popularity went down 12 percent.

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Florida Local News: Venus Mini Med Spa in a Mall

October 13th, 2009

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Venus Mini Med Spa is bringing a walk-in Botox boutique to International Plaza in Tampa. The Venus Mini Med Spa will offer $200 Botox treatments, injectable fillers and more. The idea behind the addition to the mall is to make facial injections as easy as ordering a pretzel at the mall.

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