November 1, 2014

Florida Real Estate Values

The Rise and Fall of the House on 96th Street

The ups and downs of a home's value in south Florida tell the story of the state's broader real estate market over the past decade.

Mike Vogel | 3/26/2012
Hoeflinger family
Michael and Giovanna Hoeflinger, shown here with their two daughters, bought the home late in 2011 for $740,000, 51% less than it sold for at the height of the market five years earlier. [Photo: Brian Smith]

The house at 490 N.E. 96th St. in Miami Shores was built in 1941, not long after the Great Depression that followed the great Florida real estate boom and bust of the 1920s. The story goes that the two-story house was designed for a doctor who wanted his office downstairs and his home upstairs. But that apparently never happened and, instead, it's always been a residence.

The house, built on a double lot, has a pool in the shape of a B, the first initial in the surname of the then-owner. At 3,893 square feet, it's a good size for Miami Shores but not as large as other homes in the area. By the time real estate agent Robert Bourne purchased the house in 2001 for $440,000, it needed work. "It's a beautiful corner lot," Bourne says. "The master suite is gigantic. It turned out to be a good investment. That was right at the beginning."

Miami Shores is a near-in suburb of Miami known for an old-neighborhood feel. Mature trees and well-landscaped yards line the streets. Most owners are year-round residents. Some families have been in the village for generations. A mix of housing styles and sizes accommodates established professionals and young couples.

Hoeflinger house - Pool
The home's previous owner, who estimates he spent $150,000 updating the home, took a $120,000 loss when he sold it to the Hoeflingers. [Photo: Brian Smith]

Bourne fixed up 490 N.E. 96th, lived there a couple of years and sold it for $765,000, according to county records. He represented the buyers, a couple of designers, when they sold it for $1.3 million in 2005. Five months later, as prices soared in the boom, it sold again, for $1.508 million to a doctor-researcher at a Miami skin-medication company. The run-up in price was unremarkable. "That's just what was happening everywhere," Bourne says.

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