July 27, 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

And, like everywhere, it all went downhill from there. The doctor took a new job out of state; real estate agents say his employer or its relocation firm absorbed the hit when the house sold for $860,000 in 2008. The buyer, Perry Gregoriou, chief investment officer at Quorum Investment Counsel in Miami, says, "I thought it was a fair price at the time. We fell in love with the house." He closed just after Bear Stearns collapsed; real estate had more downside to come. He estimates he put $150,000 into the property to bring it up-to-date — new kitchen appliances, a wall around the property, landscaping, a new air-conditioner, a remodeled bathroom, rebuilt front porch, storm windows and a long list of other improvements. Last November, a few months short of four years later, concerned about how long it would take values in the area to recover, he sold for a $120,000 loss. The $740,000 price for the house was down 51% from the high.

Hoeflinger house - Living room
[Photo: Brian Smith]

That's just about par for Miami Shores, says real estate agent Georgee Kluck, who handled the latest sale. "We're down about 50% from the peak," she says. Prices have stabilized and, in some cases, sellers whose houses have up-to-date improvements and features now are getting above appraisal, she says.

The new owners, Michael and Giovanna Hoeflinger, moved from adjacent Biscayne Park. They have two daughters, one 6 years old and the other 16 months, and wanted to move up. They like living in the eastern part of the county, closer to the beach, and there's a Catholic school nearby. "My wife and I just decided if we were going to upsize this was the time," says Hoeflinger, a financial adviser with Foldes Financial Management in Miami. His wife owns Prissy Missy Spa in Weston, a birthday party/day spa for girls. Getting a 30-year fixed loan from TD Bank didn't prove an issue with their excellent credit, nor was selling their home in Biscayne Park. They had three offers when they listed it. "I was surprised," Hoeflinger says.

Hoeflinger house - Dining room
[Photo: Brian Smith]

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