Norman Van Aken, Chef is bringing his cooking school & restaurant to Wynwood

Wynwood Arcade and Norman Van AkenThe James Beard award-winning chef will open a restaurant and cooking school at East End Capital’s Wynwood Arcade, a retail and restaurant project with tenants that include men’s clothing store Bonobos, fashion retailer Muse, the Salty Donut and furniture store Patrizia Bozzi Design. Van Aken is leasing a 5,500-square-foot restaurant space with a rooftop bar and lounge at the arcade, an adaptive re-use mixed-use development. There, he’ll open a Caribbean and Latin American-influenced restaurant along with co-owners Candace Walsh and Susan Buckley, who have worked with Ace Hotels, Il Mulino and the Spotted Pig. In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken will span 2,200 square feet and offer programs that teach cuisines and cooking techniques, according to a press release.

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Hurricane Season (June 1- November 30), let’s talk Flood Insurance.

“Flood insurance is expensive”, “the house I’m looking at isn’t in a flood zone so why should I have it? When paying cash, it is not required.”

The national average premium for flood insurance is $700 per year. In Ft Lauderdale, flood insurance on a typical 100’ waterfront home on the East side of town is approximately $875 per year. OK, that means that we’re 1.25 times the national average. The average claim nationally in the past 5 years has been about $42,000. So using that same equation, that means that the average claim in Ft Lauderdale is about $52,500. The figures I’ve used are for a primary residence which is defined as a location where you (or your spouse) will live for more that 50% of the 365 days following the effective date of the policy. The days don’t have to be consecutive either. There’s usually a surcharge of approximately $250 if this won’t be your primary home. There is a deductible of about $5,000 on this kind of policy and a 30 day waiting period from the time you purchase the policy until the coverage goes into effect.

More than 20% of all flood claims are for homes not in a flood zone! Extra heavy rainfall can cause a flash flood in any neighborhood anywhere, even those not in flood zones. The good news is that Flood Insurance in non flood zone designated neighborhoods is less expensive!

If your home is in a designated flood zone will require you to have Flood Insurance as a condition of your loan in addition to the homeowner’s policy they require. Why? Because homes in these neighborhoods are more likely to experience a flood than a fire, so your friendly banker is going with statistical evidence. Since most lending institutions aren’t in the mortgage business, the only thing they’re getting from your Flood Insurance policy is the knowledge that if there is a flood, there will be money there to get your family’s life back to where it was pre-flood so you can continue to make your mortgage payments. Think about the people who had Flood Insurance after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and those who didn’t. While there is (limited) Federal disaster assistance it’s usually in the form of a loan that has to be paid back with interest. So even if you’re paying cash, in 30 years the average $875 per year premium will have cost you $26,250 which happens to be exactly 50% of the $52,500 claim example I used earlier.


Luxury hotel, condos approved for Via Mizner in Boca’s downtown

April 7, 2016: “Home Prices Not Likely To Fall in Ft Lauderdale.”

Home prices are up in nearly every U.S. metro

The Arch risk index analyzes median home prices from the Federal Housing Finance Agency while factoring in regional unemployment rates, affordability, change in population, housing starts and delinquent mortgages.

The South Florida housing market is strong, but sales and prices are starting to cool, analysts say.

Still, Brad Hunter, the Palm Beach County-based chief economist for the Metro study research firm, said he isn’t concerned about a market tumble.

“One could easily make a strong case that prices will keep moving up, albeit at a slower pace,” he said. “I think it’s a single-digit probability that we see a real decline in home prices.”

Hunter added that even if FHFA median prices fall, that just might mean more lower- and mid-priced homes are selling and not indicate values of all homes are on the decline.

Jack McCabe, an analyst in Deerfield Beach, said that’s exactly what could happen. While a housing slowdown will continue through 2016, he expects prices of luxury homes and condominiums to be most affected. Strong demand and limited supply of homes in lower price ranges will continue to nudge values of those properties higher, he said.

“This is not going to be a total market crash like it was last decade,” McCabe said.

Ten-X, an online real estate marketplace in Irvine, Calif., released a report Thursday showing the top real estate markets for the spring. Palm Beach County was fourth, while Broward was fifth. Miami-Dade ranked 19.

Seattle was No. 1, while Portland, Ore., was second. Ten-X said it ranked markets based on home price increases, affordability and future demand as a result of economic and demographic conditions.

“Florida, in general, seems to be doing really well,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Ten-X. “Of the states that were hit hardest during the crash, Florida still has the most room to grow to get back to peak housing prices.”

While most housing forecasts are optimistic, there are concerns brewing.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said last week that affordability is becoming more of an issue in South Florida because wages aren’t keeping pace with home prices. And earlier this year, Fitch Ratings said homes in the tri-county region are overvalued.

Palm Beach County homes are above value by 5 percent to 10 percent, according to Fitch, while Broward properties are overvalued by 10 percent to 15 percent.

Fitch said Miami-Dade County was 15 percent to 20 percent above value, matching Phoenix, Riverside, Calif., and San Francisco as the most overpriced regions among major metro areas nationwide.

Ft Lauderdale just named one of 2016’s best cities to find a job, ranking atop all other cities in Florida.

Looking for a job? You’ve come to the right place—or you’re living in the right place, anyway.

Fort Lauderdale was just named one of 2016’s best cities to find a job, ranking atop all other big cities in Florida.

As part of a new study, financial website Wallethub analyzed 150 of the most populous U.S. cities based on job opportunities, employment growth, unemployment rate and socio-economic factors.

Fort Lauderdale came in among the top 25 cities to find a job, earning the Venice of America the No. 21 spot.

Tampa (22), Orlando (31) and nearby Pembroke Pines (35) also made the list. Of the cities analyzed, Fort Lauderdale was also identified as having the 10th best job market in the U.S.

Work with a Relocation Specialist, with 25 years experience, me. I will make your move easy.


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South Florida ranks in top third nationwide in terms of overall stability

12.03.15 Real Estate Notebook: South Florida housing market among the most stable9 Color rainbow

South Florida’s housing market ranks among the top third nationwide in terms of overall stability, according to a report from mortgage company Freddie Mac.

Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties scored 85.3 for September on the Multi-Indicator Market Index. That’s up 13 percent from a year earlier.

A score of 80 or above is considered stable. A perfect score is 100.

The tri-county region was No. 33 on a list of the 100 largest markets nationwide. That’s two spots higher than August and 19 spots higher than a year earlier, Freddie said.

The index tracks affordability, employment, mortgage applications and delinquenices. Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist for Freddie Mac, said most of South Florida’s improvement is attributable to on-time mortgage payments.

Wellington center sells for $52.8 million

The Courtyard Shops at Wellington sold this month for $52.8 million — $45 million more than its acquisition price in 2008.

An affiliate of Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets bought the 127,000-square-foot center at 13860 Wellington Trace, records show. A Publix store anchors the center.

The seller, Federal Realty Investment Trust, paid $7.8 million. The Rockville, Md.-based firm said in a statement that it increased value by “activating formerly vacant spaces and outparcels.” The trust said the deal generated a “book gain” of more than $15 million.

Federal Realty recently acquired Cocowalk in Miami and Shops at Sunset Place in South Miami.

A Publix spokeswoman did not respond to a phone call or email.

Commercial firm expands leasing portfolio

CREC, a commercial real estate firm, said it picked up two Palm Beach County properties among 11 new retail leasing assignments across South Florida.

The firm will oversee PGA Commons, a lifestyle center in Palm Beach Gardens, and the 219 Clematis Building in downtown West Palm Beach.

Other properties CREC will manage are Mary Brickell Village, a 195,00-square-foot complex in the Brickell Financial District of Miami, and Downtown Dadeland, a 127,000-square-foot center in Miami-Dade County.

Fort Lauderdale medical office building sells

CBRE said it helped arrange the $2.35 million sale of a medical office building in Fort Lauderdale.

Federal Associates Inc. bought the 12,808-square-foot property at 3536 Federal Highway. The seller was 3536 North Federal LLC.

Although the property is mostly vacant, a handfill of bidders made offers, CBRE’s Larry Genet said.

“There is incredible demand for the acquisition of well-located facilities suited to medical users in Broward County,” he said.

Flanigan’s buys building near Fort Lauderdale headquarters

Flanigan’s Enterprises paid $922,500 for the Fort Lauderdale building occupied by Ike’s Carter Pool Co.

Flanigan’s, which runs 23 restaurants and Big Daddy’s liquor stores, intends to use the 6,451-square-foot building at 1290 E. Commercial Blvd. as storage for its catering business. The property is less than a mile from Flanigan’s headquarters.

Berger Commercial Realty announced the deal.

Craftsmanship honored at 57th annual ceremony

Miller Construction Co. and Marker Construction Group were among the winners at the 57th annual Craftsmanship Awards held in Davie by the Construction Association of South Florida.

Miller’s work on Holman Automotive’s service center in Fort Lauderdale was selected as Best Overall Craftsmanship on a Commercial Project. Marker won for Best Overall Craftsmanship on a Residential Project on Bella Fortuna, a venetian-inspired home in Las Olas Isles.

In addition, craftsmen on the Seminole Stiles Joint Venture team won 13 awards for work at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

By Paul Owers

Ft Lauderdale Surges As Miami Fades

Good News For Condo Buyers

New good news for condo buyers

HUD eases FHA condo financing rules

SAN DIEGO – Nov. 13, 2015 – 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 Diego.

Effective immediately, FHA will streamline the condominium recertification 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-downpayment mortgages.

The new rule:

  1. Modifies the requirements for condominium project recertification
  2. Revises the calculation of FHA’s required owner-occupancy percentage
  3. Expands eligible condominium project insurance coverages

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 downpayments.”

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 housing.

“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 Chris Polychron.

HUD provides an overview of all changes in Mortgagee Letter 2015-27, which is posted online.

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

New Listing Galt Ocean Drive


Southpoint 903N

1662 Square Feet

2/2 on the Sand


Completely renovated building and apartment.

A must see if you want to live your dream of beach living.


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Price: $529,900   Bedrooms: 2    Full Bathrooms: 2  Sq. Feet: 1662

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