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Archive for March, 2012

Now is the Time to Buy.

March 28th, 2012 Written By Carol Pawley

Buying a home does not have to be a Dream.

With tighter lending requirements and depressed home values coupled with financial uncertainty, the dream of home ownership may seem to be just that for many, a dream. However, with new financing rates at an all time low and distressed properties coming onto the market, buyers and sellers have begun to see a turn around. International buyers aren’t the only ones with the opportunity to benefit from the South Florida housing market. It’s still a buyer’s market and if they look, people will begin to realize that there’s a real chance they’ll be able to buy their own home. In my professional opinion,  the time to buy is now. Inventory is low and the market is starting  to move.  I have recently placed offers on several  properties only to find that they already under contract.  Don’t wait….the time is now!

Buying or selling a home can be a little scary in this uncertain market.  Stick with someone who studies the numbers and has tons of  experience.  If you are thinking about buying or selling please drop me a line for a no pressure market analysis  to (305) 992 6188 or email me at

Grand Bay Development in Coconut Grove

March 26th, 2012 Written By Carol Pawley

Red sculpture by Alexander Liberman marks the entrance to Grand Bay. The ribbonesque piece will remain. 

The only hotel south of Palm Beach to ever receive the coveted Mobil 5-Star rating, Grand Bay was once one of the most prestigious hotels in town.  It was the place to be and be seen whether you were a celebrity or business person. Mega stars, including Michael Jackson, Luciano Pavarotti, Elizabeth Taylor, Prince and Sophia Loren, were all hotel guests at some point. However, the heydays are over for Grand Bay. Way past its prime after being shut down in 2008 and falling into disrepair, Coconut Grove’s Grand Bay Hotel will get a second chance in another life as a residential tower. A new condo project was recently revealed by Terra Group, who bought the property last summer for $24 million. They are working on plans  to design a one-of-a-find residential condo on this site after demolishing the former luxury hotel.  As reported in the Miami Herald this past Friday, the new luxury condo named Grove At Grand Bay will be 20 stories high and feature 96 units. This is only one of the new developments happening in Coconut Grove and I’m excited to see the finished product and for what’s to come.

Lead architect: Bjarke Ingels Group, aka BIG

Landscaping design: Raymond Jungles

When looking for a realtor it’s best to have someone with lots of experience and knowledge.  If you would like a professional no pressure evaluation of your home or a market analysis, please contact me at (305) 992 6188 or email me at  I am happy to help and have been licensed for over 20 years.

Great News! The Awards Are In!!

March 26th, 2012 Written By Carol Pawley

Congratulations to everyone in Dade County for their hard work in 2011! May 2012 be a great year as well. Great job everyone!

Thank you again to my loyal clients for helping me make it to Chairman’s Club Sapphire Level (top 2% of realtors Nationwide).

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 If you’re looking to buy or sell it helps to have a realtor with the experience and knowledge to represent you. If you’d like a professional evaluation of your home or a market analysis, please contact me at (305) 992 6188 or email me at


March Madness at Coral Gables Museum: Chinese Village Edition

March 23rd, 2012 Written By Carol Pawley

Today the Coral Gables Museum is presenting “East Meets West..The Chinese Village Architecture of Henry Killam Murphy in Coral Gables.” It’s set to be a fun filled evening with an educational presentation on the history of the Chinese Village, one of six unique Coral Gables villages with distinct architecture inspired by international cultures. Highlights include Chinese architectural motifs adapted for enclave residential neighborhoods in the west.

The presentation is on Friday, March 23, 2012 from 6:30 – 9:00 pm.

Schedule of Events:

6:30pm-7:00pm– Welcome Reception
7:00pm-7:45pm– Powerpoint Presentation
7:45pm-9:00pm– Chinese buffet dinner provided by Mr. Chu’s restaurant of Coral Gables. Background music will be performed on traditional Chinese instruments by the Palm Beach Chinese Performing Arts Group.

$35.00 per person for HPACG, Coral Gables Museum, or Coral Gables Music Club members. $45.00 per person for others.

RSVP: at 305-448-1085 or email

Cash or check will be accepted at the door on event night.

If you would like more information on the Villages in Coral Gables, including the Chinese Village, please contact me at (305) 992 6188 or email me at

New Property Tax Appeals Process

March 22nd, 2012 Written By Carol Pawley



“Thousands of Florida homeowners may soon be in for a rude awakening: appeals to reduce their property assessments will be automatically tossed out if they have not paid most of their property tax bill by March 31.
A new state law passed last year requires homeowners who challenge their property tax valuations to pay at least 75 percent of the disputed bill before the end of the month. The penalty: automatic disqualification from the appeals process, which thousands of Floridians have used to save hundreds of dollars in taxes during the housing downturn.
Previously, homeowners who disputed the property appraiser’s valuation could pay a $15 fee and not worry about paying the full bill until the petition process ran its course.
But during the recession, several property owners began gaming the system, using the appeals process to put off paying property taxes for several months, officials said. In Miami-Dade and Broward, the process was taking up to 18 months to resolve. That left school districts and local governments — which rely on property tax revenue — desperate for funds as millions of dollars remained tied up in a lengthy petition process.”


This is going to have the biggest impact on Dade-County, particularly businesses with exorbitantly high property taxes. The most important thing to know, however, is that this change has arrived and it’s not going anywhere, atleast not for the time being. It’s crucial we get the word out because officials aren’t putting money into widespread announcements warning people and it may come as an unpleasant surprise to many.

If you need help buying or selling a property please feel free to call me at 305.992.6188 or email me at

Gifford Lane Art Stroll

March 19th, 2012 Written By Carol Pawley

This past Sunday was the 14th annual Gifford Lane Art Stroll. The art festival featured more than seventy artists and musicians, including two live bands. A different kind of art fair where artists park it on the street, on front lawns and trees, Gifford Lane offers a true artsy experience. There is no formal advertising, the date changes every year and the only way you’ll hear about it is through word of mouth, making it a true grassroots event. 

The Art Stroll gives away all of the profit taken in from the sale of cucumber punch, broiled burgers, hot dogs, grilled shrimp, wonderful ribs and, of course, tons of art. Over the years, the Stroll has donated more than $40,000 to two Grove charities– the St. Stephen’s AIDS Ministry and the St. Alban’s Child Enrichment Center in the Grove Village West. 

Sculpture, portraits, sea and landscapes, tile mosaics, large abstract paintings, photography, mixed media and jewelry, were are all displayed down Gifford Lane underneath the shady trees. Check out some of the unique pieces of art I saw yesterday:

If you would like more information on the Coconut Grove area, please contact me at (305) 992 6188 or email me at

Miami is the International Buyer’s Playground.

March 15th, 2012 Written By Carol Pawley

Click image to enlarge.

Who’s benefiting from the seemingly deflated real estate market or the depressed dollar?

Current market conditions have created tremendous opportunity for investors and home buyers from abroad who are making sound investments in Miami for the future. The graph above shows approximately how much foreign buyers are spending, taking into account the most recent exchange rates and home values.  Countries with the top discounts are Brazil, China, Japan, Peru, Colombia and Canada. Buyers from this category account for approximately 60% of purchases, most made in cash. Even with so much activity, foreign buyers should beware and find a trustworthy realtor to work with.  The buying phenomenon can be felt all over Miami, most apparent in areas like Brickell, Miami Beach and Aventura where there is a concentration of condo sales, an international favorite.

However, the influx of foreign buyers is doing more than just boosting real estate.  From Mary Brickell Village to Coconut Grove to Midtown, new diverse restaurants are popping up all over.    A greater emphasis is being placed on the arts and culture, apparent from developments like the Adrienne Arst Center, the Ziff, and the Miami Science Museum. Miami got the piece of the puzzle it was missing: more diversity, more culture, more exposure. As the pieces fall into place we get a wonderful opportunity to engage in the opera, the ballet, art galleries in Wynwood, food and wine festivals, international film festivals, Disney cruises, all making Miami a world class destination.

If you would like more information on foreign buying, please contact me at (305) 992 6188 or email me at

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