Miami Beach Listing AgentThe real estate agent's experience, marketing skills, and international resources are critical. However, having just worked with a few HIGHLY qualified and cash-ready buyers ready to pull the trigger at Murano Grande, Icon South Beach, Portofino Tower, and Murano at Portofino, there is another criteria which I must now mention: basic competence and responsibility.

I noticed a complete lack of professionalism (negligence is a better description) on the part of a large number of listing Agents and/or Brokerage firms. Disconnected phone lines, incomplete and inaccurate information on Multiple Listing for the condos that are on the market, voicemessages saying that the agent is out of the country / unavailable and NOT to leave messages, no voicemail pickup at all in three cases, no response to multiple voicemessages and emails, and sometimes a response days later that a showing can be arranged perhaps once per week and to contact the building front desk. I experienced agents not showing up for appointments or having to pick up keys at the management office, and finding that the door would not open! Once inside a few specific waterfront condos that are aggressively priced in the $1,000,000 range, we discovered an unkempt, and abandoned, dirty condos complete with foul stench, A/C turned off, and fallen down drapery! I was left wondering if the individual condominium owners realize how poorly they are being represented in this BUYERS market?!? Even the front desk staff, again specifically at Murano Grande, Icon South Beach, and The Portofino Tower, are grumbling about the laziness and irresponsiblity of these listing agents!

Only a very limited number of these waterfront condos are priced to sell, and those that are priced aggressively for some unknown reason seem to have negligent agents representing these REAL sellers. The vast majority of the 100+ initial condos that come up in a Multiple Listing property search are often times overpriced, nowhere near the market / appraised value. In each of the above referenced buildings- there are only a few condos that are truly worthwhile and that a buyer would give serious consideration to making a reasonable offer based on recent closed sales comparables.

If you're a seller of real estate in this BUYERS market- I urge you to check up on your listing agent. Call his/her phone number, look up your listed condo or home on the multiple listing service (easy these days via the web), see the pictures that are posted online, and if you are local BY ALL MEANS do check up on the listing. Better yet- have a friend call or email your listing agent (or a cooperating broker) and ask to schedule a showing. SEE FOR YOURSELF how the showing process is handled, and how your property is being presented to potential QUALIFIED buyers. You may be in for a shock.

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A little known fact today is that The Portofino Tower was originally conceived and developed by German Developer Thomas Kramer. This developer was a true visionary, he was among the first large-scale investors in Miami Beach's South of Fifth Neighborhood, long before it was fashionable. Like many visionaries and true pioneers, he was also controversial and perhaps ahead of his time. By the early 1990's, the South of Fifth Street area of Miami Beach was a dilapidated, somewhat dangerous, and architecturally uninteresting part of Miami Beach. The Art Deco renaissance that began in the early 1980's in South Beach did NOT include the South of Fifth district. This area was not considered historically significant by Miami Beach's Art Deco Preservation league. As a result, the renovations and architectural renaissance that took place in the 1980's and early 1990's was NORTH of Fifth Street. Mr. Kramer had purchased the land which is now occupied by The Portofino Tower, the Yacht Club, Murano at Portofino, Murano Grande, Icon South Beach, and Apogee South Beach and other luxury South Beach real estate properties.

Thomas Kramer began development of the Portofino Tower, with the construction and sales eventually completed by Jorge Perez' Florida-based Related Group. Eventually, The Related Group took over the development and construction of the other Kramer-owned South of Fifth Street real estate projects. The original South Fifth Masterpiece- The Portofino Tower, was completed in 1997, and set a new standard for luxury, scale, and high-end finishes for Miami Beach. Located adjacent to the South Pointe Tower (and comprising the same master association), the Italian-inspired architectural style and 40+ stories of this luxury condominium building continues to impress local residents and visitors alike. This is a unique luxury building- with it's own spacious design and mostly larger flow-through luxury condominiums, with first class amenities. The Portofino Tower is a luxury condominium building located at 300 South Pointe Drive, adjacent to Government Cut and the newly restored South Pointe Park.

Portofino Tower Condo Miami Beach

No detail was spared in the construction of the The Portofino Tower, from the unique design of the shared spaces with a two story lobby and a spectacular fitness center in the sky, with incredible views of Downtown Miami, Fisher Island, the Atlantic Ocean, and the city of Miami Beach. The entry way features a 24 hour security booth, and additional security in the lobby Front Desk, Valet Service, as well as a concierge service desk for residents. Since the building was completed in 1997, I have had the privilege of representing many sellers and buyers. Almost all of my clients have LOVED living here, so I'd like to share the Top Ten Reasons why they do.

Top 10 Reasons Why The Portofino Tower is one of the most popular South Beach luxury condo buildings:

1. The strong management staff- Top notch and long-term employees.
2. Top-tier amenities- including two Tennis Courts, a billiards/entertainment room, and spectacular and remodeled fitness center in the middle of the building with amazing views, complete with a private aerobics studio.
3. Incredible Views of downtown Miami, Biscayne Bay, Fisher Island, Star Island, and the city of Miami Beach.
4. Location- South of Fifth Street, across the Street from Joe's Stone Crab, and adjacent to South Pointe Park.
5. Beautiful Kitchens- featuring Thermador Appliances, high end cabinetry, and large granite countertops in every condominium.
6. Hurricane Impact Windows throughout the entire property. This one feature puts this condo building one notch above all others built prior to the passage of the stricter construction codes of 2001.
7. The separation of traffic among towers- with elevators opening to semi-private and private foyers (in select condo units).
8. Financial Stability- There have been very few short sales in the building in the past year, yet the condo association is well managed and has delinquency rates under 5%, with strong reserves. Maintenance fees actually declined slightly in the past year.
9. Active Social Committees- The Board of Directors and management organize semi-regular social functions aimed at creating a sense of community among the full and part-time residents.
10. Flow-through & open, large flooroplans- Most condominiums in the building have two large terraces on opposite sides of the building featuring incredible views of both sunrises and sunsets.

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I've noticed a fascinating trend lately - the relative price points which waterfront luxury condos are selling for in Miami Beach's South of Fifth District. What's intriguing about the latest sales is that I've noticed parallel trends occuring in this Buyer's market, which is happening even within the SAME building. I'm going to use the Murano Grande as an illustrative example here, although the same divergent sales/price point pattern can be seen in other nearby buildings such as The Continuum on South Beach, The Murano at Portofino, Icon, and even in the Portofino Tower, where we are currently marketing an exceptional deal.

There have been some short sales and bank-owned foreclosure sales in Miami Beach's South of Fifth Street District, which are generally consistent with 2009 Tax Appraisal values. The 2009 Miami-Dade County Tax Assessor has made a strong effort in the past eight months (which I previously wrote about here) on behalf of Miami Beach property owners so that 2009 tax bills reflect today's reduced market values. For example, at the Murano Grande last year's short sales prices accurately reflect the 2009 Tax Appraisal values, an example sale:

Murano Grande #1211 (Ocean & Bay Views)
Closed Sales Price: $675,000
2009 Tax Assessed Value: $758,000

Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Condo S.F.: 1,649 ($409/SF)
Closing Date: October, 2009
Interior Decor / Overall Condition: Poor, needed new flooring/paint

However, what's especially interesting here is that within the SAME building we are seeing recent sales significantly ABOVE the 2009 Tax Appraisal values for premier turnkey luxury condos, a few examples:

Murano Grande #2310 (Ocean & Bay Views)
Closed Sales Price: $950,000
2009 Tax Assessed Value: $848,000
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 3
Condo S.F.: 1,548 ($613/SF)
Closing Date: December 16, 2009
Interior Decor / Overall Condition: Spectacular designer appointed finishes.

Murano Grande #3003/3004 Combined Condos
Closed Sales Price: $4,200,000
2009 Tax Assessed Value: $3,621,000
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 6
Condo S.F.: 6,032 ($696/SF)
Closing Date: December 30, 2009
Interior Decor / Overall Condition: Amazing designer appointed finishes + custom floorplan.

We're currently marketing Portofino Tower #2602 as a short sale, with an asking price of $1,090,000. This is an incredible opportunity for the knowledeable, ready / financially able, and savvy Miami Beach condo buyer! Why? The current owners purchased this condominium in 2008 for $1,500,000 and we are working with ONE lender to close the deal for a qualified buyer at the final bank approved price. We expect the bank to approval the sale shortly.

Key Facts:

Latest Comparable Sale Miami Beach's Portofino Tower #2102
Closed Sales Price: $1,275,000
2009 Tax Assessed Value: $1,042,000

Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 3
Condo S.F.: 2,040 ($625/SF)
Closing Date: February 9, 2009
Interior Decor / Overall Condition: New Kitchen with Miele Appliances + custom wall finishes.

Short Sale Portofino Tower #2602
Short Sale Asking Price: $1,090,000
Previous Closed Sales Price: $1,500,000
2009 Tax Assessed Value: $1,089,000

Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 3
Condo S.F.: 2,040
Interior Decor / Overall Condition: Italian Stone floors, impeccable condition.

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