Category Archives: Neighborhood Profiles

Why Choose Fort Lauderdale?

I work with lots of buyers from all over the country. Many have heard about Fort Lauderdale/Wilton Manors but don’t know much about the area. I always do my best to get them acquainted with our “grown-up beach town”. Of course they don’t just take my word it. Nor should they.

Recently a couple I’ve been working with  asked friends, who own a vacation place here,  to tell them what they liked about Fort Lauderdale for their vacation home.  I couldn’t have chosen the words better myself, and share them with those of you considering a real estate purchase here.

“We are thrilled that you are looking at condos in Lauderdale…and what spectacular views! While we are not acquainted personally with these properties, each of them looks simply fabulous. And, if you do buy in Lauderdale, from everything we know, your timing is impeccable!
We love the idea of seeing you both more frequently…and we know that you will love the magic of Lauderdale. Among other enticing attributes, Lauderdale offers proximity to Miami, Miami Beach, the Keys and the Bahamas…and the small town atmosphere and casualness of Las Olas and, when the mood strikes you, you can wine and dine in almost totally gay Wilton Manors.
Every trip we are discovering new restaurants…and going back to old favorites. After growing up  and living in small town America with very few fine dining venues, we still get a rush out of the cornucopia of dining choices. The new hot spots seem to be JMarks on Federal Highway, and TooJays on Wilton Drive…excellent food at both with predominate gay patronage. Of course, Sunday brunch at Rosie’s is now a gay tour de force. 

We love Broward Center for the Performing Arts, as well as the other smaller theaters in the area. Dinner at Hammershee, a performance at the Broward, and an after glow, make for a perfect evening. Of course, you have all these wonderful big city amenities in Cleveland…but for us country mice, this is magical to have all of this virtually in our front yard.

We also love the convenience, efficiency, and proximity of the airport. As you may know, the main runway and south runway ( which run east and west) are being dramatically expanded and improved, and the cross wind runway (which has the trajectory right over our house) is being totally eliminated. Net result: we get the views of the aircraft approaching in the distance…but no noise!

One thing we have come to really appreciate about Lauderdale is that everything is much more casual and understated in comparison to Boca Raton, Manalapan and Palm Beach….and always has been. We love visiting our friends to the north…but generally breathe a sigh of relief and comfort as we get back to the crazy mixed up neighborhood of Riverland.

If there is any way we can be helpful, please let us know. I will send you the link to our Lauderdale attorney…she is a real estate specialist, and very active in several GLBT advocacy organizations….as is her partner. We were very pleased…and I have recommended her to several friends with great results.

Again…we are thrilled that you are looking…and hope you chose Lauderdale for your next chapter. Keep us posted!!

Big hugs to you both!

WOW, now that’s a testimonial!  Ready to think about buying in Fort Lauderdale or Wilton Manors? Ken Can Help!  Call or email me today so we can find your place in paradise.

Deal of the Week – $99,000

This may be the best deal available within walking distance to Wilton Manors. A 2BR/2BA condo with a pool view and full size washer and dryer.  Low monthly fees too. Five blocks to Wilton Drive.   Remodeled Kitchen and baths. Closet systems. Tile floors. If you’re even thinking of a place in Fort Lauderdale or Wilton Manors, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. Want to see for yourself? Ken Can Help!

Deal of the Week – Las Olas Isles

Live the dream among multi-million dollar homes with this beautiful unit located on the Isle of Venice. Free boat dock. Sweeping water views. New hurricane impact windows.  It doesn’t get better than this.  Ready to find your piece of paradise? Ken Can Help!

Complete Listing Details:  http://www.kenhelps.idxco.com/idx/9851/details.php?listingID=F1130169&idxID=390

Miami Beach Pride – Saturday April 16

One of the great things about living in  Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors is that we are located just 15 miles north Miami Beach. It puts everything that’s fun to do in Miami within an easy drive any time you want a change of scene. Next weekend may be one of those times. Next Saturday, from noon to 8PM, the 3rd annual Miami Beach Gay Pride celebration will take over the island. If you’re looking for something fun to do next weekend, check out Miami Beach Gay Pride. Go for the eye-candy, stay for the fun! For complete details, follow this link. http://frontpage.jumponmarkslist.com/events/sobe_pride/index_1.htm


 

Fort Lauderdale’s little secret: Condo market is quite healthy

I’ve been telling my buyer clients for months now that the Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors condo market is getting much stronger. Pending and closed sales are strong and inventory it tight. If you’ve been waiting for the bottom of the market to buy, you’ve found it. If you’re ready to own your piece of Fort Lauderdale  property, Ken Can Help!

But don’t take my word for it. Read this piece from the Miami Herald today.

BY PETER ZALEWSKI
Special to The Miami Herald

Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach have a healthy little condo secret
that few people seem to realize: Inventory is limited.

Unlike the well-documented condo oversupply in Greater Downtown Miami where
developers still have nearly 3,600 unsold units out of the 22,250 units
created during the real estate boom, the Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the
beach market has virtually no remaining new condos available for purchase.

Of the 5,100 units created since 2003 in downtown Fort Lauderdale and the
beach, only 160 new units remained unsold at the end of 2010. This unsold
new condo total does not include the 298-unit condo-hotel project formerly
known as the Trump International Hotel & Tower on Fort Lauderdale Beach
Boulevard that has yet to begin sales.

A significant chunk of the remaining available units built during the boom
era were sold in February when a bulk buyer acquired 68 units in the Village
East condominium complex near the 17th Street Causeway just east of Federal
Highway.

This relatively low number of unsold developer condo units is remarkable for
an area bordered from Sunrise Boulevard south to State Road 84/Southeast
24th Street, and the Atlantic Ocean west to Northwest 7th/Southwest 4th
avenues.

IMPRESSIVE FEAT

The feat is even more impressive given the lack of financing options
available for condo buyers. The limited mortgage choices have worked to
significantly reduce the pool of qualified and capable buyers who do not
have enough cash to purchase units outright.

A major reason for the undersupply – in South Florida terms – of new condos
was the anti-development stance of former Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle –
who is a licensed real estate broker – and members of the commission who
opposed numerous new construction projects that were proposed while in
office during the boom.

Projects that were proposed on the north bank of the New River in downtown,
on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, or the west side of the barrier island
at the foot of the Las Olas Boulevard Causeway were never constructed.

As a result, the majority of the condo developments in downtown Fort
Lauderdale and the beach that were approved ended up being constructed and
sold out before the South Florida real estate crash began in 2007.

Consider that nearly 3,600 units out of 5,100 units added in the downtown
Fort Lauderdale and the beach market during the boom transacted between the
beginning of 2003 and the end of 2006.

Of the 1,500 new units not sold by the end of 2006, developers were able to
sell 722 units in 2007, 238 units in 2008, 65 units in 2009, and 122 units
in 2010.

To better understand the boom, consider the dramatic price fluctuations
along the way in the downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beach markets.

During the real estate boom, the average price per square foot for new
condos jumped from $235 in 2003 to $309 in 2004 to $339 in 2005 to $372 in
2006 before peaking at $499 in 2007 as buyers previously under contract
opted to purchase.

Prices for new condos since have dropped to about $356 in 2008 and 2009
before plummeting to $185 in 2010. The year 2011 pricing could be even less
as the Village East bulk deal sold at $121 per square foot.

Consequently, buyers looking for deals on condos in the downtown Fort
Lauderdale and beach markets are forced to look almost exclusively at
resales.

The downtown Fort Lauderdale and beach markets have 550 condos available for resale as of March 20. An additional 162 units are under contract waiting to
transact, according to an analysis based on data from the Florida Realtors
association.

DWINDLING SUPPLY

In the past six months, buyers have acquired 372 existing units for an
average of 62 units per month, meaning the downtown Fort Lauderdale and
beach markets have less than a 10-month supply of available product.

Compare this to Greater Downtown Miami where the original developers still
controlled 3,600 new units at the end of 2010. More than 1,300 additional
units that were acquired in bulk during the previous three years are also
now on the resale market.

Adding to Greater Downtown Miami’s condo inventory overhang are 1,840 units
currently available for resale. Some 600 units are currently under contract.

In the last six months, buyers have acquired 766 units – an average of 128
condos per month – in Greater Downtown Miami. At this pace, the Greater
Downtown Miami resale market has more than 14 months of remaining inventory excluding the available units from the original developers or bulk buyers.

Going forward, the downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach market is quietly
being considered among the first South Florida areas that developers will
consider when the inkling – and the financing – to construct new condo
towers once again returns.

Peter Zalewski is a principal with the Bal Harbour-based real estate
consultancy Condo Vultures. Zalewski, who has had a Florida real estate
license since 1995, works as a consultant for private equity groups and
institutional investors from around the world.

Investors Redeveloping North Fort Lauderdale Beach Neighborhood

Many of my out of town clients enjoy staying at one of the great gay guest houses that have re-purposed many of the mid-century motels just south of Sunrise Boulevard and West of A1A. It’s a great alternative to a big hotel property and a more interesting social scene. There’s a guest house with a style to suit everybody.

Recently, The Royal Palms Guest House has created quite a buzz by buying two of these hotels, combining them into one property with a full liquor bar that will be open to the public. The new property will be open soon. The investor’s vision is to transform the area into a more upscale village, similar to Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.  It’s an exciting time for this area of town and a logical compliment to the city’s beach area redevelopment efforts.

If you’ve considered purchasing a vacation condo in Fort Lauderdale, you will want to consider this area. It’s location is amazing, and the potential for future appreciation is excellent. Ask me about the North Beach area for your vacation residence.

Follow these links to see video interviews about the exciting plans for the North Beach Area, a preview of the slick new Royal Palms, and a directory of all the great gay guest houses.

VIDEO Investor/Developer Interviewed about North Beach Transformation

VIDEO Interview – Beach Redevelopment Plans

Guest House Directory:  http://www.gayftlauderdale.com/gayfortlauderdalehotels.htm



Home and Condo Sales Up for 3rd Consecutive Month

This View is Still Possible. Are you ready to act?

I’ve been telling my clients that the market in Fort Lauderdale/Wilton Manors has hit bottom. But there’s good news statewide in Florida. Home and condo sales in almost all of Florida showed an increases in February.

Locally, our inventory is shrinking as pending sales increase and fewer sellers list their homes for sale. Poor weather up north, low interest rates and a steady stream of cash foreign buyers are snapping up deals while they are still available.

Historically, Florida usually goes into a recession first but is also first to climb back out. If you are even thinking about looking for you piece of South Florida real estate you owe it to yourself to start your search.  Give me a call or email me now if you’re ready  to talk real estate. Or visit www.KenHelps.com to search ever available listing in South  Florida. Ken Can Help!

For complete details on the Florida home sales numbers, follow this link:

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?id=257042

ModMiami Celebrates Mid-Century Modern Art and Culture

For all you “hipsters”, here is an event you just can’t miss.  North Biscayne Boulevard, around the 79th street, is enjoying a rebirth in celebration of it’s mid-century modern architecture. It’s a fun place to hang out anytime, but the ModMiami festival in March sounds like a blast.  So put on your best Mad Men Don Draper suit and make your plans to get an immersion course in all the cool art, music and architecture of the 50’s and ’60’s. Follow the link below for completed event details and ticket information.  Join the mailing list to get the latest updates. See you there!

http://modmiami.com/details.html

Neighborhood Profile – The Corals of Oakland Park.

[slideshow]Where: West of US-1 – East of Dixie Hwy, between Oakland Park and Commercial Boulevards, .

Home Values: $515K – $239K (past 30 days)

I love introducing home buyers to the Corals of Oakland Park for value, location and architecture.  Located about equal distance from the beach and Wilton Manors, and just minutes from Las Olas Boulevard and the downtown arts district, it may be one of the best locations and values in the area.  The homes are mostly mid-century modern ranches. I love the  original mid-century Florida ranch home. They’re  perfect candidates for contemporary make-overs to maximize indoor-outdoor Florida living. Many still have original terrazzo floors, a hallmark for this era.  Add walls of glass doors, a pool and tropical landscaping and you’ve got your own tropical paradise.

Priced far less than their east of Federal neighbors in Coral Ridge, the Corals of Oakland Park is a neighborhood you should consider for your first or second South Florida Home.

If you want to browse some of these great homes on the MLS, visit my website at www.KenHelps.com or shoot me an email at KenCanHelp@gmail.com  and I’ll be happy to send you all the listings that meet your criteria.  If you’re ready find your piece of paradise,

Ken Can Help!