Sunday, December 30, 2007

Real Estate, Miami & Tourists

Lincoln Road Theater on Miami Beach

On Miami Beach, there is a stretch of land .80 miles long, known as Lincoln Road Mall. It's a fabulous place to walk, eat or shop. Some of Miami's excellent restaurants can be found along this strip, and the casual stroller can find anything from clothing to jewelry to computers to incense in the wonderful shops that line Lincoln Road.

This weekend Lincoln Road Mall was packed from end to end with Miami Beach's latest visitors. The tourists are here and that became obvious by the various languages which could be heard, as people walked along the over-crowded mall, some with family members, others with lovers holding hands and chatting. The many restaurants were packed with diners.

Lots of Europeans are in Miami now, and the dollar is so low against the euro and the pound, that everything seems like bargain basement prices to Europeans who come here each winter to escape the cold European climate and enjoy the warm Miami weather and the beaches. As everyone following the real estate market in Miami knows, there are plenty of homes and condos on the market for sale these days. One thing for sure is that real estate in Miami Beach is some of the best property that money can buy.

To a European visitor looking to invest in a winter condo or home, property in Miami is quite a bargain already, and as the real estate market is heavily in favor of the buyer, great deals can be made in this present marketplace. Will this translate into more homes and condos selling this winter than in previous months? We shall soon see, so stay tuned.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 Housing Report - The Best & Worst

According to a report by CNN, the 5 most expensive housing markets in the USA in 2007 along with average home prices were Beverly Hills, CA $2,206,883, Greenwich, CT $2,018,750, La Jolla, CA $1,800,000, Santa Monica, CA, $1,785,000, and Palo Alto, CA $1,687,000 .

The 5 least expensive housing markets in the USA in 2007 along with average home prices were Killeen, TX $136,725, Minot, ND $139,033, Arlington, TX $139,175, Canton, OH $146,333, and Muncie, IN $150,000.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the 5 cities with the biggest drop in home prices in 2007 were Palm Bay, FL $182,400 (median price) 12.4% (price drop), Sacramento, CA $335,700 (median price)10.5% (price drop), Sarasota, FL $287,400 (median price) 10.4% (price drop), New Orleans, LA $160,200 (median price) 8.2% (price drop), and Hagerstown, MD $208,400 (median price) 8.0% (price drop).

The 5 fastest appreciating housing markets were Bismarck, ND $161,600 (median price) 15.3% increase, Salt Lake City, UT $246,700 (median price) 14.1% increase, Yakima, WA $163,200 (median price) 13.6% increase, Binghamton, NY $119,600 (median price) 11.4% increase, and Charlotte, NC $220,100 (median price) 11.0% increase.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Key Biscayne Home For Sale $38,500,000

485 W. Matheson Drive in Key Biscayne For Sale $38,500,000

One of the most beautiful contemporary homes in the Miami area is on the market for sale at an asking price of $38,500,000. Located at 485 W. Matheson Dr., this magnificent Key Biscayne property boasts approximately 500 feet of frontage, and it's own helipad. The 10,800 square foot home can accomodate a large family, with its 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. Sweeping vistas of the Miami skyline enhance the beauty of this marvelous estate.

1790 miles, 6 months, and a birthday

The weary but exhilarated road warriors are back, after covering approx 1790 miles across ancient cities, hidden villages, historic forts, luxurious palaces and forests of Rajasthan. And yet, there is so much more to this enchanting desert state that even as we drove back home, we started planning for our next itinerary into the depths of Rajasthan..

There is nothing more I like than planning for the next road trip :-)

We stayed at some unique places....some images below:

Destination: Ranthambore (Sawai Madhopur)
And we stayed at: Khem Villas

Our cottage

The view from the bedroom

Abundant mums and marigold in the cottage veranda

Beautiful furnishing from Anokhi (who are co-partners at Khem Villas)

Uniquely carved leg of an outdoor cot, and a niche adjoining the outdoor bath

Paper lamps and lanterns lighted the villas

And as you can imagine, we loved the view!

Destination 2: Narlai (between Udaipur and Jodhpur)

We stayed at: Rawla Narlai

The 17th century fortress (a former hunting lodge) is right next to a gigantic granite rock

Our blue toned room

Each room had a sit out...this one came with its own antique swing

By evening, the fortress had a magical feel with light shining through multicolored window panes

Brass urn for water from the Ganges and Lord Ganesha

One of the 'jaali' in our room, and a cute photograph of some royal prince and princess as kids!

Even the staff at the fort had a royal appearance!

It was easy to believe, specially at night, that we have travelled back in time...

Christmas celebrations with a difference! Traditional rajasthani folk singers entertained us with beautifully haunting melodies on Christmas eve

Final Stop: Jaipur
We stayed at: Barwara Kothi

A 'kothi' (bungalow) owned by one of the princely families, now converted into a modern yet very royal home stay

Sigh, it was some trip! To be able to put up our feet and look at this view again...

Well, back to regular world and home now...and I must confess (and hope that my significant other isn't listening)...that at the end of the day, there is no place like home!

And the other things that happened while I was away:

Dec 26th: 6 whole months since I started An Indian Summer!

Dec 27th: Moi b'day! :-)

Adieu for now as I work on my post for new year's eve...

Real Estate Market Worst Since World War II

A report by USA Today stated that record declines in home prices took place this October in 11 large metro areas. Miami, Tampa, Detroit, and San Diego led the list of cities whose home prices slid 6.1% in October as compared to October 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Schiller composite index. The data points to evidence that the present real estate market is one of the worst since the United States entered World War II.

Robert Schiller, a Yale University economics professor and co-developer of the index, said, "When was the last time we had a bigger drop than this? It looks like 1941." He was speaking of the time before the Pearl Harbor bombing on December 7. "The U.S. wasn't in the war yet, but it sure looked bad. Hitler was raging in Europe. … You didn't want to be buying a house then."

Today's real estate recession is marked by almost a year's supply of homes for sale, nationwide, with many properties being discounted by lenders, builders and speculators who have become owners via the foreclosure process. Professor Schiller forcasts prices to fall an additional 5% to 7% in 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Relocating? High Schools In the Miami Area

Ida M. Fisher High School on Miami Beach - 1927

Below is a list of High Schools in the Miami area:

AMERICAN 18350 NW 67TH AVENUE MIAMI, FL 33015 Ph: (305)557-3770
BARBARA GOLEMAN 14100 NW 89TH AVENUE MIAMI LAKES, FL 33018 Ph: (305)362-0676
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON 1200 NW 6TH AVENUE MIAMI, FL 33136 Ph: (305)324-8900
CORAL GABLES 450 BIRD ROAD CORAL GABLES, FL 33146 Ph: (305)443-4871
CORAL REEF 10101 SW 152 STREET MIAMI, FL 33157 Ph: (305)232-2044
DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE 4001 NE 2ND AVENUE MIAMI, FL 33137 Ph: (305)573-7135
DR MICHAEL M. KROP 1410 NE 215 TH STREET MIAMI-DADE, FL 33179 Ph: (305)652-6808
FELIX VARELA 15255 SW 96 STREET MIAMI-DADE, FL 33196 Ph: (305)752-7900
G. HOLMES BRADDOCK 3601 SW 147TH AVENUE MIAMI, FL 33185 Ph: (305)225-9729
HIALEAH 251 EAST 47 STREET HIALEAH, FL 33013 Ph: (305)822-1500
HOMESTEAD 2351 SE 12TH AVENUE HOMESTEAD, FL 33034 Ph: (305)245-7000
JOHN A FERGUSON 15900 SW 56 STREET MIAMI-DADE, FL 33185 Ph: (305)408-2700
MIAMI CAROL CITY 3422 NW 187TH STREET OPA LOCKA, FL 33056 Ph: (305)621-5681
MIAMI CENTRAL 1781 NW 95TH STREET MIAMI, FL 33147 Ph: (305)696-4161
MIAMI CORAL PARK 8865 SW 16TH STREET MIAMI, FL 33165 Ph: (305)226-6565
MIAMI EDISON 6161 NW 5TH COURT MIAMI, FL 33127 Ph: (305)751-7337
MIAMI JACKSON 1751 NW 36TH STREET MIAMI, FL 33142 Ph: (305)634-2621
MIAMI KILLIAN 10655 SW 97TH AVENUE MIAMI-DADE, FL 33176 Ph: (305)271-3311
MIAMI NORLAND 1050 NW 195TH STREET MIAMI-DADE, FL 33169 Ph: (305)653-1416
MIAMI NORTHWESTERN 1100 NW 71 STREET MIAMI, FL 33150 Ph: (305)836-0991
MIAMI PALMETTO 7460 SW 118 STREET PINECREST, FL 33156 Ph: (305)235-1360
MIAMI 2450 SW 1ST STREET MIAMI, FL 33135 Ph: (305)649-9800
MIAMI SOUTHRIDGE 19355 SW 114TH AVENUE MIAMI-DADE, FL 33157 Ph: (305)238-6110
MIAMI SUNSET 13125 SW 72ND STREET MIAMI-DADE, FL 33183 Ph: (305)385-4255

NORTH MIAMI 800 NE 137TH STREET NORTH MIAMI, FL 33161 Ph: (305)891-6590
RONALD W. REAGAN/DORAL 8600 NW 107TH AVENUE MIAMI, FL 33178 Ph: (305)805-1900Fx: (305)805-1901
SOUTH DADE 28401 SW 167TH AVENUE MIAMI-DADE, FL 33030 Ph: (305)247-4244
SOUTH MIAMI 6856 SW 53RD STREET MIAMI-DADE, FL 33155 Ph: (305)666-5871
SOUTHWEST MIAMI 8855 SW 50TH TERRACE MIAMI-DADE, FL 33165 Ph: (305)274-0181
WESTLAND HIALEAH 4000 WEST 18TH AVENUE HIALEAH, FL 33012 Ph: (305)818-3000

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Indian Creek Mansion Sold For $20,000,000

23 Indian Creek Drive sold for $20,000,000
A beautiful estate home just sold on Indian Creek for $20,000,000. 23 Indian Creek Drive was listed for sale at an asking price of $23,500,000 and closed 3 days ago. The 80,000 square feet property is an urban oasis bordered by 200 feet of water in the rear, and an 18 hole golf course in the front. Indian Creek is located on Miami Beach, but is actually an incorporated city with its own police force.

101st post and other good things...

Yes, this is my 101st post! It has been the most wonderful journey through the last 100 posts, and, I am already looking forward to my 200th the very near future :-)

Talking of journeys, a short journey/trip is getting me all excited! Wanderlust has hit again, and Mr. Shaking Head (i.e. The bestest hubby) and I are hitting the road to Rajasthan tomorrow :-)

The national highway. Images of the road...during summer and during the monsoon :)

We will be staying at an eco boutique resort in a wildlife sanctuary, and then, at a fort converted into a boutique hotel

What I will bring back to you end of next week is a lot of images and experiences from the magical desert land of Rajasthan. Also, will bring back a lot of colors and traditions in the form of local art and craft for my home, and....for your home! :-)...Yes, I am going to get for you original craft straight from the craftsmen. These, along with other fab stuff, will be available through An Indian Summer's Bazaar!

Do I hear you asking: 'So, what's up with the bazaar?' Well, here is an quick update: I have been working on and off through last some months to get the bazaar up and running. I never realized that setting up an online shop is going to be such a major pain in all the wrong places! There are so many formalities, red tape, logistics to be figured out..that I almost gave up! But then, my knight in shining armour (aka' The bestest hubby) stepped in to help me figure this stuff out. So now, while I focus on sourcing the most exquisite goodies for the bazaar, he is helping get the bazaar operational.

I am targeting Jan 15th as the day when we 'go live' [all fingers and toes crossed. Wish me luck (pls)!]

I will catch up with you after a few days now...
Here's wishing you

A Very Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fort Lauderdale Real Estate For Sale - Palatial Mansion

Fort Lauderdale real estate - luxury home in Fort Lauderdale Florida
1818 SE 10th St in Fort Lauderdale is priced at a kool $28,500,000

One of the finest homes in Fort Lauderdale is on the market for sale at an asking price of $28,500,000, down from the $35,000,000 the owners were originally asking for this ultra luxurious estate. Sitting on a lot of 60,852 square ft., almost 1.5 acres, this wonderful home boasts 20,619 square feet of living space, including 11 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, and 5 half baths. Check out the virtual tour of this magnificent home to view some of South Florida's most luxurious real estate. The 817 feet of waterfront around this property should accommodate even the most discriminating yacht owner. For anyone interested in in this home, call 786-344-8776 for more information.

A Sign Of Things To Come?

This morning, a report by RealtyTrac stated that foreclosures were down nationwide 10% in November 2007 as compared to October 2007. It was the first month-to-month, double-digit drop since April of 2006. That may be a good sign, but there is obviously a long way to go for this real estate market to recover.

Although it's great to see a reduction in foreclosure activity, it must be noted that foreclosures in November were still up a whopping 68% vs. November 2006, according to the same report. Hardest hit were Florida, Nevada, and Ohio which had the highest foreclosure rates among the states.

Florida recorded a 212% increase in foreclosures this November as compared to November 2006. Three medium sized California cities were among the top 10 in foreclosure filings, namely Stockton, Modesto and Merced. Stockton, located in California's Central Valley, had the highest foreclosure rate in the country with 1 foreclosure filing per every 99 households.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Flipping Properties - Is It Still Going On?

Buying properties and quickly reselling them at a profit is commonly known as "flipping". Believe it or not, attempts at flipping are still going on in the Miami area, even in the presently depressed residential real estate marketplace. Last week, a post on this blog referred to a great lot that sold for a great price. That was 1 Palm Ave. on beautiful Palm Island, (one of a number of Miami Beach Islands), which sold at the beginning of December for $3,695,000. The new owners just listed it for sale again, at an asking price of $5,900,000. It may be that they feel that the property is worth more than the $4,495,000 the previous owner was asking, when they recently purchased it. It will be very interesting to see whether this property is sold once again in the near future. Check this blog for any updates.

Flipping is oftentimes just good business. For example, Mr. X buys a property at a great price, with the intention of renovating the existing structure, or perhaps rebuilding on the lot. He knows that this process is not going to happen overnight. He may feel that he made a great deal, and that there is still some profit to be made from the property as it exists. He decides to put the property up for sale during the time it takes to obtain the necessary documentation (permits) to make changes to the property, because he may be thinking that there is someone out there who might want to pay more than he did, and still get a good value. He thinks that if a new buyer comes along and offers him a profit, he will forego his plans, and move on to another property.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Miami Beach Closings of Homes & Condos

271 N. Hibiscus Drive sold for $9,000,000
In the past 30 days from November 15, 2007 to December 15 2007, a total of 9 listed homes closed on Miami Beach, in the area extending from Palm and Hibiscus Islands all the way up to Bal Harbour. Of those, 2 luxury waterfront homes closed, 1 Palm Aveneue on beautiful Palm Island, for $3,695,000, and 271 N Hibiscus Drive on adjacent Hibiscus Island for a hefty $9,000,000. During the same period, a total of 83 listed condos/townhomes sold on Miami Beach ranging in price from $95,000 to $8,300,000 for a Fisher Island oceanfront condo. Of the condo/townhome closings, 13 units were sold for more than $1,000,000 each.

Tiger tiger burning bright,,,

In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Jungle. Deep and dark. Place where you go to be one with nature. Try to survive. And rough it out.
Did you say rough it out?
Nah! Not any longer!

If Taj Safaris had their way, Jungles would be the most luxurious places pretty soon! Here, let the national bird of India (see below) and the national animal of India (see below the first below) take you on a tour of Bandhavgarh wildlife sanctuary and Pench national park

For the .001% folks who just went 'duh?'!: A Peacock and Tigers!

I am just wild about this lounge!
hee hee...i am so p(f)un(n)y

Watering Hole for the Homo sapiens

Wow! I never knew charpai's can make such cool lounge cots!
And if you recall what a charpai is from one of my previous posts, please pat your back...I am so proud of you!

Just in case Moi Lady would prefer a table and a chair..
I am sure the lovely burnt orange will not attract hungry think I am quite sure. Though, you make sure you have your alarm timer set for every 10 mins...

Ah! This is much better! An elevated day bed. Now, who has ever seen a tiger jump?!
And in any case, Mr. Tiger has been warned not put his dirty paw on the mattress!

Slumber in peace under the watchful eye of the lady in the Pichwai painting

Oh well! You don't think the lady could protect you from Tiger dreams? Well, here, these two metal figurines will keep you safe

Wake up refreshed with sunlight streaming through as you soak in petal filled tub

And start the dawn with a cuppa of tea....or a hookah!

And, be off to the meet the elusive tiger with the help of the elephant and his mahout

Good! While you visit me, let me visit your luxurious lodge. I wouldn't have known that some thing like this existed in MY jungle, until I read it in this blog called An Indian Summer!
hee hee..what a shameless plug! That too on my own blog!

Are you coming??

I will. As soon as I get rid of this blistering pair of air gherkins!
And No. I don't read Tintin! Hmmph.

All images from Taj Safaris

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ultra Luxury Home For Sale On Fisher Island

$15,500,000 can buy this ultra-luxury Fisher Island home. Completely renovated with 5 bedrooms and 6 and one half bathrooms, this marvelous home boasts 8,900 square feet of living space, along with amazing direct oceanfront views, as well as views of Government Cut, and the Fisher Island golf course. Fisher Island is one of the most exclusive zip codes in America, and can be reached from Miami Beach, by taking a ferry to the island. Fisher Island has a full service marina, a private beach club and golf course, 7 restaurants, and a gourmet market. For anyone interested in in this home, call 786-344-8776 for more information.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Beautiful Lot On MIami Beach's Palm Island Sold

A wonderful Palm Island lot sold recently for $3,695,000. Although there is a 3,500 square foot house sitting on the property located at 1 Palm Ave., which boasts 110 feet of waterfront on a 17,674 ft lot, it was sold for lot value. Priced at $4,495,000, it closed at $800,000 below the asking price. Palm Island is a very prestigious location on Miami Beach. Think you can't make a great deal in today's real estate market? Think again.

Vibrant Hues!

How could I resist this? There was no possible way! :-)

Julie Evans is a New York City based artist who has exhibited her work extensively around the world. Using Indian ornamentation and traditional miniature paintings as inspiration, Julie uses a Spirograph on wood panels or paper to come up with these exquisite paintings. She is a recent recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to India and Nepal where she researched Indian miniature painting.

Look out for her upcoming exhibitions in 2008!