Luxury Miami Real Estate

Hello and Welcome to Miami!

I have designed this website with you in mind, filling it with helpful information. Visit often to search for properties with my user-friendly real estate search solution, get details on schools all over Dade County, spend time reading my blog, or explore to find so much more!

550 South Dixie Highway

Coral Gables, FL 33146

Cell: 305-798-8685

Office: 305-960-5330

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What does the New Tax Bill Mean for Local Real Estate?

Love it or hate it, the new tax bill passed and we are all going to feel its effects. Real estate is going to be impacted just like everything else, but in South Florida it looks like the tax bill will be a good thing! A client shared an article from Local 10 that does a great job of summarizing what the new bill means for realtors, homeowners, renters, and our local economy. Click here to learn more about it.
If you are in the market to either buy or sell a home, I would love to help you! Call me at 305.798.8665, or visit my website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. Senior Vice President, EWM Realty International.

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The Miami Open Moves

I have always loved the Miami Open and proud that it is often considered the “fifth Grand Slam.” While I am not able to spend every day at the tennis tournament and usually only make it out one day, it has been such a treat to have it in our back yard on Key Biscayne. I am sure many of the residents find it to be a major inconvenience when we all descend upon their community, but what a beautiful setting to spend the day or week while watching the most elite tennis players in the world strut their stuff.

Unfortunately for me, and I believe Miami, the Miami Open is moving to Hard Rock Stadium in 2019. While I do like the stadium, and feel that the improvements that have been made are magnificent, it is not a convenient, stunning drive to the Hard Rock. Rather, it is an aggressive slog on I-95 – quite different than the lovely Rickenbacker Causeway.

I know that the Hard Rock Stadium, with its new, modern upgrades, will be a wonderful place to host a tennis tournament, and I wish them well. I am sure that I will make my way up there to watch tennis in 2019. In the meantime, I am going to take in as many matches as I can at the 2018 Miami Open while it is still on Key Biscayne! Tennis anyone?

If you are in the market to either buy or sell a home, I would love to help you! Call me at 305.798.8665, or visit my website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. Senior Vice President, EWM Realty International.

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Early 2018 is the Time to Buy a New Home

As a Realtor, mortgage rates are always something of which I want to be aware. In this business, many of my buyers borrow money, which makes sense because they are, quite often, making the biggest purchases of their lives! Also, the cost to borrow has been so low for so long.

Well, what I am telling my buyers now is that early 2018 is the time to buy a new home whether you live here in Miami or elsewhere in the country. Why? Because mortgage rates are expected to rise over the course of this year. We have been hearing this for years, but it seems now really is the time. According to Kiplinger.com, they will not be drastic: a 30-year fixed rate loan will increase by approximately half of a point. However, when you are making a big purchase, like that of a new house, any increase can feel significant! In an article published by Shamrock Financial in 2015 it recognizes that for “every 0.5% increase in interest rate your purchasing power may be decreased by 4 to 5 percent,” and “for every 1% rate increase, your purchasing power may be decreased by 9 to 11 percent.”

If you are ready to purchase a new home, then you might as well do it now. Now that we are in the New Year, fresh inventory is coming on the market so there is ample opportunity to find your dream home! Lock that property down while interest rates are still a bargain and enjoy those interest savings for years to come.

If you are in the market to either buy or sell a home, I would love to help you! Call me at 305.798.8665, or visit my website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. Senior Vice President, EWM Realty International.

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It’s Time For Your Homeowners Insurance Annual Checkup

It’s one of those documents most of us stash in a safe or in an out-of-the-way place, the document that you value and simultaneously avoid, your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy. We were all just reminded by Hurricane Irma that it is important to locate your policy and give it a read. The fact is, it’s time for your homeowner’s insurance policy’s annual checkup!

Why? Here are just a few reasons:

  • Type of coverage. Is it ACV or Replacement cost? ACV stands for “actual cash value” which means depreciation is deducted in the event of loss.
  • Liability limits.
  • Accurate inventory. As your possessions come and go, they need to be reflected in the policy. This is where over-insuring is most commonly spotted.
  • Deductible. The amount of deductible in your Miami homeowners or renter’s policy is where you can reap significant savings…if you are willing to absorb more of the expense should a loss occur.
  • Discount. If you have more than one type of insurance policy with the same company or are a long-term customer with few claims, you might qualify.

I know this isn’t the fun topic people want to think or read about, but we, in South Florida, know how important it is!

If you are in the market to either buy or sell a home, I would love to help you! Call me at 305.798.8665, or visit my website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. Senior Vice President, EWM Realty International.

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Miami Neighborhood Map


(Map courtesy of By Comayagua99 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23038578)

There are some South Florida neighborhoods that are easily defined. For instance, Coral Gables has city limits that succinctly mark its boundaries. You could argue that “South Gables” and “North Gables” are looser terms, but US1 pretty cleanly divides those areas. There are other neighborhoods, though, that seem to me to have more nebulous boundaries: where does Silver Bluff end and Shenandoah begin? Well, leave it to Wikipedia to bring us this handy map! Check it out and never wonder if you are in Wynwood, Midtown, or the Design District again!
If you are in the market to either buy or sell a home, I would love to help you! Call me at 305.798.8665, or visit my website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. Senior Vice President, EWM Realty International.

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Seed Food and Wine Festival

Did you know that there is a food and wine festival going on in Miami this weekend? Yes, Seed Food and Wine Week, which touts itself as the “first conscious plant based food and wine festival in the country” is going on through November 5th. It has a variety of events, including lectures, a 5k run (that I am sorely tempted to do!), and, of course, food-filled parties! It sounds like a lot of fun, and I wish that I had made it to the Third Annual Plant Based Burger Battle, but I had a previous engagement.

I am proud to live in the city that is hosting Seed Food and Wine Week because it proves that Miami has many facets. Sure, we are a melting pot, we have beautiful beaches, and hip night clubs, but we are also a city that is growing culturally. I love that I get to watch and be a part of my hometown’s bourgeoning art, intellectual, and culinary expansion! Although I missed Seed this year, I will be there for the next go-round. I can’t wait!

For more information on the event, go to Seed Food & Wine Festival

If you are in the market to either buy or sell a home, I would love to help you! Call me at 305.798.8665, or visit my website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. Senior Vice President, EWM Realty International.

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The Nitty Gritty on the Gables Styrofoam Ban

Full disclosure: I eat a lot of Chicken Kitchen. It is a stone’s throw from my office, they deliver very quickly, it is relatively healthy, and I love curry mustard. So yes, I eat it a lot. I’ve noticed that from last week to this one, they have changed the packaging in which they provide their Chop Chop. Because my local Chicken Kitchen is located in Coral Gables, the restaurant has been banned from using Styrofoam containers and is now utilizing plastic ones instead.

The Styrofoam ban in Coral Gables has been a long time coming. The idea was proposed in 2015, with the intention of banning the use of expanded polystyrene for take-out containers, by city vendors, and at events. The bill was passed in February of 2016; however, it hit a snag in July of 2016 when the Florida Retail Federation filed a lawsuit to keep the city from enforcing the ban. You see, the Florida Legislature also passed a bill in February of last year. This bill prevented local municipalities from creating their own Styrofoam bans unless such bans where in force prior to January 1, 2016. Unfortunately, Coral Gables did not have its ban in place in time, so the city attempted to backdate its anti-Styrofoam bill. That brings us back to the Florida Retail Federation – they did not like this backdating, citing it as unfair, so they brought their lawsuit against the Gables. Long story short, the courts upheld the City Beautiful’s expanded polystyrene ban, and now my Chicken Kitchen arrives in recyclable plastic containers! That’s a win for Coral Gables and a win for our landfills!

If you are in the market to either buy or sell a home, I would love to help you! Call me at 305.798.8665, or visit my website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. Senior Vice President, EWM Realty International.

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Should you Put a House on Your Holiday Shopping List?

Can you almost hear those sleigh bells ringing? Well, brace yourself. Halloween is next Tuesday—and that means that by Wednesday, holiday advertising will be with us for the duration of 2017.

Whether we admit it or not, the Thanksgiving start of holiday season is a thing of the past. Hallmark has already launched its “Countdown to Christmas;” Miami mailboxes are filling with gift catalogs; store windows are only weeks away from being transformed into snow-sprayed winter wonderlands.

There are a couple of advantages to buying during the holiday season. Money Tips counts five key reasons why “reasons to buy a home during the holidays.” In short, they are:
1. Less Market Activity: Less activity means fewer competing buyers.
2. Motivated Sellers: Those who have not sold during the peak season are more likely to welcome offers.
3. Potential Tax Advantages: Home buyers who close before the end of the year could receive a tax write off or be eligible for tax credits, such as deductions for home mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and PMI premiums.
4. Better Interest Rates: Historically, interest rates tend to be lower during the holidays—probably because mortgage companies need to pep up sleepy demand.
5. Faster Closings: Although lenders, brokers, and inspectors may be thinking it’s time to take a vacation, when business does appear, they clear the decks and move!

If you are in the market for holiday home shopping I would love to help you! Call me at 305.798.8665, or visit my website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. Senior Vice President, EWM Realty International.

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Spice It Up!

If you don’t already participate in Miami Spice, it’s time to spice up your life and try it out! Miami Spice is designed to encourage visitors and locals to explore new restaurants and visit old favorites by providing discounted three-course meals. There is no membership or sign-up required to enjoy Miami Spice. Now through September 30, close to 240 of the city’s best restaurants are offering prix-fixe lunches for $23 and dinners for $39, and Miami Spice 2017 has sweetened the deal by offering a $23 weekend brunch to the mix, click here to view the full list of participating restaurants here. To narrow it down, here are this year’s ten must-visit brunches: 1. Fooq’s Miami, 2. Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market, 3. Essensia, 4. Bakehouse Brasserie, 5. Redlander Restaurant, 6. Bird & Bone, 7. Peacock Garden Bistro, 8. Forte Dei Marmi, 9. Mariposa and 10. Anacapri Italian Kitchen.
Happy brunching, Bon Appétit!
If you need help buying or selling a home give Ashley Cusack a call at 305.798.8665, or visit her website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. EWM Realtors.

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Foreign Investment, or Lack Thereof

A little while ago I attended the Luxury Portfolio International Summit on Miami Beach. It is a great opportunity to network with my fellow realtors, not to mention it is incredibly educational! One subject that was discussed extensively at this year’s conference was the lack of foreign real estate investment in the United States. Miami is a very international market, so we have certainly felt this change over the past year, and I was interested to learn more about what is happening internationally to cause this shift.

Take a look at this chart, which illustrates why foreign investors have stopped buying property in the US. You will note that, with the exception of China, it has become more expensive across the board to buy property in the US. For example, if you look at Argentina, back in 2007 a $1,000,000 property in the US could be purchased for 3,186,990 Argentinean Pesos. However, in 2016, a $1,000,000 home would cost 16,042,200. That makes a $1,000,000 house a whopping 403.4% more expensive to an Argentinian buyer in 2016 than it was in 2007! Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela have all seen their currency rates change, meaning that the Latin American market here in Miami has weakened considerably.

It is not just South Florida that is experiencing this shift in the real estate market: other parts of the US have historically had heavy foreign real estate investment as well. Because property is relatively more expensive right now, the “steals” that foreign investors were purchasing around 10 years ago simply do not exist at this point.

The real estate market is constantly changing, and this is just the latest shift. I am sure that one day in the future I will be writing a blog about how much foreign investment we are experiencing!

If you need help buying or selling a home give Ashley Cusack a call at 305.798.8665, or visit her website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. EWM Realtors.

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Miami Home Buying Tips: Cast Iron Plumbing

Lately I have had two deals hit rough patches because their inspections have revealed cast iron pipes under the house. Cast iron piping, which was utilized until around the mid-1970’s, ultimately corrodes and gives way, which can cause major water damage to a home.

Now, if a home is built with a crawl space, replacing this type of plumbing is not such a huge undertaking because a plumber can go right under the house and work from there. However, many homes that were built between 1950 and the mid-1970’s have a concrete slab foundation and these problematic pipes are encased within it. That means that their replacement requires floors to be torn up and the foundation opened to expose, remove, and re-plumb the house. Simply replacing the pipes is quite expensive, but when you add re-pouring the slab and redoing the floors to the mix, you are talking about totally remodeling a house! No wonder finding cast iron pipes spooks a buyer!

The tricky thing about cast iron pipes is that, if they are in decent shape, you can actually live with them and many providers will actually insure a house knowing that it has this type of plumbing. Therefore, many sellers are pushing back when buyers ask to have new plumbing lines installed or request a credit for those repairs. As a realtor, this presents a dilemma. Do I advise my buyer to take the risk and make an insurance claim when the time comes? When I have the listing, do I keep the price high and then negotiate the repair? This is the talk around the real estate water cooler these days! These pipes are really making our job tricky, and I get the sense that I am going to be seeing this issue come up more and more as older homes in Miami change hands.

If you need help buying or selling a home give Ashley Cusack a call at 305.798.8665, or visit her website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate

Luxury Miami Real Estate

My focused dedication as a realtor in my home town of Miami for over 25 years, consistently puts me at the top of my field. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, let me help you from start to finish with my results-proven: professional marketing, excellent property exposure and comprehensive experience.

Consistently in the top 10 company-wide at EWM for the past 15 years, my focus is on Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami — specializing in luxury real estate and waterfront properties. Call me today and let’s get started!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Cusack at {305.798.8685, email and website}. EWM Realtors.

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