Luxury Miami Real Estate

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550 South Dixie Highway

Coral Gables, FL 33146

Cell: 305-798-8685

Office: 305-960-5330

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Archive for the 'Coral Gables Realtor' Category

Getting Around the City of Coral Gables

Affordable (and green!) transportation in and around Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Downtown Miami, and even Miami Beach has never been easier. While we’ve always had our infamous metro rail, an influx of new systems such as Freebee, Bird/Spin Scooters, and the trolley has made getting around our city easier than ever.

There are a lot of pros that come with the availability of these transportation means beyond just convenience. In a time where we must be ever-conscious of our ecological footprint, simple things like taking an electric golf cart to dinner instead of gassing up the family SUV can truly help. This is why I want to do my part to spread awareness for some of our lesser-known perks for living in these areas.

The FreeBee is a barely 2-year-old initiative by the city of Coral Gables, wherein you are able to call a completely free ride to and from any places within the below perimeters.

Coral Gables Freebee Perimeter Coconut Grove Freebee Perimeter

They even let you pre-select music to listen to while you ride! Through their app, you are also privy to a great deal of coupons to local restaurants; fitness centers, etc. They’re even ADA Compliant!


Coral Gables
Trolley Route

The Bird/Spin/Lime scooters are everywhere. You’ve probably seen people whizzing by on them in Brickell, Coconut Grove, Wynwood, Fort Lauderdale and around the miracle mile area. It generally costs $1 to unlock a scooter with rides starting at 15 cents per minute or more, depending on the company. I used to take them a lot for the simple reason that they kept me a lot cooler than I was after the physical toils of walking.

The Coral Gables trolley has been around a little bit longer than the latter two transportation companies (since 2003). What people tend to forget however is that it’s totally free, thanks to the Miami-Dade County Half Penny Transportation Surtax. It feeds directly into to the city of Miami Trolley via Flagler Street, Coral Way, and Grand Avenue, and it’s even in service during major US Holidays!

We have quite a few listings that are in the zones for Bird Scooter rentals & freebee and trolley rides. 1203 N Greenway, 2710 Columbus Blvd, 629 Santander Ave #7, 3936 Palmarito are a few that would allow for you and your family to even take these means of transportation door to door!

There you have it—my best recommendations for how to reduce your environmental footprint while also saving yourself $$$.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty.

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Hurricane Dorian

Hi everyone! I am sure you are keeping an eye on Hurricane Dorian. A hurricane watch is in effect for the Bahamas and we are waiting to see what the next advisory states for us in South Florida. According to the Hurricane Center it should be making landfall in Florida between Monday and Tuesday and we might experience rain and wind late Sunday. Below are some tips when getting ready:

  • I’d certainly recommend filling up your gas tanks as one of your very first tasks in this process, as gas stations tend to become a mad house the closer the storm gets. Most stations don’t get restocked quickly with gas after the storm passes.
  • Get flashlights ready, especially make sure you have extra batteries, and refill propane tanks if you have gas powered grills or generators.
  • Stock canned foods, soft drinks, and water (if it’s still in stores). *Hot tip, you might be able to still order water on Amazon. That way, you can avoid the craziness of the store water aisles. Also, if you have a gas stove, you can boil water from any tap source in your household after the power goes out, and you will be totally fine to consume it.
  • Put shutters, window and door protection in place if instructed by local officials. Also, in contrary to some narratives, it is not a good idea to trim branches or limbs from your trees. These could get picked up like twigs in a storm of this strength and thrown directly at your property by the wind.
  • Locate the turnoff valves for electricity, water, and gas.
  • Bring in your patio furniture, and any other outdoor items that could be picked up by the wind.
  • Take out cash, just in case. Credit card transaction systems may be out after the storm.
  • Here’s a good one – go and buy an extra refillable battery charger or two for your iPhone. It will definitely be worth the expenditure when it could be your only communication with the outside world. Charge them now, before the power possibly goes out.
  • Refill all necessary prescriptions!
  • I’d definitely recommend collecting not only your property insurance paperwork, but also your medical insurance information as well. It could also help to take an inventory of especially valuable or important personal property for future insurance claims.
  • Please don’t forget about your furry friends! Ensure they have enough food and also take into consideration that they will need water as well.

With specific respect to my clients, you can always reach out to us with any other questions you may have on this topic. If given the word, we can take down signs, can advise you on the most sensible time to put up hurricane shutters, and much more. Stay safe everybody!

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty.

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Why Florida’s Bill 447 Relates to You

On July 1 of this year, House Bill 447 came into effect, which modified Section 125.56 of the Florida Statutes. But what does this mean with relations to you, my current and potential future clients? Bill 447’s passing means that local governments are now able to close an open or expired permit six years after its issuance, as long as there are no safety hazards. Say goodbye to old Hurricane Andrew-era permits!

This will allow buyers and sellers to resolve open and expired permit issues much faster, and minimize delays to closing. Local governments can also now, under this bill, provide written notice to an owner as well as the contractor listed on their permit when a building permit is about to expire. Far too often, we see instances where the contractor or property owner has simply forgotten to schedule an inspection, or file the necessary paperwork to get a permit closed out. Or even more frustrating, we’ve seen occasions where a seller bought the property with the expired permit, and did not realize it. Another amazing pro to this bill is the fact that property owners can no longer be penalized for neglecting an open or expired permit.

Ideally, all of the facets of this measure are intended to incentivize property owners to clean up any permit issues without fear of fines or penalties for the delays. This thereby benefits all sellers that may have inherited an open or expired permit at the time of closing.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty.

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Coral Gables at Its Best

It is a fact that Miami is losing a large amount of its old Spanish-influenced architecture, with most of it being replaced by a surplus of modern, “box-style” homes. One of the best (and maybe to some, worst) parts about buying a home in Coral Gables is the rather strict building code enforcement. The parties that oversee Coral Gables’ permit department strive to not only improve, but preserve the unique quality of life which many flock to Coral Gables specifically for.


Take our listing at 2710 Columbus Blvd for example. This is a property that embodies everything about early 1920’s Spanish-style architecture and its prominence in Coral Gables during its youngest years. With beautiful archways along the façade, colorful tile placements, and the classic s-line stucco tile roof – you notice the European themes before you even walk through the front door. Sitting comfortably on a 16,700 sq. ft. lot, this 5 bedroom/4 bathroom home is the place for you and your family (and even a few guests here and there)!

While the architecture is one of its main pros, another one worth mentioning is the fact that the inside has all of the amenities of our modern-day world. You’ll have a top-of-the-line kitchen, a walk-in closet, wet bar, a gorgeous fireplace, marble floors, and even an expansive pool and backyard. But most importantly, you’ll have impact glass throughout the entire property.

Last but not least, this home is in ridiculously close proximity to Salvadore Park, St. Phillips, St. Theresa and the Biltmore, to name just a few convenient stops down the street. Where else in Miami could you get your kids to school in the morning without even having to jump in your car?

Best of all, the entire property is walled and gated –which means you’ll never have to worry about your children as they play outside. I encourage everyone to come see this beautiful example of true Gables living! Request an appointment here: 2710 Columbus Blvd

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty.

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The $2-4 Million Market in Coral Gables This Spring

I wanted to get back to my analysis of the Coral Gables market and had left off after reviewing the under $1,000,000 market and the $1,000,000-$2,000,000 market. I pick up with the $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 market. The high end market always has lower numbers than the lower price ranges for obvious reasons, but the Facts and Trends reflects that the Gables market in this bracket has increased their inventory by 28% from the same months last year.


This increase in inventory is met with a decrease in sales by 30% from last year and an increase in pending sales by 12.5%. This increase in pending sales bodes well for future months, because it will translate into more sales and shift these numbers slightly. Either way, it is hard to ignore the fact that with 114 current listings in this price range and 4.33 selling on average per month, we have over 26 months of supply.

Please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me if you have any questions about this information or any other real estate needs.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty.

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The Under $1,000,000 Market in Coral Gables this Spring

Following up on my blog last week about the Coral Gables market, I am attaching a few different charts that show the state of the market for single family homes under $600,000, from $600,000-$800,000 and one from $800,000-$1,000,000.

As you might expect, the lower price range has less supply than the more expensive homes at 6 months supply. Even this market, however, has experienced a 41% increase in inventory since this same time last year. The good news is there has also been a 31% increase in sales in this market.


The $600,000-$800,000 market is carrying its same supply as last year with 7 months, but has seen an 8% decrease in sales. This represents 12% of the overall inventory and 26% of the sales.


And finally, the $800,000-$1,000,000 market has seen inventory grow from 5 months supply to 8 months with a 26% reduction in sales. This range represents 11% of inventory and 19% of sales in Coral Gables.

As the price of the homes increases, we have continued to see inventory also increasing and sales decreasing. This information helps show how important it is to price correctly in this market. The under $1,000,000 market represents 64% of all sales in Coral Gables.

Please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me if you have any questions about this information or any other real estate needs.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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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$1-2 Million Market in Coral Gables

I am going to start providing weekly analysis again on the market in Coral Gables. We have a great tool called Facts and Trends, which allows us to input parameters and see the results in a number of different charts.

The first market I am looking at are the Coral Gables single family homes priced between $1,000,000-$2,000,000. This market has been fairly strong, but you can see from the chart below that the inventory has fluctuated in the past year and is at its highest right now. Our inventory has increased since the same quarter last year by 4%. Sold homes in this quarter versus the same last year are down 24% and pending homes are down by 36%.

Interestingly, the price per square foot shows a slight uptick from $408 to $423, yet the months of inventory based on closed sales sits somewhere from 11-15 months. People will tell you a balanced market is a 6 month’s supply. This information affirms that it is, in fact, a buyer’s market.

The charts do not give us the whole picture, but shows the trends. The fact is, there are buyers out there and they are making offers. Often the sellers expect a little more than what the buyer is willing to offer. I am not saying that a seller in this market needs to consider a low ball offer, but we do need to differentiate in a realistic offer and one that is too low. I would venture to say this is what has slowed our market down and lowered our pending and sold numbers.

If you are selling in this market, really take the time to evaluate what other homes in your market have sold for before just responding that you would never consider the offer before you.

Please feel free to contact me if you are looking to buy or sell or just want advice on what is happening in this ever-changing market.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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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Effective Age Versus Actual Age

If I am looking up a house to start comparables, or just to get more information on it, my search very often starts in the Miami-Dade County tax rolls, even before I go to the MLS. Miamidade.gov is a pretty reliable reference point, offering lot square footage, house square footage, and the age of the property. Well, that is until recently.

Lately when I pull a tax report from the county’s website, rather than give an actual age for a home, it will say “Multiple (See Building Info.),” which is not particularly helpful. I looked into this on another tax program, Imapp, to see if I could get any more information on the age of a particular home and I did find what I was looking for. The house that I was researching, an old Spanish in the Gables, showed on Imapp as having been built in 1924, but it was also noted that the home’s effective age was 1975.

A home’s effective age is measured by how updated it is. Therefore, while this home was built in 1924 it had had enough upgrades to qualify as a house that is 50 years “younger” than it really is. That could mean that it has a newer roof, newer appliances, an addition, functionally obsolescent items removed, etc.

Effective age is something that appraisers consider when valuing a home. According to Core Logic, “When selecting properties that are being used as comparables in an appraisal, the effective age of each property chosen should be given consideration to ensure the comparable homes are similar in effective age. Let’s say there are two 100-year-old homes, one of which is extensively remodeled and added on to, and the other is in its original state, complete with a roll rim kitchen sink and asbestos tile roofing shingles. To compare the two properties without making an adjustment for the difference in effective age would be wrong and could have a significant impact on a home’s appraised value.”

I am not sure when or why Miami-Dade County switched its records so that they do not reflect a home’s true age or effective age, but I am glad that it led me down this short little research rabbit hole. Effective age is an important item to consider when pricing any home.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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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Guest Post: Gables Renovation Update

Hey readers, this is Ashley’s assistant Lillian giving you an update on my renovation! I have lost count of which week of the bathroom/closet redo we are in, but I think it has been about 7. The good news is that we passed our first inspection (plumbing) with flying colors, and we actually have wall framing going in. The bad news is that I do not see an end in sight, although my contractors swear that they will finish . . . someday.

I have to say that being a homeowner contractor has not been too hard so far. It helps that I have a great team working at the house, all of whom do wonderful work and are extremely trustworthy. They are carefully following the approved plans, so even though I am still living in dust and debris, at least we are progressing. My fear is not passing an inspection and having to have them redo the work, but so far we have not had any reason to regress.

I think that my next inspections are plumbing (for the piping that is going through the walls) and electrical. Keep your fingers crossed that we continue to make progress!

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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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An Ultra Chaotic Weekend?

Photo from ultramusicfestival.com
The Ultra Music Festival is back in town. This year, instead of being held at Bayfront Park, it will be on Virginia Key. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Miami, Virginia Key is an island connected to the mainland by one causeway, so there is really only one way in and one way out as far as driving. Ultra attracted 165,000 festival goers in 2017 alone, so getting people to and from the event is going to be one heck of a challenge!

Now that they have relocated, the only way for attendees to get to the festival is via its own transportation, which is either a bus or a water taxi. There are three bus hubs and two water taxi stations set up downtown, and the event’s organizers are strongly urging festival goers to use public transportation to get to those locations so as to lessen traffic. In years past I have always seen attendees on the Metrorail, so the use of public transport should not be a problem. If you are wondering how I know that I’ve seen attendees, it is because they are very often wearing neon tutus and body paint: it is quite a spectacle!

I have never been to Ultra myself, the laid-back Tortuga Music Festival is more my speed, but I know that it generates a good amount of money for Miami, so I have no objection to it. If I lived on Key Biscayne and felt like I was trapped on my island for the weekend I might be singing a different tune, though. Have you been to Ultra? What do you think of the new venue?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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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Tax Refugees and Private Schools in Miami

Photo from visitflorida.com
A friend recently sent me an article from BusinessInsider.com that took a look at the so-called “tax refugees” that are moving to Miami for our tax breaks. The ramification that the article discussed was the uptick in applications for our city’s elite private schools. Palmer Trinity, Miami Country Day School, and Ransom Everglades, where my kids go to school, are all mentioned in the piece. Palmer Trinity and Miami Country Day have seen a major increase in applicants coming from New York, New Jersey, and Chicago. Ransom says that its waiting lists are always full, so they have not noticed whether that is due to the increasing number of families moving to Miami from high-tax areas.

Another thing that the article mentioned is that South Florida is getting a new private school called Avenues, which is set to open in 2022. The Miami outpost of this elite school will be the fourth campus, joining others in New York City, Sao Paolo, Brazil, and Shenzhen, China. Get this: their tuition is currently over $56,000 annually. And I thought that Ransom was expensive!

If you would like to read the full article, click here. It is a different perspective on the tax refugees that we have been hearing about lately.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home anywhere in Miami, please call me at 305-798-8685, 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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