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Monthly ArchiveOctober 2017

See where LendingTree ranks Florida among destinations for homebuyers

Homebuyers moving out of state are heading south, with Florida the No. 2 most-popular destination, a new study from LendingTree shows.

LendingTree says it reviewed purchase mortgage loan requests for primary residences in all 50 states in the last year — from October 2016 through October 2017 — to find the percentage of all requests from residents looking to move outside of their current state. The results reveal the most popular new destination for each state along with the percentage of…

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Controversial 304-unit Marin County housing proposal hits a roadblock

A developer wants to build more than 300 units on a former seminary in Marin County, but complex zoning and neighbors are blocking progress.

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Call it a real estate boo! Homes surrounding NYC cemeteries are in demand

If horror movies teach us anything about real estate, it’s that one should not build a house, hotel or any type of establishment within the proximity of a burial ground.

However, new data suggests most home buyers in New York aren’t afraid of a Poltergeist- or Shining-like scenario.

In honor of Halloween, the New York Business Journal decided to share some exclusive info from real estate company Sharestates. The report zeroes in on the impact cemeteries have on neighboring areas.

The Sharestates…

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A look at South Florida’s spookiest properties

From the archives: On this Halloween Eve, The Real Deal South Florida explored Miami’s oldest and most haunted properties: the Biltmore Hotel, Deering Estate, Casa Casuarina, the City of Miami Cemetery and the Miami River Inn. Among the paranormal activity? The sounds of doors opening and shutting, noise from nonexistent parties and the ghosts of wars past.

Here’s a look at TRD‘s top picks:

Biltmore Hotel (Credit Jorge Royan)

Biltmore Hotel (Credit: Jorge Royan)

Biltmore Hotel | Coral Gables | Built in 1926

The founder of Coral Gables developed the Biltmore Hotel in 1926. It’s considered one of Miami’s haunted properties, serving as a hospital during World War II, as a VA Hospital and the University of Miami’s medical school until 1968.

Rumor has it the spirit of gangster Thomas Walsh haunts the hotel: Walsh was shot and killed by another gangster in 1929 at a party on the 13th floor.

Alleged paranormal occurrences at the Biltmore include being tapped on the shoulder by men in army uniforms, noise from parties that aren’t happening, and the ghost of a man in a white tuxedo appearing in the elevators – elevators that have been said to stop on the 13th floor for no reason.

Deering Estate

Deering Estate

Deering Estate | Palmetto Bay | Built in 1900

Industrialist Charles Deering lived at the 44-acre property from 1922 until he died there in 1927. It’s home to a prehistoric burial mound with anywhere from 12 to 18 burials of Native Americans, one of a handful in the county, as well as archeological remains – dating back 10,000 years. The state of Florida and Miami-Dade County purchased the estate in 1985, when Deering’s last heir died. No one has lived there since. [Miami Herald]

Casa Casuarina

Casa Casuarina

Casa Casuarina | Miami Beach | 1930

After a morning walk in the summer of 1997, Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered on the front steps of the Versace Mansion, now known as Casa Casuarina.

“He was murdered right there as he was trying to walk in – he was fiddling with his key, trying to open the gate,” historian Paul George told the Miami New Times last year.

Creepy or not, it sold for $41.5 million at an auction in 2o13. [Miami New Times]

City of Miami Cemetery (Credit Phillip Pessar)

City of Miami Cemetery (Credit: Phillip Pessar)

City of Miami Cemetery | Miami | 1887

About 1,000 open plots remain at the city’s oldest cemetery, which is home to some of Miami’s founding members: Julia Tuttle, William Burdine (of Burdines, later Macy’s) and Dr. James Jackson. Veterans of the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I and II can also be found there, according to the city of Miami’s website.

The criteria to be buried there is “strict,” the website reads. “One must be able to produce proof of ownership for a plot and must be either the deed holder or able to prove familial relationship to the owner.” Friends of the family are not allowed.

Miami River Inn

Miami River Inn

Miami River Inn | Miami | 1906

MiMo developer Avra Jain picked up the historic hotel earlier this year , which has been called a great place for “ghost hunters or sound sleepers” in a TripAdvisor review.

“At 11 p.m. every night, patrons on the first floor allegedly hear the front door open and close loudly, hear someone wipe their shoes on the welcome mat, running, and a shaking door knob,” according to the Huffington Post. “Others also say they hear what appears to be a ghostly tantrum of someone throwing items around the halls, but nothing is found outside.” [Huffington Post]

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Upscale senior-living center planned for Fort Mill

A Mississippi company is planning its second upscale senior-living center in the Charlotte area with the addition of an 88,000-square-foot facility in Baxter Village in Fort Mill.

The Blake at Baxter Village breaks ground in early 2018 with completion planned for spring 2019. 

Cardinal Ventures of Ridgeland, Miss., plans to open its first residential center for seniors in the area in Indian Land later this year. Both centers are expected to cost about $15 million.

The typical Blake development…

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Owner of The Rim to add 11-acre luxury apartment complex

A four-story, 380,000 square-foot luxury apartment complex is being planned for The Rim.

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Study finds few residents leaving Texas

Texans love their home state, and few are considering leaving, according to a new study by LendingTree.

The report found that 92.54 percent of purchase mortgage requests in the Lone Star state were from Texans looking to move within the state. Michigan had the second-highest number of residents looking to move within its borders.

Texas is also the most popular destination for residents moving from Colorado, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

For those who do leave Texas, most are staying…

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Potential elimination of federal historic tax credits looms over downtown Dayton

As Congress considers reform of the federal tax code, the elimination of federal historic tax credits is on the table. And for communities such as downtown Dayton, the loss of these tax credits would have a big impact on the revitalization and renovation of historic buildings.

Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, said historic tax credits help close the gap between the costs of renovating historic projects and the capital those projects require.

“Federal historic tax credits…

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Colombians still crazy for South Florida homes: report

Miami skyline (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Buyers from Colombia led foreign interest in Miami homes in August, according to a new report from the Miami Association of Realtors. The Latin American country has shown the most interest in South Florida homes for six consecutive months.

Colombians represented 10.5 percent of all international searches on MiamiRealtors.com in August. After Colombia came Venezuela with 5.4 percent and Canada with 4.9 percent. Brazil rose from sixth place in July to fourth in August with 4.1 percent of all international searches.

Last year, Colombian and Brazilian homebuyers made the third-most international purchases in South Florida with a 10 percent share, according to the report.

Check out the top 10 list of countries looking for Miami homes in July:

  1. Colombia
  2. Venezuela
  3. Canada
  4. Brazil
  5. Spain
  6. Argentina
  7. France
  8. India
  9. Philippines
  10. Mexico


Katherine Kallergis

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Here's why Lennar wants to merge with one of its largest competitors

The rising cost of land in its major markets has made it challenging for homebuilder Lennar Corp. to accelerate growth, so it found a way to leap ahead with the acquisition of one of its largest competitors, CalAtlantic Group.

The deal, announced Monday, will also allow Lennar to start aggressively negotiating lower costs for labor and supplies at a time when these costs are rising. Companies that provide workers and goods to Lennar and CalAtlantic can expect a call in the coming months, asking…

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