Homes my clients rented

Homes my clients rented

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Rental Nightmare


It never seemed possible until the landlord came to deliver the grim news.
The place the Olivo family called home, a three-bedroom townhouse in Davie, had been sold and they needed to find a new place to live.
But putting aside money for the family of four to move was a problem for Lissette Olivo.
“Everything happened so fast,” she said. “I didn’t have time to save money to get my own place.”
Her job, helping people create resumes and cover letters at an employment agency, does not bring in enough cash to pay the first and last month’s rent and security deposit landlords demand.
Not even the personal finance classes she attends could prepare Olivo, 37, to fill the financial gap.
During the past five years, Lissette Olivo and her children Alejandro Olivo, 10, and Adrian Olivo, 15, Adonis Olivo, 18, and Ashley Suarez, 21, created a life in their home on Live Oak Place in Davie.
This summer, she took in her niece Stephanie Sanchez, 17, who’d been having trouble with her parents.
But with their rental sold and no place else for them to go, friend Elizabeth Berrios invited them to move into her two-bedroom mobile home in Davie.
“When my mom died, she made sure I had somewhere to go,” explained Berrios. Now it was Berrios’ turn to return the favor.
Despite the cramped quarters, the friends make it work.
“There is no other alternative,” Berrios pointed out.
The move uprooted Adrian and Stephanie from Western High School, where Adrian ran track and played football.
Now they attend McArthur High in Hollywood.
“Some of the school work seems a little bit harder,” Adrian said. “I’m working now to catch up.”
Now, they both attend McArthur High School in Hollywood.
It took a week before Lissette Olivo found Plantation Park Elementary School for Alejandro, who has a learning disability.
“I went to so many schools and I couldn’t find a school that had the programs he needed,” Olivo said.
Ashley and Adonis moved out two weeks before they were put out of the town house and are living together in another area of Davie.
Olivo understands how difficult moving around is on her younger children.
“I went to a different school every year and sometimes three different schools in one year,” Olivo said. “That affected me a lot as a kid. That’s why I try so hard to keep them stable.”
But the family can find humor in their daily struggles.
They laugh about jockeying for a seat next to the only two windows that can roll down in Olivo’s white 1989 Mercedes.
There is no muffler on the car, either.
Olivo turned to Hispanic Unity, a social services center in Broward County, to aid her with managing her finances. The organization nominated Olivo for the Miami Herald’s Wish Book.
“Some people are going through the motions, but with Lissette you can see the real desire and she is always positive,” said Lucienne Brutus, who oversees the program. “I think that she is going to get out of her situation.”
In the meantime, Olivo warned her children not to expect any gifts this holiday season.
“I usually tell them don’t expect anything because I don’t have any money,” she said.
It’s been a few years since the kids have gotten anything besides socks or underwear for Christmas, which usually comes from their grandparents.
“I just tell my friends that I told my mom not to get me anything because my birthday is coming up,” said Adrian Olivo. And when his birthday comes, well, they will have forgotten about it by then.
Lissette Olivo hopes their sacrifices will be viewed as a life lesson for her children.
“I would rather not celebrate Christmas or birthdays,” Olivo said “But at least I know we live in an area where the schools are good and they have a better opportunity.”


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Billionaire To Invest Millions in W.P.B. MultiFamily

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Palm Beach billionaire and former U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene is snatching up properties in West Palm Beach, including vacant land behind The Home Depot on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, where he plans to build an apartment complex.
Greene said Friday he expects the apartments to be rented by employees of the Palm Beach Outlets shops that are to be constructed at the Palm Beach Mall site across Palm Beach Lakes.
A plan approved by the West Palm Beach City Commission on Dec. 10 includes 548 apartment units, a clubhouse and a bowling alley on land where the West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium once stood. The 548 apartment units are expected to be priced at about $950 a month for a single bedroom, up to $1,350 a month for a three-bedroom unit.
The plan will come before the commission for final approval on Jan. 7.
“It’s going to be an amazing state-of-the-art complex that will provide fantastic rental housing for people who want to live close to the new mall development, right near I-95, near all the office buildings on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, shopping and restaurants in a great community,” Greene said.
While the project was pitched to the commission as “luxury apartments,” Greene said the complex will fit in an area that he believes will improve once the old Palm Beach Mall is converted into outlet shops, which are expected to employ about 2,000 people.
“There’s no question if you go in a certain direction around the property it’s certainly not considered a luxury neighborhood,” Greene said. “But I think we’re building an upscale, nice apartment complex that’s going to be affordable.”
Greene, who purchased the 22-acre lot for about $6 million, said the area is near upscale neighborhoods, including the Land of the Presidents.
But Greene, a real estate investor who made a fortune on investments following the housing boom, isn’t stopping there. He also bought the foreclosed Comfort Inn at 1901 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. for $6.6 million and converted it into a Ramada Inn with a “a major remodel of the rooms.”
“That’s a couple of blocks from the new mall, so it’s just another commitment to the neighborhood,” Greene said. “I’m sure I’m not going to be the only one who is going to be improving properties adjacent to that mall redevelopment.”
City Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell, whose district includes the proposed apartment complex, said it all sounds promising but “first we have to actually get (the outlet shops) built.”
The first phase of the outlet shops is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013, but demolition hasn’t yet begun on the old mall.
Mitchell said she was unaware Greene owned the vacant land, and she said he was not at meetings to discuss it.
“It’s great that he has interest in the city, and, from what I read. he has lots of money,” Mitchell said.
Greene, who lost to Kendrick Meek in the Democratic primary for the Senate in 2010, said he also plans to build apartments or condos on land he purchased across from Currie Park. That parcel is north of 23rd Street between Flagler Drive and Dixie Highway.
In November, Greene purchased 165 unsold units at the City Palms condominium at 480 Hibiscus St. in downtown West Palm Beach for $34 million. He said he plans to rent the units.
While Greene’s bulk purchase surprised some real estate experts, Greene says West Palm Beach is “a bit of a secret among other South Florida cities and people don’t realize how cool this city is.”
“The urban planning here from (City Planning Director) Rick Greene’s department and the mayor (Jeri Muoio), everyone in the city has been just brilliant,” Greene said. “The zoning decisions made have encouraged these beautiful apartment complexes that have really made downtown West Palm Beach an amazing pedestrian urban environment.”
Greene said he likes that Palm Beach County is less congested than Miami-Dade or Broward counties, and he’s looking elsewhere in the county. Last year, he purchased the Omphoy Ocean Resort in the town of Palm Beach and he also spent $3.7 million on the island’s historic post office, which he converted into office space to manage his various companies.
Greene said he also has properties in Lake Worth and Jensen Beach.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

TRG Shapes A Future For Boynton Condo

Related Group affiliate buys Promenade condo loan photo

By Alexandra Clough

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The Related Group of Miami now is in control of the construction loan backing the troubled Promenade condominium, the Boynton Beach property that has come to symbolize the condo real estate bust in Palm Beach County.
An affiliate of the prominent Miami-based developer on Dec. 5 purchased the property’s $122 million note from a group led by Wells Fargo Bank, according to records filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

Real estate sources say Related paid less than half the value of the construction loan. A foreclosure auction for 323 unsold condo units is set for Thursday . However, no other bidders are expected to top the $122 million loan amount, so the property likely will remain in Related’s hands, the sources said. Related is expected to take title to the property Thursday from developer Boynton Waterways Investment Associates in what sources describe as a “friendly foreclosure.”

The construction loan’s sale puts Related in charge of the mammoth condo and frees the property from the uncertainty that has surrounded the Promenade since its inception.
“Having (Related) going into it will make a marked improvement (of the condo) when it comes to the perception of future buyers,” said Jack McCabe, chief executive of McCabe Research & Consulting in Deerfield Beach.

Read full article..

Friday, December 7, 2012

KW Property Management

Reporter- South Florida Business Journal
 KWPM has operations in various places, including Orlando, Tampa, Naples and Nashville, Tennessee - the latter at request of a current client. Association management is expected to be in higher demand going forward as condominium development is surging in Miami-Dade, specifically in the high-end sector.
The company’s focus currently is on large associations that have a substantial number of employees and provide a high level of service.
KWPM’s projected gross revenue for 2012 is more than $26 million; gross revenue was $24 million in 2011; gross revenue was $21 million in 2010; and gross revenue was $18 million in 2009.
  • Demonstrating there was a better way to manage large-scale properties.
  • Growing in a deliberate, smart-cost pattern.
  • Widening management contracts from garden-apartment communities into high-rise projects.
  • Developing a world-class IT infrastructure and a company culture.
    Robert White and Paul Kaplan of KW Property Management & Consulting help clients improve efficiencies to save money.
    • Eighty percent of new business is the result of poor financials from the previous property management firms.
    • Customer service is paramount, yielding the company a client retention rate higher than 98 percent.
    • An extensive portfolio of training programs is available for all levels of employees, with promotion from within whenever possible.

    • Be flexible and adaptable to expand services from developer consulting and association management to acting as a property management receiver for lenders.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Equity Residential, Buys Archstone for $6.5 Billion

Equity Residential, a company run by Sam Zell, and AvalonBay Communities agreed to buy Archstone from the Lehman estate.
Equity Residential, a company run by Sam Zell, Robert Caplin photo for The NYT.

Equity Residential, which is based in Chicago and whose chairman is real-estate mogul Sam Zell, will acquire about 60 percent of Archstone's assets and liabilities. AvalonBay, based in Arlington, Va., will acquire about 40 percent. The deal includes $9.5 billion in Archstone's debt.
The company, based in Englewood, Colo., owns or has a stake in 181 developments with 57,948 apartment units, as of Sept. 30. Its apartments are largely in metropolitan areas in the Northeast, California and southeast Florida.
Archstone apartment building in Boston, Mass.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Miami Herald Reports On Downtown's Hot Rental Market


Brett Smith, a 25-year-old Brickell resident, stands on the balcony of his condo.  His rent just went up 15 percent.

Brett Smith, a 25-year-old Brickell resident, stands on the balcony of his condo. His rent just went up 15 percent.


By Martha Brannigan mbrannigan@MiamiHerald.com

Rents are rising in Miami, especially in the sizzling Brickell/downtown areas where vacant units are snapped up quickly amid strong demand for the urban lifestyle and amenities.

When Brett Smith rented a condo at Axis Brickell last year, there were still sweet deals to be found, but when the lease came up for renewal last month, he got a sour note: The rent was spiking 15 percent.
The three-bedroom, three-bath condo would cost $3,800 a month, up from $3,300.
“We actually looked around at other places, and most looked to be around the same price range,” said Smith, a 25-year-old construction project manager who shares the apartment with two friends. “We decided with the cost of moving, we would just stay.”
Smith, who loves the urban lifestyle — “It’s great, and it’s getting better,” he says — has lots of company.
In greater downtown Miami and Brickell, residential rental rates per square foot jumped 10 percent in the first nine months of 2012 from a year earlier, according to a study conducted for Miami Downtown Development Authority by Coral Gables-based Focus Real Estate Advisors.

Rents for the sizzling Brickell neighborhood leaped even more sharply. The average monthly rental rate for Brickell jumped 17 percent to $2,242 in the first nine months of 2012 from the same period in 2010, while the rent per square foot spiked 28 percent over that period, according to additional data from Focus Real Estate Advisors and MLxchange.
Fueling the price increases: Strong demand for rental units and the growing popularity of the downtown and Brickell areas as new restaurants and entertainment spots help mold an urban core that is attractive to young professionals and students but also to an increasingly diverse crowd.
“It’s become like a restaurant Mecca in Brickell,” said Denise Sicuso, sales manager for Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realty’s Brickell downtown office, which handles lots of condo rentals and sales in the area.

Read more....

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/23/3110169/allure-of-brickell-downtown-miami.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy



Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/23/3110169/allure-of-brickell-downtown-miami.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpyBy Martha Brannigan mbrannigan@MiamiHerald.com

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Perk package: Renters enjoy upscale amenities

 By Paul Owers

When it came to amenities, apartment dwellers used to get stuck with just the basics: a swimming pool, a walk-in closet of a clubhouse and maybe a treadmill or two.
But today's renters are enjoying an array of unusual and high-end extras, from dog parks to vegetable gardens to wine tastings, as developers respond to increasing demand from non-traditional tenants.

Read more.....


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

South Florida rental rates increase

The costs of renting an apartment in Broward and Palm Beach counties are inching upward.
The average monthly rent in Broward is $1,097, an increase of 3.3 percent from a year ago, according to second-quarter data from research firm Reis Inc. Palm Beach County’s average rent is $1,077, up 2.7 percent.
Rental markets have been strong in recent years as foreclosures and price declines make many people wary of owning a home. Others are struggling to qualify for mortgages.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Boca Raton-based developer is the latest firm to announce plans for apartment communities in South Florida.
The Altman Cos. says it will build rentals in Boynton Beach, Coconut Creek and Pembroke Pines. A fourth complex will be in Kendall in Miami-Dade County, adding 1,110 units to the market.
In the past year, developers have started construction on or announced 42 rental projects in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, according to Deerfield Beach housing analyst Jack McCabe.
Jack McCabe (left) interviewed in January by MSNBC Dylan Rattigan

Demand for rentals in South Florida has increased following the housing collapse. Lenders remain leery of financing condominiums because of rampant overbuilding during the boom, but developers say getting loans to build apartments is much easier.
Altman Chairman Joel Altman said in a statement that rents are stable and occupancies are high in many areas across the country. Construction on the South Florida units is expected to begin later this year.
Joel Altman  Chief Executive Officer of The Altman Companies
“Our strategy is to have three to four new multi-family communities lined up per year with a focus entirely on rentals,” he said.
The Coconut Creek, Pembroke Pines and Kendall complexes will feature three floors, private entryways, clubhouses and resort-style amenities.
Altman says it is acquiring the Boynton community from builder K. Hovnanian and will plan a second phase based on the original architectural plans, which include two, six-story buildings with a clubhouse and pool.
Altman didn’t disclose expected rental rates for any of the units.
Earlier this month, a Phoenix developer announced plans to build nearly 400 luxury apartments in Coconut Creek. The first units at Broadstone Cypress Hammocks at 5201 W. Hillsboro Boulevard will be ready early next year, and construction is expected to be complete by spring 2014.

Other projects are planned for Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale, among other cities.
The region isn’t yet in danger of being overrun with rentals because so little apartment construction has happened since 2007, McCabe said.
Expected population increases in Florida from retiring baby boomers should support the increased demand for rentals, though another 40-plus apartment complexes in the next year would be a problem, McCabe said.
In 2006, as the housing market started to collapse, the ratio of homeowners to renters nationwide and in South Florida was about 70-30, but it’s now 64-36, he said. Many former homeowners either can’t buy or choose not to bother with owning.
“A lot of people have decided the American Dream may not be such a dream anymore,” McCabe said. “There are a lot of liabilities and responsibilities (to owning) that they didn’t understand before, and they do now.”
©2012 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

EXTRA -ordinary Property Management

Adam Blauweiss (left) and Lee Hughes, owners of Grand Prix Estate Management, stand near one of the Wellington houses they service. They started the firm in 2007 with just six clients.

By Kevin D. Thompson Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

— Good business opportunities often come when you least expect them.
Ask Lee Hughes.
For years, Hughes had been working the Winter Equestrian Festival as a show jumper and horse show manager. He spent time listening to wealthy businessmen in Wellington for the festival complaining about how they couldn't find the right company to manage their properties after they left town.
So Hughes, born in England and raised in Canada, said he would do it.
"I told them I'd be happy to work for them," Hughes said. He recalled thinking: "It can't be that awful of a job."
Five years later, Hughes and his business partner, Adam Blauweiss, a real estate agent, are still running Wellington-based Grand Prix Estate Management, a property management firm.

Starting with six clients in 2007 - all friends of Hughes' - the company now works year-round and has more than 40 clients, 80 percent of whom are seasonal Wellington residents.
Hughes said he has a few A-list movie star clients (he declined to name them) as well as some who are billionaires.
"The new-money clients are often very rude," Hughes said. "Sometimes in the customer service business, people are ungrateful for all your efforts."

Grand Prix Estate Management does whatever a homeowner needs, including pressure-cleaning driveways, installing hurricane shutters, overseeing landscaping projects, arranging airport transportation, providing pest-control services and cleaning pools.
Hughes, 33 and Blauweiss, 32, will even handle dry cleaning, food shopping and picking up prescriptions at CVS.
"I don't want us to come off like we're gofer boys, but we will do anything our clients ask us to do," Blauweiss said.
He recalled when one client, who was a little tipsy, once asked him to buy a pack of beer because the client was too drunk to drive and do it himself.
"We'll charge you $35 to $45 an hour to go do that as opposed to you crashing your car and having to spend $10,000 on damages," Blauweiss said.
Terri Nusz owns a $3.9 million, 4,500-square-foot home in Wellington with her husband, Thomas, CEO of Oasis Petroleum in Houston.
Terri Nusz, who lives in Wellington six months out of the year, hired Hughes last May to look after the Nuszes' property, which features 12 barns and sits on 5 acres.
Grand Prix Management has worked with landscapers to keep the property in pristine condition as well as supervising construction projects.
"They're basically our eyes and ears when we don't live here," Nusz said. "You want to feel that you can leave your home and that it'll be perfectly taken care of the way you would take care of it."
Grand Prix Management is a bare-bones business. It has only one employee - a full-time handyman who oversees renovations and handles deliveries. But Hughes said the company works with licensed plumbers and electricians who perform many of the jobs.
Sales fluctuate, depending on the year. Last year, the company earned $150,000, Hughes said. The most it ever made was $250,000 in 2010, he said.
While Hughes, who's married to Blauweiss' sister, handles the customer service part of the business, Blauweiss takes care of the billing and invoicing.
"This is not just a business," Hughes said. "We want people to feel comfortable with us and we don't just want to be a run-of-the-mill property management firm. We're almost like a concierge service."