560,000 Acre Parcel for Sale in South Florida

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on April 24, 2015

560,000 Acre Parcel for Sale in South Florida As land prices soar and single-family inventory dwindles in South Florida, something big just went on the market. Proctor and Gamble recently put up a 560,000 acre lot up for sale that’s being called the largest piece of undeveloped private land east of the Mississippi.

The land covers about 900 square miles between Gainesville and Tallahassee. It’s currently covered with hardwood trees that the current owner, Foley Timber and Land, has been harvesting for its timber operation.

In preparation for the sale, the partners of Foley had a development plan for about 128,000 acres drawn up. It includes plans for open space, housing developments and commercial property. The land doesn’t include much coastline, but does have a marina. It also has the distinction of having never been hit by a hurricane.

Experts believe the most likely buyers for the land will include pension funds, real estate investment trusts, university endowments and sovereign wealth funds, all of which are attracted to stable, long-term assets. It’s expected that some development will occur, but mostly the land will continue to be used for its timber.

Real estate investment trusts, or REITs, are like stock portfolios for real estate. Instead of investing directly in a property, they allow shareholders to invest as much or as little as they want, and pull out at any time, just like the stock market. Since they are publicly traded, they are required to return 90 percent of taxable income back to shareholders. REITs pay dividends and are taxed at a lower rate than stock dividends.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have close to 10 years of experience handling Real Estate, Personal Injury, Immigration and Commercial Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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South Florida Home Prices Outpacing National Market

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on April 23, 2015

south florida market prices outpacing national averageMarket slump? What slump?

South Florida is outpaced the national real estate market for growth in January 2015.  But bubble-watchers can relax—the pace is slowing to a more sustainable rate.

National real estate prices were up 4.5 percent in January 2015, compared to the year before. But prices in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties were nearly double that.

Pricing growth in the area has been in the double digits from 2013 on as the market hit full recovery mode. Experts say the recent slowdown is not a bad sign, but a signal that the market in Miami is stabilizing.

Part of the growth has been fueled by low inventory for single-family homes and money coming in from foreign investors, including investors from China. The market in Miami is appealing because of its beauty, air quality, and relative low cost compared to global cities like New York, Paris, or London. Chinese investors are the second biggest source of  revenue behind buyers from Mexico.

Miami-Dade currently has a 5.5-month supply of single-family homes on hand, with no change in sight due to the fact that there’s no room to continue building. All this market squeeze means buying a home in Miami now requires a bigger down payment and better credit than 10 years ago.

Part of the single-family construction squeeze is also due to the fact that most of Miami’s resources are fueling it’s condo construction boom—as of December 2014, more than 300 pre-construction projects were in the works.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have close to 10 years of experience handling Real Estate, Personal Injury, Immigration and Commercial Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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Florida Inmate Engineers Real Estate Scam

April 22, 2015

Florida Inmate Engineers Real Estate ScamA Florida inmate has been accused of running a real estate scam from prison.

The scam involved filing phony records on homes in South Florida, and then selling the homes. Louis Lewis is accused of fraudulently obtaining titles to ten homes worth more than $2.5 million. He sold four of the homes, and was in the process of selling the others when he was arrested at Dade Correctional in Florida City.

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Are COAs Required to Carry Flood Insurance?

April 21, 2015

Are COAs required to carry flood insurance?Flood insurance is a huge concern in Florida, where hurricanes and tropical storms pummel the coastline every fall. Homeowners who live in flood zones have to carry flood insurance as a requirement by federal law. However, for condo associations, the law is more vague. Does your condo association have to carry flood insurance on the entire property, or are the policies the homeowners hold sufficient?

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What are Florida Sunshine laws?

April 20, 2015

what are florida sunshine lawsThe Florida Sunshine law—sounds cheerful, right? The Florida Sunshine laws were put into place to keep government officials in check and ensure that meetings were being conducted in an open, transparent way that allowed the community to be aware and involved. Although the Sunshine laws were originally written with public entities, like the state government in mind,

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