Friday, November 13, 2015

Miami's quiet transition from a driving society to a public transit society.

Have you ever heard this comment? "I love Miami, but you have to drive everywhere."  Well, for many years Miami-Dade has been trying to change that.  Everyone know that we need build up our public transportation system in-order to become a more connected community.
Miami-Dade transit map

Nothing has worked because we love our cars. You can not convince people to use public transportation so any improvements or investment made to the areas transportation system would not be used properly.  That would mean it would be a waste, fall in to disrepair, not maintained properly, and those that would use it may be scared to do to the lack of other riders.  

How do you get people to give something up?  Well, you can't just change the laws and force people to use public transportation.  But, what if people had to use public transportation?  There is the real question.  How do you make it necessary for people to rely on public transportation.  You can not take their cars away, can take away their parking spots.  

Under the concept of progress and making better use of space, we are giving up our parking spots.  

There are already multiple towers in Downtown Miami that were built without parking (yes, there are a few spots but only a handful).  Centro Condo and Loft are some examples of developments.  Typically these developments will lease spots in the area.  Just remember, every lease has an expiration date.  How much will the new rate be for parking?  Will that parking area be re-developed with a new condo?  Where will all the cars go?

Zoning changes in the code Miami 21 have allowed for these changes.  The City of Miami is now getting in on it.  Parking spots are slowly being taken away.  

Is this good or bad?  Well, we are in a time of car sharing, Uber, & Lyft.  This generation appears to not need a car so it looks like Miami-Dade will be embracing public transportation within the next decade or two.

Recently in Boston's Becon Hill area, a parking spot sold for $650,000.  Now, Miami will not be there anytime soon, but it is just supply and demand.  As the parking goes away, the cost to park your car will rise.  Keep this in mind next Condo you go to buy.  The question is not, is parking included?  You should be asking, Will I own a spot or have ownership of parking?

Every detail about your property can affect its value.  For assistance in obtaining a Property tax reduction, contact us at

Friday, October 30, 2015

Mr. Sharpe will be speaking on the subject of Property Tax tomorrow at the ICSC Phoenix Law Conference

Mr. Sharpe will be speaking at tomorrows ICSC Law Conference in Phoenix, AZ.  

The Law Conference provides retail real estate legal professionals the opportunity to gain industry-specific knowledge and insight from leading authorities, network with 1,300+ industry peers, and earn general and ethics CLE credits. This high-energy conference offers over 70 sessions presented in four different formats with interaction strongly encouraged between panelists and attendees. 
If you happen to be in attendance, be sure to stop by.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sam Zell sells $5.4 billion worth of Apartments to Starwood Capital

A recent Wall Street Journal article has reported on a transaction that everyone should pay attention.

"Sam Zell has agreed to sell more than 23,000 apartments controlled by his real-estate company, Equity Residential, for $5.4 billion to Starwood Capital Group, the companies said."

 This is a especially note worthy transaction because of Sam Zell.  In 2007, Mr. Zell predicted the top of the real estate market.  At that time he sold a company to Blackstone for $23 billion.  “There’s an awful lot of apartments under construction,” Mr. Zell said, “and the majority of them are garden apartments in suburban areas.”

 This translates to Equity Residential selling off 25% of their Apartment holdings.

No, the transaction does not mean the sky is falling, but we should make sure our eyes are open.  Anytime a large investor makes a move, especially when that investor has a history of making "right" decisions, it is noteworthy.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Foreclosure rate falling in South Florida

Monday, August 17, 2015

Buying...Renting: Americans are putting off Home Ownership.
Ever since our last Real Estate fall out, the latest generation, The "Millennials" are delaying home owner ship by a few years.  This sounds great right...the new generation of money makers have learned a lesson and are now saving.  Well, that is not necessarily the case.  
Yes, many people want to be able to move where a new job opportunity presents its self but to many people are doing the same thing. As a result there are not enough rental units for this generations mentality.  As a result, residential rentals have gone up drastically. Not only does this make it difficult to live, pay bills and build a career, but now they are paying to high of a percentage of their income just to live.  That means they can not save enough to put a down payment on a home or condo.  
The share of the U.S. population who own homes has slid to 63.4 percent, a 48-year low, according to the Census Bureau.
In the 70's a starter home was 1.7 times income, today first-time home buyers are paying a median price of $140,238, which is nearly 2.6 times their income.  
The Millennials that would like to purchase a home are finding it difficult to save for the down payment and then qualifying for a mortgage.  
Currently 46 percent of renters ages 25 to 34  spend over 30 percent of their incomes on rent, up from 40 percent a decade earlier, according to a report by Harvard University's Joint Center of Housing Studies. (The housing industry generally regards a figure above 30 percent as financially burdensome.)
While most people would like to own, they must now delay until they can feel stable with a job, have enough for a down-payment, and a savings.  This in turn keeps the younger generation from attaching and becoming a part of the community.
Time will tell what will happen to the Millennials but the real estate market is hot.  It may not be ideal for the renters out there but it is a great investment.
For assistance with a property tax appeal, please contact us at
To read more about this subject, please reference the an AP story through:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The South Florida Business Journal describes 5 predictions about the South Florida economy

Reporter for the South Florida Business Journal Emon Reiser recently wrote a story regarding predictions about what will be happening to the South Florida Economy in the near future. 

South Florida is catching a tailwind from a stronger U.S. economy, according to PNC Financial Services Group's third quarter Southeast Market Outlook. The report offered an optimistic forecast of the region's progress into 2016, predicting lowered unemployment rates, less foreclosed properties and more tourism.

Notable predictions from the report:

1. Southeast Florida's economy will perform above average for the rest of 2015 and 2016. From jobs, to housing, to income, to construction, everything seems to be on the rise in Florida. 

2. Rising disposable income will boost tourism. Strong economic growth nationwide is fueling consumer confidence everywhere, and therefore bolstering tourism and spending in the tri-county area. 

3. Large inventory of foreclosed properties will diminish. 

4. Income will continue to grow slowly. The cost of living in South Florida is eight percent higher than the U.S. average, and the per capita income ranges from 10 percent below the national average in Greater Miami and as high as 29 percent above the national average in Palm Beach County, the report said.

5. South Florida's jobless rate will be slow to decline. PNC predicts that the unemployment in the tri-county area will decline to 5 percent by mid-2016 from 5.7 percent mid-2017. Economic recovery will encourage workers to enter the labor force to search for employment, the report said.

To read the full article please visit: The South Florida Building Journal.

For Property tax appeal assistance please visit us at 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Miami Realtors Commercial Market Place. 08/13/2015 If you missed last Thursdays in Dade, make sure to attend this Thursdays in Broward.

The Commercial Marketplace is a great opportunity to present your commercial haves and needs to other commercial practitioners.  Be prepared to present, learn and network at this monthly event. Property types include industrial, retail, office and multi-family.

Brian Sharpe
This months guest speaker is our very own Brian Sharpe of Property Tax Appeal Group, LLC.  Brian is also VP of Leasing & Construction for Sharpe Properties.  He is a member of the Property Tax Appeal Group, LLC("P-TAG"), which handles property tax appeals for all types of property owners throughout Miami-Dade and Broward County.

Mr. Sharpe has handled the leasing for all of the company’s managed properties. Mr. Sharpe oversees the construction, repairs, and maintenance at each property. He is also involved with our public and governmental relations. Prior to joining Sharpe Properties.

The marketplace starts promptly at 9:00am at the Miami Realtors Association office in East Broward located at the DCOTA Center. 1815 Griffin Road, Dania Beach, FL  33004

If you are a Realtor with the association the event is free, otherwise their is a $10 fee.  Please follow this link to register

WORKSHOP EVENT: Asking For Property Tax Refunds

Thursday August, 13, 2015 Barry Sharpe will be leading a workshop on how one can obtain reductions in their property taxes.  The program is being run through the Commercial Industrial Association of South Florida (CIASF) and will take place at Sabadell Bank located at 1111 Brickell Ave., Miami, FL

If you would like to attend you can register for the class through this link.  

It will be a fun event where you will also learn something that can help you save your money.  

See you there.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

U.S. centers hit record occupancy in 2014

Good news for Commercial Real Estate.

Publish Date: April 02, 2015
Credit to
2014 was a banner year for the U.S. shopping center industry, with surging occupancy rates and strong growth in rents and net operating income (NOI), according to research from ICSC and NCREIF. “Record growth in key indicators such as occupancy and NOI strongly indicate a healthy outlook and further underline the ability of the industry to innovate to fit the needs of today’s consumer,” said ICSC spokesman Jesse Tron.
The occupancy rate for U.S. open-air shopping centers was 92.7 percent at the end of the fourth quarter, the highest level since second-quarter 2008, according to the organizations. Meanwhile, mall occupancy was at 94.2 percent, a level not seen since fourth-quarter 1987. 
Base rents at open-air shopping centers rose by 6.5 percent year on year in 2014, the third consecutive annual gain and the strongest level since 2008. At malls, base rents climbed by 17.2 percent last year, the strongest annual gain since ICSC and NCREIF began tracking the data series in 2000, and they increased by 15.3 percent in the fourth quarter year on year, the fifth consecutive quarter with a double-digit gain. 
The data show that 2013–2014 NOI at open-air centers and malls alike grew at its strongest annual rate since the beginning of the series in 2000. NOI at malls increased by 17.5 percent year on year in fourth-quarter 2014 — the fifth consecutive quarter with such a double-digit gain — and shot up by 21.3 percent overall last year, to $28.62 per square foot. NOI at open-airshopping centers rose by 8.3 percent last year, to $16.79 per square foot. 
In 2014, mall sales productivity reached an annualized $475 per square foot. This indicator has been generally increasing at a healthy pace since 2009, when it was $383. 
“The 2014 data paints a very strong picture of the shopping center industry for the year ahead, and is especially promising in the mall segment,” Tron said. 
U.S. REITS performed well last year, realizing a total return of 27.15 percent and a dividend yield of 4 percent, according to NAREIT — versus the S&P 500’s 13.69 percent and 1.92 percent, respectively. The 34 listed U.S. retail REITS delivered returns of 27.62 percent last year; regional malls were the strongest retail performers, with a 32.64 percent return, followed by other types of shopping centers, which averaged 29.96 percent. Total returns for regional malls and shopping centers in 2014 were the highest since 2010. 
Based on Census Bureau data, the value of shopping center construction, including work done on new and/or existing structures, hit $14.5 billion last year, the highest since 2008. This is up 18.6 percent over the year before and also the fourth consecutive annual double-digit increase. 
Property Tax Appeal help:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Single-family home sales in Miami break all-time monthly record

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Miami-Dade homeowners may have tax increases coming after mix-up in special districts

Read more here:

Monday, June 8, 2015

House value jumping? Save home improvement receipts

If you own your home, remember that as your home gains equity, you net worth increases and you could find yourself paying more in taxes.  

The best way to combat this potential increase would be to appeal your property taxes.  If you are looking for an expert to represent you, contact the Property Tax Appeal Group, LLC, also know as pTag.

NEW YORK – June 8, 2015 – A "tax time bomb is ticking" for a growing number of homeowners who have been fortunate enough to realize big gains in the values of their residences, says New York Times columnist Ron Lieber. 

Single homeowners with gains of more than $250,000 and married people with at least $500,000 could end up paying a federal tax as high as 23.8 percent on money earned above those amounts when it's time to sell. Depending on location, additional state taxes could loom for some too.

For current homeowners who see this as a possible problem when they decide to sell, Lieber has a suggestion: There's a "small pile of paperwork" they should begin filing away now – paperwork for all the improvements they've made to the property, because those costs count against the gains when it's time to sell.

Since even a single remodeling can offset the gains by many thousands of dollars, the savings when it's time to sell can be substantial.

Currently, Zillow estimates that 3.8 percent of U.S. homes nationwide are now in the tax zone for single people, and 1.2 percent of married couples have reached the threshold.

However, the number of people affected is much higher in expensive cities, such as San Francisco and New York.

"The Bible for all of this is Internal Revenue Service Publication 523: Selling Your Home," says Lieber. On page 12, homeowners can find the IRS-approved list of things that can be subtracted from a gain to determine whether it's below or above the $250,000/$500,000 limit.

Source: New York Times (06/06/15) Lieber, Ron
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