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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Top 10 Places to Live in Miami Florida


There’s no other Hashtag in Twitter, Instagram or Facebook more popular than #ILoveMiami. The city is vibrant with endless entertainment options, beautiful neighborhoods, electrifying nightlife scene, exciting shopping malls and boutiques and a ranking conglomeration of restaurants showcasing delectable cuisines from all over the world as a unique dining experience all at once.
     On top of all that, Miami, besides being one of the world’s Top Tourist Destinations, is booming as a preferable spot to live and work and developing a Real Estate infrastructure which will be hard to beat in the coming years.

     Miami seems confusing at first, but quickly becomes easy to navigate. The downtown area is at the geographical heart of the city and composed of a small cluster of buildings close to the airport and the beaches. There are more than a dozen neighborhoods in Miami’s mainland and surrounding keys, and the majority of them make the list at various medias as great places to live or visit.

Top 10 Best Places To Live In Miami

1- Bal Harbour:
A famously snooty town, known for its centerpiece of Bal Harbour Shops, the most productive luxury fashion shopping center in America with an exquisite collection of designer boutiques and restaurants.

2- Bay Harbour Island:

The Town of Bay Harbor Islands, located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, is a growing and vibrant community of fine homes, luxury condominiums, and apartments. The Town is home to a K-8 school, retail shops, restaurants, professional offices and MANY other businesses. The community’s location near South Beach, The Bal Harbour shops, downtown Miami and other areas in Miami-Dade County has made it an ideal place to “live and work”.

3- Coconut Grove:

This district of Miami is a popular destination for locals as well as tourists. Coconut Grove is the oldest modern continuously-inhabited neighborhood of Miami and remains a charming, bayside village within the urban dynamic of Miami. Coconut Grove, known to locals as “The Grove” is one of the hippest, most energetic, most inviting corners of South Florida.
4- Coral Gables:
A.k.a. City Beautiful, home of one of the most prestigious and luxury hotels in Miami: The Biltmore. Southwest of Downtown Miami, Coral Gables, where lush green avenues wind through a residential area along playful architectural features, is a blend of color, details, and the Mediterranean Revival architectural style creating harmony with the Miami environment. 

5(a)- Brickell Downtown:
Brickell lies just south of the Miami River, extending south and crossing Broadway to SE 26 Road/Rickenbacker Causeway. The area north of Broadway is a mixture of financial and residential. Here you will find a variety of shops, boutiques, high-class retail, services, fitness center, supermarket, coffee shop, eateries, and a large selection of restaurants.

5(b)- Downtown Miami:
Boutiques, shops along the roads, streets bustling with people, skyscrapers that make a picture-perfect view from a distance. Downtown lifestyle meets its highest peek in Miami’s Downtown, peculiar with the rich history of Cuban refugees that have converted a part of the downtown into a Little Havana, a blend of wonderful food, shops, sights and Cuban culture.

6- Design District:

The Miami Design District is a creative neighborhood and shopping destination dedicated to innovative fashion, design, art, architecture and dining.A lover of arts? You will find no other place in the world so riveting and exciting than the Design District in Miami.

7- Key Biscayne:

An island town in Miami, known as ‘The Island Paradise’, Key Biscayne is a wonderful place to visit with so much to see, and so much to enjoy. It has a two-mile beach and is a popular place for sunbathing, picnics, barbecues, biking, kayaking, a tour of the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper’s cottage, a campsite for youth groups, and boat camping. 

8- Miami Beach:

Primarily a business district where there is plenty to see and do, Miami Beach is a coastal resort city and the commercial center of South Florida. South Beach (also known as SoBe, or simply the Beach), it is considered one of the richest commercial areas in Miami with dense, urban nature, and pedestrian-friendly streets. 

9- Miami Lakes:

Miami Lakes is one of the best communities, providing a healthy and safe environment for youth that includes educational support programs. Miami Lakes is known as one of the most beautiful residential areas in South Florida for its tree lined streets, large estate lots, and extremely low crime rate.

10- Kendall:

Here in Kendall you will find Dadeland Mall, perhaps one of Miami’s most iconic shopping malls, hosts over 185 retail shops including such flagship stores as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Macys, JC Penney, The Limited and Express. Here residents have access to everything they needed within walking distance

To review the entire article please click the link here.

Featured Luxury Properties

As marketing suggests, developers are giving the luxury market something more to brag about than beaches. It’s all part of a boom that just a few years ago seemed most unlikely: South Florida was reeling from one of the deepest real-estate-driven recessions in decades. And the butter-soft demand was nowhere more in evidence than in the luxury condo market.
     Today, bolstered by foreign buyers, the market has roared back and the luxury market is undergoing an explosion of stylish and sophisticated luxury and ultra-luxury projects, including at least eight designed by world-renowned winning architects. The lists of amenities include rooftop soccer pitches and balcony plunge pools and individual car elevators for whisking prized automobiles — and their owners — in privacy to their condominiums high in the sky.

To review the entire article please click the link here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Rum Journal: The Corner


One of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. The area gets its name from being just west of bicentennial park, home of Miami’s new art and science museums. Surrounded by the media and entertainment district, park west is part of Miami’s vibrant nightlife, culture, and art scene.

     The Corner was been voted the Best Cocktails in Miami, Best Jazz Night in Miami, Best After-Hours in Miami. It opens late and closes early. 

"Step inside, my pretty, and taste my delicious cocktails," this siren of a bar calls to you, and you obey. What? A bar is speaking? Of course! Haven't you heard of the term speakeasy? Once inside, you're teleported to a dimension where bartenders wear vests and make classic cocktails using spirits such as moonshine, white whiskey, and absinthe. You're not in Miami; you're in the "Cocktail Zone." .... Miami News Times. 

To review the entire article please click the link here.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Meet the Brokers " Donnelly and Maria

A Team Going Beyond and Results that Move YOU!
Our Promise

     At Blue Reef, "The Sales and Rental Specialists", it is a priority to cater to client's needs and dreams in order to find that "perfect home, or perfect investment." The team strives to offer the best real estate experience by discussing the needs of the client in detail. The locations, verbal descriptions and images of the properties are all provided promptly, for the client's perusal. Familiarization with neighboring communities and their various amenities are taken into consideration as well as the nature of the intended expenditure. Every detail, every client's request is considered. Blue Reef offers quite a list of properties; ranging from cozy, modest homes, to upscale residences. We also offer a wide range of rentals.

     We also extended a hand to our valued clientele by offering advice concerning necessary fees, applications and licenses, Blue Reef's assistance never ends just at picking your dream property; the team goes the extra mile to ensure that the client is by all means comfortable and satisfied with their choice. We pride ourselves in taking the time to regard our client's interests personally. To truly understand the needs, and requirements of the property that suits the valued client. With kind words, a warm honest atmosphere and the willingness to attend to the needs of the client; Maria and her team provide the quintessence of the Real Estate Business –
Match Making, in its purest form.

A Can't Miss View in St. Lucia

Much is made of the views from Gros Piton, one of St. Lucia’s famous volcanic peaks. And rightfully so. Hike 2,619 feet to its summit and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a breathtaking panorama of the island’s patchwork below and the misty specter of neighboring islands on the horizon.
But there’s another equally awesome St Lucian view that doesn’t require a four-hour round-trip commitment or that you be in Olympic shape to complete it.

At Pigeon Island National Park, on the island’s north coast, all you need is 10 minutes and grippy-soled shoes to hike from the beach up to the ruins of Fort Rodney, a lookout built by the British back in 1778. From here you can see the sea spread out underneath you, the manmade causeway that links the island to the mainland bisecting its blue beauty.

To review the entire article please click the link here.

Why Saint Lucia?


     Saint Lucia is the newest and arguably the best-positioned citizenship by investment program in the Caribbean. Vibrant, discerning and alluring, Saint Lucia offers all the tropical benefits of the region while being exclusive, authentic, and engaging.

     Saint Lucia has inherited decades of experience from its Caribbean neighbors. By hand-picking only the best practices, the Citizenship by Investment Board is committed to making the program the most efficient for investors, while providing unmatched benefits for the country and its people.
Saint Lucia recognizes dual citizenship, which can give an advantage on business expansion and tax relief among other benefits:

To review the entire article please click the link here.

Rum Journal: Bayside Bar

Fine Cuisine, Drinks and Gatherings at The Bayside Bar

Set right on the shores of Anse des Pitons, the Bayside Bar in St Lucia is an idyllic destination for Caribbean sunset views and perfectly mixed cocktails. One of the most popular Soufriere bars, the Bayside Bar also serves a relaxed beach menu under the almond trees, with a range of selections including pizza baked in a wood-fired oven and other international favorites.

Visit Bayside Bar

Saturday, July 9, 2016

"Meet the Broker" Brad Reddick

    Brad has been a Real Estate Broker in South Florida for over a decade. He has seen markets come and go but Real Estate is still one of the best places to put your money to hedge against inflation and is a good investment in the long run every time! Azure Waterfront Realty is owned by and has over $2 billion in Real Property listed on our "Featured Real Estate" page for either your primary residence, second home/condo or as rental investment income. The Hottest Condos are coming out of the ground in Miami right now, so give him a call at 800-407-1104.

Miami is a Billionaire Homebuyer's Paradise 

Welcome to Miami, home of the fabulously beautiful and fabulously wealthy.
Foreign buyers — many of them anonymous — have poured cash into Miami's real-estate market for years. Think mansions priced at over $20 million, condos pimped out with private rooftop pools, and spec houses with wild extras. Big-name architects like Renzo Piano, Rafael Viñoly, and Zaha Hadid are knee-deep in the Miami property game, turning the city's skyline into a feast of postmodern towers.
A recent report from RealtyTrac noted that real-estate transactions in South Florida hit a record in 2015, closing 114,002 single-family home and condo sales.
"It's a buyer's market," luxury real-estate broker Oren Alexander of Douglas Elliman told Business Insider. Alexander and his brother, Tal, are known for listing high-end properties in New York and Miami, including the $50 million penthouse at the top of Manhattan's Plaza Hotel.
"There's no bigger transfer of wealth than from New York to Miami right now," Alexander said.
But lately there's been talk of softening markets in New York and Miami. Some have said there has been a slower influx of foreign capital thanks to a weakened Brazilian real and Russian ruble. Meanwhile, stricter regulations on all-cash, anonymous real-estate purchases — a favorite of foreign investors — have been introduced, potentially throwing some cold water on the boom.
Let Business Insider be your guide to some of the most noteworthy pieces of property in this beach paradise.

To review the entire article please click the link here.

Miami Condo Report: 76% of new development condos sold

More than three-quarters of new condo construction in Miami, the Beaches and Fort Lauderdale has been sold, according to a new ISG Miami Report update. The “Q4 New Construction Update” tracks sales of condo units in the pipeline and currently built east of I-95 in Miami-Dade since mid-2011, and found that 13,248 units have been sold out of the 17,353 units in Brickell, the Biscayne corridor, downtown Miami, the Beaches, Aventura, North Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne and Fort Lauderdale.

To review the entire article please click the link here.

Rum Journal: Mango's Tropical Cafe

     One of the most exciting and interesting bars on South Beach is Mango's Tropical Cafe, a little taste of Rio. When you walk by the first thing to catch your attention will be the loud salsa or maybe some reggae music coming from inside, the second will be that most of the wait staff are dancers and wear bikinis. Once you weave your way by the outside tables and reach the door you'll see florescent palm trees, and wild decor. Peek inside to catch people dancing, bartenders spinning bottles, and wait staff rushing from tables to the kitchen. That's the thing about Mango's Tropical Cafe it's so alive with music and activity it literally draws you in, you can't pass and not stop.

Visit Mango's Tropical Cafe

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Meet the Broker" Nathan Smith from Turks and Caicos

"Meet the Broker" Nathan G. Smith
Nathan has worked in many areas of real estate over the past 21 years including marketing and sales in Australia, UK, and the Cayman Islands.
Having lived in the Caribbean for more than 18 years and the past 14 years in The Turks and Caicos Islands, Nathan understands offshore investors concerns and takes time to explain the important aspects of investing in TCI. "I believe the most important aspect of selling real estate is matching people to property" says Nathan. This, along with his `make it happen` attitude brings the result for which Nathan strives - strong repeat and referral business.
Nathan has a long-term outlook and will be pleased to stay in touch with you until you decide the time for investment is right for you.
‘Its an exciting time here in TCI. The Ritz Carlton is scheduled to break ground this year and we expect other major hotel brands right behind them increasing awareness of our high end market and solidifying our place as ‘the’ luxury destination in the Caribbean.  Splendid white sand beaches, pristine waters, no ongoing property taxes, US $ and UK law along with the proximity to the USA, all the fundamentals are positive – you’re looking at a very prosperous future and successful investment environment. 
Nathan has achieved numerous Coldwell Banker awards including the President's Elite and President's Premier Awards, the International Master Franchise Sales Associate Award and Top Agent Gross Commission Income Award. The President Clubs represent the top 1% of all Coldwell Banker agents worldwide.

Visit Nathan's site here

Big Blue Unlimited

Big Blue has been exploring the Turks and Caicos Islands for over ten years, developing an array of educational and exciting adventures. Big Blue features small group scuba diving, award winning eco-adventures, and an innovative private charter program. Big Blue’s growing network of experienced staff and professional facilities will take you off the beaten path and into the amazing wilderness above and below the water. 

Join Big Blue’s pioneering eco-adventures and dive trips. Explore the different islands, coral reefs, and sandy cays. Learn about the wildlife, geography, and history of the Turks and Caicos. Spend time with the local people, support the outer-island economy and contribute to the various conservation initiatives. 

Kayak through tranquil mangrove channels, snorkel spectacular reefs, mountain bike along scenic coastal tracks, dive breath-taking walls, and above all, enjoy the natural beauty of the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

                                                   Keep it simple. Keep it eco.

Explore Big Blue Unlimited here

Rum Journal: Da Conch Shack

When in Egypt you see the pyramids, when in Provo you go to da Conch Shack. da Conch Shack is a celebration of the best the island has to offer: beautiful beach, sparkling ocean, great local food and friendly people! Celebrities and locals alike get their ‘island on’ with the freshest seafood and local cuisine, washed down with the infamous rum punch. An afternoon is well wasted at da Conch Shack. Dinner under the stars is not to be missed. Check out why a visit to Provo is not complete without a visit to da Conch Shack. Come down on Wednesday for our Hump & Bump Party or come chill out on Sunday afternoon with DJ Colours and enjoy a pitcher of our Infamous Rum Punch for only $25! 

Visit Da Conch Shack here

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Banking on Land

North Caicos Marina project is ready for an investor.
By Kathy Borsuk 

     Being a realtor isn’t always easy. It is not just a matter of answering phone calls, giving property tours, shuffling paperwork, and collecting a fat commission. For Nathan Smith, sales associate at Coldwell Banker Real Estate Turks & Caicos, it occasionally involves ferry rides, car problems, twist ties, and lots of patience and foresight. Let me explain.
     Nathan Smith has been the primary agent for much of the undeveloped property on North Caicos, especially lots in the Sandy Point surrounds, since the early 2000s. This includes the areas of Sandcastle Estates, Pumpkin Bluff, Seaside Estates, and the North Caicos Yacht Club and Marina. Nathan worked with the original developers of this area — Jim Gillette, Dale Piergiovanni, and W.C. Grimsley Jr. — since the group subdivided the land into plots for private homes, put amenities into place, and planned an exclusive marina community.
      As we reported in the Summer 2004 Times of the Islands, North Caicos was slated to become THE next island to develop, as beachfront property on Providenciales became scarce and unaffordable. The Pumpkin Bluff and Sandcastle and Seaside Estates land was prime oceanfront, with views of North Caicos’ deserted white sand beaches stretching from east to west. And, in fact, many people did buy lots, build villas, and have enjoyed the quiet, “old Caribbean” lifestyle of the “Garden Island” of North Caicos. Others purchased lots as speculation and made good profits when the market spiked between 2002 and 2008.
      However, after the 2008 “perfect storm” of Hurricane Ike, the global economic downturn, and alleged widespread government corruption ravaged the Turks & Caicos, real estate sales and property values, especially on North Caicos, slowly sunk. Only now, after years of disciplined governance and a renewed world economy, are prices rising again.
      This January (2016) I traveled to North Caicos with Nathan and his wife Sayfa to visit the North Caicos Marina development. With great plans in mind, in 2006 the 153 acre site had been subdivided, including 97 canalfront lots, with five miles of canal and the marina basin dug, roads paved, and utilities installed. Unfortunately, the project’s completion just missed the prosperity years and Nathan was able to sell about 1/3 of the residential lots, with one home built. With the area still in excellent shape and the market poised to soar, Nathan is ready to market the property again.
      We took the Caicos Ferry from its Leeward terminus on Providenciales directly to Sandy Point Marina in North Caicos. The trip is about 25 minutes long, and depending on the weather, either skirts the north beaches of the Caicos Cays or skims the shallow southern mangrove-lined “backside.” Arrival is always an event, with Islanders, residents, and visitors mingling with boxes of food and sundries, suitcases, beach bags, and bicycles on the dock. Although the marina is just across a small cut from the world famous celebrity hide-out of Parrot Cay, it seems light-years away.
      In our case, Nathan was set to drive us in the car he had recently brought over from Provo, just for showing potential clients around. Of course the battery was dead, but he was prepared with a spare and off we went after a quick jump. The first stop was at “Simply the Best” Villa, one of original Seaside Estate luxury homes. It is now for sale, and Nathan had arranged for a professional photo shoot of the property the day before. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, and the photographer’s lights, props, and other pieces of equipment had to be collected from the house and brought BACK to the ferry to be returned to Provo. Job 1 for the day.
      Nathan’s car ran smoothly along the well-paved lanes as we drove through the North Caicos Marina site. (Well, the windows wouldn’t roll down, but the A/C was working, so who cared?) The property is sprawling, well-kept, and looks a bit like a deserted movie set. The canal is neatly lined with smooth vinyl sea walls, the ideal place to anchor a boat. Arched bridges lift the road up and over the blue-hued water, in which I spotted a sea turtle swimming. Paved central parkways are planted with flourishing palm trees, sidewalks are dotted with street lights, and many lots back into spectacular, unobstructed views of “wild” North Caicos mangrove and bush, much of which is a protected UNESCO site for migrating birds. There is also a twelve-acre private lagoon.
      Nathan explained that his current plan is to try to sell the property, as a whole to a developer who would take the project to the next level and build a finished product, be it resort, condos, or a commercial community. Alternatively folks could purchase individual lots (with freehold title) or groups of lots to keep in their portfolio as a “land bank,” having the assurance that, as prime TCI land can only grow more scarce values will rise. (If it were me, I would probably follow in the path of the several homeowners who live on site. It seems a peaceful, idyllic, tropical get-away.)
      Nathan likens the opportunity to that offered by Provident Ltd. in Providenciales in the early 1960s, with early speculators enjoying tremendous appreciation rates on undeveloped beachfront, canal front, and hillside land. Now that TCI is a proven success, the risk is small and return practically guaranteed. He explained that TCI is the perfect environment for land banking, as there are no holding taxes or requirement to build on or maintain property. English is the primary language and the US dollar the currency. Access is easy, with connecting flights available from numerous cities. Besides, owning property gives purchasers a good reason to visit . . . and bragging rights to friends. An investment of $300,000 also makes it possible to secure a coveted Permanent Residence Certificate.
      As we were touring the Marina Club site the car began making strange noises. It almost seemed like there was rubble rumbling under the hood. Oh well, the engine was still running . . . except the A/C had stopped, none of the electronics worked, and it looked like something was hanging from the bottom of the engine. We carried on.
      Nathan showed me some of the villas and a group of vacation rental cottages that had been built over the course of the last ten years. Each was distinctive and most large and luxurious, with pools, balconies, beachfront patios, and rooftop terraces. Many are now part of an established high-end vacation rental market in North Caicos. We marveled on how each yard of concrete, tile, shingle, furnishing, and fitting had to be brought to North Caicos via barge or boat and trucked to each building site. Nathan noted that there are villas and waterfront lots still available for purchase, all enjoying protective covenants for residential development.
      Nathan’s real estate career started in the Cayman Islands, prior to coming to the TCI in 2002 to join the Coldwell Banker team. Nathan’s style of selling has always struck me as quite savvy and “bottom line.” He markets in terms of investment value, long-term strategy, positioning, and opportunity. He follows his own advice too, admitting to speculative land purchases in both North Caicos and Providenciales as part of his portfolio. During the TCI’s slow-down, Nathan traveled to Thailand where he met his (now) wife and they lived on his farm in Australia as he made occasional trips to the Islands. Now they are back and Nathan is ready to move full-on into real estate sales here.
      After one stop, the car wouldn’t start at all. The spare battery got us going, but the motor didn’t sound too keen. Rather than get stuck in the bush and miss the ferry back to Provo, we headed to the dock and literally coasted into the parking lot. Nathan asked Goomie, a local Islander, to look under the hood; he came out with what looked like a snake. It was the serpentine belt, worn and broken. A new one would have to be purchased and brought back on the next trip. Goomie agreed to tape a plastic bag over the open window (which wouldn’t roll up) as it began to rain. (He was rewarded for his efforts with a case of beer and some cash.)
      Nathan’s final job of the day was to put up some new “For Sale” signs and use plastic ties to carefully hang his signboards below those already installed. Since the car wasn’t running, we helped him carry the signs (through the rain) to each location on foot, waiting while he used his phone to snap photos of some lots that were newly for sale.
      Life on North Caicos — indeed all the out islands — is like this day. Things can go wrong, break down, be delayed, disappoint. But it always seems someone is willing to help, smile, shrug, and have a good laugh. And in the end, that’s all that matters.

For more information on North Caicos property, contact Nathan Smith at 649 231 5555 or email