Forbes Features Wine Cellar SPACiO Built at 321 Ocean

In case you missed it, Forbes recently published an article featuring a wine cellar we built out in a condo at 321 Ocean, an exclusive collection of 21 luxury residences in South of Fifth, one of Miami Beach’s most upscale neighborhoods. The Forbes article, titled “5 Luxury Homes with Exquisite Wine Cellars,” features five of some of the most impressive in-house wine rooms in homes that are currently on the market across the United States.

Building out the 50-square foot, climate-controlled wine cellar was a treat. It required us to work closely with the interior design firm Associated Design Co. to ensure that we could build out the design and execute the project without a hitch. We built the insulated glass enclosure, using customized acrylic and thermal metal framing, which was power-coated with a matte black finish to match the custom black finish on the rack.

The wine cellar was part of the build-out of the entire condo, which involved installing hardwood flooring throughout the condo, trim window coverings, staircase handrails, millwork and more.

It was a privilege to work with Associated Design Co. on the wine cellar. We’re looking forward to working with this very talented interior design firm again in the near future.

Click here to see the other wine cellars that made the list.

 

Q&A: Prestige’s Broker Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche Strives to Be Different and Finds Success

Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche, co-founder and managing broker of Prestige Realty Group, sat down with SPACiO Design Build to discuss today’s luxury real estate market in Miami. The boutique brokerage firm focuses on luxury homes and high-rise condominium sales. As a Miami native, Tony has seen the transformation of Miami from a beachside destination into a bustling and sprawling metropolis attracting buyers from all over the world.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR OWN BROKERAGE FIRM?

My business partner Christopher Hodgson and I wanted to create more of a boutique real estate firm, offering clients personalized services that the larger firms don’t offer. When someone hires Prestige Realty, they are hiring our entire team of over 23 agents that are available 24/7 to serve our clients. We also wanted to create a firm with an international reach. My partner is from London and I’m from Miami so we really have a global reach. Our approach seems to be working. Last year, we sold more than $50 million in real estate and I was recognized by Real Trends and the Wall Street Journal as one of the America’s best Realtors.

WHAT SHOULD CONSUMERS KNOW ABOUT MIAMI’S REAL ESTATE MARKET?

People always ask me how the market is doing and I always ask which one. Most real estate consumers assume Miami- Dade County is one market but in reality it’s composed of many different markets, all of which have their own character. I take a neighborhood approach to real estate, mostly focusing on single-family luxury homes and condominiums in Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Pinecrest, downtown, South Miami and Miami Beach. Every market is its own special ecosystem. One may be booming while the other is down. Overall, in the submarkets I focus on, the market hasn’t slowed down significantly. It’s a healthy slow-down with plenty of inventory available. People need to realize that the pre-construction condos are different from single-family homes and a slow-down in that particular sector is not an indicator of the overall housing market. Miami’s luxury real estate is very dynamic and can’t be generalized. For example, we have noticed that demand for Mediterranean style homes has decreased while modern and turnkey homes remain hot with buyers.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SELLERS?

The most important piece of advice for sellers is to hire a brokerage firm that’s tech savvy and will invest in their listings. You don’t want a realtor who is taking photos of your property with an iPhone. At Prestige Realty Group, we hire professional photographers and videographers who often use drones to get the best visuals possible for our listings. We want prospective buyers to have a 360-degree view of the property they will want to purchase. Sellers should also work with brokers who are advanced on social media. Technology is a major part of our lives now and should be an integral component to any realtor’s strategy for marketing and selling a home.

Another important piece of advice for sellers is to keep their homes clean and free of clutter when it’s on the market for sale.  Many underestimate the power of staging, which is not the same as decorating. You need to stage your home into a place that potential buyers can envision living in. Remove all your personal items including family photos, books and other items that may distract your potential buyer. You want your house to be known as the one with the beautiful kitchen, not the one with the overbearing collection of crystal figurines.

Capitalizing on the shifting real estate markets: Look for opportunities — and always network

Behind the Scenes: Another Build-Out at Oceana Bal Harbour Has Been Delivered

SPACiO Design Build is happy to announce that another build-out project at Oceana Bal Harbour has been completed. The unit looks spectacular and blends well with the design of the unit, which features a complete flow-through floor plan and unobstructed views. Oceana Bal Harbour is one of the most luxurious development projects in South Florida.

The unit we recently completed arrived decorator-ready, so our work included installing interior hardwood flooring, tile on the large balcony, dropping the ceiling for additional lighting, installing pocket doors and audiovisual equipment, and more. As promised, we delivered the unit in four to six weeks but every unit is different depending on the scope of work.

Working at Oceana is an incredible experience. With floor-to-ceiling windows and extra-deep balconies, the unit boasts some of the most breathtaking views available in Miami. Oceana Bal Harbour’s spacious homes and balconies are designed to offer spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Biscayne Bay and the Bal Harbour Marina to the west and Miami’s skyline to the South.

It took effort not to be distracted by the remarkable views of golden sunlight reflecting on the blue ocean. Now, we move forward to our next build-out project in this incredible building.

Q&A Guest Contributor: Michael Internoscia Talks About Marina Palms Yacht Club and What Makes It Different

What advice would you give condo sellers seeking to re-sell their newly purchased units in such a competitive condo market?

I would suggest finishing out their condo with flooring, baseboards, paint and build-out closets to show off the unit. It is easier to show an apartment with finishes when the competition has only concrete floors and primer on the walls. Most buyers want to occupy the unit or rent it out right away instead of waiting weeks or months to build-out the space. This strategy can give sellers a competitive edge.

What makes Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences stand out from many of the other new condo developments in South Florida?

Clearly our marina. We offer amenities for boaters and watersport fans that are hard to find in many other luxury projects in South Florida. Marina Palms offers 40-foot to 100-foot boat slips and plenty of aquatic activities, including jet skis, kayaks, water skiing, windsurfing and snorkeling. We have it all and everything is fully managed. By the way, the 112-slip private marina provides open ocean access for boaters via Haulover Inlet just 20 minutes away. Another unique feature of Marina Palms is the size of the units. The condos are either two or three bedrooms and range in size from 1,821 to 2,500 square feet, providing a mix of luxury and value.

How would you describe the profile of Marina Palms buyers?

Our buyers come from different regions of the world, including South America, Canada and the US. What they all have in common is an affinity for water-based activates and the boating lifestyle.

Tips for Getting Your Newly Built Condo Ready for Rent

Many of the buyers closing on units in recently completed luxury towers across South Florida are investors. Some are domestic and some are foreigners. They all share the same plan: renting the units out until the time arrives to execute an exit strategy. But renting a new condo can be a challenge for two reasons:

1. Hundreds of new condos are hitting the rental market simultaneously.

2. Hundreds of new luxury rental units are either nearing completion or under construction.

This is creating intense competition among future landlords. Here are some tips to help investors rent their units faster and generate income sooner rather than later:

1- If the newly-built unit comes ‘decorator ready’ – which means the floor, walls, closets, etc. are not finished – you will need to paint the walls, add flooring and build-out the closets. A solution: weeks before the closing date, recruit a general contractor to start planning the build-out of the unit. This way, the GC will start work as soon as the unit becomes yours, saving you weeks of ‘waiting time’ and placing a tenant in the unit much faster.

2 – For the walls, stick to neutral colors. Stay away from bold or ‘white,’ which will make your unit seem dull and potentially scare away tenants who may not have the creativity to envision the unit as their home.

3 – Basic Standard Materials: if your unit requires a build-out, do not use the same type of materials that you would install in your own home. Your tenants are not going to treat it with the same quality of care, so don’t overspend. For flooring, we recommend porcelain tiles because they are stylish, durable and low maintenance. They also work well in balconies and blend with the interior flooring.

4 – Invest in a practical built in closet system throughout the unit.

5 – Most new units come with the kitchen and bathrooms already finished. But if you plan to upgrade the kitchen, avoid white cabinets. Earth tones are ‘in’. Also consider upgrading fixtures such as door handles, faucets, etc.

6 – Open floor plans: if the unit seems small, consider knocking down walls to open up the floor plan, which usually involves combining the kitchen, dining and living areas into one large space. This will increase the natural light and create the perception of increased square footage.

For more ideas, give us a call. We have some great concepts to build out new condos and modernize older units.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Building out SLS Brickell Hotel & Residences

SPACiO Design Build recently completed the build out of several units at SLS Brickell and looks forward to the completion of several more. We are proud to be offered the opportunity to add value to one of the most recognizable towers in Miami.

Four weeks after receiving the permits, we completed the job on time and on budget. The SPACiOs team installed interior and exterior flooring throughout the condos. Some interiors featured white 32” x 32” porcelain tile with 10” x 40” light gray porcelain tile on the exterior that resembled wood. Other units included 21” x 42” porcelain tile, resembling Carrara marble, installed on both the interior and exterior. Our clients’ choices reflect the contemporary trend of choosing flooring that harmonizes interior and exterior colors and patterns.

We also installed solar blinds in the living areas, blackout blinds with side channels in the bedrooms, custom closets in the master bedrooms and other bespoke touches. In many of the units, the tile and paint colors complement the existing cabinetry and countertops delivered by the developer – giving the unit a warm, cozy look. Each unit also includes stunning custom finishes that express the style and personality of the owner, creating a lush backdrop for the exquisite details in the décor that accent each room.

And we won’t forget the view! A sleek 55-story tower that features floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors, SLS Brickell combines panoramic views with the comfort and convenience of a 5-star hotel. In fact, we are noticing an emerging trend: owners transforming their high-rise condominiums by creating a polished look that resembles a hotel suite. With all the amenities offered by SLS Brickell and the unrivaled view, SPACiO is proud to have once again been chosen to deliver custom luxury, on time and on budget, to one of Miami’s most impressive towers.

 

Getting Up Close and Personal with The Jills

Source: South Florida Business Journal

It is almost impossible to talk about Miami’s luxury real estate market without mentioning Realtors Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber. Mansions Global recently got up close and personal with the two Coldwell Banker agents and SPACiO couldn’t pass the opportunity to share some of their insights with you. As a general contractor of luxury custom homes and condos, we recognize the hard work and commitment these brokers have made to reach the top of their profession.

Mansion Global: Describe your dream property.

Jill Hertzberg: My dream property would be in an amazing location—it would be on Miami Beach on the wide-open bay or Golden Beach directly on the ocean. I love rooms that have views of gardens or water, a smart home that makes everyday life easy, furniture that is comfortable and somewhere that you feel you are living in a true treasure.

MG: Do you have a real estate property that got away?

Jill Eber: Sure, we have those in our shopping cart. You cannot get them all. But there is plenty for everyone so you love the one you’re with!

MG: What does luxury mean to you?

JH: Luxury is a feeling. It is a combination of multiple factors, which include high-end brands, quality material and finishes and décor that really stand out and make the total look and feel very high end.

Whether it is jewelry, a car, a property or even clothing, the attention to detail and materials is readily apparent.

MG: What area do you think is the next hub for luxury properties?

JE: Fort Lauderdale is really coming on strong for both affordability and lifestyle. With so much water from the intercostal to the ocean, it gives a lot of opportunity for upgrading existing housing and taking advantage of the beautiful views.

MG: What’s the biggest surprise in the luxury real estate market now?

JH: Luxury real estate keeps evolving; from condos with private pools to custom items on the property such as a sound studio or off-the-charts media rooms. As properties continue to have smart home elements incorporated and possible “bots” that can perform duties, there is really no limit to what an owner may choose to add to their homes.

MG: Where are the best luxury homes in the world and why?

JE: The best homes are here in Miami Beach. I have traveled around the world and constantly get amazed at beautiful properties with breathtaking views and unbelievable amenities. But I always return home with an appreciation for all we have here on the Beach. It’s not just the grand estate and palatial amenities that make the area so special, it is the “you can have it all” splendor of our area. We have culture, dining, sports, entertainment, celebrity, fashion, world class events, boating and the list goes on. Very often, it is within walking distance or a short hop from where you live. We truly have it all.

MG: What is your favorite part of your home?

JE: It has to be the outdoor living. We seamlessly combine our indoor space with our outdoor space and the balcony of my condo on Fisher Island is just a tropical extension of my property. I never tire of the beautiful water, open sky and the healthy ocean air steps from every room in my home.

MG: What best describes the theme to your home and why?

JE: I love finishes and have the most extraordinary stone in various places in my home. In addition, I have high-quality personally crafted furnishings that were done by my father. I think you can describe my property as personal elegance. It has a private personal feel surrounded by wonderful finishings and loving memories of my dad.

MG: What’s the most valuable thing in your home?

JE: Well…that would be my husband and my two doggies! Aside from them, it is the personal crafted furniture that was created and built by my father.

MG: What’s the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now?

JH: Bathrooms and kitchens are always the key. You can have a beautiful foyer, grand entrance and staircase, upscale finishes but lose the interest with a buyer due to outdated bathrooms and kitchen.

MG: What’s your best piece of real estate advice?

JH: Make sure your real estate professional demonstrates their expertise and knowledge of the local market. Nothing replaces knowing everything that has sold, did not sell, sold years ago, been updated/renovated and the movement in the neighborhood. It’s not just about the house itself; it is also important to know everything that has gone on or will be going on around the property. You cannot underestimate the value of a realtor who knows the inventory extremely well, both on and off the market. If you’re a buyer, you don’t want to find out you missed the best property and if you are a seller, you want to get the best price obtainable.

MG: What’s going on in the news that will have the biggest impact on the luxury real estate market?

JE: The new administration in the White House, of course. Policies that are made can affect real estate: the stock market (which affects real estate), immigration, foreign investment, EB-5’s and the list goes on. Everything in the U.S. is affected by real estate and so much that goes on that impacts consumer outlook affects our business.

What area currently has the best resale value?

JH: Waterfront is always your best bet. Some views are just priceless and if you can get one of those on a good piece of land, you will always be in a good position.

Why Signing a Cost-Plus Contract With Your General Contractor Makes Sense

When I am contacted about an extensive remodeling job and/or repositioning of a commercial property, the potential client often wants to know if I should give them a ‘fixed-price’ proposal or do the work on a ‘cost-plus’ basis.

My answer is ‘it depends.’ If the job involves building out space in a historic or neglected building, it is likely that the general contractor will encounter surprises behind the walls, floors and ceilings. Each surprise requires more labor and materials. For instances like this, I recommend working on a cost-plus basis, where the general contractor executes the work then adds a fee to the cost of the project.

This approach requires trust and constant communication between the GC, the client and project manager. Each party needs to be on the same page so that all are involved in arriving at a decision when an issue arises. The GC should be accessible when the client asks why the costs are incurred and whether they are justified. The cost-plus basis works very well with customers who have done build-outs in the past or have experience in the construction industry and understand the complexities of building new within an existing structure.

Fixed-price proposals are more common for condo and homeowners seeking to build-out their property and budget appropriately. Custom-built homes and repositioned retail spaces in newer buildings are also conducive to fixed-price proposals. My simple rule: The more predictable the build-out work, the easier it is to write a proposal.

A fixed-price proposal may not be the right answer when working on a historic or long-neglected property. Most likely, the GC will need to amend the fixed price through ‘change orders.’ Each change order addresses whatever ‘unpredicted work’ is necessary to solve the problem. By the time the job is complete, the accumulation of change orders can make the job much costlier than the initial agreement. When this occurs, both the property owners and the GC may feel they have been taken advantage of.

At SPACiO, when the job is big and looks like surprises may be waiting, we recommend using the cost-plus approach. But the key ingredient for this strategy to succeed is trust. The GC must earn the trust of the client and the client should check the GC’s references to ensure that the partnership will be successful.

Cost Effective Luxury Upgrades to Sell A Home/Condo Faster

If you’re thinking about putting your house or condo on the market, you should consider making a few luxury upgrades to help increase your property’s value. Realtor.com has compiled a list of big impact improvements you can make that are surprisingly cost-efficient.

Upgrade Your Patio

Average cost of a new patio: $3,007 
Increase in home value: 3% to 4%

It’s no secret that more homeowners regard their backyard as an extension of their living space. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that outdoor kitchens and furnished patio areas alongside a fire pit are increasingly popular.

Irene Medina, a real estate agent at Medina Group Real Estate in Coral Springs, FL, says an outdoor kitchen is “a big plus in homes [priced] from $350,000 and up.” This can be anything from an area in the patio with a built-in grill and sink to a full-blown kitchen.

Low-hassle option: Don’t have the money for an all-out kitchen? Try adding French doors that open to the outside. This simple change will make your home feel lighter and brighter, and will appeal to potential buyers—all for an average cost of $879.

Add a Hot Tub

Average cost to install an above-ground hot tub: $321
Increase in home value: 1% to 4%

“Having a hot tub on the property is a great selling point if the home doesn’t have a pool or a water view,” Medina says. If the property has a built-in pool, a hot spa attached to it or nearby could also go a long way, she says. Prices run the gamut, depending on how elaborate you want your spa to be. At the upper end, these babies can cost thousands, once plumbing, electrical, and the tub itself are factored in. But they don’t have to.

Low-hassle option: Don’t want to heat things up that much? Potential buyers are simply looking for a backyard oasis. Consider a simpler (and cheaper) upgrade by adding a hammock surrounded by lush landscaping—your costs will start around a whopping $30 for the hammock. (Cost of fresh caipirinhas not included.)

When it comes time to sell, any special extras that can paint a picture of leisure and relaxation out back can be an incentive for those in the market for a new home. Leisure is a good thing, right?

Get Smart with an Automation System

Average cost to install a home automation system: $1,282
Increase in home value: 3% to 5%

These days, smart intercom/doorbells that can show a homeowner video of a visitor at the door (and use remote communication) are becoming the Main Street version of the urban doorman. Smart garage door openers, security systems, and thermostats are also becoming more common.

Not only will these smart gadgets help you feel more secure in your home, they are also a big draw for the tech-savvy buyer looking for innovative and practical home features, says Mike McGrew, treasurer for the National Association of Realtors® and CEO of McGrew Real Estate in Lawrence, KS.

Low-hassle option: Consider a small splurge on just a Wi-Fi video doorbell. For as little as $100, you’ll have a fancy amenity that can provide convenience and some peace of mind.

Add an In-Law or Nanny Suite

Average cost of a basement remodel: $18,618
Increase in home value: 5% to 10%

Real estate agent Nancy Itteilag of Washington Fine Properties in Washington, DC, says she recently was “this close” to selling a home, but for one major obstacle: The property wasn’t fit to accommodate the prospective buyer’s au pair.

In her market, where double incomes are at an all-time high, there’s big demand for homes with an au pair suite, in-law unit, or a flexible living space (often on the lower level of a two-story house to maximize privacy for both au pair and family). So while the initial costs seem quite high, they could pay off in spades when it’s time for a sale.

Low-hassle option: If you already have a finished basement, you’re in luck. Want to give the feeling of privacy without doing a total remodel of the space? Throw up some temporary walls. For just over $200, you’ll have an extra bedroom instantly. And if your basement has a separate entrance, it’s all the better—it can double as a living space that can be rented out for extra income.

Create a Wine Room 

Cost of a wine cellar: Starts at $4,000
Increase in home value: Varies, but can be as much as 2%

We’re not talking about a dark closet where you hide your best reds (although those pay off, too). We mean a next-level wine space—possibly furnished with a small island or table—for entertaining guests and igniting conversation.

For some wine collectors, this room is becoming more of a showpiece than simply a repository to let wine age. Accordingly, in high-end homes, these cellars are also moving from the lower level to upper floors—often housed in glass walls and under LED lighting.

Wine Cellar SPACiO Built Out at 321 Ocean

While Realtors® agree that a wine room can increase your home’s value, this home improvement should be thought of first and foremost as a treat just for you. Because you deserve it!

“Wine cellars are a bit like swimming pools. They come in all shapes and sizes and costs. And the next folks that look at your house may want nothing to do with them,” McGrew says. “So do a wine cellar because you want a wine cellar, and don’t try to justify it by an increase in value when you sell.”

Low-hassle option: Carve out a space in your home to display a few decorative wine racks and a wine fridge to keep bottles chilled and ready for entertaining. You could create your own wine enclave for as little as $200!

Change Up Your Flooring

Average cost of installing new flooring: $2,853
Increase in home value: 5%

It might not sound sexy, but flooring is also high on the list when it comes to features that pay off in a big way. Whether it’s made of reclaimed hardwood or picturesque tile or features heating, it can set the tone for the whole house.

Want to step it up even more? Heated floors in common areas such as kitchens and bathrooms are a nice amenity for cold winter mornings—and, of course, add a sweet touch of luxury to your home.

Low-hassle option: If you’re looking for a home makeover on the cheap, consider new carpeting in neutral colors, which can go a long way in pleasing prospective buyers. The best part? The price tag, with an average cost of just $1,491.”