Tips for Rebuilding Following Weather-Related Events

As Puerto Ricans, Floridians and Texans begin to rebuild their homes and communities from the damage caused by Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey, we’d like dedicate a blog post offering advice to homeowners and business owners on how they can rebuild following catastrophic weather-related events. Although no one wants to get hit by a hurricane, having to rebuild or do major repairs is an opportunity to upgrade your home and, in some instances, your quality of life. Here are some tips from General Contractor Alexander Wertheim, president of SPACiO Design Build.

 Remove Sheetrock, Insulation and Flooring Immediately

If your home is damaged by flooding or storm surge, you need to remove your sheetrock and insulation as soon as the water recedes to prevent mold. You should also remove flooring such as carpet or hardwood floors if you can’t dry them out. Tile is the best since you only need to clean it. If you’re on a tight budget, you can rip out the drywall yourself but we would recommend hiring a professional general contractor to tape and float it.

Hiring a General Contractor

While you can do some of the work yourself such as ripping out the drywall, you will most likely need to hire a general contractor to help you rebuild. You should be careful of scams that often follow hurricanes. Everyone and their mother will slap a magnet on the side of their truck and say they are a general contractor. We suggest checking licenses online, asking for references and even doing a site visit to look at the contractor’s prior work. Make sure the contractor holds liability and workers’ compensation insurance, and you are added as an additional insured on any policy while work is being done on your site. If a bank is involved, it should name the bank as well.

Opportunity to Renovate and Upgrade

You can upgrade to higher-end cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms if they suffered from water damage. If you need to remove the sheet rock, think about adding French or sliding glass doors to the backyard or throughout the house where there used to be a wall, or expanding the kitchen and closets. It’s also a good time to update to PVC piping if your current home or business has lead, copper or steel pipes as well as renovate the electric wiring throughout your home and adding an AV system. Lastly, you can think about creating a smart home.

Fortifying your Home and Business

As you rebuild and renovate your home or business, you should consider updating your home with the latest storm proof materials. It would a good time to install hurricane impact windows and reinforced and wind resistant garage doors. For a comprehensive list of the products available, read this article titled “8 ways to protect your home against tornadoes and hurricanes.”

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

5 Luxury Homes With Exquisite Wine Cellars

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For true oenophiles, building a beautiful wine cellar isn’t just about aesthetics. Other features such as placement, security, temperature and humidity control plus different bottles’ shapes and sizes must be considered as well, according to Richard Rosenthal, a real estate agent at Halstead in Manhattan.

Using a variety of materials ranging from wood to glass, some of the most impressive in-house wine rooms are works of art themselves.

Here are a few gorgeous examples on the market right now.

357 West 17th Street (New York, New York)Rich Caplan Photograph

357 West 17th Street (New York, New York)

#1: 18 FRICK DRIVE (ALPINE, NEW JERSEY)

Behold, here’s a classic wine cellar decked out with a solid mahogany double door, dark tiled floors with metallic accents and custom plaster ceilings. Yet, don’t be mistaken: there’s much more to this 4,000-bottle dual zone, temperature-controlled wine cellar than its traditional details. With a tamper-proof, biometric entry security system programmed to accept the fingerprint of selected individuals, numeric pass codes and RFID bottle authentication, the most impressive feature here is the smart home technology. Actively monitoring who and when someone accesses the wine cellar, this security system can quickly notify the owner of entry and departure via email or text.

What you can find in the spacious octagonal wine room at 18 Frick Drive are mahogany display cases and shelving lined from floor to ceiling, with some lined with rope lighting and others made to pull out for convenient access to bottles. Each room has its own cooling systems that can be used individually, giving the options of different climates or working together to keep the 4,000 bottle wine cellar uniformly chilled.  Evan Joseph

What you can find in the spacious octagonal wine room at 18 Frick Drive are mahogany display cases and shelving lined from floor to ceiling, with some lined with rope lighting and others made to pull out for convenient access to bottles. Each room has its own cooling systems that can be used individually, giving the options of different climates or working together to keep the 4,000-bottle wine cellar uniformly chilled.

#2: 321 OCEAN, UNIT 201 (MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA)

Style meets function in this 50-square-foot, refrigerated wine room. Boasting an open, more transparent atmosphere, the climate-controlled room features a sleek, insulated glass enclosure, customized acrylic and thermal metal framing, which is powder-coated with a matte black finish to match the custom black finish on the racks.

Sophisticated yet minimalistic, this beautiful wine room at 321 Ocean, Unit 201 has a storage capacity of 440 bottles.Evan Joseph

Sleek and sophisticated, this wine room at 321 Ocean, Unit 201 has a storage capacity of 440 bottles.

#3: 357 WEST 17TH STREET (NEW YORK, NEW YORK)

Reflecting the best of modern and country styles, this stunning wine cellar is one of the biggest highlights of this $36.8-million house. (That’s saying a lot considering the 11,000 square-foot house comes along with a White 2016 Bentley Mulsanne!) Each bottle within the climate-controlled space is tastefully illuminated by backlit LED walls, combined with a rustic brick wall and arched ceiling to create an effortlessly chic look.

This beautiful wine cellar at 357 West 17th Street holds about 500 bottles.Rich Caplan Photograph

This beautiful wine cellar at 357 West 17th Street holds about 500 bottles.

#4: 795 HIGHCOURT ROAD (ATLANTA, GEORGIA)

Inside a six-acre European-style estate is an extremely well-manicured, 2,000-bottle wine cellar. Consisting of a high-velocity, self-contained cooling system that keeps the temperature at 59 degrees, the most impressive detail here is the barrel-vaulted, hand-laid Italian tile ceiling, which uses a centuries-old technique to ensure even weight distribution in the design.

The ceiling’s installation spanned two weeks and required such intricate precision that the homeowners flew in an installation specialist from Italy.Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

The ceiling’s installation of 795 Highcourt Road was so intricate that the owners flew in a specialist from Italy to complete the two-week process.

#5: DARLINGTON (MAHWAH, NEW JERSEY)

Dubbed by many architectural enthusiasts as the American Versailles, this rare estate (sold furnished) has a wine cellar—with separate temperature controls for red and white wines—connected to a squared shape 27-by-27-foot wine room. While everything in the wine room is beautifully custom made, the pièce de résistance is certainly the wine wall displaying 326 bottles. Along with two blue chairs that once belonged to Sir Elton John, the entire combination works like a well-curated art installation many cultural aficionados would die for.

The room’s design started with the purchase of a slab of a very unique blue marble which was used for the tabletops – then everything else was brought in and designed around that to matchSpecial Properties/CIRE

The room’s design started with the purchase of a slab of a very unique blue marble which was used for the tabletops – then everything else was brought in and designed around that to match.

The Crocker Mansion in Mahwah, New Jersey, a 55,000 square foot single family home built by architect James Brite in 1908. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Constructed of Indiana limestone and Harvard brick, the home is also named "Darlington."Special Properties/CIRE

The Crocker Mansion in Mahwah, New Jersey, a 55,000 square foot single family home built by architect James Brite in 1908. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Constructed of Indiana limestone and Harvard brick, the home is also named “Darlington.”

the wine storage cabinets have separate temperature controls and they are ran by two separate coolers, which allows for the proper storage or red and white winesSpecial Properties/CIRE

The wine storage cabinets at the back have separate temperature controls run by two separate coolers, which allows for the proper storage or red and white wines.

Read the full article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/eustaciahuen/2017/06/30/winecellars/#bce7b704e89e

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.

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.