Connect with us

Real Estate News

The prospect of a speedy real estate deal compounds some Surfside families’ grief



SURFSIDE, Florida – Contrary to the slow and excruciating effort to find victims of the Surfside condominium collapse, the process of selling the beachfront property for survivors and families of the dead is moving fast – too fast for some people, they are looking for ways to commemorate 98 relatives and neighbors.

Representatives of a potential buyer are due to visit the two-acre site this week. A judge approved a $ 120 million purchase agreement on October 6 for East Oceanside, a subsidiary of billionaire developer DAMAC Properties, which is based in Dubai and is attempting its first real estate visit to the United States.

Other potential buyers can still make bids that could force an auction early next year.

“I’ve never seen anything move so fast,” said Surfside City Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer on Friday. “Families need compensation, yes, but that doesn’t give us time to grieve and try to heal.”

The tension between compensating survivors who have lost their homes and families whose loved ones have lost their lives plays out in both the community and a Miami courtroom. Lawsuits were filed almost immediately after the Champlain Towers South collapse in the morning hours of June 24th, which were cut in half for reasons as yet unknown. Miami-Dade County Judge Michael Hanzman held the first hearing the following week – even as rescue and recovery teams ransacked the premises. The remains of the 98th victim were not to be finally identified until July 26th.

Hanzman, who has estimated claims claims could rise to over $ 1 billion, made his priorities clear from the start. While urging lawyers to be sensitive to the differences between “people who have suffered injury or death and those who have suffered only economically,” he said it was “the duty of this court to postpone these cases immediately “.

He has even warned families who have spoken out in favor of wanting a memorial on the site. These comments, the judge said, only serve to “lower the value and bring the victims less money to compensate”.

“The property is being sold,” Hanzman said at a hearing in late September. “It is being sold for the most money that can be obtained. . . . [It] is not donated by these victims for the public good, be it for a memorial or any other public purpose. “

Hanzman has already accepted a value of $ 95 million for the 136-unit condominium – the price it supposedly could have fetched the day before the disaster. He has not disclosed how the sales proceeds will be shared between the owners and the families of the victims.

The site is now a cloudy lagoon with a few cut-off concrete posts and visible rusting rebars. Since Miami-Dade County stopped paying a contractor $ 6,000 a day to run pumps, nearly two feet of tidal water and rain have filled the former garage space at Champlain Towers South. City officials and some families say human remains are likely buried in the sand.

“Apparently water comes in from everywhere,” says Salzhauer. “It is amazing that someone would want to build there before we even know whether it is feasible.”

The city was largely cut out of a federal investigation into the cause of the disaster that is expected to take years. The civil engineer it has recruited has been denied access to Miami-Dade County’s property at 8777 Collins Ave. considered a crime scene.

Allyn Kilsheimer – who investigated the damage to the Pentagon after 9/11 and the destruction of the Oklahoma City federal building after a bombing in 1995 – is finally allowed to enter the condo property this week to conduct tests and explorations with his team, city officials said .

“It is very worrying that the urgent need to find out why the building collapsed has lost focus,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said Friday. “Instead, the focus has shifted to selling the property.”

As this progresses, he and other local leaders preoccupy the emotionally charged question of what should be built to mark the tragedy and where it should lead. Some families have asked for state and federal funds to buy even a fraction of their ground zero for a memorial. The mayor has consulted with former New York Governor George E. Pataki, who oversaw the construction of the 9/11 Memorial on which the World Trade Center stood.

“He thinks so [Surfside’s] The memorial should be on the site, just like it was in New York, and I told him I felt the same way, ”said Burkett.

But there is little agreement among survivors or families whose loved ones have died. Many remain concerned about what could be found in the more than 12,000 tons of rubble that was subsequently collected and hauled 13 miles away to vacant lot near Miami International Airport.

The county invited them to visit the property this month, which is surrounded by fences and prohibition signs. About 20 people came to watch the workers ransack the huge piles of gravel, rebar, mattress toppers, clothing, and other remains of life.

Pablo Langesfeld, whose daughter Nicole and her new husband Luis Sadovnic were killed, never received the invitation. However, he went there alone and was saddened to see machines rolling over the rubble.

“I know that part of my daughter is in this mountain,” Langesfeld said last week. “Seeing a bulldozer go over it is like adding more pain to the pain. We want our loved ones to be treated with respect, to be remembered and treated with respect. “

Other debris awaits in a warehouse in the area, including 17 safes pulled intact from the condo. Attorney Michael Goldberg, the court appointed bankruptcy administrator for the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association, recently told Hanzman that he would hire a locksmith to open each safe in hopes of returning the contents to the families. He intends to have all photos carefully cleaned, scanned, and posted on a website so that relatives can identify them.

Individuals who lived in Champlain Towers South have until midnight November 30 to submit requests for funds raised by the site. More than $ 750,000 in “loose cash” was found in the remains of the apartment building by rescue teams and other workers, Goldberg said. Some were in wallets and purses, but most were just random wads of bills.

The money will soon be brought to the US Treasury Department in Washington in an armored truck, where it will be decontaminated for asbestos.

“People have presented me with multiple cash claims ranging from $ 4,500 to $ 130,000,” Goldberg said. “I assume that we will have cash claims far in excess of the amount of the cash returned.”

He assured the judge that he and his legal team would move forward as soon as possible. Rabbi Lisa Shrem of New York asked him to slow it down.

“I am a victim myself. My best friend, my sister, was the last victim. Number 98, Estelle Hedaya, found on the 33rd day, ”Shrem Hanzman explained via Zoom. She called the site of the collapse “holy land” and said she was only given “a quarter of a forearm bone to bury.”

“Please, please, just give us some time,” said Shrem. “We were last in this trial because we were buried, we were at wake and Shivas. . . Please, just a little time, that’s all we ask for. “

Copyright: (c) 2021, The Washington Post

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real Estate News

A California court just returned real estate it took from a Black family in 1924. It could be the beginning of a wave of redistribution.



California Governor Gavin Newsom shakes hands with Anthony Bruce after signing the law to return land in Manhattan Beach to his family.Ringo HW Chiu / Associated Press

  • The state of California has returned the land that it took years ago to the Black family.

  • It is the first time black Americans have recaptured land that has been taken from them by significant domains.

  • Activists want this to be a precedent, but there are logistical hurdles.

The Bruce family gets their land back. It is the first time black Americans have successfully reclaimed land that the government has taken from them, raising hope for families like her who have lost their homes throughout US history.

The family regains ownership through a law signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom in September. In 1924, the city of Manhattan Beach used a significant area to wrest land from the Bruces, says Newsom’s office. Eminent Domain is a law that allows the government to take privately owned land and recapture it for public use. The procedure includes compensation for the previous landowners, but otherwise they have no other choice of surrendering their property.

Newsom signed the land over to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce, who left Manhattan Beach after facing racial harassment from the Ku Klux Klan and their white neighbors in the early 20th century. Willa and Charles turned the property into the West Coast’s first black resort and named it “Bruce’s Lodge” when racial segregation kept them away from most other beaches.

The KKK tried to burn the resort down. White Manhattan Beach residents harassed resort customers.

The city seized the land, claiming they wanted to turn it into a public park – they never did. It remained as an empty lot before it was transferred to the state, then LA County.

The Manhattan Beach government recognized the racist motive for occupying Bruce’s Lodge twenty years later in an article for the Redondo Reflex newspaper by one of the city council members who voted for it, Frank Doherty.

“We thought the Negro problem would stop our progress,” he wrote in 1945. “We had to acquire these two blocks to solve the problem, so we voted to condemn them and build a city park there. We had to protect.” ourselves.”

The story goes on

There are still obstacles to the nationwide reclamation of Black Lands

The landmark case of the Bruce family inspires others who hope it will set a precedent. However, experts say proving original ownership can be quite a challenge.

Kavon Ward, the co-founder of Where is My Land group, helped fight on behalf of the Bruce family. She told the Washington Post on Monday that she heard from more than 100 people willing to argue that they have a legitimate claim to property that does not currently belong to them.

The land of Bruce’s Manhattan Beach was relatively clear – their historical claim to the property was well documented through their resort and the violence they were subjected to. Few other cases are supported by written history.

The historical confiscation of black property is at the center of the current disparities between black and white wealth in the United States. In the first quarter of 2020, 44% of black households owned their homes while 73.7% of white families owned their homes, according to the US Census Bureau. That gap is even worse in individual cities – for example, according to a study by Redfin, only about 25% of black families in Minneapolis own their homes.

According to the Federal Reserve, the typical black family owns only about 10% of the average white family’s wealth. Phenomena such as redlining and blockbusting – the effects of which will continue even after the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed – are also responsible for the stagnation of black home ownership and wealth in the United States.

When it comes to significant domains, this type of relationship with ex-black owned real estate is evident: even our most sprawling national icons, like Central Park in Manhattan, are not immune.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Continue Reading

Real Estate News

2022 real estate forecast paints grim picture of housing market in Texas



According to’s 2022 Real Estate Forecast, released Wednesday, demand from first-time buyers will outpace the domestic real estate market’s recovery as Americans stand a better chance of finding a home but face a competitive sellers’ market.

The year will also be a mix of housing affordability challenges and opportunities, as listing prices, rents and mortgage rates are expected to rise, according to the website. predicts that home sales will hit their 16-year high in 2022, up 6.6 percent year-over-year. Buyers are expected to remain active and inventory for sale is expected to begin to rebound from the recent sharp declines. The real estate agent is forecasting record list prices, skyrocketing sales and limited options to sell homes as existing property listings lag behind pre-COVID levels. The supply shortfall in the construction of 5.2 million new homes could also shrink as builders continue to ramp up production, which is expected to increase by 5 percent year-on-year.

“Whether the pandemic delayed plans or created new opportunities for a move, Americans are poised for a tumultuous home buying year in 2022. With sellers expected to enter the market due to continued strong buyer competition, we expect strong growth in the Home sales at a more sustained pace than in 2021, “ chief economist Danielle Hale said in a statement.

“Affordability will become increasingly challenging as rates and prices rise, but working remotely can expand search areas and allow younger buyers to find their first home sooner than usual,” continued Hale. “And with more than 45 million millennials in their prime ages 26 to 35 making first-time purchases by 2022, we expect the market to remain competitive.”

Sales in the Austin Metro real estate market are expected to increase 4.7 percent, with prices expected to increase 3%. Dallas-Fort Worth is expected to see sales growth of 8.3 percent on a price increase of 4 percent, El Paso is expected to see sales increase of 10.6 percent on a price increase of 5.1 percent, and the Houston Metro region is expected to be around 2.6 percent and 2.4 percent rise percent in prices. McAllen Mission is expected to increase 5.9 percent in sales and 5.1 percent in prices, and San Antonio is expected to increase 5.1 percent in sales and 3.5 percent in prices.

According to, potential sellers are increasingly planning to enter the market this winter, although affordability will play an increasing role amid rising mortgage rates and house prices. A growing economy, strong labor market, and flexibility in the workplace should enable first-time buyers to buy houses without breaking the bank.

Home buying could also become the more affordable option, said, with rents expected to exceed home prices for sale in 2022. Rents are expected to rise 7.1 percent and home prices 2.9 percent year-on-year. The home ownership rate is expected to increase slightly to 65.8 percent in 2022.

Recent survey data shows that over half (53 percent) of potential buyers planning to buy their first home within the next year are millennials, according to Realtor. This first time home buyer demand is expected to exceed both new and existing home ownership. Home buyers will face fierce competition for the next three years, real estate brokerage projects as millennials look for first-time homes, Generation Z increasingly enters the housing market, and more older Americans try to downsize.

Recent survey data also shows that 19 percent of potential sellers want to move because they no longer have to live near the office, up from just 6 percent in the spring, according to predicts that suburbs will continue to be more popular than large urban subways as home shoppers look for relatively affordable and larger homes. The typical 2,000-square-foot single-family home price rose double-digit years (16.7%) in October, meaning buyers may have to sacrifice additional space to afford a home in their desired area.

“Our housing forecast suggests we have another dynamic year of activity ahead of us, but 2022 will also be fraught with mounting pain as we progress from the peak of the pandemic to a new normal,” said George Ratiu, manager, economic research for said in a statement. “With most real estate markets going to be competitive by 2022, it’s important to remember that you are in the driver’s seat on your real estate trip.

“The bottom line for buyers is making sure you are on top of your schedule and budget – and especially for younger buyers making this massive financial decision for the first time,” Ratiu continued. “For sellers, consider your local market conditions and the likely increase in the number of homes for sale, and market your prices at a competitive rate.”

Continue Reading

Real Estate News

Here’s why the luxury housing market is exploding in Metro Phoenix



In the past five years, the average home price in the Metro Phoenix market has nearly doubled. The average home price in Phoenix is ​​$ 405,000, according to Redfin market data, compared to $ 215,000 five years ago. From April through June, homes across town had their lowest number of days on the market, down from 22 days in Phoenix.

According to Redfin market reports, the average retail price of single-family homes in Scottsdale is $ 900,000, up 20% year over year. In the paradise valley. The median median single-family home sold for $ 2.8 million, up 34% year over year and more than doubling since late 2016.

ALSO READ: The 5 Most Expensive Cities in the Arizona Real Estate Market

As of October 2020, 32.7% of Scottsdale homes have sold above list price.

The luxury real estate market is subject to the same trends as the rest of the market. Low inventory levels, supply chain issues with new builds and demand, and rising prices are affecting both markets.

At the same time, people are migrating to the county for the same reason as the rest of the luxury market. Maricopa County is one of the fastest growing areas in the country and much cheaper than other areas.

Babbi Gabel, founding partner of RETSY.

“The same house that someone here could buy for $ 6 million would have cost maybe $ 12 million in the Bay Area,” explains Babbi Gabel, founding partner of RETSY.

About half of the houses that Gabel’s customers are looking for are second homes.

But what makes a luxury house luxury? Gabel describes them as homes that are custom built, have bespoke finishes, or have a unique aspect, starting at around $ 1.5 million.

Five to ten years ago, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley weren’t a $ 5 million market; today, prices average between $ 4 million and $ 6 million. Increased material costs have led to more expensive conversions and new builds in the luxury housing market.

“We’re starting to see new builds in the $ 7 million to $ 20 million price range. That was completely unknown five years ago, ”she explains.

Buildable land also contributes to rising prices. In places like Paradise Valley, which is surrounded by inland land with no room for expansion, home builders are paying nearly $ 2 million per acre. In order for the new building to be profitable, they have to build at a much higher price per square meter.

Gabel says that like the non-luxury market, inventory is lower than ever, but demand is still high. She notes that she had 571 active listings in Scottsdale in 2020 and down from 333 listings in 2021. And like the rest of the market, homes have multiple listings and sell quickly.

“There are times when the luxury market does its own thing, but what we’ve seen in the past three years is just one insane market across the board,” says Gabel. “My partner and I currently have 20 buyers valued at over $ 2 million who are looking here in the Valley. We can’t find anything. “

She predicts that these trends will continue in the future.

She concludes: “In the next four to five years, growth and demand will continue to drive the housing market. Provided there is nothing unpredictable and interest rates or inflation do not go up. ”

Continue Reading