Sweet Ficus Trees

Hello Well-Read Reader,

One of my favorite things about Coral Gables is the abundance of very nice, very big and very old Ficus Trees.  Yes I know that is strange.  After a recent home inspection for a client went particularly well I found myself driving up Columbus Blvd in a great mood and I decided to stop and take some pictures of the Salvadore Park and Tennis Center.  But as a nice added bonus I noticed that, like many streets in Coral Gables, this one was lined with some very impressive Ficus Trees.  As a young lad growing up in Miami I remember climbing the Ficus trees to heights that would have given my mother a heart attack if she had seen me, they were like the mountains for us flatlanders…I heard that is what they call us…among other things.

But I digress, today I present to you some of the most stately and impressive Ficus Trees that I have seen in The Gables, as I snapped away wasting imaginary film I came across one that was my favorite and will be the grand finale of the arborworks below, enjoy!  PS Hey you kids!  Get out of that tree!

Ficus to the South

Ficus to the North

Two Big Ficus

What a beast!

In the immortal words of Biff from Back to the Future: Make like a tree and leave!

Best regards,

Joshua T. Reich

Published in: on January 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm  Comments (4)  
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Salvadore Park and Tennis Center in Coral Gables

Greetings Readers,

I was at an inspection today at a fantastic old spanish home in Coral Gables and the route I took when leaving brought me to the Salvadore Park and Tennis Center.  I am an old tennis player myself although I have never played on these courts before.  I discovered that the park also has a fantastic playground for kids as well as some nice open spaces.  I decided not to go in and take pictures of the courts as there were several matches going on at the time and I do remember my tennis etiquette that my grandpa taught me…oh wait on second thought he would just laugh when he, a senior citizen, would hit wicked back spin shots that I couldn’t get to.  Miss ya Charlie!

So I took a few basic shots so you can get a good idea of what the park looks like.  I did not get too close to the playground either because there were many children playing and if I was a parent and saw some guy (even a sharp dressed guy) taking pictures of kids at a playground I would probably beat the crap out of him…err, I mean call the police.   I hope you enjoy, there are also some awesome (literally I was in awe) giant Ficus trees that I will feature in a future post…and in the future I will feature further features from the future….sorry about that…enjoy!

Well come on in…

Tennis anyone?

They also have practice courts

Very nice wide open spaces in this park and many places to sit and relax

And here is the playground which is quite large and varied

Thanks for reading and by the way THAT WAS ON THE LINE REF WHAT ARE YOU BLIND???

Best regards,


Published in: on January 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2011 Coral Gables Real Estate Recap: Condominiums

Greetings Famous Reader!

Well the numbers are in now for the 2011 Condominium Recap in Coral Gables.  Yes I know in the last post I said they would be in tomorrow and that was last Wednesday, well the good news (to offset this post) is that the market is really taking off since the beginning of the year.  My phone has been ringing off the hook (which is even more impressive because it does not have a hook) which has left me little time to dabble in the numbers.  But fret not I have dug deep like Dig Dug and now it’s on like Donkey Kong!  I tried to think of one more video game from the 80’s but then I realized I might be annoying you.

So back to the action, the condo market is…well…let’s just say it is not showing the same signs of leveling out as the single-family market.  Whereas the average price of a single family home actually increased slightly in 2011 the average price of a condominium continued to fall.  Despite an anomalous jump in Average Sales Price from ’09 to ’10 the Average Price/Sf. from the same period dropped and continued to do so in 2011.

The distressed portion of the condominium market mirrored the single-family market in that Short Sales overtook Foreclosures in 2011 and both continued to rise dramatically.

I predict a continued downward pressure on condominium prices in 2012 brought on by the continual stress of distressed properties.  This is compounded by the fact that because condominium associations cannot collect adequate fees from delinquent owners they are often forced to raise maintenance fees for those that do pay which is a scary proposition for potential buyers.

What does this mean for you?  Well if you are looking to by a condo in Coral Gables in 2011 you might want to hold off a bit as prices will continue to fall, and if you are looking to sell a condo in Coral Gables you may want to sell now before the price drops more in 2012.

Of course the major caveat to this is that with condominiums each building is different, some are highly sought after and will have either stabilizing prices or even in some elite condos there will already be price increases.  The important thing is to do your research, or to have someone that really knows the market do it for you… I’m just saying.  So here are some graphs that show you what I have been blabbering about.  Since most of you have stopped reading by now for anyone that is still reading I will give you a prize like Oprah does… send me some random data and I will turn it into a sweet graph, nothing vulgar please!  And we will share it on The Coral Gables Blog in the future!

Ok enough words, now for graphs!

Thanks for reading and have a great 2012!

Best regards,


2011 Coral Gables Real Estate Recap: Single-Family Homes

Greetings Relentless Reader and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone enjoyed a fantastic holiday season with friends, family… and even family who you wouldn’t even want as friends!

Well let’s get right to it with our…
“First Annual Coral Gables Real Estate Market Yearly Annual Update of the Year for 2011 Anno Domini”…  got to work on that title.  But here goes…

In 2011 Coral Gables continued to feel the effects of the overall slump in the real estate market on a local and national level.  However, there were many encouraging signs to 2012 being a much better year than the past few.  The average sales price and sales price / sq. ft. saw increases for the first time in 5 years.  And while the number of short sales rose, reflecting a national trend, the number of foreclosures declined for the second year in a row.

Overall this points to a solid stabilization in the single-family market after the last few years of declines.  If you are looking to purchase a home in Coral Gables this data means that now is the time; prices will not get much lower and within the next 2-3 years will begin to climb again as distressed properties are sold off and the current harsh lending guidelines are relaxed.  Add to that the historically low interest rates (reported by BankRate.com as 4.21% at the time of this post) and it looks like now is the perfect opportunity to buy a Single-Family home in Coral Gables.  The chances of your home’s value dropping in 2012 are very low and there is a slim chance that if you make a smart purchase you will actually see an increase in your home’s value.  Call me to find out how to make a smart purchase.

Take a look at some of the numbers to get an idea of how 2011 was a year of stabilization in the Coral Gables Single Family Home market…

You can tell I know the Coral Gables Market because I make sweet graphs!  Tomorrow… the Coral Gables Condo Market (collective sigh)

Best regards,