Moving again to Brickell, Miami, Florida

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I want to move soon again to Brickell before Christmas of this year, but now with the mindset of a real estate investor, I want to know if there somebody here who can give me some suggestions, details and things I should avoid. I have no problem getting involve in condos (I invest in multi-family), so don't limit yourself with your suggestions. Other areas I considered were Sunny Isles, South Beach, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale & Palm Beach.

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@Paula Di Mauro No at this moment, I'm still checking, but I'm gonna put Little havana in my first places to analyse. Little havana is like 10 minutes from where I lived and going to live again in Brickell, so I can go there without problems, Thank You !

Hi Jorge,

I lived on Brickell for six years. Loved, loved, loved living down there! It's a great place for young professionals, and in the last few years, more families with little kids. There are more dining and shopping options now that Mery Brickell Village is open, and along South Miami Avenue & Brickell Avenue. You can pretty much get anywhere on tram (free), and connect to the train for downtown events. There are many places for brunch on Sundays, and recently a 7-11 opened on Brickell Bay Drive (@The Club), along with a liquor store. A Wholefoods is opening up in downtown (@TheMet) just over the bridge, and at some point, another Publix on Brickell Bay Drive. So if you found work in the area, you would never really need to leave! Awesome. You're near the water but not really paying water prices, and what can I say, Brickell/Downtown is the heart of the city. Who can forget the opening scenes on Miami Vice in the 80's ??? I sure can't..

Ok enough of the cheese, if you're looking to invest in condos in the area, know that the HOA fees are sky high. The cheapest HOA fee in the area I could find at the time was about $750 per month (my building, the Fortune House). BTW that building is very well taken care of and you can count on your dollars being put to good use there. Some of the other good buildings in the area: The Emerald (on 14th Street & Brickell Bay Drive), and all the old short condos along Bay Road facing the water, The Palace (Brickell & 15th) and all the older condo buildings on Brickell past the highway overpass. Anything on Brickell Key maintained good value, although occasionally you could find a good priced unit, but much higher HOA fees, for much smaller units. I believe the last plot of land has been built on (Asia building) and prices went up again. Also, many buildings are Condo Hotels and you can put the unit into their Hotel rental programs. By the same token, because they are condo-hotels, it may be harder to obtain financing and you will need to put a required 20% down.

Downside: In 2008, the Brickell area had some of the highest foreclosure numbers in the nation due to rogue buyers, and several buildings down there went belly up and were blacklisted from bank financing. The top ranked buildings on the bank blacklists were: Vue @ Brickell (on the corner of Brickell Ave & 13th St), The Club of Brickell Bay (1200 Brickell Bay Drive), and the Jade on Brickell Bay Drive & 14 Street. These buildings had many units for sale that you could purchase real cheap but cash only. Not sure if any of that has changed, but I have noticed less properties for sale. Also, The Sail (on 14th Street), seemed very poorly taken care of, with lackluster landscaping and litter. You will have to do your due diligence though as I've not lived down there for 2 years now. Now there are buildings opening up all the way to the Metro Mover & train connection so plenty to choose from. Not to mention the skyline has been changed yet again by all the cranes rising in the distance, which is good from a construction/economy perspective. There is very little crime reported on Brickell. The only real big crime was a rape a few years ago at the Axis Condo, a new building. But it is relatively safe at any hour by Miami standards.

I lived at the Club of Brickell Bay when it was newly constructed and did not have a good experience there. We sold at the height of the market but getting a "clean" offer proved very difficult. Luckily we had a good RE attorney on our side who kept us out of all that.

Bottom line is, if you want all the perks of living in the city and having that awesome city life, there are some drawbacks. Hit me up if you have a building in particular you are thinking about, and I will share what I know.

Hope this helps!

@Vana G. Wow, thanks for the big update. I lived in Icon Brickell in early 2010, after living for a short time in Palm Beach. Then since that. I have been visiting constantly the area, my "business mentor" lives in sunny isles and Miami Beach. I'll contact you if I need something else. My focus is to live first and then invest.

Thank you very much.