Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Opera D’Arte: The City Beautiful’s Chicest Bridal Gallery on Bridal Row

With Thanksgiving upon us, you can see that the Christmas season has finally arrived as well.  Luckily, in sunny Florida, we only experience the holidays with timing and decorations instead of the dismal weather in the north. 

While most people shop for toys, clothing, and other things that their friends and family want, there are those shoppers who buy the bling – ring bling to be exact.  The holidays are a time where the question is popped and the answer is a resounding YES!  When this happens, it means only one thing…it is time to shop for the dress and there is no better place to shop for the dress than along “Bridal Row”  on the Miracle Mile in Coral Gables.

Bridal Row is a section of the Miracle Mile that is home to over three dozen shops that cater to every single part of a wedding from the dress to the cake to the event planners who make the whole occasion happen.  This is where so many brides start the fun of planning “the most important day of their lives.” 

As for bridal gowns, one of the most elegant shops on the Miracle Mile’s Bridal Row is Opera D’Arte.  This boutique has some of the most beautiful dresses to make any bride feel a princess for the day and takes bridal gown shopping to a new level. 

Not only do they help brides find the perfect gown, they host events throughout the year to showcase their designers and offer guests the opportunity to spend time with a designer’s representative and the store’s staff being fitted for a wedding gown.

Coral Gables is well known for its beauty and elegance which makes it the perfect backdrop for a destination wedding which makes sense since there is an entire area along the Miracle Mile devoted to this important and festive occasion.  The Biltmore Hotel and the Women’s Club of Coconut Grove are just a couple of the more popular venues where unbelievable wedding days culminate.

As Coral Gables real estate experts, we work with a lot of people who are relocating to the area as they begin to plan the biggest day of their lives.  So why not exchange vows in the City Beautiful?  We always send them to Bridal Row to begin the planning process.  As for the dress, which let’s face it, is the thing that every bride treasures most, Opera D’Arte is our favorite.  We know that once any bride steps in this sophisticated and graceful boutique, the feeling will be mutual.

Opera D’Arte has trunk shows coming up including designer Riki Dalal, December 5-7 and Cotin Sposa, January 23-25, 2015.  Be sure to call for your private appointment. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

“Boutique” Coral Gables Condominiums

One of the most types of popular condominium properties is the “boutique” style condominium.  This term is commonly used in the real estate industry representing a more exclusive, smaller condominium with fewer units.  Real estate buyers tend to gravitate towards boutique condominiums because of the relaxed atmosphere, lower condo fees due to typically having fewer amenities and somewhat tighter leasing regulations within the condominium covenants.  Typically with boutique condominiums, there tend to be fewer units on the market as property owners lean towards staying put as well. 

Coral Gables is an affluent part of Miami-Dade that appeals to a more buyers who want to step back from the excitement and glitz of Miami’s more progressive neighborhoods.  Boutique condominiums lend themselves well to tranquility and exclusive nature of Coral Gables.  Here are a handful of highly sought after boutique Coral Gables condominiums with listings.

Century Village Park, 1650 Galiano Street.  Century Village Park is a gorgeous boutique-style condominium built in 2010 and centrally located in a beautiful and established part of the Gables that is close to parks, golf courses, and shopping and dining on the Miracle Mile.  With only 41 units on eight floors, Century Village Park offers residents the choice of a one-story condominium unit housing one or two bedrooms or two-story townhouse with three bedrooms. The most appealing characteristics of Century Village Park are its Mediterranean style architecture on the exterior and the interior details that make this condominium stand apart from the pack.  Fixtures and finishes on the inside lend themselves to a more high-end residence with marble and hardwood flooring, elegant baseboard and crown molding throughout the home and update yet classically styled kitchens and baths.  List prices usually start in the upper-$200s and climb over $500K for single-story condominium units and the mid-$500s to mid-$700s for townhouses.  Investors can expect to garner anywhere from $2,500 per month for a one-bedroom unit to almost $4,000 per month for a three-bedroom townhouse. 

The Nevis, 2650 SW 37th Avenue.  Located a mere two miles from the University of Miami, The Nevis is a nine-story condominium that houses only (41) one or two-bedroom units.  This is an ideal property for first-time buyers and those who are interested in second or winter homes.  Sizes range from just under 800 square feet for one-bedroom units to over 1,200 square feet for two-bedrooms and feature updated kitchens and baths along with extended balconies.  Amenities include an outdoor pool, assigned covered parking, 24-hour camera security and a fitness center with sauna.  List prices start at about $200K and climb to the mid to upper-$300s depending on the size and location of the unit. 

Villa Calabria, 20 Calabria Avenue.  Villa Calabria is a six-story condominium with only (31) two-bedroom units ranging between 1,200 and 1,400 square feet in size.  It is ideally located just a few blocks from the Miracle Mile as well as area parks and top golf courses.  Units are open and spacious with updated fixtures and finishes along with extended balconies.  Amenities include a well-equipped fitness center, covered parking and a pool.  Currently there are two listings with list prices falling between the mid to upper-$300s even into the low-$400s.  Annual leases are allowed but there are none available.  This is an excellent option for those in need of a second home for business or spending extended time in Coral Gables and south Florida. 

Villa Isabella, 322 Madeira Avenue.  Villa Isabella is a boutique condominium in the truest sense of the term with five stories and only 29 units with one or two bedrooms.  Built in 2004, it is a standout condominium with its unique Mediterranean architecture that is very common in this part of Miami-Dade. It features beautifully finished residences updated kitchens, spacious bedrooms and living areas along with an elegant balcony.  List prices fall from the upper-$200s to upper-$300s depending on the size and location.  Square footage ranges between about 750 and just over 1,500 square feet.  As for amenities, there is a gym as well as a beautiful roof top terrace, assigned parking and a secured entrance. Villa Isabella is centrally located within walking distance to the Miracle Mile and other areas that are very popular with Gables residents.  There is only one unit listed for sale which speaks to its popularity.  As for rentals, annual leases are allowed with rental rates typically falling between $2,000 and $3,000 per month. 

Villa Zamora, 118 Zamora Avenue.  Unlike many other boutique Coral Gables condominiums, Villa Zamora is ideal for home buyers interested in second or vacation homes as each property owner receives a complimentary membership to the Biltmore Hotel.  In terms of what is featured at Villa Zamora, amenities are similar to those in upscale condominiums and include 24-hr security cameras, covered parking, gated entry, a private elevator lobby, full-size washer and dryer, and impact glass windows.  Inside each residence, owners have a spacious kitchen with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and custom cabinetry, an open living area, full laundry room, a large bedroom with double vanity master bath and so much more.  List prices range from the low-$500s to mid-$600s.  Rental rates typically fall between about $2,500 and $3,200 per month with two rentals allowed each year. 

Offer Lower Condominium Fees
Boutique condominiums are very popular in South Florida especially in Coral Gables.  They offer an exclusive atmosphere where everyone knows everyone in the building with a bonus of lower condominium fees.  The key to being lucky enough to purchase a property in a boutique condominium is to grab it before it is gone as they sell quickly.  
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