Elena Bluntzer is a resident of Miami and Fisher Island, Florida. She has specialized in listing and sales of luxury waterfront properties in South Florida, specifically on Fisher Island, Miami, Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, and Coral Gables, for over 34 years. Prior to joining ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, Bluntzer served as founder and president of The Bluntzer Group for 19 years, where she built a distinguished brokerage with more than $1 Billion in sales including record-breaking transactions on Fisher Island and in Gables Estates, Coral Gables. Haute Residence caught up with Bluntzer to discuss Spring trends in Fisher Island amongst buyers and advice she has if you’re buying this time of year:
Do you see more buyers shopping for homes during The Spring compared to other times of the year?
Typically by Springtime buyers have already been mulling over the thought of moving in the summer. So although they may have been house hunting in the winter, they tend to get more serious about buying in the spring so that they can close in the summer and take care of any house projects, repairs, etc that may be needed before having to get a kid ready for school.
Is there a particular area in your market where you are seeing more buyers move to? Why?
I work in the luxury homes and condos market. My clients are ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) from around the world. These buyers generally prefer waterfront condos on Fisher Island, Miami Beach or the Coral Gables homes and condos. Because of Florida’s no income tax law change of 2018 we are seeing more buyers from New York, Los Angeles, and Connecticut this year. Buyers from these parts gravitate towards gated/secure communities such as Fisher Island, Star Island, Sunset Islands, Gables Estates, etc.
Are there any features you’re seeing more buyers ask for in their homes?
We see more and more buyers expecting Impact Glass doors and windows to better protect their homes against damage from hurricanes. We are also seeing more buyers preferring to buy new or fully renovated properties that they can move into without the delays of having to renovate properties themselves. These new or fully renovated properties should be “smart” condos and homes with the latest technology to operate the household. Garages for multiple vehicles is also one of the top priorities on their lists.
What are some favorite features you love about your market?
I absolutely love that I work where most people vacation! In my primary market, Fisher Island, I list and show properties by golf cart, the preferred mode of transportation here. That experience immediately relaxes the buyers. I drive them in front of our private beach and take them to all the amenities of the Island. The exclusive tropical beachfront lifestyle becomes clear and they instantly fall in love with the Island too. Fisher Island is unparalleled it the lifestyle that it offers. Yet it is only a 7-minute private car ferry ride from the mainland, Miami Beach and the cultural arts centers.
Any advice for buyers this time of year?
We are currently in a Buyers’ market throughout South Florida. This means more inventory to choose from and generally lower than expected prices for our luxury homes and condos. However, when we have experienced buyers’ markets in the past they do not last as long as most people expect. This is because we are in a very unique city; a city that it’s a dream destination for people from around the globe who actively look for the opportunity to own a piece of Miami. We are an international multi-lingual city and as such Miami is one of the top-ranked cities in the world for international home buyers! It was ranked by Forbes as America’s cleanest city and it also ranked as the “Happiest city to work” among other such luminous rankings.