The waterfront house at 2765 Lake Drive is the ninth most valuable in Riviera Beach, its worth estimated by the county at nearly $2.2 million.Yet, despite its lush lawn, dock and swimming pool on Singer Island alongside the Intracoastal Waterway, five bedrooms and four full baths, utility bills obtained by The Palm Beach Post indicate no one at the 5,900-square-foot property used any water the past six years.No showering? No flushing? No dishwashing, lawn watering?
Jennifer Paul St. Denis thought she had found the perfect landlord. A mother of two from Marietta, Georgia, St. Denis had been looking for a new home last summer after separating from her husband. Her search didn’t take her far. After spotting an ad from a company called Waypoint, she discovered they had a “super-cute” two-story home with a yard and back porch a few blocks away. At $1,449 a month, it was even within her budget. St. Denis loved staying in the same neighborhood, but, just as importantly, she appreciated the security that came with her new landlord.
Waypoint is one of a new breed of large-scale corporate landlords heavily invested in the single-family rental market. (Waypoint has since merged with Invitation Homes. At the time St. Denis moved in, the company had a multi-state portfolio of more than 30,000 homes.)
“Being a [newly] single mom trying to find a good place for my kids, it was appealing to have a company with the staff and resources to solve problems I didn’t have time to address,” she says.
A Casey Key estate with old cottage feel but modern conveniences and a prized setting pushes asking price to $6.2 millionAn estate at the northern end of Casey Key that sits on over an acre of bayfront land has a history that would classify it as “old money.” Florida vernacular in design and fully integrated into the lush and old growth barrier island landscape, the compound is comfortable and relaxed, quite the opposite of showy.You can’t see it from the road and privacy is one of the chief attractions of this unusual property, which includes a main two-story house of over 6,000 square feet, a detached 600-square-foot guest cottage, a bunk house, potting shed, three-car garage, 100-foot dock, and a boat house. Additionally, the property has 3,600 square feet of outdoor living space, including an outdoor kitchen under oak trees.
Bouts of brutally cold weather have not kept Alison Benoit, a real estate agent in the Pepper Pike office of Keller Williams, from writing six accepted offers on homes last month. That figure is as much as the 20-year veteran of the residential market says is typical for hot sales months in summer.”For me it’s not been all that different than working with a buyer who is pre-qualified with a lender,” Benoit said of searches she has undertaken from Cleveland Heights to Medina that resulted in two closings.However, the difference is that Benoit is working with people who will lease a home they select for three years from San Francisco-based tech startup Divvy Homes. After that time, if they want to stay, they will get to buy the house with a bonus for appreciation as well as credit for part of the equity they contribute.
Life is grand in Miami. Opulence, elegance and wealth flow from the sprawling oceanfront penthouses through the veins of its sun-kissed owners to the bottles of Champagne being popped on mega yachts in the city’s many beautiful harbors. It’s paradise for the rich and famous, and with new residential towers on the rise, high-end amenities being added and billionaires moving to town, Miami is quickly becoming the year-round stomping ground for America’s elite.
According to Forbes, there are 51 billionaires living in Florida, with most of them residing in South Florida. Carnival’s Micky Arison, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. and H. Wayne Huizenga are some of the household names, while hedge fund wizard David Tepper recently moved his Appaloosa Management down from New Jersey to call Miami Beach home. Why do these folks live where you vacation?
“We have more amenities, more restaurants and just more options geared towards the locals—that coaxes the clients to stay longer,” says Dan Hechtkopf, director of luxury sales at Douglas Elliman, who recently helped sell $80 million in property between Park Grove and Arbor in Coconut Grove alone. “Over the past 10 years Miami has really changed from being primarily for vacationers to now being more of an actual place to live full-year round.”
Kelly and Patrick Lynch moved to London from New York City 15 years ago, but because they wanted their two young daughters to experience life in the United States, they decided to buy a vacation home in Palm Beach.
“Summer vacation for our girls was only six weeks, but they had longer vacations during the school year, so a home in Palm Beach allowed us to take advantage of the town’s lovely prime season and give our girls beachy holidays,” Kelly explains.That was in 2013, when they bought their five-bedroom, 6½-bath Island Colonial-style home at 231 Nightingale Trail on the North End.