Follow the Rules for a Tax-Free Home Sale

April 7th, 2015

Follow the Rules for a Tax-Free Home Sale

By: Michele Lerner

Follow the Rules for a Tax-Free Home Sale

When you are ready to sell your home you are probably focused on your potential profits, particularly if you plan to buy another home with the proceeds from the sale.

While REALTOR® commissions and other closing costs will impact how much you keep from the transaction, fortunately, if you’re like most sellers, you won’t have to pay a capital gains tax on your federal income tax return on profits up to $250,000 or $500,000 depending on how you file your taxes.

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 made it easier for more sellers to qualify for the capital gains tax exclusion. Prior to that date, the exclusion was limited to a once-in-a-lifetime benefit and only to sellers over age 55.

There are a few requirements you must meet to avoid capital gains taxes on your home sale, including:

  • The capital gains tax exclusion is limited to $250,000 of the profits from the sale of your home if you file taxes as a single person and to $500,000 of the profits if you file taxes jointly.

  • You must have lived in your home for at least two of the previous five years. The time that you live in the home doesn’t have to be within the past two years and doesn’t have to be altogether in one solid block, either. You can live there in two different years within the past five years and have that count. You don’t have to be living there when the house is listed for sale, either.

  • If you have used your home as a rental property and want to sell it, make sure you have lived in the home yourself for two of the past five years. In other words, if you lived in it for two years and want to sell it, make sure you sell it before you have rented it for more than three years.

  • Your home must be your principal residence rather than a vacation home or second home to qualify for the tax break.

  • You can invest the profits in anything you want. Before 1997, IRS rules said that you had to reinvest your profits from the sale of one home into another within two years to avoid paying taxes. Since 1997, taxpayers are not required to buy another home.

  • If you are married, you and your spouse cannot have used the capital gains exclusion within two years prior to your transaction.

Partial Exclusion

Even if you don’t qualify for the full capital gains tax exclusion, you may qualify for an exception to the two-year residency rule. Some examples of reasons you could be exempt from the two-year rule include an early move due to:

  • A change in your employment location

  • A health concern that forces you to move

  • Deployment for the military or foreign service

  • Divorce or separation

  • Unforeseen circumstances,” such as an act of war or terrorism, or multiple births from one pregnancy.

Medicare Tax

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 imposed an additional potential tax on the sale of real estate, but this tax impacts only high-income individuals who earn $200,000 or $250,000 for a couple. This tax, designated to supplement Medicare expenses, imposes a 3.8% tax only on the amount of profit above the exclusion for capital gains taxes.

The only sellers who must pay this tax are those who have an income above the threshold and who also sell a house with profits above the capital gains exclusion. The tax is imposed only on the difference between your profit and the excluded amount, not the full profit.

Consul IRS Publication 523, “Selling your Home,” or consult a tax advisor to make sure you are following the correct rules related to the individual circumstances of your home sale.

Source : image source :

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB - Keller Williams Elite Properties
Broker Associate – 35 Years Experience
305.935.2696 Fax 305.328.9267

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Segovia Tower Condos

April 6th, 2015

Segovia Tower Condos 


Segovia Tower Condos

The Segovia Tower condominium is located at 600 Coral Way in the “City Beautiful” – Coral Gables, Florida, 33134. Built in 1998, Segovia Tower condos have an incredible location with amazing golf course and city views and year-round tropical breezes readily available for immediate occupancy.

Segovia Towers features large, 3,949 square foot,full-floor residences with private elevators, twenty-four hour manned security, covered and secured parking, a complete fitness center and a wonderful pool deck. Each residence is unique and has ten foot ceilings with floor to ceiling windows and a very large terrace area of approximately 600 square feet.

Segovia Tower Condos

Segovia Towers overlooks the Granada Golf Course which is home to many outdoor enthusiasts daily including not just the golfers but joggers and cyclists as well. It is well situated in the center of Coral Gables just a few blocks from Miracle Mile and all the restaurants and shopping that is available for residents there. With just twelve neighbors you will be quite secure ensconced in your new Segovia Towers apartment.

Segovia Tower Condos

Coral Gables has long been the desired location for entrepreneurs, industrialists and the “Rich and Famous.” With fabulous Mediterranean architecture, trendy restaurants and shops, Coral Gables is truly the “City Beautiful”!

Sources : images credit :, ,

Check out available condominium units and homes in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 3305-935-2696 or visit for real estate inquiries. 

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB - Keller Williams Elite Properties
Broker Associate – 35 Years Experience
305.935.2696 Fax 305.328.9267

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Easter 2015 in Miami

April 1st, 2015

Easter 2015 in Miami


Easter 2015 in Miami

Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday is the greatest feast day in the Christian when we celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Described in The New Testament as having occurred three days after Jesus Christ crucifixion by Romans at Calvary. This year, Easter Sunday falls on the 5th of April and each date changes every year.

In Miami, Easter is a beautiful time of year. The city offers residents and visitors many special events designed to celebrate the holiday season and enjoy the wonderful early spring weather. This year’s events include special celebrations at some of Miami’s top attractions as well as some fabulous Easter brunches at area restaurants.

Here are some of the top attractions and fabulous Easter brunches where you can bring your family and friends with in celebrating Easter Sunday.

Easter 2015 in Miami

ZooMiami’s Dino Egg Safari

Join the Dino Egg Safari at the zoo! The event will feature photograph opportunities with the Easter Bunny, continuous Easter egg hunts for kids 12 and under and special egg hunts for the animals of the zoo. This will be on Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 2015 at 1:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Bunnypalooza at Miami Seaquarium

Easter brings some additions to the regular fun of the Seaquarium with music, face painting, bounce houses and other Easter events. There will be continuous Easter egg hunts all weekend and every participant will receive a goody bag containing candy and a plush toy. The Easter Bunny will be accompanied by special performances of Flipper, Lolita, Roc, Maime and other favorites. This will be held on Friday April 3 through Sunday April 5, 2015
10:00 AM until 4:00 PM.

Jungle Island Mega Egga Hunt Adventure 

Not to be outdone, Jungle Island also has a special Easter event planned featuring daily Easter egg hunts, face painting, arts and crafts, bounce houses, a coconut tree climb and pie eating contests. The Easter Bunny will be joined by a live DJ and other special events. Admission is $5 for children (3-10) and $29.95 for adults.This will be on Friday, April 3 through Sunday April 5, 2015from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Easter 2015 in Miami

Level 25

Located within the Conrad Miami,1395 Brickell Avenue. It puts you on a traditional brunch every Sunday from 11:30 until 2:30. In addition to the typical carving stations, omelet bar and pasta, you’ll be treated to unlimited Bloody Marys and mimosas.

1200 Courtyard Grill

The 1200 Courtyard Grill at the Biltmore, located at 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables, is the most talked-about brunch in South Florida. The luxury hotel known for its fabulous golf course and exquisite spa puts out a great spread; it’s the place to be seen on Sunday mornings in Coral Gables.

Sources images and credits : Renee Chapple , , , , ,

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB - Keller Williams Elite Properties
Broker Associate – 35 Years Experience
305.935.2696 Fax 305.328.9267

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Can Life Insurance Protect Your Mortgage?

March 31st, 2015

Can Life Insurance Protect Your Mortgage?

By: Angela Colley

Can Life Insurance Protect Your Mortgage?


No one enjoys discussing life insurance, but if your family relies on your income to cover the bills, you need a life insurance policy to protect them if something should happen to you.

If you’re a homeowner, life insurance is even more important. Many types of life insurance safeguard your home and protect your family from foreclosure, but there are angles you’ll have to consider before you sign up.


Mortgage life coverage

After you buy a home, you’ll likely receive several letters telling you to safeguard your house by purchasing mortgage life coverage or mortgage protection service.

These packages are simply a marketing spin on standard life insurance. If something happens to you, your life insurance payout will pay off your mortgage so your family won’t have to worry about possibly losing the roof over their heads.


Decreasing term life insurance

Decreasing term life insurance coverage matches up with the outstanding balance on your mortgage. As you pay off your mortgage and your balance decreases, so does the amount the policy will pay out.

While this type of policy is effective at protecting your family over the life of your mortgage, once you pay off your mortgage, your policy becomes void and you receive no payout.

Holding only decreasing term life insurance has a major downside. Because its purpose is to pay off your home loan, the life insurance policy’s beneficiary is your mortgage lender, not your heirs. For this reason, many people choose a whole life insurance program.


Level term life insurance

Level term life insurance offers policyholders the option of purchasing a policy from an insurance company that matches or exceeds the amount of their mortgage. In case of death, a fixed payout goes to the beneficiaries who can use the money at their discretion, including paying off the mortgage. This offers two major benefits: The coverage amount doesn’t decrease as time goes on, and your heirs can spend the money as they wish.

Deciding on a type of life insurance can be difficult. You’ll have to consider your family’s needs as well as your financial situation. Speak with a financial adviser about your particular situation to help you reach a concrete decision.


Sources images and credits,


Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB - Keller Williams Elite Properties
Broker Associate – 35 Years Experience
305.935.2696 Fax 305.328.9267

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Pérez Art Museum Miami

March 27th, 2015

Pérez Art Museum Miami


Pérez Art Museum Miami

The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is a contemporary art museum that relocated in 2013 to the Museum Park in Downtown Miami, Florida. Founded in 1984 as the Center for the Fine Arts, it became known as the Miami Art Museum from 1996 until it was renamed in 2013 upon the opening its new building designed by Herzog & de Meuron at 1103 Biscayne Boulevard. PAMM, along with the $275 million Patricia Frost Museum of Science and a city park which are being built in the area with completion scheduled for 2015, is part of the 20-acre Museum Park (formerly Bicentennial Park)

Since the opening of the new museum building at Museum Park, the museum has seen record attendance levels with over 150,000 visitors in its first four months. The museum had originally anticipated over 200,000 visitors in its first year at the new location. At its former location on Flagler Street, the museum received on average about 60,000 visitors annually.

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is directly served by rapid transit at Museum Park Metromoverstation and by Metrorail via transfer at Government Centerstation.

Pérez Art Museum Miami

The focus of the museum is 20th century and contemporary art, as well as cultures of the Atlantic Rim, which it defines as the Americas, Western Europe and Africa. At the time of the new building’s opening, the museum’s holdings included 1,800 objects, nearly 500 of which were acquired in 2013, including pieces by John Baldessari , Olafur Eliasson  and Dan Flavin. In its permanent collections, there are second half of the Twentieth Century and Contemporary works by Purvis Young , Joseph Cornell, Kenhinde Wiley, James Rosenquist, Frank Stella, and Kiki Smith . Much of the museum’s current collection has been donated, with 110 works coming from Jorge M. Pérez,among them pieces by the Cuban painters Jose Bedia Valdes  and Wilfredo Lam , as well as the Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Damian Ortega, the Uruguayan Joaquin Torres-Garcia  and the Colombia Beatriz Gonzalez . In 2013, museum trustee and Miami developer Craig Robins pledged 102 paintings, photographs, sculptures and other works from his personal collection.

Pérez Art Museum Miami

In 2012, Pérez pledged $500,000 to establish an acquisitions fund for African-American art, matched shortly after by the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. In 2014, the museum launched the Ambassador of African American Art programme, its first-ever affiliate group, which invites donors to contribute directly to the fund.

After the opening of the new museum building, the museum has seen over 150,000 visitors in its first four months and 300,000 visitors in its first 12 months.According to The Art Newspaper’s annual survey of museum attendance, the “old” Miami Art Museum (PAMM’s predecessor) attracted 54,295 visitors in 2012 — a weak showing in a metropolitan area with a population of five million people

Pérez Art Museum Miami

As the Miami Art Museum, the museum had an annual operating budget of $6 million. After the inauguration of the new building and the museum’s renaming, the budget has increased to $16 million per annum, with a rapid increase of staff and curators. In 2013-14, Miami-Dade County provided $2.5 million of this (up from $1.9 million the previous year)

sources credits and images :,,,

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB - Keller Williams Elite Properties
Broker Associate – 35 Years Experience
305.935.2696 Fax 305.328.9267

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Mortgage Basics: What Is a Mortgage?

March 26th, 2015

Mortgage Basics: What Is a Mortgage?

By:Angela Colley


Mortgage Basics: What Is a Mortgage?


A mortgage – a loan to finance the purchase of your home – is likely the largest debt you’ll ever take on. A mortgage is actually made up of several parts – the collateral you used to secure the loan, your principal and interest payments, taxes and insurance.

Since most mortgages last 15 to 30 years of monthly payments, it helps to understand the working parts.


When you agree to a mortgage, you’re signing a legal contract promising to repay the loan plus interest and other costs. Your home is collateral for that loan.

If you don’t repay the debt, the lender has the right to take back the property and sell it to cover the debt, a process known as foreclosure. In a foreclosure, you will lose your home and you will likely damage your credit rating, affecting your ability to buy a new home in the future.

Principal and Interest 

The principal is simply the sum of money you borrowed to buy your home. To lower your principal amount upfront, you can put down a percentage of the home’s purchase price as a down payment. Typically, lenders require you to make a down payment equal to 20 percent of the home’s purchase price to get a mortgage.

Interest is what the lender charges you to use the money you borrowed, usually expressed as a percentage called the interest rate. In addition to the interest rate, the lender could also charge you points and additional loan costs. Each point is one percent of the financed amount and is financed along with the principal.

Principal and interest comprise the bulk of your monthly payments in a process called amortization, which reduces your debt over a fixed period of time. With amortization, your monthly payments largely go toward paying off the interest in the early years, and gradually reduce the principal later on.


In addition to your principal and interest, your mortgage payment will likely include taxes. The taxes are property taxes your community levies based on a percentage of the value of your home. These taxes generally go towards financing the costs of running your community – for example, to build and maintain schools, roads and other infrastructure, and to provide certain public services.

Generally, if your down payment is less than 20 percent, your lender considers your loan riskier than those with larger down payments. To offset that risk, the lender sets up an escrow account to collect those additional expenses, which are rolled into your monthly mortgage payment.

Even if you don’t have an escrow account, you’ll likely have to pay property taxes as long as you live in your home.


Lenders won’t let you close the deal on your home purchase if you don’t have home insurance, which covers your home and your personal property against losses from fire, theft, bad weather and other causes.

If your home is in a federally designated high flood-risk zone within a flood plain and you are signing for a federally insured loan, federal law mandates that you must buy flood insurance.

If you choose a conventional loan and put down less than 20 percent of your home’s total value at closing, your lender will likely require you to pay private mortgageinsurance. PMI protects the lender from you defaulting on the mortgage. You will have to make PMI payments for two years or until your mortgage balance shrinks to 78 percent of the home’s original purchase price.

If you choose a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration, you will have to pay mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance works the same as PMI, however, you will have to make these payments for 11 years or for the life of the loan, depending on your loan terms and down payment amount.

Sources credits and images :,


Check out available condominium units and homes in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-935-2696 or visit for real estate inquiries. 


Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB - Keller Williams Elite Properties
Broker Associate – 35 Years Experience
305.935.2696 Fax 305.328.9267

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“This Is How We Celebrate” Miami Beach 100th

March 25th, 2015

“This Is How We Celebrate” Miami Beach 100th “This Is How We Celebrate” Miami Beach 100th

March 26, 2015 – Thursday


A lot is in store this month to celebrate Miami Beach Centennial Birthday! As Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine puts it, “This is how we celebrate!”. “The historic centennial events celebrate our legacy and mark the start of the next 100 years by increasing awareness for a global climate initiative with Miami Beach, not only rising above but leading the way.”


100 Hour Celebration

Signifying the city’s 100 years of history and legacy is the 100 Hour Celebration which kicked off last Sunday. There were events for fitness, elegance, fashion, food and music!

“This Is How We Celebrate” Miami Beach 100th

Among the series of exciting events within the week was the First Annual Miami Beach Concours D’Elegance celebrating 100 years of automotive history. It’s a gathering of quintessential cars by national and foreign collectors that’s held every year across the world. It’s the first for the city to hold such event.


A five-day Funkshion Fashion Show also commenced last Sunday with Day 1 presenting a summer swimwear collection by Colombian fashion designer Liliana Montoya. The 100-hour Celebration also included Love on the Sands of South Beach where 100 couples got married or renewed their vows at the beaches of Miami, the World Class Tennis Exhibition, the Miami Beach Food truck and music fest and TV Marathons in many different public locations.


Iconic Music Festival

What’s a birthday without the live music, people and a party? Highlighting the celebration is the iconic Hard Rock music festival. The event is officially known as Hard Rock Rising Miami Beach Global Music Festival 2015 with celebrity friends coming to join in the event. The star-studded line up includes Andrea Bocelli, Barry Gibb, Gloria Estefan and many more! The celebration starts at 3pm ’til midnight and will be held at the 8th Street and Ocean Drive.

Trends and Memorabilia

Be hip for the celebration and grab your Miami Beach Centennial collectibles too. Shirts, tank tops, caps, mugs, pins, coins and more are up for selling. These are limited edition merchandise commemorative of the centennial event.

What are you waiting for? Grab your tickets now and join in the biggest party in #SoMiami!


Source: and




Explore and experience Miami year-round. Find your home here now! 

Check out available homes and condo units for sale. Contact, Ralph Magin, trusted real estate agent, at 3305-935-2696 or visit for your Real Estate inquiries.




Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB - Keller Williams Elite Properties
Broker Associate – 35 Years Experience
305.935.2696 Fax 305.328.9267

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6 Tips to Position Yourself as an Ideal Renter

March 24th, 2015

 6 Tips to Position Yourself as an Ideal Renter

By: Patricia-Anne Tom

6 Tips to Position Yourself as an Ideal Renter


Searching for rental housing can be stressful in a competitive market. Multiple prospective tenants turn up for the same showings. Properties available one day are gone the next.


If you prepare, you can take steps to sway a potential landlord your way and secure a rental.


Here are six tips to help position yourself as a desirable tenant:


1. Gather Evidence

Most landlords will require potential tenants to fill out a rental application. Be proactive and show up to your first meeting with the landlord with all of your information in hand. This should include details on how to reach you, current landlord information, employment history, as well as contact information or letters from personal references.

Establishing that you have a good credit score by obtaining your credit report in advance can be helpful, too. Landlords check credit reports, references and employment histories to determine whether potential tenants will be reliable in paying rent.

Having all of these documents ready ahead of time is a way to demonstrate that you will be a responsible renter.


2. Be Punctual

Your ability to arrive at an appointment on time is an indicator of whether you will meet rental payment deadlines.


3. Dress to Impress

When it comes to selecting a tenant, landlords admit that first impressions matter. A clean, pressed outfit helps to illustrate that you are likely to keep a home neat. It might be wise to make sure that your car is equally presentable. As you pull up to a property, some landlords will see your vehicle as another indication of how well you would take care of their property.


4. Offer Incentives

A good way to show a potential landlord that you are serious about renting a place is to come to your meeting with cash or a checkbook so that you can immediately put down money for any application fee or deposit. If you have a pet, you also can suggest a higher security deposit as reassurance that your furry friend won’t wreak havoc in the home.

However, be cautious about putting down a large security deposit before signing a lease. Scammers sometimes use the guise of collecting fees and a security deposit upfront to take your money.

Offering to sign a longer lease also can be attractive to landlords who want to reduce turnover.


5. Communicate Clearly

During the interview, speak clearly and confidently to emphasize how you will be a good tenant. A landlord wants a tenant he or she can communicate with should problems arise. Yet the landlord is not seeking someone who will yammer on or constantly contact him with minor annoyances about the apartment that the tenant can resolve.


6. Maintain Your Image

Selling yourself as a stellar tenant shouldn’t end once you have secured a rental. Make sure to pay your rent on time, keep the apartment clean, and do not make excessive noise that disturbs the neighbors. Especially don’t do anything that would violate the lease terms, such as bringing home an animal when your lease says “No pets.”

By being a model tenant during the landlord interview and, hopefully, after you move in, you can have greater certainty that the landlord will value you when it comes time to sign or renew the lease, or return your full security deposit.



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Check out available rental properties now or find your home in Miami! Check out available homes and condo units for sale. Contact, Ralph Magin, trusted real estate agent, at 3305-935-2696 or visit for your Real Estate inquiries.



Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB - Keller Williams Elite Properties
Broker Associate – 35 Years Experience
305.935.2696 Fax 305.328.9267

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March 23rd, 2015

Jade Beach Condo


17001 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida 33160

Located in one of Miami’s well-loved ocean fronts, Jade Beach Condo is the ultimate beachfront oasis. It stands in a distinctive 51-story oceanfront tower which has an impressive Porte Cochere that offers a panoramic drop off plaza and overlooking view of both the city and the ocean. Its 3-story Grand Entrance Lobby immediately gives you the feel of what the condo has to offer by welcoming you to a breathtaking direct ocean and pool views! It’s dramatic entrance features an impressive cascading fountains, lush landscaped stepping gardens, reflecting pools and Versailles-like staircase. Perfect for in-house entertainment or for relaxing after-day retreat, its residential units feature floor-to-ceiling glass and generous terraces maximizing its scenic view. Situated along Collins Ave, the complex is conveniently just minutes away from Miami’s city life and world class shopping district.

This building, along with its sister complex, boasts of cutting edge but immaculately laid-out design that highlights the comfort and magnificence that only a luxurious lifestyle could offer.

Building Summary

  • Community: Sunny Isles Beach
  • Architect: Carlos Ott
  • Views: OceanFront
  • Year Built: 2008
  • Status: Immediate Occupancy
  • Bedrooms: 1, 2, 3 & 4
  • Residence Size: 1085 – 3733 sq. ft.
  • Pet Friendly: Yes
  • Walk Score: 80 (Very Walkable)
  • Total Residences: 248
  • Number of Stories: 53
  • Price Range: $890,000 – $10,000,000

Jade Beach Condo

Jade Beach – Residence Features

  • Smart Home technology including wireless touch screen monitor and multi media computer for interactive communication
  • Floor-to-ceiling glass and generous terraces offering panoramic views
  • Snaidero wood and glass kitchen cabinets with granite countertops and stainless steel backsplashes Miele and Sub-Zero stainless steel kitchen appliances
  • Top-of-line European designer fixtures and faucets in bathrooms
  • Infinity-edge whirlpools, and separate shower with body sprays in master bath
  • Spacious Walk-in closets
  • Washer and dryer

Jade Beach Condo

Jade Beach – Services & Amenities

  • Infinity-edge boat shaped Sunrise Pool overlooking the ocean, and Sunset Pool with views of the Intracoastal and city, for all-day enjoyment
  • Private Beach Club with café and cabanas
  • Children’s splash deck with interactive water features
  • Oceanfront pool deck with spacious hot tub, pool services, pool bar, and children’s play room
  • State-of-the-art health club with aerobics, cardio and weights
  • Technogym™, the cutting edge in personal physical training with digital technology, high-tech machines and private access to TV and radio
  • Spa with lounge area, massage and treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms
  • Front desk with round-the-clock concierge, security services, and mailbox experience
  • Twenty-four hour Business Center with private offices and conference rooms
  • Media and community rooms with views of the ocean and pool deck
  • Personal resident storage facilities with air conditioning.


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See more and experience more of what Miami has to offer. Find your home here now! Check out available homes and condo units for sale. Contact, Ralph Magin, trusted real estate agent, at 3305-935-2696 or visit for your Real Estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB - Keller Williams Elite Properties
Broker Associate – 35 Years Experience
305.935.2696 Fax 305.328.9267

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Historic Ward Rooming House

March 20th, 2015

Historic Ward Rooming House

By: Shayne Benowitz

Historic Ward Rooming House

Crossing into Overtown from downtown Miami, visitors are greeted with a mural by Purvis Young on the overpass wall at NW 3rd Avenue and NW 11th Street. It reads “Welcome to Overtown” with shades of yellow, green, pink and blue depicting a neighborhood, as well as some of Young’s signature images, like wild horses and angels. Young is often considered the “unofficial historian of Overtown,” as his folk art verging on abstract expressionism, illustrates life in Miami’s inner city from the 1960s until his death in 2010 for all to see. He’s a symbol for the culture that lived on in this fractured neighborhood after two interstates were built through the middle of it, displacing more than 20,000 black residents in the 1960s.

Prior to that, Overtown was a thriving community once nicknamed “Little Broadway” thanks to the legendary performers who graced its theaters and nightclubs, including James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and Ella Fitzgerald. Today, only a few buildings from the neighborhood’s heyday are still standing. The Lyric Theater reopened in 2013 on its centennial. It’s the oldest theater in Miami and the sight of many legendary performances. Another piece of Overtown history is the Ward Rooming House. Built in 1925 by Shaddrack and Victoria Ward, it served as a resting place and safe haven for both blacks and Native Americans.


The Black Archives History and Research Foundation is on a mission to preserve and revitalize Overtown and they’ve worked closely with the city to restore the Ward Rooming House. It was designated a historic site by the City of Miami in 2006. Today, it acts as the official Visitor Center of Overtown and also houses a gallery and exhibition hall. Its location at 249 NW 9th Street is central to the shopping, dining and entertainment district that Overtown is redeveloping today.



With its gallery and exhibition space, the Ward Rooming House often hosts events bringing the community together and sharing it with visitors. The Black Archives puts on a monthly Expressions event, featuring music and entertainment. In April, to celebrate National Poetry Month, Expressions was hosted by poet and spoken word artist Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns. The evening featured other local spoken word poets, open mic, live jazz and neo-soul music and a DJ set. Drawing on the culinary heritage of the neighborhood, Jackson’s Soul Food catered the event with a special chicken and waffles dinner. The venue allows for both indoor and outdoor programming, and the Black Archives knows how to take full advantage of the space for a dynamic night of culture and entertainment.

The Overtown Rhythm & Arts Festival is an annual event, now in its third year, anchored by the Ward Rooming House Visitor’s Center and the surrounding blocks on NW 3rd Ave. between NW 9th and 11th St. It’s an all day free festival in late June showcasing music, art, food and an interactive children’s village. The festival is a celebration of the community’s rich musical history.


While the Ward Rooming House serves as a reminder of Overtown’s history, it’s also a symbol for the future. Its location in the heart of the Overtown Folklife positions it at the epicenter of commerce and activity in the community today. The village was conceived by the Black Archives as a pedestrian-friendly stretch of blocks, full of shopping, dining and sightseeing. Explore the mural art of Purvis Young at the Culmer/Overtown Public Library, close to the beautifully landscaped Gibson Park. The crosswalks are painted in colorful designs, as well, and there’s a community garden nearby.

Dine at Jackson’s Soul Food for a not-to-be-missed meal combining the flavors of the American South and the Caribbean in this legendary restaurant. Other classic spots to eat include People’s Bar-B-Que, Jerry & Joe’s Pizza and Moore’s Grocery & Bakery.

For shopping, stop by Moselle’s Boutique, Remix Apparel and a variety of barbershops for an authentic experience. Other historical sights, aside from the Ward Rooming House and the Lyric Theater, include Historic Mount Zion Baptist Church, St. John Baptist Church and the Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum.

Overtown is a neighborhood with a rich history in the midst of revitalization. Thanks to the ongoing work of the Black Archives, and other groups, like the Overtown Rhythm & Arts Festival and the Overtown Music Project, its rich history is being celebrated today in order to preserve it for generations to come.

Sourcers images and credits :

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB - Keller Williams Elite Properties
Broker Associate – 35 Years Experience
305.935.2696 Fax 305.328.9267

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