A little over a week from today, I had the pleasure of selling #4400, a studio penthouse located at the Latitude on the River condominium in Brickell. Selling penthouses in Brickell has been part of our DNA for years. For us, this listing is a another win in our growing record book of Brickell real estate.
Located at 185 SW 7th St, Latitude on the River is just a few moments away from Brickell City Centre, one block west of the access ramps to I-95, and just south of the Miami River. Superficially, this listing seems just like any other bread and butter condo transaction that we've done in the area. When I first took on the assignment, this is what I was expecting. In reality, this sale was a far greater challenge than initially expected. Thankfully, and with the help of those involved in the transaction, it sold.
Before I talk about what went wrong and how it got beat up and mushed until it became right again, let's talk about the property itself.
Latitude on The River #4400
With 580 square feet and west facing views, the 00 line at Latitude on The River is one of only two studio floor plans in the building (The south facing 06 line is the other studio floor plan). The other twelve layouts of the building are a mix of one, two and three bedroom layouts spread across each individual floor. There are forty four floors in total and four hundred and fifty two units. Situated on the top floor, #4400 is the penthouse of the 00 line. It has the same square footage and layout as the other 00 units but does feature significantly higher ceilings (twelve feet in height approximately) and a valet parking spot. Aside from its original granite counters, impact windows, and Snaidero cabinets, there were other upgrades throughout such as porcelain flooring, a drywall enclosure between the kitchen and sleeping area, and newer light fixtures.
Completed in 2007 just before the known crash of Miami's market, Latitude on the River as a building offers excellent amenities, is professionally managed, and is ideally located to everything that Brickell offers as one of Miami's hottest spots. Extra bonus for being just one block away from both Rosa Sky and American Social, two of my favorite spots in Brickell when in need of some downtime.
How Trouble Started
During the first few weeks, the deal was smoothly sailing to the closing table. We had no issues during the inspection period or with the appraisal. We had no title issues, had an approved title commitment, and the property had no liens or encumbrances. We even had association approval from the condo board and everything else within our control was moving as it should. By the end of the third week, the contract reached the deadline for the loan commitment but no red flags had been raised. That's when what happened, happened.
The loan approval deadline passed and nothing was provided by the lender, which prompted us to ask if something had occurred. In its response, the original lender working on the deal, who will remain unnamed, sent a letter informing all parties that the loan has been denied, several days after the buyer's loan commitment period had expired. The denial letter, which should've been presented during the loan approval period to protect the buyer, cited that the loan had been denied due to property related conditions.
As expected, the news hit everyone involved in the deal without warning like an iceberg.
When facing property related conditions, most transactions would typically fall through and my staff and I would've had no choice but to start over from scratch. Had that been the case, I also would've had to deal with the added difficulty of selling a listing and finding a buyer that could still qualify to buy despite the conditions now affecting the listing. I've had this happen before on other listings and it tends to make the listing harder to sell. Due to the added restriction to financing, your pool of eligible buyers dwindles down until a buyer that isn't affected by the restrictions is identified. To complicate matters more, since the letter was presented after the approval deadline, the question as to what would happen to the deposit if the deal were to fall through was brought up. Would the Buyer have the right to retain the deposit or would the Seller have a right to place a claim on the deposit?
Fortunately, no one involved in the transaction decided to give up on the deal. Rather than allow the situation turn into what could've been a messy legal matter, everyone stayed focused on one fundamental: The Buyer still wanted to buy the property and our Seller wanted to sell. Once the panic stopped, the buyer submitted a loan application with a lender after I recommended that it would make a difference. After a few additional weeks needed by the new lender, who happened to be a lender with extensive experience in condo financing, #4400 sold for $379,000.
I am thankful for my staff and all parties involved in this deal. This was a not so simple transaction but we collectively all worked together to get it done. I am also particularly thankful to our Seller, who entrusted us with his real estate and enabled us to represent him as best as we could.
As of today's date, I still am unsure about what caused the previous lender to deny the original loan. All I know, and what I remember the most, was sharing with the new loan officer in advance that several other listings in Latitude on the River had recently sold with financing. To ensure that we wouldn't be bit by the same dog twice, I searched around and found the banks that had recently done deals in the building before the Buyer submitted the new application. Rocket Mortgage, United Wholesale Mortgage, and American Financial Network were among those lenders. Writing their names, along with sales sharing the same address as my listing gave me the confidence I needed to help push this deal forward.
Thank you for reading our latest post on Miami real estate! For more information regarding this sale or other Brickell real estate please contact us today! We can be reached at 305.674.4127 or via e-mail at [email protected]