With 30 years of experience in his rearview mirror, Realtor Nelson Gonzalez knows the market and knows where it’s going—including the hottest hoods and trends.
“In five to ten years from now, I feel that North Bay Village—a small municipality comprising of two islands between Miami Beach and Miami, will emerge as a luxury neighborhood for single-family waterfront homes.” —Nelson Gonzalez
ELEVATE: Tell me about your progression from owning your own firm to your current role as Sr. VP with EWM. Where is EWM going in the future?
NG: My former firm merged with EWM Realty in 1998, and my role went from managing 70 associates to creating my own team. After growing the company to 900 associates and 11 offices in Dade & Broward County, in 2003 we sold the company to Homes Services of America (A Berkshire Hathaway Co.). Now, I have my own team, The Nelson Gonzalez Team, and EWM Realty is the number one broker in South Florida for homes over $1 million. In fact, EWM Realty was voted Best Brokerage by the real estate community the last 4 years in a row. So, I can say with confidence that we are going in the right direction.
ELEVATE: Tell me about a recent top sale, how long it lasted on the market and what made the home so distinctive?
NG: We recently sold a brand-new waterfront home on North Bay Road in Miami Beach for $20 million. With its sleek contemporary design, an array of ultra-luxurious finishes and amenities, and spectacular water views from most rooms, this waterfront mansion was the epitome of luxury real estate. The fact that the home was located on the premier address in Miami Beach—North Bay Road—is what brought the selling price to that amount. The home wasn’t on the market for that long.
ELEVATE: What aspects of the home are prospective buyers most invested in—where are they the most discerning? Kitchens? Closets? Outdoor space?
NG: There are a few types of buyers that I typically come across. The most common buyer today is one who is looking for a turnkey ready home; then you have buyer/investor who wants to build brand-new or remodel and profit of the resale; and lastly, you have the buyer who wants to build his own custom-made home. The luxury buyers of turnkey homes are looking for top-of-the-line finishes, open-concept living spaces, modern kitchens with family rooms, outdoor spaces with summer kitchens, and of course incredible views. Needless to say, the location is typically the most important aspect.
ELEVATE: Why is it so important for a top Realtor like yourself to be philanthropic and invested in the community?
NG: It is very important to give back to the community we live in and try to improve our beautiful city. I have been involved with the Miami Beach Police Athletic League (PAL) for 15-plus years. In addition, I have been involved with Big Brothers and the Young Arts Foundation, to name a few.
ELEVATE: What areas are hot right now? What areas will have emerged five or ten years from now?
NG: In the last couple of years, the hottest and most active neighborhoods of Miami Beach have been the Venetian Islands, North Bay Road and the Sunset Islands. The proximity to lifestyle, including Lincoln Road Mall, the Sunset Harbour neighborhood, and the beautiful sandy beaches, is what has made these areas attractive. In five to ten years from now, I feel that North Bay Village—a small municipality comprising of two islands between Miami Beach and Miami, will emerge as a luxury neighborhood for single-family waterfront homes.
ELEVATE: What can you share about other trends in Miami real estate?
NG: I have seen most of the homes in Miami Beach and the transformation that our city has been through. The city’s architectural makeup went from art deco and Mediterranean to modern homes with sharp design and lots of glass. Additionally, in the last five years the ultra-luxury real estate market—over $15 million—has emerged as a new real estate category and is attracting the upper echelon of buyers from around the world.