On those rare occasions when I am not in a hurry, my favorite Miami driving route is southbound along Old Cutler Road. There is no more serene and beautiful experience than cruising under its canopy of banyans and enjoying the endless amount of plants and trees native to Florida. (I especially love when all the bougainvillea is in full bloom.) Really lucky drivers along this path will catch a glimpse of peacocks and giant lizards sunning themselves on the roadway. In my opinion, this is Mother Nature at her best.
Ten years ago, I was contacted by a young man whose family was being relocated from New Orleans to South Florida, looking for a newer three-bedroom home on the water, priced under $300,000. After extensive searching, I found this amazing community called Lakes by the Bay, in Cutler Bay. Since selling Mike his first home there, Cutler Bay has become my favorite neighborhood to introduce new buyers to Miami — especially young professionals who want to start a family soon, or already have young children.
Located just south of Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay is a neighborhood of about six square miles, extending west from Biscayne Bay all the way to U.S. 1, bordered on the north at SW 184th Street south to SW 232nd Street.
Cutler Bay and its surrounding area are rich in history. Going back as far as 10,000 years ago (per the historians and the archeological evidence), Native Americans lived on the grounds of the nearby Charles Deering Estate. The estate has evidence of many fossil records and Tequesta burial mounds, and Cutler Bay (previously known as Cutler Ridge) had been referred to as “Big Hunting Grounds” by the indigenous people and settlers who lived there as early as 1825. (The city takes its name from Dr. William Cutler, who purchased several nearby acres in the late 1800s, and attempted to create a farming settlement in the area.)
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Fast-forward to 1992, when those of us who lived here experienced the devastation and destruction of Hurricane Andrew. It was several years before a good portion of Miami was rebuilt to the gleaming metropolis we know today. To help in the recovery period, a Cutler Bay Steering Committee was formed in 2002, with incorporation as one of its main objectives. Three years later, voters approved the charter and the name Cutler Bay.
The neighborhood is close to Black Point Marina, the largest public marina in Miami, making it a favorite of boating enthusiasts. The marina is situated on a fantastic public park, offering an ideal place for family and friends to experience South Florida’s rich outdoor life. Visitors enjoy boating, diving and picnics in the nearby pavilions, as well as The Ocean Grill, the marina’s amazing dockside restaurant and bar.
Today, Cutler Bay has approximately 44,000 residents living in about 25 different communities, and Realtor.com just recognized it as one of America’s “Ten Hottest Suburban Neighborhoods.” In addition to the aforementioned Lakes by the Bay, some of my favorite communities here include Pelican Bay, Cantamar, Enclave, Monterey Lakes and Whispering Pines.
Since January, I have sold four Cutler Bay homes, all to young families with children who are delighted to be in this neighborhood. As I write this, there are approximately 165 single-family homes for sale, ranging in price from $105,000 to $990,000, with the average list price of a three-bedroom/two-bath home at $395,694.
A quick look at the data indicates a steady rise in Cutler Bay real-estate values. In 2010, an average 2,200-square-foot, three-bedroom/two-bath home sold for $217,000, or $94 per square foot. In 2016, the same home sold for $334,000, or $156 per square foot. For those in search of a condo or townhouse in the area, there are more than 90 active listings at the time of this writing, ranging in prices from $70,000 to $285,000. The median asking price for a three-bedroom/two-bath home (at 1,897 square feet) is a very reasonable $215,000.
As Cutler Bay evolves and matures, it remains at its core a family-friendly suburb of Miami, with many great homes available at a wide range of price points. When you have some time, take that nice, leisurely drive along Old Cutler Road and see it for yourself.
Denise Madan is a real estate agent with RE/MAX Advance Realty. She can be reached at 786-334-8200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This piece, written for Business Monday’s ‘Broker’s View’ space, reflects the opinion of the writer and not necessarily that of the newspaper. Got a Broker’s View? Realtors may submit columns for Broker’s View of 700 words to rclarke@MiamiHerald.com. This feature is intended primarily for residential brokers, who will be given preference, but pieces about commercial real estate will also be accepted as space allows.