Whether Upper Eastside residents like it or not, and more of them do than don’t, the Northeast 66th Street section of Legion Park will be hosting a farmers market beginning Jan. 12.

“The city decided there wasn’t enough opposition or reasons not to have it,” said Millie Santana, vice president of the Shorecrest Homeowners Association, during the group’s November meeting.

Claire Tomlin, who has organized such markets in downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, said at one of two recent public-input meetings that only food and plants will be sold at this one. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays until April 1. If successful, the market will return a year later.

Following this news, real-estate agent Chad Hanna, manager of the plush 1928 Illuminata Estate, 986 NE 84th St., told association members that owner Rene Aguiar seeks a zoning change, which would allow a New Age spiritual group to buy the place and open a prayer and meditation center there.

Hanna’s audience didn’t warm to the idea. ‘I don’t want to see any residential property in my neighborhood rezoned to `church’ or ‘school’ or anything else,” resident Jack Spirk said.

Association member Mina Kuhn circulated copies of a petition, which will be presented to Miami-Dade Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, opposing such a change and requesting that all residents — not just those within 500 feet of a particular property — be notified of future zoning-change proposals.

Talk of how much traffic a meditation center would attract got Northeast 81st Street resident Debra Sinnett onto the need for traffic-calming devices on her street. ”People just zoom up and down like crazy,” she said. “I feel like going out there with a checkered flag. It’s like NASCAR.”

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

The art of purchasing a new home is an exciting and major decision that most people will experience. Since this is a major decision, it is imperative that home buyers need to make the right decisions when deciding the best home options.

The city of Miami is considered as one of the most unique and vibrant locations in the country. It is often called “America’s Playground”, because of the proximity of the area’s famous white-sand beaches and resorts, and the “Gateway to the Americas”.

Explore The City For Competitive Home Options

If you want to live in the city center, or close to it, you can find a condo or apartment that suits your needs in well-established areas like Brickell, in Downtown Miami, where nightlife, entertainment and dining establishments are nearby, and only minutes from the world-renowned Miami Beach. And there are also many suburbs that have just as much to offer: luxurious homes and canopied streets in Coral Gables, gated waterfront villages in Miami Lakes, and new booming areas like Doral, which are home to world-class golf courses.

Do Miami Homes Cost That Much?

One of the most common myths regarding Miami’s real estate properties, is that it costs entirely too much. In a way, it quite does, since buyers are going to have to pay a premium for a home in or around this city, however, this is because the properties are located in a very desirable location.

Home buyers are reminded that whatever you pay for your home now, you will get more back when you go to resell it some day. Most analysts see a future uptrend in the value of real estate, despite the recent downturn of the market, and this definitely should work out to the advantage of the buyer. As this is the buyer’s market, more opportunities abound.

Would It Be Possible To Get A Discount?

For those looking for a full-time home, or vacation getaway, there are many homes on the housing block offered, and these range from preconstruction properties, resale homes and newly-completed condo units.

There are also plenty of apartments, condos, and waterfront houses for rent. Many housing experts see buying Miami real estate as a great idea these days. Buyers should be able to find something in Miami that they would like; anyone can go online and search for MLS listings, as there are over 40,000 homes for sale in the city at any given time.

Most MLS listings and brokers would also be glad to assist buyers with the required paperwork, and could even give buyers appreciable discounts on some specific property choices, as well as finding you the most reasonable mortgage options.

It would be a really stress-free experience if you work in tandem with a local real estate broker, because a broker will assist and guide you in all the aspects of buying a home. First, you need to think and write down all the criteria you need in a home, and tell your real estate broker about, so that they will find the appropriate one in the market that suits your preferences.

In addition, take time to visit a few homes in the area, and ensure that the home you like is in good condition, by conducting a thorough home inspection. If things turn out well, make an offer and then close the deal. Making balanced and well-informed decisions helps in allowing you to get the best home deals in Miami.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

In a property tax paradox, Broward County is looking at a way to find extra money in the budget, by collecting less of it.

The County Commission will decide on Tuesday whether to stop issuing property tax bills to people who owe less than $30. These tax bills are often for property such as carports and sheds attached to mobile homes or for businesses run inside homes, Property Appraiser Lori Parrish said. And the county argues that it spends more money sending tax notices to those property owners than it collects in taxes.

Under the proposal, about 21,000 tax bills would fall into the category. About 28,500 people already do not receive tax notices because they owe less than $1 in tax.

The proposal would reduce tax collections by about $380,000. But the county would save the about $528,500 is spends appraising those properties and sending tax notices.

Some tax-burdened homeowners called the plan a wonderful idea, and critics call it “madness” that would punish the poor. Local elected officials said the proposal, which is far from assured of passage, would hobble their municipalities because it would impose a ceiling on their ability to tax and spend.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

When University of miami officials were recruiting Ricardo Hall from North Carolina, they made sure he got the message: Be prepared for the high cost of living.

“They didn’t want me to find out on my own, so it would be less sticker shock,” said the new dean of students, who had been at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. Talking about it didn’t make it any less painful. The Coral Gables house the family is renting is costing three times more than the mortgage on its former two-story, three-bedroom home on almost an acre. The transition has been made smoother, though, by a new university program that will share the burden of a new mortgage.

With home, insurance and property tax costs soaring, local employers are beginning to ofer housing assistance to recruit and retain midlevel professionals, such as nurses at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. Others such as the miami-Dade County School Board recently approved a program to ofer reduced public transit prices as an employee benefit. One Broward County business owner is even lobbying to change the federal tax code.

“Definitely, it is a key issue,” said Frank Nero, chief executive oficer of the Beacon Council, miami-Dade County’s economic development agency. “We’re not as competitive as we once were. It has an overall impact on our ability to recruit.”

Some firms have responded with higher salary ofers to lure new workers. Others are trying more innovative approaches. Local workforce housing developer mFm Construction Corp. is partnering with the city of miami and private companies like Bank of America and the Discovery Channel to provide their workers with a first chance at mFm’s condo projects, which include the River Grand near Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor