Ep. 13 – Boca Raton Land and Sea Are Only 10 Miles Apart!

Matthew Maschler:
Welcome to the Real Estate Finder podcast. I am Matthew Mashler, the real estate finder, and with me as always,
Staci Garcia:
Staci Garcia, also a real estate finder.
Matthew Maschler:
Alright, so if you’re new to the show, my name is Matthew Ashler. I’m a real estate broker in Bo Raton, Florida, but we cover the whole region, south Florida, the whole state of Florida. We have offices in Orlando, in Naples, and many, many offices here in South Florida, Palm Beach County to Miami North to Port St. Louis in Jupiter. And if you need real estate or have a question about real estate in the state of Florida, you can please give us a call. You can get our information@realestatefinder.com or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Matthew Ashler on all of those feeds. And
Staci Garcia:
I’m Stacy Smail, also on all of those feeds. S-T-A-C-I-S-M-A-I-L.
Matthew Maschler:
Alright, and happy Hanukkah, Stacy. Thank you. We took last week off. We took Thanksgiving off and I didn’t think anybody would notice. And they say in podcasting, you have to release regularly. We release this show every Monday, and I didn’t think anybody would notice. And someone did notice someone Really? Yeah. Yeah. I got a phone call yesterday and someone said, I need another episode. I was looking forward to another episode this week’s episode of the Real Estate Founder podcast, and I didn’t have it. I said, I’m sorry, it was my birthday before Thanksgiving. So I went away for my birthday and then that bled into Thanksgiving and that led into a massive internet failure at my house. And so we were out of pocket for a few days. And so to all my loyal fans, I’m sorry.
Staci Garcia:
Wow. Did they miss me too?
Matthew Maschler:
I’m sure they did. I’m sure they did. I think I did get a how Stacy? Yes. Okay. But yeah, so it was very exciting and one of the things that they asked for was clarification to a story that I told at work. So I’m going to talk a little bit about how I got into real estate, and I’m sure I’ve spoken about this before, but when I was a teenager, my father had an apartment in Boca West Country Club, and he had shared it with two other families. So there were three different principles, three different owners At that time, the country clubs were a little bit more lenient in their rules, and this is how it worked back then. For those of you who are familiar with country clubs here in South Florida, they’re mandatory membership. They go with the house. So when you buy or sell a house, you have to buy the membership.
And if someone wants to move from one country club to another, they have to pay for a whole nother membership. So back then in Boca West, they allowed multiple to be a member, but only one can be in residence at a time. So they kept our membership cards at the membership office. So we would come down, my father would have an envelope, and all the families, my mom and my brother’s membership cards would be in the envelope. And we’d use our membership cards while we were down for the pool and tennis and golf and for all of our meals. And then when we left, we would turn in our membership card and then if the Title Bounds or the Bebes came the following week, they would then get their membership cards. So it was an interesting way to do it. It cannot be done now.
I think it would be a good way to sell memberships. We’ve been in this market long enough, we’re in a hot sellers market where there’s not a lot of houses in demand and the country clubs are raising their prices. But there have been cycles in markets where the country clubs were less desirable. So I’ve noticed that the country clubs don’t really care so much about those cycles. When the houses in the country clubs are less desirable, there’s not much that they do to respond to the market. And in this market, when all houses are desirable, they respond by raising rates. So they’re not very market efficient.
Anyway, that’s a long story. So when I would come down with my father as a, I say kid, but I was really a teenager. I was probably 13 through 18 years of age when I would come down with my father. And I remember sometimes it would even be just me and him, and those trips were always special. But on those trips where it’s just me and him, he was doing some work and my father was a Wall Street guy. He’d always worked on Wall Street. He wasn’t into real estate, but in the seventies and eighties there were good real estate tax deductions so that he’d have some real estate in New York. When those tax deductions went away, he sold them. But I remember as a kid helping paint a fence every once in a while or trying to get to know the real estate in New York, but in Florida, really what he was doing, and I don’t think I knew this at the time, but really what he was doing was trying to establish residency.
And he wasn’t trying to establish residency by living in Florida. He was trying to establish residency when maybe he wasn’t really living in Florida. And I say this because the statute of limitations is over, and I don’t think we’re going to get in trouble now, but he was obviously spending more and more time in Florida over the years, but he was laying the groundwork for that eventual move from New York to Florida. And he would do that, and he was doing some real estate investing. But again, when you have a motive different than profit, when you have a motive of establishing residency or connection to an area, you can break even on a deal and it’s still being successful. So we invested in various, I remember a strip mall project that he invested in. He liked it because there was a post office as one of the tenants, and he thought that they would make a very good tenant. The post office is not going to not pay their rent. They have pretty good credit. And it had a deli, I don’t know if it was a Wolfe’s or a Rascal house, so that had a deli in the strip mall, so he liked that also. So he had a place he could eat.
Staci Garcia:
Is that where you got your stamp hookup?
Matthew Maschler:
The stamp? No, no, I don’t think I ever, I only went to that restaurant once and they had his name on a little plaque. I say plaque, but it was just like a little engraving on one of the tables reserved for Shelly Ashler that the owner put there because you got to kiss the landlord’s ass a little bit. So there was that. I wasn’t involved in that project at all. There was a fun project. I wanted to be a lawyer when I was a kid. I wanted to be a lawyer. I spoke about that earlier. My kid brother told me he listened to some of those episodes. He cracked up some of the things. I said that he’s the only one in the world that also thought that way. So he was like that. Nobody else would really get it how deep some of that stuff was.
So it’s all true. But what was I saying? When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lawyer. So I used to come down and I take kid and I was probably 15, but I was coming down and helping my father with his files. He would just give me his files. He wasn’t going to file them, and I would create the tabs and the files for ’em. One of them, and I don’t know if I ever spoke about this one on the show, it was called the Hagan Ranch. Oh yeah. Road Land Assembly. Talk about that. And that eventually became the Hagan Ranch Latin Sale to jail homes. We did talk about that. When my father-in-Law came down and he bought his house in Valencia Palms, what he paid for it for a third of an acres is probably what I sold three acres to jail homes for. So I definitely did talk about that because the person that the stories that wanted more wanted another story. So this is a story I’m going to tell, and it’s about the Polo Club, a sub development in the Polo Club called Knightsbridge. We
Staci Garcia:
Talked about Knightsbridge,
Matthew Maschler:
Then we used to build it,
Staci Garcia:
I don’t know. You were keeping an eye on Knightsbridge.
Matthew Maschler:
I was keeping an eye on prices, yeah. Yeah. And back in March, I’d sent one of those, something that just sold for 300,000. It needed work. It wasn’t on the water. A little bit more updated on the water was probably worth about 500,000 back in March of 2021 this year. So between 300 500 for Knights Bridge. And I sent an email to my father reminiscing about those stories. We did talk about that. So I’ll tell you how we got involved in Ninth Bridge. My father’s third house in Boca West. The first one was the one I talked about with the three owners. When that fell apart, he bought a condo in the hammocks called because each unit had a hammock on the patio. It was really nice, really comfortable.
Staci Garcia:
That’s so funny because I didn’t know you then and we’re the same age. And I was also in Boca West, and I know exactly where the hammocks is. It was right across from where my aunt and uncle in Oakbrook. So there was Oakbrook and Brookside or Brookwood or whatever the other one, Brookwood. And then across was the hammocks. And I would go across the street because there were more kids there to play
Matthew Maschler:
With. And the hammocks pool was a fun zone. And you didn’t have to be a member of the club to use the hammocks pool. So you always had, and it was right near the clubhouse. So in the nineties there was always a lot of action, a lot of fun at the hammocks pool. I’m going to go on a little tangent for my birthday. I went up to Brooklyn. If you want to hear more about that trip, you’re going to have to go onto the Matthew Mania podcast. But I didn’t talk about this one on the Math Mania podcast, as I’m putting my bag in the overhead, I started talking to the guy that was in the seat behind me and we just started talking. We knew each other and it was about the baggage in the overhead that was about, but then we just kept talking to five 10. Can you guys sit down? We were taking off now
Staci Garcia:
You were those guys.
Matthew Maschler:
We were talking. It was the craziest thing. And I introduced him to my friend Neil. Neil was with us, and Neil goes, oh, how do you know him? I’m like, oh no, we just met right now. The guy introduced me to his wife, but we got to talk. And I asked him, where did he live? He says, Bo. And I said, come where? He says, Boca West. I said, where in Boca West? He said, well, we were living in the hammocks, but we just moved to Baywood. And I went, listen, I’m assuming we both have masks on so you couldn’t see each other. I’m assuming you’re a few years older than me, but if you say the hammocks to someone my age or younger, they’re not going to know what you’re talking about. How random is it that you just said? The hammocks to me because they changed the name of the hammocks in 1997.
Staci Garcia:
That’s very
Matthew Maschler:
Funny to courtside because it was right by the tennis courts. So it hasn’t been called the hammocks in 25 years. I was like, guy where he lived, he said, the hammocks. Did
Staci Garcia:
You ever go near where the basketball courts are? There used to be a wood
Matthew Maschler:
Pathway, like a nature path?
Staci Garcia:
Yes, sure. And it’s gone now. But recently at UCFI went to see a couple a month ago, I went to see UCF, and there’s an area where you walk, it’s like a boardwalk, mini boardwalk kind of. And you walk down this trail and I said to my son, there used to be a trail like this in Boca West. It was really in a wooded area. My aunt and uncle used to be careful, if you fall, if you fall, no one’s getting you because you fell into the swamp. It was very random.
Matthew Maschler:
People would say there were alligators. There
Staci Garcia:
Weren’t alligators. That’s why my aunt said that
Matthew Maschler:
No one’s going to get you. But everybody was scared that you’d fall into an alligator pit.
Staci Garcia:
Well, there was nothing keeping you from falling off the side of it. And it was a big horseshoe
Matthew Maschler:
Meaning trail. You start the trail and you end up back where you started.
Staci Garcia:
And I used to always go in there and my mom always said, be very careful. Do not fall. No one’s coming to get you.
Matthew Maschler:
Right? Yeah, everybody was scared of falling. I don’t know why they were scared of falling, whether it was alligators.
Staci Garcia:
It was a strange thing though. Why would you come to Florida, go and hang out in Boca West where all these awesome things are like 50 tennis courts and tons of golf courses. And the most exciting thing for me was to go on the scary nature trail.
Matthew Maschler:
Well, it was cooler. It was so wooded, so it wasn’t hot in there. That’s true. So it could be a significantly cooler and totally shaded. So it was definitely, if you were hot, sometimes you just need somewhere to go. And it was up. It was a place to go, go. And it wasn’t out in the hot blazing sun. That’s
Staci Garcia:
True. Now, when my kids were little, I brought them that area to go to. My mom lived in there to go to the park, and it was a nice, cute, enclosed park. So it was fine. And I told my kids that was the area where I used to hang out when I was your age. And they were like, why would you hang out in a parking lot? The bathrooms are there now. I said, there were no bathrooms and there was not a parking lot.
Matthew Maschler:
My father’s unit in Courtside, which was the hammocks, was the last one all the way on the right. So it had this view of this vast nature area, trees as far as you could see, and that is currently koya. In fact, the artist rendering of koya had my father’s unit in the artist rendering on. It was the only unit in there. So yeah. So I got to talking to this guy and I’m like, I couldn’t believe he said hammocks to me. I spent spring break 1991 or two in that unit and furnished it for my dad. I couldn’t believe he said hammock to me. I couldn’t believe he said Baywood to me. And the reason he didn’t, he said he was looking, he really wanted to be in Mahogany Bend, couldn’t find a house, and that’s why he bought in Baywood. And I was like, my father’s first house in Boca West was Baywood. Then he went to the comics and then he went to Mahogany bed of the three villages you just mentioned. I cannot believe that those three are the ones you called. Funny. I’m going to look the guy up. I’ll give him a call. Happy New Year. When he comes back, he was up going up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He was saying how his daughter made a beautiful Christmas feast, a Feast of the Seven Fishes. And I was like,
Staci Garcia:
Was he Italian?
Matthew Maschler:
No. And that’s why, and again, I knew this guy for five minutes and I didn’t know his name or anything, and we’re talking about Boca West or anything. And then I was like, how did a Jewish girl learn to cook an Italian dinner? How did you end up Jewish? I’m looking, how’d you end up with an Italian daughter? It was crazy. That’s funny. And yeah, her husband or her husband’s mother showed her how to cook. And I was like, but it was funny not knowing the guy ever wearing masks. I’m like, how’d you end up with an Italian daughter?
Staci Garcia:
So that’s That’s very funny. In order to get married, I had to learn how to make a pot of white rice. White rice in Spanish kind, which was incredibly hard to make. And I can still make it, but it’s not easy. But if I do, my son’s like, oh my God, she cooked. I was like, he’s announcing it to the street.
Matthew Maschler:
Is it better than the Chinese white rice?
Staci Garcia:
Yes, because it’s not crunchy unless you get to the bottom part, which is the crunchy part at the
Matthew Maschler:
Bottoms. That’s good. On PE
Staci Garcia:
Part, the bottom. We had paella at my wedding. Oh,
Matthew Maschler:
Nice.
Staci Garcia:
But not for me. I was like, say french fries, put ’em in a Tupperware for me to eat later.
Matthew Maschler:
So my father was in Baywood that fell apart. He went to Courtside just because he needed a place. It was a two bedroom upstairs unit. And then he eventually bought in Mahogany Bend. And the person he bought the house from in Mahogany Bend, his name was Mel Urban. And Mel Urban, had built Mahogany Bend. He was a real estate developer. He had built Mahogany Bend. There’s two mahogany bends in Boca, west Mahogany Bend Place in Mahogany Bend Way. Mel had built both of them. And the one he was living in was the house he built for himself. So when they talk about the choice of the litter, he used all the best. If the wood was coming in, he used all the best wood for his house, all the best tiles, made sure everything was beautiful. So the house was in Architectural Digest, and that’s the house that he had sold to my father.
And that was the builder that my father became friends with and did a lot of his investments with after that. Not the Hagen Ranch investments, but they were looking for the next project and they got together, Miller Urban and my dad to build Knights Bridge. And the other day I saw something in Knights Bridge closed for $750,000. It was close for $300,000. In 2017. Same house, $300,000 in 2017. Not on the water. I’m going to say it again. It was $300,000 in 2017. It just closed for seven 50. It was totally updated. Closed for seven 50. That’s awesome. Yeah, there was no pictures in the MLS. I reached out to the agent to see if he would send me pictures. I’m hoping he does. And I did say the reason why, but yeah, I was about 17 or 18 years old when that house was built.
And man, I used to think that was my goal. My goal was to one day live in a house like that, in a community like that. But I thought it’d be retirement. I didn’t think it would be so soon. But when I graduated law school, I took the Florida bar because I always knew I wanted to come to Florida. So I took the Florida bar. So that’s how we got involved with Knight’s Bridge through Mill Urban. I haven’t spoken to him in 20 years. He was at my wedding, but I haven’t spoke to him in probably that many years. And they did some other projects together. They built two spec houses on the island of Boca West. There was a big house there that they had bought in foreclosure together. My dad and Mel
Staci Garcia:
Was it right over the bridge to the right,
Matthew Maschler:
Over the bridge to the right big house on a double lot with a tennis court. And they ended up knocking the house down, dividing the land into two pieces. And I think I was freshman year of law school and I was dealing with the lawyer. No, I was in college and I was dealing with a lawyer in Florida just getting copied on all the mail, no email at the time to watch how the subdividing process went. And then they built one house that they sold as a spec to the per family, Howard per who had passed away. But the museum in Boca has the waiting area named after him. He invented the Holiday Inn.
Staci Garcia:
Was there also a house in there that was owned by the guy who owns the board games?
Matthew Maschler:
The board games?
Staci Garcia:
I want to say Parker, I’m
Matthew Maschler:
Not sure. Stanley Kaplan was there from Kaplan test prep. And then the last house was Don Johnson was rumored to own it at one point. Dun from Miami Vice. I
Staci Garcia:
Applied for a job at Stanley Kaplan, by the way, and didn’t go well, didn’t go well, no. It was one of my first job interviews ever after college, and they asked me to sell something on the desk to the person that I was sitting across from. I’m like, isn’t this Stanley Kaplan test prep? I thought it would be working with students. And they were like, no, you’re going to be in
Matthew Maschler:
Sales, so you’re going to sell to the students.
Staci Garcia:
Yes. So they wanted me to sell something on the desk to the person I was interviewed by. And I was like, oh, okay. Yeah, I’m not good at sales. You clearly already bought the Diet Coke that you’re drinking because you like Diet Coke. So I think the job here is done. You know what I mean? I am like, okay, thanks, bye.
Matthew Maschler:
Well, I mean what I remember about the test preps is they had aggressively the SAT prep, LSAT prep bar review, prep. They had to aggressively appeal to the students because there’s competition. So they definitely need salesmen. It’s a big part of, it’s not a school for education stake. Right? Yeah.
Staci Garcia:
I didn’t get that message when I went there. I thought I was going to be more on the education side.
Matthew Maschler:
You wanted to teach the service.
Staci Garcia:
I wanted to be able to make people smarter,
Matthew Maschler:
Customer service or
Staci Garcia:
Something. I don’t know. I’m just not good at, even now, I don’t sell houses. I just make people happy by introducing houses that I think they’ll like to them and matchmaking. And if it works out then and they got a new house or I could do the same selling, but I don’t sell anything. And then people were like, you’re a salesperson. I’m like, not really. I’m really just researching things that I think
Matthew Maschler:
You’ll like in sales. And I’ve studied sales my whole life and there’s selling where people need the product. And it still could be high pressure. You walk into a car dealership and there’s some high pressure traditional salesmanship going on, but you walked into the car dealership, you obviously are in the market for a car. And that’s different than the cold calling sales or selling people. Well, you could sell based on want and desire. I think cars a need, even though want and desire comes in there. In real estate, my best customer is someone who needs to buy a house or needs to sell a house. The ones that don’t need to buy a house, they’re in a house, they’re relatively happy in the house, but they’re always looking. And then sometimes they call me up. And especially on those properties that are in the country clubs that they don’t know about, the $70,000 and then the mandatory membership, they see the house, they see the location, and they see the price.
They get very excited about it. And I used to think, okay, well if they don’t buy this house because of the country club, I could sell them something else. I can’t because they’re looking for a unicorn. They’re in a house. The house that they could afford is not as good as the house that they’re in. They just see this unicorn that they don’t realize about the club. And they imagine, but they’re not really in the market for a house. And that customer is much harder to deal with. So someone who actually, they’re moving and someone who has to buy a house, sell a house. I mean, to me, the best customer. And then it’s not about salesmanship, it’s about product knowledge and expertise. And that’s what I always thought was my strength. Your strength. Someone who wants to buy an investment property, they don’t need to. They want to, but they’re an actual buyer. They’re not just looking. They’re not just fantasizing.
So anyway, so going back to that spec house on the island, I just want to say purple. Mr. Purple always made me smile because when we were selling the next house next door, which was a lot of years later, he would always come over to see me after the showing, ask how it goes. And he was curious about who his new neighbor was. And I mean, he was like late eighties, early nineties, but he was always had a smile and curious who his new neighbor was. And I got curious about him. So I looked him up. As I mentioned before, he invented Holiday Inn. He was one of the original founders of Holiday Inn. And he had this idea in the fifties or even early, maybe even in the forties when he was young and working in the hotel industry. And he saw the market as there were motels, cheap motels outside of the city.
In the city. They had these five star and four star full service hotels with restaurants and ballrooms, et cetera. And he saw the need for a business traveler who may not want to stay outside the city in a motel, but maybe not want to sustain a grand luxurious hotel inside the city. And he came up with this idea for a lower cost hotel to appeal to business travelers, but also to families. So he was looking at both and that were more in the city, better locations, but not as full service. They needed to have a restaurant, they needed to have a pool, but they couldn’t have doors that open to the outside like a motel. They wanted the doors to open up inside an enclosed building. And that’s why those old Holiday inns from the seventies were those courtyard style around the interior pool because, so that way the hotel was an interior building, restaurant pool and amenities and towels.
And he basically invented that three, four star, three and a half star hotel for business travelers. That wasn’t a luxury resort or a motel. You watch hotels since then, some more going for the family market, but some going to that business traveler market and then the Hampton Inn and the Courtyard by Marriott, which competed with Holiday Inn for the business traveler. But I was amazed. I never got to talk to him about it. He had passed when I read up all of this about him. But it was pretty amazing that he was able to look at that market and see something, see a need, and fill it and fill it so successfully. And that was always the thing about Boca West. So even in my forties, saw the same thing as a teenager. All these successful people after they made their success somewhere else in the world, the purpose I think were in Tennessee.
Stanley Kaplan wasn’t in Florida. They all came to Boca West for their retirement. And in an early retirement, it wasn’t like a sad retirement. They were happy playing golf, eating at restaurants, going to socials. I met a guy once at the valet, I’ll probably repeat the story over the years in this Real Estate Finder podcast, it speaks to me a lot. I met this guy at the valley at Poco West, and he says to me, I bet you I can guess how much older than you I am. I said, okay, how much older than you are? He goes, I’m 40 years older than you. I go, wow, you’re 85. He goes, oh, I’m 60 years older than you. I’m like, you’re 105. He goes, I’ll be 106. Wow. And he had a member’s only jacket and he had his jeans on. It was hot. It was summer members’ only jacket because he was cold. He only member, he was cold. But then as I mentioned, we were at the valet. Right? Then his car pulled up, then he got in his car and then he left. And he’s 105 years old. And I’m like, they let
Staci Garcia:
Him drive slower around Boca West
Matthew Maschler:
And happy and vibrant. And I mean, it’s just such a wonderful lifestyle. People who don’t live just don’t realize people make fun of Boca, but they don’t realize it. So anyway, so Mel Urban, when we bought the house in Mahogany Bend, we went out and did some other investments, the foreclosure of the double lot in the island and the Knights Bridge at the Polo Club. So I’ve always followed that and I just saw $750,000 in a couple of years, I’m going to see a million dollars
Staci Garcia:
Or do you think something will happen and that the house will be the most expensive house on the street?
Matthew Maschler:
That one? No, well see that one. So it was renovated, which is why I got a premium right. But it wasn’t a great lot. It didn’t have a water view. So I think some of the better lots will come up to that number or start exceeding it in the next three to five years. I definitely see that being more of a baseline number than a record number. So that’s a little bit more about when I was a teenager. But it’s weird to think that that project with Mel Urban went for 10, 20, 30 years because we didn’t sell the second house on the island until about 2010 or so, maybe even a little bit later. It was right when I met, when I was selling the second house on the island is when I met Ben Sch at Signature Real Estate. He was opening up his office at Boca West, and then that’s when I decided to come over and move over to Signature after that encounter, after meeting him.
So we got to get Ben on the show one day. Definitely. So another project I did with my father, and again, in my mind, it goes back to 2010, was Stone Creek Ranch, another builder friend of my dad’s. He wanted to get bought out when the market crashed, when he had money tied up in the Stone Ranch project. So we took over and we took over from a financing side. He was still going to run it. And I had my real estate associates’ license. Most real estate salesmen in Florida are sales associates. They don’t go for that second license, the broker license. But as soon as my father did that deal over at Stone Creek W Ranch, I went called up Gold Coast School and signed up for my broker’s exam. Took the broker’s exam, and father says to me, why are you taking your broker’s exam?
I’m like, well, we’re going to have to come in and take over the sales here. We have about 30, we’re going to have 30 lots to sell, and I’m imagining I’m going to be the person doing it because you’re not going to do it. And I don’t know who else in the organization family’s going to do it, so I’ll do it. So I was get my broker’s license. So when I have to open up an office and finish the sales in this community, I’ll have my broker’s license. He goes, Matt, it’s a financing deal. There’s no way we’re going to actually take possession of all these lots and have to sell them. I said, well, okay, I just want to be prepared when it happens. It could take me six to eight weeks and when it happens, if it, I’m not going to have the six to eight weeks to do it, so I’ll just do it now.
And if it doesn’t happen, that’s fine, and I at least have this license. He goes, well, it’s a very, very low chance. I said, fine. Years later, when we were in a meeting, probably halfway through selling out all these lots, we were having a conversation about something and my father says, someone said, well, at Stone Creek, we weren’t supposed to own all those lots, and we did. And my father said, oh yeah, there was always a very good chance that we were going to knew we were going to own those lots. And I’m like, yeah, okay. I don’t buy my father. But he has, it’s not that he has a selective memory, it’s just that he’s a salesman. He’s always pitching. So in trying to justify this next project, he tried to rewrite history a little bit, but it’s funny. I love my dad and I’ll do anything that he wants me to do.
So anyways, yeah. So we sold all those lots over in Stone Creek Ranch, went through, sold all the lots, some of them buyers changed their mind, re-listed with us, sold them again. So some of those lots. One, I think I sold three times, sold all those lots. Some of the other developers that owned lots at Stone Creek Ranch listed theirs with me. So I was able to sell, if not mine, I would sell theirs. So that took me, I was probably there for seven years, selling lot over at Stone Creek Ranch. You want information about Stone Creek Ranch? Stone Creek ranch.com. They are two and a half acre lots with public water and public sewer, natural gas and sidewalks. So it’s an in a gated community. So when people want large land in Florida in a gated community, it’s kind of hard to do it.
And that was what the developer envisioned for Stone Creek Ranch. He was selling the oaks and then some of the people buying in the oaks, they wanted larger lots. And Stone Creek Ranch was the next piece he was developing. So he built two and a half acre lots. The reason I say public water, public sewer is because the communities that compete with Stone Creek Ranch, the Long Lake and Le Locks of the world, they’re on well, water and septic systems. So for Stone Creek Ranch being on public water, public sewer, having natural gas, people like cooking with guests instead of electric and having sidewalks. So you can walk around your community. Yeah, there’s
Staci Garcia:
No sidewalks in
Matthew Maschler:
And Horseshoe Acres. Now Horseshoe Acres lack Long Lake. None of those have sidewalks. Can you
Staci Garcia:
Have a horse in Stone
Matthew Maschler:
Creek? No. Despite the name Ranch, you cannot have a horse. You could also not land a helicopter.
Staci Garcia:
Gotcha.
Matthew Maschler:
So there’s restrictions, because it’s a gated HOA community, there are restrictions in what you can do. I dunno, any gated HOA communities, maybe Quis and Boynton Beach, where you can have a horse. We can have a horse. But even in Quis and Boynton Beach, I don’t think you could have a horse at your house. There’s just the stable out front, and there’s riding trails throughout Horseshoe Acres. It’s not gated. You can have horses there, but so anyways, stone Creek Ranch, two and a half acre, large, lots, all of them, lakefront two and a half acres is a minimum. There are a few lots that are 2.6, 2.8 and some threes. But I think those four things, the water, sewer, sidewalks, and gas really, really stand out on the two and a half acre gated community. And the prices there have been Sky High in
Staci Garcia:
21. They just happen to be stock right in the middle of brand new communities. So
Matthew Maschler:
Now when I was out there, there was nothing there.
Staci Garcia:
Yes. Now everything is being built right there.
Matthew Maschler:
You have the Bridges, seven Bridges, Lotus, oh, Misa Country Club was there, Boca Bridges, and you have the new shopping center up the street in Delray, the Delray marketplace with a Tesla station, which I like charging my Tesla while I go to the movies or either one of the restaurants or shop at the Publix. One of the things I like about that location is how close it is to the turnpike. You can just jump up to Atlantic and get to the turnpike there. So for people who sometimes we deal with hockey players or football players, and if they have to get to Dolphin Stadium or Bank Atlantic Center, well, does Bank Atlantic Center have a new name?
Staci Garcia:
Brian just told me it did. It was FLA live, but now it’s changed again. But
Matthew Maschler:
Florida Live Arena, and that was the temporary name because bb t wasn’t paying it anymore, and they were looking for new naming rights. So they called it the Florida Live Arena, and they were looking for a new name, but they have a new sponsor.
Staci Garcia:
That’s what Brian said.
Matthew Maschler:
Okay, well we’re not sure yet. And then the Hard Rock Stadium, but again, from Meisner and Seven Bridges, stone Creek Ranch, you shoot up to Atlantic Avenue, get on the turnpike. Whereas if you were, let’s say in the Oaks or Woodfield where I am, you kind of, you’re
Staci Garcia:
In
Matthew Maschler:
The middle stuck between the Atlantic and Glades exits and you have to drive around to get there. When I first moved to Florida with my wife in 2015, 2016, all my times were off to Sawgrass or to the Bank Atlantic Center. At the time, all my times were off because I was coming from hammocks. Now Courtside, which is right on Glades Road, turn around on Glades turn back’s right there. But coming from Woodfield, you had to go around Boca West. And sometimes that could take 12 minutes to go from my house in Woodfield to go around Boca West, not even all the way to the Turnpike, but to the Glades Road entrance of Boca West could take 12 minutes, nine to 12 minutes. And so any trip that I said was 20 minutes away or 30 minutes away was really 29 minutes away or 42 minutes away. And so all my time,
Staci Garcia:
That’s so funny because I kept a clicker in my car for Boca West to drive through. Yes. Because it’s right in the middle of everything. So for a lot of time that no one lived there, I still had a clicker for Boca West because I needed to cut through Boca West in order to get somewhere else. And I didn’t want to go all the way around in all the traffic. So I would just cut through. When I couldn’t cut through Boca West anymore, I was like, oh God, I got to drive around everybody else.
Matthew Maschler:
My father, when I moved to Woodfield, my father moved to St. Andrews and he would drive through Woodfield to get from St. Andrew’s back to Boca West. That’s exactly like that. And then he could drive from St. Andrew’s through Woodfield, through Boca West to get all the way to the turnpike. But it’s so stop and go and so many stop signs that it’s not worth it. But my wife was convinced that that’s why he wanted us to move to Woodfield so he could drive through to get to Boca West.
Staci Garcia:
That’s pretty funny. You go straight through, straight
Matthew Maschler:
Through Woodfield to West. When I lived in Landings of Woodfield, it was like the closest house to St. Andrew’s. You could fly a drone, it was a straight line, but you’d have to go through the golf course, a canal over a hedge and over a wall. But my house was right by the guard gate to St. Andrew’s, just on the other side of Clint more. There was no way to get there unless you flew in a drone up and over. But it was kind of funny how close that was on a map. But yeah. Yes, Woodfield is between St. Andrews and Boca West.
So where were we? So my times were off to those arenas, but anyway, but from Stone Creek, I was trying to, when I was selling multimillion dollar mansions in Stone Creek, people were like, they want to be on the water for that much money. I want to be on the water. I’m like, well, for that much money, you can be on the water in a smaller house, on a smaller lot without a gate. So what’s more important to you, if you want a 15,000 square foot house on two and a half acres in a gated community with security, that’s this. If you want a 5,000 square foot house on the water, you can have that. That’s just your choice. But this one guy, he kept his boat in the keys, he’d like to fish. I was like, well dude, stone Creek Ranch, you jump on the turnpike, you go down to the Keys.
If you’re out in East Boca, how are you going to get to the Keys by the time you drive around East Boca get on 95, go through traffic and everything. I’m like, could be, you’re probably like 45 minutes closer to the keys that’s here from there. I don’t know. That was go back to sales bid, right? It was kind of a stretch, but I wonder it had some truth to it, I think. So. The guy did not buy based on that, but I thought it was a thought it was a good pitch. But it drove me a little crazy when people said they wanted water because they knew when they’re on Lions Road in Delray, they knew we weren’t anywhere near the ocean. Well,
Staci Garcia:
And it’s relative because let’s say New Jersey is 75 miles away from Philadelphia, so you could be at the beach and an hour or so and you could take the expressway. And that’s close, right? Because you’d be like, oh, should I make it a beach weekend? I’ll go down the shore.
Matthew Maschler:
You could be 40 minutes from the beach in New Jersey, and you’re considered close
Staci Garcia:
To the beach. So people ask here, how far is it from the beach?
Matthew Maschler:
I’m like, seven and a half miles. I’ll
Staci Garcia:
Say three miles. And it’s not that close. It’s like three miles. And they’re like, not that close. I could walk that. I’m like, you wouldn’t want to. Three
Matthew Maschler:
Miles is long walk.
Staci Garcia:
Yeah. So then they say, well, I think that’s basically on the beach to them
Matthew Maschler:
Right from, right. Yeah. How far are you from the beach? Seven and a half miles to people from New Jersey. Seven and a half miles Seems close.
Staci Garcia:
Yeah. They don’t understand. Why wouldn’t someone want more house? They’re only seven miles away.
Matthew Maschler:
I was in Meisner Park and I, we were talking about how close far we are to the beach, and the person I was talking to was saying, we’re nowhere near the beach. It’s like 20 minutes to the beach. And I’m like, no, where am I? Apartment? I’m like, we’ll, get in my car. So we get in my car, we drove to Palmetto to the pavilion beach. It’s right here. You can walk. You had to go over the Intercoastal. But yeah, we were close to the beach. But sometimes when you live west, you forget how close you are to the beach. Or actually, truth be told, all the fun things I used to do in Florida as a kid and teenager, when I moved here, I stopped doing it. I don’t go to the beach. They closed blood’s, orange groves. I barely go to the ami. They closed the Lger showroom. They still have the Lger store, but they closed the showroom. So all the things on my list of fun things to do I never get a chance to do. Yep. You love bloods. I had, I
Staci Garcia:
Used to go to Blood’s. We would buy, I was really excited to go there too. I was visiting, they would have these little green mesh bags full of orange gumballs.
Matthew Maschler:
Wait, hold on one second. Bloods was an orange orchid orchard in Delray off Litton Boulevard in between power line and military. When they sold off the groves, they kept it as a farm stand. So even in the nineties, you couldn’t necessarily pick oranges. And they didn’t really grow them there, but they had their processing plant there in the nineties, and then they sold off the processing plant to a developer. And then they just kept the farm stand there for a little while until that eventually sold. But when we say bloods, we’re talking about bloods hammock groves,
Staci Garcia:
And they were blood red oranges. So they were delicious.
Matthew Maschler:
Well, I think the blood, it was a blood family that owned it. They had, I thought they were blood oranges. They had everything. They had blood oranges in season. They had navels. I love the navels tangerines, tan jellos oranges. They would ship fruit, whatever. They had the most delicious juice. So anyway, you were
Staci Garcia:
Saying yes. I used to buy gumballs. They were orange and they were in a green mesh bag. And they also had one that looked like an orange carton of orange juice. And inside that was orange gum. And I would bring back as many as I could up north, and I would like my brother and I would have them. And we knew that those were Florida gumballs
Matthew Maschler:
Nice. After three o’clock, they would have ice cream would be a dollar from the soft serve machine. They had vanilla or orange ice cream. And after three o’clock, they called it happy hour. So ice cream comes for a dollar.
So the housing that’s there now, the bloods is long gone. And the community that’s there is just called the hammocks or the hammock groves, different hammock than Boca West. Boca West Hammock was the hammock that you would sleep on. In the orange business. They talk about hammocks, they’re talking about the canopy of the trees making shade. That’s what the hammock is. So yes, none of those fun things that I used to do as a kid, I do anymore. But anyway, so Stone Creek, I was there for a very long time. I was the president of the Homeowners Association for a very long time. But we’ve basically, we sold out all of our lots. I have no more listings. And I think right now, December of 21, I don’t think there’s any house for sale. But SAC, Steven A. Cohen bought a house for 20 million something dollars. And the house was spectacular.
He used to live there. When I first got involved in Stone Creek, he had a house there. He had sold it. And then in this market, after Covid, he was moving some of his businesses down from Connecticut to West Palm Beach. He took a lot of office space in the door scene in West Palm Beach, a new office building that was going up. And then during Covid, people were like, you’re building an office building. And everybody in West Palm Beach was very concerned, like, who’s going to take the new office space? But it’s completely sold out. It’s Wall Street South. Steven A. Cohen took some space there. And then I don’t know him. I never met him. And I would just say conjecture that since he was moving his offices down and he was looking for a house, probably couldn’t find any houses he wanted, remembered being happy at Stone Creek, told his real estate agent, let’s go see what’s in Stone Creek.
And he saw this house for, I remember it was 20 or 24 million and bought it, which raised the values of all the lots for sale and everything else for sale there. So it’s really people who had lots for sale before Covid, they’re taking it off. They’re going to build some spec houses. Most of the houses are built by now. There’s only a few undeveloped lots in Stone Creek, but nothing’s listed. No land for sale listed, no houses for sale listed. And everybody expects the market to continue, which the interesting thing about Stone Creek is it was after the Oaks, big eyes by that developer to build these massive houses. And even in the houses, some of the houses, some of the models were a little bit smaller. Not everything has to be a home run. You can hit some singles and doubles. So when you hold out for all your home runs, and that’s when the market turns against you, I don’t think that’s where we are now.
I do think this market has room to go, because as long as there’s more people in New York and New Jersey and California, there’ll be more people. Only a few small percentage have to want to move to South Florida to really affect our real estate market. And that’s why we have very, very little inventory. I was talking to a friend of mine in Boca Bath and Tennis and looked the listings today, only one house listed for sale in Boca Bath and Tennis. So just so little inventory now. And that’s driving the price of the market. And I don’t think it’s going away because where’s this new inventory going to come from? I, oh, this is a story I wanted to tell about Stone Creek Ranch. I do have two people looking in Stone Creek Ranch. So every once in a while I go to the fundamentals and go to the roll up the arms and roll your sleeves and do some work. And I wrote a letter to everyone in Stone Creek Ranch that I have a very specific buyer. I actually had two, but I wrote one that’s looking in Stone Creek Ranch. If anyone’s considering selling, please contact me. I am not looking for a listing. I’d love a listing, but I’m not looking for a listing here. I’m really looking to help out this buyer. And I sent it to everyone in Stone Creek Ranch a couple of years ago. I had success with this method in a Princeton Estates of Woodfield.
So I sent the letter to everyone in Stone Creek Ranch, and I received the nicest phone call from one of the residents. He began to tell me that he gets letters every day from realtors phone calls every day from realtors once a week, a big FedEx from realtors in New York City trying to either get his listing or that they have a buyer. Everybody wants his house. And he ignores it all, throws it all away. But he calls me up and he says, listen, I just wanted to give you the courtesy of responding because I remember you when you were here. I remember when you sold all the lots and when you were on the board and you had a lot of respect for all the work that you did. And I want to give you the courtesy of a phone call, let you know I’m not interested in selling, but I did want to say hello and respond to your letter and not just toss it.
And it really meant a lot to me that he would say that because sometimes you do work, especially HOA works, never rewarded. And I mean, I was on the HOA because I was selling the lots, but it’s nice to be remembered fondly and nice for someone to take their time out of the day to say that to me. So that had warmed my hearts because some of my relationships in Stone Creek Ranch have soured. There had been a couple of deaths of people that I was friends with that I was close with, and some people have left and sold their houses. So I was feeling a little bit unconnected to a community I cared a lot about. But getting that phone call really meant a lot to me, reminded me of why I do this. Right. I’m in real estate to help people. I mean, there’s lots of ways to make money in this world, but real estate’s fun.
I could help people and people who want to buy a house, want to sell a house, need to buy or sell a house. And getting that phone call really, really warmed my heart and made me very happy. In this time of my birthday, 49th birthday Thanksgiving, going into the holidays, and I wrote it note down, I told you I wanted to talk about Stone Creek. That was the part that I wanted to tell. So part of it was the listener who wanted to hear more stories about how I got into real estate and some of my first deals, but then part of it was wanting to say that story. So to anyone from Stone Creek Ranch listening, thank you. Love you guys, love the community, and if you ever need me for anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Staci Garcia:
That’s sweet. Thank you. I’ve never been in Stone Creek Ranch.
Matthew Maschler:
I can’t get in anymore.
Staci Garcia:
I was going to say, maybe you can give me a clicker. It’s not cutting through, but I can check it out.
Matthew Maschler:
I used to get phone calls from people. Hey Matt, can you get me into the gate? I want to just take a walk around and ride my bicycle around. No,
Staci Garcia:
That’s funny. My son works in Woodfield and I asked him to go by your house and pick something up and he goes, I can’t get back in, mom. I can only get in once a day. And I was like, really? I said, I don’t need you to get in. That wasn’t the hard part. The hard part is I said, I could get you in. Harvard was actually going and doing it, and he was like, no, I’m not allowed in Woodfield if I’m not working. I’m like, I think you made that up.
Matthew Maschler:
They probably gave him some warnings about
Staci Garcia:
Socializing. Like, no, I’m not allowed to do that for you
Matthew Maschler:
With the members. But I could call ’em into the gate.
Staci Garcia:
It
Matthew Maschler:
Was funny, by the way, if anybody ever needs to get into the gate at Woodfield, I’d be happy to call you. But you
Staci Garcia:
Can’t speed because
Matthew Maschler:
Matt needs to No speeding and full stops at the stop signs, please. I wanted, you know what happens if you’re not in your own car and you just give your code at the gate? Depends on how you have it set up. I receive. You could have it set up with security to get an email or a text or the app that controls your gate list can give you a notification in the app. So I don’t know what I think I get a text and an app notification when someone comes in through the gate list on my account. I know my wife gets an email. I don’t know what else she gets. So I start thinking, what happens if you’re out late and you don’t want to drive home? You take an Uber home, you come home, your wife’s sleeping, you go to bed, you wake up in the morning, what time do you get home last night? Well, if she didn’t wake up, you can embellish a little bit. You don’t have to say four. You can say after two. But if you have that email or text timestamped.
Staci Garcia:
Yeah, well, that’s when you away the gate with someone else’s name.
Matthew Maschler:
Well, but who are you going to go through with at three o’clock in the morning?
Staci Garcia:
I don’t
Matthew Maschler:
Know. What name are you going to give? There’s
Staci Garcia:
Got to be someone else in there that makes a side hustle.
Matthew Maschler:
Well, I wanted to do that. I wanted to offer that to people. I wanted to offer to people. If anyone ever needs, not an alibi, but a no questions asked for
Staci Garcia:
25 bucks.
Matthew Maschler:
No, no. I’m a good name for, I don’t need to make money off neighbors. I would totally charge people just like I want people to know. My friends should know that if they ever bail money, I’m the guy to call. I’d want to think that my friends would think I’m ready with bail money. You could make a business card, but no, I wouldn’t want to advertise that. But
Staci Garcia:
You
Matthew Maschler:
Get a gate late at night and feel free to use my name.
Staci Garcia:
That’s pretty funny.
Matthew Maschler:
So anyway, it’s not the biggest real estate secret in the world, but it’s hard to get through gates. I know someone who would buy it, foreclosures, and sometimes you have to drive by the house, maybe the day before the morning of the foreclosure cell. You want to drive by, just see the condition of the house. You’re not going to go into the house, someone’s living there, but to do a downside from the street visual inspection. But how do you get into the gate? So someone I know has a process server license,
Staci Garcia:
Just for that reason.
Matthew Maschler:
Just for that reason. They can come to the gate and show their process server’s, license gate’s not allowed to call the house and warn them that a process server is coming pretty smart. So it has to be let through the gate and go in. So I know someone who did that to get through the gate. I’m thinking you have all these new Amazon Prime trucks that are driving around a magnet on car even on Sunday.
Staci Garcia:
Even regular cars now are Amazon people.
Matthew Maschler:
Right? So does Amazon get through the gate? Do they just, I know mail and UPS and FedEx. Okay. They shouldn’t have a problem. The FedEx guy comes to the gate, they’re going to get let in. Right. So now you have these Amazon trucks, they’re probably getting let in. So what if you take your old car and you wrap it as Amazon Prime?
Staci Garcia:
I don’t even, I get Amazon now. Some guy gets out of his car at the end of my driveway and he looks pretty sketchy at 11 o’clock at night. And then I’m like, oh yeah, I ordered socks. And he comes out and takes out a box out of his trunk and he brings it to me and I’m like, he’s walking up to me. I should run away. Right,
Matthew Maschler:
Right. But you’re not in the gated community. I’m no hoa boca.com, right?
Staci Garcia:
No, they don’t use Amazon vans. They’re just regular people in regular cars with boxes full all over the
Matthew Maschler:
Place. But how’s he going to get through the gate at 11 o’clock at night?
Staci Garcia:
Apparently, maybe he just does know. Hi.
Matthew Maschler:
Maybe that’s probably how they root him. I know. So I started thinking, I don’t have a need to get into Gates, but if I did, what if I wrap my car as abs, Amazon Prime? I get to do all my showings. I won’t have to get called into the gate. Oh my goodness. I have a deal right now under contract and inspection periods are over and it’s closing next month. And I just got, the seller wants to come in the house next week just to take a look, take measurements with a designer for furniture and whatnot. Usual stuff. So he sends me a list of nine vendors that he wants to send through. Can you call these people to the gate roofer, pe a video guys, pool guys. I’m like, oh my goodness. I’m going to tell the seller, how am I going to tell the seller this guy, call these nine people into the gate.
Staci Garcia:
I did this no gate. I did it with my client. And I said, it’s a courtesy. She said, how long should they be here? I said, no, I’m going to say less than a half hour. Six different vendors and all at the same time. And
Matthew Maschler:
Yesterday, and this is very normal. This happens all deals. But
Staci Garcia:
The question was, how long can you stay there? How long should they be there without overstaying the courtesy? So I said, let’s give them 30 minutes. And after 30 minutes I can text their agent and say, I think that we’ve been nice enough, polite, not in person. I don’t want to say anything in person, but we can tell them to expedite the situation because we’re being polite. They don’t have the house yet. I know they want to have everything ready when they move in, but this is a bit much. But the last time that we did this and we let them in, they came with friends and they took pictures. There were no vendors. Oh, I see. Yeah. So now, I don’t know
Matthew Maschler:
On the same house.
Staci Garcia:
And this isn’t the first time. So I’m like, Ugh. I don’t know if they’re coming there just to show the house. I want to be polite because I want the deal to go through and I don’t want it to be a problem, but I also don’t want to get walked over.
Matthew Maschler:
I mean, I think it’s reasonable for a seller to every once in a while need access to the house. They’re buying for a buyer. The buyer. The buyer to have every once in a while to have reasonable access to the house they’re buying. It’s understandable. But you got the, we want to show our mom and then we want to measure the curtains. We want to remeasure curtains again. And sometimes it’s a little much. So there’s only so much of that we can control as agents. We’re just kind of communicating the information. Yeah.
Staci Garcia:
I definitely don’t want to deal to go south because more than 30 minutes went by and you want to get out and try to be, I try to tell the other agent on the other side, let’s expedite this situation because I don’t want there to be a problem. Yeah.
Matthew Maschler:
Yeah. I’m sure.
Alright. I think you have an appraisal to go to. I do. I have a showing to go to. It’s seven bridges. It’s my only listing right now. So I need to find some new listings. So if you’re looking to sell your house in the state of Florida, feel free to let me know. Realestate finder.com. If it’s not an HOA community, no, HOA Boca. And whether it’s a condo on the water, equestrian, whatever it is you need. And don’t think of that, I only sell high end. I sell plenty of price points. I like to deal with people. It’s not about the house. I’ll sell anything. So yeah, give me a call. And thank you for joining us on the Real Estate Finder podcast. Happy Hanukkah. And we will see you again before Christmas and New Year’s.
Speaker 4:
The future looks bright and the stones pass by the sky’s dog. Blue. When it’s almost that time, life shows cameras flash when I pass living in the moment, forget about the past. They saved the best for last. Matthew Mania. We about to make a splash. Life is a marathon full of sharp turns, got to keep pace while the hands on the clock turns high stakes. Five star. I run a show. You can tell the place electricity, energy if vibrate. I’m always on time. Even if I’m, I make dreams come true. Living my life. Hope the same for real.
Speaker 5:
It it’s know what time. What Know what time. It.
Speaker 4:
It’s time. You know what time. You know what? You know it. You know what time. Yeah. Got him shook, scared. Can’t look. We’re not afraid of the big bad wolf.