Miami Beach real estate likely to be affected by the Surfside collapse (includes video story)

Miami Beach is generally one of the most desirable real estate spots in the country, but that has changed since the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, where the death toll is currently 46 and growing daily.

Even though the cause of the building’s collapse is still unknown, it has raised many questions about the 40-year recertification process that all buildings in the area go through. 

Florida International University’s Structural and Environmental Technologies Lab (or SET Lab for short), led by co-director Thomas Spiegelhalter, has been studying the effects of climate change on South Miami and Miami Beach since 2018, when Hurricane Irma made landfall in the city. 

Their studies are called CRUNCH, or Climate Resilient Urban Nexus Choices. 

Their website showcases the gradual effects that sea-level rise and natural disasters will have on the area from 2018 to 2100, according to Spiegelhalter. 

Juan Leal, realtor and associate of Miami Beach Lifestyle, feels the recertification process for buildings in the area is far too infrequent. He compares it to going to a doctor for a check-up. However, he notes that these inspections aren’t common in Florida or the rest of the nation. 

He says that Miami-Dade and Broward County are actually two of the only counties that have any type of mandatory inspection process in place.

He adds that residents should try to be aware of problems in their buildings and shouldn’t be afraid to report issues.

“If you’re a resident already in these buildings, or you’re buying into it, you’re going to do your due diligence,” said Leal. “But if you’re already in there, you should report it to the city because the city might not know, because of the 40-year certification. So what about if something happens [before those 40 years].” 

Another real estate agent, Mario Avalos from Kirilauscas and Associates LLC, feels that the collapse will make people become more informed about purchasing a condo in Miami Beach. But it won’t have long-term effects on the demand in the city. 

“People are going to look now at what is happening and the changes the county is making to the recertification process and ask how old a building is or if it underwent the process, so their mindset is going to change,” said Avalos.

Ana Soler is majoring in journalism with a translation & interpretation certificate at Florida International University. She has a passion for writing and reporting in both English and Spanish. She is a lover of linguistics, pop culture, entertainment, traveling and learning about people of all walks of life.