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MIAMI-The new owners of the Waverly apartment tower at 1330 West Ave., south Miami Beach, are converting the 35-story, 399-unit property to condominium ownership in September at starting unit prices of $250,000.

That is about what Karlton Properties of Miami and New York-based Athena Group paid Orlando-based Zom Inc. June 28 in the $97.25 million acquisition at $243,734 per unit.

The 300 tenants who occupy 75% of the towers will be given 45 days to purchase their apartment before sales are opened to the public. Tenants are being offered in-house financing and with a 10% down payment.

The Waverly has one-bedroom and two-bedroom units from 800 sf to 1384 sf with private balconies offering views .

“The numbers make for a good argument for owning versus renting,” Athena president Louis M. Dubin says in a prepared statement. As an example, he cites a 20% down payment on a $400,000, two-bedroom apartment.

“Borrowing $320,000, the monthly payment for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 5.87% is $1,893, compared to rent ranging from $1,800 to $3,000 for the same apartment,” Dubin says.

Even with the added costs of $8,000 a year or $667 per month for taxes and operating expenses, “it pays to buy, especially when you factor in tax deductions on the mortgage and property taxes,” Dubin says.

Not meaning to sound like a pitchman, the Athena executive says “history is on the side of ownership. You are building equity, saving on taxes and have the security and control of living in your own home.”

Arquitectonica of Miami designed the Waverly. On-site amenities include concierge, valet and security services, a waterfront pool and spa, gymnasium, feng shui meditation garden, café and business center.

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