TikTok real estate investor spends record $18M for mansion in Miami’s Belle Meade 

Previous island record was $13M sale in 2021

TikTok’s Tom Cruz Pays Record $18M for Belle Meade Miami Home
TikTok real estate investor Tom Cruz with 1125 Belle Meade Island Drive (TikTok, Become Legendary, Getty)

Tom Cruz, a real estate investor-influencer who made his wealth in Section 8 housing, spent $17.8 million for a waterfront mansion in Miami — setting a record in the Belle Meade neighborhood. 

The 8,200-square-foot, six-bedroom house at 1125 Belle Meade Island Drive was last asking  $18.9 million, which means it sold for a 6 percent discount. It hit the market in April of last year for nearly $20 million. 

Hugo Ledezma sold the 8,200-square-foot, six-bedroom house to Cruz. Cruz, who has 1.2 million followers on TikTok and more than 100,000 on Instagram, confirmed the purchase. 

Cruz hosts webinars and posts videos about the benefits of investing in Section 8 housing. He’s been investing in the federal low-income housing program since 2015 and now owns nearly 700 housing units in four states, he said. 

Cruz moved to Miami from North Carolina in April and had been renting a condo in Brickell with the goal of buying a house.

Ledezma paid $1.2 million for the 0.3-acre property in 2018. Ledezma had a new home completed on the lot last year. The four-story house includes a 14-car garage, a theater, wine cellar, infinity pool, outdoor entertainment space, a dock and rooftop terrace, according to the listing. 

“I’m a big car guy, so it allows me to expand my collection. … I have four Rolls Royces, a McLaren and a Lamborghini, and I’ll probably be adding a few more,” Cruz said. The property also has a space for a yacht and is close to Brickell and Miami Beach. 

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Compass agents Nancy Batchelor and Michelle Shurtleff represented the seller. Minette and Ida Schwartz of The Schwartz Team, also with Compass, represented Cruz. 

Minette Schwartz said she and her client looked at homes in Miami and Miami Beach, on the Venetian Islands, Palm and Hibiscus islands. 

“We ended up migrating to Belle Meade after exhausting the Venetians because there weren’t opportunities with enough waterfront,” she said. 

Batchelor said Miami’s Upper East Side neighborhood, which includes Belle Meade, is being discovered now.

“It’s been an area people didn’t know about,” she said. “That’s what we’re seeing with buyers. Often they come here to look at [homes] on Miami Beach and they see other opportunities.”

Belle Meade Island has benefitted from dramatic price growth seen across South Florida during the pandemic. Cruz’s purchase price blows past the neighborhood’s previous record of $13.3 million for the home at 1133 Belle Meade Island Drive in late 2021. Before that, the $7 million sale in 2020 of the waterfront spec home at 7311 Belle Meade Island Drive held the record. 

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