Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Miami Beach Real Estate Blog. We are always looking for input so if you have any questions or comments we would welcome them.  We strive to get only to give the best to our community.  Look forward to hearing from you soon.   


Take Care,

Sept. 21, 2017

Getting Mortgage Approval After a Loan Modification

Many homeowners faced financial hardships during the recession. Loan modifications were and still are a way for homeowners to hold on to their home instead of losing it in foreclosure. If you are in the middle of a home modification or have had an approved modification you may be wondering what will happen if you want to move to a new home.Getting Mortgage Approval After a Loan Modification

Here is what to expect when you are in a modification and searching for a new home and home loan.

The loan modification is a change from the original terms of a mortgage that resulted in the restructuring of one of these: principal curtailment, forgiveness, forbearance, payment reduction, or any other changes to terms on the original mortgage notes. Every modification is different but the most common is a reduction in a mortgage payment.

Conventional mortgage loan guidelines require that when trying to finance a new property you will need to have 12 months of payment history on the modification. So if you got a modification 12 months ago and have stayed current with every payment you are okay to apply for a loan on a new home. If you had a write-down, a principal balance forgiveness, on the mortgage in most cases you will be found ineligible for a new loan. If you only had a payment reduction then the 12 months of payments will more than likely allow you to be eligible for a new loan.

Most of the time when you get a loan modification, the lender will report it to the credit bureau and it will go on your credit record. Check your credit report to see if it was in fact reported if the lender did not report the modification this can work to your advantage. (Especially after the issues we've had with Equifax. Be even more on top of your credit history). Lenders work from your credit report to determine your financial health and reliability. - Read More on how Equifax has affected home buyers

You will need to provide a copy of your loan modification that specifically details the modification. Some borrowers will have different interpretations of what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac consider to be a modified or restructured mortgage. This can work in your favor. If your loan was changed, but no paperwork was signed your lender may report normally to the credit bureaus and the documenting of the modification is no longer necessary and you may be able to avoid waiting the 12 months.

Most banks have the same expectations when issuing a loan after a modification, but not everyone. If you have been turned down for a loan and meet the payment history requirement you may want to get a second opinion or ask for advice from an experienced loan modification lawyer.

For more information on the getting approved if you've faced a loan modification, foreclosure or short sale in the past, give me a call. 

Posted in Real Estate
Aug. 31, 2017

Miami Condo Checklist When Inspecting and Buying

When purchasing a condominium in Miami you'll need to be aware of the differences from a single detached house and what to look for in an inspection.Knowledge is power and understanding everything you can about a condo unit and the building will put you steps ahead in the preparation process.

Miami Condo Checklist When Inspecting and Buying

#1. Understand that there will be a condo association.

Just like a homeowners association for homes in a particular community, each condo building or complex will have their own association. This association could be managed by outside sources or by the board of condo owners. This will manage the Association, keep everyone with the bylaws and conditions of the complex, and handle the money that comes in from condo fees. It's important to look over everything that the Association stands for and the requirements so that you feel comfortable living in the building. If there's something you don't agree with, you can either talk to the board or simply choose a different condominium. And, things can change in a condo association so if you get on the board, you could make a huge difference in changing rules and restrictions. Also, it's important to know how much you will be paying for the Association each month. These fees go for amenity cost and maintenance, management cost and maybe even some utilities. Make sure you feel comfortable with how much you'll be paying each month in association fees and any special assessments for large purchases such as painting the building, roofing or siding replacements.

#2. Use a home inspector that is familiar with the condos in your building.

And even more importantly, familiar with that particular complex. If you use an inspector that is familiar with the building, they know exactly what to look for and may have some insight as to problems the building might have or preparation for future replacement of appliances, special assessments or reserve funds.

#3. Check everything

Be sure to check all heating and air-conditioning appliances, all general appliances, outlets and light switches, anyplace where there could be air leakage or cracks in the foundation or walls, windows, and doors. All of these things should be checked by a qualified and professional inspector but it's also a good idea for you to check them as well. Accompany the inspector throughout the condo and the building so you feel comfortable about purchasing this property.

#4. Ask what you have control over.

You might be surprised to realize once you move in that you can't make any changes to the inside of your condo. There really are associations that restrict this, but not all. Make sure that you can change things, change flooring, paint and do other things inside your home that will not affect the structural integrity of the building or any of the other residents.

If you're ready to look at condos in Miami were specifically the Brickell neighborhood give me a call. This is where I specialize in and I have the resources and referrals to make this purchase smooth and easy-going.

More about Miami Condos:

Most Walkable Condos in Brickell

Best Pet-Friendly Condos in Brickell

10 Most Popular Condo Buildings in Brickell

Buying into a Co-op Condo Building

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Aug. 25, 2017

Most Walkable Condos in Brickell

Best Walkable condo buildings in Brickell MiamiIf you don't own a car or you just don't want to deal with parking and driving just to go to dinner, then you're probably looking for a Brickell condo with a perfect walk score. Walkscore.com is a website that looks at every address across the country and determines walkability, transit and bike feasibility. With a walk score of 90-100 it's considered a "Walkers Paradise" as most daily errands don't require a car.  If you're looking for a condo in Brickell, nearly all have a high walk score but only a few boast a 99. Here they are.

The Axis on Brickell. Located on the corner of 1111 SW. 1st Ave. and 79th SW. 12th St. in Miami, this complex boast a 99 walk score. Shops, restaurants, markets and daily errands can all be done on foot within a block or two of the front door. This condo was built in 2008 and features several different floor plans in prices from $400,000 up to about $1 million. There are a lot of amenities in the Access including hot tubs and swimming pools, valet and security, game rooms and fitness rooms, business centers and concierge.

1050 & 1060 Brickell. These two towers feature a total of 576 units with a walk score of 99. These buildings also have a wide range of amenities including a yoga and aerobics room, spa treatment and steam rooms, personal humidors for cigars and Wine storage cabinets, game rooms, fitness centers and 24 hour security. These high-end luxury units range from about $450,000 to $1.8 million.

Jade on Brickell. Located at 1331 Brickell Bay Dr., this building, constructed in 2004, offers nearly 340 luxury condominiums with a walk score of 99. Each unit has been carefully constructed and designed with high-end appliances, custom Italian wood cabinetry and Jacuzzi tub in the master bathrooms. The average price for this complex is about $670 per square foot ranging in price from $800,000-$6 million.

The Vue on Brickell. Located at 1250 South Miami Ave., the Vue was built in 2004 and features 323 units on 36 stories. These units are some of the more affordable units in Brickell ranging in price from $300,000-$600,000. Homeowners dues are between $800 and $1000 per month and the building offers residents a fitness center, swimming pool with cabana area and 24 hour concierge, valet, and security.

Nine at Mary Brickell Village. This 35 story luxury condominium tower offers nearly 400 one, two, and three bedroom units with private landscaped entrance, valet parking, 24 hour security and pet friendly services. Residents have access to more than 35 restaurants, retail boutiques and specialty food shops all within a few block radius. This is one of the most exclusive condo buildings in the entire Miami area.

The Bond. Located at 1080 Brickell Ave., this of 44 story complex features nearly 330 residents designed by Loguer and Terry O'Neill. Prices start at about $385,000 up to $1.4 million.

So there you have it; if you're looking for a condo building in the Brickell neighborhood with the near perfect walk score, this is your list. Feel free to click on any of the condo names for complete list of units for sale in that building. When you're ready to take a closer look my office to schedule a showing.

Aug. 11, 2017

Best Pet-Friendly Condos in Brickell Miami

There are several pet-friendly condominium complexes in downtown Brickell, just seconds from Miami and Miami Beach. If you are looking to bring your four-legged friend or perhaps another animal along with you, these are the buildings that you want to search in.

Pet-Friendly Brickell Condos

Each of these buildings offers something different and they have different rules and restrictions for each. Below is a list of condominiums and their requirements when it comes to your furry friend.

1060 Brickell - One dog up to 25lbs, two cats or two dogs up to 50 lbs. 

500 Brickell - One of the only with no restrictions

Atlantis on Brickell – This complex allows two pets per unit under 20 pounds and tenants are also allowed to have their own pets.

Axis on Brickell - no restrictions

Bayshore Place – This building allows one pet per unit under 15 pounds for owners only.

Brickell Bay Club – this complex allows two pets per unit under 15 pounds but there must be approved before access.

Brickell Bay Tower – this building allows one pet per unit under 25 pounds for owners only.

Brickell Forest – This unit allows one pet per unit under 60 pounds (this is the largest pet or weight restriction of any Brickell condominium complex).

Brickell East – This complex allows one pet per unit under 15 pounds only.

Brickell Key I – The First Phase allows pets under 15 pounds for owners only without limitation on the quantity.

Brickell Key II – This tower allows one pet per unit under 20 pounds for owners only.

Brickell Place II – This condo complex allows one pet per unit under 15 pounds for owners only.

Brickell House - No restrictions

Bristol Tower – This is the only Brickell complex that has no restrictions on pets of any kind, quantity or limitations.

Courts – This complex has a limitation of one pet per unit under 25 pounds for owners only.

Costa Bella – This complex allows one pet per unit under 20 pounds for owners only.

Fortune House – This building has no written limitations but the pets have to be hundred 20 pounds and renters can have pets to with a $200 deposit as long is it is approved by the owner.

Imperial at Brickell – This complex is restricted to two pets per unit under 28 pounds each.

Isola - This building has a 2-pet restriction no more than 60 lbs. 

Ivy at Riverfront - Up to 50 lbs limit

The Metropolitan – As a requirement of one pet per unit under 40 pounds and tenants are allowed as well with approval by the owner.

Mint - Up to 50 lb limit

One and Two and Three Tequesta Point - All three buildings have a limit of one pet per unit under 25 pounds for owners only.

Santa Maria – This complex has a limitation of two pets per unit with no weight restrictions.

St. Louis – This complex has a restriction of one pet per unit under 20 pounds.

Villa Brickell – This complex has a restriction of one pet per unit under 20 pounds.

Villa Regina – This building has a restriction of one pet per unit under 20 pounds for owners only.

Some policies may have changed so be sure to check with me or the building on updated information. Call me if you'd like a tour of any of these or click on the links above to browse listing and learn more about the building.

July 27, 2017

Top 10 Most Popular Brickell Condos in Miami

The term most popular could be subjective. Brickell has about 100 condo buildings throughout Brickell and Brickell Key to choose from, so how is a new homeowner supposed to decide?

Whether it's the best, the most popular, or the closest to your favorite coffee shop, being the best is all subjective to what you are looking for, the price, the amenities, and the location. While you can find a list anywhere, being in the real estate industry for so many years, I've done my own research as to what I feel are the best or most popular Brickell condominiums.

Santa Maria

1) Santa Maria

The Santa Maria comes in as one of the best luxury condominiums in Brickell. With some very large units, direct ocean views, and some of the most expensive units sold in Brickell, Santa Maria tops the list with amenities, luxury and lifestyle. On a scale which ranks quality, water, views, and management, Santa Maria comes in at the top of the list.

Four Seasons

2) Four Seasons

The Four Seasons offers one of the best services in the area. People have come to expect the best when they think of Four Seasons. Brickell is no exception. With the Equinox Fitness center on the fourth floor, a resort style swimming pool, in-house dining, private cabana, a business center and wedding and meeting venues, the Four Seasons comes in at one of the best buildings in Brickell.
Jade

3) Jade Brickell

Jade at Brickell Bay comes in at one of the highest rated condo buildings in the Brickell and even in the Miami area. Its location, views, quality, resell value and utility quality all come in at 9. It's one of the top, luxury boutique buildings in the area and has more amenities than just about any other condominium. Not only does it have all the amenities you would expect out of a luxury condominium but it offers on-site restaurants, media room and library, rooftop lounge and observation deck.
Bristol

4) Bristol Tower

The Bristol Towers also comes in at the top of the luxury list. It ranks up there with some of the highest quality construction, utilities and security. Built in 1993, it has an average square footage price of about $685. With all the amenities you expect out of a luxury condominium, this circular building has large sizes from 1200 ft.² to over 9000 ft.².
Brickell City Center

5) Brickell City Center

The Brickell City Center condominium is one of the best new construction luxury condominiums in Brickell. Condos started about $700 per square feet and offer lots of luxury, high-end, new features such as private elevators, better fixtures, high-end appliances, children's play area, library, café services and assigned parking for all units with secure garage and valet parking services.
Asia

6) Asia Brickell Key

Asia also comes in at one of the top luxury condominiums in Brickell, technically located on Brickell Key. It has the highest marks for views, quality, water quality and safety. It was built in 2008 by Swire Properties and has an average price per square foot of $1100. It features five private elevators per floor, lots of amenities and just 123 units on 33 floors. It has layouts up to 5500 ft.² but has some of the highest priced condo association fees in the area anywhere from $2500-$5000 per month.
Tequesta

7) Tequesta II & III

Tequesta, both the 2 Point and 3 Point, come in as some of the best for amenities in the Brickell area. These buildings offer a great deal of services with a personal touch as well as a full-service neighborhood including supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops, and dry cleaners. With concierge services, racquetball and squash courts, spas and swimming pools, social and game rooms, and valet and covered parking, there is an endless supply of social activities, things to do, and resort style perks.
Villa Regina

8) Villa Regina

I would have to say that the Villa Regina is probably the best Brickell condominium for those that own a boat. You have access to a private Marina for residents only and a water pathway out to the ocean. It has all your standard resort amenities such as swimming pools and hot tubs, fitness center and security, social room and concierge services, but the 43 slip marina is really one of the highlights. It's known as the Wall Street of the South, conveniently located next to Brickell Village and Circle Park.

Villa Regina

9) The Palace

Unlike its name, the Palace is probably one of the more affordable places to live in Brickell. With condominiums starting less than $500,000, you have the chance to live in Brickell without the million dollar price tag. However, homeowners dues are still quite expensive and cover a lot of amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, a water pathway and 24 hour security. It overlooks the waterfront with stunning views of the bay and makes my list as one of the top places to live in Brickell.

The Nine at the Village

10) Nine at Mary Brickell Village

With a prime location and some of the more affordable prices in Brickell, the Nine at Mary Brickell Village comes in at #10 on the most popular condos in Brickell. This building offers exclusive services and indoor amenities as well as a multilingual staff, clubroom, Zen Garden, fitness center and yoga studio, and it's close to the Mary Brickell Village with a 1 acre private Park is a linked Terrace to the village. There's really nothing like it and with affordable condominiums starting at less than $600,000, this is a great option for anyone looking to move to Miami.

Feel free to browse these popular buildings or contact my office to schedule a showing of any listing, building or neighborhood throughout Miami.

Image Courtesy of The Miami MLS

July 20, 2017

Buying a Co-op Condo, Investing in One or Renting?

I recently got this question this weekend and prompted a blog post on co-op condominiums, renting, investments and buying.Buying a Co-op Condo, Investing in One or Renting?

It's important to understand that if you are looking to buy a condominium you need to know what's available out there. A condominium and a cooperative, also known as a co-op, are different. Condos are multi-dwelling units that are privately owned and have shared common areas. A co-op is not considered real property. For those that by into a cooperative, they become a shareholder in a corporation that owns the entire property. As a shareholder, you are entitled to an exclusive use of a housing unit within the property. You don't actually only individual property, just a portion of the entire property.

So, what's better?

It depends on the type of lifestyle to living arrangements you want. Because cooperatives are owned by a corporation, they usually have tenant owner board of directors. This board is responsible for meeting with and approve or disapprove new owners. However, in a co-op, a large portion of the monthly maintenance fee is tax-deductible. Depending on where you are, you may or may not be able to invest in a co-op and then rented out. That's usually not the ideal use of a co-op apartment. Usually, FHA loans are not approved for co-op properties and you usually need at least a 40% down payment.Most co-op buildings will not allow new shareholders to buy a property as an investment. They may have a rental policy but may only apply to those who have already live there for a certain amount of time.

Also, buying a condominium may actually be cheaper than becoming a shareholder in a cooperative. You don't need a 40% down payment, most Miami condo buildings are FHA approved, and you will need to jump through the hoops that co-ops require. The cardboard normally has to approve any new tenants, which can cause a snag for trying to get into a building that you really like.

Co-ops are definitely their own beast, that's for sure. They may work out for certain situations and may be ideal for some, but not everyone can benefit from owning a part in a cooperative. Most people prefer to own their own unit out right and pay an association fee for use of certain common areas.

If you're interested in learning more about cooperatives in downtown Miami or Brickell where you'd like a list of current condos for sale in Miami, browse the website or contact me at any time.

 

Posted in Miami Real Estate
June 28, 2017

Should I Pay an Association Fee Based on Square Footage?

In the downtown Miami area and especially in places like Brickell and Brickell Key, condo association fees are often determined based on the unit square footage. If you have a larger home you're likely to spend more on HOA fees than someone with a smaller home, but why is this the case of everyone enjoys the same amenities?

This is a very common question that I get asked in almost every condo transaction. It doesn't seem fair that someone with 1000 ft.² should pay $300 more than someone with 500 ft.², especially when they use the same amenities such as a pool, fitness room or other perks of the building.Should I pay an association based on square footage

It's important to compare the associations. Ask what you're actually paying for and what the differences between the square footage is based on how many are actually paying. If you don't feel that the additional cost required for a larger unit is appropriate, you may not want to buy a condo in that building. Also, just because this is the way they've always done it doesn't mean that it's necessarily right. You could talk to the Association before buying a home about how easy it would be to change homeowners association fees or how they are regulated.

It also depends on how many different floor plans there are. If the building only has three different floor plans and there are three different price points, it might make sense but it also depends on how different those fees are and what they entail. Larger units hold more people and therefore the possibility of more water use, trash disposal and electricity usage, which could be included in association fees.

Read More: Tips for Buying Waterfront Property in Miami

Very common with taxes. Taxes on larger units are more than medium or smaller units. If you're paying more taxes, using more energy sources is very common to pay more taxes.

When it comes to assessments, those with larger units may also pay a higher percentage of fees because it is divided by the percentage of ownership. This can be also a course of contention as a larger number of smaller units may not want to pay more or equal to the larger unit amounts.

However, this is condo life and you're going to find this and just about every building. You have to decide how much more you are willing to pay or choose a smaller unit and still get the perks of everyone else in the building.

If you have more questions about particular associations throughout Miami, Miami Beach and Brickell contact me today. I'm very familiar with most buildings in downtown and will be able to offer information on association rules, regulations, and fees.

Read More: Should you go with a house or a condo?

Posted in Miami Real Estate
May 30, 2017

How to Sell in a Buyer's Market

Last week we talked about the Miami real estate market as of May 2017 and how were really in kind of a cool market meaning that it is shifted towards the buyers rather than the sellers. The Miami market is still doing very well but sellers might be finding it hard to compete with so many other properties on the market. You can't just throw a sign up in your front yard or on the MLS and naturally get buyers flocking to the property and offers on the table. There has to be some incentive and the home needs to be priced right. We always say that that is one of the key components to getting a home sold quickly, but there are many other incentives and ways that you can appeal to buyers in today's Miami real estate market. Here are some secrets and some tactics that a lot of sellers are using in order to get buyers interested in their home and an offer on the table.

How to sell in a buyer's market

#1. Find the closest property to yours and then price it just under their price.

You have to do a little bit of market research in order to price the home. As your real estate agent, it is my job to look through all of the most recent sales and similar properties that are currently on the market to find the best price range for your home. When we do that we will find similar properties with the same square footage, the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the same features if possible and then price that home just under the closest price. If a buyer were to look at two properties that were very similar, they may naturally go for the one that is less expensive. This isn't always the case and it will depend on the condition of your property and any additional features. Of course, no two homes are the same and buyers understand that so it's important to offer something more than your competitors for a lower price.

#2. Advertise the home yourself.

I'm not saying that you are the only one advertising your home, but it helps to expand the exposure of your listing by posting it on all your social media accounts at least once a week if not more and asking friends to do the same. As a real estate agent, my book of business and sphere of influence is pretty expensive but I will never have all the people that you have in my sphere. You never know when you're cross-country friend will decide to move to Miami and your place might be perfect.

#3. Stage it professionally.

I can totally 100% attest to this working. If you get a professional stager and you look at their results, you have a higher chance of selling your home faster and for more money. Make sure that you talk to your real estate agent about the best home stager to choose and look through their portfolio. Also, ask how quickly homes they have staged have sold. It might be more expensive to stage your home but you might be able to get a higher return when you sell.

#4. Consider helping buyers with financing.

This all depends on the price point of your property. Most people that are buying multimillion-dollar homes are not going to have a huge problem with financing but for those that may be under the $600,000 mark, you might consider helping with closing costs or other financing incentives. Your real estate agent can mention this in the private agent remarks location of the listing.

#5. Consider high-tech advertising.

There are a lot of unique and unusual ways to market your home from a drone photography to talking for sale signs in the front yard. You can create a customized message about the different features of your home that maybe someone would be able to see by simply passing by. Potential buyers can tune into a radio station to hear a customized message and your real estate agent can do a little research on social media, online marketing, and unique ways to add technology into promoting your home.

Each home is unique and your home may have different features that require different incentives for potential buyers. I'd love to specifically talk to you about your home and how we can market it, price it correctly, and advertise it to all possible buyers out there. Give me a call today.

 

Posted in Selling
May 23, 2017

Miami Real Estate Housing Market 2017

Here's what you need to know about the Miami real estate market if you're planning on buying or selling in the next couple of months.Miami real estate market

There are currently about 7700 properties for sale across the Miami Metro area including lots, parcels of land, manufactured homes, single-family homes, and condominiums. The median list price as of the publishing of this post for May is currently $419,000. Days on the market hovers between 60 and 90 days.

We are technically in a neutral market right now, where we lean a little bit more towards the buyers market side, which means there is plenty of inventory and decent prices. There's been a 3.5 change in the home value index bringing the average home value to about $300,000. The median sales price according to other real estate websites is about $280,000 or $190-$200 per square foot. The median rent in Miami is skyrocketing, currently at $2250.

We haven't seen a dip in our market like many markets across the US. Ours has steadily been increasing since about May of last year. Our median sales price last year at this time was $255,000 and now were nearly at $285,000. However, our condo market has stalled slightly at the beginning of this year. Several real estate economists actually fill that by May 2018, condo prices may drop up to 40%. That's quite a big drop and while sellers should get on the ball now if they're planning on selling, buyers may want to wait until next year to see what happens. In the last six months, prices for condominiums have kind of stalled across the board. Several buyers, I've spoken with say they are waiting until 2018 if they can before they buy.

Back in November, a report from the Miami Association of Realtors showed that the third-quarter sales of existing condominiums dropped by about 19% compared to the same time last year or 2015. But, within the next month or two, prices increased by 6%. Miami also had a 13 month supply of existing condominiums on the market back in November and December, which is a strong indicator of a buyer's market. Because of this, some developers are actually pulling back on their developments because they don't want the supply of condominiums being outpaced by the demand.

Currently, the median list price for a condo in Miami $385,000 with a total inventory of about 5300 units. Days on the market though, are a little bit higher at 112 days for condominiums versus 92 for single-family homes.

If you're interested in buying or selling at this time give me a call. We can work up a strategy to help you sell for the most money or by at the right time. We can talk over all of the details of your situation and when might be the best time to buy or sell throughout Miami.

Posted in Miami Real Estate
May 1, 2017

How to Move to a Big City on a Small Budget

How to Move to a Big City on a Small Budget

Miami is a big city, that's no joke. Miami is one of the largest cities in the US and is one of the most expensive and fastest growing as well. If you are moving to Miami from anywhere other than major metropolitan areas like San Diego, Seattle, Chicago or New York, you might be in for a big sticker shock. Prices here are high, but that doesn't mean that you can't find something affordable.

There are simple ways that you can plan your budget and prepare yourself for moving to a large city. Remember, everything will be relative including general living expenses. But that also means that you might find a better paying job what you currently have depending on where you are relocating from. Living expenses, utilities, Insurance, rent or mortgage payment will all be a little bit more expensive in larger cities. Here are some simple ways to plan your budget and manage your finances if you're moving from a smaller town to a big city like Miami.

Create your moving budget. You should have a good idea about how much it's going to cost to get to your new location. Are you renting a truck? Consider gas, insurance, boxes and other moving supplies as well as traveling expenses depending on how far away are coming from. Write all of these numbers down to try to get yourself into a good budget to save for these expenses when they come.

Read More: 5 Tips to Plan for Your Next Miami Home

Clean out. Consider cleaning out all of the items that you don't need when you live in your new location. Will you be moving from a cold location to the Miami area? You probably don't need a lot of winter coats or cold season items. This is a great time to sell or donate what you're not going to take with you in order to save money and space.

Connect with a local real estate agent. If you're planning on buying, the first thing that you can do is connect with a local real estate agent. Because I work in the Miami area including outlying areas such as Coral Gables and Miami Beach, we can help hone in on the right neighborhood for your needs and your budget. You might not need a lavish downtown condominium but a smaller, outlying single-family home might work perfectly for your needs. Talk to your real estate agent about your budget and what you are looking for and they can help point you in the right direction. Because you don't know the area and you may not be familiar with the neighborhoods, it helps to have a local expert on your side.

Read More: How to Sell (and Buy) in a Hot Miami Real Estate Market

Consider a visit before moving here. Now, this might seem silly because you've probably already been here if you're planning on moving but that's not the case for everyone. Perhaps you are being relocated due to a job and you've never actually been to the Miami area. It can be a huge advantage to visit beforehand. You can check out the neighborhoods, get a good sense of the local market, and talk to your real estate agent about the best place for you to be.

Be cautious of hidden moving fees. If you use a moving company they will tack on a lot of different fees such as moving insurance, packing supplies, and long carry fees, which can incur wood trucks cannot park close to the home in order to unload. This is primarily the case in downtown areas such as Brickell and Brickell Key for condominiums so check those hidden fees for any additional costs.

Get free packing supplies. You might be surprised as to how many people are giving away boxes on advertising sites such as let go, offer up, and Craigslist. You can put a search out on social media to look for packing supplies or free boxes, which people who have just moved are very thankful to get rid of.

Read More: Downsizing to a More Affordable Location

Consider mailing heavy items. The US Postal Service media mail can ship items like books and DVDs for very inexpensive prices. Boxes weighing as much is 70 pounds could cost just $36 to ship. This service is especially helpful considering books are some of the heaviest items that people move.[Source]

Keep all of your receipts. Sometimes moving can be tax-deductible and there are certain restrictions and conditions that can apply but many expenses can be deductible so it's important to hang onto all of your receipts that you get including any traveling receipts to and from your new destination.

Related Post: 10 Things to Do as a New Homeowner - external

Moving can be stressful but as long as you have someone on your side in the big city then you can really benefit from their knowledge, expertise, and skills in buying and living in that city. Contact me any day for information on moving to Miami or Miami Beach. Because I have lived here most of my life and have a firm understanding of the micro markets throughout the area, I can help you find the right home at the right price.

Posted in Real Estate