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 give the very best to our community.  Look forward to hearing from you soon.   


Take Care,

April 11, 2021

Tips to Keep Your Guest Bathroom Clean

cleaning bathrooms

If there is one thing that homeowners tend to dislike, it’s cleaning the guest bathroom even when you aren’t currently hosting guests. Luckily there are a few ways you can ensure that your cleaning efforts will last, and your guest bathroom will look guest ready at all times. Try using a few of these tips and tricks to keep your guest bathroom looking it’s best, regardless of how long it’s been since you gave it a deep cleaning.

 

Related: 6 Easy Hacks for a More Organized Closet

 

#1 Water Repellent 

Shower scum can easily make a fairly clean bathroom look a million times dirtier than it is, especially with a shower that may not be used as frequently as a master bathroom, such as in a guest bathroom. To try and keep the shower surround as well as the tub looking cleaner longer, apply water repellent to the walls so that both water and suds don’t stay lurking, thus creating buildup such as scum and mildew. 

 

toilet cleaner#2 Use Soap Pumps 

While bars of soap have been the go-to for a long time, they aren’t the best at keeping a bathroom clean. When using a bar of soap, it is highly likely that the wet bar of soap will leave some suds behind, whether on a soap dish or the counter. In order to avoid the soapy mess, try using liquid hand soap in a soap pump instead. 

 

#3 Toilet Bowl Cleaners

This is especially helpful if you have hard water as it can cause premature staining or buildup. There are dozens of different brands and styles of cleaners that can be either put in your toilet tank or clipped to the bowl lid that can help keep your toilet clean with every flush. 

 

Related: Balcony Gardens

 

#4 Stash Dryer Sheets and Disinfectant Wipes

Put a box of dryer sheets as well as disinfectant wipes under the sink, or in a cabinet within the bathroom. Dyer sheets allow you to quickly and easily brush away any hairs or dust, as well as grab dust bunnies that have found residence in the corners. Likewise, having disinfectant wipes nearby allow for a quick and easy clean up allowing for counters as well as other surfaces to be wiped down easily. 

 

While there is no magic switch that can keep dust from building up, or water stains from occurring, by implementing a few new ways to keep your bathroom clean, you are able to do less, and yet reap more benefits. 

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are ready to sell your home, or if you have any questions regarding Miami Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time. 

Posted in Real Estate
April 7, 2021

Why is the Rental Market so Competitive Right Now?

If you’re currently trying to find a rental you may be noticing that rental prices are skyrocketing and securing a place to rent seems harder than ever. While there could be a large number of reasons behind the current shortage of rentals, one of the big ones seems to be due to the current Real Estate Market. 

 

Related: 3 Tips for Buying in a Seller’s Market

 

The Real Estate Market is booming, arguably the healthiest it has been in decades and homes are selling not only extremely fast, but in most cases for far above asking, which in turn, gives the seller’s a large sum of extra cash. While many sellers are choosing to use the cash to invest into a different home, for some, they have simply chosen to sell when they could get the most for their house, and then choose to rent. 

 

With so many seller’s choosing to currently rent, rentals are not only in short supply, but many of those who have recently sold their homes for a large profit are offering to pay the rental term in full, in cash. This is hard to beat, and many landlords will jump at the opportunity to take in a renter who is able to pay their lease term in full and avoid any potential losses from a tenant who may be late on rental dues. 

 

While rentals aren’t currently impossible to find, they are definitely not as easy as they once were. Unfortunately, there is no for sure way to know what the Real Estate Market will do within the next few years, however, many of these sellers who have taken up residence in rentals are banking on the market shifting, thus favoring buyers, and then they’ll make their move to re-invest in a new home, opening the rental market back up. 

 

Related: What is a Leaseback?

 

Another reason rental homes may be harder to find is simply because homeowners/landlords are trying to jump at the chance to sell their rental homes for top dollar, thus not renewing current leases or re-renting, pushing the renters into an already competitive rental market. While many people believe that buying and selling Real Estate doesn’t affect the rental market, in today’s world this couldn’t be further from the truth as the two seem to be playing a competitive game. 

 

Regardless of if you are trying to purchase a home and need a short-term rental, or if you’re a seller who is hoping to rent until the market shifts, it is important to look at all of your options and explore the rental market in depth to ensure that you are able to not only find a rental, but find a rental that fits your needs, wants, and is within your budget. 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are ready to sell your home, or if you have any questions regarding Miami Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time and we would be more than happy to assist you. 

Posted in Real Estate
March 31, 2021

Pros and Cons to Common Areas

Common areas are generally found when you purchase a home within an HOA community. Whether a single-family home that provides access to walking trails, a clubhouse or pool, or a condominium that has a rooftop garden and a fitness center, the list of different common areas available to many homeowners seems endless. As with all things, there are many different Pros and Cons to purchasing a home with common areas. 

 

Related: 3 Tips for Buying in a Seller’s Market

 

common areasPros

 

  • Amenities, amenities, amenities! - When purchasing a home that has shared common areas you are gaining access to a multitude of different amenities that you may not be able to have should you purchase a home without the shared common space. 
  • Maintenance - If you love to swim and have always dreamt of a pool, chances are you didn’t dream of the upkeep or cost that came with it. When enjoying a common area pool, you get to enjoy all the perks, with none of the hassle! This is true for all common areas as they are upkept by the HOA. 
  • Resort Style Living - With so many amenities and common spaces, often you can feel as if you are on vacation every day, leading to a less stressful and more enjoyable lifestyle. 

 

Related: Best Golfing Communities Near Miami

 

Cons

 

  • HOA Dues - If you have amenities, you more than likely have HOA dues which you will be required to pay monthly for the life of your residence. This fee can range drastically pending on the amount of amenities and upkeep the property requires. 
  • Overcrowding - While not always the case, if you are hoping for a relaxing day next to the pool while reading a book, or a workout session where you can let loose and not worry about embarrassing yourself in front of others, you may have to compromise as you won’t be guaranteed to be alone when enjoying one of the common area amenities provided to you. 
  • Unexpected Closures - Closures happen, and it isn’t always for routine maintenance that is scheduled in advance. Because the area is managed by the building manager or HOA, should repairs be needed last minute, there may be an unexpected closure which could put a kink in your plans. 

 

Ultimately when deciding to purchase a home with common areas, you have to decide for yourself if the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa as there are arguable points to each. Common areas can provide amenities that you otherwise may not be able to enjoy on your own, and thus seem to draw ample attention from buyers. 

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are ready to sell your property and are in need of a qualified seller’s agent, or if you have any questions regarding Miami Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time. 

Posted in Real Estate
March 25, 2021

What is an Appraisal Shortfall?

appraisal shortfallHouses are selling like hot cakes in today’s market, and because of that many buyers are left with the need to provide an appraisal shortfall to secure their desired home. While this isn’t required for all purchases, many homes are currently selling well above the appraised value, thus creating the need for additional funds, known as an appraisal shortfall. 

 

Related: First Time Homebuyer, 7 Keys to Success

 

What is an Appraisal?

 

When a house is being sold, one of the steps that is taken through the selling/buying process is to have the property and house appraised. This is when an appraiser comes out to assess the current market value of the home. Once this value has been determined, most lenders will only allow you to borrow up to that appraised amount and will not give you financing for a higher number. This means if you offered to purchase a home at $500,000 but the appraised value is only $475,000, you would be unable to secure the full amount of financing needed to complete the purchase at the offered amount. 

 

What is an Appraisal Shortfall?

 

Luckily, even if a home appraises for a higher number than that of your offer, there are still ways you can secure the home, most commonly, through an appraisal shortfall. When offering to provide an appraisal shortfall to the seller, you would simply come up with the needed funds to bridge the gap between the appraised value and your offer. If we were to use the above example, that would mean that you, as the buyer, would have to come up with $25,000 in addition to your down payment and closing costs. 

 

Related: 3 Tips for Buying in a Seller’s Market

 

Here’s a Closer Look 

 

  • Offer Amount: $500,000
  • Appraised Value: $475,000
  • Shortfall Requirement: $25,000

 

When using an appraisal shortfall and providing the additional needed funds, even though your purchase price of the home would still technically be $500,000, in most cases your down payment amount would go off of the appraised value, as your loan through the lender would only be for $475,000 and not the full purchase price of $500,000. 

property value

 

Additional financing options may be available to you and in some cases, your lender may even be able to offer an appraisal waiver which would allow you to purchase the home regardless of the appraised amount. It is important to discuss all of your options with your lender and ask questions to ensure that you fully understand each option, what it means and what would be the most beneficial for you and your goals with purchasing a new home. 

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are ready to sell your home, or if you have any questions regarding Miami Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time and we would be more than happy to assist you. 

Posted in Real Estate
March 11, 2021

3 Tips for Buying in a Seller’s Market

sellers marketBuying a house in a seller’s market may seem dauting to say the least, however rest assured it is possible to buy a home without too much compromise. While the actual buying process doesn’t change much in a seller’s market, sellers will nearly always receive multiple offers and even enter into bidding wars. The biggest thing to try and remember when starting your house hunting journey is to try and remain calm and patient as it may take a little longer to get an offer accepted in a seller’s market vs. a buyer’s market. 

 

Related: Buying a Home After Retirement

 

If you’re ready to start your house hunting, there are a few things you can do to try and help your chances of getting your offer accepted. First and foremost, always work with a trusted, reliable and personable realtor, especially when buying in a seller’s market. Your realtor will have to use their personality and people skills ten-fold when trying to secure your new home so it important to ensure that they have good people skills and are confident when talking to owners and other listing agents. 

 

#1 Be Competitive 

Quite simply the easiest way to be purchase a home in a seller’s market is to be competitive. Try looking at homes that are below your budget so that you have wiggle room to place a higher offer than the asking price, this will look more appealing to the seller and boost your chances of acceptance. 

 

#2 Lose Contingencies 

When in doubt, only place offers that are free of contingencies. Contingencies, while not always a bad thing, often look less appealing to the sellers. While it isn’t a deal breaker, it is highly common for sellers to choose to accept contingency free offers over offers lined with contingencies even if the contingency free offer is for less. 

 

Related: First Time Home Buyer – 7 Keys to Success

 

#3 Chat with the Neighbors 

As simple as it may seem, befriending the neighbors can be your key in. By chatting with neighbors, you can not only get a feel for the neighborhood, but oftentimes the neighbors may be friends with the seller and might mention that they liked you which could help sway the seller to accept your offer over others. 

 

Whether you are searching for your first home, a vacation home, investment property etc. understanding the current market is key. Make sure to work closely with your realtor throughout the buying process. Your realtor is there to work for you and their main goal is to ensure that you end up with the home you want, and in most cases, they’ll pull out all the stops to make sure that happens whether it is a seller’s market or not.  

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are ready to sell your home and are in need of a qualified seller’s agent, or if you have any questions regarding Miami Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time. 

Posted in Real Estate
March 2, 2021

Buying a Home After Retirement

Retirement is one of those seasons of life that many people look forward to for a large handful of reasons, from enjoying the warm Miami air, practicing your swing on a weekday at your favorite country club, or enjoying the open seas surrounding Miami, there is plenty to look forward to. However, what many people tend to still have questions on is if you can still purchase a home even after retiring. Luckily the answer is, yes! 

 

Related: Best Golfing Communities Near Miami

 

retirementOnce of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to purchasing a home post retirement is how to qualify. While each loan is unique, the actual approval process for the home loan remains essentially the same as any other real estate purchase. When it comes to being approved for a home loan after you’ve retired there are a few different sources of income that you can use to help you qualify. Generally speaking, there are three main sources of income that are used when determining your approval for a home, including: 

 

#1 Pension

#2 Social Security 

#3 Investment Income 

 

Any additional income you receive such as spousal or survivor benefits can also be used as long as you are able to prove to the lender that the income will remain for a minimum of 3 years. To put things simply, age is just a number and whether you are a young 20-year-old looking at your first home or you are looking for a new home after retirement, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act is there to help ensure that all homeowners are treated equally and fairly and given the opportunity to own a home, regardless of age. 

 

Related: What is a Leaseback?

 

Whether you have already retired and are interested in exploring the options of purchasing a new home, or if you are simply trying to plan ahead for your future, it is always important to make sure that regardless of what pre-approvals you may receive from your lender, your personal budget is the most important to stick to even if that means staying well below the approval amounts. If you are unsure or have hesitations with purchasing a home after retirement, that’s ok! There are many different housing options that are available for you to explore including rentals, and in some cases even a Leaseback.

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are ready to sell your home, or have any general questions regarding Miami Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time. 

Posted in Real Estate
Feb. 24, 2021

What is a Leaseback?

leasebackLeasebacks are generally used within commercial real estate; however, it is becoming more and more popular to see them within every day real estate transactions including residential real estate. In short, a leaseback is when you as the homeowner sell your property and then rent the property via leaseback from the buyer/new homeowner. This allows you to stay within your home even after the sale, but instead of being the homeowner you are now the renter. 

 

Related: Things to Know Before Investing in an Airbnb

 

Generally, there are three different reasons you may choose to try and sell your home through a leaseback; however, each is unique to the seller and buyers’ situations. 

 

#1 Time to Retire 

Retirees are starting to take advantage of the option for many different reasons. The main perk to sell through a leaseback when it is time to retire is simply that you can use your equity from the sale to help feed your retirement fund while still living in your home and avoiding the stress of moving. 

 

#2 Financial Hardship

Whether it be from a layoff, or a home loan that has gone underwater, by using a leaseback you are able to get out of your mortgage, thus eliminating the revolving debt while still remaining within your home. If your loan is currently under water, you may not be seeing any proceeds from the sale, however pending on the new buyer’s rental terms, your monthly payment may lessen helping your situation drastically. 

 

Related: Why my Home Won’t Sell

 

Equity/Debt Payoff 

If you have a lot of equity within your home and are wanting to use that equity for other financial gains, whether paying off your credit cards or vehicles, saving for your children’s college, etc. then this could be a great option. You can remain in your home while still seeing the equity from the sale to use to your liking. 

 

There are many different reasons as to why you may choose to sell your home through a leaseback transaction, however, when considering the option, it is important to look at all of the pros and cons to ensure that you understand how the process works prior to deciding if it is the best decision for you personally. As with all things, there are pros and cons to everything and due to this you should make sure to look at both the positives and negatives should you be interested in perusing a leaseback sale. 

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, whether for an investment property or a primary residence, are ready to sell your home and are in need of a qualified seller’s agent, or if you have any questions regarding Miami Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time. 

Posted in Real Estate
Feb. 17, 2021

Why My Home Won’t Sell

home won't sellIf you’re currently trying to sell your house you may be facing a stressful journey, especially if your home isn’t selling as quickly as you would like it to be. There are a few different reasons that can play a role in why a house may be sitting on the market for an extended period of time, and while each property is unique, here are a few common reasons why your listing may be stuck on the market. 

 

Over or Under Priced 

 

There are dangers in both under and over pricing a home. If you price your home too low because you’re “motivated to sell” then many potential buyers may worry there is something wrong with the house because of the sale price and thus never take the time to even look at it as a viable optio, if you over price your home you may also lose out on potential tours and offers because buyers will see other listings within the area that are more affordable but comparable listings. Because of this, it is vital that you price your home accurately. A good agent will be able to help you do so by providing you with comps in the area as well as the current market value of your home. 

 

Related: Luxury Features That Aren’t so Luxurious

 

Contingencies 

 

Do you have contingencies within the sale? Are you motivated to sell? If you have contingencies or barter too much with any potential buyers you may be driving traffic, and thus offers away. While there isn’t a danger in a counteroffer, if you counter or barter too many times you may risk losing the offer completely.  

 

Online Listing 


Your online listing is a huge piece of selling your home. If your listing isn’t boasting your homes features with professional photos that showcase each room, then your listing may not be receiving the views or traffic that it deserves. Having an online presence is crucial in today’s market. Working with an agent who is tech savvy and able to get your listing to look picture perfect is a must in both a quick and efficient sale. 

 

Related: Best Golfing Communities Near Miami

 

While the list of potential reasons your home is stuck on the market could result in a number of different answers, these few things are the most common. Nearly all of these can be avoided by using the right agent and that is why it is so important to hire an agent who not only is an expert with the current market but is also willing to work for you to ensure that your home is listed at the right price, with the proper marketing and give you advice on any issues they foresee. 

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are in need of a qualified seller’s agent to help you list and market your property, or if you have any questions regarding Miami Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time. 

Posted in Real Estate
Feb. 8, 2021

Best Golfing Communities Near Miami

golfing communitiesWhether you call Miami Home, or are ready to make the move, owning a home in one of Miami’s best golfing communities is coveted by many. While there are many different communities to choose from, these few tend to draw the most attention. Ranging from a small 9-hole course where you can enjoy a quiet lifestyle in a small community, or pairing a perfectly manicured lawn with ocean views, you can’t go wrong when choosing to purchase in one of Miami’s many golfing communities. 

 

Granada Golf Course

 

As one of the most popular 9-hole golf courses near Miami, the Grenada is immensely popular because it is fronted by the Golf course rather than providing back yard views. Boasting beautiful Spanish style homes and a smaller course, you can enjoy a slower pace of life with a true sense of community without giving up easy access to a beautiful green. 

 

Deering Bay Golf Course

 

Deering Bay, home to the famous Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course is arguably the best private club within the Greater Miami area. Boasting a beautiful, gated community, Deering Bay Golf homes are some of the most coveted in Miami and with less than 40 homes surrounding the course many hope to call the community home ensuring that the market for Deering Bay homes is always hot.  

 

Miami Beach Golf Course

 

You don’t compromise on ocean views when buying a home in the Miami Beach Golf course. If the perfectly manicured lawns and expansive homes aren’t enough, you can also enjoy delicious cuisine at the Miami Beach Golf Club’ restaurant. Many homes surround the course including those that back to the lawn, as well as homes that sit a street behind the course allowing for proximity and privacy. Regardless of which home you choose, with lush mature greenery, each is stunning and provides breathtaking views. 

 

Each unique in its own way, Miami is home to some of the most beautiful Golf courses within the country. Paired with the beach lifestyle that Miami offers, the golfing communities are easily some of the most coveted within the states and it is easy to see why. Whether you are searching for a home in an exclusive club, on a small 9-hole course, near the beach, or a community that provides specific amenities, we are here to help you find the home of your dreams. 

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are in need of a qualified agent to help you list and market your property, or if you have any questions regarding Miami Real Estate please feel free to contact our office at any time. 

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Feb. 4, 2021

First Time Home Buyer, 7 Keys to Success

first time home buyerBuying a house can seem a bit scary, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. Luckily with the help of a great Real Estate Agent and a little preparation, you can sail through the home buying process and end up settled into a home that you love. As a general rule of thumb, these 7 keys to success can help you prepare for your home buying journey. 

 

#1 Pay Off Debt

 

First and foremost, prior to beginning your home search it is important to try and pay off as much of your debt as possible, this will help your house budget as well as approval odds for a home loan. 

 

Related: Moving to Miami, 5 Things You Need to Know

 

#2 Set a Budget 

 

Decide what type of monthly payment you are comfortable with. This should be a number that you discuss in depth to ensure it would still allow for other daily needs such as groceries, gas and monthly bills. 

 

#3 Start Saving 

 

There are a lot of fees that you may be required to pay when purchasing a house including closing costs and a down payment. Prior to beginning your search try to start saving up so that you have the needed funds to cover these costs. 

 

#4 Get Pre-Approved 

 

You may notice that your pre-approval amount is higher than the budget that you set for yourself. Even if this is the case it is important to remember to stick to a budget that you are comfortable with and only look at homes within that price range. 

 

Related: Pros and Cons of a 15 or 30 Year Mortgage

 

#5 Search Homes 

 

Time to start your search! Make sure to work closely with your agent so that they can help you find homes that are not only within your budget but also fit your list of wants and needs. It is important to only look at homes you can afford, by doing so you aren’t setting unrealistic standards of what you want to see in a home that has a larger price tag. 

 

#6 Research

 

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few homes or areas you like, make sure to do ample research on the neighborhoods, school districts, commuting, the community, etc. A good house can be ruined by a poor neighborhood and by doing your research you can ensure you love both the home and where it is located. 

 

#7 Tour/Place Offers

 

Now that you’ve narrowed down the potential houses, it is time to set up touring appointments and ultimately, place an offer! Work closely with your agent through this step as they will be able to guide you through any negotiating that may be needed. 

 

While a lot goes into purchasing a home, by following these 7 keys to success and working with a reputable agent you are sure to find a house that you can call, home. 

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, whether your first home, second home, or vacation home, are ready to sell your property, or if you have any questions regarding Miami Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time. 

Posted in Real Estate