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,

Oct. 14, 2019

How Clean Should You Leave a Home When You Move Out?

How Clean Should You Leave a Home When You Move Out?

When you sell and close your home and it is finally time to pull all of your life’s belongings out and move on, there is an unspoken expectation of how clean the house should be left. Many a home seller asks the question: how clean should it be left/how clean is clean enough/how clean is socially/morally/etiquette-ly acceptable?

Most real estate home purchase contracts will include a clause that states the home must at least be what is called broom clean. Generally, this means that the seller needs to leave all walls and the ceilings bare along with sweeping up after everything is removed from the home. Even this terminology is vague and leaves very much room for interpretation. Some states, California for example, leave out the expected condition of the home at turnover except to say it needs to be in the same physical condition as when the offer was made and accepted and all belongings and debris should be removed at move out.

The best way to determine what is best for the particular sell of your home, is to consult the actual purchase contract. Look for anything that would state the extent of expected cleanliness the home should be left in. If you are unsure if your purchase contract says anything about cleaning at move out it is a good idea to ask your real estate agent.

What do you do if there is nothing stated about expected cleaning?

If the wording is very vague or there just doesn’t seem to be anything at all in the purchase contract about expected cleaning of the home it is a great time to ask yourself, “What would I expect or hope for if I was the buyer?”

The best rule of thumb is to simply leave the home in the condition you would hope to receive it in yourself. How would you like to be greeted when you walked in the door to your brand new home? What would you expect to walk into when you first open the front door? Just because the deal on the home purchase has already gone through does not mean you won’t burn a bridge that could have been useful In the future if you leave the home in poor condition.

Tip: Moving is long and tiring work, especially if you have a large home full of belongings or a large family to move. You will want to start right away on the packing process as soon as the purchase is made so that you can then move on to the cleaning process and ultimately the enjoying your next home process. After packing and moving all of your things out of the home you will be pretty tired so hiring a professional to come in and clean after all of your things are out is a great way to take care of the cleaning if you can afford to.

 

More Tips and Tricks

5 Security Tips to Protect Your Home and Family

Amazing Cleaning Routines for Night Owls and Early Birds

Selling a House During a Divorce

Benefits of Selling a Home in the Fall

4 Most Common Questions for Home Sellers

Posted in Selling
Oct. 9, 2019

Things to Know When Buying Florida Waterfront Property

There are numerous waterfront homes throughout the Miami and Miami Beach area. If you're planning on buying one of these homes is important to be aware that the home inspection is slightly different than a non-waterfront home. Here are some things to look for and surprises you might find in a waterfront home inspection.

Things to Know when Buying Florida Waterfront Property

Pests.

You'll want to make sure that there are no termites or other pests including ones that could be common to water-front homes that have destroyed any part of the foundation or the woodwork of the property. A home inspector will be able to verify this but may recommend an additional pest inspection. Carpenter bees can also be an issue on any holes in the siding or in the foundation. You'll want to make sure that those are sealed and that any nests are destroyed.

Related: Information on Lakefront Properties

Land survey. 

Does the land extend to the water's edge? You'll want to verify the boundary of your land to determine what you actually own if you own any part into the water, and any requirements for seawall or construction on the beach or close to the water.

Speak to the neighbors.

The best way to understand your waterfront property and any issues it may have in the future is to speak with existing neighbors. Ask about whether, erosion, saltwater issues, pests or construction issues may be of concern. Also, speak to neighbors that have been in the neighborhood for several years if not decades if possible.

Control

Double checked any local ordinances that may restrict the use of the waterfront. If you're unfamiliar with how mortgage, dockage or boating traffic works, contact the city and check the ordinances on requirements for Miami Florida water-front property.

Read more: Dockage and Boat Traffic in Miami

Insurance

Waterfront property may require different insurance so double-check with your homeowner's insurance so that your property is covered. Waterfront homeowners in Florida must by three distinct policies including a wind policy, a flood policy, and a general hazard policy, typically not alter the same insurer.

Boatlifts, Docks, and Seawalls

A seawall is also common in Florida waterfront homes. They can be made of vinyl, aluminum, concrete or steel. These are an important part of your property as they can be a successful way to control coastal and water erosion. They need to be constructed well and out of particular materials that can withstand the force of ongoing waves and water but they also need to be maintained on a regular basis.

Many of these waterfront homes will feature a boat dock and depending on the size of the boat it can accompany, they can be just a few feet to 20 or 30 feet. This provides a safe and easily accessible place to park your boat and allow access for swimmers, jet skiers, and other water activities. You want to clean your boat dock with a three to one blend of olive oil and white vinegar for stains and mineral salts. For oil stained areas you can scrub a paste of baking soda and water and rinse it off. You want to inspect your boat dock at the start and end of every season for the sound structure. Replace any splintered or rotted wood and check the nuts and bolts and other metal fasteners for their integrity.

 

SEARCH WATERFRONT PROPERTIES NOW

 

Miami Beach and Miami waterfront homes may also offer a boat lift. To ensure longevity you want to grease all the inserts on the lift and the gear plate, check the cables for wear spots and replace them every 2 to 3 years and you'll want to spray the lift down all your washing the boat because of the saltwater. Make sure to get the proper weight distribution on the left and ask the previous homeowner for any care tips if this is your first time owning a boat lift.

Understand the HOA

Homeowner's associations for waterfront properties may be different than in a typical association. Talk with the management about any changes, requirements or details you'll need to know about owning waterfront property in a particular subdivision.

Related: Checklist for home pre-inspections

 

Waterfront homes don't have to be difficult but with a little bit of research, you can feel more comfortable owning and maintaining your waterfront home. For more information feel free to give me a call at any time or browse all waterfront properties here on my website throughout Miami and Miami Beach Florida.

More Good Info on Waterfront

4 Things to Know About Buying a Beach Home

What Buyers Look For in Oceanfront Property

5 Things to Know About Buying a Condo

What to Know About Buying a Home After 50

4 Ways a Home Inspection Could Go

Oct. 2, 2019

5 Security Tips to Protecting Your Home and Family

5 Security Tips to Protecting Your Home and Family

We are always looking for ways to make our home and family safer, and while we can certainly invest in security systems, there are some simple things we can do in our home everyday to make it a bit more security.

#1. Keep your valuables locked up.

The odds that your home will be burglarized are pretty low but how easy is it to find your valuables if you do get burglarized? Keeping jewelry and valuables in a convenient spot will also be convenient for criminals so consider a commercial container, home safe, or a hiding place it only you know about. Also, take pictures of all of your valuables for insurance purposes just in case.

#2. Get a professional alarm system.

Most high and luxury homes and condominiums in Miami have security systems but they're not for the Uber rich. Anyone can own a pretty inexpensive alarm system these days whether it's entering a simple security code on your entrance and exit to the home or a full-on video monitoring system with cameras inside and outside.

#3. Add outside lighting.

Don't make it convenient for burglars and criminals to access your home. Keep bushes trimmed away from first-floor windows to prevent any hiding spots and add lighting in darker areas around your home. Motion sensors are great for this and just a little bit of a deterrent will definitely keep burglars at bay.

#4. Make sure all of your locks actually work.

Check your locks at least once a year to make sure they work correctly on all doors and windows.

#5. Make sure you know who has keys to your home.

Anytime you buy a new house you should have the keys remade with a new lock. You never know who the previous owners have given the keys to. Also, verify that you trust everyone that has a key to your home. There could be service providers who come weekly or friends and family but make a list and consider changing codes and keys every couple of years.

More great advice for homeowners in the Miami area:

Pros and Cons to a One-Story and Two-Story Home

Selecting a Home in Miami with a Hidden Room

5 Things You Must Do Before Moving In

What Amenities Should I Be Paying More For in a Condo Building?

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Sept. 24, 2019

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

How to Sell in a Hot Miami Real Estate Market

Selling might not seem like an issue in a hot real estate market, especially a seller's market, but if you're planning on buying as well as selling, it might be hard to compete against cutthroat buyers. There are ways to compete but it can be stressful when you need to sell and buy at the same time. Having the right real estate agent that understands the micro markets of the communities and neighborhoods around Miami and Miami Beach, as well as unique selling strategies, can really help bridge the gap between when you're home sells and when you purchase the new one.Miami real estate market

A seller's market is a real estate market in which sellers are more likely to sell their home for close to their asking price and at a faster rate than if it were a buyers market. A buyers market is where there are plenty of homes to go around and not enough buyers.

Read More:  4 Most Common Questions from Home Sellers

Miami is certainly hitting a hot seller's market these days but if you're planning on buying in the same area as you are selling, meaning you're not moving out of state or several counties away, you'll want to start planning early. Seek professional advice early on and meet with your real estate agent and lender if necessary far in advance to plan the strategy for selling and buying at the same time.

There are a couple of different options when it comes to buying and selling. You can buy first and then sell your home or you can sell first and then buy secondly.

If you're planning on buying first and then selling understand that you'll likely need to prove to your lender that you have enough money to make not only the down payment but to pay closing costs and cover any mortgage payments for two homes should your existing home not sell in time. This can be extremely stressful but it also can mean that you find the home of your dreams first before even listing.

The second option is to sell first and then buy a home, which is primarily the most common way of doing things. Homeowners list their home and once they receive an offer that looks decent then they start looking for homes to buy. The tricky part is closing around the same time. If you communicate with your buyers and the sellers that you're trying to coordinate things around the same time it might be easier to get the job done.

There is a third option in which you can include a rent back clause in your sales agreement, in which the buyer allows you to rent your home back for a given amount of time after closing so that you can find a new place. This is a little tricky and if the homeowners really want to move into the new property, you may find yourself literally without a home.

It really comes down to planning. If you do your research ahead of time, have a great real estate agent understands the market and how to negotiate for a fast sale and a quick closing on your new property, plan ahead with financing and communicate with your lender your needs, you can make this transition as smooth as possible.

 

For more information on getting your home listed and sold were finding the right home or perhaps both please give me a call at any time.

Find out what your Miami area home or condo is worth today

Great Advice for Sellers:

8 Unique Ways to Market Your Home

Is a Bidding War on Real Estate a Good Thing for the Seller?

10 Simple Ways to Make Buying a House More Affordable

How to Sell in a Buyer's Market

Inexpensive Upgrades That Look Like You Spent A Lot

 

 

Sept. 17, 2019

8 Unique Ways to Market Your Home

The market is fluctuating in a lot of places around the United States and some are doing better than others. If your home is been on the market for some time it may be time to get creative. There are a lot of different ways to market your home and some are pretty on Orthodox but if you're stuck, try these eight unique ways to market your home.

#1. Consider skipping the MLS.8 Unique Ways to Market Your Home

I know that's like the worst violation ever but hear me out: keeping your home off of the MLS for a few weeks gives your agent the chance to entice buyers with an early peak of the property. You can test the price first before putting it on the market for everyone else

#2. Make a killer video.

Virtual tours are becoming a must for many homes on the market but it requires more than just a compilation of photos strung together. Consider hiring a real estate photographer that also does drone videos. Add music to it, and feature the best rooms and the views from the condo or the property.

#3. Consider and above and beyond the open house.

Open houses definitely have their place but have come and gone over the years. Incorporating a theme to fit the home could attract more people that have been on the fence in the past. A brokers open on a luxury home could easily become a $15,000 event but if you're selling for $3 million, that's chump change.

#4. Use a weekend to pack showing appointments.

An open house is a good way to kick off a properties first few days on the market but by setting up appointments ahead of time and then filling all of those appointments with scheduled showings, buyers can see one another coming and going which gives them a sense of urgency.

#5. invite the neighbors.

Sure, you're going to have neighbors and looky loos checking out the property during an open house but you can also host a neighborhood event. Sometimes people see a home and like it better than the one there and even though they're not even trying to sell their home. Many deals come from neighbors who decide to put in an offer or pass the word on to their friends or relatives.

#6. Next the level staging.

Staging has definitely brought in more offers and higher prices but take your staging to the next level and you might even get a higher price. Bringing in designers and high-end furniture dealers who rent pieces could be a great way to stage a luxury home. Changing the perception of a property can definitely renew the life of an older listing.

#7. Maximize your motivation.

It's tough to show your motivation because then buyers think they have an upper hand in negotiations but motivation can be used to the seller's advantage by pairing it with a higher price at the top of the homes value range. Telling buyers that the seller is motivated could get them to put in an offer, especially if the property could easily fetch a higher price with more time.

#8. Find a buyer that doesn't know they're looking.

The right buyer may not even be looking for homes yet but that doesn't mean you can't go after them. Consider reaching out to firms that are being relocated to the Miami area or wherever your home is instead of waiting for them to reach out for new properties.

Every home is unique and I market it in a specific way to appeal to the right demographic and the right buyer.

Find out what your Miami area home or condo is worth today.

More Advice for Sellers

Posted in Selling
Sept. 9, 2019

4 Most Common Questions from Home Sellers

Most homeowners have tons of questions when it comes to selling your home and that's great! We should be asking a lot of questions and making informed decisions but these are probably the four most common questions homeowners have or at least, should have when it comes to selling their home. When interviewing a real estate agent or Realtor it's important to ask these questions along with anything else that might be concerning.

#1. How is the real estate market?4 Most Common Questions from Home Sellers

There are several different market indicators to help Realtors and agents understand the market so that they can price the home correctly and marketed to the right buyers. It's important to know the average days on the market, how quickly homes are selling, and the percentage of homes selling at their asking price, over the asking price, or under. Ask about the current market absorption rate. This is the rate at how fast homes would sell if no more listings hit the market today. A balanced market is between three months and six months. If it is under one month, chances are we're in a seller's market and sellers can hope to sell fairly quickly for a higher price. If the absorption rate is over eight months, it may take longer and the home may sell for a lower price.

#2. What do I have to tell the buyers about the home?

Perhaps you performed and unpermitted construction project or addition, maybe you know the home is had a leak, maybe it has lead-based paint or maybe you don't know any of these things. That's exactly what you need to disclose to buyers, everything you know or don't know. You will fill out the seller's disclosure form being as honest and transparent as you can about the property. If you are deceitful and buyers find out later it could involve a lawsuit so being upfront now will put you ahead of the game later on. If you are unsure about certain things such as if the home has lead-based paint, asbestos, or has had any major damage, there is a box marked "unsure" that you can choose. But it's important to tell buyers everything you know about the house as much as possible. Not only will it save you headaches in the future, but buyers will see that you are an honest seller so there are no surprises down the line.

#3. How will you price my home?

This goes hand-in-hand with the market question. Understanding the market will help price the home. Again, if we are in a seller's market, we can start at the higher end of the pricing scale so long as our competition is not grossly underpriced. We have to look at comparable properties to determine the right price point. We can always start high but pricing it correctly from the beginning is really the best way to get more buyers interested in your home and more offers on the table. We will go over all the research that I can conduct on finding the best home price and ultimately it is up to you to determine the price point.

#4. How long does it take to sell my house?

Ah...the burning question. While there is absolutely no direct answer, There are ways to tell how quickly a home will sell based on comparable sales in the area, the price of your home, the uniqueness of your home (if it's a luxury, large home, high-priced home, etc., they can take longer to sell) and then there are the basics of the transaction. On average, well-priced homes will sell within one to four weeks of listing, then there's typically 30 to 60 days after an accepted offer to conduct contingencies, inspections, and appraisals. The entire process can take as little as 30 days, or as long as six months depending on all parties involved in the current market.

 

Find out how much your home is worth today

 

More for Homeowners:

How to Pick the best Home Offer

Scheduling the Closing - What is it and When is it?

Can I Accept Another if I've Already Accepted a Contingent One?

Posted in Selling
Sept. 4, 2019

How to Pick the best Home Offer

Every homeowner thinks they want multiple offers when selling their home and while this is always a great position to be in, it can be a little stressful not knowing which offer to choose. The highest-priced may not always be the best offer. So how do you choose the best offer in a multiple offer situation?

How to Pick the best Home Offer

First, prioritize your needs.

Understand what you really want out of the sale of the house. Are you looking for convenience, are you in a time crunch? Or do you have all the time in the world and you really want the best price? You have to take a look at what the buyers are offering in order to understand what works best for your situation. If you need to move quickly, you may not want to accept an offer with a 60 to 90 day closing time. However, if you're looking to get the most out of your home in order to put a down payment on a new house, you may take the hit on the time in order to get the highest price.

Related: Can I accept another offer if I've already accepted a contingent one?

Negotiables may also kill a deal.

If there are numerous contingencies and negotiable items that just don't fit your priorities, it doesn't really matter the time frame or the price, the offer may just not be right. Plus, buyers may request a lot of ridiculous or unnecessary items such as keeping the TV in the house, artwork on the walls, or a play set in the backyard. Whatever it is, if you're planning on taking these items with you, you can always negotiate, but they also could be a dealbreaker.

Also, contingencies can make a huge difference. If the buyer needs to sell another house before buying yours, if they have to get another job, if the financing contingency doesn't go through, if the inspection has problems, all of these issues play into whether or not an offer is accepted or not. However, you can negotiate contingencies ahead of time and come up with a reasonable situation for both buyer and seller.

Read More: Understanding and Scheduling the Closing

Understand the process.

Once you understand the home buying process from a sellers perspective, it can put you in a much better situation. If you're using a real estate agent to help sell the home, it's still the homeowner's responsibility to understand and participate in the process. Agents are great advisors and most have a wealth of knowledge and experience but it is ultimately your decision which offer you accept.

Once you set parameters on your priorities, timeframe, price, motivation, and negotiations, it will help you make a better informed decision on which offer to choose.

More: Is a bidding war a good thing for sellers?

Posted in Selling
Aug. 30, 2019

Will My Homeowner's Insurance Cover Me After a Hurricane?

Will My Homeowner's Insurance Cover Me After a Hurricane?

Hurricane Dorian is bearing down hard and as we head towards Labor Day weekend, you probably want to make sure that your homeowners or renter insurance will hold up during this kind of a disaster. Here's some information about homeowners insurance and hurricane damage.

It often depends on the type of disaster you have. Most damages from many calamities are covered by a standard policy but some are not and so it's important to know what your policy covers. Plus, it might cover some of the damage but not the full extent and many homeowners and renters don't have adequate protection to cover all their losses. In addition, new tax reform laws could mean that uninsured losses can only be deducted in specific cases.

Homeowners insurance, condo, and renters insurance will cover damage sustained from most natural disasters including hurricanes. Most insurance will pay to repair the structure up to the insured amount. It may also cover possessions inside your home, up to about 70% of what the structure of your home is insured for. Landscaping and other elements may also be reimbursed at about $500 per item but again, it's important that you understand what's covered in your policy. Condo insurance can cover some structural elements but renters insurance will usually only cover your own possessions excluding appliances. However, landlords will usually have a policy that covers all of the above.

What is not covered?

Damage from flooding, earthquakes, mudslides, and sinkholes are usually excluded from homeowners insurance. These need to be a separate policy funded by the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer. Some policies may also exclude specific whether in coastal states such as Florida, North and South Carolina. So check with your current policy on if it covers everything you own and the area in which you live.

What can you do about uncovered losses?

You can deduct any personal property losses not covered by your insurance if the damage is from a federally declared disaster. To deduct these losses, subtract $100 from each loss before adding up the total cost. The total must be more than 10% of your adjusted gross income.

Keep your records. It's important to keep accurate records for filing claims. Take pictures of everything in your home, make notes on items that you have recently improved upon like a water heater or new roof, and have an inventory of all your possessions.

Stay safe out there Miami and let's buckle down and hold on tight.

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Aug. 15, 2019

6 Bedroom Home for Sale in Miami

Welcome to 2301 NE. 191st St. in Miami Florida in the Enchanted Lake subdivision.

Home for Sale in Miami

This is a six-bedroom, three-bath home, with nearly 3900 ft.² currently priced at $799,000.

This oversized lot features 15,000 ft.² with 155 feet of waterfront Canal and ocean access. It has a private tennis court, large open floor plan, beautiful wood floors, granite counters in the kitchen, stainless steel appliances, swimming pool, and recreation room. This home needs a little bit of updating but it sits on a quiet street with the park and across the street are schools, fields, and parks.

Welcome to the beautifully updated kitchen with granite counters and backsplash, stainless steel hood, newer cabinets, and large floorplan. Many of the bathrooms have been updated with newer vanities and cabinets, appliances and flooring.

The home actually sits on what could be to lots because one half of the lot is a private tennis court. It also sits right along the waterfront with access to the ocean. This is an extremely unique home all on one story. It was originally built in 1960 and features over a third of an acre just ready for occupancy. It also comes with a below ground swimming pool and fenced yard.

6 bedroom home for sale in Miami

This home is in the Miami school district and is served by the St. Lawrence elementary school, and several other private schools in the area. The Dr. Michael M Krop Senior high school also serves this area. Shops, restaurants, markets and more are close by as this home has a 43 walk score, 52 transit score, and 47 bike score. You're just minutes from downtown Miami, sports fields, recreational options, and entertainment. This is an extremely unique home so if you've been looking for a six-bedroom property on a large lot with lots of recreational options, this might be ideal.

 

Schedule a showing now or call 786-443-9649

 

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Aug. 8, 2019

Some Commonly Asked Questions About Carpet Cleaning

Some Commonly Asked Questions About Carpet Cleaning

If you need to hire a professional carpet cleaner when listing and staging your Miami home and have never or not done so in a very long time, you probably have many questions. You are not alone, we get many questions about the carpet cleaning process and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Here are some of the most frequently asked carpet cleaning questions answered.

What do I need to do to prepare for a professional carpet cleaning?

If you want every inch of carpeting in a room cleaned (which is recommended), you will need to remove everything from the room, including all of the furniture. This is why it is such a great idea to have the carpets professionally cleaned before you move into a new home. Some people choose to just pick up small items or things that are sensitive to moisture which is ok as well, but areas of carpet under large and heavy furniture will not be cleaned if the equipment cannot fit under them. It is also a good idea to do a thorough vacuuming just before the cleaners arrive.

Related: What about care for natural stone?

How soon can we walk on it?

It is ideal not to let anything come in contact with the carpet until it is fully dry. Minimal steps can be taken across the carpet if necessary with stockings or booties on. Be extra careful when transitioning from wet carpet to a hard surface floor your feet can be slick on the bottom.

When will the carpet be dry?

It can take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours for carpets to fully dry after a carpet cleaning. Fans and open windows ( in areas of low to no humidity) can help to speed up the process by a little, not a ton.

If I turn the heat up will the floors dry faster?

Cranking up the heat in your home to help dry the carpet is not necessary. The best thing to help drying time is air flow. Keep the temperature in your home at a comfortable temperature and keep the air moving with the use of fans.

How do I keep my floors clean after a professional deep cleaning?

The best thing you can do to maintain your carpets and keep them in the best shape possible is with regular and proper vacuuming. Frequency and consistency are important to keep carpet fibers from crushing and dirt from settling deep into fibers. Make sure to vacuum in overlapping rows and go slow enough for the machine to have enough time for proper suction power.

Related: How to care for your carpet and flooring like a pro

Spot cleaning right when stains, spills, and accidents happen is also key to keeping your carpets spot-free. Remember to always gently blot when cleaning a spot and never rub.

Find Out What Your Home is Worth Today!

 

Posted in Selling