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. 20, 2020

New to Homeownership? Here's What to Spend Money on

Homeownership can be exciting, especially if this is your first time owning a home. But, if you haven't maxed out your budget buying the property, you've probably set aside some money for projects and home improvement. Before you dive into spending a boatload of money, here's what you probably should be spending your money on is a new homeowner.

New to homeownership

First off, do a project inventory. Take an annual inventory of all your home projects and things you want to get done. Estimate cost of time and materials. Consider outsourcing jobs that may be beyond your comfort level and budget a little bit beyond what you think you might need.

Make a timeline of what to repair and when. Just because you have 100 things you want to do as soon as you move in, doesn't mean that you'll tackle them all at once. Understanding the age and level of operation of systems in your home can help you predict upcoming costs. For instance, if your home inspector said that your furnace has 10 years left on it, find out how much a new furnace will cost and then divide that by how many months you have left on the furnace. Put that money aside each month so that when the time comes to replace it, you have exactly how much you need.

Another trick is if your appliances are about eight years old, it will cost half as much to fix them as it will to replace them. Weigh the cost of replacement with repairs.

Make a note of any home improvements that will increase the value. Not only do you want to improve the house while you live there, but you want to create more value so that if you do go and sell the house, the home has greatly increased its value.

Know when to outsource work. Time really is money and if you make $20 an hour, it may not be worth your time to do a project yourself. Consider how much your time is worth and if you'll make more money not doing the project yourself and instead hire out.

Don't forget to negotiate. Don't just take one workers word for it; get two or three estimates on major projects so that you can save money where you can and put it into materials or other projects instead.

If you're new to homeownership these are some great tips to get you on track financially. The last thing you want is to max out your budget and not have any money for repairs. With some simple organization and planning, you can tackle projects one at a time and slowly increase the value of your home.

If you’re currently searching for a condo to call home, have questions regarding the real estate within the Miami area, or would like to speak with a qualified real estate agent, please feel free to contact our office at any time and we would love to assist you.

More Tips for Miami Home Sellers:

What Do Luxury Home Buyers Really Want?

Don't Let Virus Scares Keep You From Selling Your Home

What to Consider When Choosing the Right Neighborhood

The Importance of Cleaning Closets Before Listing Your Home

10 of the Best Home Selling Tips of the Year

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Oct. 14, 2020

Is There Wildlife in Miami?

Miami is a hot spot for vacationers, with its sandy white beaches, sky high palm trees, crystal clear waters, and year-round warm temperatures, both locals and tourists are guaranteed to enjoy their time. Aside from the day to day grind, hustle and bustle, or tourist activities, Miami is beaming with dozens of different species of wildlife. From aquatic creatures to birds, you can spend a day exploring and viewing a few of the beautiful animals that also call Miami home.

Related: Best Beaches in MiamiIs There Wildlife in Miami?

One of the most breathtaking experiences and sights includes the viewing of sea turtles as they have slowly begun to disappear from the Oceans and beaches. During certain times of the year, you may be lucky enough to experience a sea turtle nesting, hatching and/or release. The Loggerhead turtles, Green turtles and Leatherback turtles are all protected species that have designated nesting areas along the Miami coast to help re-populate the oceans.

It isn’t uncommon for you to see dolphins or whales playing both near and far off the shore. Humpback whales as well as Right whales both migrate off of the Florida coast, making them a common sight, especially when on a whale watching tour just off the shoreline. The Bottlenose dolphin can be seen year-round, most commonly from boats as they play in the wakes and swim alongside the bow. On occasion, the Bottlenose dolphins will swim only meters from the shore, riding the waves and playing in the whitewash, a site both locals and tourists enjoy. 

Related: What is Miami Like in The Winter?

Is There Wildlife in Miami?The Everglades is one of the most popular places to visit when it comes to viewing wildlife as it is home to dozens of different species. Whether you want to hike and explore independently, watch the alligator show, or follow a guided tour, the Everglades is sure to provide exceptional and stunning wildlife. 40 different mammal special call the Everglades home and you can spot animals such as otters, panthers, bears, raccoons, bats, manatee’s and so much more. In addition, more than 300 different species of fish swim thorough the Everglades and 50 different reptiles roam and swim through the area.

Whether you spend the day on a guided boat tour, search for tidepools along the coast, or visit the Everglades, the wildlife within Miami is sure to provide you with memories and sights you won’t soon forget.

For more information on Miami and the surrounding areas, to find, purchase or sell real estate within Miami, or for any questions you may have, please feel free to contact our office and we would be more than happy to assist you.

 

Posted in News
Oct. 7, 2020

4 Things to Feature When Selling a Miami Condo

When it comes to selling a home you always want to try and highlight as many positive features within the home as possible. Oftentimes you will see features such as large lots, fenced yards, secluded neighborhoods or cul-de-sacs as featured highlights, however, when it comes to selling a condo, there are many other features that you should be sure to include in your listing to help it stand out among the rest.

Floor Levelmiami condo

Floor Level is a huge factor when it comes to buying a condo, so use it to your advantage! Highlight the benefits of living on the top, bottom, or middle floors. For example, a top floor could boast high ceilings and great views, a ground floor could be easily accessible and require no elevators, and the middle floors are generally the best for controlled heating and cooling providing lower energy bills.

Related: Top Floor or Bottom Floor, What is Better When Buying a Condo?

Amenities

Amenities are a big bonus when it comes to condos. Whether it be a fitness center, spa, business facilities, pools and hot tubs, rooftop decks, etc. you should always be sure to list the amenities that are provided to residents, should they decide to call the condo home. In addition to the more common amenities as mentioned above, also be sure to include added features such as security, doormen, valet parking, etc. if at all applicable.

Walk Score

Walk scores and bike scores have become quite popular among buyers, so if your condo is in a highly walkable or bikeable location, be sure to highlight those scores in your listing to show potential buyers the proximately to local dining and shopping. In some cases, walk, bike, and transit scores will be automatically put below your listing, however, this will not include the names of nearby restaurants or shops, so by adding a few closeby businesses to your listing, potential buyers can get an idea of what is nearby.

Related: 5 Benefits of Living in a Highrise

HOA

HOA’s are often looked at as a burden or unnecessary cost, however, if understood correctly, they can often provide a great selling point for condos. When mentioning your dues, it is important to explain all that is covered by the monthly fee such as common area maintenance, outdoor repairs, trash services, water bills, landscaping etc. By highlighting all that is covered by the HOA, buyers may feel a sense of relief after seeing what is provided to them by the monthly HOA fee. 

If you’re currently searching for a condo to call home, have questions regarding the real estate within the Miami area, or would like to speak with a qualified real estate agent, please feel free to contact our office at any time and we would love to assist you.

Find Out What Your Miami Condo is Worth

More Tips for Miami Home Sellers:

What Do Luxury Home Buyers Really Want?

Don't Let Virus Scares Keep You From Selling Your Home

4 Upgrades to Consider for the Chance of a Fast Sale

Can I Rescind a Counter-Offer if a Better One Comes in?

The Importance of Cleaning Closets Before Listing Your Home

10 of the Best Home Selling Tips of the Year

Posted in Selling
Sept. 21, 2020

How to Convert your Home Office into a Classroom

How to Convert your Home Office into a Classroom

As we all try to settle into a new normal, for those with school-aged students you’ve had to make the decision to either send student back to the classroom, enroll in virtual learning, or homeschool. For those that have chosen a homeschool or virtual learning approach, you may find challenges in preparing your home for your student(s).

Whether you work from home full time, or have a designated office for personal use, there are a few easy ways you can convert the space into a classroom to help excel your students learning. While it may mean making adjustments for yourself, your students and their education will thank you.

Related: How to Be More Productive in Your Home Office

#1 Designate the Space for School Use Only

As tempting as it may be to have your students do their work from the couch or dining table, setting up a specific space or workstation for school will help the long-term focus of your students. This also allows your house to still feel like home and allows both you and your student(s) to leave the workspace for breaks.

#2 Use the Walls

You may have to take down your Zen décor for a while, however, by using the wall space you are maximizing learning potential and creating a classroom environment for your student(s). Whether you put up an ABC chart, multiplication tables, a solar system diagram, etc. find things that will help aid your student in their learning. Another great option is to use a scorecard or point system. Behavior, learning, focus, etc. can all be a part of your charts, by putting them on the wall for visibility your student will be able to remain focused and see their progress throughout the day.

#3 White Noise

Believe it or not, white noise can immensely help your student’s ability to learn, especially if they are used to a classroom setting. You may have to try a few different settings to find what works best, whether it be rain, waves, chatter, etc. the extra background noise will help your student(s) by providing a classroom setting that is closer to that of their traditional school. A full classroom is rarely quiet. Embrace the noise!

Related: What is Miami Like in the Winter?

#4 Toss the Rolling Chair

Try to think of the way a true classroom would be set up, generally speaking rolling office chairs are not involved. Rolling chairs provide students with constant distraction and they may be tempted to spin, rock, and play instead of focusing on the work at hand. Find a stationary chair for use within the classroom and save the office chair for extra-curriculars such as gaming or movies.

For information on ways to improve your home visit our blog, or if you’re searching for a new home that has office or classroom space, feel free to contact our office at any time and we would love to assist you.

Have a Real Estate Question? Ask Now

Posted in News
Sept. 17, 2020

5 Benefits of Living in a Highrise

In nearly every coastal city around the globe, there is a skyline filled with high rise buildings. From offices to condos and luxury homes, there are many reasons why a Highrise is a great place to call home, especially when living in a coastal city such as Miami.

Related: Top Floor of Bottom Floor, What is Better When Buying a Condo?5 Benefits of Living in a Highrise

Views

It is no secret that the views from a Highrise are breathtaking. Looking over the tops of the rest of the city, oftentimes straight to the coast, you can catch the sunrise or sunset, or spend hours in the afternoon watching the swelling waves as they crash onto the shore.

Amenities

Often overlooked, a huge advantage to calling a Highrise home it’s the amenities that is offers to the residents. While all buildings are different, many Highrise buildings provide top of the line luxurious amenities such as rooftop gardens or dining, infinity pools with a view, theaters, state of the art gym equipment, business centers, resident activities and events and so much more.

Walkability

It isn’t just residential real estate that surrounds Highrise buildings. With a quick ride down the elevator you can generally find multiple fine dining and quick service options as well as boutiques, big box stores and conveniences all only a few moments away. The walk scores that are assigned to Highrise buildings are nearly always higher than those of single-family homes within a suburban neighborhood 

Related: 5 Reasons Miami is a Popular Place to Call Home

Doorman/Security

Again, while all buildings are different, it is very common for Highrise buildings to provide the residents with state-of-the-art security systems and even doormen. This provides a huge sense of comfort and safety, especially when calling a busy city such as Miami home. In addition, having these extra amenities in place limits the number of people such as salesmen into the building which allows you to live in peace without the contact knock of a solicitor.

Pests

While pests aren’t generally something you want to think of when purchasing real estate, the likelihood of pests of any kind making their way up multiple stories of a Highrise is highly unlikely. The higher into a building you go, the lower your chances of having any unwanted visitors becomes.

Whether you are currently searching for a Highrise to call home, are wanting to list your property for sale, or have any general questions regarding Miami and the real estate within, please feel free to contact our office at any time.

Have a Real Estate Question? Ask Now

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Sept. 8, 2020

Best Beaches in Miami

Best Beaches in Miami

Miami is home to miles and miles of beaches; with its powdery white sand, year-round warmth and crystal-clear blue waters it is no mystery that the beaches in Miami are sure to please both locals and vacationers. While for some any beach is a good beach, there are beaches that are specifically geared to provide different features allowing for the most enjoyment to be had pending on the day and activities you have planned.

Related: Life by the Beach Helps Eliminate Stress

Sunny Isles Beach is the perfect beach to spend the day if you want to take a small break from the sand and do a little souvenir shopping. Two miles of public beach provide multiple difference souvenir shops as well as hotels and eateries.

Surfside is a beach that is most commonly used by locals and is provides a sense of community where many beach goers know each other by name. This is a great beach to visit to catch a wave or explore if you are considering moving to the Miami area as you can see the residential and community feel Miami has to offer.

Related: What is Miami Like in the Winter?

Best Beaches in Miami

South Pointe Park Pier is a great beach to go to for the whole family. It isn’t as crowded as other public beaches and also features a huge park with a playground and picnic areas to let the kids burn off some energy or enjoy a picnic lunch. South Point is also home to a small fishing pier, watching fisherman reel in their catch can make for a fun family activity!

Lummus Park Beach is what you would consider the “typical” Miami beach. Bright colors and surrounded by landmarks and activities, Lummus Park Beach will be more crowded than others but provides endless fun for all.

Crandon Park is great for easy parking. In addition to picture perfect views, there is also a boardwalk which a great way to enjoy a walk next to the beach without going in the sand. This is a huge bonus for those who have a stroller to push.

Related: 5 Reasons Miami is a Popular Place to Call Home

Haulover Beach provides a few different sections of beach, some areas are designated nude beaches, however, you can also find a great little dog beach where your pups can run through the sand and water for a great day of playing fetch.

While there isn’t necessarily a “bad” beach in Miami, if you’re planning a day of surfing, sunbathing, a quick jog along the boardwalk, or a day filled browsing shops, there are beaches that will be sure to provide you with the best of the best.

If you’re looking at moving to the Miami area, have questions regarding the real estate within Miami, or have any other questions, please feel free to contact our office at any time.

Posted in Miami Realtor
Aug. 31, 2020

4 Common Mistakes When Buying a Beach Home

4 Common Mistakes When Buying a Beach Home

Owning a beach home seems to be a dream of many, especially when that home lies in a place as desirable as Miami. While owning a beach home comes with many different perks, there are also a few things that you should keep in mind when choosing to call a beach home, home.

Related: 5 Reasons Miami is a Popular Place to Call Home

Budget – First and foremost, when buying a beach home, do not forget to stay within your budget. The most common real estate sales to go over budget are generally beach homes or waterfront properties. Getting swept up in the location and features can often overshadow the budget you wanted to stick to and thus cause financial stress for the longevity of your mortgage loan.

Elements – When choosing to purchase a beach home you want to do your research on a few different items regarding the elements your home will be faced with. Look into the direction the wind blows to create a breeze, potential storm damages, directional advantages, etc. For example, if you want to see a sunset from the master bedroom, look into the direction that the window faces.

Related: Should I Buy a House With a Saltwater Pool or a Freshwater Pool?

Rental Income – While rental income is indeed a nice added bonus when it comes to purchasing a beach home, you should never count on this to help offset the cost of the home. While one year you may be able to rent your home during the off season or weekends and bring in enough to cover your costs and then some, other years may be slower and by counting on that income you may find yourself in quite a pickle.

Location – What could be better than owning a beach home?! Well, despite your home seeming perfect, you need to remember to do your research on the surrounding neighborhood and areas. If your home is in the middle of a neighborhood known for summer rentals you may find yourself surrounded by loud summer vacationers. Understanding the neighborhood, demographics, school zones, etc. all play a huge role when deciding to purchase any home. Despite the “perfect” house, you should always make sure to do the proper research on the location the home is in. A bad location can ruin a good home.

Related: Life By the Beach Helps Eliminate Stress

Keep these few common mistakes in mind when you begin the search for your next beach home! With the right buyer’s agent by your side, you are sure to find a home within your budget, and in a location that you will love for years to come.

If you’re ready to find your next beach home, are looking for a qualified buyer’s agent, or have any questions regarding the buying or selling process, please feel free to contact our office at any time.

More:

Should you turn your backyard into the neighborhood pub?

Why are beach homes so desirable?

How to use a construction loan to buy your dream home

Take advantage of home buying affordability right now

Aug. 27, 2020

7 Must-Haves for Aging in Place

There's something comforting and secure about enjoying where you live for decades, longing to your retirement years. But, if you're planning on retiring where you are, you may want to change a few things at home rather than looking for a new place to live. A lot of baby boomers are actually staying in place, primarily due to kids and grandkids coming home or staying a while. But, maybe you just love your home or location, neighbors, or the convenience of where you are. If that's the case, you may want to stay in your home for the next couple of decades and if so, here are some great must-haves to consider buying.7 Must-Haves for Aging in Place

Change out your doorknobs to levers. This simple change can make it easier to operate door hardware for anyone suffering from arthritis or has issues with their joints.

Changing out hard flooring to soft carpet. This not only feels better on your feet and your joints, but could soften a fall as well.

Make adjustments to bathrooms. Grab bars, comfort height toilets, and soft drugs can really make a huge difference in the bathroom. Many of these new designs can be decorative as well as useful. You don't need to look like a nursing home to make your bathroom more convenient.

Convenient telephones. Having touchtone telephones with large buttons, speakers, or hands-free capability, as well as a text capability for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, might be a great option.

Automatic shut off safety devices for kitchen appliances. This also might be a good thing to consider looking into. If you are out and about and can't remember if you turned off the stove or left the dishwasher running, it might be a good idea to look into options that allow for automatic shut off safety devices.

Ramps for entryways. Installing a ramp or rail bars for stairs might be a good idea as well as installing a sturdier railing along all staircases. Mobility aids might also be a good option such as a walker, motorized scooter, or just simply a cane.

Step in or walk in bathtub/shower. Many bathtubs and showers can be converted fairly easy these days. You might also consider a transfer bench for a bathtub or shower and a hand-held shower head or grab bars in the shower.

Whether you're looking to modify your existing home to enjoy it for years to come or home that may already have all of these, this is a good list of things that you may not consider now but in 10 years will be a joy to have.

Contact me today if you're looking specifically for a condominium or retirement community that offers these aging in place devices.  786-443-9649

Moving to Orlando? Check out these 55+ communities in Osceola County

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Aug. 17, 2020

What is Miami Like in the Winter?

What is Miami Like in the Winter?

Looking at the calendar it’s hard to believe that Summer is nearly over and Fall is quickly approaching. When you hear “Miami,” you think of summer fun, days spent with your toes in the sand, and warm weather. But is this true for the fall and winter months as well? What is Miami like during the Winter months?

Related: 5 Reasons Miami is a Popular Place to Call Home

Contrary to common belief, Miami actually gets busier outside of the summer months. Miami has the warmest weather during winter than any other state within the US. With highs between 75-77 from December-March, it is easy to see why tourists flock to Miami in the winter. Beaches, roadways, hotels, etc. will all be busier during what is expected by many to be the “off-season.”

With the lowest average temperature in the winter holding at 64 degrees Fahrenheit, you may want to grab a light coat or sweatshirt, but even in the winter months, there is plenty of beach and outdoor fun to go around. With the “cooler” winter temperatures you can often enjoy different outings that may not be as pleasant during the humid summer months, so be sure to take advantage of all Miami has to offer

Tours - Spend a day being a tourist by enjoying one of the many city tours. Whether you are into fashion, history, or up for some sightseeing, Miami has the perfect tour for you. Miami is known for their many boat tours where you can enjoy glass bottom boats, speedboats and a handful of other options that put and cruise through the crystal blue waters.  

Related: Life by the Beach Helps Eliminate Stress

Fishing – There is no better time to go fishing that in the winter when it comes to the city of Miami. Not only is the temperature more bearable, but the fish are plentiful. A day out on the water could bring home dinners including Grouper, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Amberjack, Marlin, Sailfish, Permit, Tarpon, and even Shark.

Hiking/Exploring – Without the immense heat from the summer sun, winter is the perfect time to head out to explore. The Everglades are one of the most popular areas to go hiking and provide not only breathtaking views of the landscape and scenery, but also provide you with the chance to see wildlife such as bald eagles, sea turtles, manatees, alligators, storks, crocodiles, wild turkeys, butterflies, and so much more.

Related: 5 Tips to Plan for Your Next Miami Home

Winter in Miami provides exponential opportunities to explore and relax without the dreaded Miami heat. The only questions left is what you will do first.

For more information on activities and real estate within Miami, to find your next Miami home, or for any questions, please feel free to contact our office at any time.

 

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Aug. 12, 2020

Should I Buy a House With a Saltwater Pool or a Freshwater Pool?

Should I Buy a House With a Saltwater Pool or a Freshwater Pool?

When living in an area that is known for having warm weather year round such as Florida or California, oftentimes you may find a pool on your wishlist while house shopping. Saltwater pools have recently become more popular which has left many of us wondering whether a saltwater pool or a freshwater pool is the better choice.

Related: Life By the Beach Helps Eliminate Stress

When you think of a saltwater pool oftentimes you initially think of having salty ocean water, however, this isn’t the case. While you will definitely notice a taste difference, it is a far lower salt content than traditional saltwater found in the ocean. No burning eyes or salt residue! One highlight of a saltwater pool is the feel of the water. The added salt softens the water and makes it almost feel silky which is a huge selling point when choosing a pool. Another positive is the overall cost of maintaining a saltwater pool, while the start up cost for equipment will be more expensive than a standard chlorinated pool, the upkeep is far less and can save up to $800 annually. Generally speaking, a saltwater pool is gentler on your skin, eyes, clothing and any pool toys or floats that may make their way into the water. The drawbacks of a saltwater pool are the start up costs, generally, start up costs will be around $2,000 for the needed equipment. The next drawback is the risk of corrosion. Due to the salt in the water this can lead to corrosion or leave residue along your pool and pool deck that is often difficult to remove and clean.

A chlorinated freshwater pool is generally speaking the more “common” option that you will find when house hunting. Primarily because up until the last 2-3 years saltwater pools weren’t very common or sought after and many homeowners have yet to make the switch. Freshwater pools are generally more expensive to maintain than a saltwater pool, however, the startup and equipment needed is much less expensive which can in turn balance things out slightly.  A chlorinated pool will have chlorine delivered generally through a chlorine tablet that sanitizes and cleans the pool, and once that dissipates the water is more susceptible to algae. When choosing a chlorinated pool it is vital to make sure that you are adding the needed chlorine on a routine schedule to keep your pool clean and clear. The only drawback of a freshwater pool is truly just the upkeep costs, maintenance and routines that are needed to keep the pool clean, other than that, there aren’t very many cons.

Related: 5 Reasons Miami is a Popular Place to Call Home

Ultimately, deciding on which pool is best is all up to preference as there isn’t a clear or definitive answer on which is better over the other. They both have great features and offer days of sun filled fun for all. When purchasing a home, it is important to look at pool features and decide if they fit your needs. For example, if you decide you want a saltwater pool, make sure that the pool doesn’t have extensive detail or rock work as this will cause more corrosion potential and require additional cleaning, but rather find a simple shaped pool that will make cleaning easy.

For help finding your pool home, to contact an agent, or for any questions regarding the buying or selling process, please feel free to contact my office at any time.

Posted in Miami Real Estate