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,

Jan. 27, 2021

Moving to Miami, 5 Thing You Need to Know

Moving to a new area can be both exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time. Luckily, when choosing to move, whether from across town or thousands of miles away, you can’t get much better than Miami. As with any new area there are a few things you should know to help not only prepare you for the move, but to get a feel for the Miami area as a whole. 

 

#1 Affordability 

 

While there are areas within Miami that are full of glitz and glamor, Miami as a whole is actually a very affordable area, especially for a coastal town. This helps keep Miami diverse and affordable for everyone, regardless of household income.  

 

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

 

#2 Bi-Lingual 

 

A large portion of the locals within Miami speak multiple languages, the two most common being English and Spanish. With so many locals speaking a second language, it might be fun to try and pick it up!

 

#3 Tourists 

 

There are a lot, and I mean a LOT of tourists that visit Miami each year. While there are areas within Miami where locals tend to hang more than tourists, when calling Miami home, be prepared to be surrounded by new faces all the time. 

 

#4 Traffic

 

Public transportation and walking to both work and the store are quite common, this is due to the fact that Miami has a very heavy traffic flow, especially during rush hour. When choosing to live in the city, or near shopping and dining, you can enjoy a nice walk in the sunshine to get your daily needs, a much more relaxing alternative to the traffic jams on major freeways. 

 

#5 Neighborhoods

 

You can find all sorts of neighborhoods within Miami. From Highrise luxury condominiums and apartments, mansions and large waterfront estates, respectably sized single-family homes, and neighborhoods that lack some curb appeal and need a little love. When moving to Miami, make sure to explore the neighborhoods prior to placing an offer to ensure you are purchasing a home in a neighborhood you love. 

 

Related: Condo or House in Miami and Miami Beach?

 

While the list of information surrounding a city as large as Miami seems to be endless, these 5 things seem to contain the most need-to-know information. As with all Real Estate transactions, especially when moving to a new area, it is important to work closely with your realtor and ensure that you hire a realtor who is reputable and knows the area well to ensure your happiness and success with your purchase. 

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are in need of a qualified seller’s agent to 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
Jan. 20, 2021

6 Easy Hacks for a More Organized Closet

The dreaded small closet, something all homeowners seem to despise. Luckily, you can find a way to make nearly any closet double in size simply by using a few organizing tips and tricks. With so many professional organizers and cleaners out there, it is easy to get overwhelmed when it comes time to revamp your closet space, however rest assured that it doesn’t take a miracle worker to give you a little extra space. 

 

Double up the Hangers 

 

If you simply need more space to hang your clothing, try doubling up your hangers. You can purchase hooks that go over the neck of your hanger and create another space to hang a secondary hanger below. This allows for only one hanger to be hung on the actual closet rod which then can double the number of hangers that can be hung, thus saving a ton of precious closet space. 

Related: Balcony Gardens

 

Move the Dresser

 

Need some drawers? Move your Dresser! Many closets can accommodate a fairly large dresser underneath the closet rod, while this may not work for everyone, oftentimes you can move your dresser into your actual closet to give yourself a few drawers, if your dresser is too big, try a cube shelf with bins instead. You can label the bins to hold a large array of different clothing items from under garments to baseball hats. 

 

Add a Top Shelf 

 

Closets are generally as tall as the ceilings in your room, however framed to have a smaller opening. If this is the case, try adding a shelf that runs along the top of your closet rod so that you can utilize all of the dead space in the very top of your closet. This is a great place to store items that aren’t used as frequently as others such as scarves, heavy coats, etc. 

 

Related: Luxury Features that Aren’t So Luxurious

 

Shoe Storage 

 

Shoes take up a TON of space. There are two different ways you can easily add shoe storage to your closet. If you prefer to keep it simple, or don’t have much hanging space, simply add a small shoe rack to the bottom of your closet, this will utilize the ground space in your closet that generally doesn’t get used. Additionally, you can find hanging shoe storage bags, these come in a large variety of styles ranging from small cubbies to clear pockets to hold each individual pair. 

 

Color Coordinate 

 

While this won’t give you any additional space, you would be amazed by how much bigger and more organized your closet feels when you color coordinate your clothes. It cost nothing and instantly makes your closet look neater!

 

Store Off Season Clothing

 

Quite simply one of the easiest ways to keep your closet neat is to store off season clothing. If it’s summertime, put all of your heavy winter coats and scarves in a bin or bag for the season and store them elsewhere, such as under your bed, in the attic, garage, etc. This limits the amount of clothing and clutter that can be found in your closet at any given time. 

Whether you have a walk-in closet that needs a few more shelves, a small closet that needs more rods for storage, or you simply want a cleaner and more spacious look, try using a few of these tips and tricks to revamp your space and give you the closet of your dreams. 

 

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
Jan. 12, 2021

Balcony Gardens

gardenBalcony Gardens have become one of the fastest growing trends among homeowners and renters. Whether you live in a high rise, a small townhome, or simply want to re-vamp your back porch, there a few balcony gardens trends that you simply can’t pass up. 

 

Installing Turf

There is something about feeling the grass between your toes, even artificial grass. Installing a big section of turf on your patio/balcony is a great way to bring a sense of nature to your balcony.

 

Related: Condo or House in Miami and Miami Beach?

 

Outdoor Throw Rugs 

If you don’t like the look of concrete, try brightening the space with an outdoor throw rug. As a bonus, this will also be nicer to walk on barefoot than the concrete or wood deck/balcony you may have had before. 

 

Hanging Gardens

Generally speaking, space is limited when you have a balcony so traditional gardens aren’t an option, this allows for a great hanging garden space. You can use barely any space and yet have multiple baskets to grow veggies, flowers, herbs, etc. 

 

Rain Gutter Gardens

Ran Gutter Gardens have become quite the fad over the last year. Simply drill a few holes in the bottom of the gutters and attach them to either a fence, wall, or use twine to hang them outside. Shallow gutters are ideal for herbs as well as baby carrots and many different flowers and succulents.

 

Related: New to Homeownership? Here’s What to Spend Money On

 

Colorful Throw Pillows

Don’t be afraid of color. Toss a few bold and bright pillow out on a chair or love seat to bring some vibrancy to the space, you’ll be amazed at how well it can boost morale. 

 

String Lights

Twinkling lights allow you to feel as if you are staring up at a sky full of stars even on cloudy days. Additionally, the lights will create a calming an even romantic ambiance. 

 

Shade Tarps

If you get a lot of sun on your balcony, try getting a small sunshade to install. Shade Tarps range in style, color, shape and size ensuring that you can easily find one that will fit your space perfectly and provide a little break from the sun. 

 

Whether you decide to add one or two of these ideas to your balcony, or you create a full oasis and tackle them all, creating a Balcony Garden is a very rewarding project and provides a space to enjoy fresh air and even a veggie or flower pending on your personal preferences. 

 

If you’re currently searching for a new home in the Miami area, are ready to partner with a qualified agent to list and market your home or if you have general questions regarding Miami Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time. 

Posted in Real Estate
Jan. 4, 2021

Things to Know Before Investing in an Airbnb

Investing in an Airbnb often seems like a golden opportunity or many who are interested in purchasing Real Estate. While for some, purchasing an investment property, whether to be used as an Airbnb or something similar, may prove to be fruitful and provide great income and return to investment, for others this may not always be the case. 

 

Related: The Four Types of Real Estate

 

There are a few things that you should make sure to consider when it comes to purchasing an investment property, while it is always vital to do your research, these three things seem to be high on the need-to-know list when it comes to purchasing a rental or investment property. 

 

City Stipulations

 

Many cities have specific stipulations when it comes to rental homes and Airbnb rental opportunities. This could be things such as limiting the number of days per year you can rent out the home and even not allowing rentals at all among many other possibilities. With so many different stipulations ranging from city to city it is vital that you look into any and all stipulations and legal obligations prior to purchasing a property as an investment or rental property. 

 

Expenses

 

While it may seem that after purchasing the property you can start renting the property and making a profit there are many other expenses that are associated with the rental such as cleaning services, furnishings, etc. It is important to budget for all of the add on services and expenses prior to placing an offer and closing on the property. 

 

Related: How to Fix Your Credit After a Short Sale

 

Competition

 

The market for rental properties is very saturated. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there is a lot of competition and thus it may be harder to not only rent your property, but to also stand out among the others and make a profit. Many rentals are lowering their fees and prices just to stay above water; however, this does not provide an income for the homeowner.

 

There are many different things that come with owning an investment/rental property. It is important to always do your research prior to beginning your home search and to ensure that you are working with a trusted and qualified real estate agent who knows the area and any laws or regulations that may apply to your purchase. 

 

If you are currently searching for a new home, whether an investment property, vacation home or full-time residence, are in need of an agent to list and market 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
Dec. 30, 2020

How to Fix Your Credit After a Short Sale

credit repairWhile it isn’t the ideal situation for homeowners, if you had to go through with a Short Sale your credit may be hurting. Luckily, fixing your credit from a Short Sale is much easier to do than fixing your credit after a Foreclosure. While there are many different things you can do to help boost your credit score, these few options are generally the most beneficial when it comes to raising your credit score post Short Sale. 

 

Related: The Four Types of Real Estate

 

Pay Your Bills on Time 

This seems simple; however, one missed payment can set you back up to 12 months. Most lenders want to see a minimum of 12 months of on-time payments, so missing one payment after 11 months of on-time payments can start the whole 12-month cycle over again. 

 

Keep Credit Card Balances below 30%

As soon as you reach a balance of above 30% of your allowed purchase amounts, your credit score will stop improving as quickly. In order to help repair and raise your credit score you should always try to keep your balances below 30% on all of your credit accounts. 

 

Overpay Your Credit Card Bills 

Whether it’s an extra $5, $20, or in the $100s, overpaying your credit card balances each month will not only lower your credit card balances faster, but it will also show responsible credit usage and payments to lenders. Try to throw extra money toward your principal amounts each month or whenever possible. 

 

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

 

Don’t Open New Accounts

As tempting as it may be, do not open new credit accounts unless it is absolutely necessary. Opening new accounts will automatically hit your credit and change the whole algorithm of balances, usage etc. You should never have more than 3 open credit accounts at once, if you already have 3 open accounts, do you best not to open additional accounts. 

 

In conclusion, while some of these may seem like common sense, it is harder to actually stick to these few recommendations for the long haul. Your credit will not be repaired overnight, it takes patience and consistency. One slip, one missed payment, or one big purchase can ruin over a year of work. Set payment reminders, set goals for overpayment options, etc. Whatever it takes to stay consistent will help your credit tremendously and allow you to re-enter the housing market in as little as two years post Short Sale. 

 

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

Posted in Real Estate
Dec. 16, 2020

Luxury Features that Aren’t so Luxurious

It is no secret that as the years and seasons pass trends change and what was once coveted by all now sits unused on a shelf. This is no different for luxury features within real estate. While some people are always drawn to specific features that others may dislike, these few luxury features are ranking the lowest among buyers and aren’t adding the value or luxury feel that the seller was hoping for.

Luxury Features that Aren’t so Luxurious

Related: 4 Things to Feature When Selling a Miami Condo

#1 Pot Fillers

While the idea of having a special spout right above the stovetop seems convenient for cooking, unfortunately, these spouts rarely get used, and often malfunction or have a slower flow than the sink, thus causing homeowners to use the regular sink in lieu of the pot filler.

#2 Closet Dressing/Seating Area

While it does sound luxurious to have a large seating area inside your closet, unfortunately for many, this reads as dead space that isn’t used. It is better to add an additional storage feature or use that square footage within the master bedroom vs. the closet. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that walk-in closets aren’t desirable, solely the seating area within.

#3 High End Stove

Another appliance that is commonly found within a luxury home is an oversized high-end stove and oven. While a chef would be in heaven with the upgrades, unfortunately, the extra expense of installing the equipment doesn’t always pay off as most buyers don’t see the need for the large appliance.

Related: Condo or House in Miami and Miami Beach?

#4 Warming Drawers

Warming drawers? You mean pot and pan storage? Regardless of how high end the warming drawer system may be, more often than not, it won’t be used as anything other than storage and thus, doesn’t ring in as a very luxurious feature within the kitchen.

#5 Whirlpool Jet Tub

The oversized jetted tubs scream luxury, however, rarely get used. Many people have expressed that they prefer to enjoy a hot tub over a jetted tub, and thus homes with a hot tub tend to bring in more funds than those with a large jetted tub in the bathroom.

As mentioned above, everyone has their preferences when it comes to their wish lists within real estate, so what one buyer may look for another will despise. You can’t please everyone, so go ahead and upgrade your home with the features you prefer but be aware they may not add the value you are hoping for when it comes time to sell.

If you’re currently searching for a home in the greater Miami area, have questions regarding Miami Real Estate, or would like to speak with a qualified real estate agent, please feel free to contact our office at any time and we would be more than happy to assist you.

 

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Dec. 8, 2020

The Best Open House Scents for All Seasons

It is no secret that an open house is key to a successful real estate sale. While there are many different aspects that go into a successful open house one thing that always attracts buyers are scents. Unfortunately, scents aren’t always a good thing, so you want to be sure that there aren’t any less than favorable scents within the house, this includes the garage, shoe closets, laundry rooms, etc. While you may have a favorite scent, it is important to try and match the scent with the season for maximum effect, as matching the scent with the season trigger’s the olfactory bulb of the brain thus creates specific thoughts and feelings.

Related: 4 Things to Feature When Selling a Miami CondoThe Best Open House Scents for All Seasons

Spring Scents

Orange Citrus – the crisp and zesty scent of citrus helps brighten the pallet and makes rooms feel crisp and clean, the citrus helps brighten rooms and sets the tone for warmer summer months ahead filled with sunshine.

Sugar Cookie – the scent of sugar cookies is perfect for open houses during the Spring. Coming out of the Holiday season, the subtle sweetness of sugar cookies is the perfect scent to remember the holidays but also welcome the warmer spring months.

Summer Scents

Fresh Linens – The clean scent of linens brightens rooms and allows buyers to feel as if the home is light, airy and clean.

Seabreeze – While this scent is desirable in any climate or location, using the fresh scent of Seabreeze within coastal cities is an added bonus. Especially for homes that aren’t directly on the coast, but rather a few blocks off the coast as it brings the crisp ocean air a little closer to home.

Related: The Four Types of Real Estate

Fall Scents

Spiced Apple Cider – Nothing says fall more that cinnamon and apples. Whether you use an apple pie scent, or fresh apple cider, make sure that the scent isn’t too sweet and has notes of both apple’s and cinnamon for the perfect spiced/sweet balance.

Pumpkin Spice – Another classic fall scent, as with spiced apple cider, you want to ensure that the sweetness of the pumpkin isn’t overpowering and ensure that notes of cinnamon and spice are also highlighted.

Winter Scents

Vanilla Peppermint – Peppermint is a scent that can easily become overpowering, thus, mixing it with sweet notes of vanilla creates a perfect pairing.

Gingerbread – In addition to the warm notes of gingerbread, you can even add a beautifully decorated gingerbread house to the kitchen counter to play on the Holiday scent.

If you’re currently searching for a new home in the Miami area, are in need of a qualified seller’s agent, or have any general questions regarding the real estate within Miami, please feel free to contact my office at any time.

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Dec. 4, 2020

The Four Types of Real Estate

The Four Types of Real Estate

When starting the buying process, you may notice that there are a few different types of real estate, Residential Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate, Industrial Real Estate and Land. Each category holds its own different types of properties and thus, when choosing to purchase real estate it is vital that you understand each category and can decide which your desired purchase falls into.

#1 Residential Real Estate

Residential Real Estate is the most commonly purchased as this is what most homeowners will purchase to own their own home. Included within residential real estate are new construction homes as well as re-sale homes or existing homes as well as condominiums, duplexes, townhouses, vacation homes and luxury homes. The most common purchased category within residential real estate is single-family homes.

Related: New to Homeownership? Here’s What to Spend Money on

#2 Commercial Real Estate

Within this category you can find any real estate that is used to generate income such as shopping centers or strip malls as well as different medical buildings and even schooling or educational buildings. Contrary to common belief, you can also purchase apartment buildings within this category and while the apartments are considered “residential” the owner of the property is using the rentals as a source of income and thus, purchasing the apartment buildings would fall under a commercial real estate transaction.

#3 Industrial Real Estate

It is easy to get commercial real estate and industrial real estate confused, and thus it is important to work closely with an agent to ensure you are falling within the correct zoning laws. Industrial Real Estate consists of buildings or property that are used for manufacturing. Additionally, warehouses can also fall within this category, all industrial real estate can be used for things such as research, distribution of goods, storage, production, etc.

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

#4 Land

Whether this is vacant land or farms, the Land category can cover working farms and ranches, which many believe to be within the residential real estate category. Within land there are also many different subcategories such as early development, reuse, underdeveloped as well as site assembly and subdivision.

Regardless of what type of real estate you plan to purchase, you always want to be sure to have a qualified agent by your side. Some agents will specialize in certain fields, so when purchasing real estate within a specific category make sure to find an agent that is confident and skilled within the category of your choice whether it be residential, commercial, industrial or land.

If you’re currently searching for real estate within the Miami area, have questions regarding the approvals needed for a specific type of real estate transaction, or are searching for a qualified agent, please feel free to contact our office at any time.

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Nov. 16, 2020

Pros and Cons of a 15 or 30 Year Mortgage

Pros and Cons of a 15 or 30 Year Mortgage

When purchasing real estate, you have a lot of big decisions that need to be made. From school zones, neighborhoods, home styles, and more, the list of decisions seems endless. Oftentimes, however, the decision on if you’d like to use a 15- or 30-year mortgage seems to be overlooked and many homeowners tend to use a 30-year mortgage by default. So, what is the difference? Many people are left wondering if one is better than the other.

Related: 5 Tips to Plan for Your Next Miami Home

15 Year Pros

#1 You’ll pay less interest over the life of the loan. Due to the fact that the loan is literally half the term of a general 30-year loan, that means that over the life of the loan you will generally end up spending half of the total interest once your loan matures.

#2 Lower Interest Rates. When choosing to use a 15-year mortgage it is fairly common to receive a lower interest rate than you would have been offered with the same credit scores on a 30-year loan, this saves you greatly over the life of the loan.

15 Year Cons

#1 You’ll have higher monthly payments. This goes without saying, when you shorten the length of the loan that means that your monthly payment will go up. This can make it difficult to put extra into savings or have more cash flow on a monthly basis due to the higher loan payment.

Related: New to Homeownership? Here’s What to Spend Money on 

#2 Limits the market. Because you will have a higher monthly payment, what you may be able to afford on a 30-year loan, you cannot afford on a 15-year loan. This may require you to lower your budget which may limit the number of homes on the market.

30 Year Pros

#1 Low monthly payments. Due to the fact you are spreading out your payments over a 30-year loan that lowers your monthly payment making it more affordable for most buyers.

#2 More funds for Savings/Bills. By opting for a lower monthly payment may allow for you to have a better cash flow situation, whether those funds are used for other monthly bills or for savings.

30 Year Cons

#1 Slow Growing-Equity. With the way your loan is structured, you will be paying primarily interest for the first few years and making only a small dent in your principal balance. This will cause your equity to grow at a slower rate.

#2 You will pay more overall interest. Because you are paying a higher interest rate, for a longer period of time, your overall interest paid will be much higher than that of a shorter loan.

Ultimately it is up to you and your preferences on which loan term suits you best. There is no right or wrong, or better or worse loan as with all things there are pros and cons to each option.

If you’re currently searching for a new home, are in need of a seller’s agent to assist you in the listing of your property or have questions regarding the real estate within and surrounding Miami, please feel free to contact our office at any time. If you’re currently searching for a new home, are looking for a seller’s agent, or have any general questions regarding the real estate within the Greater Miami area, please feel free to contact our office at any time.

More Tips for Miami Home Buyers

What Do Luxury Home Buyers Really Want?

5 Tips to Plan for Your Next Miami Home

The Importance of Cleaning Closets Before Listing Your Home

When Can I Back Out of a Real Estate Deal?

Can you make an offer on a 'coming soon' home?

6 Tips for House Hunting Online

Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 9, 2020

Condo or House in Miami and Miami Beach?

Question:  I'm moving to Miami and wonder should I buy a house or a condominium and should I live in Miami Beach instead? Condo or House in Miami

I actually get this question a lot and being a Miami real estate agent for several years  find that it's not a matter of which type of house you should buy but what suits your lifestyle, tastes, needs and budget. Miami Beach is a lot more expensive than Miami Metro itself. There are more condominiums in high-rise luxury apartments in Miami Beach which can easily top $5 million or more. So, it's all going to come down to your budget. Also, when you purchase a condominium, regardless of where that is, you will usually have additional fees for homeowners dues and association costs. These can range anywhere from $100 a month to several thousand dollars a year. You have to add this onto the cost of your mortgage when considering your monthly budget. The condominium mortgage payment alone might be $1500 that the new add-on $500 a month for amenities and your over the $2000 mark before you know it. Lenders will help you decide which direction to go with and which makes the most sense for your budget but you might have to settle for a less expensive condominium in order to make the Association monthly payments.

....Or a House?

A single-family house, on the other hand, will have the add additional responsibility of exterior maintenance and possibly landscape but you usually will not have additional association fees. That's not always the case however, many homes in the Miami area are in gated subdivisions and controlled by homeowners Associations. Even if you have a single-family home you will have additional homeowners dues that will cover either common area maintenance, road maintenance, and even sign maintenance. Everything has to be taken into consideration when choosing a condominium or a house. Do you want the responsibility of taking care of the entire property or just the interior? Are you looking to save money and buy a bigger house so that you don't have association fees or do you prefer to spend a little extra and have everything taken care of? Do you prefer more of the resort-style living or a single-family house on a small lot?

... Back to Condos?

Condo or House in Miami BeachYou are also a little more restricted when it comes to condominium living. You will have to follow by the Association's rules and bylaws which may require you to pay certain special assessment fees from time to time, restrict you on the number of pets or even if they allow pets at all, and noise ordinances. Because this is similar to an apartment you will share walls with other tenants and residences so the noise level will need to be kept down. Many high-rise condominiums in Miami and Miami Beach have beautiful views. This is something you might not get with the house. Several estates and beachfront homes might have beautiful views but can also  be several million dollars. Luxury high-rise condominiums and even lowrise condominiums, against the bay or in Miami Beach, may still have beautiful views with home prices less than $400,000.

It's best to make a list of things that you're really looking for in a home purchase regardless of whether it's a condo or a house. Then decide on your budget; speak with the lender to find out exactly how much money your budget can afford each month towards a mortgage payment and/or condo association fees. What will make or break the deal? Do you prefer the responsibility of a single-family house that's not in an association or would you like the added security of being in a fully funded association with all amenities under the sun? Maybe somewhere in between?

There are plenty of choices, options and price ranges to choose from. Feel free to browse my website and give me a call when you're ready to look at any of these homes and condominiums up close and personal. I would be happy to answer more questions for you and give you pros and cons to buying a condo or house in Miami. If you’re currently searching for a new home, are looking for a seller’s agent, or have any general questions regarding the real estate within the Greater Miami area, please feel free to contact our office at any time.

More Tips for Miami Home Buyers

What Do Luxury Home Buyers Really Want?

5 Tips to Plan for Your Next Miami Home

The Importance of Cleaning Closets Before Listing Your Home

When Can I Back Out of a Real Estate Deal?

How to Find the Right House with these 4 Questions