Zilbert's Miami Beach and South Beach Real Estate Blog

Apr 21 2015

Help for Prospective Homebuyers

Filed under: Real Estate Tips

Help for Prospective Homebuyers

While there is no dearth of advice when it comes to saving up to buy a home, some of us just need a little more help.

Introducing the Housing Counselor

What, you ask, is a housing counselor? Different from a real estate agent or broker, a housing counselor is a neutral party that does not make money from the purchase (or sale) of a home. Her sole mission is to:

  • Educate potential homeowners so that when they make the decision to purchase a home, they are reading financially, and
  • Help them keep the home once they’ve purchased it.

Many housing counselors work for non-profit and not-for-profit organizations. They offer unbiased information, recommendations and options for each client’s circumstances. Their information and advice takes into account the potential homebuyer’s financial history, family situation and time of life, and future goals and plans. To them, it’s all about you … not about making a sale or commission.

When you develop a relationship with a housing counselor, you can maintain that relationship through all phases of your homeownership experience. In fact, coming to the table to purchase your first home with the advice of a housing counselor makes the job of your professional real estate agent more focused and directed. You already know how much you can afford, and how much you need. You’ll know which loan options will for you.

When a Housing Counselor is required

Sometimes, meeting with a housing counselor is a requirement of being approved for a loan. This often is true in the case of homebuyers utilizing low-downpayment loans and government subsidized loan programs. If you’re wanting to purchase a home after a bankruptcy or foreclosure, a housing counselor can help you find programs set up directly to assist you if your situation has improved, despite what your credit history says.

Sometimes a required meeting with a housing counselor helps you fully understand the ramifications of alternative financial products, such as a HUD reverse mortgage or possible federal and local grants that might be available for your situation. When you meet with a housing counselor, they’ll show you the various loan options available and explain how each one works, what the requirements are for approval and how it can impact your finances now and in the future.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers advice on owning a home, keeping a home and loan options. Their website offers links to HUD-approved housing counselors to help you through the process.

If you are working with a housing counselor, let your real estate professional know. We can coordinate our search with the recommendations from your housing counselor so that your home buying experience is optimal for you. Knowing ahead of time helps us define the parameters in our search to show you the very best options for your home purchase.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Apr 17 2015

Zilbert’s EPIC Penthouse in Miami is For Sale

Filed under: Market Updates

Zilbert Logo

Whether you are someone who may be looking for a grand penthouse, or just someone who likes to look, I’ve got a treat for you this week! I have launched sales for one of Downtown Miami’s grand penthouses. Located at the EPIC, neatly located on the Miami River between Brickell and Biscayne, PH-5401 is a one of a kind.

The penthouse sits in 4522 sqft (420.1 m2) of living space over two levels, with an incredible private rooftop terrace with plunge pool. There is almost 3000 sqft of private outdoor space. We’ve priced this showcase apartment at $6.150M, which is about $1,360/sqft. Dare I even call this the deal of the week? In any case, you will love this property, and we are now booking appointments with qualified buyers. Brokers are also always welcomed at any Zilbert property.

Click HERE or on any photo below to learn more about this magnificent home.

01_Epic Unit PH5401
 

02_Epic Unit PH5401
 

PORTOFINO TOWER MIAMI BEACH APT 1803
 

04_Epic Unit PH5401
 

05_Epic Unit PH5401
 

06_Epic Unit PH5401
 

line
ST REGIS BAL HARBOUR LPH-7

ST REGIS BAL HARBOUR LPH-7

Zilbert’s Jeffrey Miller and Mark Zilbert have just listed a lower-penthouse apartment in this five-star resort community.  Fully furnished, and offering 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms in 2389 sqft (approx.) of living space.  Listed at $4,595,000. [MORE]

 

PORTOFINO TOWER MIAMI BEACH APT 1803

 PORTOFINO TOWER MIAMI BEACH APT 1803

Zilbert’s Lisa Van Wagenen is featuring this south-of-fifth gem, offering 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in 2340 sqft of living space. It’s an incredible renovation and new design. Listed at $4,395,000. [MORE]

 

W South Beach Unit 1428
W SOUTH BEACH APT 1428

Zilbert’s Dario Stoka has a showcase offering on the ocean at the W South Beach.  It’s three side-by-side W apartments spanning the width of the tower, each of which can be used separately or combined.  A total of 2960 sqft, with three bedrooms.  Listed at $8,950,000.  [MORE]

Marquis Unit 3108

MARQUIS MIAMI APT 3108

Zilbert’s Juan Alvarez has a great deal at Marquis. This 2 bedroom apartment has just been reduced to $820,000, and offers two bedrooms and 1647 sqft of living space. It’s very nicely appointed. [MORE]

line

 

So, what’s for sale around Miami and the beaches? Well, that’s where my team and I come in. We are here to help buyers find the best properties in Miami, and we have a lot of insight to share.

Here are some places where you can start looking around:

The Zilbert Collection – these condos and homes are part of the exclusive collection of listings marketed by Zilbert, and in many cases represent the best value in luxury real estate. [CLICK]

Miami Preconstruction – these condos are the latest, newest properties being built in Downtown Miami, Miami Beach, Edgewater Miami and other high profile areas. [CLICK]

100 Newest Listings – these condos and homes have just come to market, and sometimes you will find that your best deal can be made on a new property listing. [CLICK]

My Private Collection – in addition to the many properties listed and marketed by Zilbert’s team of high-profile agents, I generally hold a small handful of properties that I market exclusively [CLICK]

As always, my team and I are available 7 days a week, and brokers are always welcomed at any Zilbert property listing.

line

2014-12-29_1258

line

 

 

Links to the Zilbert Lists

 

100 Newest Property Listings:

http://www.zilbert.com/100_newest_listings.asp

 

100 Most Recent Closed Sales:

http://www.zilbert.com/100_most_recent_sales.asp

 

100 Most Recent Contracts:

http://www.zilbert.com/100_most_recent_contracts.asp

 

100 Most Expensive Listings:

http://www.zilbert.com/100_most_expensive_condos.asp

 

100 Most Expensive Sales:

http://www.zilbert.com/100_most_expensive_sales.asp

Mark Zilbert 

President and CEO 

Licensed Real Estate Broker

zrg_transparent_white

Zilbert International Realty

office  +1 305 726 0100

mobile  +1 786 280 0201

fax  +1 786 206 3854

e-mail  mark.zilbert@zilbert.com

website  http://www.zilbert.com

BBM secure pin 79aca5bf

Zilbert International Realty

1129 Fifth Street

Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

Apr 16 2015

Lofts — Not Just for the Young

Filed under: Misc, Your Home

 

Lofts — Not Just for the Young

As a real estate trend, loft living is here to stay. Originally thought of as live/work spaces for artists and musicians, the term “loft” evokes transformed warehouses and industrial spaces with exposed brickwork, open pipes and electrical conduits and other industrial-type accoutrements such as old wood or concrete floors. While the original concept of a loft is the transformation of an old commercial building into big, open living spaces, modern lofts can include new construction and spaces with walls, too. Buyers drawn to loft living include historic artistic residents, young professionals and even empty nesters and Baby Boomers.

Easy care

While artists are looking for more space and young professionals want to be nearer to work and nightlife, empty nesters desire the spaces as an answer to their need for less demanding upkeep. With no yard to mow or flowerbeds to tend, roofs to replace or leaves to rake, the urban life is a great draw for active mid-life professionals once their children leave home.

Easy access

Living in a warehouse just for the sake of living in a warehouse is not what we’re talking about here. Even in small communities, downtown living typically means being nearer to activities, theatres, public libraries, medical care, shopping, offices and public transportation. For some, living nearer to the places they like to go means they’ll actually get to experience events more often. Leaving work, driving home to the suburbs only to turn around and come back into the city for a show, concert, gallery opening, etc. is a huge effort compared to stepping out the front door of your loft building and walking a couple blocks to the theatre district.

Alternatives

As urban loft living grows in popularity, the strict definition of a loft as a transformed warehouse, commercial or industrial building has given way to some new construction and to the so-called “soft lofts.” Due to the popularity of actual converted lofts, savvy developments replicating some of the features of traditional lofts into new construction offer an option for urban loft-style living in newly-built buildings that take advantage of the urban atmosphere and open floorplans. But, they offer lower-cost utilities with the use of more ecologically designed windows or more efficient heating and cooling options. Often, soft-lofts use recycled materials and renewable resources. Additionally, rather than one large space, a soft-loft may have actual walls dividing bedrooms from kitchens and other more traditional apartment features including built-in closets.

Community

A most compelling reason for loft living in an urban area is the sense of close community that many residents claim from living and working near to where they also shop and play.

If you’re interested in learning more about loft-style condominiums or commercial buildings that might make a great loft conversion, we can guide you through the ins and outs. Give us a call today and we’ll get started.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Apr 14 2015

Keeping Your House Show Ready

Filed under: Home Improvement

 

Keeping Your House Show Ready

Having your house on the market while you’re living in it can be a stressful time. You still have to live. The dog still puts muddy prints on your freshly mopped floor. The kids still race down the hallway bumping into your freshly painted walls. Construction down the way still lays that fine layer of dust on your mini-blinds.

So what’s a busy home-seller to do?

The best advice from people that instinctively know how to keep a house ready to show is:

  • Clean as you go: So, as you’re cooking, give the counters a swipe with a damp sponge and don’t leave the dishes for later because later can become the next morning and the you get a call while you’re at work that a very interested buyer only has today to look at your house, and well … there you are, trying to figure out how to race home from work to wash those dishes. Put a squeegee in the shower and give the glass doors and walls a swipe every time you take one.
  • Less is easier: Having less stuff means there is less to get out, so less to put away. When you’re house is showing, pack away all those knick-knacks that collect dust. Remove extra furniture so that cleaning the floor is easier.
  • Use containers: Give your kids lidded containers for their stuff. At the end of the day, have them collect all of their things—toys, video games, iPods, etc.—and put them away in their container. They can keep it in their closet or you can stack them away in the laundry room…whatever works for your space.
  • Use tricks: Okay, sometimes you just can’t keep everything clean all the time, so you have to resort to some quick ways to hide the mess. Cover furniture with blankets or throws to keep pet hair and kids messes off the upholstery. Then, you can just grab the blanket or throw, fold it up and hide it in the washer. Or, keep a Swiffer on hand to quickly gather up dust, pet hair or those muddy footprints.
  • Have a plan: When you’re living with the constant need to have a clean home, you have to adjust how you think about cleaning. Many of us let the little messes pile up because we know we’ll get to it on the weekend. In fact, in many homes an entire Saturday morning can be set aside for cleaning. But when your house is on the market, you can’t let things wait for Saturday, so have a plan for just 20 minutes a day (or 10 each if your partner is onboard) to pick up, put away, wipe down and surface clean.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Your real estate agent knows that you’re living in the house. They can help you decide which are the big things that you need to concentrate on and which are the small things that won’t make a difference to a sale. We’re here to help, so ask us.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Apr 09 2015

Spring Cleaning

Filed under: Home Improvement, Home Tips

Spring Cleaning

Now that the weather is finally warmer and spring really seems to be here, it’s time to tackle some of those nasty cleaning jobs you’ve been putting off. If you’re planning to put your house on the market, or getting ready to leave a rental for your newly purchased home, take on these projects now. Don’t procrastinate.

Refrigerator

We don’t know how it happens, but refrigerator drawers and shelves seem to collect gunk and goo. We can swipe them with a wet cloth on the fly, but at least a couple times a year we need to remove all the contents and give those shelves and drawers a really good scrub. Typically, these pieces are too large to fit in the sink, so consider taking them outside. Use a biodegradable cleaner and wash them out over your lawn so that the water does double duty.

Rugs

Those beautiful rugs that kept our toes cozy all winter are due for a good beating. Of course, you can vacuum them as well, but sometimes a good shaking or whacking with a broom or rug beater is just the ticket. Make sure you have a sturdy clothesline or balcony rail to hang them over. Letting them air out in the fresh outdoors can help get rid of that musty winter odor too.

Mini-Blinds

Though wonderful for controlling sunlight, mini-blinds are a housekeeper’s nightmare. Dusting each of those little slats, or even using special tools doesn’t always work. At least once a year, lay them out on the lawn and give those blinds a good spray with an eco-friendly degreaser. Then, use the hose and a spray nozzle to wash off all the grime. Dry them in the warm sun before hanging them back up.

Comforters and Duvets

Take your large blankets, comforters, duvets and quilts and wash them in your own large capacity washer or take them to a nearby Laundromat. But, rather than pay for all that drying time, bring them home and hang them out on a sturdy clothesline or railing to dry outdoors. Giving them a good airing out can give them a lovely freshness and prepares them to be packed away until the cold weather returns.

Trash Cans

Even when you use bags, your trashcans are subject to grime and ooze. Line them all up on the edge of the patio, fill them with organic dish soap and put the kids to scrubbing with big sponges. If a water-fight ensues, all the better! Once the cans are clean, let them dry outdoors.

Inside

While all your carpets, trashcans, quilts and blinds are drying in the sun, now is a good time to mop those floors, dust the overhead fans and tackle the windows. Of course, spring-cleaning all goes more quickly if you round up the whole family to help for just one day a year.

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, there are some other items you should consider tackling too. Give us a call and we can tell you just where you need to invest the most time and effort.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Apr 07 2015

Final Four for Home Buyers

Filed under: Real Estate Tips

Final Four for Home Buyers

When it comes to basketball, we only have 64 teams to narrow down into our Final Four to fill our brackets. When it comes to buying our first home, we have thousands of options and dozens of choices to consider, but when it all comes down to it, there are just a handful of things that are really important to new homeowners:

  • Affordability
  • Livability
  • Accessibility
  • Sociability

Affordability

Once you’ve bought your new home it’s too late to really consider if you can afford it. With a house, the bottom line of the sales contract is not the bottom line of expenses. In addition to Principle, interest, taxes and mortgage insurance, you’ll need homeowner’s insurance (not the same as mortgage insurance, which only insures the bank, not you), landscaping (or, if you’re doing it yourself you’ll need all that equipment), downpayments on utilities, travel expense if you’re further away from your workplace and money to set aside for maintenance. If you’re planning on making any improvements, you’ll need to set aside money for that too. So, when you’re planning on purchasing a home, don’t forget to add in all the other costs to live in it once you get it.

Livability

Buying a home, whether or prebuilt or custom built just for you, introduces a host of options about appliances, numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage space and even the layout of the kitchen. If you don’t know how your family lives in a space, you may end up with a house is beautiful inside and out, but just doesn’t fit your living style.

In fact, you’ll find lots of stories about people that bought new homes only to find out that their current furniture didn’t fit. Talk about a new expense! But when you can see your furniture in the room, and start making decisions about where to place items before you’ve even made an offer, you’re probably on the right track.

Some people move to popular neighborhoods because it seems like a good investment, only to discover that none of their friends live nearby and rules of the association make it difficult for them to work on favorite hobbies. Others move to the countryside, with panoramic mountain vistas or lake views only to discover that they’d rather be in a downtown walkup.

Accessibility

If you don’t travel to and from your potential new home during rush hours, weekends and other potential traffic times, you won’t know how accessible it will be for you and your family. A lovely home that your family enjoys while you commute two hours each way to work is probably not the perfect choice for you. Additionally, if you’re planning to live in the home for many years to come, you’ll want to avoid homes with lots of stairs, narrow doorways and other structural items that might make it less useful as you get older.

Sociability

Living out of town can seem like a dream (and for many people it is a perfect location), but if you like to go out in the evenings or walk over to meet friends at a nearby pub, you’ll find it hard going living a distance from your local haunts.

As your real estate professionals, we can help you find the perfect home for all the parts of your life. We won’t talk you into anything that doesn’t fit into your final four.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Mar 31 2015

Buying an Investment Home

Filed under: Real Estate Tips

Buying an Investment Home

Although the housing market is heating up, buying an investment in order to flip it may not be the right plan for you. Buying a flip home relies on market prices going up higher than the cost for you to refurbish it for sale. And … it has to sell.

On the other hand, buying a second home in order to lease it can be a solid investment idea. Rental properties have long been an investment of choice for long-term thinkers. So, if you want to invest in property, here are some ways you can take advantage of current market conditions:

Rental home:

Typically, a home purchased to rent or lease should fall in the middle of the income bracket of its neighborhood. For your renters to be comfortable there and want to stay long term, it should be a neighborhood where they can make friends, establish relationships, send children to local schools, play and worship.

When your renters fit into the neighborhood, you can expect them to form a longer relationship with you. This means that your rental won’t be empty as often. Each time renters leave, you incur expenses for refurbishing the home for the next renter and loss of income from the empty home. Most often, a long-term rental home is unfurnished.

As real estate professionals, we can advise you on the right range of rental price for the neighborhood in which you plan to buy. If your rent is too high, your tenants won’t fit into the neighborhood. If your rent is too low, you risk renters that may not take good care of your home. If the cost of the home is considerably greater than the rent you can ask, you may need to look in a different area.

Vacation rental:

Different from a regular rental home, a vacation rental can be available from terms as short as a single night or weekend to as long as a season (three to four months). Especially for families, renting a vacation home typically offers more space at a lower cost than hotel rooms, and allows for home-cooked meals and a private, relaxing atmosphere.

Many people think a vacation rental needs to be a beach home or near a mountain resort, but a condo in Manhattan or Brooklyn, in a Hollywood neighborhood or near a theme park can be an excellent location too. In fact, rental homes in locations where businesses require employees to temporarily relocate for training is another good choice.

Because the home needs to be furnished, the initial costs may be higher, but short-term and vacation rental rates can be much higher than long-term rental rates. Care and maintenance between renters usually doesn’t require extensive repairs, painting or replacing carpets either.

An advantage to a vacation rental is that you can block out time for your own family to use the place as well. Just don’t leave lots of personal items there.

Being a landlord

Not everyone is cut out to take on the role of landlord. If you invest in a long-term rental, especially if it is out of town, consider hiring a property manager familiar with the area. Property managers handle the rent, advertise for new renters, take care of landscaping, repair broken fixtures or appliances, and prepare the property between renters.

For vacation rentals, the property management takes care of all services for the property, including adverting and guest registration.

If you’re in the market for an investment property, we can help. Give us a call and we’ll show you what’s available in our area that fits your parameters.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Mar 27 2015

What’s Zilbert Selling This Week?

Filed under: Luxury Condos, Market Updates, Our Condo Listings

Zilbert Logo
 

My team and I have been enormously successful in marketing luxury properties in and around Miami Beach this year. It’s a competitive marketplace for brokers, and we have to continually be creative in how we find buyers for our properties. We get about 70,000 visitors to www.Zilbert.com each month, which is quite remarkable. But, we also have built some of the strongest and largest networks both locally and internationally, and since we are focused on building relationships with our clients, we tend to reach a lot of people when we have something to offer.

Today, I would like to focus on the men and women of Zilbert, and some of their extraordinary real estate properties being featured this week. We generally only like to market properties that we consider to be the best of the best, and that doesn’t always mean a high price tag.

My team and I are available to you 7 days a week, and we are always happy to help you learn more about Miami real estate. Let us know how we can be of service.

 

line

 

THE PENTHOUSE AT BENTLEY BAY

THE PENTHOUSE AT BENTLEY BAY

Zilbert’s Jeffrey Miller has once again brought us something spectacular. 6000 sqft, 5 bedrooms, private rooftop with pool, and more. Listed at $18,900,000. [MORE]

 

THE SETAI APT 3609

THE SETAI APT 3609

Zilbert’s Jeffrey Miller is famous for selling at Setai South Beach, having produced some of the greatest sales in history there. His next magnificent offering is this 2521 sqft apartment, with 3 bedrooms and direct ocean views. Listed at $15,000,000. [MORE]

 

NORTH BAY ROAD HOME

NORTH BAY ROAD HOME

Zilbert’s Bento Queiroz has just listed a spectacular home along Miami Beach’s famed North Bay Road. 6421 N Bay Road offers 3567sqft, 4 bedrooms and has a pool. Listed at $2,595,000. [MORE]

 

line

 

Giorgio Vecchi’s ICON SOUTH BEACH Collection

Zilbert’s Giorgio Vecchi is the king of ICON South Beach. We’ve got four different properties for you to see today, each one offering something special. Click on any of the four images below, to learn more about these luxury condos, smack in the heart of South Beach.

Apt 3301

Apt  2803

Apt 2902

Apt 3207

 

line

 

The Style of the W SOUTH BEACH

Zilbert’s Dario Stoka and Jeff Miller have a collection of W South Beach condos available, and each one is worth having a look at. Click on any of the images below to learn more about each unit.

W 1428
 

W 1615
line

 

The Always-Popular Waverly South Beach

Zilbert’s Dario Stoka and Lisa Van Wagenen are showcasing three of the nicest apartments at The Waverly, one of South Beach’s greatest mid-priced condos. Click on any image to see details about each of the three units.

The Waverly Apt 701
 

The Waverly Apt 1008
 

The Waverly Apt 2902
 

line

 

So, what’s for sale around Miami and the beaches? Well, that’s where my team and I come in. We are here to help buyers find the best properties in Miami, and we have a lot of insight to share.

Here are some places where you can start looking around:

The Zilbert Collection – these condos and homes are part of the exclusive collection of listings marketed by Zilbert, and in many cases represent the best value in luxury real estate. [CLICK]

Miami Preconstruction – these condos are the latest, newest properties being built in Downtown Miami, Miami Beach, Edgewater Miami and other high profile areas. [CLICK]

100 Newest Listings – these condos and homes have just come to market, and sometimes you will find that your best deal can be made on a new property listing. [CLICK]

My Private Collection – in addition to the many properties listed and marketed by Zilbert’s team of high-profile agents, I generally hold a small handful of properties that I market exclusively [CLICK]

As always, my team and I are available 7 days a week, and brokers are always welcomed at any Zilbert property listing.

line

2014-12-29_1258

line

 

 

Links to the Zilbert Lists

 

100 Newest Property Listings:

http://www.zilbert.com/100_newest_listings.asp

 

100 Most Recent Closed Sales:

http://www.zilbert.com/100_most_recent_sales.asp

 

100 Most Recent Contracts:

http://www.zilbert.com/100_most_recent_contracts.asp

 

100 Most Expensive Listings:

http://www.zilbert.com/100_most_expensive_condos.asp

 

100 Most Expensive Sales:

http://www.zilbert.com/100_most_expensive_sales.asp

Mark Zilbert 

President and CEO 

Licensed Real Estate Broker

zrg_transparent_white

Zilbert International Realty

office  +1 305 726 0100

mobile  +1 786 280 0201

fax  +1 786 206 3854

e-mail  mark.zilbert@zilbert.com

website  http://www.zilbert.com

BBM secure pin 79aca5bf

Zilbert International Realty

1129 Fifth Street

Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

Mar 26 2015

The Value of Professional Staging

Filed under: Home Tips, Real Estate Tips

The Value of Professional Staging

Views very widely on the value of hiring a professional stager to prepare your home for sale. Many real estate agents swear by it and have years of sales to back up their claim. They cite their own impressions, sales history and anecdotal evidence to underscore that professional staging adds value to the home.

On the other hand, an academic study done in 2014 by Michael Seiler, professor of real estate and finance at the College of William & Mary and co-authors, Mark Lane, associate professor in the finance department at Old Dominion University, and Vicky Seiler, researcher at Johns Hopkins University, showed virtual tours to potential buyers with staged and un-staged scenes of the same home. Buyers consistently priced the home’s value at about the same. The conclusion of the study was that the cost of professional staging does not raise the perceived value of the home.

Before you nix hiring a professional stager, however, you should know that this same study showed that staging does give buyers a positive sense of a home’s “livability” that promotes a quicker sale. Since the home in the study was in the $200,000 range, the research also does not show how staging influences the sale of a higher-priced or luxury home.

One of the results of the study was the information that while buyers believed themselves to by savvy and not influenced by “staging,” the most often believed that other buyers would be influenced by it. In essence, they thought they would know the actual value of the home more than other people would and could therefore negotiate a better price. Since the home in question was not “real” the actual outcome of a sale was not provable.

Should you hire a stager?

In the final analysis, the value of staging falls into two categories:

  • Will the home sell for a higher price?
  • Will the home sell more quickly?

Will the home sell for a higher price?

A 2012 survey by HomeGain of over 2,500 realtors showed that staging increased the selling price of homes from $3,000 to $3,900 and that the return on investment was more that 4500 percent. In the same study, 73 percent of the agents surveyed recommended staging.

According to ASP®, the Accredited Staging Professional training organization, citing a report by The International Association of Home Staging Professionals®, staged homes sell for an average of 17 percent higher price. On a lower priced home—say under $200,000—that 17 percent would only be $3,400 and so the cost of professional staging may seem like a wash. On a $750,000 home, however, that same 17 percent will amount to a whopping $127,500 back in your pocket.

Will the home sell more quickly?

According to The International Association of Home Staging Professionals® study, staged homes sell within an average of 11 days. Agents that swear by staging, their homes spend 73 percent LESS time on the market and are subject to fewer concessions to the buyers.

Who do you believe?

When the market is strong, many agents believe that staging may be unnecessary because properties already receive multiple offers. In a softer market, or a specific price range however, staging your home may lift it above the competition.

Answering the claims against staging by the academic study, HomeGain points out that staging is more that just painted walls and well-placed furnishings. True staging appeals to multiple senses including smell, mood, temperature, sight and memory.

Most important is to rely on the professional recommendation of your own agent. We know your market, have studied your home’s competition and have a vested interest in making the best recommendations for you.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Mar 24 2015

Should “Hidden” Costs of Buying a Foreclosure Keep me from Buying One?

Filed under: Real Estate Tips

Foreclosure Sale

While the housing market in most places certainly has improved and the number of foreclosed homes on the market has decrease, they will always be foreclosed homes available for purchase. Because of popular television show on house “flipping” and investment real estate, however, many buyers have unsubstantiated ideas of what buying a foreclosed home entails. Here, then, are some myths and truths about buying a foreclosed home.

It’s a hot deal:

Many buyers believe that a foreclosed home will be a very low price. The truth is that while homes may be discounted somewhat, the massive discounts people sometimes expect are unrealistic. While the “discount” may be well below what the former owner paid for the home, because of the changes in the market itself, the discount compared to other similar homes may be more modest. So, if the home is a “good deal” and does not require a tremendous investment to return it to a livable state, there is nothing to stop you buying it.

Hidden liens:

While the foreclosure removes the former owner’s mortgage debt, the home may have liens against it for back taxes, or money owed to mechanics or contractors. A thorough title search will reveal this information to you. Before making an offer to buy a foreclosed home, make certain you have this information at hand. Your real estate professional can help you uncover any financial challenges associated with past judgments and liens.

Poor maintenance

While it is a myth that most foreclosures are homes where the owners simply walked away, it is true that foreclosed homes may need some extra care to return them to their former state. When the original owner loses a job or has a financial or medical disaster that eventually leads to the foreclosure, their attention to maintenance and detail may decline simply because they are unable to do it. In addition to that, because the banking industry was slow to begin selling distressed properties, the home may have remained empty for several months, or even years. Homes that endure several seasons without the electricity on, for example, may be subject to mold and other environmental issues, and homes that rely on a sump pump to keep water from seeping in may have damage to basements or main floors from unchecked water. Roofs may have undetected storm damage or problems from backed-up gutters. Additionally, major appliances such as air conditioners and furnaces sometimes break down from lack of use.

Vandalism

While some angry owners may vandalize a home they are losing, for the most part, destruction is to an empty home. Opportunistic thieves believe that no one will notice missing light or plumbing fixtures, paver stones and other easily accessible objects. Broken or cracked windows may be from a stray baseball or from a major hail storm. Damaged gutters can result from falling tree limbs and broken wiring might result from rodent infestation (yes, those pesky mice like to eat the insulation off wiring).

A thorough home inspection is in order before you buy a distressed property even if it has not been empty for very long. We can connect you with a professional home inspector who can give you an unbiased report of what your potential new home or investment needs. We can help you make sure that your “hot deal” really is a great deal for you.

Compliments of Virtual Results