Zilbert's Miami Beach and South Beach Real Estate Blog

Feb 19 2015

Zilbert’s Real Estate Lists – What’s New, Selling and Sold?

Filed under: Market Updates

I am always fascinated with lists, of all kinds. Things like the best of, the most of, the newest, the biggest and other lists always catch my attention.

I think that’s why I publish, every single day of the year, the Zilbert lists of real estate, which allow me, and our customers, to see what’s for sale, what’s been selling, what the most expensive properties are and other lists related to real estate. Have you seen my lists? Here are just a few samples:

100 Newest Property Listings: What’s for sale?

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

100 Most Recent Closed Sales: What has sold and closed?

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

100 Most Recent Contracts: What’s been negotiated recently?

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

100 Most Expensive Listings: Who’s got deep pockets?

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

100 Most Expensive Sales: Who has spent the most?

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

Is there a list that you would like to see on Zilbert.com daily? We are always open to suggestions, and I am always happy to create new lists that are helpful to our customers.

 

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CONTINUUM SOUTH PH-2:CONTINUUM SOUTH PH-2

Zilbert is pleased to present South Beach’s greatest penthouse, listed at $50M and featuring a stunning design by Steven G. CLICK FOR MORE

 

MURANO GRANDE 2101:MURANO GRANDE 2101

 

At 3990sqft, this end-unit apartment is one of the finest you will see this year. Priced at $5.995M. Like it? CLICK FOR MORE

 

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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.

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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

 

Feb 17 2015

Create a Timeless Kitchen with the 4 Cs of Kitchen Design

Filed under: Market Updates

Nothing says “dated” like a kitchen trend from a decade ago. Consider giving your kitchen a makeover using timeless elements that are always in style. That way, no matter when you sell, your home is always ready.

Color

The simplest and most marketable hue for a kitchen is a clean, bright white. Look in any kitchen design magazine and you’ll see a white theme throughout its slick pages. White reflects light and can make even a small kitchen appear larger.  Of course, there are dozens of shades of white that evoke differing moods from cool and crisp to warm and comforting. You can even mix whites to give your kitchen depth and dimension.

No matter what your price point, all standard kitchen elements from appliances to finishes come in shades of white. If you DIY, you can find white tiles, paints, appliances, trims, sinks and cabinets.

Cabinets

Speaking of cabinets—the most timeless cabinet design is the Shaker style. A true Shaker style is a flat panel door with a square frame known as rail and stile construction. You’ll find Shaker style cabinets in country cottages, contemporary lofts and classic homes. If made from fine wood, a simple polyurethane finish will display the wood’s beauty, but as in the section above, a white cabinet paint or finish will keep your kitchen beautiful for years to come.

Shaker-style cabinets span all price ranges and quality levels. You can remodel your entire kitchen or simply replace the doors and drawer faces. In fact, if your kitchen has odd-sized custom cabinets or door and drawer sizes from another era, and you’re handy with tools and looking for a budget-friendly solution, you can even make your own.

Counters

The third “C” is the countertops. From Formica to granite, countertops are the most used part of the kitchen. While Formica definitely shouts, “dated,” to most buyers, granite is beginning to be cliché as well.

The most timeless surfaces for your countertop include:

  • White/black marble
  • Soapstone
  • Slate
  • Natural tile
  • Butcher-block
  • Concrete

Solid-surface materials such as Okite, Silestone or Corian in designs that mimic marble, stone or lighter granites and neutral colors promote an enduring look. Better for your pocketbook are butcher-block and concrete surfaces.

Cookspace

Classic kitchen layouts make moving from countertop to cooktop, refrigerator to sink or cutting board to oven simple. The most classic are: I, G, C or L configurations.

  • I — The “I” kitchen is a simple, single-sided galley and works great for small spaces such as lofts and smaller apartments. In an open space it only requires one wall, and adding an island opposite can create a full galley.
  • G — The “G” is a full galley kitchen with workspace on two opposing sides. The best arrangement has a prep area equidistant from both the sink and the cooking space.
  • C — A “C” (also called “U”) kitchen has cabinets on three sides. In an open design one side would be a peninsula. Busy bakers and cooks like the C or U shape for its large amount of counter space and classic work triangle.
  • L — An “L” kitchen has cabinets against two perpendicular walls and often has a center island. Popular in open floorplans, the L-shape has plenty of space and two walls of cabinets. Typically, the sink is on an exterior wall with a window to let in light.

If your kitchen is not one of these classic layouts, consider moving some things around to mimic these designs.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, let us give you a professional evaluation of your current kitchen before you spend to redesign it. We can help you determine which changes will give you the best return on your investment.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Feb 12 2015

Loan Options with Low Downpayments

Filed under: Market Updates

Loan Options with Low Downpayments

U.S. economists expect 2015 to be a strong year for housing. What this means to you is that more homes are selling and the supply of available homes is decreasing. This also means that prices likely will increase.

If you’ve been thinking of buying a home, now might be the time even if you haven’t saved up that full 20% downpayment yet.

Low mortgage rates

Mortgages rates have been at their lowest since 2013, with APRs in the three and four percent rates. With VA and FHA loans beating out conventional rates, even homebuyers with less money saved up can get into a home.

Misconceptions about the “twenty percent down” rule:

  • Many potential homebuyers believe that 20% down is required to get any mortgage. They will delay buying a home because they haven’t been able to save up enough for that large of a downpayment.
  • They may believe that with 20% down they are guaranteed a loan. Potential first-time buyers sometimes get the idea that once they have that large of a downpayment it will cover over any blemishes in their credit report or past credit history.
  • They believe they will get a better rate with 20% down.

What 20% down does:

  • Improves the chance you will get a conventional mortgage. Regular lenders ask for a 20% downpayment because it improves their ability to sell your loan.
  • When the downpayment is as high as 20% it meets some of the rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In addition, the homebuyer will need to meet a 43% debt-to-income ratio, so it doesn’t necessarily mean you can get a bigger loan.
  • When you pay 20% or more down, you are not required to buy private mortgage insurance (PMI). This reduces your monthly outgo and saves you a bundle.

Options with less than 20% down:

You don’t have that twenty percent saved up. So can you still get into a home? Yes! Being able to afford a home is not about how much money you can put down; it is about whether or not you can make the monthly payments. Larger downpayments mean that your monthly outgo is lower. But there are other options:

  • FHA Mortgage: A FHA insured mortgage requires just 3.5% downpayment. FHA loan guidelines have a liberal approach to both downpayments and credit scores. In fact, borrowers with a lower FICO score can still get an FHA loan if there is a reasonable explanation for why their score is lower.
  • Conventional 97: Available from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Conventional 97 is a fixed-rate loan that requires just three percent down, and the downpayment can come completely from gifts by blood-related or marriage-related donors. A Conventional 97 loan cannot be greater than $417,000 and can only be used on a single-unit dwelling.
  • VA Loans: Members of the active duty and honorably discharged U.S. Military and surviving spouses are eligible for a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans offer a zero downpayment and in higher cost of living areas can be made for up to $1,094,625.
  • USDA Mortgage: This no-money-down, 100% financing option is available to non-military borrowers and is offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Known as the Rural Housing Loan, it is also available to buyers in suburban neighborhoods as well. Often, the USDA loans are the lowest cost option for borrowers.

Qualifying

Not everyone will qualify for a lower cost or low downpayment loan because that was a big contributor to the housing bubble, but if you are interested in home ownership, one of these options may be for you.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Feb 10 2015

House or Condo?

Filed under: Market Updates

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One of the big decisions facing homebuyers is whether to purchase a home, or to buy a condominium. Just to be clear, as used here, a condominium is a type of housing where a buyer owns a specific part of shared property. Typically, ownership is of the individual unit and a percentage interest of the community space. So, a patio home that is freestanding but that shares community property, a clubhouse, etc. can be deemed a condominium if the land under the home belongs to the association, while a freestanding home that may share an association pool or community park is not.

Risk

Some homebuyers believe that owning a condominium is less risky than owning a house. This is not necessarily the case. During the economic downturn, condo owners were hit just as hard as single homeowners. The risk is based on your mortgage and your ability to make your payments, so in either case, if you lose your job your home is equally at risk.

Investment

Sometimes it makes more sense to buy a condo if you plan to live in it for a while and then turn it into a rental. Be careful to make sure the association you purchase in allows you to rent the property later. FHA requires that a certain percentage of condominium units be owner-occupied, so make sure that your purchase fits into that criteria.

Maintenance

Single-family homes typically require the owner to handle all of the maintenance from the yard work to replacing the roof or leaking water heater. Not only can this costly, if you are unable to do the work yourself, you have to pay the going rate for contractors. In many condominium complexes, the exterior work—and even some interior repairs—are done by the association. Funds for pay for the work come from your regular monthly association dues. Landscaping, masonry, exterior paint and other costly maintenance items are scheduled on a routine basis so you can come and go, have weekends free of yard work and even be away for an extended period without worrying about things getting done.

Dues

One potential challenge with condominium ownership is that the association dues can continue to rise as inflation, cost of repairs, et cetera, rise. Sometimes an association will require a special assessment to cover damage from storms (usually insured, but the deductibles need to be covered), or for upgrades that were not planned into the long-term maintenance.

Which should you buy?

Whether you want a condo, patio home, unit in a high-rise or a single-family home, there are risks and rewards to both. Your real estate professional can help you determine which is the best option for your situation, so give us a call and we’ll show you what is available to you.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Feb 05 2015

Should I Buy a Foreclosed House?

Filed under: Market Updates

Should I Buy a Foreclosed House?

As a result of the housing bubble and resulting financial instability, many communities have a high rate of foreclosed homes. Even though the rate of new foreclosures is slowing, the number of foreclosed homes in a specific the market can make buyers leery of purchasing there — even if it seems like a really good deal.

Conversely, savvy buyers can snap up some really great deals. The trick is to know where it is a good deal in a neighborhood poised for recovery, or where you might be risking your money.

What to avoid

When looking at a foreclosed property, make sure to check out these things:

  • The house itself—since most foreclosed homes are empty and sold as-is, the cost of repairs to bring the home back up to its original condition can be costly. While empty, the home may have been looted or vandalized, had a leak or burst pipe, experienced mold or infestation by bugs or rodents.
  • Liens—If the former owner owed money to contractors, utilities or taxes, the buyer may be responsible for paying those in order to have a clean and clear title to the house.
  • Neighborhood instability—Make sure to check out crime rates, signs of gang activity, school ratings and other indicators of an unstable area.

What to look for

Homes in any neighborhood could be subject to foreclosure if the owner’s situation changed—business downturn, job loss, illness, injury, or death—so just the fact that it is a foreclosure is no reason to avoid a really good deal.

  • Value—if neighborhood values are stable, and the foreclosed home is a financial deal in relation to comparable homes, then the foreclosed home should retain much of its value. When a higher percentage of the homes in a neighborhood are in foreclosure, all of the homes in that neighborhood will experience a decrease in their market value. As those homes are purchased, repaired and lived in, the entire neighborhood’s values will begin to appreciate.
  • Affordability—It is in the bank’s best interest to unload foreclosed properties since the cost of maintenance and upkeep can eat away at any profit they may make. When there are more foreclosed homes in the neighborhood, the more quickly the bank will want to unload it, so you might get a really great deal.
  • Community—Pay attention to the other homes in the community … the ones still lived in. If those owners are working at keeping up their homes, landscaping and general curb appeal, this may be the best indicator of whether or not to purchase in this area. In fact, if you and several friends all purchase in a high foreclosure area you can create that community yourselves.

How to know

We can help you figure out if a specific foreclosed home is for you. We know neighborhoods, schools and community trends. We also know how many other homes in the neighborhood are on the market and the market value, and can help determine how anxious the bank is to unload the property. We’ll help you evaluate the risks and rewards available in the neighborhood. Most of all, we can help you navigate the ins and outs of liens, clear titles and bank qualifications.

It is in all our interests to bring stability and appreciation to neighborhoods that have experienced a high number for foreclosures, so let us help you find the right home for you.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Feb 05 2015

Zilbert’s 2015 Miami Real Estate Market So Far

Filed under: Market Updates, Our Condo Listings

 

Zilbert Logo
 

As we start the second month of 2015, here’s a quick note about the Miami 2015 real estate market so far this year. On one word, the market is doing…GREAT. You can clearly see the new sale reported in January on the ZILBERT PENDING LIST. These are property re-sales that were contracted in January (but have not yet closed). Among this list is Zilbert agent Jeff Milller’s Setai 3606, listed at $5.5M. But, you will see sales at all price levels.

I maintain a list of new listings, pending listings and sold listings on Zilbert.com, updated daily. The full list of links can be found further down in this e-mail. As always, let me or any Zilbert agent help you learn more about what’s for sale and what’s been selling, and let us be of service to you seven days a week.

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CONTINUUM SOUTH PH-2: CONTINUUM SOUTH PH-2

Zilbert is pleased to present South Beach’s greatest penthouse, listed at $50M and featuring a stunning design by Steven G. CLICK FOR MORE

 

MURANO GRANDE 2101: MURANO GRANDE 2101

 

At 3990sqft, this end-unit apartment is one of the finest you will see this year. Priced at $5.995M. Like it? CLICK FOR MORE

 

ICON SOUTH BEACH 3301:

A2064136_7

ICON’s favorite corner 3-bedroom apartment is a real gem, and finished to perfection. At $4.975M, you can have a showplace to call your own. CLICK FOR MORE

 

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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.

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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

 

Feb 03 2015

Early Spring Landscaping

Filed under: Market Updates

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Bulbs, tubers, perennials and indigenous plants beautify your home and give year-round enjoyment for decades to come. If you bought your home in the fall or winter, you may not know what is under the snow or mulch, but you can prepare for spring planting anyway and liven up the atmosphere with color inside your home as well. Bulbs and tubers planted in the spring typically bloom in the summer. To get a head start on those blooms, consider forcing bulbs indoors.

Bulbs

There are two types of bulb: those that are native to warmer climates and those native to colder climates.

A warm climate bulb, like an amaryllis or paperwhite narcissus can be grown indoors without chilling in a pot or shallow bowl and then transferred outdoors when the weather warms. Amaryllis come in reds, whites, pinks, peaches and yellows.

If you like, you can grow these bulbs in soil or simply in a shallow bowl with pebbles and water to hold them in place. They usually bloom about four weeks after you begin watering them. It is ideal to keep stems short so that they remain sturdy. To do this, keep them in indirect light and temperatures around 50°F for the first couple of weeks. Move them to a lighter, warmer location after that.

Cooler climate bulbs require chilling at temperatures of 35-45°F in order to stimulate the bulb to start developing. Most of these bulbs need four to five months of cooling before they begin developing and forming flowers inside the bulb. If you don’t already have bulbs, consider purchasing pre-chilled bulbs from a nursery. Once you expose the bulbs to warmth of around 60°F with indirect light, either indoors or outdoors, they will begin blooming in about three to four weeks. When you have shoots between three and five inches high, you can move them to a sunny window. Once the buds have color, if you are keeping them indoors you should move them to indirect light and they will bloom longer.

Great cooler climate bulbs include tulips, hyacinths and daffodils, all of which come in a variety of colors and have fascinating names like Apricot Beauty (tulip), Negrita (purple tulip), Orange Emperor (orange tulip), Peter Pan (while crocus), Pickwick (striped crocus), Bridal Gown (double creamy daffodil) and February Gold (miniature yellow daffodil).

Tubers, corms and rhizomes

Other “bulb-like” plants are actually tubers (like potatoes) and tuberous roots (like sweet potatoes), corms or rhizomes. For example, a crocus is actually a corm. Other corms include gladiolus and freesia. Begonia, anemones, caladiums and cyclamen are tubers, while dahlias and daylilies are tuberous roots. Begonia and caladiums make great indoor blooms.

Rhizomes include tiny delicate blooms like lily-of-the-valley and the tall brilliant flowering stems of canna. Irises are a creeping rhizome which means that they fill in space in dense clumps year after year unless separated and replanted further apart. There are more than 300 species of iris, but the best ones to grow indoors are the dwarf irises. They need to be chilled for about eight weeks in barely moist soil and shoots will form before you need to bring them into a sunny location.

Curb appeal

Forcing bulbs, rhizomes, corms and tubers indoors means that you can add a bright spot of color to your flowerbeds as soon as the weather warms.

 

Compliments of Virtual Results

Jan 29 2015

New High-Tech Home Gadgets

Filed under: Home Tips

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As with The Jetsons cartoon, our imaginations run wild with the idea of modern gadgets to make our homes efficient and automated, and make our lives simpler. For cutting-edge products you can control from your smartphone, check out these contributions from the International Consumer Electronics Show. Held each year in Las Vegas, the event showcases technological advances and products that offer cutting-edge advances in consumer technology.

Home security

Home security cameras work well when you’re home, but what about when you’re away? The DoorBird home security camera sends an alert to your smartphone every time your doorbell is rung. The integrated speaker system allows you to talk to the visitor even if you’re not there, and keeps track of who comes and goes. You can even open your door for delivery, cleaning and repair personnel from another room or another location.

The system comes with a motion sensor, Wi-Fi connection and available add-on cameras. The DoorBird runs from an app on your Apple iOS or Android device.

Climate-control

No matter how efficient the heating and air-conditioning is in your home, one room or another may be warmer or cooler than the rest of the home simply due to its orientation to the sun. There is no longer any reason for one room to be sweltering and another to be freezing with the Ecovent.

Working with your existing central air system, the Ecovent replaces your current wall, floor or ceiling vents with battery-powered vents that open and close automatically to send the cool air to where it’s needed most. The system knows the temperature in every room and adjusts the vents accordingly. Operating from your smart phone app, the system also works with smart thermostats such as the Nest learning thermostat. Easily installed by most do-it-yourself-ers, the Ecovent system improves energy efficiency by up to 30 percent.

Attitude

Okay, your home doesn’t really have an attitude, but you do. And bright an early in the morning it can be a little testy until you get your first jolt of caffeine. Or, what about a fresh cup when you walk through the door at then end of a long day? Introducing the Smarter Wi-Fi coffee machine that grinds, brews and pours your coffee all from the control of your smartphone app.

This coffee maker alerts you when your coffee is ready and offers you a fresh cup of coffee when it detects that you’ve arrived home. While there are other smart coffee makers on the market, this one differs in that it brews a single serving instead of an entire carafe.

Having high-tech gadgets for your home is great, but what if you just need the home? We can help you with that. Give us a call and we’ll help you find a home for all those gadgets to go in.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Jan 27 2015

Is Adding a Skylight a Good Investment?

Filed under: Home Improvement

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During the gray and cloudy days of winter, a bit of sunshine can make a huge difference in how you feel about your home and yourself. The physical and psychological affects of daylight are well documented. You could leave the drapes and blinds open, but then you lose privacy and the thermal insulation they provide. An alternative is to add a skylight to your home, or alternatively, to install a light tube.

Skylights

A skylight is a “window” in the roof of your home that brings light into a room from above. Some skylights are fixed so that they do not open and others open to allow fresh air and ventilation. Some skylights offer emergency egress or even roof access, depending on the layout of your home. Since skylights must be installed in the roof, they work well in single-story homes to add light to a kitchen or family area. In a multi-storied home, a skylight would add light to a bedroom, home office or upstairs game room. For example, if your home has a large attic that you want to convert to a home office or exercise room, skylights allow you to have windows even though you may have no walls.

Specialty skylights offer preinstalled window coverings or blinds, tinting, insect screens and other options. Turn a room in your home into an atrium with a fixed glass dome skylight with architectural detailing, or just add light to a room with a simple glass panel skylight.

Light tubes

If the home has an attic, the skylight might be recessed into the attic so that the light shines down into the room inside recessed walls. An alternative to a recessed skylight is to install a light tube, such as the Solatube. A light tube or solar tube is a pipe that reflects daylight via its reflective surface that mirrors sunlight to a location in the home. Light tubes may be installed in the ceiling in the same manner as a skylight, or they may be installed in walls. An advantage of a light tube is that the rooftop location does not have to be directly above the light-point in the room.

Because the “tube” reflects or bends the light, the architectural applications are endless. You can install light tubes in showers and closets, to light up a niche or brighten up a dark corner. Light tubes often include LED lights so that they are useful with or without sunlight.

Energy efficiency

A correctly installed skylight or light tube can increase a home’s energy efficiency by decreasing the energy required to light a home. However, when the wrong skylight is installed for your home or location, or the skylight is installed incorrectly, the result can be a decrease in energy efficiency.

Adding value

When you add a skylight or light tube to your home, the perceived value to a buyer can be immense as long as the addition:

  • Is installed correctly.
  • Does not diminish the home’s energy efficiency.
  • Blends well with the home’s design.

Before adding a skylight to a home you intend to sell, check with your local real estate professional to determine if the perceived value would result in actual market value.

 

Compliments of Virtual Results

Jan 22 2015

Minimalist Home-buying

Filed under: Real Estate Tips

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When you’re house hunting, it’s good to know your “living personality.” The home you choose should reflect the way you like to live rather than the latest trend in home design. If you are a minimalist at heart, you may be looking for something different from the average homebuyer.

What is a minimalist?

Minimalism isn’t about owning a very small house, although it can be for some, and it isn’t about getting rid of everything and eating and sleeping on the floor. What it is about is getting rid of (or not acquiring) the excesses that can clutter our lives and cause us to be discontent and overwhelmed. While some people tout “rules” for how much a minimalist can own or how big their home can be, true minimalism is a mindset about what makes us happy versus what just litters and disorders our lives.

Minimalist living is an aim to living with what you need, but not with what consumerism and advertisements tell you that you should want. It’s not about being frugal; it is about quality over quantity. It is about making choices.

Are you a minimalist?

You might be a minimalist if

  • Clutter makes you uncomfortable or irritated.
  • You hate the junk drawer.
  • You give stuff away every chance you get.
  • You’ve considered buying a tiny house.
  • You’re attracted to minimalist architecture.

What is minimalist architecture?

In the design world, minimalism is about simplifying and paring down the design elements. Often used in Japanese design and architecture, minimalism is a design aesthetic that seeks to achieve simplicity. Using basic geometric forms, simple materials and natural light, minimalist architects design homes with clean, open lines, natural wood, stone, glass and other fundamental components.

Can you be a minimalist in a traditional home?

While you may be naturally drawn to minimalist architecture, most homes, particularly in neighborhoods or associations, do not fit into the minimalist design aesthetic. A traditional home may be the perfect option for your minimalist lifestyle. Simply adopt these concepts when decorating your new space:

  • Window coverings: to keep your space minimalist, simplify your window coverings. Leave windows bare, where possible, or use wood blinds or cellular blinds that sit inside the window opening.
  • Furniture: Choose fewest pieces possible without sacrificing comfort and utility. Forego ornate or heavy pieces in favor of simple, clean lines and solid colors.
  • Floors: Consider wood, tile or stained concrete floors.
  • Artwork: Simple art objects or accents that draw the eye can add a dash of color to a basic room. Keep knick-knacks to a minimum.
  • Organization: Forego the junk drawer, but have a space out of sight for the items you need to keep. Except for those that require hard copies (birth certificates, diplomas, marriage licenses) store “paper” items on your computer or in the cloud.
  • Landscaping: Choose native plants and hardscape to minimize the amount of upkeep your property requires.

Finding a minimalist home

If we know what you’re looking for, we can help you find the perfect home for your minimalist lifestyle. As real estate professionals, we know what is available in our area, and what you can do to make it fit the aesthetic you’re looking for.

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