Zilbert's Miami Beach and South Beach Real Estate Blog

Oct 14 2014

Zilbert’s Real Estate Update – New For Sale in Miami

Filed under: Market Updates

 

 

 

Here’s a quick update of some of Miami’s newest condos and homes listed for sale. Many homeowners are preparing for the busy selling season that typically starts around U.S. Thanksgiving (November), and these new listings are now getting into place. There are some good options for buyers, so have a look – 100 Newest Property Listings. My other weekly lists can be found further down, including lists of what’s been selling recently.

If the Setai in South Beach interests you, Zilbert’s Jeff Miller and Giorgio Vecchi have an amazing collection of apartments for sale there starting at $2.49M (Preview The Setai). The Setai Residences have access to the resort amenities of the Setai Hotel, and it’s the very best of resort living.


DO YOU INSTAGRAM? I’ve recently started becoming active in Instagram, both for real estate, as well as for some fun daily photos. It’s a great social media tool for a quick visual peek at really cool things. If you are on instagram, please follow me as @markzilbert, or simply visit my page here: http://instagram.com/markzilbert


 


 

PLAY VIDEO – Catch the Miami Real Estate Minute, a quick update on what’s new and exciting in Miami, hosted by Zilbert’s Arno de Vos


 

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.

405 E San Marino Drive

FEATURED HOME – 405 E San Marino Drive, Venetian Islands in Miami Beach – An extraordinary waterfront home on Miami Beach’s Venetian Islands (San Marino Island). A fully-renovated and modernized home with great living, media and entertaining spaces, a massive master suite, pool, dock with boat lift plus many more amenities. Every design detail was made with great taste and style. Extra touches include a full security system, and whole-home electrical generator that provides electricity when local power is down. These great homes are hard to find, and you will love this one. [MORE]

2014-08-26_1518

 

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

 

NOW OPEN:

Zilbert Realty Store at The Continuum

40 S Pointe Drive, Suite 110

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Tel:  (305) 695-1111

Oct 14 2014

National Disaster Resilience Competition Provides $1 Billion in Relief Funds

Filed under: Community News, Misc

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Major events such as Hurricane Sandy have made it clear that many parts of the United States remain vulnerable to significant weather events. Despite the advances that have been made in planning for extreme weather events and climate change, many communities are still improperly prepared for these disasters. To address these issues, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has set aside $1 billion to go toward a National Disaster Resilience fund.

The National Disaster Resilience fund will make funds available to communities that have been recently struck by natural disasters. Communities that receive funds will use the money to complete risk assessments and to do the necessary planning to better prepare their communities for future extreme weather events. The funds will also provide relief funding to those communities that have been struck by natural disasters, with the goal being to help rebuild the communities and to help them be better prepared for disasters in the future.

A recent National Climate Assessment has determined that extreme weather events are likely to become more severe in the coming years. Rising sea levels and changing development patterns are putting cities and their citizens at risk for their safety and health. The economies for these at-risk areas are also at risk, as a severe weather incident places a significant financial burden on those cities that are affected. To address these concerns, the National Disaster Resilience competition strives to meet the following objectives:

  • Allocate $1 billion in funds.
  • Create examples of science-based disaster recovery.
  • Institutionalize thoughtful and resilient approaches to addressing future disaster risks.
  • Help communities plan and implement disaster recovery methods.
  • Engage community stakeholders in discussions about the impacts of climate change
  • Help communities define problems, explore options and develop solutions for recovery strategies.

Eligible states and localities are invited to begin applying for the funds right away. Successful applicants will need to show how their proposals tie-in to the disaster from which they are currently recovering. A community that recently suffered from a flood, for example, may propose property acquisition and flood buyouts as part of its recovery efforts. The plan may also include restoration of wetlands in an effort to limit future flooding while also creating a nature preserve or a recreational area.

As communities strive to improve their infrastructure and make themselves more disaster-resilient, real estate agents can take steps to actively promote their listings. Those communities that choose to relocate people who were affected by a natural disaster, for example, may need assistance with finding the right property or properties. By working closely with government agencies as they apply for these funds and work toward putting them to use, real estate agents can be part of a win-win situation.

To be eligible for the competition, the area must have experienced a Presidentially Declared Major Disaster in 2011, 2012 or 2013. In all, there are 67 eligible applicants for the competition. This includes 48 of the 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, DC. 17 local governments are also eligible. The U.S. Department of Housing has a complete list of eligible states and localities available online. Funding for the National Disaster Resilience fund is being provided by the Community Development Block Grant and the Disaster Appropriation Act, 2013.

 

Oct 14 2014

Professionals Answer: “How Do I Increase My Home’s Value?” (Part 3 of 3)

Filed under: Market Updates

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A common question for prospective home sellers is “How can I increase my home’s value or get a higher selling price?” In our earlier articles on this subject, we discuss low budget and economical fixes and upgrades that can increase the perceived value of your home. In this article, we discuss those higher cost items that only give you a high return on your investment if you have high equity in your home or will lose more money if it doesn’t sell quickly.

Many buyers look for a home they can move into immediately. While the specifics depend on the age and condition of your home, here are the priority renovations that increase your home’s appeal and return on investment potential.

$$$

Kitchen

No matter what the other advantages of your home, if the buyers do not like the kitchen, they are less likely to make an offer. So, if you’re planning major upgrades, head to the kitchen first.

  • Paint, refinish or replace the cabinets. If your cabinets are dated, damaged or dark, consider replacing them or painting them with a lighter, newer version that still fits into the home’s style. If you’ve never painted cabinets, consider hiring a professional since they are more difficult than painting walls, and poorly painted cabinets actually decrease the appeal of your kitchen.
  • Replace countertops. If granite is all the rage in your neighborhood and comparable homes have granite countertops, consider this upgrade. Granite requires professional installation to measure, cut and polish the rock correctly. A less expensive version, granite tile, is easier to install, but has less overall value.
  • Add new appliances. New, matching appliances including ovens and stovetops or ranges, dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves and refrigerators instantly update a kitchen.
  • Upgrade lighting, fans and fixtures to match the style of your new cabinets and countertops.
  • Kitchen floors with carpeting, vinyl or worn and broken tile should be replaced with new ceramic or other tile, wood, or another new product. Make sure you only replace kitchen floors with flooring that can handle the traffic, spills and constant cleaning that a kitchen requires.

Bathrooms

No new homeowners want to feel as if they are using someone else’s bathroom. Replace the vanity, sink and toilet. Use low-flow toilets, water-saving faucets and other green products. Replace the floor and shower surround with a neutral tile. If your bathroom has a built-in tub/shower replace it or have it professionally refinished to look fresh and new.

Living areas

Carpets harbor dirt, dust mites and stains. Replacing the carpet in major living areas with hardwood increases the visual appeal of your home. As an instant upgrade, hardwood gives your home that updated look. It also attracts buyers that cannot live in carpeted homes for health reasons.

Heating, air conditioning and water heater

These major home appliances often are out-of-sight and out-of-mind, but a new buyer wants to know they’ll work when they need them.

Exteriors

To increase the value of your home, improve the “R” rating and make your home more economical, consider replacing the roof, insulation, siding and windows. If your home has hail or other storm damage, check with your homeowner’s insurance to see if they will cover the replacement. Using better quality, energy-saving products gives your home more curb appeal and buyers know they won’t have to worry about leaks and drafts when weather hits.

Let us help …

We can assess the potential R.O.I. for these and similar upgrades to your home. Call us for an evaluation of your home’s fair market value.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Oct 09 2014

Become a Fan of Fans

Filed under: Market Updates

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Ceiling fans aren’t just about moving air, they are an important part of creating the right atmosphere in your home. Before choosing a fan, consider what you really want it to do.

Smart ceiling fans

Being smart isn’t just for phones. Big Ass Fan company has developed smart residential fans that have motion sensors, can detect ambient air temperature and humidity, and even connect with the Nest Learning Thermostat. These fans are about keeping the temperature and atmosphere in your home at optimum levels using the least amount of energy. With five-ply bamboo blades and an automotive grade paint on its glass-infused composite finish, the Haiku fan works both indoors and outside on patios and gazebos.

Whole house fans

Older homes that don’t have central air-conditioning can be fitted with a whole house fan. These fans, typically installed in ceilings of halls or stairways and venting into attics, draw cool air from open windows throughout the home and can cool skin temperatures by up to 10°F and attic temperatures by as much 40°F. Newer designs offer quiet operation and tremendous energy savings. QuietCool suggests its fans can lower your energy bills and they’re good for the environment.

Attic fans

Different from whole house fans, attic fans vent hot attic air to the outside, but do not draw air through the living spaces. Typically installed near the gable vent, attic fans can extend the life of your roof by removing trapped moisture from the attic and releasing the buildup of heat that can warp the roof’s structural components. Solar-powered attic fans operate using only solar power and is a green alternative to a standard electric attic fan, but once the sun sets, the fan needs an alternate source of energy. The U.S. Sunlight solar fan compensates for this by allowing the fan to switch between solar and your home’s electrical power when sunlight isn’t available.

Inexpensive fan options

Window fans fit within the window frame similar to a window air conditioner, but use less energy to operate. The most energy efficient way to use them is to use them at night when the outside air is cooler. This method allows for the delay or sometimes eliminates the need to turn on air conditioning during the day. It uses electricity during off-peak night hours too.

Other options include free-standing box, floor, tower or pedestal fans. You can move these portable fans from room to room throughout the day. Hi-end air movers, like the Dyson bladeless fan move air more quietly than traditional fans and consume even less energy, are safer around small children because they have no blades and offer remote control, variable speed and other options.

Fans aren’t just for summer

With winter just around the corner, some homeowners may think they don’t need fans. However, fans can reduce your heating bills just as well as your cooling bills. Make sure your ceiling fans are reversible (look for a switch on the motor housing on traditional ceiling fans). In the winter, operate your ceiling fan clockwise and the blades will push warm air back down into the room reducing the heating requirements. A window fan in lower story windows and be reversed to push cooler air outside and pull warmer air down from the ceiling. Using exhaust fans in bathrooms and laundry rooms during the winter can reduce the buildup of moisture that leads to mold and mildew growth.

When looking at houses, note the locations you can install fans to reduce your energy costs. We can help you find contractors to install whole house and ceiling fans to give your home the best atmosphere for your family.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Oct 07 2014

Professionals Answer: “How Do I Increase My Home’s Value?” (Part 2 of 3)

Filed under: Market Updates

shutterstock_197860466

 

A common question sellers ask is “What can I do to get the maximum selling price on my home?” Since each home and every market is different, we, as your real estate professionals, can give you specific advice on your home. In general, however, if you’re willing to spend a little bit on some minor upgrades, a higher return on your investment can be significant. We covered the “no-to-low cost” items in part 1 of this series and in this post we suggest some low to medium cost options for improving that selling price.

$$

If you have a little money to spend, the next items on your list should be these easy improvements:

  1. Paint. In terms of “bang for your buck,” paint is your best friend. Gone are the days when you should paint everything white, but covering smudged or dirty walls with a pretty neutral color (off-whites, grays, creams and earthy tones) brightens your walls, covers over a host of slight imperfections and freshens their look without breaking the bank. A contrasting color on trim and woodwork brings out architectural details. Add a new coat of paint on the ceilings — paint these white or a light off-white— to brighten and light up a room. Paint the front door, too! A bright, cheery front door adds a welcoming touch.
  2. Update light fixtures. Ceiling lights, vanity lights and exterior carriage and porch lights are inexpensive items to update. Often, larger home-improvement stores offer “contractor packs” of multiple light fixtures for a lower price, so you can update all the rooms.
  1. Change out electrical outlets and switch-plates. Simply updating outlets and outlet covers, light switches and switch-plates can give a home an updated appearance. As with light fixtures, electrical components often come in contractor packs. If you are not comfortable changing out the switches and outlets yourself and don’t want to hire an electrician, just change out the covers.
  2. Replace bath fixtures. New faucets, along with towel bars, hooks and other matching pieces bring a brand new look to most bathrooms. Make sure your shower curtains are clean, fresh and neutral. If you have the extra money, changing out the toilet for a new water-saving low-flow toilet is an effective upgrade. Along the same vein, if your lavatory sink is cracked, stained or chipped, you may want to switch it out for a new one.
  3. Kitchen hardware and faucet. Just as simply adding new fixtures improves the bath, a new faucet and fresh, updated hardware on your cabinetry can freshen and upgrade the feel of your kitchen. Make certain that cabinet latches are not broken and drawer glides all work properly. Re-paint painted cabinetry and clean and re-stain finished wood cabinetry.
  4. Fix or replace your front door. Sometimes paint is not enough. If your pets have scratched your front door, or it has dry rot, is swollen, or the layers are separating, consider replacing your door with a new one. In moisture prone areas, or for safety concerns, consider using a steel door, perhaps one with a decorative window. You can even give your steel door a wood look with a faux wood-graining kit.
  5. Upgrade your garage door. Especially if your garage door is visible from the front of your home, consider painting or upgrading your garage door.

Let us help …

We can assess the potential R.O.I. for these and similar upgrades to your home. Call us for an evaluation of your home’s fair market value.

 

Compliments of Virtual Results

Oct 07 2014

Zilbert’s Market Check – October

Filed under: Market Updates

 

 

 

October has arrived! And, as we enter the 4th calendar quarter of 2014, we are seeing a slight increase in real estate buying and selling. We expect that to continue through the end of the year. To see what’s been selling in Miami recently, just visit my RECENT SALES page at http://www.zilbert.com/100_most_recent_sales.asp. And, you can return to this page any day, as this list is updated daily.

DO YOU INSTAGRAM? I’ve recently started becoming active in Instagram, both for real estate, as well as for some fun daily photos. It’s a great social media tool for a quick visual peek at really cool things. If you are on instagram, please follow me as @markzilbert, or simply visit my page here: http://instagram.com/markzilbert

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.

405 E San Marino Drive

FEATURED HOME – 405 E San Marino Drive, Venetian Islands in Miami Beach – An extraordinary waterfront home on Miami Beach’s Venetian Islands (San Marino Island). A fully-renovated and modernized home with great living, media and entertaining spaces, a massive master suite, pool, dock with boat lift plus many more amenities. Every design detail was made with great taste and style. Extra touches include a full security system, and whole-home electrical generator that provides electricity when local power is down. These great homes are hard to find, and you will love this one. [MORE]

2014-08-26_1518

 

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

 

NOW OPEN:

Zilbert Realty Store at The Continuum

40 S Pointe Drive, Suite 110

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Tel:  (305) 695-1111

Oct 03 2014

Bring Fall Into Your Home This Season With These Simple Home Decorating Tips

Filed under: Home Tips

With fall in full swing, it is time to start thinking about how to bring a bit of the season into your home. With a few simple decorating ideas, you will soon feel the fall both inside and outside of your house.

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Picking Your Fall Color Scheme

One of the easiest ways to bring the spirit of fall indoors is to decorate your interior with a fall color scheme. Yellows, oranges and reds are commonly associated with fall, but your décor does not have to be limited to just these colors.

Gray is a hot color for 2014, and it can be easily incorporated into a fall color scheme. Layering shades of gray is a great way to create a modern look, but you can prevent creating a drab appearance by sprinkling in traditional fall colors along with heavy metals. Metallic colors help to create warmth, depth and interest in a space. Warm metallic gold and bronze accent pieces are the perfect addition for a fall look. If you are interested in creating a more modern look while still celebrating autumn, consider using black, white and gray pieces with brass accents. Gold accents are also easy to incorporate into a rustic, vintage or ethnic décor, even if you only add these accent pieces in small doses.

Choosing Your Furniture

The fall theme can be further extended with the help of furniture with a metallic color scheme. Leather furniture is also a good addition for creating the look and feel of fall. If purchasing new furniture is outside of your budget, you can accomplish the same look with the help of throw pillows.

Throw pillows are relatively inexpensive and can be easily switched out as the seasons change. When looking for throw pillows to create a fall feeling, choose those with deeper colors that are made from more substantial fabrics with added texture. Faux fur throw pillows and those that are tweedy or ruddy are great choices for fall. The same is true of pillows with patterns containing traditional fall colors or those with jewel tones. Plaid prints are also a good choice for fall. Other great colors for fall that are popular this year include peacock blue, indigo, fuchsia and emerald green.

Adding Fall Décor

Of course, fall décor is an excellent way to make your house more seasonable. Accessories made from driftwood is a great way to create the look of autumn. Lamp bases, tables and frames made from driftwood are excellent options to consider. You might even consider putting some driftwood in your firewood holder in order to create an interesting look. Beach glass, dark shells, black sand and other similar pieces can also help you transition from the beach season to the season of changing leaf colors.

Traditional fall décor also remains in style every year. You could simply set a few pumpkins and gourds around your home and on your porch. Or, if you want to be more creative, consider using gilded pumpkins for your décor. Springs of wheat and corn husks can also be used to create a unique fall wreath.

Oct 03 2014

Zilbert’s Lists – What’s For Sale in Miami

Filed under: Our Condo Listings, Real Estate News

 

I am constantly studying the real estate market in and around Miami, and I publish daily lists of what’s for sale, what’s sold and other relevant information. If you’re curious as to what the latest and greatest new listings or sales are, just have a peek at my lists below. We display the data in real time, and are always happy to answer any questions.

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.

405 E San Marino Drive

FEATURED HOME – 405 E San Marino Drive, Venetian Islands in Miami Beach – An extraordinary waterfront home on Miami Beach’s Venetian Islands (San Marino Island). A fully-renovated and modernized home with great living, media and entertaining spaces, a massive master suite, pool, dock with boat lift plus many more amenities. Every design detail was made with great taste and style. Extra touches include a full security system, and whole-home electrical generator that provides electricity when local power is down. These great homes are hard to find, and you will love this one. [MORE]

2014-08-26_1518

 

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

 

NOW OPEN:

Zilbert Realty Store at The Continuum

40 S Pointe Drive, Suite 110

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Tel:  (305) 695-1111

Oct 02 2014

Is It Time to Stop Renting?

Filed under: Real Estate Tips

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It’s not your imagination that rent keeps going up. In fact, across the United States, from the end of summer 2013 to the end of summer 2014 rents increased over six percent … and in some housing markets rents increased by as much as 10%. Perhaps now is the time to make the move to home ownership.

Calculating the cost

There are different costs and benefits associated with owning versus renting, so a simple comparison of monthly payments might lead you to believe one is better over the other. To calculate the real differences, and therefore the real cost or benefit, you need to dig a little deeper. For instance, in this New York Times article, they used a $250,000 home as their example with a 9-year tenure, a 30-year fixed 4.34% loan with a 20% down payment. In addition to these basic costs, they factored in taxes, maintenance and fees (including estimated closing costs). Using the resulting monthly cost of $961, you can determine if buying or renting is better if you can rent a similar home for less than $961 (assuming the rent remains static for the nine years.

You can change the amounts in the calculator by moving the sliders so you can put in your own numbers. Remember, however, that there are extra fees associated with renting too: broker fees, security deposits, renters’ insurance and pet fees, among others. Additionally is the potential for rent increases at the end of each lease period.

One benefit of home ownership not taken into account in this model is the potential to reduce your income tax burden. A portion of your mortgage interest may be deductible as well as some of the points and property taxes.

Budgeting for hidden costs

Before buying, talk to us about the additional costs of home ownership. We can help you estimate maintenance expenses such as a new roof or heating and air-conditioning system. When we help you budget for your new house, we can factor in what you’ll need to set aside to cover these expenses.

Tax increases, levies for schools, roads and community improvements and other municipal costs can increase even in your first year of home ownership so when calculating what you can afford, add in a little extra for taxes too.

If you purchase a condominium or a home that is part of an association, you can expect association dues to rise annually unless the bylaws stipulate otherwise. Since one of the factors affecting association costs is insurance, expect your dues to increase, or to have a special assessment if your community suffers storm damage or liability costs. In addition, speaking of insurance, your premiums tend to go up each year as well. Consider these extra items as part of your overall housing cost.

Other expenses to figure into your budget:

  • Lawn and garden care—including extra water costs if you have large grass and flower areas, equipment and fuel or landscaping services, new plants, mulch and fertilizer
  • Insurance deductibles—if a hailstorm damages your roof, your insurance will replace it, but you’ll have to come up with the deductible to get the job done
  • Liability insurance—as the homeowner, if someone is injured on your property you’re responsible. You’ll need to make sure your homeowners’ insurance includes liability.

We want you to be prepared

Buying a home is a long-term commitment. We want to partner with you to make sure you’re able to both keep and enjoy that commitment. Call us today and we’ll help you prepare for that move from renting to owning … eyes wide open, so that your purchase remains a lifelong joy.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Sep 30 2014

Professionals Answer: “How Do I Increase My Home’s Value?” (Part 1 of 3)

Filed under: Real Estate Tips

shutterstock_197860466

When preparing to sell their home, a common question pops up. Homeowners want to know what they can do to get the maximum selling price on their home. Of course, the answer to “What can I do to increase my home’s value or get a better selling price?” is difficult to answer because each home has it’s own set of improvements, renovations or upgrades that might make the difference for it’s specific market. In general, however, potential improvements can be broken out by the amount the homeowner has available to spend and the return on investment, or R.O.I.

$

Low cost improvements make a big difference when your home is structurally sound, but appears a little lived-in. Number one and two on this list are:

  1. Clean, clean and then clean some more. A home that is not clean gives buyers the impression that your home also is not cared for. Dirt and grime on the surface makes them wonder about hidden mold, termites or other less visible problems. Wash walls, scrub bathrooms, make those windows sparkle, deep clean or at least spot clean the carpet. Be sure to dust ceiling fans and light fixtures, clear out cobwebs from corners and polish wood railings and floors.
  2. De-clutter, remove and store. Buyers typically look for space, extra room and plenty of storage. Many potential purchasers do not have the ability to “feel” the size of a room when it is overfilled with furniture, toys, stacks of books or magazines and other collections of items common to an occupied home. They need you to remove as much clutter as possible so that they can visualize their own furniture fitting in that area.
  3. De-personalize. Along with de-cluttering, removing family photos, children’s art, trophies, taxidermy, golf ball collections and other personal or less ordinary items gives your home the opportunity to appeal to a wider group of buyers. When your home appears to be a bachelor pad, a family or couple may be less inclined to see themselves in it, and when a house appears only family oriented, it may have less appeal to a work-from-home entrepreneur looking for extra office space.
  4. Clear the yard. Remove any junk, broken patio furniture, play equipment and other debris from the exterior. You don’t know if a buyer is looking for a house or is looking for a yard for their children to play in, or a place for outdoor entertaining. A cluttered yard gives a first impression that is difficult to overcome, no matter how much you do to the interior.
  5. Fix broken things. Broken outlet covers, screens and other items give buyers the notion that your home may need too much work. Simply fixing that leaky faucet or running toilet, replacing a broken tile or piece of wood trim or otherwise repairing simple items boosts your home’s appeal.

Call us …

Give us a call and we’ll walk through your home with you to give you ideas on the simple things you can do to improve your home’s value.

Compliments of Virtual Results