Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 12, 2018

Fish Are Jumping Off the Coast of Fort Lauderdale Real Estate

Have the time of your life off Fort Lauderdale real estate. Set out onto the ocean in search of that big catch. Expert trackers, Captains Tom and David Zsak of Top Shot Sportfishing know just where the fish are and direct their vessel accordingly. Chartered trips take fishermen out into open waters off Fort Lauderdale property and other Southern Florida areas.

For over four decades Top Shot boasts the title of the “longest running charter boat business in South Florida”. With tricks of the trade up their sleeves and a bit of common sense mixed in these guys instinctively know where and when to set sail. Once in the perfect locale lines dangling the water constantly move with the tug of a big fish. Anglers eagerly anticipate fishing for Shark, Barracuda, Wahoo, Snapper, Mahi Mahi, Swordfish and more.

Catch the Big One off the Coast of Fort Lauderdale Property

Deep water fishing off Fort Lauderdale real estate coast is the stuff dreams are made of. A sharp drop off a few miles out finds ocean depths plummeting to 500 feet. The Captains Zsak are in their element providing memory making excursions for all those on board. Relying on the most effective methods, techniques vary depending upon the elements. Kite fishing is best when soft breezes flow freely in an eastern direction. Trolling is another successful approach resulting in arching rods hooked with fish.

The name of the boat says it all. Happy Day Today is a 46’ Hatteras with plenty of power to conquer the waves. All the necessities for a successful day are provided and some luxuries too. When the Florida sun gets too hot to handle a plush interior provides designer comfort complete with air conditioning, television and comfy leather couches. A TripAdvisor five star rating doesn’t come easy and Top Shot Sportfishing proudly displays theirs.

Experience the thrill of deep water sport fishing today. Friendly staff welcomes both experienced anglers and those of all ages onto the Happy Day Today. For more information or to book a charter please call 954.309.7457.

 

Posted in News
Dec. 21, 2017

Financing a South Florida Home with Poor Credit

If your credit is shaky, the safest bet for buying a home is to save and wait for your finances to firm up. That said, you have other options when it comes to paying for a home. Here are four of them:

Get a co-signer.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a close friend or relative with good credit and enough cash, you can opt for a co-signer loan. In this arrangement, the interest rate and approval are determined by the credit score of the co-signer, which means you could get a loan you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

Use bankruptcy to your advantage.
Bankruptcy has negative associations for obvious reasons, but it also offers the possibility of a new start. After you file for bankruptcy, lenders will focus less on your credit score and more on the rest of your financial profile: your income, your ability to pay your bills on time, and your ability make a down payment. Save your money, pay your bills consistently, and keep a steady job. Bad credit or no, you’ll likely qualify for a traditional loan after a year or two.

Get an interest-only loan.
Interest-only loans allow you to pay only the interest on the loan until you have a regular income to start settling the principal. This is a great option if you expect to earn a lot more in the next few years, or if your income is mostly in the form of infrequent commissions or bonuses.

Ask the government.
The Federal Housing Administration has sponsored programs that offer loans with very low interest. In the FHA’s 203(b) program for first-time homebuyers, for instance, your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price, and most of your closing costs and fees can be included in the loan. FHA loans may not take credit ratings into account as long as you have a regular income that can ensure consistent payment.

Looking for more options? If you haven’t inquired recently, your credit score may not be as low as you think. Your best option is to consult with a real estate pro for guidance you towards the best goals and resources for buying your dream home.

If you have low credit and are looking into buying a South Florida home, contact your trusted agent for some standard information on lending in the Coconut Creek area and recommendations for local lenders.

Posted in News
Nov. 28, 2017

Top 3 Listings in Coconut Creek

7741 NW 39 AVE

Price: $4,200,000
City: Coconut Creek
Sq Ft: 13,448
MLS ID: F10064381

Description: Privately gated, 3-story Victorian-style equestrian estate set across 4 pristine acres, nestled between North Broward Prep & Adios Golf Club. Main estate boasts 5BR/5BA, piano room, 2 offices, gourmet kitchen, formal & casual dining, game room, theater, massage & elevator. Attached breezeway leads to 3-car garage & 1BR apartment. Full barn: 4 stalls, auto water, tack & wash basin plus 60×120 fibar dressage ring. Tennis, pool, BBQ area, pizza oven, generator & gorgeous outdoor spaces complete the offering.

 

4847 NW 57TH MNR

Price: $600,000
City: Coconut Creek
Sq Ft: 3,168
MLS ID: F10076885

Description: ONLY HOME FOR SALE IN SOUGHT AFTER COMPLEX. This fantastic home is situated on a large cul-de-sac in gated community of Victoria Isles. Kitchen and 4 bathrooms are totally UPDATED and house shows like a model. Minutes to the Sawgrass Expressway, Turnpike, I-95, airports, casinos and a 6 mile straight shot to beach. All shopping nearby and schools are great. Current and only owners purchased home pre construction (2003) and are relocating. UNDERGROUND UTILITIES SO NEVER LOST POWER/INTERNET THRU IRMA.

 

3686 COCO LAKE DR

Price: $440,000
City: Coconut Creek
Sq Ft: 2,538
MLS ID: F10088495

Description: Great Scott!! Incredible 4 bedroom 3 bath lake front pool home in sought after Coco Lakes ( 4th bedroom is den downstairs)**extensive use of tile through-out living area** upgraded kitchen with granite counter tops** breakfast area over looking fifty five acre lake** accordion shutters** large screened in pool**HOA maintains lawn** family neighborhood

 

Interested in seeing additional properties like these? Click here to search all listings.

Posted in News
Nov. 21, 2017

How to Avoid the Biggest First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

It’s all too easy for first-time homebuyers to make missteps during the buying process. After all, there are a lot of moving pieces to consider; not to mention all the online resources offering advice (some of which is contradictory)! So let’s cut through the noise and highlight some of the biggest first-time homebuyer pitfalls that you should avoid in South Florida.

Not knowing what you can afford

Many first-time homebuyers get caught up in researching the “exciting” aspects of the homebuying process – things like kitchen amenities, floor plans, and the square footage of backyards. While these things are certainly important, as a first-time homebuyer you need to make sure you dedicate time to researching financing options. Talk to a qualified lender and get yourself pre-approved for a mortgage. If you don’t do this first, you might end up falling in love with a Coconut Creek home that you can’t afford.

Picking the wrong neighborhood

As mentioned above, first-time homebuyers often get caught up in details that pertain to the actual, physical homes they’re looking at. Equally important, however, is where a home is located. If you’re a young, active couple that’s prone to throwing parties, a quiet Coconut Creek neighborhood made up primarily of older residents probably isn’t the place for you.

When looking at homes, make sure to pay attention to neighborhoods. Ask yourself, “Where’s the nearest grocery store?”, “Are there lots of people jogging and walking pets?,” and so on. By picking a neighborhood that’s tailored to your lifestyle, you’ll have a much more enjoyable home-owning experience after you buy.

Not calculating expenses

You did it! You found the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood and – best of all – it’s in your price range…or is it? There are many additional expenses associated with owning a home that first-time buyers often overlook. These include South Florida property taxes, maintenance work, and utility bills. So before you pull the trigger on a home, make sure you figure out what such expenses will run you ahead of time.

Ready for next steps? Reach out to your local South Florida expert for tips and tricks on how to navigate the world of buying real estate for the first time.

Posted in News
Nov. 14, 2017

What to Look for in a South Florida Luxury Home

Many homebuyers dream of owning a beautiful, modern, luxurious home decked out with all the best amenities. For those fortunate folks who are actually poised to purchase such a home, however, careful consideration is essential. That’s why I’ve laid out the following tips to help you find a luxury home that meets your needs as well as your desires.

Beginning your search

Luxury home sellers often prefer to maintain a low profile. As a result, their homes may be unlisted or minimally advertised, making it difficult for you to find out when a luxury home becomes available for sale. Hiring an Coconut Creek experienced agent, especially someone who has the requisite connections, can give you a huge advantage when trying to track down luxury homes on the market.

Looking from above

While seeing photos of a luxury home can give you a good idea of its architectural style and key features, you’ll want to do a bit more research before deciding to attend an open house or book a showing. Try typing the luxury listing’s address into Google Maps to access the Street View. This will help you get a better picture (literally) of the home’s plot, yard space, and overall landscaping. Not sure if a home has that in-ground pool you’ve always wanted? Google may show you if this home will fulfill that dream, even if the public listing details do not.

Smart technologies

Considering the price tag, it should be a given that the luxury home you’re looking for will have modern flooring, fixtures, the most up-to-date appliances, and other features. To stay on the absolute cutting edge of home technology, you should choose a luxury home that also comes equipped with an automated control system. Smart home systems will allow you to adjust blinds, turn lights on and off, adjust the temperature, and more, all from your smartphone!

Bathroom basics

A truly luxurious Coconut Creek home will have a beautiful, high-tech bathroom. Popular features include high-end jet tubs that can shoot sounds waves through the water, and showers designed to mimc the rainforest or falling rain. Electronic control panels on such tubs and showers make adjusting temperatures and other settings a breeze.

To ensure you’re looking at only the truly luxurious South Florida homes, make sure to reach out to your local realty expert for advice and guidance on how to hunt for your dream home!

Posted in News
Nov. 7, 2017

How to Effortlessly Save for a New Coconut Creek Home

…even while you’re still renting.

If you’re renting your current home and have your eye on making a home purchase in the near or distant future you might be worried that it can’t be done. The good news is that there are some effortless ways to grow your home savings with a little bit of set up and a touch of discipline.

1) Know your goal.

The best place to start is knowing how much cash you’ll need and by when. Typically, you should aim to save 5-20 percent of your planned South Florida home purchase price to qualify for a traditional 30-year mortgage. This amount might seem overwhelming at first but, when you break it down into annual, monthly, then weekly goals, it’ll start to feel much more manageable.

Defining your timeframe goals will help to better understand what would be required of your saving habits on a regular basis. Once you’ve figured out how much you’d need to save each week, you may wish to re-evaluate your time goals to reflect a more relaxed saving schedule if the first iteration feels too aggressive.

2) Pay Down Credit Card Debt.

If you’re carrying any consumer credit card debt, try to reduce that first before focusing on saving. When you attack your high-interest credit debt, you’re moving towards a higher credit score which will improve your chances of getting a mortgage– debt is a considerable factor lenders use to qualify you for a loan. Your higher credit score can even result in better mortgage interest rates!
Note: This may result in a smaller difference between mortgage payments after a smaller down payment than what you may initially be planning for, so plan carefully if you’re hoping to increase your budget!

Once your debt is paid off, you’ll not only have a lot more money available in your budget to set aside for a down payment, but you’re ultimately decreasing the cost of paying off your debt in the long-run.

3) Use a budgeting app.

Many free budgeting apps rake through your bank accounts and online credit card statements to track your spending for you. Once you have a good understanding of how much you’re spending, assess what could be cut back and set a maximum budget for each category. Then, plug in your target monthly savings amount for your newest budget item – a new Coconut Creek home!

4) Lower your biggest living expense.

Saving for a down payment on a home is going to be tricky if you’re living in a high rent district. Consider finding a smaller rental in Coconut Creek, living with friends or family, or taking in a roommate to lower your biggest monthly payment — your rent.

5) Automate.

The easiest way to save money is to make it automatic — take savings right out of your paycheck so you never even see it before it goes into your savings account. If you can’t see it, you can’t spend it! Alternatively, you can set up an automatic deduction to transfer a weekly amount from your bank account into a savings account. Your savings isn’t the only thing you should automate – to save money on potential late fees, automate all your bill payments.

6) Stay positive.

Frame your down payment goal as an exciting thing to look forward to rather than a chore. This helps to avoid stress as you approach dealing with financing your new home; you’ll also find that saving money will start to feel less like a fixation on money you don’t have and more on the wonderful home you will have in the future! Don’t forget to budget for a small treat every now and then to reward yourself and keep things feeling upbeat. You may even find that you’re so excited by saving that you use some of your flexible spending funds to save extra money for the month!

7) Make more money.

If the majority of your income is already tied up in expenditures that can’t be cut from your budget, consider taking on some side jobs. Look around your home for things you’re no longer using and arrange to sell them. You can also use one of your personal strengths, like writing or painting, to start a viable side hustle and get paid for your skills; all of this extra money can go directly to your home savings goal.

8) Make accessing your savings inconvenient.

It’s easy to see something you want and find a way to rationalize dipping into your savings. Take the willpower out of the decision by making your savings difficult to access. Put the savings in an account that doesn’t have an ATM card linked to it, or use a bank that requires you to make withdrawals in person.

Keep in mind these tips as you begin saving to buy your Coconut Creek dream home. Also remember that you can always seek out help from your local real estate pro to give you an overview of the South Florida real estate market and to find a lender or financial coach to help you get started on the right foot.

Posted in News
Oct. 28, 2017

How to Quickly and Efficiently Relocate to South Florida for Your New Job

You’re embarking on two exciting life adventures—a new job, and a new town or city! This certainly is an exciting time with plenty of fresh starts. Simultaneously making two significant changes like this can present a few challenges. Here are some ways to make your move quick and efficient so you can arrive excited and ready to go on day one of your new job.

1) Find out if your new South Florida job provides relocation services.
This should be your very first step; If your new employer is providing relocation services for you, you could save a significant amount of time, energy, and money. When moving services are provided, your new employer will likely have a preferred moving vendor that they’ve used in the past. This means that moving arrangements may be as simple as sharing your travel plans and key dates. Once your move to Fort Lauderdale is complete, be sure to share details about your experience with your company’s recommended movers.

If your new employer does not provide relocation services, your secondary action should be to ask about relocation assistance or related bonuses/expense compensation. Some South Florida companies might provide a lump sum of money to hires who are relocating in lieu of relocation services.

2) What to look for in a mover.
If your new employer doesn’t provide relocation services, and you’re not planning to do it all on your own, you’ll need to hire a professional mover. To find a credible mover, your best source will be your personal contacts. Be sure to ask your real estate agent, friends, and family who they’d recommend based on their own personal experiences with movers in the past.

Too many (or not enough) recommendations from friends and family? Search online for moving companies with offices near your current home and make sure to get an in-person estimate of how much your move will cost. Don’t rely solely on estimates from online calculators or from a company rep who hasn’t seen your home. If you’re considering a moving company that you’re unfamiliar with, ask for references.

Some movers do the packing for you, while other will expect you to have everything packed and ready to go on your own. Discuss the logistics and any associated costs with your mover up front to ensure you have time to prep for the latter scenario if necessary.

3) Determine if you have the time to drive your vehicle yourself.
Time is one of the biggest factors to consider when thinking about how to move your car to your new South Florida home. Depending on how far you’re traveling to relocate, it may not make sense to pay a professional vehicle mover. If you’re moving across the country and don’t have an extra week to make a road trip out of it, hiring a company that moves cars will be your best bet. They can provide you with the necessary paperwork and will help make the process run smoothly.

4) Figure out if you need temporary housing.
Where will you live when you arrive in Fort Lauderdale? Do you plan to rent for a while so you can scope out the area? Will you have time to make a few visits to your new community to search for housing? Find out if your new employer offers corporate housing and how much it costs and weigh all your options with a local South Florida realty pro.

5) Prepare in the weeks and days before.
The more you can get done ahead of time to prepare for moving out of your current home and into your new community, the better. Once you know where you’ll be living, you can start getting your new home set up by doing things like arranging for internet/cable service and turning on other essential utilities. If you’re packing on your own, doing a little each day in the weeks leading up to your move will make the process feel much more manageable than doing it all at once.

6) Keep valuables safe.
When using movers, it’s best to travel with your valuables. Moving companies are used to moving valuables, and will document everything they move along with the condition in which it arrives at your new home– but, for peace of mind, it’s easier to pack up any cherished jewelry or important belongings as items you’ll bring with you personally to your new home.

7) Pack an overnight bag with essentials.
Whether you’re using movers or moving yourself, packing a few days’ worth of clothes and essentials will make your trip more comfortable. If your movers are delayed for any reason, you’ll have all the clothes and toiletries you need on hand until your belongings arrive.

Tip: If you expect to start work at your new job shortly after you’re planning to complete your move, make sure to pack some workplace-appropriate attire just in case things don’t go according to plan!

Ready to get started on this exciting new chapter of your life? Reach out to your local realty specialist for help relocating to South Florida for your new job! While you’re preparing for the big move, check out more Fort Lauderdale area home-buying and lifestyle tips on the blog.

Posted in News
Oct. 14, 2017

How to Market a Luxury Home in South Florida

Due to the limited quantity of both luxury homes and prospective luxury home buyers, marketing a luxury home in Pompano can be a challenge. Unlike marketing traditional homes, a luxury home requires that you target a very small, specific section of the home-buying population. Here are some tips and tricks for helping you do just that:

Go stealth mode

Many sellers list their luxury homes in multiple listing service (MLS) databases, in national media listings, and in other very public spaces. However, marketing your luxury home in a private network first can help you attract only the most qualified of buyers. A local luxury real estate pro could help you tap into the most valuable markets and strategies for selling your home.

One idea for building such a network could be to host an event with your real estate agent so your affluent Pompano friends and community members can get familiar with the property. Should you decide to take the “stealth” approach to marketing your home, attending country club benefits and charity auctions could also help you build connections with potential buyers and spread the word subtly.

Make your property pop

Even with all of its amazing amenities, a luxury home can still fail to resonate with prospective buyers if it doesn’t have the proper staging and presentation. Curb appeal is essential, so make sure to get your landscaping in order before any prospects come to visit.

The interior of your home should not only be neat and tidy, but your furniture should be strategically arranged to optimize flow and highlight architectural features. If any furniture is damaged or out-of-date, consider renting new, modern furniture for when prospective buyers come to visit. Your trusted local agent can also be a great resource for helping you get everything in order and connecting you with any other professional South Florida stagers they recommend.

Consider including incentives

If you really want to see your South Florida luxury home move fast, think about including something of value to sweeten the deal. While you probably won’t be willing to throw in a shiny new sports car, adjusting your home sale to include things like artwork, high-end furniture/appliances, or other desirable items could provide the leverage you need for motivating a prospective buyer.

See these other selling tips for South Florida real estate, but don’t forget to contact a local realty pro to help you get started off with only the strongest marketing strategy for your luxury home!

Posted in News
Oct. 7, 2017

From Application to Approval—How Your Mortgage Gets Approved

Purchasing a new home is an exciting time. From checking out new potential homes and exploring new neighborhoods in Coconut Creek, it’s an experience to remember. Securing a mortgage is an essential step in helping make your South Florida home buying dreams come true. Here are the basic steps from getting your paperwork in order to landing a loan:

  1. Review your finances. When you can estimate how much your new South Florida home will cost, use an online mortgage calculator to determine your monthly mortgage payment amount. Then, make some additional estimates to account for utilities to make sure all your new home expenses will fit into your budget. Generally, housing costs should account for less than 30% of your total income. 
  2. Have your down payment ready. Depending on the type of loan you qualify for (your real estate agent or mortgage broker will make some recommendations), you’ll need to have saved at least 3-5%, or up to 20% in some cases. If you’re purchasing your first South Florida home, you may qualify for a first-time home buyer program and won’t need to save as much, or you may not need a down payment at all.
  3. Know your numbers. Specifically your total household income, total assets, including mutual funds and IRAs, and total debt, including all loans, credit debt, and child support payments. 
  4. Gather your paperwork. It’s time to dig up everything you’ll need to provide to a lender for pre-approval; pay stubs, W-2s, bank statements, tax returns for the previous two years, and credit lines, and names and addresses of your landlords for the past two years. It’s also a smart idea to review your credit report in advance to make sure there are no derogatory items that will need explaining. 
  5. Apply for a mortgage. Start with your current bank, especially if you’ve been banking with them for a long time. But make sure you shop around and check out competitor banks as well—you might secure a lower interest rate. When you’ve chosen a lender, a loan officer will walk you through the application, collect your documents, then send it to an underwriter for review.
  6. The mortgage underwriter will review your loan scenario. They’ll look at your situation and your supporting documents to make sure it meets the guidelines of their lending program. They will determine if you qualify for the mortgage by looking at your ability to repay the loan, assessing your financial risk, the value of the home you’re seeking to purchase, and the source of your down payment money. If the underwriter has any questions or needs any additional information, you’ll likely hear from your loan officer. 
  7. Approved! Assuming you meet the lender’s loan requirements, your loan officer will be in touch, usually in a few days to let you know if you were approved or not. They’ll walk you through all the necessary next steps to securing financing for your new South Florida home. 

Have questions about getting a pre-approval for a mortgage? We’re happy to help! Contact your local South Florida real estate agent today.

Posted in News
Sept. 28, 2017

The 6 essential steps to helping a loved one transition to an adult community

Approaching the topic of moving a loved one from their home into an adult community or retirement home can be a tricky conversation to start; even just the transition part can be challenging. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be – if you know how to prepare. Here are some simple tactics to start a conversation with a family member and make the transition a smooth one:

1) Deciding it’s time to transition.
This might be the most sensitive part – making the decision. It will likely be the easiest on everyone if your family member comes to this conclusion on their own. More likely, though, you’ve reached a decision and your family member initially disagrees. It’s normal to wonder if you’re making the right choice – if you’re sure, a very important next step is to take action. The longer your loved one stays in their current housing situation, the more probable it is that a crisis, like a fall or other emergency, could occur and increase the urgency of the move. It will be easier to transition your loved one during calm times than in the midst of a crisis. Helping your parent decide (if they’re of the right state of mind to do so), will make the transition easier on everyone.

2) Choosing a retirement community.
There are lots of factors that come into play when considering a Margate retirement community – weather, amenities, price, activities, and proximity to family and friends. Consider all of these factors and decide which ones are the most important. Also, think through medical care.

  • Does the community provide medical services?
  • If they’re not on-site, how far away is health care?
  • Are in-home health services available and do local physicians make house calls?

If a retirement community in a place like Margate or doesn’t quite fit your family, maybe another South Florida big city could be a great option. Homes in walkable cities like Boston, New York, and San Francisco can be pricey, but they’ve proven to show value with built-in advantages such as health care services, public transit and an abundance of things to do. If your family member can be engaged throughout this process, keep them involved. If they find a community they like, visit it a few times, each during a different time of day to get a feel for the sense of community and activities.

What kinds of activities do South Florida communities tend to offer? Typically, you’ll be able to find activities like golf, tennis, and swimming, but make sure the activities are aligned with your family member’s interests.

3) Downsizing possessions.
Once you’ve decided on a South Florida community, chances are that your loved one is going to need to downsize their belongings before transitioning to a new home. Work with your family member to choose which household and personal items will move to their new home. Keep in mind that it may be difficult for them to part with treasures accumulated over a lifetime, so try to stay positive, sensitive, and willing to compromise where possible.

4) Get used to the community, then relocate.
Depending on how far away the retirement home is from their current home, your family may need to acclimate first; especially if you’re looking at locations outside of South Florida; like Arizona, Florida, and Southern California. Your family member may want to consider renting a temporary living space for a few weeks in the off-season before making a commitment.

Allow some time for your loved one to warm up to their new community. Spend some time greeting current and prospective community members. These new peers will be your family member’s new neighbors – these people may have a bigger impact on their life than they might initially expect.

5) Plan something to do during your first few visits.
To make your first few visits to your family member’s new South Florida community enjoyable and comfortable, plan something for all of you to do together. Have your loved one show you around, enjoy a nice meal, or just enjoy some quiet one-on-one time.

6) Keep in contact, but don’t overdo it.
Finding a balance between visiting regularly but not too often will take some time. Stay in contact with your loved one to make sure they know you’re still thinking about them and that you love them. A simple phone call or visit can make all the difference during a difficult transition. When things have calmed down, allow the time and space to for your loved ones to explore the community on their own and make new friends.

Thinking about making the transition but not sure you know how to broach the subject? Get in touch with your local realty expert for more guidance on how to have the conversation and what the process will involve. If you’re ready to move forward with the sale of your loved one’s South Florida home, don’t forget to check out these helpful local tips.

Posted in News