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Big news in Washington this week as more than 10,000 Realtors from the state of Florida and from across the country descended on the Washington Monument in D.C. to advocate for every American’s right to pursue the American Dream. They have organized in such high numbers to help illustrate just how vital housing and home ownership is to the economic recovery of the US.

They’re calling this gathering the “Rally to Protect the American Dream” and it’s happening simultaneously with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo in the nation’s capital this week. All this week, realtors from Florida and many other states will be working to further their cause by meeting with lawmakers and leaders of the real estate industry. They will be addressing issues and concerns that affect not only current homeowners, but also those aspiring to become homeowners and those that invest in real estate across the country.

Although Florida’s housing market has shown many signs of improvement, there is still much work to be done to restore residents’ faith that the market is indeed on the upswing. Led by 2012 Florida Realtors President Summer Greene, who is also Regional Manager of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st in Fort Lauderdale, realtors will be advocating tirelessly to ensure that lawmakers remain focused on the important housing issues so that recent gains in the market will not be lost. These issues include mortgage liquidity, flood insurance availability and tax relief – all especially important in the unique Miami market.

One of the most crucial concerns for not only Miami homeowners, but also for millions of homeowners nationwide, is the upcoming expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), set for May 31. Florida realtors understand that millions of American taxpayers need the NFIP to maintain protection against the devastating effects of floods, and they are urging members of Congress to renew the program for the long haul. If the current program is allowed to expire, the NAR estimates that upwards of 1,300 homes on the market will be jeopardized every day that the program is not active. Although flooding is a nationwide problem, it can be particularly damaging in the Miami area which is why the expiration of the program is seen as such a threat to Florida homeowners.

NAR President Moe Veissi in Miami and 2002 president of Florida Realtors agrees that these housing issues need to remain in the forefront of our nation’s public-policy agenda. He and other Florida realtors are committed to working with Congress, public-policymakers, and leaders of the industry to make sure that Florida’s and the nation’s housing market continues to grow. They are promoting the idea of smart and sustainable home-ownership policies that will continue to encourage investors in the real estate market.

It is vital to the economic health of our country that America’s leaders understand just how crucial a role home-ownership and the real estate market play in creating a robust nationwide economy.


Mortgage Calculator

The banking professionals that work with our clients specialize in the Miami Beach market, and have a variety of programs to offer our Buyers (and Sellers looking to refinance). Generally, mortgage programs are fixed on a yearly basis. For example, currently we're able to secure AT LEAST 50% financing for Foreign National Buyers. Statistics show that more than 66% owners in Miami Beach make mortgage payments of their homes and/or condominiums.

Mortgage lenders in Miami Beach & South Beach

We have an exclusive partnership with Bank of America, where we are able to offer our clients a fast track approval process and overall superior customer service with the key decision makers handling the transaction. We are VERY experienced in working with Buyers seeking to finance a luxury single family home or condominium in the South Beach area of Miami Beach. Given today's more restrictive credit requirements, for qualified buyers, we have a high success rate obtaining at least 70% loan to value financing on resales purchases.

Categorized Mortgages

Mortgages are also categorized in terms of building occupancy rates, in other words, not all buildings are considered equally when applying for financing. The percentage of rental occupancy, condominium association delinquency rates, budgetary reserves, age of the property, and potential construction issues as well as associated liens are also considered. Currently, it is difficult to obtain financing for condo/hotel buildings. Generally, lenders consider these to be higher-risk properties due to the negative cash flow associated with owning these types of condominiums.

Borrowers should be aware of:

Each potential purchaser must be aware of the situations prevailing in Miami Beach, as the banks are continually updating the rules governing lending requirements. The regulatory bodies governing the mortgage and appraisal industries are also in the process of adjusting to the overall market environment.


Resourceful real estate brokers are some of the most important people in the business. Having a good broker is a core requirement for any real estate company. For this reason companies look out for specific qualities such as resourcefulness and communication skills before hiring a broker. Today more and more veterans are joining the real estate industry, and the public benefits from their military experience and skills in some unexpected ways.

Real estate experts have identified military veterans as some of the most successful brokers in the industry. This proficiency of service and resourcefulness is mostly attributed to the military background and constant movement across the U.S. and the world.

So what distinguishes military veterans from the normal real estate agent? Experts have attributed this to different reasons varying from the stringent military rules to geographical familiarity obtained through constant movement around the country. Some of the benefits that military veterans bring to real estate are highlighted below.

Benefits Associated with Military Veterans in Real Estate

Military veterans understand the needs of real estate clients as they are able to identify and associate with their situations of having to move and choose a suitable home. They have a deep understanding of the social and economic dynamics of a particular city or locale.

Military veterans’ posses an innate ability to quickly assess a client and understand what he or she needs.

Through their extensive travel experience, military veterans have developed an understanding and knowledge of specific regions. They are able to advise clients on whether such amenities as schools, parks, hospitals transportation are available in the place they intend to establish a home.

Military veterans add a personal touch to real estate broking since they understand and have been through the excitement and stress associated with purchasing a house or renting an apartment. They are able to quickly give you a report on all important aspects that you need to consider before purchasing, or renting a new house.

For the working person who is always on the road a military veteran is able to give you the relevant information concerning the traffic of particular regions, subsequently helping you to decide which areas are more suitable for you to purchase a home in.

For the budding business man who intends to set up a business in a specified city or town, military veterans are the right people to advise on the economic trends of the region and whether it has potential for him to start, maintain and grow a business.

Veterans are able to collect, analyze and communicate important data about a particular region. This data about job prospects, security, traffic, economic well beings and many more helps the potential client to asses whether the region where they are considering buying a home meets his personal specifications.

Marry this resourcefulness with the military philosophy of respect, honor and dedications then a success formula for brokers is obtained. As more and more veterans rejoin the work force, many are choosing the real estate profession. The skills and experience that many veterans have translates well into the skills needed to help a home buyer explore their new neighborhood or town.


Builders started more home in 2012 that the same period in 2011 according to a recent report by Metrostudy. The survey indicated that home starts increased by 67% in Broward County to 257 units. Palm Beach County housing starts were up by 22% to 255 unit compared to a year earlier. “A handful of project in a handful of markets are doing quite well,” said Brad Hunter, a director for Metrostudy. However he says, “There needs to be 5 times as many to get back to a normal market.”

The Metrostudy figures include homes and townhomes, but not condominiums.

When housing prices crashed in 2006, many builders faced wide-spread cancellation of orders and inventories of homes that couldn’t sell. The housing bust devastated many building, including some of the region’s largest builders, Levitt & Sons. However, in 2012 some home builders have begun to raise prices because of the record low inventory of new construction. Toll Brothers reports that sales at their Parkland Golf & Country Club has been increasing every month, and that prices on some units has increased 2-3%

For more information on new construction condominiums, townhomes and Miami area homes, contact Allan Kleer for the most current projects and designs.


Naoe: 661 Brickell Key Dr, Miami, FL 33131

(305) 947-6263

About Naoe

This Miami hotspot has nearly flawless reviews. Of course you must be a sushi lover to take in the full experience of Naoe because that’s what the restaurant is all about. Top notch, super fresh sushi and sashimi that rivals the stuff you’ll eat in Tokyo. It’s a pricey joint for sure, but well worth the money if you’re looking for a fine Japanese dining experience. Countless reviews talk about the experience of seeing Chef Cory at work, so if you’re able to snag a seat at the counter, this is the best way to see the master at work.

Remember the decor and ambiance is that of a typical Japanese restaurant, only kicked up so it maintains a swanky demeanor that warrants the hefty price tag. Some claim there isn’t quite as much buzz about Naoe because it isn’t located in New York City or London. There are many high end Japanese American restaurants claiming to do the real deal, but they’re often cluttered with annoying house music and screaming groups of girlfriends pretending they’re Sex and the City for the evening.

At Naoe, you’ll find an intimate dining experience with impeccable service. The service is attentive without hounding you or making you feel rushed. Some restaurants are ready to flip a table as soon as they can. When you visit Naoe, the hostess, wait staff and chef expect you to linger and make the most out of your dining experience.

What to Eat

The price is definitely high end and you’re looking at spending about $80 or more per person. It’s at prixe fix menu with a bento box issued to each client that has a reservation. It is almost impossible to eat a Naoe without a reservation, so be sure to call days in advance to get an idea of availability. For $85, you get a bento box with eight pieces of sushi. The type of fish varies on a daily basis, so you should be with people who enjoy any and all fish and seafood – not those that determine salmon is “too fishy.”

Some of the fish comes straight from Japan, while others are brought in from Boston or Portugal. Expect an assortment of underwater dwellers such as eel, salmon, octopus sashimi, squid and uni. Dessert is also a winner at Naoe. The sponge cake and mystery ice cream are constantly chattered about on forums for Miami foodies, so be sure to leave room for dessert. Since you’re just downing fresh fish, that should be pretty easy.

Is it Worth It?

Definitely! For those who know true Japanese cuisine or those looking for a special spot to celebrate with a taste of the exotic, Naoe is the way to go. The owners are incredibly nice and always looking to chat up locals and travelers. Naoe is definitely a spot that the foodie set put on their itinerary when visiting Miami. There are only two reservation spots per day at Naoe. There’s a 6:30 and a 9:30 seating, so your schedule will have to fit one of these two times.


On a warm sunny day, people travel in packs to the beautiful beaches in South Florida. Many visitors and residents enjoy the relaxing waves brought on by the high tides in the ocean. But like any other activity, swimming in the South Florida beaches has its hazard. It recent weeks, the moon jellyfish have been causing havoc on the shores of Florida.

Moon jellyfish have a very low threat to the ocean and those who inhabit it on the warm days. However, they do have a very painful and unfortunate sting that can be annoying for many of the beach goers. These jellyfish tend to migrate each year to the ocean shore as a way of mating, but this year they seem to be in an abundance. As many as 400 stings in a single day from these jellyfish happen, ranging from the cost of South Florida, up to the shores of South Carolina.

But these painfully annoying moon jellyfish do not stop the residents and visitors of South Florida. A warm, sunny day was meant to be spent at the beach – and that’s just how these daring people plan to spend it. While the jellyfish are in abundance, people still come to the beaches in masses. Many interviews were conducted in which people stated that nothing stops them coming from the beach. Spending time at the beach in sunny South Florida with the moon jellyfish seem to be worth the trouble for many.

As a preventive measure, the coast guards put up a white flag signifying the dangers of the jellyfish’s presence in the ocean. They cannot actively stop people from visiting the oceans, but they do what they can to try with the flags. The public ignores the signs though and still enjoy themselves regardless. The coast guards keep a spray on hand in case a person gets stung, which helps reduce the pain and encourages healing. The authorities at South Florida feel that if they can’t get people to leave the oceans, they might as well be a part of the solution by offering the sprays.

The residents and visitors of South Florida up the coast of South Carolina plan to spend their times sitting on the warm sand of the beach regardless of the jellyfish. Even though the jellyfish are a hindrance, they do not stop the fun from happening.


A new way to find home values has taken hold with new iPhone apps that make finding out about a home's value as simple as pointing and clicking at the house. The app called HomeSnap, lets user take a picture of the house in question with your Apple iPhone or Android, and learn about the house in seconds. The developer says that the new app will revolutionize the home buying process, giving buyer more control over information than ever.

The amazing new app works like this: the user stands out in front of the house and snaps a photo using their iPhone, and within a matter of seconds, they receive information on what the home last sold for, estimated value and other property details that includes property taxes and the locations of nearby schools. There is also information on nearby sales and current listings. The lookups, or “snaps”, can be shared with other users nationwide using Twitter, Facebook, email or text message. The app will also update the information on the home when it is under contract or sold. HomeSnap is not without its flaws, but it promises to improve functionality and accuracy with future releases.


More homeowners are deciding to remodel by adding a home office that is separate from the main living space and allows the office user to have both privacy and quiet and still be at home. The spaces that many homes are adding include office spaces of less than 500 feet to keep under more expensive zoning and permit requirements found in many places.

At a time when so many people are bringing work home from the office, there is more demand for a separation between the home life and work life. In a recent survey conducted by software project management company Wrike, 83% of the respondents worked from home at least part of the day. Many home office users talk about the sense of separation, which makes them feel that when the enter their home offices, it’s time for serious business. In the past, many home offices have been second bedrooms or basement rooms that might have been in the ebbs and flow of family coming and going throughout the day.

Another trend is what is called “pocket offices” which are half the size of traditional home office spaces. Pocket offices are designed to be in high traffic areas such as the kitchen, and are a small space used for paying bills, budgeting and other household affairs. With the increasing trend toward smaller residential houses and multi-generational living, there is an increased demand for creative use of the office space.


Conversion Of Rental Property To Personal Use Does Not Blow 1031 Like Kind Exchange

In a typical real estate transaction, the owner of the property accrues taxes on any profit made from the sale. According to Section 1031 Exchange, any tax accrued on the profit is deferred for a later date. If you have a property you’re looking to exchange your property under Section 1031, there’s more involved to the process than simply locating a property of like kind.

If you’re in the U.S. you’d also have to find a property that whose interest is not similar to the property you’re looking to exchange. Another significant prerequisite is that both your current property and your potential property must be used for business, trade, or an investment. One of the most frequently asked questions regarding Section 1031 is how long you can defer the tax obligations?

The Reesink brothers are property owners that ran into issues with the 1031 exchange which may serve as a learning experience for you.

These brothers purchased a property by the name of Laurel Lane and was purchased for roughly $650,000 and an empty lot right next to the property for roughly $30,000. When applying for the property the intention of the purchase was marked as an investment endeavor. Advertisements were passed around the local area regarding the Laurel Lance property for rent but was not marketed in the newspaper. Richard Reesink took the liberty of fixing up the property in efforts of renting it out and claims that on every occasion he noticed signs advertising the openings.

The original listing price for the Laurel Lane property was for $3,000 per month which was too high for the average tenant. There were some showings but no renters willing to pay the high rates and surprisingly enough the rent for this property was never lowered. Due to the lack of renters willing to pay the elevated rate, the Laurel Lane property was never rented out.

The Reesick brothers had other properties besides the Laurel Lane property they were attempting to rent out. They had a primary residence as well as a camper property. The load of maintaining all three properties became too much for the Reesink brothers so they sold their primary residence and decided to move into the Laurel Lane property.

The Reesink brothers moved into the Laurel Lane estate about 8 months after the initial purchase. The property was never rented which rose the suspicion of the IRS who wanted to dissolve the exchange believing that the Reesink brothers had personal plans for the property all along. The Reesinks won the case regarding the 1031 exchange in court.

The IRS had a reasonable cause since the Reesinks already owned a primary residence and a property they intended to rent. In the timespan of less than a in less than a year, the Reesink brothers gained profit from the home they sold and moved into a new home at minimal costs.

There have been mixed feelings regarding whether the Reesinks had their own intentions when they purchased the Laurel Lane. Some believe that the brothers should have held on to the Laurel Lane estate for a bit longer before making the decision to convert it for personal use. Be that as it may, the Reesinks won the case in court which goes to prove a significant point.

The description of the 1031 exchange stipulates that the properties must either be held for business, trade or investment but this case helps to clear things up by showing that this statement pertains to the intention at the time of exchange. There really hasn’t been any clear indication of how long the exchanged property should be held before deciding to convert for personal use.


South Florida again tops the list for the highest number of foreclosures nationwide in a recent survey regarding distressed mortgages. The high numbers indicate that the region is still in for a lengthy recovery as far as distressed properties are concerned. Nearly 25% of all mortgages in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties are at least 90 days late, however that number has declined in the last year when it was higher.

Florida has topped the nation for the last seven quarters in the number of mortgages in some stage of foreclosure, indicating that many of the properties may come up for sale in an already anxious real estate market. Many real estate expert say that the increase in foreclosures could drive the prices down further in some hard hit areas. However, a brisk uptick In buyer activity in the region, along with record low interest rate, promises to diminish any excess inventory. It takes an average of 861 days for the average foreclosure in Florida, reported by Realty Trac.

Florida had 15 of the top 25 areas with the highest numbers of foreclosures in a recent survey by several non-profit groups.

If you have questions about foreclosure or short sales, or are dealing with an underwater mortgage, contact Allan Kleer for a confidential consultation.


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