Ft Lauderdale Real Estate Review

Welcome to my blog. I have been writing articles for home buyers and home sellers in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area since about 2007. If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate you can find some helpful tips right here. If you would like to get them sent directly to your inbox just sign up below. 

Feb. 19, 2017

Terrible Home Buying Advice to Avoid

If you are in the market to buy a home, there is no doubt you will get some bad advice from the peanut gallery. Unless your friends are experts in real estate, you would be best off to take their advice with a grain of salt. Every real estate transaction is different. Markets change constantly. What your friend or family member experienced 1, 5 or 10 years ago may not have much relevance today.

Here are some examples of bad home buying advice to avoid.

"Wait for prices to come down, we are in a bubble again"

Sorry but no. While no one can accurately predict where values will be in the next fews years, I will give you two reasons why I believe they will continue to trend upwards. Reason 1 - Rental rates are one of the best leading indicators for home values. Right now rental rates are almost out of control. Palm Beach and Broward county are seeing rental rates rise at about an 8% pace. Home values are and will follow this trend. Reason 2 - People are flocking to Florida again. Florida is second only to Texas in net domestic migration. This is a simple case of supply not being able to keep up with demand. These people moving to Florida will need a place to live.

Last year the median price of a home in South Florida rose 6%. If you were in the market for a $300,000 home it is now about $20,000 more expensive than it was a year ago.

"It's best to sleep on it before making an offer"

Actually it's more like snooze and you lose. If you see a home you like and the price also seems attractive, there is a very good choice you won't be alone. To be a successful home buyer you need to be decisive and ready to make offers on the spot. Don't worry. You are allowed to change your mind. With the standard Florida FAR/BAR As-Is purchase and sale agreement, you as a buyer, can cancel at anytime, for any reason during the inspection period. The time frame is set by the buyer. Traditionally, its set at one to two weeks. If you ask for more than that the seller may balk at that. If you are buying a condo in Florida, you have an absolute 3 day right of rescission. Buyers of condos are allow three days to review the rules & regulations and the financial statements of the association. You can cancel the contract for any reason during that 3 day period, whether you have an as-is agreement or not.   

"No one pays full price"

I have seen many, many cases where this is just not true. Savvy sellers know that one way to create a multiple offer situation that drives up the price, is to set the asking price at or slightly below market value. Do you know what a Hot listing is? It's a property that is priced to sell. Will you recognize one when you see it? Your agent should. Rely on their advice. Most buyers don't believe it until they get outbid a couple of times. Meanwhile they have wasted a of of time and emotional energy.

"Play hardball, hit em with a lowball offer"

If you watch any of the reality shows where are negotiation is involved, whether its for cars, junk, or real estate, you would think every negotiation starts with an offer of half price. I hate to break it to you, but they are all scripted and more than a bit ridiculous sometimes. In reality a low ball offer will usually end the negotiation rather quickly. Sometimes they are deserved because a home is overpriced to begin with. When a property is priced reasonable the offer should be based in reality if you actually want to get a deal done.

"But Zillow says..."

I had to get my dig into Zillow in this article. I spend an inordinate amount of time refuting information both buyers and sellers find on their site. Whether it is out dated listings or their ridiculous "Zestimates" of a home's value, the data being provided by Zillow is very unreliable. The data your agent can provide you from the MLS is far more reliable, than the junk they are pushing. Did you know they make most of their money selling buyer and seller contact information to agents?  The same goes for Trulia, now owned by Zillow.

Just be careful where you get your advice. Consider the source. Buying one or two homes does not make someone an expert in real estate. I have have sold hundreds of homes and I have learned something new from almost every successful sale. I have also had some failures along the way. And of course, I've learned from those too. Instead of listening to friends advice, hire an agent that has been working in your desired area for a while. Instead of asking for advice from your friends, I suggest you ask them if they know of a good agent they can refer you too.

Related:

A Guide To Purchasing A South Florida Condo

Where Are The Deals? Look For Vacant Properties

 

_________________________________________________________________

By Tom Day

You can reach me 954-895-2431

If You Like This Post, Please Share. Thanks!

Feb. 13, 2017

Palm Aire Market Report Jan 2017

Home sales in Palm Aire Country Club continues to be steady through the early winter months. The number of listed properties for sale has also been steady for the past six months or so. There are currently 256 homes for sale in Palm Aire Country Club.  

During the month of January there were 26 home sales in Palm Aire Country Club. The highest price paid during that time was $270,000 for a 3 bedroom remodeled, corner unit in building 112.  At the current sales rate there is 10 months worth of inventory.

Palm Aire Media Sales Prices

 

The lowest price paid was $76,900 for a one bedroom, one and half bath unit in building 7. 

The median sales price during the month of Jan 2017 was $159,000.

While the median sales prices have mostly been flat over the past year The average days on market has started to drop. The average days on the market for Jan was 115. For much of last year it was above 150 days.

See actual recent closed sales in Palm Aire here. 

Related:

The Best Time For Selling Real Estate in Florida

What is Your Home Worth?

Feb. 3, 2017

2300 SE 2nd Ave, Apt 12 Just Sold!

2300 SE 2nd Ave, Pompano BeachOn Feb 2 my listing at 2300 SE 2nd Ave, Apt 12, Pompano Beach closed. The one bedroom unit in Mon Petit Condominium was listed for $89,000. It has 600 square feet of living space and was tenant occupied.

I was under contract in just two days! It sold to a local investor client of mine in an all cash sale. The sale price was $85,500.

Related:

Sold in Just 14 Days! - 59 Castle Harbor Dr

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________

By Tom Day

You can reach me 954-895-2431

If You Like This Post, Please Share. Thanks!

Jan. 21, 2017

A Guide to Purchasing a South Florida Condo

Buying a Florida CondoA South Florida Condo makes a great vacation home and are also perfect for families that are downsizing. They are found in abundance near beaches and golf courses and they don't require a lot of maintenance. Maintenance is mostly provided by the condo association.  However, if you haven't lived in a condominium before there are things you need to know first before you buy. It can be much different than living in your suburban single family home.

Rules, Rules and More Rules

Rules are a good thing.  Because of the dense concentration of people in a  South Florida condo community, a set of rules is needed to keep order among the residents. All condominium communities have a set of Rules & Regulations everyone must abide by.  They cover everything from parking, pet restrictions, trash/recycling to rental restrictions.

Be sure to review the rules carefully. If you can't live with them you should move on to another community. If you think you can get away with bending the rules, think again.  There is usually someone in the building with enough time on their hands to make sure everyone follows the rules. They are fondly known as condo commandos. When buying  a condo in Florida all buyers have a 3 day right of rescission. A buyer has three days to review the rules and the financial condition of the association.  Buyers have the right to cancel a sales contract for any reason during that 3 day period.

Check the Association Finances

A well run association with have a solid balance sheet with ample reserves to pay for needed repairs.  They are required to show their finances to a new buyer once they are under contract.  As I mentioned before the buyer has three days to look over the finances. The buyer may rescind the contract if they don't like what they see. Some associations got into financial trouble when significant numbers of owners went into foreclosure and weren't able to pay their dues.  The worst of that mess has past, but there are still some poorly run associations that haven't fully recovered yet.

Financing a South Florida Condo

Although low down payment loans are harder to find these days, they are still attainable from FHA. however, the association must be approved by the FHA using there standards for financial strength.  FHA does maintain a listed of approved associations.  If an association isn't pre-approved, a spot approval can be ordered, but that can take some time.

Two key elements FHA looks for is the amount of funds reserved for repairs. They want to see at least 10% of the budget available in reserve accounts. The other is the ratio of tenant occupied to owner occupied units in the complex. If a condo complex has more than 50% of the units tenant occupied, they will not qualify for FHA financing. Some associations may have rules that require a minimum down payment of say 10 or 20% making FHA financing unnecessary.  I have also seen associations that prohibit private mortgages. So again, check the rules.

Condo Fees and Assessments

All condominiums collect dues on a regular basis, usually monthly or quarterly. These fees are used to pay for landscape maintenance, pool service, water, sewer and trash removal to name a few. Be sure to check what the association pays for. Some, for instance, may not pay for water and sewer. Some may pay for basic cable TV. Typically a portion of those fees will go into a reserve fund to pay for big ticket maintenance needs like a new roof or exterior paint. On occasion additional funds will be needed to be raised for major renovations. That will mean the association will assess each owner a certain percentage and collect those funds.  Many South Florida condos built in the sixties and seventies have needed concrete restoration due it's deterioration from the salt air. That can be a major expense.

Supply and Demand

The recent market downturn in the market hurt the condo market especially bad.  That is because here is South Florida we became seriously over-built and had at one time, five years worth of inventory. That inventory is finally gone for the most part and prices are starting to rise.  Almost no new condominiums have been built in the past 9 or 10 years, much of the new construction is in the luxury category.  Communities that have age restrictions will have higher inventories due to turnover from an aging population and a smaller buyer pool. This suppresses values and is why 55+ communities typically are lower priced.

As we begin 2017 the US dollar has strengthened against many foreign currencies, most notably the Canadian Dollar. This makes it buying here in the US much more expensive for them. Inventories of vacation condos on golf courses and the beach have risen as of late because of the lack of Canadian and other foreign buyers. 

Related:

Pet Friendly Condos in Pompano Beach

Fort Lauderdale Condos With Docks

 

_________________________________________________________________

By Tom Day

You can reach me 954-895-2431

If You Like This Post, Please Share. Thanks!

Jan. 16, 2017

Just Listed at 2751 N Palm Aire Dr Apt 105

I just listed this one bedroom condo in Palm Aire Country Club. It was remodeled in 2006 with tile floors, kitchen cabinets, recessed lighting, bathroom tub and vanity. It has 900 square. There are water views from both the living room and bedroom. There is a new bike/jog path around the lakes just steps from the rear door. This unit was freshly painted and is in move in condition. The building exterior was also just painted. 

See the complete listing details here. 

Asking Price is $84,900

 Related:

3212 SE 8th St is Sold! 

The latest Palm Aire listings  

_________________________________________________________________

By Tom Day

You can reach me 954-895-2431

If You Like This Post, Please Share. Thanks!

Dec. 23, 2016

The Best Time For Selling Real Estate in Florida

The best time for selling real estate in Florida

If you are considering selling your home in Florida, you maybe be asking yourself - what is the best day to list your house for sale? Can I time the market or does it even matter in your situation?

Sales activity does fluctuation from season to season here in Florida, but not as much as most people think. While some seasons are better than others when considering selling your Florida home. You need to look at the bigger picture. Timing the market doesn't always payoff. Market conditions can change from year to year. If you decide to wait until next years peak selling season any number of things can happen that could change buyers attitudes towards buying. 

It makes sense to assume the best time to sell a property is when the most people are buying. The most sales activity is during the first two quarters of the year. The least activity is the last quarter of the year. But there are a few other things to consider if you are trying to time the market.

Closed Price to Original List Price Ratio

I discovered this statistic in the Fort Lauderdale MLS recently. It is the closed price to original list price ratio for Broward County in 2015. It shows that sellers got closest to their original asking price in June. They closed the furthest from their asking price in January.  Based on this chart it stands to reason the best time to sell is in late spring and the worst time to sell is early winter. However, market conditions do change. The spring of 2005 and 2006 were good times to sell. The spring of 2007, 2008, and 2009 were not. Right now, in the beginning of 2016, the market is steady and homes are selling. I hope that this continues but we never know what will happen in the future. I would argue that now is a good time to be selling.  It is especially good for some foreign nationals. At the moment, the strength of the Dollar against some foreign currencies make now a very good time to sell. For example, Canadians have gained 40% in the past few years on the currency exchange alone.  Should the US dollar weaken those gains would be lost.

 

The Type of Property

If you own a single family home and the most likely buyer will have school-aged children, then the most activity will be before the school year starts. If you own a vacation type condo like on a golf course or on the beach, the timing may be different.  You don’t want to rule out listing in the last quarter of the year. That's because a buyer of that kind of property may be looking to settle in before it gets cold up north. If you have an investment property to sell, then the seasons have little influence on demand. Investors are more concerned about their return on investment then anything else.

Is The Property Vacant?

If the answer is yes, then the best time to sell is immediately. No matter what time of year it is. The carrying costs you are paying on such things as taxes, insurance, and maintenance will negate any minor seasonal bump you might hope to get.

Here in South Florida we pretty much have a year around selling season. Some months are better than others. Yet activity is much more consistent than in other parts of the country. If you look closely at the chart the spread between the best and the worst is very thin. We are talking about 1 percentage point at best. 

I can understand why a seller would want to avoid putting a property on the market when people aren't buying. Fortunately for us here in South Florida sales are fairly consistent throughout the year. If you have to sell your home, don't be too worried about timing the market. Sell when you are ready to sell. To maximize your net proceeds it is just as important to hire an experienced agent with a proven track record, like myself for example.

If you are considering selling contact me at 954-895-2431 and I can handle it all for you. If you are outside of my area I can also find the right agent for you.

Related:

Avoiding the FIRPTA Withholding for Foreign Property Sellers

The Hidden Costs of Holding on to a Vacant Property

Now Offering Property Management Services

_________________________________________________________________

By Tom Day

You can reach me 954-895-2431

If You Like This Post, Please Share. Thanks!

Dec. 6, 2016

2300 SE 2nd Ave, Apt 18 is Sold!

2300 SE 2nd Ave, Pompano BeachOn Nov 29 my listing at 2300 SE 2nd Ave, Apt 18, Pompano Beach closed. The one bedroom unit in Mon Petit Condominium was listed for $93,000. It has 600 square feet of living space and was tenant occupied.

I was under contract in less than a week and sold to a local investor in an all cash sale. The sale price was $89,000.

See the listing details here.

Related:

Sold in Just 14 Days! - 59 Castle Harbor Dr

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________

By Tom Day

You can reach me 954-895-2431

If You Like This Post, Please Share. Thanks!

Nov. 11, 2016

3212 SE 8th St Apt 24 - Just Listed

Deauville Gardens Apt 24I just listed this one bedroom beach area condo in Deauville Gardens. It is being sold furnished and is perfect for snowbirds. It was thoroughly updated in the past few years with new custom kitchen cabinets, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances. It has a new tile shower stall and vanity. Tile floors throughout. It even comes furnished!

See the all the listing details here.

Asking Price is Just $134,900

Related:

2300 SE 2nd St Apt 18 Just Listed

 

_________________________________________________________________

By Tom Day

You can reach me 954-895-2431

If You Like This Post, Please Share. Thanks!

Oct. 31, 2016

Sold in Just 14 Days! - 59 Castle Harbor Isle Dr in the Bermuda Riviera neighborhood of Ft Lauderdale

My listing at 59 Castle Harbor Isle Dr, Fort Lauderdale closed today.

The home is located in the Bermuda Riviera neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale. It had been listed with another agent for a year and did not sell. 14 days after I listed the home it was under contract and closed 28 days later. 

The asking price at the time of sale was $1,249,000.

See the virtual tour of the home here.

If you are think of buying a home in the Bermuda Riviera neighborhood you can view the active listings right here. If you have a home in Bermuda Riviera or elsewhere in the area, that you are thinking of selling, please contact me. I have many prospective buyers seeking waterfront property in the area.

Call today at 954-895-2431

 

_________________________________________________________________

By Tom Day

You can reach me 954-895-2431

If You Like This Post, Please Share. Thanks!

Oct. 23, 2016

2300 SE 2nd St Apt 18 Just Listed

I just listed a one bedroom apartment in Mon Petit Condos in Pompano Beach. It is ideally suited for investors. It is currently occupied by a tenant paying $900 a month. The condo fees are very low at just $167 per month.

The 590 square foot unit was recently remodeled with new

  • Tile floors
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Granite counters
  • Appliances
  • Air conditioner
  • Bathroom vanity
  • Hot water heater
  • Updated plumbing and electric

Pets are allowed up to 20 pounds and renting is allowed right away.

The asking price is $93,000

See the complete listing details here.

_________________________________________________________________

By Tom Day

You can reach me 954-895-2431

If You Like This Post, Please Share. Thanks!