Back to School!

August 24th, 2016

It’s that time of the year again…back to school! Whether you are a parent with kids going to school, you’re a student yourself, or even if your family has nobody attending school currently – the school district you live in can affect your home buying process. Many home buyers will say the school district they live in doesn’t matter to them because they don’t have kids and don’t plan on having any. While that may be the case, living in a top notch school district doesn’t just mean the schools have great teachers and resources, it can affect your homes resale value and other factors as well. Other than resale value why bother researching the school district if you don’t have kids that are going to attend? Here are some reasons that may make you want to take a closer look into the district you’re buying in:

  • A good neighborhood – A good school district tends to point to a good neighborhood. Location is key when shopping for real estate and a good school also can mean great transportation, access to amenities such as parks and more sidewalks for ease of walking access around town, and much more!
  • Home value stability –  Homes in a good school district tend to keep their values a little more stable than areas with poorly rated school districts. It won’t protect you completely but even when the housing market takes a downturn, a top school can lift all nearby home prices.
  • Future Kids – If you don’t have kids now, but do plan on having them in the future while still living in the home you are purchasing school district will be very important. The school is where your child will get an education, play, and make friends.

The main factors homebuyers weigh in when purchasing are price, neighborhood, the square footage of the place, a new or old house, and much more – but don’t forget to research the school district too! In the end you need to always buy the house that is right for you.

Great Florida Homes

 

Tips for Managing Credit

July 29th, 2016

Credit doesn’t build or fix itself, is the first lesson everyone should learn when examining their credit scores. Be proactive when building credit, there are things you can do to create a good credit history.

  • Get a credit card. This is the easiest way to start building credit, but many people find the action of using a credit card to be a bit terrifying. The best way to start using a credit card is as if it is your debit card. Start by using it to make your usual purchases and pay it off in full each month. Do not look at it as “credit”.
  • Don’t open too many accounts. Using one credit card to slowly build credit will have the most positive impact on your score, having a lot of accounts generally leads to issues. Your score is more based on length of credit card history, not the number of accounts you have open!
  • Check your credit report. You don’t need to check it everyday but being regularly aware of your score is important, so if an error does come up on your credit report you can report, dispute, and fix it right away.

A good credit score can help you accomplish a lot of your goals, like taking out a mortgage (when the time is right!) and getting you the best interest rate possible when you do. Building good credit is a marathon not a sprint, so take your next step towards good credit today!

Don't let your credit score decide your life!

321 at Water’s Edge

July 11th, 2016

321 at Water’s Edge is one of the newest developments in the now trending North Beach Village area in east Fort Lauderdale. Situated on the widest stretch of Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway, steps away from pristine beaches and minutes from Downtown Fort Lauderdale, 321 at Water’s Edge’s location is simply perfection. Priced from $2 million, 321 at Water’s Edge overlooks some of South Florida’s most sought-after waterfront real estate.  Residents walk to several renowned international luxury resorts and are moments from the premier shopping, dining, cultural events and entertainment that make Fort Lauderdale the ultimate tropical destination.  In addition, all area airports and the world-class sea port, Port Everglades are easily accessible from 321 at Water’s Edge. 

Click here to check out the video on the property.

Please click on the links below to virtually walk the common areas and the building:
321 at Water’s Edge- Unit A 
321 at Water’s Edge- Unit B
321 at Water’s Edge- Unit C
321 at Water’s Edge- Unit D
321 at Water’s Edge- Unit E
321 at Water’s Edge- Unit F
321 at Water’s Edge- Lobby Area
321 at Water’s Edge- Roofterrace-PHNorth
321 at Water’s Edge- Roofterrace-PHMiddle
321 at Water’s Edge- Roofterrace-Community

(*Note: Links work best with Google Chrome browser)

321 waters edge

Summer is Here!

June 27th, 2016

Summer is here! Looking for some summer fun? Look no further! Coral Springs has a lot to offer to keep you and your family involved all summer long.

Fourth of July is just around the corner and why no celebrate Independence Day at Mullins Park! Enjoy dazzling fireworks and entertainment at Mullins Park.Residents are encouraged to come out and celebrate on Monday, July 4 starting at 6 p.m. Families are invited to come and enjoy games, free bounce houses, food and entertainment. The fireworks display will begin promptly at 9 p.m.The event is free, but there will be nominal fees for food, refreshments, face painting and crafts. Parking will be available for $3 fee at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, so come early. There will also be $3 parking available at the main Mullins Park/Center for the Arts parking lot. Leave your pets and alcoholic beverages at home, as they are not allowed in the park. In the event of inclement weather, the event may be canceled or delayed. Check out the Coral Springs website or social media sites that afternoon for notifications.

Visit the Museum between June 11 and August 28 to view the artwork of extraordinary artists. The upcoming summer exhibitions include eclectic works by Joseph Conrad-Ferm, WIlliam DeBilzan, and Ivan Roque. For our youth, Summer in the Studio kicks off on Monday, June 13 with 10 weeks of summer camp! Plan your child’s summer art fun today at the Coral Springs Museum of Art. Each week’s offerings are unique so children may enjoy more than one session. The Museum is located in the Center for the Arts at 2855 Coral Springs Drive and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum Members are free, adults (18+) are $6, seniors are $5, students are $3 and children 5 and under are free.

Register for camps and classes now! The City has activities, camps and classes to offer, including sessions for Kamp Kool, dance, etiquette, sport, special needs camps and much more. The City offers a wide selection of quality programs and unique amenities suited for all ages and abilities. To view program information, and to download application forms online, visit CoralSprings.org/summerfun or call 954-345-2200 for assistance. Online registration is available for select classes.

 

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Hurricane Season is Here – Are You Prepared?

June 17th, 2016

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and it is important to always have a family plan and supplies on hand in case of a storm. Whether you are a resident or a business, register online for the Coral Springs Police Department’s free CodeRED service to stay informed on the latest hurricane information before, during and after a storm, as well as tornado warnings, boil water alerts, evacuation orders, missing people and local criminal activity. One thing you should prepare is a first aid kit, should you or a family member suffer an injury during a storm (and a first aid kit is always good to have on hand for all emergencies!). Here are some items to include in your kit:

  • Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves if you are allergic to Latex
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn ointment
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Laxative
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Find information on first aid kits and more tips for Hurricane Season preparation check out the Ready South Florida Website. Also be sure to tune into CityRadio 1670AM for up-to-date emergency information. CityTV 25 on Advanced Cable or Channel 99 on AT&T U-Verse will also broadcast emergency information. In the event of a hurricane the City’s Call Center will be activated at 954-344-1001 for City-related issues.

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Do you believe everything you see on Zillow?

June 3rd, 2016

Zillow has become a popular resource for consumers when looking for a home, looking for city data, and other pieces of information in the real estate realm. While the easy to use interface and cool app has made many consumers flock to it, Zillow has some shady tactics when it comes to the data you are viewing.

When you as a consumer view a listing it creates a box that says “contact listing agent” with a window that would make you believe that the realtor listed there is indeed the listing agent. However this agent popping up is not the listing agent, it is an agent in the area that paid Zillow for leads in the zip code of the home you are viewing. Don’t forget that Zillow makes all of its profits from advertising, not from giving accurate information. Zillow users tend to see the partial populated box with their email next to the advertised agent and click the bright blue contact button. This is much more intuitive to do rather than phone the listing agent manually, or clicking the name to find the true listing agent. In this first example the agent listed isn’t the listing agent at all, you need to click through in order to find the trust listing agent:

 

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In this example the listing agent (Us! Joy Carter and Jeff Booker) is at least listed, but if you notice the second agent is checked off and that is who your message will be sent to when the contact info is filled in.

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Zillow can be a useful tool for realtors and consumers alike, but be weary when using it, dig a little deeper rather than just accepting the first information that pops up!

Where does that “price per square foot” come from?

May 21st, 2016

Pricing properties isn’t as simple as one may think. Taking the sold price and dividing it by the size of the home will give you a figure, but this figure won’t give you the full picture of what you’re paying for or what you should be selling for. All these factors go into this magical “price per square foot” number:

  • One-story home versus two or more stories
  • Length of time on the market (current market conditions are key in pricing of a home)
  • Seller concessions
  • Condition of the property relative to age
  • Size of the land
  • Seller motivation to sell (i.e., foreclosure, short sale, etc)
  • Location of the home (i.e., view, utility easements, corner lot
  • Superior/inferior features as compared to other properties
  • Amenities that are unique to the community or home (pool, gym, parks, etc)

Homeowners can add value to your home by making improvements, whether it be a feature or improving on a necessity such as replacing the roof, but these additions are not necessarily a dollar for dollar value. Improvements can add to the value per square foot, but there is no simple calculation for this, all the above factors play a part. Consider whether the improvements you make are for yourself or the next buyer. If it is for yourself, you can enjoy it regardless of the value return! In the end in order to get the most value for your home when the time comes to sell or buy, you need a Qualified Professional Realtor who understands pricing and market conditions.

What's it worth-

 

Coral Springs Home Search $300,000-$400,000

May 3rd, 2016
Sawgrass Mural At The Coral Springs City Center

Sawgrass Mural At The Coral Springs City Center

A popular and well established city in Northwest Broward county, Coral Springs is home to a younger population overall. When I moved here in 1985 there were 63,000 residents. Now the city has approximately 124,000 residents. 36 percent of the population was under the age of 18 and that figure is now 26% (20 years later). The senior population was 6% and it is about 9%. The city was home to one of the largest soccer leads in the nation with the majority being girls! That being said there is still an abundance of organized sports teams. At last count over 1000!

Homes are varied in price range and there is single family, multi-family and rental communities. Entertainment for all ages, Restaurants galore and vibrant leadership that looks out to continually make the city the best place to Live, Work and Raise a Family! That is why they say, “Coral Springs is Everything under the Sun!”

Click here to view property quick search. Click here to view property grid. Click here to view property grid. Click here to view property list.

Mortgage Tips for Millenials

May 1st, 2016

Click here to view property quick search.Millennials are the next wave of home buyers, but many feel becoming a homeowner has become more challenging for young people, but your first home is closer than you think! Here are some tips to help millennials (and any potential home buyers!) prepare to purchase your first home.

  • Consistent Employment: Lending companies not only want to see you are employed at the time of a mortgage application, but that you have been employed in the same industry for at least 2 years. If you have moved around every few months, especially within very different fields, it may cause problems in getting your loan request approved.
  • Learn about Mortgage Payments; When trying out a mortgage calculator online many people think they can afford a certain amount. It is important to understand that a mortgage doesn’t solely consist of principal and interest. There is homeowners and other types of insurance payments that need to be factored in. Some communities have homeowners association fees you as a homeowner will be responsible for. Real estate taxes need to be paid as well. All these factors need to be considered when budgeting to buy a home.
  • Watch Your Credit Score: There is a reason everyone tells you to check your credit score and to do things to “build good credit”. Credit is important, and one of the most important factors in getting a good interest rate on your mortgage or even being approved for a loan at all.

Owning a home is a big responsibility, but one that is possible if you prepare and understand the process. It is a big decision, but if the time is right and you found an area you want to live in for some time, it’s often smarter than renting month after month because you can build equity. Owning a home is generally a long term investment, but one well worth it! Your realtor is also a great resource for helping answer questions on the process!

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Curb Appeal: What Does a Buyer See?

April 15th, 2016

Curb appeal of a home has always been important – it’s a potential buyer’s first impression of the house. The home’s exterior is a sneak peek of what’s to come in the rest of the house. Here are some tips to help your house get the attention it deserves.

 

Photos

While curb appeal for a drive by is still crucial, almost 90% of buyers will check your listing out online now before checking it out. This means your online photos of your listing can determine whether someone will even give it a chance to look at in person. Find the best time of day for lighting and take a lot of photos so you can choose the best one to post.

 

Clean the Lawn

The lawn should be mowed, leaves should be raked, and dead plants replaced. A lawn reflects the care that a homeowner has taken with the rest of their house, a potential buyer will think a messy lawn reflects a home that has been maintained.

 

Powerwashing

A power wash can do wonders to your house siding and driveway. Most home improvement stores will rent power washers and it can make your home look fresh and clean.

 

Paint

Painting an entire home can be expensive and time consuming, but some touch ups on the trim and shutters can make a big difference. If the paint is peeling from the corners give it a touch up. A new mailbox or numbers on your home can be a nice finishing touch.

 

Prospective buyers form opinions about a home in seconds. Giving them a reason to have a positive attitude from the start will help make your home go from “for sale” to “sold”. Always ask your realtor for tips as well to make your curb appeal go up!

Curb Appeal