Do I Need A Public Adjuster?

pubadjusterbannerAn oft-misunderstood role in the home industry is that of the Public Adjuster.  I recently sat down with one of the top Public Adjusters in the State, Floyd Ostrowsky of Reliant Adjusters Group, to get a better idea of what their profession does and how a homeowner might benefit from working with one.

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Nicola Riettie of Florida Luxury Real Estate Group and Floyd Ostrowsky of Reliant Adjusters Group discuss the role of a Public Adjuster.

1. What is a public adjuster? The simplest answer would be an advocate for the people! A trained and state licensed professional hired by a homeowner and or business owner to represent them in the event of property damage. 

2. Why would a homeowner need a public adjuster? When a homeowner has an insurance claim they are best served having someone who truly knows what they’re entitled to for repairing their home and other expenses. The Insurance companies have their people defending their interests, so it only makes sense that a homeowner does as well. A wise man once told me “You know what you know and you don’t know what you don’t know!” That said, having someone who knows how to manage the claim makes a substantial difference in the homeowner’s financial recovery.   

3. How is a public adjuster different from a staff or independent adjuster? Great question! Both staff adjusters and independent adjusters work for the Insurance company whereas a public adjuster is hired by the insured to represent their interests.

4. When would a homeowner need a public adjuster? It is always best to consult with a public adjuster whenever a homeowner has suffered a property loss. We can review the policy, uncover what is covered and suggest a next best step. 

5. In what circumstances? Public adjusters work specifically on property damage claims so we can assist with all claims arising, from the most common being water damage up to and including a full scale natural disaster such as a hurricane and everything in between, be it flood, mold, lightning strike, fire, smoke, structural, sinkhole, theft and vandalism. Basically if it causes damage to your home it is in the homeowner’s best interest to have a Public Adjuster give it a look.

6. How does a public adjuster get compensated for their services? Another great question, public adjusters work on a contingency basis. Basically we only get paid once the homeowner or business owner receives payment from their insurance company. If they do not receive payment, neither do we – so there is no risk.     

7. When is the right/best time after a disaster for them to contact a public adjuster?  Of course, first things first – take care of your family and mitigate your loss.  Then, in my opinion, it is always best to engage a public adjuster right away. Being engaged from the beginning helps keep the process running smoothly. A good public adjuster can basically start the claim for the homeowner and manage it through completion. That’s not to say it is too late to engage a public adjuster once you’ve started a claim or even if a claim has been denied. Lastly a public adjuster can even reopen a claim up for to five years, if there is relevant reason to do so.

8. How do you find/select the right public adjuster? First, always make sure they are licensed and bonded.  After that, there is nothing better than a referral.  If you know someone who was satisfied with how their claim was managed that would be a good indication or ask for references. At Reliant we are always happy to supply references.  It serves two purposes – it gives new clients confidence and maintains top of mind awareness of those we have worked for in the past. The greater majority of our business is word of mouth – when you are doing the right thing word gets around quickly. 

9. What sets Reliant Public Adjusters apart from its competitors? At Reliant, we pride ourselves on customer service and great communication. Keeping homeowners and business owners in the loop on the status of their claims is a priority. Added to that, we are a team of experienced professionals, each with our own unique backgrounds, myself having 30+ years of negotiation in business experience and my associates, one with a wealth of construction experience and the other formally an independent adjuster working for the insurance companies. As a team we have the knowledge and experience to deal with whatever possibly comes our way.    

Wow, this was amazing information!  We would like to thank Floyd for making the time to BC Frontsit with us to explain his profession so clearly.  You can contact Floyd Ostrowsky of Reliant Public Adjusters at 954.805.3602.

 

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Home Inspections – What Every Seller Needs to Know.

Home Inspections – What is Considered a Defect?home_inspection_house

There is almost nothing as challenging as attending a home inspection on a beautiful, seemingly perfect home only to learn that a home inspector has discovered a larger issue which requires significant, costly repairs. Buyers can become apprehensive, sellers can become defensive and the entire transaction can teeter on the brink of collapse.

Several of the home inspections I’ve attended have had a few major items which would be considered surprises by most standards. Combine a surprise with the usual list of other “handy man” issues found in discovery and a home seller can become a bit defensive. The emotions kick in and occasionally a statement along the lines of “now they’re just nitpicking” comes into play.

What I can share about all of the years I’ve been selling real estate is that I’ve never once met a buyer who contacted a home inspector and told them to manufacture a long list of nitpicky-type issues just to upset the seller or to create a reason to get out of the contract.

During a home inspection what is or is not considered a defect? Very often, consumers are confused about what is considered a defect, a broken item, something that needs repaired by the seller prior to closing. There rarely is a gray area. The contract that both the buyer and seller executed likely delineates what is actually considered a defect and the course of action to remedy those items.  Essentially, things that are meant to function must, in fact, function as they were intended.

The home inspector has been hired to do one thing, thoroughly assess the entire home for a buyer so that they completely understand the condition of the home that they’re buying. Every single item, big or small, not working in the capacity for which it was designed will be itemized on the list. Very often, even cosmetic items are, at the very least, noted on the list just so the buyer understands that there are cracked tiles or stains or whatever the anomaly may be.

So, to help avoid any surprises and added stress down the road here are a few tips for home sellers to get through the inspection period and to the closing table:

  • Prior to signing the sales contract a seller should fully understand their financial and contractual responsibility for remedying defects discovered in an inspection.
  • When in doubt, disclose. It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened be it a fire, flood, a roof leak – disclose everything.
  • Home inspections may have changed since you last purchased or sold a home. Inspectors now use specialized equipment such as thermal imaging and air quality testing to find nearly invisible defects such as faulty wiring, moisture intrusion and mold.
  • Whatever the defect is, it doesn’t matter “if it was like that when you bought it”. It will be a defect on an inspection report.
  • Love the one you’re with. Warts and all, do your best to work out the transaction at hand. If the buyer walks, the items from the home inspection report may have to be disclosed to the next buyer. The inevitable repair is only going to be delayed and potentially interfere with the next transaction and may even result in a lower selling price down the road.
  • Don’t get upset about a lengthy list of repairs. The home inspector is doing their job and the buyer is getting what they pay for, a thorough inspection.

Purchasing New, Pre-Construction Homes in Parkland

The city of Parkland is a beautiful and green, upscale residential community with small scale commercial villages. Its hometown feeling and excellent neighborhood schools help to make Parkland a family friendly community that its residents enjoy.  It offers an active lifestyle through first class leisure and cultural amenities, and easy movement through its streets and multi-use trails.   The “parklike” character of the city is one of the things it is best known and admired for.

Located in Northwest Broward County, Parkland was established in 1963. This city of 22,000 residents is proud of the country-like, rural ambience that it strives to keep, while maintaining a first class lifestyle.  Take a look at this video which explains what Parkland living is all about.

If you have been thinking of purchasing a new home, Parkland’s exclusive communities offer the best that Florida lifestyle has to offer.  With exquisite architecture, ‘A-Rated’ schools and the city’s first class amenities, Parkland is, unquestionably, the destination of choice in Broward County.

Parkland also has some exciting new construction opportunities to consider.  From Watercrest and Mira Lago in The Wedge area, to Parkland Golf and Country Club and Heron Bay, Parkland’s new homes have a lot to offer.

You should consider using a Realtor for your new construction purchase to get the most information and widest exposure to the most suitable Parkland real estate within your budget and search criteria.

Since real estate customs vary all over the country and all over the world, many home buyers wonder how working with a real estate agent works with new construction or builder product.  There are a few things you should consider and know before you begin a search for new construction in Parkland, Florida.

  1. New construction is on fire in the Parkland area.  Our real estate market is recovered and we’re short of quality real estate inventory.  The developers and builders have recognized that deficiency and they’re building exquisite new homes for the discerning home buyer
  2. Builders and developers actually encourage and welcome home buyers to use a Realtor for purchasing new construction.  The developers know that real estate agents are always working with home buyers and they cooperate fully with the business relationship. There is no added cost to a buyer for Realtor representation in a model home sales center for new construction purchases.
  3. Your Realtor will likely have worked the area and the real estate market in which you’re looking and so they will be able to show you a range of communities and properties that best suit your “wish list”, saving you time while giving you your full range of your available choices.
  4. Both new construction and resale real estate can be available in some neighborhoods. Get the best of both worlds by seeing what resale homes are available also, so that you won’t miss a great opportunity. Your real estate agent can make appointments for resale homes to compare on the same day that you visit the model home center.
  5. Experienced real estate agents can help you sort through what you saw at the end of the day.  Touring multiple sales centers can be overwhelming.  At the end of the tour you’ll need someone to help you sort through what you’ve seen and, should you decide to purchase new construction, they can help you make important selections such as upgrades, additional options and home sites so that you enjoy it to the full and see returns in the future if you decide to sell the home.
  6. Your real estate agent can also help you negotiate incentives, upgrades, home sites and pricing when you purchase new construction.
  7. Often times, your real estate agent may also know of similar product in a different community that is at a better or comparable value, or one that offers incentives – so find an agent experienced with the area, and specifically, with new construction.

When you’re buying new construction and using a real estate agent, it is important to remember that real estate agents don’t get paid unless they’re involved with your transaction. Your loyalty to the business relationship is a must. This will require you attending the model home sales center with your agent and “registering” with them.  It only takes a moment or two.  Again, there is no added cost to a buyer looking for new construction who utilizes Realtor representation.

If you have questions about new construction in Parkland, Florida contact Nicola Riettie at 954-708-6841.  Nicola is a Luxury Home Specialist with over ten years of experience in the Parkland real estate market.

Greater Ft. Lauderdale Area Market Report May-14

Ft. Lauderdale Market Update Greater Ft. Lauderdale Area Market Report May-14
Source: REALTOR® Association of Greater Ft. Lauderdale 

REALTOR® Association of Greater Ft. Lauderdale  reports median single-family home price up 6.0% in May-14 over Apr-14, sales fall to 649.

May-14 Quick Facts:

  • The median price of existing single-family homes increased to $299,000 up 6.0% vs Apr-14.
  • Existing single-family home sales decreased -0.9% from Apr-14 for a May-14 total of 649 sold units.
  • Condos increased in price to $105,950 up 3.4% vs Apr-14.
  • Existing condo sales decreased -7.0% in May-14 over Apr-14 for a total of 556 sold units.

 

Single Family Median Home Price
May-13 vs May-14
Clarus MarketMetrics®
6/10/2014

 

The Number of Sold Properties by Month
May-13 vs May-14

Clarus MarketMetrics®
6/10/2014

May-14 REALTOR® Association of Greater Ft. Lauderdale  Regional Sales and Price Activity

REALTOR® Association of Greater Ft. Lauderdale Median Price Percent Change in Price from Prior Month Percent Change in Price from Prior Year Total # Units Percent Change in Sales from Prior Month Percent Change in Sales from Prior Year
May-14 Apr-14 May-13 May-14 Apr-14 May-13
MLS Wide
RAGFL (Single Family) $299,000 6.0% 20.6% 649 -0.9% -17.1%
RAGFL (Condo) $105,950 3.4% 31.6% 556 -7.0% -22.0%
GFLR Region Cities
Single Family Only
Boca Raton $305,000 -3.0% 12.2% 17 -5.6% -29.2%
Boynton Beach $255,250 3.8% 66.3% 4 33.3% -60.0%
Coconut Creek $301,500 6.7% 29.7% 21 50.0% 31.3%
Cooper City $340,000 -27.3% -1.7% 7 16.7% -36.4%
Coral Springs $334,800 -3.4% 7.3% 59 1.7% -3.3%
Dania $299,950 30.9% 9.9% 4 100.0% -50.0%
Davie $336,500 -4.4% -20.9% 16 -5.9% -20.0%
Deerfield Beach $255,000 5.2% 10.9% 19 -5.0% -9.5%
Delray Beach $327,500 62.9% 162.0% 2 -60.0% -50.0%
Fort Lauderdale $334,000 -5.9% -1.8% 92 -14.8% -27.6%
Hallandale $118,500 27.4% -83.5% 2 100.0% 0.0%
Hialeah $194,500 34.1% 29.7% 1 0.0% 0.0%
Hollywood $171,074 -24.2% -7.5% 21 -4.5% -27.6%
Homestead 0 -100.0% -100.0%
Lakeworth $264,000 3.1% -7.8% 4 -33.3% -50.0%
Lauderdale By The Sea $400,000 -15.8% -16.4% 6 20.0% 50.0%
Lauderdale Lakes $135,000 10.0% 20.0% 9 125.0% 12.5%
Lauderhill $115,300 -25.6% -11.1% 7 -22.2% -41.7%
Lighthouse Point $473,607 -65.8% -38.2% 10 42.9% -16.7%
Margate $200,000 17.7% 18.0% 23 0.0% -11.5%
Miami $173,250 -27.8% 12.1% 22 29.4% 15.8%
Miami Gardens $145,000 32.4% 2 -66.7%
Miramar $278,000 -9.4% 35.6% 19 18.8% 26.7%
North Lauderdale $167,500 24.3% 63.4% 13 0.0% 30.0%
North Miami Beach $175,000 9.6% 1.7% 3 50.0% 0.0%
Oakland Park $255,000 20.3% 72.8% 19 -24.0% -13.6%
Parkland $542,500 -6.5% -2.3% 24 4.3% -4.0%
Pembroke Pines $321,450 7.2% 22.7% 22 -15.4% -18.5%
Plantation $340,000 5.4% 2.9% 45 181.3% 18.4%
Pompano Beach $195,000 21.1% 36.8% 37 2.8% -24.5%
Port St. Lucie $167,000 1.2% 68.7% 2 100.0% -33.3%
Royal Palm Beach $250,000 -3.8% 79.9% 2 -33.3% 0.0%
Southwest Ranches $833,250 63.2% -16.7% 4 -20.0% 300.0%
Sunrise $214,500 -6.3% 23.2% 21 -48.8% -30.0%
Tamarac $175,000 16.7% 34.6% 33 -10.8% -26.7%
Wellington $313,500 -1.1% 22.9% 2 100.0% -50.0%
West Palm Beach $315,000 228.1% 45.2% 3 -57.1% -40.0%
Weston $512,000 9.8% 13.8% 21 5.0% -27.6%
Wilton Manors $418,750 20.1% 36.8% 12 -7.7% -42.9%

Single Family = Single Family Res
Condo = Condo/Co-Op/Villa/Townhouse
Reports generated from Clarus MarketMetrics®

Contact your REALTOR® for additional local market trends in your neighborhood. Reports were generated from ClarusMarketMetrics® for the Realtor Association of Greater Ft. Lauderdale.

Do I Really Need A Real Estate Agent?

hirearealtorWith so much information readily available online, clients sometimes ask me, “Why should we hire a real estate agent?” They wonder, and rightfully so, if they couldn’t buy or sell a home through the Internet or through regular marketing and advertising channels without representation, without a a real estate agent. Some do OK, many don’t. So if you’ve wondered the same thing, here are 10 reasons why you might want to consider hiring a professional real estate agent.

1. Education & Experience

You don’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real a361347e6fde8830b5469cf0a8c09e9festate professional who does. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We’re all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.

2. Agents are Buffers

Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you’re a buyer of new homes, for example, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder’s agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels and will work to protect your interests. If you’re a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.

3. Neighborhood Knowledge

Neighborhood Expert [QuotePix.com]Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $550,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $485,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.

4. Price Guidance

Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. If a listing is at 6%, for example, an agent has a 6% vested interest in the sale, but the client has a 94% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.

5. Market Conditions Information

Wesley-Chapel-Real-Estate-Market-ReportReal estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.

6. Professional Networking

Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing. Agents can, however, give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.

7. Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality

Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It’s part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer’s offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client’s case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.

8. Handling Volumes of Paperwork

ar118849829680116Today’s Sales Contracts run 10 pages or more. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands.

9. Answer Questions After Closing

Even the smoothest transactions that close without complications can come back to haunt. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, doc stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to your agent can straighten out the confusion. Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Worthy and honest agents don’t leave you in the dust to fend for yourself.

10. Develop Relationships for Future Business

The basis for an agent’s success and continued career in real estate is referrals. Few agents would survive if their livelihood was dependent on consistently drumming up new business. This emphasis gives agents strong incentives to make certain clients are happy and satisfied. It also means that an agent who stays in the business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent again. Many will periodically mail market updates to you to keep you informed and to stay in touch.

realestateagentA good realtor will take the guesswork out of the process – a great realtor will put together the pieces of the puzzle to make the entire transaction work for you and your family’s needs!

Lifestyle Living Begins at Heron Bay in Parkland…


heron-bay-entranceOne of the best things about the Heron Bay lifestyle is the amazing amenities the community offers to its residents.  With its two resort style clubhouses, multiple swimming pools, jogging trails, bike paths, on site spa services, saunas, playgrounds, resident events and parties, Heron Bay is truly all about lifestyle living.

One of my personal favorite things is the fact that the community really focuses on facilitating a fit and healthy lifestyle for all ages.  Heron Bay is home to several tennis courts and offers tennis lessons and leagues, a golf club, basketball courts, and two state of the art fitness facilities offering full gymnasiums, personal training and group classes, all of which are included in your monthly Association fees or at a nominal additional charge.

A quick look at the Community Events Calendar will often show that an event is booked for Health and Fitness Presentations, providing the residents with great, relevant and up to date information on how to ensure our families are eating healthily, exercising and maintaining ourselves in order to live our best lives.

If you are into true lifestyle living for the entire family, and especially if you are a fitness buff like myself, this community is the one for you.  Check back here often to see more features on some of the amenities, classes, interviews with the trainers and on the great info I learn from attending a presentation or two…

 





A Step By Step Walk Through The Loan Process

One of our preferred Mortgage Bankers, Donna Pruner of The Mortgage Firm, recently prepared this clear and detailed article on the loan process. It is great information for anyone considering buying a home!

mtg pic
Mtg pic

How Purchase Loans Are Made
A Step-By-Step Walkthrough

1.

Pre-approval – Get pre-approved for a mortgage and know in advance exactly how much house you can afford. Completing this step will also increase your negotiating power since you’ll be viewed as a “cash buyer”.
2.

Loan Search – Put yourself in the hands of an experienced mortgage professional, someone who will help you to determine which financing options best suit your needs today and in the future.
3.

Loan Application – It’s crucial to supply the lender with as much information as possible, as accurately as possible. All outstanding debts as well as assets and income should be included.
4.

Documentation – Paperwork supporting the application must also be submitted. Information commonly sought includes pay stubs, two years’ tax returns, and account statements verifying the source of the down payment, funds to close and reserves.
5.

The Hunt – Begin shopping for a house. Once you find the right one, the terms of the sale will be negotiated, including the price and potentially the terms of the loan being sought.
6.

Appraisal – Lenders require an appraisal on all home sales. By knowing the true value of the home, the borrower is protected from overpaying.
7.

Title Search – This is the time when any liens against the property are discovered. A lien may have been placed on a property to ensure payment of outstanding debts by the owner. All liens must be cleared before a transaction can be completed.
8.

Termite Inspection – While most purchase loans do not require a formal inspection for termite and water damage, some loans (especially government loans) allow for the possibility. If problems are found, repairs may be necessary.
9.

Processor’s Review – All pertinent information will be packaged by your mortgage professional and sent to the lending underwriter, including any explanations that may be needed, such as reasons for derogatory credit.
10.

Underwriter’s Review – Based on the information put together by the loan professional, the underwriter makes the final decision regarding whether a loan is approved.
11.

Mortgage Insurance – Many lenders require private mortgage insurance when borrowers put down less than 20 percent on a loan.
12.

Approval, Denial or Counter Offer – In order to approve a loan, the lender may ask the borrowers to put more money down to improve the debt-to-income ratio. The borrower may also need a bigger down payment if the property appraises for less than the purchase price.
13.

Insurance – Lenders require fire and hazard insurance on the replacement value of the structure. Flood insurance will also be required if the property is located in a flood zone. In California, some lenders require earthquake insurance on condominiums.
14.

Signing – During this step, final loan and escrow documents are signed.
15.

Funding – At this point, the lender will send a wire or check for the amount of the loan to the title company.
16.

Confirmation of Funding – The lender authorizes the disbursement of loan proceeds.
17.

Closing – Documents transferring title will now be officially recorded by the County Recorder.
18.

Congratulations, you are now a homeowner!
If you’d like to learn more, please give Donna a call at
954-205-2524

Is This The Right Time to Buy?

Two questions we Realtors get asked all the time are:

1.     How is the market?

2.    Do you think prices have bottomed out yet?  (Loosely translated, this means “Is this the right time to buy?”)

First, let’s assess the market …

Today’s latest statistics from the Florida Association of Realtors show that home prices declined in April across Broward and Palm Beach counties while a recent surge in sales continued.  This shows that prices have come down significantly enough that a strong percentage of Buyers are now moving forward to buy.

Broward’s median price for existing homes was $177,000, down 2% from a year ago. However, Broward home sales inched up 2% from last April. County condo sales rose 8% last month, when 1,645 units changed hands.

This means that although prices are at an all-time low, at the same time,  there is an increased demand for homes, more so in some areas than others.  This is a good indicator that there may be a decrease in the number of homes available for sale in the coming months, which could cause escalating home prices.

Within the Industry, we are seeing a great increase in the number of Foreign Buyers, many of whom are willing to pay cash for the property for investment.  This will only further impact the Home Buyer looking for their long-term home, as the demand from Foreign Buyers directly affects availability and prices.

We do know that the Foreclosure Market is still uncertain, but when you combine today’s low property values with mortgage rates that are at a historic low, we really have to start to weigh all the options.

There is always the possibility that the foreclosure market could release more properties into the mix, further affecting property values; but the experts in the Mortgage Industry keep warning that interest rates cannot and will not stay where they are, and many are predicting rapidly rising interest rates within the year.  Waiting for lower property values could cost you a really comfortable, affordable interest rate.  You really do have to weigh one factor against the other.

As we say in Real Estate, the most important feature of a property to consider is Location, Location, Location.  Properties offering Buyers the best lifestyle choices are leading the market right now, as today’s Buyer is more concerned with quality of life than the size of the home.  Home Builders are seeing this shift first-hand and the era of the McMansion is definitely over.

For example, condos offering close proximity to the Beach, Restaurants and Shops that are also close to business districts are in demand as many seek to live and play close enough to work that travel time is minimal and lifestyle options are varied.

Buyers are looking for the best home in the best area that offers them the best lifestyle for their families and themselves.  Affordability is a huge factor for today’s buyer – value for money that allows them to live comfortably, without being house-rich and cash-poor. Homes in move-in ready condition in areas offering the best life has to offer are most in demand, which is an important consideration if you’re thinking about buying, as higher demand always means more competition for available homes.

That being said, there is no question that in Broward County, many HomeBuyers are looking for the best school districts.   Forbes Magazine has released their annual review of where will your housing dollars go the furthest in getting your kids a great education. The City of Parkland landed 8th overall across the country – and 1st in the category of towns with homes costing between $400,000 to $599,999.

The market in Parkland is doing very well – with property values where they are, buyers are snapping up the deals on great properties in an excellent school district at low interest rates. 

So if you are looking for a long-term, quality lifestyle for your family, take advantage of this historic time in our local Real Estate Market where price and interest rates offer you long-term stability for an exceptional lifestyle and take a look at Parkland, where the vision of the city is:

 “The City of Parkland is a beautiful and green, upscale residential community with small scale commercial villages. Our hometown feeling and excellent neighborhood schools help to make us family friendly. Our residents enjoy an active lifestyle through first class leisure and cultural amenities, and easy movement through our streets and multi-use trails.”  (www.cityofparkland.org) 

Parkland, FL – Our Hometown…


Decisions, Decisions…

To rent or to buy!  How to decide?  It used to be a given that you would buy a home as soon as you could afford to –but in the face of the housing market’s big bust and slow recovery, this has become an agonizing decision for many would-be homebuyers.  Low prices seem to create a wide-open window of opportunity, but they also create the concern that prices will keep falling after closing – a fear that has thousands of buyers stuck on the fence, uncertain which direction to take.

However there are some signals in the market right now which indicate that the time is right to get off the fence and buy now:

Rising Mortgage Rates.  Home prices have been low for the last several years, and in fact are currently looking like they’re heading back down to the same levels they were at during the depths of the real estate recession. During this same time frame, interest rates have also been low, which has created record-high affordability for the last few years, causing buyers to believe that this window of opportunity won’t be closing anytime soon and thinking they should wait till the market ‘bottoms out’!

Interest rates are an important consideration though.  Rates have been all over the place for the past few months and, with inflation and Fed rates set to spike later this year, today’s low interest rates might be as good as they’re going to get for a long time to come.

Mortgage rates on the rise are one signal that now might be the peak of home affordability.

   Rents are going up.  Rental rates are also on the rise – just take a look today’s Sun-Sentinel  and see what many are facing.   The fact is that the foreclosure crisis has actually placed increased demand on the rental market, reducing the number of homes available for rent.   Many former homeowners who lost homes to foreclosure now need to rent.  Additionally, buyers have been hesitant to buy and many have elected to stay renters until they are more comfortable with the stability of property values.  Lending guidelines have also become far more restrictive, preventing many potential buyers from being able to get a mortgage.  All of this has increased the demand for rental homes dramatically, causing rental rates to go up.

So with rental rates going up and home prices at an all-time low we see one more signal that now might just be the perfect time to buy. 

The fact is if your career and income are stable and you expect to be in the home for at least 7-10 years, you are most likely better off buying a home than renting!

Check in with a mortgage expert and your financial planner; talk to a Realtor who is an expert in your area and discuss your personal situation and needs.  Buying a home is a major decision – one that creates stability for your family and an investment in your future.

So, don’t stay on the fence, trying to ‘time the market’!  Opportunity may just pass you by…