Well, Valentine’s Day is here again and restaurants are so booked in South Florida this year, Waffle House has jumped on board to add an option for Love Day Dining…
If you’re like me, the idea of getting dressed up and spending a special date night with your loved one sounds amazing ~ the crowds and wait for a table… Not so much!
So this year, I am going to skip the dialing for reservations step and get started on thinking of ways to make Valentine’s Day even more special – Right at HOME!
It’s going to be a beautiful day here in Parkland, with morning lows expected to be in the high 40’s, but by afternoon it should be crisp, clear and in the mid to upper 60’s. So, HMMMMM…
What about a little al fresco dining? How about setting up a romantic table for two on the patio? It doesn’t have to be super fancy, although it can be if you like… But I am thinking of creating a little Italian Cafe feel with a simple red table cloth and table decor to match…
An inexpensive patio table on your patio or balcony will do the trick. Add a few candles, hurricane lamps or torches to add a romantic glow. Flowers, a bowl of grapes… You get the picture!
I am working on a simple yet delicious menu that we can make together, then we can watch a great movie, perhaps. I will put my personal menu plan below for ideas.
The point is, wherever your living space is, it should be your haven and a place where you can greatly enjoy celebrating the different seasons of life.
We are all about Home being where your Heart is and so we will always help you find ways to make your home your own dream space. And if you just need more space, or less, or need a ‘change of space’ for whatever reason – call us, of course! We can help!
Nicola “Nicki” Riettie | Florida Luxury Real Estate Group | 954.708.6841 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu at Home
P.S. If you would like any of these recipes, just leave me a comment below…
An 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.
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 sit with us to explain his profession so clearly. You can contact Floyd OstrowskyofReliant Public Adjustersat954.805.3602.
Moving can be one of the most stressful things anyone can go through and many of us say at the end of each move – “That’s it! This is the last time ever!!!” Hmmmm… Famous last words.
The truth is, the average family in Florida will move every 10-12 years. We move for many reasons, lifestyle change being primary. Whether our family is growing and, as such, outgrowing our home, shrinking, with kids moving away to college or getting married, or we are simply upgrading – we have more than enough cause to move a few times in our lifetime.
If you have children, include them in the planning
Discard items that will be dangerous to move, like flammables or fireworks
Pick up items you may have at cleaners, repair shop, etc., ahead of time…
Schedule your move as far out as possible to ensure capacity
Plan to take irreplaceable items with you personally
Empty your refrigerator and make sure it is defrosted and dry by moving day
Separate any items you do not want movers to pack/move
Tour your home with the driver to make sure all items are loaded
Use up existing food and supplies you have and try not to buy more till after the move
Our personal favorite tip for stress-free moving is HIRE A GOOD MOVING COMPANY – probably the mostimportant thing you can do to enable you to have a streamlined move and start the process of getting settled into your new space. Get a referral from a friend or neighbor, try a reputable referral website like Angie’s List (but always check with the Better Business Bureau first) or do some solid research online. An experienced moving company will definitely make moving day a lot easier.
For more information on moving tips or if you would like to contact our Mover of Choice, Mary Ann Colton, to discuss or schedule a move, you can find her at Armstrong Relocation and Companies. They are conveniently located in Pompano Beach, FL, making them the ideal mover for your Parkland, FL move. They also offer commercial, national and global relocation services, so wherever you may be going, Mary Ann and her team at Armstrong Relocation are the best movers for you!!! Call her at (954) 956-0059 or email her at email@example.com.
The Parkland Farmer’s Market returns tomorrow, Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 from 9am – 1pm. This exciting annual event is greeted each year with great enthusiasm from Parkland residents and neighboring visitors. Come out to find the best organic produce available, some of which is grown right here in our hometown.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, artisan treats and more will be available at this weekly event held during the ‘Winter Months’ at The Equestrian Center, located at 8350 Ranch Road, Parkland, FL 33076. A special Craft Show will also be on this Sunday.
Properly Pricing Your Home or Condo in Parkland or Coral Springs…
Real Estate Pricing Mistake #1 – Not enough research. Researching a listing price for your home should include thorough market research; active listings, current absorption rate, three to five recent closed sale comparable properties, which have sold in the prior six months or less.
Real Estate Pricing Mistake #2 – Simply hiring the real estate agent who suggests the highest list price for your home. It’s called buying a listing with real estate insiders. What does it cost for you to own that property for six months? While an unqualified real estate agent or an agent who just wants a listing takes it at a premium price you will be spinning your wheels. If it’s a six month listing you may as well put six months of carrying costs in a pile and set it ablaze.
Real Estate Pricing Mistake #3 – Thinking with the heart and not the head. Everyone loves their home and selling real estate can be very emotional. Try to stay grounded and not get swept up in emotion.
Real Estate Pricing Mistake #4 – Over pricing real estate from the start. It’s like starting off on a walk with a sprained ankle. It’s not going to go well and just cause more pain and suffering down the road.
Real Estate Pricing Mistake #5 – Overpricing real estate “to test the market”. The real estate market was already tested … by the three to five closed sales comparable properties you should have used to determine the listing price. They provided the next seller FREE market research, so use it.
Real Estate Pricing Mistake #6 – Small price reductions downward, chasing the real estate market. The only person you’re fooling is yourself. Buyers are savvy and they’ve looked at every home in your price range. On top of that, they have access to the internet, free property valuation services and probably a real estate agent who will tell them about every price reduction, previous listing and days on market.
Real Estate Pricing Mistake #7 – Not understanding the current condition of finance and whether the property will be able to be financed. FHA Loan Limits, Condo Questionnaire If the real estate you are trying to sell does not qualify for financing it could severely effect the final sale price as the real estate will be limited to cash buyers only.
Real Estate Pricing Mistake #8 – Not getting a comparable market analysis. If there are no showings or no offers, something is wrong with the price, location or condition. Since real estate can’t be moved to improve location only the condition and price will be able to be altered – proceed accordingly.
Real Estate Pricing Mistake #9 – Listing your home with a friend or relative because they “have a real estate license”. For literally ten days in class and four hundred dollars anyone can have a real estate license. There is a difference between being licensed and being a knowledgeable, experienced, productive real estate agent.
Real Estate Pricing Mistake #10 – Using an automated valuation internet based service like Zillow to price your home. Talk to an experienced realtor who works your neighborhood and has a proven track record to get the ‘real’ comparable market value for your home.
If you’re interested in selling your Parkland/Coral Springs home or condo and would like an accurate market report for your real estate: Contact Nicola.
The Parkland Real Estate Market continued to sell at a steady pace during the third quarter of 2014. Here is a quick look at the activity during that period.
There are currently 222 homes active/available on the market. During the third quarter of 2014, 38 homes went pending/under contract and 55 homes actually closed.
Further analysis shows that our ‘sweet spot’ remains in that $500,000.00 – $750,000.00 price range with an average of 4Plus Bedrooms – a true testament to our quality of life barometer and school district. Of the 222 homes available for sale, only 76 homes are within this price range, which means we have approximately 2 months of inventory in our best-seller category.
Homes that are priced correctly continue to sell faster and at a higher value than ones that were priced ambitiously to start. We all want wiggle-room for offers to be negotiated, but statistics continue to show that pricing right is more effective every time for a goal of selling quickly and at a higher price point, especially as we compete with new construction sales, so this is important to keep in mind.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your real estate agent can also help you negotiate incentives, upgrades, home sites and pricing when you purchase new construction.
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, Floridacontact Nicola Riettie at 954-708-6841. Nicola is a Luxury Home Specialist with over ten years of experience in the Parkland real estate market.
One of our nation’s most patriotic events will be here this Friday – are you ready for the 4th of July? What will you be doing this year? Barbecue at home, hanging out at family or friend’s or celebrating it with your community?
Whatever you are doing, here are some great ideas that you can add to your celebrating to bring your full patriotic spirit to your home.
Here in South Florida, the 4th of July is one of our favorite summer days. It usually is a beautiful sunshin-ey day, great for spending outdoors. Enjoy the pool or beach or local park and cool off from the heat with this Watermelon Blueberry Salsa.
Watermelon Blueberry Salsa
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Total Time: 45 minutes
4 small Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (discard seeds for a milder salsa)
1 cup diced watermelon
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno in the bowl of a food processor; pulse briefly or until finely chopped (do not fully liquefy). If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the ingredients by hand.
Transfer tomato mixture to a medium bowl; stir in watermelon, blueberries, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
This year, we will be celebrating the 4th of July with our community at the beautiful Plaza del Lago Clubhouse in Heron Bay in Parkland! It is so wonderful to live in a community that puts on such fun, well-organized events for our neighbors and ourselves to enjoy and to celebrate our country’s Independence together! Our own poolside Cabana Grille has a great, special menu planned and it is going to be one packed, fun-filled day for Heron Bay residents!!! We can’t wait!!!
Whatever you do, enjoy your 4th of July! Don’t forget all who have fought for our freedom and independence so that we can live in and as the greatest nation on earth!!!