Don’t Miss These Events, Parklanders…

moviesinthepark
Grab your lawn chairs, blankets and appetites … The City of Parkland, North Broward Preparatory School, North West Medical Center, Paragon Theaters and Allstate Insurance – Marllan Valerio, MBA, MA – Exclusive Agent present Monsters University on the big screen! See you at Pine Trails Park Friday at 7pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

monsterdash
Let’s get together and raise money for the S.O.S Children’s Village…
parkland food drive
Ongoing Food Drive till November 14th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope to see you out and about in our Town…

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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.

Are You Ready For The 4th of July?

4th-of-july-plank-flag-manditremayneOne 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 Salsawatermelon-blueberry-salsa2

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  • 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.

Read more at http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2012/08/watermelon-blueberry-salsa.html

Serve up these great Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes for Dessertred-white-and-blueberry-cheesecake-yogurt-cupcakes

Skinnytaste.com

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 cupcake • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts Calories: 98 • Fat: 4.3 g • Protein: 3.6 g • Carb: 10.5 g • Fiber: 0.3 g • Sugar: 7.6 g Sodium: 29.5 mg

Ingredients:

  • 12 reduced fat vanilla wafers
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 8 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
  • 8 oz blueberries

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Line cupcake tin with liners. Place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each liner.
  • Gently beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth using an electric mixer. Gradually beat in fat free yogurt, egg whites, and flour. Do not over beat. Pour into cupcake liners filling half way.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool to room temperature then chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

healthy-4th-of-july-strawberry-blueberry-poke-cake-dashingdishWe LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe for a Strawberry Blueberry Poke Cake, served with sparklers and all!

Check out the recipe here

 

4th-of-july-mantel-landeeseelandeedoIf you are crafty, you can try these great ideas for decorating for the holiday to add to the patriotic spirit!

 

Check out these great mantel ideas from Landeelu

 

 

IMG_3063-1Try these super cute Kids’ Flag Shirts from Make It And Love It.

 

 

This year, we will be celebrating the 4th of July with our community at the beautiful Plaza Heron-Bay-2del 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!!!

Happy Independence Day to All of You!!!

 

 

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!

Parkland Real Estate Activity June 2014

parkland2As Summer heats up in Parkland, so does the local real estate market.  A quick look at the market activity for June shows once again that homes that are priced properly SELL.  Here is a quick synopsis of what has been happening in Parkland’s real estate market in June 2014.

Currently there are 129 homes on the market for sale.  Of these, 8 are short sales and one is an REO (Real Estate Owned or Corporate Owned property).  This shows a marked decrease in short sales and foreclosures in the Parkland area.

F1279985_101_12One home sold so far in June.  It was on the market for 90 days before going to contract and closed as an all cash sale at approximately $160.00 per square foot of living space.

There are currently 15 homes pending sale throughout Parkland.  Of this number, one is a Short Sale and two of them are REO’s.

If you would like to know the comparable market value of your home, we would be happy to provide you with a complimentary assessment.  Feel free to give us a call at 954.708.6841 to schedule an appointment, no strings attached.

Summertime Fun at Zoo Miami

Summertime is now upon us and many are looking for new, fun things to do with their families.   We are very excited about a visit to Zoo Miami this summer because it is the home of a series of great animal exhibits and activities that are sure to be very exciting for the whole family!

Zoo Miami has just introduced one of their newest additions  – a female black rhinoceros named “Aria”! She is the 13th successful birth at Zoo Miami for this very highly endangered species. The African Black Rhino is also one of the species you can adopt at Zoo Miami!rhino2 rhino

In addition, lioness “Kashifa’s”  five cubs are now on exhibit: “Saba,” “Bantu,” “Asani,” “Amirah,” and the adopted male, “Kwasi,” son of Kashifa’s late sister, “Asha”.

lion pride 2lionpride1

Check out the Creatures of Habitat Exhibit – a gazillion-piece animal adventure” all made

legozoomiamiof LEGO® bricks.  Zoo Miami will be presenting this most exciting, educational, and fun exhibit until June 22, 2014, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, at Dr. Wilde’s World (DWW), so hurry there to catch it!  The exhibit will be displayed both in DWW’s air-conditioned museum space as well as on its outdoor plaza.  The Creatures of Habitat, a popular exhibit made up of LEGO® bricks, comes to Zoo Miami from the Philadelphia Zoo, where it captured a wide audience.  The purpose of this exhibit is multifaceted:  to educate visitors on the potential extinction of various animal species and habitats; to inspire them to protect our planet; to teach them how our behaviors and actions contribute to the destruction of these animals and their habitats; and how we can change our lives to ensure and promote our planet, animal species, and habitat conservation.

giraffesDid you know that this Saturday, June 21st, is World Giraffe Day?  Be sure to take the kids out to Feed the Giraffes at the SAMBURU GIRAFFE FEEDING STATION.   Have you ever been face to face with a giraffe? Since these famously tall creatures stand at about 16-20 feet tall, most people would only be able to compare to one of its legs in height. At Zoo Miami, you can get up close and personal with Titan, Kita, Fezzick, and the rest of your favorite giraffes at the Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station. At this interactive exhibit, guests can walk up a custom built ramp that leads to an elevated platform overlooking the African Plains exhibit. Every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can purchase delicious green veggies like lettuce or collard greens to feed to these giant creatures for only $3! You will get to check out their spots up close and look into their eyes as they come right up to you and extend their 14-inch long tongues to gently scoop the treats right out of your hand.

There is no shortage of great, fun things to do with the family this Summer and Zoo Miami is one of the best ways to do just that.  For more information on what’s happening at Zoo Miami, visit their website.

 

 

Top 5 Mistakes Home Sellers Can Make When Selling Their Home…

Home For Sale Sign in Front of Beautiful New Home

Selling your home is challenging at the best of times. It may be the largest sale you have ever made, you may have time constraints, you may have young children and busy lives, and so many other factors.

Though it may be stressful, there is no reason to make selling your home more difficult than it has to be.  But first, you need to know what to avoid.  Don’t make these common home selling mistakes when it comes time to place your home on the market for sale. Making any of these errors can be the real estate kiss of death for getting top dollar.

Overpricing The Home The Cost of Overpricing in a STABLE Market

This is a difficult hurdle for many home sellers to get over, especially if it is their first time selling a home. You love your home; you may have raised a family in your home and it is an emotional investment at this point. You may have also purchased your home at the height of the housing bubble and your home is no longer worth what you owe.   All of these situations can give you a feeling of certainty that your home is worth a lot – perhaps even a lot more than the comparable homes in your area.

Overpricing your home, however, could prevent potential buyers from even considering it, or it could cause your home to sit on the market for an extended period of time. The longer your home sits, the more it is perceived as overpriced – or perhaps as a home with something wrong with it. When you finally do drop your price to something more reasonable, buyers begin hitting you with low-ball offers in hopes that you are desperate. After having your home on the market for six months or more, they may be right.

Overpricing often leads to you accepting a price far below your original number, and sometimes even below similar homes. Putting your home up for a fair price, and perhaps even for a slightly lower price than others in your market, can do the opposite. It can drive up the eventual selling price through multiple bids from hungry buyers.

Aim for a fair price that reflects the current market. Typically you can get a good handle on this after your home has been on the market for three to four weeks with ample people looking at it and providing feedback. Listen to what the market is telling you!

Neglecting Their Homes Condition

neglect home

Homes are made up of many different components, all important to its overall look and performance. Buyers want to purchase homes that they can visualize themselves and their families living in, which means homes that are in good repair, where everything works and can be expected to work for the near future.  At least, this is true of buyers looking to pay close to the asking price of your home. This is why home sale preparation is essential to getting top dollar for your home.

Bargain hunters may want to find a home with obvious or not so obvious flaws. They look for weaknesses in the appearance or the function of a home, and hope to take advantage of those weaknesses in the bargaining process.

If you are like most homeowners, you want to sell your home for the maximum amount of money possible.  However, you must realize that top dollar only goes to properties in good repair.  Unless you want to haggle with the bargain hunters, you need to keep your home in good condition.  If it is not that way now, you need to make it so before putting it up for sale.  If your home and yard looks like they are not being maintained at their finest, then it is highly unlikely you will be getting top dollar for your home. In fact, it goes without saying you will more than likely sell it for far less than what it is really worth with some minor repairs and upkeep!

If you are in doubt about the state of your home, you can always consult with an experienced real estate agent who is known for making sales happen in your neighborhood.   A good agent will give you honest answers about the current condition of your home and what you need to do first so that you maximize the selling price.

Problems With House Showings

homeshowingsHouse showings are an absolute necessity to make a deal. Buyers want to see your home, and they want to do it when it is most convenient to their schedules.   When you put your house on the market, you have to accept the fact that you are committing to showings, and you must be willing to make your home available for those showings. Turning down showings is a sure way to kill potential sales.
Your agent is trained and experienced in “selling” a home. He or she knows how to present the home in the best possible light, and how to answer important questions that buyers are certain to have. They know how to make your home look it’s best, show off it’s best features and how to present it to buyers in a way that encourages a sale. Choose an agent you trust, and let them do the heavy lifting.

If possible, leave the buyer and their agent alone to tour your home. This will cut down on confusion, and ensure the best possible buyer experience.  Keep in mind that most buyers and their agents do not want you or your agent hovering over them. They want to be able to view the home and speak freely without anyone impeding their ability to do so freely, open doors, look inside the fridge, etc.  The buyer’s agent will communicate with yours to get answers to all their customer’s questions.

Strong Odors In The Home Check-for-Odors-Prior-to-Showings

It may seem obvious, but sellers who forget to do things like take out the trash regularly, especially on the day of a showing, are not doing themselves any favors. Pet odors are also a concern, and should be addressed.  Cooking high odor foods during the showing process can also be another problem.
Strong odors are a turn off for buyers, and will greatly impact their impression of your home. This is why real estate agents recommend a professional cleaning prior to listing a home. Make sure your carpet is clean and spot-free and that all other odors are eliminated prior to showing. It is best to use mild but appealing scented candles with vanilla or apple fragrances to encourage the impression of a homey ambiance.  If you are a smoker, it is highly recommended to refrain from doing so indoors during the selling process.

Never underestimate odors when trying to sell your home. Above all else do not take this personally. Remember selling your home is a business transaction. You are simply making your home more marketable to  the widest possible cross-section of buyers.

Dark and Dirty Homes

Keep your home well lit and extremely clean. You want to make your home look as inviting as possible, which means good lighting and no clutter. If your home does not have a ton of windows, make sure that on darker days you plan ahead and leave lights on in the darkest areas of the home. Dark homes are not appealing to buyers. Don’t rely on the buyer’s agent to be the one turning on lights. Take a look at your home each day before you leave in the morning, whether a showing has already been scheduled or not.  You want your home to show its best for any last-minute showing.  Pick up items and store them away, wash and put away dishes and pots, make sure beds are made, mirrors are clean, and leave a few lights on.
cleanhomeCleanliness applies to the exterior as much as the interior, so make certain the landscaping is cleaned up, leaves are raked and the grass is cut. Any clutter in the lawn should be eliminated. Keep the inside vacuumed, counters cleared off and all clothes put away at the very least.

 

 

The Importance of An Agent

All of these mistakes are easily avoided with the help of an experienced real estate agent. A good agent knows what makes a home sell, and what does not. If you want to be certain that your home looks good to buyers, find a local neighborhood expert who will work with you on selling your home. It makes the difference between a good sale experience and a serious disappointment. call-a-realtor-300x297

Keep in mind that not all real estate agents are the same. In fact Realtors are a dime a dozen as it is very easy to get a Real Estate license. Do your home work and hire an agent who has a great track record.  Good internet marketing is a must as this is where buyer’s will be looking at your home. A great real estate agent will have an exceptional presentation for your home. This is something you deserve – a fantastic agent knows this.

Follow this advice and you will be well on your way to enjoying a successful real estate transaction!

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