Labor Day in Parkland

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A stormy morning turned into a nice evening for a run in Parkland.   Love the sloping jogging trail in Heron Bay –  beautiful landscaping and natural wonders to take in as you go.   This is living now  #parklandrun #parklandlife

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Heron Bay – New Listing is The Best of Florida Living…

Who do you know that wants the best that Florida living has to offer? Today we feature an exquisite Ground Floor Coach Home that is new to the market and is ideally suited for a small family or for Empty Nesters.  View Home Tour.

With Heron Bay’s resort style amenities and active lifestyle, the community offers many programs and activities for children and families.   It also offers many well organized daytime and night time events on an ongoing basis for adults of multiple interests and generations.

From ice cream socials for the family, card groups or book clubs, Family Fun Days on the holidays or themed party nights at the Plaza del Lago Clubhouse – living in Heron Bay is what community is all about.

There is a wide range of fitness group classes, including Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Kickboxing and more as well as a fully equipped state of the art fitness facility open from 5am -10pm on weekdays and from 7am -10pm on weekends to accommodate everyone.  Jogging trails wind throughout the community with sloping hills and lush landscaping.  Tennis, Golf, Basketball and Racquet Ball are all offered right within the community.

Heron Bay is located within close proximity to the finest shops, restaurants and entertainment available and is known for its all A-Rated Schools .  Nestled on the border of Coral Springs and Parkland, the community enjoys the full gamut of options in both cities, and is close to major highways and thoroughfares, making it easy to go north to Boca Raton and beyond or south to Ft. Lauderdale or Miami Beach as desired.

If you or anyone you know is thinking of a new home, consider this beautiful new listing in Heron Bay ~ the best of Florida Living.  Click on the link below to view :

skd273191sdc Exquisite Ground Floor Coach Home at Cypress Pointe in Heron Bay

GORGEOUS GROUND FLOOR 3/2 COACH HOME IN PRESTIGIOUS HERON BAY! THIS TRIPLE SPLIT FLOOR PLAN HOME FEELS LIKE A SFH WITH ITS IDEAL LAYOUT. TILED THROUGHOUT, THIS HOME FEATURES A GOURMET KITCHEN WITH GRANITE C-TOPS, S/S APPLIANCES AND A SEPARATE DINING AREA. ITS LARGE LIVING SPACE LOOKS OUT TO A LUSH, GREEN CONSERVATION AREA. IT OFFERS A LARGE MASTER SUITE WITH A SPECTACULAR MASTER BATH – ENJOY STYLE AND FUNCTION ADDED TO THE COMFORT OF HAVING A ONE YEAR HOME WARRANTY ON THIS SPECTACULAR HOME! THIS RESORT STYLE COMMUNITY HAS 5-STAR AMENITIES & A-RATED SCHOOLS! DON’T WAIT OR THINK TWICE – CALL TODAY!!!

Here’s to A Lovely LOVE DAY at Home…

c9395154857303d65d6d8d79ebfa43a7Well, 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 532c3ef6e444eb0633c6bbce61ac5f18patio?  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 | nicola@flluxreg.com

Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu at Home

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P.S.  If you would like any of these recipes, just leave me a comment below…

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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.

 

Moving Day…

moving1Moving 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.

Moving-cities-for-a-new-jobThe 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.

Recently, I sat down with our favorite Relocation Specialist, Mary Ann Colton of Armstrong Relocation, to get her top insider tips for making the moving process easier.  Here are her top 12:

  • Donate or sell items you don’t plan to move
  • Remember to send change of address notifications
  • Packing yourself can save some $$
  • 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 most important thing you can do to enable you to have a streamlined move moving2and 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.

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Mary Ann Colton Relocation Specialist

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 mcolton@goarmstrong.com.

And It’s Back!!! The Annual Parkland Farmer’s Market Returns This Sunday…

farmersMarket2The 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 grounds1held 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.

 

Hope to see you there!!!

What:    Parkland Farmer’s Market

When:   Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Time:    9am – 1pm

Where:  The Equestrian Center

8350 Ranch Road

Parkland, FL 33067

Do Halloween Dangers Lurk at the Entryway of Your Parkland Home?

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Do Halloween Dangers Lurk at Your Entryway?

Happy-Halloween-Scary-2Is your front entryway ready for Halloween visitors? Keep everything fun and accident-free with these seven safety tips.

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween — as long as it’s just a trick.

To help you avoid any real-life scares — such as falls, fires, and traffic accidents — around your property this All Hallows Eve, play it safe while you’re setting up your Halloween lights and decorations.

Here are seven simple precautions recommended by John Pettibone, curator of Hammond Castle, a Gloucester, Mass., mansion that draws thousands to its renowned 20-room haunted house every Halloween season.

1. Light the Scene

Providing plenty of illumination ensures that your visitors can see where they’re walking, helping to avoid missteps and falls. Pettibone suggests using the highest wattage bulbs your outdoor lighting fixtures can safely take (check the label on the socket), and adding landscape lights every few feet along your front walk.

“We use the solar-powered kind because there’s no wiring needed,” he says. “Just push them into the ground, let them soak up the sun during the day, and they’ll light up the walk after dark.”

2. Secure the Footing

Clear your walk, steps, and stoop of any obstructions that could trip youngsters focused more on tricks and treats than watching where they’re going. That means moving potted mums and jack o’lanterns out of the way, and hammering down any nail heads protruding out of your steps.

If you have a concrete stoop, which can get slippery when wet, apply friction tape ($16 for a 60-foot roll of 1-inch-wide tape) to ensure stable footing, says Pettibone. He also stocks up on chemical ice melt ($20 for a 50-lb. bag) just in case of an early freeze.

3. Tighten the Railings

If your porch railings are wobbly or broken, family members and friends may know not to lean too heavily on them, but Halloween visitors won’t. So hire a contractor or handyman to fix the problem. It’ll make your home safer for guests all year round. Because more strangers come to your front door this night than the rest of the year combined, now is the time to take care of it.

4. Eliminate Fire Hazards

Don’t put real candles into your carved pumpkins or paper lanterns. “That’s a fire waiting to happen,” says Pettibone. Instead, pick up a bulk pack of LED-bulb faux candles, which emit a yellowish, flickering, battery-powered light that looks amazingly similar to the real thing — without the danger.

5. Secure your Property

To prevent burglaries and Halloween pranks — especially on mischief night the previous evening — make sure to keep all windows and doors (other than your main door) locked shut.

You might have an electrician add motion-sensor lights around your property, so anyone who walks down your driveway or around into the backyard will be discouraged from intruding any farther.

6. Set the Scene

In addition to spooky items like cotton cobwebs and half-buried skeletons, consider a few safety-related scene-setters. Pettibone suggests propping open the screen or storm door so it doesn’t get in the way when there’s a big group of kids congregated on your stoop. “We use yellow caution tape to tie open the door,” he says. “You can order it online and it works well with the Halloween theme.” A 1,000-ft. roll of 3-inch-wide caution tape is about $8.

You’ll also want a working doorbell, so if yours is broken, either hire an electrician or handyman to fix it — or install a wireless doorbell in its place.

7. Enhance Street Safety

Four times as many child pedestrians get killed on Halloween night than a normal night. So limit the danger as much as you can by clearing parked cars off the curb to allow better visibility and placing a reflective “watch for children sign” at the edge of the road. For for high-traffic roads in Halloween-intensive neighborhoods, consider posting an adult in the street with a hand-held traffic control light to help maintain safety.

Happy-Halloween-2014-2

From all of us at Florida Luxury Real Estate Group ~

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

 

Article Written By: Oliver Marks - Houselogic.com
 Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/halloween-safety-rules/preview/?cid=eo_em_mkt_rcrnewsletter#ixzz3HSDNVpQL
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Properly Pricing Your Home

Properly Pricing Your Home or Condo in Parkland or Coral Springs…

homepricing1Real 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 factors that influencewhether 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.

Parkland Market Update Third Quarter 2014

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.Screenshot 2014-10-21 15.03.01

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.

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Homes that are priced correctly continue to sell faster and at a higher value than ones that Screenshot 2014-10-21 15.06.37 (1)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.

 

 

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.