Thursday, August 4, 2016

Questions To Ask A Builder | New Construction In Aventura, Florida

This week’s question is quite appropriate considering what is transpiring here in South Florida.

New construction is bountiful here in the Aventura, Florida. According to Cranespotters, there are 18 new projects under construction. Several of these projects are near completion.

“ I am purchasing a new construction condo in Aventura, Florida”. Obviously, I want to do a much as possible to protect my invest in the luxury condo in Aventura I am considering buying. What questions should I ask the builder”?

The first obvious question is:

How long have you been in business? Ask for their license and confirmation that they are insured.

How many projects (condominium) have you built?

What is the warranty on the product you offer?

Why should I buy from you? What benefits will I receive if I invest/purchase a home in your complex? Are their energy savings features? Do your products offer “smart features? I have written about smart homes, check it out here.

What are the standard features in the product you offer? What upgrades do you offer? What are their costs?

How long will it take to complete the project? And when will I gain access to my property?

How are you funding the project?

Request a list of prior home buyers.

Can I inspect a model unit?

When will a condominium association be set up? What are the costs of the maintenance? Are the fees monthly or quarterly?

My advice to any homeowner purchasing a luxury home in Aventura is to ask the above questions AND complete your due diligence, meaning check social media sites for feedback on the builder. If there are issues, it might show up on social media postings. Conduct research with government agencies i.e. check the validity of their license and finally head on over to the Better Business Bureau. Search for reporting on the builder you are going to hire.

As always, I am here to assist you with purchasing your luxury condo in Aventura. Contact me at 786.797.9088. In addition, I can be contacted here.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Do I need Title Insurance?

This week's question:

I am a 27-year old single mother. I recently inherited a large sum of money and have decided to purchase a luxury condo in Aventura for cash.
Do I need Owner’s Title Insurance?
One Word...YES!
As a real estate professional, I know that buying a home is, for most people, an exciting time. In your case, that excitement is probably sprinkled with emotion.  
In most instances, and possibly yours, purchasing a home in Aventura, Florida is also your single largest investment. Your investment must  be protected just as your car, health and life are insured.  
In a nutshell, here is the definition of title insurance:
“Owner’s Title Insurance protects the buyer’s legal right, title, and interest in a property, safeguarding against a variety of potential challenges ranging from unexpected judgments to pending legal actions or outstanding liens against the property for as long as they own or have an interest in the home.”
So... in my daily business practice, I always advise my clients to purchase owner’s title insurance. I do this early in the home buying process.
Here are 3 reasons you will benefit by buying owner’s title insurance:
This type of insurance will:

  1. Protect your investment –The cost of this type of insurance is reasonable, typically no more than 0.5 percent of the home's purchase price. The mental peace of mind it will provide is, well as they say, priceless.
  2. Reduce your risk – Purchasing  title insurance will protect you  against any unforeseen legal and/or financial title discrepancies that may arise. This issues could be  a claim filed for ownership by the heir of a previous owner, a debt unpaid to a contractor by the builder, or a lien filed against the property because the seller has not paid his taxes.
  3. There is nothing else like it – Your typical homeowner’s insurance and warranties protect the structure and belongings in your home, the physical items. Title Insurance is the only insurance that protects your rights to remain in your home in Aventura, Florida.

As always I welcome the opportunity to speak with you further about all your real estate needs. I can be contacted here or telephone me at 786.797.9088.

Friday, July 22, 2016

It is HOT! Why move to Aventura, Florida?

As the country melts in the summer heat I have had a question from a gentleman in Boston, Massachusetts.

This week's question:

My wife and I are retiring at the end of this ear. We were considering a move to the Sunshine State and in particular, we have been reviewing properties online, including luxury condos in Aventura.

However, we are right in the middle of a heat wave in state and wonder how and if we want to subject ourselves to the excessive heat of life in Aventura, Florida.

Mr. Bostonian, with all due respect,  I have one, actually two words for you.

Air Conditioning

Sure our summers are hot here in Aventura, Florida and the rest of South Florida, however, the winter months are beyond glorious.

The highest monthly average temperature in Aventura, Florida for August is 84 degrees.
The lowest monthly average temperature in our fair city for February is 68 degrees.

There are so many indoor activities in which to practice here in the sunshine state. Many luxury condos in Aventura, Florida offer first class fully equipped indoor exercise facilities. This luxury complex located on an island off of the shores of Aventura offers an extravagant spa.

To wrap up here is some more facts about life in Aventura, Florida.

  • The most monthly precipitation in Aventura occurs in June with 8.4 inches.
  • The air quality index in Aventura is 17% better than the national average.
  • The pollution index in Aventura is 86% better than the national average.

There are so many reasons to purchase that luxury condominium in Aventura, Florida. I welcome the opportunity to show you our piece of paradise.

I can be contacted at 786.797.9088 or here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

First Time Home Buyer | Aventura Florida

This week I received a question from a millennium, let’s call him Tim. This newly practicing lawyer has decided to purchase his first home in Aventura, Florida.

“Tim’s”  question is as follows…

“How do I purchase my first luxury home in Aventura, Florida as a single man”.

Upfront, there are two parts  to this question:
  • Buying a property as a single man
  • “Tim” is a first time home buyer.
It is important to understand that purchasing a home is a very stressful event. When you make the decision to go solo the “buck stops with you”. This, of course,might not be a bad thing as your say is final. However,  you should consult with family members who have purchased real estate property before and your friends along about  the journey you are embarking upon. Remember ultimately you must make the final decision.

I say BRAVO to you.

Of course,  you will need to secure a mortgage and work out your finances. I suggest that you speak with a banker or a mortgage broker to investigate if you can afford to purchase on your own or if you will need a cosigner. The mortgage holder (bank)  will require that you can financially afford not only the purchase of the home, (the mortgage payments) but the expenses that come with home ownership. One such expense is the real estate taxes.

Remember there are running expenses, electricity, water, and you will need to eat!

Also, there are costs involved in purchasing a luxury condo in Aventura, Florida.

You will need a budget.

One way of elevating the pressure of paying the mortgage is to have a roommate. If you decide to go down, this route makes sure he, or she is someone who you can live with day in and day out. Of course, you must ensure this individual is trustworthy and like yourself, financially capable of paying you rent.

Purchasing your first home is the start to securing your future. Congratulations to you! If you need any assistance, I can be contact by telephone at 786.797.9088 or online here.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The 40 Year Inspection

This week's question comes from a couple in Minnesota who are looking to invest in a second home here in Aventura, Florida.  They have been conducting a search online, using they tell me, and have come across properties that are quite old. At the same time they have heard of a “40 Year Inspection” and have asked me about this process.

So here I go…

In many parts of the world, a property that is 40 years old is seen as relatively new. And sure, a property that is well-maintained can and does compete with a “newer building”.

When searching for a luxury home in Aventura, Florida one will immediately see the difference in purchasing , shall I say, a more mature property and one that is relatively new. New buildings have generally speaking more amenities. These features include spas, luxury fitness centers, jacuzzis and more.

I will remind you that these features are always at an additional cost normally seen in the maintenance fees, a.k.a your running costs.

And then there are the older, more mature, those that have passed the test of time condominiums.

When purchasing a property that is 40 years of age and older, a county regulated inspection must take place.

The 40-year inspection in Dade County encompasses the inspection of the electricial safety and structural integrity of the building.

In many cases, it is the balconies of condominiums in Aventura that need to be updated and maintained, mainly because the salt in the ocean air can the concrete supports to disintegrate
( layman's terms of course).

Let me stress; this mandatory inspection is a good thing. This process ensures the safety of the building and therefore that of your family.


It usually comes at a cost. Recently I sold a luxury condo unit in Aventura where the funds were set aside for this inspection. If funds have not been set aside typically in the form of  a reserve fund, the expense of the 40-year inspection is passed on to the homeowner as an assessment.

It is important  if purchasing in a building that is coming up to its 40 year anniversary that you ask if the 40-year inspection has been paid for or if the unit owners are going to be assessed. If so, it is important  for you and your Aventura real estate agent negotiate cost into the purchase price.

Another scenario would be that the 40-year inspection has taken place, and there is an assessment in place. Again, by law, a new buyer must be made aware of this additional cost.

REMEMBER, an assessment is a charge in addition to the regular maintenance.

So this is the answer to your question and wrapping it up, I must emphasize it is important to be aware of this law in Dade County, Florida and to work with an Aventura, Realtor who understand the process (that would be me!)

FYI - This inspection does not apply to single-family homes, duplexes or minor structures.
FYI 2- Every ten years after the inspection, meaning at 50 years the building must also undergo a “50 Year Inspection.”

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Part 2- Realtor Code of Ethics

Part 2- Your REALTOR’S® Code of Ethics

Earlier in the week I answered a question posed to me  ”What is the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®? To see the outcome of this blog post head over here. FYI, I am a licensed Realtor in Aventura, Florida.

In this prior post, I also mentioned I would reveal, somewhat  in a nutshell the Code of Ethics to which all licensed Realtors must adhere.

This Code of Ethics  is the framework for the National Association of Realtors trade union. The statements noted below set the standard for moral, ethics and integrity in the real estate industry.
It is worth pointing out  that this code of ethics is over 100 years old.

  • A client's interest is and should be the primary concern of the REALTOR; however, they must treat ALL parties honestly.

  • All details of a contract must be noted and presented in writing to all sides involved. Each participant in the transaction is to receive a copy of all documents.

  • Realtors  must offer professional services to all clients irrespective to their color, race, national origin, religion, handicap, sex and sexual orientation.

  • Advertising must present a valid picture of their marketing, and all representations must be accurate.

  • Realtors are to cooperation with other real estate professionals in order to promote their client's best interest.

  • Exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts related to a transaction or a property is strictly forbidden.

  • If a Realtor sells his own property or the property of his family or firm this fact must be stated.

This code of ethics is translated into many languages for all to review. Recently the Chinese language, both simplified and traditional was added by the National Association of Realtors.

The most updated National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics (2016) can be found here. For all your real estate needs in Aventura, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbor and more I can be contacted here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Aventura REALTOR® vs Real Estate Agent

I have had the pleasure of working with both Buyers and Sellers of real estate in Aventura, Florida. Quite often I am referred to as a real estate agent. This is correct and incorrect at the same time. This post is designed to set all straight… I am a REALTOR®. So you might be wondering….

Is there a  difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR?


Here is the one element they have in common...

Both are licensed to sell real estate- THAT’S IT

A REALTOR ® (notice the full caps and registration trademark) is an individual who is a member of The National Association of Realtors, a.k.a.NAR.  NAR is the largest trade organization in the United States of America, yes THE LARGEST trade union.

As a REALTOR® in Aventura, Florida I belong to this association. As in most trade unions, I pay  a yearly fee to belong to this organization. Other members of the trade union include:

Property managers
And many others involved in the real estate industry

As members of the National Association of  REALTORS ®, real estate members pledge to adhere to the REALTOR ® Code of Ethics.

The standards which I and other REALTORS ® adhere to are restrictive and confining, much more than state registered real estate agents who are not a member of the NAR. Amongst many items, the guidelines of the trade organization address the moral and ethical stance a member must follow.

Ok. sure, just because an individual is a member of NAR does not ensure they are moral and ethic (how nice would that be) but as a member of the National Association of REALTORS® there are basic legal standards which differ from a real estate agent. In addition, I must adhere to a code of ethics.

These code of ethics are enforced locally by real estate boards. The board I belong to is the Miami Board of REALTORS® and work as a REALTOR® in Aventura

Come back on Thursday and catch my review of these code of ethics.