Treasure Coast Real Estate Blog

April 20, 2018

RealtyRave Newsletter

 RealtyRave Newsletter
Eric Slifkin
April 2018

Welcome to this month's edition of the RealtyRave newsletter. We hope that you find it filled with interesting and useful information! 

Please think of me with any real estate related questions you may have - now and in the future. It would be my pleasure to be of assistance to you. 
The single highest and best compliment a Real Estate Professional can receive is a referral to friends, family or colleagues. As appropriate, please feel free to forward this Newsletter and/or my contact information. Thank you!



Eric Slifkin


HEALTH and SAFETY
Are you eating too much salt, or not enough?

(BPT) - New York City already mandates it and now Philadelphia is considering it. “It” is salt warnings on menu labels for any item considered too high in salt. The average American eats about 3,400 mg./day of sodium and recent studies indicate that’s just about the right amount. Regardless, the federal government continues to recommend that people eat a maximum of between 1,500 and 2,400 mg./day of sodium. Yet, there is almost no population on earth that consumes this little salt.

A 2014 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, tested sodium consumption in more than 100,000 people in 18 countries. The study found that the healthy range for salt consumption was between 3,000 and 5,000 mg./day. The amount of salt Americans eat per day is on the low end of this range. Consuming insufficient amounts of salt can lead to the development of insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular failure, dehydration, unsteadiness, loss of cognition and death.

Dr. Michael Alderman and Dr. Hillel Cohen of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine reviewed 23 observational studies covering some 360,000 individuals and published their comprehensive results in the July 2012 edition of the American Journal of Hypertension. They also found that both the very low and very high levels of salt consumption negatively affected health, but in between those extremes, a very broad safe range of salt consumption resulted in optimum health.

The federal government is pushing food manufacturers to change their recipes to reduce their sodium content. This will change the taste and texture of many foods made in the U.S. and may place us at greater risk. Bread, cheese, and processed meats can't be made without salt. Salt acts as an essential preservative and drastically lowering the salt content of processed meats significantly increases the likelihood of bacterial growth.

We are led to believe that we are eating more salt than ever before, but this is also false. Military records from the early 1800s up to WWII, and before the widespread advent of refrigeration, show that the average soldier was consuming between 6,000 and 6,800 mg./day of sodium. We eat about half of that today and that number has remained consistent since WWII. The advent of refrigeration meant that we could preserve food with less salt, but salt remains a critical ingredient.

Another myth we often hear is that most of our salt intake comes from processed foods and eating out. This is why government agencies are pressuring restaurants and food manufacturers to adjust their recipes or print salt warnings. In fact, every single population throughout the world, regardless of location, state of development, culture and cuisine, ingests a similar amount of salt when compared to the U.S. average. It doesn’t matter if people get their salt from packaged or restaurant foods or add it in themselves in home-cooked meals, the amount stays constant.

Dr. Alderman, who is also the editor of the American Journal of Hypertension and former president of the American Society of Hypertension, has repeatedly cited his concern that a population-wide sodium reduction campaign could have unintended consequences. “They want to do an experiment on a whole population without a good control.” More research is needed on total health outcomes before taking such a drastic step.

 


HEALTH and WELLNESS
Tired of being tired? Here's what you need to know

(BPT) - It’s no surprise that we all feel the need to get more sleep. However, for some people who feel tired all the time, it may be a sign of a bigger problem. If the urge to sleep during the day is overwhelming and irresistible, it may be excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS).

Roughly 20 percent of Americans have EDS. It is one of the most common complaints people make to a sleep specialist and a symptom that can be seen in a variety of sleep disorders. Being able to recognize the difference between normal sleepiness and EDS is important to your health, but more than 60 percent of Americans find it difficult to do, according to a new survey of 3,000 people conducted by Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

“Occasionally feeling tired is normal,” says Dr. Raj Dasgupta, pulmonary and sleep specialist at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. “People with EDS have a hard time staying awake or alert during the day and may doze off during inappropriate times such as during meals, in the middle of a conversation or even when in a car stopped for a few minutes in traffic.”

EDS is a hallmark symptom of narcolepsy. Not everyone who has EDS has narcolepsy, but everyone who has narcolepsy has EDS. Narcolepsy affects approximately 1 in 2,000 Americans. It is a chronic neurological disorder in which the brain can’t control sleep-wake cycles normally. A narcolepsy diagnosis can be tricky because many disorders, such as depression, insomnia and sleep apnea, have some of the same symptoms. This may be why it is estimated that half of those with narcolepsy are undiagnosed.

Narcolepsy has five major symptoms, but you don’t need to experience them all to have it.

1. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: This is when you have an uncontrollable urge to sleep during the day.

2. Cataplexy: The weakening of muscles when you feel strong emotions like embarrassment, laughter, surprise or anger. Cataplexy can cause your head to drop, your face to droop, your jaw to weaken or make your knees give way.

3. Sleep disruption: This is when you often fall asleep quickly but wake up frequently throughout the night.

4. Sleep paralysis: Feeling unable to move or speak for a short time when falling asleep or waking up. You may also feel like you can’t breathe deeply.

5. Vivid dreaming: Often frightening dreamlike experiences that seem real and happen when falling asleep or waking up. You may experience hearing sounds or words when drifting to sleep or have unwanted visions. Sleep paralysis often accompanies these vivid dreams.

The survey also revealed that a majority of Americans don’t feel they know enough about sleep disorders. Less than 50 percent report being familiar with narcolepsy and only 70 percent report being familiar with sleep apnea. Approximately 60 percent of Americans said that they find it difficult to know when they need to talk to a doctor about daytime sleepiness.

Dasgupta adds, “If you’re having trouble staying awake during the day or experiencing other sleep-related problems, it may be time to talk to your doctor.”

To learn more about narcolepsy, take the Narcolepsy Symptom Screener or to find a sleep specialist near you.


RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Grilled Salmon with Avocado Dip


Makes 6 servings and ready in 45 minutes.


Ingredients:
  • 2 avocados - peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons Greek-style yogurt (Regular plain yogurt may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds salmon steaks
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • salt to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil grate.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash together avocados, garlic, yogurt, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Rub salmon with dill, lemon pepper, and salt. Place on the prepared grill, and cook 15 minutes, turning once, until easily flaked with a fork. Serve with the avocado mixture.

 

 
 
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Compliments of:
Eric Slifkin

Keller Williams Realty

Stuart, FL 34994-2952


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Contact Eric Slifkin to buy or sell a home on the Treasure Coast.

Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including greater Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

 

Posted in News
April 20, 2018

Brand New Townhomes in Hobe Sound

New Dev Townhomes in Hobe Sound, FL

Imagine living in a luxury townhome community just steps from the Heritage Ridge golf course. Heritage Enclave offers easy access to all the Treasure Coast has to offer including pristine beaches, world-class golf, nearby restaurants, shopping, and top-rated Martin County schools. Open daily. Heritage Enclave is located at US1 and Heritage Blvd., Hobe Sound. Learn More

The Perfect Balance of Value and Style

Heritage Enclave, located next to the Heritage Ridge Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, is a small village of 50 townhomes with a preserve and lakefront setting. These well-appointed units feature three or four bedrooms with en-suite masters and one-car garages. Residents enjoy use of the community pool and clubhouse.

Townhomes

The collection of townhomes at Heritage Enclave is comprised of four different floor plans with up to 1,905 A/C square feet of living space. Priced from the $270’s, residents will enjoy Hobe Sound's laid-back lifestyle and amenities that provide endless family-focused activities including a community pool, clubhouse, and playground.

Ocean & Parks

Hobe Sound is home to some of the most beautiful nature spots in the state. You can enjoy the pristine beaches and unspoiled parks like nearby Hobe Sound beach and Jonathan Dickerson State Park. Snorkelers are fond of the preserve’s limestone formations, the largest on the nation’s east coast, found right in Hobe Sound.

Golf

Heritage Ridge Golf Club is a picturesque 18 Hole Championship course designed by Dom Fazio featuring five sets of tees for all levels of play. The club also offers a golf academy, driving range and a full-service bar and grill overlooking the finishing holes.

Restaurants

From casual to fine dining Hobe Sound offers a wide variety of choices that will appeal to everyone's taste. American, Chinese, Italian, French, and Seafood cuisines are just a few of the choices that are a short drive from Heritage Enclave.

 

Eric Slifkin, your local real estate expert

Are you seeking a home that suits your lifestyle, community, and neighborhood needs? Eric Slifkin offers home buyers a turn-key approach to finding and purchasing real estate along the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach real estate corridor.

Eric’s successful real estate practice can be attributed to his background in Information Technology, which helped shape his vision of marketing homes online to buyers and for sellers. Eric provides his clients the latest online home search tools and resources to enable them to monitor the local real estate market and make sound buying decisions.

This post was authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Palm Beach Post neighborhood Web site for more info about Heritage Enclave.

As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Posted in New Homes
April 17, 2018

Retiring in Another Country

Interested in Retiring in Another Country?

There are many excellent reasons to enjoy a complete change of scenery during your retirement years. However, there are also many issues to evaluate before selecting a destination and making a move. Carefully consider all the questions below to help ensure you’ll love your retirement country and home. Download Flyer

RESIDENCY

What are your visa options and are there any restrictions?

HOUSING

What are the costs associated with buying (or renting)?

Are there any restrictions on foreign ownership?

How does financing a home purchase work in a particular country (an all-cash transaction may be preferable)?

OTHER FINANCIAL

What are the potential impacts of currency fluctuations?

Will you have easy access to banking services?

Are there restrictions on moving money in/out of the country?

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Will you be able to communicate easily with friends/relatives back home, and enjoy in-home entertainment, etc.? This will depend on access to high-speed Internet, cellular service, and potential time zone differences.

TAXES

What are the income tax rates? (for U.S. citizens, foreign income is also taxable in the U.S.) What should you budget for property and sales taxes?

HEALTHCARE

Will you have easy access to quality care? At what cost (including medical insurance)? If government healthcare is offered, does this extend to foreign residents?

SAFETY

Will you feel safe? Is the country government stable?

LANGUAGE

Will you be able to communicate easily with locals and/or are you willing to learn a new language?

CLIMATE

Will you enjoy year-round living? Or would you prefer a seasonal retirement?

TRANSPORTATION

How easy is it to fly in/out of the area and to get around locally—whether in a car, on foot, or using public transportation?

SECOND CAREER

Are there any restrictions on accepting a local job or starting a new business?

THINGS TO DO

Does the area offer good dining options and entertainment venues? Access to recreational activities The ability to meet people, both locals and other expats?

SHOPPING

Will you be able to purchase familiar and/or new grocery items? What are the local retail shopping options? Will you be able to receive online shipments?

Online Resources

There’s no shortage of articles and independent websites sharing rankings and tips on living and retiring in another country. Some of these resources:
 

  • Escape Artist – Wide variety of information and analysis on living, working, traveling, investing and retiring abroad. escapeartist.com
  • Expat Exchange – Miscellaneous articles on overseas retirement, based on input from expat contributors. Also offers numerous country forums. expatexchange.com/retire
  • International Living – Print magazine and online journal providing extensive reporting on the best places to retire, world rankings, and related topics. internationalliving.com
  • Investopedia – Offers extensive and up-to-date (U.S.-oriented) reporting on planning for retirement, including a helpful “best countries” list. investopedia.com/retirement
  • Live and Invest Overseas – Publishes an annual Overseas Retirement Index, evaluating 13 key factors (cost of living, healthcare, etc.) with substantial reporting by country, and by budget. liveandinvestoverseas.com

Ready to make a move?

A Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) is part of a worldwide referral network comprised of elite property professionals from 48 countries. Ask a CIPS designee to put you in touch with a reliable global professional who is local to your desired destination. Having a real estate professional with overseas experience can make a world of difference when buying property in another country.

Source: National Association of Realtors

 

Contact Eric Slifkin for more info about global real estate or to buy a home on the Treasure Coast.

 

Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including greater Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

 

Posted in News, Relocation
April 14, 2018

Waterfront Condo Rental In Sunset Cove

625 NW North River Drive 405, Stuart, FL 34994

625

Short term waterfront rental on the St. Lucie River. This is a fully furnished 2 bed / 2 bath unit plus den and spacious balcony with spectacular views of the marina, pool, and wide water. Features include an en-suite master with river view, spacious living/dining area, eat-in kitchen with breakfast bar, and guest suite. Dock rental available. Sunset Cove offers a riverfront community pool, marina, covered parking and is minutes to Historic Downtown Stuart as well as nearby shopping and dining. Water, sewer, and trash included. Tenant pays for electric, cable, and internet. Learn More

 

Contact Eric Slifkin to buy or sell a home on the Treasure Coast.

Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including greater Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

 

Posted in Rentals
April 14, 2018

Treasure Coast Home Tours 24X7

Discover This 5 Bed / 4 Bath Home in River Landing at Palm City

5308 SW Landing Creek Dr, Palm City, FL 34990 from Eric Slifkin, Realtor on Vimeo.

This 5 bed / 4 bath CBS constructed residence is situated on an oversized lot in the gated subdivision of River Landing at Palm City. Community amenities include available boat storage and a boat ramp with ocean access via the St. Lucie River (no fixed bridges.) Minutes to shopping, dining, highways, and top-rated Palm City schools.

 

Contact Eric Slifkin to buy or sell a home on the Treasure Coast.

Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including greater Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

 

 

Contact Eric Slifkin to buy or sell a home on the Treasure Coast.

Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including greater Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

 

Posted in Lisitings
April 13, 2018

Understanding “Price Per Square Foot”

What You Should Know About Price Per Square Foot Home Valuation

Home Value Estimator

If you’ve been calculating your home’s value based on market “price per square foot” reports, you may be vastly overestimating or (worse) underestimating your home’s true value. Here’s why...

Price per square foot is a concept in real estate which is easy to understand and just as easy to misuse. The formula is pretty simple: To determine the price per square foot, you take a price, such as a sale price of a home, and divide it by the square footage of the property.

Price per square foot is useful in looking at broad market comparisons, such as comparing one entire metro area to another or looking at an area’s average change over time. It is not, however, terribly accurate in figuring out the value of your home.

Why? Well, price per square foot fails to take into account the most important factors when pricing a home.

Home ValuesFig.1 - Important factors to consider when pricing a home

First and foremost, it makes assumptions about the home’s amenities. We all know the quality of materials used in home construction and the condition of the home’s appliances and other features can have a dramatic impact on the value of a home. A kitchen with Italian marble surfaces versus one with pressboard countertops will have completely different values. Price per square foot in a given neighborhood will blend these homes together and produce an average.

Second, price per square foot assumes locations are identical, but in almost any metro area there are up-and-coming neighborhoods as well as neighborhoods in decline. Price per square foot near an abandoned industrial zone will vary considerably from one near a well-established downtown district with a great walkability score.

Third, even the simple methodology of calculating price per square foot can be influenced by how the total number of square feet has been calculated. If one has a garage converted into a mother-in-law, and another home doesn’t, which square footage is valid? And what about home or lot size? Sometimes above or below-grade lots can influence the price per square foot as well.

Price per square foot is more useful in commercial situations where there is tremendous uniformity in the design, construction, and location, but as a tool for assessing your home’s market value, it’s flat-out dangerous.

Fast and Free Home Value Estimate

Want a real estimation of your home’s value in its current condition and location? I’d be happy to help. Get in touch today, and I’ll show you what goes into determining the optimal price for your home.

Contact Eric Slifkin to buy or sell a home on the Treasure Coast.

Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including greater Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

 

Posted in Home Valuation
April 11, 2018

Real Estate News - April 2018

 Real Estate News

Real Estate NewsBrought to you by Eric Slifkin, Team Lead.

Fresh Home Upgrades for Spring

After a long winter cooped up indoors, spring is the perfect time to start reimagining your home and making upgrades that create a fresh, welcoming vibe. These project ideas—some big, some small—can help breathe new life into your home so that you're ready to enjoy your favorite rooms to the fullest. 

Air it out. Months of closed windows and doors can make any room feel dusty and stale. As soon as temperatures allow, throw open the windows and skylights to let the fresh air chase away the remnants of winter. It's also the perfect time to launder window treatments and clean area rugs. If you're considering an update to the overall décor, changing out these textiles is an easy and affordable way to create a new look. 

Paint to perfection. Over time, once cheerful walls can grow dull. Create a livelier ambiance with a fresh coat of paint, either in the same shade or something completely new. If you're not sure exactly where to start, tackle the project room by room. To choose the right hue, select a favorite item in the room, such as an heirloom throw blanket or a piece of wall art, and consider color shades that complement the item. 

Make what's old new again. Sometimes a fresh perspective is as simple as rearranging a room to better fit your needs. Over time, furnishings can become almost an afterthought because they've been in place so long. Try moving things around to create new conversation groupings or to highlight a piece that has been tucked away in the shadows. 

Get earth smart. With all of the new growth and hues of green that abound during spring, it's natural to be more mindful of the environment. Earth-friendly upgrades like switching out inefficient lighting or installing low-flow toilets and shower heads can make a sizable difference.

7 Signs Your Contractor May Be Shady

Building a home or renovating your existing pad is no simple task. From budgeting to design and choosing the right contractor, there's a myriad of details you'll need to juggle. But when it comes to choosing the right contractor for the job, it's important to be mindful that not every contractor is reputable. Here are seven ways you can spot a shady one.

  • They pressure you. Whether they're pushy with contracts or material if they're using pressure to sway you, be cautious.
  • They only accept cash. This is a huge red flag. Reputable contractors will take checks and potentially even credit cards for their payments.
  • They want it all up front. Most remodelers typically require a down payment of 25-50 percent of the contract price for small jobs and 10-33 percent for large jobs. If they demand full payment up front, be wary: they may never finish the job.
  • They have no references. No matter what, never hire a contractor without verifying at least three separate references.
  • They suggest a lender. If the contractor suggests that you borrow money from a lender the contractor knows, you could be the target of a home improvement loan scam.
  • The contractor fails to listen. A contractor should want to meet your specific needs. If they seem unable or unwilling to listen to your wants, if they talk over you or in any way seem disrespectful, they may be unreputable at worst, or at best, difficult to work with.
  • No right of rescission. A solid contractor will let you know that you have the right to cancel your contract within three days of signing; this "right of rescission" is required by law and allows you to change your mind without penalty if the contract was provided at a place other than the contractor’s place of business or an appropriate trade premise.

QUESTIONS? VISIT www.TreasureCoastHomeSales.com

  

Contact Eric Slifkin to buy or sell a home on the Treasure Coast.

Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including greater Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

 

Posted in News
April 8, 2018

Getting Ready to Downsize?

Questions to Consider When Downsizing Your Home

Turn That Empty Nest Into A Nest Egg!

There are many advantages when it comes to downsizing your home. Downsizing can be a great way to right-size your budget.  There can be less to pay for, less to take care of and less to worry about. But there is a lot to consider before listing your home for sale.

Questions to ask yourself before putting your home on the market:

  • Finances- Does it make sense financially to relocate? If you've under-saved for retirement, downsizing may free up cash from your current house by moving to a property with a smaller mortgage and that is less expensive to maintain. But prices and maintenance costs in coastal or resort areas may exceed the proceeds from the sale of your home.

  • Friends and Family- Will your downsized home be large enough to accommodate visiting friends and family? As an empty nester, you may think that you no longer need as much room. But what if the kids come home again...with their own partner or children in tow?

  • Location- Do you plan to travel or want to be easily accessible to friends and family? If so you'll likely want to live near an airport. You should also choose a community with resources that are important to you such as houses of worship, community centers, outdoor recreation, educational opportunities, or public transportation.

  • Property Features - What are your wants and needs? Beyond your basic needs, it is important to determine what property features are most important to you. For example, if you are considering a townhome or other multi-level residence it should, at a minimum, have a bathroom on the same floor as the master (or if it can be outfitted with assistive devices should the need arise).

  • Housing Options- Thinking of a gated, active adult, or resort-style community? Be sure to evaluate several neighborhoods or communities before asking your agent to zero in on listings. Once you have identified your favorites, research the services and activities offered as well as rules and regulations that may restrict activities you enjoy.

  • Your Stuff- Are you prepared to let go of personal items if you move to a smaller home? Consider whether you can truly downsize your life and still feel at home.

Looking to downsize and redirect that extra cash? Click here for an instant home value estimate.

 

Contact Eric Slifkin to buy or sell a home on the Treasure Coast.

Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including greater Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

 

Posted in Home Selling
April 6, 2018

West Palm Affordable Downtown Condos

Northwood Commons Affordable Downtown Condos Planned for West Palm Beach

Northwood Commons

This 91-unit mini-condo building is part of a  multi-phase project called Northwood Commons. Learn More

 

Contact Eric Slifkin to buy or sell a home along the Palm Beach / Treasure Coast real estate corridor.

Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including greater Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

 

Posted in News
April 3, 2018

Real Estate Tips & Topics: Seller's Disclosures

Real Estate Tips and Topics

Is a Seller’s Disclosure Required?

By Joel Maxson

April 2, 2018 – Based on what we hear on Florida Realtors Legal Hotline, most residential sellers are content to complete the Florida Realtors Seller's Property Disclosure – Residential form (SPDR) around the same time they enter into a listing agreement. However, every now and then, a seller will balk at the idea of completing this form, prompting a member to ask what Florida law requires regarding disclosures.

Although sellers aren't required to complete this specific SPDR form, a residential seller does have to comply with the rule established in Johnson v. Davis. In that case, the Florida Supreme Court held that "where the seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer." These material facts are sometimes referred to as latent defects.

In addition, in Rayner vs. Wise Realty Co. of Tallahassee, the First District Court of Appeal provided that this same disclosure requirement applies to residential properties that are being sold as is.

Sellers can make this disclosure in writing or verbally, although Florida Realtors attorneys recommend that it be made in writing. 

Realtors should note that the SPDR contains safeguards to ensure the seller completes the form – not the associate or broker. As a reminder to all parties, the first line of the SPDR provides "Notice to Licensee and Seller: Only the Seller should fill out this form." 

As a separate but related issue, some brokerage companies may require that certain documents (like a seller's property disclosure) be maintained in a file, so associates should always ensure they understand and comply with any specific requirements their company may have.

Must you disclose defects you only sorta know about?

In the 1985 case Johnson v. Davis, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a home seller who knows of facts that materially affect the property's value that isn't readily observable and known to a buyer has a duty to disclose them to the buyer. This is the law in Florida today.

A nondisclosure claim under Johnson v. Davis has four elements:

  • The home seller must know of a defect in the property
  • The defect must materially affect the property's value
  • The defect must not be readily observable by the buyer and must be unknown to the buyer
  • The buyer must establish that the seller failed to disclose the defect to the buyer

In 2011, the 2nd District Court of Appeal heard a separate case, Jensen v. Bailey, and rendered an opinion that focused on the first element of liability under Johnson v. Davis – that the home seller knows of a defect in the property.

Specifically, the court considered whether anything less than actual knowledge is sufficient to satisfy the first element.

The facts of the Jensen vs. Bailey case: The seller had done substantial remodeling. After closing, the buyer discovered that permits were required for the work but never obtained. The work hadn't been properly done and it didn't conform to code. As a result, the buyer had to redo the work so it conformed to the new, more stringent code requirements.

The trial court found no evidence that the seller knew that the contractor had failed to obtain permits or that the work hadn't been done properly. However, it found that the seller was still liable to the buyer based on a "should-have-known" standard.

However, the case was appealed, and an appellate court disagreed, reversing the trial court's final judgment.

In order to hold a seller liable under Johnson v. Davis, the buyer must prove that the seller actually knew of an undisclosed material defect, the court ruled, and the should-have-known standard was denied.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®

 

Contact Eric Slifkin to buy or sell a home on the Treasure Coast.

Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate, is the founder of the Slifkin Team at Keller Williams Realty. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including greater Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.