Treasure Coast Real Estate Blog

Aug. 30, 2017

Home Appreciation Facts

Your Home Newsletter

A home generally appreciates in value between 3 and 4 percent each year, but not every home appreciates equally. While every market is different—and appreciation is naturally affected by factors homeowners can’t control— there are certain home features that create greater appreciation than others. Realtor.com did some research, analyzed millions of listings over the past five years and here’s what they found:

Home Appreciation Facts

Read More: Tips and Trends for Homeowners, Buyers, and Sellers

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my site. 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.

Aug. 27, 2017

New Townhomes in Hobe Sound, Florida

Discover Martin County's newest townhome community! Register now to get property information, construction updates, available homes, and more.

Posted in New Homes
Aug. 26, 2017

Top 12 Apps for Homeowners and Renters

Top 12 Real Estate Apps

Whether you plan to buy or sell, with the following apps you can get organized, save money, learn about the homes in your neighborhood, and get inspired for your next renovation project.

Apps For Homeowners: Get Renovation Inspiration

These apps not only offer ideas for your next remodel or home décor project, some of them even give you a preview of what your home may look like once it’s finished.

1. Houzz (Free)

The Houzz app is the number one app for home design and it’s no wonder; the app gives you access to all the inspiration, blogs and design ideas from the Houzz site on your phone or tablet. The app features View in My Room 3D, which allows you to view products in your home before you buy. Just take a photo of the space and a 3D version of the product will appear. Browse products, save photos of designs you’d like to view later and connect with local professionals in your area. Whether you’re gathering ideas for your next renovation and décor project or you’re just browsing, the Houzz app will satisfy all your design needs.
(Android, iOS)

2. iHandy Carpenter ($1.99)

Make sure the photos, shelves, mirrors and other artwork you hang are even and aligned with this helpful app. It’s an all-in-one tool kit that features a plumb bob, surface level, bubble level bar, ruler and protractor. No need to purchase these tools separately; just hold your smartphone up to the wall and the app will take care of the rest.
(iOS, Android)

3. Color911 ($3.99)

If you’re thinking of changing the color scheme of your home or want to find the right shades for lamp shades, rugs or throw pillows to match your vintage sofa, the Color911 app provides pre-selected color palettes to match any color scheme. Take a photo of the room or the furniture and the app will create a custom palette full of complementary colors. Write notes about your palette and organize it all into folders to share with family, friends or your design professional.
(iOS)


Bonus Apps for Homeowners:

AroundMe (Free)
Hungry and looking for a local hotspot? Meeting friends at a coffee shop nearby? Or just need to find the closest ATM? AroundMe allows you to search for the nearest restaurants, banks, gas stations, book a hotel or find a movie schedule close to where you live. Open the app and start learning more about your neighborhood. (iOSAndroidWindows)

BrightNest (Free)
From keeping things clean to making them colorful, Brightnest, developed by Angie’s List, is loaded with suggestions on how to make your home a better place to live. With categories of customized tips (money-saving, cleaning, eco-friendly, healthy, cooking, and creative) there are plenty of great ways to pull inspiration from the app. BrightNest will help you tackle important home tasks with easy-to-follow instructions, a personal schedule and helpful reminders. (iOS, AndroidWeb)


Apps For Sellers: List and Sell Your Home Quickly

Are you a homeowner who is thinking of selling? If you’re preparing to sell, you know there are a lot of tasks to complete before putting your home on the market. These apps help you manage your to-dos so you can list and sell your home more efficiently with fewer distractions.

4. Homesnap (Free)

Using the Homesnap app, you can snap a photo of any home, nationwide, to learn more about it. When you’re ready to sell, snap a few of the homes in your neighborhood to find out their valuation. This app isn’t perfect, which is why you should always consult with a local real estate agent. However, it can give you a general idea of the value of your home compared to others in the neighborhood. (iOS and Android devices)

5. Docusign (Free)

Use the DocuSign app to complete approvals and agreements in hours—not days—from anywhere and on any device. Quickly and securely access and sign any documents. The benefit to using the app (over your desktop computer) is you will receive push notifications when a document is waiting for your signature and you can view and organize all your docs on-the-go. Using the easily downloadable app, receive and sign documents for free. You can receive and sign documents for free, but will need a paid account to send documents; pricing starts at $10 a month. (iOSAndroidWindowsWeb).

6. Wunderlist (Free)

Designed for use on the Web and mobile devices, Wunderlist is a well-designed to-do list and task management program that makes it easy to create a list and add tasks, due dates and reminders. Organize your ideas or focus into separate lists or create tasks within one list. You can also email them with whomever you collaborate, such as a spouse or your real estate agent. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Web)


Bonus App for Sellers:

Real Estate Dictionary (Free)
Not sure what all those industry specific terms mean? Search thousands of words and phrases from real estate, mortgage, and financial dictionaries for clear, in-depth definitions. This is a handy app for anyone who’s buying or selling and wants to learn more about the process. (iOSAndroid)

Apps For Renters: Get Ready to Buy

Not ready to buy a home just yet? These apps will help you get into the perfect rental while you save money, build a budget and get on track for homeownership.

7. Mint (Free)

Do you know where your money goes each month? Manage your bills, budget and credit score all in one place. Mint is a free app that helps you view your complete financial picture and track your spending. We recommend this app to anyone, but it’s especially useful for renters who need to crack down on their spending in order to save for a down payment. Use Mint to look for areas you can cut spending in order to save a little extra each month. (iOS, Android)

8. Acorns ($1 a month to start)

Acorns is modernizing the practice of saving loose change with their automated savings tool. The app rounds up your purchases on linked credit or debit cards, then sweeps the change into a computer-managed investment portfolio. Acorns is free for four years for college students and everyone else pays $1 a month until their account balance hits $5,000, then 0.25% of their account balance per year. This is a useful tool for those who have a hard time saving. (iOS, Android)

9. Neighborhoods & Apartments

Built for the on-the-go apartment hunter, this app from Walk Score takes the hassle out of finding your next home or apartment and helps you live near the people and places you love. They collect listings from top rental listing sites and we like them because they share how walkable each address is, determined by access to public transit, things to do, bike trails, shorter commutes, etc. (iOS, Android)


Bonus Apps for Renters:

Wally (Free)
Wally is a personal finance app that helps you compare your income to expenses, so you can understand where your money goes each month, and set and achieve goals. Wally lets you keep track of the details as you spend money: where, when, what, why, & how much. We love how simple it is to set a personalized savings target and scan receipts. (iOS, Android)

Credit Karma (Free)
If you’re preparing to buy, boosting your credit score is likely a goal you’ve set. Credit Karma is a free app that allows you to safely monitor your score and receive updates on ways you can improve it over time. They provide financial calculators and educational articles to help you better understand what credit is all about. Check as often as you want, and it doesn’t hurt your score.  (iOS, AndroidWeb)


Apps for Buyers: Find the Perfect Home

When you’re ready to buy, there are several apps that can help you stay on top of the process. Whether you’re browsing online at different neighborhoods and homes and can’t seem to remember where all your saved data and information went or you want to save an important task or a neighborhood or listing clipped from the Web, these apps help you keep it all straight.

10. Dwellr (Free)

Dwellr is run by the U.S Census Bureau and provides demographic information about the neighborhoods you are considering moving to. You get a variety of education/school, real estate, transportation, and population statistics to give you an idea of what it would be like living there. If you want to get the feel of a potential neighborhood, then Dwellr may just be the app to help you find the best home.  (iOSAndroid)

11. Evernote (Free for the Basic version, $34.99 per year for Plus and $69.99 per year for Premium)

Collect ideas, notes and images in one place to access later on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Categorize your notes so you can find them quickly and easily and share them with others in a group notebook. Add the Web Clipper feature to your browser and clip and save articles, blogs and images from the Web. Whether you’re collecting research on a business idea or you’re looking for inspiration for a home renovation, Evernote can help you keep it all together. (Web, iOS, Android)

12. Mortgage Calculator (Free)

There are a lot of free mortgage calculators available for download that will help you quickly determine what your monthly payment will be while you’re house hunting. We recommend picking your favorite and using it to help you shop in your price range. These numbers should be used as a guide, work with your agent and mortgage professional to learn exactly what type of loan you’ll qualify for. (Web, iOS, Android)


Bonus App for Buyers:

Google Maps (Free)
Google Maps is a must-have for anyone who’s house hunting. When you’re ready to visit a property or check out a neighborhood, you can use Google Maps to give you turn by turn directions to the house. You can use their satellite view to get a good idea how far important things like schools, parks, shopping, bus stops, and restaurants are to a home you are interested in and check out the other houses on the street. (WebAndroidiOS,)

Ready to move beyond the app?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling your home, or know someone who is, keep us in mind because we’re happy to help!

Sources:

  1. Pew Research Center, January 12, 2017 http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/12/evolution-of-technology/
  2. Deloitte, 2016 global mobile consumer survey: US edition https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/global-mobile-consumer-survey-us-edition.html
  3. Gallup, July 9, 2015 http://www.gallup.com/poll/184046/smartphone-owners-check-phone-least-hourly.aspx

  

About Eric Slifkin, Broker Associate

Eric Slifkin 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.

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 along the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach real estate corridor.

July 2, 2017

Home Buying FAQ's: What is a Final Walkthrough?

What is a Final Walk Through and What Should I Expect?

The purpose of the walkthrough inspection is to be sure that the home you are buying is in the same condition as the date of the contract, making sure that all warranted items are working properly and that repairs identified during the inspection period have been properly completed. Here are a few things to look for:

1. Working appliances

Turn on the dishwasher, the oven (and the oven light and fan), and burners. Does the garbage disposal run?

2. Working Plumbing

Turn on every faucet and shower head in the house and then turn them off. Also, flush all the toilets to make sure there are no leaks.

3. Major Systems

Turn on the central heat and central air. Are they working? Stick around the house long enough to actually feel that the temperature has changed and that you’re not just hearing and feeling the fan blowing.

4. Remotes and Keypads

If your home has a home security system, does every keypad work? Check the garage door opener – does it work? If some rooms have fans operated by remote control, are the controls there? Many homeowners unwittingly pack remotes when they move, so make sure everything you need is in place.

5. Exterior Review

Check steps, sidewalks, driveways, and patios for any noticeable change. Look at all doors and windows to verify they are in the same condition. Check the roof for changes. Double check garage, garage door and exterior lights.

6. Landscaping

It might sound crazy to think the seller could take some outside plants with them, but it happens. Check your home’s yard to see if anything is missing. Also, if there’s an automatic irrigation system, make sure it’s in good working order as well.

7. Lights and Other Fixtures

Make sure all lights and switchplates are in place. Make sure that every light and switchplate that should stay in the house is actually there. Do bathroom fans and kitchen fans work properly? Verify that all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning.

8. Repairs

The sellers may have been required to make certain repairs or upgrades before closing. Make sure that the inspection repairs have been completed properly during this last walkthrough.

9. Pool

If the property has a pool, is the pool clean? Is all of the pool cleaning equipment there? Do you understand how the pool systems work? If the seller hasn’t demonstrated how to work the pool equipment or you haven’t owned a pool previously, paying a pool contractor for a service call to explain how to maintain the pool will be a worthwhile investment.

10. Cleanliness

Sellers are required to leave the house broom swept and free of their possessions. Make sure the home, the garage, the yard, and any outbuildings are empty and clean, unless specified otherwise in your contract. This is especially important when it comes to large or hazardous items; you don’t want to be stuck having to remove them yourself.

If you are unable to attend the final walk through, you may have a family member or trusted advisor be there in your place.

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. 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.

 

June 23, 2017

New Townhomes for Sale at Heritage Ridge in Hobe Sound

Discover Heritage Enclave in Hobe Sound, FL

Brand New Townhomes for Sale in Hobe Sound, Florida

Heritage Enclave Townhomes in Hobe Sound

Heritage Enclave is the only new townhome construction currently underway in the Stuart area. These are three and four bedroom units with up to 1,900 square feet, one-car garages, and situated adjacent to the Heritage Ridge golf course. Priced from the $250's, non-binding reservations are being taken with construction scheduled to start July 2017. Visit www.heritageridgetownhomes.com for more info. OPEN HOUSE THIS SUNDAY, 6/25/17 FROM 1-4

Posted in Lisitings
May 29, 2017

Making Your Home Green

Infographic: Here are four things you can do to make your home more green while saving money!

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. 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 Home Ownership
May 17, 2017

Townhomes for Sale in Stuart, Florida

River Glen, Stuart, FL 34997

Featured Listing: Brand New Townhome in River Glen, Stuart, FL 34997

River Glen is one of Stuart's newest townhome communities. This gated subdivision is situated along the South Fork of the St. Lucie River offering three bedroom townhouse designs with one or two car garages, and preserve or water views. Residents are minutes away from I-95, local beaches, golf courses, and "A" rated Martin County schools as well as the shopping, dining and cultural activities of Historic Downtown Stuart.  More listings

 


Overview
Maps
Photos
Features
Description
/>
$285,510
Townhouse
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
2 Full Bathrooms
1 Half Bathroom
Interior: 1,616 sqft
Year Built: 2017
Location
544 SW Glen Crest Way
Stuart, FL 34997
USA
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This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. 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 Lisitings, New Homes
May 14, 2017

Guide to Buying a Home: Down Payment Comparison

Ready to buy a home? See what your monthly mortgage principal and interest payments would be with various down payments for a 30-year term: 

Loan Comparison

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. 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.

 

May 8, 2017

Generation Trends in Real Estate

Understanding Generational Trends is Important When Selling or Buying a House

In helping clients buy and sell homes, it’s easy to see the biases and behaviors of a wide range of generations. From Boomers downsizing who feel their home has “enough curb appeal, thank you” to the Millennials who share Instagram photos of properties seeking friends’ comments, there’s a lot to learn. Conversely, some young buyers don’t understand a 30-year mortgage, while many a gray head can school you on 11% interest rates. 

Understanding Generation Trends in Real Estate

Sharing a Generation’s Wisdom

Recently I learned of a story of PBS Newshour about a housing community in Oregon where families who adopt foster children live side by side with seniors who volunteer their time in exchange for affordable rent. With 15% of seniors living below the poverty line, this story of a solution to senior housing and creating a stable environment for children was particularly inspiring.

One of the benefits that emerged from the situation was the way in which foster parents, children, and seniors from different generations interacted and shared their experiences with one another. The children and young refreshed the seniors’ worldview, while the seniors had a lot of perspectives to share with the parents and the children. Find the PBS story here: https://goo.gl/WaCZaI

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. 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.

 

May 6, 2017

What’s a Pocket Listing?

Home Selling

Have you ever wondered what a “pocket listing” is? Learn a little bit about this trend in hot markets and how an agent familiar with pocket listings can help you sell your home faster or find homes which haven’t hit the market yet.

If you’ve been searching for a home or have been considering selling your home, you may have heard the term “pocket listings” from real estate agents or even friends and family. What is a pocket listing? Where did the term come from? How are pocket listings being used today to buy and sell homes?

Pocket listings are homes which are for sale but not yet widely advertised or entered into typical MLS databases. Often an agent will enter into an agreement to sell a home, but will first reach out to their personal and professional network to see if anyone may be interested in a quick, private purchase. Ideally, the agent knows someone or another agent who has a client interested in the home and the whole process of listing and marketing the home is bypassed.

Originally, pocket listings were typically used for extremely high-end luxury properties with a limited pool of buyers, or with celebrities or other buyers/sellers who wished to avoid any publicity surrounding their transaction. But that’s changed a lot in the past few years, especially in competitive markets where there are eager buyers and relatively little desirable inventory.

You might think pocket listings would restrict the sale price of the home. After all, won’t a good home publicly listed attract lots of buyers, resulting in competitive bids? It depends. Once a home is listed in an MLS database, the home is officially on the market. The longer a home sits on the market (i.e. the higher its “days on market” number is), the greater the possibility the home will see price reductions or low-ball offers.

The pocket listing can be a very useful tool for exploring the level of interest in a home. A savvy agent with a good network will often reach out to their database in order to get a sense of whether the listing has real potential. It’s also a great way to drum up excitement about a house, especially if the agent conducts small, exclusive broker showings of the pocket listing.A pocket listing also gives a wary home seller the chance to see if it’s likely the home will sell for a price they can accept.

Experienced agents with deep connections in the community are the go-to choice if you’re interested in discussing the possibility of buying or selling via the pocket listing approach. 

Thinking of listing quietly? Want to see if there are any homes out there which are just about to come to the market? I am happy to help you navigate a pocket listing situation. Get in touch today!

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. 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.