Treasure Coast Real Estate Blog

Oct. 29, 2020

Don’t Forget the Final Walkthrough

Home Buyers

Home Buying: Get a Final Walkthrough Before Closing!

When it comes to buying a home on the Treasure Coast, be sure a "final walk through" is performed prior to closing. A final walkthrough can head-off potential conflicts before closing and allows us to address common issues such as:

  • If the current owner is on schedule to move out
  • That the property is in the same condition it was when shown
  • That any repairs required have been completed

In a best-case scenario, a final walkthrough is also a good time to have the sellers explain details about the house that the buyer may need to know, especially tricky pool heaters, access to attics, funny light switches, and sprinkler timers. It is also a great time to put together a list of companies and professionals who have serviced the house in the past.

One best practice is to schedule final walkthroughs at least 4 - 7 days before closing, as this is often enough time to resolve any outstanding issues before paperwork must be signed. (The final walk-through itself may happen within 24 hours of closing.)

Here are some things to look for at the final walkthrough:

  • Check the electrical system. Wiring problems should be addressed before closing.
  • Verify that the security system, doorbells, and garage doors are working.
  • Run the AC and heater- make sure they work.
  • Look for wet spots. Leaks may cause wood rot, mildew, mold, termites, or even foundation issues.
  • Flush toilets, run the dishwasher, washer, and dryer.
  • Test ceiling and exhaust fans.
  • Check that the bathrooms have no water damage, standing water, or mold.
  • Test the toilets and turn on all faucets to ensure they have hot water and don't leak.
  • Confirm all agreed to repairs were completed according to the terms of the contract. Repairs may be done by the seller or licensed professional, so make sure that they have been made as stipulated.

 

I’m dedicated to protecting my clients from the beginning through the end of the home buying experience. If you want to work with someone who pays attention to the details, give me a call today at 772-288-0765.

 

Oct. 29, 2020

What Buyers Should Ask When Considering an HOA

Joining a Home Owners Association? Know what questions to ask.

Home Owners Association rules (otherwise known as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions or CC&Rs) typically include rules governing the community. Some HOA's have few restrictions, but others may have strict limitations.

What Buyers Should Ask When Considering an HOA

An HOA or Homeowner Association is a legal entity created to manage and maintain the common areas of a community. These "common areas" may consist of things like pools, clubhouses, landscaping, parks, streets, and roads.

HOAs are typically set up with a set of rules called "Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions" otherwise known as "CC&Rs." One of the primary functions of the HOA is to enforce and ensure that these "CC&Rs" are adhered to by the individual homeowners.

Here is a helpful list of questions to ask if you are buying a house or condo that is governed by an HOA:

  1. How much are the dues and what is the history of increases?
  2. Is building insurance included?
  3. What are the specifics of the insurance and what insurance will you be required to carry (if any)?
  4. Are there HOA budget reserves for repairs? Also, look at maintenance contracts like landscaping, security, etc.
  5. Do they look reasonable to you? Is one of the HOA members also one of the contractors?
  6. If you haven’t already—find out how much the transfer fees and capital reserve requirements are when you close and negotiate to have the seller pay for them (unless you have already agreed otherwise).
  7. Find out how many units are owner-occupied versus rented out. The HOA will know this. If it’s higher than about 10 percent rentals, you may want to consider that in your purchase decision.
  8. Check out the HOA's rental policies. The time may come when you may need or want to rent it out.
  9. Find out the current status of all the membership dues. How many units are in the HOA and of that, how many are past due, and by how much? Try to obtain the minutes from the previous year's HOA meetings. Read them to see what they discuss, which will tell you how picky they are and what type of violations spur actions against residents.

Our team has been prolific Stuart, Florida based Realtors since 2003, listing and selling properties along the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach real estate corridors. We service over 250 communities and subdivisions including club communities, waterfront communities, second-home communities, condos, and townhomes.

 

Contact Us to schedule a free consultation. Whether buying or selling a home, we are always happy to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs, with no obligation.

 

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  Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

Posted in FAQ's, Home Ownership
Oct. 23, 2020

Search Treasure Coast Homes

 

Find the Perfect Home in the Perfect Place

Search All MLS Listed Homes

Click on any city below to begin your search.

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Get the facts on Treasure Coast real estate, top neighborhoods, and market trends working with a team of licensed real estate experts who will provide all the assistance you need throughout the home buying process. We service over 250 neighborhoods, communities, and subdivisions throughout the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach County.

 

Eric Slifkin and his team have been meeting the real estate needs of their clients since 2003. We offer a turn-key approach to purchasing or selling real estate along the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach real estate corridors. Using our Website, you can research local communities or sign up to get notified when we find new listings that suit your tastes! We'll even inform you of changes and price adjustments to your favorite properties as they occur.

Contact Us to schedule a free consultation.  Whether buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast we are always happy to meet with you at one of our five convenient locations to discuss your wants and needs, no obligation.

Our ability to connect you with what's happening in our local markets is something you won't find anywhere else. Whether buying or selling, we are always happy to meet with you at one of our five convenient locations to discuss your needs with no obligation.

Oct. 22, 2020

Renting vs. Buying a Home

The Truth Behind Renting vs Buying in Today's Market

Are you doing the math these days around renting versus buying a home? Trying to decide if you can afford to buy? If so, there are a number of key factors to consider in making your decision.

Rent vs Buy Info

Things to Consider When Comparing Renting vs. Buying a Home

1. A mortgage is a surefire way to build wealth. Your mortgage is like a mandatory savings account. A portion of your payment each month is going straight into your equity in your home. With renting, it’s your landlord who is building equity, not you.

2. The tax situation may have profound implications. Typically your mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible on your income taxes. Note: early on in a traditional mortgage you pay the most in interest and your deduction is the highest.

3. Renting puts your wallet at the mercy of the market more often than buying. If you have a year-long lease in an apartment, your rent could go up significantly should the rental market heat up. Your rent isn’t likely to stay the same over a long period of time. In most cities, in fact, it will steadily go up. With a standard mortgage, however, your payments are fixed and predictable. It might seem like a lot at first, but if you buy within your means, it’ll seem like less and less of an expense as the years go on.

4. A mortgage gives you more future financial flexibility. The longer you have a mortgage, the more equity you build. The more equity you build, the more options you have to borrow against that equity or use it in ways which may be advantageous for debt and tax purposes. With renting, no such long-term benefit exists.

Ready to Buy?

The key to home ownership is accepting the fact that you must buy a home you can afford which is priced in accordance with the market. Even if you’re not ready today, having a conversation with a Realtor® will help you decide if now is the time to buy or prepare for tomorrow.

Contact Us to schedule a free consultation.  Whether buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast we are always happy to meet with you at one of our five convenient locations to discuss your wants and needs, no obligation.

Contact Us to schedule a free consultation.  Whether buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast we are always happy to meet with you at one of our five convenient locations to discuss your wants and needs, no obligation.

 

Oct. 22, 2020

Treasure Coast Home Finder

 

Find the Perfect Home in the Perfect Place

Search All MLS Listed Homes

Click on any county below to begin your search.

Get the facts on Treasure Coast real estate, top neighborhoods, and market trends working with a team of licensed real estate experts who will provide all the assistance you need throughout the home buying process. We service over 250 neighborhoods, communities, and subdivisions throughout the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach County.

 

Eric Slifkin and his team have been meeting the real estate needs of their clients since 2003. We offer a turn-key approach to purchasing or selling real estate along the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach real estate corridors. Using our Website, you can research local communities or sign up to get notified when we find new listings that suit your tastes! We'll even inform you of changes and price adjustments to your favorite properties as they occur.

Contact Us to schedule a free consultation.  Whether buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast we are always happy to meet with you at one of our five convenient locations to discuss your wants and needs, no obligation.

Our ability to connect you with what's happening in our local markets is something you won't find anywhere else. Whether buying or selling, we are always happy to meet with you at one of our five convenient locations to discuss your needs with no obligation.

Sept. 28, 2020

Decorating: Cluttered vs Cozy

Decluttering and decorating are typically the first steps taken in getting a home ready for sale. But a new home design trend called "cluttercore" offers a different take on home staging and interior design.

Home Decorating

As the name implies, "cluttercore" is characterized by filling your living area with a multitude of art objects and highlighting its lived-in spaces with rooms that have lots of pictures, stacks of books, and trinkets on display to achieve this cozy aesthetic.

Cluttered Look

Cluttercore offers an alternative to modern interiors and their minimalist designs. Professionals are adopting design queues from this new trend by using more throws, pillows, plants, pops of color, and mixed textures to suggest an organized mess where everything has its place.

Eclectic Design

The cluttered or eclectic style utilizes a variety of fabrics, textures, and patterns along with accents features such as rugs, paintings, objects d'art, and throw pillows, among others, to achieve this look in any room.

 

 

Posted in Home Ownership
Sept. 21, 2020

Every homeowner wants to know...

What's my property worth?

What's my property worth?

When it comes to your home's value don't rely on a computer guestimate! Our detailed home value estimate reports are not generic guesstimates using inaccurate data pulled from Trulia or Zillow records*.

Free report for homeowners in Stuart, Florida and the Treasure Coast. Get House Price Report

*Get a detailed Comparative Market Analysis sent to your inbox when you download our instant home value estimate (valid email required).

Eric Slifkin, Broker Associate

Eric Slifkin, Team Lead

Your local real estate expert

Are you seeking a home that suits your lifestyle, community, and neighborhood needs? Together with his team, Eric offers home buyers a turn-key approach to finding and purchasing real estate from the Treasure Coast to the Palm Beaches and beyond.

 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Whether buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast we are always happy to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs, no obligation.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate at Keller Williams Real Estate and the founder of the Slifkin Real Estate Team. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including  Stuart, Hobe Sound, Palm City, Port Saint Lucie, Jupiter, Tequesta, and the Palm Beaches.

 

Sept. 13, 2020

Handle With Care: Moving Tips

Moving Tips

Protecting Your Valuables During a Move

Moving isn't cheap. And really, it shouldn't be. If it is, you might find out how expensive it can get when all of your valuable possessions have been destroyed in the move! Whether you’re hiring a company to help you relocate, or you’re planning a DIY (Do It Yourself) adventure, keep these handy tips in your pocket to protect your goods.

Use the right-sized boxes. Small boxes are ideal for heavy, dense objects (see: books), while larger ones are preferable for lighter items such as pillows and comforters. A large, heavy box is more likely to split or crush other items, so keep an eye on each boxes’ size-to-weight ratio.

Fill until it’s still. If a box is rattling around, you’re risking damage. Fill in the empty space with towels, padding, or other cushioning items to isolate the valuable contents from stop/start or shaking motions.

Pad and side-load dishes. Place bubble wrap or packing paper between dishes and wrap bundles of four or more with extra padding. Be sure to pack dishes on their sides, not flat. This will mitigate the hazard of shattering from an accidental side-impact! Padding in the bottom and top of the box will provide an additional layer of insurance, too.

Don’t flatten out your flat-screen. Spend the money on a special packing box for your flat-screen LCD and/or plasma TV. Having the original shipping box is best, but an aftermarket die-cut, the foam-supported kit will save you the hundreds (if not $1000+) in replacement costs. Also: Don’t lay the TV flat or stack any boxes on top.

Tape in the reinforcements. Taping all the way around the top and bottom edges will provide additional support to the areas where most of the load is distributed.

Keep tiny things with big value to yourself. Anything that’s small and irreplaceable should be set aside and kept with you during the move. This might be your grandmother’s heirloom necklace, vital financial/legal documents, or special family photo collections.

You want all of the items that make a house a home to get there in one piece. Hopefully, these tips will help that happen.  Need an agent to help you find that perfect home for your valuables? Get in touch with us today! 

Eric Slifkin, Broker Associate

Eric Slifkin, Team Lead

Your local real estate expert

Are you seeking a home that suits your lifestyle, community, and neighborhood needs? Together with his team, Eric offers home buyers a turn-key approach to finding and purchasing real estate from the Treasure Coast to the Palm Beaches and beyond.

 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Whether buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast we are always happy to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs, no obligation.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, a Broker Associate at Keller Williams Real Estate and the founder of the Slifkin Real Estate Team. Eric and his team of experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including  Stuart, Hobe Sound, Palm City, Port Saint Lucie, Jupiter, Tequesta, and the Palm Beaches.

 

Sept. 6, 2020

Staging Helps Sell Homes

Staging

Home Staging Essentials

Have you ever watched HGTV and wondered how every home always looks put together? The answer to this is staging. Home staging goes beyond just cleaning and decorating your home. Staging is the process of adding decor, arranging furniture, and prepping your home to look perfect for listing photos, listing appointments, and open houses. With home staging, potential buyers see precisely where furniture should go and how each room lays out. Without staging, prospective buyers are only focusing on the visible issues the home may have.

Not only does staging make your home look like an HGTV dream or like it belongs on Pottery Barn's homepage, but it can speed up the sale of your property.

  • 83% of buyers’ agents said a staged home helped buyers visualize the property as a future home, according to NAR
  • 25% of buyers’ agents said potential buyers increased their offer between 1 and 5% on a staged home, according to NAR
  • 85% of houses surveyed sold for 6-25% more than unstaged homes, according to HSR Certified Professional Home Stagers

So now that you know the value of staging, what’s next? Do you hire a stager? Do you do it yourself? Will your real estate agent help? Do you stage virtually? It depends. Every option has its benefits, and some require more time or more money.

DIY Staging

If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, it may be best to stage your home yourself.

First, you’ll want to start with cleaning, decluttering, and depersonalizing, which is also a great excuse to finally get around to that annual cleaning from earlier in the year that you’ve put off. Each room should only have what is necessary. Throw out anything you don’t need or keep things tucked away in a bin during open houses and showings. You’ll also want to remove any personal photos or decor around your home, including anything religious or political. The less personal your home is, the more a potential buyer will imagine themselves living in your space.

Once everything is clean, you’ll want to start staging the essential rooms first. The kitchen, living room, and master bedroom are what sell your home. Focus on these rooms, and then you can work your way through the additional living spaces.

Hiring a Professional Stager

If you do have more money to spend or don't know anything when it comes to home decor, it’s probably best to hire a professional. Selling your home is an emotional process, so viewing your home objectively when staging can be a difficult task.

As you know, staging can help speed up the sale and potentially get you higher offers. If you weigh the costs vs benefits, you’ll find hiring a professional won’t be as expensive as you think. The average cost for the initial design consultation with a stager can be between $300 and $600. The average price per month per staged room can be between $500 and $600. It’s important to know that some professionals require a contract of 3 months minimum, even if you sell your home within a few days. Most times, you can work with the decor and artwork you already have, but if your home is empty, this can start to add up quickly.

To save money you can opt to hire them for just the main rooms - the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. If your walls need fresh paint, you can save here by painting them yourself. You can also gather tips and advice during an initial consultation but still decide to conquer some of these tasks yourself.

Virtual Staging

When it comes to marketing, staging makes your home more attractive to buyers. Home staging can be an expensive undertaking, but virtual staging services help buyers see what your vacant property might look like online, complete with furnishings and decor. Virtual staging helps get buyers interested and in the door without the expense of physically staging your property.

Virtual Staging Gets Buyers Interested and in the Door

Vacant Property

Virtually Staged Property

Vacant Property

Virtually Staged Property

Virtual staging allows you to rearrange furniture, add decor, and still make your home look attractive to buyers, but everything is online — and cheaper. Because virtual staging is done on the web or with staging software, you don’t have to spend funds on new furniture, decor, or spend time rearranging everything. This method saves you time and money while still getting the same results as traditional staging. The only required cost is digital software, and most services charge a flat fee per room staged.

What do real estate agents do?

All agents are different. Our focus is on virtual staging, which is cost-effective and puts your house where buyers begin their search- online. Other agents may offer physical staging services or refer you to a trusted professional or company, and some will offer advice, while others don’t provide any resources for staging. If an experienced real estate agent has your success in mind, they will give honest feedback when it comes to home staging advisement.

 

If you’re selling your home soon, staging is something you need to consider. Depending on the current state of your home, some of these options may be better suited for you. Ask a trusted friend for their thoughts on which path you should take. And remember, we’re here to help too.

 

Schedule a call to learn more about how we help home sellers on the Treasure Coast.

Home Value

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  Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

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Posted in Home Selling
Aug. 29, 2020

What Your Home's Front Door Says About You

Curb Appeal

Whether we realize it or not, the colors with which we surround ourselves—in our clothes, cars, and homes—reveal a lot about us. We also can convey our personality through our paint choices, and some experts believe that one paint choice specifically—that of our front door—can say a lot about us. So what does your front door color choice say about you?

Red. Regarded as a powerful “punch” color, red is the color of passion. By painting the front door red, the homeowner is saying that the home within is a vibrant place, full of life, energy, and excitement.

Brown. Whether painted or stained, a brown front door looks natural and organic, but it can send mixed messages in terms of color psychology. On the one hand, brown conveys warmth, stability, and reliability. However, certain darker shades of brown signal a desire for privacy, even isolation.

Very likely, the color you’ve chosen for your front door projects the way you want your home to be viewed. But if you inherited the color from the previous owner, or if you want to say something different about yourself and your home, you can quickly change the color, says Zimmer. “It takes only a few hours to prep and re-paint a standard-size front door, and by applying a durable, top-quality paint, you can make a totally different color statement that will last for years.”

Thinking About Resale?

A fresh coat of paint on the front door can enhance your home's curb appeal but If you’re thinking about resale, you’ll want to be tactical about your color choice. You may even decide to take it a step further by painting the entire exterior, which indicates to potential buyers that your home is well-maintained. Other easy projects that improve your home's salability may include additional landscaping, upgraded lighting, faucet replacement, or even adding a firepit. More Home Selling Tips


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 Us today to schedule a free consultation. Whether buying or selling a single property or an entire portfolio, we are always happy to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs, no obligation.

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