Treasure Coast Real Estate News

Articles on Our Housing and Real Estate Markets

May 17, 2021

Slifkin Team Invests in Success

Keller Williams' Slifkin Team Invests in Search Engine Marketing Program

Eric Slifkin is a Treasure Coast real estate team leader who uses a stock-market-like system to manage his agents' leads and clients' expectations. 

Slifkin, a licensed real estate professional since 2003, has equipped his office with a bank of computer monitors set up to provide a bird's-eye view of everything he needs to see to ensure prompt response to client inquiries. He watches in-bound leads from Google, Facebook, and his own property search sites flow across the screens as buyers and sellers explore listings. As leads come in, Slifkin assigns each one to whichever team member he thinks is best suited for the job, making sure his best people are working on the best opportunities.

There’s no doubt, though, that a team leader finds activities like this tedious at best. But Slifkin manages the process by leveraging an online marketing system specifically designed for his team, which drives thousands of home buyers and home sellers to his sites every day.

Leads flow from search engine results pages (SERPS) and other digital marketing venues into Slifkin's lead management system, where they are qualified by him or an inside sales assistant (ISA) before being routed to an agent. They confirm if a lead is interested in buying or selling and whether they’re already working with a real estate agent. If the lead is a valid buyer or seller who doesn’t have an agent, the ISA will transfer them to the next available team member.

Slifkin Team

New leads and inquiries are also routed to Slifkin for review. If he decides that the agent who’s assigned a lead might not be the best fit for that particular consumer, then he can move that lead to a different agent.

Managing Technology

Eric has been a tech-savvy Realtor for nearly 20 years, but he’s most excited about his latest site improvements including team profiles, which lets consumers view members' bios right on the site. “Our agents can showcase their skills and personal reputation on their team profiles. This enables consumers to understand who they are connecting with on a personal level.” Slifkin has also improved the site's property search tools, which now pull the newest listings and stats from the region's top MLS boards.

Slifkin understands that building a real estate team requires an ongoing investment in the best talent, tools, and systems to improve his business and help his agents succeed. His team is a top producer in Keller Williams' Treasure Coast Market Center, closing over 100 transactions annually while providing a high level of personalized service to their clients.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach Eric at 772-288-1765. 

 

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? 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, with no obligation.

 

Posted in News
May 16, 2021

Things to Consider When Buying a New Home

What to Ask Yourself While Looking for Your New Home

Buying a New Home

Picking the first home is no easy task. But these questions will help you plan for today and tomorrow:

  • Can I afford it?
  • Does it fit my life?
  • What might future me need?
  • Is the home well maintained?

I’m here to help you find your first or forever home! What’s one thing you want your first home to have? #thehelpfulagent #home #houseexpert #house #listreports #homeowners #househunting #homeowner #realestate #realtor #realestateagent

 

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 experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including  Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

April 28, 2021

New Build or Older Construction?

Market Insider Tips From www.StuartHomeSearch.com

If you're considering purchasing a home, you have one big decision to make as you get started: do you buy a newly constructed home or an existing property? There are pros and cons to each, and you have to weigh them carefully during the decision-making process.

New Construction Guide

It used to be that buying a new house was almost always more expensive than an older house, but times have changed. Today, building materials for new construction are less expensive than in the past, and new construction is becoming a realistic option for more shoppers. Let's check out the pros and cons:

What Are the Upsides of Buying an Older House?

Some of the benefits of buying an existing, older home might include:

More high-quality or detailed construction: This isn't to say that new homes can't be well constructed, but older homes tend to be more custom-built, with an attention to detail that is harder to find in something mass-produced.

Bigger yards: In the past, the land was relatively cheaper; thus, many older homes feature larger lots.

Character: You may prefer the character and charm of an older home.

Established neighborhoods: Neighborhoods with a lot of new homes won't have as much foliage and trees. An established neighborhood may be more established with towering trees and mature shrubbery.

More walkability: In an older neighborhood, you're more likely to find shops and restaurants within walking distance, and neighborhoods with older houses tend to be closer to city centers. Newer neighborhoods will sprawl further and further out from the city center by default.

Downsides of Older Homes

Buying an older home isn't all about dreamy craftsmanship and charm. There are some genuine drawbacks you have to think about.

Smaller spaces: Older homes may have more rooms and are less likely to have an open-concept floorplan. Many of the spaces in an older home are going to be smaller than what we see now. You're unlikely to find the sprawling kitchens and roomy bathrooms we’ ‘ve grown accustomed to seeing in newer builds.

Maintenance: Regardless of build quality – older homes are just that, old. The construction materials and systems will need more frequent maintenance. This might mean low-cost but tedious maintenance – like sealing cracked concrete walks and caulking drafty windows and doors. Issues like tree roots growing into a sewer line, however, can be costly.

Updates: You may need to update an older home in addition to regular maintenance. Kitchen and bathroom updates are pricey but may be necessary to make the home functional for your needs.

What About New Construction?

If you go with new construction, some of the benefits include the lack of maintenance and the fact that these homes come with modern features. New construction homes will probably have a dishwasher, wiring for electronics, and more efficient heating and cooling systems.

New construction homes should come with a builder's warranty that covers defects in construction or building materials. With a new home, you can rest easy knowing it has been built to the current code. There's also the comfort in knowing the home is truly solely yours, with no mystery DIY projects waiting to be uncovered.

The Downsides?

Sometimes new construction lacks warmth, charm, or character. If you buy in a neighborhood with tract homes, every home will look essentially the same. Trees and yards in these neighborhoods aren't mature, and you might be looking at a lot of dirt during construction.

Your commute time may be longer since newer neighborhoods often aren't close to downtowns or city centers. New homes also have a tendency to settle - meaning you might notice cracks in your walls, door frames, and even your foundation.

 

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 experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including  Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

April 21, 2021

Making Room for a Home Office

Need a home office? An addition is not your only option. Rather than adding costly square footage, you may want to consider repurposing a rarely used closet or move interior walls to create more space.

ClofficeDiscover The ‘Cloffice’

Pushing Clothes and Boxes Aside to Transform a Closet into a Small Office

CHICAGO – Pressed for space to work, some remote workers are reimagining closets – the “cloffice.” The latest trend in home design finds its origins in the need to work from home during the pandemic. While dining room tables may have provided temporary space for a month or two, some people seeking more private space decided that a closet was their best alternative for privacy – and for many of them, it was their only alternative.

“For so many of us trying to type and Zoom through the chaos, the closet has become the last bastion for something resembling a dedicated office space,” a realtor.com report says about the trend.

Pinterest calls the cloffice one of the hottest design trends for this year, saying, “Pinners are getting creative with closet doors. In 2021, we’ll all learn what a ‘cloffice’ is. Even when doors aren’t available, people will find new ways to create some personal space.”

When occupants decorate a cloffice, Ginger Curtis, owner of Urbanology Designs in Dallas, says good lighting, organization, and comfort are essential. Good overhead lighting is necessary for the absence of natural light. Bring in a desk and use a comfortable desk chair that fits properly.

Also, dress up the closet space with wallpaper or artwork on the walls. Designers also suggest using open shelving above the desk for efficient organization and bookcases on the sides or vertical magazine files to store papers.

“Like many others during the pandemic, I tried to work in transitional spaces – the kitchen, living room, front door area, etc. It wasn’t working,” says Lahari Rao, who designed a cloffice for her at-home office. “I realized I owed much more importance to my workspace – it wasn’t selfish, but rather a self-care gesture to provide my mind and productivity the respect it deserves.”

Source: “The ‘Cloffice’ Is the New Cubicle: Expert Inspiration to Put That Closet to Work, Beautifully,” realtor.com® (Feb. 1, 2021)

© Copyright 2021 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

 

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? 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, with no obligation.

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

 

 

April 16, 2021

15 Questions to Ask When Building a New Home

The new construction process looks quite different from a pre-built purchase. Among the advantages, buyers can customize finishes, enjoy newer, cost-efficient materials and avoid the hassle of tight inventory and bidding wars. However, it’s easy for hidden costs to creep up on buyers and catch them off guard. An unsuspecting buyer may tour a model home with a mix of standard and custom or premium finishes, not realizing that the kitchen backsplash or tall windows come with a hefty price tag.New Home Construction

The key is to be prepared. By asking a few key questions and clarifying what’s included and what’s not upfront will help clarify the scope of the project and keep you on budget.

The new construction process looks quite different from a pre-built purchase. Among the advantages, buyers can customize finishes, enjoy newer, cost-efficient materials and avoid the hassle of tight inventory and bidding wars.

However, it’s easy for hidden costs to creep up on buyers and catch them off guard. An unsuspecting buyer may tour a model home with a mix of standard and custom or premium finishes, not realizing that the kitchen backsplash or tall windows come with a hefty price tag.

The key is to be prepared. By asking a few key questions and clarifying what’s included and what’s not upfront will help clarify the scope of the project and keep you on budget.

New Construction Checklist

 

Stay in the loop and on budget with your new construction project- ask your builder these 15 questions:

 

  1. Who is the point of contact that you can communicate with regarding financials? Is there a field manager you can talk to regarding all phases of the buildout?

  2. Do you see the property as a short-term resale or a long-term home? If short-term, make sure you’re spending money on those areas that will result in the highest resale value given current or near-future market conditions. For instance, 9-foot ceilings are preferable to 8-foot ceilings.

  3. What is the estimated timeline for the completion of the project? Are permits included in that timeline? Who pays for delays? It can be hard to pin builders to an exact completion date, but having a general idea will help you plan lending options and the sale of any existing real estate.

  4. Do you have the option to lock in an interest rate? As interest rates rise, this conversation should occur in early discussions.

  5. What finishes and appliances are included and not included in the base price? Hidden costs can sometimes catch new construction buyers by surprise. Everything from light bulbs and water softeners to storage, refrigerators, blinds, and fences may pose optional, additional expenses.

  6. How much time will each buildout option require? Will changes unnecessarily prolong the completion date?

  7. Does the builder offer environmentally friendly or high-efficiency options, such as solar panels, smart thermostats, LED bulbs, etc.?

  8. Are warranties provided on any aspect of the construction and for how long?

  9. Are there homeowners’ rules or regulations imposed by the builder, aside from any homeowners’ association (HOA) rules?

  10. Is landscaping included? Does it include sod or grass seed and straw? What about lighting along the front of the house?

  11. Is there a cost-escalation clause in the contract? In other words, builders who include this language in their contracts can charge for unanticipated costs, such as the rising cost of lumber.

  12. Are there any promotions or incentives by the builder on upgrades?

  13. Will you have to rent while the new house is being built? What about a storage unit and moving expenses? These are additional costs that can add up quickly.

  14. During the building process, at which milestones will there be fees required and how many are there? Most of the time, buyers will have to part with large sums of cash throughout multiple phases. Make sure you know what those milestones are and the estimated value. Some of the most common instances will be:

    -When locking in the lot
    -After the selection meeting for the main finishes
    -When locking in the interest rate
    -At closing

  15. Is there a set of blueprints available for your reference? This will come in handy when purchasing appliances, installing fences, and more

 

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 experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including  Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

March 29, 2021

Buying Rental Properties Gets Easier with Time

Experience Counts When it Comes to Acquiring Rentals

First-time real estate investors find the approval process is very much the same as financing an owner-occupied property. There's a credit report checked, bank statements and assets are reviewed, and income and employment. Yet, there are some additional guidelines rental property financing requires. The first and most obvious is the amount of down payment needed. Most conventional programs ask for a down payment of at least 20% while providing slightly better terms with a 25% down payment.

Rental PropertiesThis is much different from a primary residence, where the minimum down payment for a primary residence can be as low as 5%. The other is the interest rate on a loan. Rates for rental properties will typically be anywhere from 0.25 to 0.50% higher. But buying a subsequent rental property is much easier. Why?

Why Buying Rental Properties Gets Easier

One reason might be that the buyers are familiar with financing a rental with the first purchase experience. Yet, the real reason is the way lenders treat rental income. With the initial purchase,  income that is produced by the rental cannot be counted. Instead, the buyers must be able to qualify with their current income without the benefit of rent. Even though the unit is rented out and the tenants pay the rent each month, lenders won't use it when qualifying. With the second rental purchase, the income can be used.

That said, investors want to see if the income generated is enough to cover not only the financing costs, such as the principal and interest payment, property taxes, insurance, and an amount reserved for maintenance. If the rent is not enough to cover the costs of ownership, it's very likely the investor will move on to evaluate another property. If there's not enough rent to positive cash flow the investment, it's an expense, not income. 

The difference in the way lenders treat rental income between the first and second relies primarily on the notion that lenders want to see the owners properly manage and maintain the unit. If after two years of timely mortgage payments and proper management, the rental income can be used to help qualify. There are still down payments and interest rate adjustments; it's just that it's easier to qualify because the income can be used. There is income coming in both instances, but the way lenders treat the two transactions is different.

After the first, the second is so much easier to qualify for. This is also why real estate investors soon discover how much easier it is to qualify as they ultimately own multiple rental properties. Sometimes to the point of quitting their current jobs and becoming full-time landlords. When this happens, it's not uncommon to hand over the job of managing the properties, collecting the rents, and fixing things when they're broken to a property manager. For a fee, a property manager will handle these day-to-day activities. All the buyers typically need to do is find another property and turn over the landlord duties to someone else.

 

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 experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including  Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

March 26, 2021

How to Find the Best Home Deals in Your Area

Everybody Deserves a Great Deal! Get Expert Tips on How to Find the Right Deal for You.

How to find the best home deals in your area.

A Google search isn’t going to cut it. Finding a great home deal requires some expert sleuthing. In addition to a valuable partnership with a real estate pro, here are some tips that can put you on the right track.

Download How to Find the Best Home Deals in Your Area (no signup required)

  • How to Find What's for Sale
  • Real estate Clubs and Communities
  • Finding Foreclosures and Short Sales
  • Find Homes for Sale by Owner (FSB)
  • Download Your Free Guide Now

 

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 experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including  Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

March 25, 2021

New Construction Homes for Sale


New Homes for Sale Near Stuart, Florida

Download Our Guide to Buying a New Construction Home  (no signup required)

Search the Largest  Collection of New Homes

Search all new homes for sale in Martin County, Saint Lucie County, or Palm Beach County. Just looking for information on new homes and builders along the Treasure Coast? We can help you find the right new home, new home community, or custom builder you seek and represent you as our client.

Click on any link below to search all new homes in your favorite areas, or click here to search our directory of new home construction listings featuring the area's premier home builders. Search Homes by Builder

Buying a New Construction Home

Top Reasons to Buy a New vs. Resale Home

  • Modern floor plans
  • Latest designs and materials
  • Ability to customize or upgrade
  • Smart / green home features
  • Energy-efficient construction
  • Low maintenance - fewer repairs

 

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 experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including  Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

Posted in Home Buying, New Homes
March 25, 2021

What to Know About Builder Warranties

Make Sure You Are Clear on What's Covered

A builder warranty applies to newly-built homes and is offered by the builder or a third party working with a builder. Many home builders include a warranty on their work in the sales contract, or they might make it a separate document. Not all builders offer a warranty, so it's important to do your due diligence when looking to hire a builder.New Home

Canopy Creek, Palm City

If you get a warranty, you need to go over it to make sure you're clear on how long the coverage period is and what you should do if you experience a problem. It would help if you also were clear on the maintenance requirements you need to keep up with or void your warranty.

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Housing Authority require builders have a third-party warranty for new homes with VA or FHA loans. Having a builder warranty is sometimes what compels people to opt for new construction versus buying a newer home, but you must read the fine print on the coverage.

What's Covered?

A warranty for a new house is usually pretty limited in its scope of coverage. Warranties define coverage for workmanship and materials related to different home parts like the heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems. Most warranties also dictate how repairs are to be made.

New homeowners often think that once the home passes inspection, that means everything is good to go. The fact is, there can be many problems that arise in new homes due to defective materials, landscaping issues, or foundation settling. Issues like these can be tough to notice until you‘ve actually lived in the home.

The coverage period for materials and workmanship will usually last anywhere from one to two years. For the major structural components of a home, there may be coverage lasting up to ten years.

Most new construction warranties don't cover household appliances, nor would they cover things like a small crack or the cost of having to move out of your home while repairs are being made.

Specific exclusions that are common in builder warranties include:

  • Damage stemming from your own neglect or misuse
  • Deterioration that would be considered normal, like shrinkage falling within industry standards
  • Damage caused by outsiders like vandals or "acts of God."
  • Any consumer product that is covered by its own warranty, like a refrigerator

Warranties and State Laws

Some states have strict laws about what builders have to provide in terms of warranties. If you aren't sure, you can talk to the contractor licensing board in your state or even the Attorney General Office to figure out what's required. Many states have either already done so or are in the process of increasing the duration of coverage from one to two years for workmanship and materials issues.

 

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 experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including  Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

Posted in Home Buying, New Homes
March 24, 2021

Are You Ready to Buy a House?

It’s the American dream. And many of us feel at least a little bit anxious about buying our first home. How do you know you’re really ready? It’s a huge life decision! 

Understanding your finances, how to not be house poor, and other important tips that ensure you are financially ready to own a home. You may want to. It may be your dream. But, are you really ready to buy a house? Our home buying guide provides important tips (like not to be house poor).

Are you ready to buy a house?

Are You Ready to Buy a House? Our guide provides important tips and topics. What you will learn:

  • How Much Can You Afford? (Debt-to-Income Ratio)
  • What Lenders Are Looking For
  • Downpayment 
  • The Housing Market
  • Download Now (no signup)

 

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 experienced agents serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including  Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.

 

 

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