Treasure Coast Real Estate Blog

Aug. 22, 2018

Palm Beaches Luxury Real Estate Sales

Luxury Home Market Update for Beach County

Selling or planning to sell a luxury property along the Palm Beach real estate corridor? Our Luxury Market Report is your guide to luxury real estate data and trends.

Palm Beaches Luxury Market Report

The market trends report shows how your home compares to the competition. This report should be used in combination with a detailed home assessment to give you an accurate assessment for your unique property. Download the Report

 

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.

 

 

 

Aug. 12, 2018

Smart Homes: A Risk to Homeowners?

 Real Estate News Brought to you by Eric Slifkin, Team Lead

Smart Homes: The Way of the Future or a Risk to Homeowners?
By Liz Dominguez

Glitches of early iterations aside, smart home technology has an increasingly active presence in the lives of homeowners who are looking for convenience and savings in a pushed-for-time era. From adaptive thermostats that automatically gauge energy usage and alter temperatures for optimal savings, to smart home speakers that use sophisticated artificial intelligence to provide services and information in real-time, a homeowner can now cross off a variety of menial tasks from their daily to-do list without doing more than speaking a phrase out loud or clicking a button on their mobile device.

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But what is the true cost of this convenience? Some gadget adopters are reporting invasion of privacy, security risks, and more. These are a few of the reported instances thus far: 

  1. Gadgets May Be Susceptible to Hacking

    Last August, Wired published a story about a British security researcher for MWR Labs, Mark Barnes, who was able to install malware on an Amazon Echo device, turning it into a surveillance device that silently streamed audio to his own server. While newer models cannot be jailbroken this way, Amazon has not released any software to fix the issue with older units.

  2. Smart Technology Could Lead to Location-Based Tracking

    Earlier this month, security investigator Brian Krebs reported on a privacy vulnerability for both Google Home and Chromecast—found by Craig Young, a researcher with security firm Tripwire—that leaks accurate location information about its users. According to Young, attackers can use these Google devices to send a link (which could be anything from a tweet to an advertisement) to the connected user; if the link is clicked and the page left opened for about a minute, the attacker is able to obtain a location.

  3. Glitches Could Lead to Invasion of Privacy

    According to local news stations in Portland, Ore., a local resident received a disturbing phone call from one of her husband's employers telling her to shut off her smart home devices. After using Amazon devices throughout her home to control temperature, lighting and security, Danielle was made aware that a private conversation was accidentally recorded by Amazon's artificial intelligence system, Alexa, and was sent to a number on the family's contact list.

 

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 Ownership, News
July 24, 2018

Top 8 Home Inspection Mistakes

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How to Avoid the Top 8 Home Inspection Mistakes

 

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a home. Once you’ve had an offer accepted on your dream house, you’ll probably be anxious to move in. However, before you make a significant financial commitment, it’s best to know exactly what you’re buying.

When you hire a home inspector, you get a professional, in-depth examination of the property’s structures and systems. It’s a worthwhile investment that can save you money in the long run, either by warning you away from a bad purchase or by providing a list of deficiencies you can use to negotiate with the sellers.

The inspector’s report will also list minor repairs that, if made, will help to maintain your home over the long term. Additionally, a good inspector can often predict the standard life expectancy of your roof, HVAC, and other big-ticket items so you can start planning for their eventual replacement.

However, many buyers make mistakes during the inspection process that cost them time and money and lead to unnecessary stress. Avoid these eight common buyer blunders to minimize your risk, protect your investment, and give yourself peace of mind and confidence in your new home purchase.


MISTAKE 1: Skip Your Own Inspection

Many buyers rely on their home inspector to point out issues with the property. However, by conducting your own visual assessment before you submit an offer, you can factor expected expenses into the offer price. Or, if you suspect major problems, you may choose to move on to a different property altogether.

Examine the walls and ceilings. Are there suspicious cracks, which could point to a foundation issue? Any discoloration? Yellow spots can indicate water damage, while black spots are typically mold. If there’s a basement, look for powdery white deposits along the walls and slab, which can result from water seepage.1

To assess the plumbing, start by turning on a bathroom sink or tub, then flushing the toilet. Check for a drop in water pressure or a gurgling sound coming from the pipes. You can also try running the water in sinks and tubs for several minutes to test for drainage issues. Peak underneath sinks to spot signs of leaks or drain pipes that go into the floor instead of the wall.1

Look for fogged or drafty windows, which may need replacing. Examine the roof for signs of cupped, curled, or cracked shingles. Check siding, decks, and other wooden structures for evidence of rot.

Overall, does the home appear to be well maintained? Unless it’s a highly-competitive seller’s market, consider the overall condition of the property BEFORE you submit an offer. Work with your real estate agent to factor in repairs and updates you know you’ll need to make when you determine your offer price.


MISTAKE 2: Hire the Cheapest Inspector

We all love to save money, but not all inspectors are created equal. Before you hire one, do a little research.2 You may even want to start shopping for an inspector before you complete your home search. Inspection periods are typically short, so it never hurts to be prepared.

You can start by asking around for recommendations. Check with friends and family members, as well as your real estate agent. Then contact at least two or three inspectors so you can compare not only price but also levels of experience and service.

Ask about their background, years of experience, and the number of inspections they have completed. Verify their certifications and credentials, and make sure they carry the proper insurance.

Find out what is (and what isn’t) covered in the inspection and if they utilize the latest technology. Ask to see a sample report so you can compare the style and level of detail provided. Finally, make sure you feel confident in the inspector’s abilities and comfortable asking him/her questions. 


MISTAKE 3: Miss Attending the Inspection

Make every effort to be on-site during the inspection. Buyers who aren’t present during their inspection miss out on a great opportunity to gather valuable information about their new home.

If can attend the inspection, don’t spend all your time picking out paint colors or chatting with your new neighbors. Instead, use your time there to shadow the inspector. It’s the perfect chance to find out where everything is located, ask questions, and see first-hand what repairs and updates may be needed.3

Of course, if you do choose to tag along with your inspector, exercise good judgment. Don’t get in the way, become a distraction, or do anything to jeopardize your (or the inspector’s) safety.

If you can’t make it to the inspection, ask if you can schedule a time to meet in person or speak by phone to go over the report in detail. It will give you an opportunity to ask questions or request clarification about issues in the report you don’t fully understand.


MISTAKE 4: Skim Over the Report

Inspection reports can be long and tedious, and it can be tempting to skim over them. However, buyers who do this risk missing crucial information.

Instead, you should read over the report carefully, so you don’t miss anything significant. Now is the time to address any areas of concern. You have a limited window of time to request repairs or negotiate the selling price, so don’t squander it.

Your inspector may also flag some minor items that you wouldn’t typically expect a seller to fix. However, ignoring these small issues can sometimes lead to bigger problems down the road. Make sure you read everything in the report so you can take future action if needed.


MISTAKE 5: Avoid Asking Questions

Some buyers are too embarrassed to ask questions when there’s something in the inspection report they don’t understand. Afraid they might look foolish, they avoid asking questions and end up uninformed about important issues that could impact their home purchase.

The reality is, questions are expected. You hired your inspector for their professional expertise, so don’t be shy about tapping into it. For example, you might ask:

  • Would you get this issue fixed in your own home?
  • How urgent is it?
  • What could happen if I don’t fix it?
  • Is this a simple issue I could fix myself?
  • What type of professional should I call?
  • Can you estimate how much it would cost to make this repair?
  • How much longer would you expect this system/structure/appliance to last?
  • What maintenance steps would you recommend?

Don’t bother asking your inspector if you should buy the property, because he/she won’t be able to answer that question for you. Instead, use the information provided to make an informed decision. A skilled real estate agent can help you determine the best path.


MISTAKE 6: Expect a Perfect Report

Some buyers get scared off by a lengthy inspection report. But with around 1600 items on an inspector’s checklist, you shouldn’t be surprised if yours uncover a large number of deficiencies.4 The key is to understand which problems require simple fixes, and which ones will require extensive (and costly) repairs.

Your real estate agent can help you decide if and how to approach the sellers about making repairs or reducing the price. Whatever you do, try to focus on the major issues identified in the inspector’s report, and don’t expect the sellers to address every minor item on the list. They will be more receptive if they perceive your requests to be reasonable.


MISTAKE 7: Forgo Additional Testing

There are times when an agent or inspector will recommend bringing in a specialist to evaluate a potential issue.5 For example, they may suggest testing for mold or consulting with a roofing expert.

Some buyers get spooked by the possibility of a “red flag” and decide to jump ship. Or, in their haste to close or desire to save money, they choose to ignore the recommendation for additional testing altogether.

Don’t make these potentially costly mistakes. In some cases, the specialist will offer a free evaluation that takes minimal time to schedule. And if not, the small investment you make could provide you with peace of mind or save you a fortune in future repairs.


MISTAKE 8: Skip Re-inspection of Repairs

Most buyers request receipts to prove that repairs have been correctly completed. However, it’s always prudent to go a step further and have negotiated repairs re-evaluated by your inspector or another qualified professional, even if there’s an additional charge.6

While the majority of sellers are forthcoming, some will try to save money by cutting corners, hiring unlicensed technicians, or doing the work themselves. A re-inspection will help ensure the repairs are completed properly now, so you aren’t paying to redo them later.

To avoid having to go back to the sellers, be specific when requesting repairs. Identify the problem, how repairs should be completed, who should complete the work, and how the repairs will be verified.7

Some buyers prefer to avoid this step altogether by completing the work themselves. They either request that the seller fund the repairs or reduce the selling price accordingly. Whichever path you choose, protect yourself and your investment by ensuring the work is done properly.

 

WE CAN HELP

A home inspection can reduce your risk and save you money over the long-term. But to maximize its effectiveness, it must be done properly. Avoid these eight common home inspection mistakes to safeguard your investment.

While these are some of the most common missteps, there are countless others that can trip up home buyers, cost them time and money, and cause undue stress. Fortunately, we have the skills and experience to help you avoid the potential pitfalls.

If you’re in the market to buy a home, we can help you navigate the inspection and all the other steps in the buying process … typically at no cost to you! Tap into our expertise to make the right decisions for your real estate purchase. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

Sources:

  1. Family Handyman –
    https://www.familyhandyman.com/tools/diy-home-inspection-tools/view-all/
  2. HGTV –
    https://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/finding-the-right-home-inspector
  3. The New York Times –
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/realestate/home-inspection.html
  4. com –
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/what-does-a-home-inspector-look-for/
  5. Realty Times –
    https://realtytimes.com/advicefromagents/item/37369-top-5-biggest-home-inspection-mistakes
  6. Realtor.com –
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/home-inspection-mistakes-buyers-should-avoid/
  7. Star Tribune –
    http://www.startribune.com/who-verifies-repairs-after-the-home-inspection/132844523/

 

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 Buying
July 21, 2018

The Best Tips for Home Buying

Are you looking to buy? Lenders are paying close attention to buyers' ability to repay a loan, according to FindLaw.com, the nation's leading legal information website. The generally accepted principle is that no more than 30 percent of a household's take-home income should go toward the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

Here are some tips from FindLaw.com about buying a home within the next six to nine months:

Start planning now. Even if you're a year or more away from buying a home, start preparing now. Build up your cash for a down payment plus other expenses that come with owning a home. Check your credit report for accuracy. Pay all your bills on time and zero out all credit card debt. And don't take on new debt, like a large car payment.

Continue Reading...

 

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 Buying
July 12, 2018

Townhomes of Stuart

71 Beech Tree St., Stuart, FL 3494

3 Bed / 2.5 Bath Townhome Near Downtown Stuart

Perfectly maintained end unit just steps from the community pool with three bedrooms and 2.5 baths plus a private two-story screened patio. Other features include tile floors in the living & kitchen areas, large closets, breakfast bar, laundry room with full-size appliances, covered parking, and more. Close to I-95, shopping, downtown. Two parking spots (one covered), no age restrictions, two pets under 35lbs ok, no pickups. Furnishings negotiable.

 

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
July 4, 2018

Pool Home in Monarch at Palm City

Monarch Country Club -- Golf and Long Lake Views!

1812 SW Foxpoint Trail, Palm City, FL 34990

Enjoy the pool, golf and long lake views from the living areas of this well maintained estate home in Monarch Country Club at Palm City. This is a 3 bed / 3 bath residence featuring an open/split plan with vaulted ceilings, light and bright Kitchen, formal dining area, and en-suite master. Optional social and golf memberships available. A two-month capital contribution equal to two months HOA fee is due at closing. Learn More

 


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
$489,900
Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
3 Full Bathrooms
Interior: 2,460 sqft
Lot: 0.29 acre(s)
Year Built: 1996
Location
1812 SW Foxpoint Trail
Palm City, FL 34990
USA

 

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
June 30, 2018

Just Listed in Palm City

Westwood Country Estates -- Pool Home on Half Acre

4 Bed / 3 Bath Pool Home in Palm City

4 Bed / 3 Bath home in desirable Westwood Country Estates at Palm City. Situated on a fenced half acre with lake views, this CBS home has all the features including a saltwater solar heated pool, newer appliances & A/C, metal roof, hurricane panels, and more.

Excellent Palm City location near highways, shopping, and top-rated Martin County schools!  Learn More

 


Overview
Maps
Photos
Features
Description
Video
$489,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
3 Full Bathrooms
Interior: 2,382 sqft
Lot: 0.51 acre(s)
Year Built: 2004
Location
3750 SW Canoe Creek Ter
Palm City, FL 34990
USA

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
June 27, 2018

Villa in Sea Pines at Hobe Sound

Sea Pines at Hobe Sound

Now Available in Sea Pines at Hobe Sound, Florida

Spacious 2-bed / 2-bath villa with one-car garage in Sea Pines, a 55+ community in Hobe Sound, Florida. This well-maintained unit features an en-suite master, enclosed lanai, updated kitchen with laminate flooring, vaulted ceilings, newer AC, hurricane panels and more. Amenities include a heated community pool plus an active clubhouse with planned social activities. Sea Pines is just minutes from shopping, dining, and nearby Hobe Sound Beach.

 

 

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
June 24, 2018

Stuart FL Area Open Houses

Open Houses Today in Jensen Beach and Hobe Sound

(click on image to enlarge)

Six Bedroom Two Story Home in The Pines of Jensen Beach

Well maintained 6 bed / 4 bath pool home in the Pines with a huge bonus room! There's room for everyone in this expansive two-level home with lots of upgrades including a gourmet kitchen featuring LG stainless appliances, Viking gas range, granite counters, and more. This home is situated on a premium lot with lush tropical landscaping, Tiki bar, and solar/ gas heated pool. Learn More

Brand New Townhomes Under Construction in Hobe Sound

Under Construction. Heritage Enclave is a small village of 50 perfectly appointed townhomes with preserve and lake views. Choose from three or four bedroom plans. Heritage Enclave is just steps away from the Heritage Ridge public golf course and a short drive to downtown Stuart, beaches, the Gardens Mall, and PBI airport. Learn More

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.

 

Posted in Lisitings, Open House
June 18, 2018

Heritage Enclave in Hobe Sound

Phase One Nearing Sellout at Heritage Enclave

Heritage Enclave Townhomes in Hobe Sound

Heritage Enclave, located at the Heritage Ridge Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, is a small village of 50 town homes with a preserve and lake front setting. These well-appointed units may feature three bedrooms with two or three baths plus available ground level den or fourth bedroom. Amenities include a community a pool with clubhouse and easy access to the Heritage Ridge public golf course. Heritage Enclave is just 30 minutes to West Palm Beach via I-95 and less than 15 minutes to local beaches, shopping, dining, and Historic Downtown Stuart. Learn More

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