Treasure Coast Real Estate Blog

Feb. 2, 2019

Discover Joe's Point in Stuart, FL

Waterfront Homes and Club Communities

Joe's Point

Joe's Point affords waterfront living in a private setting yet is just minutes from historic downtown Stuart and all the area has to offer. Come home to a secure gated community with only 49 residences situated on a private peninsula. Neighborhood amenities include a gated entrance with a winding landscaped drive, tennis, R/V and boat storage, community dock, and private beach with gated access.

Featured Property

Updated Beach House With all the Extras

This contemporary bi-level pool home is designed for entertaining with upper and lower level living areas, 4 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, and a professional Viking kitchen.

Joe's Point

Enjoy wide water views from the expansive deck, relax on your own private beach, or fish from the deeded dock complete with utilities and a 16,000 LB lift.  Learn More

 

Contact Eric Slifkin

 

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 Neighborhoods, News
Jan. 31, 2019

3 Easy Fixes to Improve Your Listing

Improving a "Flawed" Property

Easy Fixes to Improve Your Listing

As listing agents, we always solicit feedback from other brokers who show our properties. Contrary to what you might expect, when a buyer "passes" on your house, the reason often has more to do with first impressions rather than the home's features. Here are our top three buyer turnoffs that can be easily fixed to help get your home sold faster and for more money:

Flooring Issues

Marred wood flooring, worn carpeting, and outdated linoleum can be a huge turnoff. Buyers might take one step inside and scratch the property from their list.

Pre-existing Water Stains

Leftover water stains from old plumbing issues may mislead buyers into thinking a problem still exists. Ensure that the problem indeed is fixed, and then make any needed repairs.

Nasty Looking Grout

Discolored or cracked grout can be a turnoff- new grout can make old floors look revived.

Ask your Realtor to critique your home and point out conditions that need to be corrected. Repairing or replacing items of concern often result in a quicker sale, for more money, while recouping the cost of repairs at resale.

 

Contact Eric Slifkin

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.

Jan. 27, 2019

Happiest Seaside Towns

Stuart, Florida Named Among America's Happiest Seaside Towns

Article By Tracey Minkin, CoastalLiving.com

America’s Happiest Seaside Town of 2016 is on Florida’s Treasure Coast, and that location could not be more appropriate. Often referred to as a hidden gem just 45 minutes north of Palm Beach, Stuart is an Old Florida–style treasure... Read More

Stuart, Florida Living


Contact Eric Slifkin

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.

Jan. 11, 2019

At Cobblestone in Palm City, FL 34990

Estate Home Living with a Backyard Country Club

Cobblestone at Palm City, FL 34990

Cobblestone is a gated and patrolled community in Palm City, Florida. Residents may obtain optional golf memberships to the private Fox Club, which surrounds the neighborhood.

This subdivision offers a wide variety of custom and estate homes situated on oversize half acre lots with fantastic lake, golf and preserve views. A low density development of less than 250 residences, Cobblestone is ideally located just off I-95 with easy access to entertainment, shopping and commuter highways.

Cobblestone Listings

Cobblestone Market Trends

Featured Cobblestone Property

 

 

Contact Eric Slifkin

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.

 

Nov. 28, 2018

I inherited a house – what do I do now?

 

ORLANDO, Fla. – Nov. 26, 2018 – Aretha Franklin died without a will, leaving an $80 million fortune and multiple properties. Although Franklin's sons appointed her niece to execute the estate, the situation shows how family feuds and other problems can potentially result when inheritance portions aren't clearly defined or when an executor may be in over their head.

"Inheriting a property can come as a shock and may feel like an insurmountable obstacle," says Alex Lehr, a California real estate broker and author of "The Unexpected Sale: Guidance For The Executor/Administrator Of An Estate." "And usually the biggest asset in an estate – and the most difficult to resolve – is a house.

Decisions an executor might face when a house is part of an inheritance

Keep, rent or sell?
Competing interests among siblings can make the right decision difficult. "Caught in the middle, the executor has to ask the heirs to keep their emotions under control and put the rational facts on the table," Lehr says. "Selling is often the best decision if medical bills, tax issues or other reasons require cashing out. And it produces a specific amount that can be divided equally."  Learn More

Can you manage a property investment?
If "keep the property in the family" is an option, an executor needs objectively consider the beneficiaries' dependability. "Would you choose the other beneficiaries to be your partners in any long-term investment?" Lehr asks. "Could they get divorced, go bankrupt or bring other entanglements?" And if you decide to rent the property, Lehr said there are issues to consider such as the local market for rentals and your ability to maintain the property.

Establishing property value
If one heir or beneficiary wants to buy the house, the estate must determine the market value and get a fair price to be fair to the other heirs and beneficiaries, and that starts with at least one appraisal. "Alternatively, the executor can put the property on the market with the expressed provision that one of the heirs has the right of first refusal to match the highest offer," says Lehr.

Repair and renovate?
In the time after a homeowner dies and the house sells, an executor must make sure the house is maintained in good condition, necessary repairs are carried out and it's kept insured. "An executor can be personally liable for failure to maintain a property that results in losses for the heirs," Lehr says. "But how much work is worthwhile before putting a home on the market? That's a big question that depends on the property and circumstances."

Furnished or unfurnished?
It's not unusual for an inherited home to be filled with a 30-year accumulation of stuff. In most cases, the property should be cleared out and cleaned up before it's placed on the market, even if the executor decides to keep sell it as already furnished.

"Being an executor is a time-consuming and often thankless job that people often take on while grieving," Lehr says. "It's up to the executor to assess not only the physical assets of an estate but also the people and emotions involved."

Source: Alex Lehr, lehrrealestate.com

© 2018 Florida Realtors®

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

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

 

Nov. 23, 2018

Home Selling: First Impressions Count!

Selling Your Home? First Impressions Count!
Sprucing Up Driveways and Walkways

Selling your home? First impressions count!

When selling your home, don’t forget that the very first thing a potential buyer will see is your driveway or walkway. Be sure to make a great first impression by ensuring these important areas of your home are up to par! Maximize “curb appeal” by keeping your front lawn mowed, and driveway and walkway clean and free of cracks. You may even want to add some colorful flowers or shrubs to attract potential buyers. 

“A well-built, well-maintained asphalt driveway adds curb appeal to your house,” explains Steve Fradianni of M&S Paving and Sealing Inc., in Danbury, Conn. “It’s the first impression of your home that people see and it should look as good as it could. Asphalt driveways are easy to keep free of snow and ice in the winter and relatively dirt-free in the summer. They are economical, durable and long lasting, and they are easy to maintain.” 

Once potential buyers leave their car to head to the front door, the walkway begins to play an important role. That’s why it’s vital to make sure both the driveway and walkway are in tip-top shape. 

 

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.

 

Nov. 11, 2018

Selling an Inherited Property in Florida

Selling Herited Property

Preparing to Sell an Inherited House or a Probate Home in Florida

Are you selling an inherited home or a house undergoing Florida probate proceedings? When it comes to selling real property that you or multiple people have inherited you will want to work with a real estate team who understands the needs and challenges you may face in managing the process. Request a Call

House Staging

Getting Your Inherited House Listed and Sold

We can help you proceed through the responsibilities of selling an inherited home, advising you on services, repairs, and upgrades that may be necessary to get the house sold in the shortest time and for the best possible price. As your representative we will:

  • Work with your attorney, executor, personal representative, or "go to" person
  • Provide property valuation, market condition, and pricing reports
  • Assist with home inspections, clean out services, and ongoing maintenance
  • Recommend contractors for property repairs or improvements

Marketing an Inherited House

How We Market Inherited Florida Properties

Listing an inherited home, much like selling a home under normal circumstances, has its unique challenges. The following are just a few of the myriad marketing tools and services we use to simplify the process of getting your house listed and sold as quickly as possible:

  • We will list and market the property deploying all of our online, social media, and print resources
  • Leverage our network of investors (if your goal is to sell the home as-is, quickly, and for cash)
  • Provide continuous feedback on property showings and changes in market conditions
  • Handle negotiations and paperwork from offer through settlement

 

"I needed to sell a property owned by a trust. The property is 200 miles from my office, and Eric handled everything (including paying the utilities, the clean out, appraisal, inspection, repairs, boxing of personal papers, and ultimate sale). He constantly kept me informed, offered proper guidance on the pricing, offers/ counter-offer, and provided every detail to sell the property. He comes strongly recommended, and I second that."


I enjoyed working with Eric and Tricia. He was very candid, a straight shooter, set appropriate expectations, and understands the market. The team was very responsive to calls and questions, very helpful when it came time to closing and emptying the house. Between Eric and Tricia, they responded to emails late at night and early in the am. He was the right realtor for us and the market."

 

Request a Free Consultation

We are here for you whenever you need us and are dedicated to helping you every step of the way. Feel free to get in touch with any questions or concerns about dealing with an inherited property.

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.

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

 

Sept. 8, 2018

5 Tips for Increasing Your Home's Value

Increase Your Home's Value BEFORE Listing It

Increasing the value of your home before putting it on the market is important, and your budget shouldn’t hold you back. Here are a few, simple tips to improve the look and feel of your home fast, all for under $400.00...

Little Things Mean a Lot

1. Low-maintenance lawn care: Overgrown lawns and bushes will cause your home to stand out - in a bad way. For a few hundred dollars, hire a landscaping service to tidy up. Adding plants and trees native to your region will also help boost the home’s curb appeal.

2. Deep house cleaning: Make sure your home says “clean” to potential buyers when they walk in the door. Even if you clean your home regularly, hire a cleaning service for a thorough top-to-bottom scrubbing.

3. Make your home feel bigger: You can’t change the square-footage of your home, but you can make each room in your house feel larger. A sunny room feels more open—replace heavy drapes with vertical blinds or shutters. Also, clear the clutter. Add shelving or storage space to help organize.

4. Replace and update: Dated wallpaper, old lighting fixtures, popcorn ceilings and broken features, such as ceiling fans, could turn many buyers away. Making these changes will add dollar signs to the value of your home instantly.

5. Add money-saving efficiencies: Updates to make your home more energy-efficient are a big bonus for buyers because it will save them money in the long term. Many utility companies provide free energy audits so they can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home. Installing a water filtration system is an inexpensive addition that will also lower the buyer’s grocery bills—no more bottled water.

 

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.

 

 

 

Sept. 8, 2018

5 Things Home Buyers Should Never Compromise On

When buying a home, there are some things you should never compromise on—or you’ll likely regret your home purchase, according to Realtor.com.

1. The floor plan. It’s difficult and expensive to reconfigure a home’s floor plan. If a home doesn’t have the minimum number of rooms or the flow of the main living areas you want, you should cross it off your list.

2. The school district. You should carefully consider your neighborhood’s school district, and even get a map of its exact boundaries to make sure your home is within the correct district.

3. The neighbors. You should pay attention to the condition of neighboring homes. Not only do you have to live with your neighbors on a daily basis, but they can affect your home’s future resale value, too.

4. The budget. Consider all the expenses—monthly mortgage payments, homeowner association dues, utility costs and real estate taxes—beyond the list price to make sure you’ll be financially comfortable.

5. The commute. Test-drive the route between your home and office to be certain you’re willing to make the commute every day.

 

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. 29, 2018

Renters for a Weekend or a While: What’s the Best Use of Your Investment Property?

The residential rental market is now the fastest-growing segment of the housing market. In the United States, the demand for single-family rentals, defined as either detached homes or townhouses, has risen 30 percent in the past three years.1 And in Canada, rental units now account for nearly one-third of the country’s homes, with particular demand for multi-family units, including apartments and condominiums.2

At the same time, the short-term, or vacation, rental market is also booming. The popularity of online marketplaces like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO has helped the short-term rental market become one of the fastest-growing segments in the travel industry.3

Now, more than ever, there is an abundance of opportunity for real estate investors. But which path is best: leasing your property to a long-term tenant, or renting your property to travelers on a short-term basis?

In this post, we examine the differences between the two investment strategies and the benefits and limitations of each category.

WHY INVEST IN A RENTAL PROPERTY? The Top 5 Reasons

Before we delve into the differences between long-term and short-term rentals, let’s answer the question: “Why invest in a rental property at all?”

There are five key reasons investors choose to real estate over other investment vehicles:

  1. Appreciation is the increase in your property’s value over time. And history has proven that over an extended period, the cost of real estate continues to rise. Recessions may still occur, but in the vast majority of markets, the value of real estate does grow over the long term.
  2. Cash Flow One of the key benefits of investing in real estate is the ability to generate steady cash flow. Rental income can be used to pay the mortgage and taxes on your investment property, as well as regular maintenance and repairs. If appropriately priced in a solid rental market, there may even be a little extra cash each month to help with your living expenses or to grow your savings.Even if you only take in enough rent to cover your expenses, a rental property purchase will pay for itself over time. As you pay down the mortgage every month with your rental income, your equity will continue to increase until you own the property free and clear … leaving you with residual cash flow for years to come.
  3. Hedge Against Inflation Inflation is the rate at which the general cost of goods and services rises. That means as inflation rises, the money you have sitting in a savings account will buy less tomorrow than it will today. On the other hand, the price of real estate typically matches (or often exceeds) the rate of inflation. To hedge or guard yourself against inflation, real estate can be a smart investment choice.
  4. Leverage is the use of borrowed capital to increase the potential return of an investment. You can put a relatively small amount down on a property, finance the rest of the investment with a mortgage, and then profit on the entire combined value.
  5. Tax Benefits Don’t overlook the tax benefits that can come with a real estate investment, as well. From deductions to depreciation to exemptions, there are many ways a real estate investment can save you money on taxes. Consult a tax professional to discuss your particular circumstances.

These are just a few of the many perks of investing in real estate. (For more detailed information, visit our previous post: Why Real Estate Investing Makes (Dollars and) Sense. But what’s the best strategy to maximize returns on your investment property? In the next section, we explore the differences between long-term and short-term rentals.


LONG-TERM (TRADITIONAL) RENTAL MARKET

When most people think of owning a rental property, they imagine buying a home and renting it out to tenants to use as their primary residence. Traditionally, investors would use their rental property to generate an additional stream of income while benefiting from the property’s long-term appreciation in value.

In fact, that steady and predictable monthly cash flow is one of the key advantages of owning a long-term rental. And as an owner, you don’t usually have to worry about paying the utility bills or furnishing the property—both of which are typically covered by the tenant. Add to this the fact that traditional tenants translate into less time and effort spent on day-to-day property management, and long-term rentals are an attractive option for many investors.

However, there are also limitations to long-term rentals, which often come down to your ability to control the property. Perhaps the most obvious one is that you do not get to use the home or closely monitor its upkeep (this is different from a short-term rental, which we’ll share in the next section).

In addition, while you can usually generate a steady, predictable income stream with a long-term rental, you are limited in your ability to adjust rent prices based on increasing or seasonal demand. Therefore, you may end up with a lower overall return on your investment. In fact, according to data from Mashvisor, in the 10 hottest real estate markets, short-term rentals produced “significantly higher rental income” than long-term rentals.4


SHORT-TERM (VACATION) RENTAL MARKET

Short-term rentals are often referred to as vacation rentals, as more and more travelers enjoy the benefits of staying in a home while on vacation. In fact, according to Wells Fargo, vacation rentals are steadily growing and predicted to account for 21% of the worldwide accommodations market by 2020.5

Investing in a short-term rental or funding your second-home purchase by renting it out can offer many benefits. If you purchase an investment property in a top travel destination or vacation spot, you can expect steady demand from travelers while taking advantage of any non-rented periods to enjoy the home yourself. In addition to greater control over how your property is used, you can also adjust your rental price around peak travel demand to maximize your returns.

But short-term rentals also have risks and drawbacks that may dissuade some investors. They require greater day-to-day property management, and owners are typically responsible for furnishing the property, upkeep, and utilities.

And while rental revenue can be higher, it can also be less predictable based on seasonal or consumer travel trends. For example, a lack of snowfall during ski season could mean fewer bookings and lower rental revenue that year.

In addition, laws and limitations on short-term rentals can vary by region. And in some areas, the regulations are in flux as residents and government officials adapt to a new surge in short-term rentals. So make sure you understand any existing or proposed restrictions on rentals in the area where you want to invest.

Urban centers or suburban communities may be more resistant to short-term renters, thus more likely to pass future limitations on use. To lower your risk, you may want to consider properties in resort communities that are accustomed to travelers. We can help you assess the current regulations on short-term rentals in our area. Or if you’re interested in investing in another market, we can refer you to a local agent who can help.


WHICH INVESTMENT STRATEGY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Now that you understand these two real estate investment options, how do you pick the right one for you? It’s helpful to start by clarifying your investment goals.

If your goal is to generate steady, predictable income with less time and effort spent on property management, then a long-term rental may be your best option. Also, if you prefer a less-risky investment with more reliable (but possibly lower) returns, then you may be more comfortable with a long-term rental.

On the other hand, if your goal is to purchase a vacation or second home that you’ll use, and you want to defray some (or all) of the expense, then a short-term rental may be a good option for you. Similarly, if you’re open to taking on more risk and revenue volatility for the possibility of greater investment returns, then a short-term rental may better suit your spirit as an investor.

But sometimes the decision isn’t always so clear-cut. If your goal is to purchase a future retirement home now to hedge against inflation, rising real estate prices, and interest rates, then both long- and short-term rentals could be suitable options. In this case, you’ll want to consider other factors like location, market demand, property type, and your risk tolerance.


HERE OR ELSEWHERE … WE CAN HELP

If you’re looking to make a real estate investment—whether it’s a primary residence, investment property, vacation home, or future retirement home—give us a call. We’ll help you determine the best course of action and share insights and resources to help you make an informed decision. And if your plans include buying outside of our area, we can refer you to a local agent who can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation!

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

Sources:

  1. USA Today –
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/real-estate/2017/11/11/renting-homes-overtaking-housing-market-heres-why/845474001/
  2. The Globe and Mail –
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/the-market/article-demand-for-rental-housing-in-canada-now-outpacing-home-ownership/
  3. Phocuswright –
    https://www.phocuswright.com/Travel-Research/Research-Updates/2017/US-Private-Accommodation-Market-to-Reach-36B-by-2018
  4. com –
    https://www.rented.com/vacation-rental-best-practices-blog/do-long-term-rentals-or-short-term-rentals-provide-better-investment-returns/
  5. Turnkey Vacation Rentals –
    https://blog.turnkeyvr.com/short-term-vs-long-term-vacation-rental-properties/
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