Category: Florida Homeowners


Upcoming FHA Changes will reduce the amount of money that a borrower will qualify for. The table below Compliments of Vangie Villamil of VanDyk Mortgage, lays out the cost factors of what monies will cost you now and later when the changes take place.

On a $275,000 loan the difference will be $22.12 a month and a .061% increase. Not many live in a home for 30 years these days, but if you did, the difference in Mortgage Insurance premiums would be $73,200.68 over the life of the loan.

Never a better time like the present to buy your next home!



FHA Loan Program Changes


This was originally posted at

I read lots of Blogs and always enjoy sharing the good ones on my site. This one by Karen Mordus of Re/MAX Associates-Bear (
was well written. Personally I have cleaned some interesting things out of homes, after the sellers leave. I’m never surprised to find a forgotten Christmas tree in the attic, but was very surprised to find a workout bench in the attic! Moving is so hectic it is not any surprise that things get left behind. Hope you enjoy Karen’s story too about how not to forget many items that are forgotten….



WHEN MOVING DAY ARRIVES, there’s nothing quite like the nagging feeling that you’re forgetting something. But, don’t let the moving blues get you down because there are a few tricks that you can use to make sure that you don’t leave anything behind.

A good rule of thumb is that the last things that you use are likely to be those that are forgotten, so make sure to do a final check through the house before leaving. As you are packing in the days leading up to the move, make a checklist of the items you need to remember to pack. If all else fails, use the following checklist to help you retrieve ten of the most forgotten items during a move.

most forgotten lawn-mower

Lawn Mower. Although this is not a small item that’s easy to miss, it is easy to forget your lawn mower because it’s likely to be stored in an outbuilding or other location outside of the home.

most forgotten medicine

Medicine. When travelers go on vacation, their medicine is one of the most commonly forgotten items. Therefore, it just stands to reason that it may also be easily overlooked during a move. Because most medications are kept in a medicine cabinet, they are unobvious at a glance.

most forgotten tools

Tools. We use tools for everyday fix-it projects, but we rarely think to pack them. Tools are important but, because they are not something that’s used on a daily basis, they are easy to miss when packing for a move.

most forgotten flashlight

Flashlight. When the electricity is out or you find yourself out after dark, these handy gadgets are a necessity. Moving day, however, often finds families in the dark when it comes to realizing they have forgotten their trusty flashlight.

most forgotten bathroom plunger

Bathroom Plunger. It’s not a glamorous essential, but it is a necessary one nonetheless. Because a plunger is intentionally made to be unobvious when stored in a bathroom, it’s easy to overlook on moving day.

most forgotten coffee maker

Coffee Maker. If you or someone in your family is a lover of caffeine, your coffee maker is a kitchen essential. Because it’s likely to be one of the last things that you will use before leaving the home, it’s also likely to be forgotten.

most forgotten toilet papaer

Toilet Paper. Speaking of one of the last things that you will use before you leave the home, toilet paper is it. Pack it or buy it when you get there but, either way, this is one kind of paper that you can’t afford to forget.

most forgotten car keys

Car Keys. If you are using a U-Haul to take your belongings to your new home, it’s extremely easy to forget your primary or secondary set of car keys. Do yourself a favor and make a note to take them along.

most forgotten safety deposit box

Fire-Resistant Security Box. Most families have these, but many forget them during a move. Although most fireproof boxes are purchased to house important papers, such as deeds, titles and other essentials, they can be overlooked if they are stored in an inconspicuous place.

most forgotten bills

Bills. Believe it or not, bills are easy to forget. Most people think about the obvious items that they can see, but it’s too easy to accidentally shuffle in some new bills with the old ones and simply discard them. If this should happen, simply call the lender and ask for another statement or make a payment arrangement online or over the phone.

Courtesy of Google Images

Ensuring one’s own safety is the primary concern of every individual.  Having a family to protect makes it doubly important.  You’re quite sure that you already made all the necessary precautions to make your house secure and safe especially for your young ones, and yet it seems that danger is still lurking somewhere at your house.  And it’s boggling you most of the time.

You’ll find the answer just right under your nose, or more specifically on your basement or underneath your kitchen sinks.  Harsh chemicals and household wastes like old paint, used motor oil, batteries, household cleaning supplies are among those domestic supplies that pose a great threat to your safety.  Other hazardous household wastes are solvents, pesticides, lawn and pool chemicals, propane tanks, compact fluorescent light bulbs, tires (a maximum of four per person), fire extinguishers, car batteries, flares, mercury thermometers, televisions, computers, monitors, keyboards, mouse, printers, fax machines, cell phones, and rechargeable batteries.  All of these unsafe wastes should be disposed properly according to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection policy to ensure safety for the inhabitants and more so, to safeguard our environment.

Thus, the City of Broward County and Broward County are partnering to host a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day on Sunday, January 20 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This significant event will be held in the parking lot at City Hall South, 9530 West Sample Road.  All the local residents are encouraged to bring all the Household Hazardous Wastes they can find in their house for proper disposal.  Professionals will be available to assist and offer tips and ways on how to properly dispose these wastes.  This event is solely for domestic wastes only, and will not include business generated wastes.  If you need more information or if you have questions regarding this upcoming event, please feel free to call Broward County Waste and Recycling Services at 954-765-4999.

Free your household of these hazardous wastes and you’ll definitely enjoy a good night sleep everyday!

You just purchased a new home, quite happy with all the brand new furniture and fixings it has, but when your water bill came, you were flabbergasted!  You’ve spent a small fortune already getting new stuff and fixing those broken pipes and leaking faucets! Likewise, you religiously follow all tips and ways on how to conserve water in your home. And yet, your water bill is still over the top!  How could this happen?!

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Are you constantly wondering why your water bill is way above your budget even though you’ve tried all possible means of conserving water at home?  Are you becoming more and more anxious every time your water bill comes in?Don’t worry! You’re not alone in this predicament. Many households are also facing this problem. Believe it or not, the main culprit, why your water bill is sky-rocketing is your TOILET! Have you ever tried checking how much water it takes to flush your toilet? Old toilets usually use 1.6 gallons of water per flush (gpf), and that’s a lot if you’re using your toilet often. Imagine how much you’re spending just flushing your toilet every day!

The US government, in partnership with various cities and municipalities and water companies, has developed this “Toilet Rebate Program” where rebates are given to qualified residents, businesses, and non-profit sectors who will take part in conserving water by using Low Flow or High Efficiency Toilets (HET). These new toilets use only 1.28 gallons of water per flush (gpf), that’s 20 percent less than the old and inefficient toilets. Thereby, the average water savings for HET is approximately 19,000 gallons of water per year, when swapping an average and non-efficient toilet.

Most people tend to neglect checking the toilet details when purchasing their new house. Not only the exterior details of the house like wall paint,  installing new cabinets and putting new carpeting down should be considered, being aware of how the furniture works and the home’s energy and water consumption are vital if you want to save money. Taking extra effort to know if your new neighborhood offers Toilet Rebate is a plus to help you save money.  You can always check with your Realtor if this rebate is being offered in your area before purchasing the home you covet.

Renovating a house could surely put a big dent in your budget, nevertheless participating in the Toilet Rebate Program could be a great help.  Not onlywill you save money, you’re being environmentally friendly too!

Broward County includes well known cities of Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Highland Beach, Hillsboro, Lighthouse Point, Parkland, Plantation, Sunrise, Tamarac and Weston.

There are currently 4470­, Single Family Homes LISTED FOR SALEin Broward County.

­­­1759 priced under $250,000
1319 priced between 250,001 and $500,000
497 priced between $500,001 and $750,000
256 priced between $750,001 and $1,000,000
217 priced between $1,000,001 and $1,500,000
133 priced between $1,500,001 and $2,000,000
288 priced over $2,000,000

For the month of October, 982, Single Family Homes SOLD in Broward County.

581 were sold under $250,000
306 were sold between 250,001 and $500,000
60 were sold between $500,001 and $750,000
16 were sold between $750,001 and $1,000,000
10 were sold between $1,000,001 and $1,500,000
5 were sold between $1,500,001 and $2,000,000
4 were sold over $2,000,000

There are currently 5705 Multi-Family Homes LISTED FOR SALEin Broward County.  Multi-Family Homes include condos, town homes, villas, coops, all attached and or unattached as well as single story to multi levels.

4084 are priced under $250,000
991 are priced between 250,001 and $500,000
263 are priced between $500,001 and $750,000
157 are priced between $750,001 and $1,000,000
112 are priced between $1,000,001 and $1,500,000
47 are priced between $1,500,001 and $2,000,000
51 are priced over $2,000,000

For the month of October, 1156 Multi-Family Homes SOLD in Broward County.

Note that many of the lower priced multi family homes are located in Adult only communities with a over the age of 55 requirment to live there.

1046 were sold under $250,000
75 were sold between 250,001 and $500,000
24 were sold between $500,001 and $750,000
10 were sold between $750,001 and $1,000,000
9 were sold between $1,000,001 and $1,500,00
1 was sold between $1,500,001 and $2,000,000
1 was sold over $2,000,000

Palm Beach County includes well known cities of Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Lake Worth, Wellington and West Palm Beach.

There are currently 4220, single family homes listed For Sale in Palm Beach County.

­­ 1209priced under $250,000
1326 priced between 250,001 and $500,000
550 priced between $500,001 and $750,000
332 priced between $750,001 and $1,000,000
258 priced between $1,000,001 and $1,500,000
155 priced between $1,500,001 and $2,000,000
390 priced over $2,000,000

For the month of October, 736 Single Family Homes SOLD in Palm Beach County.  (Selected Cities Referenced).

458 were sold under $250,000
193 were sold between 250,001 and $500,000
32 were sold between $500,001 and $750,000
21 were sold between $750,001 and $1,000,000
13 were sold between $1,000,001 and $1,500,000
4 were sold between $1,500,001 and $2,000,000
13 were sold over $2,000,000

There are currently 4395, Multi-Family Homes LISTED FOR SALEin Palm Beach County.  Multi-Family Homes include condos, town homes, villas, coops, all attached and or unattached as well as single story to multi levels.

3225 are priced under $250,000
696 are priced between 250,001 and $500,000
202 are priced between $500,001 and $750,000
114 are priced between $750,001 and $1,000,000
76 are priced between $1,000,001 and $1,500,000
29 are priced between $1,500,001 and $2,000,000
53 are priced over $2,000,000

For the month of October, 719 Multi-Family Homes SOLD in Palm Beach county. (Selected Cities Referenced).

662 were sold under $250,000
30 are sold between 250,001 and $500,000
16  were sold between $500,001 and $750,000
3 were sold between $750,001 and $1,000,000
4 was sold between $1,000,001 and $1,500,000
1 were sold between $1,500,001 and $2,000,000
3 were sold over $2,000,000


Statistical Graph for SINGLE FAMILY HOMES LISTED FOR SALE in Broward County

Available SF Broward Sample

Statistical Graph for SINGLE FAMILY HOMES SOLD in Broward County

SF Broward SOLD

Statistical Graph for MULTI-FAMILY HOMES LISTED FOR SALE in Broward County


Statistical Graph for MULTI-FAMILY HOMES SOLD in Broward County


Statistical Graph for SINGLE FAMILY HOMES LISTED FOR SALE in Palm Beach County

SF Available PB

Statistical Graph for SINGLE FAMILY HOMES SOLD in Palm Beach County

SF sold PB

Statistical Graph for MULTI-FAMILY HOMES LISTED FOR SALE in Palm Beach County


Statistical Graph for MULTI-FAMILY HOMES SOLD in Palm Beach County

MF sold PB

To see specific details on a specific category of homes actively for sale or sold, please email us at and we will forward the information for your reference or review.

Information deemed reliable as provided by the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale
and the Realtor Association of the Palm Beaches.

Single Family Homes in both counties are higher in listings ever so slightly compared to last month.
Sales were up in both counties for single family by approximately 100 properties.
In Multi-Family homes both counties were up slightly in listings and in sales.

Orignally Posted at

I had the privilege of completing a real estate transaction with Claudio & Robyn Petasne of Keller Williams (prior to us being with KW).                    

They were very enjoyable to work with.  What I especially liked was the email below that
I  received from them as we were wrapping up the transaction. Particularly item #3.

Of course, what a GREAT Question!  There are those little nuances about every home
that are not readily apparent.  For example, my front door tends to stick, so a little, “hip action”
push, opens it faster. My top oven is perfect in temperature but the bottom is off by 10 degrees.

Hi Joy
Some final details my buyer needs to prepare for closing
1) What is the alarm code? the security company said it will be much easier / cheaper to transfer service if they have the code rather than having to reset the entire system. 
2) instructions on using and maintaining the pool? Do they use a pool service? is there a manual for the pump or can she give instructions? 

3) do any of the appliances have “personalities” that need to be explained?

4) we are planning the walk through for Monday Morning
Thanks so much    Robyn and Claudio

I saved the email as a reminder, that this is the perfect question to ask a homeowner to make the new owners transition easier.


Originally published at

Talking to my Mom, the other day about the various situations we have with our real estate transaction and one particular transaction where the financing is a challenge.

She pipes in, “Our First Home we traded a washer and dryer for our down payment”.      

Seriously?!?!  Oh Yes, she was serious.  Said they were coming from a 27′ trailer and didn’t have a lot of money, so Dad would go to distress sales or garage sales and pick up used items, repair them or clean them up and sell them.

It made me wish for the simpler days when there were not so many regulations that keep people from making a buy and sale transaction easier.

When I started selling, contracts were 6 pages.  They are near 20 pages now with all of the disclosures.

And a washer and dryer as a Down Payment?!?! Highly unlikely – A Car Maybe?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm  

The Walk introduces the 6th Annual Trick-or-Treat at The Walk!
Join The Walk as it’s transformed into a safe and
happy Halloween haven for the whole family.
Enjoy trick-or-treating at the shops and restaurants,
live music by 100 Proof,
face painting and balloon artistry by Mother Goose,
free raffles and prizes sponsored by the fantastic merchants
of The Walk, and lots of fun for the entire family!

*Trick-or-treating for ages 11 years and younger, accompanied by an adult.
Remember to dress up and bring your trick-or-treat bag!

Trick-or-Treat at The Walk schedule of activities:
o Trick-or-Treating at The Walk shops: 5pm – 7pm
o Face Painting/Balloons by Mother Goose: 5pm – 8pm
o Live Entertainment by 1—Proof & Raffles: 6pm – 10pm

We look forward to seeing you at The Walk on Halloween!

Celebrate Halloween at The Walk


The Walk • 2600-2920 N. University Drive • Coral Springs, FL 33065

For more event info, please call the Event Hotline: 954-340-6070

REDUCE – Purchase only what you need and there is less to throw away.

REUSE – Buy durable, long-lasting products that can be used repeatedly.  This will help to reduce resource consumption.Modern Recycle Logo, The Three G's of Being Green and Recycling

RECYCLE – Glass, CFL’s, plastic, paper, wood, ink toner, etc. to keep them out of landfills and incinerators.

Many local companies have ECO-Option Plans and support these efforts by collecting consumer waste.  Home Depot collects fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s), Office Depot, Office Max and Best Buy collect toner and ink jet cartridges, old cell phones and batteries. Pep Boys, Advance Auto Supply and Wal-Mart collect used motor oil, oil filters, car batteries.


When recycling first came around I thought I couldn’t do anything to assist. Then I thought, if I just pick one thing up or drop one thing into the recycle instead of the trash, I can make a SMALL difference.

One of the things that set me in motion was a story I read about a little boy, walking along the seashore, tossing the starfish he found washed up along the shoreline, back into the ocean. A man approached him and said to the young boy, “You can’t possibly think you are going to be able to save ALL of the Starfish on the beach”. To which the young boy replied, “I made a difference to that one”.

Yes, it is one piece here and there and lots at home, where I CAN make a difference.





Joy Carter, CRS, SFR, PMN, e-PRO
Coral Springs Festival of the Arts  Sponsor Chair
Jeff Booker, Relocation Specialist
Scott Bagoon, Buyers Agent
Julie Mello, Client Care Specialist

Great Florida Homes- Coral Springs, Florida

954-695-7653 Office  954-755-0384 Fax