Category: Home Sellers

Why Move To Florida?

Are you considering moving to South Florida? In the past few years many people from the northeast and other parts of the country have been flocking to South Florida. Of course the warm weather has always been a big draw, but recently other factors have had a major influence in the decision to relocate such as:

Taxes:

There is no state income tax, inheritance tax or estate tax. This can make a big difference, especially for people living on a fixed income. Florida is a leader when it comes to lower taxes. This was one of the top reasons residents relocated to Florida in the past 5 years.

Ease of Traveling:

Florida is a big state. Florida is unique in that you can drive just a few hours away and feel like you are in a completely different place. The state is filled with diverse cultures and locations. From Disney World to South Beach you are sure to find somewhere to have a great “staycation”.  If you do want to travel outside of Florida, there are an abundance of airports to choose from. Miami International Airport is the tenth busiest airport in the country, and you won’t have a problem finding a flight to your chosen destination.

Active Lifestyle:

Being bored is not something that happens too often in Florida. Between the beaches, theme parks, golf course, and outdoor activities galore there is always something to do for all ages. The sunny weather of course makes it much easier to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. There is no shortage of Vitamin D here!

Still not ready to make the move? Our Great Florida Homes team is always available to help with any questions you may have about moving to our great state of Florida!


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Everyone has their own list of their own wants and needs when looking for a home, but there are three features that show up most often on the home buyers most wanted list.

  • Storage Space: This can come in the form of a garage or closet space. Many homeowners aren’t looking for a 3 car garage for cars, but for storage usage. Any garage space or extra closets are a big bonus in a home.
  • “Green” Home: Energy efficient appliances, ceiling fans, and energy star rated homes have become more in demand. Not only because of environmental awareness, but primarily because of the cost savings. Saving on utility costs is high on many buyers lists when choosing a home. If you are looking to make home improvements before selling have an energy audit done to identify the best investment for your energy-improvement dollars. Especially in South Florida where a lot of air conditioning is used this can be very important!
  • Kitchen: The Kitchen has become the center of many homes. It is not only where people cook, but where they entertain. Open floor plans have become increasingly popular for this reason. Changing a floor plan however can be a big renovation, something as simple as painting the cabinets or updating lighting fixtures in the kitchen can make the home a lot more appealing to a potential buyer.

Does your housing wishlist include these items?

 

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So you have found the house of your dreams and you are ready to seal the deal. Whether it’s your first home or you have done this before, closing the deal on a home can cause some anxiety. Knowing what to expect at the closing table will help ease your nerves when closing day comes. Here are some tips to help you prepare for that day:

  • Bring all documents you have received throughout the purchasing process to the closing table. If all your papers are organized and in order this will help move things along.
  • Do not expect the closing process to take 20 minutes. The time frame can range, so it is recommended that you take a half day or even a full day if possible set aside for the closing day. You do not want to rush things.
  • Understand all the costs involved. You do not want any surprises on this day. It can be more than just the purchase price of the house and attorney fees. Typically, you can expect to pay about 3% of the total loan amount in closing costs, although that number will depend on the state you are purchasing in and the type of loan you choose. Have your realtor and banker/lender go over these costs with you before the day comes, so you know what to expect.
  • You’ll need to provide evidence of required homeowners insurance and inspections
  • Homeowners are generally given a last opportunity to go through the home to see if any issues have arisen since the last meeting on the home. Any repairs or issues noticed need to be addressed at this time, once closing is done the negotiations are done.

If everything is in order closing day can run very smoothly. When closing day comes and you have to sign that final document, you will be prepared! The GreatFloridaHomes team is here to help prepare you and answer any questions you may have!

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Whether your kids have moved out of your family home or you have that spare bedroom that has remained untouched for quite some time, you have made the decision to create a home office for yourself. The kitchen table is no longer sufficing for your home office needs. The best way to begin converting the room is to empty it out completely. Rearranging furniture and trying to work with the current contents still in the room can be very tough. You want a fresh start and seeing the room empty will allow you to visualize your organization strategy.

Many spare bedrooms/home offices can be small so the space needs to be used creatively. Here are some tips to help make the conversion easier and take advantage of the space you have.

  • Vertical Space: Use the vertical space you have by installing shelving or when finding a desk, purchase one with a large hutch above it.
  • Corner Space: Corners are often underutilized spaces, think about installing a dedicated corner desk unit instead of a standard desk. Especially if for your work you assemble presentations or are using lots of papers at a time, the desk space will be very useful.
  • Back Drop: Design an attractive backdrop. With video conferencing becoming a more and more popular way to communicate, particularly for employees who work from their homes, it is important to consider the view from your webcam. you want a clean and neat presentation to whomever you are conferencing with.
  • Lighting: Lighting is very important. You do not want to be squinting to read your paperwork or computer. If the room does not have great overhead lighting, invest in some standing lamps.

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There are many advantages to turning a spare room into a home office. A dedicated office space in your home can in some cases be a tax write-off. If you use part of your home for business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. The home office deduction is available for homeowners and renters, and applies to all types of homes. If you put in the time to re-organize your spare room, having that private home office will be a great reward!

The start of a new year always brings on thoughts of starting fresh and making goals to achieve for the year. If you are a home owner or intend to become one in 2015 here are five resolutions you may want to add to your list!

  • Try cutting back on some of your extraneous expenses and putting that money towards extra mortgage payments. Making additional mortgage payments will allow you to finish paying in a shorter period of time, which means you end up paying less in the long term. Even just a few additional dollars a week put aside for your mortgage can make a big difference.
  • Check your credit score and try to raise it. If you want to prepare to buy a home in 2015 your credit score is important. Your credit score and credit history are two of the biggest factors banks look at when you apply for your home loan. A year is plenty of time to get your credit score in order. Focus on paying your bills on time and your credit card balances off in full each month. Also be sure to close any credit cards that you haven’t used in months that have a zero balance. A good rule of thumb is to only have 3 open credit cards at a time. Having too many credit cards can negatively effect your credit score.
  • Did you make some big improvements on your home last year? Give your home insurance agent or carrier a call and see if there are ways you can save money this year because of the improvements. Having the latest information about your home on file will make sure you are getting the best price. Looking back on 2014 can help you save in 2015!
  • Start saving for a down payment on a home. For first-time home buyers, the median down payment is 6 percent, and 13 percent for repeat buyers. This can take months to save for, but if you make it your goal in 2015 it can be achieved if you cut back in other areas. Most Americans say they cut back on entertainment and clothing in order to save for their first home down payment.
  • Feel your finances are in order already? As a first time home buyer a good goal then for 2015 is to obtain a pre-approval letter from a financial institution indicating approval for a loan up to a specific dollar amount. These letters do not guarantee anything, however it will open up the door to seriously begin your home buying process.

Whatever your resolution may be, try sticking to it for all of 2015! We wish you the best of luck and Happy New Year!

 

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Home-buyers, especially first time buyers, report that one of the biggest challenges they face in the home buying transaction is understanding the mortgage process. This issue may be that lenders aren’t doing their best educate borrowers through the process, but it also comes from inexperienced buyers not knowing the right questions to ask. Here are some tips to help navigate you through the process:

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  1. Find a lender who will sit down with you and explain each step of the process. If you don’t personally know any lenders ask for referrals. Your Realtor is always happy to assist in finding you a lender match!
  2. Be willing and prepared to provide the information your lender needs. Financial information is a very sensitive subject for many, but you need to be willing to be honest and prepared. The more information your lender has the better they can assist you in finding the right loan for you.
  3. Have a timeline in mind for how long you want to stay in this home. If it is a small home that you plan on moving out of in two years when you start a family, let your lender know. They can help recommend and tailor the loan to fit your plan.
  4. Don’t try to get a loan that is beyond your current means. This not only doesn’t leave room for financial surprises in life, but you’ll build equity and wealth much more quickly if you buy a home you can comfortably afford.

Applying for a mortgage loan is a big life step, but a lot of the pressure can be eased if you take the time to educate yourself on the process and ask for help when you need it! Great Florida Homes is happy to be one of your resources in your home buying process.

 

 

 

Cleaning out your home is a great opportunity to start the New Year off on a good note. After your cleaning is completed you will probably have some household items that you need to dispose of. The cities of Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Tamarac, Fort Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach have established a cooperative agreement that will allow city residents several opportunities to dispose the full range of materials at special one-day events throughout the year.

Items that will be accepted include:waste image

  • Paints
  • Electronics
  • Bulbs
  • Antifreeze
  • Auto Batteries
  • Motor Oil
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Other hazardous household items

Collection days will be the first Saturday of every month from 8AM to 5PM. Coral Springs residents may drop off these items at the Waste Transfer Station, located at the west end of Wiles Road at NW 126 Ave. Two forms of ID are required to prove residency (i.e. driver’s license, bill, or registration, etc.). Check out the Coral Springs website for detailed date listings and holiday exceptions here: www.coralsprings.org/publicworks – Happy cleaning!

 

 

 

Searching for a condo property? Condos are a very popular route to take when looking for a home in South Florida and can also be a great investment. Finding the condo property that is right for you can require a lot of time and effort. Here are some tips that can help make the process a little easier.

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Be Patient

Before beginning the search have a list of all the qualities you want in your condo property. After listing them, prioritize them. This will be your guide. It can be tough to find exactly what you are looking for, but sticking to guidelines will assure that you find the right place for you. It can take time, but be patient. Be realistic, but don’t feel the need to buy the first condo for sale you see. Searching multiple properties will give you the best idea of what is available in the market.

Consider the Fees

Most condo properties come with other responsibilities that vary greatly from purchasing a home. Maintaining a condo is not a cheap and easy feat. Speak with previous owners and property managers about expectations and general maintenance fees they encountered. Take this into account when discussing budget with your financial advisor.

Work With a Real Estate Agent

Last, but definitely not least, we recommend working with a real estate agent! This is not a process you should be working through alone. Not only can a real estate agent make things easier and less time consuming, but many great property listings are only available to the agents. This will allow you to have access to the most options and a knowledgeable resource every step of the way. Real estate agents are also very helpful during the negotiation process. Consulting professionals such as real estate agents, lawyers, and accountants will help you make the most educated and sound investment.

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Becoming a homeowner does not happen overnight. It is one of the largest purchases most people make in their lifetime and as a buyer you will receive endless advice from family and friends. If you have already expressed an interest in buying a home you have already taken the first step. There are a few questions you should know the answer to before beginning the home buying process. Evaluating factors in the current market and in your current personal situation will help you make an informed decision.

Why am I buying a home?

This may seem like an obvious question, but it is one of the most important ones. Are you buying because you want a place to raise a family? Do you need more space? A space that you are in control of? Make a list of the benefits you will gain from buying a home, and not just the financial benefits.The emotional and personal benefits of buying a home are very crucial to your decision.

What are homes worth today and where are home values headed?

After considering the personal and emotional benefits to home buying you need to delve into the financial side of the process. There are many resources available to home buyers that will give average projections of the markets. Ask your Realtor and check out online real estate market journals to find indications on what’s to come in the housing market.

What can you reasonably afford?

In order to figure this out you need to take a calculated inventory of your income, expenses, assets, savings, and debts. After you have this laid out it is best to sit down with a financial adviser and find out what price range is reasonable for you situation. You don;t want to find the perfect home only to discover it’s out of your price range. It is best to know this before delving into the search to deep. Along with this, don’t only consider the listed price of the home, but how much it may cost in the long term. Mortgage rates have gone from one extreme to the other in years past. Before going into the home search learn about where interest rates are now and where they might be headed to understand what you really will be paying for a home.

If you can answer all these questions you are most likely ready to start your home buying search!

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Never be afraid to ask your Realtor too many questions. Only you and your family can make the final decision to purchase a home, but it is best to make the decision in the most prepared and informed way possible. Contact the GreatFloridaHomes team if you want us to help answer any of your home buying questions!

We are already flying through November which means the holiday season is upon us! Thanksgiving is only about two weeks away and December will be here before we know it. Kids away at college start to come home and relatives begin to trickle in from everywhere! The Coral Springs community has tons of events and fun holiday themed activities for the whole family. The following are some great events coming up in your area during the holiday season:

 

RACE FOR EDUCATION 5K Run/Walk

When? Sat November 22, 2014 7:30AM

What better way to kick off the holiday season with some exercise! On November 22, Coral Springs Middle and Country Hills Elementary will team up for a certified, timed, 5K “Race for Education”. Aside from fostering the idea of fitness and community involvement, the schools hope to raise funds in order to buy equipment to enhance their technology departments and allow the schools to continue to provide a high quality education. Family, friends and community members are encouraged to attend. Local business sponsorship’s are needed to make this event a success. Online registration and donations can be made at https://runsignup.com/Race/Register/?raceId=12286  Join us for a morning of fun, food, music and more!! Serious runners and casual walkers are welcome.

Where? North Springs Community Park 10598 Westview Drive
Coral Springs , Fl 33076


ANNUAL THANKSGIVING COMMUNITY MEAL

When? Thu November 27, 2014 11:30am

Description: Join us on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, at 11:30 AM for a FREE Community Thanksgiving Meal!   We’ll be sharing together a complete hot Thanksgiving dinner that includes turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, and dessert! We’ll also have live music.  Invite a friend, make some new friends. Dinner is served at 11:30 AM. For more information check out http://www.firstchurchcoralsprings.org/

Where? 8650 W. SAMPLE ROAD
CORAL SPRINGS, FL 33065

2014 Coral Springs Holiday Parade

When? Wed December 10, 2014 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The annual Coral Springs Holiday Parade featuring bands, floats and entertainers. Information about participating, sponsoring, volunteering and watching the parade as well as information about road closures will be available at www.coralsprings.org/holidayparade

Where? Sample Road, from Coral Springs Drive to University Drive, Coral Springs , Florida 33065

The Great Florida Homes Team wishes you all and happy and safe holiday season!

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