GENERAL REAL ESTATE NEWS AND VIEWS

Home prices up / Sales down

Prices have grown too high and the buyer pool is shrinking, say local brokers who are on the industry’s front lines. And it’s not just the usual summer doldrums.

There are too many properties out there that are over-priced. The biggest thing that holds a property from selling is the price.

The latest numbers from South Florida’s realtor associations confirm that resale prices are rising.

Broward County trend, especially for units in multifamily projects, according to a report from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors.

The median resale price for condos and town homes in Broward grew to $135,000 in May 2015, up from $124,000 in May 2014. Single-family homes saw a smaller jump, rising to $297,000 from $295,000 the previous year.

Sales are still strong for single-family homes in Broward county, rising .8 percent in Broward year-over-year.

But the condo market, where inventory is higher, has weakened: sales were down 9.4 percent in Broward.

Another factor holding the local market back: stagnant wages.

Between 2010 and 2013, Census figures show, Broward’s median household income barely budged at about $51,000.

Rising prices and static salaries have made South Florida one of the least affordable housing markets in the nation — and that’s putting a damper on buyers.

Buyers from Latin American and Europe have driven South Florida’s real estate market since the recession, but a strong dollar and currency crises abroad are limiting the pool of foreign money.

Foreign buyers — who often buy in cash — are still interested in purchasing property here but can’t afford ever-rising prices.

But Americans from the northeast and the west coast are helping buoy sales as they grow more comfortable with South Florida’s 50 percent deposit structure.

Most sellers are realizing that buyers are more educated and more cautious and are shopping around a little harder. We’re starting to see sellers getting more realistic on their pricing.

While the market may be cooling down, developers still have plenty of luxury projects in the pipeline. But with fewer buyers on the horizon, they know it’s important to go for quality over quantity.

We are seeing a steady flow of new projects coming in, But many developers are leaving units on the table in order to build luxury projects with less density but bigger units and more amenities.

CARPET CLEANING

When you buy a new home, you may want to have the carpets cleaned before moving in. Certainly this task is easier before your furniture and belongings are in place. Carpeting is a sizable investment so choosing the right carpet cleaner is important in your efforts to protect it. Call several companies, ask each the same questions, compare prices, and check with your friends and neighbors for references.

FURNITURE PLACEMENT 101

As you prepare your home for sale, spacious is the look you want to achieve. Go from room to room and position yourself in the spot where the buyer will get the first view. If the look is cluttered, or doesn't work, what changes can you make?

HOMEOWNER TIP OF THE WEEK

THE MIRACLE OF VINEGAR

White vinegar is one of the essential items you should have in your arsenal of cleaning products. Available in pints, quarts, and gallons at any grocery, white vinegar is inexpensive, safe and effective for lots of household chores, particularly when it comes to cleaning the bath.

When it comes to your home, first impressions are everything. Buyers will drive by and make an instant decision on whether they want to step inside.

The exterior of your home, in conjunction with the landscaping, has the ability to make or break the first appearance. Just as important as accessories are to completing an outfit, the perfect front door can instantly increase the curb appeal of your home.

To gain the viewpoint of the potential Buyer, walk across from the front of your home and give it a critical look. Is there something that is less than appealing? Does it look neat, clean and most of all, inviting? Take notes and decide where your improvement dollars might be best spent.

Whether you replace your front door, or spruce up the one you now have, the improvement will be noticeable. You will get your share of positive comments from friends and neighbors about how handsome the house looks.  

Depending on your home's exterior finishing, you might consider painting the door a color that complements the color of the trim, rather than matching it. Consult a color wheel, and consider the colors located adjacent to the trim color, or directly opposite. Red, purple, or green front doors are not uncommon today.

The door is a relatively small space, considering the expanse of the front of most homes, so you can choose an unconventional color for the door and not have it overwhelm the facade. And because of the small area of the door, it can be easily repainted if you change your mind. Some experts have reported that a yellow door adds immediate impact and clearly says, 'Welcome.' 

If you have a solid wood door, consider refinishing it. If the wood is particularly beautiful or interesting, you can simply oil or seal it to show off the grain. Talk to someone at the paint store or the home improvement store about the best way to enhance the appearance of your wood door and protect it against the elements.  

You can also freshen up the entrance by polishing or replacing the hardware on the door. If the doorknob, lock, and kick plate are shabby, buy new ones. Measure what you have before you go shopping.  

New doors range in price from a few hundred for a steel door off the rack at the home improvement store to a custom designed wood door, which can cost thousands. Because of durability and affordability, steel doors are very popular. Steel holds up to the elements better than wood, which can expand and crack after a few years' exposure to sun and rain.  

A steel door must be painted regularly to prevent rust. If you are feeling artsy, you can apply a gel coating to a steel door and use a graining tool to create a faux wood finish. Some steel doors include decorative glass and cost a bit more but they add unique style.  

Fiberglass doors are popular for special orders. Special order fiberglass doors cost a little more than twice what you would expect to pay for a steel door. Fiberglass doors do not dent or chip, and are impervious to the weather.

Steel and fiberglass top the list of popular door choices, but wood doors continue to do well. Wood surfaces must be refinished and varnished every few years, depending on how much they are exposed to the elements. Mahogany is a popular choice, especially in wet or humid climates, because it does not expand or contract much. Oak is an excellent wood for a front door but is very hard and does not accept paint well. Keep this in mind should you decide to paint it later on. 

Consider whether your home is stucco, siding, or brick, and note the interesting architectural details. Your front door should enhance the existing elements, not compete with them. Newer homes with cleaner exterior lines can take on an elaborate door, though the design should be in keeping with the home's size and style. New stock doors give you dozens of options, while a custom door is often the focal point of the property. Whether you paint, refinish, or replace the door, freshening up the entrance is sure to enhance your home's curb appeal.

 

 

Thanks for reading! We try to update often as news becomes available.  If you have any questions or if I can assist  in any way, please contact me.

Have a great week! Tim Griffin

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