The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) showed in its May 25 report that U.S. home prices decreased 5.5% compared with the first quarter of 2010. Find out what your monthly mortgage payment could be with Bankrate's mortgage calculator.
Have you noticed an increase in buyer and investor home buying activity in your community as a result of lower mortgage rates?
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate’s Longboat Key office was ranked as the #4 office in the U.S. for its 2010 sales volume for offices with 36-50 sales associates. This is the fifth consecutive year that the Longboat Key office has been ranked in the top five offices of its size in the country.
“The biggest reason why our office has been so successful is the remarkable dedication of our outstanding sales associates,” said managing broker, Bob Stanley. “Our office was the only nationally recognized Coldwell Banker office in the state of Florida based on sales volume. The office has been home to the #1 agent in closed sales volume in Sarasota County for the past four years and we consistently have five or six agents in the top 10 in sales volume according to the local MLS. ”
In Longboat Key’s primary zip code, 34228, Stanley’s office closed 142 real estate transactions in 2010, more than any other single branch office, and accounted for 45.3 percent of all listings sold over $1 million on Longboat Key. They also led the overall market zip codes 34228 and 34236 with a 13.3 percent total market share as compared with the 9.9 percent share for its closest branch competitor.
In April, sales associate Lois Wery from the Longboat Key office closed a record-breaking $12.5 million sale on Longboat Key.
Photo of Siesta Beach and its sugary-white sand during of the beach's annual sand sculpting competitions
Start planning your summer vacation - or changing it! Siesta Beach in Sarasota, FL is clearly the place to be. Dr. Beach, aka Dr. Stephen Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University stated, “The sand is like sugar. Some people can't believe it. It's super soft, super fine. They claim to have the finest, whitest sand in the world, and I can't argue with that.”
For the past two years, Siesta was ranked No. 2 in the survey. Now local tourism officials can boast the top spot. Siesta Beach beat out, two beaches in Florida, two in Hawaii and one each in California, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts and South Carolina.
"The water is clear, clean and emerald-colored. The beach is safe. There's plenty of parking, a great snack bar and lots of other facilities," said Dr.Beach.
The beaches are ranked according to a list of 50 criteria that includes wave size and water quality, sand color, cleanliness and the availability of lifeguards and on-site amenities.
To find a perfect spot on the best beach to vacation this summer. Visit Coldwell Banker Siesta Key Vacation Rentals site.
Join us in a moment of reflection this Memorial Day, honoring the legacy of our heroes who have served our nation throughout the generations. May their commitment to freedom and democracy inspire us all to be proud citizens, worthy of their ultimate sacrifice.
If you are active gaurd, we support you! Make sure you know the options that are available to you. The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA) expanded and improved the former Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act (SSCRA). The SCRA provides a wide range of protections for individuals entering, called to active duty in the military, or deployed servicemembers. It is intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations to enable service members to devote full attention to duty and relieve stress on the family members of those deployed service members.
According to a WSJ article, sales of new homes posted a 7.1% gain in April from March, raising expectations that the downturn in residential construction could be near a bottom.
New homes sold in April at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 323,000 units. That was an increase from March, but still down 23% from the sales pace of April 2010.
In February, new homes were selling at an annual pace of 278,000 units, tying the slowest rate since the Census Bureau began tracking the data in 1963, but sales have risen in the past two months.
he median sales price of a new home also rose in April for the second month in a row, coming in at $217,900, up 4% from the same month last year.
The rise in sales and prices is partly attributed to falling inventory, which some economists say is leveling out an imbalance between supply and demand.
NAR asks you to contact your U.S. senator and representative with your opinion about the impact this 20% down payment rule will have on home sales. Instead, regulators should implement a more reasonable QRM that will allow creditworthy buyers to get a mortgage loan.
Voice your concerns through NAR’s Realtor Action Center. A sample email has been created with space for your personal message and the system automatically sends a copy to your representatives.
How many potential buyers will be eliminated if they’re required to have a 20% down payment? How would that impact a market already saturated with repossessed homes?
Do your part and let your representatives know how you feel.
Many of us choose where we live and what we do around our pets. Let's face it, animals are part of the family too. We came across this Q & A section on Yahoo.com that gives you answers and informational videos on your dogs and cats. It gives you expert tips on health, food & nutrition, behavior & training and those cute little new puppies.
Here are also some tips when it comes time to sell your home if you have pets.
Before showing your home to buyers, you should try to remove all signs of your pets. Start by putting away any food and water bowls, pet toys and litter boxes. If your dogs use a doggie door to get in and out of your home, consider replacing or sealing up the door.
To ensure that you don't offend the eyes (or noses) of prospective buyers, you may want to devote extra time to cleaning your home. If you have cats or dogs that roam freely in the home, start by vacuuming the entire house. Next, as most pet-loving homes have a carpet stain or two, consider hiring a professional cleaner to get rid of the offending spots.
Ideally, homeowners may want to try relocating their pets while their home is on the market. Rather than keeping your four-legged loved ones locked up in the garage, consider asking your friends and family to help out.
While there may be plenty of pet-friendly homebuyers that visit your open house, it is important not to offend anyone who looks at your home. In fact, even some pet owners might be turned off by the presence of your pets. After all, plenty of pet owners believe their own animals to be cleaner and better behaved than anyone else's. Hence, when it comes time to show your home to prospective homebuyers, you should try your best to minimize your pets' impact.
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate has ranked first in sales volume and transaction sides among all Florida’s real estate companies in 2010, as listed in the REAL Trends 500, an annual research report that identifies the country’s largest and most successful residential real estate brokerage firms.
With 83 offices and more than 4,600 sales professionals, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate accounted for $7.85 billion in sales volume and nearly 36,000 closed transactions.
“We take pride in our tradition of truly remarkable customer service, and we are continually evolving to meet the needs of our clients,” said Clark W. Toole III, President, Florida, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate and Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT. “This ranking validates our commitment to our clients and reinforces our position as a market leader in Florida.”
New Gen X and Y households will help increase housing starts to about 648,000 this year and to nearly 900,000 in 2012, vs. 586,800 last year, estimates Metrostudy, a market information provider.
Have your own Gen X and Y-ers moved back home with you? How will the creation of new households in your neighborhood or community impact the local economy, housing market and employment outlook?
Rising Gas Prices Drive Desire for Shorter Commutes and Home Offices
Are you tired of paying at the pump? The high cost of gasoline is not just emptying wallets; it is also impacting where consumers choose to buy a home. According to a new Coldwell Banker survey among its network of real estate professionals, 75 percent said that the recent spike in gas prices has influenced their clients’ decisions on where to live, and 93 percent said if gas prices continue to rise, more homebuyers will choose to live somewhere that allows for a closer commute to their work.
The Desire to Be Close to Work, or Work from Home
Out of those who said gas prices affect where consumers want to live, being closer to work was the leading consideration.
- Drive time and racking up miles en-route to the office caused 89 percent to say buyers look for homes closer to work. Forty-five (45) percent are seeing buyers choose homes closer to shops and services as a result of increasing gas prices.*
More than three quarters of the real estate professionals surveyed (77 percent) said more buyers today are interested in having a home office compared to five years ago, and 68 percent of those respondents said that they believe the high cost of gas contributes to this new work from home trend.
- Currently, there are more than 25,000 homes available on coldwellbanker.com that include “office” as part of the listing description.
Penthouse on the same floor as Babe Ruth's old penthouse and the unit number is the same as his career home runs, #714. Between 1927 and 1934 during spring training with the New York Yankees Babe Ruth lived in St. Petersburg's Flori-de-Leon apartment building. He lived in the penthouse unit #702 of the Flori-de-Leon and his teammate, Lou Gehrig, who also played on the Yankees, rented the unit next door.
Tales of wild nights and great times are still being talked about in this apartment building that has views of Tropicana Field, where the NY Yankees play when they are in town during the regular season to combat the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees also still spring train in the Tampa Bay area.
Want to live where Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig lived, started their careers and left memories? Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate has a listing in the same building that the duo lived in during spring training back in the early '90s. Better yet, it is actually on the same floor that Babe’s penthouse was on and the unit number happens to be #714, the same number of career home runs that Babe had and retired with.
The building is a co-op and is for ages 55 and up. So you can retire strong like Babe Ruth's home run record!
Fun facts about the famous 7th floor penthouse on the market
- Apartment #714, same as Babe’s career home runs
- There are only 4 penthouses in the building and this one is the only one on the market
- There is a Babe and Lou lounge on the 7th floor
- Views of Tropicana Field
- A Babe Ruth terrace with great views of the city
The Jills®, sales associates from Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Miami, have a new $9.4 million listing at 2345 Lake Avenue in Miami Beach, currently owned by professional tennis player Anna Kournikova.
The blonde beauty’s 6,600 square foot, ivy-covered, waterfront home on prestigious Sunset Island has 7 bedrooms, many with views of the water and pool, and 8 bathrooms. The home boasts a covered entertaining area with barbeque and a heated pool and Jacuzzi surrounded by a coral rock pool deck. Guests will enjoy staying in the 2-story guest house with a separate living space and kitchen on the first floor, and spacious suite on the second floor.
Other outstanding features of this estate include a sauna, large dock on 156 feet of dazzling waterfront, an abundance of French glass doors leading outside, keystone and marble interior finishes, coral rock and keystone exterior accents and lush landscaping with a parade of Royal Palms surrounding the property.
Located on the idyllic and guarded Sunset Islands, the home offers the perfect setting for enjoying Miami's coveted, vibrant tropical lifestyle. Minutes from world-renowned South Beach and easy access to expressways, Downtown Miami and Miami International Airport.
Toluse Olorunnipa, of the Miami Herald, reports that during the first quarter of 2011, sales of existing single-family homes and condos soared, while prices sagged compared to last year, the Miami Association of Realtors announced Tuesday, May 10.
In Miami-Dade County, home sales increased 71 percent to 5,910. In Broward sales increased 19 percent to 7,403.
In Miami-Dade, median prices fell 20 percent to $153,600 in the single family home market and 31 percent to $94,200 in the condo market. In Broward, median prices for single-family homes dipped 35 percent to $101,800, while condo prices increased 2 percent to $68,800.
Nationally, home sales were down 0.8 percent from last year, while prices fell 4.6 percent to $158,700.
South Florida Business Journal reports that according to the Department of Labor's April jobs report, nonfarm payrolls rose by 244,000 jobs last month. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent, from 8.8 percent in March.
The gain in jobs was bigger than expected, and the largest one month increase since May 2010. The government also revised higher its estimate of job gains in March to 221,000.
The report eases concerns that job growth is slowing and comes a day after a report that showed initial jobless claims rose more than expected last week.
Wall Street reversed Thursday losses with health gains in Friday trading as a result. Just before 12:30, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 119.09 points to 12,703.26.
Other data in the monthly report shows the number of long-term unemployed, or those out of work for more than 26 weeks has fallen.
The highest unemployment rates demographically are among blacks, at 16.1 percent, and teenagers, at 24.9 percent and the lowest unemployment rate is among Asians, at 6.4 percent.
The latest results for Florida, released April 15, shows the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent in March, its lowest point since November 2009. The number represents 1.03 million jobless out of a labor force of 9.25 million. The March 2011 rate was down from 11.3 percent in March 2010 and 11.5 percent in February 2011. It marked the first year-over-year decline since November 2006.
By Guest Contribuitor, The Harris-Peppe Team, sales associates, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
I'm a very visual person, comes from my art background I guess, but you have to admit, a picture can paint a thousand words. Take for example the chart below. This graph depicts the pendings month by month for the past 4 years in Naples, Florida.
Who can argue that sales are up? If this doesn't convince the buyers that are on the fence that it's time to make a decision, I'm not sure what will. As for the sellers: If you are not getting offers, there is probably only one reason: You are overpriced! Inventory is way down, less than 7,000 active residential listings in the Naples MLS...remember when we had over 16,000 listings? It wasn't that long ago! Activity has remained brisk even into May! I remain very optimistic about the Naples Real Estate market.
If you would like additional information about the listings available in a specific neighborhood, and/or details about the activity that an area that you either live in, or are interested in purchasing a home or condo in, please call or email us anytime: 239.370.0574
South Florida Business Journal reports that the office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced it filed a lawsuit on Friday against three South Florida companies that allegedly were charging upfront fees for loan modification services to homeowners facing foreclosure, which is illegal under state law.
Home Owner Protection Economics, DC Financial Group, Deleverage America and owners Dennis Fischer and Christopher S. Godfrey purportedly collected thousands of dollars monthly in upfront fees for loan modification services that were never provided, a press release said.
The Palm Beach County Circuit Court ordered the defendants' assets be frozen and that they be forbidden from operating until further order of the court, the press release said.
An investigation by the Attorney General's Economic Crimes Division indicated the Delray Beach companies were charging upfront fees of $495 to $2,000 for foreclosure-related loan modification services that were never rendered, the press release said.Homeowners who may have been victimized can file a complaint by visiting the Attorney General's Web site at www.myfloridalegal.com or by calling the fraud hotline at (866) 966-7226
Any questions? Know your real estate rights and who to trust. Contact a Coldwell Banker real estate professional for all your home buying needs.
By Guest Contributor, Michele Peppe, The Harris-Peppe Sales Team, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
More than once in the past few weeks I have had the same conversation with a potential customer having to do with the accuracy of the "Zestimates" on Zillow.com
I just hung up after trying to substantiate an asking price of a home listed on Zillow and decided to view those listings which I know for a fact are priced very well, just to see what value Zillow has put on them. In all cases, [and I checked over a dozen addresses], the zestimate was well below the listed price. In one case the list price for a home directly on Naples Bay was 'zestimated' at over a million dollars below the list price. I think, as an agent, we need to inform the public as to the reason why this happens so often on Zillow. Here's my attempt to clarify:
Let's take the example of a home listed in an estate area within a subdivision. Estate area being considered as one of the premium lots and larger, luxury homes. Also within this particular gated community there are garden apartments, villas and single family homes on zero-lot lines as well as the "estate-size" lots. A diverse selection in price and architecture. Zillow determines value based on the closed sales which have occurred recently in the geographic area closest to the subject property. If the subject property is listed at $1 million dollars, and 2 of the 10 most recent closed sales were also in the estate area of this community, but the other 8 closed sales were in either the villas or the homes on smaller lots, then the value will be based on non-comparable properties because zillow uses all the sales, not just the 2 that were most comparable!
I hope this makes a little bit of sense. In the end, buyers need to work with licensed, professional real estate agents so that they do not overpay for a home and condo-and seller's need to work with agents prepared to determine value by doing a competitive analysis based on the best comparables available in any given market.
Please call us personally if you have any further questions or comments. 239.370.0574 NaplesRealEstate.com
A Zillow.com survey conducted in April reveals many prospective homebuyers don’t understand the mortgage basics, so they rely on lenders for advice. Fairly simple questions were answered incorrectly 46% the time and 44% admitted they’re not confident about the mortgage process.
For example, 57% of buyers surveyed thought adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) interest rates always reset higher after five years, not realizing the rate could go lower. And, 34% didn’t know lender fees vary and are negotiable.
Don’t commit to the largest loan in your life without understanding essential mortgage information! You can save a lot of money by doing your research and shopping for competitive rates and fees.
Take the interactive online quiz and test your own knowledge. Do you know the details about mortgages before you sign on the bottom line?
As reported in the South Florida Business Journal, Florida House legislators unanimously passed a bill that would grant residential homeowners a property tax exemption for solar equipment installations.
House Bill 531, Assessment of Residential and Nonhomestead Real Property, also gives the tax exemption for other renewable energy equipment, including wind-driven generators and geothermal generators.
The Senate companion legislation — SB 434 — is still awaiting passage in the Senate. For full details on the legislation, click here.
One of Coldwell Bankers online partners, HomeFinder.com, a real estate search site, has announced that it will power the real estate search for an additional 250 websites, according to Inman News. The company also announced a single-property website platform.
HomeFinder.com, which is owned by Gannett Co. Inc., The McClatchy Co. and Tribune Co., will, as a result, power real estate searches for about 350 newspapers, and will provide access to 3.5 million national real estate listings displayed at HomeFinder.com.
GateHouse has about 494 community publications and 250 related websites that reach an estimated 10 million people per week. HomeFinder is a part of Classified Ventures, a media-owned venture that also operates Cars.com, Apartments.com and HomeGain.com, and attracts an estimated 16.4 million.
The McAllisters are moving.
Okay, so the McAllister family from the blockbuster movie Home Alone doesn’t actually live in the stately Georgian estate located outside of Chicago, but the real homeowners, John and Cynthia Abendshien have just listed the home that “starred” in the movie with Macauley Culkin.
The red-brick home, priced at $2.4 million and listed by Marissa Hopkins Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has four bedrooms and sits on a beautifully landscaped half-acre lot, just blocks from the quaint town-center and magnificent Lake Michigan.
The current owners, who lived in the house through most of the six-month long movie shoot, promise that the new homeowners won’t find Buzz McAllister’s tarantula wandering the halls, nor will Joe Pesci be hiding in the bushes.
Visit HomeAloneHome.ColdwellBanker.com to see additional photos and watch an interview with the Abendshiens.
According to an article in the Washington Business Journal by Jeff Clabaugh, Fannie Mae is offering more incentives to home buyers.
Fannie Mae is reviving buyer incentives first offered last year as it tries to unload all the foreclosed houses it is sitting on.
If you buy a house Fannie Mae is holding as a result of a foreclosure, Fannie Mae will give you up to 3.5 percent of the final selling price to be applied toward closing costs. The sale must closed by June 30.
Fannie Mae already offers lower rate mortgages and renovation financing to buyers who buy one of its foreclosed homes.
Last year, Fannie Mae (OTC BB: FNMA) gave real estate agents and brokers $1,500 bonuses for bringing buyers to the table.
In honor of a favorite holiday, Cindo de Mayo, we wanted to celebrate with a Spanish-style home stand off. We listed 3 Spanish-style homes and now its your turn to throw in your sombrero and vote for your favorite Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate listing!
- In Pinecrest, Fl a one of a kind, truly special property once graced by Spanish aristocracy & Hemingway.
- Fantastic 1920's Vintage Spanish Mediterranean home right on St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, FL
- Immaculate two-story Spanish completely redone in West Palm Beach, FL. Two bedroom/two and one half baths.
So what is it going to be #1, #2, #3! Which one has your vote?
Less than a month after signing a lease for bigger space in Seattle’s Russell Investment Center, Zillow.com said it has acquired Postlets, a website that sends real estate listing to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
Postlets, founded in 2005, has more than 500,000 registered users who use it to distribute more than 350,000 for-sale and for-rent listings across the country. Real estate agents, landlords and property managers use Postlets to create listings that are then sent to 13 real estate and social media websites, including Zillow, the online-real estate company.
In a blog post today, Spencer Rascoff, Zillow CEO, announced the acquisition: Agents love Postlets because you create a property listing just once, and Postlets automatically distributes it across the Web. Plus, when you create an account on Postlets, you get a personalized landing page so you can showcase all of your “Postlets” in one place. You can then customize your personal gallery with a company logo and an “about me” page where you can describe your services and upload a personal photo to help you gain even more exposure. And it’s free.
The jumbo mortgage rules are changing October 1, so it’s time to purchase the luxury home of your dreams now, according to MSNBC .
On October 1, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are reducing the mortgage level the government-sponsored programs will accept, decreasing the maximum from $729,750 to $625,500. This means large mortgages may become more expensive or difficult to get for buyers in high-cost areas.
This change could impact your home buying decisions, so talk to a mortgage provider now, such as our affiliated Coldwell Banker Home Loans. Otherwise, you may need to come up with a larger down payment than you were expecting. When the current jumbo loan limit expires, lenders making loans over $625,500 will have to hold the mortgage themselves or find a private investor.
How will the jumbo mortgage changes affect your home buying plans? Do you see a growing home buying trend in afflent neighborhoods throughout your community?
It is noted in a recent South Florida Business Journal article that sales of existing single-family homes in South Florida were up 46 percent in March while condo sales were up 28.4 percent, according to data released by Florida Realtors. However, sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to hurt median prices.
Only Broward County reported median sales prices increases – 1 percent for condos and 8 percent for homes. Home prices were down 19 percent in Miami-Dade County and 24 percent in Palm Beach County, while condo prices were down 30 percent in Miami and 17 percent in Palm Beach.
Two other recent reports add to the portrait of a slowly recovering home market that has a mix of ups and downs.
Housing starts in the first quarter were up 15 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2010 in the six-county area stretching from Miami-Dade to Indian River, said Brad Hunter, the chief economist and national director of consulting firm Metrostudy.
CondoVultures.com reported Wednesday that sales of new condos in downtown Miami dropped by more than half in the first quarter, but prices rose 14 percent. In the Florida Realtors report, the 28.4 percent increase in single-family home sales in South Florida was more than double the 12 percent increase statewide, while the 46.4 percent increase in condo sales was almost double the 24 percent increase statewide.
By Guest Contributor Carlos D. Lobato, Sales Associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Miami Lakes office
There are many legitimate reasons why a homeowner may find themselves in a position where they’re unable to continue paying for their home. And when confronted with this circumstance, a loan modification may be a solution. Yet successful loan modifications are unfortunately not very common. Subsequently some homeowners will ride the foreclosure process out until they eventually have to abandon the property, or they’ll short sell it and move on.
A common question that I get from consumers is “should I do a short sell, or just walk away from the property”. Fact is, that there is no one correct answer and people should always consult with an attorney and/or tax advisor before doing anything. That being said, let’s dispel a very commonly held beliefs. And that is, that other than ruining one’s credit, that there are no additional repercussions in walking away from a property. Based upon my consultations with various attorneys, I can confidently tell you that this is FALSE. Let’s presume that you owe $200,000, you let the property go into foreclosure, your lender repossesses it, and then turns around and sells it at today’s market value of $100,000. Who can they come after for the $100,000 deficiency? YOU, the borrower is likely off the hook. What they can do is get what’s called a deficiency judgment for the $100,000. They can then, if they’re unsuccessful in collecting from you, sell this judgment to a collection agency, who may then sell it to another collection agency and so on, and so on. Furthermore, deficiency judgments can haunt you for up to 20 years; long after your credit would have otherwise recovered!
A short sale may alleviate you from this scenario, particularly if the property is your primary residence. In many cases, my experience as well as that of my colleagues, has been that lenders will waive the deficiency and allow you to walk away free and clear. As a matter of fact, we’re even seeing the waiving of deficiencies on second homes and investment properties. Not to mention, that your credit rating will recover considerably sooner in a short sale scenario. And even in the event that your lender does not waive the deficiency, they may be willing to either reduce the deficiency amount and/or work out a payment plan. Whatever the case, almost anything beats a deficiency judgment. In conclusion, a short sale just may be the difference between having some control versus absolutely no control of an otherwise terrible situation.
When a home doesn’t sell, there can be a number of reasons why, or there could be just one main reason. Sometimes the reason may be obvious to everyone except the seller. Below are ten common reasons why a home may not sell quickly.
- Poor Location
- Over Priced
- Condition of the House
- Curb Appeal
- Limited Viewing Opportunities
- Poor Advice from a Real Estate Agent
- An Ineffective Marketing Plan
- A Slow Market
- High Property Taxes
If you are planning on selling your home quickly, you should do as much you can to make your home appealing to buyers. Try thinking of your home from the buyers point of view instead of a sellers point of view.
…Coldwell Banker Sales Associate among growing group choosing happiness as primary career requirement.
Photo from Sun Sentinel
From a Sun Sentinel article, the recession also has had an impact as some Millennials lost their jobs or saw their Baby Boomer parents being laid off by employers. As a result, they began to recognize that a good job was "not a given, but a privilege," according to the study. They've learned valuable lessons on what they need to do to succeed.
In South Florida, many of those young workers who lost jobs, or were unhappy at work, have returned to school to pursue a career that's closer to their dreams.
Zety Varas, 29, of Hollywood, at first selected a pharmaceutical career, but decided the job wasn't for her. "My parents were pushing me to do it because I was already working at a pharmacy," she says. "I love the customer relations side to it, but it's a really stressful job."
Varas is now instead pursuing a career as a real estate broker, completing an internship with Coldwell Banker in Miami Beach. She recognizes that real estate has been a difficult industry in South Florida, but she's confident it will recover. "Money is important of course, but I don't think it is No. 1," she says. "No. 1 is to be happy with what you are."