Recently, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate's Coral Gables office had 18 of its sales associates build a house for "Habitat For Humanity." Among those on hand to help was Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos Jimenez (center, dark-blue shirt).
All eyes are on Florida these days, and it's not just because of Newt and Mitt.
Florida dominates Realtor.com's list of the "Top 10 Turnaround Towns," with Florida cities taking eight of the 10 spots on the list for the fourth quarter of 2011. Once again, Miami ranks first, as it did the third quarter.
Second on the list is Phoenix, which — like Miami — saw property values experience a sharp runup and then a deep plunge. Foreclosures are high in Phoenix, but so is investor interest. The only other non-Florida city on the list is Boise, Idaho.
To see the complete list of Florida cities, click here.
Contributed by Carlos Lobato of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate's Miami Lakes office.
Last week the president announced the long awaited 'mortgage settlement' in which 49 states (minus Oklahoma) will be participating in. Essentially 5 of the major banks will be given cold hard cash to help them "make amends" for their past misgivings and trespasses. For starters, the program will provide up to $2000.00 for homeowners that were expeditiously foreclosed on using so called robosigning techniques and practices. Really? A whole two grand? What consolation is this when you've lost your home?
In addition to this a good chunk of the settlement will be used for a combination of modifications, rate reductions, and principle reductions. While for the fortunate homeowner that happens to qualify for any of these remediation, this could be the saving grace that saves their home, their finances or even their family; the fact of the matter is that when all is said and done only 1 in 10 will be helped. And while any assistance to responsible homeowners and/or victims of questionable foreclosure practices in certainly welcome, we must realize that a healthy housing market is an absolutely essential component of our broader economic recovery. In this age of austerity, spending freezes, and well-justified concerns over trillion dollar deficits I can certainly understand the hesitation to "go big". Yet going big is just what the severity of our circumstances requires at this time. If only our politicians would get out of the way...
To read more of Carlos' thoughts and feelings on real estate, from market trends to practical advice for buyers and sellers, as well as personal experiences out in the field, go to his "Bits About Real Estate" blog.
By guest contributor Susie Abell, Branch Manager of the Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Key Biscayne office.
Just 15 minutes from downtown Miami and bordering the southern end of the Village of Key Biscayne is Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park which has the distinction of being voted “one of the 10 Best Beaches in the U.S.” With more than 1.2 miles of Atlantic shoreline and 1.4 miles fronting Biscayne Bay, it is one of the most popular parks in Florida.
Ponce de Leon saw the magic of this place when he led the first Spanish expedition to Florida in 1513 and named it Cape of Florida. The famed lighthouse was finished in 1825; however, it was damaged in the Second Seminole War and was rebuilt in 1846. It’s the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. After extensive damage from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 to the non-native Australian pine trees that dominated the landscape, the park now is home to a variety of native plants. Depending on when you visit, you can see more than 50 butterfly species and 170 bird species. You also might spot a peregrine falcon, piping plover or an American crocodile. Loggerhead sea turtles next along the beach each summer.
You can take a tour of the lighthouse, go swimming, fishing, biking and hiking or just relax with a picnic. For more information call 305.361.5811 or visit www.floridastateparks.org/capeflorida.
If you would like Cape Florida your neighbor and live on Key Biscayne, here are a few properties that are currently for sale.
Information courtesy of the Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce.
SAN FRANCISCO, February 2, 2012 – According to real estate search engine Trulia, “House hunters near and far eye Florida real estate.” Seven of the top 10 metros with high demand from out-of-state residents are in Florida. Even with a backlog of homes unable to complete the foreclosure process, big price declines mean more people want to move to Florida than leave. In fact, one-third of all Miami home searches were done by people living more than 500 miles away.
Trulia’s Metro Movers Report looks at where homeowners are today and, by analyzing where they search for a new home, provides a look at where they want to live tomorrow. The Winter 2012 report examines all property searches on Trulia.com among all U.S. metropolitan areas between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011.
“Today’s house hunters are deal seekers,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “Although locals in Florida, inland California and the Southwest are suffering from high foreclosure rates and lost equity, huge prices declines … have drawn house hunters from across the country. As America’s retirement capital, Florida has received the most attention from prospective homebuyers and renters from the Northeast and Midwest. Baby-boomers who had planned to retire to cheaper places during the boom years can once again buy in Florida.”
To read the entire article click here.
Miami, FL (February 8, 2012) –Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate CARES, the charitable arm of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate distributed $46,000 to 17-different non-profit charities in the Miami-Dade area. The funds were raised through Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate’s Miami-Dade office’s first golf tournament, local office fundraising and agents direct funding through closings.
Recipients from the various organizations, along with CARES representatives, were invited to a reception on February 2 to receive the donations and to further discuss the work their charities are involved with.
“As an active member in Miami, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate and its sales associates are committed to giving back to the communities we live and work in,” said Mike Murray, Vice President, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Southeast Florida. “The money that we raise in Miami, stays in this area further strengthening our communities.”
The following local organizations were selected as recipients:• Ronald McDonald House • Centro Hispano Catolico • Diabetes Research Institute • Educate Tomorrow • Friends Forever Rescue, Inc. • Karen Peterson and Dancers, Inc. • Liga Contra El Cancer • Miami Contemporary Dance Company • Armed Forces Service Center, Inc. • The Posse Foundation • St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church • Touching Miami with Love • University of Miami-Linda Ray Intervention Center • Cancer Support Community of Greater Miami • Lauren’s Light • Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida • Friendship Circle
CARES, the charitable arm of Coldwell Residential Real Estate, mission is to give back to the communities and neighborhoods in which its members live and serve by providing charitable contributions and volunteer support, thus strengthening and reinforcing its commitment to creating a lasting source of unity, hope and vision throughout Florida.
By Guest Contributor Steven Bastian, Sales Associate in the Coral Springs office
Mobile Technology has caused a major shift in our real estate businesses and in many office environments. An agent who utilizes and leverages the current technology can truly be a real estate road warrior and operate without an actual office within their brokerage. Much of the in-office focus has shifted towards presentations and client meetings.
With the introductions of smartphones (i.e. iPhone & Android & Blackberry) and tablets (i.e. iPad), the shift has been towards a much more mobile real estate agent. Nowadays, the real estate agent can be more mobile and have client meetings wherever they want, a Starbucks, a Dunkin Donuts or even a Restaurant can be a great meeting place with clients and not their own office, with the introduction of the mobile hotspots.
Portability and mobile technology have changed real estate forever. We are not just talking about laptops changing real estate but the fact that everything in a real estate transaction can be done entirely outside of your office. Agents are using their mobile phones to be more efficient. Rather than taking their laptops, agents are using their tablets to have contracts signed digitally. Online CRM (Customer Relationship Management) are being used by agents that can be accessed from anywhere, which is replacing the old traditional rolodex.
If you have been hoping that technology in real estate was just a fad, you better think again. The real estate industry has shifted from brick and mortar offices to a new and far more efficient digital landscape. The technology is advancing at such a rapid pace and hardware such as the touch screen devices including iPhones and iPads are so easy to learn that you will wonder why you didn't get one sooner. Once you get bit by the technology bug and you start learning and adapting the newest technology into your day to day real estate business your personal productivity is sure to increase.
Despite the threat of hurricanes and a tsunami of “underwater” mortgages, potential home buyers still view the Sunshine State as paradise.
Among the top 10 metro areas nationwide where demand among online house hunters is strongest, seven are in Florida, according to real estate website Trulia.com.
To see where online house hunters are looking click here.
By Guest contributor, Melanie Dawn Wood, Sales Associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Pinecrest office
The Village of Pinecrest is dedicated to a more energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable future for its residents. For instance, at the municipal level, the Village has enacted “green purchasing” and “recycling initiatives” for the municipal center and parks. In addition, the Village’s “Green Action Plan” pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 7% below the 1996 levels by 2014.
But your Village didn’t stop there. Recognizing that, as noted by the US Green Building Council, remodeling your existing home “is inherently greener than building a new one,” Village of Pinecrest also offers incentives for builders and homeowners to go green with those remodeling/retrofitting projects. Ordinance 2011-5 provides expedited permitting and rebates of permitting fees if your remodeling project meets any of the many certification requirements from the Us Green Building Council, the Florida Green Building Council, Green Globes “Green Building Initiatives” or federal Energy Star standards. Permit fee rebates range from 15% up to 30% depending on which green certification is achieved.
The incentives provided by the Village of Pinecrest are in addition to the many tax credits, rebates and other incentives available to homeowners at the state and federal levels, including the 30% federal tax credit on your personal tax return for qualifying green remodeling projects.
So before you start your next remodeling project, be sure to contact Village offices for details because green remodeling/retrofits save money on your utility bills, are better for your health and the environment, and will help increase your re-sale value.
Contributed by Ingrid Carlos, Manager, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Hollywood office
Buffet CEO on the Real Estate Recovery Summary:
The fact is that although housing has been under a lot of stress there are emerging signs of recovery. What are the tipping points?
Rents have finally exceeded the cost of home ownership; this is going to cause people to re-think their choice of Renting vs. Buying.
Overall in the last couple of months we have begun to see an increase in home sales activity.
Inventory overall is off about one-third from its peak.
As we move more into a balanced equilibrium we may start to get price stabilization and see some positive price growth towards the second half of the year. In Miami there was 10 years of inventory about 2 years ago and now there is not enough. The inventory will come now that homeowners start to think that they can sell their home without giving up too much of a price forgiveness.
We are seeing price stabilization in markets across the country but Miami is used as an example as the most outrageous and most positive.