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Are You An Unmarried Couple Thinking About Buying A Home?

I’ve worked with unmarried couples that decided to purchase and settle before marrying; and I’ve worked with couples that will not be marrying – not in the State of Florida, anyway. 

The Miami Herald published a great article last week on this topic. If you are thinking about buying a home with a significant other you should read it!  There are 6 tips that are invaluable:

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1) SWAP FINANCIAL HISTORY

Know about each other’s student loans, credit card debt, retirement accounts, etc.

 

 

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2)  AGREE ON WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD

Determine what each person can (and cannot) contribute.

 

 

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3)  SIGN A CONTRACT

And this is not referring to a Sales Contract! Enlist an attorney and draw up a contract before you buy a property outlining contributing amounts, equity amounts, rights of survivorship, and the unthinkable: what if the relationship dissolves.

 

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4) UNDERSTAND OWNERSHIP OPTIONS

Joint Tenants vs. Tenants in Common

 

 

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5)  REVIEW TAX IMPLICATIONS

 

 

 

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6)  RESET WEDDING EXPECTATIONS

The author suggests there might not be enough money left over for a wedding after purchasing a home.  Hey, wait till you have kids!

 

 

To learn more about real estate in South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

 

MIAMI TODAY INTERVIEWS EWM’S NANCY BATCHELOR AND ME!

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Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and Ponce/Davis Corridor
Homes for Sale vs Sold vs Pended in 2013
$1,000,000 and Over

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Pinecrest Homes for Sale vs Sold vs Pended in 2013
$1,000,000 and Over

Miami Today ended 2013 real estate news with a bang last weekThe December 31st issue recaps a very successful year for Dade County in the luxury real estate market (sales prices of $1,000,000 and up).

Read the article for details but in summary nearly 1 in every 5 single family homes closed in Dade County sold for $1,000,000 or more.  In the condo market about 1 of every 8 properties sold for $1,000,000 or more.  Bringing this reality a little closer to home let’s look at the $1,000,000+ single family home stats in Coral Gables (including the Ponce/Davis corridor), Coconut Grove, and Pinecrest, where I specialize in luxury properties. The graphs represent properties which have sold, are pending a closing, or are for sale on the MLS system.

Another fun fact: real estate agents at EWM Realty International sold a property for $1,000,000 or more about every 17 hours in 2013!  It was an exciting year in real estate and all indications are that the momentum will continue in 2014.

To learn more about South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International or www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com at email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

 

‘It Takes a Village’ to Successfully Buy or Sell a Home

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It takes more than a willing Buyer and Seller to close a real estate transaction, especially in today’s market where low inventory can produce stress and hasty decisions. It ‘takes a village’ of professionals who can work together harmoniously for the same goal.

I’ve been very fortunate this year to have worked with not only great Buyers and Sellers, but some of the kindest, most wonderfully experienced realtors, home inspectors, permit processors, title companies, and real estate attorneys working in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest, South Miami, Palmetto Bay, and the surrounding corridors. 

Thank you for a fantastic year, and best wishes to all of you in 2014. 

To learn more about South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International or www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com at email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You

Art Week Shines in Miami! (and finally, so did the sun!)

 

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There are so many art venues to see this week; it will be impossible to see everything I want to see.  I have a ‘bucket list’, and little by little I’m making my way through it.  Yesterday, I went to Art Miami (Christie’s International is a sponsor), Context, and Spectrum Miami.  It was a WOW day: wow the gallery displays were amazing, and wow my feet were killing me.  Have you ever seen the Modern Family show where Gloria (Sofia Vergara) painfully walks through Disneyland in high heels and Jay buys her some plush mini-mouse slippers?  Rule number 1 at Art Week Miami: flat shoes.

ARTBASELI dread the traffic but this weekend I’m headed to Miami Beach to enjoy Art Basel, AQUA, NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance – an incredible non-profit!), and the Brazil Art Fair.  The Perez Art Museum is No. 1 on my list, but now it’s part of our Miami culture so I may avoid the crowd and see it MANY TIMES in my future.  I look forward to getting back to routine, the holidays, real estate (I specialize in South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest, & Palmetto Bay), and family life!

Here are a few glimpses of yesterday (I love animal sculptures. PS,  the bottom right picture is not a sculpture, it’s my sleeping dog, Oz):

To learn more about South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International or www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com at email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

 

 

Condo For Rent In Coconut Grove $1,900/mo! 2715 Tigertail Avenue #510

 

3You will love coming home to this very cool, spacious one bedroom flat in the heart-of-Coconut Grove.  It was just renovated from top to bottom for an out-of-town owner, and never occupied.  Porcelain floors, state-of the-art kitchen, chic bathroom with glass tiled shower, elegant crown molding and baseboards, and new A/C system.
This low-rise boutique building with pool is just steps from away from Biscayne Bay, Cocowalk, Mayfair, and the neat shops and restaurants of Coconut Grove. Very private, completely gated with secured entry, and there’s one assigned parking space and plenty of room for visitors!
Hurry, and you can have premier parking for the Coconut Grove Art Show!!!!!

To learn more about South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International or www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com at email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

Just Sold by Valaree Byrne in Coconut Grove! Cloisters Unit #1137

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List Price: $1,295,000

To learn more about South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International or www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com at email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!

Why You Should Determine Your Insurance Rates During the Inspection Period!

Citizens_Insurance_logo_(640x480)_20100706101331_320_240I have seen some jubilant Buyers turn ashen-white when they learn what their insurance premiums are going to be.  In many of those instances the “insurance bomb” is dropped just a few days before closing – when there is no turning back.  This past week I have been working with Buyers whose insurance premium could possibly exceed their property taxes; luckily we are in our ‘inspection period’ and have alternatives!

When Seller or Seller’s realtor tells you they are paying a palatable “X” amount for homeowner’s insurance please take it with a grain of salt!  Your insurance rate has many factors that may not have been considered when your prospective home was last purchased!11

Flood maps have changed, for instance, residences in flood zones beginning with “A” (AE, AH, etc.) are subject to MUCH higher rates beginning October 1st, 2013 (unless Florida State WrightFloodLogolegislature changes that).  Regarding wind-storm insurance ask for your wind-storm insurance quotes based on complete Dade County-approved hurricane protection, and incomplete protection if your prospective home does not have completely “approved” protection. Compare the difference! All of your  property’s openings (windows, skylights, doors, and garage doors) must be protected with County approved materials in order to get the MOST discounted rate (the lowest rate).

Do your homework during the inspection period so you can plan accordingly. Perhaps you can negotiate price (with your Seller or your insurance carrier!), perhaps you can allocate money to make the necessary hurricane protection changes so you receive your best insurance discount a.s.a.p.; no doubt you will make better decisions. 

 To learn more about South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International or www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com at email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You

Join Me At Living Alfresco’s Grand Opening Party This Thursday!

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Betsy Fantis has moved her enchanting outdoor showroom to the former Gardner’s Market space in the heart of South Miami & High Pines.  The ever talented and effervescentlogo “Bets” will celebrate the Grand Opening of Living Alfresco on Thursday, starting at 5pm, and would love you to come! Finally, a storefront suited to South Florida outdoor living (and how convenient that it’s at the crossroads of South Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and Pinecrest)!

You’ll find everything refreshing from patio furnishings to garden stools to outdoor artistry; in styles befitting the classic, the whimsical, and the elegant.  Betsy will custom design an outdoor paradise for your home, or invigorate your own design with magical splashes of color and wares – either way she will exceed your expectations!

Thinking About Remodeling? Houzz This!

houzz-logoWith the tremendous upswing in the housing market and decline in inventory Buyers are purchasing properties that need more renovating than they were prepared for!  I’ve sold several homes in South Miami, Pinecrest, and Coconut Grove recently and my Buyers have the heebee geebees about updating bathrooms, remodeling kitchens, and adding swimming pools.

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I’m updating a bathroom in my South Miami home right now, and it is overwhelming and ginormously time consuming. Do you know how many different tiles are out there?  And there are as many stores selling them as there are exits on the Palmetto Expressway.  Last week I re-directed myself to the Design District but found myself completely distracted (and hungry).

Enter HOUZZ (houzz.com), perhaps the greatest design and decorating tool on the internet (and extremely easy to navigate).  Volumes and volumes of stunning pictures of every room and space imaginable are a click away;  with virtually every design element found in that space at your fingertips; and a ‘go to’ on where to buy it.

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Houzz is turning heads in the real estate community too.  I have it downloaded on my iPad so when I am showing a home or condo to Buyers who need help visualizing the home’s or a room’s potential, or just need new landscape and garden ideas, I whip out “the magic wand”.  I love it.

To learn more about South Miami or any other community – including Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International on www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com or email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You! – See more at: http://miamirealestateworks.com/category/south-miami/#sthash.1TkyzSjU.dpuf

Don’t Forget To Vote Tomorrow! The “Grove Bay” Proposal Is On The Ballot!

Harbour-Restaurant-2In a nutshell, the “Grove Bay” Proposal (aka The Harbour in Historical Coconut Grove) will sweep away the Chart House, Scotty’s Landing, and the Coconut Grove Exhibition Center.  In that vast space will be a Shula’s Steakhouse, an unnamed Peruvian restaurant, and an unnamed “open air” restaurant.  The developers (Grove Bay Investment Group) will consolidate the outdoor boat facilities, renovate the existing indoor boat storage (the original Pan Am hangars), and add a marine store. They will also create a 17-acre public park, and a 3-story parking garage with ground floor retail shops. And PS, the developers are spending $18mil in private money.Descriptive-Plan

I’m torn! As it stands today that entire stretch of land along South Bayshore Drive (with its unsightly structures) completely blocks our view of beautiful Biscayne Bay. The food at Scotty’s Landing is barely edible, the staff pretty edgy, and to get there you have to walk through boat oil and tar; the Charthouse is as passé as its salad bar.

Three new restaurants sounds great to me (I love Shula’s in South Miami), and I think a 17-acre “centerpiece” park is absolutely wonderful. I can almost be convinced that the 3-story city parking garage is okay – if it is indeed narrow and far back from the waterfront as proposed (and the developers are contributing $5mil for that). Now, in order for it to be far back from the waterfront it would have to be closer South Bayshore Drive, right? And the parking garage plans include 40,000 square feet of ground floor retail shops, so now we have retail stores along one South Florida’s most picturesque streets? The retail stores are the wrench for me – not sure I can vote for that.Harbour-Restaurant

To learn more about Coconut Grove or any other community – including Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, contact Val Byrne with EWM Realty International on www.MiamiRealEstateWorks.com or email at val@valbyrnerealtor.com or by phone at 305-323-6231. Val Byrne – Working For You!