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Miami Herald Features Camp Mahachee!

I remember a lot of good times and lifelong friends at Camp Mahachee. I live only a mile or so away in South Miami and think about those days every time I ride or walk by the entrance. So many wonderful treasures off of Old Cutler Road.

Miami Herald Camp Mahachee Article

 

Deering Bay Estate

Deering Bay Estate

Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Matheson Hammock Park

Matheson Hammock Park

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!

Do We Want To Redefine “Post-Andrew Roof”?

 

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Yes, I think it is time to re-visit the post Hurricane Andrew roof that we Realtors loved to hear about for so long. No matter where your property is located (or your prospective property) – the surrounding areas of Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay and of course further south where the ‘epicenter’ of that wrecking ball of a storm swept through nearly 21 years ago – if a roof was replaced in the 1992-1993 era,  we Realtors refer to it as “Post Andrew” and for many years that brought a big smile and sigh of relief – that roof was good!  Well that roof, whether it is displaying signs of age or not, is now in its “golden years” and acquiring windstorm insurance is tricky! Buyers: be smart – get some facts from your insurance provider (your Realtor can refer you to one) before the end of your inspection period.  Coverage and rates will vary and can be age dependent. Sellers: the next 4 or so years are going to be challenging ones if you have a Post Andrew roof – if you can find it in your pockets to replace roof or provide some credit for a new one, it will be money well spent.

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!

Just Sold By Valaree Byrne in Palmetto Bay! 15585 Old Cutler Road

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List Price: $785,000

http://15585OldCutlerRoad.com/

It didn’t take long to sell this classic “Americana” home on historical Old Cutler Road – I think it also wins an award for the most number of calls I have taken on a listing!  I can’t count how many calls I answered from passerbys (walkers, cyclers, and drivers alike!) who wanted to know more about the lovely, sprawling house under the oaks in Palmetto Bay.  First impressions are everything!

 

To learn more about Palmetto Bay or any other community – including Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest and South Miami, 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!

Just Listed By Valaree Byrne in Ponce Estates! 7830 SW 48th Court

7830 SW 48 Ct 014

This elegant and understated home in Ponce/Davis Estates is ideal for the Buyer who wants a more affordable, low maintenance residence in a multi-million dollar neighborhood.  It’s a wonderful home  for large family or for empty nesters.  Quality appointments include impact-resistant glass, an elevator, stone floors, crown molding, and a 2-car garage. Striking curb appeal on a very quiet, no-traffic street, a park-like setting with waterfall, pergola, and Chicago brick courtyard, and a phenomenal location make this a “10”.

                                        Property Details:

            • 4 Bedroom/4 Baths
            • 3,982 Adjusted Square Feet
            • 6,322 Square Foot Lot

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!

Recently Sold By Valaree Byrne in South Miami! 6051 SW 85th Street

6051 SW 85th Exterior-3 car email

List Price: $1,519,000

I have new neighbors! Just sold this beautiful home next door to my own in South Miami and am so excited (3 more boys on my basketball court!). The Buyers are going to come to love this slice of paradise just behind Dante Fascell Park as much my family has over the years.

At first they will cringe when their children beg to play in the street like the other kids, but soon they will embrace it. They will learn when the next hurricane blows through that being without power is not so bad – the block parties on 85th Street are a lot of fun and go on all night. It will only take one Halloween to realize they need 15 times the amount of candy they bought because more than a hundred little hands will be reaching in the bin, and after 9pm the big teenage hands reach in.

I will let them know about the adorable elderly lady across the street, Dorita, who loves small children and loves watching them for you! She is my favorite neighbor.

Property Website

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!

Attention Artists, Nature Lovers, and the Eclectic at Heart!

There are a couple of really neat homes that recently came on the market in South Miami –quite out of the ordinary, and each so special. I would venture to say I am on Sunset Drive between Cocoplum Circle and Galloway Avenue a couple dozen times per week and know just about every square inch of it, but when Piper Rothan listed 6811 Sunset Drive a couple of weeks ago I might as well have been a lost tourist. Never had I noticed the jewel that lay behind those gates! At the end of a long driveway, far from the road, is one of the few vintage coral rock homes in Miami (circa 1929) – beautifully updated, perfectly expanded, and magazine worthy. I will say no more – let the pictures tell the story!

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Just across Sunset Drive in the Dante Fascell Park area, practically in my own backyard , Riley Smith listed a very cool, Coconut Grove-y home at 5980 SW 81st Street. It’s one of the very few homes in South Miami with a guest house AND a garage (and a 3-car garage to boot), and plenty of room for both (a lush half-acre). It’s one of those homes that you want to open the windows, turn Pandora on, and read a book. Again, let the pictures tell the story!

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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!

Have You Seen Tom Smith’s Exhibit at First National Bank of South Miami?

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I love South Miami, and not just because I live and work there (I have sold nearly 100 properties in South Miami).  This past Friday night I was reminded of what a great town our ‘home town’ is.  Came home from a long day mostly spent in and out of my car (aka a realtor’s office), was famished, and wanted to get outside.  My husband and I decided to walk to Shula’s 347 – we could eat, drink, bump into friends, and watch the Heat game – the perfect night.

SoMiAquaLge

On the way over we noticed the camaraderie going on at First National Bank of South Miami (yes, home to my personal and business accounts) and stopped in for the “First Friday of the Month” art exhibit in their Wirtz Gallery.  Jackpot! We found ourselves in the midst of local artist (and I mean really local – he lives a few blocks away in High Pines) Tom Smith’s dynamic fine art photography display.  Fixed on various mediums including canvas and glass, he captures the subtle, quiet beauty of the Everglades and its interesting creatures and indigenous plant life, Matheson Hammock, and my favorite collection – the Aqua Series:  remarkably beautiful blue and green hues of water and turtle grass.  It was a wonderful night of fine art, good wine, and great friends.

Seems like half the party left the Gallery and found their way to Shula’s…typical South Miami!

Tom Smith, Mary Scott Russell (President South Miami Chamber of Commerce), Elizabeth Kuehner-Smith, Veronica Flores (Executive VP FNBSM), and Bruce W. MacArthur (Chairman of the Board FNBSM)

Tom Smith, Mary Scott Russell (President South Miami Chamber of Commerce), Elizabeth Kuehner-Smith, Veronica Flores (Executive VP FNBSM), and Bruce W. MacArthur (Chairman of the Board FNBSM)

Veronica B. Flores (Executive VP FNBSM), Tom and Valaree Byrne

Veronica B. Flores (Executive VP FNBSM), Tom and Valaree Byrne

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!

 

Home Inspections: The Devil’s Workshop?

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I have been with Buyers and Sellers at three different property inspections this month (Coral Gables, South Miami, Palmetto Bay), and although I would consider myself well “seasoned” at this stage of home buying, I often come through the process bewildered and scratching my head. Grand total for these first 11 days in March, not including the laundry list of items that will keep a handy man in business, we have come across a roof that need needs replacing, lots of leaks, termites (can’t get away from them in Florida!), leaking shower pans, damaged floors, faulty windows, and the list goes on and on.

A licensed home inspector will check the areas of plumbing, roof, appliances, air conditioning,electrical, doors and windows; they will give an opinion on structural soundness and pool functionality too. A Buyer may also want to have a mold inspection and have the septic tank/drain field checked (unless sewer system is used), and some will even have home checked for radon and lead-based paint.

The most important things to remember are not to lose focus of the ‘BIG PICTURE’, take time to step into the other parties shoes and EMPATHIZE, and then be the most RATIONAL person you can be in making decisions! It is also extremely important to read (not skim) the PROPERTY DISCLOSURE (and be accurate in completing a Property Disclosure), and know some facts before you negotiate your price! If a Seller tells you the roof was replaced after Hurricane Andrew and is fine, then know that probably that non-leaking roof is about 23 years old! Don’t be surprised if the inspector tells you a new roof may be in order in the not-so-distant future (and know what your insurer will require)!

These homes have a lot of moving parts – there is no such thing as a perfect inspection report. Look equally at the strengths and weaknesses, the cures that are necessary (and unnecessary), and try and work it out! That’s what brought Buyer and Seller together in the first place!

inspection

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!

 

It’s Tax Time! Did You Know…

 

Tax Time

Did you know merely owning a home could mean you qualify for tax breaks?

1. On a mortgage of up to $1 million, you can deduct the interest that you pay at settlement if you itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). 

2. Did you pay points in order to obtain your home mortgage? These fees can be deducted as long as they are associated with the purchase of a home. If you refinanced your home, these points are still deductible. 

3. As long as they are based on the assessed value of the real property, you can deduct your state and local property taxes. 

4. If you sold a home in the past year, you may be able to reduce your income tax by the amount of your selling costs. These costs can include things such as repairs, title insurance, advertising expenses and broker’s fees. 

5.If you use a portion of your home exclusively for the purpose of an office for your small business, you may be able to claim a deduction on your taxes for costs related to insurance, repairs and depreciation. (Only claim this deduction if the space within your home is used exclusively and regularly as either your principal place of business or a place where you meet and deal with customers or patients.)

6. You may be able to deduct the premiums paid for private mortgage insurance for your principle residence and for a non-rental second home. 

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7. If you’ve taken out a loan to make improvements on your home, you may be able to deduct the interest on this loan. 

8. If you take out a construction loan to build a home, you may qualify to deduct the interest. The IRS only allows a deduction for mortgage interest if the loan relates to a “qualified” home, which means it must either be your principle residence or a vacation home that you will use for personal purposes. 

 

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!

 

What’s New in Real Estate Vocab?

Great article last week in Fox News! If you have a home for sale, or are going to be listing your home for sale you want to read this! In the meantime let me summarize and highlight for you what, for the most part, we have also been seeing in South Florida Real Estate.

Whether selling cars, clothes, stocks, or homes, marketing trends and styles appear, disappear,and sometimes reappear dressed differently! So much of our marketing materials are written – brochures, flyers, ads, blogs, internet remarks, signs, etc. How do we keep it fresh?

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Buzz words, thoughts, and trends for 2013….

What’s Hot:

Open Floor Plan
Downstairs Master
Walkability (This South Miami/High Pines realtor prefers to call it “Urban”.)
Solar
Energy Efficient
Low HOA fee
Light & Bright
Sunny
Caesarstone
Toto (Fox describes Toto as the “Subzero of toilets”.)
Turn Key (In my opinon, a timeless term.)
Move-In Ready
Income Property
Open House (Nothing new for this Miami realtor.)

What’s Not:

Fixer Investor Special
Hurry, Won’t Last (Whoever researched and wrote the article has not spent enough time in South Miami/High Pines, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest – or anywhere in Miami for that matter! There is no other way to describe it.)
Gourmet Kitchen
Luxury Bath
Rare (This word has always bothered me.)
Charming (A great word for a front porch.)
Classic (I completely disagree. There are most definitely classic, timeless styles.)

 

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!