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Happy New Year!

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

From all of us at Kijner & Sons International Realty:

"Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and all the best for 2011!"

Buying a Home in Miami: How Much Space Do You Need?

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Whether you're buying your first FL home or moving to a new home due to size or neighborhood constraints, there are a number of things you'll want to think about before you even start your search. Location, age, style...these are all important considerations that will impact your home purchase.

However, no matter if you're searching for condos, luxury homes, or more family-oriented real estate in Miami, one of the biggest selling points will be size. How much home you buy will impact your ability to accommodate your family, your belongings, and your life, and square footage is often one of the best ways to maintain resale value. Many homebuyers in the Florida region adhere to the adage that “bigger is better,” and the homes for sale in the market today reflect that.

How Much is Too Much?

Before you rush out and buy the biggest house you can afford, it's a good idea to evaluate your housing situation and what your needs really are. By being creative with space and changing the way you look at value vs. square footage, you may discover that it is much more convenient – and cost-effective – to consider a smaller living space.

Square footage costs money. Not only are you going to pay more in your initial purchase price for a home that's twice the size, but a bigger home tends to equal bigger money all around. From utilities, electricity, and regular maintenance to buying enough furniture to fill the space, there is a lot about a big house that requires your time and money. Also, many of these factors increase pretty rapidly the older your home gets (especially upkeep and heating), so that large historic Miami house for sale might require your attention for decades to come.

You don't want the biggest house on the block. If you have the biggest house in your neighborhood, chances are your home value will be affected – and not in a good way. People almost always prefer to live in the nicer Miami real estate areas, and are willing to sacrifice things like square footage and luxury amenities to get there. A big or nice house in a less desirable area might not lend itself to better resale later.

You'd be surprised what a little organization can do. One of the best things about buying a new FL home is that you get a fresh start in the place you call home. You are handed a blank slate in which to fit your life, your furnishings, and all the items you've accumulated throughout the years. If you buy a smaller house with a better layout, you might be able to fit all your things with room to spare. If your new home doesn't have that extra bedroom you'd been hoping to convert into a study, you might find that some built-in shelving and a cleverly placed room screen more than makes up for it. Homes in Europe tend to be half the size of their American counterparts, but clever organization and setup makes them seem much, much bigger.

Your new home in Miami doesn't have to be the biggest house in the neighborhood, and it doesn't have to come with an impressive square footage tag in order to be a good investment. Many individuals have found that a cozy townhouse right in the middle of downtown brings a lot more opportunity than a four-story suburban home could never do, and many families are brought together by a big, open kitchen instead of a kitchen and formal dining area. Talk with us to learn more about finding a space that can be transformed into a home – no matter how big or small it is.

Going Green in Florida

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Have you heard the news! Green real estate is getting lots of buzz. More and more homebuyers are looking for ways to increase their green footprint. They are looking for that perfect home and yard that will give them eco-luxury. Going Green in Florida is happening as we know it.

Not only are we worried about our cleaning supplies being green, but now we want our homes to be green also. Homes with amenities like Gammpar floors, LEED-certified building materials, double-paned windows and even docking stations for electric cars! Also, homes that boast features like rainwater harvesting, passive air ventilation, reclaimed fixtures and recycled content tile and flooring.

This may all seem very over-whelming, but there are a lot of sites on the web that will help you fully understand just what finding a “green” home entails. It will be worth the research and will make your life more comfortable in the long run. Just “Google” the words “green real estate”, for starters. Enjoy the search and learn what makes a “green” home; a home that you want to be a part of. We all want to do our part and so let’s enjoy all of the eco-luxury that we can.

Just a side note - there's no denying that the mortgage meltdown has meant tragedy for many home owners. But take a look around. You'll see there's very positive activity in many vibrant markets throughout the US especially in Florida areas. By focusing on the good news and passing the message around, we can help speed up the market recovery. Don’t panic, let’s all do our part!

KSI Realty is on Twitter

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Kijner & Sons International Realty is finally on Twitter! You will find us under KSI Realty or by clicking on http://twitter.com/KSIRealty.

Don't forget to check our Facebook page as well. We are here to bring you the latest news on all of the real estate markets we cover!

Bon Appétit! Thailand

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Shopping in Bangkok can be sometimes a little overwhelming as they are so many great places to indulge in retail therapy. The city offers everything from luxurious department stores to giant malls, to street markets and boutiques. 

If you are shopping in Thonglor area, a cozy neighborhood full of trendy street shops and lovely cafes, you might want to rest your tired feet in one of our favorite spots there: Vanilla Restaurant. A charming eatery for breakfast, lunch or a quick snack. If you are on the go, just order the delicious homemade peach iced-tea with some tart. You will leave this place rested and satiated!

 

Vanilla Restaurant
Playground Building
818 Sukhumvit 55 (Soi Thonglor)
Sukhumvit Rd., Klongton-Nua, Wattana
10110 Bangkok
Tel.: +66 (0)2 714 9652
BTS: Thong-Lo





Best Wishes!

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Dealing with International Buyers, What You Should Consider?

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Last month, Kijner & Sons International Realty shared with you the percentage of international buyers in Florida for 2010 (post that you can access here). As a Realtor®, there are several important elements that you should always consider when dealing with international clients to ensure a successful closing; those elements as you might imagine go far beyond language and cultural differences.

1)   As you might be aware, Real Estate is different from one country to the next and the American way of buy and selling homes through an MLS is quite unique. In most countries, there is no comprehensive, shared and detailed list of all properties available in a market at a given time. Thus, it is your role to make international prospects understand what is the MLS and how to use it to their benefits. Furthermore, in many foreign countries, there is no “Exclusive Right to Sell” agreement between a prospect and a broker as people can easily list their property with as many agencies as desired.

2)   Some foreigners in their home country will never go to an agency to sell or buy a property as there is no concept of “fiduciary relationship” or “due diligences” as we hear it. Instead, they will turn to friends and family or a recommended person for the search and closing parts of a transaction.

3)   Most international prospects do not always understand the existing cooperation between different brokerages; that is, when an agent turns to another brokerage house for a property that might interest the clients and that is not on his/her own listings. In the same way, foreigners might have a hard time with referrals (especially if the referral comes from another state).

4)   Last but not least, you should always keep in mind that international prospects need to go through more legal and administrative steps than regular Americans when purchasing a property in the US. In deed, they might need to open a bank account to wire their money from abroad. In addition, they might have to convert currency and will be waiting for the right time to do so in order to have greater purchasing power. To go even further, you need to ask yourself the right questions: do your clients possess the appropriate visa and residential status to acquire a property and/or reside in the US? Do they have certified professionals to help them throughout the process of acquiring a property (lawyers, CPAs…)? And the list goes on and one depending on each client and his/her investment project of course. 

Sarasota Real Estate Market: Sales and Prices rose in November 2010

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Kijner & Sons International Realty is pleased to announce that the Sarasota Real Estate Market enjoyed a nice boost for the month of November.

According to the Sarasota Association of Realtors® (SAR) latest statistics, November witnessed greater sales (they rose by 9.7% compared to October) and higher median sales prices ($160,100 for single family homes and $159,000 for condos), showing a renewed confidence in our local real estate market. 

Furthermore, professionals in our industry foresee greater stability in terms of sales and prices for the new year. Thus, a lot to look forward to in 2011!

To download and read the full SAR report for November 2010, please click here.

If you are interested in investing in Sarasota Area, do not hesitate to contact us at info@kijner.com. We will be more than happy to assist you!

Bon Appétit! Thailand

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

For the holiday season, Kijner & Sons International Realty has the perfect place for a romantic and upscale dinner in Bangkok.

Even if you are not staying at the Shangri-La hotel while in Bangkok, we recommend you to try Salathip. Set in a lush garden with candlelights, this restaurant offers a true Thai dinning experience. Whether you choose a table by the Chao Praya River or in one of the teak pavilions, you will surely enjoy Chef Tussanee Putkaew’s creations and the enchanting traditional Thai dance performance.


Shangri-La Hotel
Salathip

89 Soi Wat Suan Plu
New Road, Bangrak
Bangkok 10500, Thailand
BTS: Thaksin River (then take the free Shangri-La teak boat at the Sapan Thaksin River Express boat pier)
Tel: +66 (0)2 236 7777
Website: http://www.bangkokriversidedining.com/salathip.html

 

 





 

 

 


Why investing in Costa Rica?

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Why investing in Costa Rica?

8 facts you should know about Costa Rica, a little paradise in Central America located between Nicaragua and Panama, about two and a half hours away from Miami:

1. Costa Rica benefits from stable economic growth. Its main industries are agriculture, tourism and technology. Tourism is the main source of income with ecotourism and health tourism attracting visitors from all over the world.

2. Costa Rica’s standard of living is relatively high. The country’s estimated GDP in 2009 was of $48.83 billion USD*.

3. More than 50,000 North Americans are living in Costa Rica. Furthermore, foreigners have the same right to property ownership as Costa Ricans do and land ownership is widespread.

4. Costa Rica’s climate is tropical and subtropical. The dry season is from December to April and the rainy season from May to November. It tends to be cooler in the highlands.

5. The government has offered many fiscal incentives such as tax exemptions to those willing to invest in the country. Costa Rica has the highest levels of foreign direct investment per capita in Latin America.

6. The United States and Costa Rica have a history of close and friendly relations. As Costa Rica’s largest trading partner, the US accounts for almost half of its exports, imports, and tourism, and more than two-thirds of its foreign investment**.

7. Costa Rica is politically stable. As the oldest democracy in Central America and the first in the world to have constitutionally abolished its army in 1949, Costa Rica guarantees rights for residents and foreigners alike.

8. The literacy rate in Costa Rica is about 95%, one of the highest in the world. The country has a great health care system covering more than 80% of the population***.


Do you have questions about investing in Costa Rica? Kijner & Sons International Realty is here to help so do not hesitate to contact us info@kijner.com


--

Sources:

*CIA World Factbook: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cs.html

**US Department of State: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2019.htm

 ***Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa_Rica

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