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The high retreat: owning properties under blue sky and palm trees

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

 


Summer is officially over, children are back to school and as we welcome Fall, many of us are already planning for the upcoming holiday season and ways to diversify our assets in this tied economy.

Whether you are a savvy investor, a young professional or an active retiree, this time of the year is also perfect to look for business opportunities in real estate and make your dream of owning a property under the Floridian sun, a reality! Finding an enjoyable place to retire, sending your children study in a renowned American university or coming back for vacations to your beloved second home year-round has never been easier! Comparing to Europe, the “Sunshine State” still offers lower cost of living, cheaper housing solutions no matter the investment (residential, commercial or land) as well as some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and boating spots.


According to the Miami Association of Realtors® and the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) systems “the total number of listings, including single-family homes and condominiums, that pended in Miami-Dade County during the month of July 2012 increased 31 percent, from 2,593 to 3,393, year-over-year and two percent compared to the previous month*”.

We, at KSI Realty, forecast that this trend will intensify gradually especially with lower level of housing inventory available on the market as Canadians and Brazilians - closely followed by Europeans, Argentineans, Venezuelans and Russians - have quickly absorbed the stock of highly discounted homes in the Southeast Florida market for the past 2 years. This “micro” boom is not only seen in the Greater Miami area (Dade and Broward counties) but also in the Orlando, Tampa Bay and Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice areas. In addition, according to a recent survey by the University of Florida, consumer confidence in the Sunshine State hit five year high in September**.

In light of the upcoming U.S. Presidential Elections, many domestic buyers have withheld their home purchase based on expected tax benefits, cuts or increases depending on who will be in office in 2013. Regardless of the victorious party, we will most certainly see more budget cuts and tax increases under a form or another. Rental demand has been stronger than ever and gives the necessary flexibility and financial freedom to low income Americans. It is a good old game of wait and see – it has always been easier to rent during difficult times than to buy. Nowadays, it has become harder to obtain a loan despite historically low US interest rates. Thus, this is great news if you own a property and want to rent it out for monthly revenues!

The main difference between domestic buyers with foreign buyers (who are responsible for a fifth of Florida home sales***) is that locals still heavily rely on leveraged financing whereas stronger foreign currencies relative to the US dollar and a liquid cash mind-set have greatly benefited international investors in Florida.


Daniel Kijner, KSI Realty’s senior broker-owner and French wealth manager reminds our clients that the key to a successful acquisition resides in strong yields from rental income and future capital gains in the mid to long-term horizon. Well-prepared and organized investors make such plans. Emotional vs. rational is an ancestral battle between the mind and the heart that is usually reconciled by financial rationales. 

The golden rules remain as follow: 

1) Plan ahead with a US tax or real estate attorney and a CPA (we will introduce you to our ancillary network of local partners who are legally competent to assist you in Florida)

2) Retain the right specialists to conduct all due diligences prior to putting all your eggs in one basket – go for the one-stop shop solution

3) Make sure you get a Realtor® who represents your interests and not those of the seller (either an individual or a financial institution for distressed properties) or those of the transaction - basically someone who’s neither working for your nor the seller

By following this clear and simple strategy, many satisfied clients of KSI Realty have saved thousand of dollars in the long run. Making the false economy of $3,000 on a $250,000 transaction may very well turn out to be a $10,000 unplanned expense to salvage for unforeseen bumps in the road.

The litigious and liability driven system in the USA is certainly very different from the one of your home country and this should never be discarded when one takes such an important decision as purchasing a home.

A successful property acquisition is one that is stress free, well planned out and, most importantly, well executed by a reliable and dedicated real estate professional such as a Realtor®.

When the need for excellence arises in sourcing your next income-producing property, primary or secondary residence with relocation and wealth management concerns, KSI Realty is your lifeline partner.

Questions or comments? Contact us at info@kijner.com

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Sources
* Miami Association of Realtors®, " Miami Pending Home Sales Continue to Rise " by Lynda Fernandez on August 30th, 2012: http://www.miamire.com/news/2012/08/30/miami-pending-home-sales-continue-to-rise
** Sunshine State News, " Rick Scott: Florida Consumer Confidence 'Moving in the Right Direction' " by Jim Turner on September 26th, 2012: 
http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/rick-scott-Florida-consumer-confidence-moving-right-direction
*** The Miami Herald, " Foreigners responsible for a fifth of Florida home sales " on August 28th, 2012: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/27/2970956/foreign-buyers-still-love-Florida.html


Read more here:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/27/2970956/foreign-buyers-still-love-Florida.html#storylink=cpy

Broker/Seller Relationship

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Real Estate's jargon and laws can be a bit difficult to grasp for first time homebuyers and sellers. Kijner & Sons International Realty would like to help you better understand how real estate in Florida works. Today, let's start with what we commonly call the Broker/Seller relationship and what it entails.

To be enforceable, Broker/Seller relationships are contractually established verbally - if the listing agreement is less than a year - or in writting - if it is longer than one year.

A listing agreement in writing must include the following elements to be valid:
1) A descritpion of the property: you can use the previous deed for a complete and thorough legal description
2) An expiration date: a listing agreement cannot contain an automatic renewal provision as per Florida law
3) Price and terms
4) Fee or commission: the commission rate is always negotiable between the broker and the seller
5) The signature of the seller

Keep in mind that if the property is owned by more than one person, but only one of the owners has signed the listing agreement, that owner is legally bound if the broker didn't know about the existence of the other owner(s). However, the broker will not be able to enforce the agreement against the owner(s) who didn't sign the listing agreement. If both owners are married and if the broker performed his/her obligations, the listing agreement is enforceable against the spouse who signed it. 


Sarasota real estate market remains hot in August

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Kijner & Sons International Realty is pleased to announce that "[m]embers of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® sold 819 properties in August 2012, up 36 percent from last August as the hot summer sales market in local real estate showed no signs of cooling off". A total of 587 single family homes and 232 condos with respective median sales prices of $169,945 and $149,000 sold last month.

Pending sales rose to 953, available inventory of homes on the market dropped to 3,504 and 507 properties for sale were either short sales or foreclosures. 

According to SAR President, Laura Benson, "[t]he old adage says all real estate is local, and in Sarasota, we are experiencing a resurgent, vibrant, energized market - the best we've seen since the end of the boom years in 2006 (...) SAR members have been reporting incredible sales numbers, and competition for available properties is high due to the very low inventory. My advice to buyers would be to get off the fence - you might miss out on your dream home."

To read the full August 2012 SAR Report and get all the statistics, please click here

To learn more about real estate opportunities in the Sarasota area, contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at info@kijner.com.

Window's energy efficiency

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


With heating and cooling costs continuing to rise, it makes sense to look at one of the leading causes of energy inefficiency in the home: the windows. Installing energy-efficient windows can mean increased comfort as well as savings on utility bills in any climate. 

The transmission of air and light is generally the most important function of windows. However, this can mean heat loss in the winter, overheating in the summer, and higher energy bills. A typical home may lose up to 30% of its heat or cooling through windows. Properly installed energy-efficient windows can go a long way toward improving this situation. 

There are many factors that affect a window's energy efficiency. Whether they are single or multiple-paned, gas-filled, Low-Emittance (Low-E) coated, and even the material of the window frame all contribute to a window's performance. One excellent resource is www.efficientwindows.org, which provides detailed information on these specifications and how to select windows appropriate for various climates. An experienced window contractor can also be a good source of information and recommendations. 

Homeowners should check with their local utility to find out about possible rebates and other incentives for the purchase of new, energy-efficient windows. 

Of course, replacing windows is not always a viable option. However, there are steps homeowners can take to improve their energy savings without replacing windows such as making sure windows are properly caulked, keeping weather stripping in good repair, and using storm windows will help. Putting window coverings is another good way to reduce heat loss in winter and avoid overheating during summer. 

Improving energy efficiency throughout the home means cost savings to the homeowner. Energy-efficient windows are a significant step toward that goal. 

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Source: Article courtesy of Pillar to Post, 22 August 2012 http://www.pillartopost.com/email/20120822/online_remax.html

August 2012 eNewsletter Housing Trends

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

We are pleased to share with you the August 2012 Housing Trends eNewsletter. Just click on the following link: http://DKijner.housingtrendsenewsletter.com.

For the Greater Miami Area Market Report, click here.

For the Sarasota Area Market Report, click here

This eNewsletter is filled with local and national real estate and price activity provided by MLSs and the National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau key market indicators, consumer videos, blogs, real estate glossary, mortgage rates and calculators, consumers articles, and REALTORS.com local community reports.

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