Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 43

The Inspection-Ready Home

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

As many of you are heading straight into your busiest time of year, it makes sense to revisit the importance of being prepared for the home inspection. By taking some important steps to prepare the property for inspection, your sellers can avoid some basic problems that might otherwise affect a clean inspection report.

  • Routine exterior maintenance is an easy way for homeowners to keep up with minor problems before they escalate. Even if the home has been well maintained overall, there are some common problems that should be addressed.
    • Prior to the inspection, repair any damaged masonry on steps and walkways, and seal cracks in the driveway. Not only will the home look better, but future problems can be prevented.
    • Recaulk around exterior doors, windows, check flashing, and replace any missing or damaged shingles.
  • Inside the home, relatively minor fixes can improve the home inspection results.
    • Repair leaky faucets and fixtures, and repair grout around tubs and sinks. An electrician should inspect receptacles and switches and make any needed replacements or repairs.
    • Replace any cracked or broken window glass, and loosen any windows that are painted shut.
      If there is a fireplace, have it and the chimney cleaned and checked by a professional.
    •  If the home inspector can’t see into the chimney because of soot buildup, they won’t be able to inspect it and may need to return after it has been cleaned.
  • Homeowners should arrange service appointments for the furnace and central air conditioning so that any issues can be addressed before the home inspection.
    • If the home has battery-operated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, put in fresh batteries and install additional units if any are missing.

When the day of the home inspection arrives, a few easy steps will facilitate the inspection process.

  • First, the buyers should allow sufficient time for the inspection. A professional home inspection will take two and a half to three hours on average, longer if the home is very large. Most sellers choose not to be present for the inspection, though the potential buyer will usually want to be there. The homeowner will need to provide keys to any locked areas, and allow access to the attic, crawl space, garage, and yard.
  • Be sure that the home inspector has access to components such as electrical panels, the main water shutoff, and gas meter. Move objects from around the water heater, furnace, and central air conditioning unit so that the inspector can reach them unimpeded. In winter, clear walkways of snow and ice for safe access to the home.
  • Make arrangements for pets to be out of the home or contained in a crate for their own safety and that of the home inspector. Dogs in particular can be disruptive, and some may even be distressed by having an unfamiliar person in their “territory”.
  • It is always a good idea to store small valuables and medications out of sight and in a secure location for peace of mind. One option is for the homeowner to simply take them along when they leave during the inspection.

Taking these steps can go a long way in preventing or addressing problems that could negatively affect the inspection. An inspection-ready home presents itself best for evaluation and makes the entire process go more smoothly.

Are you looking to sell or buy a house, a condo, a villa or an apartment in Miami Florida or New York City? Do not hesitate to contact us at info@kijner.com or visit us at www.kijner.com.

----

Information courtesy of Pillar to Post: www.pillartopost.com.

The 5 Best Places in Your Home to Renovate or Improve

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

With the prime spring selling season heating up, here are 5 surefire ways to get the best bang for your buck and get top dollar for your listing:

1) FLOORING 

  • Remove outdated carpets
  • Replace with either laminate or hardwood flooring or ceramic tiles
  • It’s easier to clean and helps with people who have allergies
  • Also, buyers are specifically looking for updated flooring when they evaluate a potential home

2) FIXTURES & HARDWARE 

  • These include door knobs and handles on all doors, entrances/exits, cabinet hardware, bathroom and lighting fixtures, etc…
  • They are easy to replace and fairly inexpensive
  • You get a great return on investment for not a lot of money
  • If fixtures and hardware are not replaced, it can really date a property and make it appear as if it has not been maintained
  • Remember, everyone has to either touch a door or walk through it! It’s simple and cheap to fix the hardware

3) BATHROOMS 

  • If your client does opt to do a bathroom upgrade, it’s often worth the money, as it’s considered the 2nd most important room in the house 
  • Upgrades can include: new tile and grout, new faucet and hardware, new coat of paint, upgrading or replacing cabinets.

4) KITCHEN 

  • This is the most valuable room in the house, but your clients don’t need to spend a fortune in order to make it look spectacular
  • Simple add-ons such as a deluxe faucet, cabinet door hardware, upgraded or new appliances, new lighting, or adding a backsplash can help jazz up its appearance and functionality
  • They can also rebuild standard cabinetry at half the price (as opposed to custom cabinets or using expensive materials).

5) ADD AN INCOME-SUITE

  • Depending on the city or municipality, if the neighborhood allows for Income Suites, your clients could potentially add 150-160% of equity into their home by putting in an extra suite 
  • This allows the owner to also potentially receive additional income through a tenant 
  • Depending on the specific market or city, demand for double unit homes can rise by more than 25% 


Are you looking to sell or buy a house, a condo, a villa or an apartment in Miami Florida or New York City? Do not hesitate to contact us at 
info@kijner.com or visit us at www.kijner.com.

----

Information courtesy of Pillar to Post: www.pillartopost.com.

Fire Prevention - Tips and Reminders for Staying Safe

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Fire Prevention Week falls during October, and this month is a great opportunity to review fire safety and preparedness for your home and family. Preventing a fire in the first place can mean the difference between safety and devastation.

Cooking is the most common causes of house fires, and as a daily activity the potential for problems is high if care is not taken around the kitchen. While cooking, never leave cookware on the stove unattended. It can take just moments for hot oil or grease to flare up, and a pan of forgotten food can go up in flames. Baking soda can be used to put out a small kitchen fire if caught right away – keep a package close at hand for ready use. Avoid wearing clothing with very long or loose sleeves while cooking as they can easily catch fire if they make contact with an open flame or hot burner. Keep towels and flammable pot holders away from the stove. 

Electrical cords and appliances should be kept in good repair, and any damaged wires or sockets should be replaced right away. Don’t overload electrical outlets – use power strips only when necessary and make sure they are properly rated. Electronics and small appliances should be unplugged when not in use to avoid potential problems.

Keep the dryer vent hose free of lint and other buildup, as dryer heat can easily spark a fire there. Check and clean the hose at least once a year for best results. Depending on how and where the hose is installed, the process can be as simple as using your vacuum cleaner to remove buildup. Bonus: the dryer will also run more efficiently with a clean hose. There are also professional services that will clean your venting system for a nominal charge. Never leave the house while the dryer is running – if a fire should start, you will only discover it too late.

Should a fire occur, fire extinguishers need to be easily accessible to the kitchen and laundry areas. Make sure any extinguisher is labeled for use on the three common types of fires – grease, paper/wood, and electrical. These multipurpose extinguishers are labeled as “A B C rated.” Using the wrong type of extinguisher on a particular fire can make the situation worse and can even be life-threatening. Water should never be used on an electrical fire or on grease fires as this will just cause the fire to worsen. 

Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside all sleeping areas. The newest types of residential smoke detectors have 10-year batteries, and many are available in updated, low-profile designs. If your smoke alarms use replaceable batteries, change the batteries once a year; many people use the transition from Daylight Saving Time as a reminder to do this task. Hard-wired smoke alarm systems should be inspected according to the installer’s or manufacturer’s instructions.

Make – and practice – a family escape plan. Make sure each family member knows how to quickly get out of the house to safety in the event of a fire. The National Fire Protection Association recommends having two ways out of the house, in case smoke or flames make one of the exit routes impossible to use. Smoke can fill a house within minutes, making it difficult or even impossible to see the way out. With preventive measures, you can lower the chances of a fire, but careful planning can help you and your family survive if the worst happens.

Questions? Comments? Are you looking to buy or sell a house, a condo, a coop or a villa in Miami Florida or New York City? Contact us today at info@kijner.com.

Sick House Syndrome

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

What Is Sick House Syndrome, and What Causes It?

Sick House Syndrome occurs when a house can’t “breathe” and rid itself of indoor pollutants, resulting in poor indoor air quality – a “sick house”. Inadequate ventilation allows these pollutants to build up, causing potential health risks to the home’s occupants. Young children, the elderly, and some chronically ill persons are most susceptible to the effects of Sick House Syndrome.

Common sources of indoor pollution include tobacco smoke, certain carpeting materials, furnaces and fireplaces, pressed wood cabinets and furniture, and household cleaning products. In addition, a buildup of moisture can cause mold, which can grow uncontrolled inside walls, crawlspaces, and other areas. Mold spores are released into the air and can also travel throughout the home via heating and cooling ductwork.

How Can Indoor Pollution Be Reduced?

Source control is usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality. In some cases, eliminating the specific sources of indoor pollution – for example, removing carpets, repairing and maintaining faulty furnaces – is all that is necessary. It’s also a good idea to have heating and cooling ducts cleaned every few years.

For many other offending substances, improving ventilation is a key means of decreasing indoor pollution. These include tobacco smoke, cleaning products, and moisture buildup. Many newer homes in particular are so well insulated and sealed that only a very limited amount of fresh air can get in. In this situation, using attic or window fans and opening windows when weather permits are easy and inexpensive ways to increase ventilation. Over the years, tobacco smoke can actually be absorbed by walls, floors, and ceilings and may need to be professionally removed.

Asbestos and lead do not normally cause problems if they are undisturbed, but these and other hazardous substances should be analyzed by a qualified professional to determine if sealing, abatement, or removal is warranted. The presence of these materials may also need to be included in disclosure forms when selling a home, so special attention is warranted in these situations.

Questions? Comments? Are you looking to buy or sell a house, a condo, a coop or a villa in Miami Florida or New York City? Contact us today at info@kijner.com.

 

Tips For Fall Maintenance

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

The leaves are turning, the air is cooling – autumn is just around the corner. Now is the perfect time to get your property in shape before winter rolls in so that you can help avoid problems in the months ahead. Here are some tips to get you started:

Seal it up: Caulk and seal around exterior door and window frames. Look for gaps where pipes or wiring enter the home and caulk those as well. Not only does heat escape from these openings, but water can enter and cause mold problems and even structural damage.

Look up: Check the roof for missing or damaged shingles. Water, wind, ice and snow can cause serious damage to a vulnerable roof, leading to a greater chance of further damage inside the home. Always have a qualified professional inspect and repair the roof, but you can use binoculars to do a preliminary survey from the ground.

Clear it out: Clear gutters and eaves of leaves, sticks, and other debris. If the gutters can accommodate them, leaf guards can be real time-savers and can prevent damage from clogged gutters. Check the joints between sections of gutter, as well as between the gutter and downspouts, and make any necessary adjustments or repairs.

No hose: In climates with freezing weather, garden hoses should be drained and stored indoors to protect them from the elements. Shut off outdoor faucets and make sure exterior pipes are drained of water. Faucets and pipes can easily freeze and burst, causing leaks and increasing the potential for serious water damage.

Warm up time: The furnace should be inspected to ensure that it’s safe and in good working order. Most utility companies will provide no-cost furnace inspections to their customers, but schedule early as there can often be a long waiting list as the weather cools down. Replace disposable furnace air filters or clean the permanent type according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Using a clean filter will help the furnace run more efficiently, saving money and energy.

Light that fire: A wood-burning fireplace can be a real pleasure on a chilly fall evening. For safety, have the firebox and chimney professionally cleaned before use this season. Creosote, a byproduct of wood burning, can build up to dangerous levels and cause a serious chimney fire if not removed.

With these easy steps, you’ll enjoy the comforts of your home all season long and know that you’re protecting your investment, too.

Are you looking to sell or buy a house, a condo, a villa or an apartment in Miami Florida or New York City? Do not hesitate to contact us at info@kijner.com or visit us at www.kijner.com

Where are global buyers searching in the United States?

by Kijner & Sons International Realty



Kijner & Sons International Realty
 is pleased to annonce that according to recent statistics and reports from the National Association of Realtors® as of 12 December 2014, Florida is one of the most sought-after real estate markets for international homebuyers and investors worldwide.

Miami ranked 3rd, Orlando 4th and Fort Lauderdale 6th among the top ten most searched U.S. cities by non U.S. consumers looking to buy a home in Florida

The top most attractive real estate markets and U.S. cities for foreign homebuyers are as follow:

  1. Canada: Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, New York, Las Vegas, Miami
  2. United Kingdom: Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Miami, Beverly Hills
  3. Australia: Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Detroit, Beverly Hills
  4. Brazil: Miami, Orlando, New York, Los Angeles, Miami
  5. Germany: Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Colorado Springs, San Antonio
  6. Mexico: San Diego, San Antonio, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles
  7. France: Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Miami Beach, Las Vegas
  8. India: New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Jose, Chicago
  9. Italy: New York, Miami, Miami Beach, Los Angeles, Detroit
  10. Russian Federation: Los Angeles, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago
  11. Netherlands: Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Orlando, Las Vegas
  12. Spain: Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Fayetteville (GA), Mcdonough (GA)
  13. Turkey: New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Houston
  14. Sweden: Los Angeles, New York, Beverly Hills, Fort Lauderdale
  15. Japan: San Diego, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Jacksonville, Las Vegas
  16. Korea: Los Angeles, New York, Irvine, San Antonio, Las Vegas
  17. Switzerland: Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Miami Beach, Naples
  18. Ireland: New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Beverly Hills
  19. Philippines: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Houston, Denver
  20. South Africa: New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Beverly Hills, Atlanta

Looking to invest in Miami or buy a home or condo in Miami Beach? KSI Realty can help! Contact us today at info@kijner.com

--

Sources: Realtor.org Omniture Discover - December 2014

Buying a home during the holiday season

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


Although home buying is generally not people's primary focus during the holiday season, it might actually turn out as a great time if you are on the market for a new house. Whether you wish to relocate to or invest in South Florida, you won't need to slow down your search for the perfect Miami home.   

Let's see some of the advantages of buying a Florida property during these festive months:

1) It's always sunny in Florida: you won't have to cancel your open house because of bad weather conditions. No need to shovel or prep your car for the snow. Just ask anyone from snowbirds to overseas visitors, Winter is probably one of the nicest seasons to enjoy Florida and shop for a house in Miami. 

2) Less competition: let's face it, between shopping for the perfect Christmas gifts, decorating the house, entertaining friends and family or planning your upcoming Winter holidays, fewer people are looking for a house this time of the year. You will thus have more chances to plan and visit properties and snatch your dream house.

3) Motivated sellers: sure home prices in South Florida and Miami have increased in 2014, but generally speaking, people putting their house for sale during the holiday season have a good reason to do so. They are highly motivated to sale and since there are less potential homebuyers looking, they might be more willing to negotiate. 

4) Motivated lenders: again, this is not the busiest season for closings, so lenders might approve you faster. 

5) Better interest rates and possible tax cut with an early mortgage payment: we are currently in a buyer's market with lower interest rates. This is definitely a great time to consider buying a home in beautiful Miami, Florida. In addition, since mortgage payments are made for the month prior, homeowners paying their January mortgage payment early - before end
of December - could benefit from a tax deduction for the upcoming year*.

If you are looking for your next Miami House, Miami Condo or Miami real estate investment opportunity, KSI Realty can help! Contact us today at info@kijner.com

Search now for Miami properties available for rent or for sale by clicking here

Register now to our free and easy email alerts and get your tailored listings daily in your mailbox by clicking here

--

*For more information on mortgage payments, possible tax deductions and/or fiscal benefits, please see
 a licensed professional such as certified public accountant or mortgage broker.

South Florida: one of the most attractive real estate markets for international buyers

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


Kijner & Sons International Realty is pleased to annonce that according to recent statistics and reports from the Miami Association of Realtors®, South Florida and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area in particular are the most sought-after real estate markets for international homebuyers and investors worldwide.

Throughout December 2013, Miami ranked 2nd, Orlando 6th and Fort Lauderdale 7th among the top ten most searched U.S. cities by non U.S. consumers looking to buy a home in Florida. Top overseas homebuyers in South Florida for the month of February 2014 were from South America (Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela and Bolivia), Canada, Russia and Europe (France and the UK). 

The top most attractive real estate markets and U.S. cities for foreign homebuyers are as follow:

  • *Canada: Detroit, Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami
  • United Kingdom: Los Angeles, Houston, Orlando, New York, Atlanta
  • Australia: Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco
  • Ireland: Washington, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas
  • *Brazil: MiamiOrlando, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach
  • India: New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas
  • *Germany: Los Angeles, Colorado Springs, MiamiSan Antonio, Detroit
  • Japan: San Diego, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, Oahu
  • *Mexico: San Diego, San Antonio, Laredo, MiamiEl Paso
  • *France: Miami, Los Angeles, Detroit, Miami Beach, New York
  • China: Los Angeles, Detroit, San Francisco, Irvine, Chicago
  • *Italy: Miami, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Miami Beach
  • *Netherlands: Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, MiamiLas Vegas
  • Philippines: Ashland (AL), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Houston, Beverly Hills
  • South Korea: Los Angeles, Irvine, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Atlanta
  • *Spain: Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago
  • *Russian Federation: MiamiNew York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago
  • *Sweden: Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Detroit
  • *Switzerland: MiamiLos Angeles, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Naples
  • *Poland: Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami
Are you looking to invest in South Florida, one of today's most attractive real estate markets? KSI Realty can help you buy your Miami house or Miami Condo. Learn more about South Florida's real estate opportunities and the Miami housing market by contacting us now at info@kijner.com.

--

*Country with Miami or Fort Lauderdale as top searches
Source: Miami Association of Realtors: "Brazilians, Colombians Top List of Consumers Searching Miami Property" (April 6th, 2014) 

REALTORS® Confidence Index

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


Kijner & Sons International Realty
is pleased to present you the REALTORS® Confidence Index based on data gathered from the 1st to the 8th of November 2013. The data reflect transaction activities in October 2013 and how Realtors® foresee housing demands in the coming months based on fiscal and monetary policies but also flood and homeowner insurance rates. 

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), "[t]he REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions. In addition, the "Questions of the Month," feature results of a timely aspect of the housing market."

To download the full NAR Report, please click here or on the image below



How Important is the Home Inspection?

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


Almost inevitably, a home buyer’s agent will bring up the subject of home inspection during the buying process. Some buyers may be inclined to overlook the importance of the home inspection; there is so much else going at that time that the inspection may just seem like another task to check off the list. However, a professional home inspection is the perfect opportunity to gain insight on the condition of the home you are considering – an unbiased evaluation that can provide much-needed peace of mind at a stressful time. This information can prove extremely useful and help you avoid unpleasant surprises.

A professional home inspection includes a visual assessment of the home’s systems and structural components, including heating/cooling, plumbing, electrical, roof, foundation, walls, chimneys, doors, and windows. Appliance systems as well as heating/cooling and plumbing are tested to ensure proper operation. This evaluation is then included in the written inspection report, which should include detailed findings and identification of any potential concerns. The report should also indicate any recommended repairs based on the inspection results. At that time, your agent may recommend that the seller complete needed repairs, or if not, that the cost of doing the repairs be reflected in the selling price.

To get the most out of your home inspection, accompany the home inspector during the process. This allows you to ask questions on site and get any needed clarification about potential issues that come up along the way. It’s a great way to get to know the home and locate key items such as key shutoff valves, the breaker panel and more. Attending the inspection will also give you a better understanding of any repair recommendations.

The home inspection is truly a key part of a smooth transaction and a confident purchase. Not only that, the inspection report will serve as a reference for details about the home once the purchase is complete. They say a little knowledge goes a long way; a lot of knowledge can take you even further.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy or sell a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at info@kijner.com

--

Source: 28th Edition of CRS Consumer Article (May, 1st 2013) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 43

Syndication

Categories

Archives





Kijner & Sons International Realty
83-85 Boulevard de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France


Privacy Policy - Terms of Service  - Contact Information - Site Map

Real Estate Websites by Real Pro Systems

Copyright © 2003-2017 Real Pro Systems LLC. All rights reserved.