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Tips to get your home ready for a showing

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Making some small improvements to your home prior to showing it to potential buyers can give a great first impression and could make a difference on how quickly you get an offer and how much you may obtain from the sale of your property. Here are 4 tips to get your home ready for your next showing:

Curb appeal

Does the outside of the home makes the prospective buyer want to see the inside? Make your home more inviting with:
- a well-kept lawn
- an inviting porch
- a clean driveway
- flower pots on the backyard
- touch-up on the exterior paints
- a clean roof
- clean trash bins
- a fresh coat of paint for the front door
- clean windows

Simplify

What about a deep cleaning of the interior by hiring a cleaning crew if necessary?
- Beds should be made
- Remove extra furniture and nick-knacks
- Get rid of clutter, old magazines, toys, etc.
- Add new side-cushions to the sofa
- Make room in closets to give the appearance of a more spacious storage area
- Make sure all light bulbs work
- Display new towels, shower curtains and soap in bathroom and kitchen
- Remove excessive personal photos
- Remove small appliances from kitchen counters
- Declutter and clear the garage

Update

New coat of paint inside may increase the value. You may consider replacing non- working items.
- Replace non-working appliances
- Get new hardware on the kitchen cabinets
- Get new kitchen sink faucet
- Have a professional cleaning of carpets or tiled floors

Foresee

It is likely the buyer will have inspections done. Avoid surprises and complications. Know the condition and the repairs that would be essential to the home and use them on the negotiations. Be honest and upfront.

Looking to buy a new home or investment property in Miami, Florida, contact us today at info@kijner.com or visit www.miamihouseforsale.net

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* Tips courtesy of Mrs. Terry Alvarez, Broker at Fortune International Realty in Miami Florida
** KSI Realty's team members (Daniel, Laura and Marc Kijner) are all licensed 
Realtors® in Florida and real estate agents with Fortune International Realty in Miami, Florida

Is your Florida home ready for showings?

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Your Florida home is hitting the market and you want to make sure your property looks in tip-top condition. As we say, a little goes a long way! Here are some tips that can help you sell faster by making your home more appealing to potential buyers:

CHECK THE ROOF – Doing a roof inspection prior to receiving a contract, may put you in a strong position to negotiate with full knowledge of one of the most important aspects when calculating a purchase price. You will also have the advantage of fixing any possible leaks before the rainy season starts and this will prevent possible damage to the interior ceiling of the home.

CHECK THE WINDOWS AND DOORS – Check the windows and doors for proper closure. Cracks will allow warm air entering the home during the hot months, which makes the air conditioning work harder and will increase the electricity bill. Many buyers ask for an estimate of the monthly electricity bill as reference of the air conditioning working capacity.

DRIVEWAY – Power-wash the driveway, get rid of grime and dead twigs. First impressions are powerful. The driveway would be the first thing a potential buyer sees when visiting the property.

FRONT DOOR – A fresh coat of paint to the front door does miracles for the “look” of the home. The front door is the face of the home, show always a smiling face.

GUTTERS – Have the gutters cleaned. Get rid of leaves and other dirt settled in the gutters. This debris may obstruct the flow of water and may clog the gutters. The excess water may overflow back onto the property or may create leaks.

TRIM AND PRUME – As temperatures start to rise is the best time to trim trees and invest in that landscaping project that is always put aside for the benefit of other updates to the inside of the home. Just a bit of trimming and planting of some flowering will give a majestic look to any home.

GARAGE – Unclutter the garage of all those “precious treasures” that have not been put to use for years. A clean, spacious garage increases the size of the home in the eyes of the viewer.

SMOKER DETECTORS – Most owners do forget to check smoke detectors. Ensuring that the smoke detectors are functional, will demonstrate your interest in all aspects of the family well-being.

Are you looking to buy or sell a property in Miami or Sarasota Florida? Contact KSI Realty today at info@kijner.com.

Search Miami Florida latest listings for sale and register to your daily email alerts at 
http://idx.miamihousesforsale.net/idx/search/advanced. It's easy as 1,2,3!

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Source: tips courtesy of our Miami Broker, Terry Alvarez at FIR

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.

 

The Difference Between a Condominium and a Cooperative

by Kijner & Sons International Realty





Many people looking to buy a property in New York City are often debating between investing in a condominium or a cooperative. But what is the difference? Before choosing one over the other, let's review their definition, your ownership rights and what every buyer should know before acquiring such properties.

What is a condominium

A condominium is a real property transaction where ownership rights are fee simple, that is, the broadest form of ownership available. You are allowed to you to use and possess your property and you may own your condo in any form you wish (in severalty, as joint tenancy, as tenants in commons or tenants by the entirety).

With a condominium you own real estate - the space inside the unit - and you share in the ownership of the common elements such as the swimming pool, the walkways or the garage. As such, you will receive a deed to your unit that will include an undivided interest in the common areas. You can learn more about your rights in the condominium bylaws. Subletting is possible with some restrictions depending on the condominium building.

What is a cooperative or co-op?

With a co-op, you own share in a cooperative's corporation, which is not real property but personal property. Since you do not own any real estate, you do not have fee simple ownership rights. You own shares which reflect equity in the corporation and instead of a deed, you will receive a proprietary lease and stock certificates.

A cooperative is a not-for-profit corporation, a joint venture with its shareholders, formed for their benefit and governed by them. As such, the cooperative is the one owning the land, the building and all rights and interests. In short, you have a right to occupy your unit and use the common areas and facilities. And of course, unlike with buying a condo unit, we will need to submit a thorough application known as a board package that is unique to each co-op. This package will be reviewed, approved or denied by the co-op board based on a variety of personal and financial documents including but not limited to your purchase application, a contract of sale, employer and personal reference letters, your income tax returns, a financial statement listing assets and liabilities...Finally, subletting is much more restricted and is some occasions, not allowed.  

What is a Condop?

Some of you might have heard of a hybrid between a condominium and a cooperative known as Condops? What is it you ask? 

A condop is a mix-used building where the residential portion (co-op) is separate from the commercial component (condo). This form of property is appealing to many developers or sellers for tax reasons. They retain ownership of the non-residential space in the building that they use for commercial purpose. In a condop, a buyer will receive co-op corporation share and a proprietary lease. Condops are usually based on the 80/20 rule where 80% of the building is used for residential purpose and the remaining 20%, for commercial purpose.

Do you have additional questions? Are you looking to buy a condominium or a cooperative unit in New York City? Contact our Manhattan office today at nyc@kijner.com

Storage in a smaller home

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

While “tiny houses” take storage planning to an extreme, your typical smaller home still needs accessible, well-planned storage to make it both efficient and livable. Making better use of existing space is a leading trend in home design and usage patterns throughout the home in both remodeling and new construction.

Most people use a back or garage entrance to the home rather than the front door. It’s a great idea for these entryways to incorporate “drop zones”, where everyone can unload their backpacks, shoes, bags, sports gear, and outerwear. Baskets under benches provide both seating and storage. Some drop zones incorporate a dedicated shelf or cubby for each family member’s gear. A tray or shallow box for mail keeps it visible but doesn’t let it pile up too high. As a high-traffic area, a drop zone should be well organized and systematic in order to really work. If one system doesn’t quite function well for a particular family, it will always be best to try another arrangement until settling on one that really works.

Home offices are another area where storage is at a premium as functionality changes. These spaces are often used not only as an office, but for homework, projects, and more. Effective, multi-purpose closet storage can be accomplished by replacing hanging rods with shelving and drawers. A dresser can be repurposed to store project materials for easy access. With multiple users, this multi-function room, like the drop zone, needs to have a workable system that everyone can follow.

In the kitchen, pantry space has become more important as more people cook and eat at home. In large homes, a pantry might be a separate room with plenty of space for storing everything from china to dog kibble. Newly popular smaller homes, generally with smaller kitchens, need to at least accommodate kitchen staples and larger, bulky items that aren’t often used such a large mixing bowls, seldom-used small appliances, and serving pieces. Pantry shelving for food items should be relatively shallow so that everything is easy to find and reach. This type of shelving can even be added to a niche in the wall between two studs.

Smaller homes aren’t going away, and continue to be popular as starter homes and with downsizers. But with efficient, practical storage solutions, even a smaller home can accommodate the needs of almost any family. 

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

The Vacation-Smart Home

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

As summer gets into full swing, it makes sense to review some simple but important steps you should take to secure your home while you head off for a well-deserved vacation. Amidst all of the decisions about where to go, where to stay, and what to do when you get there, taking some time to plan for leaving your home safe and secure will give you added peace of mind while you’re enjoying your free time.

Here are some useful reminders and tips for protecting your home while you’re away:

  • Make your home appear occupied by using timers on a few lights throughout the house, scheduling them to turn off and on at various times after dark. You can also use a timer on a radio to provide background noise to deter potential intruders.
  • Use extra caution when communicating about your vacation dates on Facebook and other social media. Information spreads quickly, and you don’t want it to get into the wrong hands.
  • Advise your friends and trusted neighbors of your travel plans and when you’re expecting to return. Provide your mobile number so you can be reached in an emergency.
  • Have the post office hold your mail and suspend any newspaper deliveries, or ask a neighbor to collect them for you each day. A buildup of mail or uncollected papers is an obvious sign that no one is at home.
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway on occasion so it looks like there is someone at home.
  • If you have landline phones, turn off the ringers so they can’t be heard from outside. Leave a note on at least one of the phones as a reminder to turn them back on when you return.
  • Arrange to have someone mow the lawn in your absence if you’re going to be gone for more than a week.
  • Close the window coverings on any ground-level rooms so that would-be thieves aren’t tempted by valuables and other items visible from outside.
  • Unplug appliances such as the coffee maker, toaster, microwave, computers, video systems, stereos, and televisions. Be sure to leave the refrigerator and freezer plugged in.
  • To avoid the potential of water damage from an unpredictable leak or a burst hose, turn off the water supply lines for the toilets, sinks, washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker. It’s easy to do and can help avert coming home to a disaster.
  • Adjust the water heater to its lowest setting or to vacation mode if it has one. Maintaining the hot water at its everyday temperature while you’re away wastes energy and money.
  • If possible, pack your vacation gear into the car while it’s in the garage so that you’re not announcing to passersby that you’re leaving for an extended period.
  • Lock the garage, gates, and storage structures. Don’t forget to lock any side doors to the garage, as well as doors leading inside from the garage.

Enjoy your time away, knowing that you’ve taken these smart measures to keep your home safe and secure.

Unclutter Your Home and Get It Ready to Sell

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

It is very important to make a great first impression to the potential buyers of your home. Every seller wants their home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it's not luck that makes that happen. It's careful planning and knowing how to efficiently unclutter your home that will excite buyers. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an appealing and marketable home.

Get rid of those items that have been sitting around for years without being used or even handled. This is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in the house. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect the way buyers see the home, even if you do not realize it. Buyers and real estate agents should see your house in its best condition from the very first day it's on the market.

Here are a few approaches to take to unclutter your home and get it ready to sell. Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"

Another way to unclutter your home and get it ready to sell is to make those minor repairs and best of all, make the house sparkle! Only do one room, or even one small area, at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Your best friend is the trash bag; when in doubt, throw it out. Many find it easier to use boxes to sort items, so you don’t have to find a home for everything as you unclutter. Most important, be quick and decisive when sorting. Tell yourself:
• If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
• Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
• Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.

If you are getting your house ready to sell in the Sarasota and Miami Florida areas, then take a step back and pretend you are a buyer. Let a friend help point out areas where you can unclutter your home and let Kijner & Sons International Realty help you to get your house ready to sell.

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83-85 Boulevard de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France


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