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5 pros to buying pre-construction

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

If you have ever wondered between buying a resell property versus a brand new pre-construction unit, here are 5 pros to the latter:

1. Buyers will have ample time to come up with the purchase price. Instead of having to pay all of the required purchase price at once to close, buyers can spread out the deposits, and save for the balance to close usually for the term of 2 years or longer.

2. Buyers will be part, along with all other new buyers/neighbors, of making the history for this brand new community. There will be more flexibility in implementing the rules and customs for that particular community. When buying a condominium, a buyer may contribute in forming the Homeowners Association and participating on the forming of the Board.

3. The property, as well as the common areas, will be all brand new and sparkling. Life expectancy for all appliances and equipment will be longer and usually, cost for repair and replacement of appliances are less for the first 5 years.

4. Buyers get to pick exactly the décor they want without having to compromise for what is already existing. Picking up the details of a brand new home could be the most fun and exhilarating of the home-owning experience.

5. There is a big chance that if a calculated, well-guided investment was made, the % opportunity of price increase is greater than on an existing property.

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

Happy Chinese New Year

by Kijner & Sons International Realty




GONG XI FA CAI



In Chinese astrology, 2018 marks the Year of the Dog,
the eleventh of all the zodiac animal signs in a twelve year cycle.

Did you know?
A dog’s most defining traits are their loyalty, honesty and good nature.
They are committed, tenacious and hard workers.
They are also popular in social circles and good at helping others. 
They seek a good life surrounded by family and friends.
They are true homebodies and 
the definition of
"home is where the heart is"!

With a New Year, comes new beginnings.
If you are in the market for a new home, we are here to help!

In the meantime, all of us at KSI Realty
wish you a prosperous, healthy and lucky Year of the Dog!



      


New Changes to the Florida Condominium Act

by Kijner & Sons International Realty




On July 1, 2017 several new amendements to chapter 718 of the Florida Condominium Act went into effect. Here is what you need to know if you are looking to rent or buy a condo in the Sunshine State.

  • A unit renter has the right to inspect and receive a copy of the association’s by-laws and rules.
  • The association must issue an estoppel certificate (letter) within 10 business days of receipt of a written electronic request for said certificate.
  • If the estoppel certificate is not delivered within 10 business days from request, no fee may be charged for the preparation and delivery of said estoppel certificate.
  • The estoppel certificate if hand-delivered or sent electronically must be valid for 30 days; and 35 days if sent by regular mail.
  • The fee is limited to up to $250.00. However, for an expedited request to be delivered within 3 business days, the association may charge an additional $150.00. Furthermore, if the owner is delinquent on the payments, the association may charge an additional $150.00.
  • All condominium estoppel certificate must contain the following:
    • Specific assessment information
    • An itemized list of all assessments
    • Regular periodic assessment and frequency
    • Assessments and other moneys to become due
    • If there is a capital contribution fee and the amount
    • Resale fee or any other fee and the amount
    • If there is a right of first refusal to the association or to its members
    • Contact information for all insurances maintained by the association
  • Board of director members are limited to a maximum term of 8 years.
  • Denial of condo documents may be cause for a felony charge.
  • Associations with 150 or more units must post digital copies of the condo documents on its website as of July 1, 2018.

Effective July 1, 2017, Condo Associations and Homeowners Associations will have a limit on the amount they will be able to charge homeowners for an Estoppel Certificate (estoppel letter). The cap is as follows:

  • For Homeowners who are current in their assessments: $250.00
  • For expedited services, to be delivered within 3 days from request: $100.00 extra
  • For Homeowners who are delinquent in their payments: $150.00 extra

This bill also requires certificates to be valid for 30 days if delivered electronically, and 35 days if delivered by mail. This uniformed fee will facilitate accuracy for closing agents when preparing closing estimates for sellers.

If you are looking to rent or buy a condo in Miami Florida, contact us today at info@kijner.com.

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Source: Fortune International Realty

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

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

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*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.

Florida Homestead Exemption

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


Dear Florida Permanent Homeowners,

Don't forget to take advantage of the $50,000.00 Homestead Exemption offered to all legal Florida residents on their property such as a home or a condominium. 

What's the Florida Homestead Exemption and who can benefit from it?

"Every person who owns and resides on real property in Florida on January 1 and makes the property his or her permanent residence is eligible to receive a homestead exemption up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes, including school district taxes. The additional exemption up to $25,000, applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to non-school taxes". To learn more about the Florida Homestead Exemption, visit the Florida Department of Revenue by clicking here

Deadline: before March 3rd, 2014

Requirements:

  • Proof of ownership as of January 1, 2014
  • Property Folio Number
  • Social  Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Marital Status
  • Florida Driver’s license
  • Florida Automobile Registration
  • Florida Voters Registration Information
  • U.S. Permanent Resident Immigration Number

Miami homeowners may apply in person, by mail or on-line at:

1. Property Appraiser, P. O. Box 013140, Miami, FL  33101

2. Property Appraiser’s Downtown Miami Office or South Dade Government Center Office

3. www.miamidade.gov/pa/exemptions.asp

For other cities in Florida and to get local information, contact your county property appraiser.

Safe at Home: Smoke Alarms

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


Smoke alarms are an important defense against injury or death in house fires. The National Fire Protection Association states that nearly two-thirds of home fire fatalities happen in homes with non-working or missing smoke detectors. Most building codes now require smoke detectors in all residential structures, which has resulted in a steep drop in fire- and smoke-related deaths. Homeowners should check with their local public safety office or fire department for specific information on these requirements.

  • As in real estate, location is important! Smoke alarms should be in installed every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on each level of the home.
  • Alarms should be placed high on a wall or on the ceiling. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement. High, peaked ceilings have dead air space at the top; in these instances smoke alarms should be placed no closer than 3 feet from the highest point.
  • For areas close to the kitchen, use a detector with a “hush button” that can be used to silence nuisance alarms triggered by cooking smoke or steam. Alternatively, consider installing a photoelectric alarm, which is better at detecting smoldering fires (vs. flames) near the kitchen. Never remove the unit’s battery to stop or prevent nuisance alarms.
  • There are two primary types of smoke alarm technology: ionization and photoelectric. According to the National Fire Protection Association, ionization alarms are more responsive to flames, while photoelectric alarms are more sensitive to smoldering fires. For the most comprehensive protection, both types or a combination unit should be installed.
  • Alarms should be tested monthly. It’s helpful to put a reminder in your calendar to do this on the first or last day of the month, for example. The units have a test button that will sound the alarm for a brief time when pressed. Any alarm that fails to sound should have the battery replaced. If the test button fails with a new battery, replace the entire detector immediately. Monthly testing is also an ideal time to dust off the unit so that it continues to work properly.
  • Replace the batteries at least once a year. A common rule of thumb is to do this when changing to or from Daylight Saving Time in fall and spring. Some alarms come with 10-year batteries; for these, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for battery replacement. Remember, a non-working alarm is no better than no alarm at all.
  • If the alarms are hard-wired to the home’s electrical system, make sure they are interconnected for maximum effectiveness – meaning that if one alarm is triggered, all of the others will sound as well. Any hard-wired alarms, interconnected or not, should be installed by a licensed electrician for safety and proper operation.

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

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Source: 31st Edition of CRS Consumer Article (August 19th, 2013) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

Controlling Allergens in the Home

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


Household allergens can cause a variety of symptoms in many people, including sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, and shortness of breath. Allergens may also be a contributing cause of asthma, especially in children. However, it is possible to minimize the effects of such allergens by taking steps to control their presence and dispersal in the home.

The most common household allergens include dust mites, mold, mildew, pollen, and pet dander (dried flakes of skin shed by pets, particularly cats and dogs). Effective control relies on a combination of measures that, when used properly, will reduce the levels of allergens and allergen exposure.

  • Increase ventilation to the home. Opening windows whenever possible promotes good air exchange and will reduce the concentration of airborne allergens, especially pet dander.
  • Wash bedding and stuffed toys once a week in hot water to control dust mites and cat allergens in particular.
  • Keep pets clean and well groomed to control dander.
  • Use mite-resistant mattress covers and pillow covers and wash these frequently.
  • Dust and vacuum regularly, and use microfiltration or HEPA filter vacuum bags. The jury is still out on whether bagless vacuum cleaners are more effective in removing allergens than those that require bags; some studies indicate that many bagless vacuums are not sealed tightly enough and can actually make the problem worse. Wearing a dust mask while dusting and vacuuming is also a good way to reduce exposure.
  • Consider removing wall-to-wall carpeting and replacing them with easily-cleaned area rugs, particularly in bedrooms.
  • Make sure bathrooms, especially those with showers, are well ventilated. Open the window and use exhaust fans that vent to the outdoors to prevent moisture buildup, which can encourage mold and mildew growth.
  • If possible, reduce indoor humidity to 50% or less by using room dehumidifiers or the dehumidifier feature available with many central air conditioning systems.
  • Clean or replace furnace and central air conditioner filters on a regular basis. Make sure that air conditioner drain pans are clean and that they allow the water to drain properly.

Taking these simple steps can mean breathing easy in a healthier, more comfortable home. 

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

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Source: 31st Edition of CRS Consumer Article (July 30th, 2013) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

Help for Homeowners: Choosing a Handyman

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


Whether it’s a big project such as a bathroom remodel, something small like putting up shelves, or repairs and routine maintenance, many homeowners turn to handymen to get the job done. It used to be that everyone knew “a guy down the street who can do everything”, but these days finding a qualified, professional, and reliable handyman can be a real challenge. Here are some tips for homeowners to ensure that they have the right person for the job:

MAKE SURE THEY ARE QUALIFIED FOR THE WORK

Certain projects require specific skills that all handymen may not have. You will of course want to know that they have the qualifications and experience to do the job. In addition, many states require persons performing certain work to be licensed; electrical and plumbing often fall into this category. Check with your state on whether such licenses are required and verify the status of the contractor’s license if it applies.

ASK FOR REFERENCES

Request at least two local references from previous customers. The handyman should be willing to do this without hesitation. Then, contact those references! Ask about the quality of the work, timeliness, professionalism, and how the handyman handled any changes that may have occurred during the course of the project. Also ask how satisfied they were with the work overall.

CHECK OUT ONLINE REVIEWS

Online review sites such as Yelp and Google Places can offer insights into what kind of experience people have had with specific handymen. These types of reviews can be helpful in getting an overall impression, but a straight “thumbs up/thumbs down” review may not provide the information you’re looking for. Membership sites such as Angie’s List are another good source of reviews.

VERIFY INSURANCE COVERAGE

Liability insurance is always a good idea. If the handyman or another worker is injured while working on your property, you may be held liable for medical costs. Ask for evidence of coverage before agreeing to any work. Uninsured handymen often charge less for their services because they lack the overhead expense of insurance, but it could cost you in the long run.

GET WRITTEN ESTIMATES AND A CONTRACT

Ideally, ask three handymen for written estimates for the work you have in mind. Be sure that each estimate contains enough detail so that you can make a comparison between them. For example, are the specified materials of the same quality? Does the cost include cleanup and hauling away any debris or old/broken items? Read all contracts carefully and be sure to ask about anything that you are unsure of.

DETERMINE THE PAYMENT SCHEDULE BEFORE YOU SIGN

Beware if you are asked to pay for the entire job up front – this is not an accepted business practice and could leave you open to fraud. Handymen will often ask for 50% when the contract is signed, which will allow them to purchase materials for the job and assure them that you are committed. Be sure to request receipts for all payments.

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

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Source: 30th Edition of CRS Consumer Article (July 16th, 2013) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

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

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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 27

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