Monday, August 07, 2006

Local MLS Statistics for July 2006

The Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale, of which I am a member, has released their July MLS Statistics:

New Listings:

  • Single Family: 2,831
  • Condo / Townhouse: 2,957

Available Inventory:

  • Single Family: 10,502 - (4% over June)
  • Condo / Townhouse: 13,087 - (3% over June)

Average Sale Price:

  • Single Family: $468,275 (-2% over June)
  • Condo / Townhouse: $257,226 (-3% over June)
Median Sale Price*:

  • Single Family: $375,000 (-1% over June)
  • Condo / Townhouse: $211,000 (-1% over June)

*The median sale price is the market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Local MLS Statistics for June 2006

The Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale, of which I am a member, has released their June MLS Statistics:

New Listings:

  • Single Family: 2,865
  • Condo / Townhouse: 3,020

Available Inventory:

  • Single Family: 10,086 - (6% over May)
  • Condo / Townhouse: 12,735 - (4% over May)

Average Sale Price:

  • Single Family: $477,047 (0% over May)
  • Condo / Townhouse: $264,759 (4% over May)
Median Sale Price*:

  • Single Family: $380,000 (4% over May)
  • Condo / Townhouse: $212,500 (2% over May)

*The median sale price is the market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Local MLS Statistics for May 2006

The Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale, of which I am a member, has released their May MLS Statistics:

New Listings:

  • Single Family: 3,068
  • Condo / Townhouse: 3,535

Available Inventory:

  • Single Family: 9,537 - (8% over April)
  • Condo / Townhouse: 12,297 - (7% over April)

Average Sale Price:

  • Single Family: $474,725 (2% over April)
  • Condo / Townhouse: $255,572 (3% over April)
Median Sale Price*:

  • Single Family: $365,000 (3% over April)
  • Condo / Townhouse: $209,250 (0% over April)

*The median sale price is the market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Negotiating House Prices in Broward County

There are a few valuable home improvements that Broward home buyers often forget to factor in when negotiating the price of a house they are interested in. Today I will discuss two of them: hurricane shutters and sprinkler systems.

When comparing one home with another in Broward County, take into account whether each house has hurricane shutters when it comes time to negotiate the sale price. The number of hurricanes that have affected us in recent years has caused many
Broward County homeowners to invest in hurricane shutters. This is good. However, the vast majority of Broward County homes still do not currently have hurricane shutters, which is unfortunate because they can make a difference in the severity of damage caused by a hurricane.

The cost of getting hurricane shutters installed in Broward County can vary greatly - from a low of about $1,200 to well over $10,000 - and depends on a few things, but most importantly on the number of openings (doors/windows) you want protected as well as the type of shutters chosen. Accordion shutters cost more than panel-type shutters but are generally easier and faster to open and close. There are other types but these are the two most often installed nowadays. Also, keep in mind that the demand for hurricane shutter installations increases considerably just after a hurricane (remember, hindsight is 20/20). When this happens, prices invariably increase as does the wait time before they're installed (sometimes 6+ months). When comparing one home that includes hurricane shutters with another home that does not, it's important to take the cost into account when negotiating the house price.

Before buying a home in Broward County be sure to check if it has an automatic sprinkler system that's in working order. The importance of having an automatic sprinkler system is another item that
Broward County home buyers often overlook. The cost of having an automatic sprinkler system installed varies - probably around $1,400 on the low end to over $5,000 if the property is very large. An automatic sprinkler system can also save you money via a lower water bill as most homes that have one use either well or lake water, so the cost is usually limited to the electricity used by the pump and system maintenance.

While some Broward home buyers may not think this is an important amenity, they often change their minds after a few months or years of having to water their lawns themselves. If a Florida lawn is badly neglected and needs replacing, it can cost hundreds of dollars to replace with new sod. Here, again, when comparing a home that has a functioning automatic sprinkler system with another home that does not already have one, it's important to take this into account when negotiating the purchase price of the house. One last note about sprinkler systems: be sure to find out (preferably before home price negotiations begin) whether a home's sprinkler system is in working order. Just because you see sprinkler heads in the lawn does not mean the system is functioning properly, though a lush green lawn is usually evidence enough.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Teardowns and McMansions in Broward County

Florida McMansions, Broward County McMansions, teardowns, mcmansion According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Florida is among the 20 states they identified in 2002 that is experiencing teardowns in historic neighborhoods. In 2002 they identified 100 communities in 20 states and, unfortunately, as of May 2006 that number has soared to more than 300 communities in 33 states that are being impacted by teardowns.

Of the 21 cities in
Florida identified by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 3 were in Broward County: Lighthouse Point, Fort Lauderdale (Rio Vista), and Hollywood (Lakes).

The term "McMansions" is a slang architectural term and is often used to describe the house built to replace the teardown. Though the replacement homes vary somewhat in size and style throughout the U.S., here in
Broward County, McMansions are typically much bigger than the original house on the site and they tend to stand out in a neighborhood that mostly consists of older and smaller, one-story homes with roomy front and back yards.

Oftentimes, this new construction is not welcomed by neighbors because it destroys the original character of the neighborhood. Immediate neighbors sometimes complain of restricted views, reduced sunlight to their house or yard, as well as concern over property values. Local leaders are often either not able or willing to prevent these teardowns that forever change the landscape of what are considered by some to be historic neighborhoods.

Among other terms used in place of "McMansions" are: "monster home," "faux chateaux," and "starter castle."

Additional information:


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Local MLS Statistics for April 2006

The Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale, of which I am a member, has released their April MLS Statistics:

New Listings:

  • Single Family: 2,908
  • Condo / Townhouse: 3,527

Available Inventory:

  • Single Family: 8,838 - (9% over March)
  • Condo / Townhouse: 11,490 - (9% over March)

Average Sale Price:

  • Single Family: $465,328 (-4% over March)
  • Condo / Townhouse: $247,934 (-6% over March)
Median Sale Price*:

  • Single Family: $354,300 (-4% over March)
  • Condo / Townhouse: $210,000 (2% over March)

*The median sale price is the market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mack's Groves Closes

Mack's Groves Another of Broward County's "landmark" businesses (opened in 1954) has closed their doors. Mack's Groves, which had two stores - one on the corner of A1A and Commercial Blvd. in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and another on Federal Hwy. in Pompano Beach was run by two sisters who decided it was time to retire. Mack's Groves is remembered by many who visited them as being one of those uniquely Floridian type of stores which started out selling oranges/orange juice and eventually added a variety of other products including home decor, clothing and souveniers. It will surely be missed.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hurricane Supplies Sales Tax Holiday

Hurricane Supplies Tax Holiday This year Florida residents will have the opportunity to save money while stocking up on certain hurricane supplies in limited quantities. The hurricane supplies sales tax holiday runs from May 21 - June 1.

This is expected to encourage residents to become self-sufficient for the first 3 days following a hurricane. Governor Bush is pushing for a "culture of preparedness" so that Floridians can be better equipped to reduce hurricane damage and public dependency on the government's help in providing water, ice and other essentials.

Although this is the second year that the hurricane supply sales tax holiday is taking place, it will now become a permanent Florida holiday that will coincide with
National Hurricane Preparedness Week.

Some notable improvements to the list of items that will be tax-free include the addition of carbon monoxide detectors (important to have when using a generator), storm shutters (up to a cost of $200 each, but does not include plywood), and an increase in the amount allowed for generators (double last year's tax break of $500 - now it's $1,000). Other items exempt from sales tax during the hurricane preparedness tax holiday include many types of batteries, flashlights, radios, tie-down kits, ice chests or coolers (except electrical coolers).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Free Annual Credit Report

When you're ready to buy Broward County real estate, be sure to check your credit report for errors before applying for a mortgage. Thanks to federal regulations, you can now get a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the top three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Simply go to AnnualCreditReport.com.

Remember that your credit report contains valuable information and experts recommend that you check them at least once a year. If you're thinking of buying any
real estate in Broward County, it's important to check your credit reports as they sometimes have incorrect information on which mortgage lenders and credit card companies rely when deciding how much of a credit line to give you or even what interest rate to offer you. You may request your free credit report online, by phone, or through the mail. The site offers a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page which should answer any questions or concerns.

Articles for further reading:

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Local MLS Statistics for March 2006

The Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale, of which I am a member, has released their March MLS Statistics:

New Listings:

  • Single Family: 2,626
  • Condo / Townhouse: 3,213

Available Inventory:

  • Single Family: 8,109 - (11% over February)
  • Condo / Townhouse: 10,570 - (11% over February)

Average Sale Price:

  • Single Family: $483,560 (3% over February)
  • Condo / Townhouse: $257,831 (-1% over February)
Median Sale Price*:

  • Single Family: $375,000 (6% over February)
  • Condo / Townhouse: $205,000 (-5% over February)

*The median sale price is the market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fort Lauderdale Temperature Averages

When I ask buyers what made them decide to relocate to Florida from other states, their reasons almost always include Florida's year-round warm weather. If you're thinking of embarking on a Broward County, Florida relocation, be sure to check out Broward Homes For Sale where you can view a virtual tour of Broward County, find information on Broward schools, things to do in South Florida and search the Broward County MLS for listings of condos, villas, townhouses and homes. (Table below is copyright: Ā©Leanne Paynter)

Fort Lauderdale Florida Temperature Averages and Fort Lauderdale Weather

Friday, March 10, 2006

English Spanish Real Estate Glossary

English-Spanish Real Estate Glossary for Spanish-speaking real estate buyers According to the 2005 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida Survey sponsored by the Florida Associaton of RealtorsĀ®, one-third of the international buyers who purchased Florida real estate in 2005 were from South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

For Spanish-speaking real estate buyers, real estate terminology can be challenging if not intimidating. I just found a resource ideally suited for Spanish-speaking home buyers who are not yet completely fluent in English. It is the Real Estate Center's English-Spanish Real Estate Glossary which defines, translates and explains 700 real estate terms in English and Spanish and it can be purchased either in book or CD-ROM format at a reasonable price. For more information,
click here.

Broward Condo Conversion - Colonnade Residences

Colonnade Residences at Sawgrass Mills - new Broward County condo conversion in Sunrise, Florida In recent years there have been many South Florida condo conversions. One of the latest to open for sales is the Colonnade Residences at Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, Florida. Offering 1, 2 and 3 bedroom condos from the low $200's, these condos include a washer & dryer, have a patio or balcony and some include a garage. The community features a pool, spa, tennis court, air-conditioned racquetball court, fitness center and children's playground.

If you would like to preview these condos, please contact Broward County Realtor Leanne Paynter at 954-846-1600 before going in person. Having your own representation does not cost you extra and may save you money.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Successful Garage Sale Tips - Broward County Garage Sales - Broward County Yard Sales Spring is just around the corner and this is a great time to plan for and hold a garage sale (or yard sale). Although a successful garage sale takes good planning, time and effort, the benefits usually make it worthwhile. It can help declutter your home and depending on the quantity and quality of the items you put up for sale, it has the potential to be reasonably profitable.

If you are planning on putting your Broward County home on the market in the near future, consider having a garage or yard sale to make your move lighter as well as help potential home buyers see the amount of (not lack of) storage space in your home. Perhaps you'll even decide to use the profits from the garage sale to replace a stained carpet or an old appliance, or pay for any necessary repairs you know would show up on a home inspection report.

Most local newspapers charge a nominal amount for anyone wanting to advertise a garage sale in the classified section.

More articles for tips on having a successful garage sale:

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Grand Opening

The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass The latest addition to the ever-popular Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Florida is now open. The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass is an open-air promenade featuring luxury boutiques and gourmet dining. The high-end outlet stores include Crate & Barrel, Coach, Barneys New York, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Cole Haan and Escada. A day spa and elegant dining at the Grand Lux Cafe can also be found here.

Printable Mall Directory (PDF)