Miami real estate news and information

Renting vs Buying

If you’re in the market for a new home, you should know the differences in renting vs buying. Here is a chart, presented by Steve Harney, showing the cost of renting vs buying, historically and now. You’ll notice that the percentage of income needed to afford a median home is LESS than what you need for median rent!

Buying a home can be a lot of money up front… you’ll need a down payment – the lump sum due at closing, usually a percentage of the purchase price. It’s usually 20% down, but some lenders will do as low as 3.5%. You’ll have monthly mortgage payments, which include principal and interest payments, taxes and homeowner’s insurance. During the buying process, you will have inspections done and the lender will order an appraisal. There are closing fees such as state and local taxes, loan origination fees and recording fees, among others. Usually these closing costs run 2%-4% of the purchase price.

When you buy a home, you build equity(ownership) over time. You get tax breaks-like Homestead Exemption and some Federal Tax Exemptions. Besides the financial benefit of buying, you may also improve the home to your liking. You will need to be ready to maintain the home, or call services to help maintain, as you have no landlord to ask for help.

20161014-rent-vs-buy-kcm-768x994Renting ends up being less money up front…you usually need first month’s rent, and 2 months security deposit or 1 months security and last month’s rent. If it’s a condo, there is almost always an association which runs credit and background checks as well as an application fee. If it’s a home, the landlord will usually request credit and background check as well, but there is no association fee. You will incur the cost of movers each time your lease comes to an end, many times you will be paying utilities such as electric and sometimes the water bill.

If you’re renting, you’re paying the mortgage for your landlord but if you own your home, the money you spend every month goes towards paying off your mortgage and owning the home! If you’re paying for it, the mortgage might as well be your own.

Renting is great if you’re going to be in that area temporarily, or if you’re moving to a new city and aren’t exactly sure of where you want to settle down. It’s a great way to get a feel for a neighborhood and everything that goes with it. In rentals, the landlord is usually responsible for maintenance and repairs, and that’s a comfort to many people.

It all comes down to what’s best for you… do you have enough to cover the upfront costs of purchasing a home? Are you ready to be fully responsible for maintaining a home? Are you ready to move to a specific area and settle in or do you want to explore your options and test out living in an area before buying? These are some of the questions you need to answer in order to decide if buying or renting is for you.

Whether it’s renting or buying, the Restivo Hechtman Team is here to help. We can help you run some numbers, explore neighborhoods, lend an ear and ultimately find you the perfect home. Contact us today to get started.

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Open House Sunday – Palmetto Bay

12Don’t miss a chance to preview this wonderful Palmetto Bay Pool home. The main house features 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, while the separate guest cottage boasts 1 bedroom and 1 bath. The home features a beautiful swimming pool that can be seen from most rooms in the home. The cottage features a kitchen, living and dining area – perfect for guests or for whomever you choose!

Offered at $665,000, the home will be open on Sunday October 23 from 3-5 PM…Join us! If you can’t make the open house and would like to preview the home, contact the Restivo Hechtman Team for more information and to schedule a private showing.

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Miami Welcomes Autumn … Stone Crab Season Has Started!

imageUnlike much of the country (which celebrates autumn’s seasonal changes with the more traditional apple picking and enjoyment of fall foliage),  Miami has our own special way of welcoming in the fall.

Miamians mark the start of OUR fall, effective  the day “Stone Crab Season” opens, and that was this weekend!

Officially underway as of October 15th…. Stone Crabs are back … and Joe’s Stone Crab is open again for business thru May 16 ( Joe’s  is an iconic Miami Beach restaurant, which started as literally just a shack  … in the same spot … and is now in it’s 103rd season):  Joe’s Stone Crab –  111 Washington Avenue – Miami Beach.

I’m sure the lines are exceptionally long, as ususal …  I know of many who will be waiting on line, but some of us will wait a few days before attempting entry.   It’s a fun way to welcome in the Fall, Miami Style.

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Adjusted Square Footage … What It Means

If you’re grappling with how to determine home value, based on SQUARE FOOTAGE,  you’re not alone.

One of the most frequently questions our clients ask us is “How does this property compare to that, as far as price is concerned, based on square footage?

Knowing what comparable properties are LISTED and SELL for, helps.  But sometimes the square footage is   “adjusted” … sometimes “total” …. and sometimes “living”.

Realtors make every effort to calculate property value based on “Adjusted Square Footage”  –  at least in Miami Dade.  It can be confusing though, because the tax rolls and the property appraiser’s office and the MLS often differ as to the information shown  …  (and sometimes the  is inaccurate) …  Sometimes “adjusted square footage” isn’t shown, but instead “living area” and/or “total area” is).

In  Miami Dade we tend to use “ADJUSTED SQUARE FOOTAGE” in the Multiple Listing System (the MLS).   Many of the other internet sites (, Zillow, Trulia, etc) feed from the MLS.

“Adjusted square foot” measurements combine ground floor interior spaces & living areas, along with a percentage of each of these: the second story,  the garage, & any covered patio/porch/carport areas.


100% –  main house under air (1st floor)

80% – main house under air (2nd floor) … And this is because second story construction only costs roughly 80% of that of the ground floor costs to build.

66%  – Florida room/enclosed patios or additions.

50% – garage … again based on construction costs relative to the building costs associated with the main house.

50% –  laundry room

33% – covered patios/porches with overhangs.


***Screen-covered pool areas would not  be included (unless they had a solid roof).

***Sheds are not included.


I hope this helps clarify adjusted square footage .  If you have other questions or want more information, please call us …  The Restivo Hechtman Team at EWM Realty Int’l  305 793-1365  305-632-0164

(Appraisals for loan purposes  … that is another topic …for another blog).

“LIVING AREA” (air conditioned)

“ADJUSTED” (a percentage of  various covered spaces)

” TOTAL AREA” (everything).




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SOLD Near Metro Zoo

imageThe Restivo Hechtman Team recently represented the seller in the sale of 13918 SW 163 St.  This immaculate 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bathroom home  had multiple offers on in within the first few days.  Located near the Metro Zoo and Tamiami Airport and Air Force Base, this home sold within a week.

Features:  1,675 sq ft  …  2 story home … with a covered patio and fenced backyard… light & airy interior spaces … 4 bedrooms  upstairs … ceramic and wood floors throughout (with carpeting in the bedrooms).   “California Model” … No HOA.

We listed at $285,000 and it sold for $274,000, at $164 per sq ft.

Congratulations to our seller and a warm welcome to the buyers!

If you are interested in selling your home or are in the market for a new one, contact the Restivo Hechtman Team.  305 632-0164 or 305 793-1365  [email protected]

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Come see these magnificent Pinecrest homes!

Join the Restivo Hechtman Team this Sunday – October 9 – for two Pinecrest Open Houses, from 2-5 PM.

6330 SW 107 ST is a 6 bedroom, 7.5 bathroom home featuring lovely outdoor entertaining areas including a pool, covered patio and bbq. The home boasts a working fireplace, soaring ceilings, a separate children’s wing with play area and a private loggia off the upstairs master suite. Sophisticated elegance at it’s best.


10651 SW 65 Ave is a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home with grounds that rival Fairchild Tropical Gardens. The home has been remodeled and updated with impact windows and new bathrooms. There is also a magazine quality chefs kitchen that has been used in commercials. The updated home oozes charm and a the beauty of a classic Florida home.


Stop by and check out these beautiful homes from 2-5 PM. For more information or to schedule a private tour, contact the Restivo Hechtman Team.

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Hurricane Matthew Update

With Hurricane Matthew churning a little too close for comfort, we hope everyone is prepared just in case the storm reaches our backyards. By now, you should be stocked up on supplies, have all your outdoor things moved inside and you should have a plan in place.

Here’s what the watches and warnings mean:

  • Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm conditions with sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are possible within 48 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Warning means tropical storm conditions with sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are expected within 36 hours.
  • Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions with sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are possible within 48 hours.
  • Hurricane Warning means hurricane conditions with sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected within 36 hours in advance of the onset of tropical-storm force winds.


Some other things to keep in mind:

  • Have enough water for each person in your household
  • Charge all cell phones and keep a corded phone handy
  • Take some cash out from the bank
  • Make sure to fill all your cars up with gas and get enough fuel to power generators and other gas-powered tools
  • Be sure to protect your electronics with power surge protectors
  • Don’t forget your pets- make sure you have enough food and water for them as well
  • If you own a boat, use double lines at a marina, or consider dry-dock storage

During the storm, stay in a “safe room” ( a room with no windows or doors) and monitor your tv or radio for instructions from public safety officials. If you lose power, turn off all major appliances. Instead of candles, use flashlights as your light source. Make sure pets are inside with you.

After the storm, stay inside until authorities have given the all clear. Don’t drive or walk through standing water. Stay away from downed power lines and report them to FPL.

Some important phone numbers:

  • 3-1-1: Government Information
  • FPL: 1-800-4-OUTAGE
  • 9-1-1: Emergencies

Let’s keep watching the storm and see what path it decides to take. The key is being prepared. Whether Matthew grazes past us with tropical storm force winds or unleashes it’s stronger hurricane force winds, be prepared, stay safe and keep listening to our public officials…we’ll get through it. It’s part of the trade off we get for living in such a beautiful tropical paradise! Now, it’s time to get our Hurricane Party started…


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Looking for a home in Palmetto Bay…this one could be yours!

1This 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom Palmetto Bay pool home features a separate guest house perfect for the guests you want staying with you but not under the same roof. The cottage boasts its own private entrance as well as living room, kitchenette, bedroom, bathroom and dining area. Screened in pool and patio make a great space for entertaining and enjoying the outdoor Miami lifestyle.

127740 SW 141 St is offered at $665,000. For more information, contact the Restivo Hechtman Team. If you’re looking to buy or sell in Palmetto Bay, call us today.



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Moving Day Survival Kit

Moving day is exciting and hectic all wrapped into one. You’ll have many many boxes filled with your belongings and they probably won’t be unpacked on the first day. Why not have a box set aside with the essentials that you’ll need immediately upon move in? Here are some suggestions…

  • Cleaning supplies Restivo Realtors Selling Miami Real Estate
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges
  • Big outdoor trash bags
  • Paper plates, cups & utensils
  • Scissors
  • Snacks (food & drink)
  • A set of towels & sheets
  • Bathroom toiletries

Make getting settled in your new home easier by using this list to pack a go to box when you walk thru the door. If you’re looking for a home or want to sell yours, contact the Restivo Hechtman Team today. We would love to be a part of your adventure.

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Newly Priced Home in Pinecrest

IMG_9681This beautiful home is a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home is a masterpiece. Remodeled and updated, the home features a magazine quality chef’s kitchen that’s been used in commercials.

The grounds rival Fairchild Tropical Gardens and are home to exotic palms, black olive, clusia, 30+ varieties of tropical palms and 12+ varieties of fruit trees, including avocado, mango, lychee, guava and citrus trees.

There is also a large pool (20 x 50 ft) as well as a hot tub, screened patio and shaded pathways throughout the grounds.

DSC_1772-331The home was built in 1950 and is believed to be the oldest post WWII house and only 1 0f 2 remaining homes in the Village of Pinecrest made entirely of slump brick.

10651 SW 65 Avenue is offered at $1,595,000.

Contact the Restivo Hechtman Team from more information and to schedule a private showing.


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