Miami real estate news and information

Advice for first-time homebuyers – Important decisions

The first place I bought was in New York City.

What I wanted was a condo on the Upper East Side, one that the owners had converted from a studio into a phenomenal one-bedroom condo.  It was furnished impeccably…  and looked as though it came from the pages of Architectural Digest   …   but the price tag reflected that.

What I bought instead was the same exact unit,  one floor down… for half the price. 

Mine was an estate sale …  in it’s original condition … (It was dark and dingy … in need of  considerable TLC)…   for half the pricetag of the one I’d really wanted, upstairs.

Having had the opportunity of seeing the one upstairs first … I could envision exactly what could be done with the ugly one downstairs.  I knew  that with a minimal investment in time and labor,  and the right contractors, I could convert the ‘dump’ downstairs  into an even better version of the one I’d drooled over, upstairs …   

All it took was plasterboard … to turn that studio into a one bedroom.  

And by adding  lighting… re-tiling the bathroom in marble, installing kitchen countertops, painting,  changing various fixtures, hiring a cabinet maker for a custom piece, and installing blinds and flooring …  investing literally a fraction of what  I’d have spent to buy the unit upstairs, I had a better version of that one, and didn’t have to pay  an arm and a leg for it.   And when I  eventually sold my downstairs unit several years later, it sold for well over double what I’d paid and put into it.  

Alterations and cosmetic fixes tend to play with our emotions.  They are what lure us into paying more for a property.   But without a ‘sample’  property to base our ‘template’ on, it’s often hard to envision taking a fixer-upper and making it fabulous.  If you are a buyer who is willing to put in the work to upgrade a place,  there is money to be made by investing that way.

So many buyers today are looking for a phenomenal deal  …  looking  for a short sale or foreclosure property in pristine condition.    There are opportunities for those  –  without a doubt.  But there are opportunities too to create something out of what other people don’t have the vision for…. finding a fixer … and  fixing it up.

Restivo Team @ EWM Realtors International …  Miami Real Estate Agents 305 793-1365. 

Call us if you are looking to buy, sell, build, lease, or relocate.  We can help -with any of your real estate needs – whether here in South Florida or elsewhere.   And if you are looking to relocate, we have a solid network of real estate experts internationally to refer you to!   Vicki and Alexandra  [email protected]   EWM Realtors.


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