Miami real estate news and information

Archive for the 'HOME MAINTENANCE & REPAIRS' Category

Walk-in Bath tub …

We were intrigued over a laudry room we saw recently … designed with a dog tub at pretty close to counter height…    Here’s another clever idea … a walk-in bath tub (not for dogs) but for their owners.


We stumbled across this tub the other day and thought of several homeowners (including my mom) who would flip over it.   It’s a possible alternative to a walk-in shower or to a handicap accessible tub… for those who love tubs .  We saw it  while we were  shopping at Home Depot (for things we need for a house we are going to be listing for sale shortly) …  My guess is that this tub is very  likely available elsewhere as well.

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Obligatory Water Hook Up in Pinecrest

We published a previous post on water hook up requirements through … and are reposting it now because it’s a question that’s asked frequently. 

 The Village of Pinecrest indicates: 

1)  Current homeowners in the Village of Pinecrest have a 10 year grace period in which to connect to city water, once the lines are in place for that particular residence.

2) Hook-up is mandatory once a property is sold.

 3) It is the responsibility of the buyer to connect, and the buyer has 90 days in which to do so.

 4) Costs are subject to change …  Prices were $146 for the Village of Pinecrest permit, and $486 for Miami-Dade hook-up…. but  check with the governing municipality that your property is within for any changes.

 5) The buyer hires their own plumber to do the work. Price varies accordingly. 


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Tag Sale Experts … in South Florida

Clients periodically ask us to recommend service providers … anything  moving related … roofers, plumbers, contractors, movers, cleaning services, lawn care, interior decorators, staging, title and closing companies, real estate attorneys, schools, dry cleaners, caterers….  And we are happy to make recommendations.  We have a long list of reliable people…

Recently two of our sellers asked us to recommend someone who might help do a tag sale and clear out a house:     

Bobby & Betty …  They don’t advertise their services …  They handle  liquidations … the sale of personal items in estates and private homes.

They’ll go in, empty drawers and cabinets,  go through papers, categorize, organize,  tag,  price & arrange everything for sale.   They normally advertise their weekend tag sale only in the  Miami Herald (but occassionally on Craigslist too, depending on the area), and then hold a two day weekend tag sale. 

They keep 30% of what they collect from the tag sale … The two women work in Miami-Dade (primarily in the Gables, Pinecrest, and Palmetto Bay) and can be reached at 305 / 665–1949 (Coral Gables) and 305 / 667-3384 (Pinecrest)

Anything unsold, at the end of the two-day sale, they’ll have removed.

This weekend,  March 10 and 11 they are holding a tag sale at 16 Phoenetia in Coral Gables…

We appreciate you reading our blog,  buying and selling  property through us, and referring us to your friends and family.  We love selling real estate, and look forward to helping you with your next move!  Alexandra and Vicki Restivo  EWM Realtors  305 793-1365  [email protected]

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Building Code Amnesty Program in Miami-Dade


Building Code Amnesty Program

Effective August 12, 2011, residents of the unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County may benefit from an Amnesty Period if faced with civil penalties and liens for Building Code violations (Expired Permit violations, Work without Permit violations). This period will end on August 12, 2012.

In order to apply for this Amnesty, the homeowner must meet the following criteria:

  • Homeowner must present evidence of ownership (Driver’s License, Copy of Warranty Deed, Quit Claim Deed, tax bill)
  • A permit is issued to bring the structure into compliance with the Building Code within the Amnesty Period (8/12/2011 thru 8/12/2012)
  • The structure is brought into compliance with the Building Code within the period provided in the Building Code for completion of the work under the permit obtained within the Amnesty Period
  • All direct costs of the Building Department related to prior enforcement in connection with the structure, as documented by the Department shall be satisfied in full (These may include inspections, photographs, researches, recordation and enforcement recovery fee)

For more information on buying, selling , leasing, building property in Miami  …  we invite you to link here to the Real Estate Blog  and you are more than welcome to subscribe and receive updates through your email.

This Amnesty only applies to primary owners of a residential property and does not apply to properties owned by corporations, financial institutions, investment entities or commercial/industrial properties.

This Ordinance shall not apply in the event that the County has commenced a civil action to collect on the civil penalties or to foreclose a lien


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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 Read the rest of this entry »

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150 Pre-foreclosure Properties in The Village of Pinecrest, Florida

In talking with Code Enforcement last week , I learned that there are currently close to 150 properties in The Village of Pinecrest  in pre-foreclosure.  There are so many homeowners underwater:  abandoning their property/ looking to short sale their homes/filing for bankruptcy/or the “soon-to-be” REO listings … about to be foreclosed on)  

Code Enforcement keeps tabs on distressed (or abandoned) properties, communicating with the lenders involved,  in an effort to maintain curb appeal and neighboring property values.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Looking for a Kitchen Remodel Recommendation?

before demoThe best referrals are the kind that come via word of mouth…  ( the tried-and-true variety).    If you’re looking for service provider, a good place to start is by asking someone in the throws of having work done in their own home.  

We received two letters over the past couple of weeks  (from homeowners who recently bought property through us, and  have been doing major  home remodeling projects for  several months now) … I’m going to go ahead and share their recommendation with you : 

before“We have used your list of contractors, that you referred, for several items around the house.  There is one person that is responsible for the kitchen:  Dan Piel from Trimline is beyond belief – much more than “just a cabinet” guy.  He is creative, pays attention to your suggestions, and oversees the entire project from start to finish. He is more than capable, demands perfection from his contractors, and gives unequaled service.  You need to add his name to your list of referrals.  Maybe even mention him to the other agents at EWM.”   Jim – Pinecrest


remodeled kitchenContact information: Dan Piel Trimline Kitchen Design – in Miami, Florida –  10001 S. Dixie Hwy  (305) 666-7609


Thanks, Jim!   We like to update and revise our list of  Recommended Service Providers (The Restivo’s Little Black Book) … and appreciate your input and feedback… pro and con.  


In Miami, pretty much any top realtor will provide you with recommendations of workers and reputable service providers.  And Alexandra and I certainly look forward to working with you whenever you are ready to buy (or sell)  real estate in Florida  (or need relocation advice – moving elsewhere)..  Please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime –  Vicki Restivo (305) 793-1365  –  Alexandra Restivo (305) 632-0164.    


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Electricity 101

Electricity  101: Preventing Electrical Shock

If you’re in the do-it-yourself mode for making electrical repairs in your home or business, you need to educate yourself on avoiding electrical shock. Timothy Thiele, a writer for, offers these tips.

  • You should always shut the power off to the circuit or device that you will be working on. Do this first, before you do anything else on the project.  
  • After you have turned the circuit off, check it with a tester to make sure that it is really off. Never assume the circuit is off because if you’re wrong, it might danger your life.
  • If a ladder is necessary for your project, never use an aluminum ladder—ever—for an electrical project. Always use an insulated fiberglass ladder to keep you safe. Avoid wet areas when working with or on anything electrical. If there is a reason for you to be in such a situation, wear rubber boots and gloves to lessen the chances of getting electrical shock. Tools and appliances should be plugged into a GFCI outlet or a GFCI extension cord.     Read the rest of this entry »

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 Return on Investment



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Accumulation of Stuff … Poking through… Weeding out… Grappling with Downsizing

 Where did all this stuff come from?  We’ve got things in our kitchen cabinets  (useful and otherwise!)  that we  forgot we ever had!

Unloading cabinets and drawers until the wee hours of the morning, literally everything from our kitchen is stacked temporarily in our (now full) dining room.  The rest of the stuff is now beginning to spill out into the  corridor and into the game room.   Read the rest of this entry »

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