Miami real estate news and information

Archive for the 'REAL ESTATE NEWS' Category

Why It’s Not Unusual to Buy a House for More than the Bank Appraiser Values It

Several recent appraisal catastrophies almost derailed a handful of home sales for our buyers and sellers. Keeping those transactions on track took effort and creativity.

Appraisal issues are way too common!  Wondering why?

Phil Spool, an appraiser who writes for appraisal magazines, has contributed a series of articles about the current appraisal climate for our website … … that we will post this week.

1st in a 4 part series on Appraisal Woes …. By Contributing Author,  Philip G. Spool, ASA

“For many years appraisers were complaining that mortgage brokers were interfering with their conclusion of value, pushing the appraiser to come up with a higher value.

On May 1, 2009, appraisers got their wish with the creation of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) requiring all lending institutions to go through an intermediary in ordering appraisals.

This meant that mortgage brokers were no longer allowed to order the appraisal and banks had to either have someone within the bank not associated with the lending department to order the appraisals or to go through the intermediary.

Most banks decided it was easier to go through an intermediary and thus appraisal management companies, commonly referred to as an AMC, to order the appraisal and submit it to the lender.  Ironically, what the appraiser believed would be total appraisal independence turned into a nightmare for them.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Now is the Time to Sell !

South Florida has fewer homes and condos for sale now than at any point since 2008.

Take advantage of the market.  This is the time to sell.   Buyers are looking for property … property that’s non existant.

South Florida Real Estate bottomed out already.   Prices have been on the rise … and are increasing.  Good news for home sellers .

Fortunately too for home buyers,  there is still plenty of room for equity growth …  low interest rates …  good mortgage terms… and power in cash negotiations!

Considering buying or selling you home or condo?  We can help you make the most of this market!  Call us today –   305 793-1365  Vicki Restivo / Alexandra Restivo 305 632-0164  EWM Realtors

Your link to the Miami Real Estate Cafe Blog .

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House Hunters International … CASTING NOTICE

House Hunters International is casting  …  searching for buyers or renters moving abroad.

They are looking for an upbeat, enthusiastic, effervescent, outgoing family/invididual/couple  who is in the process of relocating from one country  to an entirely different location  (neither of which can include the United States or Canada).    The buyer or tenant must be fluent in English for this casting.

If you (or someone you know) are interested in having your story documented and aired on House Hunters International Read the rest of this entry »

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40 Year Recertification in Miami Dade

Condos and apartment buildings  in Miami-Dade are required to get a 40 year recertification once  they’re 40 years old.   Single-family homes and buildings with less than 10 occupants and less than 2,000 square feet are exempt from that requirement.

An inspection will determine what/ if any updates and/or repairs are needed (electrical/structural, etc.) to bring the building to code  …  and after the updates are complete,  the  property will be recertified. 

Typically elevators, electrical, roofs, and balconies are items that come under scrutiny at that 40 year mark – unless they’ve been updated prior to that. 

How updates are covered and assessed … and how they are paid… Read the rest of this entry »

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UM Presidents House Sells for $9 Million

By Michael Vasquez  The Miami Herald
The Gables Estates home that has housed every University of Miami president since 1974 has been sold for $9 million, while the school puts the finishing touches on a new Pinecrest presidential residence.
This bayside home on Old Cutler Road has served as the residence of University of Miami presidents for more than 40 years. It sold last month for $9 million.

Courtesy of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors

The waterfront Coral Gables estate that has housed University of Miami presidents for more than a generation — hosting everyone from world leaders to bright-eyed college freshmen — has been sold.

The price: a cool $9 million. The buyer: New Yorker Maria Montalva, who listed a posh Upper East Side Fifth Avenue address on county sales records.
Montalva could not be reached for comment, while UM President Donna Shalala declined comment.

A local real estate blog written by Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtor Alexandra Restivo described the home, built in 1965, as boasting a “tropical ambiance,” 4.6 acres of lush gardens, and a prestigious Gables Estates address.

“Here’s a chance to own a rare piece of South Florida history,” wrote Restivo, whose firm, EWM, represented both buyer and seller in the transaction. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reverse Mortgages Can Be Used to Buy a Home

You may be able to Use a Reverse Mortgage to Buy a Home

The benefit to you is that  (rather than you paying a monthly mortgage to your lender)  a Reverse Mortgage pays you to stay in your house … A reverse mortgage allows you to receive cash payments which from the equity in your home.

The requirements for a Reverse Mortgage are:

*    Homeowner must be 62 or older

*    No credit score requirement to qualify

The benefits of a Reverse Mortgage are: Read the rest of this entry »

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Top Luxury Real Estate Agents in Florida

Miami’s  luxury real estate  market (property valued over $1 million) is dominated by EWM Realtors.  EWM  makes 48% more luxury sales in South Florida than our closest competitor, according to Ron Shuffield.  In the first three months of 2012 we sold over 100 properties in Miami valued over $1 million… many of which are multi-million-dollar properties.

If you are looking to sell, and are looking for an experienced real estate agent,  call us at 305 793-1365 or contact us here … The Restivo Team … Vicki and Alexandra.

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Which Real Estate Markets are in Bad Shape?

According to Chase Bank,  home prices are predicted to drop 6-7% in the nation before hitting rock bottom in 2012.

Prices in New York and New Jersey will drop 13%.  Illinois and Indiana and Kentucky will have significant drops in their housing prices, because of the amount of shadow inventory in each of those states. 

Also in bad shape are North Dakota and New Mexico … South Carolina and North Carolina.

What about Miami?     Not only do we have beautiful weather year-round, but from all appearances the real estate market in Miami is one of the few that has actually stabilized, making our neck of the woods a good investment option.   If you are looking to relocate we would love to help you!  We specialize in South Florida, and we can also connect you with real estate experts nationally and internationally to help with the other side of your move .   The Restivo Team at EWM Realtors, International.   305 793-1365

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Restivo Team Named Top 1/2 of 1% of Realtors Nationally

Thank you to each of OUR WONDERFUL buyers and sellers … and each of you who have referred the people you care about,  who are considering moving or relocating, to us.   You are the reason we are in the TOP 1/2  of  1%  Realtors Nationally.


We are honored to be recognized for our work … more honored still to have earned your trust …  in listing, selling and buying your homes and property through us.

Vicki & Alexandra Restivo – EWM’s Chairman’s Club –  Diamond Level 2011

Thank you again for your trust in us, and for your continued referrals of friends and family and neighbors.  We know you have choices … and we are honored to be your choice!    Vicki and Alexandra Restivo  305 793-1365  and 305 632-0164

EWM Top Producers Vicki & Alexandra Restivo

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Miami Real Estate Market Forecasts Miami Prices to Remain Stable in 2012

2012 will be breakthrough year in real estate according to the experts… in Miami.


Zillow says:  Prices in Miami will remain stable over the next 12 months, although prices will go down in Chicago by 7.6% …  and will similarly drop  in Atlanta by 8.5%.  “Prices WILL soften in Florida … and in the rest of the country…  BUT NOT IN MIAMI !!”   (according to Steve Harney of Matters, who spoke to a group of Top Real Estate Agents at EWM in Miami last week).  Harney demonstrated through recent sales that the propjected prices in real estate  will be flat this year (2012)  … with Miami pricing being at the same level as in 2002 … but with interest rates in 2002 being at 6.11%  as opposed to today being at 3.87%..

Warren Buffet  recently advised his secretary (of  many decades):  “Buying a home right now will be the best opportunity in your lifetime”.

Chris Thornberg  has had a change of mind about the real estate market.  Back in 2007 he warned “WAIT TO BUY, because you’ll get it for 10% less in a year”.  He was right.  Now he says “If you have been thinking about buying in Las Vegas , or a condo in Miami BUY NOW!”.   I don’t disagree.

And Celia Chen of Moody’s Analytics reports a 30% increase in existing home sales.

The Restivo Team at EWM is seeing an increase in property sales – both single family homes and condos – in Miami.  “When homes start going under contract before they even hit the MLS, as they are doing again now (March 2012) it’s an indicator that the real estate market has not only stabilized but is improving”.   Vicki Restivo – EWM Realtors, International.

Considering buying or investing ?    Miami is simmering …    Many opportunities for buying  (and buying well!)  right now – in South Florida!

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