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Archive for the 'REAL ESTATE NEWS' Category

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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Top Two Florida Destinations for International Home Buyers

The top two destinations for foreign buyers this year … in Florida… are:   

1) Miami and  Miami Beach … as well as 

2) Fort Lauderdale

Ranked TOP 2  in 2011,  we expect them to be TOP 2 again  in 2012.     

Each are resort destinations …  home to jet-setting, bikini-clad sun-worshippers  …   with 1 BIG PLUS:  Both offer easy access  internationally  (to and from the Miami  and Fort Lauderdale airports) …  with the obligatory dining,  nightlife… shopping … glistening waters and sandy beaches . Read the rest of this entry »

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$53 Million Sale – Silicon Valley Estate Now the Highest Sale in Atherton, California

An 12 acre-estate in Silicon Valley, California,  that was previously owned by a relative of  denim mogul, Levi Straus … just closed…  selling for $53 million – to an undisclosed buyer.  

The property was listed back in April by Alain Pinel Realtors, and so far this year, this is the highest priced closed sale  in Atherton, California.  Link here to view the property photos.

The Tudor-style estate sold – 11% below list price –  within just a few months of going on the market.    According to the Wall Street Journal the previous sellers owned the estate for nearly a century…  using it primarily as their summer retreat.

Some day perhaps,  Miami too will have century-old-homes with pricetags that rival that.  In the meantime,  wherever it is that you are looking to buy,  sell  or relocate to,  Alexandra and Vicki Restivo of EWM Realtors International will be pleased to  assist you,  and refer you to other top realtors in most parts of the world … as part of  the relocation services The Restivo Team offers.   Call us at 305 793-1365 or contact us through our real estate website and blog MiamiRealEstateCafe.com  by sending us a note here.

The Restivo Team  [email protected]

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When is the RIGHT Time to Sell?

I just got off the phone  – I’ve had a number of similar inquiries recently, from homeowners asking if now a good time to list (and sell)  … or  whether they should wait until after the first of the year.

That question about  ‘When to move’ is certainly a personal one.  Spending the holidays in the home you’re in now …  or starting NEW  holiday tradition elsewhere …   it’s not an easy decision. 

That said,  what I can say is that the majority of homeowners who ARE selling now tend to be serious sellers (given the current real estate environment).  And… most of properties listed for sale right now (whether they are condos or single family homes)  that are priced-well  do tend to sell  quickly.   It is a good time to be a buyer…. especially if you can recognize the good deals when they come around …  and are in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.   

Now through Thanksgiving, and then again starting January 1st, are Read the rest of this entry »

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Mortgage or Paying in Cash – Miami Real Estate Trends

With interest rates below 4% right now  –  91 % of all home purchases in the U.S. are at least partially financed  –  according to the NAR’s 2010 statistics. 

That’s interesting because international buyers tend to pay cash and they certainly rely far less on conventional financing  than domestic buyers do ….  with fewer than 15% of foreign investors getting a mortgage.  

Interesting too is that the number of acquisitions by international buyers  (whether vacation property,  or for  investment purposes, or as a primary residence) continues to increase, especially in resort destinations like Miami… which bodes well the real estate market in much of South Florida for the remainder of 2011 and throughout 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Find Short-Term Rentals or Vacation Property in Miami Florida

Many of the home buyers we work with who are moving to Miami ask whether there are any short term rental options out there…. and if so, how to find them.  Short term rentals can be a good way to settle in to a new city … get a feel for the neighborhood.  They can serve as a stop-gap if you’ve chosen a home to buy, but have a somewhat delayed closing date…

We handle single family home and condo purchases/ as well as  annual leases…   but we really don’t handle short term rentals ourselves. 

That said, we can and do provide our  buyers with  (and wanted to do the same for those of our blog readers who might be interested as well)  access to a handful of options for short term rentals and vacation property resources in South Florida. Read the rest of this entry »

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Venezuelans Eyeing CONDOS in Miami

Venezuelan buyers are increasingly interested in Miami … and in particular in areas such as Miami Beach and  Brickell… near the water.  

66% of all Florida property acquisitions right now by Venezuelans are in the Miami, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale areas.

Almost 2/3 of Venezuelan investors buy condos, as opposed to single family homes …  

And they tend to buy  high-end property  (very building-specific … with a preference for modern highrise construction) …  Read the rest of this entry »

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Investing as Income Property or Vacation Home?

About 40%  of property purchased by foreign buyers in Miami is acquired with the intention of it being a vacation home.  Because foreigners are limited as to how long they can stay and how often they can come to  the States,  many choose to buy property that can be rented out short (or long) term. 

Some 20-25% of foreign investment property is purchased strictly as income property …

NAR (National Association of Realtors)  reports that of the property purchased by international buyers for personal use:

12% plan to use the property for personal use more than 6 months per year

33% plan to use the property for personal use 3-6 months per year

23% plan to use the property for personal use 1-2 months per year

16% plan to use the property for personal use  less than 1 month per year

and the remainder are undecided.

Looking to invest in Miami?   Contact local real estate experts Vicki and Alexandra Restivo at EWM Realtors here or by phone, text or email … [email protected]    305 793-1365

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Stats on Home Buying: New Construction Versus Existing Home Sales

NAR (The National Association of Realtors)  reports that most  foreign investors tend to purchase resale property  (as opposed to new construction).  That coincides with the stats for real estate sales and purchases  all across the United States,  by both foreign buyers and Americans.

According to the 2010 figures from NAR …   foreign buyer specific:  11 percent of U.S. purchases by international investors were for new construction  … while 89 percent was for resales of existing homes….

The figures for 2011 show an increase in new construction sales, with 15% of all  sales being for new construction… up 4% from last year.

In 2011, foreign buyers also leaned heavily in favor of condo purchases, as opposed to single family homes.    Statistics continue to show approximately 50% of all international investors opt to buy condos (as opposed to single family homes)  … 12 % more in 2011 than in 2010.

Would you like our help,  buying or selling real estate in South Florida… or elsewhere?  We would love to work with you … whether directly or by referring you to a top real estate agent in some other area!   Please give us a call.  Alexandra and Vicki Restivo … We look forward to hearing from you!  305 793-1365

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International Home Buyers … Where Are They Coming From?

As Miami Realtors who work with international home buyers,  we’ve noticed that  foreign investors  coming to South Florida definitely mirror what the rest of the country is seeing:   Buyers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Venezuela,  Argentina, Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, Russia, Germany, Far East, Dubai and the Middle East…  are buying Miami… and there is the opportunity to do well, whether you are buying or selling.

Florida is unquestionably a top resort destination –   easily accessible from nearly anywhere in the world.  And with Florida now having a modernized and expanded international airport … MIA –  “Miami International Airport” …   South Florida  is on the map and on the radar screen of foreign investors. Read the rest of this entry »

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