Treasure Coast Real Estate Blog

Your local news and information source for homes and investment real estate along South Florida's Treasure Coast

Monday, August 1, 2016

Should You Buy a New or Existing Home?





Maybe your dream home has the intricate details that you usually find only in older construction - wainscoting and crown molding in the interior, the front porch with a swing, an older tree shading the back yard, and the white picket fence. 

Or maybe your dream home has all the conveniences of modern living - open floor plan in the living and dining spaces, large windows, connected, “smart” appliances and security systems, and minimalist design elements. 

Whether you go for a brand new construction or an existing home, both types of properties have their pros and cons when it comes to purchasing. What type of home is right for you will depend on which factors are most important for your lifestyle. 

Build your dream home with new construction

If you’re making a home purchase that’s still in the pre-construction phase, you may be able to customize many of the details. Many home builders will give you the option to add design elements that will give you the exact dream home you desire. If it’s a new subdivision, you may even be able to pick which lot you like best. 

Very early in the building process, you may have more room to customize. For example, if the walls aren’t complete, you may be able to add extra outlets in each of the rooms or custom wiring for surround sound in the media room. Perhaps you could move the laundry room to the top floor instead of the basement. You might be able to get a separate mudroom entrance. 

Later in the building process, you may be able to add marble countertops, an island, and custom cabinets in the kitchen. Your master bathroom could be upgraded with a steam shower, spa tub, and European fixtures. You will want to check with the builder to understand which features are included, and which ones are extra. 

New homes save money with fewer repairs and more efficiency

Once your home is complete, all you’ll need to do is move in. New appliances will be under warranty for a few years if they need repairs, and will likely work well for several years without needing fixes. Often, new construction is under a builder’s warranty, so any repairs needed in the first year should be covered. 

New homes often contain energy efficient and green appliances, like high-efficiency stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, heaters, or air conditioning units. These energy-saving appliances, along with good insulation and energy-efficient windows, will help you save money on monthly utility bills. 

New homes also often use new building materials that require less maintenance — for example, using composite siding instead of wood, which doesn’t need annual repainting. You won’t need to spend as much to maintain your new home. 

If you customized it during pre-construction, you won’t need to spend any money on renovations or upgrades for several more years. You can just enjoy it and not worry about saving for major home repairs. 

What you need to do to make a good new home purchase

Before you put in your offer, do some research on the builder. Do they have a good reputation? What else have they built? Did their other new properties have issues such as poor construction or unfinished details?

You like the model home, but will you like where it’s situated? After you look at the home itself, come back to the neighborhood to see what it’s like at different times of the day. Walk around during the day and in the evening, and see how you like the area. 

Brand new communities usually attract similar types of buyers—urban professionals, couples, or young families, for example. These will be your neighbors, so you’ll want to make sure that you want to be part of this new, homogeneous community. 

You may also need to be flexible with your move-in date. Builders will only be able to let you move in if they can meet their construction schedule. If the wiring is delayed, the walls can’t be finished. And because there are so many construction tasks that are dependent on the completion of prior tasks, schedules tend to slip. 

Get more variety and established neighborhoods with an existing home

Existing homes are those that have generally been built and lived in between the 1920’s and 1970’s. With existing homes, you will get more variety in home styles, as different types of construction have gone in and out of style throughout the decades. Within one neighborhood, you may be able to find a mix of different styles like Victorian, modern Tudor cottages, tract style, ranch or split-ranch, or contemporary homes.

Existing homes are situated in established neighborhoods, which may have more amenities nearby that a new home in a brand new subdivision may not have. Your new neighborhood may have restaurants, cafes, and boutiques within walking distance. 

You might also have access to more supermarkets, dry cleaners, discount stores, and gas stations nearby. An established neighborhood might have a nice park, running path, or playground for the kids to enjoy. You might also be closer to a library or the post office. 

Resale homes can be a less expensive purchase 

If you’re considering a resale home, you may be able to get into a beautiful, unique property at a lower purchase price than a new home. 

There are many more resale homes available than there are new homes — according to the National Association of Homebuilders, about 10 times as many. With such a large pool to buy from, the market for resales can be more competitive. You may have more room to negotiate the  selling price of the home. With a brand-new construction, you won’t likely be able to have the same kind of negotiating power. 

Before putting a home on the market, sellers often make home renovations or remodel parts of their homes to make them more attractive to buyers and to be able to potentially increase the list price. If the resale home has a brand new, modern kitchen, an updated bathroom, or even a new roof or upgraded windows, you could end up getting a home that’s comparable to new construction without having to pay the potential more expensive new-home list price. 

Existing homes have already been inspected at least once on the last sale, so you will know about any potential structural problems or repairs that have been made on the home. Knowing the track record on your potential home will help you avoid purchase mistakes—you’re much less likely to end up with a property that has a rotting roof, dangerous electrical wiring, or a crumbling foundation. With a new home, you could end up with incomplete construction or major issues that you didn’t know about because they weren’t yet documented. 

What you need to do to make a good resale purchase

Before you go too far down the road to a purchase, you can protect your purchase by first having the home inspected. A good home inspector will document all flaws, no matter how small they appear. If the inspector finds any major problems, like foundation cracks or leaky roofs, you may be able to counter offer and get the seller to either fix it or reduce the selling price. 

Even if the inspection doesn’t uncover any major issues, you will need to expect the unexpected. Older homes will eventually need replacement appliances, a new air conditioning unit, or a plumbing repair. As long as you know that before you buy a resale home, you can plan for surprise repairs. 

With an older home, you may want to eventually remodel parts of it. Will you be happy living in your house while you’re doing major work on the living room or the kitchen? If you know that it would disrupt your lifestyle too much, you may want to consider whether you really want to buy an older property. 

Whether you choose to buy a new home or an existing home, the best way to get started is to speak with your trusted real estate professional. We will have access to both new properties and resale homes that may fit your goals, and will know which neighborhoods will serve your needs. 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Would You AirBnB Your Home to Sell It?

If you stop to think about it, selling a home is a bit of a strange endeavor. You’re asking prospective buyers to make a huge investment in your home without the experience of actually living there. Yet this is standard procedure. Buyers make offers after showings without having spent a single night in the home where they’re planning on living!

Now there’s an emerging marketing trend designed to take some of the ambivalence out of buying a home. Some sellers are taking the steps to let prospective buyers “live” in their house for a few days to see if the home is right for them.

AirBnB is one platform making this strategy possible. Most effective for sellers who have staged their house and are not currently living in the listing, the approach is direct: Sellers list the home on AirBnB and when they have an interested buyer, they arrange a temporary “rental” of the property. This way, the buyers get to spend real time in the home. They are allowed privacy, the chance to see what it’s like to sleep in the house at night, and use the facilities just as they would if they owned the home.

While the approach goes a long way to calming buyer fears, the idea is not without its critics. For one, not all brokers may be comfortable with this approach. Obviously having prospective buyers temporarily rent the home can create difficulties showing the home to other buyers when the property is rented.

Also, there are infrequent horror stories associated with this type of short-term rental. Home damage and even squatters who refuse to leave have happened to people listing their property on AirBnB. Finally, there are potential legal complications related to short-term rentals in certain communities. Nonetheless, there are thousands upon thousands of people who have offered up their short-term rental with no problem.

You can see the appeal, though. There’s a real potential for buyers to build an emotional attachment to your home if they spend a little vacation time there together while evaluating the property.

What do you think? Would you AirBnB your home if it gave you an selling advantage?

AirBnB’ing your home is hardly the only strategy for a quick, competitive sale. I have a full range of marketing and sales techniques to help you sell! If you’re thinking about selling soon, get in touch to see what I can do for you!

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.








Sunday, June 12, 2016

Real Estate Investment Tips for Beginners

Rehab or Rent Out? Real Estate Investment Tips for Beginners


With mortgage rates still hovering near historic lows, more people are turning to real estate investments as a way to build and preserve wealth. Whether you start fixing and flipping properties or buying and renting them out for monthly cash flow, either investment style can make your money work harder for you.

Before you start investing in real estate, it’s important to line up professionals to help you make offers when you find them. Among your team members, you will want to include:

● A savvy, local real estate professional

● A mortgage broker or banker to help you get financing

● A real estate attorney to write and reviewing contracts

● An appraiser who knows the market and will help you get a correct property appraisal

● An accountant who is well versed in real estate investments

● A good contractor, for rehabbing or repairs

Then, you’ll need to determine your real estate investment style.

Rehab or wholesale properties for short-term ROI

The advantage of flipping properties is that you can end up with a good return on investment (ROI) in the short term. For example, you buy a property for $100,000, and invest $50,000 into repairs. Once it’s rehabbed, your property is valued at $200,000, and you sell it for a $50,000 profit.

Once you know where to find rehab opportunities, you can easily repeat the process by reinvesting proceeds from a previous flip into the next property. This is where working with savvy real estate professional can help. They can help you find the right fixer-uppers that may be under market value. A Realtor will have access to many properties that may not be publicly available.

When you are evaluating a property, you will need to look at the whole picture to ensure it will bring you a profit once you resell it. Beyond the actual purchase price and rehab costs, your budget should include carry mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, and insurance. If it looks good on paper, you can get your real estate team to help you quickly make the offer.

Buy-and-hold rental properties for monthly cash flow

If you find the right long-term buy-and-hold rental property, you can earn consistent cash flow each month. However, you’ll need to carefully review the operating expenses on the property and what tenants are willing to pay for the space to know if you’ll make or lose money each month.

Does your long-term investment make sense on paper? In other words, you will need to understand if your monthly cash flow will be positive or negative.

For example, say your total costs to buy a duplex was $20,000, including down payment and closing costs. You can rent each of the units for $600. Assuming your building is 100% occupied, you’ll make $1200 per month in income. Your expenses include mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, utilities, and management fees, and you want to set aside some cash each month for capital expenditures and routine repairs. You calculate that your expenses add up to $1100 per month. Once you subtract your expenses from your income, you’ll have a positive cash flow of $100 per month.

You can also add amenities, such as coin laundry and vending machines, to increase your potential monthly income. If your property has space to add a billboard, you can earn advertising revenue from renting that space, too. And when you decide to sell, your property’s value will likely have increased both from the overall rising property values and by the improvements you made to increase the cash flow.

Where should I start investing?

Contact us if you want to learn about investment properties in your local area. We can help you find the right properties that will fit into your budget and your overall goals.


Have you ever considered real estate as an investment option?  Download our free eBook

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.












Friday, June 10, 2016

Brand New Key West Style Home in Stuart, FL

390 SE Ashley Oaks Way, Stuart, FL

OPEN HOUSE June 12, Sunday 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 3 (3 full ) BATHROOMS | 2240 SQUARE FEET

Another Spectacular Home by Medalist Building Group!!! Beautiful Brand New 4/3/2 Key West Style Home in Stuart next to a preserve on premium lot in South Fork Estates. Stainless steel appliances, impact windows and natural stones in the bathrooms and back splash, and beautiful tile. The elegant finishes in this custom home are a must see! Paver driveway and lush landscape. Room for a pool! EVERYTHING IS UNDER WARRANTY!!

Presented By:

Showing Agent:

Eric Slifkin

Keller Williams Realty
772-288-1765
Licensed In: Florida
  • Link on Facebook
  • Link on Twiiter
  • Connect on YouTube
  • Connect on Google+
  • Connect on LinkedIn
Schedule a Showing/Request Info

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Treasure Coast New Homes

New Homes for Sale in Stuart and Jensen Beach Florida


Check our open houses this weekend in the Falls of Jensen Beach and South Fork Estates this Sunday from 1-3pm.

  • 2732 SW CRYSTAL LAKE DRIVE, JENSEN BEACH $498,960
  • 490 SE ASHLEY OAKS WAY, STUART $415,000

The Falls of Jensen Beach

2732 SW Crystal Lake Drive, Jensen Beach, FL 34957

 South Fork Estates

490 SE Ashley Oaks Way, Stuart, FL 34997



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

7 Things Not to Do Once You Are Approved for a Mortgage


Protect Your Mortgage Approval

Getting a home loan can be a stressful process. Once you are approved there are some very important things you should keep in mind between this approval and your funding date.

Many people don’t realize that changes in your finances can cause your lender to revoke the approval, so with that in mind here are seven things you’ll want to avoid doing until after you’re funded and in the clear:

1. Don’t transfer large sums between bank accounts.

2. Don’t forget to pay all of your bills, even some are in dispute.

3. Don’t open any new credit cards.

4. Don’t lease or finance a new car.

5. Don’t change jobs or start a new business.

6. Don’t make any random cash deposits to your bank accounts.

7. Don’t accept cash gifts without making sure you have paperwork in order to explain the gift.

I realize there may be situations where something is unavoidable (such as your car’s lease expiring, or fighting over a large medical bill), but before you do anything, you may want to talk to your loan officer about the situation to determine if it may have an adverse effect on your approval.


More Home Buying Tips



This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.