real estate

New Year, Fresh Start

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As 2016 came to an end, it was time to consider New Year Resolutions. The infamous saying “new year, new me” automatically popped into my head, as society has drilled this concept into my mind for as long as I could remember. But aren’t you so tired of hearing this phrase? Every year, over and over, people claim that they will make resolutions and change areas of their lives, only to let it fall through just a few weeks later.

Let’s vow to make this year different! This year, do not quit on your resolution. Let 2017 be the year of positivity and gratefulness, savings, health, prosperity and accomplishments:

  1. Positivity & Gratefulness: Positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes. This year, let’s try to work on letting stress go! Focus on the happiness of waking up for another day. Whether succeeding or failing in a project, focus on the experience you gained while trying. Take a moment each day and appreciate everything around you – the beauty in nature, the smile of a coworker, a good cup of coffee – anything that you are grateful to have in your life. Say thank you more often. Enjoy a meal with family or friends. Avoid complaining or judging others, or yourself. Focus on the law of attraction, and do what you can to boost your attitude of gratitude!
  2. Savings: 2017 will be the year of saving! Whether you are saving money, or working to save your credit, let 2017 be the year you accomplish this goal! Work smarter, not harder! Open a savings account (if you do not have one already) and anytime you can, put money in it. Even if it is only five dollars, no pressure. If you save one dollar a day, that is 365 saved in a year, five dollars a day saves $1,825, and so on. Make sure to pay bills on time or ahead of time if you can. Keep the balances on your credit cards low, and pay off debts rather than transferring them around. Do not close any open accounts, even if you are not using the credit card, and do not open credit accounts that you do not need.
  3. Health: Work on your overall health for 2017, and no, this does not mean lose 50 pounds. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, as a way to let go of some of the stressors from your day. Eat Breakfast! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it gives you energy, which leads to productivity. Meditate before bed, and reflect on calming your thoughts. Take a vacation to a destination that you have never been before. Explore your roots by going to visit the place where your ancestors lived. Grow as a person by taking a volunteer trip, or take a “staycation,” and just stay home and watch movies all day long, resting and relaxing.
  4. Prosperity and Accomplishments: 2017 is the year you will accomplishment your goals! Make a commitment and stick to it. Keep track of your progress, and if you fail for a moment, keep going. Ask for help when you need it. Focus on being consistent. Whether your goal is to purchase your first home, start a family, open a business, buy a car, etc. Do not stop working until you achieve it.

Make 2017 YOUR year.

New Year, Fresh Start- to be a better version of yourself.

Person silhouette standing in 2017 on the hill at sunset

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Christmas Decorations: How Much is too Much

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The Christmas spirit can mean any number of things depending on whom you ask. To us (and any bonafide real estate fanatic) it’s all about the hidden potential that the season holds for our homes. You see, decorating during Christmas time is a common tradition, one that brings magic right into our very homes. Learning how to add that touch of Christmas magic to your living space will prove to accentuate all the hidden beauties of your home and even give your listing some extra life on the market! So whether you’re looking to sell or simply entertain, we’ve rounded up some of the best tips to make sure that your home is gleaming with joy just in time for the biggest holiday of the year!

Start by taking a long hard look at your home. This may sound a bit silly, since after all, you probably spend a large majority of time in your house. But examining your living space and determining the features to highlight is the first essential step to make sure that you’re on the right path to interior Christmas cheer! Make use of the offerings of your home and play it up to your advantage. Try cautiously using Christmas ornaments on your steps, using the interior colors to your advantage and even adding a blend of natural lighting originating from your windows, as well as from candles for dimly lit areas.

It’s important to make sure that the decorations you add, whether for staging or personal gratification, add an elegant twist to the room without coming off as overbearing. Try to focus on the feeling that the room conveys to the average eye. More importantly, focus primarily on the core of your home, which can represent a number of different rooms depending on your living space. Focusing on the focal point of your home when it comes to your Christmas redesign will prove to save both time and money on your efforts.

Even if you have the saying “less is more” permanently engrained in your memory, skipping out on winter accentuating decorations altogether may put you at a slight disadvantage to others. Even a few subtle touches will help reimagine your living space. This includes the ratio of your Christmas tree to the room it’s placed in. While a tall tree helps draw the eye to higher ceilings, one that is wider and takes up more floor space could leave guests feeling claustrophobic.

In addition, make use of a natural color palette that doesn’t go overboard. Try mixing metallic with your colors for a nice seasonal touch. Above all else, make sure that your outdoor Christmas lighting doesn’t border on over the top. Try using holiday lights to your advantage to highlight the key features of your landscaping like neatly trimmed shrubs or the amazing silhouette of your home.

However, you plan on doing it, simply be sure to bring a touch of holiday cheer to your home with some added love. After all, the Christmas season is all about the magic of wintertime. Happy Holidays!

Christmas

Image Credit: Architecture Art Design

Winter Home Selling Tips

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You’ve heard the fearful warning cries of home sellers everywhere, “Don’t sell your house during the winter!” Believe us, so we have. But does the claim hold any real truth? Both the fall and winter have come to earn a bad rep on the real estate selling market, but the truth is these seasons aren’t the off-season that everyone paints them out to be. With a few tips and tricks from us, you’ll be fast on your way to getting your home out of your hands just in time for the New Year!

Sure, the numbers don’t lie. We’ll admit it; the winter season does indeed have fewer potential homebuyers. But numbers also suggest that there are fewer listings to choose from. Logically speaking, that can only mean that the few buyers who ARE out there have slim pickings. Suddenly, making sure that your property is the absolute best just became a lot easier.

Going against everything you’ve heard, we’re here to tell you that selling your home during winter isn’t impossible. In fact, some actually suggest that your home will sell faster AND for more money in the wintertime. Take Baltimore, for example, where 54% of homes placed on the real estate market in winter actually sold within a timespan of 6 months. However, compared to the summer and springtime, that number decreased to a range of 43% and 46%.

Still not convinced? Further studies have gone on to suggest that a home listed during the wintertime is 9% more likely to sell and at a quicker rate too! We know, we know, this may all come as a major shock to you, especially since it contradicts everything real estate professionals have said about selling during the holiday season. But before you jump on the market, it’s important to know how to take full advantage of the season, which is exactly what we’re here for!

If you’re in the business of selling your home during the season, make sure you keep some of the biggest winter home selling tips in mind to get the most out of your efforts. We’ll begin with the most obvious, make sure your home is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, this can mean making sure that your driveway is shoveled if you live in a snow-ridden area or even making sure that both your windows are clean, especially since these are a major source of cozy lighting during the winter time.

Finally, take advantage of the power of your winter listing and display the beauty of your home year-round to give potential homebuyers an idea of what they’ll be investing in, regardless of the season. Also, make sure that your home gives of a cozy and warm vibe. Make use of that fireplace you’ve barely touched and open up the curtains to let some natural light leak in. Don’t forget to even take advantage of the holiday season, but remember not to go overboard with your decorating.

winter redesign

Image Source: Veterans United

Thanksgiving Redesign

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With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it’s important to make sure that your home’s interior design is up to par for all those critical family gatherings that are bound to occur. Because lets face it, the holidays are without a doubt a time for joy and happiness, but they can be pretty stressful, as well. Don’t worry; interior design can be a tricky, time-consuming task that sometimes only succeeds with the right amount of testing and, most importantly, patience. So where do you begin with your Thanksgiving home makeover? Well, right here of course!

Decorating your home for the Fall is all about those quintessential warm, colors. But when you have loved ones over for Thanksgiving, why not give them something to talk about (besides all the delicious food) with a combination of interior design techniques that will provide, dare we say, an out of body experience! To begin, incorporate harvest colors and berry tones throughout your homes design and pair it with textures like leather or suede to tie that comforting feel all together. Don’t forget to throw in some still life pictures. Most importantly, appeal to their olfactory senses with some scented candles; why not go for the biggest Fall trend and try out some crackling Pumpkin spice candles.

Granted, however, some of these methods are commonplace when it comes to creating a warm inviting home for Thanksgiving. But some of the most important 2014 Fall trends would prove to brighten up your home in a dazzling way. Start with smaller details like candleholders or iconic detail pieces, one of the latest trends uses mixed materials like a metal base and stone setting above that. Geometric forms have also found their way into many homes in 2014, try your hand at the trend with furniture pieces that have geometric legs or honeycomb wall shelves to give your room a nice twist!

Another neat technique you can try out is to blend an outdoor feel with your indoor living space. Not only will this hot 2014 trend bring your space to life just in time for Thanksgiving, but finding an iconic piece could bring a modern twist to an elegant design, so make sure to make it one-of-a-kind in your home to leave your Thanksgiving guests breathless. Finding all these great pieces will surely benefit your Fall home redesign in time for the holidays, but keeping them true to a color palette will be the defining factor in tying it all together! Try some bronze hues to convey a serene, yet formal atmosphere. And don’t forget, of course, that pop of color for extra points!

Finally, show your creative side with some neat Thanksgiving DIY projects for that big dinner! Whether it’s pumpkin placements or golden acorns, each little detail will breathe new life into the easily forgotten-about spaces. Try placing fall leaves or flowers with warm colors throughout your home, whether it is the Thanksgiving table or bathrooms. All in all, Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks for all that we have and a time for family and friends, so sit back, and enjoy the holiday!

Thanksgiving

New Miami Projects To Look Out For

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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Miami is going through some massive changes at this precise moment! Even amidst all of the climate change cries, Miami proves to stand strong in the real estate market as investors continue to take the risk of helping Miami expand. Not only has the Miami real estate boom been fueling the economy, but it’s also been the cause for new Miami projects to spring up out of the woodwork!

The surge in real estate has caused some of the most exciting new Miami projects to emerge in 2014 alone; however, most of them will not be completed for quite some time. Fisher Island showed some of the most recent new Miami projects with the first apartments springing up on the exclusive island for the first time since 2007. Backed by the demand for real estate, the new apartments appeal to homebuyers who are looking to join the luxurious island. This new real estate addition, however, is the smallest of the exciting Miami projects that are to be launched within the coming years.

One of the most speculated Miami projects is the upcoming Miami World Center. Although the initial proposal came with much opposition, the project promises to be transformative to the overall image of Miami, with over 1 million square feet of retail space, 1,800 rooms dedicated to the Marriott Marquis hotel. Reports suggest that the project is the largest development project that is currently taking place in the United States, generating approximately $1 billion in economic growth for the region. Not to mention, the project will be connecting to another new Miami project!

The new Miami World Center project would be connected to the Miami Central Station. The new project titled MiamiCentral would be a massive change to the downtown Miami scene. Not only would the station boast remarkable architectural design, but further drive the economic growth of the city. More excitingly however, the new project would be the flagship icon of the All Aboard Florida project that promises to connect major destinations of South Florida via train.

These are simply a few among the new Miami projects that will be springing up within the next coming years. Some of which, we’ll see sooner than others. However, one thing is for certain, the new projects will promise to revolutionize the way Miami is viewed as a destination city. Even more so, the combination of the financial growth and real estate success will only continue to amaze Miami natives by cultivating future growth! And we can’t wait!

Miami Projects

Image Credit: ExMiami

Haunted Houses on the Market

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We know what you’re thinking…who on earth would possibly want to buy a haunted house, much less live in one! Well, you’d be pleasantly surprised that haunted houses are a rather strange and unique niche market that doesn’t just appear in the spirit of Halloween. Now, let’s ignore everyone’s burning question about whether ghosts exist or not, because quite frankly, everyone’s opinion differs. So whether you believe in them or not, haunted houses are out there on the market…and they’re stirring up quite some appeal.

You’ve probably heard about some of the haunted houses that are currently for sale, or we should say…you’ve probably seen. Many films revolve around the prospect of a house that is haunted by ghosts, like horror classic Amityville Horror. Most of these houses are classified as being haunted because of their gruesome past, which could put potential owners on edge. Real estate agents abide by a strict ethical code of disclosing pertinent information to tenants such as if a home has had a death occur in it before. But being haunted? There’s a little bit of a gray area that agents hopefully do not ever enter.

Some notable examples of haunted houses that have been on the market include the previously mentioned Amityville house, which was featured in 11 films because of the past owner who shot and killed his entire family. Another example was the Sowden house, which belonged to the prime suspect of the infamous Black Dahlia murder, which was never truly confirmed, but widely speculated about. Even haunted mansions that are listed on the market draw in many buyers curious about the property, like the Blairsden Mansion, an orphanage that was subject to heinous crimes in 1950.

So why go through the trouble of investing in a haunted house? One would assume that having a ghoulish history would mean that there’s a major discount involved, but some suggest that it’s quite the opposite! Potential buyers WANT to live in a haunted house! As a result, the mere idea that ghosts are present can raise the property value of a home! Who would have thought! Buyers are interested because of the potential of creating something unique like a haunted bed and breakfast, which allows for the house to be sold at a remarkable rate! Regardless of how many times it’s been placed on the market. Even television producers want a piece of the action, which was the case with the first season of American Horror Story. The series took place in the gorgeous (and spooky) LA mansion that has been on and off the market for around $5 million! Whatever the reason may be, it’s clearly evident that haunted houses are hot right now! Would you invest in one? Let us know!

 

haunted house

Historic Miami In Danger

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Miami is regarded across the globe as a top travel destination. The sand, beaches and beautiful people are surely appealing enough to draw in tourists and inhabitants from all around the world. But Miami is criticized for one thing (alright maybe a couple of things), the lack of historical elements across the city. Granted, there are a few historical landmarks and trademarks that can be branded as true Miami, but in comparison to major historic cities, Miami tends to fall rather short. That’s not to say there is no history in Miami, that certainly isn’t the problem, however the growing population coupled with the tendency to tear down historical buildings certainly isn’t helping.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for the growth of Miami real estate, but isn’t it worth discussing that historical landmarks are haphazardly being removed? Between 2011 and 2012, homeowners removed more homes that predated 1942 than in the past 7 years in total! Many have pushed for any home that was built before this year to go before a committee before any work was to be done on it, but their propositions have been declined. Even past residential historic Miami, the commercial aspect is facing a great deal of danger, as well. Just last month, the historic church on Lincoln Road was being threatened to be torn down to be used for further retail space, however preservation groups immediately tried to appeal any movement whatsoever.

However, it isn’t ALL bad news! On the other hand, there seems to be a number of growing developments, which are actively avoiding historic Miami and promising to bring new job and revenue to Miami, as a whole. For example, a mega mall that has slowly been moving forward to be one of the largest retail destinations in South Florida, spanning over 10 blocks! Further developments like the All Aboard Florida project promises to expand, not just Miami, but Florida as a whole, with the central hub being in Miami as plans go forward to unveil the station hub that is reminiscent of Grand Central Station…with a modern twist of course! Even parts of historic Miami are being protected like the Miami Marine Stadium, which is currently in the process of receiving donations to restore the landmark! In the end, maybe the act of removing and restoring are cancelling each other out when it comes to historic Miami, but one thing is for certain, we should be more mindful of our beloved city’s history! What are your thoughts? Should Miami be more mindful when it comes to historic landmarks?

 

historic miami