Common mistakes when buying a condo

Common mistakes buyers make when buying a condo:

– not asking “condo questionnaire” questions before making an offer (buildings must meet lending criteria unless you are putting more than 25% down and it’s better to find out quickly whether you will be able to get a loan in the building or not)

– not reading your condominium documents during your 3 day condo doc review period (the building may have restrictions on leasing and you may be thinking you are going to rent the unit out or the building may have chosen to waive reserves and you may not be ok with that)

– waiting until right before closing to apply to the condo association (it can take two to three weeks to be approved and if there is a back up offer on the condo you are buying and you cannot close on time because you didn’t apply to the association, you may lose the unit)

– not including a condominium association rider as part of your contract (this is an extra “safety net” if there is any problem with the building and it specifies which parking space(s) are included)

– asking whether parking is deeded or assigned. If assigned, your parking space can be changed. Not the end of the world, but good to know…

– not requesting (in writing) the budget and most recent year end financials… The condo association rider states they must be requested in writing.

I specialize in Miami real estate, in particular Downtown, Brickell, Midtown, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, South Beach & surrounding areas. I value technology, communication & your time. If you would like to meet with me regarding a purchase or sale of Real Estate in Miami, you can contact me on my cell 786-663-4382 or at paula@greatmiamihomes.com.

Greatmiamihomes.com seeks to keep the public informed about Miami real estate market trends, new development projects, neighborhood information and, of course, great homes and condos for sale in Miami!

PAULA BARRERA

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

paula@greatmiamihomes.com

What’s up with condo financing?

 

I have many clients interested in condos in Miami Beach and the downtown, Midtown & Brickell areas of Miami.  Purchasing a condo in Miami has its challenges because of lending restrictions on buildings.

A gorgeous view from the Icon South Beach courtesy of SEF MLS and listed by Zilbert Properties. List price $3,750,000

If you have 25% or more to put down on a condo, then you are free to look at any building as banks will approve a loan with minimal “review”.  This means, the bank will check YOU out, but they will not ask as many questions about the building you choose to purchase in.

Most of us, however, do not have upwards of a 25% down payment  laying around, therefore, we must apply for a FULLY REVIEWED loan  – meaning the lender has to review the legal and financial standing of the condominium before they will agree to lend.

In order to purchase a condominium with 5% or 10% down (or any percentage down up to 24.9%), a buyer must pay the condominium association of the building he is interested in a fee to get a “full review condo questionnaire” filled out.  This condo questionnaire tells the lender everything they need to know in order to issue a loan approval.

You may have awesome credit, good savings, a great income, etc. and still be denied a loan because of the lender’s building review requirements.

Condo Questionnaires typically ask questions such as:

– number of units rented (hint: Fannie Mae just changed the rules on this one, and if mortgage insurance companies come on board, high rental ratios may not be a reason to decline your loan) It used to be if more than half the building is rented, the loan is a no go… however, this JUST changed the day before yesterday.  Now, if you will live in the unit (if the unit will be OWNER OCCUPIED) the number of rented units in a building does not matter.  Tell that to the mortgage insurance companies, though…. we’ll have to keep an eye on this one!

– does any one person own more than one unit and if so, describe (hint: if any ONE person or entity owns more than 10% of the units in the building the building will not meet lending requirements)

– how many units are 30 days delinquent on maintenance dues? (hint: cannot be more than 15% of units)

– are there any pending special assessments? (hint: as a buyer it is in your best interest to know this before you buy.  I do not know if it would cause the bank to decline or just to further analyze your qualifying criteria – ask your banker. I have an amazing banker if you need one.)

– Is the Condo Association involved in any litigation? (hint: if there is any litigation related to construction defects, the lender may have a problem granting any “reviewed” loan)

– how much does the building have in reserves? (hint: usually lenders are looking for 10% of funds collected to go towards reserves)

– what kind of insurance does the building carry and for what amounts?

usually condo questionnaires have about 35 questions on them, some more important than others.  The ones listed above are the big mamas and are usually the cause of many buyers not being able to purchase with a low down payment.

It is always helpful to work with a real estate agent who knows the buildings and knows to ask these questions before presenting an offer.  I visit the condo association when we visit the unit and attempt to get the “big mama” questions answered in front of my client, rather than have my clients spend $150 on a condo questionnaire on every building they are interested in. Some associations are nice and just tell you flat out, others will not say anything and you must submit a questionnaire and a fee.

The exceptions to this thorough analysis are condos that are Fannie Mae approved.  There are not many in Miami at the moment, but here is a list of the condo buildings that are currently Fannie Mae approved.  These are much easier to get a loan in.

I hope you found this article informative and helpful.  If you need an experienced and tech savvy agent who knows the Miami market inside and out, you can reach me at paula@greatmiamihomes.com or 786.663.4382.

Paula Barrera Scheer

EWM Realtors

A modern agent for a modern client.

*This article is advice from the first hand experiences of a veteran real estate agent and is not to be construed as legal advice. Real estate agents are not attorneys.  If you are in a real estate transaction and need legal advice, consult with a real estate attorney.

 

¡“The Roads” – una joya escondida en Miami!

“The Roads” es un vecindario pequeño y exclusivo en Miami al oeste del distrito financiero de Brickell. Fue desarrollado por Mary Brickell a principios de 1920, y es descrito legalamente como Brickell Hammock en las listas de contribuyentes.

“The Roads” es conocido por sus calles tranquilas e hileras de árboles, su excelente ubicación y su naturaleza histórica.

 

The roads es un vecindario en Miami, FL bordeado por la calle 11 en el norte, la avenida 12 al oeste, la 15 Road en diagonal y expande hasta la "South Miami Avenue".
The roads es un vecindario en Miami, FL bordeado por la calle 11 en el norte, la avenida 12 al oeste, la 15 Road en diagonal y expande hasta la “South Miami Avenue”.

Actualmente existen 26 viviendas en el mercado en esta área con precios comprendidos entre $399.000 y $4.350.000. Usted puede esperar pagar en otro lugar entre $3.000 y $12.000 mensualmente o más por la renta de una vivienda unifamiliar en esta área.

¿CÓMO AFECTARÁN LOS CAMBIOS HECHOS AL SEGURO CONTRA INUNDACIONES EN EL MERCADO INMOBILIARIO DE MIAMI?

Pudo haber oído las noticias: las tasas de seguro contra inundaciones se han estado elevándo. ¿Esto afectará el Mercado Inmobiliario de Miami?

El 1 de octubre de 2013 anunciaron los siguiente cambios:

Históricamente, el seguro contra inundaciones ha sido subsidiado por el gobierno federal (solía costarle alrededor de 15 millones de dólares y ha incrementado a 37 millones de dólares anuales en fondos federales), pero debido a las recientes inundaciones y a los problemas de presupuesto del gobierno, este no seguirá subsidiando el seguro contra inundaciones.

Las nuevas pólizas tendrán las más altas tasas con efectividad inmediata.

Usted debería obtener TODAVÍA los beneficios del seguro contra inundaciones si usted se encuentra en una zona “X” – el 30 % de la demanda de seguro contra inundaciones están en las zonas “X”.

Para las pólizas existentes habrá un incremento del 25 % anual para las zonas de alto riego, y del 20 % anual para zonas de riego moderado hasta que la póliza alcance lo que cueste una nueva póliza de acuerdo al mapa de zonas de inundaciones.

ZONAS DE INUNDACIONES:

AE, AH, AB, V y VE son zonas de alto riego – las casas en estas zonas empezaran a pagar la nueva tasa porque el gobierno ya no pagara parte del seguro contra inundaciones.

Zonas de inundaciones X, B y C no requieren seguro contra inundaciones.

Cliquee aquí para conocer su zona de inundación en el Condado de Miami Dade.

Estos cambios no deberán afectar a los condominios.

Estos cambios resultan de la Ley de Reforma Biggerts-Waters.

 

No permita que su póliza caduque o pasará a tener automáticamente la tasa más alta.

Las inversiones o las casas secundarias pasarán a tener inmediatamente las nuevas tasas.

 

Número de hogares afectados por el cambio de las tasas del seguro contra inundaciones en las diferentes áreas del Condado de Miami Dade:

Coral Gables 477

Cutler Bay 302

Doral 0

El Portal 26

Key Biscayne 2.705

Ciudad de Miami 5.561

Miami Beach 22.259

Palmetto Bay 150

Pinecrest 72

South Miami 61

West Miami 0

Condado de Miami-Dade desincorporado 7.572

 

Fuente: Oficina de Regulaciones de Seguros de Florida.

 

¿Cómo esto afectará al Mercado Inmobiliario de Miami, Florida?

 

Pienso que NO tendrá un impacto dramático. Sin embargo, si veo una alta demanda por parte de las viviendas que NO están situados en las zonas de inundaciones. Para los compradores de viviendas, por ejemplo, la diferencia de precios entre el costo de un seguro contra inundación de una casa en una zona “X” y el costo de un seguro contra inundaciones de otra ubicada en una zona “AE” puede influenciar en si el comprador  es o no es aprobado para una hipoteca.

 

Los prestamistas de hipoteca EXIGEN que el comprador obtenga un seguro contra inundaciones si la propiedad está en una zona de inundaciones. Los compradores que califican “por un pelo” pueden no hacerlo de nuevo si ellos obtienen una tasa de seguros contra inundaciones más elevada.

 

Alternativamente, puede haber escenarios donde una persona con mucho tiempo siendo el propietario y con un ingreso fijo no pueda seguir costeando su vivienda si la tasa del seguro contra inundaciones se eleva un par de miles de dólares cada año. En instancias en donde los propietarios no puedan seguir costeando el seguro de su vivienda, podremos ver algunas viviendas situadas en zonas de inundaciones aparecer en el mercado en este año.

 

West Miami y el Doral no serán afectadas por estos cambios, y áreas como Coconut Grove, el oeste de Bayshore Drive estarán bien también. (Diríjase al enlace de arriba si tiene alguna duda sobre su zona de inundación).

 

Estos cambios indudablemente afectarán al mercado de algún modo, pero no creo que el impacto sea dramático ahora, ya que existe una gran demanda por la viviendas en Miami combinado con un inventario de solo cuatro meses ADEMÁS que  hay un vasto interés local e internacional en nuestro mercado.

Me especializo en las bienes raíces de Miami, en particular en Downtwon, Brickell, Coconut Grove, South Beach y otras áreas circundantes. Valoro la tecnología, la comunicación y su tiempo. Si desea ponerse en contacto conmigo acerca de una compra o una venta de un inmueble en Miami, puede comunicarse conmigo al 786-663-4282 o a paula@greatmiamihomes.com.

Greatmiamihomes.com se encarga en mantener al público informado sobre las tendencias del mercado inmobiliario de Miami, el desarrollo de proyectos, información de los vecindarios, y, por supuesto, fabulosas casas y condominios en venta en Miami.

PAULA SCHEER 

 (BARRERA​)

   

Una agente moderna para un cliente moderno.

 

How will the changes in Flood insurance affect the Miami real estate market?

You may have heard the news: flood insurance rates are going up. Will this affect the Miami Real Estate market?

On October 1, 2013 the following changes were announced:

Historically, flood insurance was subsidized by the federal government (used to cost the government about 15 Million and has increased to about 37 Million a year in federal funds), but with recent flooding events and government budget issues, the government will no longer subsidize flood insurance.

New policies will have the higher rates effective immediately.

You should STILL get flood insurance if you are in an “X” zone – 30% of flood insurance claims are in flood zone X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For existing policies, there will be increases of 25% for high risk zones over a 4 or 5 year period and 20% for moderate risk zones until the policy reaches what a new policy would cost according to the flood zone maps.

FLOOD ZONES:

AE, AH, AB, V & VE are high risk zones – homes in these zones will now start paying the new, higher rate because the federal government will no longer subsidize part of the flood insurance policies in these zones.

Flood zones X, B & C do not require flood insurance.

Click here to check on your Flood Zone in Miami Dade County.

These changes should not affect condos

These changes come as a result of the Biggerts-Waters Reform Act.

The following videos will help you understand the new changes:

Getting to know Flood Reform

Basics of Flood Reform Laws

Do not let your policy lapse or it will automatically go to the new higher rate.

Investment or second homes will go to the new rates immediately.

Number of homes affected by the changes in flood insurance rates in different areas of Miami Dade County area:

Coral Gables 477

Cutler bay 302

Doral 0

El Portal 26

Key Biscayne 2,705

City of Miami 5,561

Miami Beach 22,259

Palmetto bay 150

Pinecrest 72

South Miami 61

West Miami 0

Unincorporated Miami-Dade County 7,572

Source: Florida office of insurance regulation

How will this affect the Real Estate market in Miami, FL?

I believe it will NOT have dramatic impact. However, I do foresee a higher demand for homes NOT located in a flood zone.  For home buyers, for example, the price differential between having an “X” based flood insurance cost vs. an “AE” flood insurance cost can make the difference on whether or not the buyer is approved for a mortgage.  Mortgage lenders REQUIRE that a buyer obtain flood insurance if the property is in a flood zone.  Buyers who qualify “by a hair” may not qualify anymore if they have to have a higher flood insurance rate.

Alternatively, there may be scenarios where a longtime homeowner on a fixed income can no longer afford their home if their flood insurance rate goes up a couple thousand dollars per year.  In instances where homeowners can no longer afford the insurance on their home, we will see some homes in flood zones come on the market for sale this year.

West Miami and Doral should not see an effect from these changes and areas on a ridge, such as Coconut Grove, west of Bayshore Drive should be ok as well. (Refer to link for flood maps above, if in doubt about your flood zone).

These changes will undoubtedly affect the market some, but I do not believe the impact will be dramatic at this time, since there is a very high demand for homes in Miami combined with only a four month inventory AND there is plenty of local and international interest in our market.

I specialize in Miami real estate, in particular Downtown, Brickell, Coconut Grove, South Beach & surrounding areas.  I value technology, communication & your time.  If you would like to meet with me regarding a purchase or sale of Real Estate in Miami, you can contact me on my cell 786-663-4382 or at paula@greatmiamihomes.com.

Greatmiamihomes.com seeks to keep the public informed about Miami real estate market trends, new development projects, neighborhood information and, of course, great homes and condos for sale in Miami!

 

 

 

 

 

PAULA BARRERA

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

paula@greatmiamihomes.com

The Roads – a hidden gem of a neighborhood in Miami!

The Roads is a small exclusive neighborhood in Miami just west of the Brickell financial district. It was developed by Mary Brickell in the early1920’s and is still legally described as Brickell Hammock in the tax rolls.

The Roads is known for its peaceful tree-lined streets, prime location and historic nature.

The roads is a neighborhood in Miami, FL bordered by 11th St on the north, 12th Ave on the west, 15th Rd on a slant, and out to South Miami Avenue.
The roads is a neighborhood in Miami, FL bordered by 11th St on the north, 12th Ave on the west, 15th Rd on a slant, and out to South Miami Avenue.

 

There are currently 26 homes on the market in this area with prices ranging from $399,000-$4,350,000. You can expect to shell out anywhere between $3000 – $12,000 a month or more for a single-family home rental in this area.

To read about another sub-market in Coral Gables click here.

I specialize in Miami real estate, in particular Downtown, The Roads, Brickell, Coconut Grove, South Beach & surrounding areas. I value technology, communication & your time. If you would like to meet with me regarding a purchase or sale of Real Estate in Miami, you can contact me on my cell 786-663-4382 or at paula@greatmiamihomes.com.

Greatmiamihomes.com seeks to keep the public informed about Miami real estate market trends, new development projects, neighborhood information and, of course, great homes and condos for sale in Miami!

PAULA BARRERA

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

paula@greatmiamihomes.com

¿Cómo Le va al mercado inmobiliario de Miami, Florida?

La gente pregunta todo el tiempo acerca del Mercado Inmobiliario de Miami. Primero, déjenme explicarle un simple indicador de este mercado: INVENTARIO

Inventario del Inmobiliario Residencial: a. el número de propiedades en el mercado o b. la cantidad de meses que se requeriría para vender las propiedades residenciales si las mismas continúan siendo vendidas a la tasa actual y no hay incremento en la cantidad de propiedades posicionadas en el mercado para su venta.

Para el propósito de este artículo, nos basaremos en la definición b.

Si existen 12 propiedades en el mercado, y la venta es de una propiedad cada mes, el INVENTARIO en ese mercado es 12 meses. ¿Esto es un indicador negativo o positivo? Siga leyendo para descubrirlo.

Mercado Saludable con valores estables: 6-9 meses de inventario

Mercado que tiene o tendrá valor de APRECIACIÓN: menos de 6 meses de inventario.

Mercado que tiene o tendrá valor de DEPRECIACIÓN: más de 9 meses de inventario.

Nuestro mercado hipotético con un inventario de 12 meses tendrá valores de DEPRECIACIÓN.

El Mercado Inmobiliario en Miami (o técnicamente llamado Condado de Miami-Dade) ha tenido algunos cambios radicales en los últimos 7 años.

ABRIL 2005 El mercado de las Viviendas Unifamiliares de Miami estaba por debajo de los 4 meses de inventario (el inventario más bajo)

ENERO 2008 El mercado de las Viviendas Unifamiliares de Miami tuvo 43 meses de inventario (el inventario más alto)

OCTUBRE de 2009 El mercado de las Viviendas Unifamiliares de Miami tuvo 11 meses de inventario.

OCTUBRE de 2010 El mercado de las Viviendas Unifamiliares de Miami tuvo 9 meses de inventario.

OCTUBRE de 2011 El mercado de las Viviendas Unifamiliares de Miami tuvo 6 meses de inventario.

OCTUBRE de 2012 El mercado de las Viviendas Unifamiliares de Miami tuvo 4 meses de inventario.

El Inventario se desplomó en los últimos 4 años

¿QUÉ OCURRE ESTE AÑO?

2013:  Claramente, el Mercado Inmobiliario se ha recuperado del colapso de los años 2007 – 2009. El año 2013 ha tenido una apreciación de hasta 20 % en algunas áreas, así como un inventario estable de 4 meses. Esto es una indicador de apreciación hasta que veamos un exceso de ofertas. Actualmente hay unos 20 edificios nuevos para ser construidos en el área de Brickell/Downtown. Los que estarán en venta en la etapa de pre construcción ya han sido vendidos con la excepción de los pent-houses lujosos.

AHORA ES EL MOMENTO PARA VENDER

Los ejemplos usados en este artículos reflejan el inventario de viviendas UNIFAMILIARES. Manténgase alerta de las estadísticas acerca de las construcciones de los condominios/town-houses y los vecindarios. ¡Hasta una próxima vez!

Me especializo en las bienes raíces de Miami, en particular en Downtwon, Brickell, Coconut Grove, South Beach y otras áreas circundantes. Valoro la tecnología, la comunicación y su tiempo. Si desea ponerse en contacto conmigo acerca de una compra o una venta de un inmueble en Miami, puede comunicarse conmigo al 786-663-4282 o a  paula@greatmiamihomes.com.

Greatmiamihomes.com se encarga en mantener al público informado sobre las tendencias del mercado inmobiliario de Miami, el desarrollo de proyectos, información de los vecindarios, y, por supuesto, fabulosas casas y condominios en venta en Miami.

PAULA SCHEER 

 (BARRERA​)

   

Una agente moderna para un cliente moderno.

How is the Miami, Florida Real Estate Market doing?

People ask me about the Miami Real Estate market all the time.  First, allow me to explain a simple market indicator: INVENTORY.

Residential Real Estate Inventory: a. the number of residential properties on the market or b. the number of months it would take to sell out of residential property if properties continue selling at the current rate and there is no increase in the number of properties placed on the market for sale.

For the purposes of this article, we will focus on definition b.

If there are 12 properties on the market, and they are selling at a rate of one property per month, the INVENTORY in that market is 12 months.  Is that a good market indicator or a bad market indicator? Read on to find out.

Healthy Market with stable values: 6-9 months of inventory

Market that is seeing or will see value APPRECIATION: less than 6 months of inventory

Markte that is seeing or will see value DEPRECIATION: more than 9 months of inventory

Our hypothetical market with 12 months of inventory will be seeing values DEPRECIATE.

The Real Estate Market in Miami (or Miami-Dade County as it is technically called) has had some radical changes over the past 7 years.

APRIL 2005 Miami’s Single Family Home market had just under 4 months of inventory (lowest inventory)

JANUARY 2008 Miami’s Single Family Home market had 43 months of inventory (highest inventory)

OCTOBER of 2009 Miami’s Single Family Home market had about 11 months of inventory

OCTOBER of 2010 Miami’s Single Family Home market had about 9 months of inventory

OCTOBER of 2011 Miami’s Single Family Home market had about 6 months of inventory

OCTOBER of 2012 Miami’s Single Family Home market had about 4 months of inventory

Inventory Plummeted Over the last 4 years

HOW ABOUT THIS YEAR?

2013: Clearly, the Real Estate market has recovered from the 2007 – 2009 collapse.  2013 has seen appreciation of up to 20% in some areas as well as a steady inventory of about 4 months.  This is an indicator of an appreciating market until we see an oversupply. Currently there are about 20 new buildings breaking ground in the Brickell/Downtown area.  The ones that have commenced pre-constructions sales have already sold out with the exception of the luxury penthouses in the millions.

The examples used in this article reflect sales inventory of SINGLE FAMILY homes.  Stay tuned for the stats on Condo/Townhouses and neighborhood breakdowns.  Until next time!

I specialize in Miami real estate, in particular Downtown, Brickell, Coconut Grove, South Beach & surrounding areas.  I value technology, communication & your time.  If you would like to meet with me regarding a purchase or sale of Real Estate in Miami, you can contact me on my cell 786-663-4382 or at paula@greatmiamihomes.com.  

Greatmiamihomes.com seeks to keep the public informed about Miami real estate market trends, new development projects, neighborhood information and, of course, great homes and condos for sale in Miami!


PAULA BARRERA

   

A modern agent for the modern client.

786.663.4382

paula@greatmiamihomes.com

 

 

 

The Shops at Mary Brickell Village

If you’re looking to spend some leisure time in the heart of Miami’s financial district, Mary Brickell Village is the place to go.  Enjoy upscale shops of famous high-end designers, restaurants and cafes, local community events and an overall relaxing environment.

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*Images from The Shops at Mary Brickell Village

There are over 10 eateries in The Shops at Mary Brickell Village, ranging from fine dining to cafes and lounges.  You can enjoying a nice dining experience at P.F. ChangsThe Oceanaire Seafood Room, Blue Martini, and Balans to name a few.  There is also a Publix and an LA Fitness located in the mall.

Mary Brickell Village has several events for the local community throughout the year.  Sunday Market is a weekly event where you can find local products, such as plants, arts & crafts, jewelry and even treats for your pet.  During the holidays, there are many events for families to enjoy, such as trick-or-treating around the shops.

There is a fully automated parking lot and the mall hours are Monday-Thursday from 11am until 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am until 10pm and Sunday from 12pm until 6pm.   You can view the mall directory here.

Below are some more restaurants you can check out at The Shops At Mary Brickell Village.

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As a Realtor, I find that Miami  is full of several sophisticated hotels, restaurants and architecture.  I see enormous public interest in developments along the Brickell area and it makes me envision a vibrant downtown with internationally influenced architecture, culture and year round warm temperatures.

 
The Shops at Mary Brickell Village is located on 901 South Miami Avenue, Miami FL 33130.

Ride the Miami Trolley yet?

Earlier this year, the City of Miami inaugurated a free trolley service for the Health and Stadium district and they’ve recently expanded the service to Downtown and Brickell! Similar to the modern, free Coral Gables Trolley (popular since 2003) the new Miami Trolley will help make our town more pedestrian and environmentally friendly.

http://www.miamigov.com/trolley/mapStadium.html
http://www.miamigov.com/trolley/mapBrickellBiscayne.html
http://www.miamigov.com/trolley/mapOvertown.html

The Miami Trolley operates from 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM Monday through Saturday and only during special events on Sundays 11:30 AM – 6:00 PM.

As a Real Estate Agent very familiar with Downtown/Brickell area, I am happy to see the expansion of the trolley and know that it will be very beneficial to residents in the area!  For additional information about condos in the Brickell area, please see below:

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