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15 Ways to Prep Your Multi-Family Building Exterior for the Spring Market

In international buyers, Investing, Investor, miami, Miami-Dade County, Multi-Family Real Estate, real estate, Sellers on April 6, 2013 at 8:46 am

Spring is the season for rain, sun, flowers and humidity buildup. It is also the season buyers and sellers traditionally come out of hibernation. It is a time when folks turn to spring cleaning, regardless of whether they are selling their property or not.

However, if you are in fact, looking to sell, you will definitely want to pay close attention and properly prepare. This article will hopefully, help you get started and get you to a fast closing that nets you the most money in your pocket, ready to enjoy, retire other debt or reinvest.

As I flip channels and sometimes watch a particular product they may be selling, particularly jewelry, I notice that ‘shine’ is critical. I also notice the effect I feel when I walk up to a car dealership that keeps its cars sparkling clean versus when I walk up to a car that seems poorly maintained.

Similarly, I notice what I feel when I approach a property. As I walk through it, I notice the big and little things that say WOW. The question is, what follows that “wow”? Is it, wow this is great or is it, wow this needs a lot of work!

As rents climb or stabilize, buyers are watching for opportunities. Your job as a seller is now to convey the message to the buyer that your property has been well taken care of and that it will provide a handsome return and that it is therefore, worth their investment.

The tips below will cost little money and could go a long way to convey the right perception that attracts buyers to make an offer. Even if you are a distressed seller, the more appealing your property looks, the higher the perceived value and the more money you could net.

With this in mind, here’s how to get the exterior of your building shipshape so it tell buyers, “yes, this is a good investment”:

1. Clean the glass covers of all light fixtures and make sure to remove all bugs. Also, replace any broken or missing glass covers. Make sure they all match. If not, replace them all to match and improve the look of the fixtures.

2. Replace missing or burnt bulbs. Consider replacing every bulb with bright white energy efficient bulbs. They brighten up the common areas making it more appealing and saves energy while helping deter crime.

3. Clean or replace mailboxes. Busted mailboxes often convey a sense of neglect.

4. Clean or paint all doors and frames and replace or polish their hardware so they all match throughout.

5. Make sure the building address number and each unit number are clearly visible and neat.  You may also want to consider replacing them for a clean look.

6. Make sure all stairs, hallways and stair guardrails are clean and/or painted as needed.

7. Wash all windows and seal them right to avoid water leaks while improving energy efficiency. See that tenants cooperate by keeping old tape used during a prior hurricane watch or warning and even odd window coverings, off windows.

8. Make sure to pressure clean parking areas and that they are swept clean. If necessary, cover driveway and parking areas with a fresh coat of tar. Check that all parking stoppers are painted and if appropriate, labeled.

9. Rake the lawn and ensure all green areas are trimmed.  Use fresh mulch or stones accordingly to cover patches, driveways and other areas. Plant fresh flowers or plants if possible. These are often inexpensive and greatly ‘green-up’ common areas.

10. Clean all debris from gutters and drain spouts and repair or replace them as needed.

11. If there is a community barbeque, be sure to clean it thoroughly and wash down the lid if there is one.  Replace a worn cover if needed.

12. If there is a community swimming pool, make sure it sparkles. Treat or repair any surrounding pool ground area that isn’t perfect.

13. If there is patio or pool-area furniture, make sure it is clean. Remove or replace any broken pieces.

14. Check your roof and make sure to repair or replace any missing or damaged shingles or tiles. Make sure to apply a sealant to flat roofs. Even if it does not seem necessary, this is a small expense compared to what a poor roof inspection result may represent.

15. Paint. Although this could be the costlier of the cosmetic preparations, I can’t say enough about this, especially if the building has not been painted for 3+ years. When it comes to selling, remember, ‘sparkle’ is key and nothing sparkles more than a fresh coat of neutral color paint. Make sure it is properly done and that cosmetic cracks are patched prior to application.

Now, go ahead and comment on any of the above or add your own to the list.

As a buyer, what items do you look for when you walk through the exterior of a building you are considering?

Also, as a buyer, HOW is your offer price affected by either a positive or negative impression you experience while walking the exterior of a property? How much more or less would you offer be as a result of your experience?

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What can $200,000 buy in Miami or Miami Beach?

In real estate on June 4, 2009 at 3:22 pm

For $200K, you could buy a cool car like a Lamborghini Gallardo, pay for a four year degree at a private university or a buy place you can call “home” that can last you a lifetime (then, even bequest to your children and your children’s children – it has happened, you know).

This may sound too good to be true, but not these days. Check out a few statistics from our MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and ask yourself…is this the right time to buy?

In Miami-Dade County, there are approximately 11,470 Single Family Houses (SFH), actively for sale (all figures are as of the time of this publishing), of which, approximately 7500 (or about 65% of all SFH in the MLS) are for sale at or below  $400,000 (within FNMA guidelines and the only price group considered for this posting), while there are approximately 3400 SFH for sale at or below $200,000! The breakdown looks like this:

Price Range

Quantity

Average DOM

Summary

List Price

$149,999 or under

1,813

99.67

High

$400,000

$150,000 –  $199,999

1,547

99.25

Low

$9,900*

$200,000 – $249,999

1,257

157.75

Average

$222,681

$250,000 – $299,999

1,283

55.33

Median

$219,900

$300,000 – $349,999

787

102.38

 

$350,000 – $399,999

826

63.5

 

$400,000

40

0

 

*May be an error such as a rental incorrectly indicated for sale

In Miami Beach however, there are very few homes in this price range. In fact, there are less than 30 homes for sale below $400,000 in zip codes 33139, 33140 and 33141.  However, the same can’t be said for condominiums.  Out of a total of about 2300 condo units actively for sale at or below $400,000, the breakdown looks like this:

Price Range

Quantity

Average DOM

Summary

List Price

$149,999 or under

555

124.75

High

$400,000

$150,000 – $199,999

472

167.33

Low

$950*

$200,000 – $249,999

321

135

Average

$229,156

$250,000 – $299,999

374

0

Median

$220,000

$300,000 – $349,999

247

93.8

 

$350,000 – $399,999

321

0

 

$400,000

12

0

 

*Again, maybe a rental.

In this market, you can get a lot of bang for fewer bucks.  In fact, there are approximately 3000 SFH in Miami plus about 470 condos under contract pending in the Miami Beach area.

In addition, there have been approximately 4270 closed SFH transactions (again, all numbers are for properties at or below $400,000),  in the last 6 months (about 730 closed in May).  This is in contrast to the approximately 6400 SFH transactions closed by Realtors in all of 2008 so that, we should be able to easily beat 2008 closed sales in 2009.

Meanwhile we’ve had 712 closed Condo transactions in the Miami Beach area in the last 6 months (about 138 closed in May). Again, this is in contrast to the approximately 1428 Condo transactions closed by Realtors in all of 2008 so that, we should be able to also beat 2008 Condo closed sales in 2009.

Of all the inventory in Miami Beach, about 56 Condo units are REO (Real Estate Owned  typically taken back by lenders at auction after foreclosure) and about 790 are Short Sales (pre-foreclosures which are being sold for less than it is owed to the lenders).

In Miami, there are about 722 REO Single Family Houses and about 4100 SFH being offered as Short Sale in the MLS.

This leads to my final analysis.  Of all the SFH Pending contract, about 1200 are Short Sales and another 1358 are REO properties, while about 2600 REO Single Family Houses Closed in the last 6 months in Miami and another 433 Short Sales closed in the same time period.

In Miami Beach, there are about 100 Pending REO Condo sales while there are about 170 Condo Short Sales pending contract. Meanwhile, there were about 90 closed Short Sale and another 200 closed REO condos deals sold in the last 6 months.

For those looking for opportunities, fret no more because in Miami Beach, there are still about 50 REO and about 790 Short Sale Condominiums available for sale while there are about 720 REO and about 4200 Short Sale Single Family Houses available for sale to those ready to act today.

In the end, only those who prepare will get to cherry pick. Yet, buyers must understand that in this market, buying distressed properties requires different processes than that of regular sales and so, buyers must know how to present their offers so they get accepted.

This is no time to go it alone. Have a competent Realtor (member of a local board and the National Association of Realtors who adhere to a strict Code of Ethics) represent you (after all, the seller has one representing them), and preferably, one who is also a Certified Distressed Property Expert. There about 7500 of these nationwide and you can find one near you at www.CDPE.com.

Remember always…Luck is when Preparation Meets Opportunity.

It’s a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood

In Uncategorized on February 29, 2008 at 10:57 am

At REALTOR.com’s new “Find aNeighborhood” site, home buyers and real estate investors now have another tool to add to their online arsenal of research resources.

Site visitors can now learn how many homes are for sale in a given market or defined geographic area, research the rental market, collect demographic data, and even learn about lifestyle profiles in specific neighborhoods.

People who are considering a move can also literally find out if it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood by studying the area’s weather index and historical climate data, and can zoom in on specific locations using satellite imagery.

See below for more and contact me for any specific information about the value of your property, how to sell fast and for top dollar even in this market, or even how to stage your property for sale.Just click HERE to begin your neighborhood search.

In addition, note that this search can be made for any neighorhood in the country.  It is not limited to Miami-Dade County, Florida. 

So, if you are considering a move to another city in the US or if you are considering a move to South Florida and you would like to get all the necessary facts before you begin your house-hunting, this tool will proof to be a great starting point.

This is an ideal stop for anyone in the military being reassigned, anyone relocating due to work requirements or just looking for adventure and opportunities in a new location, foreign nationals looking to move to South Florida or to exploit buying opportunities of a second home or vacation home now afforded by the favorable currency exchange, or investors looking for opportunities across the US.

Obviously, dealing with a competent Realtor during to guide you throught the process, from making sure you work with a competent mortgage consultant for pre-approval, to helping you find properties that meet your specific needs, to post-closing, a Realtor could be an invaluable resource for you.

Meanwhile, enjoy your search.  You are making a very intelligent decision today.

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