Hand with a house key. Recall the days back in 2005, 2006 and 2007 when financing was given away, no questions asked? Verification of Employment and Verification of Income unheard of. And banks were offering 97 percent to home buyers? Well, as much as we all lamented the bubble bursting and values plunging, the shortage of inventory in South Florida has caused property values to once again experience a dramatic increase, and developers are banking on that.

MIDTOWN MIAMI, a new high-rise condo complex in Midtown Miami is boasting the return of 97 percent financing and offering its buyers a 3% down payment, through a low down payment loan program aimed at emerging neighborhoods. While financing is stricter than in the days of “no questions asked”, with values rising, and good collateral, buyers should have no problem securing loans. This means that a unit offered at $300,000.00 would only require a down payment of $9,000.00. First time home buyers, with limited cash, can enjoy these minimum down payment requirements and are now able to purchase a home with very little down whereas two or three years ago, this was not the case.

Recently, a report by TRULIA also proved that in this day and age, with interest rates at historical lows, “owning costs 44 percent less than renting”. Source: DSNews.com March 20, 2013. “After factoring all cost coponents including transaction costs, taxes, and opportunity costs, Trulia found buying a home is 44 percent cheaper than renting, down slightly from 46 percent last yer.” DSNews.com

People who didn’t buy a home last year may have missed the bottom of the market but they havent completely missed the boat” states Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. Source: DSNews.com

So we can once again boast in South Florida that property values have taken a turn for the better, and that financing for home buying is once again within reach. Obviously, it goes without saying to choose your real estate attorney, realtor and mortgage carefully. This one decision may mark the difference between closing and never getting to the closing table. Or worse, closing on a not so great a deal.

For all your real estate needs, call on us. Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA



foreclosure process CoreLogic reports that in the 4th Quarter of 2012, over 200,000 properties came up from being “underwater” and a total of 1.7 Million homes in all of 2012.  Source: DS News.com  To read the full article go to www.dsnews.com/articles/corelogic-17m-homes-moved-into-positive-territoy-in-2012.

What does this mean for those selling… that it is once again a sellers market.  That asking price once again retrieves dozens of contracts, over asking price, many from cash buyers.

What does this mean for those buying… that the market is once again competetive and will weed out those looking for distressed bargains.

What does this mean for those looking to modify… that the lenders will most likely make less and less principal reductions, as appraisals show that mortgages are once again not so far apart from fair market value and will not pass the NPV test.  Many that refinanced or took out second mortgages or HELOC’s may still experience negative equity, but it may be harder and harder to modify.  Proper, uninflated values must be closely calculated and provided to the lenders.

What does this mean for those short selling… that once a BPO is ordered, a bank may likely counteroffer on price as the buyers are coming in too low for fair market value sustained prices.

Whether you are looking to sell or buy, now is the time to once again use increased scrutiny when placing an offer or accepting an offer. It appears that we are once again riding another bubble that may likely burst if inventory is set loose.

Stay tuned for 2013 1st Quarter results.



Stacks of One Hundred Dollar Bills with Small House.Many things need to be considered when buying a property, regardless of whether your plans are to live in it or whether it is an investment. 2013 marked a year of many changes in the tax code by the Internal Revenue Service, including changes as to how mortgage interest income can be deducted and reported on tax returns, as well as Capital Gains taxes and limits, and numerous others are planned and will take effect upon property purchased in 2013.

If  the property you are considering purchasing is distressed, you will have a wide array  of considerations.  For instance, if the seller purchased in a foreclosure auction or as an REO, was the foreclosure accurately handled and/or dismissed.  As a buyer, you will need to make sure that the title is clean and that no other interest holders have rights, that may haunt you after you have signed on the dotted line.  This is the important, often overlooked role of the real estate attorney/title agent who will make sure that all this is reviewed prior to closing.  Moreover, whether the property and the loans associated with it are being audited by the Department of Justice is also a huge impacting consideration, as it may force titles that were issued to property owners and bona fide purchasers to be reversed, causing siginificant economic damages.

Real estate taxes also have a huge impact on whether a property should be considered or not.  In the advent of another real estate bubble, and with home values increasing by dramatic amounts, October may cause us to witness increased assessed values by the Property Appraiser causing once lower valued property taxes to double.

Return on Investment is also a big consideration.  If the property you are purchasing will be improved for rental,  the rental values permitted in the particular market need to be assessed.  What amounts will you be paying yearly in maintenance, insurance, taxes versus what the market will allow you to charge in rent.  Attorney Jacqueline A. Salcines states:  “At my firm, we use state of the art realty programs and tools that allow us to calculate up to the minute rental values for the most accurate assessment of what our client can rent the properties they are considering purchasing for.  This allows our investors to calculate their return on investment and make a sound decision as to whether to embark on the investment or walk away.”  There are countless other considerations that must be evaluated before you sign on the dotted line.

For many, buying a home is the single most costliest investment ever made.  It makes sense to have the right professionals by your side to guide you every step of the way.

At The Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, P.A., attorney Jacqueline A. Salcines is not only a real estate attorney and title agent with Attorney’s Title Insurance Fund, Inc. and Old Republic National Title Insurance,  but also an Accountant and Realtor.  Of equal importance, our firm has partnered up with  Tax Accountants and real estate professionals to provide the best guidance and advice to make sure your decision is a sound one.

Dont got it alone.  Hire the services of a professional to assist in making that one decision that may affect the rest of your life.

We are located in Coral Gables and the first consultation is always at no charge.



Miami day,FloridaWilliam P. D. Pierce of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate has successfuly sold the highest most expensive condominium in Miami’s History.  The sales price of the Penthouse located at 1601 and 1602 The Residences at The Miami Beach EDITION has sold for $34 Million.  Designed by famed architect John Pawson, the units boast a 360 degree view of the Ocean, the Bay and the City and the two units combined total 16,271 square feet.

With the sale of this luxury condominium and others setting a record high for the Miami condominium and luxury market, South Florida is poised to ride a great recovery wave in 2013.  In fact, One Sothebys International Realty noted in February, 2013 that sales of property over $10,000.000.00 experienced a 115% increase from 2011 versus 2012.  Source:  One Sothebys International Realty – The Miami Herald – Business Monday Section February 18, 2013.

Coral Gables real estate lawyer Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq. states “with all the new luxury projects and towers going up around Miami, the ultra-luxury home buying market is soaring once again.”  “We are in the midst of a real recovery with new projects offering foreigners and investors amenities and services well beyond their wildest dreams”.

Visit us at WWW.SALCINESLAW.COM  to view other high end luxury properties, find out what is going on around the community and subscribe to our informational mailings.


One of the most prestigious sporting events in Florida is set to begin.  The SONY ERICSSON OPEN Tennis Tournament, held every year in Crandon Park, Key Biscayne runs this year from March 18 to March 31, 2013.    This tournament boasts the likes of numerous celebrities and the rich and famous, all down in South Florida to enjoy the sun, the waves and great championship tennis.

Packages are still available for sale.

Visit www.sonyopentennis.com for additional information.

foreclosure_defense Deciding to purchase a home, for many, is the single most costly decision of their lives. Immediately followed by financing our children’s college education, perhaps?  Therefore, such a decision is not one to take lightly.  While we all know when it is time to buy (either you have outgrown your current home, looking to relocate, better neighborhood, growing family, change in employment) it is not a decision to be made without careful consideration of all factors.  Rather, some things to be taken into consideration include:

  1. Is the property priced right.  Hiring a real estate professional in this arena can be the single most important decision you make to determine value.  A realtor and real estate attorney as myself can run comps and look at closed sales, or determine a High, Low and Median price per square foot.  We are currently in a Seller’s market in South Florida and experiencing higher than normal asking/sales prices due to low inventory.  Therefore, the Seller may take this into consideration and price the house higher than market sustains. While today it may not matter as prices continue to rise, tomororw, if the bubble bursts again, this may not allow you to recuperate your paying price.
  2. Do your research on the neighborhood. If you have young children, are there other young children nearby?  Are the nearby residents owners that will maintain their properties or tenants that may not?   What schools pertain to the property?  Is there a Homeowner’s Association? If so, what are the rules and regulations you will be required to adhere to?  Take trips to the property during different hours so you can get a feel for the neighborhood and neighbors.  Going only while it is staged will not give an acucrate depiction of what life will be like after you close.  There is nothing worse than buying a property without researching these items and then finding out that your dream home may not be a dream after all.
  3. Ask for a Property Disclosure and perform proper inspections.  What looks great on the outside, may turn out to be not so great on the inside.  Perhaps your dream home needs a new roof that will put you back thousands of dollars. Or there are wood destroying organishms, or Chinese drywall or mold, that will cause health issues.  What other underlying issues are present in the home that the seller knows of?  Your realtor or the seller’s realtor must have them prepare and sign a Seller Disclousre that will reveal any known defects or issues with the home that you should take into consideration before putting an offer in.
  4. Are the owners in foreclosure or other liens that can effect the property.  While hiring the right attorney will clear any title issues, you may be in a time crunch to move and any home purchased with either a foreclosure or in a short sale, may be time consuming.  Clearing any tax liens or making sure foreclosures appeal periods have lapsed, can affect your closing deadline and they are important issues to know before putting an offer on a home.

These and countless other issues arise during the course of a real estate deal.

By having the right real estate lawyer and realtor by your side, you have already conquered half the battle.  While it may seem daunting to a homebuyer, these are issues we deal with on a daily basis and can handle like clockwork.

Don’t go it alone.  Hire an experienced real estate attorney to protect your rights.