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
TRUST | COMMITMENT | 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.

TRUST   |     COMMITTMENT  |    RESULTS

 

If you have not checked to see what your home is worth lately, you may be in for quite a surprise.   Nationally, and statewide, property values are skyrocketing and the median prices of homes are rising in double digits, specially the South Florida luxury real estate market.foreclosure process

The best way to determine the fair market value, is always to hire the services of a knowledgeable and skilled real estate professional to run a Comparative Market Analysis of your property to determine the price per square foot. A low, median and high price will be provided in order to assess true and accurate price per square foot.  Since this technique is based on comparables to the most recent sales, it is by far the most accurate manner to determine worth.  Whether prepared by an attorney or real estate agent, choose someone with knowledge and skill to determine the most accurate price.

Of course, there is always the formal APPRAISAL.  Although you will typically pay between $250.00 and $450.00 for an appraisal, this will also provide you with an accurate report of value based on recent sales. For buyers, sellers and investors, knowing and having this information is crucial.

There are also numerous websites and apps available to calculate value, including:

Zillow (www.zillow.com)

This will provide you with a  “Zestimate”  of fair market value.

For investors, Zillow also has a great little tool that estimates what the property would rent for.

And the Make Me Move feature, for those not quite ready to sell but curious about what they could get if they placed the property on the market. This tool allows you to name your price and see if anyone bites

Trulia (www.trulia.com)

Simply by entering your address,  Trulia  will do the rest.  You can also add any information that is missing from the property description such as new roof, or other facts, that will be re-estimated into price

Trulia is a great tool for house hunting, as you can search for homes by city, state or zip code.  It also allows for more refined searches, such as number of bedrooms or bathrooms, how many days on the market, and to see what new listing come on the market as they come up.

Trulia’s unique Heat Maps provide a graphic picture of an area’s sales, price trends and popularity. Adjust the Heat Map by neighborhood, city, county and state. You’ll also find school ratings, information about nearby businesses and comments from local residents.

Realtor.com (www.realtor.com)

This is the Official site of the National Association of Realtors.  You can have access to any homes that are listed and can refine searches by price, maximum, minimum, number of rooms, pool, zip code. This is by far the most comprehensive tool for buyers and sellers.

It is also packed with great resources such as a mortgage calculator, real estates trends and topics as well as home improvement advice.

And for all those tech savvy individuals, there are new apps each and every day such as Realtor.com app and apps created by realtors themselves, that will permit you to subscribe to their service and obtain up to the minute information about new listings, and follow their blogs.

Keep in mind that all the information on these sites are only starting points.  There is no substitute for a professional appraisal or Opinion of Value from a qualified Real Estate Attorney or Realtor

TRUST  |   COMMITMENT  |  RESULTS  

LAW OFFICES OF JACQUELINE A. SALCINES, P.A.

 

I OFTEN HAVE PEOPLE CALL ME WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO PURCHASE A PROPERTY, AND ASK ME  TO GIVE THEM AN ESTIMATE OF WHAT THEIR CLOSING COSTS ARE GOING TO BE.

I HAVE HEARD OF REALTORS THAT CALCULATE IT USING A PERCENTAGE OF THE SALES/PURCHASE PRICE, AS DO SOME BANKERS.foreclosure_defense

HOWEVER, THE EXACT AMOUNT IS OFTEN VERY EASY TO CALCULATE.  BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE THAT CAN BE USED FOR YOUR PURCHASE

A BUYER’S TYPICAL COSTS AND FEES CAN BE CALCULATED AS FOLLOWS:

  1. ATTORNEY FEE
  2. SETTLEMENT OR CLOSING FEE  – THE FEE TO PERFORM YOUR CLOSING BY THE ATTORNEY OR TITLE COMPANY (TYPICALLY $295.00 IN MIAMI DADE COUNTY)
  3. SURVEY – IF A SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE (USUALLY BETWEEN $295.00 AND $300.00)
  4. COURIER FEE (USUALLY BETWEEN $25.00 AND $30.00)
  5. WIRE FEE (USUALLY BETWEEN $15.00 TO $25.00)
  6. HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE PREMIUM
  7. HOMEOWNERS FLOOD INSURANCE PREMIUM
  8. TITLE INSURANCE PREMIUM (THIS IS BASED ON THE PURCHASE PRICE AND IS A STANDARD FEE REGULATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE)
  9. LOAN FEES (CAN NOT EXCEED THE GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE PROVIDED BY YOUR BANKER BY MORE THAN 10% OR THE BANK MUST REFUND THE DIFFERENCE TO YOU)
  10. IF FINANCING, YOU MUST BE INTANGIBLE TAX ON THE  MORTGAGE LOAN AMOUNT AT .20 CENTS FOR EVERY $100.00 BORROWED
  11. IF FINANCING, YOU MUST ALSO PAY DOCUMENTARY STAMPS TAXES ON THE MORTGAGE AT .35 CENTS FOR EVERY $100.00 BORROWED
  12. IF FINANCING, YOU WILL ALSO PAY FOR THE RECORDING OF THE MORTGAGE AT $8.00 FOR THE FIRST PAGE AND $8.50 FOR EVERY PAGE THEREAFTER.

PROPERTY TAXES ARE PRORATED FROM JANUARY 1ST OF THE YEAR TO THE DATE OF CLOSING AND WILL APPEAR AS A REDUCTION IN THE AMOUNT THE BUYER IS REQUIRED TO BRING TO CLOSING.

ESCROWS WILL ALSO BE ADDED BY YOUR LENDER IS YOU HAVE ELECTED TO INCLUDE THE INSURANCE AND TAXES INSIDE YOUR MONTHLY  MORTGAGE PAYMENT. IF SO, THE BANK WILL REQUIRE THAT MONTHS BE COLLECTED AT CLOSING AND HELD IN RESERVE ON YOUR ACCOUNT UNTIL THE LENDER PAYS YOUR PROPERTY TAXES IN NOVEMBER AND YOUR INSURANCE ONE YEAR FROM NOW.

ASIDE FROM THESE COSTS, YOU NEED TO EXAMINE YOUR CONTRACT CLOSELY TO SEE IF YOU ARE LIABLE FOR ANY OTHER COSTS.

WHILE THIS IS THE TYPICAL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION SCENARIO IN MIAMI DADE, BROWARD IS A BIT DIFFERENT.

  1. IN BROWARD, SELLER IS USUALLY THE ONE THAT PAYS THE TITLE INSURANCE PREMIUM
  2. IN BROWARD, THE DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAXES ON THE DEED PAID BY SELLER ARE $ .70 CENTS FOR EVERY $100.00.

WITH SO MANY FEES AND COSTS INVOLVED, A THOROUGH EXAMINATION OF THE CONTRACT SHOULD BE MADE BY AN EXPERIENCED REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY PRIOR TO SIGNING ANY CONTRACT.  YOU MAY NOT KNOW WHAT FEES AND COSTS ARE CUSTOMARY DEPENDING ON YOUR COUNTY, AND ONCE YOU SIGN, THERE IS NO FREEZING OFF PERIOD.  YOU ARE STUCK.

DONT GO IT ALONE. HIRE THE SERVICES OF AN EXPERIENCED REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT YOU IN YOUR PURCHASE OR SALE.

JACQUELINE A. SALCINES, ESQ.   305  |  669  |  5280

 

 

 

 

September 2012 saw the priciest home sale in Florida history, with the sale of 3 Indian Creek Drive at $45 Million.  Few can believe that the Florida housing market is experiencing such a quick recovery and how rapidly it has turned into a Seller’s market again.  But the proof is in the listings.  Take for example the following:

4 Tahiti Beach Island Road currently listed at $30,000,000.00 or 41 Arvida Parkway in Gables Estates listed at $27 Million and 9151 Arvida Lane in Gables Estates listed at $18 Million.

Are we safe to assume that South Florida is out of the woods and back to the 2005 home sales era?  Well that’s just whats happening is some of the nations most competitive and sought after housing markets such as Coral Gables, Pinecrest and Coconut Grove.  Sales of upper high-end properties are booming in the double digit figures, with tight supply driving prices of highly desirable prices skyrocketing and creating bidding wars (who ever thought we would use that word again so soon).

So what is driving the prices high and creating this Seller’s market?  Well, across the nation there are various explanations. But, in South Florida, a few come to mind.

1.   Turmoil in Europe and South America.  The luxury market is clearly being driven and often times kept afloat by the flurry of foreign investors seeking to place their capital in a safe environment.  Countries such as Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, as well as now shaky Europe. These investors are coming in droves and pouring their money here, be it individual investors  or by pooling their capital through LLC’s and seeking EB-5 Visas for automatic residency.  Cities such as Coral Gables, Miami and Pinecrest are reaping the rewards of foreign global financial markets that have been thrown into chaos such as Europe.  Paul Bishop, Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtors agrees.  “foreign buyers are very active for many of the same reasons domestic buyers are”.  “Assets in the U.S. including real estate, look pretty appealing as opposed to other parts of the world”.

2.  Financial Flexibility. Buyers that are considering large purchases, are generally borrowing at very low interest rates, or have the liquid cash on hand.  And what better place to invest then a recovering real estate market, that will offer a return on investment far exceeding any national institution.

3. Perception of Value. Even at the very top of the real estate market, buyers still want to ensure that their money is being invested correctly. This means that once savvy home buyers who were holding off in prior years, now are seeing the market recovering.  And the recovery is blazing.  While years previous have shown large declines, luxury home buyers seem to think, as do market professionals, that the luxury market has seen its worst and is now headed to the top once again.  Therefore, the time to buy is now before prices get any higher.

4.  Low Inventory.  Many seeking high end homes in either Gables Estates, Cocoplum, Old Cutler Bay, Star Island and other secluded sectors, have found inventory dwindling.  So when a house goes on the  market, the high end buyers are jumping on it.  “Take for example, the recent sale of Pat Riley, former Miami Heat Coach’s pad” says Jacqueline Salcines, Esq. with the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, P.A. “This luxury home recently sold for $16.8 million and it is reported that the buyer intends to demolish the current structure and build anew”. This was unheard of in the recent South Florida real estate market but truly a sign that the market has taken a turn for the better and is recovering at record speed.”  What better proof than the boom in condominiums going up in the Downtown, Brickell and South Beach area.  “Being of Argentinian decent, I can definately attest to the fact that … the Argentinians are coming in swarms” says attorney Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq.

All said, what is one to expect in the coming months?  “If my 15 years experience in the housing market and practicing real estate law serves as a guide, we will see a continued influx of foreign investors, Brazilians, Argentinians, Venezuelans, and perhaps a few new ones, Russians, Italians, all looking to reap the rewards of a stable and blazing hot real estate market.”  South Florida is the poster child of a quick recovery and I am honored and excited to be a part of it.” -Jacqueline Salcines, Esq.

Dont Go it Alone.  Seek the assistance of an experienced Real Estate Attorney to assess your investment, review title, and make sure that your investment is a sound one.

Call me today for a no fee consultation.

LAW OFFICES OF JACQUELINE A. SALCINES

305 |669 | 5280

Many buyers and sellers are on pins and needles… not knowing whether to take the plunge and buy a property or place their homes on the market and take a chance that they are making the best profit.  Certainly no one expected the housing market, paricularly the Miami, Coral Gables and Pinecrest areas, to go up so dramatically since the bubble exploded.  However, the wave of recent sales and the return to the 10 contract deals, has certainly put the market back in the sellers hands.20130201-182045.jpg

So, to invest or not to invest?  That is the question.  TrustED market researchers and forecasters predict a steady 1% to 3 % increase in home prices in 2013, but is this accurate? Afterall, Miami, Florida is certainly not the norm, and in some areas, prices are inching back to 2003 and 2004 levels.  Certainly, the market has turned the corner and the chances of the bubble burting again, are very slender.

There is also the issues of the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction that will impact recovery. While most tax specialists expect a “cap” rather than a full elimination, for the LUXURY HOME BUYER and higher income folks, this is something that needs to be considered as it may affect their benefits from the tax deduction.

Sales are also being helped by record low mortgage rates, lower unemployment and a decrease in distressed home sales.  This is causing an improved demand for homes, specifically in the South Florida area, where inventory is so diminshed.

The National Association of Realtors reported that while December sales were just slighly below November, sales for the full year (2011) were the best we’ve seen since 2007.  Source: National Association of Realtors.

“As a real estate professional in the business for more than 15 years, the best advice I can give for navigating the 2013 real estate market is to hire the right team of professionals, including a knowledgeable attorney to check title and a realtor who can assess home values, comparables in the area, as well as determine the best price to come in at or list at.  This will remove your competition and provide you with peace of mind that you are buying or selling at the best price, a price supported by our presend day real estate market.”  Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq.

JACQUELINE A. SALCINES, ESQ.  WE ARE A LAW FIRM DEDICATED TO ALL OF YOUR REAL ESTATE NEEDS.

TRUST  |  COMMITMENT  |  RESULTS

CALL THE REAL ESTATE LAW FIRM OF JACQUELINE A. SALCINES, P.A. FOR A FREE CONSULTATION:  305 | 669 | 5280