Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor Blog

Avoid These 6 Mistakes when Hiring Movers

We all know that moving from home to home requires a lot of planning. There are many things to do like sorting through your belongings, tossing some items and packing the rest. Even if you can hire the best professional moving company, there are still some good tips on what not to do so that you can have the smoothest of moves. Here is a list to hep.

Don’t wait til the last minute – Gathering estimates will take you time. You will want to interview a few companies to find out what they all offer for services as well as find the best price. If you wait too long then you will run the risk of being forced to pick one based on availability rather than price.

Don’t be cheap – While you don’t want to overpay, keep in mind that you do get what you pay for. Good movers who have trained staff that are licensed and insured do cost more but will be good for peace of mind. Should there be any issues, they are more likely to handle them properly and make good on the situation.

Don’t forget to ask questions – When you are researching companies and getting estimates, make sure to ask some important questions. Ask questions like if they are licensed and insured, what insurance do they offer on your belongings, how is the staff trained, or can you get references are all good things to ask.

Don’t fall for fakes – Not all companies that you find online are good quality or reputable. Here are a few red flags for fake movers:

  • No federal motor carrier number for interstate moves
  • Mover will not meet you at home to provide written estimate
  • Trucks are unmarked or generic
  • Avoids questions about claim process or insurance

Don’t pay in cash – Most companies will charge you at the time of delivery when the move is completed. For larger, out of state moves, sometimes a deposit may be asked of you but is typically small and doesn’t exceed 20% of the total cost. Avoid companies that demand cash payments.

Do your homework – Be sure to do some fact checking on your own. Check references, review services offered and research the company online. For interstate moves see if they are licensed to do these types of moves as well.

Stiles RE plans to develop in Downtown Fort Lauderdale

Downtown Fort Lauderdale is heating up with more and more development brewing. Recently, the Stiles Real Estate firm is moving forward with their plans for more residential units, retail and a 25 – story tower of office space.

Stiles has recently met with the city’s Development Review Committee to discuss their plans specifically for 348 apartments along with over 25,000 square feet of retail space at 212 SE Second Avenue. It was shared that they had paid over $13million for the Bank of America building located on site. They also have been pre-leasing an office building nearby on Las Olas Blvd which was part of a deal with Broward College in efforts to replace its two older buildings.

Details of the proposed development include nearly 400,000 square feet in the office tower which would be slated to open in fall of 2020 including 17,000 square feet of ground floor retail. This office building would be the largest in downtown Fort Lauderdale since 200 Las Olas Circle, also built by Stiles.

Over the past decade there was a void of office space development due to the changing economy, however, with a revitalization of Fort Lauderdale’s downtown and improving markets the demand is on the rise.

Terry Stiles, Chairman had said earlier this year that the office building would help revitalize the area “by bringing new and exciting entertainment and dining options to the ground level as well as open venues for gathering.”

This certainly helps with the city’s overall plan to make downtown a “live-work-play” destination and having it all in a walking distance is key shared Barry Wolfe, VP of investments for Marcus & Millichap. “To be living downtown and still having to drive everywhere, it becomes more challenging,” Wolfe said.

Stiles has reportedly built more than 4 million square feet on or near Las Olas Blvd. These projects include Bank of America Plaza at Las Olas City Centre, Plaza at Las Olas and Amaray Las Olas.

What happens after you submit an offer?

Once you have been previewing homes and find one that fits your criteria then it is time to act quickly and submit an offer. This is a pivotal and quite exciting time during your home buying process as you have high hopes to strike a mutually agreeable price and terms for your next home. Once you submit your offer, one of three things will happen. It will either be accepted, countered or rejected. Here is a closer look at the possible outcomes.

Offer is rejected
If your offer is rejected, then the seller may feel that your proposed price and terms are just too far off from their goals that they are not willing to negotiate. If this happens, you may want to move on as it may be likely that there is too large of a gap between you and the seller.

Offer is countered
If your offer is countered then you fortunately have another chance to continue to negotiate. At this point consider if the seller’s offer is what you can agree on or if you may need to go back and modify the terms a bit more. This can go back and forth until you either agree on terms or one party decides to walk away.

Offer is accepted
Once your offer is accepted, now things become more real and exciting. Here are the basic things that will follow after the acceptance and signed offer.

  • Financing – Now is the time to follow up with your mortgage broker who had pre approved you and alert them of the terms of your deal. Your lender will also make arrangements for a home appraisal to verify that the price you paid is a fair market value.
  • Home inspection – A home inspection is a really wise idea as it is a really detailed look “under the hood” of the home. Depending on what is found by the inspector, you may ask the seller for some fixes, ask for a concession or simply pass on the home altogether.
  • Homeowner Insurance – Lenders will want to see that you have an insurance binder for the home. Shop around for rates and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Sometimes you can save when you bundle things like home and auto plans.
  • Proceed to closing – As you progress towards the closing date things happen behind the scenes and you may be contacted for some questions or information. Your lender will be preparing your loan paperwork, your attorney will be preparing your closing documents and title company will be doing research. Your job is to make sure that you have your down payment funds ready. Just before your closing appointment, you will typically do a final walk through of the home to inspect the condition and see if any changes were completed that were specified in the contract. You will then proceed to the closing and finish by signing all necessary documents. Once completed, you are officially a homeowner!

5 Tips to Survive a Seller’s Market

These days trying to find the perfect home can be challenging with such light inventory. Even when the right home comes available it can be stressful to act quickly. However, there are several things that you can do as you weather the seller’s market. Here are 5 tips to consider as you are house hunting.

Prequalification
Taking care of this step right away is always best. Typically one of the first questions that your agent will ask is if you have been prequalified by a mortgage agent. This will put you in the best playing field as all will know you are able to get a home loan.

Show you are serious
Getting prequalified for a home loan should be the first thing one does anyway. However, getting this step completed and having your pre qualification letter ready is the best thing you can do. Submitting a copy of this with your offer will help solidify your profile as being a qualified buyer. This will show the seller that you mean business and are financially sound.

Be flexible
In a tight real estate market like this, it can be wise to remain flexible. This means when submitting your offers on a competitive property, put your best foot forward and try to limit the amount of contingencies in the deal. Being more flexible will give you a better chance that the seller will want to continue negotiations with you ending with you being the winning bid.

Be readily available
With so many active buyers and so few homes available – time is of the essence. It is important to stay in open communication with your agent and respond quickly to follow up on any requests. Quick and clear communication will help facilitate the deal and show the sellers that you are serious.

Don’t play hard to get
In a seller’s market, it is not the ideal time to play hardball. If there are any other offers on the table and you show that you are not willing to budge, chances are the sellers may want to move on to the next offer. Be open to compromise so that you can show that you wish to keep the deal moving forward.

Many more residences planned for Fort Lauderdale south of New River

Downtown Fort Lauderdale has a lot going on these days where it is clear that it’s quickly becoming a hot spot. Now a developer is proposing two towers totaling 879 units spread over two towers. This will be a mixed-use development on the 500 block of South Andrews Avenue. The project has a large scope which will also include a 36 story building with over 300 hotel rooms along with 200,000 square feet of offices and 52,000 square feet of retail space. At this juncture it is not clear whether the residences will be condos or apartments.

The downtown Fort Lauderdale area is booming with over 15,000 apartments and condos that have been approved and built in recent years as a “live-work-play” destination is being created. Just as recent as January the city commissioners approved another 1,200 apartments along the Las Olas Riverfront.

Although most developers will typically try to ask for more units than the city approves, this development proposed as “Southside CityCentre” is still in the early stages of approvals. Mayor Jack Seiler states that the area is on the radar for being prime for workforce housing. He recently states That’s going to be a good thing,” Seiler said. “Affordable, workforce housing is desperately needed in the downtown corridor.”

As with most larger developments, Seiler is concerned about the traffic and impact this will have on the immediate area. The hopes are that with more of these developments being so close to area amenities, walking will be more encouraged with the close proximity.

The project is quite large and ambitious considering all that his has to offer. However, the developer is continuing to go through all of its due diligence for approvals just as anyone would. The general consensus is that it will most likely go through in some fashion even with some scaling back on the project’s scope.

Broward Attracts Foreign, Northeast and Miami Buyers

According to “The Real Deal’s” Broward Showcase and Forum, the residential real estate market of Broward County is attracting more and more buyers from the Northeast and Miami areas.

Panelists at the meeting stated that many of the buyers seen as of late have been residents of the Northeast, Miami as well as foreign buyers. It was shared that condo sales at the Paramount Fort Lauderdale Beach development have been approximately 30% foreign buyers from predominantly the Latin Americas. The interesting thing is this is typically the crowd that areas like Miami will attract.

In general foreign buyers have been coming from countries such as Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Venezuela as well as a large influx from the Northeast. In addition, as some of South Florida has seen some price cuts, Broward by and large has seen prices increasing. Panelists shared that there is a decent amount of inventory for condos priced over the $1 million mark with several months of supply. However in the single family segment of homes under $500,000, the market is as tight as a drum. Most homes that come available on the market and are renovated do not last and are swept up by immense buyer demand.

The level of affordability and popularity of Fort Lauderdale has also caused buyers to consider it over Miami. Downtown areas are becoming more and more developed which is catering to those who want a lifestyle where you can walk to work as well as shopping and dining options. The live-work-play setup is becoming a desired option in which Fort Lauderdale is now offering. It was also stated that there has been more buyers from Miami in the last two years than by comparison to the last ten years.

Interested in what properties are available on the market now? Contact me today for more details.

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