Why Every Homebuyer Needs Owner’s Title Insurance

July 24th, 2016

Owner's Title InsuranceWhy Every Homebuyer Needs Owner’s Title Insurance

By Barbara Pronin

As a real estate professional, you know that buying a home is, for most people, an exciting and emotional time. In many cases, it is also the homebuyer’s single largest investment – an investment that deserves to be protected in the same way that other insurance policies protect against the loss of the buyer’s car, health, or life.

Owner’s Title Insurance protects the buyer’s legal right, title and interest in a property, safeguarding against a variety of potential challenges ranging from unexpected judgments to pending legal actions or outstanding liens against the property for as long as they own or have an interest in the home. For that reason, advising your clients to purchase owner’s title insurance early in the home buying process – typically at the same time they start working with a lender – can be a valued and important part of your commitment to help your clients make the best real estate decisions.

Your title insurance representative can provide you with all the tools and guidelines you need to educate your client about this valuable protection – and, as your title partner, we are here to answer any questions you or your client may have.

Here are five solid reasons why homebuyers benefit by purchasing owner’s title insurance:

  1. Protect the investment – For a reasonable, one-time fee, owner’s title insurance will protect the homebuyer’s property rights for as long as they or their heirs own the home.
  2. Reduce risk – Owner’s title insurance will protect against any unforeseen legal and/or financial title discrepancies that may arise, such as a claim filed for ownership by the heir of a previous owner, a debt unpaid to a contractor by the builder, or a lien filed against the property because the seller has not paid his taxes.
  3. The cost is minimal – Owner’s title insurance generally costs no more than 0.5 percent of the home’s purchase price.
  4. There is nothing else like it – Homeowner’s insurance and warranties protect only the structure and belongings in your clients’ home. As more than eight in ten home buyers annually attest, owner’s title insurance is the only insurance that ensures that a family’s rights to the property will stay protected.
  5. Buying peace of mind – Purchasing owner’s title insurance means that homebuyers can rest assured that when they close on their new home, they will be protected from inheriting any existing debts or legal problems now or in the future.

Barbara Pronin is an award-winning writer based in Orange County, Calif. A former news editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and corporate communications, she has specialized in real estate topics for over a decade.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

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For more information about properties in Fort Lauderdale or Broward County call Marina Sarabia or Kathleen Costanzo at 954-914-8056

7 Tips for a Healthier Home

July 7th, 2016

7 Tips for a Healthier Home
7 Tips for a Healthier Home

A healthy home—one free of bacteria and pollutants—requires upkeep in several areas. Fortunately, many healthy home maintenance tasks are simple, and can be done in a matter of minutes.

“Small actions can make a big difference when it comes to creating a healthier home,” says Sarah Norman, director, Healthy Homes and Communities for NeighborWorks America.

What are these actions? Norman and NeighborWorks America outline principles of healthy homes:

A Clean Home – Vacuum your home with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) product regularly to keep dust from accumulating. Clean with products that are non-toxic, biodegradable and/or unscented.

A Maintained Home – Don’t let your home fall into disarray. Make minor repairs as soon as you are able, and check the structure and systems in the home periodically.

A Safe Home – Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to ensure they are in proper working order. If you have children, take steps to childproof the home. These might include locking up chemical-based products, installing cordless window treatments and covering wall outlets.

A Contaminant-Free Home – Have your home tested for radon. If it tests positive for above-safe levels, install a radon removal system. In addition, if your home was constructed prior to 1978, have a lead repair and removal specialist fix cracked or peeling paint.

A Pest-Free Home – Adopt “IPM” (Integrated Pest Management) strategies to keep pests from entering the home. These might include sealing cracks in the structure of the home and storing food in airtight containers.

A Dry Home – Inspect your home—the roof, gutters, and plumbing fixtures—for leaks regularly, and fix them as soon as you are able. Keep an eye on your basement for any signs of water. (You may need to re-grade the home’s foundation if the problem persists.)

A Well-Ventilated Home – Promote air circulation, particularly in the kitchen and bathrooms, with an efficient ventilation system. Be sure the system moves air outside of the home

Taking these steps will go a long way towards a healthier household for you and your loved ones. A healthy home, after all, is a happy home.

Source: NeighborWorks America

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Homebuilding Innovations to Watch

July 3rd, 2016

Homebuilding Innovations to WatchHomebuilding Innovations to Watch

The Future Is Calling! Homebuilding Innovations to Watch  and technology are evolving at a rapid pace, no more so than in our homes—and in fact, there are innovations pioneering the next phase of advanced homebuilding as we speak. Three of the most exciting:

Bio Concrete – Concrete is the world’s most common building material—but that doesn’t mean it’s the most durable. Chemicals, shifting Earth, temperature fluctuations and weather-related wear and tear all contribute to cracks and deterioration.

Several years ago, scientists in the Netherlands developed bio concrete, a type of concrete that can repair itself if cracked. The material is laden with limestone-creating bacteria that work to “heal” cracks, similar to the way bones heal themselves when broken.

Cross-Laminated Timber – An alternative to concrete, cross-laminated timber (CLT) is produced from small bits of timber glued into large slabs. CLT is as strong (and fireproof!) as steel. It is cut via a robotic router, which shapes the slabs based on dimensions fed to it by a computer. The pieces are then assembled much like IKEA furniture, cutting down construction time significantly.

Sound-Dampening Drywall – In a household where several devices may be running at any given moment, finding quiet can be a challenge. A new development in drywall reduces noise between rooms, blocking the amount of sound carried through walls and ceilings.

Which innovation are you most excited about? These may become the norm sooner than you think!

Source: CertainTeed

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U.S. Housing Market New Buy vs. Rent Index

June 29th, 2016

U.S. Housing MarketU.S. Housing Market New Buy vs. Rent Index

New Buy vs. Rent Index Shows U.S. Housing Market Moving Deeper into Buy Territory.  The latest national index produced by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty indicates the United States housing market as a whole is moving deeper into buy territory, suggesting that, on average, residential housing markets around the country are sound.

Based on numbers from the end of the first quarter, the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index comes on the heels of the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which found home prices nationally climbed 5.4 percent since March 2015.

“This appears to be driven by a steady but strengthening job market, rising rents relative to rising ownership costs and recent slower growth in traditional financial portfolios consisting of stocks and bonds,” said Ken Johnson, Ph.D., a real estate economist who is one of the index’s authors and an associate dean of graduate programs and professor in FAU’s College of Business.

The BH&J Index measures the relationship between purchasing property and building wealth through a buildup in equity versus renting a comparable property and investing in a portfolio of stocks and bonds. It examines the entire housing market in the United States and isolates the markets of 23 major cities.

U.S. Housing Market

In terms of wealth creation, the U.S. housing market, when considered as a whole, has swung marginally more in favor of homeownership over renting a comparable property and investing monthly rent savings in a portfolio of stocks and bonds. Overall, 16 of the 23 metropolitan markets investigated moved in the direction of buy territory.

The metro areas of Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and St. Louis remain solidly in buy territory.

“These cities should have room for price growth without much worry of overheating,” said Eli Beracha, Ph.D., co-author of the index and assistant professor in the T&S Hollo School of Real Estate at FIU. “This is especially true for Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Detroit.”

Cities such as Honolulu, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle are hovering around what the index’s authors refer to as the “indifference point” between buying versus renting. In almost all of these metro markets, the BH&J Index score for the quarter moved in the direction of ownership.

“This movement suggests that most consumers in these markets appear to have learned from the real estate crash and now understand that residential property prices can get too high,” Beracha said. “This is a good sign for future housing price stability in these markets.”

Meanwhile, two hot housing markets, Dallas and Denver, continued to move deeper into rent territory but at a slower rate than earlier quarters.U.S. Housing Market

“Strong economic support within these two markets should make for a soft landing in terms of slowing property price growth, increased marketing time for properties and lower probabilities that sellers will actually transact and close during a given marketing effort of their property,” Johnson said.

One particular market, Houston, continues to cause concern. Houston was already deep into rent territory, and its recent BH&J score plummeted significantly toward buy territory – a scenario that has foreshadowed noticeable property price declines in the past.

“A perfect storm seems to be developing in Houston,” Johnson said. “I expect a lot of folks in Houston to be on the safe side and opt for renting over ownership.”

Johnson’s collaborators in this ongoing independent research are Beracha and William G. Hardin III, Ph.D., director of the T&S Hollo School of Real Estate at FIU’s College of Business. The BH&J Index and other FAU real estate activities are sponsored by Investments Limited of Boca Raton.

Fort Lauderdale Zip Code 33308

Fort Lauderdale 33308 May 2016

Here are some properties for sale in Fort Lauderdale Zip Code 33308

The BH&J Index is published quarterly and is available online at business.fau.edu/buyvsrent. Due to data availability and the time necessary to calculate the most current index values, the index is produced two months after the end of the quarter.

For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

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Real Estate Roundup- Galt Ocean Mile

June 17th, 2016

Real Estate Roundup- Galt Ocean Mile

Real Estate Roundup- Galt Ocean Mile

This monthly round up includes a review of homes sold in the month of May 2016 .Our analysis includes a review of the following three condominium buildings:

  • The Commodore: 3430 Galt Ocean Drive, Fort Lauderdale
  • Riviera: 3550 Galt Ocean Drive, Fort Lauderdale
  • Playa del Mar: 3900 Galt Ocean Drive, Fort Lauderdale

We have a  listing at 3850 Galt Ocean Mile, unit 505. The list price is $424,950. Contact us at 954.914.8060 for details
Real Estate Roundup- Galt Ocean Mile
As of this report, there was one unit that sold in The Commodore . The original list price was $310,000 with a final reported sale price of $285,000. This was a one, one and a half bedroom home located on the fifteenth floor. There were no homes sold in Riviera Complex located at 3550 Galt Ocean Drive and no reported sales in The Playa del Mar.

The Commodore For Sale | May 2016

3430 Galt Ocean Drive

List Price Bedrooms Full Baths Half Baths Square Footage
$599,000 3 2 0 1800
$575,000 2 2 N/A 1635
$524,900 2 2 N/A 1769
$399,000 2 2 N/A 1766
$340,000 2 2 N/A 1687
$310,000 1 1 1 1115
$278,100 1 1 1 1112

Interested in selling your home? Contact Us Here


3550 Galt Ocean Drive,

List Price Bedroom Full Bathroom Half Bathroom Square Footage Waterfront
$947,777 3 2 1 2124 Yes
$690,000 2 2 0 1435 Yes
$655,000. 2 2 1 1649 Yes
$619,000 2 2 N/A 1771 Yes
$600,000 2 2 1 1649 Yes
$399,900 1 1 1 1088 Yes
$349,900 1 1 1 N/A No
$298,500 1 1 1 1209 Yes
$286,900 1 1 1 1209 Yes
$274,900 1 1 1 1210 Yes

Contact Us Here for details on these closed sales

Playa Del Mar For Sale

3900 Galt Ocean Mile

List Price Bedrooms Full




Square Footage Waterfront
$947,777 3 2 1 2124 Yes
$690,000 2 2 0 1435 Yes
$655,000 2 2 1 1649 Yes
$639,000 2 2 0 1771 Yes
$619,000 2 2 N/A 1771 Yes
$600,000 2 2 1 1649 Yes
$550,000 2 2 0 1435 Yes
$444,900 1 1 1 1088 Yes
$365,000 1 1 1 1088 Yes
$349,900 1 1 1 0 No
$298,500 1 1 1 1209 Yes
$274,900 1 1 1 1210 Yes

If you are interested in viewing homes on the Galt Ocean Mile in Fort Lauderdale simply call us at 954.914.8056.

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Real Estate Roundup- Imperial Point and Coral Ridge

June 15th, 2016

Real Estate Roundup- Imperial Point and Coral Ridge

Real Estate Roundup- Imperial Point and Coral Ridge

This monthly round up includes a review of homes sold in the month of May 2016. Our analysis includes a review of Coral Ridge and Imperial Point homes in Fort Lauderdale.

Coral Ridge, Fort Lauderdale Sales May 2016

Address List Price Sale Price Bedrooms Full Bathrooms Half Bathrooms
2890 NE 28 ST $5,350,000 $4,600,000 6 6 1
2881 NE 24th Pl $3,195,000 $3,000,000 3 3 N/A
2873 NE 25 ST $1,849,000 $1,750,000 5 5 1
2717 NE 25TH CT $1,645,000 $1,625,000 5 5 1
3021 NE 43rd St $1,575,000 $1,492,500 6 3 1
3021 NE 43rd st $1,535,000 $1,492,500 6 3 1
1428 MIDDLE RIVER DR $839,000 $525,000 3 4 0
2649 NE 34th Street $699,9000 $650,000 3 2 0
2764 NE 34 ST $669,000 $650,000 4 2 0
4328 NE 21ST AVE $650,000 $645,000 4 3 0
2745 NE 19th St $650,000 $615,000 3 2 N/A
2136 NE 44th St $625,000 $610,000 3 2 0
2625 NE 11TH CT $539,000 $517,500 3 2 1
5820 NE 14th Ter $520,000 $500,000 3 2 N/A
2501 NE 29TH CT $485,000 $437,500 4 2 0
2083 NE 54th Ct $409,900 $392,500 3 2 N/A
1911 NE 55TH CT $399,000 $367,000 3 2 0
5264 NE 18th Ter $399,000 $393,000 3 2 N/A
1475 NE 60th St $395,000 $403,000 3 2 N/A
1406 NE 62nd St $319,900 $308,000 3 3 N/A


Real Estate Roundup- Imperial Point and Coral Ridge












Imperial Point, Fort Lauderdale Closed Sales May 2016

Address List Price Sale Price Bedrooms Full Bathrooms Half Bathrooms
1940 NE 59 Ct $399,000 $385,000 2 2 N/A
2130 NE 60th St $389,900 $380,000 3 2 N/A
2152 IMPERIAL POINT DR $539,900 $512,500 3 2 0
2120 NE 59TH ST $319,900 $308,000 2 2 0
2107 NE 60th St $449,900 $400,000 5 3 0

There are 122 homes for sale in Coral Ridge including a waterfront four bedroom, five and a half bathroom home. This home is pre-construction and in the style of the British West Indies.

If you have an interest in the vacant lot only, this waterfront parcel is listed at $1.69M.

And finally to homes for sale in Imperial Point. There are 40 homes listed for sale on the multiple listing service, an increase of 21 additional homes for sale compared to the previous month, in this neighborhood. As reported by the National Association Of Realtors (NAR) there is a  normal increase of available homes for sale during this time of year. The reason for the increase of homes is the normal the end of the school year when families look to move their residence.

In summary, the active listings in Imperial Point commence at a list price of $769,000 for a three bedroom, two bathroom home with swimming pool. This price was adjusted from $785,000. There is a total of 13 homes for sale with price decreases. If you are seeking a two bedroom home in this neighborhood, there are eight homes that meet this criteria. Prices ranges are from $499,000, a waterfront homes to $334,00 with nearly 1,600 square feet.

Real Estate Roundup- Imperial Point and Coral Ridge brought to you by Marina and Kathleen, Keller Williams Realtors 954-914-8056

For details on homes in this area contact us here.

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The True Meaning of Memorial Day

May 29th, 2016

The True Meaning of Memorial DayTrue Meaning of Memorial Day

Do you know the actual meaning of Memorial Day? You know,  the three-day weekend that kicks off our summer holidays here in the United States. Barbecuing, heading to the beach and the feeling of joy and carefree living settles in this last Monday in the month of May.  This festive holiday commences our official summertime season.

But… what is the true meaning of Memorial Day?

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is the most solemn America holiday. This is the day when we recall those Americans that made the ultimate sacrifice. They gave their lives to protect and defend our nation.


The Civil War claimed the lives of over 600,000 soldiers. No town or village did not feel the impact of this event. As the war finally came to an end relatives, friends and neighbors started placing American flags on the gravestones of the fallen heroes.

The town of Waterloo, New York is said to have officially started this memorial as the local shop owners and innkeepers closed their business on May 5 to commemorate a day of sacrifice.

May 30 is recognized as the official date of the memorial when 5000 war widows and their children placed flags and memorabilia on the graves of those at Arlington National Cemetery. Over 20,000 soldiers, both confederates and unionists were honored at this time… their differences set aside.

Throughout the 18th century, Memorial Day grew. Commemorative events took place nationwide at the sites of battlefields. Sadly the differences between both the north and south still existed, and memorials took place on different dates.

Until, it is said ….

World War I when the country lost over 130,000 soldiers in this worldwide tragedy. The country united… finally and celebrations by all our citizens were grounded in the realization that many lost their lives in the defense of freedom.

Surprisingly, Memorial Day only became an official holiday in 1971.

Happy Memorial Day to all, and let us not forget the real reason behind the celebrations.

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Broward Center’s 25 Year Celebration

May 20th, 2016

Broward Center’s 25 Year CelebrationFort Lauderdale Events |  Broward Center’s 25 Year Celebration

For those of us who have resided in Fort Lauderdale, it is hard to image it was 25 years ago that the Broward Center For The Performing Arts opened her magical doors. This week, in my weekly round up of events in Fort Lauderdale my thoughts are turned to this residence of music and entertainment flare.

Opening in 1991 the Broward Center For The Performing Arts is located on over five acres of land and is located along the banks of the New River at Sailboat Bend. In its day, the center became the launch point of the revitalization of the downtown area, in particular, the areas around the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District… side note…Unfortunately, this area has seen better days, my sources tell me that help, and a renewed interested in this area is imminent… more to come on this subject )

This cultural center hosts operas, ballets, plays, lectures, concerts, and numerous community events, all within her four theaters. The company offers a variety of educational programs including programs for local schools, camp programs, teacher and student programs. For information on the special workshop. master classes and additional list of their events in   Fort Lauderdale email the organization here.

The Broward Center For The Performing Arts is partners with:

  • The Miami City Ballet,
  • Gold Coast Jazz
  • Concert Association of Florida
  • Florida Grand Opera

And the Symphony of the Americas.

For those of us of a “certain age” The Carole King Musical, entitled Beautiful is wrapping up this Sunday, May 22, 2016, at the center. The following week, on May 24 the 14th annual “Cappie Gala Awards” take place. This event in Fort Lauderdale is to celebrate the high school students in both Broward and Palm Beach Counties for the achievement in theater and the field of journalism.

Two additional events in Fort Lauderdale held at this premise are “The Light It Up” presentation by the Heroes of Hip Hop on May 27 and closing the month the Israeli Dance Festival perform on May 29.

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Event in Fort Lauderdale | Tennis Anyone?

May 14th, 2016

Event in Fort Lauderdale | Tennis Anyone?Event in Fort Lauderdale | Tennis Anyone?

It is that time of the year again when we are glued to the television set. The viewing of choice- Tennis. There is the French Open in Paris, France on May 22 thru till June 5, 2016. Following that, if you head on north into England, Wimbledon commences on June 27 and finishes off on July 10, 2016. So you ask what does this have to do with any event in Fort Lauderdale? There are so many excellent courts in South Florida to enjoy this game. This article is aimed at getting you to don your tennis gear and grab your tennis racket to play this fine sport…. Why not start your own

Tennis Campionship Event in Fort Lauderdale?

Today, I present to you a selection of tennis courts available to us here in the Fort Lauderdale arena.

First on the list:

The Coral Ridge Country Club

3801 Bayview Drive

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Contact them directly at 954.449.4400

This member club offers various programs for enthusiasts of all levels.There is eleven premier class tennis courts which include two hard courts (a.k.a the French Open ) and nine clay courts. Coaching and lessons are available.

If you are looking for a home in the Coral Ridge neighborhood, contact us here. (Shameless plug)

The Jimmy Evert Tennis Center is located in  Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park at 701 North East 12th Avenue. The contact telephone number is 954.828.5378. This facility includes the following:

  • 3 Hard Courts
  • 18 Lighted Courts ( Great for summer fun… open till 9 pm Monday – Friday)
  • Racquet stringing services
  • A players lounge where you can create your own event in Fort Lauderdale!
  • Private lessons
  • Both men’s and women’s locker rooms

This facility is a City of Fort Lauderdale Parks and Recreation Department offering.Here is a joy filled overview of the services provided by our fine city.

Last on the list is the Dillon Tennis Center located just north of us at 4091 NE 5th Avenue in  Oakland Park. This is a great spot for clay tennis court enthusiasts. You can find the directions to this facility here.

Have you seen the condo we have listed for sale in Fort Lauderdale?

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Event Fort Lauderdale|Mother’s Day

May 8th, 2016

Event Fort Lauderdale | Mother's Day

Mother’s Day Event Fort Lauderdale 

Mother’s Day in Fort Lauderdale this weekend ha several exciting events in Fort Lauderdale. The main must attend venue is the Fort Lauderdale Air Show. I have written about this event in Fort Lauderdale here.  However, lest we never forget that this Sunday is Mother’s Day in America and many is celebrated in many other parts of the world.

With this in mind I thought I might provide you with a few tidbits about celebration:

  • Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide in the months of March or May.
  • In the USA, the celebration began in the early 20th century
  • After many attempts, first commencing in 1905, Mother’s Day was observed by all states( 46 at the time) in 1911
  • President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday the second Sunday in May
  • The celebration was started by Anna Jarvis in memory of her mother in the state of West Virginia
  • Hallmark Cards began selling this holiday card in the 1920’s.

International facts about this celebratory yearly event include

  • Many Mother;s Days celebration are celebrated on days of historical significance, For example, in the country of Bolivia Mother’s Day is the date which women fought, May 27
  • Mothering Sunday falls on the 4th Sunday of Lent in the United Kingdom
  • Egypt first began celebrating this holiday in 1958; the remaining Arab states followed suit soon after.
  • Downunder in Australia, Mother’s Day is celebrated the second Sunday in May. Traditionally, a chrysanthemum is given to mothers for Mother’s Day, men where this flower in their lapels. The same tradition is practiced in China with carnations.
  • Brazilians also celebrate this event. In the year 1947, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro at the time decided that this holiday would be included in the official calendar of the Catholic Church.
  • North of us in Canada, the second Sunday in May is deemed Mother’s Day. However it is not a public holiday.

In conclusion, wherever you are this weekend, have fun and enjoy the festivities! See you next week

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