South Florida Real Estate
Archive for the 'Home Improvement' Category
Well, it finally happened. My neighbor has sold his home on a beautiful, tree-lined, deep lot in north Pinecrest. It is not quite an acre, but I am guessing a huge home will be going up on the site. I hope I am wrong and that our soon-to-be-new-neighbor will appreciate all of the wildlife their back yard is home to and remodel instead of tear down and build the maximum allowed home. Over the years that we have lived in our house, we have enjoyed seeing fox and watching large predatory birds nest and raise their young in our neighbor’s yard.
We are lucky to live in the Village of Pinecrest, which like many cities in Miami-Dade County, has landscaping regulations that include tree preservation, but I have witnessed lushly grown lots be completely bulldozed to accommodate homes that cover the majority of the lot. Once built, small oaks and palm trees are planted in the front and back yards with shrubs planted around the sides.
The house below is a great example of how existing trees can be incorporated into new construction. The house on this lot was torn down but many of the trees were kept. They provide shade and character for the house as well as a canopy to shade the street.
In December, we had FPL come out and conduct a duct test on our air conditioning system. We found out that our air conditioning was extremely inefficient and that we had some major duct leaks. We had our a/c replaced and our FPL bill went from over $300 per month to just under $200. We figure the savings on our electric bill will pay for the a/c in about a year and a half. We just had our duct work replaced and the house is so much cooler. I have a feeling our bill is going to be even lower in the next couple of months.
I drive Riviera every day on my way to and from work and love all of the renovations that have been going on on that street between Hardee and U.S.1. Whether on a waterfront lot, like the house below, or a dry lot, over 6 homes have recently had major remodeling done.
I love the new look!
At a special Village council meeting this evening, a resolution was passed stating opposition to the proposed boat storage facility at Matheson Hammock Park. Council members felt that the county’s Parks Department did not provide the public and surrounding municipalities with opportunity to provide input to their Request For Proposals for dry boat storage at the park.
Although the developer said that opposition was premature since impact studies had not been conducted, it was specifically because of the lack of information available about the impacts of the proposed structure, which is completely out of scale for the park in its sheer size (500 feet long and 50 feet high!), that the Village passed the resolution.
Matheson Hammock Park is a park used by many residents and visitors in Miami-Dade county and the addition of any structures should proceed slowly and with public input. It is, after all, supported by our tax dollars and admission fees.
I just received an e-mail from a client who closed on their new home in December and now find themselves flooded with unwanted junk mail. One of the small negatives of purchasing property is that the tax roll information is picked up by just about anyone selling everything!
Luckily the Federal Trade Commission can help you end all that unsolicited mail and annoying calls either on-line or by calling a number.
An article in today’s Miami Herald discusses the importance of first impressions when you are selling your home.
According to the article, you have 8 seconds to make a first impression, whether good or bad. Three quick and relatively inexpensive fixes for the front of your house include:
1. Mulch existing landscaping
2. Put colorful potted plants on front porch
3. Place attractive porch furniture on the porch
An inspection buyers had done on a house the other day reminded me of how important inspections are, no matter how great the house looks. Many homes that have been updated have improvements and upgrades done by licensed roofers, plumbers, electricians, etc. Permits have been pulled, work has been inspected and the permits have been closed. However, there are also many properties that have had work done by handymen, miscellaneous relatives, or Tim Allenesque do-it-yourselfers. It is in the latter instance where a home inspection really pays off. As a buyer, you want to make sure you are paying for real upgrades and improvements, not what in Spanish we call “pura pinta”, which basically translates into just the paint. If your are a buyer, ALWAYS, get an inspection. As a homeowner, make sure you have the work done properly. What turns out cheap today, may come back to bite you when you decide to sell.
Check out http://www.photoshowercurtain.com/ for custom making your own shower curtain with summer photos. Great idea for college students.
Whether it is the bathroom in a home you just purchased or the one in the home you have lived in for years, a new bathroom is within easy reach, thanks to BathSimple.com. You design your bathroom on their website and everything you want comes in a box. When you are done with your project, send the materials you took out back in the box for recycling.
I would think that in today’s economy everyone would be striving to perfect the art of customer service. I rely 100% on referrals for obtaining listings and buyers and know one of the reasons I do well is because I strive to provide great customer service. I have had two experiences lately where customer service was not bad, it was absolutely non-existent. In the first one, I contacted several pool companies to give me an estimate on diamond-briting my pool. Out of the three companies that I contacted, only one came by and followed up with a quote and a phone call to see if I had any questions regarding the quote. I contacted one of the companies again, only because they are well known and I figured anyone can make a mistake, and they stood me up for a second time. Sorry, but if I have to work that hard to give you work, I can’t imagine how hard I will have to work once you have my deposit.
The second instance is actually with a company I recommended to a client. I had referred this company before with rave reviews. This time however, my buyer is completely unhappy because a project that should have taken 3 weeks has taken two months, she tries to get people out to the house to finish the work, they set a date and time, don’t call or show up, and no one in the company has called to follow up, apologize or explain the delays. My client is patient and understanding, but the lack of communication has led to her frustration. To stress how important customer service is: in this case, I was at a gym class today and someone asked the group where my client was. Several women started saying that she was having nothing but problems with the house (I sold it to her) because of the company installing the windows (I recommended the company). One woman asked, “What is the name of the company so I can avoid them”? Imagine if my client had been happy with her windows. Instead of having 8 women who will avoid this company like the plague, they would have been referring them instead! In addition, I will no longer feel comfortable referring this company, as it has affected my reputation as well. So instead of taking Yosemite Sam’s view of complaints, use them to perfect your customer service.