Coral Gables Environmental Marinas, Yacht Clubs and other Boating Information Neighborhood News Pinecrest

Village of Pinecrest Passes Resolution To Protect Matheson Hammock

Matheson Hammock Marina

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.

Buying Home Improvement

Stop Unwanted Junk Mail, Sales Calls, E-mails

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.

Home Improvement Selling

3 Quick Fixes To Add Curb Appeal

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

Buying Home Improvement Selling

The Importance of Inspections

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.




Home Improvement

Custom Make Your Own Shower Curtain

Check out for custom making your own shower curtain with summer photos.  Great idea for college students.

Environmental Home Improvement

Bathroom Remodeling Made Simple

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  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.

Florida Life Home Improvement

The Importance of Customer Service

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.complaint

Home Improvement

Remodeling? Consider Changing Your Front Door

According to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, the biggest return on investment was replacing the front door with a mid-range entry door.  Not only is it the least expensive out of the 33 projects included in the report, it also returns an average national return of 128 percent.

Other good remodeling projects that don’t cost a lot include:

  • Organizing kitchen cabinets, including rollout trays.
  • Add or replace tiles.
  • Add a breakfast bar.
  • If you don’t have granite in the kitchen, install granite tile.  It is a lot cheaper than a granite slab.
  • Update the bathroom by adding a new medicine cabinet, light fixtures, faucets and vanity.  If it has tile, scrape and regrout.
  • Recondition kitchen cabinets and put on new hardware.
  • Replace light fixtures in foyer, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Environmental Home Improvement

Energy Vampires Cost You Money

Energy Vampires

I thought this banner was a creative way for the EPA’s Energy Star program to tie in Halloween with ways to decrease the amount of energy we waste every year through products that remain on standby.

Buying Home Improvement Investment Real Estate Selling

Don't Underestimate the Value of Curb Appeal

In the current real estate market, a lot of attention has been given to staging a home to help it sell.   I am a big fan of staging, but think curb appeal is even more important.  After all, it doesn’t matter how nice your home looks on the inside if buyers drive up, take a look at the outside and drive on.  Here are some simple ideas to create curb appeal for your home:

  • Make sure the outside looks clean and fresh.  Remove cob webs and brush off dirt and bugs from outside walls.
  • Pressure clean walk-ways, pool patios, fences.
  • Paint any exterior that looks drab or dirty.
  • Remove weeds and dead leaves from plant beds.  Fill in bare spots with new plants and lay down a fresh layer of mulch.
  • Re-asphalt driveway
  • Paint or stain front door.
  • Thoroughly clean all outdoor light fixtures and make sure the bulbs are working.

Even if you are not selling your home, these small fixes can make your home inviting to your friends and make you fall in love with it all over again!  If you are a buyer or investor, look at homes that don’t have curb appeal.  Most likely they have been on the market longer than homes in the neighborhood that do and you can get them for less than you would a house that has a pleasing exterior.  Once the house is yours, you can add curb appeal and reap the benefits.  Your cost to create appeal should be minimal compared to the savings you got on the purchase.