Fla. sees more out-of-state buyers from high-tax states

Source: Fla. sees more out-of-state buyers from high-tax states

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Cleaning Your House for Guests: A Checklist

Cleaning Your House for Guests: A Checklist

Cleaning Your House for Guests: A Checklist

Countdown to a perfectly clean guest-ready home no matter how much — or little — time you have.

It feels great to have a clean, organized, well-functioning home when you’ve got guests coming. Especially around the holidays. It’s like your gift to you.

Here’s how to get that satisfying feeling — no matter how much time you have. Just choose your starting point on this checklist:

Three (or More) Weeks to Go

Think big picture. Get anything that requires a pro or installation out of the way now. No one wants calamity to strike when guests are pulling into the driveway.

  • Get your HVAC maintained if it’s overdue.
  • If you have a self-cleaning oven, clean it now. An oven is most likely to break down during the cleaning cycle, so don’t save this task for last.
  • Replace any appliance on its last legs. You don’t want your hot water to go out or fridge on the fritz with a houseful of guests.
  • Steam-clean upholstery. (Or hire a pro. It’s a big job)
  • Hire a handyman for those repairs you’ve been putting off.
  • Check outdoor lighting. Replace old bulbs and call an electrician to address any bigger issues.

Two Weeks to Go

It’s not panic time yet. Focus on decluttering and a few deep-cleaning tasks now, and you’ll have a more manageable to-do list when the clock really starts ticking down.

  • Do a deep declutter. It’ll make things easier to keep clean.
  • Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures, and high-up shelves.
  • Wipe down baseboards.
  • Clean out and organize the fridge.
  • Wash windows to make the entire house feel brighter and cleaner.
  • Toss washable shower curtains and drapes in the washing machine and re-hang. Easy.

One Week to Go

It’s strategic cleaning time. Here’s what to tackle now — things your family won’t easily undo before your guests arrive.

  • Declutter again.
  • Vacuum and dust guest rooms. If they’re low-traffic, the cleanliness should hold with just a quick wipe-down right before they arrive.
  • Wipe down walls.
  • Wipe down kitchen and dining room chairs and tables, including the legs. You’d be surprised how grimy they get.
  • Deep clean the entryway — and make room for your guests’ stuff.

72 Hours to Go

The final cleaning stretch is on the horizon.

  • Do another declutter.
  • In the kitchen, toss stove burners, drip pans, and knobs into the dishwasher for an easy deep clean.
  • Wash kitchen cabinet fronts.
  • Scrub the kitchen floor.
  • Clean and shine appliances.

48 Hours to Go

Now it’s time to get serious.

  • Clean and sanitize garbage cans to banish mystery smells.
  • Wipe down doorknobs, faceplates, and light switches. They’re germ magnets.
  • Clean the front door.
  • Deep clean the bathroom your guests will use, and close it off if possible.
  • Wash guest towels and linens.

24 Hours to Go

Your guests’ bags are packed. Time for final touches.

  • Do a final declutter – by now it shouldn’t take more than five minutes.
  • Give one final wipe-down to toilets, tubs, and bathroom sinks.
  • And another final wipe-down in the kitchen.
  • Do all the floors: mop, vacuum, sweep, etc.
  • Make guest beds and set out clean towels.
  • Plug in nightlights in guest baths.
  • Put out guest toiletries so they’re easy to find.
  • Add a coffee or tea station in the guest room or kitchen.
  • Get your favorite smell going, whether it’s a scented candle, spices in water on the stove, or essential oils.
  • Use rubber gloves to wipe off pet hair and dust from furniture. It works.
  • Do the full red carpet: Sweep or shovel porch, steps, and outdoor walkways.

#RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateMiami #RealEstateSouthFlorida

#SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateExpert #homeselling 

Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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1 in 10 borrowers now opting for an adjustable rate

Source: 1 in 10 borrowers now opting for an adjustable rate

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Priority Tasks for your Move In

Priority Tasks for your Move In

Priority Tasks for your Move In

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

Change the locks

Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money.

Steam clean the carpets

It’s good to get a fresh start with your floors before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It’s pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner—your local grocery store may have them available.

Call an exterminator

Prior to move-in, you probably haven’t spent enough time in the house to get a view of any pests that may be lurking. Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be hiding in your home.

Clean out the kitchen

If the previous occupants wanted to skip on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Wipe down the inside of cabinets, clean out the refrigerator, clean the oven, and clean in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances.


#RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateMiami #RealEstateSouthFlorida

#SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateExpert #homeselling 

Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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02-01-19 North Miami Beach 1



*as of February 1, 2019

02-01-19 North Miami Beach 2


Call now for real estate inquiries! 305-741-2142 or visit www.ralphmagin.com

#RealEstateMiami #SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateNorthMiamiBeach #NorthMiamiBeachRealEstate


The Alexander at Miami Beach

The Alexander at Miami Beach

5225 Collins AvenueMiami Beach, Florida 33140

One of the most elegant all-suite hotel in South Florida is The Alexander at Miami Beach. This is among the preferred travel destination for indoor and outdoor events. Settled in the perfect tropical region of South Florida and fronting the turquoise waters of Miami Beach makes this a perfect spot for a vacation or a special event. The Alexander at Miami is conveniently located just a few minutes to South Beach, art Deco district and international airport.

 The Alexander at Miami Beach

If you are looking for complete relaxation, The Alexander at Miami got that for you. Enter the wonderfully landscaped luscious grounds with exotic flowers and highlighted by a bubbling water fountain. This hotel is designed with sophistication and elegance with complete amenities and services. Enjoy the intimate privacy and serene ambiance of their spacious suite with a balcony that offers the view of the calm sea, feel of the cool breeze and warm sunshine. 24 hour concierge is at your service for all your needs like shopping, setting appointments for water sports, golf and others. Enjoy the luxurious pampering with the services and amenities provided for you.

The Alexander services and amenities include:

Full service spa and beauty salon

Currency exchange

laundry facilities

Limo or town car services

Valet parking

Room service

Business Center

Gift Shop

 The Alexander at Miami Beach

Whether you’re up for a vacation, meetings or looking for a venue to hold that special event, The Alexander at Miami is a perfect choice. Be one of the privileged people to take advantage of a luxurious pampering in the best travel destination, South Florida. Contact The Alexander at Miami to make reservations and other inquiries. For more information, visit their website or contact them at (305) 865-6500.

Source: http://www.alexanderhotel.com

#RealEstateMiami #SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateNorthMiamiBeach #NorthMiamiBeachRealEstate

Check out homes for sale in North Miami Beach. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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Fla. consumer confidence fairly steady in Jan.

Source: Fla. consumer confidence fairly steady in Jan.

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Your Questions Answered: How Do Online Tools Fit into Your Home Search?

Your Questions Answered: How Do Online Tools Fit into Your Home Search?

Your Questions Answered: How Do Online Tools Fit into Your Home Search?

What you see isn’t always what you get.

Let’s face it, you do everything online: watch movies, pay bills, keep up with the glamorous life of that suspiciously perfect friend-of-a-friend. When you’re ready to buy a new home, browsing internet listings is probably a no-brainer. But did you know those online tools might not be giving you the full picture?

When it comes to neighborhood traffic, outdated plumbing, or many other home issues to consider before you buy, you’ll need to take the info on property listing sites with a grain of salt. That means working closely with your agent and being prepared for what online tools can and can’t do for your home search.

In a Q&A on Facebook, HouseLogic teamed up with real estate expert and Senior Vice President at realtor.com® Suzanne Mueller to answer your questions about how to work with online tools when buying a new home. Here are the top Q&As from the event.

#1 How to Begin an Online Search

Q: Property search sites seem to be the way everybody shops today. How should people use them?

A: Property search sites are excellent research resources and offer multiple other tools to keep you on top of the market. You can set parameters that make sense for your needs and register your search on a site so you’re notified as soon as a new home is listed or goes pending.

While all home dreamers and even sideline buyers (people waiting for the right house) pay attention to the active listing process, I’d suggest making sure you look at the long term. Research prior sales in your market, and check with your agent to supplement your online window shopping.

#2 What Your Agent Provides That the Web Can’t

Q: Do you recommend shoppers use online tools and a real estate agent when searching for a new home. What’s the right balance?

A: Yes! The combination of working with online tools as well as a real estate agent is the perfect recipe for success in the process of buying or selling your home. Online tools allow you to search and research on your time. Live. 24/7. They allow you to get a broad picture of the marketplace and help you refine your wants and needs before you jump in head first.

Realtor.com® also offers a wealth of information for buyers and sellers, beyond the home search.

The other critical piece of your successful home search is your agent. An experienced real estate agent brings irreplaceable local knowledge to your search. No one knows the cracks and crevices of specific streets, cities, and school districts the way a well-informed and knowledgeable real estate professional does. And ask if your agent is a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, who follows a strict code of ethics.

Online tools are great for research, communicating, and staying current with the market. (For instance, realtor.com® updates all our listings at least every 15 minutes.) But nothing can replace the knowledge and expertise of a good local agent. Plus, your agent is there to be your guide and advocate in the process.

#3 Finding an Agent Online

Q: Are there online tools to find an agent, and should I use them?

A: Absolutely! Realtor.com®, for example, offers a specially designed Find a REALTOR® search combined with excellent agent profile pages where you can search for and connect with a Realtor® right in your area.

You’ll be able to review the agent’s biography, interests, and years of experience, and see the markets in which they work. Realtor.com® also allows past clients to provide unedited reviews of those agents on their profile pages, so the tool is really built so that you can choose the real estate professional who is right for you.

Above all, take your time, compare the options, and make sure you feel good about your choice before moving forward.

Related: More Ways to Find the Right Agent for You — And How Youl’ll Know You Did

#4 Most Important Things to Look for in a Property Site

Q: Is there anything that makes one property listing site better than another?

A: The most important thing is to make sure you have the best and most up-to-date information you can get. Realtor.com® has the most comprehensive active listings, and they’re updated at least every 15 minutes from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), regional databases where agents post real estate listings for sale.

These listings should include details such as price, square footage, number of bedrooms, and other noteworthy attributes — as well as photos of the property.

So, if you’re following the right online tool and a new home comes on the market or goes pending, you’re going to know about it as soon as possible. This is super critical [if you’re in a competitive housing market].

#5 Tap Your Agent’s Knowledge of the Area

Q: What kind of questions can a buyer’s agent answer that these websites can’t?

A: There’s so much information available about neighborhoods and homes that no single site can tell you all of it. That’s where your agent can help. Who built the home, and what are its quirks? Was there a recent school levy? What’s going on with the city at the municipality level? Are there any upcoming changes in the neighborhood’s zoning you should know about?

All of these things are important and can impact both your home choice and the future value of that home, so this is definitely where your agent can be an excellent resource.

#6 Find More Than Listing Info Online

Q: What other kinds of online information can supplement this process? Should people be looking up walkability scores, crime stats, etc. in other digital tools?

A: There’s so much information like this online! Realtor.com® offers great neighborhood information, including everything from walk scores to school ratings and more. All of this data helps you be more informed in the home buying process.

People are also turning to 3D virtual tours to view a property and even stage their furniture to see how things do or don’t work in the space. A home is a very personal purchase, and being able to walk through the space in this unique manner can make or break a sale.

Don’t be afraid to turn to new technologies that can help show you a different angle in conjunction with your in-person tour.

#7 What to Look For During a Walk-Through

Q: Should buyers walk through properties with their real estate agent? Why?

A: For those new to the process, a “walk-through” is where you physically walk through your future home before you are about to take ownership and ensure the property’s condition is what’s specified in your contract. This is not an inspection. This is when you double-check that any agreed-upon repairs have been made and that the property’s condition hasn’t changed since your last visit. Your agent has probably been on more walk-throughs than you can imagine. As such, they are an immeasurable resource.

Not only should the agent bring a copy of your contract as a reference, but they will ensure things are not overlooked and act as your advocate with the seller and the seller’s agent, should any issues arise.

#8 Exclusive Listings

Q: Are any property listings exclusive to certain agents? Will buyers ever find homes online that their agent isn’t able to show?

A: Usually all homes for sale in a given market are available on the MLS and online. However, in the current economy, where homes are being sold so quickly, sometimes (but not often) homes can be “for sale” but treated as a “private” or “exclusive” listings. This means that the agent markets the home to other local agents, usually with the agreement of the seller, for two weeks to a month before entering the property into the MLS.

Sometimes in this seller’s market the home is sold within that initial, exclusive time period. Many argue that without the broader exposure, the seller missed out on getting the best price for their property, but it’s still important to note that this is something you could have to contend with in especially hot markets.

Buyers may also find homes online with certain showing terms, meaning conditions under which the listing agent (the agent representing the seller) has brought the home onto the market. That means the home may be seen by appointment only, could be renter occupied, or might require 24-hour notice to show, etc.

All the listings available on realtor.com® will be available under the same terms as through the MLS to which your agent is subject.

#9 Mistakes to Avoid

Q: What are the three biggest mistakes buyers make when they shop online?

A: This is the most important question yet! Buying a home is likely to be the largest financial transaction you will ever make, and we’ve found that many home buyers are not as prepared as they can be to ensure the best possible purchase decision. Plus, buying a home is a time full of emotion, so there’s a lot to be mindful of.

First of all, do your prep work! Understand your family’s finances and needs. The wisest home buyer will analyze assets, decipher debts, and get pre-approved financing before plunging into the house hunt.

You should also get to know the neighborhoods you’re interested in. Remember, you’re not just buying a house; you’re also buying a location. It’s important to find out about the quality of schools (start with a site like GreatSchools), local transportation, and possibly upcoming zoning issues. Not all parts of every community will suit the needs of you and your family, so do some research about the location as well as the listing itself.

Secondly, a home is more than four walls. You have to understand how the space feels, and, more importantly, how the space makes you feel. None of that translates online.

Think about furniture! Rooms look much bigger online than in person, and it can be hard to take windows and doorways into account when you’re just seeing photos.

Finally, don’t underestimate the cost of remodeling or other work needed.

Online tools are an excellent way to begin dreaming about a new home. They help you get a general sense of the market, weigh your expectations against your needs, and get excited for the steps ahead. But no property listing is comprehensive.

So once you’ve gotten your feet wet online, it’s always a smart move to have a trusted real estate agent interpret and contextualize each home and neighborhood you’re interested in.

With both tools in your back pocket, the journey will be so much smoother.

#RealEstate #RealEstateAgent #RealEstateMiami #RealEstateSouthFlorida

#SouthFloridaRealEstate #RealEstateExpert #homeselling 

Check out homes for sale in Miami. Contact Ralph Magin, your trusted real estate agent, at 305-741-2142 or visit http://ralphmagin.com/ for real estate inquiries.

Ralph Magin, GRI, CRB, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
40 Years Experience Over 3,000 Homes Sold
305-741-2142 – RalphMagin@yahoo.com – www.RalphMagin.com

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