4 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Luxury Home in South Florida

Buying a luxury home in South Florida is no small task. There are a lot of factors at play, and it’s easy to make a mistake that isn’t apparent until it’s much too late. Luckily, we know all the ins and outs of luxury home buying, so we can warn you about some of the biggest slip-ups people make. Here are four major things to consider when purchasing a luxury home.

Basing Your Offer on the Asking Price

When you find your dream home and you want to make an offer, always look at the market value rather than the asking price. This will help you see what other homes in the area have sold for and how long it took for them to sell, so you can decide if the asking price is fair or not.

Not Getting Pre-approved by a Lender

Unless you have been pre-approved, you shouldn’t start searching for houses. Many people mistake pre-approval with pre-qualification. Pre-qualification is just the first step, but becoming pre-approved turns you into a cash buyer and makes for easier negotiations with the seller.

Getting Caught Up on First Impressions

Buying a home is an emotional journey, and it can be easy to be swayed by a first impression. Make sure to look beyond the decor and features of the home that can be easily changed; even though the previous owners may not have had your style, the home itself may be just what you’re looking for with some minor adjustments. On the other hand, don’t let the “perfect” paint colors or furniture sway you into a home that you wouldn’t really be happy with.

Not Understanding Your Rights

When you are sending in an offer, it is crucial to get an attorney on your side. Going through the purchase agreement can seem tedious, but with a good law firm on your side, you will be able to fully understand your rights and obligations, saving you from signing a poorly written contract or getting in over your head. 

This is where we come in. As the premier South Florida luxury real estate attorney, Mark Schecter has been in the business for years and is passionate about helping his clients find the luxury homes of their dreams. Contact Schecter Law today at (954)-779-7009 to learn more.

4 Mistakes Most People Make When Preparing Their Home to Sell

Unless you hire an army of professionals, including a South Florida residential real estate attorney, and take a hands-off approach to sell your Sunshine State home, chances are you need some sound advice before getting started.

There are plenty of things you should do to sell your home quickly and as close to asking price – or, ideally, over. However, there a few things that will nix your chances of making a good sale. Below are a few things that reduce the value of a listed home.

Low-quality photos

Photos are the first thing that draws buyers to your listing – if they like what they see, they then scroll down to read the details. Far too many homes are listed with poor, pixelated photos that don’t show the place in the best light and from the best angles. Hire a photographer to take your photos – a wide-angle lens will capture three corners of a room and they will know exactly where to place themselves to capture the best light. Make the most of your photographer by ensuring the house is cleaned, repaired, and staged before your appointment. The last thing you want in your photos is a dirty laundry hamper or a sink full of dishes.

Not making necessary repairs – or making too many of them

Chipped walls? Unpruned hedges? -replaced or cleaned? Dull, scratched floors? Fix them. These are low-cost, easy fixes that will make the home look inviting and cared for to potential buyers.

Be selective on the pre-list projects you take on – not everything needs replacing, and some may not increase the sale price enough to recoup the cost of the renovation.

Ignoring or not disclosing problems

Not a good time to sweep under the rug your home’s issues – be honest and upfront about it and it will save you time and legal fees in the long run. This is an area when our South Florida residential real estate attorney can help you manage any issues upfront, and find the best way to document them.

Not hiring the right real estate professionals

Finding the Fort Lauderdale real estate attorney, agent, stager, and photographer are crucial to a smooth sale. Talk to a few reputable certified realtors and do a reference check. You’ll want to know what experience the agent has sold homes in your market or geographic area.

Call Schecter Law to discuss legal needs. With the help of a Fort Lauderdale real estate attorney, you can ensure the selling process is straightforward and avoid any pitfalls along the way. Are you a buyer? We can help you, too. Call us today at (954) 779-7009.

Why It’s A Good Idea To Consult A Real Estate Attorney

Hiring a South Florida residential real estate attorney can take a lot of stress out of buying or selling a property, whether it be a home, commercial building or vacant land. Real estate lawyers help ensure the process runs smoothly – and helps settle disputes when it doesn’t.

Your Fort Lauderdale real estate lawyer will oversee the acquisition of property from start to finish so that you can buy or sell with confidence. More often than not, a real estate lawyer will save you time and money, by taking care of paperwork and details and ensuring all legal issues are in order before the transaction is complete.

So, what exactly are the responsibilities of a real estate lawyer?

 

Since real estate law varies by state, you’ll want a South Florida residential real estate attorney on your team of professionals overseeing your purchase. Not only will they know real estate law specific to the state, but they also have an understanding of the municipality or region where the transaction is taking place.

Get Help Now

If you’re looking for a Fort Lauderdale real estate lawyer, give our team at Schecter Law a call today at (954) 779-7009. We love to live and work in Florida, and we think you will, too.

An Important Revenue Source

Property tax is an important source of revenue for most governments in North America. Taxes help local or municipal governments take care of their communities, among other things. Whether we like it or not, the property tax is here to stay.

Property tax is a major expense for homeowners in Florida and is worth knowing a bit about. Understanding tax helps you not only understand how it’s calculated but allows you to estimate your current and future bills.

How is Tax Calculated?

Tax is calculated largely based on the assessed value of a property. The amount you pay is determined based on the local rate determined by the municipality, a percentage multiplied by the value of your home. However, some properties such as historic homes, religious buildings, and homes owned by veterans may qualify for exemptions. A Fort Lauderdale real estate lawyer can help you determine your legal rights, and challenge your property tax assessment, if necessary.

The value of the assessed property also depends on what it’s being used for. Homes have different tax rates than commercial properties, such as farms and office buildings, among others. If you are procuring income from a property you own, this will typically be taken into consideration when determining the annual amount of tax owed.

What is Property Tax Used For?

Taxes are one of the ways governments raise money for operations. Different types of taxes are used by the various levels of governments for different purposes. Property tax is typically used to fund public institutions, such as schools, libraries, and colleges, pay public servants, build and maintain parks and recreation spaces, and any other service that benefits the whole city or community.

Property Tax in Florida

For decades, Florida’s overall tax burden has been considered one of the lowest in the country, according to non-profit research organization, the Tax Foundation. Florida has no income, estate, or inheritance tax, but it does have property tax. The average property tax rate in the Sunshine State is about 1 percent – slightly below the national average. However, exact property tax rates are determined by jurisdiction.

Fort Lauderdale has had a relatively stable property tax rate over the last decade. Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, has a tax rate of about 1.2 percent – higher than some areas of the state, but significantly lower than the highest rate in the state: 35 percent in Gainesville. High rental prices and occupancy rates can help offset this expense.

To learn more about taxes for different types of properties, give our South Florida residential real estate attorney a call today at (954) 779-7009.

Vacation Rentals In South Florida

With 43 booming vacation rental markets, Florida is an investor’s top choice across the United States. A recent report by AirDNA, a company that collects and analyzes short-term vacation rental data, dubbed the Sunshine State one of the best places in the country to invest in commercial residential property. Cities like Tampa, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale were given grades of A and above, based on a variety of factors, including demand, revenue growth, and seasonality, among others.

It’s no secret that the Fort Lauderdale real estate market is red-hot, but is it a good place to own and rent vacation property? Let’s take a better look at why you might want to consider Florida to invest in commercial property.

Year-Round Market

In Florida, the high season pretty much runs year-round. While there may be more tourism around certain holidays, the warm, sunny weather of the south means that there is relatively high occupancy 12 months a year.

On top of this, southern Florida has a booming economy that is fuelling population growth, infrastructure improvements, and local economic development. In other words, more people are coming to Florida for business, as well as to live, increasing demand for housing and accommodations, both short- and long-term.

Low-Regulation

Florida property owners benefit from relatively low regulation on short-term vacation rentals, whether traditional leases or via websites like Airbnb and HomeAway. Combine this with overall low state tax rates, and you have yourself a pretty sweet deal.

While short-term rentals are regulated – for example, you must have your building inspected – there are no rules in place prohibiting or limiting short-term rentals, which includes non-traditional rentals through third-party agencies.

Profitability

Ask any South Florida real estate lawyer whether or not it’s worth it to invest in rental properties – you’re bound to get an enthusiastic “yes.” Residential real estate in Florida can be expensive, particularly in the luxury real estate market, but rental rates are also quite high – particularly for short-term stays.

With an average daily rental price of just over $150 and a 56% occupancy rate, these types of investments have the potential for profitability. Plus, buying property in a steadily warming Florida housing market could get you a positive return on investment in other ways, such as resale value.

To speak with a Fort Lauderdale commercial real estate attorney today call Schecter Law at (954) 779-7009. With experience in both commercial and residential real estate, I can help walk you through the property-buying process from start to finish.

The rise in popularity of modular homes

Modular homes are a 21st-century invention. As they increase in popularity, they become more customizable, easier to assemble, and include a greater variety of features and materials. Modular homes are buildings built off-site in a factory setting. They are constructed in sections and transported to the building site to be assembled on an existing foundation.

These houses are far from cookie-cutter reproductions – these days, modular homes are very are customizable and use cutting-edge materials. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the reasons modern-day homeowners are loving modular homes.

Faster to Build Modular Homes

There are plenty of benefits to building a modular home, but perhaps one of the most significant is the shorter timeframe. Modular homes take significantly less time to build, for a variety of reasons. Inclement weather and on-site delays, like permits and neighbor complaints, are just a few of the things that slow down the process of a traditional build. Since modular homes are built off-site permit changes, noise and disruption won’t be an issue.

Whether you choose to build on or off-site, be sure to speak with our Fort Lauderdale real estate attorney for some advice on how to minimize delays in the construction process.

Quality Control Of Modular Homes

Since modular homes are both built in a controlled environment and modeled on tried-and-true templates, you can expect a high standard when it comes to these buildings. They’re built to code just like traditional homes but often reinforced with steel structure for durability and safety during transport.

Sustainable

In North America, building waste accounts for a significant percentage of overall waste. The modular building reduces the number of off-cuts and excess building materials, as everything is pre-cut to size.

Modular homes also lend to an alternative – and often more sustainable – materials, and it’s easy to include eco-friendly add-ons like solar panels. Generally, modular homes are known to be sustainable and are often considered “green” homes.

Less Expensive (and Less Time-Consuming!)

Modular homes offer a cheaper and less involved home-building process. Since the majority of the structure is built off-site in a factory setting, the owner’s involvement is limited to the initial planning and the assembling at the end. When you choose a modular home, you should expect less mess, hassle, and time involved. For builders, this strategy works well, as they can quickly assemble the home and move onto another project.

Whether you’re looking to buy a home or build from scratch on an existing property, you’ve come to the right place. Our South Florida luxury residential real estate attorney can help you understand current trends and how they might apply to you. Pick up the phone to and give us a call at (954) 779-7009 to get started.

Real Estate and Technology

Over the last decade, new innovations in technology have begun to transform sectors across the board, including real estate. Real estate technology makes both the agent’s and the buyer’s jobs easier, by reducing paperwork and making transactions, financial or otherwise, more efficient.

Our South Florida real estate lawyer services deal with both the legal and financial aspects, and we are familiar with the ways this contemporary technology amalgamates streams of information to make our lives easier. So, what exactly does real estate technology involve?

What is Real Estate Tech?

First, let’s pin down the terminology. This technology is often referred to in the United States as CRE Tech, which stands for commercial real estate technology, and in the UK as PropTech, short for property technology.

Real estate tech deals with property occupation, management, and transaction – essentially a marriage of information technology and financial platforms. The technology consolidates leasing, property management, co-working, investing – you name it – anything to do with the day-to-day and financial operations of the real estate sector. This can include hardware, online platforms, and software used by participants in the sector.

Examples of Real Estate Tech

In the coming years, big data will take real estate forecasting to a new level – one of well-calculated certainty. Big data has the potential to make sales more secure for buyer and seller, with real-time information at their fingertips.

Another example is the use of virtual reality to create walkthroughs for potential investors. This technology allows for more efficient and less expensive exhibitions, as stakeholders can give feedback instantly, without ever getting on a plane.

As developers and buildings incorporate new tech into properties and their management, real estate information will continue to multiply. Smart home technology, automation that controls climate, lighting, and even building security, is just one example of this kind of technology. Real estate is getting smarter, something that will benefit all industry actors.

Why Use Real Estate Tech?

Real estate is getting smarter, something that will benefit all industry actors.

Technology reduces risk and uncertainty in property transactions and developments, providing more accurate and up-to-date information. Big data offers unprecedented access to information, including property value, history, cost, and neighborhood statistics.

Real estate technology also improves efficiency in many areas. Technology relieves industry professionals of some of the heavy lifting when it comes to finance, appraisals, and analytics, among others. Essentially, it does what people already do, but better and faster.

Speak To A Commercial Real Estate Attorney Today

With the use of technology, transactions tend to proceed more smoothly, allowing all involved to focus on more important aspects of the sale. Looking to invest in property in south Florida? Call or email a Fort Lauderdale commercial real estate attorney today at Schecter Law at (954)-779-7009 to get started.

 

In the early 2010s, it looked as though millennials might never jump on the homebuying wagon. The financial crisis had left the housing market, among others, in shambles. That meant that the lower-risk rental was the popular choice. But that has begun to change in recent years. Homebuying is back “in,” and millennials, typically first-time buyers, are embracing it head-on. By some estimates, millennials are expected to purchase $10-million in homes in the next decade.

What will this look like in South Florida? As the urban housing market is peaking, millennials will look outside the main metropolis, such as Miami and Tampa, to suburbs and smaller cities to buy.

Why Millennials Are Choosing Suburban Homes

For a while, it wasn’t clear whether or not millennials would choose – or be able – to follow their parents’ generation’s footsteps and choose home ownership over higher rents in hip urban centers.

Many millennials are choosing to invest outside of the downtown core because, simply put, housing is less expensive. As they settle and start families they need more space than they can afford in the city. According to a survey of millennial homeowners in the U.S., about 40 percent live in the suburbs, while 30 percent live in cities. This gap is expected to widen in years to come.

South Florida Is Attracting First-Time Buyers

Today, millennials make up almost 35% of homebuyers across the country. At the same time, Florida consistently makes the list of top 10 states to invest in real estate. Whether driven by home value, school zones, or lack of state income tax, millennials have discovered this prosperous market.

Florida has tons of variety when it comes to property: skyscraper condos in bustling urban centers, luxury ocean-front homes in mid-sized cities, and plenty of single-family homes in between.

In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach region, more than 25 percent of millennials own their homes. Almost 75 percent are renters. Homeowners are still the minority of this generation, but predictions suggest this may change in the coming years.

Simplify Real Estate Transactions by Hiring a South Florida Residential Real Estate Attorney

Some millennials are looking to buy homes, and many are choosing to rent. Either way, there’s strong evidence that millennials are migrating to South Florida’s sunny shores and flourishing economy. Whether you’re a seller or a residential developer, it’s a great time to take advantage of the warming Florida housing market.

Consider involving a South Florida residential real estate attorney at Schecter Law from the first phase of any transaction. Learn more by calling us at (954)-779-7009.

Importance Of Interior Design

Interior design may not be the first thing commercial real estate investors are thinking about when considering purchasing a property. But perhaps they should. It’s important that buyers stay up-to-date on trends in office and residential space design, so they can purchase, renovate, or build a building that will both attract tenants and meet their needs.

Biophilic, or the inclusion of the living world, design is one of the most popular current trends in office design. Increasingly, companies are seeing the positive effects of having natural materials built into the layout of their spaces. Your office building might not be Amazon’s rainforest sphere in Seattle, but there are still ways to ensure your building lends to a nature-friendly design.

Elements of Biophilic Design

There are many different elements of biophilic design that both the property owner and tenants can use in common and private spaces.

Plants are typically what come to mind when you talk about biophilic design. This can include anything from simple indoor plants to trendy floor-to-ceiling green walls. Another way to bring the outdoors in is by mimicking nature in the building’s finishes. Incorporate natural wood tones and stone in the design for a design that resembles elements of nature. Natural light is an important element of commercial real estate design. Large windows allow light to come, but also offer views of nature from the desk. Finally, creating and utilizing a building’s outdoor spaces – patio, terrace, garden – is another great way to give the building a natural feel.

Of course, individual offices will design and decorate how they choose, but there are plenty of ways the landlord can create spaces that lend to biophilic design, as well as employ it in the foyer and other shared areas.

Benefits to Tenants and Owner

There are plenty of benefits associated with biophilic design. For one, overall employee wellbeing is said to increase. Both physiological and psychological wellbeing of employees is said to increase with biophilic design. This leads to employee satisfaction and retention, which ultimately leads to a stable work environment. Biophilic design is also said to increase productivity.

Happy, healthy employees not only affect the company’s success, but also that of the building owner. Property managers strive to have long-term tenants and avoid high turnover, which can be costly.

If you’re ready to consider an investment in South Florida, pick up the phone today and consult a Fort Lauderdale real estate lawyer at Schecter Law at (954) 779-7009. Hire a lawyer for unbiased, third-party counsel every step of the way, or have us help out with drafting paperwork once the deal is underway.

Sustainable Real Estate

Sustainability is a trend that’s been on the rise for the last decade or so, but has really begun to count in the last few years. Now, it’s no longer considered a socially responsible choice, but it’s considered a good business decision, too. From cost-cutting to reputation boosting, purchasing or building with the environment in mind has all sorts of benefits for those looking to invest in commercial properties.

Here’s why to go green when it comes to commercial real estate:

It Can Help Cut Costs

Ensuring your building is environmentally sustainable can actually help cut costs, both short- and long-term. Generally, buildings that are more efficient in their use of electricity and water have significantly lower operational costs. While additions like green roofs and solar panels are more expensive up front, the long-term savings are limitless. As well, governments are now offering tax credits and incentives for commercial buildings that meet federal, state, or municipal standards.

It Can Help You Meet Increasing Tenant Demands

With corporate responsibility, social and environmental, almost a requirement these days, companies want to be able to say their building is “green,” as it helps with both reputation-building and marketing. Having an eco-friendly building can also serve to boost your own reputation. This trend in tenant demand will only increase in years to come, so now might be a good time to consider sustainable commercial buildings as an investment opportunity.

It Offers Favorable Conditions for Financing

While historically the commercial real estate landscape hasn’t received much appreciation from lenders, this is slowly changing. Sustainability is now mainstream, and sectors across the spectrum are getting on board, including lenders and investors. Recent studies indicate that commercial buildings that are sustainable certified subject to a reduction in default risk and better loan terms in general. There is still a lot more research to be done on green loan performance, but there is indication of a relationship between the energy efficiency of a building and likelihood of defaulting.

At the same time, there’s a growing trend in sustainable investing, which seeks to promote social and environmental impact as well as financial gain. Responsible investing is expected to grow as millennials’ portfolios grow.

Before you start to consider your options in the area, speak with a South Florida commercial real estate attorney. Do you look for a building that’s already meeting sustainability performance standards or do you build or renovate a space? This is the kind of question a real estate lawyer can help you address. Work closely with our team to determine the best way to invest your time and money in commercial real estate.