6 Questions Foreclosure Buyers Should Ask
These are questions that Buyers in any market should be asking before they make an offer on a property in foreclosure.
Is now a good time to buy a foreclosure?
This is a very common question from prospective Buyers. Because local market conditions vary, the answer is different from market to market. But there are questions that Buyers in any market should be asking before they make an offer on a property in foreclosure.
What’s the first step buyers need to take?
Buyers should be preapproved for a loan before they shop for a foreclosure. If they’re thinking of buying a foreclosure as an investment or second home, they need to understand that financing the home will be more difficult and more expensive than financing a primary residence. Lenders typically charge higher interest rates and require a larger down payment for investment or second homes.
How can you tell a bad foreclosure from a good one?
Certainly there are great deals in many markets for both investors and buyers looking for a primary residence. But making a sound deal can be tricky. Buyers need to be wary of unpaid liens, including mortgage debt, taxes, construction loans, home equity lines of credit, and possibly a second or third mortgage. Any or all of these financial obligations could become the Buyer’s responsibility when they purchase a property in foreclosure. Unless the property goes through a foreclosure auction and becomes a bank-owned REO, the outstanding foreclosure liens and fees could be simply transferred to the new owner. Buyers should be careful not to fall into the same financial trap as the previous owner.
Eileen Kedersha, Broker Associate One Sotheby’s International Realty – Kedersha Group 954-561-4100 EKedersha@OneSothebysRealty.com
If I’m a qualifying borrower, can I appeal to banks for better loan terms?
Lenders usually have an inventory of properties in default; particularly in hard-hit real estate markets—so they may be motivated to cut a deal. If the Buyer has a good credit score, banks could offer them a below-market-rate loan on a bank-owned home. Unlike paying down with points, this doesn’t cost anything in fees, and it gives them the ability to spend more for the home.
What are the costs of buying a foreclosure?
It takes money to make money. The best opportunities are for buyers with cash. If the Buyer is planning to rent out the property or even resell it for a quick profit, he should make sure he considers the carrying costs, including sales commissions, marketing costs, vacancies, taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. Once the Buyer has calculated all the expenses, he should add on another 10 to 15 percent. If the Buyer doesn’t build in a “surprise fund,” he might be the next foreclosure statistic.
How does choice of neighborhood affect foreclosure investments?
Buyers looking for a good investment should generally avoid neighborhoods overrun with foreclosures, particularly newer subdivisions in overbuilt areas. Investors will be tempted to buy foreclosures in these areas because they offer the steepest discounts—but they also carry the most risk of further depreciation. Look in well established neighborhoods with good schools and transportation. In a market where prices are still falling, the Buyer should factor falling prices into any offer they submit on a foreclosed property.

Eileen Kedersha Associate Broker 954-462-3600
William Kedersha Estate Realtor 954-817-2900


Working with Contractors
Working with contractors can be one of the most nerve-racking or satisfying parts of project A bad contractor can make your life a nightmare, while the right contractor can make your life much easier and more profitable.
How do you know the difference? Listed below is a checklist of questions that may help you:
1.    How long have you been in this business? Opening the conversation about your contractor’s experience can give you all sorts of insight into his or her track record. Experience matters in this business.
2.    Would you mind starting on a smaller project? If you’re on the fence but leaning toward the contractor, we suggest giving him or her a smaller project to complete before you ask them to build the entire project
3.    Can I see your certificates? This should include everything — license, insurance, etc. If he or she can’t produce the documents at short notice, it’s time to move on.
4.    Have you worked in this county/city/neighborhood before? Not only can code requirements vary from county to county and city to city, but even different neighborhoods have different rules for what can and can’t be done construction-wise. Live in a historic neighborhood? There may be some squawking about that new carport. Make sure your contractor knows how to navigate that.
5.    What are the terms of payment? It’s not the best practice to pay for a job upfront, so make sure the terms are clearly stated before you start, and you aren’t surprised by a request for giant check the day construction starts.
6.    What hours do you typically work? This matters especially in neighborhoods, where those living nearby — or even you, if it’s your house — may be inconvenienced by odd-hours hammering and sawing. Make sure the contractor’s hours are appropriate, and that the crew is actually working during them.
7.    What’s your storage plan? Theft at construction sites is not uncommon. Expensive equipment can disappear if left out overnight. Make sure the contractor knows that you expect tools to be locked up or taken home overnight, and help accommodate those requests with a locked room or even a temporary storage shed, if necessary.
8.    What are your warranty terms? Most contractors offer a warranty, in addition to any warranties on materials used. Make sure you get that in writing, and copies of material warranties, before construction begins.
9.    Do you use subcontractors? Most general contractors won’t have a pro plumber on his or her staff, so others will be brought in to take care of specialty pieces of the project. Make sure you know who those are and the budgetary expectations that go along with that so you’re not facing an additional bill from another contractor.
10.Can I see your references? It’s possible you’ve already gotten good word-of-mouth before you even interview the contractor, but it never hurts to see a list from the contractor. Make some calls and drive by the projects unannounced while they’re working — how the crew is going about its business — are they hard at work or lollygagging? — can give you great insight.
11.Have you had any disciplinary action filed in the past? This is a tough question, and not one to ask flippantly or unkindly. You’re just trying to find facts. Another route would be to consult your state’s courts archive for lawsuits filed against the company or individual contractor.
12.How do you communicate with your customers? Setting a reasonable expectation of how often you should be hearing from the contractor will keep you from freaking out if you go a couple of days without an e-mail. 
13.How many projects do you have going right now? No one wants to play second-fiddle, much less fifth or sixth fiddle. If you feel like you’re not going to be a priority, it might pay to find someone who will make you feel like one.
14.How do we settle disputes? Making sure you know how to properly address problems or concerns is one of the most important steps. You want to make sure you’re following procedures, especially if you think the contractor is not. If nothing else it will make for peace of mind during the stressful process, knowing you have an agreed-to avenue if there is a dispute.
15.Do you have any questions for ME?
Eileen Kedersha, Broker Associate One Sotheby’s International Realty – Kedersha Group 954-561-4100 EKedersha@OneSothebysRealty.com

Luxury Trends and how they influence Real Estate
Luxury Trends
The personal luxury market is in a constant state of flux. From art to watches to wine, the luxury market responds to increasing consumer demands for accessibility, personalization and secure service.

Accessibility
In the past, luxury was often associated with objects — the must-have handbag, the sports car. But in recent years, this focus has shifted: the emerging affluent demographic looks to luxury purchases to communicate their identity — who they are, what they care about, how their choices indicate taste and creativity and ethics— that elusive blend of convenience and connectivity that doesn’t undermine exclusivity — is surfacing in the luxury real estate industry in two significant ways.
The first is in the realm of digital technologies, which are already an intrinsic component of daily life for the busy, connected consumer. Affluent customers expect the advantages of digital to carry over into the luxury market. McKinsey & Company predicts that by 2025, nearly one-fifth of personal luxury sales will happen online.
Eileen Kedersha, Broker Associate One Sotheby’s International Realty – Kedersha Group 954-561-4100 EKedersha@OneSothebysRealty.com
Security
Physical security has always been a luxury of sorts, but as more business and personal interactions are enacted online, total data security is more important than ever. Data safety is of particular concern for affluent consumers, who are risk-averse and vigilant about how and where their money is invested.
Fostering a sense of safety and authenticity is imperative for luxury agents, who already know the importance of building rapport and connection with clients. By also supplying expertise and discretion, agents can help clients feel secure in their decisions. To offer peace of mind about data protection, employ tools and practices to ensure processes are safe from breaches: vet vendors, protect devices and enforce strong password policies.
This spotlight on personalization has bled over into how the modern affluent buyer chooses a home. Many affluent millennials are now focused on quality per square foot, and how a home suits their lifestyle. This means that the finer details of a home become paramount — better-quality fixtures, peak amenities, and location can sometimes trump square footage.
Eileen Kedersha Associate Broker 954-462-3600
William Kedersha Estate Realtor 954-817-2900

Discover Weston

Weston is in southwestern Broward County boarding on the Florida Everglades and only 20 minutes to the ocean and beautiful Florida Beaches.

Consisting of 27 square miles and 14 parks Weston has a lifestyle, presence, efficient and effective municipality management that cities around the world use as a well planned community model.
The 15,000 acres of land now comprising the City of Weston was first accumulated in the 1950’s by Arthur Vining Davis. Mr. Davis was the original owner of Weston’s primary developer Arvida. In 1978 The development was first known as Indian Trace. The name of the Arvida development was changed from Indian Trace to Weston; in 1984 the first homes were completed in Windmill Ranch and Country Isles and Weston had its firs residences.
Want to know your property values click here
For the fourth time since 2012, the City of Weston has ranked on Money’s list of the Best Places to Live. This year, the City of Weston was ranked #21 on Money Magazine’s 2018 list of The Best Places to Live in America highlighting cities across the country with populations of 50,000 or more. According to Money “These spots combine economic growth, affordability, and quality of life”. Weston resembles a near Picture Perfect master-planned community in almost every way.

Weston has Activities for all Ages

• A-rated public and charter schools and excellent private schools;
• Outstanding public safety with the lowest crime rate per capita in Broward County
• An ISO Class 1 Fire Department rating;
• Class 2 Building Code Effectiveness rating;
• 242 open space and park acres that play host to cultural and community events and tens of thousands of registrants in organized sports leagues;
• The lowest ad valorem millage rate in Broward County at 2.3900 mills;
• An enviable AAA credit rating;
• Only 10 City employees in a progressive contract-style of municipal management;
• Visually distinctive, Weston has flowing waterways, 50 miles of bike lanes, bike Fixit Repair stations, walking trails, and extensive landscaping that is, without dispute, one of the City’s greatest assets. Rows of prestigious Royal Palms and lush multi-layered foliage line berms, medians and rights-of-ways throughout the City.
• Golf, Tennis
• Basketball Courts, Sand Volleyball Courts
• Resident Community Pools
• Children Shaded and Open Playgrounds
• Athletic Multipurpose Fields: Baseball/Soccer/Football/Lacrosse Fields
• Picnic Areas
• Roller Hockey Rinks and Skate Parks
• Dog-Friendly Parks
• Fishing Dock
• Historic Walking Trails
Eileen Kedersha, Broker Associate One Sotheby’s International Realty – Kedersha Group 954-561-4100 EKedersha@OneSothebysRealty.com

Benefits of Using a Real Estate Agent
When you sell your home, you understandably  want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for most sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.
To accomplish these goals, a seller should understand the importance of using a real estate professional.  Technology has changed the buyer’s behavior during the home buying process. Studies show that within past three years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.
The report also shows that Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know. On the other hand,95% percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent.
Helpful Buyer and Seller Guides: https://sfloridaluxuryhomes.com/get-the-guides/

Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%), to negotiate the terms of the sale & price (48%), or to help understand the process (60%).
The vast amount of information now available has resulted in buyers increasingly reaching out to real estate professionals to simplify the process.  The percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to purchase their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

Eileen Kedersha, Broker Associate One Sotheby’s International Realty – Kedersha Group 954-561-4100 EKedersha@OneSothebysRealty.com

Could you live in a space this small?
tiny-houses-micro-apartments-roundup-pinterest-dezeen_dezeen_1704_col_3
Micro living spaces that show how to do a lot with a little, from a bedroom in a timber box to a studio in Poland measuring just 13 square metres.
australia
Flinders Lane Apartment, Australia, by Clare Cousins
A timber box creates a bedroom inside this Melbourne apartment by Clare Cousins, which also features a mezzanine sleeping platform for guests next to the entrance.
  
skyhouse
This sleeping nook may sit inside an expansive New York penthouse apartment by David Hotson, but its tiny dimensions could make it one of the smallest bedrooms ever published on Dezeen.
A double bed rests on top of a built-in wooden unit inside this poland, Poland micro apartment by Szymon Hanczar, which contains a kitchen, bathroom and living area within the confines of just 13 square metres.
sf
San Francisco studio Azevedo Design converted a red-brick boiler room into this miniature guesthouse, featuring a glass mezzanine floor that leads to a loft-level bedroom.
chileThere’s only space to eat, sleep and read inside this charred-timber cabin designed by Chilean studio DRAA for a couple who wanted a hideaway in the mountains.
sydney-australia
A sliding partition creates a bedroom inside this Sydney micro apartment by Nicholas Gurney, which has been designed to promote a minimalist lifestyle.
spain
MYCC created this Madrid apartment in a 100 cubic-metre volume, featuring ladders and stairs that allow the owner to move between platforms inserted into the narrow space.
brazil
To save space inside this compact São Paulo apartment, Brazilian architect Alan Chu lined up storage boxes on one side and a large sofa bed on the other.
london
Studiomama took cues from caravans for the layout of this tiny London house, which features adjustable plywood furniture and a fold-out bed.
Thinking of moving to Fort Lauderdale or Miami Area, give me a call, I will gladly answer any of your questions.
Eileen Kedersha
954-462-3600
EKedersha@OneSothebysRealty.com


Discover Weston
Weston is in southwestern Broward County boarding on the Florida Everglades and only 20 minutes to the ocean and beautiful Florida Beaches. Consisting of 27 square miles and 14 parks Weston has a lifestyle, presence, efficient and effective municipality management that cities around the world use as a well planned community model. The 15,000 acres of land now comprising the City of Weston was first accumulated in the 1950’s by Arthur Vining Davis. Mr. Davis was the original owner of Weston’s primary developer Arvida. In 1978 The development was first known as Indian Trace. The name of the Arvida development was changed from Indian Trace to Weston; in 1984 the first homes were completed in Windmill Ranch and Country Isles and Weston had its firs residences.
For the fourth time since 2012, the City of Weston has ranked on Money’s list of the Best Places to Live. This year, the City of Weston was ranked #21 on Money Magazine’s 2018 list of The Best Places to Live in America highlighting cities across the country with populations of 50,000 or more. According to Money “These spots combine economic growth, affordability, and quality of life”. Weston resembles a near Picture Perfect master-planned community in almost every way.

Weston has Activities for all Ages: 

• A-rated public and charter schools and excellent private schools;
• Outstanding public safety with the lowest crime rate per capita in Broward County
• An ISO Class 1 Fire Department rating;
• Class 2 Building Code Effectiveness rating;
• 242 open space and park acres that play host to cultural and community events and tens of thousands of registrants in organized sports leagues;
• The lowest ad valorem millage rate in Broward County at 2.3900 mills;
• An enviable AAA credit rating;
• Only 10 City employees in a progressive contract-style of municipal management;
• Visually distinctive, Weston has flowing waterways, 50 miles of bike lanes, bike Fixit Repair stations, walking trails, and extensive landscaping that is, without dispute, one of the City’s greatest assets. Rows of prestigious Royal Palms and lush multi-layered foliage line berms, medians and rights-of-ways throughout the City.
• Golf, Tennis
• Basketball Courts, Sand Volleyball Courts
• Resident Community Pools
• Children Shaded and Open Playgrounds
• Athletic Multipurpose Fields: Baseball/Soccer/Football/Lacrosse Fields
• Picnic Areas
• Roller Hockey Rinks and Skate Parks
• Dog-Friendly Parks
• Fishing Dock
• Historic Walking Trails
Clients often ask me, “If my homestead exemption automatically renews?
Here is what the County Appraiser’s Office states:

The answer is once your initial application for Homestead Exemption has been made and approved by the Broward County Property Appraiser (BCPA), it automatically renews each year unless there is a change of ownership or eligible use of the property. Each January, BCPA mails a Homestead Exemption Renewal Receipt and Change Order to all Homesteaded properties. This document allows property owners to verify that the status, use, and ownership of the property has not changed. Florida law requires the property owner to notify the Property Appraiser of any change of property use or ownership status.
If there are NO changes to the use and/or ownership of the property, simply keep the Receipt verifying you were automatically renewed for another year. However, if there are changes, you should mark the Change Order accordingly and return it to BCPA. Here is the link to the sample 2019 Homestead Exemption Renewal Receipt and Change Order: www.bcpa.net/forms/changecard.pdf. Hope this information is helpful; please feel free to contact me: Eileen Kedersha, One Sotheby’s International Realty, 954-561-4100 or send me an email: ekedersha@onesothebysrealty.com
If you are the surviving spouse of a homesteaded property owner or otherwise believe you are entitled to an exemption for which you have not filed, you must file your own Homestead Exemption application to receive the benefit. If you have any questions relating to the Receipt and Change Order, or the death of an owner, or need any assistance in filing for Homestead or other tax-saving exemptions, please visit BCPA’s website at www.bcpa.net or contact Customer Service Department at 954-357-6830 or visit BCPA’s Office at 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 111, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
There are many other tax-saving exemptions available to qualified individuals. You can view a complete list of exemptions and eligibility requirements on the BCPA website at www.bcpa.net/homestead.asp.
Low-income Senior Exemption
The Low-Income Senior Exemption does not automatically renew. Since this is an income based exemption, it must be renewed each year. If you benefited from the Senior Exemption in 2018, BCPA will mail you your Senior Exemption renewal postcard in February. If you meet the income threshold on the renewal card, simply sign the card and return it to BCPA in order to renew your Senior Exemption for 2019.
If you are aged 65 years or older as of January 1, 2019 and would like information on this important exemption, please visit BCPA’s website at: www.bcpa.net/senior_instructions.asp

If you need assistance, contact BCPA directly at (954)357-6904 or email the County Property Appraiser, Marty Kiar at martykiar@bcpa.net

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South Florida Luxury Homes
Eileen Kedersha
One Sotheby’s International Realty
954-561-4100 
email: ekedersha@onesothebysrealty.com