New to Town? How to Settle Into Your New Fort Lauderdale Home
With its sunny disposition and welcoming community, Fort Lauderdale makes it easy to feel at home whether you’ve lived here for three weeks or 30 years. However, as pleasant as the city’s warm weather and white sand beaches may be, they won’t help newcomers when it comes to finding a great hair salon, a trusty mechanic, or other local services after moving to Fort Lauderdale and surrounding towns.
That’s where this guide comes in. If you’ve recently purchased a home in Fort Lauderdale, these resources courtesy of Eileen Kedersha will help you knock out your new-to-town to-do list so you can start enjoying all that sunny Fort Lauderdale has to offer. Give me a call for any special information requests, I will be happy to discuss your questions.
Article by: Ed Carter: Ed has worked with clients of all ages, backgrounds and incomes. About 10 years into his career, he saw a need for financial planners who specialize in helping individuals and families living with disabilities.
New To Smart Home Technology? Read This Before You Buy Article by: Ed Carter
Smart homes are all the rage, and there is a good reason for that. They are more efficient and offer people with disabilities (or those aging in place) more freedom to live alone than ever before. When you’re in the market for a luxury home, you may find that smart home features are already included. However, when your budget leans toward modest, you may have to upgrade after you buy.
Here are a few smart home devices to add to your list.
Alarm systems, security cameras, locks. A smart home security system is a great way to keep your property under your own watchful eye 24/7. And as GearBrain explains, this feature may improve the value of your property.
Smart switches. A smart switch allows you to control any item that plugs into the wall from your smartphone or computer. You can, for example, turn your lights on and off from anywhere in the world if you’re on vacation, or turn on your garage heater to keep things toasty and warm before you head out for the day.
One of the most energy impactful devices available today is a smart thermostat. Efficiency Vermont explains that a smart thermostat can be set according to your family’s habits. This means it will know when to heat things up or cool things down.
There are numerous benefits to smart lighting. Nationwide explains that one of these is that the right bulb can help you get to sleep. Having the ability to control your home’s brightness without having to get up and flip switches is a definite plus for those in wheelchairs or with mobility problems. Motion-activated lights are also useful for people with visual impairments.
Smart appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) are not only energy-efficient but can also reduce your workload. A smart dishwasher, for example, can detect food particles and keep them from re-depositing on your dishes, which will reduce the need for handwashing.
Smart home tips
Having a smart home is an investment. But a few things you can do to protect the money you’ve spent are to focus on cybersecurity and to add features one at a time as you acclimate to a new way of life.
If you’re not tech-savvy, take the time to read up on ways to protect your home network so that hackers can’t log into your smart devices. Digital safety is just as important as physical safety in today’s day and age. Make sure your network is password-protected and secure before adding smart home devices.
You’ll also want to take into account where these devices will be placed and how well they will blend into your home’s current design. Many items such as a video screen smart home hub (like the Echo Show) will look in-place in any room, but your smart thermostat or other plug-in devices may stand out. Make sure to purchase colors that blend in well, and, if you would prefer a more rustic look overall, use plants, picture frames, and other decorative items to camouflage your touch of tech.
No matter your experience level with smart tech or your budget, these devices are a great addition to any home. Beyond energy savings, remote-controlled lights, thermostats, security systems, and other tools are a great way to enhance your home’s value and livability today, tomorrow, and beyond.
On the lookout for a smart, new home or a home you can smarten up? Eileen Kedersha has the experience to find exactly what you need at the price you want to pay. For help finding your next property, call today at 954.462.3600.
The Benefits of Homeownership May Reach Further Than You Think
More than ever, our homes have become an integral part of our lives. Today they are much more than the houses we live in. They’re evolving into our workplaces, schools for our children, and safe havens that provide shelter, stability, and protection for our families through the evolving health crisis. Today, 65.3% of Americans are able to call their homes their own, a rate that has risen to its highest point in 8 years.
June is National Homeownership Month, and it’s a great time to reflect on the benefits of owning your own home. Below are some highlights and quotes recently shared by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). From non-financial to financial, and even including how owning a home benefits your local economy, these items may give you reason to think homeownership stretches well beyond a sound dollars and cents investment alone.
Owning a home brings families a sense of happiness, satisfaction, and pride.
Pride of Ownership: It feels good to have a place that’s truly your own, especially since you can customize it to your liking. “The personal satisfaction and sense of accomplishment achieved through homeownership can enhance psychological health, happiness and well-being for homeowners and those around them.”
Property Maintenance and Improvement: Your home is your stake in the community, and a way to give back by driving value into your neighborhood.
Civic Participation: Homeownership creates stability, a sense of community, and increases civic engagement. It’s a way to add to the strength of your local area.
Buying a home is also an investment in your family’s financial future.
Net Worth: Homeownership builds your family’s net worth. “The median family net worth for all homeowners ($231,400) increased by nearly 15% since 2013, while net worth ($5,000) actually declined by approximately 9% since 2013 for renter families.”
Financial Security: Equity, appreciation, and predictable monthly housing expenses are huge financial benefits of homeownership. Homeownership is truly the best way to improve your long-term net worth.
Homeownership is even a local economic driver.
Housing-Related Spending: An economic force throughout our nation, housing-related expenses accounted for more than one-sixth of the country’s economic activity over the past three decades.
GDP Growth: Homeownership also helps drive GDP growth as the country aims to make an economic rebound. “Every 10% increase in total housing market wealth would translate to approximately $147 billion in additional consumer spending, or 0.8% of GDP, as well as billions of dollars in new federal tax revenue.”
Entrepreneurship: Homeownership is even a form of forced savings that provides entrepreneurial opportunities as well. “Owning a home enables new entrepreneurs to obtain access to credit to start or expand a business and generate new jobs by using their home as collateral for small business loans.”
The benefits of homeownership are vast and go well beyond the surface level. Homeownership is truly a way to build financial freedom, find greater satisfaction and happiness, and make a substantial impact on your local economy. If owning a home is part of your dream, let’s connect today so you can begin the homebuying process.
Why Home Equity Is a Bright Spark in the Housing Market
Given how we have seen more unemployment claims than ever before over the past several weeks, fear is spreading widely. Some good news, however, shows that more than 4 million initial unemployment filers have likely already found a new job, especially as industries such as health care, food and grocery stores, retail, delivery, and more increase their employment opportunities. Breaking down what unemployment means for homeownership, and understanding the significant equity Americans hold today, are important parts of seeing the picture clearly when sorting through this uncertainty.
One of the biggest questions right now is whether this historic unemployment rate will initiate a new surge of foreclosures in the market. It’s a very real fear. Despite the staggering number of claims, there are actually many reasons why we won’t see a significant number of foreclosures like we did during the housing crash twelve years ago. The amount of equity homeowners have today is a leading differentiator in the current market.
Today, according to John Burns Consulting, 58.7% of homes in the U.S. have at least 60% equity. That number is drastically different than it was in 2008 when the housing bubble burst. The last recession was painful, and when prices dipped, many found themselves owing more on their mortgage than what their homes were worth. Homeowners simply walked away at that point. Now, 42.1% of all homes in this country are mortgage-free, meaning they’re owned free and clear. Those homes are not at risk for foreclosure (see graph below):In addition, CoreLogic notes the average equity mortgaged homes have today is $177,000. That’s a significant amount that homeowners won’t be stepping away from, even in today’s economy (see chart below):In essence, the amount of equity homeowners have today positions them to be in a much better place than they were in 2008.
The fear and uncertainty we feel right now are very real, and this is not going to be easy. We can, however, see strength in our current market through homeowner equity that has not been there in the past. That may be a bright spark to help us make it through.
The Housing and Mortgage Market Review (HaMMR) by Arch Mortgage Insurance Company has found that Housing Market Trends are now nearly the complete opposite of conditions in the months prior to the Great Recession, according to Dr. Ralph G. DeFranco, global chief economist for Arch Capital Services.
Research on how past recessions affected home values shows current conditions will have a less severe impact on housing than the recession in 2008 did. DeFranco says “A recession is inevitable at some point, but it’s likely to be far less severe for the housing market than the Great Recession,” He goes on to say that “We estimate that the current market is underbuilt by 1 million or more homes, buyers are more cautious and loan quality is far higher. In 2007, conditions were completely flipped: housing was hugely overbuilt, speculative demand was off the charts and the market was awash with high-risk loan products.”
Franco further states, that the quarterly Arch MI Risk Index, a statistical model based on nine indicators of the health of local housing markets, suggests that the probability U.S. home prices will be lower in two years is 9 percent, an increase from 6 percent in the previous study.
In Florida, an Arch index infographic suggests that Florida home values have only a 6 percent chance of declining in two years. However, a higher risk (25 percent) in Miami suggests the chances are even lower in the rest of the state.