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So, there I am driving along Collins Avenue on my way to the office in Bal Harbour when I notice a matchstick at the pavement waiting to cross the street. Protruding from this matchstick, a pair of lips and the girls. Actually, truth be told the lips and girls were already half way across the street. When I think I can no longer be surprised or amazed by the sights I see in Miami…boobs…sorry I mean “whoops” I am surprised by something or somethings yet again. You gotta love it!
Miami Beach, plastic surgery city of the USA. Actually I don’t know if that is strictly true, it might be Los Angeles but whether the city is one or two on the scale there is enough plastic walking around here to build a city made entirely of sillicone.
Fortunately, the buildings in Miami are made of stronger stuff. Whether they have been here for years or they are newly constructed they look great, the old grande dames of Collins Avenue like The Imperial or Sea Coast Towers or the sexy new St. Regis in Bal Harbour and The Mansions at Acqualina in Sunny Isles, nothing plastic about any of them.
I have lived in Miami and Miami Beach for over three years and I cannot begin to tell you how the areas have exploded, particularly Miami. There is new construction being started every day, new condos, stores and restaurants. It is the most exciting place to be, to watch an area grow before your eyes is something quite unique. Come on guys, get in on the action. Whether you want to be a full-time Miamian, a part-time snow bird or just an investor, now is the time to go for it.
As my loyal followers know (yes mom I am talking to you) I have a hard job keeping my mouth shut. I am either stuffing it with food or talking a mile a minute and believe me, I do try to be politically correct and respectful and keep my opinions to myself and my friends and my family! However, the holidays are upon us and with every passing day we get closer and closer to the “big” one. In 11 more days Mr. Claus will manouver his cuddly, roly poly body down our chimneys (or in Florida through the A/C unit) unload his sack of goodies, take the cookies that were left for him and pop back up the chimney to disappear into oblivion until the same time next year.
This year I am begging, nay beseeching that nobody gives a gift of a puppy or kitten. In no uncertain terms, it is cruel and thoughtless. Unless the recipient has made it abundantly clear that a puppy or kitten will be loved unconditionally ad will NEVER be given away because a baby has arrived, a landlord will not take a pet or the dog barks too much then you owe it to our four legged friends to protect them not to give them as a gift.
There are two subjects that I will not read about, watch movies or TV about or even hear about and they both involve cruelty: children and animals. I am sick to my stomach when I hear that an innocent child has been beaten for doing what children do, throwing up, dirtying a diaper and a multitude of other normal things. When it comes to animals, particularly dogs, I cannot understand why anyone would give up their beloved pet because the new landlord will not take a dog, the neighbors complain because the dog barks too much or the dog does not go with the carpet (absolutely true). I just read a notice from an owner who was giving up their 12 year old dog, who had been with them his entire life, because his new apartment would not permit a dog. Would they give up their child if the same rules applied?
Since this is a real estate website and I always base my blogs around real estate all I can say is if you have a dog and you are planning to move, find a place that will take your dog. Mora and I are experts in finding dog-friendly places, after all, you only have to look at the top of this page, Humphrey, Sophie and Mabel nestled in a golf cart. I cannot imagine a life without them. They are my gifts on each and every occasion.
I just had too, I mean, come on, I am British after all. We’re having a baby, jolly good show and all that! So, finally Wills and Kate are doing their job and producing, let me tell you my friends, the Royalists and Anglophiles of this world can now heave a big sigh of relief. Phew!!!!!!!
OK, enough of this, how the hell are you all? I know, I have been really bad about writing but somehow my brain just completely shut down and any semblance of intelligent thought just drifted away. Anyway, I am back and as usual am the bearer of useless and non-sensical information. Did you know that readers of Travel + Leisure magazine named Miami as the city with the best looking people and “fit physiques”. I have enough problems trying to control my ugly belly fat underneath my spanx and now this, oy vey!
Apart from having the best looking and fit physique people, Miami also has some of the best real estate around. The city is booming, there are cranes everywhere and property prices continue to rise. My favorite investment right now is at Midtown, which is located in the area between the Design District and Wynwood. Midtown 4, is a fabulous condo building that is sits smack dab in the middle of everything. The apartments are great, even the studios are large and the prices are incredible. If you are considering an investment then this is the place to buy. There is always a waiting list for rentals and many of the apartments that are currently available already have a tenant so from the day of closing money will be coming in. Best of all, at least in my opinion, is that it is dog-friendly, which these days is an enormous plus.
Art Basel is upon us once again and Midtown is in the center of it all. There are big tents on the sprawling green that faces the condos and the fabulous restaurants are all spit and polished for the onslaught of art fans who descend upon Miami for the week. Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Prada are just three of the stores that have pop-up shops and Cartier and Christian Laboutin are permanent residents. I know that Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge and mom to be would be really happy about that!
Listen, if you want to be one of the “good looking with fit physique” people then Miami is the place to be. If you want to just relax and stuff yourself into your spanx then Miami is also the place to be (perhaps without a bikini, but hey whatever floats your boat). Just know, Miami and Miami Beach are the places to be.
Here I am again, its been a long time coming but I have decided that since I cannot get a Pez head to run for office I should once again concentrate on doing what I do best…writing garbage! Well, today, that garbage is literally about garbage or what to do when you have too much stuff. My guest host is Brian Barwig, Marketing Executive for Self Storage Finders The blog is self-explanatory so read it and learn my friends.
How to Find Cheap Self Storage
You’re getting ready to sell your home so what are the steps you take? You find a great Miami real estate agent, she tells you to clean up your living space and then you go looking for a Miami storage unit, right? So you search online for storage units in your area and think “I want to find the most expensive storage unit I can in order to basically throw money out the window each month”. Obviously no one thinks like this, especially the way the economy has been in recent years. You want to find the most affordable, safe storage unit you can. Well, you’re in luck because this post is all about finding cheap storage units.
Fortunately, finding a safe, cheap storage unit near you is not a hassle. Chances are there are dozens of storage facilities within a 10 mile radius of your home and this increased competition is a good thing for you. The more storage facilities around, the more the storage owners fight for your business and most of the time they are doing that by lowering prices and offering discounts.
One easy way to find cheap self storage units is to store your possessions during non-peak seasons (September-March) if you can. This will allow you to get the lowest price as owners are scrambling to fill units during these months. The moving and storage seasons begin to heat up during the Spring and Summer and thus, the prices go up as well.
Another way to find cheap storage is to search for new storage facilities because they will need to attract new tenants as quickly as possible. They want to fill units quickly so they can attain some form of income before the bills come each month. If there aren’t any renters, then there isn’t any money to pay the bills and well, there’s another company out of business. The prices will typically be extremely low for new renters as the facilities are simply looking to get people in the door and don’t need to make big profits off the bat.
Getting a cheap rate may also come down to the amount of time you are willing to rent. If you think you will need a storage unit for several months, tell the storage manager and they will most likely give you a discount. If you only need a storage unit for a month or two, it may be wise to look into one of the bigger storage companies such as Public Storage or Extra Space Storage. These companies are notorious for giving $1 move in storage and buy one month, get one month free. It doesn’t get much better than that, however if you fail to pay your rent on time or simply need a storage lock….look out! The rent is cheap but the penalties and extras are not.
These tips should provide enough information to get you started in finding a safe, cheap self storage unit in Miami. If you have any other questions, SelfStorageFinders.com can help you locate thousands of storage units around the country.
Here we are at the end of August, the kids have gone back to school, the temperature is gradually slipping below 160 fahrenheit and the radio stations are playing “Send in the Clowns”. That is not a reference to the clowns of the Barnum and Bailey circus but rather to the politicians who are bombarding our radio and TV stations with their nonsense. Compared to politicians the clowns are more like manic depressives. We have had to endure over a year of campaigning and it is finally coming to a head. The RNC has gathered in Tampa, thank you Issac for delaying them for an extra day and the Democratics are preparing to gather somewhere.
What do they do at these things? Talk about how wonderful they are, how they are going to save America from all the plagues and pestilence that is being rained upon it and how they will ensure that the American Dream is alive and well. I think if they were all honest the noun DREAM would be substituted with NIGHTMARE. But, this is not meant to be a barrage against politicians. Personally, I think they are all pretty self-absorbed and useless, except the one’s pictured below. They know their job roles……
SHUT UP AND DISPENSE CANDY!
That’s it, I have done ranting for today, I guess my brain has addeled from being stuck home watching Issac’s relatives pour buckets of water on my terrace and watching a complete day of informercials for erectile dysfuntion medication and special deals on Christmas lights.
I am actually going to give you something to read, Elliman Quarterly Report. Miami is on the rise again my friends, the cranes have migrated back to the sunshine state. New developments are breaking ground all over the Miami and Miami Beach areas and downtown is getting in on the act. Now unlike the politicians who should take a lesson from the Presidential Pez dispenser and shut up you guys need to speak up so that we can help you find your perfect home before the prices climb as high as the egos of our Government representatives.
Today we are really, really, lucky to have an intelligent and informative guest blogger. Andrew Hill, a fabulous realtor from Austin, Texas has graciously agreed to write something about real estate and technology. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls may I present the fantabulous, computer guru Andrew Hill. Take it away Andrew….
Why Tech Savvy Realtors make the Difference
By Andrew Hill @ www.austinhomelistings.com
If you’re jumping back into real estate for the first time in a few years, or even if you interact with the real estate market on a regular basis, you’ve probably noticed that something has changed. This isn’t the industry it used to be. No longer does a client simply call up a Realtor with their specifics in mind and be whisked off to view a variety of homes across their designated area. No, the internet has changed all of this. Thanks to the revolution of high-speed information on our computers and now on our phones, searching for the perfect home is something that anyone can do in their spare time. In fact, for those wanting to buy, it could even be considered a newly found hobby. So what does this shift in the industry mean to you? Whether you are a seller or a buyer, it means that you need to be working with a tech savvy real estate team to help you meet your goals. What exactly does a tech savvy real estate team look like? Just search for these factors and you will be on your way to determining just how tech proficient your Realtor is.
- An attractive & useful website. How does your Realtor’s website look? Is it outdated or is it fresh and lively? How functional is it? Can you find tools that will estimate your home value? Or perhaps your Realtor’s tips for the local area? These are great indicators of a tech savvy Realtor
- Social interaction. This doesn’t mean that your agent needs to be logging on everyday to post a new blog. But having a blog where you can learn more about your agent or read up on their thoughts is key to determining if they are the right fit. In addition, they need to be easy to contact. Having a variety of method to contact, such as phone, email, etc. makes the world of difference. Your agent doesn’t have to use the latest tablets or smartphones to communicate. But it’s important that you can get a hold of them when you’re ready to seal the deal on the perfect home.
- A robust & reliable home search. With nearly 95% of all home sales beginning with an online search this is an absolute must have. Remember, buyers want to find a website where they can quickly and easily search for homes. They might be interested in learning more about the Realtors later on but first and foremost they want to make sure that they can view homes online. So make sure your Realtor has a home search option where buyers can search based on location, price range and other parameters.
You see? It’s fairly simple to determine if you’re working with a tech-savvy team. And working with the right Realtor can save you plenty of time, stress and money. So if you’re ready to start working with a tech-savvy team today, be sure to contact The Manhattan Team for all of your real estate needs!
So, two weeks ago we packed up the big suitcase, two coolers, the dog food storage container, backpack, two small bags, three dogs, two adults and a partridge in a pear tree and took off for our yearly visit to New York, the Big Apple, the city of crazy cab drivers and black garbage bags piled on the sidewalks. Oh, it felt good to be home!!!
It is amazing that each time I return to New York I notice something that I guess I never noticed before. The streets are not terribly clean, there is tons of garbage everywhere, the grates from the subway are steaming and the taxis smell like curry!!! Actually, I did already know about the curry smell but somehow it seems a little more potent now because I am used to the smell of costillitas (Cuban baby back ribs).
Another ENORMOUS difference is the anatomy of the male dogs. Picture this, English bulldog waddling down Madison Avenue without anything swinging or hanging ……same dog, different street….Lincoln Road for instance….. waddling and swinging from side to side. Need I say more? Come on guys, what is with you Latin men, do you truly believe that a dog’s lack of equipment is a reflection of your own anatomy? There are so many dogs running around unneutered that before long the dog population of Miami will far surpass the human population (although there are a few humans that should be neutered…..).
Anyway, on our drive up north I noticed a very interesting sight, a lack of “For Sale’ signs in both Charleston, South Carolina and Alexandria, Virginia. I mention these two cities because we stop in both of them during our two day drive to New York. Last year when we were driving on Route 17 into Charleston from I-95 there were lots of signs hanging from houses. This year I don’t think there were more than two or three. It was the same as we drove into Alexandria. It was very encouraging to see the lack of “For Sale” signs and the both areas felt a little different, a little more light-headed so to speak. The real estate market is slowing turning around and it is exciting to see it happen.
Of course in Miami the market has already started its turn, in fact it is turning so fast my head is spinning. The prices that we saw six months ago are just not there anymore. There are still some bargains to be had but the demand for them is enormous. As soon as a property that is priced well comes on the market it is gone. Properties that are priced right usually sale within the first few weeks. Unfortunately, when an owner insists on pricing a home too high it can take much longer to sell. Very often the price has to be lowered after a couple of months and the house becomes “old news”. You don’t want to read yesterday’s news and neither do buyers!
Mora and I would be honored to help you sell your home. We have lots of creative ways of marketing your property and we will make sure that your home is worthy of front page news. Miami or Manhattan we are there for you and your dogs (with or without their swingers).
Today I feel like Jay Leno on The Tonight Show because I have a guest ……seriously a terrific blogger and realtor, Tom Miller, has graciously agreed to allow us to publish one of his funny and might I add informative pieces on real estate. This one is a MUST read for anyone who does NOT want to sell their home (and isn’t that what we realtors work so hard to achieve, not selling a property).
Tom Miller www.NewHomeSource.com is a wonderful highly professional realtor in Texas, where the steaks are large, the stetsons are larger and the Bushes are very prickly. Sit back, enjoy and have a great evening!!!
The first tip you should consider is avoiding the internet at all costs. Ignore the fact that nine out of every ten homes now sold begins with an online home search. While you’re at it, ignore the reality that people will want to see plenty of online photographs and descriptions of your house as they browse the internet from their own home. You should probably stick to out dated methods of relying completely on yard signs, flyers and word of mouth. These tried and true methods are perfect for keeping your home on the market for as long as possible.
Another great way to not sell your home is to stage it poorly. If you have pets, make sure they are there to greet the buyers at the door by jumping up on them. (This works particularly well if your dogs are large and intimidating). Dirty carpets with an odor are also very effective at keeping prospective buyers at bay. Don’t bother vacuuming or cleaning your clutter. No buyer will dare make an offer so long as you keep your counters, tables, and floors covered with papers, food, and plenty of other random items. And feel free to stick around to point out all of the unique features of your home. There’s nothing that makes a buyer feel more uncomfortable than homeowners desperately giving a guided tour.
Finally, if you really want to keep your home on the market as long as possible, be sure you avoid hiring a Realtor at all costs. Hiring a good Realtor will only help give your home much more exposure, price your home correctly, generate more traffic, and make the path to home selling much shorter. After all, homebuyers will absolutely trust your opinion over the expertise of a licensed professional, right? In short, a Realtor’s experience and expertise will only expedite your home selling process.
Of course, this article is just a playful jab at some of the misguided decisions many home sellers accidentally make. The good news is, now that you are aware of these common pitfalls, you can make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes! If you’re ready to avoid these and other common mistakes, make sure you talk to a real estate professional like Elaine Solomon, today!