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Angel Calzadilla's Blog

By Angel Calzadilla | Agent in Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Short-term rentals raise tax, neighborhood issues

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boynton Beach, For Rent in Boynton Beach, Rentals in Boynton Beach  |  July 9, 2014 6:15 AM  |  105 views  |  No comments

     A four-bed, three-bath home that sleeps 12 on Lakeside Harbour is available for rent. It's within walking distance from the Intracoastal Waterway and has a heated pool. Its listing on the website VacationRentals.com says the home costs up to $650 per night, $4,500 per week and $9,500 per month.

    There's plenty of others just like it – houses, condos, apartments – in Boynton Beach. They're all for rent on websites like Airbnb.com, Flipkey.com, Rentalhomes.com and even Craigslist.

    But the listings haven't only attracted the eyes of prospective renters. They've caught the attention of the city, too – and the city has concerns about their effects on neighborhoods and whether their owners are paying the proper taxes.

    "We know it's a problem in other cities," said Nancy Byrne, the city's director of development. "It doesn't seem there's a ton of that in Boynton, but because we don't have regulations to permit these to occur right now, it's a problem for us."

    Byrne plans to embark on a fact-finding mission.

    Vacation rentals are more often these days being advertised on Internet sites than through actual Realtors, creating concern for both local and state officials. Are the homes being regulated? What kind of impact, if any, do these homes have on their neighbors? What if the home doesn't look anything like what it was advertised as?

    And is anyone paying the required bed or business taxes?

    "It may be that people just aren't aware. They think it's a great idea. They need a little extra income," Byrne said. "But it's got regulations governing it from the state level, and what we're trying to determine is: Do we want to accommodate it on a local level? And if we do, how to minimize the impacts?"

    Boynton Beach is just the latest municipality in Palm Beach County to show concern. Lake Worth and West Palm Beach have addressed these types of properties within the past few years and most recently, so has the county government itself.

    The Palm Beach County Tax Collector in January filed suit against four online travel companies – Air BNB, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and CouchSurfing International – alleging they haven't paid the county the daily 5-cents-per-dollar bed tax from the homes booked through the sites. The tax comes from hotel stays and vacation rentals of six months or less, and proceeds from it are spent on tourism marketing.

    The tax collector also has its staff hitting the streets, looking for properties that may not be following regulations. The office has collected $643,918.75 of bed taxes from Oct. 1, 2013, through May 31 on just Boynton Beach properties.

    But current Boynton Beach regulations don't permit vacation rentals. The city allows a property to be rented out, but the minimum amount of time for that is 30 days and the renter must be on at least a 30-day lease and show intent to live in the property long term.

    The owner of each single-family property that is rented out must pay business taxes to the city. The minimum payment per residence is $35.28 per year.

    Byrne mentioned the topic at a recent city strategic plan meeting and said it's becoming "more and more popular." However, the city commissioners during a prioritization exercise didn't vote for the topic as a top contender, which Byrne says forces her to change her course of action.

    Now she plans to discuss these properties with code enforcement and hopes to come up with a plan to deal with them. That includes looking at the budget to see if money can be spent on a more "intense" business inspection process, she said.

    Grace Cerrone, who lives out of the state and works in Washington, D.C., has been renting out her late parents' Boynton Beach home off and on since 2012, sometimes for months at a time and sometimes for weeks at a time. She's used some of the travel sites to advertise the lakefront home near Congress Avenue, but now prefers Craigslist.

    She said she knows vacation rentals have become a controversial topic, but she wants the city to do its best to make it a win-win situation for everyone.

    "People have been renting in South Florida since the beginning of time. This isn't new. Air BNB came in and started to change the market. Internet has given more access to these properties so they're not going through real estate agents the way they used to," Cerrone said. "I think that homeowners do want to comply, but they don't know how to and they don't know the laws."

  • You lose every third client to another Realtor. Why?

    Posted Under: General Area in Tallahassee, For Rent in Tallahassee, Moving in Tallahassee  |  July 7, 2014 3:28 AM  |  139 views  |  No comments

     What do clients really think about Realtors? Agents and brokers can talk directly to their clients, though they may not always respond with brutal honesty.

    But Realtors can't talk to their non-clients at all – the people who considered that Realtor's services but went with someone else instead. Why, for example, does a home seller sit through a presentation but give his listing to a different agent?

    It's even harder for brokers and agents to find out if their ads work, or if they're making a name for themselves in their market niche.

    A new type of panel, "Hear It Direct," pulls together a pool of actual homebuyers who tell Realtors what works – and more importantly, what doesn't work – when they're ready to buy or sell a house. Two will be held in Orlando this summer:

    ″ Friday, July 11, at the Renaissance Airport Hotel in Orlando ($49 registration until July 7)

    ″ Friday, Aug. 15, during the 2014 Florida Realtors Conference & Trade Expo in Orlando. This "Hear It Direct" features a panel of Generation Y buyers and sellers.

    "Aha" insights from earlier "Hear It Direct" panels

    Gen Y panel

    • She was sending me listings every other day … it was just too much.
    • She just sucked at her job. Why? Because she didn't listen.
    • I didn't like working with an agent. I felt like it was just pressure selling all the time.

    Online searches

    • I downloaded maybe 10 real estate apps and then just deleted them as I figured out that I didn't like them … If I found a broker that had an app, I probably would have downloaded it.
    • Facebook ads fall under the whole sketchy thing. Facebook ads are irrelevant to me. It's the task at hand. I don't go to Facebook to search for a house. If I search for a house, I go to Google.
    • I want to study listings on my own time unless we're actually working on the contract.

    Branding

    • On Zillow or Trulia, I think agent ads are a waste of money. I just scroll past it.
    • I was more interested in the person (than the brand or their company). I'm a local kind of guy. I want someone who simplifies it for me. It's about building community.
    • Brand is not important at all. What was important to me was that the real estate agent create a brand for me – not what their brand was.
  • Brickell Station Lofts and Parkview at Brickell condos, Miami, Florida

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Miami, For Rent in Miami, Rentals in Miami  |  July 1, 2014 5:05 AM  |  199 views  |  No comments
  • Cocoplum townhomes, Dania Beach, Florida

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in Dania Beach, For Rent in Dania Beach, Rentals in Dania Beach  |  July 1, 2014 5:00 AM  |  193 views  |  No comments
  • The Waverly South Beach condo , Miami Beach, FL.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Miami Beach, Home Selling in Miami Beach, For Rent in Miami Beach  |  June 12, 2014 7:01 AM  |  195 views  |  No comments

  • Emerald Tower, Pompano Beach, Florida

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Pompano Beach, Home Selling in Pompano Beach, For Rent in Pompano Beach  |  June 11, 2014 12:56 PM  |  208 views  |  No comments

     
     
      Emerald Tower is an older building which has been virtually refurbished to today’s standards having recently passed its 40 year commercial inspection.  Emerald Tower residents have the best of both worlds with their boats slips on the Spanish River, with direct ocean access, and a deeded private beach across the street with showers, grills and picnic tables. Emerald Tower offers tremendous value in an excellent location half way between the charming village of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and the recently renovated beach area in Pompano Beach.

    Total Number of Condos

    105

    High Sales Price

    $303,000

    Year of Construction

    1972

    Median Sales Price

    $180,000

    Avg. 2 Bed Square Feet

    1,811

    Low Sales Price

    $130,000

     

    For more information, please contact :

     

    Angel Calzadilla, sales and leasing agent

    At Charles Rutenberg Realty

    2201 West Propsect Road suite 200

    Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309

     

    angelfloridarealtor@gmail.com

     

    (954) 632-3593

  • Playa del Mar condo 3900 Galt Ocean drive, Fort Lauderdale

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Fort Lauderdale, For Rent in Fort Lauderdale  |  June 11, 2014 8:00 AM  |  164 views  |  No comments

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