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Maria Jose Donoso's Blog

By Maria Jose Donoso | Agent in Coral Gables, FL
  • MORTGAGE RELIEF?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Coral Gables, Home Selling in Coral Gables, Foreclosure in Coral Gables  |  February 9, 2012 3:38 PM  |  460 views  |  No comments

    1 OUT OF 4 HOMEOWNERS ARE UNDER WATER.  WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?

  • Green living

    Posted Under: General Area in Coral Gables, Going Green in Coral Gables  |  January 20, 2012 4:31 PM  |  285 views  |  No comments
    "Building'

    There are dozens of wood certification programs around the world - so what does the term "certified wood" mean and can these certifications be trusted to indicate truly environmentally friendly wood products
    One of the planet's most versatile grasses; bamboo can be eaten, worn, used to build shelter and boats - it's an amazing product of nature.

    If you have a home rendering project happening soon and would like to reduce the associated environmental impact, consider a genuine lime plaster - it's a natural exterior/interior finish that sequesters carbon dioxide!

    A look at the various types of replacement windows with tips on how to choose windows to save energy and lower utility bills.

    Whether it's summer or winter, ceiling fans and roof turbines can save energy - that's good for your bank balance and good for the environment.

    We purchase so many things for single use - tools, appliances, various gadgets and all this consumption negatively impacts on the environment. Perhaps we need to think back to our childhoods where sharing was an important lesson

    One of the most carbon emission and energy intensive processes in the average house is heating water. Learn more about how solar hot water systems can save you money and lessen your environmental impact.
  • The Mindset of a Superstar

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Coral Gables, Home Selling in Coral Gables  |  January 18, 2012 1:44 PM  |  227 views  |  No comments
    Three Steps to Success

    Brett Figueroa is a personal success coach who worked under Tony Robbins for 6 years, and who has delivered more than 3,000 presentations worldwide. Brett says that there are three primary factors that put someone at the top of their game.

    The Ultimate Goal.

    Remember the movie City Slickers? What is your "one thing?" The one thing you want to truly make your life feel complete. "Too many people," Brett says, "go through life with a notion of what they want, without ever figuring out exactly what they want." Do you want to retire in a beachfront estate? Create a happy family? End world hunger?

    The Strategy.

    Once people know what they want, they need to map out how to get there. How will they position themselves to where they can reach their goal? If you don't yet have your map, look to others who have achieved what you want. Offer to buy them lunch so you can pick their brains. Create a map rather than just wandering around, hoping to stumble onto your dreams one day.

    The Timeline.

    When will you achieve your goal? What do you need to get there? When must you reach specific sub-goals in order to reach your final goal? Brett points out that if a person sets aside just one hour a day for their personal goal, they will have spent nine 40-hour weeks working on it by the end of the year!

    If you don't already have these three components defined in your life, I recommend taking some time to do so when you're away from work. Check out some self-help books from the library, or buy a highly-rated one at Amazon.com. Get inspired, get ready, then get to work!

  • Tips to achieve a positive impact on the value of your home

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Coral Gables  |  January 17, 2012 3:54 PM  |  170 views  |  No comments

     
    • Vacancy increases sale-ability. Property is easier to show and easier to sell, and quicker to take possession of when it is vacant at the time it is offered for sale. Evidence of problems to take possession of the property -- such as encroachments, or tenants who wont allow buyer tours -- negatively impact value. Vacancy also helps the buyer walk through the property imagining ownership. Sellers should remove personal trinkets and family pictures as well as being conveniently absent during a buyer tour.
    • Cosmetics are important.
      • Fresh paint will always add more value than it costs.
      • Clean or new carpet/flooring adds more value than it costs.
      • Landscaping adds more value than it costs. At the very minimum, make the entrance area neat.
      • If you can, add some colorful flowers and new sod.
  • Take care of the obvious! The spot on the ceiling from the roof leak takes thousands of dollars from the perceived value and the offer price.
  • Condition affects value. Do a seller's home inspection to identify and fix the problem BEFORE closing. No point holding up your check a few extra days; plus a failed buyer's inspection could cost you the sale. Buyers will often bargain down your asking price to accomodate for property condition and repairs.
  • If you can, remodel/update the kitchen and master bathroom. These two areas have a big impact on home buying decisions.
  • Strategic renovations impact value and your bottom line. Don't spend more money to renovate the place than you can recapture in value on the sales price.
  • Choosing a Neighborhood

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Coral Gables  |  January 17, 2012 3:49 PM  |  150 views  |  No comments
    Choosing a Neighborhood

    Before you start looking at homes, look at neighborhoods. Schools and other services play a large part in making a neighborhood attractive. Even if you don't have children, your future buyer may. Crime rates, taxes, transportation, and town services are other things to look at. Finally, learn the local zoning laws. A new pizza shop next door might alter your property's future value. On the other hand, you may want to run a business out of your home.

    Look for a neighborhood where prices are increasing. As the prices of the better homes increase, values of the lesser homes may rise as well. If you find a less expensive home in a good neighborhood, make sure you factor in the cost of repairs or upgrades that such a house may need

  • Florida markets dominate top ten turnaround report

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Coral Gables, Home Selling in Coral Gables, Foreclosure in Coral Gables  |  January 17, 2012 3:35 PM  |  223 views  |  No comments

    Though the past four years have seen many cities suffering from large numbers of foreclosures and a loss in home values, ten of these real estate markets are now leading the nation towards a general recovery and stability of the housing sector.

    Realtor.com’s Top 10 Turnaround Town Report, based on third quarter 2011 data, includes six Florida markets: Miami, Orlando, Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota-Bradenton, and Lakeland-Winter Haven.

    Each of these markets has experienced positive year-over-year median price appreciation, reductions in year-over-year median age of inventory and inventory counts, while also experiencing lower unemployment rates on a year-over-year basis. Florida’s success can also be tied to foreign buyers; the number of foreign buyers purchasing homes there increased from 10 percent in 2007 to 31 percent in 2011.

    Let’s take a closer look:

    Miami, FL: The number one town on the report, Miami has gone from being one of the first victims of the subprime crash to having a healthy inventory that is only half the size from a year ago. Today, Miami is only reporting one foreclosure for every 407 homes, compared to the national rate of one per every 213. And, condo sales have increased 79 percent in the first five months of this year, largely due to an influx of foreign investors.

    Orlando, FL: Ranked second on the report, Orlando leads the nation in the ratio of Realtor.com searches to listings. Inventory has also obtained a balance with demand. Foreclosures hurt the market in 2007-08, but foreclosures in Orlando were down 58 percent in September, compared to last year.

    Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL: Median prices in Fort Myers-Cape Coral have increased almost 33% year-over-year, according to Realtor.com’s October 2011 Real Estate Trend Data. In addition, foreclosures are down–only one in 313 homes in September–while inventory has been reduced and foreign buyers have been attracted to the area’s real estate prices. The metro ranked third on the turnaround report.

    Fort Lauderdale: FL: A decrease in inventory coupled with an uptick in prices earns Fort Lauderdale the number five spot on the report. Inventory decreased almost 38 percent year-over-year, according to Realtor.com’s October data report. Prices have fallen about 46 percent since 2006, but are now going up.

    Sarasota-Bradenton, FL: A total of 11 percent of all foreign buyers in Florida are in Sarasota-Bradenton specifically. Number six on the turnaround report, the market has seen a list prices increase of more than 17 percent year-0ver-year and a decrease of inventory of 32 percent according to the Realtor.com October data. The market still has a long way to go, after losing more than 55 percent of home values from 2006 to the second quarter of 2011 due to foreclosures.

    Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL: A year ago, Lakeland-Winter Haven topped national foreclosure filing lists, but now the area’s distressed sale market share has decreased 46 percent. The area–ranked 7th on the turnaround list–has seen total listings decreased more than 36 percent year-over-year and median age of inventory decrease more than 17 percent, according to Realtor.com’s October data. Prices are also up 12 percent compared to last October.



    Read more: Florida Markets Dominate REALTOR.com Top Ten Turnaround Report | REALTOR.com® Blogs
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