Homebuyers: It’s Your Season

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 29, 2016

Homebuyers: It’s Your SeasonFall is here! Football, all things pumpkin spice and cool weather. But there’s another great thing about fall, especially if you are looking to buy a home: The busy buying season is over. And for the time being, you can enjoy less competition while shopping for a new home.

There is a pretty consistent number of homes available for sale every month. But as summer winds down and families prepare to settle in for a new school year, there are fewer buyers on the prowl. In fact, June typically has about 75 percent more sales than any given December. In February, home sales start picking back up, especially in warm, Southern states like Florida. January is the best month for buyers, with available homes sitting the longest and experiencing the biggest dip in prices.

No matter what time of year you are house hunting, you still need to be prepared if you want to get a great deal on a home you love. Competitive buyers get preapproved before they look at anything to be sure they can afford the home they want and make a successful offer. Work with a local real estate attorney to protect your assets and interests. They will know the market and be able to find you a property within your budget and your specifications, and they will also be able to help make sure all your paperwork is in order and your offer is professionally packaged.

Lastly, avoid too many contingencies or demands on the seller. A competitive offer includes on the contingencies necessary to protect the buyer’s interests.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

{ 0 comments }

How to Sell an Occupied Rental

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 28, 2016

 How to Sell an Occupied RentalJust because you own a property doesn’t mean you have unfettered rights to it—especially when someone else is paying you to live there. If you want to sell a tenant-occupied property, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

If you are planning to sell the property to an investor, your job is easy as long as you can find someone willing to honor the current tenant’s lease. However, you greatly limit your market by only talking to investors. You may also let the tenant know you are selling and see if they are interested in buying.

In Florida, you must give a month-to-month tenant 15 days’ notice to move. If you need to show the property before then, you’ll need to check the lease and see if you’re allowed to ask that of the tenant. If your tenant has a lease, you have to let them live out the lease unless there’s an early termination clause. It’s possible that you can get the tenant out early if they have failed to pay rent or violated their lease in another way.

Another way to get a tenant out ahead of schedule is to pay them. Your tenant is under no obligation to accept your offer, but throwing in their security deposit, plus the difference between your rent and average rents in the area times the number of months left on their lease is a good start.

If your tenant won’t leave but is amicable to showing the place, you can always incentivize them to keep it show-ready by offering a break on rent.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

{ 0 comments }

What Should You Look for in a Neighborhood?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 27, 2016

 What Should You Look for in a Neighborhood? It’s all too easy to only focus on the home when you’re looking for a new place to live. But the neighborhood is just as important as the home. A great neighborhood can bring the value of your home way up, and make even the ugliest home sought after—if only for the lot. If you don’t have a dream house in mind, keep your options open and search for a neighborhood with these value-added characteristics.

  1. Most people look for a place that’s close to their job when they start hunting for a house. After all, who wants a long commute? But your home is where you relax, play, and live. Consider neighborhoods that have options for nightlife, food, entertainment and fun things to do.
  2. Read the fine print. Some of the prettiest places to live may not be the easiest places to live. That’s what many homeowners who are part of an HOA might tell you. Some HOAs exist mainly to fund neighborhood perks and amenities like parks, golf courses and swimming pools, but others seem to exist to drive homeowners out of their minds. Ask about COAs and HOAs when you look at each property. Talk to people in the neighborhood and see what they think of their HOA. If they are unhappy, they will be more than happy to tell you all about it.
  3. Check out the taxes. You may be surprised at the difference in taxes from one area to another. Make sure it’s not an unpleasant or unaffordable surprise. One perk of living in an up-and-coming neighborhood is being a aprt of the growth and renewal. A not-so-fun part is the taxes when your property keeps increasing in value.
  4. Check out what kind of Internet, cell and cable service you get in the neighborhood where you’re looking, especially if you work from home. Property listings really only list water, sewer, gas and hard-product utilities, but the others can be just as important if you enjoy consistent download speeds and cell service.
  5. Online real estate sites often have walkability ratings that tell you how easy it is to get around to amenities like public transportation, grocery stores, cafes and libraries without a car. Check out the conditions of bike lanes and sidewalks. Younger generations of future homeowners like Millennials value walkability highly, so that may bode well for your resale value down the road.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

{ 0 comments }

Tips for Buying in a Seller’s Market

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 26, 2016

 Tips for Buying in a Seller’s MarketMultiple offers. Bidding wars. Prices that seem to go up every day. Buying in a seller’s market can make you a little crazy. After offer after offer is defeated, you start to just want any house—forget your dream home. Here are five problems that make seller’s markets especially crazy and how to navigate them.

  1. The all-cash buyer. Where do they come from, and more importantly, what to they do for a living? It’s really frustrating to have your offer beat out by King Cash, especially if it’s happened more than once. There’s pretty much nothing you can do to trump a cash buyer. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can check out short sales or foreclosures in the area you’re stalking, but these days those are in short supply.
  2. Extreme bargaining. How do you compete with an offer that’s willing to waive important items like the inspection to make the deal go through? Love letters are a great way to win over your seller’s heart, or you can go for the jugular and cut that contingency, too. Just make sure you have plenty of emergency cash for repairs should something go terribly wrong later.
  3. Messy showings. In a seller’s market, some seller’s just don’t care. Homes may be left a wreck during showings, or homeowners may not even leave. If you can see beyond the clutter and mess, you may be able to find a diamond in the rough.
  4. Inaccurate listings. Sometimes it may feel like listings are their own language. “Cozy” means small. “Quaint” means old and outdated. When you waste time seeing properties that don’t work for you, you miss out on properties that might actually work. This is why having a real estate attorney who is familiar with the area comes in handy.
  5. Non-existent inventory. This is a huge problem in South Florida, especially among those looking for homes priced between $300k and $500k. This is where having that real estate attorney really makes a difference. They can work with banks, other real estate agents, and their community partners to find properties that aren’t known about yet and help you find a hidden gem.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

{ 0 comments }

Why you Should Skip Buying a Starter Home

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 23, 2016

Why You Should Skip Buying a Starter HomeThe starter home. Buy something small, modest and sturdy where you can park your stuff for a while until it gains value and then move on to a real house. But is the starter home strategy a thing of the past?

When you purchase a home that you are planning to sell in the near future, you have to treat it differently than if you didn’t have plans to move. That means being strategic about the area you are buying into. Will it still be a desirable area in 5 or 10 years?

Second, pay close attention to the inspection report. If you are buying your home as a nest egg or another form of investment, the investment needs to pay off. That means if you find a good deal that needs a bunch of work, it’s not a good deal after all.

Third, you need to think small. If you do buy a starter home, you may need to think about spending less than you would on a typical home, since you will need to sell and buy a new one in the foreseeable future. Can you afford the home on one income? Do you have enough equity to get out of the home if market tanks when you’re looking to sell? You need to turn a profit in a short amount of time with a starter home, so you need to be conservative with what you spend on it.

Lastly, everything you do to improve the home should be done with a buyer in mind, from decorating to maintenance to upgrades, even down to the paint color. Only do things that will increase your home’s value to that prospective buyer.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

{ 0 comments }