Treu Group Real Estate Blog - Martin County Real Estate

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Martin County Real Estate

There are currently 24 blog entries related to this category.

Interest RatesAre you wondering what the impact is if interest rates go up?  That is a great question and many buyers are asking that very question.  Did you know that a 1% increase in interest impacts your buying power by 10%?  Most buyers are shocked when they hear that.  

What is the impact to you when you are buying?  

Here is a great example:  If you can afford a $400,000 home, if interest rates go up 1%, you could afford 10% less.  So now your buying power is $360,000.  Imagine what happens if rates go up 2%.  Low interest rates have become so normal however they won't stay low forever. Take advantage of the opportunity while it exists.  

So let us help you find your new home while interest rates are still competitive. Click here to browse all homes for sale, just like an agent. 

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Treu Solutions to Avoid the 5 Biggest Pitfalls in Real Estate

It takes 10,000 hours to master something. Having the right agent who knows what to do when dealing with a unique contract is essential in avoiding a real estate pitfall. At Treu Group Real Estate, our team of experts works together to help you avoid pitfalls, and to work through them when they do arise. Listen in for details on how to close your real estate deal and avoid the pitfalls. 

 

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Buying vs. RentingDoes it make sense to buy or rent?  That is a great question that every renter should ask.  90% of wealth comes from their primary home.  That should get all of our attention if we are looking to create wealth.  Before you do anything else, you should own your own home. 

There are times when renting might make sense.  If you are planning on moving away in less than 3 years, renting might be a good option.  Or if retirement is approaching and you are not sure of your long term plans.  Even if you are looking for a new career and relocating is an option.  If this is not you, then you should strongly consider buying in south Florida.   Otherwise you are helping another person become wealthy.

The other challenge with renting is that rentals are on the rise.  Why?  It is because of supply and demand in part. There are more people wanting to rent than there are rentals.  The second reason is that certain fees are higher, like taxes, so it is passed on to the tenant.  What's worse is that it will continue to increase since investment properties don't have the tax savings benefit of the Save the Homes.  Landlords can expect their taxes to increase which means that rental rates will need to go up just to maintain the same profit for the landlord.

When buying a home, you deserve to have someone on your side.  Treu Group Real Estate represents our buyers as a buyer's agent.  You might be asking, "Doesn't everyone?".  The simple answer is no.  There are 2 ways an agent can represent a buyer, as a Single Agent or a Transaction Broker.  How do I know how I am being represented?  If you have not signed an agreement, you are by default working with a Transaction Broker.  So what is the next step to buying a new home?  Call us to schedule a time to meet to discuss the process, what you can expect when working with us and your housing needs.  We look forward to helping you find your new home. 

Congratulations on the decision to be a homeowner!

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If you are like most buyers, you will be obtaining a mortgage.  It is a critical set in obtaining the keys so you can move into your new home.  So what is the big deal?  Getting a mortgage is step one of making your dreams come true. 

Florida is number 1 for mortgage denials.  This isn't something that we want to be #1 in as it means that buyers and sellers are disappointed and closings don't occur.  17% of applicants get denied.  Wow, that is a big number.  Imagine that you have found a home you love, you're already decorating in your mind and packing only to hear NO. 

So what do you do if you want to buy a home to have your loan approved?  There are steps to improve your chances of having your loan approved.

  1. Check your credit on a free credit score site like creditkarma.com.  This will give you an idea and a range of your credit score.
  2. Pay down your credit cards below 30% - all cards.  Many people pay off one and leave higher balances. 
  3. Don't change anything financial like jobs, closing credit lines or opening credit lines.
  4. If your income is commission or bonuses discuss with your lender.  You will need a history to allow this to be counted as income.
  5. Make sure you have reserves as required by your lender.
  6. Use a great lender that will do a pre-approval, not a pre-qualification.  Make sure the lender has reviewed, credit, your income, tax returns and your expenses.  Almost all issues could have been anticipated by a proper pre-approval. Too many buyers wait to get pre-approved until after they find a home and then they lose it. 

So what do you do now?  Let Treu Group Real Estate help you.  We will get you pre-approved for your loan and then schedule a time to meet for a consultation.  Spending a few minutes up front allows you to  save hours and more importantly get you to the home of your dreams. 

Need more tips?  You can listen to a radio show discussing obtaining your mortgage. 

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Here is all of the information that you need to know in order to file for your homestead exemption! It is the time of year that homeowners are thinking about making sure they have their HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION complete so they can get a credit on the property tax bill they will receive.

Florida homeowners are entitled to property tax credits which they may qualify for.  These may include: Homestead, Widowed, Blind, Disabled, Veterans (various categories) and Ect.   The homeowner must be able to show proof of ownership as of January 1 of the year and must file with the county tax department for exemption no later than March 1.   Approved exemptions will be reflected in the yearly tax bill which is issued on November 1.  The taxes are paid in arrears ( Jan. 1 starts the tax year however we do not see the tax bill until Nov. 1).

There are many reasons to homestead your property.  The first is to save money.  That alone would be enough for many however this is just the beginning.  My favorite part is the Save Our Home component that limits the impact of fast appreciation.  You will have the protection that if prices go up, your assessment will be capped at 3%.  And then there is the legal benefits.

It is easy to apply on-line by following these easy steps.

Go to web browser and type in: http://www.pbcgov.com/papa/

Property Appraiser’s Public Access, (click and this will take you to the property appraiser page.

Mid-page click in the section, How Do I ….

File for exemption

Click,  Forms Tab  at top

Click , exemptions

On right ;   Click Here for E-File

Then follow the instructions to complete the form information.

You will need a Florida driver’s license, Voter Registration and ect.

You will then be able to get credit deductions on your property tax bill, it’s that easy.

If you have questions related to Homestead Exemptions or other Real Estate related questions,  give us a call at Treu Group Real Estate

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The international market is always something to watch with real estate in South Florida. It is always a constantly adapting market, with the economic and political changes that take place.  As the famous ride at Disney World says, It's a Small World After All.  

Which two countries could have the greatest impact on OUR Florida real estate market?  

Give up? 

Well…. One is CANADA.  The other is CHINA.

Let me ask you another question now.  Which country’s impact will be more positive and which will be negative?  I’ll give you a hint:

 China has just surpassed the US as the official new world leader in cross-border investing.  Florida has made the top 5 places that Chinese investors are focusing on with their real estate purchases.  
 

And what exactly are the Chinese investing in??  They are investing in residential and commercial property assets - to the tune of about 21 billion dollars!  And they’re using some great strategies to do so.   

What is their overall investment strategy?  

Stability… and opportunity. By opportunity…the Chinese know where to find a good REAL ESTATE BARGAIN.  South Florida is really popular since our rent rates are favorable for the investor. 

Now… what about our friends north of the border??  Well… that’s where the news isn’t so good.  

Canadians represent a lot of the international real estate purchases here in Florida.  However, with the Canadian dollar continuing to decline… that’s causing a significant decrease in their ability to invest in Florida real estate.  With the strengthening of the US dollar, it now costs 25% more for the Canadian buyer.  
 

What can you learn from all this:  It’s important when hiring a realtor… that your realtor knows the ins and outs of the international market!  


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3 Ways to Save Big on Property Tax

 

I am sure you have heard the quote, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, and taxes," by Benjamin Franklin. However, there are ways to save money on your property taxes!  In the state of Florida, you can claim homestead on your property if you reside there for 6 months and 1 day out of the year. If you own a property in Florida that is your primary residence, you qualify for some great tax breaks!  Here are 3 things you need to know about property taxes:



1. Close by December 31st, 2016!


If you are in the process of purchasing a new home, you must close by December 31st to be allowed to receive the homestead tax exemption for the next year. To qualify for the homestead exemption for the year of 2017, you must own your home by December 31st, 2016! Another date to keep in mind is March 1st, 2017. In order to get a homestead tax exemption for the year of 2017, you must apply by March 1st, 2017. If you miss these dates you will have to wait until next year!  Either error could cost you thousands of dollars. 


2. Plan ahead!

Closings  can take some time. The average closing takes about a month to fully complete. In some cases it can take up to 6 weeks. Allow yourself plenty of time well before the December 31st due date to assure that your new home will qualify as your primary residence for the next year!


3. Use a reliable lender!


Be sure to finance your new home through a lender you can trust. Don’t work hard to meet that December 31st cut off only to find that your financing has fallen through or has been delayed! Only use a dependable lender for your real estate finances, a reliable institution that will definitely be able and willing to hit your deadlines.


Follow these steps to your homestead tax exemption!


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Technology is all around us, and in the past years has become an important part of our lives and everyday activities. The technology advances have not left behind homeowners. Every day we see more and more products and systems for homes in the market, and with mainstream usage comes accessibility. Using technological upgrades in our homes is easy, affordable and convenient. Let’s review some home technology upgrades that increase the value of your property:

Smart Thermostats
The old standard clock-type thermostats are being replaced for newer technological products that are less confusing and more reliable. They add great benefits as you can monitor your home’s temperature anytime from anywhere and adjust accordingly. One of the most popular ones out there is Nest. It has a price tag of $249 and claims to add up to $173 in savings per year.
 
Smart Smoke Detector
This technological upgrade can improve your life’s quality and allow you to save money at the same time. While a smart smoke detector might reduce your insurance premium, it will also go beyond monitoring smoke. It analyzes the air for carbon dioxide levels and general air quality. It even has smart phone/tablet controls. Try Birdi priced at $119 or Nest Protect priced at $99.
 
Smart Door Locks
You can end the long and eternal struggle with keys in your pocket or bag by using a smart door lock system. These systems work through Wifi or Bluetooth connections, and allow you to unlock doors by automatic detecting your phone or other electronic device associated. You can also let guests into your house from any location and even across the country. Some systems like August Smart Lock, priced at $249.99, even have a guestbook feature and have the capability to send showing instructions to real estate agents.
 
Smart Sprinkler Control
By helping reduce the hassle and water waste, these smart controls allow you to program them automatically from your computer or smart device. You can be at home or miles away on vacation. The Rachio Iro system claims to help costumers save up to 30% on their outdoor water usage and save up to 2/3 on their water bill.
 
Smart Lighting
The smart systems allow you to program lights to turn on and off as required while it also allows you to dim their intensity, translating into great savings in the electric bill. Lights can also be programmed as motion detectors and help improve the security in your home. Phillips Hue has an interesting proposal for smart lighting with a starter pack at $199.
 
Smart Moisture Sensor
A great technology upgrade that can help you monitor humidity, temperature changes and any water leaks in your home. No other method will work better to keep water damage and mold under control and out of your property. The $299 Wally system is a great option to look into.
 
Smart Home Security Systems
Last but no least, the smart security systems are taking over the market. They allow you to set up cameras, sensors and monitor them from your computer, mobile device or tablet. The Vivint Home Security system also includes doorbell cameras, smart locks, and garage door controls.

With over 350 million mobile device users in the United States alone, systems and smart technology for the home is becoming part of the everyday standards for homeowners. Millennials, who are leading the real estate market, are also directing the path towards a more accessible, easier to handle, and convenient usage of technology in the home.

Do you have technology in your home? Share it with us!  What smart systems are you interested in? We want to hear about it!

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Have you been thinking about buying a home?  If you have, hiring a real estate agent is the first decision you need to make.  I am amazed at how many buyers do not hire a buyer's agent.  Why does that happen?  I think that many buyers don't have the information and I am committed to changing that today.  

 

Why a Buyer's Agent?  First why not?  You deserve having total representation.  Buying a home is a big decision and having your agent there to guide you and represent you is critical.

What does it cost me to hire a Buyer's Agent?  The great news is that the seller pays the real estate commission.  

Aren't all agents the same?  At Treu Group Real Estate, we recognize that if we put the best people doing what they are experts at, our clients really benefit.  How can you know it works?  You can see the results of our Exclusive strategies by seeing what our clients say about us.  You can see realtor reviews.  

Shouldn't I just use the listing agent?  The challenge is often by the time you find the home, it might be sold.  Also who is on YOUR side?  

How do I know if I have a Buyer's Agent or a Transaction Broker?  Here are a few ways to know:  Did your first meeting start with a consultation?  Did your agent ask you about your goals?  When you met, was there an agreement signed?  Or did the agent start showing you homes.  We have success story after success story.  One of our latest was a client that had been looking for a year with no success.  The buyer was going to give up until they met with Treu Group Real Estate.  With a few minutes of listening, the solution was clear.  Guess what happened?  The buyer saw 2 homes and fell in love.  The buyer shared that the difference is we really listened.  

So what is the next step?  It is easy, call us today to see how we can help you find your new home at 561-376-2424.

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5186 Se Miles Grant Ter, Stuart FL

This beautiful home located in Stuart in the Miles Grant community offers an amazing lifestyle.  You will enjoy the active lifestyle that this community offers from social activities and even golf if you want.  Enjoy your time with the low-maintenance lifestyle instead of working on the lawn. 

This home has three bedrooms, two baths and a great room design.  Inside, you will love the upgrades with laminate and tile flooring in this well cared for home.  Enjoy cooking?  This kitchen was built for you.  The kitchen was updated just last year with sleek stainless steel appliances and upgraded cabinets.  It offers plenty of countertop space and cabinet storage, as well as large windows to let in sunlight.  Adjacent is the large great room.  This space can be converted into a dining room, family room, or both.  The layout of this home allows for lots of options and customization.  In addition, both bathrooms have been recently updated, too! 



Outside, soak up the sun in the lush backyard.  Enjoy fresh fruit from the avocado and banana trees, or let your pets run around.  The backyard is enclosed and offers you the privacy that you desire.

 

 

 

 

Avid golfer?  This is the place to be!  Miles Grant is one of the most affordable country clubs in the area offering top of the line amenities.  Play on endless prime green golf courses, or practice your tennis game with some neighbors, afterwards treat yourself to a hearty lunch at the club restaurant.  And this is one of the rare communities where you do not have to pay an equity membership!

Here is where you can enjoy all aspects of the South Florida lifestyle.  Not only are there great outdoor activities in Miles Grant, but just outside the community there is a park on the water perfect for a picnic or kayaking!  Plus, Stuart, Florida is a beautiful city with plenty to do, see, and enjoy; some of our favorites include:

Downtown Stuart is full of life during the day and night.  This historic area features some of your favorite stores as well as local boutiques, and many delicious dining options at various price ranges.  It is also just a short walk from the beach!

Bring the whole family to the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center!  See beautiful marine life up close, walk through t he butterfly garden and nature trails, and learn about saving Florida's oceans and creatures!

Shop until you drop at Treasure Coast Square Mall!  This expansive mall not only houses all of your favorite brands and department stores, but also has a movie theater!

 

If you are interested in this beautiful home, call the Treu Group today and schedule a private showing! Hurry.

 

You can see more of this Miles Grant home

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