Cost Effective Tips for a Greener Home

While there are many ways in which to go green, these are just a few quick and easy cost effective things you can do to lessen your homes impact on the environment, and save you some green on your home’s next utility bill. Upgrade Lights to LED or CFL  According to Energy Star, about 12 percent of an average energy bill for a typical single family home goes towards lighting. Simply replacing incandescent lightbulbs around your home with light emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs will easily and cheaply reduce your energy consumption. On average these bulbs will use 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, and last 10 to 25 times longer than incandescent lightbulbs. As a result, this will reduce the number of bulbs that ends up in landfills – how awesome is that. Seal Gaps Around Doors & Windows If you live in an older home, chances are that there are gaps around doors and windows around your house. All of those gaps during a typical summer in Miami can add up to a higher electricity bill. Adding weather striping around doors and windows around the house will prevent wasteful energy expenditure and can save you up to 10 percent on your bill. Fix Leaking Toilets & Sinks Leaking toilets and sinks may seem insignificant, but over time they waste a lot of water. 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day, and the average household’s leaks can amount to 10,000 gallons of water

September 2017 South Miami Real Estate Market Snapshot

*These numbers only cover the city of South Miami and are not reflective of Miami-Dade as a whole.   The Bottom Line: The month of September was definitely an eventful one with the effects of Hurricane Irma at our doorstep. It interrupted everyone’s activities for a couple of weeks, and although disruptive – was not destructive for the city of South Miami. That being said, September figures were incomplete due to disruptions cause by Hurricane Irma. This is shown in the South Miami real estate statistical numbers for September that were apparently impacted as some closing were delayed due to power outages, and damage from the storm that had some homeowners put off listing there homes for a little while. Examples of Irma’s effects can be seen in the drastic 72% decrease in the number of new listings hitting the South Miami market in September of this year relative to last year, and a 60% decrease relative to the month before, August of 2017. Likewise, total homes under contract in September was down nearly 42%. Not surprising, the median sales price of homes in South Miami are still up from last year. Everyday life is getting back to normal for most South Florida residents, and the numbers for the month of October should reflect, yet again, a vibrant real estate market. It is a critical time to choose the right Realtor® who can safely guide you through the ups-and-downs of any real estate market. Monica Betancourt resides in South Miami and understands what makes this city such a wonderful place to live. With an incredible team behind her and the right tools and data

Florida host-state agreement to help Puerto Ricans in need

It has been announced yesterday that President Donald Trump’s administration has approved Governor Rick Scott’s request to enter into a Host-State agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Puerto Ricans more than two weeks after Hurricane Maria’s landfall. The agreement was signed and dated on October 5th, 2017, and approves 100 percent federal reimbursement for costs incurred by the State of Florida related to accommodating Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria, such as sheltering operations. Governor Rick Scott expressed the number one concern he has heard from Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Irma is that they need a safe place to stay so that they can begin to rebuild their lives. Scott also announced the opening of three disaster relief centers in Port of Miami, Orlando International Airport, and Miami International Airport. Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, making Maria the first Category 4 hurricane to strike the island since 1932. The storm knocked out power to the entire island, preventing many Puerto Ricans in San Juan and around the island from accessing crucial clean water. It is unclear yet how many Puerto Ricans will decide to take up the Governor on his offer, but some estimates have already been made and run as high as 100,000 over the upcoming weeks and months. It is also a guessing game right now on how many will go back to Puerto Rico once the island is back to normal and the repairs

Perricone’s Restaurant Site in Brickell Sells for Over $16M

Nestled in the heart of Brickell, Perricone’s Marketplace & Café has provided legendary italian cuisine and a unique dining experience for over two decades. The popular restaurant in Brickell located at 15 SE 10th Street has been sold for $16.18 million, according to the South Florida Business Journal. Proprietor Steven Perricone originally leased the land from Allen Morris Company in 1994 and eventually purchased it on August 1, 1997 for $725,000. CitizenM Hotels purchased the site with plans to redevelop the site in the future. This might come as a shock to those who enjoy visiting the restaurant on a regular basis, but they should not worry for now. Part of the agreement was a five year lease for the restaurant to stay in place at the same location with the possibility of being included in the new development. Those who are familiar with the Brickell area might also remember another restaurant location across the street that is getting redeveloped – that’s right, Brickell Flatiron is currently under construction where Brickell’s BARÚ Urbano restaurant used to be located. Ugo Colombo payed $21 million for the site back in 2013.

Trump’s Travel Restrictions on Venezuela & Miami’s Real Estate Market

President Donald Trump on Sunday imposed new travel restrictions for his controversial travel ban. The signed proclamation extends the list of countries originally on the ban to eight including Venezuela, North Korea, and Chad. Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were left on the list of affected countries, while restrictions on citizens of Sudan were lifted. Although the order bans most citizens from the countries listed, it only affects some Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members from entering the U.S. Of those government officials affected include members of Venezuela’s interior ministry, justice department, foreign ministry, CIPIC criminal investigation unit and the SEBIN Bolivarian National Intelligence Service. According to the White House, Venezuela was added to the list because it “fails to share public-safety and terrorism-related information adequately” and has been “not fully cooperative” in receiving deportees. The new restrictions are set to take effect on October 18, 2017. Why is a Venezuelan ban important to Miami’s real estate market? Politics aside, how will the new restrictions on Venezuela affect the Miami Real Estate market? Although it is to early to predict the exact ramifications of this ban and its effects on Miami’s real estate, it is totally reasonable for sellers and investors to be curious, if not somewhat worrisome. Why? – Out of all the foreign countries that purchased South Florida real estate last year, Venezuelan homebuyers purchased the most homes. In fact, data provided by the Miami Association of Realtors reveals that Venezuelan buyers spent $868 million on residential properties in South

Sofia Vergara Sells Miami Beach Condo Unit for $150K

Sofia Vergara’s Miami Beach studio apartment located at The Lofts at Harding is under contract as of September, records show. Unit 15 was listed back in March for $150,000, although property records show she paid $15,000 more in 2007 for $165,000. The 468 square foot studio sits on the second floor of the boutique condo in North Beach and is only 2 blocks away from the beach. As reported by Gossip Extra, The Modern Family star had lived in the Miami Beach unit back in the mid-1990’s when she first arrived to South Florida to begin her career as a model and then actress.

Report: Hurricane Irma Property Damage Estimated at up to $65 Billion

Getty Images | Joe Raedle Hurricane Irma was an extremely powerful storm. In fact, it was one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean with maximum sustained winds peaking at 185 mph. The storm caused catastrophic damage to the islands of Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands as a Category 5 hurricane as well as pummeling other northern Caribbean islands in its path. She began to end her destructive journey as a hurricane riding up the state of Florida, impacting all of the counties of the state, and causing widespread property damage and long-lasting power outages that affected millions of Floridians. One of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Irma were the Florida Keys. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that about 25 percent of the homes in the Keys were destroyed after Hurricane Irma made its way through the low lying island chain – many islands, of which are less than 3 feet above sea level.   At What Cost? A preliminary report released Tuesday by CoreLogic estimates that property damage in Florida from Hurricane Irma is now between $42.5 billion to $65 billion. This estimate includes the total insured and uninsured loss for both residential and commercial properties as well as damage from both flood and wind. Despite the impressive wind speeds a hurricane showcases, it is typically the water that causes the most damage during and after the storm. An estimated $13.5 billion to $19 billion of insured losses were resulted of wind damage for all properties. Of that amount, an estimated $11 billion

August 2017 South Miami Real Estate Market Snapshot

*These numbers only cover the city of South Miami and are not reflective of Miami-Dade as a whole.   The Bottom Line: August is the month we typically see a slight shift in the market with families getting back to their busy routines and children going back to school; hence a 40% decrease in the number of new listings hitting the South Miami market in August (15) relative to July (25) of 2017. It is the natural progression we often see heading into the fall season. That being said, the real estate market in South Miami is hotter than ever, and we can easily see that by the looking at the overall stats. Relative to last year in the same month, days on market are lower, more homes are under contract, and the median sales price of homes in South Miami are up nearly 14%! The transition from Summer to Winter can have many different affects on the local home buying and selling process. It is a critical time to choose the right Realtor® who can safely guide you through the ups-and-downs of any real estate market. Monica Betancourt resides in South Miami and understands what makes this city such a wonderful place to live. With an incredible team behind her and the right tools and data in hand, she knows what it takes to buy or sell a home in South Miami.   PREVIEW CURRENT SOUTH MIAMI LISTINGS    

International Interest of U.S. & Miami Real Estate 2017

INTERNATIONAL BUYERS AND THE U.S. REAL ESTATE MARKET Although the current strength of the U.S. dollar against most foreign currencies has made U.S. housing more expensive for foreign homebuyers and investors, purchases of U.S. residential real estate from international buyers spiked to its highest level ever in terms of number of homes sold and dollar volume. Foreign buyers closed on $153 billion worth of U.S. residential properties between April 2016 and March 2017. According to the National Association of Realtors, that’s a 49 percent jump from the period a year earlier and a new survey high from the previous record in 2015 ($103.9 billion). Half of all foreign sales were in just three states: Florida, California, and Texas. Top Countries that Purchased Real Estate in the U.S.  (April 2016 – March 2017) China ($31.7 billion) Canada ($19.0 billion) United Kingdom ($9.5 billion) Mexico ($9.3 billion) India ($7.8 billion) For the fourth straight year, Chinese buyers maintained their top position in sales dollar volume, spending the most on U.S. real estate. But the biggest overall surge in sales activity in the last year came from Canadian buyers, who bought more than $19 billion worth of properties, up from $8.9 billion in 2016. Canadian buyers retained their runner-up spot for U.S. residential real estate sales, and according to the 2017 National Association of Realtors’ International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate Report, Florida was the most popular choice among the buyer group. Despite a weaker Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar, of the nearly $20 billion

10840 SW 93rd Street | Exclusive Acre+ Lot with Pool in Kendall

Located on 10840 SW 93rd Street, Miami, FL 33176, The Monica Betancourt Group is proud to bring you one of our most recent listings to hit the market in September. This exclusive lot in Kendall sits on a lush 1.15 acre lot on a quiet cul-de-sac. It has been beautifully landscaped with a tropical mix of hedges like Clusia and Podocarpus, and palm trees that provide ideal privacy. Fenced and ready for your custom gate, this incredible location has available plans for a two-story manse with a superb floor plan to fit your every need. Privacy and tranquility are qualities you will relish in your very own enclave. Live the life you love and build your very own dream home on this superb lot in Miami! Details of 10840 SW 93rd Street: 50,094  Square Foot Lot (1.15 Acres) List Price: $695,000 View More Photos & Information Here If you would like to visit this unique property, please contact us for a private showing at (305) 632-7248.