How This Election Will Affect Real Estate

  The issues that are centered around an election typically revolve around social issues, job growth, and global politics. Government policies that are put in place can also have a significant impact on real estate. Many people believe that the real estate cycle has matured and with the election around the corner the impact could be heightened. Could current real estate fundamentals strengthen further or weaken after a new administration takes office in January?   The economy and the stock market are leading issues that affect fundamentals of the property market. It is important to remember that party affiliation does not offer any easy clues about which candidate might strengthen or weaken it. Statistically the party affiliation of the POTUS does not have a significant impact on U.S. equity markets. That being said, Presidential races and volatility often go hand in hand. Elections are times of uncertainty that sometimes lead to volatility in many markets. For instance, the FTSE NAREIT All REIT index has dropped steadily during the past three months. A number of factors, some of which may be related to presidential election uncertainty and broader market volatility, have likely contributed to this weakening performance.   Interest rates are another concern. The upcoming election may have influenced the Fed’s recent decisions not to raise rates thus far. Not raising rates have been beneficial to many borrowing to buy a home and has definitely perpetuated much of the growth in real estate in recent years since the Great Recession. Some say a rate hike is overdue

5 Reasons NOT to FSBO!

In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.   Here are the top five reasons:   1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers   Recent studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. The Monica Betancourt Group has a comprehensive internet strategy to promote the sale of your home through different web outlets, as well as through other well-known mediums, such as print. Do you?   2. Results Come from the Internet   Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased? •44% on the internet •33% from a Real Estate Agent •9% from a yard sign •1% from newspapers   The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.   3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With   Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to FSBO: •The buyer who wants the best deal possible •The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer •The buyer’s attorney •The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will

Pick the Right Agent You Can Trust!

  It is natural to want to be overly cautious when buying or selling a home. After all, for most people it is one of the biggest decisions they will make in their lifetime. It is also not that far-fetched for someone to take a step back, take a look at the advice real estate professionals give them, and ask themselves whether they can trust that advice. And that is exactly what they should do. It is important to know whom you can rely on for relevant information and expertise you can trust before acting or making a decision. Since your real estate agent will be conveying the facts to you throughout your real estate transaction, it is important to have a relationship built on trust with them. Without trusted input, individuals and couples can second-guess themselves when buying or selling, creating uncertainty on whether they should stick with their choice or not.   You must trust your agent to: Handle the liquidation or acquisition of possibly the largest asset you family has Determine the market value for that asset Set a clear timetable for that transaction And most importantly… Convey Honesty, Integrity and Reliability throughout the entire process.   All four require a tremendous amount of confidence with your REALTOR®. That is why trust is essential to the relationship an agent has with their client. The Monica Betancourt Group takes pride in the ethical and honest approach we take to every transaction. We do our very best to ensure the greatest satisfaction for all of our

The Fairchild Coconut Grove Experience Presented by The Monica Betancourt Group

Serene waters. Crisp designs. Elite appliances. Sheer and utter elegance. Imagine all of the above being qualities of one place. The mind no longer has to try to conjure up such grandeur because The Fairchild: Coconut Grove is truly one of a kind. The Fairchild experience is “one of chic, comfort and convenience so you feel right at home, right away.” The Monica Betancourt Group had the pleasure of meeting with Patrick Vysata of One Sotheby’s International Realty, for a private preview of The Fairchild Coconut Grove. Upon walking inside the show room, The MBG team knew that it’d be something extremely special. The Fairchild features curated waterfront living, lavish residences, immaculate master bathrooms, gourmet chef kitchens, lavish amenities, wet bar cabinets, and distinguishing design features. Amongst the design features, The Fairchild offers twenty-six unique residences in a building designed by acclaimed architect Max Strang and very fine architecture by Rafael De Cardenas. The residences offer dedicated elevator lobbies, 11-ft ceiling heights throughout, 13-ft in penthouse, private outdoor living areas with bay views, natural stone flooring throughout, spacious custom walk-in closets, laundry rooms, service quarters and/or outdoor showers in select residences. The gourmet chef kitchens are fully equipped with: cabinetry by Poliform with integrated LED lighting, Sub-Zero column refrigerator, Sub-Zero column freezer, Wolf gas range with single and double ovens, Wolf Pro stainless steel hood with stainless steel backsplash (with integrated warming rack and heating lamps), Wolf transitional convection steam oven, Asko dishwasher, Quartz counter surfaces and plumbing fixtures by Dornbracht. The master bathrooms are

MBG Presents a Private Tropical Miami Estate in Coral Gables

10200 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156   Every once in awhile, a home with unique character, unparalleled setting and undeniable soul becomes available; this is that occasion. Welcome to an enchanting tropical oasis nestled on 1.5 acres within Snapper Creek Lakes complete with a marina and ocean access in Coral Gables. This estate encompasses 9,800 square feet including 7 bedrooms, 9 full bathrooms and 2 half baths with custom mahogany impact windows and doors throughout. French doors open onto an airy foyer, leading into the den which boasts a solid wood entertainment center and natural light permeating through picturesque windows. The island kitchen showcases solid pine wood cabinets, granite counter tops, a matching computer station and top grade appliances from Thermador and Kitchen Aid. Two more sets of French doors and an antique Italian chandelier grace the formal dining room where you can picture your next dinner party. The Havana Room is an inspired work of art. All mahogany work featured throughout the home is custom designed by Trelles Cabarrocas Architects and executed by master carpenters. A foyer with bent mahogany ceiling detail leads into the stunning master suite featuring upholstered walls, an octagonal window, his & her closets and crafted wood work that is at a caliber all it’s own. Antique dual vanities, marble & glass shower with 6 massage heads and a rainfall shower are just a few of the luxurious details in the master bathroom suite. There is also a gym, state of the art home theater with 13 built-in seats and generous bonus room that is great for casual or grand scale entertaining. Coral Rock blends

The Monica Betancourt Group – Miami Rental Rates Frenzy

                Miami has much to offer, from business opportunities to cultural diversity, educational expansion, world renowned health care and a multitude of entertainment and lifestyle options. It is no surprise then, that Miami has maintained its high ranking for having one of the nation’s most expensive rental rates. Zumper, an online rental listing site, conducted a study on the top 50 metropolitan areas across the United States. The results of the study, conducted in February 2015, showed that popular cities such as San Francisco, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago and Seattle were among the top 10 most expensive rental cities in the nation. Miami, listed as number eight, has been raising a bit of concern for both current and future Miami rental residents. Although Miami is not number one on the list, its renters are exhibiting a negative reaction because studies and trends are predicting that these monthly rates will continue to rise. So what is a Tenant to do? Well, for starters, I believe that renters should know this: on average, it costs $400/month more to rent than to own. The next thing that renters should note is the fact that mortgage rates are nearing record lows – which makes home ownership a more realistic goal for a lot of people. For some, renting has always been the “better” option due to the popular notion that Tenants evade property maintenance costs; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when you weigh the value in owning versus renting in the long run.

7 Tips For Selling Your Home Fast in Any Market

  Listing at the right price and making a first great impression are both vital to attracting buyers, but what else can you do? The Monica Betancourt Group is always dedicated to providing the best service and advice to our clients so we have compiled seven tips for selling your home fast in any market.   Stand-Out from the Competition Consider adding practical improvements such as, landscaping, high-grade windows or new roof to your home. This will improve the home’s aesthetics, while potentially adding value to the home and attracting more attention to potential buyers. These improvements are things buyers look for and will be perceived very well by potential buyers.   Clean the Clutter & Depersonalize It is essential to remove all clutter from a home before showing it to potential buyers. The fewer thing that are in the home, the larger it will look. This may include moving furniture around, freeing up space in the garage and tidying up the bedrooms. Also, depersonalize the home by taking down religious items and political posters because buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space. This will set the stage for the buyer to remember your home. We all know how important first impressions are.   Improve Curb Appeal Curb appeal is one the most important things to remember when selling a home. The first thing a buyer sees is the home’s external appearance and how the home fits into the surrounding neighborhood. Prospective buyers form an opinion the moment they see a home. Making sure that your home has

12351 Rock Garden Lane, Pinecrest, FL 33156

The Monica Betancourt Group along with The Sanabria Team are elated to introduce our new listing at 12351 Rock Garden Lane. Located in the highly sought after Pinecrest, this European-inspired estate boasts lush landscaping and meticulous detail all throughout the property. You and your guests will truly feel welcomed every time you step foot onto this spectacular estate. Especially because everyone will be walking on marvelous floors of reclaimed antique limestone, hickory wood and lustrous antique black-and-white marble. No doubt, this home is of royal standards. Enriched by meticulous attention to detail and masterful use of materials, the home showcases a double staircase off of the living room with a Louis XV carved limestone fireplace that will leave your guests impressed and talking for days. The master suite also boasts a cozy fireplace, as well as, a gym, office and sun-porch. Each of the five bedrooms have their own bathroom and balcony which is phenomenal for any family who decides to settle its roots in this fantastic home.   Entertaining in this house is delight. The unique cooks kitchen and its large island with butchers block top is of magazine quality. The summer kitchen with gazebo alongside the beautiful pool offer the perfect setting for any special occasion. This masterpiece is situated atop a coral rock ridge surrounded by award-winning landscaping, pool, fruit trees and garden paths. Also included in this home is the convenience of an elevator and back-up generator on property to keep the lights on.     With one of the best school districts in

Top Waterfront Restaurants in Miami

Summer is nearing and things around here are about to heat up. The weather, real estate and most importantly, the food. Yes, for all the foodies out there we will be showcasing the top waterfront restaurants in Miami to visit. What better way to survive the summer heat than to enjoy a delicious meal and ice cold drink by a body of water? Here are the top waterfront restaurants in Miami to visit this summer. Courtesy of Area 31 7. Area 31 This trendy spot atop the EPIC Hotel provides stellar views of Downtown and Biscayne Bay. Truly a beautiful representation of the city and its lights. The seafood is fresh and the ambiance is too. This popular happy hour location serves creative seafood and reasonably priced cocktails indoor or poolside. 6. Grove Bay Grill The “Grove” is infamous for it’s historic background and tree lined streets but the food is why many flock to this quaint neighborhood. This is easily seen in this tropical oasis in the middle of Miami with its sidewalk cafes and restaurants near anchored sailboats on the bay. The stunning bay views doted by sailboats at Grove Bay Grill is the perfect setting to enjoy a nice cold beer and an affordable meal. Courtesy of Red Fish Grill 5. Red Fish Grill Boasting an incredible location on the water in Matheson Hammock Park, Red Fish Grill offers a romantically lit beach destination with breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay. The sophisticated and well prepared seafood gives satisfaction with every bite. Its attentive service, wonderful vistas and somewhat hard to find location adds to its romantic ambiance. This is how waterfront eating in Miami

Florida’s Housing Market: (1Q 2016) Update

New Listings, Median Prices Rise in March 2016 Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices, more new listings and fewer all-cash closed sales in March, according to the latest hosing data released by Florida Realtors®. Thanks to strong price growth over the last few years, many homeowners have been able to rebuild the equity in their homes. March marked 52 months in a row that Florida median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year. This is great news for many but for others, such as,  first-time home buyers and move-up buyers it can pose a challenge to them. However, there is good news for potential buyers because inventory in the market has risen. In March, new listings for existing single-family homes rose 5.6 percent compared to a year ago while new listings for townhouse-condo properties are up 2.6 percent.   “Overall, statewide inventory levels essentially held steady in March; however, beneath the surface, we can see that active listings in the most affordable price tiers are continuing to decline,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor. “These declines are being offset by the growth in the upper price tiers, particularly in the luxury market. The active inventory of homes listed for over $1 million, for instance, was up 18.3 percent year-over-year among single family homes and 38.6 percent among condos and townhouses.”   If you are thinking of buying or selling in the near future there is good news. According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.69 percent in