Blogs – Page 3 – Miami City Lifestyle

Mortgage Rates Falling

The interest rate on a standard 30 year mortgage has stayed below the 5% mark.  Are mortgage rates falling?  Last week the rate fell again. It dropped to 4.8% down from the previous week of 4.91%.  The lowest rate was at 4.17% (November 2010), and this was the lowest recorded rate in 40 year.

Falling Mortgage Rates

The 15 year rate followed the same pattern dropping to 4.02% from the previous 4.13%.  The lowest

in had previously been was 3.57% back in November 2010; and that was the lowest since 1991.

It is a fantastic time to lock in rates or to purchase a new home if you need financing.  Not only is

inventory high enough to keep prices down and give the buyer ample options but rates are still at

historically low levels.

To give you an idea you can calculate your mortgage payment for a $250,000.00 loan to be $1311.66 for principle and interest at 4.8%.

Keep in mind that financing is a complicated issue so it is always best to deal with a competent mortgage broker. Many factors play into the banks calculation of your qualifications; your credit, your income, your other financial obligations and your cash reserves and down payment are some of the items taken into consideration.


Free things to do in Miami?

Free things to do in Miami – a lesson from Flat Stanley
OK, so our 10 year old son David gets a “FLAT STANLEY” from his younger cousin Chris in California (age 7). What the heck is a Flat StaFlat Stanleynley is my initial thought? Well turns out it is a cultural project in which children send / mail this character to a friend or family member and the character is to travel around and make a diary of his travels (pictures included) and then gest mailed back to the original sender to be presented in his classroom.

So where to take Flat Stanley? My wife (Isela) and I ponder this question when my wife (my more creative half) decides that; “Hey, we live in Miami and there are a ton of things to do”, let go sight-seeing, and it’s going to be free. FREE!!! My wife has totally lost it!
So off we go.
Guess what she was right. Here are just a few of the sights that Flat Stanley saw and learned about (needless to say, our son David picked up a few pieces of knowledge himself):
The Freedom Tower (being Cuban this one was really special)
Mattheson Hammock Park
Holocaust Memorial
Little Havana / Calle Ocho (By coincidence they were setting up for a parade for the Bay of Pigs remembrance, and David met one of the last surviving Cubans from the Bay of Pigs invasion, Stanley got a nice picture)South Beach And our greatest asset the BEACH itself!!
Had a wonderfully packed day with my wife and son and for free, well nearly free; but lunch was well worth the 30 bucks spent in Little Havana.
I can say that we will be doing this again and with a completely different set of freebies in the great city we call home; MIAMI. What an amazing place to live!

My Landlord Is Not Paying His Association Fees

My Landlord is not paying his association fees!

Your landlord has stopped paying his monthly maintenance / association / fees and the association is contacting you.  From the onset of the foreclosure crisis we have been hearing this exact complaint. We have seen association limit the tenant’s right to use common area elements (pool, gym, parking, etc) or make claim on the rent payment normally due to the landlord; primarily because the association dues are not being paid by the landlord.

Well to be honest; your suspensions are probably correct; yes you have been paying your rent and your landlord has been pocketing the money and not paying his monthly maintenance dues and more than likely he is not paying the taxes on the property nor the mortgage.

So where does that leave you.

As far as the mortgage is concerned you are probable protected under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act 2009. But this blog is not about the mortgage it is about you not being to use the pool or the gym, etc because your landlord has decided not to pay the monthly dues.

Most condo boards are now requiring an addendum to be signed prior to occupancy which addresses this exact issue.  The addendum;  basically give the board the right to make demand that the tenant pay the condo board directly in the event the landlord does not meet their financial obligation to the board. This usually works out fine as the tenant simply pays the board and is unaffected otherwise, except for the initial shock of receiving a strange letter stating that this is occurring. However, I would certainly recommend addressing the issue with the landlord directly.  Also, do not pay the association directly unless it is in writing, by the addendum or you have received instructions directly from the association attorney.

If there is no addendum in place for such an event I would strongly recommend seeking legal advice, should your rights as a tenant be infringed upon.

If the issue cannot be resolved quickly lease termination options should be explored; again with the help of a legal advisor. Once you find the next property be sure to ask your real estate agent to search public records for foreclosures on the property or other liens and ask the condo board what their procedures are in the event of default prior to entering into a lease.


Can I Sublet My Rental Property?

Tenant & Landlord agreement Can I sublet my rental property?

Subletting or sub-leasing a rental unit / property is a very common question.  As the leading rental brokerage in South Florida we often encounter this question.  The issue of subletting arises in many instances.  For example we often see roommates enter into a lease where they are jointly responsible for the lease obligations and in the course of the lease one roommate needs to move out for either a career move, economic reasons or perhaps the roommates simply didn’t get along.  Another situation, although unfortunate often occurs; that is a divorce or separation. Sometimes a tenant simply bites a bit more than they can chew or they find themselves making less income than anticipated.  In any of these situations a logical solution would be to either move out and sub-lease the unit or take on a new roommate and sublet part of the unit.


This process can be very tricky.  A tenant or tenants must keep in mind that they may not have the right to sublet all or part of the unit.  Keep in mind that the original lease will determine this right or lack of right to do this.  If a standard Florida Association of Realtor and Bar Association lease was used then this issue would be addressed in paragraph XVI.  If the box is not checked the tenant may NOT sublet the unit.  If the box is checked then they may. Now if the box is not checked then the tenant may still appeal to the landlord to allow them to sublet the unit, in this case the landlord will still want to approve the tenant, and keep in mind that they do not have to release any of the original signers on the lease or their responsibilities under the lease agreement.  Regardless of the arrangement which is made I strongly recommend getting the agreement in writing as an addendum to the lease. Also, do not forget to address the issue of any pre-paid rents or deposits; will they be transferred to the new tenant or will an additional deposit be requires.

An excellent source for landlord tenant law is the Florida Landlord Tenant Act.

Visit our website, one of our agents would be happy to help you!

Cash Investors re entering the real estate market

An article written Derek Kravitz and Martin Crutsinger for The Associated Press indicated that construction has recently jumped by 14.6 percent; although, single family homes declined by 1%.  Over all; the jump is the highest in 20 months. Builders broke ground on an adjusted rate of 596K units.

The article went on to state that the building industry is coming off the worst two years since 1959.  To gauge we can look at the fact that in a healthy economy builders have about 1 million starts per year. Therefore, over all the housing market is still struggling.

The majority of the jump was due to many apartment starts. I believe that this is a strong indicator of how much demand there is in the market for rental property housing.  As more owners lose their homes to foreclosure we will a further increase in the demand for rental housing.

At South Florida Brokers we have experienced many cash investors re-entering the market in search of condo units and multi-family units with good rental potential.  In out rental division we have seen an increase in rentals rates this year as well as a strong tendency of tenants to renew their current lease versus looking elsewhere.