Category Archives: Fort Lauderdale HOT PROPERTIES

My selections of the very best communities and listings in Fort Lauderdale, Wilton Manors, Oakland Park, Lauderdale by the Sea, and Pompano Beach Florida

Deal of the Week – $99,000

This may be the best deal available within walking distance to Wilton Manors. A 2BR/2BA condo with a pool view and full size washer and dryer.  Low monthly fees too. Five blocks to Wilton Drive.   Remodeled Kitchen and baths. Closet systems. Tile floors. If you’re even thinking of a place in Fort Lauderdale or Wilton Manors, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. Want to see for yourself? Ken Can Help!

Broward April Home Sales Up, Inventory Down. Again.

Sales up and inventories down. On a high note, reports this week are encouraging for Broward County. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtor Association released data that condo sales increased 8 percent from  April 2010 to April of this year, while single-family home sales increased by two percent. As is the trend for today’s buyer, cash transactions represented 67 percent of April’s residential sales. 60 percent of sales were to  overseas buyers, many of whom also paid in cash. The Association also reported inventory levels continue to fall, decreasing 20 percent since May 2010 and 5.1 percent from last month. This contradicts national trends: total housing inventory rose 9.9 percent last month.  Condo Vultures adds that the Fort Lauderdale condo market is improving almost at the rate of Miami’s, which until recently was considered an anomaly in today’s market.

If you’re even considering moving to Fort Lauderdale, you need a Realtor who knows this market inside and out, and can help you find and negotiate a great deal in this changing market. Ken Can Help!

Home Furnishings Auction Deals

A couple of my favorite clients invited me over to show me what they had done with their new winter home in the Corals of Oakland Park. It’s just adorable. They were proud  to show me the furnishings and accessories they purchased at auction. I was stunned at some of the amazing pieces they found, and at the prices they paid for them. That’s when I learned about the Wilton Theatre Auction Gallery .

Located at 1444 NE 26th Street in Wilton Manors (across the street from Wilton Station), this converted movie house now hosts auctions every Tuesday at 6:30 PM. You can visit their web site to preview available items, and even stop by to preview the items in person.

Like any auction, you have to have a plan and avoid getting caught up in the emotion of the event. But my clients paid far less than they planned to pay for every item they purchased.

Good prices, unusual home furnishings and a fun night out. What more could you ask for? Use the link above for more information and preview auction item photos.

Deal of the Week – Las Olas Isles

Live the dream among multi-million dollar homes with this beautiful unit located on the Isle of Venice. Free boat dock. Sweeping water views. New hurricane impact windows.  It doesn’t get better than this.  Ready to find your piece of paradise? Ken Can Help!

Complete Listing Details:  http://www.kenhelps.idxco.com/idx/9851/details.php?listingID=F1130169&idxID=390

Broward Home Sales and Prices Up in March

Ready to Move to Paradise? Better not wait too long.

The pace of home and condo sales in Broward County feels like 2005 again.  Multiple offers and closed sales over asking price.

That’s because the prices are more like the year 2000. But they are going up again!

  • Broward County condo sales jumped 25 percent – a five year high.
  • Single family home sales were up 8%.
  • Prices of home and condos increased over one year ago.

That’s great news for Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors homeowners. And a strong signal to buyers considering buying or relocating here.

If you’re ready to start looking for your piece of paradise, visit my website at www.KenHelps.com.  Use the exclusive new Map Search Feature to see the exact location of every available home in your price range.

Or contact me directly, and put me to work searching for you. Ken Can Help!

Forget Stocks and Gold. It’s Time to Buy Real Estate – Fortune Magazine.

The March 28th Fortune cover story boldly proclaims “Forget stocks. Don’t bet on gold. After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing.

The steep fall in housing prices in the South Florida market is making owning more affordable than renting again. Buyers with very good credit and investors disappointed with returns on safe investments are snapping up available inventory at a remarkable pace. Multiple bids over asking price are back. Investors are finding they can buy properties at prices so low that they can rent them profitably while they wait for them to appreciate and harvest additional profits.

The desirability of markets like Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors make it even more attractive to investors. Despite the predictions of foreclosures and short sale inventory continuing to flow into the market over the next year or two, the eventual upturn is in sight and is predicted by most observers.

Ready to buy a great deal on a Fort Lauderdale or Wilton Manors home? Ken Can Help!

To read the complete Fortune article, follow this link.

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/03/28/real-estate-its-time-to-buy-again/

Four Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Foreclosure

Great Deal? Do Your Homework!

Distressed properties are hot in every market, including Fort Lauderdale. They can be great deals if you do your homework. Here are four tips to consider that can save you a bundle when evaluating any distressed property:

1. Don’t judge a house by looks alone. A $2 million mansion may look fabulous but have mold hiding beneath the walls or need numerous, costly repairs. A fixer upper, on the other hand, may look rundown but have excellent bones and be repaired at a reasonable cost. A home inspection prior to purchasing a property can help buyers determine if they might be getting in over their head, Steward says. He cautions buyers to not just rely on previous inspections, however, since vacant homes can deteriorate rapidly.


2. Don’t focus on price alone.
Buyers may focus on the ultra-low price so much that they forget to factor in other qualities, such as the home’s school district, view, location and local crime rate. Steward cautions buyers not to assume that a previous owner’s financial problems cause all foreclosures.

3. Don’t be tempted to “flip.”
Purchasing a home at bargain price, updating it and trying to sell it for a lot more may seem tempting, but Steward warns buyers to be cautious. Unless the buyers are pros at house flipping, they’ll likely run into several novice mistakes in trying to make fast money on flipping a foreclosure. Steward recommends buyers consult a real estate professional, home inspector and contractors before considering a flip.

4. Don’t go over budget.
Foreclosures often require some fixes so buyers need to make sure they have the money to afford needed repairs. Steward recommends that buyers have at least half of the money in cash for needed repairs. He says that buyers will want to avoid taking more loans than needed, particularly private loans, because the interest on them will slowly chip away at their initial foreclosure bargain.

Source: “What to Watch Out for When Buying a Foreclosure: Know Which to Buy … and Which to Walk By,” RISMedia (April 7, 2011)

Ready to look for a great deal in Fort Lauderdale or Wilton Manors? Ken Can Help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreclosure Auction Mistakes Can Cost a Bundle

Know Before You Go To a Home Auction.

Buying a home at a foreclosure auction is not eBay. Deceptive marketing makes the process seem easy, but it is anything but that. Unless you do your research, you may only be buying a second or third mortgage. That leaves the first mortgage in place with the right to collect what is owed to them. Simply put, you could loose the home you thought you purchased, and the money you paid at the auction. If you are not familiar with how to research auction properties, don’t take the risk. I can help you find great deals on foreclosure homes without the risk. Ken Can Help!

For more details on the pitfalls in buying a home at auction, here’s a great read.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-foreclosure-auction-20110405,0,5461515.story

Fort Lauderdale’s little secret: Condo market is quite healthy

I’ve been telling my buyer clients for months now that the Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors condo market is getting much stronger. Pending and closed sales are strong and inventory it tight. If you’ve been waiting for the bottom of the market to buy, you’ve found it. If you’re ready to own your piece of Fort Lauderdale  property, Ken Can Help!

But don’t take my word for it. Read this piece from the Miami Herald today.

BY PETER ZALEWSKI
Special to The Miami Herald

Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach have a healthy little condo secret
that few people seem to realize: Inventory is limited.

Unlike the well-documented condo oversupply in Greater Downtown Miami where
developers still have nearly 3,600 unsold units out of the 22,250 units
created during the real estate boom, the Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the
beach market has virtually no remaining new condos available for purchase.

Of the 5,100 units created since 2003 in downtown Fort Lauderdale and the
beach, only 160 new units remained unsold at the end of 2010. This unsold
new condo total does not include the 298-unit condo-hotel project formerly
known as the Trump International Hotel & Tower on Fort Lauderdale Beach
Boulevard that has yet to begin sales.

A significant chunk of the remaining available units built during the boom
era were sold in February when a bulk buyer acquired 68 units in the Village
East condominium complex near the 17th Street Causeway just east of Federal
Highway.

This relatively low number of unsold developer condo units is remarkable for
an area bordered from Sunrise Boulevard south to State Road 84/Southeast
24th Street, and the Atlantic Ocean west to Northwest 7th/Southwest 4th
avenues.

IMPRESSIVE FEAT

The feat is even more impressive given the lack of financing options
available for condo buyers. The limited mortgage choices have worked to
significantly reduce the pool of qualified and capable buyers who do not
have enough cash to purchase units outright.

A major reason for the undersupply – in South Florida terms – of new condos
was the anti-development stance of former Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle –
who is a licensed real estate broker – and members of the commission who
opposed numerous new construction projects that were proposed while in
office during the boom.

Projects that were proposed on the north bank of the New River in downtown,
on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, or the west side of the barrier island
at the foot of the Las Olas Boulevard Causeway were never constructed.

As a result, the majority of the condo developments in downtown Fort
Lauderdale and the beach that were approved ended up being constructed and
sold out before the South Florida real estate crash began in 2007.

Consider that nearly 3,600 units out of 5,100 units added in the downtown
Fort Lauderdale and the beach market during the boom transacted between the
beginning of 2003 and the end of 2006.

Of the 1,500 new units not sold by the end of 2006, developers were able to
sell 722 units in 2007, 238 units in 2008, 65 units in 2009, and 122 units
in 2010.

To better understand the boom, consider the dramatic price fluctuations
along the way in the downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beach markets.

During the real estate boom, the average price per square foot for new
condos jumped from $235 in 2003 to $309 in 2004 to $339 in 2005 to $372 in
2006 before peaking at $499 in 2007 as buyers previously under contract
opted to purchase.

Prices for new condos since have dropped to about $356 in 2008 and 2009
before plummeting to $185 in 2010. The year 2011 pricing could be even less
as the Village East bulk deal sold at $121 per square foot.

Consequently, buyers looking for deals on condos in the downtown Fort
Lauderdale and beach markets are forced to look almost exclusively at
resales.

The downtown Fort Lauderdale and beach markets have 550 condos available for resale as of March 20. An additional 162 units are under contract waiting to
transact, according to an analysis based on data from the Florida Realtors
association.

DWINDLING SUPPLY

In the past six months, buyers have acquired 372 existing units for an
average of 62 units per month, meaning the downtown Fort Lauderdale and
beach markets have less than a 10-month supply of available product.

Compare this to Greater Downtown Miami where the original developers still
controlled 3,600 new units at the end of 2010. More than 1,300 additional
units that were acquired in bulk during the previous three years are also
now on the resale market.

Adding to Greater Downtown Miami’s condo inventory overhang are 1,840 units
currently available for resale. Some 600 units are currently under contract.

In the last six months, buyers have acquired 766 units – an average of 128
condos per month – in Greater Downtown Miami. At this pace, the Greater
Downtown Miami resale market has more than 14 months of remaining inventory excluding the available units from the original developers or bulk buyers.

Going forward, the downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach market is quietly
being considered among the first South Florida areas that developers will
consider when the inkling – and the financing – to construct new condo
towers once again returns.

Peter Zalewski is a principal with the Bal Harbour-based real estate
consultancy Condo Vultures. Zalewski, who has had a Florida real estate
license since 1995, works as a consultant for private equity groups and
institutional investors from around the world.

Investors Redeveloping North Fort Lauderdale Beach Neighborhood

Many of my out of town clients enjoy staying at one of the great gay guest houses that have re-purposed many of the mid-century motels just south of Sunrise Boulevard and West of A1A. It’s a great alternative to a big hotel property and a more interesting social scene. There’s a guest house with a style to suit everybody.

Recently, The Royal Palms Guest House has created quite a buzz by buying two of these hotels, combining them into one property with a full liquor bar that will be open to the public. The new property will be open soon. The investor’s vision is to transform the area into a more upscale village, similar to Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.  It’s an exciting time for this area of town and a logical compliment to the city’s beach area redevelopment efforts.

If you’ve considered purchasing a vacation condo in Fort Lauderdale, you will want to consider this area. It’s location is amazing, and the potential for future appreciation is excellent. Ask me about the North Beach area for your vacation residence.

Follow these links to see video interviews about the exciting plans for the North Beach Area, a preview of the slick new Royal Palms, and a directory of all the great gay guest houses.

VIDEO Investor/Developer Interviewed about North Beach Transformation

VIDEO Interview – Beach Redevelopment Plans

Guest House Directory:  http://www.gayftlauderdale.com/gayfortlauderdalehotels.htm