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Protect Your Nest Egg

Protecting your home’s value is always a top priority, and the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction is an important part of making homeownership a good investment. A resolution is pending in the House of Representatives to keep the deduction in its current form. Americans overwhelmingly oppose any action by Congress to scale back or eliminate the deduction. The consequences could be devastating for homeowners, the housing market and the nation’s economy. To learn more about this issue, go to www.protecthomeownership.com.

If you need a dedicated expert in Real Estate to help with this or anything related to lowering the cost of homeownership, call today. Let’s talk.


Source: National Association of Home Builders

Parkland Real Estate Recap

Take a look at this report to get an idea of how 2011 was a year of stabilization in the Parkland Single family home market as of 2011.

Add Value to your Pembroke Pines Property

It’s normal for window treatments to be an afterthought when considering things you need to prepare when selling a home, but paying a little attention here may be worth more when it’s time to show the property. The purchase of custom window treatments is often overlooked mostly because they can be somewhat expensive additions and it’s common for people to underestimate the value they can add to a home being sold. However, they can be a big influence on homebuyers’ first impressions when viewing a property. Adding well crafted, new and stylish window treatments will make more than a visual impact, they can substantially add to your home’s resale value. Take advantage and consider these ways to add value with your window treatments.

·        Window treatments that add insulation can increase the value of your home. Greener, energy efficient homes are in high demand right now. One way to save energy with window treatments is to choose cellular blinds which let light filter through, but without bringing the heat in. They also work well to keep the heat from escaping during the colder months. Some of these cellular blinds are recognized by the government for their energy saving quality and may be eligible for tax credits.  

·        Natural wood shutters can make an elegant addition to your home. However, real wood shutters can be very expensive when compared to other window coverings. Some actually think of them more like furniture for windows. Fortunately, there are less expensive imitation faux wood shutters available. Stick with a neutral color such as white which will generally appeal to most potential homeowners rather than trying to pick out a particular wood stain, which will likely cost more as well.

·        Adding custom shades, blinds or shutters can be pricey and especially hard to pay for since you’re planning to leave them with the house, so you definitely want to find something very economical. Neutral colors and thin sheer curtain fabrics tend to be less expensive and will add enough incentive for buyers to choose a home that already has window treatments when they move in. It’s a good idea to replace shades or blinds that are broken or show any damage like tears and dents. Also make sure to thoroughly clean the window along with the window coverings before showing the home to any homebuyers.  

If you’d like more information now, about selling or buying a home in the Pembroke Pines real estate market, contact Adrian Valdes and he will provide you with all the information you need. His goal is to help you with all of your Real Estate needs.

Improve your credit before you buy your next home

If you are planning to buy a home in Pembroke Pines, you first need to make sure you have a good Credit score. If your score is not so good and you want to improve it, or simply, want to get it to the highest possible range, you first need to know the most important information used from your credit report in determining your score. The two things that account for two-thirds of your credit score are as follows:

1. Payment history: Having a long history of making payments on time on all types of credit accounts is one of the most important items lenders consider before approving you for a loan.

2. Debts versus available credit: This compares the amount you owe versus the total amount of credit available. Your credit score can be lower when you use more than 50 percent of your available credit. That's because when you are close to maxing out on all of your credit limits, lenders see you as a higher risk and more likely to make late payments in the near future.

There are three other factors that account for about a third of your credit score:

1. Length of credit history: In general, a credit report containing a list of accounts opened for at least 10 years or more will help your credit score. The score considers your oldest active account and the average age of all accounts.

2. New credit: Opening several new credit accounts in a short period of time can lower your credit score. Also multiple credit report inquiries may be seen as risky credit behavior on the near horizon, and can therefore lower your credit score. But "soft credit inquiries," which include requests made by you, an employer or by a lender who pre-approves, have little or no impact.

3. Type of credit you use: Your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, finance company loans and mortgage loans is considered.

Also keep in mind that your credit score ignores your age, salary and occupation. It also does not take into account financial gifts, support you receive, or your financial assets. For this reason, credit scores are less important for borrowers who seek loans that take these factors into account.

If you want to increase your credit score, then take a look at the people with the highest credit scores. About 13 percent of Americans have credit scores of 800 or higher. If you look at their credit profile, they have:

• four to six credit card accounts,
• no late payments in the past seven years,
• at least one installment loan -- a mortgage or a car loan -- with excellent payment history,
• an average of 10 years credit history per account and a few accounts with 20 years of good history,
• a low number of credit inquiries (fewer than three in the past six months),
• no bankruptcies, foreclosures, charge-offs or collections, and
• debt levels at no more than 35 percent of their overall credit limits per account.

The bottom line: Set your mind for success before applying start looking for your next Pembroke Pines home. Get a mortgage preapproval and take steps to improve your credit. Make sure you have a history of making all payments on time, using the right mix of credit, and not maxing out on available credit.  Contact Adrian Valdes with any questions regarding how to apply for a mortgage or getting preapproved.

Hiring could pick up in South Florida

Economic gains in South Florida's manufacturing and service companies suggest hiring could pick up this year. Activity for this kind of companies has reached a level not seen since before recession, suggesting a stronger year for hiring.The Institute for Supply Management reported its service sector index grew in January at the fastest peace in five years. The private trade group's index covers a wide swath of employers, from retailers to health care companies to construction firms.Nationwide, employers will likely create a net 2.2 million jobs this year, according to a survey of economists taken last month by the Associated Press. That's double the number of total jobs generated during 2010.This is the right time to buy your next home at a town like Pembroke Pines which is located near most service companies. The service sector, which makes up for 95% of South Florida's economy, is expanding at the fastest pace in five years. Retail sales are up and many companies are nearing the point where they can no longer expand without more employees. Call Adrian Vlades and start packing!

It is Home Buyer Tax Credit payback time for Pembroke Pines Homeowners

The Home buyer tax break has strict rules that you need to know.  For Pembroke Pines taxpayers who claimed the home buyer’s credit in 2008. Starting this year they’ll have to pay it back.

That is because the original first-time home buyer’s tax “Credit” was in fact an interest-free loan that had to be paid in equal installments over 15 years.  The law gave home buyers who claimed the credit a two-year grace period which means the first installment is due this year. It is estimated that more than 950,5000 taxpayers claimed that credit in 2008.

The maximum 2008 credit was $7,500, so if you claimed the full amount, you’ll have to pay $500 when you file your 2010 tax return, and do so for 15 years on a row.

This means that a lot of people will end up owing a fair amount of taxes this year because of the additional $500 they’ll have to repay.

Now, if you bought a house in 2008 and then sold it, you could owe even more, because in that instance, you’re required to repay the entire amount of the credit all at once.

The repayment can’t exceed the gain on the sale, so if you didn’t make any profit on the sale, you may not owe anything.

This might be bad news for some of you but the Adrian4Homes team wants to keep you informed so you won’t have any surprises at the time of filing your 2010 taxes.

Pembroke Pines Housing Market News

The housing market received a serving of good news last week, as New Home Sales reportedly rose 17.5% in December to come in better than expectations. Overall, the report demonstrated that housing continues to recover - albeit slowly.

Despite the good news, the housing market was keyed in on another more important event last week: the release of the Fed's Interest Rate Decision and Monetary Policy Statement. As expected, the Fed made no change to the Fed Funds Rate and even the Policy Statement was pretty much the same. But that didn't stop the markets from getting a little fired up about the release.

In the end, the news last week demonstrated that economic conditions are improving, but they are doing so gradually. As a result, the market remains volatile, as Bonds and home loan rates move up and down depending on what reports or speeches hit the news wires. The good news is that despite the volatility, home loan rates remain extremely low for now and present a tremendous opportunity for buyers who lock in at the opportune moment.  Don’t miss this opportunity to buy a beautiful Pembroke Pines home and take advantage of the market conditions. Contact Adrian Valdes or visit Adrian4Homes.com for more information.

Pembroke Pines residents may experience Postal service changes

The United States Postal Service is set to reduce the number of its offices by 2,000 nationwide this year as the agency can no longer afford to operate them. Most of the postal offices to be closed are in the rural areas and have low volumes of mails handled, according to Fetterly. However, she did not identify the sites saying these will have to be determined through 57 steps that will take from six months to a year to complete.

USPS spokeswoman Debbie Fetterly on Monday cited falling revenues as the reason for the planned closure of the 2,000 offices nationwide. She admitted that the postal service is losing out to the Internet as people prefer e-mail more than the traditional mail. Factors to be considered in closing a post office include cost of operation, revenue and proximity to stores and gas stations that offer postal services.

Pembroke Pines currently has four post offices in Pembroke Pines:

Phone Numbers: (954) 447-1311
Business Hours: Mon-Fri  8:00am-5:00pm, Sat 8:00am-4:00pm, Sun closed

Phone Numbers: (954) 966-5705
Business Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00am-8:00pm, Sat 10:00am-2:00pm, Sun 1:00pm-5:00pm

Phone Numbers: (954) 441-7427
Business Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm, Sat 8:30am-12:00pm, Sun closed

Phone Numbers: (954) 441-7334

The USPS funds its operations through earnings from stamps sale and other postal services. Among the changes planned for this year is a New Postal Service Pricing becoming effective on April 17. Single-piece, 1-ounce First-Class letters will remain 44 cents with additional ounces increased to 20 cents. The price for mailing a postcard will increase one cent. It will not affect Express Mail and Priority Mail prices.

We’ll keep you updated as soon as we get more information affecting Pembroke Pines residents. You could also visit our website for more Pembroke Pines News.

Outdoor activities close to Pembroke Pines

There's always a lot going on at Everglades National Park! You could plan a visit for a few hours or a whole week; it is so close to Pembroke Pines that you could plan a different activity for each visit. There are so many things to do at the park as new adventures beckon from every corner of this unique ecosystem. A vast expanse of roughly 1.5 million acres, there seems no end to the adventures that can be found in Everglades National Park. 

The diverse habitats allow for enjoyable activities ranging from hiking, canoe and kayaking, biking, fresh and saltwater fishing and camping in the ultimate wilderness. You may find yourself spending a morning photographing the birds, an afternoon seeing alligators and turtles, or take a ranger guided tour or just spend an evening enjoying the warmth of your campfire. Concession boat captains narrate boat tours along the mangrove coast at both Flamingo and the Gulf Coast, and Tram Tour naturalists guide your explorations of the Shark Valley Slough. 

Always keep in mind your physical limitations when hiking, biking, or paddling in the Everglades, particularly, if you're not from Florida. This is a sub-tropical environment and can be very hot and humid, especially in the summer.  Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your visit:

  • Familiarize yourself with the trails before hiking, biking, or paddling. You should know how long the trail is and the approximate time it takes to do a certain trail. Ask a park ranger or park volunteer, if unsure.
  • Do not hike, bike, or paddle without someone knowing where you will be going.
  • Bring water (especially in the summer), insect repellent (summer and if you will be in or around heavy vegetation), sunscreen, and proper clothing for the activity you will be doing.
  • Keep small children close at hand and under supervision when walking the trails, remember, you are in a wilderness area, our animals move about freely.
  • Do not bring pets on the trails. Not only do you put your pet's life in danger, you put yours in danger as well.
  • Do not feed any wildlife that you encounter, this includes the birds (crows and grackles). Feeding wildlife of any kind will eventually make the animal aggressive and is illegal.
  • No rollerblades, roller-skates, scooters, or skateboards allowed on any of the trails within the park.

Everglades National Park is the third largest park in the lower 48 states, covering 2400 square miles! There is no shortage of activities for Pembroke Pines residents to enjoy outdoors. The Everglades used to span from Lake Okeechobee in central Florida all the way down to Florida Bay. Now only 25% of the historic Everglades remains, which is being protected by the National Park System. For more information on Pembroke Pines visit my website or Contact Adrian.

Interior Paint Can Spruce Up Your Pembroke Pines Real Estate

As a real estate professional in the Pembroke Pines area, I often advise clients on ways to make their homes more attractive to buyers. Interior painting is one of the most economical ways to change the look of your home and appeal to that perfect buyer.  So, if you are trying to decide whether to remodel your Pembroke Pines home this year or leave your money in the bank, you can do both if you remodel with paint and invest some sweat equity of your own! A professional painter could charge up to $500 or more to paint a room, so if you’re willing to provide the labor, you can complete the job for a fraction of that amount.

 Your only outlay is for paint, application equipment like brushes and rollers, and some miscellaneous expenses for items like tape and a drop-cloth, leaving the total cost at less than $100 a room. Paint is a great way to renew your home and make it shine in the Pembroke Pines Real Estate market.

 If you’ve decided to do your own interior painting, here are some tips:

-Take the time to properly prepare the walls and other surfaces before starting to paint. Clean them with a solution of detergent and water, then rinse and allow to dry.

-If there are any cracks or holes in the walls, repair them with spackling compound or a good-quality acrylic caulk.

-Use high quality brushes and rollers. They will help you apply the paint more evenly to get professional-looking results.

-When applying latex paints, be sure to use brushes and rollers with synthetic bristles and covers. The brushes will maintain the proper stiffness and the rollers will maintain their shape even when exposed to a lot of water.

-Top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paint is “the do-it-yourselfer’s” best friend. When expending time and effort doing your own painting, you want the job to last, and that’s where these paints really pay off. Top quality 100% acrylic latex paints are extremely durable, and they resist fading, so your paint job will look great for years to come.

If you’d like more information on ways to beautify your Pembroke Pines real estate, contact Adrian Valdes and he will provide you with all the information you need. His goal is to help you with all of your Real Estate needs.

New Charter School in Pembroke Pines Will be Open for 2011-12 School Year

Pembroke Pines Real Estate just got even better; now there is another great reason to buy a home in Pembroke Pines, FL!  Franklin Academy, a Kindergarten through 8th grade charter school will be located at 18800 Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines. Construction will begin in late January 2011 and will be completed in time for the beginning of the 2011-12 school year. The beautifully landscaped campus will include a newly built 81,000 square foot state of the art facility with spacious classrooms, athletic fields and jogging paths with exercise stations.

Franklin Academy will be in compliance with the Florida Sunshine State Standards, but what is unique to Franklin Academy is the emphasis on the student beyond just textbooks. Through a sustained and integrated program of character development, Franklin students will explore a sense of community, integrity and obligations to self and society. Some features of the educational program include single-gender core curriculum classes. Students will attend co-educational social activities and enrichment programs. Enrichment classes for all students include chess taught by a grand master, art, music, physical education and computer technology and research.

If you’d like more information on schools in Pembroke Pines or Pembroke Pines real estate, contact Adrian Valdes and he will provide you with all the information you need. His goal is to help you with all of your Real Estate needs.

Pembroke Pines Real Estate Market Report

How does your home compare? these recent closed sales are neither short sales or bank owned properties. They are all single family homes located west of 75. This information is extracted from the realtors MLS system. All closed sales are within the last 30 days. Report date: 12/02/10

Tips on Listing your Pembroke Pines Home

When you make a decision to sell your Pembroke Pines home, the first and most important decision to make is how are you going to list it.  Many homeowners in Pembroke Pines decide to sell their own home because they think they can save the commission paid to the real estate broker. Everything has a price and selling a home carries a high one.

It will cost you thousands of dollars in loses when you make a mistake selling your own home. Often, home sellers make the same mistakes over and over.  Keeping away from making these mistakes is simple and takes little time and effort on your part. Take the time with your home sale and follow the guidelines in this report.

1. When selling quickly is needed. In this case it is important to be conscious and know the right marketing techniques to sell your home without looking desperate and making yourself a mark for low bidders. It is very important to know about the market before listing and work hand in hand with the right real estate professional. Take your time, determine that you are not settling for the first offer through the door (unless it is a really good one).

2. Your home is one of your most personal belongings. You have fix and made improvements, you have your own decorative taste, and you have lots of things that have a sentimental value to you.  If you list with an experienced broker like Adrian Valdes, he will  help you present your home the best way possible with minimum changes, and he will help you price your home at the correct market price based on market condition in your area .

3. Buyers want to visit a home on their own schedule. It is very important to keep in mind at the time of making the decision to list your home.  The buyers schedule does not constantly coincide with yours. Keep your house clean and leave a safety deposit box or key with your broker so your home can be shown when you are not around.  You never know when your final buyers comes by and you don't want to miss the opportunity.

4.  Don't allow a few hundred dollars to ruin a sale. If you worry about few dollars less, you're making a huge mistake because that money will mean very little to you in the long run, and you'll regret it for a long time. Take a look at the big picture and react rationally. Use sound business judgment and be objective.

5. Buyers make up their minds within the first few minutes. The first impressions can make all the difference in selling your home. Investing some money on changing or fixing things around the house, like  on new carpet, might add twice as much to the price of your home. Get an objective point of view from your real estate professional. Adrian Valdes can provide you with a list of items that will maximize the profit of your home sale.

6. Don't get yourself in trouble when selling your home. If you attempt to cover up the problems of your house, you risk losing the sale and finding yourself in court. Get professional assistance from your agent who can give you advise and ensure the smooth sale of your home.

7. Don't try to save money on commission. Many homeowners who determine to sell their own home do so because they think they can save the commission paid to the real estate broker. Everything has a price and selling a home carries a high one. The enormous amount of time and effort required to sell a home is often surprising to these who take the risk. Furthermore, many costly mistakes can be avoided with the right guidance.

8. Trust your agent. By selecting the right agent, you can loosen up and trust their judgment. The right agent is knowledgeable, has a clear marketing strategy, keeps you informed, and should be a team member who works on your side. He should listen to you, take care of your concerns and make your sale as profitable as possible.  Contact Adrian and you'll see the difference.

9. Price your Home correctly. The usual reason because homes don't get sold is that they are priced too high in their first listing period. On the other hand, most homes that sell quickly are priced too low and cheat the homeowner out of profits. You need to understand the market and measure the value of your home based on facts, history and recent sales in your neighborhood.  Do not relay on your gut instinct or conventional wiseness. A professional real estate agent knows the market, just as you know the market for your business.

At the time of selling your Pembroke Pines home is is very important to choose your agent wisely. After all this is one of the most important selling transactions you can make.  Many home sellers often pick a friend or family member as their agent. Select a knowledgeable agent with a strong track record and aggressive Marketing Plan. At the end, what matters is to have an smooth and successful transaction where all the parties are satisfied!

Tips to Energy-proof your Pembroke Pines home

A day spent closing up those energy-wasting gaps and cracks around your Pembroke Pines home will pay back great dividends in improved comfort and lower utility bills.

You will need only a few tools and supplies for this project:

- Caulking Gun. For most of the gaps you'll encounter, caulking will do the trick, so first you'll want to invest in a good caulking gun. You can get a cheap one with a fixed barrel and a ratcheting plunger, but they don't work well, and tend to apply an uneven bead. For a little more money, you can get a gun with a rotating barrel and a couple of movable plates that grip a smooth plunger rod. The result is a caulking gun that's much easier to use, with less jamming and a much smoother bead. Since a caulking gun will last most people a lifetime, it's well worth the extra money.

- Caulk. Select an acrylic latex caulk that's combined with silicone. This type of caulking is easy to apply and cleans up with water, it offers a good amount of flexibility, stretch and mildew resistance, and can be painted after it dries. Take a moment to read the label on the caulking tube, and you'll see what the manufacturer recommends as far as how large a gap that particular caulking can fill.

- Backer rod. For larger gaps, the area will need to be filled with another material first, prior to caulking. A polyethylene foam backer rod is usually the best thing to use for filling large gaps. Backer rods are sold by the roll, and come in different diameters. They compress easily and fill up the gap, offering a solid, air-tight backing for the application of the caulking. The backer rod is also flexible, so it won't damage building materials or cause the caulking to crack.

- Foam outlet gaskets. Air travels around wiring penetrations in the walls and comes out around the outlet covers. Pick up a couple of packs of foam outlet gaskets at the home center. Then simply shut the power, remove each cover plate, cut out the appropriate shape from the gasket -- each one has a pre-cut outline for a switch or an outlet, in both the standard and the square, then replace the plate.

Once you have all the supplies, look for gaps as you work your way around the outside of the house. Look at the areas around exterior window frames and exterior door frames where they meet the siding, including garage doors. Check out the areas around the exterior hose bibs, light fixtures, vent caps, and any other penetrations through the siding where exterior air can penetrate the house.

All of the materials you need are available at any home center, hardware store or other local retailers. For more Real Estate advise contact Adrian and have fun with you home improvement project.

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