Fort Lauderdale Real Estate and Community News

Feb. 15, 2023

Property Managment

Real estate may be a viable and practical day-to-day business. Understanding the responsibilities of owning several properties might be challenging for some. At the end of the day, residential units provide shelter for individuals and their families, while commercial units enable people to earn a living. Everyone need real estate in some form or another.


Consideration of anything that might happen to any property at any moment may be difficult for property owners to grasp and control.


Toilet backups, broken water pipes, power outages due to an internal malfunction, hurricanes, earthquakes, domestic disputes, evictions, and finding new renters are just a few examples. Because it is difficult for a single person to address all difficulties, some owners conduct their own property management. They recruit people to help them with their everyday tasks and keep management costs low by spending their time.


Time is a valuable asset that can be valued differently for various people depending on their portfolio and responsibilities. Some property owners or investors choose the absentee owner position and engage a professional business to handle their properties. The cost depends entirely on how much supervision the property need, but for residential properties with 10 or less units, the cost is typically 7-10% of the yearly budget or rent rolls, depending on how many owners are in control.


Management businesses handle everything from rent collection to eviction notifications, as well as maintenance with detailed receipts. A smart manager may also foresee problems that will arise in the near future and notify the owners to avoid such huge cure costs at one time.


Management is also a typical approach to keep multi-unit condo complexes and other communities within statutory restrictions. To safeguard the public interest, each association in Florida must have at least three board members and conduct meetings and budgets in accordance with statutory requirements. A lack of board members may come from the state seizing power (only for multiple owner communities). Privately owned apartment complexes can establish their own rules and regulations while adhering to HUD regulations.


Running a large community or a building may be a time-consuming operation, which is why more than 95% of communities hire a management business for advice and accounting. Keeping large sums of many in check and balance is a full-time task, and the majority of the board members are volunteers who offer their time but are not educated in particular areas. As a result, these undesired and uninformed people require a path to success for their proposals for their communities.


The federal government also hires third-party organizations to manage its properties. Because the privatization of any firm fosters competition, it is sometimes more cost and time effective to engage such a company that is an expert in their fields. Building trustworthy business connections requires time, trial & error, and money. It is preferable to delegate responsibility for what they do best to a firm that has gone through the process and paid the price.


Having less than 3-5 properties will need some effort and knowledge, but it should not be a difficult task for anybody to handle. It is critical to group these assets collectively or within a single structure. The passage of time is critical. You don't want to go several hours to heal any property. Always invest in at least four apartments in a single structure, with 16 being the most beneficial amount. Leveraging after 10 units with a management company with positive yearly returns may be the best approach to go on and spend that energy into other ventures unless you are pleased with what you have and love serving your own tenants and working on it on a daily basis.


People in the real estate industry have so much expertise that we may all shelter ourselves in such housing that is safe, clean, and well-organized. Management at any level, particularly in real estate, can be extremely demanding. Asking individuals for unpaid rentals as their children play in the background, excluding people from their building's facilities owing to outstanding HOA fees, determining if the structure is safe for all residents to live in, ensuring that no one's rights are abused, and so on...


Types of deed in real estate is the topic of the next article...

Posted in Blog
Feb. 8, 2023

Buying An Investment Property

This has to be one of the most popular things I get to talk with everybody who finds out I work in the real estate industry. It is one of the finest methods to get passive income, and everyone wants a piece of it. People of all demographics tell me about their plans, but I quickly recognize that the majority of them are inaccurate, either in terms of funding or profit margins.


Real estate investing is a time-consuming game. There is no such thing as earning a profit with no money down. Financed properties often just break even for the first 3-5 years before beginning to provide positive income if market circumstances permit. The investment money should be compared to a 10-year bond in that it penalizes you if you exit too soon.


Assume you've opted to buy a $375k two-bedroom unit. Because it is an investment property, you would have to put down a minimum of 25% and most likely pay a little higher in interest because the entire deal is based on the expected rental income, so the lender views it as riskier knowing that this would be the first property that the investor would let go in the event of an economic downturn. The average HOA fee is around $500 per month, real estate taxes are %2 of the purchase price, and there is no homestead exemption, so taxes will fluctuate yearly depending on the current value of the property, a mortgage of $1,700 per month at %6 interest, and a low HO6 condo insurance of $100 per month would total around $2,900 per month.


Rents are determined by the cost of money in the present market, thus I can definitely estimate that a two-bedroom apartment would rent between $2600 and $3000, depending on location and unit renovations. An investor may even lose a few dollars per month at first, but the losses can be utilized as tax credits to offset the high lucrative income from the primary source. Yes, some investors buy properties that will give them tax breaks for the first few years because of previous successful investments.


Real estate appreciates at a rate of 3% per year on average in a stable market. A $375k buy might be worth at least $435k in 5 years. A total of $60k profit in equity with a 3% annual rent rise equals roughly $3,400 monthly. For a total investment of $75k, the monthly positive cash flow of $500 plus the equity of $60k is not terrible.


As shown above, owning real estate generates a steady and measurable return over time. Not to mention the bubbles that burst the values %25-45 higher and drop the values %10-15. Even if interest rates are at an all-time high, the value of a property in South Florida will not fall any lower than described above given the present market conditions.The weather and lifestyle, as well as not having to pay state income taxes in South Florida always kept the market in a positive isolation.


If the identical acquisition was made cash on cash, the return, or cap rate, would be %10 pro forma and %5 net cash flow annually on the initial investment of $375k. Consider it %3 appreciation plus %5 net cash totaling %8 annually and compounding.


Commercial investment assets such as strip malls, multi-family buildings, single-story structures, and storefronts operate on a much larger scale. Rather of depending on a single tenant, these investments spread the risk over numerous renters. Consider a single-family property with a tenant who stops paying rent. You would be liable for the full cost as well as the tenant replacement in order to pay off the loan, and it could easily convert a great year into an upside down year. On the other hand, owning a four-plex multifamily would still cover the majority of the expenses with the revenue of the other three renters. Because it is extremely unusual that more than one renter would be lost at the same time, this is considered a better investment. Of course, reduced risk comes at a higher cost. In East Fort Lauderdale, a door represents a studio or one-bedroom apartment and costs at least $200,000. As previously said, real estate for long-term investors. The trick is to have at least four units per structure!


When it comes to investing, there are numerous things to consider, but real estate remains my top pick. It gives an asset that may be utilized as a shelter and continually increases in value regardless of the market's short-term effects on it. Controlling cash flow in the early stages of a venture is critical. A new novice should start with at least 25% equity and a buffer fund of at least 10%. Playing with the spread on thin ice is a great way to learn but not necessary. "Start with an ended mind," as a highly accomplished friend of mine usually says.


Property management is the topic of the next article...

Posted in Blog
Feb. 1, 2023

Tips for Selling your house

The process of selling a property may be difficult and stressful, but homeowners can make the experience much more manageable and increase their chances of having a successful sale with enough preparation and assistance. Working with an experienced real estate agent who is able to give direction and assistance throughout the process is one of the most essential things a homeowner can do and should be considered one of the most important things a homeowner can do. However, there are also a number of significant activities that homeowners can take to prepare for a successful sale of their property and ensure that their home stands out from the competitors. 


The first thing that needs to be done in order to get a house ready for sale is to give it a complete cleaning and then make any required major repairs. This involves repairing any aesthetic damage, such as holes in the walls or cracks in the ceiling, and making certain that the property is clear of any clutter or debris that may be present. Homeowners could also consider staging their homes and giving them a fresh coat of paint in order to make their properties more appealing to prospective buyers. Buyers may get a clearer picture of what the room will look like after they move in by touring a staged house, which also makes it easier for them to envision the possibilities inherent in the property. 


Another essential component of a successful house sale is determining the appropriate selling price for the property. The present status of the market, the home's condition, and recent sales in the neighborhood should all be considered by homeowners and their real estate agents when determining the optimal selling price for their property. When selling a house, setting the price too high can be one of the most significant roadblocks to a successful transaction. This is because prospective buyers may feel that the house is overvalued in comparison to comparable houses in the neighborhood. On the other side, setting the price of a home too low might result in the owner losing money on the sale of the property. 


Improving a home's curb appeal is another critical step in the process of selling it. The initial impression of a property is significant, and it is critical to make a favorable impression on prospective purchasers in order to encourage them to submit offers. The outside of a property is something that homeowners should work on improving, making sure that the grass is cut, the driveway is clean and free of waste, and that the front entrance is appealing. It may also assist to make the house more inviting to guests if you put some flowers or plants in vases throughout the house. 


Homeowners should also be flexible with showings, since the likelihood of receiving bids increases directly with the degree to which they can accommodate prospective buyers' schedules. This entails not only always keeping the house immaculate and prepared for prospective buyers to view it, but also being ready to satisfy last-minute demands. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to make alternative arrangements with their realtor. 


Being well-prepared for the negotiation process is another essential component of a successful property sale. Even if a homeowner believes they have established the appropriate price for their house, they should be prepared for potential purchasers to negotiate the price. It is critical to collaborate with a real estate agent to determine the homeowner's bottom line, and it is equally essential to be ready to make concessions in order to successfully seal the deal. Because arriving at a price that is acceptable to both parties may take some time, homeowners should also be prepared to be patient as well as flexible throughout the negotiating process. 


When it comes to selling a house, one of the most crucial things a homeowner can do is to get in touch with a real estate agent and begin working with them. A real estate agent is able to guide their client through pricing, marketing, and negotiating processes, in addition to managing all of the essential paperwork. In addition to this, they are able to guide homeowners through the sometimes complicated legal and financial elements of selling a house.


Buying an investment property is the topic of the next article...

Posted in Blog
Jan. 25, 2023

Step By Step To Purchase Contract

Purchasing a home is the most expensive purchase made by the majority of households. It can be a time-consuming procedure that necessitates extensive financial planning. One of the most significant aspects of house shopping is having a trustworthy and knowledgeable team on one's side. Yes, I call it a team since there are many individuals involved in the property purchasing process. Having a trustworthy agent is essential for direction. A skilled realtor would not only showcase his knowledge of neighborhoods and market intelligence, but his or her relationships with others to finalize the deal are the key and the majority of his or her job.


One of the most significant considerations is the payment option for the transaction. If the transaction is financed, the first step is to obtain pre-approval from a lender. Many people begin browsing for properties only to discover that they cannot afford their preferences owing to a lack of financial analysis from a lender. We all estimate costs in our heads but overlook many little aspects that lenders include in their risk management, plus the cost of a loan and the first escrow may be an unexpected cost to an unprepared buyer. It is usually a good idea to do a self-check six months before looking for a property so that any unexpected negative marks on credit reports may be removed and you have more time to save for the closing.


Meeting and selecting the realtor should be the first stage in the process so that he can assist the purchasers in choosing the appropriate route to complete all of the essential tasks. Knowing the boundaries of a buyer's purchasing capacity also establishes the section of town and the expectations. Once these processes are accomplished, the realtor will begin sharing listings and taking clients to houses for showings to better understand their style or "must-haves." There is no such thing as a perfect home. Compromise is essential for a successful purchase. The layout of the kitchen or the carpeted floors should not be dealbreakers. Anything structural may be changed, but the location cannot be relocated. Although I recall seeing some single households being pushed on numerous compacted wheels across the road on television a few times, it was never more than 50 feet.


In Florida, real estate brokers like myself can handle the whole process from contract negotiation to closing, but to focus more on each duty, the majority of real estate professionals work with title companies owned and controlled by attorneys. It is usually preferable to have legal advice on staff. Title companies ensure that the title is free of defects and issue title insurance at a fixed rate based on the amount so that there is no competition on the rate other than the quality of service; around 0.5% of the purchase price is held in escrow, and money is exchanged correctly at the closing.


For residential transactions recognized by the board of realtors in Florida, agents use a standard "as-is" purchase contract. In other circumstances, depending on the property's uniqueness, they add riders such as lead-based paint disclosure for residences constructed before 1978 or a condo rider that details the communal living obligations and costs. Ultimately, every term is negotiable, but maintaining standards is critical to protecting both parties.


In typical market conditions, the buyer will have an inspection period during which the property will be examined by a third party. The typical time frame for condo-type houses is 5-7 days and 7–10 days for free-standing construction. The condo association provides master insurance and a maintenance plan. The outside is covered by the condominium as a common area, the inside of the unit is the owner's responsibility, so it requires special care for inspection. An inspector will normally spend a few hours going through the appliances, windows, electrical box, and so on. On the other hand, property owners are completely responsible for the maintenance of free-standing buildings that take longer to check. A roofer must evaluate the roof, the plumbing for galvanized pipes, the structure's foundation, the seawall for coastal homes, and zoning, all important considerations.


Even if no inspection was performed or he was dissatisfied with the results, the buyer has the right to cancel the contract and reclaim the earnest money deposit. The buyer effectively secures the property under contract for the duration of the inspection period, which is why it is essential to negotiate this term as well as the purchase price. You don't want to lose another potential buyer who isn't willing to wait 15 days and may choose another house. Depending on the inspection results, if there are severe issues that require correction, such as the age of the roof, both parties normally reach an agreement and proceed with the credit at closing.


When the inspection period expires, the escrow money becomes due, and the title company begins their due diligence.

The majority of lenders need an appraisal of the negotiated property's value. This is often done by a third party, such as a state-licensed appraiser. Appriser compares the subject property to recent sales in the area over the last 6 months to a year, taking improvements into consideration. In most cases, the appraisal matches the negotiated price; if it is lower, the buyer has the option of withdrawing and receiving the earnest money back with no penalties or renegotiating with the seller to either reduce the negotiated price to the appraised price or meet somewhere in the middle to move forward.

When both parties reach an agreement and there are no defects in the title, they agree on the pre-planned closing date. The closing may be postponed because, even though all expectations were fulfilled and approval was granted, the buyer must wait three days, including Saturdays, to review the closing disclosure required by law or the required condo approval declaration from an association.


Finance agreements are never binding until the buyer signs the closing disclosure, but cash purchases are difficult to come by once the inspection period is over.That is why sellers prefer cash, knowing that the inspection period is the sole hurdle. By the way, if the buyer backs out of a cash transaction, the escrow money is split 50/50 between the seller and the seller's agent. Realtors work on a 5% to 6% commission on the purchase price, so negotiating an escrow deposit minimum of 5% to 10% is critical to recouping the predicted earnings, which determine the costumery amount.


Buyers do a final walkthrough of the property on the day of closing or the day before to ensure that the seller has met the negotiated terms, such as moving out furniture or leaving certain items behind, and that the walls are still in fine shape. If the contract doesn't say otherwise, the buyer could make demands if the windows were dirty or the yard wasn't kept up well.


Another role of a realtor is to keep everyone's sanity. People become quite emotional when it comes to transferring ownership of their house or selecting their new nest. These feelings can sometimes drive parties apart. A really brilliant vested realtor would ensure that the message gets to the parties in a very clear way to eliminate additional tension.This is something that every practitioner learns with time and experience.


Good realtors do not sell; instead, they represent their clients.



Selling a house: what to do to get it ready is the topic of the next article...

Posted in Blog
Jan. 18, 2023

Buying vs Renting

Working in real estate taught me that cash flow and real estate appreciation are two very different and hard things. This is brought up because the younger generation feels that renting is better than putting down a significant down payment on a primary house. They appear to desire greater fluidity and freedom of movement. One may argue that it is preferable to keep huge sums of money and invest them in the market, with the proceeds paying the monthly rent. This looks like a brilliant idea until the market collapses and the stock value of the starting cash is reduced by half, limiting the returns or dividends available to support the monthly rent. Essentially, the cash flow vanishes.


Another argument is that housing is the most important material in a person's wealth, so we should save enough to purchase a house. Buying a home requires not just a substantial down payment but also committing the buyer to a contract for the next 15 to 30 years. Mortgages are normally granted with a set interest rate for the duration of the loan. The monthly payment amount does not change for the life of the loan. Unfortunately, the monetary worth of the currency depreciates due to inflation and the natural process of growth, so a normal monthly payment of $2,500 may appear to be out of reach now, but may look to be a good deal in the near future, not to mention the purchased home's ability to provide continual shelter regardless of economic circumstances.


Previous generations viewed buying a home as part of their retirement strategy. I've met and assisted numerous folks who paid less than $200k for a waterfront home in Fort Lauderdale 20–25 years ago. These properties were selling for at least $1 million during the recent market high. Consider living on a million-dollar property and paying just around $4,000 in taxes each year because of homestead exemptions. My customers were able to buy a similar-sized apartment in a golf community and put the leftover cash in their retirement portfolio for greater returns after I recently sold their over a million-dollar residence. Building equity is a brilliant and less risky method. Everyone pays for housing, regardless of where they reside or who they are. In 2010, they paid $380,000 for that property.


As I previously stated, the other element is freedom of movement. The previous strategy might not work here. Many individuals leave their hometowns in search of better opportunities in larger cities or other parts of the world; some return, while others do not and continue to pay for accommodation. This is a more recent trend in how individuals operate. Rather than working at the same job in the same area for 20 years, the new generation seeks jobs that allow them to travel freely. According to statistics, the average person under the age of 30 stays with their current company for no more than three years. The current generation looks to be more eager to explore fresh opportunities that come with the difficulty of migrating. 


The world in which we live is rapidly changing. Buying a home used to be considered a major accomplishment for the majority of people. It is now considered a missed opportunity for some. The internet is an excellent tool for acquiring a wide range of information. It's useful if you need to replace your garbage disposal. YouTube has a number of instructive videos accessible. From improving our electrical outlets to learning how to invest our money through YouTube tutorials, we advanced. To earn likes or views, everyone who has an opinion appears to be an authority on the issue. It amuses me to hear that someone can purchase a house with no money down, that there is a secret that costs $9,000 to learn at a school, that the property owner can pay the entire mortgage for the buyer so that the buyer may rent the property out and make a 10% return out of thin air, and so on. These somewhat difficult investments may work for a short period for some, but they are always on thin ice with no adjustment margins. That is why buying your first home is the best investment; consistency is key!


There are two primary ways to profit from real estate. Some investors acquire and retain homes, while others flip them. Buying a property with a little down payment may only breakeven in the first five years, but it develops a stable and less risky portfolio. Flippers, on the other hand, will use hard money from lender or their own money to purchase and renovate a property in order to make at least a 25% profit in a short amount of time. Unlike the method of purchasing, keeping, and paying income taxes after deductions, capital taxes will always keep a flipper spinning like a hamster wheel.


The key to every investment is to create equity. Personally, I believe that a castle should be owned and the earnings should be invested in secondary or third property. Leveraging revenue and cash flow is essential, as is thinking long-term. Any short-term investment involves a risk.


If you are renting and reading this, I am sure you have some cash that you have put in the market, and sadly, around 18% of your portfolio is down this year. Selling or withdrawing is not even a possibility at this time. You have to wait till everything evens out, and even then you are losing value due to the absence of good returns this year. If you spent that money on buying house, it would still look the same or even better today. The value of a property is essential only if you want to sell it; otherwise, it is meaningless. Simply concentrate on making your fixed monthly payments and paying off your debt. Once 50% of the first mortgage is paid off, do not refinance or pay it off; instead, go to the secondary property with 25% down and rent it to others to pay your mortgage.


With borrowing rates so high, now is the time to make that purchase. High interest rates reduces the purchase price . The rates are high for a brief period of time. "Marry the property and date the rates."


Step-By-Step Guide To A Purchase Contract is the topic of the next article...

Posted in Blog
Jan. 11, 2023

Condo vs Single Family


This has been one of the most controversial topics with our clients when it comes to selecting the suitable property for their primary or secondary residence. In my experience, our south Florida second home owners prefer condominiums for simplicity of maintenance and security. The majority of them come from the upper east coast and the mid-upper west of the country, and they are unaware of the ups and downs of living in a community. Most of these individuals residing in single-family houses in their towns, unless they are from metropolitan areas and are surprised at how much room and location they can acquire for their money, and the converse is true for suburban residents who find south Florida properties expensive. Those who reside in suburban condominiums are often empty nesters nearing retirement.


Because condominium rules did not become effective until 1963, many buildings in Florida are still organized as co-ops. Prior to this date, developers would lease such land from a landowner for up to 100 years and build a high or low rise building on it, with the lease fee included in the monthly HOA payments. For many individuals, this was a fantastic opportunity to acquire a home at a far lower cost than fee simple property. Co-ops allowed residents to own a house with the lease and construction costs plus developer profit, resulting in a significant discount on these properties compared to single-family dwellings. People were not concerned about the lease period because 100 years looked far away. There were several examples when the lease had expired and the landowner refused to renew or requested a significant increase in monthly payments, but these were rejected by courts due to public interest and the leases were required to be renegotiated fairly. Of course, there is always uncertainty! Today, the majority of coops either own their property and retain the Cooperation structure for complete control, or they acquire the land and convert to a condominium.


Co-ops have share holders rather than owners because when you engage into a cooperative relationship, you own enough shares to be allocated a certain unit, but you do not receive a deed for that unit. These cooperatives have more authority and are exempt from condo restrictions, allowing share holders to freely select how they want their cooperative to function. Although the Housing Authority continues to oversee them for discrimination and other social concerns, the board members and share holders can dismiss anybody with a majority of votes from the members. That is why many co-ops want to be controlled in this manner so that they may be more stringent about who can become a shareholder and how the premises are used. Another significant disadvantage is the financing of these shares. Only a few local banks may consider financing land-owned co-ops with a minimum 50% down payment for a limited time. Banks do not consider them a tangible asset. It's really no different than buying Google shares and receiving free computer rooms, entertainment, and other perks in exchange. These constraints can still result in a terrific deal for people who wish to be in a desirable section of town for half the price.


Condominium regulations were designed for this reason, so that people might own a portion of the building, including a portion of the common spaces, as an asset. When a buyer purchases a condo, he or she receives a deed for that specific unit in the building and agrees to pay HOA fees to the board to cover master insurance, management, and running expenses. The setup is quite similar to a co-op, with the exception of being accountable for the deeded unit and obtaining HO6 insurance. Condominiums are more easier to finance based on their budget and the condition of the building, which is why condos appreciate significantly faster than co-ops. Some condo buildings are even approved for the FHA's First Time Home Buyers program, which requires only 3% down. The harsh reality is that 99 percent of structures in South Florida demand a minimum down payment of 10% to 20% and are not FHA approved. The more the reserves and the better the state of the building, the greater the down payment and approval on the mortgage note.


These two structures are not the same as single-family residences. The majority of single-family homes are built on fee simple properties, which means that the owner owns both the land and the structure. Unless the laws are different if the home is being financed, the owner has complete authority over property maintenance and insurance. If it is owned outright, the property owner can alter it from the layout of the backyard to the architectural component of the home without the need for another vote. Some communities may impose limits on the exterior color or height of the home, but independence is crucial when it comes to owning a single-family home with a high maintenance cost. People want to own a piece of the Earth and build a house that represents their worth and image. Finance and transfer are considerably easier because there is no association that needs to authorize the buyer for financials and history. A fee simple property owner can sell the property to anybody and at any time. In addition, the building on the site may be destroyed to offer a less expensive option than holding on to it as an investment. The liabilities and taxes on vacant land are quite minimal.


Some alternative communities provide single-family houses through a volunteer group in order to maintain the area more orderly and secure for their inhabitants. They may decide to erect a car gate with the city's authorization or maintain the common area landscaping, for example.


The majority of the combined townhouses are fee simple properties, however there is an association because of the shared roof and planting areas. Some people prefer. This way of living is low-maintenance.


Based on the purchase price, the maintenance cost of a single family home, co-op, or condominium will be quite similar. The fundamental distinction is who and when chooses to repair or improve it. Voted board members would be accountable for making any changes after receiving consent from their community, whereas the single family owner may act on what pleases him. Ultimately, purchasers pick a lifestyle since either the insurance, landscaping, or utilities are paid through the organization or privately, and the cost is comparable!


Buying vs Renting is the topic of the next article...


PS - I really like writing essays on these subjects. Creating one of these takes a few hours on my end. It's a lot of fun, and I think it's a great method to maintain communication and interest between us. Your attention and feedback on my previous article are much appreciated. I'm grateful. Thank you very much. Feel free to reply with any thoughts you may have...

Posted in Blog
Jan. 4, 2023



It has been a great topic of discussion for the past few years whether holding a digital currency is meaningless or has great value. I was having a discussion with one of my great clients last week. He is a very successful business person with tremendous accomplishments. He was curious about this topic and requested that I add it to my articles.


The digital currency was first invented as a result of the cypherpunk manifesto that was put together by many computer programmers to be used against complete computer surveillance. Many might argue that it was not true, but it did not stop the many unsettled computer geniuses. One of the first programmers who worked on this was named Eric Hughes.


In 1983, David Chaum published a paper explaining a blind signature transaction system. It was tried out in a few stores under the pressure of people who understood the concept, but people found their credit card use easier and more reliable. This was one of the first privatized payment systems between vendors. Digicash, Hashcash, and B-Money continued to win this market and improve it for privacy until the creation of Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008–2009. What made Bitcoin so different than the early attempts at digital currency is that it was the first decentralized blind payment system, although it still held the ledger and was checked by all users, just like the previous versions. Many people believe that the 2008 financial crisis was responsible for the creation of such a currency.


Today, the most known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is completely decentralized, meaning that there is not one entity checking the balances and making sure that the transactions are running smoothly, like a regular bank. For example, when you go to a store to buy milk, you would hand your credit card to the cashier, and the process would start. The merchant services of the credit company would contact the bank to make sure that the person’s account has enough funds to cover the purchase. Today, with the speed of the internet, this takes less than 3-5 seconds. I personally remember the toast machine copying the credit cards and depositing the copied slips. There was no verification two decades ago. This whole process gets run by a centralized system that makes sure that both parties are on the record for the exchange.


This is a very interesting topic. Is privacy being violated? We have seen examples of this being used as a tool to stop protests in Canada in the past year. Simply put, the government was able to identify people who were involved in the matter, and their bank and credit accounts were frozen in the name of national security. It is not my place to judge if these people were at fault or not, but one thing is apparent: everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Despite this pillar principle, the government was able to take such actions.


There will be only 21 million bitcoins in the world. Like every digital currency, bitcoin had a start and an end. It takes x amount of electric and computing power to generate a bitcoin. Many miners use "ant-miner" machines, which are supercomputers that can calculate such encryption in a matter of hours. Such work creates so much heat that most of the mines are in cooler climates, like China. The cost of the electricity, actual computer parts, facilities, and staff to run the whole system is the cost of mining a bitcoin. Of course, demand will always dictate the market value of a product, but that is a different conversation.



Blockchain technology enables such tracking for a specific coin like bitcoin. Every transaction gets recorded in the ledger, which is transparently checked by all users in the system. Meaning, you could literally see how many hands the coin that you hold has been through. Each transaction gets encrypted on the coin and can't be erased. What makes a vote unanimous is the coin holder. Each wallet holder gets assigned numerous numbers that are not attached to any other information. That's why you hear people lose millions of dollars because there is no customer support to retrieve your account number. So in a digital world, one can hold millions of dollars, but we would not know their identity. This is the argument that creates all the negativity among spectators and the government.


Today, we have millions of printed bills circulating the economy, and they can definitely be used by the bad guys; however, it is harder to transport and shelter cash than many bitcoins on a memory stick. I always say that, when there is a will, there is a way. It seems like this will make the governments' jobs around the world much harder to track incomes, exchanges, and sales for taxation and, of course, for the law enforcement’s part as well. 


I truly think that the politicians are playing their hands very well. They are aware that they can't stop this demand for currency like pot, so they create regulations and fear manger for many independent exchanges, so we go to Coinbase like sites that act just like Fidelity and other financial institutions. This is the main reason the value of bitcoin went down, because most of the ones being exchanged are being reported to the government.


The US government is working on creating its own digital currency, which will be released by 2025. See, this US digital coin will erase the cash completely and force everyone to use it. Every transaction of each coin will be recorded like a bit coin, but the control of the whole system will rely on the federal government. 



Real estate is the best commodity in the world because the amount of land is limited. Buying a piece of earth will only result in great profit in the long run. Any digital currency is limited as well, just like land on earth, compared to the current economic system that creates an unlimited amount of money. I honestly think that the idea is great and could be tweaked a bit, but in the society that we live in today, no one is ready for such a monetary system. 


Two Cents on FTX;


Mister Friedman, who is the founder of the FTX exchange, was taking advantage of this market and trading it between countries where a bitcoin cost less to make and was harder to exchange vs. countries where a bitcoin cost more and was easier to exchange. Such an unexpected push from people all over the world caused this to be evened out on other platforms, and this actually failed his business plan in the first place. He was able to offer a 10% return a year to his investors, and he was able to make his own token like a bitcoin to value his company. People, with the media’s help, believed in such valuations. When you think about how a guy can convince a financial institution of a valuation backed by his own creation of tokens, it is unbelievable. The token was just adding money out of thin air to the system. There was no encryption or technology behind it. It was completely supported by confidence, much like our current currency. It is really unfortunate to see such a platform being demolished due to the acts of an inept individual, but it demonstrates how eager people are to embrace a next generation decentralized financial system. Personally, I feel that the concept of such an exchange is fantastic, and that we will see many more of them, but permitting such an idea to be acted out in this manner raises concerns in my view. What a gain for the government! By the way, another important component of his company's downfall was a%10 large share holders abruptly liquidating his shares. The competition in the crypto market is fierce, therefore the biggest opponent takes Friedman out of the game by raising panic in consumers and driving the token's value up. In my opinion, he had no business launching an exchange platform because his main goal was to trade a currency and benefit from the difference. When he discovered he wasn't meeting his responsibilities to the investors, he formed a sister firm and invested FTX cash in the goal of obtaining additional money to pay FTX. With the final blow from the competition, the outcome was unavoidable.


Buying a condo vs a single-family home

is the topic of the next article...


PS - I really like writing essays on these subjects. Creating one of these takes a few hours on my end. It's a lot of fun, and I think it's a great method to maintain communication and interest between us. Your attention and feedback on my previous article are much appreciated. I'm grateful. Thank you very much. Feel free to reply with any thoughts you may have...

Posted in Blog
Dec. 28, 2022

Property Taxes & Liabilities


As we all know, two things in life are unavoidable: taxes and death. As a result of taxes and God's death, we all bear a great obligation to the government. Our world is ruled by two titans. Nonetheless, it appears that we have always been required from the beginning to the end to prevent disorder in our basic human nature.


The largest purchase for an individual, as I generally presume, is real estate. Owning a piece of the earth is expensive, but keeping it is more expensive in the US than in other countries. Real estate taxes in my birth country, Turkey, are %0.1 of the purchase price, with certain urban regions charging %0.2 of the purchase price. It may be an argument of service being demonstrated in a place like Istanbul vs. Florida, but holding on to real estate is unquestionably less expensive. It is clear that there is no city planning, pedestrian coordination, or parking in Istanbul-like cities when compared to Florida or any other US state. We are really fortunate to live in such a nation in comparison to many other countries, but we also live in a program that is prepared to charge for that privilege or forces people to do so. It's strange how something that is considered a luxury in certain places becomes expected with time.


As a real estate agent, clients frequently inquire about the taxes on any home in which they are interested. Looking at a property's taxes on an MLS sheet or on the internet may not provide a comprehensive picture. See, the reality is a little different.For example, if you paid $250,000 for the property, the new taxes would be around $5000 per year; they may be a bit lower depending on the deductions (homestead, disability, etc.) that you are eligible for. It might possibly be somewhat greater based on the area's mileage rate. Milage rates are set for the area and are determined by the amount of growth in that area.If new roads and infrastructure are required, the mileage rate will be higher, and property taxes will most likely exceed 2%.


Homestead exemptions are only available to full-time residents of Florida.and depending on the purchase price, you can deduct up to $50,000 from the purchase the calculation, so being homesteaded becomes a huge advantage for carrying the primary residence in an affordable manner, implying that real estate taxes cannot be raised by more than 3% of the previous year's assessed amount. This prevents many families and the elderly from being forced to leave their homes owing to drastically increasing taxes. Second home owners' or investors' properties, on the other hand, are vulnerable to fee changes depending on market conditions. They will very certainly keep up with market values, while some legal firms may fight such big gains in court with the county appraiser for a basic charge of 10% of the savings.


By the way, because Florida does not have a state income tax, the majority of the state's revenue comes from sales and property taxes. Federal income taxes do not fund the construction of bridges and schools in your neighborhood. These state taxes pay for our daily public necessities. Federal income taxes pay the interest that the Federal Reserve conveys to our government. The Reserve Bank is owned by the most powerful bankers in the nation, who set the interest rate. Correctly, the Federal Reserve Bank is a private corporation governed and managed by the federal government, comparable to the US Postal Service.


Having such an estate also entails some risk. Most individuals include their possessions in their names without realizing it. We live in a nation where individuals sue each other for a variety of reasons or are forced into bankruptcy by an economic downturn. Florida is one of the states that preserves homestead equity even during bankruptcy. There is no limit to the value of the property, which might be worth millions of dollars. As a result of their fortune, many wealthy individuals possess multi-million dollar residences. Anyone can liquidate such an asset without penalty the day after the discharge. The same safeguards apply to levies, executions, and judgments.


Second homes or investment properties, on the other hand, are completely vulnerable to these issues. That is why many people form an LLC for each property they own, limiting their exposure to that single property. Single-family LLCs, on the other hand, are not as safe as you may believe. The charging order is the most widely recognized type of limited liability; nevertheless, it only protects multi-member LLCs.  


The modification was introduced in 2013 in response to a high number of contractors starting projects, collecting advances, and then disappearing. This sparked a widespread frenzy. Now, the only interest owner of a single member LLC may be individually liable for damages in any court cases or verdicts. This changed everything.


Although organizing multiple properties under a family trust appears to provide the best protection against law suits and death, many married couples are unaware that even if both spouses are on a property's deed, they may still have to go through probate court to obtain the full capacity of the deed in the event of death. A family trust would allow the trustee to completely own the property via survivorship without having to go to court by just delivering the original trust documents to the title firm for transfer upon recording of the new deed. In Florida, you may even have your primary home placed under a trust. These are simply my observations from selling real estate, so please do not accept them as legal advice, but do discuss them with your attorney as an added bonus.


Knowledge is the key to being prepared. As a real estate agent, I aim to learn as much as I can so that I can help my clients in the most secure and straightforward way possible. As I usually say, I pledge to treat your money as if it were mine.


Let me know if you're thinking of selling or buying, and let's chart a course to success together...


Cryptocurrency is the topic of the next article...


PS - I really like writing essays on these subjects. Creating one of these takes a few hours on my end. It's a lot of fun, and I think it's a great method to maintain communication and interest between us. Your attention and feedback on my previous article are much appreciated. I'm grateful. Thank you very much. Feel free to reply with any thoughts you may have...

Posted in Blog
Dec. 21, 2022

Big Box vs Boutique Brokerages


In the United States, there are a great number of large box brokerages. The majority of them are household names, such as Remax, Sotheby's International Realty, Douglas Elliman, Century 21 and Compass, amongst others. Although they seem to be providing the same service, there is some variation among them despite the fact that they are all doing the same thing. For instance, Remax is extremely dominant at all different price points worldwide and focuses solely on selling properties, whereas Sotheby's is more of a luxury brand that participates in art and fine wine auctions in addition to having a sizable real estate department. Both companies sell real estate. Reaching out to a certain demographic has its own unique set of obstacles. Since we already know this, we can anticipate that these well-established businesses will continue along their current path and avoid the temptation to pursue nonstandard methods of operation. Boutique brokerages are distinct from these larger organizations in a few important respects. 


They have a reputation for bringing in business because of the personable nature of their primary broker and their extensive industry expertise. People who like to do business in a manner in which they may communicate directly with the company's chief executive officer often patronize businesses of this sort. The majority of new customers come through recommendations made by previously satisfied customers who are already familiar with the company and its offerings. Because the broker is responsible for every aspect of the transaction, the customer care line or top management cannot lodge a complaint about anything related to the transaction. It's almost like having your own private banking—a connection that is more personal and in-depth based on trust as opposed to one that is widely known and respected as a brand. 


At the end of the day, the process of carrying out any transaction is carried out in the same manner. It makes no difference if you are working with a large or a small company in this situation. The real estate agent with whom you deal is the single most significant person in this transaction. Although we all approach customer service in somewhat different ways, in the end we all make use of a program called the multiple listing service, which is commonly referred to as MLS. We collect the same information and upload it to the same system, despite the fact that some of us may work with a more skilled photographer than others do or that some of us might have nicer offices. This information is sent to any and all individuals who are engaged in the purchasing, selling, or brokering of real estate. There is no basis for the assumption that collaborating with a bigger dog would result in a greater number of people being aware of your property. Having said that, I feel obligated to mention that the brokerage may provide the agent working on certain major transactions with a distinct advertising budget. The lone agent that works on the transaction is the one who sells the property. Investigating the agent should take precedence over everything else since it is of the utmost importance. 


As soon as a real estate agent has a firm understanding of the industry's fundamentals, he or she is free to soar like an eagle all by themselves. His expertise and experience in the field will serve as his primary pillar of support. The majority of businesses have a transaction coordinator who is available to assist any agent on the spot; yet, they are unable to provide him with the competitive advantage that would place them in first place. 


As the principal broker in charge, I am always accessible to speak with our clients. It necessitates a great degree of expertise and availability on my part, but this is the feature that distinguishes boutique brokerages from one another. When the hailstorm starts, I've seen some agents hide their heads in the sand and contact their higher management to handle the situation for them. I've also seen some agents do the reverse. That is a luxury that neither I nor the other boutique brokers can afford.


It's amazing how occasionally I find myself considering joining one of the major corporations or giving up the portion of operating a company, but despite those thoughts, I still really like my approach, and I have the energy to continue doing both. I like being in charge of my own brand and being accountable for all of my choices. It simply feels wonderful. 


My friends who are employed by some of these huge companies are as content as they possibly can be; nevertheless, when we get together to talk about it, we all acknowledge that the daily grind is the same. A lot of people, when they see the name Remax or Coldwell, assume that they will perform a better job, but it is just like learning how to bake a pizza to have the knowledge. It's possible that the person who produces pizza is employed at Papa John's or Oscar's Florida Style Pizza. The ingredients are the same, yet the pizza is marketed differently. 


When choosing an agent with whom you would want to work, you should base your decision not on the name of the agent's brokerage but on the agent's individual abilities and knowledge of the circumstances and market in your area. Believe it or not, the majority of us hang our licenses with huge dogs so that we have better reception, but other than that, we all do what we're good at and have our own unique styles. 


At the end of the day, the real estate agent who is successful will bring success no matter what, all day, every day. This agent will answer the phone each time it rings, will be knowledgeable about the subject property, and will have the ability to negotiate contracts and terms. The only component of your success that is fully within your control is your hustle. 


In this industry, there is no clear cut dividing line that allows one to infer that bigger is better than little. At the end of the day, what really counts is the individual's perspective. It does not matter what a good salesperson sells or where they sell it—they will always be excellent salespeople. Be certain that you are sold on the individual rather than the brand.


Property taxes and liabilities is the topic of the next article...


PS - I really like writing essays on these subjects. Creating one of these takes a few hours on my end. It's a lot of fun, and I think it's a great method to maintain communication and interest between us. Your attention and feedback on my previous article are much appreciated. I'm grateful. Thank you very much. Feel free to reply with any thoughts you may have...

Posted in Blog
Dec. 14, 2022

What it takes to be a real estate e agent...


Real estate is one of the most lucrative and difficult industries in which to make a career. It seems impossible to establish a comfortable midway ground. It is a continuous attempt to acquire new clients and establish new partnerships. Breakups and temper tantrums are a luxury, therefore you must have a thick skin. It is like being in a jungle with a pack of ravenous wolves; you cannot take your eyes off the price or appreciate it for a second. You are continuously observed by those who want your possessions.


This may seem somewhat dramatic to some, yet my colleagues will nod in accord while smiling slightly. Once you understand the rules and etiquette of the game, it becomes a greater challenge and produces a high unlike any narcotic. Time is the most important factor in gaining momentum, which is why the majority of individuals leave their career due to a lack of finances to live on for additional months or because they can't bear being let down. Optimism is required regardless of the failure of the previous trade or contract. No transaction is finalized until the money are disbursed. I still don't believe it till my commission hits my bank account today, haha.


Understanding the legal issues of selling real estate is crucial for success. People ultimately employ us for our expertise and abilities. A real estate agent must be able to read and negotiate contracts immediately, seven days a week, at any time. Money does not sleep.


It takes several people to sell, but the coordination of one person is crucial. Real estate agents are the cornerstones of every transaction, whether on the purchasing or selling side. The average customer would have to investigate and hire title, inspection, general contracting, and finance organizations, among others. It takes time and expertise to build a team capable of handling any transaction. Because I do everyday business with an extraordinary group of individuals, I am able to feel confident. It is unlike any other business's contractual obligations. Every team member exerts maximum effort to advance, like an ancient army advancing across the frontlines. No Rewards for any player until victory is achieved.


I've always been interested in a variety of businesses. Being an entrepreneur is tough yet rewarding. I have conversed with several prosperous individuals who build vast fortunes, the most of which were earned in real estate. Naturally, because to the nature of the beast, I began working full time in this industry over five years ago, despite having my license for eight years. The first few years, I was just playing to be a realtor, but one day, while watching a television program, I saw an inept realtor who helped me understand that despite the discouragement of others, there is always opportunity for improvement.


Everyone is a prospective customer. Finding a balance between friends and customers is difficult to maintain. Most individuals prefer not to conduct business with friends, but this field is an exception. With one thing in mind, we are constantly mingling, developing new connections, learning about new technologies, and spending a ton of money on marketing. Believe me, you will be challenged in several ways. I see a fairer, stronger, and more adaptable version of myself, depending on the nature of the particular task, when I look in the mirror today.


I've always found it amusing to see real estate agents driving premium automobiles and wearing name-brand watches. I could not grasp how they were able to show a property here and there and earn so much money. Yes, there is a great deal of money to be earned, but you should ask one of us how to accomplish it. It's like becoming pregnant and everyone congratulating you, but nobody asking you how many times you've..., haha. I am certain that you understand.


The standard rate of commission is six percent of the sale price. The majority of people believe that we earn all of that money for ourselves, but this is not the case. Realtors often split their commissions with the co-brokering agent who represents the opposing side.


Realtors must be excellent at marketing in addition to understanding the law. To sell a property requires several tries and innumerable phone calls that no one hears in the background. How about the duration of the listing attempts in such a competitive environment? After a realtor signs a listing, they may get congratulations, but a savvy agent may add, "Now I have to sell it."


Due to historically low mortgage rates, the previous two years have been phenomenal for novice realtors to earn money, but soon the boys will be separated from the men. Our teams are equipped with the most innovative marketing and financial resources in preparation for the challenging market that lies ahead. Preparing for the battle. The previous two years have been the payoff for the difficult years we all endure as realtors. We do sometimes win the jackpot, just as any other industry.


Many of you may believe that selling a property is as simple as listing it on Zillow, but this is not the case. So many individuals defraud homes, and some of the sharks bind them to contracts from which they cannot be freed. Some sharks even sell the contracts to other parties without the property owners' knowledge. And let's be honest, we all have an emotional attachment to our houses, so any unfavorable feedback from a potential buyer leaves a sour taste in the mouth.


Experienced real estate agents can accurately assess the market value of your home, advertise it to the right audience using high-quality materials at no cost to you, network with other agents and potential buyers to get the word out, host open houses while keeping a close eye on things to make sure nothing is stolen, answer your questions and concerns during the process, and more. 


It takes a lion to live in this jungle, as I mentioned at the outset. The lion is not the largest, the quickest, or the most intelligent animal, but his mindset is what makes him successful.


Let me know if you're thinking of selling or buying, and let's chart a course to success together...


Big Box vs Boutique Brokerages is the topic of the next article...


PS - I really like writing pieces on these subjects. Creating one of these takes a few hours on my end. It's a lot of fun, and I think it's a great method to maintain communication and interest between us. Your attention and feedback on my previous article are much appreciated. I'm grateful. Thank you very much. Feel free to reply with any thoughts you may have...

Posted in Blog